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Everything posted by Thibault

  1. I read somewhere that the original complaint came not from parents but from a staff member in the school.  The report implied some sort of "history" between the teacher and this other member of staff.  If this report is true, it puts a rather different emphasis on the situation. 
  2. I love being in France, too, although I am not there often enough at the moment.  I love it for all the reasons mentioned by previous posters - the reduced traffic, the view over the oak trees and fields from my bedroom window, the historic villages, the friendly people, the food, the wine etc etc.

    There are also aspects of France which I do not love - not suceeding in getting the workmen in to repair something they agreed to do over a year ago, not receiving replies from email enquiries, poor customer service, the French banking system etc etc.

    On balance, I am very happy when in France.  I am also happy when in the UK.  In fact, if it wasn't for the economic circumstances in the UK over the past 20 years, I wouldn't have a place in France at all.  [:)]

    Having a less than 100% rosy view of France doesn't make one miserable.  On the contrary, it makes one pragmatic.  Logan made some pertinent points and doesn't deserve some of the comments his post got.  

  3. I listened to the show and tried to "pretend" I knew nothing of the details or backgrounds.  I think I can understand why some of the respondents  got hold of the wrong end of the stick.  It is a very complicated matter, extremely difficult to put across in a relatively limited phone call - congratulations to all who tried. [:)]

    I think, too, that some of the listeners may have had in the back of their minds the responses of the people living in France on the programme from Paris.  The majority of them painted such a rosy picture of life in France that it is not surprising that people assume that they were all sitting in the sunshine round their pools sipping wine and enjoying French food.  [:D]

    That image didn't chime with the worries about the changes to the health care system.

    On a lighter note, it was good to hear the voices of people I have only read on the forums.Sort of brought 'em to life, really [;-)]

  4. I only heard the first hour of the programme and I could not believe the "pink and fluffy" stuff I was hearing [:@]  I was particularly surprised by the person who said she had never seen any graffiti and also the one who left her house and car unlocked because there was no crime!  Isn't the BBC supposed to have "balance"?
  5. We've seen quite a few of them, especially along the stretch where the quarries are!  We have also seen their "minders" who are very large blokes, indeed. [;-)]
  6. [quote user="Jura"]Well, certainly wild horses would not persuade us to return to the UK - a sinking ship is a sorry sight, but that place is a complete and utter mess best left to those with no other alternative. We have a very short list we have spent the past two years drawing up. Time will tell.[/quote]  

    Don't be so quick to write off the UK - it has many positives.

    I guess you are from "...the grass is always greener......" school of life, Jura  [:)]

  7. [quote user="Jura"]

    This is of interest to me as my 25th Great Grandfather was Thomas of Brotherton, son of Edward I and Margaret Capet of France. Thomas actually spawned the Dukes of Norfolk.



    So....you're a cousin of Mathew Pinset (?sp) then [:)]

  8. Thibault


    Thanks for that Ron.  We will be visiting again in December, so will deal with the dead wood then.
  9. Are there insurance implications if the electricity is left on and the house is unattended/unoccupied for several weeks?
  10. Thibault


    At our French house, we have lots of rose bushes.  The smaller ones are OK but we also have three very large (tall) roses just behind the wall at the front of the property.  They grow very long stems which, during our absences, push out over the verge towards the road.

    I have tried to restrain them by pruning some of the longer stems.  Unfortunately, some of the stems (especially those trained by the previous owner along a "wire" fence behind the wall) appear to have died.  I do not want to kill the roses but am concerned about the fact that all the growth appears to be at the "top" of the bushes.  I am afraid that if I prune them too severely, the bushes will die.

    I have looked at a couple of gardening books but can't tell if these large roses are ramblers or climbers and there appears to be a difference in the treatment. 

