Fog that makes you wonder if you are the only people left on earth, two people in the warm bubble of a hatchback as the rest of the world recedes into murk. Dark fingers of naked winter trees reaching out to you through the mist. Then suddenly you burst free into glorious sunshine and the world is back where it should be.
We are heading to Bristol. I am both delighted and proud that Betsy received uni offers from both her top choices, and now she has to decide between them. I liked Manchester on our visits, but I am totally Team Bristol (though trying to ensure I don’t pressure her- probably failing, but trying!). I know Bristol, I like that it is a couple of hours away as opposed to six. Far enough for independence, close enough for mercy dashes or trips home, a city offering so much but with a West Country sensibility that is familiar and comforting.
First stop, Cabot Circus, to assure her that her teenage need for far better shops than a small county town can offer is fully catered for. A visit to the Harvey Nichols make-up department where she was preened over by a friendly and professional assistant, and was able to purchase some much desired Nars tinted moisturiser at a higher value than my entire make-up collection. Then similar at a department store selling Mac and Urban Decay. One happy girl clutching the bags Tumblr dreams are made of.
Then a wander to Stokes Croft and the lower reaches of the Gloucester Road for a feel of real Bristol. The bits she might actually live in, or at least similar. I love the political graffiti – where but Bristol would you find Noam Chomsky quotes in the underpass? We Banksy spotted, and loved the vibrant art covering virtually every wall.
We loved the array of funky and relaxed looking cafes and bars, over spilling with people laughing and chatting over Sunday lunches and late breakfasts. We were getting hungry too, then we saw a sign.
Pie it is then. Pieminister pie. And oh such good pie, accompanied by sweet potato fries sent from Heaven itself.
Stuffed with delicious food I decided it was time to head away from the urban beauty and find the water. Ambling along the canal, basking in the warm glow of a perfect sunset. Just so, so pretty – Bristol is a place of such contrasting charms. I am almost convinced to move here myself! But the sun is going down and we have a long drive, so we wander with aching limbs after covering several miles in foot, back to the car and back to Dorset.
Navy blue skies fading through to pastel, marbled with grey clouds. Dip dyed with an amber streak along the crest of the horizon – silhouetted with the blackest hills. Truly stunning, impossible to do justice to with a snap from a moving car.
Natures best accompanied by the sounds of the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1. A thing I haven’t listened to in a decade or more, and a perfect opportunity for an old lady diatribe about the paucity of the fare on offer. We listened all the way down to within the top 10, and only a handful of songs had anything good about them at all – modern music eh?! (Grumbles about price of biscuits and policeman looking young for good measure).
Then home, my boys, a sofa for weary legs. Such a treat to steal a day with just my daughter, am too aware that the clock is ticking and come September she will be living away from home. Still, regular visiting is a perfect excuse for more of those sublime chips!
Love Miss Cisco XXX