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Everything posted by Coco

  1. Talking of green things.  I found a short fat worm-like thing on our patio about 3 weeks ago.  It was about as thick as a thumb and about 3-4 inches long.  I prodded it with a stick and it turned really (and I mean REALLY quickly) and sort of attacked the stick.  It had a black and white pattern down it's back and horn-like things, like snails have, on it's head. Anyone any idea what it was?
  2. Well I'm sure in that case it must have been someone fairly vital to the safety and well-being of the craft, so perhaps not such a bad thing in the long run!!!!
  3. I was under the impression SpeedFerries only had one craft! Certainly the one I travelled on could not be described as having comfy seating, the coffee was disgusting, the "pastry" - that is a very loose term!!! The contents of the shop (when it eventually opened) where nothing to make the heart beat faster, and as for the 50 minute crossing - do they make a habit of having to return to dock in order to collect forgotten crew members? If I keep defending them people are going to start thinking I have a vested interest, which I don't.  It just seems that sometimes there is no pleasing people.  I have been on this forum since its inception and for a long, long time people said that all they wanted to do was to get across the Channel as cheaply as possible and that they weren't interested in frills, just a decent price.  Isn't that EXACTLY what Speedferries offers?  OK, the seating isn't incredibly comfortable, but they are padded seats and certainly comfortable enough for the length of crossing you are taking.  The coffee I had was fine.  I never indulge in such things as sandwiches or pastries on board any ferry as I would always rather wait til I got to France and get a decent one for half the price, and if you only have a 50 minute crossing, it's not exactly vital to eat on board is it?  So there was nothing to make the heart beat faster in the shop.  What exactly were you looking for?  And no, I don't believe they do make a habit of returning to dock to collect forgotten crew members (and I find that incredibly hard to believe anyway, unless it was the Captain!!)  Having worked on cruise ships for several years I know it's something that just DOESN'T happen.  Sounds like you had a bad crossing, they happen sometimes.  But I certainly know that a large proportion of my B&B guests this year have been highly delighted that I informed them of Speedferries existance.
  4. Give up Jon - you'll never make Miki understand what you're trying to say if it doesn't agree with what he's thinking.  I know exactly what you mean about watching News 24 to try and get some news, and although there are plenty of sports out there, there is also plenty of NEWS that could have been reported on. I remember you well from the early days - and many an interesting and useful a post you made but I see that you haven't posted for quite a while.  Probably because there are so few interesting debates going on.  But some of your answers were useful to me in the early days. And it's not England winning the cricket I minded, it was the banal, pointless, endless talking for the sake of talking (which some members will be able to empathise with totally) that drove me mad. As for Radio 4 LW being hijacked during the summer..... just don't even get me started on that one MYB   Oops, sorry, I used a smiley icon, I must be insulting you! Dicksmith, the icons should mean that you are NOT intending to insult.  I was only pointing out to Miki that a man that doesn't live, breathe, eat drink, think sport 24 hours a day isn't necessarily a boring old f*****  If anyone was being insulting it was Miki for suggesting such a thing in the first place. And so you two, what do you suggest they replace it all with, something terribly snooty like watching people eat cucumber sandwiches, sticking their little pinkies in the air and talking utter drivel about arty, f**** matters. But isn't that EXACTLY what happens at most cricket matches??  Any that I've been to it has anyway.  Probably what made me hate it so much in the beginning.  What an incredibly snobby and elitist sport it can be.  So come on, don't try that one Miki.  What is it with you that whenever someone doesn't agree wholeheartedly with you, you launch into an aggressive and abusive attack on them?  I mean, what has my husband ever done to you for you to start calling him names?  He just doesn't happen to spend his whole waking life thinking about sport and that doesn't mean he has NO interest in it, even if he had NO interest that doesn't make him a boring old f****, just the opposite, it makes him someone with diverse interests, which, in fact makes for a much more balanced outlook and a more interesting person.  I'll take the man with the healthy interest in sport over the obsessive any day!!!!   (oops, sorry again Dick, don't mean to insult your mate!!!!!) Anyway cricket's over now, thank god. 
