Tuesday, 29 September 2009

How to travel by train

Well, I'm on my way home now after my lovely mini break in sunny Bristol. Sadly the sun doesn't seem to be following and the sky is getting more and more grey the further north I travel.

4 hours into the journey so far with another 4 to go. I'm just about managing to stave off boredom with my knitting, a selection of magazines and food.

My eco halo is, however, gleaming!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Art for art's sake

For my last day in Bristol I decided to have a look at some culture.

First stop was Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. The very same place that ran the hugely popular Banksy exhibition this summer. Sadly it's now over but for those like me that missed it, if you keep your eyes peeled you can see some of his work in situ outside. This one is on the side of an office just down the road. I don't know if it's genuine or added to complement the exhibition but it is impressive.

Tonight, to finish my day of culture, I'm going to Bristol Old Vic. But just now I'm worshipping at the temple of mammon, otherwise known locally as Cabot's Circus.

The theatre was... well, strange. I know 6 Characters in Search of an Author is meant to be strange, but this was well wierd! I think I enjoyed it, but to be honest I'm not really that sure. Hmmm!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday morning

Sunshine, good coffee, yarn and the opportunity to eavesdrop other people's conversations. What more could a girl on holiday ask for?

This was my coffee stop this morning at the Watershed Arts Centre where I sat out on the terrace in the blazing Bristol sun, had breakfast and did a few more centimetres of my knitting. (In case you're wondering, I'm making a waistcoat with the yarn I got at Mcaree's in Stirling, who also sell online if you're interested!)

After that I wandered off to meet a friend of a friend who very kindly saved me from eating alone. We had a couple of really great mezze plates at the River Station restaurant, which (as the name suggests) is next to the water).

I then took the opportunity to work off lunch with a homage to my previous years in Bristol with a (longer than I remember) walk up Gloucester Road to where we used to live in Horfield. I completed the round trip by walking back to Whiteladies Road where I stopped for a beautiful pot of jasmine tea at a place I now can't remember the name of. Apparently the tea leaves were all handtied into pearls - but sadly not by the rather nice young man that served me my tea!

I was hoping to end the day with a visit to Bristol Old Vic to see 6 Characters in Search of an Author - but sadly it's not running on a Sunday, perhaps tomorrow night?

Friday, 25 September 2009

Wise words

Says it all really!

(As seen in my Bristol hotel on the way to my room)

This is the life!

Day 2 in Bristol and the sun is still shining. Today I'm rediscovering Clifton and Whiteladies Road.

So far, so good!

The cafe was a nice little spot I found before heading off into the wilds of Durdham and Clifton Downs. The only place you can say, I'm up in the Downs!

I wandered around until I found the Clifton Suspension Bridge - one of Brunel's great Victorian civil engineering marvels for those of you not in the know, and a truly iconic bridge. After that I made my way down a really steep hill to Hotwells and across the Avon to CREATE, Bristol City Council's Records office and sustainability centre. From there I walked back through Bristol's industrial heritage and made my way back to Clifton Triangle, and the Berkley Square Hotel where I'm staying.

Sadly, my room hadn't finished being cleaned so I was 'forced' to pop across the road to Brown's Bar and Brasserie for a (large) glass of rose. It's a hard life, but somone has to live it!!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Indian summer?

Well, here I am on my much belated summer holiday. And who would have thought it, almost the end of September and I'm sitting outside having my lunch without shivering. In the UK! And without 16 layers of jumpers.

As part of my own environmental challenge, I'm having my summer holiday somewhere I didn't need to fly to get to.

So I'm here in Bristol. It's a city I haven't been to in 15 years and I must say so far I'm impressed. Although I suspect the sunshine helps.

The view in the photo is of the much regenerated harbour area, taken from the upper terrace of Mud Dock Cycle Works cafe. And very nice it is too!

The rest of the day was spent perusing Bristol's various shopping areas - St Nicholas Market, Broadmead, the spectacular new Cabot Circus & nearby Quaker's Friar, Christmas Steps and Clifton Triangle. Sore feet at the end of it all, but worth it - and mostly window shopping. I even managed to find my former favourite Bristol shop - the Guild. 101 years old this year - way to go!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Autumn is here!

So back to the yarn projects (courtesy of Macaree's).

Here's my first foray into knitting for a while. A nice slouchy hat all ready for my trip to Bristol tomorrow.

More yarn for the train journey so expect some work-in- progress pics over the next few days.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

What Sundays are made for

The final weekend of our personal Homecoming celebration was rounded off with brunch at Zingerman's on Port Street and then a stomp up Dollar glen with Nanna and Grandpa.

And the sun even shone.

What a great way to finish a fantastic visit. It definitely helped to restore my sanity this summer.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Reality TV?

I celebrated having a houseful of guests again this weekend by dragging them off to the Cartoon Club at the Tolbooth this morning. We spent a fantastic couple of hours watching classic Oliver Postgate cartoons, including the Clangers, Bagpuss and Noggin the Nog.

After that we wandered back through Stirling, stopping briefly at the barbers on Friars Street for a back to school haircut for the wee guy, and then headed out for a drive to Sheriffmuir Inn.

We finished the day with dinner at the Birds and the Bees in Causewayhead.

A good day all round!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

On the town

I have just finished having the most fabulous day out with my sister in Edinburgh. It started with a quick trot down to the train station to get the express to Edinburgh, from which mercifully the Tartan Army disembarked at Stirling - but leaving behind their empty (mostly) tins of beer.

Once through in Edinburgh we hit the shops, making Harvey Nicks our first stop. While it was supposed to be my big sister's birthday treat, I was the one that ended up splurging the cash on a Paul Smith suit. Well, half of one for now - they didn't have the trousers in my size but are "sending them up from Knightsbridge" for me. Boy, do I feel extravagant!!

I then disappeared to have my hair cut while my sister went off on her own shopping mission. Sadly she wasn't able to find the top she'd been looking for but did come back beautifully made up courtesy of the nice girls at the Benefit counter in Boots. Lunch at John Lewis was followed by coffee at Vin Caffe (I'm sure we did some shopping in between!) and then back to Harvey Nicks for our Champagne Manicure in the wild colours illustrated above. A quick visit to the MAC counter (and another make over for big sis) and then we were ready for our cocktails.

We both look hot to trot now, and more importantly, we've had fun! A highly recommended day out for girls of all ages. Well, over drinking age that is!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


In case you were wondering who my guests are, here they are.

Personally I think the bear is the most normal.

Dress up

One of the wonders of Stirling's Smith Art Gallery and Museum is the way it brings local history to life. Not only are there some great exhibits and information boards, there's also (to the great delight of my nephew) an extensive dress up box.

I'm not entirely sure what this is dress up for, but it's dead cute!