The French Blatting Company




I slept most of the night, not bad, I fell into bed at 2130 and woke twice in the night but didn't get up until 0600. I felt a bit better. I started putting the shelves up in the second shed at 0700 and then started sorting everything out. I stopped for lunch at 1200 and then carried on. At1500 I was very tired so laid down for three quarters of an hour and then finished off.

Just hanging around. I'll have to get some chips of wood to use as rawlplugs because the matches aren't holding the hooks in tight.

The second shed nearly full. Piller drill is on the left and.....

.... the sand blasting cabinet is on the right. I can't find the second air hose so I'll have to buy a new one.

The first shed before I attack it. I'm running out of space. I have two three foot shelves left over so one will have to go in here.

The second shed now almost full.

The first shed, with new shelf is now full.

In the corners.....

.... and the other side.

Some of the rubbish and bits and pieces to be put away. The dusbin in the front must be hung up somewhere, I've had it 35 years.

Tomorrows job is to put screws in the wall to hang these up.

I hung these up during a shower. My everloving came in and said "Oh, how sweet, you're using that scrubber because I'm not being hung up"


Got the screw cabinets on the wall by 1030 then put hooks on wall to hang the brooms and shovel after which I cleared a space for another shelving unit to put the hundreds of polishes and car cleaning products I've found. After lunch I had an hours sleep and then we packed up all the rubbish for the council tip. Do you know there's a special place that they breed these tip attendant people. I was putting small boxes where I should have been putting cartons then I had to seperate the plastic from the other stuff... but he took a look and said he'd sort it. We put the cardboard in the cardboard skip and got out as quick as I could dtive. First it was Wickes for lighting wire and switches, then Argos for the new shelf unit, Halfords for two in line fuses (for the pair of wires that run the sat-nav on the MG) the, finally Machine Mart to order a gas soldering iron, get two wing covers and a short airline and connectors for the sand blasting cabinet. We got home and I spent the next hour sorting out the internet connection. I hope it works now. We're now going to the pub for a meal, a couple of pints and the quiz....

Screw cabinets, looking good.

And more hanging stuff.

Brooms on the wall.

Shovel on the wall.

And buckets hanging up.


A day of success and failure. The list for the day reads: Build shelf and put stuff on it, Fit air line to sand blast cabinet, Pump up tyres on Caterham and push out of garage, Fit the Low-Bay lights, Wire up and connect to mains, Fit inline fuses to MG cigar lighter.

Shelf built and stuff put on it took less than an hour, the air line took about three quarters of an hour, Pumping te btyres up and pushing the Caterham out took five mninutes. Then the rest of the day was cleaning the lamps, cutting and fitting chains, screwing cup hooks into the beams and getting the lamps up. Whilst hanging the lamps I went inside for a cup of tea and when I came back one of the screw cabinites had broken and most of it was on the floor. After lunch I finished getting the lamps up and then wired the switces and run the wires to the lamps. At 1700 I plugged the mains feed to the switches in and..... nothig. I look at teh switches and several wires have come out of the terminals. I try and get them back in but am having problems seeing the terminal designations. I switch them on and the trip goes. I pull the plug to the switces out, reset the trip and make up 3 looms for the L1 (mains feed, L29 (to lights) and common (to lights and the common mains feed). I'll rewire it in the morning. I'm now goiung to watch the england ladies get to the final...... I hope. The inline fuses will have to wait until tomorrow.

Failure, the broken screw cabinet on the floor.

Success, the new shelf unit full of car cleaning stuff.

The airline going into the shed.....

.... and the wider view.

Three bay lights hanging in the garage.

And one outside in the car port.

The second failure for the day, the switches with wires hanging out.


I rewired the light switches but they still tripped so I rang an electrician. He turned up in about fifteen minutes, looked at my efforts and even though he'd promisewd not to laugh... he did! He explained how to wire the switches and then It all came back and I remembered. I did rewire the house in France without a problem. Just shows how you make simple mistakes when you only get two hours sleep a night. Two of the four work but two don't. I suspect the wires have come loose inside so I'll open them up and look. At 1130 I took the first tranquilizer and then fitted the two inline fuses to the cable for the sat-nav on the MG. Then lunch, another tranqilizer and off to hospital to have an injection in my eye. It was horrendous, I have this phobia about my eyes and I had to have about six lots of drops into the eye then the injection. I do make a fuss. Home and to sleep until 1900. Dinner and then settle down to watch the athletics and our Mo win in glorious style.


Started at 0700 and fixed the two workshop lights that didn't work. Tidied up and then screwed a three foot shelf on the wall and put the wire and cable ties on the shelf. These were in the sheds but I use them a lot so better in the garage. Lynne then helped me push the Caterham out, turn it around and push it back in. It's now facing the correct way for the engine removal.

