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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company

1949 MG TC

April 2016



April fool.

Went to meet the doctor at 0730 to give him my green card so he gets paid for the finger work yesterday. I didn't have it on me yesterday as Lynne had it to go to the pharmacy for me. He came in at 0845 and I went to the pharmacy for more bandage at 0855. 0905 sees me in the physio and I left at 1005. Went home and got Lynne dressed so we could go to the bodyshop to put the cap on the petrol can and test out the battery charger. Found the fuse blown on the charger so changed it. Then went for lunch at Atoll. I had smoked salmon soaked in some alcahol, sea food on a bed of saur kraut followed by mint amd chocolate ice cream floating in Vodka finished off with an Irish Coffee. Then went to Norauto for a new battery charger, back to the bodyshop and put the battery on charge. Maurice is getting on with skinning the body and is refitting the doors. I've given him the undercoat and wood paint to paint the bare wood on the inside of the doors. Came home and am wtiting this. I'll soon be asleep.

Ille flotante.... looks good.


And, she says, tastes good.My minty thing is in front.


 Did nothnig. Fingers are well wrapped up so just watched the football scores in the afternoon.


 Have been listening to Radio 4. It's now 1240 so will have to wait for my master to awake and serve up lunch. I may wander over to the workshop and spray the fixings on teh ride on mower which I'll have to fix soon.


Got to the bodyshop for 0800. Put the Mini on the ramp and drained the oil. Then found a 3/8ths drive 36 mm socket and took the oil filter off. New filter, refitted drain plug and refilled with new oil. All done by 0900.  Took the fan belt off thr TC and ran a live wire to the dynamo. It span like a motor so the dynamo is OK. I left at 1200 to order a new regulator and chase MOss for a credit. However, the road from Cande to home is closewd so took the diversion. Took about half hour longer to get home. After I had lunch we went to the hospital fot Lunne's scan. Didn't take long and all is well. She got herself a sald as she hadn't had lunch. We thn went to Brico and I bought a 3/8! drive ratchet, extension and plug socketrs. They's go with the tool kit together with a set of Whitworth spanners and 3/8" drive Whitworth sockets.


Lay awake most of the night thinking about some right angle hose joints I have and trying to remember to take an oil filter seal with me in the morning. I left early so I could fill up and get the car washed as I can't go the normal way (road closed) so may as well go via Segre. Forgot the hoses and filter seal. Arrived at 0750, refitted dynamo and then did some bits and bobs. Had lunch and refitted the steering box. Came home at 1400

Spare oil can. I'm not sure if it's in the right place as one picture shows in closer to the edge but another shows it here.

Dynamo after test.

And refitted.

Steering box in.

And coloumn bolted in. Only needs a steering wheel now.


Got away from Physio at 0955 and met Lynne in town so we could go to pick up the side screens without me having to go haome and come back. We were meeting friends in Dinan for lunch but that took so long that we had to phone the trimmer, whos is about an hour from Dinan, and tell him we would collect the stuff next week. By the way, yesterday I described doing some "bits and bobs" because I couldn't remember what I dfd between the dynamo and the steering box. I've now remembered. I painted the newly primed timber with black wood paint.

On the way home from Dinan we stopped at a Gamme Verte and I bought something. Now, seeing it's 11 months and just over a week since I started on the car I thought I needed.......


..... a pair of overalls. Actually it's jacket and trousers but they're OK.


So, due to my normal route being closed I left 15 minutes early to go a longer route. Got to Segre and felt a slight vibration. Thought it may be a flat tyre on the nearside as we hit a deep drain yesterday. The slight vibration soon turned into a viscous one. I couldn't stop as I was in the single lane part of the road. Turned off at the next roundabout and looked at the front tyre. The passenger side was split in two and the rim was being protected by a sliver of tyre left on. I phoned the brake down service and they called Jean-Luc. We got the car back to the bodyshop on the back of a low loader. Two new tyres were ordered and they were fitted in the aftrenoon, The passenger rear was deformed so we fitted the O/S/F to the N/S/R and the two new ones on the front.

I fitted the steering wheel then tried to stop the oil filter leaking. I tightened the platres but the ring popped out. I then removed the plate and fitted a new ring. It still leaks and if I tighten it the ring will pop out. I'm going to try fitting a jubilee clip to hold the ring in. I then opened the rear brakes to sort out why the handbrake doesn't work. I removed the two clips that locate the expander unit as they were stopping the expander from fully retracting. They're a bit tight but will be OK. The right hand cable needs pulling through so I can get the nut on the end but in the absence of a pair of single handed mole grips I've left this until the morning.

