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‘Have you tried switching it off and switching it back on again?’

It was one of those perplexing incidents. We drove home after a trip to the market to stock up on fruit and veg, had a cuppa, and then Steve got on with the job of cleaning Lenny the Land Rover. The same as we’d done on countless other occasions. Lenny

Some time later, our trusty truck sparkled inside and out. His blue paint gleamed in the sun. Various oils had had been topped up. Tyre pressures had been checked. In short, he’d been subjected to the TLC most Parsley vehicles experience. (Administered by Steve, I should hasten to add. I only just about remember to fill up with fuel.)

When the time came to move Lenny back under his awning, however, he wouldn’t start. There was absolutely nothing there. The key turned but there were no lights on the dash, no response from the ignition, no noise from the engine. Lenny was as dead as Monty Python’s famous parrot, whereas a couple of hours previously he’d been rumbling along in his usual dependable way.

I’d done a quick Google search and told Steve it looked like an electrical fault, to be met with a withering glance that clearly said: “No shit, Sherlock?”

He knows a lot more about internal combustion engines than I do so I shut up and went back to playing Candy Crush, while he changed into his scruffs and spent a fruitless hour trying to track down the problem. He disconnected and reconnected wires, checked fuses and cleaned cables, all to no avail. Eventually he gave up – it was getting dark – so we opened a bottle of red and hoped the Land Rover Repair Pixies would visit overnight.

In the morning, when it became clear they’d failed to materialise, Steve messaged our friend Ersah. He’s the guy we bought Lenny from in the first place – incidentally, if you’re looking for a good jeep safari, check him out here – and within ten minutes he’d arranged for a mechanic to pop round.

Sezgin arrived and, after the necessary glass of çay, got to work. Steve was heartened to see him repeat most of the things he’d done himself the previous evening, although with no more luck. Then Sezgin noticed a sort of handle under the driver’s seat….

Turns out, Lenny has a master switch for use in emergencies. Who knew? And Steve must have knocked it by mistake in the heat of his car-cleaning frenzy. Twist it, and the whole vehicle cuts out and closes down. Twist it the other way, and we’re back in business. As if by magic.

So the Land Rover Repair Pixie does exist after all, and I now know what I believe is true – it’s never a good idea to get too carried away with a chamois leather and a bottle of AutoGlym….

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