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Lost in space

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A judge's nightmare

A yellow rectangle containing a picture of a man digging inside a red outlined triangle and the words End, Sorry for the delay and Highways AgencyAh! Sunday. Wake up, judging today. We all know what it's like getting to a show these days - road works, traffic jams and sheer weight of congestion. Glynis Whittle apologies for arriving late for a judging appointment at Wilmslow this year and explains how and where she went wrong.

Got up at 5am fed and piddled the dogs. My plan of attack was to set of at 6am for a twenty-minute journey to the show ground, walk the dog, set up my course and enjoy.

All went well until I hit the 'Motorway closed' sign. I had to leave the motorway at Junction 7 and, although my instinct told me to go right under the bridge, I went left. I followed the diversion sign thinking it would bring me back to the motorway further along .It did, so I got back on the motorway to go back to Junction 6. I don't believe it! MOTORWAY CLOSED again. I was yet again following the diversion signs but in the opposite direction.

My first port of call as it was 7am was to call at newsagents for directions. The shopkeeper hadn't a clue, but a customer in the shop said he knew where the venue was. I was to turn round go right and carry on with a left or two thrown in for good measure.

'You can't miss.' it he said. Why didn't that ring true?

An upside down U with a red diagonal line through it inside a red outlined circleI had to go a mile or two up this road to U-turn before I could follow his directions. When I got to the traffic lights to turn right, the man from the shop was waiting there leaping up and down and waving me through as if I was the cavalry. I did arrive at the playing field -via the airport runway - but it was the wrong University playing field.

Before you ask, yes I did have a road atlas with me, but the whole of Manchester was a speck of dust although I could make out JUNCTION 6.

I turned round at the petrol filling station and, because I felt it was rude to drive off without petrol, went in for directions - BIG mistake. By this time I was just asking for Sale to get back into the right district.

The attendant shouted for assistance as he hadn't a clue 'Elijah,' he yelled. Out walked the tribal elder from the back, wisdom shining through his every orifice. Being Sunday, he was casually dress and not in his usual regalia. He was nodding even before I had asked the question. Clearly neither of them had ever heard of Sale, but they were determined to be as helpful as possible - even producing an A-Z of Manchester. Lovely people, though unfortunately I didn't appreciate it at the time.

The word stop inside a red octagon within a grey circle

The word Go inside a green circle

I pointed out Sale on the map, telling them I had only 20 minutes to get to the show as I was judging. He flicked over several pages and said, 'You are here.' It was a spider's web of minor urban roads. I experienced a sinking feeling. By now direction meant nothing as I was so het up I could only remember the first two turns.

Anyway I set off again. I went over the hump back bridge as directed and came to a cross roads that looked familiar. Well it would.  I had gone through it at least four times! At this stage, I threw in the towel and headed back to the now grid locked motorway and home to let the show organisers know where I was and to get an A-Z of Manchester.

I did get there eventually. Luckily, they reopened the motorway and my second attempt from door to show took me 20 minutes.

About the author...
Glynis Whittle
started competing in agilty in 1981 with a beautiful spaniel called Floss, who lived to the ripe old age of 17. Her first competition was at Holker Hall in Cumbria, with Waldridge Fell supplying the (home-made) equipment. Agilty has advanced somewhat since then, but she was hooked then and still is.

She runs a homebred red and white collie at present called Midge (Midas Touch),  pictured here with his mum. Midge insists they do some Obedience competitions as well.

Glynis looking forward to retiring in the near future, when she can train another dog and compete for the next twenty years