I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself these last few days, trying to write up the TSL case study full of cold with the Brunette in Wales. Not that I expect any sympathy from that quarter, she is to nursing what Goebbels was to strength and conditioning coaching. I have had the voice of my supervisor Lisa in my head, “It’s still about place!” So, in a break from writing I asked myself a few questions; how much do I know about the city? How much can anyone know about that? Can how we engage with the city alter our opinion of it? I began with a few uncomfortable facts; I am a creature of habit, I drive everywhere and I compartmentalise my acquaintances. That is, I use a series of meeting places to probably remember who the hell I’m with. Take today; Sam is Kelham Island Tavern after dropping his daughter off in Woodseats. One of my oldest friends, one I don’t like sharing. On the rare occasion we have time together I don’t want it diluted by others and their stuff. We sit with ale, real obviously, and we rearrange the world exactly as it should be, not real. Obviously. I shall walk there, I announced to myself and take in both left and right. And this is what happened only realising after navigating Lydgate Lane, Crooksmoor Road and Oxford Street past the park, that the two miles downhill sans ale had to be done in reverse with ale. Those that know me know that I often marvel at my own stupidity. I am so immersed in my research that I don’t know when I need to turn it off, have a break, just have a beer with a mate and do your “get to know Sheffield on foot” study another day.

The word sensation was used this week by another acquaintance in response to my glib comment about flames in my header photographs. I try not to photograph sensation but I suppose it happens visually by default in some of the places I choose to work. Take today’s header, this is from a story I did this spring that is not yet public. I chose it because now, every time I feel the way I do today, I look at it. Seeing a farmer, Richard, giving a newborn lamb the kiss of life was a sensation, a quiet sensation. It is a scene I’m glad I witnessed, I’m glad I photographed it and it has a curious way of telling me to just get on with it and stop bloody moaning.

Did I walk back? No, that’s what taxi’s are for. Did the lamb survive? Yes.

Drink Real Ale, Get Real Pi**ed!