Columnists / Emily Waddell

‘1000 reasons why I’m leaving Bristol’

By emily waddell, Tuesday Apr 11, 2017

NB The author of the article Seven reasons why I’m leaving Bristol has been referred to as Jeff Tippets as I couldn’t remember his name.

Okay, I’m obviously not going to list 1000 reasons why I’m leaving Bristol. That would be insane. I’m of course harking back to an article that was written by Jeff Tippets this week that caused a decent amount of controversy.

Hippies and weirdoes

Jeff’s article referenced ‘hippies’ and ‘weirdos’ as some of the reasons he was leaving Bristol. Classic Jeff: that guy really knows how to really piss off Bristol’s keyboard warriors – you know, the people who post ‘bring back hanging’ when Avon & Somerset Police post on their Facebook page that someone has nicked some bread to feed their starving family.

I jest, of course. No one who lives in Bristol would ever do anything wrong. Like Jeff mentioned, we’ve been cause of celebration by a number of reputable polls. Such as:

i.     Most circle-jerky food bloggers

ii.     Worst toilet locks in all of the UK

iii.     Top 10 most cobble stone streets to break your ankle on

iv.     Most arguments about how great Bristol is from people without Bristolian accents

Jeff said stupid things, I grant you. And judging by his picture, he wasn’t an oil baron in the 1930s and, as we all know, they are the only people who are allowed to get away with referring to non-specific people as ‘weirdoes’ without heavy layers of irony. Whilst saying that, I do admit that I have little patience for Bristol’s odd habit of clinging to spiritual and homeopathic nonsense.

However, hippies in Bristol are usually going out of their way not to be offensive or damaging to others. Unless they are white and wearing dreads. Then they really need to re-access their choices. But apart from that, who else is going to run our food co-ops and fix our bikes?

Giant luxury butthole

Unless The General’s neon sign ‘Chic City Living’ is actually an art installation poking fun at the post structuralism concept of building and selling £400,000 flats in the middle of a housing crisis, I have to agree with Jeff on this one. It wouldn’t be surprising if The General were just modern art, given that in a year’s time, all the flats above it will be sparsely lit, whilst there are still people living in tents by the side of the river.

Bristol has to take a long, hard look at itself when it proudly proclaims it’s great in every conceivable way. It’s not. Buying a house in Bristol will be a concept soon, like buying a house in London: not something you or anybody you know could actually do. So maybe let’s get the hippies and weirdos out to protest against Marvin Rees so we can get some affordable housing?

Random other points?

I identify with Jeff. He clearly wrote this article on the back of a napkin, as the things he got annoyed about seemed so random. I bet afterwards he was like, ‘Oh, tits, I forgot to mention those Gromit statues, they make me physically sick, and I’m going to burn an effigy of one’.

Most of my articles are written on a train and are also poorly researched, but luckily all my articles have been met with wild aplomb and I was recently awarded a Pulitzer for my hard-hitting investigative piece about why craft beer pubs are shit. But I digress. When I’m shitting on Bristol, it comes from a place of love.


Jeff seemed to have randomly picked festivals as one of his pet peeves. I’m not sure how many festivals there are in Bristol to be quite honest, and, like most people, you could ask me why I was at a festival in Bristol and I’d say: “This is an excuse to drink during the day and feel the warmth of a crowd around me, for I am so desperately lonely.”

Secret places

There are whole swathes of Bristol I have never been to and I’ve lived here since I was 10, so I’m amazed that Jeff has mapped every corner of Bristol and deduced that all its secrets have been discovered. But to be honest, I don’t have to go to, like, I dunno, Long Ashton, to discover that there’s probably a pub and some houses.

Perhaps he’s a fan of Will Self’s pyscho-geography and decided to walk the city extensively to understand it at a topographical level? What I expect Jeff means is that when he reads about a secret cocktail bar online, he’s furious to find he doesn’t have to smash a window to get in, and even then it would be full of middle-class people, and perhaps even some weirdos and/or hippies.


Roads, Jeff? Really? At the end of his long read, Jeff frantically looked around for anything to have a sideways view at to piss off proud Bristolians. Seeing a tut emit from a nearby man as he waited for his bus, it struck him like a bolt of lightening: ‘AHA, THE BUSES ARE CRAP!’ he screamed aloud as he finished his article with a flourish.

Bristol transport is demonstrably bad, but you know what lads? Bristol is also not that big, and if you live within an hour’s walking distance of where you work, I would say you live pretty centrally.

If you are waiting for a bus and complaining about how late it is and how expensive if, and you live literally 30 minutes’ walk away from where you’re getting off, then you need to stop complaining. Hey, I do it too! The difference is, I used to live in London so I thank God every single day that I’m not stuck on a packed, sweaty, polluted tube miles underground. COUNT YOUR LUCKY STARS, LADS.

I am actually leaving Bristol though

I’m swapping B-town for another B-town. I’m moving to Berlin at the end of this month. After living in Bristol for a long time. I’m swapping pretentious expensive beer for cheap beer. I don’t drink beer. I don’t expect it to be forever and I hope I can come back to Bristol and find it full of hippies, weirdos and new-but-equally-as-shit craft beer pubs where I’ll ask for a cider and they’ll go ‘no’.


Emily Waddell works in marketing and lives in Bedminster. Read more of her writing at


Read more: ‘Seven reasons why I’m leaving Bristol’

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