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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. [quote user="AnOther"]If the photocard expires then you do not have a valid licence and therefore cannot drive, that's all there is to it.[/quote] I thought that was the case... but I've just seen someone stating categorically on another (normally very reliable) forum* the exact opposite... ie, that << The photocard expires, but your entitlement to drive does not. >> * (not AngloMisinfo [;-)])
  2. Poules prêtes à pondre, I think. Ready to lay.
  3. In my experience, the car decks are much noiser than conventional ferries and a nervous dog will have a more stressful crossing. Having said that, ours was absolutely fine within 10 minutes of disembarcation. On balance, I think the shorter crossing benefits outweigh noise which a dog will adapt to anyway.
  4. [quote user="NickP"]Who is going to see the interior? After all guys this is France we're talking about, which makes/alters rules constantly and the locals then completely ignore them? Apart from structural  decisions do you really need an architect to choose or dictate interior decoration, I don't think so. [/quote] It is related to RT2012 as has already been said and if a full permis de c is applied for, then a study will be done to tell you how you must renovate and the renovations are checked and signed off. If no permis needed (or, at least, not applied for [6]) then you can do what you like. And I am sure that a lot of French buyers at this time won't be bothered about whether something is renovated to RT2012... though that might have changed 10 years hence. My view is that character stone walls are nice but high levels of insulation is better. [;-)]
  5. [quote user="Patf"]France seems to be more relaxed - many dog owners here don't bother at all with the anti-rabies vaccination.[/quote] Well, yes - but their level of relaxation also extends to ignoring obvious tumours and leaving dogs out in flimsy kennels with no bedding in all weathers. We don't vaccinate our animals against rabies any more because they aren't going to be travelling across borders and if they were going to, it's only a 21-day wait till they're legal again. We don't vaccinate the cats against rabies because in cats the vaccination is somewhat implicated in the (rare) vaccine related / associated fibrosarcomas which usually don't have a good outcome. [:(] If someone vaccinates their dog annually against all the other baddies (disemper, parvo, etc) then the additional cost of the rabies vaccination at the same time is small.
  6. OH is going back to the UK next week and yesterday ordered something from a new supplier to be delivered to a friend's house for him to collect. Our UK issued credit cards are registered to our French address. He placed the order online and 15 minutes later got an email saying that it would be delivered on 11 February - ie, yesterday. He phoned the supplier and said he thought there must be an error as he'd only just placed the order. "No error, the item was in stock, the van was in the warehouse so we got it on the van and it should be delivered in a couple of hours. Hang on, here's the van driver..." who wanted to know exactly where the rural address could be found. It was duly delivered a couple of hours later. So placing of online order to delivery at the house was a 2-3 hours. Can you imagine that happening in France? Excuse me while I pml. The company with the exceptional service levels is: TLC-Direct, an electrical goods supplier and the branch with the exceptional staff is Swindon. We recommend them. [:D]
  7. I think the banana and walnut combo always works well because there's a bitterness with the walnuts that cuts through the sweetness of over-ripe bananas. However, for the past few years, my favourite banana cake is via Nigel Slater's black banana and chocolate cake recipe. I'm not entirely sure whether the hazelnuts bring much to the party and having faffed around with the recipe as given (toasting and removing skins) I now just add already ground hazelnuts if I have them. If you like a less sweet cake, use dark chocolate chips (or I use a bar and roughly chop it) or to make it more unctuous, use milk chocolate. I have a sweet tooth so dark chocolate makes it a bit too bitter for me but others love it.
  8. [quote user="Chancer"]This is posted Under the gîtes owners forum, given the lack of response could it be that any owners on the forum rent mainly to UK clients? Do they realise that their customers wont have this insurance (it doesnt exist in the UK) that if one of them left a cigarrette burning in a waste bin your French insurers would wash their hands of the affair after demanding détails of the renters responsabilité civil cover? [/quote] Lack of response from gîte owners is probably because you aren't asking for advice on renting out a gîte. Most gîte people are doing holiday lets of less than a month so the difficulties implicit in lets of more than a month - and the tenants' rights that come into play - aren't something on which most gîte owners are qualified to comment. Plus they would avoid letting to students and certainly to 15-year-olds. It's a different business. As far as insurance is concerned, if you insure with one of the AXAs, Avivas, CAs etc, they are quite used to providing building and contents insurance that doesn't depend on the guest having appropriate cover themselves.
