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Everything posted by tonyinfrance

  1. I used to work in China - one day I was walking along the Great Wall and it was hot so I took my T shirt off.  I was mildy surprised when a middle aged Chinese lady asked her husband to take a photo of the two of us.  I later learned that Chinese men don't have much chest hair and in any event it was not customary (at least at that time) to wander around without a shirt. The joys of learning about different cultures.......  
  2. Haven't been there for a while but Changi was always my favourite - lots of marble, fountains, shops and best of all - efficient aircon....
  3. Mr W:  you might well find that you receive emails from friends because their email password has been compromised.  Many people use the same password for pretty much everything and as a consequence once the spammers have found a password (on a shopping website or something similar) they will try it on the email account of the victim.  If it works they can then hijack the email address book and send spurious emails under the victim's name...... It's not hard to fix - let your friends know what is happening and suggest they change their email account password. Good luck
  4. Sue and I live 15 minutes from Newhaven so the continuing success of LD's Newhaven - Dieppe route is always of interest to us.   Although private vehicle numbers often seem disturbingly low I remember previous Posters have clarified that LD make their money from commercial vehicles and private cars are a just an add-on.  Living so close to a cross-channel port is a major benefit and we'd hate to have to drive all the way round to Dover so fingers crossed for LD!
  5. Not sure how relevant it is but in UK pretty much any handset can be unlocked for about £10 - usually while you wait (the operation itself takes no more than a few minutes). It's not difficult at all but operators and their retail outlets natuarally have no interest in doing it but any half-decent indie will have no problem unlocking your phone...
  6. My travelling days were in the 1980s/early 2000s and I do remember a piece of the CDG building falling off and killing a number of people back then. I thought it was adventurous when built but like many "fashionable" things it was not designed with the longer view in mind.
  7. It's a shame forum members who want to sell don't have some mechanism for doing so here (it might be a useful way to connect them with people like me who are looking to purchase) but I fully understand advertising is not permitted.....
  8. What a handy website for those of us not blessed with satnav....
  9. Lori - my friend in Carpentras gets me and my wife to come down each May/June for a month and we wrestle with his 2 acres of jungle and we do it for free! I am beginning to feel the strain however so next year I plan to go down in April/May before the weeds have reached biblical proportions...... Looking at the other posts here I reckon I should be a millionaire by now!
  10. Sue and I were in a transport café near Carpentras last month when 4 girls walked in and asked for a glass of water (I learned they were making a journey of several miles towards Orange on foot).  The waitress gave them each a glass with a smile and they went on their way. I'd have given them a lift but it would have meant leaving the wife behind...............
  11. Nelson Mandela is sitting at home watching TV and drinking a beer when he hears a knock at the door. When he opens it, he is confronted by a little Chinese man, clutching a clip board and yelling: 'You Sign! You sign!' Behind him is an enormous truck full of accelerator pedals. Nelson is standing there in complete amazement, when the Chinese man starts to yell louder: 'You Sign! You sign!' Nelson says to him, 'Look, you've obviously got the wrong man', and shuts the door in his face. The next day he hears a knock at the door again. When he opens it, the little Chinese man is back with a huge truck of brake pads. He thrusts his clipboard under Nelson's nose again, yelling: 'You sign! You sign!' Mr Mandela is getting a bit hacked off by now, so he pushes the little chinese man back shouting: 'Look, go away! You've got the wrong man. I don't want them!' Then he slams the door in his face again. The following day, Nelson is resting, and late in the afternoon, he hears a knock on the door again. On opening the door, there is the same little Chinese man thrusting a clipboard under his nose, shouting: 'You sign! You sign!' Behind him are TWO very large trucks full of car parts. This time Nelson loses his temper completely, he picks up the little Man by his shirt front and yells at him: 'Look, I don't want these! Do you understand? You must have the wrong name! Who do you want to deliver these to?' The little Chinese man looks very puzzled, consults his clipboard, and says: (Get your best Chinese accent ready) 'You not Nissan Main Deala?'
