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Everything posted by Coco

  1. 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!
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5.  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!!
  6. **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.
  7. How strange!  Perhaps they can see it for the stupid rule that it is and didn't think the French would have it too!!
  8. Some of our neighbours were explaining that the younger kids have already started back to school this week.  They have a shorter holiday than the older kids because they do the 4 day week, ie no school on Wednesdays.  So what day did they start back this week?......... When else, but WEDNESDAY
  9. Just about ALL of our American guests have been very grateful for me explaining this ridiculous bit of French highway code to them.  I can't believe that it hasn't long since been abandoned!
  10. Can anyone explain to me what the hell this subject has got to do with France?  There's not even the tenuous link between how French children behave in class
  11.  I'm a civil servant and I couldn't have a say on the governement I work for. I didn't think you could be a civil servant in France unless you WERE a French citizen.  Were you able to do so because you were married to a Frenchman? At the moment I've had enough French bureaucracy to last me quite a while, but MAY think about it at some point, especially as you don't have to give up your British citizenship to do it.  I'm with Tony on this one, I don't like losing my right to vote.  I ALWAYS voted in the UK and miss the opportunity to do so here.  I shall definitely make sure I vote in the local elections here, as in a village of 170, every vote really DOES count!
  12. Cor, did I really say "more than 8 hours sleep"???  That would have been luxury!!  What Imeant was more than 6 hours!!!! I have to say SB, when the GdF lady came to look at our house a few weeks ago she was pleased but somewhat surprised to see duvets, with white cotton covers on them.  I was equally surprised, wondering just WHAT she had expected to see - now I know, YUK. We've just had some Americans living in Germany stay with us, who were amazed at how large their bedroom was, just for two of them (so thumb firmly on nose, and protruding tongue to you lot at GdF Manche ) because the lady told me that the accommodation they had been given when they first arrived in Germany had been a room smaller than our double for 5 of them!!!  Lesson learnt, don't B&B in Germany, they really DO put you in a Stalag  From what I've seen of B&Bs round here the standard is extremely high and it is a never ending battle of increasing comfort and facilities to try and stay ahead of the competitors - and that includes the French owned ones too.  So try a few more out next year SB, hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised.
  13. Just read both your postings, although we are not withGdF, (out of choice) I  hope to give a reply to suit your standards, but being on the tail end of an 18 night without a break stint and 13 nights of dinners without a break, I'm just about AT breaking point, so will withdraw to bed and answer at a later date.   Needless to say, you both deserve the better version of what you desire, and what, I hope, people believe we deliver, but ... will elcudiate further after our first night in over 2 months of plus de 8 heures sleep, so bon nuit, a demain.  
  14. We have a family arriving tonight for 4 nights then no one for 10 days before it starts up again til the end of September.  It was the same last year, when we were kept busy til mid October.  Like you Arnold, I'd like a few extra rooms just for that one month period!  I turned away so many people at the beginning of August it was untrue (and most upsetting )
  15. All of my B&B bed linen is white, each set gets washed at least 3 times a week in peak season and 3 seasons down the line is still brilliant white (thankfully)  I use Skip tablets on a 60 degree wash, with soupline fabric conditioner.
  16. Another excellent source we found this year was http://www.jardinexpress.com who send the little plugs by mail.  Much cheaper than buying the plants from the shops and they have been really great this year.  Very little watering or dead-heading needed.  Much,much less work than last year's petunias!!1!
  17. It seems that most of our guests are now just crossing at Calais and driving down to Normandy.  Even those travelling from the West country and Wales!!!  We were resesigned to doing that a long time ago because I believe that P&O prices from Le Havre and Cherbourg were extortionately high anyway, they haven't got THAT much worse now it's just Britanny.  The difference between western and eastern Channel prices at the moment, being August, is between £450-£600 per car western channel, versus £50-£150 eastern Channel.  No one seems to have a problem with doing the drive either. Sad fact of life I think.  We would much rather sail from Caen when we do have to go back to the UK, but calais, with the motorway, is so quick anyway, that the saving makes it worth that little bit of extra effort - timewise it makes little difference, as obviously you have a 50 minute to an half and a half crossing at Calais/Boulogne as opposed to 5-6 hours at Cherbourg or Caen. 
