26 Nov 2020
I took the day off my day job to do my accounts—or at least do enough bookkeeping to send them to my accountant. I hate doing the books. I woke up late, tired and with a headache and decided to bunk off for a walk around Cliftonwood, Clifton Village and Clifton instead, taking in a couple of good coffees along the way. Thanks, Foliage Café, and Twelve for the flat whites.
12 Dec 2020
A walk with Sarah focusing on Ashton and the surrounds, taken on a day with really nice light around sunset. Just what I needed.
I didn't realise it was a type of clematis until Sarah told me. But I can see the resemblance now.
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.
These swimming ladies look quite Beryl Cook, which is appropriate, given that I took a picture of a plaque to her up in more northern Clifton recently.
29 May 2021
I met my friends Sarah and Vik at Riverside Garden Centre today; I needed to buy some compost for repotting my wildly-overgrowing aloe vera, and I went a little bit out of my way to knock off a stretch of Ashton Road. It was a pleasant enough walk in the surprisingly warm (and surprising-not-tipping-it-down-on-a-Bank-Holiday-weekend) weather.
I managed to knock off a reasonable chunk of the roads I had left to walk around the University at the north-eastern extremity of my mile on this nice sunny walk. As well as being impressed by the number of big townhouses now occupied by various departments, I took some time on my way there to check out a war memorial, and some time on the way back to do a little extra wandering of Berkeley Square.
Looks like Hope Chapel is going solar. Seems a good idea, and you can barely see the roof from anywhere.
14 Jul 2021
As it turned out, I didn't manage to get a coffee on my lunchtime coffee trip, as Imagine That were briefly shut down by a Covid-19 exposure notification (false alarm, it seems.) On the plus side, my trip was made worthwhile by spotting a couple of people from the University of Bath Mechanical Engineering Department testing an autonomous body-finding catamaran, which isn't a phrase I was ever expecting to write...
All the way to the marina, but my destination had disappeared! Lucy and Dan were fine and I saw the Imagine That horsebox back here and working the following morning.
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...
31 Jul 2021
At the end of July I went to have a look around some of the private gardens opened up by the annual Green Squares and Secret Gardens event. Sadly it was compressed into a single day this year, for various Covid-related reasons, it seems, so I didn't get to poke around too many places. I went to:
And snapped a few things in between, too. It was a lovely day—a bit too hot, if anything—and it was interesting to get into a few places I'd only ever seen from the outside, especially The Paragon and Cornwallis gardens, which are the least visible to passing strangers of all of them.
25 Sep 2021
I needed to pop to the library, as they'd kindly dug a book out of the reserve store at the B Bond warehouse for me and emailed me to let me know it was ready. So, I took a little trip to town, straight down the Hotwell Road, and spent a few hours reading before stretching my legs with a walk to a new cafe in the actual castle (or remnants thereof, anyway) of Castle Park, before heading back home down the other side of the harbour. As well as books and coffee, I bumped into a remote-controlled pirate ship, which isn't something you see every day, even in Bristol.
Rear of King Street. I would say "interesting frontage", but presumably this is interesting backage.
I was just about starting to feel better—the antibiotics seemed to have kicked in for my dental issues, and it had been some days since I'd left the house, and I was at last starting to get itchy feet. So, a wander. But where? Well, there were a few industrial bits near Winterstoke Road in the Ashton/Ashton Vale areas of Bristol that needed walking. I knew they were likely to be quite, well, unattractive, frankly. So why not do them while I wasn't feeling exactly 100% myself? Maybe it would fit my mood. Hopefully you're also in the mood for a bit of post-industrial wasteland, for that's what some of this feels like...
Then, at the last minute, I thought again about the Bristol International Exhibition—I've got a book about it on the way now—and that gave me another goal, which could just about be said to be in the same direction, and I decided to walk significantly further than my normal 1-mile limit and try recreating another historical photo...
Sadly I don't know much about the Ashton area; it's just on the edges of my mile and I rarely have cause to go there. It's brimming with history, I'm sure: the whole South Bristol area rapidly developed from farmland to coal mines to factories to its current interesting mixture of suburbs and industrial work over the last few hundred years. As a more working class area less attention was paid to it by historians, at least historically-speaking, than the Georgian heights of Clifton, and much of it has been knocked down and reinvented rather than listed and preserved. I see here and there some of this lack is being addressed, but I'm afraid I'll be very light on the history myself on this wander, as most of my usual sources aren't throwing up their normal reams of information as when I point them at Clifton, Hotwells or the old city.