The French Blatting Company


JULY 2016



Welcome to the new blog. I must get some pictures taken. I haven't taken any for a week or so, mainly because you've seen an engine running on the floor before.

Got back from physio late as he had a very pretty young lady to "do" before me. Oh, well, can't win them all!

Got the engine running and it ran for forty five minutes before I saw any oil. Drained sump and removed it. Then flywheel off and the leak was coming from the seal. Close inspection showed it was running right on the edge of the sleeve. I've ordered a new seal and sleeve along with a sump gasket and new fan belt to replace the wrong one on the engine now.


The bottom of the seal housing has oil on it but no talc. Clue that the seal is leaking.


A better view.

Bottom of the bell housing.

Top of block shows talc is dry therefore core plug and/or main gallery screw are not leaking

Somethings missing.

Ah, there it is.

Just hanging around.... or is it hanging out.

Close up of a missing part.


I know it's sideways, lay on your side and it'll be OK. I'm having enough problems with windows 10 as it is. I think trying to rotate a picture will see me in the funny farm.... Oh,  hang on, I'm already there. After 3 hours of trying and having moved the rotatted picture to desktop, I finally got it on here the right way round. OK, you can get up from your prone positions now

An oily sump


Went shopping for the folks who are coming tomorrow. Planned to cut the grass but it rained heavily for half hour so the grass is wet and won't cut. I'll see what it's like at 1700.. Going to watch the tennis this afternoon.


 Just sitting down, watching tennis when, at 1330 the phone rings. It's the folks whp are due today. They've been driving around looking for La Foie for "hours". Drove up a driveway to ask and when reversing the reat wheel went down the ditch. They were 2 minutes away so I took the tow rope and Land Rover and towed them out. Lovely couple in a very nice MGA. We gave them tea and sympathy then showed them around the gite.  


The grilling tray is missing from the gite. Who would take a grille tray? Then, at the same time we both remebered it was on the BBQ. Decided to go to Ikea at Nantes to change the matresses. Got them both in the car and then went to Super U and hired a van. Ikea took ages to process the paperwork and we didn't get back untll 1845. Our neighbour was cutting the grass with his huge grass cutter when we got back. We dropped the matresses off the van and left them outside whilst we took the van back. Got back and the farmers son was still cutting the grass in the left field. I took the cleaned grille tray back to the gite and tried to fix the bathroom sink plug which is jammed. I freed it off but the waste pipe is leaking and the plug doesn't go up and down. I'll sort it tomorrow. Slept on the new mattress, or rather didn't sleep. I've come down at 0500 and will try and get some sleep in the chair.OK, goodnight. 


I had a really bad night, well bad in the sense I didn't sleep at all. Came down at 0500, looked at my emails and then sat in the chair until 0930. I think I slept a few hours. I took the seal, housing and sleeve off the rear main and cleaned it all up. I applied two beads aof black gasket maker and left it to dry. I then spent the next two hours fixing the sink in the gite. The arm that lifted the plug was rusted away so I drilled a bolt and pressed it on what was left of the arm. I siliconed all the joints except the main waste pipe which then stripped the plastic thread. I think it leaks but by then I'd had enough so repositioned the toilet seat, cleaned up and left it. I'll take it off tomorrow and put a bead of silicone around the thread to stop the leak. I have pictures of the housing but I've left the camera in the workshop. Tomorrow. Spent the rest of the afternoon cutting the grass in front of the gites. I went round twice, one on the highest cut and then a second time on a lower cut. Then strimmed the edges of the gites, the back of the house and around the garage and telescope. By this time Lynne had been shopping and returned so we got the shopping in and then we both fell asleep. By the way, the tractor started and I cut some of the very high grass with two blades instead of three. I also moved the Land Rover to cut the grass around where it was parked.


Whilst waiting to go to physio I scraped the sump gasket off the block, washed the sump out and then spilt the oil/petrol all over the floor. After physio I got changed and spent time putting tools away and cleaning up. Then .. can't remember now. The parts never turned up, probably tomorrow. Here are some pictures from yesterday and today.

