You are my adopted home. I’ve lived here for a whopping ten years now, after moving from the south coast for university back in September 2004. I remember the outfit I wore the first time I met my new flatmates in halls (denim culottes and a grey Gap vest top with a horizontal rainbow print) and the outfit I wore when I met the future love of my life (a black t-shirt and ripped jeans – standard uniform at the music venue we worked behind the bar in).
I remember being pushed out of my comfort zone in my second year of university, living in house of ten, with six of the other occupants being fashion students, all encouraging me to try new styles. Spending a little bit of student loan in Motel and BS8 on Park Street at the start of each term was mandatory, and I stepped foot in Primark for the first time.
Fast forward to graduation when I picked a 100% Primark outfit to wear to my graduation because student loans were a distant memory. I’d had my fringe cut in a few months previously (best. decision. EVER) and walked away with a first class degree and my first proper job.
Various style dalliances followed, with notable mentions going to wide, waist-chinching belts, the Lily Allen-inspired strapless girly dresses with trainers look, and, of course, lots of charity shop and vintage fair finds.
Not long afterwards, I took up running and began to see your hills and harbour in yet another light, dressed in black running tights and colourful vests for 10k races and even a couple of half marathons.
On a Friday afternoon in early September 2009 I wore a black strapless dress from H&M which would unwittingly become the dress I would be proposed to in, in carefully planned scenario next to the Welshback. I wore black to our engagement party at a long deceased venue on Gloucester Road where the cocktails were served in teapots.
Our engagement shoot took place on Brandon Hill and around the Harbourside, and I picked a floral dress from New Look and my Macys leather jacket for the occasion. Eighteen months later we said ‘I do’ on the outskirts of Bristol, and the dress of choice was perfect in every way.
Over the last three and a half years I’ve explored nearly every part of you, from Clifton Village and Cotham, to Stokes Croft, Southville and even Brislington. There have been the day trips to Bath, the Sunday afternoon bike rides and countless outfit shoots on the Downs, St Nicks Market and my current stomping ground, Montpelier.
But Bristol, while I’ve had a blast, it’s time to close this chapter and start writing a new one in a new city. Somewhere far away but with all the makings of a very exciting adventure.
Don’t think of this as ‘goodbye’, just ‘see you again soon’.