Sunday, 23 March 2014

Incredible Edible Bristol

As yet no sign of life in my seed tray, but yesterday morning vegetables were sprouting madly along the wall of the Hen and Chicken pub on North Street (or technically Greville Road!) at Bedminster's inaugural Incredible Edible Bristol event.  Check out the website (and FaceBook page) for what's going on and how to join the revolution.  As the saying goes 'If you eat, you're in!'

A small but cheery band of locals braved the cold morning air to 'plant' the roots and shoots and, just when we needed them, the incredible (but not necessarily edible) GoodGym runners jogged up to help with the goddess of fruit and veg.

Bristol, don't you just love it!


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Living Below the Line

Here I go again!

Undaunted by the monotonous diet of claggy rice and insipid frozen mixed vegetables, and without even the comfort of a regular supply of tea, I'm planning to rise once more to the challenge of living on £1 a day for 5 days from Monday 28 April until Friday 2 May.

In addition to raising awareness of the plight of the 1.2 billion people who live in extreme poverty, I am also raising funds for Oxfam. If you respond as generously as you did last year then it will be well worth it.

I thank you.

To donate click here.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Up the Feeder

A fortnight ago I decided it was about time we discovered more about the in which city we live (ie Bristol).  We moved here over 20 years ago (23 years and 3 months to be precise!) and although we are reasonably familiar with large areas of it, I am sure there are details that have escaped us, and pockets of it that we have never set foot in.

Our first sortie introduced us to the sculptures in and around the centre, which I will leave for another post.

This afternoon we decided to focus on the Feeder Canal, a waterway built between 1804 and 1809, by a workforce of over a thousand English and Irish labourers, to divert water from the tidal river Avon into the Floating Harbour and maintain its level.

No expedition should ever be undertaken on an empty stomach, so our first stop was Hart's Bakery, tucked away in one of the arches beneath Brunel's magnificent station at Temple Meads.  Fortified by mouthwateringly flaky lamb, pea and mint pasties, and two sublime slices of cake (orange and almond polenta and banana and toffee - half each!) washed down with a mug of latte, we boldly set off where we had never been before.

Here are some of the things we saw:

And here are some of the things we learned:
  • Bristol was once home to the biggest galvanising works in the world, owned by John Lysaght whose Victorian Gothic fantasy office building still stands on the site.
  • Netham Recretation /ground, known locally as The Brillos, got its nickname from 'barilla' a Spanish plant burned to extract sodium carbonate in the old Netham Chemical Works.
  • The area between the New Cut and the Feeder Canal, known as The Marsh, was infested by rats, giving employment to local rat catchers.  Albert 'Hopper' Chinnick, the most notorious of them, allegedly bit off their heads as his party trick down the pub.  And for a 'tanner' he's said to have done the same with puppy dogs' tails!
  • The rose bushes in Sparke Evans Park produced magnificent flowers on account of the high levels of soot from local industry and railways.
Where will our next excursion take us?