The central cartographic theme of the book describes my fifty-year journey involvement in the profession. The text describes work aspects such as training, changing technologies, specific projects undertaken and the pressures on resources and systems within organisations.
Some of the text describes the minutiae of work that a cartographic draughtsman undertakes in the making of a map. The taking part is often tedious and boring, but eventually very rewarding when a piece of work is completed. There is hardly any mention of Google maps, StreetMaps, A to Z maps, fastest speed maps or hundreds of types of other maps used daily, everywhere in the world. If you want to know more about contemporary cartography then there is a Links section. I do mention topographic Ordnance Survey maps and in particular, thematic maps. Thematic maps emphasise spatial variation of human issues such as population density or prevalence of diseases and these are the types of maps I designed and constructed, primarily, but not exclusively, in educational settings.
Life’s Journey is also about beginnings, places and learning, and highlights a myriad of experiences and surprises that add a patina to the main event. Hence the sections on early life and encounters along the way that help put my cartographic meanderings into context. There is also an ending. Fortunately, in this world of coronavirus, not the ‘you have reached your final destination’ type of ending, but a place where you can enjoy relief from the constraints of institutional systems and with the benefits of that ‘freedom’ discover one’s creativities – such an immense concept – and use these in productive, efficient and enjoyable ways.
The Life’s Journey poem was given to me by Thaiquan Lieu, a Curriculum Manager at the Open University, a colliend and an accomplished poet. The five main sections of this little book are based on lines from each stanza.
The heart is for giving
the mind is for receiving.
The physical frame, like a house,
is for living in.
like a map half-drawn,
a desirable destination
from a wrong turn.
The flow of humanity
There may rage storm and thunder,
but the sunlight is for ever.