The French Blatting Company


October 2017


 I had a normal day trying to sleep sitting up in a chair. If I lie down I start coughing so have to get out of bed and come downstairs and sit upright in a chair. In the aftrenoon Tanya and Paul came round. Paul was a bit upset as he'd failed his motorbike test. He was given a route and took the wrong lane on one of the roundabouts. He changed lanes but it was a fail. They went and we ordered a takaway.


Same as yesterday really, just sat in a chair and watched TV. I think I'm getting better.


 Same as yesterday, I am getting better and getting an hour or so sleep.


 Another totally boring day. But had a few hours sleep last night


Same as yesterday and the day before. We phoned the Notaire in Pouance and found out.... nothing. He didn't know what the settlement figure on the mortgage was or when we would complte. He will have to send us another set of paperes to sign so I'm guessing it will complete mid-November. I had two visits from bathroom companies to do up Lynne's bathroom. She's decided as she won't use the bath she'll have my shower room and I can turn her bathroom into a wet room with a larg(er) shower.


Another bathroom person came, a nice young lady. She seems to have some imagination so let's hope she comes up with the goods.


This morning I went out to a breakfast meeting of the traditional Car Club of Doncaster. It was held in a pub along a lane at Fenwick. Nothing but smelly farms and a pub. Great morning. On the way back I called into one of the bathroom showrooms to see what he had come up with but imagination was missing. I had said he should have the door opening outwards and just make the whole floor into a wet room but he left the door as it is and put a screen up where the bath was. Not very good. I said I didn't like it and he said he'd think about it. Watched TV for the rest of the day.


 Didn't do much at all today. This is getting boring!


Another boring day.


 As yesterday and the day before I spent a very boring day doing nothing.


 At last an exciting day. Doesn't take much to get me excited these days.... At 1430 a chap from Kirby Bathrooms came and looked at the bathroom. He's the first of the four that have been that has understood what I want and is prepared to do it. He says he'll get back to me with some drawings and figures soon. We left home at 1500 to get a bed set from Argos and then go to the phone repair shop in the centre of Barnsley. Lynne took the phone in whilst I waited outside as I was parked on double yellow lines. She came out and said he was a miserable so-snd-so and wanted £15 to change the battery (I had the battery) but another £25 if it won't come out (they are glued in). I decided not to bother and put the new battery on the parcel shelf. A school lad came over and asked what my car cost. I told him more than his pocket money. He then asked what it was so I told him it's a Lotus. He didn't seem to have heard of Lotus so went back to his mates on the other side of the road. We then set of for Pontefract Hospital for my 1530 appointment with Dr. Johnson about sleep apnoia. We got there and were expected. I had a nurse do height, weight, BP etc and then, after a 5 minute wait was shown into Dr. Johnsons room. He is a very nice man and had all my French reports on his desk. He had understood enough to see that I had both types of Apnoea. He asked a few questions and I was then directed to another room where a nurse prepared a machine for me. We left the hospital at 1730.

From the hospital we went to the Burghwallis Pub for the meeting of the Traditional Car Club of Doncaster. We had some food in the bar and then joined everyone in the back room.We picked up our bi-monthly magazine and after an hour or so left for home.I slept with my mask on for the first time since June.Slept through the night.


 For the first time in two weeks we went to the quiz. We are getting better, we got 16 tonight. The winner got 46 so we have some way to go yet.


 Back to boredom. I ring one of the bathroom people and make an appointment to visit the showroom tomorrow.


 Busy day. I go to the bathroom showroom and it's all very nice but they haven't done what I wanted They are going to provide better costings if I agree to let them bring a tiler and an electrician to price it up. I said I'd let them know. On the way home I called in at Screwfix to buy a leaf blower. I paid for it but they are out of stock and will have to come back tomorrow afternoon. I also call i at the post office to post some letters.


A boring morning which I slept away on the couch. After lunch I picked up another bed set from Argos and the leaf blower from Screwfix. Get home and unpack and assemble the leaf blower. Connect it to the mains and start blowing. All is well until I get to the garge door (from the inside) where I find the wind is blowing the leaves in faster than I'm blowing them out. I turn the blower to suck and suck the last leaves up.


Off to the hospital for my eye injection which was cancelled last week because I had an infection. All OK except she hit a blood vessel and my eye is now bright red. It also hurt a lot for 10 minutes but calmed down a bit after that. We were going to find a pub for lunch and return for a 1500 appointment for my hormone problem (see, it's not only the ladies that have these problems). In the event we came home and I went to sleep until 1400, had a quick lunch and back to the hospital. The doctor was really good and took time to listen to my waffling on about the history. He's asked for blood tests and will book an MRI scan then decide where to go after that.


 Left home at 0800 to get the blood tests. Back by 0915. Didn't do much for the rest of the


 Didn't do much all day. Went to the MGOC South Yorkshire meeting. We won the quiz so now have to do the next one.


