When you're in Yorkshire at the Plensa exhibition...

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When you're in Yorkshire at the Plensa exhibition...

Post by crownliquor on Wed May 11, 2011 3:00 am

....you could, and should, nip to The People's Republic Of Sheffield, god's own city.

The fruitless smile search took me to Sheffield yesterday.  My smile wasn’t located there, it’s located where whatever device will painlessly take the torment away lives.

Have always liked Sheffield and XXXX had told me a few years ago how much regeneration has improved it, so was keen to visit. As if by magic, the World’s Best Cultural Partner (that’s XXXXX, for all of you who don’t take notice of my fawning reports of her, from our cultural outings) was free to accompany me. She also told me we’d had a cultural day in Sheffield a few years ago. I don’t recall this, and think she often makes things up to take advantage of my poor memory and retarded tendencies. Very Happy I also received a “you men remember nothing”, for not recalling it. Nearly replied that dying and spending two days in intensive care, has drastically reduced my short term memory, but I’m bigger than that. No I’m not, that’s exactly what I replied. Very Happy

Aggggh! Had to change trains on both journeys. Didn’t realise this when I booked the tickets. I hate changing trains, it’s akin to retracing my route when cycling (see the Angel review for my moaning on this subject), anathema.
The first train was fine, behold its lovely, clean table: Very Happy



The connecting one to Sheffield was a dirty, smelly, scum filled ancient affair. The guard even had a T key to open the doors at every station. What’s that all about, haven’t electric doors reached Yorkshire yet? Avoid Northern Rail like the plague, disgusting carriages.

The train was stuck for about 10 minutes just outside Sheffield, this didn’t help my misanthropic thoughts. Finally exited the train station to wait for WBCP and was met with this very cool sheet of water sculpture, loved it, what a fantastic vision to greet you on your arrival in Sheffield:




Can assure you it was purely coincidental a ging-herr,  grrrrrrr (good) girl walked into the frame as the above picture was being taken.

Some hours later, having finally dragged herself out of bed, WBCP turned up. (Think you’re using a bit of poetic licence there, crown. She arrived 10 minutes after you)

First port of call was Site Gallery: http://www.sitegallery.org/
Err, well that was the intention. Site Gallery is closed on Mondays, grrrrrrrrr (bad). So we walked to The Millennium Galleries and had a hot drink in the cafe, before partaking of the culture.
I learnt more over that hot drink about how Cameron’s “Big Society” will affect council services, than from  a hundred Guardian articles.
I say this every time, but it’s such a treat to be educated in this way, a natural imparting of knowledge. I should be paying WBCP for this schooling. (God, I'm such her bitch she feeds me Pedigree Chum. Very Happy )

The Millennium Gallery was crap: http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/coresite/html/millennium.asp
There are only four (or five, can’t remember) galleries, one of which, The Ruskin, was closed. The only contemporary exhibition was one from Katerina Seda http://attractions.yorkshire.com/thedms.aspx?dms=13&feature=1003&venue=1581547
It was an intriguing work, but failed to please my Neanderthal, aesthetic based leanings.
Calling the gallery crap is unfair, the exhibits were just not to my taste.

Attached to The Millennium Galleries  is The Winter Gardens: http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/gardens/the-winter-garden
I loved this, it was a beautiful space:







Exiting the back of The Winter Gardens, we walked through The Peace Gardens: http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/gardens/the-peace-gardens
This is a beautiful public space, and portrays how Sheffield has been regenerated in a responsible way. It also has the town hall as its backdrop:





I love the town hall, and my only request of WBCP for this cultural day was she pulled some strings with her council contacts so we could look round it. Well she’s RUBBISH, and didn’t sort this out. If she’s not careful I’m not going to let her take me to the opening of a new gallery in May, if it comes off. Very Happy
Instead we were allowed to look round the foyer. This was doubly frustrating because it hinted at the splendour not available to us:





I looked in Sheffield’s iconic police box outside the town hall for my smile:



As you can see, it wasn’t in there. As usual it was nowhere to be seen, especially after being so badly let down over the town hall tour. Sad

Lunch was taken at the Crucible Corner: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/place?hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=crucible+corner+sheffield&fb=1&gl=uk&hq=crucible+corner&hnear=Sheffield&cid=3575055523884899133
Very nice it was too, and for its position, incredibly reasonable.

