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fluffy tree

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Everything posted by fluffy tree

  1. I was booked on the Brittany Ferries Caen to Portsmouth 4.30 pm sailing on Tues 7 Aug. At 4pm letters were handed to all drivers advising the ship would not leave until 6.30pm due to a strike by 'some of the crew'. We were loaded onto the ship 20 minutes later, but it did not sail until 6.30. As I am returning to Caen in 2 weeks time, does anyone know if this action is ongoing, or whether it was a one-off? 
  2. What a wonderful world you live in Wooly, say 'hi' to Alice from me! lol
  3. We already do Hoddy, we have several large walnut trees! :-)
  4. Our lovely tabby cat produced a litter of kittens 4 weeks ago, and of the 5 kittens, 3 of them had very short tails. One looks almost like it's been chopped off as the end is flat, and the other two are pointed, but extremely short. One of the short-tailed kittens died after a week, but the remaining ones are otherwise very healthy, growing well, and completely cute! I've had many cats over the years but have never seen this before - has anyone else seen this, or know why it happens?
  5. Nothing new to report yet Hoddy - we haven't been able to get hold of the farmer, but it's clear now that he sprayed weedkiller on his visit - which is very annoying as we have been enjoying reliving our childhood seeing all the lovely wildflowers and insects there, and I had just bought a tub of wildflower seed to add to the mix. :-( However, you've read our minds DD - we had already decided that we'd like to plant a mixture of trees and shrubs along the border - so looks like we'll have to hop to it....whilst we still have a border to plant! So would be grateful if anyone can recommend somewhere we can bulk buy mixed hedging and trees very cheaply on the Vienne/Charente/Deux Sevres border, as at approx 100 metres long it's going to take a just a few! lol  
  6. Thanks for your replies, think we'll refrain from asking our friends to park their campervan in the farmers adjoining field when they stay though! I had a feeling that there may be something about unused agricultural land - I guess the issue is what is regarded as 'unused'. The farmer owns hundreds of acres, so we can't see why he should want our little acre field as well, especially as it's so closely bordered on 3 sides by our woodland .... bit of a land pirate methinks! This raises another issue. We often see wild boar and deer on our land, and, of course, the chasse hunt in the area. We accept this is part of rural life here, but we don't want the chasse on our land. A hide was built in our woodland when we were away for a couple of weeks, and we also found spent cartridges within sight of our house recently. However, in the spirit of blending in with the community we chose not to put up private property, or chasse banning signs - but maybe we should put them up round our boundary now :-( Meantime OH will be popping round to have a chat with the farmer at the weekend ...... which should please him as he insisted on speaking to us in english last year so he could improve his language skills!         
  7. I take your point baf - but we are not absentee owners - though oh does have to go to work so we can't stand guard all day! lol Just wanted to check before hotfooting it round that there's no EU or french rule lurking that says it's ok for farmers to make use of seemingly unwanted land :-)
  8. We own a reasonable amount of land around our home, including woodland, and a field of about an acre. The field is surrounded on 3 sides by our woodland, and bordered by a field owned by a farmer from a neighbouring commune. The previous owners of our property had given the farmer permission to grow crops in the field, but we were advised on purchase early last year not to continue that permission, which we did. The farmer called to see us just after we moved in in April last year to ask if he could use the field - we said no, explaining that we intend using the field ourselves, initially as an extension of our garden, and for animals in the future. He asked if he could cut the field to avoid contamination of his crops from 'our' weeds, and we agreed  - but he only did this once. As there is no public access to our field we have to assume that the farmer has been in our field last week as there are tractor treads all over it, and white markers have been placed - of the type the farmers use to mark their crop fields. We have removed the markers, and left them by the boundary. Before we visit the farmer - does anyone have any experience of this? It would appear to the farmer that we did not use the field last year - but we do - it is part of our garden. Is it possible that as it appears abandoned it can be planted by a farmer? Thoughts or experiences would be appreciated as we wouldn't like to start an international incident! lol  
  9. This isn't really the problem it appears to be. There are large warning signs when you are approaching static camera's in France, along with speed limit signs just before the camera's - so althought the camera's are not as easily seen as they are in the uk - you are alerted before passing by. I have a Tomtom, and when I logged onto my account last week it automatically gave the option of a free update to legalise the satnav in France - so I now get warnings of 'danger zones' when approaching a camera, rather than the actual camera position being shown on the satnav. And finally - we were stopped by gendarmes a couple of weeks ago manning a mobile speed check, and although we were less than 2mph over the limit, we were fined for speeding. The satnav was on at the time, and very visible to the officer, and although he looked at it several times - he made no reference to it at all.
