As an antidote to my gloomy commute and the horrific weather over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about some of the fun things that are happening this year in our lovely city of Leeds…
Exciting theatre at the West Yorkshire Playhouse
The Playhouse have tons of exciting stuff happening this year. I’m particularly looking forward to absurdist tragicomedy Waiting for Godot, which just started rehearsing this week. Also in the pipeline are second instalments of both Furnace and Transform, which promise to be even more adventurous and exciting in 2012.
The Olympic Torch
Is that lame? Is that too mainstream and uncool and a waste of taxpayer’s money? Well, sorry, but I can’t wait! Perhaps that’s just because I’m one of what seems to be a very few people who have actually managed to get Olympics tickets. There’ll be an ‘evening celebration’, apparently, when the torch reaches the city centre on Sunday 24th June, and I’m thinking there’ll be fireworks…
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
As much as I ask, no-one seems to be able to tell me if we’ll still get that bank holiday if the Queen doesn’t quite make it to next June? Apparently it’s a morbid thought. Anyhow, I’m really hoping everything goes to plan because a diamond jubilee calls for bunting and tea parties and cake and I LOVE all of those things. Let’s make Leeds the centre of the celebrations!
Joining Leeds Book Club
This month is the month I join the Arcadia branch of the Leeds Book Club, which I totes can’t wait for. Book the first is The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, (which I’m hoping arrives from Amazon, like, NOW so I actually have time to read it) and it looks really good. I’m looking forward to meeting other Leeds-based bookworms for fun times.
Baking at Iron Cupcake: Leeds
Although I’ve attended, I’ve never entered Leeds’ premier cupcake competition. However, bring on February’s freestyle month because I have my ticket and I am there. Being very much an amateur, I’m counting this as a practice round. However, before I enter for a second time, I’ll employ my secret weapon: I have a voucher for a cupcake lesson at the Sunshine Bakery.
Watching Leeds Arena take shape
Whilst the Trinity Leeds project makes me want to throw things, I’m completely on board with the Arena. It’s about time the citizens of Leeds were able to attend an arena concert without trekking across the Pennines and paying for a hotel, or getting hives from worrying about whether you’ll make the last train home. It’s not due to open until early 2013 (so probably November time), but over the next few months I think we’ll really be able to see things coming together. Rather unnecessarily, you can watch the construction live here.
Big musical numbers at Leeds Grand Theatre
There’s something a bit magical about Leeds Grand Theatre. I like to get dressed up when I go, and have a nice meal beforehand, and stroll through the lamplit streets afterwards with friends or a significant other. This year my highlights will be Dirty Dancing and the amazing, incredible Phantom of the Opera, which I’ve been dying to see again after my first viewing in theWest End in 2007.
Summer in the City
Shall we just pretend that it’s going to be this incredibly hot summer, and the sun will just beat down on us for three solid months, and no-one will bother to go on holiday because it’s too warm, but instead we’ll all go to Kirkstall Abbey or Hyde Park or Millennium Square and eat ice creams and play rounders, and we’ll all wear shorts or sundresses with flip flops, and there’ll be zero crime because everyone’s so happy, and anyway, it’s just too hot? Yes, let’s!
Heritage Open Days
I had a really busy work schedule for 2011’s Heritage Open Days, which was really disappointing, so this year I plan to be out in force. In particular I want to have a good nosey around Leeds Grand Theatre, and take a guided walk in an area I’m unfamiliar with.
Light Night Leeds
Last year’s Light Night was my first, and I got home from it completely exhausted! I felt like I’d never worked so hard for my entertainment before. The ideal for me would have been three Light Nights on consecutive nights, each in different parts of the city (say, the university, the cultural quarter and the city centre). However I’m sure this brings heaps of administrative problems that I know nothing about. This time, I want to make the most of things by setting out with a more structured plan, and maybe focussing on one geographical area.
Meeting more Twitter faces
This year I’ve met some lovely people including the tireless Emma Bearman of @culturevultures, the insanely talented Abi Manifold (@SewYou) and the hilarious Wendy Denman, aka @Wandapops. This year, I’ll be aggressively seeking out all of you, so watch out.
Developing my blog
It’s been an exciting 4 ½ months since I posted my first blog post in August, and I’ve been on a real journey. It took me a couple of months to get the confidence to put my name to it, and soon I think I’ll even put my face to it! This year I’ll be putting together a new blog header, introducing guest posters and possibly changing the blog name…watch this space.