In February 2021, the National Centre for Writing welcomed five writers from other UNESCO cities of literature to Norwich for a month-long virtual residency: Liz Breslin from Dunedin, New Zealand; Lynn Buckle from Dublin, Ireland; Valur Gunnarsson from Reykjavík, Iceland; Marcin Wilk from Kraków, Poland; and Vahni Capildeo from Edinburgh, UK.
During this residency, writer Liz Breslin explored the concept of modern surveillance and the ways we can turn it on its head and see the natural world differently, using the birdwatching webcams on Dunedin’s Otago peninsula and the Hawk and Owl Trust Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Live Webcams in Norwich as her inspiration.
Ellie says we can get the best baps at the Eaton Park Café. And their website has cute dogs and how many more reasons do I need? I have spent three weeks nesting. It is time to walk. But first I must learn how to fly. Sorry, we could not calculate walking directions from ‘Dunedin’ to ‘Eaton Park Café, Eaton Park café Eaton Park, Norwich NR4 7AZ, United Kingdom’.
Fifty-five percent of people on Tripadvisor seem to agree with Ellie. Lovely food great setting says kzuk321. Particularly the bacon rolls, says Flyer734146. SimoncR9903FE’s partner, according to SimoncR9903FE, had a poached egg on a bed of creamy wild mushrooms which she said was absolutely delicious and 10 out of 10. My only gripe, says 8michaels, is that they don’t do chips! Z2856PCjohnh says If you are open for business then you should not be closed to manners. What a burn. I do like a good dose of café disdain and if I was in the habit of leaving comments my comment to the people who commented on the proximity of cigarettes to café would be perhaps do not go to parks or cafés in Kraków irl if we ever get irl again. Or in Paris back in the day.
I wish we were back in the day. I wish I was here in this day. Maps is being glitchy but I can zoom right in, dive like a peregrine to the park, to the paths, to the neat colonnades. The people and the benches outside are caught busy in a very specific pre-social distance April 2017 way. A woman and a smallish child who might be at high school now. But I’m getting ahead. If I can get to the ground from my humanly-constructed eyrie, I think I have an in. from Norwich Cathedral, 65 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH, United Kingdom
to Eaton Park Café, Eaton Park cafe Eaton Park, Norwich NR4 7AZ, United Kingdom
48 min (2.3 miles)
via Unthank Rd
Use caution–walking directions may not always reflect real-world conditions
It’s the haptic slap of foot on gravel that I miss. The Close (looking close) (looks like it) has that very specific kind of path that feels both rich and refined. The small maybe wooden not really fence posts, not wide enough to drive through and too far apart to hop. And round the corner…
the screen freezes, stops. Unthank you Internet. Unthank you very much for this. Continue on But I want to look around. Stop in the Golden Triangle. Make a liar of the estimate of 48 minutes. Unthank Rd has more brick houses than in all of Dunedin (which also has a lot) and you can’t go past a rectangled hedge without marvelling. Well I can’t. Very specific corners. Neat. Somehow I end up on the A11, which I remember is the other route. But since this is not a real-time walk, mapgirl has not told me to turn around. I turn around.
At the roundabout, take At the roundabout, take I don’t know where I’m going with this. All this walking is making me hungry. I will have the roasted vegetable with broad bean & pea pesto (vg) six pound Sandys-Winsch add goats cheese one pound fifty with a side of appreciation for the pun and the history and a half-sized jacket potato from noon with a leafy salad. The thought is making my mouth haptic.
Turn left The street lights are different here, more spaceship, less Narnia. The sky that peculiarly English steel. What would be perfect now is some light spots of rain so I can pull my best weather commiseration face at the other people I pass in the park. Destination will be on the right I mean to stick to the pathways but at the last minute I know I will cut and run across the grass.
About an hour outside the city of Ōtepoti/Dunedin at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head, on the Otago Peninsula , you can watch the toroa/northern royal albatross do their albatross thing. It’s a long drive even in a possible world. But thanks to the RoyalCam (world famous in New Zealand) you can also watch them from the (cold) comfort of your screen. Choose a webcam anywhere in the world and write your own view from afar…
Liz Breslin joined us from Dunedin. She writes poems, plays and stories. In 2020 she co-created Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature’s Possibilities Project and was the winner of the Kathleen Grattan Award for a Sequence of Poems. She’s also been part of a spoke’n’word tour of the Otago Central Rail Trail, which will be screened as rail:lines, a documentary film. Her second poem collection, In Bed With the Feminists, was published by Dead Bird Books in 2021. www.lizbreslin.com
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