I have boxes of old car magazines. I'm createing a seperate page with them all listed. If anyone wants them they can come and get them before they go on Ebay. See www.frenchblat.com/magazines1.htm

I washed the MG then, after lunch, I started taking the engine out of the Caterham. Engine out I removed the clutch to find exactly what I expected, the two centre plates had the splines stripped smooth. By the time I got to this stage Lynne was complaining that we were due round at Simons for 1730 for a family takeaway to celebrate Leanne's birthday. I got cleaned, showered and dressed and we arrived there half hour late. Nice evening.

 A shelf... good, ain't it?

 The Caterham engine out, didn't take long, but a lot longer than it used to take.


A good centre plate.....


.... and a stripped centre plate 

From above....


.... and this is how it should look.

The new lighting above the bench.

The inside of the bell housing showing the centrifugal slave cylinder


Started at 0700. Got the box out of the shed with the AP clutch spares. Found two good centre plates. Cleaned all the pressure plate parts. At 0930 I set off for the Doncaster Traditional Car Club breakfast meeting. Got to the pub at 1025 and parked up but wondered why no one else was there. Within a minute or so the landlord came out and told me I'd got the wrong day, the breakfast meeting was yesterday, Never mind, I'll get it right next month. I drove home, got changed and fitted the clutch assembly. I then measured the position of the clutch release bearing and found it was spot on. I had thought I could bring it closer so the pedal didn't go to the floor.

Lynne was having a cup of coffee in the garden so I joined her, very pleasant, if a bit cold. My phone rang and it was Les, the previous owner. Lynne had rung him to tell him we had some post and to pop in when he could. He was in Royston so he came round and we had a nice chat. He's such a gentleman and is very happy in his new home, we're so pleased for him.

Then Lynnes new watch connected to her phone arrived. I plugged it in to charge and left it. Tanya and Paul arrived so we sorted out the awning and then I got changed and we sat and chatted for a while. Back to the watch. It wasn't doing anything so I plugged it into my computer and it came on. I paired it and set the date/time etc. I had to unplug it to set the vibraton on. We then tried it... nothing. I double checked everything and still nothing. I then checked the pairing and although it said it was paired it wasn't I paired it again and it now works. She is a happy bunny.

Ooops, spoke to soon. Later in the evening it said it was paired but wasn't and after numerous attempts to pair it I gave up. I've left it on charge overnight ans will try again in the morning.

I apologise for not publishing earlier but we're having problems with our internet connection. An engineer is coming in the morning to find the fault.... The Vodafone techie says it's electrical interferance. I doubt this is in the house as it's 0300 in the morning, there is one desk lamp on and it's still so slow it won't upload. There is nothing other than a standard lamp near the router and that's not on so I doubt it's that. Could be a poor connection on the telephone cable coming into the house. We'll see.


Started at 0700 to get the engine back in. I have a problem, it appears the gearbox is too far foward as I can't get the enginew to drop in as the front pulley will not to go behind the space frame cross brace. I get the car up higher to increase the angle. After a two hour struggle, interrupted by the Open Reach engineer (who couldn't find a fault other than excess electrical interference) Lynne and I got the engine in. However, when I get the engine mounts on, the bolt holes are about two inches too far forward. By now I'm exhausted and we're going out so I give up for the day. Tomorrow I'll get under the car and lever the 'box up and back because I suspect the gearbox mount rubbers are broken and the box has come forward and is now caught in the forward position by the mounting bolts.

We went to the farm shop and cafe. Had a wonderful lunch follwed by a great shopping experience. I just went mad on the salads, chesses, olives, fruit and Lyne bought lots of meat..... £83 was a lot more than we expected but I'm now banned from shopping. See I'm not entirely stupid. Then we went to a Tesco superstore to get me a suit for a forthcoming wedding. No jackets in stock. We did some more shopping, the stuff the farm shop didn't have and then went back to Barnsley to collect another picture frame from Argos. By the time we got home it was too late to go to the chemist and post a letter, Lynne will do that tomorrow whilst I finish the Caterham.


Started by getting under the car and inspecting the gearbox mounting. As suspected it's broken and the mount had come out and the centre bolt was stopping it going back in. I jacked up the centre of the box and levered the engine and box backwards and it centred. I then let the jack down so the mounting is now sitting in the saddle. I'll get a new mounting when I can. I then proceeded to put it all back together. At 1200 Bob, from the MGOC, arrived with his A series gearbox which I voluntered to overhaul. He brought his wife so Lynne kept her chatting whilst we looked at cars. They left at 1300 and we had lunch. I phoned round to find someone who would weld the broken lug on my alternator. At 1400 the postman delivered the new router. So I connected it and when I tried to connect it came up with a fault telling me the network adaptor had to be repaired. It then rebooted and wouldn't reboot. As soon as the password was entered it would reboot. I'd had enough so before I threw router, computer and everything else through a window I took the alternator to the welder. He'll have it ready for tomorrow afternoon. When I got back I got Simon, who was at home, and he agreed to come over and sort the computer out. I had to get him as he has no driving licence at the moment. He sorted it out in about half hour and then started a conversation with Vodafone because the upload speed was still zero. After a twenty minute chat line conversation we had gone around in circles enough and, as far as I know, they are calling a REINS engineer out to trace the electrical interferance on the line. I took Simon home and when I got back was able to upload the pictures and the blog up to yesterday. I'm just typing this up and will try and upload it.....


