Thursday 14 November 2013

We are driving to Sheffield. I am using lots of percent of my iPhone as I am ensuring we’re following the correct route. The route is exactly the same as the one written on the page of the notebook which is on my lap.

To be fair I am quite enjoying the native navigation software estimating our arrival time. A smooth transition of The Snake Pass sees us make three or four minute on the original estimated arrival time. But we overshoot our destination and only just make it ahead of (the phone’s) schedule. The feeling of accomplishment is replaced by the knowledge that we’re 50 minutes early. And it’s cold. Magnanimously I decide to be placid about this overly earliness. And we wait for other guests of the funeral of the close family member of my partner to arrive.

We spend most of the time in the garden of remembrance looking at the plaques. What we’re essentially doing is window shopping the dead for baby names. And there is quite a lot of good names to choose from: unsurprisingly a garden of remembrance in South Sheffield is not a place to see lots of shit modern names.

I do see a plaque for a 10-year-old from her parents that is above a grid and it makes me feel a bit sad.

The iPhone’s navigation is less successful helping us find the venue of the wake later. It is the poor 3G reception in the area that is causing the problems but rather than just not work the app struggles on. Sadly this gives it a somewhat human quality. A simple-minded human refusing to accept they are incapable. It tells us to take turns into streets after we have passed them. In fact it seems to get flustered and after the first couple of mistakes gets steadily worse. The confident, monosyllabic electronic voice of the early journey has gone. The voice now seems to be Private Pike from Dad’s Army.

At one stage it asks us to drive about half a mile rather than just asking us to turn around. I begin to wonder if its directions are based on any kind of map or satellite technology at all. It seems to be waiting to see if we’re on the right road before going “Yep…ApplePiggle Terrace. I was just going to say turn up here. Carry on for….no wait you’re right to stop here, this is your destination.”

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Shower update: we still don’t have a shower.

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