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Everything posted by SC

  1. Not just you folk - if you fr-google "C4 Infiltration d'eau" you'll even find a video! Steve
  2. Here's an (admittedly oldish) review of cheaper led bubs that amongst other anecdotal comment put me off "It has now been two years since I bought my original GU10 LEDs. In total since I first purchased, I have had 12 GU10 LEDs. Out of those 12 there are 3 working". http://www.ebay.co.uk/gds/GU10-cheap-LED-Bulb-comparison-/10000000119377785/g.html Homebase in the UK and Super U near us have been marketing 4-5 watt GU10 LED bulbs since October, maybe longer, at £10-£12 for two. Expected life, it says on the packet, is 25yrs -25000 hours. One needs 4 or 5 watt LED to replace 50W conventional bulbs and these are 3000K - not icy white. If my maths are correct the payback period at 15p per kwh is around 1000hrs, less than a year in our case. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong :) I see that Super U have 12volt LED spotlamp bulbs too. A nice feature of LED spots, especially if you have flush downlighters or low spotlamps is that they generate very little heat. On an energy-saving thread, I was shocked to read how much it costs to run a gas pilot light, and reckon that our son's in the UK was costing over £100 a year as it was running like a bunsen burner. Steve
  3. Thank you all for your contributions and for identifying the S1 as the probable bottleneck. Our daughter is enjoyiong couple of years "paid travel" after the best part of twenty years in French and UK education, and last winter had a wonderful time working at an up-market ski lodge in Swizerland. Her language skills and qualifications enabled her to work in customer care and admin and she had a great time, coming home with great snowboarding abilities and a boyfriend.  Plus other family members were put up free for a week or two at the lodge and made welcome. So that part of it is much as ET has suggested, however the pay, deductions, and final pocket money was very much as Idun has laid out. Since then, she's au paired/taught in Como and is currently selling ice creams in Corsica. The Euro-experience has so been better than at Camp America, where it appeared to me that after taking into account the upfront fee, camp charge for accommodation and food, and hefty 50% share of wages to the UK agency, it appeared that she worked for nothing. Speaking as someone who has been self employed in the UK and France for the past 37 years, there would have been times when I earned nothing for many hours of work, however the lifestyle and experience (and successes) have been, on balance, worth it. She may have a S1 as she has French health cover as our dependent. I will speak to she who guards the armoire that holds the health dossiers later. Steve
  4. Not sure where to post this, but I'm wondering if anyone can enlighten me. Can anyone shed any light on why a UK business employing (or engaging) staff to work a winter season in France, would say that they can't employ someone who has not previously worked in the UK, although they know that the person concerned is a UK National, French resident, who has UK, French, Swiss and US "NI" numbers? (Having been born in the UK and worked in France, US, Switzerland) Steve
  5. [quote user="Mr Ceour de Lion II"]I think Bush gets a rough ride. He said a lot of dumb things, but I've heard a lot of dumb things Obama has said too. [/quote] The "red line" speech for example. I bet he wishes he'd kept his mouth shut. "Kerry says our oldest ally, the French. Deliberate dig at UK? " (BBC) Well monsieur Kerry may not realise how hard that may hit home. Hope he doesn't have any skeletons in his cupboard....... Steve
  6. Loved it. What I was wondering was, were the lights in the windows related to the keys of the piano as well as the timing?  Steve
  7. I wasn't trying to be offensive Sid and I'm sorry if it came over like that. I said "I'd (be) surprised if V33 or Syntilor were water based six years ago...... ", and now you've told me that they were, I am surprised. Clearly the move to water based consumer exterior paints happened earlier than I imagined, although I knew that some German car makers had made the change in the 90s. Steve
  8. [quote user="sid"] I only use paints where I can clean the brushes in water. They work fine; 6 years is not good enough? [/quote] I'd surprised if V33 or Syntilor were water based six years ago. The old tins that I have aren't but maybe I bought them before that. Bondex appears to still be oil based.  [quote user="sid"] Hammerite has changed in any case. The old stuff was better but I've found that the old Hammerite brush cleaner and thinners doesn't work with the latest version of their paint. [/quote] It's certainly different to when I first bought it in 1965, only hammered finish and only sold through Exchange and Mart. Never bought the thinners or brush cleaner though, it's just rebadged acetone. [quote user="sid"] Even car finishes are water-based now! [/quote] Yes, aren't they thin, don't they chip easily.... Steve
