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Everything posted by vervialle

  1. Years ago before I could get minced beef in France , I used to buy steak hachets out of the freezer section, usually 10 in a box.I would thaw them out and then break them up and make lasagne,corninsh pasties, well anything you would use mince for, it worked out a cheap meal.It is also very easy to make sausage meat if you have a food processor, I buy any cheap cut of pork, a little fat helps the flavour.I process it with sage, mace, salt and pepper.Lovely for scotch eggs,Toad in the hole ect ect.
  2. I do not post these days,but still look in and would like to wish you all a merry christmas and hope the pound improves next year to make it a bit easier for you all in France and for those of us that still live in the U.K. that have to pay euro bills.I never thought in a million years we would be in this situation.
  3. I have a hayward that is not motorized and it is fantastic, they have been around for years ,and with the cost of them , if it lasts five years I will be happy,it is three years old.
  4. I hope Cooperlola progresses well, there really is a lot of love on this forum going by the posts,I am sure Cooperlola will be both astonished and very touched by everyones concern.Best wishes to you both.
  5. Its a mess, this whole business, there seems to be no figures available to see if the new regs have saved lives, people thought they would be secure with pool alarms, but we all know how reliable they are.There are disciplines to be followed by any parent or pool owner, where there are kids you make sure you are vigilant.I remember going on holiday to Portugal with my two year old 20 years ago , we had a villa with a pool, well the doors were locked and he was not allowed in the garden without us, we took responsibility for his life, like all parents should.I have a top grade security cover, but if a couple of eight year olds wanted to get into it they could, as has been discussed before, it is no different to a pond or a lake in your garden, it is up to the parents to be responsible at all times.Kids could easily get over a security fence if they wanted.I can see all of this being history in a few years time.Has anybody been inspected yet, I have two pools near me that have no security, they are french, do they know something we dont, one of them was put in last year.
  6. This post is a good warning to people thinking of installing a pool, after all you are investing a lot of money on something you may not know much about.Speak to other pool owners and pick a company that has been long established in your area, ask the company if you can visit someone that they have recently installed a pool for.Makesure you have a clear contract and shedule of works and timescale.There can always be hitches with weather.My pool was scheduled for a certain amount of time and it was spot on.The information on this site is invaluable and I would not hesitate in reccomending the company I used ,who has posted in this thread.My only regret is that I did not look into security covers  more , as mine is difficult to handle for one person and as I am in France on my own for much of the time, I really struggle with it,but I like the fact the pool is nice and secure.
  7. What a breath of fresh air this post is, it makes such a change from some, who see France through rose tinted specs, its lovely to see someone doing there homework and actually responding to answers from those with experience,and taking it all on board.Judging by the response you are all like minded.The enthusiasm in the post is infectious.
  8. Following Ernies post, I am interested how many people still watch english television, when they have moved to France.Not having ever watched French television, do I gather most English people in France watch English television.
  9. There must have been mayhem, the French Army chiefs must be cringing. Does not exactly inspire confidence in the French Military.
  10. I love the original demo of Love is a Losing Game on youtube, I think it really shows her true talent,such a shame she cannot seem to sing like that anymore.I would paste it , but I am not clever enough.
  11. I know I am going on about wrapping paper, but my son paid £3.99 for one piece in London the other week, its rediculous, but he said, I needed it.I get 5 sheets for a pound in the 50p and £1 shop.I  always compare what I am spending to how long it takes me to earn it, something totaly alien to my son and my nieces for that matter.Makes you think twice then.
  12. Perhaps in the light of the present climate, we should start a Thrifty Thread, with everyone putting forward their money saving tips!!!!
  13. Well I work for a Bank and the securicor drivers tell me they are doing half the collections from shops in the High St than they were a year ago, I pointed out, maybe it is due to plastic payments and they said it was nothing to do with it.Also my friend works for Next and she said they were having a third of the deliveries they were.So  I really think it is a bit grim.Tescos have slashed lots of lines this week to win customers back from Aldi and Lydl, and I am sure that is only the start, apparently you can get a chicken for £1.99 in Tesco.Needless to say, one that has spent its life in a cage the size of a piece of A4 paper.I will not be subscribing.My O.H. says they would not be able to produce all the chicken needed if it was all free range, but there must be a better way (thats another topic).Yes I agree with the sky thing, that is a luxury, I am thinking of stopping mine, I pay £17.00. for I don,t know what, so yes that will be the first thing to go.Pubs are really feeling it and house prices have really dropped round my way.
