Posts Tagged ‘arnolfini’

This weekend the girls and I went on a quick train trip to the Bristol Zoo. The last time I was there was I was nine years old and had my face painted like a tiger, so says my mum. I’ve always said that zoos and farms and music festivals and camping trips and most outdoor activities are a hundred times more fun when you bring children along. This particular child was on a mission to find the penguins, which just so happened to be hidden in the most obscure part of the zoo. Thankfully we found them:

Yay Penguins!

Aren’t they adorable? We also visited with lots of other animals, photos of which can be viewed by following this link. By noon, A.L.bion had to return to Cardiff to take her little girl to a birthday party. I decided to stick around Bristol and attend Mayfest, a festival of “adventurous theatre for playful people”. Excellent marketing, I must say. I booked tickets (for myself and my friend John, who would be visiting from Truro) for a dance-theatre performance called “Love and War” that looked rather interesting.

Yay cyclists!

I spent the afternoon shopping (and sinfully spent a few too many pounds on the perfect summer dress…) and exploring the downtown core. I was terrifically impressed by Bristol in terms of being a cyclist-friendly city. There were signs all over, encouraging drivers to share the road with cyclists. I even saw one of those raised side”walks” especially for bikes. Unfortunately, it is bloody difficult to get around by bike in Bristol: the streets are incredibly steep; you would either break your back cycling up, or break your neck cycling down. At least you won’t get run over.

I also found it rather curious how many people were dressed as pirates. I wondered if it was “regional pirate day” or something. I asked one group of middle aged woman donning pirate attire, and they said they were on a scavenger hunt. Another group of twenty-somethings said they were celebrating a birthday. Strange.

Later that afternoon I met up with John at the Arnolfini Art Gallery and we wandered around the exhibits. I wish I had known ahead of time about this mini Performance-Writing festival that was happening all this weekend: there were films and spoken word happening in different gallery rooms. Also this weekend was an event that resembled Ottawa’s Centretown Art Tour: Bristol artists opened up their homes to the public for the purpose of displaying their art work and having tea with the participants. John and I only had the chance to visit one home that was made obvious by balloons on the front steps.

Yay tobacco! Uh, wait...

That evening we attended the Mayfest show at Tobacco Factory Theatre. By the way, the theatre actually used to be a tobacco factory, so that’s not just a ploy to get people to buy cigarettes – though I did find myself craving a spot of rose hips… I went to pick up my tickets at the box office only to discover that I had booked for the Friday night rather than the Saturday when I reserved them online. Bugger. The nice box office guy gave me a discount on the next two tickets I had to buy for that night. They can consider it a donation, I rationalized, as I gritted my teeth and grumbled that this had better bloody well be a work of absolute brilliance.

I didn’t have the chance to find out. As soon as the lights dimmed in the theatre, I was hit with a surprisingly vile dose of narcolepsy (my mother is convinced I was victim of a date rape drug; I think not), and my eyelids became heavier than sandbags and my head more flopped than a rag doll. I kept having to pinch myself to stay awake for the performance. Thank goodness the show was only 70 minutes. I do remember hearing loud music from Queens of the Stone Age and seeing flashing lights, a old fashioned bathtub rolled onstage, a cheerleader, and a performer in an impressively detailed spider costume. From what I experienced, the show seemed a little disjointed and missing the through-line that seemed to be implied in the show description. But hey, I was probably drugged, so I wouldn’t take my word for it.

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