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Posts posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. ...Apparently the change would require re-writing a couple of lines of code in the cash machine software to enable a machine of your home bank to re-write the pin number in a card, like UK- bank machines have been able to do for years. All it really requires is the will to do it, but  -no - that would not be 'the French way' . Never make the mistake of confusing a French bank for part of any 'service' industry !

    I am old enough to remember the general attitude displayed by UK banks towards ordinary people back in the 1960's/70's. No matter how big you credit balance, you were made to feel as though they were lowering their standards by letting you across the threshold - had I worn a cap I would have felt the need to doff it.

    The only time I feel like that anywhere, these days, is in a French banque.

    [quote user="Chancer"]

    When I changed to La Banque Postale they made a big thing about how they would do it all for me, that is until I said no, I dont want that account with all the bells and whistles and (non) benefits that you are trying to foist off on me, I want the one you quoted me and that I signed for, then all of a sudden it was no longer available, they are as much the con artists as the my last banque its just they are smoother with it, people around here are honestly so thick they just go along with it, I seem to be the only one who ever questions them.


    Now I have shot myself in the foot, after spending on my UK cards in the UK I muddled the code Pin's between my French accounts (still havn't closed the old one) and the card is now bloquée définitivement I have to post it away at my cost, wait 3 - 4 weeks and pay for a new one.


    Not being allowed to choose your own code pin is a real scam to make money for the French banques, I have only just remembered the old one apart from today that is, I have far more chance of forgetting the new one.



  2. [quote user="Chancer"]

    You are using placo for roofing? [8-)]


    Thats what BA13 is in my world.


    ugh... too late at night... too little sleep... sorry.  I mean , of course, PV 13.

    Let me just check: the tiles go on the outside, and the placo goes on the inside... right?

    [see also the 4th rule of pipes: the od has to greater than the id, or else the hole will be on the outside! ]


  3. Thanks everyone, it does indeed stop flashing if te PIR is taken out of circuit. - bugger ! I suppose if I were to get the PIR to power a DPST relay it would work properly, but the though of cables and waterproof boxes and all that,  is more than flesh and blood can bare. I'll go back to the mini flori until the proper ones come down to a reasonable price!.

    While I have your attention... can anyone point me in th direction of a site which will tell me the minimum slope for BA13 roof tiles. I know I've seen it somewhere, years ago, but it seems to be hiding from me now, and this effing satellite internet is now so slow that it's like searching on a dial-up connection !


  4. I have swoped out the halogen stick in an outside security light for an LED one. Saving about 80 watts in the process. However, I now find it won't switch off completely. Its motion detector switches it off, but then it flashes continuously.

    This state of affairs exists regardless of which way round the stick is inseted, and even swopping the polarity of the mains.

    Any thought anyone?


  5. [quote user="EuroTrash"]"along with things like it being no longer possible to scrap vehicles"


    Is a "small businessman in the vehicle trade" different from a garagiste? Only, as a member of the public there doesn't seem to be any problem scrapping a vehicle with a garage. I did, not long since, and the garage also took care of immatriculating the car I bought as a replacement, no extra charge. So in my experience as a punter, it is very simple if you buy from a garage because the garage does it all for you. Maybe it makes life more complicated for the garage but if it does they didn't complain.

    There's been a similar rule in the UK about only disposing of vehicles to registered vehicle dismantlers for many years now.[/quote]

    ...my understanding is that it's future rather than current restrictions.

  6. [quote user="EuroTrash"]"along with things like it being no longer possible to scrap vehicles"


    Is a "small businessman in the vehicle trade" different from a garagiste? Only, as a member of the public there doesn't seem to be any problem scrapping a vehicle with a garage. I did, not long since, and the garage also took care of immatriculating the car I bought as a replacement, no extra charge. So in my experience as a punter, it is very simple if you buy from a garage because the garage does it all for you. Maybe it makes life more complicated for the garage but if it does they didn't complain.

    There's been a similar rule in the UK about only disposing of vehicles to registered vehicle dismantlers for many years now.[/quote]

    ...my understanding is that it's future rather than current restrictions.

  7. What sparked this off was a conversation with my inestimable garagest, Ray, who said it is accompanied by a whole raft of new legislation, seemingly designed to make life unbearable/impossible for small businessmen in the vehicle trade, along with things like it being  no longer possible to scrap vehicles, or sell them 'for parts and spares only' and other draconian changes.

    France seems to become more and more proscriptive and burocratatic with each passing year !


  8. Our local sub-prefecture is to be closed to personal visits to register/immatriculate vehicles in the new year. Which means that henceforth all dealings will have to be online (with all the delays and too-ing and frow-ing, scanning and photocopying that that will necessiate).

    Is this a national thing or just a barmy idea of La Creuse.?


