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Jongleur

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  1. I am posting this as a possible word of warning to those people living here in France who have kept their cars UK registered.

    When I moved here, over 5 years ago, I decided to change my car registration to French. Admittedly, it took some time and effort on my part to make sure that I had all the necessary documents.

    In November 2007 whilst turning into the local football stadium I was involved in an accident. A young French driver ran into the back of my car causibg severe damage, but fortunately no injuries other than whiplash.

    The insurance company, Generali France, had the car looked at by their expert and he decided that the damage would cost in excess of 5000 euros to repair and that it was therefore not economical to have this done.

    As part of the settlement I had to sign the carte grise to transfer ownership of the car to the insurance company.

    Their letter to me stated that if the car was not French registered that I would have to get this done before I could receive the compensation for the car.

    Because the car was French registered I received theie cheque about 16 days after the accident.

    I believe that the minor inconvenience of getting all the necessary documents and a quick visit to the local prefecture to re-register my car was worth it in the end.

    As an aside I must say that I am very concerned with the number of UK registered cars/vans that I see around, particularly at airports car parks, that either do not have a valid UK tax certificate or French insurance sticker displayed on the windscreen.

    I hope that I, or friends of mine, are not involved in an accident with them because even if they are insured with a UK firm they may actually not be insured. When I had my cars insured in the UK the companies always had a get-out clause stating that if the car did not have a valid MOT or Tax disc then the insurance would not pay out in the event of an accident.

    These people may think that they are saving themselves money but if they have an at fault accident they, not the insurance company, are responsible for all the costs, including personal injury compensation.

  2. I can confirm that the initials were BB and that the full name is also identical to that of the individual about whom there were so many warnings posted.

    I cannot however confirm that it is the same person.

    As to the chickens, I think that Jongleuse will probably about the latest happenings from the henhouse once she recovers from the death of her beloved chicken, Bessie.

    During the mini heatwave we had here earlier this year we lost 4 chickens, they just keeled over and died.

  3. I haven't been on for a while so I don't know if this is a banned or exhausted topic, or if it has been previously pointed out.

    Prior to my moving to France there was a lot of discussion, and warnings, about a certain 'builder' who had apparently taken a few forum members for a ride.

    The last thing I remember reading was a warning to look out for a guy driving round France in a van with his wife and dog, and also some comment about somebody in the UK looking for him.

    I was searching the internet the other day and looked at a site for finding Info on Anglo artisans, ie Brits working in France as builders, gardeners, etc, when a name leapt out at me advertising for work and based in Dept 79.

    I will not name names, knowing the Code of Behaviour, but also because I cannot say categorically if this the same person.

    I am posting this in case anybody else can confirm, or deny, if this is the same person of whom the warnings were given.

     

     

  4. There is not currently a granny covering all of Deux-Sevres but I believe that the Charente Granny covers the southern part of the department.

    Her website is http://www.Charentegranny.com

     

    Jongleur

  5. Richard

    Here in the Charente the locals are talking about how dry our winter has been this year.

    Yesterday I was working outside and it was an absolutely gorgeous day, no need for a jacket.

    Long may it continue like this, particularly around Cognac

     

    Jongleur

  6. We have breakdown cover as an optional extra with our car insurance.

    It is provided by Europ Assist and also includes the equivalent of Travel Insurance, ie medical emergency cover.

    Vehicle breakdown cover varies from company to company but with all, including UK ones, you are responsible for any garage repair bills. Some companies will merely tow you to the nearest garage, others will take you home and the car to your preferred garage, others will take you to your destination.

    In addition to this ours gives us a hire car for 1 week whilst our own car is being repaired.

     

    You tend to get what you pay for, whether in the UK or France.

     

    Jongleur

  7. If this is a second home and you haven't been out here recently, the weather hasn't stopped any of our local roofers from working. My neighbour is currently having her entire roof replaced by a local French artisan !

    All the talk around here is of how dry this winter has been, although I must say that we had some very wet days last week.

    All the trees around us are budding and a friend of mine has already got daffodils growing in his garden.

