Bristol, not at all what I’d expected – first published 7 August 2014

The morning after Commando Senior’s funeral I was up at the ungodly hour of five getting ready to catch a train to Bristol. It’s a city I’ve never visited and, from the bit of Googling I’d done, it seemed there would be lots to interest a history freak like me. After all it was founded at some time before the end of the first millennium and left Gloucestershire to become a county in its own right as long ago as 1373. There was a Norman Castle, one of the strongest in Southern England and parts of this, along with the medieval walls, and churches remain today. Continue reading Bristol, not at all what I’d expected – first published 7 August 2014

2015 life is too short to be unhappy

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31 December 2015

The final lesson of 2015 was that sometimes, if you stick at something long enough, success will come. Conversely, I also learned that there are times when you have to cut your losses and give up. The main theme was that life is far too short to be unhappy. Continue reading 2015 life is too short to be unhappy

Bristol, churches a castle and laughing on the train

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We knew we’d been riding our luck weather wise but there was still a little more of Bristol we wanted to see before we returned to Temple Meads. None of it was graffiti related but it was, broadly, on the way to the station. When I’d been looking at Google Maps plotting out our route I’d noticed a place called Castle Park and, what looked to be the remains of a castle. Who knew Bristol even had a castle? As it was close to the city centre it seemed too good to miss even if it did add a little bit to our walk back to the station. Continue reading Bristol, churches a castle and laughing on the train

The Bear Pit, traffic jams and the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft

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Since the first cave man ground up colourful rocks and mixed them with animal fat to paint on the walls of his cave, people have been creating art. Humans seem to have an innate desire to paint, whether that be on cave walls in the hope of a good hunt or on canvas to  capture the essence of the world around them. There was a time when artists suffered for their art in filthy garrets, swapping work that would one day make art dealers millions, for a meal. These days things have changed. Modern day artists live in large apartments with millions in the bank all made without the need to be mouldering in a cold grave first. Sadly, work created for money rather than love is not always good. Continue reading The Bear Pit, traffic jams and the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft

Hotwells, gas works, street art and Banksy’s in the wild

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2 September 2015

We’d made it to the Cumberland Basin, the main entrance to Bristol Docks and a place that features high on my work life list of disaster areas. Part of me was interested to see what all the fuss was about. The swing bridge we were about to cross would lead us from Spike Island to Hotwells and, looking over the side at the boats moored in the calm water, it seemed peaceful enough. Of course the problem, as always in Bristol, revolves around the roads not the river and over the expanse of water in the basin, we could see plenty of traffic even on a quiet Wednesday afternoon. At least we were walking so traffic shouldn’t cause us too many problems. Continue reading Hotwells, gas works, street art and Banksy’s in the wild

From Temple Meads to Spike Island

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2 September 2015

When I first heard about Banksy’s rather bizarre pop up ‘bemusement’ park, Dismaland I knew CJ would want to see it. Let’s face it I wanted to see it myself. The pictures I’d seen made me smile and I immediately got the tongue in cheek concept of an alternative theme park with miserable mouse eared staff and grotesque exhibits, another ironic Banksy comment on our society of greed and sensationalism. Research told me it would be easy enough to get to, although the journey would be long. Unfortunately, so would the queues. Some said the four hour wait was all part of Banksy’s master plan, an echo of the normal theme park experience. Even CJ agreed a three hour journey, followed by a four hour queue then another three hour journey didn’t sound like much fun, so I decided to come up with an alternative. Continue reading From Temple Meads to Spike Island