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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. I hadn't seen it (so thanks for that, Mint [:)]) I like it - it's clever but a bit too self-aware. It's a bit like a cheap joke? For 2020, it's also missing a few discarded masks floating lily-like on the water.
  2. [quote user="Lori"]I'm very interested Norman.  It is just that I find it hard to post about such horrible things.  What can I say?[/quote]That's how I feel, Lori. Such a terrible, wanton thing - an action carried out based on misinformation and lies (from what I've read) but I can find nothing to say about it which is worth someone's time reading. As I've proved. e2a: however, I do not feel that France is becoming more dangerous - at least, not in isolation. The world is becoming more randomly dangerous (iyswIm) and France has its problems but so does the UK, Germany, the Netherlands...
  3. [quote user="nomoss"]...I don't think we have any more chance of catching seasonal 'flu than Covid, so we're not too bothered if they do run out of vaccine.[/quote]It will be interesting to see what the wearing of masks (and in my experience most people do wear them) increased handwashing along with considerably less bise-ing does to the circulation of cold and flu viruses this winter. Presumably there will be fewer cases of both - although I'm sure families with school-age children won't avoid colds even if children are less likely (allegedly) to contract / pass on CV. e2a: thanks for the vaccination chart Pomme and Norman. Cheers.
  4. Not all pharmacists offer the service. Our pharmacist is a one person business with fairly small premises and has decided not to do it. She's very active in the community and goes the extra kilometre for her customers liaising with MTs and even hospitals if something needs sorting out so she's worth supporting. We'll get our (favourite) infirmière to do the deed with the needle.
  5. The pharmacy we most regularly use is taking 'bookings' from those who've had their ordonnonce / Ameli notification but is not expecting to have supplies delivered / available for another 10-12 days. I've no idea whether that's typical, though.
  6. [quote user="CJ"]Hi I was just saying be kinder don't shatter people's Impression of their dreams... [/quote]If dreams shatter on the basis of a few perfectly civil comments on a forum, their dreams aren't exactly robust. [quote user="CJ"] ...live it your way don't rubbish people's ideas be kinder and offer genuine helpful comments...   [/quote]I think you've been getting some genuine and even helpful comments. They just aren't what you want to hear. That doesn't make them unhelpful. No one has been rude or unpleasant and that being so, you may not demand responses are presented in a certain way. Particularly as... ...you asked posters to make the effort to provide help and advice on your large project without you providing basic information. You've told us that the replies you've received aren't the sort you want but you still haven't answered entirely relevant and quite basic questions re area of building / renovation, what permissions are already in place, etc. You do not have to provide more information if you don't want to - especially if you don't know the answers - it's your decision. But you can't criticise the responses you've had when you have not made the effort to provide the supplementary information needed in order to give you informed and good quality advice pertinent to your situation. In the current world of a still undefined and increasingly fractious Brexit and the global pandemic which shows no sign of abating yet, the last thing I'd do is move from the UK to France to do a major renovation. Even in more certain times, I've seen far too many dreams becoming tarnished, sometimes to the level of bankruptcy, banks repossessing 'dreams' and moves into council housing equivalents. While you may call that rubbishing your ideas, it's coming from 20 years of seeing how dreams can go very wrong and may adversely affect the rest of your life. I call it, in your words, comparing scenarios encountered. This forum is quiet nowadays. Most participants are well settled here, many are retired and France is just where we live. I suspect there are now active Facebook pages dedicated to renovating / restoring in France and you'll find people at a similar stage to you, in the region you've bought in, with the same level of excitement and scattergun questions. You might find participating somewhere like that more fun and gives you the buzz you're looking for. For the business side, there's a well-respected English-language website run by a French woman in Normandy - though she covers queries from France generally. She may be able to assist with some of your planning / building queries too. She charges an annual fee but when you look at the overall budgets you're allocating for your life change, it's a small investment in succeeding. I'm not associated with the business in any way and have never used it but I know people who have and they were satisfied with the advice and support they received. https://www.startbusinessinfrance.com/
