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ITS SHOW TIME
May is usually a crazy time because there’s the Annual Bristol Comic show plus there’s also London Expo at Excel in Docklands. I normally go to both and this year was no exception. We didn’t have a new TRIPWIRE out but we had a table with last year’s issue, some copies of Studio Space and a few other bitsnpieces. Bristol is a city that I always enjoy visiting: about 120 miles west of London, it has a really laidback and friendly vibe as a place. As you would expect, myself and Andy Colman stopped off on the way down. I had wanted to visit Stourhead for the last couple of years: it’s a Palladian house situated in the south of Wiltshire with world-famous gardens. We hit the most horrendous traffic a few miles from Stonehenge and were worried that we weren’t going to make it. But we did and it was spectacular. We didn’t go into the house but spent a couple of hours in the gardens and their reputation is well-deserved. They are well-kept, beautiful and serene and because it’s Spring, everything was blooming and flowering.The garden is packed with follies, buildings like temples that are created to make the gardens look more interesting, and from a photographic perspective, with the sunny weather we were lucky enough to encounter, it was a very enjoyable afternoon. It only took us just over an hour to reach Bristol, as we avoided the late afternoon traffic. The weekend was fun as ever as we got to catch up with people we don’t see often enough like Matt Badham, David Baillie, Baz Renshaw, David Morris and girlfriend Liz, Rob Williams, Paul Cornell and loads of others. I chaired a Marvel panel on the Sunday with the aforementioned Cornell, Williams plus Kieron Gillen and Neil Edwards, which seemed to go well. The weather held up for the whole weekend and we even managed to visit a few places on the Monday on the way back to London, including Clifton, Ashton Court (although the house was shut) and Victorian cemetery Arnos Vale, although I’m beginning to feel like I’m getting obsessed with cemeteries.
I’m going to save London Expo for Part Two of this post because that was a fairly packed weekend too. So here’s a few photos I took at Stourhead, in Bristol and in Arnos Vale and Clifton on Monday…
















RIGHT ON KEW
For the past few years, every Summer I say ‘ I must go to Kew Gardens because I have never been.’ You know what it’s like when you live in a city: you never go to its big tourist spots. So myself and Andy were going to go last Saturday (6th Sept) but the weather was bloody awful, so we put it back. But the forecast was good for this Saturday (13th Sept) so we thought, ‘what the hell’ and jumped in the car and drove to Southwest London. The residents of Southwest London are very lucky as they have places like Chiswick House, Ham House and Osterley on their doorstep as well as areas like Richmond and Barnes. Kew Gardens can be added to that list: in the surprising sunshine, they are absolutely spectacular, an oasis in the city.We were exceptionally lucky with the weather There are a number of lakes and ponds that enhance its beauty and tranquility but it is truly is an amazing place. I admit I am not a plant aficionado but that is unimportant: you can visit Kew and find yourself a quiet corner. The only slight drawback is the fact that it’s on Heathrow’s flight path so there are planes every 60 seconds and it’s quite expensive to get into (£13). But it’s well worth a visit. Kew Palace, the house at the entrance of the Gardens, is not: it’s a small Georgian house not worthy of the title ‘Palace’. Just admire its exterior and save yourself a fiver…
Here are some photos of Kew Gardens…