  12. Same for me - I subscribed to The Times for years using very cost-effective coupons - the cost gradually increased as one might expect but a couple of months ago the cost doubled and I gave it up.  I'm not going to pay for access to their website either.........
  13. Thanks Chris - fair point. Cooperlola - thanks for the Notaires link - very interesting and I'll look at it some more over the weekend.  BTW, no we're not into farming ouselves but we do like to see lots of cows!
  14. Oh dear!  We'd rather avoid a preponderence of English people - I suppose we should have realised there might be a heightened rosbif  presence when we passed The Red Lion pub in a village not far from Gorron.  This being the case can anyone recommend an area which is not overly anglicised?
  15. Guys - many thanks for your comments.  On our last trip to this area in May we focussed on the region around Gorron - seemed quite tranquil which is just what we want.  We looked at several properties through Gorron Immobilier and liked their service:  are there any recommendations for other agents in this part of the world? We'll also widen our search to look at some of the towns mentioned by Cooperlola above.  Meantime any hints and tips on purchasing in this region will be gratefully received. Thanks again Tony
  16. I know there are lots of forum members in the region and your advice will be much appreciated. We've been looking for a house in the vicinity of La Fleche (about an hour south of Le Mans) as we know the area well but we haven't found the house we want (at least, not at the right price).  In May we looked around the Mayenne/Orne region and saw some good houses at significantly lower prices.  Now the question - is the weather much different here than in Sarthe?  We certainly saw much more dairy farming - which is our preference - but this often indicates more rain..... Thanks in advance for your thoughts Tony
  17. I guess a lot of people like me joined Britline as it was aimed at UK people and was relatively easy to work with. When in France we spend most of our time in the Loire Valley and Vaucluse and there are certainly some issues when your are away from your "home" branch but on balance we have been satisfied with their service over the last several years.  I have also found their staff in La Fleche (72) to be more helpful than you might expect.......
  18. I have always carried the docs specified by SD above.....................except for the MoT.  Something else to remember for next time!
  19. We live in Brighton so we use LD's Newhaven-Dieppe route frequently as Newhaven is only 20 minutes away.  Getting out of Dieppe is very easy and we normally head for 72 or 84 via Rouen which is really simple. As others have said, LD's focus is on freight so passenger vehicles usually have plenty of space.  On our route the quality of the food is lower than you might expect so we bring our own.  Prices tend to be quite competitive so all in all it suits us very well.
  20. Wooly - good point about the trucks: my friend here in Vaucluse (who's made the Dieppe/Carpentras round trip about 23 times so far) told me trucks don't use the autoroutes on Sundays - makes all the difference, especially getting around places like Lyon.  I now make inroads on a Saturday but leave the bulk of the journey to a Sunday.
  21. It's a fair point Bigears.  I didn't keep count but the cost must have been upwards of Euros 80. I consider this good value because wear and tear on the car is minimalised, quite apart from the fuel economy aspect (I achieved 35mpg against a UK best of 29 and considering the journey length this has a meaningful value).  Harder to quantify but nevertheless important is the personal stress reduction and satisfaction one gets from covering long distances without delays - impossible on most UK motorways for example. As always these things depend on personal circumstances but if I need to get from A to B in quick order the péage is the answer.
  22. Dieppe to Carpentras (Provence 84) on a bank holiday weekend cruise control all the way (600 miles).  No roadworks or any other kind of delays, plus the best fuel economy I have ever achieved.  OK, it's péage and it costs a bit but it's well worth it! I'm pretty sure I couldn't enjoy such easy driving over such a long distance anywhere else in Europe.........
  23. Brings back happy (?) memories of a G&T in Karachi many years ago which had very longlasting after effects..........
  24. Swissie - for that Icelandic ash pump you can use "Hey,a fella' yokel".  Said quickly it's fairly convincing.............or at least a chap in today's Times says so!
  25. Can it be true?  Is this the 24hrs weekend?  Shows how up to date I am! My last visit was in the 1970s in a TR3A complete with the smallest tent known to man.  And it rained solidly. By chance I found last night a 3 bed farmhouse near Le Lude which I think will fit the bill nicely........... Cheers
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