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'Twas a Norwich Friday. We got the train at Diss, it came in at 10:29. Colin had boarded in Ipswich and he was sitting close to the door we entered by.


I had a book and Colin had a fiver. At his invitation I started to inscribe the copy of ‘All the Red Brick Streets’ with the motto ‘books have their destinies’, but after the first word decided to complete the job in the Costa near the station, as the train’s vibrations didn’t favour a steady hand.


After baby-bath cups of coffee in Costa we followed our noses around the city, going upwards always, and found our way to the market. Our goal, however, was the West Cornwall Pastie Co. Upstairs, we feasted on a pastie each, looking out the window and discussing our mutual buddies and latest outings into the whirl of society.


We left the restaurant and turned left, passing the market. Then left again, going up the hill, until we came to Ellis’s second-hand bookshop, a place we only recently discovered, thanks to Jade’s internet researches.


Colin got a book on walks around Wales, I bought one on the myths of Greece and Rome (a selection of tales with relevant bits of English poetry attached). The book was a school prize in 1939.


On the train back Colin picked up his copy of ‘All the Red Brick Streets’ and began to read a poem out in a sarcastic voice. Even I had to laugh.


We went from that to imitating Laurence Olivier and Oscar Wilde. Though I hate noisy people on trains or buses that was what, I suppose, we were.  When Jade and I got up to disembark at Diss the fellow travellers sitting down looked up curiously, as if ready to laugh, but uneasy.

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