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Tony F Dordogne

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Everything posted by Tony F Dordogne

  1. Having just visited it just yesterday, Di and John's vegetable and fruit garden if just wonderful. We should be so lucky in the Dordogne.
  2. Owen joined up in 1915 and initially served in the Artists Rifles, doing his training in Gidea Park, not far from where I lived prior to moving here, after which he was Commissioned into the Manchester Regiment. He was wounded twice and after suffering shell shock was sent to Craiglockhart Hospital in Scotland where he met Sassoon and where both of them wrote some of their most beautfiful - and bitter - war poetry. He returned to active service in June 1918 and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at Amiens, but was killed on the 4th November whilst attempting to lead his men across the Sambre Canal on 4th November. The irony is that his parents were informed of his death on Artistice Day. Pro patria mori indeed. As an aside, during the 1960s,  a mentally unwell young man tried to burn down the Imperial War Museum by throwing an incendiary device into what was then the reading room of the Library and all he did was suceed in burning some original papers and poems of the war poets.  Very sad.
  3. My favourite - if you can have such a thing with war poetry - is Wifred Owen's 'dulce et decorum est pro patria mori', a quote from the Greek philosopher Horace: It is sweet and seemly to die for your country No need to add anything to that .........
  4. Some of the records from WW1 have been digitised though I'm not sure whether they are online. The problem is that many of the records were either destroyed or badly damaged during the second round and many letters of the alphabet are missing. And, there are still restrictions on Joe Public getting hold of some of the records, nothing to do with secrecy, just the Archive's legal restrictions.  In theory, the records will only be made available to the direct descendants of the person concerned though that (I think) is out of time for WW1. If you wanted to do the hands-on yourself, it's online and if not there, the Guildhall Library in London is the easiest place to get the information as it has all the London Gazettes and The Times on micro film on the open shelves which can be printed out for a small cost. Problem with Kew (now the National Archives rather than the PRO) is that for first timers it can be rather daunting. The military records also tend to be a little bland and if they have been 'weeded' some of the detail may be missing.  There may be a copy of the officer's citation but there may also be just a list of awards of which the MM would be just one of at least 4.
  5. Not quite book swapping I know but for people in 24 (or anywhere else if you live close or are passing through) there are two alternative ways of disposing of books, especially if, like us, you have to 'downsize' your library after you arrive here. Firstly there is the Bibliotheque Anglais, which is based in Carmensac in the Mairie of Meyrals, which is always looking for donations of books.  Open to people from anywhere to join, small fee, part of ACIP, a not for profit organisation which works on helping to integrate Brits (or any other nationality) into France. Secondly, there is a terrific Association in 24 which brings children from Chernobyl who are very unwell over to France for a holiday every year and which take donations of books which it sells to raise the funds to bring the kids over.  It also has lots of other great, fun, fund raisers every year, very worthy cause. Anybody wants more details, happy to supply them if you pm me.
  6. Hi Val Your grandfather's MM (Medals for non-commissioned ranks, Crosses for commissioned) would have been in the London Gazette, which is fully indexed by name. Alsi, The Times carried many of the citations for bravery awards (although there were many awarded during WW1) and if you know the year in which it was awarded, there are excellent indexes for The Times also. Also, if you know where he lived at the time (can usually work that out through family papers and you should be able to get his service record as a direct descendant, if the records survived WW2) it's almost certain that the award would have been well reported in a local newspaper which means that there is every chance that the paper would be at the National Archive's/British Library's Newspaper Centre at Colindale, North London. If you still want to find more about his award, pm me, I may be able to help you.
  7. Hi folks After weeks of discussions, attending business advice meetings and generally wondering whether full retirement is for me - I've decided that it isn't and seem to have made my SO happy at the same time, she keeps muttering darkly about being under her feet even when I'm the other end of the property cutting the hedge or something like that. We need somebody to design a new web site for us from scratch for our new business in France, which is doing client based historical research and enabling researchers to come to France to do the work themselves with our support. Private me if you know anybody good or if you have a background in this sort of thing - you want obscure historical facts, I can find them, internet sites - forget it!  
  8. You could try looking in Juane Pages for beekeepers, they are listed there. If you are in 24, private me as I know a couple of bee keepers within 20k of St Cyprien who deal with your sort of problem.
  9. We're really struggling with this atm, mainly because of the remedial work that we need after April's flooding. We've had some electrical work done by the adjuant of the next commune who is a registered electrician/artisan.  He came round, gave us a devis, we agreed a price and then he did the work.  We paid him in cash and totally unbidden, he gave us 'change'.  When I pointed out to him that we had paid the price he asked, he said as it was cash it was 'hors tax' and he repaid us the TVA. My problem is that I really didn't come here to find ways of avoiding paying tax.  Since we arrived we've spent a small fortune on getting business advice (using background material from here) to make sure that we don't shoot ourselves in the foot about our research business, to pay tax as we should and the like. We have a friend who helps with the work I'm doing on the house and I pay him for his time - I can't do heavy lifting and the like - and he tells me that he's putting the money I pay him though his company and on his tax return but of course I can't check on that or prove it, nor can I check that the guy who he brings in to drive the mini-pel pays his tax either. Very confusing here, I'm thinking that it is the overall system that needs overhaul to make it all less confusing for us all, incluuding the French.     
  10. As we still have an English contact address we stayed with the RAC Breakdown service and just paid for Euro cover which is excellent. We had a problem with the car going back to England in April - less that an hour's wait, guy who came spoke a little English but my French was up to the task, back on the road within 70 mins.
