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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. And then there's the maire of le Mont-St-Michel whose self-serving and illegal opportunism reduced tourist numbers to le Mont... qualifies under Wooly's definition of immodest enrichment, I think.
  2. Where did you buy your bombe, Chancer? Point Vert or similar agricultural / horticultural emporium? We have an outbuilding that has only been used for storage - hay, straw etc - for about the past 12 years and it is jumping with fleas and other bite-y things... that appear not to have had a good feed on warm blood for about the same length of time. [+o(] Clearing the building hasn't cleared the insects so something serious needs to be done before I can start to use it and a bombe sounds just the thing.
  3. [quote user="Clair"]I bought one a few months ago and promptly exchanged it for a Kindle Paperwhite, which is perfect for my night-reading preference. I am considering a new Paperwhite, but I'll wait until I can read a few comparison reviews before deciding...[/quote] I didn't like the basic Kindle - my mother bought me one and I gave it to OH when he had a prolonged stay in hospital in the spring. She has now treated me to the (original) Paperwhite and I adore it. However, do other people find it difficult to keep track of what books they've read? I know and love my books by their cover and I just don't have the same affection for books I've enjoyed when they're on my Kindle. It is a very different reading experience and I miss the interaction with the physical book. But I'm a closet dinosaur... [:D]
  4. [quote user="gardengirl "]I know that Cooperlola is often in the minds of people on the forum, Ian. I did a search here for something a couple of days ago, and she popped up on it with cheerful helpfulness. I bless her when that happens, and think of you as well. [/quote] Exactly what happens to me too, GG. Hope life has settled into a routine for you now, Ian, and that all goes well with animals various.
  5. [quote user="EuroTrash"]...and once you starts going down that road, people start feeling less and less responsible for anything and relying more and more on the state until they expect it to wipe their noses for them. Do we really want that?[/quote] I think that is exactly what France has got. People who reckon the UK is a nanny state have never lived in France.
  6. Guests permitting, I'm really enjoying the search for the best boulangerie in France on M6 each evening - based on a UK tv show which aired last year, I think. It's on after une dîner presque parfait (come dine with me) but I don't have time to watch that though I do enjoy nosing at French decor.
  7. [quote user="jsdorset"]But at least with the jumping through hoops in France it is protecting the consumer, more than I can say the UK does...[/quote] That may have been the laudable intention... in fact, I think it is just the State trying to control everything while not protecting anyone efficiently - workman or consumer. The extra layer of fonctionnaires are happy to have a job administering it, though. [quote user="jsdorset"]I believe like you it will work in France and as I say I'm not looking to be very busy, I would rather have fewer customers and enjoy my times when I work than run around like the proverbial headless chicken trying to make millions. [/quote] I am sure that you won't run any risk of making millions as a chimney sweep in France, no matter how many hours you work. [:D] But you'll want to cover your overheads and when you find that a lot of what you thought would be your pin money is going straight to the state, it becomes very expensive pin money. We all want to be paid fairly for our efforts... otherwise why be in business? In France (compared to the UK) it is more difficult for a self-employed tradesman to get a fair return for their efforts. Which is why there is so much work done au noir. We pay about 70 euros a year for our chimney man - one easy chimney. He's a roofer by trade (which is common though I do know of a stonemason who also has it as a sideline) and we get a receipt / certificate when he's done it. This is something most people will require so you'll need to be up-to-speed with that. Good luck with your research. [8-|]
  8. Catalpa

    Lung removal

    [quote user="sweet 17"]Alas, we are no longer in our place in Charente Maritime which was only an hour from Bordeaux.  I could have been more help in a practical way by offering accommodation or transport and things like that, perhaps for Mrs JR [:(][/quote] You are a truly lovely human being, Sweets. Best wishes for the next phase in your investigations / treatments, JR.
  9. [quote user="You can call me Betty"]Of equal importance to the above is the whole French social security system. If you cannot do this as an auto entrepreneur, then you're entering a whole world of pain in terms of social security charges and, I assume, public liability insurance, which could possible make doing it as a little part time business financially unviable. But I could be wrong...[/quote] I think that - the bit in bold - is probably the showstopper, Betty. JSDorset, the thing with auto entrepreneur is that you are taxed and pay social contributions - the dreaded cotisations - on turnover. Therefore the expensive insurances needed - and I assume (I know, always dangerous) that for wb stove installations l'assurance décennel would be vital - these insurances cannot be set against profit - that's not how the AE regime works. I used to say that unless your business expenses (vehicle, fuel, consumables, expenses such as insurance) are less than 20% of your turnover, then AE isn't the right regime. I don't think that rule of thumb is out of date. You need to research tax regimes, (auto entrepreneur, microbic, micro-réel etc) and the differences between them relating to the accounting. Micro réel certainly used to be - and I think still is - the simplest tax regime where you can set materials and other business expenses (insurance for eg) against profit as you would in the UK. You then need to research, probably via your local chambre de metiers, what assurances you need to buy in order to comply with regulations. Lots of small businesses who should have l'assurance décennale don't - which is a risk. Not having the right insurance when installing wb stoves is too scary to contemplate, imo, because the opportunity for a small mistake to become a tragedy is too high... imo. My husband has a (fairly small) interior finishings business - fits doors, windows, plasterboarding, insulation, does tiling of walls and floors, etc. For him, l'assurance décennale costs nearly 3000 euros per year and because we are on the micro réel regime we must use an accountant to present our accounts. Accountants don't do that for less than 800 euros pa, often more. So that's on the way to 4000 euros expenses before you start to make a living and of course, you are then taxed (including cotisations since effectively they are a tax) on your profit. France is not kind towards small businesses. E2A: [quote user="jsdorset"]My target market to start will be mainly ex pats but we will see. [/quote] I think you'll see that perhaps 90%? 95%? of the resident population is French so limiting your customer base to "ex pats" is setting yourself up to fail. Again: imo.
