Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The scale that you are dealing with baffles me. My small island stretches its arms and legs across the world yet the vast landscape of continents like Australia and even Europe befuddle my senses. I am not used to being able to keep going for 17 hours and not hitting water, in fact I imagine you can go for longer than that and not hit civilisation in WA. The towns and cities of Yorkshire are strung out like pearls along the main motor and water ways. These are places that were built out of industry and tenacity but its a very different tenacity to the one shown by the residents of Kelleberin.

Thinking about Gait. I walk differently according to the place I am in. I can remember getting lost in Glasgow once. I had ventured well beyond my sphere of reference in the city centre and west end. I was looking for a wholesalers to buy some teddy bears for a piece of art work. I got so lost, I was walking through council estates that led out in to the wild edges. Barren lands that are not quite rural and not quite urban, instead they feature warehouses and go-karting tracks. Across to my left every other house was boarded up, nudging its neigbour's net curtains for space. Despite the vast areas of nothing here, the houses still sit on top of each other in the same formation and design as in the inner city. My walk was jarred, at times uncertain, at others falsely confident. Look like you don't belong and it is even worse.

In Leeds it is the same. Things throw me out of kinter and others make me absurdly confident. It brings me back to the idea of context. That even something as machinistic as walking can be intimately altered by your surroundings. Yet abstracting it across thousands of miles could bring it back to the simple action.


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