  10. Thanks for the tip Norman.... a useful website...but the problem was much simpler in the end.... the registration site dosn't like french accents! lol
  11. Hi, hope someone can help me! I am trying to register OH but cannot get past the initial section where you enter the details of your activity. I keep getting an error message in red to the effect that only words, numbers, and certain punctuation are acceptable.... but I'm not putting in anything that appears to be incorrect. Has anyone else had problems with this, and if so, how did you manage to resolve this...or alternatively, does anyone know if the website is a bit wobbly at the moment...maybe I should try again later? Many thanks :-)
  12. Maybe a few people get carried away with the excitement and sense of adventure Sprogster, but it's hardly a whim if it involves selling up your home, leaving your job, and your friends and family for a new life in a foreign country. Who dosn't wonder if the grass is greener, if there is more to life, and what-if? Most people just wonder, maybe get a bit resentful of the nine-to-five, but do nothing. Others, and lets face it, it's only a tiny minority of the population, actually go, see, and maybe decide to try. I feel that it's a little patronising to make the assumption that viewers are 'fooled' by programmes like this - and I find it disappointing just how often the early respondents will 'kill' a topic on this forum with their negativity. Maybe the majority who buy in France sell up within 10 years - but I've yet to see a realistic analysis of the reasons why...maybe a topic for a new posting! I think the clue is in the OP's posting.....'Fantasy' Homes by the Sea...... I for one will be watching as it's nice to dream :-)  
  13. Hi Liz, Fortunately, most of us who have chosen to move to France have done so after a lot of soul searching and extensive research, including enjoying the various 'moving abroad' themed programmes that have been popular for over 10 years now. No-one with an ounce of commonsense would assume that all you have to do is watch a few tv programmes, find a few thousand pounds for a renovatable wreck, and life will be tickety-boo! You'd think looking at this forum sometimes that France is full of grumpies, enjoying their own new lives here, but begrudging everyone else who has been fortunate enough to do the same. Moving abroad is not for everyone, and many do find that the lifestyle is not what they expected, or their circumstances change, but you get one life, and if you don't try....you'll never know and always wonder. Hopefully you'll have lots of interested people apply - personally, although I have made the leap, and am loving it here - I enjoy these programmes as they visit so many different areas in France, and it's nice to see the properties shown on the viewings. And finally, I am female, and don't take offence to a friendly generalisation :-)
  14. As we can see, this is becoming more complicated with each contributors scenario! The legislation relating to UK Tax Residence status, and where income falls to be taxed, is extremely complex - as a previous contributor has pointed out - if only it was just down to the number of days in the UK! Even HMRC has a specialist department of technical experts to make residence determinations in all but the most simple cases, and many cases eventually end up with hearings before the Commissioners, the outcomes affecting future legislation. My previous posting gave the simple answer in principal to your question, and Andy's advice to you is correct on the basis of the information you have given - but you cannot get a definitive answer without providing many more facts......too complex, and personal to get into on this forum!  
