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The French Blatting Company
DAILY BLOG AT ROYSTON
It's 0130 in the morning. I went to bed at 2130 last night and fell asleep as my head hit the pillow. I awoke at 0130 which is five hours sleep. I've looked up the fault codes for our Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, booked a collection of the old cooker and all the cardboard by Barnlsey Council and finished the blog. I'm now going upstairs to get the Roomba charged and fix up all the toothbruses and shavers that need charging. I'll update the rest of the day tonight.
I did more bits and pieces in the morning (from 0130!). After lunch the kids came round. Kerry and Paul worked like machines in the garden. All the boxes are packed into 3 or 4 large boxes, Paul cut down a large bush thing that is growing between us and next door and they turned over and removed all the stones and rocks from a bald patch of earth in front of the kitchen door. Simon organised someone to collect all the boxes of cardboard and all the garden waste. Isn't it good to have such great kids.
At 0300 I orderd a twin coffee table kit from Argos. Went to Wakefield and collected it. Built the small one and that's got the printer on it, the other is for upstairs.
We had a Thai takeaway and then they left. We tidied up and then settled down to a game of cards. It's now 10 days without a TV! At 0930 I went to bed and slept until 0130.
THE FURNITURE DID NOT ARRIVE. I will be ringing them at 0800.
Down at 0130 and sorted out all the calls I have to make today. Then sorted out all the tools that have "crept" into the house and returned them to the workshop. It's 0515 now and I'm typing this up and then will go upstairs to fix the Roomba (robot vac cleaner). I'll clean the battery contacts and hope that does it. I have the other table to build. This one's for all the bathroom stuff that needs charging.
At 0800 started making calls. Got the removal people at 0900 and got the usual story about having to talk to the manager. I rang every half hour and eventually at 1300 they afmitted the reason they were holding my stuff was because the agent hadn't paid them. I exploded and hung up. When I cooled down I rang them back and offered to pay their bill myself as long as they got my stuff here by Wednesday. They said the the agent had promised they would be paid by tonight and they would pencil the return for Wednesday. If I could ring them in the morning they would let me know if they had been paid and if not I could pay them. Just rung and they have been paid.
Spent all morning trying to get people to talk to, mainly about getting estimates for repair the damage to the leather and wood furniture and getting a sleep apnoea machine. TV man came and made me look stupid. That's not difficult because I am stupid. He found the menu on our TV which turns the DTV option on to the source button. We could have been watching TV all week with Freeview if I had known.
After lunch I ordered 2 bins for the bathrooms from Argos and went into Barnsley to collect. Only problem is I forgot to take the reciept and the chap there couldn't find it on his system. I'll go back tomorrow with the receipt. WE then took a drive into Wakefiled to locate the shopping centre. Found it but came straight home because Lynne was feeling tired.
I've now been awake since 0130 this morning and I'm begining to fall asl......
I must tell the tale of Plusnet, the new horror movie at a house near you!
I was advised by my son to go with Plusnet because he knows the MD who's son goes to the same school as my grandson. In May I ring them to ask if my new UK postcode has a good signal. "Yes, of course, Sir". I duly order two sim cards. I also order fibre internet. I then get an email informing me there's a fault on the line and Open Reach need access to the house. Knowing something about telecoms and having the fault described I suggested the fault was in the cabinet not the house. "They say it's in the house". The problem with this is Plusnet cannot order the fibre until the line works. So, ordering the line 3 weeks in advance so we had a service when we arrived was all for nought. The earliest the Open Reach engineer can get to us is Friday 30th, a day after we move in. He duly turns up and checks the house and declares there is no fault. I gently suggest he should check the cabinet. He goes away and returns twenty minutes later to announce it's fixed, the fault was in the cabinet. Plusnet inform us service will commence next Wednesday. I have so may other problems to deal with that the mobile phones are on the back burner. The internet come on at 1700 on Wednesday. I have to ring Plusnet as I cannot get connected. I wait half an hour for an answer and the problem is resolved in a minute and we have internet. I spend until midnight catching up. I get up at 0200 (sleep apnoea with no machine!) and continue to catch up. At 0800 the internet drops out. I ring Plusnet and wait half hour for an answer. They diagnose a faulty router and get another sent out. It arrives next morning and I connect it and get back on-line. I have had reason to ring Plusnet several times over the last week and each time it's a half hour wait.
On Friday 7th I order two sim cards from Vodafone and ring Plusnet (another half hour wait) for PAC's (A PAC is the code to port the phone number to another provider).The chap I speak to says there's a problem and he can't do it at the moment but he will in twenty minutes and send the codes by email and SMS. You guessed it, they didn't arrive. Another half hour wait and get through to a chap who is trying to talk me into staying with Plusnet. In the end I have to be a bit short with him... "your phones do not work as promised, give me the PAC's and let me get on with my life". I get the PAC's. I then logon to my bank and cancel the two direct debits for the two sim cards. This morning we get a text telling us our service is suspended because I've cancelled the DD's. I ring and after the half hour wait ask the chap to look up the history. He reads it and I say to him that he should see from that that we'll be off the system by the end of the week and it's prepaid until 20th. He agrees but the system says it must have a DD in place. I re-open the DD (and will cancel it as soon as we are on Vodafone). He promises the phones will be working within 2 hours. 4 Hours later and they are still not working. After the obligatory half hour wait I'm told they have "issues" and it may be longer but will come on by the morning. Now to add insult to a lot of injury, during one of these waits to speak to someone an email arrives telling my prepayment for the landline is running low and needs topping up. Another half hour wait to do this and I explain that the reason it's running low is because we are having to use the landline because there frigging mobiles don't work. At some time during this saga I had reason to ring them about the mobiles (it was something from them but I can't remember now what it was). I eventually get through and am asked various security questions. I answer and am told I've failed the questions and he cannot help me. I ask what's wrong so I can deal with it and am told he's not allowed to tell em. I ask to speak to a supervisor and am told he can't put me through until the security questions are answered correctly. I hang up in a temper, well wouldn't you. I try again, remember it's an half hour wait each time. Same thing, they will not assist in establishing what's wrong. At this point a light bulb come on.... I ring again, another wait, this time the girl has two brain cells and is helpful. I explain that when I ordered the cards I asked for my new address to be registrered but the cards sent to my daughtesr address, was my address on their file my daughters.... yes it was. The nice lady changed the address and dealt with whatever the query was. Today when I was getting the DD back on I had to do one phone at a time. The security questions were taken and include the last three digits of my bank account and the last two of the sort code. Having dealt with the first phone we then have to go through the security checks again, it's difficult to understand but clearly their rules are rules and they are not allowed to deviate. We get to the security question about the last three digits of the account and last two of the sort code and I just couldn't contain myself any longer "You've just taken the account number and sort code for the DD, why do you want it again" "Oh, yes, sorry". DD duly set up I'm told the phone service will be back on in two hours, that was over five and a half hours ago and still no phone.
