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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. I've never heard of hunting with rabbits, but it sounds an excellent idea. For a start all the hunts in Britain now threatened with closure could swiftly train packs of rabbits instead of hounds. I am sure this would get round the hunt-banning legislation which, as I recall, refers only to "hunting with dogs"

    The rabbits might have to be genetically modified to make them more agressive, fast, biddable and faithful to their master. They would probably look a lot like dogs after the necessary changes, but provided their DNA could be proved to be rabbit variety, hunts could surely not be prosecuted.

    I must mention this possibility to the two retired Masters of Foxhounds who live within half an hour of me here in 62.
  2. My local newspaper here in France is not like anything I've ever seen in UK. Instead of pages of news about crime, house prices, 'celebrities' and rich peoples' nimby protests, it tells me about the real issues of the day in these parts.

    This week's edition featured a story about a local farmer's oddly shaped potato – complete with picture. This fascinating piece of investigative journalism was soundly trumped on the next page however, by a story about a rabbit with an exceptionally long tooth which stuck forwards out of its mouth like a tusk. A picture of the rabbit, dead, illustrated the piece with a caption explaining it had been shot by a local chasseur.

    The page on road traffic accidents is also tremendously informative. Apparently this week almost none happened, but the driver of an unknown vehicle callously sideswiped a roadside dwelling, knocking the letter box clean off the wall.

    And people ask me why I like living in France….

  3. I assume we're talking about versions of Windows and not a medical problem.

    I have not experienced any difficulties when using my laptop which runs on Windows ME. My office desk computer, which is the one I most frequently use online, runs on 98 and I can't get the control panel menu to appear at all.

    I'm just fiddling about with it now (the computer) and it seems I can't get other menus on the same line either.

    I don't know if this helps - let me know if you want me to try any experiments (with the computer that is).
  4. Entre nous - we're in 62!

    I've managed to update my profile. Had to use to my laptop running Windows ME to get access to the Control Panel. Can't get in from my office machine.

    This is a problem that still doesn't seem to have been explained by the people who run the system.

    I'm now looking for a picture of George Clooney to put in as my avatar. I'm casting him to play me in the film biography I'm sure Hollywood will make one day.
  5. Well I tried but I can't find a way to get into my profile to replace the lost info.

    Will someone give me a clue? I've tried clicking on Control Panel but nothing happens.

    By the way my name is Patrick and I live in Pas de Calais (62)

    A family of Belgians were going on holiday to GB, but a few hours after leaving home they returned with puzzled looks on their faces. "We were booked from Calais to Dover" they explained, "but the sign at the roadside said 'pas de Calais' so we came back"

    Apologies to any Belgian readers
  6. [quote]Do you think things cost the same in Calais as they do in other parts of France, generally? Or do you think things may be higher priced for the British who go there on shopping trips? Also, do you ...[/quote]

    We live about one hour from Calais in the beautiful and little known "Sept Vallees" country. We never shop in Calais - everything is definitely more expensive there than in our local supermarkets.

    My neighbour asked me if I could buy some booze for his daughter's wedding cheaper at the tunnel terminal or the discount booze warehouses than he could locally. I checked thoroughly and found the local Champion supermarket was cheaper. The shopping at Cite Europe is way overpriced in general.

    Apart from St Omer or Arras you could try Bethune. It has a reasonable edge-of-town shopping centre and trading estate. I'm not sure what there would be to amuse your boys however. Golf lessons, perhaps? a trip round the Decathlon sports store?
  7. I can add something to the previous replies, as I have received a grant of 12000 euro for my 2 gites.

    You are obliged to become a member of GdF and meet the required standards. This is not too difficult but there is a lot of detail to observe, even before you start the work.

    You don't have to do the bookings through GdF; we do ours direct, but we do appear in the GdF guide and on their website. We are allowed to set our own rates, as we choose, but we are obliged to stick to the rates we publish through GdF.

    You need to apply for the grant before you start any work at all. Having applied, you then ask for permission to start the work pending their response to your application. Once you have the permission you can go ahead without waiting for the decision.

