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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. << LF's publishers' IT people having specified this forum, and LF having bought it, it turns out that there are several things that don't work properly - most of them being known bugs in the software. >>

    Yep, perfectly normal! I spent the last 3 years on the edges of a technical department involved in specifying large website developments for educational publishers. I came to the conclusion that software suppliers (or at least their account managers) lie through their teeth as to what their systems can accomplish. Part of the answer lies in developing detailed requirements documents and use case scenarios as part of the discussions and eventual contract but even then, it's difficult to foresee everything. And this approach assumes that those specifying the software truly understand what the users need / want.

  2. As promised, here is some of the info I kept which I'd cut and pasted into a Word document - and I think I've attributed the posts to the right people. Apologies if I have not. I should emphasise that I did not keep every post in the original thread (started on 30 Oct 2003) and I may even have edited some posts at the time to remove info which I didn't need. So it is not a complete replication. But the info was very useful. The links in mpprh's post below should work... because they're not livingfrance.

    mpprh (737 posts)

    6. "RE: I'm moving, what do i do now"

    Hi I think you are asking for a checklist ?I haven't seen one published, but I'll have a go at the stuff you need to do once in France. Carte de Sejour (birth certificate, passport, proof of income, proof of address etc.)

    Livret de Famille (birth certificate, passport, proof of income, proof of address, wedding certificate, etc.)



    Social security


    Register with tax man

    Property lease or buyProperty insurance


    Buy car

    Register car

    Driving license

    Car insurance




    V license


    Satellite TV

    Internet connection I'm sure I've missed some out ! There are more for starting a business, marriage, children, schools etc. The problem is to decide the order you sort out each item.

    You can buy a house without a Carte de Sejour. You can't easily be an employee without a Carte de Sejour. But you may need that proof of income to get a Carte de Sejour, etc. Different prefectures and mairies may have slightly different requirements. Somehow it all gets done. Here are some useful links I've put together :







    Use forums for specific points. Bonne chance

    Peter The Languedoc Page : http://tlp.netfirms.com


    Val_2 (1118 posts) 29-Oct-03, 07:35 AM (BST)

    1. "RE: I'm moving, what do i do now"

    As regards the UK you should let the tax and DSS people know so they can change their records for when the french side need to contact them.If you have children, then the child benefit people need to be informed and they will stop the payments from the date you leave so you can get the french side to take you on,plus if they are school-age you need to sort out schooling in France too and jabs if they are required by the education people in that dept. You would need to let your bank know, council tax office so they don't bill you for another year etc,insurance companies if you are continuing with endowments,life assurance etc, - the list is endless. Best to write down everything in your current life that you are paying out for and also let your solicitor know if you have an english will. France can be dealt with as you meet each criteria along the way. As for getting translations of paperwork, don't worry too much about that as each dept has it's own rules and there is always someone who does translation work about. I suggest you look through the archives on this forum and glean as much info as you can because by the sound of it, you really have no idea of what you are getting into by moving to another country.


    goatlady (310 posts) 30-Oct-03, 07:25 AM (BST)

    5. "RE: I'm moving, what do i do now"

    >LAST EDITED ON 29-Oct-03 >AT 11:40 PM (GMT) >>>by the sound of it, you >>really have no idea of >>what you are getting into >>by moving to another country. < snip > >to time to learn and >with so much info on >this site in many threads >I just wanted to try >and get them all together. >>>Cheers

    By asking the question on here, I would say that you ARE trying to get prepared for the new life! Good luck to you, handle each hurdle as it comes, theres no big mystery to it and you dont need to have a portfolio of 'things to do' either. My first tips however would be

    1 meet the mairie who will already know your there anyway. If you make friends with him/her you can always ask advice before committing yourself to anything!

    2 say bonjour to everyone but dont listen to everything the locals tell you!

    3 inform the EDF, water and telephone with meter readings at the time you arrived, who you are and what date you moved as sometimes you can end up paying the previous owners debts!

    4 if you have kids get the info on school enrolments and meet the teachers asap

    5 Make friends with the postman/woman they know everyone, but equally be careful not to upset same as the postie spreads goss like wildfire !!



    PatF (362 posts)

    3. "RE: I'm moving, what do i do now"

    Don't forget to arrange to have your post forwarded.There are bound to be people who don't know your new address. You get a form from the Post Office and it costs ?? can't remember - it's either £32 or £64 for a year. Pat.


    Note from me: it's £66.40 - or was in June.

    Hope this is useful. Not covered in the above is how to bring pets with you. There is info in the pet forum but I can tell you what we did in June re our two dogs if it's of relevance to you. We also imported shotguns - again, if you want info on this, let me know. Otherwise, I don't think we've done anything yet which isn't covered by the above.


