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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am 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.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Along the River Frome in Stapleton

Another sunny, frosty morning in Stapleton. I decided to take a wander down by the River Frome. 

So it was down Cut Throat Lane again ... 

... and past Colston's School, with its carving on the gatepost of a bishop's mitre, for this once was the Bishop's Palace.

I'd hoped to get down to the river via Fry's Close, which runs around the back of the school, but it was plastered with keep out signs, so I went down Colston's Hill instead and doubled back along the boundary wall of what is presumably part of the school grounds. 

There was a good, clear view through the trees of the weirs ...

... although the sun was so low and bright, it was hard to see who was about up ahead. (I had my trusty Ted with me, though.)

Our progress was slow, partly because the aforementioned dog had to pee on everything, and also because I had to take photos. It's much the same impulse, I decided. Just another way of saying I WUZ YER.

The Frome has a sensible concrete walkway along this particular stretch.

We opted for the unsensible muddy track, and I was reminded of how all the rivers of North Bristol - the Frome, the Trym and the Avon - had to cut gorges in stone at the end of the Ice Age in order to reach their destination.  

This spot is called Black Rocks.

Instead of early 20th century picnickers, there were some women in neon lycra being hectored into moving. 

One of the few times thanks to the gods of arthritis seemed to be in order.

We were now up by Wickham Bridge, which is variously described as mediaeval and substantially rebuilt in the 17th century. 

One thing's for sure, the river crossing is much quieter these days than it used to be.

We wandered upstream. 

On the far side of the allotments I could see Wickham Court, where Oliver Cromwell famously held a meeting with General Sir Thomas Fairfax on the eve of the New Model Army's attack on Bristol on 11th September 1645. 

No time to go up there today, though. I crossed back over the Frome via the road bridge ... 

... and headed up the evocatively named School Lane. 

Even back up on the main road, between gaps in the traffic, you could easily imagine yourself in a very close past.

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