The French Blatting Company


May 2018


Up at 0600, showered, dressed and breakfasted by 0700 and set off for the hydraulic pipe company in Sheffield. Get there at 0750 and they're open. Amazingly the chap remembers me even though I haven't been in for over 12 years. He quickly makes my new oil pipe (tank to pump) and I'm on my way to the trimmers with the toneau. I get hopelessly lost because the sun is shining on the sat nav (roof is off) and I can't see it. I turn up about 0850, twenty minutes later than I should have. He understands what I need and hopes to have it done for next Tuesday. From there I go to ATS in Barnsley to get two rear tyres fitted. My appointment is for 1130 and I arrive at 0930. They say go away and come back at 1130 (well, actually it was me that suggested I piss off and return at 1130). I go home and spend the hour putting the Cooper S on Autotrader. Lynne was talking to Kerry (daughter-in-law) and they ask if I can go over and look at the handbrake on the BMW they are selling (It was Leanne's, Kerry's daughters). I go back to ATS hand the keys in and check to see if I have any emails. Indeed I do. I have an email from Blackcircles Tyres informing me I've ordered the wrong grade of tyre and should get them swapped. I show the email to the chap at ATS and he suggests I get them changed. I respond that it's a bit late to tell me (I ordered them last Wednesday) but could they change them. It's 1830 now and I haven't had a response. I make my way to Kerry and take the BMW for a drive to get the rust of the discs, it's been standing outside for over a month! Get home at 1400 and realise I've left my bag on Kerry's kitchen table. I'll go back tonight for it.... in the meantime I spend the afternoon fitting the new handbrake to the Caterham. Only a small bracket to fit now to hold the outer cables and then I can measure and order the new cables.

Handbrake bolted in and it's pretty sturdy. Only thing now is to make a bracket to fit behind the copper braket for the outer cables to fit to. The cable ends will have 6mm threaded ends for adjustment.


Worked all day on the irrigation system. Totally knackered by the time I stopped. Too tired to shower so I just sat in corner and stunk.


Physio in the morning and hospital in the evening so only a few hours to work on the Caterham.


Finished the handbrake as far as I can go. I then fitted the new oil pipe and refilled the tank with the oil that came out but strained through a cloth. Took ages. IAfter lunch I took the dash out and tried to find wht the main beam headlights are not working. I'll have to get right under the dash as I couldn't find any wires of the dash switches. Another day. Ran a pipe from the washing machine feed in the garage. The water wasn't coming out the pipe so in the end I went to Wickes and bought another tap. Lynne took me and when we got back I went to fit it but then realised the problem was the small red tap on the outlet. Took the pipe off and found the ball wasn't turning with the tap handle. Tightened the tap and hey-presto it works. I now have a feed to the garage door where the irrigation controller is. Problem is the pipe kinked in a few places when I was fitting it so I may have to replace it with another, unkinked length.

The calliper end, this is where the outer cable sits......

... and this is both ends.

I used an elecrical cable to work out the measurements.

A close up of the brackets. I'll cut the long bolt short when I get a minute.

The new oil pipe fitted to the tank

The other end. This is a really difficult end to fit as the pipe it goes too needs holding out to line up. You need three hands.... or a really good wife.

From underneath, you can see the pipe and the cable ties awaiting the end trimming.

Close up of the pipe and cable ties.

Nice curve on the pipe. It's very heavy so should not get damaged in any way..... I hope.

From the top

You can see the rad, fan, fuel filter, copper return pipe and the cam belt and wheels.


I went to a Traditional Car Club breakfst meeting at Bawtry. That's a long way to go for bacon and eggs. Apart from all the "normal" classics there we had 2 TC's a TD and a very rare and nice N type. The N type has been with the same owner for over forty years and is a perfect car, not over-restored and not tatty.


Went to the last home game of Sheffield Wednesday and we thrashed Norwich 5-1. Great game and a great end of season celebration. From there we went to Tanya and Paul then home.


