Plans and maps

So, I think I might actually do this thing. Try and visit all of the bridges over the River Tweed. Apparently there are around 50 of them, although this must change periodically with new bridges being built and old bridges being decommissioned.

That’s quite a lot when you think about it – one every two miles or so. Maybe it’s not. Like I say I don’t know anything about bridges so maybe that’s actually about the average ratio of bridge numbers to river length.

The most romantic way of doing this would be to pack a rucksack and get dropped off at the Tweed Well up above Moffat, then walk down the bank of the river to Berwick. But I don’t think that is realistic for a number of reasons.

First, that’s a long walk (about 96 miles). It would take days, if it is even possible. There might be bits where it is just not possible to walk along the river. Railways, say? Or nettles? Or angry bulls in a field. And I’ve got commitments. Who doesn’t? I can’t just up and leave and walk an entire river for a week.

Secondly, I am actually not permitted by law to do that. We are in Week 5 of the government-imposed lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus. I’m allowed to go out for an hour’s exercise each day, which would allow me to “bag” quite a few of the bridges in and around Peebles, so why don’t I start there?

Maps.

I fucking love maps, me.

When we were kids in the summer holidays, we would drive all the way through England to get the ferry to France and then drive to a campsite in Brittany or somewhere in that neck o’ the woods. I would be in charge of the maps. My Dad knew exactly which roads to take, but he let me think I was helping by telling him when we had crossed onto a new page of the AA Road Atlas.

So lets get some maps. Paper maps, mind. I can’t promise not to utilise Google maps at some point in this endeavour, but lets at least start with some good old OS paper.

I’m already enjoying this, can you tell? It is not a meaningful exercise in itself. It doesn’t add a whole lot of value to the world. There is not a gap in the market for a blog about the bridges of the river Tweed. Nobody is crying out for this to happen. But I think I would like to do it and see where it takes me. If you are reading this (which you obviously are) then you are one of the forces shaping how this thing will go. Don’t let the power go to your head.

As well as plans, I need to sort this website out. You will never see how shit it was before it was published, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Strangely, I’m not so much looking forward to that bit of it. It’s a classic example of my in-built fear of failure, which causes me to procrastinate certain tasks. If you are reading this, then I clearly got over this and managed to get the website in a state where I was happy to publish it. Congratulations to Future Neil from Present Neil (Past Neil to you, reader). Pat yourself on the back for what you are about to achieve.

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