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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. I'm never particularly visually Christmassy as dragging loads of greenery in from the garden and converting it into wreaths, garlands, etc, is time-consuming and only lasts for 3 or 4 days before looking dry and dusty. Then I make a mess dragging it all out again. And we're not religious so there are no birth of the saviour style considerations for us.


    ...this year, for the first time for several years, I have Idun's mince pie pastry recipe again and it's as good as I remembered. So it's a good Christmas already by my standards. [:D]

    Meilleurs voeux pour les fĂȘtes, y'all. May your Christmas days be good (or at least adequate). With no seasonal power cuts.

  2. [quote user="NormanH"]The Brexit mantra  "Take Back Control"   ( of

    borders and free movement for example)  has caused howls of outrage now

    that  France did  it for 48 hours. Apparently it was only intended to

    work one-way 😃[/quote]

    And it's all Macron's fault [:-))] ...

    The hard-of-thinking in the UK seem unable to rationalise that 40+ countries doing the same thing kind of suggests border closures are virus-related and not political or even Brexit-related. Though it may be political I suppose - an attempt by its own government to scare the English population into behaving sensibly while not realising that the language will be reported around the world. Fools.

    And the language used to describe this variant: mutant / mutating / 70% more infectious / out of control / running rampant / uncontrolled - language used by politicians in briefings and interviews and therefore by the press... maybe that has something to do with borders slamming shut.

    If France had identified the same problem (in fact, I'm sure the new variant is well established in mainland Europe already but, due to lack of genome sequencing is unrecorded) and if France had used the same language and the media had reacted in the same way, the UK would have closed its borders against France immediately.

    Cartoon in Ouest France yesterday :


  3. [quote user="BritinBretagne"]Well I hope that wasn’t aimed at me as I do speak French, do watch the French news and do read French newspapers. [/quote]
    It was not. In fact, it wasn't aimed at anyone I've seen posting here in the last few months (since I started visiting again.)

    I have in mind people I know (tho' haven't seen much or any of since March) in this area who can argue for / against Starmer, Johnson, Corbyn, Gove... but don't know the name of the current French premier ministre... or any past PM, for that matter.

  4. Yay! [:D]

    (It's now a clear road to longer days, earlier mornings (if you see what I mean!) and... the January lockdown.)


  5. [quote user="cajal"]Perhaps someone will pass by and explain to me why emigrants from the UK continually have the knives out and are constantly b*tch*ng about the UK administration but fail miserably in their condemnation of the administrations of their countries of residence.[/quote]
    They don't speak French or watch French news, read French newspapers...


    They're not entirely certain that their decision to be immigrants was the right one so push all such unsettling thoughts away by denigrating the UK.

    That said, no European country seems to have done well with the management of this virus. All quick decisions come with consequences, often unwanted. But I do think that Boris and his gang - partly because they have Brexit to deal with too and partly because Boris is fundamentally a lazy libertarian with no core values or beliefs - are not the people you want leading by example right now.

  6. [quote user="woolybanana"]Judith, how do you know that wimmin have lost out over men during COVID?[/quote]
    It's a trend that has been widely reported in the UK (in part because of the make up of the job market there) but is an effect less seen in France - so far.

    For eg:

    Or shorter version with fewer charts...

  7. I found the full thread 'Outcast Has Been Arrested' thread this morning - and read the first page and then skipped to the end to see how it all panned out. I'll find it again...

    e2a: here we are... sanity warning: there are 36 pages... [geek]

    If you're not feeling well, maybe leave it for a day or two, Idun... or it may cause a relapse.

    e2a:2 which I now see is the same link Weegie posted earlier but when I tried that, it didn't work.

  8. Is this the café and scooter? It looks a robust thing. The scooter too... [:P]

    Our little country lane was ignored by the Google street view mobile camera. I'm not sad about it.

