Sunday 5 June 2011

Adventures with our satnav

I used to say I'd lost my sense of direction, but since one cannot lose that which one never had, this isn't quite accurate. I have no sense of direction. Period. So a satnav is a godsend. Until, that is, you become too dependent on it.

We set off yesterday to see a Son and his family. Son has been in his present house for about six months, and I have been there several times, but I still need the satnav, especially when it comes to getting through Guildford. So we plumbed in the postcode and away we went. The satnav said 114 miles, which was odd, because last time it was only about 80 miles, but no matter. Maybe it had discovered a Better Way. We also disregarded the fact that it argued about the route for the first ten minutes. It would settle down, and eventually, it did.

Some time later, I became worried. Surely we didn't have so far to go as that? Could we have entered the wrong postcode? We phoned Son to check. He gave us a totally different postcode, and I realised that the one I was following was the route to his last house. Near St.Albans. Nowhere near Guildford. Not even the same county. Oh silly me.

We pulled off the motorway to re-set the satnav. And it froze. We'd disregarded its instructions, we'd doubted its word, and now we were at a service station (and it doesn't do service stations). So it was going to sulk. We begged and we shouted at it. It continued to sulk. Eventually, we set it all over again, on a road it deigned to recognise, and it agreed to come back. But on its terms. We apologised, and it graciously consented to guide us through Guildford and deliver us to our destination.

But I feel very foolish. Guildford; St. Albans. Nowhere near each there, are they? Not even in the same county. Everyone knows that. Surely the penny should have dropped a little sooner...?

Oh dear.


  1. I don't have a sat nav because I know that I would go wherever it told me to go - down a dirt track - up a mountain - anywhere.

  2. Is it my imagination, or do they sound sarcastic when telling us to turn round because we've gone the wrong way?

  3. Give me a road atlas any day!

  4. Colete, I'm prpared to take that risk!

    Patsy. ours sounds not so much sarcastic as mildly exasperated.

    Joanne, that's great if you belong to the map-reading fraternity!

  5. I think these stories abound - MFB's chidlren were supposed to join us in a little Alpine hamlet but their TomTom told them to go somewhere else entirely, which included directions into a farmer's field, where they ended up high-centered.
    These devices are terrific, as long as you keep a close eye on what they're doing. A bit like small, clever children.

  6. I agree about having to keep an eye on them, Deborah. If you see the dreaded gravel pit ahead, you just don't go there. Even I know that!

  7. Give me a map any day!

    Some years ago, we lived at the end of a cul-de-sac that had once, a long time ago, been a very narrow through road.

    Thanks to sat nav, we were for ever seeing huge lorries appear outside our house. Eventually accepting, after much beeping, shunting and probably swearing, that they could neither (a) go forward nor (b) turn round, they slowly and noisily reversed back the way they had come.

    Now if they'd had the sense to look at a map first ... :-(