Picture of the week: Corsham Court

Corsham Court

MA travel and nature writing massive do lunch – Anna, Margherita and Rachel.

For the last week, I’ve been hanging about in Bath and Corsham for my second MA residential week. I have to say, it was bloody brilliant. We met some fascinating people – author Maggie Gee, travel writer Gail Simmons, radio producer Sarah Blunt, poet Terry Gifford – and had such a great time.

Corsham Court is a privately owned Estate in Wiltshire with oodles of land and more peacocks than you can shake a camera phone at. From the outside it’s stunning, but inside the halls are full of a bizarre mix of animal skulls and art. The grounds used to be the residence of the Bath Academy of Art and there are some pretty amusing stories of what it was like in the sixties – I can’t help but wonder how many times the world was put to rights there – but now it’s used for Bath Spa postgraduates.

Our week culminated in a ‘Cafe Ecologique,’ organised by our wonderful tutor Paul Evans, which was loosely part of the literature festival. I get really nervous so I had to get quite drunk, but I did manage to read a piece, even if it was a bit shakey and slightly slurred. I chose a really short bit of non-fiction about my relationship with my body as a part of nature, however I’m not sure it went down too well with some of the older men. I definitely noticed a few side steps afterwards, so I suppose we can count that as a huge success.

Our next residential is hopefully going to be in Melaka, Malaysia. Apparently there’s a really interesting clash of cultures there: British, Chinese, Indian. The first one was at Dale Fort in Wales.

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Bye Bye Bath

Today is my last day in Bath. After three years of living in two places it’s finally over and I can go back to being a Londoner.

It can be pretty sometimes.

It can be pretty sometimes.

Instead of moaning about the terrible buses, lack of ethnic diversity or beige architecture, I thought I would concentrate on some of the positives about Bath. So, if you head over to my new Tumblr blog (I have no idea what to do with it) I’ll be posting some of my faves.

(BTW – it’s mainly food and sunsets.)

Back to Bath

Bath, again

After commuting from London to Bath for a year to go to uni, I’ve graduated and ended up living in Bath. There’s irony for you. I’m working for a book publishers in the city centre for three months and actually, I’m starting to quiet like it. Who’d have thought that me, Ms I Hate (hate, hate) Bath is now hanging her fat cheeks in rose-flushed shame as I’ve found myself enjoying the place more and more. OK, admittedly it’s for totally self-orientated reasons, for example I can walk to work instead of getting the tube, but non-the-less, the place is starting to grow on me.

hot air balloons over Bath

Bath is not the sort of place that you want to be a student. It’s expensive, has mono-syballic nightlife (Bridge, Moles, ‘rock’, pop, dub) and everyone else is a student, although I realise that could be seen as a plus. But as a, *cough* YOUNG professional it seems a far more interesting place. The people I work with, for example, wear clothes from shops other than Urban Outfitters and Topshop.

Poetry man performs poems for loose change - they look really thrilled.

Poetry man performs poems for loose change – they look really thrilled.

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write – Bath doesn’t completely suck. There’s Mission Burrito for a start, I know it’s terrible but I do love them so. Then there’s the man who recites epic (in the traditional sense of the word) poems to lunch-eaters in the park. The sky is often picturesquely filled with hot air balloons and who could forget the violin-playing tightrope walker. It’s no London, but it’ll do for now.

Now, your turn.

Now, your turn.

Mission Burrito, Bath

Front of Mission Burrito, BathI know it’s bad, but I just love this place. It’s tasty, not too fatty or carb-ey, suitable for vegetarians and quick. I usually end up treating myself to a vegetable burrito after the gym – although I realise the irony there.

Because you can choose the contents of your wrap it’s perfect for a fusspotato like me and it usually costs between £5 and £6, which isn’t bad for dinner.

Mission Burrito, BathMission Burrito, Bath