  9. I know there is a lot of help available in France and the GP / MT is the first port of call - diagnosis is the foundation for getting help. But. Unlike things like heart disease or cancer where the sufferer has a clear route to improving their health (even if they choose to carry on drinking or smoking or whatever) with dementia the person has to accept the diagnosis so that treatment and coping methods can be adopted successfully. And there, this condition conspires against them.

    Too often, out of decreasing ability to reason things through or plain fear and embarrassment, the person refuses to accept there is a problem (there's nothing actually visible or even physically painful) and is therefore reluctant to make changes they need to adapt and help themselves. For eg, daily medication (needs person's cooperation) or to learning and using coping mechanisms such as leaving notes for themselves, using timers to remind them of something, establishing a suitable routine and sticking to it, using lists, etc. All reliant on the person's willingness to accept their situation.

    edited2add: you could start keeping a diary, Chessie - that would help you chart the problems, the frequency and note any deterioration. That could be helpful for your own sanity but also to inform over time what treatment your MT or specialist might propose.

    And sorry to hear of your difficulties too, Judith. I hope things improve for you. This getting old(er) is (mostly!) better than the alternative but it certainly isn't always a gentle ride to a maison de retraite, aged 95+ and sound of mind...

  10. I don't know that I'm going to cheer you up but I am going to be giving you A Very Hard Stare (Paddington-style) relating to you comment about not telling your family... you have to make them aware of the difficulties of the situation even if you don't overload them with daily details.

    For a start, if they don't know how his dementia is developing, finding out all in a rush if something bad happens is going to be far worse than you managing their knowledge as time progresses.

    If you can, I would probably wait until new year (very early in new year!) and write to them a letter detailing how things are deteriorating. If you carry on trying to absorb all of this you may end up having some form of breakdown and they'd have an enormous amount to understand, grasp and accept without much (any?) warning.

    Dementia tends to exacerbate the less welcome characteristics of someone's character so if they were very controlling or stubborn in normal life, these traits are 'enhanced' in some forms of dementia at some stages. And, of course, dementia doesn't develop and stop there. It carries on developing and can place an increasing burden on whoever is living alongside the demented especially if, for eg, dementia starts to evolve into paranoia, hallucinations, loss of inhibitions, etc. Not all dementias are the same, nor is the progression. It might even be that as time goes on and he begins to be less aggressive and difficult. You can but hope!

    What it comes down to is: you matter too. It's not all about the sufferer. And there are drug regimes that can be explored, in the UK there are memory clinics that can help the person find coping mechanisms that help them feel in control for longer - and a sense of loss of control over their lives, their minds, their actions can be sensed by the person though they are no longer able to figure out what to do about it.

    In the short term, to make life as easy for you as possible, you're going to have to become manipulative and calculating in what you do and how you present things. Find ways to distract if he is focussing on something that concerns you. It may not come naturally to you but scheming to find ways to keep the peace isn't unkind or unreasonable.

    Your OH not wanting a gas fire isn't - to me - a bad thing. An open flame like that when someone is losing the ability to identify safe or dangerous behaviour isn't adviseable. Imo.

    As Idun says, vent away. But as your OH is losing control over his life you need to assume control for both of you (even if he doesn't know it) and being honest and clear with your family about the changes you're seeing and having to cope with - and the effect they are having on you - has to be a good way forward.

    Good luck, Chessie. My father developed 'ordinary' dementia in his late 80s and my mother developed Parkinson's dementia (a horrible form of dementia) in her early 90s - she was in residential care by then. She - and I - was enormously relieved that Dad died before his dementia became too difficult for her to manage at home.

    Good luck.

    edited to add: sorry about the novella... I type very fast and dementia for all involved isn't the sort of topic that can be condensed into a couple of paragraphs. [kiss]

  11. It's 5 years since my renewal needed to be done. At that time, old and new passports arrived via Facteur Fred (needing to be signed for) but on separate days. When the first one was delivered, FFred assured me that the other one would be delivered the following day. And indeed it was. He even knew which way round the passports would arrive - new vs old (though I can't remember now).

