...oh ho, I don't mean me this time.... oh no, I mean machines! In fact, I shall be more specific! Never trust Jane, my SatNav. So, yesterday I spent a lovely day at Inspirations in Preston, demo-ing all things painty and stampy... I had such a great time, meeting up with friends old and new... and getting pressies too! Let me tell you about the Saga of the SatNav. Now being as Ferdy and I traverse the country, my Grim decided that it was high time we updated the maps on Jane and he got the "live services" thing included too, which means should there be a delay on the route she has set, she will re-plan and duly advise me of said re-route and offer me the alternative. On the few occasions this has happened, she has saved me hours of sitting, bored rigid, in traffic. Oh yesh, I even grew to love Jane, saying thank you to her each time she said "you have reached your destination" *just like I say thank you to cash machines when they happily dispense monies to me*
Anyways, yesterday afternoon I left Preston, having set Jane to get me home and picking up a mahooosive caramel frappuchino from Starbucks for the 2 hour 36minute journey she was advising me it would take, ETA of 19:48. Those mahoooosive frappuchino's are indeedily that. Mahooooooosive... so that was surely going to last me til I got home and, with want for a better description, I would not have to make a toilet break en-route. Off I toddle and as soon I got onto the M65 the big old warning signs over the motorway were a-flashing that the M6 was closed from J15 - J14. I knew that was on my way, so I figured that maybe said closure would be open again once I got to that bit of the road. Then the over head signs starting telling me that there was severe congestion around J17 of the M6.. and Sally Traffic on Radio 2 was reporting that the M6 had indeed been closed for over 12 hours and was still shut, with a 25 mile tailback. "Poor souls caught up in that lot" I says to Jane. Which is when I noticed that the ETA home was now 20:23 and Jane speaks to me. She says "Hels, do you want to take this alternative route that will get you home a little later but sooner than the 23:1 I am calculating now?" I said, "thank you Jane, I love you, yes please" and pushed said button confirming this change. At this point I left the M6 and off we tootled onto the M56, Chester bound. Mmmm, as I am about to leave the M6, my little old brain is saying "hang on a mo, M56, Chester? How about diving onto the M62, M621 at Leeds and then up the M1" But no! What do I, a mere mortal, know? Jane is surely going to be right isn't she? Having got onto the M56, I noticed that Jane had sneakily changed the ETA to 23:12. Bear in mind I had been driving over an hour and now I have a further 6 hours to drive, where on earth was I going? Still thinking that she knew best, I also listened to Jane when she said "Hels, I am re-routing you here, accept yes?" *note she is being a bit terse with me now, warning signs, should have listened to the warning signs!* Next, I am off the M56, following her instructions, turning right at the roundabout and exiting on the 5th exit which is... hang on a mo ?? which is BACK along the M56 in the opposite direction that I have just driven along for the last 20 minutes! A severe case of fumingness starts to build up in me and I say "Ok, Jane, I am getting a smidge annoyed here now, what are you playing at?" Silence. Utter silence. With an ETA of 23:59 now I am fast losing patience. But no. Jane is a SatNav. She knows best! Then Jane says "Take the next exit unless you want to drive until the wheels fall off this wagon" So, I took the next exit.... and turned left at the roundabout, went back underneath the M56 and .... yep... back onto the M56, in the direction I was going in the first place.
At this point my phone rang. Ferdy has that handsfree bluetooth jobby so I can answer a call. Thank the merciful heavens! It is Grim! He is calling to see how my journey is going. Needless to say, I had a little bit of a wobble and said a few very lot rude words about Jane... forgetting that she listens, silently sitting there minding her own business but all the same, listening to my cursing of her. Next she says "next exit sucker". "Ok, Jane, you know best... you had better do" I said through very gritted teeth. By this time Grim is trying to figure out where Jane is directing me using Google Earth on his computer. I am trying to describe where I am.... which basically was in the middle of nowhere. Next thing She tells me to go onto the A41. Which I did, because, after all, She is the one with the travel knowledge right? As I am tootling along the A41, the weather turns. It is snowing. And hailing. And raining. All at the same time. And then. A wabbit ran out in front of Ferdy and I couldn't swerve. Bump. Cue sobs from me, in fact, I had a proper boohoo... I couldn't do anything to stop it (the wabbit or the crying) By this time I am in a proper pickle. It is pitch black, the road is all windy and the weather is revolting. There's a rather lovely chap in a white van behind me flashing his headlights at me to remind me that I am indeed, lost, driving slower than the 60mph speed limit and in the middle of a minor melt down. Lovely bloke that! Then I spot a sign for Betsw-Coed! NORTH WALES!!! Erm.... hello! North Wales!!!! Finally Grim has found out where I am... and is telling me different village names I will be travelling through, so I make a mental note of them, say goodbye to him and promptly forget said village names as by now, Mr Lovely White Van Man is about a gnats hair away from Ferdy's rear bumper! Aha! I spy a garage ahead and turn into the garage forecourt so I can get hold of Jane and smack her about the screen. And yes. Mr Lovely White Van Man waved at me has he went past me. Lovely bloke, hope he enjoyed his journey as much as I did! After grabbing Jane, giving her a good talking to and re-programming her, she tells me, quite snappily, that I need to take the A41 to the A5 and then pick up the M6 from there. HURRAH! I am going in the right direction!
I finally got home four and a half hours later. And yes, drinking a Venti Caramel Frappuchino from Starbucks at the start of a 2 1/2 hour journey is NOT a goodly idea. Why is it that the key will never fit into the door lock when it really needs to fit into the door lock immediately? Anyways. All in all, apart from the slight detour, I had a great day! I feel sorry for the poor peeps who were stationary in all that traffic and of course, the poor peeps involved in the cause of motorway closure. At least I got home safe and sound... but the moral of this little story is... never trust anything that hasn't got a brain! Oh and buy a road map!!! Oh and... never buy a mahoooosive drink for a journey, even if it is only a 10 minute trip up the road... no, I shall not be caught out like that again! On that bombshell, I shall bid you a goodly day! Thanks for looking... TTFN