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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. What's even more confusing is that in my house in 62 the bathwater (well, shower-water, actually) runs down the drain clockwise, whereas in the house in 80 in seems to prefer anti-clockwise.  Years ago I was taught about something called the Coriolis Effect which is caused by the Earth's rotation, and which, among other things, makes water run out clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise south of the equator.

    This means that the Bay of the Somme is now in the southern hemisphere and that the equator runs through Le Touquet.

    The earth has obviously tilted on its axis and, as a result, you may not now be South of where you thought you were, but actually East of it.


  2. [quote user="Clair"]OK let's clear this up before there is even more confusion.

    In a restaurant context:

    "ça a été?" = "was it OK?"

    "ça y est" or "ça y était" = "
    have you finished" but this would be very familiar, something you would say to a child who's keeping you waiting, not something I'd like to hear as a client in a restaurant.


    Clair, thanks for the explanation

    Obviously all the waiters around here speak much worse French than you.  Where are their manners?


  3. Am I the only one who thinks Rough Guide got it right?  (and you're all wrong!)

    While you are eating the waiter might ask "Ça y

    est?" meaning roughly "Is it OK?"

    After you have finished he might ask "Ça y était?"

    or "Was it OK?"

    It's just the same thing in the past tense.


  4. It seems that sometimes, possibly, sick people get better after visiting Lourdes.  This is put down, by Catholic christians, anyway, as the intervention of God.  But since God was specifically invented by humans to explain the inexplicable, it can be no surprise that when something apparently "miraculous" happens, he is held by the church to have been responsible.

    Why do people of no particular religious faith, as well as people who have never been to Lourdes, also recover from illnesses against all medical expectations?  Can't we stop looking for answers in ancient mythology and get on with searching for the truth about creation, and the creator if any, by studying the universe using the best tool we have for the purpose - the human brain?  We may never know even a tiny fraction of the truth, but at least we'll have made an honest effort to find out, instead of accepting blindly the least likely story, even if it may have some superficially attractive elements.

    It would probably be a good thing for humanity, although only a small step forward for mankind, if Lourdes were to be finally, completely and irrefutably debunked as a site of "miracles".  If the Catholic church really cared about the truth, they would denounce the place themselves.


  5. I like it here in the North - but I realise I might feel an irresistible urge to move further south when I become very old - a common symptom of oncoming senile dementia , I'm told .

    Anyway, I can keep my holiday gites full from 25 to 30+ weeks a year.  I don't see the point of having assets that only work for 10 - 15 weeks out of 52, but I gather that that's what happens down there in those parts of the country where it's frozen solid in winter and baked to a crisp in the summer.  I understand they get a few weeks of bearable weather down there during March and October.

    Also the food is better up north, the golf courses are better, the beaches aren't polluted and, of course, the people we meet still have all their marbles and can get around without zimmer frames.


  6. [quote user="Will the Conqueror"]

    I have to say that I didn't particularly like Nick's use of the word 'idiots' in the original posting,.....


    It was certainly provocative - and we should remember that idiots are everywhere, not just on the aforementioned  forum (allegedly).

    I have never bothered buying a copy of France magazine, because they  sent me a complimentary copy a couple of years ago and the first thing I read was an article about the Pas-de-Calais by some idiot who obviously hadn't actually bothered to go there and look around before writing it.


  7. [quote user="Dicksmith"]Sorry, Urko, whoever you may be. It isn't a tax and it isn't stealthy. It's the dim use of Daily Mail clichés that I object to. And no evidence of corruption either. Whatever happened to 'Put up or shut up'?

    I think you are paranoid, or have something to hide, sorry.[/quote]

    I know I'm a bit late in arrival, but I disagree, Dick.  It's a stealth tax because the proposed cost of a card bears no relation to the cost of running the immensely complicated system that will be required.  That will have to be paid out of increased general taxation. 

    The £30 or whatever they say it will be, is just a figure, plucked out of the air, that the government thinks it can get away with charging.  They represent it as the cost of the entire scheme.


  8. Yes, with good marketing and a quality product you should be able to make a decent living.  24-26 weeks of occupancy a year is our average for high quality cottages in attractive rural parts.  30+ weeks each year can be achieved by the seaside, especially if there are good local facilities that are available year round.

    Although good marketing does not necessarily mean lots of expense, you should certainly budget a sensible amount for advertising in the first few years.  By sensible, I mean think of a reasonable number and double it.  It might hurt when you start paying, and you'll probably be able to trim it back later, but, as Orville Wright might have said, "You can't fly if you don't get off the ground."


