I’ve had enough of the winter virus now so I took the children out for the afternoon. I always swore I would not have sat nav in the car – why would I – I can read a map. Then the old car died (well actually it was put down *sob*) and the new one came with sat nav, whether you like it or not. Mostly I keep it OFF but you have to turn it OFF because it comes on automatically, with the previous owners local destinations saved in it, which will be handy if I ever want to go to Bushey in Hertfordshire.
I am not seduced by sat nav, particularly after an episode earlier this month when I wanted to get to Brook Street in Mayfair and the sat nav decided the best route was to plough through Soho (never a good idea) and on that occasion a near fatal one as Regents Street was closed off completely for the turning on of the Christmas lights. In November. I tell you, if I had listened to the sat nav I would still be going round Golden Square.
So today, I turned it on. Just to see, like, if it could mend its ways a little. I half-knew my destination, having been there once before. Drive along the A13, turn left over the Dartford crossing, pay £2 do not pass go etc. Well, I knew the navigation by satellite had flipped its lid no sooner than we came off the QEII Bridge; before I had even got through the toll booth, it was telling me to turn left. Yeah right.
And so it carried on. At every junction, turn left, turn left. Now, I thought to myself, I want to get where I am going as quick as I can and I am not driving down some winding Kentish road in the winter when the M2 is the boy for the job. So I ignored it. And on and on it went at me. At one point, I lost all confidence in my own sense of direction and we ended up straddled between the slip road and the motorway. This has never happened to me before, I am not indecisive in that way. The sat nav has made me a flapping indecisive woman driver, which is a cliche and annoys me intensely. I therefore carried Straight On, fast, and cross. It was at this point that the sat nav completely lost the plot. Normally if you ignore it, it ‘recalculates’ the route, to take account of your errant ways. On this occasion it said that I was ‘off the digitised map’. Then it instructed me, twice, to do a U turn as soon as possible. Right, ok, a U turn, on the M2. It was at this point that I realised I was now in conversation with an electronic device.
‘Make a U turn as soon as possible!’
‘Are you crazy?’
‘Make a U turn as soon as possible!’
We arrived at our destination ok, no thanks to the nincompoop sat nav. If it wasn’t built-in it would be sacked. It will be OFF in future. It is worse than useless. It lulls drivers into a false sense of security and makes ninnies of us all. It also makes me more into my mother for arguing the toss with it (not necessarily a bad thing, but not in combination with the leather driving gloves and consideration for other road users as it is too much like morphing altogether).
And I am sure 007 doesn’t have to put up with a deluded gadget in his car. That was another thing that annoyed me this afternoon. Absolute rubbish on the radio. Not one good song. Not one. And then Adele, who one might expect better of, comes on and sings this song below. Which is all very well, for a very short time, until her strange mid-Atlantic drawl makes ‘Skyfall’ rhyme with ‘Crumble’, so she’s intoning ‘Skyfle and Crumble’ but actually it’s more like ‘Skyfull and Crumbull’ and then she ‘stands tull before she tumbulls’ too and it’s all just unbearable and then, on top of all this, there are people with Christmas trees up in their windows which gives me an ‘Eyeful’ of premature festivity that makes me want to puke.
Apologies for the long sentence there, but it was a rant with no in-breath.