Navigating with baked beans

Very pleased with my new high tech sat nav cradle attachment:


Fits my car’s cup holder perfectly and keeps the screen in just the right spot. Plan A had been to use an old plastic bottle with some stones in, but that wasn’t quite so stable. (Might have worked better with a different size bottle, or in a different cup holder for that matter.) Using a tin also means I have some emergency rations in the event of any really bad traffic jams!

Must have gifts for anyone with a sat nav next Christmas?


Bringing back red flags?

I have a suspicion I’ll be needing a pedestrian with a red flag in front of my car to get to work before long. Since I moved to my current house the speed limits on my route to work have dropped six times that I can remember:

  • Otterbourne – down from 40mph to 30mph
  • Colden Common – down from 40mph to 30mph (twice)
  • Fishers Pond – down from 60mph to 40mph
  • Fair Oak – down from 40mph to 30mph
  • Horton Heath – down from 40mph to 30mph

If it carries on like this, it’ll take me all week to get to work! Now I’m not against changing speed limits where it makes sense but some of the examples above just seem a little too likely to be residents not liking traffic in general, rather than for safety reasons. For example, the latest change in Colden Common drops a long straight section of road down to 30 but leaves the more tricky section, which has a couple of junctions near blind corners and a shop with the usual joy parking outside, at 40. I think it would have made much more sense to do the exact opposite. Of course, there could be valid reasons for all the new 30s, unfortunately my brief attempt to prise them out of the Eastleigh or Hampshire council sites wasn’t too successful.

The latest change was another long straight stretch of road through Horton Heath. Strangely, while it was deemed important enough to drop the speed limit, it’s apparently not worth telling anyone about the change- at least, I didn’t spot any ‘New Speed Limit’ sign, and 30s don’t tend to get reminder plates. There is actually at least one reminder plate in this case, in the unlit bit, which I only got to after passing the police car that kindly didn’t pull me over.

All this was a good excuse to play with some custom speed alerts on my new nuvi. (Thank you mother Christmas!) The following csv file and icon should help on my first day back at work:

-1.29439,50.94442,Reduced Speed Limit@30,Down from 40mph to 30mph
-1.29492,50.95813,Reduced Speed Limit@30,Down from 40mph to 30mph
-1.29912,50.96889,Reduced Speed Limit@30,Down from 40mph to 30mph
-1.30411,50.97895,Reduced Speed Limit@30,Down from 40mph to 30mph
-1.31030,50.99235,Reduced Speed Limit@30,Down from 40mph to 30mph
-1.32284,50.99162,Reduced Speed Limit@30,Down from 40mph to 30mph


Note: if you have a Garmin, the icon has to be a .bmp file with the same name as the .csv for the POI loader. Plus if the icon is saved with 8-bit colour depth, the magenta background will be transparent. Neat.