Sunday, 11 January 2009

Married bliss #2

The scene: Batting down the M4 to Gloucestershire (pronouced Glosstersheer to those of you unsure), on our way to the 5th birthday party of a friend's daughter. We were Late - as ever. In quite the dirtiest car you have ever seen, although this has more to do with the fact that we seem to have spent the weekend on the roads, and the motorway authority's excessive use of gritting lorries, than the fact we have been particularly remiss at keeping our car clean.

I mean, really, what goes on in those motorway control centres? "Boss, boss! It's going to down to 5 degC tonight! Can I send out the gritters?" "Now, Cheryl, you know we're not supposed to send the lads out unless it's 4 degC or below..." "Oh, but please boss, please. I just love watching them all lined up and ready to go at 3am, fully-loaded with salt and determination, lights blazing, thermos flasks full of tea balanced on the dashboards, 'Bat out of Hell' blaring out on the overhead PA system, engines roaring, and beer-bellies resting precariously on the steering wheels..." "Cheryl! Cheryl! Come back to us! Don't look into the light, Cheryl! Someone, quick, turn on the tv! See if you can find any darts championships and turn the volume up LOUD!"

Anyway, I'm rambling...

Back to the anecdote I meant to share. I was driving, comfortable in the knowledge that the situation that took place the last time we visited these friends - namely, a blazing row over getting lost in the back streets of Cirencester, with Husband hissing instructions at me and my ignoring them - would not happen again, because this time - this time - we had the forethought to print off a map of how to get to our destination.

We took the turn-off from the motorway.

Me: "Which way from here?"

Husband: "Hang on. I'll check the map... Where is the map?"

Me: "I don't know. I thought it was by your seat? Isn't that it, on the floor?"

Husband: "No, that's the map from yesterday. What did you do with today's?"

Me: "Me? What did I do with today's?"

Husband: "Yes, today's. I gave it to you, remember? Before we left? I picked up the bags and the Boys and said, could you lock up and bring the map with you?"

Me: ?

Husband: "You forgot it, didn't you?"


Husband: .

Me: "....................God, these windows are dirty. I can barely see in the wing mirrors...."

I have no excuse. We did make it though - and without the hissing. Which was nice.


  1. Our usual scene leaving the house is this:
    I get myself and two children ready. I sort out all their coats, hats, gloves, tissues, present if we're going to a party, bottle of water for the journey, tube of Smarties each if there is a danger of rebellion, feed the cat, put the milk bottles out, lock the house up, get in the car.

    Hubby has only had himself to get ready.
    Him; "What, you've forgotten the address/paper work/really important thing? You couldn't remember that one thing?"

    It is never ever a pretty sight after those sorts of exchanges!

  2. Why am I relieved to hear that all over the world other couples are having spats about navigation - remembering maps, reading maps, or why-the-hell-can't-you-remember-where-it-is-you're-the-one-who-has-been-here-before... too.

  3. I'm with Tara on this one. Anyway, I don't drive so why should I be responsible for maps etc. I did everything else, the car and anything to do with it was, and still is, dh's resposibility!

  4. I am the navigator in the DG house, so we always get where we are going. I have recently been usurped by the GPS, which needs a blog all of its own. Now that we have it we are more likely to 'fall out' whilst driving.....I think the solution would be to drive seperately (though you know who'd get the kids,, right?!)

  5. I love the diversion towards dirty car windows at the end! Was that a sly re-direction towards something he should have done?

  6. At least the map had actually been sought out and printed out. We never get that far cause the Ball & Chain always thinks he knows where he's going. Sigh!

  7. I just love when you "digress." Hilarious.

    Anyhow, this sounds very similar to conversations my husband and I have. Only I'm usually the one who wants the map and he's the one that says "Ah, we'll figure it out," while we drive in circles -- around and around and around.

  8. I am glad to hear that like us, you don't have sat-nav. I often wonder if I am the last person left in Britain without it.

    Fantastic fantasy of the motorway control centre ...I could even imagine a sitcom set in one.

  9. Tara, you got it in one. I know I said Husband picked up the Boys and the bags. But who had done all the prep, plus hoovered the disgusting post-breakfast floor, sorted out the laundry, tidied the bedrooms, stacked the dishwasher, and chased the boys around with hats and coats? NOT the same person who was checking his blackberry, I'll tell you that.

    Tracey, it's the law, didn't you know?

    Sharon, me too. Let's start that support group I mentioned in my last post comments - though this one will be for women who have to deal with men in cars rather than men who watch Band of Brothers...

    Kelly, sadly, yes, I do. But still - at least he can stop off at McD's with them whilst I get wherever we're going early for a spot of shopping. (Oh, I talk a good game, don't I?)

    SB, well, not directly...

    EPM, been there, done that. It's only because we got lost on this very same journey last time that we got the map out this time.

    J's Mommy, oh yes. OH YES!!!! And then, when you finally get there, he says 'told you I had a good sense of direction'. Never mind that you're an hour late!

    NVG, there's a whole cast of characters there, isn't there? Fancy working on it with me? We can even include a couple who refuse to get sat nav and get hopelessly lost all the time...

  10. Our house is like Tara's. That's partly why we invested in a sat nav when Miss M was almost two. There is nothing as delightful as a tiny child repeating all the instructions to you as she masters her first few words, I was quite worried that she was going to sound like a darlek forever.

    Seriously, get a sat nav.


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