Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sheffield with the Devos

Amy, Toby and Thomas
Coming into Sheffield we were looking forward to the fine weather that we had experienced recently to continue. It would become nice at times but more often than not it was four seasons in one day the entire week. That very changeable weather did make for some interesting excursions. Not to worry we as were just mostly looking forward to meeting young Toby Deverson and spending some good time with Rod and Louise as well as the new Sheffield locals, Louis and Sarah.

I had really been looking forward to being able to try some of Rod and Lou's homebrew and we even got them set up with an all grain brewing system and also had time to put on a couple of brews. A pale ale and a very robust stout to get them started. I was very happy to impart to them any and all of my brewing knowledge, Amy did however get annoyed with me as once I get talking beer, its hard to stop me.

I was very excited to get back out into the Peaks District National Park to show Amy where I had spent a lot of time climbing and biking while living in Sheffield in 2007. Again, we had a good weather affected day out with Lou. We walked round Ladybower Reservoir, stopped for a walk around the cute country town of Castleton and swung by spots like Stanage and Curbar where I used to climb. Everywhere was a fun little adventure with Toby.

Toby, Amy and Thomas
Thomas, Toby and Lou
We enjoyed so much of the week where we could just play and interact with Toby. He is such a bright and well mannered boy and we were so glad to be "His visitors" for the week. He would come in with a "wakey wakey" each morning. I'm pretty sure as well that it was the four of us that did enjoy building his train set potentially even more than he did playing with it afterwards. I just hope by next time I see the wee fella he does forget the few bumps and knocks I may have caused him involving a soccer ball or two. Sorry Toby!

It was fantastic fun spending the time with Rod and Lou. We had some tasty dinners accompanied with some good beers, we visited a restored knife makers workshop from the 1800's, Rod and I mountain biked into the Peaks and we all played lots and lots of evening board games. Annoying to Rod and Lou, Amy and I enjoyed a good amount of 'beginners luck', as they put it. We managed to meet up with Sarah before she went to work two mornings, one day checking out their lovely flat and the other for a walk around town on a surprisingly charming day. We even had a chance to pop into a few stores with her, which Amy was pleased to do. Both Louis and Sarah came over for a dinner prepared by Amy and I, and although everyone else seemed to enjoy the food, Toby did proclaim it was "just a little bit yucky!" Amy's birthday fell over our time in Sheffield so the two of us went out to a nice local Indian restaurant. We went all out with papadams and chutney, onion bajis, some delicious curry and naans, yum. Louise even made Amy the most delicious Guinness chocolate cake, and then made a couple more for us all to enjoy throughout the week too. 

Toby and Amy
The day before we headed off to London we jumped over to Manchester with Rod, Lou and Toby to visit Louise's brother and family. Lou's parents had also come so it was great to catch up with everyone with a good English/Welsh BBQ. The only thing that was missing though, was the rain. Lou's nephews enjoyed playing a bit of backyard badminton and football with Amy and I. It does seem we didn't have our cameras in hand all that often though, with no photos of Rod or the five of us all together. Plenty of good memories though.

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