The French Blatting Company





Eye day. The second injection, this time the left eye. This time I'm prepared. A magic pill at 0600 and another at 0830. Get to optician at 0930 and see my little nurse who comforts me in my hour of need. I've brought her a nice box of chocolates as a thank you and an apology for being such a problem last week. A different nurse is on duty this week but the pills worked and I was calm and relaxed. Had the injection the came out and asked if we could go to Norauto so I could get antifreeze and oil for the Mini. As I was feeling sorry for myself I suggested we looked around the shops and then have lunch at Buffalao Grille. So I bought a new coat (to replace my 17 year old Lotus 7 Club fleece) and a few pair of jeans as well as a new hat. Pictures to follow when Lynnes send them to me from her phone. We did have a walk around Intersport and I found a new bike for my lad, Simon.


Well, you may as well have big ones.... For those that don't know, my son, Simon, is in to road bikes big style. I suspect his next bike will be in the £6000+ price bracket

 Picture of my new coat and hat to follow... Oh, and my new walking stick.... don't ask.

OK, how's this?

 I do looked scared... I was trying to explain to Lynne how to hold the camera, she took the picture before I was ready.


Back from physio at 1000. Then had to wait for my carer to put my eye drops in so got changed and had a cuppa with some toast. Started work at 1100. I tried to get the swivel assembly off so I could get the bottom joint out. The nut cam off but when I turned the head of the pinch bolt it snapped off! I called my darling who came over and held the swivel on full lock whilst I hit the joint with a big chisel and a big hammer. It came loose and I got it out. Cleaned up the surfaces and fitted the bottom ball joint and the wheel hub assembly. Then refitted the disc and calliper and that's as far as I can go until the drive shaft is ready to go back in. I'll get the nut back on the pinch bolt and leave it as it is It won't move as it's rusted solid.

I then bolted the alternator on and fitted the drive belt. Lunch. After lunch I did a few bits and pieces and then Lynne came over and I pulled the belt tensioner whilst she took the drill bit out of the lensioner tab, thereby letting the tensioner push against the belt. The engine is now ready to go back in. I want to connect the starter to the battery pack and turn it over until I have oil pressure.

Next job was to fit the new heater matrix. Came out OK but with new seals it took both of us an hour attempting to get the clamp over the two pipes. We gave up at 1600 and came in. I'll try again when fresh on Sunday morning. Shopping and lunch out tomorrow.


Shoppimg day. I started bt getting the MG outside, cleaning the plugs which were in a very poor condition, oild and carboned up. Cleaned in the sand blast cabinet and blown out thouroughly with the air line I put them back. Then washed anmd leathered the car thotoughly, under the wings, under the running boards and inside the bonnet. I've ordered a wringer for my leather as It's too thick to wring out by hand. Anyway, you're not supposed to wring by twisting it a leather so I'll put them through the wringer in future. Went for a drive around the block, it's OK but the carbs need adjusting. I'll do that when I finish the Mini and do the Caterham broken clutch bleed pipe (engine out job). At 1200 we went to Joel and Claude for lunch. We both had his muscles in melted Gorgonzola cheese, delicious! Then we had.... wait for it, are you ready? Grilled Ostrich cooked in a muchroom sauce. I've never eaten Ostrich, it was OK but I think I'll have fish next week. We then went around Super U and Lynne's complaining that the bill is always higher when I come with. Apparantly next week I'm sitting in the car. Sometimnes plans come together. Got back and watched the snooker and football scores  


 Garage Rongier, who did the body on the MG had an open day for the new Citroen C3. I went along just to see them all. Got talking to Jean-Luc's brother (who doesn't work at the dealership). Didn't stay long and on the way back I put Lynne's car through the car wash and vaccumed the interior. As I was cleaning the inside a lady comes up and points to the car wash and says "Lavage" (wash). I tell her it's a good car wash but couldn't really hear what she said as the vac was still running. When I finished I walked over to the car wash. Her car was in the wash, the two side brushes and the top brush were stationary in the middles of the car. I walked to the front and noticed she had gone over the two bars that locate the car. This may have been the problem but I decided to get out as she was now bring some people over from a coach which seemed to have broken down.

