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Ron Bolus

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Posts posted by Ron Bolus

  1. I agree entirely with you Quillan. And I feel strongly about it, more so since we have lived here and learned how important it is to be fully involved with the local community.

    The owner of the chateau you mentioned might well need to get some of his/her products and /or services from contacts back in UK ........but surely not ALL of them , or anywhere near approaching a large percentage ???

    How on earth do they get on with the local community and their neighbours ? Or do they remain locked in their mansion and merely have English visitors ?

    It may be that they are not fluent in French and therefore lack the confidence to venture forth into the local community and to include local products/services in their "business".

    They will never become fluent-----or even liked-----if they do not communicate. And the only way to become fluent in the first place is by constant contact with French people on a daily basis. It is my experience that English who are not fluent in French after a year or so are the ones who stay within an ex-pat community or keep to themselves; and eventually give up and go back to Blighty [:(]

  2. As you say that you do not know what "fluent" means, idun, perhaps it's YOU who's talking ther nonsense-----worth thinking about perhaps, eh?

    By fluent , I mean being able to understand everything said and being able to reply and being complertely understood---by French people.

    That makes it simple for you, so perhaps you can understand now [:D]

    And, I repeat, we were fluent within 12 months.

    I am now at the level of the teacher who taught me French A Level-----and she was good and got many of her students to Oxbridge ( my degree is in History so French was just a poor A level attempt for me---tho I passed).

    I don't think there's anything wrong in sharing one's own experience on this Site ; nor on giving the original poster a bit of encouragement [B]

    You seem to have a problem with anyone who has mastered the language idun-----have you encountered problems : if so, I am happy to arrange correspondence course for a modest fee [:D]

  3. Hi-----I don't know anything about having a "trap" on your land but I do know about owning a shotgun here in France.

    As keen enthusiasts , along with our Labradors, on keeping our casseroles full of local grouse and other game, we needed to apply for a licence.

    First of all, you will need to show why you need one----living in a rural area as we do, that presents no problem; but I imagine it would do so in a town !

    Second, you HAVE to prove you can speak French pretty fluently. That is a firm rule.

    Third, quite a bit of paperwork.#

    But, at the end of the day, all well worth it------a good way to obtain the very best of certain foods, and a real pleasure to walk through rural bliss here in Gard with the dogs and a packed lunch in sunshine that we never got back in that over-crowded island across La Manche [:D]

  4. Hi----I appreciate your problem : I was hopeless at French A Level at school, my worst A level subject.

    When we moved to France 4 years ago, all my old memories of the grammar and sentence structure came back ; and vocabulary came faster than I had imagined.

    My wife spoke no French at all, not even at school.

    The brief answer to your question , in our humble opinions , is  : move to France and if you mix with locals daily you'll be fluent within 6 months if you've had any A Level experience; and within 12 months if you've never learned any French previously.

    The best way to master the language----the ONLY way-----is to live in France full-time.

    And isn't it a beautiful language ? [:)]

  5. It looks like the route I favoured was a brief experiment. Now it has gone.

    I still highly recommend using Norwich Airport, which is a lovely little place if you live anywhere on the East of England. Direct flights to Amsterdam still daily scheduled-----but no longer direct from Amsterdam to Avignon.

    Good news is-----you can fly direct from Norwich to Paris, and then on to Avignon.

    It's nearly as good as the previous route I had mentioned.

    I'm like a representative of the owners of Norwich Airport [:D]

  6. Hi----------when we first moved to France, we rented from Hertz here in Gard. They proved a complete shambles----their office in Avignon would not help with anything we asked.

    It spurred us on much quicker than we'd imagined into buying our own car------a Renault Clio : highly recommended, unlike any hire company, especially Hertz.

    Suggestion as you are not French residents : find small local firms by asking on Forum or from local tourism office----they tend, here in France, to often be family-owned and offer a very personal service with a few excellent vehicles. Hope this helps.

  7. Merci Theiere

    I fear that what you say is proving to be right----at least here in Gard. But I have not yet given up hopes that the Riviera will provide the right ( although more expensive solution). We are quite a distance from the Riviera but it looks as though a company near Nice might do the entire job ( and with 21st Century technology and design:)))).

    But I still wish we could find some more local company.

