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Posts posted by andyh4

  1. Special reporting rules to the US authorities are required, if you are a US citizen. Some banks will resist doing it, so I am led to believe, but if they have any presence at all in the US they have to (or have assets seized). Simple solution - they will not take you on as a customer.

    I cannot give any first or even second hand examples, but one key question now on the banking disclosure forms that we are required to submit is "Are you a US citizen?"
  2. Albf wrote

    Now that Wooly called me an idiot when I said May's fox hunting crusade during the election would cost her. How right I was.

    You could be right but I suspect that the electorate saw through the fact that this woman ( no disrespect to women in general) seemed only capable of saying a maximum of 3 words at a time and would then repeat them ad nausium - in this case "Strong and Stable"

    Strong as in a bad smell


    Stable as in where you keep the donkeys.

  3. Reading ALBF's tales of woe regarding his OH makes me think that living out in the sticks really can have its advantages.

    WE don't have to travel to any big cities - although ironically we can easily drive to the next town. There never was any public transport so we learn to not rely on it.

    We are prepared that the weather might be bad sometimes and plan accordingly - freezers full; good stock of tinned foods; pasta and rice stocks high and big bags of long lasting vegetables held in cool storage - potatoes, onions, carrots.
  4. JSKS

    I think you need to define what YOU mean by homeopathic, since it is clear that the use here and perhaps throughout France is different to what I (and I suspect you) understand.
  5. There is a perceptible change in France towards things like frozen pizza, towards McDo and other pre-prepared homogenised foods. I do not yet see it in the number of pre-prepared meals in frozen cabinets or in microwavable plastic cartons, though they clearly exist.

    At one time I was using such meals as sustenance while working out of a hotel where the costs of a meal were well beyond my daily cost allowance. They filled a hole as sustenance but I would baulk at calling them food.

    Perhaps we are slowly moving towards the world of Solent Green.
  6. [quote user="alittlebitfrench"]Back on my computer.

    So there you go, it seems to work on Firefox but you lose the cursor.

    I prefer Chrome with this forum even though the quote button does not work.

    Chancer, are you using firefox ?

    I personally don't like firefox.[/quote]

    Because I am a bit of a techy numpty I just use what is installed. W10 + Edge and I am expecting our top of the range up to date technical result to look like a pile of ------.

    Let's see if I am right.
  7. Cannot help Wooly but I would be interested to hear about your results and experiences - including whether it is a "you can eat it" [a la Croc Dundee] or whether it is the "next vegetable".
  8. Regarding the demand for 2017, this is based on your 2016 tax payments. You will get another demand in May and the final demand in August will be based on what you have already paid and what you owe in total from your (yet to be completed) tax return.

    Before long you will find yourselves having to make monthly payments for the first 10 months of each year. I already enjoy that pleasure - in fact not too bad and does help even out the outgoings through the year. As above there is a back calculation in August based on what has already been paid and what is owed. For last year this resulted in me paying almost nothing in the final month.
  9. Our commune is only around 260 souls but every one of the council representatives is elected.

    Maybe your council has fewer candidates than places available.

    But yes the maire is selected by the councillors - in our case nominally since they chose the person with the highest number of votes in the election.
  10. My interests are in science Mogs and I am afraid this event was for Europeans an overhyped non-event.

    As you say the blood red element did not occur over Europe, but a lunar eclipse is something worth seeing. There was one while I was in Germany - probably 15-20 years ago now - and interesting it was.

    So down to the European bit:

    Blue moon - well these by definition occur once in a blue moon. But what is it really? A full moon that occurs for a second time in a month. So that is really interesting, except that a month is a man made construct and it took a couple of millennia to get the approximation of months to fit with solar cycles. That is why we have a mismatch of months with 31 days (most likely to have a blue moon), 30 days (less likely to have a blue moon) and 29 and 28 days. The moon circles the Earth at a predictable rate and every 28-29 days there will be a full moon. We treat 2 of these in our artificial construct of months as something special, but it's not. We might just as well drop months and call today for example Earthdate 201833 (day 33 of 2018) and blue moons would instantly disappear.

    So we are left with the fact that the moon is at its closest approach to the Earth which we perceive as a bigger and brighter moon. Except that most of us don't and couldn't. If it hadn't been plastered across the media, how many people would have known or noticed that it was bigger and brighter?

    As you found the impact of atmospheric conditions on how bright it is or even if you can see it at all is far more important than how close it is. Its closeness is of interest to those scientists looking at gravitational effects - beyond that it is just media hype - and the lunartics fell for it.
  11. Depending on where you are they may be responsible to the head of the canton - maire of the head town in the area - but ultimately they will be responsible to the Conseil General for your department.

