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Everything posted by Hereford

  1. Nick P: Miss Thunberg is not a schoolgirl - she may look very young and be tiny but she is an adult and I have read more than once (sorry no link) that she writes all her own speeches. No, it cannot change overnight but we can all do a little bit to help things along. The little things in our case are: a small car that is very economical of petrol, and lots of trees/bushes/hedges planted in our garden. We try to buy local, recycle where we can. We are not young so way past demonstrating.
  2. Ken: Looks very nice indeed but does it in fact go downhill - as it looks in the photos? We had a neighbour (in the UK years ago) who paved his slightly uphill, very small, back garden which had a lower terrace. When it rained the water whooshed off the paving like niagara falls straight onto his lower terrace! Amazing to watch but not a good idea. Our gravel drive is in need of, at the very least, a new top layer. Good luck with the joints.
  3. EU perspective:We left northern France yesterday morning, drove to Valenciennes to overnight - hotel scanned our passes (which are in our phone) as did the restuarant we went to. No checks at all at two motorway stops although a notice said we should have the passes!Drove on this morning across Belgium (no checks at the border) and into Germany (again no border checks). Hotel in Cologne checked passports and asked to see passes, then asked for date of second jab to show up - slide across the "border mode" button, which shows when on full screen - and dates appear. Did not actually scan the passes though.  No query at all about maiden name on pass not matching passport.Onward north again tomorrow to another hotel.
  4. I have not used vanilla extract for years. I bury a vanilla pod in a jar of caster sugar. Use sugar and then top up the jar as needed. The pod lasts for a year or more. Mrs H
  5. It will not help Chessie I am afraid, but my car refused to start about three weeks ago. VW "UP!", lovely little car, automatic.Thought about things, phoned nearest VW garage where we have it serviced - "phone your insurance company". Er, no thank you, have heard about them just taking the car to the nearest garage and the VW one is 30 km away.So:  I phoned ADAC which is the German equivalent of the AA or RAC. I have ADAC plus so they will help at 0 km from home or anywhere in Europe. Spoke to very helpful English speaking lady (in Munich) who checked my membership number etc.Right, she said, "if necessary which garage would you like the car taken to". Followed by "it is 11.30am so too late for this morning as they will be at lunch soon, so I will organise a breakdown truck for 2 pm", Phoned me back 10 minutes later to say "a man will be with you between 2 pm and 2.14 pm" - at 2.06 man arrived!Sadly my car needed a new electronic brain for the automatic gearbox so not a cheap breakdown, but the rescue was free.When times are normal we go to Germany to visit family and it was them that suggested ADAC. It is the person not the car that is insured so I could be in someone else's car and they would still rescue me.  About 97 euros a year for one person, cheaper for the spouse. Good luck Chessie, I hope you find that once rescued a local garage can help.Mrs H
  6. The Elle & Vire cream with mascarpone is briliant. It does not taste of cheese at all and whips in a few seconds.  Up here in Normandie we can buy creme crue which is very thick and could be spread on the sponge cake but it is not available all over France.
  7. To go to our empty house and pack I shall indeed tick box 2 - thanks for the push in the right direction. Take care, stay safe
  8. Very odd. The one I printed early evening yesterday had it all correct as far as I can see  ???: Déplacements pour effectuer des achats de fournitures nécessaires à l'activité professionnelle, des achats de première nécessité 3 dans des établissements dont les activités demeurent autorisées, le retrait de commande et les livraisons à domicile. What I need to do is go to an empty house (where a relative used to live before he died) in order to pack stuff up as we have a buyer! Still working out which box to tick! The house is only 3km from us and we will see nobody. Take care.
  9. How would you say in French the English saying please: "He would turn in his grave if he" (e.g. heard that)...  Thanks a lot
  10. We will get our done by the pharmacy in early to mid-November.We have used the Nurses in the past but the amount of paperwork they have to scan and or fill in as we are not regular patients of theirs must negate any very small fee they get for doing them.The pharmacy are doing them by appointment which also has the benefit of avoiding a crowded waiting room.
  11. We have Permanent (10 year) CDSs and have used them at La Poste and other places where they need ID. We have a buyer for a house we own (not where we live) and the Agent asked to see and copy our passports. I offered the CDSs and she copied them but then said she still needed the passports (plus birth and marriage certificates...? er we are the sellers). I asked if a French seller would have to produce a passport plus other ID. She looked very sheepish but insisted that the Noptaire wanted them.I give up.
