Leeds Diary Dates: April 2017

Spring is finally here, and even though we lost an hour of sleep I’m so glad to finally see the daylight sticking around until after 7pm. I’ve been looking forward to April for a long time, because on the 9th I’m jetting off to Cuba for 2 weeks! Cuba has been on my bucket list for a few years now, and I can’t wait to put my out of office on, grab my backpack and enjoy a couple of weeks exploring with one of my best friends.

Of course this means I’m not going to be in Leeds a lot, but luckily for me a lot of the best upcoming stuff isn’t happening until the end of the month. Take a look at my event picks for April.

14th: Good Friday Feast

The Belgrave’s monthly Feasts are Leeds’ general go-to for street food parties, but on Easter weekend it’s Left Bank’s turn to host a selection of street food stands, plus live music from Cara Hammond and The Dead Beats. Kick off Easter weekend here, and of course you can round it off at the other end with the usual Merrion Street Festival on Easter Sunday. If it’s sunny and you can sit outside it’s a lovely way to get that ‘I don’t have to go to work tomorrow’ glow.

22nd-30th: Leeds International Festival

Leeds feels overrun with festivals recently, but who’s complaining if they keep bringing something new to the table? A newcomer this year is Leeds International Festival, a cultural mix-up of music, moving image and technology that throws a spotlight on what Leeds has to offer. Some highlights of the line-up include the latest Music in Leeds film produced by The City Talking and BBC, an ‘Empowering Women With Tech’ event where Lauren Laverne will be speaking, and the Museum of Youth Culture exhibit looking at socialĀ revolutions through the ages.

22nd-29th: Leeds Digital Festival

Running at the same time as Leeds International is the returning Leeds Digital Fest, which as a digital marketing geek I loved last year. Leeds’ digital scene does tend to be dominated my the insane amount of developers and general techies that seem to have flooded Leeds, but there are a few events for the ‘creatives’ around as well and I’m actually tempted to have a go at the Coding For Beginners workshop that Sky Bet are hosting. Whatever the topics there are so many great companies getting involved, and it’s a great opportunity to do a bit of networking.

29th: Live at Leeds

I’m finally going to be able tick this off my Leeds bucket list – having lived here almost all my life it’s borderline embarrassing that I haven’t done Live at Leeds yet. I’m nowhere near edgy enough to know even half the bands on the line-up, but in a way I think that will make it a better day. I’d love to see Wild Beasts, Rag n Bone Man, Jagwar Ma and White Lies, but I’m also looking forward to hanging out at some great gig venues and hearing some new stuff. Having said that, I have tracked down the Live at Leeds playlist on Spotify to work out who else I might want to prioritise.

What have you got planned for April? Let me know in the comments!

Book Reviews | March 2017

After last year’s failed attempt at reading 52 books in a year, I’ve scaled 2017’s challenge back to 40; a more manageable target that so far I am still managing to lag behind on. I have a preference for pretty, lyrical prose that demands I take time to appreciate, which usually means I take longer than average to finish a really good book. The usual distractions of social media, Netflix and blog browsing also take their toll, but reading has such a calming influence on my mind that I am trying to cut down on my screen time and reach for books instead. Here are the books I’ve enjoyed mostĀ in the first few months of 2017. Continue reading

Certificate from Barista Class at 200 Degrees North

4 Fun Classes to Take in Leeds

Do you ever miss your school days? No, me neither. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss learning, having all that dedicated time when you were not only encouraged but expected to be filling your brains with new skills and information. But learning doesn’t have to stop when you leave school – here are just a few of the ways you can pick up a new talent and have loads of fun along the way. Continue reading

Endings & Beginnings

As I write this I’m sat in a cafe, doing something I’ve never done before; taking two days off work just to do nothing. No holiday, no visits to friends, no plans at all except reading books, quietly working through some life admin and recovering from an intense week. A week of extremes, of mourning and celebration, of endings and beginnings.

During the week we said our goodbyes to my grandma, a warrior of a woman who was such a force of nature the universe saw fit to name a storm after her in the week that she died. In contrast, I then spent the weekend with the other side of my family watching my cousin get married and sharing in the start of a new phase of his life. Continue reading

Leeds Diary Dates: March 2017

March is here, and that means the start of spring is within reach – can you feel it coming? February has been a horrible month for me personally and I’ll be glad to see the back of it; the hard part is by no means over but I have some great things coming up that I can look forward to and I’m trying to add more to that list. When I’m going through a tough time my instinct is to shut everyone out, put my head down and crawl through it, but it’s time to pick myself up and start letting people back in. With that in mind, does anyone want to accompany me to some cool events in Leeds this month? Continue reading

For the Love of Print

At times like this, when life is hard and my reality feels a little too hard to face, escapism is key. Browsing flights, looking at job adverts in far-off cities and binge watching US teen dramas are all part of this coping mechanism, but nothing soothes me like curling up under a blanket with a book.

As an avid reader who always likes to have a book to hand and packs several books for every holiday, you’d expect me to have leapt on the Kindle bandwagon. But I’ve never been keen. Yes they’re super convenient and I’d save so much suitcase space, but for me nothing outweighs the comfort I feel when I open a paperback. I love the feel of the paper between my fingers, the musty smell of the pages, the beautiful cover designs. Continue reading

Leeds Instagrammers - Uneven Edits

5 Leeds Instagrammers You Need To Know

Ever since I started travelling I’ve loved to take photos, and the rise of Twitter and Instagram have done nothing to curb my addiction. Nowadays I spend most of my life in the same city, but luckily Leeds is incredibly photogenic and I’m never short of beautiful things to capture. Of course I’m one of the amateurs, and I love to stalk the feeds (just their feeds, before you call the police) of photographers around Leeds who really capture the feel of the city. Here are five of my favourite Leeds Instagram accounts you should be following. Continue reading