Leeds today: Lights, Eid, Artlink, Seagull, Hamlet, trolleybus, LIFF and Irish music.

BGL hope you enjoyed your weekend and wish you all a belated Eid Mubarak. We styled out the celebrations with good friends, food, fireworks and a common purpose so it was with great interest (and memories of my own childhood) that I read Syima Aslam’s article reflecting on the dilemmas of choosing Christmas over Eid and whether a dilemma should even exist. Personally, I’m quite happy to look forward to whatever’s coming up next and grateful that my enjoyment of the season will be enhanced by Christmas lights in the Headingley area of Leeds.

The other thing I did was take a wander through the Artlink building on Belle Vue Road. They were on the programme for the Love Arts festival, (although not at the time of wandering, never mind!) and discovered that the Open door Year 2 was about to start. The free art scheme is a collaboration between adult mental health service users and community artists with registration for the 3 month assignment ending on the 31st of October. Know anyone who might benefit? Then put them through.

This is where to get you paint from- Seagull’s paint recycling scheme managed to collect and reuse 220 tonnes of paint in 2011 from their Kirkstall road site. After the council have extended their contract, here’s hoping they’ll continue the good work.

Mirfield is hosting a ‘most unusual auction’ on the 10th of November. In order to raise money for restoration work at its Anglican Monastery, the community of resurrection has been gifted a collection of royal jewellery, medieval swords, photographs of Queen Victoria’s family and the Hamlet suit of treasured scion Sir Patrick Stewart.  Questions of affording, or even wanting, the loot aside, the affair is thought to be well worth a visit for the visual spectacle and genial patter of auctioneer, George Gribben.

The Leeds trolleybus system may fall apart after concern over a £20 million funding gap was recently raised; if the trolleybus isn’t a goer then doubt must fall on proposed investment and expansion in the Leeds area. For a fresh take on how much the city centre needs another look at its transport policy, Paul Kirby’s article for the Culture Vulture is an insightful read. The weekend also saw the launch of the Leeds-Bradford ‘hyperlink’ bus service for commuters. Expect a comfier ride complete with leather seats, Wi-Fi, seven minute pick up intervals…and better customer service training for staff? Ha! Forget the grubby lo-tech interiors, if Metro can ensure getting a ticket and a seat is a pleasant experience and not a tedious ritual humiliation by an inevitably surly charioteer then I will take my free disability bus pass and ride up to Bradford and back, ad infinitum.

Finally, mentions go to two month long events starting on the 1st of November; the first being Leeds’ 26th international film festival. Plan your viewing and buy tickets with their handy festival calendar . If you don’t know where to begin then Leeds Inspired has a great list of highlights, breaking down the mammoth event into particular interests.

The second is the Leeds Irish Music festival, celebrating not just the music of local, national and international performers but literature, film and arts education. The Leeds Gathering, as it’s termed by Irish Arts Foundation, has its calendar here.

Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow.

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