Getting Lost by Trudie Wingfield
Spatial awareness is definitely not my strong point. As you can imagine, this can make driving to new places a bit of a nightmare and so I rely heavily on my SATNAV. Mind you,
even with the SATNAV, I can get hopelessly lost. For instance, I was travelling back from
London to Abergavenny on the M4 recently, and somehow mistook the signs saying “South
West” for “South Wales”, almost ending up in Weston Super Mare. I added over an hour on to my journey and although my husband laughed when I got home, I didn’t!
Another time, I was driving from my home in Surrey to Cambridge. It was early on a
Saturday morning and I seemed to be doing well until I reached North London when my
SATNAV asked me to turn left. I immediately obeyed, but soon realised something was
afoot, as there seemed to be an awful lot of men walking around in very tall black hats,
with curly bangs and black suits. Ofcourse I realised later that I’d turned left too soon and
had subsequently ended up in Golders Green, a heavily populated Jewish area of London
on the Sabbath. Since I was back on track within fifteen minutes, I was able to laugh that
time – eventually!
But I suppose my favourite “getting lost” experience, was around 7 years ago, when I’d
just got a new puppy called Ferdie. He was eight weeks old and I had to take him to the
Vets’ to have his vaccinations. Until he had these, he wasn’t allowed to go outside in case of
infection, so I had to put him in his cage. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried carrying
one of these, but they’re actually rather heavy once your pet’s inside, (even though Ferdie
probably weighed less than a bag of potatoes at the time). More importantly, they’re
cumbersome and difficult to walk with, as the cage keeps bumping into your leg with every
That’s why I ordered a cab (I was still learning to drive at the time). On route, I kept
speaking in soothing tones to my now whining puppy, the point being, I wasn’t watching
where we were going. Within two minutes we pulled up outside the Vets’, I paid the driver
and carried my still-whining puppy inside.
The young, heavily madeup receptionist (who looked rather more glamorous than I expect-ed for a Vets’), stopped typing as we arrived at the desk. As she looked up from her
computer screen, her slightly bored expression turned to one of sheer horror. I thought
perhaps she was finding Ferdie’s high pitched whining a tad unpleasant.
“Hi,” I shouted. “I have an appointment for 2 o’clock in the name of Wingfield.”
“Oh, right,” she said. “You do know you can’t bring that in here, though.” She leant forward
and peered gingerly into the cage. “Anyway, what is it? Is it a rabbit?”
It was my turn to look shocked; a Vet’s receptionist who couldn’t tell a dog from a rabbit.
There was a bit of a pause during which I could almost hear her brain ticking over.
“Oh, you must want the Vet’s next door,” she said, with a smile. “This is a Dentist’s.”
The penny dropped and, as we both burst out laughing, Ferdie suddenly stopped whining.
“I suppose no one likes going to the Dentist!” I said, and we both laughed again.
The “Is it a rabbit?” story has become legendary amongst my family and friends and it just
goes to show, if getting lost is your problem, don’t worry, it can sometimes be quite fun.