Next stop was The Graves Art Gallery: http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/coresite/html/graves.asp
Again there was very little contemporary art, but thought it was a lovely space, spoilt by two galleries being shut due to the roof leaking. Apparently Huddersfield has a leaking roof too. Not the whole of Huddersfield, just the art gallery.









Really enjoyed the Graves. In their gift shop they had these cool, oversized tea mugs. Was going to buy one, but ten quid was a bit steep. Wish I’d bought one anyway, the picture doesn’t do them justice, but I was enamoured:



Next was a wander around, incorporating a view of Sheffield’s infamous Park Hill Flats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Hill,_Sheffield



The wander at an end, we made our way to the train station and came across The Old Queen’s Head: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Queen's_Head,_Sheffield
It was too intriguing to ignore, so we entered. WBCP for a coke and me for a hot chocolate. (Real men don’t drink hot chocolate in a pub, crown. You’ve lost the plot)
The interior was shall we say, careworn and to be honest, not very interesting. It was a nice atmosphere in which to sit and chat. So nice and comfortable, we both said we could happily while away the afternoon and early evening (I would want it to go on into the early hours of the next morning, but that’s because one drink is too many, and ten, nowhere near enough), but it wasn’t feasible.



Coke and chocolate drunk, we reached the station and WBCP abandoned me to amuse myself for the two hours until my train was due. Not to worry though, I love wandering around aimlessly.

Found a few pubs I’d frequented in earlier years, and my favourite club in Sheffield: http://www.itchysheffield.co.uk/review.cfm/16/204003/Sheffield-City-Guide/review/The-Casbah-



It’s a dark, dingy, seedy club, with an eclectic clientele. Don’t think I’ve ever told ****, but last time we went, I’d had some coke in the hotel and for some reason decided to leave the rest in the room. This was stupid, because once you start on coke, you have to finish it, it’s so moreish. Anyway, twice I left **** in the club and went back to the hotel to have some more, and when asked where I’d been, said the toilet. Bear in mind Casbah is a 20 minute round trip from the hotel (Novotel).
Another thing with coke, is you can’t sleep, so I had some dope and a sleeping pill when I got in.
The previous night’s excess hit hard the following morning and I’ve definitely never told **** this, but the only way I could straighten myself out enough to drive home was by having a couple of lines in the bathroom. Seemed stupid at the time, and madness in retrospect, but without it, we’d probably still be there now. Very Happy (Aside: **** replied to this e-mail, saying I hadn’t mentioned the coke)

Final task was a cup of tea in Wetherspoons with the local paper: http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/the-benjamin-huntsman





As Wetherspoons go, it wasn’t too bad.

Sheffield Google Map: bit.ly fKJVz5

FIN

WBCP in her reply to this e-mail, said I “smiled loads that day”. As mentioned earlier, she was probably taking advantage of my poor memory again.

---------------------------------------------

This is a really ambitious piece of music:



Smile as much as you can folks, smiling is the best.

crownliquor

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Re: When you're in Yorkshire at the Plensa exhibition...

Post by niall o,dhubghaill on Wed May 11, 2011 5:18 am

The Casbah was the name of my local in Easterhouse, not as classy as the one in yer picture though.

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Re: When you're in Yorkshire at the Plensa exhibition...

Post by crownliquor on Sun May 22, 2011 7:06 am

That's Easterhouse for you, sev. Very Happy

Casbah in Sheffield is not a pleasant place, very seedy.

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