PP has spent the last four hours trying to programme our SatNav (henceforth known as Nav Woman) for my solo journey to Thame on Friday.
As she is still decidedly under the weather, PP will be staying at home with small dog, while I have enlisted the help of Gorgeous Daughter for the weekend. GD lives in near Colchester in Essex, so we will reconnoitre in Oxfordshire by the ingenious deployment of a modern day Schlieffen Plan, forming a pincer movement around London, with neither of us having to go anywhere near the dreaded M25.
So PP has been negotiating a route which will avoid motorways and major conurbations. Predictably, Nav Woman is not happy.
She's quite an old model and rather set in her ways. If you opt for 'less urban' she takes you via footpaths and bridleways. However try for 'less rural' and she will always, without fail, take you wherever want to go, via the M25.
I think she must have had some sort of M25 trauma in the past, perhaps when she was being trained, and is forever trying to come to terms with it by confronting her demons. I am convinced that even if we wanted to head due west to Cornwall she would route us via the M25, taking us round twice for luck.
However, as soon as we're actually on the M25 she loses the will to live and invariably becomes strangely mute, with little or no advance warning of lane changes or exits. I can never decide whether she's sulking or merely lost in thought.
This is challenging at the best of times, if both PP and I are in the car, when one of us can navigate with road atlas backup. However, driving on my own, the stress would be unbearable, and the first time she lisped 'perform a U-turn ath thoon ath pothible' I would be forced to throw her out the window.
We're currently on our second 'simulated journey' She completely messed up the first time and even small dog was sniggering at her wildly inappropriate choice of route. So PP has given her a good talking to and is trying to tame her wilder excesses by setting up 'intermediate destinations'. Whether this will result in me actually having to stop on various roundabouts en route is anybody's guess.
More to the point, whether Nav Woman and I will still be on speaking terms by the time I get back home on Sunday is also open to debate..........