Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


I said I was going to "choose to be happy". Well I have but, sometimes, one's choice takes a little while to be delivered. I had a proper wobble about life in general and the house sale in particular on Sunday morning. To be fair, it was probably caused by the fact that I had not had enough sleep. You know that cycle - waking up too early; fretting SO that you can't sleep; then fretting BECAUSE you can't sleep and you know how much you need sleep; then just fretting because you're tired.

I got teary and stressy but knew underneath it that I had a plan and that I would feel fine once the day began. Which I did. Luckily the weather behaved itself so I could have a full day in the garden mowing, raking, hedge-trimming, raking, weeding etc. I look like I have been self-harming I have so many scratches on my arms and legs but it was too nice to wear long sleeves and trousers so shorts and a vest it was! I have at least evened out the farmers' tan! After this terrible summer, it was satisfying to get the garden properly under control finally.

Generally, it's not nice to think that there is someone, who was once important to you, out there on the other side of the world, filled with hatred and vindictiveness. But all I can do is not let it upset me and live my life properly. I am not going to become bitter as that would only end up harming me and mine. If anything I feel sorry for him if this way of being (not communicating, not co-operating, sabotaging, being bitter and twisted through solicitor's letters) truly is what he wants. There are much better and more healthy ways to live.

Hey ho.

Saturday at least was a lovely, friend-filled day. I spent the day with my pal Kerry who needs a pal at the moment. She has lots actually as she is such a nice, generous person, but it's nice to be there for her when she has a gap to be filled. Her mum was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and she herself is at what looks like the end of a tricky love affair so distraction is the order of the day. We went for a walk around Dam Flask and Agden reservoirs on the outskirts of Sheffield.

It was a cool, gloomy looking but blessedly mostly dry day. We broke our walk 2/3rds of the way round in the lovely village of Low Bradfield. We had intended to go to the pub but spotted The Old Schoolroom Butchery/Deli/Cafe so gave it a go. It was brilliant! Not the cheapest but such a lovely, high-quality "posh sandwich" meal in a beautiful setting. We have both been recommending madly it to everyone ever since.

Then as we walked round the far side of the reservoir, we stopped into an open day at the Viking Sailing Club. Kerry has been wanting to give sailing a go for a while but said that she wouldn't have turned up by herself (although it would have been fine). There was one amusing incident where the membership secretary talking us through membership options clearly thought we were or might be a couple. He was falling over himself to be inclusive and not give offence but each effort somehow came out wrong until we were giggling and eventually had to put him out of his misery!

We each went out on the water for a taster sail. I've been sailing before but wouldn't say I was particularly bothered by it. Besides, with the golf, dancing, walking, french, zumba, training, and myriad house issues, I think it's safe to say that I DO NOT have time for another hobby!

Kerry, though, was out on the water for ages, even after it chucked it down for 10 cold, wet minutes. She got on well with her sailing blokey who is looking for a new crew so she is fixed up for Sunday morning's sailing whenever she fancies it! It was a great result for a Saturday afternoon.

It was doubly nice because her parents turned up while we were at the sailing club for a short walk and to see how she was getting on. It was good to see her mum getting out and about and, strangely considering she is so ill, looking really well. Nice to have a natter with her parents too. They have had some good news about her treatment options so hopefully it won't be the absolute nightmare everyone dreads when they hear the awful cancer word.

After walking/sailing it was a dash home to change and get back into town. One of Rich's mates is opening a new cafe/bistro in the Kelham Island Museum. Kelham Island is the historic industrial heartland of Sheffield which has mostly been converted into flats, trendy bistros, real ales pubs and micro-breweries and high tec/light industrial/meeeja workshops.

Actually, as regeneration projects go, it is a pretty good one although very much a work in progress. It is a real island being surrounded by the River Don and a canal on either side so there are some very scenic walks. There is also a lot of big former steel industry "stuff" hanging around - you know, massive crucibles and huge winches etc. The Museum is well-thought of and Briggsy's cafe/bistro is attached to it so hopefully will benefit from the daytime traffic to the museum as well as the vibrant night-time traffic from the flat-dwellers and real ale aficionados.

Saturday night was the "soft" opening so the food was free with a pay bar. It was heaving with friends and family and designed to give the kitchen and waiting staff a stern test without risking ruining the perceptions of the paying publicwith teething problems. A good idea as there were some glitches but, overall, it was a great evening. Lovely food, good wine menu and good atmosphere. It is called "Little Mesters" after the self-employed craftmens, working in their own little workshops and co-operatives who formed the backbone of the cutlery indutry in Sheffield. There are only a few left now, mostly making snazzy custom hunting knives for rich Americans and Arabs but, not long ago, it was a big thing in Sheffield.

So - looking back it was a good weekend and I did follow through on my choice. Yes, I had a blip but I got back on track. Yay!

And how am I getting on with the "non-diet" since I decided to give SW a break for a while? In a word - fine. My weight is the same as it has been for weeks. It went up, it went down and now it's bang in the middle of my 4 lb swing. No biggie. I'm doing plenty of exercise and not going mad so couldn't ask for more.A

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