"Like idleness itself, there is a paradoxical purpose to flânerie: slow walking may seem like a waste of time to your man of business, but to the creative spirit it is a fertile activity, for it is when walking that the flâneur thinks and generates ideas. Benjamin gives many examples of these. No less a figure than Beethoven, Benjamin tells us, via a quote from dictionary-writer Pierre Larousse, wrote music in his head while out and about:
In the first years of this century, a man was seen walking each and every day - regardless of the weather, be it sunshine or snow - around the ramparts of the city of Vienna. This man was Beethoven, who, in the midst of his wanderings, would work out his magnificent symphonies in his head before putting them down on paper. For him, the world no longer existed; in vain would people greet him respectfully as he passed. He saw nothing; his mind was elsewhere."
5 p.m: The Ramble. How to be Idle, Tom Hodgkinson