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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. Generally, in any country, presumably most tests are carried out by the individual because you think you might have the virus. (I know some going into hospital, for eg, may be required to test and there are the circs you describe, Loiseau). My reasoning may be wrong (not unusual) but if what drives testing at this stage is having symptoms, are the positives only because the UK is testing more or is the UK testing more because people already think they're infected? I'm not convinced "testing more" is a valid reason for growth in cases. I do think the resistance to mask-wearing and casual, non-distanced gatherings on transport and in public spaces are much more likely causes, especially with the more contagious / transmissible Delta variant. Anecdotal experience from people returning to the UK suggests their Day 2 tests aren't all being analysed - ie, tests are being returned to labs but results are never forthcoming, either +ve or -ve, which leads people to suspect only a sample number of the Day 2 tests are actually analysed.
  2. Didn't see either programme but I'd actively avoid Carole Drinkwater - can't stand her.
  3. Hello Old Members! 😏 It's a cleaner layout - better than having that soddin lavender fields wallpaper behind the (very narrow) column of posts - and I'm sure I can adjust to the new functionality - but what is irritating and probably make or break for me is I can't post anything if I'm using my preferred (latest ver) Firefox browser. This is posted via Chrome; using Firefox causes the submit reply button to hang on 'saving' and saving never completes. I've no desire to change from Firefox to Chrome for one pretty much comatose forum so if Firefox is causing the problem with posting a response, I'm unlikely to persevere.
  4. Sorry to hear you may have Covid. Cabinets Infirmiers certainly can and locally do carry out Covid tests and a good time to contact them by phone is 7am / 7.30am because that's when people often go in to get their early blood tests done. Do you have any neighbours you can call on (masked and socially distanced) who would be able to make phone calls or even pick up a Covid test for you?
  5. Friends coming by car to Normandy earlier in the summer were spot-checked at the tunnel and my Hellmann's mayonnaise supply was confiscated. Sob. So was their dog's special diet food which was a bit of a blow for them - dried food but (unsurprisingly) it contained meat. My reading of the rules suggests it should have been permitted but they didn't argue.

    I have to visit the UK in October and want to bring back a new satellite box - just a Freesat free-to-air digital recorder thing. The last one was a Humax but I think that's obsolete / been superseded so I need to research. Maybe Amazon UK for delivery to France is the answer there.

    In recent times, apart from trophies from charity shops, books, etc, I don't bring much back from the UK - though I've not been over for 18 months.

  6. Our acceptance of invitations depends on how careful we think the hosts / other guests are - one person's perception of 'we hardly see anyone' is not someone else's analysis of their socialising - and whether the meal / gathering will be inside or out of doors.


    the meal is to be outside and you can rely on people to keep out of

    your personal space, as I'm double vaxxed (2nd in June) I would consider

    seeing them. It seems that there's little risk of infection from

    surfaces - plates, glasses or the food itself.


    would not (and don't) spend time with a group of people inside - whether

    they're vaccinated or not. 31st August delivered nearly 20,000 new

    cases in FR and there's more asymptomatic people and less testing nowadays.

    Infection reinforcing immune response is great if it works but this disease is unpredictable with

    no guarantees as to its effect on even a double vaxxed person. Yes, I'm now unlikely to die if I get it but I don't

    know how ill I'll be, how well I'll

    recover, or if I might develop long Covid. I continue to be of the

    opinion that I should do my best to avoid it.
  7. [quote user="chessie"]Anyone else let 'the grass grow under their feet' this year ? [/quote]
    This and most years. [:$] Even the sheep are too few and too old (they're aged between 10 and 12) to make inroads into the grass on the hill. This morning, as I saw very large thistles coming into flower, I thought I should wander round with a bucket and trim the flower heads so they didn't set seed. Then an amble through Twitter delivered this contribution...

    ...so I realised I must leave the flower heads in place for now and only remove them before they distribute next year's seedlings as I don't want a hillside of thistles. (Yes, I know there are rules about this but they're sparsely followed around here - different if we had houses and gardens around us - we don't).

