Category: Personal (Page 3 of 16)

Looking for Moccas

i‘ve just spent a very enjoyable evening driving the moonlit backroads and highways of Herefordshire.

It wasn’t exactly the evening I had planned, ‘BAFTA Presents: Bruce Robinson in Conversation with Francine Stock’, which was a part of the Borderlines Film Festival, was the planned entertainment for the evening.

I’d printed out some directions from google and also had had a look online. I don’t have any of this modern sat-nav type technology and my phone is too archaic for the internet but with a map and a couple of AtoZ’s in the car I tend to get on just fine, we live in a country thats pretty good on signposts as it goes.  I’d picked a route taking me through Leominster as it looked the simplest way to get to the venue whilst bypassing the Worcester to Hereford road and the ring road of Hereford. I thought this would be a simpler journey. Well, my plan went fine, the clouds looked a little biblical as I approached Tenbury, seeing signs mentioning the bridge through the town was still closed, I’d passed it the day before it was closed off in January so I really should’ve thought of this. Luckily it was the road after I needed.

Things did start to go wrong just after my directions read ‘Continue on to…’

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South West Coast Path to Porlock Weir

Better stay indoors, Keep off the moors…

in December we took the questionable task of staying at Butlins Minehead in December and at a different weekend to the ATP festival. This was in part due the ever increasing cost of the festival and in part due to the venue itself and line ups of the last couple of years.

We paid less than a quarter what we would have for the ATP event, which was half the standard price for the room apparently, though even at that half price said accommodation was questionable value given both the cleanliness of the room and the tissue thin adjoining door separating us from the rambunctious Welsh family next door(thats being polite.)

However accommodation aside I think I had the most fun I’ve had on a Minehead weekend. One of the adventures we undertook was the nine or so mile walk from Minehead to Porlock, and then on to Porlock Weir. We could have planned it better and we could have not lost the path a couple of times but even with a few mishaps it was a thoroughly enjoyable walk. It took us just over 4 hours in all and we were rewarded with both beer and food at the friendly and quite fantastic Bottom Ship pub at Porlock Weir (and I’m not just saying that because we came second from last in the pub quiz but still came away with a bottle of wine from the raffle.)

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Isle of Wight frontages.

enjoyed the varied and unpredictable shopfronts in Sandown, Shanklin and Ryde.

Take a look through them ‘after the jump’ as they say…

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The Waiting Room

i‘ve spent a fair bit of time waiting in various doctors and hospital waiting rooms over the past six months so it was easy to get into the mood of this new cover illustration for S. C. Lees short story ‘The Waiting Room.’

The Waiting Room - Book cover Illustration

Find out more about the short story at the authors website* or buy the story direct from Amazon.

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Martina the Parrot

A departure from the normal kind of thing I would do – I recently speant a day painting a poitrait of a stuffed parrot.

It was completed for a friends birthday as said parrot has spent the last year travelling the world with a variety of MG car owners on his behalf, raising some money for Weston Park Hospital along the way.

I should add the idea was inspired by the lovely toy paintings of Jennifer Maher

Martina the Parrot

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Beer and bands in Bristol

last weekend was spent in Bristol. A weekend with a mate of mine who normally comes to the winter ATP festival. We’ve found over the last few years we’ve enjoyed ATP less, or more that the experience has changed. While travel to Mineheads Butlins is much easier and quicker for myself, it also means the whole weekend is to be spent in a place with all the atmosphere of a motorway services. The accommodation might be a bit better but the venues are also much, much bigger and the price has crept up and up too. We’ve probably spent more time on the last two visits drinking and catching up in Minehead and Dunster than we have watching the bands. Its kind of a shame as its a great line up this year. Anyway, we figured we’d just have a cheap weekend away, catch some music and have a few beers somewhere else… and thats just what we did.

We landed a decently priced room at the Radisson Blu Bristol via lowcostholidays.com* which turned out to be pretty nice. Great views of the city, friendly staff and a complimentary soft drink on arrival. Win all round. Only bad points were the two lifts for the whole hotel, one of which had a mind of its own and a lack of choice on the radio stations via the TV – I’ve noticed Travellodge are the same, I do miss my 6Music/BBC7 when I’m away sometimes.

The weather was, well…

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Pretty wet for the most part, but we had a good walk round. Was sorry to see all the record shops gone from Park Street now and also to find out that the Bag o Nails pub is closed these days. But theres still loads going on there, we had hoped to catch Sid Griffins Coal Porters band who were due to play but unfortunately the gig got called off. I had a list of things still that looked worth seeing, one night we saw The Crowns, enjoyable though the venue was pretty empty which lost it some atpmosphere and led to a shortish set I think. In fact the whole town seemed a lot less busy than I remembered things.

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Page 3 of 16

All images and artwork copyright ©1998 - 2017 chris hathway, illustrator& Hathway/Creative