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.
Another place I've passed so many times that I forget it's there. Haberfield House is a giant Victorian almshouse on Joy Hill, hidden from the Hotwell Road by a tall brick wall, but apparently with gardens around that side. I believe it's now privately-owned bedsit-style accommodation, but it's hard to find out much about it. It doesn't help that there's at least one other Haberfield house in Bristol (also an ex-almshouse, now and old people's home) which makes searches a little difficult.
There are ongoing proposals from the owner to convert the roofpace into more flats, in Bristol's ongoing mission to cram even more poeple into even less space, it seems.
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.
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.
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.
This is opposite Grove House, but I'm wondering if it might be a remnant of the adjacent Cornwallis House having been a Catholic girls' school or a Protestant nunnery. All I know is that I've walked past the end of this road a thousand times without knowing how close to Jesus I was.
15 Nov 2020
A walk back from Bedminster to my place, mostly down Duckmoor Road, which I found a little dull—probably because it reminded me a little of the suburbs I grew up in on the outskirts of London—then held up slightly by some filming on Ashton Avenue Bridge. They were trying not to let the crowds build up too much in between takes, it seems, so it wasn't a long delay.
20 Nov 2020
Just a quick wander up the hill to get a flat white from Twelve. I really enjoyed the spooky mannequin (?) in the window.
21 Nov 2020
A rather more wide-ranging weekend wander with Sarah and Vik, taking in some mock Tudor bits of Bedmo (I should note that I've subsequently been corrected to "Bemmie", but I'm an outsider and have been calling it "Bedmo" for short for decades...), a chunk of Ashton, a path up Rownham Hill called Dead Badger's Bottom(!), The Ashton Court estate, a bit of the UWE campus at Bower Ashton, and some of the Festival Way path.
Welcome to Covid-19, kids: Christmas is cancelled.
...what's going on on the corner of Frayne Road and Clift House Road