I’m on a roll! I’m even losing some of the extra ‘rolls of ‘insulation’ I’ve been carrying around my middle. I’m walking the streets, the byways and (occasionally) the highways, in my effort to colour pink some more of those six pages of the Sydney Street Directory that I have photocopied on my wall.
Last night, I walked with a friend up and down some pesky little curvy, dog-legged, inconveniently interconnected streets down in the bottom left-hand corner of my map. They were the kind of streets where you have to back-track a lot in order to cover every little bit of each street. But we covered good ground and clocked up a good 70 minutes of walking.
Walking is good for the body, soul and mind. The way I do the walking would not, in any way, be called ‘wandering’. It would more likely be described as ‘prescribed’ and somewhat obsessive. For a picture from a past walking project see this post. The prescriptiveness works for me. As for the friends that sometimes walk with me, they’re usually just happy to humour me – or at least they pretend to be happy.
Walking with purpose and very detailed map in hand, helps me to take time out from my recycled thoughts and take note of the houses I walk by and, very importantly, the street names.
My attempt to cover the streets in any given patch with the least amount of back-tracking keeps my mind whirring with ‘problem-solving’ energy. If my mind’s not quite up to problem-solving on any particular day, then I choose a patch that has very straight-forward, straight streets in a neat cross pattern.
For those of you reading in places like the United States where it means something for someone to tell you to head west down First Street and then turn north up Straight Street – this navigational certainty doesn’t work in the older parts of Sydney, where streets and houses developed in a more haphazard, curvy, run-with-the-lay-of-the-of-the-land kind of way.
It’s raining as I type. But in an effort to keep that roll rolling, I shall be thankful for umbrellas and get myself out there!
With my map, of course. No aimless wandering for this girl.