Well hello everybody, it's the first blog post of 2022, shame I am nine months late but I am sorry!
I had a trip to Leeds last week, but why there?
Unlike the rest of my close family, I was born in Leeds but everybody else was born in Northampton.
Even though I only lived there for a few months, I count the city as my second home despite rarely visiting.
Last time I visited my “second home” for a proper visit was about 16 years ago. With the lockdown taking away some of my creativity (thank you Final Fantasy 14 online for saving my sanity) & with me bringing Bonfirecherry back that I thought a journey back to here will help.
Only been this year that I started to travel by myself, first to London for a conversation and now to Leeds but this is a bit different.
After many weeks of planning, I arrived at Leeds city centre last Monday around midday. I picked a hotel only a few minutes from the train station so after checking in, I went on a water taxi (which I was looking forward on using for a view) giving some views of local art while on the water.
The water taxi took me to leeds dock, a place I had in mind for the day after but as I had the time I checked the dock to see what has changed from what I can remember from my teenage memory mostly of the royal armouries aka one of the reasons I wanted to come back here for but that's for the following day.
For Tuesday after a big breakfast at the hotel, I thought “lets walk to the royal armouries at Leeds dock” & see a few interesting buildings along the way.
This backfired on me as it completely rained cat & dogs with me choosing my fashion options poorly aka ripping jeggings.
I still had a fun journey discovering some cool street art, the Temple Works & the Tetley building (which I do regret not checking out when it was open) before arriving at the Royal Armouries looking like a drowned rat slowly drying up.
I made sure to bring a sketchbook with me, which as you can see in the upcoming weeks will show how useful they are.
I spent around 4 hours at the Royal Armouries drawing, taking pictures & taking in what they had. The armouries itself had 5 floors but exhibitions for visitors were floors 2 to 5 full of interesting stuff from Roman to modern guns.
The trip to the Royal Armouries was everything I thought it was going to be. The last time I was there as mentioned was many years ago. With the pictures and drawings I will always cherish the visit I had, because Leeds is my second home it has helped bring my creativity back.
Wednesday started off raining yet again, it's became a pattern for this trip I can assure you.
Well originally planned to follow a digital scavenger hunt app but changed my mind deciding to follow as the bird flies making a nostalgic adventure of Leeds city centre.
I only have a few memories of the city centre, mainly of the market of a game shop on the corner of it looking for some retro game boy games, buying my first manga books and of course the Royal Armouries.
I started off at the town hall which is a lot bigger than the one in Northampton but I suppose Leeds is a lot bigger haha.
Then with the help of google maps I walked through Leeds beautiful arcades, while I was talking through one of them I took a picture of the shop windows but that wont make sense til I was able to get back to my hotel room.
I had a huge wave of nostalgia when I was walking through the market, such beautiful design, local sellers & course the art which obviously caught my attention.
I came across a trail of art when I was walking through the market that led back out to the streets of the city centre. Not a religious person but felt like a higher power was showing me the art for me to follow, it was great to see some local art.
Not art related but I did check out the bars while I was staying in the city centre. Of course they were amazing but expensive because it's the city centre.
When I got back to my hotel room, I had a few people online comment about the shop window from earlier saying the name Masato Jones (I was too focused on the shop window that I never looked up at the name of the shop).
Where have I heard that name before? Only the talented artist I follow on twitter whom I chat to every now and then!
After chatting online we organised about meeting up at his shop the following day. As I am on a trip by myself, it was good to sort of something that involves chatting to someone.
It was a pleasure meeting and having a conversation with @masato_jones today. Honestly it's been ages since I've had a creative chat with someone. As seen in the RT's I've had to buy a @beanies_masato beanie 😁#bcleeds #supportsmall #supportlocal pic.twitter.com/0AbglpBaf5— BonfireCherry (@Bonfirecherry) September 8, 2022
Thursday was my last full day in Leeds, so I started the day off after another a big breakfast before taking a nice walk into the city centre (of course in the rain, third time in a row) to visit Masato when his wonder shop opened. I was just amazed how his shop looked before we had a conversation that only 2 creative people can have.
Thank you to @Bonfirecherry— Beanies Masato (@beanies_masato) September 8, 2022
Your Beanie buying in #Leeds today takes our total to 38
Every Beanie we sell sends one to warm a homeless head this #winter
C’mon join our #BeanieRevolution!#elevenseshour https://t.co/ZK2ae1gzNY pic.twitter.com/T1ZIwyzuXp
Of course before I left, I had to buy a Masato Jones beanie!
The rest of Thursday I took a visit to the city museum, which honestly left me disappointed. Unlike the Royal Armouries there was stools you could use if you wanted to draw & was enough seating. When it came to the city museum, there was barely any seating near anything you want to draw and no stools etc so why I barely got any drawings as its a bugger to draw standing up.
I admit I very rarely get disappointed, so I had to visit Leeds Art Gallery and thank god that made things feel better.
It was great checking out a art gallery again, it was like visiting the Tate Modern in London. The creative juices were bubbling while looking at the art pieces, I only got a good sketch inspired by the gallery and had to think of some creative selfies. I highly recommend the gallery.
I think that really covers my wonderful trip to Leeds, Friday was my last day & the only thing to share is Leeds train station which showed me off with some nice art.
Thank you so much for reading!