It has happened again.
I went down for the paper and someone asked me for directions. Do I look like a walking Ordnance Survey? I must do, because it is virtually impossible to stray outside without being asked for directions to here or there.
Now you have to understand the area where I live. It is very scenic, but it is a maze of winding roads, with junctions all over the place. Some of those junctions are farm tracks and not roads, and other junctions are nicely hidden on bends. And of course our County Council don’t really believe in road signs. They think signs would detract from the charm of the area. Maybe they’re right, but it means a lot of people get lost.
It it a nightmare giving directions. It’s not a simple “go down to the end of that road and you’re on the motorway”. It’s more of a “go up that road ’till you come to a junction with a big house on the left. Turn right, but not sharp right because that’s Paddy’s farm. Immediately past the graveyard on your left there is a hidden junction on the right. Take that etc etc.” Do you see what I mean?
I used to give long detailed instructions that were accurate, but I knew they were confused. On a couple of occasions, I told them to jump into the car and I’d bring them. They were delighted, until we arrived at their destination and they remembered they had a car and now had to walk all the way back.
Then I started to get lazy, and I’d just send them down to the village and tell them to ask someone there.
Now I’m getting old and nasty. Now I just send them up to the top of the road. It’s so easy. “Yes. You are on the right road. Keep going straight on this road for about five miles”. That brings them up to the top of the mountains. It is a complete wilderness up there. There is nothing except mile after mile of bog. You can drive for an hour without even seeing a sheep. It is very beautiful and the views are fantastic. But you are unlikely to find your way out.
There are probably several dozen tourists up there by now, of different nationalities. They are still looking for their destinations, but of course there is no one to ask. Maybe they meet one another from time to time and swap stories.
So here is a message for anyone intending to visit my area. Bring a very detailed map. Do not stop and ask that tall bloke with a grey beard and pipe for directions. Unless of course you like bogs.