Frequently Asked Questions

So what’s an Oikofuge?

An oikofuge is a person who has a desire to leave home, or a predisposition to wander. For more on the word and its derivation, see the Words blog entry for oikofugic.
As the name of this website it links to the content in a number of ways: literally, because the blog deals (in part) with travel and hiking and natural phenomena in the outdoors; metaphorically because the structure of the blog reflects my tendency to wander from one subject of interest to another, to another, to another; and self-referentially because another thing this blog talks about is unusual and/or interesting words.
And, well, to be honest—the domain name was unused and going cheap …

How do I subscribe to the blog?

There are big blue buttons at the bottom of each post, which allow you to sign up for e-mail notifications via the feed-aggregator site In the freakishly unlikely event that your interests correspond exactly with mine, you can sign up for the whole blog; but you may want instead to pick and choose among the menu categories—each post includes a button that allows you to subscribe only to posts in the same category. You can further refine your e-mail notifications in, including the choice of subscribing only to posts that I’ve marked with a particular content tag, or containing particular keywords of your own choosing.

Another option is to use the WordPress “Follow” button, which will notify you every time I make a post. Unfortunately, like Brigadoon, it seems to appear only intermittently and only to certain people.

There’s also a [RSS icon] widget in the side/bottom menu (according to what sort of device you’re using) that provides links to RSS feeds by category.

How do I search the site?

There’s a little green box at the right end of the top menu, with a picture of a magnifying glass. Click on that and you’ll get a search tool.

Where did you get all the header images?

All the photos that feature in the header image were taken by The Oikofuge’s Boon Companion, Marion, in various parts of the world. If you click around here long enough, you should see: a bald eagle in Alaska; a pale chanting goshawk in Tswalu, South Africa; a Pygmy Falcon in Tswalu, South Africa; a polar bear on sea ice in Franz Josef Land; a springbok in the NamibRand, Namibia; a highland cow cooling off in a sea loch on the Isle of Mull; the tail of a humpback whale off Snæfellsnes, Iceland; the fins of two killer whales in the Johnstone Strait, Canada; a guanaco silhouetted against the Torres del Paine, in Chile; a Zodiac moving through icebergs in Scoresby Sund, East Greenland; the Professor Molchanov anchored in Harefjord, East Greenland; the NamibRand landscape, Namibia; rocks at sunset near Fish River Canyon, Namibia; the Snæfellsjökull volcano, Iceland; a cockleshell beach on Berneray, Outer Hebrides; the Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul; a tiled dome in Khiva, Uzbekistan; the towers of San Gimignano, Tuscany; the Sea Cloud II anchored off Union Island, the Grenadines; the island of Sint Eustatius, in the Leeward Islands, at sunset; and the abandoned settlement of Doubtful Harbour, on Wrangel Island.

Who’s that in your avatar?

Professor Lucius Brane (Stead)That’s Professor Lucius Brane: reclusive inventor, absent-minded genius and caramel addict.  The picture was drawn by Leslie Stead, for Captain W.E. Johns‘s Kings of Space novels.

How do I get that mobi file on to my Kindle?

If you’ve downloaded a mobi file from me, you can open it with one of Amazon’s free reading apps on one of your devices. But you’ll need to e-mail it to your Kindle as an attachment. You can find your Kindle’s e-mail address by going to Shop By Department > Kindle E-Readers & Books > Manage Your Content & Devices > Settings > Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings. Fire the mobi file off to that address, from an address that’s on your Approved Personal Document E-mail List and it’ll pop up on your Kindle the next time you sync it.

Where do you get your UK hillwalking maps from?

I prepared the maps myself, using Ordnance Survey OpenData in QGIS, along with some other freely-available data, some custom data I add myself, and GPS tracks I’ve recorded. I’ve written several posts about how I do that—the first is here.

What do the colour-coded summits on your hillwalking maps mean?

I download my summit information from the Hill Bagging website, which provides extracts from the Database of British and Irish Hills in gpx format. I’ve rendered this information as follows: red triangles are Munros, open red triangles are Munro Tops, yellow triangles are Corbetts, green triangles are Grahams, cyan triangles are Marilyns, blue triangles are HuMPs and purple triangles are Tumps. The last three of these fall into overlapping categories with the others—the colours override each other according to the hierarchical order above.

So are you also that other guy …?

BigglesFrca on Twitter? No, that’s a charming homage to my oeuvre, but it’s not me. Very much not me.

Or the Turkish Oikofuge person on Twitter?

Not me.

or the Oikofuge on-line gamer?


What about the gay bondage Oikofuge person I find if I scroll a long way down through my Google hits?


A discursive blog on various topics of minor interest