  9. [quote user="You can call me Betty"]However, my attention WAS drawn to the interesting translation of the word "crapaud" as it was used to describe an organised bunch of jewellery thieves, mugging people for gold necklaces. Somehow, "muppets" seems to fall a bit wide of the mark.☺️[/quote] I too thought that was a weird translation, Bets, but heard or read somewhere that as the gang were called crapauds because of their quoi? quoi? quoi? when challenged, Gilou and Tintin (I think) were making Muppet faces so that's what the English translation ended up with. Apparently. It flew above my head because I'm too busy watching the sub-titles as some of the French is still too fast and / or colloquial for me.
  10. [quote user="Quillan"]Thats what, about 20 years worth of gas, oil or electricity for heating? I supose from a Co2 point of view thats pretty good bit if your retired at 60 and have a house built you may well be dead before you reap the benifits.[/quote] That's true but a house is around for more than the (say) 20 years of the person who has it built. The idea is to increase the amount of housing stock that is far more energy efficient than previously so it's a global benefit not just an individual's benefit. Plus, as Pommier said, while it may cost more to build it will retain that added value through subsequent sales. There are broader aspects to the regulations too - for eg, houses must be multi-fuel so an all electric (heating, cooking, hot water) build won't qualify but add a gas hob and a wood-burning stove and it will. The study done at the time of permission being granted states the materials and utilities that are to be used. Re your garage, Quillan, if you apply for full planning permission for it then yes, it will probably fall under RT-2012 regs but perhaps you can quietly renovate without an application? You must know a local builder so he'll be able to tell you. And re further toughening up of the regulations, yes, that is due to happen - I've seen a bar chart somewhere showing the increases in efficiency and I think the next step up is 2020.
  11. RT2012 regulations. Yes, if you buy an existing house (more than 2 years old) that is in reasonable nick and doesn't need the major work like a new roof, new electrics, new plumbing, etc, it is probably more cost-efficient than new build at the moment. Or wait another year or so for the regulations to be relaxed. They've already been eroded by various trade lobbying in the industry. However, if you want to renovate a barn or a garage, say, that wasn't previously habitation, RT2012 kicks in again.
  12. [quote user="Russethouse"]The thing that I am uncomfortable with is that the staff at Charlie Hebdo have published a cartoon yet they are now pretty much protected, it's someone else who will most likely pay the price, not them ....and for what, the joy of a quick laugh poking fun at someone else's religion ? They know the score, why add fuel to the flames right now?[/quote] Because if Mohammed had not been portrayed in some way after the executions, the terrorists would be perceived to have silenced Charlie Hebdo and the right to cartoon as they choose. This time, I don't think it was for quick laugh at all - I suspect it was a deadly serious decision. But I am very ambivalent about it and am with you and others in that: there was France, substantially united against terrorism last Sunday but by Wednesday, there are five million yah boo sucks copies of the new edition on the streets. I wish they hadn't done that but I can see why they would choose to do as they did and I won't condemn the editorial team for it. But I do hope that CH becomes less "just because I can, I will..." provocative in future... but quietly and without fuss. Temper their freedom with responsibility, I suppose. But perhaps in the editorial team's view they already do.
  13. [quote user="ebaynut"]Also, France offered these families, peace, freedom of speech, liberty, healthcare and education... this is how France is repaid. Don't worry that my previous recommendation is not dealing with these latest perpetrators, that is in my plan ’B’, but I can’t post that as it would be deleted due to lack of freedom of speech rules. BTW when you say they have a legal right to be in Europe, is that legal by the rules of the present leaders, because I suspect and hope changes will be taking place to rid us of both them, and their multicultural ideals. It is because Europe has been soft and let anyone enter it in the recent past, that we have these ‘people’ here today and people like you who actually think of them as ‘French’. It’s a bit like saying Mo Farah the runner, Lewis Hamilton the car racer and Jaguar/Rolls Royce cars are British. They ain’t!!!![/quote] When I read bigotry like this, I'm tempted to wish the NF or FN well with you and hope you'll all be happy together a long way away from me. And then I (reluctantly) think a little longer and wonder if that exact unpleasant mindset would, if the proponent was born in another country into another religion, lead him / her to actively approving of the sort of atrocities we've seen in France, Germany, the UK, the US and many other countries over the years. Does the above demonstrate at least the leanings towards a basic fundamentalism? The early stages, perhaps, but there's fertile ground there. I find it disturbing that someone here appears to be preaching generalised racial or ethnic hatred because as far as I can see, it makes them exactly the same as the people they hate, albeit on the opposite side of the fence.
