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Always a pleasure – my inspiration from Gloucester Rd

We’re never moving to North Bristol.

That ship sailed more than three years ago, when the vendor pulled out of selling us the perfectly symmetrical 1930s semi up near the prison. We saw it as a sign, and went South, which became our home.

I’ll always be honest about this – there IS a North/South, and probably East/West divide in Bristol, yet more reasons why it’s a bit like London but obviously better.

I often wonder what would have happened if we’d settled there. How I would have decorated the house, where I would have shopped, and things like that. I think my home would be completely different. There’s some severe exterior styling commitment in Bristol, but in North Bristol, it’s off the hook. The colours, the front gardens, the style.

Some of the most stunning door furniture and design can be seen on Bristol Doors, the instagram account. it’s a really house proud, attractive part of town, walking around, dipping your gaze in through the big windows, you see so many beautifully styled homes. My house would never have been one of those I stop and look at in the street, our bay window in our last house was phenomenally draughty and we looked around at places like Associated Windows’ double glazing showroom in Bristol for solutions.

Anyway, I digress. The Gloucester Rd brings up happy thoughts, it’s the scene of some of my most indelible memories since becoming  parent and moving to Bristol.

The lonely Christmas one

We spent our first Christmas as parents shellshocked. Brutal early mornings (the 4.30am on repeat kind), equally brutal weather, and very few friends made, we discovered that Kudacan was opening on the day after Boxing Day, proper dead time for those with no plans. It made us feel less lonely.

Yeah, it was empty, yeah, Pegah wasn’t sure if she’d done the right thing and if people would come, but we did, and by God it saved us. I think we even went twice that week. When you don’t know what you’re doing, find somebody that does, and drink it in. Kudacan has grown and changed and survived over the last three years, as have we, and I’ll always be grateful for that first Christmas.

The classic parentfail one

This New Year, we thought sod it, let’s go out during the DAY, have loads of booze and fun, and then go home and be well smug!

Oh what a great plan, other than we went to Gloucester Rd and Stokes Croft, where every single decent bar and pub was CLOSED, preparing for the big night. Typical parents, think the world revolves around them.

We had a burger and I drove home. Was funny though, in a daft waste of babysitting money way.

The big surprise one

Not much to say other than HOW BIG is BTP on Gloucester Rd?

I was proper stunned! Obviously there were still only a couple of tables free, due to multiple big booth hogging wifi jockeys, but it’s a whopper. And really serene too!

I know it’s kind of a chain, but each BTP is so different, in size and shape. I still think Park Street is my favourite, but for parenting stuff, this one gets the vote.

The big night out one

We had one of my favourite Bristol nights out in the Urban Standard on Gloucester Rd. Winter, dark streets and even darker bar. Full, like the bars you remember from being younger in London, where you actually can’t really get near the bar to order, and you hated it then, but now you love it.

Macaroni cheese eaten in snatched forkfuls between laughs and big drinks.

And then we played Cards Against Humanity, which I had never played before, and I was reduced to tears of laughter. You know it’s bad when the next table are wincing at the offensive answer levels.

The big achievement one

This isn’t my achievement, but recently, a wonderful, sparky lady called Camilla Rigby, who is trying to bring flexible working space for parents to Gloucester Rd, via her Village Hall project, organised a political hustings on working parent issues.

You guys helped her, and me out, all 800 of you, by completing a survey on what you wanted politicians to hear about working parents in Bristol. I went along to the event, helped on the door, helped with the questions, and listened a lot.

It took place at Bishopston Library, which is a wonderful place. I was so energised and hopeful by the end of the event, and it really helped me vote a couple of days later.

Here’s me and Camilla at an event this weekend – the Baby Bank Network first birthday party. Bonus Flinders and his hilarious face.

I’ll be publishing the results of the survey pretty soon, they make great reading, some things are really going to surprise you!

Anyway, where’s your favourite place on Gloucester Rd? Where do you shop for homewards and furniture?

In case you were wondering, the header image is a ‘Rubbish Portrait‘ by the amazing Bristolian artist Lucie Sheridan. You can commission your own, and they are hilariously terribly accurate. .

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