Thursday, 1 February 2018


You know how, when you’re fitting a split charge relay to your van? And you know how, when you are struggling to make any sense of the instructions? And you know how, when you have a long thin red wire and it doesn’t even have a bit on the end of it to give you a clue where it goes? And you know how you think, ‘oh, sod this’ and decide to give up? Yeah, you know that? Well, that’s what happened to me yesterday. Except…Except, and you are not going to believe this, but I swear on my dear departed grandmother’s grave that it is true. Cross me ‘eart and ‘ope to die if it ain’t yer ‘onour. So ‘elp me gawd! (Bit of a lapse into Cockney there. Sorry about that).
You know how, when you have got a friend called Paul who lives in France now because he got fed-up with all the bullshit in England and you haven’t seen him since he came to your 65th Birthday party five years ago yeah?

At one stage I found myself back in 1997

Well, I am just struggling to me knees uttering the occasional curse ‘cos I can’t for the life of me figure out where the thin red wire goes and I think if I fit it to the wrong place me van will go up in flames and I will die horribly because although I have made it possible to open the tailgate from inside it is a bit stiff and fiddly and I might not get it open in time, when I hear a voice, “All right John boy?” it says heartily, “how’s things with you?”
I look up and who do you think is standing there with a long straggly beard? He wasn’t standing there holding a long straggly beard in case you thought that. It was growing out of his face. Yeah, that’s right. It’s Paul, who I haven’t seen for five years since he came to my 65th Birthday party and now he lives in France etc.
“Well, bless my soul!” I exclaim, or words to that effect, “what an absolute delight to see you my dear old chap.” (I don’t really talk like that).
“I’m just over for a couple of days old boy,” says Paul sucking on his smoky, sucky thing, “and as I was passing I decided to pop in and see you, you old reprobate.” (He really does talk like that).
So, I put the kettle on and I make us a ‘nice cup of tea’. Yorkshire tea I use. I always used to have Typhoo tea, but they don’t sell it in the local Co-op. Yorkshire tea is just as nice. We sit there on the verandah and I tell Paul how I am struggling with fitting the split charge relay and how it’s driving me mad with worry about everything going up in flames, and that’s when Paul asks me. “Do you want me to have a look at it for you old Boy?”
And you won’t believe this bit either. I suddenly remember what Paul does. Paul, my friend who lives in France and we ain’t seen each other for five years since he came to my 65th Birthday party. Paul, who has suddenly turned up out of the blue while I am struggling to understand how to fit a split charge relay thing to my van and I never knew he was coming. Paul is… wait for it…wait for it…Paul is an Electrical Engineer! Unbelievable!
He explained it all to me. I didn’t want him to do the actual fitting, but he showed me what went where and all that stuff. The upshot is I have now got my leisure battery up and running and all seems to be well. I have also fitted an inverter. I have been for a drive and nothing has burst into flames. Have a look at the photos. I know I still must tidy the wiring and make sure the battery is secure so don’t have a go at me please.
Oh, and that thin red wire? I connected it to the cigarette lighter with solder. I didn’t use the little red clip that came with the kit because apparently, they cause most of the vehicle fires in the world. To be honest, I am surprised ‘elf ‘n’ safety ain’t banned ‘em!
Five years I ain’t seen him and he turns up when I am fitting a split charge relay thing. You couldn’t make it up and I haven’t. Honest. On my old grandmother’s grave, I ain’t!


  1. Isn't it strange how things happen? Now it's hooked up and safe to boot.

  2. Miracles do happen. I reckon someone had an eye on you and relayed a message to Paul. Thank goodness for people like him.

  3. It was a definite miracle, now a lot nearer to the ‘adventure’.