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.
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...
10 Jan 2021
Went for a wander with my friend Lisa—the current lockdown rules seem to be that one local walk for exercise per day with a maximum of one person not in one's "bubble" is fine—up to the University of Bristol area right at the edge of my one-mile perimeter to see the Jeppe Hein Mirror Maze, among other things. On the way we mused about Merchant Venturers, the slave and tobacco trades, and dating in the time of Covid.
Having Googled them, Mickey Beans (behind the Waitrose van) is a quite swish-looking coffee shop, not, as I'd expected, a greasy spoon.
21 Jan 2021
A quick jaunt to Clifton Village to grab a birthday coffee and cake (courgette, lime & pistachio, thanks for asking) from Twelve, and rubberneck at the demolition of the block that used to house the WH Smith, among other things. I remember the Havana Cafe, Mail Boxes Etc (for those who wanted a Clifton postcode without living there?) and others.
24 Jan 2021
I started this wander with my "support bubble" Sarah and Vik, after Sarah texted me to say "SNOW!" We parted ways on the towpath and I headed up into the bit of Leigh Woods that's not actually the woods—the village-like part in between Leigh Woods and Ashton Court, where I'd noticed on a map a church I'd not seen before. I found St Mary the Virgin and quite a few other things I'd never experienced, despite having walked nearby them many, many times over many years, including a castellated Victorian water tower that's been turned into a house...
02 Feb 2021
I needed to get away from my desk at lunchtime, and I saw a little segment of path in Greville Smyth Park that needed knocking off my "to walk down" list, so that gave me a target. Sadly Hopper Coffee's little Piaggio Ape wasn't there to sell me a coffee. I hope Rich is all right, not seen him so far this year.
Anyway, a fairly uneventful walk. They're putting new boundary fencing up around Hotwell Primary School (I wandered down Albermarle Row to see what the pneumatic drilling was about), the house on Granby Hill that's been covered in scaffolding and swaddled in protective sheeting has finally been revealed in its cleaned and refurbished form, and they were doing something to the flyover that leads up from the end of the Portway/Hotwell Road to the Plimsoll Bridge. Nothing much else to report.
Which is a pleasant sight. I don't see them very often these days.
31 Mar 2021
Not a literal run, but I didn't hang about, as I had a job interview to get to (I was an interviewer, not the interviewee, but you still have to be there on time...) Along the way to pick up a lunchtime coffee I mostly seemed to take photos of the high tide, though I also came across a bit of outreach work for small spiny mammals...
17 Apr 2021
I went rather outside my area today, as I went to pick something up from the Warhammer shop on Wine Street (Games Workshop as-was, and before that I think perhaps a rare retail outlet for Her Majesty's Stationery Office? I may be mis-remembering...) Anyway, a friend of mine wanted something picking up and posting to him, so I figured I'd knock some streets off my list along the way.
I first headed for the St George's Road area, walking down the narrow Brandon Steps and finding some strange wall art on Brandon Steep, then headed to the Old City via Zed Alley. The Warhammer shop visit was friendly and efficient, and, mission accomplished, I treated myself to a sausage roll and a flat white from Spicer + Cole, to take away and eat in Queen Square with its current decoration of hearts. I finished off with a detour up Park Street, looking out for St John's Conduit markers, before finally crossing Brandon Hill on the way home.
Quite a long wander, all told, and I'm a bit knackered today...
25 Jul 2021
The far east of the intersection of my one-mile radius and Bedminster, anyway. I was feeling a bit tired this morning, so I motivated myself to get out of the door by imagining one of Mokoko's almond croissants. That got me on my way, and I wandered across to Bedminster, through Greville Smyth Park, along most of the length of North Street (looking out for new Upfest 75-pieces-in-75-days artwork as I went) and then onto some new roads at the far end.
I only wanted to knock a few streets off my "to do" list, but by the time I'd diverted here and there to check out various bits of graffiti and other attractions and come back via the aforementioned purveyors of Bristol's finest croissants, I'd walked 7.4km. Not bad for someone who woke up tired, and at least I've done something with my day. I'm very glad the weather broke (we had tremendous thunderstorms yesterday), even if some of the pictures might've looked better with a blue sky. I was getting fed up with walking around in 29°C heat...
Just a few side-doors and garages, really.
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...