Started by filling the Caterham with coolant. Then tried to get the steering coloumn back in but it's a two person job. I left it and put the new screw cabinet on the wall and refilled it with all the screws, bolts, nuts and washers spread all over the floor. I go inside as Lynne is getting up, so make her a coffee, have one myself and decide I should go to the chemist to get some stuff and her Imodium to stop her living in the toilet.

I won’t tell you what a disaster our doctors are, I just accept that everything they do goes wrong, shrug and get it put right. I went to a diabetic clinic last week, told her the doctor had got the prescription wrong and I needed 96 pills per month, not 48. “Oh, he’s always doing that, I’ll let the pharmacist know and she’ll give you the rest. So today I went to the pharmacist next to the doctors and asked for the extra 3 packets of pills. She looked at the prescription and announced that they hadn’t dealt with this prescription, “No, I got it at your other branch, but what has that got to do with you giving me another 3 boxes of Metformine” She went on about not doing the prescription until the chemist told her to see if there was a message from the doctor about it. There wasn’t. So I went next door to the doctors… “Hello Norman, how are you”, Amazing how quick they get to know the trouble makers. I tell her about the prescription and she confirms that the diabetic nurse has texted their pharmacist but she’s been busy… Hang on, your pharmacist, not the one next door. No, ours, she’ll ring you when they’re ready. I went back into the chemist and apologised that I didn’t know they meant their own pharmacist.

When I get back the Open Reach man is here. He disagrees with engineer number one, it’s not REINS, he says it’s a inline fault and to get the next engineer to ring him when he gets here.

 I then go into Barnsley and get two lengths of 12mm threaded rod and a 1 metre length of flat bar. I get back, have lunch and then cut the bar into two, mark it out and heat and bend them into brackets to hang the ladders on. The phone rings and it's the doctor's pharmasist, she will have the pills in a day or two. I tell her it's not a problem as I have enough but to alter the prescription. She says she will and we say goodbye. I then start to drill the stacions that hold up the roof of the car port. I get the first two drilled but it takes an hour and a half. At 1600 I go to pick up the alternator and continiue drilling the stancions when I return. I finish at 1700 and then make a wing stay out of the threaded rod.... only problem is I make it too short and the wheel is touching the wing. Exhausted I surrender, pack everything away and will make another in the morning, fit the steering coloumn and alternator and start on Bob's gearbox.

Two ladder brackets.

One repaired alternator. Better than my strapping.

Ladder bracket being fitted.

And ladders hanging on the brackets. There's another long ladder and the step ladders to go on.


Got the alternator back on the car and started on Bob's gearbox. Lynne went to the doctor and came back very happy with him. I'll get him next time I go. After lunch we refitted the steering coloumn on the Caterham and I dropped it to the ground and started it. I have an oil leak from the pipe which goes to the oil filter. I'm too tired now, I'll do it tomorrow. I then spent time on a website making a list of the parts I need for the gearbox. I've sent them by email because the internet is so slow it'll take hours to order them online.

I took the step ladder up to the bedroom... no not for some devious reason but to move the lights on the wardrobe to a better position, they're too far forward. I then glued the switch for the wardrobe lighting to the side of the wardrobe and then the capping to the top step of the stairs. The ladder is now hanging on it's new hooks, the glue gun is hanging on it's hook, the garage lights are turned off and I'm going to have an hours sleep. We're off to Matlock Baths tonight for fish and chips with the Midget & Sprite club.


Bob's gearbox, all wrapped up......

.... and I thought it was a standard size but appears to be a size 8

The tail piece, remote and side plate.

The mainshaft before removal.

The internals before dismantling.

Dismantled, let's hope I can remember how it goes back together.

The Classic Cars magazines spread across our lounge floor.


I got a new oil pipe made for the Caterham, came back and fitted it. Took some time but got there in the end. Had to cable tie it to the sump drain back pipe as it was a bit too long. I then pushed the car out of the garage and swept up. After lunch I started making a dipstick for the TC fuel tank. I had about 30 litres of petrol in 10 litre plastic jerry cans so poured 5 litres at a time into a smaller can then into the tank. Take a dip and cut a groove in the stick. Ran out of petrol so called it a day.


We left at 0900 to go to Barnsley to get me a suit for a wedding next week. We went into "The Big Mans Shop" but I'm no longer that big and they didn't have trousers small enough for me. We walked about trying to find Marks and Spencers but gave up, got in the car and drove to Meadowhall. Had a coffee and went into M&S. We've been married for 49 years and I've never objected to the clothes Lynne has bought even though I haven't liked some of them. I always say "If you're happy then I'm happy". Problem is it doesn't seem to work the other way around. I can't have the colour I want, can't have a waistcoat, can't have a bow tie. I got the bow tie and the colour I wanted but left the waistcoat because I needed the largest jacket they did and the waistcoat would have made it a bit tight. We then had a great Thai Buffet lunch. We got home at 1530 and I settled down to watch final score.... only I fell asleep after walking all around Meadowhall. Watched Mo and Usain in the evening. Sorry for both of them but they'll still go down in history as the two greatest athletes in the early part of the twenty first century.


