Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bloody Google

You’d be justified to think that I harbour a secret, dirty fondness for graveyards, especially for this one

which I photograph every time I walk by, in all seasons, in all lighting conditions. Once I even tried at night, for an extra dose of eeriness, but I just haven’t got the camera that can capture the darkness without looking like a picture of some black treacle.

So, yes, graveyards. I love them, particularly so when they are as peaceful and movie-like as this one. I recall being in holiday in Austria many years ago and walking by a church graveyard that made me plan for my mortal remains to rest for eternity within its soft grass. Not bad an impression if you consider I was eleven at the time and sketched the place in countless pads thereafter, picturing my own grave stuck sideways in the soft soil, underneath a tree. And do you know what is funny now? I don’t even remember where in Austria this graveyard is, which is very disappointing. But all of this graveyard talk is a digression because it isn't at all what I wanted to talk about when I sat down.

Today I went to a business meeting, a proper, fully-fledged business meeting, a bit like the ones I used to run only a few months ago. I’ll tell you the truth, I was sick with remembrances for the first half hour, oscillating between a desire to laugh (because I am free now) or cry (at the passing of eight years in such intellectual wasteland). Still, it’s a miracle I even made it there because, even though this place was only a handful of miles from home, my GoogleMaps directions were just bonkers, and I am putting it kindly. But didn’t I know it already? Last year they sent me to Hale via Gatley, which won’t really mean a lot to those of you who aren’t local to me, but let’s just say that it’s a bit like walking from Columbus Circle to Saks Fifth Avenue via Haarlem. When I made it to dinner and sat down angry and flustered, blaming GoogleMaps for the misshap, the partner who had been waiting all this time said: ‘What happened, didn’t the BlackBerry pick up the signal properly?’.

If only he knew that I still had a geriatric Nokia purchased four years prior in my pocket... It irritates me not to find places, you see, because I am actually a really good driver. I whizzed around San Francisco like a blender a few years back and drove from Oslo airport all the way to bloody Sweden (and back and into Oslo and back to the airport) without once getting a wrong turn. And how about my skillful driving in France and Italy where only the insane and the locals and I would drive? I left unscathed and so did the cars (the ones I hired and the ones I skimmed by on a few occasions).

I suppose this is yet another proof that humans should trust their own sense of direction sometimes, instead of computers and satallite maps. Still, I am back safe and sound, with a Bailey’s latte by my side and a few more leafy pictures to organise. You didn’t think I wouldn’t take the opportunity to take a few snaps of the orange countryside during my unwanted detour, right?
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