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Everything posted by zeb

  1. .....and it's quite easy to find anyone in France if they have a phone line. That's if you really, really wanted to, or were owed lots of money!!! Unless they are Pearly Spencer's wife, that is. Just means looking through every department in France on pagesblanches. Could anyone be bothered?
  2. A bit off topic, but has anyone seen (or heard) an ice cream van in France?
  3. I've just glanced through the local paper and there are several T3/T4 properties to rent in villages around Ruffec and Confolens 16 for around 470 euros. Prices go up a bit for properties in town (and they are mostly apartments). We are interested as we intend to rent in 64 or 65 for a while (so that we can househunt leisurely) when our property here in 16 is sold. We may be able to rent a much nicer property using the interest on capital than we could afford to buy. Just need to sell.............
  4. Have you googled chateau vacations? You could look at www.fontremy.com (or perhaps co.uk) as one of their properties is a chateau fairly near the beaches south of Royan.
  5. [quote user="jon"].One more question does anyone know about the large signs which apprear in Roads and in villages directing clients to.... ! [/quote] You could try asking Mr PaysagesdeFrance about signage.
  6. Well, there's always (dare I say it) Anglo-Info!! Or FrenchEntree. But, nowhere near as good as this or the other one!
  7. Futuroscope (just south of Poitiers!) is excellent for teenagers. They have a website www.futuroscope.com It looks fairly expensive but is well worth it for the whole day, especially if you stay for the light show, and food is reasonable. Get there early though - the schools break up tomorrow for the summer! Or...you could take them to Angouleme to Nautilus if the weather is good, and/or the beach at Royan. Or you could even drop them off in town (Angouleme) for a couple of hours.
  8. You can probably get work easily as a freelance agent (is that agent commercial?) working from home, for one of the internet based immobiliers - no qualifications needed, helps to speak French, must be registered to work in France etc etc and willing to take a small commission on a sale whilst the immo you do all the work for, takes the big cut! Oh, and you start paying cotisations immediately you register and all your expenses etc etc - you then have to wait absolutely months for your commission (if you sell anything) to get paid! Have a look at www.leggettimmobilier.com - they are advertising for agents.
  9. Thanks for the replies folks. Yes, I emailed the guy and told him that we were keeping the deposit due to financial loss (running around doing the devis, ordering materials, paying the labourer, paying ourselves etc etc) and haven't heard a word from him. I think he's back in the UK and wifey is in the house with a "friend". Whether they have sorted out getting the work done (cheaper) another way, I don't know and I don't particularly care - I'm not going back there! It was only by chance that we looked at the emails late the other night. A bit cowardly as he has our phone number. Luckily, I mentioned it to someone in the village and they have asked us to do some work immediately. I've also got a load of jobs to finish around the house Nick, so maybe it's a blessing.......
  10. Great! Client emailed late last night from the UK to cancel a largish job that we were due to start today, due to a major domestic problem! I've just managed to cancel the huge delivery which was being made first thing this morning (our builder's merchants were remarkably nice about it, so maybe they are used to this sort of thing), and put off the labourer (who wasn't remarkably nice about it). The small deposit for the first tranch of work has been banked.........do we keep it? I'm really tempted to....... We'd turned down/put back other work as this job was going to take a few weeks, so if any of you need a general builder urgently in North 16......
  11. Have a look in www.pagesjaunes.fr for beton pret d'emploi
  12. Have you thought of doing it yourselves? Blanchards at Savigne (just before Intermarche on the Charroux road) hire out machinery of all sizes. (We hired large mini digger and tipper truck for around 300 euros per day - the digger is charged by the hour of usage). You could also ask in there for recommendations of a French outfit. I do know guys with diggers in the area, but unfortunately none of them are registered so I cannot recommend them (fools unto themselves I say!!). Good luck.
  13. Not knocking your desire to move to France at all Framboise, just pointing out that it's not all hunky-dory here unless you isolate yourselves from real France like the guys in our local bars who have been here the same length of time as I, but whose rants are the same as yours. Yes, of course there is an element of truth for some but it isn't the UK that I recognise and love. I just think these people must have really sad boring lives to constantly rant about stuff that was pure Daily Mail and, even if it were all true and not exaggerated, didn't even affect them. I used to 'hang around in bars" for the benefit of my business (LOL), but I couldn't bear it in the end. Right nuff said on this subject - I'm off to work!
  14. Like Panda, Moya and most other folks on this forum, I love France and our life here. I was really just pointing out that France isn't so different from the UK if nannying isn't your thing, and inviting moya to comment on French politics and policies in five years time when she's had the time to experience it for herself. After 5 years in this little corner of France we are in the process of selling up and moving on for a new adventure, hopefully within France, which has always been our intention. However, due to several hiccups this year which have involved us getting tangled up (quite midly compared to some) with beaurocracy in one form or another, there comes a point when it's easier sometimes to go back to the system you know rather than carry on taking the knockbacks from a system which you don't have a clue about and feel very inadequate in fighting. It's very sad though to hear such vitriol about Britain and the government. We hear it all the time in bars from people telling us why they've "escaped" from the UK. I think most folks who have moved here in the last 6 years should thank their lucky stars that whatever they think of New Labour, it's been government economic policies which have enabled them to cash in the huge equities on their houses and live the dream. No? Late Edit:: Moya keeps changing his/her name and is now Framboise, but later will probably be something else....... Why, Moya?
