A bit of music from the lamented Radio Blog Club

Le Français

Toujours, je suis désolé pour mes amis( et amies) français(es), mais il est difficile pour moi d'écire en français. Peut-être un jour...
S.V.P. regardez ce LIEN

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Matt Is Back!

Apologies for the problems with the New Yorker cartoons.

Happily, Matt is back - hurrah!

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Parisien Recommendation

This is not the site for a tourist guide for Paris; in any case; the "City of Light" should need no plugging from me, although I must say I do love the place.

Should you be fortunate enough to find yourself there, and fortunate enough to be in the 15th arrondissement then I can recommend with great confidence a bar/restaurant on Rue de la Convention. The bar is called Carpe Diem and is located directly opposite the church of St Christophe about 150 yards from Le Pont Mirabeau - the Mirabeau bridge for you non-francophones.

The other night, my girlfriend and I enjoyed a spendid meal: she had a superb salad with salmon and many other things followed by a Moelleux au Chocolat, whilst I enjoyed three courses starting with a very good chevre chaud, then a fine piece of rumpsteak in a good sauce with excellent sauté potatoes and a mousse au chocolat (also excellent) to finish - and of course a coffee. We drank four beers, 75cl of a very drinkable Bordeaux and ended with a couple of digestifs.

The bill? just 58 euros, about £39, a bargain indeed especially in view of the quality of the food and the very friendly service.

Carpe Diem has only recently opened under its present management, take advantage whilst you can still get in. The French Foreign Ministry will soon be taking over the recently refurbished Imprimerie Nationale next door. I expect that when this happens, Carpe Diem will be packed with fonctionnaires!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Itinerant in England

The All DHT Amplifier in Early Testing Form

Well, I am finally back in France after an interesting trip.

This of course commenced with my attendance at the three days of the Goodwood Festival of Speed or Mud as some called it especially on the very wet Sunday. I suppose I had better not mention rain any more as I feel that my English readers will be angry!

I have not mentioned so far, another of my other "talents" or at least, abilities. I have warned in the past that this blog will contain articles other than about Fulvias; this is one of them.

I have spent a number of years designing and building Valve ("tube" for Americans) amplfiers for hi-fi. I have even proof-read a couple of books written in the subject (Valve Amplifiers 3rd edition and Building Valve Amplifiers both written by Morgan Jones)

On arriving at a friend's place in London I was offered work building a couple of amplifiers that would use (my friend's predilection) Directly Heated Triodes. For those not in the know, these are very old valves indeed dating from the 1930s and sometimes even earlier. Afficionados of these insist that the resulting sound is more detailed and revealing of the music than that obtained with more "modern" valves. Transistors in these circles I should add, are not considered...

The first of the amplifiers was just a straightforward line stage or pre-amplifier. The second was a more ambitious design. The order from the customer was for two of these - one for each channel. The specification called for an all direct-coupled three-stage design. This necessitated a considerable amount of effort and study of valve data plus many calculations. And then came the labour of planning the layout - that is finding space for all the bits, which is always tough. Here's a picture of the underside:

Experts will notice that there are transistors present, but they are there for "housekeeping" purposes, just to make conditions correct for the all-important valves.

The client came to hear the amplifier and was delighted with the sound and is very keen to know when I can return to England to build the other one!

The experience has rather inspired me to build something for myself, which I may well do when I have the time. Indeed I have already done most of the design and do have the valves I need to build it.

As they say "Watch this space".

Finally watch this space, as I have a report coming up about a 1600 Fulvia belonging to a new client who lives in France and on which I worked last weekend.

A bientôt

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rallye Rochois

Sorry for the lack of postings; recently I have been in England for a while.

However, I can report that the Fanalone ran very well on the Rochois - partly thanks to my preparation and largely thanks to the excellent driving and preparation of my client.

She was placed fifth in VHC (historic cars) - behind four Porsches, the Porsche 911 being the popular choice for these rallies.

Well done I say

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A "smoke-free" England

I am at present in England, following a wet but interesting Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Here, finally the fascist nannies have won: as from today, 1st July 2007, smoking in public places has been banned in England & Wales.
Expect a further enormous outpouring of patronising, smug, self-congratulatory words from the "great & the good" - as they ponder the next area of individual behaviour to sanction. Take care all ye passionate anti-smoking types; see how you feel when your favourite activities are banned on largely spurious grounds.

For me, the end of years of style & elegance thus:

The global warming types are another variety of the species - be ready to defend your old Lancias!

Sod the Law!


New Internet Speed test

Music and Radio Blog Club

Radio Blog Club, a good friend for a while appears to be in some legislative difficulty...

However, in tribute to its brave effort, I shall leave the existing track on this page (which amazingly still works)

Sadly my Playlist no longer works (hence its removal) thanks to the absurd "Hadopi" legislation in France. Apologies to all.