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The Riff-Raff Element

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Everything posted by The Riff-Raff Element

  1. [quote user="nectarine"]Also, the parents didn't speak Italian either so meetings with teachers were always a disaster, ending with the kids translating for their parents. Two years later they moved back to the UK, kids fluent in Italian but parents never learned and struggled. [/quote] Hmm. Substitute "French" for "Italian" in the above and you've got the situation in many a collège up and down this fair land. There aren't many British kids around here, so it isn't much of a problem, but I hear tales of Anglophone kids elsewhere spending half their days translating between teachers and clueless newbies. Not good.
  2. [quote user="Dog"]Why is it that Freemasons act the fool, demand defintive evidence, bring up spurious debate, boast of charity, just about anything but debate exactly how they operate within society? They make sure they adopt positions of power and use this to their own ends or the ends of Freemasonry. The first dead body has been found associated with this scandal - how many more?[/quote] Having known a few Freemasons in my time (I was related by marriage to a fairly senior one), I have come to view them as little more than a buffer's drinking club. I suspect many of them quite like the aura of secracy and influence that goes with the silly business; I equally suspect that that influence - if it ever did amount to anything -amounts to very little today. In most Western societies, the real power and the passage of that power is held in the hands of the graduates of certain elite schools and universities. It is perhaps that that we should regard with a less than begnin eye. I've no idea whether there will be more bodies, but I fear that those in power - and not only in the UK - will use this whole sorry business to curtail the proper job of journalists, ie documenting the foibles and excesses of those same graduates. Worry about the alumni, not the illuminati.
  3. [quote user="pachapapa"][quote user="Dog"]I don't know what is an AnTient Freemasonry?[/quote] Whatever it is; it is honourable and scotch. http://www.owf.org.uk/ [/quote] So, and without clicking on the link because that would spoil it for me, I deduce that it is adhesive tape that performs exactly as is promised on the label. Do I win €5?
  4. [quote user="NickP"][quote user="The Riff-Raff Element"]Very shortly the Scotland Yard tea lady (whom, I believe, is called Ada Scroggins) will be running the Met. Exciting times. Particularly for her. [/quote] At least she wont be a mason and is likely to be honest. [/quote] Relatively honest. I'd count my change even so. Can't women be masons? Many masons wear aprons and so do many women, so there appears to be commonality at least on that point.
  5. [quote user="sweet 17"]If I were a terrorist, now would be the time when I'd plan to strike or do you think I should wait until Cameron resigns?[/quote] Me no sure. Me think him like um-Weeble. Weeble him wobble but him no heap big fall-um down.
  6. Very shortly the Scotland Yard tea lady (whom, I believe, is called Ada Scroggins) will be running the Met. Exciting times. Particularly for her.
  7. [quote user="Daft Doctor"]... as the kids pick up the language so quickly through being immersed in it at school from day 1...[/quote] I've heard this said, but I'm not sure that I necessarily agree with it. Admitted my eldest, then aged 3, went to school armed only with a handful of stock phrases relating to her basic needs for food, drink and lavatory. She's 11 now and about to pass into 4ème, so I suppose she did "just pick it up," but for older children I think the situation is rather different. Quite often it might appear to their parents that they are doing just fine simply because they themselves don't have sufficient French or understanding of the educational system to realise to what extent they are not. If it were me making a move with a nine year old, knowing what I know now, I'd go to the trouble and expense of getting them lessons.
  8. [quote user="UlsterRugby1999"]Thanks everyone for all your input and advice. I have ordered the solar system and this should arrive end of the July. What I need to source is an actual diagram of layout and parts required to link the soalr and wood burning elements to maximise security so if any of you guys can point me in the right direction I'd be eternally grateful. Many thanks to all. Cheers. Paul[/quote] In our set up the two circuits are not linked. We have a 300l HW tank with two seperate coils in it: one coming down from the panels, one fed from the back boiler, rather than a Broseley style thermal store.This simplifies the pipework considerably. There is an electric back-up in there somewhere too. There is a four-way valve between the heating circuit and the hot water circuit from the back boiler that allows for basic control and if we are going out or to bed then we bias this to the heating since this will operate without the pump if necessary based on thermal cycling. I must say it works vey well. We wash a family of five and heat 10 rads from a 33kW stove, though we have an insert for when things get really cold. The installation diagram was supplied by Godin (who built the stove) but I can't find anything on their website, but it might be worth a more thorough search.
  9. I believe the long legged jobbies are called "paper wasps" or similar. They seem to be particularly common this year, though so far (and unusally for me) I have remained unstung. Garden centres and bricos sell some long range sprays (not cheap) that are very effective when destruction of the nest is the only option.
  10. Opas - I sometimes wondered how this panned out. Good to hear it came alright in the end. An apology would be nice, but I don't suppose you'll be holding your breath!
  11. Btw - surprised what you say about the prices two years ago - we bought 3 (and a bit) years ago - a 5 BR 3bath house with tower (250m2) in Dordogne in reasonable nick for 252k euros (£168k). I know - it's up and down like a bloody roller coaster. Stuff has started moving again - friend of ours is an agent and has seen a big pick-up in transactions in recent months, but it's very much a matter of French buyers. Brits here are selling (well, trying to - a lot of the stuff on offer doesn't appeal to the French buyers for one reason or another including one place which is kitted out with UK three-pin plug sockets (why? Surely changing the plugs is easier!)) but there's not a lot of interest from overseas.
