The French Blatting Company





Now that my dynamo is charging (first replacement didn't) I set about to see why the red light was on and no charge on the ammter. Found the D wire not in the regulator. Fixed that and it now charges. The regulator needed adjustment. All is now well. I made a trunnion for the handbrake greaser pipe and fitted the N/S pipe. However, I didn't have any correct size screws to screw the brackets to the body. After lunch I Fitted two studs the the tonneau rail behind the seat and two "lift-the-dot" clips to the tonneau so it can be clipped tight and not rise in the wind blocking of the rear view. Then went to Brico to get a packet of screws and test the tonneau. Tonneau fine.. Came back and one of the guests informed me she had signed for a parcel. Turned out to be my tacho and speedo. I refitted them but the speedo still doesn't work. I'll jack the car up tomorrow, put in gear running and see if the spindle is turning and the needle isn't. My friend from Nantes turned up at 1800 with his engine in the boot of his son's car. We got it out and into the workshop. I'll do the seal modification tomorrow. I will need to order a sump gasket and new seal and speedy sleeve tomorrow so won't finish it for a few days. Pictures of the tonneau tomorrow. The plonker forgot today.


Started at 0900 after a reasonable nights sleep-four hours, about four time normal! First job was to adjust the doors locks as it's been pointed out the the locks are not closing fully and are on the safety catch. I remove the strike plate and cut away all the trim under the plate. Then fit the plate behind the door lock. The original plates seem to have been lost and I got new ones a few weeks ago. Still miles away from the hole the lock is supposed to go into. I then make some packing from a Weetabix box. Six pieces. No luck, still miles away. Next is to cut a packing piece from the hardbound cover of a Haynes manual. Still miles away. I'll leave that for now and think the problem through. Next is to see why the rear brakes were stuck on. I let the left hand cable adjustment off but the brake was still on, It then dawned on me what the problem was. The ferrule I fitted between the handbrake cable and the greasing pipe was holding the cable on. I removed it, made up a very thin nut and refiited it and the pipe. I got up and pulled the handbrake on, CRACK as the screwed in extension seperated from the deep nut. Took it all apart and screwed the extension fully into the nut. Adjusted the cable, then adjust the brake shoes and all ws well. I then drilled two holes and screwed the plate with the grease nipple to the body. Of course this was after refitting the wheel which had to come off again. I then removed the wheel from the other side and fitted the plate to the body. Wheel back on. In the meantime I'm charging the battery so it's fully charged and I can adjust the voltage regulator. I enlist Lynne to sit in the car, rev it to 2000 RPM and tell me when the ampmeter is at zero. All done in about a minute. I then remove the speedo cable from the speedo which isn't working. I get underneath and remove the cable from the gearbox. I turn the inner cable from under the car and Lynne is to tell me if the cable at her end is turning. It is, so that means gearbox out to see why the drive isn't turning. That can wait until winter, siummer's for driving it. Next up is to reglue the sill plate.... for the third time. I decide to go to the super market and get some Super Glue. Get back, apply the Super Glue to the sill and the plate, position it and put three big hammers on the plate to hold it to the sill.

Have a break and come back to the doors. I've thought it through and reckon that Jean-Maurice has packed out the striker plates as he would have thought the catch went into the safety catch on the striker plate.  At this point my friend turns up with the down pipe and rad so I can run his engine after modifying the rear main seal. We have a chat and then a beer. After he goes I take the left hand striker off and it is packed out with two pieces of metal plate. Remove these and the tongue is much closer to the hole in the striker plate. I will pack the lock so the tongue latches in the correct hole, not the safety catch on, but it will have to wait until Thursday. I'll take the right hand striker plate off as I think that has a strip of wood packing the striker out.

Physio in the morning for the first time in ten days due to Alex going on holiday. Then were of to lunch with friends in Dinan. Lynne won't let me take the MG, which is just as well as it's due to rain..


The tonneau being held in place with the new studs and "lift-the-dot" catches


The inside of the catch.

repaired speedo and tacho in place. Pity the speedo doesn't work.


