The French Blatting Company


January 2018



We now have season tickets for Sheffiled Wednesday. Our first game is today.... so why did we go to a huge pub for a three o'clock lunch with the rest of the family. The meal was horrible, a carvery that had been baked dry and mint gravy. Never mind, things can only get better.


I get up at 0600 to go to Simons to be there when an electrician turns up to wire in a new charger for his car. I get there at 0700 and sit down with a tea and radio 4 playing on my phone. At 0805 I get a text telling me he's rung in sick and won't be coming. I lock up and leave.


I have a blood test booked for 1050 and Denise and Bully (Lynne's sister and her husband) are due for lunch. I get the blood test, it's hilarious. I'm on time and sit and wait.. and wait... and wait. Eventually at 1130 I get called in by a very young looking nurse. She takes me to her office, which is locked. I take my jumper off and roll up my sleeve while she starts working on the computer. She then explains that she'll be talking to herself as she does this work but won't be long. I wait... and wait... and wait. OK, she's ready. She explains that she hasn't done "bloods" for very long and comes at me with a needle. She can see where I normally have the needle stuck in, there's a permenant mark! She puts the needle in sideways which hurts but some blood is extracted and we stop the bleed and plaster me up. I leave about an hour after I got there.

Den and Bully arrive Lynne shows Den around the house and we then go, in two cars, to one of the pubs for lunch. It was very good, I and Bully had mixed grilles ands the girls had something else. Then Lynne and Den had Sticky Toffee Pudding and Jam Roly Poly and split both into two. Bully and I had ice cream.


 I set off at 0600 for Jerry's at Warwick. Get there at 0830 and get the new bolts into the carbs to fit the float chambers. I also fit new screwqs to the back carb butterfly. Fuel pipe on we start it. It soon starts to boil. Jerry had filled it with anti-freeze and he must of had an air leak. When it cooled down he filled the rad with water and we started the engine again. I adjust the tickover and mixtures and it was running very nicely. Whilst having a cup of tea in the kitchen with Jery and Jo the phone rings. It's a chap who Jerry knows and had sent me an emial asking when I was going to Jerry's. He want to come over, he lives in Coventry. However, I'm planning on leaving for home so he says he wom't come and I set off. I didn't tell Lynne I was on my way so gave her a surprise when I drove up at 1310. I took some pictures which are very over exposed. I've since found out how to adjust the camera for correct exposure so future pictures should be OK.

The carbs with the cloth I put in the throats to stop anything falling in. The back carb is only held on with fingure tight bolts.

This is supposed to show the parts on the tool box but it's so overexposed you can't really see them.

The carbs finished but before starting. They do look nice, don't they.

From further back you can see the brass pistons.

Jerry and Jo. A very nice couple and now good friends. I must remind Jo everytime she complains about the kids on their phones that she's the same :)


Didn't do much today. However I did order a handrail and all the fittings I will need.


Watched the FA cup game on TV then Final Score with the goals coming in.


In the morning I go to Wickes at Pontefract to get another rail and two more wall brackets. They have the wall brackets but no rail. Never mind, I'll see how it goes. Watched another FA cup game then Tanya and Paul came round so we sat in the kitchen and talked... and talked... and talked. Beats waiting.


The man arrives at 0900 as arranged to fit my new bathroom. He spends the day taking the bath out and chiseling the tiles off the wall. No pictures, I'll get them later in the week. It's gong to take two weeks to finish. He's fitting and pumped shower, new toulet and sink. The big job is fitting the wet room floor. The whole room will be tiled with the exception of the sloping roof area.

Mid morning my handrail kit arrives. I fit it to the wall. Lynne's in hysterics as I was going to fit it much too high up. It goes on the wall at the correct height and we have a very happy Lynne. I didn't use the two new brackets or need another rail, it was long enough.

A handrail....

.... and the other end.


Dan arrives at 0900, it's freezing out. I open the garage and get all the cardboard out and pile it up against the dustbins. No idea how I'll get the dustbins out but that's another problem for another day. Dan tops it all up with the rubble from the bathroom.

The internet age.... cardboard boxes.


 I sent the table plan to all who are dining at the Midland Hotel on Friday 17th August to see if everyone was happy. I got a few changes but not many. In the evening we went to a local pub for a Wednesday night quiz (and a meal).

I took some pictures of the bathroom. It's not easy as it's so small but better then nothing.

The wall with the new shower controls and pipe. The tiles have been stripped off. Remember this is a dormer bungalow, so the walls slope inwards.

The new wet room floor and drain. The drain will be directly under the shower head.

