# Tuesday, 15 August 2006

My fabulous sense of direction

The Mrs sent me off to Tesco last night to stock up on a few basic provisions that we decided not to bring. Given that a major supermarket is rarely far away in our green and pleasant land of shopkeepers, we saved on the limited space in the car, and opted for the traditional start-of-holiday trip to the supermarket.

This should have been a simple affair, five minutes there, twenty minutes in the shop and five minutes home. Of course, had the Mrs come with, this probably would have been that simple. As it was, between my sense of direction, Nechoma Bryna's directions and the two boys' hysterical laughter every time we took a wrong turning, it took us about 30 minutes to find Tesco.

Oh well, having found the shop, I thought it should go easily from now on... or not. Believe it or not, we got lost in the shop. No really, I mean it!! It took us about an hour to find everything we wanted, which involved driving some poor Tesco employees mad with our constant requests for directions. Good job we didn't have a big shopping list!!

Oh well, having paid and got back in the car, I thought it should go easily from now on... or not. Coming out of the car park, we were faced with a bewildering array of choices. We could turn left, or turn left, or erm, turn left. For want of a better direction, we turned left. This would have been fine, except that we wanted to go right. OK, so you just find the next convenient small road and turn round, right? Wrong. There weren't any. As we drove further and further away from the way we wanted to go, I became less and less sure of where we were and how to get back.

With little warning, and even less chance to opt out, we found ourselves driving over the Tyne Bridge. Under other circumstances, this would have been a pleasant and interesting diversion. With three children, beside themselves with laughter, and the thought of ending up in Scotland ahead of us, it was, shall we say, not quite as pleasant and interesting as it might have been. Actually, the Tyne Bridge is nicely lit up at night, and the view of the other bridges over the river is worth seeing. Maybe we'll go back when we know where we are going (or when the Mrs is navigating).

To cut an increasingly long story moderately short, we ended up driving past St James Park, home of the famous Newcastle United football team. At least, I'm told they are famous, my knowledge of football goes about as far as a basic idea of which way to kick the ball (towards the end where the chap who you don't recognise stands in front of a net). After that, it was actually quite straightforward driving and we arrived home a mere hour and a half late.

Oddly enough, the Mrs wasn't a bit surprised...

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