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  1. I don't know if you can buy fire gel in France but you can get it from 


    I get my chimenea stuff from them and have always found them to be really helpful. I'm sure they would send it to you in France.


  2. The IBAN is the International Bank Account Number and for French bank a/cs is made up of the Code Banque, Code Guichet, Numero de Compte and Cle RIB. So if you provide all these other bits of info you don't then need to send the IBAN too.



    Having got all excited by Hagar's experiences with HSBC/CCF and the lack of charges I rang HSBC today to find out how I too could open a CCF  account. 

    The very nice chap (somewhere in London, not a call centre) explained that they could open a CCF a/c for me and transfer money from my HSBC a/c but there would be sending cost from HSBC of £10 and the receiving cost from CCF would be 14 euros.

    Apparently there are NO charges if you are an HSBC Premier account holder. To be one of these you have to have income over (I think he said, as I fell off my chair) £70,000 single or £100,000 joint or £30,000 savings or an outstanding mortgage of £150,000 with them! 

    He advised I stick with the current CA a/c I have until I can become a Premier a/c holder! I have 2 hopes of that and one of them is Bob!

    If anyone else wants to get clarification, the HSBC number I called is 020 7991 7278

    I think I'll give Moneybookers a go..


  4. "I've said it a hundred times and I don't mind saying it again: all French banks are lousy and the CA are the worst of the lot."

    I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion you're right. My problem with CA is that last Easter I withdrew 400 euros and was given a card to take to the cashpoint which then automatically gave me the cash. Unfortunately when I counted the notes (all 50s) I found one of them was a dud. I immediately took it to the counter to report it and was told it couldn't have come from their machine; despite me having just taken the money out in full view of the cashier. 

    I spoke to the Britline manager who said he would look into the matter. Anyway, the cashier told me to go home and wait for Britline to call me. She didn't confiscate the note just told me not to use it. I left the branch and waited, and waited and waited...

    Eventually Britline came back to me and effectively said the notes come from the Banque de France and they NEVER make mistakes. I asked for the CCTV footage to be looked at but I was again told there was no need as the Banque de France NEVER make mistakes. I asked whether they were accusing me of planting a dud and they said no, but the Banque de France NEVER make mistakes. It was all a mystery to them but the Banque de France NEVER make mistakes. (can you see a pattern emerging here in their responses?!).

    Anyway, I countered this with the fact that the cashier hadn't conficated the dud note or even annotated it as conterfeit, but let me leave with it still in my possession. Something banks would never do in the UK. Was this good banking practice? The Britline manager said it was a mistake by CA but it didn't affect the fact that the Banque de France NEVER make mistakes. 

    Almost a year later and I am still waiting for Britline to finish their investigations, I know 50 euros isn't a lot but it's the principle etc... and what I feel is a slur on me as I must be responsible as the Banque de France NEVER make mistakes!!

    I'm not holding my breath!


    PS. No I didn't try to palm the dud off on someone else. I did Britline's job for them and in my letter to them outlining the problem and the facts I cut up the note and sent it to them. 




  5. "I agree totally with Mazan. In my opinion the only possible reason to retain AOL is because they have dial up connectivity in so many countries for those that jet-set - and there are other ways round that too. For all other reasons I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole."

    For all you great techno boffs out there is there any other ISP I could switch to that has the dial up connectivity abroad that AOL has? I'm based in the UK but am often in France and have to use my laptop to keep an eye on the business. I really want to get rid of AOL as their latest wheeze is to block the sending or receiving of domain email accounts (ie, third party email) that use Outlook Express. Talk about being a pain in the **** !!



  6. Hi,

    I have to travel to France next week on a ferry then catch a train to Bernay (Basse Normandie). Anyone have any idea which ferry port is the closest to a railway station?


  7. I have a large open fire and after much umming and arghhing I decided against a woodburning stove mainly for asthetic reasons. I had "une plaque de chiminee interieur" and "un chapeau de chiminee" fitted. The first is a flat piece of metal fitted inside the chimney which can be opened and closed by use of springs and a chain. The second is a concrete slab supported on 4 legs that sits on top of the chimney stopping the rain coming in. Both work well and when the fire isn't in use stop the draughts brilliantly.



  8. Hi,

    Have sent you an email.

    Sorry, I'm going to be away from the computer for a while now so for all others who would like the  info please can you contact one of the others I have already sent it to.


    PS. The reason I have sent them privately to all those who have asked for them and not posted the info, is because they are MY interpretation of T&Cs and have NOT been checked by a solicitor.

    To all those who are thinking of using the T&Cs I have sent to them please be advised that although I am happy with them, you may want to have them checked by a legal bod.

  9. Hi Janet,

    Have sent you email. Hope you find it useful


  10. Hi,

    I agree with what every one has said about the effectiveness of a wood burning stove, but personally I love the romance of the log fire. I know its not the most economical thing to do but I also have gas central heating which suppliments the heat from the fire and also gets the house warm first thing on a winter's morning.

    Sparks can be a danger but if you don't have any furnishings close to the fire then it shouldn't be a problem. If there are no obstructions in the chimney and it's large enough you should not get billows of smoke coming back into the room. Also, build the fire towards the back of the grate.


  11. Hi Jetlag,

    Have sent you an email. Hope it helps!



  12. Hi,

    Have sent you an e-mail. Hope it helps



  13. Hi,

    I've just had an e-commerce shop designed for me and the web designer I used was brilliant and great value for money. I'm sure a straightforward web page would be no problem. Contact Deirdre at: www.netricus.co.uk


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