ABC Wednesday - P is for...

... Profile Picture

From time to time I get asked, 'What's your profile picture?' or, 'Where is it?'. Until now my answer's been lost amongst the comments, but I thought today's ABC Wednesday's P was a perfect time to put up a more prominent post about it.

Like many cities in the UK over the past 15 years or so, the centre of Bristol has undergone a complete transformation. When we moved down here in 1984, the historic docks area was mainly derelict and run-down, with the odd attraction and bright spot, such as Brunel's SS Great Britain. Today the docks are almost totally transformed (with a couple of sites still awaiting their makeover) - the cosy dockland pubs are still there, but trendy bars and restaurants have joined them. Expensive apartments line the waterways which in turn, are alive with ferryboats and a host of other watery attractions and craft. There's the headquarters of one of our major banks (Bristol is a major financial centre), a vibrant media centre and several museums.

Bristol has had a hands-on science centre for a long time. Initially called The Exploratory, it was originally sited next to Temple Meads railway station (the latter until recently was the inward destination of my daily commute). It was a great place to get children interested in science, or as a place to take them on a rainy day, or even both. But the site was relatively small, so in the 1990s it moved to a new, much larger modern building in the revamped docklands and re branded as @ Bristol. As part of that move, the open space outside was turned into a place for public art based on the twin themes of reflection and exploration. On hot days, the Aquarena water sculpture becomes impromptu paddling pools and a vast play area. Dominating this part of the site is the giant reflective globe of my picture.

You may remember I had a picture of me on here in my blog's early days. It was also taken in the same area on the same day. But after some discussion with NAH concerning the potential perils of the internet, I decided to take it down. Besides, I didn't want to scare you away. However, if you look very carefully in the centre of the picture, you'll see I'm still on here, albeit as the tiniest of reflections. On the Allotments 4 All forum I've added the subtitle Get me out of here! to this picture ;)

Some time ago, Mr. McGregor's Daughter likened Bristol's 'globe' to Chicago's 'The Bean'. I wonder how many other similar structures there are scattered across the world?

For more perfect P's, do have a look at the ABC Wednesday blog. As it's Bonfire Night here in the UK today, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a few pyrotechnics on there!


  1. Thanks for the explaination. Its the perfect picture for the letter P.

  2. I always wonder about people's profile pictures and thanks for your comments...great photo...cheers.

  3. Thanks for clearing up that question. From photos, it does look like Chicago's bean, which I hope to see in person next spring for the big fling there!


  4. great post VP, really enjoyed the history in this one.


  5. I came here after midnight EST last night, but was too tired to leave a message! I enjoyed the story around your profile pic. I also waiver back and forth about revealing too much...but then, one has to reveal enough on the blogs to seem "approachable" and friendly. I have published photos of my house quite often and used to worry about it. So far, so good.


  6. I've always wondered about this photo, VP. Thanks for the explanation--perfect for P! I am always hesitant to reveal too much on the internet, too, expecially family pictures, even though everyone who visits seems so very nice.

  7. Thanks for the explanation and links to Bristol! It sounds like a great community to live near or within. How are the trendy restaurants compared to the old time pubs? There is something comforting about the old and familiar spots!

    I had thought your photo was a pixilated silver lego head!


  8. However did you think of profile picture?! Very clever :)

  9. Thirty years ago we were in Bristol and my husband was very much interested in Brunel's SS Great Britain. He took many photos of the ship. It was beautiful! We also saw the cathedral. When I was young, some 54 years ago, I worked with other students in Longwell Green, not far from Bristol.
    Good post.

  10. Oh yes now I see you.
    A very clever PROFILE PICTURE.

    Bear((( )))

  11. So you're not the Phantom Seed Sender!! Seriously though, thanks for the thought and I still think it's a cracking idea.
    F x

  12. Your profile photo is so small that I never noticed you reflected in the sphere. Thanks for the shout out. Although I must have referred to it as "The Bean," the Chicago sculputre's actual name is the "Cloud Gate." (I guess it's supposed to be shaped like a cloud.) I can't remember the name of the artist. How embarassing!

  13. Thanks for visiting, and leaving such a pleasant comment.
    I wonder why no-one else had the brains to post Profile Picture. I've always liked the look of yours but never thought to ask about it. Now I know! I love reflections, so it's good to see the larger photo and spot you in there.

  14. Hi Abcers - glad you like the photo and explanation! I'll see you over at your place :)

    Frances - you never know, I might be there too!

    Zoe - glad you liked it, even though it's a non-gardening post

    DYH & Rose - I know what you mean. Luckily most bloggers are a terrific bunch. Especially those I've been fortunate to meet this year :)

    Gail - I prefer the pubs to the trendy bars. I suspect that's because of my age though!

    Frankie - sadly I'm not. I'll see what I can do about being the Phantom seed sender from Chippenham instead ;)

    MMD - I've been meaning to mention you for ages. My only regret is it's taken me so long to get round to writing this article. The link in there tells you a lot more about Cloud Gate. It's by a British artist.

  15. I also think of Anish Kapoor's wonderful Chicago sculpture each time I see your pic!

  16. Alice - I can't wait to head on over to Chicago and see it for myself :)


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