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Posts posted by Cerise

  1. You are right Betty. OH says that if they should phone he will start shouting at them saying it is all their fault that I have left!!

    I stopped cold calls to him from the bank by this method. When they asked for Mr Cerise I said he was out. They asked if I was Mrs Cerise and I replied 'The swine, is he married? He promised he wasn't etc'

    They went away and haven't rung back since!
  2. Well put Norman.

    I lived in the UK and I was very happy. I certainly don't recognise the miserable picture you paint Ron. Cornwall was beautiful, even in Dunstable we lived backing on to the Green Ways and had lovely views every day, super neighbours, good jobs and a fine life. We moved to France for an adventure, initially for 5 years. We stayed 10 years, made loads of excellent friends, had fun, husband learned new language and new trade. I became a member of the council and local associations. We ran our own businesses (and that was the bit I hated with mind numbing petty bureaucracy and the unreasonable and infathomable charges) but over all I was happy and had fun. Then we moved on (not back) to Derbyshire where I am also very happy.

    Overall I prefer living in the UK because it offers me so many more opportunities. I often felt frustrated with the complexity of dealing with even the most simple thing in France Try going anywhere on holiday that is not France! Expensive and complicated.

    Ou best French friends have just done the reverse and have moved to the UK for an adventure - they arrives a couple of weeks ago and it will be interesting to see how they find it. But at the moment they are full of wonder about how easy things are and delight in the beauty of the country.

    Happiness is within. No where is perfect and criticising the bad aspects of a place does not make you miserable just realistic.

  3. When I left France last June I had an Orange Mobile phone for which I paid £14.99 a month. I tried to cancel the contract on grounds I was moving to UK, didn't want it etc. but they required me to give them back my phone and give them over 100€ if I did this. Whereas, I was assured by the lady in the shop, I could keep the phone if I simply paid up until the end of the contract Jan 2013. Seemed the cheaper option (so still not cheap) so I decided to do that. At the end of January they did not stop the contract. and took money in Feb and March. Having tried (unsuccessfully) to get it stopped I cancelled the prelevement, closed the bank account and ignored them.

    I wrote and told them I lived in UK, had paid up and was not paying any more. I then received a couple of letters which I ignored saying I still owed them for April and May (no explanation). I continued to ignore them hoping they'd go away. I paid for 6 months I didn't want already. Today I have received a huissiers letetr from some outfit called Intrum Justia telling me thay are chasing me for 67.10€ (including interest and expenses!) on behalf of Orange Mobile.

    I am tempted just to bin this as I don't think I owe this bunch anything but at the same time don't want to give myself and serious money hassles over such a small sum. Given that I don't live in France now, no longer have a French bank account, and have not used the phone in question, realistically if I just ignore them is there anything they can actually do? Ideas anyone?

    Before anyone asks I don't have a copy of a lettre racommandé as I actually went to their shop. Should have done it I suppose but thought paying up for the 6 months would be enough!
  4. I think you will find that idun is still a French tax payer despite living in UK.

    Anyone who finds French bureaucracy OK cannot surely have ever worked in France. Having spent 10 months trying to get the Caisse de Congés Payés to pay us OUR money I finally resorted to speaking to the Prudhommes who said 'Vous êtes très tenace Madame, le plupart des gens laissent tomber'! And we were talking about 2000€!

    The French medical system is a postcode lottery the same as the UK. I've sat for hours in a French A & E and I know those who have done the same in UK. However I broke my ankle in March here in UK and was seen, X-rayed, plastered and returned home with a specialists appointment for the follwing day, all within 2 hours and the care and the staff were all excellent. It really does depend where you land up.

    Most French officials I have dealt with have been perfectly pleasant and completely and utterly inefficient.
  5. We sold our Chambre d'Hotes and moved back to the UK and it was pretty painless (unless you count battering head on brick wall trying to stop things like Orange and mutuelle as painful!!)