Spent time on the clips for the wiring loom. Had to use a different fixing on the conduit as the one that is supposed to be used couldn't be reached. I'm taking my box of grommets in tomorrow so I may just get all the grommets fitted.... I hope.

oops, He's fallen in the water (for those who remember the Goon Show)

Now that's a good Idea......

The cavalry arrive.

The skinning, coming along nicely. The car on the ramp is a Pugeot 203.

Ouvert le Porte

POR15 can run nicely, thank you.

Ferme la porte

He's having to make the rear quarter panels as the new ones are way out. I suspect it's the tub rather than the panel.

I'll take a picture of the steering wheel tomorow. Was a bit distracted today, could say I was tired.


 After physio I came home, got changed (into what, I've no idea, maybe a better husband!) and went to the bodyshop. I took my normal route but it was still "Route Baree". I went straight on (instead of left) and at the end of this road I was able to turn left to Challain de Potherie, where the road works are!. When I got near the centre i was diverted right and came out just below centre ville. So, why is the road closed at the other end as well, traffic could do the diversion in reverse. Put your answers on a postcard to the Marie.

Arriving at the bodyshop a JCB was parked across the entrance to the parking lot. So I parked on the pavement.

Started by finishing the handbrake on the drivers side. (I must stop referring to off side and near side. it should be right and left). I ended up cutting 3 inches from the  handbrake outer  cable which allowed the expander to open fully. Both handbrakes now work. Lunch and I then fitted the new regulator, which had arrived yesterday. Having done that I put a jubilee clip around the bottom of the oil filter to stop the oil seal popping out when tightened.

So, start it to see if the oil leak has stopped. No ignition. I checked and rechecked the battery leads and eventually found the black lead on the battery wasn't  making contact. Remember the battery is under the car with a set of jump leads connected to the two leads. Still no ignition or fuel pump. I check the wires going to the ignition switch, there's a flash and lots of smoke escapes from under the dash where the wires go through to the regulator. Battery lead off the negative cable. I look behind the dash and it appears to be the broken socket for the wandering lead. I give up, pack away and come home. Ring the MG Octagon Car Club and the new sockets should be in on Monday, in the post Tuesday. I then ring the independant Mini dealer about the heater matrix, for the Mini, not the TC. He will post it on Tuesday to Sheffield and they can send it on with my headlights.


Promised I'd take a picture of the streering wheel, and I did,

No, not spring washers, the bits cut off the outer handbrake cable.

The original regulator with the white wire already removed.

The new one. go on, check the colours...... They're correct, I think. I wanted to fit the old cover to the new box but it's slightly different. I've dropped the old spring clip but when I find it I'll try and change the clip to see if the old cover will fit.

UPDATE I've bought a tin of genuine Lucas smoke, but how do I get it back in the loom?


I've cleaned up outside and cleaned the interior of the Mini. Now for a shower, get fingers dressed and maybe me (dressed). Then shopping with the boss. This afternoon I'll be watching the football scores as they come in on the video printer thingie. Oh what fun.


We had lunch in the restaraunt at Super U yesterday. The restaraunt that doesn't do food on Saturdays, se we had a sandwich. I had a large beer, half a litre, about a pint.I bought a wash leather and cleaned my glass at 1700. Then sat down but couldn't stay awak until I was reminded that I'd left the garage lights on. So far today I've done nothing, but it is only 1025.


 OK, It's confirmed, I am an idiot, a plonker even. Left home at 0715 and arrived at the bodyshop at 0750. This is the long route as the quick one is still closed. Jean-Luc turned up at 0800 and opened up. I took the Caterham wheel out the boot plus my sandwich bag and handbag. Started work. It was a bit dark as there were no mechanics in today. I took the dash off and made new connections for the two sockets on the dash, one positive and the other negative. I then put the dash back but it kept slipping off. A new piece of wire did the trick. Reconnected the multiplugs but still no ignition light. Just hang on, we're getting there. I pushed all the wires in and on one or two ocossians the ignition light flahsed. I spent twenty minutes puling and pushing wires before I realised the problem wasn't the plugs but the joints on the wires from the regulator. Got the light in there and, sure enough, the white wire was loose in it's connector. PLONKER! A new piece of wire and a new connector solved the problem. We now have an ignition light. I started the engine and the ampmeter showed full charge. But the ignition light is stilll on. Never mind, that can wait until the dash is fixed in permanently.