Went to the garage and refilled all the petrol cans and finished making the dipstick. Then we weeded and cleared the front of the house. Tanya and Paul came round and Paul and I sat in te garden having a nice chat in the sun.

Dipstick made and painted.

A close up of the markings. Each is 5 litres of fuel.

Finally the marks are labelled with the fuel level in litres.


Got up at 0700 but, even though I'd slept most of the night, I felt very tired. The Open Reach engineer turned up at 0850 and said he'd be working on the cabinet. I left at 0900 to visit a friend in Nottingham who is restoring a TC. Got back at 1315, tried the internet connection and wasn't surprised to find it's the same. The engineer had reported back to Lynne that he's fixed a fault but that was the best we'd get. Apparantly the area has tin, not copper, cables from the cabinets to the houses. I've reported the problem to Vodafone and they are looking into it.  I had lunch and went to sleep. My phone woke me at 1600 and I then went to bed until 1900. I really need that sleep apnoea machine. The problem isn't just that I feel tired all the time, it's the stupid mistakes I make from sleep depravation. The partrs for the A series gearbox arrived... with three parts on back order. I'll get on to them and insist thay are sent free of postal costs because they could have waited until all was in stock and sent them all at one time.

I'll get this uploaded to my web server when the connection allows me.


Spent the morning struggling with an oil pipe on the Caterham. One of the joints was leaking when it wasn't running so it took a while to work out which one it was. I had to take the pipe of the pump end to get the joint tightened. Then I really struggled to get the pipe back onto the pump because the pipe was bent when I refitted the engine which was two inches too far forward because of the gearbox mount. Finally got it on.

After lunch we went to our friends Gavin and Clare's birtday party for Clares 16 year old. Lynne asked "what do you buy a 16 year old for his birthday" I said a 16 year old girl but when we got there we found he had one already. Good afternoon, we left at 1800 and drove back for dinner at a local pub. Lynne had the beef carvery but the meat was so tough she couldn't eat it. I had the turkey and it was nice.

The first oil leak.......

...... the second oil leak.......

..... and, at last, no oil leak.



I ran the two cables from our two machines to the router. Mine was temporary wired up with a thirty foot cable. Mine works but Lynne's doesn't so I've put it back on Wi-Fi. The internet connection is still very poor. It's almost unusable at time and the upload speed is almost zero. I have to keep trying it during day and night to get the blog uploaded to the web server. I then went to the doctor for a spirometer test (lung capacity). She was pleased with the results which was good because I was exhausted from blowing into this machine. After lunch we went to Barnsley Hospital for Lynne's mamogram. She showed them the x-rays from France and they said she should come back next year. Common sense at last! On the way home Lynne spotted a pub so we went in for a drink. There were three hand pumps with two saying "settling in the celler", so I asked for an IPA. It ran out half way through the pull so I had to have a pint of gassy John Smiths. I was not happy.

In the evening I went to the South Yorkshire meeting of the MGOC. It is held in a hotel in Rotherham.  I went in Lynne's car as it was supposed to rain, it didn't so I could have taken the MG. I followed the road signs to Rotherham where the sat-nav took over. At the large roundabout in the centre of Rotherham I missed the exit so went round again. On the second pass I was concentrating so much on which road to take that I went through red lights.... with a police car right behind me. They stopped me, I explained, they checked me out, had a laugh and I was on my way. Got to the meeting ten minutes late but was made very welcome. I wasn't the only one who had left the MG at home, they all had! I had an enjoyable evening, lots of banter and a quiz. I'll be going next month and will be taking Lynne with as I was the only one without a lady by my side.


The e-on man phoned at 0800 to tell me he'd be here in half hour to instal our smart meter. He turned up.... half hour later. I made him a coffee and showed him where the meters are (inside the car port on the wall). He got on with it then showed us how the meter worked-marvelous, I now know how much it costs to boil the kettle-wow!

When he had gone Lynne and I cut back the ivy growing through the fence in front of the garage door. I started with the hedge trimmer but finished with the axe. Lynne loved chopping away, imagining it was me not the ivy.

After lunch Lynne cut my hair and then I went to sleep for two and a half hours, it's the shock. After a shower I went to ASDA to get some shoe polish, another item that seems to have gone missing.

In the evening we went to a pub on the Wakefield Road. It was quiz night. We were rubbish, in my state of sleep depravation I just can't remember anything. However one question was "Name th five toys in Playschool". I am ashamed to admit that Lynne got them all correct, how embarrassing!

This was as thick as the upper area. The bins now go back at least another eight inches.

