In a corner of our garden there's a concrete girl. Year in and year out she stands there both day and night, rain or shine. Nothing seems to faze her. She always has the same mischievous smile on her concrete face.
Yesterday the snow was even thicker than before. When I went out to feed the birds, I noticed the little concrete girl. She was wearing a hairpiece that would have impressed Marge Simpson. Here she is. She hasn't got a name:-
There was so much snow in our street that I didn't even think about reversing Clint into the road. He remains parked up in front of our house with a good ten inches of snow on his roof. Instead, I donned my snow-gear and set off to The Porter Valley. I aimed for Forge Dam Cafe,looking forward to a big cup of hot chocolate and a toasted teacake.
On the way, I passed a memorial to one of the great figures of Sheffield's proud steel history - Thomas Boulsover (1705 - 1788). This clever fellow invented Sheffield plate - a process whereby base steel is coated in silver. He used this discovery in the manufacture of millions of metal buttons which made him a very rich man. He went on to produce other specialised metal products including saws and surgical instruments. This was before the arrival of stainless steel which incidentally was also invented in Sheffield by Harry Brearley in 1912.
After twenty minutes in the cafe, I set off up the side of the valley towards Bents Green. By now fierce wind was whipping the snow as schoolchildren careered down the slopes on plastic toboggans. I thought of the first toboggan I ever rode - made by my step-grandfather from waste wood, a length of rope and two strips of steel that acted as runners. Back in my East Yorkshire home village we would have died for just one of the many marvellous sledging hills around Sheffield.
I bought a steak pie in the butcher's shop at Bents Green. Two and a half hours after setting off from our house I was back with rosy cheeks and a head of hair that bristled with static electricity thanks to my thermal ski hat. The concrete girl's head of hair had grown even taller in her sheltered corner.
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