Well, Sheffield, by the time you read this I’ll have been and gone. As always, it’s been a blast and I’m already looking forward to the next time.
I expected changes, and I wasn’t disappointed. You’ve got some nice shiny new buildings, one of them a helter-skelter for cars, which is a nice idea but left me feeling slightly sick.
I felt even worse when I went to pay and Dick Turpin* leapt out from behind the payment machine brandishing his pistols and demanding my liver.
I was pleased to see a lot of pubs still going strong, inside which I discovered a whole new generation of beers to try.
Sadly, there were too many and I had to leave some untasted, although my husband did his best to give each a fair go.
I also enjoyed some great food, meaning I may have to declare excess baggage at the airport before they even weigh my luggage.
I went back to some old haunts, spent a pleasant afternoon wandering along the River Porter, immersing myself in its history.
The Shepherd Wheel was a lovely surprise – I don’t remember ever seeing it turning, powering the cogs and gears to turn the grindstones, stripping away the years to a time when the country I now live in was merely an undiscovered landmass.
What’s happened to your roads though? Some of them would incur a hefty fee at a theme park for the experience they offer – Alton Towers has nothing to compare to the ride along the road my father lives on.
I began to worry about the excess on the hire car insurance.
The moors called to me and I answered, getting very muddy and wet ranging over them, wrapped against the elements.
But who ordered the coldest start to March for years to coincide with my visit?
Rangers were burning off the heather so I headed over for some warmth but they shooed me away.
Despite the temperature there’s no better feeling than standing on an edge with gritstone beneath your feet, an expanse of wildness behind you and an expansive view opened up before you, a view that includes a pub.
Oh, and I discovered that you can picnic in February in England, but it’s not a good idea if you’re fond of the end of your fingers.
* Credit where it is due – this was my brother’s joke.