The jubilee clip around the oil filter seems to have cured the leak. Now time to fit the breather hose. I had with me a length of yellow garden hose so made up two joining hoses and the long piece between the two elbows. It looks awful. Jean-Luc found some black stuf and after boiling in hot water (micro wave) I put it all together. I had no idea what to do next so I came home, had my sandwiches and then slept for an hour. I tidied up the rubbish from the gites and put all the old stuff in the fridges and cupboards in black sacks. At 1700 I started cutting the grass. Went OK until 1830 when it started to rain so I left it half done. If it doesn't rain tomorrow I'll finish it.

Not sure if I mentioned it but we can't find the two door check straps. If you see them let me know, thanks.

In case you haven't seen this it's a very abreviated version of the blog as published in the MG Owners Club magazine.

The body all skinned. He had to make new rear quarter panels and will grind off the welds tomorrow.

The back panel

Left side.

Left front.

And, finally, the new breather pipe. I'll leave it to your imagination to work out what it looked like in yellow garden hose. Of course, it shouldn't need this as the pipe on the air clenar should sit above the breather pipe on the rocker cover. Problem is this rocker cover has the pipe on the wrong side.


I got up late, wrote some directions from Nantes station to here, went to the bodyshop to see if Maurice is going to paint the tub today (he's not) and then, after lunch, finished cutting the grass. The tractor stopped and wouldn't re-start. It's just behind the gites so I've left it there. Out new ride on mower will be delivered on Thursday. I have the two gites to clean thoroughly and piles of rubbish to get rid of. But at least I've made a start. Tomorrow we're going to meet friends for lunch in Dinan and then go and pick up the rear side screens. This week we will get to the trimmer, last week we were so late we phoned to say we couldn't make it.


 I met Lynne in Super U car park at 1000 (after my physio). We went off to Dinan and got there at 1130. Our friends turned up at 1200 (as agreed) and we found a restaruant in the back streets. Very nice, I had a starter (can't remember what) and then a Marmite of fish. Wow! huge amount of food, fish soup with a potato, a large prawn and 2 or 3 types of fish as well as vegatables. I was stuffed. After, we go back to the car parrk and set off for the trimmres. Look on the sat nav address book but not sure we have the correct address. Half way there we stop for petrol. Lynnes phones the trimmer and asks his address. She has to go into the garage workshop to get someone to write it down as she isn't sure of the spelling. We get in the car, start up and..... the bloody, perfect, German, only to be used by aliens, sat nav will not read the DVD. I take it out, put it in, still won't read it. Out comes my phone and we try and use the maps app on it. We get near and stop and ask. Eventually we find the town and stop and ask where the street is. Follow the directions but we end up going round in circles. Then spot a Gendarme car. Stop him and ask. He says follow me and sets off at breakneck speed. We get to Sebadtopol Street and there's the trimmer.  Collect the rear side screens but he can't produce an invoice because his computer won't boot. He's going to email it to me and I'll pay him by bank transfer. The drive home was uneventful, and got home at about 1900.



Lynne's version of the day....

so the above is nearly there .....as most people know I have no interest in cars whatsoever- they go or they dont ..you then call a man in (I have one I prepared earlier) and thats it .

But I really thought a further insight into the real Verona would be good ... As I am  a long suffering wife where cars have been the main theme  in my house, my fridge, my freezer and even at times the oven .   I read the blog regularly, mainly to check the spelling , and often think it goes on a bit ,  So I thought I would be just as long winded and explain yesterdays events.

Lunch  was as usual lovely  with our  friends Lisa and Phil.   Even there V. (not the full name now) is a source of amusement.  The subject this time  got around to politics and V is very fair in his discussion , i.e. your ok as long as you agree with him (I feel him shouting even now as he reads this) hehehe.

Anyway .....we leave at about three and start our journey to the man with the sidescreens.  I'm told it will take about forty minutes to get there.

We set off, after about twenty miles V gets the idea we are going in the wrong direction.  I'm then asked to go through the list on the sat nav, we find the only name that means nothing to no one ...so we use it .   I notice at this point that petrol is not in the plenty and maybe a garage would be good.   No says  V there isnt one in sight.    Fortunately for the unseeing, unobservant male I have spotted a sign , and yell (he is also deaf) take the next right ...why says V....because THAT is were the garage is .............................At this point  V has had another thought, I should ring the man and ask his address.  Now in English that is ok ..in French on a mobile ain't good.  So I look around and spot a man (sometimes they have their uses).  I go up to him and ask if he could talk to the man on my mobile and write down his address for me...he says...(Im only a customer here ) I say...are you French? can you write in French...yes says the man..then please speak to the man on the phone.  This job is done and I go back to the car feeling pleased with myself.  I give V the name and address and we attempt to put into the sat nav.   No luck...this machine works until you need it..and today it didn't work.  V gets out of the car, smoke now coming from his ears.. he yanks out the CD yanks it back in again...and it still dont work.  

