The French Blatting Company




I slept most of the night, not bad, I fell into bed at 2130 and woke twice in the night but didn't get up until 0600. I felt a bit better. I started putting the shelves up in the second shed at 0700 and then started sorting everything out. I stopped for lunch at 1200 and then carried on. At1500 I was very tired so laid down for three quarters of an hour and then finished off.

Just hanging around. I'll have to get some chips of wood to use as rawlplugs because the matches aren't holding the hooks in tight.

The second shed nearly full. Piller drill is on the left and.....

.... the sand blasting cabinet is on the right. I can't find the second air hose so I'll have to buy a new one.

The first shed before I attack it. I'm running out of space. I have two three foot shelves left over so one will have to go in here.

The second shed now almost full.

The first shed, with new shelf is now full.

In the corners.....

.... and the other side.

Some of the rubbish and bits and pieces to be put away. The dusbin in the front must be hung up somewhere, I've had it 35 years.

Tomorrows job is to put screws in the wall to hang these up.

I hung these up during a shower. My everloving came in and said "Oh, how sweet, you're using that scrubber because I'm not being hung up"


Got the screw cabinets on the wall by 1030 then put hooks on wall to hang the brooms and shovel after which I cleared a space for another shelving unit to put the hundreds of polishes and car cleaning products I've found. After lunch I had an hours sleep and then we packed up all the rubbish for the council tip. Do you know there's a special place that they breed these tip attendant people. I was putting small boxes where I should have been putting cartons then I had to seperate the plastic from the other stuff... but he took a look and said he'd sort it. We put the cardboard in the cardboard skip and got out as quick as I could dtive. First it was Wickes for lighting wire and switches, then Argos for the new shelf unit, Halfords for two in line fuses (for the pair of wires that run the sat-nav on the MG) the, finally Machine Mart to order a gas soldering iron, get two wing covers and a short airline and connectors for the sand blasting cabinet. We got home and I spent the next hour sorting out the internet connection. I hope it works now. We're now going to the pub for a meal, a couple of pints and the quiz....

Screw cabinets, looking good.

And more hanging stuff.

Brooms on the wall.

Shovel on the wall.

And buckets hanging up.


A day of success and failure. The list for the day reads: Build shelf and put stuff on it, Fit air line to sand blast cabinet, Pump up tyres on Caterham and push out of garage, Fit the Low-Bay lights, Wire up and connect to mains, Fit inline fuses to MG cigar lighter.

Shelf built and stuff put on it took less than an hour, the air line took about three quarters of an hour, Pumping te btyres up and pushing the Caterham out took five mninutes. Then the rest of the day was cleaning the lamps, cutting and fitting chains, screwing cup hooks into the beams and getting the lamps up. Whilst hanging the lamps I went inside for a cup of tea and when I came back one of the screw cabinites had broken and most of it was on the floor. After lunch I finished getting the lamps up and then wired the switces and run the wires to the lamps. At 1700 I plugged the mains feed to the switches in and..... nothig. I look at teh switches and several wires have come out of the terminals. I try and get them back in but am having problems seeing the terminal designations. I switch them on and the trip goes. I pull the plug to the switces out, reset the trip and make up 3 looms for the L1 (mains feed, L29 (to lights) and common (to lights and the common mains feed). I'll rewire it in the morning. I'm now goiung to watch the england ladies get to the final...... I hope. The inline fuses will have to wait until tomorrow.

Failure, the broken screw cabinet on the floor.

Success, the new shelf unit full of car cleaning stuff.

The airline going into the shed.....

.... and the wider view.

Three bay lights hanging in the garage.

And one outside in the car port.

The second failure for the day, the switches with wires hanging out.


I rewired the light switches but they still tripped so I rang an electrician. He turned up in about fifteen minutes, looked at my efforts and even though he'd promisewd not to laugh... he did! He explained how to wire the switches and then It all came back and I remembered. I did rewire the house in France without a problem. Just shows how you make simple mistakes when you only get two hours sleep a night. Two of the four work but two don't. I suspect the wires have come loose inside so I'll open them up and look. At 1130 I took the first tranquilizer and then fitted the two inline fuses to the cable for the sat-nav on the MG. Then lunch, another tranqilizer and off to hospital to have an injection in my eye. It was horrendous, I have this phobia about my eyes and I had to have about six lots of drops into the eye then the injection. I do make a fuss. Home and to sleep until 1900. Dinner and then settle down to watch the athletics and our Mo win in glorious style.


