48OE Blog  
Jul 15

Written by: 48OE Admin
15/07/2012 10:30  RssIcon

Homing pigeons, it is said, have some in-built ability to navigate by magnetic or lay lines or perhaps some very advanced form of TomTom, which has been assimilated into their brains. Either way you have to acknowledge they are pretty good. So too are the swallows that year after year travel from Africa to the same ledge in the same barn at our Herefordshire home.

Global navigation in the animal kingdom seems far more advanced than the skills man has inherited.  For those of you who have been reading my Blog from the start would know, 'She who must not be named', was not blessed with navigational skill. She may have been absent the day it was handed out. 

There are those that have trained their minds with encyclopaedic knowledge in the art of travel namely the London Taxi Driver. Others have relied more and more on scientific advancement to steer their ships, planes and space craft.  We can now navigate to within tens of metres for an unmanned landing on Mars.

There is however still one group of hardened individuals who, whilst embracing the map and road atlas, have not made the leap to electronic devices. Now this group tells me that such electronic aids are not reliable and they devour the road book during their enforced breaks - it is their bible.

Take a look in any stalwart's cab and you will find armfuls of books, region by region, illustrating the Lorry Driver's view of this Sceptred Isle. Truckers’ guides abound, from Much Hadam to Manchester from Rochester to Runcorn. Every region, city and town will be covered. They show weight limits, bridge heights, one way systems, rest areas and generally every conceivable thing a driver might need to know for his journey.

Many truckers have reached 10th Dan Black Belt in their knowledge of these books. Some can recite any route without opening a page. They have my utmost respect. One such Trucker is our very own Auntie Alice. She would have us believe she started driving removal trucks when she was five (she insists she is only 39 now!). Either way a lifetime of highways and byways has taught her a lot and, yes, you will find in her cab something akin to the British Library with every conceivable Trucker's guide ever printed (some dating back to the Battle of Hastings which were used by the early French Truckers).

Anyway to cut to the chase Auntie Alice is a Legend for navigation in the Trucking world and with her immediate family. Thus, readers, imagine my heart stopping surprise last evening when  having arranged to meet Auntie Alice for supper she called to say she was lost. Naturally we have kept this entire tragic episode away from the prying tabloids. It could have destroyed her reputation after forty exemplary years in the Removal and Paint Movers' Transport Club (Wallingford Chapter).

I never thought to hear those inexplicable words pass her lips 'I’m Lost'. I can still hear them as if it was only seconds ago. It is humbling to realise we are all mortal but I deplored the actions of 'She who must not be named' who pulled her T-shirt up over her head and ran around the Saracen’s Head car park gleefully chanting 'She’s Lost, She’s Lost!' sounding like Dobby the House Elf from Harry Potter.

Well I have to say we talked her in over the phone and she sheepishly joined us at the dinner table some seven or eight minutes later. I personally am not one to gloat at another’s misfortune but I did glance at a letter from a certain person ('SWMNBN') to the Prime Minister asking if the day, could in future years, be commemorated with a Public Holiday.

Auntie Alice your secret is safe with me!


A Legend Trucker phoning to say she was lost