Today’s columnist, Jeni Harvey: I’ll be hanging around and trying something new

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget just what it is that makes Sheffield so special.

When you’re caught up in the treadmill of everyday life, going from home to work to the shops to nursery to home again, it’s rare that you get chance to stop, have a look around, and notice the truly great things that make this city stand out.

After first moving here several years ago, I was impressed to find that so many pubs serve decent locally-brewed ale, that you can run almost all the way from the city centre to the Peak District without hitting a busy road, and that you can buy home-made cake and a proper cup of tea in a café and still get change from a fiver.

But after you’ve been here for a long time, these things start getting taken for granted.

That’s why I think it’s quite fantastic that Sheffield has so many summer events, from Tramlines to Allez Allez Sheffield, that make people sit up, take notice, and really celebrate their city.

And this weekend will be a major part of that when Cliffhanger returns to Millhouses Park on Saturday 11 July and Sunday 12 July.

Cliffhanger is perfect not just for professionals to showcase their sporting prowess, but for people like me. You know, the type of person who would quite like to have a go at things such as climbing but never quite gets round to it, never finds the time, and doesn’t quite have the nerve to turn up at a climbing wall, completely clueless, with no idea how to even go about getting both feet off the ground.

At Cliffhanger, not only can I try new things without any pressure to commit to them, but I can also feel heartened by the fact that I’ll be surrounded by fellow beginners.

And then if it all does go a bit wrong and I fall flat on my face – or flat on my bum in the River Sheaf, as I did last year – then I can just sit down, eat an ice cream and watch the professionals demonstrate how it should be done.

This year, I’m determined to have a go at bouldering, but I’m also more than a little tempted by parkour, after having seen the pros do some incredible things on the parkour frame in Endcliffe Park.

I have absolutely no doubt that I’ll be terrible at it – but if last year is anything to go by, falling over is about the most hilarious thing I can do, as far as my toddler is concerned.

Cliffhanger runs from 10.30am to 6pm at Millhouses Park on both Saturday and Sunday. Further details, and advance tickets, are available on the website at Cliff Hanger

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