  10. Throwing out our latest range of pub, I see rangement is a Brico Leclerc special for the rest of this month. A link to the .pdf is here. Possibly there's something that might appeal, Chrissie... or at least might appeal after it's been finished off properly and perhaps painted... You only need the first 3 pages before the storage boxes and the poêles à bois start featuring.
  11. I freeze raw milk from a local farmer and it's fine on thawing. But, as Kathy says, make sure there's room for expansion as it freezes. Also, as the fat content of our raw milk is higher than that of ordinary full-fat pasteurised / semi-skimmed, I make sure we use it within 2 - 3 weeks so that the fat doesn't deteriorate.
  12. [quote user="Russethouse"]Maybe you would, but what about privacy issues, or even asking both parties BEFORE you just go ahead and do it... [/quote] You misunderstood me. I meant to convey that - agreeing with you - you'd think that once adoption is complete, they are supposed to be a family like any other. And... I would think like that too. However, thinking further... I suppose that obviously different backgrounds - white family with Indian or Chinese child for eg (or, of course, the reverse... I wonder if that ever happens in the UK?) makes it visually difficult for an adoption family to look like any other. But even with that, it's no one else's business really... and certainly not a headmistress's.
  13. [quote user="Russethouse"]I have a relative who has adopted three siblings, the other day the head mistress of the childrens school introduced her to another mother on the grounds that she too had an adopted child! I found that pretty odd, surely once the adoption is complete they are supposed to be a family like any other?[/quote] You'd think. Well, I would too. Perhaps the headmistress was, in a clearly misguided way, thinking that adoptive parents must face similar problems (problems?) and therefore would be able to support each other. Bit like introducing two sets of parents who both have autistic children perhaps... [blink]
  14. [quote user="idun"]One boy's parents, the boy being from Korea, made sure that he knew where Korea was and they found some information about the country, but it still did not alter the fact that in their minds, he was french. [/quote] Thank goodness your kids are grown, Idun, because I'm sure social services would have removed them from you to a place of safety until you recanted such practical, common sense notions. I do see the point of kids understanding 'where they came from*' but that is often going to be a housing estate somewhere in multi-cultural Britain. In which case skin colour is surely immaterial so the efforts to ensure Caribbean (or wherever) culture is conveyed ideally by adoptive parents of the same heritage seems bonkers to me and puts political correctness way ahead of the welfare of a child. * and only when they're old enough and if they show an interest
  15. [quote user="Ron Bolus"]I may pop back a few times a year to this site if I have nothing better to do. [/quote] Have you truly no idea how ludicrously pompous that comment is? Ron, we're all bright enough to deduce from your postings that your purpose in joining this forum was to feed your ego by posting about your life, your vines, your language skills, your whatevers. You arrived here looking for admiration and respect... but even on a forum that has to be earned and, frankly... you haven't... By all means announce and flounce... but I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I have absolutely no interest in whether you pop back a few times a year to this site if you have nothing better to do.
  16. [quote user="mogs"] Is it worth continuing to look for the rest of the month?[/quote] It's worth looking for the next few nights. I saw a couple last night, around midnight. The sky was sparklingly clear... most of them seem to travel north to south so make sure you've got as wide a piece of sky to look at as possible.