Started at 0700 and fixed the two workshop lights that didn't work. Tidied up and then screwed a three foot shelf on the wall and put the wire and cable ties on the shelf. These were in the sheds but I use them a lot so better in the garage. Lynne then helped me push the Caterham out, turn it around and push it back in. It's now facing the correct way for the engine removal.

I have boxes of old car magazines. I'm createing a seperate page with them all listed. If anyone wants them they can come and get them before they go on Ebay. See www.frenchblat.com/magazines1.htm

I washed the MG then, after lunch, I started taking the engine out of the Caterham. Engine out I removed the clutch to find exactly what I expected, the two centre plates had the splines stripped smooth. By the time I got to this stage Lynne was complaining that we were due round at Simons for 1730 for a family takeaway to celebrate Leanne's birthday. I got cleaned, showered and dressed and we arrived there half hour late. Nice evening.

 A shelf... good, ain't it?

 The Caterham engine out, didn't take long, but a lot longer than it used to take.


A good centre plate.....


.... and a stripped centre plate 

From above....


.... and this is how it should look.

The new lighting above the bench.

The inside of the bell housing showing the centrifugal slave cylinder


Started at 0700. Got the box out of the shed with the AP clutch spares. Found two good centre plates. Cleaned all the pressure plate parts. At 0930 I set off for the Doncaster Traditional Car Club breakfast meeting. Got to the pub at 1025 and parked up but wondered why no one else was there. Within a minute or so the landlord came out and told me I'd got the wrong day, the breakfast meeting was yesterday, Never mind, I'll get it right next month. I drove home, got changed and fitted the clutch assembly. I then measured the position of the clutch release bearing and found it was spot on. I had thought I could bring it closer so the pedal didn't go to the floor.

Lynne was having a cup of coffee in the garden so I joined her, very pleasant, if a bit cold. My phone rang and it was Les, the previous owner. Lynne had rung him to tell him we had some post and to pop in when he could. He was in Royston so he came round and we had a nice chat. He's such a gentleman and is very happy in his new home, we're so pleased for him.

Then Lynnes new watch connected to her phone arrived. I plugged it in to charge and left it. Tanya and Paul arrived so we sorted out the awning and then I got changed and we sat and chatted for a while. Back to the watch. It wasn't doing anything so I plugged it into my computer and it came on. I paired it and set the date/time etc. I had to unplug it to set the vibraton on. We then tried it... nothing. I double checked everything and still nothing. I then checked the pairing and although it said it was paired it wasn't I paired it again and it now works. She is a happy bunny.

Ooops, spoke to soon. Later in the evening it said it was paired but wasn't and after numerous attempts to pair it I gave up. I've left it on charge overnight ans will try again in the morning.

I apologise for not publishing earlier but we're having problems with our internet connection. An engineer is coming in the morning to find the fault.... The Vodafone techie says it's electrical interferance. I doubt this is in the house as it's 0300 in the morning, there is one desk lamp on and it's still so slow it won't upload. There is nothing other than a standard lamp near the router and that's not on so I doubt it's that. Could be a poor connection on the telephone cable coming into the house. We'll see.


Started at 0700 to get the engine back in. I have a problem, it appears the gearbox is too far foward as I can't get the enginew to drop in as the front pulley will not to go behind the space frame cross brace. I get the car up higher to increase the angle. After a two hour struggle, interrupted by the Open Reach engineer (who couldn't find a fault other than excess electrical interference) Lynne and I got the engine in. However, when I get the engine mounts on, the bolt holes are about two inches too far forward. By now I'm exhausted and we're going out so I give up for the day. Tomorrow I'll get under the car and lever the 'box up and back because I suspect the gearbox mount rubbers are broken and the box has come forward and is now caught in the forward position by the mounting bolts.

