Friday 22 June 2012

Flat battery

Late Thursday afternoon I thought: "Going home tomorrow, better check the car." Button on the key did nothing, so I unlocked it manually. Inside, no lights, no nothing. Turned the key in the ignition. Not even that annoying click – the one which is the starter motor asking if you really think it's going to turn over with the battery in that condition. Oops! I thought 5 summer weeks wouldn't be over-long for a car that's under three years old. But maybe it's jealous of Erin Mae, who got a nice new starter battery last autumn.

Too late to do anything Thursday night except watch the Czech Republic set off for home and wonder if I'd be able to do the same. Friday morning it's wet and windy, horrible conditions for peering under the bonnet of a car. Can't even open the boot or any of the other doors – they all depend on the electrics. So I go over to see those nice people in the marina workshop. Little Jon says he'll be over in an hour, which he is, with his van and some jump leads. Nothing. So he goes back and gets an enormous charger which has a "Start" setting. Still just a bit of clicking and moaning, but he's willing to leave it with me and after a couple of hours, with a certain amount of complaining, the engine finally starts. I didn't turn it off until we arrived back on the South Coast around 7.30.

Tomorrow we shall see whether it holds its charge overnight. And I shall have to consider whether I take out that membership the AA have been trying to sell me. In a week I shall leave the car at Manchester airport while I go to pick up the kids from Oslo, and I certainly don't want to get back after three days with a 7 and 8 year old in tow to find the car won't start.

But meanwhile, thanks to Jon and John in the workshop – very helpful guys.


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