16 September 2006
15 September 2006
The Headrow. An important street passing through the Leeds city centre.
The old W. H. Smith was still there. I recall visiting it on my first day in Leeds in 1993!
Albion Street. At the junction of Albion Street and the Headrow was the Austicks bookshop. It was once a large chain of bookstores in Leeds. It had then only to compete with Waterstones and Blackwell's. When Borders came in, it spelt the end. Austicks could not compete with the nationwide chains of Borders and Waterstones and was soon defunct.
Leeds, July 2006
I completed Sacred Underworld last night. It took me 12 hours 27 minutes to complete this one. Needless to say this one is not satisfactory.
Sacred Underworld is tedious and meaningless. It is an unworthy expansion pack to the fabulous original.
One starts this game at the conclusion of the original. And one can either import characters from the previous or play with the new level 29 characters comprising of the Dwarf or Daemon.
The game is tedious and the plot has little relation to the original. The expansion consists of a long linear series of caves, forest clearings, treetops with numerous monsters, connected only by not even the flimsiest of excuses. Yes. None. At the end of each area, there is a gate to the next. The quest log merely states that one will have to kill another demon or find another four keys before the end! There are numerous tedious instances of this.
Weird. Is this a case where the adopters for the English (American) market didn't bother? It is hard to say as the game did appear skimpy. The new graphics are nice but where is the game?
Avoid this one.
Now, back to Dungeon Siege 2.
14 September 2006
The Briggate was once a drab street with heavy traffic. Today, it is a busy pedestrian throughfare. Amazing!
Leeds Metropolitan University, formerly Leeds Polytechnic.
The Leeds Kirkgate Market. It's quite an interesting place with its mix of stalls, from the butchers to the florists.
Eleven years ago, I met Laurence Pusey when I joined his life art sessions. He had organised a series of life art sessions at the Leeds Metropolitan University which was open to all artists. And for the space of a year or two, I attended those sessions and drew quite a few pieces which were left largely unfinished. There was simply not enough time to finish a piece at those sessions but it was great fun in developing fast techniques.
It was a joy conversing with Laurence and observing him work. He had an intriguing sense of colour which I thought was great. Laurence was already an accomplished artist when I met him and he had held several exhibitions, the latest of which was held at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Laurence's work can be found at: http://www.laurencepusey.info/
He is also a chaplain at the Leeds Metropolitan University and has done missionary work in Uganda and India.
13 September 2006
I went for a run along Dunearn Road today. There wasn't any direct sunshine but the heat was there. The overcast skies and the low cloud cover had trapped the heat earlier.
I shall try to finish Sacred Underworld tonight. It's been a while since I touched the game.
This is now a large square lined with cafes and such. A decade ago, there were a few small roads in this area.
The garden in front of this building is gone! And the road too. It was here a decade ago.
St John's Square. Outside St. John's Centre. A more upscale shopping centre than the Merrion Centre.
*The first image was taken by His Majesty, the Most Holy of Holy Emperors.
Leeds, July 2006
12 September 2006
My friend, AC*, and his wife's guns. They have a nice pair of guns. A Ranger II .45 automatic and a Trojan .38 automatic. He's got a lot more weapons. I will see about putting up an image of his Ruger No.1. It's practically an elephant gun.You can buy them at STI Guns. I would love to own assault rifles and automatics.
*AC is not AK, Kuoby or Silver. His online moniker is Carcass.
A view of the ugly Merrion Centre. This is a seedy sixties or seventies structure with lots of concrete, grey steel railings, mirrors and tacky mosaic flooring, housing offices, small shops and Morrison's Supermarket. Morrison's is the cheapest of the supermarkets in the UK and one can find hundreds of hungry students from the nearby Leeds Metropolitan University and University of Leeds shopping here.
The main entrance of Merrion Centre. Renovations have given it a somewhat brighter feel but Merrion is still a dump. Oh look, an Apple centre!
From Albion Street to Woodhouse Lane. Near Merrion Centre.
I had a dream of being stranded at a desolate beach awashed with flotsam in a moonlit night. I was scrambling with a need born of desperation to find something amidst the thundering waves from the angry sea. I felt a strong sense of loss tugging at me, a feel of unease, a knowledge that somewhere, somehow, I had lost something of worth. I was then at an anonymous foyer with a high ceiling which served as a central space to the offices of a enigmatic institute of learning where I learned that two of my friends* had died, meanwhile, another friend remained lost. She, I learned, had stopped by this office earlier. I woke up shortly after with a vague feeling of a sense of loss.
*I recall one while I don't recall the other. I shan't be saying who they are as ethnic Chinese people often have a highly sensitive superstitious dread of these things. For the three friends, I almost don't see them anyhow. Not for a few years.
11 September 2006
The Corn Exchange at Leeds.
The interior of the Corn Exchange.
The Corn Exchange now houses a mixture of small shops and cafes. The Travelling Man game store is located in this building.
I used to spend many happy afternoons here, conversing with Nabil, Simon and Andy (The Sandman). Nabil later went on to set up a business empire. I learned that he now owns a chain of Travelling Man stores throughout the UK! He used to have a tiny dingy shop at Headingley. How times have changed.
Leeds, July 2006.