Tuesday, 3 March 2009


"Night Hawks" is a well known painting by American artist Edward Hopper. Nightwawks are walks taken in the dark and then spelt wrongly. Although I've been to an Edward Hopper exhibition, I know more about nightwalks than I do "Night Hawks".

Last night I spent at a launch party for a website designed by the company I work for as a copywriter. I took the train from Finsbury Park to Waltham Cross and then walked home from the station: a half hour stroll. I wanted a wander by moonlight - a lovely crisp, first quarter moon, spliced like a Tropicana orange by its terminator. What did I get? Driving rain, beaming head lights, whipping wind and not even a glimpse of the moon.

Nightwalking started Moonwalking. People have asked me recently, Why moonwalking? My answer changes with every new query: an escape from mundane diurnal life, a chance to investigate our lunar relation, a way to add a fresh twist to a journey around the British Isles. But to be honest, Moonwalking would never have been what it is today without several people's input and a mighty amount ot scribbling, chopping, editing, juggling and borrowing. You see, my little travel book started life as a book of nightwalks - nothing more detailed, no better theme, no point.

I met with writers Miles Taylor and Hayley Spurway in late 2007 and discovered my plan to spend a few nights walking around some gardens in Cornwall was rubbish. Boring. Restrictive. It lacked a theme: something to tie it all together. I remember the conversation like it were yesterday.

"Why not walk by full-moon?" said Hayley.
"Ok," I replied.
"I'm going to the toilet," said Miles.

Nightwalking is a theme within a theme; it's important - nocturnal rambling as a growing pursuit nationwide - but it doesn't carry the narrative. And walking along Highbridge Street last night, facing the traffic, being showered in spray, grit and mud, I realised the limited scope of a collection of nightwalks. But add a subject - the moon, the full-moon and nothing but the moon - and you've got yourself one tasty meatball, as they say in astrophysics. Nightwalking became Moonwalking.

For those still more interested in "Night Hawks", here it is...

For those still interested in moonwalks, please buy the book...


Sam C said...

Night Hawks is also an entertaining movie starring Sylvester Stallone with a fuzzy beard and dodgy glasses.


And did you notice that you have spelt the blog title as Nightwawks?

Other than that, good work as always!

rob-sp said...

All part of the plan, Sam C. Thanks for reading with such eager eyes though - always nice to know people are proofing for me.