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Everything posted by Mark

  1. Hi

    I have several letters addressed to the previous owner of a house I recently bought.  Can someone tell me what to write on them to send them on to his new address, or can I just scribble out my address and write his new address on the letters?


  2. Is it a GdeF necessity for the gite owner/caretaker to greet guests upon their arrival?  Without wishing to sound callous(!), I could use my time more usefully than by hanging around on a Saturday afternoon simply in order to say hello and repeat any advice/instructions which would more than likely be in the literature GdeF have sent to the client already.

    Thanks [:)]



  3. [quote user="Jonzjob"] Invest in a pair of the pliers that clip the fencing staples to fix the fence to the horizontal wires too. Makes for a very easy job...[/quote]

    Ah now that's an interesting point John, as I was intending to use a staple gun to fix the wire to the posts, as I've used one for similar jobs in the past.  Unconventional, but seems to work.  If it goes wrong and I end up with staples for hands, I'll take your advice.  Serendipitously, the hospital is opposite the DIY store. [+o(]

  4. [quote user="Ford Anglia"][quote user="Mark"]

    Forgive my almost unforgivable naivity, but can I use my whetstone to sharpen handsaws, or is it just for non-serrated blades?

    *runs for cover*



    Personally, I'd buy a jet saw, they were £4.50 each from Screwfix last time I looked.



    Oh super, I'll do just that.

    Thanks HTH/Ford Anglia

  5. Forgive my almost unforgivable naivity, but can I use my whetstone to sharpen handsaws, or is it just for non-serrated blades?

    *runs for cover*

  6. I think you can get a machine for 50 euros or less from the supermarkets which crushes your chippings and clippings into burnable logs, which supposedly burn quite efficiently.  We were thinking of getting one but haven't got round to it yet.

    Good enviro-brownie points for not much outlay - yay!

    Machine's probably made of plastic though - boo!


  7. I'd like to put up some wire fencing within, and probably also encircling, the garden of a house I recently bought.  The 'garden' includes woodland, so I can make fenceposts myself from what's lying around, but when I went browsing for wire to go between the posts I was surprised at the cost.  Admittedly I've only looked in one of the brico sheds so far, but I think they were charging a minimum of 1.50 euros a metre, which, if I were to put two lines of the stuff between each post as intended, would really mount up!

    I'll visit my local agricole cooperative tomorrow to see if they're cheaper, but meanwhile could someone tell me whether that brico shed price sounds expensive, and if so what the cheapest product would be to buy?  Is barbed wire cheap?  That would do for the land boundary, but wouldn't look too welcoming within the grounds!

    Thanks all! [:)] 

  8. Mark

    Which strimmer?

    [quote user="Gemini_man"]If money is no object - you can buy 4 stroke strimmers - the advantages are: more power, easy starting hot or cold, less noise and less exhaust gas than with a 2 stroke. I bought a Honda 4 stroke 6 years ago and have used it commercially ever since and I've always been very pleased with it although it did cost me an arm and a leg when I bought it. Hmm, maybe that's not such a good analogy when talking about strimmers [blink]



    Oh man, money IS an object.  I so wish it wasn't , but thank you.[:)]

  9. Mark

    Which strimmer?

    Right, so imagine I don't know what 'two stroke' means, other than unnecessarily prolonged foreplay.

    Is it just like one part petty to one part oil?

    You're just the best, you north-eastern nutcase. x


  10. Mark

    Which strimmer?

    I need a petrol-driven strimmer to take the grass, mega-weeds and general green detritus from a 'garden' and fairly precipitous river bank.  Firstly, can one assume that where the spec talks of 'cc' rather than watts, the model is petrol-driven?  Some models are described as one or the other, and some mention both, so it's a bit ambiguous to my naive eyes.

    Secondly, fuel mix.  Is it all petrol, petrol with a dash of oil, petrol with a dash of Worcester sauce, vodka?

    Sorry to be so unmanly with these questions, but what can you do? [:)]


  11. Been seriously considering that option recently Ron!  It may lead to an avalanche of further questions I wouldn't be able to answer though.  Cursed by my relative youth.
  12. [quote user="Ian"]I'm a lone voice (or nearly) so it would appear for UHT.  Warmed with a splash of armagnac and a teaspoon of honey - FANTASTIC.

    Right, that's decided, we'll serve 'em that for breakfast then. [:)]

  13. [quote user="floyd"]Thanks very much to you all for your replies and helpful comments.  I have decided to go for it as I was paying £250 in the UK without breakdown cover and my partner Sue is a named driver also - Regards, Paul[/quote]

    I've had two recurring problems when arranging car insurance so far:

    1/ The computer telling the broker that 17 year olds shouldn't have taken a driving test (as Will mentions above), which is of course a minor interruption but now very predictable, and

    2/ Having to say that I am 'sans profession', which ostensibly I suppose I am at the moment despite doing more graft in the year I've been in France than I did in 12 years as a civil servant in England!  This 'sans profession' category really hikes your premium, so maybe they put you down for that too?