Got home, had lunch and settled down to watch the snooker. What a match! 4 130+ breaks in 5 frames. Ronnie lost. I think Ronnie O'Sullivan is the best snooker player ever, his only problem is himself. He's Bi-Polar (used to be called Manic Depressive) so the only player who can beat him is himself. He had a bad time in the afternoon session, couldn't make his mind up which shot to take and, in my opinion, picked a few wrong ones. He came back in the evening but couldn't close the 6-2 score and lost 10-7. I then watched Bournmouth beat the mighty Liverpool. From 0-2 down to 4-3 winners. My daughter, a Liberpool fan won't be happy.


 Started at about 0930. I got the two clips on the heater matrix pipes and then put the engine in. I went in at 1100 for a cuppa. Spent the next hour and a half connecting the injector rail and as many wiring plugs as I could find fitted. At 1300 I stopped for lunch then fell asleep until 1600. The wiring and two coolant hoses at the rear of the engine went in next. I've got to fit the two gearchange cables and the starter heat sheild before refitting the exhaust manifold. I'm having trouble refitting the throttle body assemble as it's very tight to get in. I'll sort it tomorrow. After all the wiring and pipes/cables are in the two drive shafts will be refitted (actually I'll put the right hand shaft in before the exhaust goes back in as there's three bolts to fit for the centre bearing which will be much easier with the manifold out the way.

Back in, now to fit all the wiring etc.

They really shoehorned this engine in.

A mass of cables and pipes to be refitted.

This is how I left it at 1800.


I forgot to mention something last week. If you have followed this drivel for a while you may remember I lost my expensive Philips torch when I was working under the MG in about June. I had to buy another at 60€. I assumed I'd left it under the car and it had fallen off when I took the car around the block. Last week I climbed in the back of the Mini to lower the rear seat so I could reconnect the battery to get the boot open (electric lock). I opened the boot and.... there was the missing torch! So now I have two. One on charge, one in use.

I started at 0900 and have fitted more wires, the inlet duct, the exhaust manifold, the two drive shafts and refitted the front hubs. I have 3 wires to find homes for. I'm sure I have the timing chain timed incorrectly. I got a proper BMW workshop manual which leads me to believe I've got the marks on the chain the wrong way around, I'm calling into the BMW dealer tomorrow so I'll ask the manager. If it is wrong I hope, a) it can be corrected without taking the engine out and b) they'll lend me the crankshaft puller for a few hours.

I've got a hose to fit, which I've lost and have ordered a new one (which I'm collecting tomorrow). The computer box and computer, the air box and air pipes and the rad, air con rad, fan and all the front panels.

The above and the following are the plugs yet to find a home.





 I suppose I'll sort out where they go.


After physio I did some searching on google and then at 1130 we went to Atoll and had a nice Chinese lunch. I think it's very nice when you become a regular at a restaraunt and the very nice (nice as in whoooo) waitress kisses you on arrival. We then went into Casterama and bought a hasp and staple for the garage door, the old hasp has broken off and a tin of silicone oil so I can lube the heater hose which we then collected from the BMW dealer.

HOW MUCH!!!!! a 3" hose is 27.67€ plus 20% tax, total 33.20€. Then the credit for the crankshaft position sensor, which I asked them to send back had a handling charge. Fair enough, I don't mind paying a handling charge, I ordered it when I didn't need it..... but 43% is taking the piss. So, I pay 67.00€ plus tax (80.40€) and get back..43.76€ I needed two litres of gearbox oil. Want to guess the price. I think it has gold in it at 30.32€ per litre, so 72.76€ for two litres of oil. Then I asked them to confirm which way the timing chain should go on the sprockets and they confirmed my fear that I'd put it on upside down. Good news is I can get at it without removing the engine. I also asked if they knew where a small gas strut went. The just wern't bothered and said they had no idea.  Last thing I asked if I could borrow the crankshaft pulley drawer. NO! we don't lend out tools. We decided I'd go back next week and ask the workshop manager as he wasm't in today. I thought about this and decided to buy my own and stick two fingers up at them.


