26 Oct 2020
A dash around the harbourside to see if I can get to Mokoko and back in my lunch hour.
This was my first wander and I was still getting the hang of the technology. I managed to record only part of the way back on my GPS, by the looks of it, so I've had to bodge things a bit to pick up the photos, which is why there are photos in places the track doesn't reach!
I also need to fix a few technical things including managing my photo timezones more carefully. This wander was the day after the clocks went back for winter, and I think my camera may still have been in BST, which may not have helped me tie things up. Need to do a bit of research into how my cameras, Lightroom and the code I'm writing on this website handle BST and GMT, but at least I have until the last Sunday in March before things get urgent, I think...
27 Oct 2020
One of the homes in Windsor Terrace went on the market for £2,000,000 a few years back. This is the closest I've been to it, right at the end of the private road. Presumably they're okay with people wandering down the road if there's a blue plaque to be seen at the far end?
Both the plaque to Edward St John Daniel and the other photo I took (in these early walks I was mostly walking, rather than mostly taking photographs) have interesting stories of a rise and fall associated with them in the first Google hits I found. Daniel was indeed the youngest recipient of the VC, but was stripped of the medal by Queen Victoria herself in 1861, following conviction for desertion and evading court martial. Lubetkin is probably most famous for designing the penguin pool at London Zoo, which was closed 17 years ago, after the micro-abrasions in the penguins' feet caused by the concrete led to them developing an infection with the charming name "bumblefoot".
Designer of, among other things, the London Zoo penguin pool, and Highpoint, described by Corbusier as "This beautiful building .... at Highgate is an achievement of the first rank", and I like Corbusier's ideas, having read about them in How to Make a Home, I think, so that was what caught my eye on the Wikipedia page.
29 Oct 2020
They're refurbishing (by which they seem to mean ripping almost completely apart and rebuilding) the Catherine in Underfall Yard at the moment. I like checking on the progress when I pass by the Patent Slip.
Most of the refit of the Catherine so far seems to have involved throwing increasingly large chunks of it away. I thought those chairs looked really comfy, though, apart from the fact they'd have been sopping wet from the rain. And who knows what else, given the Catherine's rather chequered past—apparently it was a brothel for a while, among other things.
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.
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.
I think "refit" might mean "remove everything except the keel and build a new boat on top.
Not a pub, just decorations
04 Nov 2020
There seems to be a bit of a fad for scrawling vaguely scientific-sounding bollocks about viruses around here. A femtosecond isn't even a unit of size, and if latex was permeable to viruses, then condoms woudln't prevent STD transmission...
Also, of course, viruses don't generally travel alone. The size of breath droplets that would typically carry the Covid-19 virus, for example, is about 1 micron, which an N95 mask will filter out very well. Plus, you generally need to inhale a significant number of them—the "viral load" people talk about—to become infected.
09 Nov 2020
I like The Paragon as a terrace, especially the bowed porches. On the other side of the road, a house attic has a stone lion surrounded by rocaille leaves, according to its listing.
I also love the detail of the arrows in the wrought iron of The Mall's balconies. Today I discovered Westfield place, a road I'd never encountered that runs up to the rear of the Coronation Tap. (It's a famous local cider pub, but I've only been in a couple of times. I'm more of a beer man.)
I was particularly intrigued by "MARIA EDGEWORTH his aunt visited here". It's this Maria Edgeworth, a prolific writer, apparently. "She was the second child of Richard Lovell Edgeworth (who eventually fathered 22 children by four wives)", so I imagine Thomas Beddoes had quite a few aunts...
10 Nov 2020
I went to grab a coffee from Imagine That's little horsebox by the marina, completely forgetting that they don't open on Monday or Tuesday. On the plus side, on the way back I was in time to watch the Plimsoll Bridge swinging for a tidy little yacht.
Or drem? Not completely sure. I'm not exactly down with the graff scene.
12 Nov 2020
My goal is walk down every public road within a mile of me; sometimes it's not easy to tell what's public. I've passed the turning for Cornwallis Grove a thousand times, but never had a reason to venture down it, and although the street signs at the end seem to be council-deployed and I didn't spot any "private" signs, it's a gated road and definitely feels private.
Gathering all the white middle-class privilege I could muster, I wandered down and was rewarded with the sight of a Victorian pump, a statue of Jesus, and from the end of the road, a view of a private garden that once belonged to a private girls' school.
The Cornwallis House history page says:
In the early 20th century the house, together with Grove House, became a Catholic school, St Joseph’s High School for Girls. The Congregation of La Retraite took over the school in 1924, with the nuns living in Grove House while the schoolrooms were in Cornwallis House. The headmistress was Mother St Paul de la Croix (Sister Paula Yerby). By the 1970s La Retraite High School had around 700 pupils.
It closed in 1982 and the building was bought by Pearce Homes Ltd (now part of Crest Nicholson) who developed it into 21 flats. Grove House next door was bought by the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, and was later converted into flats in 2007.
14 Nov 2020
A snap from home, not from the walk. I'm currently reading this, inspired by an earlier walk. It seemed appropriate to get a reasonably historical copy; this one's from 1949, the year EH Young died, at the age of 69, only a couple of years after it was first published.