i haven’t posted for some time now. in fact, i haven’t been out taking photos for a while. i’ve been away over the weekends (in mind, body or both).
but subconsciously i have also been waiting, and having taken delivery of my new camera and lens – excitedly – i’m out again. and so is the sun.
i have a half-years resolution for weekdays: i plan to get out of bed earlier and make the most of morning light; also stay active into the evening… it’s 5pm as i head out of my front door, virgin equipment in hand and peculiar nervous excitement in my stomach.
and so – on with new things – comes another: westbury-on-trym, bs9. just north of the downs (beyond stoke bishop), this little village of 10,000 or so buzzes with the sound of commuters heading home plus the occasional motorised wheelchair hurtling around the roundabout merrily, hugging the curb.
it is, perhaps, an elderly populus. and as i look around me the pavements are eerily clear. tea time.
but the sun shines on. and it’s that beautiful intermittent sky: sun, clear blue sky, with great big servings of meringue cloud (a technical term). these sugary dollops roll randomly, morphing, occasionally blocking and necessitating a patient waiting game on any given ledge; a chance to breathe and take in the surrounds.
there are several charity shops, a couple of cafes (locally run by the looks of it) and a pub advertising an available lease, although it remains open. at the centre of the roundabout is a wreathed war memorial.
new light draws me up again. i look around to see twin chimney stacks seemingly mirrored with twin helpings of meringue. ground level, there’s bright barricading encircling and protecting two road signs (though there could be roadworks, i suppose). the shadow created by the housing to my right appears a good fit to the shape of the barricading, as if once joined but now separated by the gradual path of the sun.
i walk on. around the corner and toward the end of the high st there are various restaurants of mixed spice and splendour. one – a thai – has a vivid bolt of light shining through its’ front door. a bit further on there’s a bridge with the river ‘trym’ trickling sedately underneath. back up the high st i spy some traditional old red phoneboxes – three in fact, all in a row – and wander over for a peak inside and out. into and through.
i’m asked by a walking-stick wielding gentlemen if i’m taking photos. i wander briefly if he’s perhaps annoyed, inquisitive or just a bit mischievous (as it is clear that i am indeed taking photos). “yes, i am”, i reply straight faced and respectful. “it’s lovely here” he replies, immediately, and quite informatively. followed by “good day!” as he walked of f with less speed than haste.
“you too, sir”…
who knows, but i imagine he may have lived here in this village for many years, possibly all his life. if you were to ask him of home, “westbury-on-trym” would be his reply, “bristol” at a push (with geographic reference to westbury thrown in proudly).
i head back up the hill whence i came in no great hurry despite my rumbling tummy. the rythym of the village, of the day, seeps in. all thoughts of yesterdays and tomorrows are lost. first things first: enjoy the walk home.
an architect’s dream – kate bush
thanks for reading don’t forget the sun. take care. k x
‘snap + fit’. cambridge crescent, westbury-on-trym, bs9
‘thai stitch’. high st, westbury-on-trym, bs9
‘village, impression’. high st, westbury-on-trym, bs9