Tag Archives: Bristol

One door closes…

It’s been an odd couple of weeks. Tomorrow we will complete the sale of the house that we have called home for the past 16 years. To be honest, when we moved in at the start of the new millennium, I thought that it would be house in which I would see out my days. At the time, our children were six and four years of age, and the four bed detached at the end of the cul de sac with the huge back garden, was everything that we were looking for in a family home. We’ve made a few improvements over the years (new kitchen; new en suite bathroom to the master bedroom; changes to the front and rear gardens) and we’ve had some great times in the house. It’s pleasing that the people who are buying from us also have a young family. The same things that attracted us to the house were also instrumental in their decision to buy. We know that they have great plans to refurbish and update the house, and that is something that generates very mixed feelings. On the one hand, it seems like a criticism of our stewardship of the house over the years; but more rationally, of course, it’s simply a reflection that time and fashions change.

For us, ‘home’ for at least the next five months will be in Bristol. Our new house in Cardiff won’t be finished until some time after March 2017. We have the excitement of specifying the finishes for that new home, and the privilege of being able to get to know a whole new city in the meantime. Change is both disruptive and enabling. We are sad to walk away from the ‘old’ house. But having completed that process, we can now commit properly to moving into a new phase of our lives. Watch out Bristol : we’re coming for you!

Simply Gorge-ous

It was a beautiful autumn morning in Bristol today. The sky was a Mediterranean blue, and the October sunshine was still the right side of warm as we set off just before 10am in the direction of Clifton village. The fountains and façade of the Victoria Rooms were doing an excellent impression of an Italian town hall, and the water was positively sparkling in the sunlight.

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The Victoria Rooms

Our destination was the suspension bridge across the Avon river gorge that links the Severn Estuary to the docks in the centre of the city. Although built to a design originally drafted by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the suspension bridge linking Clifton on the Bristol side, to land originally owned by the Ashton Court estate on the North Somerset side, was actually completed as a tribute to the Victorian engineering genius after his death.

It’s an amazing feat of engineering, spanning the gorge suspended from a series of chains and iron connecting bars that in turn carry the iron plates that form the deck of the bridge.

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Clifton Suspension Bridge from the Observatory

And if the views OF the bridge are amazing, then the views FROM it are even more spectacular.

If you do visit the Bridge, then make sure that you allow half an hour to have a look around the visitor centre just past the ticket barriers on the north side of the gorge. The volunteers who run it are helpful and informative and the displays and video presentation give a fascinating insight into the chequered history of the construction project up to the point when it was finally finished in the second half of the 19th century.