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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. 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 [;-)]


  2. 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.


  3. [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.

  4. [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]

  5. 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...!

  6. 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]

  7. In brief, a local boarding kennels is appealing for someone kind to take on an 11 year-old dog, Fripouille, who has been boarding with them for the past 2.5 years due to the persistent ill-health of her elderly owner.

    Her owner is in hospital now and unlikely to go home again and therefore Fripouille too has no home.

    Could anyone either able to take on this dog or knows someone who could help read the information and full story in the attached link and pass the details on.


    It's a sad story and one that might strike a chord with any of us as we get older along with our pets.

  8. Thank you to everyone who tried to respond to my very fuzzy questions! [:D]

    The situation appears to have been resolved - the insurance company have instructed a repatriation ambulance service and they have plans in place for arrival back in the UK for assessment, etc.

    Sorry I couldn't have been more clear - I was trying to inform myself so as to best help our friend if the insurance company continued to delay a decision - but it wasn't correct for me to go into more detail.

    But all is arranged and should now go well.

  9. Hi Mint, hope you are well and thank you for your response.

    Definitely UK resident - no issue at all there, it's purely a holiday home here and they usually only stay for a week or two at most at a time.

    They do have travel insurance but it is whether this specific problem will be covered.

    If the insurance company covers the repatriation then they will have experience in everything I outlined above and no doubt sort everything out for the patient so effectively it will be easy peasy. However, if it has to be a self-funded and therefore self-arranged repatriation, I'd like to be able to give friend a bit of a guide as to what is possible and how it is best achieved.

    It's a very specific situation and it may be that no one here has any experience or advice to give at all but any advice that is available is likely to be worthwhile as I do trust CF's contributors. [8-|]

    Well... most of them. [;-)]

  10. A friend who is currently in a French hospital will probably need to be taken back to the UK, perhaps later this week.

    The insurance company are slow in reaching a funding decision for various reasons, none of which are relevant here. Regardless of whether the insurance company pay or if the person is self-funding, how does it work?

    - Has anyone here been repatriated by ambulance?

    - Did you arrange it direct with a company?

    - Did you go straight home or did the ambulance deliver you to a hospital in the UK?

    - If a hospital, how was this arranged? Via the GP or did the ambulance service deliver you to hospital?

    The person concerned is on oxygen and needs monitoring on the 7-ish hour journey home so travelling in the back of a private car isn't a goer because of a) monitoring and b) the need for oxygen

    I'm thinking the UK GP needs to be involved in advance as presumably s/he can either arrange a relevant hospital bed or at least provide prescriptions for oxygen to be available on arrival at home before an assessment the following day (say) by the GP.

    I realise this isn't a very clear post but I'm trying to help someone who is being told by the French hospital that they must go back to the UK by ambulance and that they must go from FR hospital to UK hospital. If the need for oxygen is the 'only' factor here, admission to a UK hospital might not be necessary. And though the French hospital is assuming delivery direct to a hospital, that may be a cultural thing as that's the likely process which would be followed in France whereas the UK, admission to hospital for an ailment that can be managed at home isn't so likely.

  11. [quote user="richard51"]And it would be even faster if more effort was made directly to those areas. [/quote]

    No. The thing with a war where there are lots of casualties is the need to treat quickly, effectively and sometimes innovatively, often in inadequate surroundings. The volume of people needing treatment (fortunately) wouldn't be delivered in a civilian situation - outside of bomb blasts, plane crashes, etc. It is clearly not a justification for war (and I'm don't suppose Teapot intended it to be) but it is an ensuing benefit.


  12. [quote user="gardengirl "]Maybe I'll be thought naive by more cynical people, but what a pity only a negative view can be seen by some. If nothing else, it has brought home to many people that 888,246 isn't just a big number amongst other big numbers, but seeing all those individual poppies helps me really appreciate that all those deaths were of individuals, causing grief in all those families. How very sad and terrible war is.

    I have little idea how other countries are commemorating WW1, but to me, and many others who saw it, the 'Seas of Red' installation is something to be proud of. Something else to add to the long list of recent events that have been put on so successfully in our country.[/quote]

    Nicely said, GG. [:)]

  13. [quote user="NormanH"]the stove uses a little electricity to manage the supply of pellets to the fire [/quote]

    I think that point is important if someone is in an area where the electricity supply is unreliable in winter - no electricity, no pellet burning stove. We've researched them too and concluded that the high cost of the stove, the annual maintenance costs of the equipment and the need to source (not necessarily difficult) and carefully store the pellets (which aren't cheap) just doesn't make the idea appealing... yet.

