Sunday, 17 July 2011

Kings of Ping

Only in Bristol can an old motorcycle showroom be taken over by a bunch of artists and find new life as a ping-pong-off.
Saturday evening was spent supporting friends as they took on opponents in games of ping-pong on the five tables set up in 'The Motorcycle Showroom' on Stokes Croft.
As next weekend sees a festival in a bowling alley, it's occurred to me that here in Bristol we can make a party out of anything. Annual events include Stokes Croft Street Fest, in the underpass of the motorway; St Werburgh's Fair, held in a pig pen; Vegfest, celebrating all things vegan; the Bristol Do, for street performance; Upfest, for street art; the Zombie Walk at Halloween; the Organic Food Fair; the Montpelier Bean Feast; St Paul's Carnival celebrating Afro-Carribean culture, the Balloon Fiesta, the Kite Festival, and countless music festivals on the harbourside.
I could go on, but like the party-goers in Bristol, I don't know when I would stop.

Monday, 11 July 2011

St Ives

We went to St Ives to buy board shorts, but got distracted by the glorious sunshine and ended up celebrating by eating ice-cream, swimming in the sea, throwing sand at seagulls and watching a seal bobbing about in the harbour. Then we dragged ourselves away from the beach in order to visit the Tate, where we wandered through a hall of balloons and raced through the rest of the gallery. We finally made our way back along the coast path to the car, sunkissed, refreshed and happy, but pondering where all the surfshops went.


I raced away from work on Thursday in order to be at my mum's book launch that evening, and had such a lovely but frantic time that I hadn't considered what to do with my day off. Luckily, every family member was in Cornwall, along with many friends, so my decision was made for me, and I was taken to Zennor on Friday, for a drink at the Tinners and a walk to Zennor Head. This end of the country, just before you drop into the sea, is simply stunning. With nothing between me and America, I am always hit by a sense of freedom. A surprise bonus day spent with good people and Dilly the dog.
If you're after blue sky, endless sea, heather, wind whipping around your face, fresh air, space, freedom, beauty and light; go to Zennor.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Farm, St Werburghs

After another great day at St Paul's Carnival, combining a visit from my sister and an anniversary celebration, we opted for a Sunday at The Farm.
We visited the goats and their four kids, huddled together in a family hug; the big piglets; little chicks and other animals, then fought for table space at The Farm pub. As the sun was out, many people had chosen to extend the festivities, like us, with the best roast in town.
We queued for half a lifetime, and managed to place our order about a second before the decision was made to close the kitchen. An hour or so later our food arrived, our choice of roast complete with 8 other vegetables, roasties, yorkshire pudding and tons of gravy. Delicious! We ate quickly, then took our drinks with us as we had to drop Lucy and Andy at the coach station. We walked through the eco-village and Strawberry Hill, emerging by the allotments just in time for a toilet stop at the house and a sprint to the station.
A great weekend, topped off by the fact that we'll meet again next week in Cornwall. Nothing like family and friends, short weeks and long weekends!

Coombe Dingle

It's great to discover a new part of a city you've known for 10 years.
On Wednesday after work I was waiting to hear how I'd done in an interview (very well, but not well enough), and to kill time we decided to drop back a laptop I'd borrowed near to Coombe Dingle, go for a walk and eat out.
I was exhausted and frazzled, and couldn't handle too much exertion, but we managed a gentle meander around Coombe Dingle Estate, which leads to Blaise Castle. With knotted tree roots, ancient bridges and people making fires, it felt fitting for an escape.
Then we ate in a pub on Whiteladies Road and decided to move in together, and I felt a lot better.