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.
Showing posts with label Beirut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beirut. Show all posts

Thursday, October 11, 2012


This may surprise you.  It certainly surprised me.  Last night I dreamt that I was walking in a strange city with Mitt Romney.  He was on some kind of political walkabout, meet and greet, but it was just me and him.  We walked together down a long narrow alley, and at the end it opened into a vast cube-shaped courtyard, with four high, windowless walls and one of them had a sign for a “Chapel of Rest.”  There was one old woman sitting on the ground with her back to us.  The walls were made of some kind of curious brickwork, very thin brittle, bricks, in many different shades of red and brown, and Romney talked about this, showing himself to be very knowledgeable about the history of bricks.  And in the dream I thought to myself well you know, a man who explores a strange city like this and knows about the history of bricks can’t be all bad.

In some oblique way I think this was related to the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker (above), in Essex, which I visited when I was England last month.  The whole place is a temple of cold war gloom and obsolete office equipment, and it has a long narrow entrance corridor, which could well have been a precursor of the long narrow alley I walked down in the dream with Mitt.

The late Christopher Hitchens was somewhere in the dream too.  He was alive, but already terminally ill, and I argued with some heckler on Hitchens’ behalf: a thing he would surely never have required in life.  I think he was there in the dream because of the time he was walking down a street in Beirut, strolling “in company … on a sunny Valentine's Day  … in search of a trinket for the beloved and perhaps some stout shoes for myself” and defaced a poster from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party because it bore what he described as a "spinning swastika," and was duly beaten by SSNP heavies.  A bit of political graffiti that actually meant something.