The bushes after the ivy area. Lynne thinks we should cut them back but I think bushes should be, er, bushey.


Tanya collected us at 1030 but by the time all the toilets had been used and they both shouted at me afew times it was 1100 before we left. We were going to Thatcham in Berkshire to attend Robert and Tashe's wedding. Robert is Simons step-son. Firtsly we had to fill up and pump the tyres up, we then got held up on the M1 near Derby. We got to the A43 near Silverstone at 1300 so turned off and found a lovely pub. The restaraunt was nice but the service not so. It took about twenty minutes to bring the food. We set off and went right out the pub and straight on, rather than right, the way we'd come. About a mile on the road had barriers across with a sign "ROAD CLOSED". no previous warnings. We turned around and went back the way we had come. When we got to the M40 the traffic for the A38 was backed up over a mile before the junction and then it was very slow until we got past Oxford. We were so late we had no option but to go direct to the church, we got there about two minutes before the bride! So, everyone in lovely gowns, that was the men and morning suits except us, in jeans and T shirts. After the church and photographs we made our way to the hotel Simon was staying and got changed. It was supposed to be three minutes from the church but my daughter and wife got us so lost it took thirty minutes to get there. On the way from hotel to Tashe's house I took Tanya's mobile and gave directions. However on two occassions I was ignored and we went the wrong way only to turn around (where possible) and go the way I had said. We arrived in due course and Tan knocks on the door. No answer. I say the door's probably open but get told it's not. She tries to phone but no signal. She texts Simon who answers for her to come in, through the house and into the garden marquee. At this point I'm getting thirsty so open the door (it needed a bit of a push) and we go in.

We left at about 1000 with Malakia, who is staying with Tanya overnight. All is well until we get to Chesterfield and the traffic is at a standstill. Took us half hour to get past the inner three lanes closed for resurfacing. We arrived home at 0130 to find we had no electrics. I turned the consumer unit back on and we got to bed at 0200.


I had to go to Tanya's to collect my phone which I'd left in her car. Before I left the Open Reach engineer arrived and staretd work. He was still here when I got back. He has fitted a new socket downstairs and made that the master and the extension is now in the bedroom. He has also run a new copper cable from the telegraph pole to the house. Great, but the internet is the same as before, almost unusable. There is no upload speed so I really struggle to get this published on the web server. After lunch I remove the spare wheel and bracket on the MG so I can take the fuel sender unit off to stop it leaking. Takes over an hour to drain the tank through a syphon. I make six large oblong washers to spread the load of the screws so as not the bend the sender unit flange. I refit it and refill the petrol but it's still leaking. I get a bowl and drain the fuel through the sender unit by slackening it off, filling the bowl, transferring the fuel in the bowl into a jerry can and then doing the next bowl. Four bowls later and the fuel is below the sender unit. I remove the rubber gasket and fit a thick paper one, that should do it. I refill one jerry acn and all is well. Next jerry can and it starts leaking again. Close inspection shows it's coming through the screw holes. I've left it dripping into the bowl and will pour the bowfull into a jerry can. It should be below the sender unit by the time the second bowl is full. We are taking the car to a car show tomorrow, I do like making an exhibition of myself, so the leak will ahve to wait for next week. In the middle of covering the garage floor in petrol I spend over an hour with the techie from Vodafone. After all the tests he want me to do three speed tests on Monday, at 0900, 1300 and 1800 and send him the screen shots. I'm sure there is a bad connection on the cable from the cabinet to the pole. This is only years of experience sorting these problems for our customers. Of course I could be wrong. We will see. 

The large oblong washers. They aren't tightened yet.....

....... they are now, but it still leaks. It's coming through the screws so I'll find some fibre washers to put on the screws.


Both of us up early and left at 0800 for a classic car show at Scholes near Holmfirth. Got there just after 0830 and shown in. We had a lovely bacon sarnie and tea/coffee for breakfast then sat in the sun chatting with people until lunchtime. Nice lunch with a bottle of Rose. We left at 1600 and home at 1645. We both had a very nice day.


A very nice Riley. Not sure what it is but it might be an  MPH.

The twin cam engine of the Riley.

Chap parked next to us had this very smart Moris MO. I don't think there's many of these left on the road.

He's won several awards for the car.

All proceeds of the day went to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. This is one of them.

A nice MGB in a rare original colour (I know because the owner told me).

This might be an Aston Martin, there's a clue there somewhere.....

.... ah, yes, that's it.

A rubber bumpered MGB. The engine bay sparkled.

The garden centre had two black swans.......

.... and the female is nesting on 5 eggs.

HM, queing for lunch.

This is what we missed in France, the rolling hills of Yorkshire.