Started late at 0945. Took an hour and a half to get the heater hose on as it's buried under pipes and wires. Then it took me 2 hours to fill the gearbox with oil. I tried running it through a small plastic tube from the top but that didn't work so I use my big oil suction pump too pump the 1.7 litres of oil in. That was after decanting 2 litres from the half full 10 litre can Yan (parts chap at teh BMW dealer) had given me. I'm to take the rest back next week. Lunch and then I got the MG out, got the MIni on the floor and pushed that out (with Lynnes help) and then spent an hour and a half cleaning up. At 1600 we pulled the Mini forward with the Land Rover, put the MG in first and then pushed the Mini back in with the Lnad Rover. Lynne was "driving" the Mini and then parked up the Land Rover. She is good you know. It's opposite the workshop door. I can then get on with the MG whilst I wait for the pulley drawer to arrive. Plan is to get the front cover loose in the morning then start on the MG. Drawer should be here before Christmas.

 33.20€ for this. Someone;s getting ripped off.... ME!

The hose (with the jubille clips)

 From further back to show how it's buried.


First attempt at filling the gearbox with oil. It didn't work so I used a large pump. There was oil all over the place.

The litre can with long plastic windscreen washer pipe used to fill the gearbox... only it didn't.

Sweeping up.

All clean and tidy. The MG in the working area....

.... and the Mini behind.

Ready for surgery.


I didn't wake until 0840 and I like to get to the physio by 0900. Dressed and straight out and was only a few minutes late. After physio I had breakfast then decided it wasn't worth working on the cars as the technician was coming about the sleep apoena machine at 1400. I did some tidying up in the workshop and brought the under dash hardboard panel, the vinyl cover and some spray glue over so I can cut and glue the vinyl to the board. Had lunch and then at 1410 the lady turned up. It was one of the girls I know from the hospital and she speaks a bit of English so we got on fine. She did some adjustments to the machine and I'm to try it tonight, After she went I decided it was too late to start work so watched TV.


We went to lunch at 1200 and this week it was Kangaroo in Brandy sauce. Last week the special was Ostrich, now Kangaroo... probably Elephant next week. It was OK. We then went shopping but I was banished to the car as when I go round the bill seems to double. Got back just before 1600 and got the shopping in. We back the car up to the kitchen window, Lynne goes in a opens to window and I pass it in - better than carrying the bags in from the car. At 1605 I started watching the football scores. Lots of goals scored and Leicester finally found their Premiership form and beat Man City 4-2 with Vardy getting a hat trick after failing to score at all so far this year (in the premiership).



I was up and dressed by 0830, had breakfast then realised I had to do this months pills. I have four pill pots each with Morning, Lunch, Evening, Night compartments for a week each, so 28 days worth. It takes half hour to fill them all with all the pills I take so didn't get into the garage until 1000.

Started by cleaning the bench. There has been bits and pieces on it for ages and I put them all in a box and washed the top down with petrol. Then I started topping up both jacks. I undid the filler on the larger jack and it was full up so I pumped it up and undid the filler.... oil everywhere, all over me and the floor. A plonkeer moment. Cleaned up and started again. I jammed the jack fully up and filled with oil then "bled" by slowly pumping the pump. Took ages but finally got the air out and oil in. Then the second jack which was easier as I was able to pump the hydraulic oil in with an oil can. Having got both jacks working I got the MG into the air and on axle stands and started draining the rad. I then started on the Mini. Got the right hand engine mounting off and the cam cover screws out except for the two under the brackets for the fuel rail. After lunch I got them out but had to remove one of the brackets to get the cover off. Then got the access screw out and removed the two bolts holding the chain guides. I turned the engine to get the chain at the top then tried to get the belt tensioner levered up and put a drill in the hole in the spring guid. No chance on my own and as Lynne has a cold and isn't feeling that good I turned the radio and lights out and came in to catch up on the blog. We're supposed to be going to a Christmas fair and then onto Buffalo Grille for a meal. We'll see how she feels at 1730.

