Oh, what a bore. You know that AC/DC cancelled show in Zurich? Well, it’s back on.
So, instead of frolicking in the sunshine in Bilbao for a non-driving Sunday, permits have been organised and we’re now in a mad rush. In fact, the amount of time allotted to reach Switzerland again means that the dreaded “double-driver” must be used.
The biggest worry on these journeys is whether one’s assigned man can actually drive. That sounds condescending – and fatuous – but you’d be surprised at how often a double-driver turns up with no experience of European work, or indeed left-hand drive trucks.
(Ninety per cent of our trucks have the steering wheel on the “wrong” side.) Fortunately then, my chap is an experienced man called Paul, and I can relax when he is driving. When I say ‘relax’, I mean get straight into bed and fall asleep.
It turns out that Paul is also a paramedic and, more importantly, a computer whizz. I mention casually that my laptop is sluggish – never mind the cracked screen – and buy him a coffee in the hope that he’ll have a little look at it. ‘You last used zoom browser EX in September ’07. Delete it?’ he questions. Crikey, I wouldn’t know a zoom browser if it smacked me on the bottom.
He continues through unused software as we pass lofty viaducts, spanning stunning gorges through verdant central France.
Paul tuts, and frowns, in that manner associated with builders before they say, ‘We’re going to have to take the roof off, Love.’ Although Paul doesn’t take his tea with six sugars.
Apparently there are serious issues with my computer. Well, I know that – I take issue with the blasted thing on a daily basis. Sooner or later, he’s bound to discover that porn has clogged things up, though.
‘How often do you defragment?’ he asks. Erm, I’m not a paedophile, thank you very much. ‘Let’s have a look in your registry,’ he continues, innocently. Oh dear, here we go. ‘Ah, now who’s Ms. Love, hmm?’ Uh oh. This, I suppose, is what they call ‘being rumbled’. I ask if he’d mind leaving that particular downloaded video on the hard drive.
In the meantime, we’re passing Clermont Ferrand, and a whole lot of brown signs denoting points of interest. Sadly, there is barely time to stop for the loo, let alone a detour to a cave. And where would we park an eighteen-wheeler anyway?
Paul, incidentally, has a spaznav – Namibian finds this frightfully amusing because I swore I’d never have one in my truck.
Well, my doubts about technology prove to be well-founded: the navigation device, I’m pleased to report – despite analysing 212,000 roads – is fogged to the core. This new motorway that we’re chuntering along is regarded as ‘unnamed road’, and I’m advised to veer through the crash barrier and head across a field.
I tell Paul that, if I start following spaznav, he’ll have to open a few gates. But, having laboured doggedly through Ms.Love’s performance, he’s fallen asleep to AC/DC. ‘You shook me all night long….’