IT says much about the influence of John Berger, who died earlier this month at the age of 90, that winning the Booker Prize was not the highlight of his long and varied career. That honour goes to Ways of Seeing, his ground-breaking television series from the early 1970s. Berger wanted to change the way that we look at art and the world and his accessible approach showed us how to understand and unpick the meaning of images from art to advertising.

The book of the same name remains a thought-provoking read, if ‘read’ is the right word… three of the chapters in this modern classic are ‘written’ in images alone.

Just before Christmas, my family moved house. There was much about the move to be expected – hassles over changing bills, the large pile of boxes still lying unopened – but also some surprising effects, too. We might have only moved a mile and a half, but it’s like my whole knowledge of Salisbury has shifted ninety degrees: I’m discovering new routes into town, new footpaths, new places to eat and shop. Although I’ve lived here for well over a decade, the experience has been like seeing the city with a fresh pair of eyes.

Back in 2015, scientists from Oxford and Cambridge Universities did some research on the impact of the previous year’s London Underground strike.

On the day of the strike itself, commuters had to improvise and get to work in different ways than they normally did. But in the days and weeks that followed, rather than everyone returning to their original routine, one in twenty commuters stuck to their new method: for some it was a quicker journey; for some it was cheaper; for others, ditching the tube and walking was simply a more pleasant start to the day.

The scientists concluded that the time and money saved by these ‘new routers’ outweighed what had been lost because of the strike. In a strange kind of way, the strike ended up benefitting both the economy and also the quality of life of those individual commuters.

You don’t have to move house or wait for a transport strike to see Salisbury differently: it can be as simple as trying a different route into town, swapping the car for walking in, or spending five minutes looking up beyond the city-centre storefronts to the gorgeous buildings above. ‘Life moves pretty fast,’ the erstwhile eighties thinker Ferris Bueller once said. ‘If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you might miss it.’

Follow Tom on Twitter @bromleyesq