Leeds today: dragon, lizard, music, comics, banks, ducklings, bikes, elections and Bollywood.

Welcome to the Bank Holiday weekend! Just look at all this exciting stuff going on…

Starting with some out-of-Leeds news first…

Yesterday saw local elections in a large part of the country. None in Leeds, but here’s the map of results if you want to check what colours the country is turning elsewhere. We didn’t get any here because Leeds only holds elections in 3 out of 4 years, as only a third of our councillors are elected at any one time. This blessed electoral quirk meant we didn’t get inundated by UKIP or Respect canvassers. Thank goodness.

Sticking with news outside our fair city for a moment, we have a few tidbits on our neighbour Bradford. It’s sporting a fine Bollywood ensemble at the moment, with news of a Real-Life Bollywood Star Jackie Shroff visiting today as part of celebrations of 100 years of Indian cinema.

At the same time, Bradford is getting a one-off Bollywood version of the opera Carmen, outdoors in City Park on 9 June. For those who can’t get there, it will be televised live. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Back to Leeds now; the Leeds Arena has been named the ‘first direct arena’ (yes, all lower case). Sponsorship: great. Local company: excellent. Couldn’t they have retained the city name in there somewhere, though? (Saying that, we’re ecstatic that the arena isn’t being sponsored by a fast food chain or arms manufacturer.)

Now for the sport. First up, Elland Road stadium has been selected for some Rugby World Cup matches in 2015. This is a good thing, yes? In bike news, I was taught to save up for things and budget to make sure I could afford them before buying. This is evidently not the fashion nowadays (hence the mess we’re all in), as ‘negotiations’ are taking place between the government, UK Sport, Leeds City Council and Welcome to Yorkshire over who will pay for the Tour de France Grand Départ here next year.

Partial to a cute bunny rabbit or just want to pet a baby duckling? Stressed students are getting a petting zoo pre-exams. Not so much the snake, though…

Leeds Online have provided their useful weekly blog round-up. Always worth reading. Meanwhile, blogger extraordinaire Jeremy Morton gives us our Friday dose of ‘South of the River’, this time about disappearing banks. This is a tremendously disappointing story. We bang on a lot about “community” but the instant someone realises a penny could be saved by closing something which only 80 people use, then those 80 people can go whistle. It sometimes feels like the only obstacle to companies running as efficiently as they’d like is the pesky customers.

So, to the weekend! [makes Superman ‘lift-off’ arms]

Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. We’ve got four – yes, four! – shops distributing free comics in Leeds: OK Comics, Travelling Man 2, The Twilight Zone, and Forbidden Planet. (By the way, if you do a search on distributing locations, Cornwall is listed as a country. Aww, those American organisers. Bless.)

If superheroes are your thing, polish your Wonder Woman wrist bands and dust off your Superman cloak because it’s ‘Arms and Armour of the Superhero’ at the Royal Armouries this weekend. Pants over tights optional.

What else is on over the weekend? Well, Leeds Inspired have put together a fantastic list, so quite frankly, my job is done!

Some reminders, though: Live at Leeds begins today, of course. If you’re new to the area’s music, take a look at this guide from Leeds List. There is also news of Yorkshire Rocks Cancer coming to Millennium Square in Leeds.

Sunday brings us the Farmer’s market weekend on Briggate (I’d recommend the quiche and flapjack from the stall next to the Hog Roast – deeeelicious!) There is also a book launch for ‘The Almost Lizard’, by James Riggerson, on Sunday at Brewbar (under the Tiled Hall), from 2pm.

And on Monday one spectacular place to be is Roundhay Park for the Dragon Boat racing in aid of Martin House. Always briliant fun.

Fingers crossed for some sunshine!

Check back later on today for Leeds Book Club’s monthly look at what’s going on in the literary world – and as always, thanks for reading. See you next Wednesday!

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One Response to Leeds today: dragon, lizard, music, comics, banks, ducklings, bikes, elections and Bollywood.

  1. Paul Thomas says:

    ‘Stressed student are getting a peting-zoo’. Jesus fucking Christ!

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