The French Blatting Company


November 2017


I went to the doctor for a blood test. The nurse rolled up my slleve and asked if I had had a blood test recently. I explained that I'd had a canula inserted when I had the MRI scan last week. I looked down and have a small bruise in my arm where the canula was inserted, I hadn't noticed until now! When I got home I carried on with preperation work for next years Coast-to-Coast run.


We pack the bag and leave at 1030 for Morecambe. We check into the Midland Hotel at 1210 and have to wait for our room to be ready. So we leave the bag at reception and go to the Rotunda Bar for a drink and lunch. The room is very nice with a bed, sitting area and bathroom with a bath with a view over the bay and even the shower has a clear panel so you can see over the bay. When we've dumped the bag we go back to reception and ask to see the manager. Hannah comes out, she's the assistant manager. We tell her about the Coast-to-Coast run, which she knoew about, and she cannot be more helpful, she agrees to everything I ask her. We then go for a walk and Lynne wants a picture by the side of Eric. In the afternoon we have a sleep and then have diiner in the resturant and watch the firework display outside the panoramic window of the restaurant.


It's our 49th Wedding annivesary today and I want to go for a drive around the lakes and have lunch at Wasshead Hotel. However, I suggest we check the c2c route out of Morecambe as that's likey to have mistakes. We end up re-writing it and doing it twice. By the time we've finished it's lunchtime so we have lunch in the bar, after which we go to sleep for the afternoon.... old folk! I've found what looks like a good restaurant in Lancaster so we set off at 1910 for the table booked at 1940. The sat-nav takes us to the road but it's closed for a festival. It's by the side of Lancaster Castle. We get parked and carry on walking along the closed section of road and we end up at the bottom of the hill where a classical music festival is taking place with a light show against a large building with lots of windows. I telephone the restaurant to ask where they are. We walk back, up the hill and past the car to the corner of the road. The restaurant is there sunk down in the ground, which is why I hadn't seen it. The bar and restaurant are underground in an ancient wine cellar. The bar had at least a dozen real ales on, including Bradfield Brewery "Bradfield Blonde" We used to live in Low Bradfield and know the farmer who started the brewery with the brewer who used to brew Pale Rider, three times CAMRA  "Beer of th Year". Bradfield Blonde is the same recipe. We had a really nice meal with a bottle of good Chablis. Only problem, as I was driving, I couldn't have a beer or three.

I've put all the pictures I took over the wekend here, including some of the moon at 0730 on Monday 6th.

Lynne with her mate, Eric.

The side of the Midland Hotel. The hotel is a famous art deco building designed by Eric Gill in the 1930's. It was built by the Midland Railway and the main station, at that time, was opposite. It fell into disuse and was bought by English Lakes Group a few years ago and renovated to a very high standard ay huge expense. Rooms are not cheap but it was our anniversary and we haven't had the best of years so to hell with the expense.

The view from the hotel room balcony.

A bit closer...

... even closer. This is the southern tip of the Lake District, across Morecambe Bay.....

.... and closer still. This is the 2000mm lens on the Nikon P900 camera.

Outside the hotel is a strip of rocks and these two stone statues are there. Lynne says they're seagulls, I say they're Phoenix.

This is the strip. You can just see the statues on the left at the end of the narrow path.

The following are pictures of the bay.

A better picture of the two birds. I've just noticed there are three!

The following are of the fantastic sunset on the Thursday.

Still here? Not bored yet? These are pictures of an airplane flying over. The camera is set to maximum lens.

The front of the Midland Hotel......

... and the iconic Eric Gill seahorses above the main entrance.


I'm not quite sure where this is other than the southern tip of the Lakes.

I think this is Kents Bank Cumbria.

The following are pictures of the moon taken at 0715 on Monday the sixth.


