For NaArMaMo day 27, I decided to use my RAS token, which gave me a 6 digit number every minute. I decided to use it for a spot of experimental travel, and concluded that the photos I took would be day 27's art.

So, for the walk.. I decided that the first time I looked at it, the first two numbers would determine how long the walk should be. The number was 292158, so I decided the walk should be 29 minutes long.

I also decided that the last number would have significance - if it was even, I would go right, if it was odd, I would go left. As it was an "8", I went right.

Then I concluded that the first two numbers would be how many paces I would take until I had to then go left or right. The number had changed, so my first number was "67".

This strategy didn't work very well, but still, I went for a walk and took some photos, so here are some of the photos:

Twickenham Studios:
Twickenham Studios

I liked the way that this part of St Stephen's church looks a bit like plants with teeth:
St Stephen's Church

Some sort of plant:
Outside St Stephen's

A chestnut I found on the way home:


Jan. 18th, 2011 02:27 pm
I read about the Drift Deck on BLDBLOG a few weeks ago, but forgot to print out the cards until yesterday.

Bright Light
I started to walk, flicked through the cards and almost collided with a bicycle. I continued to read them as I walked and read "Bright Light. Slow your pace by half." The card had a picture of an astronaut on it. I was getting close to a street lamp that was on, despite bright sunshine. I walked slowly towards it and took a photograph.

I decided "Valentia Road" sounded like a nice road, so headed up it, and saw a children's playground in the distance. I then noticed an alley and remembered there was an alley card that said "Explore. Linger. Document what you find. If there's anything truly curious, photograph it and call it treasure." I did that. I took photos of drips on the metal bars at the end of the alley. I photographed a word that looked like it said "test" written in silver on a fence. I photographed the fence fibres up close and they look sparkly. I noticed the ground had words written in it, presumably before the surface had set properly, but they were unreadable.

I reached the end of the alley and it was then that a pigeon appeared, looking at me, and I remembered the card which had a picture of a pigeon on it and said "Real, Jarring. Change course."

I then went right, up Grays Road, Cardwell Crescent, and then Stonor Place. I was looking for people with red shoes or phone boxes, but I did not see either. Back on Valentia Road, I looked at the noticeboard by the playground and saw photos of police officers.
Bright Light

I then continued and reached Headington Road, took a photo of Headington School and then turned back. I noticed a lot of worms stranded on pavements, elastic bands, and a caravan with broken windows.

The cards reminded me a bit of Mundane Journeys by Kate Pocrass, which I used to help me explore while I was in San Francisco.


Jan. 6th, 2011 01:11 pm
I vaguely attempted Alternating Travel again and ended up in South Park eating my lunch in the rain, staring at the misty spires. I also walked past a road marker stone that said "Here endeth Oxford Milehy Way 1667".
This lunchtime, I decided to try the Experimental Travel technique, known as Alternating Travel, from my work place. I turned right, I turned left, I ate some blackberries, I saw a silver spoon lying abandoned in the meadow, and also a man with a microphone. Was he recording the sound of crickets or the sound of lawnmowers, or something else entirely? I continued onwards, and ended up on a path I have walked down a few times before. This time proved more dangerous. Not only did my legs get very stung by nettles, but also my nose. Ouch. Perhaps I should eat my lunch at my desk in future, like everyone else.
I tried Alternating Travel yesterday, but that ended quickly, even after retracing my steps a little and heading underneath low dark bridges. I then decided to instead follow the river and wandered across fields, through a lot of mud, past cows, and ended up at a shimmering lake, full of reflections of Autumn leaves. I found a deserted playground and started swinging, watching the treetops and looking up at the sky, and that made me happy.

Today I've been attempting NaNoWriMo, although have already managed to injure myself while chopping up a pumpkin, whose smile was just too sinister, and I very almost lost consciousness.

My text adventure so far is set in a town where it hasn't been Spring for 3 years. This is mostly because when it gets to Spring in the UK, it will be a year and a half since I last experienced Spring. I am still confused about seasons. I thought I saw snow today even, which sort of makes sense if it is Calan Gaeaf today, the first day of Winter, according to Welsh culture.
"I know why," he sang.
Alternating Travel was used as a method today to attempt exploration of North Melbourne. After you leave your house, you turn right, and then take the first road on the left, then the first road on the right, and so on.

The first thing I noticed was the smell of blossom before I headed down the first laneway that I found, which had writing that said, "life is here now". I passed a strange looking church, picked up some peeling bark and purple leaves from the ground, and then got stuck in a laneway that had no left turn. I decided to head home, but noticed an old sign painted onto a wall, advertising brandy.

I was almost home again when I heard a guy singing, "I know why." When home, I decided to try again, this time turning left after I had left my house. I found some birds without heads stenciled onto a wall, as well as a few mushrooms, but then found myself stuck down the same laneway again!

I gave up and went to the park, and found the billabong actually had water in it, and many birds were gathered there. (Billabong! Billabong!) I also found trees which were shedding their bark. Some seemed still tangled in the remnants of their bark, but others seemed to have shed it all.
Cuff 'em On! Eat 'em Off!
Expedition to K2

Undertaking an expedition to K2 at first seemed like a daunting task, since my map's grid-reference system only went up to H2. Luckily, a map of Northampton had an appropriate K2 square. In that square was a road named Chatsworth Avenue, and although Southampton lacked such a road, Bitterne possessed a Chatsworth Road, so that was concluded close enough.

As I began the ascent, I quickly realised that the mountain was snow-capped (covered in white chocolate buttons), full of mountain beasts (stone owls) and strange alien substances (weird foamy plastic yellow stuff). I was unsure why there was a boat stuck halfway up the mountain, why a gnome had attempted the hike, or if the local delicacy really was natural and artificial fruit flavoured cuffs. The view from the peak (a busy road) was a little disappointing, but my imagination was sufficient for me to act amazed anyway.

Ariadne's Thread

The travel experiment that is known as Ariadne's Thread consists of an "Ariadne" listing 10 places in the city that are meaningful to them. These are then plotted on a map, lines are drawn between them and the lines are followed. So, to participate in this travel experiment, list a number of places that are meaningful to you, preferably in Southampton, but if you live somewhere else, I will choose what I think are the Southampton equivalents of those places. I will then try to follow the thread and see the Southampton that is somehow meaningful to you. For example, in The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel, the Ariadne listed 10 "first times" - the place she first drank whiskey, the place she first fainted, etc.
Broken CD
This week's tactic for adventures is: Experimental Travel.

The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel collects together details of experiments, such as travelling somewhere blindfolded, choosing a destination using a dice, or wearing a horse's head.

My first attempt at Alternating Travel (taking the first road on the right and then the road on the left, etc) was conducted inside the building where I live and ended abruptly when I found myself outside Flat 52.

Deciding to be a little more adventurous, I stepped outside and headed right and then left, right and then left. The first time I was unable to turn left, I found myself outside Southampton Central Station and watched a freight train go by. Next time someone wants directions from my house to the station, I'll easily be able to direct them!

After that, I cheated just a little to avoid dead ends and took a path instead of a road and discovered revealing messages on scraps of paper from other travellers, such as, "I feel that protocol will pay you from tomorrow". After getting into the true holiday spirit of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, travelling right and left, right and left, I eventually ended up back at my house, which was quite a coincidence really.


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