So being the intelligent member of the team he sets off in A direction .  The atmosphere in the car at this point is ...silence would be golden on my part, but I don't work like that .  So I say after we have been driving for about fifteen or so minutes.  Should we pull over and try something else.  V then decides he can use the map on his expensive phone...heheh that dont work either but the arrow does give us a direction of sorts.  V then spots a man getting out of a van to join his mates working on the road... I am sent to ask the question ...the man obliges smiles at me and  I come back.   I might add at this point two men have smiled at me, which at my age is like a proposal (please dont even go that route)...so Im not feeling that bad.   We are told the direction to go in, take the second turning on the right  and continue.  V decides the third would be good (can feel him shouting again, but I did say it was the wrong one  when he turned off...) anyway we wind our way  back and continue , still lost .

 The next victim on our route, is the man with the chain saw cutting down trees.  He comes towards the car, machine still running, face dead straight.  I say nothing (sometimes keeping your mouth shut is good), we stare eye to eye and he gets the idea and turns off the dam machine .   I ask direction again, and again we are told where to go...no proposal this time , but his wife waved and off we go. 

By this time V is a little optimistic, me Im bored and dont care if we ever see these car bits again.  But we continue ..and yes...we are lost again.  Now V has plenty to blame..   the sat nav, his phone...and no bloody signs, which leads him to believe the place we are going to doesn't exist.

 Our next victims are two lovely ladies standing on the side of the road,  two roads down on the left then a right cant miss it .  Famous last words we do. 

By this time V is at the point of murder, and Im scared I may be the victim. 

So we turn the corner...and there they are driving passed us .. the Police.   I start waving like the mad woman, they pull up, we pull round (the end is now in sight) I wind down my window, I smile, they smile, I say Bonjour (this French is quite good when you get the hang of it)...perdu en France..I'm lost...and then the driver who must love films...says those words ..

FOLLOW ME...... 

I ask if I can have a blue lamp ...he said no, but still I got another two smiles for my list. 

and we got there safe and sound and not talking, which to me is a wonderful end to a wonderful day.  

I will not comment on the above. You decide.




 Today It's strimming time, as long as it doesn't rain.

The rain came, on time, at 1030. I had to stop as I was getting soaked. Then at 1330 the large lorry with the new ride-on mower arrived. He wanted to know if I had a lift. No, but I had a crane. He backed his very long, single axle, lorry up to the workshop door. He then jacked the pallete with the mower in it up with a small fork lift. He pulled and pushed and got it near the edge. I pushed the crane in but it would not go high enough. So, he lowered the rear suspension but the jib of the crane was still not high enough. OK, he now raises the back and unfolds the tail lift. He pushed and pulled but couldn't get it to move onto the tail lift. Then I climbed up and between us got it to move. This thing is heavy. Eventually he gets it turned and onto the tail lift and lets it down. I tie a rope around the frame and juck the crane up. The frame breaks. He starts shouting and sweareing as if it's my fault. I then tell him to drive forward and drag the platform from under the crate. He does then folds the tail lift away and effs off. Luckily for him the lorry doesn't get stuck on the wet grass.

I've now got a large case in the doorway of the workshop. I'll wait until it stops raining and break it open, start the mower and drive it off the pallete. Easy.


A large packing case with a ride-on mower in it.

By the way, if you missed the update read it on yesterday's blog.


After physio I set about getting the mower out of it's box. I can't find my crow bar and the B I G screwdrivers are at the bodyshop. Took about an hour and I then tried to tow it off the platform. But it just dragged the platform with it. The angle grinder, screwdriver and a big hammer broke the front cross pieces out after which the mower did come out with a tow from the Land Rover. We pushed it into the garage, the mower, not Land Rover, and I filled the battery with acid and put it on charge. The seat and sterring wheel where fixed on followed by the grass box. The drawing wasn't that clear but I got there after a few tries. Last job was to put two wheels on the cutter box. It started first time (after petrol was added) and I drove it out. However when I tried to engage the drive to the cutters it stalled. I tried a few times with the same result. I left it for lunch, then fell asleep until 1600. I got under the the mower to see if the blades would turn and they do. I'll have to jack it up tomorrow and see why the drive clutch is stalling the engine. Lynne will go mad when she sees me jacking it up but such is life. I'll take some pictures tomorrow.


