Saturday 29 September 2012

I've not picked up many of these tags recently, as I feel you all know me inside out by now, but I picked up this from my neighbour Victoria as it is a welcome distraction.

Firstly - I have to answer 11 random facts about myself - so I'll try and make them ones you might not already know!

1.  You know that I really love where I live - but I didn't like it much at all until I started blogging. Blogging has opened my eyes to the things that I took so much for granted before.

2.  I feel like one of the Goodies Inbetweenies.   Being in my 50's is like being in no mans land.  I don't know how to dress, cut my hair etc  Listening to that youtube clip made me feel 14 years old again though! I am still very much in touch with my inner girl, and don't have much in common with the old git I see in the mirror! 

3.  When hubby and I retire, we plan to go camping in France for 6 month - hopefully in a campervan, sampling the gastronomique delights of each region.  We hope we won't be too ancient when we retire! 

4. I love learning or doing something new every day.  

5.  I have loved every stage of having my kids - even though it has always been hard work.  I truly believe though, that they have taught me more than I have ever taught them.

6.  My favourite perfume is Citrus Verbena from L'Occitane.  It makes me smile when I spray in amorning.  I wear it every day.

7.  I am a great map reader (hubby will verify this).  We don't need a Tomtom, we have a Didi.

8.  I used to have a glamorous side to me, but hubby has turned me into a bit of a scruff.  I now feel over dressed when I have to dress up!

9.  Apparantly, when I was very little, I sang "Sailor Stop Your Roving" by Petula Clarke all the way through.  No one had taught me the words and the family were pretty gobsmacked.  

10.  I have an inappropriate crush on Mike Tuck, 29 year old basketball player for Sheffield Sharks.  Oooo young man!!!

11.  I used to be an Avon Lady.  I was top sales lady in my region.  I did work with 250 women at that time (in the real office), my sister also worked with 100 women and my best friend was my sub representative, worked at County Hall. 

Next I have to answer 11 questions that Vicoria asked:

1. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  - I would have a flat stomach!!!

2. If you could transport yourself into any tv show, past or present, which one would you choose? - I would love to be Audrey Tatou in Beautiful Lies.  She looks so cute, its filmed in the South of France and Sami Bouaujila is pretty tasty in it too

3. Do you make New Years Resolutions and keep them? - Every year and I have never ever kept any of them!!!

4. What do you do to relax? - Walking

5. Pool or beach? - Beach everytime!  I love the sand between my toes.

6. Earliest childhood memory? - I was about two and a half and stood at my grandparents garden gate (where we lived at that time) and I was stopping passers by and asking them to talk to me.  Here I am fifty odd years later, stood at my blog garden gate asking you to stop and talk to me!!!

7. Favourite Christmas movie? - Its a Wonderful Life.  I watched it one Christmas Eve when I was twenty and have done this every year ever since.

8. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of time, what would it be and why? - Anything by George Michael (with whom I have a date on Monday!) I find him so easy to listen to.  If pushed, I would pick "I remember you"  as I loved the original by Frank Ifield! (Thats how old I am!!).  I love a love song.

9. Favourite pizza topping? - I like my Pizza's fully loaded with as many toppings on as possible - I especially love Artichokes and Anchovies on a Pizza.

10. Do you have a pet/pets? - I have two teeny tiny fish (which my daughter calls Ant and Dec).  They are about half an inch long.  They are very easy to look after and when I go on holiday, I can take them into work for my colleague to feed for me.

11. What is your most treasured possession? - My tent.  I have the very best of times in it.  

Now I have to ask you 11 questions - so:

1 .  Best place you have ever been?

2.  Who was your fave teacher and why?

3.  If you had to learn a new subject, what would it be?

4.  If I sent you a ticket to anywhere on earth, where would you like to go?

5.  My son says that when Richard Branson fly's you to the moon, he'll go.  Would you?

6.  Who makes you laugh?

7.  Describe your typical Saturday Night.

8  What is your biggest wish?

9  Do you have a favourite poem?

10. What advice would you give your 18year old self?

11. What is your fave TV show from your childhood?

I won't tag anyone, but if you want to pick this up, you need to give us 11 random facts, answer my questions, the re tag asking 11 questions of your own.  Or feel free to answer any of the questions in my comments box.   Come on - reveal!  xxx

Monday 24 September 2012

By the riverside

On Sunday, in need of fresh air, we decided to go and take a look at the Riverside Festival at Kelham Island in Sheffield - a half hearted affair that the city seems to do so well!!
We started off by partaking in brunch at the Milestone restaurant (which was a great way to start the day).  It wasn't all about the food, we later learned that restaurant was once one of many Sheffield factory pubs, built on the corners of roads where the factories were - ideally placed for the parched steel men to call in on their way home from work - no matter what time of day!

Kelham Island is probably my most favourite museum in Sheffield, and we had a good look around the many stalls set up by local history groups - we are going to try and get along to a few of their talks over the winter months.

We had a little wander around the museum.

But the main reason for the visit was an advertised tour around the are by a man who's occupation was listed as "Professional Sheffielder".  He told us interesting facts about local buildings.  For example, he had helped save this lovely little building from demolition.  Now a brewery shop for the Kelham Island Brewery, it had once been home to the very small "Sheep Shearers Union" of Sheffield.
He told the story of the ill fated foray into Cotton production in the city.
We saw a couple of these contraptions being ridden - not comfy but you can carry a lot of luggage!
We learned all about the old factories that are dotted around the area - I loved the tiles on the main entrance of this one.
He told us how the council had wanted this pulled down in the 80's, but thankfully it is earmarked now for restoration.
We wandered around several old cutlery factories - all run down but with preservation orders on them now just waiting for investment.
Lovely atmospheric buildings.
They cleverly recycled the grinding stones in the olden days - patching up the roads with them!

