28 Oct 2016

Five on Friday

Hello everyone!  It's Friday again and Five on Friday link-up and this week I'm sharing some of what I saw and did whilst walking around the city centre recently.

1. As I walked through the Winter Garden shoppers were being treated to a free lunchtime concert and I stopped to listen to the musicians playing some pieces of classical music.

2.  In the Peace Gardens drama students were drumming up interest for the open-air Pop-up Shakespeare Event as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words. They were going to perform extracts from Shakespeare's plays in and around the city.  

3.  In Fargate the Yellow Bus Events vehicle was parked up to advertise a November bonfire night event. It's coming up to the bonfire and firework season for many of us so I hope everyone, including your pets, stay safe. 

4.  Onwards..... I went to another street called the Moor to visit the covered Moor Market as the reason I was in town was to collect some yarn that I had ordered the week before. Previously I had been everywhere trying to match up a shade of yarn given to me by our daughter when she came to stay. I was using it to crochet another blanket for a single bed then ran out of it.  I thought of going to the covered market where I found a haberdashery and wool shop. The owner will order anything if not in stock and she was able to find the nearest colour (Parma Violet) and the right type of yarn using her catalogue book as I had brought a small sample with me. The prices were also very good so I shall be going there again in the future and what a wonderful personal service! Now I'm able to continue crocheting the blanket.

The above are the three colours I'm using and the grey with the hint of violet is the one that was difficult to match up.  I had to use a different grey for a few squares until I found something suitable.  I'm also doing two patterns for the squares, the shell stitch and the closed as I get bored doing just one. I'm not proficient at crocheting, but I'm enjoying making the blankets.  

5.  The decorated elephants have disappeared from the streets and green spaces of the city, but on the 20th October in an event at the Crucible Theatre they were auctioned off and over £400,000 was raised for the Sheffield Children's Hospital Trust Charity.  The planned projects including the acquisition of important new medical equipment will benefit sick children and their families at this hospital.

Here is another selection of the elephants and the decorations on them - the last lot of the collection that I shall share on the blog! Each elephant had an interesting story about the artist/group of artists and the reason for the design which you can read about HERE. Walking the trail along with the trail map looking for elephants was a good way of getting some exercise although not on the same day!

This will be my last Five on Friday for a while as I shall be taking a break from Five on Friday links-up in November.  I hope to do one or two October round-up blog posts next week. Meanwhile I wish everyone a peaceful weekend.

21 Oct 2016

Five on Friday

Hello everyone! I missed Amy's Five on Friday last week and so this Friday I'm sharing some photos of plants and flowers that I've seen in the last ten days whilst out-and-about.

1. Barker's Pool Piazza Garden, Sheffield City Centre - this little garden is a good place for shoppers and office workers to sit and take a break.

2.  At the local garden centre there are displays of cacti and many pots of chrysanthemums.  We went there to buy some seeds as well as more bulbs to plant for the Springtime.

3. At home there's an arrangement of a gift of flowers from a daughter.

4. Local people are thankful for the volunteers in the walled garden next to the library in the park, open to the public for most of the day, who are always busy tidying up the flower beds, working in the glasshouses and the plot of land where fruit and vegetables are grown.       

5.   In our daughter's garden the Virginia creeper on the fence really is that bright red and orange colour now. The roses, the lavender bushes, the heathers and some fuchsias in a pot are still flowering and the Michaelmas daisies give a seasonal touch.

 The link to Five on Friday where you can join in and also 
connect with the other participants' blogs
 to see what they have shared this week is HERE

As always I wish you a good day and a peaceful weekend.

20 Oct 2016

Another personal update and a literary festival event report

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been going well.  The third week of treatment came to an end last Friday and it was good not to have to travel to and fro and attend hospital appointments every weekday.  Now I can relax and I'm free to plan ahead for the rest of the year and look forward to a holiday as I don't have to go back to see the consultant radiographer until the end of January. 

The bell above is in the radiotherapy department.  At the end of a course of treatment the patient can ring the bell on the way out and everyone applauds.  It's a good feeling to receive the encouragement of the medical staff and fellow patients in this way and although I'm quite introverted I did ring the bell, thanked those present and wished the other patients well.

On the last two Saturdays since I last wrote I've managed to get into the city as the literary festival, 'Off the Shelf' has been taking place.


I met my friend and we went to the Readers' Day.  It's always held in the upper reception halls
of the Town Hall and it's a pleasant venue for the event. The attendees are mostly members of reading groups in the area and the day has become a popular part of the literary festival. This year the meeting was for the afternoon only rather than the whole day, which suited me.

During her Diamond Jubilee Year Queen Victoria visited Sheffield and several celebratory events took place including a ceremony to open the newly-built Town Hall. From her carriage she pressed a remote controlled device which was attached to an electric wire and the golden key that turned the lock of the gates of the main entrance.  The gates were then opened by officials concealed behind them.  A beautiful white marble bust of  Queen Victoria set on a plinth greets the visitors as they ascend the main staircase.

