Currently these official guidelines govern what I can and can’t do when I leave my home.
I study these limitations in detail and consider possible loopholes, a devious reaction that pricks my social conscience. These measures are for the collective good after all, I want to do the right thing by my neighbours.
On the other hand I know my need to run will test these boundaries. I will run each day and I will run 5 minutes further than the government suggests, a compromise.
Running becomes an obsession, a way of keeping in touch with my surroundings during lockdown, I check for changes, the subtle progression of spring, details need to be recorded, down to a new shade of yellow in the willow trees.
I track the river, monitoring the flow, carrying 3 cameras and sound recording equipment on my journeys. Arriving home I fastidiously map and measure my routes and work with the material gathered.
After a couple of weeks I stretch my distance on bicycle and on foot testing the parameters of social responsibility and physical fitness. I study maps, find there is less publicly permissible space to move in than I imagined, my excursions start to follow well worn corridors of land. My current life: run draw eat sleep repeat, one action feeding the next.
I no longer run empty streets, we ease the limitations before new guidelines are issued. I write this before I start to forget that freedom of late March, running empty streets at a time of anxiety and national crisis. Its Day 42 and now I set out to recapture the simplicity of the ground hitting my feet, this is how I have known my surroundings in Spring 2020, this is what I want to remember and work with.