The opposite wall. The new sink will go in the left corner. The door will be turned around so it opens outwards.

The right hand, inside, end of the other wall. The toilet will stay where it is but the sink will go.

Close up of the shower drain.

Even closer


Having re-arranged a few table seatings I think it's going to be OK. No major problems moving people around and if everyone's happy, so am I. The V5c arrived for the Mini so I insured it (£306 with LV) and then got a call from the doctor. They aren't happy with my latest blood test which, they think, shows a problem with my heart. I took the prescriptions in for a new set (Lynne and mine), returned some unused drugs to the chemist and then got a set of new number plates for the Mini. Dan made a lot of noise all day and, at first sight doesn't seem to have done much. However, upon looking further, I can see he's run the hot and cold feeds to the new sink under the floor and has put the waste for it under the floor. This means making a hole in the outside wall as the rest of the waste goes out above floor level into a non-opening enclosure. He's tee'd off the hot feed that went from under the old sink, around the floor, and through the wall to the shower in the other bathroom.

The shower valves on display.

Under the old sink.

Closer darling, closer.

The pipes and waste where the new sink will go. The pipe bent over is the cold feed, the hot feed, in copper, comes off the copper pipe which goes through the wall.


Had breakfast and went to sleep for an hour. When I awoke I set off for HSBC bank in Pontefract. I parked up ans then had to walk all through the market to the bank, which had a parking space outside it. I paid a cheque in and the nice young lady said as I'd been banking with them for 25 years she had to say thank you. I laughed and told her that was correct but the bank still didn't know who I was and wanted proof. Walked back to the car and set off for the BMW dealer in Wakefield where the car (I was in Lynne's Mini) was booked in for an oil and filter change. Got there 8 minutes early (aren't I pedantic) and waited while they changed the oil and filter for the sum of £94. Got home at 1400, had lunch and slept again until 1600. Photographed today's work on the bathroom. He's stripped the lining paper off the wall and fitted the new floor.  

Not a good picture of the shower tray.

Note the toilet has gone, and the blue wall with the lining paper stripped off.

They are all underexposed because the flash isn't working and I've put it into silent mode so don't "hear" the shutter click.

The blue wall. Camera is now working properly.

The shower controls with the nice shiny plate on them. They have rubber seals! It wasn't until I looked at the picture that I realised it had writing on it...and I'd fitted it upside down.


Went to Wakefield, had lunch and took Lynne's earings back because one of them had broken. We then walked back to the car and drove home. I settled down to watch the football scores whilst Lynne went shopping. She came back to find me fast asleep.


I took the Mini, then the Elise to be washed. That was it, snuggled down and watched TV for the rest of tha day (and night)


Left home at 0900 and made my way to Ipswitch to visit NTG and pick up the new seat covers. Got there at 1230. Met Linda, she's lovely. Left about 1330 and made my way home. Stopped for fuel at Cambridge and got a sandwich, two actually, and a drink. Got home for 1700. Found the tiler hasn't got the floor tiles but does have the veined and white wall tiles. Most are now on the walls. The floor tiles will arrive tomorrow. The seat covers look good but they are in a bag and I haven't taken them out yet. I also bought a new tank unit, an SU jet spanner and a tin of black paint.

The shower wall, just lie on your side. I've rotated and saved it but it still comes out sideways. I'll try a refresh now. (OK now, after copying it again)


This is also sideways but it'll just have to stay that way. Anyway it's the wall opposite the shower and is white to reflect light into the room.

The walls either side of the door.

Close up of the veined tiles....

.... and even closer.


Didn't do much during the day other than change a French plug to UK 3 pin on the angle grinder so Dan could cut his tiles. At 1700 we went to Meadowhall and had the 3rd worst meal I've ever had in Nando's. We then parked in the Park & Ride and got the tram to Hillsborough to watch Shefield Wednesday beat Carlisle 2-0 in the 3rd round Fa Cup replay. It was snowing most of the evening and whilst the roads weren't too bad the pavements were very slippery. We got back to the car park on the tram with Lynne sitting opposite a chap who had pee'd himself. She didn't notice. Drove out to the motorway. It was really bad, with very large snowflakes blowing into the windscreen making visibility poor. The huge snake of traffic was going along at 30 mph. We got home at 2330, had a cup of tea and went to bed exhausted. In fact disn't awake until 0800.


The following are the shower room as of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

(the wire is for the illuminated and heated mirror)


 I got up at 0800, phew a whole 8 hours sleep! Went down and had breakfast then went to sleep for an hour... or two. After lunch I went to the doctor to get our prescriptions. The doctor was closed so I went into the chemist next door and asked if they had left our prescriptions there. They found Lynne's but not mine. They didn't know the doctor was closing this afternoon so I'll have to go back tomorrow morning.

