We aren’t really in lockdown in the UK any more, (although more local lockdowns do look likely) and I am guessing that many people reading this blog may be getting out and about much more. However, I wanted make this recommendation anyway because I’m not really venturing out very far at the moment. It feels like Corvid – 19 is lurking close by still, and combined with the effort involved in looking after baby magpie, I haven’t been feeling that confident to go out. My guess is that there may be a few people reading this who are in a similar situation.
I have really been enjoying watching videos made by John Rogers on YouTube. What he does is quite simple, but very effective. He takes long walks in and around London, and takes a camera with him. As someone who used to walk a lot before my pregnant and the lock down, I have really enjoyed ‘going’ on those vicarious walks with him. While out walking he talks about different interesting buildings, and the history and culture of different places on his routes. He has a website here and you can visit is YouTube channel here.
Regular readers of this blog (hello!) will know that I’ve been working on a novel for some time (provisionally called Feeding Jasmine Valentine – watch this space for more info). Some of that novel is set in East London, and I’ve also found his videos to be particularly helpful from a research point of view while I’m not able to get around most of London myself that much. His videos have been helpful reminders of the feel and texture of the place. I particularly like the video above about searching for Leytonstone’s lost lido. It is particularly interesting to me as someone who loves (and misses very much) swimming out doors.
Walking has been one of the things that really helps me think things through, but towards the end of my pregnancy and in the first few months after Baby Magpie’s birth I wasn’t able to get out so much. I am, joyfully, just beginning to build my legs back up now. But I am thinking about trying out something similar here on Magpie at Midnight, except in South London, with a baby and a pram. As we moved into the area quite recently I think that a little walking project may help me get to know the area a bit better, although I doubt very much that I will be able to replicate the richness of the research the John Rogers does at his channel. Still, I’m going to see if I can kit myself up in the next week or so with some appropriate video/ audio equipment an have an experiment with things. Watch this space for more news.
I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.