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Everything posted by Clarkkent

  1. I presume you have a French bank account. The tear out bit should be signed and dated and sent with a RIB (you can photocopy one from your chequebook) and send it to the address of the regional computer centre (on the tear out form). The money will be deducted from your account as though you had sent a cheque. You are not setting up a direct debit authority as you understand it in England. Next year, when you receive your tax demand you will see that your bank details will be printed on the tear out section. Until you have signed this and sent it back, no money will be taken from your account. Just treat the form as a preprinted cheque.
  2. Nice to look at, but sanitised. The film lacks the tension and menace of the book. And where the book ends with Charlotte realising that her life is something which she will have to work at, the film ends with a Hollywood cop out.
  3. [quote]The tipping thing is a vicious circle though, don't you think? If you're already paying 2.50 euros to have a small coffee thrown onto your table with a grunt, you don't really feel like paying any mo...[/quote] You are quite right. Tipping is a vicious circle. It has become a way in which we are blackmailed by people providing a service. A few years ago I went to the Gouffre de Padirac. There were large signs asking visitors not to tip the boatmen - who stood with their palms open at the end of the boat trip expecting and receiving money. We acquiesce with employers to pay rotten wages when we tip. In Japan giving a tip is considered to be a humiliating gesture. I would like to see it disappear.
  4. As part of his duties as tax collector, your notaire will have informed the relevant tax authorities of the change in ownership.
  5. So now we know. P&O are withdrawing from the Western Channel and leaving Brittany Ferries in a monopoly situation. BF will now be free to charge pretty much what they like. Not that we had a very good deal before, but we, the customers are the losers.
  6. When I were a lad (round about dinosaur extinction time) all the sewage in my home town of Grantham was pumped onto fields a few miles outside the town - this was called the "sewage farm"- and the fields were used for agriculture. People followed the milk cart to collect the horse manure. And the quality of the rhubarb ... Can't have been all that bad, look at Margaret Thatcher - but then on the other hand ...
  7. [quote]I think you are reflecting the UK climate of opinion which makes showing any affection at all to a child completely unacceptable. You may not subscribe to it, but in the end it gets you, through a com...[/quote] This, of course, comes from some of the most appalling journalism anywhere, and the cultural acceptance of anything American (remember the case of the 5 year old boy barred from going to school because he kissed a fellow girl pupil?) And, I speak from experience, there is a feeling abroad that any man - hence all men - are potential child molesters and must be reported to the police for being male. I don't think that situation prevails in France yet.
  8. I once heard a statement that the nature of capitalist economics is that in any market with room for x companies, there will always be x + 1 and the companies will fight among themselves (usually with price) to remain in the market. Occasionally, one of the companies will call it a day and pull out. It seems that P&O ferries are about to make a statement about their continued presence on the Dover - Calais route. If they pull out, this will reduce competition and hence the need for other operators to charge low fares. Warning.
  9. Yes, there has been discussion on this forum - I suspect the threads have been lost in the Great Archive Disappearance. I find it fascinating and constantly refer to it. Don't forget that it reflects a north American viewpoint in which some concepts differ from the European (eg reresentatve democracy). I find the sections on the Algerian war and higher education fascinating. The first because it is relatively unknown but has had great consequences for how France sees itself; the second because I worked in the UK HE sector - and for all the problems we were having, the French university system seems awful (and it's a second division sector in France, anyway). One interesting thing the authors say is that there is no such thing as local government in France - only local administration - and maires, perceived as powerful, can only do what the state allows them to.
  10. [quote]HiI may be completely wrong, but I understood that there is no longer the possibility to acquire dual nationality within EU states ?In any event, the planned EU passport will presumably eliminate this...[/quote] I have just done a very rough and ready internet search. My judgement is that nationality is one of those areas which would come under the cover of sovereignty and is in the gift of the individual state. UK, US and France all allow multiple nationality - but several EU states do not.
  11. [quote]Mars eille? Aha, at last I've found another town that the computer censors. I bet I live in the only one in England though? Sunny Scunny. Alcazar[/quote] I suppose that the IKEA at Brent would be reasonably convenient for someone living in******osters.
  12. [quote]Can someone please tell me if it is possible to change nationality from British to French. Therefore requiring a carte d'identitie instead of a passport. Have searched the British Embassy website bu...[/quote] Some people have done this. You do not necessarily have to change nationality - you can aquire dual nationality.  From what I gather on this site, the easiest way of doing this is to obtain a French spouse - otherwise you have to live in France for 5 (?) years, have no criminal record and be fluent in French. If I've got this wrong someone will put me right. There seems to be the general feeling expressed on this site, however, that it is a rather drastic thing to do - if you don't want to carry a passport, why not apply for a carte de sejour?
  13. Once again, a thread gets hijacked! And the new layout forces us to labour through these meanders .... I presume that the inability of this software to allow "****" to be shown as anything other than a row of asterisks is due to its American origin and the "power" of intolerant minorities to dominate social agendas. What is silly about this is that many of the usages of "****" come not from its slang meaning of "penis" but from the military use of rifles - half ****, full ****, **** up etc. But then perhaps words associated with killing SHOULD be censored, but among thinking adults words associated with sex should not! Power to your elbow in sorting out this silliness, Forum Admin.  
