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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. [quote user="nomoss"]Here is a link to the welcoming and helpful responses to a new poster, which is not an isolated example [/quote] I think the responses to that opening post were perfectly reasonable, Nomoss. I don't click on links provided by first time posters either and I suspect that few here were motivated to start figuring out a tax regulations vs maths problem for someone who'd popped in just looking to satisfy their curiosity. Did you research the problem yourself for the poster? What was the answer?
  2. [quote user="idun"]I think that this extra care your Maire gives is down to the size of the place you live in. Our village was too dispersed with lots of hamlets as well as a decent size village which made the whole thing quite big really and no one would have been made a special case....... and getting the gendarmes out of the caserne for anything was very difficult. Maybe that was just the region we lived in. [/quote] I think it is down to size and perhaps also region - ours is a tiny village, a really tight-knit community (with a seasoning of feuds of long-standing) of about 300 inhabitants spread over about 10 km² and the maire involves herself in everything that is going on. Some people view it as interfering! but equally, a French family who were having dreadful problems with EDF and getting nowhere (and were about to enter a third winter month with two kids under the age of 4 with no electricity in their all electric new build) were absolutely thrilled that she waded in, bashed official heads together, and got the problem sorted within a few days.
  3. Frecossais, you may have said elsethread and I've missed it, but how long did you have this op? And are you on any anti-inflammation medication? Or chilled pads to reduce swelling?
  4. The question I could never bother to reply to was: I want to move to France. Where is the best place to buy a house? Muppets. [quote user="idun"]And I have seen really bad info on here from respected members. [/quote] I've always wondered how posters become "respected". Number of posts? Time served? Effective use of spell-check software? A respected poster is a very rare thing and I can only think of two who deserve the description: Sunday Driver and Parsnips. I've seen some rubbish posted over the years by long-standing members. Of course, they've truthfully posted about their specific experience but failed to take into account how old the experience is (things, regulations, requirements, etc, do change) the poster's precise circumstances and also region. What is normal in Normandy (say) isn't necessarily so in the Auvergne but those of a dogmatic disposition usually failed to acknowledge this and entered into tiresome tirades about how anyone disagreeing with their experience must be pink and fluffy. Someone's experience of how the health care system works may be absolutely correct for their circumstances (working for French companies, perhaps) and utterly useless for an early retiree or someone starting off as a self-employed builder... or maçon if s/he's metier specific. Too long in France may cause fonctionnaire vision - too narrow and sometimes defective.  [:P] Many maires won't give a stuff that someone new (nationality irrelevant) has bought a house in their commune. Contrarily, and carrying on from where our ex-maire left off, our maire makes a point of going out to visit them and if they are English-speaking, she sends her tame Brit off to greet them and welcome them with a bi-lingual handbook explaining how life works. She is delighted if the new arrivals go in to introduce themselves to her and considers it an affront to her efficiency if there's someone in the commune whom she's not managed to meet. A British-owed holiday home was broken into in the summer. When it was reported to the mairie, the maire called the gendarmes and went down with them to inspect the property. She spent several hours ensuring that arrangements had been made to make the house secure, that the gendarmes had the owner's contact details, etc. Is she unusual? Yes, probably. But her attitude proves that going to introduce yourself to the maire, while frequently disparaged on this forum and others - is not necessarily an absurd waste of time, especially in the small communes frequently favoured by British people. Though I am confident our maire would politely decline any spiritual gifts. [6]
  5. [quote user="The Riff-Raff Element"]I don't bother much with French forums these days: after 11 years here I don't really need them for information. [/quote] Same here. We're just entering our 10th year; on the face of it, I should be able to offer lots of information to people who're thinking of moving here / buying a second home ... but things change over the years and my advice on fosses, entering the health system, registering UK cars and trailers etc would probably be plain wrong now despite it being right when we did stuff. And my specialist subject never was ancient boilers. [:D]
  6. [quote user="Lehaut"]...my reply was to indicate the things I don't do that "normal" people do. [/quote] You also do things that normal people don't - as indicated by your recent posts about your "generous use of poison" to get rid of local cats.
