Saturday, July 14, 2012

Notes from Bristol, UK

We arrived in Bristol in the UK on Friday. Evidence of its nautical past are everywhere around the hotel: docks, canals, quays, the old maritime warehouses now converted into pricey apartments, the SS Great Britain (Brunel's ship) moored nearby, the seagulls that you can hear squabbling in the air all through the night and which land on the cafe tables very now and then, nearly tipping them over with their weight.

We went out for dinner with some friends and colleagues, people that Patty worked with at Bath Spa University when she was visiting writer there in 2008. I took the following picture not because we ate at Pizza Express (we ate at a good tapas bar later) but because for me it typifies the collision of the ancient and the new that you see all the time in this country:


We attended an exhibition called Unnatural-Natural History, at the Royal West of England Academy before we had dinner. Among the exhibits was this fascinating grotesque thing: a genuine cow's head which, via a process of demented taxidermy, had been stretched over something like a beach ball:


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: MODERN BRITAIN!

2 comments:

  1. As my students would say, "Intensity in ten cities!" Meaning bam, pow, wham. That cow's head was something else. Enjoy the urban jungle!

    ReplyDelete
  2. An Argyle wall! A canvas print such as this one of the Isle of Skye, painted by an American painter of the late 19th
    century, William Trost Richards, may take you right back to the wilds of the home country and go well with your Scottish
    wall. It can be ordered from WahooArt.com.

    ReplyDelete

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