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HM2014 – 1st May

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Another day down, another day successful. I went for another walk around Golden Acre last night, although this time I was on my own and without Cameron. It was really nice to get in a good walk and just to sit outside in the fresh air in the peace and quiet and relax after a hard day at work.

I admit, I did spend a little too long watching a family of little ducklings that were swimming around the lake. They seemed a little less shy than yesterday and were happy to swim around near me while I took some pictures.

My fitbit seems to be giving me a very high calorie allowance this week, to say I’ve only been doing 5,000 steps a day. Like yesterday, I ate 1,360 calories, but it said I could eat 800 more. And while it would have been nice to wolf down some chocolate or crisps or something, I’m taking it with a pinch of salt and sticking to eating sensibly!

As a bonus for today, here’s a video of some very cute ducklings!

HM2014 – 30th April

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Yesterday was another good day. I had a massive headache at work, but a walk around Golden Acre Park with Cameron in the evening pretty much cleared that up. I always seem to get headaches when I start to drink more water than usual, I don’t know if anyone else has that problem?

Before we went on our walk, I’d already had my chocolate shake for tea, but Cameron hadn’t had anything to eat, so we stopped off at McDonalds on the way home. It was hard to sit there drinking a diet coke while he ate all the lovely smelling food, but I resisted ordering anything, so that’s a bonus! Especially since I have a bunch of vouchers for free apple pies, and we all know how delicious McDonald’s apple pies are, even if they are hotter than the sun!

The walk around Golden Acre is about 2500 steps, so I think it’s a good one to try do more often now that it’s lighter on an evening. It’s nice to spend time just walking and talking rather than sat at home in front of the tv ignoring each other too! I think next time I’ll take my proper camera with me, I took some pics this time with my phone but what’s the point of spending all that money on a camera and then always using my phone instead?!

I joined the library!!

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God knows why I didn’t do this before with the amount of books that I read, but this weekend I finally re-joined the library! I’d been a member since I was about 3 years old; so young that my library card had my mum’s signature on instead of mine! But when I was about 16, Leeds City Council introduced a Breeze card for young people and my library card was merged in with that. And since that expired when I was 19 years old, I haven’t set foot back in any of the Leeds Libraries.

But what an amazing place. Walk in, pick some books, walk out. And no cost! I expected to have to pay for a new card but the lovely lady at the desk at Pudsey library signed me back up in a jiffy. It was really hard not to walk out with an armful of books, but I managed to restrain myself to just 3. Until I journeyed to Leeds Central Library yesterday and picked another four! I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading now!

The best thing is how easy it is now to take out a book (or three). No queuing up at the desk, just set all your books on a machine, scan the barcode on your library card and the machine detects the RFID tags in each book to know what you’ve taken out and prints you a nice little receipt with the return dates on. How fabulously easy!

Plus, as confirmed on Twitter, you don’t even have to take books back to the same library you checked them out from, as long as you take them back somewhere in Leeds. So I don’t need to worry about taking books out on my lunch break in Guiseley/Yeadon or at the weekend at home in Pudsey, just take them back wherever is convenient!

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Bowling and a Trip to the Tetley

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We had the day off work today after staying out later for the gig last night, so we decided to make the most of it!

First up was bowling at Hollywood Bowl in Kirkstall. Neither of us had been bowling for ages so it was lots of fun! Cameron tried to tell me he was rubbish at bowling, but he came back from setting the lane up, and he hadn’t put the gutter rails up for himself! Considering pretty much all of my balls would end up in the gutter if I didn’t have the rails up, he was definitely better than me! I managed to win the first game with a strike in the 10th frame, but I think that was definitely more luck than skill! Cameron then won the second game, leaving us at a happy tie for the day!

After we’d finished bowling and drinking our slush puppies like excitable children, we headed to the arcade where we played a racing game (which Cameron won), and air hockey (which Cameron also won due to his violent playing style!).

We then headed to The Tetley in Leeds, a restaurant and art gallery sited on the old Tetley’s brewery site. The food was as I expected, absolutely delicious. We both had fish and chips followed by Sticky Toffee Pudding, and we were full to bursting after we’d finished. Since I wasn’t driving, I washed it down with a pint of Tetley’s Gold, which was the nicest beer I’ve had in a long time.

We then went for a walk around the art gallery. I’m not really an art gallery type person, I prefer a nice painting to some of the things that you see in art galleries, although there was some nice stuff currently on display, including one piece which was getting ready for it’s grand opening later in the day. The building itself was beautifully renovated, keeping the style of the old Brewery but looking modern, open and welcoming. I’ll definitely be heading back there again, if only for some more of that divine pudding!

OneRepublic and Mikky Ekko at the O2 Academy, Leeds

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Well for once it wasn’t me dragging Cameron to a gig, but Cameron taking me to see one of his favourite bands. We got there really early to try and make sure we got a seat (yes, we’re getting old), and it was a good job we did, because the queues were huge! When we got there, I’d forgotten I had left my tablet in my handbag, which led to a trip down to the cloakroom in the cellar to check my bag, which was quite convenient as it meant I didn’t have my purse and Cameron had to buy my drinks!

The support act was Mikky Ekko, a guy you may have heard of from his duet with Rihanna last year. I’d not heard anything else by him, and that duet isn’t exactly my favourite song, so I was quite pleasantly surprised with his set, really enjoying it. I wasn’t too sure about the first couple of songs, but I quickly warmed to him and by the end I was loving it. I was just disappointed when i checked Spotify and it doesn’t look like anything he sung at the gig was on there.

