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Everything posted by Vienne_Billygoats

  1. Hi My son started in PS at our local Maternelle in Jan 2006 a week before his 3rd birthday, 4 terms later and he now understands all that is said to him, he is happy, gets on well with the other 25 children in Maternelle, is popular with the teachers and the older children in Primaire, but until a month or so back never spoke a word of French. He now joins in all the singing, counts to 20 and has two/three word phrases for communications. I was a bit worried when I first realised he was not going to communicate as fast as you are led to believe they will, but when I saw how happy he was and that he seemed to fit in well dispite his lack of speech I gave up worrying. I have since heard of a number of children who take their time at this age. In my opinion as long as your son is happy it is probably best to let things be and let him get along at his own pace I'm sure that all will be well by the time he start GS/CP when it will be more critical. Regards Kay
  2. Hi, We really need to replace our downstairs toilet - it's gross! &  is a vertical evacuation type, so drains down through the floor. Whilst I can buy one easily enough in the usual DIY sheds, is there any special knack required in fitting the replacement?, Do they come with seal(s) to join the existing soil pipe etc?, are the more expensive toilets complete with pre-assembled cistern mechanisms? I was hoping to pick one up on Thursday evening, & would like some small comfort on doing this myself..! As for using my French plumber, well yes, for all of the other major works, but he cannot come for this pre-cursor operation for a long time..bugg*r! many thanks, mark
  3. Many thanks Cathy. I foolishly tried les pages jaunes & the tel book, but forgot the internet searches. Cheers Mark    
  4. Hi, Could somebody pls confirm for me the full postal address of the DRIRE at Poitiers..believe me I have looked....[8-)] Many thanks in anticipation, Mark
  5. Can somebody pls confirm if I can buy internal door linings from the likes of Castorma/Bricodepot etc? I had removed an internal door but the frame is no longer, & I wish to reuse the door in another simple opening. I quite like to look & robustness of the existing softwood door linings - can I buy one somewhere?, as I have not readily seen them on the shelves? Many thanks in anticipation. mark
  6. Hi Pigeonnier, Would you mind elaborating on your satellite service, as I am in the same position as you with a really poor dial-up connection & at 8.6km from the exchange, no broadband in sight. Who are you with?, what do you get?, does it work well?, what sort of upload/download speed & data limits are you getting?. Please I am not a techy, but previously understood that satellite internet connections were meant to be expensive etc - Pls point me in the direction that you are following it its good... Many thanks, Mark    
  7. Many thanks for the relies to date.   Dave & Olive, I especially like your idea of a chimney construction, and note that we share the same "traditional" approaches to studwork etc. Your photos were really useful. many thanks mark
  8. Hi, I need to buy some 8" (200mm dia) twinwall flue liner & fittings to install my woodburner on an internal wall then through the celing & small roofspace in our annex, without the opportunity to use an existing chiney I know how & where to buy the components in the UK, but it seems daft to bring it all the way back from there. I have not seen any twinwall flue or fittings in any of the various DIY outlets/sheds in the Poitiers (86) area, and would very much like to source it locally. Any suggestions on retailers or inetrnet suppliers in France would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance, Mark  
  9. Hi Jetlag Crackers and xmas pudding were being sold in the English section of our local Intermarche last year. Had already had a delivery from the UK soI did not need to test them, but might give them a go this year.  Our French friends loved the our crackers but I did not have the heart to get them to try xmas pudding. Kay
  10. I would also be interested if someone offered that service in our area. I have started this summer to teach my five year old daughter to read, but I am not a teacher and she would probably respond better to being taught by a non family member. So let us know if you ever get anything started.
