He sent me an email, with the hotel reservation attached. Look, he said, it even says two breakfasts. Are you sure you can't come? So I called my mum and actually she wasn't busy at all and would be very happy to spend a night with her lovely grandchildren while I was whisked up to Sheffield to have dinner with my husband.
You can make all the plans in the world and still not be sure they'll actually happen until the day. On Tuesday Little Miss Pink was at home recovering from a stomach bug. I crossed my fingers and held my breath until Wednesday morning and miraculously three out of three children went to school. I packed fast, a small bag of clothes and toiletries, a larger bag of knitting and notebooks.
So, the highlights of the trip....
Time as a couple is such a luxury these days. It's some time since the children were all in bed by seven and these days I often go up at the same time as The Sewster. We talked from the Fens to Sheffield and back. We ate a leisurely dinner and nobody asked if they could have some of my salted caramel ice cream dessert or called me away as my main course arrived, thus ensuring it was cold before I could eat it. We held hands, used the odd adult word and laughed a lot. Yes, I missed the children and I'm very sorry that my poor mum had to clean up after Oh Boy when he was sick during the night, but we're a couple as well as parents and it was soooo good to be just the two of us for a few short hours.
I stumbled on a haberdashery (in Moor Market) and bought some gloriously pretty trim. The dresses I stitch them on to will be so much more than they would without adornment.
The quiet space that is the Winter Gardens, with a little independent coffee and sandwich place tucked in a corner. A soothing place to be, particularly with a butterscotch latte.
The Peace Gardens, modern design and classic architecture, huge balls and splashing fountains. The winter-bare tree caught me eye and has my imagination intriguing itself with how to use the naked branches against the brick in stitches or printing. Time to finally use that lino printing kit languishing unhappily in the cupboard.
I bought a fabulous skirt in a charity shop, two sizes too big, but I had to have it and it has a back seam which should make it easier to alter. More on that in another post.
For a flatlander (I live in the Fens, which is about as flat as flat can be), the hills of Sheffield are an odd experience. I like a landscape where I can see for miles and find cities generally oppressive, but it was good. I might even visit again, next time hubby has an overnight.