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Everything posted by Alexis

  1. We went to Cancale for lunch yesterday and not only did they bring the carafe of water with a smile, when she noticed it was empty she brought another one without being asked. We had a bottle of rosé too....not that cheap but he is trying to teach me.  
  2. [quote user="Benjamin"]Llantony It doesn't really matter who pays the agent's commission. My house is for sale through an agent for 100,000. I will have to pay the agent 5,000 if he sells it. If you come directly to me I will sell it to you for 97,000; you will save 3,000 and I will get 2,000 more. Simple? Benjamin [/quote] This is incorrect.  It is the buyer who pays the fees of the agency, not the seller.
  3. I will start you off...then you can all argue[:D] 1.  Location 2.  No loan 3.  Location 4.  A minimum of four gîtes 5.  Location  
  4. It is a dead as a dodo around me.  I have been passing the same houses for sale for a couple of years now. As you know, we have put Château Despair on the market and all the agents and Notaires we have had around say that the market is "not very energetic". They are coming here on Thursday. We would like to sell but really and truly, they don't cost us anything so we could just bide our time.  It will be a firm "Non" to silly offers, that is for certain.
  5. Yes, you do lose your deposit if you can't proceed 'on a whim' so to speak.  (I am sure if something tragic such as a death or serious accident arose, that would be taken into account.) When one of the houses in the village was being sold, everything went smoothly until the day before the final signing when the prospective purchasers had a fall out and everything went pear shaped.  They lost 100,000F which fitted very nicely into the sellers pockets.
  6. I was watching 'Question Maison' on Arte this afternoon and they had an article on about running a B&B.  (Apparantly there are 30,000 in France with 1,500 new ones every year.) Did you know it started in Bretagne? Anyway, this bloke who goes around staring them said that NOBODY makes any money from it and it was just a hobby. The couple he chose as an example spent 12,000€ doing up each room and they had five.  Each room at 45€ a night brought in 3000€ a year.... They said it was like living in a gilded cage as they always had to be there. I'm going to phone 'em up and tell 'em about me being security officer for Miki when he takes The Satchel to the bank.  That will grieve 'em! I must say, the rooms and house looked absolutely-bloody-fabulous. I thought that there would be more than 30,000.  Perhaps 29,950 are in Bretagne.  Near me.[;-)] I don't always listen with my full attention - I was reading OK magazine, admiring Posh's new hair cut - so feel free to correct my figures if you watched it more closely.
  7. I didn't.  What a loser! I just haven't been in the mood.  I shall be starting my pre-Christmas diet soon....to round off the year!
  8. Nice weekend cottage Cassis. Makes Château Despair look a wreck.
  9. Egger should be coming out in the second half of the month I think. Can you tell that I don't know the date?  I know where she is renting though. I somehow think it was about the 23rd.  If I see her around, I will let you know.  I will just look for a 'marital' expert with a gun who drives a van and is hand in hand with a hairdresser.  Shouldn't be hard.[:D]
  10. I quite agree!  Shameless!!! Now, if it is a house in a beautifull little town you are after I just happen to know of one........[;-)]
  11. My husband has the same fear.  I do the driving from Boulogne to after Tankerville or Pont de Normandie or we would be changing places every few minutes. The viaduct is straight after leaving Boulogne and it is very curvy and shiny but you can't see anything because the sides - going from Boulogne - have slatted barriers.  Everything else after that is smaller. I must admit to having damp hands when crossing Pont de Normandie the first few times.  Actually, it is the other just after/before called Pont de Nord I think.  I don't like the curve! Me?  I don't like driving up or down steep hills.  All those years living in the Vale of York has a lot to answer for.
  12. I can't help you about prices I'm afraid but the problem here is the fortune you have to pay when you sell something which you can't claim as being your principal residence.  Also, if the property has gone up in value when you sell, . . . charged again. It is not like the UK. Someone more in the know may have some good advice for you.  
  13. Maybe it depends on the area or the speed of the Notaire but I have never been longer than six weeks and 90% of the time it has been four weeks.
  14. Gratefull thanks for starting this thread. I checked all the paperwork of "our Loulou" the other day after reading all the above messages and the laboratory that had tested her blood sample for rabies had got all the dates wrong. We went to the vet's this morning and he telephoned them and they will be sending a new letter/form with the correct dates. Then the vet will issue a passport. I can just imagine what an uproar if we had been turned back at Boulogne!  Firstly by the cat...and then me[:D]  
  15. Have either of you used farine d'épeautre?  On google it is called German wheat flour...says it is from small, hard grains and has an excellent taste.  There are quite a few recipes on the Francine forum which use it along with ordinary strong-ish flour. I must look out for it. I have tried making bread in a cocotte and it was excellent.  You put it into a cold oven and think "this will never work" but it does! I'm off back to have another look. ps.  those petits pains à tomber are delicious too.