  14. [quote]Does anyone know if it's possible to get a personal loan in France with only UK based documents to prove income? Based on past experiences, anything involving a country outside of France is going to b...[/quote] I have always believed it to be prudent to obtain your loan in the country where your income is earned (at least until the UK joins the euro). There is some volatility in the exchange rates which may make repayment in another currency difficult sometimes. In addition, the continuing need to pay the costs of currency conversion may well exceed any savings you may make with respect to interest rates.
  15. [quote]Are there any HSBC Banks in France and if so, can one drw money from, say, machines with Cirrus logo or any other? Also, is it absolutely necessary to have a French bank account - if using cash an...[/quote] The general answer to your questions are "yes" and "yes". You can use any UK credit card or debit card in almost any "hole in the wall" you find. HSBC took over CCF a few years ago - but I believe that CCF is primarily for commercial customers not retail customers. If you have an HSBC Premier card (you do call yourself Wealthy) then you can use it in any HSBC machine anywhere in the world without incurring local costs.  
  16. [quote]Wouldn't the doh etc vary according to what key it was in? Is doh equal to A or to middle C for example? But surely they must use ABC etc too, or musical works wouldn't be in the key of C they would...[/quote] You are absolutely right, Jill. Tonic sol-fa is about recognising the relative pitches of notes and doh is always the tonic of any particular scale. As far as singers are concerned it does not matter what key a piece is in, the relative distances between the notes are always the same (in a tempered scale). As far as the German lady is concerned, SB, beware - the Germans have H in their scale!!!
  17. [quote]With that attitude I don't think it'll be that long. OK you will get more and more vocabulary over the years, but the tchat tchat will start long before, I'm sure.[/quote] I was with a group of ex-pat Brits the other day and one, who had been in France for 10 years turned to another and asked "How do you say 'some' as in I want some sugar?" The other said "Quelque." They didn't watch French tv (having only a dish not an aerial) nor did they know with any certainty who the French prime minister is. These people don't live in France - they live surrounded by France!
  18. "Christmas comes but once a year...but now lasts for 4-5 months" “Christmas didn't happen at all in France, which of course, it doesn't, at least as we know it.  Dare I again say thank goodness? M” No, but they have imported Halloween from America – which is about as culturally relevant as Japanese knot weed.
  19. My wife and I bought our house "en tontine". She did not have a French will. When she died it became mine with no problem or delay. If your only other French assets are a car and furniture, I wouldn't bother. If you have thousands of euros in the bank, then seek advice.
  20. [quote]I have Windows 98, AVG, Norton Utilities Integrator. Haven't a clue what any of these mean though - I'm a user - that's as far as it goes. I find the new forum extremely slow - usually around 25 sec...[/quote] Well said, Jill, I support every word.
  21. You have to be Logged-In for the Control Panel to appear. I prefer the old layout - by using the outline of the thread you could actually follow arguments/discussions. Now you have to read every post to see whether or not it is relevent, and it is easier for people to hi-jack discussions - look at some of the nerdish discussions on football ...
  22. Also - going back to the original theme ... the belief that Mark's mother suitably enobled her husband in order to ensure that her beloved (but otherwise TOTALLY unremarkable) son would be perceived as something approaching an important person ... I understand that the independent-thinking MP (and current Father of the House)Tam Dalyell and the envioronmental campaigner Jonathan Porrit are also baronets but do not use the "Sir" appendage - because they did not earn them. I wouldn't mind a knighthood, though, I might get better service in shops ... Then there is the story of the woman with 15 children. The newspaper reporter suggested that her husband should get a knighthood. "He's got one," replied the woman, "but he never uses it."
  23. [quote]Can anyone please explain the following which may be obvious, but....! Films labelled VO, Version Original, does that mean original actors voices but with French subtitles? Films labelled VF, Ver...[/quote] You are generally correct, but sometimes VO may not have French subtitles, it is just the original language film. I have some DVDs labelled VOST - original language with French subtitles.
  24. I cannot add very much to this debate other than to say consult a French lawyer. However: "I believe I read somewhere about being able to set up a trust where the property is donated to the trust." I think I read on this forum once that the English law concept of "trust" does not exist in French law. "I have also heard of elderly French couples selling the ownership of the house to the bank and retaining the right to remain in the property for their lifetime. Whether this is done because they are *****d off with their off-spring or they are in need of money --- that:s your guess" Could this be rent viager - which is a way of realising the equity contained in real property?
  25. [quote]Second visit to the UK this year and for all there is a lot of fuss about chip and pin now, our french visa cards were not accepted in those shops that take pin numbers now on either visit. Will fre...[/quote] Will french shops take brit pin numbers? I suspect not............ I have just bought a camera from Geant (200 euro) with my Nationwide visa card - issued in July. The shop assistant made me insert the card into the chip reader. I tapped in my PIN ... and the camera was mine.
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