The Bristol Magazine April 2022

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THE

THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

£3.95 where sold

Issue 209

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APRIL 2022

MAGAZINE

TIMELESS TUNES Swedish singer-songwriter José González kicks off his UK tour

ONE OF A KIND Finzels Reach celebrates the city’s most sustainable build

MAKE IT HAPPEN Bristol film conference set to host industry legends

WEDDING SPECIAL All systems go for the season ahead

Change of a dress PLUS...

SO MUCH MORE IN THE CITY’S BIGGEST GUIDE TO LIVING IN BRISTOL


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58 68 BBC/Optomen Television/Ashleigh Brown

Contents April ’22 REGULARS ZEITGEIST

HARNESSING THE POWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

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Andrew Swift investigates the revived proposals for the barrage across the Severn Estuary

Top activities for the month ahead

CITYIST

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Catch up on local news and meet Vivek Gurav, founder of the environmental group, Bristol Ploggers

BARTLEBY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ... talks to the blackbird in his garden and admires his optimism

WHAT’S ON

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A selection of interesting things to do and happenings in the city. Also fast forward to p28 because it’s Easter and there are eggs to find, ships to explore, aerospace to investigate, and much more!

ARTS & EXHIBITIONS

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THE GROWTH OF GLEANING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Nick Haigh, founder of the Avon Gleaning Network, tells us about the importance of tackling food waste and the rewards of connecting people with the land

TYING THE KNOT

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Getting hitched some time soon? Plan your big day with help from our wedding special

BUILDING THE DREAM

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How does the most sustainable office building in the UK look? We talk to Lara Burch of Osborne Clark about their new premises in Finzels Reach

What’s showing, and at which of our local galleries you can see it

HABITAT

EDUCATION NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

IN HARMONY WITH NATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Updates from the city’s schools and colleges

Garden writer Cinead McTernan tells us about her new book and how to build your own botanical ecosystem

BRISTOL UPDATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 ROCK OF AGES

The latest news and views from the city...

ADE WILLIAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

66

Elly West takes a look at the rock garden

NATURAL DREAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

... explains why water is absolutely the best medicine

Find a vision and discover a restorative sanctuary in your garden

FEATURES IN CAHOOTS

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ASIAN DELIGHTS ...................................................................

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Ahead of a three-day film conference in Bristol, actor and screenwriter Paul Viragh talks about his career and offers advice to aspiring writers

THE MEAT PARADOX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Millie Bruce-Watt asks Bristol author Rob Percival whether we can recalibrate our relationship with meat

A MUSICAL MOMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 We listen to the warm tones of singer-songwriter José González, an interview ahead of his appearance at The Marble Factory

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Artefacts from the East can provide a stunning focal point in the interior. Ma San Auction House guides us through some of their pieces

ON THE COVER The beautiful black dress, called Onyx, is designed by Bristol seamstress, Rose Savage. It is made of almost twenty metres of black tulle. Image by Bristol Contemporary Photography


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Aliums from Bristol author Cinead McTernan’s urban garden. Read all about her beautiful new book, City Veg on p.40

from the

EDITOR

A

s we enter April and step into spring, we’re looking forward to everything that it brings. For many, that will be the wedding season. This issue, and as our cover proclaims, we have gathered some of the city’s brightest and best wedding businesses to celebrate the start of their busiest period. On p.44, we catch up with one of our favourite seamstresses in the city, Rose Savage, who has been a mainstay on the wedding scene for over a decade. Championing alternative, unconventional bridal designs, she has been the source of inspiration for hundreds of brides over the years. In its rightful place, her beautifully striking dress, created with almost twenty metres of black tulle, is our cover star this month. The city is certainly thrumming with a sense of optimism this month as events continue to fill our calendars. A particular highlight in our calendar this month is taking place on 26 April when Swedish singer-songwriter José González will play at the Marble Factory. While mid-way through his US tour, José kindly took some time out to chat to us. On p.26, we delve into his new album, which has even been deemed some of his best work yet. Elsewhere, Bristolians are doing brilliant Bristolian things. Nick Haigh, for instance, founder of the Avon Gleaning Network has been working tirelessly to help solve the issue of food insecurity in the city. By gleaning the local fields – collecting unharvested food and surplus veggies – he, and an army of volunteers have fed hundreds of local families. On p.38, Nick tells us all about how they’ve already collected almost 12 tonnes of surplus food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Speaking of the environment, we had a fascinating conversation with the head of policy at Bristol’s Soil Association this month. Rob Percival, an expert in meat politics, has recently published a book examining our conflicted relationship with eating meat. Set to appear at the Bath Festival in May, we sat down with Rob to talk all about the meat paradox (p.18). Staying on the environmental thread, one of the UK’s most sustainable offices is also set to open in Bristol later this year. Moving its 600-strong team in as soon as the doors open is international law firm, Osborne Clarke. On p.54, Lara Burch, head of the Bristol office, takes us through the development’s extensive spec list. Ultimately, it’s been a pleasure to see the city striving forwards. Bring it on, April...

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Millie Bruce-Watt Follow us: @thebristolmag @thebristolmag thebristolmag.co.uk


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ZEITGEIST

top things to do in April

Be entertained

Get involved Light up the night and sign up to The Midnight Walk on 18 June and make a difference for your local hospice. The Midnight Walk is a highlight of St Peter’s Hospice’s fundraising calendar so join in for a night to remember. Choose from five or 10 miles and see Bristol in a different light as you walk through the night. Walk along the harbour, see the lights reflecting on the water, and take in the iconic lit up Clifton Suspension Bridge as you complete the miles through the night. Cross the finish line and dance the night away at the silent disco. • Sign up at: stpetershospice.org

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids. Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, audiences can expect a sassy score with one show-stopping song after another. • atgtickets.com

Enjoy Roberto Fonseca, a scintillating pianist with a questing jazz sensibility and deep roots in the Afro Cuban tradition, is making a welcome return to St George’s Bristol on 23 April. Fonseca had already released three albums when in the early 2000s he joined legendary Buena Vista Social Club touring with legends such as Omara Portuondo. He has since continued to expand his solo repertoire with Grammy Nominated Yo, ABUC, and an acclaimed live collaboration with Fatoumata Diawara. The latest ninth album, released in 2019 “presents a Cuba without border,” says Fonseca. “I’m building bridges between my Afro-Cuban traditions and other styles of music and doing some of the crazy things I love doing live. I’m bringing in ideas I’ve absorbed over many years of touring the world. I’m taking Cuban music forward.” It’s an album by a Cuban virtuoso determined to make music his way and modernise Cuban music in the process. • stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

Shop

Listen

The Vintage Bazaar, one of the leading fairs in the UK, is returning on 23 April at The Cheese & Grain in Frome. At this unique event, you can purchase from some of the country’s best dealers in vintage textiles, decorative antiques and French brocante as well as browse a handpicked selection of designer makers. The Vintage Bazaar has been running for over ten years and has become a firm favourite with fashion and interior designers as well as makers and vintage afficionados who come to source decorative antiques, vintage fabrics and ephemera.

From 31March to 10 April, Lyra – Bristol Poetry Festival – is back with a plethora of activities including readings, performances, workshops, panels, a lecture, family activities, poetry slams and film screenings. The 2022 festival theme is Breaking Boundaries: New Worlds, which celebrates interdisciplinary poetry across art forms and cultures, translated and multilingual poetry, and poetry as a bridge between groups and communities. This year’s programme features some of the biggest names in UK and international poetry today, including Roger McGough, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Zena Edwards, Anthony Joseph, Inua Ellams, TJ Dema, Raymond Antrobus, the most recent T.S. Eliot Prize winner Joelle Taylor. Lyra is also hosting performances for young people by two of the nation’s favourite poets Michael Rosen and Daljit Nagra.

• thevintagebazaar.co.uk • lyrafest.com 8 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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Roger McGough


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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 9


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ist

THE CITY

My

BRISTOL Meet Vivek Gurav, founder of the environmental group, Bristol Ploggers

What’s your connection to Bristol? I am in love with this city. I come from Pune, India and am currently pursuing my MSc in Environmental Policy and Management at University of Bristol. For me, Bristol gives me those Pune vibes – I have been feeling at home in the city since day one. For anyone that doesn’t know, can you briefly explain what plogging is? Plogging is a simple act where you pick up litter while jogging. It aims at making an individual multitask while jogging and focuses on both personal fitness as well as environmental fitness.

BBC searches for local heroes

How did you get into plogging? I first started plogging in Pune. Rivers in Pune are very polluted. After speaking to my friends and youth in the city, I personally felt that government action wasn’t going to solve the problem. After a successful 30-day plogging challenge, I found a lot of friends liked the idea and later joined me in the daily activity. Now, it has transformed into a nationwide community-led initiative for sustainability. Pune Ploggers is the world's largest community plogging campaign and has attracted more than 10,000 members.

Every day heroes who make a difference where they live will be recognised in a new community award scheme run by every local BBC radio station in England and they need your help finding people who should be honoured. It will be part of the BBC's Make A Difference awards to recognise remarkable people; marking their achievements and contributions to lives in their communities. Make A Difference was first set up at the start of the first pandemic lockdown and is a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing support. To date over 8 Million people have interacted across all 39 local BBC radio stations. Categories cover the unsung heroes of every community from great neighbours, inspirational teachers, awesome volunteers or even outstanding key workers. There are eight award categories, nominations are now open and will close on the 29 April 2022 at 11pm. The winners will be announced at the Make a Difference awards hosted by your local BBC radio station at a ceremony in September. Chris Burns, Head of Audio and Digital for BBC England said: “The last two years have been challenging for everyone. Listeners have contacted us to share the stories of how people have helped each other and we wanted to find a way of celebrating those unsung heroes and telling those amazing stories.”

How many plogging missions have you been on in Bristol and how much rubbish have you picked up in the city so far? Since February 2022, I have completed 45 plogging runs in Bristol. A team of 15 of us have picked up more than 500kgs of rubbish. Tell us about your new group, Bristol Ploggers... Bristol Ploggers will be open to collaborations from all kinds of communities aiming at exploring the city, promoting the idea of individual activism to fight climate change. Through plogging, we will talk about the real facts influencing and driving climate change. Readers can find all relevant details of Bristol Ploggers on my Instagram. What are you reading at the moment? At the moment, I am currently reading Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. It has been a life-changing book for me. Plogging in Bristol was one of the

• bbc.co.uk/makeadifference

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things that I started doing after reading this book. If you could have dinner with anyone from any era, who would it be and why? Send me to a dinner with heads of all the governments across all countries – I want to know who is at the decision making end and what is it that’s preventing them from switching to greener ways of living. What is your philosophy in life? My philosophy in life is: be in the moment. Let’s be aware of how much of an importance we all carry in someone’s life. • Follow Vivek on Instagram at: @theplogman


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LOOK OUT FOR:

Paolo Nutini is set to return to Bristol for the first time since 2014

Bristol Sounds announces biggest ever line up Bristol Sounds has announced its return to the city's much-loved harbourside, with the event expanding to six nights for the very first time. Bringing a landmark bill of live music to the heart of the city, the open-air summer concert series will take place from 22 June to 27 June. The weekend will kick off with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Confidence Man. Newly added to the bill is Paolo Nutini on 23 June and Elbow on 24 June. It's the first time since 2014 that Paolo has played in Bristol after a sell-out show on the harbourside that summer. Saturday 25 June will feature electronic pop duo Jungle with just announced support act, Welsh electronic musician, and producer Kelly Lee Owens. Sunday 26 June will see First Aid Kit and Katy J Pearson serving up a headline show for Bristol and wrapping up the 2022 edition will be The War On Drugs. • Tickets are available for purchase from: seetickets.com

Live music at Rainbow Casino

St Nick’s night market returns

Image credit: Rebecca Noakes Photography

Market traders are set to light up Bristol’s Old City again as the city welcomes the return of St Nicholas night market on 8 April. Located next to St Nicholas Market (St Nick’s), the event will be spread across St Nicholas Steet, Corn Street, Exchange Avenue and All Saints Lane, bringing the Old City to life. From 5pm to 10pm visitors will be able to enjoy a wide selection of stalls selling food and drinks from local producers and suppliers. The market promotes sustainability and intends to build on Bristol’s Gold Sustainable Food City status. There will also be a host of familyfriendly entertainment throughout the evening, including a fantastic musical line-up featuring local musicians and DJs, dance classes, circus performers, light installations, a garden party, lantern workshops and more. Many shops within the neighbouring streets are also expected to stay open for late night shopping in support of the event.

This April, Rainbow Casino is supporting the best local talent from Bristol and the surrounding areas. From guitarists and jazz soloists to saxophonists and singers, the live music events every Friday and Saturday night are offering something for everyone. Music starts at 8pm, so make sure to get there early to get a good seat. On 9 April, look out for Luke Greenhalgh. For those of you who like a little bit of swing, jazz and pop music to liven up your Saturday night, then Bristol based Luke is the entertainer for you. On 15 April, Chile-native Silent Garden will be taking to the stage and on 16 April, Jukebox James – an exciting solo act from Swindon – will be performing a range of pop classics and rock favourites with his guitar. Ultimately, whether you’re a Bristol-based musician looking to gig at one of the city’s most lively venues or simply looking to ring in the weekend with some live music, these events are for you. • For more information about the line-up at Rainbow Casino, visit: rainbowcasino.co.uk

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THE

B R I S TO L MAGAZINE

Contact us:

Spring has sprung

E

very spring, a blackbird sings in our garden. It’s a very small garden, the type you get with an Edwardian terrace house built on a Bristol hillside. Much of the space belongs to an ancient apple tree that we thought about cutting down twenty years ago but never did. Instead we ended up wassailing it, because that’s the sort of tree it is. The kind you respect if you don’t want Pomona, goddess of orchards, to curse your family. Sometimes the blackbird sings in the tree, sometimes on a chimneypot, competing with the croaky dawn chorus of our street’s resident crows. Like the magnolia blossoms outside number thirty-five the song of this lone blackbird tells us that spring, as a poet once said, has sprung. I’m fairly sure it’s a different bird every year, different but similar: it’s always a bold, upright youngster who starts his shift early and sings the basic repertoire with relentless enthusiasm. He doesn’t care if you’ve got a teething baby in the house and haven’t slept properly for a month. It’s not his problem if you’re fretting about the credit card bill or that noise the car’s making that will HAVE to be looked at. Two years ago he launched his Breakfast Show just as we went into lockdown. Up and down the street freelancers and small business owners were lying awake wondering how on earth they were going to pay the rent. But there he was, at 5am on the dot, launching into his cheerful melody – a tune so jolly it was covered by Paul McCartney. And now here we are once again in April with its showers sweet, and once again an ambitious young crooner has taken up residence. Part of me wishes I could tell him that he’s wasting his time. No blackbird has ever been raised in our back garden, which is patrolled by a vigilante army of magpies and cats. He’d be much better off, I would tell him (in my role of grizzled veteran blackbird), in the park. Plus, I might add, this year really isn’t the year for cheery, glass-half-full types like you. The future may have looked bleak when that first lockdown got underway, but we at least had the twin perks of sunny weather and the opportunity to share our new-found expertise in virology. Now we’re facing so many varieties of disaster it’s difficult to keep track of them all. You may remember from your schooldays something called the pathetic fallacy, which describes the tendency among poets, film-makers etc., to ascribe human emotions to nature. Story-tellers of all kinds like to fit the natural scene to the mood, so the fishermen waiting for the shark in Jaws do so in an eery calm, while a lovelorn Jane Austen heroine rushes out into a ferocious storm. Likewise we remember the battlefields of World War I as a sea of mud, but spring sprung there too. In between artillery bombardments the poet Edward Thomas noted in his diary the plant life sprouting in the disturbed earth, and the birds calling for mates. For him, and no doubt for many soldiers on both sides, these moments of natural beauty were incongruous. The situation these men found themselves in was unimaginably grim, yet the sun still shone and birds still sang. It must have been heart-rending to think of all those people in their gardens back home, barely a hundred miles away. But at the same time perhaps it was reassuring to know that the world continued to turn, the tides to ebb and flow, oblivious to human history. Like his predecessors our blackbird has no idea that his hopes of raising a family in our back garden are almost certainly going to be dashed. His faith in the future is total. I’m sure there are optimistic blackbirds like ours singing right now in the rubble of Ukrainian cities, in the sunshine or in the warm spring rain. ■

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Publisher Email:

Steve Miklos steve@thebristolmagazine.co.uk

Financial Director Email:

Jane Miklos jane@thebristolmagazine.co.uk

Editor Tel: Email:

Millie Bruce-Watt 0117 974 2800 millie@thebristolmagazine.co.uk

Assistant Editor/Web Editor Daisy Game Email: daisy@thebristolmagazine.co.uk Production Manager Email:

Jeff Osborne production@thebristolmagazine.co.uk

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For advertising enquiries please contact us on: 0117 974 2800

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The Bristol Magazine is published by MC Publishing Ltd. An independent publisher. Every month The Bristol Magazine is hand delivered to more than 15,000 homes in selected areas. We also deliver direct to companies and businesses across the city. Additionally there are many places where we have floor-stands and units for free pick-up:

The Bristol Magazine Tel: 0117 974 2800 www.thebristolmagazine.co.uk © MC Publishing Ltd 2022

2 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath BA1 2ED Disclaimer: Whilst every reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Bristol Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. This publication is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form either in part or whole without written permission from the publishers.


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FILM & TV

Make it happen Cahootify – a free software platform empowering independent producers, filmmakers and actors – is hosting a number of industry events including a three-day film conference in Bristol on 22 April, welcoming some of the industry's most established professionals. Here, renowned actor and screenwriter Paul Viragh delves into his career and offers some advice to aspiring writers...

