Walking around and about.

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Don’t worry I said, I know where I’m going… We walked up one moorland fell and down into the valley of the next. Walking on tussock grass was hard on the legs, each lump was seperate from the next. The ground was springy with matted sphagnum moss as well.

The sun was getting lower in the sky. The path was hard to follow, and I was getting nervous. We hadn’t seen anyone in our travels and I could not see the road that led to our destination. Matt had parked his car next to a pub on the moorland road and we were heading vaguely west towards the setting sun.

It was then that Matt had the brilliant idea of looking at the map. He’d not bothered earlier, but now it was getting late and drinking time was running out. We all peered over the map, Matt muttered something as he looked over it. What did you say? I asked. Just follow the cat he laughed. There laid out in front of us was a dotted line, following the contours of the fells. Definitely cat shaped. And as I looked I could see the pub marked just where its up raised paw was swiping at the string, the line that indicated the road!

Matt laughed. We’ll be there in ten minutes. Cheers I said. Let’s go.

What I see in maps (and other things)

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I took another look at this post about map reading and suddenly saw a cat. I’ve written about finding things in wallpaper, or ink blots or all sorts of different things including the front and back of cars. Grilles on cars can look like grinning mouths, headlights like eyes. I love seeing animals and faces and objects in clouds. Sometimes it drives me mad when I see something over and over again. Once seen, never forgotten. Life is strange, the mind is stranger.

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Old map of Lancashire and Morcambe Bay.

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An old ctc (Cycle Touring Club) map, 2 inches to the mile. Paper on cloth. Cost 2 shillings and sixpence. Printed to show heights. As it is in ‘old money’ it predates decimalisation. Probably printed in the 1950’s or 1960’s but there is no published date on it.

The area shown is North Lancashire, sheet 5, Bartholemews, coloured. I’m amazed it’s still held together and the edges of each little sheet are only slightly worn. Some of it will be changed now, new or improved roads, villages sunk under reservoirs, that sort of thing.

Nowadays everything is on line, or people use satnav. But having the skill to read maps is useful. Having a compass helps you know what direction you are moving in. When I go places I have a big compass on my dashboard of my car and I use large scale driving atlas. We also use smaller scale walking maps that show more details. If you’ve never used a map buy at least one. You can find more interesting places on a map than you might on an online one.

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Philatelly

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First, apologies to Google for using this image. If I’m in trouble I will delete it.

There was a question of Facebook which had an image of a mountainous island and a palm tree. Below it, it said ST Lucia W. I.

I had to think, I jokingly said Women’s Institute. I had an inkling of what I thought WI meant, but didn’t want to say….

Someone said West Indies, which makes perfect sense. But my guess was Windward Isles. So I Googled it…

I don’t know why I  knew it. But I think it was because I collected stamps when I was a child. It’s amazing what memories you can retain over decades. NoytyaCCCCP, Magyar Posta, are a couple of names if places I also remember (may not be the correct spelling).

I wanted to do Geography when I was at school. I was persuaded to do a language instead which I failed abysmally. Maybe I should have done it.

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Sunrise, Sunset.

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I’ve looked at maps all my life, but never noticed that it gets dark earlier in the South East in summer than in the North West. Of course I know the Earth is tipped at an angle, something like 22° and I know that at the equator day and night are about the same length and that sunrise and sunset are about 6pm. But I hadn’t noticed the angle that the terminator of day and night is at.

As we are on the Greenwich longitude line I assumed the shadow would run straight up and down the globe. But of course it can’t be if the Earth is tipped. That also explains why we have seasons in the North and South hemispheres.

Homesick

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I moved away from home 40 years ago. I was going to college and I got in to the polytechnic I attended. I completed my qualification and met my partner who became my hubby. We stayed here and although I went “home” for visits I never went back to the town I was born in properly, I mean permanently.

That was OK, but then my parent died and my sister who had lived there all her life decided to move away to another town. Now when I feel homesick I can’t drive there. It would be too odd to park outside. Would the new owners be aware I was there? Would it seem like stalking? I dont think I could do it. But what I do sometimes do is look on Google maps. I used to use the figure Icon and look at the house as if I was in the street. Obviously it’s not photographed every year but I noted changes in the drive and trees that have been removed. Now Google maps only shows me a view from the air. I used to use the roadside version so I could pretend to drive home. At least I have good memories but I do miss my old Home. X