On Saturday night it was our friend Fiona's fiftieth birthday party in the well-heeled village of Swanland, west of Hull. On a soundless starlit night, after the noise of Chinese fireworks had ceased, we released four large tissue paper lanterns into the sky. They soared quietly then drifted off towards the River Humber with their impregnated fire pads still flaming defiantly. Graceful and lovely to behold.
This afternoon, back in Sheffield, Mrs Pudding and I decided that today had to be the day to buy tickets for the city's temporary "Wheel". Similar to other big wheels in city centres around the world, this popular construction has stood on busy Fargate for eighteen months but I had read in the local paper that it is to be dismantled at the end of this very month.
It was late afternoon but the sky remained bright and clear. We rose in our little white capsule high above the rooftops and saw the centre of our adopted city as we have never seen it before. A military parade of sea scouts and cadet soldiers passed by beneath but we couldn't remember the occasion*. Mrs Pudding was a little unnerved, gripping her seat tightly while berating Mr Pudding for causing the capsule to swing as he sought photographic opportunities through the airborne bubble's various windows. "You're doing it on purpose!" she insisted.
Anyway, for the record, here are four snaps I took from The Wheel...
View up Fargate to The Telegraph and Star Building
Military parade reaches Leopold Street *
St Marie's Catholic Church
The statue of Vulcan atop the Victorian town hall
*The occasion was Trafalgar Day. In memory of 1805 when the British Navy under Nelson whupped the French and Spanish fleets.