Moving decisions

April 28th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Minneapolis city skyline at dawn I’ve been driven around different desirable areas in Minneapolis (thanks Peggy Pearl!) and will get some home choosing advice from a professional realtor. For now, these are the things influencing my likely choice of Wendy House in Minneapolis.

Warehouse conversion in downtown Minneapolis as a home because:

  1. Meeting neighbours.  Making friends, in lifts, in corridors, in the shared facilities - garden, gym, swimming pool, garage, other social spaces
  2. Managing structural maintenance. Apartments have management companies. I won’t need to find, interview service providers and make arrangement to let them have secure access then check their work and follow-up if there are any problems.
  3. Size appropriateness: Not too big, not too small, not too many bathrooms to clean, no huge basement or loft to fill with stuff that I don’t need or use. Under the bed is enough space for unused stuff….
  4. No snow shovelling to get my car out. A warehouse apartment must come with some form of covered, maintained garage.
  5. In home Sampo care. Some apartments provide a service for caring for your pet while you’re away
  6. Walking places. The sidewalks downtown will allow me to walk to places (temperature permitting) like a range of restaurants, shops and galleries
  7. Bus services nearby. The Minneapolis bus services were pretty good, the city centre provides a central hub enabling me to get all over the place easily, not just use the ‘local’ route that goes through the village.
  8. More people like me. Single, no children living with them and elderly.

Arts and Craft’s house in a village style location in suburbia as a home because:

  1. Commute time and traffic. My work place is in a suburb with some very nice villages within easy distance with relatively light traffic (compared to Berkshire or Seattle)
  2. Can’t hear neighbours. I love living in a detached home, though I’ve had a lucky history in town homes (terraced housing)
  3. Garden for Sampo. Sampo has always been an indoor cat, but she does enjoy a wander in the current Wendy House garden and watching the other cats and birds play there
  4. Property space for the price. I can get more square footage for my dollar. Feels like more of an ‘investment’.
  5. Gardening. The relaxing pleasure of planning, planting, caring for,  and watching my own garden grow

Have I missed anything that you think it’s important to consider? How would you rate the value of things. Not hearing the neighbours is a fairly weighty requirement…


Sated sofa search

April 26th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

sofaI bought my first sofa aged 31 in 1994. At £899.00 it was a BIG purchase. Only the house and car cost more. We visited many sofa shops, we asked friends, we searched online. I saved up for a year and we used interest free credit for 3 years. It was a cast iron frame, hand made, sofa bed. I loved that sofa, it was so comfortable, in forest green, mustard and rust colours. The sofa moved several houses with me and eventually went to Seattle.

After 10 years of intensive use, in 2004, it looked its age. The arms had faded, the pattern was dated. It was still awesome to sit and sleep on, but I’d tired of it. I tried selling it on Craigslist as an imported, handmade classic British sofa. But even for $50.00, there were no takers. Eventually I got to a point where I was grateful that someone just took it away. It left to adorn a nice fellow’s mountain cabin porch where his Great Dane would enjoy lounging on it.

I’ve procrastinated on buying another sofa since then. 10 years of procrastinating, that deserves some kind of award. Close friends have pointed out that a front room without a comfortable sofa is not really good enough. I’ve got individual chairs, I’ve got a 17th century ‘Settle’, I’ve got a love seat. There are places to ‘sit’ comfortably. But a sofa seems a social necessity.

sofaSince moving back to the UK I’ve been searching. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to my search for a sofa. I’ve sat and bounced on sofa’s in stores, on my own and with friends. This has helped me to refine my awareness of my sofa purchase criteria to:

  • Enough room for a cat to run underneath it
  • Enough room for a vacuum cleaner to run underneath it
  • Classic or innovative design
  • A  tight proportion of seat-space to sofa-size. No big arms or areas not used for sitting-on
  • Plush, something that says ‘luxury’
  • I can fall asleep on it (sat-upright and lying down)
  • It can fit through my cottage front door and round the immediate hallway corner
  • Must tone in with my golden and orange Persian rug

Finally I took my credit card to Bright of Nettlebed and commissioned a 2.5 seated Coleridge with claw and ball mahogany legs, feather seat cushions. The photograph was taken in the Nettlebed showroom. I’ve placed my choice of fabric over the back.  The gold is a thick thread that has a delicate pattern as part of the weave using different textures. The orange thread is thick, like a dense chenille. It reminds me of the

  • Designs of Charles Rene Macintosh
  • Warmth of fire
  • Symmetry of Japanese designs
  • Gentle curves of nature.

