an idiot in london

June 2001

Saturday, 16th June 2001.

Noelle has rels that live up north. St Helens, to be precise. We hired a car and hit the road.

But first of all I played for the inimitable Ispurs against the evil Cybury Gooners. We played in the pouring rain, it wasn't a lot of fun, and we got rolled. Moving right along!

With Grumpy Ian at the wheel, the journey was conducted largely in silence. (Once someone asked me if I often talked about myself in the third person. I said "Sometimes Ian does, sometimes Ian doesn't.")

As we neared St Helens (well, we thought we were approaching St Helens!) we realised that we couldn't find the turnoff that Lynn (Noelle's aunt) had specified in the directions.

Next thing we knew we were in Liverpool.

We negotiated a not-too-dodgy u-turn and headed back onto the motorway, while Noelle phoned Lynn again. We managed to find the turnoff, and promptly became confused by the lack of correlation between the directions and the roadsigns. Eventually we stopped in at a service station, where an elderly gentleman offered to lead us to our destination.

"What happened?" I asked as we drove off following the small blue car.
"Well, I asked for directions, the person at the counter said they were busy, but the old man offered to help."
"So he knows where we're going?" I'm an expert at asking obvious questions.
"I read the directions out to him, and he said he'd take us there."
"Ilfracombe Road."

So we followed this bloke to Ilfracombe Road, where we pulled up alongside him and thanked him profusely. "So," I said to Noelle as we drove off, the elderly bloke now following us, "what number are we looking for?"

There was a temporary silence. "Ah,'s not in this road."
"Ok, so where do we turn off?" I asked.
"Hmm, well we were actually supposed to drive past this road!"
"You what?"
Noelle read from her directions: "Drive past Ilfracombe Road, then it's the first street on the right!"

So we drove right to the end of Ilfracombe Road (I think it was more of a crescent, but what does it matter?) executed a quick left back onto the main road and a sharp right, leaving a puzzled gentleman behind us.

"That bloke's going to think we're idiots!"
"He'd be right!"