Was up at 6am this morning to take the dog out before setting out on an adventure with Hamish our new car. Last time I walked the dog at 6am it was pitch black. It was great to see it is now light at 6am. Though that meant that I had to dress to walk the dog. I confess in deepest winter I became a bit of a pyjama recluse and just put a coat over my night gear and walked the dog round the village. In fact in December and early January I lived nearly 24 hours a day in my pyjamas and famously picked up Christmas dinner at the butchers in them. In fact if it wasn’t for a very good friend commenting that she nearly went out to feed her chicken in her pyjamas’ but couldn’t but knew I would I might have decided on them as a permanent feature. I decided enough was enough and I needed to get more with it again and embrace my wardrobe once more. Though confess I have been out in pyjamas’ once or twice again. Today though I was duly dressed up in jeans and a sweatshirt and it did feel a lot less bleak walking in the light than the muddy black of mid winter.
I have though today truly encountered Scotland in all its weather madness. I have seen snow, I have seen rain, I have driven through fog and finally back home in the Borders it’s a beautiful sunny spring day. That is the wonder of Scotland.
I had decided that today was the ideal time for me to test out Hamish our new car on my own. Firstly as we have had snow for the last few days and my husband had been up North on Friday and said it was worse up there. So I decided that a Honda CRV was a better car to drive than the beetle. I now have great belief in Honda’s after our previous one was written off on a snowy night over Soutra . My husband though walked out of the car without a bruise giving me great faith in them as cars. Secondly have driven Bertie Beetle up to Perth a week ago I am well aware that the A90 is full of pot holes which the bigger car would cope with better. And finally I am aware that I need to be able to drive both cars so it was a good opportunity for Hamish and I to test each other out.
Hamish is very high-tech as my husband says a very adult car. In saying that I was very aware as I attempted to work the sat nav that my daughter already knows what to do inside and out. Before I set out I had keyed my postcode in for my destination but as I didn’t want the lady shouting at me up the A68 I put her off. My next feat was putting on the radio. Simple you say. Well not in this car lots and lots of buttons and the last time I was let loose in the car I managed to change the sat nav from English to Spanish which was very soothing but couldn’t understand it to worse a very bossy German woman booming at me. Which I also couldn’t understand but she shouted at me very crossly as well much to the children’s great amusement.
Anyway the radio. Got it on to find I could have Radio One, Radio Scotland or Radio Borders. Radio One I haven’t listened to in years and the noise coming from it made me feel old but I regret I won’t be back. Radio Scotland I do listen to but Call Kay and I just don’t gel so I didn’t want that and Radio Borders was not going to last all the way to Pitlochry. So I spent ten minutes attempting to firstly get Radio Two and then keeping it as the radio kept wanting to go back to Radio One.
Finally I tuned Radio Two into the car I am sure my husband will be delighted. Later bored of Ken Bruce’s patter I managed the feat of switching on to a CD. All good and at Kinross services I re – put in the postcode and prepared for the first time ever to be led by sat nav.
I confess I have a cynicism for such things. I am a get in the car and go in the right direction and you will get there sort of person. I can’t read a map and though on occasion I do use AA route finder I like to approach driving to new places by discovery. I admit I often get lost but I also have a good sense of direction and usually I’m not lost for long.
I didn’t entirely trust the sat nav so had printed off AA route finder and was very aware what junction of the A9 I was to come off. This is when the fun started. The junction is fairly new so lady sat nav was unaware it was there. I had made it in plenty of time so decided that I would see what happened next though I was fairly sure I was right and she was wrong.
Well what a tizzy she got herself in but five minutes later I was told to turn right off the A9 and she led me up this road which I knew fine was way out of the way. I gave her half a mile of joy obeying her and then turned round and made my way back to the A9. She quickly caught on that we were now yet again making our way to our destination and sure enough it was the junction I had thought. Then she creased me up in laughter she kept bellowing at me. “Your destination is straight in front of you. Your destination is straight in front of you.” As if all of a sudden Disney style it was going to appear in the middle of the road.
But we got there. Was it useful? Well in this case my own intuition and AA route finder would have got me there faster but I had fun in the process and I can see it would be useful on a more complicated journey in an area of the country I didn’t know so well.
Enjoyed meeting my clients it was a one-off marketing consultation for a new business as part of the work I am doing for Perth council for Social Enterprise week. Working with Social Enterprises is a new area for us and one that I am really enjoying. One of the reasons that we set up a marketing agency was to work with a range of businesses as marketing skills are transferable across all areas from tourism to food to retail to Social Enterprises.
Not going to say too much about this new venture as its very early days. Suffice to say that their concept is excellent and really taps into a consumer need just now to live the good life. And I should know as we are trying to do a bit of it ourselves with our growing of veg and our new pig venture. A really enthusiastic couple who have thought it through well and it was great to give them some marketing tips to help them.
Back in the car I decided to forgo the joy of being told how to get home as I had brought with me some CD’s I hadn’t heard for a while and wanted to sing along to them without being interrupted and told what to do.
I have to say Hamish is a joy to drive and I really enjoyed the trip. It was a chance to have some well needed thinking time and in the course of the journey. I had all the meals for this week decided upon. All my outfits sorted to wear for work. A newsletter for work composed in my head and this blog written. Not bad use of time I feel.
But Hamish had the last laugh on me again. I had switched the phone off on the journey as I knew the car does have a built-in telephone system but didn’t know how to use it and thought for one day could do without a phone. I stopped though at Newtown to get some throat sweets and put the phone on force of habit to check emails. Crazy I know only five minutes from home. It could have waited. The phone was in the depth of my bag but the car telephone system picked it up and it started ringing incessantly. So I looked around to see what to do and saw a button with a telephone switch on it. I pressed this and the next thing the message came loud and clear in the car. Great I thought I’m not so daft after all. But I was could I switch it off? No so I had the joy of listening to some of my old messages too until I stopped the car reached into my handbag and switched the phone off.
So sat nav sort of sussed phone that will be the lesson for the next time I am let loose on Hamish if he and I are set loose on the road together again. Two much new technology in one day is not good for someone of my advancing years.
And for my Facebook and Twitter followers who read about escaping pigs yesterday and were expecting a blog on that don’t worry it will be the next thing to be composed. Just waiting for Gertrude and Oink to have a few more adventure’s first. Happy Monday one and all.