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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Sleepless in Leeds

...I don`t need a rock DJ.

Not when I`m sleeping in the hotel opposite his club, and my alarm`s set for 4.30am, I don`t.

It all looked great when I arrived mid afternoon, of course. It was bright and sunny, and close to some fabulous shops. Only a couple had PVC catsuits and whips in the window, so the area wasn`t *that* bad.

The reception staff were really welcoming. They gave me an immediate upgrade to a `Kingsize` room, with a gorgeously large and comfy bed; oh, and free wine, which I necked. I know why they were so generous, now, but at the time I was delighted with it all, and slightly squiffy, so I dumped my bags and headed (slightly sideways...) for the (better known) shops.

A couple of hours later, laden with bags and a sobering Starbucks, I went to relax in my boudoir. I ran a gloriously bubbly bath, watched Sarah Beeny doubling the size of someone`s house, booked a cab for crazy-early, set two alarm clocks, and thought about dozing off. get double glazing so that you can shut out the world, don`t you? And air-con, so you don`t then swelter in the summer. But this was a hotel booked in a hurry. For `air-con`: read `ceiling fan`. It whirred rather ominously, so I switched it off and pulled open the sash window. Just an inch or two.

You know those nights when you really, really need to sleep because you have an early start?

Well by 9 pm, Leeds seemed pretty much at full pelt ...and I was in the thick of it.The DJ was hammering those decks; the punters were singing along; apart from the ones who were *chatting outside*. Loudly. There was a whole heap of showing off. Small hatchbacks at full throttle were tearing up and down the main street; keen to impress. Column upon column of click -clack heels marched by, with much hilarious laughter.

The DJ`s set got more eclectic. And louder still. An Abba mix. Really. Then House. Then Horse. Two of them. Mounted police; patrolling the streets. Sheesh. Sometime after 3, someone pulled the plug on the rock DJ, and the heels started clickclacking home.Armies of them, followed by huge, noisy tanks. Roadsweepers, I think, clearing up who knows what. Oh hang on, yep, probably the police horse poo.

Peace again. I got about fifteen minutes. Bliss.

Then the drayman arrived at the bar opposite. Ugly big lorry. Effing great barrels, which, not content with having been rolled out all night, were now being dragged and scraped down the pavement for the next night`s revellers.

He drove off. I shut my eyes again. JUST in time for the 4.30 alarm. You have to laugh, really , don`t you? I mean really, if I`d had heels and a dress instead of a bag load of hiking gear for the next day`s filming, I`d have joined them. Leeds is a brilliant city.

Twelve hours later; that filming was finished, and seven of us were in a Landrover, hurtling back down the steep track through stunning Yorkshire moorland , back to base. Knackered? I should`ve been. But we`d spent an afternoon high on a windy hill with a 360 degree view of some of the most breathtaking countryside you could ever see, shooting a brilliant new drama--one fabulous, professional, caring film crew and a great mix of extras, from all walks of life, swapping life stories over a delivered feast of sandwiches, cakes, fruit and chocolate. Delicious. Look out for me on the telly. I`m the one with the big happy smile....and the dark rings under her eyes :)

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