Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Friday, June 24, 2016


I can’t say I’ve ever felt massively “European,” but that’s a very long way from feeling like a little Englander, and the news that Britain will (by some as yet unimagined process) be leaving the European Union feels like a devastatingly bad and stupid decision.  Democracy – it’s a bitch.

So I thought I might turn to a European, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, you know, the solitary walker - for a bit of reassurance.  This is the man who said,  Never did I think so much, exist so much, be myself so much as in the journeys I have made alone and on foot. Walking has something about it which animates and enlivens my ideas. I can hardly think while I am still; my body must be in motion to move my mind."

All of which sounds right on the money.  But reassurance is not to be found.  Look at what Rousseau said in The Social Contract, “The people of England regards itself as free; but it is grossly mistaken; it is free only during the election of members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and it is nothing.”

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