Leeds Diary Dates: August

Just like June, this month has shot by. I’m not sure why as it’s been a fairly quiet one – after going on holiday, moving house and taking on a more expensive rent that my previous one I was trying to have a no-spend month. I did fairly well; I’ve still been going out for the odd drink and meal here and there, and I bought Emma Gannon’s book Ctrl Alt Delete which gave me all the life motivation, but I’m hoping to be able to give my savings account a good boost with the cash I’ve saved this month.

I’m hoping to continue my thrifty ways for as long as possible in August, but I think the days are numbered as I’m attending a friend’s wedding in Ireland near the end of the month, which I’m pairing with a week-long road trip around some of the country’s best sights. I’m also in desperate need of a trip to the hairdressers, and am getting distracted by some of the lovely events that are planned in Leeds this month…

3rd: ‘Meet The Brewer’ Northern Monk Supper Club

This is the super club to be at this month – Ambiente, one of my favourite tapas bars, pairing with local brewery and bar Northern Monk for a 3-course pairing of tapas and beer. I already love Ambiente’s inventive tapas dishes and am stubbornly persisting in my efforts to start enjoying beer, so this event sounds like it’s right up my street. It’s also only £30 for 3 courses, which is definitely at the cheap end of the supper club scale.

6th-7th: Leeds Pride

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Leeds Pride! There’s a whole programme of events lined up across two stages at Millennium Square and Lower Briggate, plus stalls, speakers and of course the Parade, which starts in Millennium Square and progresses around the edge of city centre before finishing at the Main Stage on Lower Briggate. The organisers want to preserve the inclusive, community spirit the celebration represents, which is why the whole day is completely free.

13th-4th September: Leeds Beach

For one month every year, the landlocked people of Leeds get to spend a bit of time at the seaside with Leeds Beach. Largely aimed at families, the Beach has tons of rides, trampolines and water slides. Having said that there’s also food stalls, so even if you don;t have kids you can always drop by for lunch and an ice cream.

19th-21st: North Leeds Food Festival

I do love a good food festival, and this one is going to be set in the lovely grounds of Roundhay Park! A huge line-up of street food vendors is promised, as well as live music, independent drink sellers and performances designed to show off all the talent in the North. The website promises that almost all the money made at the festival will go towards supporting local businesses, and the Festival is also supporting Leeds Minds, a local mental health charity.

26th-28th: Leeds Festival

I’m going to be honest, Leeds Fest does not look like my idea of fun, but it’s such a big event I could hardly leave it off the list. Despite the line-ups getting progressively worse since I was a teenager this Bramham Park party remains one of the UK festival staples, and this year there are at least some big names on the line-up even if they’re not your cup of tea; Biffy Clyro, Foals and Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining the main stage. Of course, the Spotted Leeds Fest Twitter account is always the best (or worst?) thing about the Festival – all the worst of humanity can be found on its timeline.

29th: Leeds West Indian Carnival

I got a sneak peek of this year’s West Indian Carnival when they performed at Big Disco earlier this month, and it’s set to be another party to remember. Head to Chapeltown to see the bright colours, amazing costumes and infectious music of one of Europe’s biggest Caribbean carnivals, and Leeds’ best parties. The West Indian Carnival is a perfect example of the cultural diversity that I love so much about this city!

What have you got planned in August? Let me know – maybe I’ll see you there!

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How to Move House Every Year Without Losing Your Mind

As I recently discussed in a post about the frustrations of flat hunting, I move house a lot. Since leaving my childhood home at 18 to go to university I’ve had 9 addresses in 7 years – changes I made largely by choice, but that doesn’t make the process any less tedious and stressful. It does, however, turn you into something of a pro when it comes to packing up your life and quickly fitting it into a new place. Whether you’re moving out of uni halls, breaking up with a boyfriend who owns the house you share or being bribed by your landlord to live in a temporary property for one month (and yes, all three of those things that have happened to me), these tips should help you complete your move and settle in fast with the minimum amount of hassle. Continue reading

View of Lake Bled from Ojstrica , Slovenia

How to Get the Most Out of Lake Bled

It’s been a while but I finally got around to compiling my second post about my trip to Slovenia in June (so many photos, so little time). After a couple of days in Ljubljana I took the bus to Bled, which I soon found I had mixed feelings about. The lake is breathtakingly beautiful and that is an indisputable fact, but the town is pretty touristy and the number of loud 19-year old backpackers around did start to get to me whenever I was in the town.

The trick is to zone out all the touristy rubbish and find the quiet spots it hasn’t quite reached yet. The real magic of Lake Bled is in the roads less travelled, the understated restaurants and the footpaths you’re not sure anyone else has found yet, and I want to share my tips for discovering them. Continue reading

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A Day of Belonging

Yesterday was a day of belonging. One of those warm, comforting days where you fit like the last jigsaw piece into every situation you’re in, snug and safe in the perfectly imperfect life you’ve built for yourself. In a world where we all feel unsure of ourselves so much of the time these days are hard to come by, so I wanted to share mine with you. Continue reading

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Feeling Love at Big Disco

There are so many things I love about Leeds. I love the nightlife and the food, the buildings and the buzz, I love the feeling of coming home as I sit on a train and watch the skyline slide into view. But most of all I love how inclusive the city feels, the number of places you can go and see people of all ages, races, styles and professions mingling together, united by their love for a bar, or a cause, or some bloody good food. Let’s be honest – after the last few weeks, we could all do with a bit of unity. Continue reading

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52 Books Reading Challenge: 6-Month Review

At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to read 52 books in a year, and I’ve now hit the halfway mark on that challenge. To be honest it’s got away from me a bit – 3 months in I was practically bang on target, but since then the numbers have slipped and I’m a shameful 8 books behind. I’m trying not to let it get to me too much; in the past month I’ve been on a solo holiday and moved house, and a lot of my free time before that was spent organising those things rather than relaxing with a book.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make some ground up in the coming months, but even if I don’t  I’ll still be happy that I committed more time to reading, and expanded the range of books I’m reading. Here are a few of my most notable reads from April to June. Continue reading

Leeds Diary Dates: July 2016

June has been a good month. It’s whizzed by in a flash, but that’s how time always goes when you’re having fun isn’t it? It started with gorgeous sunshine and me finding my new flat, in the middle I took a week-long trip to Slovenia and Venice, and it’s finished with me moving into aforementioned flat and enjoying a beautiful meal at Ox Club for my boyfriend’s very belated birthday treat. I’ve said goodbye to a home I felt settled in and flatmates that I’ve lived with for over a year to move from a 5-bed in Headingley to a more adulty 2-bed in city centre, so there’s a definite sense of this being the end of an era, but sometimes change is exactly what you need to give life a little shake up.

Of course this kind of fun comes at a price, so I’ll be counting the pennies in July to make up for an extravagant June. Hopefully I can still have fun on a budget in Leeds this month – let’s see shall we? Continue reading