The sofa will arrive in August… …when they’ve made it.


bluebells, whitestone, orangecat

April 24th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

SampoFrom 7.8 to 6.2 KG in one year is great progress for Sampo’s diet.

We’re aiming at 5KG so still some way to go this year.

I love her cuddliness.

Seeing her get perky, running around more often, as a slimmer cat is really pleasing for both of us.

Here she’s parading around the recently pressure washed patio of the Wendy House, soaking the  sunshine in the warm inviting garden.


nature’s pace

April 22nd, 2014 | tags: ,  |

April 2008. As found on moving in, lots of patio and a small  lawn
Stalking a Cautious cat

April 2009. Rearrange Patio, introduce borders, do some planting, and put a hair sculpture over the drain lid
April garden 

May 2010. Almost getting some ground cover and some flowers to welcome me home from work

March. 2011. Add more garden furniture…. wait for plant growth
Morning light

April 2014. Enjoy the Easter sunshine and the last few years lf plant growth taking the borders to waste height. The dwarf trees (Acers) may stretch to near 6ft in another decade….
Spring in the garden


time pieces

April 20th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Rotary Watch

Tissot watchThe watch I wear has a fixed-length strap. The watch tells me the time and fluctuations in my size.  Since starting my new job in July 2013, I’ve lost weight. The watch used to be a tight fit, now it swivels around my wrist and slides over the nobbly bit of bone at the base of my humerus

In my previous job I’d gradually grown pudgy and the watch had tightened on my wrist. It didn’t move, the strap left pink patterns indented on my skin at the end lf the day

Dad left two watches when he died. One, a beautiful Longines watch that mumsie had secretly saved for from her meagre housekeeping budget, a birthday surprise for dad. The second an almost identical visual design, a Tissot, that he wore on a daily basis. It’s a little scratched, battered. I remember it and can see it on his wrists in photographs

When I was a child mumsie gave me  t-shirt with the word “Tissot” on it. I didn’t know what it meant, but the word was on the fast cars in the formula 1 racing that we watched on the TV every weekend. It was an adult size t-shirt, much to big for my gangly teenage body, I wore that t-shirt to school, proudly. It meant nothing to my friends. To me it was a present from mum, something special to her and dad

After dad passed, Mum gave the Tissot watch to me. I love that watch way beyond it’s aesthetic or monetary value. I get very attached to things

6 months after dad’s death and I’m no longer spontaneously crying. I wonder about mum…

 

 


you can do it noisely

April 18th, 2014 | tags:  |

Aloud sounds like Allowed

Permission to be noisey can be such good fun!


perspective

April 16th, 2014 | tags: , , , ,  |

Truch clearing snowBar staff: where are you moving to?

Wendy: Minneapolis

Bar staff: (raises eyebrows, furrows brows looking perplexed)

Wendy: It’s in the USA

Bar staff: Wow! I’d love to move out of Reading


colour saturated grass

April 14th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Estate Agent #1

  • This is the only other coach house on sale in the area, one more bedroom but no garden or off-road parking
  • Buyers can find out what you paid for this house, and when you bought it
  • I had to explain to my Indian client what a coach house was, he just didn’t understand
  • Someone will walk into the garden and fall in love with this place before they’ve even got through the door (Indeed, that’s what happened to me)
  • Oh! That bath…
  • We’ve never had a problem showing houses to people with cat allergies, we did have one client bitten by an owner’s dog. The dog had been locked in the garden and the client was told not to go into the garden
  • I’m from Bristol

Estate agent #2

  • This is the most desirable area in Reading
  • Double off-road parking is worth around 20K
  • We don’t get many character properties like this downtown
  • I’m from Bristol

Estate agent #3

  • I can tell you what the other agents said (he did, and he was wrong)
  • Fantastic (repeatedly, like a carbon copy of his colleague that I spoke to on the phone)
  • What a fantastic kitchen
  • Our website is new and really good, it’s got pictures of the founding partners on it
  • We’ll do a TV presentation for a character property like this one.

