I like maps but I have the same attitude to them as I have with many (most) things – a quick glance, an overall impression, not too hot on the detail.

Once he and I, living in Brussels, decided to fly to Nice, take a bus to the Italian border and walk through the ‘hills’ to his friends’ home in a small village ‘nearby’ called St Jeannet.

I got out the map the night before we went and plotted a few day’s journey with backpacks and said it would be easy to find somewhere to stay at along the way, day by day – there were lots of little hamlets and villages we could easily reach.

On the first day we did the flight, did the bus (gawping at Monaco, albeit briefly from the bus window) and got off just before the border.

There we made our mistake – we sat down and had a splendid French lunch. Now, when you have backpacks with all your belonging for several days and a reasonable way to go, this was not such a smart move.

But hey ho, we had looked at the map – or at least I had – and I knew it was only a few kilometres and the weather was lovely.

I had not looked at the contours on the map – or at least not looked closely.

We trotted down and crawled up no end of ‘hills’ to our destination for the night which was St Agnes.

At last we saw the sign which told us we were there. But, oh so sadly, we were not. The sign for St Agnes is about two kilometres downhill from the real village – which at that stage, felt like a very long way to walk uphill.

Anyway we got there and found somewhere to stay. It was very, very good to take those backpacks and boots off and pad upstairs, yes upstairs, to have something to eat.

Suffice it to say, the next morning when I woke and drew back the curtains, the cloud level was below our window sill.

(Remind me some other time, dear reader, to tell you of the lunch on the beach with French ladies of a certain age, Him sleeping in Renoir’s bed and other stuff from this adventure, but now back to maps.)

So, back to maps.

The best beloved had found out that Ordnance Survey can now produce a real, paper map for you, based on your home.

I don’t know how it works exactly, but today one arrived.

It looks like a proper Ordnance Survey map, and indeed is, but the cover picture is one we took. It has West Harting, Navel of the World, as its title. How cool is that?

Of course, I opened it, gave it a quick glance, saw that our house was on the fold, told Him how brilliant it was, and it is.

And of course and will hand it over to Him for a closer look because I don’t do that.


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