  7. To anyone considering Shadow but don't know the breed: we've just adopted a 9-year old Brittany and she is a delight. Very friendly and affectionate from her first hour with us and while we've not had any sort of spaniel before, I'm now totally in love with the breed. Please go and introduce yourself to Shadow... you'll probably fall in love too. [:)]
  8. [quote user="Loiseau"]I was beginning to worry about forumites' apparent need for quite so many painkillers in the year... [/quote] [:D] OH took a couple of ibuprofen most work evenings in the couple of years before he had both hips replaced. Say 8 per week, 400-ish per year. In high season when I'm on my feet for about 16 hours a day, I occasionally take a couple because my feet hurt! And yes, in both cases in France, the painkillers could probably have been prescribed "free" but first define free - both to the individual and also to the French health service... a point raised earlier in the thread.
  9. [quote user="Judith"]TESCO will only allow purchase of two packets of (say) paracetamol or aspirin and when asked why claim ''it is the Law'' - it isn't. It's the store policy.[/quote] This may have been mentioned by now (but as per, the forum takes forever to load a new page for me so I'm giving up) but Boots will sell you a tub of 100 x 200mg ibuprofen (my preferred painkiller) if you ask at the pharmacy and they stock them - cost: about a fiver. However, Tesco pharmacy will sell you 96 x 200mg ibuprofen for about half that. Either way, talk to the pharmacist, explain you live abroad and I have, over the past 10 years, had no difficulty in buying large quantities.
  10. [quote user="Lehaut"] Thankfully, the generous use of poison and the ownership of a gun has reduced the incidents.[/quote] Clearly, your pride in your actions will enable you to tell us whereabouts in Normandy you live. Or are you only bold when you're spreading poison or have your finger on a trigger?
  11. [quote user="tinabee"]If you want to check the business registration you can use this site https://www.infogreffe.fr/societes/  [/quote] But, to be clear, as Eurotrash says... [quote user="EuroTrash"]You can check online that he's registered as a business but if he's registered for several trades it won't necessarily tell you all the details. And it doesn't prove he has up to date insurance.[/quote] ...it will only provide confirmation of the first (or first few) trades that he is registered for. So if the site doesn't mention precisely the trade that you want him to carry out for you, that doesn't mean that he's not registered to undertake it. And registered is not the same as insured.
  12. As has been said, tax is not the killer in France - cotisations sociales are - and they are payable from your first euro... though I don't think even France would deduct cotisations from an income of 1 euro. [:P] If you're researching starting a b&b - while there are b&b people on here (I'm one) - a very useful site is http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/index.php . You'll get a lot of business specific and country specific information on there. As has been said, you have to opt for a particular tax régime to begin with but for the basic régimes like autoentrepreneur, you are assessed on turnover not profit. You cannot offset any actual expenses to deliver the "profit" figure - there's a flat rate included in the régime. This means that if you have a lot of purchasing to do - quality mattresses, seating, bedding, towels, garden furniture - you can't declare those costs or depreciate them over the next few years. I realise that sounds bonkers. Welcome to France. You also need to look into licences - from your local Douanes usually found in your prefecture town although, for Manche and Calvados, they are at Caen. Or they were... but my info is from 6 years ago. You need a licence even if you are only serving tea and coffee with breakfast - and there have been some examples of people having to attend courses before getting the licence and these can be expensive. However, not all départements enforced this ruling (it may even have been dropped) but if your département does, that would be an extra cost to factor in. If you are anywhere near Sourdeval, Manche, and bank with the Crédit Agricole (or would consider doing so) there's a British manager there who is au fait not only with French banking "stuff" but also the ins and outs of starting a small business. Specifically, he understands what British people expect and what the French system actually delivers!
