Monday, 14 October 2019

Katie Paterson


Thanks for visiting.

I was fascinated by BBC Radio 4 programme about Artist Katie Paterson and her on going project Future Library.  According to her website:

A forest has been planted in Norway, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in 100 years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unread and unpublished, until the year 2114. The manuscripts will be presented in a specially designed room in the new public library, Oslo. Writers to date include Margaret Atwood (2014), David Mitchell (2015), Sjón (2016), Elif Shafak (2017), and Han Kang (2018).

Isn't that a great idea!

In another project, she has also provided participants with buckets and spades to make sandcastles - not just any sandcastles but those in the shape of mountains, one from each continent like Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Shasta, Mount Fuji, Stromboli and Uluru.  This artwork is called First there is a Mountain.

Isn't that brilliant!  The sandcastles, built from sand, will be washed away by the sea, eroded just like the real mountains.

She's created a series of Timepieces (Solar System) which show the time on each of the 8 Planets and Earth's Moon.

Do have a look at her website to see all her other artworks.


Friday, 11 October 2019

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery


Thanks for visiting.

For our last trip to Bristol, let's visit one of the many Museums and Galleries, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, which is a mixture of a natural history museum with paintings, ceramics, glass and china.  Here's my five.

1. A Ton of Tea by Ai Weiwei - a metre cube of a fragrant blend of pu-erh tea, an ordinary every day tea that is drunk daily by Chinese citizens.   The tea has been dried and compressed as is traditionally done for ease of transport and links to the Chinese ceramics at the Museum as well as  to Bristol being a port.  Ai Weiwei was one of the first to be able to experiment with art after the Cultural Revolution.

2. Robert Denny and Katharine Reid by Howard Hodgkin - Hodgkin was always keen to represent a personal mood, this painting shows his response to his sitters.

3. Water Throne by David Nash - I love other works by Nash, so was pleased to see him represented here.  It was carved from a single beech tree as part of a Bristol Sculpture Project.

4. Richard Long likes to experiment with gentle forms within the landscape and here he picked all the daisies to clear the ground to create the cross of the English Flag.

5. An embroidery of Bristol through the ages.

Isn't there always some scaffolding getting in the way!

I hope you have a brilliant weekend.


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Temple Park


Thanks for popping in.

The Knights Templar were founded in the 12th Century as a military order and were known as warrior monks trained to protect the pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Crusades.  Robert, Earl of Gloucester donated some land in Bristol to them to build a church.  The original church was round to imitate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and probably looked like the one that's still in existence in London.  It was certainly one of the largest they built and was their centre of administration.

However, by 1307, the Order had fallen into disrepute so the Church in Bristol was confiscated and handed over to the Knights Hospitallers.

Sadly, the Church was bombed and gutted in the Second World War but subsequent excavations revealed the old round church, which had previously been altered by the Knights Hospitallers during the 13th and 14th Centuries.  Luckily the shell of the church still remained after the bombing and an old chandelier was even unearthed which is currently in the Cathedral.

The tower, started in the 1390s, has a 5 ft from vertical lean, which the masons tried to correct by placing the last section of the tower at a compensating angle! Perhaps no one will notice!

The church ruin has been left surrounded by modern offices and hotels but within a small delightful park full of trees and roses.

Who would realise the history behind it.


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Cabot Tower Bristol


Thanks for visiting.

How about a bit of fresh air!  We're going to climb up the Cabot Tower on top of Brandon Hill surrounded by parkland.

There it is, beautiful isn't it.  It's 105 ft tall and was built of red sandstone, covered by cream Bath stone in 1897 to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of Cabot's famous voyage from Bristol to the continent of North America with his ship The Matthew.  King Henry VII authorised the expedition hoping that a new faster route to China and Japan would be found but instead Italian born Cabot and his 18 crew discovered- New-found-land off the coast of Canada and claimed it in the King's name.  Returning to England to the joyful ringing of bells, he was awarded £10, two year's pay, by the King - although another £2 was later added plus a £20 a year pension.  There's a replica of the tiny Matthew in Bristol near the M Shed Museum.

Sadly, his expedition the following year resulted in mystery, no information is known about what happened.

Let's climb up the spiral stone staircase, it's a bit of a squeeze!  What a great view though.

I didn't venture up the last set of stairs as it was quite crowded but I think I was quite high enough!

A great way to appreciate the City.


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Street Art in Stokes Croft Bristol


Thanks for calling in.

To the North of Bristol City Centre, Stokes Croft is the area to head to to see Bristol's street art.  It's a very colourful place, if a bit rundown.

Street Artist Banksy grew up in Bristol and some of his work can be found in the area.
Mild Mild West by Banksy

Some of Banksy's work is more centrally situated and even his work is not immune from a paintball or graffiti.

Well Hung Lover by Banksy


Monday, 7 October 2019



Thanks for popping in.

What's the weather like?  No worries, it's a perfect day for a trip to the seaside on the blog today!  An hour's bus ride from Bristol takes you to the Victorian resort of Clevedon.  Let's have a look around.

The Marine Lake is the world's largest seawater infinity pool.  Built in 1929 and fully restored in 2014, two-thirds of the Lake is less then 5 ft deep, is warmer than the sea and is a wonderful place for a dip or to sail a boat.

You can see the difference in the colour of the water between the sea and the Lake.

Right next to the Lake are steps up into the wood that lead to the Poet's Walk footpath which has beautiful views.

Coming across the Finzel Tower on the footpath was a treat with views over to the Grade I Clevedon pier. The Finzel family were sugar refiners.

What a lot of blackberries!

The path passes St Andrew's Church and opens out with beautiful views over the countryside and just round the corner is Weston Super Mare.

Returning back along the footpath, a mermaid  appears in the lake!

Looking back to The Salthouse hotel and restaurant hidden in the woods, it's hard to imagine that the area used to be a saltmine with salt panning taking place there in the 1680s.  The salt was left to dry in what is now salthouse fields and now the fields have a small railway for children to enjoy.

Heading along the Rocky beach, past the bandstand, beautifully kept gardens and colourful cafes, we arrive at the pier.

Clevedon pier is 150 years old this year. It looks elegant, freshly painted and has over 14,000 small memorial plaques attached to the woodwork, people were proudly polishing theirs as we walked past.  Although there's a restaurant, a cup of tea and a cake from the tea room at the end of the pier was the order of the day, soaking up the sunshine and admiring the views to Wales and the Severn Bridges.

The town is quite a long walk from the coast although there are a few shops closer and plenty of restaurants and cafes.  There is an independent Art Deco cinema, The Curzon, complete with 1930 Christie Organ which sounds worth a tour if there is time.

It is a beautiful spot, something a bit different from other seaside resorts.