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Everything posted by Cerise

  1. Hi Paul No don't think people have to be a clone of me - and we have lots of things in the bedrooms which we don't have in our own, kettles and teacups for example.  However, it is still my home and our B & B rooms are also used for our own friends and family - what I don't want is my home to look like a hotel.  Equally I think most of our guests chose Chambre d'Hotes for exactly that reason, they like the fact that all Ch d'Hotes are different and reflect the owners ideas rather than a corporate theme.  Horses for courses and all that - the original poster asked what the rest of us do and I gave my opinion.  When I go to someone else's Ch d'Hotes I do not expect it to be like mine - though I might pinch some of their nicer ideas when I go home[:)]   Maggi
  2. I wouldn't have them, as our B & B is our home and I would never have a suitcase stand in my bedroom!!  For the same reason don't like notices etc or TVs in rooms.   We recently stayed in a B & B which was very pleasant, but frankly might as well have been a chain hotel.   I don't think that is why people come to B & Bs.  I do sympathise with Eslier though about grubby cases on the bed covers.  If anyone can tell me how to stop people hanging their wet knickers on the radiators (we have indoor and outdoor clothes lines) I would also be grateful.  Incidentally, why do people only away from home for 3 days feel the need to wash their undies every night - if they can afford to come on holiday surely they can afford 3 pairs of drawers[8-)]  Am I the only person who thinks this practice is wierd? Maggi
  3. We have never had any Germans to stay - nor in fact do we get many into local Tourist Office (edge of Tarn & Tarn & Garonne) lots of Dutch and Belgians but no Germans.  Interestingly, there was German POW camp here during end of World War II and quite a number of the prisoners stayed.  If you look in local phone book plenty of German sounding names, so I would have expected there might have been a few with family connections..   There are beginning to be a few Germans with second homes in the area but nothing like numbers of Belgians, Dutch and English. Maggi
  4. You know, the easiest thing is just to buy a French keyboard, not expensive.  You soon get used to it and if you type quite a lot in French it makes life much easier.  Maggi
  5. We too are a great deal poorer here than in the UK and like St Amour we are poorer than we thought we would be.  We live on around 16000 euros too - but to be honest have subsidised from our savings to have a holiday each year.  We work very hard here and I would really miss not having a break - if I stay here there is always tendency to keep B & B open and not have a holiday.  Although we enjoy our life here I am not sure it is forever as actually - unlike previous posters - I do mind having to count the centimes all the time.  I don't find I miss having clothes etc, but would like to be able to buy new books without worrying about it and have always enjoyed travelling so would like to be able to get out more.  As an aside I wonder why people expect my wanderlust to have been 'cured' by living in France - always keen to explore where ever I am. For the first couple of years (been here 4 years now) didn't bother me as much.  But last year we had MAJOR car problems - and you can't live in rural France without reliable transport - and I realised how much I disliked worrying about whether we could pay bills.  Knowing that any large appliance going wrong is source of serious anxiety rather than an inconvenience puts the dampers on things for me I'm afraid.  We are by no means scraping along on a shoestring, and we don't have any loans.  Perhaps I worry too much, or am just spoilt - I have never been rich but always had jobs which paid enough for the basics and a bit extra.  Back now to basics only I find I do mind - when the sun shines our nice life - can't say relaxed as we work hard - compensates for the lack of cash but this cold miserable winter we have just had, have to say I have had moments of wondering what we are doing. What I would say is that I'm extremely glad we came.  For me nothing is forever, so if in the future we decide to move on this will have been a great experience.  I would always regret not having done it if we had simply stayed in UK.  Maybe another couple of years here I will become less anxious or maybe change direction again who knows.  Sitting around wondering 'what if?' I know I would not have liked. Maggi
  6. SB you are so right prejudice is not just one way - husband's family had plenty to say when he wanted to take up with a white, non-catholic, divorced trollop like me!!  Mostly the only thing to do is laugh as you can't make people's prejudices go away.   Also think some, not all, people of different nationalities/colour/religion do spend their lives looking for offence where none is meant.  It is after all possible to like or dislike someone for many other reasons than their ethnic origin but sometimes they chose to misunderstand.  As a previous poster said you would describe someone as black/brown/white in the same way as you would say they were wearing a blue/green/red jumper  not meaning anything other than purely a description.
