Flashmob – The UK Freeze, Bristol

On Saturday there was another flashmob event in Bristol. This time in the Broadmead Shopping mall. I went with my flatmate to take photos. There needed to be more people but it was fun to watch. If you have seen the Grand Central Station version on YouTube you will know what I mean by a Freeze. Everyone is walking around normally then a signal sounds and all those involved freeze in action for a set period of time. At the end of the period the signal sounds again and they continue doing what they were doing as if nothing has happened. Very funny to watch.

My flatmate and I also ended up on the You Tube video at 2 minutes 35 seconds (photographing the participants). Check it out.

UK Big Freeze Bristol

You’re doing what?

It’s a fabulously warm today here in Bristol. The sky is blue, the mercy has hit 23 degrees, only a slight breeze and where am I? Doing laundry at home!!!
Sadly this is a great day to finally air the dooner, pillows, wash everything in sight so it can hang out to dry in the wonderful sunshine for a change. Rather embarrassingly I will admit that another rather odd pet like is the smell and feel of freshly washed and sun dried laundry.
I will manage to try and claw back some sort of dignity by saying this is probably only the 5th time I have been given a day worthy of laundry drying in the 2 years we have been here! Does that somehow make it less embarrassing?

Eating Out: Robin Hood’s Retreat

I mentioned in an earlier post about having found a new local (pub that is). How surprised we were to find that they also do incredible meals. Definitely not your typical pub grub.
Granted it is pricer than we would normally pay however these meals are not intended to be slugged down.
For 14.50 each you were able to choose 2 courses. I will never pass on a dessert if given the opportunity so opted for a main and dessert.
I had the sea trout with puree peas, royal potatoes and some incredible dressing that I forgot to take a note of. Followed by, strawberry jelly with white chocolate parfait.
Steve had the pork belly with potato and sage and mustard lentils followed by a cheese dish with crackers, caramelized onions and pickles
My descriptions unfortunately give no real justice to the meal. I mean how good can mashed potatoes be? Put it this way, we rarely eat potatoes but could seriously be converted by this mash! I have no idea what they did to them but it can’t be good for you as it tasted deliciously evil!
It took us over an hour to eat and although the meals were not portion sizes you would expect to get from pub fare, the quality of it ensured you ate slowly and lingered over the taste sensations. We probably could have forgone dessert (or maybe the cider before hand!).
No wonder this place got a mention in the 2009 Michelin Guide (we found this out after the fact).
In short, save your pennies and treat yourself out for a night! It’s worth it.
Robin Hood’s Retreat

I’m knacked

This week has been a full on one. Tuesday afternoon I made my way via train to Bolton (near Manchester) for work. I spent two nights up there as I was conducting six training sessions over these days.

The first night in the hotel I was rudely awoken by an evacuation alarm at 2am! For the number of times I have stayed in hotels I am usually quite diligent about the following things 1) always take something decent to sleep in, 2) know your fire exits from your floor, 3) have your phone, torch and room key next to you for quick access. I have been very complacent it would seem, at least on point number 2. Also I did spend a precious 2 minutes trying to figure out what alarm I had set off (in my 2am groggy state of mind) before realising it was the fire alarm! The hotel guests then spent the next 30 minutes or so outside in the rain and gusting winds while the fire engines arrived. It turned out to be something burning in the kitchen – smelt like toast! The highlight of the night (of course be that it wasn’t a severe emergency and we were all safe) was the attire that people wore outside. One lady had obviously grabbed the nearest shoes and ended up with one Ugg boot and a sneaker.

The two days of training was full on with very little time between sessions. By the time Thursday afternoon came I was rearing to go home. I believe the sessions went very well, even the session with key managers that I had been forewarned about. They definitely tried to unnerve me and display their displeasure at “yet another system” but I believe I managed to successfully hold my own ground and more importantly had some positive grumblings about the benefits of the tool by the end.

This weekend Steve had to work and I was helping a friend move into her new place in Wales. It was a big day but I have been quite surprised that my muscles aren’t hurting as much as I thought they would today. We have spectacular weather here in Bristol today although there is still a chilly wind blowing. With that, I am off to enjoy it.

First major snow in 18 years

As you know on Monday Steve and I took off to Kew Gardens as it had snowed down there. When we got back to Bristol there was a bit of snow around but not much. About 4am Tuesday morning I got up and looked out the window and what a sight. It had snowed. Not tons but enough to make the place look so pristine. I took a photo from our bedroom window. Normally this view is pretty grotty so the snow made a dramatic change to the view.

By mid morning on Tuesday the snow was starting to melt so we were quite blue. But, low and behold late Wednesday and Thursday night we got more snow. Bring it on!

Bristol and many other parts of the UK are at a stand still at the moment. With buses canceled, salt supplies nearly depleted, only major roads being salted/gritted leaving many “stranded”, schools closed, you would think that this is chaos. In all honesty, yes I am sure it has been highly inconvenient for a large number of people but it has been 2 days out of the last 18 YEARS. Get over it!

What amazes me is that you have people with these lovely, large, gas guzzling, 4×4 vehicles, traveling at 10 miles per hour as they have never actually used the 4×4 option since they purchased it. Over here they are called Chelsea Tractor drivers. Darn fine vehicles owned and used for appearance sakes.

About 3/4 of the team I work with didn’t show up today due to bus cancellations etc. My train line was running perfectly and I really enjoyed the walk for the last 2 days in snow. People have been smiling, talking to each other for no reason other than to comment on how beautiful the snow is. They have been really enjoyable snow filled days.

View from our bedroom early 4am Thursday morning
View from our bedroom early 4am Thursday morning
Sunrise on platform near my house
Sunrise on platform near my house
Station at the other end of my journey
Station at the other end of my journey
Rugged up and ready to walk
Rugged up and ready to walk
Our poor Roger the Rover in snow
Our poor Roger the Rover in snow
Great for bikes what about the walkers?
Great for bikes what about the walkers?