Google maps


It has been a very tense and emotional weekend, given the Catalan referendum. My partner, who is from Barcelona, has been virtually glued to technology all weekend. It’s incredibly hard for him being so far away. The next few days will be no less tense.

Meanwhile, on the immediate family front almost half the team have been on sleepovers. Daughter three whatsapped on Saturday morning with a plea to be picked up and an address. The only slight problem was that, although she was in a small town, there were three roads with the same name in it. So I was driving round and round with the petrol gauge flashing on empty peering for signs of daughter three. I rang her. Inevitably her phone was on answerphone. I decided the best solution was to park in one of the roads and walk up and down it till I saw the name of the house.

My phone rang. “Where are you, mum? Don’t you use Google maps?” I have not yet had time to get my head around Google maps so tend to go by feel and, in extremis, AA routeplanner notes scribbled on an envelope [this is not very effective when driving in the dark]. I was feeling slightly stressed at the time so let out a rant about roads with similar sounding names and the fact that every house in the road was massive so it was hard to see what their names or numbers were.

I suddenly realised mid-rant that daughter three may have had her phone on broadcast mode when I heard her friend in the background. “It’s behind a black gate and up a driveway,” said daughter three. A driveway, blimey. The good news was I was on the right road. Eventually I found the gate and walked up the driveway to be met by a fluffy dog, daughter three and a rather large house. Not for the first time, I felt that perhaps I was in the wrong job.

“We need a dog,” said daughter three on the way home. “And a nicer house.” She was already on Right Move before we hit the petrol station.
Soon after we returned daughter one texted to say she was nearing home and had arranged some university thing for us to go to. I had been asking her about open days and she did go to one last term, but this one was not so much an open day as a conference about universities all over the world. There were presentations by universities in Hong Kong, the US, different parts of Europe and more. “Is there a session on scholarships?” I asked. The event was in the Hilton Hotel. Daughter three said she wanted to come too, given that it was the Hilton Hotel. Perhaps we could move there…
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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