Category Archives: Bristol Photography

A weekend in Bristol

Around Bristol, including at home, we found bits and pieces of interesting things.

On Whiteladies Road we found our lunch of chicken and chorizo kebab at the Ruby & White (named after the cattle breeds Devon Ruby Red and British White) butchers. The Guardian said the following about them

Inside, the shop is expensively kitted out with slate, oak, open brickwork and glass with a kitchen at the back worthy of a luxury showhome. Cheery butchers behind the counter work on their cuts facing the customers. They create fresh marinades with refreshing ingredients such as lemongrass and chilli. An upstairs area sells cheese and wine, while the basement houses a vast glass-fronted temperature-controlled ageing room where beef is matured for up to 45 days.

We talked to the manager who used to be at Trethowans Dairy and he told us about their new range of bread from the Thoughtful Bread Company where bread is a labour of love so we bought a large white sourdough.

On Friday we bought new shoes which sparkle with every step and had a long day which ended with Mersina shaking pretzels about and falling asleep close to 11pm. Our schedule is now all over the place.

On Sunday we had breakfast at Bordeaux Quay on the Bordeaux Quay and then went by the Watershed where we picked up some leaflets.

We are now looking forward to a chocolate festival during the Easter weekend at the Cascade Steps. The IMDB are hosting a script writing competition as part of the Bath Film Festival and the Royal West of England Academy have their spring exhibition on. Their other exhibitions include Selling Dreams One Hundred Years of Fashion photography and the Penguin Parade Celebrating the Penguin Books Archive.

We didnt stop in but kids eat free at the Goldbrick House on Park Street so that looks promising for a future visit alongside the as still unopen Bravas supper club on Cotham Hill.

My favourite photo of last week

Mersina is with her favourite walking toy at Caffe Gusto on the Harbourside. She is with mum, daddy, Uncle James and his girlfriend. She is remonstrating with the latter two or possibly just Uncle James because no one is playing with her. Her little hand shows her frustration. She loves gesturing.

A series of leaps

A Bristolian leap

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day is the story of Emma and Dexter. It gets told over twenty years by focusing on one day of each year. The day is July 15 and we read about where they are at that point and fill in the gaps about what happened to get them to there. It starts from the night of their graduation from university.

The story starts off simply enough. Privileged, pretty boy gets everything he wants and wastes it. Hard working girl from Yorkshire achieves top grades but can’t live her dream. A double first in English and history from the University of Edinburgh lands her a job in a greasy fast food restaurant where she whiles away the time wishing she was elsewhere.

Her creativity is hollowed out and expressed through beautiful, wistful letters to a guy who would rather be elsewhere with some nubile young thing and who usually is. Perhaps a pocket of his soul is saved for her but not much more.

That’s the beginning and if you expect to find a glowing romance then this isn’t the book for you. This story is about real life. It’s about how age wears you down and you settle and you make do with what you have. It’s about love but not in the passionate, make every dream come true, kind of love. Not really. It is the reminder that passion and romance have a place but life will happen regardless.

The real gem here is David Nichol’s writing. No matter what the characters do, the writing stands out and remains powerful throughout. Some examples:

“As the possibility of a relationship had faded, Emma had endeavored to harden herself to Dexter’s indifference and these days a remark like this caused no more pain than, say, a tennis ball thrown sharply at the back of her head.”

“Life is about to change if only because it must.”

“Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever…”

As a travel writer, he was no Bruce Chatwin, but still she would slip the postcards in the pocket of a heavy coat on long soulful walks on Ilkley Moor, searching for some hidden meaning in ‘VENICE COMPLETELY FLOODED!!!!”

There is a whole list of quotations on Goodreads and some people liked that encouragement that he sent Emma from his letters in India. When he was drunk. I think some consider it the romantic ‘almost’. The what could have happened had that letter been mailed. I don’t. I don’t like Dexter but this story works sometimes despite what happens to them.

I will leave you with my favourite that is a poignant reminder of how it is life, day to day, that is the most tiring thing sometimes.

‘No reason, Em’ said Dex. ‘I just really, really want to tip you,’ and Emma felt another small portion of her soul fall away.

The digest part of the name

I seem to have acquired more than one blog. I have three more than one, two more than the two I had until this week and I’ll tell you why with a story that is one of my favourites from my running.

I was at the gym, a few weeks before my first 10k, running at a steady pace and finding it utterly exhausting. I hadn’t managed to run the full distance yet so it felt pretty important to get in as much training as possible.

I did my best but gave up after about five minutes. Instead I did some running at an incline and put the treadmill to the random setting. I increased the speed to as fast as I could go for as long as I could run and then walked for a bit and generally chop and changed my routine for about 40 minutes. It was brilliant fun.

