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Everything posted by Martin963

  1. LIke you I don't watch the Eurovision Song Contest, but even I had become aware that either we had - over the last few years - become totally talentless (musically speaking) as a nation, or that voting had little to do with the music and a great deal to do with how other nations currently perceive each other, fairly or unfairly. There seemed little doubt that Russia had over a few years got a fair few votes from the East bloc because the latter were scared of them, and that we got very few votes because we were perceived as "b!ggering up the EU dream". Well, haven't the jolly old tables turned now. I was delighted to read the headlines this morning. Good for Ukraine and good for Britain! I suspect The Guardian and its aficionados on here are having a collective nervous breakdown, although they seem to have gone a bit quiet. 😀 On that subject it was fascinating on this forum when the war started to see the usual suspects coming out virtue signalling and damning Britain for its slow response to taking in refugees. Now of course we could have done better, but different countries have different strengths, and one of ours is that we have the sort of military know-how and hardware to assist Ukraine in the fight, and given that we are such an over-crowded island (and that other places like Italy are crying out for more people to revive their rural areas) we did what we were best at, and let other countries do what they are best at. Of course the BBC and similar only see things through their own Britain-bashing prism, so jumped on the slow response in taking in refugees and soft-pedalled all the other vital contributions we were and are making. So it's nice to see that SOME people and countries view us favourably, and last night seems to confirm it, however obliquely.
  2. It's good that Macron is being "called out". He really is a dreadful little creep, and personally I think the damage he has done to Anglo-French relations over Brexit won't be repaired in my lifetime. Which is a shame because ten years ago I really felt that relations were the best they ever had been, but Macron's pettiness and vindictiveness has smashed all that.
  3. Excellent. It really is a brilliant system. We've been reminded just how brilliant here in Devon where - on Wednesday morning - our 70 Mbps fibre cut out for the first time in five years. A patrol along the phone line back to the exchange revealed that a lorry on the main road between our village and the larger village with the exchange had downed the fibre line, as well as countless branches as it thundered northwards - it seems it was overheight but that's another story. The 150 pair analogue cable was left sagging but intact, but BT had to fell it at lunchtime as it presented a danger to high lorries. So we've been out since Wednesday lunchtime and won't be reconnected until next Wednesday. I say we're out, because unlike almost everyone else in the village our 4G router was up and ready to go, and we simply swapped computers laptops tablets straight on to it, and EE are providing their usual excellent signal at 40 Mbps. I have to say there seems to be considerable irritation amongst our friends that we're OK and they're not! Funnily enough, it's the poshest ladies of the village here (and we're not that posh overall compared say to the South Hams) who are squawking the loudest..... So all that experience pioneering the system in France (as reported on here a few years ago) has come in useful again!
  4. So so sorry to read this chessie. Utterly awful treatment. I'm also sorry not to be able to contribute anything useful, other than on line sympathy, but which you have form me in spadefuls.
  5. Many years ago we came off the A10 near Niort and went through the cash/cards only line, the personned (see what I did there) kiosk having closed some months before. Mrs W was driving (right hand drive) so I was in the passenger seat battling the machine. Put in a €50 note and - with much triumphant clattering - about 37 euros worth of one euro coins piled up in the sick-bowl provided for the purpose. Mrs W had placed the car conveniently close to the machine to carry out the transaction, but this positioning rendered picking up the coins both difficult (question of angles) and time consuming. Inevitably I dropped several trying to scoop them up, and then found I couldn't open the door because we were so close to the machine. Thankfully there was only one car behind us, but he was adamant that he wasn't going to reverse to give us room to manoeuvre away from the machine. We couldn't go forward because the boom risked coming down again, and the car behind then immediately taking our place and making crawling about on the ground difficult. In the end the man behind backed - with very bad grace - and I was able to get out of the car and grovel. Is there a limit on the size of note usable at a supermarket self-checkout?
  6. So - if I understand you correctly - you're now saying that a phone plugged into the Bouygyes 4G router DOES allow you to make calls.....?
