Happy Monday, guys! Here’s to a new week and doing our best to achieve a productive, positive one. I aim to do these “Life Blogz” once a week, so thought I’d best do this one today and prevent any procrastination by blogging that I fear has become a thing this semester. I feel like I have given myself a head start with my assignments; getting plans down, writing a draft and now I keep putting off finishing it… Anyway, enough of that talk, I intend to do something about that this week!
Those of you who know me, you will know I spend most weekends in Sheffield. This was for work commitments originally (as well as visiting Dean), but now it is more house viewings and to enjoy the social life. This weekend has been a very social one and I believe it is the company of my Sheffield friends that has been keeping me sane, recently- that and dance through the week in Salford. While in Gallery 35, a place Dean has started volunteering and exhibiting in a lot recently, I was talking to a local artist whom described Sheffield as “the Biggest Village in England”. This has got to be the most truthful statement I have heard about Sheffield since I’ve had experience of life here. The friendly community vibe in and around the city is so warm and approachable, just like a motherly hostess. Even the little suburban areas such as Walkley and Crookes are like little country villages, themselves. After such a sociable weekend, I am delighted to be able to write so passionately about this lovely feature of Sheffield:
I was already in Sheffield, as I’d arrived on Thursday afternoon to view an apartment nearby where Dean currently lives- yes still house hunting! The day was sun-kissed and we began to gain hope for finding a home to close to the city, but as usual it comes with a cost… This positive start allowed me to keep a neutral mind and start to control this anxiety that’s been possessing me, recently, and just start enjoying the present moments in life (which isn’t so easy for me to keep up). We went to Gallery 35 on Friday lunch time; it was this moment that I surprised Dean with a roast pork sandwich complete with apple sauce, crackling and stuffing, when he was expecting a BLT- safe to say I was in his good books. I always enjoy visiting the gallery as there is always so many potential creative and like-minded people to chat to and discuss art and writing- yes, Sheffield really helps me grow up. Later, we started watching ‘Orange is the New Black’ (again), while dining on spag bol before heading out to a friend’s Birthday night outing in one of the local Wetherspoons. It was great catching up with all of Dean’s art friends and meeting some new people. I was talking to a guy for ages about learning stringed instruments like cello, violin and guitar- this reminded me how much I miss having my cello within my own household, and I can’t wait to play again.
We had another viewing at Hillsborough, providing another opportunity for us to explore new areas around the city. We got the tram again and the conductor was a lovely chatty man, talking to us about Sheffield all the way to Hillsborough and for the second time in 2 days, I heard that phrase again “England’s Biggest Village”. Hillsborough, itself is as big as the town Dean and I come from, yet seems to have more to offer. We found the park and to my delight, met some familiar feathered friends!
Ducks and geese always take me back to childhood, when I, myself resembled a duck, waddling amongst them, distributing bread and taking care to ensure each bird got their fair share. Every place is better with a duck pond and some feathery company. We also saw many daffodils, blooming amongst the greenery of the park, brightening up a rainy day. I love daffodils; they must be one of my favorite flowers and they always look so happy and radiant for the time of year in which they blossom.
Dean invited his Spanish flatmate to come with us for a walk to the Botanical Gardens and take some nuts to feed those cheeky, chubby squirrels in there. The park was starting to blossom with all of the beautiful Spring blooms! I couldn’t resist taking pictures and to my amazement, I even captured the first bee collecting pollen from the stunning crocuses, dancing in the mild breeze that day. I was just focusing on the flower and the little bee came out of nowhere, into my shot, as if she wanted to be captured at this moment, taking pride in her early shift.
Our Spanish friend was loving the blooms of a typical British late Winter and the squirrels sure provided some entertainment. Some were shy and only ate from your hand before racing up the tree, whereas some just bounded up to us and scrambled up our legs as if we were a tree!
The Botanical Gardens is a place Dean and I discovered last year and we just keep going back to because it is so tranquil and alive with nature, whatever time of the year. See what the gardens are like in the Summer HERE in my Mindfulness Realm video on my YouTube channel. The gardens are simply stunning in full bloom in the height of Summer! We actually ventured into the indoor gardens, which contains plants from many different continents, including Cacti… (For some reason this became a reoccurring thing on Sunday, so I felt the need to find out what a Cactus symbolizes and apparently it means ‘endurance’…)
After our adventure in the gardens, this brings me to our final social activity of the weekend- Sunday Roast with Friends! As you may be aware if you know Dean and I, we are huge fans of a good roast on a Sunday and is usually in the Red Lion. Due to our budget in recent times, we have been saving so haven’t been dining out on Sundays for a while. However, one of Dean’s art friends, Chelsea invited us over for a home-cooked Sunday roast at her home, which was extremely kind of her and it all went down a treat! Chelsea is an amazing cook and the company was warm and vibrant. Dean even got to entertain the children, so he was happy running about like a loony, playing whatever kept them occupied for a while- he’s such a natural with kids. I just can’t wait to return this favor when we get a place of our own because I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Not only was there dinner, but plenty of yummy desert on offer and not to mention a new board game (King of Tokyo), which triggered Dean’s competitive nature and my tendency to get competitive with him, which was all part of the fun I guess.
We got so carried away in all this joy that we lost track of time and were late to Dean’s exhibition closing event at Gallery 35! Our friend, Em kindly gave us a lift, or we’d have been dreadfully late, but at least we got there in time to use the last of our social energy for the weekend (we still had plenty!) Yet another chance to me some more lovely artists and gain inspiration.
So there you go, my very sociable weekend and hopefully you enjoyed reading about this and perhaps gained some inspiration for some positive social activities to fill your weekends, because I truly feel as though I’ve had it all this weekend: out for social drinks, chatting to artists, walks in the park with a friend, Sunday roast and afternoon gathering and finally, yet more gallery socials. If you are creative, then I do recommend getting involved with local projects and groups as it can be really inspiration and provide activities to just allow you to live in the moment. I feel like this blog has been a bit long, but soon I will be back into my Uni assignments, so I just need to blog out this blogging energy (if that makes any sense what-so-ever!) and have a week off to adjust my priorities…
All the best,