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...
I don't know what I was expecting to see on Brandon Steep, but a sculpted stone frog sticking out of the wall would have been pretty low on the list.
So that looks like an overflow pipe, and I suppose that makes this a modern gargoyle.
21 Aug 2021
Lisa and I mostly went out to have a look at Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon as its tour hit Bristol Cathedral—I missed it when it was previously in town, at Wills Hall, I think—but we also took a trek up to Redland. Lisa's kind enough to indulge my strange current fascination with the Edwardian eccentrics that made up the Stella Matutina, so we swung by a couple of places with a vague connection to the Bristol branch of the organisation. Well, it was good walking, anyway...
As a stunning bonus, one of the picture's descriptions has more information than you'd probably want on the Bristol Port Railway and Pier's Clifton Extension Railway line, but I did happen to coincidentally write up this wander after reading about the extension line during my lunch hour at work today. It's a thrilling life, I tell you...
I love the affordances we humans make in our walls for venerable trees.
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.
The Victoria Square event was at 11am, and I didn't have a lot of energy, so hanging around until 2pm for the Richmond Terrace Garden to open would've been too much for me. Maybe next year! The event might be back up to the whole weekend by then, rather than being squeezed into a single day.
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 recently learned—after seeing reference to someone being "mewed up" in EH Young's Chatterton Square (which is set in nearby Canynge Square)—that "mew" is an old word for "moult". And that hawks used to be confined in cages called "mews" when they were moulting. That's where The Kings Mews in Charing Cross first got its name; it was where the royal hawks were confined during their moulting. Later The Kings Mews was converted to stabling, and became the place where the King's carriages were kept, and the word "mews" spread from there and began a new life a word for a road full of coachhouses, or later, garages, turning as it did from a plural to a singular. So we now have the words "mew", "mews", and "mewses", each more plural than the last!
"I'd like to buy an owl, please." "What?" "Someone told me you sold owls?" "Who?" "See! I can hear one!"
It's very nice in there. I will never be wealthy enough to be asked to join, which I understand it the only qualification I don't fulfill, being white, male and old. Actually, I tell a lie; in 2006 they voted to allow women to join, after only 188 years of prior existence
07 May 2021
I saw this tweet the other day and started thinking of my second Covid-19 vaccination as my "Sequel Injection" (to a geek, it's funny. You'll have to take my word for it.) Whatever you call it, this morning I went and got it.
It was in the same place I got my initial injection—my left arm! No, okay, it was at the Clifton College Prep School. I didn't take any photos of the event itself; the NHS production line is so efficient you barely have time to do anything else, even if the privacy of other patients wasn't a factor.
Along the way I mused at all the road resurfacing going on in Clifton, and also discovered a secret (okay, not-well-known and possibly slightly trespassey) way into Canynge Square, and on the way back I knocked off a few streets from my "leftovers list" of north-east Clifton. I've got much of Clifton done now, with the only obvious "to dos" on the east side of Whiteladies Road...
It was quite a long walk, and I'm feeling pretty tired now, though that might be the effects of the jab too, I suppose. Anyway. Tomorrow and Monday I'm walking outside Bristol, I think, and I imagine my feet will need some recovery time on Sunday, so it might be a while before I post another Wander.
Yup, what I thought led to a back garden or something is actually a strange little cut-through to the back of the Redgrave.
Saw this on the map and realised I might have missed one of those strange little backwater streets that seem oddly prevalent in Bristol.
I'm thinking of choosing the dullest picture of the thousands of One Mile Matt images and awarding it a prize. This has got to be a contender.
I've snapped Oakfield Court before, but it was looking so nice in the sunshine that I couldn't resist another pic.
Interestingly, I could definitely hear the sounds of running heavy machinery coming from this building, so I guess the original pump house might still house the modern pumping machinery.
05 Dec 2020
Back to Cliftonwood for a wander that included some of the belle views of Bellevue Crescent and other bits of the easternmost part. Highlights included watching someone bump-starting an elderly Nissan Micra in the narrow confines of Bellevue Crescent.
Part of the wall has collapsed. It seems like the Council don't want to do anything about it until they can figure out the exact ownership, though local residents are urging them to fix it and worry about recovering money from anyone who might be responsible for some of the repair costs later.
It's such a bold red, you can't really help but snap this doorway if you go past with a camera.
27 Oct 2020
One of the homes in Windsor Terrace went on the market for £2,000,000 a few years back. This is the closest I've been to it, right at the end of the private road. Presumably they're okay with people wandering down the road if there's a blue plaque to be seen at the far end?
Both the plaque to Edward St John Daniel and the other photo I took (in these early walks I was mostly walking, rather than mostly taking photographs) have interesting stories of a rise and fall associated with them in the first Google hits I found. Daniel was indeed the youngest recipient of the VC, but was stripped of the medal by Queen Victoria herself in 1861, following conviction for desertion and evading court martial. Lubetkin is probably most famous for designing the penguin pool at London Zoo, which was closed 17 years ago, after the micro-abrasions in the penguins' feet caused by the concrete led to them developing an infection with the charming name "bumblefoot".
Plaque to Edward St John Daniel, end of Windsor Terrace.
31 Oct 2020
Starting up close in Hotwells with a few bits around the Cumberland Basin flyover system, I walked to Bedminster and back on Hallowe'en, including finding some excellent decoration work.
Not many people want to get from one side to the other here, and those that do normally just cross the road; it's normally fairly quiet.
I wonder if these joined letters are gradually going to drift apart?
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.
Scarborough and Whitby, right? Despite being a goth at heart, I've still never been to Whitby.
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.