    All I would say is tread very, very carefully. These are elected positions and the maires are generally held in high esteem - even by those who hate the individuals with a vengeance.

    Perhaps there is another way, if you are prepared to share your grievance.
  12. No one in France will have seen the red bit of the combination since this is caused by a lunar eclipse - which ran from the Western USA to Asia - but not Europe.

    Just a rather hazy view of the moon, which may or may not have been bigger and or brighter than usual, based on a purely subjective view.

    Amazing how the world can get wound up about something of little consequence.

    Bah. Humbug - and all that.
  13. Well I have not moved and life is definitely greener in the UK.

    Very little rain since autumn 2016 and we are still on water and watering restrictions from the summer 2017 despite being half way through the winter.

    So lots of brown plants here - must be greener in the UK with all the rain they have had.
  14. Betty

    I was not intending my posts to be a p155ing contest to prove one system is better than another, but to point out that there may be good reasons for the differences. Part of those differences may indeed be expectations and I personally agree about the dishing out of tablets plus tablets to counteract the negative effects of the first set of tablets, plus a third set of tablets to minimise the after effects of the second set, plus some paracetamol - which might have done the job in the first place, but which you cannot just buy for 16p per pack at the Supermarket as you can in the UK. [There is a debate there to be had as well. I personally think the UK is too lax in what can be obtained over the counter.]

    To reinforce Cajal's post, UK pensioners are not a burden on the French system (by and large) the costs are paid for by the UK (assuming that is the state who issues their S1. Their use of the system is not (as far as I am aware) denying or delaying the treatment of French patients needing the same services.

    What UK pensioners may well be is a burden on the UK system, for which they pay nothing, as do UK based pensioners. If there is a problem with the systems it is possibly that someone like me (and from your posts perhaps you) who has a good retirement income does not have to contribute to healthcare beyond my voluntary choice to take out mutuelle cover - just like any Frenchman or woman. That I pay that is entirely my choice, that I might be in a position where I have to pay that by choosing France as my place of residence is again my choice. I could have stayed in Germany and contributed 13% income for 100% cover. I could have returned to the UK, paid nothing and still received 100% cover.

  15. Betty

    you look at this (not unsurprisingly) from a very Anglo centric viewpoint driven by accountants whose sole purpose is to look at every problem from the start point of what is this going to cost me/my business/my organisation and not from a viewpoint of what is this going to cost society.

    Sorry if this is beginning to sound a bit ALBF, but there are other ways of doing things and just maybe they are better.

    So to take your trips to hospital to have surgery and then return later for the surgeon to remove them (OH has had a similar experience); in the UK surgeons are in such a treadmill that it is becoming a "15 minutes, you're done, next please." exercise. The only time a surgeon is likely to get follow up on a day surgery is when it goes wrong and the patient has to come back. Perhaps sometimes it is better if the surgeon gets to see his patient again (to remove the stitches ostensibly) and check that all is really OK (rather than the patient saying everything is fine). OH's experience was that her stitches were taken out by the local nurse, who, through lack of experience of the specifics, missed a couple of things when the stitches were removed. She did pick the problem up 3 visits later (a week) but by then a return to the surgeon was absolutely necessary and after the subsequent operations he made sure that he removed the stitches.

    Regarding the nurse doing a round a visiting patients (and they don't visit all by any means), is it better that 20 patients each make a 5km journey to the nurse (total 200km travel overall) or that the nurse does a 100km round and takes them all in? And putting an accountant's hat on, in a country with 10% unemployment, how much does it matter if the nurses' time is not used optimally if the overall efficiency for the community as a whole is improved?

    You say again that medical care is under strain in France and while finances are indeed under pressure, in terms of the practitioners I see much less evidence of strain than in the UK - there are some exceptions (for example ophthalmics) but by and large getting appointments and getting them quickly is the order of the day - at least round here.
  16. The local carpenters all use silicone to hold the windows in place and make them draught proof and then finish off with hard wood beading where the visible putty would be. For security reasons the bead is usually on the inside of the window rather than the outside.
  17. NoMoss

    And in our case the railway never got within 10km - and it shows. 3 surnames predominate - in local politics, in local clubs and societies and in names on the war memorial One of those I believe were late comers having arrived from the Sardinian empire when Savoie was ceded to France in the 19th Century.


    what you describe sounds like progress - whether it is good progress or bad progress only time will tell. If the population is expanding as you suggest then it suggests one of two things:

    A lot of new housing is being built to accommodate these extra people

    You had a lot of unused property in the past that is now being brought back into productive use.

