Bristol 5-8 November 2012

Monday 5th
Trains all went well as both were late, in Leeds I arrived and departed from the same platform which is good as I have had to run up and down those blasted steps countless times.
The train from Leeds was very cold so I arrived in fish finger state, got a taxi up to my hotel in Berkeley Square and checked in to a very cold room. Half an hour later I was in a different much warmer room slowly thawing out.
The Berkeley Square Hotel is Georgian in facade only, having been the YMCA in 1952 and I’m in the basement.
As it was a fasting day I did an online tutorial for my OU work and then got settled in. I popped to Sainsburys for some fizzy water and wine which I then drank.
I feel like I almost recognise bits of Bristol but it’s so different from when I lived here and I can’t remember how it all joins up. I lived here for about 3 or 4 years. It wasn’t a great time for me and included a year with a person who used to hit me. Guess what I would do if I saw her now! So slightly mixed feelings for me. I had some good fun here too.

Setting off, very cold. Self photos make my specs look bigger than I think they are.
So many bikes
Before I mess it up

Tuesday 6th
Woke in the early hours to furnace radiator! I’d thought fireworks would keep me awake but the basement meant I heard nothing at all, fab as I hate firework explosions.
Breakfast of fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and yoghurt. Waffles, mushrooms, beans, tomato and egg plus a mini pastry.
Down the road to Boston Tea Party for an espresso and back to the square for my course just a few doors up from the hotel. A Canadian called Steve to teach us. He’s great and really knows his stuff and makes it easy to understand. Quite a lot of talk for the morning. Lunch had not been ordered so we go to Pret (a Manger) and can have what we want within reason so I pick a yummy superfood salad. We take these back to the classroom to eat. I then go out the back to Brandon Hill to look at the Cabot Tower and find I can go up it so yes of course! Good views from there.
Finally get to shoot some footage. We get to use nice big camera and a Kodak flip type. We take it turns to film, be filmed and hold the reflector shield.
Some more chat then some more shooting. This time I go out with the boys with the Kodak.
Each time we review the clips and Steve critiques them. One of the boys I”m working with is very experienced already, however I still get to play so overall ok.
We finish up much later than the advertised time so I change and then head up to Redland. I wonder if I ever walked round Bristol at all, it all seems like I remember it through a big fog. My plan is to eat at Wilks veggie resto and then walk down to the Watershed. Wilks is unfortunately shut on a Tuesday but opposite on Chandos Road is a resto called Moreish which I remember from my researches. So in I go and it’s very nice, the food is good, and I don’t get made to feel weird for being on my own. I am offered free wireless which allows me to post a photo of my beer on Faceache. I have Wild Hare which is a Bath Ale accompanied by root veg soup, lovely, then goat’s cheese tart with lots of Mediterranean veg. All very yummy and quite reasonable, especially when work is paying. Work is getting off very lightly with me having 2 fasting days while I’m here.
I walk down to the Watershed, admittedly having to check my phone for directions slightly, although my nose does get me to Christmas Steps, I’ve always liked the name and the steps are just the same.
A swift half of Bath Ale Festivity porter which is malty and nutty before going in to see dire film Keep the Lights On which makes me cross but have a nice chat with a couple of boys (my age boys) afterwards. As Carol would say, “anything in trousers”!
Walk back up Park St very fast, I really love feeling so fit and healthy now!

It’s the twirly thing on the phone
Where the course was
The hotel
Cabot Tower
Wills Tower
White Bear
Bottom of St. Michael’s Hill

Wednesday 7th
Just fruit and yoghurt for breakfast today. Hotel espresso was rubbish. Up the square to start the day. I am straight out with the boys for our big video project, we have various rules but the main one is no more than 10 mins of footage. It’s quite hard to actually get much time individually with the kit, and it does seem to be that boys think they know more both about filming and about software (later) than people they perceive to be girls. Every single time I’ve tried to learn about filming, this has been the case and I am VERY bored with it.
I do manage to learn a bit despite all this but it’s not easy when I only get a few minutes on the camera. It makes it all a bit more stressful than I would like.
Lunch is sandwiches and I have some of these although am fasting today. I also have a couple of biscuits and later some fruit and nuts, yes I know, but I’m not going out for dinner.
After lunch we edit our footage using Adobe Premiere Pro which is nice software, this would be better if we could just edit the bits we had individually filmed without sharing the software. I suppose what I would have liked would be for us each to have a camera, this would give us more time to practise and we wouldn’t have to wait whilst taking it in turns. The sharing didn’t really work for me.
Finish up with our film reduced from 15 mins to 5. It’s actually better than I thought it would be.
The course has been very good but I would have liked more time actually filming and more time on the software.
Bye byes and then back to the hotel. I am expecting to go to Bristol Explorers’ Monthly Social but I’ve got the wrong day and that’s on tomorrow. After checking out a few things, I download a movie and am going to stay home and relax…

From Berkeley Square
Old Vicarage, now a solicitors’ office
The boys – Darcy and Andreas

Thursday 8th
Last night I watched Seven Pounds which sounded good in the reviews as it said it had a twist and I would be very surprised. Only if I was very very stupid. Another one worth missing. How did I manage to pick the only movie about organ transplants. Some footage of people on dialysis, but don’t bother watching it just for that!
Today I felt tired and ready to go home, first a nice fruity breakfast plus some small but delicious pastries. I checked out and left my case at the hotel. Then a proper espresso at Patisserie Valerie (just as well I am full) and a bit of shopping. I picked up my case and got a taxi to the station, ate my large bready thing with veggie sausage and hummous in it which came from a nice shop on the corner of Berkeley Square.
Bristol still seems very foggy to me and I think I walked round with my eyes shut before. It’s gone bike mad, there are literally hundreds of bikes whizzing around everywhere. I used to cycle when I was here although went off it a bit after getting knocked off near Old Market by a woman who worked for the police, the only witness was her pal who also worked for the police, so although she admitted she hadn’t seen me at the time, when I wanted her to pay to repair my bike and my jeans, they all closed ranks.
All the trains did what they should and I am now glad to be home.

Back to real life
University Music Faculty
Watery chap
Fighting chap
Temple Meads station, how fab is that?


Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

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