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  1. A chap walking down the road in the UK sees a sign in a pet shop window "Talking Centipede for sale £100". Greatly take by the idea he pops in and buys it, happily walking out with the purchase in a shoe box. Getting home he puts the box on the table and thinks how he can show off his new purchase. After a few moments, he asks "would you like to go to the pub for a drink" Silence More silence Thinking now that he has been scammed, he demands once more in a stern tone "do you want to go to the pub or what" "Keep your hair on" comes the reply from the box "I heard you the first time, I am just putting my shoes on"
    6 points
  2. One of the results of selling the MGB is that I've assumed the title chief chef and have become a dab hand with the air fryer. I haven't poisoned anyone yet! I've lately been making pork pies and scotch eggs.
    5 points
  3. I'm not completely sure, but I think birds are excused from summer time changes.
    3 points
  4. I think that I was (around about) a 2005 joiner, having moved to France in late 2004. Over the years I have gained countless amounts of advice & information. On the odd occasion, I may have been able to reciprocate. I hear some concern over the level of contribution these days. Frankly, I don’t share that concern. Those of us who go back that far can remember some of the acerbic attacks and pointless bickering that went on, almost always from the same culprits. It wasn’t very nice, to say the least. Nowadays, people can (hopefully) ask a question and get some informed and unbiased advice. Even daft boogers like ALBF lighten proceedings .......... and he never seems to take offence ! In summary - quality & civility are better than vitriol, IMO
    3 points
  5. If I may, I’ll return to the self service checkouts. A pain in the backside for some ? Maybe. For me? If I’ve got half a dozen or so items and want to get in & out quickly? Ideal. I’ll say no more.
    2 points
  6. Thanks for your thoughts about Mrs G’s MS, but she was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago and is pretty accustomed to it ! The Neurology Prof reckons that the condition (for her) is essentially benign, although there are tens of thousands of others for whom this isn’t the case with MS or other health problems. Accordingly, she feels pretty ‘lucky’. The biggest problem has been her loss of independence (driving is out of the question) and so the ability to get round a big supermarket, stopping and starting where she chooses to, rather than where I push her, will be a big deal ! Its strange how such seemingly trivial things can assume major importance ?
    2 points
  7. Everything was fine years ago; every town had its own time. Then the railways messed things up with their idea of a standard time. Afghanistan has the best setup. GMT plus 4 1/2 hours - and back 600 years.
    2 points
  8. Nope, I saw one bird changing his watch this morning, he must have forgotten to do it last night😀
    2 points
  9. Hurriedly took this photo during our morning walk through a busy part of Nantes this morning (was a popular area with drug dealers but they have cut away the shrubbery they hid in). Mother with her large family scurrying across the path to an adjacent field.
    2 points
  10. I hope that this thread will remind the oldtimers (me? 2006) about how important a part this forum has played in their lives. And I hope the newbies will realise how the forum used to be lively and, yes, fun! Can we all make a huge effort to keep it going? After all, you don't need to be an expert in anything, you could have an opinion, a joke to share, a discovery to reveal to others. It's really not that difficult, is it?
    2 points
  11. CooperLola. I was thinking about her only yesterday. The way she took the lead during the CPAM crisis. I know there were other groups involved but what she and other members of this forum did was amazing and instrumental in changing the UK government's position. If it hadn't been for them I wouldn't still be in France.
    2 points
  12. Ter seems to be the new way to pronounce to.........."I was going ter do something". It makes me cringe!
    2 points
  13. Portsmouth has only two ferry operators using the facilities , Brittany Ferries and Condor. They don't have a dedicated freight terminal. Crossing times are long, fuel is expensive, so cost of crossing is high, as BF passengers know only too well. Dover on the other hand has a dedicated freight/cargo terminal. Crossing times are much shorter so much cheaper. Ferry operators using Dover are DFDS Dover>Calais, DFDS Dover >Dunkirk, Irish Ferries Dover >Calais and P & O dover >Calais In addition, the road distance to Calais for fresh food exports from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Northern France is shorter than to Caen, St Malo, Le Havre. Nothing to do with Brexit, a lot to do with crossing times, cost and freight handling facilities.
    2 points
  14. your wish is our command 😊
    2 points
  15. Thks Belves…never thought of all that. 😂
    1 point
  16. It's great that they're finally leveraging technology to streamline this process. Hopefully, it'll make things easier for everyone and crack down on uninsured drivers.
    1 point
  17. Just move house, ALBF! Goodness knows you have threatened often to do so. Sorry, couldn't resist teasing you. I do sympathise. Everyone, just keep away from him, what with all that coughing and sneezing.....ugh.....give him a wide berth! ALBF, have you had a word with your pharmacien? Does anyone know of one of those Bach remedies that might work?
    1 point
  18. I will hunt them down and give them a give them a go. I will try anything.
    1 point
  19. If you can find powdered quails eggs, try them. Mr Betise suffers from horrible hay fever, but since he started taking 3 tablets par jour, he no longer has to take antihistamines, and despite often being in our garden, cutting the lawn etc (and we live in a very rural setting) he can live a normal life. We pooh poohed the idea, but it really does work for him.