A clean bench, maybe the shelf next.

The camshaft with marks to the top. The spring for the tensioner can be seen below (OK it's on it's side, so to the right)

Looks easy from the top.......

..... but not much room (picure is on it's side, the left is top)


Had a day off. I just feel tired and need a break, I've been working on cars since April 28th last year.


Got up, had breakfast and set off to Angers to return the can of gear oil and order two more parts for the MIni. I need a new pipe to the clutch master cylinder and a new plastic vacuum pipe from the supercharger to the inlet manifold. The existing one has been crushed by some plonker who got it trapped behind the bracket that holds the fuel rail. As I pulled out I touched the breeze block that makes the wall around the corner of the house. When I got to Vergonnes I realised I had a flat tyre. The wall has a rip in it from touching the breeze block. Open the boot, move all the stuff out the way and lift the floor panel to get to the spare wheel. The well that the spare sits in is full of water, at least 2" (50mm). So that's why the car is always misted up. I get the emergency spare out and the jack and handle. Jack the car up and change the wheel. Get everything thrown back in and I'm on my way. I go to Norauto at Avrille, near Angers. They don't have any tyres in stock that match the ones on the car, their own brand. So I get two budget priced tyres on the front, the two front on the rear and the good left over tyre in the boot. Whilst they are fitting the tyres I fit the new wiper blade to the right hand side and get a 38mm blade for the left. This car has two different size blades and I bought two long ones from Super U last week. They really need changing as they just smear the screen so bad I can't see out. I then buy a sponge and get all the water out the boot. Pay the bill, only 134€. Make my way to the BMW dealer. Give him the left over gearbox oil and order the two pipes. He finds the clutch pipe straight away but cannot find the vacuum pipe. He gets one of the technicians who understands what I'm looking for and finds it on the computer. Only 66€ These are only silver plated, not the gold ones :). Make my way home and sit down as I feel really tired. Wake up an hour and half later and have lunch. Guess what, I'm going to have another day off. So I'm catching up on the blog and will then watch TV and fall asleep again.


Went to Dinan and had lunch with friends, then back to their house to see the kitchen and floor in the lounge. Left about 1600, got lost but got home at 1845.


I made an executive decision after I had a board with myself. I moved all my sound system and speakers from the lounge into my room. Only took 4 hours! The system dates back to 1992 and has an ARCAM (Acoustic Research Cambridge) amp, a Marantz CD player, Denon tuner and twin deck cassette tape player and a Rega Research turntable. The speakers are Acoustic Research.The tuner won't work as this plonker forgot to wire up a radio aerial when he run the co-axial for the TV's... plonker.

All I have to do is fit it all into the cabinet and connect the wires.


Well, that's a start.

The 4 wires which are connected are the speakers. The rest to go.

The record deck sits on a thick slab of slate. The needle won't jump when someone walks across the floor. I need to find (or buy) and extension lead so I can turn it round. The existing wires are too short.

All done and a sound check. Playing Cat Stevens "Tea for the Tillerman". Do you think it sounds good?


Two more cd cabinets.......

..... and the vinyl.