    Any advice would be very welcome. [:)]

  11. I saw it several years ago and was particularly impressed with it and the presentation of it.  I seem to remember that it was probably made by English embroiderers rather than French/Norman ones.  Unfortunately, I also saw the "modern" tapestry made to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest [+o(]
  12. I am rather concerned about the use of the term "racism" which now seems to mean any "anti" comments made about anyone from another country.  Aren't there supposed to be only 3 races in the world?  As far as I know, the majority of British and French people belong to the same race [:)]


    Twinkle wrote

    "However kids in France DO and have always HAVE gotten drunk before the age of 18 and experimented with drugs.  There is also delinquence and all the other horrors here (even in the rural areas) and God forbid the thing that all parents are terrified of - paedophiles. A big difference between Britain and France is that the media here don't report these incidents half as much."

    The local papers in 71 are reporting the increasing problem of "Le binge-drinking" with quite a significant percentage of teenage boys and about 40% of teenage girls regularly getting drunk. Some of these children are as young as 12.  There is also something of a crisis in the local schools, with official figures showing around 70% of students having difficulty with schoolwork and falling behind.

    The local papers regularly have reports of vandalism, theft and the latest "thrill" of stealing cars and setting them on fire.  This happens in both town and rural areas.  The latest Bulletin from our Commune (a small rural one of around 900 people) reports that due to vandalism and other abuses, the recycling centre has had to be moved from its previous fairly isolated area, to one next to the Commune Workshops, so that an eye can be kept on it.




  14. I've been having problems for a couple of weeks.  The forum is very slow to load and when I choose a topic to read, the XP phishing filter thingy takes ages, then I get the "Explorer cannot get page".  I find that if I then click the back arrow, sometimes I am lucky enough to get the page I want [8-)]  Often, nothing changes and I give up [:@]

    I belong to many other forum sites and this is the only one where I have difficulties.

  15. I joined a new French forum the other day and was looking down the membership list to see if I recognised anyone.  One of the members posted a link to his blog which gave all details of his French renovation project, including a detailed map of its location, a floor plan of each floor and descriptions of work in progress, with implications for tools and equipment on site.  It also indicated when he visited, and by implication when he was not there.

    This seems a gift to anyone who may be interested in acquiring some materials, tools and equipment.

    He didn't even have the excuse of being a B & B business, needing to give info to prospective clients.


  16. When my cat was diagnosed with renal failure, she was put on a diet which excluded proteins which meant she couldn't have milk, "normal"  fish or meat.  She had to have a special diet which could only be obtained via the vet.  There were two "flavours" of moist food - chicken and beef and also special dry food which she had as a "treat".

      Luckily, the moist food was produced in such a way as to make it particularly tasty so she was relatively keen to eat it.  It was difficult at first, as she had always been a picky eater but the ideal way is to introduce the diet food gradually into her normal diet, reducing the normal and increasing the special food over a few days. 

    The diet and the medication worked very well and she soon became more like her old self.  She was also prescribed Liquivite, but she didn't care for that much.


  17. [quote user="5-element"]

    I don't think they are eaten much by French people. I have never eaten them, and I can't think anyone in my French family who ever has either!

    They are marketed as "typically French" in order  to appeal to foreigners. Ironic isn't it, that it's just the tourists who end up eating frogs' legs?



    The restaurant I mentioned in the Dombes was full of French people eating frogs' legs - we have been on several occasions over the years and it has always been full of French people eating them.  Perhaps, as we have usually been on Sundays, it is a tradition for Sunday lunch in that area.

  18. I read recently that exports from India were likely to be reduced because the loss of all the frogs is affecting the ecology balance in some areas - there are no frogs left to eat the insects etc - with a knock-on effect to local agriculture and disease levels.

    It is also true that the legs are removed while the frogs are still alive - horrible.

    I had lunch in a local restaurant in Les Dombs, a region of lakes and ponds where frogs' legs are a local "dish".  I had never seen them on a menu before and was fascinated to see how popular they were with the locals and tourists.  It had never occurred to me just how many pairs of legs were needed for one dish.  A really sad sight (for me) was the plates full of tiny leg bones at the end of the meal.  There must have been scores for one person's meal.  

    If you calculate the number of pairs required for one Sunday lunch session in that one restaurant, it is not hard to see how the ecology balance can be wrecked through exports to France as a whole.