I didn’t get the impression that any of them offered anything that would add any real value over the property details and access to buyers that have been pre-screened for a mortgage. None of them really told me about their access to the type of people that would like to buy the Wendy house. I suggested excluding:

  • couples planning to start a family – dangerous staircase, downstairs bathroom
  • elderly people or planning for this to be a last, retirement, home – dangerous staircase, downstairs bathroom
  • people over 5″8 – low beam crossing the dangerous staircase
  • people that love to cook – tiny kitchen separated from the dining area by the hallway

Estate agent #1 was the least offensive, arrogant. She listened and related to me as a person most effectively.  Maybe I’ll have to make my own promotional materials pack – showing related documentation from my purchase, guarantees on work done, local service professionals etc


come and see this

April 12th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

Mumzie just phoned to find out what TV programme I was watching and suggest that I change channels. Then she hung up. Do I need to get a life? Or is there something strangely comforting about the informality and brevity of the conversation, as-if mum had just called me from another room. Yes, I like that call from a virtual room emotionally nearby


key purse

April 10th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

Microsoft Card KeyChecking my bag, have I got everything that I need, before I leave the Wendy House for the big scary world outside?

No key card.

Without my key card I can’t get into the safe, secure, place that is ‘work’. An hour searching the finite, small, tidied through previous searching, Wendy House, didn’t uncover the key card. Sigh. I’ll have to cancel this one and arrange a replacement. A photograph of my looking harassed and bedraggled will adorn my key card until the next time I lose it. Why can’t I put my favourite selfie on my key card? Resigned to the dull, administrative, overhead, I wander out to Thomas and open his door

On the drivers seat is my key card

Relief


t’ ryst

April 8th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

watches as jewelleryI remembered picking up my watch from my bedside table before my bath.

Between then and my clean, sparkling-self dressing it appeared to have vanished of the face of the earth. I spent an hour searching the small finite spaces of the Wendy House, but nothing. Sigh. My watch has great sentimental value. Easy to replace at a functional level, but this loss left me saddened as I faced my daily jungle trek

After an outstandingly enjoyable jungle trek, de-robing  for bed, I noticed my watch wrapped around my right wrist, not it’s usual left wrist

Sweet surprise


foggy days

April 6th, 2014 | tags: , , , , ,  |

tree before smogWhy I love England #22: foggy days

Seeing the winter tree skeletons defined against a soft canvas of white.  Hearing the laughter and chatter of children as the emerge, ghostly forms made real, from the fog. I love the mystery of the fog

I’m not so keen on the smog

My wood burning stove uses special filters to reduce the pollution possible from wood smoke. I took this photograph thinking it was fog. Later published pollution levels imply this picture is actually of pollution. People were warned to stay indoors, mot exercise…    …so sad…

 


ancient games of strategy

April 3rd, 2014 | tags: ,  |

Ancient games

Soon after moving home in 1968 Dad started to make this Marquetry games box. On one side is a chess board, on the other is a Mills board. The box has 2 drawers on each side to store the game pieces.

When dad got home from work, in the evening, and at the weekends, he’d either be using his Stanley knife to carefully cut and place the thin pieces of wood, glue or varnish them. I don’t know how long it took him, but I remember being fascinated by the process and watching the box slowly take shape.

Once the box was finished dad taught me, age 5, to play chess and mills. I loved it, quality time with Dad, the look on his face when he won or I made a good move - equally pleased. His pleasure in such things was inspiring and made learning fun. I’ve never lost the desire to learn something new, look for a strategy and ‘have a go’.  A special box with special memories. Mum found it when tidying out the old games cupboard which included over 5 different chess sets. I only had 1 set, now I have 2. Both precious well beyond their financial value.

 


female. car owner. Dr.

April 1st, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

ParkedWhen I bought Thomas I completed all the documentation with my actual title, Dr. Wendy.

Wendy: I’d like to book my car in for a service

Service Engineer: What’s the registration number?

