Semi-random London walkingPosted: April 24, 2011
London in 2011 is an enormous ant-world flowing with never ending streams of all kinds of human. I want to go to every bit of it and mill around with every one of them but there probably isn’t enough time.
1. I choose a train station which is well out from the centre of the city (usually beyond the Circular but inside the 25).
2. I go early and want a hot day if possible (even though I hide in shade the rest of the time, during a Random-explore I want to walk in heat for hours).
3. I take sandwiches for later but get breakfast near the chosen station which is when I start thinking about where I might go today (using my early 90s hardback A-Z).
4. Start. It is exciting beyond reason. This is something to do with knowing you have no reason to go anywhere but you are going anyway. I do have vague targets and also I always want to join places together for my London memory. Unusually for me, I move quite fast at first, then I slow down soon.
5. In a general way I am heading back to the centre of London but I don’t always go in that direction at first. I zig-zag using dog-in-a-zoo techniques.
6. I don’t really want to record the details of the walks with descriptions and all that. They are unforgettable somehow in my visual memory. The places stay for years. I can see that you want to make your own routes.
7. I also really see PEOPLE when I do this and can see their faces for days later.
8. As I go I can feel places which I have been to previously. I mean that I know they are just over there in a certain direction and I am always right. I am a pigeon/man.
9. I want to see the rich parts and the ugly parts and the sensible parts and the beautiful parts and the futuristic parts and the neglected parts. I feel fine in them all.
10. I even stop hating cars on these walks. More and more I start to realise that London is massive beyond comprehension. Millions of streets and trees and roads and people.
11. This is an activity which gives back far more than you could expect anyone to believe. It is like emptying out your whole insides on the pavements of London. Ha ha ha haa ha.
12. London is my brain. Ho ho ho ho ho ho.
Places I joined together on 23 April 2011:
Finchley Central station, Mill Hill viaduct, Hendon golf course, the Great North Way footbridge, Golders Green, Hampstead Garden Suburb, The Bishop’s Avenue, Hampstead Lane, Highgate High Street, Hornsey Lane viaduct, Holloway Road, Highbury & Islington station.
SO: IF YOU WANT TO FEEL GREAT, WALK RANDOMLY IN A MASSIVE CITY.
ALSO: There is no also.
ALSO: Very good, although disorganised writing method.