The Dower House- dilapidated home of my parents and my current abode.
I have no sense of direction. Seriously, plonk me down anywhere in the world without a map or compass and I will walk around in circles for an eternity until I find somebody helpful. I don't always
exactly enjoy being lost, but it has come to be an expected part of my daily existence. Even after three years of living in Southampton, I still only knew very certain routes from place to place....
I find it hard to navigate my way around shopping centres, forget what way I came in a door and head back out in the opposite direction and sometimes even get a little bit lost when swimming
underwater in a swimming-pool.*
You would imagine that all of this is a bit of a handicap while I'm travelling alone (and sometimes it is awful), but recently I have developed a game. It's very simple...
- In a new city wander down whichever roads/alleyways take your fancy (the windier the better).
- Keep on doing so for half an hour, maybe an hour if you're feeling brave/very bored.
- Now simply try and find your way back.
I started off playing this game in places I supposedly knew very well (Dorchester, Southampton, driving around the single lanes near my old village in Dorset...), but soon became cocky enough to
try it abroad. In Marrakesh there was no chance of me finding my way anywhere, so that wasn't a good beginning, but the small blue-tinged town of Chefchaouen was ideal. Ten minutes of walking in
random directions and it took two hours to find my way back to the hostel. Since then I've explored Seville, Lisbon and Porto in the same way and am keen to have another go the next time I'm
alone in a big town.
Whenever that might be...
For now that isn't very easy to organise on the small island of Islay in Scotland. Instead, I tried the same thing in our little car and drove inland along all the roads I didn't recognise.
Unfortunately I couldn't get lost, there aren't enough roads, but at least now I know where they all lead.
Here are a few photos from my afternoon's exploration...
This is the little car that my parents are letting me use while I'm living up here- it's not exactly cut out for the pot-holes and mud swamps we try to get through sometimes.
A village I'd never noticed before- Ballygrant apparently.
Thanks for reading- if you're lucky I'll write you a slightly more informative post next time. :)
*As my university lifesaving friends would testify after I once managed to swim into a wall during a competition.