Wendy: (cited registration)

Service Engineer: Mr. House…

Wendy: I’ve not had a sex reassignment, to my knowledge

Service Engineer: It says here the owner is Mr. House

Wendy: When I bought the car from your dealership 5 years ago I was a Female and I still am

Service Engineer: Can I check the registration again?

Wendy: (recites the registration which like my sex, hasn’t changed)

Service Engineer: I’m sorry, I’ll get that changed

I wonder whether he’ll do the mundanely common thing of deciding to marry me off to someone when he changes the gender without having first asked what title to use. Applying another common stereotype in a prejudicial way.


lanes bounded by ancient tall hedgerows

March 31st, 2014 | tags: ,  |

lane - lane car width (just!)Why I love England #21: Lanes bounded by ancient tall hedgerows

Those lanes that are only wide enough for one car.

Driving slowly towards a corner because ‘oncoming traffic’ is in the middle of the road. There’s no sign to tell you this, its obvious.

Having to reverse until you find the entrance to a field, pulling into the mud to let an oncoming car pass.

I’m not well travelled, but this experience seems quintessentially English to me. It’s heart warming. It’s time consuming and poor usability, but something special that I treasure.

My mother lives further down this lane.


oh, those French

March 21st, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

A last-minute trip arranged to Geneva, do I need Euros? No, Swiss Francs. Rumania and I couldn’t use my Euros, USA and I couldn’t use my Euro’s, now Switzerland and I can’t use my Euros. Grumble, grumble, currencies, exchange rates, coins and stuff. World, stop making my life complicated!

The hotel I stayed in, outside Geneva, was approved (recommended), by my employer. It was in France. Yay! I can use my Euro’s. I speak a little pigeon French, left over from a CSE French course in the mid 1970′s. To call my French ‘rusty’ is more than generous. I try, at the GVA airport information desk. The information person talks fluently and fast in French. My eyebrows raise and meet above my not insubstantial nose as I try to repeat my understanding of the tyrannical stream of words he’s just blown at me. It seems I’ve understood him about where to get a Taxi, how much it should cost and what I should have done to travel cheaply if I’d been shrewd like I should have been. I feel pathetic and inadequate. It shows, he smiles at me but doesn’t wander from his native French language.

The taxi driver spews French at me. I raise my eyebrows to join in the middle “Je ne parle Francais” He looks at me with pity and continues talking in French. The ride from GVA to the French town of Dionne-la-bain was smooth, comfortable, and silent. I suspect silent is not the natural way for this Taxi driver.

In the Hotel foyer a large, elegant, elderly British woman is talking in a very raised tone with a plummy accent. Wealthy lady. She’s hurling a range of dissatisfaction at the receptionist. I don’t really hear what she’s saying but I hear the very strong pain in her tone. After a while I can bear it no longer.

Are you alright? You seem to be having some troubles here

Her son comes up “let me deal with this” he hugs his mother who appears to ignore him but turns to me

You’re English?”
Yes, I don’t speak much French and this is my first trip to Switzerland, it’s quite overwhelming

My husband’s in Hospital, he’s dying…”

We’re near Switzerland, an English woman’s husband is in Hospital dying. I immediately think Euthanasia, and all the awfully difficult decisions and actions that lead to that pathway. No wonder she’s so upset, no wonder her adult son is with her. I wish the receptionist had the insight to treat her emotions and not the content of her words, she wasn’t really criticising him she was showing all the pain of having to fly her husband here to get a dignified death after what’s probably been a terribly painful illness. I wanted to hug her. I suspect she knew. With hindsight I wish I’d asked for her permission to give her a hug.

I thought of Dad and how lucky my family has been by not having to deal with a painful illness towards the end of his life.


transfer

March 18th, 2014 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Bus ticketwendy: I’m a stranger in your town, how do I use your bus

Bus driver: where do you want to go?

He explained that for $1.75 I could travel anywhere in the city for 2.5hrs. Brilliant. I can get on and off any bus I want to. Luxury. I wanted to spend a day travelling on the busses but instead focussed on the more socially acceptable activity of going to a local art gallery.

The bus driver reminded me when I got to the stop I needed to get off at. He was very helpful. We met again on my return trip and he remembered me, greeting me with a warm smile hello. The bus drivers that I met were all very helpful and friendly. Very impressive.