This is today progress on the shower room....

The sink and toilet are not fixed in yet, just standing there looking pretty.


The grout is dark grey but show up as white under the flash.

Grout looks better in this picture.

A smart tap.


I went back to the doctors to ask what the new pills were for. The receptionist could only inform me they were added to the prescription on 28th December, which I already knew. I asked her to tell him I was not going to take them and to remove them from the prescription. I then gave them back to the chemist. U then made my way to Barnsley hospital to make an appointment for a blood test a week before the appointment with the consultant. This couldn't be done as the nurse was in holiday. A note has been left for her to ring me. No pictures of the bathroom as it hasn't changed that much.


Nice quiet day. In the afternoon I watched the snooker, or rather slept through the snooker.


Got up late, gone 1000. Had breakfast and made ready to go shopping for all I needed to paint the bathroom ceilings. Spent about an hour in Wickes and got all I needed. At the checkout everything was scanned in and the girl announced that I'd been done.... "yes, I've really been done.. £95!". Never mind I can now paint two ceilings. This is the bathroom.

The ceiling that needs painting. All the stuff is now fitted in, the towel hook by the side of the sink is faulty, it has no lip opposite the grub screw and a new one is coming.We were supposed to go to football but I felt so ill that we stayed at home, just as well it was a 0-0 draw. Good result for us against high flying Cardiff.


Just laid in the armchair feeling ill.


We left at 0900 for Bransley Hospital. I thought I was going to have an eye injection but turns out it's an assesment. Booked in for an injection on Saturday. Oh well, two wasted tranquilizers. From the hospital we went to Simons to let the men in to change his electric meter. I left Lynne there and came back to see the electricians who were finishing the bathroom. Too late they'd finished... and gone. Dan was just finishing the downstairs loo. He's going to drill the holes for the other two towel rails before he goes. Before I went we put the sun canopy back up. When I got back to Simon's the sparks were just finishing so we were on our way in twenty minutes. I started painting the bathroom when we got in. I primed the new wood on the door jamb, and undercoated the walls and ceiling. That was it, I was exhausted. Simon came round for a take away.


Up at 0630 and out without breakfast, still 5 minutes late for my 0800 pjysio appointment. Mat has now started on the shoulder muscles.... he said this is going to bve a long job, which I interparate as "this is going to hurt" I was right. Got back home at 1000 after getting more paint rollers and white spirit. Only problem was after having breakfast I fell asleep until 1300. Got the painting finished by 1700. I noe need a new scraper with a new blade to get the paint runs off the tiles. No problem I'll get that when I go for the 3 new towel rails in the morning.

This doesn't look too bad, a few runs at the top out of the picture.

Three holes drilled ready for the new towel rails. The broken one is fitted but is crooked.

There's a bit of paint on the toilet seat (you'll just have to believe me). The masking tape shows up well in this picture.

No need to give Lynne the credit for the pictures, here she is!


I went to the bathroom place to collect the three towel rails, one replacement for the faulty one and two more to replace the long double towel rail that didn't arrive. Took all the masking tape off the walls and scraped the paint marks off the tiles. Then swept and hoovered the floor. Fitted the towel rails which only leaves some paint marks on the floor to get off with wire wool and white spirits. Seeing as I'm not 100% at the moment that can wait until I feel better. I then had the grand opening and used the shower for the first time. It's OK. I've decided to get a piece of 6mm ply cut to size for the door, screw it on the inside and tile it with the wall tiles.No pictures yet, I have new towels on order and will take pictures when they're in place.

All the concern about water splashing out the door are groundless. I fitted a strip of draught excluder to tyhe bottom edge of the door and then found the door wouldn't shut. So, I showered with the door slightly open and didn't end up with pools of water in the hall. I've now shut the door and it might compress the foan draught excluder enough for the door to shut.

Anyway, after the inaugural shower I went to bed and didn't get up until 1420. Had a light lunch and back to bed until 1700.


These are the last pictures of the bathroom.... er, well until I do the next thing which will be a couple of weeks. Do you think the new towels set it off well?


Did nothing. Lynne slept most of the day, she's not feeling at all well.


First job was to change the number plates on the Mini for the UK plates. Undid the right hand screw on the rear plate but the left hand screw is siezed in the plastic insert (in the boot lid) which is turning. End up having to drill the screw head off.