  16. I don't know what she does with them.  Very solid! I only have myself to blame.  I should have taught her to cook and then not sent her to a boy's boarding school.  It was always quicker to do it myself.  Then, of course, if both of them didn't eat within two minutes of arriving from (pre-boarding) school, there was always a chance that they would die of starvation. Still, she did learn to play rugby at school...  
  17. We crossed on Speedferries only last week and it was booked about ten days in advance.  Cost 117€ which I thought was excellent compared to other lines I looked at.  We splashed out on a very nice hotel the evening before we sailed and the night we arrived so the total was 277€.  I have travelled for a lot less with them though, and I would estimate the cost of the five returns this year at less than 500€. We are getting too old to be zooming through the night!  It is six hours from here to Boulogne and nearly the same driving up to Yorkshire from Dover so we usually go to a hotel.  French hotels are usually cheaper and, like I said, we have discovered a charming hotel less than five minutes from the port in the old town.
  18. I bought one only last year for re-heating OH's supper when he worked shifts.  Then he fell ill and now doesn't work.... I use it for melting jelly cubes!  Otherwise it is another 'shelf' in the kitchen.  I also put the roasted meat in when it is warm after lunch and it is too hot to go into the fridge and there might be a dirty FLY around just waiting to land... I'm one of these people who cook everything from scratch.  Sauces are easy to do and scrambled egg done in the microwave is just disgusting.  My daughter does it like that.  Horrible.  With a nice non-stick pan, you don't even have to leave it to soak for a fortnight like in the good old days.[;-)] It is a sod to clean too.
  19. Can't help you with that specific flour I'm afraid but I have found all kinds of treasure at the health food shop near me.  Things I have no idea what they are! There is a Francine site which has a bread making forum and these ladies seem to know a lot.  I would give it a look.  It always amazes me that they use their bread makers for rising the bread and then bung it in the oven!  They are very serious about it all and I have had some excellent recipes from them. http://www.francine.com
  20. Zeb has the right idea.  That is what I did - having a horror of hard work - and it worked out perfectly for me.  One of the properties I bought was a house divided into three flats and it had paid for itself in less than five years.  Prices being cheaper in the 'old days'. During a red hot summer when it was empty, I did B&B.  What a game!  All that washing!  All that ironing!  All that cleaning!  All that smiling and being nice!  All that being in ear shot of the phone! Never again.    
  21. From comments made here over the years, there are big differences between areas concerning water charges, taxe d'habitation and taxe fonciére.  Electricity, telephone, etc seemed about the same wherever you lived. I, for example, discovered that I paid more for my water but this was offset by the tuppence half penny I paid for the two taxes.  (Living in a ruin helped also.) Last years taxe fonciére was 300€ for this house (not the ruin) and that is a large five bedroomed house in a small town.  It also includes rubbish collection which is , from memory, 165€ at the other house. I would enquire about the two taxes when you are thinking of buying your house.  It could be a VERY nasty shock.  It is no good asking the neighbour either because their bill could be double / half yours for exactly the same house.  Don't ask me why!  Part of the charm of France.
  22. [quote user="Christine Animal"] "Anyway, part of the joy of living here is living like the foreigners." Err... aren't we the foreigners Alexis...   [8-)]   [:P]   [/quote]ha ha.  No, not according to quite a few folk living around me!  You have got to have imagination, Kathy, and think of cassoulet, petit salé et lentilles, langue de boeuf et sauce picquant.  There was not a lot of cassoulet in my part of Yorkshire.  Nice bit of cold tongue though. I hate pulses.  They send me all bleugh.  Apart from the one in my wrist, obviously. Well, we are off on our travels soon so I will think of you all when I wander around Sainsbury's/Asda/Waitrose/Somerfields/Morrisons etc picking things up and going "look at the price of that!" followed by one of each and a bag of scraps. I can't wait!
  23. Don't listen to them Egger.  Where you are going to live, you can buy just about anything British you might miss.  There are English shops, market stalls and French supermarkets who sell stuff. Then there are the places on line who will get your own, personal order for you and hardly charge a thing for doing it. I had better check that they are still doing it.... Anyway, part of the joy of living here is living like the foreigners.  Nice croissant for breakfast or yesterdays baguette lavishly buttered and dunked into your morning bowl of black coffee.  Probably why they have their coffee in bowls actually.  A mug just isn't big enough to dunk a ham sandwich...like one of my work mates used to do. He was Belgian though.... You will be eating French stuff.  Snails, frog's legs, pig's feet, ox tongue, lentils and pulses of many varieties....
  24. Of course the above should have said on a normal day. The day the whole of Brittany is closed to traffic at 10.00am for the Tour de France to depart at 12.35pm, it takes all day. Bitter?  Moi? (Blooming edit won't work...)
  25. An hour and a quarter.  Allow an hour and a half.  Going steady. Trust me.
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