Jacked up the mower and had a good look at the drive belt. Nothing wrong that I can see. Tried a few more times to get the drive to engage and eventually it does. I cut some grass but then it stalls in long grass. I drive it back into the workshop and leave it. I settle down to watch Final Score on the red button. About half way through the second halfs my friend from Nantes arrives and has his bonnet up and has a plug out and is looking at the colour. We then look at the oil leak. Well, not the level but the leak. I have a look and the rear main is still leaking. We then turn our attention to the carbs, the front is slightly rich so that's adjusted. I then dip the stick and find there is no oil showing. He tops it up from the can he carries with him. One and a half litres and it shows full. We go in, have a drink and he then leaves. He texts me when he gets home that the level is still good.


Start the mower and play about with the speed control and the drive engages. Cut some grass but the engine is missfiring. However, I've solved the problem of the cutters not engaging, it needs to be on a slow speed. What that has to do with the blades turning I've no idea. Apparantly yesterday, when I was cutting grass a stone flew up and smashed Lynnes rear window. I've broken the glass into a large plastic bag, the one the mower came in. I pop out at 1530 to take some pictures, so here they are.


Our new mower. The cover on the drive belt is off (Back on after picture taken). The headlights are on but in the sunshine it's difficult to see.


Power cut at 1945 so no blog today... try tomorrow.


Still no power at 0800 so we decided that Tuesday would be Wednesday and we would go out. We dropped Lynne's car off at the bodyshop (for a new back window) and continued on to Attol. Walked around the shops and bought 4 sun loungers for 15€ each. Then Lynne went to C&A and I sat outside the restaurant. Was offered a beer but declined. Just dosed in the warm sunshine. Lynne came back at 1200 and we lunched. After lunch we went home, me to sleep outside and Lynne asleep inside. At 1515 the power came back on. I made some phone calls and then started cutting grass. I stopped when I realised one of the blades had fallen off because I ran over it. The bloody grass has lots of granite rocks in it and I did hit a few, which is probably why the blade fell off. I'll refit it in the morning.

Anyway, this is what I did yesterday.

Nice, clean, cut............. grass? The hump in the middle is the gas tank. This was about 0800 this morning. It was cold, but as you can see very sunny.

Around the BBQ. This is from the same position as the picture above. Long lenses are very labour saving.

The mess outside the workshop has been cleaned up. It's in the back of the Land Rover and the wheel barrow which is at the back of the Land Rover. I'll take it to the dechetrie (tip) tomorrow.

The Land Rover with wheel barrow. The Fiat was towed there. The clutch is stuck in... still.

Close up of the edge of the workshop. I'll strim this, and the other side, tomorrow.

The tall man.

When all the cut grass rots in it will be OK. The new mower has a big grass box on the back but it collects nothing. May be because the grass is damp and heavy.


Forgot to mention that the body panels are primed and almost all back on. He needs to put the panel pins in and refit the doors but I suspect he's waiting for the new door locks and check straps to arrive. Looks good. The primer is very dark blue/grey/black... sort of. Photos next time I'm there.


Lynne dropped me off for my physio and went on to the lab for a blood test. They couldn't get any blood out of her. Not sure what this says about her other than she's tight. When I came out she was parked outside with plasters all over her arm. We went home.

I changed and got the mower jacked up ready to refit the blade. I couldn't tell if a nut had come off or a pin. It turned out to be a nut. I spent some time looking for one but it was a 24mm (spanner size) so large. With most of my tools at the bodyshop I went looking for the lost nut.... and found it! Didn't take long to refit the pulley and then the blade. It was 1200 and I needed petrol so I took several cans and filled them and the Mini at Super U. Got back for lunch and started again at 1415. I spent over 2 hours strimming the space outside the workshop, the edges around our house and the old house, the edge of the patch behind the gites and all around the areas at the front of the house. Totally knackered I put the strimmer away and mowed the areas behind the gites and in front of our house. Finished at 1700. Got the chain saw started and cut more off the bush that was overhanging the drive. (I cut some off on Monday with a hacksaw). cut a long length of wood hanging out the back of the Land Rover and shut the back door. Went down the drive to get the post which had the parts from NTG. Brought the Land Rover in and poured 2 gallons of petrol in, just to be sure. Then noticed the fuel gauge has started to work. Came in, got out of my working clothes, had a shower and just sat in my chair with no clothes on as I was too tired to get dressed. Please take note those coming to the gites this year, mad old fella walks about in the nude when tired. It's going to rain tomorrow so I'll take the parts to the bodyshop in case thay are held up for them. The decheterie is closed tomorrow so that'll have to wait until Friday.


