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Everything posted by Penny29

  1. Hi, We seem to be a magnet in this area for people handing in or looking for their lost dogs - this is what we do when we are trying to find an owner: 1. Posters in all bars, bakeries and Post Offices (inside and outside). 2. We speak to the assistant in the Mairie and also put a poster up in the building & outside. 3. Posters in all local vets & speak to the receptionists in every vet's within 10 mile radius. 4. We contact the SPA and the gendarmes (faxing through a poster is especially appreciated by SPA). 5.We tell the postman (most important - the postman is your most useful resource) & ask for his help. 6. Finally, in the case of lost dogs we gather up as much help as possible and drive around calling for the dog...........especially late at night when it is quiet. 7. We post on ex-pat forums like this one- a long shot but always possible. 8. We telephone everyone in the area with an English name in the phone book (local to where dog was found only) & ask them to keep an eye out, give dog's description etc. Ditto with French friends in the vicinity. The last time we were asked to track down a missing dog he was found at the home of some summer visitors who took the dog in because they felt "sorry for him" but did not have the common-sense to tell anyone they had found a dog - I have a feeling it was the postman who helped us with that one. Good luck - keep trying, do everything you possibly can.            
  2. Ooops, Here   I am, better late than never. Excuse typing have grains of rice stuck in my "i" and "j" keys. I have pm'ed you Tiredmum, and here is the link I referred to in my pm. We could not proceed due to the 100metre rule. http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/568346/ShowPost.aspx  
  3. Hi,   Yes, it is a scam. The same scam is applied to everything from houses, to holiday bookings, to the purchase of second hand equipment via small ads on the Internet. Even if you asked for €5000 cheque up front it would be no proof of any genuine interest, as any form of payment you would be given would not be the genuine article. As always in these scams the vendor is offered a sum usually over the asking price, with the explanation that the purchaser owes a third party a sum of say £3000. The scammer offers to pay you say, £10,000 over the odds on the condition that you then send the fictitious third party a cheque for the £3000. Thus you may be tempted thinking that you will make £7000. The cheque for £10,000 will even appear as cleared on your bank statement, that is the "sting and explains how this particular scam works so well because once the funds appear to have cleared most victims feel secure in sending off the £3000 (usually asked for as a Western Union money transfer - think about it - not traceable!). Many, many weeks later (sometimes months) your bank advises you that the cheque for £10,000 was conterfeit and removes the credit from your bank account, leaving you £3000 worse off. The "third" party, of course, never existed at all. Most scammers select their targets from internet sites - always be particularly wary of leaving your email address in anyone's guest book, these are rich fodder for the scammers and they leave each other messages (look for "Mugu, mugu" written in a guest book - it is their way of book-marking a site and also of telling other scammers to keep away). If you want to test out your potential scammer ask for €5000 up front in the form of a Western Union money transfer. However, I really woud advise against getting into any commnication with a scammer using your real contact details or normal email address. As someone else has said, go to www.419eaters.com, they are constantly explaining and exposing new scams plus fighting back by taking the scammers for a ride themselves! Hope this helps    
  4. We spend at least £20 per month or more on books & have happily used Amazon fr & uk for years. But for the best value in secondhand books I use:  www.abebooks.co.uk  To keep delievery costs down we try to order a bunch of books from the same supplier, they simply cannot be beaten on price & also it's a great source for finding rare & out-of-print books.    
  5. Can thoroughly recommend Darty (www.darty.fr) - easy online ordering, you can choose whether to pay 100% up front or 1/3 down and the balance on delivery. Most of their stuff comes with a 2 year free warranty, and the after-sales service is very good. With big appliances such as washing machines they will take the old one away free of charge and  the delivery men always unpack and install the new appliance, check everything is working and then take the packaging materials away with them when they leave.
  6. Hi Jackie, I've double checked the IR website, here are the links you should read:   http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/nic/class3.htm   http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/nic/vc3-important.htm  = This last should have been updated on 30th October 2006 (but hasn't been), it is not yet law (and may never be!) and (more interestingly) contacts I still have in the department don't know anything about this (but then communications in the IR were always dire!!!)
  7. Hi Wtg, We bought a ex holiday park static caravan from Canvas Holidays several years ago - we bought it on a special offer when they were offering free delivery within France. The after sales service was splendid and they still help us out when we need to locate a part. After 12 months the water heater burst due to a severe frost (we were living in it during the winter of 2004) & they provided us with a new one completely free of charge. Yes, you do need to get prior permission from your mayor (make sure you make it clear you are siting a mobile home as opposed to a caravan). If you want any other information including the pro's and the cons plus a chance to learn from our mistakes (re. burst pipes and inept plumbers who mended siad pipes with, wait for it....................cable ties!!!!) then drop me a pm.  