  15. Journeyman, You say you are 'UK tax resident', but you are thinking of buying goods in France, advertising them on the internet in France, and posting them from France to the UK. So, you must spend a fair amount of time at your residence secondaire, because it would be easier and cheaper on postage for you to advertise and sell your french goods when you returned to the UK with them. So, has your UK Tax Residence actually been determined by HMRC? Put simply -  if you are actually Resident/Ordinarily Resident in the UK for tax purposes - if you trade in the UK, it dosn't matter where in the world you bought the goods - your net profits will be chargeable in the UK. You would also be chargeable in the UK if you traded in France as HMRC would regard this as 'income from abroad' - so no win I'm afraid! Plus, if you trade in France the french tax authorities will be interested too..........    
  16. In my experience speedo tolerance is nearly always on the high side and on my own modern car it's roughly 8% meaning that a sat nav indicated 110kph equates to a needles width under 120kph on the speedo. With an inaccuracy of that order I would have to be doing an indicated 122kph or so for a true 113kph I believe however that a margin is allowed for with speeding offences and if we say that is 5% then that means to be done for 113kph means being clocked at 118kph with an actual speedo reading of 127kph ! AnOther....very interesting, as our speedo was showing just under 70mph at the time, and were actually just saying that it's impossible to see the kmph when you're driving as they are red on black, and very small! (ps.... we were paying attention, it's a long straight stretch of dual carriageway, just a couple of other vehicles...and the gendarmes were hiding behind the bushes!)
  17. ...I dunno...didn't take long...just a few posts... The gendarme was very polite, quite chatty really, and we have no intention of appealing...I was just wondering if it is normal practise for fines to always be issued... This forum is being ruined by a few regulars...it'll turn into a grumpies chatroom if you're not careful guys!
  18. We were caught in a speed trap yesterday, on a dual carriageway we regularly use. It has varying speed limits which we adhere to, and it is a favourite haunt of the gendarmes. We were on a 110 kmph stretch, and thought we were within the limit, but the officers speedgun showed 113kmph when he stopped us. He explained that we were travelling a touch over the limit, and it seemed like we were just getting a warning, but no, we also got a 45€ fine. I completely accept that speeding is speeding, and it seems that we were, but:- * we have a needle type speedo, not digital, so cannot be completely certain within maybe 5mph of our exact speed - so less than 2 mph variance is not apparent * the speedgun was hand-held, not mounted so it seems that maybe there should be a minor margin for error, as I believe there is in the UK. The ticket we received stated that our excess speed was 'less than 20kmph' over the limit - the officer did not record the relevent details exactly. Lesson learnt - at least we now know that it's best to drive a reasonable amount under the limit...but has anyone else had a similar experience?
  19. There was a letter with our form which you can return if the work is not completed - which we did saying that although we had started the work, we did not expect to finish until the end of 2013. As this was sent to us 6 months after we got the agreement to go ahead I assume they will chase again in another 6 months.
  20. Hi Ysatis, We are also in your area, and in fact have just returned from the local sawmill with a big lump of oak for our fireplace mantel! The mill is on the road from Romagne to Branzay, it's a small family business and I would say is worth a trip to see if they can help you :-)
  21. Now that's a treat I do miss here in Vienne - the original Jelly Belly beans! :-) 
  22. I've tried lots of the ready bread mixes in my breadmaker, and definitely got the best loaves using the Lidl mix - but our local store has also changed to the new brand...and now I get flat soggy loaves :-( So I hope it's just a supply blip and they change back to the original brand soon :-)
  23. I thought maybe it was off too - but it was fine......strange! lol  
  24. Sunday breakfast today meant a nice full english... bacon and sausages freshly imported from Asda on our return from the UK, and some nicely fried fresh french eggs - except that when cooking them one literally exploded with a big bang!!! Would love to know why as it certainly woke me up!!
  25. Interesting! I wouldn't ever feel tied into shopping at Intermarche just because I am now the lucky holder of a loyalty card - but I agree Sid that it makes sense to have one for the times I do shop there - especially as I now understand more how it could benefit me. Enjoy your bonus Sid - and a Happy Christmas everyone.... :-)
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