The Amazing World of Si Hart

Amazing insights into my mind as I battle against the inefficient world of the library, moderate a message board, write Doctor Who audio adventures and try and stay sane!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunny days in Sheffield

Sometimes as life goes on, it becomes far too easy to leave people behind. Friends sometimes come and go and I've lost many along the way as our social circles move on, as we fall out (for many, many reasons) or as new ones arrive and life moves on again. It's too easy to lose contact, to forget to answer people's emails, to never call back... all too easy.

This weekend has been a reminder of some great times and how two very good friends have remained very good friends, despite at various times us falling out of touch with each other. Steve and Neil were two friends I lived with for two out of three of my university years. At times they drove me mad and equally I drove them mad too, but we came away from University good mates and through the years since (13 years since I left Sheffield) we've met up fairly often, but as the years have gone on, these meetings have become fewer and less frequent. The last time the three of us had met up was way back in 2002. This year we decided it was time to rectify that and so we organised a bit of a reunion back in Sheffield.

It wasn't so odd going back. What amazed me was the change in the city. It looks fabulous these days- the city centre especially so. So much has been knocked down, refurbished and rebuilt that in many ways it's not quite the city I remembered. On Saturday we walked round the city for a few hours before meeting with Steve and Neil, with me pointing out all the things that have changed since I was there. The rebuilding has given the city centre a different feel, but it's not bad at all. I think it looks great- all the fountains and glass and attention has been really worthwhile. It still felt like the same city though, which was reassuring!
Broomhill never changes much, which is good. The shops are mostly still there- though what will the students do without Somerfield? And there's a wonderful cafe on the corner that's well worth eating in. The student areas are almost completely different though. When we visited in 2006 the flats at Endcliffe Crescent were still standing, but Earnshaw and Sorby were a pile of rubble and a shell respectively. Now the flats have gone too, replaced by much lovelier new builds forming part of the new student village. Stevo is still reassuringly the same though.
The walk was great, but left us tired, so we headed back to the hotel for a cuppa and a sit down until we met Neil and Steve.

The call came at 4, and we met outside the shell of the old Virgin/ Zavvi. A bit older but still instantly recognisable! And the best thing was that within minutes it was like we'd only seen each other the day before. That's the mark of a good friendship I think. I'm not sure if we reverted back to old roles from back in the day, but it was just great to be spending time with them both again. The conversation didn't stop all night. There was lots of reminiscences and stories for my Steve to hear for the first time, and so many little things I'd forgotten along the way that came flooding back as we chatted. Plus of course, all the stuff we've all been up to since we last met up. It was a bit of a shame that Kate, Neil's girlfriend and Sarah, Steve's fiancee couldn't make it along too, but I'm sure I'll get to meet them both sometime. Maybe at Steve's wedding next year... who knows?

The pubs though seem to have been devastated though! We went in one of the newer bars on West Street which was OK (prices are cheap still, which is good!) and then on a bit of a pub crawl. The West End, next to my department had been gutted and looked rather nice inside, but the beer was cack. The Star and Garter once the pub of choice for SubOrbital was a real dive, with loud R&B music, so we didn't stay. The Springfield Tavern was still fine, well, until they put on Karaoke right in front of us, so we headed up to The Crooked House for another pint and two long games of pool- me and Steve lost! And finally we ended up at the Weatherspoons in town for a last drink before heading off back to our respective hotels.
It had all gone very well and far too quickly and we've made a plan to do it again- more frequently this time! I'll be looking forward to that.

I must mention the other friends we met up with this weekend too. It was very good to catch up with Chris in Derby on Friday night. The few hours we spent there went far too quickly, but it's good to see he's doing OK up there, and to chat about all the music that's come out since we saw him at Christmas.
We went up to Bradford yesterday to see Muz and Nic and to meet Kasim their 10 week old son. He's very cute, and despite being tired and not going to sleep, he seemed really good natured. It was ever good to see them as a family together and to catch up on things since November when we last went up. Hopefully it won't be long before we see them all (and Chris) again.

A truly great and very enjoyable weekend! :)