The sleeve, having been cut with the Dremel, coming off.

The lower half of the retaining housing with two thick beads of silicon gasket maker.

The sump with new gasket with a smear of Hylomar.


Went to the doctor for a 1000 appointment and went in at 1100. All I wanted was a prescription for more sleeping pills. Got back and fell asleep waiting foe UPS delivery. It never came so I slept and watched tennis. In the evening I watched France beat Germany. Went to sleep at 0100 and woke at 0600 without the mask.


UPS turned up at 1330. I waited for Lynne to wake up after her lunchtime snooze and we then fitted a heated seal over the sleeve. Then put the sleeve on the crankshaft. It was at this point that I noticed the flywheel hasn't been turned dowm. This may be why the seal has leaked, because the flywheel is pushing it in. The flywheel is just too big to fit my lathe so I've left it a the local tractor repair place and they say it will be ready Monday afternoon.

Getting hot, the seal in a bowl of hot water.

The sleeve with PTFE tape to help the seal slide over.

Everything laid out on the kitchen table.

Seal on sleeve.

Sleeve and seal in housing. It was at this point I noticed the lip was still on the flywheel. So of to the tractor garage to get it turned down, then to the decheterie (tip) to get rid of the rubbish and some of the cardboard. I also filled the Land Rover and three x ten litre cans of petrol. I bought a one litre drink in Super U and drank the lot. Must remember not to have salted herrings for lunch.


I did nothing. Slept and watched TV all day and night. Took a sleeping pill at 0100 and fell asleep. Woke at 0700.


Had a shower and breakfast at 0700. Started work on the TC at 0800. Lynne helped and we fitted the full toneau.  


The stud by the passenger door hinge.

The stud on the near side of the scuttle.

The two centre studs.

Seats refitted and the two studs on the drivers side.

The toneau covering the passenger side.


Awake at 0600 and breakfast by 0700. We went shopping via Pouance (the exact opposite way to Segre and Super U) to post a ladies garment back to the supplier and my speedo and tacho to a man who can make them work. We went shopping after which we had lunch in the cafe. Got home at 1345, emptied the shopping and then I slept until 1530. Went and picked up the flywheel and 0.030" taken off. It no longer touches the seal housing. Got the flywheel on, sump, starter and exhaust on, oil in and coil wired up to battery pack along with starter. Had a problem with fuel leaking from the temporary pipe but got that sorted after several attempts. Started the engine. It ran for a few minutes then cut out. The coil wires have melted. I've made new ones but it still wont start. As my back is hurting and I'm now tired I've left it until the morning. No pictures, I'll take some tomorrow.


Early start and got the engine running with another coil. Ran for an hour with no leaks. Spent rest of the day refitting the engine. Doing the top half was fairly easy as I've sorted out the incorrect bolts and nuts and used 3 matching  metric bolts and nuts on the downpipe. So I wasn't guessing which spanners to use. However doing the underneath was agony on my back. Finished about 1800, moved the car out, mine in and then the other back in. My engine will come out tomorrow. A big thanks to Lynne who worked the crane when we put the engine back in. She also helped me put the bonnet back on. Best mate I've ever had...


The engine having run for an hour is drip free.


The clutch pad which is loose and out of line

Is this a crack in the sump?

The correct fan belt is the thick one, the toothed one was wrong and the dynamo was fully out and the belt still wasn't tight.

Going in...

.... just needs a push. Actually, Lynne worked the crane and it went in easily.

Done, taken out, mine in and then brought back in.

And mine now awaiting surgery.


Good news was my friend collected his car last night, no leaks and it ran for 10 minutes in the garage as I attempted to free off a jammed choke cable. Bad news.... by the time he got home (60 kms) it was leaking. I was not surprised as I couldn't see any fault with the seal other than it was right on the edge of the sleeve. By fitting the seal on the sleeve backwards and then leaving the lip on the sleeve when fitted to the crank it should be about 3mm inside the edge.