O

n a mission to further the careers of independent producers, filmmakers and actors, Cahootify describes itself as a cross between LinkedIn and IMDb. A free software platform, it acts as a professional industry calling card with tools to help people create an impressive online portfolio. It also allows users to advertise or express interest in requirements for their upcoming projects, whether it be a call out for crew members or an announcement about partnership opportunities. What’s more, Cahootify runs engaging events for all those interested in making their creative mark. On 22 April, the team is inviting aspiring filmmakers, producers and actors to join them at their JustMakeIt! Film Conference, taking place at the Richmond Building in Clifton. Hailed on their website as being “probably the most inspiring little film conference in the world”, the three-day event comprises of film screenings, music performances, Q&As and talks from established film industry professionals. On the bill is renowned showrunner Matthew Graham, who will be talking about how to go from being a screenwriter to US-style showrunner; Aardman Animations’ senior creative Gavin Strange, who will be sharing the valuable lessons he’s learned in his career; Fundsurfer co-founder Oliver Randall Mochizuki, who will be explaining how to crowdfund £50,000 for a feature film; and international producer Lorine Plagnol, who will be telling us about the morning she woke up without imposter syndrome. Ahead of the conference this month, the Cahootify team sat down with Paul to delve into his long and illustrious career, which saw him appear in numerous cult classics such as The Bill, Grange Hill, Casualty and Midsomer Murders before going on to write the acclaimed musical Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, a biography of punk rock musician Ian Dury. Light-hearted yet honest, Paul speaks openly about the hardships of his profession, never failing, however, to encourage budding writers to strive for big things. What follows has been edited for clarity. C: How did you find your start in the creative arts? Did you know what you wanted to do? What did you do to find your way? PV: My mother was an actress, lots of friends of the family were actors, I’d seen what a miserable life it was so I went and did a physics degree. Then that made me realise maybe the world of acting wasn’t so bad. After about 15 years, I got really dissatisfied with the scripts. Around that time a whole bunch of us decided we’d like to try a bit on the other side of the camera. A couple of writers wanted to do some directing, a couple of actors wanted to do some writing, we managed to get a bit of funding together and we started making short films. The reason I chose writing was because it was the thing that bothered me most as an actor. You end up with a job where you get good or bad words, and I decided that I’d be the one to try and fix that. I don’t know if I’m doing any better than anybody that gave me a script, but I thought that was the area to try. 14 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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What attracted you to telling Ian Dury’s story in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll? I had a very lucky break in that I got to go to the Berlinale [Berlin International Film Festival]. They have a thing there called the Talent Campus [now the Berlinale Talents] which is where they bring together new writers and directors from all over the world. It was one of the very early ones so people like Stephen Frears were there. It was fascinating. When I got back, I approached one of my mates who I’d done some short films with, Andy Serkis, who of course everyone knows now but at the time we were all just actors running around, jobbing. I said “would you be in it?” he said he’d like to direct it, so we put it together and we had approached actors like Bruno Ganz and Martina Gedeck. We were doing really well, and then the whole thing fell apart, which was unfortunate. I think we were both a bit depressed about that so we met for a pint in a pub called the Blue Posts in Soho. It had terribly sticky floors as I remember and we didn’t have any money with us, which was a bit odd, so we could only afford one pint, which we didn’t even ask for in two half pint glasses, so we shared out the same pint glass outside the Blue Post, and I said “what about doing Ian Dury?” Andy had worked with Ian, he’d done a musical with him and he said he’d be really excited about doing it. So, I put a little pitch together. Then, we go up to Soho again, to the Bar Italia and the producer,


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FILM & TV

Screenwriter Paul Viragh will be talking about the definitions of story and plot at the JustMakeIt! Film Conference

Damien Jones, came to join us. As he was approaching, Andy leant over to me and said “Do you think we should ask to be Executive Producers?” and I said “Yes that’s a really great idea.” So we did at the end of the conversation, and obviously Damien agreed. Often most people’s first time stories are quite hard work, you know “took me 20 years”, “couldn’t raise the money” – this was really easy! My agent went to university with Ian’s daughter and so she introduced us to Ian’s widow, and we went round and met her and her two children. So, having the idea was about 2009, and within about 18 months we were on set doing it, which is unusual to say the least, I’ve tried to do it since and it’s not possible. What do you look for when finding a subject to write about? I think there are just things in life that you’re interested in. The usual maxim is ‘you write what you know’, but I’m not sure if that’s entirely true. You write about what you’re interested in and bizarrely it happens to be something to do with you. The difficulty with being a writer is that there are a million ways to tell a story and you have to decide which way you’re going to tell it. If you don’t have an opinion, or you don’t feel strongly about it, don’t do it because it will be an absolute nightmare. What were some of the challenges and responsibilities that you

noticed about telling Ian Dury’s story in particular? My way of working is an actor’s way of working as a writer, which is something a lot of writers don’t have access to. It’s a lot of research, it’s a lot of trying to find out how people really are, rather than how you picture them to be. To do that, you have to talk to a lot of people, and if people are generous enough to give you the access to their life, then you are under a massive responsibility to do a good job. You feel a responsibility to the person, their life and what they meant to their nearest and dearest, what they meant to their fans or to the wider world. There’s also a responsibility as a writer to bring the humanity. When I took the first draft that I wrote of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll to Ian’s widow, she gave me permission to go as far as I needed to. We all then felt like we had permission to do something that was very close to what Ian really was, truthfully. Interestingly, the ones I’ve worked on where the person is no longer with us, you can do more. The ones that are about people who are still alive, the scripts often end up being a little bit of a hagiography. Tell us about what you’re working on at the moment. Being, I suppose, a bit of a restless spirit, a few years ago I decided I wanted to do a bit more directing again. A friend of mine and I did a short film. We put it in to a short film festival and it did pretty well, which was quite impressive considering it was shot in an evening. THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

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Paul Viragh (left) with actor Andy Serkis (centre) and director Mat Whitecross (right)

At the same time an old friend of mine, who I’d met on the Ian Dury project; interesting thing about that Ian Dury project was that because it was about a disabled man, there was a mentoring scheme for disabled filmmakers. Every head of department, (camera, wardrobe, make-up) had a disabled mentee, who’d come along and learn about the business, from that particular angle. I had four mentees, of which one was a wheelchair user, an actor called David Proud, who then went on to become the first wheelchair user in EastEnders. Cut to about five or six years later, we had co-written on a couple of things. He had recently gone to the Wellcome Trust, who had given him some money to do an [Engagement] Fellowship. He began investigating the future of disability, which sounded like a great documentary idea, so that’s what we’re doing now. Unfortunately, Covid got in the way, the pandemic stopped everybody; a lot of what we’re trying to do is shot in America to give it a global feel. What determines what you want to do and how do you make it happen? This is going to be depressing for people [reading] this but the truth of the matter is: it takes a long time to get a real facility with writing. There’s no real shortcut, you just have to keep churning the words out. The 18 months it took for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll; from having that beer to being stood on set with Mat [Whitecross], Damian [Jones] and Andy [Serkis] – that doesn’t happen very often. And certainly, in the experience of most writers on their first film, that really doesn’t happen. If you’re saying, for instance, there’s a 10 to 1 development to production ratio, and you’ve got to write 10 scripts, that means you’ve got to write 30 scripts to get 1-3 films made. My advice is make sure that a: it’s something quite interesting. And b: it’s something that lots of people want to come and see, because if lots of people don’t want to come and see your film, then why are you doing it? Another consideration is what would you get known for? Where would it take you? I’ve been offered just about every music-type film because of Ian Dury. Do I feel that’s my only area? Not sure that I do. What will you be talking about at Cahootify’s ‘Just Make It’ conference and what do you hope to take from it? What I’m going to be talking about at the conference is story and what that really is and what it means, because it’s one of the more complicated things. Lots of execs don’t know what it is. People know it when they see it, so it’s a kind of an elusive concept. My expectational 16 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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hope is that I can bring just a few little illuminations of what it is. If you can see the story, it’s very simple. When it’s brilliant, it’s utterly brilliant. It’s very different to plot, however. You’ve got to know the difference because it’s almost fundamental and it affects everything. It affects character, location, everything afterwards, whether anyone is going to come and see it. That’s what I’m going to talk about. At the end of the day, I have a certain amount of experience in a lot of different areas of the industry, which makes me different to a lot of writers. It’s a tough old business, but there are opportunities for people who are prepared to work out how to do it. It really is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration. There’s no genius to it. What advice do you have for people who don’t know where to start, or don’t feel confident in getting their project made? If somebody’s got a project and they’re not entirely sure what to do, feeling a bit unconfident about it, there are a few things that can be offered up to help. Frankly, you’ve got to look at yourself first, that’s the truth. Have I read the books? Have I done the online courses? Have I practiced enough? Am I working hard enough? Obviously, there is always the ‘give the project to somebody you know’. Don’t give it to someone you don’t respect and don’t give it to somebody who doesn’t have a good understanding of script. Most people think they can read scripts, but it’s really quite hard to read scripts. They’re a very specific, technical document in a lot of ways. The other thing that helped me is a mentor. Find somebody who is prepared to mentor you, to read your work. The more people you talk to who know what they’re talking about, the more experience you’ll get because the stories are all the same – they’re all going through the same process. I would also say talk to other writers, other filmmakers, talk. Do lots of talking. Theoretically, if you pick the right people, these are the people who are going to be with you in the business, sooner or later. The number of people I’ve had come up to me on set and go, “Hi Paul, how are you?” And you go “Oh, great...who is this?” And it turns out they were the runner and now they’re the executive producer, so good job you were nice to them! The ultimate thing is that it’s all in your hands, you can make it happen, but you do have to make it happen yourself. n • JustMakeIt! Film Conference is taking place at the Richmond Building in Clifton from 22 April. For ticket prices and more information about the event, visit: cahootify.com

Image credit: Larry Busacca

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BOOKS

Beyond meat Bristol author Rob Percival is set to speak at the Bath Festival on 14 May about his powerful new book, The Meat Paradox. Ahead of his appearance, we sat down with the expert in meat politics to unpick humanity’s conflicted relationship with eating animals...

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survey from January 2021 found that 85 per cent of the British public wanted an urgent ban on all factory farming. Yet, due to the unprecedented demand for meat, 95 per cent of all British chicken reared for meat is still produced in 200 industrial units situated around the country. It is fair to wonder how many of those people voted for the closure of intensive farming while tucking into a chicken sandwich? We will never know exactly. What we do know, however, is that our relationship with meat is emotionally and ethically complicated. The majority of us, of course, care for animals. We don’t want to see or hear about the unnecessary suffering of cows and their calves, sheep and their lambs, deer and their fawns, yet we don’t think twice about picking a pack of marinated fillets from the supermarket shelves. This common form of moral conflict is known as the meat paradox – a term coined by Australian psychologists Brock Bastian and Steve Loughnan and a theory that author Rob Percival has placed at the centre of his new book of the same name. Head of Policy at the Soil Association, a leading Bristol-based charity campaigning for healthy and sustainable food and farming, Percival is an expert in meat politics. He spends his days advocating for a better, more nature-friendly way of producing food, lobbying policymakers in Westminster and leading public-facing campaigns to drive change.

Taking us on a personal journey through farms, slaughterhouses and off into the Amazon, Percival explores a dimension of the debate that has been left relatively untouched up until now

Over recent years, the debate around whether we should eat meat has become polarised and divisive. The surge in popularity for veganism in the UK, Europe and North America has challenged the cultural narratives that sustain our omnivory. Both sides of the debate, however, have formed irrational biases. Throughout The Meat Paradox, Percival successfully identifies and picks apart the claims that have emerged. For instance, he debunks the myth that a vegan diet is a natural human diet. Backed by research, he explains that our species has been eating meat for almost two million years. By the same token, he strongly states that we must put an end to intensive factory farming, which is not only causing great suffering to the animals involved but is exacerbating the climate crisis. Taking us on a personal journey through farms, slaughterhouses and off into the Amazon, Percival explores a dimension of the 18 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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Rob Percival

debate that has been left relatively untouched up until now. Delving into Bastian and Loughnan’s psychological research, he trawls back through human history, searching for moments which may explain why our relationship with meat is so dysfunctional. “What was interesting [about speaking to people on both sides of the debate] was coming to understand the cognitive dynamics, the psychological forces which are animating some of this debate,” says Percival. “It’s often not the case that people are being deliberately dishonest, but when those of us who eat meat, eat meat, it creates this set of dissonant emotions, which shape our thought perception. Beneath the surface of conscious thought, our attitudes and beliefs are shaped beyond our view, often in ways that are quite surprising. Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, once you’re committed to this ethical cause, it can be very easy to start to remould the evidence around it to the point where meat becomes toxic waste.” Arguably one of the most illuminating passages in The Meat


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Paradox is Percival’s examination of the hunter-gatherer societies, looking at the ways in which they come to terms with eating meat through a series of rites and rituals. He studies tribes living in the Amazon and investigates their complex cultural narrative. Specifically, Percival follows the Tucano people – a group of Indigenous South Americans in the north-western Amazon. They believe that for every animal that is killed, a human soul must be given in return, to be reborn in the prey species. If a member of the society has mistreated an animal or consumed more meat than they need, they are given over. What is most striking about Percival’s examination, is that a sense of respect for the animal remains very much a focus in the tribe’s society; one that is non-existent in ours due to the presence of the modern meat industry. A particularly fascinating conversation that follows this passage is with the head of food quality assurance for KFC UK & Ireland, Charles Way. He speaks at length about the welfare standards of chickens supplied to KFC, which he describes as higher than those on an average chicken farm. Returning to the Tucano’s belief system, Percival asks Way whether he would prefer to be reborn as a chicken in the KFC supply chain rather than a chicken farm. His answer was telling: “No… because it wouldn’t make a world of difference.” In essence, the life of a chicken in the meat industry is not one that gives anyone pause for thought. “Charles was very open about what KFC was doing and what they’re about,” says Percival. “In some ways, they are not the worst player on the scene, but my mind throughout the conversation was on a slight parallel track, thinking about the narrative from the Tucano tribe. KFC embodies the opposite, the mindless consumption and the needless suffering inflicted upon so many chickens.”

most of that we were much like any other animal. But at some point, it became complicated. We started to feel a sense of moral anxiety or ethical distress. We started to empathise with the animals that we consumed, which is quite peculiar in an evolutionary context – we don’t know of any other predatory animal that does that. The earliest material evidence for this shift in our relationship occurs at least 40,000 years ago. I point towards the emergence of art and carvings, which are focused on animals as some of the earliest evidence. The Lion Man is the earliest figurative sculpture in the archaeological records, among the very first works of art. The figure becomes almost the embodiment of this cognitive shift, which I trace back to this point which lies at the root of this modern meat debate.” Ultimately, when it comes to meat production and consumption, Percival’s message is clear: we are at breaking point. “By biomass, 96% of mammals on the planet are humans and farm animals, 4% are wild,” Percival explains. “What’s more, 70% of all birds on the planet are chickens reared in industrial systems. This has all happened in the last 50 years. The wild animal populations have declined by two thirds in the last 50 years while the farm animal population has tripled.” In this fascinating must-read for anyone interested in understanding and addressing exactly why morally troublesome behaviours vanish into the commonplace and every day, Percival grippingly guides the reader through the psychological complexity of our challenges, finding a middle ground in the debate and helping people decide where they may sit in the midst of it all. n • The Meat Paradox by Rob Percival is available to buy at all good bookstores. For more information about the Bath Festival’s line up, visit: bathfestivals.org.uk

We’ve been eating animals for around two million years and for most of that we were much like any other animal. But at some point, it became complicated. We started to feel a sense of moral anxiety or ethical distress

In light of this, we ask: can we recalibrate our relationship with meat? Percival says we have no choice but to fix it. “The narrative that we tell about meat doesn’t really place any meaningful curbs on our consumption. It doesn’t tell us that animals might be morally significant persons and it doesn’t help us understand why it can be distressing when we think about killing animals. We are not going to get through the next few decades if we continue to farm and eat as we do today. It is causing enormous harm and there is a real urgent need in the context of the climate crisis and the nature crisis to reorient our whole relationship with food, and animal foods in particular. The book doesn’t nail down a concrete set of solutions but it does hopefully help the reader understand some of the psychological complexity of the challenge and where they sit in relation to these tensions.” Throughout The Meat Paradox, Percival repeatedly returns to the image of a 40,000-year-old statue, which he describes as “the expression of the meat paradox in its earliest form.” Housed in the Natural History Museum, the statue is carved from a mammoth’s tusk and depicts the head of a lion on a human body. Percival became fascinated by the figure. “I grew curious as to how far back in time our conflicted relationship with meat reached,” he says. “We’ve been eating animals for around two million years and for

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WHAT’S ON in April Tour de Bristol is taking place on 9 April

Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork n Throughout April Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork offers high quality training in the heart of Clifton. Founded in 1986, it runs a variety of different courses including: monthly holistic massage introductions for beginners; professional training in holistic, remedial and sports massage and Indian head massage; varied CPD workshops for qualified therapists; and a low cost graduate massage clinic every Thursday. bristolmassage.co.uk Hidden Health n Throughout April, We The Curious Last year, three young leaders were paired with early career Digital Health Researchers from the University of Bristol, to explore what health and wellbeing means to them. Working together, these two groups have shared experiences and influenced each other’s work. Participatory artist Ramona Eve, who supported delivery of the project, has now created an installation for the gallery space ‘The Box’, which invites you to 20 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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become part of each young leader’s research journey. Step inside to join in the conversation and reflect on your own hidden health story. wethecurious.org Bristol Bridge Club: Beginners’ Lessons n Throughout April, Oldfield Road Bristol Bridge Club is back welcoming members and guests to its premises on Oldfield Road. The club is running beginner lessons on Tuesday mornings and/or evenings. The course costs £90 for ten lessons, which will include a BFA Beginning Bridge book. Alternatively, members can pay £8 a lesson. For more information, contact Sue at: teaching@bristolbridgeclub.co.uk South West Ship Show n 2 April, BAWA Social Club At the South West Ship Show this year, attendees can admire model boats, books and collectable items, while also taking part in a raffle in memory of Bernard McCall. The money raised will go to RNLI Portishead. go.rallyup.com/rnlicoastalraffle

Bristol Ideas; Celebrating Jacques Tati n 2 April, Arnolfini Running at Arnolfini on 2 April, Bristol Ideas, Slapstickand South West Silents are collaborating to celebrate French filmmaker Jacques Tati. The day will include screenings of three of Tati’s films, Mon Oncle, Playtime and Traffic, and discussions with speakers including Dr Matthew Sweet (BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking) and Serge Bromberg. bristolideas.co.uk St Peter’s Hospice: Tour de Bristol n 9 April, in and around Bristol Conquer the hills, soak up the scenery and pedal through our beautiful countryside into Gloucestershire and to the edge of the Cotswolds. With three routes spanning 40k, 65k and 100k to choose from, there's a route for all abilities whether you're a seasoned cyclist or a first-timer. Set off from the UWE Frenchay Campus and enjoy fantastic feed stations and mechanical support along the way, chip timing and a well earned medal at the finishline. Or, if you can't join in person, customise your


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LOCAL EVENTS

Bristol Ensemble is performing at St George’s Bristol on 9 April

ride to suit you with the Tour de Bristol: Your Ride and cycle a route of your choice on a date that suits you. stpetershospice.org Bristol Ensemble: St John Passion n 9 April, St George’s Bristol Bristol Ensemble Baroque ushers in Easter with a performance of Bach's glorious setting of the St John Passion, one of the most moving and emotive set to music. The Choir of Royal Holloway joins the period instruments of the Bristol Ensemble Baroque for what promises to be a moving rendition of this great Baroque masterpiece, given against a backdrop of period paintings depicting the scenes of the Passion. stgeorgesbristol.co.uk Fiction evening with local authors n 8 April, Waterstones, Broadmead Waterstones is welcoming a panel of three local authors to discuss their debut novels on 8 April. Nikki May, author of Wahala, an explosive, hilarious and razor-sharp tale of love, race and family, will be appearing alongside Emma Stonex and Lizzie Pook. Find out more about the author’s books and background at: eventbrite.co.uk 22 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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The Ark Ukraine Benefit Gig n 9 April, The Louisiana A Ukraine fundraiser is taking place at The Louisiana on 9 April, raising money for The Disasters Emergency Committee. The line up includes Billy from BEAK (DJ Set), Erotic Secrets of Pomeii, SubCultures, Mudd Clubb, Miss Kill, Droogs, Furlined and Lonely Tourist (acoustic set). All money raised by this event will go to the disasters Emergency Committee as part of their ukraine humanitarian appeal. There will also be a raffle on the night with merch, music and other prizes. thelouisiana.net

Showhawk Duo, have dazzled audiences worldwide with their spectacular approach to playing the guitar. Their playing style has broken down barriers between acoustic and electronic music. Whether playing oldschool trance classics or modern funky house, their live show knows no boundaries and will leave you amazed. trinitybristol.org.uk

Antique & Vintage Fair n 10 April, Ashton Court Manor House On 10 April, an Aladdins cave of fine jewellery, china, ceramics, glassware, clocks, furniture and more is coming to Ashton Court Manor House. Shoppers will have the opportunity to browse over 40 quality stalls, which will be packed full of antiques and collectables.

Janet Delvin n 18 April, The Louisiana Janet’s emotional sound is formed by a fusion of traditional folk, country, indie and quirky pop, topped with vocals that transcend genre and allow for a transformation of any song she sings. This was evident in 2010, when she shot to fame with an unforgettable cover of Elton John’s Your Song in her X-Factor audition. Her debut album Running with Scissors was an opportunity for Janet to define herself as an artist, further refining her own brand of quirky folk-pop. thelouisiana.net

Shawshank Duo n 17 April, Trinity Centre Young British guitarists Mikhail Asanovic and Jake Wright, together known as The

Maya Youssef: Finding Home n 20 April, St George’s Bristol Syrian Qanun (78 stringed plucked instrument) player Maya Youssef returns to


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Maya Youssef

Ronan Keating

St George's folllowing a well received debut there in 2018. She will be performing her recently released brand new album project Finding Home in a quintet format. Winner of Songlines Best Newcomer Award 2018, Youssef’s music promises to provide a deeply evocative soundworld. stgeorgesbristol.co.uk Bristol 1904: Ultra Beige n 22 April, Red Lodge Museum Bristol 1904 Arts presents jazz with ‘Ultra Beige’ in what is a new venture for the club and which is open to the public on Friday 22 April. Performing in the atmospheric Red Lodge, 'Ultra Beige' will provide an evening of warm and vibrant jazz. Tickets for this performance are £12 and are available from: bristol1904arts.org Bristol Film Festival: Much Ado About Nothing n 29 April, Averys Wine Merchants Vintage Screenings pair classic films with thematically linked wine tastings to create unique evenings in the stunning setting of Averys Wine Merchants’ historic wine cellar. Following a sparkling wine reception, the film will be accompanied by a tasting of four carefully selected wines courtesy of Averys’ resident experts. About the film: Shortly after supporting their ally

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Don Pedro in battle, two lords - Claudio and Benedick - find themselves the victims of separate plots. Claudio is driven apart from his beloved Hero, while Benedick is driven towards his supposed adversary Beatrice. bristolfilmfestival.com Bristol Film Festival: Little Miss Sunshine n 30 April, Averys Wine Merchants Part of the same Vintage Screenings

LOOKING AHEAD Bristol Walk Fest n 1 May, throughout May Bristol Walk Fest will return this May, offering digital excursions via the Go Jauntly app, signposts to a variety of walking routes and activities, stepcounting incentives and, it is hoped, a choice of guided and themed walks catering for all ages, interests and fitness levels. bristolwalkfest.com Ronan Keating n 1 May, The Bristol Hippodrome For some twenty-seven years, Ronan Keating has sung the songs that have

prgramme, guests can enjoy a glass of wine while watching Little Miss Sunshine. About the film: Young Olive Hoover is desperate to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. Eager to support their daughter, the Hoovers take the whole family – including a suicidal uncle, a Neitzschean teen and a drug-addled grandfather – on a chaotic journey that teaches them some valuable lessons about family along the way.

been the soundtrack to many people’s lives, all across the world. As lead vocalist in Boyzone and a successful solo artist, Ronan’s voice has helped define pop music from the 90s right through to the 2020s, with two new albums released during lockdown. Songs like Nothing at All, Life Is A Rollercoaster, If Tomorrow Never Comes, Love Me For A Reason, and Baby Can I Hold You, have helped cement a career filled with hits. Coming to the Bristol Hippodrome on 1 May after a reshceduled tour, join Ronan as he sings all the hits from his time in Boyzone and as a solo artist. atgtickets.com


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Timeless tunes Swedish singer-songwriter José González is back on tour with his fourth solo album, Local Valley. Ahead of his appearance at The Marble Factory on 26 April, we catch up with José and delve into the making of his soulful sounds...

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ince the release of his critically acclaimed debut single Crosses in 2003, and his subsequent cover of The Knife’s Heartbeats on the same album – a rendition that has earned more than 372 million listens on Spotify alone – José González’s signature glacial vocals and impressive Spanish-inflected fingerpicking have been a mainstay of the indie-folk scene for almost two decades. His long reign is very much a testament to the quality of his work, especially as his latest release, Local Valley, comes some six years after his last, and is only his fourth solo album to date. Nevertheless, few artists possess a body of work than can rival José’s catalogue. Over the years, he has received numerous platinum records. In 2018 – three whole years after he’d released a new song – he sold out London’s prestigious 4000+ seat Royal Albert Hall. Today, the Swedish singer-songwriter is back on the road, unsurprisingly packing out venues all over the world. As I speak to 26 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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José ahead of his appearance at The Marble Factory on 26 April, he is mid-way through his tour in the States. When my call connects, he is walking along the serene streets of San Diego, where he is due to play that evening. It’s 7.30pm in the UK, the skies are grey. It’s 12.30pm on the west coast of America and the sun is apparently beaming down. I wish it was my shoes that I could hear brushing the pavement stones, but I digress… Local Valley sees the return of José’s stripped-back setup and gentle philosophical lyrics. In some ways, this album is a natural continuation of his previous work, but in many others, it marks a new chapter in José’s life. For starters, we hear the influence of his two children, both of whom were born during the making of this record. The eighth track on the album, Lilla G (short for lilla gumman, which means ‘sweet little girl’ in Swedish) came from a tune José first hummed to his baby daughter. “I was playing around, singing her


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think that becoming a dad and having less time to write has actually helped me get over that.” José describes Local Valley as “a mixture of classic folk-singer songwriting and songs with influences from Latin America and Africa”. Head On is a great example of that. It was also apparently inspired by a jamming session with Nigerian guitarist and songwriter Bombino. It’s clear from listening to José’s full body of work that he has always been a deep thinker. Before forging a career in music, he was a biochemistry doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. A yearning to explore and examine complex subject matter seems to be woven into José’s makeup. He consumes topics such as effective altruism, secular humanism and ecomodernism. His lyrics, as a result, incorporate associated subjects and wider global issues, all of which are communicated with such insight and eloquence. Local Valley is no different. The title itself is “a metaphor for both humanity stuck here on earth – our local green valley in a vast, inhospitable universe – and also for two dogmatic tribes stuck in a state where they’re unable to see things from the others’ perspective, preventing them from establishing a more harmonic state.”

José’s artistic output may not be prolific but his voice is ubiquitous

Swedish singer-songwriter José González is back on tour with his fourth solo album

songs and coming up with new melodies every day but that one just got stuck,” he explains with a smile. “I think that was the only time I’ve ever started with vocals and then made a song out of it – it was fun to make,” he adds. What’s more, Local Valley is the first time we hear the trilingual musician sing not only in his native Swedish but in the language of his Argentinian ancestors. José was born in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden a year after his parents fled Argentina following the military coup in March 1976. Although he has always wanted to produce songs in both Spanish and Swedish, he often found it easier to write in English. “Maybe I was just lazy before and didn’t push through,” he laughs. “But this time, I had many reasons to keep going. Part of that was not having much spare time because I was looking after my children – I think that makes you more actionable.” The process of making an album is always a steady one for the singer-songwriter. Although José’s pace is slow, his journey is contemplative, purposeful, unerring. He allows his melodies and riffs to arrive organically, producing demos that can sometimes sit untouched in his studio for years at a time. José tells me that he had a version of Local Valley ready to go by March 2020, but he saw the pandemic as an opportunity to fine tune his creations. “It’s pretty obvious that I’m very slow and part of being slow is because I’m not the best guitarist or the best poet – that combination is pretty bad,” he says modestly. “I take a lot of time to think about details and I’m OK with having my demos lying around for years until I find the final pieces of the puzzle. It’s fun, it’s been getting easier and easier with every album. I used to feel that I had a constant writer’s block but I

This message is also beautifully mirrored in the album’s cover, drawn by José’s partner, illustrator and designer Hannele Fernström, who adds her voice to Swing, and for whom the final track, Honey Honey, was written. While the image appears to depict a sunlit valley filled with animals and plants, the elephant and blackbird at its centre are, José reveals, “a nod to ‘The Rider and The Elephant’, a behavioural psychology model by NYU psychologist Jonathan Haidt.” Look out for themes of nature in Visions, listen to José’s impassioned observations of our current environmental crisis in Tjomme and immerse yourself in his cover of Iranian-Swedish artist Laleh’s song En stund på Jorden, which translates as ‘a moment on Earth’. For the keen listener, his lyrical work is profound. We may not see an awful lot of José but his songs are ever present in our lives. If you’ve ever sat down to watch This Is Us, Crazy Stupid Love, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Blind Side or most recently Netflix’s The Last Dance, you will have heard José’s warm tones sail through your speakers. His artistic output may not be prolific but his voice is ubiquitous. His place in music history was cemented two decades ago and Local Valley shows his creative drive is still firing on all cylinders. As for José’s return to the city this month: “Bristol reminds me a bit of Gothenburg,” he tells me. “Some cities have a similar spirit – I would say Seattle, Bristol, Gothenburg – it always feels good to be in Bristol.” n • José González will be playing at The Marble Factory on 26 April. Purchase tickets via Bristol Beacon’s website: bristolbeacon.org THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

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LOCAL EVENTS

FAMILY DIARY IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO WITH THE CHILDREN THIS MONTH

Get ready for the Revel Puck Circus to bring their contemporary flair to Bristol

Easter trails, and even a demonstration of Concorde’s famous droop nose. aerospacebristol.org Upside Down House Cribbs Causeway n Open throughout the Easter Holidays Join Upside Down House Cribbs Causeway this Easter for amazing opportunities at their photo station. The most creative photo will receive a goody bag full of surprises and a free entry for four to Upside Down House Cribbs Causeway. To enter the competition, post a photo to Facebook or Instagram and tag @upsidedownhouseuk and #UDHEaster22. upsidedownhouse.co.uk

Brunel’s SS Great Britain n Open throughout the Easter holidays With Easter holidays just around the corner, we might be anticipating the usual waft of freshly cut grass and sweet sprouting flowers as spring gets into full swing. However, life aboard the SS Great Britain did not smell quite as sweet. In fact, some of the odours of a nineteenth century passenger ship would be enough to send you overboard. This Easter, visitors will smell their way back in time to 1845 and the SS Great Britain’s pioneer

voyages. A dramatic new soundscape will create an immersive story of the earliest crossings to New York onboard a ship that was considered an ‘experiment’ at the time. ssgreatbritain.org Aerospace Bristol n Open throughout the Easter Holidays Enjoy a supersonic family day out and step aboard Concorde at Aerospace Bristol this Easter. The museum has plenty of activities to enjoy throughout the school holidays, including Science Shows,

The Revel Puck Circus n 7 – 24 April, Dove Lane, St Pauls A fresh face for the modern circus, The Revel Pucks, will bring their contemporary flair to Bristol from 7 – 24 April. Formed in East London in 2018, the 19-strong troupe are redefining the circus landscape across the United Kingdom with their smash hit production The Wing Scuffle Spectacular. The Revel Puck Circus is a union of acrobatics, music, costumes, and storytelling – featuring the cream of British circus artists in a joyous large-scale production. revelpuckcircus.com Eggcellent Easter Family Trails n 9 – 24 April, Bristol Zoo Gardens Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project are calling upon eggsplorers to take part in their two eggciting Easter

Snap a pic of Upside House Cribbs Causeway...

Head to the SS Great Britain...


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LOCAL EVENTS

Enjoy a supersonic family day out at Aerospace Bristol

Make a Gromit model with Aardman Animations

family trails. Between 9 – 24 April, giant eggs will be hidden around both visitor attractions for families to discover. There will be stickers for all taking part and the chance to win a top prize. At Bristol Zoo Gardens spot 300 incredible animal species from gorillas and lemurs, to red pandas and penguins and eggsplore 12 acres of award-winning gardens bursting into bloom. At Wild Place Project eggsplore over 50 acres of woodlands, wildflowers, gardens and meadows and see animals from around the world including bears, giraffes, zebras and cheetahs. bristolzoo.org.uk Pebbles Mean Prizes n 11 – 15 April, Aztec Hotel Bristol Join Aztec Hotel Bristol on its pebble hunt to win prizes this Easter. Collect three or more different decorated pebbles and return them to The Black Sheep to receive a free drink for one child and one adult. Collect all five pebbles and receive a voucher for Afternoon Tea, Sunday Lunch or Brunch at the Curious Kitchen. The pebbles are hidden around four areas: Bradley Stoke Nature Reserve, Little Stoke Park, Kingsgate Park, Mundy Playing

The Owl and The Pussycat n 8 – 16 April, Tobacco Factory Theatres The Owl and the Pussycat love each other very much, they long for adventures in a land where they can be together, and most importantly be accepted for who they are. Join them to embark on the most wonderful journey, full of laughter, discovery and celebration, as they sail away on a pea green boat to find a place they can call home... Join Hammerpuzzle at the Everyman for a story of joy, friendship and acceptance – and how life is so much more fun when you share it with the ones you love. tobaccofactory.com

Go on an eggcellent Easter family trail at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Fields. Watch out for clues on Facebook @AztecHotelBristol and @BlackSheep. aztechotelbristol.co.uk Make a Gromit model with Aardman Animations n 21 April, Filwood Community Centre

For one day only, create Bristol's favourite dog in this family-friendly workshop with Aardman's professional model-maker. Take home your own Gromit after this fun hands-on creative experience. Find this and 100s more experiences at: yuup.co

Watch Owl and The Pussycat at Tobacco Factory Theatres...

