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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. [quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

    If a man is alone in the forest, with no one to hear him and he speaks.........

    Is he still wrong ??    [;-)]


    Not if he's in France, where trees are masculine.


  2. The time when I'm most apprehensive is when I'm not in trouble for anything. 

    That's when I know something very unpleasant and huge is about to hit the fan.

    It's like the old cowboy films when a pioneer on the wagon train says "I don't like it.  It's too quiet out there!"


  3. Here in 62, there have been some localised mutterings recently, because some foreigners (Brits and Belges) in a nearby village have led a petition against the introduction of street lights.  In another village some Brit holiday home owners tried, unsuccessfully, to get up a protest about aeoliennes (wind powered generators) planned to be erected on hills some miles away from their village.

    The check out girls in the supermarkets don't seem to like the non french speaking British much either, because they never say "Bonjour" and "Au revoir", and they're impatient in the queues (so they say).


  4. Apparently this was for his, and Madame Chirac's, personal food and drink, not including entertaining.

    I suspect a padded expense account.  They probably ate sandwiches or leftovers from state banquets and trousered the cash.

    Didn't Mme Chirac have some notoriously large suitcases specially for taking cash out of the country?  Still has them, I'll bet.


  5. [quote user="Dick Smith"]If he was 150m south-east he would have been more or less on the spot I am typing this...  No2 son has just moved to Mill Lane, 100m north, and within 50m of where my grandparents lived and my father was born - the pub we all went to this week was the Lord Palmerston.


    My son, Christian, and his mother (we were divorced), lived just beyond the trees on the far side of the pond (North?).

    He might have delivered your papers 20 years ago!  Now, if you need a good offshore lawyer for international litigation, he practises in Guernsey.  Not too far off the Normandy coast, so we're thinking of buying a boat

    You're right about the Luftwaffe's contribution to what became the post-war policy of slum clearance, and that it seemed proper to rehouse the people affected in what seemed, at the time, like decent estates in good areas.  Just too little investment since the sixties, probably, along with other unexpected social changes.



  6. I've just had a brilliant idea.  Save the methane from cows and use it to cook steaks!  Use any excess to power suitably adapted jets for holiday flights! 

    I could become very rich if I can just get this pipe up that cow's backside...


  7. Hey, Dick, fancy that!  My son grew up 150 metres the other side of that pond! (He was at Wilson's, by the way.  That's not you, by any chance, is it?)

    It's nice to see it again. 

    The problem with anywhere in the south-east of England is that no matter how nice your neighbourhood, you're rarely more than 400 yards from a slum estate.   There is bound to be friction, some social discomfort, and any number of unwelcome sights within walking distance.

    I remember Lady Porter getting fined millions for allegedly encouraging conservative voters into a labour ward by selling them council flats.  I've never heard of any Labour council being prosecuted for marginalising, or even taking control of previously conservative wards by building hundreds of council flats in them.  Why the double standard, do you suppose?


  8. [quote user="Quillan"]

    Actually what’s wrong with a 4X4 that runs on fuel cells? What’s wrong with fuel cell cars?


    Isn't the problem with fuel cells the fact that they need lots of hydrogen to fuel them?  And the production of hydrogen consumes loads of energy.  And that usually comes from burning something... and so on.

    Nuclear is the best we've got at the moment, until someone finds a way to turn seawater into hydrogen without needing lots of power stations to do it.


  9. If it's for the creation of gites, the first port of call is your local HQ of Gites de France.  They can tell you what, if anything, is available.

    There are low interest rate loans, too, if grants are not on offer in your region.

    We got €12200 for turning old stables into gites, so it's worth at least a try.


  10. Leaving them alone didn't work for us.  Their tunnels were extended until they caused severe subsidence all over the lawn (well, grassy area!).  Most unpleasant to walk on, too, as the ground felt unstable under the feet.

    Some old bloke in UK told me to put a piece of onion down all the holes I could find.  He said they hate it and go away.

    Has anyone tried that?


  11. May I suggest a few short courses for women?

    Literature: Introduction to world literature, beyond "Hello" magazine and the Medical Dictionary.

    P.E (with Mechanics): Up, Down, Up, Down.  So much for the lavatory seat.  Now, for advanced students, the use of the flush.

    Biology:  (1)  Sexual Technique:  Not just a man's subject - now available as an optional course for women.

                (2)   Life on earth - without make-up, padded bras and plastic surgery


    Ethics:  Only available for a small number of very advanced students



  12. [quote user="Spongebob"]

    The worst HAS to be rear fogs in the rain, though, and what are governemnts doing about that? Nothing.



    The "worst" is high intensity rear lights left on at night, in the rain, in town.   People who drive like this should face peremptory loss of licence.


  13. [quote user="mickey jim"]

    I thought I would share this with everyone, as it may be useful.....

    In the last 18 months, we've lost two telephones, a printer and just last week our TFT computer screen.  All were within 2 years old.  We concluded that it was down to our very dodgy and somewhat fluctuating mains power, as we have small power blips all the time.  We were always losing connection to Wanadoo as well.