I'm aware that this lacks something.... pictures. To be absolutely truthful, I haven't had time to take pictures. Anyway these are a few that I did take.
The last guests at La Foie. The chap on the left is Martin. On the right is Stephen who has a nice MGB. When Ian was not well and I was on my own loading the workshop onto the lorry Martin stepped forward to help. I told him he was on holiday and didn't have to but he insisted. Martin, you're a star and I owe you a pint or six.
OK, the car. Martin has owned the green TC for over 50 years. He sometimes fits a supercharger and at other times runs on carbs. He and his wife, Leslie, go everywhere in it.
Nose to nose.
Stephen buried in his while the TC's get to know each other better.
The stuff from my workshop crudely unloaded by myself, Lyne and Jo.
The most difficult thing to get off was the lathe. Not because of the weight but because it's so top heavy at one end with the chuch and mill. Trick is not to let it twist over on the sling when moving it on the crane.
Our very good friend Joel and Claude. When we moved to La Foie in DEcember 2005 we arrived on a Friday night but our stuff didn't arrive until the following Wednesday. We ate at their restaraunt for 6 nights and, over the years became very good friends. They are planning to visit us next year.
Ian, Jo, young Sam myself and Lynne at our last meal at Creveche D'Or, Joel and Cl;audes place.
Finally, the height of luxury, the imperial toilet roll.
Plan is to go to Argos and get the two waste bins for the bathrooms and then get all the stuff out the sheds and try and repack them in order. I have to remove a shelving unit from inside the workshop, fit two legs and refit it in the car port/garage. This will give me valuable space for oils etc and free up space in the sheds. This afternoon a man is coming to fix the electric door on the car port garage door.
I'll update the progress later.
Oh well plans don't always work. It's been raining all day so couldn't work on the sheds in tha garden. Postman came an delivered the new sim cards from Vodafone, only it wasn't cards it was only one. To save a lot of typing I'll cut and paste my Facebook posting.
Someone tell me I'm missing something here.
I can go onto Vodafone web site and purchase a £58 pm top of the range phone without a problem.
Their system doesn't allow one person to purchase two sim cards-understood
So, I order one for me and complete the DD mandate-£17 pm
I then order one in my wifes name using the same bank for the DD
Unbeknown to me the second order is rejected because my wife has no credit rating (all our purchases are done in my name) - understood.
When only one SIM card arrives in the post I ring and am told my wifes was rejected because of no credit rating. I ask the chap to speak to someone to understand that the same bank is being used therefore, if they were happy with my credit rating and the same bank mandate si being used it must be OK.
OH no, rules is rules and I must now use a payg for 3 months before they'll switch it to the contract. This will cost extra.
What an I missing......
So, an hour or so trying to sort this out and ended up going out to buy a payg sim card.
I get a call from the secretary of the sleep apnoea doctor telling me he hasn't got the results from Angers Hospital which my doctor was supposed to have sent him. I'm now getting really stupid from lack of sleep, only one hour last night. I tell Brenda I'll go to the surgery and get them to email them right away. I go and they seem to have a problem. No one knows how to send emails (yes, that's what they said), and they can't find the charts. At this point I realised that I have copies so I go home, scan them in and email them. I should get an answer tomorrow.
After lunch I start sorting out all my car magazines. I have copies of Classic & Sports Cars from 1996 to date and Classic Cars from 1998 to 2011. Then there's all the club mags, Low Flying (Lotus & Club) from 1994 to 2010. Enjoying MG, Safety Fast, some Westfield World and some calendars. Next job is to sort them into months establish which months are missing and get them on Ebay to get rid, we don't have room for them now. If any reader wants any, speak up before they go up for sale.
The garage door man came at about 1630 and did a software reset on the controller and refitted a wheel into the guide, £105. Never mind I know how to do it next time. At 1700 I went to bed and slept until 1900. Had dinner, well didn't as I just couldn't eat, searched the web for new lounge furniture because our leather suite is too big for the room.
I've had a serious enquiry about the sale of La Foie, the chap has been and seen and says it's perfect for what he wants, to grow seaweed! He's bringing his wife and kiddie on Monday and if they say yes he's going to the Notaire to start the process. He's asked me to sign the form to get permission to put up his greenhouses. Here's hoping.
Awoke at 0100 and came down, made a cup of tea and sorted out Lynne's room. I had to drag a half Billy bookcase from the lounge into her room and put all her boks away.I tides the whole thing up, placed the furniture where it should be and it looked OK. When she came down I told her the fairies had paid a visit in the night. Another cup of tea and I started on my room by putting all the books away.Lynne came down at 0800 and was pleased her room was done. At 0830 I ordered two shelving units fro Argos and went round to collect them. I built them and cleared a space for them in the car port by the garage door. I then started bring oils and tins of paint from the shed onto the shelving unit. I undid all the screws of the home-made shelves in the garage but it will breaking up to get out, I can do that later. At 1200 the removal men turned up with the rest of our stuff. We got them to take it into the rooms it belonged. So far there are broken windows in both lounge cabinets, more pictures with broken glass but, by far the worst damage is a broken arm on a four branch candelabra which our daughter had bought us. Lynne was in tears and all I could say was we can buy another. We spent the rest of the day opening boxes and putting stuff away. I think this past two weeks have probable been the worst in our lives. We have the final saga of Plusnet to deal with yet.
At about 1600 I get an email from Plusnet informing me the landline is suspended due to the pre-payment running out. This time it's gone over so thay are charging £5.76 admin fee. Last straw! I dial into their web site and put £10 on the account with a credit card.
