It’s amazing how quickly you start talking to yourself when confronted with a stressful situation and silence.

The headlamp bulb went on my Micra the other day so, like the safety conscious people we are, S- and I disconnected the battery and changed the light. Or at least we tried to. I’ve swapped a fair few lightbulbs in my time and though they’re always a bit fiddly, Charlie takes the prize for the most awkward.

In fact, we surrendered after an hour of trying to fit our hands into the tiny access space and took the car to Halfords – that most hated of places – to make them fit it for me. Whilst they did manage in the end, it took half an hour to do and cost me money.

Charlie Micra – though incredibly good value initially and inexpensive to put through an MOT – tends to wrack up expenses elsewhere. Platinum tipped spark plugs are necessary at every service – with a service coming every 9000 miles – and even small maintainance tasks can’t be performed at home, meaning you have to shell out to have light bulbs changed.

Anyways, all that aside…

When we disconnected the battery the stereo in Charlie reset and S-, in his infinite wisdom, decided to just press the buttons in an attempt to make it work again.

“Wait 1 H,” replied the stereo. Which we did. When the prompt for the code was displayed again, I went to input the proper sequence. Only the stereo doesn’t have enough numbers on it.

The front panel is laid out like this:

1 — 4
2 — 5
3 –TA

with ‘–‘ representing the CD slit. My code features no digit higher than the number 6 so I presumed that TA, as the next button in the sequence, would do for 6. But no, pressing that button just made the stereo angry and it told me to “Wait 1 H” again.

I am still waiting 1 H* before I can input the numbers again but think I have figured it out. Buttons 1-4 correspond to a digit within the code and need to be pressed a certain number of times. i.e. If the code was 3721, button one should be pressed three times, button two seven times, button three twice and button four, once. Then the internet tells me that number five enters the code.

The silence in the car is becoming unbearable though, so I hope 1 H is soon over. Driving along without music results in my speaking to the vehicle and so far, Charlie and I have been discussing many things, including 1920s hair-styles, porn, and the fact that 45% of marriages end in divorce.

Charlie has some pretty strong views on all those subjects, but I think I’m best keeping them to myself….

*I think ‘H’ is a unit of time, rather than an abreviation of  ‘hour’. I have been driving the car for far longer than sixty minutes since I last input the code so logic dictates ‘H’ must be something else.

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