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Everything posted by Catalpa

  1. Well, we're done and dusted and though there was only one liste, there was clearly a bit of tactical voting going on within it judging by the selections that were made - all non-complete liste papers were read out to those assembled at the count. All on the liste have been elected on the first round (on the 50% of votes cast + 1 principle) and may I be a bit prideful [:$] in saying my very British OH received more votes than anyone else. [:D] Okay he's not part of the donkeys-years-old feuds that are typical of any small, rural commune but any votes he received because no one had anything bad to say about him (or his parents or their parents!) is probably balanced out by some French people never voting for foreigners. But they did vote for OH and I'm a bit proud of the positive contribution he's made (hopefully we've made) to the village over the past 10 years.
  2. [quote user="Alan Zoff"]This bonanza no doubt led to the conversion of a lot of the children of traditional Labour supporters.[/quote] Do you mean that their eventual 'windfall' (or prospect of) converted someone who was a naturally Labour voter into a Conservative? I'm sure it's much more complex than that and a windfall would not make a conversion instant or permanent.
  3. [quote user="Gardian"]Just been to vote. Bit of a disappointment. Normally at any sort of 'do' in our village, they lay on slices of pizza and a glass of something. [/quote]Hah! Move to Normandie, vote early... and be offered a nice plate of tripes à la mode de Caen. [+o(] I'm in a <250 commune and when I produced my photo ID I got laughed at and it was waved away. [:$]
  4. [quote user="You can call me Betty"]I really mean this...who ARE these Kardashian people??? I keep seeing photos of them or hearing allusions to them, and I have no clue who they are! [/quote] I had to Google this very thing a few months ago: apparently their (deceased) father or husband or whatever was OJ Simpson's lawyer. [8-)] Why that tenuous link to fame? notoriety? should result in tv shows is beyond me.
  5. [quote user="Hoddy"]I'm a Bill Nighy fan too and I'm looking forward to seeing him with my other hero Christopher Walken in Turks and Caicos, but not until I've seen the last episode of Line of Duty tonight. [/quote] We are twins separated at birth, Hoddy. (You probably thought you were having a good day till you read that! [:P]) I would get rid of... Piers Morgan Jeremy Kyle and his ilk The whole cast of Towie, the Chelsea equivalent and all Kardashians... even if they've been in Startrek... there were Kardashians in Startrek, weren't there...? e2a: that room is going to get awfully crowded, isn't it? And can you imagine the fight over the one mirror that I think they should be allowed... [:-))]
  6. I enjoyed her public persona - and I suspect her private persona was exactly the same. She obviously had an incredible brain but I read her book and found her quite matter-of-fact descriptions of her earlier life - abusive, alcoholic father, etc, very sad.
  7. [quote user="NickP"]Nothing clunky in my experiance, and you can't get any more old fashioned than my set up XP and IE8. [/quote] Your old-fashioned set up may be the reason the forum works for you. Of course, the downside is that modern sites may not load efficiently and using old versions of software can leave your system vulnerable to attack. Not something I'd risk. [quote user="NickP"]As to why in your opinion this forum is quiet I think you will find that has been well covered in another thread.[/quote] It certainly was... however, I don’t think that thread was ever intended to be the definitive list of opinions... [:D]
  8. I thought I'd add my whiney (winey? [:P]) little voice to the general hubbub... this forum is incredibly slow to load for me too - Firefox user. I often close the tab while waiting to move to a different page within a topic - ie, I give up. This is the only forum with which I have a problem - even power-crazed forums with insanely sized avatars and picture signatures load faster than CF. I do wonder if the reason this forum is so quiet nowadays is that anyone with a life (I don't have one in winter) simply doesn't bother with the forum anymore because it's so clunky. Apart from difficulty changing pages, the forum often gets stuck loading that bleddy faint pretty background photo and I don't actually get the topic list without refreshing several times.
  9. [quote user="madames2"]I have received Devis which are poor in detail and when I ask about garantie décennale or attestation de responsabilité civile or assurance multirisque professionnelle I am just getting "fobbed off". Are Devis written in English legal? I doubt it somehow? Is a "multirisque assurance going to cover the work if it is only monthly paid, What if he stops paying part way through? This is a large job 150m2 so I really need it doing properly. [/quote] People with décenale insurance are usually only too happy to provide a copy - the bloody thing costs enough so it's nice when someone understands what it is / wants a copy. Check the valid dates on the certificate and if the work spans two insurance years, get copies of each years certificate and keep them with the devis and paid invoices. If the devis is poor in detail, only written in English and copies of the insurance are not forthcoming I think you know the answer: find another roofer. Are you getting French roofers to quote too? It is a mistake to let language capability restrict you to approaching only British artisans... not all British artisans are incompetent or fraudsters and there are plenty of poor quality French artisans around but you simply restrict your choice if you let language limit you.
