Several months ago I produced a couple of prototype walking guide cards. Colleen, Anne, Latimer and Suzie were trusting enough to try out the final leg and give me some very helpful feedback which I am incorporating into the official version.
…and then there was Victoria, who drew the short straw and tested out the Romsey to Winchester walk. She encountered a few confusing directions and one fatal flaw that sent her off two miles in the wrong direction. You know you’ve failed in writing clear directions when you get an email that says “I regard myself as a patient and unflappable tracker, but…”
It has taken me a while to get back to Romsey because I have been documenting all the other stages of the walk. I intended spending this weekend documenting the New Forest to Romsey stage, but I whacked my back snowboarding last week and it is still stiff and painful so I decided that a 15 mile walk is probably unwise. Instead, yesterday Felix and I travelled down to Romsey to figure out how to improve the instructions and save future walkers from the same fate as Victoria, so her valiant efforts were not in vain.
Using Victoria’s notes as a guide we were able to quickly find the spot where things went horribly wrong, which was the route from Knapp to Hursley.
The verges around Knapp are filled with spring flowers and the air is thick with buzzing and birdsong. The road we walk up has a real mix of beautiful houses, from some kind of Grand Design to the quaintest thatch cottage. The path, for once was mostly mud-free and covered in pine cones:
With Felix’s amazing acting skills and nature’s soundtrack I have put together this short video of the route from Knapp through the woods to Hursley.
So thanks once again to Victoria, and I am now confident (what could possibly go wrong..?) that the new instructions will be a big improvement!
For the benefit of knitting fashionistas, Dr. Ford is wearing:
Deco cardigan, by Kate Davies, Excelana 4-ply yarn.
Simmer Dim shawl, by Gudrun Johnston, BFL handspun by Liz Ashdowne.
Blaeberet hat, by Felix, New Lanark DK.
Trousers, sandals, models own.
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