Friday, January 22, 2016

Dr Jones, I presume?

Hi,

The other day I was listening to the radio and one of the presenters was saying how rare it is, for people to get lost. Yes, feel free to make up your own gags about 'I wish Fred would get lost' etc. I can wait.

Done yet? Good, let's move on. :-)

The presenter was saying that with smartphones, satnavs and GPS, we - or rather modern society - don't make so much use of maps. I know I'm guilty of using a satnav, or whatever the smartphone equivalent is, if I'm going somewhere I don't really know the way to. It is, at least on my part, down to a combination of laziness and that curious modern disease: Always Being In A Rush.

Equally, I'll use a map to see where a place is and then plan a route. I don't think this is quite the same as just switching the GPS on. I like to think of it as having a rough idea which way you should be going. If more business and government projects could plan roughly, which direction to go in, we'd have a lot less waste, but let's not dwell on the impossible eh? :-)

Ignoring cars, I'll very rarely use GPS when out for a walk. Most of the time, I'm out somewhere I mostly know and it's at a time, when, really, time isn't of the essence. There's no rush to get back and indeed, just being out and walking is the purpose. That, I find both liberating and relaxing. It's the joy of not having to be somewhere and the chance to take in the sights of the world.

That said, there are also times, when I've, or indeed the Jones Massive, have been lost. Well, not completely lost. :-) That irksome feeling that you know roughly where you are, but you're not exactly where you should be. "That gate and pond aren't on the map. It says look for a path over a stone wall." etc.

At that point, you're faced with retracing your route, improvising or hoping the smartphone's in a good mood. :-) Usually, a quick look at the map and a pause, allows you to get your breath and rest for a spell. The only time this really failed me, was when I was in London.

I thought a walk from King's Cross down to the Houses of Parliament wouldn't take too long. The answer is that it doesn't.... provided you don't go in the wrong direction. :-) Turns out I was headed towards Tower Bridge and those of you who know the capital - clearly a lot more than I - will either be tutting or smiling to yourself. The Ever Lovely Mrs J is usually the first to point out that if I think that's the right way to go, you go the other way. Yes, satnavs were invented so people like me can find their way. :-)

But, I got to see a lot more of the capital than I'd planned and, again, I wasn't exactly in a rush. Provided I made it to the hotel before 9pm, I'd be fine. I certainly earned my tea and a hot bath that night. My feet did hurt, but if you can manage a night's dancing in heels, a few miles in walking boots is a doddle. :-)

Take care,
Lynn

8 comments:

  1. I have walked the wrong way in London on so many occasions - there is just something confusing about the place. Just glad you got to the HofP. You finally taking up your peerage Lady Jones? 😊😊😊 x

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    1. Too many buildings and not enough trees. :-)

      Peerage? I think that's an excellent idea. It would be more than what I earn now and I could do so much less. Ooo, second home too. So in the wrong job. :-)

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  2. Yes, feel free to make up your own gags about 'I wish Fred would get lost' etc. I can wait.

    Well, I wish he would get lost! You know that Fred, he's a right arsehole! :-)

    On a more serious note, being something of a Luddite, I don't think I've ever used GPS or any of those other newfangled thingumajigs you mentioned (you young whippersnappers and your fancy toys!); despite that, I've probably only gotten lost when I've been somewhere new and unfamiliar. When I was on my European holiday the Christmas before last, for example, I got lost in Vienna; deciding to take a short cut (ho ho) back to my hotel, I ended up following the Danube canal in the wrong direction. I suspected I was going the wrong way for a while, though stupidly kept trying to convince myself I wasn't. Eventually, though, I reached a point where I was looking around myself, and thinking, "None of this looks remotely familiar!", whereupon I finally forced myself to turn around and retrace my steps. It was all a bit scary, particularly as it had gotten dark by then, and was also snowing!

    I had an even more nerve-racking experience during a holiday in the States, when I spent a few days in Los Alamos (birthplace of the atom bomb!). One day, I went hiking in some mountains near the town, which was all good fun, until I came back down in a part of town I hadn't been before (it's actually quite a big place). Unfortunately, the part of town I found myself in was one of those annoying places where seemingly every street loops back around on itself; after I'd been walking around and around in circles for far too long, I started to panic, particularly as it was getting dark. I then had the absolutely brilliant idea of striking back across the face of the mountain I'd just come down from, before the last vestiges of daylight had vanished; unfortunately, as I attempted this desperate course of action, I suddenly remembered that the mountains were criss-crossed with deep canyons: the sort you don't see until you've nearly fallen into them! So, yeah, I ended up going back to the part of town I'd just left, and painstakingly following every road that looked like a main one (if they had bus stops along them, I considered that a particularly good sign) until I'd finally managed to find my way back to a part of town that looked familiar! (Oh, and to cap off the whole exciting experience, I stopped off at a cafe on my way back to my motel, to get something to eat after my big adventure, only to find the place full of people standing with their eyes closed in a circle, and swaying to and fro! (I think the place was used after hours by the members of some happy clapper church.) It was all a bit like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers; I seem to recall making a hasty exit, before they realized I was there, and started chanting, "Join us! Join us!")

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    1. I'm afraid I did snort in laughter, when I got to the bit about the happy clappy cultists. A narrow escape indeed! :-)

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  3. Bleedin' 'ell, darlin', yer shudder ask'd a local wot way yer was 'eddin' orf at. Now, Kings Cross... woss a nice girl like you doin' in a place like that? Full o' them punters only lookin' fer a bit of 'ows-yer-father, yer might get knobbled, know wot I mean? Yer went Sarf-East when wot yer wanted was Sarf. Next time, Tube it. Much easier. And yer get the 'ealth-givin' benefits of 'ot oily air and crushed hoomanity to boot. Sue x

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  4. Kirk: Spock. Translation.

    Spock: Some type of cant -

    Kirk: By all the stars, Spock!

    Spock: - a collection of colloquialisms, spoken in a thick accent designed to encourage a sense of identity, within the direct community, while discouraging externals - such as law enforcement.

    Kirk: Can you understand it?

    Spock: Certainly, captain. I did a year at the Van Dyke Institute for Languages. The earthli- person, sorry - is warning us that Engineer Scot should have placed us at St Pancras and not Kings Cross. A nexus of ne'er-do-wells.

    Kirk: Are there... any alien princesses, that look alluring, who may be in need of rescue, or perhaps a good snog?

    [ Kirk slumps as Spock pinches his shoulder ]

    Spock: Spock to Enterprise. Please relay to Doctor McCoy that the captain's tea requires a 200% increase in bromide. One to beam up.

    [ Spock to local ]

    Spock: Do you, my good person, happen to know where I may, get my knees up?

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  5. Yes, I've walked from Kings Cross/ St Pancras to Tower Bridge when I've been aiming for Westminster area must be something in the internal compass.
    While it's been a life saver many times, I live in a road which can and has baffled many taxi and delivery driver overly reliant on their GPS.

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  6. Ah, the *ahem* joys of relying on GPS, or that old mystery tour: postcodes :-)

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