  3. Quote:

    << James is currently trying to sort out these problems. I agree that it would have been nice to present you with a fully-working new forum, but that would have meant it was off line for even longer. >>

    Anyway... full user testing (that's us!) would always drive out problems that no amount of techie testing ever uncovers.

    I can't get the "selective quote" to work. I wanted the final para - as above - but each time I got the first para inserted instead. Still, I'm sure it's me... can't be the sofware?

  4. I printed out a lot of the bullet-point info as we were moving earlier in the summer and I am sure I have it somewhere. I'll look and type it out - adding anything we did that was different or not included. Probably tomorrow.


  5. Searching for a distraction from the Eventing medals dbcle in Athens, I discovered theres an FEI Eventing World Cup stage (ie French equivalent of Chatsworth horse trials this year) at Martinvast near Cherbourg on 29th August. Sunday has the cross-country of the 3* event but there are other CCI * / ** competitions 25th thru 29th August.


    And if you're interested in the final in Pau in October...



  6. Searching for a distraction from the Eventing medals dbcle in Athens, I discovered theres the FEI Eventing World Cup stage (ie French equivalent of Chatsworth horse trials this year) at Martinvast near Cherbourg on 29th August. Sunday has the cross-country of the 3* event but there are other CCI * / ** competitions 25th thru 29th August.


    And if you're interested in the final in Pau in October...


  7. LAST EDITED ON 09-Aug-04 AT 06:49 PM (BST)

    Entrail-y things are always a problem and much messier to translate than runes, I find.

    More helpfully (perhaps)

    This is the website of the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage and, this being France, they produce a very helpful leaflet entitled: What to do when you find a wild animal wounded or killed (tho in French, natch). Its a very comprehensive leaflet covering discovery of poaching and poisoning of wild animals as well as the presumably more common roadkill. It suggests that roadkill doesnt become the property of whoever runs it over. But Ive a sneaking suspicion that anyone knowing what to do with a freshly killed deer isnt going to turn it over to the local Mairie.

    Therere relevant FAQs answered on this page.

    Otherwise, substantially I hope accurately prcis-ing part of the leaflet:

    Whether the animal is protected or not, wounded or dead, notify Notify the Marie, or the local Fdration des chasseurs, or the ONCF which seems to be well-represented across France or the Gendermerie. Obviously if the animal is alive and wounded, speed of notification is key. If the animal is not protected, is dead and weighs under 40kg (scales in the back of the car, anyone?) you can bury it. If its over 40kgs, it should go to the quarissage which Im translating as the knackers yard. If the animal is wounded but non-viable, the Marie will authorise someone to deal with it; if it can be saved, an authorised person will take it to a wildlife protection centre. I can find no mention of a maison de retraite. Which I think Im slightly relieved about. Maybe your neighbour used a colloquial phrase for knackers yard?!

  8. We've just bought a diesel Peugeot which has a Pastille Verte sticker. As I was about to rip it off and bin it, it occurred to me that it might have some practical use. I know what it is - indicates the car meets low pollution guidelines, or did when new - but is the sticker of any genuine use or relevance in 2004?

  9. Hi Coco -
    we watched the light show - no thunder but the lightening flashes illuminated cloud formations above the hills - until midnight-ish and then woke intermittently through the night to hear thunder and torrential rain. One of our dogs was a gibbering wreck this morning though she's okay now. She's less than enchanted by Normandy anyway as she can't get her head around (literally) the electric fence we have keeping sheep out and, it appears, dogs in.

    A very spectacular show around the Mortain / Juvigny area - but I can never wholeheartedly enjoy this sort of electrical storm - as a child, reading the Day of the Triffids had a longlasting effect on me!

  10. We've just imported shotguns via Portsmouth / Cherbourg and we took the information on what we should do from earlier posts on this forum. So...

    Contact the police office that issued your UK shotgun certificate. By phone and then confirmation letter, we asked for European Firearms Passes and Wiltshire didn't charge us for them. They EFP arrived about 3 - 4 weeks later.

    On arrival at the check-in booth at Portsmouth, we announced there were shotguns on board and that we needed to go via Port Security. The P&O staff advise Port Security by walkietalkie, issue you with a sticker on the dangly thing you have to hang from the rear-view mirror (boarding pass?) and you make sure you drive into Port Security (the same place that spot checks on cars are done).

    Port Security will chat nicely to you, remove the guns, arrange to transport them onto the ferry and on disembarkation, P&O staff will arrange for them to be delivered to you at the P&O desk in the terminal building. Obviously, go and make yourself known to the staff at the desk and tell them what you want. Don't assume the purser will remember to send the shotguns over to the terminal without being prompted by 'ground' staff.

