If you knew me at all, you may say that one of my defining - and most annoying - traits is the incessant repetition of the fact that I never watch TV. I can't be bothered with it unless it's F1 coverage (live only, so I don't see more than half the season, thanks BBC) or Top Gear. Or if I'm pushed something mindless but competitive like Antiques Road Trip or Bargain Hunt. But nothing else. Ever. Honest.

AO53 PBXDo you know this car?

But even I am aware of a programme called Crimewatch. So I intend to use its format to solve a small crime that actually ocurred to me. Just last week, so you may be able to help.

Being self-employed, I don't just spend my time being consulted by leading companies as one of Britain's foremost experts in the testing of software, I have other jobs too. One of them is selling high quality customed self-adhesive labels for Cairndale Labelling and in furtherance of my duties there I had my annual jaunt to Harrogate for the Home and Gift Fair last week.

Trade fairs look like great fun as a customer; just wandering around  a lot of brightly coloured and beautifully arranged exhibition stalls, continually talking to people who are desperate for some conversation. And, as a customer, they are great fun. Actually, as an exhibitor they are also great fun and I always enjoy my stints on four square metres of very expensive carpet.

But they are also very hard work, especially when you have to build the stand yourself. So imagine how I felt on Saturday evening, having driven over two hundred miles to Harrogate, then having hand carried all of the stand materials from the car park to the hall (up four flights of stairs, through the swing doors, round the corner and along the corridor, then two floors up the fire escape, past the air conditioner outlets, back into the hall, left, down the stairs, through two other sets of swing doors then across two aisles to our stand) because they wouldn't let us use the lift from the car park. Never mind, we've done worse.

So after five hours building the stand in a very hot hall, we were puggled, and we were looking forward to a cold drink in the sunshine followed by a good meal. So imagine (again) how annoyed we were to get back to the car to discover this:

Saab rear close

A slightly bashed Saab rear bumper

And imagine how much more annoyed to discover no apologetic other driver, no note under the wiper with a phone number or insurance details. And even more annoyed when a passer-by told us the damage had been done a few minutes earlier by the driver of a silver estate car who had first bounced off a traffic bollard before changing his mind and trying another space, where he hit our car. Then he explained to the witness that he would return to leave a note before running away and hiding elsewhere in the car park.

With the help of the witness I found his car though, and it just shows how tough Saabs are...


 AO52 PBX front corner

AO52 PBX front corner 2



...although given the kind of driver he so obviously is, this may have come from earlier impacts.

In any case, even though a note was left on his windscreen with a contact number, nothing was ever heard from him. So, if you happen to know the owner of a silver Mazda 6 estate, registration number AO53 PBX, please pass on the URL of this post: this blog and the owners of the Harrogate Conference Centre would like a little word.

But remember, it is very unlikely that you will be run down by a silver Mazda estate, so sleep well. Goodnight!


 26/7/13 - fixed a couple of wee typos.