Friday, June 11

My Career As A Cartographer

Revisiting Cecil’s drawings and the prospect of the Epic Walk took me back about a hundred years to a time when I had a job looking after goats in a very very remote part of France.

I wrote home fairly often. One of my missives described a journey that I made to attend a party in the nearest town; it started with a walk through the mountains to meet some people with horses, then we galloped like Horsemen of the Apocalypse through a thunder-and-lightening storm to my nearest neighbour’s house where everyone except me changed into dry clothes. This is where the tarmac road started, the last section of the journey was the most dangerous and involved a sort of toy jeep. I arrived at the party squelchingly wet through and hallucinating.

My father, on seeing my letter which was illustrated with a map a bit like the one above but less precise*, thought it was about time he paid me a visit, he took the train as far as he could, then the next morning he started walking, first using a proper map, then the detail ran out and he used the map in my letter, it took him all day in very hot heat, when I came home in the evening I found him sitting on the log pile outside my cabin, looking as fresh as a daisy.

My own morning walks continue, my feet have settled in to the big boots but my hips have gone a bit achey, I am feeling dangerously old about half of the time. This is exacerbated by grumpiness brought on by my search for office premises.

* my dad is no sentimentalist, the original is long gone.


  1. Your mapping skills continue to astound... I think I've seen this map somewhere before...
    Wasn't it at the beginning of lord of the rings? ; j

  2. i am in awe, sugar! what haven't y'all done? ;~D xoxoxoxoxo

  3. "arrived at the party ... hallucinating"

    Got any of that left? Asking for "a friend."

    Oh Hai Savannah!

  4. You're like Indiana Jones Labonne. I bet your mum would have kept the letter with the map - mums are like that.

    Happy hunting for the new office. Does that mean you've decided the house will no longer do for the paperwork and all the men? As for the training - I don't envy you.

  5. Take my dog's advice...just don't.

  6. I didn't know there WERE parts of France that were that remote. Suddenly I am intrigued by the whole thing...

  7. That map is like a work of fine art and should immediately be framed and appreciated by guests sipping Merlot. Or something!

    I love rural areas. It's so nice to get out of the city and decompress somewhere you can run around naked and shrieking and have no one hear you. Um. Allegedly.

  8. Thank you Alesa Warcan - I am also known as Tolkein (yes I'm that old!)

    Sav - more to the point darlinq - what haven't I done?

    xl - You want hallucinations? go and get really really scared then very very cold and wet, then stay cold an wet for hours! Or just go looking for red and white mushrooms in a forest in another state.

    Frenchie - Nope - my mum likes things tidy - no clutter!

    Thanks for hunting wishes xx

    Fly - the dog will always know best!

    Stef - France has some big old mysterious bits - you'd love it

    Vegggie - I plan to get that oeuvre framed - in gold and everything

  9. Huh! Apparently you can just walk into Mordor.

  10. Thank you, XL.

    You're such a good pal.

  11. I need that map to be hanging in my house...

  12. My god, you were Manon Des Sources!

    The map's fab.

    I have found the best thing for achey hips is to sit in a warm bath and drink Martinis.

  13. So the next job is translating your maps and Sir Cecil's portraits into a Panini sticker collection?

  14. Your father sounds a Game Old Cove. Good luck with the morning walks. I have been walking round London chasing elephants and discovering long-forgotten muscles.

  15. Lulu - You never cease to amaze me. Kate Bush's brother, driving Joanie Mitchell, wrestling paper wasps, the CWH _and_ looking after goats in one lifetime - I am sooo glad I have gotten to know you.

  16. I love maps and yours is a sheer delight. Luck with the office.

  17. You should do a map called "From Grumpiness To That Better Place".

  18. Hi kyknoord - yup I do it all the time, once you've found the portal it's easy

    Ms Distracted - I will start a male order company and transfer my maps onto their bodies and send one over.

    Eryl - more Heidi really - less pretty than Manon!

    mmm - warm bath and Martinis here I come xxx

    Kevin - a Panini sticker collection - that sounds edible, I like it.

    Madame D - if you are chasing elephants remember to arm yourself with buns

    K - I probably make it all up - I'm a terrible liar

    mrwriteon - thanks darling

    red-handed - you are an inspiration

  19. What a good story. It must have been a party very well worth getting to.


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