I sat looking at the housing for a good 20 minutes last night. If I was designing it I would turn off all of the shoulder on the inner face of the flywheel and make the housing 1/8” deeper so there would be more depth for the seal to run on. I would also make a sleeve tool to slide the seal over the edge of the crank or sleeve.

Anyway, I’ll fit the sleeve and seal on Saturday (out today & tomorrow), refit the sump and flywheel and run the engine on the shop floor for an hour, switch off for 3 hours and then run it again for an hour. If it’s still oil tight I will then leave it half hour and run it again for an hour. If it leaks at any time during this test the whole thing will go in the bin. I’ll fill the drain hole and revert to the scroll. I’ll test that as well. I’m hoping to never have to rake this engine out again after this.

So this morning I've done some measuring. Can't measure the crank as I have clean clothes on. I haven't used the dial gauge and flat plate as I'd get dirty doing that but a good set of digital callipers (tested on a good set of feeler gauges)

This is what I've found. Firtsly I do have an old seal, the lip is level with the outer edge. The others seem to be:

depth 9.08 mm (0.357"); back of seal to edge of lip: 6.80mm (0.2677"), lip recessed 2.28 mm

Other seals vary from 9.08mm to 9.23mm in thichness.

The new sleeve is 13.00mm thick (with flange) and from inside flange to edge of lip 12.28 mm. However, in practice it will bit longer on the inside as the edge of the crank has a very sligh chamfer so the sleeve will go on a bit further, I suspect the sleeve will slide on 12.50mm (sleeve is .30mm thick).

So, a rough calculation. If the sleeve does fit on the crank the full 12.50 mm and I leave a 0.010" clearance between the inside edge of the sleeve flange and the rear of the seal and the seal is level at the edge of the housing the lip should sit on the sleeve with 5mm clearance before the edge. This should be enough to create an oil tight seal.

I'll do more accurate measurements on Saturday morning using the dial gage and the flat plate.

Forget about engines for a minute. Pinky and Perky were outside the front door this morning, waiting for a handfull of feed.

Or maybe they were guarding the Coypu. Please note that I've opened the door and stood outside to get this picture and they haven't moved. If a stranger did the same they would scurry back to the pond for cover.

Close up a Coypu.

Crank with lower half of housing and seal removed. I know, I should have taken a picture before dismantling. If I feel in a good mood I may refit it to take a picture.


The picures of the seals. I have no idea which was first other than I guess the old design was.

You can see the damaged lip. All these damaged lips were cut by the edge of the sleeve even when I put tape over the edge. I'll take responsibility as I was on my own when pushing them on (except for the last one fitted) and it's not easy to align and push without help. This is the old stock seal where the lip isn't recessed.

Same tear on number two. This one has the recessed lip.

This is the one that got caught on the edge before the lip got cut.

You can see the cut lip on the left.

 This is the one that came out yesterday and has no visible damage to the lip.

The cut is on the right on this one.

The following are close ups of the seals in the same order as above. On this one you can see the lip is recessed.

This is the seal without the recess,

Looks like this is one that I damaged when fitting. It needs two people, one to hold the carrier and the other to use two thumbs to press on.

No explantion needed.

Same as above.

the Teflon material slices very easily.

Remember that I've only actually fitted two, now to be the third. I damaged three when fitting.


I spent two hours from 0800 to 1000 measuring the seal components on the block. I may have worked out why the seal leaks. I'll not say anything now but publish all if the tests show it oil tight and after it's back in the chassis and still doesn't leak. If it leaks after my mods then it will all go in the bin and I'll revert to the scroll.

We went to the races at 1200. It is Bastille Day in France and everyone is in party mood.

We even got Johnny Depp..

Just like him.


Pirates, in France?

Doesn't she look good. I think so, she's my bride.