We got up at 0600, showered, packed went down and had some coffee and croisant and left to do the planned route to Scarborough. All went well until we got to Ingleton and we then went wrong because I'd got my lefts and rights mixed up again. Plonker! We got back to the junction and noted the mileage and will have to deduct 1.9 miles from the miles noted after this point. I had earmarked a cafe in a small town for morning tea. I wasn't happy about it as it's two and a quarter hours from Morecambe but only an hour and a half from the lunch stop. Added to this the parking will be a major problem. I have since found a pub where we went wrong earliert who will cater for us. Huge car park and they will get cakes in so that sounds good. We went on to the lunch stop but the landlady wasn't there, Saturday is her day off. I'll ring her later. After lunch we carried on and stopped for petrol at a station on a corner of the route. Whilst filling the proprieter was chatting away so I told him what I was doing. He said to let him know if we would want him to stay open on the day as they normally close at 1200 on Saturday. We pressed on with few problems until we reached a small town.  It all went wrong here probably because there was heavy traffic and lots of lorries and I probably missed a sign. When we got back to the route the mileages had all gone so we'll have to do this section again to get the mileage from Morecambe at each stage. All went well after this except we came to a left turn from the road on the right. I'll need to study the map to see where I went wrong. We got to the planned afternoon tea stop sorted out with no problem. We arrived at Scarborough at 1640 which means on the day the participants will arrive between 1730 and 1930. We went wrong as I'd missed a roundabout in the instructions. A long but enjoyable day. I haven't mentioned any of the places on the route as it's a secret until the day.


Up early and down to breakfast. We are staying at the Mount Hotel on the North cliff of Scarborough. It's very old fashioned but nice. We had a short walk to the shops and bought a street map of Scarborough so I can mark the route from where the participants will arrive to the car park they'll be putting their cars and walking to the hotels. We then had to do the route from the entry to Scarborough to the car park. I had an idea... why not go back to the entry point and use the sat-nav to get us to the car park and record notes on the tape recorder on the phone. Great idea except my new sat-nav decided it didn't want to play. When I touched a function nothing happened. I tried turning it off so I could re-boot but it wouldn't take the screen touch to "turn off". I nearly threw the thing out the window! Eventually I got it re-booted and it worked. We did the run and recorded the direction notes. We were both tired so we went home. I started typing up the new directions we had noted but had to ask Lynne to help as I couldn't keep my place on the notes and type. I finished at 2130 so packed up and watched the recording of Blue Planet 2 and then the football.


Spent the day updating the coast-to-coast run route and drafting an email to send to thos registered so far. Took all day and still not finished. 


 Finished the route notes and email then spent a few hours making calls to the hotels, pub and restaraunts.


 Went to the bathroom place to pay the deposit on the new shower room. Got the Elise washed at a hand car wash place on the way back, great job. Spent the afternoon on the phone sorting out stuff for the C2C.


Studied the route and decided to change a section which went along an A road to go by the un-numbered roads. It's much more picturesque but will add 15-20 minutes to the timings. I think we'll be OK as we must have spent that in Northallerton when we got lost. The aim is for the first car to reach the pub at 1200. In the evening Kerry and Simon joined us for the quiz in the local pub. I say "local" but it's about 3 mile on the road towards Wakefield.


 Spent most of the day on Coast-to-Coast stuff. I sent five emails requesting quotes for A5 binders.


 As yesterday


 As yesterday and the day before.... getting boring now. I've had four responses for A5 binders, one is 0.99p each, the rest are £2.80 each. I've placew the order for the 99p ones and they're in Doncaster so I'll collect them.


Same as the previous three days. But I have nearly made 100 event plaques, printed 100 maps of Scarborough and 100 £10 vouchers for the lunch at the pub.


Hole punched the event plaques, maps and vouchers. The map is on A4 so will be folded in half and just put onto the rings, same with the £10 voucher but that's on A5. The entry list and dsirections will be printed on A5 duplex (both sides) and put into plastic pockets. I've done it A5 as some of the cars (like the T Series and MGA's ) have very small cockpits and A4 are a bit big.


