Leeds today: Elvis, cooling, Spartan, puppies, advertising, urban space, robots, mourning and trains.

Hello! Quick one today because busy. Little pithy commentary, unless I (Mike, today) get carried away in which case I need to be told to just get on with it.

A fire in Rawdon closed the A65 for a while on Friday; today the management at Airedale International Air Conditioning say that there will be no job losses as a result of the fire. The fire was a biggie and investigation is still underway, but hopefully the site will be up & running in a few months. Glad nobody was injured.

Yay! Puppies! The Leeds & District branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind will be in Otley on the 21st charming shoppers and fundraising.

A double amputee – a solider in Afghanistan – completed the incredible Spartan Race in Ripon on Sunday. Kudos.

Staff at ASDA volunteered over the weekend to pick litter at Killingbeck Fields, which has will soon be designated as a Local Nature Reserve, as a result of its importance to both wildlife and people. However, Alan Simson, a reader in landscape architecture and urban forestry at Leeds Metropolitan University thinks that we need to radically rethink our green spaces and how we interact with them in the city. Interesting reading.

HS2 is getting another kicking over costs. Honestly, it’s like deliberately trying to step in dung in a field full of ruminants.

Alas, the bid to buy Cygan the Robot was unsuccessful. However, it was a glorious endeavour, and Emma Bearman from Playful Leeds explains why it’s not the destination, but the journey taken that’s important.

The Leeds Citizen notes that LCC are looking at restricting ads for payday lenders in public spaces here in the city. This could be interesting.

Kirkstall Abbey are in with a shout of winning the Countryfile Magazine awards for best heritage site. Yay! Have a look, and vote!

Wendy has done her weekly list of Things to See and Do on The City Talking. Interesting and quirky, as usual.

Leeds-based artist Ellie Harrison is rerunning The Grief Series at Stage@Leeds on the 26th. The piece examines the ritual of mourning and customs of grief and asks ‘Does the British ‘stiff upper lip’ result in a collective identity that inhibits how we grieve?’ which is a fair question, I feel.

Finally today, if you fancy a bit of theatre in Barnsley, Leeds playwright Sarah Wallis is putting on a performance of The Rain King at the Civic on Thursday for a one night only preview before it heads up to Harrogate later in the month. It’s a fiver – that and a return train from Leeds is still cheaper than a ticket at other venues the play is being hosted! (In the interests of full disclosure, the playwright is married to the BGL editor.)

And we’re done. We’ll see you on Wednesday – thanks for reading.

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