  9. Know what you mean Idun, price tag is no guide to comfortable car seats. My first car was a Renault 6 with squishy soft suspension and bench seats. Dead comfy ! Mind you, I was 17 at the time, so my back could put up with a lot more then  than it will now. Oddly one of the most comfortable seats (being defined as "driving from Penzance to Birmingham without stopping, and not being crippled or doubled up when you get out") I ever had was in a Citroen 2CV, and that was a glorified deck-chair!. As someone earlier said, seats in German cars are too stiff and tutonic, but the worst by a country mile must be Fords... I wouldn't have one as a gift! 

  10. Has anyone seen in the Bricos (or know where I can get hold of) a shower drain for a poured concrete shower base?

    It is a sort of 2-stage affair the outer ring of which seals to a waterproof membrane onto which the concrete is poured and the tiles laid, then the top, main, part of the trap seals to the tiles, 50mm or so higher.

    Readily available in the US, but then cost a King's ransom to post, of course.

  11. Wow Chancer !

    A dispassionate observer might be forgiven for thinking that you're not altogether, 100%  en accord with the way your running club association - and your fellow members conduct themselves. - just a feeling... I may be entirely wrong of course!

    Yes, of course, an association should be expected to be financially prudent, balance its books, and carry some surplus across from year to year. But that, I submit, would be a poor argument in the Tax Man's eyes if the accounts show that the surplus is clearly growing substantially year by year.

    But you're right. That point doesn't allow for the totally bent old-boy's network with innumerable blind eyes which seem to manage some of these things in rural France!

  12. [quote user="NormanH"]I thought they were exempt because they aren't supposed to make a profit.

    I don't see why they shouldn't have funds in reserve.


    But wouldn't you consider the interest (miniscule though it is) on a Livret to be a form of profit?

    Anyway, a strict definition of 'profit' would be:-

     'total funds taken in [-]  total annual expenditure [=] profit'.


  13. I am connected to a couple of French associations. One of which had its AGM/AG last night.

    I had always thought that the reason associations are tax-exempt is because they are not expected (in theory, at least) to carry money over from one F/Y to another. Yet I discovered on discussing the end of year financial statement (and another thing....why can't the French bring themselves to carry a running total down the side of any financial statement? What is the matter with them? !) that they have over 1000 Euros invested in a Livret 'A', which obviously rolls across the F/Y.  Since it's with the same bank as the main account, I assume it's correct and allowable, but it does seem a rather odd idea.

    n'est pas?

  14. I can make a pretty good guess what ir would be like, as it had no insulation in it when we bought the place, and 80-odd years of heat had almost charred the rafters: ordinary pine, shrunken and twisted, very dark brown/black (worse on the west face than the east) and about as hard as lignum vitae or ebony.

    When I insulated and lined the roof, I took the prob of an indoor/outdoor thermometer and wedged it between slates, so I can now see the temp difference between the tiles and the room inside. This summer, it's frequently been as hot as 35 - 38C in the loft, but outside? Well the range goes up to 69.9C and after that it just says 'hhhh' which is what it frequently showed.

    I also managed to give myself an actual burn when I opened a velux, and put my hand on the metal flashing !

    Could you find a link to this solar water heater?  Sounds interesting.

  15. I can think of no reason to think that the guck which accumulates in waste pipes, shower traps etc, would end up blocking the pipes in a field drain.

    I cannot imagine it getting beyond the fosse, unless you are running prodigious quantities of water through it (in which case it is under-sized for the system).

    The bacteria in a fosse will digest hair (eventually) which is the main culprit in the guck. the rest is muck and soap residue. - none of which would stop in the bac de grasse as it's not lighter than the water it's in

    Yes, some of it ends up in the field or sand filter, but blocking the pipes?  Really, I don't think this is something you need lose sleep over.

    My feeling is that a l-o-n-g  field drain of perforated pipe is a better bet (assuming the percolation ratio is ok) for grey water. as the soil nearest the house becomes saturated, the water simply flows further along the pipe.

    Many microbiologists would say that grey water has no business in a fosse, diluting the bacteria, and killing it off with modern household cleaners, but that's EU rules and regs for you!

  16. Any of you have suggestions as to suitable materials for a replacement conservatory roof?

    We currently have a conservatory of about 8m x 4m (8 being width) with plastic roofing on the lower 3m, and metal panels on the upper part.

    Being west facing, we've decided it's too hot with even this much transparent roof, so want to replace the lot with one continuous material, insulate it, and finish with a proper plasterboard ceiling..

    The big problem is that it slope is only about 30 degrees, and faces the prevailing weather.

    I would have thought this too little for tuiles mechanique (BA13) and the cement slates in black would have too great a thermal gain.

    Above this is the house roof with those diamond 'slates' below which is 11-couche foil insulation, and 60mm of extruded polystyrene, and it's UNBELIEVABLY hot in the loft in summer, so 'nothing black' is the OH's instruction !  

    Any thoughts?

  17. I have just taken over as treasurer of a small Drama association, and am currently setting the accounts onto a spreadsheet, I'm wondering what is the correct way of treating assets.

    Obviously stuff bought for each production (making sets, costumes etc.) is a consumable as much as food and drink, but what do I do about other stuff we've bought like lighting and sound kit?

