Posts Tagged ‘weekend away’


Saturday, December 4th, 2010 | Humanism, Travel

Last weekend, we hit Edinburgh as part of Weekend Away 2010. It’s been several years since I’ve been to the city so it was great to see it once again and despite the snowy weather, our train was only delayed half an hour each way, which while arguably appalling in many places is a relative victory in Britain.

On the Friday evening we joined the Edinburgh University Humanist Society to watch the Blair Hitchens debate live. It was most entertaining, despite Tony Blair not bringing any arguments to the table though it was shocking to see how withered Christopher Hitchens now looks.

Saturday saw us take a look round Edinburgh Castle which was free entry (win), followed by some shopping and then heading our for a few drinks in the evening. We started the evening with dinner at Biblos which delivered probably the best steak I’ve had from a non-steak dedicated restaurant and then headed to Frankenstein but Angry Tom was all angry about the music so we ended up at a rock bar which while failing to live up to it’s early promise of Taking Back Sunday, delivered relatively good music.

Sunday saw us take in the National Gallery of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland, both of which were great but as the museum was closing early because of the weather conditions (apparently they’re not prepared for snow in Scotland) we only got an hour in there. Finally we went round the Christmas Market before heading home.

Summer Camping 2009

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 | Events, Humanism

Last weekend saw Atheist Society’s annual summer camping weekend, this week hosted by Dalesbridge at the far end of the Yorkshire Dales near Austwick and Ingleton.

Despite it throwing it down with rain for days beforehand the sun came out once we got there and beyond the odd shower it was generally good weather which made for an excellent time all around.

It was a mix of walking and drinking which is what you want on any camping holiday. There is something brilliant about starting the day at 8:30am with a bacon sandwich and a beer.

In between drinking on the site and checking out the local pubs we also made it round the waterfall trail, white scar caves and even a rather large mountain climb all the way up to the base of Penyghent 😉 .

Tents Tree Cave

Lil Group Group


Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 | Events, Friends, Humanism, Life

So, Liz is now officially a lesbian.

So, Zoltan is now dating a 15 year old.

They’re both great openings so I’ll let you pick which one you prefer.

This weekend was of course Atheist Society’s Weekend Away 2008 and with a total of 22 people we headed down to London on Friday afternoon. We arrived shortly before 4pm and checked into the hostel without much problems. I managed to get some work done on the train down there which was useful.

We first headed out to Smithy’s, a local pub which used to be a blacksmiths and retains many of the original features and character. We ended up on two seperate tables, the other table ended up getting kicked out. They claimed it was because people weren’t buying any drinks though I suspect it was because Tom was far too drunk and his renditions of Oasis songs were distracting other customers 😉 .

I left with that table to guide them to another pub only to find that the table I had just left got kicked out soon after because Nicola started causing trouble by throwing candle wax around. So after a quick stop at the Euston Flyer we made it down to Pizza Express for dinner. My meal was quite nice though I have to say Nicola’s meat feast looked even more appetising.

Afterwards we headed out to Sin City at the Electric Ballroom which was absolutely amazing! It took us a while to find it, I ended up having to phone Leeds Nightline to give us directions lol but we made it there in the end. Unfortunately Jenny took a blow to the head near the end of the night and had to go home but I had a brilliant time, they played such a fantastic playlist, every song was good.

Myself, Mike, Gaz, Sophie and Jon made it to almost the end of the night and had an interesting walk home running into a crazy Irish man who insisted on telling us lots of jokes while he was “raising the price of a hamburger.” We also found a phonebox full of prostitute adverts so picked up a few as you never know which way these weekends will go 😉 .

Meanwhile Rich and crew headed to the gay club Heaven. Yep Tom, John and Heini were at a gay club until 5am. And not particularly quite when they got back in either, Rich burst into our room with “I don’t know what the fuck you were doing, he was a gay man.” Apparently Nicola had pulled when a guy mistook her for a man in drag.

Downstairs Liz was apparently even more loud on her entry waking most of the room up which wasn’t exactly helping matters as Norm and Michelle had already made Zoltan cry by not letting him go to sleep. As I mentioned in the intro, while Liz hasn’t explicitly come out, staying at a gay club till 5am has to be the final proof really.

We kicked Saturday off with a visit to Conway Hall where we meet Tessa from the NSS as they prepared for their AGM. We then headed over to the Natural History Museum with a quick stop for lunch in which Heini managed to work his way through a large big cheese and bacon meal (the new Big Tasty sized promotional burger) as well as another big cheese and bacon burger on top of that!

The Natural History Museum wasn’t quite as good as I was expecting but never the less still good – the Darwin exhibit we were booked onto was well worth a visit and we got plenty of good pictures so I’ll count that as a victory.

Just as it was closing I finally ran into Kieran so we got a quick chance to catch up then. We got seperated on the underground however and by the time I made it to the pub we were meeting at there were only ten minutes before we had to go for dinner so in the end I only got about 20 minutes to chat to Kieran. Still, I’m sure we’ll get chance to catch up at new year.

Dinner was courtesy of Nando’s and despite half the group bailing on it, the staff were friendly enough towards us and it was a damn fine meal. Unfortunately we didn’t find a brain this time but there is always next time.

After dinner we headed down to The Big Chill which Norm had managed to wangle us free entry to. It was rather disappointing when we got in there, it was rather packed and music was blasting out – not exactly chilled out, at all. Never the less it was a good place to grab a few drinks in, heading home about 1ish, once again with myself and Mike being the last people there along with John and Liz in tow.

We had to check out Sunday morning so a bit of an earlier start which we then headed over to Speakers’ Corner to see what was going on. There were quite a few good speakers there, neither Mary or Jay Smith showed up but a number of other good speakers were there and I got a good crowd when I got up on my ladder and started talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

So much so in fact that everyone left the Muslim speaker to come listen to me at which point I added a rather cheeky “where is your god now?” in his direction which I’m not sure he appreciated too much 😀 . He also turned down the opportunity to have a debate with me but there you go.

Afterwards we headed over to Blackfriars where the Church of Scientology was and found a nice pub to grab a few drinks before our appointment. I decided to walk it and found myself going down Fleet Street and past the Royal Courts of Justice which are some amazing buildings and then down onto the waterfront which was fantastic.

After a quick drink or two in the pub we headed down to the Church of Scientology where we were shown round the building and exhibition centre which explained about Scientology and what they do. I picked up a copy of Dianetics which I am looking forward to reading 😀 .

Afterwards we decided to split up to find somewhere to eat as we weren’t booked in anywhere. We found a nice pub that I believe was just off Farrington if that sounds like a real street in London, myself and Gaz tooked into some very nice rib eye steaks meanwhile Nicola decided to have meat balls in flat bread.

Continuing our history of running into random people I know down in London, while we were in the pub Hind Hassan, formally equality and diversity officer at Leeds University Union spotted us.

As we were leaving Norm was elsewhere checking train tickets and realising that the train in fact left at 22:10 not 22:30 😀 . So after a bit of a mad rush back we safely made it onto the train and back to Leeds. It was scheduled to arrive at 1:30 and Liz was so confident of this she proclaimed she would perform a sexual act on the platform if it got in an hour early. It got in at 12:30…

Live from London

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 | Events, Humanism, Life

While I will blog far more extensively when I return to Leeds, having finally got onto the wifi network at my hostel I feel the need to blog. London has been an interesting bag of tricks so far, the Natural History Museum was a bit disappointing but Sin City was amazing and I meet up with Kieran even if our catch up time was brief. Stay tuned for more stories.