wives and maps (1) we're on a road to nowhere

At , there is a plausible scientific explanation for the inability of women to read maps: something to do with the female hormone, to research in the February issue of the Behavioural Neuroscience journal. So it's not just stupidity.

Some years ago, I described my dear wife's navigation in this column, which a certain amount of in the Kemp household. But that is not going to stop me from describing them again.

If we are south, with me at the wheel and her beside me, first she turns the map upside down. Then she says: "Take the next turning." "Right or left?" I ask.

It is a pretty question, but it always provokes a sigh from the passenger seat, as if it is the most idiotic thing anybody could ask. My wife turns the map the right way up, then upside down again. Then she looks at her hands to her wedding ring, because this is the only way she can her left from her right.

While she is doing this, she loses her place on the map. When she finds it again, she frantically to the right, and shouts: "Left." By this time we have shot the turning half a lifetime ago.