Let me explain. We have two sim cards with unlimited phone and texts. However, having been assured I would have a good signal, they have zero signal and we can't use them. For this reason we have had to use the landline and pay over £76 in call charges. I get online and start a chat session with the broadband people. I explain I'm furious that I've had to pay £76 solely because their sim cards didn't work (we've now moved to Vodafone and the phone now work fine). He says it's not a matter for him and transfers me to mobiles. I type the whole thing again. The first response was a gem "I don't see why you have a problem, broadband doesn't have a signal" At this point I got heavy and told him to read it and understand that his company was a few seconds away from losing a customer and being sued. At this point he woke up and saw the point I was making. He credited the £10 I'd just paid, I said thank you and logged off. I will email the CEO of Plusnet and ask for a full refund I would issue a county court summons for the full amount and we'd let the judge decide.
The pub we found last Friday night has a pub quiz night on Wednesday. I thought we both needed to get out and asked Lynne to get ready. She didn't want to go but I insisted. We got there ordered food and ate and I had a pint or thre of Timothy Taylors. I was a bit mystified why there was only a handfull of people in on quiz night. The people at teh next table explained the landlady and landlord were fairly new and she had upset the regulars who had decamped to another pub. Lynne wanted to go home, I had been up for 22 hours at this point and was feeling very tired. However I insisted we do the quiz. They were due to leave next week so this would be their final quiz. They had something called "open the box". You buy a raffle ticket and, if it's drawn you have to select one of seven keys from a cloth bag. If it opens the cash box the contents are yours. This week, their last, they were going to keep playing until the contents were won. Oh, the contents amounted to £258! First ticket pulls the wrong key. I am the second ticket drawn and, you've guessed it, I pull the correct key. Maybe our luck is changing and this is the turning point. I buy everyone a drink and give £50 to the local Hospice. Home and to bed. Awake at 0345.
This morning I finish putting the extra three boxes of books away. I've lost two half sized bookcase to Lynne so this is going to be tight. I do get them all in but about half dozed are laid on top of upright books.Lynne get up at 0630 and we have breakfast. I fix up more table lamps but the one I bought the new lamp holder for can't be fixed because the new holder has a larger thread than the lamp. I look up a lighting shop in Barnsley and note where it is. At 0915 I go to the optician and am delighted to be met by a fifty something man and not a computerised machine in the place. He does a thorougfh eye test and refers me to the hospital for further attention to the left eye which hasn't been repaired by the course of injections (in the eye!) I had in France. The problem is the rear lenses are distorted by sugar from my diabetes. The right eye is now OK but the left is like looking through the bottom of a beer glass. I choos a new set of frames. They are small enough to enable the goggles I wear when driving the Caterham to fit over them. From the opticians I go to Argos and collect a new laundry basket for Lynne and then onto the lighting shop and get a new, brass (not plastic) bulb holder for the table lamp. I get back and go to bed for two hours. After lunch I fix the lamp, fit the keyboard tray to the desk (tray and coffee table have been delivered whilst I was out).
During the night I wrote a long email to the CEO of Plusnet. I got a quick answer from one of his high leval complaint staff offering apologies and offering £76 refund. I siad thank you very much, it was so nice for someone to say sorry and could he pay the refund back into my bank. They are not yet aware that I've switched to Vodafone for house phone and broadband.
I will now assemble the coffe table but after I download the pictures I've taken and put them on the blog.
Having paid £100 for a company to remove the last cardboard city, we're back where we started. I'll get them flat and take to the tip, that's free!
The stuff I've taken out of the shed in order to get the oils, polish and tins of paint on the new shelves. When I've done that I'll try and get the stuff outside on the shelves in the shed.
A pretty full bookcase.
And a pretty full window ledge. I've still to find space for my collection of 1970's SLR cameras.
For those who followed my problems with Plusnet this is the correspondance.
Me to CEO:
I cannot tell you the whole sorry story of the service, or rather lack of it, I’ve received from your company as it would run into several pages.
We moved from France back to the UK on May 29th. In order that we had UK mobiles and internet I rang your sales team on 3rd May and asked 1) do you have a good signal at our new postcode and 2) how much notice is required for fibre broadband to be installed. I was told “Of course, Sir” for the signal and 10 days for the fibre order. I ordered 2 SIM cards next day and requested they be registered at our new address and posted to my daughter who could bring them to us at the end of May. About the middle of May I received an email from the support team informing me that there was a fault on the line and Open Reach had been to the house but couldn’t gain entry. I rang back and explained we hadn’t moved in yet. The support chap explained the nature of the fault and I suggested it sounded more like a fault in the cabinet than the house but all he could say was that OR said it was in the house. I made arrangements for my daughter to be at the house on Monday 20th to let the OR engineer in. Then I get an email informing me that OR had cancelled this appointment and it would now be on Friday 30th. All very well except you couldn’t order the broadband connection until the line was working and it would be 10 days for fibre. After several calls a young lady suggested we change the order to ADSL, which would take 3 days and upgrade to fibre later. I accepted this. The engineer arrived on Friday 30th, checked the house and couldn’t find a fault. I suggested he check the cabinet so he wandered off and returned 20 minutes later saying he’d fixed it – the fault was in the cabinet. On the following Wednesday the broadband came on at 1700. I worked until midnight and resumed at 0200 catching up on the hundreds of unanswered emails etc. At 0800 next morning the service stopped and a faulty router was diagnosed. A new one was dispatched and arrived next morning. All worked well.
When we changed the SIM cards in our mobile phones we found that we had no signal at all and sometimes one bar but people I called couldn’t hear me properly due to the weak or non-existent signal. At the time I had other issues to deal with so put this problem on hold. We used the landline for all our calls. Whilst waiting the apparently obligatory half hour for your support team to answer the phone I receive an email informing me my pre-payment is running low and I should top it up by logging onto your site and paying with a credit card. You have a Direct Debit set up for payments. My business raises DD’s for our customers payments. May I suggest you add an option to the order form with regard the top up amount, send an email advising of the DD about to be taken and raise a DD for the top up. This can all be done automatically.
I felt a bit put out by this. We were paying money to use a telephone because our unlimited use sim cards didn’t work. At this point I arranged to move the numbers to Vodaphone, as the neighbours informed me they had a good signal with them. I raised the order on their system, requested PAC’s and cancelled the DD. This takes well over an hour because the first call was barred because I’d got one of the security questions wrong. I asked which so I could attempt to correct the error only to be told he couldn’t do that. I asked to speak to a supervisor but was told I couldn’t until I’d passed security. Your operator then cuts me off. I ring again, another half hour wait and the same thing occurs, only this time more politely. I then realise what may have happened, another half hour wait and a sensible young lady takes the call. I explain the situation and ask her to check if the registered address is my daughters. It is, and security passed she changes the address to mine. Whilst all this is going on I get an email informing me that the service is suspended due to the cancellation of the DD’s. After another half hour wait I establish that the SIM cards are paid to the 20th so the service shouldn’t be suspended, but rules are rules so we re-instate the DD’s. I am now on the Vodafone network.
