Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Radio is playing Bonnie Tyler’s “Lost in France” … and my Sat-Nav is sulking ! !



I am one of those people who have a decidedly ‘love-hate’ relationship with their Sat-Nav. For the past six months or so I have tolerated her (and it definitely IS a real ‘her’ .. and not just an over-confident, slightly strident, female voiced machine) because every now and again I have to admit she helps me out when my ‘typical maleness’ refuses to allow me to stop and ask directions when I am lost ! !


Sat-Nav Sally as I have affectionately called her, has relentlessly taken me on tortuous ‘scenic detours’ – especially when I was already running late for a client appointment – and has sent me along classic French ‘white roads’ ( often no more than graveled tracks) when just 200 meters across the sunflower fields I could see Cars on a main road running parallel to mine speeding along at twice my speed. And once she even told me to ‘turn right’ .. repeating it twice .. when I was actually half way across a new viaduct and 400 feet above the valley floor below.


Somewhere across those sunflowers lies the Main Road; I'm sure of it ! !



But in general I have put up with her and her very annoying ‘recalculating’ … ‘recalculating’ .. said in a decidedly ‘miffed’ way every time I missed the turning I was supposed to take ( well SHE’s got the map .. not me !) And how was I to know that the tiny hidden small lane on the blind bend was her ‘chosen’ route and not the much more obviously ‘Manly’ large main road just 40 meters further on ! !


But last week, I decided that enough was enough. Fortunately I had plenty of time on my hands and it was a gorgeous bright crisp day and I had our local radio station ‘France Bleu La Rochelle’ blasting out full belt as I drove through the country lanes on my programmed route from Rouillac to St-Meme-les-Carrières in the Lovely Charente Valley.



Coming to a small hamlet that seemed to have back lanes to explore ( which might well contain a hidden ‘Gem’ ripe for a “search and renovation” project ) I decided to take things into my own hands and turn left , when I obviously should have continued straight on … “recalculating” .. said Sally … “turn right” ..just as I turned off on another left … “recalculating” … “turn left” ( ahha .. she think she is going to get me back on the route !) So.. I deliberately turned right ! .. a slightly longer pause from Sally … a definitely more hesitant “recalculating” … so, before she could decide my next move , I did a quick three-point turn and headed quickly back to the main road and continued on the programmed route .. silence …. Another couple of kilometers .. still silence ! .. WOW I do believe she’s actually sulking and isn’t going to say ANYTHING to me now .. result !!


Of course it wasn’t all silence .. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I realized the Radio was at that very moment playing “Lost in France” by Bonnie Tyler ! Could it be that Sally wasn’t just upset at me, but also couldn’t handle Swansea’s answer to Rod Stewart berating her navigation skills too? We shall never know.


Whilst we are on the subject of Bonnie Tyler, it does seem that the French have quite a ‘soft spot’ for the gravelly voiced Gower-born starlet. ( see her french Wikipedia entry here )



and a duet she made with Greco-French Pop Singer Kareen Antonn “Si Demain - Turn around” in France in 2004, stayed at number one in the French Charts for three months and sold more than 700;000 copies in France alone ! ! with sales of more than 2 million world-wide ; Not bad for an ordinary lass from the Mumbles eh. You can watch them perform it together on french TV on a youtube clip here.


So "God Bless you Bonnie" ... you helped me get the upper hand on "SAT-NAV SALLY !!