  11. And now for the constructive & helpful comments please.... I am inserting a loft hatch into a false ceiling, nothing more, nothing less. I just wanted to avoid undue mess, I have all the qualifications (as does my wife), tools etc to do this, I just wanted a heads-up on this somewhat strange (to me) construction technique. Many thanks in advance to all those builders out there....... Mark
  12. Hi Dave, We have all our ceilings made of these clay hollow bricks, BUT have no loft acces at all in our house, and its far too warm to be effectively insulated.  I can see a vague outline in one of the bedrooms, where maybe a previous loft hatch may have been - But how do I go about cutting a hole in to these blocks, how are they hung, at what centres etc etc.  Any practical tips to get me in to the roof space quickly & without too much mess & damage would be greatly welcomed. I can feel soem foil type insulation coming on... many thanks in advance. Mark
  13. Hi again Just to say a belated thanks for all your help and advise and a few good websites. I have decided to start teaching my daughter now as she is so keen and with a nice long summer holiday she will hopefully not be as tired as she is after a full day at school. I also feel after reading some of your comments about learning to read English on the back of learning to read French that it might help my daughter in reverse as she is still playing catch up with her French speaking and needs every help she can get next year when she start CP. I was interested in your comments Ormx as you used the same book as I have and so I am pleased to hear it has been used with some degree of success. It looks a bit frightening to start with but now I have read the introduction I feel it should give a me a bit more of a structured basis as I am not really sure how to start. I just hope my daughter does not go through life only being able to read with lots of dots and lines under her words. Congratulations as well to those of you whose children learnt to read before school age, makes me wonder if I might be able to teach my almost 4 year old soon, that's if he ever shows any interest in anything other than pirates. Anyway I'm off to order some Lady bird books and to look into a group called the Oxford Reading tree that someone has reccommended. Thanks again Kay
  14. Hi I'm afraid I cannot help with regard to schools in Gers, but I'm not sure how other people feel but having other English children in the school can be a double edged sword. On the one hand it is definately nice for your daughter to have the comfort of someone to speak to as she settles in, but it could also hold her back from getting on and learning French. My daughter started last september in a class with 2 English speaking girls, one was bilingual and did really want much to do with speaking English as she had her own group of French friends, the other spoke a little French and she and my daughter became very attached despite the fact that in an English school they would propaly not have been in the same group of friends. Luckily their teachers realised that they were holding each other back and started to seperate them where possible, since then they have both come on with their French much more and have started to make French Friends as well. I'm sure all children respond differantely and I'm sure other people will have different advice but in my opinion don't necessarily choose a school just because it has English speakers there, after a year or so it will not be an issue and the facilities and teaching ability will be the priority. Good luck with the move Kay
  15. Thanks to everyone for there tips and advise, I have set the big day for next weekend when hubby is around to keep the children at bay so I can concentrate on the cats. In the meantime I will start work with the towel and give some thought to living arrangements. Cheers for now Kay
  16. Cheers Mike Also jogged my memory to actuely getting round to contacting them. Will do that this week. Kay
  17. Hi Peekaboo If you have no luck finding the throw away mats for dogs, try the nappy section for disposible changing mats, as I have found them useful in the past for similar occaissons. Good luck Kay
  18. Hi I am about to introduce our 3 month old male kitten to our 10 month old female cat, in the hope that they will one day be best of friends or at least at the worst just tolerate each other. I have never had two cats before and so have never been in this situation, can any one give me any idea what the likely reaction will be or is every case different, and is there any way I can ease the situation or do I just let them get on with it. I am just a bit concerned for the little one and hope he is not still a little young to cope with the bigger one. Many thanks kay
  19. Hi I am hoping to use the summer holidays to teach my daughter to read English. She is 5 years old, and very keen to give it a go. She starts CP in September and will obviously learn to read in French but I feel I should try to keep up the English side of her education. The biggest problem is I have never taught anything before and do not really know where to start. I was therefore  hoping that someone out there may be able to give any hints or tips or at least point me in the direction of any relevant websites, software and to let me know what is considered the best reading material for a beginner (is it still ladybirds, Janet and John?). I have been given a book on teaching your child to read using the SRA DISTAR method, has any one any experience of how effective this is or is not worth the effort. My other idea was just to put it off for a bit longer and try to teach her off the back of learning to read in French but I am not sure if this will have any benefit. Anyway any comments and advise will be gratefully received. Many Thanks Kay
  20. Many thanks to you all for your helpfull comments, and implied offers of defucnt lamps. My old discovery now has a set of LHD lamps from UK ebay for only £40.00 each, brand new from the "Landrover Orphanage" I do wonder why the replacement lamps on my other (new) Landrover cost £400.00!! when bought direct from Landrover UK - damn! - I should have tried ebay and or Landrover France or Germany instead - what a rip-off. Thanks again, Mark      
  21. Thanks for your help, they seem to have changed their web address since I first heard about them.  
  22. Hi   Just tried the web site I have for Limousin expats and it no longer seems to link to what I expected. Have they changed their web address or do they not still exist. I'm after French lessons so would be pleased of a contact to them of any sort.   Many thanks  
  23. Hi, I want to gain a CT for my UK registered Discovery, and immediately go to immatriculate it afterwards, BUT will it pass the CT with UK beam deflector stickers in place or WILL they insist that I have LHD headlamps installed instead? Has anybody out there actually managed to get a CT with those beam deflecting stickers in place? I hope this will be the case... Many thanks, Mark    
  24. Hi My husband changed his surname to mine when we were married in England, 7 years later we moved to France, and have so far bought 3 houses, opened two bank accounts and coped OK with all the other French admin. We have a change of name deed from our English solicitor and all other relevant documents ie marriage certificates which we have numerous copies of to be handed to the authorities as and when needed. We get a lot of raised eyebrows and odd comments but we just explain that it is perfectly acceptable in the UK and this seems to be accepted, so far! So it is possible!
  25. Dear all, After putting off getting her hair cut in France for nearly 9 months, I persuaded my wife to have it cut in L'Isle Jourdain where we live...  I had already  taken our 3 year old son & 5 year old daughter ito this salon - with quite good results, albeit not cheap. But my wifes cut was rather crude, hurried? (sub 30 mins, wash, cut etc), cut with dis-interest? - or just plain poor - and she is not pleased. [:@] Can we please have some prompts so that she can have her nautural long redhair cut sympathetically once again please. Many thanks from a husband who still gets his hair cut in the UK. [6]  
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