Friday, 1 August 2008

Sat Nav

A friend to Richard Madeley Appreciation Society writes:

"Satellite Navigation was created to send four highly stressed individuals the wrong way up a one-way street in the middle of a place called Atherton. Being only a friend of that saintly presence that usually writes this blog, it falls to me to admit such folly. Such human failing. I still couldn’t find Atherton if you paid me in Nigel Short t-shirts (he apparently grew up in Atherton), except, perhaps, by beginning how we began: by taking a slip-road from the East Lancs. Either that or by using a voodoo doll set to ‘traffic hell’.

Being latecomers to the world of cars, slip roads remain a mystery to us. I was navigating. I was the one who said, ‘keep to the left and we can’t go wrong’. One moment the Mini was on the East Lancs and the next it's on a motorway (another new experience) heading north towards Bolton. Only a few good things come from Bolton so it was blind panic that made us turn off the motorway and land in the middle of this Atherton hell-hole. Then Sat Nav suggested that the wrong way up a one-way street was the way to go. I'm ignoring how close we came to a crash, how we found ourselves on a new housing estate that according to Sat Nav didn’t exist. Ignoring too how I threw myselg in front of a post van or how the driver saved us by setting us in the direction of Lowton and the East Lancs again. I'm ignoring the fact that we got home and that we’re going by train in the future.

I’m just concentrating on one fact: my father briefly opened his eyes today and looked at my sister. She says there were tears in his eyes as he tightly gripped her hand."


Richard Havers said...

I live way out in the middle of no where in the Lammermuir Hills in Scotland and about twice a week see huge Dutch lorries came to a halt by or house, which is beside a very small B road. Said lorries start to turn around, so I can only assume that they have special Dutch Sat Navs that send them our way in the first place only to discover they're not going to make it any further.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Sat Nav and Atherton - a logical connection. Thanks for bringing it to us, Richard.

Anonymous said...

i used to take the train through Atherton when i lived in Bolton, but felt no pressing need to disembark and wander around.

Good news about your father!

Barbara said...

Small steps indeed but any step in the right direction is a good thing.

I swear only men worked on developing sat nav, and they couldn't ask directions for the places they didn't know, so they just made it up or left it blank.

katyboo1 said...

I live not far from a place called Atherton. Thank your lucky stars you didn't get sat navved here, although you would have been most welcome to stop in for tea and biscuits on your trip.

Good news. Really good news. I am so pleased for you.

Black Cat said...

I'm just thankful I don't drive because I have no sense of direction whatsoever and by all accounts (including yours!) sat navs only make things worse!

It seems your father may be improving. I do so, so hope so.

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