So now I have done a proper long drive in my car, with Sam and the aid of Tom Tom. I drove all over Bristol, in and out of the city and its environs, and out into the countryside. For a place I had lived in for several years I felt like I was getting to know it all over again via road, rather than public transport, bike and on foot.
I re-connected the geography of the city which I love so much, re-connected with my great friends there, and re-connected with lots of memories-transforming once painful territory into blessings and bliss.
I have moved on. I am moving on.
Sam had an amazing time, getting to know my friends and their children, expanding his experience and horizons exponentially, changing his views and opinions and deepening his obsession with hot air balloons.
We saw four hot air balloons ascending over the city as we drove back from friends to where we were staying, balloons rising above Bristol after the weekend-long Harbour Festival, which we had completely side-stepped, in favour of my friend's daughter's third birthday party, and the Amnesty International Fete at Goldeney Hall gardens. Sam was awe-struck by those four balloons. "Just wait for the balloon fiesta!" I told him. On Friday morning I got up at 5am, dressed Sam and bundled him into the car with a beaker of juice and some toast and we went on a tour around Bristol for the next hour, waiting for the morning ascent of balloons. Suddenly there they were! Floating above us, drifting up into the sky, glorious and colourful. We drove backwards and forwards until there seemd to be hundreds of balloons of all shapes, sizes and hues disappearing into the distance.
On the saturday I spent time at my friends' Paul and Kat's allotment, digging up onions, chatting with and gaining inspiration from Kat, while Paul looked after Sam and their gorgeous daughter Maya. Later we all headed off to Ashton Court for the Balloon Fiesta. The weather was perfect and we saw 66 balloons ascend and then waited for the Night Glow and fireworks. Sam rode on a merry-go-round with Kat and Paul and Maya. It is the latest night he has had so far. It was quite a mission getting through crowds of a quarter of a million people and managing to keep him from running off. He absolutely loved it and I think he thought he would be doing the same the next night!
Now Lammas has passed, the season is moving on again and my summer holiday is fast disappearing. I feel refreshed and ready to put everything in place for the next year at university. But before I do that I am about to embark on a new, big project. I am going to dig over the end of the garden, which has been neglected for years and turn it into a vegetable patch. It doesn't sound like much maybe, but it is a big space which is feet deep in brambles. I have no idea what I am doing but I am going to give it a go. If you would like to know more or follow my progress please see my new blog Roar! Earth
And, if you are wondering about the new photo on the title of the page, it is the top of Glastonbury Tor, looking East. Heaven.