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Everything posted by Andyphilpott

  1. Had a look into this at the weekend in readiness for a couple of trips during the year. The AA and RAC are quite expensive and there are others out there who provide similar services. A trawl of the internet came up with a premium of £34 for 18 days and £28 for 10 days so as I will be doing 2 trips which will need such cover total = £62. They do an annual cover for £79. However I just thought I would do some more research and found that for £51 (for my vehicle - each will be different) MoreThan do an annual policy covering the vehicle in the UK but with that cover extended free to travel in Europe. Looks like a good deal. Does anyone have any better ideas? Andy Philpott
  2. We often take a pint of milk when we fly as for most of the week they only have long life milk in our village and that is no good for tea! Not tried other food by air though. Andy
  3. Restaurants in Collobrieres (Var) started using this expression a couple of years ago - never heard it before then!
  4. I took my old TV and VCR to our place in France and they worked fine for viewing Videos. Added an old DVD player and that worked fine too. Old TV gave up the ghost and I bought a new one in France and everything works fine with that too. I do not know much about satellite but there are plenty of professionals in that field who advertise in France/Living France   Andy
  5. I have had a Telepeage unit for some years now - I posted on it soon after I got mine to recommend it to others. It does not save any money - in fact you pay more as there is a small annual fee for the unit and a one off charge which you will get back when you return it to them. It does save time and hassle though as it is much quicker (usually) to go through the reserved telepeage lanes. It is especially good if you are driving an English car on your own! One small problem occurs on my wife's Peugot car though - it has a UV filter built into the screen which obstructs the communication between the unit and the telepeage itself. Same happens with the Dartford Crossing units so it is a technology related issue. To cope with this, either hold the unit against the shaded part of the screen - just behind the rear view mirror - or hold it out of the car window. I did not know that they accepted Credit Card payments. Mine is charged by prelevement directly to my French bank account. Ordering over the internet is simple. I get a monthly statement showing all the passages through the tolls and there has never been a mistake. Amuses me when I drive into the telepeage lane and get French drivers flashing me - they seem to believe that only the French are allowed these!! Andy
  6. Just for info - although a Bank will (should!) return a cheque that is over 6 months old as out of date I understand that that does not remove the obligation of the drawer to pay the Payee. 6 months is a convention and not a limitation period.   Andy
  7. I have had an account with CA in PACA (Collobrieres) for 5 years and initially they made various small charges and gave the same dire warnings of what it would cost if I lost my cheque book etc without insurance, but I gradually whittled them down until now I pay only for my debit card and 50% for my wife's card. There are no charges for internet banking which I use extensively and neither have I ever paid any charges for a Direct Debit. I recently asked them to up the limit for monthly card use and weekly cash withdrawals and they did so without a qualm - actually increased to more than I asked for. No charge for that either. All in all I really cannot fault them apart from the fact that they no longer have a counter service in the village - just an 'advisor'  -- for that read salesman so I never need to go in.   Andy
  8. Me too! I ordered a second pair - with the Memoflex frames  - and they too are great. After the first order they gave me a discount code which saves 10% off future purchases so I saved another £5 on the second pair. Long may they prosper Andy
  9. Received my new specs from Spexmaniacs today and they are excellent. They said 28 days for delivery but they arrived in just 8. Brilliant service. I will definitely order more. Glad to hear of some of the free help some of you have experienced in France - another good reason to spend more time there.   Andy
  10. I agree with John re the need for greater care the more complex the lenses etc but as for taking advantage of opticians, chance would be a fine thing! When I lost a screw in my specs and the lense dropped out shortly before a critical meeting I was fleeced for replacing it! Andy
  11. Thanks for this useful post - I have ordered a pair of specs from spexmaniacs to see how they perform and will let you know when I have tried them. At these prices you cannot go far wrong, although I do appreciate Iceni's views (excuse the pun). My specs are pretty bog standard - not varifocals or anything fancy - so hopefully the ones I have ordered will suffice. If so I will order more since I am always damaging them - my own fault for leaving them lying around. Andy
  12. The protection in the UK is under the Consumer Credit Act - I do not know if there is a similar law in France although my French pals say not. Even in the UK it applies only to Credit Cards (not Debit cards unless there is something specific in the terms of the card)   Andy
  13. It is called geocaching and is linked to users of GPS systems in the main.   Andy
  14. I agree with bixy! I have tried it and admire their pluck in taking on the big boys, but personally don't think it worth saving a few pounds for the amount of hassle involved. On each time we have used it we have been shunted into tiny nooks and crannies on the vessel - so tight passengers have to get out first - and then wait until the vehicle parked beside you has gone before you can even get into yours. Good idea but too much bother for me for a fairly small saving (in the overall cost of the break!) Now if they took over some larger boats and improved their organisation we might be talking! Andy
  15. We arranged our CU well after the purchase and it was no problem. The document refers to the property we bought and it was all controlled by Blake Lapthorn who seem to know what they are doing (and if it all goes pear shaped they are obliged to carry professional indemnity cover!) Andy
  16. We did this in 2000 following our first purchase and used Blake lapthorn. It took ages but all set up in the end and it should save us hassle when the inevitable happens. Definitely worth doing in my view.   Andy