Yesterday was the final straw. I receive an email telling me I’ve exceeded the pre-payment limit on the landline. I will be charged an administration charge for going over.
Can we make this clear. I’ve spent money and had my phone service suspended twice and been charged for using the pre-payment money solely because the mobile service you sold me as having a good signal didn’t work at all.
I log on to the chat line, as I do not have time to be on hold for half hour. It’s not the money, but principle. I speak to Broadband and explain the situation and request the money spent on using a service because the sim cards didn’t work should be refunded. He explained I needed to talk to the mobile department and duly transferred me. I get a chap who asks me what the problem is but he just cannot understand and tried to transfer me back to broadband. I get a bit “heavy” with him and he agrees to “listen” to the problem. His answer is priceless…. “you do not have a signal with broadband, so what’s the problem”. At this point my patience is exhausted and I get really irate and eventually make him understand. He agrees to refund the £10 I’d just topped up with.
I have spent many hours talking to your staff sorting out the many problems I’ve had with your company. I would consider a refund of all the money I’ve spent using the landline and the sim cards because you failed to deliver a working service as promised would be the least you could do. I have been in business over 45 years and have never experienced such poor service from any supplier.
Should I not get compensation I will raise a county court claim and we’ll let the judge decide.
Sorry to be so long winded but the above is only part of the problems I’ve had with your organization.
And this is the repsonse:
Hi Mr Verona,
Thank you very much for your continued patience and for your lovely comments.
I have passed these to my manager to see if this is something which can be put in place. *fingers crossed*
As confirmed in your last email, you are happy to close this complaint down as the matter is now resolved.
I appreciate your understanding of the issues and explanations of why things went wrong. I am also pleased to hear that you accept the offer of a refund of £71.23 as a full and final resolution to your complaint.
This has been split in to two payments as I cannot refund more than what you have paid, so I have split this over two invoices. I have refunded £10.00 back to the card ending 9909 and I have refunded £61.23 back to your bank that you pay your direct debit with.
For any refunds, please allow 14 days for the money to appear in your account if you pay by Direct Debit or 5 working days if you pay by card.
For discounts which have agreed this will commence from your next invoice date and will continue for the agreed duration.
I am very pleased to hear that the matter is now closed and I am now closing this ticket in regards to the complaint.
Please do not hesitate to get back in touch with us either by Webchat or by going to our Ask a Question page if you require further assistance and don't forget that you can get the answer to most questions by visiting our Online Support Pages.
You can log into your account by visiting your Member Centre and contact us online from there. Don't want to wait on hold when you call, check our Call Waiting Times
Customer Advocate Advisor
I forgot to mention yesterday my visit to the optician. Royston has a very traditional optician. A 50 something man with no fancy equipment operated by nice young ladies. He did a thorough eye test, set up an appointment for me to visit the hospital for more injections in my left eye and helped me choose glasses. I chose the narrowest he had so my goggles fit over them when in the Caterham
Two hours sleep meant I was downstairs at 0200 and sorted out Lynne's room. When she got up I told her the fairies had been during the night. As it was raining we decided to go to Manchester to look at new furniture, our's is just too big for the room. We use the sat-nav to find the place in Salford but the signs on the building are not "The Old English Furniture Company". Never mind we follow the sign to the upstairs showroom and, yes, we are in the right place. I comment on the fact there's no sign with the web site name on it and the answer is that everyone says that, the Old English.... is owned bt the name on the building.
We choose the furniture and the colour and have to leave the details as there's no salesmen in on Saturday. They will ring me Monday morning.
We then set off to the Lowry Centre as there's an Italian restaurant there. We get there and park on level 1. There's a sign that says the shops are on level 3. We walk up the stairs to level 3 and come out into the car park. There's no signs so we walk to the right, looking for a sign to the shops. I then see people going into a door so walk over and it's the entrance to the shopping centre. Inside there's a board that tells me what's on this floor but no direction arrows. I then spy a small map on the wall and work out where I am (no "you are here" arrow) and we make our way to the food hall. It's just all the usual rubbish quick food outlets. We about turn and make our way down to the next level, but, after walking from one end to the other, no Italian resto. Down another level and then see the restaurant. Nice meal and a couple of Italian beers. We pay and leave to find the car park. I find the small map on the wall and it says the car park is off the food hall. We reurn to the food hall and look around.... no sign for "car park" but I see a door in the corner. Through the door is a car park but it's not the same one we came in. We go down to level 1 in case that's it but it isn't. we return to the food hall and then make our way back to the ground level to ask at the reception desk ou side the Italian.
The conversation goes like this.
me "are there two car parks here?"
receptionist "No sir, only one"
me "Oh, better call the police then because mine and all the other cars have been stolen"
receptionist "You went into the wrong car park, sir" (how can I do that if there's only one car park!)
We follow his directions and end up back on level 3 where we came in. There are no signs to the car park door but I remember and we find our way into the car park. We start to walk towards where we think the stairs are to get to level 1. A young couple ask us where the shops are and we point them to the unsigned door. We get down and get in the car. Lynne is driving and tries to find her way out.... you guessed it, there are no "exit" signs. We follow another car and make our way out and home.
This morning I'm awake at 0130 so get up and start hanging pictures in the lounge. I need to do this to clear the floor space so I can spin the furniture through 90 degrees.
I'm gently tapping the steel pins into the wall to fit the picture hooks. At 0230 there's a banging on the floor. I run upstairs thinking there's something wrong only to be shouted at for making a noise for the past two hours. My only defence is that had I been told earlier that I was making so much noise to keep her awake, I would have stopped. With only three more pins to knock in I say I'll be finished in ten minutes and continue. Being in a rush I step on the foot stall on its very edge, it tilts over and grazes and bruises my left leg. Takes 3 hours to stop bleeding so I spend the rest of the night downstairs. In the morning Lynne liked the way the lounge looks now it's clear so it was all worthwhile.
Not much work now as our friends, Barry and Maria are coming round to see the new house. They arrive and we have lunch and a good natter. In the afternoon Tanya and Paul pop round so we just sit around talking. They leave, we have dinner and then sit down to watch some TV. I go to bed at 2230.
