What my Dad taught me : Maps

What do Dad’s do? Many things, one of which is teach you things. The more I reflect on him, the more I see things in my life where he has had an impact. So welcome to the start of my little series.


I am cycling around London, with my headphones in and google maps telling me where to turn, often speaking to early, or too late on turning, but thankfully I have a good sense of direction, and checked the map out before I left.

One of the things my father and I did a lot of was go travelling, well driving around the country. I have vivid memories of driving down small A road in the highlands with the big old school roadmaps.

These were the days where a satnav cost an arm and a leg and where about 3 inches deep with a 2-inch screen. Not forgetting the fact that the big road maps cost over a tenner, and I swear I saw one the other day for only 99p! But I digress.

I would quiz him about what road signs mean, what it means for different coloured cats eyes, why there are 2 straight lines and not dotted in the centre of the road, you catch my drift.  But I always loved to follow our route on a map, and suggest other routes to take. It still baffles me how ‘adults’ can chat away about the M25-this to the A1- that to the M6 and you are there. Like how do people know that all from the top of their heads! Also, I say adults but its probably because I can’t drive, still a whole new world (that my Dad won’t get to see me explore).

My Dad taught me how to read a map and I got my love of maps from there. Every time I look at a map I will always be transported to sitting in the car twisting that physical map in my hand to the turns of the road. In my father’s safe, once capable hands.

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