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Everything posted by zeb

  1. zeb

    tree felling

    Hi, if you are the Confolens side of Bellac try Tim at www.charentetree.com If not, have a look in the classifieds section of www.angloinfo.com (Limousin) Nice one, Richard!
  2. Well, it looks like I'm joining your club. Just come back from a short trip to the UK. How come I sleep like a log for 8 or 9 hours there, but can't do the same in my lovely cosy bed here? .....and my lurch objects to me being up, so I have to fumble about making tea by the cooker hood light and trying not to make a noise!   Edit: CF clock is wrong  
  3. There are many horrific accidents every year Edward, and anyone who doesn't wear protective clothing is just plain daft in my book. There's all sorts of gear available in France from outlets such as Gamm Vert, but I have no idea re price comparisons - sorry.
  4. Sorry, can't help with Luchon, but you could try this one at Salechan http://www.chambresdhotes.org/Detailed/9728.html  
  5. [quote user="Quillan"]But its always commonly referred to as Chambres D’Hôtes, anyway what is it that you want to know you still didn't say?[/quote] Maybe you should study your signature line, Quillan
  6. Thanks for that - very useful. I'll follow it up this week. On the company website it fulfils the criteria for a tax credit in Canada where it originated. We had it installed last year (at the suggestion of the SPANC guy) and the firm is coming this week to carry out the annual service so I'll ask them first before trotting down to the tax office.
  7. Does anyone know if the tax credit system applies to eco friendly septic tanks (not the sand filter type)?
  8. Yep, develop a strong stomach and a liking for eau de vie!
  9. [quote user="Etoile"]We have a super American man called Michael who is very capable and trust-worthy. He would need accommodation and works for us on the basis of Euro77 per day plus food but he cycles home at night. We are in the 17, Charente Maritime. An utterly good guy. Email if you wish to discuss.[/quote]   Blimey Etoile, I should keep this to yourself as for 77 euros a day he can't possibly be registered to work legally in France as a builder, or insured for that matter. Sorry, he may be "super", but I'd check him out if I were you.. Edit: Johnycarper - you could try www.artisananglais.com  - all registered, insured and English speaking, or the www.angloinfo.com classifieds section for your region.  
  10. David G - you need to go back to your Notaire and check whether the farmer has any legal right of way (servitude) through your property. If there is, it should've been flagged up at the compromis stage, and there is little you can do about it apart from trying to persuade the farmer to change the access (at your expense?). Did the farmer sell you the house? I'm just asking as you say that the gate to the field is in your garden. Why? Is there no other access to the field apart from through your garden? Discuss all this with the Notaire (both of ours were extremely helpful with niggling problems after our purchases) as he/she may help out. You could ask the Notaire if he'll act as a mediator if there isn't a servitude, and get a meeting arranged so that the matter can be sorted out as amicably as possible, or, as someone else suggested, the Maire. If you have no luck going down the "friendly" route, speak to the Gendarmes but only as a last resort. As Dave says, farmers have all sorts of ways to make life sh*t for you, and you really don't want that. Our farming neighbour has a right of way to his beef farm which is just past our house at the bottom of our lane. It's of no problem to us as a) he very, very rarely uses the lane for access to his farm (there are two other entrances); b) the lane is at the front of the house and we tend to live in the back so wouldn't hear or see him if he did use it, and c) he's very well liked in our village, and we have always got on really well with him. But....if he ever brought his cows into my garden.................!! Good luck David. Afterthought - you could try bribing him with a bottle of good malt whisky.      
  11. The weekly fruit/veg/cheese/meat market is on Saturday mornings, but it's held in the market place in Confolens rather than in the streets. If you mean "vide greniers" which are held in village/town streets (the French equivalent of UK boot fairs), it's nearing the end of the season, but yes, go to Tourist Information and ask there. Also ask about local monthly markets - most towns and villages have them, and they usually have more varied stalls than the weekly market.
  12. You say that you pipework is not hidden? Is your plumber French?
  13. Have a look at mountain based gites on www.gites-de-france.com or www.abritel.com They are usually reasonable priced and extremely well furnished and heated. We usually spend Christmas at a gite near Peyragudes (but it's booked for Christmas this year) just past Arreau, although we only live an hour away. Skiing on Christmas Day, or even sitting about at Peyragudes drinking hot wine and people watching, is brilliant before going back for a full roast turkey dinner in front of the log fire. Where ever you decide to stay, in or near the mountains, you'll have a great time as everything is open at Christmas and the scenery is fabulous. I'd avoid the apartments at the ski resorts though as they are tiny with few facilities for cooking etc. and six beds in one room
  14. [quote user="Pommier"]I wonder how people such as TeamedUp are enjoying life back in the UK? Also people such as Coco or Jean Claude who don't post any more. Are they still in France or have they moved on?[/quote] And Mazan? I think he/she was planning a move to Asia.
  15. Mmmmmm - I use the honey and mustard marinade for all sorts of things, even as a quick salad dressing! Here's a delicious starter or lunch dish that my French neighbour made for us last summer. TOMATO (and COURGETTE) TART   Bought roll of Pastry - I usually use patè feuillettèe Dijon Mustard Sliced ripe tomatoes ( and sliced courgettes if you have a glut) Finely chopped half a red onion basil (or small handful of mixed green herbs) slug of good oilive oil handful of grated parmesan cheese   Fit pastry into a large flan case (I leave the paper underneath and just trim the edges so that the pastry doesn't stick to the dish - don't cook it on top of the gas flame though!!) Don't worry about trimming the pastry case, flute it so that it stands up; it looks good rustic! Spread  a dessertspoonful of Dijon mustard over the pastry Cover the pastry/mustard base with a spiral of sliced tomatoes (and alternate with the courgettes), season with salt and black pepper Sprinkle with chopped red onion and herbs, then sprinkle well with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan, or add a few slices of goats cheese if you like. (You can also add flaked tuna or a few anchovies) Bake in medium oven until pastry is brown and tomatoes are cooked. This is nice hot with a crisp salad and brown bread, but is absolutely delicious cold. Enjoy.
  16. zeb

