The motoring correspondent of an English national newspaper was writing about satellite navigation systems in cars last Saturday. He was worried about the arbitrary decisions being made by his own system that certain journeys were not possible. He requested directions for a journey home, he lives beside a main road, and was told that the journey could not be made.
“It reminded me,” he said, “of the story of the Somerset farmer who was asked for directions to Devizes.”
“You can’t go to Devizes from here”, the farmer replied.
Being Somerset born and proud, I felt like writing to the correspondent and politely pointing out that only someone as ignorant as himself would attribute the story to a Somerset farmer, as anyone but London-based hacks would know, Devizes is in Wiltshire, the wrong county for the story.
Writing would be pointless, it fitted the man’s set of prejudices to see Somerset people as ignorant country bumpkins.
As we head off on a four week jaunt, it will be fascinating to watch all the sets of prejudices.