Went to the doctor to arrange for a repeat prescription and to see a doctor about my bronchitis. Saw one by appointment at 1100 and he agreed I still had Bronchitis and prescribed stronger anti-bio. It'll be ready by next Tuesday. In the evening we went to the quiz night at one of the pubs with Simon and Kerry.


 Still not feeling 100%, my cough isn't getting any better


 Didn't do much during the day, this is getting boring. In the evening we had a family dinner at an Indian restaraunt in Penistone. I was looking forward to it but the place didn't have a car park and we had to park far enough away that we got soaked in the heavy rain. It wasn't nice sitting down to dinner with wet jeans and jumper. Lynne said I should have put a jacket on but I'd still have got wet jeans. I have always called the place "pennistone" until someone pointed out that it could be "Penis Stone". I now can't help call it that.


Up at 0600 and leave at 0645 for Wroxall Abbey near Coventry for a seminar by a chap called John Twist. John is an American who wanted to work on cars after he left the US army (serving in Vietnam). He couldn't get a job as he had no experience. So he came to the UK and took an apprentice job at University Motors in their new premises at Hanwell. He knew all the chaps I had worked with and Jimmy White (now manager) had told him all about me. He returned to the US and started a company called University Motors which specialized in T Series to MGB/MGC. He has since sold that company but still make tutorial videos on YouTube. It was nice to meet him. He did a course on tuning XPAG engine (as fitted to TB, TC, TD and TF cars). I agreed with most of his methods except his method of setting the ignition points. He recommended removing the distributor and setting the point at .012" then turning the shaft to check all lobes kept the gap at .012" to ensure the shaft wasn't bent. I normally set the points gap and then turn the engine to the next lobe and check that. If it's differnt to the original setting the shaft is bent (or badly worn). I get the same result without having to remove the distributor. I kept quiet as I'd already raised a few queries or suggestions and didn't want to upset anyone. The car he was working on wasn't in the best of conditions with a dynamo bolt missing (a new one was fitted by one of the delegates) and several other "bodges".  The compression test showed 45 psi for number 1 and 35 psi for the other 3. I reckon it was a faulty tester as I doubt it would run at those pressures. They should be 100-130 psi. The car was clearly running very rich so when we got to the carbs in the afternoon and John had checked the dashpots and pistons and adjusted the mixtures the tickove went up to about 1500 RPM (we couldn't tell exactly as the tacho didn't work due to there being no reduction gerabox on the dynamo). The throttle would slow down because the pins in the throttle shafts which hold the adjusting arms on were fitted in the wrong place so the brass arm was on holding the throttles open when the screws were fully undone. However the car was running much better at the end even though the tickover was way too high. We were all presented with a Certificate which I found amusing. I left at about 1700 and got home at 1930.

The check list for tuning an engine.

The certificate. I should treasure this as I don't have many certificates, not even any from school, I left at 15 without taking any exams.


Spent all day working on the coast-to-coast route. The main problem is I can't read the map, my reading eyesight is so  poor. Get about half way. At 1700 the bathroom fitter came to price up the job. The sink, toilet, shower and tiles have been priced. This company is the one who will (almost) do as I wnat. The fitter has a good look and hums and hars a bit when I tell him I want the screen to be at 45 degrees so it doesn't make a small cubicle but still protect water from the door. He eventually agrees when he can see there will be no job if he doesn't. He then find a major proble. The soil and waste pipes go into a box running along the wall. This means he will not be able to get the waste from the new shower outside. I come up with the answer. Drill a new hole below floor level and run the waste pipe on the outside wall below the boxed in pipes. He's now happy and will price it up and send me the result in a few days.


I go to the doctors to collect my prescription and into the chemist to get all these bloody pills. I hate taking pills, it's rare for me to take an asprin for a headache but I now take 11 pills a day. At 1200 we set off for Barnsley hospital for an MRI scan of my Pituritory gland. I've had several befor but all in France. The procedure isn't that different and I'm all done in half hour. We then go to the pub we do the quiz on Thursday nights and have a nice carvery. Get home about 1600 and watch some TV.


Spend all day working out the rest of the coast to coast route. Lynne has a sore throat and has taken paracetamol and coedine. She's sleeps most of the day. In the evening I go to the MG Car Club meeting which is 10 minutes away. The pub have not prepared the room for us but we manage by sitting at the seperate tables insted of one very long table. We have a quiz made up od teams of four. My team won, which was a surprise. Get home about 2200.


Finish the coast-to-coast route and with Lynnes help get it all typed up.


