Mr H was working in Sheffield today, and what with a painful hip and still feeling vey under the weather with his tooth abscess I offered to drive him there.
I'd think nothing of spending a few hours in Brighton, Chichester, Winchester... the thought of spending a few hours in Sheffield was a different matter. With very little hearing it is difficult to converse with accents I've not grown up with, and Sheffield seems to have one I'm even less familiar with than Lincolnshire.
I've been a little reluctant to go out and about without a back up pair of ears over the last 5 or so years. My confidence just seemed to nosedive. I'm working on it and trying to adopt a 'what the heck' approach like I did when I was younger. I tend to try and anticipate questions like 'would you like a bag' (which is sometimes pronounced 'doyawannabag?') or 'would you like any cashback?' It goes horribly wrong if they want to talk about the weather or anything conversational.
Today I probably cheesed off a few people who said 'excuse me' whilst behind me. Complete waste of time asking me that if I can't see you. Similarly I often get asked if I need any help - this I know only through shopping with *E* who usually answers that 'we're fine thank you'. I probably appeared to be ignoring friendly chit chat about how hot it was today. I asked for directions at one stage, knowing that my chances of deciphering the arm waving without the audio were slim to none... but I remained positive and happy, smiling at everyone.
Not far from where I left Mr H at the Magistrates Court, I came across this little oasis in the middle of the city. If you look right into the centre of the picture you can just make out the water fountains that small children were running through in their underpants and swimming togs. I really would have liked to have done the same, but sadly I'd probably have been arrested. There were adults with their feet in the shallow pools that lined each walkway down to the middle; also tempting.
Just through this area was The Winter Garden; a temperate glasshouse, one of the largest built in the UK in the last 100 years apparently. It was quite a surprise. I saw everyone disappearing inside so thought it must be more shops. The Millenium Gallery was adjacent and that is when I ran out of time. Zooby's was here too and they cater for gluten and dairy free.
I'll have to wait until Mr H gets another assignment in Sheffield again. It's worth coming back just for the gallery and lunch at Zooby's.
A rubbish photo I'm afraid, I took it in a hurry so as not to get any people in the way, and didn't spot the large metal bin spoiling the shot! There are some spectacular photo's if you google 'Sheffield Winter Garden' (images).
I won't tell you what Mr H called the city before we set off, but thankfully my experience of Sheffield didn't live up to his description today!