The French Blatting Company


December 2017



Lynne took me to Sheffield station for 0930. I got the 0950 train to London, then underground to Waterloo and from there, after finding platform 20 (I now know why J.K. Rowling used station 9 1/2 in Harry Potter, you have to walk down platform 19 then through a gap onto platform 20). I got the train to Ascot and then changed to the Camberley train. A taxi took me to Will's garage to pick up the Mini. It was the first time I've driven it in 20 months. The bill was enough to buy a decent second hand car but it was my own fault, I should have never rebuilt the engine in a state of "severe sleep depravation". I left Camberley about 1545, filled up (amazing this car ran on petrol which had been in the tank for 20 months!) I crawled around the M25 and up the M1 averaging 42mph-for a journey of 203 miles all of which, apart from 5 miles was on motorways. The car went well.


I took all the rubbish out of the Mini pending a velater coming on Tuesday. I had to sit down and think what all the switches are for, amazing how quick you forget. I watched the footbal scores in the afternoon but fell asleep. Nothing new there, then.


I went to Halfords in Barnsley to get a new bulb for the Mini sidelamp and on the way home queued for the hand car wash and got the Mini washed. They do a really good job for £6. When I got back Tanya and Paul were here and we spent the afternoon chatting.



D-Day, at last. After 8 months the farm in France was finally sold and paid for at 1000 France time. I got an email mid-morning confirming the documents had been signed and the money was being sent to my bank. I've had all sorts of agrevation with the buyer, Jerome. He's a nice chap but at first couldn't make his mind up, then spent 6 weeks looking for something better. I pushed him along and he eventually paid the deposit. Then, last week he tells Wayne & Angela (our friends who were staying at the house) that the money would be a week late. I went balistic. He's had 3 months to make sure the funds were available on the agreed date. I had to suggest I would sell to someone else before the funds became avaialble and paid in last Friday.



The chap arrived at 0915 to valet the MIni. He made a good job of it and Lynne was pleased. I have a side indicator lamp to fix. I took it off and it was very corroded. I cleaned the contacts as best I could but it still wouldn't work. Search as I did I couldn't find any WD40 so left the lamp for tomorrow. In the afternoon I took Malakia's new guitar case, which is too short for the guitar, back to the shop in Sheffield for changing. The new one is enormous! I asked Lynne if I should drop it off on tha way home but she said that Simon would pick it up. I got home and put the case in Lynne's room. Half hour later Lynne says that Malakia asked if I got the case and if so could I bring it round as he has guitar lessons tomorrow. So, off I go with the case.


We go to a buffet Chinese restaurant in Wakefield. I can honestly say it was the worse meal we've ever had. We are shown to a table and the waiter takes our drinks order. We get up and walk to the buffet and ask where the starters were. We are told there are none just help ourselves to whatever we want. We look around and it's 80% chicken dishes and the rest are pork. There is no seafood at all. The drinks take twenty minutes to arrive. We finish our so-called starters and get the main course. My "Hot and Sour Pork" is like eating bricks. I order another beer. The food was really awful. After another twenty minute wait we, well Lynne, complains and the beer is brought straight away with apologies and is "on the house". We finish with coffees, pay and leave. We will not be returning.

I decide to get a new compact camera. I've done a lot of research and decided the Panasonic DMC-LZ100 will be a good companian to the Nikon P900. After lunch we go to Currys to look at it. The chap begrudgingly got one out and fitted the battery so I could use it. There was another Panasonic that was about £50 dearer. We (that's myself and the staff) couldn't see a big difference other than the LZ100 has a viewfinder but a flat screen and the other has a swivel screen but no viewfinder. I like the viewfinder for very bright days when it's not easy to see the screen. We noted the price and went home. I spent about half hour looking on-line for a better price than Currys. I found one that was £3 cheaper, thought it wasn't worth £3 to wait so went back and bought it. The only annoying part of all this is that Panasonic advertise that they'll give £50 back on the purchase. I get home and go on to their web site to claim the £50 refund only to be told I have to wait until 9th January and then have seven days to claim it. I guess most people forget.... I won't.