When I moved the stereo equipment from the lounge into my room it revealed the hole, well a square stone missing, between the lounge and my room. The stomes were removed so the central heating pipes and the hot water pipe could be run through the lounge and into the kitchen. Because the rooms are on different level the hole is at floor level in the loo in my room but halfway up the wall in the lounge. It would appear a mouse has been taking the sachets of warafrin and, instead of eating them (and dying), it has been storing them in the hole. So, my mission ( I didn't have a choice to accept or not) was to clean this mess up and block the hole off. A hand brush got most of the mess on the floor and the hoover got the rest. I then cut a lino tile to shape and jammed it in the hole. Then a tin of expanding foam was squirted in and then another lino tile jammed in. I'll get around to tidying it up and fitting a bit of ply to make it look OK, for the meantime a large copper urn hides it quite well. After lunch I went to Chateaubriant to return the internet device they lent us when our internet went down. Basiccly it's a 4G phone without the phone. It should get a $G signal and it connects to a PC. I set it up and it worked for about an hour before the signal became so weak it stopped working. From the Orange shop I went to Brico Depot the get a small spirit level to set up the record deck and a large dustbin. I got the spirit level but they were putting new shelving in the store and all the dusbins were still in boxes. So from there I popped home and then went to Segre to get the dustbin. I decide to go to Super U and get Lynne's car washed. There was a queue, I was fourth. So I waited. Of course everyone had the top wash which takes about 6 minutes.Half hour later I get through and think I better ring Lynne to let het know why I've been held up. She had rung me twice and sent a text. I rang, apologised and then went home.


We went to our Staurday lunch at Joel and Claude the shopping at Super U. Didn't need much as we're going to Paris for my birthday on Monday. I then watched the footbal scores. Wednesday were paly Rotherham who have seven points and, I think, have only won one game all season. It took my team until the 94th minute and a penalty to get a goal and win. We're now back in the playoff at 6th.


We have thick fog, I'm sent out to Super U (now open on Sunday mornings) to get another case because ours is too small for the fourteen tops Lynne wants to take to Paris (remember we're going for three days!). It's really foggy, visibility down to 50 meters in places. When I get back I suggest we go to Rennes today and stay in a hotel and the get the 0805 train to Paris (for which I already have the tickets). We normally park in the park and ride at the ring road where we get to Rennes and get the light railway (driverless train) to the main station. That would mean leaving at 0500 on Monday to be sure of getting there if it's still foggy. Agreed, I book a hotel opposite the station and a car park around the corner. We set off after lunch and it only took about twenty minutes longer than usual. We get to the car park and then drag the case to the hotel. We get checked in and then went out for a drink and on the way back bought a ham and cheese sandwich for Lynne and a slice of Quich for me. We went back to our room, scoffed the food and had a sleep. Showered and changed we went out for a meal. Got back about 2230 and went to bed.


Lynne decided earlier in the year that we would go to Paris for my birthday. The following three days are the story of us being real tourists in Paris. We've been to Paris many, many times, I have cousins who are Parisiennes but we've never acted like tourist. I've put the pictures I took on a separate page and the link is at the end of the account, on the 22nd.

Up at 0600 and dressed, down for breakfast and then across the road to the station. Just to mention they are building another Metro line and the centre of Place de la Gare is a huge building site and has been for at least two years. It's due for completion in 2019. Got the train and off we went.There was no fog and our first, and only stop, was at Le Mans. We set off and it became very foggy. I turned to Lynne to show her and she was asleep. I had to wake her up two hours later when we got into Montparnasse Station.

We left the main line station and walked to the Metro where I bought two Paris Vistor tickets for 3 days. They can be used on the Metro, buses and the Paris train system,  RER. We only used it on the Metro and it saved us getting tickets for every journey. We got line 6 from Montparnasse to Etoil/Charles De Gaulle. Came up at Avenue de Grand Armee and walked to two roads around to Avenue Mac Mahone wher our hotel was. We first stayed in this hotel over Easter 1972. We remeber it like it was yesterday, it was sunny and warm and we walked about in shirt sleeves. Our daughter was born the folowwing Christmas..... you work it out.