    1 point
  20. What were they expecting to happen when they introduced these stupid machines in the first place ? I hate self servive checkouts. They are just for greedy shareholders because food retailers don’t want to employ people and pay the money to them instead. We have to pay not only inflated food prices in France but we also have to sell it ourselves. Next customers will be stacking the shelves as well. The criminals are not the ones weighing the wrong veg. I don’t condone crime in any form or manner but in this case I would turn a blind eye. Anyway, that is my rant over. I wish you all a very happy end of the day. P.s don’t get me started about not being able to check your tyre pressures in France. Not surprised there are so many accidents. Scandal !
    1 point
  21. I think its just another way of making money for the Bank. Look at "Le virement instantané" . For quite sometime Revolut and BoursoBank (for example) have had these available for free (Revolut do country to country free). Its only recently that a change in European rules have forced banks to offer this service without the charges they were levying on clients. Some were charging up to 10€ for the service, whist others, at the same time, offered it free. Its always about the money.
    1 point
  22. Well I suppose technically CA can charge what they like for the use of their ATM's but I agree it sounds outrageous. One to avoid I think. I don't know whether or not this would help but I recently set up a Wise account. I've set it up with two 'pots' one in euros and one in sterling. I can transfer funds online and then decide which pot I want it to go into. I then use the debit card to pay for goods or withdraw cash. I think I used a CA ATM to activate the card and I certainly wasn't charged 6 euros for the privilege.
    1 point
  23. I've just mamaged to change the hour forward, twice now in 2 days .. as I'm back in France. Arrived at the hotel last night and said, what time is it please? Tunnel was late, which didn't help! Maybe by the time I'm home - 2 more days - I'll have sorted myself out!!
    1 point
  24. Over the Easter weekend I managed to go back one hour, forward one hour, and forward one hour again. Just got home and all the clocks are at the wrong time. Quite discombobulating.
    1 point
  25. Did the return from our bike ride on Easter Sunday in the pouring rain, though no head wind. Felt quite good oddly enough to be out in the rain. Sun came out in the afternoon for a bit. Strangely, my wife has several solar lights in the flower pots on the balcony. We have had quite a few sunny days, but they have not charged. After the driving rain in the morning and then the sun, they were all on last night. Perhaps they to have heeded the wetness and changed over to rain charging!
    1 point
  26. I just stay on my own clock. Yesterday I got up at 5am…this morning I got up at 6am…..according to someone’s clock. It will be the same when clocks go backwards. Stay on your own clock…is ALBF advice.
    1 point
  27. I think that all of Europe are in agreement about doing away with the phantom hour, the problem is that no one can agree about whether we stay in Central European Time, or in CET+1. And so it goes on ...
    1 point
  28. My chickens certainly are and I go with the flow. We base our days on sunrise and sunset 🙂
    1 point
  29. If you do not have the food supplement the goats will go and find it, probably at a neighbouring farm or garden centre!
    1 point
  30. Thank you Pierre ad albf; you are both right so buyers should draw from both sources.
    1 point
  31. There is no such thing as bilingual. AI might be bilingual sooner or later but not humans. You always favor one language. There will always be a loss in translation. And bare in mind the proceedings will be in French anyway. That is the rules in France. There lies your problem. Buying a house in a foreign country (particularly France) is high risk. But that is the risk you take when buying abroad. I would not waste my time and energy on a supposedly bilingual notaire. Well unless you are an American buying a 10 million property in St Tropez. In the op’s part of France they are used to dealing with English folks. So the op will get through it. BTW, never read any of our documents relating to the purchase of the house. Just make sure you know your boundaries and that people or servitudes don’t have access to your land.
    1 point
  32. Hello Edel: I am a French bilingual US-educated (MBA) real estate consultant/agent with my own carte (licensed broker) and 14 years experience. I primarily act as a buyer's agent for English-speaking customers. Based on my experience, here is what I would tell a customer in your situation: 1) Given your expressed needs, I strongly recommend that you hire a bilingual notaire, or even a Franco-British notaire. I dont know how many there are, but I know one I have worked a few times with - it went really well. It is also possible to work with a notaire employing bilingual/binational staff - as the "clerc de notaire" does most of th work, that could work. And when you're with the notaire in-person, the clerc can act as a translator. 2) A very important fact: the notaire does NOT have to be local. In France, notaires can act anywhere in the country. 95% of notaire offices are equipped with videoconferencing tools (thansk to Covid). Which will make it easier to find the right notaire: you can look anywhere in France! (As a matter of fact, a good number of French people, the wealthiest who deal regularly with a notaire have "their own" notaire, which they use for all notaire business - because they trust him/her.) I would ask the UK embassy for names of notaires - I have never done that, but there is no downside in trying... 3) Every transaction is a new transaction for a notaire. Menaing it doesn't matter that the house has been sold/bought at any given notaire. The plus here is that the notaire has a quicker access to some of the documents - but most need to be updated anyway, and the notaire HAS to get newly produced documents anyway. 4) About translation: you may want to translate the important documents (compromis first, that's the most crcuail one, and acte authentique later - which contains almos the same content). I would, for peace of mind. But you will always want your advisor (noatire, clerc, biligual agent, lawyer) to trake you through it parapgraph by paragraph and explain - before the actual signing meeting. It'll take you an hour, worth it. IMHO dont pay a translator to assist you during the process or the meeting - it's not worth it. And dont forget: "Google translate" is now 95% efficient. At zero cost. Useful also for email exchanges. Hope that helps. BTW: I can provide you with the names of the notaires I mentioned in the post. Just ask! [This is my first post on this forum, so please excuse possible protocol errors...]
