The French Blatting Company


July 2018


Up early and leave for the ferry at 0600. Get into the waiting area and a chap with a Westfield comes in. I wander over and start chatting. Next to him is a large van. Turns out they are together. The chap in the van is from the Pendle and District Car Club so I give him a card and tell him about the coast to coast. We get on the ferry and have a nice breakfast. Arrive at Stranraer at 0930 and have an uneventful drive home stopping for lunch at Tebay services for lunch. Get home at about 1600. The main building work is finished but the kitchen is only partly done, We start clearing up as best we can and Simon comes round for Chinese. We eat in the garden, the one with no grass only flagstones.

As usual, Lynne packed enough clothes to last a month. Problem is we didn't have room in the Elise. So I stuffed all the dirty pants and socks into the space between the outer edge of the boot and the wheel arch on one side and put all the dirty shirts and tops in a small yellow bag and stuffed it behind the wheel arch on the other side. Lynne had the other yellow bag under her feet in the cabin. This relaesed enough space to get the roof into the boot.

Behind one seat, packed to to top.

Behind the other seat.

Where Lynne's feet go.

The boot. It does go right to the back and to each side so is bigger than you'd think from looking at the opening.



I go online to order my prescription but one drug is not listed. I have to go to the surgery to order it. When I get back I spend an hour or so ringing the late payers for the coast to coast trip. Good success, two cheques in the post but no answer from the third. I leave a message. I take lynne to physio for 1200 in Sheffield. I drop her off and go to DFS to look for two new armchairs. I walk in and spend ten minutes walking about before someone approaches me. "I want a reclining chair which isn't wide" He shows me one priced at £799. However  delivery will be twelve weeks. I say I don't want to wait that long. He takes me into the warehouse where there's a black one which has been on display offered at £295. He explains its a £1295 chair which was part of a complete suite sold last week where they didn't want the recliner. I tell him I'll have it and will return with my wife as she also wants a chair. Lynne has decided she'll move into the new room and I can have her room as my office. I go back and collect Lynne, we go to Fagan's for lunch and it was so good seeng Tom and Barbara again. After lunch we go to Ikea to get stuff for the kitchen. We have to walk round both levels and there are no short cuts so we must have walked ten miles, well it felt like it.


Lynne's car was making a grinding noise from the rear brakes, new pads needed. Normally I would do this myself but I can't get to the workshop for builders tools and the old kitchen cupboards. So I look on google for a MIni Specialist and it shows one in Mapplewell, not far away. We set off at 0839 and find it but a) they are not Mini specialists and b) they can't do it 'till "a week next Thursday". We set off for Kwik Fit in town. Get there and he says he'll do it tomorrow. I ask if he can smooth the disc with emery cloth as we're planning on selling the car. Oh no, comes the response we can't do that, it's all about safety, No says I it's all about making the bill as large as possible. We then went home and then to the doctors to make an appointment for Lynne. Nothing wrong she just needs a brain transplant... I made an opticians appointment for Friday, after I've been to the hospital for an eye examination.


Up early and off to the physio for 0800. Then in to Magnet to pay for the flooring and sort out the fridge cupboard door. Maurice & Wendy from the MGOC came for lunch and he took the old strimmer away. Not many garden tools left now, what no one wants will go in the skip.



Sad day as we attended the funereal af a MG Car Club member at Doncaster Crematorium. The place was packed with MG's and pre war Austin 7's plus a boat tailed Riley and lots of MGB's. Everyone was dressed casual and we all went to a picnic at a local stately home grounds. It was a very nice tribute to Alistair's life. Spent the rest of the day clearing up as best we can.


At Barnsley Hospital for an 0830 appointment for eye examination. The consultant reckons I don't need any more injections but do need my cataracts sorting out. He says it will take about 5 months before they can do them. We come home and I start moving stuff around. At 1315 we go to the opticians and Lynne does some shopping. The optician does all the tests but can't do my sight test because the drops the hospital put in my eyes lasts eight hours, I thought it was 4 hours. In the afternoon a moved into my new office and put some pictures up. Watched the football in the evening, Brazil were completely outplayed by Belgium. My new PC monitor arrived and I plugged it in. I'l now have to wait for 12 year old Malakai to come over on Sunday to set it up.

This is the new extension, kitchen and garden, It should be finished in 2 more weeks.

The tiling and floor are yet to be done.

The new plaster is yet to fully dry, hence the patchy walls.


 My new office.


Went back to optician for eye test. All OK and I walked back across the road to ASDA car park and sat in the car whilst Lynne did some shopping. In a few minutes my phone rings... "it's Stephanie here, from the opticians, I forget to do the test for your ability to drive safely, can you pop back at some time". I told her I'll be back in about two minutes and walked back across the road. She sat me down and I had to read the middle row of letters. I close the, bad, left eye and read it OK. It'll be better when I get the new glasses. When we got home I did some work on the Coast-to-Coast files then watch TV for the evening.


