When it doesn’t go quite right… | Meet the Trudgians

When it doesn’t go quite right…

Posted by on Jun 21, 2019 in Featured, Trips & Adventures | 3 comments

When it doesn’t go quite right…

This is a story time blog, and it’s quite funny, so I thought I would share it with you. To put this story in context, I try to launch videos each Friday at 6am UK time. In order for this to happen the video must be filmed, edited and uploaded to YouTube by Thursday evening. In reality, I try to make sure that I have all this completed a few days before the deadline and to fit in with work commitments too.

With that in mind, you will appreciate how fed up I was when I was still filming, had completed no editing on this video at 7pm the night before it’s due to be released, it meant for a long night, a few cups of coffee and constant shaking the head. However, this was the finished product.

 

As I was sat in the wee small hours, watching the sun slowly rise, I chanted to myself, “this is the worst one yet” but, I recalled a video that I created some time ago that did not go right at all. In fact, off camera it is the worst experience of creating a video ever. So naturally, I’ll spill the beans now I’m suitably recovered from the incident.

It was September 2017, a day of relative calm. The kids were back at school and this was a perfect time for me to get on and make a few videos. Back then, I would film 2 or 3 videos in one go, to try and minimise the time I was at the storage yard and to maximise my effort.

I had 3 videos I wanted to create on this day, The 1st video was a demonstration on draining the caravan water system down. So, I popped into the dealership spent some cash on the equipment and headed to the storage yard.

This would be a good time to watch the video, then continue with the story of what happened off camera.

 

Back then our storage yard was in the middle of nowhere. It was well hidden from any main road, very quiet and secluded. Usually a chap would be on site, but being September, he was on holiday. So, there was no one around for a good 10 miles radius of my location. The site would also be quiet as I was filming mid-week, and no one ever turned up at the storage yard on a week day.

The video required me to use a tyre inflator to add some air pressure into the water pipes. Because of the odd placement of the 12v sockets in the caravan, I decided to use the 12volt outlet in the boot of the car to run the tyre inflator. This meant the boot lid was up, the car curtesy lights therefore remained on.

You see where this is going right? I’m all alone, the car is being used as a power source and filming is not going well. This means I must retake some scenes, duplicate my effort to get the correct shots. In total I used the pump 9 or 10 times to get the footage I was happy with.

At the end of filming, I decided to halt proceedings as this had taken far too long, it was now past lunch time. So, I packed up the camera kit and locked the caravan. I thought that at least I had one video in the can, I would return the following week to get the rest.

I closed the car, set the alarm on the caravan and turned the ignition key. Now, usually at this point you would hear a “gwurh wurh wurh, vroom….” As the car started. This would always be greeted with a sense of “phew, we’re going home” But not today. The sound that came from the car was a soul shuddering “Click, tick, tick, tick……” which meant only one thing. I had flattened the car battery.

As I sat there uttering every swear word I could think of, my brain randomly reminded me of a few key facts.

⭐ I’m on my own, no one is here
⭐ It’s now 2pm.
⭐ Can I use the solar panel in the caravan for an hour on the car?
⭐ I can’t use the leisure battery in the caravan, can I?
⭐ I have very little charge in my phone
⭐ Angela is at work
⭐ I’m thirsty, hungry and now emotional.
⭐ Do I have any tools to get to the battery (BMW X5, trust me – getting to or changing the battery is awful)
⭐ I’m glad I am not filming this, but this would make a great blog in 2 ½ years

It was about 15 minutes until I made the decision on what to do next. I would remove the leisure battery from the caravan and attach it via the jump leads I had to connect to the car. I knew this would damage the leisure battery, possibly not work, but was the only option I really had. So, back into the caravan, I found an adjustable spanner that I could use to remove the battery and proceeded to pull it off the caravan.

Once removed, my phone went mad. First a text message, then a phone call. Of course, removing the battery caused an alert on the tracker. Juggling a very heavy 110Ah battery while on the phone, slightly angry and with a puffed red face perhaps wasn’t my finest hour and I can only apologies enough to the poor phone operator who had to listen to my babbling moans on that day. Sorry.

Once the battery was next to the car, All I needed were my trusty set of jump leads, start the car and off I go. This of course would be too easy. As I discovered, the jump leads were nowhere to be found. They were in fact in the other car, 16 miles away.

The only option now would be to either walk 5 miles to get to a main road and hopefully flag down a man with jump leads, or get a lift back home with a stranger, get murdered and never be heard of again. Or, Walk the 32 miles round trip to get the jump leads. My final stupid idea would be to see if the Leisure battery would fit in the car to at least turn the engine over.

Stupidly, my decision was to take the rear of the car apart to at least investigate if I could fit the leisure battery in the car. Those who are familiar with the BMW X5 will know the simply absurd location of the battery in the boot. First, I removed the contents of the boot, then the boot floor. Followed by the removal of the spare wheel, this then allowed the spare wheel holder to be extracted. Then I could remove the compressor, held in with Torx screws, which I naturally didn’t have, then finally the mounting frame for the compressor could be pulled out of the way to finally see the battery.

Because the battery is so low and far in the boot, protocol here is to get in the boot and lift batteries in and out with your back hunched over, to really get that “I’ve pulled my f&%$ing back, with this s*%ding battery !!!” feeling, but I didn’t need to. I could see straight away the leisure battery would not work. The terminals were on the wrong side, and in the wrong location meaning this idea was dead in the water. But at least I had the entire contents of my boot now swimming in the mud on the floor. Angela would be proud.

But then it happened, something quite unexpected and something I hadn’t really considered. Someone arrived at the storage yard to collect their caravan. I ran like a man possessed towards the family who were naturally a little scared at an over enthusiastic fat man bouncing towards them. All I wanted was a lift to civilisation, where I could grab my jump leads, wait for a friend to accompany me back to the storage yard and be back on my way. But no, this chap was well prepared. Not only did he have jump leads, he drove his car next to mine and jumped the car back into life to save my leisure battery. What a nice chap, and I hope they had a nice holiday and were not too traumatised by my frantic arm waving.

With the car now running, all I needed to do was rebuild the boot, put the battery back in the caravan and go home. And after an hour, I was finally on my way.

The video was 10 minutes long. It took 3 hours to film and 3 hours of me ripping the car, caravan and my hair out, and 30 minutes of Angela laughing at me.

 

Needless to say, on that day, it didn’t go well.

 

3 Comments

  1. Seeing this in pictures in my mind made me laugh out loud. You are a great storyteller Dan – Lin xx (from Home from Home with Lin and Rich)

  2. Brilliant! Had a good chuckle at that! I think I’ve been with you on that at various times. I always find that the more stressful it is, the more whacky and creative solutions come to mind!!

  3. Awww Dan ….I remember watching that video first time round…who would have guessed the ‘trauma’ you went through to achieve it ….such a professional

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