  18. Are these new or have I only ust noticed them?  I went into NW France section yesterday and noticed that each of the regions was highlighted in blue and that they are hyperlinks.  I checked out my own area of Basse-Normandie and then Saint Lo and the information and links are really useful. Well done Living France - great idea!
  19. Well when I started looking for a mason, carpenter and roofer in this part of Normandy back in February I was told December was the earliest start date.  I have finally managed to get a start date of October (well so I'm led to believe at this moment in time!)  Is your husband only marketing himself to Brits Helmarion?  If so, he's really limiting his market.  Has he tried Yellow Pages or the local newspapers?  Or leaving cards at immobiliers and notaires?
  20. We had a young couple stay with us earlier this week (28 and 30) - both teachers, to whom I told my tale of woe about the kids from hell.  They agreed that it is the parents who can't control them and that they had even by-passed some of the rooms in the chateau they had visited the day before because of the uncontrolable children making so much noise. Sara pointed out that the kids in her class do as they are told, are polite and quiet but that she sees the Jekyll and Hyde change of personality as soon as they walk through the school gates and back to the jurisdication of their parents; litter is dropped, they shout, run when they're told to walk, fight.....  She says they take no notice of the parents, but then the parents just have no idea how to control them.  It appears that even at 28 Sara too has "the LOOK" that we've all talked about, so thank goodness it's not a generational thing and some kids will still fall under the influence of such a terryifying warning
  21. We usually take our lead from the farmers round here.  My husband was going to do some strimming yesterday but as he hadn't got started before 11am he also realised that there were none of the usual tractor/combine harvester etc noises going on in the fields around us, so thought he'd better wait til today.  Even though we are a good 500m to our nearest neighbour, noises like strimmers really do carry - especially on hot still days!  Best to sit back and drink a cold beer or glass of wine instead
  22. Finally had an English family to stay who didn't sound as though they were coming through the ceiling every time they moved about in their room; didn't shout, scream and have tantrums; didn't break anything and didn't wear my nerves down to nothing.  They even vacated their room by 11am as requested.  HOWEVER, they did stay wandering around the garden and playing table tennis til 12.30 which meant that a) I couldn't go out ad b) the proximity to my washing line and the gravel dust that is kicked up from the table tennis means that I couldn't hang any washing out!!!  I think perhaps I'm just too nice for this game
  23. Well since my original posting we've had another family to stay, with even younger children!!!  Two very sweet little girls aged 3 and 5.  Pleasant surprise that even at that age, running in and out from the garden they both automatically stopped by the front door and took their shoes off before coming in.  HOWEVER, their dad was Dutch!!  So looks like my theory still holds. The parents were incredibly interesting, having lived with tribes in Amazonian rainforests of Equador and the time and patience they had with the little girls (plus discipline when the older one started to get a bit carried away with the p**h word )was proof of what creates well behaved children.  I even started to think that my previous decision for next year was a little harsh when BANG, the table lamp in the living room was knocked off the table and broken.  It wasn't down to naughtiness, it was a complete accident, the little girl was very upset and the parents very apologetic, but no offer of financial recompense was forthcoming! Soooo, we're still thinking, no young children next year, even the cute ones end up costing us money!  It seems we're getting a bit more than our fair share this year And to top it all, the other couple (childless) who are staying here for a couple of nights en route from their permanent home in Spain for the bi-annual visit to relatives in the UK, and therefore potential return business do not seem at all impressed.... and we've got another lot of 5, 8 and 11 checking in tonight!!
  24. Hi Val Where is the wedding going to be?  My old boss does both weddings and funerals!  He lives in central London but has a holiday home near Beziers in Herault.  I know he'd love the opportunity to "do" a wedding in France.
  25. We brought a similar set over from the UK because we'd had it less than a year and paid quite a bit for it!  It works absolutely fine and if it's that new the connector should just unplug from the phone end so you can swap it for a French one without having to get into rewiring problems.
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