    I assume you have closed your AE and deregistered your Ch d'Hotes with Mairie etc. You do need to be realistic about selling price for your property if you want to move on. We had ours on market for nearly 2 years at prices suggested by immobilier. I was fed up, changed immobilier put it on at more sensible price and it sold almost straight away - OK people though we sold it too cheaply but I had a life to get on with! In order that any sale is not held up, you should establish with the notaire that you were tax resident in France and it was your primary residence. Deposit copies of your Avis d'Impositions with him so that he doesn't hold up things unnecessarily by asking for that information after a sale. Write (lettre racommandé) and advise tax office that you have ceased working in France and establish a date from which you become UK resident. You will still need to complete a tax form in 2014 for this year anyway. Ours for 2012 turned up here as it should this year, so they must have actually rea dmy letter!

    Setting up life in UK was a piece of cake - did everything from comfort of sofa on the phone. We started up new business and that was easy too.

    Been back just over a year now and am SOOO glad not to have to fight some dopey administration or other at every turn. France is a beautiful country and lovely for the holidays!

    Good luck with your move.
  6. Suggest you don't take a notaire's cheque as their cheques cannot be cleared for transfer to another country quickly (we were quoted 28 days). Our notaire transferred funds to our Credit Agricole Bank Account in the morning and I went to the bank and transferred to HIFX in the afternoon - I have to say had enormous problems both with notaire (who didn't want to do transfer) and then with bank who tried to say it was illegal to transfer funds out of country immediately (it's not). However persistence paid off and we got the money moved quickly.
  7. Have travelled regularly with dogs on all routes (LD, Tunnel, DFDS)except BF and they have never needed muzzle. In fact the dogs have never even got out of the car. The check in assistant always hands us the microchip reader and we scan the dogs on the French side only. Travelling from Le Havre if you take the next exit (rather than the ferry port) off the final roundabout and go along the river there is a park along side - after the big shopping centre - where you can walk the dog prior to embarkment. Use LD Lines often and there are usually quite a few dogs, none ever seem anxious or distressed by the journey. Provided the dog is used to travelling in the car he'll be OK.
  8. idun - I think the only practical way would be some kind of guaranteed salary for rural doctors, but I can't see that happening. The 2 doctors in our village are both in their 50s and they are anxious about what will happen when they retire. Wives and children do not want to be in these country regions for all sorts of practical and social reasons. Both local doctors work alone without receptionist or secretaries - which means consultations are constantly interrupted by phone calls. Good docs but the systems are antiquated and the premises less than adequate. The older of the 2 often runs 2 hours behind with his appointments and works from 7.30 am to 9 pm plus call outs - not a life for most GPs I feel.
  9. I think you"d be completely barmy to move to France BUT I've never known anyone at all be asked to justify their presence or their resources since the days when the Carte de Sejour was stopped.

    You won't get any help from anyone, and it won't be much fun if you get ill. However in our area anyway there are plenty of people (only English or Dutch I have to say) who've been here for much longer than the 10 years I've been here, never been part of the system, worked on the black and never been bothered. The authorities are aware of their existence but so long as they don't ask for anything don't seem to care. Despite all the dire warnings on forums like this the reality is that nothing much happens to them. Those who are correctly registered and above the parapet seem to get much more hassle.

    I dare say this will be immediately refuted by those who 'know' but as a law abiding registered person - and I'm on the local council so have a pretty fair idea of what goes on - I often wonder why I ever bothered as I deal with all the bothersome administration that goes with being legal and watch those who aren't just get on with their lives. I wouldn't do what you want to do, but if you do so long as you don't ask for assistance I don't think anyone will bother you.
  10. Norman - I don't think the fact that we have received good care makes it any less important to criticise the problems. Good care should be for everyone not just those fortunate enough to be able to afford it.

    I actually felt I had to come back and post as I was so incensed by the righteous indignation over the state of the NHS and the seeming lack of interest by the same folk in the parlous state of the French health system. Because I am involved locally in all that goes on, good and bad, I find it hard to osit on the sidelines saying all is well.

    Like idun I am naturally curious and interested in the place I live , be that UK or France.
  11. Yes sad but true. Many of the 'private' clinics also refuse the cards. I read somewhere that as many as a third of doctors in some areas of Paris refuse CMU patients. Of course they are not supposed to but they do.