    Merci encore.........Ron Bolus

  8. Sacred Blue[:)]------we don't get any of that sort of thing in Gard or even next door in Provence.

    In Uzes, the Chinese restaurant is Thai.

    And in Avignon, having thought we 'd been dining at a Chinese for 3 years, we find it's been Vietnamese all the time.

    Let's leave the People's Republic to send their tourists to Paris, see the Eiffel and then move on to that island over

    La Manche that is sinking under the weight of a population that is bigger than that of France, which is of course a tad bigger than the island in question [:(]

  9. Living in rural area in Gard we have obviously come across some snakes---they are part of life in the area. We have only ever seen coulevres ( grass snakes-----just like in parts of Britain) and our Labradors accept them with good grace when we are out on walks. They are sometimes in the vicinity around the house, outbuildings, gardens and vineyard......but once again, only ever seen common grass snakes.

    I made a point of finding out how to recognise the adder ( which we also have in parts of Britain ) so I'd be ready for when my battle with one of them brought defeat for one of us [:D] but I have come to the conclusion that adders here are as common as they are in Britain----did you ever actually see one there, let alone do mortal combat with it. I like seeing snakes as much as any of the many items of animal, bird, flaura and fauna that we came here to enjoy.

    Learn to identify adders just in case........ and then forget about them. As for the coulevres, they have so rarely come near the house that I have never really given them much thought. Having dogs makes us feel safe, even when they reintroduce the wild boar, wolf and bear [:D]

  10. Hi . Looking to change existing ( outdated ) outdoor pool from present old-fashioned oblong design to a more interesting one full of curves, bends and shapes.

    Also needing to make changes to pool outbuildings. Also redesign of our house-cellar pool and jacuzzi.

    Having difficulty in finding reputable company who will take on the whole project, rather than just "bits and pieces" of the proposed changes. Even local friends are divided on best solution---they mainly favour specialist pool company + specialist jacuzzi installers + local builders for the adjacent pool buildings.

    We still want one company who can design and build all parts of the project.

    Any suggestions about companies who might meet our requirements. We are in Gard and have found nobody suitable in Uzes, Avignon or even as far as Montpellier. Have not tried extortionate Riviera companies but may need to do so soon unless anyone can suggest a company they have used and have been very happy with.

    Any help, much appreciated. TIA.

  11. Growing Cotes du Rhones in our small vineyard, I am somewhat biased towards that Appellation, and surely the Grenache is the grape of choice


    But, I'd be interested in others' views ----whether they are favoured by living in Gard or not [:P] [:D]

    You lot in Provence are just gonna love laxing wyrical [8-)] about Mourvedre-----OK, I'm ready with counter-arguments [:P] [:D]

  12. I was asked recently by an old friend in East of England how to best get to our home near Pont-Saint-Esprit ,Gard, 30130.

    I thought it might be worth posting the info here in case it might be of help to others, as it is not widely known---or indeed used [:(].

    Well, our nearest airport is in lovely Avignon. To get from East England to Avignon, take one of the 2 daily scheduled flights from sleepy little NORWICH AIRPORT to AMSTERDAM : then it is an easy 99 Euro flight from AMSTERDAM to AVIGNON   [:)].

    As an extra, I might add that Amsterdam is worth a few days break if you have never visited the city. If you wish to do so, I highly recommend renting a luxury houseboat ---there are some exceptional ones near the Central Station. As this is a one-off posting for a friend, and I'm not sure of the rules governing advertising on this Forum, I will not mention the apartment company we have used in the past [;-)]   But they're easily googleable [I]

    If anybody requires a taxi service from Avignon Airport to our country chateau [:D], we will of course send the limo [:P]

    Seriously, hope that handy travel service is of help-----quite a few visitors here have used it and have been delighted by the peace and serenity of travelling from somewhere other than the dreaded Stanstead and other London Airports.

    Look forward to seeing you at Chez Nous for the grape harvest when the autumn comes. But let's enjoy this great Summer first. If it carries on anything like last year, when we ate outside for every meal for 8 consecutive months, it's gonna be great again.

    Off to tend the vines now [:D][8-)]

    Then it's off with the shotgun and Labs to get the birds  for tetras casserole. It's a tough life but someone has to do it [:D]

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