    A compromise is to mow a path or two through the grass for easy access on a dewy morning and to mow in late July. Until then, enjoy your insect-ful acre, Chessie. [8-|]

  8. As the field presumably doesn't have to be 'active' in any way, can you simply replace the @ with at? In other words, mazandcolatemailco.com?

    e2a: you posted while I was writing. Glad to read you've sorted your problem. [:)]

  9. [quote user="Weegie"]Being a mere male with a complexion beyond redemption, what about crème anti-rides or is that a step too far?[:$] [/quote]
    Ah, yes, well... for the face, a crème anti rides is a daily treatment rather than a concealer. Usually, it's just a moisturiser which is light enough to be used around eyes - I only use a normal moisturiser but I don't have sensitive skin or eyes that get irritated easily.

    There used to be some products that you'd (one would!) use before going out or the morning after a heavy night - this has been popular for years. Decades, even. I'm not convinced by it but many are.

    Allegedly, a very good cream for tightening up the eye wrinkles (and I emphasise here that I would NOT try it [:P]) is hemorrhoid cream. [:-))] Try that discussion with your local pharmacist.

    @Mint - this thread has really brightened a rainy Friday! [:D]

  10. [quote user="mint"]So, primer becomes either l'anti-cernes or base de maquillage, according to whether you use Norman's link or Catalpa's.  [/quote]

    [:D] They're two different things, Mint. (It's a long time since I had a good makeup conversation!) Anti-cernes is concealer which you would tend to use only in problem areas such as dark rings under eyes or over (say) a few age spots to disguise them.

    Primer goes all over the face - or most of it, possibly avoiding eyes - and is mainly useful if you want makeup to last all day or you're going clubbing (say!) and are going to be in a hot, humid atmosphere. I used it when travelling for work and I might leave home at 4am, fly off somewhere for a day of meetings and then fly back getting home midnightish. The primer did definitely help keep makeup where it was supposed to be over a long period of time. I'd never bother using it in normal circs.

    And then there's concealer / highlighter - like the famous and very effective YSL Touche Eclat. A light touch of that under eyes disguises dark rings.

  11. Fond de teint is foundation and if you're fair skinned like me, Mint, you may find it difficult to get a foundation in France that suits your skin tone.

    I have used primer in the past (base de teint: generally it's a colourless base that goes on over moisturiser but under tinted foundation). I don't bother now. Tinted moisturiser + sunscreen is sufficient along with a blusher to make me look healthy at the times I... don't! [:P] On older skin particularly, less is more.

    If your eyebrows have faded (mine have) invest in a product (there's more than just crayon or poudre à sourcils out there nowadays) that defines them. You may be surprised just how that livens up your face. I don't mean attempt the whole hairy caterpillar above the eyes look that Z-list slebs seem to go for - just adding some colour and brushing into shape.

    If I wanted to solve a specific skin problem, I'd go and see what a local, decent-sized pharmacy has to offer and discuss with them. They often have samples relevant to your skin type which you can take home to try.

  12. Separate applications. Some of the supporting paperwork such as tax returns might be in joint names, of course.

    If you've not already seen it, the link below may answer any other questions you have, depending on your exact circumstances.

  13. A perfect forum thread. Question asked, answered, sorted. [:)] If life were always so straightforward!

  14. For what it's worth: a friend with a family member doctoring on the outskirts of Paris said mid-last year that Paris was labelling alsmost every death a Covid death because it gave them extra payouts / subvention / whatevers so a death recorded from Covid was of direct financial benefit to the hospital.

    When I registered my mother's death in the UK last November, she died from a combination of causes, the main one being 96 years of age. However, various of those causes were typical of Covid. The registrar asked me several times if I was sure that she'd not had Covid too because (she eventually explained) there was felt to be under-reporting of Covid as a cause of death / contributory cause.

    I doubt any country's figures can be totally accurate but in places like Brazil and particularly India currently, I can believe the cases / deaths are much higher than are being reported. Horrifying.

  15. [quote user="alittlebitfrench"]I agree.....but I would ask them why first. [/quote]
    That would be an exercise in futility...

  16. Whether you keep your landline is up to you. You can keep the land line phone number (or everyone I know did) but it becomes part of the fibre package. This part of Manche (perhaps the whole of Manche) could select from a range of packages from about 6, maybe 8 service providers who all used the same infrastructure managed by (I think) Manche Numerique.

    We made our choice, got rid of SFR but kept the land line number and the service provider we contracted with managed the switchover with SFR. This was about 2 years ago.

    We consistently get upload / download speeds of about 90 Mbps and apart from one infrastructure failure that affected a number of the providers and lasted about 2 weeks, it has been very reliable. The outage wasn't a disaster because we both have mobile phones too.

