It’s the 2nd week of the New Year and I’m up for my 1st 56, albeit the 2nd time round. Here’s what I was asked:
Millwall FC to The Lloyds Building
The Bishop’s Avenue to Turnpike Lane Station
Claremont Road to Croftdown Road
Old Oak Lane to The River Café
The examiner looked at my card and suggested that we go back to the Blue Books. After the last few months, I’m over the moon about this but still nervous as hell!
The first run is virtually Sandford Street to Lime Street, the only difference was that I dropped it on Leadenhall Street at the top of Lime Street. I did think about this one quite a lot before I started and so I’ve got a very generous 8/10, dropping 2 points for hesitation.
On reflection I think the best line to follow for this would be Fortis Green to West Green Road, but I’ve opted for Bishopswood Road to Westbury Avenue. Anyway 2 points dropped for hesitating and 2 incorrect street names – 6/10 and I have no complaints on that.
The 3rd run is Marble Drive to Chetwynd Road and I’ve messed around by leaving by The Vale (which probably isn’t a bad choice) but when I got to the roundabout instead of taking North End Way/East Heath Road, I’ve gone Spaniard’s Road and over the top of Hampstead Heath. So 2 points dropped for going wide and 1 point dropped for not knowing York Rise – 7/10.
I now need 3 points to score for the first time in months and this run is Old Oak Lane to Charing Cross Hospital. However, I’ve dropped the British Safety Council, Chancellor’s Road and another point which I can’t remember and my heart is beginning to sink. I was then asked for The River Café and I’m back in with a chance. With the 3 points dropped I have to guess that I called this one quite well as I’ve scored 7/10 and more to the point 28/40 and a ‘C’.
I don’t know if I could describe the feeling as elation or relief, but whatever it was it felt pretty damned good. I do seem to get into my stride a bit better after calling a couple of runs. The Examiner gave me some great advice at the end, which I took on board. And so I’m back again in the 2nd week of March, and it might not make any headlines, but my love affair with the Knowledge is back on.
Passing Australia House whilst out pointing the other day reminded me of something. Some 20 odd years ago I applied for a Visa to work in Australia. This was in the days before anyone had a computer and I had to fill in a form that was as thick as a telephone directory and then had to photocopy all my documents in triplicate. I had a vision that the postman would deliver it in a wheel barrow.
About 2 months later I got a letter asking me to attend an interview as I had ‘passed’ the form- filling-in part. I arrived in my suit and was ushered into a room with 3 rather stern looking gentlemen sat on the other side of the desk. (I don’t think any of them had a map of the 6 mile radius!) They began asking me some questions like, ‘Where will you live?’, ‘Have you a job lined up?’ etc.
The questions then seemed to turn a bit sinister, and I think this may have been the point where my application was rejected. The questions were like, ‘Do you have any association with known felons?’, ‘Have you ever been a member of any subversive cults?’
Then I was asked, ‘Do you have a criminal record?’
And I said, ‘I didn’t know you still needed one.’