Is Leeds Metropolitan’s counselling service up to scratch?

New research has shown Leeds Metropolitan University’s counselling service to be inferior, as the number of full time equivalent counsellors drop to 2.6, compared with 6.5 at Leeds University – leading professionals to question whether it is up to scratch.

According to the guidelines set by the Association for University and College Counselling (AUCC): “one full-time counsellor for 3,000 students and staff is good practise.” Leeds Metropolitan currently has 10,576 students per counsellor, although these guidelines are also breached by Manchester Metropolitan University, with 6,017 students per counsellor, and 4,739 students per counsellor at Leeds University.

Not only is this a worrying situation effecting students’ wellbeing, but research taken out in October by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has found: “over the last three years the number of students seeking counselling has increased by 16%”.

During this period, the number of full time equivalent counsellors at Leeds Met dropped from 3.6 to 2.6. Patti Wallace, Lead Advisor for University and College Counselling at BACP commented: “We are also seeing signs that students are coming to us with more complex, serious and disturbing problems”. Since long waiting times can be crucial to the wellbeing of a student in need, this is an issue for Leeds Met as it currently takes a student a maximum of four weeks to see a counsellor, as opposed to an average of five days at Leeds University, where they have 3,304 more students, and 1-10 days, (if not on the day) for Manchester Met students.

Moreover, there are currently 15 students on a waiting list to see a counsellor at Leeds Met, compared to no waiting list at Leeds University. One third-year student, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been on the waiting list for two weeks: “I understand the service might be busy this time of year, but I do feel my situation has worsened in the time I have been waiting to see a counsellor.”

Leeds Met did respond, stating: “Whilst it is true that there is currently a waiting list for counselling specifically, all students registering with the service are offered a one-off wellbeing appointment normally within a few days with a Wellbeing practitioner (counselling, mental health or chaplain) to discuss their issue and explore coping strategies, as well as identifying self-help resources and external sources of support.” However, in the case of the third-year student currently on the waiting list, this one-off wellbeing appointment was not offered, or made aware to them at all. Clearly their statement that ‘all students’ are offered this is simply not true. When this fact was put forward to Leeds Met, they did not respond.

There is nothing to say the Leeds Met counsellors themselves are not highly qualified and give excellent support, but the facts show the amount of counsellors for the demand is poor. Patti Wallace, Lead advisor for University and Collage Counselling at BACP said: “In order to support students, we must maintain sufficient access to counselling and ensure that those who need our help can access it in a timely and appropriate way.”

Leeds Metropolitan University was unprepared to reveal their counseling budget with salaries included, but there are signs the university has been struggling financially since the fees went up in 2012. At this time The Telegraph reported: “At Leeds Metropolitan University, entry levels on 97 degree courses have been cut to 80 points on the Universities and Colleges Admission Service tariff – the equivalent of two grade Es, the lowest possible pass.” This was in order to gain as much revenue from student fees as possible. Yes, it is hard times, and whilst being an educational facility, universities are essentially businesses too. What Leeds Metropolitan must consider is the effect it could have on their already decreasing student numbers.

Dr Pollie Hartley, of Glasgow Royal Infirmary commented: “From a medical point of view, there is clearly an inadequate counselling service at Leeds Metropolitan. Mental health has a well-known peak in university aged students, particularly with the stresses of exams and essays. With such a large number of students, Leeds Met should be investing in the support of their students from more than an academic point of view.”

In the response that Leeds Metropolitan gave, Jan Daley, head of student wellbeing, outlined there are other services available to students: “In addition to the employed counsellors, Leeds Metropolitan University has historically run a large volunteer Associate Counselling Scheme,through which the Counselling Service, which is BACP accredited, was able to offer more than 100 hours of counselling per week.” However, if this has already been in place for a ‘historical’ length of time, it hasn’t made a difference to the inadequate waiting times and over-subscribed service.

Jan Daley did however state that: “A bank of sessional counsellors has been recruited and will be in place for the start of Semester 2, and we anticipate that there will not normally be more than a week’s waiting time for counselling then.” So steps have been taken to improve the service, and hopefully students at Leeds Metropolitan will have better resources for wellbeing in the New Year.

I’ve decided to write a picture book

BigT344

People laugh when I say that. “You’ve decided to write picture book? That’s easy, won’t you just be taking credit for an illustrators work?”