    Do I treat them as a fixed-value asset, or write them down over a number of years?.... write them off after one year?? (They'd probably last about 10 yrs in reality).

    We're not talking megga-bucks here, but that's no reason to not do the thing properly.

    I freely admit to knowing nothing of how the French set out their accounts other than the fact that they clearly haven't the slightest idea how to present a bank statement!

  18. I know I should remember by now, but I'm clearly getting too old for this game...

    I don't know why it is when I've been filing on line for years, but this year I seem to have lost the plot, and can't see where uk-derived share dividends (gross, net, tax) should go. Anyone help, please?

    Also I've always rolled my wife's state and private pension into the one box, not separated the annuity-sourced one in the vig. box.... what difference will it make?


  19. [quote user="Buzby"]We live in 65 near Madiran, and even on a 1.2m dish the reception now varies a lot - more or less OK on a modern Humax decoder but even that is weather dependent. Compared to a year ago, when we never had any problems, the signal now seems to be weaker.

    There is one issue which I fail to understand, the difficulty of aligning a larger dish. Using an elementary calculation, the resolving power of an optical element can be calculated from the ratio wavelength being received divided by the aperture. This gives an angle, in radians, from which you can calculate the minimum distance apart of two objects which can just be resolved, known as the Rayleigh criterion.

    Carrying out this calculation for a 1.2 metre dish receiving a 10GHz signal, ie 3cm wavelength, the minimum angle comes to 1/400. Since the satellite is about 40,000 kms away, this means that the minimum distance apart for two objects at that distance to be resolved is 100kms. There is no way that the individual Astra 2 satellites, which are only a few kms apart, can be resolved by a dish of that size, so the dish will "see" all of them.

    What am I missing? In general I have found aligning my dish no more difficult than my original smaller one, although it has to be precise within 1/400 radians, ie about 1/7th of a degree -  difficult enough!


    Would the same be true of - say - a 90cm dish? If so it would seem to fly in the face of experience whereby it is possible to 'favour' one sat over another (in the same nominal location) where the transponder beams - and therefore the relative received signal strengths - may differ. (Classic FM comes to mind).

    Certainly the ordinary physical business of moving a dish about to find the damned sats is harder the bigger and heavier the dish is - perhaps that's what effects my view of ease of station finding/keeping?

    I never cease to be amazed at how rudimentary the alignment and attachment fittings remain on even quite high-end products: having struggled for hours to get the best possible signal strength, the effect of tightening the bolts then throws the dish half a degree off-station!

    The most intelligent design for dish alignment I've seen is for my satellite internet which has a bleeper whose pitch alters the nearer you get to peak signal, and to actually make the adjustments you turn a geared bolt. Easy, smooth and accurate. Would that all systems were like that!   

  20. Well yes, most of us can go this way for at least some of the money. My private pension is paid directly into CAAC, so for that it's simply a case of finding 12 pages of bank statements! - even the tax man wouldn't argue that that's the real amount of income but for other stuff (a few share dividends) I prefer to have a figure I can justify. Once upon a time there would have been bank interest of a few pounds, but nowadays it wouldn't get you into a loo, let let alone buy a baguette!

    Actually, looking at the variation in Euros remitted, from a monthly fixed sum on sterling is a sobering experience. The rate has headed south ever since Brexit reared its head. I blame Cameron and his inability to keep a lid on the Far right, isolationist, little Englander wing of the Conservative party, and stop them from upsetting the markets !

  21. Having been away from the UK for 10 years now, I've sort of lost touch with techy things.

    We have been given for a jumble sale an old UK freeVIEW box (not freeSAT, note). It says nothing on it about HD so suspect it's SD only.

    Obviously it won't work anymore here in France, but is the UK still a 'mixed economy' of SD/HD, - terrestrially speaking?

    I'll put it on a stall labelled "For UK only" if it would work over there, but if not, I'll bin it.

    I simply don't want to mislead people!

  22. Given than the shap (screed) should be about 5 or 6 inches (100 - 150mm) thick, that's much thicker than any hole you need to drill for a screw to secure a floorplate timber (after all, all such fixing are simply stopping any lateral movement).

    I've built partition walls both before and after and each has pros and cons. There's much to be said for phtographing the pipe layout (with appropriate measurement markings) before pouring the screed, so you can say with relative certainty where the pipes are buried before going wild with a masonary drill.

    I divide mine up into quite small sections, and lay and level the plastic rails to give me a tamping guide. I actually go for the very dry rather than very sloppy screed (think making sand-castles), it being much easier to do a small section at a time. The only dowside to this I find is that when it's gone off it's much dustier than the wet, so definitely needs sealing or employ a jeune full-time to sweep the cement dust! 

  23. So this morning in my email I received from the DGFP the "Ouverture du de declaration de revenus en ligne" and this year I am determined - DETERMINED ! not to be thrashing around on the computer on the eve of the final day trying to complete and submit the 2015 return.

    So the first question - as ever - is: does anyone yet know what the official £-Euro exchange rate is for last year please?

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