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Everything posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. The 'flu we westerners get is usually Asian flu. It not infrequently migrates from the porcine or avian populations, apparently, and takes a number of months to travel from one hemisphere to another. The vaccine is developed from the prevailing 'flu virus over there at the time, and relies on the fact that even though the bug is continuously mutating, the odds are that its 'shape' will still roughly match those that our antibodies (generated by exposure to the vaccine) are expecting to find. The more mutated, the less efficient the antibodies are and the more it hits us. We will have another pandemic just like 1918, with consequences just as serious; the only question is when. Horrid eh? paul
  2. Gyn_Paul

    Loi Madelin

    Filling in the form to take out a mutuelle and I've come across the following box : LOI MADELIN:  [ ] OUI  [ ] NON    Droit d'entree AGIS: 7EUR (dans le cadre de la loi Madelin)   Anyone have the sightest idea what this means and what I would be signing up for?     paul
  3. So what would you suggest for a jungle ??? I've just acquired a large garden with  - what looks like - apple and pears, about a dozen in all, (not to mention chestnut and possibly a cherry or two) all of them COVERED in ivy and that creeper which has the yellow/orange bell-shaped flowers. I don't believe anyone has touched them this millennium: certainly nobody has been close to them for a couple of years because the grass/weeds/nettles are chest high. Given that I can manage to hack and strim up to and around the trees, before I'm too old to straighten up, what do you suggest? My first thought was to prune savagely and feed this year with no expectation of any blossom let alone fruit, sticky band and prune lightly in the autumn, then hope for the best. None of my books gives any advice about bringing w-i-l-d trees under control, so any advice would be gratefully received! paul 
  4. Tim, Jeff, Catalogues in the post should be with you tomorrow/Wednesday latest. paul ps don't even think about the groupes electrogenes. The La Roche branch had about half a dozen and they'd gone by 08h30!  
  5. Thanks for that...   My books "Les evolutions de la norme electrique" and "installer un tableau electrique"  Both mention the 3 types and show scimatics of their use, and now you explain the differences (unlike the books) I understand ! cheers. paul    
  6. Would be grateful if one of the real electricians out there (Hello Paul!) would explain to me the difference between the 3 types of I.D. : There seems to be a type A, a type AC, and a type HI. I assume this is fairly recent, because the oldest book I have (5/6 y.o.) makes no mention of any different type. What's the difference ? and what are the applications ? I assume these are now code-specified ? Another question: I'm sure I've read somewhere that sockets fixed with grips on the side (cf. Legrand 'Neptune') are illegal since June last year. If that's the case, why are shops still full of them? paul (f)  
  7. [quote]Following the consuels visit I have 2 unexplained points probably due to my poor french. 1) He has failed the kit of 3 halogen lights with one transformer situated in the roof as not suitable in this ...[/quote] "...He has failed the kit of 3 halogen lights with one transformer situated in the roof as not suitable in this position ..." Might be an issue concerning ventilation/possible over-heating fire risk in the placve you have put it ? paul
  8. J - Now I'm really confused I've brought old-style UK butane regulators over here and - of course - they work perfectly on Butagaz (butane & propane) bottles. Then I tried to connect an old UK industrial blowtorch which had a big, fat, high-output regulator which WON'T fit on a (Butagaz) propane bottle. It's painted pillar-box red and weighs a ton: I assumed it went on a UK propane bottle originally, now I don't know. What else could it have been for ? Any ideas ? The blowtorch worked fine with a french regulator on it, incidentally. Have you noticed, by the way, that the modern UK pushfit regulators don't fit on the little French bottles like the Cube - No, that would be too much to expect! paul
  9. As I remember it, the old-style UK regulators were left-hand thread for the butane, and right-hand thread for the propane, so you couldn't mis-connect them. Here in France they are BOTH wrong-hand threads. On a side issue, I run a water heater and cooker in a holiday home and use butane bottles in the summer, and propane in the winter using the same regulator (a butane one, I think) with no discernible difference. Except that the propanes seem to last a little longer and I have less need to get out of the shower, don a dressing gown and stagger outside dripping wet to change the bottle in the middle of a sunday morning. paul
  10. Quite right Ron, That's exactly what I did in the end: turned it off at the mains and let it cool down. Set it going again and lo- up came channel 5. p
