Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. It looks as if French Connections will once again prove to be the best publicity for our gites, in terms of value-for-money, at any rate.

    I agree it's annoying to have to pay for changes, and I have not yet replaced one photo of one of our cottages with a newer better one, for that very reason.

    I notice that Karen Viney has responded to comments here before, which I think shows a commendable interest in, and awareness of, what her customers are thinking and saying. (Even if she doesn't necessarily take up any of our suggestions). So if she is there and reading this I hope she'll take heart from the fact she has at least one client still ready to speak reasonably well of French Connections.

    Patrick (just a client of FC - no other connection)
  2. Yes - we got 2 from Aldi, only about 60€ each. They are called IPEL Evolution. They seem to work very well, have solved a recurring problem of fuse blowing when split-second power cuts occur (as they do here), and we have far fewer inexplicable crashes.

    After you've installed it you can download some free software from the manufacturer's site that enables your computer to close down safely and totally automatically if a power cut goes on for long enough to reduce the onduleur's battery capacity to danger level.

    An interesting feature is that this software will give you a continuous readout of the mains voltage which can vary here from 230+ to 180V or less. In spite of this the unit's output varies only within a a reasonably narrow band.

    I would say well worth the money. They've probably saved us a couple of power unit burn-outs in the time we've had them, not to mention all the hassle and bother of fuse changing, re-booting, sorting out crashes, etc.

  3. This appears to a rare sighting of the Bulgarian Cat-eating tree frog (Frogus mogmunchius vertiginus)

    These cunning beasts attract unwary pussies to the foot of their tree with a special croak which cats find irresistible. Once close enough the cat is stunned into paralysis by a combination of the frog's hypnotic stare and its virulent colour. Normally the cat turns a deathly pale at this stage, unless it is already white.

    Cat lovers may be reassured to know that the pussy feels nothing as the frog pounces to devour its prey.

  4. Fabien

    My wife has done this type of work professionally. She has voiced TV commercials, promotional videos and also even some telephone voicemail announcements. She also appears live from time to time on one or two TV shopping channels

    She would be delighted to do the announcement for you, especially if you are offering to pay a small fee.

    We live in Northern France(62)so not very close to you, but we could send you an example of her work, if you are interested.

    Patrick (& Sue)
  5. I'm trying to work out an itinerary to get some overseas visitors arriving at CDG to my gite on the Picardy coast. The SNCF website says they have to change from one train arriving at Gare du Nord to another leaving Paris Nord.

    Are these two names for the same place or is there some distance between them?

    Grateful for your help, anyone,

  6. [quote]Just one further point these programmes are made to make money for the producers. Most TV programmes on commercial channels nowadays are made by independent production companies. What happens is tha...[/quote]

    Another possible outcome - that happened to me - is that the production company takes your idea and sells it to a broadcaster without involving you further or even telling you.

    It stung a bit at the time but I was too busy with my own business, by the time I found out, to do anything about it. The programme made it big and has been reproduced in many other countries.

    Best make sure you have some sort of preliminary agreement in writing before you reveal your original idea to these pirates.

  7. [quote]Patmobile, who is on your photo?[/quote]

    It's George Clooney who will be playing me in the Hollywood film of my life.

    Of course he's not really good-looking enough, but who is?

    This photo is the least flattering I could find, in case anyone thought he really was me on a bad day.

    Back on the subject, there are 2 ex-MFH's living here in France near me. Perhaps we could start a hunt here? I don't ride or hunt, though, so I'm out.

  8. I've got the same blasted Livebox thing. I've wired it into the network hub as it was absolutely hopeless trying to use it in WiFi mode.

    I now have two new problems. First the network is part wired and part WiFi. If I switch off the Livebox's WiFi mode, the WiFi access point on my network also goes off. If I don't I've got 2 networks.

    Second, all the computers on the network could see each other fine and share a printer before the Livebox entered the wired part of the network; now they can't.

    I hate all Wanadoo software - now I hate their hardware too.

  9. The French government could make a huge contribution to road safety by abolishing the "Priorite a droite" system, which is, anyway, applied so inconsistently, and is totally at odds with safe motoring at modern speeds.

    The other thing they could do is ensure that driver training places much more emphasis on maintaining a 2 second gap between your vehicle and the one in front. It's such a simple lesson to teach.

    It's my opinion the French taste for underpowered diesel cars is one of the causes of the tailgating you see everywhere here. They can't accelerate rapidly to overtake, so they climb all over your bumper trying to shorten the distance they are going to have to travel to get past.

    I usually slow down to make it easy for the worst offenders, but, just occasionally, I "blow them away" with a quick squirt on the gas pedal to re-establish a safe distance. Unfortunately the persistent morons are back on the bumper again, a mile or so later.

    In general though, I find driving is still a pleasure here; something you can't say about anywhere in UK south of the Humber

  10. I'm sorry I started a discussion about the merits or otherwise of belonging to GdF. I didn't mean to.

    The point I was trying to make was not that Shawny should count on 24+ weeks bookings, nor that he should register his gites with GdF, but that he should talk to the GdF boss in his area to find out what sort of average occupancy he might be able to achieve. He could get a lot of useful information before he starts - as we did.

    Two of our properties are GdF registered, but only so that we could get a grant for them. Our main marketing effort is directed at a different clientele. As far as I know none of our bookings come as a result of belonging to GdF - we probably look too dear alongside the other gites in their guide.

  11. If anyone is familiar with the parking facilities at Le Havre ferry port, I would appreciate any information you can give me about long term parking.

    Is there a long term car park at the ferry terminal?

    Do you pay in advance or on return?

    Is it far to walk?

    If not at terminal, where might there be one?

    I'm going over early on Sunday morning for a week or so. Not taking the car because of expense, and because motoring in UK is now such a tedious business.

    Very grateful for your help


  12. Hi Shawny

    In the areas (62 & 80) where we have our holiday properties I spoke to the local chief of Gite de France about average occupancy.

    Their advice has been confirmed by our experience. Here its around 24-28 weeks per year for a country gite, 30+ weeks per year for one near the sea.

    The larger gites seem to let earlier, but we are about to open a new studio/loft style gite that we want to market to couples - not necessarily gay couples, but it is called "Studio Rose" and the exterior is painted pink.

    I couldn't say how many you'll need. Obviously small ones fetch less weekly revenue than larger ones.

    Best of luck and hope you do well - but not too close to us!

  13. If your badge doesn't work at the reserved barrier you should drive over to the barrier with a manned booth and hand over the badge (it comes out of its windscreen mounting) to the attendant. They scan the code on it I think and let you go through. The charge appears as normal on your statement.

    Unfortunately this happens more than just occasionally and always when there is an enormous queue at the only manned barrier, or when you are in a hurry, or in the early hours of a freezing winter morning when you don't want to have to open the window.


  14. It sounds like a perfectly good computer to me. Why do you want to change?

    If you don't want it and can't find a home for it I would be happy to take it off your hands.

    The problem I have found when running a French language Windows operating system is that, when you need to sort out a problem, all the help screens and all the message windows are in French. Even though I read & speak reasonable French this can render progress slow and stressfull.

  • Create New...