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