Shaun in the City

Six word Saturday


Let’s count ‘Shauns’ in the City!

Jarsberry Ram

‘Jarsberry Ram’, at The Pump House

In my Monday walk this week we had a smile at ‘Wish ewe were here’.  Throughout the city of Bristol, for the rest of this month, 70 endearing sheep sculptures are to be found.  The Shaun in the City  trail, in aid of the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, has brought joy to young and old alike.  The detail and humour in the sculptures raises many a smile, if not a giggle!

Let me introduce you to a few more Shauns.  Just click on a photo to open the galleries.

I had gone to Bristol to watch the hot air balloon festival, in the grounds of the Ashton Court estate.  Naturally there was a Shaun overseeing the restaurant, but I had more of an eye for the lovely gardens.

Meet 'Buttercup'

Meet ‘Buttercup’

Looking back to the house

Looking back to the house

I wish now that I’d carried my ‘Shauns’ map around with me, like many of the eager-eyed children (and grandparents!) I saw.  Looking back I find that I’ve blithely walked within metres of a few of them in all ignorance.  Never mind- the show must go on!

After I left my lovely friend Viveka, I went strolling canalside.  Boats, bridges… the lure is always the same for me.  And sheep, of course.

Valentine's Bridge- isn't this a nice one?

Valentine’s Bridge- isn’t this a nice one?

Temple Meads Station was a great venue.

Are you starting to feel a little sleepy?  Not long now!  The cathedral was beautiful but I haven’t time to take you inside or we’ll never get there.  I did feel sheepish when I put my donation in the collecting box for children’s drawings of Shaun by mistake!  I expect it’ll find a good home.

'Air Fleece'

‘Air Fleece’- still raining a bit, but brighter

'on the Waterfront' I was in my element

‘On the Waterfront’ I was in my element

I have shown you only a taster of what is available to see and do in Bristol.  So what are you waiting for?  Grab a map and go!  If by any chance you can’t make it by the end of this month, Shaun will be gathering a few more friends and meeting at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol from 12-20th September.

Don’t feel hard done by if you live in our capital!  There’s a ewe-nique opportunity to see the whole flock together at Covent Garden in London, from 24-27th September.  And if all else fails, perhaps you’d like to bid for a Shaun at auction?  Go on- you know you want to! Register here.

It’s a bit grey in Hartlepool today but looking at these has made me smile.  I hope it’s done the same for you.  Don’t forget your Saturday visit to Cate with your ‘six words’.  I hope to see you on Monday, when I will be taking one more walk in Bristol before I disappear off to the Algarve for a week or two. (it will be SO peaceful while I’m gone)


Cabot Tower in Bristol

Cabot Tower, Bristol

Cabot Tower, Bristol

Just in case you thought I’d been idle in my time in Bristol, I’m here to reassure you.  I was heading into the city from Clifton, with half an eye open for Shauns, when I saw a sign for Cabot Tower.  Curiosity impelled me.  Though I knew little of John Cabot, I invariably make a beeline for towers as potentially good viewing points.

Situated on Brandon Hill, this 105 ft red sandstone tower was built in the 1890s, to commemorate the 400th year anniversary of Cabot sailing from Bristol to discover the country that was to become Canada.  In a pretty park overlooking the city, I thought it the perfect venue for a Summer’s day.

It doesn't look too high, does it?

It doesn’t look too high, does it?

Just add this little bit on at the bottom

Just add this little bit on at the bottom

Rather a nice sentiment

Rather a nice sentiment

I could hear voices inside, and from time to time a head popped out on the balcony.  Nothing for it, I was going to have to mount those narrow circular stairs.  No, of course there’s no lift!

One more look, and up I go!

One more look, and up I go!

That wasn't so bad, was it?

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

But I can climb higher!

But I can climb higher!

John Cabot definitely appears to have been a bit of an adventurer.  Christened Giovanni Caboto (1450-1500), this Italian navigator and explorer was commissioned by Henry VII, and was the first European since the Vikings to reach North America. (believed to be at Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland)  He spent 15 years or more in Venice, acquiring the citizenship which would enable him to engage in the maritime trade, and then sailed in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cabot seems to have got into financial difficulties in the 1480s, and left Venice, an insolvent debtor, to seek work in Spain as a civil engineer.  He was involved in a couple of building projects which did not come to fruition, and then unsuccessfully sought funds for an Atlantic expedition. Persistence paid off when he moved to London, and then Bristol, as the second largest seaport in England.  His first voyage in 1496 appears to have been aborted due to bad weather, but in 1497 the landing was successfully accomplished.

Time to mount a few more stairs.  Narrower this time but fortunately I can soon see light above.

And here I am!

And here I am!

The cathedral- another lovely buildong

The cathedral- another lovely building

It seems to me a fine memorial.  Savouring the day on top of the world, I reluctantly climb back down to earth.  The paths wind back down through the park and I observe benches and quiet places to sit.  Following a trail through the wildflower meadow, my eyes alight on a speck of distant colour.  Hooray- it’s another Shaun!

Meet 'From dusk till Shaun'

Meet ‘From dusk till Shaun’

Isn’t he handsome?  You can meet my collection of Shauns on Saturday, but for now it’s time to join Debbie on her Look Up, Look Down challenge.  Come and see.  You won’t be disappointed!