  9. Presumably all these paints are now water based. I'm not convinced about their performance outside. Here tradesmen can still obtain and are still using, oil based paints and they're also still sold in some DIY sheds close to marinas. Indoors, water based seems OK on doors etc but coats seem to dry thin and it scratches easily unless an undercoat is used on previous oil based paint. I used a water based acrylic white metal paint and all exposed metal areas showed rust bleeds immediately despite their being properly cleaned and treated. Leroy Merlin insisted I did something wrong, but changed it anyway (to Hammerite) . Seems obvious to me - water+steel=rust. I've got my wooden shutters paint job coming up and I think I'll get a tradesman I know to get me a good quantity of oil based and store the remainder. I'm only worried about the price...... Steve
  10. [quote user="brit"]we just wanted to drain it in case dont get back there until after the winter. ie to stop any burst pipes , have turned hot taps on but ended up blowing down washing machine pipe to break air lock and wondered if  there was an easier way for next time . [/quote] Just to explain it further, when draining the cylinder, air goes in via the hot taps to replace the water that goes out through the security valve. Turn the supply valve on the groupe de sécurité off  90 degrees, turn the red test knob until it clicks and stays open, open all the hot taps. Water should flow out through the bottom of the security valve that ideally is  connected to a drain. The water flows quickly to start with and then spasmodically, accompanied by a lot of gurgling as air goes in. The process can take a couple of hours or more. Blowing into the hot water pipe speeds up things but is a bit tedious....you must have a UK washing machine as I've never come across a French one with a hot feed. In south Brittany we never drain our cylinders or pipes in the gites for the winter, they're all indoors and the cylinders themselves are very well insulated, but of course, we're on site to put on heating if necessary; it depends on your location.... Steve
  11. Buy a cleaner that dries to a matt finish, Simonise? make one. There's so many features in modern cars that were campaigned against in the 1960s/70s by Ralph Nader in the States, and taken up here in Europe, that have been brought back in the name of Styling. How many drivers appreciate when they can't see properly? Furry dice, satnavs in the centre of the windscreen and so on suggest that quite a few don't. Years ago we used to mask the instruments on our rally cars and then spray the rest of the dashboard matt black. Now I have a VW that has little red "ambience" lights that shine down from the courtesy light onto the gear lever area with its chavy chromey  bits. (I know where the gear lever is, doh) Positioning of sidelights/indicators  with more regard to style than safety is another issue for me. Steve 
  12. Here in Brittany, a "south of France" company bought a very nice locally owned site on the coast and shortly afterwards asked for the next ten years' rent from all tenants. Those that couldn't or didn't pay up or make new arrangements before the deadline had their mobile homes towed out and left on the local car park. Personally, I wouldn't bother, unless as previously said, you own some land where you can legally install it, and then there may be a problem of connection of services. Steve
  13. [quote user="idun"] We will never be able to stop people being stupid and risking their lives. [/quote] Unfortunately many of those poor folk didn't know that they were being stupid and risking their lives. Although not everyone getting into difficulties at the coast would be in the same circumstances, nothing can prepare any swimmer for the strength of a rip current, for example.. Local people of course, may be more aware, having had brushes with danger beforehand. Steve
  14. [quote user="dwmcn"] DD, If you know where to put them, can't you just use the ones for British cars? David [/quote] Troll alert?
  15. [quote user="woolybanana"] You must have started self abuse very young, then!![6] [/quote] Ewww
  16. [quote user="woolybanana"] Well, what wine does one like? It has to be red, (white or v.pale pink) taste smooth (or light), not like old tyres(OK....), tannin free (unless natural - no sacks of oak chips dragged through it to give it some dryness/tannin/distinction), not bitter or taste like soil (some soil's nice), fruity is acceptable, not syrupy (unless sweet white), but distinctive. Most recently the s'market had a decent, cheapish  claret,  that I guzzled down. And now it is gone so one must search some more. What I miss in France are non-French wines, particularly a decent Italian selection. (decently priced S/ American whites for example) Wine clubs are a bit like upmarket tupperware or underwear parties (I have never been to a wine club, I avoid upperware parties, and always been excluded from underwear parties that I attempted to attend)- either you belong or you don't and I definitely don't Each to his or her distinction! [/quote] There you go Wooly, you're just like me! Steve edit "upperwareparties!"
