AD10: When Is a Walk Not a Walk?

Posted by on Mar 30, 2013 in Artist Date, Project 52 | No Comments

When it’s an artist date, of course.

I’m ill. I’m also behind on my artist dates. And it’s only March. 

Today I struggled out of my sickbed to go to the Post Office, as I had to send off a couple of eBay parcels — I’m selling off some of my old camera gear, as there were a few things just lying around gathering dust since I upgraded to the 60D. Since it was a nice day, I decided to turn my trip into a longer walk, and I figured I’d call it an artist date, too.


I walk a lot — since I started working from home, I’ve tried to get out of the house for at least an hour’s walking every day. (Having a fitbit is a nice way of keeping me honest on that score, by the way. If you’re also a fitbit user, feel free to pop me on the old friends list.) So what’s the difference between a normal walk and an artist date walk?

Well, I often listen to podcasts while I walk. I subscribe to a fair few tech/developer podcasts, keeping up to date with the latest in trends and geek gossip. Since I went freelance I’ve also started listening to the occasional business podcast, too. But that’s not very artist datey. So no headphones today.

The other main difference was the lack of a destination. Rather than heading for lunch, or going shopping, today, once I’d finished in the Post Office, I just walked. If a little side-road looked interesting, I took it, and had a poke about in some of the Clifton back ways I rarely see. This is how I found what looked like some kind of iron-age hill fort, but turned out to be a grass-covered reservoir. It’s only a little way off the beaten track — around the back of St. Paul’s Road, running just behind the Territorial Army HQ on Whiteladies Road — but I’ve never noticed it before.

Having done some post-walk research, I remember having passed the Bristol Water buildings on Oakfield Road that I suppose must be the main entrance the reservoir. It’s certainly been there a while; one place it turns up is a list of known Luftwaffe targets in Bristol! It’s called Victoria Reservoir, apparently, which I’m guessing is also a clue to its vintage.


Returning to the beaten track I also spotted yet another awesome Bristol door, this time the side-entrance to St Paul’s Church. This another door I may have to revisit armed with the big camera.

Those were the particular things I remember. There was also a lot of generally agreeable Clifton walking — birdsong, leafy avenues, big houses. I particularly like the rather organically-grown houses, with odd little extensions and glass conservatories bolted on with varying regard for the existing architecture.

And that will have to do for my artist date this week. Back to the sofa, the Lemsip, and Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series…

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