  10. Unless you want / must have validated, official figures, you could try posting on AngloMisinfo Normandy and see if anyone has a weather station in their garden and have been keeping track just for their own interest. Fwiw, I can assure you that it has been a very wet winter; in this bit of Normandy (inland from le Mont-St-Michel) we've had few frosts snow but copious quantities of rain and flooding in the river valleys.
  11. [quote user="PaulT"]Mac said 'Every year on that date (doesn't matter what day) they have a ceremony stopping at each memorial(and holding up all the traffic on the main road!)' How thoughtless having a ceremony (for brave people who were preventing the Germans taking total control and if all French people had bowed to the Germans then it would probably have been easier for them to invade the UK) at each memorial and holding you up.[/quote] I may be wrong but I didn't read it / interpret the comment the way that you have - more that holding up the traffic on a main road is (rightly) ignored or secondary to the importance of the remembrance ceremony...
  12. I have things crossed for you too... but I can't help thinking that if anyone is capable of stopping the water through sheer force of will, it's you, Betty. [:D] Hope things go well for you and your neighbours.
  13. I had wondered if you'd moved, Betty, and had left the Thames behind. Obviously not... Hope you can persuade your Marines (oddly uncomforting, that you've got 'marines'...) to work hard and keep the river away. As to French and / or Brit tv... is Idun's life less British (now she's in the UK) because she watches French tv? I'd be mildly irritated if the satellite change affected me (it doesn't) but I don't think that would be because I am or my life is not French enough - more that I have the choice to dip in and out of two cultures (via radio and press as well as tv) and predictably, the culture I relate to most readily is still the one in which I spent my first 50 or so years.
  14. [quote user="DerekJ"]I always found the ironing board was a great enhancement and created a suitable ambiance.[:-))] [/quote] But you're only doing half the job and getting half the effect if the ironing board is not piled high with ironing. [Www] I remember a post on one of the forums directing us to house particulars where there were photos of the very tatty kitchen complete with grandad eating his meal and glaring furiously at the camera. Not a warm and encouraging sight at all, contrary to what the agent might have thought. I suppose it might have been an en viager arrangement and in which case I suppose the photo of the incumbent was useful... Friends went to view a house on the market because of a couple divorcing... and it looked as if they'd made the decision half-way through a meal as the mouldering remains of food on plates and a casserole dish with contents were still on the table. Even so, they bought the house... the kitchen had been cleared when they moved in... but the casserole was later found, still with contents, under a shrub in the garden.
  15. [quote user="Théière"]That depends on whether your ISP uses a static or dynamic IP address.  Other wise it will just return to the same IP address no matter how many times you switch on and off.  It may well be worth emptying the cache and deleting cookies which are used far more by websites I believe to gather information on what you have been looking at and for how long.[/quote] It's a cookie issue. I have a static IP address and if looking but not booking a Brittany Ferries crossing - or if I've read my allotted 20 free Telegraph articles per month - I either delete all cookies (which I do on a regular basis anyway) or just select and delete all Telegraph or BF cookies. It's the work of moments. Aided by cookies, BF have been tracking booking enquiries like this for some time - months, maybe a year or more. If the ferries do it, I'm not at all surprised that the airlines employ the same revenue-enhancing trick. They're entitled to raise their prices of course, but they're not using my pc to help them increase their revenue. If deleting cookies isn't something that someone wants to do, the other way around this quote price loading problem is to use a second browser. Firefox initially and then Chrome to book later, for eg.
  16. [quote user="EuroTrash"]Once you are in business in France you have to pay cotisations into the French system, and this automatically invalidates your S1 - the UK is no longer your competent state if you are economically active in France.[/quote] Even if you have reached State retirement age in the UK? Which the OP will do in November this year. It used to be - perhaps still is - that the non-retired spouse could 'piggy-back' their health cover via the retired half of the couple. I am in no way an expert but if someone has reached UK State retirement age then they will certainly pay cotisations on anything extra they earn in France but I did not think that any work done here cancelled the UK state retirement health coverage. I thought the S1 cancellation under discussion was the (up to) two years of "free" cover from the UK for those under retirement age and which depended on NI contributions paid in the years pre-move. But it doesn't affect me (yet!) so I've not been following the detail and could have misinterpreted.
