HOME WELCOME SEVEN ELAN ELISE MIDGET TYPE R MINI LAND ROVER FAMILY MG TC GUEST BOOK
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(the months are 2015/2016)
The French Blatting Company
1949 MG TC
1st September 2015
See 31st August
2nd September 2015
I got up and outside at 0700. Emptied the van and then we took it back. Left Lynne there to hand it back while I went to post some letters and get my weekly physio to my shoulder (Frozen shoulder)
Then picked Lynne up, came home, helped her get the shopping in and I then went off to the bodyshop. Spent an hour showing them the panels and I then primed the frame. Finished at 1315 and went home for lunch returning at 1500 to give it a second coat. I'm going back on Saturday morning to give it the first coat of paint then Monday for the second.
I'll get some pictures of the tub on Saturday.
3rd September 2015
Last night I felt really rough. I think I'd overdone it. The weekend and then yesterday standing for about 4 hours priming the tub gave me a really bad back and I felt ill. So, today, I had the day off. I began to feel better about 1600 so started putting the dash back together. We, Lynne and I, first made a paper template marking the holes in the face of the ply dash. When the PVC is glued to the board it won't be easy to find the screw holes. We then glued the fabric to the board and placed plenty of magazines on top. I'll leave that to set for a few days then start fitting the metal dash, gauges and switches to the dash.
My other problem is that I've lost the two headlamps. They were in the van when we moved everything from Paul's hire van to mine in the hotel car park. I wanted to unwrap them to look but got shouted at. I've searched all the bags I've got here, in the house and worlshop. I've searched the bodyshop where they put the panels away. On Tuesady night we just dropped the tub and all the panels in the workshop. By the time I got there at 1100 it had all been put away.
I've asked my house insurer if they're covered but apparantly not. So if you see two 8" TC headlamps laying around can you return them.
The other problem has been with Moss. One of the chaps was supposed to ship an order on Tuesday so delivery would be on Thursday. Had he sent it last week it would have arrived when we were in Portsmouth. Problem was he was off until today. I checked it on Tuesday and found this state of affairs. I sent the order again and it was dipatched yesterday. It arrived today but the handbrake cable, the handbrake cable guides for the backplate and a nut for the cable adjustment aren't in the box. They haven't the cable or the brackets but have posted the nut. I got the cable from Brown and Gammons and the guides from NTG but they won't be here until next week. I want to get the chasssis finished before they put the body on, it will make it easier. Never mind, the bodyshop have enough to be getting on with for now.
The dash with magazines pressing the vinyl covering on.
4th September 2015
Let me tell you a story. On May 19th 2014 I got up from the table outside the gites and had an excruciating pain in my back. We were due to go to the UK in a day or two so I left it but had very bad back pain. When in England I went to the Northern General Hospital at 0400 on 28th May (Lynne’s Birthday). The doctors there diagnosed that I had pulled a muscle and to take paracetamol. It was worse a few days later so I went back. Different doctors, same diagnosis. The day before we were due back I made an appointment to see my doctor in France. Went there early on the Monday morning and told him what had happened. He did not examine me before saying that my symptoms were not muscle but spinal. He then examined me and lightly pressed a vertebrae and I really went through the ceiling. Next day I was at the local hospital for a scan. It showed a fractured vertebrae. I was then refereed to a clinic in Anger that deal with injured spines/vertebrae. There I was examined by a doctor and booked in for an MRI scan. The scan showed I now had 5 fractured vertebrae. Another examination and I was told this wasn't an injury and was referred to the rheumatology department at Anger Hospital. I was examined by Prof Rohmer and Dr Masson and given 13 blood tests and urine tests. That was in January 2015. In April my doctor gets a letter from Prof Rohmer informing him that a certain hormone which should be between 4 and 18 is, in fact 170. He recommends I stop taking a certain pill and have another blood test after 10 days. The latest blood test shows the hormone count has gone higher, not lower. We then await another appointment and return and see another doctor who books me in for more tests and another MRI scan. They are not happy as what they expect isn't there. The normal reason for a high hormone count is a growth on a gland in the brain. But the MRI scan hasn't shown this. I go back for another 12 blood tests, another urine test and another MRI scan, this time with an injection to make me glow in the dark. They now confirm I have no growth on the gland and suspect it's my enlarged Lymph Nodes. The enlarged Lymph nodes were discovered about 3 years ago and I had a biopsy where a cancer specialist cut my throat (really, almost ear to ear but it's not visible now) and declared I did not have cancer. I was given an appointment for today with a promise that treatment would start today to bring down the hormone level. We have a major problem getting to the hospital as the road we take to get there is closed and we cannot find a way in. Angers hospital is huge and has grown over 300 years into a small town in its own right. Problem is there is insufficient parking. We find somewhere, but it's a 15 minute walk from where we need to be. Arrive just in time. Go into see the doctor (he's a professor but refers to himself as Doctor) and he wants to know two things. 1) Why are we there, he's a lung specialist and there is nothing wrong with my lungs and 2) what medication am I on for the hormone problem. I kept my temper because it's not the doctors fault. He sees just how upset and fed up I am and rings Prof Rohmer, who we were told had retired. Turns out he's working 2 or 3 days a week on his existing patients. Rohmer isn't in today but I am given a promise that he will phone him on Monday, and ring me back with an appointment date. On the way home I call in to see my doctor and he will also ring on Monday.