I'm still awake at 0030 so get up and come down. Spend an hour filling in the DVLA form to get the Honda back on UK plates and then settle down in Lynne's room. At 0630 I go back to bed and get an hours sleep.
Collect my new glasses at 0900, they're much better. We then spend the next few hours sorting out the shed and flattening the carboard boxes. At 1415 we go to Ponterfract hospital. We eventually find it but not many signs and the sat-nav takes us the long way to it. I and four others get instructions on how to wear the monitor which is stats monitor with a heart rate monitor. We must wear it for five hours. |I explain I only get tw o hours sleep and she says it's OK, she know about my case and two hours will probably be enough. We come home and I'm typing this up. I plan to get the cardboard bundled up and outside this evening when it cools down. The council will collect it before the 31st of the month.
At the hospital we were given a monitor which is strapped to the wrist, and has a finger stall. It's a sats monitor with a heart rate monitor. We are supposed to wear it for a minimum of five hours. I informed the nurse that I only get two hours sleep at night. She knew about my caser and said that will probably be Ok as they already knew I had sleep apnoea. We got home and after writing up the above I went to sleep for two hours with the monitor on. I may get another two hours in the early hours so four out of five isn't bad.
I've moved most of teh cardboard outside ready for the council to collect. I'll finish the packing of the cardboard and wood for collection tomorrow and then work on setting up the workshop on Wednesday either side of visiting the doctors for a new patient health check.
Old age..... Hospital today, x-rays tomorrow, health check on Wednesday. No wonder we never get time to do anything.
Awake at 0130, I watched the BBC news until 0430 when I got dressed and took the monitor back to Pontefract. This time I ignore the sat-nav and follow a map. Get there in half the time. The only place I can find open at 0500 is A&E. They make a fuss about me leaving the zip bag there as they are not aware I'm so doing. In the end I just say "Let me leave it here and I'll ring the depertment to come and get it" They seemed to be happy at that so I escaped.
I got back, had some breakfast and set off for Bransley Hospital for a chest x-ray taking the x-rays from France. I get there at exactly 0925, the time of my appoinment, am called within a minute or so and asked to put a gown on. Then called in, again in a minute or so. I explain about being in France, having the lung infection and having the x-rays. They look at the x-rays and ask why I'm having more. "My doctor can't read French" I say with a smile. They have a chuckle take the x-ray and hand me back my x-rays and cd's of scans. I get changed and am walking out when the chap comes out and calls me back. He's had a word with his technical people and they can digitise the film and get the x-rays and scans on my record. I was back in the car park before 1000. Great service, and I was really impressed. Now that doesn't happen often.
I picked up a lawn mower on the way back. Paul (son-in-law) was a bit dissapointed we hadn't cut the grass after all his efforts cutting down out of control bushes.
I spent the time up to lunch getting all the boxes flat and out the front ready for the council to collect. After lunch I started on the garage and tidied up, fitted two shelves, removed the home-made shelf unit from the corner, broke it up and put the wood with the cardboard for collection. I, with Lynne's help, screwed three battens to the walls, one with a row of thirteen amp UK sockets for the lathe, grinder and jet wash and vacuum, and the other two inside the garage to hang things on.
I then turned my attention to the marked bonnet on the MG. I used the polishing mop with T-Cut but to no vail. I then tried with fine compound and it is getting better. I'll get some medium compound and try again tomorrow.
Three new lampshades arrived so I fitted them then the new hifi cabinet arrived so I fitted that. By 1800 I was really exhausted so I stopped ordered fish and chips and after that fell asleep in front of the TV.
Went to bed at 2230 and awoke at 0030. Went downstairs and spent twenty minutes dealing with emails etc, then settled down to watch TV. Fell asleep until 0500 so not bad. Went to Wickes at 0730 to get 11 rawbolts. Spent £98 and had to go back in to get the rawbolts! Got back and started to run the armoured cable from the socket in the garage to the socket I've put on the wall with a row of 13 amp sockets on a board screwed onto the wall. I need one for the lathe, grinding machine, jetwash and vacuum cleaner. At 1030 we went to the doctors for our new patient assessment. I posted some letters to France (no not French letters) and Lynne made an appointment at the hairdressers. We got back for lunch. Finished the wiring after lunch and then spent some time tidying the tools away. At 1630 I went, in the MG, to Halfords to get some rubbing compound to get the stain off the bonnet of the MG. I also got 2000 grade wet & dry and a new wire stripper, the one I have is useless.
I'm aware I heve been bereft of pictures for a while but I've made up for it today.
The following four pictures are the furniture we are selling as it won't fit in the room.
(sorry it's sideways-I'm too tired to turn it rounnd)
Lynne cutting the grass, this will make Paul and Kerry very happy after the work they did preparing it.
This and the next few pictures are the magazines that will on Ebay. After 19 years of saving them I have no room noe.... boo hoo
The garden after cutting. Lynne has spread Weed & Feed on it so it may get better.
The new hifi cabinet at my end of the lounge. What a come-down, I used to have a whole room!
The other side of "my end".
The pictures I put up during the miidle of the night.
The other side of the room. I do like pictures.
Lynne's room, she likes cushions.
The other side of Lynne's room
The following are the kitchen.
And, finally, the hall which is also the office. My domain so my pictures.
We went to a furniture manufacturer in Nottingham, chose new furniture. After lunch at a pub we went to see Lynne's sister and got home at 1715.
The latest saga with the Mini. I emailed the BMW dealer in Angers that if it wasn’t complete by end of this month I would have it brought back to the UK and expect them to pay the cost. Today I get an email making wild accusations about breaking their crankshaft pully puller, which I didn’t. The BMW puller has the holes drilled in the wrong place and they’ve been sent a bulletin to have them drilled in the right place by a machine shop. I took the block to them and they kept it 10 days and then said they couldn’t get it off. I asked if I could borrow their puller and drill the holes in the right place but they refused to lend it me. I bought one on Ebay for 19€ and it worked fine. They are now saying the engine has no compression and they do not want to repair it as they don’t trust my work. There was compression when I turned it over by hand to make sure the valves weren’t touching the pistons. Anyway, I’ve arranged for it to be picked up on 25th and taken to a chap I know in Camberley who will sort it out. They are BMW specialists. I’ve emailed tonight that the cost of transport id 692€ and I will instruct my lawyer in Segre to recover this cost. He won’t but it may just make them release it with no charge. Having had the car for 3 months and not touched it they are threatening to charge storage charges if it’s not removed by 28th. I’ve written to BMW France but they won’t do anything. I’ll ring the advocate (solicitor) tomorrow to see what he can do. However, in France they write a letter and get no response so say there’s nothing more they can do.