  14. [quote user="mint"]No, I don't think I'd be killing the relatives myself.  [/quote] Yes, you would be. I don't understand how you cannot see that. You will be deliberately putting innocent (until proven guilty and sharing genes is insufficient evidence) people in a position that they might be killed. It's an utterly absurd proposition, Mint, and I am astonished that you are defending this notion. [quote user="mint"] Desperate times, as I have said, call for desperate measures.  You have to adopt their tactics in exceptional circumstances (and I don't know how much more exceptional the present circumstances can get) because the alternative is unbearable to contemplate.  [/quote] No, desperate times call for measured responses. A civilised world should never adopt uncivilised tactics, no matter how great the provocation. Although, I'm sure provoking us to do that is exactly the intention behind these acts of terrorism. The more everyday minorities of any persuasion feel threatened and are threatened by the majority, the more they are likely to become radicalised. [quote user="mint"] Moral high grounds are all very well. [/quote] The moral high ground and reasoned, logical responses are the best weapons we have - well, that and highly trained, well-funded security services. But responses like yours are likely to be exactly what terrorists are hoping for. Congratulations.
  15. [quote user="mint"]OH says it might be brutal and unethical and the State couldn't do it but he would line up all the families and relatives of the killers and stand them  in front of the police and move in. [/quote] [8-)] So he would be happy with assuming guilt by association and irrespective of the family's beliefs or even horror at what their relatives have done, your OH would be happy to walk them towards two proven psychopaths? Would your OH recommend an age cut off? For example, if there are siblings aged under 11, say, would they be excused being used as a human shield... would they be let off but risk becoming orphans if the gunmen think that killing their own family is for the greater good?
  16. And we didn't define a whole section of the British public after Hungerford or Dunblane... which, while the perpetrators weren't terrorists in the strict defintion of the term, certainly achieved whatever warped intention they had in mind. But that doesn't ignore the fact there are a lot of devastated families this afternoon whose days started perfectly normally but whose lives will never be the same...
  17. Both OH and I fall asleep as readily with Kindles as we do with books... the difference is, the Kindle hurts less when it falls on my nose. [:D] I really have my doubts about the alleged dangers of Kindles as outlined in the article - if I'm using my Paperwhite when OH is asleep, I don't have a light on and the screen isn't very bright. When I read a book, I have a bright lamp shining down on the white(ish) pages of the book. How is the effect of a Kindle's light worse than a book + bedside lamp?
