Walking is a wonderful way to sort out ideas. I have solved many more problems while walking than I have sitting at my desk. In fact, most of the tricky bits in my PhD were nutted out that way. The walking phase is now embedded into my intellectual process and, although I may appear to be mad, I find talking out loud while I walk is the most effective way. Today’s walk attracted a few bewildered looks from strangers in the street, as I talked and gesticulated, but was fabulously productive in figuring out this weekend’s research idea.
I’ve been digging into the stories behind a set of songs for a performance at the SexRurality Conference in a couple of weeks. I find song history fascinating – who wrote it, when was it first recorded, the different versions, who made it famous, and especially for this set, why it was banned or how it got past the censors. Here’s one on my list, recorded in 1929 by Bessie Smith, with not so subtle lyrics:
“I’m wild about his turnip top, I like the way he warms my chop, I can’t do without my kitchen man.”