  13. [quote user="Yonner"]We watch the Tunnel, Le H,  its become “ must see” for us. Well acted, interesting plot and a good chance to practice French. [/quote] I know it's airing on Canal+ but is it free or part of the subscription package? We only have the fta channels - which means we don't watch it in English either as it's on Sky.
  14. [quote user="Nessie"]Thanks, how can I check on line?[/quote] For l'assurance décennale? If so, you can't. My OH puts his insurance provider and policy number in his email signature and on his devis but few artisans seem to do that as a matter of course. Unless the information is displayed on the person's website or in his details, there's no website which will tell you whether s/he has it or not.
  15. If the job is fundamental to the structure of the building - roofing, carpentry, masonry, installation of woodburning stoves, etc as well as fitting doors, windows, tiling, etc, the workman should have l'assurance décennale - 10 year guarantee insurance. S/he won't have it for painting and decorating, for eg. This piece of paper states what the workman is insured for (it often runs to 5+ pages!) and any workman who has l'assurance décennale will be more than happy to give you a copy - the bloody thing costs upwards of 2000 euros per year so someone asking to see it actually makes having it feel worthwhile! Keep a copy of the paperwork along with the devis and (eventual) facture - particularly the page which states the workman / enterprise name, the insurer and address, the policy number, etc. Then, if something goes wrong with the work over the following 10 years, even if the artisan is no longer in business, the insurance company is responsible for ensuring resolution of the problem. Unless the insurance company can wriggle out of its obligations... but that's a whole different discussion. In essence, please do not feel embarassed about asking for a copy of l'assurance décennale to go with the devis. [:)]
  16. A rather entertaining blog review of Day of the Doctor...
  17. [quote user="You can call me Betty"]In a compare-and-contrast kind of way, is Dr Who more important than the Kennedy assassination? In the great scheme of things, are either of them important enough to warrant blanket TV coverage? I admit, David Tennant is very pleasing on the eye, but I've had enough now. [/quote] Well, he was... until I saw his plait! I can - obviously - see what you're getting at re the coverage. But I think they are such different events it is difficult to directly compare them or to fairly assign levels of importance. JFK - with the brief regeneration possibilities offered by Bobby - remains a character of his time and is simply a piece of (recent) history. The Doctor, being fictional and pretty much immortal and having good scriptwriters, continues to be relevant years after the original idea. And it has the full power of the BBC marketing and PR departments behind it. Not to mention to denizens of Outpost Gallifrey... [:-))] I can see that it is probably mildly annoying to people who aren't interested (because I feel that way about football and F1 racing [:D]) but Doctor Who is fundamentally very moral, feel-good tv. It is only tv... but I think it's not a bad thing to be celebrating...
  18. I think the problem is that a normally law-abiding UK citizen with a second home in France and a correctly registered and insured French car that they are legally allowed to drive here doesn't stop to think that they need to research the legalities of taking it to the UK and driving it in their own country for a couple of weeks. In fact the person concerned did have an accident in the UK last week. The police did attend the scene but no one was hurt and the circumstances were such that they could have happened to anyone so the police wished both parties all the best and departed. Friend is back in France this weekend, has gone into his insurers and filled out the relevant paperwork. The insurers are processing the claim because the local office does not, of course, have any knowlege of EU/UK requirements. OH told friend today that I'd said I was pretty sure that a UK resident driving a French registered and insured car in the UK wasn't legal and he is horrified. Having horrified him, I thought I'd better check the accuracy of my recollections. Not least because having lived here for nearly 10 years now, things do change and just because a rule was in force when I learned of it originally doesn't mean (I always think) that it still is. So thanks for confirming the situation. Kathy, I've been meaning to send you a quick e to see how your eyes are now. All done and dusted, I hope.  [:)] ps: thanks for the link to that thread, GG. Good information there.
  19. A friend (really!) is a UK resident and has a holiday home here in Normandy. He bought a French registered car to keep at their holiday home; vehicle is insured with a French company locally. He sometimes takes the car to the UK and drives it there - probably for 2-3 weeks at a time as they come back here frequently. He has no plans to re-register it in the UK because most of the time it's his runabout at the French house. Do I remember - in the fairly distant past - reading comments that there's some DVLC regulation that prevents a UK resident driving a foreign-plated, non-UK-insured car? Or did I dream that?
