28 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking West, Again

It’s a breezy, cool, sunny day and I’m walking towards 13th Avenue. i notice a miniature Adirondack chair at the foot of an elm tree next to the sidewalk, and I’m reminded of the tiny chairs at the beginning of The Friendly Giant. Down the street, a lawn is entirely occupied by large rhubarb plants; […]

26 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking to the Western Edge of the City and Back

It’s a cool Sunday afternoon. I smell woodsmoke as I begin my walk. A family riding their bicycles on the sidewalk forces me into the street. I stop to admire tulips in bloom beside a mailbox. The same gardener has placed red flowers in an old, broken wheelbarrow. I wonder if they are impatiens—Christine has […]

15 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking to the Global Transportation Hub

I’ve spent a couple of days researching and writing about the Regina Bypass. From the outset, the purpose of this road, it seems, was to get truck traffic to the Global Transportation Hub. That’s it. Construction on the Bypass started in the west, in stages, before the government decided to build the southern portion and […]

13 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking from León to Somewhere West of Astorga

The virtual walk through Spain continues. The sky looks like it might clear this morning, and if the rain stops, I’ll try to walk a few kilometres west to León. Here are a few photographs I took on the actual journey several years ago. We met on Zoom Monday night—Tuesday at noon for Neil, who […]

12 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking North to Condie

This morning I waited to set off until the temperature was well above zero. I was feeling rather anxious about this walk, because I knew I would be walking alongside Highway 11, and busy highways are dangerous for pedestrians. I’ve walked that way before; several years back, I walked 35 kilometres to Lumsden on Highway […]

10 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Another Walk to the Eastern Edge of the City

I leave the house and walk north, towards Victoria Avenue. House sparrows are chirping in the cold air. At Victoria, I turn east. I’m going to walk in that direction, more or less in a straight line, for the next three hours. At the corner of Victoria Avenue and Albert Street, I pause in front of […]

07 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking East to the Bypass

It was a warm spring day. The sun was bright and the sky was filled with cumulus clouds. I headed east. The city wasn’t revealing itself to me today. It seemed to be hiding. Perhaps some walks are that way. I passed three boarded-up houses, much the same as ours, Craftsman bungalows waiting to be demolished […]

05 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

George Macaulay Trevelyan, “Walking”

(George Macaulay Trevelyan as photographed by George Charles Beresford in 1926) British historian George Macaulay Trevelyan’s long essay “Walking” was published in the collection Clio, A Muse and Other Essays Literary and Pedestrian in 1913. Clio, A Muse must have been a popular book; it was in its third impression within the year. I’ve heard […]

05 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking South to the Bypass

I got off to a late start this morning. I left the house and headed south. The sun was shining brightly. It rained last night. The lawns have turned green and the elm trees are becoming thinly green. I walked past a crew of city workers standing around an open manhole. Crossing the creek, I […]

03 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Leslie Stephen, “In Praise of Walking”

—Portrait of Sir Leslie Stephen by George Frederic Watts, 1878 Sir Leslie Stephen’s essay “In Praise of Walking” was published in his four-volume collection of essays, Studies of a Biographer, which first appeared between 1898 and 1902. I found it on the Internet; I would rather have read a print edition, but the university library […]

03 May 2020 | Reading and Walking

Walking Past the Bypass

It was a beautiful morning—perfect weather for walking—but it took me a while to get out of the house. I had some work to do, and then I spent some time trying to figure out what’s wrong with my camera: every third or fourth time I turn it on (I don’t keep it on all […]

29 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

A Cloudy and Sunny Walk to Grand Coulee

Thoreau, or so he says, walked 10 or 12 miles every afternoon. Perhaps I could do the same. But where to go? Thoreau walked in the woods, avoiding roads as much as possible, but that’s not possible here, given the province’s trespassing laws and farming practices; few fields have spaces around the edges for passing […]

26 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

A Walk to the Refinery and Back

My intention this morning was to walk out into the country, but the strong winds, which were gusting up to 80 kilometres per hour, put an end to that idea. At least in the city there are trees and buildings that act as windbreaks; out in the country the wind hits you with all of […]

26 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

RIIS Burial Ground Walk

Today’s walk had a purpose and a destination: the burial ground at the former Regina Indian Industrial School. Some 40 children are buried there. Their graves are unmarked—the markers burned during a grass fire back in the 1940s—but the ground is uneven where the graves have sunk. The school operated for 20 years, and from […]

24 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

A Neighbourhood Stroll

Not every walk has to be epic or dramatic. This afternoon, between Zoom meetings, we went for a short turn around our neighbourhood. Our route took in alleys we had never walked through before. There were strange patterns in the refuse that has collected over the winter, gnomic messages, angry demands (an exclamation mark cancels […]

23 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

Thinking About Walking, Space, and Language

Last night I was thinking about the next step in my walking research, which I’ve had to put on hold because of the pandemic. Instead of long walks in the country, I’ve been making shorter walks in the city. I found myself wondering about the city as a language, and more generally, about the implications […]

21 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

Sidewalk Hieroglyphics

Today’s walk wasn’t very long. Nor was it purposeless. Its goal was the tailor shop from which I had ordered cloth masks to wear during the pandemic. I don’t enjoy them—they are hot and they make my beard itch and my glasses foggy—but if they help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, those are […]

19 Apr 2020 | Reading and Walking

To the Edge of the City

It was a sunny spring morning when I left the house. I chatted with a curious rabbit and saw a paddling of ducks—mostly males, for some reason—milling about on the creek. I walked along the creek to a group of willows where once I saw a huge hawk sitting on a horizontal branch. We looked […]