Worse than that, I couldn't get to Henley because of road works. I did a u turn and headed off back towards Sonning trying to ignore the sound of Lulu (our Satnav) getting very upset with me. We veered off around the northern end of Reading, into the countryside, enjoyed the view of the backside of a tractor for mile after mile and eventually got into Wallingford where Lulu gave up completely on the name of the street.
I reverted to what we did in the Dark Ages, and asked someone the way. Hey.... it worked and we dropped the hat off. Soon we were crawling along country roads trying to get to the M40. I was already exhausted but still had a three hour drive to go.
After a couple of hours I pulled into a service station on the M6, gave up on the baguette after a few chewy bites, handed the car keys to Debbie and we headed back to the car. Perhaps I should explain that my car doesn't have what I would call a key. It has one of those little chunky electronic blocks that you push into the slot that used to be a keyhole. It also has two inset buttons that lock and unlock the car. Well, it unlocks the car door normally but in this case Debbie couldn't get it to work.
Being a man, I smugly took the block from the helpless woman, and walked around the car pushing the damn thing in long and short bursts. It didn't work. I suggested she phoned the dealer for help. The girl who answered started to relay instructions from someone who knew what to do. So.....man, girl, Debbie, to me... I was supposed to take out the 'blade' from the electronic block. What blade? I have never seen a blade.
At this point a man came up and said his friend was having a bad day and would we have a photo taken with her. SHE was having a bad day? We had a photo taken whilst I managed to work out that inside the block there was a KEY to the car door. Apparently normal keys are now called blades.
I felt good again. I had a key. I used the key. All HELL broke out. I have never heard an alarm that loud before. Nothing seemed to stop it. Debbie was still on the phone but couldn't hear the instructions. A friendly man tried to shout his instructions into the car. The service station shops and restaurants emptied as they all came out to see the silly conjurer trying to look nonchalant, and failing.
Apparently you have to push the damn thing and you pull the damn thing out and you push it in again and start the car. Simple... then the reason why it didn't work in the first place was explained by the man who was telling the girl who was telling Debbie. Sometimes the signal is blocked if the car is surrounded by other cars and what I had done was what you have to do to get out of trouble.....
Well, fair enough, my car WAS surrounded by other cars. It was in a car park!!! Where do you leave your car? Who thinks this stuff up? The Capello of car design, that's who.