It started when Tom and his pals at 4ip funded Newspaper Club (for which I'll always be grateful).
He forced us to go and get investment advice from some people on Great Portland Street. It was probably great advice but in my arrogance at the time I dismissed it as 'old rope' and was forced to protest in the only way I knew - I wrote a description of their business on Gowalla but disguised it as a write-up of an imaginary business from a parallel world. It was a tiny, tiny joke.
Here it is:
But, I liked the idea of people checking into these silly things (and, as you can see, at least 10 people did) so I began to write more, when I had an idle minute somewhere. I tagged it all Utherly.
And, having started with an Old Roperie I ended up with a String District and fairly soon I had the beginnings of an alternative psychogeography of London. I'm not sure it worked very well to be honest, those kinds of thing have to handled really well to be any good and I'm not sure I paid it enough attention. Too many puns and nostalgerie.
And then Gowalla died and my tiny jokes became a set of screen-grabs in a folder.
And then along came Hi - Craig's splendid tool for writing about and in the world and I wanted to do something with that. So I started writing more Utherly, beginning with the Low Trees of Store Street.
Utherly on Hi did much of the same silliness:
But it also ventured out of London (writing on trains and motorways). I quite enjoyed Sketchley Park's invention of Cleaning Action at a Distance.
I like doing this kind of thing, writing in corners of the internet, places that are public but quiet. Where people might stumble across things without much expectation and might quite enjoy them. I especially like, for some reason, when it's connected to geography.
The problem with the quiet corners though is that they don't last for long and now Hi is going the way of Gowalla. Though it's closing down with a lot of class.
Should you be interested there's an Utherly archive. It's only screengrabs but it's a little souvenir.
I'm off to find another place-based story-telling tool and to doom it with my writing.