Only six weeks till my departure to Le Havre.
I have had some time to reflect upon the opportunities and other issues that will possibly be rearing their heads on this residency.
Calling upon my past experience of walking which is usually in the countryside or mountains walking in a city will be very different. Probably quite uncomfortable – not physically but emotionally and for my ‘Elan Vital’. I will have to engage a very different head.
These are a few of the questions I have been pondering upon:
What kit do I need?
What should I take?
What do I need to consider for comfort?
What do I need to include to enable whatever to result?
I have learnt that trying to second guess what may happen is probably never a good plan – it then fixes ones brain and then becomes hard to un-do. Flexibility is the key however…..
I have had time to consider what I don’t need:
Compass – although this could be useful to orientate myself
Full waterproofs – an umbrella will be fine
Spare food – although a muesli bar will be handy
What I think I will need:
Carnet de Voyage/Sketch book
Pencils/pen ( I tend to use an ink pen for notes/sketches)
Small pan water colours
small brush and flat 1/2inch wide brush
Fuji x100T rangefinder
Olympus Trip film camera (TBD)
Probably a small Manfrotto tripod for shooting at dawn/dark (February when I have this placement)
Although I am comfortable with French a wee dictionary is always useful!
My hosts from Le Havre will make me most welcome no doubt.
So……I have decided not to treat this as I would my other walks. I did consider it otherwise but prefer to look at it completely differently to have an alternative experience altogether.
I have looked at the idea of ‘The Flaneur’ as per French poet Charles Baudelaire’s essay The Painter of Modern Life 1863
“Il a cherché partout la beauté passagère, fugace, de la vie présente, le caractère de ce que le lecteur nous a permis d’appeler la modernité. Souvent bizarre, violent, excessif, mais toujours poétique, il a su concentrer dans ses dessins la saveur amère ou capiteuse du vin de la Vie”
but this can be decided at a later date.
I went back and re-studied the work of my pal John Riddy
and talked to him about wandering through cities and coming across moments of what one looks for.
I have recently read 3 of his books:
John Riddy 2000 Camden Arts Centre London
Praeterita 2000 Ruskin School Oxford
Views from Shin-Fuji 2008 Frith Street Publishers London
Plenty to consider here regarding city/views/moments/journey
It just making time now to consider what track/tack I may take.