Peter and I managed to get lost on our way back home. You will be surprised to hear that I wasn't driving.
If, as a driver, you are going to get lost on your way to or
from Some Place or Other, then I am probably the ideal front seat passenger. Never a word of criticism, even of the mildest variety, will pass my lips. I wouldn't dream of saying: what were you thinking of turning left six miles back, when you clearly should
have turned right. Even if you travelled by a completely different route from the one I would have chosen, I would not mention it, even in passing. Mr B would doubtless say that an ideal front seat passenger might have tried her hand at navigation - but I
don't know Peter very well and he might well have seen this as Unwarranted Interference. Besides which, if we had still got lost then it would have been, indubitably, All My Fault.
In Peter's defence, he had
driven us to Haywards Heath in record time, so much so that we arrived at our destination twenty-five minutes early and had to take a scenic tour of Haywards Heath to waste a bit of time. We considered finding a coffee shop but by the time we located one we
didn't have quite enough time to order a coffee, drink it and get back at the appointed time. We didn't want to be early, but we certainly didn't want to be late.
How I wish I could tell you all about our
interview with our veteran - but I am sworn to silence on social media until such a time as our Military Voices project goes live. Suffice to say it was truly inspirational. Our Old Soldier was chatty, funny, incredibly insightful and with many a story to
relate. I managed to set up the equipment most efficiently (I thought) and only accidentally knocked the recorder over once over the whole course of the ninety minute interview.
I think it was because our
heads, hearts and minds were so very full of all we had heard and seen that neither of us noticed for many a mile on the way home that we were travelling in completely the wrong direction. Peter had turned off the SatNav on account of the fact that (i) he
knew where we were (!); and (ii) he couldn't listen to her bossy voice for a minute longer.
Getting lost is something I am well accustomed to. When driving, if I lose my way, I tend to drive around until I
find a name of a town on a sign-post which I vaguely recognise. The name of the town, I mean, not the sign-post. See one sign-post,I always say, and you've seen them all. Sometimes all in the course of a single drive ifyou are not sure where you are going.
I remember years ago getting lost in Deepest, Darkest Devon. We were travelling in convoy - Mr B, me and our Foursome in one car, my sister and her family in another. We didn't realise we were lost until we passed
through the same village for the fourth time and noticed the same puzzled local watching our painful progress with undisguised mirth.
Partly because of this roundabout detour (my dear Dad used to call it going
by the "scenic route") we ended up in picturesque Clovelly just as all the eateries closed up for the day. Unfortunately we had promised our seven collective off-spring a Devon Cream Tea and we were never the kind of parents to break a promise if we could
possibly help it.
Mr B and our brother-in-law ventured into one closed tea shop and begged admittance. No! was the firm answer. Our fellas then played their trump card: there were eleven of us. "Come on in!"
We were welcomed with open arms, plates of delicious scones, pots full of home-made jam and lashings of clotted cream. It was almost worth losing our way for.
Peter eventually deposits me outside my
house. He is full of abject apologies for the lateness of our return but I, who has been known to lose my way between home and the sea-front, am gracious in response.
"Don't forget to fill in your expenses
form!" I remind my driver.
"Three hundred miles!" grins Peter, ruefully (and inaccurately), "Do you think they'll believe us?!"