  5. The point is I wasn't sitting watching England play..............I was trying to watch the news....any news, other than cricket!!!  However, typically with any English sporting success, the reporting is totally OTT and you are are bludgeoned to death by the media.  It has to be given a special programme before the news, then done to death during the news, then dissected after the news, and shoe-horned into every other TV and radio programme possible.  Every time there is any English football match of any significance 1966 is trotted out (almost 40 years later).  It is even trotted out in totally unrelated sports coverage.  Unfortunately it will be mentioned ad nauseum until I depart this world I fear, as will this latest super-hype.  It is only a game for goodness sake!  Thank goodness Tim Henman didn't win Wimbledon! Couldn't agree more Jon, well said!!!  It's not that I'm not interested or pleased when England win something, of course it's great, but the media do try to do it to death.  And 1966 isn't ALWAYS relevant.  After all, we had a world cup victory only last year, so we don't have to go back 40 years any more!!! crikey nearly every waking hour if mine is taken up with thoughts of Sport and I have always been of the opinion that men who dislike sport are boring old f**** Well Miki, all I can say, is my husband has PLENTY of other thoughts on his mind!!!! that keeps ours a VERY happy marriage.  Have you ever asked your wife if she thinks you're a boring old f*****?  cos if I was married to you, I would certainly say you were!!!!  In fact, I think I would have to start taking an interest in nice young men like that Freddie Flintlock bloke! Cricket???  I'd rather watch paint dry!
  6. There's going to be a public debate on 24th October in Saint Lo.  Details of time and place can be found at http://www.debatpublic-THTcotentin-maine.org
  7. And I'd add to that the fact that even it was cheaper here, there should be more consideration than finance in making the move to another country.  You need to LIKE and WANT to live in France to come here.  I know of one family who have moved back because they hated it and another who would LIKE to move back but can't afford to!
  8. Yes their cheap, I've never used them but I'm told their basic.  What about Norfolkline! From what I've heard of Norfolkline they are just as basic as Speedferries - and I wouldn't necessarily call them basic.  No more so than the fastcraft run by P&O and Britanny in and out of Cherbourg!  Norfolkline are now offering £19 single fares for cars and motorhomes, increased to £34 for mid day or more popular journeys.  Surely that's very good value. Our current guests were Norfolkline users but on my recommendation arrived yesterday via Speedferries and swore they would never use Norfollkline again - nothing wrong with them, just that Speedferries was just as cheap but quicker!!!  They paid £38 for a return crossing (middle of the day!) for a car and 4 passengers. Its not basic either, big boat with lots of room, no foot passengers, shop and bar and comfy lounge with a big picture window to see where you are going. There are comfy seats, big picture windows, a bar, an onboard shop and you can buy sandwiches, pastries etc.  on Speedferries - Just how much more do you need on a 50 minute crossing!!!
  9. I remember being in John Lewis some years ago and overhearing one of the assistants talking to her friend.  The friend was saying that she supposed the assistant would be pleased when the summer sale was over because things would calm down but the assistant replied that it would be quiet for a week or so but that 5th (or maybe 6th?) September was the official day for putting out the Christmas stock.  Clearly ties in with Gay's comments about kids going back to school. At least here is France it doesn't tend to happen til after armistice day. Although I've noticed in the last six years it has crept forward by a good month!  Our first Christmas out here there was nothing in the shops until December - quite right too!!!  I only buy stuff early, stash it away and end up buying more because I've either forgotten that I've already bought stuff or forgotten where I've hidden it!!!