I'm having problems with the TV sattelite dish the local chap fitted on 16th June. He didn't do as I asked and run sattelite cables to the kitchen, Lynne's room and two to the lounge, but ran aerial cables, which were already there, to the kitchen and Lynne's room. Now I've got the power cable for the Humax STB I find no signal from the two cables from the new satellite dish. He's tried to tell me it may need to be reuned as it's a different satellite in France, which it isn't. I've run a complete satellite signal search and it has failed saying no signal detected. He's due here tomorrow afternoon.
Had a great day. It helped that I had 2 hours sleep, woke up and went dowqnstairs and then went back to bed and slept another 3 hours. I started by digging out the patch of earth outside the kitchen door ready for flagstones to be laid. Lynne helped as I had to dig for two minutes and rest for one. Having finished that we had lunch and spent an hour rubbing the bonnet of the MG with 2000 grade wet and dry. I got most of the marks out but it will need a bit more rubbing down. Then I got the SDS drill out to put the brackets for the awning on the wall above the kitchen door. I couldn't find a 10mm SDS masonory drill bit so went off th Wickes to get one. I also bought a new garden hose spray and connector. When I get back a chap who had answered the ad for our furniture was there with a largee van. They had given Lynne the money and were loading. They were Gordies and I like Gordies, never met a nasty person from Newcastle and I reckon they are the salt of the earth, great culture. We the spent best part of an hour looking at the cars before they went. I measured and drilled the holes for the awning brackets, hammered in the rawlbolts and bolted the brackets to the wall. Now it's time to get the compressor fixed up. I open the cupbourd, get my trusty red seat and start drilling through the garage wall for the mains lead to go through..... bugger! The drill's not long enough. Back to Wickes for a long bit. I get the hole through, take the drill inside and run the larger drill through from the inside. The cable goes through. I then set up the hole cutter and cut two holes in the door opposite the compressor cooling fan. I will drill some holes through the garage wall so there is air flow. I fit a plug on the cable, plug it into the compressor and switch it on, close the door and listen. It can be heard bu if I walk to the neighbours garden it's barely audible and I suspect it won't make a noise on the other side of the fence. At this point I get showered and dressed and we go out for an Indian at a restaurant in the village. It was very good, we'll be going back.
two brackets on the wall.
Pictures of the compressor later when I've got the airline through the wall.
This is a story of timing and a wiper motor. I organised a "Fish & chip run to Whitby", (rather a fancy word for suggesting some of us meet at Whitby for fish and chips). Being typical English weather on the day it was due to rain. Lynne wanted to go in the Honda, I, of course, wanted to go in the \MG. I hadn't driven it all summer due to being too busy with the move. I studied the Metrological Office online forecast all week. Our route from home to Whitby was via Pickering. The forecast showed the rain stopping at Royston between 0900-1000 and starting at Pickering at 1200 and at Whitby at 1300. We were to meet at a pub near Pickering at 1100 and leave for Whitby at 1115 and arrive at 1200. We would miss the rain. I convinced Lynne it would be OK. The rain stopped around 0900 but we had to wait for 0930 "just in case it starts again" So we set of half hour after I had planned. We then took a wrong turn between Wakefield and the M1 and ended up going through Leeds, up the M1/A1 to the A64 junction instead of joining the A64 at York. This must have added 20 minutes to our journey which was already half hour late. We got to Pickering at 1200, just in time for the rain. I pulled over and put the roof up. The other problem was the wiper motor switch wouldn't work. It is a bit temperamental and needs a "wiggle" to make contact, but today it just wouldn't go. So, Lynne had to work the wipers by turning the little handle on the motor by hand, all the way from Pickering to Whitby. As we approached the Park & Ride I got a text saying they were going into Whitby. We arrived three minutes later before they had got the bus. We all introduced ourselves and got the next bus. We got off the bus at the bus station and walked down to the side of the port. The party consisted of us, Duncan, Simon and Sue, Rob and his son-in-law, Darren. Duncan knew Whitby well so we took his advice and walked to a fish and chip restaurant just past the RNLI museum. We had a very nice fish and chip lunch at 1500. After lunch, we crossed to swing bridge and walked along the side streets looking in the shop windows. We went into a tea room and had afternoon tea and coffee. The weather was nice, cloudy with sunny spells but no rain. The Metro Office forecast was for it to be nice for the rest of the day. Six of us were booked into the Cross Butts restaurant at 1800 for an evening meal but having lunch at 1500 we decided to give it a miss and make our way home. We got back to the park and ride at 1700, took some pictures and all went our way. We popped into the restaurant which is opposite the park and ride and explained we wouldn't be coming in. I waited in the car whilst Lynne went inside and got called by a couple in a Merc also parked outside the doors. Turned out they had a TC and had read of the trip in the Octagon magazine. We chatted for a while and then we left. As we went across the North York Moors we hit a bump and the wipers started to work! I switched them off. We made good progress to Pickering, joined the A64 and soon got to York. As we turned off the A64 to go through Tadcaster it started to rain.... heavily. We pulled over and I erected the hood. The car hasn't had the side screens fitted yet but the hood kept most of the rain off, we only got wet when we went past puddles. The real problem was the wipers, my darling wife turned into a hero again and worked them by hand all the way home. We had a really great day, our first trip out since returning to the UK (from France) three weeks earlier. We met some really nice, friendly people who we were very privileged to meet. Thanks all for a really great day out.
The happy group in the fish and chip restaurant. We have eaten and some of us, had a pint.
Left to right, Duncan, Lynne (I'm taking the picture), Simon and Rob. Duncan has promised to bring his TC next time, rain or shine.
Didn't do much today, just sat around and rested. My daughter a her partner came round and after they left we went shopping. I showed Lynne where Wickes and Argos were and we then went into a huge ASDA. £138 later we went home. I'll not be asked to go shopping again. Lynne put the shopping away whilst I had a look at the bonnet on the MG. It's still showing the marks from the sheet that was burnt on to it. I'll have another go tomorrow.
