By: Blonde Two

As you can imagine, with the current social distancing measures, Blonde One and I are really missing seeing each other, walking together and generally sorting the world out. Evidence that the world really does need us to sort it out is available from the pickle that it seems to have got itself into recently. We are happy to comply with requirements but are definitely looking forward to getting outside together again when we can.

Fear not however. Despite living in different towns (I know, you thought we lived in a tent on Dartmoor) Blonde One and I have been finding some ingenious ways of taking virtual walks as part of our once-a-day daily exercise. Last week we decided we would walk (locally to our homes) in the shape of our Blonde initials and record the route on the OS Maps app.

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2020

Blonde One drew the longest straw with this one as finding a road in the shape of a 1 is fairly easy. I was particularly pleased with my 2 but my B had a really steep section in it. It is fairly easy to record your route in the OS Maps app, and we used screen shots to make sure we captured the occasions and didn’t have to walk our alphanumerics again. Here are my top tips for secret message walking.

  1. Plan your route before you set out (you can use OS Maps to do this too)
  2. Practise recording your route in OS Maps
  3. Walk each letter separately (otherwise the GPS will join your letters up)
  4. Don’t start to record before you get to your starting point
  5. Walk slowly (especially up a hill) to allow the GPS time to pick up your position
  6. Take a screenshot as soon as you finish
  7. Don’t confuse your S with your 2 in case you end up offending someone!

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2020

You might also want to have an explanation ready as to exactly what you are doing. During lockdown walking can be part of your daily exercise outside the home but your message may well mean that you have to walk along the same road more than once, and you will probably have your phone in your hand. I was offered help twice by lovely people who thought I was lost, and I got a fair few odd looks around some of the residential streets. My answer to any questions was, ‘I’m drawing a picture on my sat nav.’

Oh yes… if you happen to walk a mirror image of your letter by mistake, you can always reverse the image using the edit feature on your phone.

Happy walking… who says social distancing has to be boring!!