  11. [quote]I have used a SECAM/PAL converter (it was about £90 from Letropaks) and frankly it wasn't that wonderful. Rather garish colours, and a lot of added noise. It also stopped teletext working. But ...[/quote] "...but trying to find out whether they do or not in the average UK electronics retailer is likely to involve you having to explain to them the whole theory of colour TV - or am I being a bit cynical here...." No - just realistic: I was reliably informed by not one but two assistants that a Goodman's set was multistandard inc SECAM. Needless to say when I got it here it wasn't . When I shlepped it back to Birmingham (where, I must say, they did change it with no problem) it transpired that both the assistants thought SECAM was another name for NTSC! paul
  12. I'm just going through the process of getting devis from the insurers for a mutuel, and realise I've no idea what the costs are like in Limousin. Does anyone have experience of using the hospitals/labs/specialists in Limousin? Are they 100% conventionne or will that not cover posible costs? Would I be better going for a 150% policy? Wish I understood the damn system better! paul
  13. Are there monthly/annual standing charges with the system? I suppose what I'm really asking is, is it suitable for those of us who travel a lot for a couple of months and then perhaps not at all (through a peage) for the next 3 or 4 months, then 10 journeys in a month, then nothing for the rest of the year. paul
  14. [quote]I would have thought that your UK insurer would continue to cover you, under the EU-wide regs, even if you are of NFA. My UK insurer told me that they did not have a choice but to insure me, as the po...[/quote] "...I don't think that you will be able to insure a UK caravan here, unless you matriculate it, which opens another can of worms..."   Actually, you can, Nick. I've had my UK - Swift insured here by Generali France for the last 3 years. The paperwork carries the chassis number and the immatriculation of the car at the time. Not cheap though! And you're so right about the "...can of worms." - Swift want a huge sum (can't remember exactly how much, but think it was around £300) for an attestation de conformitie, and then the fun begins! I've not been brave enough to venture down that road yet, and probably won't as we tend to just use the caravan as an extra bedroom. When we move it to the new house, I'll either risk the single journey, or hire a trailer (you know, one of those things used to ferry racing cars etc. around) to get it there. paul   
  15. [quote]We also have what appears to be a triphase 12kw (3 x 20A) supply. It can be a bit annoying 'cos it effectivley behaves like 3 separate 4kw circuits in the house. Depending on combination of appliances...[/quote]  <Is it simply a business of getting EDF to change it to a monophase 12kW supply or does this involve rewiring ? Assuming you don't currently have any 3-phase equipment (chauffeau, for example), and your incoming cables are big enough for one to supply your total kVA, "yes" You will need your tableau de distribution completely rebuildt though and assorted rewireing done. <Have a dual fuel range cooker in the UK (Brittania) that we are thinking of moving to France - Would this need an uprated monophase supply? Yes. <To further complicate matters I am thinking about a 'pompe a chaleur' for the swimming pool which would apparently need 3-phase supply. Ah, problem, then. <Would it therefore be better just to uprate the 3 phase supply ? Seems like it would be your only option if you go for the pool heater. <Can you get different power ratings on each of the 3 phases ? No. paul
  16. I have a twin output LNB and an elderly Pace digibox which has no problems receiving everything on the card. The box, however has frequent fits of the vapours and is loath to stay switched on if loaded with a stack of 'favourite programmes'. You go away for the weekend and come back to find one programme, then the rest of a 4 hour tape of blue screen. So I swopped the Pace with a newer Panasonic (which normally sits in the bedroom set to R4) which only has a ITV/Ch4/5 card. I transferred the full service card to the Panasonic box and - after a bit of initiallizing and some huffing and puffing I got everything I had before. Except that now, a week later, it says 'No satellite is being received' when ch 5 is selected. I find this difficult to believe since I've put the ch5 frequency in the setup menu as the default transponder and it shows a happily locked signal displaying 95% quantity and quality. If it was saying 'wrong card' or 'not authorised' or 'bog off, sunshine' or something I could understand it, but 'no satellite' ?? Wierd, non ?   paul
  17. Gyn_Paul


    Wow Thanks Di, Such a lot to think about, I was mentally considering only seeds I could start myself, I'd completely forgotten the seedlings from the market. I shall be sitting on the boat coming back just before Easter with a stack of gardening books and a big list! cheers,   paul
  18. Gyn_Paul


