dear diary :: cold winter Sundays

We are back to rain and wind here at the foot of the Pennines in West Yorkshire, in fact the sun rarely managed a smile all week.

Valentine’s day came and went with only minimal acknowledgement here – a few heart shaped jammy dodgers from Ikea and an exchange of cards and kisses, but it is good to mark the occasion even in a small way. He loved the little card I made for him but I think he probably liked the biscuits more!

We actually spent the day at my daughter’s house looking after little Freddie for a while so she could indulge in a long lie in and nurse her bad cold and cough. The winter bugs had caught up with her when she returned to work last week and she had struggled in for the three days previously and was now feeling a bit fed up with herself and in need of a bit of mum’s cosseting.

Little Freddie had not been too well either with conjunctivitis and a cold so when it was time for his nap we wrapped him up well put him in the pushchair and went for a walk to the nearby Co-op to buy something for lunch – he promptly fell asleep so to get out of the cold we treated ourselves to a hot drink and a toasted teacake, oozing with butter, in a nearby cafe. He slept for a good 3 hours in all, I reckon he was catching up for all the disturbed nights he had recently.

Even through all this awful weather there are signs of new life springing up everywhere but it would be a little too early yet to start thinkng about a thorough spring cleaning session. Instead I am just concentrating on getting the washing and ironing up to date and rearranging a few cupboards and drawers in preparation.

Last Thursday we decided to go down to Sheffield (city of my birth), I love to go as it holds such wonderful memories for me from my childhood. My family survived many a bomb during the WW2 blitz over the four days of continued bombing between 12th and 15th December 1940. My grandma’s sister had her house totally destroyed but luckily she was in a shelter with her family at the time so came out of it unharmed.

Most of the city centre had to be rebuilt after the war and Sheffield continues the rebuilding with a major regeneration scheme called Heart of the City phases 1 & 2. I love the way that the old and the new sit side by side. This building site around Charter Square and the Pepperpot building is at the back of the John Lewis store on Barker’s Pool which was built in the sixties – to the right of the picture is the huge new HSBC building.

I was so pleased to find that this old block comprising of street level shops with accomodation above will not be pulled down – Sheffield Council acknowledge the strong feeling to keep many of the historical buildings. Only the frontages of these buildings will remain with a modern extension being built behind. Places like this are part of the heritage of Sheffield, the silversmiths and cutlers worked in these areas and derserve a place of rememberance in the new look city centre. The glass corner to the right that you can see lit up is currently being used as a site office but was up until very recently the workshop of a local jeweller, a family business, who has now moved across the road. I loved to pass by and see them working at their machines making the rings and jewellery that they sold in the shop below.

Across the street the old Salvation Army building, built like a fortress, has sadly been empty for many years now but such a fine building and waiting to be loved once again. There are plans I believe to turn it into a fine restaurant.

Walking through the completed part of this new scheme Sheffield always goes in for bold landscaping – these ‘sculptural’ rocks are huge when you walk beside them. Sheffield is of course famous for its steel and this is usually quite evident in much of new city landscaping projects. My grandad worked in the steel works, as did many of the men in my family – it was not an easy job and it is good that there is a lasting tribute to all their hard labours.

Although our trip over there was predominantly to go to Ikea to get an extra shelf for the pantry and a couple of storage jars we couldn’t leave without popping into the John Lewis store. Last week I received a notification that members of the John Lewis reward scheme can exchange any 5 empty beauty products for a £5 voucher to spend on any beauty product they sell. I took my 5 empty bottles and bought this Liz Earle shampoo for £5.62 it normally costs £12.50 but there is a 15% discount offer at the moment as well as my £5 voucher so it was quite a good bargain. I also picked up my free copy of the Waitrose magazine which has one or two recipes I might try out.

In The Works I bought a few bits and pieces for Little L ready for Easter – she loves to make things and can’t decide if she wants to be an artist or a ballerina when she grows up. We always have great fun making things together. In Hobbycraft I bought these tiny star cutters ready for my next cake (shame I didn’t have these when I made the cake for little Freddie’s first birthday), and a pack of clear stamps that have Thank You on them as the rubber on my wooden one has now gone hard and won’t print very well.

Yesterday we indulged and bought some pastries from the Co-op for after lunch – I put them close to the healthier apples – I know which will go first!

The knitting is well underway now (well for me that is) and growing quite quickly; I know you experienced knitters out there would be announcing the completion by now but I am pleased just to have reached the neckline without any unravelling or dropped stitches. I am contemplating how to form a decent neckline – it looks like it could be a place where a little skill is needed….oh dear!

Hope everyone has had a restful weekend and is ready for the week ahead. We are expecting a visit from the kitchen planner tomorrow (weather permitting this time). I think we have almost made up our minds on many of the appliances, doors and colours – now we have to make sure everything will fit and that it will all come within our limited budget.

22 thoughts on “dear diary :: cold winter Sundays

    1. Barnsley has seen some changes too over the years – we used to visit often when we were first married. A lot of the buildings put up in the 60’s and 70’s are now being bulldozed – not many of them could ever be said to have very much architectural merit. I only hope they build things that will last this time around both in appearance and quality.

