In SatNav We Trust

A search for meaning through the historic counties of England

In SatNav We Trust is a journey through England’s historic counties, through ideas or science and religion, all the while searching for meaning and a bed for the night. Or was that the other way around?

Starting on May morning in Oxford, finishing six weeks later I found myself in an aircraft museum sort of wondering how I ended up there. Each day I had no idea where I was going but along the way I experienced the kindness of strangers, witnessed injustice from bureaucracy and decency from individuals, provoking emotional responses and ironic humour.

This is a travelogue just like any other, describing the day to day journey, experiences with people and the serendipity of travel. There were people stitched up by their local council and people who would give away their last Kit-Kat. That’s not to mention the Forrest Gump of Princess Risborough, the midnight explosion or the drunken speedboat incident.

But this is also a travelogue unlike any other in that it is an exploration of how we live our lives and what makes our lives worth living. Spending time on the road, faced with finding food and shelter, sort of concentrates your mind until you get used to the insecurity of your existence and you start to wonder about other matters.

Is life meaningful with only an interest in engineering and science, can the awe of the universe be meaningful enough? Whatever happened to that ex-girlfriend who lived in that town you passed through and why do you feel that way, or do you feel that way just because it’s raining? Why does fresh air taste so good in the morning and why does stuff like that matter? In the end I found myself thinking about what we have of value in our lives and whether it matters that we might value things that might not be real. After the personal tragedies of whatever journey you are on, you start to question the order of things.

The book is about to be submitted to a crowd funding publisher so I will soon be asking for your help. You will be able to pledge your support and, as well as being able to get your own copy, you can gain rewards. You could see your name in the book as one of the supporters, get special gifts such as a T shirt or a tote bag with a quote from the book, or even attend the launch party. But more than that, you will be a part of helping people to understand that these sort of ideas still matter.