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tonyinfrance

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  1. Living in Brighton we have naturally been frequent users of the Newhaven-Dieppe route (not a great service but very convenient).

    Any thoughts on the best alternative?  We don't want to go to Dover so I guess Portsmouth is the obvious choice but the road (A27) is dire....

  2. Like napolean, we've used the SANEF tag for a few years - it's a relatively modest outlay and brings peace of mind if you're a pĂ©age user at peak times.  Wouldn't be without it myself even though we're only in France a few times a year........
  3. Hello Ian - it's true it's a bit of a rubbishy service for private travellers (but handy for me as you say) but I'd always thought the commercial traffic would keep the service going.  Oh well..........

    Sue and I will be back in Carpentras the middle two weeks of  June along with goddaughter #9 - perhaps you might be kind enough to liaise with your stable friends to organise some riding for her again - I'll pm you nearer the time.

    Meanwhile I was sorry to hear about the deforestation near your house - damned nuisance I'm sure.

  4. According to our local paper this route is once again under threat -

    http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/11160839.Ferry_crossing_closure_could_cost_500_jobs/?ref=ms

    This would be a great shame for those of us south of London in Sussex and so on

  5. This is where we learn who reads Viz.............

    Off at a tangent, one of the best things Vinnie did (last year I think) was an ad for heart resuscitation - absolutely priceless

  6. who said there are lies, damned lies, and statistics?

    I believe practically nothing from the police on crime statistics nor the NHS on their performance since they mostly report/don't report according to what makes them look best.  The BBC recently ran a news item (this week I think) about a hospital which as has been hauled up for telling fibs about how soon patients are being treated:  it seems the managers obliged the number crunchers to actively misrepresent the position.....

  7. The dilemma for France is how to become competitive in the international market to keep their economy afloat whilst maintaining their brilliant quality of life - no easy answer as far as I can see.

    Personally I like the "closed on Sundays" approach but then I don't do DIY or anything much else on a Sunday apart from a visit to the boulanger and perhaps a vide grenier.

    It's difficult to run a business in France which is why we see so many of their brightest and best in London but as Sid says above many of us like France as she is, warts and all........

     

  8. We live less than five minutes' walk from the main county hospital in Brighton - that's the good news.

    The bad news is an 8 hour wait is not unknown, especially at weekends when the drink/drug crowd is in evidence.  A friend recently had this experience and after all that time was shunted up to Haywards Heath hospital.

    Happily we have never needed A&E........(hope that's not tempting fate)

  9. If you have power in your garage a battery conditioner is a great idea.  If you do not, solar panel battery trickle chargers are readily available....
  10.  

    Is there a maximum distance a householder can be required to take their bin to a collection point?

    My host in Vaucluse has exactly this problem to consider next week..........

    Thanks

  11. One of the small carparks in Carpentras has a ticket machine which requires the registration number of the car but of course it cannot accept foreign (i.e. British) numberplate layouts so I can't pay even if I want to......
  12. Hello Quillan - my pal in Carpentras has renovated his large house single-handed (a remarkable achievement).

    However, the number of times he has had to go to three different stores to get technical bits and pieces which would have all been in one place in UK drove him bonkers.  An especial joy was to pitch up at 11:45am knowing the store closed at 12:00 only to find the shutters half way down already.  His other bete noir is the post office which is frequently subject to a fermeture exceptionelle:  no big problem if you're on hols but he runs a business in nearby Sarrians and he doesn't have the time to spare....

    In passing, the restrictions on Sunday shopping would horrify the average Brit but I like the idea that Sundays are for families...........

  13. I did not find RB's original post offensive, but I seem to be in the minority......lengthy perhaps, but not offensive.

    On the face of it, it's not an unreasonable question:  might one be happier living in France than in whatever country one is or was living (not everyone comes from UK).  I live in the south of England with awful traffic congestion and crowds of people at every turn.  I like the idea of space, which France has in abundance.  Having visited France on both business and pleasure since the 1970s I like it a lot.  But I do not (yet) live in France and there's the rub: I know how frustrating daily life can be compared to UK but I suspect a significant number will find it preferable to England for one reason or another.

    I believe it's mostly dependant on personal attitude:  positive people will integrate to some greater or lesser extent and be compatible with local life; others will remain on the fringes and will probably give up and return to UK sooner or later.  Each to his own........

  14. My UK MasterCard occasionally fails in France (usually due to poor PoS terminal maintenance or flaky phone connections) but I have  a CA card as a backup.  Whenever the MasterCard fails the merchant gives me a "transaction failed" or "declined" printout.  I always keep these slips but so far I've never had a problem with being unexpectedly billed by the card company.  If your friend was not given such a slip it begins to sound like doubtful practice by the merchant but the card company should refund the charge if proof of an alternative payment method is to hand.
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