I get lost all the time. You wouldn’t believe how lost I can get. It’s like I lack any kind of internal compass. It surprises me, because Father knows how to get everywhere, and equipped me in all my pre sat nav travelling with clear directions, generally punctuated by pub landmarks. Sister is relatively savvy in a local way. Mother is quietly skilled, but me – blindfold me and spin me around in the living room and I’d get lost on the way to the kitchen.
It’s so bad that I have actually relied on Daughter (who’s 5, remember), to point out the way. We were off on a family day trip and were setting the sat nav up, and she asked why we needed it. So as not to get lost, I told her. She looked at me with wide eyed incredulity. ‘But we’ve been before!’. So you see how challenged I am.
I’ve had a couple of corkers in the space of a week. They were both on a Thursday, and so I will be driving straight home from work next Thursday (one of the few journeys I manage without a hitch). Last week, I was heading to a Halloween party straight from work. Husband had gone to Sister’s house, and they and Brother-in-Law were taking Daughter and Niece off to a party at a cricket club. Sister gave me a couple of landmarks, and I set off reasonably confidently. It took me three quarters of an hour. It should have taken me ten minutes. What I didn’t realise was that I’d been right by it three times but each time had turned right instead of left. In my defence, it was dark and not signposted at all.
Then yesterday I had to go an event at a local school for work. I’d forgotten the sat nav, but the route planner I’d looked at told me 9 minutes. The directions seemed straight forward enough. Over an hour later, with the car running on fumes, I decided to try and head home.
I need The Knowledge. Maybe I should sign up to some kind of taxi drivers course. I thought it was an age thing, because I used to think nothing of driving into the city centre every Saturday (cheaper petrol and free parking), but while I took my eye off the ball and had a baby, they rebuilt the city and suddenly half the roads I used to use had disappeared, and it was all unfathomable.
I’ve got a couple of even worse examples. Pre husbands, Sister and I went off to a wedding in Sheffield, me at the wheel. We’d booked in to a hotel and the plan should have given us time to arrive, have a leisurely lunch and get changed. When we saw a sign for Hull, we rang Father. Apparently we had gone too far! We begged the hotel to make us a sandwich and took hurried bites in between hair and makeup. Father directed us home via a phone call every 15 minutes.
And then there was the year that me, Sister and C went to Blackpool for New Year. This time C was driving. We set off on the return journey (having arrived unscathed) and at some point one of us commented it seemed to be taking forever – a very long hour indeed. The reason for that was because we had completely missed our Liverpool exit and were nearly in Birmingham.
So if I ever offer you a lift, be certain that you know the way, because there’s no guarantee that I do!