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Everything posted by napoleon

  1. Thanks everyone. I am getting a strong signal from Astra. I simply carried out a scan as the handbook suggested and I have been relying on the pre-loaded information which does not mention ITV. I will visit one of the internet sites for more transponder data but will also try a few manual inputs. It will be educational and fun if I am allowed some play time.

    Must play some cricket now!   Alistair

  2. Have bought a kit from Brico and with the help of my grandson we have located strong signals from Astra2a. This is in the list of satellites on the screen. We have also received well from Astra19 and Hotbird which give a huge range of French and other European channels. From Astra2a we can get lots of BBC programmes but not ITV. Also the BBC radio channels all come up with "no signal".

       I expected to use Astra2d but it is not listed on the screen. Is it a different satellite? I have used the calculator on two satellites named Astra and Astra2a which have significantly different positional data. If I find Astra, will it be Astra 2d and will it have the BBC, ITV and radio channels available?

      I feel that it just needs a little more work on my part and all will be well.

     Hope the members can advise me before I start again. Thanks, Alistair.

  3. Thanks for the websites. I have just looked at the dish size map, located my exact co-ordinates and calculated the azimuth and elevation.

    Very helpful.


  4. Martin and Pierre,

                             Thanks for your super-rapid responses. You have made me feel far more comfortable about the process and I am now impatient to get there and set it up. I will be checking all the details at Brico before I buy or move on to another store that will supply the right system.

    Our TV is almost new as it is a replacement following a burglary!

      Thanks again.     Alistair

  5. I have read every posting about this subject and still need advice. I hope some experienced members can give me staraight answers to these questions.

    When we return to France next week I have been given permission to set up whatever is needed to pick up UK TV and radio. My plan is to visit BricoMarche and buy a standard digital satellite kit for about €75. I understand about dish sizes, satellite angles, feeders and general setting up procedures BUT will this standard French system give me access to the UK satellite transmissions? What should I look for in the specification? We only need to receive the basic BBC and ITV channels.

    Alternatively, I could rush out and buy a cheap satellite receiver box before we leave. Is this a better option and what should I buy?

    I have seen systems working in friends' houses in France and they claim to have very little technical knowledge and just bought things locally or from other friends.

    I would be grateful if anyone with experience could guide  me to the best solution.

    Thanks,   Alistair

  6. Tourangelle,

                       Your question has thrown up many differing opinions based on personal experience on LD. I think you should try LD at least once and make your own assessment. Our experiences, so far, have been good regarding cleanliness, timekeeping, staff attitudes and seating arrangements. The food is not to my taste. We now picnic on board! The prices are low and we do not expect BF standards.

    We have used LD for several return trips (Le Havre-Portsmouth) because it is a shorter car journey for us and that it is cheaper than BF. The outward, overnight or daytime, trips are with BF because we can book a high quality cabin whereas LD rarely have any cabin accommodation available at peak times.

         It would take only one minor disaster to change our view, but we are fickle just like everyone else.

                                          Try LD.                   Alistair

  7. I receive BF e-tickets without any problem. I use AOL broadband. The e-tickets come as an attachment and the e-mail looks as if it would pass through any spam filter. I am glad that this is not one of my many internet booking problems!


  8. Did you all enjoy listening to the five minute piece about St Severe on Radio 4? It appears in the latest "From Our Own Correspondent" and gives an interesting account of the history of "Jour de Fete" and the recent 60th anniversary celebrations.


  9. I can only confirm that we have always been charged exactly what we expected. There are no "excesses" for being non-French or for using other sections of the autoroute network. The detailed account sent by Sanef should reveal all , but in your case I would contact them immediately to ask for an explanation.


  10. From the EDF site you will find your annual standing charge will rise from €106 (6kVA or 30A) to €190  (9kVA or 45A) (about £75 to £135). The unit cost per kWhour will remain the same (just over € 0.1 for basic tarif).


  11. napoleon


    While I never like spending any money at any time, I do not think that the £30 for the return trip for each of dogs is exhorbitant.

    I doubt that the ferry companies make a profit on pet travel fees. I am just happy to have the facility to take our dogs with us.


  12. napoleon

    Senior Collie

    Don't forget that your dog needs a Pet Passport. Start organising it now as it will take a minimum of seven months to qualify if all goes well with the microchip, anti-rabies jab and susequent blood test.

