Here are some images from our week that didn't make the daily blog updates. It is the morning of our last full day in Leeds, Kim has flown to Dublin for the day, leaving at 5am and so my partner for morning duties is Tony, who is getting some printing done first and this means Glen is getting another hour in bed. It has been an amazing experience, we have seen a lot and achieved something quite special, staging a show 19,000Km from home is no small feat. We are all tired, there is no doubt that we were here to work and that is what we have done. The plan for today is not to work, but to head into town to see 'Lo Monstre' and also get gifts for our loved ones and friends back in New Zealand.
One thing we all share is humour. This journey has been punctuated often with side splitting laughter and joking. Whenever one of us is having a hard time, where things just seem to be going wrong and it all gets a bit too much to deal with the others will rally with some crazy, silly jokes that always break the mood. Just now while helping me lift Glen, Ben shouted: "I'm having a baby and its going to come real soon!" it was so unexpected that we all cracked up hard and had to put Glen down to regain composure. These moments are unseen by those around us, and really probably wouldn't seem that funny out of context, but account for some of the best times in our days.
Leeds, or at least large parts of the city centre, is an extremely attractive city. There are signs of great development and growth from the early eighteen hundreds onwards. Many of the buildings are elaborately decorated and covered with intricately carved stone and wrought ironwork. It is always worth looking up in this city, the pictures above and below demonstrate reasons to cast your gaze to the heavens, antique and modern, both found in different parts of the Cross arcade.
After our final show yesterday we all breathed a little sigh of relief, relieved but sad that it is now over. We are not relishing the impending return journey, being stuck on a plane for such extended periods of time is hard for the body and mind. Tomorrow we travel from Leeds back to Manchester, from there we fly to London, catch a plane to Singapore, then the final leg of the journey returns us to Christchurch. On our return from the performance at SDS in San Jose last year, after a twelve hour stop over in Sydney, just as our plane was approaching Christchurch, there was a large earthquake and we were diverted to Auckland. We were bused to a hotel by the airline at 3am, only to have to get up and catch a connecting flight back to Christchurch early the next morning. The worst part was that they announced the earthquake on the plane, told us that the airport had been evacuated but didn't tell us anything else. After having lived through the Feb 22nd quake, we spent a nervous couple of hours, worrying about our families and friends in Christchurch, until we landed and were able to get more news. We have all talked about this, and landing back in Christchurch and seeing those same loved ones this time, will hold an extra significance for each of us.