There were a few tell-tale signs that all was not quite what it seemed. We'd packed the luggage in the car and I'd tried to close the boot. It refused a couple of times. I pushed a little harder and it finally co-operated. I noticed a slightly different gap on one side of the closed shape compared with normal. I even ran my finger tips along it in mild recognition that something was different.
We hit the road back to where the content was to be unloaded and distributed. Some to go indoors, and the rest to be distributed to another car that was about to travel to France. On the way home, I stopped to buy milk. I pinged the electric boot release to attempt to put it inside. Nothing happened. "Whose been playing with the controls?" I quipped as we placed the milk on the rear passenger knees for the last section of the journey.
Mild consternation at this stage. Find the key for the boot instead.
"Hmm, we have a problem. All your luggage for France is stuck in the boot and it won't open."
My mind thinking that my car is kind of definite. If it doesn't do something after a couple of goes, then it probably won't.
"Can we get into the boot from the rear seats?"
I had this flashback to the time I'd locked the keys in the boot a couple of years ago. I called out the car company specialists. He'd explained these are great cars because the boot area is so secure. The only way to break in involved damage to the vehicle. At that time I had watched him do clever things and after alarms going off we managed to pop the boot and reset everything. Then I had to take the car to dealer to have the repairs carried out.
This time it was Sunday. I called the car company specialist hot line. They offered advice "someone sit on the boot whilst you open it with a key" and then repeated what the previous person had said. The boot was invincible without damage. I should take it to a dealer on Monday.
"What about the luggage?" - "No really, if we send someone around, they won't be able to do it if you've tried the normal techniques".
Indoors, people were on the internet finding forums which also noted that this was difficult and stories of people spending two unsuccessful hours. Violent and incredibly expensive locksmith phone numbers were being noted for later use.
Then the AA, who would be glad to come around, but my concern was that they would run into the same problems as me.
I reached for my screwdrivers and spent 15 minutes trying to remember what the specialist had done when I lost my keys. I noticed there were still a few scrape marks on a normally hidden section which hinted that I was going along the right path. Then a combination of keys and clicks, and finally.
The boot swung open. Everyone indoors ran outside and stopped me from closing it again. "Quick take out the luggage and tell the AA they don't need to come around". The silence of single minded focus on one topic washed away and normal conversations resumed.
Afterwards, I closed the boot again. It stayed shut. The remote control and the driver switch don't work. I can now open it with the not designed for regular use key. The middle brake light has stopped working and a couple of bulbs. My car dashboard is normally rather quiet but since my exploits with a screwdriver is scrolling a series of warning messages about defective components.
It doesn't even mention that the empty boot won't open.
The car goes in for repairs next week.
Packing luggage? - less is more.
Dieppe? They made the ferry.