  8. Hi Dick, I used to work for the Contributions Agency before they merged with the Revenue (and then Customs) so know the answer to this one. When buying back years you can purchase the last 6 years worth + anything in the currect tax year. This sounds like gobbldygook, so I'll explain by example: EXAMPLE: It is now December 2006.  Mr X will be 65 at the end of the month. According to a pension forcast Mr X needs 8 years worth of N.I. to make up his retirement pension to 100%. Mr X can buy back: (a) Say 36 contributions for period April 2006 - December 2006 (Current tax year - but there is normally no point in doing this, but they don't always tell you that!) (b) One year's worth of contributions for 12 month period from April 2005 (One year) (c) One years worth of contributions for 12 months period commencing April 2004, April 2003, April 2002, April 2001, April 2000 (5 years worth). Mr X cannot buy contributions for the period before April 2000 as they are now "time barred" (too late to buy them) so Mr X can never make up his 8 years as the most he can back-buy is 6 years. As to the price of each year - the rule when I was there was that you could only sell back past years at TODAY'S price (i.e. Cost per week of a voluntary stamp in 2006), I can only guess that they have changed the regulations on this so that you can now buy them back at the price charged then (although find it VERY unlikely that a government woold sell you something in 2006 at 2002 prices!!!).  Otherwise, the only reason I can think of for a variation in price is whether there were only 52 contribution weeks in the cheaper years and the more expensive years were those with 53 weeks.................... Anyway, basically the Contributions element of the Inland Revenue have a duty to credit an N.I. account in the most "beneficial way to the contributor"................so in your case choose the two cheapest years to buy-back. It does not make any difference whether those years are 2002 & 2005 or 2004 & 2005, the net result to your pension will be the same. Feel free to ask any other questions via the boards or PM. Ros           April 2005      
  9. Ooops sorry, wrong link - here is the right on:- http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Apprentice_3/episode_recaps/314_1.shtml  
  10. Hi Chrissie, Can't help with a video & as you probably know the final is on Beeb 2 tonight, but you can catch up with what you missed using this website which really does give a detailed description of what went on in the programmes you missed. http://apprentice.tv.yahoo.com/trump/05/show/summary/week15_1summary.html  
  11. Penny29


    Hi JSA, Ex professional smoker here! I sarted smoking at aged 14 and was on over 30 a day when I finally quit over 18 months ago. I was a serious smoker, I actually enjoyed smoking, it was like a hobby, plus I am a nervy, worrying angst-ridden type so fags were my solace, comfort and fallback. I am sooooooooooooo proud of quitting, it was one of the bravest things I have ever done and no-one, no-one believed that I would be capable of stopping for good. I can also 1000% recommend Allan Carr's Book, "The Easy way to Stop Smoking"...............you are allowed to smoke while you are reading the book..............then you simply stop, no patches, substitutes..........nothing. There were many times when I fancied a fag but the sheer common sense of Allan Carr's teachings made me realise how stupid that would be and how much I'd fooled myself into thinking that smoking "helped" me with nerves, concentration, stress etc etc. There are NO benefits to smoking, none whatsoever. Tips: 1. Avoid people who are not encouraging and supportive, especially other smokers who hate the thought of someone leaving their "Club". 2. Listen to your breathing - I stopped wheezing within days - it's wonderful. 3. Accept that Day 3 will be the worst - spend all day in bed if necessary just to avoid all those overwhelming cravings at certain times of the day. 4. I carried a straw (the drinking type) around with me for the first few weeks, especially when going out and socialising - I drank with the straw, fiddled with the straw, and basically became a bloody pest with the straw but it gave me something to do with my hands! (Tip - don't drink spirits with a straw - you get drop down drunk dead quickly!). JSA, if you are serious about quitting then I don't mind being your phone-support buddy and email buddy. I'll even post you my Allan Carr book - sorry to be so evangelical but quitting was the most liberating experience ever!!!! PM me if you wish. Good luck Ros
  12. All found safe and sound.   Thanks to everyone who read this message.   Ros
  13. Hi, Can anyone in this area (the North East corner of the Dordogne, nearest town = Thiviers) please look out for a lost dog. Valentine is an uncastrated, pale blonde Golden Retriever, he is a very friendly, affable young chap, around 2 years old, micro-chipped but not tattooed. He also answers to his pet name of Pam-Pam. Valentine belongs to our friends, Franck and Sandrine, who also live in the village of St Paul La Roche. He escaped from his "Nanny's" house (a farm on the outskirts of the village, where he goes for Doggy-Daycare during the week while his humans are at work) this morning at 10am. He gave Nanny (who is short sighted and a bit slow) the slip and he hasn't been seen since. We have all been out in our cars this evening for hours and hours, scouring the lanes, knocking at doors etc but to no avail, so we are all very worried. Tomorrow morning Franck will contact the SPA's, local vets etc. Please can anyone in the vicinity keep an eye out for this dog and let me know urgently if they see or hear of anything. Also, please, please can you ask any friends you have in the area to do the same? Please help us find this dog - he is very special, and Franck is breaking his heart. I won't give my telephone number out online, but my PC will be on all day and I will regularly check my LF inbox for news. Thank you all in advance. Ros