    So, that's the process... the practice...
    We announced to the checkin staff we had guns on board. They duly radioed Port Security and gave us the dangly stickered thing. Not many passengers on this particular crossing so we drove straight down the empty marshalling lanes towards Port Security waving our dangly wotsit enthusiastically. All marshalls waved us straight through and the guy at Port Security also waved us straight past the security bay despite our best efforts to go in. Odd we thought. Bit casual.

    An hour into the voyage, there was a PA announcement asking us to go to the Information desk. At the desk waited the Chief Officer looking faintly embarassed. "I understand you've shotguns on board..." Yes," I said, "and we did tell the staff at checkin." Oh I know, we heard the radio traffic, Port Security weren't (my paraphrasing!) on the ball.

    We retrieved the shotguns from the van (this was a 'how much furniture and stuff can you pack into a transit van-type trip' and the shotguns were cunningly hidden in their metal gun safe underneath a large and surprisingly inflexible mattress) and they were locked in the purser's office. On arrival at Cherbourg we retrieved them as per the official process from the terminal building.

    We took cartridges out in a separate trip last week and again, these should be announced at check-in and viewed by Port Security. We had less than 250 cartridges which were well hidden and they were permitted to remain in the vehicle. We understand that more than 250 cartridges would be removed and transported as per the shotgun process. Port Security did say they take very little notice of the stickered danglies so it is the responsibility of anyone carrying a declarable item /items to ensure they go via Port Security.

    In Normandy...
    We've now tried twice to register the guns with the local Gendarmerie but (surprise!) either it was too near lunch or too near August and we've yet to meet anyone sufficiently interested to take any notes. We will persevere. Apparently when we do register, someone will come out and photograph the gun cabinet to ensure compliance with... something!


  11. We're dithering between buying a second-hand LHD diesel Passat or Laguna - in Normandy, if that's relevant. Oddly (to us) Passats seem cheaper to buy than Lagunas - similar spec, age etc. Does anyone have a view on whether servicing and parts in France will be more expensive on a non-French manufactured car?


  12. What's the closest equivalent to the UK mail recorded delivery and registered delivery services? Chronopost seemed to be the only option on offer at my local post office this morning (Manche). And Chronopost seemed more like a Fedex or DHL-type delivery - at least by the cost quoted... Eur36 for an A4 envelope with 1 x A4 sheet of paper in it.

  13. LAST EDITED ON 12-Jul-04 AT 10:57 PM (BST)

    Years ago, in the UK, one of my cats went missing for 8 days, late May / early June. I was very upset. (Understatement) She then reappeared, considerably thinner, immaculately groomed, very hungry and thirsty and voluntarily stayed in for several days.

    We assumed she had been shut in somewhere (garage, shed, greenhouse) and been released, perhaps when someone returned from a weeks holiday.

    I think you've done all the right things... perhaps also you could post a note through neighbours' doors asking them to check sheds, garages etc?

    It's unlikely that a fox would have taken him, especially if he's a robust, healthy cat. A bird of prey (falcon or hawk rather than a buzzard) is a possibility, but it's not *that* likely. Badger is totally unlikely. If you've combed the immediate area on foot, you'll probably have heard him complaining if he's stuck up a tree.

    Good luck, I really hope he returns and please don't give up looking for him yet.

  14. Hi -
    has anyone found... is anyone using... a gym in, say, Avranches or Vire? France - or relatively provincial France - doesn't seem to have gyms attached to local leisure centres... or maybe I've not been observant enough. Has anyone joined a gym in southern Normandy?

    Or is the thought just too exhausting to contemplate?!?

  15. Catalpa


    Having just been fishing in the Finance File here hoping for an insight into the workings of Blevins Franks, I found the above message requesting exactly the info I hoped for... but no responses.

    So, 6 months on, I thought I'd reiterate the request: has anyone used one of these France specialists for advice? If so, has anyone any thoughts they want to share - either via the site or via my inbox?

    And if so: thanks in advance.

  16. Catalpa

    Sick every time

    When the dog is happy with the car as a playground, before taking the animal for a drive, get a large bean bag which fills the area in which the dog will lie. Don't have it too heavily stuffed - take some beans out if necessary. This - so we were informed by someone who ran puppy social evenings - evened out the motion of the car and solved the balancing problem for the dog. We've had to resort to this remedy twice over the years and it worked immediately for both dogs.

    The other 'must' is fresh air - even if that leaves the human occupants of the car a little chilled. Tough!!


  17. LAST EDITED ON 01-Apr-03 AT 03:52 PM (GMT)

    ew... I don't know what your insects are!

    But I leave our furniture covered in cotton dustsheets in between visits as that allows everything to breathe. I'd be worried that the plastic would trap damp so wouldn't use it. But maybe your house is thoroughly dry, so you don't have that problem.

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