My next caravan holiday looms. I depart on 6th June for Norfolk on the east side of England, travelling via the East Midlands (and not via Essex and Suffolk - that Dartford crossing is a nightmare I will do much to avoid).
I haven't been to Norfolk since 2008. Eight years ago. Partly because it's lacking in the scenery department (even if it does have a subtle and attractive coastline) and partly because it doesn't cry out to my soul as some other parts of Great Britain do.
There is also another reason. This was the scene of an unhappy holiday with M--- in 2008.
There are ghosts to face up to and lay to rest. I must do it, and do it unaided. I must visit the places that, even now, are strongly tainted with sad or stressful memories. I must see them, breathe the air there, walk around, remember what bitter exchanges occurred there, and replace the bleakness of all that with the warmth of my world as it is now - all the light, optimism, and hope for the future that I wear like a protective suit of armour in 2016. It will be a test, but I'm sure I will pass.
And I will take photographs, as evidence that I really did return with fresh eyes, and reclaimed these places for future use.
Don't misunderstand me: there is no hate or ill-will to overcome. Only sadness: the memory of a love that had turned into pain, and how one of us (it wasn't me) was finding our situation utterly unbearable. And yet we could not escape, neither of us: a joint interest in the Cottage bound us together - and would for three years more.
To get around - in an area that I have a working knowledge of, but not a detailed knowledge - I need maps. And this is 2016: I want them on my phone. On that handy device in my bag. But technology is thwarting me!
This is the issue. Demelza, my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, has lately had a firmware update, replacing the old OS (Android 5.0, aka Lollipop) with the latest one (Android 6.0, aka Marshmallow). Marshmallow seems to be mostly a refinement of what went before, plus a few new features. But whereas Lollipop felt like a Good Thing, allowing Demelza to do her stuff even better, Marshmallow seems to hobble her in some ways. I mean that I can no longer do everything I used to be able to do. One of these things is to access a certain map on the SD memory card that I have inserted inside her.
That map is my all-Great Britain 1:50,000 scale Ordnance Survey Landranger map, purchased from Memory-Map and originally installed on my PC from a CD bought in 2012, then copied in 2014 by USB cable to this SD card in Demelza, and successfully used on her until I installed Marshmallow.
Yes, I do have a licence to use the map on Demelza. Yes, it really is there on the SD card. So why can't the Memory-Map app recognise what is on the SD card and display it?
As you can imagine, I have read a lot - and I mean a lot - of help and advice stuff on the Internet in general, and I've extensively mined Memory-Map's own website for a fix. None of it works.
Well, one obvious thing probably would - moving that all-GB Landranger map off the card and into Demelza's internal memory. But there isn't the space there. It needs 2.3GB of free space. If it were vital to do it, I'd have to uninstall a number of very useful apps and their data, and create the required room. But I really don't want to do that. These very apps and their data allow my phone to be an all-round convenient companion when away from home.
I have, of course, got this all-GB Landranger map up and running on Verity, my new laptop. But that's not the solution, even though Verity will be going on holiday with me, and I will be able to look at the Landranger map on her - but in the caravan only. Not while driving along, and not when I set off on foot.
I suspect the only proper solution to this is to buy a phone with a large internal memory, big enough to load up all the mapping I please. But that's for next year at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Demelza is stuck with a certain amount of piecemeal 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey Explorer mapping (a walker's map, too detailed for use as a motorist's road map, and besides no coverage in Norfolk), and all-GB Ordnance Survey mapping at the small 1:250,000 and 1:1,000,000 scales (great for general route-planning, no good for local detail).
I feel that Memory-Map ought to be looking into this. But I also feel that they are probably stymied by the limitations imposed by Android Marshmallow.
I do have a vast paper map collection at home. But I haven't invested in any 1:50,000 Landranger paper maps for a long time. I bought a number of 1:25,000 Explorer paper maps last year, before I took to buying and downloading the purely electronic version. Nevertheless I could press into service whatever paper maps of Norfolk I have on my shelves. They would mostly be ten or more years old, but they'd have to do. Despite my intention to rehabilitate Norfolk for future visiting, I am never likely to return there much, and therefore I can't justify any fresh paper map purchases for that area.
What! you may say. And you call yourself a map-collector?
Listen: I collect older maps, not new ones. And the older ones are getting rarer. It's a challenge to find them. That's the fun of it. Not all the fun, but if map-collecting has any 'thrill of the chase', then you get it from scouring second-hand bookshops for larger-scale Ordnance Survey maps not offered new for sale in ordinary shops for the last fifty years and more.
And in fact I've been collecting maps for about fifty years. It was a childhood fascination that snowballed. It's been one of those things I've been true to, have always liked doing, like photography. One of those real interests that endure through many life events and changes.
But I move with the times. Just as I went digital with my photography in 2000, I have gone digital with my maps, or at least those I need for practical use. So it's frustrating not to see exactly the maps I want on my phone.
I can install pictures and music on the SD card in my phone, as much as I care to, and get access to them, viewing the pictures and playing my music. So why not maps? I'm annoyed.