    Oh and the fact that I was insuring a Land Rover Defender didn't do much to minimise the cost either, but I've rectified that now!

  14. [quote user="daisymay"]Lardons. You can wedge them onto the pointy thing.[/quote]

    Are mice carnivorous?  Didn't know that.  Thicky.

  15. Given that rugby is silly I'll be supporting the streakers. [:$]
  16. Mark

    Wax for dreds

    [quote user="Cat"]

    D'you know bugbear, I was on the point of asking who SB&S were, thought for a moment they might be a banking group or something [:$] 

    And Mark, is the wax for you?  I never pictured you with dreds?


    Cat, no, for da Squidge.

    I did myself a Grade 4 all over the other day, bored whilst waiting for the rain to stop!  I used to have sort of sticky-up dreads like Monsieur Smith in the picture, but my backcombing days are behind me now. [:)] 

    Oh, and thanks for the links - perfect.

  17. Mark

    Wax for dreds

    Bit of a long shot this, but does anyone know of an internet outlet in France selling wax for dreadlocks?!

    Thanks [:)]

  18. [quote user="Cassis"]One thing, Wen - what time do they clear out by, and how long does it take to clean the room afterwards?  Can I get a half dayer in if I know the main guests arrive at, say, 6.00pm?  Are any special cleaning products required?  Do you change the sheets?

    Mikey's dynamite solution would presumably clear even the toughest of stains, from the most specialist of niche market guests - apart from Young Conservatives, I suppose.

  19. Mikey's dynamite thing sounds much more fun though.  I dare say it's illegal to use the same stuff on the actual guests, is it?
  20. [quote user="gail_h"]

    We stayed near Carcasonne last year, tell them to avoid going in sept. [/quote]

    Also tell them to avoid going if they want to live somewhere French. [:(]

  21. There's a train line from Barcelona to Toulouse via Ax-les Thermes, I think.  Certainly when I drive from Foix to Andorra the line follows the road (N20) through Tarascon and Ax and then on into Spain.  Presumably passes through or near to Gerona.  From Ax, it's a short taxi ride to the Plateau de Beille ski resort (like 5 mins).  Are you set on France?  Presumably you could get to Andorra-la-Vella fairly easily, and then take the bus up to the Soldeu resort?  Better skiing, more snow, but typically soulless Andorran resort.

    Guzet Neige over by me is better though [;-)], although you'd struggle to get there by public transport. 

    All of the Pyreneen resorts tend to be fairly family friendly compared to the Alps, by all accounts.

    Good luck, anyway.


  22. I will be registering a chambres d'hotes business very soon, and then next year, when (if?!) the renovations are finished, I'll be looking to register a gite too.  It would be really good if the gite could come under the same SIRET number as the one I'll be given for the chambres d'hotes, and even better if I didn't have to go back to the Chambre de Commerce before opening the gite for business, safe in the knowledge that I was still being legit, even though I'd have changed the scope of the business, if not the nature.

    Could anyone advise on this please?

    Thanks [:)]


  23. [quote user="Alan"]

    Looking at you web site i would be a little bit disappointed if i was given that for breakfast.

    We have used it once for a very early departure but to be honest the bread was not eaten

    Not sure about the GDF, maybe for a 1 then it would not matter but i know for a 3 grading you have to offer pastries or home made cake or fruit loaf


    Oh yes there'll be loads of home made stuff too - I wasn't meaning that we would just plonk a baguette in front of our guests! [;-)]

  24. Can't really remember why, but we thought three syllables was good, and also wanted the French name for a bird, any bird really, so we went through a list of bird names in French, saw Le Pic Vert, and added it to a short list.  Then we saw several green woodpeckers flying over the house after we bought it, and also realised the double meaning of the name was particularly apt as we're surrounded by green peaks, so Le Pic Vert it was.  Unusually unanimous vote of 2-0 in favour.

    Three syllables, in French, although pretty easy for other nationalities to pronounce and remember, describes two features of the locale, and is also the name of an English cider, which for me, coming from Hereford, was naturally vital.  Voila, perfect.



  25. You know those plastic-wrapped long-life mini-baguettes?  We did a taste test on them and they seem fine, albeit not as nice as fresh, and are very convenient if you live some way from a boulangerie or supermarket, as we do, but do GdeF insist on the provision of fresh bread only for guests?

    Thanks [:)]


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