During the afternoon five authors spoke about their latest novel, what influenced the writing of it, how they went about creating the cast of characters, the plot and about their writing in general. A local journalist led the informal discussion with the authors and the audience. Each author also read extracts from their novels and were available for book signing and a chat with readers after each session. Above are two of the authors (from left to right) Cath Staincliffe, Linda Green and the interviewer.  The other writers were Jenn Ashworth, Conor O'Callaghan and Eleanor Wasserberg. Janet Ellis was not able to come because of an unexpected personal situation. My friend and I hadn't read any of the novels, but the afternoon was enlightening and enjoyable all the same and as we left we were given a bag with a newly-published hard back novel, which was a bonus. Everyone had a different novel so I shall do a book swap with my friend.  

Since then I've reserved several of the books from the library and have just read While My Eyes Were Closed.  I read it very quickly, not because I wanted to know how the plot unfolded, but because it was rather predictable. I thought that despite some twists and disclosures the ending could have been extended whilst other parts of the book cut out. I also found the excessive bad language used in the dialogue of one character, which seems to be included in most contemporary novels these days, a turn off.  I think it was supposed to highlight the contrast between the attitude and speech of the other main woman character. Nevertheless hearing what the author had to say at the meeting was interesting, especially as she talked about an incident in her own life that had triggered off the inspiration for the book. She showed us her story board that she had used when planning the novel and also the green and white striped dress with the pink flower on the front that she had bought from a designer clothes company which is described in the book as the one that the little girl was wearing when she went missing. When she held it up to show us it was obvious that this tangible object had helped her to connect emotionally to the character she had been writing about. Meeting an author and hearing about the craft of writing and details of his/her life is a fascinating experience even if one has reservations about a book.

Wishing you a good day and looking forward to catching up with you soon.


7 Oct 2016

Five on Friday

Hello everyone! It's Friday again so I'm joining Amy's Five on Friday link-up.  Thank you Amy
for hosting. I'm sharing some of the sights I've seen this week and activities that have kept my husband and I busy recently.

1. the Autumn scene
There are signs of Autumn everywhere now, although many of the leaves on the trees are still green. The grapes on the vines in the front garden will be left for the birds as they are too small and there are not enough to do anything with them.  There seem to be lots of other berries this year - is this a sign of a hard winter to come? I love the coppery shade of the ferns as they change colour and I've seen those everlasting flowers in a neighbour's garden that dry out and can be used in an indoor flower display - something to put on my seed list.

2. gardening
We're still gathering tomatoes from the plants in the covered yard.  There are also sweet peppers ripening which we prefer to roast or preserve in olive oil. My husband continues to grow plants from seed and has started another lot of French beans.

3. crocheting
Since re-learning how to crochet I've been making blankets over the last few months except for when I had to take a break in June and July.  The first blanket I made was the red, mauve and purple one followed by the one at the top of the collage.  I'm half way through the one at the bottom on the right hand side.

4. a visit to a museum
Weston Park Museum is located in the same area as the hospital where I go every day for my treatment and this week my husband has dropped be off at the hospital and then I've done other things before taking the bus or tram home. Yesterday I went into the museum to see what new exhibitions were being installed. The latest is  'Sheffield's Story: prehistory until the present day'.

Thomas Bateman and his son Thomas Joseph Banks (1828-1896) oil on canvas 1860

Victorian archaeologist Thomas Bateman (1821-1861) excavated hundreds of barrows and other sites in the Peak District.  His extensive collection was sold to the museum by his son in 1893. Many of the objects on display are from Bateman's collection The Anglo-Saxon glass bowl from the painting is on display in the gallery.

The exhibition displays are currently being installed with further information labels - a good reason to return for a further browse around the galleries.

5. out and about in Sheffield city centre

Another afternoon I walked into the city centre in search of more elephants. They've gone now to be auctioned off, but I shall be sharing more of what I found! I hope you don't get bored with what I share, but I think they are beautiful works of art and it's very interesting to see how many of them have been treated to create special surfaces to give a shiny look to represent steel (Steel City's famous product) or painted in imaginative designs. I particularly liked the one decorated to depict rock climbers scaling the hills in the nearby Peak District National Park and the one with safari and jungle scenes - a lion on one side, a toucan on the other with a snake trunk and tail.  

 The Town Hall area and the Peace Gardens

Tomorrow I'm going to one of the annual Sheffield Literary Festival (Off the Shelf) events at the Town Hall - the Readers' Day - where there'll be talks by several authors that are new to me. There's usually a book swap in the Winter Garden.


Whatever you're doing I hope you have a peaceful weekend.