I often think that we have few secrets these days. That we’d have to try quite hard to cover our tracks and do anything without someone else noticing. These days, when I go to take a look at the Pinterest pages I’m following, I frequently note that one of my friends is working on a specific theme – Nita researching birds or insects, Helen is being inspired by costume of a particular period, perhaps. (Jordi is always inspired by food and drink, I know ;-)
If my friends are making similar observations then, they won’t be surprised to discover that I’m working on a map project, working through an online class with the author of one of my favourite blogs, Pret a Voyager. We are a bit of a mappish family here and it was funny to find many of the books on the resource list already on our shelves. I also did what I advise my students never to do – to come to class with a clear idea of their finished project in mind…
Anyway, today’s task was to draw a hand-drawn map of something – anything – and not think too much about it, not care too much about neatness, perfection or anything I’d usually be bugging myself about. The end result was this
I went to Cirencester, to the hairdressers, but sadly my stylist had just had one of those phone calls which leave you chilled…a family member had been taken ill. So, a hastily rearranged date left me in town with a few errands to run and an extra hour to do them in.
Except that shops don’t open until what I consider to be mid-morning!
I had a coffee, mooched about a bit, bought bread and lingered rather longer in the tiny department store before heading towards the art shop for some paint. I stopped to take a photograph on the way:
Please, don’t get me wrong. I am as appalled by the murder of the young soldier in Woolwich as anyone. But I wondered about the motivation of people in Cirencester to buy flowers to place on the war memorial. Not that I thought it wrong…it’s just one of those things which seems to becoming the thing to do in some circles. Which, in the words of one of our friends, I find “curious”.
Anyway, I continued to run errands and had to retrace steps here and there because I’d either forgotten something or had to wait for somewhere to open. I stopped to chat to a WI friend and then, just as I got back to my car, remembered I was supposed to pick up some fabric for another. And then I needed to go to the bank! I just remembered, too, that I filled the car with petrol on the way home, and experienced difficulty with the filler cap. That meant I had to make a quick stop at the garage, as well.
One morning, gone!
When prompted to draw a quick map of something then, I chose to record my route in the town, noting the stopping places and the shops I visited. Strange how, if you’d asked me beforehand how I’d spent three hours this morning, I’d have forgotten much of the detail, but the process of drawing it out brought all the information to the surface again. My hero surely wondered how I could possibly spend a morning doing nothing very much. Well, here is my evidence! The map was a great way to prompt the details which made the journey. It’s not a work of art – and was never meant to be – but as an explanation of where the time went, I think it serves its purpose.
As for the final project, well, it’s going to be difficult to share. Visitors always have difficulty finding us and so I plan to create a map to have on hand, hopefully, one they will want to keep! However, since I don’t really want the whole of the internet beating a path to my door, it won’t be showing up anywhere around here! But there will be other projects to share, for sure. I am incubating travel journal ideas based on maps, which seems rather logical, doesn’t it?
I wonder how long before the Turkish Map Fold shows up? ;-)