Left at 0700 for Leamington Spa to meet Jean-Marie, Nathalie and Celeste our friends from France. We were late because I went the wrong way and had to do a round 10 miles down and up the M40. Off to Stratford but gor seperated in the very heavy traffic. We met up again and I got us into the Car Fest in the market square. Only cost a tenner a car! Took the tourist bus for the guided tour, only £64 for 6 of us. We had lunch in an Italian, very nice. Got back to the local pub to their B&B and two Australians came in. We invited them to stay and listened to how real farmers do it. 4000 acres and only two staff. They round up the cattle with helicopters then get them in the corales with motor bikes. No sheep, so I guess that makes a change. A quick phone call and Jerry and Jo joined us in their TC. So we had ten people around the table and a very good night it turned out. We left at 2200 and made our way home., My left big toe was very painful and by the time we got to Barnsley I decide it was hospital time. Checked into A&E at 0005 and was seen by a doctor at 0430. X-ray showed nothing broken so put down to gout.


As we didn't get to bed until gone 0600 we got up at 1000, had breakfast and dealt with lots of emails. At 1500 went to see my doctor. What a change. Took time over me, saw me as a person and examined me thoroughly. He noticed my watch and he too is a watch collector. Prescribed something for the gout and reduced the blood pressure tablets as he thinks my BP is too low. Lots of blood test to be had so off to the hospital tomorrow for them


We went to the hospital to get my blood tests. Lynne followed in the Elise and we dropped it off at ATS for new rear tyres. We then went around the corner to the hospital. Parked up and went in. Huge queue at the blood test desk so we left, paid the £1.30 and went on to my Physio. Matt looked at Lynnes neck, she's going next Thursday for a session. We then collected the toneau and went back for the blood tests. No queue, in fact there was only one person there. Blood taken we got back in the car and returned to ATS for the Elise. My arm was pouring with blood, it was running down my arm and dripping of my thumb. Never mind, it'll stop or I'll die. Home at last and a late lunch.


Lynne went for a colour and cut and I worked on the irrgation system. Nearly done but I've run out of pipe. Order new pipe but when it arrives it's the wrong size. So re-order.


We mess about then pack and after lunch we leave in the MG for Bakewell. Only we go via Wakefield as HM wants some shoes. The shoe shop she wants is in Mothercare and is a Clarkes childrens shop. So all the way back and off to Bakewell. Takes three hours in all. Get parked up in the annexe car park with all the other MG's. Get the keys and the room is in the annexe but is OK. The shower is useless, it just dribbles out the head and down the pipe. Never mind, we'll have baths. Eveing meal is OK but no cheese and biscuits for me. I go to bed at 2130 as I'm really tired.


Up with the lark and have breakfast. It's OK but it is cold. We set off at 0930  on the planned route around the Derbyshire peaks taking in Tissington and the well dressing. Evening meal is OK except for the apple crumble which is made with raw porridge oats. Also the bowl it comes in is very hot and one lady on our table burns three fingers.


We decided to do our Peak Passes run (Cat & Fiddle, Axe Edge and Snake) instead of the official run to Winnats Pass. We stopped at the cafe on the Cat and Fiddle and find they have built an extension. Same food, same people but no atmosphere. As it was cold we dedcided to go back and arrived back at the hotel an hour later. Parked up and went over the road to the pub. I had a baked potato and Lynne had a ploughmans. Only problem was I felt ill and couldn't really eat mine. We went back to the hotel, packed and left. Got home at 1700 and I fell asleep until 2000.


I was ordered to have a day off. I made a few phone calls and just sat around doing nothing.


I got the pictures from Andy from the Doncaster Traditional Car Club. So here are some of them.

The cars at each end are TC's the second from the left is the N type and the third from the left is a TD.

Just noticed that I've left the drive-it-day plaque on the car.

At least I was paying attention

That's it, all the others are the same.