    I have had the personal and very very shocking experience of taking someone to hospital for a cancer diagnosis in my capacity as member of localCCAS. We live in a rural area and hospital transport is only available to those who are already diagnosed. A doctor announced to this poor lady that she had stage 3 cancer and when - very shocked - she went to the reception she handed over her CMU card and it was thrown back at her and she was told she had to pay 46 euros. She had no money and was weeping - I was also nearly in tears (she was not someone I knew) and got out my cheque book and paid because I could not stand a fellow human being treated like that. When I went to complain (and believe me I complained) I was received with a shrug and told that it was the way life in France was now! The poor woman re-paid me when the money was reimbursed but I was left with a profound distaste for the system of the country I live in - even more so as very few people seemed surprised or disturbed by this tale.
  12. Well Norman, that all sounds quite doable - errr perhaps not!

    I actually don't think it is beyond the realms of possibility that Marine Le Pen could do well. However objectionable her party may be there is no doubt that she is well spoken and convincing sounding. People who I think are otherwise OK seem to be persuaded that she is OK. Here in the SW there has always been a largish NF following but the endemic racism seems to be getting worse and worse. Yesterday in my stint at the library I sat through and anti-immigrant rant by several of the good ladies of our village and when I tried to protest was given to understand that it was the likes of me and my wishy washy anglo saxon ideas that was causing the country to fall apart. I was informed that the majority of immigrants were such that they could NEVER be assimilated. The violence and unpleasantness of it by a bunch of middle aged middle class elderly ladies really took me aback!
  13. You are so right Betty about confusing quality with quantity. Your doctor doesn't ask you to pop back at the end of your 5 day course of antibiotics because he cares, but because you are going to pay him 23€ so he can say you are OK now!

    The system is very difficult for doctors in rural areas particularly - hence the shortage of doctors in many places. For the same reason many doctors (illegally) refuse the CMU cards as the government takes longer and longer to reimburse them. They have overheads and lives to run but unless enough people come through the door brandishing 23€ they'll find that difficult. Very tempting indeed to have lots of elderly 'worried well' who are happy to fork out knowing the hard pressed system and their mutuells will repay them. Much easier than having actually unwell people who have no money.
  14. My actual point was that even though this is a French forum LOTS of people seem to have plenty to say about the state (perceived or otherwise) of things in the UK. There is plenty of collective indignation for the failings of the system. However when equally sad/unpleasant things happen in France there is little or no comment. It is as if they feel that any adverse comment about France cannot be made. My French friends and acquaintances are loud in their indignation about the system. If no one commented on the UK posts then I wouldn't find it so strange. For me it is a disgrace that France is not a third world country and yet so many people are denied access to proper health care. I would have been angry were that the case when I lived in the UK and I'm angry about it now I live here. I don't understand the complacency. The fact that I'm lucky enough to be able to afford to go to the doctor's and have a decent mutuelle in no way makes it right that other people can't. Decent health care is the mark of a decent society. Having to fight the system when you are ill is sad and depressing.
  15. Yes Balham, you are probably right. I sadly find that most the English people I meet here have their heads completely in the sand as far as France and its services are concerned. This can only be because they rarely, if ever, have to deal with the incompetent numpties who staff such wondrous organisations as Pole Emploi, CPAM or RSI and because they are fortunate enough to have enough money for a decent mutuelle or to pay for all the extras the French health service runs up. I still however find it odd that they can work themselves onto such a lather about the UK's shortcomings. This after all is a forum about France - you might think the inadequacies of the system here and the fact that their French neighbours might not be getting any healthcare might bother them a bit more.
  16. I haven't posted to this or any other French forums for a while and this thread reminds me why. Elsewhere on the forum 8 or 9 pages of indignant squealing about the perceived poor quality of the NHS. Here Betty points out that a 38 year old man DIED because he thought he couldn't even afford medical care in a 'civilised' country and no body much squeaks at all.

    As a member of our local CCAS (social help committee) I am saddened virtually daily by the fact that many people in my commune do not get suitable medical care. I find it amazing that everyone does not think this is huge scandal.
  17. Ella - if you are still reading and you are in UK - University of London have one of their Colleges in Paris where all the teaching is done in French (not a lot of people know this). My niece is currently in her third year there and is enjoying very much. She has English style courses, pastoral care etc but entirely in French. The university also helped her to find lodgings - a small studio in the private house of a French family. If you have the apprpriate A levels you could apply there as a compromise.
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