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Everything posted by Loiseau

  1. What bad luck, EmilyA... I wonder if it is worth trying your French bank? I think there is some kind of travel insurance included with accounts, and they just might pay for cancellation.
  2. Maroilles - Arrrghhh! Tastes good, though.
  3. Welcome to the forum, Marie Adam. On our first house, where the oak beams looked a bit woodworm-y, the carpenter stuck a penknife into one of the beams and said “Look, this only goes in 3mm; you have nothing to worry about.” So if your beams are of something hard, like oak, you would be ok.
  4. Holiday home since 1970. Many many happy times with friends and family staying; loads of lovely local friends (French and British - and Dutch). Sold in 2017 because French inheritance laws meant I would not be able to share house among my stepchildren on my (hopefully not imminent) demise. I did have the advantage of fluent French, having studied and, later, worked in France in the 1960s. Having the house made a big change in my life, as it inspired and enabled me to became both a guidebook author and publisher. I would never want to live in France full-time though. Far too hedged about with ever-changing rules and regulations. And UK food and shopping is so much better these days.
  5. I have stayed in quite a few French-owned B&B - almost always choosing ones that do evening meal because I hate having to go out again once arrived. As long as you go for 3 or 4 ears/keys they will be immaculate - often super modern decor far better than I have at home. Gîtes can be another matter. I have booked 3-épi Gîtes de France-listed (French) ones, and they always seem pretty basic. The shower head is always impossible to attach to the wall, and its hose is bent and twisted; seating is uncomfortable, and beds often ditto. I think the French have a romantic idea that their holidays are going to be “back to nature”. For hotels, often the Logis de France ones seem stuck in a time warp today. I rather like Ibis, for good-value town-centre rooms, with pleasant staff and reasonable breakfasts. It's a shock in the U.K. that rooms are often charged per person, and not per room; can’t get my head round that,if a double bed is being slept in by one person, surely the laundry cost is not half the cost that it would be if crumpled by two...
  6. Ahem, I think you mean French and runner rather than broad, WB!
  7. We always broached the cake on Christmas Eve, as the family arrived to spend the hols, and were fully up for a filling treat with their tea after a long journey. After Christmas, when I used to head to the Vendée to start my major hedge slashing and laying jobs, I would take the remaining half of the cake to add the odd much-needed sugar boost. Sorry I can't provide a recipe, mint. I used to make the Katie Stewart one from The Times "Cook's Calendar", but I often messed up at the baking stage and made it too dry, so I usually buy one now - unless my daughter proposes to give me one of the delicious ones she makes. ?
  8. Good point, mint, about the selling scenario. My estate agent wanted me to have an "illegal" washbasin unit removed before showing the house (unlike everything else, it wasn’t connected to the septic tank).
  9. There will be an announcement to wake you up at least an hour before arrival, and to require you to vacate your cabin. So you might as well go and have breakfast to fill in the time before you are allowed onto the car deck. I have not sailed on the Etretat, but the ones I have been on have various food outlets, such as self-service, waiter-service and bar-service. The first two have cooked-breakfast options. Try not to have too much overnight luggage with you, as you will have to tote it around in the morning until disembarkation.
  10. Hello, scalehill, and welcome to the forum. I am sure the first consideration will be whether the wall in question overlooks anyone else's property. If it does, you may perhaps be allowed to have a non-opening window of obscured glass, but nothing you can see through. Your local Mairie should be the first port of call to see what would be allowed.
  11. I agree about soft drinks, when proffered, not being ones that you actually like, idun. During the recent heatwave, I was offered a jug of chilled water with strips of cucumber peel floating in it, and thought it deliciously refreshing. And soooooo easy to knock up!
  12. "Avoir la main verte" i think is the expression.
  13. OK, Patf, I see what you mean. I haven’t continued your "pain and fear" trials, but with a bit of help from this excellent website https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-french/ I can come up with a few more: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush Un "tiens" vaut deux "tu l'auras" The cobbler's children are the worst shod Les cordonniers sont les plus mal chaussés A little bird told me Mon petit doigt m'a dit Absence makes the heart grow fonder Loin des yeux, près du cœur His Achilles' heel Son talon d'Achille Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth À cheval donné on ne regarde pas les dents Don’t put all your eggs in one basket Il ne faut pas mettre tous ses œufs dans le même panier Every cloud has a silver lining Après la pluie, le beau temps Kill two birds with one stone Faisant d'une pierre deux coups To let sleeping dogs lie Ne pas réveiller le chat qui dort Let the cat out of the bag Cracher le morceau When pigs fly Quand les poules auront des dents Raining cats and dogs Pleut des cordes Something smells fishy Il y a quelquechose qui cloche Spitting image Le portrait tout craché Ressembler comme deux gouttes d'eau The last straw La goutte qui fait déborder le vase To cut a long story short En bref Her hobby Son violon d'Ingres Can’t teach an old dog new tricks On n'apprend pas au vieux singes à faire des grimaces And this quite funny one, that I have occasionally heard said ironically, but which of course comes from traditional fairy tales: They all lived happily ever after Ils vécurent heureux et eurent beaucoup d'enfants
  14. Same here in London, mint! I have seen the moon every night this week -but today we have had thundery showers (most welcome for the garden) and the cloud cover has remained. Grrrrr. ?
  15. Welcome to the forum, Hetts. Yes, as Andy says, this is a regular occurrence these days.
  16. Sorry, CT, I thought you meant to set against capital gains.
  17. Er, you should keep the BILLS (factures) to prove expenditure rather than the devis, surely?
  18. Bear1, it just occurs to me that there could have been something "lost in translation" in your original letter to the Mairie about the uninhabitable state of the second house. Forgive me if your French is fluent, and you already were aware of the potential "false friends" here, but I thought it worth mentioning: "Habitable" in French = "inhabitable" in English and "Inhabitable" in French = "UNinhabitable" in English.
  19. I'm not being facetious, but the answer may be to move to another property in a less congested bit of town.
  20. I have the same problem with lightbulbs. Change one, and you can bet the others will turn up their toes in rapid succession...
  21. MrWiggy, do you feel you can tackle the B&B owners direct and ask them to stop their clients parking across your access? Otherwise the Mairie/Hôtel de Ville has to be the way forward. Maybe someone there would speak to the B&B owners on your behalf, or get some "no parking" stripes/words painted on the street surface to ensure the access is kept free. When it is blocked, can the ambulance staff not move you by any other method other than on a stretcher? I remember UK ambulance staff moving my husband down a flight of stairs from the first floor out to their vehicle on a sort of chair arrangement that they had.
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