  7. I've always believed that one of our national traits (whether as British or as English) is to be rather understated in all things, which for me means being quietly comfortable with my nationality, and I suppose - never really having thought about it - that is how I feel about the situation. I don't go round flag waving, but I'm most certainly not going to go around being ashamed of which country I belong to. What I can't stand though, and what we've seen more than our fair share of on this forum (at least until recently) are the people who "do down" Britain at every opportunity, who really ARE apparently ashamed of every aspect of Britain and its history. Of course we should be aware of previous shortcomings, but many of those who flagellate themselves and others on these things are in fact guilty of encouraging the most dreadful policies in our own time, but are too hypocritical to see it, blinded as they are by their own self-loathing, self righteousness and need to virtue-signal.
  8. Delighted to bang on! (Hope my information is accurate!).
  9. Defeated by the quotes system on here, but a shout-back to dear Cajal, thank you for what you said. A long time ago it was, those glory days of helping people out with their satellite installations, but enjoyable at the time. Although I'm glad we sold when we did three years ago, I do miss aspects of France and the French people around us - sadly it all wasn't to be when I was refused residency in France during the Sarkozy clampdown on health, which meant I with a (very minor) pre-existing health problem couldn't move over permanently. But sometimes these things are meant to be, our village (Salagnac) was slowly dying with an ever-aging population (we were amongst the youngest) and it is probably better that we're out. I'm able to keep in touch with many of our French friends of course, and the lunchtime and evening JTs on TF1 and France 3 via satellite are a wonderful way of still feeling as though we're a little part of France. How we miss Jean Pierre Pernaut on 13.00 TF1. I first joined this forum in 1998 or 1999 when we were buying. There were of course massive pile-ons even back then, but I do think that the massive number of people who were members back then meant that there were fewer one-to-one "feuds", although of course there were some! Anyone remember Coco and her full scale battles??!! Sadly in recent years there did seem to be a period when certain people gained undue influence with their utterances-from-on-high and their one-sided views, and personally I think it's great that a few people with alternative viewpoints have arrived and redressed the balance recently, even if it's led to fireworks from those who thought they'd got the forum "sewn up" to suit their own tastes. But we've lost a lot of characters, I think someone has already mentioned Dave-with-his-Gites, and I remember SwissBarry telling some side-splittingly funny stories. And of course we never forget Cooperlola, one of the kindest and useful people I can think of in this context, always helpful, never condescending.
  10. Difficult to say with certainty, but ALL SIM cards have to have a number associated with them to identify them on the network, even if you can't use it for phoning. There was a time back here in Britain where the mobile phone companies made a distinction between a "phone SIM" and a "data SIM", the latter had a number but was intended for use in - say - a tablet which wasn't designed for phoning. But that all stopped a few years ago and nowadays you can use the card for either purpose. Because Bouygues seem determined to make life difficult in comparison with SFR and SOSH/Orange I guess they're trying to squeeze every last penny out of you by unnecessarily "hobbling" the SIM card they've provided for your internet use. Similar to what they did a while back by stopping one moving the 4G router to any cell other than one's "home" cell when every other company gave one the freedom to take a 4G router anywhere in France of indeed the EU! Would be interesting to know if that restriction applies to your set up too. TBH I don't know what they'd do with a second SIM in terms of charging. I think were I you I'd try SOSH or RED/SFR for a separate phone as they're cheap and sans engagement, rather than let Bouygues muck you about more than they already are. I do feel for you, pity you fell into Bouygyes' hands in the first place. Mind you, none of them have a good reputation, although SOSH and SFR/RED worked well for us.....
  11. Excellent ssomon. I'm so glad it's worked out for you, after the initial faffing about. We found that moving from landline ADSL at 0.5 Mbps (I'd have killed for your 8 Mbps) to 30 Mbps via 4G was a transformation, and more than enough unless one is addicted to the internet. Although we sold up three years ago (a few years prior to that I had been refused residence in France, one of the unlucky ones when Sarkozy tightened up the rules and bashed those of us with pre-existing medical conditions) I retain a couple of 4G British contracts as back up if our (excellent) fibre goes down here. So glad you're now up and running.
  12. Very sorry to read about what's happened to you and your husband, awful thing to be going through. My only - very well worn - advice is to tackle one thing at a time. Most important thing is to get both of you through the operation and its aftermath, only then should you think about the other contributory factors. In other words one thing at a time, and look after yourself as well.
