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Everything posted by Andyphilpott

  1. Why not just ask your proposed new insurers for their views! If they want your business it is in their best interests to advise you. Andy
  2. I would endorse what others have said. I have taken a lot of electrical appliances from UK to France and have simply put a French plug on them. I also agree that you should not do this for new appliances in view of the guarantee, but all the stuff I have taken has been recycled from our UK home so that has not been a problem. The only things I use adapters for are items which I take with me such as netbook and camera chargers. Andy
  3. www.xe.com make no charge for transfers and the rate is OK
  4. www.specs-by-post.co.uk Just had 3 pairs from them. Cheap (£15 upwards plus postage) and very quick service
  5. I had this a few years ago when I took my nieces and nephews over for a day trip. The guy at Calais said I was not allowed to take them back without a letter from the parents (which I was not then aware of) so I offered to hand them over to him for a few days and send the parents to get them. They cried He declined Job done Andy
  6. Tom Tom is still good BUT I understand that the new models do not allow third party Points of Interest. What that means in practice is that you will be restricted to using the TomTom Traffic cameras POIs and they are not as good as other independent providers (in my opinion). When my TomTom expires I will not have another for that reason Andy
  7. I had one fitted in the UK and did not need a liner. On the other hand I also have one in my French house and it did need a liner. It really depends on the construction of the chimney. If just brick then as I understand it a liner is needed. If it is constructed of clay pots (these are a hard material with each pot fitting into the one below) as mine is then there should be no problem - so long as the pots have been installed the right way up! Don't laugh - I am told that sometimes the builder gets this wrong! The idea is that any tar/soot etc drops down to the fire. Hope this helps Andy
  8. Just a small point on this which will apply mainly to holiday homes, but if a bubble jet printer is left usused for a while (weeks rather tahn days) especially in hot areas, the cartridge dries up. I had this problem and switched to a laser printer which performs consistently. Andy
  9. Yes I saw that too - I susbscribe to PocketGPSWorld and use their POI safety camera alerts. Bottom line is that when my TomTom reaches the end of its days I will replace it with a satnav which does support third party POI data. As I understand it, it is not (yet) proposed to remove the third party POI functionality from models already sold - although I guess that they could by doing an "upgrade". I have used the TomTom version of safety cameras before switching to PGPSW and it is not so comprehensive. Just a case of a big business crushing the small players to generate more income I imagine. Andy  
  10. As for car hire  I have used Hertz, Europcar and others and as all the prices are there for you to review I do not see how you can be overcharged. I usually book through one of the business on the internet - Holiday Autos etc (although have become expensive lately) Just go onto Google with "car hire Nice" and it will give you loads of choice. If you are concerned about excess charges - take out the insurance available. I hire regularly enough to make it worth me having an annual policy with Insurance4carhire.com. As always - check the vehicle very carefully on pick up and make sure all faults are noted on the hire document. If it is dark when you collect move it to a place which is better lit before checking. Or take a torch!! Most hire companies are OK but employees differ and some will certainly try to take advantage! Just work on the basis that they will try it on and take preventative measures. Enjoy Nice - we will be around 80 miles west of there at the end of March. Andy  
  11. Just a completely off the wall (no pun intended) idea, but could you adapt drawer runner sliders to do this? Whatever you have make sure there is some way of getting to them if a fault develops in the future. Andy
  12. lacote0 0 - I too am a big fan of blackcircles. I have always found them efficient and as cheap or (often) cheaper than anyone else and the garages they work with for the tyre fitting are also good. Quick delivery too. I decided to replace 2 tyres just before heading to France for Christmas and they were delivered to the garage who were to fit them the next day, I was notified of their arrival and fitted the same day. Just as well given the weather over Christmas! I drove to Provence the day before they closed the Chanel Tunnel and was followed down the autoroute by blizzards around 2 hours behind me. Result - one of the quickest journeys I have had for years! Andy
  13. Many thanks everybody that is very helpful. I did see the "...petrole" but was not sure that it was what I needed. Yes I know petrol is essence but petrole seemed a bit too close for comfort!!!!!! Now I know what to look for it should be easier for me to find. All the best Andy
  14. I have a few old lamps which run on lamp oil but despite an exhaustive search of Carrefour/Casino/Castorama/Leroy Merlin I have not been able to find any. I wonder if the literal translation into French does not work? Do any of you know what it might be known as and, better still, where I could get it? I suppose the lamps could also work on parafin but I don't really want the smell of that in the house. Thanks Andy
  15. Just made my first booking of the year using my Caxton Mastercard prepaid debit card. All worked fine except that when paying in sterling it incurred a fee of £1.50 - which I had expected but still less than Ryanair would have charged. However one of my flights is a single trip from France to UK where it is priced in Euros. The Ryanair website "helpfully" offers you a guaranteed rate to pay in sterling, but, no prizes for guessing, the rate is lousy. They offered to fix at 1.05 to £ whilst Caxton card conversion comes out at 1.08. Not much in it (around £12 overall this time) but over time it adds up. So take care to UNTICK the guaranteed rate "offer" box unless you are using a credit card which you think will give you an even worse rate. I am not sure if, had I paid in sterling, I would have had to pay the Caxton £1.50 charge as well to rub salt into the wound! Basic rule as far as I am concerned is book the cheap flights but avoid anyting else as far as you can as. in my experience at least, none of the additional services they offer are good value - that certainly goes for car hire, insurance and hotels (as well as exchange rates) all of which I have priced from time to time and always got a better deal than from Ryanair.