  7. [quote user="CJ"]We won't be using an architect as we have the plans sorted...[/quote]Define 'sorted'. [:)] If you have already submitted them to the planning office and they've been approved then yes, you're (probably) sorted but as Weegie said early on and le Haut has just said now, it all depends on the area you are renovating / converting. If that area is over 150²m, an architect who is registered in France (doesn't have to be a French national) needs to submit the plans on your behalf. This isn't optional. And before converting a barn, if (as said above) it's over a certain percentage of the total area, you may need energy studies done which will tell you what you need to do to bring it up to regulations. You can't bung in any old fosse either (at least you can't in Normandy and I doubt Normandy is much different to elsewhere in France but it is France so you never know). Your mairie may have a contracted company who go out to homes to assess what's in place, do soil studies and will recommend type and capacity of fosse to be installed. They'll work with the installer and sign off the work Bluntly (!) it comes down to this: you know your exact circumstances and plans. From what you've said, it will be a large (and therefore expensive) project. You've given us about 1% of the information - for eg, do you even have a CU for the barn conversion? You said all utilities need to be installed - even water? If you don't already have a CU for the barn you may not get it until water is laid on. This happened to an acquaintance. In your shoes and with the raft of questions you raised in your first post, I would book an appointment with the mairie - maire or suitable deputy... perhaps even the secretary - who deals with planning issues. Present your plans, with all the measurements and confirm that all the permissions are in place for your project. Then ask what the recommended (or required) next steps are. Do you submit all plans only to the mairie? Do you need meetings with (iIrc) the officials at the DDE? (local departmental planning office - but I think the name has changed). Who do you need to consult re specifying a fosse installation, etc etc. Discussions and advice from officialdom is free. Depending on size of project, you may need to engage an architect which is not. Your French may not be good in which case, rather than misunderstand what you're being told, get a translator to go with you. Yes, that's a cost, there, but you've described a large project that will be expensive. Paying fees to get it right now is an investment in the project just as much as a hi-spec double-glazed window is.
  8. We really like Alsace - particularly the Colmar area. More prosperous and culturally varied than most of central / northern rural France because of its proximity to Germany and Switzerland. I like the wine too. [:D] It is supposed to be one of the sunniest parts of France though higher altitudes usually have plenty of snow in winter. Downside if you like seaside visits is its location so far from all coasts. Other possible negative is it's a prosperous area so property is not cheap. But cheap property isn't everyone's nr 1 priority. e2a:Clermont-Ferrand - I'd probably look at Vichy rather than C-F, though Vichy is much smaller. When choosing a location to live, you'll want to look at the things you might be interested in doing. Living anywhere is part location, environment, etc, but also availability of things that interest you and enrich your life, particularly if retired. Many remoter areas in the middle of France are losing people, particularly 'the youth' to places where there is better employment and career possibilities. I love Le Puy-en-Velay and for years intended to retire just south of Le Puy but we've now decided it is too remote and certainly, the population is gradually declining.
  9. No, Hoddy. You're not. I remember encountering her music and looks in a magazine in my early teens and she was one of my early encounters (along with Françoise Sagan) of French culture and an enduring fascination with France. Pierre Troisgros died this week too.
