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  1. Oooh can I but in here? I live not far from Mazamet and have done for some years...I really dispute this winds thing...We really don't get much by way of wind over here (north side of montagne noir)...I think the fallen trees that you saw were probably from 'the exceptionally bad and very unusual winter' that winter affected the whole area and involved a very heavy snow fall which combined with loads of other stuff includuding lack of rain the previous summer and a sudden thaw of the snow combined to overload the trees and it was devasting...loads of trees fell, electricity was cut off and roads blocked but it really was nothing to do with wind...

    I love it here...if you want to see wind go to Carcassonne!

  2. Garlic


    I went through a phase (as you do) of washing my hair with ecover wool wash...comes in big bottles and is nice and kind to the planet...and...swears not to strip the oils from your woolly jumpers[:)]
  3. Charallais,

    Yet another to give you advice! Your daughter can't get child benefit in the UK if she comes to live in France but she can claim and receive it in France. She needs to notify Newcastle of the date she is leaving England and they will supply a letter in French which needs to be given to CAF when she applies. You can download the application form from the CAF website (caf.fr) there you will also find the child benefit rates. This is not scrounging but simple european entitlement. I don't know how good your French is but the form is not that complicated, if you are struggling with it then the local CAF office will help you. Ours are very helpful but I'm sure there are awkward ones.

    She will also be able to register with the anpe as looking for work. In order to do this she will probably need to register with assedic who are the unemployment benefit people even though she won't receive it. If she registers with the anpe she may be able to get help with french lessons which will help her to get employment and also help with retraining all of which will help her to get a job.


  4. It's raining so I thought I'd post a recipe. I've never done that before[:)]

    I love a good curry but I've got to have a naan to go with it, they sell something that calls itself a naan in Atac but a) it's dear and b) it ain't.

    I've been doing this sort of recipe for eons I found it somewhere but can't remember where and it was different I've sort of simplified it because I do it so often and can't be bothered with fuss.
    So the recette:

    You need
    natural yogurt (plain without sugar)
    flour bog standard farine de ble
    baking powder  levure chimique
    Probably salt but I never bother
    A heavy bottomed cast iron frying pan or griddle thingy

    pop the yogurt in a bowl I use two small pots to make me eight mediumish breads add some flour and about a third of a sachet of levure stir with a fork keep stirring and adding flour till it forms a dough...(I don't like sticky hands and the dough gets under my finger nails so I stir a lot till it's a quite solid dough) then start neading adding more flour until it's a good not sticky dough. Nead it until you get board, I do it all in the bowl. form the dough into a ball and cover with a damp tea towel leave it in a warm place for an hour or so if you have time.

    Form it into 8 balls roll each one out on flour (you can add loads of stuff now by rolling over eg, slivers of garlic or cumin seeds or both or others.

    Heat your pan very hot and slap one in (dry no oil or anything but the pan should be HOT) when it browns a little on the bottom flip it, It should then puff up and that's fun. When it's done it's ready.

    I like to cook the whole batch ahead and sometimes reheat so I stack em in foil four to each parcel and brush each side with melted butter cos I'm a pig.

    Eaten fresh from the pan these also work well as a sort of pitta (definitely minus the butter) and you can split and stuff them too.

    I ran out of normal flour the other day so I made them with gateaux flour and no levure they were denser and according to the kids more like a 'real' naan.

    Really simple and really yum and really cheap!

    Oh I also reckon you could cook then in a very hot oven on a pizza stone but I've never tried.

  5. My jobby and I do have several as you need different jobbys for different jobs is according to Dicks link a casserole or cocete...never new that! But it is a cheap and cheerful supermarket version. It is just incredibly versatile quite large but with a reasonably  flat bottom. It also lost it's knob which enables it to function in a steamy sort of way or if I fill up the hole then it has pressure cooker characteristics too...Like I say versatile.

    I'm a great fan of cast iron cookware it's a pain to lift and shift but cooks like a dream.

    Anyway...we had tortilla cooked with potatoes from the shed, onions from lidl and eggs right out of chickens, all cooked in another cast iron jobby that's flatter and wider and lost it's handle which was wood so it goes in the oven as well but it doesn't have a lid...[:)]


  6. My jobby has a lid but I lost it for a while and tin foil was fine...
  7. Uh dunno, just think dauphin peeled, tortilla unpeeled...works for me anyway!
  8. I never pre-cook the spuds for gratin dauphinous or fart about with them at all. Just layer up: garlic (to taste) fine-ish sliced spuds, butter and creme fraiche always cook in a heavy cast iron jobby chuck in oven, leave for ages and when the potatoes are almost just right uncover to brown a bit. ...If I wasn't too lazy to peel potatoes we'd be eating it tonight but I am so it's tortilla instead.
  9. Bones is right about the snow in Les Martys, I nearly died trying to drive home from Carcassonne once caught in a blizzard. I think Cabardes is similar. Mazamet has a golf course and it's below the snow line. Also Castres airport now does decent priced flights to Paris and there is talk of cheapish England flights (there are already good London flights but pricey)
  10. Yes you see here we don't eat du pain (pan?) which I understand is generally eaten in France, no we don't we eat something called payng...It is jolly nice though and resembles that British treat known as bread
  11. I think when French people looked like they couldn't understand my French it was quite simply that they couldn't, They still can't alot of the time. Maybe English acquired French is part of the issue. When I speak to my kids English prof or see the work the kids get it is to my mind French acquired English and it sort of works in the broader sense but regions have their own nuances. I live in the Tarn on the Herault border and oh boy do we have an accent. I may in a thousand years be fluent in Tarn French...Just like I was fluent in SE London English but I'll always sound weird and use unknown expressions in Paris just as I would have done in Liverpool...


  12. Garlic

    Urrgh dentists

    TU Thanks do you know how I'd go about getting it and does it actually work? I wrote to a French medical site and they recommended finding a dentist who practised hypnotherapy but I don't have a clue.
  13. Garlic

    Urrgh dentists

    I truely would rather have a baby than visit the dentist, however I'm getting to old to have babies and the visit to the dentist is inevitable[:(] for anybody who is interested there are annuaires of dentists http://www.annuairedentaire.com/  and http://www.annuaire.chirurgiens-dentistes.fr/recherche.html and I'm gradually working my way through them the problems are that they don't have email, they don't answer letters and if I phone they seem to make an assuption that being scared of the dentist is normal but so far I haven't found one with the skills to understand and treat that 'not normal scaredness' (probably to do with limitations of language) Hence looking for other peoples experiences, so keep thinking I am determined to get my mouth sorted out before next xmas[:)] 
  14. Garlic

    Urrgh dentists

    Thanks Frizz,

    I just get a geographer Boitier when I google. As I understand it dentists here aren't allowed to advertise? I'll keep on trying and please everyone keep them coming. I don't expect it to be easy but I will find someone one day[:)]

  15. Garlic

    Urrgh dentists

    Thanks Chris,

    Funnily enough I was sort of getting over my fear with my English dentist some years ago and then I had a baby kicking a tooth incident and went to see the local dentist here. I told him I was scared of dentists and he with that gallic shug said 'c'est normal' proceded to torture me (in my mind at least) with the end result that I left the chair in tears without the treatment and haven't been back since. He wasn't old or nasty either, I think it's me that has the problem or rather I need a dentist who understands the difference between 'peur c'est normal' and very scared.

    I probably ought to see my doctor but I'm quite good at finding excuses to avoid talking about dentists[:)]


    I feel a lot better 'coming out' rather than just sitting here with tooth ache feeling sorry for myself[:D]

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