The plan for today was to go the Concorde where there is a large wheel, like the London eye. I needed to find out how long it took to go around and roughly how long the queue would be at 1730. That way we would have part in daylight, part in the dark, then off to teh river boat for a dinner trip on tyhe Seine. However when we got there and Lynne saw it up close she wanted to go on it straight away. I must explain that my wife does not have a head for heights, she feels ill looking out the bedroom window! I think, when she saw how hight it was (70 metres) she though she'd better get on now before fear takes over. We got two tickets and queued for about fifteen minutes. The way it works is 5 cars stop and the occupants get out and the new occupants get in. If you're on your own you get the cabin to youself, no sharing with strangers. The wheel does one revolution unloading and loading then another revolution and then the cabins stop and we all get off.

The largest Christmas market in the world is in the Champs Elysees.  It's at the Concorde end and must be a mile long on each side of the road. Remember I have trouble walking across a car park. But to be prepared I've got my corset on and have a walking stick. We walk the whole lengtth on one side, buying a pair of ear muffs for Lynne and a hat with tie down ear peices for me to use in the car. I have a medium mulled wine, very nice. We then cross over and walk back. I fancy another mulled wind so we stop and get another. Lynne says we can sit at the tables while I dring it. I take a sip and put the cup down on the table.... it tips over spilling the contents all over my jeans. I know I'm a plonker but in my mitigation, you honour the table was like a garden table with an inch gap between the planks of wood. I'd put the cup down half on, half off the plank.

We got back to Concorde and decided to walk along the river to the river boat. We'd be early but I reckoned they'd have a lounge and we could get a drink. The boat was on of the famous Bateaux Mouches. Only took us about twenty minutes to get there. We went up to the main entrance to the waiting room/bar and they said we had to go into the executive saloon next door. We went next door but the chap there said we were too early and to come back at 1930. It was about 1830. So we walked back opposite the main entrance where there weer some concrete blocks and we sat down on one of them. Within seconds the man who had said to go to the executive lounge came running acroos and told us to come into his area and sit in the lounge. He open the turnstile for us and we sat in the loungs. We were in the part of the complex that did teh halh hour river trips. At 1930 we went back to the executive lounge. Very smart. We were on the boat in about 10 minutes and off we went. We chose our meals, got an aperitif and chose a bottle of white wine, all included in the price. These boats ahd very powerful searchlights that light up the banks of the river. The whole trip took two hours. We got off and I said we'd get the Metro at Alma, then change for the etoile. However Lynne saw just how tired I was and flagged down a taxi and we went back to the hotel by taxi. I fell asleep in minutes, instead of the hour or so which is normal and didn't wake until 0800.



We got up late, for us, at about 0900. We were both feeling the affect of the day before. The itenary for the day was a trip to the Musee D'Orsey, then back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. We were booked into a very smart (and expensive) restaraunt off the Champs Elysees after which we had a reservation at a jazz club on the Rive Gauche. The Musee D'Orsey was fantastic, so many great sculptures, paintings and furniture. We looked at the exhibits until about 1300 then had lunch in the restaraunt. The Museam was an old train station and the interor of the building is stunning. We had a nice lunch with a bottle of white (remember the bottle of white... you'll see why later). We then went into the shop and I bought a large book on Van Gough and we got two books on the Museam itself, one to send to Tanya (daughter) and one for us. We made our way back to the hotel. Problem! This plonker walks past Avenue Mac Mahon and we end up walking right around the Etoile (it's huge, for those who have never been). We were getting near to the hotel and I said I needed to sit down for a few minutes to catch my breath. I walked towards a bench, heard a noise behind, turned around to see Lynne sprawled out on the floor. Now, 99 people out of 100 would trip UP a kerb they didn't see, my lovely wife trips down it. I, and a few bystanders get her up and she limps across to the bench. She has a few minor cuts on her hand and her leg hurts. We get back to the hotel and I take her in the bar and we get two large Barndys (remember the Brandy). We then go to the room and she gets her jeans off, her shin is black from bruising. There's nothing we can do so we go to sleep.  At 1700 there's knock at the door. I open the door (I'm not completely naked, but almost!) a waiter is standing there with a complimentary bottle of champagne and two glasses.  The hotel had taken a copy of my passport when we arrived and they sent me a birthday present. So we opened the champagne and drunk it.... (remember the champagne). We showered and dressed and got a taxi to the restaraunt. We were shown to our table and there, on the table was a goldfish bowl with a goldfish. I couldn't make my mind up whether to have it grilled or fried. The waitress was very nice and came from Serbia and spoke very good English. We ordered and had a bottle of white.....(remebember the bottle of white), only 69€ for a bottle I could buy for 12€ in the supermarket! We became aware of a very tall good looking blonde walking around talking to everyone. When she was at the next table Lynne said that she wasn't French because her accent was wrong. She ended up at our table and turns out she owns the restaraunt and is Calafornian. She's lived in France for nearly thirty years as she fell in love with the chef. The meal was very nice and we finished at 2200, an hour later than we had hoped as we were booked into a jazz club at 2100. We walked back to the Champs Eleysee, got a taxi and gave him the adreess. He didn't know where it was so I had to explain to him. We got there in about 15 minutes and went in. We were sat at a table at the back as the front was packed. I got up and got Lynne a coke and myself a bottle of red.... (remember the red).

