Leeds today: lions, skeptics, atlas, Rembrandt, SPOTY, vintage, Dash, baking, flags, Benn,

Hello and welcome to FRIDAY! Let’s talk about some fun things.

The End is Nigh. York, 22 February 2014, apparently.

Which does mean that you’ll have a bit of time to spot a Narnian lion roaming the streets of Leeds over the next few weeks as the Narnia Experience gets underway at Left Bank. The team say:

A dedicated team of volunteers have been constructing the two man lion puppet that will be operated by the specially trained puppeteers. Taking inspiration from a huge variety of sources including the designers of the War horse puppet every inch of this amazing beast has been especially made to bring Aslan to life for The Narnia Experience. Including a specially written score by Ben McAvoy and WMP Studios the production is set to thrill, scare and amaze audiences for two weeks this winter.

We’re really looking forwards to this. Also – and we love this idea too – you can sponsor a tree for the show and get to take it home when the show is over. What a great idea!

Lies, damn lies and statistics: A Skeptical Look at Statistics is the theme of the Leeds Skeptics’ next meeting, on Wednesday 20 November, 7pm at a different venue this month, the Hedley Verity on Woodhouse Lane. Last month’s, with Simon Singh at the Vic was very popular so let’s see how the new venue goes down. Meanwhile, ‘Fracking and the Future of Energy‘ is the topic of The Leeds Salon, Monday 25 November at 6.45pm, in the Millennium Room at the Carriageworks.

The headline gave me hopes of a return for the restaurant, but alas, no. Still, another empty venue being filled: the former Create is to be a pub/bar, The Atlas (taking its name from the decoration above the door). Next time you’re down there have a look at the statuary around the first floor. It’s worth paying attention.

Very excited about this: some Rembrandt prints are to go on show at Temple Newsam. There will be two parts to the exhibition, one running from the 19th up to the end of March, and one from Easter to the summer.

With BBC Sports Personality of the Year coming to the Arena next month, the Council is calling for volunteer city ambassadors to give a welcome and show people how to get to the arena, and then help them get home again afterwards. SPOTY is on Dec 15th but you need to get your applications in quick.

The Leeds Vintage Kilo Sale is at Arts@Trinity Leeds on this Saturday 16 November, from 10am to 4pm. Bit of a novel idea, this. The idea is that you pick up what you like, get it weighed and then pay based on how heavy it all is. You could get a lot of lacework for not much, but one heavy winter coat or pair of DMs and all that hard work is out of the window. Speaking of Vintage, 1 December is Leeds Affordable Vintage Christmas Market, at the Corn Exchange

It’s the Abbey Dash on Sunday, and all places now taken. Remember, if you’re driving around Leeds on Sunday it’ll be chaos, so show up on the bus if you’re taking part, spectating or supporting. Also, for one day only the Arch Cafe will be open for bacon butties and the like (and if you like the Arch Cafe and the work they do, don’t forget their Leeds Festive Bakeoff on Nov 30th – check the link for more details, but you could win a new Kenwood).

The Tetley launch gets nearer and nearer, and now the flags are out. We’re really excited about this.

Leeds-List has an embarrassment of riches today, with indie shopping suggestions, a positive look at the past year, and then New Year events, finishing off with ten beers to try before you die.

Finally today, MP Hilary Benn is to write a monthly piece on South Leeds Life, of which here’s the first in which he talks about the bedroom tax. (A bit of a coup, this; well done, SLL!) And in the usual Friday way, we go South of the River. This week, the ‘doughnut of despair’.

Have a lovely weekend, all – and thanks for reading!

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