Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Valentine's Day - Amy

Valentine's Day has never really been a friend of mine. I love all the pink hearts and glitter but that's as good as it gets. I have always been the girl that is alright on her own, never needed to be in a relationship. It would be nice in some ways but I have got my friends and family and that’s all I need. It’s not like I don’t love people and it’s not like they don’t love me. I have just never been lucky when it comes to romance and all that kind of thing.

The other day I was thinking about what Valentine’s Day means to me, because I couldn’t ever remember having a good one. Not for the right reasons anyway. I said it was one of the most miserable days of the year, which it is. It separates all those in relationships from all those who are single. It makes some of those who are single feel like absolute rubbish and really lonely, when in reality they are not lonely at all. All of the couples are buying presents, going out on dates and all of the singles are just left feeling alone. I once saw something on Facebook that called it Singles Awareness Day. I quite like that way of thinking, instead of Happy Valentine's Day it was Happy Singles Awareness Day!

Over the years I have got a lot more confident in who I am. I think if there was ever a time I was going to find a nice guy, it would be now because I am more chatty and confident. I used to be so shy! However these days it is not my confidence holding me back it is my sight. Firstly I can’t see who the nice looking ones are from a distance which is SO annoying!!! I can’t walk around discreetly to get a closer look because I will probably end up walking into something. I need to concentrate on where I am walking to much to look at other things.

I have sometimes thought that online dating is a good place to start. I can look at pictures and read about somebody in my own time. It used to be my favourite way to try and find someone because I was a lot more confident online than I was in person. But these days I would rather just meet somebody in person and get an idea of what they are like as a person, not just their profile. If I ever do get talking to somebody online, I am always to nervous to meet them in person. With my sight as it is I need help sometimes and I need to trust that they are caring enough to do that. I do my best to be independent but in new places or busy places I do need help getting around. I just can’t bring myself to trust them enough. So I have given up on the online idea. I think I will just stick to the old fashioned way, just hope to come across somebody in person.

Yesterday I was reminded by one of my best friends how I did once have a good Valentine’s Day. One year me and my friends all went out to a Chinese buffet restaurant on Valentine’s evening. We were all single at the time and we just decided to go out and have some fun together, instead of stressing about being single. I remember now that Hannah found a little heart balloon on one of our seats, from the people before. She gave it to me and I kept it and took it home.

Last week I went to the Sheffield Love event at Virgin Money Lounge. This was to raise money for the Lord Mayor’s charities, SRSB is one of them. Even though the evening was a Valentine’s event, it wasn’t all about romance. We were spreading the love in a different way. The community of Sheffield coming together, supporting each other, having fun and raising money for five amazing charities. We played games, had a quiz and a raffle. There were also drinks and nibbles and there was also somebody doing glitter face painting. I had a silver glitter heart! And I expect to see more of you there next year if there is another one!

So I guess what we all need to remember is that just because somebody is single, it doesn’t mean they are alone or lonely. Don’t waste time on missing somebody you haven’t even met yet. Instead have fun on Valentine’s day with the people who are in your life that you love. It is only one day a year and it doesn’t prove anything.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Pancake Day - Gail

GailWhen I was growing up in the 60's Pancake Day was always a large pancake the size and thickness of a pizza now. It would be fried in a frying pan which was well used with ridges and the pancake always had these ridges printed on the pancake sometimes slightly burnt which made them taste nicer. I would have this with either jam, lemon or orange juice and sugar. After one of these there was no room for anything else.

Around Pancake Day we would always buy whip and tops. The whip was about 18 inches long with a leather thong threaded at the top with a knot. With this we chose a top which we would whip with the thong. We always used to take out the leather thong and swap it for a shoe lace which we frayed at the whipping end to give the top extra spin. We would have the choice of a carrot top or spinning top (mushroom shaped) with a long stem. Both these tops had a screw at the bottom to spin on.

I would always go for the spinning (mushroom) top as it went further when whipped.

We also decorated them with chalk and drawing pins to personalise them as when we played with them in the school playground it would differentiate between the dozens of tops.

I only remember playing with them around Pancake Day perhaps because the evenings had got lighter and we could play with them after school.

We do not see them now but great fun at the time.