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Posts posted by Hereford

  1. The "leche frites" that came with my Bosch oven has holes in it so as to keep (oven) chips crispy - at least that is what I assume. You would not want to grill on it!

    My Bosch is wonderful, fan, normal, grill, or "normal with kept-in steam" which stops cakes drying out. Also has "programs' so that if I want to cook a chicken I can (I only sometimes do this) use the chicken program which uses the weight to decide cooking time and seems to grill and oven cook at the same time, thereby giving a wonderful brown, moist, chicken but no splashes as it is cooked in a covered, glass, dish.

    Oven is also "pyrolese" (spelling?) so uses a program to clean itself, which it does perfectly. I use the program overnight as it is cheaper electricity. I would never  buy an oven in future without this facility.

  2. When my Dad had a house built (in 2003) we used a local "house building" company.  The contract was half an inch thick (at least) and gave very detailed descriptions of what would be done - down to pictures of doors, windows and the specification of just about everything. It included the actual building plans too.

    The contract, we understood, was standard and there was no additional cost for it; i.e. the price quoted covered the contract too. There was indeed an insurance policy but the house builder arranged this for us - we just paid.

    Our local insurance agent also had details and the building was covered for fire etc as it went up.

    Another local builder also wanted the job of building the house but all he produced were scruffy bits of paper, one from each artisan, and no details of what work was included - we very quickly eliminated him as a possible builder.

    Perhaps the builder concerned in the original question is just a general builder and does not normally build a whole house?

    "Get a contract" is good advice even when a mortgage is not needed (as with my Dad) - it gives a completion date and penalties for late finishing.  The builders rushed about quite a lot when we got near the 10 month deadline!

  3. Thanks: I can see from the noticeboard in the village (parents not mine) that we have an organisation called CLIC which explains to the elderly or their families where/how to get help that is needed.

    I feel almost overcome with information now!!

  4. Thank you. I have to go to the mairie where my parents live tomorrow to get a form signed to tell the UK Pension service that they are still alive!!  I will ask them to point me at the right office to start this off.

    Mrs H

  5. Thanks for replies, Yes in French is fine although I will take a French friend with me when I see the assistante sociale to make sure I don't just understand each word individually but get the meaning correctly!  I will read the links given first.

    I think my Dad would be willing to have more help if (a) my Mum did not get weepy when he is not around and (b) he did not feel that nurses/carers will make her get up (for example) when they want not when she wants and will be sitting around most of the time with nothing to do.

    They have a small, modern, bungalow which was designed by him to cover their needs ten years ago - so he does not have a spare room that could be used by him or a night carer for example - the nights are often when he needs help as sometimes she will refuse to go to bed (she can hardly tell day from night).  This last sentence makes him sound rich - he is not, land is so much cheaper here he was able to build within the price he got for his "oldies" home in SE UK.

    He would love to have savings anywhere near 21k pounds!

    I may speak to our lovely village infirmiere about "hygiene" help as she will know what is needed.

    It is awful getting old...

    Mrs H

  6. I am going to visit and get advice from the 'Social Worker" person regarding help for my elderly father (aged 89) in looking after my mother (a year younger) who has severe dementia (and is ALD agreed).

    Before I go it would be helpful to have any information or even better experience of getting help in these circumstances.

    My father has refused all offers of help (specialist and GP suggestions) as he "does not want somebody in the house doing nothing most of the time" and in any case "does not want odd people messing her about"...

    He is very fit but the strain is getting to him. She can go all "stiff" for no obvious reason and it is almost impossible for him to move her against her will.  He says that what he needs is someone who will come when he telephones for 15 minutes when he has a problem. He will not allow me to do it (in any case I am 5'+not a lot and she is quite a bit bigger!!). The main problems he has are what one might call "hygiene".

    The only person Mum recognises is him and she is anxious if he is not visible - I sit so that he can go shopping and she can get really tearful no matter how much I say he will be back soon.  I cannot look after her in my house as we have no downstairs toilet and to get her up the stairs is almost an impossibility.

    There is no family now in the UK as my children are also abroad (not France).

    The sort of things I would like to know in advance are:

         Is the help means tested?

         Day centres?

    Many thanks in advance for any thoughts

    Mrs H

  7. Thanks Pickles - will certainly follow this up, our rural branch not at all with it and even told me some time ago that French to French bank account virements would not be "understood" by the recipient... I gave up trying to do other than transfers to/from our own accounts. However will try to sort this before any more birthdays.

  8. Hi again

    I think gardengirl you are talking about a payment from a French bank acc to another French one, whereas I need to transfer to an account in Germany.

    Anyway, my daughter says you can't seem to do family/friends paypal version from Germany but it certainly works from France. Cost to me was 1.30 euros.

    Thanks for all the help and advice.  She now has her birthday money!

    Mrs H.

  9. Thanks Alex, yes the amounts (approx) are what my daughter paid but Jo suggested something rather cheaper was available for family.

    Pickles:  I shall ask Credit Agricole if I can make an online virement to her.   For Christmas 2010 I went into CA and they did it for me but, of course, charged. If I can do it myself then brilliant - but CA are notoriously behind the times!!

    Thanks for help

    Mrs H

  10. Re paypal payments to/from family and friends - please Jo can you point me to where you found this on the paypal website as neither I nor my daughter can find it!

    I find it useful to send her money (to Germany from France so all in euros) for birthday or Christmas etc via paypal but we have been doing it by her "billing" me for "goods" and her paying a % and a small fee to paypal to receive it.,

    If we can do it more cheaply that would be great.

    Many thanks

    Mrs H

  11. Thanks for replying so quickly all of you - I shall certainly steer clear of these cars in future.  I knew they could be used by those who had lost a licence through drink/driving but always thought "well at least they had learned to drive".

    Mrs H

  12. A recently widowed friend is talking of getting a "sans permis" car. She does not have, never had, a driving licence and is, shall we say, north of age 70.

    Is it really true that one can buy, presumably insure, and head off in one of these cars without any training or even some basic licence?

    If so I shall give the cars a much wider berth in future than I have been doing... and avoid the village where she lives.

    One for Sunday Driver perhaps?


    Mrs H

  13. I did give details in an earlier post of the 100 pounds threshold for deduction of tax at source. If property owned by a couple the threshold is therefore 200 pounds per week.

    It is on the HMRC website in black and white, and we telephoned HMRC to confirm the figure had not changed.  It gave us great pleasure at the time to explain this to a snooty London firm of solicitors!

  14. Check with your UK tax office re receipt of Rent Gross.  We receive rent gross without needing specific permission from HMRC because it is below the threshold for this. The threshold is for each owner so if owned as a couple the amount is doubled.  I will check the amount and find the paragraph re this on HMRC website and then edit this.

    EDIT: threshold is 100 pounds per week per owner.  See HMRC website, individuals, Overseas Landlord scheme.  This is for rent paid direct to the owner(s).

  15. Agree about stews/casseroles. Not good.

    The only thing I use one for is to cook Christmas puddings - the initial cooking. On Christmas day I microwave hot.  The pressure cooker was a Wedding present 40 years ago and apart from a new gasket is fine.

    Mind you I don't like "Slow cookers" either - the problem with flavour seems to be the same as with a pressure cooker.

    Mrs H

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