  17. [quote user="dwmcn"] Why do wine snobs like Oz Clarke and Jilly Goolden always taste blablcurrants, gooseberries, strawberries, hay, grass, etc, in wine, but never grapes?  [/quote] They're not wine snobs they're wine writers and broadcasters who have become successful at what they do and they taste the fruitiness in wine because it is there and it helps them describe the taste to their audience. One may not like them any more than one likes Jeremy Clarkson, however they've certainly done better within their chosen metier than most of us.... Have a look at some wines at around 3 euros on French supermarket shelves, many of them will have similar descriptions on the label together with their food associations. I like "blabcurrents" by the way, fuel for talking heads! Steve
  18. I would love to be a wine snob, but unfortunately my budget doesn't stretch to it, and, on the occasions when I've pushed the boat out I've been dissapointed with what I've bought. I like ordinary minervois because it reminds me of the carafe wine served in cafes and restaurants when I first travelled in France and a bottle of Kronenburg sometimes brings back the same memories. In principle, every dish has a perfect wine, and I've been lucky enough to experience this on two occasions, neither at my expense. When this happens, it should be as obvious as it was to me. The combination of the two is simply greater than their sum. I would never cook with a wine that I couldn't drink without wincing, an acidic red wine will ruin the intended flavour of a boef bourgignon for example. One case where the taste of a wine used in cooking is very obvious is with mussels in muscadet. If you can find a wine with a really strong muscadet flavour then the briefly cooked sauce will be so much more delicious. I've been enjoying serving Coteaux de Layon with strong blue cheese (and deserts) recently - it doesn't have to be an expensive one.......... Steve
  19. Looking through the Brittany Leboncoin ads yesterday I was surprised to see several ads, apparently from the same source, by (presumably) a lady selling her underwear. The items were all upmarket and, ahem, nice. I see someone else is offering similar today. Years ago I had a pal who sold "used" ladies undies via Exchange and Mart very successfully, and I wonder if this is aimed at a similar market? In all innocence, Steve
  20. [quote user="NormanH"] a link to: septembre 1938 ; Hitler s’en prend aux Sudètes. La France abandonnéepar son allié britannique accepte de participer avec l’Alle -magne, l’Italie et la Grande-Bretagne à laconférence de Munich (septembre1938) où elle trahit son allié tchécoslovaque [/quote] Hmmmm..........
  21. In 2003 the college history text book that I read stated similar to: the "history since 1900 is so well known that it will not be discussed here."  It is studied in the academic bac syllabus though, and those bits that I read (also a few years ago) about the 1939-45 war and the reasons that led to the conflict, had a slant that rightly or wrongly, some Brits would be uncomfortable with. For example, whereas the horror of the firebombing of Berlin might be described for UK ears as x aircraft, dropping x tons of bombs in one night, the French course book that I read said: "x tonnes of TNT, equivalent to x times the weight of TNT dropped on London in the whole war." We have a 75 year old French friend who didn't know England was bombed in WW2 until we passed the ruined church in Plymouth, and a 55 year old who had to ask us when her daughter asked her if the English were in the war. Steve
  22. I don't get it. A government of millionaires decides to withdraw £100 a year from elderly people, some of whom have £450 per month to live on and other people think that that's ok and brag that they never claimed it ion the first place. Get real, excepting a few headline grabbing occasions, those millionaires claim for just about everything they're entitled to. Needing it doesn't enter into it. Me, I claim too. I also make payments to effective charities. Government money better spent I think. Steve
  23. >ADAC may use its own facilities and breakdown vehicles in Germany, for all I know< Yes, they do, I've seen them lurking around the Nurnburgring. Steve 
  24. I travelled to the UK recently on MyFerryLink. When I booked I thought that it was a ticket site, I didn't realise that it was a ferry operator until I arrived at Calais. At 24 hours notice I paid £35 one way when the other operators were charging over £100 (£29 if booked earlier). I've travelled LD from Le Havre and from St Nazaire and PO on the long crossings when they operated them. The MyFerryLink was closer to a Brittany Ferries experience, nice ship and good reasonably priced food, and I would have no hesitation in recommending them over the other operators. Steve
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