  13. Very sorry to read about what's happened to you and your husband, awful thing to be going through. My only - very well worn - advice is to tackle one thing at a time. Most important thing is to get both of you through the operation and its aftermath, only then should you think about the other contributory factors. In other words one thing at a time, and look after yourself as well.
  14. Deafening silence from the usual EU-supporting suspects on this forum. And they are the first to complain of an "attitude" problem on another thread. This forum has been hugely improved by the appearance of a few Brexit supporting folk, and the other lot I suspect are better at dishing it out (having had the forum as their fiefdom for too many years) than they are at being on the receiving end....... Has the good old Guardian had anything to say on this matter? 🤣 Normally we're quickly pointed to it as the source of all verities, and all that is good and virtuous.
  15. Ah yes. The sort of 4G router I was describing (non Bouygues) allows you to plug a phone in, and then make and receive calls via the same SIM card that is providing the internet, without the need for any sort of landline; in fact whilst one is on the phone the internet connection has to drop down from 4G to 3G for technical reasons, but that's generally a minor drawback. You've obviously not got one of those.... What you could try - although the card size may be wrong - is putting the 4G card into an ordinary mobile phone. In theory you would then be able to make calls on that phone (whilst of course losing the internet completely, because your router wouldn't have a card in it). But it's likely to be very fiddly, as the card sizes may be different and require an adaptor (always fiddly and prone to the card getting stuck in the device) and you wouldn't be able to receive calls 24/7 as most of the time the card would be in the "dumb" 4G router. This is the sort of job I was talking about that does the business: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Huawei-B315-4G-Unlocked-Networks-Warranty/dp/B013P15G4K?th=1 but it may well not work with your particular Bouygues SIM card, although it certainly did with my SOSH and SFR Red cards. Maybe if you're still in need of the set up and don't want a landline you could eventually consider changing over to that, funds of course permitting! And of course by then there may be better options......
  16. We have a not dissimilar problem here in Devon where our STD number only has ( in addition to the code) five (rather than the usual six) digits; (ie 01*** ***** rather than 01*** ******) There are countless websites that won't accept our number unless I stick an extra random digit on the end, which in practice makes no difference when you dial us.
  17. Some lovely memories there. Telephones were much more amusing when they had wires! Not long (I suspect) after the war, my grandmother wanted to have a bed-time chat with her cousin on the telephone, and picked up the receiver to ask the operator to give her the connection. While this was happening, her cat jumped on the bed and walked over to her. My grandmother said to the cat, (as one does), "Have you got a nice cold wet nosey?". The operator, without batting an eyelid, replied "I'm not entirely sure Madam, I'll feel it and tell you". My grandmother was also a great slammer-down-of-the-receiver to relatives when family conversations didn't go her way. On one occasion she slammed it down with such force that the entire telephone (bakelite back then) disintegrated. There was much quiet amusement amongst the family when it turned out the GPO had billed her for a new instrument, and the cost of the visit to install it. Seems amazing that up until 1979 all domestic phones were hard wired, and you actually had to rent (rather than own) an answering machine from an approved supplier. Still I suppose the fact they were hard wired meant that no clown could put a 13 A plug on them and do what was done in that story from Iran.....
  18. On a similar theme, I was reminded yesterday as to how Macron had cleanly got away with his unfounded scurrilous mendacious remarks about the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Had Trump said anything like that the usual lynch mob would have been out in force, but because it was St Jupiter it was somehow "OK". The hypocrisy of the virtue-signalling liberal-elite is sickening. Talking of saints, St Greta has gone very quiet. I wonder how she feels about Sweden contemplating joining NATO.... I'd love to know if she's more scared of that, and Putin wanting her country back in the Russian fold, than of her usual nightmares......
