Taking a walk – what could be simpler? But from Nietzsche, that heaviest and most complex of philosophers, comes this: “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
Even in rainy London, going out under a brolly can invaluably shift thoughts and plans that seem stuck in the quicksand. Generations of writers, artists and thinkers have been walking enthusiasts, citing it as the only thing to do when faced with a so-called “block” – everyone from Aristotle to Richard Long and the haute couture model and artist Saskia de Brauw.
Sometimes we feel the need to buckle down and keep hammering towards that elusive thing we’re looking for and taking a walk can feel counterproductive; but try it next time you’re high and dry and looking unsuccessfully for inspiration.
Of course, there’s also the ever-reliable Noel Coward, who says, “I like long walks, especially when they’re taken by people who annoy me.” True too, that.