Feb. 19th, 2017

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It was a rather odd Leeds Meet yesterday as many of the regulars weren't there. This meant it was quite quiet, although we had an influx of a large number of new people from as far afield as Carlisle and Birmingham. This made for a rather fresh and relaxed meet, where it was possible to chat with everyone and there was enough space to be comfortable. I believe that everyone had a good time although the number of people who left immediately after the fursuit walk was somewhat concerning. Speaking of which, I got to fursuit for the first time at a meet in ages and had a great time, largely because we got to go on a number of fairground rides as part of the Winter Ice attraction around the Library and Millennium Square. This saw us hit a minion in furusit before going on a little spinny car thing, which unfortunately a number of us having to get off as we were too heavy. In Millennium Square, we also got to ride a mini rollercoaster, which was about as ferocious as I can personally put up with, before whizzing down a helter-skelter, which was great fun. The staff manning the amusements were great and while we decided to avoid the huge spinny waltzer thing, which undoubtedly would have made me sick in fursuit, it was a fantastic two hour walk. Alas, some people were getting tired so we couldn't do everything we wanted to do, but it was fantastic nonetheless. We even met some of the cosplay crew outside the Library, as they were having their meet too at the same time, and it's fair to say that I have my fursuiting mojo back after being a little apathetic towards it in recent months. Indeed, I can't think of a recent weekend when I have done so much suiting that hasn't been a furcon.

The bar thinned out quite quickly after the meet, and Avon was rather pissed so just walked off home when he felt like it, meaning that by 6pm there was only about seven of us left. A few furs I hadn't spoken to before, including a bird suiter called Navaa, were in this number and we opted to go to Trinity Kitchen as we hadn't been there for about a year. Consequently, the stands had changed and I was delighted to discover a haggis themed one, only to be disappointed by the fact that they had already completely sold out. The same was the case at the place serving halloumi fries, which made me think how bizarre it was to have an eatery place running out of food so early on a Saturday evening. By the by, I ended up with a baked feta and butternut squash pierogi served with coleslaw and while it was a little stodgy, it was very hearty quality fayre and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The coleslaw was crisp and sharp too, making it perfect.

After this, Patter, Stray, Luna, Wolfie and I headed over to the new-look Atlas Brauhaus, which has been modelled as a German style bar, having reopened in October. The range of beer is far less exciting than it used to be, but the snack food of potato and cheese dumplings were delicious, even if the cheese wasn't fully melted inside, giving it an appearance of butter. The beer was largely fizzy German pilsner, which was alright, but they did have a number of their own ales brewed by Stod Fold which were good to try. We had intended to only get one beer here, having to get up early for a charity event on Sunday morning, but alas the times were good and we ended up staying far later than we should have, having an inciteful geopolitical debate in the process.

We got home just after 11pm, giving me enough time to shower before heading to bed, having to be over at Temple Newsam for 8:45am. This was for the annual Bark In The Park event that we do - a sponsored dog walk on behalf of a local hospice. They usually do it across two venues, but had consolidated it down to one this year, meaning it was at least easier for us logistically. We picked up Arcais just after 8am and trundled down there, arriving bang on time and suiting up before many of the walkers arrived. We usually just provide the entertainment but this year they wanted us to go out with collecting buckets. This saw me stand at the bottom where the one mile walk branched off from the three and five mile ones, while Arcais took the entrance. Many of the dogs were quite scared of us and barked, but many of the kids liked the furry characters, including one who hung around for half an hour and wanted to take me home with them. We saw a cute doggo friend being sick on something in his throat, while some others just wanted to say hello, making it a delightful three hours of suiting. The weather was ideal for us, cold but dry, although the ground was a little tacky, which is why we stuck to the paths largely. There seemed to be fewer people there than last year, but we were reassured there weren't, although they had taken over a huge grassy area this time rather than having a smaller stall in the main house area. Either way, it was great fun and we did manage to raise a fair bit of money. After this, instead of going to our usual pub meet, we decided to go over to MOD Pizza in Kirkstall as Arcais hadn't tried it and they offer pizzas with diary-free cheese, which is useful to her. I had only been once before, back in early January, and loved it. It didn't disappoint again as it was exceptionally good - and I like the deli sandwich bar idea but with pizza (even if I did have one of their standard pizzas - chicken, BBQ sauce and blue cheese). Due to other commitments, Arcais needed to leave early afternoon, so we dropped her off back home and have done little for the rest of the day. Wolfie has been revising as he has an exam on Tuesday and I went to the gym. That's pretty much it.

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