A busy Friday, of highs and lows, starting with a driving test for James in which he finished runner-up.

Middlewood Test Centre is the saddest looking building in Sheffield.

Sadly, they meant he wasn’t able to drive me the 278 miles round trip to finish Devon’s GBG entries, so I instead took him for steak pie in the Fat Cat.

I was delighted to hear James had taken his housemate Nat for a pork pie and a pint here the previous weekend, when it was packed. Nat is from Canada, wherever that is, and is doing the cultural highlights of our sceptred isle. Pubs, football, and Chinese takeaways, presumably.

I’m equally delighted that he enjoyed a Pale Rider that I couldn’t fault (NBSS 4). The Fat Cat is as good as it ever was, and being able to walk here in 10 minutes is good enough reason to live in Sheffield.

It takes rather more than 10 minutes to walk back up Whitehouse Lane to the Blind Monkey, as Nick and Magda found out on their visit last week. I promised Nick I wouldn’t blog about our catch-up as he wanted the exclusive on Prop Up The Bar. #PubMenAreGoodPeople

Mrs RM is ticking off her own cultural list. After Victoria Wood at the Crucible and Russian ballet at the Lyceum, it was time for Debussy and Rachmaninov at the City Hall.

What a gorgeous setting for the visit of Manchester’s Halle Orchestra,

following in the illustrious footsteps of the famous Kraftwerk v Kylie Minogue football tournament (I think that’s what it means).

Just £18 to sit anywhere and hear one of the great symphonies by one of the great orchestras in one of the great settings.

But what about the bar ?” you ask.

Well, two cans of SALT craft and a tub of Pringles were £8 ish, the unwise bottle of red rather dearer (“It’s cheaper than buying 3 small bottles” said the helpful barman).

The programme notes that Alexander Glazunov was drunk while conducting the premiere of Rachmaninov’s 2nd, which is a coincidence.

Here’s a bit of the 3rd movement for you;

Doesn’t get much better, except Bruckner’s 8th.

We left City Hall in a state of bliss, knowing there was only one way to finish our cultural evening.


  1. You’re in top form these days Martin; I was laughing at both the “finished second” line and the bit about Kraftwerk and Kylie.

    Am I right that you once got together with both Simon and Roger Protz at the Fat Cat? In those days it was rather more than a 10 minute walk away I must assume!


  2. Commiserations to James, but tell him it isn’t all bad. It took Matthew three attempts before he’d passed, mainly due to a couple of silly mistakes on the first two, both of which were probably due to nerves.

    Steak pie at the Fat Cat, sounds a worthy consolation prize, and with Pale Rider to accompany as well, what more could a young lad want?

    Did he tag along with you to the City Hall as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Three attempts is rather less than James or I managed !

      He drove me to the test centre and seemed fine. Like me, he gets more nervous about driving tests than he ever did about examinations !

      He turned down the classical concert, but he is coming with me to Big Thief (American indie folk) this month.


  3. It took us more than 10 minutes to walk down too! How fast do you walk!!!
    We found the slide midway between the Blind Monkey and the Raven and thought we’d discovered your secret route down to the Kelham Island pubs. But it only took us a few meters down to the next street where we got a bit lost.


  4. I’ve got a Sheffield Cultural Experience coming up on the 11th at the Leadmill (Half Man Half Biscuit gig).

    Arriving mid-afternoon so will have a few hours to go pubbing in Sheffield. I’ve already earmarked the Rutland as a must-visit (following an arrival pint at the Sheffield Tap), but not sure where else to go – looks like I need to check out your back-catalogue of Sheffield posts, but are there any other places you’d particularly recommend?


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