Spent the whole morning getting all the magazines on Ebay. I've bundled them into 12 issues but some are 10 and one is 16. I doubt they'll sell so they may end up in the bin, pity really. After lunch I started work on the TC fuel tank sender unit. It needed fibre washers and Hylomar on the screws to stop the petrol leaking through the screws. The joint is now leak free. Whilst waiting for the fuel to drain I went to the doctor. Lynne had been this morning (asthma clinic) and asked for an appointment for me. As I have three things to discuss I have to have three appointments, even though one is a simple question with a simple yes or no. They said to ring on Thursday to get an appointment as they were currently making appointments for two weeks time. I didn't have a problem with the two week delay as none of it is important and can wait. I convinced te receptionist a double appointment would be enough but she says she didn't have one before the 3rd September, which is my deadline. However if I phone (or call in) at 0830 in the morning she can get me a double appointment for this week. My mind is still trying to work this out. I then went to a garage that is certified to make registration number but couldn't find it. On the way I went past the Police Station. I stopped on the way back to ask if I still need to register a 30 car classic car trip. The door was locked and a notice said to ring the bell but if not answered telephone a number for asssistance. The bell wasn't answered but as there were four police cars parked on the forecourt I gave up and came home. I looked up the addresses for number plates and found another not that far away. I went there with my peice of paper sent by the DVLA authorising me to get the plates made (this is for Lynne's car which has French plates on it at the moment). The chap needed some form of ID.... so what's the point of sending me a paper authorising me to get the plates made if I still need more paper! I'll go again tomorrow, when I go to the doctor to get the magic re-appearing appointment.


I went to the doctors for 0830. They had a double appointment for the doctor I wanted to see for Thursday ay 0930. The mystery is why they didn't have that last night. Never mind, I shouldn't ask akward questions. I then went to the motor factor to get the number plates.... oh no, I now need my passport. Came home and did some work on the web page for next years Coast-to-Coast. I also telephoned the Midland Hotel at Morecombe and got a 20% discount if we can get 15 rooms booked.

I then spent an hour wiring the record deck into the source switch I found in all my old tat and used my old Rotel RX 1603 amp. If you're not aware of what this is I can tell you it must be the largest, most sophisticated amp ever made. It's huge and has two carrying handles. There's a picture of it somewhere, I'll find it and you can see what I mean.

I went back to the doctor at 1400 for a blood test only to be told I'm booked for 1500. Never mind. I went back to get the number plates armed with passports, V5c, a Barnsley Council Councit Tax bill, the cerfificate from the DVLA a note of what I had for breakfast and the fact bthat I was wearing white socks. I got the number plates. He didn't notice that the V5c is in Lynnes name but the passport was mine.

All I've got to do is decide when to fit them. It's great driving around in French plates, no speed cameras to worry about.

I got stopped the other night by Police (silly me, went through a red light becuase I was trying to follow the sat nav at a complicated roundabout). However they never queried why I had French plates. It's illegal to drive a car with non-UK plates if you are a resident of the UK. I'm OK as I'm still a resident of France and the car is insured in France. But the question still remains that the two police officers didn't seem to be aware of this.

I tried the amp and no sound at all. So I moved the speaker wires to the B speakers, still no sound. OK, last chance, try the C speakers. Sound, but only out the right hand speakers. I play around and find that the problem is dried switches. I get sound from both but it isn't as it should be. I have a tin of switch cleaner so I just need a day to take it apart and clean the switches and put it back together. I found the picure of it way back in June 2015 but it's not very good. Look at this instead: http://classicreceivers.com/rotel-rx-1603

This may give an idea of the size of this thing. There's one for sale on Ebay, £2500!


We went to an old friends funereal in High Bradfield. We lived in Low Bradfield and know the family very well. David had got himself stuck between two tractors on his farm and fractured his pelvis. He was in hospital and due to come home when he was taken bad in the night. They rang Kathy, his wife, but she got to the hospital too late, he had died. He was only 64 and one of the nicest people you could meet. There must have been over 400 people at the funereal.

We got home about 1700, changed and then went to the South Yorkshire MG Car Club meeting. We goy home and I was so tired I went to bed.


I had a doctor's appointment for 0930. This is the doctor Lynne saw last week and she thought he was really good because he listened to her. I was called in at 0950 and found him impatient and surly. I was explaining about my condition and that the French doctor had written to me advising I carry on with the medication, which had been stopped. My doctor here didn't seem to have time to listen and just asked "so what's the problem" before I'd finished explaining. I carried on telling him but he interuppted me and wanted to know what doctor I had been under in France, not his name but what he was a specilaist in. I didn't know but showed him the letter from the doctor and he was able to work it out for himself. I guess I'm going to have to get used to this, they are under such pressure that paying attention and being polite go out the window. I now have an urgent appointment for an Endocrinologist.... urgent being 2nd October. I then had to have two blood test, this folowing on from the one I had on Tuesday.


I keep meaning to publish this, it's my speedometer pending fixing the speedo drive inside the gearbox.


I spent the afternoon, with Lynne's help, creating email groups for all the MG club areas. I can then send the coast to coast leaflet to them direct (as well as being in the club mags). However at about 1700 I just gave up because whilst the internet speed is now better it's dropping out every 15-20 minutes.