  18. I'll make two points - briefly! France is regional. Very regional. We all know that. One person's experiences in Rhone-Alpes is exactly that and can be compared and contrasted to someone else's equally valid and correct but different experiences in Normandy or (friends') in Picardie. Neither set of experiences is right or wrong for France, just correct for the bits of France involved. [quote user="idun"]The comptables would have had their money and I doubt would have been bothered about our petit problemes, which to us, were real problems.[/quote] And we have good accountants who, when we received a completely unwarranted and out of the blue demand for 10,000+ euros unpaid cotisations and fines earlier this year, had it sorted within 24 hours and an apology to us from RSI. Life anywhere but probably particularly in France is not black and white. There are many shades of grey... quite possibly more than 50. [:D] / deviation... and I'm out [;-)]  
  19. Re the minor diversion along the route of tax office not allowing people to submit a tax return for their first year: The couple I mentioned upthread were told to submit separate returns for 2011 (4 months) and 2012 (12 months) in 2013. Those who declare that they wouldn't tolerate such instruction from their tax office can protest and chunter all they like but that's what the tax office told them to do and that's what the couple did with no deleterious effects on the level of their eventual tax / cotisation liability. It is also what happened to us in 2004 - though I view 2004 as ancient history now. I don't think online submissions were even available then. We moved in July 2004, the tax office would not give us the forms in 2005 for a 2004 return despite 2 visits requesting them. We received forms in 2006 for submission of separate years 2004 and 2005. We'd got an accountant by then and he confirmed it was quite normal. Despite dire warnings and much gloom from a few posters on CF (yes, TeamedUp, I do mean you [:D]) there was no difficulty doing this and there were no dreadful consequences relating to the amount of tax / contributions owed. It's simply what the French system required of us. /diversion
  20. [quote user="suein56"]They cannot prove residency until they have at least 1 years tax form filling under their belt.[/quote] That is not true. I know of a couple who arrived latter part of a year and the following year, when they went to the tax office, they were told to go away and re-present themselves for the following year and make, in effect, a 16 month declaration. In the meantime, they wanted to sell their current house and buy a new one. Lack of a tax declaration meant that the notaire would treat the sale as a maison secondaire with all the tax implications. The notaire was allowed to take the couple's bank statements proving regular outgoings - regular shopping, electricity and water bills, heating oil, etc, French-registered vehicle paperwork, insurance - into account as proof that the couple were resident.
  21. [quote user="suein56"]It must be very frustrating but there is plainly something not quite right with your computers, or the way they are set up. I have a 2nd hand Win7 laptop with a really-quite-naff processing unit and even that manages to take just 4 seconds to load the pages of a topic on here ie from page 3 to page 4 of this topic.[/quote] [:D] Sue, you're very sweet, but concluding there is something wrong with my pc based on the fact you can do something on yours doesn't really take us any further! For all I know, you have no security on your PCs which may be why yours work so easily. Just because you can do something in Chrome does not invalidate someone else's difficulties with that browser on this site; just because I use Firefox and encounter none of the difficulties others do with Firefox doesn't invalidate their difficulties and doesn't lead me to conclude - in a topic about the well-known, well-documented shortcomings of CompleteFrance's forum - that the problem lies with everyone else's setup. I do use a third computer while in the UK - not mine, it's a Mac with Safari - and that one has difficulties with CF too. Three quite different computers in two countries all of which which CF can't cope with? Hmmmm. [;-)] @Betty - but you did it so well last time... [:-))] But it wasn't a serious suggestion. [kiss]
  22. I use Vista and Firefox on one pc (this) and a recent Windows and Firefox on a laptop which is about a year old and this forum is slow on both - has always been, in fact, since the unfortunate update that puts some faded photo of lavender fields up as wallpaper behind this forum. I regularly lose the will to live as I wait for the forum to load, topics take the same sort of time and going from page to page in a multi-page topic can take a minute between pages or the loading just hangs and I have to start again. No other forum - or website, for that matter - takes the time that CF takes to load (apart from AngloInfo and no loss there [Www]) but I'm fond of CF and its long-established and well-respected (snigger [6]) posters and am genuinely a bit sad it's now so antiquated and knackered. But do I expect Archant (it is still Archant, isn't it?!) to plough any money into improving it? No, not at all. Why would they? I'm sure CF magazine is a shadow of its former self and there just aren't the number of people hoping to relocate to a rosier future in LFB any more so circulation figures must have dropped. Therefore, invest money improving the forum... don't think so. Best bet is to have JCMBetty start a new free forum for us... [:D] [6] [:-))]  Betty...!
  23. Nicola, ask your local tourist information office or any local chambres d'hôtes listing service if they have any recommendations for the one-day course. Around here, dependent on the organisation running the course, the cost varies from about 300 euros to 700 euros for the same certification so do your research before booking. [quote user="Nicola"]I did ask if I had to serve wine or could the guest bring their own. This seemed to be a grey area and frowned upon - so, I think if you offer a meal you should be able to offer wine and therefore you have to do the course - as you say[/quote] If you asked the company running the courses, they would frown upon someone finding a way of depriving them of their fee, wouldn't they? [:D]
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