  16. Andyphilpott


    I endorse what Wilko says re trip advisor. This is just to say that whilst you are there you might like to take a trip on the Train des Pignes - I have heard it is great and it is on my list of things to do when next in Nice. If you stay outside of Nice there are pretty good bus/train services into the city. It is expensive generally in the south but we manage! Andy
  17. I just set up a direct debit (prelevement) for my TF and TH  when I had the first bills in 10 years ago so it is now deducted automatically on the due date. I just get a bill which tells me the date it will be taken from the bank - several weeks notice is given. On the basis that there is absolutely no choice as to whether or not to pay the direct debit suits me fine. I guess the problems will start if I sell up given that it is hard to cancel a direct debit (or so I am told) , but if I do that I would close the bank account anyway! Andy
  18. A Belgian gave way to me the week before last! Now that is a first!!! Agree wholeheartedly with all the comments re poor driving by Belgians generally. Andy
  19. I have just started to use www.xe.com Their web site gives mid market figures but I have signed up to their trading section (easy and free) and with that you can see the exact rate you are getting when you "press the button" They make no charges unless you want to use a wire transfer. Using the equivalent of BACS is free although it will of course take longer than a wire transfer but that is not an issue for me. Easy to trade and once you have done the deal you just send them the sterling by BACS (i.e. on line banking in my case) quoting the reference they give you and when they have it they remit the Euros. I have compared their rates with www.4xcc.com (as with them too you get a rate on screen to deal at) and for amounts up to £5000 xe are better but for over £5000 they are marginally worse. They do say that they will match any competitor on rates but the difference is too small for me to undergo that hassle. I have just sent a "test" payment to my CA account using the service and when it arrives I will see if CA make any unexpected charges. Andy
  20. We used to get just one bill from SAUR but last year the commune took over part of the service and we now get a smaller bill from Saur and another from the Mairie for the balance. They sent us a direct debit form so we just pay it when due. Andy
  21. No problem with airport security - I just drop it in my hand baggage. Been through dozens of times. No foil packet or anything - lost those years ago. As for windscreens those which are athermic (like a Peugot 406 my wife once had) will block the signal - as it did for her Dart Tag and her Road Angel so had to buy an aerial for it - and as Stan says you just hold it out of the window and point it towards the reader on the toll gantry. The part of the screen with black spots is supposed to be free of the athermic filter but I have to say that rarely worked in my wife's old car. Andy  
  22. I have often tiled over tiles - it makes a good base for the new tiles. No need to drill/scratch/bond the old tiles as that is really unnecessary unless you are a belt and braces afficionado! If you are sceptical, just stick two tiles together with tile cement and try to separate them when the cement has set! Just make sure they are clean and free from any soapy residues. I have never laid vinyl floor tiles so cannot comment on that. I always keep some Unibond PVA handy - it is so useful for so many things. Andy
  23. I cannot offer you a great deal of hope I am afraid. I damaged one of these a couple of years ago and despite extensive searching on the internet I was unable to get a replacement. I eventually cobbled together a repair but not really satisfactory. If you do find a supplier do post again!! Andy
  24. Back in 2007 Sunday Driver posted the following response to this question   Re: Carrying kids in front seats of a van Code de la route Art R412-3 states: I. - the carrying of a child aged less than ten years in the front seat of a motor vehicle is prohibited, except in one of the following cases: 1° When the child is carried, facing rearwards, in an approved system of restraint especially designed to be installed in front of the vehicle and where the front airbag is disabled; 2° When the vehicle is not fitted with a rear seat or if the rear seat is not equipped with a safety belt; 3° When the rear seats of the vehicle are temporarily unusable or are occupied by children of less than ten years, provided that each child is retained by an approved system of restraint. You can find the full regulations set out here. Just to correct some of the uninformed generalisations creeping in here, the regulations are EU wide and are the same in the UK......   I could not get the link to work (and translation is not my strong point) so this post is just to check that nothing has changed or if it has what the latest position is. My circumstances are that I have friends visiting with kids. I drive a Mazda MX5 so no back seats anyway. Can I take a child (only 1 obviously!!) with me on journeys? They are 5, 7 and 9. It may not be necessary for me to take them but just in case I would like to know the rules!! In 2007 it seems that exemption 2 above would clearly apply. Thanks in anticipation Andy  
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