Mayor Joust and other tall tales – Bristol

There is a world of contrast finding yourself one night on a paradise island, the next night a grubby port town listening to live music, one night in the jungle with the sounds of frogs and birds to the international hub of KL airport sharing dinner with a man from Liberia. The termultuous mix of emotions about coming home after 947 days, reuniting with family and friends but also being shot back into a new chapter made for a flurry of nerves and excitement.
After 12 hours on a plane, I landed at Heathrow. 5:25am but feeling like it was midday. Reuniting with mum was almost mute and emotional, both having felt like she had shared a lot of the journey with me, but also strange to not see her buffering through a dodgy internet connection. 

We joined the motorway for Bristol, Bex’s new home. Probably the biggest marker of time passed is my baby sister having a flat, car, job and making me breakfast. The air was frosty, the trees bare, fog making the drive mysterious and wintery.  

It was a jolt of the unfamiliar in ways I hadn’t anticipated, the deciduous trees, the abundance of bricks in the houses and walls, but apart from that, it took a matter of minutes over breakfast for the years to melt away and the mocking sarcasm to set in once more.

It was lovely to be ‘home’ whilst still being in an altogether unfamiliar place, so after souvenir swapping and a load of washing I’ll outlay our Bristol break: 

10am: Raid Bex’s wardrobe, apply lipstick, unashamedly hammer out the selfies

11am: bridesmaid duties begin. Dress shopping takes a strategic approach with hangers being flung between changing rooms

2pm: successful new dress for one of us confirmed by the enthusiasm of the changing room staff and bored husbands of other shoppers

3pm: jet lag crash in the shoe department whilst mum and Bex battle on

4pm: Back to Bex’s for Netflix under the duvet

7pm: Dinner, Prosecco, more selfies

9pm: more fits of giggles before falling into bed

Day 2 home

5:30am: wide awake, starving and raiding the fridge

7:30am: normal people breakfast time

10am: bridesmaids workout whilst the bride gets an hours peace for some work

11am: more lipstick, selfies and the realisation that if we all lived together we would be late for everything

  12pm: Heading into Clifton for brunch and bridge. Sun shining, great for more pictures and exploring the beautiful Avon gorge. 



  2pm: driving through the city looking for a park passing beautiful cobbled streets, the bear pit and 2 Banksy pieces.

3pm: a stroll through town and along the waterfront. Drinks with a view, me grumpy as it feels like bedtime.

4pm: the discovery of another Banksy piece, the well hung lover. Challenging Bex’s Bristol knowledge by pointing to a building and demanding it’s backstory.  

Did you for example know why the town hall has two unicorns on the roof, no? You haven’t heard the story of Mayor Joust who got his mayorship by winning over the people of Bristol by making his white and black horses fight to the death? All facts to be taken with a truck load of salt! 

5:30pm: Sweet, sweet nap time

7:00pm: Dinner in the city. Cocktails and all. 

Day 3 home

8am: back on a normal person schedule. Waffles and coffee for breakfast

10am: heading to the M shed museum to brush up on our knowledge of Bristols places, Roman roots and slave trading past

12pm: a quick coffee followed by goodbyes to the queen of hostesses as she heads into her team meeting (did I mention how grown up she was?) 

Next up in the reunion series, London! 

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