• Ian

Getting Lost part 3 in the trilogy

Updated: Jan 27

Congratulations! You have managed to negotiate all your way round the wide world web into my tiny website to this blog. If you think about it, it takes some doing, doesn’t it? I can sit at home, write something and someone from the other side of the world can find their way to these words just by clicking on a link. Of course, they can just as easily find their way back home again (and probably already have by now). There is little danger of getting lost on the way... or is there?


I have mentioned already in an earlier blog called ‘Laddies that Launch’ how I have thrown myself into the world of social media as part of trying to get established as an author. It has been an interesting experience, not always pleasant because it has involved getting lost a lot of the time at the computer and on the phone.


It’s the amount of technical terminology I have had to try to get to grips with. I start to read something, don’t understand the phrase or word, click on a link and then I’m off! It takes me to a help page with a definition for the term which has more words in it that I don’t understand. From there, I come across ‘helpful’ links which then take me to other pages with definitions for those words but uses yet more words which mean nothing. So I open up another tab (click here for a definition of ‘tab’) and then away I go again. One minute I’m looking into what SEOs are (don’t ask because I still don’t know), the next I’ve booked a holiday for 7 people in Skegness, 2 of whom are vegans with another who only eats responsibly sourced fish (or indeed responsibly sauced – you don’t want it all over the chips as well).


It’s confusing for those of us not totally comfortable with I.T. If you click on something you shouldn’t click on, whatever device you are using can send you on a wild goose chase. Having been on the receiving end of several wild goose chases when I worked on an apple farm in my student days, it is very tempting to try to exact revenge and chase those geese. But, much like the orchard was after my colleagues and I eventually lost our honking pursuers and returned to our picking, I know it will be eventually be fruitless. (Phew – I had to work hard to put in that analogy!)


So, to the real world and a couple of stories I promised in earlier blogs.


Mum has a great love of life; she enjoys good company, going out, nice food and seeing new places. The last in that list is not always planned, as you will soon find out.


My sister, Jacqui, and our mum were in a pizza restaurant, having a chat and enjoying a drink while they looked over the menu. It was pleasant; there was a nice buzz to the place and they could see the chefs preparing the pizzas in the kitchen through a large hatch. Mum excused herself to go to the toilet, leaving Jacqui to idle away the time by continuing to check the menu. When Jacqui looked up again, Mum was standing on the other side of the hatch in the kitchen staring at her. There was a moment more of eye contact and then Jacqui and Mum exchanged confused looks. Jacqui was wondering why her mum was on the other side of the hatch. Mum was wondering why her daughter was on the other side of the hatch. The chefs were no doubt wondering why the new hand on their side of the hatch was not wearing an apron. Mum, with some prompting from Jacqui, eventually realised her mistake. With her hand covering her face in embarrassment, she found her way out of the kitchen and back through the door she should have taken to get back into the restaurant where they both collapsed into laughter.


She has form for this sort of thing.

There was a local sports shop in Colchester Head Street before JD Sports came on the scene. Mum was in there buying some sportswear for a relative. It was quite busy and to find her way from the clothes racks to the till, she had to worm her way past an assistant who was unpacking some boxes. Now, why she felt she needed to go through the open door to get to the till, I am not quite sure, nor is she now. But at the time, it seemed a sensible route. I wish I could say for the full comic effect that my sister was in the vicinity. She was not. But had she been waiting outside on the pavement, she would have seen our mum standing in full view, again with a confused look on her face, this time not flanked by pizza chefs but by sports-clad shop dummies.

In both situations, Mum says, she initially felt she was in the right place and everyone else was not. She could not work out why Jacqui was sitting at a table in the kitchen and the good folk of Colchester were walking through the sports shop with umbrellas. That is understandable because getting lost can be disorientating. It can be an unnerving and frustrating experience. But my view is that, providing there is no harm done, there are new situations and places to experience when getting lost. To coin an over-used but relevant phrase: it’s all about the journey, not the destination.


Just remember that as you try to navigate away from this page back through the kitchen to your table in the shop window.


STOP PRESS

Mum has just reminded me of a third significant incident of getting lost. When the new Sainsburys opened up outside of Colchester, she was advised to make a note of the lane number in the car park because it was huge and there was a danger of losing your car. She diligently did so: Lane 5. When she returned later to lane 5 with her shopping, her car was not there. Concerned, she walked up and down the lane several times, searching for it but with no luck. She was on the point of reporting its theft to the staff and police when she remembered she had picked up a trolley from a bay near where she had parked and taken it into the store. There were no trolley bays in lane 5. She looked across the car park level roughly where she thought she had left the car and spotted a trolley bay in lane 7. After pushing her trolley to the end and back up bay 7, she spotted her car and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Next to her car was a sign, clearly marked with a large black 5. Puzzled she looked around and then realised that all the lanes had them. It was a white circular sign with a red border indicating the maximum speed limit.

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© 2019 by Ian Hornett

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