We went to the local dentist for check ups, aprt of signing on at the practice. Then onto Doncaster to pick up the binders and plastic wallets. We found the industrial estate but couldn't see the place we wanted. I said we'll go back out and ring them to find out where they are. As we drove out Lynne saw them. We wnet in and loaded all but one box into the boot of the Elise and one box went on the floor in front of Lynne. Got back and unloaded them and had a look. They are good. I printed out a couple of pages and they will fit into the pockets easily. I sent out the email with the link to the on-line booking form for the Coast-to-Coast. I have sent 92 out but I'll be lucky to get half back and then have to chase the other half. We then went to Rotherham for the MG Owners Club meeting where we're doing the quiz. There was some complaints about my questions which were all based on news stories in 2016. When I gave the answers they were saying "I should have guessed that". The winners got 8/20, we won the month before witth 6/20. Useless lot, aren't we.


Went to Barnsley Hospital for a special blood test. They put a cannula in my arm and I had to sit down and be calm. The nurse took 3 samples, one every half hour. Wasn't so bad. However, I'm getting fed up being prodded and poked at the hospital as they do all the tests I've already had in France. Hopefully we're nearly finished and they can get on with some cures. When we came back I just sat down for a few hours. After lunch I fitted the maps and vouchers into the binders and put all the boxes into the lounge (from the hall where my desk is). In the evening we, Kerry and Simon went to the pub quiz. Nice meal and we got 36 in the quiz, a bit off from the winner with 53!


Just answered emails from people with queries about the booking forms. Have 49/92 back. I phoned Will who is fixing the MIni. He's agreed to get it finished by Friday 1st December. I've bought a train ticket from Sheffield to Camberley.


Went back to the hospital, same department as the blood test on Wednesday for a diabetic eye screening test. I was asked if I'd had this before and had to explain that I'd been in France until June so could I tell her after the tests. It was the same as I'd had several times in France. Drops into the eyes which dilate the pupils and then they take pictures of the back of the eye. After the drops everything is blurred so Lynne has to drive us home. We had to go to the Hospital in the Elise as Lynne's car has a flat battery. This was the first time she had driven this one, but she had driven the first one we owned when we moved to France. I spent the rest of the day trying to watch a very blurry TV.


 Spent most of the day working on the Coast-to-Coast.


 As yesterday, working on Coast-to-Coast.


 Yet another day doing nothing but c2c, exciting eh?


 I went with Lynne to the dentist where she had a filling. When we got back and the anesthetic wore off she was in pain. She took some paracetemol and went to sleep. In the evening I went to the local MG Car Club area meeting. They were talking about organising a trip down the rhine and in the black forest. I took the dates and came home, sat Lynne down and asked if she fancied it. I fully expected a big fat no but got a yes. I was so shocked I couldn't talk for all of 10 seconds.


 You may remember I went to a seminar at Wroxhall Abbey a few weeks ago. The car we worked on belonged to Jerry Birbeck and it wasn't in very good order. When we finished tappets, plugs and points we did the carbs and when we started it up and got the mixtures correct it wouldn't tick over less than 1500-2000 RPM. Jerry posted on face book a few days ago that he was taking it back to the chap who'd done the carbs. I got in touch and offered to come to him and look at it as I didn't have much faith in the chap looking at the state of the car. I left at 0800 and got to Jerry for 1030. Took the front carb off as I suspected the butterfly wasn't centred and therefore not closing. Turned out the carb body was elongated so there was two gaps each side of the butterfly letting air in. I put the front carb back on and took the rear off to see if that was the same. It was, in fact it was worse. I've never seen this before but when I checked with the TABC group I was told it was quite common on the older carbs made from Mazak. The later ali bodied carbs didn't stretch. Someone told me it's caused by tightening the top and then the bottom bolt rather than both at the same time. It now became clear why I was taught, over 50 years ago, to tighten them evenly. I left at 1530 after a lovely lunch and chat with Jo & Jerry. They are a very nice couple. I went to set my satnav to find the way home via A46/M69 and not the M40/M42 which is the way it got me there but it froze again. I found the A46 on my own and got home OK, albeit late due to the roadworks on the M1. It's been on the news lately that the UK production figures are not good. I think I'll tell the chancellor that if he gets the contractors on the M1 road widening to get a move on and finish production will rise.