    The only thing I would say to you is to not give the roofer too much leeway regards the weather, it isn't stopping other roofers.

     

    Jongleur

  8. Hi

    I have installed a few of these for friends and have bought the dishes, with LNB, and coax from places like M. Bricolage, BricoMarche and the supermarkets.

    As long as the LNB is digital (numerique) you should not have a problem.

     

    Jongleur

  9. I have an English friend, who has a house near Cognac, who has a large slate-bed snooker table that he has re-covered himself.

    Unfortunately he is in the UK at the moment but he is due to arrive back in the next few weeks, if you like I can give him your details when he gets back.

    Jongleur 

  10. I can confirm that the house with the missing roof near Cognac, Charente is indeed the one that was posted about on this forum.

    This was not a problem of using unregistered people, this was done by one of the largest, French, building enterprises in this part of the Charente.

    A certain amount of the problem was due to circumstance, eg the manager of the roofing division being due to leave the week after the problem occured and not passing on details to his successor. This does not however excuse the subsequent actions and attitude of this enterprise to correcting any problems as a result of the water damage caused to the property by their previous actions(inactions).

    If anybody is considering using a large building enterprise from Cognac, they operate under at least 2 names, 1 for roofing and the other for building/renovation work, and want any further information then you are welcome to contact me via this forum.

     

    Jongleur

     

  11. I don't use Easyspace but I do use HeartInternet, this is a UK based company who are currently offering FREE hosting for all .co.uk domains.

    I have transferred 2 domains to them without problem, except you need a unique email address for each application.

    There is a lot of functionality offered with this host, but they do not offer support for the free hosting.

     

    Jongleur

  12. I have photoshop and to reduce the size of a picture with it you can do 3 things, under image there is the option to change the image size - height and width, when you save it you can lower the quality and finally you save it as a JPG which is smaller than a BMP file.

    I don't know if this helps but you may be able to find similar functions in your software.

     

    Jongleur

  13. Brumble

    We live in the Charente (16) and the boys are both making reasonable progress now, particularly the youngest. Any problems we have with the oldest are more to do with his age, almost 13, than the education system.

    We have noticed no problems between the English and French kids, although that could be because we have done our best to integrate,  eg attending school functions, etc., ans also because we all speak the language reasonably well now.

    AnnHopkins

    The differences between the French and English education systems are huge. 

    Children take controles (tests) on a regular, sometimes weekly basis, and are expected to achieve good results. We have found that there has been no allowance for our children because they are English, no extra tuition, etc.

    Bright children can certainly flourish in the French system, but they must be prepared to work hard, have long days and plenty of homework.

    One of the things that the French concentrate on significantly is grammar, it far exceeds what is required in the UK. Being able to understand and speak French is not really enough. The children need to understand all the aspects of grammar and conjugation. This is taught right very early on in the primary schools and continues through secondary education. This area has been one of the hardest for our eldest to cope with because he only had one year in primary education here.

    Whilst this may appear to be a cautionary tale, do not let me put you off, only you know the capabilities your children.

    Good Luck

     

    Jongleur

  14. We moved here 2 years ago with 2 boys, aged 10 & 7 and had a lot of concerns about how they would cope.

    The eldest was held back a year by French standards, the admission year here is for all children with a birthday in the same calendar year. His birthday is in December so he would have been one of the youngest in his year, by holding him back he went to college the same September that he would have started secondary in the UK. We felt that this was advantageous for him so he and we were happy for this to happen.

    We are convinced that the maximum age for introducing children to the french education system is 10, this should enable them to have a year at primary to get used to the differences of how things work and what is expected of them.

    Although not excelling at college he often tells us how much he prefers things here to when we lived in the UK.

    The youngest has taken to the french system like a duck to water and speaks without a trace of an accent, according to our French friends. The problem we have with him is that although he understands what he has said in French he often cannot translate this into English, particularly in cases of sayings, slang, etc.

    Although I will not say it is easy on the children, or parents, I would say that those children coming into the primary system here will have a greater chance of success than those that go directly into secondary education.

     

    Jongleur

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