Took the door locks and check straps to the bodyshop for 0800. Back home at 0930 and typing this. Here's the pictures I've been waiting for.....

The panels back on after being primed,

The original picture was very dark. Isn't photoshop wonderful? The scuttle is dark blue/black, not the silver it appears. This is due to the reflection of the flash and the brighetning in photoshop.


To continue yesterdays saga. I went to the tip in the morning only to find it's closed until 1630 (to 1830)). Came home and had a little sleep and watched the snooker. Then, at 1615, I set off for the tip (this is in the Land Rover). I emptied all the stuff, including things that should have gone in the recycle bins and set off home to collect the second lot. Loaded up and returned only for the car to come to a stop by the bridge at Armialle. Lynne collected me and I left it there.

This morning I went for a blood test, to the doctor (for him to look at my poor finger), the chemist for the cream I must put on my poor finger and then for physio. On the way home I stopped at the Land Rover. It started so I drove it home, collected Lynne and went back for the Mini. We then set off to collect her car from the bodyshop (new rear window fitted). After that we went shopping at Super U in Segre. I had two pints in the bar whilst Lynne shopped and then we had lunch there. Got home at 1400 and dealt with emails. I have now booked four tickets to see Joan Baez at the Celtic Festival at Lorient, 6 tickets for the show at Martinge Ferchaeu. I'm beginning to feel like a ticket agency, tickets for Le Mans, tickets for the show, tickets for Joan Baez, looks like it will be a good summer. It's now 1630 so I'm going to have a sleep and go to the tip in the morning.

Lynne wanted me to show everyone her bruise. No, I didn't smack her, it's from her blood test. She's so tight she won't even give a small phial of blood away. Please note the curly haired girl over Lynne's left shoulder, the one that's praying. Lynne took the camera to see the pictures and the praying girl was leaning over to see them as well. I then pointed the camera at her and she looked at the ceiling.


Went to the decheterie (tip) and unloaded the back of the Land Rover. Got back, had a cup of tea, then towed the Fiat into a more sensible position, towed the body to the front of the workshop and cut into three with the angle grinder. Load the three pieces into the Land Rover. Parked the Land Rover and the wheel barow and gave up for the day.


Did nothing other than sleep and watch TV. Well done Leicester, keep it going.


I got the strimmer, chain saw and hedge trimmer in the back of the Land Rover and attacked the hedge by the telephone pole. After an hour I was knackered so came in for a cup of tea. Started again but couldn't get the chain saw started. Came in to ask Lynne to hold it down with her foot but just flopped into the chair and went to sleep until 1300. After lunch I tried again, still wouldn't start so I put it all away, put a couple of bags of rubbish in the back and set off for the tip. Dumped it all, including the old TC body, got told off for bringing houshold rubbish and came home.


The telephone pole and the bush and brambles cut away. It was out to the edge, as it still is further back.

This is what came out. Thewre is a broken branch of one of the cherry trees to cut off but the chain saw won't start.

So about six foot done, only another 294 to go.

Getting closer to that one year mark... Oh dear. We have an early start in the morning, Lynne is having a bone density test starting at 0830. I'm due back at the bodyshop on Wednesday.


We left home at 0715 and got to Angers Hospital for 0815. Checked in and went to the room for Lynne's bone density tests. Only took about 10 minutes, I was in there for an hour! We then had to see the consultant who prescribed vitiman D every three months. Had a coffee on the way out then onto Julian to pick up the manifold paint for my friends Alfa Romeo. He wasn't there. Then Atoll. We went straight into Casterama and bought a chain saw, a set of hole punches and a few other bits and pieces. Went into the restaurant for 1150 and pigged out on a salad, fish with veg and chips and a mint and vodka desert. After all that we went back to Julian who should have been there by 1400. He turned up at 1445. Lynne went into the clothes shop and bought 4 tops. We went to the bodyshop and no work has been done on the car since last week. Maurice says he will have the doors and panels on tomorrow and then put 4 or 5 coats of paint on them. I can then refit the tub on Friday. Plans again.... they never work out. When we got home I assembled the new chain saw but it would not start. I'll have another go in the morning.


