a trip to Sheffield

We took ourselves off to Sheffield for the first weekend in March; we had tickets to see the splendid Richard Thompson, so I booked a hotel room. Sadly, I booked the hotel room (non-refundable, non-cancellable) while I was recovering from flu, and booked it for the wrong bloody night; Friday instead of Saturday. So we said “soddit”, and booked Saturday as well, meaning we could have a wander around Sheffield.

Serendipitously, there was a stack of Morris dancing going on during Saturday, so we wandered around watching that, pausing only for me to have my iPhone nicked in a cafe bar at lunchtime. I’m always so careful with it, but it was on the table, someone came over with a stack of leaflets, trying to sell me something, and he nabbed the phone under cover of the literature. I was displeased, and had to spend the afternoon talking to Sheffield plod and changing passwords (thankfully I actually had my iPad with me, which I usually don’t).

Anyhoo, Richard was wonderful, we had supper first with Tim and Ali Biller (not seen Tim for about 11 years, we think, and had never met Ali), and on Sunday we went to meet KITTINS! at Fran’s, and also ate far too much brunch there, and had a lovely time with Doug, Julia, Jim and Carrie.

While on giggage, we also went to see Martin Simpson this week at our local folk bar. I have no idea how I’ve never encountered him before, but he was absolutely splendid.

Incidentally, I’d never had flu before, and it it’s all the same to you, I don’t want it again, thanks. Pete had it too, and was about two days behind me, so we had a week off work, then a second week at half strength, as it took some getting over. And this damn snow can sod off too.

weekend 6/7 november 2010

On Saturday we set off for the wilds of West Yorkshire for my birthday Out; we chose this area for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that Show of Hands had obligingly scheduled a gig at Sheffield Cathedral.

We managed to leave the house by 11, by which time the postman had delivered my Merrell walking shoes bought from eBay, shop samples, at £8 – a bit of a result. One of the side effects of losing weight is that my feet have shrunk, and I like my walking shoes and boots to, you know, *fit*. And these do, which is nice.

We trundled first to Moortown, near Leeds, to visit BMF Fires, who are our nearest stockist of Jetmaster fires. Sadly, they didn’t have any Jetmasters in the showroom, but they did have this.

red! shiny!

Piazzetta E960 woodburning stove

I was instantly in love. Red! Shiny! Italian! Like the Ferrari of the woodburning stove world, and an absolute bargain at £1950. I asked for a quote to fit it, and it would come to about £3.5k all in, as we’d have to dig out some of the fireplace as well. We’re budgeting for a fire, and although this is  a tad (ahem) over what I’d costed, we didn’t care. Decision made.

They were short on brochures and staff as everyone was at a home renovation fair at Harrogate; only 12 miles to Harrogate, so we thought we’d go and have a look, as we’d never been. There was a smell there, a smell of serious money. Harrogate makes Bath look a bit low rent, to be honest. We had a croque monsieur for lunch in Debenmans, then mooched about the town. I managed to resist red! shiny! Fitflops, and even a pair of very nice flat brown leather boots much reduced. We poked about in some expensive shops, including a kitchen showroom.

We stuck our nose in the Aga shop; “Can I help you?” quoth the bloke. “No thanks”, said I – “I love them, but I wouldn’t have one, because they’re not very environmentally friendly”. So he asked what car I drove! Then I said I don’t have the room anyway, and he told me to move house. Not, perhaps, the ideal sales patter, really. They do lovely kitchenware in there, and I was very tempted by a springform loaf/terrine tin, but I felt £35 was a bit over the top, so resisted that too.

When we got to the exhibition, they wanted £8 each to go in, so we left it, and trundled over to Ikea at Batley. We examined sofas, and decided finally on the kitchen cabinetry range we want, and on the hobs. Still undecided on oven/dishwasher, and will be getting bamboo worktops. Then we had meatballs (oh, how I miss Ikea meatballs), purchased tea lights, a new trivet, a small baby plush rat (don’t ask), and set off for Sheffield.

A cracking gig, starting with Steve coming down the aisle with a mandolin, and ended with Steve, Phil and Miranda going back up the aisle. A lot of old favourites, stripped right back – Santiago, Crow on the Cradle, the Train, Dive; a glorious version of Keys of Cantebury, with just Steve and Jackie Oates (the support act). The audience were perhaps a little intimidated by the undeniably awe-inspiring venue, and there was little singing along, despite the band’s invitation to do so. But a wonderful evening, nonetheless.

We got home about 1, and thus had a fairly slumpish day on Sunday. Pete fitted another catflap, which I shall write about on the cats’ blog shortly, and we went to Scunthorpe last night to see Jeremy Hardy, who was most excellent, and just stood on the stage and rambled for about 90 minutes. The chap’s  bit of a leftie, mind :)

Lovely weekend, all in all. Now we must batten down the hatches for the rigours of the week ahead.

Oh, and sanity has prevailed, and we have ruled out the red! shiny! woodburner.