42 Walks – an introduction

From the start of the UK’s lockdown, every day I walk from my house, for 20 minutes in any and all directions; I map my route and record my walking. My walking makes  Contención Island (contención is containment in Esperanto – an international name for an international pandemic) – and the walking becomes exploration of my island. I walk until easing begins – 42 days.

in the covid-19 pandemic               containment slows spread             locked down for six weeks                         take one period of exercise a day    forty-five minutes of walking   walk in any and every direction       walking while contained     walk on Contención Island               walking maps a fantastical island       listen to the walks            listen to six weeks        listen to forty-two days      listen to lockdown            walk in your imagination                the isle is full of noises       sounds and sweet airs       sounds drift             sounds carry        sounds flow        rivers of sound flow          one river runs its course    across the southern grasslands        to tumble into south haven             Contención’s distant thunder            another joins it, in from the north    spating, roaring, seething along        a lost river crosses the island           to flow out by skerries in the south east  a lowland vale links south and north haven    at the mouth of north haven           church point, remote and peaceful               the north west peninsula is quiet             in the north west is convent shield       a refuge, where birds sing above the bench    walk a conjured coastline               by Oswald’s Bay – too exposed to offer safe mooring         by rocky bays between Saint Nicholas’ point and the Cow Head cliffs      back along the long dunes of the south         return, reverse, retrace      walk pace step stride             another day        walking on Contención Island