After the usual two hours sleep I came down and did some work on the computer. At 0400 I went back to bed and slept until 0600. At 0830 I started work. I removed the plug from the cable going through the wall of the garage to the compressor and a long extension lead. I fed the extension lead through and put both plugs back on. I now have a six-way inside the compressor housing. I then drilled a hole for the airline and fed that through. After lunch I went to Wickes and bought a 5 metre four-way extension lead. I drilled through the side of the shed and through the breeze block side of the housing and fed the wire through. I now have power in the shed for the sand blast cabinet which has an internal light and the piller drill.
Next job was to clean the headlight covers on the Honda. On the way to Wickes I made an appointment for an MOT at 0900 on Wednesday. I used rubbing compound and the 9" polisher. They came clean in less than half hour. Now for the bonnet of the MG. I spent about half hour rubbing it down with 2000 grade wet and dry but I can still see the marks. Off to Halford for some 800, 1200 and more 2000 grade wet and dry along with Autoglym polish. It took a few minutes with the 800 grade to get the marks out and then I spent half hour polishing it. It's still dull and flat and I haven't the strength to polish any more so I'll take it to a local bodyshop for them to polish it tomorrow. By now it was 1800 ans I thought the last job will be to get the awning up onto the two brackets I screwed to the wall a few days ago. I tried to get one end on a wire clip I made from welding rod but I couldn't lift it that high on my own. I'll make a rope to tie it on and lift it tomorrow and then lift the other end into its bracket and then the tied on end into its.
Extension lead inside the compresor enclosure.
Airline going through the wall.....
.... and through the other side
Cable for the shed coming into the enclosure.
.... and going through into the shed
Inside the shed.
The left hand headlight cover after cleaning. The pile of "Rubbish" on the right is the cardboard awaiting collection by the council.
The right hand cover before cleaning.
Eight O'clock saw me setting of for a bodyshop on an industrial estate near us. With no sat-nav in the MG I used the original version... directions written on a piece of paper. I took the wrong turning left and had to ask someone. Found the estate and took twenty minuts finding the bodyshop, only I didn't. It was all locked up and no signs up so I made my way home. On the way I noticed a sign for a bodyshop so pulled in. I went in but no-one around so I knocked on the inner door. A young chap came out and explained he'd come in early to clean up and the boss would be here soon. He phoned him "there's a bloke here wants his bonnet polishing". A few minutes later a Mk 3 Cortina pulls up with the boss in it. He looks at the bonnet and asks me to bring it in. He sets to work with a proper polisher and real cutting paste. Then he gives it another rub down with 2000 wet & dry and polishes again. He finishes and now the damaged bonnet is brilliant, so much so I'll have to polish the rest of the car to match.
I get home and have a tidy-up in the garage, vaccum the brick dust off the floor and then get the wiper motor off the MG. I open it up, wash it in petrol and oil the bearing. I find a slave battery and connect the motor to the battery. It works and switches on and off when I press the contact. Refit it and it's just fine. It's now lunch time. After lunch I polish the rest of the car.
During the afternoon a friend of ours, Gavin called in on his way back from collecting glass bead to blast the outside wall of their new farmhouse. He had a cuppa, looked the house over, helped me put the awning up then went home. Problem with the awning is a) I've got it ninety degrees out and b) the sensor for the outside light is in the way. I'll sort this out after the flagstones are laid, tomorrow.
During the morning, whilst I was doing the wiper motor, Jewsons delivered the ten 900 x 600 flag stones for the patio. At about 1700 I move the cars out the way and start bringing them into the garden with my sack barrow. At 1800 they are all in and so am I. Not bad for a bloke with two fractured vertebrae and one and a half lungs...
Tonight I remembered that the transporter was picking up the Mini and I hadn't heard from him. I rang and he confirmed he had it and would deliver it to TGW in Camberley tomorrow. That was painless. I expected a huge bill before they would release it.
Ten very heavy flagstones ready to be laid.
Last year, during November, Lynne took up painting. I and a friend went for a 3 hour drive to Normandy to meet Alain, the MG Octagon Club representative for France.Whilst we were out Lynne painted this, her first ever effort.
In March of this year we came to the UK for 3 days to find a house. We chose the one we are living in now in Royston Barnsley. The wallpaper on the end wall of the kitchin is:
So, is this spookey or, my theory is that Lynne has seen this wallpaper before and painted her picture from a sub consious memory of it.
Apart from the spooky bit, I think it's a brilliant painting. My wife is so clever, wish I had her talents.
The best plans of mice and men... the weather was inclement, OK it was pissing down, so no flagstones laid. I got my MOT and collected a picture frame and glass shelf from Argos. I now have all the paper work to apply for a new registration number (probably get the original back). I now have to get the car insured. I ring Direct Line and spend twenty minutes answering questions to be told they won't quote me because it's such a high figure the underwriter is quoting they'd rather not quote it. So I phone NFU, same answer. I ask NFU how am I supposed to get UK plates, which requires an insurance certificate when no one will insure the car on French plates. She says, as far as she knows, it does not need insurance. I ring the DVLA and get told that it doesn't need insurance even though the guid book for the V55/5 says it does. HoweverI am told I must declare the import to HMRC. I go onto the website and spend the next ten minutes going round in circles. It says I myst get a six digit code sent to my phone so I enter my mobile number and it pings, the code has arrived. I continued to log on, enter my gateway number and then it says I must get a six digit code sent to my phone.. so do it again. Eventually get logged on. OK, I know this is daft but I have to decaler I've bought the car from myself and all the information about the car, twice! I then get told there is no VAT to pay and I'm finished. Finished, I'm exhausted. I copy some of the documents I'm sending the DVLA and put it all in an envelope for posting. I was so exhausted after that I couldn't even think about laying flagstones so fitted the glass shelf. Then did the headlamp glasses (used blue-tack to stop them turning), adjusted the steering wheel position and vacuumed the MG. After lunch I soldered the broken joint on the jack plug from the record deck to amp and put the Humax recorder/decoder into the cabinet. I then had some sleep but woken by a yappee little dog barking outside the house.
I took a long breakfast and went to the doctor's for a diabetic check. My diary says it's 1010. I get there to be informed it's 1110. I then realised that I knew that but had changed the time on my calendar from French to GMT and it put everthing back an hour. I came home, made a few phone calls and went back. No problems so all OK. I got home and make a few more calls. I make a list of things I can do today. Build the shoe rack, fix up my standard lamp, change the shade on Lynne's lamp, solder the wire on the record deck to amp and fit that. I then get the Humax decoder under the amp so it can be seen by the remote. Last job is to put Lynne's pictures up. Three quarters of an hour later I order Indian and we have a nice meal followed by me listening to music for the rest of the evening.
