Recent Work: On My Home City, for Bristol 24/7
Bristol 24/7 commissioned me to write about my home city, namely what I missed about Bristol. It wasn't hard to write, although limiting the article to a particular word-count proved a little challenging. Despite my love of London - and how I'm never too far away from a great bookshop or gallery, infinite 3rd wave coffee shops, endlessly accessible parks, shops and restaurants - I have to admit that I've missed Bristol more than I imagined I would. But the love wasn't always there...
At the age of five, I arrived at the cold and miserable looking Bristol town centre. I didn't much care for it. Keen to make me feel at home, my mother took me to all the tourist-friendly corners: the bridge, the downs and the village. No dice. Naturally, actually being brought up in Bristol was the only way for me to appreciate all its wonderful attributes.
In the piece, I write about how the Watershed was an absolute gem of a place to spend one’s afternoons. A cultural hub like no other, this building contained a cinema where only the most beautiful and wonderfully weird international films were on show, with all too agreeable tickets for under 24s. I loved that those who could drink were able to take wine into the theatre, perhaps after dining at the low-key restaurant with views overlooking the docks (which wasn’t exactly St Tropez, but lovely all the same).
I also have fond memories of Penny Brohn UK in Pill, the cancer care centre where my own mother was a frequent visitor and for whom she, and countless other ordinary people like us, fundraised so that future patients could enjoy the centre – and its ethereal grounds – for years to come. I also commented on my admiration for the city’s ability to fight for causes that matter through education and cultural exchange.
On a more shallow note, I've still yet to find favourite haunts in London that rival some of Bristol's most extraordinary places: from the Textile Quarter to the bouji boutiques of Clifton Village, not to mention the Cori Tap and Full Court Press. If this is making you immediately want to visit Bristol, then you’re not alone. It’s definitely worth a gander.
Read what else I had to say about my adoptive home city here.