core (ashton court, bs41)

crossing one bristol institution, on route to another.

just awoken on grassy patch – had rested against a tree waiting for the sun to drop and drifted away…

this is the 30th year of the fiesta – europe’s biggest – over 100 hot air balloons will rise tonight. i’ve never before been.

walking down the slope into the main arena, i follow the perimeter. typical fair ground fare: ‘speed’, ‘extreme’ and ‘hellraiser’ call out, real in and send them spinning.

families prittle-prattle, jostle and bicker, tanned and refreshed, cares away.

cuddly toys, sweets, burgers, beer, spliff and smiles.

meanwhile, others are set – deck chairs, pic-nics and wine – ready and waiting. a man – sunhat lowered – dreams of take-offs to come; half read evening post outline stencilled red to chest.

i remain on the edge.

helicopter lands, riders exit. others watch, point. i see, snap. the sun shines on all of us.

further around the arena and shadows are now longer through trodden grass. i see myself  – black on back – as i face the crowd. bristol beasts stir to life again: 100 orbs rise as Ra sinks behind cloud and under.

and so – back up the hill and along the tree lined promenade, over the bridge with balloons following me, on a chord – the west wind blows us east. looking down, i imagine i’m in a balloon… i see hotwell rd, the avon, train tracks… i loose my stomach and reach for support… terra firma!

home and shower. eat. out.

soon i’m checking my friend jay wilcox and his sunday night soul collective. this is our jazz cafe, right here. young, talented and bristol. on the rise? yes – the west wind blows east again, again…  

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

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