  14. Hi Nicky, I can't be of much help to you as I've forgotten most of the stuff I used to know, but I did work in the Inland Revenue and also the Contributions Agency for donkey's years before moving to France......... so, allowing for the fact that things will have changed in the last 3/4 years here is my advice:- 1. As far as I am aware there is no provision for exemption from NI due to non-residency. (The only legal exemptions I can recall were for (a) Age and (b) Low earnings from self employment). I believe this is another one of those areas where provision has been made within the tax system for non-residency but the NI legislation hasn't been passed to complement this. 2. If I am right, then you may well fall into a "black hole" as far as NI legislation is concerned and this is likely why no-one in Newcastle is being particularly helpful - they simply don't know the answer. So, my best advice to you is to phone again and get the name and address of the most senior manager in charge of the "Overseas Section", then write (snail mail - they won't enter into protracted or complicated stuff on email) & set out your questions, asking for clear and definitive answers in writing. (If they write back and state that you cannot get exemption, then (depending on how much you earn/how much NI you pay each year) you might/should possibly/theoratically re-qualify for an E106 every year! If you do get a reply can you post the results on here please!    
  15. We are situated in the North Dordogne (near Thiviers) but shortly intend to move to a property with less land hence the need for us to start looking for a nice new home for Mack and Mabel. Mack is a grey longish haired castrated male donkey, he is very lovable but also full of mischief and fun. Mabel is his best friend, she is taller than Mack with a smoother grey coat. She is the sensible (and shyer) one of the partnership.Both have been regularly wormed, receive regular visits from the farrier and the horse dentist, and are used to free access to shelter both day and night. They are both in good health. Mack is about 7 years old and Mabel a year or so older. They must be homed together and we must be sure that they will be going to a kind, caring and loving home - please PM me if you are interested.     
  16. Quillan, Regarding your threats of "Forum Closure" to any who disagree with recent policies this quotation from the Bard seems apt: "I think something is very rotten in the state of Denmark."
  17. Hi, I've been a member of this Forum since at least 2002, but haven't posted much in the last year or so because I did feel that the Forum had lost a lot of it's punch and pizzazz as a result of too many rules and regulations being bought in. To be frank, the Forum got boring. In my opinion it is going to get a lot more boring if people who enter into spirited discussions and debates risk being banned or "suspended" for failing to toe the Fluffy Party Line, and yes, I am referring to people like Miki, and to people like Teamed Up and Val and to all those who stick their heads above the parapet from time to time - people who aren't scared to voice their opinions. Please don't start banning all the interesting people!!! I DO think over-moderation of the Forum is having and will have a detrimental effect........ gawd help us, but I can see the day when all the posts will be "safe" and along the lines of: "Will my white goods work in France?"/"Do I need Top Up Insurance?"/Where can I buy Heinz Beanz?"/"Will my Sky dish work in France?".        
  18. EURO BOOK SALE  - ALL FUNDS RAISED FOR THE PHOENIX ANIMAL REFUGE On Saturday 22nd April 2006 From 11 am to 3.30 pm.   At the Salle des Fetes, St. Mayme de Pereyrol (sign-posted from the D21 between Bergerac and Vergt)   ALL proceeds for the veterinary treatmentand re-homing of abused or abandoned dogs and cats *Paperbacks ……….. 1 euro *Hardbacks ……….   1 euro *Tea or Coffee ………1 euro *Glass of wine ……….1 euro             *Sausage Rolls ………1 euro             We shall also be selling:Videos, Cassettes and CDs (Your donations of books or other items will be very welcome, so just bring and buy if you prefer!)   A special four-course lunch for 12 euros – including wine - will be available at the Truffe d’Or Restaurant – opposite – but please book in advance 05 53 54 29 85   Internet: www.phoenixasso.com
  19. Yes, your wife will be entitled to an E121 and yes, you will be able to go on the form as a dependant. Your local DWP should be able to send you the appropriate form, which you send back to them and then they forward it to Newcastle. Your application may, possibly, trigger a medical review depending on how long it has been since your wife's last review. Incap continues to be paid to your wife when in France, but I think (but not 100% sure) that DLA ceases when you leave the UK - these links should provide you with more information: http://www.direct.gov.uk/BritonsLivingAbroad/fs/en http://www.dwp.gov.uk Whether Incap will continue to be paid after 2008 is another subject competely (see threads further down the page which discuss the proposed changes to the UK benefits system), but this is unlikely to effect your situation as your wife will have reached statutory retirement age by then.      
