There is a saying – ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans’. Well God – whoever he, she or it may or may not be – has, in the last couple of days, had a chuckle at my expense. Or rather at the expense of both myself and my woman. We were, as I posted here the other day, on the point of fleeing London in the wake of that wedding in order to escape the national hangover and to commune with nature. It didn’t happen.
Dear Ruby the Camper has an immobilizer fitted. It’s a good name for it. It was in place when we bought her last summer. It’s one of those that flashes a tiny red light on the dashboard every two or three seconds in order to deter any would-be vehicle-stealer or robber. Basically – or so I’m told because I know very little about cars, motors, etc. – it interrupts the connection between the ignition and the starter motor so that unless you use a specially programmed key in order to re-make that connection the vehicle won’t start. That all seems very sensible. Until something goes wrong with the innards of the immobilizer, and using the key to re-make the connection doesn’t work. Then you’re stuck. Which is what happened. I sat in the driving seat on Monday morning, used the immobilizer key, then turned the ignition key to the right – nothing.
I called out the AA. A very affable technician turned up half an hour later and set about trying to disable the immobilizer so that Ruby was at least drive-able. He did warn at the outset however that if it turned out to be a solid, professional installation then working out and disentangling the labyrinthine circuitry could prove to be beyond what could be achieved by the roadside. And so, sadly, it was. After twenty minutes or so digging around with a torch under the dash and with his head in the engine compartment, he had – regretfully – to give in. He seemed as disappointed as I was. It was going to be a specialist electrician’s job.
So we’re still in London. The sun has come out. The plethora of Bank Holidays is now past and the echoes of the royal nuptials have all but died away. I am back at my desk and my woman is working from her home, an apartment a mile away. And Ruby stands rather shamefaced and immovable on the corner of the road. She is awaiting the attentions tomorrow of a man who comes with a great recommendation as an expert in disabling professionally-installed vehicle immobilizers. The week we had planned has evaporated. We’ll have to go away another day. That’s life. At least the weather’s good.