Saturday, 12 July 2014

Where I Grew Up


A video of the agricultural show in the 1960s in the town where I grew up. I don't recognise anyone, but I've no doubt my parents can identify a few people.
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Car News: We picked up Célestine from Doctor Traction yesterday. She has had the pinion and crown wheel in her gearbox replaced, which means Simon now has to do maths whilst driving: the old pinion:crown wheel ratio was 10:31, the new is 9:31, which causes the speedo to read lower than is actually the fact. Although theoretically the speedo should read 10% slower than the speed over the ground, at first glance it just appears to read 10km slow at all speeds (it says she is doing 70kmh, the Renault speedo shows 80kmh following on behind). She also has a new clutch, which has caused even more headaches. The new part turned out to be faulty, but Jean-Louis installed it, tested it and removed it about 4 times before he figured out what the problem was. That part will be returned under guarantee and in the meantime he has installed a clutch from his own personal stock.

We had intended to swap the cars over, as Claudette needs a new silent block, but due to the delay caused by the faulty clutch, Jean Louis can't take her now until mid to late August at the earliest. She is currently running with Jean Louis's brake drums because the same company who supplied the clutch supplied faulty brake drums. He's had them re-engineered and will swap them over when she goes in for her silent block.

We are very relieved to Célestine back!
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Loire Valley Nature: A new entry for Spotted Fritillary butterfly Melitaea didyma has been added.
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A la cuisine hier: Inspired by Ken's recent post on Italian style green beans, I made my own version, using the last of the haricots verts sold by the charming Amazon who runs the organic veg stall at the Thursday market in Preuilly. I added some of her tomatoes and tasty green peppers along with home grown onions, garlic, zucchinis and broadbeans.
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Asian Hornet Research: Chris Luck has just posted an outline of some promising research conducted by the François Rabelais University Tours. They have discovered that the native thick-headed fly Conops vesicularis will parasitise and kill the invasive alien Yellow-legged Asian Hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax, and therefore may act as a naturally occurring biological control.

3 comments:

  1. I love the name "thick-headed fly"...
    always makes me think it left the bar very late and isn't on form the next day....
    good news tho'!

    Talking of veg....
    the Petit Vergers de la Garrenne are out of business for a while...
    they had a disasterous fire on Wednesday....
    destroyed their huge barn, storage, shop and office building!
    Terrible for them.

    What on earth is a "silent block"?

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  2. What struck me about the video was
    how "spiffy" the fellows looked
    in their white shirts (and some
    ties). No damned T-shirts.

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  3. Tim: I know about Petit Vergers. I ran into Lara in Loches just as the fire brigade rang. She was in floods of tears and in shock. I had clients with me at the time so all I could do was a bit of quick comforting and check they were insured (yes).

    The silent block is a piece of thick rubber that sits wedged between the engine and the firewall.

    Sheila: yes, me too. More moleskins and elastic sided boots than you could poke a stick at too. RM Williams must have made a fortune out of those boys.

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