Yes, the clue is in the name, and it will predominantly be filled with pictures to appeal to a young eye. However in children’s picture book, the words cannot exist without the pictures and equally so, the pictures cannot exist without the words. And the words themselves are something to be defended.

They must be carefully chosen, be educational, include rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia and the rest of the word play that appeals to a child, and above all, they must carry the ultimate idea and story in a light-hearted, easy to understand fashion and journey to a blissfully happy ending.

This I knew when I began entertaining the idea. But I am a sucker for research and on second glance (after purchasing a how-to book) it turns out there are a few more things to consider

1. Only 5% of books actually get published.

2. Picture books must appeal to children and their parents – all over the world, to have a chance of getting published.

(This is why many include animals, rather than people, as no portrayal of a person will appeal to and be understood by every nationality)

3. There are very strict conventions to a picture book, and yours must fit these.

(Who knew all ‘picture books’ must be 32 pages long?)

Nevertheless, I’m really drawn to this project. Maybe it’s because I still like to indulge in my ‘inner child’ regularly, or because writing a book (albeit a small one) and trying to get published would be an invaluable experience for any budding writer. Either way I have determination, time and an illustrator on board.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

Independents’ Day

A homage to the small scale, unique and niche businesses of Leeds.

With the huge shopping centre developments Trinity and Eastgate Quarter arising this year and next, it will be increasingly easier to shop in the city centre for some million-of-a-kind garments and gifts before settling down to a predictable snack and unoriginal coffee, laced with profit margins and tax dodging.

Luckily, Leeds plays host to many independent shops and cafes, ready to grace us with excellent customer service, unique produce and a inspirational doing-it-for-themselves attitude. There is nothing wrong with shopping at the large chains that are in abundance in the city; it is often cheaper and easier to do so.  However, perhaps there is something to be learned from generations of a time gone by, where the high street would be the source of all household necessities. There was no megasuperstorefastfoodmultiplex, but a series of specialised shops, where a bakers, butchers or greengrocers stocked hearty local produce, really knew their stuff and often became friends – and friends that were worthy of your weekly budget.

The Centre of Community: Kirkgate Market in 1986.Picture courtesy of  fearlesspunter

The Centre of Community: Kirkgate Market in 1986.
Picture courtesy of fearlesspunter

This sense of community is only really apparent now in Kirkgate Market, where this old-school approach is still in practise – evident by the old and wise people it attracts. Independent shops are now at the forefront of creating such a community; offering something different to the average high-street stock and continuously willing to create a rapport and relationship with their customers, in turn creating a modern day sense of community.

This community might have manifested inside Kirkgate’s walls for years, but similar societies are being established out on the streets. The independents that populate Leeds must embrace the many corporate giants entering the new shopping centres, and they are embracing them with poise and morale.

So in a bid to make sure these Leeds gems do not go unnoticed, the following guide is for the top dog independents in their field. No Topshop or Starbucks-a-likes will be found here, only places where quality and appreciation for your custom is paramount.

MRS ATHA’S Top for…Coffee
mrs-atha's-independent-coffee-shop If luxurious coffee is your thing (from a coffee house that doesn’t tax dodge or compromise on flavour and quality either) – then Mrs Atha’s is your place. Nestled away behind House of Fraser, Atha’s always boasts a cool and calm atmosphere – with an oh-so-edgy crowd to match. It offers classic coffees and home-baked treats served up with a smile on vintage crockery.  With its exposed brick walls, iconic furniture and American prohibition era feel, this is no place to order coffee to go. It’s a place to kick back and be transported to another time inside Mrs Atha’s very own walls.
WHITE CLOTH GALLERY Top for…Art
white-cloth-gallery-leeds Whilst Leeds’ Art Gallery or Royal Armories Museum might just be the shining stars for tourism, The White Cloth Gallery is the unsung hero of city-centre culture. Located on Aire street, just by the train station- White Cloth specialises in photography and film, with a diverse range of (usually free) exhibitions, it often showcases local talent and is a pioneer in the Leeds art scene. And whilst pondering around the chic urban space is fun in its own right, the fact it has a licensed cafe and bar where you can have a beer and browse intriguing coffee table books is always a plus.
JUJU Top for…Interior Design
juju-leeds Independents’ Day wouldn’t be complete without a trip inside The Corn Exchange, where kooky shops stocking all kinds of wonders are in abundance. Juju is no exception, being one of those shops where marvelling at the items is a common occurrence. From strikingly bright stag ornaments to individual solid wood chopping boards, the owner insists each item comes with a story behind it- making a browse around Juju even more intriguing.
POMEGRANATE Top for…Health Food
Pomegranate-leeds You might not think health food is the most exciting thing in the world but for people with specialist diets or those who are curiously hungry; Pomegranate is a foodie’s Aladdin’s cave. The walls are lined with all kinds of healthy treats, vitamins and exotic teas. Not only does it offer an interesting array of food, but it also has a small yet intimate deli, serving up enticing baguettes and salads, as well as home-baked vegan cakes. Its location on the peaceful Great George Street makes it a perfect location to grab an alternative snack, and sit in the large windows facing the rear gothic architecture of the General Infirmary.
EACH TO THEIR OWN Top for…Fashion
each-to-their-own-leeds Each To Their Own demonstrates their individuality not just in the name, but in the store too. With edgy clothes and the staff to match, Each To Their Own’s style is monochromatic, tailored to stylish men and women and is designed to stand out from the crowd. Plus, since the shop and stock is so small and, you can guarantee an item bought here will be rare and individual, and it’s unlikely you’ll catch it on anyone else.

