Monday, 28 March 2011


To Devon, to celebrate a birthday. Pit packed 20 of his friends into a 'camping barn' in Hartland, which is as basic but not as charming as it sounds! We arrived on Friday night, reorganised the furniture and got stuck into the beers. Saturday brought sunshine and a trip to the beach. In true holiday mode, those crazy enough to want to surf the freezing seas finally got their feet wet at about 4pm. The rest of us variously lounged, slept, walked or watched football. I was in the walking crew, and was delighted to come across cliffs covered in my favourite flora: gorse. I absolutely love the way it smells, looks and scratches. It reminds me of home and lazy Summer days, of a childhood spent on clifftops walking dogs.
We regrouped for a pub dinner and headed back to our barn for another drinking session. The only room with any furniture to rearrange in the first place was the kitchen, which now had two plastic benches and carpet on the floor. It reminded us all of being back in student halls, the level of noise and alcohol consumption only aiding the memory. At 12.30pm the following day, when nearly all of us were still asleep, we learned that kick out time was 10am. Oops.
After a quick clean up operation we headed back to the beach for pasties. It was a good weekend, but I really must be getting old now, because as great as it was to revisit Uni life for a weekend, my favourite part of getting out of Bristol this time had to be the gorse.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Mina Road Park

Emerging from 15 hours sleep, I was in need of sustenance in the form of food and sunlight. Destined for the City Farm in St Werburghs, we were disappointed to find the grass off limits as it intended to grow. So with empty pockets and stomachs alike, we changed our route towards the nearest access to food and light: Sunni's supermarket on Mina Road, which accepts card payment. We purchased our cider, sandwiches and snacks and crossed the road to Mina Road Park, a peculiar place.
The park seems to be in bit of a ditch, surrounded by roads and houses, with an unusual number of metal bars. There are many trees providing little needed shade considering the climate, and an awful lot of mud. We found a relatively dry and bright patch, and settled down.
In the time it took us to eat our lunch we saw the park fill up. First came a crew of Spaniards setting up camp within a metre of us, bringing saucepans of food from a nearby house and playing the didgeridoo. Next came my ASBO neighbour with her two dogs and argumentative boyfriend. They were soon followed by some scruffy looking youngsters who proceeded to tie a rope to a tree and walk the slackline. Then came another wave of Spanish friends, bringing bongos. A few more circus types with clubs to juggle, then two girls with fire sticks who started practising their dance. Finally, a man with a small sound system arrived.
We had been unwittingly engulfed by the Werburgh festival vibe.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Street shopping and Glastonbury torr-ing

The start of March has been cold but beautiful. Spring is in the air and it feels good! To celebrate, I'm planning mini-breaks and new wardrobes. Saturday was spent whiling away the hours on Park Street, picking up bargain jeans and beautiful birthday presents. Sunday was a bit special.
We started by heading to Clark's Village in Street, which is not an outlet store, but an outlet village. And it doesn't just sell shoes. Every shop had about 70% off, from Calvin Klein to Billabong, and I walked away with a pair of jeans from the United Colors of Benetton which only set me back £7!
We didn't stay long though, as the sun was shining, air bracing and sky blue. It felt like the first time I'd seen the blue sky for months, so as we were near Glastonbury, we headed up the Tor. It was a very easy climb, but this didn't stop the views from being quite spectacular. Green as far as the eye could see. It was windy and cold, so with dreams of spending the rest of Sunday in a sheltered sunny beer garden, we did the right thing and went to visit relatives in South Bristol.
There's a lot to be said for staying in and watching films at the weekend. Aside from the nightmares I got after watching 'Splice', I managed to catch up with lots of people, buy two new pairs of jeans for only £22, plan weekends away, cut hair, breathe fresh air and gain brownie points... All in a weekend.