  7. Actually, Tresco, my husband - who is Indian and a very attractive shade of brown! - does occasionally call me pink.  As in 'you pinkies all look the same to me!'   Of course it is joke - but it is amazing how horrified and embarrassed people are when he and his cousin make - 'racist' remarks.  For example, cousin - whose wife like me is English - recently had new baby - husband peered at it and said 'Blimey boy, it's pink won't you worry what the neighbours will think.'  Our assembled friends, all English and white looked nervous and didn't know  whether to laugh or not.  For us - like Clair I'm sure - racism is a sad fact of life and it doesn't matter what words people use it is, as SB says, the intent behind them that is unkind.  My dad is Irish and many of his old workmates call him Paddy - even though he is Jim - but that is not the same as someone calling him a 'thick paddy'.  If you call someone African and they are not it may equally offend/irritate them.  Our French neighbour insists that Mike is 'Hindou' however many times he points out that a.  he was brought up in London, and  b even when his family lived in India thay were catholics.  Neighbour insists that Indians come from North America - we cannot convince him that Hindu is a religion not a nationality. I personally don't think 'nègre' is particularly attractive, but have to say have found French not very politically correct any way.  However, if people are not being unkind I don't see it matters too much the words used.  Don't think myself that black coffee or  'petit nègre' bisuits should be eliminated from our vocabulary, it certainly won't change the way people act - they will find new 'insulting' words if that is what they really want to do. Maggi  
  8. Hi there I run a B & B here and am a former dog breeder.  I don't know what sort of dogs you breed, but if they are a bigger breed you may wish to think hard before you continue here.  In most parts of France there is not a general culture of large dogs as pets - this makes selling puppies difficult and also means that the homes they go to may not be what you are used to.  I personally could not bring puppies into the world to be chained up all day or left roaming the streets.  The law regarding dogs is very different and breeders have absolutely no say in what happens to puppies once they have left home, and many 'breeders' here are more or less what we would call puppy farmers in the UK.   Not all I might add, things are changing slowly, but things are not viewed in the same way - no one thinks there is anything wrong with a bitch having a litter at virtually every season for example and the Société Cantrale do not control that sort thing as the Kennel Club tries to in the UK. I still have 2 dogs and keep up my interest by being a member of the breed clubs both here and in the UK.  I think you will find that most holiday makers would not find dog breeding an attraction to your gites, so I would keep the two things separate if I were you and definitely not mention it on gite advertising - barking dogs really put people off. Not trying to sound negative - just realistic.  If you do decide to continue with the dog breeding, you will need to have export pedigrees for all dogs you bring and to register them here - plus take dogs you plan to breed from to show for confimation.  If you want any more information please PM me. Good luck Maggi Wretched software edited my posy - suppose I should have said 'lady dog' - how quaint[:)]    
  9. I'll slosh along with that zeb - the trusty Aigles not only keep out the water, but are actually quite comfy to walk in.  However, not too cheap.  On same subject does anyone actually wear all these galosh type things which the local farm shop has?  Hyper U recently had pink glittery wellies - was wondering whether to take plunge and buy special navy polyester pinny thing and some of these for smart nights out in the village.  What do you think??[^o)]
  10. Yes - sorry Gastines as I said in my PS I misread it - thought it was CdC who were insisting.  Feel sorry for you as this is not applied in many regions I think.  Don't know if your place is suitable to do so - but would it be possible to provide room only, if you are not planning to continue full time, and provide an area where guests could prepare their own breakfasts - thereby avoiding you providing services.  Don't know if that would work - but if you only want to open for one more season it is perhaps worth a thought.  There is a French lady who provides 'B & B'(?) like that near us and she seems to have plenty of guests.  Might be a temporary solution is you only want to open again for a short time. Bon courage Maggi  