I got all the paint off the floor and tiles in the new bathroom. Then, having run around the house looking for the mop and finally found it in the back bedroom next to the bathroom I washed the floor then got down on hands and knees and cleaned all the paint spots and lumps of grout of the floor tiles. I scraped the draught excluder off the door jamb so the door will close.

I then get the cover of the light fitting in Lynne's bathroom to fit a brighter bulb. Being in the UK I bought a 100w (equiv) bayonet bulb.... it has a screw fitting bulb. I look in the bag of bulbs we brought from France and find an Edison 23W bulb. It gets fitted and the bathroom lights up. I've kept the old gloworm, it may come in handy one day.

Next job is to fit a coat hook to Lynne's bathroom door.... can't find the correct bit for the screws. Eventually find one but the first screw rounds off as it goes in and the second screw bends half way in.

That's it, it'll have to wait until my back calms down and I'll get two shorter screws. So, I'll come back to this on about Tuesday.



I will relate this without the shouting and expletives that took place in real time.

We still have money in a French Bank account. I have obtained an Euro credit card and want to transfer 800€ from the French bank to the credit card. I have the IBAN and Swift codes for the transfer.

Logon to the French bank. Select the account with the money and click on transfer. new EU benificiary and I've got the screen I want.

Enter the banks name, IBAN, and BIC codes along with amount to transfer.

System error says IBAN is wrong (I've copied and pasted it). After several retypes I realise the problem is it doesn't like the spaces. Remove the spaces. It now says BIC is wrong.

As far as I'm aware, the BIC is the same as the Swift Code. I get onto the credit card company and ask for the BIC code. Get a response repeating all I already know. Look up Google and he confirms that BIC and Swift are the same. Return to bank site and re-enter all the data. Still says the BIC is wrong and I then notice that I have some spaces in front of the code. Remove these and it's OK.

Screen changes to one that shows the transfer details for confirmation...... a confirmation code has gone to my old French phone, which I no longer have!

Logoff and back on again. Go to my profile and change the mobile number to my UK number. Save the details, logoff and then back on. Enter all the transfer data again. Comes back to the confirmation screen and the message is that it has sent the code to my .... old French phone!

Logoff, back on, change phone number save the data and logoff. Log back on and find the profile has reverted to my old phone number again. So, even though there is a country code associated with the phone number it would appear it will only take a French phone number.

At this point, an hour after I started, I give up and send the manager an email asking him to do the transfer.

Banks..... I sometimes despair.


Just sat down and watched TV.... how exciting.


Ordered 2 handbrake callipers and a handbrake for the 7. I'll mput the AP callipers back on and get it out of the garage and the MG in. When I've finished the MG I'll fit the handbrake and callipers and get the Caterham MOT'd


I booked us in to our favorite pub on the west coast of Ireland a few weeks ago. 10 days in June. Today I looked at ferries and made a decision. Instead of the normal trudge to Holyhead and crossing Irealnd we're going to Straraer on the day before, staying overnight and catching the ferry to Larne. Then spend the day driving across N. Ireland to the west coast (Doolin). On the way home a day to get back to Larne, 3 days there and home on the 1st july.

We're using the Elise.........

The new callipers and handbrake arrived this afternoon. A quick look and it may be quite easy to fit them with a metal strap between the ears of the de-dion tube.



Plan was to start early and get the rear callipers back on the Caterham. Hardly slept all night, came down a 0600 had a drink then went back to bed. Was awoken at 1000 by the previous owner who had come round to collect his post. Had breakfast but then went back to sleep until 1230. Lunch and then started on the callipers. Got the first one back on but the second of my expensive Philips LED torches has now packed up. I bought these when in France and they cost about £60 each. One won't charge and now, the second, is stuck on pencil beam and won't switch off or go to flood. I jumped (er crawled) into the car and went to Wickes and bought two new lamps. Refitted the second calliper then crawled underneath to get the handbrake cables and the old callipers out. One fell on me as I pulled the cable. Not hurt but, and I didn't notice at the time, it nicked the petrol pipe from tank to pump so now there was petrol dripping out. I refilled the coolant and the oil and put the battery on charge. Put all the tools away, turned the lights out and was about to leave when I noticed the pool of petrol on the floor. Got a bucket and stuck it under the leak. I'm typing this up and will go and see if the bucket is full soon.


New calliper back on the O/S with the old hanging down , bottom right.

Bits of the old calliper laying on the floor.

The old calliper on the N/S awaiting to be removed.

The AP racing calliper awaiting refitting.

One of the new torches. It works fine but the magnets won't stick to the carbon fibre... shall I send it back?

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