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Everything posted by Chris_Haze

  1. We have around 100 nearly new paperbacks which we'd be happy to swop or sell for 1€ each. (any proceeds go into buying more books for our group of readers) We're 10 minutes away from Parthenay in the Deux Sevres so let us know if you're interested. Hazel  
  2. Depends on the size of your room, but we easily got enough tiles in our car for our main bedroom which is 15sq metres. We didn't glue them down they are just loose laid so that if we wanted to replace one we could.  
  3. Thanks for the advice I will check out Gamm Vert as they have a branch near us to see if they have 'Cloque du Pecher' as this seems the best bet as I've left it a bit late for the other product.  
  4. Hi John I looked on the website too and I couldn't find carpet tiles there, but I noticed that they only have pictures of  a small range of carpets under that section but say on their website that they have over 200 to choose from.  I can only assume that if they still do them they are one of the ranges that are not specifically mentioned on their website. I looked out our old invoices from them and they were called 'dalle de moquette' which means carpet tiles, perhaps you could give your nearest one a call, or email them to find out if they still stock them.  
  5.  We have this disease on our peach and nectarine trees, they bore lots of fruit last year but there was a serious amount of leaf drop. In the UK I would have been spraying with Dithane now, but have not found anything similar in the shops here. Can any of you experts recommend a product I could use to control this disease please? Many thanks Hazel
  6. [quote user="johnv"]I had come to the conclusion that carpet tiles would have to be the way to go .. what are they like? i was worried that they might look too 'industrial' ...[/quote] We've been so pleased with them that we've laid them in all three of our bedrooms.  They are easy to lay and if you follow the instructions laying in the directions of the arrows on the back of each tile you really don't see any joins. Also they're very practical as you can swop them around if they start to wear, or replace them individually if you need to. Hazel    
  7. Hi John There is a big chain of stores called Saint Maclou which sell carpets (also wallpaper, paint, soft furnishings etc), the one we have used is in Niort on the commercial estate there. They had a good range of 'fitted' carpets and one of our friends used their fitting service which they said was excellent. We bought carpet tiles from them so that we could fit them ourselves and we were very happy with them.   Perhaps there's one near to you, or then again Niort isn't that far! Good luck Hazel  
  8. Thanks Clair, I guess I didn't read this properly the first time ! Hazel
  9. I am just about to renew my passport and have printed out the forms from the internet but I wasn't sure what to do about the return postage to cover my new passport being sent back. Did you add an amount to your payment to cover this? Or did you send them a self addressed envelope with the postage already on it? Hazel    
  10. Hi Tegwini Poitiers itself will be nice to visit,  very festive with many small wooden chalets in the main square (in front of the Hotel de Ville) and surrounding streets selling different gifts, jewellery, pictures, lamps and toys plus numerous other things, they  usually also have a small open air ice rink in the square and stalls selling waffles and chocolates and the like! We have gone to Poitiers the last three Christmases to have a wander round and soak up the atmosphere, usually puts us in the Christmas mood! If you're going in it would be nice to go late afternoon or early evening when everythings lit up. Hope you enjoy whatever you do. Hazel
  11. Unexpectedly today, the CPAM officer arrived this morning instead of tomorrow as we had arranged, apparently he was in the neighbourhood and thought it would be worth seeing if we were in. We had not planned to have anybody with us during the interview, nor had we any intention of taping what was said, so we were happy to go with the flow and find out what it was all about. Although some of you thought he would be accompanied, he was on his own, and we have to say that he was very pleasant and helpful. He re-iterated what we were told at CPAM Niort about our health cover finishing at the end of March 2008 and explained that we must have 100% health cover from 1st April until I receive my pension next October, at which point my husband and I will both be covered under CPAM again. He suggested that we contact our french bank as he thought this would be a good place to start enquiring about 100% health cover. He came with a copy of our last tax return for 2006 and asked  1) if we had a house in the UK still, 2)  if we transferred money from England on a regular basis to live on, and 3) if not, how much money we had in our French bank account to live on until next October. We answered all his questions truthfully, showing him bank accounts and discussing all the above points. We asked him about the potential 5 year rule and he said CPAM can only proceed on the law as it is at the moment, but if and when there are new changes on this we will be contacted by him and notified officially of the change.  He was sympathetic to our plight and explained that he has a very large dossier of people to visit in the same situation, not only English, but Dutch, German, Spanish and other nationalities. Hope this helps Hazel and Chris  
  12. Thanks for all the comments, we have had a return phone call from the CPAM officer who says he has some questions on our tax returns for 2003 and 2004 so it may well be that they are checking our life style and expenditure. Luckily we live a pretty simple life (one of the reasons for coming to France) and have always filled in tax returns and kept all relevant documentation for the last 5 years. Our visit is going to be Thursday morning apparently, so I'll post an update following that as it looks like it may be of interest to you. Thanks again - Watch this space! Hazel and Chris