Simon has left his Tesla Model X with me to fit the Tesla tow bar and a bike rack to the tow ball. We look on U-Tube for instuctions and a Swedish chap shows how to fit the tow bar. Only problem is he doesn't make it clear that you have to unlock the key, pull the knob out and twist it fully (against a strong spring) to get the shaft in the housing and locked. It took me a while to work this out but once I had it took a minute to fit it. Had he explained that in the video I wouldn't have wasted twenty minutes! The rack went on next, only took about ten minutes. I then find the car has a 13 pin socket and the rack cable has a 7 pin plug. I ring a local tow bar specialist and they have an adaptor. I set off to get the adaptor and a new rear number plate. I have Simons driving licence, the V5c and a letter from the company authorising me to buy a number plate. From there I go to Meadowhall and get another OS explorer map (we have a small section of the route on this map) and a OS road map of Northern England. I stop for a coffee and ask for a latte. They want to know if I want small, medium or large. I ask for large... mistake, what arrives is big enought to jump in and have a swim! I drink the coffee and go home. Have lunch then fit the plug adaptor and Lynne helps me check that it all works-it does. I now go to the Post Office to post letters and get a pack of double sided tape and tabs. Then onto ASDA for milk and cheese, same thing really, one in liquid form the other in solid form. I get back and fit the number plate using double sided tabs. Then I move the sat-nav in the Lotus as it's position is making it even harder for me to get in and out. It's now on the right hand side of the windscreen insted of on the door sill.

I start marking the road map with the route using a highlight pen and soon find the directions are all wrong. It looks like the original pages have got mixed up with later, modified pages. It's only a small section and we'll retype it tomorrow.

When I'd finished fitting it I sent Simon these pictures under the title "You always wanted a big one"


A member of the TABC group is having a problem with an incorrectly mounted steering box. Here's some pictures that may help.


Got up at 0500 but my body thought it was 0600 (clocks went back last night). I tidied up the route directions and created a new document for thew trail run which has space between each line for notes. I also created a notes page number 1-109 for longer notes for each stage. The I decide we should do the running board properly so made a fancy board. This will mean I have to cut out something like 75-100 of these and laminate them. I've ordered more ink, photgraphic paper and laminate sheets so I can start making them next week. If I make 2 or 3 a day when I can I may get them all done by next August.

Nice? Hope so, it'll be a lot of work. I was going to do it as an A4 sheet and just laminate it with punched holes each side. This is a "proper job"


I had emails from a couple of participants of the coast to coast run next year that the Midland Hotel in Morecombe had told them they were full. I had rung them on Saturday and left a message. This morning as I was about to ring the group sales office the phone rang and it was the Midland. The young lady explained they weren't full, she had given out wrong information because she was new to the job and didn't understand their system. I told her not to worry and emailed everyone that it was OK they could book their rooms. Spent the rest of the day refining the route directions and  ringing various companies. I rang Carl at Moss Bradford to see if he could sell me some spares for MGB's for the coast to coast run then take back what we didn't use on the Monday. He said he would but would have to charge a small handling charge. We had a chat and he's going to publish the event in his newsletter. He's also going to provide carrier bags for the event. That'll save me buying them. Then I rang McGanns pub in Doolin Ireland to book a room for next June. Geraldine (McGowan) the singer that runs the pub is on tour but the lady who answered asked if I could ring back in December. I said "no problem" and she responded, in that wonderful Irish lilt "Ah, you're a top man, that you are". Next was GE Money bank to sort out the settlement figure on the mortgage on La Foie in France. They told me, of course more than I thought. I then asked if they could cancel the associated life insurance policy . No, said the man, we send you a certificate when it's fully paid which you send on to the assurance company who will then cancel the policy. Let's get this into perspective. The property is sold on a binding contract. It will be paid on 4th December. If I died today the mortgage will still be stettled on the 4th December. Why should I pay for a policy that is no longer needed. I said OK and then cancelled the direct debit on the assurance company. By the time they get on to me about payment they will have the certificate from GE Money Bank.


WE went to Catterick to try a pub I had selected as a candidate for the lunch stop on the Coast to Coast run. We got there, parked and went in. It looks big enough to cop so we went to the bar, ordered drinks, asked for menus and could we speak to the landlord. "no you can't speak to the landlord... but I'll get the landlady for you" We sat down and the landlady, Maria comes accross. We explain what we want and she's delighted to look after us (well she would be, wouldn't she - we already have 152 people and I suspect that could get to 200). She wants to do a special menu with 4 items, I suppose we have to accept that. She was more than happy to pay £50 sponsorship money, in fact thought we wanted it now! We'll be calling in on Saturday, the only query is if we can get the first car there for 1200. I'm pretty sure we can but will know on Saturday. When Maria left us a chap, who was sitting at another table came across and apologised but he coulodn't help but hear the conversation. He has a barnful of classic cars, a real mixture. H eshowed us pictures of them. I asked him for his email address and he gave me his business card. We ordered food and it was very good. I think we'll be OK with the C2C. We left at 1400 and got home about 1600. I sent details of the trip to the chap from the pub. Within minutes he replied to the affect that he's spoken to his wife and could they join the trip. That makes 76.

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