 Spent the morning on the phone finding carb bodies for Jerry's car. I then rang the MG Octogon Club as Jerry's a committee member. Peter at the club is going to get two carb bodies for Jerry and I'll go back a fit them when they're in.

In the afternoon I was due for another injection in my eye. We went along and found it wasn't an injection but an assessment. The last part of the assessment was to see the consultant. She confirmed my left eye still needed more injections and did I want one now. Well, "want" isn't a word I'd use but I said yes and had an injection in my left eye. Lynne drove us home in the Elise. She drove it very well. (I've got to say that otherwise she won't take me again)


We were supposed to visit Mansfield Observertory for an open evening but Kerry and Malakia came for dinner instead. It was a good night.


Malakakai asked if he could have a ride in the Elise when he was here yesterday so I picked him up mid-morning and we went for a drive. We went to Manchester Road, near Stocksbridge and then turned left and went the length of Mortimer Road to the A57, Snake Inn Pass. We then went over the Snake, turned left at Glossop and all the way to Chapel-en-le-Frith. We then joined the A6 to Buxton, stopped at the Weatherspoons in Buxton for lunch. Malakai ordered a steak and told them he wanted it medium rare. When it came he just took the mushroom and grilled tomato off and put them on my plate announcing he didn't like mushrooms or tomatos. He cut a few slices off and was really enjoying it but then he came to the "stringy" part. And was it stringy, I had trouble cutting it. I got some off but he couldn't finish it as we couldn't cut it. I felt sorry for the lad.

We then went through Buxton and over the Cat & Fiddle. Evewrthing was covered in snow. Turning left at Macclesfield I wanted to turn left at the next set of lights to take us back to the Cat & Fiddle but the road was closed, I guess it was the snow. We carried on to Leak and came back over Axe edge to Buxton and then crossed Derbyshire to Ladybower and back along Mortimer Road to Stocksbridge. Well, it was a ride in the Elise!


I telephoned Tanya at the Midland Hotel and booked the function room for a banquet on the Friday night before the Coast-to-Coast run. I had to pay £500 deposit so emailed all those  who are coming to ask for £6 per head deposit to cover the £500. I also emailed the 20 people who had not yet completed a booking form and about 8 responded that they wouldn't be joining. I've told the rest that we are now over 80 cars so they will go on a reserve list because I'm limiting the number of cars to 100.Anymore than this and the cafes and pub will not cope with the numbers even though it'll be over a two hour period.


I set of early to a physio in Sheffield. Simon has reccommended him. I want my two semi-frozen shoulders sorted out. The satnav froze again, it's going back this time, but I knew where it was so got there dead on time. Mat is a great chap and diagnosed the problem without even examning me. He then started work on my back. I guess my back muscles have been out of use due to the fractured vertebae as he was really working hard on them and it hurt. However, no pain, no gain. I'm going back in two weeks. Can't wait!


I spent the day refining the spreadsheets for the Coast to Coast. Shortening names & places so the list will fit on A5 paper landscape.  The spreadsheet which is downloaded from the online survey is very wide. I narrow some of the fields and headings so I can see the data I need in one view. I have two spreadsheets, one is the entry list for the route book and the other is the list of diners for the banquet.


More work on the c2c. This time I started doing a table plan. I'm trying to group people who live near each other. I got most tables sorted but have a very large group to sort out. I may be going on another route check in the next few weeks so will pop into the Midland and see if the banqueting hall tables are oblong or round. If oblong I'll put two together for the large group. I'm getting about 6 new entries a week so I'm sure it will sort itself out in the end.

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