I wasn't going to take a very long walk on this nice spring evening; it just happened. I was going to knock off a path or two on Brandon Hill, home over centuries to hermits and windmills, cannons and Chartists, and then just wander home, stopping only to fill up my milk bottle at the vending machine in the Pump House car park.
However, when I heard a distant gas burner I stayed on the hill long enough to see if I could get a decent photo of both the hot air balloon drifting over with Cabot Tower in the same frame (spoiler: I couldn't. And only having the fixed-focal-length Fuji with me didn't help) and then, on the way home, bumped into my "support bubble", Sarah and Vik, and extended my walk even further do creep carefully down the slipway next to the old paddle steamer landing stage and get some photos from its furthest extreme during a very low tide...
10 Apr 2021
There's a bit of Southville that I've been meaning to get to for some time, where the streets seem to take some strong inspiration from London. There's a Camden Road that crosses with an Islington Road, and a Dalston Road, even an Edgeware Road. For me these names are more evocative than the rather more exotic names I passed by to get there—Sydney Row or Hanover Place, say, because I've actually been to the places in London. The last time I was in Islington I saw Monkey Swallows the Universe play at The Angel, and I can't think of Camden without remembering a gondola trip with my friend Tara where a cheery youth played Beatles music for us on a saz...
I really liked this little area, with its mostly well-kept pretty houses and hints here and there of the creative side of the residents. It's arty and down-to-earth at the same time, and I wouldn't mind living there, I think.
On the way there I got the chance to walk through Underfall Yard for the first time in a while, and on the way back I had my first take-away hot food for many months, grabbing some crispy fried squid from the excellent Woky Ko at Wapping Wharf.
On the right there, Thangam Debonnaire, our MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing. On the left, Henry. Apparently.
Standing proud since 1888. Chimney of they hydraulic engine house.
This is the first time I've been able to walk through Underfall Yard in months; it's been closed during the lockdown, and it's really reminded me how much nicer the route around the harbourside is when it's open. Cumberland Road is just dull.
Apparently the electric motor that still winches ships up out of the water on this "heave-up" slip (patented 1819 by Thomas Morton of Leith) dates from 1924, when it replaced the previous hydraulic system. I've never been there to watch a ship be hauled up, but it regularly deals with things as large as the Matthew.
The listing has this to say:
Patent slip and quay walls. Mid C19, restored 1888. Granite and Pennant rubble. 1 in 14 inclined slip with rails and timber cradle on wheels, drawn by an electric winch. Quay walls extend approx 50m along frontage of the Underfall Yard. HISTORICAL NOTE: Built on land reclaimed behind Jessop's 1809 Overfall Dam, originally part of the c1850 Nova Scotia Yard, purchased by the Docks Committee in 1880. Capable of raising a load of 250 tons. (Lord J and Southam J: The Floating Harbour: Bristol: 1983-: 65).
Or it would be, if there were still decks...
Good to see some boatbulding in progress.
The yachts were out in force, anyway.
You're not going to miss that coming toward you.
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...
I'm not sure about publishing this one. I wouldn't normally snap a photo of a single stranger in an only-semi-public place like a cafe. On the other hand, I thought it was an interesting document of the way people are coping with Covid and I quite like it as photo, which tipped the balance into publication.
Mokoko's almond croissant are one of my favourite treats in Bristol. I'm glad they're pretty much diametrically opposite me on the harbourside—if they were easy to get to I'd be a lot fatter.
I think I'd like to live in one of those houses.
I love the curve of the outer doors of Entrance Lock.
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.
I nearly threw this shot away, but the weird look of the photo sort of goes okay with the weird look of passionflowers in general. Alien-looking thingies. This one's in a front garden at the Cumberland Road end of Avon Crescent.
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.
04 Nov 2020
Someone told me, years ago, that someone had got planning permission to convert this building into flats, but had been refused planning permission to remove this handsome historic door. I have no idea how true that story is, but it seems plausible. The building is Granby House, on the corner of Hope Chapel Hill and Granby Hill.
I can't recall walking around this side of the Plimsoll Bridge pivot before, for no other reason than habit, I think.
Nice colours at Cumberland Basin today
I considered going down to the end of this engineering bit behind the Harbourmaster's office, but I know it's a dead end and I don't think the woman walking her dog did. It felt like it would be a bit weird to follow someone down a dead end, so maybe I'll go back another day. On the other hand, I don't think it counts as a public road..
19 Nov 2020
A sunny day, and though I should have probably headed for less well-travelled territory I just headed over to the Marina to grab a flat white from Imagine That's horsebox café.
I'm not entirely sure why this little pole seems to need so many red lights, or what the tiny circular thing that looks like a specialist antenna is at the top (there's clearly a few other antennas, and I also have no idea what they're for.) Just part of the varied harbour infrastructure I walk past every day and would probably be fascinated to hear about if I knew who to ask...
What, should I keep clear from this side? I'm assuming that this doesn't actually affect anything on dry land...
Reflective little boat.
Now, my first thought was Thor, but the name of the boat might beg to differ.
That uneasy moment before it all kicks off
There we go.
02 Dec 2020
This may be the very first time I've gone for a One Mile Matt wander and not actually gone down any new roads, trod any new steps. I just wanted a coffee, frankly, so I went the same old way to Imagine That in the marina and back again.
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...
06 Feb 2021
A lovely walk in the early spring sunshine with my friend Lisa. We headed directly for Jacobs Wells Road, to start off around the scene of one of our earlier walks, but this time took in Jacobs Wells from QEH upward, stopping to snap some photos of a Bear With Me, some interesting areas between Park Street and Brandon Hill including a peculiarly quiet enclave with a ruined old build I'd never found before, then crossed the Centre to grab take-away pies from Pieminister (I had the Heidi Pie) and head back to my place down the harbourside.
It's been a while since I've snapped this ultra-traditional Bristol scene. It felt like I had to. On the left there is a solar tree by artist John Packer. Don't know if you can still charge your phone from it, but I thought it was an interesting idea, at least.
Another "because it's traditional" snap.
Another day, another coffee. I think I may have knocked a tiny footpath in Baltic Wharf from my list of leftover paths in the area, but mostly this walk was about getting out into the crisp February cold and enjoying the walk. On the way I posted a letter at 13 Dowry Parade (home of a surgeon called Willam Falls back 1830, according to Pigot's Directory of Gloucestershire...) and pondered the strange duality of Dowry Parade and Hotwell Road, then wandered through the Dowry Parade end of Cumberland Piazza, enjoying the clean lines of the glyph graff, before taking the causeway route past a Cumberland Basin empty of water but full of seagulls, to make my way south of the harbour.