OK, I got back from physio, filling in the claim form for the Honda Jazz rear window and buying Lynne a blood pressure monitor at 1015. She wanted me to make an appointment with the doctor because she thought her blood pressure was high. It costs her 23€ each visit, the monitor is 49€ sound like a good deal to me. I set up the monitor and established that, contrary to expectations, I was still alive, just! I then got changed and went to cut the limb off the cherry tree. The new chain saw still wouldn't start even after I'd removed the chain and guide. I came in and shouted to my lovely wife, "FANCY A CHINESE?" it was 1158. We were on our way by 1205, she having got changed and put some make-up on. We arrived at 1245, had a pig out at the Chinese and then took the chain saw back to Castarama. They called the man from the garden section to the returns; these two departments are as far away from each other than they could be. He tried to start it. Failed. Then he removed the plug and heated it up with a cigarette lighter. It still didn't start but after a few more pulls and he puffing heavily (he was younger than 25) it started. I told him I'd rather exchange it for a Sthill and pay the difference. We left my saw in the returns department, walked the length of the store to the garden department and looked at the Sthill machines. I picked the 40 cm unit but he didn't have one on the shelf. So he goes off to the warehouse and comes back with one. Lynne drags him off to get a new rotary washing line thingie and I chuck a bottle of chain oil in the trolley along with some Kevlar gloves for use with the chain saw.  We then walk all the way back to the returns department. He starts the new one and I then have a go and it starts first pull. Actually, you pull the rope and there is no resistance, then the thing turns over. Probably winds up a spring loaded pulley, but it is good. We go back to the check out, pay the extra........ 435€ and get it all back to the car. We set off for petrol and a coffee then home at 1730. I get it out the car, start it and cut the broken branch off the cherry tree. I'll take a picture in the morning, I'm too pooped now. And broke!


Today is one year since I started the MG.I'm hoping Maurice will have the tub assembled and paointed tomorrow so I can refit it. Then only the wings and petrol tank to go. I will still have the interior trim to fit but that should only take 2 or 3 days.

In the meantime I've got grass, bushes and trees to cut.

Started at 0900. Plan was to finish the drive, first cut. if you see what I mean then fit the new belt to the tractor and cut the grass.

I used the hedge trimmer and cut lots more brambles out, then the chain saw and cut some branches out. I then went down both sides with the strimmer and chopped the grass down to a mower cuttable length. Lynne came out to hold the ladder whilst I cut away from the top. I wanted to cut more branches so went to start the chain saw but it wouldn't. By this time I was pooped so we stopped for lunch. There was a huge pile of cuttings in the drive. After lunch Lynne and I spent about an hour cutting more brambles out. I cleaned the wet plug in the chain saw but it still wouldn't start. Probably me, too tired to give a good pull on the starter. It was now 1500 so I started cleaning up. I put a large pile on the wheel varrow, which promptly fell off. French wheel barrow, 2 whhels in the centre, not one at the front. This means if you have more weight at the front it tips up! Useless. I got it back on with Lynnes help and took it to the area for old wood. Then I tied the next lot up and towed it to the area. Last, small lot went on the wheel barrow. I took all the tools out the back of the Land Rover and back out the drive throwing all dead wood into the back then dumped it all in the dead wood area. By this time it was getting on for 1700 so I finished by taking all the tools back to the garage next to the gites and came in. I've spent an hour buying an exhaust system for the Land Rover. Paddock Spares-brilliant. A mild steel system for £54 which includes all teh joints, clamps, mountings and bolts. Carriage... £5.All thge other suppliers only had stainless systems at £160 to £190 and then the fitings had to be ordered one at a time, rather than a kit. In fact one supplier said I didn't need anything else as there are no joints or clamps. Just can't get staff these days.

Yesterday morning about 0745. The grass is frozen, the pond is still and the sky was blue, hence the reflection.

The boss, not looking happy. Just some of the stuff we cut out of the hedge. By the time we finished we had twice this amount.

The drive. Looks a mess but compare it to the picture taken a few days ago. After I picked all the dead wood up and when I've fut the edges with the mower it will look much better.

Just a small pile of brambells.

My new Kevlar gloves. Supposed to be chain saw proof but as I was getting pricked by thorns I don't think I'll trust them that much.


I'm laughing. Really, I am. Put it this way if I wasn't laughing I'd be sobbing my heart out. So, which disaster shall I start with? The beginning will be good. I get to the bodyshop for 0755. The body is exactly as it was on Tuesday when Maurice said he was going to fit all the panels and doors and paint it, that he would be finished for Friday morning so I should come back then to refit the body. I ask the boss, Jean-luc when will it be finished for me to refit. Oh, he says (or the French version) we are waiting for you to put the body on, get all the panels and bonnet adjusted and then we'll paint it. On other words he's had Maurice doing other work so has now changed his mind. OK, nothing really lost, I had to do the big clear up at home.