  10. I was absurdly delighted to see him again on his return following his cancer treatment. Le Journal was one of our first tv 'news' programmes. But he is 70 so I suppose he's entitled... [:(]
  11. Another vote here for putting the money aside each month, Lori - maybe choose one of the Livret options to earn a little interest but still have it accessible. Reassess each year. Having said that, two things I'd say:1) While understanding you're not coming from the NHS, we have found that France hospitalises for tests for the same symptoms that the NHS would send you home with - advising a couple of paracetamol and bed and to come back in a week if you haven't recovered. The stays are longer too. Also, one may have a history of very good health but that doesn't stop you being in a car accident or having a bad fall. 2) The single occupancy room upgrade is worthwhile in my OH's experience. He's had a couple of hospital stays where he's had 'roomies'. The roomies were not always congenial - a bit deaf and want tv on games shows all day or refuse to have a window opened. Unlike the UK, there are no curtains between beds - which does probably make hygiene sense. OH shared a room with one guy who had dementia, flailed around a lot and on one occasion, knocked OH's drip stand to the floor until he (the room mate) was restrained and then he shouted and cried. A hospital stay is stressful enough without... Another occasion: while a curtain provides no buffer against sounds it does stop your eyes being inexorably drawn to the guy a few feet away who is having an enema administered. On that occasion, I wondered why I found OH lurking in the corridor looking paler than usual - until he explained. We spent that visit in the family room. [;-)] Edit: << I was told in writing there would be no délai de carence. I was told the policy would become effective the day after Groupama receives the signed devis and Attestation de Droits a L'Assurance Maladie. >> This is exactly how it panned out for a friend a couple of years ago. Their CPAM attestation arrived, they took it into... Aviva I think... and their cover was effective immediately. They were claiming within a week with no quibbles at all.
  12. << Among other things I remember a rumour going round that the moderators were able to read private emails. >> Hello Hoddy [:D]I think the "mods reading PMs" thing may have come about because (I later heard) it was possible and worse, did happen (due to a loophole in the software) on another forum popular at the time. That quirk vanished with a software upgrade. I suppose someone assumed if it was possible on the other forum it must be so here too (or, as you say, they started a rumour for malicious reasons) but the CF (LF?) forum software was different. I suppose I gradually stopped using this forum because after some years living here, I had fewer questions (and those I had I could sort out for myself) and while I could contribute my experiences and knowledge, the longer one is here, the more out-of-date some of that knowledge is, particularly in relation to building regs, say. Even in France, things change. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that nowadays, this (Normandy) is just home, I know what I'm doing and have less need to talk about it on a forum... having said that, this year forums and messageboards are showing their value again.
  13. [quote user="Lori"]I'll try to search forum also.  I've never actually done that, so presume it is self explanatory - the search option (top right corner). [/quote]There are two search options - the one you've spotted top right searches the whole of Complete France (I think) but if you want to confine your search to previous forum topics, you need the search box on the left, underneath Join the Forum and FAQ Code of Conduct. As far as choosing a mutuelle is concerned, I have no current advice to offer as our cover is via the company (French) OH works for and it is some years since we needed to get comparitive quotes for ourselves.
  14. During the 2007 (was it?) health care rights debacle, I heard her interviewed on R2... Jeremy Vine, I think. She was excellent, knowlegeable, succinct, clear. Vine... not so much. Lovely photo. Who was the hairy person at the back? [:D]
  15. I thought @auxadrets was saying that s/he disliked conflict on forums or messageboards and avoided it. In which case I sympathise (though it's not something that worries me). Nastiness via screen arriving without tone or facial expression from people you don't know is quite different to heated debates around a kitchen table with people you do know and who you can see. Otherwise...I'm still here. [:D] Probably only look in every month or so and as I'd lost my login details / password I haven't posted for... years. But as I saw this thread - and the Coops RIP - thread, I thought I'd make the effort to get a new password, remember the long defunct email addy I originally registered with... and pop in and say hi. We bought a house here in 2000 and I'm pretty sure I started posting then - though the forum has gone through a few changes during the last 20 years. It's nice to see familiar names today but I remember with great affection the days of Tresco, 5-Element, Twinkle, Saligo Bay, Russethouse, YCCMBetty, Val-2, Sunday Driver, the ever-reliable and trustworthy Parsnips... even (I'll type it quietly in case it evokes the presence) Miki. While this forum has its... idiosyncracies... it has outlived many apparently more successful enterprises <coughAngloInfocough> and it's rather nice to see it still tootling along. And it's infinitely preferable to a visit to Fessebook. Best wishes to anyone that may remember me... even if I was too blunt and upset you. I probably wasn't being malicious. Probably. [:-))] Gods, I haven't had a good woot for years... [:-))]
  16. [quote user="idun"]And not a mention of it being an english helpline...[/quote] There's been an 'English-speaking helpline' for at least 10 years... I don't suppose it costs much if anything to maintain - CPAM probably has a list of advisors who already speak English and if an English-speaking person calls (because, of course, English is widely spoken by more than just British people) the call can be passed to one of them. They will answer emails in English too. There are many things which irritate - in any country - but a health service providing limited admin assistance in more than the native language wouldn't be high on my list.