  14. We were not poor, Mum and Dad had a mortgage, I am fifty, so you can gauge how long ago I am talking about.We were not well off either,but I cannot ever remember there being any waste or food thrown away, everything was used up.I can remember my mother on occasions spit and pollishing my shoes, can you imagine doing that today.I remember getting a leather satchel for my birthday and the whole family put money towards it,my mother read me the riot act about looking after it and I can remember taking it to the shoe mender to have it stiched after a number of years, things were mended then.I do not think my son has ever experienced having anything mended,just throw it away and get a new one.I do think my generation are more satisfied with their lot, but I fear we may be the last generation.What really baffles me is how much the youngsters spend on mobile phone calls, they seem to have to be in contact with somebody constantly,I have been on the train back from London and watched people making a call saying we are half an hour away, we are 15 mins away, another call whats for tea? another one I am getting off the train.What is all that about.Oh I am sounding a bit like Victor Meldrew, I think I will stop.
  15. Reading through the Sunday papers today,full of the credit crunch got me thinking about my childhood and what a very good housekeeper my mother was.She always cooked three things in the oven and would never just heat it up for one thing,old sheets were cut up for dusters and rags to curl my hair, milk bottle tops were washed and given to me to thread with a cotton and needle and hung on the line to dry,I always shudered when some kids brought dirty milk bottle tops to school.The sherry bottle was used over and over again when purchasing more sherry from the offy,always three meals out of a chicken.The smell of the ginger beer plant in the larder and the feeling we were rich when popping that first bottle.Umpteen ice lollys made in the ice cube tray with a cocktail stick.No expensive creams for your knat bites, just a dock leaf, it worked wonders.We lived through the seasons, buying cheaply, oh I could go on, but oh how she set me up for being thrifty and sadly that kind of upbringing a whole generation has missed out on and I am sure that is why people are finding it hard.If I told my son to iron some second hand wrapping paper , I think he would seriously think I was going dotty.
  16. I used a removal company to take a part load down to the limousin and it worked out cheaper than van hire.They would be happy to pick it up from a port, I think the one I used was French Moves,they were very pleasent to deal with and they quote by the cubic metere, am not sure if they are still in business, but it might be worth getting a quote from a few and they would certainly be beaten down a bit at the moment as business is quiet.
  17. Dick you are right, one of my friends at work was frog marched out of her daughters swimming lessons for taking pictures of her doing her first length, she was then told she had to have written permission from all the other parents and must not get any other children in the photo,and then had to write to the school with her intentions, I know what this is all about, but isn,t it sad.Would you dare take a camra to the beach, you would  be looking behind you and that alone would make you look suspicious.
  18. Don,t call a waiter Garcon, do not talk on a mobile in a restaurant, eat you salad with a fork only,do not pick a wine bottle up when you are eating out, woman do not do that, you will get strange looks.Forks and spooons will have their tips facing down.You must be seen in gallerie Laffiette once a week, you should have a house in the country or on the Rivierra and do not forget to treat people from the provinces like a lump of  merde, despite the fact they provide all the fresh food in Paris .Never take wine to a dinner party, they will be deeply offended, always arrive at 9pm if the time is 8pm.Just a few tips to add to the rest,good luck and enjoy !!!!!!!!
  19. I have a Riva and it is amazing, never start anything off unless its a curry, throw everything in cold, including whole potatoes, that soak up the lovely tasty stock, when I get home from work just take the potatoes out cut them in half and roast them in the oven for twenty minutes, they go all crispy.I cook everything in it, whole chickens,shoulder of lamb, brisket,gammon joints, belly of pork,sometimes transfer meat to a hot oven for ten mins if we want a crispy experience, its great for ribs. The riva has 3 settings fast slow and just warm for keeping hot, also great for steam pudding and christmas pudding, lovely soups with pearl barley and lentils, I could not live without it,and on a cold winters day, opening the front door and smelling your dinner, just reminds me of my childhood when my mum would have a casserole going in the rayburn.Yes am a big fan.Got mine in Argos.
