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Pas delle yeux Rhône qua nous

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  1. My wife and I are fairly competent at speaking French. We are interested in going on a week's holiday specifically to improve our French. Perhaps formal-ish French 'lessons' and conversation groups in the mornings then going on trips in the afternoon or perhaps free time then back base in the evenings to have dinner and carry on speaking French with other fellow guests.

    Does anyone have experience of this sort of thing or any recommendations/pointers?

     

    Nick O'D

  2. We always leave our electricity on when we leave our property unoccupied. We run a dehumidifier, which has worked wonders on the damp/mould that used to appear during the 2-3 months that the house may be unoccupied during the winter. We used to empty and switch off our fridge but as the running costs are so low, we now leave that on as well. We only keep stuff like wine, beer and jam in it so that it really wouldn't be a disaster if the electricity tripped and didn't go on again until our return. Some friends of ours always switch their electricity off when they leave the property unoccupied as they worry about fire. What's the general feeling out there? Do you leave it on or switch it off? What are the real risks?

    Nick

  3.  What’s even funnier is that it appears that one member who fought so hard to get another banned from this forum is chatting away to that banned member on the other forum as if they are almost best mates.

     

     

    Which Forum is that? I love reading all the tetchy stroppy fights that go on.

     

    Nick O'D

  4. I live in England and have a maison secondaire in France. I don't pay any French Taxes (apart from the usual foncière, d'habitation etc of course!)

    I want to start employing someone on a casual basis for occasional lawn mowing. I understand that to stay legal, (which I want to do), I should use chèques emploi service. One of my French neighbours, who works for a bank in Paris, explained it to me and I think I got the general gist. As far as I can make out, it is a way of me paying employer's tax/insurance contributions on behalf of my employee without having to put him/her on a payroll and formalising with a contract etc. I understand from my neighbour that all I need to do is order a chèques emploi service cheque book from my bank and use this to pay a registered employee. I have been scouring the forums but cannot find any answers to 2 questions:

    • Do I have to register with anyone to use these cheques or is it the employee that does the registration?

    • If I pay a cheque of, say, 20€ can I expect further deductions from my bank account of another 10€ or thereabouts in payment for taxes etc? In other words, if my gardener charges me 20€/hour am I actually paying 30€/hour?

     

     

     

     

  5. Restaurant St Antoine in Plemet. (02 96 25 61 62) Small town but very out of character slightly swish place with a lovely deli/traiteur next door run by the same people. The excellent walnut bread they serve is their own and can be bought from the deli. Tends to get booked up because v popular with the French. Often full of business types from Loudeac on weekday lunch but can eat there Sunday lunch as well. Excellent food, beautifully served. We went recently for lunch and had 4 courses and petits fours for €11.30. Would have been excellent value at twice the price. I think the evening menu is about twice the price as it happens...

    Hotel Commercial in Ploëc sur Lié serves excellent value straight forward Menu Ouvrier for €10 in more typical plain surroundings.

    Pizza place in Moncontour. Often families there. Nice wood-stove cooked pizzas but service can be slow.

    Chez Heguy Moncontour- new brasserie just opened. Not sure what it's like but looks jolly.

    La Mulette in Moncontour for lovely seafood/moules including takeaway if your baby's a bit fractious. Friendly lady who runs it asks you if you want to speak French or English, which I think is a nice touch. She taught me the subjunctive for conduire..!

    La Bisquine (I think that's the name) in Loudeac. Small friendly family-type place serving wholesome fare.

    Crêperie de la Fontaine in Plessala. Only open lunch times. Often full. Great galettes and great puddings. They make thousands of galettes a day in the factory at the back to sell to supermarkets and restaurants for miles around. There's a window into the factory where you can watch them all beavering away It's facinating.

     

  6. Is anyone else singularly unimpressed with the BF website? I've encountered the following problems:

    • I enter all the information required and it comes up with a blank booking screen for me to use all over again . Every %£$*@ time......

    • I click on the radio button for an available crossing and then when it goes to the next page it says that crossing is full and presents me with an exact copy of the previous page with that particular crossing now unavailable

    • The websitedesigners haven't programmed in, that if you are crossing at some time in the future, you are likely to return after today's date and you have to change the month of return crossing every time (durrr...)

    • If I hit the New Quotation button, nothing happens and I eventually have to return to the home page and go through the whole thing again with all the errors above.

    They used to have a Property Owners' Site in which you could store various combinations of crossing so that you could compare. Does that still exist?

    Any idea who to contact about all these moans?

    PS I was hugely disappointed to find the 4th August Portsmouth to St Malo crossing fully booked. If anyone out there cancels, could they let me know?!

    nodonovan@gmail.com

     

  7. Thanks, Dick, that was the quickest reply I've ever had! Less than 40 seconds....

    I'm sure you can tell if the food is truly rotten, but not if it had refrozen again and was not obviously rank but enough to give you food poisoning.

     

    Paranoid Nick

  8. We've been thinking of leaving a freezer full of food at our Maison Secondaire. However, there is alway the worry that a power cut or malfunction may have left the freezer off for an indeterminate period of time when we haven't been there. If it defrosted completely and started up again how would we know? Is there some sort of freezer monitor/alarm that it available?

     

    Nick

  9. Brest Airport seems to have disappeared from Flybe's list of destinations when flying from Southampton. Have they stopped flying there or can you only go from Birmingham now? Or is it (he says, crossing his fingers), a Winter thing?

     

    Nick

  10. Hi

    We have one of those round 3mx1m blow-up pools for lolling around in for 2-3 weeks in the Summer. We find after 4-5 days it starts turning green with algae. As we only use it for a short time, I wasn't keen on spending too much on some way of keeping it reasonably clear. I've been looking around in DIY stores (in the UK) for some sort of electric filter but have drawn a blank. Anyone have any ideas?

    I also wondered whether it is possible to simply pour in some pool chlorinating chemicals and do without a filter for this relatively short time. If this latter method has worked for anyone do you know what exactly I should buy and what is the required concentration ?

     

    Nick

  11. Just did the Southampton to Cherbourg return flight. Absolutely brilliant. 25 minutes out and 20 minutes back. No delays and no fuss and bother. What a shame it's not going to last and that Cherbourg apparently rescinded on the deal they had with Flybe.... They only seem to have flights to Jersey and Paris otherwise and I would have thought that the extra revenue would be welcome.

    Nick

  12. [quote]Over the last few days (after I have started watching things again) I have noticed that response times are still pretty slow and earlier this evening got this:Server Error in '/' Application.Timeout e...[/quote]

    I got same message several times today, but only whilst executing searches
  13. [quote]"vous parler anglais"[/quote]

    "I,m here in france"

    I think you mean "I'm" and "France"  

  14. [quote]I have tried to hammer this subject out over the years. There are so many variables that become escape toutes. By the way I consider pollution from aircraft to probably be one of th worst and best hid...[/quote]

    What?
  15. [quote]We had much the same too, on the underside of shelves etc, coupled with a slight fusty smell Wifey cleaned it off with a MILD solution of Javel, followed by wiping dry with paper towels, and some re...[/quote]

    We had the same problem a couple of years ago. We bought an electric dehumidifier draining into the sink to leave on when we're not there. We've since gone through two very wet winters without a problem and, whatsmore, we can even open the windows on first arrival!

     

    Nick

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