  15. You could ask your bank for a pret a relais which is the French equivalent of a bridging loan but with much lower interest rates than in the UK. The problem is that I think these have a 2 year life and if your property doesn't sell in two years...................?
  16. I'd say to the original poster to clean the cottage themselves if possible to see how long it takes, then agree a fair price based on their changeover experience and pay the caretakers that price for the job for each changeover. Then if they take 13 hours (which I think is excessive) or 4 hours it's their problem. I look after a three bedroom, one bathroom cottage which is rented out occasionally and usually, only one or two of the bedrooms are used. I charge 50 euros per changeover, which includes mowing the two small lawn areas with the owner's Flymo, and ensuring the gravel drive is weeded. I also charge 8 euros per bed set (including towels) for laundry. Any extra gardening when the cottage isn't rented out is charged at 15 euros per hour. The owners know how long they spend on the house and garden so had a timescale/ price in mind when we discussed the job. If I told them I'd taken 13 /21 hours or whatever they'd sack me and find someone much more efficient/honest or whatever! I really hope that the OP wasn't paying their caretakers an hourly rate!
  17. LOL - I advertised for work (was registered then for garden maintenance) in the June 1st copy of French News a couple of years ago. A woman phoned and screamed at me to "cut her meadow as it won't stop growing"!! I told her that I only cut lawns up to 3000 sq metres (as I wasn't about to wreck my ride on cutting meadows). I suggested asking a local farmer with a tractor and topper to cut it but she said that there wasn't any access for a tractor to the meadow as they'd had their swimming pool installed in front of the gate as it was the flattest part of the garden. I apologised and said that I really couldn't help, and she accused me of "not being a real gardener". Eh? Gosh - I could tell some tales!
  18. This may have already been covered and if so, please forgive me, but how many of your potential English speaking customers (probably living in the UK or the USA) have French euro cheque books? And then, you want to charge 15 pounds for banking a sterling cheque!! This would really put me off (apart from the high cost of the holiday and then being told I must go out to eat for two nights which I believe I've paid for). I often get sterling cheques as presents, or for the odd ebay sale or as a very occasional payment for work. These cost me the price of a stamp to post to my bank, so why does it cost you 15 GBP (sorry no pound sign on this pc)? If you need to check payments just get folks to transfer, preferably on-line, deposits and payments into your bank account. The check your statement on-line. Simple and of no cost to you. I really think, as others have said, that you should take out and forget all the off putting and negative stuff, trim down and emphasise the positives, and get realistic. My Mum had a fantastic painting holiday in the Loire Valley a couple of years back at a house owned and run by two French artists. Full board in late June plus loads of tuition (plus chateau tours) and materials supplied - 790 euros!
  19. Actually I think it's easy!! I've read on here many times that some areas of France are full of folks escaping their debts, especially so if they happen to be builders - LOL.
  20. [quote user="moya"]. Our reasons for this are pretty much like everyone elses because we too are fed-up with being persecuted by the Government, harrangued and bothered by Jobsworths and having every single civil liberty removed by Those We Stupidly Elected under False Pretences, moreover we admire the way the French people simply do not take this type of garbage from their ilustrious leaders and promptly oust them, rather than wring their hands and whimper as we appear to do so very well. We also admire the way the French Govt. don't accept any of the EEC nonsense if they feel it is against Their Culture and simply ignore it, whereas how often do we see Our Lot grovellng to some Euro stuffed shirt and signing us up to yet another disaster for this country? Disasters to which we are given absolutely no say-so as to whether WE want them or not! Well for us, we reached the end of the line with it all and are set to pursue our future in France next year when the house is moreorless finished and our daughter has finished her appenticeship. Our life becomes our own at last yippeeee!!! [/quote] While I hope everything goes swimmingly for you Moya, I'd be really interested to hear your views on France and French politics and burocracy in five years time, and if you still have your rosy specs on. We are feeling well and truely beaten (by France) at the moment, and may move back to a much easier (but perhaps, noisier) life in the UK!
  21. We haven't done a new build but I've read that you should allow at least 1000 euros per sq mtr.
  22. I don't know if this helps at all - it doesn't mention fosses. Perhaps you should ask at your local S.P.A.N.C. http://www.conseils-infos-batiment.fr/garanties/decennale.php
  23. Gosh - there's a huge choice, but when we visited Pau and met up with friends, we had lunch on the front terrace of one of the restaurants on the plateau which overlooks the Pyrenees. Beautiful day, super view and a lovely lunch. They are pricey but for our purposes (we wanted a meal to remember), worth it. Not sure if they are open on Sundays though.
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