I was given some Thule roof bars the other day (for a roof box that I have since bought). I was trying to figure out how the bars fixed to the car. There were no instructions and I hadn’t spoken to the person who had given me the bars.

I saw that there were some keys and figured out that the ends came off. But beyond this I couldn’t actually see how they attached to the car. However, when I picked up the roof box and was shown how to do it, I could see how simple and ingenious it was.

It reminds me of the time I was trying to put up a tent I borrowed from a friend. Once they showed me how the first pole went, the rest just slotted into place.

Sometimes, no matter how much we think we might know, instructions are useful. But what would be even more useful is useful instructions that accepted I wouldn’t read them until I needed them and just muddled through for the most part.