  10. For some it works well, for others not at all. Snag is that you need to fork out a lot of money to find out which category you fall into. You're right there Arnold, but then you have B&B and this chap's looking for gite advertising so it may work for him.  We used to use French Connections and filled our house (when it was a gite) both years that we used them.  However, the following year, when we had changed to B&B, we got one night's booking for our £120 outlay!!!  So although Chez Nous isn't very effective for us B&Bers it may be more successful for a gite - after all, it is a well-known name. One thing that I've noticed is that the French have been using the Internet a LOT more this year than last so I'm not sure that going after them in print will be as effective as it was in years gone by. Last year, we found that ALL the French booked by phone even if they'd originally looked us up online. This year we found that about 80% of those booking during the peak period had made their booking online and it appeared to be the first time that they'd ever used the Internet to buy anything. Couldn't agree more!  Last year I would say the ratio was 20/80 internet/phone enquiries but this year it has definitely swung to 80/20 internet/phone  
  11. Oh please, I hope no one thinks I'm having a dig at our guests for doing this.  Quite the contrary, after the initial surprise of the "find" I was quite delighted, because I did take it as a compliment that they were obviously more than satisfied with the service and standard of accommodation they experienced.  I was the most surprised to have the initial feeling that it was a little demaning - but I suppose that's just reality kicking in and putting me in my place  However, as for being on an equal footing, just because we accept money from people does not put them higher up the "pecking order", so from that point of view yes, I do believe we are equals.  Indeed, if you've read my other posting about guests we would not let in, then I most certainly feel SUPERIOR to some of the aweful guests we have, even though they pay us.  After all, manners maketh man, and when there's no respect for your host's property, it shows a distinct lack of manners and breeding and consequently they are the lesser people for behaving in such a way - money can't buy everything . However, all of our American guests had already earned my respect and admiration for their friendliness, intelligence, charming manners and the respect they showed to both us and our property.  The tips really were an added bonus.  So keep 'em coming!!!
  12. Yes Andy, I forgot to mention we get ITV3 already - it's just a little repetitive!
  13. That letter was one of those typical French affairs.  DON'T make a special trip to the doctor's to get him/her to sign the form, but DO submit it before July.  Well I'm sorry but one French idiosyncracy I have not yet adopted is hypochondria.  Therefore, neither my husband or I have had cause to visit the doctor yet and so have not submitted the form!  I keep meaning to go to the surgery one morning for that specific purpose now that the deadline has passed, but just never seem to find the time to waste an hour or more sitting in his waiting room just to get a form signed.  One of those situations when I wish he had a receptionist that we could leave the form with, so that we don't waste his surgery time.  The least you'd have thought they'd have done was put a box in the waiting room that you could leave your form in with an sae
  14. Well I'm pretty "satellite illiterate" however, perhaps someone can explain this to me in words of one syllable.  We currently have a digital satellite dish and decoder (is that what it's called?) box that we bought in Mr Bricolage for about 80 euros (on promo)  We then found out the BBC free to air settings via the internet, pointed the dish in the right direction and typed the settings into the TV.  We have BBC 1, 2, 3,4, News 24, parliament and those aweful kids channels, plus 100s of crap shopping and God channels, as well as loads and loads of radio stations, at no cost other than that of the dish.  Is this what you mean we will be able to do with ITV eventually?  We don't have and never have had, any kind of card or box.  Oh I'd love to be able to watch Corrie again!!!!
  15. This summer we have had a lot of Americans to stay and have discovered that almost all of them have left us a fairly generous (20 euros for a two night stay, 30 euros for 4 nights) tip when we have come to clean the room.  Of course it is gratefully received, as every little helps to boost the income, however, it has made me stop and think a little.  Sometimes people have asked on this forum whether it is acceptable to tip certain professions or whether it would be regarded as demeaning or insulting.  At first I was delighted to discover the money, then I did feel a little demeaned.  We had felt that we had got along well with these people and that we were sharing our evenings with our guests on an equal footing, it then made me feel that they must have seen us as employees/servants/whatever you want to call it.  However, I very quickly reverted back to thinking "thanks that's an added bonus"   Ultimately the size of my bank balance makes me not take offence at the generous gifts from our clients but it is an interesting situation to be in. I personally also find it quite interesting, as many years ago when I worked on cruise ships (a huge tipping area) it was a well-known fact that the Brits tipped at the end of a cruise if they believed they had had good service.  Whereas the Americans used the "carrot" method of quite openly offering a tip "up front" and making it quite clear there would be the same amount again at the end, if they were "looked after" well.  So to find that these people have left the money in the room, to be found after they have left, is, I suppose, in a way a compliment.  I suppose my slight problem with accepting tips now is that in my past life, as an officer, we were not allowed to accept tips as we were regarded as being "above" that. Have any of you other B&Bers experienced this?  And how do you/would you feel about it?