  14. [quote user="idun"]I had believed that the company in question should open a french branch of their company, that is what Coco was told when she posted and opened her b&b in France.  Have the rules changed in the mean time? [/quote]

    That has to be 10 - 12 years ago and didn't relate to her b&b, iIrc.

    I think Coco's problem related to still being employed by a British company but working from France. I believe the advice she was given (again, iIrc) was to set up a 'branch' of her employers and to pay herself via that company... thus, of course, becoming both employer and employee and responsible for the employer's tranche of social charges as well as those applicable to her salary as an employee. [8-)] [blink] [:'(]

    Things have changed - think of AE which started maybe 4 or 5 years later - and the advice was probably wrong then and not be applicable now and certainly not with the advice of a good accountant.

  15. I suspect it is a play on the name of the very famous, long-established Nina Ricci scent - L'Air du Temps...

    Which isn't to say it still isn't a bankruptcy waiting to happen but it's not necessarily just about the "Hair". [:D]

  16. [quote user="CSV"]I use this https://www.elle-et-vire.com/fr/produits/cremes/uht/cremes-fluides-uht/creme-entiere-de-normandie [/quote]

    You use that product to make a successful ganache which will cover a cake properly without degrading / separating?

    [quote user="suein56"]As Idun says keep things as cold as possible ie

    put bowl and implements for whisking in the fridge as that really helps

    the cream stay thick.[/quote]

    Obviously, we haven't seen the recipe

    but I don't think you would usually whisk cream to make a ganache. It's

    the fat content that matters. 

  17. Have you tried a 40% fat crème crue? - assuming you don't mind using raw dairy products. For recipes where I want less of the 'tang' of crème fraîche and a more rounded taste like double cream, crème crue usually works well.

    However, double cream is usually 48% fat (whipping cream is about 37% fat) so crème crue still doesn't have the 'body' that you want but it may be better than the 30%-35% crème fraîches. I've never seen a cream with higher fat content than 40% but the stuff you can buy on market stalls straight out of the bucket might be. Ask. [:)]

  18. [quote user="Rosie"]Hi,me again.

    Sorry, didn't mean to cause any trouble. [/quote]

    You didn't, Rosie. Someone else tried to.

    Idun moved to France with her OH in the... 80s, Idun? and subsequently her OH worked for a French company, they had children here (who are now adults) and they went through the French education system and one at least is still here. Idun and her OH reached retirement age and are now back in the UK. Anything she says is based on personal experience and you'll get her views, warts and all - which is what you want, really.

    Good luck with your planning.

  19. Catalpa


    I wasn't planning on taking my dog. [:P]

    I posted the link as much for the information about the area that the site contains - not directly because it was suitable for you... though you did not mention your dog in your first post.

  20. [quote user="whatdayisit"]I sent a couple of pms asking where everyone was going but no reply yet ........ perhaps folk daren't/the replies have been blocked? [/quote]

    There used to be rumours that (allegedly [6]) the mods could and sometimes did read members' PMs under the old software - the software was so ancient that the passwords could be over-ridden. But in this instance, it's presumably more likely people give up before anything loads so they don't access their messages.

    ps: the ? in your name will throw up error messages when people try and quote you - I had to remove the ? in order to get this to post.

  21. Catalpa


    If I actually took holidays any more [:(] [;-)] I'd stay at Maison Grillou in the Ariège. There's loads of practical info about the area on their website - scroll down.

  22. [quote user="idun"] Yes, I think that it would be a good idea, a complete overhaul. Someone needs to do something![/quote]

    Very true. But I doubt anyone will and have the mandate for the change and to make it permanent. France really is very U-Turns 'r' Us.

  23. An interesting inspection.

    We comply on most of the check list (I don't have most of our guests' addresses and I don't know that we comply on flame retardant seat cushions, curtains etc. It's not something I've ever checked though we do have hard-wired + battery backup smoke detectors) but if these checks are carried out across the country, a heck of a lot of the small CdHs (and some of the bigger ones I'm sure) are going to be closing. Several around me aren't registered and don't have licenses... because, I'm told, you don't need them if you are a vrai French person. [:D]

  24. [quote user="Lehaut"]None of the council could understand how such a situation could arise when there was no language barrier. It has been going on for years.[/quote]

    Well, quite. It's not as if France has any history of neighbours feuding long and pointlessly even unto the next generations until no one can remember (while assiduously maintaining the feud) what it was ever about in the first place.

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