  13. Has anybody else had this experience recently? In the last few weeks we have had the same things as a lot of people on this forum:- - A letter from CPAM Niort saying we had not sent all the neccessary documentation they requested for CV renewal (we had sent it)- - A letter following that, saying to present ourselves urgently at CPAM Niort to explain our finances, we went and were told the letter  was  sent out in error but they explained that after March 2008 we would not be covered any longer.  Yesterday while we were out, a CPAM representative left a card to say they had visited us in order to 'regularise' our dossier. We had to telephone a number to make another appointment which we did and are waiting for a return call. We have been permanently resident in France for nearly 5 years and wonder if it could be for that reason we've had a visit, although during those 5 years we have never had anyone from CPAM come to our home, quite the opposite - its usually been a demand to go and see them in their offices. If anyone has any experience of this we'd be interested to hear what's happened to you. Thanks and Regards Hazel 
  14. We've just moved to the Deux Sevres and are currently trying to find a good kennel to leave our elderly dog in at Easter. I'd love to hear how you get on and if you can pass on a recommendation to us. Thanks Hazel
  15. We have just had an inspection done on our property, it covered - termites, asbestos and lead - and cost €450.00 including tax. We are also in the Charente so if you'd like the contact details for the company let us know, they are based in Niort. Hazel
  16. It depends how you want to register your gite (if at all). When we registered our gite with the Prefecture in Poitiers, they sent Gites de France inspectors to do the classification and one of the extra criteria for obtaining a 3 star rating was the installation of  a telephone line in our gite, the others were - a colour television and antennae, and the provision of off road private parking. We decided it made sense to provide all of these in addition to all the other standard requirements. Good luck with your venture next year. Hazel 
  17. Hi Louise I am sending you a private email about gite accommodation, sorry its a little late I've only just seen your posting. Hazel  
  18. Oh Dear Dan! What have you started you little devil? We would join you down the pub on a Friday if we weren't too old, but instead we'll probably be sitting in front of the tele in the community room, dribbling down our fronts! Love from two old wrinklies in Dept 86 Haze and Chris
  19. Hi Sophie I agree with all the things people have already mentioned in their responses, information and directions to the local supermarket, doctors etc, plus their opening times, pamphlets on tourists attractions, also local markets and the days and times that they are on as guests seem to like these particularly. In addition to the info pack, you might consider a welcome basket of some sort. We do this for guests staying for one week or more, it costs relatively little and all our guests have commented how nice this is.  It doesn't have to be huge, ours includes milk, a bottle of water, a bottle of wine, a local pat of butter, a local cheese, some bread and a packet of regional speciality biscuits, this means guests can have a drink and something to eat without unpacking all their bags. Good luck with your first year. Hazel
  20. [quote user="Gay and happy"]I have a buyer for my house which I advertised myself . What do I have to do now ?[/quote] Hi Paul This could be a really interesting thread! I'd love to know what  made you decide to advertise your property privately, and more importantly where and how did you advertise it? We love the Vienne, but are thinking about selling our farmhouse and gite this year as we are 'downsizing', so would be intrigued  to follow your experiences to see if there is advice or information that would help us. By the way, where are you moving to? Hazel
  21. Hi James Where are you moving to in Dept 16?  My husband Chris belongs to a club based in Parthenay and they arrange trips for groups of divers, to Hendaye, Isle de Yeu (not sure if I spelt that right!) and other places. It would be interesting to hear how your plans progress, keep us posted please. Good luck with your venture Hazel 
  22. [quote user="Chezshells"] We have done exactly that over the past 18 months and have really enjoyed it, meeting all kinds of people has been very interesting. Our insurance is no different at all wether we have guests or not and also the tourism office have told us due to the layout ie. not a seperate building we wouldnt have to pay any tax up to 15k on any income from it. We have never been called upon for anything, we may have been lucky as a few have told us.   [/quote] I totally agree with Lee and Michelles comments, our experience is that after the initial 'welcome and intro into how everything works' guests like their own privacy and only call on us if they have a problem or they need some extra information. We too, have been very lucky with our guests. If I had any advice to give to someone in your position, I would say don't underestimate the time and effort needed on changeover days, even cleaning a 1 bedroom gite can take 3 hours by the time you've cleaned the cooker,  the windows, tidied the garden etc. If you want to aim your potential gite at adults, I would say go for it, our gite is registered for 2 persons and we clearly say on our website and literature that its suited to 2 adults, we don't feel guilty about that as the accommodation is not really large enough for families and there are many other gite owners who can, and do, cater for the family market very well. Whatever you do, this is a very exciting time for you as you think about changing your lifestyle and moving to France, I wish you all the best of luck and hope you find what you're looking for. Hazel       
  23. Thanks everybody, I also checked the web site 'Teamed Up' suggested and its full of other useful info too!. Apparently the sales do start on the 11th January, and finish on the 11th February, in dept 86.    Happy Bargain Hunting Hazel
  24. Thanks Cathy It does make things a bit clearer, don't know why I didn't think of doing a 'google' but thanks for making the effort for me. Hazel
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