  9. [quote user="Jhc"]

    Sad to say that we joined then in mid Nov 2005 and have not had a single inquiry.  This has totally amazed us as they are highly recommended by other owners on the Lay My Hat site, and it seems from comments above that others are satisfied on this site.[/quote]

    Just checked to see what we have had since mid-November.  A bit thin compared to earlier last year but it still amounts to 13 enquiries over 4 cottages.  Most of these have already been converted into bookings so I reckon I've already had my money's worth.

    I would advise you not to write them off just yet.  In our experience different ads work well at different times of the year, so you might well find this one will fill a gap when the others go quiet.


  10. Best of luck to you.  The site looks well-organised, clear and to the point.  I particularly like your booking enquiry form.  Loading speed was unusually fast.

    I would suggest, though, that you think about re-arranging all the text panels towards the left or centre, not necessarily in a column but more or less straight up and down, no farther right than 800 pixels.  The pictures and other stuff could be positioned right of centre towards extreme right.  This is because most people still probably view in 800 x 600, either because they have relatively small monitors, or because it's more comfortable for the eyes.  They will then be able to read the text without having to scroll across all the time.

    Another good reason is that, for those with slow connections, the text will load quickly first and they can be reading it while the pictures and decorative bits continue to load on the right.

    I hope you don't mind these suggestions.  Your site is handsome, but sometimes ease of use is more important than beauty.


  11. [quote user="Rdkr"]

    I'll have a toke off what you're smoking dude! Must be some funky smoke![/quote]

    How interesting you should bring up smoking.  Did I ever tell you about the perfect set of 6 concentric smoke rings I once blew at a dinner party given by the Premier of British Columbia?  The chief of a tribe of native americans, who was also at the party, thought I was propositioning his daughter.

    I find that Cohibas produce the best rings - and they're a damn good smoke, too.   Aah, Havana! What a wonderful city!  -  even better than Rome in my opinion, though the ice cream you buy on the Spanish Steps is the best in the world.

    Now Spain, there's a place I don't like.  The bread's terrible.

    Now what were we talking about?


  12. Why are we not as free to criticise or ridicule a person's religious beliefs as we are their fashion sense, hairstyle, or choice of car?

    Why can I tell the truth about the cruelty and inhumanity of Hitler and the Nazis (edit: members of mid 20th century german fascist organisation), but not of the Ayatollahs and muslim fanatics?

    Why is it not regarded as an important civic duty to point out and ruthlessly expose the contradictions, falsehoods and wickednesses of organised religions?

    If I could draw a cartoon I'd start right here


  13. [quote user="Dicksmith"]Pat asked

    Has anyone any tips for making good use of wood ash from a stove?

    I believe that you can dissolve it in water and mix it with mutton tallow to make a kind of grey soap with gritty bits in.

    You can also mix it with urine (anybody's will do) and some chicken poo to make lye and use it to dissolve flesh off of hides - but be careful not to drink it. Oddly it is apparently used in thickening ice cream.

    Some wood ash has good pozzolanic properties and can be used in making cement.

    It is also used in making pottery glazes.

    So it's a cornucopia of boundless opportunities![/quote]

    Funnily enough I thought it looked as if it might make my cement go further because it's such a fine cement-like dust.

    Would anyone like to try my latest ice cream recipe?  I think it tastes a bit odd, but I may have misread Dick's instructions.  Was I supposed to mix it with pee and chicken shi-ite for the ice cream, or just for the hide-tanning stuff?


  14. [quote user="Robbos"]

    ... cover with the ash every one rightly tells you not to throw away (good for the garden when you eventually have to)....


    What do you do with the ash in the garden?  I 've been chucking mine out in a heap behind the barn.  Not being much of a gardener I didn't know it was any good for anything.

    Has anyone any tips for making good use of wood ash from a stove?


  15. [quote user="BJSLIV"]If you create a new property, even your main residence, if it is sold within five years VAT (@19.6%)is payable on the profit.[/quote]

    Yes, that may be  true, but we didn't exactly create new buildings, we just "amenaged" new gites within the existing walls of the old stables.  What's more, they appear to be saying we have to pay VAT on the whole cost of the building work, even though it's arguable that no profit has resulted.

    No doubt we'll find out what the expert opinion is quite soon.


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