Let's move to the flat fenland home of Alan Partridge! This week: Norwich

What’s it about?

The medieval city of Norwich, capital of the Dark Ages county of Norfolk, has all the historic churches, quaint pubs and references to a Steve Coogan character you could ever hope for.

It’s a place of winding cobbled streets and incomprehensible accents that make visitors feel like they’ve been transported to another country. Albeit one that’s harder to get to than most of mainland Europe due to the lack of motorway links.

The dumpling of sanity in the mad stew of the fens, Norwich is surrounded by countryside and country folk who wouldn’t think twice about burying you on their land, sunshine. Stick to built-up areas.

East Anglia’s surprisingly progressive lefty haven has two universities, a vibrant arts scene and was recently named the bisexual capital of the UK – and yet still harbours pockets of blistering ignorance that makes the comments section of the Evening News’s Facebook page a eye-widening experience.

Any good points?

Those pubs. Truly something for everyone. Want to get Camra-craft-beer tipsy with some old men? The Fat Cat. Want to sup a challenging IPA next to rollie-smoking arts students? The Playhouse bar. Ready to take your life in your hands and a punch to the throat for looking at someone wrong? The many horrifying establishments on Prince of Wales Road have you covered.

There are more independent shops than a farmer has relatives, from the bookshop Hive to hugely popular and lame pun-named bakery Bread Source, which may eventually turn out to be a longitudinal psychological study of how much you can get away with charging for a cinnamon bun before people riot.

Beautiful landscape? 

Landscape is probably pushing it. But if you like endless flat, muddy fields and a hostile Tory vibe, the surroundings of Norwich are for you. In the city itself, you’ve got Kett’s Heights, offering stunning views over the city – ignore the prison, it’s only category B/C – and the only bit of topography for miles.

The charming Earlham Park offers the calm of the UEA broad, scattered with sculptures including controversial Antony Gormley figures which have provoked debate and inflamed gammons. The less charming Chapelfield Park offers screaming children, an ice cream stand that seemingly never closes and a bandstand where teengers have been getting high and fingering each other for decades.

Hang out at…

The pubs, obviously, particularly now that the city’s cafes are disappearing at a terrifying rate. RIP Franks and Artel. If you want to break up your booze consumption with culture, you can take in the wildly unremarkable castle which is, and seems destined to forever be, mid-renovation, or either of the two cathedrals. One is tainted with the general horror of Catholicism and the other doubles up as a private school which was attended by Tim Westwood. Yeah.

The city’s a treasure trove for history buffs, whether you’re interested in its rich and storied past of rebellion and battle or the more recent beef between shopping centres Chantry Place and Castle Quarter. The former won and the latter has been reduced to a lone TK Maxx and an array of axe-throwing and mini golf venues. How the mighty are fallen.

Where to buy?

Anywhere you can find at the rate the house prices are shooting up, thanks to London knobheads realising the city is less than two hours away by train and only 20 or so years behind in everything else.

NR3 is the cool choice if you’ve got a sleeve tattoo and a vinyl collection. Students and the middle-aged live unharmoniously alongside each other in NR2, making for some spicy NextDoor posts, while NR1 is for the fancier folk who can walk up what passes for a gradient here.

From the streets:

Eleanor Shaw, aged 45: “The best thing about Norwich is feeling part of a community, albeit that one from The League of Gentlemen.”

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This week in Mash History: Ada Lovelace invents Ctrl-Alt-Delete in 1848

TODAY alone, tens of thousands of PC users around the world will press three keys simultaneously, effortlessly forcing Windows to cease its frozen bullshit. 

But did you know that without Ada Lovelace they would be unable to, leaving them no option but to stare at frozen Excel spreadsheets until it was time to go home? Here’s how a plucky Victorian woman created the ultimate shortcut to turn it off and on again.

Lovelace, fascinated by mathematics from an early age, wrote notes on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine in 1842. And even then she had the vision to recognise the contraptions would, at times, require a kick up the arse.

Lovelace wrote in her journal: ‘Great progress has been made. I foresee a future where the engine’s use is not solely mathematical but across disciplines. Yet it can be efficacious to none if it cannot be stopped from ceasing all operation at seeming random.

“Why, just this morning, as I attempted to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers, the engine froze in place and my ire was aroused to the point I swore at it and physically chastised it with the reckless passion of my father Lord Byron. Indeed, I did call it a twat.

“A more technical solution is needed. I hypothesise a sequence of three keys turned simultaneously to suspend functions and allow cessation of those are impeding progress. I have named them Contrarotulus, Alter and Deletus.

“A brotherhood could be trained in their usage, and sent across the world to help all those suffering jammed and groaning engines in their usage. But they must be tasked to do so ethically, charging no extortionate fee for an action so simple.”

And so Ctrl-Alt-Delete was created, saving many millions of hours frustration for all of us who use the shortcut every single day, all thanks to the Countess of Lovelace.

Next week: to 1972, when the Ronco Buttoneer ensured no shirt would ever be thrown away ever again.