We had a BBQ for the kids. Simon and Malakai, Tanya and Paul. Paul sat in the new "garden" and said he could see the sense in spending all that money on it.... remembere, he's a tight Yorkshireman!


Went to phusio for 0800 and spent the rest of the day cleaning up the house. I don't mean hoovering and dusting, just getting things back in their place.


Went to Argos to collect a twenty pound kitchen roll holder! Then off to the "Oil Can Cafe" in Holmfirth for a meeting with some of the other members of the South Yorkshire MG Car Club who are doing the trip down the rhine in September. Good meeting and a plan was laid. Rest of the day clearing up and out for dinner as we can't get to the kitchen.


Spend an hour ringing cleaning companies to get one of them to come and clean the house. Jonathon and his men are really clean, sweeping and tidying up every night, but the house is full of fine dust. Rest of the day trying to clear up.


I remove the plugs and clean them then set the ignition timing using a meter across the points rather than rely on my eyesight to get the break point. I do the carb jets up two flats based on the colour of the plugs.I also remove the throttle pedal and bend it up and left so it's closer to the brake pedal so I can heel and toe. Actually, I brake with the ball of my foot and use the right hand edge to work the throttle. I also remove a shim from the top plate of the steering box. DFS deliver the two new armchairs, Lynne goes to the hairdressers for a colour and cut and we go to the quiz on our own.


I go out to Europarts in the TC to collect the brake pads, wiper blades for Lynnes car and 5 loitrees of brake fluid for the Caterham. Problem is they only have the blades in stock, the pads and fluid will be in tomorrow. I'm delighted with the TC, it goes much quicker and the throttle is about right but it's sticking. The steering has no play whatsoever now.

We go out for lunch as the electricians are finishing in the kitchen followed by a trip around Morrisons.

Rest of the day is spent clearing up. I overdo it and feel ill in the evening.


This is ahead of the other days because I just need to post this as I'm furious. (note: Caught up on the previous days now). The builders had blocked access to the workshop and Lynne's car had metal to matal on the rear brake pads. I took it to Kwik Fit as they were the only workshop who could do it next day. They rang and reported it needed rear pads (I knew that) and a rear disc (I suspected that) and the the front pads weer below legal limit as were the front discs. The whole job would cost £648. I pointed out that there was no "legal" limit to pad and disc wear at which point he changed his words to "below our recommended limits". I asked who produced these "recommended" limits and the answer was, you've guessed it, US. I told him to do the rear and I'd doi the fronts. This morning I went to Europarts and bought a set of front brake pads. I've taken the wheel off and find the pads are almost as thick as the new ones, certainly do not need changing. The discs are a bit worn, but do not need replacing. I'm think about reporting this to Trading Standards.

Sorry it's out of focus but you can see the inner pad  The outer is the same thickness.


Calmed down a bit now. I put the blinds and two shelves up as well as two thimble racks. The plumber has to return to fit two rads and finish the chilled, tiltered water attachement to the most expensive tap in the world. It has normal cold, instant hot (2 seconds-as good as instant), boiling and chilled filtered cold water. Only cost £2000, if you say it quickly it doesn't sound like much. I may stop crying next month.

As we know, Lynne's into poppies so I bought these blinds for the windows in the extension.


Two shelves and two thimble racks.


I'll take this agian using the flash. In a rush to finish now, football kicks of in thirty minutes.

There you go, is this better.

Rogues gallery


Started at 0600 and got everything in the workshop put away, the Caterham half out and swept the back of the workshop. I then swept all the corners of the car port into the middle. At 0915 I got the jet wash into the "garden" and jet washed all the doors and windows followed by leathering all the windows including the insides of the new building. Then I moved Lynne's Mini and pushed the TC right out followed by the Caterham which then got a jet wash to get the dust off. Whislt it was drying I swept the rest of the garage floor and the whole of the car port. After that I staretd to fit the door closer on the new fridge cupboard. We have the "wrong" fridge for this as it has a curved door but with the use of spacers I got it to work. I then pushed the Caterham back in, folowed by the TC. It was now getting on for 1500 and I fell into the chair, totally exhausted, to watch France beat Croatia in the final.

How clean and tidy can it be?

The only reason for spending a fortune on a new kitchen was so I got the old one.

And the car port area all scrubbed clean.