Fed up doesn't explain how I feel but let's get on with some good stuff.
On that way home we called in at the Citroen dealer who is doing the body of the TC. I am still looking for the missing headlamps. But I took some pictures of the new tub and a few interesting cars they have there.
It's not ill, it's green from the wood primer. I'm giving the first top coat tomorrow.
Looks good from this angle.
A Citoen 2cv chassis. the car it belongs to is the white one behind. The blue wing is off a DS......
.... this one having a new stainless steel exhaust fitted. This car was on a spit 6 weeks ago being rebuilt. They had to make a new floor for it as they can no longer get factory made parts. It was a work of art with all the ribbing and seams.
A Citroen Mahari, based on the 2cv it has a plastic body. It was built for beach use and North African deserts.
Ok, feel a bit better now, lets see what next week brings. Sorry to burden you with my problems but a problem shared is..... well it's something or other. Keep smiling.
5th September 2015
Yesterday my doctor gave me some pills to try and get me some energy back and help me sleep. Not sure I've more energy but I didn't sleep at all last night, yawn..
Got to the bodyshop for 0815 and gave the tub it's first coat of paint. Got home about 1200 and finsished the petrol tank by seldering a short length of brake pipe into the fuel outlet union. This to stop any crud going down the pipe as it will settle below the, now higher, outlet. Only problem is the filter gauze will not solder on. I'll come back to that. The tank can now go to the bodyshop.
After lunch I got changed and started work on the dash. Just finished at 2200. I still have the map light to fit but the gold paint is bubbling so I'll have to rub it down and do it again. I will also need a new 30 MPH warning lamp as I can't find the otiginal. I seem to remember the cover was missing. I do have the base.
A black tub....
... and from the front....
.... and side.
The dash. The hole between the left hand large dial, the speedo, and the centre panel is for the map light. There is a corrosponding hole on the other side for a 30 MPH warning lamp.
The ignition switch and horn push are new. The gauges have been refurbished, all the bottom row of switches, lights and cables are original and have been cleaned.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SENT ME GOOD WISHES I'VE RECIEVED SINCE TELLING MY TALE OF WOE ABOUT MY HEALTH. THANK YOU ALL, IT REALLY HELPS TO GET GOOD WISHES FROM PEOPLE I'VE NEVER MET.
6th September 2015
No work on the car today, our friends, Lisa and Phil came over and we spent a pleasant day sitting around and talking. We then went to Buffalo Grille for an evening meal and invited our current guests along. I've never seen people laugh so much, we had a great evening.
7th September 2015
Very boring day. Went to the physio at 0915, got back at 1000. Then went off to the bodyshop with the petrol tank. gave the tub a second coat of black top coat. No pictures it looks the same as it did the other day.
Got back at 1330, had lunch and fell asleep until 1700. So, as I said a very boring day. Hope it will be better tomorrow.
8th September 2015
What a waste of a day. Started at 0930 and cleaned the fuel pipe. Then came in to look at my new copy of TC's Forever to see where it went. Fell asleep until 1230. Had lunch and went back to sleep until 1700. Then went out to set up the telescope for later tonight. I will not be taking the tablets the doctor gave me to help me sleep at night, they work far to well.
9th September 2015
0930 start and straight into fitting the new handbrake cable and rear shoes. Struggled for 3 hours and then took a break (or should that be brake). Fell asleep after lunch and went back to fighting the brakes at 1630. After another hour of struggling i took the cable off and compared it to the original. The problem was immediately obvious. Can you spot it.
