Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

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Elden Ring and the joy of the great outdoors

All things can be conjoined.

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True to my word I spent a fair amount of the festive break smashing through the rudimentary thrills of The Callisto Protocol, finding that a couple of hours getting stuck into its meaty combat provided perfect catharsis after a day with the wider family. A break from work is about getting a break from the screen, though, so whenever the rain let up I made sure to make the short cycle out of London into the North Downs and ride some of my favourite roads.

Recently I've come to know the network of villages and the routes that connect them as well as I do the streets of Lewisham directly around me; push through Chislehurst and you're straight into the countryside, pedalling through the picturesque Eynsford and past the lavender fields of Lulllingstone, picking up the Pilgrims Way through to Wrotham and up to Cuxton and Cobham (while looping back via Farningham and Brands Hatch, of course, where I'll sneak a look to see whatever might be in action that day). Some days I'll unearth new routes as I struggle to recall old ones, a ritual of discovery and remembrance that's helped keep me sane through what's been a trying few years for us all.

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