are no photographs, so assume tweeds and hobnail boots are de rigueur for 1880, just as Canada Goose and Timberlands cut it today. Gear is only partly about keeping warm and dry. Watch Chevalier de la Tocnaye saunter through Ireland in 1796 with ‘fine shirts, three cravats, silk stockings, a powder bag’, which seems to announce ‘C’est Moi’. Whilst John Hillaby crosses deserts in the 1960s sporting shorts and tennis shoes, which whisper something else, something akin to: They Do The Job. For some it matters how an identity is projected, and this is true of city life where the streets are runways for dandies, flaneurs, anyone modish or transgressive. Novelist George Sand took to Paris in gent’s attire – coat, suit, iron-heeled boots – making her ‘fearless’ and free to explore everywhere. Less as a woman wanting to be seen as a man, more as a figure wanting to be ignored, jostled, passed by; one of a ‘desert of men’ going about their daily business on the boulevards.
Before the city streets are trod, however, there’s a view on reaching them, with the naturalist Richard Jefferies. Accompanying him down a country lane is immersive: exquisite eye-views of flowers and tiny insects, smells of sweet scents, and meetings with locals so genial and unhurried. Walk into wellbeing (as Kierkegaard says to Jette) and we are ready for anything. Later, as the sun dips, a different ‘process of mind’ is required when a local station for London nears. At the other end of the track we join a metro-