Yes, the ferrule is too large. It will not allow the expander to fully return as it fouls the shoe. Another wasted day.
I've sent the supplier pictures and measurements and he will look at the other stock. All the other suppliers are out of stock but one says he will get them in on Friday or Monday. Looks like I'll have to fit the fuel pipe and loom and then start on the engine whilst I wait.
10th September 2015
Day off due to renovators overload. Rang the handbrake cable supplier and the chap who answered the phone hadn't seen my email. Went to find it, come back and told me they are all like that and they have fitted 20 in the workshop. I told him mine wouldn't fit as it wasn't allowing the expander to return all the way and the hook was falling out. He seemed to accept this and said every supplier had the same problem as they all got them from the same manufacturer. I said I'd return it.
11th September 2015
Another day off, only bits and pieces to do anyway. We went out with our guests to Creveche D'or in town and had a great time. They are the nicest couple you could wish to meet. We didn't stop laughing.
I got a letter this morning, from the hospital. The Professor was supposed to ring today with a date for an appointment.
I said to Lynne last week after the aborted hospital visit that we would get an appointment in January. The doctor we saw last week was phoning the Professor on Monday to get an urgent appointment. The Professors secretary rang on Monday to say the professor would ring us on Thursday or Friday. This morning I get a letter for an appointment with another Professor for more test for, wait for it….. January 28th, exactly a year after I first saw the first Professor. I've been to see my doctor and he is mad, really mad. He phoned the secretary and has to phone back after 1400.
Turns out the list on the letter is not tests but the history he wants us to bring with us. I've yet to hear back from doctor as to whether he's got an earlier appointment.
12th September 2015
A third day off. I'll restart on Monday.
13th September 2015
Another day off. I'm enjoying the rest .
14th September 2015
15th September 2015
And another, getting used to doing nothing.
16th September 2015
Still laying around doing nothing.
During the afternoon Lynne notices the telescope is out in the open and it's blowing a gale and pouring with rain. Donning a wet jacket I go outside to sort it out. The rain has stopped but I'm getting blown over in the wind. The door has blown off and I can't get it back on. So, I call Lynne and we both try and fail. We then load it into the back of a car and take it into the garage. In the meantime the shed is blown over by the wind.
Then, at about 1700 the phone rings. It's my doctor. He has had a letter from god (the professor who has cause the huge delay in my treatment). I'm to see him tomorrow to get the prescription. Suddenly I feel so much better.
17th September 2015
Ring the surgery at 0845 and get an appointment for 1630. I'll report later what happens. Saw Camille, my doctor. He read me the leter from god. I have to take some tablets starting with 1/2 a tablet once a week for two weeks, then 2 x 1/2 a tablet twice a week for two weeks, then 3 x 1/2 a tablet thre times a week for 2 weeks and, fianally 4 x 1/2 a tablet 4 times a week. On the way to the doctor I went passed at tractor which had a huge trailer on the back full of grain. Only problem was the idiot had come out the filed so fast he's turned the trailer over. He was shouting a swearing at it as if it was the trailers fault. On the way back he had disconnected the tractor but the trailer was still on its side.
18th September 2015
Went to the chemist at 1030 to collect the pills. There are 8 tiny pills im a bottle which is ina box. 30% cost was 11.37€ so they are nearly 5€ each pill or 2.50€ a half. I have 8 whole tablets (before yo start removing socks to count toes, I'm two short of what I need). I start tonight. I may have side affects which I must report back with.At that price they better work.
In the afternoon I took the TC's Forever book to the bodyshop using Camille's Porsche. I don't like this car, It feels "odd". It got a bit dirty when I went passed a filed they were cutting and had mud all over the road.
19th September 2015
No side affects so that seems good. Next pill is next Friday. Went over to the garage. Fitted 3 brackets to the rear brake pipes which run along the axle. Fitted the handbrake ends to the chassis. Painted the grill red. Next item will be to clean the inside of the rad with phosphour and rebuild it and refit it the the chassis. The bodyshop will need it in place to fit the bonnet. I got an email from a supplier informing me a parcel has been sent. I tried the tracking number but it said it was wrong. I replied to the email asking what was coming. This supplier had rang on Thursday to tell me the parts wouldn't be in until next week.