Went to the evening meeting at the Brentwood Hotel, next to Rotherham Hospital for the South Yorkshire MG Owners Club. I did the quiz and the winner got a bottle of wine than won another in the raffle


Took Lynne for a physio session with Mat.... she's now in agony... well a slight twinge. But she can now see her shoulders. She wasn't feeling too good so we decided to miss the quiz at the pub until Simon called to ask where we were. We thought they weren't going. They got a takeaway delivered and spent the evening at ours. I fell asleep watching TV all wrapped up in an electric blanket.


I set off to get the drinks for tomorrow's BBQ.I also got a large bottle of Propane. When I went to fit the hose the regulator is the wrong one. I need a screw in but have a push on. I go to Wickes but they don't stock them. Then on to B&Q but they only have the push on ones. I look on Google but everywhere listed seems to be closed. I get home at 1630 and look again. There's a place in town so I ring them and they have one in stock. I say I'll go in the morning then realise that I have half hour to get there so have to ring back for their address. I get there in twenty minutes, get the regulator and make my way home. I fit the regulator and light the burners. All seems OK so I wait for it to cool down and cover it up again.


BBQ day, invite 3 people and 14 turn up.... OK, it was 12, now 14. I forgot to publish the pictures of the finished handbrake.

The question is will the handle end be above my head? Only time will tell.


I took the two cars in the garage out (the Caterham is still on stands). I then adjusted the clutch on the TC. It had a little bit of slack but I gave it more. After lunch I had a sleep then moved all the plastic shelving units to the other end of the fence. A big sweep up and relocate all the stuff on the shelves. It all went on even though I've lost the top shelf. Car is now back in. I'll go and thke a picture of the shelving, I know you want to se it. Oh, I forgot to mention that I broke the mirror on the drivers side. Two of the screws are missing so I attempted to fit a short self tapper but it wasn't short enough. I've ordered another mirror head.

Shelving. It will be less full when the kitchen units go out there.

Broken mirror, it doesn't show very well in a photograph. I've already had the seven years bad luck, so no problem there.

It does look nice, well I think so.


Went back to sleep for most of the morning, then shopping and lunch at Morrisons then back to sleep for the afternoon. What a day!


Builders arrived and started digging out the footings to the new extension. In the afternoon I gave the MG a quick wash and went to the pub by the lake, Newmillerdam to be exact and took some pictures. In the meantime the footings are dug out.

Well, they wanted to see the boot. Not sure this is a boot but it's the best I can do.

The builders found these two stone plaques of foxes. Might be worth a fortune....

The footings are covered so Lynne doesn't fall down the hole.

Cleanest building site I've ever seen,


Started my day by going to Carphone Warehouse in Curry's. My new Google Pixel 2 XL can't be charged because the plug won't go in. They look at it and tell me the socket has disappeared inside. However, they cannot exchange the phone but have to send it back to Google for repair. I decline until I have another phone with the sim card inserted. I return home and start charging the old galaxy. It takes until 1600 to get to 68%. I take it and a cable in the TC back to CW. I'm now told it must be backed up as they will wipe the data on receipt of the phone. I come back home and look up how you back up the phone. It's easy and when I check the settings I find it's already backing up all the time. So I return, this time in the old Mini. I get it fully valeted for £15. I then call into Topps Tiles to see if they have a red tile to match the white tiles we want for the new kitchen. They don't, every other colour but red. Onto CW and they take all the details and I leave the phone.Oh, on the second trip I call into Magnet and pay for the kitchen, Whilst I was in CW a chap rings to say he'll come and look at the Mini again. He came yesterday and I knew he'd return. Wanted me to put the speedo and rev counter back down to the steering column surround, it's much higher on a bracket at the moment. Reason? I can see them now, when lower the wheel goes right across the faces. He turns up at 1945 and tries to transfer the money. Fails partly because his phone battery is flat. We were supposed to go to the MG Car Club meeting but we've missed that. I'm now getting hungry so I ask the three of them if they fancy Chinese. They do, so I order Chinese for 5. They go off to the ATM at ASDA to see if they can get the money. They can't. When they return we have the meal and a beer each. They then return home to Rothereham to do tha bank transfer. At 2245 I notice they have rung and texted to say the moeny has been transferred. I check and it is there, they turn up a few minutes later and off they go.