The concert was a chap singing in the style of Chet Baker. He had a trumpet and piano accompinement. Thy were fantastic. The singer's name is Lois Le Van. I'm not sure of the names of the musicians but I think the trumpeter was Yoann Lousalot. I say that because they had two CD's for sale when we left and one is the singer and the other is a trunpeter called Yoann Lousalot. We thought the club closed at 0200 but if finished at midnight. We got a taxi back and just fell into bed. Now, I hope you have remembered.... WelI I had drunk...

1) Bottle of white wine

2) Brandy

3) bottle of champagne

4) bottle of white

5) bottle of red

So you won't be surprised to learn I was slightly ill in the morning.


 Our last day. We had breakfast and went to the Eifel Tower. Queued for tickets, then queued for security then queued for the lift. The first lift is part vernicular part lift as it goes up at an angle then straightens up to get you to the second floor. You then queue for the lift to the top. The views are breathtaking. The weather was very clear so we could see right across Paris. We came down at about 1300 and walked back to the Metro stopping at a restaraunt for lunch. We went back to the hotel and collected our case and struggled, with this very heavy case, to Montparnasse. We struggled down the road to the tower and probably walked all arond the building before we found the entrance to the viewing floor on the 56th floor. It was very nice looking over Paris from this height. We got a could of soft drinks, I was still recovering, and sat there looking out for an hour or so. We left and got lost again so walked the wrong way for the main line station, pulling this very heavy case. We found an Indian restaraunt for dinner and then walked across the road into the maun line station. The train was at paltform 2 but they wouldn't let us on. We sat and waited. At 2030 we were allowed on and Lynne went straight to sleep. I listened to some music for the two and a half hour journey. We got off the train at Rennes and walked across to the hotel I'd booked us into when we came on Sunday so we didn't have to drive home at midnight.


Got up at about 0800. Went down for breakfast and then I walked to the car park to get the car. When I got to the car park I asked the chap if I had to pay more as I'd booked the car park until 2345 the night before. He said it was OK so I got the car down and put the ticket in the machine but it said I owed another 11.60€ I went back to the kiosk and explained. He put the ticket in his machine and asked for 11.80€ Oh well a least two minutes had passed before the ticket machine said I owed 11.60€ I drove around and found the hotel, Lynne was waiting by the road so we got the very heavy case in the car and set off home. We stopped at Super U and did the shopping for next week. Got home, unloaded the shopping and put it away. After lunch I phoned Alexander to inform him I was taking the new pistons to the engine re-borers and did he want to meet me there. He did so I set off. After dropping of the new pistons I collected the new pipes from the BMW dealer which I had ordered last week. Got home, started writing up this blog and put the two jazz CDs on. Great music.



