We returned late last night from a brilliant day trip to London by train: the Student Work-in-Progress show at the RCA and a happy time with friends and family, esp afternoon tea at the quirky Le Bistrot in the Institute Francais greeted so charmingly with a Bonjour and getting very confused over whether we should be saying merci or thank you! Great tea and cakes. Very much agree with the Guardian's review the other week.
But to return to the point! As the snow started to fall in Central London we boarded the already late and snow covered Sheffield train at the mighty St Pancras station.
Rumours quickly spread down the train like Chinese Whispers, of deep snow in Leicester, delays along the track.
Passing snow laden fields and stations in the dark we finally pulled into Sheffield Midland Station's snowy platforms. Asking information staff and policemen if the buses were still running got a variety of conflicting answers so we plodded out into the glorious new snow in a muffled silent city, over to the bus station:
BUT - on arriving at the deserted bus station we discovered all the buses had been taken off some time earlier but the good old trams were running, so we trudged through the silent streets to the non-hole-in-the-road (you have to have known Sheffield in the 70s - or have studied the start of The Full Monty with studious detail! Or you might like to take a look at our Jarvis's take on it here):
A packed-to-the-gunnels and lively tram took us up to Hillsborough but couldn't get as far as Leppings Lane - we watched at the drivers heroically hacked the ice out of the tram tracks with a crow bar for the onward journey!
In our hiking jackets, big boots, scarfs and 'ats (fond reference here to Dad's explanation of C&A clothing stores standing for "Coats and 'ats" which I believed for years when I was little!), we looked a bit over cautious with all the Saturday night clubbers on the tram with stilletos and bare shoulders and big smiles!!
No black cabs in the taxi rank at Hillsborough and no joy when I rang a few local cab firms, so off we set for the 3 mile uphill trudge home, when out of the darkness came a black cab with it's hire light shining like a beacon. What's more he happily took us up the main road through the black slush leaving us only the last few yards to home - and everywhere looked so pretty in the streetlights.
As you can see, it felt a bit like 'in his master's steps he trod' for me:
and finally, my homage to Hopper - courtesy of the derelict garage on the main road:
over and out