Weird Bristol Walk, June 2018

I am a huge fan of Charlie Revelle-Smith‘s Weird Bristol twitter, sharing little nuggets of information about the city – and so I was excited to share the druid gravestone that Vik and I saw in Avonview Cemetery on our way home from the Bristol Walk Fest walk around the Avon Valley.  We’d been talking about going on a walk together, and this was the perfect place to start, to look around the cemetery and come back via some of my favourite weird Bristol places.  On 28th June, in the heatwave, we got on a bus after work and went exploring.

Here’s the map of where we went:

And here’s my flickr photo album (click through or mouse over the first picture to start a slideshow)

Netham Weir

Make sure you follow Charlie’s twitter – and look out for his Weird Bristol book that’s coming out soon!  And to find out more about him, listen to my podcast interview with him from last July.

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Eastwood Farm and Strad Brook, June 2018

Vik and I had been to Eastwood Farm as part of the fantastic Bristol Walk Fest Friends of Troopers Hill walk, but we wanted to have another look, so on 23rd June, our friend Matt drove us over to have a look.  We ended up walking around Eastwood Farm (and dipping cameras into the lagoon!) then crossing the Avon on the Beese’s Ferry, and walking up the Strad Brook, the stream that divides Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Here’s the map of the walk:

And the first batch of photos, a flickr album from Eastwood Farm:

Underwater, Eastwood Farm

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Kayaking on the Floating Harbour

Back on 8th June, Vik and I went kayaking on the Floating Harbour.  Ever since we moved to Bristol I’ve wanted to canoe or kayak, but it’s been endlessly frustrating failing over and over again, because I’d basically need to buy my own boat and space to leave it – or so I thought!  Then I read about Go Canoeing Week, and one of the options was a canoe trip around the Harbour with All Aboard watersports, so we booked it!

The initial tour didn’t happen, but we re-booked, and it felt luxurious, just Vik and me having a bespoke session.  We have different levels of expertise, because a million years ago I was an outdoor activity instructor, teaching canoeing and kayaking (among other things) in the Lake District, while Vik has been in a kayak once.  We were in little short surf-style kayaks, which are super-maneuverable, but were a bit frustrating for Vik as a practically first-timer, and we had a bit of teaching, and then went for a trip.  My photos are here:

Seagulls fighting over a chicken leg

and check out Vik’s photos too:

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An “ordinary” walk around the Harbour

Last Friday Vik and I met after work, did a bit of shopping on Park Street, and then walked home on our usual route from the top of the Triangle – down Jacobs Wells Road, along the Floating Harbour, through Underfall Yard and along the south side of the Harbour, over Vauxhall Bridge and home.  I must have taken parts of this walk thousands of times (though if I had the choice I’d take the Chocolate Path, as I did commuting for years, but now it’s been closed by Bristol City Council and left to fall into the river…) and I am always in awe that this is one of my standard routes around the city.

It had rained for most of the day, and the light was spectacular, with more rain clouds overhead, with sunshine making clouds glow against the greys, if you looked in the right direction.

I have some photos in this flickr album – hopefully you can also make it work as a slideshow here…

Avon reflections

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My pictures in Photographique

Excuse my terrible phone photo!

Photographique is Phil Searle’s fantastic Bristol print lab: developing photos, printing them from digital and negative, selling frames and doing all kinds of things.   They’ve recently moved into their new North Street premises.  I’ve been using their services, or just dropping in for  a chat, for 10 years, so I was completely delighted when the manager Hamish Trevis, asked me if I’d like to have my photos on their walls this month.

It was a really good process for me.   This Avon Stories project is about a year old, but while it exists in different forms online (including the podcast and social media), and of course all my walks are In Real Life, I haven’t started showing it yet.  In fact, I haven’t had a show, or put photos on walls since my Photography degree finished, nearly 4 years ago.   I’ve really missed the process of editing, and taking this huge pile of stuff I’ve been making, and thinking how I can present it, so my huge thanks to Hamish and to Phil, for giving me this chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in/near Bristol, please do pop into Photographique, 53 North Street, and check out all their services online – and while you’re there, have a beer in Phil’s fantastic pub, The Hare, next door!   And if you like film photography, you can also enter their Analogue Photography Competition from anywhere in the UK, and win cash prizes.  But if you’re not nearby, I’ve put the photos I’m showing into a flickr album.

As well as putting the photos on the wall, Hamish made me a fantastic little booklet to go with them, so if you can’t get to see the pictures in person, here’s what they are, and why I’m showing them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A weird occurance on the Avon

A gas leak on the closed Avon path

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Avon Stories Podcast #23: Soundwalking with Dan Pope

There are so many ways to explore a place, and one of them is through the sounds you find there.  Dan Pope is an acoustic consultant and musician, who also makes sound-art and runs sound walks, and for this episode, we went walking down the St Philip’s Greenway and the closed Avon path, on a soundwalk.

Between stopping to find out what we could hear, Dan told me about various kinds of soundwalks, and how we can come at them from art, science, politics, ethnography, history, psychogeography, planning, and so many more viewpoints.

We also talked about his work, and what can be done to add positive (and negative!) soundscapes to places.

Dan has a fantastic list of sound resources, for people who want to explore sounds in their area:

  • The Hush City app is a great resource to add sounds you encounter to a global community – you can explore their website and see what they do
  • Cities and Memory is a global sound project, collecting sounds and having sound-artists remix them into sound-art pieces.  For example, their Politics of Protest global sound map.
  • The World Listening Project runs World Listening Day every year, with tons of events, including soundwalks – this year it’s on 18th July
  • The Institute of Acoustics has regional branches across the UK, which run events – find your local branch here.
  • The Bristol Walking Festival doesn’t have specific soundwalks this year, but there are tons of interesting walks to places that you can listen to
  • Apps like Titanium Recorder and the Soundcloud app are great for recording interesting sounds you hear out and about – look them up wherever you get your apps

We also briefly talked about some people working in sounds:

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An April lunchtime walk

I met with my friend Cee last week for a lunch-hour walk from Victoria Square to Castle Park along the Harbour, including the new path under the Huller & Cheese flats and through the Finzel’s Reach development.  It was a stunning day, like the first real day of spring, with people everywhere, but our route was surprisingly empty.Map of our walk:

And a couple of photos…

Boats:

Grass-roofed boat

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