At 1030 we left for Nante. Norauto for some feeler gauges (I will need two but only have one imperial set), crocodile clips for a test lead, car wash shampoo and a 12v ignition coil. Got everything but the coil. Tried a dealership and a motor factor but no one stocks them anymore. I'll use the Land Rover coil for now. Can't use the TC coil as it means taking the battery out to get the to the nuts holding it on. I would need two strong men to lift that battery out so easier to take the one off the Land Rover.

We had a nice lunch at an Italian restaurant then picked up soime bits in Ikea and went to their warehouse to collect my new rising bed. I'll sleep in the bed for the first tim in 10 days tonight.

I'll start on the seal at about 1030 in the morning. Got a gite to check over, flatten all the cardboard boxes to go to the tip, go to the tip and do the shopping for the folk arriving in the morning. Then an half hour grass cutting and strimming. Plan is to do the modifications to the seal assembly and run the engine for it's three hour test by nightfall (about 2200) then refit it on Sunday (but only if I stop the leaks).


Worked on the oil seal mods but didn't finish. Will carry on in the morning.


Worked on the mods to the seal. Got the engine started at 1555, Ran for 35 minutes, no leaks, but it started boiling. It's now 1945 and I'm going to run it for another half hour. Come back tomorrow to see the results.



The seal sitting in the housing.

The seal in the housing in the engine. Not a good picture but the seal is right on the edge of the crankshaft (no sleeve fitted)

another picture of the seal on the dge of the shaft.

... and again. fed up, I am.

The crank and housing. The dial gauge is measuring the true of the crank.All in accordance with the tolerances as set out in the 2012 instructions.

The gaskets to go behind the seal to move it more to the centre of the sleeve/crank.

The seal housing in position with 0.046" gaskets behind.

Turning down the flywheel so it doesn't touch the seal

The engine running. Note no oil leaks. It ran 35 minutes and started to gently boil. I ran it again later for 15 minutes and it ran out of fuel. 

Spinning along and no leaks.... yet!



Well, it's run for two and a half hours and no leaks. Spent the afternoon and evening putting the engine back in. will give it an 5 hour test drive tomorrow.

Ok the pronlem amd solution. The seal housing is in the correct position according to the latest instructions (if I remember correctly between 0.020" and 0.025") But the seal was on the edge of the crank boss.

I could remove the crank and pack the top half of the seal housing or make some packing to fit in the housing to move the seal away from the block and turh a groove in the flywhhel for the extended seal to sit in. I decided the second option which was easier. I did a lot of measuring and 5 corn flake (Weetabix actually) packet gaskets measuring 0.046" did the job by moving the lip to the centre of the sleeve. I turned 0.060" off the flywheel to clear the seal which now protuded from the housing. So far, after running the engine for two and a half hours, I do not have a leak. I've got some pictures but they'll have to wait until the morning, it's 2340 now and I've left the camera in the workshop.

A theory is the the crankshaft bosses are different depths, these cranks were made by men on lathes and the boss didn't really matter hence they may have been different.

We'll see if it's OK tomorrow.


We're not going out today, it's going to be 38c feeling like 43c. I'll give the car a run to the supermarket and then to Brico for four expanding bolts for the awning, which we've had for about 2 months and I haven't had time to fit.

Forgot to mention that yesterday I couldn't find the last of the bell housing bolts. I'd just said to Gavin, who's here for the week and has been helping, that it helps when you know what goes on which bolts.  I got a new one from my nuts and bolts stock. It was a bit long but went in OK. It was a bit tight all way but went on with a socket and ratchet. Then I realised the breather tube went on this bell housing bolt and the missing bolt was still on the breather pipe bracket. I just love smart arses. When I put the rad on I connected all the hoses then realised that the studs weren't in the chassis brackets so had to take the top hose off to lift the rad into position. Add to this me fitting the sump before putting the flywheel back on and then having to take the sump off again and you have a complete case of plonkerism. However the final proof came when I fitted the clutch. I have a piece of angle iron which fits between the ring gear teeth and the bell housing locking the engine. I put this in place when I tightened the clutch. an hour later I went to start the engine and nothing happened. It looked like the battery pack clips weren't making good contact. So I wiggled and made sure they were tight but still nothing.... hang on, it may start if I take the angle iron out.