  11. Am I missing something here - if you are registered for tax - and paying it if necessary - paying CPAM for your medical requirements, why would the CdC care if you are not registered with them.  Our B & B is not registered sith CdC- but we have licence, pay tax, pay cotisations through husband's employment (i.e. don't have CMU) and no-one has ever shown the slightest interest in our registering (I realise that this varies from area to area).  The CdC - to my knowledge - do not inspect B&Bs, the tax office have always been aware of our activities and exact income, I am on local committee for tourism and most B & Bs (not all) seem to be unregistered but legal in this area.  If you are not registered with CdC who would mind if not, tax office, CPAM, Mairie etc.  If they are all satisfied who - other than CdC themselves - says that you need to register and what are the consequences if you dont? Not being controversial, just interested,as trying with aid of local Pays committee to formulate some sort of guide for newcomers to B & B.  Theis view is that you don't need to register unless it is your ONLY income. Maggi Whoops - just read that IMPOTS said you had to register, interesting as they were quite adamant that we DIDN'T need to.  Teach me to read properly before I write.
  12. Don't know Ron - but Leclerc in Villefranche was full of flowers for Grandmother's Day.  Both my Grannies having long ago shuffled off their mortal coils I didn't notice the exact date, but guess perhaps soon.   Actually worryingly Leclerc was full of PEOPLE as well as flowers today.  Nobody ever used to go there betwwen 11.30 and 1.30 and I always had the place to myself  - what is going on? Maggi  
  13. A monster size Hachette that I can bearly lift, a concise Harraps 600 page 1997 that I use all the time, a 2 part thing that I won at school in 1967 (am I really so old?) forgotten the make, and a Collins pocket dictionary in each car, in the B & B bedrooms and by the phone.  These last I got for 99p each in The Works in UK and they are very useful for shopping etc.  OH has a specialised dictionary of building terms  Oh, and a delightful Harraps book of slang and swear words much enjoyed by junior visitors to the house.  What a lot of dicionaries - but we do use them.  As I speak French I am constantly being asked to translate for local English folk, and am always amazed that many of them don't even seem to have a dictionary - I would have thought it was a basic requirement. I have promised to buy myself a French only Larousse as I think it would be useful particularly for technical things.   Maggi
  14. Weedon Can I please have the pattern for the masks but in cockatiel size I have already explained that I wish to jump out of a gateau not soup which I think would be too damp and sticky.   Maggi
  15. Working on it Mrs Animal - may even do jumping out of cake thing if you are allowed to do it in France without registering and having siret no. (sadly probably not). Weedon - moles are queueing at the pharmacy as I write.  Put Joey and Cahrlie in cage near the window with a big contagious sign on it and they may move to less suspect pastures.   Maggi
  16. Moderators, moderators, when are you going to quarantine this lot??  I have been totally distracted from trying to give Albi the cockatiel his Lemsip whilst reading this.  If Albi gets flu it will probably be their fault and we may all get whatever this nickers person and mrs animal have got - think weedon already has a terminal case.  Furthermore as Albi is a boy he will probably get bloke-flu which as any woman knows is the most serious kind of flu and much worse than anything turkeys have - anyway I do not let Albi mix with turkeys because they are too rough and he is very nice sort of bird. Maggi
  17. Not the point that it is free - the point is you can't get in to park.  Obviously more control would mean charges so it just seems a shame that the people leaving their cars their for months are in the end ruining it for everyone.  We have several friends who have cars here at their holiday homes and who simply arrange for someone to drive the car to the airport when they arrive and then take it back to their house at the end of their stay.  Not too difficult to organise and much nicer for everyone else. Maggi
  18. And being a miserable so and so I wish everyone would stop leaving cars there for months at a time!!  I have to go there regularly - sometimes twice a week in season - to collect/deliver people and it is now almost impossible to get a parking space because of the number of long term cars.  When I say long term I mean several months.  I understand that it is more convenient for people to have a car here for there holiday home, but couldn't they get someone to collect them if they are not going to be here for several months at a time. Moan over, time for some rare sunshine!! Maggi
