This weekend saw a little reprise in the midst of my dissertation madness, as I packed up my notes, folders and many empty coffee mugs to go along to Picturehouse Norwich's outdoor screening of Amélie in the beautiful Plantation Gardens.
I bought tickets for this many moons ago, as I knew watching one of my favourite films in what looked like the most tranquil of settings would be a total reprieve from the stresses of writing. I wasn't wrong. We turned up with plenty of time to wander around the gardens and appreciate the beautiful flowers, creeping vines and vertical beds creating a wall of greenery all around.
The sun disappeared over the wall and people settled down on blankets in front of the screen as the Amélie soundtrack wafted around the garden. Due to the nature of the sunken garden, I felt like we were quite literally sat in huge, open room. No car noise, no street light, just the breeze tickling through the branches above.
I couldn't believe I had never heard of this place before. 22 years as a Norwich resident and the Plantation Gardens were a complete mystery! Down a little lane just out of central Norwich, the gardens were once a chalk quarry lovingly nurtured from 1856 for 40 years by a man who poured his love of Gothic architecture, medieval style ruins and botany into the expanse. After extensive restoration, the gardens are back to their former beauty. They're truly magical, especially in the twilight.
The flask of tea we brought (OAP's in training) went down a treat when the night closed in around us. An extra jumper and a fluffy blanket made my heart glad for the approaching Autumn. Any excuse to make a little nest and make more hot drinks is fine by me.
The film, of course, was excellent. Introverted Amélie's acts of kindness give you a warm, fuzzy feeling of well-being and the beautiful cinematography inspire a lust for Paris time and time again.
I left feeling rejuvenated and definitely ready for bed after sitting on the floor for a few hours! I'll have to return in the daytime with a picnic.
I hope these events are a frequent addition to Norwich!