The handbrake grease nipple being held in place with two new screws. The new trunnion can just be seen through the spring. It's out of focus so not very clear. The other side looks just the same so no picture.

Pictures of door locks when I sort it out. Not sure what I can take a picture of though.


Physio at 0915, home for 1030 and out to Dinan to meet friends for lunch. Had to go shopping on the way home for two rain jackets as we're at the "sparkling water" show tomorrow night and it's due to rain! Stopped at Buffalo Grille on the way home and had a main course only. I wanted to go to Dinan, about 60 miles each way, in the MG, but Lynne said no. As it happened it's rained all day so wouldn't have taken it anyway.


Started at 0800 and sort of fixed the door locks on the MG. I have put lots of packing in and, if you slam the doors shut, they lock on the correct hole in the striker plate. I then started turning the flywhhel down from the TC engine of my friend. After lunch Lymnne took me to the bodyshop and I cpllected the Caterham. Then spent the rest of the day cutting the groove in the flywheel. Takes ages with a cast iron lump of metal. Tonight we're going to the show, pictures tomorrow.

Door lock with packing. I have orderd 20 x 1/16" shims, Simon will bring them next Wednesday.

]The striker plate. The lock tongue goes in the hole, not the slot, which is the safety catch. I will remove theose screws, drill the hole deeper and tighten screws all the way home.

The following are the very shiny Caterham.



Last nigh, ourselves and the guests set off at 0745 for the "Sparkling Water" show. We drove through a very heavy thunder storm with huge flashes of lightning. "See, I told you it was a great show". When we arrived they let us park nearer the entrance to the lake so I didn't have to walk so far, must look after the aged...... We parked up and walked along the road/path and turned into the entrance to be greeted by a long queue of people being searched and baggage checked. Bottles of wine were taken away, to be collected on the way out. We get in and the front row was gone, must get there earlier next year. Six of us sit down in the second row and get the crisps and cider, bought on the way in, out of the bag and start munching and swigging. The cider was, as usual, very nice, low alcohol, about 2% and cold, it went well with the crisps. At 2300 the show started. I had told the guests this show was something special and far more than a fireworks display. They were spellbound. There were a few changes this year, the scenes and music were in a slightly different order and we had huge fountains of water with coloured light through them, very effective. When it finished we shuffled out with the thousnads of others there. WE stopped to look at a pair of huge bullocks..... B U L L O C KS. They are big with huge horns, one of which on one bullocks has had the be cut short as it is growing into his mouth.  All agreed that I was right to show my usual enthusiasm and Mike even said it was far more than spectacular.

All the following pictures of the show were taken with a Sony HX50 compact. I won't comment on every picture.

Lynne's behind the camera.

Me, taking a picture of a chap taking a picture,

Why is Lynne looking so stern?



Note the row of boats with flares in the background. They move slowly from the inlet at the right all round the edge and then form a line along the back of the lake.



 Well, thats it for another year. Looking forward to next years. 

I'm loading this at 1630 on Friday 5th August, tomorrow we're off to L'Orient to the Celtic Festival to see Joan Baez. Never stops...


We set off to Lorient at 1200 and stopped at Buffalo Grille in Chateaubriant for lunch. Hit all the holiday traffic on the main road to Lorient. Got there and found somewhere to park. Went into a restaurant and had some drinks, then ordered dinner for two of us, the girls didn't want to eat. Mike and Marylin went off to find the venue for the evening. Came back having found it and said they were saying to be there for 2000 for security checks. The show started at 2200. We got in just after 2100 and the crowds were still pouring in at 2200. Concert started at 2230.

Two things struck me. One was that there were so many "youngsters" there and two the huge cheer that went up when Joan announced a song for refugees.

As usual Joan Baez was brillinat, singing a mixture of new and old. Not sure how she does it at 75.

The restaurant we stopped at......

.... the boats in the harbour.


The huge crowd, which is still filling the hall, to see Joan Baez.