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ARTS – APRIL v2.qxp_Layout 1 25/03/2022 10:40 Page 1

EXHIBITIONS

STATE OF THE ART RWA reopens on 2 May A landmark exhibition bringing historical context to today’s ‘selfie culture’ with an illuminating overview of 300 years of self-portraiture will launch the reopening of the RWA’s magnificent galleries following a £4.1m transformation. The exhibition features over 80 works by major artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, Élizabeth Louise Vigéé Le Brun, Madame Yevonde and Lucian Freud, presented alongside modern and contemporary works by artists including Grayson Perry, Sonia Boyce, Tracey Emin, Tony Bevan, Antony Gormley, Harold Offeh, Zineb Sedira and Gillian Wearing. • rwa.org.uk Image: A computer-generated image of the exterior of the RWA’s refurbishment

Exhibitions at Arnolfini, throughout April

The ephemeral sounds of melodious Zen bells chiming on trees, enchanting pond lily ceramics and the mesmerising sight of the potter’s wheel are all features of this year’s festival. New sculptors include Simon Probyn, Sonya Wilkins and Geoff Hannis. Visitors will be able to view and buy sculpture, enjoy demonstrations of willow weaving, pottery and woodworking and take a tour of the garden which will be full of spring flowers. Admission: Adults £10. Free to Friends of the Garden, school age children, university staff and students.

Arnolfini welcomes you to venture into the extraordinary imagination of Dame Paula Rego RA, one of the leading figurative artists of our generation. Rego makes a welcome return to Bristol (almost 40 years after her first exhibition here in 1982-83), creating an opportunity for a new generation of visitors to explore the artist’s rich and imaginative world. Elsewhere at the gallery, Arnolfini is currently showing CUEVA DE COPAL, a new and immersive site-specific installation by Donna Huanca, a celebrated, rising star of the international art world. Drawing on painting, sculpture, performance, choreography, video, and sensory interventions, Huanca’s interdisciplinary practice focuses upon the human body, exploring our physical relationship to the world around us. Huanca builds her experiential installations around the architecture of each new site, with CUEVA DE COPAL plunging audiences into a cocoon-like space. Award-winning documentary photographer, Polly Braden, in her latest exhibition, Holding the Baby, creates a portrait of the strength and resilience of single parent families facing austerity.

• botanic-garden.bristol.ac.uk

• arnolfini.org.uk

Image: Sunflower On Stem by Kilburn Renee

Image from Polly Braden’s exhibition, Holding the Baby. Image courtesy of Polly Braden

Easter Scu[pture Festival, University of Bristol Botanical Gardens, 15 – 18 April

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Homecoming New Paintings by Sally Stafford 14th April - 13th May

Murmuration

First Blossom

www.cliftoncontemporaryart.co.uk • info@cliftoncontemporaryart.co.uk 0117 3179713 • Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 5 • 25 Portland Street • Clifton • Bristol BS8 4JB

Last chance to see

Closes 8 May

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ARTS – APRIL v2.qxp_Layout 1 25/03/2022 10:41 Page 2

EXHIBITIONS

International Photography Exhibition 164: call for entries, Royal Photographic Society, open for entries until 17 May

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Propyard, from 9 April This April, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, a 360 degree digital art experience, will launch in Bristol following hugely successful runs across London, Europe, America and Asia. The exhibit invites visitors to step into more than 300 of Van Gogh’s sketches, drawings, and paintings by using floor-to-ceiling digital projections, made possible by state-of-the-art video mapping technology. As well as a 20,000 square foot light and sound spectacular featuring two-story projections of the artist’s most compelling works, the exhibition also includes a one-of-a-kind VR experience in a separate gallery. This multi-sensory experience guides the viewer through a ten-minute journey on “a day in the life of the artist”, providing a chance to discover the inspiration behind some of his most beloved works including Vincent’s Bedroom at Arles, and Starry Night Over The Rhone River. • vangoghexpo.com

Homecoming: New Paintings by Sally Stafford, Clifton Contemporary Art, 14 April – 13 May The wetlands of the Somerset Levels have harboured wildlife and people for millennia. They resonate with myths, bird calls and the prevailing South West wind. It is this exposed yet sheltering place that Sally chooses to embrace and paint, after some years dividing her time between the UK and rural Spain. Returning to England to experience every season has been an inspiring creative homecoming, where the interaction of her paints on canvas mimic the flow and patterns of nature. Sally's latest work harnesses the energy of this quietly dramatic phenomenon, which is itself a daily homecoming – a return to safe haven before the sun rises again. This deeply personal, life affirming new collection encapsulates the true essence of the Avalon Marshes, where water and air interact like a form of alchemy to create something precious: a timeless sense of place. • cliftoncontemporaryart.co.uk

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Image: Alchemy by Sally Stafford

The Royal Photographic Society is delighted to announce the 2022 call for entries for the 164th edition of the International Photography Exhibition (IPE 164). The world’s longest running photography exhibition celebrates contemporary photography from across the globe. The open call welcomes submissions from new, emerging, and established photographers of all ages and working in any subject or genre. New approaches, alternative photographic processes and experimental work is encouraged. Selected photographers will be offered exclusive opportunities. A £4,000 prize fund will be awarded to standout entrants, including the IPE Award, Under 30s Award and a £1250 commission to create new work. 100 images, chosen by a guest selection panel, will form a group exhibition at the Royal Photographic Society, UK in January 2023. Selected photographers will also be featured in the award-winning _RPS Journal_ and across the RPS digital channels. Entry is free for one image, and up to four images can be submitted for £18 – £30, as a series or as individual images. • rps.org Image: Yevhen Samuchenko


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COLUMN | CHRIS YEO ON ANTIQUES

Expert opinion From Chris Yeo, Valuer at Clevedon Salerooms and regular expert on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow

Mid-Century Magic The world of antiques never stands still, markets are always on the move. A great many people fall into the trap of thinking that their vintage treasures will be as valuable today (or, hopefully, more so) as the day they bought them, but the truth is antiques are as much at the mercy of fashion’s fickle finger as a hemline or hairstyle (for those of you lucky enough to still have hair). Like Isaac Newton’s apple, what goes up probably will at some point come down. One of the upsides of this evershifting situation, however, is things which previous generations wrote off as rubbish can suddenly become highly desirable. Step forward ‘MidCentury’. One of the biggest trends to emerge over the last decade, Mid-Century Modernism (to give it it’s full moniker) has emerged from nowhere to become the in-thing, with some pieces achieving a level of excitement previously reserved for Thomas Chippendale and his ilk, despite being a mere sixty or so years old. As the name suggests, the Mid-Century style dates from the middle decades of the 20thcentury, roughly from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s. Rather like Art Deco, the name was coined long after the period in question. When it first appeared, our parents and grandparents knew it as Contemporary, and it influenced everything from the shape of a sofa to the pattern on your bedroom curtains. Heavily influenced by Scandinavia, this stylish, pared down look was taken up by manufacturers at the more affordable – as well as the top end - of the market. Good quality and well-designed, these pieces can be picked up at reasonable prices while still ticking all the boxes for style and quality. Ercol fits firmly into this category. Established by Italian émigré Lucian Ercolani, the family-run firm revolutionised the home furniture market in the 1950s. Today its spindly, Shakerinspired designs are back in vogue, leading to some very healthy prices at auction. At Clevedon Salerooms a good-looking Ercol room divider in light elm recently sold for a very respectable £700. ■ • clevedonsalerooms.com; @chrisyeo_antiques (Instagram)

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ANDREW SWIFT.qxp_Layout 2 24/03/2022 09:48 Page 1

Harnessing the power Some 12 years after the government dashed plans to build a 10-mile energy-generating barrage across the Severn estuary, which has the second largest tidal range in the world, the proposals are back on the agenda. Andrew Swift investigates...

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n the evening of 28 November 1881, when electricity was still a novelty, Professor Sylvanus Thompson delivered a lecture extolling its benefits at Bristol Museum. The hall was packed, and, as he turned to the question of how it could best be generated, his audience’s attention must have quickened when he told them that “the rapid currents of the River Severn” were a “practically unlimited” source of power. “A tenth part of the tidal energy in the gorge of the Avon would light the city of Bristol,” he continued, while “a tenth part of the tidal energy in the channel of the Severn would light every city; and another tenth part would turn every loom and spindle and axle in Great Britain.” Intriguing though the idea was, the challenges posed by attempting to tame the Severn tide meant that it was not until 1919, 38 years later, that the Board of Trade commissioned a report into its feasibility. Out of this came a detailed proposal for a 2½ mile barrage across the estuary from Redwick to Sudbrook, near where 34 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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the Second Severn Crossing now stands. It would not only be able to provide all the electricity within a 30-mile radius, but have enough left over to supply London and the next five biggest cities in the country. The problem was that it would cost £25m to build, and, with vast reserves of coal in South Wales and no concerns about global warming, the sums just didn’t add up. Since then, especially when energy prices have risen sharply or supplies have been threatened, the idea has continued to resurface, only to be kicked into touch when the panic has subsided or the costs have been taken into account. It is no surprise, though, that, in the light of recent events, it is back on the agenda again, this time courtesy of the newly-formed Western Gateway Partnership, a coalition of politicians and business and public sector leaders from Swansea to Swindon. At its first conference last month, the partnership announced the setting up of a commission to look again at whether the time is right to harness the power of the Severn to generate clean, sustainable


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ENVIRONMENT “At [Western Gateway Partnership’s] first conference last month, the partnership announced the setting up of a commission to look again at whether the time is right to harness the power of the Severn to generate clean, sustainable energy. Given the number of such initiatives over the years, can they succeed where so many others have failed? “

The challenge of generating sustainable energy from tidal power without incurring unacceptable environmental and socioeconomic consequences is by no means an easy one. If the right balance can be achieved, though, the Western Gateway could become the catalyst for the UK’s biggest renewable project

energy. Given the number of such initiatives over the years, can they succeed where so many others have failed? The last major feasibility study was commissioned by the government only 15 years ago, in 2007. Three years later, when the report appeared, however, the government decided that there was no “strategic case to bring forward a Severn tidal power scheme in the immediate term” as “the costs and risks for the taxpayer and energy consumer would be excessive compared to other low-carbon energy options.” At which point, a private consortium – Hafren Power – picked up the baton and ran with it for a couple of years until the government decided it didn’t like that plan either. Last month’s announcement, however, was greeted enthusiastically by Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, who emphasised that “sustainable forms of energy cannot come soon enough. The launch of an independent commission on tidal energy for the Severn is very welcome news.” So perhaps this is an idea whose time has finally come, and, although it is far too early to guess what the commission will come up with, we can get some idea of what form its proposals might take by looking at what was planned last time around. Back in 2007, it was the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) which was given the job of conducted the feasibility study. After looking at a range of options, including relatively modest barrages near the two Severn bridges and tidal lagoons extending out from the Welsh or English shores, it concluded that a ten-mile barrage from Brean Down, south of Weston-super-Mare, to Lavernock Point, near Penarth, offered the best value for money and would produce around 7% of the UK’s energy needs – around the same as three nuclear reactors. It warned, however, that it could cost as much as £34.3bn, but would last for at least 80 years, and possibly much longer.

Given the question mark now hanging over the security and cost of energy supplies, and the urgency of our commitment to eradicating the use of fossil fuels, the case for reviving this scheme would seem to be unassailable. Unfortunately, everything comes at a cost, and the cost of building a barrage from Brean to Lavernock turns out to be rather high. The Severn is as important a habitat as the Lake District or Snowdonia, or any of our national parks. In 1947, Brian Waters, the river’s great chronicler, wrote, on witnessing its most sublime spectacle, “you stand and hold your breath, for in this land which holds neither mirages or volcanoes the river is flowing backwards, as a great wave a hundred yards broad and nine feet high comes rolling up the river.” He was, of course, referring to the Severn Bore, which, if a barrage is built, will be no more. Much the same goes for the wildlife which depends on the river. The estuary’s mudflats are one of the most important sites in the UK for many bird species, with around 74,000 birds overwintering there every year. If the mudflats were to be submerged the chances of many of them surviving would be slim. The DECC report also predicted that the Brean-Lavernock barrage could lead to a “reduction of sea and river lampreys and eel and possible local extinction of twaite shad and salmon in Severn, Wye and Usk.” An estimated 6.4 million tonnes of sand swirls up and down the Severn estuary in the course of a year, with the Severn Bore playing a key role in this process. What would happen if this flow were to be blocked is incalculable, but it would almost certainly lead to coastal erosion and further loss of habitat. Silting up of channels would also impede shipping, which would already be disadvantaged by having to pass through locks to reach the Port of Bristol or the docks at Cardiff and Newport. When the barrage was last under consideration, many believed its construction would place the Port of Bristol at such a disadvantage that it would lead to investment and trade going elsewhere. As the port is one of Bristol’s biggest employers, with many other industries dependent on it, the economic and social impact of this would be devastating. In a time of rising sea levels and increasingly extreme weather patterns, flooding is an ever more pressing concern. Although a barrage would mitigate the risk of storm surges and spring tides upstream, reduction of the tidal range could impede drainage from estuarial land and increase the risk of flooding. Flooding in the Upper Severn at sites such as Bewdley and Ironbridge, which is already THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

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ENVIRONMENT

The first barrage to be proposed would have run roughly where the Second Severn Crossing now stands

An artist’s impression from 1924 showing what the first Severn Barrage could have looked like

Looking from Brean Down to Flat Holm and Lavernock Point, where the barrage proposed just over a decade ago would have run

becoming unmanageable, could also be exacerbated by retardation of flows in the estuary. Higher water levels downstream from the barrage, meanwhile, could lead to an increased risk of flooding on the Somerset Levels. When assessing the risks and benefits of a civil engineering project such as this, it is customary to compare it to similar schemes elsewhere. With the Severn Barrage, this is impossible. Although there are other tidal barrages, none of them is on anything like this scale. Currently, the largest tidal power plant in the world is on Sihwa Lake in South Korea. It has a capacity of 254MW. The second largest, at La Rance in Brittany, has a capacity of 240MW. The Brean-Lavernock Barrage, by contrast, would have an output of 8640MW. This means that, although tried and tested technology would be used to build a barrage across the Severn, assessing the environmental impact of implementing it on such a scale would be largely a matter of guesswork. When the House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Select Committee examined Hafren Power’s proposal for a BreanLavernock barrage in 2013, they concluded that they had “failed to overcome the serious environmental concerns that have been raised. The need for compensatory habitat on an unprecedented scale casts 36 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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doubt on whether the project could achieve compliance with the EU Habitats Directive.” Despite Brexit, regulations were introduced in 2019 to ensure that habitat and species protection laws derived from EU law will continue to apply in the UK. It is also worth noting that the world’s third biggest tidal power plant, on the Bay of Fundy, with a capacity of only 40MW, was closed down in 2019 after the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat found that the turbine caused “substantial fish mortality”. The remit of the commission which will look anew into the feasibility of harnessing the power of the Severn will undoubtedly not be limited to a reassessment of the Brean-Lavernock barrage, which the DECC admitted when they recommended it had “the largest total impacts on habitats and birds” of all the options they considered. The challenge of generating sustainable energy from tidal power without incurring unacceptable environmental and socio-economic consequences is by no means an easy one. If the right balance can be achieved, though, the Western Gateway could become the catalyst for the UK’s biggest renewable project, and, a century and a half on, Professor Thompson’s dream could become a reality. n • akemanpress.com


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AVON GLEANING NETWORK v2.qxp_Layout 2 24/03/2022 12:21 Page 1

MEET THE LOCALS

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AVON GLEANING NETWORK v2.qxp_Layout 2 25/03/2022 12:53 Page 2

MEET THE LOCALS

An ancient art The 21st century has seen the resurrection of gleaning – the age-old practice of harvesting unwanted crops to help those most in need. We speak to the founder of the Avon Gleaning Network, Nick Haigh, who, along with hundreds of local volunteers, has collected almost 12 tonnes of surplus fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste…

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leaning: the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or from land where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Under the blazing sun or cool grey skies, volunteers around the country have been rescuing tonnes of surplus food from their local farms, redistributing them to local food banks and charitable projects. Their aim: to help reduce food waste and alleviate food insecurity in the UK. Research from UK campaign group Feedback, which works to regenerate nature by transforming the food system, found that up to 16% of a farmer’s crop is wasted before it has even left the field, with much more never being harvested at all. Although this is often due to a range of factors that are beyond a farmer’s control – such as produce not being the right shape or size for supermarkets, or even inaccurate forecasting by retailers on how much produce they will buy, leaving farmers with excess crop that can’t be harvested without losing money – billions of meals go to waste each year. The practice of agricultural gleaning is an ancient one. Historical records show that it has been in existence for at least 4,000 years. The Old Testament commanded Hebrew farmers to leave a portion of their crops un-harvested and allow neighbours to pick what was left for themselves and their families. Gleaning came to an end in the late 18th century when a court case ruled in favour of private property rights and landowners began to restrict access to fields. Today, however, as 9.5 million tonnes of food are thrown away in a single year and 7 million people struggle to afford to eat, it is clear that gleaning is needed as much as it ever was. With that in mind, Feedback launched its Gleaning Network project in 2012. Seven years later, after working with 60 farmers, 3,000 volunteers and numerous charities to salvage over 500 tonnes of food, Feedback began to train community groups across the country to run gleaning activities in their local area. The campaign group initially supported the newlyformed networks with a £2,000 grant, which allowed over 20 teams to evolve into well-oiled machines. As Bristolians, we are grateful for our local group – the Avon Gleaning Network (previously the Bristol Gleaning Network), which was founded by Nick Haigh in September 2020. The Bristol group has grown from a team of one to a

team of 300. Together, with over 700 hours of volunteer time, the Avon Gleaning Network has saved nearly 12 tonnes of food from 16 farms across the Avon and Somerset region. Some 28 charitable food projects, including Fareshare, Stokes Croft Food Project and Secret Soup Society, have received fresh produce that would have otherwise gone to waste. “I started on a community farm in Chew Magna,” Nick tells us. “Filling my car up with 200 kilos of swede and trying to find a home for it. I began to get friends out in the field with me and then eventually we started getting the word out. We are now beyond Bristol and distribute to food projects and community kitchens who put together food parcels for people in the local area.” Feedback’s gleaning network has not only helped tackle issues of food waste in the UK but it has given volunteers the opportunity to engage with the food system hands-on. “I wanted to enable people to take environmental action on a human scale – and now, getting people out onto the land, connecting with each other and where our food comes from has become a huge part of what we do. I find being out on farms, among vegetables and great people really wholesome. I’m passionate about food and creating a better food system and it’s amazing to see so many people joining us and supporting us on our journey.” Although the Avon Gleaning Network continues to grow from strength to strength, it relies heavily on volunteers to help drive the gleaning campaign into a national movement. “We’re calling out for more coordinators and volunteers to help build on the work of our members,” says Nick. “We’re also looking to connect with more local growers in the Avon and Somerset area to help save tonnes of food from going to waste.” Ultimately, this ancient tradition has transformed into a dynamic opportunity to tackle food waste and security in our communities – its potential is vast. • Always on the lookout for new ways to tackle excessive food waste in the local area, the Avon Gleaning Network is also expanding its services to work on allotments in Bristol. The team are keen to partner up with anyone who has an allotment and is able to invite gleaners to pick up the surplus veggies. Get in touch at: avongleaning.org.uk. Follow Avon Gleaning Network on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: @avongleaning

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CITY VEG v2.qxp_Layout 2 23/03/2022 14:05 Page 1

The future of food Bristol author, editor and renowned garden writer, Cinead McTernan, has worked in horticulture for nearly 15 years. On 31 March, she is set to publish her fourth book, City Veg: Inspiration from an Urban Garden, which just so happens to be the perfect read for us inner city dwellers. If you’re looking to build a botanical ecosystem of your own this Spring, this one’s for you...