The petrol supply. I have to stand on the stool to fill, wobbling all over the place. But Gavin's tall enough just to pour it in.

Clutch on, whilst I waited for the engine to cool for the third run. You can just see the end of the angle iron locking plate.

Spinning top.

I'll report back after the two shopping trips if it's still leak free,


We did 60 miles in 32 c heat yesterday and not a drip and it never boiled. I think I'm beginning to think I've fixed it. The Moss instrcutions say the top part of the housing should be between 0.020" and 0.025" from the block. I've effectively moved it 0.046" further out to get the lip of the seal in the centre of the crabkshaft boss.

I bought a mobile tool box at Casterama. Lynne had said that I should use the old kitchen trolly thing but the tools kept faling through the wire baskets and if I pulled a draw out the whole thing tipped ove. So we did a proper job.

I've charged the battery, fixed the sticking throttle, remove a gasket from the steering box top and adjusted the mirrors. More plokerisms. I couldn't see why the throttle was "sticky" I removed the air cleaner and wa about to remove the carbs because the spindle was jamming when I realised that the clamp on the end was touching the float chamber. Moving the flaot chamber forward cured it. I'll need to get an oil seal for the steering box, the oil is leaking out.... been here before!

I bit shakey, but this was a deep red moon last night.


Kitchen trolley

Proper job


Started at 0800 and drilled holes in the wall for the new awning (bought 3 months ago, but no time until today). Put the awning up and of course got it 90 degrees out so we had to take it off and turn it through 90 degrees so the handle was facing down. Lynne didn't realise how heavy it was and nearly fell off her ladder. I then weeded as best I could by pulling them out then jet washed the tiles and .... it looks very nice. It's now 1350, lunch, shower, pack and off to the hospital for the night for sleep apnea tests.

A gnome, sitting down jet washing tiles.



.... from all angles.


Yesterday I left here at 1515 and got to the hospital at 1600. I walk into the sleep department and the young nurse (actually she's not a nurse, she's a technician) says "Bonjour Monsiuer Verona, ca va" I replied and she then tells me my room isn't ready yet so can I just sit in reception for five minutes. I sit there for five minutes and then I'm shown to my room. It's like a futnace, there's a huge fan but it doesn't work. I flop on the bed for 15 minutes and then decide to fit the new screen thingie to my phone. Later Marianne (technician) comes in. She can only be in her mid twenties, she starts wiring me up. In her wisdom she wants to shave the lower part of my neck. As she's doing this there is a look of ecstasy on her face. "You are just like my wife, you love this, don't you", she nods in agreement and shaves away. Then plasters a microphone to my neck, something in the middle of my chest, two straps, one around my middle and the other around my upper chest, get two wires each, then a sensor on the inside of my wrist and finally a stats sensor on my finger (the clip that glows red).  As she's doing this she tells me that they only have people who've been in before on a Friday as, in the morning, there will be no one there so I must take all this off myself, have breakfast and eff off home. I didn't think I slept much during the night but I probably did as at some time the night nurse was fiddling with me and I woke with a start. She was putting back one of the wires on the the strap which had come off. I awoke at 0630, cleaned teeth and washed then waited for breakfast. At 0810 I decided to wait no longer so picked up my handbag to leave as my breakfast arrived. A bread roll and butter and a huge bowl of black coffe. I was on my way by 0820 got the the supermarket for 0855 and waited for them to open. Got the shopping for the guests and got home at 0950. Strimmed all round the gites, our house, the front of the old house, around the pond and the telescope. I was just finished mowing the drive (with the ride on mower) when one set arrived. I showed them round and then finished the drive. Came in and had lunch, rinsed the ride on as it was covered in dust and came back in, stripped off and started typing this when the second couple arrive. Caught with my triousers down. I got dressed and showed them around. Cleared up some rubbish, filled the mower and put it away then dumped about 15 litres of petrol in the TC and came back in to finish this. It's now 1520 and I'm going to wash the TC. I'm becoming a polisher! I never wash cars, I believe that's what rain is for.