  20. [quote user="idun"]Strange program the other night made by Ridley or was it Tony Scott...[/quote] Probably Ridley if it was a recent production - Tony Scott died last year. e2a: If you are using Google, you'll see a little line of Daleks at the top of the result (or other) screen. Click it and you go to the Google home page. Click your preferred Doctor and you'll get a Doctor Who game where you have to navigate him around the obstacles  (monsters) to a prize and then back to the Tardis. There are, I suppose, eleven levels, each one - as is the way with these things - more difficult than the last. [quote user="Thibault"]There was a drama on the other night about how the programme started written by Mark Gattis which was excellent. [/quote] It was. I don't usually watch dramas "based on real life events..." - or manage to stay awake if I do - but this was good, not least as a glimpse of the BBC in that era - even if someone isn't overly interested in the show itself.
  21. I love it. [:D] If anyone else loves it and has not yet seen the 7 minute webisode: if you've not got access to either the Red Button or BBC iPlayer or similar ways to catch up, have a look on utube... you're looking for The Night of the Doctor. Watch it before tomorrow (Saturday) night's episode. If you're not a fan, don't bother - it'll be meaningless to you. In fact, here's the link to YouTube... We're all different. For example, the obsession with the Titanic anniversary (last year?) mildly puzzled and certainly bored me. But thousands? millions? obviously watched and enjoyed. The shooting of JFK was shocking but (unfortunately) there's no parallel universe (in a timey wimey sort of way) enabling us to accurately compare and contrast a world with JFK completing his term(s) as president and what real life actually delivered. So, shocking as it was, though the documentary makers are trying hard, what new is there left to say? Assuming one isn't a conspiracy theorist, that is.
  22. [quote user="Théière"]I am just sorry I bothered to tell anyone.[/quote][:D] Don't be. I found your information very useful. Thank you.
  23. [quote user="Salty Sam"]May it also serve as a reminder... that in the event of an accident, many others will put their own lives at risk in order to bring about closure.[/quote] Exactly my point. This thread won't serve as a reminder of that sort because this thread will disappear down the list into the archives. A 'sticky' - which can always be started with a comment along the lines of: Following the death of one of our forum members while out walking... will remain permanently visible for those that care to look and for whom it might be directly relevant and useful.  [quote user="Quillan"]Incidently I still see nobody thanking thse that went out physically looking for her. [/quote] Why would we? We may be thankful that such groups of people exist - I am - but it's meaningless for me to say a personal thank you to anyone involved in the search.
  24. A topic on safe walking / skills and equipment to have / precautions to take when walking in the mountains is undoubtedly a good idea in the light of Carol's accident. However, I can't see that this thread is the right place for those comments and advice. This thread reached it's logical conclusion when Carol's body was located. Any expertise with maps and compasses does not seem to have played a part in her fall. Also, putting such recommendations on this thread can't fail to look critical - if her family or friends come across this thread in weeks or months to come, they don't need to read strangers saying what they undoubtedly already know themselves. Such a thread would deserve to be a 'sticky' (or FAQ or whatever they are on here). If no one objects perhaps, mods, you could take the very relevant posts about 'wilderness safety' and put them in a new thread.
  25. EmilyA, first of all I'm sorry that your family is going through such a worrying time. In your situation, I think I'd be faxing the UK newspapers with a paragraph of background on Carol, the fact that she is missing, where she is missing and a list of local police / gendarmerie offices, newspapers and tv stations in France for them to contact for further information. Receiving enquiries from the UK press might well encourage the French local - or even national - press to pick up the story and publicise the search. Be prepared for some sensationalist reporting and perhaps some intrusive questioning but as a means to an end - a sustained and intensive search - it may be what you need. Best wishes for a good outcome.
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