And almost in more ways than one, as I’ll explain in a moment. And not by the sun either. The forecast for today was more or less correct. After yesterday’s glorious 28 degrees Celsius plus we were told to expect 18 degrees today. And they weren’t far off because the temperature rose to a comfortable 19 or 20 degrees Celsius. So I was able to walk around in shorts, tee shirt and flip-flops without feeling too cool. Whether I looked cool is another matter but I’m of an age when I don’t worry too much about such things 😉

This morning I nipped down to Les Briconautes to see whether they had a high power soldering iron but the best they could do was 60W and at what I thought was rather too high a price. So I decided to go straight to Brico Depot in Trelissac to pick up one of their 100W puppies. The route from Montignac was different from my usual one and it made a nice change. After the rain we’ve had recently followed by the warmth of the past few days, all of a sudden the countryside is looking lovely as the trees are turning green and the meadows are covered in lush long grass and little yellow flowers. Just like my front lawn 😐

As soon as I got back home with the new soldering iron I decided to give it a go. It was one of those trigger operated, pistol types that only take a few seconds to heat up and initial signs were quite encouraging. After a few minutes use I thought to myself that the soldered joint I was working on was making a bit of a lot of smoke even with the amount of extra flux I’d put on it. Next minute I realised from the smell (that familiar smell of burnt plastic) that it was coming from the soldering iron itself! I’d released the trigger by that time of course, but the smoke still kept coming out in billows, so I yanked the plug out and ran outside with the iron in my hand. Toddie thought it was a good game.

So I had a quick bite to eat while it cooled down and the smoke had been reduced to a few light wisps and then I headed of back to Brico Depot with it. So all of a sudden a soldering iron ‘à petit prix’ had become rather expensive, but there was no alternative. Brico Depot seemed unsurprised when I presented them with the offending item and asked if I wanted to exchange it or have a refund. I asked if they had another high power soldering iron that I could buy instead, and the young man said only 75W, not 100W like this one. I said I’d prefer that if it wouldn’t catch fire like this one almost had!

So I got home again by late afternoon and again thought I’d give it a go. And I’m glad to say that this one worked a treat! It quickly melted the ruddy great old soldered joint that I’d been trying to work on and although the new joint wasn’t the prettiest I’ve ever done, it did the trick in moments after I’d been struggling for ages with my original old 30W iron and the new Brico Depot incendiary model. It just goes to show – when you need to zap something you not only need the power, you also need the correct tool for the job. Which this final soldering iron surely was 🙂