The journey would take 2 hrs 6 minutes, you said.
There were 5 roundabouts to go through before I got to the one I needed to turn off, you said.
There was no roundabout there at all, you said.
BUT YOU LIED, Google maps – you lied!!!!!
Oh – a comedy of errors it was indeed, this journey of mine, from where I live to a little village in Northants to visit my beloved Bert on his boat. http://beardy-gnome.blogspot.co.uk/
I was worried enough as it was coz I dont actually like boats, and so for weeks – maybe even months – various fears had been rattling round my head. Such as – will I be brave enough to even step onto it? Will me and my bellies fit in the dinette? Will I fall over every time it moves or rocks? Will I stress out about leaving my car? What if I have a panic attack? etc etc etc
But I set off – with a car full to the brim of things for Bert, lots of petrol in the tank, and a beautifully printed set of directions from google maps, as well as a little print out of the village itself.
All was well as I went past Corby, and then I hit a huge roundabout, with about 4 lanes, 6 sets of traffic lights and many signs saying “GET IN LANE”. Trouble was, all the road signs on the approach to the roundabout were obscured by trees and the markings on the road were so worn they couldnt be read fast enough. And I blew it. Took the wrong turn and ended up phoning Bert for assistance.
Ok – now I knew where I was heading and which way to go.
Back to the mahoosive roundabout, with all the lanes and sets of traffic lights, and I go to make my turn, off down the slip road – to see people driving back up the sliproad against the normal flow and waving everyone back, as an ambulance flew past me. I did a perfect 3 point turn, pausing only to let a twat in a BMW, who was reversing all the way up from the motorway, fly past me in reverse *rolls eyes*. There had been an accident just underneath the junction and the road was blocked. So, off I go back round the roundabout looking for a possible alternative route and find none – so second time around I spot a little entrance way to a garden centre type place and pull in. Its ‘phone a friend with a laptop’ time. He, very kindly, bless him, gave me some directions to put me back on track, and I sat for a few mins to calm myself and left a msg on Bert’s voicemail, before I set off again.
Once more around this stupid fricking roundabout and I noticed the way I had wanted to go was clear – so off I set on the right route. All that for about 1 mile of motorway before coming off at the next ramp to rejoin the A43!!!!
And it should have been easy from there *cracks up with howls of hysterical laughter*. Hmmmmmmmm
Goddamm Google Bloody Effing Maps. They have satellite photographed everything but cant even tell me the right number of pigging roundabouts there are on a single stretch of road!!!!! There werent 5, you stupid bloody, bloody, stupid stupid Googly arsewipe!!!!
And once again – road signs covered by overgrown trees, road signs bearing no resemblence whatsoever to the ones Google said to look for – I was very soon lost. Again.
I pulled in and phoned poor Bert again. A woman walking by caught my attention, so I rolled down the window and said ” excuse me, but where am I?” (Oh the shame, the shame!!!) And the name she gave rang no bells with either me or Bert. So, I turned around and with new signposts to look for I set off again.
Nowhere, anywhere, were there any signposts to Towcester (is that pronounced Toaster, or Towster, by the way?) and soon I was seeing signs for Coventry – aarrgghhh!!!!
On a whim, I took a little side road, signpoted to what had to be a village. “where there is one village, there be others” I thought. And I was right – I got to the end of that road and was blessed with a sign that told me the village I wanted was a mere 4 miles away. OH My Gods – I could have wept!!!!
The village itself didnt help, mind you. Lots of twisty narrow roads, as villages usually have, but the High Street didnt have a High Street sign at the junction *sigh* – so I followed my nose again. Then headed for the big building that looked like an old Mill. And there – bless him – waiting at the side of the road, by a little layby, perfect for parking – was my Bert, looking out for me.
I have never been so glad to get anywhere in all my life!!! PMSL.
The whole debacle of a journey took 4 hours. 4 HOURS!!!!!!!
We actually had a very wonderful 3 days on the canal. I didnt fall in, I wobbled a few times but didnt actually fall over, me and my bellies fitted comfortably in the dinette, and I even coped with the porta potty doodah wotsit. I cooked a rather delicious chilli, Bert made some excellent bacon and mushroom butties, and we made friends with lots of moorhens.
The week wasnt perfect – erm……….there were one or two little……….erm…………..mishaps……….shall we say……………with the boat itself, but thats not my story to tell. I am sure that once Bert has got it and himself all sorted he’ll be blogging about it himself.
My next ‘big’ purchase, by the way – a bloody sat nav!!! Oh yes!!! Just so long as it doesnt find the only satnav ‘black hole’ in Northants, like it did in Wiltshire a few years ago – but thats another story as they say xxxxxx
PS – its easy to make light of my fear of boats. But its kept me away from people’s weddings before now coz the receptions were on a boat. I think I was too exhausted getting onto the boat that night, but stepping off the next day – using the gangplank – I stood shaking on the brink of tears on the tow path, and had Bert asked me if I was ok – there would have been a flood. But I think 22 years of motherhood where you learn to swallow fears over such things as spiders and needles for the sake of the children helped a lot.
The next day I did suffer a lot of ‘vertigo’ as I watched boats moored across the other side of the canal gently moving. But then standing at the shoreline on the beach, if I look at the waves washing over my toes my brain tells me to fall over!!
But by the day after that, I was fine. And when the boat was moored tight to the bank, it was easy. And I really didnt want to come home. Not just because it meant leaving Bert again – its always really hard when we leave each other – but because I surprised myself by just how much I enjoyed the canal, and the boat itself. The Blisworth tunnel was incredibly spooky – so many lives lost in there – you can feel them as you pass through.
I have been hearing Bert’s enthusiasm and passion for the canal since we first began talking, and now I know why he loves it so much. Not sure I will ever salivate over engine porn, mind you LOL – but the canal……….yeah, I get that 🙂