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Walking the streets is something we associate with the end credits in The Bill, perhaps the people who dole out parking tickets, or even a door to door sales person. In fact, if you think about it, walking around doesn’t have a particularly good reputation.
Yet, I quite like it. When I was packed off to journalism school a few years ago, we were set the weekly task of finding two proper news stories each week. That meant going out into the streets, walking round and really opening your ears and eyes to what goes on in the local community. Scary stuff.
Unfortunately, most people’s idea of walking is from the front door to the car door these days, and knowing what is going on the local area is considerably less cool than it used to be.
But when you wander round, bump into people, talk to strangers, peer into dusty windows and look at all the notices in each shop window, you’ll find a whole world you didn’t know existed. Indeed, it will probably change your perspective on a lot of things.
For example, media types continuously tell us we have no money at the moment, we’re all about to lose our jobs if we haven’t already, and unless we start taking the tent to Torquay as opposed to Turkey, we’ll be living on beans on toast till Christmas.
But for all the lack of money in the world, it’s nice to see things are still moving on in Winchester and indeed bucking the trend of horrendous headlines. We all know about Zizzi’s opening up on the High Street, but what about the subtle movements of ladders and paintbrushes on Jewry Street?
Peer into the dusty windows of what used to be the Pine Cellar (RIP) and you’ll see something is happening. Peer into Mix Bar between the papered up glass and you’ll see a new business is about to launch. Pop your head around the door and you’ll often find excited people happy to explain their ideas and ventures. If you walk around and talk to people, it’s not just exercise that will make you feel the world is a happier place. You’ll see there are actually very good reasons not to be so gloomy in this town and you may make a few new friends along the way.
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