At 1900 half the family turn up and we take them for an Indian as a thank you for building the furniture and generally helping with the move. The other half, my daughter and her partner, will have to wait for now because Paul is doing a crash course in motor bike riding for his test. He wants to get a Beezer Bantam or a Greeves.


I did some work on the mailing lists but gave up with the internet dropping out every 10 minutes. I rang Vodafone, again, and they've sent a note to the tech2 chaps to stop monititoring the line and bloody fix it!

I then took the Rotel amp apart and cleaned the inside and sprayed switch cleaner on all the switches. It now performs as it should, fantastic. It's connected to the record deck as the sound from vinyl is much better from the Rotel amp than the Arcam, which is designed for the CD age.

We have some friends coming for lunch so I haven't time to set up a comparison heraing, we'll do that this afternoon. Lynne won't go in the room until the smell of the switch cleaner has gone.

A record deck, amazing how so many youngsters have never seen one.

Inside the amp, the switches are to the top. I also took the facia off so I could clean it thoroughly.

A nice clean fascia as well as a clean shoe!

The other side of the amp, note the wire drive for the tuner.

All back together and playing well.

The whole thing. The spirit level is to get the deck level. Playing with the arm set at 1.5 grammes it needs to be level and it sits on a huge slab of slate so it doesn't get vibrations through the floor.

Our friends arrived at 1245 and we went to the pub for lunch. After lunch I went to sleep until now, 1745. I'm just going to take a picture of the slate slab the record deck sits on... hang on a minute.....

.... there you go, didn't take long. A big lump of slate to stop vibrations of people walking on the floor. The bits of cardboard are the packing to get it level, I'll tidy these up later.


Thought it about time I did some maintenance on the MG. Adjusted the brakes and checked the steering. Found one drag ling which had a lot of play so removed the split pin and it took two whole turns to tighten. Refited split pin. I also checked oil and water. Then I thought I'd see if the steering was any better. I had some shopping to do for Lynne and letters to post as well as a trip into Barnsley to get some secateurs because Lynne can't find the ones she put away somewhere where she'd remember where they were. I went on the compter to see if I had any emails and it had dropped out ... again! I was so mad I left the letters behind. Did the shopping and came back and had lunch, which I'd got at Asda. After lunch I went back into the village to post the letters. On the way I had to brake hard as car which was parked close to the one in front came out almost at right angles and turned left almost hitting a car coming the other way. It then proceeded down the road at ten miles an hour, speeding up to the dizzy heights of twenty miles an hour. I'm sure I could see a ladies hair driving so I'll make no further comment. I posted the letters and went into Barnsley to get the secateurs. Got back and trimmed the bush by the garage door so it didn't nearly take my eye out every time I walked into the garage. I then made a bracket, cut a small piece of glass and stuck them together and fitted the bracket to the back of the dash on the MG. We now have a built in sat-nav under the dash. Pictures tomorrow.


Set of at 0730 for Skipton to join the North Yorkshire MG Car Club's Dales Run. The run was a huge circle around the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors of 111 miles. With the 70 mile to Skipton and back we drove the MG 181 miles. It didn't miss a beat and behaved perfectly. We both had a really good day and Lynne just loved it. She kept saying "This is what I missed living in France" I know exactly what she meant. We got home at 2030 after a tiring but great day.

Some of the scenery. They say it's "Gods own country" and if you haven't driven across the dales and moors you should and see why.

The three T types on the run stayed together as we were the slowest cars. The MGA stopped because we had. The other car is a Cooper with an XPAG engine fitted, same as my TC.


It was a very nice day so I just sat in the garden, in the sunshine, with a bottle of red to keep me company. Tanya and Paul came round in the afternoon and we sat in the garden until 1800. After supper I sent out emails about the Coast-to-Coast Run next year then watched a bit of TV, on the way to bed I noticed the emails hadn't all gone. They were still going via France Telecom who must of clesed the account so I changed the SMTP outgoing server, only took an hour as I tried to use Vodafones before I realised they don't have an SMTP server. All done I went to bed at 0100...........


.............. and got up at 0750! Had breakfast, the man came to repair the damaged furniture and I went to the doctor to get a prescription. I also went to Argos to collect two more picture frames. When I got back I spent about two hours dealing with the emails that had bounced back due to spelling errors etc. I started getting people joining the coast-to-coast run so I'm happy. After lunch I started to do the rear brakes on the Caterham. I have to change them back to the original which has a handbrake to get it through an MOT. Then refit the AP racing callipers which doesn't have a handbrake. Having removed the right hand AP calliper and refitted the old unit I was really knackered and struggling to get the brake pipe into the calliper. I have made up extension pieces to fit the AP unit so remove the extension and the pipe fits into the old unit. But my back was hurting so much I called it a day and will attack it when I'm fresh in the morning. I spoke to the furniture repair chap about fixing the seats in the MG. Said he could take the cover off, glue leather under the split areas and refit the cover. He would also re-colour them. He's going to do it over winter. Will save about £2500 on new seats and I'd prefer to keep the originals.

