Monday, 30 January 2017

Sir John de Mandeville hits the Road: Prologue

A year or two ago I mapped my running, walking and cycling against a map of the eastern United States, figuring out that I'd covered a distance almost from Houston to northern Maine.  As the miles stacked up I wrote a series of posts about what I would be seeing as I went.  I thought about doing that again and decided against it.  Virtual adventures are mildly diverting, but wouldn't it be better to do such a trip in reality?

It would, of course.  But as things stand, my prospects of doing such a trip in reality are slim to none.  So why not prepare a travelogue based on a pastiche of other people's information?  Good enough for the New York Times; good enough for me.  So that's what I'm going to do, and slap a patina of light hearted fiction over the top of it.  Jerome K. Jerome meets Clive James meets Jayson Blair is what I'm going for here.

With that in mind, meet Sir John de Mandeville:

The safe money is that Sir John never existed.  If he did, he was the author of a fourteenth century book of travel writings largely cobbled together from other people's books and then passed off as his own.  Imagine, if you will, this gentleman making his way through Britain from John o'Groats to Lands End on foot or by bicycle with his trusty squire and giving a travel guide on the way.

The pace of his trip will be controlled by how much I run, walk or cycle in reality, and I anticipate updating this tale about once a month (unless people think it's awesome, in which case, more often).

I hope you're going to like it.

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