Leeds Sanctuary

An Out of the Ordinary Christmas – consistency and change

Today, Sam tells us about where she’s found something “Out of the Ordinary” in Leeds…

“My “out of the ordinary” part of Leeds is the view from the top of Royal Park Road in Hyde Park.  It always takes my breath away as I walk my dog around Woodhouse Moor. I find myself on the corner of the park looking down through rows of traditional Yorkshire terraced houses, down to the glorious Makkah Mosque, down to the bottom of Kirkstall valley and up the other side to tower blocks in Bramley.

“Firstly, it reminds me that Leeds is really not flat!  Also, as someone who is a Southerner by birth but made Leeds my adopted home over 30 years ago, it makes me feel connected to the city.  Leeds is many things all at once, and it isn’t for one type of person.  The phrase that comes to mind when I look at that view is “all human life is here”. 

“Some parts of this picture have been there for hundreds of years, and there is also constant change.  The student inhabitants of those terraced houses change every year.  Once they were me, my friends and my husband, now they are my children.  Young people and the student experience has changed in so many ways but the excitement, anxiety, vulnerability of young people starting independent lives remains. 

“And among the students live born and bred Leeds residents, newly arrived immigrants learning to adapt to a new way of life, and long term “foreigners” like me.  A cosmopolitan melting pot of people sharing space, culture and life.

“The two photos illustrate how the same view can be the same and yet so different at different times of day, on different days, in different years.  On the surface these pictures and this street may look ordinary, but to me they remind me why I love this beautiful, consistent, ever changing, out of the ordinary place.”

Find out more about how you can celebrate Christmas with us at Leeds Sanctuary here.

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