I go to physio whilst the builders finish the footing. Building inspector arrives and passes it. They now have to wait for the concrete. I spend time cancelling the insurance and VED on the Mini. The DVLA site want the buyers email address which I don't have. I send a letter informing them it's sold and to whom. At 1415 the concrete lorry arrives. The lorry isn't made of concrete the concrete is in it. They strike lucky and the driver is happy to unload into their wheel barrows. So the three of them take half hour to unload and fill the hole with concrete. Actually it isn't full, only half height. They will start building on it in the morning.... when it's supposed to rain. I put the MG away and get the oxy-acetlyne to the car and heat and bend the right hand mirror arm. I've now got a much better view behind me and a blue arm with no chrome left.

Footings, sand and wheel barrows. Makes a change from cars.


Builders turned up at 0845 with a lot more gear. We moved all the cars out the way, by "we" I mean "me". They took all the stuff into the garden and started laying the blocks.By 1300 they'd finished other than around the soil pipes which will need moving so the rodding point can be moved outside the building. They packed up and left as the rain was by now so heavy they couldn't work. They'll be back Tuesday. We went to bed for the aftrenoon, I was frozen and damp. Soon went to sleep and awoke at 1700. Moved the cars back in and am now typing this.

In case you didn't understand the referrance to wheel barrows in yesterday's picture this will explain all.

Just lay on your side. The blockwork up to the drains.

It goes all the way round but the other end is covered.

You can just see the other end.

What's all this then, copulating wheel barrows?


I was supposed to finish the Caterham. Only the wiring to sort out now. However, I wasn't really in the mood and gave up after an hour. Slept a bit in the morning then again in the afternoon. Did find some good stuff to watch on TV in the evening whilst waith for the football hightlights, Poor Liverpool.


This morning I've got the Caterham off axle stands, pumped the tyres up and taken it out, put the MG in first then pushed the Caterham back in. This afternoon we're going to a BBQ at Kerry's. Her middle lad is off for a year posting to Cyprus next week and this is his farewell.


The picture below is as the cars will leave the Midland. This is a cropped version. I’ll ask drivers to come further out so they will be in full sunlight (I hope). The idea is the get the car with the front of the hotel in the background showing the Eric Gill dolphins above the glass front.

The weekend was really going well. It was Lynne’s birthday on Monday so we had a very relaxed day in very hot sunshine at Morecambe. We left at 0830 Tuesday morning after taking the pictures and had a good drive across the Yorkshire Dales until… we had just gone through one of the villages in the Forest of Bowland when a yellow jacket walks down the hill and stops us. The jacket proceeds to inform us the road ahead is closed as they are resurfacing it. I pleaded to be allowed through but it was all in vein. We had to take a detour, which wasn’t signed but ended up where we would have been had we carried on. However, the mileages were now out by an estimated 5.2 miles and us by half hour. We carried on but after crossing the A19 we ran into thick fog. We pressed on at 20 MPH. At this point I gave up checking the route instructions, we’ll have to do it all again. Never mind, what else would we do on a nice day in June. Assuming there will be one.


The Eric Gill dolphins at the top of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe

Moonset, about 0500 on Tuesday morning.

And the moon close up.

The car leaving the hotel.


See yesterday. We got up and had breakfast, I walked up the hill to the Palm Court Hotel car park, paid £10 for overnight parking. Packed the car and left. Got back at 1200 as the concrete lorry came. The chaps have laid a concrete pad to stop grass growing under the extension.


Fair sized room when it's finished.




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