George Orwell once wrote of Sheffield “it’s one of the most appalling places I’ve ever seen.” Harsh words from the late English novelist! But here were are in Sheffield, more specifically, at the Best Western Hotel. Sometimes, people come up to me in the street, and they say “Pipes, why is it called ‘The Best’? What’s so good about it?” Well, I guess it’s time we found out!
The check-in process at the front desk was as smooth and as fast as you’d imagine it to be when you’re at the wrong end of a bleary ten pint session. The lift however, was slow and snail like. Some say it’s the slowest lift in western civilization. Indeed, when Pipes and his friends first entered, Britain was still in the EU! I had hair when I walked in! So slow was it in fact that time appeared to stand still, and my whole life passed before me. It was like being trapped in some timeless void in the afterlife, where all the mistakes you’ve ever made are replayed in slow motion for you and your maker to see. Like one of those bad dreams where you’re running, but not actually moving. We most certainly were not actually moving. Just a bunch of guys in a cramped lift, in complete silence, struggling to maintain their dignity.
But enough lies. It’s time for bed. And let’s be honest, the bed was comfortable, and Pipes snuggled down keenly, knowing a good nights sleep was in store. But hark, whatever could that noise be? Is it the sound of the raucousness of the fading Sheffield night? Could it be merry passersby, giggling and laughing ecstatically as only people do at 4am? Why no, it’s the sound of a fellow guest, repeatedly kicking his door as hard as he can, for several minutes, for no apparent reason. Ah, the enthusiastic exuberance of youth! And they say youth is wasted on the young!
Soon, it was dawn. Time to begin the packing and checking out process with a happy yet heavy heart. Pipes treated himself to a tasty cuppa, made from the budget kettle provided, and pondered the grey and dreary Yorkshire skyline. As The KLF said, “Ossett, Otley, Isley Moor, Sheffield…it’s grim up North.” less