Well, I've had a busy week.
After a horrible start to Wednesday (doctors, MOT failure) my day improved vastly by joining my friend Laura of Laura after Midnight for a stroll around Gloucester road in Bristol. We met up at a café called Tart, which neither of us had been to before (and living on the other side of town, I'd not even heard of before!) I was first to arrive, and wondered in with that slightly gormless look that people use when clearly looking for someone and not wanting to catch the eye of the staff just yet. My attempt failed though because I was accosted by a very nice member of staff asking me if I was looking for a table. I replied with "not yet" and mentioned I was waiting for someone. She directed me to the back of the café where there were still some seats left. I plonked my self into a squashy armchair in a little hidden away spot with a very encouraging menu. After a little while Laura joined me and a couple of rebuffed waitresses later (we'd been chatting too much to decide) we both asked for a large cappuccino and asked about the cakes on offer. The waitress reeled off this enormous list of cakes all of which sounded astounding (I was impressed that she could remember so many without a single "um" or "er".) With our cakes and our coffee (both of which were excellent, and we'd know having both worked in a café offering home-made cake and proper coffee) we talked until the café emptied at about 3.30 or 4pm. I would recommend the place. Light, friendly but attentive service, good atmosphere, it was perhaps a little pricey for my poor empty wallet, but nothing out of the ordinary, and to top it all, we managed to miss the rain, although I can't in all reality attribute this to the staff at Tart.
After we were fed and watered we started our amble up the road, looking for inspiration, pretty and shiny things. we popped in to a few charity shops, and also headed in to a number of interior and gift shops. I wish I'd taken my camera because Laura and I kept noticing bird motifs and designs everywhere. On tea towels, lights, bird boxes, bowls, t-shirts. Well, pretty much everything. It gives me a feeling that I might have stumbled on to just the right thing with my Birds collection on Chloe and the Chimera.
We also made a trip in to a place called Flo-jo Boutique. Again a place I'd only heard of from Laura. I was in a very small and perfectly formed heaven. They sell haberdashery, fabrics and kits, and also offer workshops, some of which Laura is running. I was impressed, not only by the décor (I adore painted 70's furniture), and by the range of items on sale in the little shop, but also by the atmosphere. The shop felt bright and sunny and airy, and the lovely lady who was, I gathered, one of the co-owners, was just as bright and sunny. Chatty and friendly and made me feel welcome, despite just following Laura around the shop like and over-awed puppy dog! Again, I'd recommend a visit to this shop. You'll in all likelihood come out with something you never knew you needed, and perhaps even sign up to improve your sewing skills too!
The next couple of days I spent "at work". Which is a pretty loose title for what I do for money at the moment. Over two days I did some general cleaning and tidying and then instigated the removal of not only a stinky rotten carpet but the ancient cork tiles that were glued in patches on top of even more ancient plastic tiles, which were in turn glued to a pitch floor. (Which is in fact poured over very ancient flagstones.) We only removed the cork tiles in order to give a flat surface with which to paint on to. This simple sounding task required paint scrapers, a whetstone, hammers, a sharpened spade and in the end a pneumatic hammer, because the glue really liked being stuck to the floor. I'll be going back in order to paint it and make that room habitable again next week.
On Saturday I went to Bristol Harbour festival with my Dad. It was the first nice day we'd really had, not only sunny but hot too. We ambled up past the M-shed, watched the steam train, ran away from the ferry queue, walked up to the boat yard, got to see the Pryonaut do its things, which was brilliant because I'd never seen that before. Then we walked back down the other side via a stop for cider and burgers (didn't get the name of the place, but very good food. Lots of bottled cider but only two bottled lagers (but then it's not a pub). Next to the Thai restaurant.) Then we carried on to the first bit of the floating jetties on that side, where a collection of miniature steam boats were all sitting (by miniature I mean 6-8 people sort of size.) They were fascinating. My Dad's a big fan of steam trains, and boating so he got on well with them. They were beautifully made and designed. Hardly made a noise, and looked fantastic scooting around in the water! Would have loved to have had a ride. We spent the rest of the day ambling about with no agenda. We could have seen much much more, but it was nice just to chill and soak up the atmosphere.
Sunday, I was back to my real work!
All images are © Chloe Cooter 2012 unless image links to another website. All images that are not © Chloe Cooter will be linked to the source (if possible) and credited in that way.