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Sunday 24 July 2011

Wellbeing Walk 5 - Still Heading East - Hope to All

Carole and Jo have had quite a few adventures trying to find a walk East from the station. They tried three times or more, scoured the map, asked a variety of locals, hunted high and low for the remains of a Roman Road, looked at other options, all of which meant spending some time walking beside main roads. There were tantalising open spaces with cleared ground, which looked very much like private property. Finally a compromise was made, a route decided and our new group of young walkers met at Corby Station.

It was strange starting again with new walkers who had a different energy and no experience of a derive, would Carole and Jo be able to convince them that a walk under threatening skies, through an urban landscape, could hold any interest?

Carole and Jo encouraged the group to look around, look in detail, see what might catch their eye, flowers and a vehicle carrying cars were the first things to capture the group's attention.

Grasses, weeds and billboards, old signs, a weather vein on a church spire, shifting cloud and racing traffic punctuated our route. We made slow progress, walkers making an elongated, easily distracted line.

The red garage doors reminded us of beach huts

"A patch of blue big enough to darn a sailor's trousers"
old family saying

The rain finally got the better of us and we took shelter by some flats, in the group's minibus, which had come to find us. Whilst the rain pelted down, sandwiches were consumed and Jo began to tell the group about the French Situationists that had triggered the exploration we were making that day, about being a "flaneur", exploring and wandering and how we were now part of an international movement of people who drift in urban spaces. We looked at some of the pictures the group had been taking and as soon as the rain stopped Andreia and William ventured out to photograph a vivid red rose bush.

Wild Cherries

Festive garden

Carole and Jo were keen to explore an enticement, a path between the backs of some houses leading to a gated field. It was quite dark, overhung with trees, the ground soft with decaying leaves, somehow magical. We found ourselves peering over walls and through knot holes in fences, spying free range chickens scratching contentedly, noticing patterns and shapes created by walls and fences. No one was bothered by the time or the weather and the group began to gel together, sharing ideas, becoming excited by possibilities.

Photo by William

Photo by William

Photo by Andreia

We finished up at a public football pitch and green open space, where we prepared to make another balloon launch. There were no seeds this time, but we wrote thoughts and wishes on labels and attached them to the balloons. Some escaped before the launch, others burst whilst being filled with helium.

The group strode out into the middle of the field with their strings of unruly balloons.

Ready, steady, lift off

Captured and carried east by the wind

After the balloon launch we headed back to Corby Community Arts in the Old Village to discuss what we'd seen and to make small drawings and notes on a map of our route.

We hadn't travelled far east, probably no more than a mile, but in that short stretch we had managed to spend two hours exploring, looking closely and noticing things previously unnoticed, discovering surprising things even though this stretch of Corby we all thought we knew well. The amount we managed to record on our map shows how many interesting things can be found on a single stretch of road by just looking in a different way!

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