2015 is here

That bad boy is still up

That bad boy is still up

Obviously, 2014 is no longer with us. And actually, Leeds will no longer be my present soon.

I will be leaving the UK on Tuesday, January 13. But I have plenty to do before then – such as cleaning out my room, taking care of issues with my bank, job hunting and meeting up with friends in Leeds (it may be difficult to meet up with buds living elsewhere in the UK).

Anyway, since the clock is ticking down fast on my time in Leeds, New Year’s Eve was an opportunity to have fun that wouldn’t be wasted. At the very least, the arrival of 2015 should be celebrated somewhere other than the Wharf Chambers…

(I love the place – but I wasn’t digging the music they were playing on New Year’s Eve 2013)

Nishant, Stu and Becky

Nishant, Stu and Becky

Which might have been the case before Nishant invited me over to his flat for New Year’s Eve. Where there are no shortage of bars and clubs in the city centre to ring in the new year, a party with friends would seemingly represent a much more fun way to end 2014. Except when my stomach choose a not-so-pretty way of disposing food (It’s weird that I threw up in that scenario. Normally, when I throw up, it’s due to too much beer. But I really hadn’t had that much beer up to that point. Now what I think of it, I had only consumed wine before throwing up).

Back to the party: A couple of the attendees were folks I had met at previous ParkRuns but it appeared it was going to be a small, casual gathering. Until a new bunch of partygoers arrived.

One of them was a sixty-something named Barbara, whom I struck up a conversation with. Barbara seems to be an interesting character – well, it’s not every day a sixty-something attends a party with her sons. But that wasn’t the most interesting thing about her. She has an uncle (I think I got the right relative) who has been a New York-based actor (mostly in theatre in addition to providing his voice in commercials) for quite a while (Barbara said she has visited him on a couple of occasions). In addition, she has worked as a Samaritan in York (in fact, she was hired by the police department), usually speaking to people in distress. Difficult job.

Waiting, waiting and waiting...

Waiting, waiting and waiting…

On a much lighter note, when it came time for midnight to arrive, much of the flat gathered on the roof to count down the last ten seconds of the year. The roof was supposed to be the setting to view a fireworks display.

More pleasing to the eye than the fireworkds

More pleasing to the eye than the fireworks

Which turned out to be rather nonexistent – I counted less than seven instances of fireworks going off and I barely heard any of them (Of course, being New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day, plenty of beer and wine were brought up onto the roof. And it was a lovely picture-taking setting). None of those fireworks went off close to us. But as always, the top of Nishant’s flat provides lovely views of the city.

One thing that did surprise me was… the streets of Leeds were actually relatively calm on New Year’s Eve. At least, the city centre was calm when I was going to/from Nishant’s flat. Normally, the Leeds city centre is populated with insane, stumbling drunks on Friday and Saturday nights. And probably any night other than Sunday night. But New Year’s Eve seemed to resemble most other nights.

After the underwhelming fireworks displays, we hit up a nearby pub for round two. Which was a quickie because I had two ParkRuns in the morning (While I’m at it, Leeds seems rather dead on New Year’s Day after all the celebratory drinks have been consumed).

(Unfortunately, there are no pictures)

A Leeds ParkRun tradition (if something can be considered “a tradition” after existing for at most seven years. Maybe even less) is for runners to do a double on New Year’s Day – one starting at Hyde Park at nine a.m. and the other at Temple Newsam, a fancy estate surrounded by a cross-country like-course.

I won the Hyde Park edition of the doubleheader – but expended so much energy doing so I was spent for the Temple Newsam half of the doubleheader. I finished 16th. I actually don’t like the course at Temple Newsam so that’s one place I won’t miss.

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