Visiting the ‘smallest room’ and seeing the number of maps that have accumulated on the walls over time got me thinking: why are they so important to me, why did I pull these old maps out of folders and tack them to the wall?

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Sorry about publishing a photo of the loo!!! But you see what I mean, maps everywhere!

By way of illustrating my initial thoughts about collecting and annotating maps I took photos of three of the Lockmaster Maps on the loo walls.

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Maps as Momento: they’re a wonderful way to mark and celebrate the journey taken and the journey ahead. They’re a visual diary, a planner, showing – quite literally – the way forward…
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Maps as Markers: for me annotations on maps reinforce a sense of connectedness after the event, of history, of deja vu, of ‘having known the days’ and evoke a powerful sense of place. They capture the footprints of our journeys.
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Maps as Freedom: isn’t it a fact at this time of year, as we non-liveaborad boaters contemplate the new Season ahead, that we reach for our maps. We do it because woven within the conventions of the maps, is the thing we’re striving for… FREEDOM! Freedom to roam… to meet new friends… to visit wonderful (old, familiar or new) places… to share times… to explore and value history and culture, imagination and star-light. Freedom to slow down… to work locks, watch sunsets and sunrises… to pad about in unbecoming baggy shorts and floppy hats… to sigh and watch the torrential Summer rain make the canal surface steam.
Freedom to make a rash decision or two… to spend a rash amounts of money… to turn the engine, cast off and with a steaming mug of tea in one hand and the tiller/elum in the other feel the luckiest bloke alive!
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3 thoughts on “Maps are…

  1. Great blog and I concur entirely – Glad you like the Lockmaster Maps too. I’ve done a few trips around Europe by motorcycle and having the old marked up maps gives you a great memory, more so than photos in some cases as the maps were the core of the journey, the one thing I could rely on and the one thing that I constantly interacted with throughout the entire trip.

    Like

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