Opinion: It's true - the Golden Triangle is one of the best places to live - and here are 20 reasons why
PUBLISHED: 13:19 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:19 27 March 2014
copyright: Archant 2014
I was overjoyed to see that the Golden Triangle was named in a recent list of the 101 best places to live in England - mainly because I'm selling a house there at the moment and it might encourage people to spend a few more quid (although I'm also buying another one round the corner, so it's swings and roundabouts).
Eleven East Anglian towns have been named in the Sunday Times’ list – only two in Norfolk, the GT and Blakeney, the latter of which doesn’t boast a Cartridge World, two branches of Co-op, the most frightening public toilets in the county (Jenny Lind Park) or a bloke who wanders around wearing a gas mask (to my knowledge).
The newspaper cited all manner of boring reasons why the Golden Triangle is marvellous – the schools are good, the crime is low, there’s a Waitrose within spitting distance, someone called Rupert lives there and so forth, but they simply don’t have the in-depth, insider knowledge that a resident can have. I have that knowledge. I have that eye-wateringly huge mortgage. I have surrendered space for convenience and I like it.
So, here is my own guide to why the Golden Triangle deserves to be in a list of the best places to live in the country. Yes, Blakeney has the sea – but has it ever had a bus in a hole? No. I rest my case.
20 reasons why the Golden Triangle is a great place to live:
- I live there.
- I have lived there for the past 17 years, so it has a long history of being a great place to live.
- I also lived there for three years prior to this time with only a brief sojourn over to Dussindale which I left as quickly as physically possible on the basis that it wasn’t the Golden Triangle.
- The Co-op: where else in Norwich is there a shop assistant called Django?
- Parking – finding a space every night keeps you fit, especially when you have to park about a mile away from your house and carry heavy shopping back to your abode in several trips while indulging in a spot of calorie-burning intense swearing.
- The fact that you never know when a house/bus might fall into a collapsed chalk mine. We are living on the edge (of a huge hole) in the GT.
- Yes, we have lots of students and yes, they strip the shops of bread/milk/baked beans on a daily basis. But they go home in the summer whereas most of you have to put up with appalling neighbours all year round.
- People in the Golden Triangle give their children amusing names. Rumour has it there is a young Begonia living off Unthank Road – and my full name is Eustacia: it doesn’t get more Golden Triangle than THAT.
- There are interesting characters. The bearded man who doesn’t wear shoes. The man who wears a gas mask and rubber trousers. The identical twins in their 50s who dress in the same clothes and are only rarely spotted together. Me.
- The extreme sports on offer – namely negotiating Mount Pleasant in a sea of 4x4s (disclaimer: I also drive a 4x4 but am a special snowflake and am therefore beyond all criticism. Anyway: 4x4s are essential for the rough terrain of Park Lane) driven by the perpetually furious mothers of private school children on your way to work or arguing with your partner who points out that for the money it costs to live in a terraced house in the GT you could live in a moated mansion in the suburbs with its own helipad and six acre garden.
- Did I mention that I live there?
- You can enter into an endless number of entertaining debates with people who live on “the wrong side” of Earlham Road and who claim they live in the Golden Triangle when in fact they live in the Wicker Pentacle.
- It takes no more than 10 minutes to walk into the city. If I lived any further out, I would consider myself to be living in the countryside and would apply for a rural hardship grant.
- You will never be overwhelmed by work in the garden. This is because unless you spend more than £500,000 on a house, your garden will be a concrete postage stamp in which swinging a cat would be a physical impossibility.
- The pubs, the cafes, the shops, the bakeries, Mr Lim’s chips, Mr Pizza (who calls my boyfriend Mr Million Dollar Car, which is the best nickname ever. The car did not cost a million dollars) and Cartridge World, a magical wonderland of printer cartridges (I presume).
- I once saw Stephen Fry on Unthank Road.
- And another time, I was behind Paul Lambert in the Co-op when he was buying cat food (or was I buying cat food? It’s all a blur).
- There is a launderette on Unthank Road, just like the one in Walford! No Dot Cotton, though, but I once saw a man inside one of the machines* – it wasn’t switched on, but it just goes to show you how MADCAP and ZANY and BOHEMIAN we are in the Golden Triangle. * He might have been cleaning it.
- Even our graffiti is upbeat and erudite (see picture – this is round the corner from my house. Outside my house there is some considerably less erudite graffiti, but I haven’t taken a picture of that).
- I live there.
Now please buy my house. It comes with a free gas mask and rubber trousers.
You can see Stacia’s column every Monday in the Evening News.