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Back Buzz - March 24, 2013

pumping heartButty Licious, Holme Lane, Hillsborough, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Recently a friend gave me a ride to a doctor's appointment in Hillsborough. While I was in the doctor's surgery this friend wandered around the neighbourhood, taking in the shops and businesses along Holme Lane. When I came out rom the surgery my friend very excitedly told me about what appeared to be a West Indian coffee shop that sold espresso drinks nearby. As I had to get to work at that point we decided we would pop in and try the cafe another day soon, perhaps having a West Indian sandwich as well as a coffee. (Would they serve Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee? Chicken, mango, and ackee sandwiches? Our imaginations were inspired.)

A couple of weeks later I finally had the time and opportunity to walk down to Hillsborough and find this West Indian gem. My friend wasn't available to accompany me, so I walked down the hill past the roaring River Loxley at Hillsborough Corner, crossed the tram tracks, and kept my eyes out for a unique ethnic experience. I walked all the way up nearly to Malin Bridge and back again, but I passed nothing but a simple sandwich shop. So I texted my friend and asked him the name of the place. And this was it: Butty Licious.

I walked inside and found your typical sandwich shop. A very friendly white Yorkshire woman greeted me and served me a £1.00 push-bottom cappuccino dispensed from a Nespresso machine. I loved the presentation £ a big polka-dot coffee cup, inviting me to wrap my hands around it to warm myself up £ but the cappuccino was no better than any other push-button-dispensed cappuccino I've had.

I do like the warming touches in this run-of-the-mill sandwich shop: a Banksy on the wall and two photo collages, one of London (black and white with a big red phone box) and one of New York City (also black and white with a big yellow taxi). The view out the window is not the most scenic part of Sheffield: a row of brick houses across the tram tracks, with lots of traffic rushing between Hillsborough and Malin Bridge. But I was relieved to be drinking my second cup of the day, all milky and polka-dotty as it was.

The food menu is typical, with lots of breakfast options, various things on toast, hot toasties and cold sandwiches, burgers, chips, jacket potatoes, hot paninis, and of course chip butties. I have to admit the coffee was pretty poor simply because it was weak. It became obvious to me that I would be having a third coffee that day.

Speaking of coffee in Hillsborough for some reason reminds me of an e-mail exchange during heavy rains from last year with an ex-library-workmate who moved from Sheffield to York:

Greetings from Escafeld, the forest clearing of the River Sheath! How is life in that far-away land? Are you having as much precipitation as we are? Lo, what is the name of the bibliographical institution for whom you work?

Here in the University Library Temple life has returned to normal. The restoration work is now complete and the books are back, but the Cave is walled off until the end of the year. Methinks they may be developing new life forms behind those new white walls. We are well, although the galleys are still dripping with the sweat of our labours. I still dream of that day when the sun will rise and I shall be a photo-resin-sandwich-cookbook queen. That day shall come soon, soon...

My stint in the return room is coming to a close for yet another day, and I must return to the book mines. Howdo! The Cave sounds almost as terrifying as the stairwells there. You be careful.

The librarians here are very quiet and meek, and don't seem to mix much with those below-stairs. I went into the staff-room today, and alas there wasn't an awful lot going on in there. Compared to the library I worked at in Sheffield they seem quite a boring lot. Maybe I just need to go in at the right time.

P.S. Watch out for the shadows in the Cave. There are no bats in there, so what's making that flapping noise? The river is deep and the mountain is high-de-hi lo-lo ta-ta-bop-shoo-wop-bop. (Sorry -- trying to do 20 things at once, including planning my business, sorting out software, and organising my ultra busy social life, so it's difficult to think of multi-syllabic words, da doo ron ron.)

As an experienced stairdiver, I want to remind you that those stairwells here in our library are only dangerous if you're going down the stairs. Very few people hurt themselves by falling up the stairs -- although anything's possible.

I don't go into the staff room anymore. It smells funny, as does everything here. Except for the wonderful Scotch Book Tape which I can't get enough of sniffing.

The river is very deep indeed. I've been taking photos of it. Went my "old" way home from work and found I had to tiptoe across some broken paving at the edge of a river where most of the road should've been.

I shall bear in mind your stair advice, although I tend to fall mostly in an upward direction. It is certainly safer that way, though one must be careful not to float into orbit.

The Scotch book tape does have a very fine smell: like sellotape distilled. I've always been fond of the smell of freshly printed books too, and regularly got my nose into them when processing. Bindon glue was rather heady also: much better than Polydon.

Pretty sure resin would be vegetarian-kosher. Unless it had flies trapped inside. Speaking of which, it's time I made some dinner. Jurassic mosquito and chips, I think. The raptor blood gives it a kick.