Monday, January 10, 2011

Sheffield Spirit - (Made In Sheffield Magazine issue 1 of 2011)

Hello, lovely people, and a Happy New Year to you all. 2011 is here, 2010 is just a blur now. Let the good times roll…

I suppose it’s time to begin the column, that’s what you’re reading for after all. I’m actually sat shivering at the moment, as our boiler has broken. Funny how that never happens in the summer, eh?

Anyway, it went last week, right when my house was surrounded with 4 feet of snow (the joys of living in the suburbs) and, of course, panic set in. In fact, one night that the heating was off, temperatures reached -17. Divine.

We rang the plumber straight away, who was also stuck in his house due to the whiteout. He had literally no chance of getting there for at least a week - it was impossible. So, aside from setting fire to furniture for warmth, we had no option but to layer on the clothes, put the kettle on and get on with it. In fact, it was tempting to stand outside just to get warm.

Cue our fantastic next-door-neighbours. Also stranded, they heard of our predicament and decided to dig out their 4x4. A couple of hours later, they knocked on our door with some oil heaters. Bliss. Warmth.

I really can’t express how grateful we were to them, if it wasn’t for them, things would have been a lot worse. They skidded their way to the shops just to provide us with some warmth. They saved our sanity, limbs and pets this winter.

They weren’t the only ones, mind you; two other sets of neighbours brought us food/milk back from the shops when they went. So, thanks to them we didn’t live on chicken soup, old custard and pickled onions (the only things left in our cupboard!) and we actually got to eat, as well as being warm.

My neighbours rock. They went the extra mile for us and we are so grateful. They embody everything that a neighbour and a friend should be and they are Sheffield personified.

And you know the best bit? I can say, hand on heart, that I would have done the same for them.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some toes to defrost.