 


far from the madding crowd

March 16th, 2014 | tags: , , , , ,  |

video exhibit engagement boothsI was able to explore some artsy stuff on a Sunday during my recent Minneapolis visit. The Walker Art Centre was a real pleasure. I found myself enjoying the building almost as much as the exhibits. First, they had a brushed-suede alcove for watching film exhibits.

Empty.

Next, for visitors suffering from Museum fatigue they’d provided plenty of comfortable seating with views of the local scenery rather than the thought provoking exhibits. I watched children sledding down the hillside. Apart from myself the seats were…

Public spaceEmpty.

DSCN2700Each corner that I walked around provided a new and interesting view of the architecture. There appeared to me more docents in the museum than visitors. I felt guilty looking at, and photographing, the building.  There will be another post on the fabulous exhibits, to compensate for my guilt. The corridors were….

Empty.

Normally I have to wait, twist, and stretch to find a view of a building without people messing up the view. Not in the Walker Art Centre on a Sunday in March. It’s a place where you can be alone.

Maybe even lonely.

Definitely

Empty.


at the gate

March 15th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

iPads in airport by the gateInternational flights invariably mean a couple of hours at the airport. It doesn’t take long to tire of airports, expensive shopping, expensive food, controlled air, controlled people.

Minneapolis airport had a surprise for me at gate G4. Tables with IPads, even outside the bars, everywhere people using their own or the airport’s computers. I slid up to a nearby bar and found the menu.

iPad iPad in airport bar, swipe paymentKid’s under 12? I can eat them? Cool. I found myself a large glass of red wine and paid using the swipe-card slot on the bar. The bar staff talked to me about the system. She liked it, the customers liked it, I liked it. Sounds like an all around win.

iPad in airport bar - menuI’ll go straight to the gate next time I’m at Minneapolis airport. No need to unpack my surface, no need to find a power socket or go through connecting to the airport WiFi. Just use the local iPad which even supplies flight information for the anxious passenger. That wasn’t me, I’m not the anxious passenger. I’m the one who’s snoozing after a large glass of wine….


meeting bloggers

March 9th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Present! - 2 booksSome good reading for my long flight home from Minneapolis, courtesy of the talented Peggy Pearl who gave me an exciting tour of the snow-bound city.

We took in a classic Diner, a funky bar, some creative driving, the Matisse exhibition and the Minnesotta Institute for the Arts.

I’m now full and cultured.
Icicles growing on carsThe cars develop their own icicles while they’re waiting for the owners to return. These icicles took about 2hrs to form on a warm day.  Things happen fast and frostily here in Minneapolis.


heavy weather

March 2nd, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

deconstructing dad's studySudden storms.

Floods.

So much stuff.

Mourning is exhausting, relentlessly rolling, invisible to the people around who’s daily lives bring temporary relief.

The hangover tiredness hasn’t lifted 3 months after his leaving.

By the end of the year this room will look like a guest bedroom; shelves removed, walls papered and painted, new carpet. Dad’s stuff long since reorganised and prioritised. It’s this removal that hurts the most. I can understand why people keep rooms untouched as memorials to their past owners.


7 year itch

February 28th, 2014 | tags: ,  |

Based on a light weight trend analysis, I suspect I might be moving home this year.

  • 86-93 home in Loughborough (including a year living in Edinburgh with my Mortgage, weekend place, in Loughborough).
  • 93-20 home in Hampshire (Southsea then Warblington).
  • 00-07 home in Seattle (Redmond, I meant to move downtown but somehow never got round to it).
  • 07 -14 home in Reading town (intending to stay here for a while yet, but the trend suggests otherwise).

 

 


tones convey gender and origins

February 26th, 2014 | tags:  |

Andrea (English girl’s name) does not sound like Andrea (Italian boy’s name)


reflections

February 24th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Day 7: October 27th

The sky reflected in the bonnet. Cruising at 20mph. Not a car, or person, in sight. Look at the quality of that road, beautifully surfaced. This is a drivers paradise.

route 66, Texas grasslands


frosty parks with wrought iron railings

February 22nd, 2014 | tags: ,  |

Why I love England #20: parks with wrought iron railings

Palmer parkWinter morning parkland trees are delicately graceful behind the wrought iron railings. Park and railings gifted to the town’s people by a Victorian Quaker philanthropist.

