Sheffield Geek Meet and Photo Shoot


The Geek Meet oganised by the Sheffield comm, combined with a little photoshoot for the Tea Party Club’s annual, gave me the perfect excuse to turn a meet into a weekend trip. The half-term break has just started, so timing couldn’t have been better for me and it was lovely to get away from home to really feel like I have some time off work.

Saturday was spent entirely wandering around the city centre, except for a quick hop to my B&B to leave my bags in my room. As the City of Steel naturally many things to do or see in Sheffield revolve around the steel industry, although I feel like I had a nice balance of touristy things.

I started by going to the Millennium Gallery, where the majority of the exhibitions were about steel: its production, uses, how it shaped the history of Sheffield etc. Many people associate steel with strength and think of it as an industrial material, however, there are plenty of more artisan-like crafts that can be done with this kind of metal, some of which were perfect for the Queen’s table – literally!

By exiting the gallery at the top I immediately entered the Winter Garden. Saturday wasn’t cold as such, although it was nice and warm inside the garden, an essentially big greenhouse hosting some more tropical plants and trees. It’s not massive, but big enough to stroll around or sit inside, enjoying some nature or maybe doing something artsy. And I love the fact that these stay open 24/7, meaning that whether you’re out on a daytime walk or need a shortcut through the city at night, you won’t face a locked door.

My final destination, the Sheffield Cathedral, proved a lot trickier to find. Now that I’ve been there, I know that it’s not, but when you’re in the city for the first time and Google Maps doesn’t even know which direction you’re facing, I ended up unnecessarily walking in big circles instead of going straight to the point. Mind you, I enjoyed some nice views and finds along the way, so it wasn’t all bad.

However, this meant that by the time I finally reached the cathedral, I only had minutes to enjoy it before it closed for the day. Hence only a couple of photographs, but I do recommend you visit it if you have a chance. As far as cathedrals go, it might not be the biggest or the most impressive, but at the same time it’s not been spoiled by too many tourists visiting it so you can still have a quiet prayer or just enjoy the atmosphere if you so wish. What did impress me though were the number and the extent of the extensions made to the cathedral. Most of the ones I’ve been to try to make everything look uniform, as if it was all built at the same time, however, in Sheffield Cathedral not only do you get a colour-coded model to scale showing which part was built when, but you can also see which bits are newer or older. It’s not too obvious, at first glance things still look as if they’re one whole, but when you focus on the details such as the ceiling or style of decorations on the walls – that’s when you see it.

By that point it was around 4:30pm, so I spent the rest of the day casually strolling, doing some minor shopping, finding my way to the meetup spot for Sunday and then dinner and back to the B&B for some beauty sleep before a bright and early start.

We were due to meet outside the Curzon Cinema at 10am. The theme for this year’s comm photos for the annual was ‘film’, so everyone turned up in some sort of character-inspired (or even plain old cosplay Lolita) – because you can’t take it all seriously all the time. I’m still so impressed and happy that we secured a photoshoot in an actual cinema, I think it added to the theme, as well as let us play with our characters and the photo. I know that I’m biased, but I seriously thing ours will be the best one (or at least the one that stands out the most) in the whole annual. I won’t post a photo, though, as we only have a raw version for now, plus I’d rather you all bought the annual to see it.

I decided to go as Winnie the Pooh: partly for comfort (flat shoes, warmer coord that matched my bag) and partly for a chance to wear my bear skirt! I wore the bear ear clips that I got at the last meet in Leeds (still so impressed by the kindness of fellow Lolitas – thank you again!), but other than that I kept everything really simple, as I didn’t want to carry too many things with me all day.

| Magic Tea Party Bears Paradise skirt | vintage
blouse | BtSSB Border OTKs | everything
else is offbrand |

The reason why this was a Geek Meet was because of the Out of This World festival that was taking place all over Sheffield that day. There were loads of people in cosplay, loads of exhibitions and shows taking place, and endless stalls with various geeky goodies, from comic books and toys to clothes and customised gadgets/home décor. By that point we were joined by a few other Lolitas who didn’t want to be in the photo and just spent the day wandering around, enjoying it all – and stopping a lot as one member of our group was the best Rapunzel you could imagine and all the kids (and parents!) wanted a photo. She certainly brought smiles to many faces.

The downside of that day was that despite being a similar temperature to Saturday it was really windy, which made us all freeze (especially Rapunzel who committed to her outfit to the point of not bringing a coat!). After a while we hid in a nearby pub for warmth and refreshments and must’ve spent there a good hour and a half, maybe even two before we were good enough to brave the cold again. Although after the comfort of indoors being back outdoors was harder for us to withstand, so we hid inside the town hall where all the stalls were for more warmth and to say hello to another Loli who was working the stall that day and couldn’t frill with us (in all fairness, I envy you not freezing your bloomers off all day!).

And then it was time to leave. The day went by super fast, though I must admit that by the time I sat on the train back tiredness started catching up with me. But before that there was so much fun and many discussions about further fun to be had, so I’ll be making more effort to join the Frills of Steel for more meets!

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