In the evening we go to the Traditional Car Club of Doncaster meeting. It takes me forty five minutes to get there mainly because I have to drive slowly due to being dazzled by modern car headlamps. We get there to find they are having their Christmas dinner, which I said we wouldn't be able to make. We had something to eat in the bar and a chap who we know from the MG Owners Club meetings in Rotherham comes over. We have a chat and at about 2030 we leave and get home at just gone 2100.


Apart from trying to eat the bush, it's a nice car when it's cleaned.


Out at 0830 for an MOT on the Mini. Was booked in for 0915 but they didn't start it until 0950. It passed even though it has no horn fitted. I got back and it was nearly 1200. I suggested we had an early lunch. Aftre lunch I felt so tired I slept to 1530 and then went to Leeds to change a charging cable for Simons Tesla. I'd looked up the address on their web site. It was in the centre of Leeds but I couldn't get into the road as it was a no entry. I tried to get around the other side but gave up after half hour. I rang Simon and he told me I was trying to get into the shopping centre where they have a sales point in a pop-up tent thingie. I put the new address into the SatNav and it took me there. I apologised for being late and the chap said not to worry, everyone does it. So, I asked, why don't you chnage the web site and stop annoying your customers. He just smiled. In the evening we, Simon, Kel, Lynne and I went to our local pub for a Christmas dinner and a comedian. The meal was OK but the comedian was dire. He specialised in singing Neil Diamond. (He was called Neil Diamondie). We left at 2145.


Simon and I went to Argos to collect two wardrobes I'd ordered. We brought them back and built them. Well Simon built them while I watched.


Did some work on the C2C and watched TV, so a lazy day. How boring.


Chap called Steve came to fit a new central heating timer and a new thermostat. He arrived forty five minutes early and announced the timer hadn't arrived. Then he tried to fit the thermostat and declared the new one was wrong and he'd have to get the correct one. Arranged to return on Wednesday.


I went to the Physio for my second session.Matt's a great chap and, if pain is a measure of doing well, he's doing very well, very, very well. But my shoulders and arms are beginning to feel easier although they do hurt. Must be part of the process.


Steve, the plumber came back and fitted the new time controller and thermostat. Didn't take long. We can now get the heating on when we want it and control the temperature.... wonderful.


I did some phoning in the morning, most to do with the Coast-to-Coast run. After lunch we went to Ikea in Sheffield. We only wanted a wall cupboard to store the paper and stuff for the printer. Came away with at least a dozen items but no wall cupboard. We got a wall rack instead. Got home and built the rack. I'll get all the paper on it over the weekend... or sometime.


After an early lunch we went to Barnsley Hospital to see the endocronolagist. We got there early and had a coffee. When we went to his department they were waiting for us and he saw us right away. I do have the growth back on my gland and the hormone is “very high”. I asked him if this was the cause of my fractured vertebrae, he said he would get some x-rays to see the spine and I told him there was one on the system plus a few from France including a scan and an MRI. He loaded them and looked at them and showed us the fractured vertebrae. He them swung into action… This is no good, I don’t think it’s due to the hormone level, but could be. Lets get some blood tests done now and I’ll order up a better bone density test to see if it’s brittle bones. (the first one, a simple test, showed my bone density is normal). I have full faith that he’ll get to the bottom of it. So after cock up after cock up in the French system I feel that someone is going to find out what the problem is. In France the first doctor we saw was going to retire but then decided he’d work on and clear all his current patients, which would take about 5 years. Only problem he missed me, his newest and it took over 9 months to find that out and get me re-assigned to another doctor. Then, just before we left the new doctor wanted to get another MRI scan. I said we’d be gone by the time that could be arranged, why didn’t I just start taking the pills again. He agreed it wouldn’t do any harm but he wanted to be sure.  About 3 months ago I get a letter from him suggesting I start taking the pills again and get an MRI in the UK to see what was happening. At this point I was getting the MRI and blood tests. So, after 7 years of back pain and not being able to do many things, I’m hoping it will get sorted.