Forget to say that Thursday night on the way back from the restaurant, the fuel light came on, so I now know that it works.


Washed the car and noticed the left hand front shock absorber link had fallen out of the shock absorber arm. Shocker and link off, pressed in and refitted. One of our guests watched in amazement at this repair which didn't take long. Maybe the car won't wander so much now.


At 0830, Mike (staying here this week) and I leave in the TC for Puys Notre Dame. Where? It's a small village south of Angers which has a "old" car festival every year. This year they extendsed it to three days. I couldn't go on FRiday as I had to be in the hospital by 1600, Saturday and we had two couples arriving, so today was it. We went by country roads to avoid the motorways. It was a bit of a torturous route andit didn't help that the road numbers didn't agree with those on the map. It took us three hours to get there. We couldn't get to the centre of the village where all the cars and bikes were as there was a bike "race" going on and the track is around the centre so the access roads are closed. We parked up and weent for lunch. Good food and after we wnet back. The bikes were still going around but at 1530 we got in. Parked up with all the Morgans, mainly three wheelers and walked through to the MG's and others. Here are some pictures, if I've got the models wrong let me know. We left at 1700 and drove home via the motorways and dual carriagways and got home at 1700. The engine is still leak free but it was boiling by the time we arrived. However it was very hot, must have been over 30c. The car ran very well but the steering isn't right so I'm seeking advice. I'll check the ignition timing when I get time, tomorrow I'm due to start the Mini.

Yes, my favourite car, a Bugatti Type 35, looking very original.

A Marmon.


I think this is a P, 50 years ago before two kids and two business and a lot of very hard work I would have told you all about these models but I've forgotten it all now.


A 1928 Peugeot. I know this as I asked the owner.

A Riley.

Is this a Magna?

Is this an L?

TB, so the owner, polishing told me.

Another Bugatti, I'd need to study my Bugatti book to ID it. It's earler than a 35.


Magna or L?

N type special, it says so on the bonnet.

I know this one, a fabric bodied M type.

I think this is a J2

Austin 7 special, tiny.......

Bently black Label, Huge. Was the Black Label the 6 litre?

Morgan three wheeler going out to the "track"

Little and Large?

Answers to correct my ID's gratefully accepted.


From a great day to a nightmare. Started taking the engine out of the Mini. I now know why I don't like modern cars. No where near ready to pull it out and gave up at 1630, skinned knuckles and knackered. There's a video on YouTube showing a chap taking the engine out and leaving the transmission in. However, a Mini specialist says you can't do this as the engine won't come far enough to the right to get it clear of the 1st motion shaft. So I watched the video again and the chap twists it forward as he moves it right. Anyway, I'm going to try, worst case is I'll have to do a couple of the bell housing bolts back up and remove the whole lump.

Tonight I took the side mirrors of the TC and bent the arms so I can adjust the mirrors so I can see what's behind. Will need a road test tomorrow.

All ready to start.

Some of the stuff removed.

How I left it tonight. Everything is difficult to get to.


Started by removing the wedges from the front springs of the TC. Then adjusted the brakes. I was using my Philips LED torch to see what I was doing and it has a magnetic bar to hold it in place. After road testing the car I can't find the torch. I think I left it on the chassis and it's probably dropped of when I hit a bump. Plonker? That's me.

The car is transformed. I've inspected everything on the steering and will set the box up when the shims arrive. It now drives straight and is much easier and pleasurable to drive down our counrty lanes. When I got back it was boiling again. I had checked everything in the morning and tightened a hose clip and the fan belt. I checked the ignition timing and it was way out. Set it to 5 degrees at tickover and will try it tomorrow.