    You talk of older people being a burden on resources. Is that your prejudice or have you proof that resources for locals are being denied them because the outsiders are taking them?

    Extra people certainly mean more resources are needed, but that can work both ways. It can put a strain on resources and it can mean that resources that might have been put under threat are now fully utilised and threats of closure are removed.

    Compare and contrast:

    Back in the UK we were 45 minutes from a major hospital. The next village had a cottage hospital. It was deemed inefficient and under utilised and consequently closed. Then they built a new housing estate in our village but too late. The first medical resource beyond the GP was 45 minutes away.

    Here in France as a wrote earlier our local hospital has been/is being expanded to meet the local needs. For major issues however we are still 50 minutes away from a major hospital. the difference being that the local hospital can make an assessment about whether you need to make that journey.

    In all of this it is also worth remembering when we are being critical of individuals who are going to consume resource, that that, in all probability, be the case whether they are in deepest France or back in their home country or home city. The resource would likely be consumed anyway with perhaps the exception of transportation to hospital, where, because of the lower population density of France, distances are likely to be longer. But use of doctors, nurses, technical resources and medications would likely be the same. If referring to ex-UK residents then (given the recent news articles and posts here) it might be advantageous that these people are in France and not taking up more NHS resource directly.

  18. Again I understand where you are coming from, but I feel that at least part of what you rail against is actually differences is the social systems and payments levels in different countries.

    "Entitlement" then stems from the expectation of what has been promised under those systems - but like you we have never had a problem driving to the hospital for operations, scans etc..

    To give example; I am in receipt of both UK and German state pensions. For 29,5 years UK contributions I get a state pension that at current exchange rates is worth about the same per payment as 8,5years contributions to the German system. The UK wins by virtue of 13 payments per year versus 12.

    The UK payments are derisory - and this is why tax credits are required to bring many UK pensioners up to a living level of income. But UK pensioners make no contribution to the health system via NI payments. I think that completely fair regarding that derisory state pension, however I think there is a debate to be had about whether additional incomes for pensioners should be considered for NI payments.

    In contrast the German payments seem very generous, but if I were not under UK care for my health, I would be paying around 13% of gross income for German Healthcare - provided by the French of course.

    I do not therefore consider it selfish if UK pensioners expect to get their 70%of French healthcare for free, since it is provided for by the UK authorities under the UK rules.

    I very much dislike this idea of social engineering that says if you aren't local you cannot live in the country because that would be selfish.

    In 1920 the population of our village was around 850 souls. By 2000 it had dropped to something a little over 200. Moves were then made to try to encourage and attract people to stay in the village (not overly successful since for any further education the young adults are forced to move away and then stay away to work) and for outsiders to come to the village. That has been somewhat successful and the population has risen by over 10% since 2000 - mostly French, but some Belgians and 2 Brits. There are more businesses and more opportunities for jobs within the village as a consequence. There is more money in the village and services can then improve. There is probably a long way to go, but the corner has been turned.

    If villages are not revitalised with new blood, they die a slow death. La Poste had decided to pull out and the village shop and garage closed. The local shop has re-opened and has a La Poste counter at the back.

    As a final point I have just read a book about what the railways did for us. 300 odd pages of closely researched arguments. The final, almost throw away paragraph makes the point that the mobility that railways brought to the population as a whole contributed greatly to the end of the village idiot. Your proposals would lead to a return in the smaller more remote French villages where inbreeding would become a certainty again.
  19. idun wrote the following post at 22/01/2018 11:43:

    AND no, I don't believe that having an S1 the old E121 was it, should be to cover someone's whim. (And I do look on this rather differently for someone who has lived a full life in an area, because that is really chez eux). So for long distances, medical treatment is one thing, paying for someone's transport who chose to live far from the madding crowd is quite another.

    While I understand where you are coming from Idun, doesn't the same apply to the French who also decide (on a whim) to move to the country?

    And if so then you are dooming France to ALBF's dream where everyone lives in a city and no one in the country as local people move to the towns and cities to get jobs and services.

    At least if we have to rely on secu transport to get to a hospital this gets charged back to the UK so the journey costs France nothing but our presence in the country helps to maintain local economies and possibly helps the argue to increase local services. Our local hospital - which has previously not been much more than a convalescence home/old age pensioners retreat is being considerably expanded and some additional services provided, so making it a bit more like a hospital as we might understand the term.
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