PREPARING TO VOTE

I mentioned earlier about the challenges of settling into Sheffield during Lockdown, and how we’ll need pubs and gigs and football before we’ll really feel like it’s home.

But meeting the lovely Sheffield Hatter and Co. (milliners of distinction) on his home turf has made us more at home, and I feel like I personally know every plumber/electrician/tree surgeon in South Yorkshire.

And on Thursday I got to vote in not one but THREE elections, at least one of which I didn’t really understand so if it means beer is now served without a sparkler in Sheffield don’t blame me.

Obviously voting is a stressful responsibility, best undertaken after a pint.

The nearest pub to the polls at St Barts would have been the Hillsborough Hotel at the bottom of our hill, but sadly all that remains of that classic are the Gilmour windows.

So I had to walk another couple of minutes north to an unexpected April opening next to the Bamforth Street tram, and a Proper Pub by any definition (any definition of mine, anyway).

ALL THE PUBS IN SHEFFIELD ON FOOT No. 14 – The Masons Arms, Hillsborough

Mrs RM deserves the credit for spotting that The Masons had found itself a beer garden; it’s a pub I don’t walk past much now I’ve found the quick route to Morrisons to collect my daily sourdough.

Apart from the nice frontage you’d assume you were in a Craft Union house, always a nice place to be.

My 3.7 seconds walk through from entrance to rear revealed a “tight” range of beers free of the real ale that ruins many a community boozer, meaning I only needed to choose a seat and not a “Guest Ale“.

I can’t begin to tell you how friendly this place was. A simple welcome, nods of acknowledgement, and then they put on a soundtrack of “Bad Girls”, “Le Freak” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” JUST FOR ME ! (possibly). 1978 is the forgotten year of pop tunes in pubs, it really is.

Guinness parasols, Carling all round, Hi-Vis and “No Spitting” signs. Life After Football would love it.

Shares in John Smiths Smooth plc have rocketed since I resumed pubbing on the 12th; perhaps this one was a tad(caster) on the sweet side but you can’t knock the lacings.

See ya later, buddy, take care” shouted a chap as I left by the car park entrance, and if that’s ALL anyone says to you all day it’s worth it, isn’t it ? “Take care” I mumbled back, haplessly. I’ll go again, they were lovely.

They’d probably even have told me who to vote for in the polling booth, beautifully tucked away in St Barts.

But, in a reversal of The Handsmaid’s Tale we’re binge-watching at the moment, I know my place and vote for who Mrs RM tells me to. At least, unlike the other 65% of Walkley, I voted.

24 thoughts on “PREPARING TO VOTE

  1. Never realised that Sheffield was a Green stronghold like Brighton, Bristol and That Stroud.

    Getting well into Richard Hawley at the moment, who seems to sing almost exclusively about Sheffield.

    Nicola has decreed that Shetland will be in Level 1 from Monday, which means the pubs can open normal hours and you can just walk in without booking. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “and how we’ll need pubs and gigs and football before we’ll really feel like it’s home.”

    It’s not a proper community without being able to mingle!

    “and I feel like I personally know every plumber/electrician/tree surgeon in South Yorkshire.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “And on Thursday I got to vote in not one but THREE elections, ”

    Or did you just vote three times in the same election? 😉

    “Obviously voting is a stressful responsibility, best undertaken after a pint.

    I think it’s changed now, but over here the liquor establishments used to be closed during voting hours.

    “So I had to walk another couple of minutes north to an unexpected April opening next to the Bamforth Street tram, and a Proper Pub by any definition (any definition of mine, anyway).

    Hang on. Doing an about face and going back to the Blind Monkey seems closer than that!

    “Mrs RM deserves the credit for spotting that The Masons had found itself a beer garden;”

    That’s quite the talent!

    “meaning I only needed to choose a seat and not a “Guest Ale“.”

    Sigh. Another where I was AWOL (which is going to be my theme for the summer alas).

    “and then they put on a soundtrack of “Bad Girls”, “Le Freak” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” JUST FOR ME ! (possibly). ”

    You’re referring to all 3 songs I take it? 😉

    ” Life After Football would love it.”

    Indeed! 🙂

    “Shares in John Smiths Smooth plc have rocketed since I resumed pubbing on the 12th;”

    I concur.

    “perhaps this one was a tad(caster) on the sweet side ”

    I should really look that up first, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind and announce:

    (slow golf clap)

    “They’d probably even have told me who to vote for in the polling booth, beautifully tucked away in St Barts.”

    I think that’s illegal. Well, within 500 feet anyway.

    “I know my place and vote for who Mrs RM tells me to.”

    Or, at least you tell her you did. 😉

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Walkley ward extends all the way across the Ponderosa to where I live. I think this may be the first time my vote has ever contributed to electing a councillor. I hope Bernard Little is better at sorting out the bins than the previous incumbent was.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve voted in almost every election since I was 18 and each time diligently researched the candidates/policies like the political geek I am. I think this is the first time I’ve ever backed the winning team and did so in all 3 elections! Sheffield really starting to feel like home now! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Twice. Made sure the incumbent MP who didn’t live in the constituency, didn’t hold regular surgeries and used a robot to answer her letters, got to account for herself in person. Did nothing to dint her massive majority mind!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 3 elections? Pah! If you’d not moved you could have voted in 5, with winners to suit all tastes – Lab mayor, Con Police & Crime, 2 x Lib Dem councillors (county and district), plus the parish council.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mike yes why have one council when you can have three? I shan’t miss being the ‘expert’ on which council you complain to for what “dog poo and dog bins, but not emptying them parish, grass cutting parish but not that bit county. Gritting County, potholes County unless it’s a path then it might be Parish, rubbish district but not those bins parish and so on…” It’s all much simpler in Sheffield!

        Hopefully your new Tory police comissioner will do better than the last who resigned after showing off phone pics of his ‘truncheon’ to a member of the public and various comments attributed as ‘banter’. There’s a lot about trees in Sheffield, by comparison it’s relatively tame!!

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      1. Quite right.
        Leylandii aren’t proper trees.
        I’m sure you’ve planted oak or beech as replacements.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes we will definitely replace but with something that will not grow to the size of an Oak or Beech! 🙂

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      3. Christine,
        We’ve actually got a beech tree, which Mrs Mudge gets me to prune back occasionally, in our front garden and I got that as a seedling from out of a gutter near Grindleford railway station not far from you thirty years ago this spring.
        If you’re worried about a tree growing too big you might be better off with one of my hop plants. .

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, beech is one of the best for hedges. And – along with oak, pine and birch – beech is one of the best for wildlife.
      Christine knows beech can grow big and that’s proved by the inter war Beechway in Stafford with its several decades old beeches.
      https://www.google.com/maps/@52.8215775,-2.1249261,3a,90y,180h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srq5-Z6qDckMga7S8umBI2A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
      https://www.google.com/maps/@52.8215775,-2.1249261,3a,90y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srq5-Z6qDckMga7S8umBI2A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bit paranoid about big trees after our house sale nearly fell through at the last minute because of our neighbours big trees! I thought Beech and Oak grew to 20m+ and could effect foundations if planted too close. So planting something which won’t grow so big!

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