After lunch, I just couldn't face working on the Mini so had the afternoon off. That consisted of taking two empty Butane gas bottles back for new ones (gas cookers in gite and our heater in the porch), posting a letter.... I remember when a stamp cost two and a half pence, a sramp for internal France is now eighty cents! Filled and washed the car. Came back, had a G&T and answeerd about twenty emails, dinner and typing this up.


Started the morning by crawling under the car looking for the missing LED lamp. No luck, I've lost it. We went out at 1100 to a restaurant on a jetty over the River Loire. Got there at 1215 and was shown a table. (I mean we were seated, I know what a table looks like). Then about 20 people turned up on bikes and flooded the place. They were Belgians on a cycling tour. The staff were overwhelmed so we told them we weren't in a hurry. Left at 1530, great day.

The car was fine, no overheating so that's another problem fixed.


The river Loire from the restaurant over the river. This is one of our guests in the gite.

The hotel before the cyclists arrived.

She's not unhappy, the sun was shining in her eyes.

I'm not good at selfies.


Been told off. Last week, when I set the ignition timing, I didn't say a public thank you to Lynne for looking at the timing marks in strobe light at tickover. Well I couldn't see the damn things. Thank you darling wife.

Got to the bodyshop at 0750 and when Jean-Luc arrived I was surprised  to see the Caterham fully built. I expected to have to fit the wings, seats and dash myself but they had rebuilt it. That just left me to refit the four downpipes (4 nuts each pipe), the silencer, the rad and the engine mountings. Got it finished by 1130. Went home in the TC and had lunch after which Lynne took me back to collect the Caterham. Started it up and had to adjust the very loose fan belt (squeling) and then noticed oil dripping. The pipe from the engine to the oil pressure gauge is leaking at the union on the block. I was so tired I asked Jean-Luc if he could get it off, cut the end off and refit the plastic pipe to the olive. I then went to pay the bill which was quoted at 1500€. I nearly fainted when presented with a bill for 5998.29€ I argued it down by 1200€ but still a shock.

 I'm now going to sort out the dynamo on the TC. Another unit has arrived. I'll update later tonight.

By the way, I forgot to take pictures of the Caterham, but it does look good. IT should at that price!


 Started the day by cleaning one of the gites. Angela who normally cleans them is on holidy.... how inconsiderate.

Then went to the bodyshop to collect my new LED work torch. Had lunch when I got back and then changed into working clothes and did more work on the TC. I tested all the dynamo circuit and it would appear it is charging, then that it isn't. I did get a reading from the dynamo but not at the regulator. I'm going to get Jean-Luc at the bodyshop to look at it on Monday. I've forgotten about dynamo's, it's fifty years since I worked on one. Then I had to sort the carb spindle out. The front carb throttle was sticking. Turned out to be the fast idle lever so I pulled it down and it was fine. I'll never use it so it doesn't matter that it won't work. Having done that I adjusted the carbs. Then fitted two lift-the-dot studs and clips to the tonneau so it will fold down behind the seat and not rise with the wind and obstruct the rear view mirror. Final job was to fit the new choke cable. I had to take the dash out to get the old cable off and new one in. Get the new cable through the bulkhead with Lynne's help as she held a light in front of the hole the cable goes through. I then knocked some bits off the tool box top. I heard something fall and hit the chassis. I'm sure it was the choke ferrule. I searched and searched but couldn't find it. Spent twenty minutes looking for it. I had to give up as we were going out to dinner with our guests in the gite. I tidied up and put the lights out. As I walked past the car to go in and have a shower I noticed the mole grips on the floor, I picked them up and...... you know what comes next, don't you. Yes in the jaws of the mole grips was the ferrule I'd just spent twenty minutes looking for. Only one description fits me and you all know what it is.

I'll start at 0700 in the morning to refit the choke cable, starter cable and dash. Then I go shopping at 0845 (for the two guests and some stuff for the gites) after which I will clean the other gite. I do the kitchen area and bathroom, Lynne does the beds and floors.

