Here's another selection of walking-related media to help you through this time of going nowhere.
Eve Phillips and Roxie Collins are co-hosts of Corporeal, a themed music show on Brum Radio. In a different lifetime Eve came on our Full Moon Walk and she told us about the show and in particular an episode they had done on the theme of… yes, walking. Join Eve, Roxie and special guest Ben Waddington of Still Walking Festival for two hours of songs and conversation about walking.
Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid graves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia, and eventually England and Wales.
Long ago Pete lent me his copy of Watling Street by John Higgs. The book charts Higgs's journey along this ancient route (now variously known as the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll) in search of "the hidden history that makes us who we are today". I never got round to reading it but luckily they made a podcast. In episode one Higgs and author David Bramwell travel to Kent to explore the themes of pilgrimage and the conflict between spiritual and political powers.
In response to the pandemic our friends at Video Strolls have compiled a COVID playlist on YouTube. "Being in lockdown affects everything, but artists and film makers are still making journeys of one sort or another." Join a voyage around a bedroom, become a back garden archaeologist and witness a herd of goats reclaiming a Welsh town. I found it particularly poignant joining John Rogers on his last walk before lockdown.
In a similar vein kottke.org has shared a selection of videos from all over the world of people simply going for a walk around their city (pre-lockdown). The videos are mostly unedited and without music or narration, just ambient city sounds. Very therapeutic.
I'm going to take this opportunity for a bit of shameless self-promotion and direct you to the latest video I've uploaded to my YouTube channel Footnotes. I've been re-uploading my old stuff until I have something new to share and this one is a tour of some of Digbeth's ghost signs and typographical curiosities with Ben Waddington (yes, him again) from 2014.
The Liminal Residency is "an alternative writers' retreat which takes place in a range of neglected and unusual spaces, from service stations to theme parks to the terminals of international airports." Their latest blog post is an evocative write-up of a walk around Leith on lockdown.
A suitcase lies open in a door, bedding and plastic cups and clothing scattered in a pall around it. In another doorway a meal kit delivery has been plundered, ripped open, the contents disgorged. Signs are everywhere. They adorn shutters, are taped to boards. In one case a notice of closure is scrawled in pen directly onto a wall.
Read the full piece here and check out some of their other posts which include a tour of Alton Towers' hidden relics and an ode to New Street Signal Box.
Stay safe and if you have any recommendations of your own get in touch!