Monday, 30 March 2015

March catch up - Solar eclipse, vernal equinox, pinhole camera's and Persian New Year...


video


Friday 20th was the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and there was a solar eclipse. It was bound to be the start of a magical weekend. 

We made a makeshift Heath Robinsonesque pinhole camera  from a colander and spied a myriad of tiny crescents reflected on the path. The moon's shadow passed in front of that fiery globe shading it's light, birds hushed and an eerie darkness crept in. It was as if a light bulb had suddenly been switched off. Neighbours emerged with their own homemade contraptions and we compared inventions and attempted to photograph the spectacle. 

Saturday we drove to Bristol to stay with Hannah. She invited us to stay for late Mother's Day and Persian New Year celebrations. Another bright sunny day with a sweet unexpected gift...I'll show you later. We walked down to the river and pottered around the St Nicholas Markets. Had lunch by the harbour here. Amazingly crisp pastry pie crust filled with pumpkin and all sorts of other tasty things served with big chunky potatoes and crunchy salad, or thin goats cheese and spinach pizza, and a spicy meaty one for Ahmad. We even shared the cider plank, tasting five local varieties. Watched (and badly recorded) a boat race, spotted Brunel's SS Great Britain and at last two Banksy's...

We climbed the hill back to H and B's cosy flat and ordered Persian take-away from here. Very good joujeh, tender chicken marinated in saffron and lemon, or koubideh, minced lamb kebab with steamed saffron rice, sumac and mast-o-moussir, yoghurt with wild shallots. Enjoying late supper to celebrate the new year drinking to a happy one. 

Sunday a lazy morning then an afternoon exploration of Clifton hill. A beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. It seemed as though everyone was out on the hill. We climbed up the downs to clifton the observatory to visit the camera obscura that was made in 1828 and shows a 360 degree panoramic view of the area. It was surreal to watch the image play out in front of us on the massive white concave screen. People playing, running, crossing the bridge outside, lovers canoodling on the grass...all unaware that we were spying on them...

We had a last minute coffee and cake and then waved our goodbyes then home again home again, jiggety-jig... 

...Have you ever spied a solar eclipse?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

out came the sun...





Too late catch up...We visited the homeliest subterranean flat. A mixture between a hobbit home, Winnie the Pooh's house, rabbit warren and the tardis. All morphed into a cute dwelling.

Crossing drizzly counties, a suspension bridge and  steep-steep roads to a quirky gated terrace of Georgian Houses. A stone esplanade, high up on the hill overlooking the city and river.

Then the sharp climb, down a spiral of mossy stones. We looked up and the sun was shining. Inside we trod on ancient floor beams, rescued (so we are told) from Henry the Eighth's fleet, checked out the sweetest kitchen, then we rested by the ingleknook for tea before heading off for new-home shopping with Hannah, looking for Banksy's on the way. 

We came back without spotting any Banksy's but the boot brimming... Had supper together with H's boyfriend before sadly waving them goodbye till next time. Then headed home, arriving to a sprinkling of white powdery snow...yey...A very good day...