There are some things that, sadly, can’t be done on public transport and moving sofas across London is one of them (but oh what a blog that would be) so the other half and I have hired a van for the weekend and are busy using it to do any number of van-driver type things although I haven’t yet let him buy a tabloid or spend half the day in a lay-by drinking tea strong enough to stand a spoon up in.
What he did get to do was play with his Tom-tom – and no, that is not a euphemism, it’s a satellite navigation system that comes with his iPaq. Give Tom-tom woman a postcode and she will direct you there in a soothingly husky voice, with just enough of an edge of asperity if she has to repeat herself (‘As soon as possible, turn around. Then turn left.Turn left now.’) to suggest that continued disobedience would be punished severely. As I always used to be the navigator on car journeys I was a little put out by my apparent obsolescence. But it turns out that she’s not perfect either, as this little comparison shows:
On the one hand Tom-tom woman:
Is never on the wrong page of the map, or too busy arguing with the radio to point out the next turn.
Has never knowingly said ‘you know when I say left I mean right.’
Does not take a sharp inward breath when you are tailgating someone at ninety miles an hour.
Doesn’t sulk or argue when her route is criticised or her advice is ignored.
Doesn’t appear to be capable of bursting into tears.
On the other hand Disgruntled Commuter:
Does not have an inexplicable fondness for Kingston town centre during the Saturday shopping rush in the run up to Christmas.
Does not insist on repeatedly navigating you the wrong way up a one way street.
Does not lose sight of her satellites, suddenly decide you are on a different street heading in the wrong direction and panic, repeatedly calling for left and right turns.
Does not run out of batteries, switch off, and abandon you in the middle of Chiswick.
Fortunately we had brought a back up: me and the A-Z. I think the current score is 3-2 to me on penalties. After extra time.