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Introducing the divine Mrs Garmin

Our first motorhome journey was in May 2008, when we embarked on a two-month tour around Europe.

We emerged excited from the Channel Tunnel, but immediately got lost by taking the wrong exit from one of the first French roundabouts we encountered.

Not the best start to our trip.

A few weeks later we were heading for a campsite in Budapest, and got gridlocked on a huge six-lane ring road, with not a camping signpost in sight.

It took a couple of hours, during which time we barely moved, to work out that there were in fact two ring roads round that beautiful city, and we were on the wrong one!

That was a very stressful afternoon, though there was a happy ending. We did eventually spot a sign, but for a different site to the one we had been aiming for.

This one had wifi, so enabling me to listen to the World Service radio commentary on the Man U v Chelsea Champions League Final (a very happy ending!).

Of course 2008 was – and I know younger readers will find this difficult to understand – the age before the smartphone.

Susan navigated using what can only be described as road maps printed on paper – I know, how quaint!

Looking back, probably the majority of the arguments we’ve had over the past 20 years have been while driving, the result of me following my ‘instinct’ rather than Susan’s directions, and invariably going the wrong way.

Full disclosure: Susan was – and is – a brilliant navigator; I am not.

From now on, I think things are going to be very different. We have Mrs Garmin to guide us. Or to give her full name, the Garmin Camper 660 satnav system.

So far Mrs Garmin – best to keep these relationships fairly formal – is shaping up very nicely.

She has taken us to Lidl and Aldi (several times) as well as obscure camper stops without a misstep.

She has guided us through the intricate, and occasionally over-elaborate, Belgian roundabout system.

She even tells me which lane to be in when approaching complicated junctions.

And if I do miss an instruction from her (as if that would ever happen!), she quickly recalculates the route and, patiently, tells me how to get back on track. So, actually, we’re never lost!

So thank you Mrs Garmin for making this trip such a joy so far, and for making our motorhome a place of marital calm and harmony.

And of course, I do know that bigamy is illegal.

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