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HelenChaplin

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  1. >LAST EDITED ON 05-Nov-03
    >AT 12:43PM (GMT)
    >
    >Hi
    >
    >Does anyone know this collge?
    >Do you have children that attend
    >it? Can you tell me
    >anything about it, good or
    >bad?
    >

    Hello Sue - remembered your questiion today and asked a friend whose 13 yr old daughter attends this college. She says college is OK - not brilliant, not lousy, but OK - and that was the same as she had been told before her daughter started attending. The daughter seems to be enjoying it and is doing fine there.

    There are quite a few English speaking kids there and new ones are given extra French lessons as you would expect, but are taken out of History and Geography to do the extra French apparently.

    There was an article about the college last week in one of the papers but friend's daughter, who was interviewed for the article, said it was a PR exercise and painted a picture of the school which she didn't quite recognise!!

    Regards and good luck with the property purchase,

    Helen
  2. >Hi - we have just booked
    >my birthday present - a
    >trip on the TGV to
    >Paris from Poitiers the first
    >weekend in November. Hooray!!

    Well, we are all booked up to go on 1st November early morning and returning home the next evening. We've booked a hotel, (cheap as we don't plan to spend much time there) and hope to do the usual touristy things including visiting the catacombs BUT what are they called and where are they??

    Also, Amelie mentioned a restaurant - La Couple. What road is it in Amelie?? We'll try to have lunch there when we get off the TGV.

    >Thanks and regards..Helen


  3. Hi - we have just booked my birthday present - a trip on the TGV to Paris from Poitiers the first weekend in November. Hooray!! Can anyone recommend places to go and things to see on the Saturday afternoon and a cheapish hotel please.

    I think the Louvre and all the museums should be free that Sunday but it's also the bank holiday weekend - please don't give your new French friends gifts of carnations!! - so maybe Paris will be really busy.

    Any suggestions please.

    Regards..Helen
  4. >Are all you gite & villa
    >owners with swimming pools aware
    >of the "new" French government
    >legislation.

    Hi Steve - There was quite a bit of discussion here regarding the new legislation requirements earlier in the summer. Maybe click on the search item and key in swimming pool legislation.


    >I say "new" because the publicicing
    >of this requirement has been
    >pitiful to say the least.
    >The law was passed on
    >19/12/02 and as I read
    >it, states that from 1/1/04
    >all rented properties must have
    >a permanent physical barrier between
    >a child and an inground
    >swimming pool. All other forms
    >of protection (alarms etc) should
    >be additional to the barrier.
    >The maximum penalty for breaking
    >this law is a fine
    >of 45,000

    There was a page about this in the Charente Libre, our "local" paper. It just said that swimming pools would have to be fenced so that young children wouldn't fall in and drown - there have been several deaths in France - but didn't stipulate what size fence. New swimming pools this year and existing pools next year. Correct me someone if I'm wrong but AFAIK all pools are going to have to be fenced eventually.

    >If anyone has a more definitive
    >interpretation I would be very
    >interested to hear from them
    >as finding the facts on
    >this matter has proved to
    >be far from simple.

    May come up in your search.

    Regards - Helen (who unfortunately can't fit one in unless she gets rid of the chickens or the veggie patch!!)


  5. >Are all you gite & villa
    >owners with swimming pools aware
    >of the "new" French government
    >legislation.

    Hi Steve - There was quite a bit of discussion here regarding the new legislation requirements earlier in the summer. Maybe click on the search item and key in swimming pool legislation.


    >I say "new" because the publicicing
    >of this requirement has been
    >pitiful to say the least.
    >The law was passed on
    >19/12/02 and as I read
    >it, states that from 1/1/04
    >all rented properties must have
    >a permanent physical barrier between
    >a child and an inground
    >swimming pool. All other forms
    >of protection (alarms etc) should
    >be additional to the barrier.
    >The maximum penalty for breaking
    >this law is a fine
    >of 45,000

    There was a page about this in the Charente Libre, our "local" paper. It just said that swimming pools would have to be fenced so that young children wouldn't fall in and drown - there have been several deaths in France - but didn't stipulate what size fence. New swimming pools this year and existing pools next year. Correct me someone if I'm wrong but AFAIK all pools are going to have to be fenced eventually.

    >If anyone has a more definitive
    >interpretation I would be very
    >interested to hear from them
    >as finding the facts on
    >this matter has proved to
    >be far from simple.

    May come up in your search.

    Regards - Helen (who unfortunately can't fit one in unless she gets rid of the chickens or the veggie patch!!)


  6. We are registered with the Chambre de Commerce and didn't have to do 5 day course. However, since we registered we have been thinking that it may have been very useful to us as we have been given quite a bit of conflicting information by officials ( 1 example was that MSA said we had to charge our customers 5.5% TVA and Chambre de Commerce have insisted that we don't!!).

    All the information I have gleaned about micro entreprise has come from various websites - none from our local Chambre de Commerce or MSA. It has been a case of stumbling through the process.

