I was at Jarrow library yesterday to talk about my books. It’s not far. Jarrow. It’s only about ten miles from my house – not far at all. Thing is, though, the event was due to start at 7:30pm and I had to set up a projector to show some photos and . . . well, it’s always good to be a bit early, isn’t it? Allow time for unforseen circumstances. Oh, and you never know wht the traffic’s going to be like on the Tyne Bridge at that time of day.
Ah, the Tyne Bridge. See, there is more than one way to get across the river to South Shields. There are a few bridges. There’s the tunnel. There’s even a ferry. But me, I chose the Tyne Bridge, thinking I’d nip across and then make my way to Jarrow, using the Sat Nav for guidance to my exact location. But as I came closer to where I expected the library to be, I began to suspect the robotic voice was playing tricks on me. Surely this wasn’t the right way? Was it directing me to the Tyne tunnel and therefore back across the river? Surely not.
As I entered the Tyne tunnel, temper rising and language worsening, my faith in the sat nav dipped to an all time low. And in the surreal, electric lighting of the tunnel, my faith was lost.
When I reached the centre of the tunnel, the sat nav announced (in its usual complacent tones) ‘You have arrived at your destination.’ Had I, bollocks. I was under the Tyne. In the dark.
Damn you, sat nav, damn you.
So, I had to resort to the old fall back – instinct. Through the tunnel, pay the toll, turn around and go back, paying a second time, and I made it to the library just in time to set up and carry on as if everything was normal.
Turned out to be a good evening in the end. Quite a few people turned up, there were some good questions, a few people bought books, and the library staff were excellent.