Columnist Di Wade writes about her week of not being able to find the path to her office
I’m currently reading a modernized Northanger Abbey set in the Piddle Valley. This incorporates Middle Piddle, Piddle Wallop and Piddle Dummer - and while I can’t help thinking that say Great Piddle and Lesser Piddle might’ve been even funnier, (assuming of course they’re not already lesser known towns in Lancashire – in which case what gradely names), I can’t fault the attention-grabbing. Moreover, monsters and would-be murdered spouses apart, I DO find I have more sympathy with Ms Austen’s least-known heroine now. I’m certainly with her as to escaping piddle.
24 May: Conceding that my imminently folding taxi company was probably down to one man and his dog now, I allowed frostbite, hypothermia and distinct derangement to set in before enquiring after my tardy taxi home. Whereupon I discovered that it’d never been coming owing to a booking error: Was still kicking myself when its replacement arrived. Still, this DID apparently indicate that brave new travel to work provisions WERE due.
28 May: Nice chat with bin-men while waiting for new taxi not to appear. Still, at least eventual driver knew where he was going, on account of coming from previous firm.
29 May: Ditto.
30 May: Driver DIDN’T know where he was going, could make nothing of a former driver’s detailed directions, and clearly counted it my fault that I couldn’t holler “Left here”, “Right here”, “Watch the gate” and “mind the bull”. Parted in Garstang, with him offloading me, (with much muttering regarding “her not knowing where she was going” onto a bewildered farmer - and me breathing fire.
30 May: Driver swore there was no path where there unmistakably ought to be and where colleagues later,--much later,--insisted there definitely was, and blatantly obviously, and what was the problem. No idea, but Houston we clearly HAD one.
3 June: Decided the road to Mandalay would be easier to find than the path to my office. Nor did it remotely help that the same seemed less true in an evening, when I was standing on it: If only I could master the art of splitting myself in two. Still, was cheered on arrival home by a new delivery of audiobooks: Which proved to be “Doctor in the House”, “Doctor at Large”, “Doctor at Sea” and very possibly “Doctor Doctor I feel like a carrot"…. Granted it COULD be hard to see a doctor these days, but this was ridiculous – especially since I’d actually been after Swedish detectives. An attempt to register for i-player, online sports commentaries and other such BBC extras went similarly as they kept disliking my date of birth. Well so did I - but I simply WASN’T born in 1999.
4 June: Described office path exhaustively, and uselessly.
5 June: Colleague photographed path.
14 June: Decided, in the interests of everyone’s sanity, that anyone who knew where they were going could duly drop me there, and anyone who didn't could deliver us both to the Red Lion. It seemed only fair.
Happy Midsummers Day.