  20. Did notice more speed camras in France in the spring,next thing it will be the white vans we have here with camras attached.Am stiill suprised to see french drivers speeding by me on the motorways in France.
  21. The driver was doing 160 in 110 km speed limit, no excuses here and I have no sympathies, but I did not realise they were banning drivers from driving in France, I am sure this is a new inniative, and really wanted to warn people, money is not the easy answer, they are taking matters further, perhaps a good thing, as I think U.K. Drivers just think, well a fine and all is well.If I was banned from driving in France for two months it would have enormous effects, and it would have grave consequences, so money cannot get you out of it anymore.
  22. My son was at the Le Mans 24 hour this weekend and when driving home with his boss in a very nice Aston Martin they were done for speeding, they were late for the tunnel and trying to make time up. I have no sympathy whatsoever with them when they were done for speeding on the  main drag to Calais.My son said there were Gendarmes on every junction ,and you cannot blame them with thousands of English, driving back in these flash cars..But why I am mentioning this, as well as the fine, his boss was banned from driving in France for two months.Now that would snooker me ,and whilst I am a very law abiding driver, just occasionally you might not be concentrating, so just want to warn others, it is not just a case of a fine it could possibly ruin someones holiday.Beware and drive within the speed limits.
  23. It is interesting looking at the different replys, I have always had cats for 30 years and when I first went to France and camped, I was amazed to see the french campers with cats, I would book my cat then into a cattery in England, but I was just amazed how these people just brought their cats with them.It was always out of the question for us due to the laws of the U.K. regarding Rabies, so it was never a consideration.However when they brought the pet passport scheme in,  I had a young cat and I thought if the French can transport their cats when they holiday so can I. I am not sure I would start it with an elderly cat , but I had a two year old, so I got the passport sorted and she comes with us every time we go to France, it may be two weeks it may be three months,she travels well in a cage with food water and litter tray, I use eurotunnel so she is never left, I would hate her to be in the hold of a ferry as it is so noisy.She settles in our french house within hours, cannot wait to get into the barn with all the mice, loves chasing the lizards and I think she is happier in France as she has so much space, we have a small garden in England.The first time I did the journey,450 miles from Calais, I kept stopping to let her out of the cage on a lead, but now I do the journey in one, she sleeps all the way and never eats or drinks in her cage despite me putting it all there for her, when we arrive she tucks in to a huge bowlful, and is happy just to be with us.She is loved like a child and so I would reccomend it to anybody where their pet is an important part of their life, we love taking her and enjoy seeing her have the freedom she does not have in England, but it is funny when we go home in September, she is quite happy to settle into another english winter, by our log fire,almost pleased to have a quiet life after her busy summer.It has worked out so well, we take her to a vet for her treatment on the monday and travel home on the Tuesday, our local vets in France are brilliant and make such a fuss of her, she is just an ordinary tabby and I think they just think it is normal to bring her with us.It works very well and I never have that heart renching feeling of leaving her.She accepts the lead very well and when my husband drives home she sits on my lap all the way home , with a few starnge looks from the Toll cashiers on the motorway, I always keep her lead on as a saftey measure.Unlike the previous poster, I think it is more traumatic for a very loved pet to be left, than be with you, but the younger you start it with an animal, the more they will adapt. Good luck.
  24. Do you think LF magazine might buy the rights and send a photographer, so we all had to buy the magazine to see you all, after all some of you might be taking your clothes off  for the calender.
  25. I had a brand new freelander,after three new engines within three years, the first two landrover paid for, the last one was down to me we ended up selling it for scrap and lost thousands,I hate the company and if you go on the website concerning engine problems , you will find hundreds of other people who have lost so much money, how they have got away with this scandal is mind blowing, I would not touch them with a barge pole naturally.
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