  17. A few dozen, including some "sizzlers"... but we were only outside for about 15-20 minutes. But did you also see the ISS twice last night? Although it's path was over the south of England, it looked as if it was exactly overhead here so I'm sure those further south would have seen it travelling west to north-east (approximately). Here's a site (which I'm sure has been posted before) where you can put in your town / village and get precise timings and projected path and also select CET etc. It travels across the sky surprisingly quickly... at about 17,500 mph, apparently. [8-|] http://www.heavens-above.com/
  18. [quote user="Rabbie"]I agree with you about "fosse sceptic". What on earth is wrong with calling it a "septic tank" when you are using english. [/quote] I think that sceptic fosses... or even sceptical fosses... are probably very French. And there is no English-language equivalent. [:P] I understand the point that you and Betty are making but to an extent, some vocabulary or phrases aren't used in regular life in the UK (or wherever) so they are naturally mentally adopted in French rather than translated into English. If they are on mains sewers in the UK suspect most British people's first known encounter with a septic tank is in France so I think it's entirely normal to acquire and use fosse septique especially on a French forum. Why translate it to English? [8-)]  I generally use a number of French words or phrases now because the English equivalent just doesn't come readily to mind. I was explaining the enduit finish on a wall to some English guests today... I couldn't for the life of me recall "render"... talking car and road taxes with some Dutch guests earlier in the week, I was trying to explain what a CT was... and I could not call to mind "MOT"... In general, I don't think people on here who live here full time (or have done so) are busy trying to sound more French than thou... I think the Franglais is entirely natural. [quote user="sweet 17"][quote user="nomoss"]It's quite difficult to work out how many French words one hears are spelt, as they don't pronounce most of the consonants, nor even many of the vowels, which makes it difficult to look in a dictionary, nezpah? [:-))] [/quote]It's totally untrue that "they don't pronounce most of the consonants" and also untrue that "many of the vowels" are also not pronounced [geek][/quote] Oh, I don't know... An S in the middle of a word is often not pronounced. I call them redundant consonants. [:D] And yes, to the OP, we are now 100% off-topic... but how interesting can something that happens to most of us weekly (over-charging in supermarkets) be? It's not France-specific and a couple of posts and it's done and dusted.
  19. Golly. [blink] Has he done anything like this before and is he likely to be back?
  20. I suspect it's the genre - fantasy / horror - perhaps people who watch police procedurals like The Killing, Spiral, Wallender are less likely to buy into the plot premise of Les Revs.  Maybe also it is related to the channel and the night of transmission (C4 instead of the BBC3 Killing / Borgen / Spiral, etc and Sunday, not Saturday). I don't know why it should make a difference - I watch (or record) what appeals to me irrespective of channel or transmission time / day but apparently a lot of people stick to their preferred channels so people who watch BBC2, 3 and 4 are (so I've read) less likely to watch ITV1, C4 or C5. ps: thank you for the link to the article, Norman.
  21. I think that's a DAP Diffuser - we did mean to try one but the dog improved a lot so we didn't get around to ordering it.
  22. It obviously depends on the severity of the fear but in general, the more you react to the sound and their distress (by giving them affection and attention) the more you are convincing them that there's something to be reacting to. Our last dog (a re-home) was terrified of thunder but eventually after a couple of years, as we totally ignored the sound and him, his fear became much more manageable. If there was a storm during the night he would come and open our bedroom door and on those occasions only he was allowed to lie down by the bed. He'd then go to sleep.
  23. [quote user="Ron Bolus"]Then, we get posters who have about 30,000 postings between them who just carry on talking a prop row of.......... very little [/quote] Yeah, you'll often find on forums that when the original question has been comprehensively answered then the conversation will evolve and move on to other, associated points. It's like a real life chat between acquaintances, you know? But if such chat annoys you, there's one forum I can totally recommend to you where that sort of conversational progression is frowned upon and strictly managed - try the AngloInfo forum for your area... I'm confident you'll feel at home there and your approach to your life in France - and of course your fluency in the language - will be enthusiastically welcomed. [:)]
  24. [quote user="Patf"]My "best friend" was just talking to me about this yesterday. She's lived here since 1990 and worries that she still can't carry on a decent conversation with the locals.[/quote] I've lived here since 2004 and I think I'm going backwards. In the early years, we were out and about and socialising with French people but now we're working, OH is working with French people but I'm running a cd'hôte solo with many of the guests Belgian, Swiss, Dutch, German - as well as French... I find I'm using the language less now than I did 5 years ago. French tv is very useful - especially French tv with French or English s/titles - but I only have chance to watch a few hours of tv a week... plus the obligatory Bienvenue Chez Vous. [:D] French radio doesn't work for me because my mind wanders - with English-language radio too, for that matter - listening to the Archers omnibus online takes me about 3 hours because I keep forgetting to concentrate. [8-)] French books are good too - but I fall asleep within 2 pages of starting to read, same for English-language books. I plan to become fluent in about 10 years when I retire. In the meantime, I need to get rid of my vache espagnole pronunciation. [6]
  25. The longer I live here the less I get wound up by people exercising their freedom of choice and sourcing people, products, services, whatever from any country whether it be the UK, France, Germany, Poland. It's an international world. If these people think their profit margins are better and / or they provide a better service - by going totally < insert nationality of choice > I'm not going to get worked up about it though I'd hope they are registered here and paying their taxes. If this was a French company operating in the UK and importing all the produce and people from France, I really don't believe British people would be outraged because no British people were involved. They wouldn't give a... Immigrants to France take offence on behalf of the French too often, I think. Signed, Totally not disgusted of Tunbridge Wells [:D] ps: [quote user="Quillan"]...they thought they were getting an authentic magical FRENCH wedding and reception. [/quote] And how does President butter add to an authentic magical French wedding in a way that Anchor doesn't? [:P] Buying at a Leclerc or French Lidl doesn't make the wedding experience more intrinsically French or authentic or magical.
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