It was the companies Chritmas do in the evening. We went with Simon, Kel, Leanne and Jack (6 seater electric cars sometimes have their uses). It was a good do and we left at about 2300. The youngsters all went to a night club, we're far too old for all that.


Kerry, in the lobby downstairs. I'll have spend some time with the camera. First I couldn't get the flash to work and when I did the pictures are all overexposed. One of my problems is I can't read the symbols on the dial so have to guess what it's set to.

Simon holding court, which is waht he says I do. Like father like son.....

Filling up now. Tanya looks startled.

This is my very good friend Olu. We have known each other for 43 years.

Lynne, looking very stern.

Simon complete with red eyes, I think it's the camera not the booze.

Tanya, Olu and Lynne. Tanya still calls Olu "Uncle O"

Part of the assembled multitude.

Notice the sign above Lynne's head.

Kerry and Paul.

My baby.

Lynne, doesn't she look gorgeous.

Leanne in deep conversation.

Two lovely ladies.

Simon with silly hat.

And to end the picture shoot, my family.


 Didn't do much today, getting over last night.


Sent an email ro North Yorks Police asking if the roadworks in Catterik village will be finished by August. Should get an answer by February.... I also phoned Carragh at the Mount Hotel in Scarborough to arrange for te diing room to be open to others on the C2C on the Saturday night.She's happy about that so I've asked who wants to join in.


Went to Ikea at 0800 to have collewct a van from the van-hire place opposite, have breakfast in Ikea and collect lots of furniture for Simons new house. We then went to the house and, after getting the keys started unloading and building beds, tables, chairs etc... well I started building while he took the van back. Lynne came over at 1500 and brought lunch. We finished building the bed and left about 2100.


It's my Birthday today. Had a lovely day, very quiet and peaceful. Oh, hang on that was the plan, reality saw us building 4 chairs and a dining room table. The ngarage is full of cardvboard boxes. We went to The Burghwallis pub in the evening. They had a raffle and we won... a nice dish, a pair of earrings, a bag of pou-pourie, a candle, and a bottle of Champagne. No cuddly toy though.


Up at 0600 and out by 0630 I made my way to Jerry in Warwick. Got there at 0930 and had to get them out of bed! I removed the front carb and swapped the body over but then found that someone had fitted an oversized float chamber bolt. It had just been driven in and tightened by force. The rear carb was the same. The two butterfly valve screws on the rear carb broke when I opened the split threaded part. I've ordered 2 bolts, a set of washers and 4 butterfly screws. I'll go back after Christmas to finish te job. Left at 1200 and got back at 1508. Traffic on M1 was very heavy with an hour and a quarter to travel the three and a half miles through the roadworks at Nottingham. We were both tired so misssed the quiz.


Gavin ands Claire came over at 1500 and we went to the pub for a meal. It was a really good afternoon and evening. Only problem was I was falling asleep again. I really must get some sleep. In the evening Simon came over and brought me my Birthday presents from Tanya and himself. Tanya bought me an electricly heated throw over blanket to keep me warm while watching TV and Simon bought me a huge hamper.


Didn't do much, watched the football scores coming in during the afternoon.


Christmas Eve, how exciting!


We went to a pub near Derby and met Lynne's sister and brother-in-law, Denise and Bully for lunch. Was really good. We then went up the road to Matlock to stay the night in a Premier Inn.


Got up and had breakfast and came home.


Did nothing. That's it.


Went to see the doctor. He at least listened and examined me. He reckons my cough may be from one of the pills I'm taking so he's changed them for a different one. We'll see. We then went shopping and I dropped Lynne off and went to Barnsley Hospital to get a prescription issued by a doctor at the hospital which can only be issued by the hospital.


Another day of doing nothing. I'll have to get started on the cars soon, before I get used to do nothing.


The same nothing as yesterday.


 We stayed in and had a drink at midnight to welcome in the new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE


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