A sat-nav in a 1949 MG.....

.... and a closer view.

The AP racing calliper having been removed.

And the original Ford calliper almost in.


I was listening to someone on Radio 4 the other day who said it really annoyed him when people started every sentance with "so".

So, having been awake most of the night I dozed off at about 0630 and woke at 0750. The open reach man was coming so I got dressed quickly and he arrived at 0810. He checked everything and couldn't find a fault. He rang the chap who'd rewired the house and street last week and they came to the conclusion the problem with it dropping out all the time was because Vodafone had turned the speed up and the DNS system was seeing errors and rebooting the line. The speed needed turning down. However when we checked the speed was down to 7.2 mbps when it should be over 12. But it wasn't dropping out all the time. When they left I went to get my prescription which I then took to the chemist next door. I took the package home thinking it felt like it wasn't all there. I got home and made a call (looking for hotels in Morecombe and Scarborough) then decided as it was 1230 we should have lunch before I started work on the car. I opened the package of pills and found six packs of Mertformine, the diabetic tablet, nothing else. So, I went back to the chemist.... it was closed for lunch. After lunch, at 1400 I returned to the chemist. They explained the prescripton was only for Metformine and I should take it back to the doctor. So, I did and they said sorry, come back on Friday. No, said I, I've run out of most of the pills, I need them now. I was asked to take a seat and a few minutes later the doctor brought some paper to reception one of which was my prescription. So, I went back to the chemist and handed in the new prescrition. After a few minutes it was ready except for the one pill I'd really run out of which they didn't have in stock. It will be there tomorrow.

I then rang Vodafone and told them it was so slow it was painful and had started drtopping out again. After some chatting amongst themsleves they informed me to find another provider and they wouldn't penalise me for moving. So, I told them it would be the same as it was the same cables. Then the chap said to change to Virgin as they had there own fibre network and it wouldn't be under so much load. A quick call to Virgin and I'm told they have no service at my address. So, I'm up the creek without a paddle or any decent internet!

We went out for a meal and then on to the MGOC meeting at Wakefield. We get to the pub that I think the meeting is at, The New Wheel in Wrenthorpe only to be told that the meeting wasn't at this pub it must be "The Wheel" around the corner in Bradford Road, but they thought it was closed. We had a drink and left to find the pub. It was closed.

So we came home.

Is that enough "so's"


Spent the morning searching for a WISP. Not a chcolate bar but a Wireless Internet Service Provider. They are normally small companies in very rural areas who provide internet by line-of-sight Wi-Fi. We are one mile from the nearest provider's range, however I found a provider who uses a 4G telephone network. The cost is £29 pm for a maximum 32 gbyte pm but the instal cost is £470. This is for the small reciever that fits on the roof. With nowhere else to go I've signed up and await an instal date. I also ordered a new telephone line from the Post Office, as they are the cheapest, All I've got to do now is co-ordinate the install of the 4G service and phone switchover as once the PO switch the phone I will lose the Vodafone line and the internet. I did wonder if I could send the bill to Open Reach but thought I might be wasting my time.

All the magazines which were on Ebay expired with one lot sold to a chap in the Milton Keynes area and about 6 lots to a chap who I thought was in Doncaster but turns out to be in Scunthorpe. I made a box and packed the magazines to go to Milton Keynes and took it to the Post Office. I emailed the chap from Scunthorpe, thinking he was in Doncaster, and suggested he collect them and for a small extra fee take the lot. He responded saying he was in Scunthorpe but he would collect tomorrow. Magazines gone, I'll be able to move around the garage. I had to move all the magazines in a large box in the garage when I started on the rear brakes on the Caterham. The top batch in the box was the one wanted by the chap in Milton Keynes.... of course it was now at the bottom so I had to move all the others to get to it.

It dawned on me that UPS didn't re-deliver the package they were going to re-deliver on Tuesday. I called them and was told, by a machine, that is was at the collection point. What a useless company, I'd requested it be re-delivered here! I collected it and it was the new headlight glass for the TC which I'd had on order for eighteen months. I fitted it then looked at the other headlight which has no dipped beam. It looks like a wire under the dash has become lose so I'll fix that next week, after I've finished the Caterham.

After all that I went to work on the Caterham. The pipe that wouldn't go in the other day mainly because I was tired and my back hurt went in straight away. The other side was changed without fuss and the pipe refitted. I threaded the cable through the chassis so it's halfway down the tunnel. All that remains is to refite the handbrake itself and thread the cable on that down the tunnel and connect the two cables together. Should be easy.... where have I heard that before.

In the morning I'm going to shut down the computer and move the desk out the way because the new furniture will arrive between 0830 and 0930. This will complete the house.


The left hand calliper.....

.... and, you knew it was coming, the right hand complete with spanner jammed on the worn bleed nipple.

The magazines, finally going tomorrow.

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