OK I admit it, a ‘red-top’ headline worthy of any tabloid as far as being ever so slightly exaggerated is concerned. However I’m still a tad traumatised so I claim mental immunity. I was parking my car in the car park at church before a Christmas carol practise last night when this large wall jumped out in front of me and ran towards my car, officer. Fortunately walls don’t move too quickly and neither was I at the time so I was forced to accept the valiant sacrifice of the front number plate in deflecting the wall. I have heard that it is possible to put an automatic into drive instead of park by mistake, but obviously that wasn’t what happened here.

At least it gave the tiler a good laugh when I mentioned it to him this morning, so we got away with the footprints in the dust. He said that accidents of that nature happened a great deal in this area and related several eye-watering instances he had heard about. A large number of said accidents had happened due to the drivers age and possibly confused state or lack of vision, apparently. I was a little surprised I have to say, I know there is quite a high percentage of the more mature in the area, but I had no idea there were so many highly mobile walls. I will have to be more careful of them in the future.

Fortunately we have an auto parts shop in Lymington, one of the more useful shops for people who actually live here, and joy of joys, it sold number plates. I was informed when I phoned up that I would need some form of identity and something called the “V5 logbook”. I confess to being somewhat auto-challenged so initially I had no idea what he was talking about, so I just said “sure, no problem” and hung up. Turns out that it’s a piece of paper in multiple colours and sections which is actually the vehicle registration document and proves that you own the car with the number plate you wish to purchase. I knew I had one of these and after a shortish search in my highly organised filing cabinet, off I went clutching said document. As the car parts guy drily commented, it took longer to fill in the statutory forms than to actually make the number plate, but it covers him in case I turn out to be a gangster intending to steal just the front half of a car. If you’ve never replaced a plastic number plate then you will not have had the enjoyment of reading the instructions regarding how to drill suitable mounting holes in it. And you will therefore not be aware that there is a special drill bit for drilling holes in acrylic number plates with a very specific cutting angle. Thought you might like to know that.