    The application itself is fairly simple. It goes to the Conseil General of your region and needs to be in French and formally couched. You are likely to have to have your proposal and the site inspected, assessed and approved by someone from the Conseil General and from GdF.

    Payment of the grant once it has been approved comes some time after completion of the project and after submission of receipted invoices to prove you have spent your share of the cost. In our case the whole thing took a little under 2 years.

    It's not absolutely clear, but I believe we would have to repay a proportion of the grant if we did not stay in business with GdF for the whole 10 years.

    If I can help please feel free to contact me via the forum
  8. [quote]Patmobile - I agree strongly with you regarding knighthoods etc. I've always said that anyone with a title, regardless of how it was earned,heriditary etc should be stripped of that title if they get ...[/quote]

    Seems like I've found one person who agrees with me.

    Yes, I do agree there is a good case for recognising selfless work for the community, or notable acts of courage, which might otherwise go unrewarded. But no knighthoods for footballers, pop stars, and civil servants, please. They are handsomely rewarded in other ways.
  9. Is there no-one on this forum who thinks the whole idea of titles is outdated and stupid?

    For me, one of the major faults with the present government's plans to get rid hereditary peers in the House of Lords is that they have retained the title "Lord" for life peers and appointees. Why not call them something without connotations of aristocratic snobbery, like Senator, Elder, Representative, etc.

    Knighthoods and peerages hark back to feudal forelock tugging days when people who rode around on horses were "better" by birth than others who worked on the land, and they perpetuate the kind of class system from which Britain should finally be trying to liberate itself.

    I'm glad I don't live there.
  10. Don't know about Conforama but at Leroy Merlin it depends on whether the colour/pattern you want is in stock. You can call the store first to find out. If they don't have it they order it - seems to take up to a week. However, I don't know if they will take an order on the phone.

    As for delivery, Conforama will hire you a van for half a day or longer if needed, but it's not that cheap. Kitchen worktops will go on a roofrack if you've got one, though.

  11. I'll second the proposal for the Welsh Pub. It's very traditional with waiters in waistcoats and long aprons, and the food is good too.

    If you want a smaller place with a more intimate atmosphere, Le Doyen, in rue Doyen, I think, a narrow street to the left if you stand with your back to the Welsh Pub. It's very small, only five or six tables, and run by a man who cooks and a woman who serves and does everything else.
  12. >If someone had said, well, we
    >can give you some variety,
    >give you a few nights
    >close to the coast, a
    >few nights on the plain,
    >and a few nights in
    >the mountains, we would definitely
    >have taken it like a
    >shot - and probably paid
    >a premium for the variety.
    >And the one we liked,
    >we would have come back
    >year after year.
    >Has anyone tried this?

    Not exactly - but this year we have booked a family into one of our country gites for the first week of their holiday, and our seaside house for the second.

    We haven't yet worked out exactly how we're going to handle the changeover day, as obviously they have to leave the cottage in the morning and they can't have the house till the afternoon.
  13. I have 2 adjoining gites each with a satellite dish getting free UK channels. Although both dishes are identical 80 cm models and they are both on the same mast, it is extremely difficult (impossible) to get the same quality of signal on both. Also, both suffer from loss of quality in wind or rain. I suspect this is because of poplar trees in line with the signal path.

    I know you can use one dish and split the signal to two decoders, but does anyone know if it is possible to use the same components to combine the signals from two dishes and then split them to the two receivers? Would this effectively increase the dish area and/or make a better average signal quality available to both receivers?

    By the way I have started to use the receivers you can buy in the shops here (Mr.Bricolage, Leroy Merlin) and they are cheaper, come with dish and LNB (always useful as spares) and easy to set up. The loss of programme information that you get on Sky is the only drawback.

    Hope someone can advise
  14. We just started with 2 cottages towards the end of last year and have now added a third. To our surprise we got 2 separate 3 week bookings in high season just weeks after starting our marketing.

    Since we've started like this I don't think I'll be restricting people to two weeks at a time.
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