Late last week I wandered into town for the first time since …. well, since I took these pictures, just before Christmas. The pavements were less treacherous and, although wet and gloomy, it was good to re-connect with the city. It was also nice to go for an urban wander without the children in tow. Not because I don’t like walking around Bristol with them – though sometimes it can be a little stressful with all three – but I find that I don’t pay much attention to the world around me while I am shepherding the girls across roads or listening to their cheery-streams-of-consciousness, all on full flow at the same time. The first thing that struck me as I hit Stoke’s Croft was that although I know this patch really well, and make a point of looking at it closely because there is so much wonderful and strange graffiti, there are still things that I have managed to miss. The first of which was this tiling around the entrance to the Art House cafe (what is a cash chemist?). I spotted it as I crossed the road, reached for my camera… but there was no camera. No, not lost, or stolen, but left at home. Doh! As I wandered on down the road, spotting other over-looked architectural details, I realised that I quite often see things that I dearly want to photograph whilst I am out and about without the camera. This wonderful knitted installation in the grounds of St Stephen’s Church was another thing I encountered on that camera-less walk.
As you can see, I managed to retrace my steps a few days later, this time with the camera. I have learned, the hard way, that it is important to be quick about returning to photograph anything that has caught my eye as things do disappear – especially in the case of interesting graffiti (or in this case knitiffi, as they call it). Some years ago someone had scrawled “time isn’t real” on the wall at the top of our road and I kept meaning to photograph it – it wasn’t very beautiful, but it always amused me. And then one day, in its place, there was just a grey rectangle of fresh paint.