At first I thought it was going to be simply a variation on the regular tales we see of bewildered old folk behind the wheel who somehow navigate to the incorrect Newcastle, ending up under Lyme rather than upon the Tyne. Or one of those stories where a superannuated motorist pilots their Micra the wrong way down the M6 for hours without end, causing untold destruction and dry-cleaning bills.
But no. This one went took on a whole new dimension as, gloriously, the driver in question gave this as his response:
"I didn't know where I was going but I knew it was somewhere."I don't think a more accurate statement has ever been uttered.
Mind you, getting lost can indeed be very liberating. I remember some years ago, on our way back from a driving holiday, we took a wrong turn at the Welsh border. One moment we were heading to the Midlands, the next we were in a completely different and hitherto-unknown part of the British hinterland. I half expected to see a faun, a lamp-post and the inside of a wardrobe's front door hanging in the middle of the landscape.
We were lost. Hopelessly lost. We weren't even in anything as obvious as the middle of nowhere. At best, we were in the suburbs of nowhere. The outskirts of nowhere, even.
But as we crested a hill we gazed down on a glorious valley. A medieval abbey stood proudly at the head of a town, a limpid river winding its way lazily past the ancient sandstone outbuildings. We crossed over a hump-packed stone bridge, rolled along a perfect street and gazed open-mouthed in wonder as all this passed, green and contented.
"Wow," I breathed.
"This place looks fantastic."
"We must come back here again at some point."
And so we promised we would. Trouble is, we hadn't a clue what we'd done to get lost in the first place. Since then we've never been able to find our way there.
I blame satnav.