Andy Goodman, a Kids of Bath resident Dad, and illustrator of Fivebargate muses over life in Batheaston…
Being a Gemini, I’m supposed to have two sides and whilst that may or may not be the case, it’s most certainly true of where I live. On one, I can see the full glory and revelry of Bath laid out in spectacular fashion and on the other, I can look across the serene Bathampton Meadows to Brown’s Folly, a curious tower built in 1848. It’s purpose has always been unclear but I hear it’s the preferred spot for local bikers and horseshoe bats.
‘The Solsbury Standoff’
Bath’s hills twist and turn to almost disorientating effect and provide us with all sorts of nooks and crannies in which to live. I found such a nook underneath Little Solsbury Hill in a 1930’s semi where I often work in peace and quiet whilst looking down onto, or I should say, lording it over Batheaston Villa (well known in Georgian times for holding what they called ‘poetical amusements’ for the in-crowd). Luckily for them, my family weren’t around and our garden was but an apple orchard or else they’d be enduring stray football passes and the neighbours’ Ocado delivery van.
The Horace Walpoles and Lady Anne Millers might have also remarked at my rantings opposite whilst waiting for the wi-fi to kick in. If the technology fails, however, and my ideas aren’t forthcoming, I’ll take a clockwise stroll around Peter Gabriel’s favourite hill and its mostly harmless cattle for inspiration. And apart from the narrow Bailbrook lane that makes for a somewhat challenging school run (although my reversing skills have improved considerably), I love this part of the world. I like being on the edge of this little city with it’s crumbling stone walls, the abandoned tin church and the guy with the long, straggly beard I don’t know but always acknowledge.
And talking of edges, while my home town Bristol may be altogether edgier, I’m right at home beavering away on this edge, my edge. It gives me the best of both worlds.
Andy Goodman is one of our resident ‘dad’ collaborators and you can find him in and around Bath, popping up in markets with his illustrations. Check him out at https://fivebargate.format.com/