Still filling up.

The lady herself. Still great after all these years.

In fine form.

Her son is on drums and the singer was good, 

I stopped taking pictures at this point and enjoyed the concert. Lynne drove home and we went the long way, to Rennes and back down to home. Got to bed at 0340.


Up at 0630 but went back to sleep until 0830. Started work on the flywheel, but it just wasn't cutting. Philip, who is staying here, said he would look at it when they got back from their outing. I did the carbs then got changed and sat around with MIke chatting about MG's. Phil got back and we worked out how to change the lathe belts to slow it down. Then he sharpened the tool and it now cuts OK. I'll finish it tomorrow. I took Mike and then Phil out in the Caterham. I'd forgotten how fast that thing is. Then took Phil out in the TC, Mike, of course, has been out in it and knows more than I'll ever know about TC's.


Got up at 0830, our guests had gone at 0600! Never mind, we'll see them again.

Started on the flywheel and had it cut to .131" in about half hour. Helps to have a sharp tool.

Fitted the new seal to the sleeve and the sleeve to the crankshaft. I positioned the lip of the seal in the centre of the crankshaft boss and tigthened the lower haf of the housing. I now know it will not leak. Had to telephone my friend as I didn't have the fuel pipe and couldn't find one of the carburettor bolts. I put the sump on with new gaskets and rear cork seal. There is a modern lip seal on the front. I got some petrol and at this point, 1600, I packed up and went inside. I was going to have a shower but just fell asleep until 1830 when my parts driver turned up. I put the fuel pipe on and missing bolt to the carburettor. Tomorrow I'll remove the outer casing of the radiator, fix the grille slats and then mount tha radiator, connect the fuel pipe and coil and start it uip.

The groove in the flywheel to clear the seal.

The new seal......

....... fitted.


I got the engine ready to run about mid-morning then realised that the flexible hose for the oil feed pipe to the gauge wasn't there. A quick phone call established that I needed it and my friend should bring it over tonight. I spent the rest of the day in the sun half sleeping and readindg, a bit. He turned up at 1830 and we had the engine running in ten minutes. Ran it for about half hour and then shut it down, drained the water and removed the rad., Took the exhaust off and put the engine in the boot of his car. Tied it to the side and away he went. Simon and the tribe turned up at 2300 and we got them sttled and left them to go to bed.

The engine running and no oil leaks. There was a weep from the front of the sump but two oversize screws into the timing cover fixed that.


I was up at 0730, showered and dressed and downstairs by 0800. Simon came in at 0830 and we had a coffee. He had left his Tesla on charge in front of the workshop so had to remove it for me to get teh MG out. I went to physio and returned at 1000. We set off for Atoll at 1130, Simon and I in the MG, everyone else in Lynne's car. We had a nice lunch, then did some shopping. Simon drove back from Atoll and we arrived home at 1700. I just sat outside the gites taking pictures.

The car from outside the gite on maximum lens zoom. About 720mm. I must chase the new headlight lens.

One of the dogs, one is Panda and the other Theo.

Action man, with dogs in tow.

Still at it.

Theo has smelt something.

The car again.

The girls and Malakai arrive home.








And again....

.... again.....

.... again, have you met gappy.

ooops, sideways. It's the right way around on the file.

And finally, Simon.


Spent most of the morning fitting red calliper covers to Simon's Tesla.The wheel nuts are done up to 175 NM, tight! The wheel is huge and heavy. Look good. Then we started on the MG door locks. Had to go and buy a chisel and cut a bit out the door jamb to get the striker plate nearer the lock. That didn't work. We then found the problem, the striker plates were fitted to far in for the lock to close on the peg. We packed out the drivers side with washers and the nearside was relocated to the correct position. In the evening we all went to Buffalo Grille, me in the MG everyone else in the Tesla. Some pictures tomorrow.

Looks like a bored meeting.

Someone's happy.

Very sexy lady.

Kerry in full flow.

Lynne with a mouthfull. Can't nag with her mouthfull. OK, I'm dead!

