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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. [quote user="Dick Smith"]We don't rent our place out, but it is used by friends and family, and sometimes they take friends etc. So we make it clear what shouldn't go down the fosse, and we have never had any problems. My son and his wife and friends used 6 months wood in a week (in April!) but that's all. Oh, and no-one has ever owned up to leaving the king-size Rizlas behind the cushions on the sofa...


    I have never found wood very absorbent, and it's a bit too scratchy for my sensitive skin.  Also it stays afloat and won't go down the loo with the flush.


  2. In a flash it came to me!  That impostor Dick Smith is obviously writing a book about weird looking pets - and plagiarising our brilliant, expert and insightful comments to provide the text, of which he will claim to be the sole author.

    This is clearly a scam intended to make vast amounts of money for Dick, the scoundrel, who, judging by his photograph, has to keep changing his appearance so as not to risk discovery.

    What fools we have all been, to be taken advantage of, like that, by such a plausible villain.


  3. [quote user="Quillan"]

    [quote user="Patmobile"]I'm surprised this post hasn't been locked!



    I am sorry I don't understand, could you expand your comment a bit please.


    I was just joking.  Sorry if I hit a nerve.

    Actually I was really interested in the topic of  the Capital Gains Tax

    loophole, since I live in France, earn my living here, pay tax here,

    and I'm about to sell a property in UK.  I'll look forward to this

    topic being re-opened in due course, either the original post, or a new



  4. Our insurance policy requires us to close all shutters less than 1.5 metres above the ground if we leave the house unattended.  This is presumably intended to let opportunist thieves know that the coast is clear!.

    We only do this if we are away overnight so as to comply with the policy.  Otherwise our shutters are closed only in very sunny weather or sometimes in very cold weather.


  5. [quote user="Howie"]Hello again.

    Now I AM confused! According to the information I have, - to get an attestation d'identite, all I need to send is the demande d'identification form with all the relevant bits of technical stuff filled-in.

    I'm not sure what other documents need to be sent, - or why I need photocopies of them too? I'm a bit nervous of sending any original documents in the post.

    Do I really need more than just the completed form and a cheque - in order to get an attestation d'identite?[/quote]


    I've done this 3 times.  As always in France you need to send a dossier.  This should consist of the old registration document, an "attestation" of VAT paid in the country of origin, a current Controle Technique (if the car is 4 years old or more) and, in the case of most recent cars, a Certificat de Conformite.  These should be sent, with a full set of photocopies, along with the completed Demande d'Identification, a cheque, and the return adressed and stamped envelope.

    If there is a simpler way, I have yet to find it.


  6. [quote user="Opas"]So which shape of cheese am I `allowed` to grate?[8-)][/quote]

    Not sure!  But there is a round cheese called Tete de Moine (monks head) from which you are supposed to take circular shavings from the top.  There is usually a special tool provided for the task


  7. [quote user="Eslier"]

    As Patrick said, there are some incentives if you go through Gites de France such as grants that can be made available (used to be up to 50% of the renovation cost - not sure if it still is). This does, however, tie you into a contract to let through GdeF for, I believe, a period of ten years. If your gite is in an area popular with EU visitors then this might prove to be a good thing but rental rates tend to be considerably lower than you could achieve by letting direct to, say, the British market. When I looked into it, GdeF took a 20% commission of the rental charged for the property but if you offset this against the fact that you wouldn't have any advertising costs that's not too bad. You just have to make your mind up whether you want to be tied into a long term contract.


    Yes, you do have to agree to join GdeF and keep the gite(s) in use as such for 10 years, as a condition of a grant.  I don't know if this applies to the special loans.

    You do not, however, have to contract to allow GdeF to do all the lettings, and you don't have to let them set the prices.  We don't let them do any bookings at all. We charge what we want, and we may be the most expensive Gites de France in the area.  Business is very good - a record year last year, and already very significantly up on bookings this year.  Perhaps being the most expensive is a good marketing niche


  8. [quote user="Champak Pol"]What mortgages / loans exist to do up a property in france that we want to run as a gite?[/quote]

    Before we started creating our gites I attended a Gites de France seminar for aspiring gite landlords.  It was all in French of course, but a very informative day with speakers from Gites de France, the Fire Brigade, the Conseil General, the local tax office and a bank (BNP).  A manager from the local BNP spoke about special loans that the bank could make available for creating new gites.  We didn't take up this option, but we did successfully apply for a grant for our first 2 gites, and eventually got 12,200 euros from the Conseil General

    I suggest you contact either your local branch of Gites de France or the BNP for details of what is available now.  Unfortunately I have long ago lost the printed handout that the speaker issued at the seminar, and only have my hand-written notes to remind me that it was BNP.