Which brings us to OneRepublic. I’d heard their new album, but didn’t expect to really know many of the songs. But I was quite surprised by how many of the songs I knew but just hadn’t realised they were sung by OneRepublic. The crowd (including Cameron) was singing along to all of the songs, giving the packed venue an awesome atmosphere. The lead singer was very energetic, dancing around the stage and jumping up on the speakers and getting the crowd excited. There was also a big video screen at the back of the stage accompanying some of the songs, including footage of Leeds and of us all queuing outside the venue, quite a nice touch!

I loved the gig, even though my ears were ringing by the end from the volume of the screaming and clapping. Definitely a good choice by Cameron, and I would certainly see them again if I could!

First look at Leeds First Direct Arena

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While we were on holiday in Skipton, Cameron spotted a tweet from Leeds First Direct Arena advertising their open day – 2,500 tickets released for free to help them test some of their functions before the arena has its official opening very soon. We jumped straight on my laptop to order ourselves a couple, and today was the big day.

Having decided that even with only 2,500 people going, Woodhouse Lane car park would be packed, we took the train into Leeds and walked up from the station. That turned out to be a good idea, since there was an open day at Leeds University happening this morning too, and we heard that the car parks were rammed full.

We arrived at the arena about 40 minutes early, full of excitement, especially when the concourse started getting busier and they turned on the lights on the outside of the building. When we were all let in, we were allowed to wander around a bit before making our way to our seats. On the way, we stopped off to check out the facilities. Very clean (obviously), and large cubicles, but the only disappointment was the hand dryers – comparable to being breathed on by an old lady. But Cameron has since seen a tweet to say new hand dryers are on order, hopefully they’ve gone for a good old Dyson Airblade.

We were in block 105, the lowest of the available tiered seating (although there are more seats that can be pulled down below), and bang slap in the middle. Because there were only 2,500 of us, there were plenty of seats to choose from. Surprisingly, there was a fair amount of leg room, even enough for 6’5″ Cameron, who usually finds his knees pushed against the seat in front. The seats were also very comfy, much more padding than the ones at Sheffield Motorpoint, so you didn’t get ‘numb bum’ after 10 minutes.

After a quick introduction, we then moved onto some acoustic tests; booing, cheering and clapping on demand so they could get a feel for the sound. There was a video tour around the arena, and then we moved on to the two bands lucky enough to win a Facebook competition to perform at the open day. The band that came first were called The Scandal, although I have to say I preferred the second place band, The Puppeteers.

In between the two bands, they needed to test out the toilet systems, so wanted us to do a ‘grand flush’. Everyone was told to go to the toilet and then when instructed, all flush at the same time. I ended up in a toilet block with about 10 cubicles in it, but we must have been tucked out of the way, because we didn’t get any kind of instruction to flush, and we were stood there like lemons until someone’s husband phoned her up to see where she was. Good job we didn’t actually need the loo though, since they had no toilet roll dispensers installed in those cubicles yet.

The final test was actually a pretty good way of getting us all out of the arena, and it was a test of their emergency systems. A voice came over the tannoy saying something along the lines of ‘There has been an incident, please evacuate the arena’. It all worked very well though, and it was exciting to be one of the first to go inside the arena.

Having said that, we were looking at who we wanted to to see, and our two preferred favourites were Miranda Hart and Cirque de Soleil. But having seen the price, I think we might hold off on that for now., see if we can find any offers for cheap tickets nearer the time.

 

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter everyone!

The snow is finally melting ¬†and the sun is out, it feels pretty warm outside! I accidentally told Cameron that I’d be picking him up at half 9, even though the rest of my family aren’t coming round until later, so we went for a little walk around Golden Acre Park. It was pretty muddy with all the snow melting, and the lake was still frozen. Still, even though it was pretty sunny, I probably should have taken a coat because it was a bit chilly!

Leeds German Market in Millennium Square

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I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks at work, so when I had a day off yesterday (although not the original 2 and a half that I had planned), Cameron took me into Leeds for lunch and some Christmas shopping. I’ve never been to the German Market before, so that was our first stop. I’m not sure why I’ve never been as it sets up in Millennium Square every year, but I really loved it. I had to reign myself in to stop from spending all my money, but I could seriously have spent a fortune. I did buy a couple of lovely presents for my Mum, although I’m not sure how authentically German they are.

After we’d been around the market, we had lunch at the Cuthbert Broderick (Wetherspoons) in Millennium Square before setting off into the centre of Leeds to do some last bits of Christmas shopping. I’d already bought all my presents so it was mainly for Cameron, but I still ended up spending way too much money! It was extremely windy and very cold, but thankfully there was no rain or snow, so it was a really awesome day. It really helped take my mind off everything for a little while.

Anyway, here’s a few snaps of the German Market, only iPhone pics as I didn’t even think to take my camera with me.

 

Golden Acre Park – 12th May

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It’s been a while since I’ve been to Golden Acre so on Saturday morning I went up for a walk with my Dad. I think I would probably call Golden Acre one of my favourite places, its so peaceful early in the morning when there’s not many people there, and it’s so familiar from my childhood that I just love going back.

I took my camera with me, but I didn’t get many pictures that I liked. I’ve added my favourites here, but I’m not very happy with them really.

I got a new camera lens today and I’m going to London at the weekend, so hopefully I’ll be able to try it out properly! It’s only a quick overnight stay to see Ron Pope, Zach Berkman and Caggie Dunlop with my brother, but I think we’re going to take a trip back to the Royal Air Force Museum on the way home.