Red calliper covers on a Tesla

Both end of the spectrum. The Tesla will accelerate 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. It snaps your neck back.The MG takes 16 seconds.

The cyclist was all over the MG.


Left physio at 1000 and set off to La Fleche Zoo in the MG. Took an hour and a half to do the 54 miles. Parked up in the furthest car park from the entrance and rang the others, they were 10 minutes behind, but had set off at 1045. So, a day at the zoo. Here's some of the pictures.

One of the family.

I sat at the table whilst the animals queued for lunch. Some pictures of the animals queing.

Malakai got fed up queing and joined me.



The girls were training this owl. Nice birds.

It does have a head.

There you go, a head.

Ah, food, that's the trick.

More food.

What a beak..... and a nice face. But which is which?

This is how it's done, food amnd string.



Brother and sister.

And the BBQ in the evening.

That's it, a good day out but I was so tired I went to bed at 1000.


We had a day off and will go out tonight for the last supper. They leave tomorrow at 0630, I'll say goodbye tonight. We're off to the agricultural show at Angrie at 1000. Some pictures takenb today, don't get too bored.

What is she looking at.....

Kerry's happy.

....and now she isn't.

Smiles again.


Can't keep a good man down, Simon riding my bike.

Malakai observes his early birthday cake. He'll be 10 in four days time.

A Birthday smile.

One big blow.

Well it got them both in.

Leanne looking like a film star.

Malakai looking pensive.

Contemplation or constipation.

The dogs bollocks.

look at me, I'm eating.

Look at me, I'm not....

The car. Hiding.

Don't you dare take a picture of me. Too late.

Malakia driving the ride on mower.

He did well, knew how to reverse as well.

 Job done, time to get off,

 Forlorn and lonely, it wants Malakai back,

 He couldn't resist, he had to ride a bike, any bike.

He is trying hard.

Keep going.

Nice looking lad.

We went out to a restaurant we'd never been too before. It was a good night, up until the tie time we left.

Smiles all around.

More smiles.

My lovely lady, the one on the left. Leanne is a lovely lady as well.

Everyone, except me and Leanne.

They decided to set off when we got back so packed and were away before midnight. They went to Le Mans to charge the car.... and it wouldn't start. Simon phoned Tesla in Paris and they arranged for a breakdown truck. The chap arrives and spent ten minutes looking for the engine. They couldn't hire a car and wouldn't get one until Tuesday as Monday is a bank holiday, In the end Tesla paid for a taxi to take them from Le Mans to Calais. They are now sitting in the departure lounge waiting for their train at 1530. A taxi will take them through the tunnel and leave them at the car hire depot. We wereawoken at 0250 by the phone but it wasn't them. Lynne came down, I followed. That's when we heard about the car.


We plan to do nothing today, So far nothing consists of going shopping. I'm packing up now, lunch is calling.

Simon and the family got to Calais and then had to wait until 1400 for a space on the train. They had a taxi take them through. Then got another taxi to take them home. Changed to two more taxis for the full journey. So, 5 taxis to get from Le Mans to Sheffield. Not bad,the Tesla will get fixed on Tuesday (it's a bank holiday tomorrow) and, I guess, transported home after that.


Phew, it's hot...hot...hot. It must be over 50 in the sun. Too much for me so I came inside and am typing this. I'll get a drink and go outside and sit under the yawning (awning to everyone else other than Lynne),



my new screen saver.

I've cleaned the gites for the two chaps coming today for two nights. Why oh why do I agree to these short stays. We've left their bedding in one of the gites, they can make their own beds.No idea what time they'll arrive. I'm going to sit in the sun and try and read a book. Assuming I can see the writing....


Back from physio by 1000. Joined the two lads staying with us and their very nice MGA. At 1330 they deciuded we would go out for lunch. Joel was closed so we went to another restaurant from 1400 - 1600. Got back and Samantha, her husband and two kids arrived, Sam was brought up at La Foie from five years old to fifteen. She bwas surprised at the changes but thought they were good.

