Ali and I have got a lot better over the years at resolving our driving issues.
Used to be that any type of directions given or received would result in an argument. After a lot of expensive therapy we discovered that Ali only uses shops/restaurants as relevant landmarks while I focus on more geographical landmarks like bridges, hills, curves in the road, rivers, that sort of thing. While clearly my way is better, I do now make allowances for my partners peculiarities and keep a closer eye on what shops are on my route just in case I need to give directions in the future.
Is this a man woman thing? There must be a dodgy theory about hunter gatherers having evolved different methods to survive: the men stalking prey looked at the landscape, the hills the rivers, etc... to find their way around. The women needing to find good coffee kept their eye peeled for Starbucks or something like that.
Anyway returning to carguments, after months without we managed two in two days! Clearly more therapy needed.
First one was innocuous enough I was rumbling along in the bus on the M4 while Ali sprinted ahead in the car. We planned to meet at a service station to make a plan on where to stop for the night, Ali stopped and checked my location on 'find my friends' so she could tell me when to stop, unfortunately it didn't refresh often enough and I sailed past majestically. I wasn't hugely pleased but the flash of anger was just a flash, Ali I suspect was embarrassed and stressed by the whole experience. Receiving wrong directions from the designated map reader has certainly set me off in the past, so much so that Ali understandably doesn't want the role of designated map reader anymore.
In this case no harm was done, we just ended up meeting up on the other side of the Severn bridge. We were much further ahead than we had expected but we were now in a bit of a rush to find a night stop. Queue some rather stressed out, manic searching before we settled on the Blue Anchor for the night and a campsite in Pembrokeshire for a few days afterwards. This the sort of last minute planning that is guaranteed to let Ali relax on a trip.
Despite being encircled by an airport, a massive quarry, a power station and a railway line the Blue Anchor did have one thing going for it, it was only a 20min walk to the beach.
Off we toddled, Ali is right there is nothing like being by the sea to help clear the mind.
Maybe we'll focus our search along the coast after all.
Despite a pleasant evening we still managed to contrive a second argument the next day. On our way to Pembrokeshire, we figured it was worth taking a peak at Carmarthen so planned to stop there for lunch.
Ali said; I'll head on ahead park up and have a look around while I wait for you, then we can have lunch.
For whatever reason I assumed that having the easy to manoeuvre vehicle she might scope out the parking situation and park up where I could too. I was disabused of that notion on my arrival when I received a text saying: "I've parked in the multi-storey not sure where you should park but plenty of car parks it seems." At that point I saw red.
I have to admit (now after a couple of days cooling off) that this row was really my fault, I didn't ask for the help I needed and instead assumed Ali would read my mind. Sorry Ali!
I have also successfully traumatised her map reading skills. I'm not sure why I get so cross about mistakes in directions. Do I have high (too high) expectations? Not as if going the wrong way for a bit is the end of the world, we've always found our way back. Do I even do a better job map reading myself? I make plenty of mistakes. Perhaps I feel I give directions a bit better, with more conviction, and when I err I recover faster. All the same though I'm not perfect. I think if I want less driving arguments the change will have to come from me.