    Cotisations are high and mandatory in first year but then (for us) are adjusted accordingly. Do as much research as you can beforehand especially from people who are running similar micros to the one you plan.

    Good luck....Helen
  7. Hi all - have just been surfing the web and noticed on ebay.fr that someone is selling some old tomettes. Starting price is E250 for 500+ 15cms. I wish I was up north!!!!!

    Helen
  8. Hi - we are in the process of constructing bedrooms and a shower-room in the grenier. The plumber had already installed the large evacuation pipe up the back wall behind the proposed shower-room before he left for a long vacation in the Phillipines (so we can't phone him at the moment).

    In what circumstances should one install a sanibroyeur? Is it a question of distance from the fosse, length of downfall of the waste, quantity of waste or just that old fosses can't cope with solids? We have a new fosse and there are just the two of us (most of the time).

    I have this horrible vision of the waste plumetting down the pipe and then, rather than flowing freely to the fosse, building up at the bottom and blocking the pipe! Ugh!

    Can someone help please?????

    Thanks - Helen
  9. >The next big job is to
    >knock a doorway through from
    >the mez to the grenier
    >beyond >

    Have done that now! Thanks Charles (Les Flamands) for your helpful website.

    We removed (via a couple of buckets and a hoist) a double axle trailer load of stone and rubble from one little opening! My shoulders ache today but we can now walk through from the mezzanine to the grenier.

    We will now get the rails up around 3 of the stone walls for the placo(there is only one decent stone wall up there)but my question is........

    We have to section off the space to make two bedrooms and a shower room. Apart from building block walls what is best way to construct and soundproof (as much as possible) the walls between the rooms? I don't want them to look like the thin partition walls that are in many French houses.

    Regards.......Helen
  10. If they are nesting, there are probably eggs. You will have to wait until the young have flown and then block all gaps into your loft so the birds don't return.

    We have a wren nesting high up in the barn/salon. She tweets at us every time we go in there and she also stays in her nest when Phil is sawing/drilling holes/hammering etc. We will have to delay the new ceiling until she and her family have gone. We also had to evict the owl from our grenier when we started work up there - that made me feel very guilty but there was no nest, just a pile of ****!

    Are you sure you have birds in the loft and not pine martins (who make an awful din)?

    Regards....Helen
  11. >We have often been approached in
    >car parks by other expat
    >people who have spotted our
    >UK car,

    We noticed that in the local builders merchants all the UK reg cars get flyers on their windscreens from builders, plumbers and other tradespersons advertising their trade. Usually they are British but the French have started doing it as well. We don't get any now that we have a French reg car!

    Before we got this car I was driving back home from a nearby town and being followed by a smart red car with UK plates. After a while they started flashing me, they kept it up so I pulled over and stopped thinking that something was wrong with the rear end of my old car. They just wanted directions to another place and this was on a main road!!!

    Sorry Washy, but I don't really want to advertise the fact that we are Brits. It's a joy to have a French reg car and not get any hassle (apart from the other mad motorists).

    Regards......Helen
  12. Thought I would keep you all up to date with the progress here. The mezzanine is up now and boarded (we are keeping the new floor boarding and oak staircase until the works are completed upstairs otherwise they will be ruined!)

    We were given a huge beam which,after being cleaned up, we raised, with the help of a very strong friend (a thousand thanks Joe)and propped a couple of inches at a time and then cemented in place. And, guess what......it's level!!

    The joists have now been fixed across it, the boarding put down on top and a temporary staircase (52 euros from Bricomarche) installed. As the barn/salon is very gloomy at that end, the mez is going to be plasterboarded underneath, have spotlights installed and painted white.

    The next big job is to knock a doorway through from the mez to the grenier beyond where (thanks to you all for the advice a while back) Phil has installed a chevron frame fixed to the surrounding stone walls to strengthen the existing floor and insulated it. We have found a carpenter who is making small double glazed windows for the two tiny grenier window openings and then we will section off the space to make two bedrooms and a shower room.

    Hopefully, this will all be done before our guests descend on us for the music festival at Confolens in August!!

    Phil says his best buys todate are the cement mixer and the little drill bit with the counter sink end!! Mine have been brandy and valium (only joking)!!

    I'll give you another update later on in the summer. We have a photo record of progress but I wish we had had a camcorder for recording the best, scariest and funniest moments!! I still think the best moment was when we both wanted to christen the newly installed loo at the same time!!

    Regards....Helen

  13. >For those who wish to take
    >advantage of freebies in Paris
    >the following sites will be
    >of interest.
    >All national museums are free 1st
    >Sunday of each month.
    >
    >www.paris.fr/musees
    >
    Hi Neko - we took advantage of this some time ago. Brill!! The queue was long for the Louvre but it was worth it and when everyone disappeared for lunch we went in again!

    Thanks for the other sites in the Paris forum - very useful.

    Regards.....Helen
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