Running Repairs

The forecast for Monday and Tuesday wasn’t great – thunder storms floating around – so it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by some clouds scudding in a moderate breeze accompanied by some sunshine.

We are about 3 miles from Mont-prés-Chambord which has at least one of the finest boulangeries in France (personal opinion). They have bread to die for and some terrific pain au raisin that go down particularly well for breakfast. Off the car with the bikes and off, once more against that old head wind, into Mont-prés-Chambord to see what we could get. Unfortunately, this was a Bank Holiday Monday and "one of the finest boulangeries in France" was closed. Darn! Never mind, a little further down the main street there’s another perfectly acceptable boulanger which was open. (Towns with multiple choices tend to alternate cover for the holidays. The French do not do well deprived of bread.) Carol went in while I stayed avec les velos, and eventually emerged with a fine baguette and a couple of more-calories-than-it’s-wise-to-count almond croissants.

Returning via a different route, this time with wind assistance, we clocked up our first 7.5 miles and settled down to a late breakfast of coffee and almond croissants. At least the cycling would offset a small portion of the 3,296 calories in each cardiac arrest package.

After a bit of putzing, we changed to go for some more serious cycling in a desperate attempt to reduce our calorie footprint. Swap sun and scudding clouds for very British drippy, nuisance rain. Oh well, at least it started before we left.

Settling down for lunch, we discovered the beginnings of a structural failure in Billy. One of two tiny cast-metal brackets securing our front drawer unit and occasional table to the front bulkhead had fractured. Enter stage right caravan repair man. Some grovelling about on hands and knees armed with a torch produced a diagnosis: the bottom of the drawer unit was clearly supposed to be resting on a couple of battens but was actually hovering about 0.5cm above them. The weight, therefore, was hanging on nothing more than the two (now one) insubstantial, cast-metal angle brackets. How Bailey managed to assemble it this way I simply cannot imagine. A levitation device, perhaps? Potential solution: remove it completely, let gravity take its course, and drop it the 0.5cm so that its weight is taken on the aforementioned battens, then refit the remaining intact bracket, with some suitable packing. It should be man enough simply to stabilize it as opposed to supporting it. I’ve tried Araldite on the broken bracket but haven’t tried it yet. It may be time to hit Monsieur Bricolage to search for a substitute.

At least it gives something to do while the weather is being irritating. Why can’t we build things correctly, though?

Posted in France, 2008

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