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March 30, 2008

The joy of motoring ....

Having taken Mausi to Birmingham airport last night for her flight home to Germany, I hopped back into the trusty car and set off home, expecting the usual fifty minute run. Just passing Junction 5 on the M42 I got a strong sense of deja vu - the information signs were lit up with the message "M42 J3 to J4 closed." Oh joy!

For those who don't know, the M42 connects the M5 - the route I must take too and from Birmingham - to the M40 and the M6, skirting around the city of Birmingham and its satellites. The M5 Junction is - you guessed it - Junction 1. With the stretch between Junctions 3 and 2 closed, you have several options, none of them particularly good, unless you are a Brummie and know the southern end of the city well. Now, I do use a GPS, but, unfortunately, it has a rooted objection to rerouting itself - especially through a city like Birmingham. The other option is to come off the motorway at Junction 3A for the M40 bound for Warwick and then try to find your way to Henley in Arden in order to find the A435 and then the A422 so you can cut back across to Worcester and pick up the M5 that way. And all the while the GPS is trying to get you to turn around and go back to the closed M42 ......

I still don't know what the problem was on the M42, it was probably a bad accident since it was raining cats and dogs and the wind was pushing things around as well. I can tell you that the Henley in Arden route was pretty full of people trying to find a way round the blockage as I was. I was struck once more by the thought that there seem to be an awful lot of people who don't seem able to drive safely or comfortably in these weather conditions - but who always seem to find it essential that they do. To frustrate the rest of us no doubt.

All went well however, and I arrived home safely, a little later than planned. The most noticeable thing is how empty the house feels now that it is just me and Madam Paddy Cat again.

Posted by The Gray Monk at March 30, 2008 08:05 PM

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My wife got me a http://www.invionusa.com/support.html gps for my birthday. And it likes to reroute me on the fly. If I have to follow a detour the minute I get off whatever freeway I am on,it starts recalculating my route. I have never had it point me in the wrong way during a reroute yet. And I have to go through cities like San Francisco and it's love of one way streets. The only thing I don't like about it is I haven't figured out how to input Google map coordinates. I have lot of new construction jobs that I go to that don't even have street names yet.

Posted by: skipjack at March 30, 2008 08:37 PM

Mine reroutes fairly rapidly too - and doesn't mislead me - but it takes it a few miles to realise that I might just have a reason for not going its chosen way!

Posted by: The Gray Monk at March 31, 2008 07:30 AM