  19. Like Quillan we have an LG large capacity machine - much cheaper than some of the other makes and same amount of guarantee.  Really could do with a second machine.  We too have 4 rooms.  During busiest times I sometimes just wash towels myself and send sheets to the laundry. The ironing is what I really hate especially when it is very hot weather.  I do have 2 ironing boards and irons and we can both iron at once if necessary (there's partnership!!)  We do have a tumble dryer but I rarely use it as we have a very large cellar/laundryroom and I have large old fashioned pull up dryer next to boiler and sheets dry very quickly in there when weather is not good. We too go for the all white sheets option - but I buy mine from La Redoute.  As we rarely go to UK and never in car I think buying there would be a bit expensive, plus the sizes are slightly different.  We have one English (rectangular) and one French (square) pillow for each place and although I use quilts also have some sheets and blankets in case anyone prefers. Maggi
  20. Thanks very much that's what I needed to know.  Am used to racing locals to the last space at Rodez and I can take my own sarnies.[:D] so I'll be OK Maggi  
  21. Hello Can anyone who uses Limoges airport tell me about the parking there please?   Does it cost?  Can I safely leave my car (not posh) there for 4 days?    If not is there any other parking nearby? Also can I get anything to eat there? Thanks  
  22. Me again - I agree with Mme Animal that the French neighbour may be delighted to help and might be hurt if you asked someone else.  Taking for her out for a meal is a good idea, or inviting her round if you have barbecue etc.  So long as you don't take her for granted and keep requests for help within reason should be OK.  If she is all alone offers to help chop logs, move heavy objects and so on may also be welcome Opalienne's situation is different I think, as she seems to be being used as a free help and translation service.  When this happened to me it definitely backfired as not only did original family give me more and more grief, but I started getting requests for help from English people for what seemed like miles around.  No-one wanted to pay anyone (I did suggest using a paid help service, but always got the reply "Oh, but it is only this one small thing etc" and I was being literally bombarded.  In the beginning it is true that I offered to help - because basically I'm quite kind - but eventually I could not stand it.  It taught me a lesson in that I am now much more guarded when meeting new people.   Maggi
  23. Say NO and mean it.  I say this advisedly as I helped a family in similar circumstances but eventually their problems became so enormous that my life was being taken over.  When I got to the point that I was dreading to go out in case I bumped into either them or someone who needed me to communicate with them - vet, doctor, mayor etc - I managed to stop helping, but not before things made me really unhappy.  These people and their dogs are not your problem, nor is her return to England, or her inability to speak French - you  are not unkind but just wanting to have a proper life of your own. Bon Courage Maggi
  24. We're about an hour south of Cahors and we realistically look at 12-14 hours to get to Calais including a coupleof short stops.  In a truck I would expect a bit more.  Am always being told by others of astoundingly short times for reaching Channel, but interestingly all our visitors seem to take at least as long as I do and they are always exhausted on arrival if they have done it in one go!! Maggi
  25. We have B & B and everyone assumes that ALL our customers are house hunting.  As we actually have very few house hunters, I end up hiding in the village from people who I know have horrific old family houses for sale.  Yes complete strangers have knocked on the door asking us to sell their houses, and estate agents have rung up asking if they can leave bumph for the clients.  It is irritating but probably an occupational hazard.  I was once unwise enough when asked my opinion on Royal Family to say I couldn't care less and that Princess Diana (the subject under discussion) was - in my opinion - one of the least attractive and dimmest members of a dim bunch.  Not a wise move, almost lynched by enraged mob of village ladies all springing to defense of the "angel"[^o)].  Funny the overwhelming interest that they have. Maggi    
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