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The unwritten places

I've been reading Roger Deakin's Waterlog, a moving and stille vocation of the seemingly faintly transgressive act of wild swimming. Being someone who tends to go against the grain, I've got a lot of sympathy for Deakin's cussedness, and determination to swim wherever the hell he pleases. This isn't, however, intended to be a book review, I'd recommend it,by all means, you should check it out, but it was one idea that came from the reading which particularly stuck with me.

Whilst exploring a series of Tarns in the Welsh Rhinog Mountains, Deakin discovers some ruined outbuildings, not marked on the map. It is this fact which pleases him most, the idea that we don't know everything, that maps can be wrong. I'd extrapolate further that this is a delight that life still has a bit of mystery to it (what on earth he'd make of Google Maps is anybody's guess, I imagine that for him they'd be something else stripping magic from the world). In this section he makes passing mention of "The Unwritten Places" (now, I note in researching this post, the subject of a 2014 book by Tim Salmon), wild parts of the northern Greek mountains, left off the map to avoid taxation by Turkish authorities (there's possibly a trite joke there to be made about Greeks and taxes, but I can imagine Nigel Farage making it, which is as good a reason as any to steer clear).

What spoke to me is that there is still a possibility of stepping off the tracks, in this hyper-scrutinised, over-exposed world in which we find ourselves living (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of writing this in a blog, you would perhaps prefer me to be scribbling it on the wall at the bottom of a well?), the idea of places being unwritten, as that allows tus the possibility to write our own scripts, which is, in the New Year, what we're all trying to do, after all.

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