By: Blonde Two

Not wishing to tempt fate (that tricksy Blonde), I like to think that I am a pretty solid moorland navigator.  Not perfect, not excellent, but most of the time I get it right.  I wish that I could say the same for my road navigation skills.  It has been noted previously (and in somewhat embarrassing style) that I am perfectly capable of getting myself lost driving to somewhere that I have been before.  Yesterday it happened again.

The goal was Topsham, just a little jaunt up the M5 from home.  The weather was foul and I had convinced myself, in a girly moment of which I am not proud, that the rain and spray would render my little sporty Blonde Mobile invisible to all other drivers.  It was then that I made my first error and decided to take the coast road.  All was fine, apart from my singing, until I came to negotiating the confusing mixture of road signs, arrows and multiple lanes on the approach to Exeter.  I will cut a Blonde story short here and confess that what followed was a shameful hour long confusion during which I managed to visit Exeter Airport, the Met Office and the same roundabout three times.

The truth is that I am not an innate navigator.  For me, the landscape does not jump up and shout, “go that way”.  Rather it creeps around muttering, “That looks familiar” and “You have no idea where you are.”  There are definitely people who have this inborn talent and I envy them.  You can see it in some of our youngsters, they are the ones who come home safely without having to use their compass (despite being perfectly able to).  We even have a couple of newbies who are already absorbing their surroundings by some strange kind of navigational osmosis.

You would be forgiven for asking then, how I manage to find my way around Dartmoor. The answer is easy, navigation has rules, I am very good at following rules and I don’t like to be beaten.  To navigate successfully, you need to know two things; in which direction you should be walking and when to stop walking.  There are strict regulations for working out both of these – they have numbers and actions and all go in a certain order.  Once you have learnt the rules, you kind of have it sorted.

As far as I can tell, there are no rules for roads.  They go where they want to, when they want to and carry poor confused Blondes along with them.  There are probably dozens of Blondes out there right now driving past the Met Office for the eighteenth time today. Maybe we should all stick to Dartmoor.