September 3rd, 2013


Sheffield Memories

I wrote recently about half a lifetime of friendship with my best mates Sal and Mags. This weekend I visited Mags in Brussels and over tea and gossip, it inspired me to finally write this mega post of memories about our Sheffield Birthday weekend in May this year...

Mags, Sal and I celebrated our 40th Birthdays in Sheffield in May this year and had a wonderful time. On the train from London to Sheffield we had some bubbly, painted nails and I gave Mags and Sal their photobook presents. We go to Sheffield early Friday afternoon and checked into the guesthouse in Crookes. We then did the big walking tour - Halifax Hall, Broomhill, University, Bar one in the union, Arts Tower, Walkley, "End of the World" park then back to Crookes. Went to Balti King for a curry that night.

On Saturday we walked up to Crookesmoor Road and caught bus into Peak District, changing at Bakewell where we had lunch in town, before getting local bus to Monsal dale and the Monsal Head Hotel. We went for a lovely long walk that afternoon. The hotel was gorgeous - lovely bedroom, with amazing view over valley below. Day finished with a very posh meal at the hotel - very yummy! On Sunday we went for another walk in the valley, following the old railway track. When we returned to hotel, we watched some morris dancers (some sort of morris dance off going on!) and had an ice cream, before getting bus back to Bakewell, then bus into Sheffield city centre (via Fox House Inn, Dore Moor, Ecclesall Road) and then the train back to London.

It was a fantastic weekend of friendship and shared memories and pieced together stories of our lives together as students in Sheffield. Walking through the Students Union and having a drink, we felt like we were still students and that we fitted right in. Of course we didn't! Lots had changed about the uni, not least that the German department where I studied had moved from the arts tower (I was gutted!). The Arts Tower has a paternoster (open, moving lift, that never stops) that we of course had to try out again! Lots had changed, but reassuringly, nothing had essentially changed - the city still had that wonderful familiar and welcoming and studylike feel. There was a summer sunny, relaxed, end of exams, end of term feel. I felt as though I was a student again, with my whole future stretching ahead of me, feel of excitement and uncertainties.

We walked over our old haunts, the old well worn routes and footpaths - and the distances seem to have got much longer! We were fit young things then. The hill to Walkley has definitely got steeper, and to think I used to cycle all the way up it! I kept imagining that a younger me would suddenly come round the corner.

What would she say to me?
* Wow! You have been with Alan since you got together with him in October 1995 - and you have 2 boys? I knew I'd have a family
* That's scary working in Switzerland, working every day in German, how do you manage that?
* Banking? What do you know about banking?
* Ah yes, your career in Learning & development makes sense!

What would I say to her?
* Enjoy and relish every single moment that you're here, the time will slip away
* Take every single opportunity you get to do new things and learn
* Be less fearful, life is good and it gets even better!

See all photos on flickr
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Tweeting in the gaps - August 2013

as the fireworks start, Happy Birthday Switzerland :-) Happy to be living here and bringing up my family here! 01.08.2013 21:35

A rare day off, but 28 items to do on my list for friday! How many will I get done? #fromEvernote 02.08.2013 06:29
This is how many I got done!

Friday done! i got this many tasks knocked off. roll on the long weekend :-) 02.08.2013 21:09

enjoying a precious few hours to myself in the flat. Bills paid, emails sent, blogs being written! 10.08.2013 15:12

my aug bout of uetliberg therapy is just about to commence! fresh early sun morning :-)
11.08.2013 06:31

This film made me v homesick fo my home town of Bristol, truly a charming city :-) Love it!
11.08.2013 13:22

best hubbie ever! just come home an hour early & is now cooking the kids' tea :-)
12.08.2013 16:22

in the midst of a *cake baking, cup cake making, icing, decorating, t shirt painting" sort of panic. Small boy M is 4 tomorrow :-)
13.08.2013 17:44

cake decorated, cupcakes iced, tshirt painted - its now wine o'clock!
13.08.2013 20:52

and here's the finished tshirt - can you tell what it is yet? :-)
13.08.2013 21:04

just had a bit of flickr uploading and blogging spree - feel a lot better now :-)
14.08.2013 22:24

bird's eye view at airport whilst having supper. heathrow here i come!
16.08.2013 17:14

such bliss - my laptop, free wifi, time to blog and a nice glass of Chardonnay!
16.08.2013 17:40

enjoying a weekend in Derby - off to mr sainsburys for my breakfast & saturday guardian :-)
17.08.2013 09:08

big does of mummy guilt - I go away for nce weekend and course in London tomorrow, all 3 boys get ill :-( 18.08.2013 17:24

very happy to have swum 1.5km across lake in 50 mins. beautiful evening for it :-) 21.08.2013 17:36

just watched shawshank redemorion again. best. film. ever. #kermodeisking
23.08.2013 22:53

wish me luck - am just about to embark on baking and making a Lighting MyQueen cake for 4 yolds party tomorrow #bakingonawingandaprayer!
24.08.2013 16:17

My latest mug purchased -"I couldn't care less about the royal baby!"
24.08.2013 16:32

let the cake decorating begin. Have I bitten off more than I chew? Need Lightning mcqueen inspiration!
25.08.2013 09:08

Lightning McQueen cake is now resting! The cake decorator too. My creative nerves are shot! It it wine o'clock yet?
25.08.2013 11:25

am sitting waiting for train to airport (solo break) and am in tears at leaving my boys. the inconsistencies of being a mother :-(
27.08.2013 16:44

very excited - been accepted to TEDxZurich on 2nd October! #tedxzurich 31.08.2013 12:28

Enjoy the Little Things in Life ....

Absence does make the heart grow fonder! I picked my boys up from Kinderkrippe yesterday and we had a lovely (and more importantly, well-behaved, walk home). M and P played follow my leader, walking along and jumping off the small wall next to the nursery. Then they scrambled on all fours, maiowing, being cats! Then Patrick cat agreed to sit in the pram, which speeded up the homeward journey somewhat!

We walked the last bit home in the sun, Markus walks so safely and nicely now and we even have conversations (of a sort). We played our "running in and out of the pillars" game at Stauffacher and whilst waiting at the pedestrian lights, Markus said very loudly (as an old woman jaywalked) - "She's being silly Mummy, it's still red"!

They loved their new Lightning McQueen hats and shakers, Patrick likes wearing his hat backwards, which winds Markus up no end... At home they both sat on big chairs at the table and had supper, decided what they wanted to eat. I had made some hummus and this was a BIG HIT with Patrick :-)

My cold is getting worse and each time I sneezed (which was a lot) I got a very polite "Bless You Mummy" from Markus and a burbled echo from Patrick. After eating Patrick sat with me, inspecting his favourite plate (see below). He kept saying "Auto!" and then pointing to the other vehicles and saying "This?" then copying me. Tractor! Dumper Truck! Cockadoodledoo!

And I got a very nice proper hug from Markus. He flung his arms round me neck and gave me a proper hug (rather than the other way round) - even gave me his first "raspberry kiss" on my neck :)