Currently, I am trying to sell my brother's Mercedes van. It is worth between five and six thousand pounds. One problem is that the van currently resides behind a shed close to Simon's old cottage - seventy five miles from this keyboard.
There are web-based organisations in Britain that specialise in selling motor vehicles. Perhaps the most famous one is "webuyanycar.com" but I have been attempting to set the sale up with a different organisation - "Motorway.co.uk". They advertise regularly on our commercial TV channels
It has been a bit of a nightmare so far. They require a series of photographs but initially they did not spell out exactly what pictures they require. They told me that I need a picture of the back seats but twice I have had to explain to them that it is a van and vans do not have rear seats!
Another problem is the call centre. I have worked out that it is in South Africa and it is staffed by South African women with exotic South African names like Londiwe Maphumolo. Their pronunciation of basic English down an eight thousand mile long phone line leaves much to be desired and it becomes clearer each day that the staff have had little guidance about the nature of British society and how people operate over here.
I am going to have to drive over to the van on Saturday to take more photos - hoping I do not have to go back again. Clear initial instructions in understandable English would have avoided this inconvenience.
As it happens, I am going to see my first Hull City match of the new football season on Saturday afternoon. We are playing Coventry City. I also have to deliver a camper van wheel to an owner who lives west of Hull. He's heading off to France on Sunday and he's taking the wheel with him as a favour to my brother Robin who lives beyond Toulouse in the south west of the country.
The thing about the van sale is that I shall not profit from it one iota. The process has been just as painful as dealing with Simon's bank and the insurance company with which he set up a private pension plan and, God help me, The Probate Registry with its difficult to obtain forms written in fluent gobbledegook. Never mind - there's a helpline number! Only trouble is it takes forty five minutes before you hear a live human being's voice. It has all cost me a lot of precious time - even more than I had predicted and the end still seems a long way off.