On the I-Spy look-out for "Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends"
If you were puzzled by a couple of my tweets over the weekend, then let me reassure you that I haven't chucked in the web lark and become a professional ghost hunter. However, I am currently on the look-out for spooky stuff. Last week @bigchiefIspy recruited me into his I-Spy Tribe, by sending me an unsolicited copy of the 1995 Michelin "I-Spy Book of Ghosts, Mysteries & Legends".
The book claims it won't be too hard though:
"Ghosts, Mysteries, and Legends are really not difficult to find. They are part of Britain's rich heritage, and most old towns and villages have a local ghost story or some other legend. The public library is a good place to find out about local folklore, and a visit to an historic town always means new mysteries to be discovered. Of course, you do not have to I-Spy a ghost to score points, but you might visit somewhere (The Tower of London, perhaps) which is said to be haunted. You do not even have to travel to enjoy this book: find the Royal Crest to I-Spy a unicorn, and there are mermaids and dragons everywhere...Sometimes, you can use books and films as well, this is the I-Spy book of the imagination "
I spotted a few things during a trip to Cambridge at the weekend, including ink blocks featuring pixies and a wolf, a stone demon, and a pond at Wimpole Home Farm which might have contained a water spirit.
I was most keenly looking out for the topless fairy in the book, but I'm not sure how I'd react if I suddenly saw the Michelin Man looming behind me in the mirror.
After one weekend I-Spying, I'm on 50 points. According to the back of the book, if I get up to 1,000, I can send 20p off to get my I-Spy badge.
Of course, the whole exercise is a lesson in how technology has complicated a simple childhood pastime. I missed two Green Man pubs, a St George and Dragon, and a picture of a griffin on a street sign, simply because we zoomed past too quickly for me to get a photo, upload it to Flickr, notify @bigchiefIspy on Twitter, and score it on my Google Docs spreadsheet.
In 1995, when the book was first published, I'd have just put a tick in the box...