  17. [quote user="Hereford"]Ref: Enforcing payment across EU borders: I am told that this can be done but would be done by the Department (e.g. La Manche) . authorities not the rest of the family!  I cannot see why they cannot be enforced as driving/speeding fines can and help towards care would be every month not just a one off. [/quote] Driving / speeding fines may be able to be enforced cross-border - but as an offence has been committed by the person concerned, enforcing a speeding fine is in no way a relevant comparison. For the penalty to be enforced, it would have to go to court - then there is officially a fixed penalty to be pursued and paid. Hereford, I realise that you are being told the opposite but, even if France would like to make it so, having elderly parents in France is not an offence for which children living elsewhere can be penalised. Even morally. This is a French law and France can say what it likes but common sense (yes, I know) highlights the difficulties. The idea falls down on the practicalities - how would children resident in another country be forced to contribute? Elderly parents in France might well have retired children in the UK existing on basic pensions. Capacity to contribute would have to be means tested and - presumably as you are finding - France has no right to financial information relating to a British (or US) citizen / resident who has committed no offence. The idea that a French court could then force a British resident to pay several thousand euros per month (or more, judging by my mother's care home costs in England) when they cannot prove the income or living expenses is absurd. The UK residents could end up on benefits or pension support in order for France to get its cut for the parents. Which, of course, doesn't mean that France wouldn't try but France asking a British court to enforce a French law simply on the basis that a British resident's parents live in France isn't likely to be successful. Even if a French offical says it could happen. Saying it could happen is a long way from "it does (or even will) happen". Hereford, I hope that what is presumably a very difficult situation with your sibling is resolved amicably, though. Edited to add: I've been trying to find the article I mentioned previously but can't. I've a feeling I read it in a physical newspaper - probably the Telegraph or Guardian but definitely not the Connexion!
  18. [quote user="jjmb126"]Thank you Hereford for your reply and it confirms my concerns. Not necessarily for myself as I am not sure that a French court could impose anything on me in the States. However the situation is different for my 2 sisters in the UK. [/quote] I cannot research at the moment, but in the past couple of years I am sure I've seen an article where UK resident children of a French resident have received a bill for their parent/s' care. I am sure I remember the answer was from a specialist in these things who said that the French system is required to send the bill to the children but once the children have said they cannot pay, the matter is dropped by the French authorities. In other words, the deduction by whatever means cannot be enforced cross-EU borders. I remember thinking at the time that it seemed a reputable source. Whether, of course, any attempt is made by France to retrieve their expenses at the eventual sale of the property is another matter and wasn't the question asked. [quote user="jjmb126"]Mum has been told to stop driving but she still drives one of those sans permis vehicles from time to time despite her disabilities. If they were to fall and seriously injure themselves, I think we are opening ourselves to be judged negligent under French law. Have contacted an English neighbour to see if they know of any notaires who speak English who can help us.[/quote] I'm not sure what you mean about your mother falling and you (and your siblings) being negligent? Anyway, mainly, notaires are self-employed State tax collectors who manage property and land matters, inheritance, wills, that sort of thing. There's some information here. You'd consult one about your parents' property - disposal, tax, that sort of thing - but if you want to research your liabilities (or your mother's liability) if she caused an accident while out in her sans permis, I doubt a notaire is the place to start. I think your first stop would be your parents' insurers. While your mother does not need a licence to drive her vehicle, I am guessing that it is still insured and that would cover any accidents. Good luck with what must be a very difficult situation.
  19. [quote user="NormanH"]I have just had a look on the "other" Forum (I can because I am in the clinique on their Wifi, so my banned IP doesn't show up [6])[/quote] I read "clique". I was briefly surprised by you admitting to being in (or even finding!) a clique, Norman. [:P]
  20. [quote user="Pickles"]And as for the burning of cars on New Year's Eve, well, that just DOESN'T HAPPEN now, d'ya hear? Nope. Not at all. It was abolished a couple of years ago. [/quote] Odd, isn't it, that the French media is colluding with the likes of French Entrée and AngloInfo in pretending the car torching and unrest doesn't really happen. Or at least, is not "worth" reporting. Ha! [quote user="sweet 17"]I must admit to some sympathy for those who thought it was all wonderful and then, for whatever reason, couldn't manage to hack it (or whatever the current expression is) in France. [/quote] As I run a chambre d'hôte, over the years I've had a fair few guests who've stayed while house-hunting. When they're waxing lyrical about the charms of France, I have to bite my tongue so that I don't contradict them too often - or even at all if all they're thinking of doing is buying a holiday home. But sometimes when people are talking of selling up completely in the UK and moving over - especially if they are early retired - I have to be honest and (briefly!) tell them the possible pitfalls. Even so, of the half-dozen or so I know of who've subsequently moved over permanently post-retirement, two of the partnerships / marriages have broken up within a couple of years of moving here... and in each case, I'm not really surprised. It's my perception that men settle in nicely but women want more of a sense of achievement from life and rural France doesn't easily deliver that for women. The people who seem to do best are a bit less sociable and more insular and very self-contained. But then, factor death or divorce - or even very serious illness - into the equation and the life they've made isn't right any more. Are they wrong for making the move? No, I don't think so - because how can you know till you've done it? Try to make a move from a position of knowledge, sure - and keep a foot in the UK property market - but being too fearful of what the future may hold isn't a fulfilling way of living a life. Imo. [quote user="Chancer"]So whilst not a wrong choice I do however now realise that the France I thought I was coming to and the life I would have there were complete self made illusions.[/quote] But! [:)] In another part of France, perhaps there is a place that is closer to what you thought you were coming to. We know from this forum and others that depending on location and circumstances (age, marital status, kids, etc) the French experience can be quite different. Although Idun and I are similar ages, her experience of France is completely different to mine - which always fascinated me when she lived here. The France she - and Norman, for that matter - describe isn't "my" France. But, of course, my life experiences in south-western England might not have been replicated in Wales, Lincolnshire or Perthshire.