    We have no trouble with our lurcher on the long ferry trip but it depends on the individual. If we detected any sign of stress we would choose to use the tunnel where he would be with us all the time.

      Good luck, Alistair

  13. You should use a Y connection or the solenoid valve on the hot water inlet could (will!) overheat. Sounds odd but very likely. The machine will also fill more rapidly.


  14. I did that before, but was still unsure of which version to take. Surely it isn't coccain - but it might be the Irish slang for fun? I was aware of most of the other meanings. My students are mostly British with some from Far Eastern countries, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and small, exotic distant lands. There is one who is fluent in French. Would he help with my understanding of "crack" in this context?

                                   Thanks, Alistair

  15. Stop teasing us! What is it please? Would my students understand the term?


  16. We have an LPG boiler that feeds eight radiators in the house and provides stored and instant hot water. This is a modern replacement to take the place of an old one that was in when we arrived. Boilers in France seem to be rather expensive but they deal with water at mains pressure.

    The only drawback is the relatively high cost of the gas. We tolerate it because we are only in residence for about 12 weeks per year, much of that in the summer.


  17. Jaqueline,

                   Your thread seems to have changed from "Buying in France" to "Buying in Normandy". Your initial posting talks about Central France. Are we still considering that area or have I missed the change to Normandy? I have some experience of both areas but which one should I tackle?

    Lots of silly questions. Sorry.      Alistair

  18. napoleon

    Travelling dog?


             I am assuming the only LD route you would be using is Le Havre - Portsmouth. The crossing times are about 6 and 7 hours plus the loading/unloading time which means our dogs are alone in the car for at least an hour longer. Our dogs have travelled back and forth many times over the last five years and only once were we called to visit the car. (He was quite alright, busy eating his dinner and looking happy. The crew member probably didn't understand dogs.)

     I think that the success depends on giving your dog a comfortable space and not getting yourself too worked up. Pretend that its bedtime and follow a typical routine. Our vet stated that it would be better to try without any tranquilisers because their effect could be worse than the journey.

       Good luck!   Alistair

  19. Since replies are sparse you might consider visiting the Roman archaeological site (Argentomagus) and museum at Argenton-sur-Creuse. It is very well laid out and set up for visitors. Also you could take a short drive around the hydroelectric dams nearby. (I like science and engineering!)


  20. The times quoted are "local" and the UK is one hour behind France. This means the crossing time is five and a half hours for the afternoon leg. We use LD for all our trips back to England.

    There is a petrol station in Le Havre quite close to the ferry port but it seems to be more convenient for leaving rather than arriving. I think you should top up at one of the low cost stations on your route in. The price difference between UK and France is now marginal for petrol but still very advantageous for diesel in France.


  21. It would be worth checking the conditions imposed by your house insurance. Also, the chance of fire caused by the elecrical supply depends a great deal on the condition of the system. Even a perfect system can be "modified" by furry animals.

    I leave our supply connected because it is needed for the CH. In fact every service is left on. I hate the idea of leaving them on but it keeps the house and contents in good condition. My insurance insists that the temperature must be maintained at or above 15 degrees C.


  22. The magnetic field type will (may) fix the hardness so that it does not fur-up your pipework and boiler. I keep getting advertising leaflets in the UK about them and the cost is about £75.

    We use a salt exchange watersoftener that does not need any form of electrical connection. It is manufactured by Kinetico and costs about £1000 for the most modern, compact version. We have had one for about thirty years and now treat it as essential to our life style. Running costs are about £1 per week if we are at home full-time. The main advantage is the luxury of soft water for clothes and skin. Apart from the cost, the disadvantage on installation is the need for an untreated water tap for all cooking and drinking.


  23. [quote user="Dotty Trois"]

    I use old rags, dad under the tap, in the ash and cleans the glass beautifully.


    Isn't this abuse of your dad!!! Does he enjoy cleaning your glass this way?


    I prefer to clean our glass using a fierce blaze.

  24. Abbo,

              If you live very close to Sancerre (lovely town and wine!) you could book SNCF tickets from Gare de Lyon, Paris to the Hotel du Rempart in Sancerre. This involves a train to Cosne followed by a bus to Sancerre. I use a similar combination each time I take the train and it saves my wife making long trips to the station. It works well.


  25. Thanks for the added information. Very useful website.
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