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Everything posted by Cerise

  1. Absolutely Sue.  The whole point is that these are not adult asylum seekers they are CHILDREN.  Their own families may have abused them by trafficking them in this dreadful way - or may have been genuinely duped into thinking they were sending their children to some safer, better life.  It seems wrong that the French authorities also ignore their plight  Children do not choose this life - the rights and wrongs of the adults who exploit them are a bit irrelevant.  We as adults of whatever nationality surely have a duty to protect ALL children.
  2. Suein56 - I agree with your post.  That children live like this in the country I live in saddens me enormously (and before anyone starts it saddened me in UK too).  I don't know what the rest of this lot are on, but there is no comparison between living in a slightly chilly house and wearing second hand clothes with being trafficked across the world and left to live in the streets of a foreign land.  It does not matter where these children come from, ALL children should be protected and it is indeed a sad state of affairs that the authorities are aware of the situation and do little if nothing to help.
  3. Clair is right you should contact your 'mutuelle' for advice, a list of dentists and perhaps get other devis.  Dentistry seems to be pretty expensive everywhere, but if the mutuelle told you their cover was 'correct' I think they are the first port of call to discuss.
  4. Aged 14 (1968) my father put me on the boat train in London and I travelled alone to Newhaven, then on the ferry to Dieppe to meet my correspondante who I knew only from some schoolgirl letters and some poor black and white photos of her family.  Her dad was boss of the local woodyard, her mum a housewife and they had 3 other children.  There was no inside loo in their farmhouse and I had to share a bed with Martine and her sister Edith. The house, the room - and the bed - were enormous and really old and I was a bit horrified by the chamber pot.  It was like going back to Victorian times but I LOVED it.   No-one spoke a word of English and I had to speak French or not communicate.  The only thing I hated was when her granny asked me to chose one of the exotic chickens in her grden - and when I did she killed it for our dinner!  They ate all kinds of things I'd never seen, allowed us to drink wine with water and they all smoked like chimneys.  I was a thoroughly modern miss with mini-skirts and Martine had to go to school wearing a brown overall and grey ankle socks. When I went home I told my parents what a wonderful time I'd had.  I edited out a few bits like there being no proper bathroom as I feared they might not let me go again.  Martine and her friend Evelyn came to stay with my family and we exchanged several more times.  We continued to correspond until well into our 30s when sadly we lost touch.  My love of France was born there (my parents had never been abroad) and at 18 I was living in Paris as an au-pair for the family of a professor from the Sorbonne.  I look back on that time as a marvellous adventure. Perhaps today's children who go on exotic holidays practically from birth would simply not relish the sense of adventure and being grown up that that experience gave me.  I'm glad I was able to do it.
  5. We always eat with ours in the evening and have system where we both do part of the work and OH clears up while I have coffee with them.  Don't find it more stressful than any other dinner party, although sometimes I wish they'd be happy with just one dish!  By the end of the season I never wish to see a fancy dessert or a plate of cheese again. However, I could NOT have breakfast with them - that would drive me mad.  I'm an early riser and I'd be starving to death by the time most of them came down.  Breakfast on my own then walk the dog before the day starts - gives me a bit of peace and sanity.
  6. NormanH - I believe things can be sorted with 'les impots' by sending them a  tray of chocolate eclairs every so often.
  7. Difficult for me to say yet as we're open all year and season not yet over, but I estimate we'll be about 25% down for the B & B - also 6th season.  Most of our bookings were regulars plus new French plus this year Spanish (maybe they're staying nearer to home too).  Very few new English customers.  Less French customers staying a week or more and  many more French customers taking short breaks.  Other B & Bs in area report same or worse and most gites seem down too - except for smaller cheaper gites catering for couples.  Campsites locally are doing well!  Restaurants have suffered badly and one well known one locally said re thought takings would be down about 40%.  Most worrying sign of the times to me was that I've twice in recent weeks been to Toulouse and been able to get to eat in Marché Victor Hugo at lunchtime without booking or queueing, plus been able to get parking in Cordes-sur-Ciel on a Saturday morning - previously unheard of. At local functions we have noticed more people bringing picnics and local fête meals have had much less numbers booked.  I guess it will pick up again as I get the impression that it is more about fear of having no money than an actual lack of cash.  