You may have noticed that I've not been finishing the Mini for the past week or so. I've hit a wall and just had enough and need a break. The plan was to start again today but I ache so much from the marathon walking we did in Paris that I've decided to leave it until next Monday. I spent most of last night and since 0900 this morning getting the Paris pictures on the blog. It's now 1320 and Lynne is asleep on the couch. I'll have lunch when she wakes up and then watch TV, or in other words ... sleep.


Just had a quiet day off. I need it after walking half way around Paris!

I forgot to mention that I woke up at 1000 yesterday, a bit late for a 0915 physio appointment.


Christmas day and nothing on the TV. I have a couple of films recorded after which I'll probably play music.



Did nothing all day. Very interesting.


Died nothing all day, even more interesting


Went for physio at 0845. Got there at 0855 but no one there. Waited until 0915 and came home. Then took Lynne to the chemist to get him to attest to the UK pension that she's still alive, posted that and other bits and went to Julien to collect a tin of POR15 and a wash leather wringer. Then off to Atoll for a Chinese. After lunch we went into Boulanger and showed them the email from Sony about returning the broken camera. I also explained that we had to get a repair ticket from the Sony website in order to return the camera. Then showed him the mesaage we get from the web site..... that we should return the camera to the distributor.The service chap was very good, no arguing (remember they had said the case wasn't under warranty) and just produced  a form so he could send it back to Sony. We then bought Lynne a new phone. When we got home we spent two hours setting it up and downloading the apps she wanted.

At about 1700 we took this picture of the sunset.

The "double sun" is a reflection of a lamp standard in the double glazed porch window.


Another day off doing nothing. I'm getting used to this.


We went to Angers to collect Alexandre's engine block which has now been rebored. After collecting it we all went to an Englis/Irish theme pub for lunch. Lynne had the fish and chips and said it was good. I had the Irish stew in Guiness.... and two pints of Irish beer (not Guiness). Got home about 1500 and slept the afternoon away.


Our Butane gas heater in the porch packed up this morning. I put a new gas bottle on. If I hold the start button down for ten seconds, as you’re supposed to, the pilot light lights. But as soon as you let go of the start button it goes out.

So we went to Buffalo Grille for lunch, then to a clothes shop for Lynne to get some jumpers and after that to Brico Marche for an electric heater. At least I won't have to get a heavy gas bottle every week!

It was -4 all day and the kitchen was freezing because there was no heating in the porch (and no door between the two). So we  bought a 1500 watt electric heater. They had a 2000W one for 26.99€ and this programmable one for 349€. I asked what the difference was and was told the programmable one would use less electricity. Seeing as electricity is expensive here I bought the expensive one. Got it home and drilled the wall and fixed the bracket to it. Then lifted the, very heavy, heater to fix it to the bracket only to find the bracket is too low and needs to be raised an inch or two. By this time I was a bit knackered so fitted a plug and switched it on. The display didn’t come on. I looked at the instructions but being in French didn’t fully understand. Lynne was out shopping. When she got home I told her I thought it was faulty as the display wouldn’t come on. Took her all of 10 seconds to get it on. However I’ve had to translate the manual to work out how to programme the start time for the mornings. I’ll refit the bracket higher up and programme it in the morning.

I’ve set the temperature to 22c but I’m not impressed with the heat output. At least I won’t have to buy gas bottle on a weekly basis.

I’ve asked Lynne to “force” me back into the workshop on Monday morning and get the Mini finished. I’ve just lost interest in it. Once that’s done I’ve got the block back from the reborers so can rebuild Alexandre’s engine. Then the list of little jobs on my TC and get it back for paint rectification. Then the last on the list, get the engine out of the Caterham and a new clutch pipe in.

So much for being retired… I haven’t stopped (other than the few weeks off) since April 28th last year.

The following are some pictures of the frozen trees. It hasn't snowed this is frozen moisture.




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