  12. I've been strongly taken aback by the change in house prices in this area. A couple of years ago I think I would have laughed at the idea that Brits (particularly) and other foreign buyers could have such an impact in such relatively small numbers. But we're looking around for a friend who wants a bolthole (three + beds, not a fixer-upper but not a newbuild, managable garden, pretty location with a couple of shops in cycling distance) for her and her family and with a budget of €280k she is spoilt for choice. Two years ago when she looked with the same budget there was practically nothing in her price range and what there was was complete crap.
  13. There's a bus from the railway station at La Rochelle to what was once the station in Fontenay. And there are buses from the airport to La Rochelle station. I'm trying to recall who runs the service - I think it is Cap Vendée. But it's about eight runs per day and from memory costs €12. I've used the service a few times. Taxi's are very expensive. Slightly cheaper if you get one of the licenced bandits from the Vendée to come South rather than using a local Rochelais firm, but still I doubt you'd get a lot of change from €70. Trains run from La Rochelle to Luçon and from Luçon there is a bus to Fontenay. That's quite cheap too.
  14. [quote user="sweet 17"]That's the lamest excuse I have ever heard as to why all men are selectively hard of hearing. [/quote] Do I get some sort of prize then?  [:D] From a distance it does sound like a constant hum (I can hear it now). But, if it's going on for more than a couple of days, it can't be maize cutting I realise.! Mystery!
  15. People harvesting maize? That seems to be the origin of the hum around here. The cutters on the front of the combine are like scissors and the motion looks like a few cycles per second. Men tend to hear lower frequencies better than women, I believe.
  16. Provided that your French insurer is not amongst the plonkers that believe you should have re-registered your car (and insurers worldwide can be slippery little buggers) then I beleive you should be covered for this. They may want a police report to go with the claim, so you might do well to go an see your friendly neighbourhood gendarme sooner rather than later. As you say, this is a criminal act.
  17. [quote user="Chancer"]You see, I said why bother with the jubilee clip [:P] [quote user="Le Plombier"]Unbelievable! The way you lot go on you might as well use a bike tyre inner tube and two jubilee clips based on the reasoned argument that it will withstand the pressure Get real you lot you are talking about a very dangerous substance Le Plombier[/quote] Been there, done that, got the singed eyebrows [6] [/quote] Next time try reinforcing the inner tube with a bit of duct tape. This also makes a fine more-or-less gas tight seal for attaching at both ends. Simple. [:P] The jubilee clips appear to have an NF marking on them as do the tubes - are these worthless?
  18. I'd agree with Janet - with the modern heaters there really is no need to buy the tip-top dearomatised parafin. But if you are using an older model it makes a huge difference to the smell and some people reckon the unburnt aromatic can cause respiratory problems.
  19. Certainly been my experience. But I am a chemist, so what I regard as not being dangerous and what the rest of the World thinks isn't don't necessarily tally. The bloke (proper installer supplied by the retailler) who came and installed our first cooker many moons ago is responsible for providing for me with that nugget of information as well as for showing me how easy it was to change the supply. I said "I suppose this must be for safety?" He said "Not really, just to improve the efficently and to make a cleaner flame." Perhaps he was a chemist too. Either way, I'd change the burner tips, ect.
  20. [quote user="woolybanana"]Hello Jon, how's the flat land? GIMP is open source software that I thought might save the cost of fotoshop. [/quote] The flat lands are good. I've built a small hill to limit the monotony. Very busy summer - wolf & door seperated to an acceptable degree for another year. By the way, could you adjust the settings on your blog to allow comments from those without Blogger / Google or similar IDs? These people put hynotic software on your computer telling you to drink Starbucks and eat Mc Donalds you see, so I won't have them. Plus I inevitably forget the passwords. You well?
  21. I thought a gimp was someone one kept in the celler with a leather bag over their head. What kind of photos are you editing?
  22. I installed an Italian made "Smeg" hob configured for natural gas a few months ago. Changing to propane was the work of minutes. Not changing the jets / adjusting the air flow is not actually dangerous - usually it is just less efficient and you might end up with soot deposits somewhere. I read somewhere a few years ago (might have been on here) that about 40% of French households using gas for cooking are using bottled LPG. If a cooker is being sold in France it will come with a little bag of bits to allow conversion.
  23. And then we get days like today when both departing sets of guests leave notes in the visitors books that are so good I can use them unedited in our advertising. And one set left cheese. Real English cheese. Good English cheese too. From England.
  24. [quote user="Gastines"]What is amazing is the amount they let non-employed people borrow. I believe the main source of income to banks is provided by encouraging debt plus of course using your savings to do it. Regards.[/quote] I've not lived in the UK for six years, have no income there to speak of, and the bank still continues to extand me a £4000 overdraft facility. I sometimes fantisise about blowing this on a single evening of mindless hedonism and loose women, but I'd probably put my back out or something.
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