"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6.8

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In praise of Sat-Nav

I am now the proud owner of a satellite navigation system. There's posh then. Notwithstanding the apocryphal stories of people being sent up one way streets, through fords and down back alleys I thought it was time. If I have to aplogise to my friends once more as the lunch spoils for getting lost in Bradford I may not be able to hold my head up.

My sat-nav's voice is that of a firm but kind English lady. I understand I can play with gender, accents and even languages but as I can't find the manual just now, that may have to wait. I'm interested to see how my driving might change if I am being given directions from an excitable Italian or a firm German. I'd like to improve my grasp of other languages in everyday situations too, so I wonder if I can get that Czech actress who does the Prague transport system on the machine. In fairness I'd probably still get lost but with a voice like that for company, who cares?

My beloved and I went to Ilkley the other day. It's a journey we've done lots of times before and so it was a good opportunity to try the technology. I was impressed. My guide was so patient: when our own local knowledge led us to take a different route from the one on offer I was half expecting to hear a sharp intake of breath and to be told in no uncertain terms to shape up and concentrate. Who did I think I was to use my own initiative? It was nothing of the sort: her gentle voice calmly suggested an alternative to get me back on the original route offered. I was driving a car, had chosen a different route and the female voice beside me chose not to have a row. I like this.

"It's unconditional love." my beloved offered, a woman herself so pathologically polite that she wouldn't talk over the sat-nav's spoken advice because to do so would be rude.

My sat-nav's persona needs a name. I shall ponder this.


  1. Mine is Mary Poppins. (The girl child named her. ;-)

    She is much more pleasant than the American voice that was the default for my GPS. That one sounded perpetually pissed off at me.

    Mary Poppins has one odd characteristic--she has a great deal of difficulty pronouncing words that have an "R" followed by an "CH" or an "SH." She cannot say the word "Church" to save her life.

    I told my British neighbor that I knew Brits didn't go to church, but I wasn't aware that they were forbidden to say the word! ;-)

  2. In honour of my Sikh friends we've decided on Satvinder.