    1 point
  33. AnOther, I wish TeamedUp (or idun) could be here to look at your photos. I reckon you two could be the first forum members to star in Forum MasterChef. Or maybe Forum BakeOff?
    1 point
  34. Oh yes, of course Claire, who I did meet in person, IRL as people like to say now, before we "met" each other again on the forum. Although it did take me a while to realise that they were one and the same person. She had the patience of a saint.
    1 point
  35. Anyone remember chris pp? He was the forum's David Attenborough. If something bizarre with six legs appeared in your home he could identify it.
    1 point
  36. A tragic mistake they stopped making them. Still the best looking bulletproof little suv on the road. It does everything. We love it. We bought ours new in 2011…..so we have had it now….12 years. Before that an Octavia 2. We will keep it until it dies. Which it won’t.
    1 point
  37. We only have experience of buying a house in France, not selling, but we survived a non-English speaking notaries.
    1 point
  38. I thought from the original posters question that he intended to be at the signing(s) himself. I'm not across the current POA regs as I've never used them.
    1 point
  39. Go with your gut. There's no reason why, in this day and age, the Notaires can't communicate with each other by email. Once you're happy with the final Compromis you can sign it at the 'local' Notaires office. If you do decide to go with a translator, make sure they're court appointed. That way you can sign an English version of your contract which will be held, with the French version, at the Notaires office.
    1 point
  40. Suspect I joined in about 2004/5, when the idea of moving to France when retirement was close enough to make it viable, but it might have been sooner, as I'd been thinking of it for sometime before it became a feasible option. Since we came in 2005 (or OH did, I had to wait to retire so was behind him), in 2005, it was certainly by then. As for the names, they are to conjure wiith. SD helped with tax affairs as well as many other topics, Copperlola, RH and other all remembered fondly here .. but as to when it actually started, qui le sait??? I'm currently on hols and family visiting it the UK, so late to seeing, responding and even posting in my own right!. Tant pis!! Suspect other forums ie FB might have thought to replace this one, but do you know, it doesn't do the same job at all!
    1 point
  41. **** Smith had a sparring partner I seem to remember. Used to run a B&B in Brittany. Anyone remember his name?
    1 point
  42. I like how 'reach out' is being reclaimed from the office environment. I'm reminded of this diagram.
    1 point
  43. I am sure i joined in the very early 2000s. I remember Coco, **** (short form of Richard) Smith, and other old-timers. In fact some of us made an assignation at the French Property exhibition one year. Russet house of course, and Auricaria(?sp), Christine Animal, and the marvellous woman from Le Mans, who went on an "itchy feet" tour to meet some of us.
    1 point
  44. How could I have left off "reach out"? I've only just remembered this ghastly expression in the last couple of days when the Princess of Wales gave her speech about her cancer diagnosis. In no time at all, all sorts of bods "reached out" to her....including, naturally her brother- and sister- in-law. As though the poor woman doesn't have enough to contend with without all and sundry reaching out like that....uuuggghhhh! If I were her, I'd make sure I am well and truly out of reach! Can't people just approach or even contact someone instead?
    1 point
  45. I’ve cut out most news bulletins and programmes as they just want to stir up rowdyism and not have decent debate. And I ignore most news in the papers except for stuff about Trump as I dream of seeing him in a prison jumpsuit with his head shaved and in chains. Fat chance! The BBC is a mere shoddy shadow of itself.
    1 point
  46. Harder than ever to support their strikes. Yesterday, I was walking with a large group of mainly French walkers (maybe excusively French as nobody else ever seems interested) including a couple of hundred primary school children in a part of the Dordogne I have never visited. This was part of the Grande Randonnée vers Paris as part of the JO. I mentioned the possible strikes to some people I didn't know but were on the same walk. There was a lot of anger (including mine) that the strikers should even consider action to disrupt the JO. How could they have the heart to do this with the whole world's eyes on Paris and France? This is their country that they profess to love? On the plus side, you should have seen little kids some no older than 5 years old, turning up to walk their own little bit of the randonnée and the elderly people coming out in their salles des fête and mairies and leisure centres, dispensing drinks, refreshments, friendship and encouragement to the walkers.
    1 point
  47. Good show, Edel! And don't worry about the bureaucracy too much. It's one of those things, if you say France people think bureacracy! In fact, it's no worse and often even better than in the UK. I say this rather sourly because I have been dealing with UK bureacracy for months now;
    1 point
  48. I read that the system is 99.6% effective, so yes it will be good to have the proof just in case!
    1 point
  49. We have two right hand drive French registered cars, as you say nothing on the CG.
    1 point
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