Listening to the newspaper review on the Today programme earlier, I heard about the man who spent 36 hours circling the Isle of Sheppey in his pleasure cruiser and had to be rescued by the RNLI. It seems that he wanted to reach Southampton but both his driving and navigation were at fault.
I was reminded of last year's trip to France for this Bermondsey family, travelling in a loose convoy formation with extended members of the clan. The previous year's journey had been remarkably easy so perhaps we were a little too sure of ourselves.
Anyway...Bermondsey Mum is the designated driver of the family and B Dad navigates. Casual reader might think, perfect combination: women make better ie careful drivers and men can read maps. Yes they can, and exiting the Peripherique with pretty much les tous Parisiennes ahead and behind, should have meant we took the right road south. Alas, some time later, BM realised we were headed towards Blois instead of Limoges. During the tense silence which followed (B kids in the back watching DVD with headphones so untraumatised), B Dad redeemed himself heroically by plotting a route through some of the most gorgeous countryside and pretty villages I have ever seen. We even stopped off for some patisserie and proper coffee. Suitably refreshed, B Dad made contact with the rest of the convoy to explain that we would probably be very much later arriving at the meeting point, only to find out that they had been sitting in solid traffic and we were actually ahead! Having trundled through some more lovely places, (so many of them with very poignant WWI & II memorials) we rejoined the right motorway without losing any time.
So the moral of the story for me was that the holiday begins when you leave your home together and if you are prepared to be relaxed about it, you can enjoy the journey too. Having said that I'm not sure that Mr Pleasure-Cruiser-around-the-Isle of Sheppey would agree!