I was up at 0500, so dealet with a few emails and checked facebook and the forums. I then made some breakfast and came back to the computer to see what the weather was doing today. All I got was "no internet connection" I reset the router but it stayed the same. Plusnet have turned it off. Today is the day that we switch to Vodafone but Plusnet should, in my opinion, wait until midnight before turning us off. At 0700 I start laying the flagstones. I get the firts two down but the second needs a bit of packing. I wake Lynne because I need her to put some earth under the flagstone as I lift it. She gets up, gets dressed, comes down and has a cup of coffee. We get all the flagstones down by 1100. I go shopping for lunch as we have a TABC member popping in onhis way past. Steve arrives, we have lunch and whilst he and I are talking, Lynne is moving the earth left over to the greenhouse. What a star! I help her finish then jetwash the flagstones and position the garden table and chairs. It's only 1410 and we've finished. The plumber is here fitting my power shower. I can have a decent shower soon.
The new flags are the darker ones on the left. There are 10 in all. I bedded them on the earth not sand. Should be OK as there will not be heavy traffic, unless Lynne keeps eating those Maltesers.
I just pottered about most of the day. The glaziers came and refiited the cabinet door and replaced the broken glass in the other cabinet. They then fitted new g;ass to the pictures broken by the removal men. When they left I hung the remaining pictures. I'll take pictures later. At 1330 we went to the hospital for my eye examination, as expected they will give me more injections in the left eye. They wanted to know if I wanted the firts toady or at a later date. A later date will be fine, thanks... I need some tranquilizers for this as I have a phobia about my eyes. I had some drops in my eyes which dilated my pupils so couldn't see anything until 1800. We went shopping on the way home, I sat in the car and Lynne did the shopping... the bill was half it was when I went with her.
I slept nearly all night, wonderful. But still feel like a bag of poo, I don't get the "right" sleep without an apnoea machine. We had coffee and at 0900 left for a farm shop and cafe near junction 39 near Wakefield. Took less than fifteen minutes and we walked through the shops to get to the cafe. Lynne was in awe of the fruit, veg, salad bar and meat on sale. We had a lovely breakfast and, at 1000 the chaps from the South Yorkshire MG Car Club arrived. I joined them and Lynne went to have a good look around the shops. She came back and announced "Asda has had it we're shopping here in future". I say "OK, we can come for lunch and then do the weekly shop. Later in the week", "what day is it today?" she asks, "Sunday" I say, "Ok we'll go on Monday". We won't because she only went shopping at Asda yesterday, we'll go on Wednesday. I had drawn up directions from there to Lotherton Hall where we were to meet up with all the other Yorkshire clubs. Someone else had drawn up a 40 mile route but we decided to go our "short" route as we may have difficulty keeping up with the younger cars. It was simple. Back into Wakefiled, A642 to Auton, along the A639 and turn left to the A642 and then all the way to the M1 junction, straight over and Lotherton Hall is on the right. Easy, yes? Well no. We go into Wakefield and find the sign for the A642. Next roundabout ... no sign for A642. One road is signed to Leeds and the others have different road numbers but not A642. I do not want to go to Leeds so we try one of the others. After a while we realise this is not it so turn round and try the second road. Same result so we turn around again and as a last resort take the Leeds road. A little way up this road and we see the sign to turn right to the A642. We get to Auton and Lynne says "There's the A639" so we turn right onto it. After a while I realise we are going back to Pontefract. We end up back in Wakefield and Lynne wants to give up and go home. I realise where we have gone wrong so we go all the way back but carry on past the sign for the A639 and take the next right which is the A642. We arrive almost last, pull up in the grounds and then it starts to rain. We cover the car and get the brolly out. It's now 1300 and they are all going into the Hall. I really don't feel like walking around a stately house, I'd rather go to a pub for a pint as I'm fuming at the state of the road signs. As we are saying goodbye another couple arrive. They had also got lost. At least we weren't last in. Someone said there was a good pub if we turned right out the hall, We did and there was and we had a great lunch and a few pints of Theakstons, Lynne had two lager shandies. We set of back home and retraced our steps except at the M1 junction we took the Pontefract road. When we crossed the A1M there was a sign for Ponterfract East so we took it. The road came to a T junctin with no sign to go left or right. I followed my internal map and turned right. Next T junction, again no signs so I turned right, and yet again a main road with no signs so, again I turned right. We then came into Pontefract and past the hospital so I knew the way home from there. Fully exhausted I went to bed for two hours and awoke at 1900. I'm typing this up and will sit down and see if there's anythnig worth weatching on the TV, I can't eat any more, not after a full Yorkshire breakfast and huge plate of fish and chips for lunch!
Started by going to a small hospital in Barnsley for a DEXA scan. I get there twenty minutes early but the nurse comes out and shows me to a room. I see the equipment and realise it's a bone density scan, the same as I had in France about 4 years ago. We chat away as the scan is done. I'm on my way at about the time my appointment was for. Why do we let our politicians screw up a service staffed by such dedicated and lovely people?
Get home and fit a cigar lighter under the dash of the MG. I had already run two wires from the battery, which is positive earth, (all modern cars are negative earth). I insulate the bracket and cigar lighter affixed to the bracket with gaffer tape and we now have the ability to use a sat-nav in the MG. I then start fixing brackets to the wall to hold the vacuum cleaner and hose, the jetwash and lance, the long extension lead etc. At 1230 I stop for lunch and at 1330 I set of for the doctors. Get there and come back for the paperwork I've forgotten. Get back and join the queue for the receptionist. I sort out Lynne's prescription, get a date for a spirometer test... 3rd October! and try and make an appointment to see a doctor. I'm asked to phone at 0830 on Friday. I also inform her I'm here for the diabetic clinic at 1400. I'm told to take a seat. At 1435 I ask if I've been forgotten. She's forgotten to tell the system I'm here. I am asked to go in and take a seat inside. The nurse is rushing around but apologises for the delay. I go in about 1500 and all is well, she's very pleased with my blood tests. So am I! I post some letters on the way back and get home to finish the wall brackets. I also bolt the grindstone to the floor, align the lathe so it's level and stable. Tomorrow I start on the sheds.