One thing about retirement I’m looking forward to is the ability to go out for the day. We did it earlier in the year as a trial run if you like, and went to Bristol. I say a day, but in truth we decided to stay the night at The Bristol Hotel which is situated on the quayside. It was a lovely, end of summer day with plenty of sunshine (at least to start with). After parking up and sorting out the room, me and Dolly Clackett, otherwise known as the wife, went for something to eat at one of the many river side bars. Very nice it was too. A gentle stroll afterwards along the river past the converted warehouses that must be home to some very rich people.
On one occasion, we paused to enjoy the river and the many boats, some were just simple canoes and inflatable dinghy’s mingling with the larger, pleasure cruisers and even larger tug boats. It was then that I took the photograph of the aptly named ‘The Happy Sole’. However, on looking back at the photo, there doesn’t seem to be a happy soul among any of its passengers!! Good grief, if this is what retirement is all about, I’m seriously considering jumping ship. A glorious day, relaxing on the River Avon, out with friends and a face as long as Cheddar Gorge. Not even the slightest chink of a smile. Perhaps they thought they were going on the QM2 and had been conned, but even the ‘Conductor’ has his head solemnly bowed.
Artists on the Quayside
Now this is more my kind of thing. At least these two guys were enjoying themselves, although looking at them now, they don’t look happy at all! They are probably lost in their artwork. They were painting one of the many ships that were docked in Bristol. Neither of us had visited the city before, certainly not for any length of time. I know very little about the place, but all of this area around the docks has certainly been modernised in recent years. Apart from the glum faces, it does have a vibrant atmosphere about it, street performers, artists and of course, the boat trips. There’s an abundance of places to eat and drink too.
Rosie & Jim
It’s not all miserable faces though, as we came across this couple who seemed to be parking their boat. Dolly Clackett says it’s Rosie & Jim who headed up a children’s programme many years ago. They didn’t have a lot to say to us, but we acknowledged them and carried on our way.
This painting is instantly recognisable as a Banksy. I didn’t know he was from Bristol. I didn’t know that this was his first graffiti art either and that all his artwork since has made him world famous. I have no idea if Banksy looks unhappy or not, I don’t think anyone does because no one seems to know what he looks like. How does he get to do these works of art without anyone seeing him? They turn up all over the world, even in Afghanistan I believe. I don’t know if the blue splat marks on this photo are original or it has been vandalised.
It never ceases to amaze me the originality of some artists. I think this street sculpture is fascinating. You can’t help but see it, because of the level it is placed at. I suppose it harks back to the old days of the docks when there was water everywhere and dogs paddling their way through it all. Then again, I might be totally wrong.
This is a lovely photo taken by my wife. As you can see, the sun has disappeared and there looks like some serious storm heading our way. It’s been a lovely time spent in a lovely city. Apart from some of the long faces, I suppose everyone has an off day, but you don’t expect to see them all on the same boat together! We thought it best that we should head back to the hotel and start to pack before we get clobbered by what is looming in the sky.
Road To Hell
We just managed to get in the car and onto the M4 out of Bristol City Centre when the heavens opened up! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it in all my days. We thought we would head for Wales, it’s not that far from Bristol and we know people there, you know. As ever, mention Wales and down comes the rain. It didn’t stop all the way. However, we have left Bristol with some happy and funny memories. Where else could you see a boat called ‘The Happy Sole’ full of people that would have made the passengers on the Titanic look cheerful.