I finally met Lee the locksmith with whom I had been having quite an SMS dialogue in Sainsbury’s car park, which also happens to be the car park of the Black Castle pub in Brislington Bristol. He found me fairly easily by driving around. I could tell it was him because his van was completely devoid of signage but there was a huge lock on the side. If anyone is reading this from the Bristol or North Somerset area I can recommend him.
Very quickly, I realised that he was the talkative type (no problem with that) and he regaled me on how difficult it is to get spare keys for older cars, particularly Volvos. He was not sure whether he could actually help me but would do his best. He needed to make an Internet connection with the database software that would give the code of the key and the car, and marry them. In the end he just made a clone of the key and after about an hour had a successful result. The cost was £85 which pleased me because if I had gone to the Volvo distributorship across the road that would have been £250.
We had a bit of a chat about customers and he told me that although he has quite a few ethnic and coloured customers the worst one was an Indian who tried to bargain him down from £160 to £100. As Lee had to pay £100 for a unit never mind the labour he was not well pleased. The man continued to try to get a better price and in the end Lee threw the keys at the back of the car and walked off. We discussed what to do with difficult people. He informed me that there are only three qualified locksmiths in the Bristol area and if one gets a problem they will text the other to warn them that a troublemaker is around. Some people are just plain miserable and should be avoided.
Anyway, we left on good terms and I then tried to find an area where there were ethnic shops where we could buy supplies of rice. Alas, the parking is so difficult because most people are still at home so we gave up and went back to base. I still have a couple of problems with the car but overall I’m pleased with it though I know it does drink petrol. I must have an air con top up and a couple of other things but basically we are there touch wood.