    After our screen broke (which had been flickering for some time), we spoke to a few 'techy' people and they advised that we really should buy a UPS anti surge protector for all our computer equipment.  So we did, and it's marvellous.  The new screen no longer flickers, the computer is more stable (hasn't crashed since) and we have been connected to Wanadoo, without interruption, since we installed the new UPS box, which was two weeks ago ! Magic !  I have no idea how it's solved all our problems, but so far it has.

    For info, we purchased a UPS Management system at 129 Euros from Carrefour.  But there are cheaper ones, they just have less battery back up time.


    Is your Livebox (or other ADSL router) power supplied from the UPS ?  Although I've got a UPS (cost about 60euros from Penny Market) on each computer, the Livebox supply does not come through it, and I'm wondering if that's why I lose the connection from time to time.


  14. [quote user="Chauffour"]can anyone tell me why in football each GB country, England-Wales-Scotland, is on his own, and in tennis there is only Great Britain?   [/quote]

    I think it's possibly because in the early days of Association Football and Rugby Union there was no-one else to play against.

    Tennis was a sport for individuals, of any nationality, rather than national teams, until some interfering busybody, probably a Frenchman, came up with the idea for international team competition.


  15. Why do the BBC and other media, always so careful to claim they represent both the muslim and christian sides fairly, not give prominent atheists the chance to comment on the irrational behaviour of religious fanatics?

    We who are not infected by the virus of religious faith, yet whose views are demonstrably more rational than those of both christians and muslims, have to put up with all the results of their religious bigotry.  If it's not crowds of wailing people calling for a dead pope to be hailed as a saint, it's other crowds of breast-beating, koran-quoting, gun-toting creeps threatening violence against all and sundry.

     Is there no newspaper editor, or TV news programme with the courage to point out that these organised religions are all a load of boll*cks?


  16. [quote user="Alexis"]

    5000€ a m² in Paris and about half that in Lyon and Marseille.  Folly! ....................

    There was the usual appaling scenes of people living in absolute squalor and the Mairie of Paris having to cough up nearly 3000€ in rent for them each month to pay the landlord for a room 15m².  Some of these landlords have several of these 'hotels' and are making a million euros profit a year!  Laws are going to be implanted/changed to stop this.


    This sounds like a good investment.  I wish I could get rents like that in London, where the capital cost of an appartment is similar.

  17. [quote user="BJSLIV"]

    Sounds like the standard current Gaz de France electricity offer, though if you sign up on-line they offer a third month standing charge free so perhaps thats where Gites get their rake-off.

    At present you can only get this rate for professional properties, but it will be interesting to see how domestic liberalasation takes off next year (July 2007).

    I don't suppose it will be anything like as cut throat as the UK market was in the early days. Just imagine the scope for paperwork, 24 month contracts, 36 month notice periods etc etc.


    Yes, I had a look on the Gaz de France website and found that I couldn't sign up online, and thus get the third month of zero abonnement without giving a Siret no., which we don't have.  Gites de France seem to have made it posssible for us to do so.  They also suggest in their letter that we could get our domestic and other meters onto the same deal.

    Really, it's the 3 phase supply to our 3 cottages adjacent to our house that would show the most significant benefit.  The abonnement there is 94.74€ per month so we would save 189.48€ immediately and then benefit from a 10% reduction in the future.  The abonnement for the home meter is only 7.50€ per month and, for our separate seaside cottage, 13.47€, so we wouldn't gain a lot there.

    I remember when deregulation arrived in UK, standing charges disappeared.  Is it too much to hope, do you suppose, that if I sit this one out and wait till next year, better offers, with no standing charges at all, might materialise?



  18. We've just received a notice from Gaz de France inviting us to buy electricity from them.  Apparently it's a deal they've made with Gites de France which will give us a 10% lower standing charge, no standing charge at all for 2 months, and a fixed price for a year at a rate equivalent to that of EDF before their recently announced rate increase.

    It sounds OK, but I'm not that keen to go for it, because (a) I know that Gites de France are getting a commission (probably hefty) for every proprietor who signs up, and (b) they are demanding a signature before 24/9/06 to qualify.

    My gut feeling is that other, better offers will be soon on the way from other providers, and that even if they don't turn up, this offer, or possibly a better one from Gaz de France, will still be open if I approach them direct in a month or two.

    I might turn out to be wrong, but this one's going in the "wait & see" file for the time being.


  19. [quote user="Owens88"]

    However.I always allow a few days of the next renter (or a very thorough check) before returning deposit. In a well-equipped holiday-let you cannot possibly tell that everything is in an unabused state without a very long check.



    I agree, but we've found that, if there are any "hidden" damages, it can be difficult to pin them down to any particular tenant, by the time they become apparent.  We therefore make it clear at the outset that small accidents and normal wear-and-tear are not held against tenants, but that we want to be informed immediately of any damage, of any type, whether or not they consider it their fault.

    This seems to encourage a greater degree of honesty (and, perhaps, care) than might otherwise prevail.

    It also means that, usually, we can ensure a problem is fixed before some future tenant finds it.

    I know that one day I might have reason to regret adopting this policy when I get a tenant who is both careless and dishonest, but, for the moment, it seems to work a lot more often than not.


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