We went to the farm shop and cafe. Had a wonderful lunch follwed by a great shopping experience. I just went mad on the salads, chesses, olives, fruit and Lyne bought lots of meat..... £83 was a lot more than we expected but I'm now banned from shopping. See I'm not entirely stupid. Then we went to a Tesco superstore to get me a suit for a forthcoming wedding. No jackets in stock. We did some more shopping, the stuff the farm shop didn't have and then went back to Barnsley to collect another picture frame from Argos. By the time we got home it was too late to go to the chemist and post a letter, Lynne will do that tomorrow whilst I finish the Caterham.


Started by getting under the car and inspecting the gearbox mounting. As suspected it's broken and the mount had come out and the centre bolt was stopping it going back in. I jacked up the centre of the box and levered the engine and box backwards and it centred. I then let the jack down so the mounting is now sitting in the saddle. I'll get a new mounting when I can. I then proceeded to put it all back together. At 1200 Bob, from the MGOC, arrived with his A series gearbox which I voluntered to overhaul. He brought his wife so Lynne kept her chatting whilst we looked at cars. They left at 1300 and we had lunch. I phoned round to find someone who would weld the broken lug on my alternator. At 1400 the postman delivered the new router. So I connected it and when I tried to connect it came up with a fault telling me the network adaptor had to be repaired. It then rebooted and wouldn't reboot. As soon as the password was entered it would reboot. I'd had enough so before I threw router, computer and everything else through a window I took the alternator to the welder. He'll have it ready for tomorrow afternoon. When I got back I got Simon, who was at home, and he agreed to come over and sort the computer out. I had to get him as he has no driving licence at the moment. He sorted it out in about half hour and then started a conversation with Vodafone because the upload speed was still zero. After a twenty minute chat line conversation we had gone around in circles enough and, as far as I know, they are calling a REINS engineer out to trace the electrical interferance on the line. I took Simon home and when I got back was able to upload the pictures and the blog up to yesterday. I'm just typing this up and will try and upload it.....


Started by filling the Caterham with coolant. Then tried to get the steering coloumn back in but it's a two person job. I left it and put the new screw cabinet on the wall and refilled it with all the screws, bolts, nuts and washers spread all over the floor. I go inside as Lynne is getting up, so make her a coffee, have one myself and decide I should go to the chemist to get some stuff and her Imodium to stop her living in the toilet.

I won’t tell you what a disaster our doctors are, I just accept that everything they do goes wrong, shrug and get it put right. I went to a diabetic clinic last week, told her the doctor had got the prescription wrong and I needed 96 pills per month, not 48. “Oh, he’s always doing that, I’ll let the pharmacist know and she’ll give you the rest. So today I went to the pharmacist next to the doctors and asked for the extra 3 packets of pills. She looked at the prescription and announced that they hadn’t dealt with this prescription, “No, I got it at your other branch, but what has that got to do with you giving me another 3 boxes of Metformine” She went on about not doing the prescription until the chemist told her to see if there was a message from the doctor about it. There wasn’t. So I went next door to the doctors… “Hello Norman, how are you”, Amazing how quick they get to know the trouble makers. I tell her about the prescription and she confirms that the diabetic nurse has texted their pharmacist but she’s been busy… Hang on, your pharmacist, not the one next door. No, ours, she’ll ring you when they’re ready. I went back into the chemist and apologised that I didn’t know they meant their own pharmacist.

When I get back the Open Reach man is here. He disagrees with engineer number one, it’s not REINS, he says it’s a inline fault and to get the next engineer to ring him when he gets here.

 I then go into Barnsley and get two lengths of 12mm threaded rod and a 1 metre length of flat bar. I get back, have lunch and then cut the bar into two, mark it out and heat and bend them into brackets to hang the ladders on. The phone rings and it's the doctor's pharmasist, she will have the pills in a day or two. I tell her it's not a problem as I have enough but to alter the prescription. She says she will and we say goodbye. I then start to drill the stacions that hold up the roof of the car port. I get the first two drilled but it takes an hour and a half. At 1600 I go to pick up the alternator and continiue drilling the stancions when I return. I finish at 1700 and then make a wing stay out of the threaded rod.... only problem is I make it too short and the wheel is touching the wing. Exhausted I surrender, pack everything away and will make another in the morning, fit the steering coloumn and alternator and start on Bob's gearbox.