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s many of us begin to make health – our own health, and the health of the environment – a priority, our approach to eating has certainly become more mindful. Some people are choosing ingredients that are naturally in season, while others are looking to grow fresh produce of their own. Starting an allotment or small patch from scratch, however, can be daunting, let alone costly if not wellmaintained. If you’re an inner city dweller, it can also be difficult to find the space for a substantial plot. On 31 March, Bristol-based author and renowned garden writer, Cinead McTernan, is set to release her new book, City Veg: Inspiration from an Urban Garden, which not only effectively answers basic beginner questions, but challenges and inspires even the most experienced horticulturist. In her warm, candid account of a full growing season, written over the course of a year, Cinead documents the triumphs and tribulations that she faced while tending to her plot – one that was no bigger than the size of two classic 1970s VW camper vans. From designing the garden in January to harvesting home-grown ingredients throughout the growing season, Cinead takes us on a personal journey, all the while supplying us with quick and easy recipe ideas to help us make the most of our bountiful yield. Eager to delve into the pages, we take 5 with Cinead this month... 40 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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Firstly, where did the inspiration for City Veg come from? I’ve grown veg for years – for a while in an allotment when I lived in London, but for the last 10 years or so, in a small city garden. Over time, I’ve come to appreciate that squeezing crops into beds, borders and containers is a completely different experience to growing in a bigger plot. It’s impossible to grow enough to be self-sufficient, so it’s as much about connecting with nature and spending time outdoors as it is producing an abundant homegrown harvest. There are lots of brilliantly practical books to help you get started, but there isn’t much, if anything, approaching veg growing from this ‘bigger-picture’ angle. I also loved the idea of writing a frank account, where successes and failures are celebrated, because that’s the reality of growing-your-own. It’s the sort of thing I like reading, because often it feels we should be striving for perfection and hiding our flaws, which is not only exhausting and unrealistic, but ignores the notion that sometimes it’s the journey not the destination that is more enjoyable and has true value. What’s the best thing about working in harmony with nature, providing food and habitats for the wildlife? Living in the city means our small back garden has become a haven for my family and our pets, as well as wildlife. It’s a connection with nature that I absolutely treasure: our fruit trees create a bit of privacy, but they also provide food for garden birds – we have a sweet pair of


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In her warm, candid account of a full growing season, written over the course of a year, Cinead documents the triumphs and tribulations that she faced while tending to her plot – one that was no bigger than the size of two classic 1970s VW camper vans

pigeons who appear every year to feast on the June berries. We’ve had a beautiful young fox bask in the sun on top of our greenhouse for an entire afternoon, and once I unwittingly disturbed a toad when I was tidying up some old pots. We also see bees and butterflies throughout the year, which enliven the garden and remind us that we’re not the only ones to enjoy the fruits of our labours. What’s your favourite dish to make using the fruits and vegetables from your garden in the Spring? Peas, sown at the start of the year under glass, can be picked from mid-April. As they haven’t fully matured yet, you can pick the whole pod, blanch them and buzz them up to make the most deliciously sweet pea puree. A good tip is to plunge them into iced water after boiling, to help them retain that intense colour. Mix with ricotta cheese as a filing for cannelloni or use as an alternative to pesto over pasta. I also absolutely love wet garlic – basically, this is very young garlic, which is soft enough to eat whole – stalks and all. Add to omelettes, tortillas or a medley of green veg to give it a distinctively sweet flavour. What are your top tips for growing healthy fruits and vegetables at this time of year? Make sure your soil is in tip top condition, because if it’s starved of nutrients it won’t be able to nourish your plants. Add organic matter to beds and borders, or refresh compost in containers. It’s also worth being realistic about how much sun your plot gets – if it doesn’t get much, go for varieties that will cope with shady conditions. Similarly, in sunny spots, go for fruit and veg that will appreciate it. Keep an eye on weeds, as they’ll also be springing into life once the weather warms, and compete with your crops for water and nutrients. What’s the best piece of advice for anyone looking to build their own vegetable plot this Spring? Try to create the biggest growing space possible – you won’t regret it. Think about crops you love eating and the ones that will give you a long cropping season – boring, but true. Courgettes are absolutely

Bristol author, editor and renowned garden writer Cinead McTernan

brilliant because in the height of the season, they can be harvested pretty much every other day. If you don’t have a lot of time or space, go for plugs – they’re a bit more pricey, but well worth it. Try rocketgardens.co.uk and sarahraven.com. What great lessons did you learn on this journey? It never fails to amaze me how rewarding it is to pick home-grown fruit and veg. I promise you’ll never get bored of eating the first strawberry of the season, straight off then plant, or pulling an oddly shaped carrot, which tastes nothing like shop bought ones. I also cherished being able to take the time to notice what was going on in our garden – even if it was just popping out to pick some fresh herbs and hearing the buzz of a bee, or see how the gorgeous the young, vibrant kale leaves looked when they were back lit by sunlight. It really makes a difference to stop and appreciate the little things – and, of course, being able to write about it was the icing on the cake. What’s next in the pipeline? Are you looking to introduce more fruits and vegetables into your plot this year? A new year, a new growing season. I want to try growing sweet potatoes again, which didn’t work last year, and I’d like to try some more grains as the millet and buckwheat, which I grew last year too, was surprisingly successfuL. And we make a delicious quinoa apple cake. n • City Veg: Inspiration from an Urban Garden by Cinead McTernan (Bloomsbury Wildlife) is published in hardback and ebook on 31 March THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

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FOOD & DRINK TASTY TIDBITS FROM THE CITY’S RESTAURANTS, CHEFS AND PRODUCERS

THE IVY LAUNCH EASTER MENU

WELCOME, MAGARI New restaurant Magari is bringing authentic, home-cooked Italian food to Wapping Wharf this month. The highlight at Magari will be the fresh pasta that will be made on site every day, serving a carefully selected menu of vegan, vegetarian and meat-based Italian pasta dishes that focus on using the best locallysourced ingredients from the South West. Alongside the pasta menu will be a drinks menu, featuring wine served in carafes and jugs of refreshing Spritz (liqueur, Prosecco and soda water), all served with small aperitivo snacks designed to be shared with friends and family. Magari is the brainchild of friends and co-owners, Gilda Lombardi and Delphi Ross. Gilda came to Bristol from Italy two years ago and the two met during lockdown when Delphi was giving Gilda's children some English lessons before they started school. Gilda was cooking a meal for Delphi when they had a lightbulb moment and realised they had the perfect set of complementary skills needed to start a new restaurant venture in Bristol. • Follow @magaribristol on Instagram.

This spring equinox, The Ivy Clifton Brasserie is launching a delectable new menu embracing the flavours of spring. Diners will be able to enjoy a series of seasonal favourites that spotlight the best of British ingredients. The new menu will feature a number of artisanal British suppliers, with dishes including Garden Pea & Nettle Soup, Grilled Asparagus with Szechuan mayonnaise, capers, flaked almonds, quail's egg and watercress and Twice-Baked Cheese Soufflé with gratinated Quicke's cheese, grated black truffle and a cream sauce. Those with a sweet tooth will be able to enjoy a new Black Bee Honey and White Chocolate Cheesecake, featuring UK-based Black Bee Honey and accompanied by mango sorbet, honeycomb and edible flowers. The Ivy Clifton Brasserie will also be offering a limitededition dessert this Easter. The Easter Nest is a sumptuous dark and white chocolate mousse, accompanied by Kataifi pastry, chocolate sponge and lemon balm, available on Easter weekend only from 15 – 18 April. • theivycliftonbrasserie.com

THATCHER’S JUCIY NEW CIDER A brand new cider from Thatchers has been unveiled – the mouth-wateringly juicy Thatchers Blood Orange Cider. This delicious new 4% cider from the Somerset cider maker is crafted with naturally juicy, aromatic apples chosen for their sweetness – Braeburn, Fuji and Gala. Bursting with natural blood orange flavour, this is a vibrant and sparkling cider. So as the days get longer and warmer, and your mind turns to barbecues, outdoor eats and enjoying meeting up with friends and family this spring and summer, give this juicy new refreshing cider a try! • thatcherscider.co.uk

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W E D D I N G S AT H A R V E Y N I C H O L S B R I S T O L Located in the heart of Bristol’s city centre, the boutique Harvey Nichols Second Floor space offers a luxury wedding and dining experience. Renowned as one of the premium restaurants in the Southwest, The Second Floor Restaurant, with its decadent Gold interior and commanding views, provides a stylish setting for a wedding reception. The Second Floor Bar, with its chic silver ceiling and long marbled bar, offers an elegant yet relaxed space which can be hired along with the restaurant or individually depending on your event. For a more intimate lunch or dinner celebration, The Second Floor Private Dining Room provides the perfect space. From classic and al la carte menus, to canapés, sharing platters and Afternoon Teas, bespoke menus can be created to suit your occasion – along with an extensive drinks list to match. Suppliers including florists, cake makers, bands and DJs can be recommended to meet your requirements. For further information please contact The Second Floor Reception: Email: Reception.Bristol@Harveynichols.com Or call: 0117 916 8898

HARVEY NICHOLS CABOT CIRCUS, BRISTOL Capacities: The Second Floor Restaurant, Seated: 60, Standing: 100 The Second Floor Bar, Seated: 40, Standing: 50 The Private Dining Room, Seated: 14

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Tie the knot in style As wedding season fast approaches, we catch up with one of our favourite seamstresses in the city, Rose Savage, whose alternative, unconventional bridal designs have been the source of inspiration for over a decade...

Image credit: Sarah Storey

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or the first time in two years, wedding season looks as though it is back for good. Millions of rescheduled celebrations are set to go ahead this summer and weekends will once again be filled with dancing and frivolity. But, what to wear? We hear you say. Whether you’re a guest, a bridesmaid or the star of the show, choosing an outfit can be the most daunting – and exciting – task to check off the list. This season, the runways have been serving heaps of wedding inspo. Think maximalism, big bows, visible corsetry, Bridgerton-inspired gowns and statement oversized sleeves. As for fabrics, lace is back. If the brides of 2021 taught us anything, though, it’s that people want to celebrate – and they want to celebrate in their own way. Trends and traditions are all very well but they are there to be broken, after all. With that in mind, we turned to one of our favourite dressmakers in the city, renowned for her alternative, unconventional bridal designs. Rose Savage has been helping people find the ‘perfect’ outfit for their big day for over a decade. Situated in Stokes Croft, her bespoke service puts you in full control of your dream design. Whether you’re looking for a chic 70s-style bridal jumpsuit; a hand-dyed kimono-influenced silk chiffon gown; or you’re wanting to alter your mum’s own wedding dress, Rose has got you covered. Her website wonderfully explains how she’s been fabricobsessed since she was six-years-old. After gaining a first class 44 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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honours degree in Fashion Textiles in 2010, she became a freelance seamstress, successfully making her first wedding dress in the same year. Now, having gained experience in costumes design for TV and theatre, Rose is an accomplished designer. Here, we delve into her collection and find out what goes on behind the scenes. How long does it take to create a bespoke wedding dress? Depending on the style and how much detail and embellishment is on the dress it can take anywhere from 30-100 hours to create. This is spread over several months. I suggest booking the initial consultation at least six months in advance, especially if your wedding is happening in the peak summer months. Do brides need to supply their own fabric? I have lots of fabric sample books in my studio and a huge range of lace swatches so don’t panic about finding your own fabric. I will give detailed advice and what would work best for your design and can suggest fabrics to suit your budget. However if you have found your perfect fabric already, I’m very happy to look at that too! How many fittings will brides need to come to before they can take home their bespoke dress? Most dresses require four to five fittings with one of those being a ‘toile’ fitting, which means fitting a prototype of your design before


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Seamstress Rose Savage

we cut the fabric. This checks that the unique pattern I draft using your personal measurements, fits you perfectly. It’s also an opportunity to ensure the proportions of the dress compliment your body shape by tweaking the pattern. How much does a bespoke wedding dress cost? It really depends on the design, how much detail or embellishment you would like and your preferred fabrics but prices for my bespoke bridal service start at £1700 plus fabrics. If you have a budget in mind let me know and I can advise on what can be achieved within your price range. What about veils? Can you make accessories? Yes! I offer a wide range of veils, capes and accessories. These can be commissioned individually or added on later in the fitting stages when you can see the overall look of your outfit. One of my assistant seamstresses can even embroider your initials onto the veil which gives it a beautiful, personal touch. n • To find out more about Rose Savage and her bespoke service, visit her website: rosesavage.co.uk. Follow @rosesavagebridal on Instagram and Facebook

All images on this page credited to: Sophie Careful

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WEDDING SPECIAL

Bridal beauty Once you’ve said yes to the dress, planning your wedding day makeup look is one of the last things to decide. We ask Harvey Nichols Bristol’s assistant beauty manager, Layla Touati, for her thoughts on this season’s bridal beauty trends...

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he invites are out. The date is set. You’ve said yes to the dress. One of the final details that you may need to consider before you can officially tie the knot is your wedding day makeup. With so many products to choose from, so many styles to go for, we ask Harvey Nichols Bristol’s assisatant beauty manager, Layla Touati, for her advice on what’s hot and what’s not. Here, she shares her tips and tricks for achieving a look that will stand the test of time... Harvey Nichols Bristol’s assistant beauty manager, Layla Touati, says: “Soft glam is the current trend for bridal beauty, with brides choosing natural, glowy looks over more heavy makeup. With this in mind, prewedding skincare is more important than ever before. I'd recommend regular facials in the run to your wedding, such as the Quinn Clinics Hydrafacial. Keeping the skin cleansed and toned is also key, not forgetting a good SPF for protection. To achieve a real dewy complexion, applying a night cream as a base creates the perfect canvas and using creams over powders including blushes and bronzers, helps keep the look subtle but with a glow perfect for photographs. Brows are feathered, rather than filled in and really effective mascaras are being applied over false lashes. Summer colours are now being used all year round, coral or blush to highlight cheeks and baby pinks and nudes for the lips.”

• harveynichols.com

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Layla’s top picks... La Prairie White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire £631

Tom Ford Lip Colour Matte £40

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Glow Skinstick £23


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WEDDING SPECIAL

Wedding day

styling

Accessorise like there’s no tomorrow – we love these glamorous little extras to really mark the occassion

Whistles Saint Laurent

Off-white leather cross-body phone case, £580 Harvey Nichols

The wedding collection left: Annie Wedding blazer, £299 Annie Wedding trouser, £229; right; Thelma Wedding jumpsuit £349 whistles.com

Wacoal

Embrace Lace embroidered tulle chemise, £52 Harvey Nichols

Diana Porter

Mounir gold plated and white pearl, cluster mini-hoops, £66 dianaporter.co.uk

Valentino

VLogo crystal-embellished gold-tone ring, £320 Harvey Nichols

Jimmy Choo

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Basil 75 off-white leather mules, £750 Harvey Nichols

A La Rose Eau De Parfum 70ml, £180 Harvey Nichols

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Saying ‘I do’

WEDDING DIRECTORY

Are you planning on tying the knot? Our little guide to local wedding-based businesses is full of folk who can help get you ready for the big day

PITCH UP AND PLAY hello@pitchupandplay.co.uk; Pitchupandplay.co.uk Headed up by Isabella Passafaro, who works as a Private Nanny and has been in the Childcare Industry for 12 years, Pitch Up and Play is made up of highly qualified and highly awesome Pitch Nannies. All of the lovely team are DBS checked, fully referenced and experienced with little ones. From Bell Tent Creches to Mini VIP Corners, they provide a variety of packages that can be tailored to your children’s ages from 0-12 years old. If you think the children at your event deserve to feel like Mini VIPs then do get in touch, the Pitch Up and Play team would love to hear from you!