    We are just buying a house in the northern part of Limousin (304m above sea level). The house has a long, west-facing rear garden with an existing potager which will have been more-or-less untouched this year. There are a couple of rows of soft fruit canes and about 4 or 6 rows of veg. I would guess that by the time we get over there for good it will be mid April and the place will be waste-high in weeds. That late in the season, and without (this year) a greenhouse, what would any of you folks attempt to grow this year? I would particularly welcome advice from anyone in that part of the world with experience of growing things here (how soon/late it gets frost etc.). paul
  19. Just to endorse what Patf said about the weight; get one powerfull enough for your needs but not so heavy that it's throwing you around rather than you controlling it. I rotorvated my Father's 100M garden prior to turfing it. It was a hire machine, and damned heavy. This was 20 years ago when I was a good deal fitter than I am now, and after 3 hour's work (we'd only hired it for the day) I was completely knackered and couldn't stop my arms and legs from shaking: I looked like I'd been struck with some biblical curse! Obviously, you don't need to go at it like a bull-at-a-gate if it's you own, and you can pace yourself, but for me it was a lesson well learnt. paul
  20. If you can't find the rubber sleeves with the jubilee clips to help you connect to an exisiting line, you will find - in the bigger builder's merchants - a combination sleeve and socket: one end glues to a pipe or fitting (elbow or 'T' for example) and the other, rubber, end slides over the cut end of the pipe. Why are the French so besotted with solvent weld piping? To my mind the rubber gasket 100 fittings and the smaller guage waste pipe with the rubber 'O' rings are far superior, and a bloody sight easier to install, too! Mind you, I'm just biased because the fumes from the styrene glue make me wheeze. How anyone can sniff that stuff is beyond me! paul
  21. Rather draconian, but - short of digging up your hall and floor - one method would be to close off the piping from the boiler and seal it into a loop ('T' pieces and gate valves would do it), fit a pressure meter and connect it to the cold main. Now the system will (should) leak at mains pressure. Without the background noise of circulating pumps, burner fans etc, it should be possible to locate the leak audibly; or at the very least, to pin it down to a particular room. This sounds batty, I know, but 'acoustically' is (was until recently) exactly how water board people, one of whom was my late father-in-law, detected leaks in underground supply pipes. All they had for tools was a metal rod with a rounded end which you put to your ear with the other end on the ground. If they could find leaks amid all that traffic, you might be able to do the same on your system. By comparing the loudness of the hissing noise at various places in the system, you might just find it. Of course, if it doesn't leak, then as PaulC suggested, it's possibly leaking in the boiler and evaporating.  Good luck, paul
  22. If you are any good at all at DIY and plumbing, you can build your own system for far less than an off-the-shelf solar panel. You don't even need the front glass or plastic cover for a panel to heat a swimming pool. paul
  23. [quote]This is systematic. All our small local CA branches went to no counter service months ago. Every single branch will be no counter service before long and all account holders will be obliged to have a ...[/quote] "...Why anyone bothers with the CA when every village has a LaPoste is quite beyond me...." think you might be in danger of over-egging the pudding just slightly here, Mazan. Our village lost its LaPoste late last year as did our neighbouring one 4 kms away (it was staffed by the same lady: 10h00 - 12h00 over there and 14h15 - 16h15 here, so not the most flexible service anyway). Now our nearest is the next village 12kms away in one direction (limited opening hours) or 14kms in the next bigish town. And the plans to slim down the number of LaPoste is every bit as draconian as that for the banks. paul
  24. [quote]If you are a resident in UK and do not own any property in UK and have a house in France which you sell, how much % of sale (after deductions for french work receipts) would you have to pay in tax rou...[/quote] I think I'm right in saying that you cannot -as a UK resident - have a principle residence outside British isles, therefore this would be classed as an ordinary sale of goods or property on which you would pay capital gains after the usual allowances in the tax return for that year. If you are not registered to pay tax here in France, I can't see how you could be liable for CGT here, but maybe others have more pertinent experience. paul 
  25. Short term help : many pages and programmes can be closed by the combination ALT+F4. Long term help depends on what you're using, Apple or PC, what operating system are you using ; win 95, 89, 2000, XP ? if PC and XP I would try going into display settings and increasing the resolution one notch. start/control panel/display/settings [push resolution bar along to increase the numbers,] apply.  this makes everything appear smaller. everything should be on the screen now. paul
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