Friday, 12 February 2016

Whale of a Time

It was my sixty-second birthday this week (yes, now you remember!) and I celebrated it in Bristol. "Celebrated" may be the wrong word for such a low-key observance; "passed" may be the better choice. My partner had to be in Bristol for work, and the restaurants are considerably better there than in Southampton. In the end, though, we settled for a Thai curry at home, and a whole bottle of beer each.  Yay!

My best present was, as always, the thing it hadn't occurred to me to ask for: a James Bond-style pen from my daughter, containing:
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and regular)
  • Scraper
  • Short blade
  • Hole punch
  • Tweezers
  • Saw
  • Wire strippers
  • Long blade
  • File
  • Fork
Oh, and a pen, naturally.  Now I will be equal to any situation, provided I remember to take my "pen", of course.  No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to... Aiee! Ow! Stop it!! Is that ... a fork?

It was a beautiful day, and I went for a lengthy circular walk that included the Knoll Woods nature reserve, the banks of the Avon, and the Bennett's Patch meadows beside the Portway.  Where I encountered these:

Now, sadly, multiple whale beachings have figured prominently in the news recently, but I wasn't expecting to see any this far up the Avon. On closer inspection, however, you will see they are made out of basketwork. Yes, these are Wicker Whales! And, no, there doesn't appear to be any sacrificial Jonah, Ahab, or Edward Woodward trapped inside. Originally, it seems, they were installed in the town centre, as part of Bristol's year as European Green Capital. Now, they are forever breaching and sounding alongside the Portway. At least, until they rot away, or some idiot sets fire to them.


Zouk Delors said...

So, Mr Chisholm, you claim you were not at all going equipped to burgle but rather "out to take some photographs". Then perhaps you can explain to the jury why you found it necessary to carry with you a telescopic jemmy? Secreted within a pen?!

Kent Wiley said...

Seems to be a thing, these whale sightings in the middle of a field. As well as the sculptured objects out of twigs. I put this together especially for you and your loyal Hatters.

Mike C. said...


Guilty as charged, your majesty. I did indeed intend to take someone else's photograph. Society is to blame!


Fascinating -- clearly there's a sculptural "meme" going around. Weirdly, the outfit responsible for the ones in Bristol trades under the name Cod Steaks, the (presumably) witty side of which I am still trying to figure out.


Martyn Cornell said...

In a pub near me is a wickerwork Harley Davidson, hanging from the ceiling.

Me neither.