FAQ: Who shrank all the pies?

greggs-shrinking-pasties

The pasties deflate along with our wallets. Picture courtesy of jhmosty

Greggs shrank all the pies.  A shining beacon of all things baked and wrapped in pastry, the popular Newcastle born bakery is currently under scruitiny for shrinking its pastries whilst increasing the price.

Why are they shrinking the pastries?

The various pastries, sandwiches and cakes have decreased in size in the aftermath of the notorious pasty tax. Greggs lost the fight against Chancellor George Osbourne and David Cameron’s government as they imposed a 20% VAT increase that was to be added to hot takeaway food. Before the budget and the pasty tax, VAT was not charged on hot baked goods, and still isn’t on most food and drink. Greggs were able to avoid this tax if the goods were ‘hot and left to cool’ – which it tried, but with no avail as many customers complained. Instead, Greggs has slightly increased the price whilst slightly decreasing the size of its produce.

How much are they shrinking?

The biggest decrease in size is in their bacon rolls, which have shrunk by 18% (152g to 124g last May). Following this are the lemon drizzle dohnuts by 8%, then the yumyums and cheese and bacon wraps at 7%. The chicken sub sandwiches are down by 6%, followed by the popular pasties and pizza slices which are 5% smaller, according to research by The Grocer.

How is the customer losing out?

Apart from the slight decrease in size, and increase on price, their firm favourite and recently ‘improved’ steak slice now contains 15% less protein than before. However, their best selling product, the sausage roll hasn’t decreased in size.

What has Greggs got to say?

Greggs said back in January that it was facing ‘significant’ price rises on ingredients such as flour, pork, poultry and beef. As well as food inflation, rising energy prices may also have an impact. They also say that changes in weight are normally results of improvements in specification such as reducing fat, salt or sugar, and that these decreases will be better for the customers of Greggs.

Are the shrinking pasties here to stay?

Greggs haven’t answered this specifically, but a spokesperson for the comsumer campaigning company, Which? has come forward on the matter, saying that the recent spurt of  shrinking products can be a way of raising prices, and that the trend will most likely continue.

Will other bakeries be following in Greggs’ footsteps?

With Greggs already being bigger than McDonald’s in the British fast food market, with over 1,600 stores in the UK the pasty tax will undoubtably hit the smaller and independent bakeries more harshly. The second largest pasty retailer, West Cornish Pasty Co spoke against the pasty tax at the time, but has since not altered their products. It did however gain interest and free advertising following David Cameron’s recent pasty slip-up saying the last pasty he bought was from them in Leeds station. However, the Leeds Station branch of the West Cornish Pasty Co closed in 2007.

Becoming a Journalist: Do we have what it takes?

journalists-at-work

In light of getting half way through a journalism degree, it is only natural to ask the big question: can we do this? We must have thought so, we sent the applications, demonstrated we have the characteristics in interviews, got accepted, slipped into the course and nearly two years later, here we are- still battling it out to put on the graduation gowns knowing we have tried our best.

So yes, initially we thought we could succeed as a journalist, and the strive to be one is by no means lost – but the niggling doubts remain. The problem with this particular degree is that it is not simply a follow-on topic from college, as far as I know nobody completed a journalism A Level. It was a stab in the dark choice. It was a ‘I write, therefore I can be a journalist’ kind of thought, at least it was that way for me. How wrong I was.

