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Life Before Sat Nav

I don’t know why I have such a bad sense of direction. It is a trait that I am teased for a day in day out but whatever I do I just can’t seem to make it any better, it’s a skill I just don’t have.

When I was a baby I would stay up all night crying. My parents quickly realized that I’d fall asleep if they drove me round in the car for a short while, so every time I wouldn’t go back to sleep at night that’s what they did. Ever since then I have found it incredibly hard not to drop off to sleep in the car. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen when I am driving but every time I am a passenger it’s off to sleep I go.

This could be why I have such a bad sense of direction. Because I only see my original position when I enter the car and my final destination when I exit, I have no memory of the route in between. For me, I may as well blink and voila! I have arrived.

Unfortunately what was a pleasant passenger experience has resulted in rather stressful driving experience. I have an unnatural fear of getting lost that I can’t get over. This wasn’t helped by the first expedition I undertook after finally passing my driving test at the age of 20.

It was a dark night and I was tired. My boyfriend at the time wanted me to do the forty-minute drive to his aunt’s house which he had been entrusted to look after whilst she was away on her annual ski trip.

I remember my parents tried to dissuade me from going by telling me that I would only get lost and that I should wait till the next day blah I wasn’t having any of it. I wanted to go right then and the accusations that I would only get lost made me even more determined. So I put my little bag on the passenger seat of the red Toyota Corolla automatic that my grandparents had given me, pulled out of the drive and set off into the night.

Bearing in mind that I had only once before driven on the dual carriageway and never before in the dark I should have known that I would never have made it but I wanted to see my boyfriend and no one was going to stop me. Or so I thought…

After making it ok most of the way I started to panic a bit. What if I had missed the turnoff Which lane should I be in when I leave the roundabout and why were people overtaking me on the left-hand side?

I started to slow down so that I could find a lay-by to pull over into in order to call and check I was still on the right path. I was going so fast (50mph) that every time I saw a sign for one I would fly past it so I started to slow to about 30 and rummage around in my bag for my phone.

It was at this point that I saw the blue flashing lights in my rearview mirror.

After rather a lot of explaining to the police officers that I was in fact lost and not drunk I was eventually pointed in the right direction and let tearfully on my way

Of course, now I can look back on those days and laugh, but only because I bought GPS the next day on the internet. Never again will I lose my way on the A30, those map readers can laugh as much as they like now! Mwahahaa.