    matresses (Ikea)

    [quote user="teapot"]Ikea matresses are their own size so you will have to buy everything from their too.[/quote] Are they? Hadn't noticed a difference as our beds are not Ikea and nor is most of the bedding. The mattress we bought at Ikea Toulouse fits our UK single bed nicely, although we had been told that there would be a difference. All the rest are French beds that came with mattresses, so no problems. I did find it a bit of a nightmare when I first came over with bedding, but we have gradually changed our duvets to French kingsize so that we can buy all our bedding here, and we bought a supply of UK fitted sheets for the English bed.
  17. Maybe you could add something relevant to your terms and conditions i.e. not to play any instruments or disturb you and your other guests between 6pm and 10am or whatever. Moi?  I'd love to hear some music here; we only have the Village fete de la musique in July to look forward to.              
  18. Doesn't happen like that at Confolens. There are various set start times that are about 3 hours apart. You choose one and book for that time (unless they are fully booked, so you book for another day/ set time that suits). Everyone is seen off by the volunteers at short intervals and as a previous poster says, if you catch up with someone, you swap peddle carts. At Manot there's a super little cafe run by the velo rail volunteers who, once everyone has set off from Confolens, meet you at Manot and serve refreshments from the cafè. There are tables and chairs set up, and a donkey in the field! My favourite cafè in the Charente! Some peddlers go on to Roumaziers, and the rest who are returning to Confolens have their carts turned round by the volunteers. We've done it several times with adult guests and we've all taken it in turns to peddle (you can change seats in motion); great fun. But....I'd never do it by myself with young children who hadn't got the strength or stamina to peddle 7 kilometres (up a slight incline in places). It's a good idea to have a couple of fit young guys with you (4 people can sit on the cart comfortably - 2 peddle) then you don't have to peddle at all....ho hum!! Good luck, and have a great time.  
  19. This is something you will have to ask your Mairie as many communes are quite strict about homemade signage. You could ask them for some official signs (you'll probably have to pay for them). Just point out that your CdH will bring much needed revenue to the commune from tourists, as well as your taxes.
  20. Maybe you should have it done in the same finish as your house? Get a facardier in, they'd probably do it in an afternoon.
  21. Have to agree. The bread I made in my Panasonic in the UK always looked and tasted great - white with a crusty top; but here (with a Lidl machine) - yuk. So I ditched the machine and make a couple of small loaves every other day in the oven. I, too, use the Francine flour but Pain de Campagne, so it's not white, but rises and tastes OK. I make one loave in a loaf tin and the other in a round white china Ikea pot (the bread looks likes it's been cooked in a flower pot!). I find the results much, much better than using the machine, but I do use 2 packets of dried yeast to 500 grams of flour; and no paddles to fish out (there should have been a little wire hook with your machine for hooking the paddles out).
  22. Unfortunately you have to declare on the UK form that you are actually in the UK when you sign it and that you are not making any false statements blah blah....... We're in a quandry about what to do as both of our passports expire on the same day, and we've just realised how much we have to pay to renew them at the British Embassy. What a rip off! We're caught between a rock and a hard place - jail or bankruptcy. Can't risk not renewing them...........  
  23. zeb

    Best Surfing?

    Probably any of the long sandy beaches south of Arcachon. Maybe a bit too far from you but the surfing capital of France is further down towards Biarritz at Hossegor beach - it's absolutely great there (and next door at Capbreton) but can get crowded, especially when there are competitions on. Have fun!
  24. If you checked out his SIRET on an internet site, there will only be one trade listed (that which he put at the top of his list); if you ask to see his Chambre de Metiers card, it will have everything listed that he is able to do under his SIRET. Many French plumbers are electricians as well, and also heating engineers. You could ask to see his decinale insurance certificate.
  25. Sorry, I've no knowledge of employing Polish labour; I was recommending a local business for the finishing works darnsarf needs doing.
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