  11. Hi folks Massimo is in hospital atm, the PV that he has threw a small blood clot in his leg and his GP whipped him into hospital on Friday, op yesterday to have it removed. I'm only posting this to let you know as he went public about the condition last week. PV is an absolute ******* to deal with (its classified as a non-malignant cancer in France and the US, just a blood disease in the UK, but the treatment is chemotherapy) and does things like this to people.  He is making good progress and is hopefully going home early this week.  
  12. And wasn't it interesting that the day they were released, the BBC 10 o'clock news reported the release of Florence but Hussain didn't get a mention! I was mighty impressed with the way the French journos kept the whole issue in the public conciousness and J even had a wet eye when we saw the television coverage of Florence coming back to France.  
  13. Hi folks Have recently returned from the UK with an armful of DVDs of classic French films, including the second three boxed sets of Bunuel and Goddard now available in the UK. Lots of Goddard, Luis Bunuel (I know he's not French but he made his films here) and, top film, Un Flic by Jean Pierre Melville. If anybody likes modern policiers, try La Balance (The Informer), well worth a look. Must make some shelves to get the DVDs and CDs out of their storage boxes - so little time, so many films to watch!  
  14. Hi Massimo Email to your private address - somebody else with PRV and in my very general area!!!!!!! Even better, 100% cover for medical costs for the condition - now, will they also cover the costs of the meds for the gout, asthma and hypertension that the PRV causes?  
  15. "we have a brit in the village, on private reg, been here over 2 years now, Why would anyone want to drive 1000 miles each year to MOT a car" We've done just that because when we checked with our insurance company, they told us that they wouldn't cover us in France if we had a bump if the car wasn't street legal in the UK - but our car is going back to our daughter this year after we buy a French car and we needed to go back anyway for a family thing. And in my area there are a D and an L registered UK car running around, apparently been here for years - not to mention the UK registered plumbers van with a UK telephone number on it which leafletted our car in Champion car park a few weeks agoi touting for work!  
  16. Hi folks A chum (who does not have internet access) has recently been given a car which is registered in Spain. He lives in France, currently in a gite for which he has some responsibility for the bills, whilst his house is being built and has done so for about 18 months. He is currently driving a UK registered car. I've looked through previous threads and can't find a difinitive list of what he needs to register both cars in France but, from what I've seen, I THINK this is the way to do it: He needs to tell the DVLA that he is exporting his UK registered car He needs to let the Spanish authorities know he is exporting the Spanish registered car Then to insure both cars in France and have them both through immatriculation Go to the Prefecture with: Current registration documents (which the Prefectur will take from him) Receipt for Spanish car His passport Two forms of identification like household bills Cheque book Take ticket, wait in line, fill in forms, pay bill, get paperwork, wait for other paperwork in the post (or does he get it all at the Prefercture) then go somewhere designated to have number plates made and rivetted to the cars. Any additions, subtractions or comments would be welcome.    
  17. Hi Thanks for that, I've got a similar thing in translation - I really want to know whether anybody has had to deal with one of these and how difficult it is/can be/is it worth it. But the web site you pointed me towards looks good for all sorts of things we may need to know about in the future.
  18. Hi folks We've found ourselves in a difficult position.  We finalised the purchase of our house at the end of January having originally seen it last September and having paid the deposit as required.  When we finally saw it empty we both noticed problems with the wall paper in the bedrooms but didn't really think too much of it. At the ends of April, during torrential rain, we found the cause of the problem, the house leaked, water in under the foundations because of the way the back of the house had been piled high with earth and the way in which a lean to had been built, the average across the back of the house being 35cm above foundation level with no drainage. We have legal protection insurance with our assurance company and they think that we have a case of 'vice cache' because the owners failed to disclose a material fact, viz that the house (as it was before we got the mini pel in) leaked - well, they wouldn't, would they! So, we're putting a file together - lots of photographs from last year, the general mess we found with the plumbing when we moved in, not a sealed joint in sight, toilet leaking for ages, sink backing up, mould on the walls, hole in the ceiling under the tiles, botched work being covered with wall to wall lambris - to send off to the assurance company. Does anybody have any experience of this sort of case where a vice cahe was invoked? We have advice from both our Notaire and the assurance company that although the house was bought 'as seen' the vice cache would over-rule it. We love the house, surroundings, everything but we wouldn't have bought it if we had known about the problems we were facing.  That said, we're getting on with the remedial work though it's delaying some of the ohter work that we wanted to do. Any comments would be most welcome.  
  19. Hi folks We have a problem over this which just came up today.  We live in a village in 24, desginated a 'site protege' but we can't be seen from the village and our house and garden are about 10 metres above the chemin rural which runs by outside plus our currently overgrown hedge. When we moved into our property we inherited three lean to(s), two of which were made of old timbers, plastic sheet and corrougated tin.  They were not only dangerous but leaked and we've had to demolish them so all our storage has gone.  The other lean to, with a solid concrete base, was built at the side of the house and has been demolished because it was so badly built it allowed water into the garage and one of our berooms. We are replacing the lean to(s) with a proper chalet type shed, site moved about 20m from the previous ramshackled pair, and further back against the laurel hedge. This morning we received a letter from the Marie  telling us that we need a declaration de traveaux before we can do any work in the garden or house.  We're happy to apply for same but need a bit more information: What are the sizes allowed for garden sheds/chalets? If the previous owners didn't get permission for their lean tos and shed (they had one in the wood that we bought) does that mean that we can't replace? Would we need a declaration for the work we're having done to stop the house being flooded because of bad construction - the mayor knows about the flooding? Would we need a declaration for the installation of a gas tank for the much needed central heating? We're not changing the house at all, just the garden which can't be seen from the village or from the chemin rural which runs past the house but which is about 10 metres below our hedge line. Sorry it's a bit of a shopping list but I need the information before I make an appointment to see the Mayor. Regards TonyF
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