The guy standing in front of me has just called me a liar. Obviously this may not go so well. A quick check shows my pants aren’t on fire, so I press on. “Yeah-nah. It was about four years ago mate. I came and talked to you about painting my Mog so I could build it into a campervan.”

Marty from Marty’s Paint and Panel smiles, which is a relief. “You came and saw me in my old premises … which I moved from, oh about nine years ago!” Well bugger me, doesn’t time march on.

Step back nine years to when I purchased my Mog. Actually, it was more like I ‘rescued’ him. He was sitting somewhat forlorn in the middle of a giant parking lot owned by a circus. On his tray was a bright red Noddy car – the circus had used him to haul Noddy throughout the country. As I walked around the vehicle he seemed like one of those elephants you’d see just standing chained to a peg, captive and unmoving, miles from his natural environment. In my heart I knew I’d have to set him free. Come with me mate, and together we’ll roam the savannah in search of high adventure.

“No mate … you first came in nine years ago!” Marty Jarrett of Marty’s Panel and Paint didn’t let me off lightly. In all truthfulness, if it were not for Marty’s expertise and energy the project would be damn nigh on impossible for me to manage. Find yourself a professional, just check to see he’s got a good sense of humour first!

In hindsight, of which I have plenty, I may not have set out on this journey if I’d had even the slightest premonition of just how involved project managing such a mammoth task would become. Along the way I’ve learnt an entirely new and alien language, ‘RV Speak’. There are inverters and co-verters, introverters and extroverters and I quickly surmised if I wanted to be taken seriously I’d have to append the ‘verter’ suffix onto every term I used when discussing plans with suppliers. “The solar-verters will have to be attached by four raised clamp-o-verters and then wired down through the panel-verter directly into the MTTP-verter!” It caused confusion, but definitely sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

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