03 Nov 2020
A very local exploration today, but there are still bits of the near field that I never need to walk down, so it didn't take me long to find somewhere I haven't been in a decade or more, the little enclave of smaller Victorian houses around Oldfield Road and Sandford Road. I'd really like to live in one of those houses, but I doubt I could afford it.
06 Dec 2020
I wasn't really feeling it when I set out today, on my first car-assisted wander. By the time I'd parked on Alma Vale Road in Clifton it was just starting to rain and I picked my way about in quite a desultory way. It felt strange, as I was very familiar with the area because I'd walked through it hundreds of times when I worked at the top of Whiteladies Road, and used to walk up the hill from Hotwells and through Clifton to get there, and back again, every day.
Then a complete coincidence seemed to make the change I'd been hoping for. I was standing taking a photo of Christ in the front garden of All Saints church when a couple of people walked out of the front door. I got talking with a lady I took to be part of the ministerial team, who invited me to come in and look around—something I'd always wanted to do on the morning commute. (I think we connected a bit when I recognised the name John Piper, who did the amazing windows—I learned about him while I was at Warwick, through his connections to Coventry Cathedral.
I left with much more of a spring in my step, wandered around the area a bit more, finally working out that the tennis courts I used to pass every morning are those of Clifton Lawn Tennis Club, and finally grabbing an excellent Hungarian sausage hot dog from the Budapest Cafe. I feel a lot better now than I did before I went out.
26 Feb 2021
I'm on the first day of a long weekend, and I certainly picked the right one for it. This may be the first proper spring-like day of the year in Bristol; it was glorious.
I headed up to Clifton, around the area where I got my Covid vaccine jab the other day, to knock off a few remaining roads in that area and because it would be good exercise for an extended lunchtime walk.
Along the way I saw some very Clifton sights, including an Aston Martin, some Jacobethan architecture, and some private college sports grounds. Mostly, though, I just enjoyed the sunshine, and took every opportunity I could to snap views across the city.
This one looks a bit less like Stephen Fry than the one I snapped the other day.
21 Apr 2021
Obviously, I was trying to connect to the industrial history of the Canon's Marsh area, to the old gasworks, the docks railway, the warehouses they blew up to make way for all the rather soulless modern stuff (though I do like the Lloyds building, at least.) But what I mostly got out of today's walk is a new cafe to go to for my lunchtime outings. It's perhaps a little closer than both Imagine That and Hopper Coffee; not quite as close as Foliage and Twelve up in Clifton Village, but also not at the top of a steep hill.
No, not the mediocre Costa, but only a little way away from there: Rod and Ruby's, which opened in 2018 and which I've seen in passing several times but never popped into until today. What can I say? I was foolish. Great flat white, lovely interior, astoundingly good cannoli.
Sometimes you just have to get your head out of history and enjoy a pastry.
13 Jul 2021
A snappy little trip up the Zig Zag to the shops. It's a steep old route, the Zig Zag, going from just over river level to about the height of the suspension bridge (101 metres) in a compact switchback of a footpath.
I was too busy struggling to breathe to take many snaps of the actual Zig Zag (I've been trying to make it up all the way without stopping the last few times, but I've not quite managed it yet). I did at least take a few snaps either side on this quick lunchtime jaunt to fetch coffee (Coffee #1) and a sarnie (Parsons) from Clifton Village...
21 Aug 2021
Lisa and I mostly went out to have a look at Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon as its tour hit Bristol Cathedral—I missed it when it was previously in town, at Wills Hall, I think—but we also took a trek up to Redland. Lisa's kind enough to indulge my strange current fascination with the Edwardian eccentrics that made up the Stella Matutina, so we swung by a couple of places with a vague connection to the Bristol branch of the organisation. Well, it was good walking, anyway...
As a stunning bonus, one of the picture's descriptions has more information than you'd probably want on the Bristol Port Railway and Pier's Clifton Extension Railway line, but I did happen to coincidentally write up this wander after reading about the extension line during my lunch hour at work today. It's a thrilling life, I tell you...
I'm afraid that this is a bit of a badly-curated wander, where I mostly just popped out to find out a little of the history of Underfall Yard and poke around the various open workshops, and, in hindsight, really didn't take pictures in any kind of coherent order. So there's a lot of pictures, but they don't really tell the story that, in hindsight, I seem to have been trying to tell, of the unusual electrical substation in Avon Crescent, the Bristol Electricity that predates the National Grid but is still in use, the history of the hydraulic power house... It's a bit of a mess.
But I suppose sometimes these wanders—always chronologically presented in the order I walked and took photos—simply will sometimes be a bit of a mess. Let's hope you still get something out of it, anyway...
Most of the gear in this docks machine room is belt driven from a motor we'll see in a bit. The motor is electric but the drive system is pretty much the same as it was in the days of steam.
17 Oct 2021
For the first time in a while, I had the time and energy to go further afield and knock off some new roads from my "to do" list. I headed through the first Hotwells Festival to Ashton and Bedminster to cross off a few of the suburban roads south of North Street.
First, though, I decided to try to reproduce an old photo of the now-demolished Rownham Hotel just around the corner from where I live...
So presumably this isn't just the back of 107 Smyth Road, but the back of HMS 107 Smyth Road.