I'm a bit paranoid about the showers and scrub the glass doors so they are clean. Then I rinse it down and dry them. Problem is I always get soaked rinsing them down so I now strip off and do it naked. I must remember to show Angie how to do it when she gets back.


Up early and in the workshop by 0715. Had the new choke cable in in half hour, just shows how it all goes OK when you're not tired. Vacuumed the interior which was full of dried grass. Our guests left at 0830 so I said goodbye. Had a cup of tea and left for the supermarket at 0845. Had three lots of shopping to get, two for this weeks guests and some stuff for the gites like toilet rolls etc. Had to get it through seperatley and pay three times. Got back, put all the shopping away and then cleaned the gite. I then took all the rubbish to the recycling bins got back and vacuumed Lynnes car. By this time I'm worn out so we had lunch. After lunch I got changed and got the TC up in the air to adjust the handbrake. You may rememeber that one of the new cables was too short so I made a brass conector nut and threaded a rod in as an extension. Problem now is that there's not enough threaded rod to adjust the cable. So, I find a longer screw and cut the head off, cut the handbrake cable rod shorter and fit the connector further back so I have thread to adjust. Lynne sat in the car pulling the handbrake on and off whilst I do the cable up. That one done but I can't get under the drivers side because it's too close to the nettles, the car is in the garage doorway. I ask Lynne to start the car, drive it forward and reverse it more centrally so I can get under the drivers side. She was so pleased when she got the car in the correct position. I jacked it back up and adjust this side and all done. The last job was to fit the handbrake cable grease pipe but the pipe union is missing so I've left it for now. I'll make one tomorrow and get the pipe fitted.

Cup of tea and then I wash it to get the greasy fingerprints off. The first guest arrived late at 1900 and the second guest still isn't here (2225). They've sent an email from their phone that they were held up in Nantes and will be here soon.

They may have been held up in Nantes by the giant spider. (see: this)


 I keep saying I'm an idiot or plonker, well further proof, if needed was my mistake on the directions here from Nante for our guests who are from Australia. I put "turn right" when it shoule have been "turn left". They couldn't follow this and, as they had been held up in Nantes it was now dark. There phones didn't work and we were getting worried. They got to Chateaubrinat and connected to the wifi and sent an email. Long story short, we went there, about 20 minutes from here, to find them and they were not there. We assumed they had checked into the Ibis hotel opposite. I got a call from them this morning and collected them. Turned out they were in the McDonalds car park. I had walked around the half dozen or so cars in the car park and they were all empty. I din't go up to the cars and peer in. They had put the seats back and were lying down to sleep, so I didn't see them.

An explanation why I get left and right mixed up (other than being an idiot). Having driven in the UK for 41 years before moving to France, turning right crossed the oncoming traffic and left doesn't. When I type up routes from memory and not a map, I envisage the route in my mind. So when I turn and cross the oncoming traffic my feeble brain says it's right and when I don't cross the traffic it's left. Of course, in France (and the US) it's the other way around. Diner will be on me tonight.

I'll do the full version of the day later. Just want to put these pictures of my full tonneau up so I can get advice how to stop it rising in the wind.. no comments please.

The material that needs folding in, it will not go between bar and seat.

I know it's sideways but you can see where I've put the studs so it's held tight just behind the seat.

To finish off the day. Out guests who had slept in their car last night arrived here following me at about 0730. They went to bed and I decided to get the shopping for them that I'd left out from their list due to me not understanding. I went to the super market at 1040 and when I arrived back home Lynne tells me that they have gone to the super market to get the stuff I didn't. I turn round and head off back to see if I can stop them duplicating the list. Too late so we all had a good lunch.

I slept most of the afternoon and then did an update on the blog pages (a "top" button at the foot and an index for the months on each page).

We all went out to dinner and had a great time. It's now 2320 and I'll say goodnight.


Well that's the end of the first month of the new blog. Hope it's OK. Move along the bus now to August.

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