Cheerfully Misdirecting Londoners

A knock on the door, and I go to answer to find a genial well-spoken stranger on the doorstep.

GW-SS: ‘Oh hello, I’m looking for X, she’s staying at the holiday cottages.’

Me: ‘Ah, you’ve stopped too soon, you need to go on up the road and they’re on the left.’

GW-SS: ‘Ah, she said they were third on the left after the turning.’

He then looked at me expectantly as though all he had to do was wait and I would crack and admit that yes, these really were the holiday cottages and I had X bound and gagged in our pantry. Because obviously that would be much more likely than the fact that the person who lives here might actually know more about where the holiday cottages were than he did. But I didn’t say any of that because there’s no arguing with some people and after a while he persuaded himself that this wasn’t the third property on the left, but just the third property as some of them were on the right, and off he went. Presumably to argue with our landlords about whether *they* were the holiday cottages …

I do thank our lucky stars that we’re not the unfortunate inhabitants of the house at the dead centre of our postcode, who must have all manner of strangers turn up at their door and try and get them to admit that they were the house the strangers were looking for, on the grounds that their sat nav was insisting ‘you have arrived’, when in fact they might still be miles away.


2 Responses to Cheerfully Misdirecting Londoners

  1. Paul Gipson says:

    We live at the sat nav point, most interesting when we have to tell a 32-tonne articulated lorry that we are not Greenvale’s (potatoes) nor a cottage with 10 acres of hidden barley storage. Then we tell them that they will probably need to pay a farmer to push them up the hill they’ve just come down.

    This is all a little ironic. My father spent his life working for the Government, although the GPO may not have been quite the glamorous life of the diplomatic service. But his claim to fame, and I’m talking interviews on Radio 4, is that he was part of the team that developed and delivered the postcode system in the 1960s.

    This involved many trips around the UK understanding local postal customs and deciding the principles of assigning postcodes. He is horrified by my current postcode, as it is far too large and also incorporates normal housing and small industrial estate. He almost wrote a letter!

  2. disgruntled says:

    There was a whole R4 series about the post office a couple of years back – I seem to remember the postcode system was quite revolutionary. I suspect your father wouldn’t approve of our postcode either

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