For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Three trigs I have not visited, or there's always a way.

 Wednesday 4th November 2020.

Why am I typing this at home at 2:15 pm when I had arranged with BC to  tick off three more of my trigs on OS sheet 103, and to meet him at Hoddleston at 9:00 am?

I arose in good time and breakfasted and went out to find there had been heavy frost so I started up the car and left it to defrost. After a suitable interval, and now running late, and in a bit of a flurry off I rushed. I arrived at Hoddleston with ten minutes to spare parking on the pub car park, so I decided on a swig of coffee. I went to start up to manoeuvre the car into a more sensible parking position and saw a warning message not previously seen "No key recognised."

My key was back at home. Because my engine was running from the defrosting operation I was a able to drive straight off without the key which I had left in the house.

BC arrived to hear the news. I phoned Greenflag. I landed what sounded like a young girl who incidentally was coughing all the time. As requested I gave my post code but she couldn't trace me from that despite checking it again. She then asked me for my membership number. I had to give that three times before she had it correct and found my records. I had to explain three times what had happened, and even after the third time she said "so your key doesn't work?" "No!" I said "I haven't got my key" All that took twenty minutes. She had eventually understood there was no point in sending a van.  A vehicle transporter would be needed to get me back home. After half an hour McAdams arrived with a van. The guy scratched his head and rang base and then told me it would be over three hours before they could get a transporter to me which he promised to organise, and off he went. I phoned Greenflag back and got a chap who was obviously more experienced and happily, was not coughing. He promised to sort things, rang off and then rang me back and eventually at about 11:15 McAdams arrived with a car transporter. The job was difficult because the front wheels were on lock with the steering lock. Large wedges were hammered in under the front tyres and the car winched forward onto the ramp sliding on the wedges acting like shoes, but the surface was cobbled and the wedges came out, the whole process having to be repeated three times.

I sat in the back compartment of the cab with a large polythene sheet cutting off communication with the driver and so I arrived back home with the car on a transporter much to the bemusement of my neighbours. So here I sit eating my sandwiches and looking out at the best weather we have had for ages. 


NB - BC rang me last night to suggest this walk and I was not sure about travelling etc. vis a vis the Covid rules. I came off the phone and checked very carefully and concluded I would not be breaking any of the rules, and only then phoned BC back to say ok. 

Goodness knows now when I will be able to visit any more of those trigs.


Thanks BC for staying around and keeping me company and apologies for trashing what should have been a welcome final day before the next lockdown is official.


  1. It is all true. The wonders of modern technology that allow a car to be driven without the 'key'.
    Having supressed my amusement of the whole procedure I drove off to park up, grasping my keys, and enjoyed a lovely afternoon's walk.
    It could happen to anyone with a modern car, mine is 17yrs old.

  2. Nobody died!

    There's another key issue that would have caught both me and Sue out recently if we didn't keep a spare key battery in the car. If the battery in the key goes flat, we can still get in manually, but the engine won't start. This would have been very inconvenient if we hadn't kept the spare batteries in a prominent position.

    This comment clearly doesn't apply to BC's relic!

  3. I'm interested in BC's 17-year-old car. One of the unspoken miracles about modern cars is that it's possible to forget about the battery for several years. Nobody has ever explained this to me. Nor can I last remember when I ever replaced a battery in a car, certainly during the last two decades.

    There may be two contributing factors in my case: As I've got older I've tended to buy new cars (and yes I understand about the hidden aspects of depreciation and, frankly, as Clark Gable said in GWTW, I don't give a damn; beyond age 70 things like depreciation and insurance plans for funerals cease to interest me). Also, unlike a huge majority of garage owners I fill my garage with my car and and allow dilapidated furniture, indestructible cardboard boxes and kitchen utensils that still work 60% of the time to forage for themselves under a cruel sky.

    Obviously car batteries themselves are more efficient, but how? Other improvements must surely rest with ignition systems although, yet again, I'm ignorant. When it comes to cars I'm absolutely nostalgia-proof. I need only recall the miserable relationship I had with the battery of my detested Austin Cambridge (admittedly a good deal more than 17 years old) and say to myself "Never again".

  4. A blogger's gift of your own making, and a memorable outing, if not an memorable walk!

    With Erica we now have one vehicle with remote central locking (the previous car wasn't so luxurious, and whilst Bertie is undeniably luxurious, his doors are all independent of one another), but we haven't yet joined the modern age sufficiently to have keyless ignition.

  5. BC - I didn't notice you suppressing your humour and all the better for that. As I've said on your post, I think you had a better day than you might have had visiting my trigs.

    Phreerunner - I will look at my key and see if I also can have a spare battery. I have a spare key at home but it may be an idea to have another spare in the car but I think they are a bit expensive - I will investigate. My Greenflag subscription at £100 always seems a lot but it was worth every penny when the drama dawned.


    Gayle - Whatever system one has there is always a way of locking yourself out of the car or being immobilised. It made me wonder how thieves do it these days but I think they just break into your house and lift the keys from the convenient hook above the light switch in the kitchen.

  6. RR - Sorry, missed you with my replies. BC has two cars. I will ask him to respond - I am not sure of the exact models. As for battery technology I can't help. I don't remember the last time I replaced one.

  7. In general you are quite right about there always being a way of locking yourself out of your car, and our last car made it really easy (although somehow we avoided doing so). The exception was the Polo estate I owned (excellent car!) where it was impossible to lock yourself out by virtue of the fact that the driver's door wouldn't lock. We parked it once rather remotely in the Lake District and returned to it to find that the other cars parked nearby had had their windows broken, but ours was apparently unmolested. We don't know if someone had discovered the door to be unlocked, had a look around and decided there was nothing to steal, or whether the car's sorry condition made them reach the conclusion there couldn't possibly be anything worth stealing inside.

    Although key theft is the usual method of stealing cars these days, for some modern vehicles you don't even need to do that. The Ford Transit, for example, has suffered some dreadful lax security whereby they can be stolen via electronic gizmos (and use of the OBD2 socket once inside) that can be bought over t'internet. It's the only reason we didn't even entertain buying a Transit when looking for our new vehicle.

    At the risk of writing a comment so long that it could qualify as blog post: I do know a thing or two about batteries and battery technology, firstly because Bertie's battery failed last year at just 2 years old (leading to quite a bit of reading to work out what had happened), and secondly because I did quite a bit of research when choosing a leisure battery for Erica. I can't claim that it's knowledge that would have any benefits outside of those two circumstances, though!

  8. Gayle: I sympathise with your (apparent) growing unease which sets in when a comment starts to exceed 150 words. Mainly because there's a tendency among readers to skim through it selectively and to embark on a dispute which has incomplete foundations. Time after time, in observance of Lent, I decide to limit myself to 100 words, but Lent comes to an end and I start to dribble. Were you to explain battery evolution in a blog post I would turn avidly to your blog.

    This subject is all the more irritating in that, still in gainful employment, I visited one of Germany largest battery manufacturers (albeit batteries used to power forklifts) and was bombarded with just such information. Needless to say everyone spoke sickeningly good English and I do have some technical background, thanks to RAF national service, but the intensity of the instruction was such that just before I, in desperation, called the proceedings to a halt my mentors glanced at each other and decided that perhaps they'd "gone too far". Obviously I should have said: Tell me all that again but with fewer syllables. But darkness had fallen and the need for beer had become unbearable.