  19. Nice to hear those memories. My parents had a chalet in Hautes Alpes in the 1970s, and back then we used to occasionally need to phone my grandmother in Britain. This involved going up to the local village Post Office, requesting a line, then going off and doing something else for half an hour, then going back, and entering a wooden cabinet where the line would be put through, if the wind was blowing the right way. I seem to remember even managing it on Christmas Day, but I'm not sure if my memory is playing tricks and the PO would have been shut on that day.... Eventually a proper telephone exchange was installed, and we had a phone on which you could actually dial automatically and internationally. You still had to remember to use 16 to get outside Hautes Alpes, and 19 to get outside France, and something else I seem to recall that applied just to calls to IDF.....? How thing have come on. I remember fax machines at £999, but they were indeed extraordinarily useful, particularly when dealing with such matters as Probate. Years later my parents ended up living in Portugal, where a new challenge presented itself to my by then partially disabled mother. If you went to the PO to buy stamps you had to deal with a very disagreeable Portuguese lady who was universally known as Miss Piggy. The stamps were not blessed with the sort of adhesive that one activated by licking, but the PO had helpfully provided a pot of glue and a small paint brush on a separate counter. Many were the times that my poor mother, by this time in tears, managed to glue her letters, the stamps, and herself to the counter, where she would be rescued - with much cursing and bad grace - by a scowling Miss Piggy
  20. Bon courage, and keep us posted. And don't worry if you have initial trouble getting the card to talk to the router, it probably won't happen in your case but occasionally something called the APN needs tweaking, but it's easy to do. And mostly it just sorts itself out. I can certainly vividly remember the moment of joy when - even with only 3G - our router came to life and knocked spots off the Orange landline. And then only days later 4G was fired up at our transmitter and things really took off. Seemed unbelievable to me that the "internet" could come to us without a wire!
  21. Looking at this: https://freebox-news.com/tutoriel/cle-4g it does look as though you should have no problem with using a Free SIM card in an independent 4G modem router. Much like our situation with SOSH a few years ago, I was relying on the fact that if it failed to work I could cancel the SOSH contract within the cooling off period; in fact ours was a "sans engagement" so it could have been cancelled any time. I do hope you get it to work, your situation sounds like a complete nightmare with regard to the phone line, and we had absolutely no problems using 4G to replace our truly terrible 500 kbps ADSL service, the improvement was truly transformational, and we in fact ditched the landline entirely once we were certain it would be OK to do so.
  22. re what I wrote above - you need to check the situation for "mode modem" in the small print, ie whether it's permissible or limited. My guess is that few if any of the SIM only contracts would have any restrictions, but better safe than sorry.
  23. With regard to using a SIM card in a 4G router, you'd need to check the small print with Free. When we were doing the same thing I checked very carefully in advance both with SOSH and with SFR Red. SOSH gave slightly conflicting answers, but in the end it turned out that the whole 40 GB monthly allowance WAS useable in a 4G router, as was the case with SFR and their 100 GB. From what I remember, it was the case that there were some restrictions in the early days of 4G, but these were largely done away with as capacity on the networks improved. That said, there was a silly offer for home broadband via 4G from Bouygyes I think, where they supplied the router and the card, but if you took the whole caboodle to a different phone mast (ie away from your local transmitter) the system froze up completely. What was so silly is that this only applied to this particular Bouygues offer, all the other operators simply sold you a card on its own, you bought your own 4G router, and could use it anywhere in France, or indeed in Europe! So bottom line is, if you want the 4G idea (and it sounds like it would save you a great deal of grief) then find out if tethering is unrestricted, and choose that offer.
  24. I'm wondering whether the number you've been given is - and forgive me if I'm misunderstanding your set up - for the SIM card that is in your 4G router that is providing your internet. In which case I doubt you're going to be able to use it for phoning, unless said router (presumably provided by Bouygues) has a phone socket on it. Many commercially available 4G routers have such a socket, as well as ethernet and Wifi. This allows one to plug a conventional cabled-phone, or a DECT phone, into the 4G box and make phone calls (*). However, I think most of the routers provided by companies for 4G broadband don't have the socket. I don't know whether Bouygues can give you an additional SIM card to go in a phone, I rather doubt it would have the same number, and would probably be chargeable? As I say, I may be completely misunderstanding your set up. In general a mobile phone will work on the network that the SIM card inserted into it is tied to without any problems. At least in Europe..... (*) To plug a phone into the 4G router you will almost certainly need a different cable, namely an RJ11 to RJ11 cable.
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