Bristol is my staging post to fly to Toulouse, so it’s always a good place to spend a few days. It has some great street art (home of Banksy). I got to see some being made…. well it’s really an ad for a new beer being made by the wonderful Ostrich Hotel.
I also got to finally visit the Bristol M Shed. It’s a relaxed, informal museum about Bristol. I was very interested to see the exhibit on street protests. In this case it was about the lack of disabled access to the new Arnolfini Art Gallery cafe.
I only had a few days in London, mainly to catch up on sleep. I did managed to book a train to Rochester from St Pancras for a day trip. The day before, I wandered down to the station to have a look. Just behind the busy station is a quiet area with an ancient church. Unexpectedly, there was Mary Wollestonecraft. Not sure who reads her ‘Vindication of the Rights Of Women’ anymore, but you’ve all seen her daughter’s work.
The next day I took the quick train to Rochester. The cathedral, second oldest in England, has long been on my to-do list.
I’m finally on the road again, after sheltering for the past three years. I’ve just started to look at the photos I’ve made in the last three weeks. These will do to get started.
I was in Narbonne, the first Roman settlement in France. These are casts from a funerary enclosure, so either a chapel or a tomb. I can’t find too much more about them as yet. The site is still being dug by archeologists. The stones seem to celebrate life…. fruit and flowers, drinking and dancing. I’d like to think that the person portrayed was an entertainer.
I think I’ve done enough now to count myself a true flaneur. That is, I enjoy an aimless stroll, especially in ancient cities like Paris. I love prowling the older streets…. left over from the rebuilding of the 1870s. Then again, there’s ‘the new’…. in this case, the beautiful cast iron work….
I did a training course in Gloucester, UK and was lucky enough to stay at The New Inn. It was new in 1450. The unfortunate Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen here in 1553. They also used to host travelling theatre shows in the late 1500’s/early 1600’s. It’s thought that ‘The Lord Chamberlain’s Men’ played a few shows in the courtyard. Certainly they’re recorded in Gloucester at that time. This would have been a good venue for them. I mention that merely because their cast included a Mr W. Shakespeare.
It’s on one of the main shopping streets of the town…. the rooms are very comfy, if a little wonky. I can forgive that! I remember that the breakfasts were good. After 570 odd years in the hospitality business they’ve probably mastered The Full English by now!
Food can definitely be orchestrated. A meal may be a symphony… but it’s probably an accumulation of well planned quartets. My buy, lunch in France!
We are lunching at La Vache Au Plafond, in Limoges. It’s a lovely room with a great staff. It being lunch, I’ve chosen a number of entree sized plates… hopefully something for everybody. Feel free to order yourself a drink…. there’s a good wine list and any number of fruit juices and non alcoholic cocktails. It is luchtime after all.
From Les Jardins de l’Acropolis, Rodez, a tomato/ melon gazpacho… with goat’s cheese and serrano ham.
From Le Sphinx in Figeac…. a do it yourself tartare…. yes, the meat is raw, but you have an alternative. Hint, it’s really delicious.
From L’Auberge du Fort in Aubin… a tartare of betrave… beetroot. Tangy and fresh.
Still at L’Auberge… a very stylish dessert, rasberries and chocolate.
Coffee. You can also order a noisette (short black) or even a digestif… I’ll have a cognac.
I’m not that high up, but the embankment of Capdenac station gives me a godlike view. It’s a chilly autumn day and the lengthening shadows tell me it’s time to be heading home. The boule players, many of them retired railway workers, are well wrapped up.