05 Nov 2020
I spotted the fog and decided to go for a morning walk rather than a lunchtime walk today. It was cold on the Portway, but it was worth it. Most of my One Mile Matt photos are "record shots", but it's nice to get the chance to do something a bit more artistic.
01 Nov 2020
This started as a little local walk with my friend Lisa, but when we randomly met my friends Sarah and Vik at Ashton Court, turned into joining them for a very long wander out to Abbots Leigh Pool. Most of this was well outside my one-mile radius but it was a lovely walk.
A long ramble, starting with trying to find the Hot Well of Hotwells and leading up the side of the Avon Gorge to the Downs and then through Clifton for coffee.
I've still yet to see it steam, no matter how cold or damp the day.
10 Dec 2020
I didn't have any time to find a new place to go today, so I'm treading old ground here. I did buy a tub of duck food from Amazon last week and today I remembered to take a little bagful of it with me on my trip to Imagine That coffee, and spent a few minutes feeding the marina slipway ducks on the way back. This is a Bristol tradition I've seen other people doing many times, but never tried myself. It was quite genteel until the seagulls cottoned on, then it became something of a brawl.
28 Dec 2020
Fractionally outside my one-mile zone, but I got curious about Saint Vincent's spring, whose last remnants you can see in a defunct drinking fountain on the Portway. Along the way I passed Gyston's cave, sometimes called St Vincent's cave, in the sheer wall of the gorge. It's now accessible by a tunnel from the observatory—I tried it about twenty years ago, I think, and still recall the vertiginous moment of looking down from the protruding balcony and realising that you could see straight through the grille floor to the drop below—but from what I can work out the tunnel is relatively recent. Before the tunnel was dug it was accessible only by access across the cliff face, which must have been even more terrifying.
This cave was first mentioned as being a chapel in the year AD 305 and excavations, in which Romano-British pottery has been found, have revealed that it has been both a holy place and a place of refuge at various times in its history.
A few different sources say that the cave became a hermitage and chapel to St Vincent following Bristol's early trading in Iberian wines; St Vincent of Saragossa is Lisbon's patron saint, and a lot of nearby things bear the name.
I'm not sure where the crossover of Vincent and Ghyston happens, though. On the giants Goram and Vincent (or Ghyston), Wikipedia says:
The name Vincent for one of the giants rests on the fact that at Clifton, at the narrowest point of the Avon Gorge, there was formerly an ancient hermitage and chapel dedicated to St Vincent, at or near the present cave in the cliff-face which bears his name. Another (apparently modern) version of the story calls the Clifton giant Ghyston, which is in fact the name, of obscure origin, for the whole of the cliff-face of the Avon Gorge at least as early as the mid-fifteenth century, in the detailed description of the Bristol area by William Worcestre. The place-name was personified to produce the giant's name. Vincent's Cave is called Ghyston cave or The Giant’s Hole in an article in the July 1837 issue of Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal.
In my research on the original Hot Well House, I've seen quite a few contemporary paintings which state their viewpoint as "from St. Vincent's Rock", so in the 16th century it seems the cliff-face name was typically St Vincent Rock rather than Ghyston's Rock, perhaps.
I am, as you can tell, no historian!
On the way, I also wandered around the base of the popular climbing area, which I think is the site of the old Black Rock quarry.
07 Jan 2021
Which included a literal "local", the Pump House, to try out their shop/deli/cafe. A flat white, some apples and a New York Deli toastie. Eleven quid, mind, but the Pump House was never a cheap pub...
I enjoyed the fog, and wandering down a few more out-of-the-way back alleys and what-have-you on the Hotwell Road.
I'm thinking of getting up early and going for a morning walk tomorrow, weather-depending, but at the moment my motivation to do things like this seems to be much strong in the evenings when I'm just thinking about it rather than in the morning when I actually have to do it. But it's going to be cold, and low tide is quite early, so there's always a chance of getting some footage of the hot well actually being visibly hot; you never know...
28 Jan 2021
With very little photography, and no new streets. Still, I did manage to buy milk at the "Simple Cow" vending machine—and "simple" is very definitely false advertising; it took me bloody ages to work out how to use the thing—and snap the new ACER/SEPR piece down in Cumberland Piazza.
It's really nice milk. And handy with the strain Ocado are under at the moment.
31 Jan 2021
I just nipped out to post a blood test (not Covid-related) and check that my car was okay, because I've not driven it for weeks. I was just going to walk up to Clifton Village, but I spotted the opportunity to re-park the car on my street rather than up the hill around the corner where it was, so instead I got in, intending just to move a hundred metres, but it turned over slowly before it started, and then warned me that the battery was very low and I should go for a long drive to recharge it.
So, I did my best, zipping up the A4018 to the motorway junction and back again, dropping off my blood at a postbox along the way, and while I did that, it started snowing. I noticed it was low tide, too, so when I got back home I headed back out again, this time on foot and with a camera so I could see if I could find any evidence of the Hot Well steaming.
I saw not a single sign of the Hot Well steaming, but it was quite a nice quick outing and I enjoyed my brief walk in the snow. Iike Hinton Lane, too, and while it's all old ground I was re-treading, I did at least get a picture or two with a bit of snow and some of the cold winter atmosphere of the trip, I think.
Went down to see if I could see it steaming. No dice. I really want to clear the spring of all that junk every time I see it, but I have no means to do it, let alone the knowledge and wisdom to know if it might do more harm than good...
13 Feb 2021
It's been very cold the last few days, so seeing as it was low tide at a convenient afternoon hour, I just wandered out to see if I could see the hot well steaming. I've been told that you sometimes can, on a cold day, but today, as with every other day I've tried, there was nothing in evidence.
It may be that the emergent spring has already filtered through too much cold river silt by the time it hits the surface these days, or even that it's running cooler than it used to. But perhaps I've just been unlucky.
Just outside Entrance Lock
16 Feb 2021
There's a dearth of my favourite coffee places on a Monday and Tuesday at the moment. Both Twelve and Imagine That are closed on Monday and Tuesday, and Rich from Hopper Coffee doesn't seem to have come back from Christmas break. Today I pushed on a bit further than normal around the harbour and got to Little Victories, the always-reliable sister cafe to Small Street Espresso, based at Wapping Wharf. Along the way I saw graffiti, my second reference to one of Bristol's twin cities in two days, and a rather sleek little boat outside Rolt's Boat Yard.