  20. Yes, the E121 is definitely still required in a paper form, whoever you are speaking to at Newcastle doesn't know what they are talking about, why does this not surprise me?  
  21. Here is the link to the full green paper, as promised: (it is a PDF & you can get it by clicking on the red link at the bottom of this post) Latest News A new deal for welfare The Government announced a radical reform of the welfare state on Tuesday (January 24) with the publication of its welfare reform green paper: A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work. In setting out plans to achieve an 80 percent employment rate for people of working age, the paper proposes: reforming incapacity benefits a £360 million roll out of Pathways to Work across the country by 2008 extending support to lone parents and older workers reforming housing benefit transforming support for people living in our cities, and delivering support to meet the needs of everyone Read the press release More information on Welfare Reform
  22. BSJLIV, They are NOT just "proposals at the moment" - these re-training interviews are now an integral part of the review system plus mandatory for new claimants in many regions (designated as "pilots" - just happens that there are more pilots than not nowadays!!). IMO it's a cynical political move as numbers claiming Incap can now be reduced by declaring many people as fit for work and moving them over to the Dole Queue (as the numbers claiming Unemployment Benefit are no longer high & u/e is no longer a political hot potato). I read with interest the niggardly posting from the person who does not think the British Taxpayer should pay for Incap paid to those living in the EEC - I wonder how the same person feels about his taxes being paid to run most of the DWP functions from overseas in the future? This morning  friend sent me details of a leaked DWP memo, part of which reads:- "The leaked memo has emerged as 90,000 DWP staff prepare to stage a two-day strike from Thursday over job cuts. The memo, addressed to the DWP's security team says: "In line with the continuing need to reduce costs, proposals are being made by service providers to undertake work for or on behalf of the Department overseas. "This could involve the transfer of part or even all of the functions of a DWP area of business that would previously have been located in the UK to a centre located outside the UK." P.S. Donna  - have sent you a long email inc details of the points system.
  23. And a rainbowfull of greetings from us GMs, here in the Village too!!!!
  24. TU is right - your residency would be determined as being in France. The French Taxman looks at the whole thing with much more simplicity than his British counterpart! It is not strictly true that residency is tested by the UK authorities on the basis of the 183 day rule (a day, by the way, being each period of 24 hours accountable (and verifiable) as being spent outside the UK ( naturally, subject to 1001 other conditions). For my sins I was once a Tax Inspector (sorry) and it always aroused my suspicions when I'd inspect a business where there were plentiful claims for overseas travel, especially claims for travel to and from the same country! It almost always turned out that the proprietor/partner/director had a "home" overseas & then we'd end up with a long complicated residency enquiry & the list of questions we had to ask was HUGE (and in no way were they at all related to any of the 183+ day rules), some questions were "weighted" more than others, such as where the wife and children lived, where the house was owned, where the children were educated etc. The question of residency could get really complicated where, for example, a businessman/woman owned more than one home in more than one country, worked in a multitude of countries throughout the year, and where any children lived abroad in the holidays but were educated at UK boarding schools for the rest of the year etc etc!!! You can imagine how complex this could quickly become especially with showbiz "customers" - this is why only the really rich can afford to try this sort of thing on - only they can afford the top accountants and legal advice when it eventually gets challenged. Basically, nice idea - but not worth the risk!
  25. Hi Alison, Under current rules it will depend on long you have been receiving INCAP benefits for in the UK as to whether these are transferable to another EEC country (it you are on designated "long term incapacity benefit" it is transferable whereas short term benefit is not). A lot will depend on how long you have been claiming INCAP for -  plus the fact that the rules and regs have been changed and changed again and again over the past few years, so much will depend on when you started claiming and whether the area in which you made your claim has been designated as "Pathways Pilot scheme"! My computer crashed recently and I lost all my useful links etc but I will search the Net for some useful sites which will help explain the recent and future changes to payment of INCAP, plus info on the points system requirements of DWP reviews, if I can find them again I will pop them in a new posting under this heading, especially as the 1st poster above mentioned mental health issues and I have a feeling the "points" requirement at the review stage is slightly different for mental health problems. Apart from needing to accrue a certain number of "points" at any review, under the new scheme more questions will be asked at the interview regarding how the claimant is "helping themselves" to get better & I've heard that there is much more emphasis now on what someone can do rather than what they cannot do. In meantime, the best thing anyone can do is thoroughly read anything they can find on the Pathways Scheme, the Pathways Pilots, plus all the changes proposed in the Gov's Green Paper which include the total abolition of INCAP in 2 years time (it will be replaced by another type of payment (supposedly at a higher rate) but considerably less people will qualify for the benefit (they are talking in terms of MILLIONS less!!!!).
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