Last week I returned to Sheffield in order to dress up like Harry Potter and clap for an hour (i.e., for Graduation). Sheffield is a truly great city, where local pride and affableness go hand-in-hand. It’s steeped in culture, but not arrogant about it, and welcomes all with its uncomplicated urban charm. There are naturally parts of town that are less wholesome than others, and a recent spate of gun crime has readers of certain dailies (whose names shall not sully my blog) on edge, but generally it’s a fantastic place to live and to visit, and I would like to move back there when finances and circumstances allow.
While wandering round the galleries attached to the Winter Gardens, a phrase in a gift-shop allegedly immortalised by a man named Joe Moore caught my eye:
“It’s practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.”
I like this sentiment very much. I’m sure the appearance of penguins prevents many other negative feelings as well. So on my return home, I decided to create a new friend for the deformed air-guitar tigers to play with. Meet Owen, the groovy cone-headed penguin.
And again, air-jammin’ with the tigercats:
While in Sheffield I stayed with a journalist friend, and kept her up late with world-to-rights type conversation. Journalists make great friends because they have all the best anecdotes (but rubbish friends if you expect your friends to keep appointments and be punctual, as they work approximately 147% of the time). She told me that the worst part of her job is doing ‘vox-pops’ – stopping members of the public in the street to ask their opinion on some fruitlessly pertinent topical issue.
Today I went to Shrewsbury, and too late noticed the shifty-looking hippies equipped with field mics and cameras. The BBC were out a-vox-popping and my friend’s words lay heavy on my mind, so I agreed to stand in front of a camera and say whether I believed in angels. Of course I believe in angels. Who doesn’t?