KAREN LEWIS HUMANIST CELEBRANT 07952 333211; humanist.org.uk/karenlewis sustainablyeverafter.co.uk Karen Lewis is a humanist celebrant who offers an exciting and innovative approach to wedding ceremonies. Her expertise in crafting creative, unique and truly memorable ceremonies draws on her extensive experience in higher education as well as her leadership in the arts. Karen works closely with you to hear your story and plan the finer details, so every ceremony reflects the couple’s individuality and personality. She assists you to write your own vows, making the ceremony a truly magical experience. Karen’s environmental focus can also help you keep the planet in mind when planning your special day. She believes a beautiful wedding can be created without having to cost the earth. Karen’s ceremonies can be formal or informal, at licensed or unlicensed venues, indoors or outdoors - on the beach, in a forest or even up a mountain. Her warm personality enables her to engage with people from all walks of life. She can involve any family, friends or pets of your choosing, as well as creating personal and symbolic rituals to help you tie the knot.

Image by Simon Withyman Photography

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KLOSTERHAUS The Friary Building, Quakers Friars, Bristol, BS1 3DF Tel: 0117 452 3111; Klosterhaus.co.uk Celebrate your big day in grand, Grade-I listed surroundings at Klosterhaus, Bristol. With three elegant private rooms to choose from which can host from 6 to 170 guests for drinks, dinner and dancing, Klosterhaus is the ideal venue for your special day. Creating unforgettable memories for you and your guests, you can plan your entire day all under one roof. Located just a 7-minute walk from Bristol’s Registry Office and proud to be a licensed wedding venue, Klosterhaus can host everything from your civil ceremony, wedding breakfast or reception. From the initial enquiry through to the big day itself, your dedicated wedding planner will be on hand to bring your perfect day to life. Your adventure starts here…

Ú


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DIANA PORTER 33 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5NH 0117 909 0225; dianaporter.co.uk Diana Porter Jewellery specialises in unique, contemporary wedding and engagement rings as well as bespoke pieces and remodelling of heirloom metals and stones. Each piece is handcrafted in Fairtrade Gold or recycled precious metals in our onsite Jewellery workshop, tucked away behind the Park Street Gallery. Alongside Diana’s extensive collections, the Jewellery gallery stocks over 80 renowned Jewellery Designers from across the world. There are plenty of different styles on offer, from precise floral details created in CAD to sand-cast rings with all the natural textures left in. Commissions and reworking of jewellery is warmly welcomed and an experienced team are on hand to help bring your designs to life. Diana Porter also holds a varied selection of one-of-a-kind diamonds and ethically sourced, coloured gemstones in an array of cuts and colours. All of which are ready to be chosen for your very own bespoke design.

ROSE SAVAGE BRIDAL ATELIER 381-83 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3RD 07708490716; rosesavage.co.uk

9ct Fairtrade white gold ring set with three white baguette diamonds and four brilliant cut diamonds nestled together to create a shimmering cluster ring, with Diana’s signature textured finish. RRP £1,900

SWEET PEACH CAKE STUDIO Hello@sweetpeach.co.uk; sweetpeach.co.uk Full of creative flair although anything but fussy, Sweet Peach, lead by cake designer Helen Stewart, delight in designing and making beautifully crafted, artistic, allergy-friendly wedding cakes. They are a small, personal company who are passionate about helping you and your guests to connect and celebrate together. Their delicious vegan and ‘free-from’ cakes are naturally more inclusive and, with their allergy-friendly focus, it feels amazing to be able to include a wide range of dietary needs without compromising on the taste, texture or style of cake. Tempt yourself with their year-round menu of delicious flavours. You can enjoy a sample box either delivered to your door or at their in house tasting, where the design and consultation process begins. Sweet Peach Cake Studio offer simple, relaxed and contemporary styling, a little slice of laidback luxury for your day.

Rose Savage is an award winning, alternative bridal brand with an emphasis on amazing fabrics, unusual designs and exceptional finish. Located in Bristol's 'bohemian quarter', nestled between coffee bars and hip restaurants, the moment you walk through the door into our light and airy atelier you know you've entered a place where magic happens! At the heart of the business is 11 years experience in design and couture dressmaking, creating beautiful garments that will make you look and feel a million dollars. Whether it's a chic silk jumpsuit or a big frothy tulle ball-gown, Rose will work with you to create your perfect outfit. There is also have a small made-to-measure bridal collection featuring silks, sequins and tulle that can be tried on at the atelier. Made-to Measure starts at £1395 and Bespoke prices start from £1700. 50 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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CLARE LLOYD Silk Mill Studios, Frome, Somerset clarelloyd.co.uk Clare Lloyd creates beautiful and intricate bridal hair accessories and jewellery inspired by all things floral and botanical. From her studio in Frome Somerset, Clare creates exquisite and luxurious headpieces entirely by hand for modern brides all over the world who are looking for something feminine and romantic to wear on their wedding day. Using recycled precious metals and the finest pearls, crystals and glass seed beads, choose from a gorgeous collection of hair adornments and jewellery or commission Clare to create a bespoke design unique to you.

BERWICK LODGE

AZTEC HOTEL & SPA Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4TS 01454 201090; Aztechotelbristol.co.uk; events@aztechotelbristol.co.uk Keeping everything under one roof has lots of advantages, not least no lost guests and no need to worry about the weather outside either. A range of suites at the Aztec Hotel & Spa are licenced which means you can enjoy a seamless transition from the ceremony to celebration, all in one place. When it comes to crafting your special day it’s the small details that make a big difference. If you’ve already got the vision, the Aztec team will be the blank canvas for you to work with, or if you’re still designing your dream day, they can help guide you along the way. And because they know you’ll want to remember your wedding day forever, you’ll find some fabulous indoor and outdoor backdrops so you’re guaranteed a beautiful photographic record you’ll cherish for years to come.

Berwick Drive, Bristol BS10 7TD 0117 958 1590; berwicklodge.co.uk Begin a story to last a lifetime by marrying the one you love in the romantic seclusion of what could well be the South West’s best-kept secret, Berwick Lodge. The magnificent country-house wedding venue on the outskirts of Bristol is set within 18 acres of enchanting gardens and woodland, with a backdrop that reaches across to Wales. Licensed to hold wedding ceremonies and receptions for up to 90 guests, Berwick Lodge offers a beautiful collection of individually designed rooms to entertain any style. Their 14 exquisite bedrooms offer all the finishing touches and luxuries to ensure relaxation for you and your guests. Make their house your home, and together you’ll create everlasting memories of an event that’ll be treasured for years to come.

BRISTOL EVENT CATERING 0117 462 1778; bristoleventcatering.com

A fresh and simple approach Bristol Event Catering combine seasonal produce, beautiful presentation and the finest natural ingredients. Their wedding and event menus feature stunning feasting dishes and British classics with a twist. The team utilise sustainable methods to create seasonal, flavourful dishes, with minimal environmental impact. Ingredients are sourced exclusively from local producers and suppliers and are guaranteed to leave your guests full of happy memories. “We cannot thank you enough you were so brilliant on Saturday! Your whole team were fantastic, you guys were the BEST! We felt looked after, you thought of absolutely everything. The canapés were so gorgeous, the meal was PERFECT” “We’ll be shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen” L&C - Wedding THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

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EDUCATION NEWS UPDATES FROM THE CITY’S SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

NATIONAL CALL OUT FOR POLITICAL PLAYWRIGHTS LUNG, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Salamander Street have launched a new playwriting competition called Umute. Designed for 11-18 year olds, this competition will celebrate fresh talent that is writing socially engaged and political theatre. Unmute is a call out to celebrate and hear the voice of Generation Z (or zoomers). Coronavirus has impacted everyone’s lives but schools and young people have in many ways borne the brunt of this upheaval. As teenagers return to the classroom, Unmute wants to amplify their voices and hear what they want to say about the world. Unmute is inviting teenagers across the UK to submit a monologue of no more than 500 words. The winners (judged by representatives from all the three partners) will have their monologue published by Salamander Street in an anthology which will be distributed worldwide. • Submissions for Unmute will close at 5pm on 8 May. For more information about Unmute, visit: lungtheatre.co.uk

SUCCESS FOR MILLFIELD Millfield student Sophia Wilson has created a herb garden on campus to supply school meals. Upper Sixth student Sophia created the honeycombe-shaped raised bed as a tool for the school’s catering provider, Chartwells, to access fresh, locallysourced, sustainable on-site produce. The garden is situated at the back of the school’s Wellness Hut, and provides a peaceful location for students and staff to enjoy. Students recently planted the garden which features oregano, wild garlic, yellow courgettes and sweet lavender. Sophia is a part of Millfield’s Global Goals Team, led by mathematics teacher Mrs Marianne Ashcroft, who provide a platform to discuss how Millfield can contribute to a brighter and sustainable future for all. • millfieldschool.com 52 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: BRISTOL STEINER SCHOOL Bristol Steiner School is an independent day school for children from the age of 3 to 11 years. Trustees are currently exploring expansion into a Middle School and are asking those interested in Class 6/7 for 2022/23 and continuation into Class 8 in 2023/24 to get in touch with the school directly. New pupils are accepted throughout the academic year. Fundamental to the Steiner Waldorf philosophy is the belief in a child-centred, relational approach to learning and a commitment to promoting the development of the whole child. This is embraced and cherished throughout all aspects of life at school, through lived values rooted in the delivery of contextual learning, with true meaning and purpose. Small class sizes promote the wellbeing and selfbelief of each child. There is an authentic and tangible sense of community and culture that cultivates excellence, within a safe environment, in which the children can be curious. Opportunities to explore are embedded throughout the curriculum and this discretely encourages independence, resilience and respect. Language and oracy play an important part in school life and children participate in activities that enhance this. Mathematics is taught in class and then used across the curriculum in woodwork, handwork and form drawing. Pupils learn science in class and through outdoor learning in the school garden. Eurythmy is an expressive artform that combines language, music and movement. Physical education, swimming, music and forest school complement the diverse curriculum. • bristolsteinerschool.org


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BRISTOL UPDATES NEWS FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS

OSBORNE CLARKE STRENGTHENS TEAM International legal practice Osborne Clarke, which has an office in Bristol, announces three specialist energy and infrastructure Partners are joining from Orrick – John Deacon, Dominic O'Brien and Hannah Roscoe. John will join on 21 March, while Dominic and Hannah will join before the end of the financial year. The trio will significantly boost the firm's energy and utility sector offering, particularly in the renewables and power management and waste and bioenergy sub-sectors. Following the hire of Hugo Lidbetter, who joined from Fieldfisher in January, Osborne Clarke continues to invest in the growth of its energy and utilities sector. John, Dominic and Hannah, will add bench strength to the team. Matthew Lewis, UK Head of Energy and Utilities Sector who is based in Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office, said: “We're committed to investing and growing our energy sector to support our decarbonisation transformation strategy. John, Dominic and Hannah bring impressive experience to the partnership that will turbo charge our services and help us grow our existing client base.” • osborneclarke.com

EMPICA JOINS HOSPICE’S SPECIAL NETWORK West Country PR agency Empica is the latest firm to join the Children’s Hospice South West Business Club . Children’s Hospice South West provides hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and their whole family. Respite and short breaks, emergency care, palliative care and end of life care is provided at three wonderful children's hospices, including Charlton Farm, which is just down the road from Empica’s offices in Wraxall. CHSW are looking for 300 companies across the South West to be part of their special network in 2022 with a target of raising £90,000 while also providing networking opportunities for businesses. Martin Powell, Managing Director at Empica said: “We are really pleased to support a cause so close to our home and hearts. Empica are one of the closest businesses to the Charlton Farm hospice, just a mile away in the same village. We are looking forward to coming together with other local businesses to support as many children as we can and we will be encouraging others to join.”

GROUNDBREAKING DEAL In a UK-first for a sporting group, Bristol Sport is delighted to announce that eCommerce fulfilment company Huboo will become the Principal Partner for all five of its professional sporting teams from the start of the 2022/23 season. The groundbreaking deal sees Bristol-based Huboo become Principal Partner for Bristol City men and women, Bristol Bears men and women and Bristol Flyers. Huboo will feature on the front of the shirts of all five of Bristol Sport’s professional teams and this is the first time that they have had one unified Principal Partner. Bristol-headquartered Huboo was founded in 2017 by Martin Bysh and Paul Dodd. In the last four years the company has expanded its operations from one warehouse to operating four fulfilment centres across the UK, along with a head office in central Bristol and fulfilment centres in the Netherlands and Spain. With plans to roll out its operations across multiple other European markets over the next 12 months, the decision to partner with Bristol Sport and its teams was a strategic one to promote the brand across multiple platforms and markets simultaneously. • bristolbearsrugby.com

GUIDE DOGS NEED YOU Bristol Guide Dogs charity is looking for volunteers. They are currently searching for Collection Box Coordinators and Merchandise and Fundraising Group Coordinators, who will aim to raise essential funds while working together as a community. The charity is also looking for ‘My Sighted Guides’ to help the blind and partially sighted residents of Bristol get out and about and experience new exciting adventures. Puppy Raisers and Fosterers are also needed to look after the charity’s puppies and dogs in training. Whether you work or have more time on your hands, the charity has dog roles to suit all sorts of lifestyles. • Get in touch via the charity’s website at: guidedogs.org.uk

• empica.com

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BUSINESS NEWS

One of a kind

Later this year, one of the UK’s most sustainable office buildings is opening its doors in Finzels Reach. Occupying nearly two thirds of the seven-storey modern marvel is international law firm, Osborne Clarke. As it prepares to move its 600-strong team into the new build, we sit down with the head of the Bristol office, Lara Burch...

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our years in the making and one of the UK’s most sustainable office buildings is about to open its doors in Bristol’s award-winning Finzels Reach. Designed with people and business in mind, the landmark seven-floor 116,113 sq ft Grade A office development, which has been constructed on the former site of Avon Fire & Rescue, will house around 1,000 staff members from occupiers including international legal firm, Osborne Clarke. The Bristol founded law firm will relocate its 600-strong team from its Temple Quay office into the smart workspace, occupying the top five of seven floors, including the private roof terrace. The development, known as Halo, is setting new standards of sustainability for offices in Bristol and beyond. Property developer and urban regenerator Cubex, which bought the site in the summer of 2018 on behalf of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund IV (UK), worked hard to ensure Halo met the tough new sustainability assessment criteria. As a result, Halo is set to be awarded a BREEAM Outstanding 2018 sustainability accreditation. In addition to its stand-out environmental credentials, the development also features cutting-edge digital connectivity – recognised with the highest ‘Wired’ Platinum score. What’s more, Halo has been designed to prioritise the wellbeing of its occupants and will be one of the UK’s first properties to achieve WELL Core Building certification. Finzels Reach: a thriving new neighbourhood Finzels Reach has seen massive development in recent years. Located in central Bristol, a stone’s throw from the floating harbour and in walking distance from Cabot Circus and Temple Meads, it was once home to one of the largest sugar refineries in England. Now, over 3,000 people live and work in the 4.7-acre mixed-use community. Renowned national and international companies have set up permanent residence, including Channel 4, Historic England and English Heritage, Simmons & Simmons, Barclays, EDF and Bafta-winning BDH Creative. Most notably, Bristol’s first BREEAM Outstanding 2014 commercial office space, Aurora, is situated directly opposite the new build, perfectly mirroring Halo’s spectacular seven-storey glass atrium. The city’s first Build to Rent scheme, Hawkins and George, is also just a few steps away. Osborne Clarke: the leading technology law firm Osborne Clarke has a long history in Bristol, stretching back to 1748. September 2019 marked 50 years since two of the oldest law 58 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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firms in Bristol – Osborne Ward and Clarke Gwynn & Press – merged to create the firm it is today. From the very beginning, however, Osborne Clarke has been embedded within the local community, engaging in what would now be called environmental, social, and governance activity. Ahead of Halo’s official opening, we had the pleasure of sitting down with the head of Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office, Lara Burch. We chatted to her about how the development’s modern features will not only complement the future-focused brand, but cement its reputation as being a leading technology law firm. It was, after all, one of the UK’s first law firms to open an office in Silicon Valley 20 years ago. “ESG is a key pillar of our 2025 strategy,” says Lara. “We've always had a culture of giving and we are now making that a central part of our strategy as a business, alongside our continued determination on minimising our environmental impact.” Halo: sustainability at its heart A corkscrew-like staircase rises up through the grandly proportioned multi-floor lobby, natural light floods the open spaces and an expansive glazed façade creates an instant spectacle in the neighbourhood. Halo indubitably offers a refined refuge from the urban flow. What makes this sustainable development so fascinating, however, is that every detail has been so carefully


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HALO has been awarded with a BREEAM Outstanding 2018 sustainability accreditation – the first building outside of London to achieve the certification

considered. Energy is regenerated from descending lifts and roofmounted solar panels, reducing the building’s demand for grid electricity. Water consumption is minimised through the harvesting of rain water. Air quality is improved by a ventilation system that supplies 20% fresher air than is required by building regulations. Halo has also been connected to Bristol’s low-carbon district heating network to drastically reduce its dependence on fossil fuel. Already, it adds up to a compelling mix, and that’s before we’ve even delved into the other aspects of the extensive spec list. The sustainability of the construction’s materials and internal fixtures have all been meticulously studied and evaluated. Osborne Clarke's designers, Interaction, has looked at how far materials have travelled, the environmental impact of producing those materials, and the impact they have on the health and wellbeing of the people who will be using the building. Paint finishes have even been chosen for their lower chemical content, so they contribute to high standards of air quality inside the building. Many of the soft furnishings have been made from recycled textiles; and some of the lampshades in the collaborative work spaces have even been made using the orange peel from the orange juice producer. Durability and repairability were also important criteria for the products that appear in the new space. Where practical, Osborne Clarke has opted for bamboo instead of wooden furniture

Head of Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office, Lara Burch

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“We wanted to provide spaces which reflect the needs of our clients – whether that's for meetings, temporary workspace before/after meetings or networking opportunities,” says Lara

because of its ability to renew more quickly. Where wood is being used in the building, it is FSC-certified so the company knows it comes from forests that are managed to strict environmental, social and economic standards. Halo, ultimately, radiates the feel-good factor. “Our lease on our current office location was coming to an end and we had the opportunity to renew or move to another space. We consulted with our people and felt moving to a new location was the best option for us,” explains Lara. “One thing that came from everybody was the focus around sustainability. People might have different views on the colours of the carpets or the style of the chairs but everyone was really focused on wanting the building to be sustainable, demonstrating what we as a group of people believe in. It has been branded as one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK, and our people love that.” It is also evident that Osborne Clarke’s design work was 60 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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.... and office space

completed in a post-pandemic world. Meeting rooms have been fitted with specially shaped tables so that staff members who are dialling in remotely can see everyone around the table. Two years on from the first lockdown and we’re still very much craving the tranquillity of the natural world. With this in mind, there is an organic nature to the styling and three living walls have been incorporated into the space. “We wanted to try and create an environment that people will love,” says Lara. “We’ve put a lot of thought into the spaces, making sure that people are comfortable.” Wellbeing and staff satisfaction In order for Halo and Osborne Clarke to earn the prestigious WELL certification, they had to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and wellbeing. Before choosing Halo, Osborne Clarke carried out an extensive employee consultation to

Building images for illustrative purposes courtesy of Cubex and Interaction, Lara Burch picture courtesy of Harsha Parmar.

