Random tripping: It's now three years since I started visiting London boroughs at random. Thirteen boroughs down and twenty to go. OK, so it's a bit of a sad and geeky thing to do, and it's an awful lot of effort once every three months, but it's quite fun all the same. Except that, well, there's something about my random visiting which doesn't quite look random, isn't there? As you can see on this map. Look at that bunching effect in central London - the eastern half of which I've now covered in its entirety. Surely this shouldn't have happened. Look at that arc across south London, and those gaping voids to the east and west of the capital. Surely these shouldn't have happened. And if you treat London like a Blockbusters game board, see how close I've already come to linking top to bottom with a dark grey chain. Surely this shouldn't have happened either. Something a bit unusual is going on.
In particular what I've noticed is how many of the 'extremely interesting' boroughs have emerged from my random jamjar. Tower Hamlets, for example, is an utterly fascinating borough (which must be why I've just devoted a full 3000 words to it). And Lambeth was fascinating too, as was the City of London, and Kensington and Chelsea, and... well, most of the boroughs I've selected so far. Dead easy to write about, in depth. Meanwhile I've barely touched London's more suburban outer rim, out where there's not quite so much of interest to visit. I've ended up in the boroughs that take ages to write up instead. Surely this shouldn't have happened.
Maybe it's a good thing, though. Over the next five years only two more mega-write-up mega-interesting boroughs remain (that's Westminster and Camden). And the more difficult-to-research boroughs (such as Havering and Redbridge) will no doubt turn out to be all the more fascinating for their unfamiliarity. Most importantly I have to remember that random selection always throws up something that looks like a pattern, even though it isn't really. These 33 boroughs could end up being picked in any of 8683317618811886495518194401280000000 different orders, each of which has the same chance as any other. It's just as likely to be Westminster next as Redbridge - and both will be equally challenging in their own way.
Florida resident Sam Minter does random travel properly. He selects random global coordinates and then goes there on holiday (so long as the chosen spot is on land and flights there cost no more than $500). Which would explain how five years ago he ended up getting very muddy in a field just outside Aylesbury. Even I haven't stooped to such levels, yet. But it's an idea.