20th September 2015
Early start, about 0830. Got all the radiator parts together and mixed the last of the phosphate with hot water. Used pieces of bin liner and elastic bands to seal the bottom hose pipe, cut the remaining top hose off aftrer breaking the rusty hose clip and sealed that with bin liner and elastic bands. Then put the rad cap on and covered that with bin liner, to protect it from getting scratched. \remove cap and fill rad with the phosphate. The stuff is running out the radiator about 7/8ths down. There is a series of holes in the core. I may be able to solder them myself but if not the bodyshop should know a rad repair shop. Rolled the rad around the field for a while than drained and flushed with the hose. Painted the rad and the new lower mounting bracket. When I opened the paint I poured some into a plastic dish, problem was the dish had a hole in it and the paint ran over the bubble wrap which the chrome shell was resting on. I then moved the shell to the floor so I could use the bench. You've guessed it, the newly painted slats got black paint over them! I wiped most off and had enough paint left to spray one more coat. I will have to go to the body shop tomorrow as I think the rad fixings are there with the other body fixings.
The handbrake ferrule fitted yesterday
Radiator, duly painted shiny black.
The lower mounting bracket, having been painted..... shiny black.
The inside of the radiator shell. The slats are not fixed yet, the nuts are probably at the bodyshop.
The outside showing the shiny black paint marks on the slats. This has been painted again, with the last of the, not so shiny, red....
..... like this. Kindly note the false nose with the MG badge. The badge has a brown spec on the cream background. I won't bother sending it back, it's a tiny spec, but noticeable. Probably find the whole batch are the same.
The top of the radiator.
21st September 2015
I was at the physio for 0915, at the car wash for 1015 and got to the bodyshop for 1100. I had the radiator and shell with me and soon found the rad fixings. I fixed the cross bar, the lower bracket and the shell together and left. I'm going back on Thursday to have a new exhaust fitted to the Mini. It's easier for them to do on a ramp than for me to crawl under the car. Didn't do anything in the afternoon
22nd September 2015
Didn't sleep all night but fell asleep at 0800. Awoke at 1200, came down and had lunch. Then went back to sleep on the couch.
23rd September 2015
Went to the workshop at 0900. Was cleaning the bonnet catches in the sand blast cabinet and then tried on the wire wheel. The part with the spring on got caught in the brush, took my fingers with it and has badly cut 3 fingers. My nurse has bandaged them but one really hurts so I've given up on that job and come inside.
The bonnet catches. The shiny one has my blood on it!
The handbrake cable arrived after lunch. So, I retired to the workshop and tried to fit it. I struggled for an hour. As I got one part of the shoe on the other fell off. It didn't help that I can only use one hand. When Lynne came back from shopping i asked for her help and managed to get the shoes on. However the drum would not go on as the shoes would not close up. I took the N/S drum off and could see that O/S cable wasn't fully retracting. I used a crow bar to lever the expander back and then the drum went on, well almost. I had to use the hub nuts to draw it fully on and now the wheel will not turn. I'll return to this on Friday. Tomorrow I'm getring a new exhaust on the Mini.
Good, the N/S fully retracted.
Bad, the cable isn't fully retracted on the O/S.
24th September 2015
Bodyshop for 0830 and they fitted a new exhaust to the Mini. Everything was rusted on so some bolts had to be cut off. The two silent bloc mountings were broiken and they didn't get new mountings. They will order them and I'll have to go back to get them fitted.
The new system.
The old one before removal.
A broken silent bloc mounting.
The outer skin peeling away.
It wasn't as bad as it looks as the inner skin was intact, but only just.
I had a word with Jean-Luc the owner. He can't give me an estimate on cost for the MG and reckons it won't be ready until January. Maybe.
Eventually went to the hospital for my finger. Got told off as they cannot stitch after 6 hours. So she stuck a red hot needle through my finger nail to relieve the pressure (the nail s badly bruised), X-ray'd it (no fracture) and dressed it taping the two fingers together. In short, a bruised and cut finger, no problem. The red hot needle hurt, Lynne says I left the bed, she could see daylight between me and the bed.
25th September 2015
Not doing much today. I sorted out all the old bits on the blanket and made space for all the new parts. Yesterday I couldn't find two of the four bonnet handles. I had moved all the parts to one end of the box they were in and then moved them one at a tine to the other end. No handles. Today, I found them as soon as I started to move stuff out of the box onto the blanket. I then had a big clear up outside. All the wet rotting cardboard is on top of the Fiat, along with a large wasps nest. The bags of rubbish are now stored in the back of the Land Rover. I thought I'd take a picture of the almost finished dash. Only the new chrome surround to be screwed and nailed on.