Osborne Clarke’s new boardroom...


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BUSINESS NEWS

ensure that any new office met the needs of its people. It held multiple rounds of workshops between its designers and the Bristol office, asking colleagues about their requirements and aspirations for the new space. As a result, a wellbeing room; spin, yoga and pilates studios; spa-quality bathroom facilities; and gender-neutral toilets were all inserted into the plans. During the build, Osborne Clarke also gave its staff the chance to try out a selection of furniture, which they put on display in the atrium of the Temple Quay office. Staff could test out the potential pieces and vote for which ones they wanted to appear in Halo. The firm also held focus groups to obtain a thorough understanding of what activities different people in different roles did in a typical working week, ensuring that the new build accommodated all needs. “Our briefing exercise identified that key for people will be the collaborative, team-working and social aspect of the office. The opportunity to meet and work together is really key for a strong culture, so the office will primarily be a space to enable and encourage this. “Through our consultation process to develop the brief for the new office, we identified a number of key aspirations for our brief including diversity and inclusion, authentically sustainable, health and wellbeing, progressive and tech-enabled, collaborative and social. “We also wanted to provide spaces which reflect the needs of our

Two years on from the first lockdown and we’re still very much craving the tranquillity of the natural world. There is an organic nature to the styling

After speaking to staff members, spin, yoga and pilates studios, spa-quality bathroom facilities and genderneutral toilets were all inserted into the plans

clients – whether that’s for meetings, temporary workspace before/after meetings or networking opportunities,” Lara explains. Looking to the future, Osborne Clarke has ensured that it has incorporated the needs and desires of its young lawyers and staff members. “We want to be as attractive an employer for Millennials as we are for Gen X. Increasingly, we are seeing employees put significant importance on wellbeing and sustainability, and by incorporating these elements into the office we hope to appeal to them.” “The move is not just about the building, but about culture too. Many of the sustainability features are dependent on the people who will use the building. For more than two decades, the firm has been working hard to reduce its environmental impact through its Sustainable Business Group, recently relaunched as OC Planet. It has a clear objective to represent the employee voice and keep the firm accountable for any commitments it makes in this area,” Lara adds. Ultimately, credit must go to all involved for producing something with such finesse. As buildings account for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 50% of the world’s energy consumption and 40% of raw materials, it’s a pleasure to see Bristol businesses striving for greener, better ways of working. Welcome to Bristol, Halo. n • osborneclarke.com; halo-bristol.com

A new wellbeing room has been incoporated into the office space


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HEALTH & WELLBEING

Drink to your health Ade Williams MBE, lead pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy and brilliant Bristol ambassador explains the importance of drinking water...

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ater. In recent years, with increased awareness of the environmental impact of disposable plastics – sales of reusable water bottles have soared. It has become known as The Blue Planet effect. Sadly, though, we are still not drinking enough fluids, with evidence showing this to be the case across all age groups. Water helps our body eliminate waste products, regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, and other cellular and organ processes. Drinking plenty of fluids can also help lower the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Lack of water leads to dehydration, which is when the body loses more fluids than it takes carrying out its normal functions. Water makes up about 50% to 70% of our body weight. Yet, the functionality of our body, cognitive ability, and mood are hindered to an alarming degree if our body's total water content drops by as little as 1%. Even mild dehydration drains our energy and makes us tired. Evidence also shows that dehydration affects childrens' learning and development due to its negative impact on concentration and behaviour. Symptoms related to dehydration are broad and can vary significantly based on your age. Some to look out for include bad breath, bad skin, dizziness or lightheadedness, dry mouth, lips and eyes, passing low volume urine, dark yellow, and strong-smelling urine. Understanding why we do not drink enough continues to be a topic of much discussion. Let's explore it together. We are all supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day, right? The NHS recommends that adults drink six to eight cups of fluid a day. Water, lower-fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count. To stay well hydrated, children ages 1-3 years need approximately 4 cups per day, including water or milk. This increases to around 5 cups for 4-8-year-olds and 7-8 cups for older children. Determining the right level of individual fluid intake depends on various individual factors. These will include the amount and type of exercise you do, weather conditions and health considerations such as being pregnant or breastfeeding or taking regular medicines. Please discuss your situation with a health care professional, including at your local pharmacy, to get the best advice tailored for you. Water tablets or diuretics are sometimes prescribed to help treat heart conditions, including high blood pressure. Look out for symptoms of dehydration and maintain a regular fluid intake, especially during hot weather. Likewise, it is essential that if you suffer from continence issues, you do not simply cut down your fluid intake to manage this, as you may harm your kidneys. The older our bodies get, the less efficient they are at preserving water by reabsorbing it into the kidneys. So, even as physical activity levels wane, the levels of fluid consumption must be maintained. Talking of exercise, it's essential to drink water during a workout – take a water bottle with you on a run. Drinking little and often will give you the best results. Being dehydrated can also affect your energy levels – you won't be able to work out as hard if you haven't drunk enough. Remember this golden exercise rule: the sooner you start to replace the fluid, the sooner you will recover. Once all the hard work is over, restore your fluid levels and help your muscles. Dehydration increases your risk of developing injuries. When it comes to choosing the best way to make up your fluid intake, water always comes top. Calorie, alcohol and caffeine-free drinks not only improve skin health but are proven to help lose weight. Water is healthy, containing no sugars that can damage teeth. 62 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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Ade Williams’ portrait as taken by acclaimed photographer Rankin

If you do not like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water, add a slice of lemon or some no-added-sugar squash for flavour. Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) can also be healthy. What are the best ways to drink more water, you ask? Start and end your day with a glass or two of water. Set a timer/use an app to track how many glasses you have drunk and create a routine. Drink a full glass of water with every meal or snack. If you’re wondering how to get your kids to drink more water, pour a glass for them and you and enjoy it together. Get them a cool reusable bottle too. Water, though, must never become something we ever take for granted. It is likely to be at the fore as we look to mitigate the effects of irreparable climate and environmental damage. Failed crops, lack of accessible drinking water – global water security in our interconnected world is now a shared risk that results in conflicts and financial market upheaval alongside existential human suffering. If you are one of the reported 20% who no longer use their reusable water bottle, have lost it and not bothered to replace it, the planet and your kidneys need you to arrest this. ■ • Follow Ade on Twitter: @adewilliamsnhs; and keep up to date with Bedminster Pharmacy: @bedminsterpharm


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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Seeing in the Spring As we get older, cataracts affect many of us, but acting early can reduce the impact they will have on your life. Here, we focus on the signs to look for, and what can be done to alleviate the problem.

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ataracts are a very common eye condition, and many people aged over 60 will have at least some amount present. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye, which causes your sight to become misty. Cataracts slowly get worse and your sight gets cloudier over time, but the vast majority can be treated successfully. If cataracts have been limiting your ability to do the things you enjoy, surgery to remove them can be a truly lifechanging experience.

How does your eye work? Light enters your eye through the cornea (the clear window at the front), and the lens ensures this light is focused correctly to form an image when it reaches the retina. Just like glasses lenses, in order to see clearly, the lens in your eye needs to be clear. Throughout your life, your lens changes shape to help you see things clearly in the distance and close up. This is called “accommodation of vision”. However, as we get older, the lens isn’t able to change shape as well as it used to. When this happens, most people can see clearly in the distance but need reading glasses for close work.

How does a cataract affect your sight? Cataracts could affect your sight in a number of ways. Your vision may become blurred or appear misty; you may be dazzled by lights; or your coloured vision may seem washed out or faded. Most people will eventually develop a cataract in both eyes, though one eye may be affected before the other. If a cataract isn’t removed, over time it will be like trying to see through a frosted window. Even if your cataract gets to this stage, it can still be removed and your sight will be almost as it was before the cataract developed.

What causes a cataract? The most common reason is ageing. Most people over 60 have some amount of cataract and this gradually worsens with age. Apart from getting older, other common causes of cataracts include diabetes, medications such as steroids, and longstanding eye conditions. They can also be present at birth (congenital cataracts).

What treatment is available? The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial clear lens implant. New glasses will not help if the cataract is too advanced, and cataract surgery is one of the most successful operations performed. In the past, eye surgeons often waited until the cataract became “ripe” before removing it, but with modern surgical precision and techniques, the operation is usually done as soon as your eyesight interferes with your daily activities, such as reading and driving.

What does the operation involve? Cataract surgery is usually done with a local anaesthetic and takes around 20 minutes. Small cuts are made and the cataract is removed in small pieces using sound waves (phacoemulsification) so you don’t need stitches. The artificial lens implant is then simply placed inside the eye.

What should I expect to see after the operation? Usually, everything in the distance will be clear, but your reading vision in the operated eye may be blurred. This is because the standard lens implant isn’t able to provide clear vision for both distance and near. However, premium lenses are also available at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, and offer the potential to see clearly at more than one point of focus. Premium lenses are not available on the NHS, and are not suitable for everybody, but your surgeon will help you make the best decision, based on your individual needs. Consultants specialising in cataract surgery at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital include Mr Kieren Darcy, Mr Adam Ross, Mr Mo Majid, Mr Sidath Liyanage, Mr Michael Greaney, Mr Richard Haynes, Miss Rani Sebastian and Mr Rafik Girgis. Furthermore, if you have any additional health concerns but are struggling to book an appointment with your GP, Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital also offers a private GP service, with minimal waiting times for appointments, prescriptions and referrals. Call our Enquiries team on the number below, who will be able to assist you in booking a consultation. If you would like to book an appointment with one of our Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons, or a member of our private GP team, call 0117 911 5339, or visit our website.

How soon will I recover? After surgery, you can usually go back to your everyday activities within a few days. You will be given eye drops to use for up to four weeks, but the majority of people have no problems following cataract surgery and are up and about the next day. THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK

Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital 3 Clifton Hill, Bristol BS8 1BN nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/bristol

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GARDENING

60º East: A Garden Between Continents at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

Rock of ages After falling out of favour as fussy and old-fashioned, rock gardens have officially made a comeback. Elly West takes a closer look at the carefully planned naturalistic spaces that create a thriving home for beautiful alpine plants and wildlife

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’m fully on-board with the notion that rockeries are making a comeback. After all, gardening is about harnessing and bringing order to nature, cultivating a space and making it our own. Gardens based on the natural landscape, with rocks, waterfalls and outcrops, have become a common theme at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, proving that the modern rock garden doesn’t have to be a pile of stones set haphazardly into a mound of soil, planted with old-fashioned conifers and heathers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy for these to stay in the latter half of the last century where they belong. However, carefully planned as a naturalistic space providing habitats for wildlife and somewhere to showcase beautiful alpine plants, and you have a winning combination. I also have a natural affinity for a little bit of order in a garden, so a rockery with spaces and pockets, nooks and crannies, to tuck individual specimens appeals to my love of compartmentalisation. The idea of a rock garden has been around for centuries if we look to the Far East, with Japanese zen gardens using rocks to symbolise mountains or islands, and raked gravel to represent water, creating a place for quiet reflection and calm. However, the popularity of more colourful rockeries as we know them dates back to the late nineteenth century, when collectors brought alpine plants to the UK and wanted a way to showcase their findings. The Victorians also created shady rockeries exclusively for ferns, known as ferneries (funnily enough), appealing to the love of collections during those times. The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has one of the oldest and largest

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rock gardens in the world. I spent many years living in west London with Kew just down the road, and the rock garden was always a highlight on my many visits, offering drama and structure with something to look at all year round. Originally built in 1882, it’s over an acre in size and includes waterfalls and a large, stone, grotto-type bridge. Privately owned Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames, former home of The Beatles’ George Harrison, has a large alpine rock garden dating back to 1896, complete with a scale model of the Matterhorn, tin mountain goats and a mini-Swiss chalet. While the Victorians were creating rockeries on this grander scale, inevitably the ideas filtered down to our suburban gardens, with rockeries becoming a common feature in the 1960s and 1970s, before falling out of favour as fussy and old fashioned. Until now! Rock gardens can be incredibly versatile and suit many different styles of gardening. In a shady spot under trees, rocks can provide places for ferns and moss to grow, creating the effect of a mini woodland dell. Rocks and boulders are also well-suited to Mediterranean-style gravel gardens, where they will sit happily amongst lavender, olive trees and spiky architectural plants. Many herbs thrive in the dry conditions of a rock garden, such as creeping thyme, sage, chives, lavender and rosemary. Coastal-type planting such as low growing pink thrift (Armeria maritima), sea lavender (Limoniums latifolium), small grasses and sea kale, will also work well. Plants typically found in rockeries are tough-growing perennials


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GARDENING

that don’t need much maintenance, well adapted to cope with hostile conditions and drought, making them perfect for lowmaintenance gardeners. Succulents such as houseleeks hold water in their fleshy leaves and need little soil for their roots, so can be tucked into crevices in rocks where other plants might struggle. Alpines tend to be small and low-growing, and so are ideal for smaller gardens where space is at a premium. There are plenty to choose from, including primulas, saxifrage, pulsatilla, sedums, campanulas and dianthus. Now is the perfect time to start building a modern rock garden, big or small. Plants will have a chance to establish through the summer before the enemy – winter wet – sinks in. Take some time planning your space and choose a free-draining site that gets plenty of sun if you want to grow traditional alpine-type plants. Use local stone where possible as it will fit with your surroundings and the carbon footprint will be lower. Try one of the local quarries around Bristol and Bath, have a look on Gumtree, or see if your neighbours have any going spare, especially if they are having some building work done. Try to find a mix of stones of varying sizes for a more natural look. Larger rocks should be used at the bottom, and then you can build up your rock garden in tiers, backfilled with topsoil. Alternatively, an existing dry stone wall or rocky area of the garden may provide missed opportunities for planting if you can infill spaces with soil and squeeze in some small plants. Top dress bare soil with grit or fine gravel to help drainage around the crowns of the plants. Water is also a great addition to a rock garden, especially if you can create a cascading waterfall, with a simple sump and pump to circulate the water around. n

Project of the month: make an alpine trough If you fancy having a go on a smaller scale, why not create a mini rock garden in a container such as an old ceramic sink, stone trough or tin bath. Choose an open and sunny spot, preferably somewhere visible such as on a wall, so you can admire the small, often jewel like plants close at hand. Drainage is key, so make sure your container has plenty of holes in the base and use a soil based compost mixed with equal parts coarse grit. A layer of crocks in the base of the container will also help improve the drainage. Once you’ve added the soil, arrange a few rocks to suit the scale, then fill it with plants such as sedums, sempervivums and small bulbs. Top dress with grit or some other decorative aggregate to help conserve water in the soil, suppress weeds, and also to make the whole display more attractive. Remember to water during dry weather, particularly in the first season while the plants get established.

• ellyswellies.co.uk

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GARDENS

Outdoor sanctuaries Have outside space; will be free. Extend beyond the four walls of your home by opening things up, living the natural life and building a recharging escape for yourself. Get your pulse running with a heavenly sanctuary garden soon to be launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and take advice on creating a sanctuary from local design and construction experts...