The MGa and the TC.

Something of interest there.

Nice MGA dash.

Good day, didn't get much done but it was very hot.


Didn't do much before lunch but after lunch I went to Avrille to buy five litres of 20w60 oil for the MG. Got back and left it ticking over whilst I got changed then jacked it up on four axle stands, switched off (it was boiling by now) and drained the very hot oil and undid the oil filter. Lynne and I then removed the bonnet and I adjusted the brakes. That was it. The two lads in the MGA decided they'd take us out for dinner as I wouldn't let them pay for the gites. We don't normally do less than a week and I cleaned the gites so no cleaning costs and how much do I charge for two nights, which extended to three as they just loved it here. One is from Australia and the other is a hotelier from Bali. I took one in the Caterham and brought the other back in it. They'd never been driven so fast.


After physio and saying goodbye to Gordon and Martin I started on the MG. Put the oil drain plug back in and loaded a new oil filter and screwed the base back on. It doesn't need the jubilee clip to hold the seal in now so I left it off. I pulled the head down and adjusted the tappets to 0.017" cold. I refilled the engine and fitted a new filter but have overfilled the oil so I'll have to drain a pint out. I then asked Lynne to help and we tried to get the choke cable to pull the choke lever. Took a few adjustments and swapping the cross bar with the cable ferule. It does work but needs a good pull. I ran the engine and got it hot. The tappets are quiet but I can hear them. In fact one sounds louder than the rest so, after I've drained a pint, I'll get it hot and check the clearances again. Next was to look at the speedo gear. I got the cable off and took the two screws out but the drive was too tight to get out so I put it all back. I'm going to have to take the gearbox out over the winter so I'll do that then. Last job was to take the steering box out and open it up and set the shims. A good clean up and dug the felt seal out then reassemble setting the shims on the end plate and top plate. The box is now nice and smooth and only tight at the two ends, or in other words, on full lock. I've left the box standing up fully assembled and full of oil. If it's leaking I'll see that in the morning. I have a few pictures but have left the camera in the car. I'll post them tomorrow.


Carried on with the car. When I got to take out the tacho, I took it into the kitchen and opened it up. The gear is turning but the balance wheel isn't. So I rang the repairer, Philip Wood, and explained that it was not working but was a new problem from the one he fixed two weeks ago. I then packed it in a box and got it to the post office before 1200. After lunch I carried on with the door and then greased my nipples. I do love my nipples being greased. Lyne came back from shopping and helped me with the lock. It still doesn't shut on the inner catch but I'll sort it out later. It may mean taking a shim or two off. Dropped it to the deck, took it outside and washed all the greasy marks off then asked Lynne to help me with the bonnet. Took it for a test drive and all seems OK except there's still a clunk from the front and, I think, the steering is still tight.

Rocker cover with oily gasket on the floor.

Tappets being adjusted.

The wider picture.

Our tits sitting on a wire. The mother was going mad telling them to fly out but they just stayed there.

Steering box on the bench, well in the vice to be exact.

From a different angle. Everything has gone green.

Going back in....

... a bit further.

Dispstick showing the oil on the mark. Before I drained a pint out it was covering the FULL letters. Clean isn't it.

All clean and spick and span.

From all sides, well, this one at least.


I was down early and Lynne came down at 1100. I suggested we go for a Chinese at atoll and off we went. Got back having slept all the way back and...went back to sleep outside. 


Up early and removed the top of the steering box and tapped the drop arm upwards. Tightened the top of the box and went out to Chateaubriant to try it.  Much better but... only half lock when turning right. Bought ten litres of anti-freeze and drained the rad whilst having lunch, Refilled with 6 litres of anti-freeze then closed the drain tap. It helps.After lunch and a sleep I took the drop arm off and repositioned it. Still the same so did it all again.Went to Super U to get some mutli-fruit drink, a cut bread (for toast) and some ice cream. Steering now all OK but it's started boiling again. I'll reset the ignition timing tomorrow. I left the car outside the kitchen window and had to put the car away at 2200. All tucked up now.


