207: Bristol 2012 – Day Two

Our first holiday with Our Sidekick

When I wrote a day by day breakdown of LE2JOG each post was rushed to fit in before bedtime and all sorts of things, this time I’m trying to post what we did today to go live the following morning. It’s a little less stressful hopefully and means that I can hang with the boys a bit more.

This morning was a bit of a slow start. My joints have been playing up for some unknown reason and I think it comes down to how crazy the last few days have been. Saturday and Sunday were super busy due to the River Festival and packing for holiday then I spent most of yesterday over concentrating on driving. I wanted it to be calmer today!

#goodmorning. I didn't sleep amazingly. Kept waking up in the night.This is what I looked like this morning – except I think it was worse in person lol. We all got dressed and had breakfast (Shreddies in camping bowls with spoons – I’m not entirely sure what the rate was but for 3 of us for 6 breakfasts it soon adds up to be really expensive!). Our Sidekick’s Afro hair has been getting more and more tangly so we had to stand in and put our foots down. I attempted to comb out what I could but I’d only done a tiny bit and I was heading toward about 20 minutes of combing. We decided to get some conditioner and hope that, that would help to get the tangles out.

We headed for the supermarket first to get the conditioner and some lunch the headed to the first port of call which was the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Bristol 2012 - Clifton Suspension Bridge
It was designed and built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We drove from the Bristol to North Somerset side. We parked near the end of the bridge and walked back to the visitor centre – it’s a one room temporary building of sorts but it’s interesting all the same. I bought three postcards to send home and an information sheet to go in Our Sidekick’s journal. We walked across the bridge – which I didn’t mind at all but Our Sidekick was really not happy about it at all. I think this was mainly due to the distance from the bridge to the ground.

Bristol 2012 - Clifton Suspension BridgeAfter crossing the bridge we stopped for a picnic near the end of the Bristol side of the bridge. Cheese panini from the supermarket bakery with ham – yum! Our Sidekick was a bit happier once he’d had some food but discussing what we might to over the next few days seemed to really put him in a funny mood.

On the way back across the bridge it was tense again. Our Sidekick was in a bit of a state and Chris was trying got reason with him with facts and figures and stuff like that. In the end I took Our Sidekick by the hand, we walked behind Chris so that Our Sidekick just had to focus on Chris’s shoulders in front of him and he couldn’t see the view out of the corner of his eye because I was there. When we got to the other side I had words with Chris about it. I think there is a time and a place to be rational and for whatever reason in Our Sidekick’s mind his reasoning about a high bridge is rational but to me and Chris it’s irrational like his (OS) fear of spiders. Anyway, words were had and the situation calmed again. I praised Our Sidekick for being super brave and still going across the bridge as there would be people who would be having panic attacks and all sorts over it.

Chris then wanted to walk up to the Observatory which is on the hill next to the abutment of the bridge. It’s a fairly steep hill but thankfully it’s not as steep as the hill at Greenwich Observatory (to get to the date line) or at Montmatre to get to the Sacre Coeur in Paris. There was a rock face bit that Our Sidekick and Chris climbed while I attempted the more gradual hill pathway. I made it to the top relatively unscathed but needed a drink lol.

The camera obscura at the Observatory was really good – the lady who happened to be there at the time thought it was a recording which made me smile (thank goodness it was so dark!) and try not to laugh out loud. I’m not sure she actually knew what a Camera Obscura was and had been dragged there by her partner/husband.

We then went down to the Giant’s Cave which is under the Observatory but not quite as far down as the bridge level. It was really interesting but I was really struggling with the steel steps down and then steep steps back up again. Thankfully Chris knows I’m not secure with my footing some of the time so kept getting Our Sidekick to wait while I caught up. On the way back up again Our Sidekick was in the middle between me and Chris. Our Sidekick thought that he’d been placed there because we didn’t trust him, I think Chris wanted him to be more sensible on the climb back up but also he came out of his shell a bit. Each time I stopped for a breather he’d stop turn round ask if I was okay and then tell Chris to wait. When we got to the top he gave me a pat on the back and told me how great I was. (what a sweetie!)

We headed back to the car and then headed down to the docks to find a boat tour. There are like four or five different companies but we ended up with Bristol Packet Boat Tours who are based right near Aardman Animations (Yes I did squeal like a little girl and do a little dance!)

The boat tour was good and really informative about the bit that we did cover but I was beginning to feel the heat and could have done with a seat in the shade but I think everyone else was doing that as well.

Bristol 2012 - MShed
We did look at going to the SS Great Britain but it was £12 for an adult or something like that. We decided to walk along the bank instead to the M Shed which is a free museum about the history of Bristol. It was really interesting but to me the best bit was the whole section about Wallace and Gromit and the green double decker bus that is right in the middle of the museum. Also it was pretty cool finding I-spy books in the gift shop – do you remember them?

After the museum we headed back to the hotel to chill out before dinner. I started on updating Our Sidekick’s journal as it’d been collecting bits and pieces all day.

Following a chat with the lovely person at Giraffe’s Twitter account yesterday we decided that we’d go to dinner at Giraffe. They have “burger Tuesday” deal so there is a choice of 5 burgers for about £6 each (so including drinks we were on about £24 for dinner but lunch was like £4 for me and Our Sidekick plus £3 for Chris’s special jacket potato thing). Our original waiter wasn’t so helpful but when we paid the bill and fed back to our second waiter that we felt like we’d been a nuisance (and had a kinda rude waiter!) because of Chris’s dietary requirements he was lovely and understanding and said he’d go write it down on their shift feedback thing that they have out the back (I think it was some form of comments form). While at dinner I spotted this on the wall and snapped it – why do people not smile more?

#smile #love - Quote at Bristol GiraffeIt’s something about yummy looking drinks. I ordered a diet coke and Chris ordered a lemonade. My diet coke arrived in a glass bottle and then I poured it into a tumbler. Chris’s drink arrived in this awesome glass – I wanted to swap drinks just so I could drink from it!

I love these glasses. @thecgbj's drink at @giraffetweetsDuring dinner I made a ruling to ban phones, I confiscated Chris’s phone and then Our Sidekick’s – the idea being that we could eat a meal together without being distracted. Our Sidekick was not impressed but eventually came round to it when he realised it wasn’t a punishment just against him, we were all part of the same “punishment” of sorts and if it was really important then I would rule whether it was important enough to interrupt dinner.


  1. Becca says:

    I think I vaguely remember the M shed!

    Well done on dealing with OS’s fear/nerves. I have an extraordinary fear of heights, and it is utterly irrational, but I feel sick, sweat and get so nervous I can’t do a lot of things – sometimes including escalators.
    When I was a guider we took the girls to london and we had one girl who was scared stiff of stairs – we all had various approaches to dealing with her, but praise and distraction are often the best ways!

    I like the no mobile phone idea – but I don’t think it is a punishment, though I’m sure I would have done as a teen!

    Lots of love
    Becca xxx

    • Hannie says:

      Hey you.

      The M Shed has recently had an over haul to make it more friendly etc. We really enjoyed it. There was a whole exhibition on Urban Sport around Bristol. OS was pretty excited until we got there and he found that there was only one tiny display about Parkour (aka free running) and an equally little (but had video) about Skateboarding.

      I think Chris’s approach was to try and reason with him with facts and figures whereas mine was to comfort and distract.

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