The journalism profession can be easily personified as a chameleon. He or she must adapt to be able to talk, build a rapport with and encourage information out of people from all walks of life, they must report on matters beyond their common understanding, and they must understand it to the degree of being able to write extensively about the subject – before whittling it down to a small word count, and all within a harsh time frame. And when a journalist has mastered this craft, writing in such a way to gain trust from a reader, perfecting interview techniques and cracking their own personal style of writing: they must accept that journalism is not generally seen as a liked profession among the public.

the-new-york-times-building

But we know that once the skills are achieved, it’s being a constant know-it-all, having a big name publication behind you, and enjoying that no two days at work will ever be the same, from there on in. Not to mention the perks of the job: the famous freebies one can retrieve on anything that can be reviewed. This is the gold at the end of the rainbow; this is where we want to be.

There is something to be said here for the musical chameleon David Bowie. Not only did he understand the way in which personalities could be fragmented, but he explored them throughout many of his personas and encouraged people to explore their own many sides of themselves too , thus becoming them. The same can be done for journalism. Dress, act, speak and listen like a journalist and the writing like one and becoming one will soon follow.

This is what I have found. I’m sure many of my fellow trainee journalists will have started life wanting to write. Like me, I’m sure they excelled at storytelling, then literacy, then English and were known amongst their families and friends as ‘the one that’s good at writing’.

It’s certainly a good place to start, I feel. You see, once you start believing it, and dubbing yourself as a ‘writer’, you take on the persona that goes with it. Any trail of thought or satisfying phrase that pops into our heads becomes so important it simply must be written down, documented, and made public. We cannot keep things to ourselves. If we experience something- be it good, exciting or immensely painful and tragic, it is injected into the mental ‘writing store’ and is simply viewed from then on as inspiration. We can attract drama and allow it to fester around us, all in the name of a good story.

journalism-equiptment

And that is where we’re at now. Observing the world, trying to understand it, and picking up the skills to document it. One of the big hurdles I personally must cross (and I know of a few others who will feel the same) is putting ourselves out there, and putting our name beside our writing; open for judgement. In the midst of the technology era, where social networking sites dominate it is all to easy to judge a person based on how they portray themselves on the kinds of statuses they write, people they follow and pictures they choose to make public. This is where we, and our blogs come in. I am happy for a million strangers to read my work but I am not about to advertise my writing on Facebook. I admire the people who do – for they are confident in their work and opinions.

So where the university can teach us the skill and craft required to succeed in journalism, we must meet them halfway, with ruthless confidence in our work and in ourselves. If the confidence is already there for you: I take my hat off to you. If not, let’s go back to our storytelling days and pretend…and I’ll see you at graduation.

Humankind: Are Humans Really That Kind?

No matter how much you think you love somebody, you’ll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close – Chuck Palahniuk
Helping hand

It has long been believed that the human race is the most kindest of all animals, due to our ability to feel and empathise complex emotions. I am not about to shatter this much proven view. There are indeed people who seem to encapsulate this idea perfectly, and many other well known historical figures that have left humanity questioning their far-from-human motives.

I regard myself as a simple and average human, there are no distinct features about me that make me fit into either of the above personalities. I, like the majority, like to view myself as a kind and well balanced human on the whole, practising the basic human traits and morals that we have come to know, and until last week there was no reason for me to question this.

When walking back from a late shift at the pub I work in, I came across an unconscious man lying on the floor near to the general infirmary in Leeds. In this student-centric city, it is not uncommon to see this kind of thing on an evening. Nevertheless, nobody before me stopped to check if this man was alright, and after dipping my head to try and see his face for some sort of sign, I walked on too.

In my mind I have always viewed myself as the type to check if this man was ok. He could have been coming out from, or on his was into, the hospital. He could have been attacked. He could just be asleep. One thing was almost certain on these streets though: he would get stolen from, lying there, if he hadn’t already been.

By walking on after a long shift, I hadn’t displayed any degree of human kindness or natural curiosity – I had just followed the crowd in not helping him. Would I have done the same thing if someone else had stopped first? Or if this all happened in the light of day? Not only does it make me question my own skewed views of myself, but that of humanity.

I don’t believe I am alone in thinking I would always, without a doubt, help another out. In reality though we may not, due to various circumstances which in the end, put ourselves first.

