246: Loughborough

OS Explorer map 246, Loughborough: Melton Mowbray & Syston – I do not own this map, and had not visited it before starting this blog. Visited for this post 5th july 2018.

Preliminary note: the Harvester that I visited isn’t only in map 246, but is in fact in the overlap area between maps 246 and 245. Since I have not been to either map area before, I had to just pick one for it to count for. However, according to The Rules, if I visit an area unique to map 245 before visiting an area unique to map 246, this visit will “flip” to counting for map 245, and map 246 will have become “un-visited”. This visit is therefore only provisional. Exciting!

EDIT: As of 31st December 2018, this map has been “un-visited” (see link for details).

This post is the first of fourteen recounting a trip I made up to my family’s cottage on Harris in July 2018 with my Cambridge friends Vesper, Millicent, Erithacus, Queenie and Cheremy. I’ve posted about the Harris cottage before, of course, but we visited thirteen map areas on the way up, the way down, and on little excursions out.

I have a minor piece of new blog functionality to tell you about – the link above (“a trip”) will take you directly to the part of the List of Posts page where the posts about this trip are linked, so that you can easily find those if you’re reading this a long while in the future!

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Erithacus, Queenie and I in our departure selfie!

So, yes, the trip! Queenie and Erithacus, who live in Sussex and Hampshire and so a lot further south than my Northamptonshire home, had come up to me on the train on the 4th. It was therefore the three of us who got into the car at my house and started driving the next day.

We’d be collecting the other three later that day on our way northwards. The first of these was Vesper, who lives in Leicestershire, and it was collecting her that took us to this map area. She met us at the auspicious location of a Harvester – i.e. a sort of large chain not-really-pub restaurant thing– near Loughborough, since this was an easy place near the motorway where we could collect her, and where her parents could drop her.

We had arranged to meet her there at quarter to ten. However, as Queenie, Erithacus and I, were eating breakfast at about half past eight, I opened Google Maps to show them the route we’d be taking, and so, naturally, looked at the place where we’d be collecting Vesper. Now, I and Vesper have location sharing turned on on Google Maps [1], so I can see a little icon of her at her current location. We were surprised, therefore, to see that Vesper was already there! Her parents had to drop her on the way to work, it transpired.

But yes, in any case, we rolled into the Harvester – well, its car park – on time, and Vesper duly came out to meet us. A few of us made trips inside to use their toilets, and we were off, back onto the motorway and heading northwards!

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The second of our selfies of our travelling crew assembling, once Vesper had joined us!

Now, last time some of us had been travelling northwards together, for the ASNC Society trip to Argyll in January, we had collected Vesper at a McDonalds in Newark. We joked then that Vesper lived in that McDonalds. Since this time it was a Harvester, we concluded that in fact she must live in the generalised concept of chain restaurants, and thus be able to emerge from any one.

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[1] Google’s location sharing thing means that one’s phone regularly reports its location, obtained via GPS, to Google’s servers, and is then shared with the people to whom one is showing it when they open Google Maps. (My phone is reporting its location even without the sharing functionality, though, because I have location tracking turned on too, allowing me to see a timeline of where I’ve been each day by logging into my Maps account. I talked about this in my Lockerbie post.)

I have my location shared with my parents and with Vesper and Erithacus, two close friends with whom I’m going to be living soon. (Vesper is the only one of those four who shares her location with me.) I really like doing this; it makes me feel safe to know that others can know where I am if they should need to, in an emergency or something. I’m also, as I told these people when I set it up, perfectly happy for those people to use it for curiosity or convenience – if they see me at the shop, say, they might say ooh, we need milk. However, since this started, some other people, including Millicent, have expressed that they find this a little odd. I don’t quite understand what’s strange about it, but meh, it is a mildly interesting thing.

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