  17. Can you get a photo of the bird, Mint? I've not found any indication that it is present in the wild in France - or native to Europe generally.

    Perhaps it's an escapee from a local aviary and it is singing in the forlorn hope of finding a mate.

  18. Our local supermarkets have the automatic photo booths in the entrances - that's where we had ours done. And supermarkets should be open.

  19. [quote user="Martin963"]TF1 suggested it was the panacea for those wanting the best search system for vaccines but maybe they were exaggerating...[/quote]
    If it was featured on TF1 a day or two ago, that may be why there are no appointments atm. If I were in need of a first vaccine appointment, I'd check daily - after the first 'rush' is over, in a week or so, say, it may be a good source of appointments.

    I've just checked Manche and Calvados and while I'd have to travel between 20 mins and an hour depending on choice of venue, there are appointments in Manche available this week and in Calvados from 17 April.

  20. It's obvious from the experiences outlined in this thread that applications and swaps are working differently in different regions and départments. I'm sure that shocks us all. [:P]

    CeeJay, if I had been waiting for 3 months from the date of the initial paperwork interview*  I would do a polite follow-up email just to check I hadn't been parked in someone's in tray with some query on the documents provided.

    After applying online for our 10 year, permanent TdeS 'swap' last November, we received confirmation of application (by email), waited... but did not receive a 'swap' rdv. Others in the same situation (and who applied after us) did receive appointments. We chased after about 10 weeks. We received a joint rdv by return and the new TdeS 15 days after the appointment - where we gave back the existing card, produced new photos + our passports and autographs.

    While I have no idea why it should be so, I do think our enquiry prompted retrieval of our files and the rdv.

    * where ID, proof of residency, 5 years of tax returns, birth certificates and all that jazz is produced for scrutiny, fingerprints taken, photos handed over

  21. [quote user="Catalpa"]
    John Lichfield, used to be the Independent's France correspondence (in the days when the Independent was worthwhile) and has been a French and Europe commentator for years.

    He now does a round up of Covid and vaccinations in France generally, twice a week via Twitter. Even if you're not on Twitter, I think you can still read his contributions. They're invariably concise, factual, blunt and worth reading. This is today's.


    Here is today's Lichfield vaccine roundup from Twitter. It makes better reading... there's no doubt that France is (at last) increasing its daily vaccination rate.

  22. That's tiny. Perhaps Mama Boar didn't recover well from the birth.

    Is hunting still taking place in your departement? Post end of Feb, we* still have a few specially licenced hunts in local forests for sanglier control purposes but they're rare. Entirely possible that the youngsters got separated from their family group by some other form of disturbance, though - farm vehicles, groups of walkers, dogs, etc.

    * though I accept the Gard area is a different country compared to rural Normandie.

  23. I heard on the news yesterday that SNCF have thoughtfully put on extra trains to get people out of Paris (and presumably other cities) and away to friends, family, résidences secondaires...

    And that although the restrictions on travel would be from this evening (Sat, 7pm) the restrictions would be enforced 'lightly' until Monday evening to allow people to get back home after their weekends away.

    So very French. [8-)]

    I suppose more trains = more space so travellers aren't (as) over-crowded but encouragement to travel still seems daft to me.

    Having said that, I (further) suppose there's a tacit acceptance by the gouvernement, police nationale, gendarmerie, etc, that some people will do as they choose anyway at times like Easter and they can't realistically manage to enforce / police half the population (otherwise they'd have stopped people leaving Paris in droves last week) so they hope to at least make people think before they get into cars or catch trains and then gradually enforce the rules.

    ps: driving past an acquaintance's holiday home yesterday, we saw they were in residence. They're German, have driven from home which is Cologne in DE and I assume (based on their other visits) they'll be there for a week before driving all the way back again. I wonder how often they were stopped / will be stopped.

  24. We knew from the email accompanying our appointment info that we would be handing in our existing cards so we scanned and printed them then asked the Mairie to stamp them as authentic. OH also kept a copy on his Smartphone. The new ones arrived in the post (signed for) after about 3 weeks; we had the scans of the old cards in the meantime. It didn't seem a big deal. Maybe it would have been if I'd needed to travel to / back from the UK in that period but I doubt even that would have been a problem providing such travel met Covid travel regs.

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