Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Thursday December 10 2015

Where would we be without maps?  In what world would we be living, without maps?  A very different world, I think, and a much less coherent and join-up world.  While travelling we consult maps, and are often unable to distinguish later what we learned by actually going there and being there, and what we merely saw on maps while going where we went, and being where we went.  That was my experience anyway, when, much younger, I roamed about in Europe, on a bike.

However, when I am on a walk with Goddaughter One, I tend to learn rather little from maps, until afterwards.  She is usually the one choosing where we go, and I just follow her lead.  And, I don’t consult a map, because I always have my bag with me, and my camera in the other hand, and would need a third hand for a map, but do not have a third hand.  There is accordingly a basic sense in which, after one of our joint expeditions, I don’t know, at the time, where I am, and don’t know, afterwards, where I have been.

It would be different if I was taking photos with my mobile phone, and also using that as a map.  But, I use a regular old camera to take the pictures I take.  I only use a mobile when (a) I want to take a photo, (b) have forgotten to bring my regular camera, and (c) have remembered to bring my mobile.  This circumstance is very rare.

Take our most recent trek, the one which began when we met up at Manor House tube, talked for a while, and which only really got started after we had found our way to that amazing castle.  I only worked out quite recently that we had started our walk here:

image

When we walked from Manor House tube we were walking south.  When we reached the Castle Climbing Centre, we arrived at the southern most point of our travels that day.  Then we took the path in an easterly direction along the canal, i.e. the blue line.  The map looks a bit like a pair of spectacles, I think.

Here are some of the pictures I took that day, when the journey really began:

image image imageimage image imageimage image image

As you can see the path we took is called the New River Path (the canal being the New River).  Wikipedia seems to be quite informative about “New River (England)”, but my blogging software seems to refuse to do that link (brackets?), so you’ll have to take my word for it that some of the words there are these ones:

The New River is an artificial waterway in England, opened in 1613 to supply London with fresh drinking water taken from the River Lea and from Chadwell Springs and Amwell Springs (which ceased to flow by the end of the 19th century), and other springs and wells along its course.

I don’t know when those reservoirs happened.  Later, I presume.  Until this expedition, I had no idea that the “New River” even existed.

As I said at the end of this recent posting here, I have some catching up that I want to do.