Living with a photographer means that there’s always something fun going on. Whether it’s our flat being full of clothes for a shoot, exciting photos to look through or our tradition of a stupid lift selfie whenever we leave the flat, there’s never a dull moment.
See? Fun times.
Every now and then, Tom disappears into the night to take shots of nice things around Leeds with some photographer pals. I usually take advantage of this alone time by watching crap TV and eating a pint of ice cream without being mocked, but last week I decided to give TOWIE a break and join them for the night.
They call it Leeds Lurking – heading out to their favourite spots at dusk and taking cool photos across the city. This particular night they decided to revisit a derelict building to explore the abandoned floors and head up to the roof. Now I was aware that this was a bit of a covert operation, but it didn’t quite cross my mind when I dressed for our adventure. The boys were suitably decked out in black clothing, but I decided light blue jeans and an oversized purple tee was the best attire for optimum stealthiness. You know, nice and subtle.
Excited for our adventure, we were wandering over to the abandoned office tower when Tom casually said, “You can climb and you’re light on your feet, right?”. Hmm, not exactly. I haven’t successfully climbed a tree in my life and the last time I ran it was to catch last orders at the pub, but not wanting to seem like a liability in front of our fellow Lurker, Wiz, I confidently brushed off his comment and confirmed my excellent physical abilities. I was half tempted to throw in a lunge to really prove my athleticism, but I was already struggling to keep up with their fast paced walking and my skinny jeans meant that any overzealous movements would most probably end in a seam-splitting disaster.
As we approached the huge building, Tom informed me that we had to climb the metal gate quickly to avoid detection. Easy, no problem, totally fine. They advised me how to negotiate the spikes at the top and to limit the attention from passing cars – yeah yeah, how hard can it be?
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to climb a gate under pressure before, but it’s REALLY friggin’ hard. I ended up getting stuck at the top, panicked, shrieked a bit and then awkwardly fell/jumped onto Tom with them shouting at me to hurry up and people staring over to see what we were up to. For someone so small, I’m apparently not very nimble!
After entering the grounds, doing a commando style shimmy under scaffolding gates (I was far better at this bit) and negotiating the nailed-shut doors, we were finally in.
And it was epic.
The sprawling floors were eerily quiet, only the obscene graffiti tags highlighting previous visitors’ activity. Feeling slightly spooked and with enough photos clocked up for the boys, we headed up to the roof to take in the city at dusk.
Believe me, Leeds has never looked so good. The 360° view allowed for us to see our city in all it’s glory. It was so calm high above the bustling ring road and busy streets, I could’ve stayed there all night watching everyone come and go with no idea that we were spectating.
After playing around for an hour – the boys taking photos and me climbing rickety structures whilst Tom shouted at me to get off before I killed myself – we decided it was time to call it a night and head back home.
If this is what lurking is all about, sign me up.
You can check out their Instagram here: Leeds Lurking