Leeds today: archbish, pubs, Bowden, Heart, singles, Gathering, Morpurgo, market and fairground.

Good morning everyone, this weekend the Christmas carnival crashed onto our telly, with all the supermarkets launching their signature adverts alongside that ancient festive herald, the coke ad, showing up slap bang in the middle of X Factor. Having said that, did you get your Christmas started by visiting Millenium square’s Christkindelmarkt over the weekend? With a weekend fairground to be situated on Cookridge Street running from November 23rd, Leeds city council are expecting 250,000 people to indulge in beer steins bigger than your head, oompah music, bratwurst sausages, schnitzels, soups and goulash, stollen, gingerbread, roasted nuts and candied fruits. There will be photographers about so you can save a special memento of your visit and a new stall by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service will offer visitors the opportunity to buy winter plants, bird food and planters as well as a range of seasonal items.

Tickets are on sale to hear a talk by Michael Morpurgo on his war novels, War Horse, Private Peaceful and A Medal for Leroy at Leeds Town Hall this Saturday.  If you enjoy sharing your reading with others, Bramley, Holt Park, Halton, Pudsey and the Central libraries are running a series of new monthly book clubs from November until January 2096 (!). As a child devoted to my local library, it’s also nice to hear of the opening of a new public library in Wakefield and by Mr Cocker nonetheless.

The Leeds Gathering (Irish music and arts festival) is in full swing and this week is packed with events, some free, to tempt your musical appetites. Tonight’s event starts at 9pm at The Harp in Lincoln Green and features traditional Irish music and ballads by local performers.

I did once try speed dating, I hated it but I might have preferred handing myself over to Associdate, a new singles dating events company offering Leeds’ singles a chance to mingle during prearranged activities. Associdate hope to offer people a range of opportunities for socialising during the Christmas season, their first is a cocktail making class at the Hummingbird restaurant in Chapel Allerton and you can buy tickets from their website.

If you are in North Leeds, and haven’t before, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on Heart’s events calendar as this wonderful community run social enterprise on Bennet Road in Headingley continues to offer locals a chance to meet for coffee, films, food tasting and quizzes during the week whilst being a host for regular workshops and classes. Tonight’s special is Voice (explore and enjoy your voice through relaxation & movement) whilst, lawd help me, I’ve just enquired about piano lessons.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reminds us that its inaugural Best Boozer award has been launched and urges you to place nominations for the city’s districts whilst celebrating the fact that local artist Ian Bowden’s sketches of Leeds’ drinking fraternity had been transported from The White Swan to a gallery in London.

In the Northerner, there’s praise for Justin Welby’s appointment  as Archbishop of Canturbury from Durham. However the real admiration is reserved for the Anglican Church for steadfastly operating its twin powerbases from York and Canterbury, refusing to be drawn within the secular influence of London. BGL exists in the main to emphasise how much great stuff happens here in the North and that includes not only its festivals, artists, pubs and libraries but its bishops too.

 That’s it for today; thanks for reading and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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