OS Explorar map 245, The National Forest: Burton upon Trent, Swadlincote, Ashby-de-la-Zouch & Coalville. I do not own this map, and had visited it (sort of – see below) before starting this blog. Visited for this post 31st December 2018.
My previous post, dear reader, told you about a short holiday to Exmoor I went on with my parents, returning to their house on the 30th December. I’d soon have to return to Cambridge, with work starting on the 2nd,  but I didn’t go directly – I went to Leicestershire to spend New Year’s Eve with my dear friend (and housemate) Vesper at her parents’ house.
I rolled in to Vesper’s home in a sleepy Leicestershire village in the late afternoon, where I was welcomed by her, her parents and their wonderful dog Dexter. Her parents soon enough departed for an evening of New Year merrymaking elsewhere, leaving me and Vesper for a quiet night in with the dog.
Now, Vesper, I had learnt, had usually spent New Year’s Eve at home with Dexter, this being a convenient solution to her not wanting to go to parties and the dog being extremely scared of fireworks and needing company. This year, I was joining her, before we’d drive back to Cambridge together the next day to our house. We had a very pleasant evening! We ate soup and cheese on toast, before watching some Doctor Who  and generally sitting around chatting. I also got to see Vesper’s childhood bedroom along with all of the cow-themed items it contained.
We departed the next morning, and drove back to Cambridge!
Blog note: excitingly, this post is a blog first! Vesper’s parents’ house sits squarely in the middle of (one of the sheets of) this map area, #245. However, I have actually been to an area covered by this map before, namely the car park of a Harvester pub in the overlap with map 246.
Now, according to The Rules, if I visit a point in the overlap between two map areas before visiting any area unique to either map, I just have to pick one, and count it as provisional. I did this for the Harvester-car-park visit in July 2018, writing my post 246: Loughborough. However, now that I’ve visited map 245 without ever visiting a point unique to 246, 246 has become “un-visited”. This is the first time this has happened, I believe – how exciting!
 Actually, I only went back to work for one day, because on the 3rd (a Thursday), I departed to go to the Isle of Man for three days! Unfortunately there are no OS Explorer maps of Man (although there is a 1:50000 Landranger for some reason), so I won’t be doing a blog post about that trip. It was 2019’s ASNaC Trip, i.e. the annual trip organised by the ASNaC Society, the student body of the department that I studied in the previous 3 years – I was running that trip the year before, in Argyll, and joined again this year despite not being a student anymore. Man was a lot of fun! I’d never been there before.
 It was The Unicorn and the Wasp, to be precise, which is a good fun one!