Last weekend, I was enjoying my favourite movie, Love Actually, which is a very appropriate movie to watch during the most romantic week of the year! The majority of this movie was filmed in and around my hometown of London, and as the ending film credits started rolling up the screen, I had a “eureka” moment. “I love this movie and I love Street View and Google Maps, so why not combine the two?” My virtual voyage of discovery began.
For those who like this movie, join me in this film tour across London. For those who haven’t seen the movie, I hope this blog post will help show how geography can help you to feel connected to something you are passionate about, such as places mentioned in your favourite songs or poems.
You may recognise this location as the London area home of the character “Jamie”, played by Colin Firth, who meets his true love Aurelia while working on his novel in the south of France.
This next location is where Juliet, played by Keira Knightley, marries her husband Peter at the The Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair. Mark, Peter’s best friend and a long suffering holder of unrequited love for Juliet, videotapes the ceremony.
When Juliet watches the video of the ceremony, focused entirely on her, she realises that Mark has feelings for her. Mark needs to get some fresh air, and this My Map I created shows the actual route Mark took for his walk.
This next spot, in Notting Hill, is where my favourite scene of the movie takes place. Yes, that’s the one – where Mark holds up a series of cards to communicate his deepest feelings for Juliet.
This is where the film begins to build. The film’s British Prime Minister David, played by Hugh Grant, finally finds the courage to declare his feelings for Natalie, played by Martine McCutcheon. Knowing only the name of her street, her arrives to find what “must be the longest street in the world.” Driven by his desire to be with Natalie he starts to knock on every door, and eventually finds Natalie at number 102.
I hope this tour has inspired you to go and geographically organise what matters to you, just as this Jane Austen enthusiast did when she created a Google Earth project to geographically organise locations mentioned in Austen’s novels.