  9. [quote user="Howie"]Beryl, Will: Thank you both very much. And so quick too! I certainly appreciate it.

    I don't suppose you can advise whether I have to send a cheque for 67,38 euros along with the demande d'identification, can you? If so, is it just made out to DRIRE?

    Thanks so much.[/quote]

    The cheque should be made out to M. le Régisseur de la Drire.

    Don't forget to send a complete set of photocopies of all the documents along with the originals, and a large self addressed stamped envelope for them to return them all to you.


  10. [quote user="Ty Korrigan"]Hang on ....

     Tower Hamlets?

    E-type Jag (I take it)


    Is there a posh area in Tower Hamlets? I thought it was all tower blocks, Somali and Bangladeshi poor folk....



    Yes, actually there is more than one posh area.  I owned a Regency house in Bow (Tower Hamlets) in a well-known conservation area much used for location filming.  The average house price five years ago when I left was around £500k.  Probably nearly double now.

    When an untaxed banger was abandoned outside my house neither the council nor the police wanted to do anything about it.  I had to go round to my local councillor's house and make a damn nuisance of myself before anything was done, so I'm surprised they took any notice in this instance.

    I've just completed the registration in France of my third imported car.  It's not at all difficult.


  11. Couldn't you carry the poles the same way a sailing dinghy mast is carried?  That is, supported at the front of the trailer on a Y shaped crutch and tied down low on the trailer at the back.  The overhang at the front passes safely over the roof of the towing vehicle, so no need for a very long trailer or long overhangs at the back.

    Even if your poles are rather flexy they could be lashed tightly together to stop the overhanging bit from whipping about too much

    I tow a dinghy like this occasionally.  The only problem is that the mast prevents proper opening of the hatchback of the tow car, once the trailer is hitched on.


  12. [quote user="Bassman"] 

    Hmmmmmmm    OK I play Guitar, bass and sing in bands and have done for ... ooooh too many years [;-)] While my French is rubbish  it would seem my accent is OK cos' the few things I can say are usually understood ...and here's the rub ....they then assume I can speak French well and continue in rapid fire French that just goes straight over my head [:-))]  a bit slower and I might understand it[:D] so I have come to the conclusion that a good accent can be a hinderance if your vocabulary is limited [:D]

    Our neighbour rattles away to me in French(or is it Breton[:-))]) and I'm totally lost but when she's speaking to MOH (whose French is waay better than mine) I can understand quite a bit of it [:)] I'm improving but it seems when I learn something new it pushes something old out [8-)]


    I've studied your case, Mr. Bassman, and have come to the conclusion that your problem is twofold:

    1)  Your head is full of little round yellow faces

    2)  With your rock & roll lifestyle, you may have unwittingly been subjected to "passive smoking" of some dodgy substances.

    There is little we brain surgeons can do about either of these ailments, but I suggest you play your guitar only outdoors in future, and take an Alka-Seltzer or 2 if the little men don't go away.


  13. No Germans around here, even though we do some gite advertising in German, and give German as one of our spoken languages.

    We see loads of Belgians and Dutch, though, even though the latter seem to prefer camping and caravanning to staying in luxurious rented cottages.

    Perhaps they are just counting the Germans who pass through France (many in coaches) on their way to Spain, or is there a secret invasion going on?



  14. I just watched BBC news on TV and saw that Tom Jones got a knighthood.  That's one of the best things about France - no titles for anybody, and certainly none for nobodies.

    It's always been a mystery to me how the talentless gargoyle ever got a record made, let alone managed to sell any.

    You don't think he paid Blair a few hundred thousand, do you?


  15. Picardie covers an enormous area, but if you've got the choice of where to go, why not have a look at Chantilly?

    It's a nice town in a pleasant area not too far from Paris and close to airports, railway links, etc.  The inhabitants seem pretty well off and there are loads of recreational facilities.  It has a spectacular chateau, parks and open spaces, golf courses, a race course and good shops and restaurants.

    Alternatively, what about Compiegne, for pretty much the same reasons?

    It might be a bit expensive to live in either of these places, though.


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