What’s this then? Yup, it’s the metal corner bracket (called ‘une gâche’ here in France) that detached itself from my trailer while Wim and I were driving to pick up the second load of my wood order two days ago.

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Hardly worth bothering with you might think – why not just order a new one? And when you check the price on the internet – around 2€ depending on the supplier – you might think that you’re right. That’s until you check the delivery charge which, this being France, is totally disproportionate given the cost of the item itself, at from 10-15€!!

They still just don’t seem to get what e-commerce is all about in France and while I was checking the on-line cost and availability I still found several suppliers who show catalogues of parts on their web sites and expect you to phone them to ascertain price and availability of the item(s) that you’re interested in. Incredible.

The two items that are must-haves down here in the rural Dordogne if you have a wood burner are a wood splitter and a trailer, so there was a good incentive for me to return yesterday to look for the missing bracket. Wim and I both heard it hit the ground without realising what it was until we arrived at our destination and although we both had a rough idea where it happened, neither of us was sure.

We looked for it on the way back but without success and I decided that I’d return to search again yesterday. It didn’t help that it was raining yesterday morning but after it had eased off I went back, parked my car in the area where I thought the bracket fell off and got out to search for it on foot.

I started by going downhill on the side of the road that we’d been driving on and then back up on the other. We hadn’t been driving fast so I thought that it couldn’t have bounced very far and could only be just in the grass on the verge at the very most.

After walking up past my parked car I found it just as I began to walk back down again, nestling in the short grass at the edge of the road, and here’s a shot of it that I took this morning before getting it ready to be reattached.

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Here’s a shot of the trailer corner before I started work. Luckily I already had a few large diameter pop rivets which were a bit long, not that that mattered too much

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And here are a couple of shots of the finished article with the trailer now all ready to go for it’s next job.

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I also picked up the parcel of parts needed for the replacement engine for the Kia yesterday and dropped them in to my mechanic. He said that he’ll be able to start the work in the next few days as he’s only got another couple of jobs lined up ahead of it. That’s good news. I took a look at the engine now that the special paint that I applied to it has dried and it looks great so and I can’t wait to see how the work goes.

Evening edit… back to say that unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky today with my log splitter. It looks as though the leak is probably coming from an invisible crack or split in the pump’s baseplate, so not repairable, not by me anyway. So I’m now on the lookout on le Bon Coin for a replacement. There are quite a few good ones listed but I’ll just watch and wait as I’m in no hurry for now 😉

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