Thursday, 25 November 2010


I propose a new Olympic sport, one which requires strength, manual dexterity and cunning. It combines an ancient Japanese art with the beautiful British countryside. And I call it 'carto-origami'.

I first devised the sport on a walk in the White Peak. The 1:25,000 Outdoor Leisure map for the area is double-sided; when you go past a certain point, you have to unfold the whole thing and double it back on itself to be able to read the other side. This is always a pain, and doubly so in wet and windy weather.

So my sport is as follows: give competitors a White Peak map, and take them to a top of a blustery hill; Chrome Hill would do, or perhaps Stanage Edge in a brisk easterly. They are timed to see how long it takes them to unfold and fold the map in increasingly wet and windy conditions. Points are taken off for rips and tears on the map. Points are added if your map ends up in an adjoining county.

Perhaps then the Ordnance Survey would realise that double-sided maps are evil.

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