In which Formerly Blog Fodder gets lost…
Father Christmas was very kind to me last year. He brought me the boys’ toy par excellence – a sat-nav.
The little box of tricks guides you on your way with unerring accuracy, with a posh lady keeping you on the straight and narrow at every twist and turn – unless, of course, you’re driving one of those juggernauts sent down a one-way track to nowhere.
I don’t know the posh lady’s real name but I call her Charlotte.
She can get a bit insistent when you ignore her best advice, issuing repeated instructions to turn around… provided it’s safe to do so, of course.
I do sometimes remonstrate with her when she gets it spectacularly wrong, but she never loses her cool.
I figured Charlotte and I would get on famously once I’d moved to Jersey. The island may be small but its road network is remarkably intricate. When eventually you do reach a coast, the knack is knowing which one.
I was a bit worried about the sat-nav Santa had brought me. A UK only version would not include Jersey, but the little elves obviously did their homework. It features the whole of Western Europe.
So now I can drive all the way to the Steppes and back without wrestling with a single fold-a-way map.
I’m all set as I drive off the ferry, though rather bafflingly Charlotte immediately advises me to drive on the right.
Worse still I seem to be ploughing through a Jersey knee-deep in snow… the screen is showing an island entirely in white, apart from a black dot labelled St Helier.
Now I know Jersey’s not in the EU, that’s why you can still buy duty-free goods on a trip here. Even saying it’s in Great Britain doesn’t quite tell the whole story, but surely it is in Western Europe.
Even the Canary Islands are in Western Europe and they’re miles out into the Atlantic.
No such luck.
According to Tom-Tom, it’s off-limits.
Bets Mum got cross and e-mailed them, asking where the Channel Islands were, if not somewhere between England and France.
In response to your question, working closely with our map providers, TomTom aims to provide the most accurate and up-to-date maps to its customers.
There is currently no digital mapping available for the Channel Islands that meets TomTom’s high quality standards, and therefore we do not offer maps of the Channel Islands on any of our products at the moment.
However, TomTom is always working to improve the products, and we will keep you updated as mapping information improves going forward.
Maybe there are other reasons for this absent island.
Conspirary theorists, lean a little closer…
Perhaps they’re trying to confuse the media hordes who invaded the Island a few weeks ago.
Maybe it’s a 21st century version of defacing road signs to confuse the occupying forces?
Or is Jersey simply off the radar?
They do, at least, drive on the left – well, they do on the few main roads. Mostly they drive in the middle because otherwise they lose the paint off their wing mirrors.
Very few of the lanes have pavements, which makes navigating round pedestrians quite tricky, not to mention the tractors and horses which dawdle down les ruettes.
And here my car – which in Merrie England stood proud as the solid, comfortable family estate it always believed itself to be – now languishes, sad and slightly embarrassed, behind queues of Porsches, Ferraris and Hummer lookalikes, all revving ready to roar off at the island’s top speed limit of 40mph.
It’s probably just as well the sat-nav doesn’t work here.
I don’t know how Charlotte would cope with some of the tongue-twisters that pass for street names in these parts… like La Rue de la Pouclee et des Quatre Chemins or La Petite Rue des Mielles des Quennevais.
You’d have have missed the turning by the time she managed to spit that little lot out.
So the poor girl’s back in her box.
Barely two months old and already on the shelf.