Saturday, June 20, 2009

Geographically Challenged

I was accused the other day of being geographically challenged.

It's a man thing. Men think that the way to a place looks exactly the same whether you're going there or coming back again. In this they are entirely wrong. It looks completely different.

Silverback was most amused when we were in Oxford, because I didn't know the way back from the hospital ward to the lifts, not even the third time we visited.

Well, of course not! When you're on your way to somewhere in a hospital - and I frequently am, on my way to do a roleplay somewhere - you follow the signs that say "Ward 23" or whatever. I am good on words. I am not good on spatial relations (that was spatial, everyone, just pointing it out).

So when you leave the ward and turn round to head for the lifts along the maze of corridors, there are no signs that say "Back The Way You Came", are there? You're just supposed to know. And I don't.

However, I am pretty good at some kinds of geography, the knowing-where-places-are-on-a-map kind.

This morning I was at the hairdresser's. You know, the crazy one, just down the road. The one I swore I'd never go back to. And then yesterday I looked at my hair and it was turning into some kind of Susan Boyle Special. And have I found another hairdresser? No.

So there I was, at the hairdresser's. Let's pretend she's called Mad Barbara, though Barbara is not her name. The mad part is my description, for accuracy.

There were two other customers, and an assistant, and Mad Barbara. And the customers and Mad Barbara had a conversation which I listenened to, in complete silence, and didn't shove my oar in at all, and it required considerable restraint, and I should have got a medal for Keeping Quiet Beyond the Call of Duty. Here it is, for your edification.

I had to wait for a while as Mad Barbara was drying the hair of Short Grey and Spiky next to me. "Are you going anywhere nice for your holidays?" asked Mad Barbara. Clearly all hairdressers are taught to ask this at Hairdressing School.

"I'm going to Bridlington next week," said Short Grey and Spiky.

Mad Barbara was not impressed, I could tell, but after her initial look of horror, which Short Grey and Spiky could see in the mirror, she tried to rescue it with diversionary tactics. Her daughter's school friend, Brassy Blonde, was to my left, having the blonde made a bit brassier.

"Ah, Brid," said Mad Barbara. "Isn't that where your parents have a boat, Brassy Blonde? The one that the ducks peck at?"

"No, said Brassy Blonde, "it's in Brig."

"Yes, that's right," said Mad Barbara, who never listens, "Brid. Short for Bridlington."

"Not Brid," said Brassy Blonde. "BRIG. It's in Lancashire."

"Oh, Lancashire, " said Mad Barbara. "I thought it was on the East Coast."

"Yes, it is," said Short Grey and Spiky, "Bridlington IS on the East Coast."

"But my parents' boat isn't in Bridlington," said Brassy Blonde patiently. "It's in Brig. Which is in Lancashire."

She paused for a moment, deep in thought.

"No, wait a moment," she said, "I think it's in Lincolnshire."

"Well, Lancashire and Lincolnshire are next to each other, anyway," said Mad Barbara.

"No, I don't think so," said Brassy Blonde. "Lincolnshire's in Norfolk."


Anonymous Admiral Sir Horace Pickwick said...

Actually my town - Brigg - has two g's at the end, not one! Clearly madam you are morphologically challenged as well! In nautical terms, a "brig" is a vessel with two square rigged masts. I used to sail my brig into Brid before returning to Brigg where I am a bigwig!

7:17 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

She was obviously away from school the day they did geography, Daphne. Silverback was less than impressed when I tried to give him directions for meeting up with us in July. It's a man thing!

7:18 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Look, Admiral, I may not be able to spell the blasted place but at least I know where it is, which is somewhere to the right of Scunthorpe. And you can't say that about many places.

11:39 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

Well geez....she's lost. Everyone knows Norfolk is in West Virginia, USA! hehe

3:17 am  
Blogger Honey said...

i'm crap i have that underground way of looking at things.. you know you pop your head up and have no idea where you are in relation to anything else? i get that everywhere it always amazes me when i turn a corner and i'm somehow connected to a totally different place i've been to another time, satnav is my rock!

10:44 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Sorry to be checking in so late to this conversation. Here in the U.S., everyone who doesn't cotton to President Obama is considered to be somewhere to the right of Scunthorpe.

And Norfolk is in Virginia, not West Virginia! (You're right; it's a man thing.)

7:52 pm  

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