Day out: Leeds Christmas Market

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

I love Christmas and, once Bonfire Night is out of the way, I quite like to go to Christmas Markets.

I don’t care how big or how small they are, I just like to go and mingle, look at the pretty lights and interesting stalls, and occasionally sample the wares.

Sometimes we even buy something. And this time, apart from a hot dog, some chocolate marshmallow on sticks and some mulled wine, we also bought hats. And a gingerbread heart.

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Last Saturday we went to Leeds for their Christmas Market. We got there for about 4:30pm, so it was just dark enough to take pictures of the lights.

And there were lights everywhere – on the lampposts, around the stalls, even for sale on the stalls.

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

Several stalls were selling Christmas decorations. Some of these were baubles and tree ornaments, some were tea- and night-lights, and some were just traditional wooden toys and ornaments.

The Nutcracker is my favourite ballet, so it was nice to see some wooden nutcrackers there too. But we didn’t buy any.

It was already very busy, and we knew we were headed in the right direction as we fought through the crowds coming back from the market. (We’d taken the train in and parked the car at Barnsley Station.)

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

When we first arrived, it was still empty enough to relax, stroll around, take pictures. But by the time we’d had something to eat and done a couple of circuits – it wasn’t one of the biggest Christmas Markets – it was starting to get too crowded for stupid even.

One of the reasons for the trip was so that the poet could try out the new lens for his camera. He’s not snapped lights at night before, really. Or not since he’s been learning to be a “proppa snappa”. So these were his first.

He’s getting quite good at the bokeh, though – even if he does say so himself! This is where the foreground – or any part of the subject – is in focus but the background blurs. For those who want the scientific explanation, I think you can find it here.

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

The hot dog he bought was a bit big for just one of us, although I’m sure he would have managed it all had I wanted a whole one too.

But he put ketchup all over it, and then mustard on his (big) half. It was very nice, and just spicy enough.

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Diane Wordsworth)

Aside from the chocolate marshmallow on a stick (each), we also bought some fudge, some vanilla fudge for my dad (for being a big brave soldier and going to the hospital last week), and some clotted cream fudge with jelly babies for me (so that Dad didn’t have to share his).

We took the gingerbread heart home to have with a cup of tea later in the week.

Before we left he had one last practice with his camera, taking moving shots of the carousel and the other roundabouts. There isn’t room for all of the pictures here, though, so I saved a static of the carousel for the bottom.

We had such a good time, and the weather was very kind, so we’re thinking about going to another Christmas Market later in (what’s left of) the year. There’s one at York this weekend and there’s one at Sheffield at the end of the month. They’re all probably the same market, but it’s nice to see them in a different place, and Leeds, York and Sheffield are all close enough that the dog isn’t left on his own for too long at home.

And now he has a brand new camera as well (courtesy of his recently late father), he’ll want to be trying that out soon too. Plus, he has another new lens coming on Monday, so that will be another excursion.

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Leeds Christmas Market, November 2016 (Picture: Ian Wordsworth)

NaNoWriMo 2014 Day Three

We had a lovely relaxing weekend, for a change … well, apart from the poet pulling his back while packing to come home Friday morning. That wasn’t very relaxing, but he just wanted to get home.

The traffic was very bad in Doncaster when I went to pick him up, so because of that he chose to drive home as he knows the streets quite well and could make snap decisions depending on the traffic ahead. Sitting in the car seat gave him his first relief with the back pain, so that was useful.

We had a quick tea, got ready and went out to see a band we haven’t seen before at our soon-to-be ex-most-local working man’s club. The band was quite good, but sitting on the hard chairs wasn’t, so we came home not long after the second set had started.

On Saturday we had a lazy start but did manage the shopping. We also had some terrific news. Those competitions I insist on doing every day? I won Take a Break’s Big Relax cash competition. The money will pay for much of the wedding, and as soon as it comes in we’re getting the wedding rings.

On Saturday evening we headed over to our soon-to-be new neighbourhood to join the local Round Table’s fundraising bonfire and fireworks display. It was too busy for us to get anything to eat, but we got there just in time to see them light the bonfire and we enjoyed all of the fireworks display.

