St Paul’s Carnival

This year was the 40th anniversary of the St Paul’s Afrikan Caribbean Carnival. The highlight is always the parade of colourful, themed costumes. Vivid blues, intense greens, vibrant purples all mix together with feathers, beads, whistles and bare limbed bodies to wiggle and jive to incredibly loud hip shaking music. The atmosphere was fantastic, the photo opportunities incredible. Everyone was keen to have their photo taken, no shy ones on display here! With so many colourful outfits it was hard to pick a favourite but I loved the blue ship with the faces in the sea. The faces were actually plaster cast moulds of all the people in the band that led the one for this outfit. About 3 months ago the St Pauls Carnival was in crisis and was not going to be able to go ahead due to issues over permits that hadn’t been issued in time. A petition was run to move the carnival from its traditional June to September. Thankfully we signed this petition in order to support our community and what a wonderful outcome. Yet another free and entertaining event. Keep them rolling in! Visit their website for more info.

Local wildlife

The local wildlife around here is pretty interesting as well. Still can’t get over the fact that they have squirrels here. I was a great fan of the “Secret Squirrel” cartoon as a kid so I am still fascinated to see them in real life. We came across this one in a local community garden. I am sure Steve has probably given it diabetes by feeding it chocolate muffins.
During our wanderings we also discovered this spider in its web next to a local church. I love the design on its back. It looks very similar to the Fleur De Lis (sorry Axel if my spelling is wrong!) 🙂 If anyone knows what type of spider this is I would love to know.

Archaeology, churches and museums

With nothing too grand planned for this weekend we thought we would go for a coffee tour of the city. With the first and best coffee place being shut on our arrival we were rather miffed as to what to do next. Until that is a young lady in her fluro yellow safety vest approached us with a brochure. Normally we would supply a nice smile, polite no thank you and quickly avoid making any eye contact to get away in a hurry however her brochure immediately caught our eye – Archaeology Open Day conducted by Oxford Archaelogy. We were there in a shot. We had previously walked past their dig site awhile back but couldn’t see over the fence so didn’t know it was a dig site. We managed to nab ourselves a very passionate young archaeologist who took us on an hour long tour of the site (instead of the standard 20 minute tour). It was very fascinating. Steve even managed to spot some animal bone protruding from the dig site. The area is going to become a multi storey car park with apartments and retail shops in the future so they have 6 months to pull what they can, record and map everything. So far they have found pottery, coins, shoes, evidence of the tannery works that was once there and animal bones. It has had medieval (AD 1066-1485) and post-medieval (1485-1800s) activity on site. The picture I have uploaded is of a well that is being excavated and three ovens found. Here is a link to Oxford Archaeology

Second: Churches
St Stephen’s Parish Church was having an Open Day so we went up the tower. Great view from there of Bristol. The photo I have attached is looking out to the floating harbour. The tower on the hill in the top right handside is Cabot Tower. A bit of a steep and narrow staircase to the top but well worth the view. The same goes for St Stephen’s. The staircase was rather steep, narrow and passed by the bell tower. Fabulous day to get up there and the church stained glass windows were rather fascinating as well. Some dating from 1602.

Lastly: Musuems
On Sunday after having attended church we again went for a wander into town. This time heading for the Egyptian display at Bristol Museum. It was a bit of a let down for all the advertising around town for it. So we left and finally came across the Red Lodge an Elizabethan House built in around 1590. Situated on the corner of Lodge Street and Park Row it was free to go in (always a lovely price) and had a great big inviting red door. What more could you ask. Inside it is just stunning. On the second floor is the famous oak paneled room. I have attached a picture. Oak paneling floor to ceiling, elaborately carved and with a huge stone fireplace to boot. In one of the other rooms is a painting of one of the owners of the house (Mary Carpenter) who turned it into England’s first girls reform schools. I have attached a photo of the room as it is today and the painting as it was in the 1800’s. Not much has changed. Outside those windows is a very small but quaint knot garden. Lovely place to visit if you ever get the chance.
What a great weekend.

Happy Fathers Day

To our dads. Happy Fathers Day.
Hope you both had a great day. Even though we are on the other side of the world we do think about you both and often discuss things that we see that would be of interest to you.
Thank you for helping to shape us into the people we are today and the type of parents we hope to be in the future.