    It amused me that he was so well-versed in the operation of the British passport renewal procedure and was able to pre-empt any concerns I might have. [8-|]

  12. Oh don't worry about confusion, etc. I'm just pleased to have it again.

    Thank you. I've tried to figure out when I last made it with the recipe and it was probably 2014... and I didn't remember the recipe accurately at all when I tried

    to recreate it a couple of years ago.

    I shall add mascarpone cheese to my shopping list for tomorrow. [kiss]

  13. May I say how delighted I am to see you back, Idun... for many reasons but most importantly (and selfishly!) because several years ago I misplaced a scrap of paper on which I'd scrawled the recipe for Teamedup's mince pie pastry.

    So could you spread a little cheer in this Norman(die) household and remind me of it?

    Thanks in advance. [:D]

  14. [quote user="idun"] From the sound of it, it is different in each region of France. [/quote]
    Which is normal for France. The regions have always varied in what they have to deal with and therefore the solutions / level of engagement... the enforcement in major city France vs deeply rural is, I'm sure, completely different.

    In both confinements, I've never been stopped. OH - despite being out and about on weekdays (daily commute in car + trips out on company business during the day) has only been stopped once for an attestation check and that was in March the day after the original confinement was announced. But this is small town / very rural Normandy. Despite the apparently low level of enforcement, Manche has continued to have one of the lowest transmission figures throughout.

    However, several acquaintances have had trips to Caen and Rennes related to medical appointments pre-ops, etc, and they've been stopped regularly, even twice on one visit.

  15. [:(] My favourite beach is more than 20 kms away... and outside July and August and especially before 10am, at lunchtime, and after 5pm, it is pretty much deserted. Irritated sigh. But my beach walks will come again... probably from mid-December. When I've walked down the shoreline for an hour and listened to the waves and the sand singing quietly as the tide moves in and out, all is right with my world.

    I will be very peeved-off if the restrictions have to be reinstated because too many families lose all capacity for restraint in their gatherings over the Christmas and New Year period.

  16. [quote user="mint"]I don't use cream at all for a Victoria sponge.  Just a good thick layer of jam (preferably homemade) is fine by me.  If you do use cream, you'd have to eat up the whole cake the same day?  [/quote]
    Agree - for the reason you state. Of course, that doesn't mean it has to be a cream-free zone. A good dollop of crĂšme crue nestling alongside the slice works for me. [:D]

  17. [quote user="DraytonBoy"]

    As a French tax resident you have to account for your 'worldwide' income which would include the profit on the sale of any asset such as land or property...[/quote]
    I refer you to the point I made originally:
    [quote]We advised tax office in France about the sum we received and the reason for it...[/quote]
    We paid the relevant taxes for the specific category in the UK and France did not levy additional taxes. In fact, after advising the French tax office, they said (in writing) that it wasn't something for them (the 'fixed asset' thing) and our tax responsibility lay within the UK tax system.

    [quote user="DraytonBoy"]...if that wasn't the case why do you have to declare here the income from UK rents?[/quote]
    I don't know - and as I don't receive rental income from a UK property, it's of no interest to me.

    The OP asked about sale of UK property and my response was specific from our experience of selling a 'fixed asset'. Of course, that doesn't make my experience particularly helpful for the OP's specific circumstances / original questions. [;-)]

  18. It's sometimes healthy to take a step back from forums... especially in these strange times. There's a (not France related) forum I often frequent but the posting is so persistently negative and snippy of late that I'm better not going there.

  19. We sold some land in the UK about 4 years ago. We advised tax office in France about the sum we received and the reason for it but we were told (and I can't remember or find the correct wording right now) that as the asset sold was 'fixed' in the UK - land, buildings, etc - any taxation would be levied by the UK tax authorities, not France. And that's what happened - the fact we were France-resident was irrelevant.

    What impact Brexit may have on taxation relating to future sales is way beyond me.

  20. We have more passports from pets that are no longer here than I care to count. I think we have at least 7. No need to return them anywhere. You might want to make sure the vet has removed Best Friend's details from their client list, though. Annual reminders for MOTs and vaccinations are something I can do without.