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  1. I love a pile of ironing – especially when I haven’t done it. Always looks so clean and organised. Also love a tour of a town with comments from someone who has a connection. Red apples look crisp and beautiful.

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    1. I love a pile of freshly ironed linen too – ironing is always my thinking time or occasionally I will watch things on You Tube.
      I could kick myself for not taking more photos of places – everywhere is changing so fast it is good to have a record of how things were.

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  2. I visited Sheffield for the first time about 8 years ago. My 2x great grandparents moved there from Manchester in the 1860s. I found their grave with a bit of help in Burngreave cemetery. I tried to find the places they lived but everything has changed as you say.
    The pastries look tempting. I hope your daughter is feeling a bit brighter.

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    1. Even I struggle to find my way around some days as some landmarks for me have been demolished. I am so pleased they have thought to retain some of the heritage spots about the town even if it is only the facade. I think the council came under pressure by different groups to do so. Sheffield has a wonderful history and lost a lot of places in the Blitz so it can’t afford to lose anymore through demolition.
      Daughter is feeling brighter but chest infections I find are slow to recover from. x

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  3. I hope your daughter is feeling a little better now, it is really hard to be ill when you have a little one. I was a student in Sheffield in the mid 90s I bet it has changed a lot since I was last there. Glad to hear that you are all safe and dry after the storms this weekend.

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  4. Those easter goodies look lovely. I keep meaning to pick up one or two bits myself but then I think it’s a good while off yet. I often get caught out like that, as it will be upon us before we know it.
    I hope your daughter is feeling better now. I’ve turned a corner this weekend, so will be setting to a bit of spring cleaning this week. X

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  5. I enjoyed the photos especially those of Sheffield. Have only been once when I went to a concert of the Halle in (I think it was called) The Oval hall. I did also spend the first night of my honeymoon there in what I think was The Grand Hotel – but as it was my first marriage (in 1952) my memory is not that good!

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    1. Sheffield City Hall (with the Oval Hall) is just opposite John Lewis – it is an area of Sheffield now full of eating places round about and lots of independant businesses and shops. The Hotel is no longer I think whch is a shame.

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  6. Our Valentine’s Day was quiet but very nice. Andy cooked one of my favourite meals on Friday…..grilled gammon and then I cooked one of his favourites on Saturday…..Chinese Fakeaway.
    We didn’t want to go out in the horrible weather.

    My daughter and I used to go to Sheffield quite a lot. It would be nice to vist again and see how much it has changed.
    Hugs-x-

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  7. It’s so interesting to read about Sheffield. I will never visit so to see it thru your eyes is a grand thing…!!!! Ha, I have the same cake stand from Ikea and it has some lovely oatmeal scottie cookies in it !! Cheers! I agree, chest colds take forever to get over.

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  8. What gorgeous cards Viv!
    The photo of the thank you stamps set on a very fine looking quilt caught my eye. Is it yours?
    I enjoyed the tour of Sheffield too. x

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    1. Sadly the lovely quilt is just one I bought in Sainsbury’s! I am however going to finally make a patchwork quilt myself using the left over fabric from making the vintage bunting for my daughter’s wedding.
      Going to Sheffield and taking those photos made me think that I should really get out more and take photos of more places before they are demolished and capture a bit of history.
      Lovely to hear from you Freda I feel your sadness at the moment and know what difficult days these must be at this time of year. stay well and warm – better weather to come and the promise of springtime soon. x

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  9. Thought I would say “hi” having wandered in from SustainableMum.

    Spent a little while rummaging around your older posts – I recognise much in your Scotland posts as I try to make at least one trip a year to New England Bay (more if time, weather and scheduling allows). Suspect I may have driven past your location on more than one occasion. So heartbreaking to read what you have gone through at the cottage 😢

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    1. Hello Jayne – lovely to hear from you. I have just had a quick peep at your blog and it would seem at first glance that we have similar interests. What a small world it is to think that we may have even passed each other at some time without knowing. I will be over later for a read and will add you to my blog roll.

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  10. As much as we need to move forward with the times, I really do think we should make an effort to retain the wonderful buildings we have, especially in city centres. It would seem larger cities are better at doing this than smaller towns which is a shame. So many high streets look the same these days, it’s a real shame.

    The vanilla custard type pastry wouldn’t last long with me around! Hope your daughter feels better soon. It’s very hard when you’re poorly but have little ones to look after. Great to be able to call on Mum and Dad to lend a helping hand though 🙂 Have a lovely week. xx

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    1. They pulled down the old Market Hall here in Huddrsfield and have regretted it since then. Nearby Halifax and Leeds retained theirs and have probably listed them and they draw in tourists. Thankfully the Council have now seen sense and have listed the new Market Hall a product of the 60’s / 70’s and of architectural merit. A lot of our mills have been turned into accommodation for students by the University, but a lot have also disappeared. The planners have a lot to answer for sometimes – their new vision for Huddersfield is a 10 year plan and involves more bulldozing of old buildings and of some rather ugly shopping precincts built in the 70’s – but their suggested replacements don’t really inspire me.
      Mum and dad to the rescue…we make a good team and feel a bit like the Flying Doctors sometime!

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