I felt I had to blog today as it was just so stupid I needed to get it out of my head (and into the head of anyone reading, sorry).
Three missions today, to go to Cirencester to pick up display material from a conference we attended on Tuesday and to go to Eastleigh to do some training for someone. After I had completed that I was going for a run somewhere on the way home. I had a sports bra on, and my stuff with me in the car.
Now I am in the habit of telling people that I can get lost in my own handbag, this is not true, I can get lost in my own purse/wallet. My satnav is well-used and is over 6 years old and is getting a bit odd. I noticed the other day that one of my colleagues uses the Googlemaps app on her phone, so I thought it would be worth trying.
I realised that as my phone eats power I needed a faster USB/car charger than I have, so I got one of those, and I also got a phone holder thingy. I didn’t buy the cheapest, and as my phone (Nexus 4) is quite large I got one that would do horizontal as well as vertical just in case it wouldn’t fit.
I had a few things to do before I left and was a bit late starting out (mostly work things to my credit). So I stuck the sucker thing to my windscreen, plugged the phone (about half charged) into the charger, locked the sucker thing and set off. Got 200m, it fell off. Now our roads are crap, in that they have lots of holes. Discussing them with my colleague who is French, it seems they are the opposite, in that the French motorways are bad and the local roads are good. So pulled over, stopped (it had fallen into the footwell) and put it back.
Another 400m and it did the same thing. I assumed it was me, pulled over picked it up, plunked it on the seat next to me and drove on. Visited the M25 which was sluggish clockwise but not as bad as anticlock. Spent more time than I intended on the M25, but appreciated its heat conducting abilities (it was about 30c today).
Realised that I didn’t have quite enough fuel, went to the new maze at Cobham (supposedly a motorway services but in reality a cone-nursery and nervous breakdown-in waiting for drivers) and put a teaspoon of highly-priced diesel in my car. Tried cleaning the inside of my windscreen and moistening (well, spitting on) the sucker of the holder. Lasted until I had got onto the motorway again. Caused me some trouble to retrieve safely.
Arrived eventually at the M4. Saw just the one red kite (there are normally more) but the road was ok-ish at the London end. Traffic was a bit off-on, and I began to have the feeling that the day was not going to work out. I have only the one cd that I can reach in the car at the moment (I tidied up) and I am bored with it, so I was listening to the radio. Now the phone volume on speaker is not as loud as my satnav so I had to anticipate when it would offer instructions and turn the radio down and wait. After quite some time, I reached Cirencester (lovely place if you have the time); I found the place where we had left our stuff, only to find it had been neatly packed away. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem if it had just been ours, but we had taken a poster from another organisation as well, and I really needed to get that back safely. So after some fossicking around, and looking through boxes and envelopes of stuff I located them.
Went back to the car, re-set the navigation, stuck it to the windscreen in the centre of the dash, supported by the dash itself in case it was just the weight of the phone. It lasted 600m then fell off. I stopped in a very flash looking school, and found that there was a plastic disc with sticky back plastic on it in the box. I stuck this to the dash and then placed the sucker on it. Perhaps because they were designed for each other they would work better?
100m later it fell off. I pulled over, put the phone on the seat and plugged some headphones in so I could at least listen to the navigation. Off to the M4 again. Turn off the M4 onto the A34, phone shuts down. Turn into services. Charger has not been able to keep up with battery drain. Phone completely flat.
Switch on old sat nav, look at ETA, realise that I will be 2 hours late if I rush and don’t get lost. Old sat nav switches itself off in spite. Realise I can’t call to say I am late as I don’t have any power in my phone, and I can’t now find the place quickly as I have no navigation aids ( I do have a map in the car but they are very difficult on your own in residential areas). Look in purse, find 70p. Go to (gasp) call box, it has slot for a card, I put my debit card in, nothing happens. I try putting it in after lifting the receiver, nothing happens. I move to the next phone and try all combinations of card and receiver and keys. Nothing. I put in my 70p (minimum call fee is 60p) and call Gillian at work. She kindly rearranges my appointment (for which I am already late by the time I have managed to call) without querying the terseness of my call.
I place all electronic objects in my bag. I start the car, who now would like a little more diesel please. I purchase her a teaspoon and a half and head for home. If I don’t deviate from the motorways I know my way home. If I don’t touch another device I may even arrive home before I go on a murderous rampage.
Temperature was still 30c when I got home at 6pm, I decided to have some wine instead of running. I will run tomorrow when it is raining.