Busy day. We left at 0900 in two cars, Lynne in the Mini and me in the Elise. We dropped the Mini off at a Mini specialist in Sheffield so they can get the engine management light out, fix the boot lock switch, diagnose the rattle from the engine which I think is timing chain and carry out a service if it's needed. So, I here you ask, why arent I doing this? Well, I need a diagnostic computer to sort out the warning light and the last timing chain I did on a Mini went wrong and cost me £4,000. Let them work on the moderns I'll stick to the old ones. From there we went to Matt's for physio, me at 1100 and Lynne at 1200. After which we went to the solicitors to draw up a new will which changes now we're back in the UK. No time for lunch so we drive home and get some sandwiches and I deal with some emails and go to the doctors for the nurse to do a BP test at 1630.... only problem is the appointment was for 1430. Another thing I got wrong. The cleaners had been in and I thought it was really clean. After all the dust it had to be an improvement. However Lynne found they hadn't moved the table in the hall, or pulled the washing machine out and cleaned behind as well as some shelves in the Welsh Dresser hadn't had the stuff taken off and the shelf wiped down.... etc, etc. They return on Thursday.


Spent best part of the morning working on the Caterham. All the electrics work now except the fuel gauge (suspect the connectiion under the dash on the wire to the tank unit), the manual fan switch light (will double check a wire isn't off) and one brake light bulb needs changing. That will leave the seats to be refitted and the brakes to be bled and handbrake to be adjusted. With a bit of luck I'll be ready for an MOT next week.

I rang the Mount Hotel in Scarborough. I've sold 40+ rooms and will be paying them £1891 for the meal for 88 of us on the Coast to Coast. I've asked them for £50 sponsorship money (to help pay for the binders, paper, ink etc) and they're making a fuss about it. So, I said to the manager that I could pay the £1891 into their bank tomorrow or by credit card on the 2nd August. The card charges will be near £50. All he could say was he'll have to ask the owner who lives in Scotland. I also rang Moss at Bradford to let Carl know I only want some of the list of spares for the MG B's as one of the entrants to the coast-to-coast has most of what we need and will let me have them at Morecambe for return at Scarborough. Problem! Carl is off long term sick with menangitis. So I have to speak to Laura, the manager. I ring her several times but she's serving. Then agree for her to ring me, which she does whilst I'm speaking to the Mount. I return the call and it's all sorted. They are donating 100 carrier bags for all the stuff we'll be giving the entrants (route book, event plaque and cable ties and an instruction sheet mainly about the pictures we'll be taking of everyone).

Then the door bell rings and it's the 3 long shallow picture frames I've ordered. Above one of the cupboards in the kitchen is two heating pipes (at ceiling level) . I came up with the idea of putting a picture in front to cover it then thought one would look odd so ordered three. I spent the rest of the afternoon cropping and printing suitable pictures.

Lastly, my long awaited roof tension cables are in so I'm leaving here at 0600 in the morning to go to Northwich to collect them.

This one covers the two pipes. Sunsets over Morecambe Bay.


This is above the sink and looks a bit fishy to me.

And the third is of the "sparkling Water" show at Martigne-Ferauche near Pouance France. Best show U've ever seen, we went every year for 12 years.



Left at 0630 to take the Elise to Oakmere Lotus, one of our customers who had finally got the two roof cables. Went the long, but interesting route, over the Snake and Cat and Fiddle. The cable Paul had got were the wrong ones, as was the one theu had fitted a few months ago. Paul goes away and comes back with the correct cables. I also asked if they could fit a new indicator bulb to the drivers side front. The lad comes in and informs me it wasn't the bulb in the front, the wire had been pulled off the rear. That'll be me taking the stuff out of the boot when returning from Ireland. I came home a quicker route and had lunch then fitted the cables. As these cables are joined in the centre and I needed the right front and left rear I have ended up with a spare. However I suspect they'll be OK now as I've adjusted them so thay are not too tight. The roof closes much easier now.


We were due to go out but the plumbers came to fit the two rads and finish the tap. By the time they had finished it was too late to go out. We collected the Mini. They had fitted a new water pump, drive belt and jockey pulley, which had siezed. Fitted a new boot lock and fixed the bad connection which was causing the engine management light to come on. Lynne is now happy her car is OK. We had the pleasure of Tanya and Paul at the quiz and got the highest score we've ever had. Won the raffle, again but didn't get the question right for the jackpot, which must be several hundred pounds by now.


I took Lynne's car for a wash and then vacuumed the interior.At 1100 we left to pick up Malakia who is staying with us until Saturday night. We picked him up and set off for a "secret" location. We were taking him back to Jodrell Bank as he liked it so much when we took him theer a few years ago. We arrived to find it was closed because there was a science festival on, never mind it was a nice drive.