    Pets play an enormous part in our daily lives and it's awful when they go but knowing them is still worth the inevitable heartache.

  21. I felt sorry for the spammer... expending so much effort for (I suspect) so little reward. [;-)]

    Are you the Last Mod Standing, Hoddy?

  22. Chessie, just for future reference, if you have a car difficulty like this :

    << I'm even more stressed now because OH couldn't work out where the lever

    was to open the bonnet; handbook doesn't show - or I couldn't see. >>

    Youtube is often your friend. Search Citroen model number / year or whatever and what you want to do...

    citroen berlingo how to open bonnet

    ...and it's likely someone will already have answered your question and uploaded something to help you. For eg:

    e2a: My turn now: anyone know how I can order weed online? [Www]

  23. The way I read it is these restrictions allow many 'essential' businesses to operate (safely, one hopes) and therefore continue to resurrect the economy but the businesses which encourage socialising and therefore casual spread of the disease are closed or operating in a reduced fashion. I suppose hair salons aren't necessarily a danger to the community (probably depends on what 'ancillary' services are offered [6]) but closing these and similar businesses reduces numbers of people out and about for 'frivolous' purposes.

    Moving around for business purposes is allowed (with the appropriate attestation/s) but the 1km for 1 hour per day has been reintroduced for leisure / exercise. Which infuriates me (with superb beaches for walks within easy but not 1 km reach) but okay, greater good and all that.

    I can see the value in Confinement Ver 2.0 but it's all ultimately pointless (apart from spreading out hospital and ICU admissions for a month or so) if people then behave inconsiderately / recklessly when the restrictions are lifted once more. This being a very rural area, I see the 4 / 5 / 6 cars parked outside houses where I know that only one couple or family live, I see the salle being let and a couple of dozen cars outside, I hear of others' experiences in the 'burbs of Paris holding wedding parties of 60+ people where social norms are those of pre-Covid times with not a mask in sight...

    In my view, the problem is not governments getting restrictions and advice wrong - it's the undisciplined, self-indulgent, entitled, deluded behaviour of far too many ordinary people when restrictions are lifted.

    But I expect I've said this before in another thread. [blink]

  24. We receive very little junk mail (pourriel? or is that just for electronic spam mail?) but on the odd occasion we have received something, I either throw it away and forget it or, rarely, I've emailed the company / charity with any identifying details (name, address, any reference number) and told them to remove me from their mailing list. Then I've binned whatever it was.

    The fact there might be 'goodies' in the pack wouldn't matter to me - the stuff is unsolicited, unwanted so it is thrown away.

    However, if you are keen to return it, writing something like

    Non sollicité - retour à l'expéditeur

    on the envelope should work. Or the post office will throw it away for you. [;-)]

  25. I have enormous sympathy for your predicament, Chessie. You can't let maintenance things slide but if I'm correctly translating Alzy as dementia (of whatever type) you'll be looking for a whole new set of coping / managing ideas over time.

    My father stopped driving when he and my mother accepted that he was having problems with remembering even short, well-driven (over years) local routes and eventually he gave up his car and licence. Ma had a very good neighbour who'd drive her into the supermarket each week but Pop got more and more irritable about it even declaring he would drive her in... despite having sold the car.

    It reached the point where Ma would only tell him on the morning of a supermarket run - ie, a few hours in advance - so that he had less time to fret. She developed a lot of these little ways that prevented Pop getting too distressed and prevented her getting too much of an earful. IIrc, she would tell him firmly on the morning of the trip that she was going shopping later and when he objected, she said firmly that she could not possibly cancel Tom (neighbour) as it would mess Tom about and it would be wrong to do that... which Pop would accept. Perhaps a plan like this would help your OH accept the situation, Chessie.

    It's extremely sad for the person undergoing the changes but it is as bad - possibly worse - for the person who has to watch the changes and manage them. Imo.

    ps: I have an exceptionally competent OH who can successfully deal with most things. Of course, motivating him to do so is a whole different campaign. [:D]

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