Satellite Love


It’s confession time again. I have a new woman in my life.

No, it’s not a symptom of some mid-life crisis. I am not trading in my dearly beloved Mem for a younger model. Or any kind of model.

You see, I’ve changed my sat nav. Mavis has been a faithful companion for more than seven years, but it’s time for a change. So she has gone to the great glove-compartment in the sky. Bye bye Mavis and hello Emily.

You need to say “hello” in that sentence with a Terry Thomas leer as if he is seducing a vicar’s daughter. Stretch out the “ell” and the “llo” as if you are reaching over from the front seat of your Jag to stroke her leg. That’s the effect we are looking for.

Something like this:

I’m sorry, Mavis. We’ve had some good times together. You have been a faithful companion on all those long journeys. It’s not you. It’s me. My needs have changed. I have to move on.

Before you get too worried about the Mem, I should explain that we have a sort of open relationship. She allows me my flighty little satnavs and I allow her to spend time with the smoothly sophisticated Daniel. He positively oozes old school British sex appeal. His party piece is the way he says the word “yards”. He rolls the “r” like he is Gandalf talking about Morrrdorrr.  In twenty yarrrds, take your dress off, my dear.

So what can I tell you about Emily? I suppose I have to say it. She is quite a bit younger than Mavis. And younger than me. I know it’s a cliché. Older man falls for younger woman. Believe me, this is the real deal. Emily and I connect at such a basic level that the years don’t really matter. Honestly.

This is Mavis:



And this is Emily:


Trust me on this, if you are a man you’re almost certainly looking at Emily and thinking “ooh, lots of buttons!”. By contrast, Mavis is a little dowdy. Her friends might say that she is ergonomically designed and easy to read, which can be a polite way to say frumpy.

Because she is so much younger, Emily knows things that Mavis didn’t. For one thing, she knows all the newest roads. Poor Mavis would get so befuddled every time we drove on a new road. She would think that we were driving in the middle of a green field, poor thing. She would get in a terrible muddle – turn left, turn right, where possible make a legal U turn.

Emily takes it all in her stride. She knows when a new road has been built. Heck, she even knows if there is a traffic problem up ahead. It’s like dating a teenager who knows how to use Facebook and, um, all those other internet social meedja things that I’ve never understood.

Then there’s the nagging. Mavis used to be … shall we say … a little more severe with her nagging. If I didn’t do what she said and wandered off route she would give a sulky little silence and then say “recalculating” in forced cheery but still accusing way. It was as if she was thinking but not saying “stupid boy” for not following her instructions.

Admittedly, the Mem’s Daniel is even worse. He says his “recalculating” with such a note of disapproval that you expect him to put you across his knee. I’ve heard that some people quite like that sort of thing.

Emily doesn’t do that. Oh no. If you miss a turn or choose a different route, she just gets on with it without the slightest hint of a “recalculating”. Very flexible. Compliant. And I quite like that.

There is one thing that Emily does which is more of a challenge. She has that mother-in-law speedometer thing. She knows what the speed limit is, and she knows when you are straying over it. She gives a little brrrring-brrrring like a 1970s trimphone when you do.

But here’s the funny thing. It turns out that you can adjust this. You can set Emily to alert you if you go over the speed limit by 5 mph, 10 mph and so on all the way to 30 mph over the speed limit. Or you can switch it off altogether. Hey presto, instant consensual nagging on demand. I ought to speak to the Mem about introducing something similar to our relationship…

Emily is showing me things I didn’t know. Yesterday she knew that the main road was closed and so took me down a pleasant country road diversion. You know you are off the beaten track when the hedge is brushing your wing mirrors on both sides at the same time. And, no, that isn’t a euphemism.

Poor Mavis wouldn’t have been able to do that. I am not sure if my back can stand up to Emily’s … ahem … physicality. But I’m going to enjoy myself trying.

Now I am faced with a decision. Emily is an app on my phone. The basic Emily is free, but then lots of her sexier features are turned off. If I want her to do all of her tricks, I need to commit and pay for her. There is a one-off charge for most of Emily plus an annual payment if I want her to come with traffic alerts.

At the moment, I’m enjoying Emily on a seven day trial. Think of it as an experimental moving in together before we sign the pre-nup. Am I ready for a permanent commitment? Take her home to meet my mother?

Of course, I could go back to Mavis. We’re still good friends. And she may not be as flexible, but she is fully paid for. You might say that she’s a cheap date.

I think we all know what I am going to do, don’t we? Emily’s charms are too darned tempting.

Mind you, I have to report an interesting development. At the weekend, we took a family drive in the Mem’s car. For a bit of fun, we set up Daniel and Emily at the same time. Daniel was doing his full Terry Thomas “twenty yarrrds” thing, and Emily was bouncing around like an excitable puppy.

Emily won the contest quite easily. Daniel is the same vintage as Mavis, which makes him George Clooney grey-old and not Christian Grey-young.

And I very nearly said to the Mem: “You do know that Emily comes with a man’s voice if you want…”


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