Thursday February 25th, 2016

Well due to all that kerfuffle overnight, I didn’t get up till after 11am. By the time I’d showered, had my porridge and got ready, it was 11:45.  I checked the “Moovit” phone app for the next bus time into Leeds city centre and saw it was at 12:02 so that was perfect. The bus stop is at the end of the street so only took me a few minutes to walk to it.

Once again the upstairs deck was empty so I was able to sit at the front…..I know, I’m like a little kid when on a bus.

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Once in town I went straight to the Samsung shop to get the 1-2-1 demo of the Galaxy S7 I’d pre ordered on Tuesday at Gateshead’s MetroCentre only to discover that the sessions don’t start till a week AFTER I get the phone !  That kinda defeats the point for me as I’d like to think I’d have worked everything out by then.  I really wanted to know all about it BEFORE getting it.

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The store only opened recently and is at the junction of Briggate and The Headrow where the Muji store used to be. I think it only deals with phones and tablets although there were steps upstairs so who knows.

Across the street, on the other corner, was another new store to me…..American Candy. As the name suggests, the place sells all sorts of US candies/sweets and some UK products but there was a for sale sign half way up the outside wall so I think the store will be a temporary one. I went in for a looky look and was tempted by my US favourites, Zingers, but had the willpower to just take a photo and leave.

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By now I was pretty hungry so walking up The Headrow I popped into The Core, another newly named shopping centre to me.  I don’t go into Leeds very often and still remember this as The Scoffield’s Shopping Centre. There weren’t many stores inside but there were a few eateries and here my willpower let me down as I’ll admit I went into a Burger King.

When I left, I walked a bit further inside the centre on my way to the Trinity Centre and came upon a place called Creams. Their web site made me laugh as despite being very up market, the heading said “Huddersfield   Leeds   Dubai   Manchester“.  I have to say it’s a bit different from the usual “London   Paris   Rome   New York“.

The shop is basically a combined tearoom and bakery, selling cakes and chocolates. But it was a sign just inside the door that took my eye.  Never seen anything like this “offer” and I would love to know how much it costs and how many people have made use of it.

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Leeds has some great covered arcades with speciality shops galore. Having left The Core, I exited onto Land’s Lane and had a look at two of these arcades, Thornton’s and Queens.

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They are a bit of an oasis in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the main shopping streets as they rarely get very busy and sadly for the shopkeepers, most people simply use them as quick routes from one main street to another.

Then it was on to the Trinity Shopping Centre which is always worth a visit when in Leeds. By taking the escalator from Albion Street, I arrived at the Trinity Kitchen, its main food court. They aren’t the usual food outlets and I tried to capture the layout by taking some panorama photos.

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There are many more outlets including a row of converted camper type vans selling all sorts of “to go” foods. Having just eaten, I wasn’t tempted.

I had one place I wanted to get to before leaving for home, so I didn’t spend much time in Trinity. It’s a very photogenic centre and although I’d taken similar photos before, I couldn’t resist taking some again. These are ones from the hub of the centre and show how, despite having a roof, there is still a wonderful feeling of being in the open air. Given the temperature today, it was certainly nice to be “inside” for a while.

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Out on Boar Lane I was heading for the train station and that place I mentioned earlier. On January 4th, the new £20.4m Southern Entrance to  was officially opened. Approaching the station from the more usual northern end, I’d heard it was pretty hard to find the new entrance unless you went into the station, through the ticket barriers and out the other side.

I wanted to arrive at the new entrance from the outside so had a bit of a convoluted walk to get to it and once there, I really wondered where the £20.4 went !

There was a very (ugly) modern frontage which was totally out of character with the surroundings and inside were a series of very swish lifts and escalators up to a small row of ticket barriers leading to the platforms. Apart from some additional infastructure and 3 ticket machines, that was it.   For £20.4m !  Someone’s having a laugh.

In England, Leeds station has the most platforms outside of London (17) and it’s not that I begrudge spending that much money on it – I just wonder what we’ve got for the money ?

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The golden structure in the middle of these 2 photos is the new entrance. I’m sure it cost more than usual as it’s been built over the River Aire which runs under the station and must have presented unique conditions for new construction.

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As you can see from this view (below) inside the entrance looking out, all you have are a series of lifts and escalators taking passengers up to the platform level.

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Turning around from that location, you come to the 9 ticket barriers and once through them, you’re onto the platforms.  So lots of chrome, glass and electrics but for £20.4m ?

I’m not so sure.

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Oh well, I don’t travel by train these days.  In fact the last one I was on was called “The Rocket” and was quite smokey as I remember.

By now it was after 4pm and my feet were telling me it was time to get the bus home. I still had a half mile walk to the Infirmary Street stop to get the 7s to Shadwell. I walked fast as I wasn’t sure when the early evening rush hour started – my free senior bus pass is only for off peak travel. I later found out there is NO late rush hour restriction and I can travel for free anytime from 9:30am to the end of service the following morning.

Thanks to knowing the time for the next bus by using the “Moovit” app again, I got there just seconds before it arrived and was home 25 minutes later. I really should make more use of my bus pass and as it also gets me half price on trains within West Yorkshire, I should look into that too.

I’m overdue a train trip.

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Reading my 1970 diary entry for today, the big news was that I was finally given my privilages back. You may remember that I’d had them taken away because of a (perceived) cheeky letter I wrote when asked to explain why no one knew I was off sick one day. Being off my privilages meant, among other things, missing Friday movie nights and having to go to evening prayers.

Of course getting them back wasn’t a simple process but involved another demeaning speech about my character and behaviour along with threats about what would happen if I stepped out of line again. As I was leaving school in under 4 months time, none of this bothered me so I remember just standing there waiting for the speech to end so that I could leave and get on with things.

I have often wondered since those days if the priests had any idea that their own abhorrent behaviour over the 7 years I was a boarder were directly responsible for me questioning my Catholicism which ended with me giving up on it a short time later.

A few of them left the school and went on to hold high positions within the Church but I had absolutely no respect for any of them back then and if possible, even less now. Time has not diminished my feelings and due to how some facets of my life have turned out, the passing years have only cemented my ill feelings towards them.

In this case, time has NOT been a great healer.  Quite the opposite.

 

 

 

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