Fa – the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian

New Activity started Today


I have been going to the Thompson Park Activity Center (it’s in West St. Paul, Minnesota) for a few months. Admittedly it has only been on one Wednesday in the month, but all the same, I am out and about. That’s a good thing. The alternative is to sit at home and vegetate.

Today I attended my first lesson in Watercolor painting for beginners. How about that?

To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous. All for naught as it turned out. The class was attended by about 5 other people; all women as old as or older than me. The class facilitator, Linda S.,was very patient and demonstrated a technique and then asked me to complete a page of the same while she busied herself with the others. The others by the way had been there before, not beginners like me. They chatted easily among themselves as they painted, talking about the nice weather, their gardens, free pie at Baker’s Square on Wednesdays and all the while jazz was playing on a boom box.

The facilitator asked me if the music bothered me and she was somewhat taken aback when I told her that I was from a somewhat famous jazz-city in England. She had heard of Bristol but of course never been there. She had never heard of the Avon Cities jazz club which was located for a short time inside the old Corn Exchange building in Corn Street. She was impressed to learn the such jazz greats as Dave Brubeck and Acker Bilk were regular players there in the 50’s and early 60’s.  B.S. “Acker” Bilk was from  Pensford in Somerset, a small community just outside Bristol.He played in Bristol often  with his band – The Paramount Jazz Band.

At the end of our session, each of us was invited to display our “masterpieces”. A short and friendly critique was made along with advice on how to improve in the future and that was that. I don’t see myself joining a community of starving artists any time soon, but I certainly enjoyed my time and I think I learned more in an hour than I learned in I don’t know how many years at school as a youth.

Author: Cethru Cellophane

I have reached the regrettable realization that I may have squandered my life. I did a quick count recently and figured that I have visited about 66 countries, and lived for more than 3 years in 3 of them. During this time I completed 14 corporate moves (relocations) and have changed my address more than 23 times. I should have settled on a profession that would have kept me in one place with no packing and unpacking. When I think of the time I have spent bundling my life into and out of boxes. Ah well, it's all water under the bridge. But I am grateful for the experience. At the end of the day I will be able to say with a certain authority, "been there, done that". A note about this site’s Header Image The Header image for this site is of the Smith Avenue High Bridge. The bridge was built in 1889 and carries Minnesota State Highway 149 across its span of 2770 feet, 160 feet above the mighty Mississippi River. The picture was taken from the river looking to the north-east and downtown Saint Paul. The bridge is about 1040 miles from New Orleans. One of the reasons I like this view is that I come from a city which has a spectacular bridge. It’s the Clifton Suspension Bridge http://www.ikbrunel.org.uk/clifton-suspension-bridge which spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon in Bristol, U.K. It’s about 1350 feet long and stands 245 feet above the river below. Sadly it has claimed the lives of more than 400 people who have committed suicide by jumping from the bridge. As a side note, not all attempts were successful. two small girls thrown off the bridge by their deranged father survived the fall when they were fished from the river by the crew of a passing pilot boat. The bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by the 24 year old architect, Isambard Kingdom brunel. It took 35 years to complete.

2 thoughts on “New Activity started Today

  1. Do you still paint?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry I missed this comment. But yes. I’m not very good. Maybe I should post something so that everyone can enjoy a good laugh.


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