I’ve been quite busy recently. This has impacted on my plans for the blog. Instead of going to the end of a few lines, I’m going to be visiting a few more towns and cities, many places I would be anyway, as part of Intercity, a series I started earlier this year. That starts on Sunday with a walk in Linlithgow (pictured below).
Intercity is like Streets of Glasgow in that I go for a walk along a street and write about what I experience along the way. It is a way to try and make sense of the places around me, my interpretation of psychogeography, a French Situationist concept originally practised in Paris to stop folk feeling alienated in cities. I’ve done it for years, first in Edinburgh then Glasgow and further afield. I used to go on derives around the New Town, aimless drifts based on a whim, turning left and right as I desired, eventually figuring out a destination along the way. Streets of Glasgow came about as I sought to explore and make sense of my adopted home city. Intercity is that on a national scale.
It follows Streets of Glasgow rules, only differing in that Intercity can involve more than one street, as with Stirling, Inverness and Dundee last time. I walk along a street or streets, paying close attention to what I see, hear, smell, taste or otherwise comprehend. Photographs are taken with my phone as that’s more spontaneous. I cross the road only when there is a green man signal, in case I miss anything. Notes are scribbled when the walk is done. I also work from photographs, though sometimes I write entirely from memory. It is a record of a moment or moments in time so I tend not to write about places that aren’t open at the time. I do these walks alone though if anyone would care to join then discretion may be possible. Unless needs must, I do the walk in one go. Those are the only rules and they’re quite easy to stick by.
So far, I’ve done three Intercity walks, which will appear here in the coming weeks. The seven cities may return, maybe not Inverness or Aberdeen because they’re quite far away. I was inspired standing in the foyer of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Around the balcony are stylistic scenes from Scottish history and below is a frieze of eminent Scots and the crests from cities and burghs. The seven cities appear, as do prominent Royal Burghs, Linlithgow, Dunfermline, Jedburgh, St. Andrews and Kirkwall. I’m going to try to get to all of these, except Kirkwall, which probably won’t be possible. I’m substituting Paisley instead, which will be the third one in this next series. Linlithgow comes first, this coming Sunday. I hope you enjoy it.