Posts Tagged ‘leeds’

Christmas at the Crowne Plaza

Thursday, March 16th, 2017 | Photos

I took this photo in February.

Still, maybe the Crowne Plaza is just so popular that you have to book your Christmas do in February. Not that any Toastmasters will be eating there after what happened last time.

Back on the trail

Saturday, February 11th, 2017 | Sport

Between Venla arriving and the nights being cold and dark, I have not been for a run up the canal this year. That changed last week when I finally got out there. It felt good.

My times have really slowed down in January. I went from almost setting a personal best at the first Parkrun of 2017, to struggling to keep it under 30 minutes for the rest of the month. My weight has not changed, so I wonder if Christmas turned all of my muscle into fat. I am hoping that bumping back up to two training sessions a week will reverse this decline.

Smile

Friday, February 10th, 2017 | Photos

Recently, I was walking home, when I noticed someone had strung a banner across the bridge saying “smile”. I did. It was good. I think if people hung these banners everywhere I went, I would be a lot happier. Unfortunately, the banner has since been removed.

The top floor

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 | Life, Photos

We moved into our apartment three years ago. We are on the fourth floor, but the building goes much higher. For years, we talked about going up to the top floor and seeing what the view was like. But we never did. I am not sure why. It felt silly to schedule it in, but we never felt like a spontaneous trip.

Until now.

Turns out that the view up there was not that exciting. It looks a lot like the view from our balcony, but with a slightly better overview of the car park. Probably not worth the three-year wait… You can at least see the town hall in the way we used to be able to become MPEC built more of their offices.

Leeds Schools’ Carol Concert 2016

Sunday, January 8th, 2017 | Events

At the end of December, I attend the Leeds Schools’ Carol Concert to support my mum, who was singing in the adult choir. They did not get much of a look-in: they were given a few songs, but most of the songs were sung by the children. This was a shame because the adults were much better, but apparently, parents felt it should be all about the children for some reason.

We took Venla, who let out one perfect cry just at the end of a song, leading the entire hall to go up in laughter. I think we have a future performer in the making.

HSoWY Winter Social 2016

Friday, December 30th, 2016 | Events, Humanism

The annual West Yorkshire Humanist’s summer social has been running since long before my time. For the past two years, we have been running a picnic at Kirkstall Abbey. Last year, we also added a Winter Social, to fill in the gap left by the Atheist Society’s Winter Solstice meals.

This year we had ten people attend, including plenty of old faces, and some new faces too.

The venue was the Lawnswood Arms, as it was last year. The food was fine. It is a family-friendly and affordable pub, with mains priced around £7-10, so you got what you paid for: the food turned up edible and hot, with is all you really need when you have good company.

Sky leaving do

Thursday, December 29th, 2016 | Life

I have been working with Sky Sports as a client for a few years now. However, at the end of December, I decided it was time to move on to pastures new and said goodbye. It has been a great place to be a part of, and we have done some cool stuff with technology. I hope they can continue a level of independence even if the Murdock takeover goes through.

They were good enough to throw me a rather large leaving party.

Sure, some labelled it as a “Christmas party” instead, and pointed out that I also had a leaving do earlier in the week at the Lamb & Flag. But those in the inner circle knew what was really going on. It was held at the New Dock Hall, which is opposite the Royal Armouries.

The food was pretty poor. Some kind of vegetable soup served independently of any bread, followed by a sad roast chicken dinner. The generic chocolate dessert made up for it a little, but the nazi waiters refused to let us keep the desserts of the two people who had not been able to make it, despite the fact that Sky had already paid for those meals.

The drinks prices were also a joke. £7 to pre-order a jug of orange juice. Orange juice! Or, you could have a bottle of cider, for which I was charged over £5. Not recommended as a venue.

Luckily, these events are defined by the company you keep, and not the quality of the food and drink, so all was well. I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to attend my leaving do, especially the people who had no idea who I was.

Birthday at Roast and Conch

Sunday, December 11th, 2016 | Food, Reviews

roast-and-conch

We have previously had a good experience at Roast and Conch, the Hotel Chocolate, Leeds restaurant. Unfortunately, at a recent visit for my sister’s birthday, it failed to live up to its prior reputation.

Service was slow, especially drinks, which were repeatedly forgotten.

My starter, fried whitebait, was well-cooked but needed more sauce. My main, a burger, needed more seasoning. It was cooked all the way through, despite me asking for medium-well. The bun was toasted so much that it had dried out and become crispy. The chips could have done with longer in the deep-frier.

Dessert was a little better, as you would expect from a chocolate shop, but there was simply too much of it. Portion sizing seemed to be an issue in multiple places. Both mine and Elina’s starters were large, whereas Elina’s main was tiny, and really could have done with a side being suggested.

The hot chocolate was nice. However, we asked for the whipped cream on the top, which, when you punched through to the drink, overflowed. This would not have been so bad if the cup had been served on a saucer, or had a handle, but it came with neither.

To finish things off: a fire alarm. Not a quick burst that was easily turned off. It rang from the moment we asked for the bill to the moment we were walking out of the restaurant. You would think that staff would clarify to people whether they should evacuate or not, but such a courtesy was not extended to many patrons.

Definitely not a good evening for Roast and Conch.

Tropical World

Saturday, December 10th, 2016 | Family & Parenting

tropical-world

Last week we had a family trip to Tropical World in Leeds. It was a pretty poor experience.

We started off trying to buy lunch at the Roundhay Fox. They said no. Apparently they do not serve bar food on a Saturday lunch time. This turned out to be a piece of luck though. We headed up the road to the Deer Park, who were willing to sell us some food. They have really upped their game: my pork belly and scallops was a massive winner.

Tropical World was somewhat disappointing too. They are currently renovating, which means that some of the exhibits are closed. This includes the best ones: the waterfall, the terrapins, the snakes. They are still charging full price for this reduced experience.

They are giving you a free hot drink in the cafe, but that only lasts until 3:30pm, and we finished at 3:40pm. Boo.

At least we did get to put some coins in Ollie the Octopus. Elina laughed at me when I did the entire Ollie speech before we got there. And again when she heard it in person. He also now has a cousin called Rodriguez, in the South America section, which we are pretty sure is racist because nobosy was called Rodriguez back when the Mayan civilisation was going strong.

Schindler’s lift

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 | Photos

The worst name of a lift manufacturing company is owned by the good people of ANSA Elevators Ltd. It may well mean something in English, but ansa means something in Finnish too. That meaning is trap.

However, a close second has to be the company that installed the lift at The Core shopping centre in Leeds.

schindlers-lift

I mean come on, Schindler’s lift?

Finland has a lift manufacturing company, and it is a big one. They are called Kone and you have probably been up or down one of their escalators. Their name means machine in Finnish. Perhaps it is their quality products that make them successful, but it could also be because they have avoided references to being trapped, or racial persecution, in the name of their company.