Thursday, 13 January 2011

Road - Hah!

I’ve been off on adventures this week. Unintentionally. It was Billy Connolly’s fault. His is the current voice of the Sat Nav.

Now I know the man is a comedian, but did he really have to lead us down a road – hah! Road? I’ve seen public footpaths more roadworthy - a road that led nowhere?

Instinct told us it would be daft to go down there. The sat nav told us it would take us to our destination.

It was narrow. It was muddy. It was full of holes. There weren’t any passing places so if we’d met something coming the other way we’d have been stuffed.

As we bumped along, I wished we had one of those 4x4 things suited to driving through fields or even a tractor. There was an ominous twangggg from the bottom of the car. It kept going though.

Eventually we reached a crossroads with footpaths going off in the other three directions and a sign saying “Road ahead unsuitable for motor vehicles.” You don’t say?!

Luckily the road (and I use the term loosely) widened slightly and there was a small pond in the middle, or perhaps it was a large puddle, but whatever the body of water was, my beloved turned the car round in it and we didn’t sink without trace.

I was in the back of the car with a very car sick little girl! Poor little thing. It was no wonder the way we were bouncing along.

After a while back on a proper road with tarmac and road markings and everything, we were told to turn down yet another dodgy looking road. But there were houses and cars and it all looked fine until it told us to turn left.

Where the left turn should have been was a sign “Road Closed” and yet another so-called road which looked more like a track across a field.

Thanks to the sat nav, it took us an hour to drive 12 miles. And when it said we had reached our destination, we were halfway up a hill on a dual carriageway in the middle of town with high concrete walls on both sides.

Yeah, thanks a lot, Billy!

The sat nav has got us out of a lot of tricky situations over the years, but yesterday we learned that you can’t trust it 100% and it’s always handy to have a map book in the car!

So there’s another writing tip for you. Even if you know where you’re going, you still have to be able to get there without coming to a dead end halfway through! So if your instinct tells you something is wrong, it might be a good idea to listen to it.


  1. I don't have a sat nav, Teresa, but if I did I think I'd like the Big Yin giving me directions! Wonder why it sent you to the wrong place?

    I'm thinking more about where I'm going with my short stories too - I don't plan most of them and often get stuck - maybe I should plan more.

    Julie xx

  2. Oh, those dastardly dead-ends!
    I have dozens, nay hundreds, of half stories that pottered along nicely until they reached that unforeseen 'Road Closed' sign.
    Maybe I should try a new tactic - when stuck think 'What would Billy say?'. Who knows, a left turn down a rutted track may be just what they need!

  3. I wrote a story about Sat Nav once. Sadly, nobody wanted it!

  4. Great story for a short story tho'! Caroline x

  5. I don't know whose voice we have on ours, but he sounds very very sarcastic when telling us to 'perform you turn when possible'.

  6. John Cleese is my favourite, Julie. If I go anywhere on my own, I always take him with me. He keeps me calm.

    Argh me too, Bernadette. I've got unfinished stories I think will be unfinished forever. But it could be fun to try taking a completely wrong turn and see where it goes.

    Helen, I've done a couple about sat nav and I've seen quite a few. It might just be that yours arrived just when they'd taken something about sat navs. Might be worth giving it another try.

    Definitely, Caroline. Scary thing is, I've already done one just like it with a sat nav leading to a dead end. But different people in the car, different destination, different ending - different story!

    I think we've had that one, Patsy. But it is like having someone in the car with you isn't it. Comforting and occasionally annoying!

  7. Maybe I should get one if it could help me to come up with such wonderful stories.:-) Even if your adventure is true.

  8. I sympathise, Teresa. I'm not talking to out sat nav at the moment. It's been cunningly switching itself on when we're not in the car, and has succeeded in flattening the car battery.

    But I'd be lost - literally - without it. Sat navs were made for people like me. But our doesn't do Billy Connolly :(

  9. Love the analogy of writing a story being like taking a car journey! I often know the endng of a story when I begin it but have no idea how to get there!
    We don't have sat nav so I'm still a drive-with-map-in-left-hand-and-hope-the-police-don't-see-you girl! x

  10. I didn't like it at first, Jarmara, but it seldom gets things wrong and has got us out of a few tricky spots in the past.

    We had a light in the boot that did that to us, Frances. It didn't go off when the boot was shut and drained the battery. Our battery keeps going flat now, but I think it's a knackered battery.

    Lol - that's naughty Lydia!

  11. My daughter was keen for me to get the Brian Blessed sat nav, but after reading this I'm glad I resisted.


  12. I didn't know you could get Brian Blessed, Suzanne - that would be fun. We tried Homer Simpson once but only made it to the end of the road before changing him!