  8. sweet17 - no it doesn't equate to that for everyone, but it does for quite a lot of people.  However, whether you are very ill, or hardly ill at all, you are still equally infectious.  My point is that any 'hardly ill' person could have the swine flu and we wouldn't know.  Niece, as I say, was barely ill at all and only supposedly 'knew' she had it as others at her workplace had been diagnosed. 
  9. I reckon it is all a storm in a teacup.  My niece in London supposedly had swine flu.  She was off colour for a couple of days!  If I was off colour for a couple of days I wouldn't give it much thought beyond taking an asprin or two and having a day off.  Presumably there are millions of unpanicky people like me in the world, so potentially any of my recent guests who have had a snivel or two could have had swine flu without knowing.  Repelling those who know they have it ( diagnosed medically - as opposed to those who say they have it) might be sensible, but realistically any of our guests could be incubating it/have had it recently/actually have it and would we be any the wiser. The original poster's clients sound as though they may just be wishing to cancel for reasons best known to themselves and do not have insurance.  Without confirmed medical diagnosis I think they either come on holiday or lose their deposit.
  10. When various women's magazines made them popular!!  Of course their are some people who have genuine allergies - but the strange thing is, they are rarely dificult.
  11. Any one who expects me to bake my own bread - for us, guests or anyone else - in 40°C is out of their tree.  They can eat whatever the supermarket or baker's can supply and I'll stick to taking them canoeing.  Much cooler, and much more fun. PS Caught Mrs Gluten Allergy eating a bit of someone else's croissant.
  12. No don't fry separately ... do add a drop of red wine.
  13. Just waved off gluten, lactose and caffeine intolerant guests.  Managed to get most things for them in LeClerc including bread made with rye and oats (cost 2.36€ for a pack which lasted 3 breakfasts).  Our lot had evening meals as well and it was a little tricky but the normal guests ate the modifed food without complaint.  Creme caramel made with almond milk was delicious, but those rice cakes seriously resemble polystyrene.  The dog may well get the rest of the soy yoghurts as they are not delicious.
  14. If you find the answer I'd like to know!  We live in France but wish to fly to India from UK (it is MUCH cheaper) but no-one seems to know if we should get visas here or there.  If necessary I'll go to get one from whereever as I don't want to be separated from my passport for any length of time, as I may need to go to UK urgently.  
  15. Failed - 42%.  Will have to sneak in the back door.  What daft questions - most people would neither know nor care about such things..
  16. I've had this request a few times, and the answer was always 'No!'.  However this year I have let one or two families use the barbeque in the garden.  I think some French owned B & Bs do provide a cooking area and certainly not all our French guests exactly 'get' the concept of Chambres d'Hôtes!  (No, Mmme Unetelle, your 14 passing relatives can't share your room for a couple of nights[:)]!). Sweet 17 - a couple of years ago I badly injured my foot in August - one very lovely lady customer, seeing that I looked tired and in pain, stepped in and cooked dinner for us all.  I really appreciated that, but don't expect it to happen often.
  17. Well I'm glad it is brilliant everywhere else - though somehow I wonder.  The whole of our area is quiet.  The guests we have are mostly repeat bookings and last minute requests.  Yesterday I took clients to St Cirq Lapopie - a tourist trap if ever there was one - and we were able to walk into a restaurant at 12.30 without having booked, previously unheard of in that area during August.  Ditto the Pont Valentré in Cahors, straight into a car park alongside instead of circling for ages looking for something.  Much pleasanter of course, but not much good for trade.  I am pleased for all those who are doing so well, but spare a little thought for those areas where currently the tourists seem to have packed up -I doubt wether several of our local restaurants and businesses will be able to take the strain and will still be here this time next year.
  18. Cassis - perhaps I could swap you some adapters for tee shirts.  This year's guests have all decided to leave tee shirts behind.  I get more things left behind than nicked - get fed up with posting things on.  I try to check the rooms but you would be amazed at the cunning places that people hide their unwanted teeshirts! And does anyone know why, when people spend loads of money on a holiday, they are too mean to buy a 6€ map?
