Monday, 1 August 2016

For RR

My reply to your comment on my most recent post: "Retrospective - Torquay to Shaldon" which needs illustrations, obviating a reply in the comments section.

I have drawn the approximate route I think you took based on the information in your post. It may not be accurate, but it will give the flavour, I reckon.

I have omitted your precise starting point on the map as an issue of security.

The stats for your route:

1.59 miles

Ascent: 13 ft

Descent: 58ft

A section of similar length taken from my SWCP profile

This graph is not really comparative with those on my post because it covers a much shorter distance, but you will notice the absence of steep troughs. Your route is undoubtedly better for the health than mine at our kind of ages.


Roderick Robinson said...

A good try but too long; when I said I could see half a mile ahead I didn't mean I would be walking that far. Body Beautiful is on the left-hand side of Belmont Road (going towards Hereford) more or less opposite the abbreviation Sch. on the right side. If I walk hardish it takes 25 minutes. I was always conscious of the descent but not of the ascent though I've now worked out why this happens; the road must have been scooped out decades ago to ensure more clearance under the now inoperative railway bridge.

My reason for writing this post was to demonstrate that walks need not be grandiose or pass through elegant scenery to form the basis of a readable account. Ideally they should inspire imagination which isn't, as you seem to fear, the same as lying. A walk may generate related ideas which can be interwoven with the act of locomotion.

I've just told Blonde Two that my next walk post will be entitled Couch - Telly - Couch. Quite sufficient for 300 words.

Which isn't to say I'm not impressed by your gradient software.

Sir Hugh said...

I did understand the raisin d'etre of your post. It is something I have tried to do, but perhaps not frequently enough, and your post will hopefully encourage me to be more " inventive" more often.

Sir Hugh said...

Raison ('twas spellchecker again).

gimmer said...

nothing but the truth, please
your 'reality' is frequently more extraordinary (as in 'you couldn't make it up') than the imagined ( as in 'i don't believe it !')

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - I have been through all this before with RR. We are not talking about telling lies, as RR said. It is more about finding associations and connections with things you see along the way, and perhaps fanciful ideas they may promote, which would be invention, but obviously so and nothing to do with not telling the truth. Playing about with chronology is another device for creating interest or tension, or surprise, there are many others.

At home, when I am suitably motivated it is enjoyable to be more creative, but it takes time. Within the busy life of backpacking, when one's time is limited on arriving at a destination with laundry, researching on the Internet for booking ahead next day (very time consuming), showering/bathing, walking somewhere to get a meal, eating (during which I usually do the post) it is not so easy, and I find myself calling it a day and sending the post when I know I could improve on it with more time, and less tiredness. Which brings me to another issue with RR. He has said that accounts written after the event are often better written, for reasons I outlined above, but I do not entirely agree, and in particular I would cite as an example Ellen Macarthur's account of her record round the world yacht voyage, A Race Against Time, where the text comes from her radio messages and own writings as they happened creating a vivid picture of the stresses and strains, and wonder. You are with her all the way.

Roderick Robinson said...

Patrick Leigh Fermor is thought to have brought travel writing up to an entirely new level. He's not to my taste, perhaps a bit too literary, but others would disagree and he was knighted for his efforts. His "sublime masterpiece", A Time Of Gifts, was published in 1977 and is based on a walk he made from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople in 1933/34. In 1986 he wrote Between The Woods and The Water which also touched on these experiences. As to immediacy, make of them what you will. Two others who carry PLF's torch are Bruce Chatwin and Colin Thubron.

PLF had what military men tend to call "a good war" with derring-do on Crete where he kidnapped a German general; his exploits were turned into a movie.

He fibbed quite a bit but no one seemed to mind about that. The term "travel writing" is a broad spectrum, ranging from accounts that are essentially journey logs (perhaps written for guidance rather than entertainment) all the way up to my favourites, Peter Fleming's Brazilian Adventure and News From Tartary, which tell a dramatised version of events, aim to give a very English view of the world and which are frequently hilarious. Neither sub-genre is superior to the other since they tend to attract different readerships.

Soon, I suspect, it may be possible to buy an app. for a smart-phone GPS which will write a purely factual account of any journey taken.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - A Time of Gifts - one of the very few books I have given up on - I got to page 92 out f 283.