Tuesday, 30 August 2011

South of Bristol

We found ourselves in Ashton Court on bank holiday Monday, which was a great place to be, given the green everywhere, deer up close and only a very faint hum of traffic noise. We then moved on to Clevedon, which has some charm, despite all the mud and the fare to enter the pier. On the way a pub advertised 'Live Steak Night' and I wondered if they served live cows, and the garage may or may not wash your car in its 'Car Wash Lottery'. Finally on to Somerset, to hang out in the huge garden, eat, drink tea, and relax. A family filled, fresh air day.

Zakynthos. Heaven and hellenic.

We booked our flights to Zakynthos two days before we left and didn't bother booking anywhere to stay, as our flight landed in the morning. However, upon our arrival, in 30 degree heat, we realised it was Sunday and there was but one bus running on the island. So we scrapped our plans to head to the peninsula and, after a quick dip in the sea, boarded the bus, getting off at the final stop, and wandered to Amboula beach in Tragaki. After another swim, we decided to ask at the beach bar if they knew of any rooms to rent. This was our first introduction to the incredible hospitality of the Zakynthans.
We were given a lift up the hill to a detached house with a panoramic view, air-con and a huge garden, and we quickly decided to stay. Over the next few days any idea we voiced aloud fast became a reality as our hosts felt it their duty to make our stay a success. Mention of a boat trip transpired in a ticket the following morning. Pondering car hire, a car turned up in our drive. So during our five day stay we managed to circumnavigate the island by boat, drive to secluded beaches, swim in caves, spot turtles and eat tons of tomatoes, olives and cheese.
We did not see a single cloud, we swam for hours every day, and with the sun shining on the crystal clear sea, I knew it was worth the money we paid to go away on the most expensive week of the year, for a lifetime of turquoise memories.

Back to Boomtown

It was a good and busy Boomtown.
This time round was bigger, less friendly perhaps, busier, but the music was still amazing. Highlights for me included the energetic First Degree Burns; incredible beatboxing by Reeps One; the club atmosphere Ms Dynamite managed to create; jumping about to Babylon Circus; hearing good time classics by The Selector; hearing them again in a new and even more energetic format from True Beat; and the constantly crawling Arcadia stage, in the form of a giant beetle, which would sporadically spread its wings to reveal a dark underside of music and dance.
I got to interview bands, which was fun. Despite its inflated size, Los Albertos, the Carnyvillains and First Degree Burns all reckon that Boomtown is an unpretentious, fun and friendly place, to discover and dance to all manner of music. I think they're right.