WalkingSolo by Carolyn McKerracher

Notes on Lockdown

Privilege.

 

At first it was a second home.

 

Then it dawned.

 

A home.

 

A job.

 

Enough money to pay ones bills.

 

A garden.

 

A greenspace in which to sit down.

 

Even, an electronic device to keep in contact with loved ones.

 

I realised early on how privileged I was. A home. 

 

A salary albeit in a temporary job. 

 

No garden - but an allotment, only a short bike ride away. 

 

It was that allotment which kept me going, when sometimes the thought of placing one foot in front of the other was a step too far.

 

Though I did keep walking. 

 

Most of the time… 

 

I walked along the side of the A199 to a little bit of beach on the east side of the sewage works, just opposite the dump. 

 

A graffiti wall on one side, with views towards Portobello on the other. 

 

When the tide was out, I’d walk further than my one hour allowed, all the way along the sand to Joppa. 

 

 

 

I walked to Western Harbour, via Ocean Terminal and the non-social-distancing-make-do walkway in front of Chancelot Mill. 

 

Along the blossom lined avenue of Western Harbour Drive. 

 

Passing the curiously enclosed wetlands. 

 

And on to the stunning, white gravel path, taking me past that eerie ghost of a lighthouse. 

 

I walked the cycle paths from Restalrig to Leith Links and from Newhaven to Victoria Park. 

 

Wildflowers blooming as the seasons changed. 

 

I discovered Lochend Park for the first time, with its bottomless loch, half sunken trees, waterfowl, doocot and stunning views across to Arthur’s Seat. 

 

A hidden gem if ever there was one.

 

Greenspace and the sea… Only footsteps away. 

 

Yet still I found it hard to stay enthused. 

 

The same walks, over and over again. 

 

Concrete launching each journey. 

 

Soon I realised that I need the inspiration of new places, different coastlines, new colours, new sounds, new smells. 

 

I loved driving to surrounding areas and walking the coast, through woodland or over hills, new views feeding my soul. But then, it had been easy for me.

 

I have a car. 

 

Privilege.

 

A home.

 

A job.

 

Enough money to pay my bills.

 

An allotment.

 

Greenspace in which to sit down.

 

Even, an electronic device to keep in contact with loved ones.

 

A car.

 

Privilege.

 

Being white.

 

I think about my friends, the books on my bookshelf, the colour of the skin of the people I dig the soil alongside and the colour of the skin of the people I meet out on the hills. 

 

White. 

 

Predominantly white.

 

Circumstantial?

 

Representative?

 

Unconscious bias?

 

Whichever it is, it’s now in my consciousness.

 

No excuses.

 

Books ordered. 

 

Emails drafted. 

 

A plethora of powerful voices and many new organisations to follow and donate to. 

 

Navigating it feels overwhelming but if you can look locally and follow Century General Store on Instagram. 

 

It’s a start.

 

A tiny start. 

 

Racism is endemic. 

 

As too are social inequalities. 

 

A home.

 

A job.

 

Enough money to pay your bills.

 

A garden.

 

Greenspace in which to sit down.

 

Even, even, an electronic device to keep in contact with loved ones.

 

Free transport for all.

 

Being white.

 

None of this, none of this, should be about privilege. 

 

Info: Follow WalkingSolo.scot on Instagram

Portobello Beach & Lochend Pond