Took Malakia to his climbing session in Sheffield. Bought some lunch and came home. He played games with Lynne whilst I searched for the cables for my old printer. Couldn't find the data cable so I'll have to buy one. I got the MG out and gave it a wash. I was going to bleed the brakes on the Caterham but was too tired so will do it during the week. Simon came to get Malakia and we went to the pub for a meal.


We went to Walton Classic Car show with the good people from the MG Owners Club. Walton is near Wakefield. We were supposed to meet at Keiths house and go together and I had a post code written down. Went to the post code and it was the show. We went in and they all turned up about an hour later. The amazing thing is the post code I'd written down started WF2 1AB and Keiths is WF1 1AB (the 1AB is ficticious). Spooky. The girls went of to visit the Hepworth Gallery and were gone until well after lunch. It was only three and a half miles away... some "short walk". The "short walk" was from Pat's house, not from the show. We got back about 1700 very tired and very hot.


Started bleeding the brakes on the Caterham. First job was to remove the N/S/R calliper to free off the siezed bleed screw. Lynne sat in the car whilst I undid the nipples and topped up the master cylinder. The Wilwood front callipers have a nipple for each piston, so eight nipples in all.

Took about an hour because some of the front nipples were siezed but I was able to take the union they screw into off and free the nipple off.

All finished..... the pedal just goes to the floor.

I'll wait for someone else to climb in whilst Lynne keeps the cylinder topped up and we'll do it all again.


Hooray, the kitchen is now finished. Jonathon will remove his remaining tools and stuff tomorrow and the skip is going as well. We can now get back to normal. All I've got to do is fit a door closer to the fridge under the microwave. I'll do it when it gets a bit cooler, like Eleven O'clock tonight. To avoid confusion it's the door next to the red chair.

The new floor, do you like it? Lynne does and that's what matters.

The toast and coffee area. The fridge door is on as is the corner cupboard door,

We've moved the table round and put Lynne's armchair against the brick wall.

The larder now open correctly with the opening brackets fitted.

Another picture of the toast and coffee area but this one's not looking down at the floor,

Looking in from the grassless garden


Went to the doctor for the nurse to take my blood pressure, spot on so that's OK. However, I knew that, if my BP goes high I get a headache, better described as a pain in the back of my neck. Just goes to prove I'm a pain in the neck, if not the arse. In the evening we went to the South Yorkshire MG Car Club natter at the Old Post Office pub by the M1. good meeting other than a pint of cider was £4.60.


Went to physio for 0800 then filled up with petrol and got the car (Elise) washed. Got back at gone 10. After lunch we went to Hadfield House near Chesterfield. We showed our National Trust cards and got in free. The chap said we would get right up to the visitor centre at this time of day, about 1600. Not knowing the place we parked up and walked to the visitor centre past lots of empty spaces. We could have parked within yards of it instead of a long walk. We had tea and cream scones, very nice. Popped into the shop and bought two wide brimmed hats as I'd left our peaked caps behind. Lynne decided we should go home via the motorway instead of Chesterfield and right through Sheffield during the rush hour. So, off we went and kept up a steady speed of 55 to 60 MPH. The variable speed limit was set at 60 so it wasn't so bad. The car behaved well. I was surprised that it hasn't used any oil, I thought it would be low but it's just below full. We'll be going again next Wednesday and this time we'll go in the morning.


Worked on the Caterham all day. All the electrics now work and I've got the seats in so all it needs is the brakes bleeding. Simon and Malakia came over in the afternoon so we bled the brakes. Took several goes before we got all the air out and a decent pedal but we got there in the end.


Didn't do much, I put the wheels back on the Caterham and charged up the slave battery. I've ordered a new Li-ion battery for the car, it should be here early next week.


We were supposed to be doing the final run for the coast-to-coast tun. However as it was supposed to be raining all day we postponed it until next Sunday. Tanya and Paul, who had been in Scarborough over the weekend came in on their way home and wanted to know why we didn't go to Scarborough, they said it had been a very sunny and warm weekend.


I think I spent more time asleep than awake yesterday. In the evening I slept through 3 programmes on TV. Let's hope I'm more awake tomorrow.


I've erected the wicker screen around the dustbins and washed the MG as well as polish one wing which had oil stains from me working on the car. I connected the Post office fibre router and it sprang to life. Connected my desktop and did a speed test. 21.7 down and 30 up !!!! I then unplugged the EE 4G system and tried again, that's better 11 up and 0.87 down. I'll now upload this and see how long it takes. OK, no noticable difference in uploading the blog. I'll finish today off later. OK, to finish the day, Lynne had a blood test at the doctor for 1550 and I had breathing tests at Barnsley Hospital at 1630. Both went well, I passed all the etsts which goes to show my breathlessnes is not a breathing problem.

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