A new toy – “sat-nav”

It’s Father’s Day today. My wife and children gave me a “Sat-Nav”. It’s nice to receive a gift, and this one will be useful for the summer holiday. Personally, I like to review my route before I set out, and I will continue to do that, but this piece of technology will make the navigation en-route simpler and less stressful for everyone.

I couldn’t resist taking it out this afternoon and seeing if it could cope with the minor roads around where I live. It passed pretty well. If it had a route then it detected that I had “gone off track” almost immediately. That’s good, because that’s always a problem. I did manage to confuse it when it wasn’t actually following a course and I turned up a bohereen (minor road) which it didn’t recogise. I think that has to almost count as cheating on my part.

I’m looking forward to the vacation. I hope the sat-nav will play it’s part in getting us there and back safely.

A Matter of Life and Death?

(2nd June 2012)
Is one supposed to enjoy a funeral? Probably not, but it is possible to enjoy, or at least gain comfort from, the support of friends.

A close friend died recently and I attended his funeral. To attend I undertook a long and quite difficult journey. It has cost me money that I would rather not have spent. Before setting out I grudged the time I was going to spend. Now the trip is nearly over (I set out to return tomorrow), I have changed my mind. I am glad that I came. The money and the time have been worth it.

Why do I think that the trip has been worth it? My friend Dave died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was middle aged. A middle aged man. Unusually, he was not overweight, and while many people would have criticised him for having an unhealthy lifestyle, nobody thought that he was ill. I found that I was quite shocked by his death. The funeral was attended by a large number of people. Dave was not a religious man, so the service was held at the local crematorium. The crematorium chapel was full to capacity and a large number of people were left outside. There “wake” was held at the pub where Dave drank almost every evening. I have not seen the place so busy for many years. I felt people supporting one-another. I hope Dave’s family felt the same.

Community. What is a community? I don’t know, but I felt it at the funeral service and at the pub afterwards. Not something it is easy to define, but something which is shared together, something which people feel together. I suppose, by definition, it must be something “communal”. Whatever it is, having encountered it, I feel it is something good.