Wanstead Flats – winter

Over to Wanstead Flats for a walk in the last hour or two of daylight as I have been doing semi-regularly since late Spring, but have neglected of late. There were large pools of water, yet to soak down through the gravel and tertiary clays, gathering round the rushes, marsh grasses and varieties of vetch. Rooks peck the ground looking for grubs. My father recently quoted me something he’d read in his youth, “a rook on its own is a crow”. The parliament of rooks was in full session out on the Flats today.

Through the bare trees where in summer we sheltered from the blistering sun. The moon is high over Aldersbrook whilst the setting sun drops into the Lea. Spring-fed Alexandra Lake is splattered black and white with Geese and Gulls; in the frozen shade Coots slide across the ice. I plod back through the rising mist towards the High Road and home.

London Perambulator Q&A at Housmans

Short clip from the Q&A that I did with Nick Papadimitriou, subject of the documentary – recorded at Housmans Bookshop, Kings Cross, London following a screening of the film.

The London Perambulator looks at the city we deny and the future city that awaits us. Leading London writers and cultural commentators Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Russell Brand explore the importance of the liminal spaces at the city’s fringe, it’s Edgelands, through the work of enigmatic and downright eccentric writer and researcher Nick Papadimitriou – a man whose life is dedicated to exploring and archiving areas beyond the permitted territories of the high street, the retail park, the suburban walkways.

For more information go to http://londonperambulator.wordpress.com

Walk to the West End – redux

Sat in The Heathcote last night reading David Boote’s excellent series of leaflets on the Leyton Loop made me think about the walk that I did through Leyton to the West End via Kings Cross in June 2007. I posted a blog about it at the time.
Enthused, I came home from the pub, dug out the miniDV tape and quickly edited together this vid. It’s always difficult to capture the experience of walking in any form – literature seems to have managed it best. Here I tried to film as instinctively as possible as if scribbling in a notebook.
The Heathcote btw was shut tonight due to a gas leak – was it something I did? Not quite sure what I’ll do if it stays shut for a while. Maybe get round to writing up some notes I’ve got on walking that I’d like to share.

Deep Topography in Leytonstone

More Deep Topographical musings from Nick Papadimitriou recorded and provoked by the National Psychogeographic Film Unit on a walk on the eastern fringe of London through Leytonstone and Wanstead.
After watching our first film, Beyond Stonebridge Park, Iain Sinclair screened an extract at the Royal College of Art alongside clips of films by Chris Petit, Andrew Kotting and Patrick Keiller – company we were pretty chuffed and flattered to be in. He then spoke about Nick and the film when doing an ‘In Conversation’ with Will Self at Tate Britain in October 2006:
“The cinema of John Rogers and Nick is like a combination of…. the physicality of Kotting with the Deep Topography of Keiller.”
Thanks for that Iain.

I am working on a fuller length film with/about Nick and his ‘Deep Topography’. The clip above is a kind of study or sketch, experimenting with a different form to the earlier more spontaneous pieces.

In this episode Nick muses on the “time arc of technology”, how the military are the ultimate “super tramps” and most likely read a bit of Richard Jefferies whilst on exercises, and the wonder of the wood ant.

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