forever begins (whiteladies rd, bs8)

looking through my collection of whiteladies shots i’m soon aware – there aren’t many. even though this is somewhere i have lived on and around for a number of years.

a major tributary into the centre of bristol from the downs, whiteladies cuts a flow downhill from blackboy hill to the clifton triangle. it’s an iconic bristol location, perhaps more by name, legend and convenience than by current relevance. (it is often assumed the names blackboy hill and whiteladies rd are linked to bristols’ participation in the slave trade though there is little evidence for this. the blackboy tavern, formerly the blackamoor’s head, and now the blackboy inn has stoood on the hill for many centuries. blackamoor was a name used at the time of the crusades to describe arabs, though it could also have originated from criminals hanging from gallows on the downs, faces covered in tar).

it’s late afternoon as i find myself walking the same pavements i’ve walked a thousand times before.

like most high streets you can choose your alter. global brands hustle for space and attention by day. a mixture of bars and pubs glitz and glimmer. grand old churches dig in, claiming relevance.

i’m behind clifton down shopping centre looking for a new viewpoint onto whiteladies, Ra at my back. soon things fall into place in the image of the maker and the muse.

as i walk up the south side, towards the downs, i cross the road approaching redland park church. there is something there, aesthetically speaking. looking down: ”one mile from the top of park street” engraved in weathered stone, shin level. i wait, building an image. a walker and a jogger cross paths. the reflection of the stain glass window on the pavement divides, yet links, all the players somehow.  

i continue up the hill and back down again. the sun is beginning to fade and my attention also, but something catches my eye inside a small fast-food spot. white glove, white light.

i’ve enjoyed rediscovering whiteladies rd today. the sun disappears for another day; i will rest and greet it once again in the morning.

thank you for reading don’t forget the sun. take care. k x


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