ChatterQuote Holiday 2010

ChatterQuote is a new section inspired by my mother. Every night before going to bed, we would take the big Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, open it to a random page and blindly place our finger on whatever spot felt right – and then we read our “quote of the day” – no matter where our finger had landed. And interestingly, the quotation always seemed pertinent to what was going on at that time. We got a lot of enjoyment out of this little bedtime ritual, so I thought it would be fun to have a quote every month. This month’s quote is also inspired by my father, and ties in nicely to this month’s Travel theme.

As a Chartered Surveyor, our late father was a great lover of maps and in Bill Bryson’s book, “Notes From a Small Island” while walking the Purbeck Hills in Dorset, the author writes, “As a rule, I am not terribly comfortable with any map that doesn’t have a You-Are-Here arrow on it somewhere, but the Ordnance Survey maps are in a league of their own… I am constantly impressed by the richness of detail on the OS 1:25,000 series. They include every wrinkle and divot on the landscape, every barn, milestone, wind pump and tumulus. They distinguish between sand pits and gravel pits, and between power lines strung from pylons and power lines strung from poles. This one even included the stone seat on which I sat now. It astounds me to be able to look at a map and know the square meter where my buttocks are deployed!”

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