Satnav got five members of our group from Hereford to Autignac and is presently guiding us round the Languedoc. But the relationship is much more adult these days and it is the front passenger's job to force satnav to do what it doesn't care to do.
Roadworks to the south of the nearest big town, Beziers, had already proved a pain yet they lay en route to the airport where we picked up the remaining duo of our party. Satnav had to be fooled into creating a non-intuitive detour and I can't pretend this was achieved faultlessly.
One problem with such techno-domination is that we can end up on very small roads - notably those whose only function is to provide access to vineyards. These can be very rough, a penance in our Skoda with its tyres inflated 15% more than normal to compensate for the heavy loads often carried.
One hideously deep pothole jarred the whole car and caused the running light (the lower of the two in the pic) to detach itself partially from the the front-end bodywork. Hence a visit to the Skoda dealer.
Although resident in the Czech Republic Skoda is owned by Volkswagen and has long since lost its unreliable image. For twenty minutes or so I was able to glance around the large showroom and note how German style (especially typography) mated uneasily with the French way of doing things. How French marketing phrases like A saisir! (ie, Grab it!) looked out of place in this cathedral of seriousness. Like wearing flip-flops to a funeral.
Not that I'm complaining. Long before I'd completed my sociological research the job was done and at no charge. And I had a headlock on satnav all the way home.