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Exiled on an island

23 Jun, 2024

I have been reading On this Holy Island - A Modern Pilgrimage Across Britain by award-winning travel writer Oliver Smith, who will be our guest on 16 July at our next Walking Writers' Salon. I find it rather strange to be reading about Britain, when I have been staying in a verdant flower garden on the sub-tropical island of Madeira. It is not the first time, I have muddled myself, as only back in April while in Lisbon, I was reading The Lost Paths - A History of How we Walk from Here to There by Jack Cornish - another thoroughly British book about the history of England's rights of way. Luckily, Oliver, who has travelled the world writing articles for major newspapers and outdoor journals, has reassured me that reading a book about our homeland when abroad, is actually rather reassuring and we can imagine ourselves in exile.....

Pilgrimage is becoming particularly secular these days, and Oliver writes about a pilgrimage to a remote Scottish pub - interestingly enough, mentioned by Alex Roddie an earlier Walking Writer guest - as well as to a football stadium, very timely as half of Europe appear to be in pubs watching football.

Oliver's book has made me think hard about how different authors approach writing about similar subjects, not least how we walkers, perceive the landscapes through which we walk. He clambers along part of the Ridgeway, across the Wiltshire Downs, for which Gail Simmons wrote about too, and he follows in the footsteps of Chaucer and visits Walsingham in Norfolk, that were both paths and destinations for Sonia Overall. So I think it is about time, we seek out writers writing about places other than the British Isles, and this is where you come in. We now have a facility on the walk · listen · create website by which you can suggest a book - it is one of many new features* that my colleague Babak has created, prompted by our involvement in the part EU-funded Walking Arts and Local Communities (WALC) project, of which we play a key part, providing the online archive and submission ecosystem.

One of our partners, Clara Gari from Nau Côclea in Catalonia is hosting the next WALC cafe, on Monday 1 July - not our usual cafe day, nor at our usual time, and it is a precursor for the  Walking Art and Relational Geographies Conference that Clara has skilfully put together. All this means that some of the audience will be in the same room as the the cafe guests, Igor Binsbergen and Laroche aka Luce Choules, and should you not be able to join us in person, you will nevertheless be able to join us online.

As many of you will know I am a big fan of radio (and dare I mention podcasting), and just this morning I Iistened to World Heavyweight Boxing champion Anthony Joshua as he was castaway on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. He mentioned the importance of keeping your family close and making time to catch up, on a walk.

*another feature, is our video archive, from where you can find recordings of each of the Walking Writers' Salons mentioned in this newsletter

Co-founder of walk · listen · create

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New walking pieces

A soundwalk exploring the physical and social isolation prevalent in a University, manifested in its sprawling structures and brutalist architecture. Keep reading
Ici et Là | Here and Now is an immersive audio installation that is experienced with the ECHOES sound mapping device for smartphone. Keep reading

Upcoming events

2024-06-28 13:00 · National Trust - Dover's Hill - Car Park, Weston Subedge, Chipping Campden GL55 6UW, UK
Starting on top of Dover’s Hill we’ll walk and draw our way into the landscape. This walk.draw is led by artist and tutor, Ruth Broadbent. Keep reading
2024-06-29 09:00 · Online
Join urban sociologists Dr Emma Jackson and Dr Louise Rondel to celebrate the launch of the Place-making and the Rivers of Lewisham podcasts and project report, hos... Keep reading

From our network

Day 359 - Movement and 1.3 km drawing.Perambulate and 1.1 km drawing. Keep reading
I’m working on some new compositions in a body of work I’ve titled, Rewilding. I’ve posted a selection of the pieces on a new gallery page. Check it out and share ... Keep reading
Day 358 - Circular and 3.3 km drawing. Keep reading
Day 357 - Constitutional and 2.7 km drawing. Keep reading
Je propose de faire entendre l’environnement, les écosystèmes, d’écouter et mieux comprendre par l’oreille, nos milieux de vie, leurs beautés, leurs fragilités, res... Keep reading
Chaque jour un banc différentAdossé à une grande berneDans un jardin d’eau, ou zen, ou boiséDans un lieu très passager, pour échanger des bonjours, voire discuter u... Keep reading
Day 356 - Searching and 2.4 km drawing. Rebound and 2.3 km drawing. Keep reading

Stuff we found

Source: A river runs through it: Walking the length of Brisbane’s most important natural asset – InQueensland Keep reading
What is the value of listening to someone else’s soundwalk? It’s a reasonable question. Hildegard Westerkamp defined soundwalking as a practice of listening to one’... Keep reading
Fort Wayne City officials and the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission dedicated the Downtown Public Art Trail SoundWalk Tuesday, highlighting local artists. Source: Of... Keep reading

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attentive walking

A method of walking and attending to experienced environment that is free, open and ‘without agenda’. Not to be confused with the idleness of flanerie or the intentions of attitudinal walking.

Added by Sonia Overall

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