Yesterday afternoon Mrs F and I got lost in Cheshunt. She was driving and I was navigating - our preferred roles.
It should have been easy: down the M11 and off right onto the A120 at the first junction, continue to the A10, then down towards London and off left to Hoddesdon for an afternoon with three of my daughters, two of their partners and my five grandchildren (plus another due anytime) and a step-grandchild (well its more complicated than that but never mind.)
Once we found the major route off the A10 to Hoddesdon I had a nice printed Streetmap.co.uk map of the final roads to our destination. The trouble was that the major route off left never came, and before we knew it we were heading for Enfield and London. We were going to be late, something I hate.
" Why didn't I take the road off which said Hoddesdon" piped up Mrs F.
"Because it was the wrong road number and too small" I replied.
By this time we had turned off into darkest Cheshunt, which is famous in several ways. The town was once the home of singer-songwriter Cliff Richard. Lotus cars as well as the nationally famous Debenhams (soon in Bury too) were also founded in Cheshunt, and the headquarters of Tesco, the UK's largest and most profitable supermarket chain, is also located here. The nearby village of Goffs Oak is the original home of Victoria Beckham of Spice Girls fame.
"Is that you Gabriel?" I shouted down the mobile.
"Hello Grandad Paul. Why aren't you here?"
"We're lost - put Franco on please (partner of Gabriel's mother - my daughter Chloe)
"Where are you?" said Franco
"I don't know"
"Can you get back on the A10?"
"I don't know"
And so this apparently pointless conversation went on, whilst Mrs F ran across the road accosting passers by as to where we were. Unfortunately none of them spoke English, or they pretended not to in order to avoid talking to this demented woman.
Finally instinct took us northwards back towards Hoddesdon, through what seemed an endless and dreary high street, or succession of high streets.
I phoned Marco again. "We think we're on the right road, but where are the road signs?" Is it the scrap metal value that has made road signs so attractive to thieves? That is the only explanation I can think of for there being so many missing on the Hoddesdon approach.
Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?
Eventually we arrived and had a lovely afternoon eating from piles of sandwiches and other goodies that could have fed an army. I would post some pics, but my daughters are not keen on their children being gawped at by all and sundry - you might be a paedo.
Then back home to the laptop. Ho hum...