No I am not dead. Sorry once more for another lacuna (the title btw of the excellent Orange Prize-winning book I'm reading by Barbara Kingsolver). It just takes too long to do the cover-scanning etc to add to the bibliography in these busy times. Fear not, though, it will be completed.
For now, I just want to hail a new set of postcards available at Leeds tourist office in the station. The colour may be a bit over the top, but I sympathise with that, so relentless is the tide of grey, grim Northern images. Still. Yes, I am perhaps becoming obsessesd and will maybe go mad, but it is lovely that another publisher has seen the bright, light, exciting side of Leeds (as Keith Waterhouse does in City Lights, very warmly recommended many posts below).
It is not a minority view. London publishers exert far too powerful a hold and they want a grim North, troubled childhoods and the rest. But the very cheerful woman who sold me the cards was as delighted as I was. We also compared notes on the city's new open-top sight-seeing bus (a blindingly obvious butt of metropolitan scorn but excellently previewed by the Guardian's Leeds blogger John Baron on www.guardian.co.uk/leeds/2010/apr/25/leeds-city-centre-tourist-bus) and agreed that the commentary is ace and told us both things we didn't know. Hope they're true...
You can also tour Leeds at weekends by canal and river boat. So bin all that stuff about 'capital of empty flats' etc and come and enjoy. The two cards I've featured show (below) St Paul's House, which is that colour, and (top) offices in Park Row, which aren't quite, except during outstanding sunsets or when you've been smoking something you shouldn't have been. The sky above St Paul's House is also genuine. Leeds is dryer than Barcelona, remember.