  19. Polly - I just said that I understood that such a dog was not a pet and I WOULD accept it.  In practice it would probably only by a Hearing Dog as, as I stated previously, my house is unsuitable for those who are blind and with severe mobility problems. I would NEVER discriminate against someone with a disability but I have to be sensible about their safety, as with that of all clients.  As I pointed out earlier I have made exceptions for those with dogs in the past, where I felt assured that the owners would behave sensibly  and I could do so again.  I think Clair is also saying she would try to direct someone to a more suitable property and I feel you are just trying to make a point.
  20. I would accept an assistance dog as I know it is not a pet.  However, my property is not really suitable for anyone with real mobility problems or for anyone blind.  We can and have accepted people with various handicaps but are always careful to point out limitations which may spoil their holiday.  Although I would accept the assistance dog I still wouldn't be that happy, as I don't really want dogs(mine or anyone else's) in my bedrooms EVER and it would also restrict my own dogs.  There are plenty of people who think otherwise and are happy to accept pets, in fact most hotels in France accept pets so not accepting dogs has never really cause me problems.  B & Bs and gites are not really the same as hotels in so far as they are usually people's own homes and I feel that, within reason, we should be able to decide what we will accept in our own homes.  
  21. Sueyh - I agree with you, and even occasionally go to hotels with dogs myself.  However, I decided on the no dogs thing chez moi as unfortunately an awaful lot of people are not responsible and I really didn't want the hassle.  I do have two nice dog cages and have been known to make an exception if the owners agree to their dogs sleeping in the cages.  Most immediately say 'No - he sleeps in our bed' which means they are not the guests for me. We had horses staying at the B & B the other day.  They were delightful, didn't remove their make up with the towels, didn't wake the neighbourhood coming in at 3.00 am and did a passable job of tidying up the garden.  Their owners were nice too.
  22. Easy to refuse other people's dogs.  Much as I love mine they are not allowed in the bedrooms or dining room.  Most guests would like to take their's to the bedrooms with them, so no doggies.  Even the nicest dogs drop hair and are a bit grubby, plus if not regularly Frontlined we could easily have a nasty infestation of fleas[+o(] 
  23. Be sure your commune requires you to pay taxe de séjour.  Not all do.   By tax do you mean TVA?  I would not have thought you would be TVA registered.
  24. Fi - sorry to hear your tale of woe.  Hope you and your sheep have recovered. For all the above reasons we do not accept dogs in our B & B, even though we have dogs of our own.  The one time someone managed to sneak one in when we weren't looking,  it peed all over a bedside rug and it too left a littel offering under the bed[+o(].  Did you take a security deposit - because if you did, if I was you I'd keep it!
  25. I think you need to ask for professional advice.  A lot depends exactly what your business does, what your partner does etc.  Start with the Chambre de Commerce who will tell you if you can deregister and re-register as an AE.  Most departments now have some kind of association linked to the C de C who help with business set-up etc so they should be able to point you in the right direction.If your partner works elsewhere and you could be considered a dependant then you may not need to register a B & B at all - simply declare at the Mairie and declare tax under the micro-foncier system.  Presumably you have an accountant and they should be earning their money by advising this sort of thing.  Contact those asking for cotisations, tell them you have no income yet and ask for delay in paying. Things aren't too bright in the tourist trade at the moment and France is a VERY expensive country to work in.  But get help, keep positive and things will pick up.  It takes time to get known.  If you have no guests, use the time to visit the local Tourist Offices, Mairie etc and tell them all about yourself and your business.  Ring up the secretaries of local associations and propose your services to them for any events. Be as bright, breezy and businesslike as you can, invite people to look round and tell them what you do.  Contact local venues for weddings etc and ask them to send you any overspill for accommodation.  Promote yourself and keep busy - sitting at home worrying makes things worse. I am sorry you feel so pressurised and hope you can work towards a solution.  Keep asking the questions and hopefully some answers wll come along.
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