As part of a goal for self change for 2021 to encourage me to write more frequently, I’ve created a writing challenge which is as follows –
Step 1: Fill a hat / notepad with random words of adjectives, things or places.
Step 2: Take regular, scheduled time out of my week to write about a randomly picked on of these subjects.
This is my first attempt, no edits, just inner monologue nonsense.
SIMPLE. Really the art of standing & moving using our legs. Human powered travel is sometimes more empowering than its practicality suggests. But why do I love it so?
I try and reach back to my earliest discernible memory of walks in my adult life and mainly remember my first London commute. Train to Charing Cross. Walking along The Strand. Cut through Covent Garden, and onwards to Holborn’s Red Lion Square.
While the walk itself was a great escape from a crowed bus, it had other benefits.
I’d realised, slowly, my walk was elevating my view of London, it’s side streets, and the awe it’s buildings and architecture give visitors new and old.
I read once that changing perspective by simply looking upwards, while increasing likelihood of a rickshaw related fatality, can give you a view of a city’s special buildings, and haphazard street layouts that are oftenmissed.
Darting across a busy side street, taking a cut through to discover an unknown pub or restaurant can be the highlight of your stroll.
But I guess, what changes in atmosphere a lockdown brings, from busy London streets to desolate pigeons playgrounds, while it extends the life of cobbled streets (or tarmac), has changed the dynamic of what makes midday meanders what they were.
I don’t recall the music I was playing, or podcast being streamed. But the annoyance of crowds of tourists being ‘in my way’, only for it to be alleviated by their smiles of joy.
They were seeing what I was privileged to walk past as a daily commute. A simple walk to and from work.
While I no longer take that route I try and keep the memory of the feelings that walking left with me.
And above all, whether travelling abroad, or taking a local wander near my bubble, I mutter to myself, ‘Look up’.