Two ladder brackets.

One repaired alternator. Better than my strapping.

Ladder bracket being fitted.

And ladders hanging on the brackets. There's another long ladder and the step ladders to go on.


Got the alternator back on the car and started on Bob's gearbox. Lynne went to the doctor and came back very happy with him. I'll get him next time I go. After lunch we refitted the steering coloumn on the Caterham and I dropped it to the ground and started it. I have an oil leak from the pipe which goes to the oil filter. I'm too tired now, I'll do it tomorrow. I then spent time on a website making a list of the parts I need for the gearbox. I've sent them by email because the internet is so slow it'll take hours to order them online.

I took the step ladder up to the bedroom... no not for some devious reason but to move the lights on the wardrobe to a better position, they're too far forward. I then glued the switch for the wardrobe lighting to the side of the wardrobe and then the capping to the top step of the stairs. The ladder is now hanging on it's new hooks, the glue gun is hanging on it's hook, the garage lights are turned off and I'm going to have an hours sleep. We're off to Matlock Baths tonight for fish and chips with the Midget & Sprite club.


Bob's gearbox, all wrapped up......

.... and I thought it was a standard size but appears to be a size 8

The tail piece, remote and side plate.

The mainshaft before removal.

The internals before dismantling.

Dismantled, let's hope I can remember how it goes back together.

The Classic Cars magazines spread across our lounge floor.


I got a new oil pipe made for the Caterham, came back and fitted it. Took some time but got there in the end. Had to cable tie it to the sump drain back pipe as it was a bit too long. I then pushed the car out of the garage and swept up. After lunch I started making a dipstick for the TC fuel tank. I had about 30 litres of petrol in 10 litre plastic jerry cans so poured 5 litres at a time into a smaller can then into the tank. Take a dip and cut a groove in the stick. Ran out of petrol so called it a day.


We left at 0900 to go to Barnsley to get me a suit for a wedding next week. We went into "The Big Mans Shop" but I'm no longer that big and they didn't have trousers small enough for me. We walked about trying to find Marks and Spencers but gave up, got in the car and drove to Meadowhall. Had a coffee and went into M&S. We've been married for 49 years and I've never objected to the clothes Lynne has bought even though I haven't liked some of them. I always say "If you're happy then I'm happy". Problem is it doesn't seem to work the other way around. I can't have the colour I want, can't have a waistcoat, can't have a bow tie. I got the bow tie and the colour I wanted but left the waistcoat because I needed the largest jacket they did and the waistcoat would have made it a bit tight. We then had a great Thai Buffet lunch. We got home at 1530 and I settled down to watch final score.... only I fell asleep after walking all around Meadowhall. Watched Mo and Usain in the evening. Sorry for both of them but they'll still go down in history as the two greatest athletes in the early part of the twenty first century.


Went to the garage and refilled all the petrol cans and finished making the dipstick. Then we weeded and cleared the front of the house. Tanya and Paul came round and Paul and I sat in te garden having a nice chat in the sun.

Dipstick made and painted.

A close up of the markings. Each is 5 litres of fuel.

Finally the marks are labelled with the fuel level in litres.


Got up at 0700 but, even though I'd slept most of the night, I felt very tired. The Open Reach engineer turned up at 0850 and said he'd be working on the cabinet. I left at 0900 to visit a friend in Nottingham who is restoring a TC. Got back at 1315, tried the internet connection and wasn't surprised to find it's the same. The engineer had reported back to Lynne that he's fixed a fault but that was the best we'd get. Apparantly the area has tin, not copper, cables from the cabinets to the houses. I've reported the problem to Vodafone and they are looking into it.  I had lunch and went to sleep. My phone woke me at 1600 and I then went to bed until 1900. I really need that sleep apnoea machine. The problem isn't just that I feel tired all the time, it's the stupid mistakes I make from sleep depravation. The partrs for the A series gearbox arrived... with three parts on back order. I'll get on to them and insist thay are sent free of postal costs because they could have waited until all was in stock and sent them all at one time.

I'll get this uploaded to my web server when the connection allows me.



















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