Reset the ignition timing by ear and went to Combree and back. Still boiling. It'll have to wait until tonight as it's far too hot out there to work on a hot engine. I'll advance the ignition a bit more and see how it goes.

Never tried it, it was far too hot. Maybe tomorrow.


We decided to go to Ancenis for lunch then onto Nantes and get a new kitchen work table. Lunch was great, sea food platter followed by Moules and Frites. We then drove along the river to Nantes and got very confused as we were going around the ring road the wrong way. Don't ask how we did that but the clue was we came to the airport before the bridge. So we get to Ikea and go for a cold drink. Then onto the kitchen department. We get all the bits and pieces and pay for it all and go to the warehouse to get the work table. We get home at 1700 and flop down exhausted. We brought the three boxes in from the car at 2100 and started building. Can I let you into a secret. To read Ikea instructions you need good eyesight. Anyway, finished it at 2300 so not too bad.

Bridge over the River.... Loire.

Lynne watching the boats.

Now she's looking the other way.

Nice boat things.

The restaurant.

Me, tucking into moules.

A huge marmite of moules.

Getting there, only three quarters left.

Now she's looking up.

The empties.

and no more left except a bit of the juice.

The work table, fully occupied.


Did nothing all day, except sleep.Well I did sit outside for half hour mid morning but it was so hot I came in, leaving my phone on the table. Three hours later I retrieved it. It had shut down as it was so hot. I cooled it down and recharged it. Seems OK. Maybe tomorrow it will be a bit cooler so I can try the MG.


It is now Saturday 27th in the morning. I've got to remember what I did yesterday. OK, I slept in the chair during the morning. Lynne woke me for lunch which was cheese on toast. I fell asleep again after that but was awoken by the young lady who had come to check my apneia machine. All was well and she left me another nose piece as well as a complete mask (for the nose). I sat down to watch TV but remembered I had to go to the chemist and get milk from Super U. I took the MG to see if it boiled. It did. I've put it away until a cooler day. Fat too hot to be messing about with car engines. Came in and watched TV but fell asleep again. After dinner I watched TV from behind closed eyelids. Went to bed at 2330 and, guess what, I couldn't sleep. Got up this morning at 0430 but went back to sleep until 0700. Due to go shopping later.


To continue, I will help with the shopping this morning and watch final score on the red button this afternoon.

And that was it, I slept most of the day.


Got up late, about 0900. Had some breakfast and reset the ignition timing on the MG... again! Went for a drive and parked outside the Chateau at Challaine de Potherie. Now I'm having problems transfering the pictures to the server. It, the server, needs rebooting, it thinks there's more than one user logged on.

OK, sorted that and here's the pictures.

Do you think anyone will notice the tacho is missing. Missing as in not there, not as in misfiring.


Another day of doing nothing. At least my back feels better and I'm back on physio this week. It was very humid today so I just slept and watched TV. I must get on with the Mini if it's to be ready for winter.


The new electronic ignition module I'd ordered yestreday arrived. It's the wrong one so will be returned. I removed the distributor, stripped and cleaned it and tightened one of the balance weight springs. All refitted and the car started straight away Drove it up the hill to the main road and it wasn't boiling.Then went along the dual carriageway to the roundabout and back again. I had left the starting handle in and it fell out just as I approcahed the exit. See, I'm still a plonker. Luckily no damage, had the handle dug into the road it would have gone striaght through the rad. It would have boiled then! I got back and it was gently bubbling so I left it to cool down. We're due to go out tomorow so we'll see how it does then.


I got back from physio at 1000 and washed the car, mainly to get my greasy paw marks off. We then set off for our Wednesday lunch. Went to a new restaurant in Avrille, near Attol. It was good and we'll go again. Got back and the car was gently boiling. I'll leave as is as it doesn't boil on the dual carriageway only the slower roads. It could, of course, be the very high ambient temperatures,


OK, that finished August so whiz over to September now.

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