  17. Firstly, I have not had a claim so far so have no idea whether I would have problems with the French insurers. I hope not! Secondly, the insurer does not need to be in your locality. I use Lena Eaton of Continent Details as follows 0033 2 97 40 80 20 Fax: 0033 2 97 46 44 31 E-Mail: [email protected] Address: 1 Parc Doaren Molac BP 30 56610 Arradon France She speaks English and  even supplies a booklet in English which explains everything. I found that invaluable. Suggest you contact her and give her a try. Mention my name and ask for the booklet. Bottom line is never trust insurers. They are expert at taking your premium and (internationally) slow to pay up. Make sure you have full documentation and that you understand the terms of your cover. Don't forget that you need to give notice of cancellation to your existing insurers; this is a peculiarity of French insurers. See previous threads on this.   Andy
  18. Had to laugh at Dick's message as I did almost the same thing when I had thought the gas had run out. Fortunately I accidentally pressed the little button when struggling with the regulator - the whole lot is in a small dark cupboard which means a surfeit of banged head and grazed knuckles not even slightly tempered by the grumbled obscenities. We have now left a note for when our friends use the house so they do not get caught too. Andy
  19. I too have been looking into this and for my purposes it looks like a good investment. I am sure that you have looked at the upsides but in essence you own an asset which should appreciate and at the same time you have a number of years where all the outgoings are covered (except Taxe Fonciere, certain service charges and perhaps insurance. These depend on the deal to some extent. I will be buying purely as an investment; I will probably not stay at the property and will therefore release all the weeks for a higher return or retain them and let them myself. Note that your weeks will be spread - you probably cannot take 5 high season weeks. My initial reserach was in the alps but there were certain disadvantages which came to light with the particular development I looked at. Downside of the leaseback arrangement is that selling could be difficult as you have a tenant for 9 years who cannot be removed. On the other hand a purchaser might welcome that. Most people I have asked reckon that the tenant would depress the price depending how long the tenancy had to run. You also have to repay some of the VAT saved if you sell within 20 years but that is merely a cash flow coinsideration. You are also dependant on the status of the tenant but these are usually good quality management companies I believe. Main benefit is the capital appreciation, especially if you gear up by borrowing part of the purchase price. Andy
  20. Thanks for that onfo John - I will have a look at it later. I have a 1:100000 of Provence and it gives some detail but not minor roads. Certainly seems adequate for car travelling though. I am sure that you can get these for virtually all of France although the 1:25000 do not yet have full coverage as far as I know. Must go now - at work at present. Andy
  21. Hi John Once the stroppies arrive I'm outa here as they say; I can't be bothered to give pettiness room to develop. On to more important matters! Have you noticed how the digital map sheets change colour at the borders between the paper versions. Must be because they have digitised varying paper editions in which the colours of the originals differed. Weird but I have got used to it. This is an area where IGN are way behind Ordnance Survey. I have never used this unit for road navigation so I cannot reply authoritatively on that. Hopefully someone else knows the answer. My guess would be that, provided the unit can 'see' the sky, or has one of those fancy aerials (which I have not - can anyone tell me where to get them and how much they are?) then the direction arrow will point you the right way at each waypoint. However, on my course it was recommended that in fact you set the waypoint a little before the turn so you know before you reach it to start looking for the track going off ahead. In a car at speed I expect that advice is even more appropriate. I think that in practice there are much better units for navigating when driving - the Vista is really designed for hiking and biking. Good luck with the move - let us know how it goes. Andy
  22. Re last response here is how to do it. CREATING ROUTES FROM WAYPOINTS WITH IGN CARTO 3   Place your waypoints on the map and name them (Right Click on Waypoint, open Proprietes and then name it) I suggest that you initially name them with a number in order of the route you want)Open Bibliotheque de Routes (BdR)Right Click in the BdR screen and click on Nouvelle Route – Name it.Right Click on the new Route created. Click on Details to open the Details de la Route screen.Close BdROpen Bibliotheque de Waypoints (BdW)Drag the waypoints you want (Left click and hold down whilst dragging) into Details de la Route in the correct order. New Waypoints can be inserted anywhere in the list. If you put a Waypoint in the wrong place in the list you can move it up or down using the up and down arrows in the Toolbar – next to the red cross.You now have your route!When deleting a route take care not to delete waypoints which also form part of another routeHope this helps. I am sure it is in the Help pages if your French is good enough to translate them, but mine is not so it is trial and error mostly.   Andy
  23. Wizzer I am at work at present so  don't have the mapping in front of me, but once you have clicked for a new route in biblio de routes there is a button in that box to add waypoints. I will have another crack at it tonight if I have time and post again then   Andy
  24. Wizzer - I finally figured it out last night. You enter your waypoints individually and then create a new route in Bibliotheque. Then there is a button to add waypoints to the route. You need to have named them as you have to enter them in the right order. It appears that you can add any of the waypoints you have previously created on other routes so, for example, I will set up a waypoint outside my front door and call it, for example, France Home and then use that as the start for all local walks. In other words a waypoint is entirely discrete and does not only exist as part of a particular route. I have only done it the once and that as a trial exercise and there may well be quicker ways to do it. Andy
  25. Beats me why anyone would use a clearing bank for these transfers - I used to work for one and even then with staff discount it was more economical and, sadly, more efficient to use the brokers like Currencies Direct. Indeed to this day I have yet to find a clearing bank service which I cannot get elsewhere for less cost. I suppose there are 2 reasons for using these banks Inertia (which is what they depend on) or Masochism As regards costs of transfers, there was a charge of around £25 from Currencies Direct and a smaller amount by Credit Ag to receive the funds. I still use them for any large amounts but use Moneybookers if it is only 2 or 3 k. With Moneybooks there is a tiny charge for remitting the funds - about £3 I recall, and no charges at all by Credit Ag. I understand that CA are not permitted to charge for the transaction due to some arcane banking law, the details of which I do not know but the effect of which I am grateful for! Andy
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