Network members and friends, including Elspeth Penfold and her dog Bertie, Barbara Chamberlin and Lorraine Richardson shared their snapshot synchronised walks around the country via Twitter. You can view their tweets and images from the walk @womenwhowalknet. Tamsin Grainger walked in Edinburgh: see her blog post on the sync walk, with some gorgeous photos, here https://walkingwithoutadonkey.com/2020/01/14/a-synchronised-edinburgh-walk/
Others offered longer reflections on their walks. Here are some synchronised snapshots from the day. NB: our next synchronised walk is for Terminalia on 23rd February 2020. Do join in!
Jan Sellers, East London
My walking was fairly brief, very urban, very local. It was a chilly, slightly misty morning. My mind was full of reflections on what it means to be a pedestrian and a walker, on roads in this “mini – Holland” neighbourhood, retrospectively designed to be cyclist friendly. What if small electric scooters and similar devices could be ridden on all roads that have 20 mile an hour speed limits? And on all bike lanes? Could we save this country a fortune in hospital treatment, by retrospectively shaping roads as well as pavements to be particularly pedestrian friendly?
On either side of me, local history was reflected in the details of building design and signage. An old vicarage that is now a Registry Office; a local blue plaque celebrating a cabinet frame maker from the 1901 census; shifting shapes on windows, doors, columns, porches, rooflines, roof and window ornamentation. History hidden in plain sight.
Later on in the day, towards dusk, I walked back home by the same route. This photo shows a window display of the hand tools used by a local carpenters firm, Fullers, over the decades: a local business founded over a century ago and still very much active today. I walked in the footsteps of local craftsmen and craftswomen, past and present, in this changing neighbourhood.
Carmel Ennis, Dublin
The wood is warm, wet, brown and welcoming. To get there I slip over the canal.
Through St Bernard’s Park, up by Alice’s Monkey Puzzle Tree, while wondering how many of her plants have survived with the new owners. Across to Blackhorse Avenue where someone recently rammed a passing walking woman into the boot of his car but her legs were too long and he didn’t succeed and I think how she could have become one more of the Disappeared . Up by the Barracks and slipping into the park through one of its small openings in the wall. Stopping for a pee at a large Beech at the perimeter of the Aras, where the President lives. And then over past some antlered deer posing for the woman and the child’s photographs before slipping down the steps on the other side crossing the Liffey and ascending to Kilmainham and the museum of modern art and stuffing myself with with some moments of the Derek Jarman retrospective before being evicted at closing time then a quick stop at the supermarket and a small bottle of milk kefir to swig slowly as I go through Heuston station and out onto tram lines to wind home again.
Ursula Troche, Maryport
Walking in sync on 11.1. 2020 was a great decade opener – 0,1,2! – though the weather drizzled, so I didn’t go far. My default destination is my local former-shipyard-beach, in this post-industrial seaside town by the Irish Sea, where the Scottish mountains grace the horizon. The shipyardness of the beach means it is small for a beach, framed by two ‘walls’. The first time I measured the length from wall to wall, I walked 100 steps, so that made it my ‘beach100’. The space is small enough to look at change on a regular basis: what gets washed up, the arrangement of seaweed, stones and shells. And what gets left there, i.e. tree trunks, fishing rope. What’s both washed up and gets left there is plastic, rubbish! This is a key area where plastic gets into our eco-system, so I always take of it away – of the many plastic bottles I find I take them, wash them, and make pieces of art from them. On this waking-in-sync day I found a tree and a tyre. And picked up four bottles afterwards: two to throw in the bin, two to keep for art work.