Bristol is rubbish when there aren’t any students here
While you were ‘finding yourself’ abroad this summer, I was stuck in a half-empty city with nothing to do
For reasons I still can’t explain to myself, I decided to spend most of my summer holiday in Bristol.
As a result, while you were getting shitfaced at whatever festival/south-east Asian country you deemed most fashionable this summer, I was sober and stranded in a desolate city filled with nobody, attempting to make a dent in my creeping student debt.
I never thought I’d miss the dirty-haired hipsters that form the core of the Bristol student body, but without them the whole city transforms into a run-down mess of empty halls and quiet campus buildings.
Nowhere is this more obvious than Woodland Road. For the first time since I came to university, the bustling pseudo-catwalk is deserted, save for a few lecturers who’ve been at the university so long that they’re terrified by the concept of life beyond the walls of their office.
You might think an ideal way to break the tedium would be to visit the Sport Centre and Gym. You’d be wrong.
With all the students gone, it now seems to be populated by builders who drink tea and smoke Benson and Hedges cigarettes.
I’ve never entered these hallowed walls before, but I understand this marks a change from its usual clientele of strong-muscled, weak-willed men who enjoy admiring themselves in the mirror and comparing protein shakes with their mates.
Onto the library. With nobody else here it seems to be solely occupied now by PhD students and internationals. The fact the latter group would rather be here than visiting home over the summer tells you everything about how rubbish their homes must be.
The librarians remain as militant as ever and wouldn’t let me into take photos, but I did notice new chairs. Consider this a Tab exclusive: NEW CHAIRS!
Something else you might not know: the Wills Memorial building is converted to a Catholic church over the summer holidays.
As much as we’d like to find controversy in this, it actually makes the place less irritating than when it’s full of aggravating law students swarming about like beer flies. It might be worth asking the Catholics if they want to hang around all year.
Having failed to find anyone to talk to/pay to be my friend, I decided to venture further afield to my old stomping ground of Stoke Bishop. This is what’s left of the place after they came and took the children away.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s literally no one here. It’s as if every hall turned itself into Durdham.
Thankfully, the rain hid my tears.
Back in town, at least I can always talk to Big Issue Jeff. The one true constant of Bristol, and the only friendly face I’ve seen all summer, Jeff’s sales patter doesn’t change one bit over the summer. Unfortunately he’s not looking for an assistant.
As if a whole summer in this desperate city wasn’t bad enough, Lounge is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m not sure how I’ve survived the last few months without Teenage Dirtbag, toffee vodka shots, and aggressive large men pushing me round a crowded Lounge dancefloor.
The one time I did stop by and find Lounge open, the whole place was empty except for John Lounge who was sat at the back in a makeshift reading area perusing selections from his vast leather bound library.
It’s enough to make a man go mad.
So, if it isn’t clear, thank you all so, so much for finally coming back to join me. Bristol’s just not the same without you.