  17. It's great to see such an active thread... of course, it's a shame that it will probably be the last active thread ever. What a shambles. There've been some poorly executed upgrades on CF over the years but this beats them all.
  18. More likely example would be 12345 or 12567, the 12 being the consistent use of the department number. Aren't the numbers just the INSEE code vs canton post code? Taking a local village, Tirepied, if you look at the bottom of the info box on the right of the screen, you get the INSEE code which precisely identifies a commune vs the postal code which identifies the canton. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirepied http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/tableau_local.asp?ref_id=POP&millesime=2010&nivgeo=COM&codgeo=50597
  19. The 'Fait Maison' decret was supposed to go some way to stopping Brake Frères appearing on too many menus. I don't know whether it has. I don't recollect ever seeing the symbol but otoh, I don't eat out so much nowadays. And re Chinese buffets, I know of 3 fairly locally that - as well as the pre-cooked buffet dishes - has a variety of chilled items from which you select your choice of ingredients and you take them up to the counter to be cooked as you wait / watch.
  20. 1.When you are a patient, how do you like to be addressed? I'm not French so informal use of my first name is fine. Having said that, in hospitals, M/Mme/Mlle is normal. 2. Are you comfortable talking with healthcare providers? Yes - and they listen to me. They have to - with my accent. 3. Are you comfortable with physical eye contact and touch from your healthcare providers? Yes. There's less regard for physical privacy in FR. In hospital rooms, for eg, if it's a shared room, there aren't curtains around the beds. So if your roomie is having an enema administered, you hope you're fit enough to leave the room while it's going on. Or you avert your eyes. And nose. 4. What are some high-risk behaviors that are prevalent in French culture today? (Safety measures, substance use, ect.) All the usual drugs / alcohol / smoking problems prevalent in the west. Driving is worse here than in the UK (imo - but statistics would seem to back me up on that) Health & safety practices in the workplace seem more slapdash than one would see in the UK - particularly small companies and particularly artisans. Quality of scaffold (or lack) of being an example Every day hygiene: go into boulangerie, shake hands with half-a-dozen people, buy your baguette and carry it home clutched in the same hands that have just transferred germs from (by association) dozens of people. Ewww. 5. What are some common, significant foods eaten by the French population today? Are there any mealtime rituals observed? Foods that are avoided? Common significant foods? All the usual food groups are eaten. A daily intake of bread still seems genuinely ingrained and of course the price of an ordinary baguette is (I believe) still state-controlled. While there may be a higher use of olive oil / Mediterranean diet further south - or duck fat as a major cooking ingredient in the south west - here in Normandy cream and butter are important because of the type of agriculture. Cheese too, but every region has its own cheeses. I would say that tripe and intestines generally (Andouille sausages) are an important part of French cuisine not necessarily reflected to the same extent in the average British diet. [6] I've noticed over the past 10 - 12 years far more processed frozen foods in supermarkets (not just the fresh, traiteur items from traiteurs and from the deli counters in supermarkets) so imo mass produced convenience foods are on the increase. Wine probably qualifies as a major food group. Mealtime rituals? Eating at the table not on laps; less snacking between meals - particularly less sweet snacking - and the main meal still at lunchtime though that's changing and depends somewhat on the type of work / working day. Lighter meals in the evening. Proper desserts / desserts are for high days and holidays - a dessert after a normal meal might be a piece of fruit or a fromage fraïs or similar. French people have said to us that it's vital to have protein at lunchtime to enable you to function for the rest of the day. Foods avoided? In rural France, anything not considered French or French influenced or by adoption (north African, Vietnamese, etc, are 'allowed' but there's colonial history at work there) But town / city France may be different and more cosmopolitan in its acceptances. I've noticed more Chinese restaurants - vast ones - springing up in this region. 