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News - 2014



Click for larger image of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont

  • New Year in the Touraine. Preparation for 2015. Swimming at 9C - a wake up following the excellent cuisine.
  • Return to Paris for Christmas mailings and with the extended family in Paris (including St Etienne du Mont) and Marne la Valle.
  • Partner arrived from Paris so the inevitable pre-Christmas shopping and guests.
  • Return to London for accounts, Chelverton House administration and recycling of obsolete computers - removed the hard disks first.
  • Further genealogy research for two families following video project.


  • Calogero concert at Bercy, Paris over the weekend.
  • Returned to the Touraine & Paris: virus & trojan removal from associate’s PC; major clean-up.
  • Dental check-up & lunch with associate / erstwhile Managing Director.
  • Gas engineer completed central heating maintenance at CHL.
  • Met an old associate for lunch and theatre over the weekend.
  • Visited Tower of London to view ceramic poppies display.
  • Desktop PC failure, replaced motherboard battery but continued BIOS issue.
  • Organising central heating service, gas / electricity contracts, telephone contracts, insurance.
  • To London for building & hardware issues, associate meetings. Club Supper with associates.
  • Returned briefly to the Touraine for local PC updates.




  • Completed video project and made available to client via Google Drive.
  • R&D for a new power PC to replace a 9 year old XP machine with a dead battery
  • Translation of text into English for Lazulinil ( concerning a trip on the luxury houseboat Mandoulis to lower Nubia on Lake Nasser.
  • Video project continues and covering an extended period. Returned to the Touraine for family, pool cleaning and sheep feeding; to CHL Paris.
  • Pursuing possible project in the UK.
  • Unwell but returned to London for the funeral, admin, bathroom repairs and visiting cousins.
  • Hotel organisation re the twinning group.




  • Loss of an old friend following 50 years of friendship. Must return to the UK for the funeral.
  • New video project on a subject spanning 70 years - quite a challenge but interesting.
  • Finally sorted the telecommunications in the UK and restarted with a double SIM mobile (the 1st two died within days, so some time lost).
  • To London for accounts, house maintenance and a flying trip to Old Sarum in a Piper Archer - very stable craft and straightforward to fly.
  • Appointed to a twinning committee to provide advice, translation and some technical services.
  • Some heavy harvesting work in between normal working.




  • Support to associates in contract applications
  • Returned to the Loire Valley, equipment repairs, minor building repairs.
  • PC tuition for a new user.
  • Communications issues with telecommunications supplier.
  • To London for standard accounting & reporting.
  • 1st August 2014: Chelverton House Ltd is 25 years old. Quite a milestone! A quiet celebration at home to complete the holiday.

2014 2014_07_Hydrangia_150


  • Return to France for holiday: tending the orchard, Paris for 80th anniversary of erstwhile Belgian landlady (L’Opera Restaurant), the Touraine to relax, swim and two notable restaurant dinners (Auberge du bon Laboureur & Au Caroussel des Saveurs for my partner’s birthday) - an indulgent break.
  • Birthday dinner at the Lansdowne Club, London.
  • Updated Visorcat promotional video (see and the user instructions; follow up with TFL
  • Summer really here - hydrangia in full bloom.
  • London for end of month accounting, VAT and more works organisation - just a little plumbing.
  • Lost the Brussels client to an Italian competitor - shame - could have been interesting.

2014 2014_CHL_Scaffolding_150


  • Back to the Touraine for more physical work on the house and orchard as well as keeping CHL up to date.
  • Forecourt paving in London; sales and follow ups; install and testing of Google Drive: appears to be a more complete product than Dropbox so CHL is now using both for different clients.
  • CHL administration and cleanup post roof and painting works followed by a weekend in Portsmouth: swimming, seeing friends, their children and dogs.
  • A weekend in the Touraine by air - thanks to the only UK airline that flies there - Ryanair - and it all worked like clockwork.
  • Discussions re the Brussels proposal with the client and CHL contractor.
  • Back to London to organise scaffolding, roof repairs and painting of Chelverton House Limited main building (click adjacent photo for before and after shots).