It’s always the way that once an idea gestates in your head, you’ll pick up on signals of it from then on. Since then I have, with a friend, watched passively at a man and his dropped credit card until someone else pointed the problem out to him. I have also heard of another friend watching a dog savagely attacking the one he was looking after, and doing nothing.

Maybe we just don’t know what to do in these rare occasions. I think we start with good intentions, but that we allow certain circumstances to outweigh our core morals to treat others as we would like to be treated. As with the above quote from author Chuck Palahniuk pessimistically points out in the primary view. Although I have been selfish on this occasion making me question society; do not think of me as a cynic. I do have faith in human kindness, and know it is continuously displayed.

It simply made me think that, in light of today’s bustling society where there is a lesser sense of community in the Western world, and where personal agendas dominate – we might not practise the basic morals we have been conditioned with, as we think we would.

Leeds’ Eastgate Quarter and John Lewis Plans Revealed

20130306-084849 PM.jpg

Plans are beginning to take place for the new designer shopping centre, Eastgate Quarter, which will link to the current high end shopping centre Victoria Quarter, as well as to the new John Lewis store.

Hammersmith, the ones behind the development and also responsible for the impressive London’s Brent Cross and Bristol’s Cabot Circus, have announced the architectural company behind phase one of the design and construction of Eastgate Quarter. Full details of the company, plans and graphic images can be found in my full report.

Despite Trinity opening in spring this year, the construction giants still plan to begin work in 2014 to offer a high-end retail opposition to Trinity’s high street store focus, bringing with it a new pedestrian route linking Victoria Quarter to Eastgate Quarter and a 600 capacity car park.

The Half Book Review: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights
It is no secret that I love to read. Sifting through the shelves of a book shop, filled with the familiar, heady new book smell, is one the best past times a lover of literature could imagine. But however much money I spend on books, or however good my intentions are – there remains to be a bookshelf full of half read books in my possesion. Why is this? Why do I pick up certain books, get halfway through, and never pick them up again?

In a bid to find out why I do this to so many deserving reads, I aim to half review them. To look into the point at which I re-shelved it and deconstruct the reasons why. I expect my findings to either give me a surge of inspiration to carry on reading the book in question, or to spur on a pat on the back for leaving it be. This is no serious investigative journalism by any means, but either way I’ll know the truth – and I’m sure I’m not the only one harbouring this habit.

Wuthering Heights 

It fills me with shame to think I cannot get through a classic. In particular this one by Emily Brontë, as I had loved ITV’s period drama interpretation of it, was forever captivated by Kate Bush’s song and music video inspired by the novel, and thought the setting would be ideal for a now Leeds citizen, that takes regular trips to the Yorkshire moors. Apparently not.

Wuthering Heights is very much a tale of unrequited love, played out by the infamous Heathcliff, a dark and mysterious character, and his love Cathy. Found and taken in by Cathy’s father, Heathcliff was raised as one of Master Earnshaw’s own in Wuthering Heights much to the dismay of Cathy’s brother, Hindley. Heathcliff and Cathy’s blossoming passion for each other continues to wreck havoc in the families of the Earnshaws and the Lintons, intertwining for decades throughout many of the marriages, births and deaths that take place between the families, causing continuing themes of intense tragedy – and that even left Emily’s sister Charlotte wondering “whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff”.14_large

It is widely known that one should not judge a book by its cover, but I spent a good half  hour choosing which copy to purchase in the Waterstones classic novel section. Even the ‘perfect’ copy did not encourage me as I delved in to Brontë’s archaic yet beautifully timeless writing style. Perhaps it was this that made it such an effort to get through, along with the slow moving plot that would eventually accentuate the well thought out characters, or themes of ungovernable love and tragedy that I knew was to come.

Either way, I stopped reading on page 22, midway through chapter 3. This is the very page in which Lockwood dreams of Cathy whilst staying in her old room in Wuthering Heights. This is also the very page which includes the famous chilling words from her: “Let me in…let me in!”. It sends shivers down my spine as I read it, and as it did when I originally read it.  I imagine it did Kate Bush too, spurring on the famous chorus: ‘It’s me, Cathy. I’ve come home, let me in to your window’.

Nevertheless, the book was never to be picked up again. Re-reading it now however, makes the feelings it gave me last time come flooding back with force. I am meant to love this novel, in all of its timeless beauty. Perhaps it is not the novel that is faulted, but me, for not having the will power to read on through the complicated language and plot that Wuthering Heights is famed for.

