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You read that right. Arm. Not a typo. The story begins with our elderly Landrover. This saw sterling service over the years as our glamping kit/glampers/logs/hay/rubbish/building materials transport. It was a beast but we loved it. Or I loved it. And so did Capable Carol who mostly drove it as Head of Glamping Housekeeping.

Sarah hated it. Her reasoning was that it was very hard to steer (it had power steering), she couldn’t make head or tail of the gears (4 wheel drive, low ratio, diff lock, all perfectly normal), it was very slow (she always drove in first low ratio), and – she couldn’t reach the gear stick to keep it in reverse. This was necessary because reverse was the one gear it didn’t like. You had to hold the stick hard all the while to stop it jumping out. Sarah explained her arms were too short to do that and steer at the same time.

I took this problem to the Beckley Centre for Technical Advice and Trading Post (The Rose and Crown). In the pub you can get anything:  a trade, an obscure bit of equipment, an answer to a problem and even a drink. The experts I consulted had a long conflab about this and came up with a solution. ‘We know exactly what you need Christopher’ they said. ‘You need a wife with longer arms.’

They thought this an entirely rational solution. And yes, it had merit as being logical, and not having to sell the Landrover and buy something else. Where their advice fell down however was on the relationship side of things, which is one of the few areas of expertise that the BCTATP does not offer.

I tentatively put this to Sarah, with predictable results. We sold the Landrover to a chap who recycles them and sends the bits to Africa, and bought a sort of advanced golf buggy. I feel a total prat driving this around. Sarah on the other hand is ecstatically happy, and most of all can reach the gears.

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