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    As a postscript to my last blog, I now have a new ignition barrel, two wrenched shoulders, sore wrists and tennis elbow. The physical trials began in the period between ordering the new part and waiting for it to arrive, during which time there were three occasions when it was necessary to engage in heavy-duty manipulation of the steering wheel for up to twenty minutes to make the key turn in the ignition.

    The new ignition barrel, complete with shiny new keys, has removed the exertion from starting the engine. It has also added a new dimension to the process. The engine won’t start unless a sensor recognises the key in the ignition. You would think that this would link up to the new part, but no. The sensor will only recognise the old key. So it now takes two keys to start my car - the old one held against the sensor wires, which my ingenious mechanics have repositioned underneath the ignition barrel, and the new one, which is allowed to fire the engine once the sensor has been fooled into accepting the old key.

    Apart from the fact that every time I get in my car, it looks as if I’m hot-wiring it, this is a blissful system compared to the strenuous upper body gymnastics that were necessary before. The upside to the pain was the number of incredibly helpful people who, on seeing me stranded at the petrol pump on all three occasions, pitched in with ideas, moral support and physical strength to help me get it going again.

    Thank you!