6. What is pregnancy like in the life of a French woman? What are some accepted/unaccepted practices relate to fertility and prevention of pregnancy? Beliefs related to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the post-birth period? Dunno. I'm not French and haven't had children and most of my friends have teenagers and upwards. One thing I've noticed is that French women seem to spend at least 7 days in hospital after a birth, even of a second child. It's what you do. A lot of help and support is given at that time. 7. Tell me about French healthcare practices in general: common beliefs related to "why" illness occurs? Illness treatment and prevention? beliefs related to blood transfusions, organ donations, mental illness, self-medication practices, or any use of "things" other than traditional treatment options to treat health problems? Healthcare practices in general? You visit the doctor or at least the pharmacy for every small thing, even a cough or cold, and you expect to be given prescriptions (ordonnonces) to enable / speed recovery. Self-medication? At its simplest level, self-medication is more difficult than in the UK as supermarkets are not allowed to sell painkillers, flu / cold remedies, etc. These may only be bought in a pharmacy and often staff will quiz you and advise you on products you might want or need. Generalised statements / comments: France concentrates on catching problems early and dealing with them. I'd be interested to know the comparitive child mortality rates from meningitis because doctors and hospital Urgences send them home with a box of paracetamol. In my experience, unexplained high temperatures, for eg, are treated seriously here. Possibly too seriously. The UK is more wait and see. In the case of, for eg, hip replacements, the patient here is considered capable of stating when their life is being adversely affected by reduced mobility and pain and (after all the tests, x-rays, etc) an operation is done. UK: patient may be unable to work efficiently, cannot sleep through the night and is maxed out on strong pain killers but the NHS will still say that "you're not bad enough for an op yet". To do any meaningful comparison between UK and France, you need to look at the differences in funding (100% state vs (in FR) state + complementaire / mutuelle / top up insurance for what the state doesn't cover. Also the health infrastructure: laboratories in every town for blood tests, the home nurse system where you book your (self-employed) nurse to come in every day for dressing changes, to administer injections, etc. Prescriptions for car ambulances (taxis, really) to take you to medical appointments - particularly chemo / radiotherapy if these treatments are long-term and there is no friend or relative available to take you. Consider also that the FR health system is bankrupt and 12 billion euros overspent. Full private medical insurance for French residents who work is / was illegal. Until the inactifs (early retired immigrants not working in FR) were refused admission to the main state system, I don't think full private medical insurance was available in France. But I could be wrong about that. Polyclinics / hospitals - urgences (emergencies) - our local polyclinics operate a point garde at weekends and for when GPs are not available - in effect this is a GP who sees people away from the main emergency area. Unlike the UK, if you've a problem, you go straight to Urgences. OH has had a few odd things happen, always at the weekend, and his visits to Urgences for gout, shingles on the face, etc, has had him dealt with on all occasions in less than an hour or less and it is very efficient. Even the independent labs for blood tests have had an on-call member of staff who's been there within 5 minutes of a phone call. As others have observed, results of tests are either discussed at the time (eg, x-rays) or results of blood tests are mailed both to the patient as well as the GP or other doctor, usually within 24 hours. None of this "we'll write to you GP and he'll be in touch" and waiting for 2 weeks. The UK and FR systems are so different that without setting them in the national context, the answers to a lot of the questions you've asked aren't going to sit on a firm foundation.
  21. No way. While you cannot be shown saying something that you didn't say, the editing can - I'm told - be vicious and misrepresents situations and people. The production team are looking for good, rivetting, ideally controversial tele for the viewers and that's not three or four civilised, reasonable owners (+ partners) discussing and introducing their businesses. I did see yesterday's Three In A Bed - the woman from Berwick looked to have mental health issues. I don't want to watch that as lightweight entertainment.