Now you know why I call the Fiat a rubbish car.
And this is the back of the Land Rover.
All the new and re-chromed parts laid out. I may spend less time looking for things now, although I woiuldn't put money on it.
26th September 2015
No work on the car today. We have guests who arrived at 1200. I then slept most of the afternoon. I also slept for most of the night. Lynne says I'm getting better since starting the pills, I'm not too sure but the headache has gone.
27th September 2015
Another day with no progress on the car. Except that I fitted the chrome surrounds to the dash. I've also screwed the grab handle to the dash. I think this may be held on by the dashboard screws but as the holes weren't large enough I used new screws to screw it to the dash.
The completed dash with chrome surround and grab handle.
28th September 2015
Physio at 0930 then off to Brico for a new handle for the front door. Bought a packet of nice shiny new cup washers and now the dash looks even better with shiny screws and shiny cup washers. In the afternoon I refitted the door to the telescope cupboard and stood it upright. Had to tie a rope to the roof and pull it upright with the Land Rover. Even then our guest and I had to partly lift to stop it from being dragged along. Tomorrow I'll get the telescope back inside. No work tomorrow as Phil and Lisa will be here and we're having a party in the evening.
29th September 2015
Phil and Lisa came over so we spent the day chatting and Phil and I got the telescope back in position. Then, in the evening, we all went to the Creveche D'or restaurant in Pouance for John's bithday party. John is the chap I bought the TC from and it was his 80th birthday. He and his wife June are a lovely couple and we had a really good night. I invited Lisa a Phil, 2 French couples and Renaud who owns a TC. We all had a really good meal and a lot of French/English chat all topped off with a really nice birthday cake and a glass of Champagne. Sorry, no pictures, but Lisa took one of the cak so, when she send it to me I'll put it on here.
30th September 2015
We went to the bodyshop to take pictures of the tub for a TABC member. Then to the chap who has the vehicle restoration stuff for a half litre of phospate (to do that rad again when I've solderd the leaking core) and some oil gallery cleaning brushes. We then spent some money in a clothes shop on jeans and tops for the winter. At 15€ a pair of jeans it would be silly not to buy some. A chinese meal in Atoll and then off the the prefecture to get a French registration for the Land Rover..............
BUGGER, BUGGER, Bugger, bugger....Feel better now, they only process Carte Gris (French registrations) in the mornings, although I was told they do them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons by the Sous Prefecture at Segre. Mind you I'm not surprised it was wrong as she also gave me the wrong forms. We'll go back next Wednesday morning and then to Nantes to get a blanket and other bits from Ikea.
On the way home we stopped at Lac de Maine. It was a lovely day with very bright sunshine, warm and breezy without being hot . We sat on a bench by the side of the lake watching the surfers flying along in the wind and chatting away for two hours. Great, made me feel really good.
I think my fingers healed enough to try and finish the chassis. I have the rear brake to sort out, fit two shock absorber links and remove the track rod, clean the paint off the threads and refit the rod and ends so I can adjust it to be about right (by eye). I hope to have these three simple jobs done by Sunday night. Should take a couple of hours but I bet they take much longer than that. We'll see. We're at a horse race meeting On Monday so I plan to borrow the bodyshop breakdown truck the get the chassis to them on Tuesday. I can then get on with the engine and gearbox.
On of the members of the TABC email group noticed that in a moments stupidity I'd screwed the grab handle to the dash with two new screws instead of using the dash fixing screws. I now had two very small holes in the vinyl. So, I made twi tiny patches of vinyl and fitted them under the handles. Can you see them?
I think it looks OK, it just about covers this old mans stupidity! OK, Dirk? Do you like my repro University dealer badge. On Ebay for a few quid. The original was from Vine & Lee, Portslade, Sussex. It's lost all it's colour and is very corroded. The new one looks much beter. When I started at UM in 1961, I had to fit these badges when I did a PDI on the Farina Magnette and MGA's, the then current models. They were not fitted to Austin or Morris cars they sold, only MG's.
This is a cropped section of the original picture of the 27th. You can just see the original dash screws, which are almost black (new shiny ones now fitted) and the handle fitted below the top dash screw and above the bottom screw. Sad old men, eh!
Move along to October now.......
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