  19. A couple of years ago, we were waved into the security checking area at Portsmouth.  Our car was fully loaded with bags, cases, boxes etc full of stuff to equip our French house.  After the usual questions as to whether we had guns, knives or other weapons, the security chap insisted that we accompany our brief case into his "office" so it could be searched.  Nothing else in the car was touched.

  20. [quote user="Blanche Neige"]


    Thibault, they sound like the "guests from hell" and obviously they will not get a second invitation from you.


    Well, they practically invited themselves the first time[:-))]  Still, as they live in North America, Europe is not on their usual tourist route and I am sure we will be "away" the next time they plan an extended trip.[:D]

  21. We are not gite owners but had a similar experience last year when some (not very close) friends came to stay with us at our maison secondaire.  By the end of their visit, we felt rather like gite owners with mucky clients [:@].  I had to clean and tidy the shower every time they used it before I could have my shower.  They made no effort to help with washing up etc.  They managed to break the loo flush mechanism and said it was our fault for not putting a note on it about how to push it.  They also bent the washbasin "plug" mechanism in their en suite.  The final straw was to find in the bedroom wastepaper basket after they had left:  empty yoghurt pots, half eaten cakes and several items of a female sanitary nature, unwrapped [:@][:@][:@][:@]
  22. [quote user="sid"]

    We've done overnight stops in France on the service areas (as opposed to the small picnic 'aires') for over 25 years without any nasty incidents. Neither do we know of anyone who has had the misfortune to be robbed or attacked. I for one am very sceptical about the scarey stories.

    Bonne route



    Well, it happened to us as I said.  This was after over 20 years of "safe" sleeping in aires de repose.  The authorities told us it was a growing problem along motorways.  What we found interesting in our episode was the Dutch lorry driver parked right next to us did not hear anything.  In a way this is not surprising as many lorries have refridgeration units working all the time, so probably blot out other noises.

  23. For the umpteen years we had a caravan, we regularly slept in an aire de repose on our first night in France (en route to our first "official" stop at Macon).  There were always lorries and other caravans/motorhomes about.  We had no incidents or worries as it seemed safe.

    The last but one trip made by 'van, we stopped at our usual aire not far from Laon.  Around three in the morning, I was awoken by a sharp click and a "shuffling on sand" noise.  As I looked towards the door, it slowly opened.  I said in a very loud voice "Who's there!!!  What do you think you are doing!!"  My OH was still asleep at this point.

    The person ran off and I heard the sound of a car speeding away. 

    The lock on the caravan door had been forced by a screwdriver type thing.  There was some loose grit by the door which accounted for the shuffling I had heard.

    The Dutch lorry driver next to us had not heard a thing!  We were later told that gangs of  "foreigners" drove up and down motorways at night looking for targets.  Their usual plan was to force a door and grab whatever was nearest.  On this occasion, they would have gained a carrier bag full of digestive biscuits and jellies we were taking to our friend in Marseille [:)]  Probably not what they would have hoped.

    Needless to say, on our next trip we kept going to the camp site at Dijon, rather than risk another break-in.

  24. [quote user="Frederick"]All this trade is fine my me ......but ...when a big supermarket chain decides to use its power ....and science..... to support the growing of crops that are not native to the country it is selling them in like "Yorkshire Galia Melons " and states it is in the interest of "global warming prevention "  to produce food locally and cut down on shipping it accross Europe ...whats next in the way of a crop not produced in the UK ....bananas !    [/quote]

    Logically, on this basis, potatoes would remain a South American vegetable, there would be no grape vines in England, rabbits would not be found in the UK, rhubarb would remain a Chinese plant and there would be no tea in India or Ceylon.

    There is a long history to taking plants from different parts of the world and attempting to grow them in other parts of the world.  Sometimes this is for economic reasons eg stealing tea plants from China and transplanting them to India so the UK did not have a trade imbalance with China.  (BTW, when that didn't work, we sold them opium instead - that soon solved the trade imbalance.)

  25. [quote user="Llwyncelyn"]diluted in a five litre watering can its old fashioned but good and also wash your pots in it as well and scrub with a hard scrubbing brush.[/quote]

    Thank you for the advice. 


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