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Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Pink Elephant and the Sat-Nav!


I have been 'told' by Sally my VIT that I should tell you the story of the Pink Elephant!

This is because she ended up in a supermarket car park instead of my driveway...well that's HER story! (probably true!)

I am like many, many women 'right/left challenged'!! That is we have difficulty deciding which is right and which is left.

This affliction really only affects me when I am stressed and there can be no more stressful situation when you need to know your right from your left than driving a car.
Especially when your better half starts shouting "LEFT.... I SAID LEFT!"

I suspect that's why I failed my driving test first time when I went right instead of left!

I remember as a child having an inoculation at the top of my left arm, and from then on for many years I had a sort of sixth sense sensation in my arm whenever anyone made me chose left or right!

The trouble is that as far as I am concerned the words right and left are man made and don't actually mean anything to me. If someone says dog then I can picture a dog...but I can't picture could equally well be right!

Right is obviously easier than left and never gives a problem...because I write with my right hand. You could say that left is the hand that I don't write with, but involves a second brain process and there just isn't time for that when someone shouts turn left! (He says that he doesn't shout!...he just gets a bit stressed!).

This is my car, my beautiful blue in no doubt about how much colour affects me. Whenever I get into my car I immediately feel good...and that can't be bad. I waited to get this particular colour..turning down red and silver which were easy to get.

You can't see this but the pots in my garden are colour coded with my car!
My car used to live down the drive and our 1971 Volkswagon Variant was parked on the road. But when the old car was towed away to a better life, I moved my car out to the road knowing full well that somebody else would park their old wreck in that spot if I didn't fill it.

What you can't see in this photo is that inside the car attached to the windscreen is ...wait for it...a pink elephant!

Let's take a closer look... isn't that the cutest pink elephant you have ever seen!!

He was donated to my car by my son in the interests of safety!

I am sure you have already guessed his function.

Yup whenever himself wants me to turn left he just has to say "Elephant Way!" (if he remembers that is) and it will be done.

After all I can SEE an elephant!! Now isn't that clever!

We do also have "non elephant way" but that's taking it a bit TOO far!

So what about the second part of this post....the Sat-nav!

Well, hubby for some reason known only to himself thinks that I am a rotten map reader.
I can't imagine why..we always get where we are going.

I don't really like map reading. Again like many women I have to turn the map upside down if that's the way we are going, and the left/right thing doesn't help!

And soooooh, one day a few years ago we were walking down the main street of the town where his dad lived, when hubby suddenly became serious.

"I have been thinking"
he said, "I am either going to have to get a Sat-Nav...or a new wife!!!"

he added, "I think it would be easier to learn how to use a Sat-Nav than to train in a new wife!"

Very funny!

And so he bought his first Sat-Nav and the pressure was taken off me or so he thought.
The first setting was fine, we navigated to the rural pub to meet his sister.

Next day we left for the ferry a long way away. Sat-Nav was set but herself the Sat-Nav lady insisted on telling us to "make a U-Turn when possible". Pulled into a lay-by and reset no avail... "make a U-Turn when possible", was all she would say, and the same thing happened everytime he stopped and tried again.

The instruction manual was no while he was trying figure out what was wrong....Didn't I have to navigate (we had a ferry to catch)...proving that it wasn't easier to learn how to use a Sat-Nav than to conserve the wife you have!!...and didn't I do a better job.

Finally many miles and attempts became clear.
At the final part of the setting it asked..."do you want to cancel the current route?"

Well of course not or we wouldn't have set it would we!! Turned out that the current route was the old route!! so she was constantly trying to take us back to the pub from the night before!!

This same Sat-Nav was chosen because it did actually have a map of Ireland...but it stops short 5 miles from home and thinks we have gone into a field! That's true of everywhere but the biggest cities.

A new Sat-Nav was bought in frustration this summer and it is even has our road marked tho' it doesn't acknowledge it's existence!

It was super travelling through UK...the estimated arrival time was so accurate and we had constant updates on traffic delays and would be offered a shorter route.
It's still not as good tho' as the American system we had on a hire car in Chicago. That contained the entire yellow pages and could take you anywhere, so finding an Hotel was a doddle.

Have to get back to my tatting to get some tatting content in here again.


  1. System must have been designed by Americans. Sorry.

  2. This is so funny! I've had my TomTom for a few years now and for the first time it has taken me to the wrong place pick up Jane! It took us to the "right" street. We even found the street we were to turn off of....but no such house existed! Turns out there are two streets with the same name and also 2 of the adjoining street. What a mess!

  3. Hi Miranda, thanks for stopping by, cool comment!

    Hi Gina, similar thing happened to us in UK, too many streets have the same name.
    Our old NavMan took us to the wrong place when we were trying to get to a wedding, it was a large Irish town and this was no where near it when it announced destination reached...back to the map reading again! the new one is a Tom Tom with much better Irish maps and everywhere else I hope.

  4. The pink Elephant is cute. Hey, your directions leading Sally to the supermarket sure beat that one guy's GPS system ending him up in a gravel pit, LOL! least that's how the "urban legend" goes. I haven't gone to to see if it's really true or not!

    ~TattingChic ♥

  5. Ok
    My dear sister shouts Your Other Left if after shouting turn left several times doesn't produce a left hand turn.
    I have a wonderful GPS system but the company Navigon no longer supports the US version.
    I purchased it after borrowing my boyfriends GPS system to go to Hector,the contraption took me through a 3 mile washed out road in a state park. A perfectly good road was closer and faster but apparently his GPS had a sense of humor.

  6. I have absolutely no sense of direction so when we returned from visiting you Nick was absolutely amazed that I knew the turnings especially as he thought we were heading off in the wrong direction for the ferry - normally he never believes me when I tell him the way to go - on a road that is!!!!
    Loved your story, and good to see the pink elephant!

  7. what a clever idea. now a pink elephant will be a good thing.

  8. I think I need one of those pink elephants too!! lol! I have no sense of direction.

  9. HI Chic, I haven't read that story, sounds scary.

    Hi Connie, I love the sound of 'The other left' sounds like my kind of sister!

    Hi Sally, well done you, glad you got to the ferry. WE took our next visitors thro' the tunnel and had a puncture actually in the tunnel. Glass completely slashed the tyre.

    Hi Ladytats, we should all tat pink elephants for our cars! now that's an idea!

    Hi Carol, glad that I am not alone in this! tat one!


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