All posts filed under: Bristol

A Weekend In Bristol

   Back in early November, we escaped the city for a weekend in beautiful, autumnal Bristol. I wanted to share these (already tardy) snapshots before they seem obsolete. It was as cosy and relaxing as we hoped – catching up with friends, lattes at the Watershed, crawling Clifton’s pubs, a lipsmacking Sunday roast at the Vaults, naps in our bolthole apartment opposite the Lido, flea market wanders, crunching through the leaves in Brandon Hill, admiring vintage single speeds chained to lamp-posts and our faces reflected in inky puddles. The whole weekend was really a walking tour of the places that once comprised my life. Closed tight like a fist, my world contained in these small streets. Where I lived and studied, biked, laughed, cried, was. And somehow it’s three years since I left and mostly, I’ve forgotten to miss it. That November weekend put an end to that; weekly, we talk now of our one-day maybe-someday life in this hilltop oasis, our house perched on a slope, his job at the university, our one-day babes tumbling through …

A Weekend in Bristol

How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you — you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences — like rags and shreds of your very life. — Katherine Mansfield I fell in love with Bristol the very first time I visited a tender seventeen with my father. From that point on, I knew I would live there one day. I will always have a soft spot for the city and its sandstone mansions, its glowering bridge and crumbling cliffs. I will always have a soft spot for it because it’s the place where I learnt to live alone, the first city I fell in love with, the place that gave me so many dear friends, where I spent countless gloomy days sitting happily in the stacks of the university library. Stamping booted feet through wet leaves this weekend, I was enveloped by memories. That’s the thing with old homes – around every corner a former self wanders, uniting past with present. There’s the language department, and …

On Cities

With the advent of warm weather I have found myself missing Regensburg. Not surprising, of course: the sunny seasons there signalled non-stop Danube swimming, riverside picnics, plenty of gelato (only one country separated us from Italy, of course!) and sitting in the shadow of the medieval skyline late into the night laughing with friends. It’s not a tear-your-hair-out, throw-yourself-onto-the-ground, life-crisis kind of missing – simply a gentle tug on the heartstrings when the sunlight dances in patterns across the floor, when my hands cup a melting ice-cream or walking through meadows towards the river. I wonder if others miss cities this way. I have realised I love cities like friends or family. I live in a city (or perhaps just visit) and fall head-over-heels in love, the most whirlwind of romances – I define myself by my surroundings. Last year did I think of myself as an English girl living in Germany? No. I thought of myself, with a fierce loyalty, as a Regensburg citizen with as much love for the Danube and Walhalla as any born …

Sunset walks.

After a day spent captive, writing one. last. essay (!!), a sunset stroll up the hill was the perfect medicine. The sky was my favourite Bavarian pink, the air felt brand new and I returned feeling especially grateful for the fresh air coursing through my lungs and the way that, sometimes, my little neighbourhood on a hilltop feels like a great big treehouse in the best possible way.