mind map

I’ve never been very good at history, but I do like maps. So, I was glad to hear of the Tabula Peutingeriana, a map of the late Roman Empire, which was unrolled for a rare viewing today.

The director of manuscripts at the Austrian National Library compares it to the diagrammatic map of the London Underground: more useful than accurate. And apart from junctions and inns, the main landmarks were the holy places — Christendom on a scroll.

I wonder how our public consciousness would be different if we still chose holy places as our landmarks instead of Little Chef’s or pubs.

And I began to think of how I do map territory.

In New England it goes something like this:

Home-coffee-blue onion- nasty junction- endless trees – pretty lake- toll booth- misplaced witches’ house- tacky mall- autumn leaves– Holly bridge– stop and ring- toll booth- river- bridges — wonder how Edward is — baseball — Charlene & John- nasty tunnel-Gracie- lawyers’ arch- winter lights- cannolies- ‘if it weren’t for this church, your donation would be in pounds sterling’ – Duckie – no parking- parking- at last.

In Britain, it tends to go–

cobbled street — West Port — Old Wing — patchwork fields — Mungee bridge — bendy road– forth bridge– bypass –Lady P– the sea, the sea — pine trees–  coffee time — horrid Morrisons–  the swans –hedge cutting– sand and dunes– bookshop– the bridges — car dealers & round abouts — bridal shop — turn– metro bridge — round about — church — crane and cat.

A real mix of public and private landmarks, recognizable routes, and things that would make sense only to me. Neither route is efficient (emotional tangents, you see)– neither is exactly how I would go. But quite fun to remember, nonetheless.

Gold stars await for the people on each side of the Atlantic who can accurately place the most landmarks. Something more dramatic for anyone who dares to compete in both categories (and makes a reasonably good show of each).

11 thoughts on “mind map”

  1. and do we post our guesses or email them to you so all have a chance to guess?

    Not that I will be truly competitive, but I think I have a few!



  3. Nasty tunnel must be Boston, but I can’t tell if you’re on the Pike or I-93. Toll booths sound like the Pike to me, so I’ll take that guess.
    River & bridges – the Charles? Is there then a tunnel from Storrow to get to the North End?

    Lawyer’s arch – is it that beautiful building on the east side of I-93 in the North End from which you can see from I-93 through to the harbor?

    Gracie… Allen? Is there an Allen tunnel I don’t remember, I wonder? or bridge?

    Cannolies in the North End near Paul Revere’s house somewhere, on a parallel street just to the north, I’d bet.

    Baseball – the Fenway – are you on Storrow Drive?

    Old North Church.

    Duckie is in Cambridge. No parking also sounds like Cambridge! Parking could be her garage, but not on the street.

  4. 7 points, Sarah (Mass Pike — though there are more points to be had there; the Charles, Lawyer’s arch, Cannolies, Fenway, Old North, Duckie).

    You are definitely winning!

    (gauntlet: Kevlin, Rosemary, and Stuart should all have an easy time of the British journey. As would Bob & Liz, and Katy were they reading.

    Jen, Duckie, and Mark should all be able to do the US route, were they ever to log on.)

  5. Well, the start of the British journey is easy.

    It starts at St Mary’s, I guess and then goes down South Street, St Andrews, through the West Port (and past the Whey Pat) past University Hall and out through Ceres before going through Fife to get to the Forth Bridge. (Presumably the Forth Road Bridge, not the Forth Bridge). Then, do we have the Edinburgh by-pass?

    I get lost when we get to Lady P.

  6. Kelvin and Sarah are now tied at 7.

    Kelvin, I doubt you’d be able to place Lady P (though you might if you worked at it). You should be able to pick up the trail again, though.

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