20140507_Place d'Armes_Luxembourg


  • Updated CHL associate Ray Notley’s CV  (see Downloads) and his web site.
  • Proposal opportunity for Brussels - created and posted to the purchasing portal.
  • Updated CHL associate Paul Myer’s CV (see download) - he was pleased with the result.
  • Preparation and sales trip to Luxembourg; Orchard maintenance - cherries looking good.
  • Sales follow ups and, following some support work to Net Objects, installed and tested their gift of Fusion 2013. More experimentation to follow.
  • London with the underground strike (industrial inaction?), a mass of printed mail, administration, month end accounts, a medical check up and seeing relatives & friends from France.


Click to see Thierry Gondet poster


  • Hard maintenance work in the Touraine; to Brussels to visit erstwhile colleagues & friends. Paris for English guests & then to London.
  • Marketing & Sales following opportunities in Benelux, France & UK - good meetings / discussions.
  • For technical writers & cynics see how to use a candle...
  • Countless communications with associates, agents and friends with invitations via LinkedIn and a trip to the theatre to see the ‘song and dance man’ - Thierry Gondet - amusing and easy to understand!
  • Paris for continued marketing & sales, punctuated with some new contacts in Australia and Belgium via Skype, Internet and telephone.
  • Networking meeting at my club in London with an interesting talk on people development and motivation in London Transport.
  • Checking pension system and various investments.
  • Updating CHL records with latest account details, printing the essentials and dealing with some tricky new book-keeping following the Audit.
  • London for admin and organising some renovations.



  • MadCap Flare upgrade to v10 + extras - 359Mb download in a minute or two. Up to date with emails, proposals and messaging again!
  • Fitting of a new insulating door to the conservatory - brilliant! Plaster dust everywhere to clear up and then 3 hours on the tractor to cut the grass before returning to Paris.
  • Contract chasing interspersed with removing dead earthworms from the pool and mistletoe from some apple trees.
  • Garage roof insulation work well done by the supplier; the cleaning up and painting afterwards rather tiring for this amateur - not so easy as with PaintShop Pro / PhotoShop.
  • Frustrating lack of Wi-Fi but at least completed January and February accounts. PAYE Real Time Reporting system setting resolved.
  • To the Touraine by car for a christening - quite long in the church; a lot longer for the aperitif and lunch...

Click for VideoStudioPro VisorCat Promotion project

Click for WordPress VisorCat web site project

  • Appallingly unimpressive meeting with a charity (the receiver of 93M of government funding). Detailed comments best left out!
  • To London for UK Audit by train; return by aircraft: administration can be expensive...
  • Updated Visorcat UK product user leaflet.
  • Installed WordPress on CHL’s ISP plus a few extra plug-ins. Learned how  to use it and have provided a demo web site to Visorcat.
  • Installed a version of NetObjects Fusion  called nof2013_edition.exe, thinking it was an upgrade from the v12. Not so - it is a ‘special version of v11 so my templates cannot be used with it. Evidently naming files is not always a strong point.
  • Produced and updated the Investment Pitch video for Visorcat.
  • Updated web site: Stephen Helms & Projects, CV, Clients / Comments navigation.
  • Installed Optic Fibre connection for Internet, Telephone and television in Paris.
  • Completed the French subtitled and voice-over and German subtitled videos of ‘How to use Visorcat’ and the Marketing video. Commissioned to produce the Investment Pitch video for presentation to Business angels. See 2014 Comments.
  • To London for the usual administration and mail, seeing friends and associates.





  • Commissioned German translation of sub-titles and created the German operation video (v1).
  • Completed first draft of CHL Audit Report for 2013.
  • More information for the French ‘remote’ project, follow up and research. Completed test sections for client approval.
  • Research on ‘home drones’ (also called ‘quadcopters’) for an earlier Egyptian client.
  • Research on visor cleaning systems for a Scottish associate. Identified possible French distributors, created sub-titles and dubbing and created the French operation video (v1 &v2).
  • More admin, online access to yet another supplier and sending more typically French wishes for a good 2014; false gas alarm at CHL Paris.
  • Fitted some new lights, cleaned house and returned to France.
  • To London for the unseen mail, bills and CHL accounts. UK laptop power adaptor dead but replaced by Dell on warranty.
  • Paris PC (10 yr old XP and running surprisingly fast) cleaned up and network OK again.
  • Back to Paris for the New Year with a friendly dozen. Italian restaurant and home late.
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