As you may be aware, 2 weeks ago I spent the weekend in Leeds with the lovely Gina to see Amanda Palmer live. I’ve already written extensively on what seeing Amanda was like (spoiler: it was amazing!) but I’ve only just gotten round to sorting out my pictures and writing up my account.
Leeds is an incredibly fun city. There are so many awesome shops tucked away in the massive shopping centres, or just off the main street. There are crowds and crowds of people everywhere you turn, and there’s never a quiet moment. Gina and I arrived in Leeds bright and early after travelling over from Lincoln. Our first port of call was food, so lugging our many bags behind us, we called in at a Subway. From there, it was exploring!
One of our first hits was Forbidden Planet, which is 2 huge floors of nerdy awesomeness! There’s merch and clothing galore, and the second floor is populated exclusively with graphic novels, comics and manga. It’s absolutely amazing and it was a real struggle not to buy a ton of stuff. Gina picked up some Lumberjanes comics and some pins, and then we headed back out. We checked out a variety of clothes shops, both mainstream and indie (we found a pretty fab goth/alternative shop) and got completely lost in the monstrous Primark but nerded out over the huge selection of Harry Potter tees/bags/jumpers. So awesome!
After much, much walking and killing time, we went to our hotel. Usually, Gina and I go for whatever is cheapest on the night, and to our surprise, the Hilton happened to be the best for that night! The hotel room (and hotel itself) was freaking FANCY. All the staff members were really helpful and really pleasant, and we had a room up on the 7th floor! The view was incredible, and we could see the city centre in its entirety. However, the best thing about the hotel was the pool/steam room/sauna.
When Gina and I made our way down to the pool, we were lucky enough to go at a quiet time and there was only one guy with his kid, so we had most of the pool to ourselves. We lazily swam laps, and for the most part, chatted and gossiped about life. It’d been a while since we’d seen each other, so it was nice to be able to catch up in such a nice place. I hadn’t been swimming since I was 16 (6 years ago now!) and boy, was I rusty. I forgot how much hard work it is, but it reminded me how much I enjoy swimming. Now I have a swimsuit again I might start going to Ponds Forge in Sheffield and making the most of the pool there!
As for the steam room and sauna… That was something else! I’d never been in either before so it was a whole news experience for me. Sadly, as I’m one of those people who are always cold, I found out very quickly that they weren’t for me. I couldn’t stay in the steam room for long, as I felt like I was breathing in cotton wool, and lasted a mere five minutes in the sauna. It was great being able to experience them for the first time, but they just didn’t work for me.
Our hotel room was absolutely lovely. It was huge; probably twice as big as the other hotels Gina and I had stayed in. The bed was incredibly comfortable, and I slept really, really well that night! However, the best thing about the room was the bathroom. It was black tiled and mega, mega slick. The shower was a rainfall (!) shower and was nice and hot. The freebies were great to use as well, and the shower gel smelled amazing. The only issue we had is that the door handle for the bathroom broke and wouldn’t lock. Obviously, it wasn’t a huge issue, but a bit of a pain. Another problem we had with the room was the TV. It was the most over-complicated hunk of junk ever! Half of the buttons didn’t work, and the guide just wasn’t useful at all. It was the only bad thing about the room, but again, wasn’t hugely important- we only watched TV for a little while when we got back from the show, and were only there for one night.
The next day was a real long one, as Gina and I ventured out to the deceptively-sized Waterstone’s for a meet and greet/signing with the lovely lady herself, Amanda Palmer! There was a lot of waiting. Oh boy, was there. I’m really glad that I took a water bottle with me (although the Waterstone’s staff were taking out water regularly, bless them) I only wish that I’d tucked some snacks away in my handbag too. We were waiting in the queue for something like two hours. I met a fellow iggle (Hi @samanyaaron!) while queueing and looked through a lot of books I wouldn’t have otherwise looked at (boredom and standing around does crazy things to a gal) and listened to a ton of crazy conversations around me. Gina stayed (mostly) calm and managed to contain her inner fangirl, whereas I failed. I failed pretty hard. When I met Amanda I blurted out “Hithebedsongwasamazingicriedsohard” and totally embarrassed myself. I tried to keep cool, but alas, I failed. She signed my ticket from the night before, gave me a banana and posed for a picture. For a heavily pregnant lady who was probably exhausted, she was super welcoming and lovely.
Now, the crazy pictures! Gina and I have a strong belief in that toy shops are amazing, and silly selfies must always be taken.