  22. [quote user="aire"].. my work contract has recently ended in france and I didnt do much about obtaining cart vitale.. [/quote] Hi and welcome. Were you working for a French company? If so, as Hereford says (hi H!) get in touch with your local CPAM office or you can call the English-speaking helpline (even if you speak French!) from anywhere in France: From the link: You speak English and you live in France, and need information about your French Health Insurance rights, call our special Advice Line on : 36 46 from France (local call price from fixed-phone line except additional cost imposed by certain operators of fixed or mobile telephony) +33 811 70 36 46 from foreign countries (call rates vary between operators).
  23. [quote user="Hoddy"]If the Archers counts as a soap, I confess a life-long addiction, although I've been losing interest lately. Hoddy[/quote] The new editor has been on a re-casting spree and half the younger cast all sound the same. It's often not possible to figure out if it's Charlie, Tom, or some other passing through character unless the context makes it clear. Same with the younger women - all drama school characterless voices. And somehow, a serious flood affecting only Ambridge when the rest of the country is comparitively dry just doesn't work on radio. But anyway... 1. Sopranos - watched a few episodes of a few series... meh 2. Mad Men - watched and enjoyed the first few series on BBC but then it switched to a pay-for channel. 3. Broadchurch - saw some of both series... meh. Not as clever as the writer thought it was. 4. The Wire - tried hard but couldn't warm to the first series 5. The Walking dead - just another zombie show... watched a couple of episodes but... meh 6. Sherlock - seen them all, first couple of series great but the last one... meh 7. Game of Thrones - watched the first series on DVD, read first 4 books, will catch up with the rest of it one winter (and winter is coming...) 8. Lost - saw the first series and liked but it's not been on fta since, probably will never watch 9. Downton Abbey - a lovely period costume comedy with bits of drama, probably seen all episodes 10. Luther - saw an episode, didn't appeal 11. The West Wing - adored it, have watched it several times. Particularly good distraction if in hospital for long periods 12. Peaky Blinder - didn't watch, didn't appeal 13. The Missing - didn't watch, might do if it is repeated 14. House - watched some episodes of several series. Good but got too soapy 15. 24 - dvds, watched all series. Mindless amusement. 16. The Fall - watched both but second series not a patch on the first 17. Mr Selfridge - didn't watch, didn't appeal 18. Breaking Bad - haven't seen it at all but would try it out 19. Nordic dramas - love them, and Spiral (Engrenages) Not keen on Montalbano. Am currently very fond of Person of Interest (S3, TF1, not in VO which is annoying), am enjoying Indian Summer, not bothering with Banished. Loved Les Revenants but don't believe the new series (filming now) will be as good as the first. I love The Good Wife. I do like tv - it's popular culture and though I watch no soaps (can't stand manipulative melodrama with nasty people and bonkers plots). Few series stand the test of time but I think The West Wing is one of those - my desert island choice.
  24. [quote user="AnOther"] [quote user="Catalpa"]The photocard expires, but your entitlement to drive does not.[/quote] Perfectly true but IN UK ![/quote] Yes. [:D] This is key: first precisely define the circumstances when stating 'facts'. In the instance elsewhere that I alluded to here, the poster is a UK resident but has a property in France. So in the UK, expired photocard is fine; in France - or other EU country - if stopped by the police of that country... [Www] [quote user="Quillan"]I have reduced the length of the subject line to match the others I did before. [/quote] And it worked. Well done. [;-)]
  25. [quote user="Quillan"]Come again? In English please. [/quote] Navigation of multi-page topics is normally by clicking on the next page which is visible at the bottom right of each page of the topic - eg,                                                                          Page 1 of 5 (34 items) > 1 2 3 4 5 Navigation is by clicking on the page you want. Problem: the formatting on the first page of this thread is messed up (apols for technical jargon [:P]) and the page navigation box isn't visible or accessible by scrolling. Therefore, if you're on page 1 you can only move forward by editing the url or going back to the topic in the active list and clicking on page 2 (or 3, 4, etc) I'm guessing that if a mod edits and shortens the subject description in first two posts on page 1, the problem will be solved.
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