17 Mar 2021
The other day I realised (hello, Maggie!) that my next walk would be my hundredth, and that I'd done 393.4km so far. I figured it would be nice to get to 100 walks and 400km on the same walk, so I went for a nice long harbourside wander after work, rather than dashing out at lunchtime. As it turned out, we're just coming up to the time of year where I can leave the house at 5:30 in the evening and there's still just enough light to take photos by the time I've made it around the harbourside. Though only just, and mostly because I've got a full-frame camera that's not bad in low light...
Still, the evening light made a lovely change, and some of the photos turned out to be pretty good photos per se, rather than just record shots of my walk. I'm looking forward to more evening walks like this as summer approaches.
On the way around this evening I wandered through one of the oldest bits of the city to extend my walk and snapped some interesting bits of architecture, including an NCP car park(!) and a nighttime shot of one of my favourite subjects, the clock tower at the Albion dockyard.
The clock tower stands on the former offices of Charles Hill, who ran the dockyard, including Bristol's large dry dock, before David Abels took it over in 1980.
I took a good thirty or forty photos of this one, trying to make sure I good a good image, hand-held, in dying light, as I knew it would be a great picture if I nailed it.
02 Nov 2020
I've taken a lot of photos of Royal York Crescent over the years. This time I walked right to the dead-end bit at the far west corner and found a plaque to the Empress of the French. Call me hard to impress, but among the scientists, novelists, architects and artists whose plaques litter the rest of the area, that seems quite minor claim to fame.
And in between times were the Napoleonic Wars, which probably explains the desire for a barracks.
14 Dec 2020
The lunchtime walk has been feeling a bit of a chore lately, especially as I only have an hour and have to keep a mental watch out for my "bingo" point or risk being late back. Today I went for a deliberately brief local walk and got home in time to have lunch on my sofa rather than while I was back at work.
It's interesting filling in the gaps in my Clifton Village knowledge, especially starting to "see" the bits I can't see, the negative spaces. The size of both Fosseway Court and the Bishop's House gardens (check out the latter on Google Maps for an idea) are both something I've noticed by just getting to know the areas around them. I may also have to walk into the driveway of the very well-hidden Nuffield hospital to get an idea of how big it is.
None of those are anything compared to the trick of hiding the gargantuan public school that is Queen Elizabeth's Hospital so well that I keep on forgetting it's there, until a glimpse of it from somewhere like Lower Clifton Hill reminds me about it, of course...
Generally "Belle Vue" transitions gradually into "Bellevue" over time, it seems, but some holdouts remain
18 Dec 2020
Another work lunchtime, another expedition to get coffee, but not down any new road. The walk around the haroubourside was nicer than usual, though, possibly because the day was dull and rainy, which stopped the most boring bit of the walk also being crowded.
The most boring bit of the walk is the bit where you can't go through Underfall Yard, closed due to Covid-19, so have to divert through Avon Crescent to the bit of Cumberland Road where there's just a narrow pavement next to a high wall on the one side, and the railings next to the river, where there's no pavement so you generally don't get close enough to it to see much. There would be another option, the Chocolate Path, if it hadn't fallen into the river last year, but the repair work following that landslip is currently making things even worse by forcing a stretch of Cumberland Road into a traffic-light-controlled single-lane system. This means that the narrow pavement is hard to escape as traffic could be coming past right next to you in either direction.
So, narrow, boring, plus it's not just my natural introversion that's causing me not to want to be forced into close contact with other people at the moment, of course. Maybe this will become my go-to coffee place on rainy days, just because there are fewer people on the streets.
Only a couple of photos today, and none of the boring bit, because I didn't know I was going to want to talk about it here until I got home!
29 Apr 2021
Another quick excursion to Canon's Marsh, tempted back by Rod & Ruby's cannoli and flat white. This time I poked around some bits of the modern flats I'd not really experienced before, mused on the old gasworks, and headed back down the Hotwell Road, spotting a re-opening gallery and finishing off at the Adam & Eve, for which some locals are currently rushing to launch a bid to turn it into a community business rather than have a developer turn it into yet-more flats.
I was in a bouncy, positive mood, helped out by Life Without Buildings' Live at the Annandale Hotel album1. Note to self, though: the album is nearly an hour long, so if you hear the encore starting and you're still halfway down the Hotwell Road, you'll probably be late back from lunch...
1 That review's well worth a read. Music journalists tend to go extra-dreamy when trying to describe Sue Tompkins. See what I mean:
She circles her limber tongue-twisters, feints, and attacks from unexpected angles, dicing and rearranging them with the superhuman brio of an anime ninja and a telegraphic sense of lexical rhythm.
Not sure I ever knew what these modern boxes were called.
31 Jul 2021
At the end of July I went to have a look around some of the private gardens opened up by the annual Green Squares and Secret Gardens event. Sadly it was compressed into a single day this year, for various Covid-related reasons, it seems, so I didn't get to poke around too many places. I went to:
And snapped a few things in between, too. It was a lovely day—a bit too hot, if anything—and it was interesting to get into a few places I'd only ever seen from the outside, especially The Paragon and Cornwallis gardens, which are the least visible to passing strangers of all of them.
05 Nov 2021
I did do a much longer wander earlier in the week, but that'll take me some time to process (and cast a plethora of photos into the "out-takes" pile!) In the meantime, here's my lunchtime jaunt, taken to give myself a break from doing the company bookkeeping to send to my accountant so the taxman doesn't sling me in chokey.
I've recently bought a slightly creased secondhand copy of Redcliffe Press's 1992 collection of Samuel Loxton drawings, Loxton's Bristol: The city's Edwardian years in black and white. It's a nice selection of Bristol Library's collection of the drawings. I'd noticed a drawing of 25 Royal York Crescent, a house I pass quite often, so I thought I'd wander up the crescent on the way to pick up some lunch and try to reproduce it.
On the way back I took a few photos of Clifton Hill Bank as the crowdfunder to make quite a lot of it into a wildflower meadow has just hit its target, so I figured some "before" shots might be a good investment for the future...
Loxton drawing from Bristol Library collection via Loxton's Bristol, Redcliffe Press, 1995 ISBN 1 872971 86 5.