  21. [quote user="NormanH"]You all really do live in a different world [:)] I think that apart from Chancer it is because you are in rural locations with a personal service.[/quote] We're very rural and our Facteur Fred picks up (stamped) mail as well as delivering mail. He gave us a magnet sticker thing which we stick on the outside of the box if there are (stamped) letters in the box which we'd like him to take and put in the mail. I think it's normal around here. Generally, though, he's a lazy sod and will do as someone else mentioned - open the post box to push a package in which doesn't fit so he leaves the door open allowing the rest of the post to fall out, get blown around, rained on... [:@] That's a useful link, Betty. Thank you.
  22. We are with Allianz and have a card with the relevant info - cardboard, though, not plastic or electronic in any way. Pharmacies, hospitals, etc, all happily accept it. But this is France so I'd advise you to expect no consistency in approach across all regions. That way you can't be disappointed. Or surprised. E2a: You will also get the paper Attestation and that is what you need to keep in a safe place; if you don't have a card (or mislay it) present the Attestation - because the relevant info is on it.
  23. [quote user="Martin963"]Who remembers Coco (always at the centre of any fight!),  or Mazan,  or teamdup (well of course.....,  she's not far away even now!).    Did Ron finally fall in the Aveyron?   Or Swissbarry - I think it was he who wrote the funniest post about trying to listen to the BBC in bed that I've ever read...... Or Will the Conqueror.  Or Baz...[/quote] Coco is still in France running an extremely successful chambre d'hôte and I see her occasionally - very occasionally like once a year. Swissbarry I adored. I loved his sense of humour. But then I always liked an earlier incarnation of The Riff-Raff Element... can't remember what name he used "in those days" but his posts frequently made me chortle. Will le Conq and Mrs Conq are (or were, last time I heard) back in the UK - I think Mrs Conq has been looking after her mother. They still have their French interests, I'm sure. In fact, I saw them on a ferry a couple of years ago. Only to speak to very briefly - I had a streaming cold, was running a temperature and was feeling most unsociable. I miss Tressy - Tresco as was. Some of the Tressy / Twinkle / KatieKK threads used to make me lol. But if we're talking past members, especially those who were always up for a scrap, one has to mention... ...Miki. [6]
  24. [quote user="Val_2"]As a non national you must also understand when there are any elections of ANY kind in the commune, YOU are not even allowed to go near except to vote where eligible, you cannot assist with the scrutin nor be present...[/quote] That's really interesting, Val. So, just to clarify, if a non-French national is on a liste, they can turn up at the Mairie (for us) to cast their own vote but they cannot assist during the day and they should not be in the room during the "count" in the evening? Equally, once elected, a non-national cannot be part of the rota or even in the room during any other elections that take place at other times? Presidential elections, for eg? By the way (and for what my opinion is worth  [:D]) along with Parsnips and Sunday Driver, you are another of my respected posters. With your experience of setting up and running a successful building-related business over many years, your posts were always invaluable to us. Edited to add: and I've just seen your post, Norman. Thanks.
  25. [quote user="tinabee"]I suspect that there won't be much politics here, it is a very small village...[/quote] It's the same in our village - and the same as small village parish councils in England for that matter. The party allegiances only really start to matter at the next level. Upthread someone mentioned that with the new regulations, there has to be 50/50 gender representation on lists this year - I believe that's only true for communes with a population of 3,500 upwards so that change is unlikely to affect your council either. Best wishes for a successful election! [:)]
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