Saturday, 27 August 2011

See No Evil

Last week the whole of Nelson Street in central Bristol (UK) was shut off for a rather exciting project. Nelson Street is normally dull, grey and a bit manky - it's home to several nightclubs, a derelict magistrates court and the back of the police station - but someone had a good idea.
Bristol is well-known for its street art scene and Inkie, a local, brought the city council and street artists from all over the world together to brighten the area up. The whole thing was called See No Evil.
I missed the street party that accompanied the finishing of the project on Saturday, as well as the temporary boards which had been painted on, but what's still there is pretty awesome. I went down on Sunday and took a load of photos, so here they are in a neat slideshow.

More photos will eventually end up on Flickr but I don't see that happening for a while yet.
You don't want to see those anyway, there are loads of great ones over on Flickr.
There's a dedicated group, the Bristol group and Swishrelic's set, then there's the ever-awesome F***YeahBristol tumblrlog, and the project's own website.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Last Weekend

 No, not the apocalypse or some hellish nightmare, that's my bad photo of Thursday's nightglow at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (not sure what makes it international!). It should be a lovely photo of lots of balloons standing up, glowing in time to music but we managed to lose track of the time and left the pre-balloon pub later than planned. We got a good three minutes or so of glow and Jai Ho though - it was a film music theme... Hmm.
It's a pretty long walk down there, and even the bus doesn't get you all the way. Once you get into the Ashton Court Estate there's a hill to climb and a fairground to walk through. I sensibly wore my walking boots and so was comfier than others, I still got a stitch hurrying down there though!
On our way back (up the side of the hill to Clifton, gah) we spotted a cat on a wall and my housemate decided to climb up on the wall and talk to it. It was an amusing sight, but sadly not one that photo-ed particularly well.

Last year there were barely any balloon launches because it was too windy and rainy, but they managed a few this time. We watched Saturday afternoon's balloons drift across and I managed to catch some of them neatly arranged around the chimneys and aerials from my window. We went to the pub on Saturday evening and some people went on to the nightglow but I couldn't be bothered with all the walking again and so came home to sleep!
That turned out to have been a good decision as I was woken at 7.30 on Sunday morning by a roaring noise which turned out to be this rather low-flying balloon! Only in Bristol*.
I believe this is the same balloon whose pilot got fined £3000 or so for flying too close to the suspension bridge.

Since I was awake I took a few more photos, this one above looking Eastwards (ish). It was rather amazing seeing so many balloons serenely floating across the sky.
Once I'd had my fill of balloons I got up and caught the little train across to Montpelier, then walked up to Coffee #1 and settled myself in to do some Maths. Anticipating a highly caffeinated day I went for a decaf latte to start with, it's so annoying needing the loo when you're on your own in a coffee shop and loathe to leave your seat and belongings. I sat in the window and watched the world go by learnt proofs, feeling clever when I knew what was going on.

I passed much of the day like that, with a brief interlude at lunchtime in which I bought a reduced cucumber, a brand-new-with-tags dress from the British Heart Foundation shop (pics later maybe), and a "feta and spinach" wrappy-type thing from Bristanbul Turkish bakery. 10/10 for the name 2/10 for the amount of feta in the wrap, it was mostly tomato and onion! Oh well.
Later on I was summoned to the observatory, up by the CSB in Clifton to watch the Red Arrows and the balloon launch. I acquired some strawberries from a grocer on Gloucester Road (hurrah for local businesses and actual grocers!) and my flatmate brought the muffins she'd baked and we had a little picnic.
I wouldn't normally say I'm one for watching this sort of spectacle but it was impressive, and quite a surprise when they appeared for the first time from behind our crowd! (I think they must've started out from Filton, Bristol airport was obviously quite busy judging by the steady stream of Easyjet planes on the horizon). They were clearly performing to be viewed from Ashton Court but our point of view wasn't bad at all (apart from the hoards of people, most of whom unhelpfully stood up when they appeared!)


After the display we used the power of science phones to determine that the mass ascent that evening had been cancelled due to high winds, so we went and bought some cider and sat outside with it. A lovely afternoon.

Sad news from the Bournemouth Air Show a week later.

*I have since been informed on Twitter that this also happens in Melbourne. Oh well.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


 Over the weekend I did some cutting! I now have all the panels and facing for the skirt half of the dress, plus the three main bodice panels.
I didn't have the best surface to work on, I was using my mattress as a cutting table! It was only after cutting out the four skirt panels that I realised the small coffee table next to the bed was a better bed than the combination of mattress and clip frame backing I was using. Oh and I probably should have ironed the old dress pieces too... Laziness is to blame.


I laid out all my pieces to make sure they'd fit alright and pinned them in place, then I cut around them as best I could - I think flatter pieces and more pins would have helped.

Now I have a pile of dress pieces waiting to be sorted out and sewn together, hopefully soon to be joined by the rest of the dress pieces.
I must remember to keep each piece with its corresponding old dress piece so I have some help with where to fold and hem each bit. And I *must* remember to do the darts...
I haven't totally decided the order in which I'll assemble the dress, but I think lots of it will depend on what's tucked into where. The button placket must be one of the last things to go on as it covers the ends of all the intersecting seams. Breaking it up into mini-projects appeals (divide and conquer as CS lecturers call it), The collar and pockets lend themselves to this pretty well.
If there's any more progress before mid September then I'm probably not revising as much as I should be, that or I'm using it as a way of keeping myself sane in the face of principal ideal domains and factor rings.

In a fit of wild optimism today I bought this pattern:

It was 99p in Oxfam and these dresses look very much like the sort of thing I'd like to be wearing when it's hot. Not that I'll get anywhere near this pattern for a good few months! Oh well, I can dream...

Saturday, 6 August 2011


 I made chocolate chip banana bread in fairy cake format - sadly the texture was a bit strange (far too dense) but my cute pastel silicon cake cases work a treat.

I walk past this almost every day, it's nice to see so much green. If you have an area (sunken courtyard) then you really should do this with it.

Eton Mess, at a rather nice pub near Henley for the boy's Dad's birthday. We went for a little walk by the Thames then sat in the garden drinking wine - lovely! (it also helps that his family are quite possibly the nicest people ever)

Stained glass in Bristol's St Mary Redcliff church.
Adam & I escaped from the crowds of the Harbour Festival, had a sly half at The Golden Guinea, then took in the rather lovely interior of St Mary Redcliff.

 Yes, those are Christmas lights. It was the 2nd of August. Shame on you, Clifton Down Shopping Centre.

A very sleepy kitteh I met on the way over to Gloucester Road for curry  He/she opened his/her eyes, looked at me, then went back to sleep.
For pre-curry drinks we went to the excitingly painted Prince Of Wales pub: unpainted in 2007, mural-ed in 2008, now. I was pleasantly surprised - it was more airy than expected and had a good selection of ciders, including Broadoak Perry which I haven't seen on tap anywhere else.

Happy Saturday to anyone who may be reading this :)