My housemate and I then went to Tampopo for dinner and I pretty much zonked out on top of my red Thai curry with prawns. I was ill for the next three days with a throat infection so my body was probably right to want me to rest.

I don’t feel proud for tricking it, I’m just glad I put my last bit of energy to good use.

So how is that like having four blogs? Well, I don’t seem to have much energy these days and sometimes I want to post random things that are utterly meaningless but fun. Little posts with few words aren’t a problem on a blog that is filled with meaningless posts.

I also really like the picture on the Miscellaneous blog.

We’ll see how it goes.

The blogs I’ve been talking about:

Bristol Quays And Hidden Colston

And a picture of autumn because it caught my eye as I was browsing Flickr.

Western Exposure by James Koch

A short film on Bristol and photography by James Koch and Vianet Djenguet. These eight minutes bring together the familiar streets and windows but filtered through a lens, a window, a camera and sometimes all three.

“you’re still awake but you fall asleep”

You can see more of James’ photography on his website

Some pictures from the Bristol 10km – 15 May 2011

A record number of people took part in this year’s 10km in Bristol and it was a wonderful turn out on quite a grey day. Thousands of runners headed off from just outside the Runner’s Village at Millennium Square, Park St and Anchor Rd in two waves separated by 15 minutes.

I managed to capture most of the runners and there are a few fun costumes and groups that took part. I’ll post some up here and the rest on my Flickr account. I have exported the photos in a low resolution jpeg format so if you see yourself and want a better quality image then get in touch on

Were you one of the Subway sandwiches or sumo wrestlers running for charity?

See more photos on Flickr.

Fortnight: day nine

A view of Bristol Cathedral and the unicorn on College Green

Photo by M. Booth

Photo courtesy of Bristol Culture

Underneath the filtered light of the fading day, people in felt badges have been wandering into attic rooms, archival buildings, parks, libraries and museums, looking for something that they might have yet to notice has been there all along. They sent messages to people they have not spoken to in many years. They sent their voice into the ether wondering if anyone was on the other side of the line. They filtered through cards looking for the perfect book cover to remind them of someone (and they stole a few for later, too).


Stokes Croft, and why Northcliffe should wish for a riot in Clifton

banksy sniper

I keep bumping into blog posts about the riots that took place in Stokes Croft this past Thursday and the one before that. I don’t have much of an impassioned opinion on the events themselves. I live maybe 15 minutes away by foot and feel it’s local story but I can’t really relate to the events with as much interest as others. See Kerry MP, Don’t Forget The Sun, Nancy Knits, Tigerlilyquinn, Bristol Culture, Eugene Byrne and Something Doing among others.

The thing to which I do relate and enjoy is the way the conversation about Stokes Croft took place. Crises are one of the best ways to get people talking to each other and not only because we all have the same thing to talk about but that helps.

I heard about it on Twitter first where it all became very lively. People were taking pictures and getting involved in a way which, had it taken place on a Northcliffe hyperlocal site, would have counted as a success. Anyone ready for Stokes Croft people yet?

I chatted to the guy in the lift on the way to Swinky’s the next morning. It made for conversation over coffee and cupcakes, then over lunch, then over the next few days.

Twitter kept updates going even when the BBC and the Evening Post failed to report. The UK bombs Iraq and we get instant coverage but at 1.30 in the morning there was apparently no one in the office to cover a riot just down the road (or close enough).

All the talk is a positive sign. I once sat in the central plaza in Amsterdam while the government drove by to resign and no one had any idea what was going on. I found out when I returned to Athens.

At university, during exam time, people were the friendliest and most communicative than at any point in the year. External stresses that bind us together are even better than drugs at making a social atmosphere and there’s no come down.

To tap into rational choice theory again, the ties that bind us together socially are theorized as the concept ‘social capital’. It’s the value we place on our relationships with others. There are weak ties and strong ones and various researchers have defined these in numerous ways but it all comes down to that distinction, pretty much.

Strong ties can be found in close knit communities and can be good and bad. Good because there can be reciprocity and support and bad because it can be hard to break out. For example, the ghetto sections of England where ethnic divisions are reinforced by voluntary segregation, i.e. areas that are predominantly Pakistani or Greek communities whose members interact only with each other. A great example of the latter is My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the difficulty in bringing in a non-Greek to that group. Exaggerated somewhat, obviously, but not by as much as you’d think.

Going back to the topic of Stokes Croft, all the elements were there to bind people into a community. External forces, such as Tesco and the police; lack of media coverage which meant the conversation wasn’t redirected; and the violent attack against protestors and the police.

As I mentioned before, there are hyperlocal sites set up by Northcliffe which are designed to get people talking but they don’t have the same vibe as Twitter did on both those Thursdays. I could take a guess as to why but what do others think? Will it take a riot in Clifton?