…both a good tip to avoid insulting your tastebuds with bland blah, and a great way to remember at which points on a compass are north, south, east and west (start at the top and work clockwise for Never=north, Eat=east, Shredded=South and Wheat=west). This is something that a coach dirver I encountered early this morning would have done well to have committed to memory.
This morning I took some friends to catch a bus for the start of their holiday. We had been instructed by the holiday company to meet the bus at Cardiff Gate services, at junction 30 of the M4 motorway, so we duly arrived, quarter of an hour early, and waited. And waited. And then waited a little longer. At twenty minutes past the due time for the coach to arrive, we phoned the holiday company who connected us to the bus driver, who in turn told us he was at Cardiff Gate services. We couldn’t miss him, he was in a big green bus. Well, we drove round the whole area and there wasn’t any bus to be seen, let alone a big green one. So we called back and I asked him exactly where he was. And then something clicked. I asked him at which junction he was. He was at junction 33. But worse than that was that he was unmoveable about the fact that he believed himself to be at Cardiff Gate services, while I was at Cardiff West. Argue as I may, he wouldn’t believe me. I’ve lived in Cardiff for eleven years now, and I think I know my city as well as anyone. But let us study a map.
As you can see, we were at Cardiff Gate, and not at Cardiff West. The giveaway is that we were waiting at services distinctly on the right hand side of the city, i.e. east. The only thing we were west of was Newport (and England, if you want to get fussy). By no stretch of the imagination could we be said to be west of Cardiff.
However, eventually the coach driver conceded that as he was travelling to England, he would be passing us and would pick up my friends so we should stay put (good of him, offering to collect them from WHERE WE WERE TOLD TO BE!). En route, he had obviously worked out his mistake (the big signs saying ‘Cardiff Gate Services’ as he came off the motorway were probably a bit of a giveaway, to be honest) and was very cheery and jokey when he arrived. I just feel sorry for the people further down the route, as they would have had an extra forty to forty-five minutes waiting time added to their journey, just because the driver couldn’t tell his east from his west.
I’m keeping in regular contact with my friends as they journey towards the start of their holiday, and am hoping that they are keeping a good eye out of the window to make sure that the driver doesn’t end up taking them a few hundred miles in the wrong direction!