The pictures aren’t great (apart from the first one), but they give a feel of the evening.

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I love this picture of Ian.
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We got there just in time to watch them light the bonfire.
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Ian watching the fire.
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Fireworks.
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Fireworks.
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Fireworks.

I love Bonfire Night and we should have gone to an organised event last year, but we couldn’t afford it. We were determined to go to at least one event this year and, if he gets back on time on Wednesday, we may manage another.

On Sunday we didn’t do a thing. Well, we did, actually, but we were so chilled and relaxed about it that the batteries really were recharged. While the poet pushed a vacuum cleaner around (I don’t do vacuum cleaners …) I went through the food cupboard and chucked out all the out of date stuff. I’m determined not to take any old or opened foodstuffs to the new house with us as we’re not sure how much kitchen storage we have there.

After he pushed Henry around, the poet also made bread. Then we had an hour in Abbey Road – him in the recording studio and me doing NaNo.

This morning I dropped him off at the station again and when I got back I did my daily competitions (!) and then I turned some author revisions around so another book can go off to print.

Over the weekend I won 3 new jobs as well as the big one that I heard about last week. All of those jobs are now in and I’m going to do the smallest of those this afternoon. I’ve already done today’s NaNoWriMo and am feeling quite chuffed with myself.

I now have a very busy week ahead with all of this new work on top of the existing work. I’d best crack on.

Busy day tomorrow

As I have quite a busy day coming up tomorrow, I’ve decided to do some of tomorrow’s chores and jobs today, including this blog post.

First thing in the morning I have to take the dog back to the vet. He seems to have had a nail-bed infection and all of his tablets, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, run out today. The toe itself looks a lot better than it did, although at first it didn’t look like anything and I didn’t know why he was limping. The infection flared up a couple of days after I initially took him to the vet and we had to make sure it wasn’t a grass seed that had burrowed under his skin.

The next job tomorrow is another of those admin jobs – tax my car. If I can do it online, I will. But now the laws have changed regarding displaying a valid tax disc, it’s all going to be all different on there now, and I may end up having to go to the post office to do it.

I’ll be picking the poet up at teatime, which means my working day finishes at 3:45pm instead of 5 – 5:30pm. When we move house the railway stations we can choose from should be much closer and when I have to play taxi-driver again, it won’t take such a huge chunk out of either end of my working day.

It’s our friends’ 1st wedding anniversary on Saturday, so we’ll be delivering a greetings card. And, if the poet’s train isn’t delayed, there’s a gig we fancy going to Friday night at our most local working man’s club before it’s no longer our most local any more.

In between all of that, I also have work to do.

Today I have electronic edits to do before sending the edited Word file back to the author for him to answer queries and questions. And I have diary work to do.

Yesterday I was asked if I could do another big editing job, but that hasn’t come in yet. So the next job on the list is another Great War book, another biggie. Today or tomorrow I’ll be printing off the next editing job so it can go into my editing folder.

On Saturday I want to go to the 1st Leeds write-in for NaNoWriMo 2014, but they’ve changed the times from 1pm – 3pm (core) to 2pm – 4pm. The later start means a longer lie in, but it also means a later finish, which for me means I’ll be coming into the home railway station at 5:20pm. So the jury’s still out on that one for now, even though I’ve so far said that I’m going.

Saturday evening I quite fancy a bonfire and fireworks display. We missed Bonfire Night last year so I was promised one this year, and we have 2 to choose from. The first one is Saturday night, a paid one, but in our new closest town (after 28 November). The other one is on Bonfire Night itself, next Wednesday, and it’s free, and in our current closest town. BUT … the poet’s off to Scotland again on Monday and it depends what time he gets back Wednesday evening. I think I need to “cash in” the promise on Saturday in case he doesn’t make it for next Wednesday. 😉

Sunday, for the most part, will be chill time or packing time. NaNo will have also started, so I’ll also need to write 1,667 words for that.

What are you up to over the next few days?

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One I made earlier, in 2008, at the “current local town” bonfire and fireworks display. (Picture: Diane Parkin)