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anicured lawns, tidy flower beds, exotic blooms, fenced patios and hanging display baskets are absolutely not on the agenda for the new Sanctuary Garden by Hamptons, to be created for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23–28 May. Hamptons is the principal sponsor of the show garden – a tranquil and sensory garden in which to relax and unwind – partnering with award-winning designer Tony Woods from Garden Club London and working in collaboration with Koto, an architectural and design studio. The concept draws on the rise in flexible working and working from home, which has brought an increased desire for space, especially outdoor and garden space. This garden sanctuary has been designed to reflect the desire to incorporate the garden as a living area, a place to step away from the home environment into the outdoors where you will be distracted by the sights, scent and sounds of nature, nurturing creativity, positivity and calm. Tony Woods from Garden Club London comments: “The garden will be a celebration of the small domestic green spaces which have taken on extra importance in the last few years. Designed with sustainability at its heart it’s a tranquil and sensory garden with a work/leisure space that creates separation from everyday life while increasing living space and adding extra value both in terms of lifestyle and property value. To complete the scene, Koto Design has created an iconic carbon neutral garden cabin nestling into the garden setting as a space to read, work or just sit and enjoy. The small, sculptural structure is designed to function as a place of seclusion and meditation, an immersive space to connect with the surrounding power of nature and plants. Zoe Little, co-founder of Koto Design, comments “Working collaboratively with Tony and his team we have sensitively paired the stunning garden with a considered space designed for multi-uses. A sanctuary that ultimately connects you nature while delivering a carbon neutral building.” Under the canopy of pine and birch trees the sound of water gently trickles through the garden. The charred timber exterior (shou-sugi-ban) draws from Japanese design influence and the ancient Japanese philosophy Wabi Sabi, focused on accepting the transient nature of life and the beauty in imperfection. The structure frames immersive views of the garden. Rounded glacial boulders and natural stepping stones contrast with the building and provide an intentional way to slow the journey to the cabin, through the planting and across the moving water. Boundaries of Fagus sylvatica (beech) hedging and charred larch panels provide a foil to show off the stunning bark of the Betula nigra (water birch) and Pinus sylvestris (Scot’s pine). The garden is rich in pollinating plants with water for wildlife and densely planted trees to encourage birds. Sweetly scented 68 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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favourites including phlox and Syringa (lilac) repeat through the planting to provide clouds of scent as the visitor meanders through.

Turning the vision into reality Sam Selby, Selby Landscapes; selbylandscapes.com “Our business has seen a dramatic increase in people wanting to use the garden as an extension of their home or as an alternative working space as more people appreciate the benefits of working from home. The last two years have opened people’s eyes, too, to what’s right in front of them. In this case it’s gardens: open space, fresh air and calm. “A garden workspace means that here are no noisy commutes, no polluted road rides, just a 30-second walk, coffee in hand, through plants and fresh air to a peaceful sanctuary where your productivity is likely to be way better than in a busy office. On your way you can


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A Garden Sanctuary by Hamptons, for Chelsea Flower Show 2022

take a moment to stop and crush the lavender between your fingers, watch the birds hopping down the fence and take some deep breaths of fresh air before you start your working day. These spaces can also be used to exercise in or to relax in after hours, and lunch breaks can now be spent with family or in the fresh air, rather than queueing up for the office microwave. “We often get asked to build outdoor rooms or sheltered entertainment areas, whether that’s for al fresco eating with friends on a balmy summer’s afternoon, somewhere private to play your drum kit or a fire pit to gather round on a cold winter’s evening. “The possibilities of these spaces are endless, and very rewarding, and there are many construction options. Many of our big suppliers do off-theshelf shelters with built-in lighting and electric blinds. Bespoke made-tomeasure buildings can also be installed so whatever space you have, something amazing can be done to maximise usage. You can try cladding the outside with local timber or green walls to blend in with the surroundings, or go for a contrast with composite tongue and groove.

Crisp contemporary blends perfectly with Georgian history in this walled garden.by Selby Landscapes


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GARDENS

“The garden sanctuary project at Chelsea Flower Show this year sums up this growing trend perfectly. A green nook, nestled in the dappled shade of overlooking birch trees, reached by a peaceful stroll through the garden. This should be a lesson to all of us to slow down, breathe, work with what we’ve got and appreciate what is right in front of us.”

Create a sanctuary with a summerhouse Ben McPhee, Garden Affairs; gardenaffairs.co.uk “Managing the constant demands of a fast-moving world, many of us are looking for a place of escape, somewhere to embrace the simple comforts of nature, reflect on the good things in life and restore our energy. So what better way is there to do this than with your own peaceful retreat, tucked away from the hectic pace of indoor life? If you’ve got a garden with some extra space to be creative with, then now could be just the time to embrace the onset of spring and find your own summerhouse garden sanctuary. “The beauty of the summerhouse is its ability to add a charming aesthetic to your outdoor space, without dominating it. Our small and unpretentious garden buildings, with echoes of the Victorian folly or oriental pavilion, will bring an eye-catching yet subtle extra detail to your garden. Because of their diminutive size (a footprint of around five square metres is typical), it’s easy to tuck them away, almost unnoticed, in a tranquil, perhaps forgotten, outdoor spot, the perfect location for your garden sanctuary. “With a pleasing symmetry and built from natural materials, the summerhouse is a popular choice for a garden retreat – it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to set up, and fits so comfortably with a natural environment. “These exquisitely crafted buildings come in a selection of shapes and sizes, from rectangular and corner to the eight-sided Prima Lilac summerhouse (ideal for smaller gardens), or the ten-sided Wraysbury, if you’re after a larger entertainment space. “A summerhouse is a perfect space in which allocate some precious time to yourself, giving you that enervating yet chilled feeling of being inside in the outdoors, protected by timber and glass, immersed only in your thoughts and the warm aromas of the wood surrounding you.”

Octagonal Summerhouse by Garden Affairs

Garden design by Selby Landscapes

Choosing the right summerhouse Ben McPhee, Garden Affairs; gardenaffairs.co.uk It’s not difficult to find a low-priced summerhouse, but if you’re after something that looks good and has a long life, then there are a few important guiding points: • Choose the right timber – slow-grown is more durable. • Invest in double-glazed windows and doors – they’ll help reduce moisture levels. • Generous double doors will allow you to let the outside in when the weather permits. • Add some style with a tongue and groove floor. • Remember: location, location, location. Be sure to find the best spot in your garden, with a view to inspire and restore you, and as much privacy as you can get. • Get professional help where necessary – our summerhouses can be installed by our in-house experts. n • Find out more about Garden Affairs summerhouses: gardenaffairs.co.uk

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Prima Fifth Avenue Classic Summerhouse by Garden Affairs


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THE

KI TC HEN PAR TNER S DESIGN STUDIO

www.thekitchenpartners.co.uk 102 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2QY 01179 466433

Founders and Lead Designers - Fiona & Clinton

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INTERIORS

Asian favours Looking for a focal point for your room that’s infused with attitude? Then consider leaning towards the East for ideas – artefacts from this part of the world have powerful cultural resonance and are wrapped in fascinating stories of their era and geography. Leon Ma, owner of Ma San Auction House in Bath, chooses some of the most inspirational items recently sold under the hammer

red pottery figure of a standing Court lady ...with hair dressed in elegant coiffure, Chinese tang dynasty (618-907ad), 37cm height. sold £2,210

A

statement piece will focus the dynamic of a room; capturing attention, it helps to create a strong visual flow around a living space. And if the piece has a back story, even better. The pieces shown on these pages all have an Asian provenance and will provide a powerful central presence in a room. And unlike many attention-grabbing purchases created for market, the future value of these authentic items and sometimes rare collectables is likely to grow rather than diminish. From a Chinese Tang Dynasty figure to a gilt wood Buddha and a panelled screen to glazed figures of Bactrian camels, find an Asian piece to be the star of your interior show.

Ma San Auction; 01225 318587; masanauction.com

CHINESE 18TH-CENTURY BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN JAR AND COVER Decorated with phoenix, Qing Dynasty/Kangxi period (1662–1722). 29cm height. Sold £975

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INTERIORS

THAI 19THCENTURY GILT WOOD FIGURE OF BUDDHA Seated on a raised tier base decorated with glass and red lacquer. 47cm height. Sold £1178

PAIR OF CHINESE ZITAN HORSESHOEBACK ARMCHAIRS Quanyi. Middle of Qing dynasty (1644–1912). Sold £26,040

CANTONESE 19TH-CENTURY CELADON-GROUND FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN VASE Decorated with figures in a court scene, late Qing Dynasty/Guangxu period (1875–1908). 63cm height. Sold £650 with slight condition issues

PAINTED POTTERY FIGURE OF A SADDLED HORSE Chinese Tang Dynasty (618–907AD), 32cm height. Sold £910

PAIR OF SANCAI-GLAZED POTTERY FIGURES OF BACTRIAN CAMELS Chinese Tang Dynasty (618–907AD). 58/59cm height. Sold £11,830

CHINESE 18/19THCENTURY CELADON AND RUSSET JADE BOULDER Carved in high relief with two cranes beside a pine tree on a carved zitan stand. 28cm height. Sold £13,000

CHINESE EIGHT-PANEL WOOD SCREEN Carved in relief with inserted gilt-lacquer painted panels depicting figures farming and fishing in a coastal landscape. 205 x 133cm. Sold £1105

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THE PROPERTY COLUMN

Home values As we step out of the pandemic, Rupert Oliver of Rupert Oliver Property Agents looks at the current housing market, explains the potential threats ahead, and shares his thoughts on what makes a house a home...

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n May 2020 the Bank of England warned of a potential 16% fall in property prices as a result of the pandemic. The world around us appeared to be shifting on its axis at the time – concerned as we were with escalating infection rates, washing hands, isolating, searching for or making PRE, and anxious about job security or loss of work – so apart from those of us in the business of buying and selling, this news understandably washed over many of the population. It was a good job that our nation of existing and aspiring homeowners didn’t fret overly, because the market did no such thing. We now know, nearly two years later, that house prices have not deflated, but have continued to grow, with the average house price in the UK hitting a new record high of £278,123 in February 2022 (Halifax Price Index), an increase of more than 10% in 12 months. There are lots of economic and practical reasons for this increase: insufficient housing stock, built-up demand, low mortgage rates and the stamp duty holiday (which ended in October 2021). But the most resonant factor, created by lockdown itself, was a complete shift in priorities. Our homes became all about family and belonging – not a novel definition of home, perhaps, but it was transformative because instead of making our homes a useful base to support our multiple other commitments, they became a permanent backdrop – however perfect or imperfect they were, we couldn’t escape them and they became a part of us.

Full-time homes Many found themselves closeted within close family bubbles, whole days and weeks were spent together, adults working remotely or taking up new pastimes and projects, children home-educated, pets delighted to be no longer home alone. We started to think of home as somewhere not just to crash at night and relax in at the weekends, but somewhere to work in, to live in 24/7, to prepare and eat meals in, to play in, to communicate in, to relax in, to luxuriate in, namely a base to be proud of. Our spaces were, however, stretched to the limit. For some in houses and flats with small square footage and minimal or no outdoor space 74 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE

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this meant a longing to relocate to gain more space, claim more land and a slower pace of living; for others with more existing space it meant re-evaluating and reinventing room configurations to suit changing needs, using the garden as an extension of the living environment by adding social spaces, pergolas, hot tubs, garden houses and cabins.

Looking ahead There are new threats ahead, however, that could impact on property values: higher interest rates on mortgages and increasing energy bills and living costs are rearing their ugly heads right now, but we believe that this is unlikely to puncture the upward curve because demand from first-time buyers is unceasing and stock remains at an historic low. It’s also the case that the population is still adjusting to the pandemic shake-up and that continues to involve decisions about upgrading or changing our homes to fit with our new and still shifting life priorities.

Home: a simple definition Yet, hold on, because while it’s easy to become caught up in a whirlwind of must-have improvements to our living spaces, it’s clear that folding French doors, saunas, garden offices and cinema rooms, while uplifting, are never what it’s all about. These are good benefits, polishing manoeuvres, but ‘home’ is not a particular place with specific features and comforts, it’s somewhere where people who love each other share their lives, somewhere where you feel secure, somewhere where you can be yourself. In the words of Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby, as he explains to his friend Smike who has never had a ‘home’: “When I speak of home, I speak of the place where in default of a better those I love are gathered together; and if that place were a gypsy's tent, or a barn, I should call it by the same good name notwithstanding.” If these requirements are met then I’m sure that all property agents will be in agreement that the value of any such home is priceless. And if it’s got a garden patio and a hot tub, then even better. n • rupertoliver.co.uk; 14 Waterloo Street, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4BT


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Elly’s Wellies

Garden Designs

Turning your ideas into beautiful spaces Elly’s Wellies Garden Designs will help you maximise the potential of your outdoor space and tailor it to your individual needs. Whether you are looking for a complete garden redesign, or just need advice on what to plant in a border, Elly’s Wellies will be happy to help.

For a free initial consultation, contact Elly West

www.ellyswellies.co.uk ellyswellies@gmail.com 07788 640934

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Bristol & Clifton’s premier Commercial Property Agents Keep up-to-date with our latest news, deals, testimonials and market comment at our website: www.burstoncook.co.uk

(0117) 934 9977

CONTEMPORARY OFFICE SPACE TO LET

OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE

• Stunning bright & contemporary offices • Only one suite remaining – approx. 404 sq ft • Prime location • New lease available

• A self contained, open plan office providing open plan accommodation

NEWLY REFURBISHED OFFICES

AFFORDABLE OFFICES WITH EXCELLENT PARKING

• 28 on site car parking spaces • Available for sale

• Prime out of town offices

• Two suites remaining

• 1,950 sq ft – 7 car spaces

• Approx. 226 sq ft and 408 sq ft

• Close to M-way • New lease – rent on application

• Air conditioning, on-site gym and generous car parking

PERIOD OFFICE TO LET

CENTRAL HQ BUILDING

• Attractive period office building

• Impressive, landmark office building

• Second floor office suite available • Approx. 240 sq ft

• Excellent location in the heart of Bristol’s commercial centre

• 1 car parking space

• Approx. 246 sq m

• New flexible tenancy

• New lease available

HIGH STREET RETAIL

NEW CITY CENTRE OFFICES

• Fantastic large retail / showroom unit to let • Established high street pitch • Approx. 4,105 sq ft • Customer parking to front • New lease available

• Located in the heart of Bristol city centre on Lewins Mead • High quality space with air conditioning and LED lighting • On site car parking available!

SELF CONTAINED OFFICE

WATERFRONT OFFICE SUITE WITH VIEWS

• Open plan office, over two floors

• Fantastic first floor office accommodation with stunning views

• 3,110 sq ft with an excellent amount of car parking

• Recently refurbished • Approx. 2,375 sq ft

• £17.50 per sq ft

Julian Cook FRICS

Jayne Rixon MRICS

Charlie Kershaw MRICS

Finola Ingham MRICS

Tom Coyte MRICS

• 6 car spaces total

Holly Boulton BSc(Hons)

Vicki Grimshaw BSc(Hons)

• • • • •

Sales / Lettings Acquisitions Valuations Landlord & tenant Auction Sales

• • • • •

Rent reviews Property Management Investment Sales / Purchase Development & Planning Dilapidations Advice


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Howard of Howard Independent Estate Agents advises prospective sellers and buyers not to wait until the property market gets back to ‘normal’.

R FO LE A S

Who remembers the boom-and-bust property markets of the early 1970s or the late 1980s? Who remembers the MIRAS debacle in 1988 and 15% mortgage interest rates? More people will remember recent mini booms and busts, general elections, Black Wednesday, the Scottish referendum, the banking crisis, Brexit. And, just as we appear to be moving away from the worst of the COVID pandemic with restrictions being lifted, we are plunged straight into another realm of uncertainty with the conflict in Ukraine. So, if anyone is waiting for the property market to get back to normal, they will wait a long time as there is no normal property market. In property we have to play the cards we are dealt. Sometimes the market will benefit the buyer, and sometimes the seller. In all these years the market has never suited both buyers and sellers at the same time. But then what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. It is essential to understand that the market is continually in flux. We now have the challenge of low stocks of property for sale, increasing interest rates and property values in some areas rising steeply. Will this continue? No. Why? Because nothing continues unchanged in property for long. Things are constantly moving.

SNEYD PARK

£1,500,000

LD

SO

REDLAND

GUIDE PRICE

£1,300,000

LD

SO

So, my advice is to play the property, not the market. Find a deal that works for you. Please do not wait for the market to normalise; it will not. Do not try and wait until we have reached the top of the market to sell, because when you think that the market has reached the top, it will already be too late. Winning in property is finding the right property deal for you when you need it. Put another way, would you rather have a perfect property or a perfect market? I know which I would choose.

0117 923 8238

GUIDE PRICE

www.howard-homes.co.uk

CLIFTON

GUIDE PRICE

£1,250,000

hello@howard-homes.co.uk


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Hotwells, Bristol | Guide Price £795,000 A superb family home in a convenient location with immensely flexible accommodation over four floors, a private walled rear terraced courtyard, complete with far-reaching views over the water. Charming family townhouse | Fabulous far-reaching waterfront views | Option to have self-contained studio flat | Beautiful open plan reception room and kitchen | Four double bedrooms, four bath / shower rooms | Completely renovated throughout ‘turn-key’ accommodation | Walled rear terrace/courtyard off the kitchen and living room | Excellent central location with easy access to Clifton or the waterfront | EPC: C

In all circa 1380 sq. ft (129sq. m)


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Leigh Woods, Bristol | Guide Price £1,650,000 An outstanding four-bedroom semi-detached family house of circa 3800 sq. ft situated on a private road in a sought-after location. with easy access to Clifton village, Leigh Woods nature reserve and the Ashton Court estate. Semi-detached family house in a sought-after location | Four generous double bedrooms and three bath / shower rooms | Stunning open plan family kitchen, dining room and siting room | Separate family room / play room | Integrated double garage and gated off-street parking | Separate home office / garden studio | In all circa 3800 sq. ft | Superb landscaped south-facing rear garden | Fully enclosed residents only communal gardens covering circa an acre | Close proximity to Clifton village and some 500 acres of National Trust woodland | EPC: B

In all circa 3800 sq. ft (357 sq. m)


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