Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Bristol Walks: "Brunel's Footsteps"

So with one week to go until D-Day (a.k.a. my Due Date), I naturally decided that now might be a good time to start walking again.

Only this time the aim was to get labour started.

Needless to say, it has now been two days since this walk and all attempts to smoke out the little critter have come to naught.  I can now definitively say I have lost the birth date sweepstake.  Oh well.

I have to admit, I was somewhat ill-prepared for this walk, since I had none of my usual hiking gear with me, and even if I had I very much doubt that any of it still fits.  However, luckily we were able to find an urban walk, as in my precarious condition one can never be too far from public toilets, cafes or, just in case the walk unexpectedly turns out to be a little too successful, a hospital.  Therefore the chosen walk was one called "Brunel's Footsteps," which I found on a local website.

Now I'm not sure if the said Isambard Kingdom Brunel ever walked such a route.  He probably had someone to carry him in a huge litter, which I would have also appreciated on some of the steeper climbs, but if he did I'm sure he would have appreciated this picture of my dad that someone appears to have daubed onto an abandoned steel anchor which we found posing as modern art near one of Brunel's inventions, namely some lock gates.

May his legend live on.

The other principal highlight of this walk was when, whilst crossing the bridge over the Cumberland Basin, which to those of you unfamiliar with Bristol is essentially a bridge over a river that fades to non-existence at low tide, revealing a vast unsightly ditch of mud littered with rusting shopping trolleys dating back over several hundred years, or at least to whenever shopping trolleys were invented, my brother and I witnessed the most distressing act of child abuse ever inflicted.

Yes, we actually saw a child with an exact replica of the Pat Sharp on Funhouse circa 1989 haircut.  We didn't take a picture of the child, as to do so would be to be complicit in the abuse, but I will tell you it looked like this.

I only wish I had been able to capture the full emotion of my brother's horrified face as he gawped at the unfortunate child and declared him "the worst thing I have ever seen."  Speaking of which, my brother has currently just popped out to have his own hair cut.  May we pray that the gods of hair design do not wish to take revenge for our merciless laughter at the plight of this poor child, who surely did not choose this look for himself.

Finally, we ended up taking Brunel's footsteps to the top of a huge hill to enjoy a reinvigorating lemonade in the sight of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which Brunel definitely didn't walk across as he was dead by the time it was completed.  As I also very nearly was when a man who saw me take this photo asked if I wanted him to take one with me in it, and offered to take only my top half in case I didn't want my great fat baby bump to spoil the view.  Admittedly he didn't actually use the words "great fat baby bump" or "spoil the view," but it was definitely implied.

And after all that, the big fat baby bump shows no sign of going anywhere.  

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