I start by fitting the new two-pin socket to the dash and tighening the bezel on the rev counter. Just a word about the two-pin socket. The Moss price is £53 plus VAT, The MG Octagon Car Club is £15 (for members), the whole bill, including post came to £19. I decided to concentrate on fitting the brake master cylinder heat shield. I've tried before but it wouldn't fit so left it. It was bent and the half round cut outs had to be made bigger as the cylinder is different to the original. I glued some space-age heat reflective material to the side opposite the exhaust pipe and bolted it in. I also fitted the spring to the handbrake cross tube. Easier to do when the body is off. At 1130 Maurice, Robin and I lifted the body onto the chassis. I panel pinned the scuttle to the body. I had to drilI a few new holes as the 1.5 mm drill I was using to make pilot holes broke... twice. Problem was the drill would'nt keep straight as it got to the bottom, the bulkhead moved the chuck up slightly and the drill broke. All pinned on I then spent half hour looking for the screws for the three wooden fillets that are the bonnet closing panel. When I asked Maurice if he had them he stood there and a big light came on. I'd given them to him and they were in the paint mixing room. Old men don't have memories.

Lunch and then fitted the three fillets and lined up the body to the bulkhead. I had to do some cutting and shaping of the steering column bracket as it is too close to a body bracket. (last time the body was on the steering wasn't). I asked Robin to hold up the "coat hanger" whilst I put the nuts on the bolts that hold in in place. I fitted all eighteen bolts and nuts with washers. The large bolt on the bottom, passenger side wouldn't go in correctly, I couldn't get the nut on. Decided to leave that one until all bolted up and then run a drill through to get it to fit correctly.

All eighteen bolts in and all nuts on I get the air wrench and start doing them up. As I'm tightening the last bolt Jean-Luc comes over and explains the front quarter panels need to go between the body and the bonnet closing fillets....... Count to ten. Sit down and cry... swear... this means I've got to take the body away from the bulkhead, all eighteen bolts and undo the two side fillets to get the quarter panels tacked on. I get it all off for 1700 and will return tomorrow to help Maurice pin the panels on then I'll refit the body to the bulkhead.

So, now you see why I'm laughing.... Boo Hoo.

Dashboard double socket.

Brake master cylinder with space age insulation. Original would have been asbestos. Also, Mike Sherrills book shows rivets holding the heat material on but this one has four tabs.

The scuttle being pinned on.

Ready for the three fillets that make up the bonnet closing panel.

Fillets on, rubber seal in place and all eighteen bolts in......

And this is how it is at 1700, the body away from the bulkhead and the two side fillets off. Maurice and I will pin the quarter panel on in the morning and I plan to have it back on by 1200, when they close.


Today I'm laughing. Laughing because I'm happy. This is a very rare event so it must be savoured, it won't last long. I got to the bodyshop for 0800, sorted out the panels and got the clamps by the car. They start work at 0830 so I joined the chaps in the rest room until 0830. Maurice and I positioned the front quarter panels. Only problem was the quarter panel goes under the scuttle but that was now nailed on. OK, feet are for dancing, brains are for thinking.... we cut a tiny corner off the quarter panel and it went in a treat. A few taps with a wooden mallet and a perfect fit. We clamped it to the body and then it was all down to me. I drilled the front and bottom edges and panel pinned the panel to the body. The body was then bolted to the bulkhead, the steering column refitted along with the coat hanger. The bonnet closing rubber was refitted, I have three screws on the corners and will tack the rest. I need to get shorter nails, the stainless tacks I bought are too long. I'm helping Lynne with the shopping after lunch so will pop into Brico Marche and get some. Robin (the apprentice) helped me assemble the bonnet (capot in French-translates at hat) and we lifted it on. I've fixed the front hinge cap to the rad shell so the centre hinge just slid in, the rear one will need screwing in. It was 1130 and they close at 1200 so I wished everyone a "bonne weekend" and came home.


The panel pinned to the body.

Another view, good ain't it.

The pins in place under the panel, ready for a good knocking

A close up.

I asked Robin how I could polish the centre hinge of the bonnet. He gave me this, know as the "ziz-ziz" by the noise it makes. Brought the hinge up a treat after I polished it with super fine polish.

It's beginning to look like a car again. I have the bonnet to adjust, the doors to fit then I'll start on the interior.

Looks really good from this angle, I'm going to put this picture on Facebook whilst I'm feeling happy.

I'll have a day off tomorrow, the drive clearing and yesterday have done me in. I'll listen to Leicester v Man U,  If Leicester win they will be champions, a fantastic achievment seeing as they were 7 points from relagation at the beginning of April last year and the team is the same, just the right manager.

Continued on May, move along there please.


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