  12. Mutuelles for health cover: As we have just found some will not take you if you are over 80... They cannot ask questions on your help so they go for age instead.
  13. Indeed: not reassuring at all! We still own a small commercial property in the UK and the rent is paid in to our Barclays account so we hope it is not closed. We never transfer money to France via the Bank.
  14. Our Linky is in the kitchen, so no problem reading usage. My Dad's however is in an ancient metal "cupboard" down near the road. Door cannot be opened: how useful is that!!!
  15. I have a French Canadian*  keyboard (by choice) - accents done easily é (single key), â or ç (two keys) so much easier for typing in French, except it does not have a euro sign... * qwerty with accents added. The Canadians have several keyboards to choose from. Previously I chose the accented letter I needed from "insert a symbol" - as I could never remember the codes. Euro sign still done that way when I type on my laptop - but not this website!!
  16. On a menu:  Foie Gras became "fatty liver"...
  17. Not that I can see, No. I think for safety I might replace batteries regularly! Edit: Just found the plate on the door having looked harder. Can be levered off and does indeed have a key hole behind it.  What is the point? We were not provided with a key when the safe was bought.If all small safes are like this then that rather defeats their objective.Apologies Paul, you have taught us a very useful lesson.It would do however for the OP as she could hide (oh dear) the key to the safe - perhaps in the garden in a tupperware box as we have done with a house key - position unmarked but easy for us to remember!
  18. Edited: Just looked at our safe. It says it is electronic but I can see that there are batteries, however there is a "low-battery" warning light. The batteries are on the back of the door. Just 4 AA batteries.  There is nowhere to put a key, so we assume that if the light says "low" then you open the door in the usual way and change the batteries.We have had the safe a good few years and never changed said batteries. It is a "Carrefour Safe" but they do not seem to have them now as I looked online. It measures outside 35 cm wide and 50 cm high. Things on usb sticks, or indeed any external memory, etc are brilliant for documents but no use at all for keys...
  19. The safe we have does not use keys but a six figure + one letter code. No worries about copies of keys that way.So long as no-one uses dates of birth etc code hard to guess...
  20. We bought a small safe (I am not near it now but I would say it is 2 foot high and a bit less wide) - from a big Carrefour supermarket. It will hold a lot of documents: we have passports and house docs plus birth etc certificates, keys.   Most importantly the door only opens with a 6 digit code and then either A or B.   You set this yourself. It was a bit of a struggle, it is heavy, to get it upstairs to the room above garage used as an office.  It would take a very strong burglar to nick it!!  In any case once installed it can be screwed to the floor, from the inside. If you have somewhere it could go on the ground floor you only need a trolley thing to move it. I think most big DIY chains have them.Well worth it if you can get one and get it indoors.
  21. The English car in my posting was not a modern car and certainly had no comuter technology! Friend was also confused so between her and the garage here they did the services as though the car was in km.
  22. If using "miles" not "km" on a French car would that not confuse how often a sevice was due? Even more so if switching around and then back again...I know that a friend with a UK car (in miles) ended up with service intervals in a muddle as garage (in France) put a note on the windscreen saying "next service at xxx km" but, of course the car was on miles so the service was somewhat late.
  23. If the rent paid to a non-resident landlord is more than £100 per week (double that for a couple owning the property) the tenant is supposed to deduct tax from the rent (and pay it to HMRC).   We rather doubt this often happens except when it is a commercial property and the solicitors are more "with it"!  But it is the law. O. P. The easiest way round it is to contact HMRC and get "clearance" to have the rent gross. You have to prove that you have been "good" and filed returns regularly!I would speak to HMRC urgently. You will, normally, need to send a UK return.  We have to do this just for rental income. Property income is always liable for tax in the UK, you may not pay any though if your other UK taxable income is small.The rent does not go on the French form in the property income boxes but on "other income" on the last page. I do not have our file to hand but can tell you the right box if need be. The figure is used to calculate tax rate in France on other income. I should put the caveat that we have not lived in the Uk for a while now but are not aware of any change.
  24. It is very vain but I had a hair appointment yesterday  - salon very well sorted out by the owner so I felt quite safe. But: wearing the mask for two hours was no fun at all - hot and sweaty. It was worth it in the end though - I feel human again. How nurses, doctors and indeed shop owners now cope with wearing masks all day I do  not know. Mrs H
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