  16. Sorry, double posting!
  17. B&B is a little different to the likes of Gites or package holidays, ie there isn't a preferred booking time, which judging by TV advertising, seems to be post-Christmas!  As others will tell you, a lot of it is only 1-4 weeks in advance of the proposed stay.  Having said that, last night I took a booking for July 2006!  However, I would say that you are better off being somewhere that you will be seen all year round, like a website or guide book than to "run an advertising campaign" for a short period of time at a specific time of the year. We, for example, have got 3 weeks worth of bookings for September and two weeks worth for October.  One week of the September bookings was booked in March, the rest have been over the last month or so and the October bookings have been within the last week.  At the beginning of July I was very worried that I only had a 25% take up for August (all of which had been booked pre Easter) but by the last week of July I had filled all but a couple of days of August. So, in answer to your question, I would say that it is impossible to give a "best possible" period to advertise in, if it is going to be for a limited period.
  18. It's been around these 'ere parts for well over two years now SB.  Although, it does seem to be getting more and more like the real thing as time goes by.  Personally I hate the stuff, but it is my husband's favourite dessert and when he first saw a rhubarb crumble on the menu a couple of years ago he was delighted and ordered it.  Needless to say, it bore little resemblance to what we know as rhubarb crumble.  However, the last one he had, an apple one in Avranches, was pretty close to the real thing!
  19. Can't remember where, but somewhere there was a rule where people coming on to the roundabouts had right of way, so a trip round a roundabout was a very odd affair, stopping and starting and desperately trying to get off the thing! Sounds like France to me!  PaD again!!!  Thankfully this one really does seem to be dying out.  Although there is still the odd roundabout where it applies, which makes it all the more fun when driving in French towns - is this one of those roundabouts or isn't it
  20. They say everything comes to he (she) who waits.   Well........ we've just had the last family of the summer through our doors, English two kids under 10.... and they were good as gold, extremely polite and were certainly brought up under the regime of "children should be seen and not heard" They even, unprompted, came up and said "goodbye, thank you for having me" before they got in the car So when mum said that they thought they would like to come back next year my mouth wasn't saying "oh lovely, we'd be delighted to see you again" whilst my mind was saying "not on your nelly, we've FULLY BOOKED until 2020"  I actually thought the same as I said.  After all, the more bookings we take where we know the kids are OK, the less space there is for that other lot So perhaps normal service will be resumed next year!
  21. Come on everyone get a life.  We are not going to change PàD just by moaning about it here. Of course we're not Andy, but isn't this board supposed to be about debate and discussion?  Can we only talk about things we KNOW we can change?  Surely it's human nature to moan about things we don't like.  I certainly don't expect the law to change just because I don't like it, but I can still say that I think it's a stupid law. And Miki:  THAT junction!!!  I nearly fall foul of it EVERY time we visit St Malo, and I KNOW it's there too!!!  Heaven help those entering France for the first time via St Malo
  22.  I bet Coco will make the national finals for throwing under 10s. The Nationals?   The NATIONALS???   I hope to be in at least a medal position at the WORLD Championships!!
  23. **You are only calling it stupid because you don't like it.** Exactly, Dick. Or - maybe some people's right-of-way is more important than other's right-of-way. Both of these statements are utter rubbish!  The reason it is stupid is nothing to do with not "liking" it and nothing to do with believing that some people are "more important" than others.  It's the inconsistency, the fact that some people follow the rule, others don't, that it is, as someone else has said, dangerous to pull out onto a larger road with the traffic already flowing at a faster speed when you're pulling off from a standing start (sometimes in one of those sewing-machine-on-wheels contraptions!)  And I think MOST importantly, the fact that one hell of a lot of visitors to the country know nothing about such a road law, not having it in their own country.  Now I know the answer to that is that in the case of an accident they would be in the wrong because the other person was in the right, or that people should make sure they are conversant with the laws of the other country.  But is that any consolation once you have already HAD the accident and possibly caused injury to someone!  And in reality, just how many people do you know of - especially from the UK - who make sure the are au fait witht he French highway code before driving here on their holidays?  Not many I would suggest - and certainly not many men, because, after all, you can all drive better than Michael Schumacher anyway, can't you And as for how small does the road have to be is concerned SB, well, I think it must go down to the drive to your own house.  Certainly there are a few maniacs round here who come hurtling out of theirs without looking.  And although I now take caution because I KNOW where they are, I also know that a little further down the road are a couple of gites and often wonder whether the people renting them have any idea about this rule.
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