Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
A life on the open road
We haven't heard from Rachel since she went to Austria. Maybe she did forget the two-pin adaptor after all. I mean, we had daily reports from Russia.
I used the SatNav to find my way to the cottage on the fringes of Minchinhampton Common yesterday as it had been some years since I was there last.
Turn a sharp left, said the electronic voice, so I did. It was very sharp - I almost had to take two bites at it.
Turn right then right again was the next instruction. I looked at what it was asking me to do and thought that this could not be possible given the width of the lane, so I carried on against orders. Recalculating... Recalculating...
It told me to turn around and do it again. This was actually impossible, so I continued for 500 yards to a point where it was just about feasible to make the manouvre, after I had waited for the lane to clear of elderly dog-walkers.
Turn right and right again. I thought I could sense some irritation in the woman's voice. You don't listen to me, do you?
So I turned right and right again and the walls began to close in on me - literally.
"I hope there is a turning point somewhere down here," I said to H.I. who was hoping and praying that I would not have one of my signature melt-downs that occur when faced with these automotive situations. There was none.
We got to the end of the twisty, turny, 7 foot-wide lane to find a dead-end with our friend's cottage at the very end of it. There was nothing to do but switch the engine off and get out while we still had the space to do so.
Another elderly dog-walker paused long enough to say, "I bet you wish you had reversed down here now, don't you?" That was helpful.
Our friend said that when she first moved there, someone drove even further to the end of the lane and wedged the car so tightly between two walls that they could not get out. They had to call the fire brigade. I vaguely remembered her instructions to park at the chapel and walk the 200 yards to the house, but too late.
I only noticed the scars on the stonework of people's houses in the side mirrors as we left. We left earlier than we planned to, as I wanted to get out while there was still enough light to see the walls.