Number of journeys needed


For all those people who have put themselves through a competition…

How many journeys were needed, or how many journeys could you get by with?

I have zero experience and, probably somewhat naively, thought that I wouldn’t need a whole bunch of them.

Now I’m thinking that in an intensive day of it, images may tend to become intermixed from one discipline to another.

Is that about right?

Hope you can help!


It varies from person to person, but it’s generally agreed that it’s best not to have to use the same journey twice in one competition. Work out how much you’re planning to memorise across all ten disciplines, and how many journeys that will take, and that’s a good number to start with. I’ve got about sixty 26-location journeys in my repetoire at the moment, enough for a world championship and then some, but it’s taken me many years to build them up. I do think it’s a case of the more the merrier, though!

OK, thats straightened that out then.
So I better build a couple more.

BTW, I’ve only posted a couple of questions on here and you’ve replied to both of them. Thanks!
But careful, I may get to the point whereby I expect, and will only accept, advice from World Champions.


I always think the ideal situation is to have twice as many journeys as your need to compete with, you can then use them in turn while practising and with good timing, have a relatively “fresh” set of journeys ready for a competition.

Hi Paul,

I wonder if this might help you develop some journies? Although I was thinking of it more as a method to support long term memorisation…


Jimbo - that seems sensible. I guess I have been doing roughly that, for speed cards which is what I have put about 80% of my time to so far, I just needed someone like you to formally ‘verbalise’ it for me.
Just as a matter of interest, if you had, say, 15 journeys, would you use the same one for the same discipline each time or would you mix it up?

Gavino - thanks for the link to your previous post. Wow, that seems some effort, at least to a novice like me. At the moment I am working on a very basic level, which will be possible to give me decent results, but will ultimately need elaborating if I wish to take things to the next level. So for now, it was intriguing, and I may take small parts of it away to digest, but gotta walk before I can run!

Hi Paul,
I would say on the whole - mix them up and don’t use the same journeys for the same event each time. Having said that I do have 4 journeys that I always use in rotation for spoken numbers as this is one event where you have no control over your own timing and therefore must know your journey inside out without having to think about it.

Hi Paul

Actually I just managed to make it look complicated!

E.g. Instead of a new 52 stage journey, which can take a while to create and memorise, my method would create this as (perhaps) a seven stage base journey, each with a nested location where you could place 7-8 loci.

So, if you know the TV show Fawlty Towers, base locus 1 might link you to the Fawlty Towers drive and exterior, locus 2 to the lobby, locus 3 to the reception area, base locus 4 to the FT bar, locus 5 to the FT restaurant, locus 6 to the kitchen, locus 7 to Basil’s bedroom.

[Edit: Perhaps not the best example of my method because you could easily have a journey through the whole of Fawlty Towers hotel, whereas my method would work just as well for 7 scenes in unrelated locations. So in this case you could link to the ‘hitting car with branch scene’ or the scene at the hospital after the moose’s head falls on Basil!]

Or select 10 of your favourite actresses and place about 5 loci around each in her most memorable (to you!) scene.

Caveat is that I am not sure if this is ideal for competition purposes as this is not currently my focus.
(Any thoughts on that Zoomy?)



I’ve often had the image of Polly (Connie Booth) having her left breast groped by Basil (while he stands in another room) uppermost in my mind, but have never thought of using it when memorising…
You know the scene, I guess?

I know it well, although I seem to recall it was not Polly, but a pretty (Australian?) guest at the hotel.

Got to be able to fit at least four or five loci there I would say…!


Gavino, that’s a cool idea - I know James Paterson likes to use movies as his journeys, one scene after the other in chronological order, so there’s no reason not to do things like that in a competition. I might create a new journey around the Fawlty Towers hotel, actually - I’d never thought of that before!

Now that gives me a good idea for a book - pull together interviews with 10 or 20 of the top competitors and compare & contrast their methods…

Anyway, out of interest here is a floor plan of the hotel that someone did for the Sims - not totally correct of course, but not bad:

And (for Paul), this is the clip that was mentioned earlier…