We saw relics from the olden days when we had really big breweries in the city.

He pointed out the Flood memorial from the horrendous flood of 1864.  I've walked past this many times before and never noticed it!

And we spotted a new Pocket Park on the banks of the Don.
We'll have to pop back and check this out when it is finished.
It was a great walk around a very old, extremely interesting but sadly neglected area of our city

Sunday 23 September 2012

Love Letters

We very sadly lost my father in law this week.  It is the end of an era.  
We have arranged the funeral, and started to sort out all the other details, and we have the awful task of clearing out the house.  However, something that excited me is finding boxes and boxes of love letters written by Hubby's mum and dad to each other when they first met and he was in the Army.  

I need to sort them in date order and read them in the order that they would have been written.  But from what I have read up to now, there is definately a love story worth telling here.

Thursday 20 September 2012

A quiet space

I love the little square at the front of the Upper Chapel on Norfolk Street in Sheffield.  Its a great place to sit with a sandwich or chat with a pal.

 It has 3 lovely sculptures by Sheffield born George Fullard.   I love these sculptures as I have been   all of these women at some time or other - and often all at the same time!
 Mother and Child
 Angry Woman - OK, so I may never have worn a Ra ra skirt!
 Running Woman - in those shoes?  I don't think so!
 The square also has a great view over the higgledy piggaldy roof tops of the cafes and shops behind.  A view that my husband says that you would never notice - unless you were out with a blogger and her camera!

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Butcher Works

Whilst Sheffield's huge steel making plants were just on the outskirts of the city, the cutlery and scissor makers  had their workshops slap bang in the city centre.  Many of these have been demolished over the years, but on Sunday, we noticed just how many still remain in either a derelict state or having been given a new purpose.  I love what they are doing at the Butcher Works.  They have converted this amazing building into a number of wonderful spaces.

Like the Portland Works that we visited last week, the area is set out pretty much the same with a huge chimney in the centre of the yard.  The buildings around the courtyard have been converted into loft style apartments.
They have great character to them.  I'd love a look around one of them.
I also discovered that they house the Academy of Makers here.
I don't know much about what they do, so I am going to earmark a Saturday morning to have a look around.  I am reliably informed that the Cafe is worth a visit too.
It all looks intriguing and a great use of a lovely old building.
We found these right next door too - again these buildings have been converted into loft style apartments.  They are in a great spot smack in the centre of the city, near the railway station and all the amenities but just away from all the bustle.

And for anybody who finds themselves in the area, I can recommend food from this new Mexican Cafe, The Street Food Chef.  They have been serving food in Sheffield for a while and have just moved into this old cafe.  We have been tasting their food at local fairs and its excellent.  Its not fancy, but its not expensive and it is really really tasty.
And so I have discovered an area of Sheffield that has old industrial architecture, several wonderful places to eat, and a craft centre of sorts.  Sounds like my kind of place I would say!

Monday 17 September 2012

Go West!

And so on Saturday, I boarded a train and headed west to Liverpool to meet my very good bloggy friend Lyn from Everyday Life.  I've lost track of how many times we have met up now, but whenever we do, we always have a really great time.
Here we are, 2 Liver birds!

 We chose Liverpool because Lyn knows it well and wanted to show me her favourite places.  I had only ever visited once - during the Derek Hatton years when the city was basically on its backside.  I'm pleased to report that as a tourist destination these days, it has a heck of a lot going for it.  It has some stunning architecture both old and new and lots to see and do.
 The docks in Liverpool brought great prosperity to the city in the olden days when a lot of our trade was with America.  The docks stretch for miles along the banks of the river Mersey.  Some of the old docks have been restored and house restaurants, shops and apartments as well as fabulous boats.
 A brand new museum has opened on the banks of the Mersey which is all about the history of Liverpool (and more).  We took a very brief look inside.
 It is a lovely museum and would make a great rainy day option.  It is free to look around too.
 The story of the docks takes up a small part of the museum but its fascinating.  The stories of every day lives of ordinary people are often the most interesting of all.
 We sat in one of the carriages of the overhead train that used to run the full length of the docks.  I loved some of the docks names.
 Liverpool has some stunning architecture with buildings that would not look out of place in Paris.  The Liver building is very famous - to the left of the picture.

 The new architecture sits very well amongst the older buildings.  Lyn noticed how the old was reflected in the new - so we snapped away!
 These were the offices of The White Star Line and had a connection with the Titanic as a lot of the staff boarded in Liverpool before collecting passengers in Southampton.  The building is empty at the moment and in need of restoration - we thought it would be interesting (but spooky) to have a look around inside.
 This amazing and huge building is actually just an air shaft for the road tunnel that runs under the river Mersey!  Liverpool to me illustrates better than any other city in the UK how a city's fortunes can rise and fall.  Liverpool has seen real wealth and also real decline.  It is great to see it back on the way up again.
 And of course everywhere you look you see images of the Liver Bird.

I took some photographs especially for one of my blog readers - Jaggerfan - who lives across the pond in America.  As you know, Liverpool is the birthplace of the Beatles and they don't let you forget it.

 We loved the blanket in the museum which was the actual one that John and Yoko used in their "Love In".
 And of course the lonely figure of Eleanor Rigby - a gorgeous and poignant bronze statue.
Many thanks for my fabulous tour Lyn.  You put right what Derek Hatton did wrong and showed me a fabulous city that I cannot wait to visit again.  xx