The gentle sunlight, mist and frost make it all sparkly good.

Thank you


mystically beautiful flatlands

February 20th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Day 7: October 27th

The beauty of the flat Texan grasslands was awe Inspiring. A mystical beauty. I stopped the car and stood in the wind watching the clouds gently roll around the huge canvas above. The peace in such a place is invigorating. To be able to walk and live with these skies must make it easier to feel close to a god. It’s the sort of place I close my eyes and think of when I’m seeking peace and sleep after a crowded day in a busy world. Slow down, smell the grass, feel the breeze, see the clouds. I had some unexpectedly wonderful times alone on the road. This photograph captures one of them.

grassland in Texas


switched

February 18th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Original Light SwitchesSwitch malfunction.

Light SwitchesFlicking these white plastic switches had no effect on the lights they’re supposed to control. Unscrewing the faceplate showed that a small piece of plastic that acted as a ‘catch’ for the switch was broken. I needed to replace the faceplate and switch mechanism.

All the light switches in the Wendy House are the same style. Another one feels like it will break soon, frequently failing to work. I wanted to replace all of them with  switches that have a firm action, are well made mechanically, are good looking, compliment the House style. I took my design brief to a local retail DIY store.

The switches were displayed to show their faceplate, they were packaged in a way that prevented me seeing the mechanical action, materials and quality. Darn.

I chose flat, reflective-nickel, switches. Black to compliment the old oak beams in my ceiling and wrought Iron door furniture. Black to make the switches easier to see against the light walls in the dark when I’m fumbling to turn them on. Unfortunately, the behind the scenes mechanism is deeper than the back-fittings of my old plastic switches. Replacing them was not just a process of swapping the plates and re-wiring. The masonry drill came out and the wall hole had to be made deeper. A bigger job than anticipated. Why aren’t switch box sizes a standard? Pah!

Now I’m loving my new sleek nickel switches, they have a very pleasing action with a good ‘thunk’ when they fall.


Laundry ship set to sail

February 16th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  |

Laundry ShipAnother stormy weekend chez Wendy House.

A temporary break in the flood production system. No rain this morning.

Laundry to be washed and dried. No modern tumble-drier accessories. My laundry its catching some rare sun rays in the Wendy House wind-swept garden.

Extra ballast had been added to the ‘airer’ to prevent it attempting a take-off garden tour. Bricks.

The ships that carried lumber from Seattle to San Francisco, to build the beautiful houses there, carried stone back to Seattle as ballast to weight the ships appropriately on the return journey. The stone was used to build many of the Historic buildings in the Pioneer square area of Seattle. Awesome.

Sampo stretchSampo is staying in.

The RSPCA has warned that cats are likely to take-off in these strong winds. Despite her own substantial personal ballast, Sampo’s a cautious cat.

Sampo’s not risking any unplanned flights.

 


let hope move on

February 14th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

Freeway ExitThat moment, when you realise “I don’t love you any more

  • When your order a meal and he tells you, again, to be careful about your weight.
  • Walk in the rain towards a warm friendly bar and he says he wants to go home
  • The phone call to say he’s working late

A moment of a relief because of the freedom it implies. A deep seated pain because love is too wonderful a treasure to lose lightly. The desire to hold on, to try to rediscover that love is so strong that the temptation to disbelieve the moment is too often overwhelming. To hold on after love has died in the hope it will reappear in the magical way it first arrived. It can’t be gone for good, surely this is just doubt, just a moment of hurt. Surely love is still there, just hidden beneath the mundanities of everyday life, it’s head will rise again with all the joys that implies. But it doesn’t happen.

Don’t wait too long. Let go. Change direction.

 


county road k – somewhere over there…

February 12th, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

Day 7: October 27th

route 66 isnt actually a road in this part of Texas - according to GarminI’m still on the road, but my Satnav doesn’t think so. Where am I going, will I find a place to stay, and eat, before sundown?

My worry levels were slowly, but surely, rising. Maybe I should get back on the Interstate, the nearby I40? No, I’m here for Route 66 and I’m going to drive it with, or without my Satnav’s road recognition.