Saturday, 3 March 2018
PAGES FROM THE STRANGER'S GUIDE: ENTERING THE LABYRINTH
And so the time approaches for your first journey into the timeless no-man's land that lies within Talliston. Here are a few more words of wisdom for that journeying from The Stranger's Guide...
+++PREPARING FOR YOUR JOURNEY+++
Before entering the immortal labyrinth of the house it is essential that you spend time in preparation for your adventuring. Think of this as with the same respect as packing as for a Grand Tour or epic around the world journey for it may be the same time before you return (albeit to the exact moment you left). While travellers upon Brunel’s SS Great Britain arrive laden with trunks and cases, there are no porters or bearers on this voyage. The key is to pack lightly, allowing for swift and unencumbered movement, yet while also being mindful that you will be traversing through many different seasons and terrains. Think: All weathers and all times of year.
Following is the current list of items I take upon my expeditions, with notes and reminders. I will cover more on the subject of food, water, maps and currency along your route in later pages.
–: CLOTHING :–
All of the places I have so far encountered are forward from the date I am familiar, so deciding the best attire has been beset with problems. One thing is clear: forget gentlemanly finery such as frock coats and waist cotes. Instead go for more ordinary wear, leaning towards darker, plainer fabrics that are less conspicuous to the casual eye. Bring items you can wear or remove in layers.
Hats should be cloth and chosen for warmth
Eyeglasses – and spare set if you wear them
Waterproof coat with deep pockets
Scarf for face in snowy lands
Tough long trousers without flares. Favour belt over braces.
Cotton shirt. No ties or cravats
Peasant style vest or under-jacket
Long under garments
Long woollen socks
Leather gloves or woollen mittens
Sturdy walking boots or high shoes with buttoned sides over laces
–: TRAVELLING GEAR :–
Keep to a single pack, satchel or seaman’s bag
Pocket knife, preferably folding
Water flask or skin
Matches / tinder in waterproof tin
Small candle for fire starting
Cup or bowl
Maps and guides of cities and regions visited
Notebook or travel journal
Needle and strong thread
Small cloth or towel
Salt and pepper
String or twine
Also: specially created to link with the novel, we have a new way to travel the labyrinth of the house and gardens. Follow the link below and you'll find glorious images from each location, plus hidden butterflies that unlock tantalising fragments from the world of the story.
A note of clarity: these images and text are not from the novel. They refer to the book within the book. In the story, thirteen-year-old Joe finds this leather-bound volume in The Old Rectory in 1852. While I was writing Joe's adventures, I was also creating the guidebook he carried. Maybe one day this companion will exist, but for now there is one copy, kept at Talliston. To this end, I will refer to real novel as The Stranger's Guide To Talliston and the fictitious guidebook as The Stranger's Guide. Confused? Think The Shadow of the Wind... and you're there!