In this instance, I feel as if I am on the brink of thoroughly enjoying a classic. It is within arms-reach, Cathy is standing at the window of not just the mysterious Wuthering Heights, but at my own dim skylight in a dingey student flat . And to enjoy the wonder of her prescense along with the other incomparable characters – I simply must let her in.

Leedsfoodblogosphere

Leeds' finest cupcakes- just one of the regular trends from the city's food blogosphere. Image courtesy of Amerigo

Leeds’ finest cupcakes- just one of the regular trends from the city’s food blogosphere. Image courtesy of Amerigo

The Leeds based blogs focusing on food couldn’t be more diverse and extensive. Although the city is greatly populated by chain restaurants, independents still thrive and are a great inspiration to the self-confessed ‘foodies’ of Leeds- and their blogs.

Perhaps the most popular and known of them all, is Leeds Grub. A great advocate for independent restaurants, writer Katie Bolton often ventures to the outskirts of Leeds to review. Blogging on afternoon tea to vending stalls, Leeds Grub offers users a valuble source of impartial comment on eating out in the city and surrounding areas.

Equally popular but with a main focus on home-cooking, Lay The Table is a chic look at home baking and the way in which cooking is an activity that brings people closer. Updated frequently, Lay The Table is worth looking at for seasonal baking recipes and blogger Becs Rivett‘s culinary journeys in Leeds.

If an individual bloggers opinion wasn’t enough, The Globe Troffers have it covered. Based in and around Leeds, this group of foodie friends simply decided to embark in eating out and blogging about it. A simple idea that has paid off in execution- since each member reviews individually in the city and all over the world, there are many different opinions that come together in one place for the benefit of those who love to dine out.

These popular choices will no doubt have covered most of the mainstream eating out reviews and eating in knowledge between them. For something a little more niche, however, Wheat Surrender is one of the blogs serving the alternatively-hungry people of Leeds- here’s their blog description.

Welcome to my blog about wheat intolerance. Sounds riveting, I know! But if you have to cut out one of the most widely used ingredients from your diet, it can be a huge pain in the bum for you, the people you live with and those poor gits that invite you round for dinner. So hopefully I will be able to give useful tips and share experiences that may make life a little easier. If, like me, you don’t really have time to bake your own wheat-free bread (that from my experience tastes like stale beetroot anyway) then you’ve come to the right place.

It may sound anything but riviting, as pointed out, but the muses of the anonymous wheat intolerance sufferer is a comical look into a world without wheat, including recipes and personal experiences which seem a valuable source of information for fellow coeliacs.

Again in the niche area of Leeds’ food blogosphere is Iron Cupcake: Leeds. The inspiration behind the blog came from a cupcake competition seen on the internet, in which contestants would have a cupcake bake-off using obscure ingredients. This idea was taken up in Leeds and along with the monthly compeition club the Iron Cupcake: Leeds blog was born. It mainly offers details of the challenges, but even so the very specific content is a joy to read and includes detailed photography.

Another blog spurred on by its background is Primo’s Gourmet Hot Dogs. Recognisable by it’s independent restaurant in The Corn Exchange,the team at Primo’s Gourmet Hot Dogs blog with updates on the restaurant and business. This may conjure up feelings that Primo’s blog is fairly limited in terms of content, but amidst all of the big name restaurant chains (which would have no business blogging) it is pretty accepted for the independent restaurants to do so, and to gain support from the foodie community with ease.

Looking into the leeds food blogosphere, the popular and the niche, is not only just pleasurable to read and relate to the ins and outs of cooking and eating in this city- but also for the sheer support and acknowledgement that each blog share for each other, and for the ever-growing independent eateries of Leeds that enable these foodies to be continuously inspired.

The Big Wheel comes to Leeds

Leeds Observation Wheel, taken by tubblesnap

Leeds Observation Wheel, taken by tubblesnap

Following in the succesful footsteps of The London Eye,  more and more British cities are filling used car parks and function spaces with their own bambino take on the huge ferris wheel. Leeds is no exception.
Visit my observation wheel preview on Leeds-List for full details, and remember if Leeds’ neighbours Manchester and Liverpool are anything to go by, the big wheel is here to stay.

Here’s what the twittersphere has to say on the #ObservationWheel: