About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Friday 29 July 2011

Not quite Memory Lane ...

I recently started following Julia Cameron's course for unblocking creativity, 'The Artist's Way'.  One stipulation is to go on an Artist's Date once a week - ie to set aside two hours when you do something special on your own, just for yourself.  Well, I only managed one hour, but I did have fun photographing a corner of Bristol which has particular resonance for me.

These are all views of Nelson Street, wrecked first by the Luftwaffe in the Bristol Blitz of 1940-41 and later by the city council.  You can still see, however, that it runs in the shape of a curve, and that's because it used to hug the outer perimeter of the city's mediaeval walls.

Very little of the walls remains - just the Church of St John the Baptist (or St John on the Wall, as it's more usually called), which you can glimpse on the right of this photo. It's no longer in use, but you can still visit it from time and time and it's really worth making the effort because there are mediaeval wall paintings inside and fascinating vaults.

Here's a better view.  Hooray for sensitive 1970s shopping and office developments!
Every now and then you get a glimpse of the way things used to be centuries ago.

One  thing you won't see, however, is a sign declaring its former name.  This is because in mediaeval times it was known as Gropecunt Lane.  The mediaeval topographer, William Wyrcestre, tells us how many paces long it was, but not what went on there. It's probably as well.


  1. How fantastic it would be to have you as a tour guide! Is there anything about anywhere in Bristol or the southwest you don't know about? LOVE all the historial detail- exactly the kind of thing I really appreciate. Good for you for following through on the Artist date- I always had problems with that one. I really feel I want to get out my Artist's Way now!!

  2. I was ploughing my way through my morning pages this morning, thinking how bad I am at doing them because it seems to be more diarising than anything else, when out popped the seed of a poem, and what's more it had little roots and embryonic shoots as well. So I say yes, do it!

  3. Another book by Julia Cameron that is great is "The Right to Write"