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Everything posted by SC

  1. We're looking to buy without success a Breton patterned toile ciré tablecloth length - the shiny  type sold on the roll. We bought one years ago with a Quimper pottery design on it and we're looking to replace it. There's a good choice of Breton designs in ordinary fabrics, but nothing in this type of "cloth".   Has anyone seen such a thing, hope someone can help! Steve
  2. Clarke Kent wrote:    "Are you advocating the continued punishment of these companies for wrongs done two generations ago?" I was advocating what I wrote: remember. I would add, know and acknowledge. How people use that knowledge is up to them. To some (judging by her comment) such as Sweet17 the link with the gruesome past may be unbearable, Quillan, dismissing these company's wartime products as "whatever", doesn't appear to feel the same way. Its each to their own. Me? I'm embarrassed by my lack of principals generally. Clarke Kent wrote:   "I'm sure, SC, that I may be misjudging your motive in posting the above. If so, I apologise." I'd be interested in knowing what you thought my motives may have been, you may be endowing me with more depth than I possess. Steve
  3. First-hand glimpses of life in German occupied countries and Germany itself are rare now. In the early days of the occupation of Brittany, my friend Eugène (91) was knocked off his bike into the ditch by a German troop truck and sustained a compound fracture. Later in the occupation an adjunct at our mairie provided the Germans with a list of the addresses of all the young men in the commune, and they were rounded up and sent to Germany as slave labour. The adjunct, who had probably been threatened by the Germans, was killed for his collaboration by a shot through the head by the resistance, on the steps of the mairie. Eugène, who had been the head of the household following the death of his father at a young age from damage caused to his lungs by mustard gas in the first world war, was shipped off to Germany, and with the others from the commune lived and worked in terrible conditions, only alieviated by a boss who had a kind heart, and a local baker who, taking pity on them and at risk to himself, gave them extra bread. Oh yes, and the fact that bitte meant please! Eugene wasn't placed with a famous German company but there were many who were   http://www.theawfultruth.com/salbmw/ So when you spray your greenfly, remember that Bayer made the gas for the gas chambers. And when you turn on your gas hob remember that Siemens designed the ovens. Eugene is the last living survivor of the group of slave workers from this commune. Steve
  4. Powerdesal wrote: "I am presently searching for a mutuelle and tried the site you quote Steve, just a minor (?) point of confusion - 'your regime' box, what the dickens do I highlight in that ????????? " If you are with the CPAM I'm fairly sure it'll be the Sécurité Sociale régime, but I've not come across anything other than Régime General and Alsace-Moselle before..... Steve
  5. Here you are: http://www.castorama.fr/store/Mono-VMC--80-PRDm555448.html#tab_technicTab http://www.castorama.fr/store/Mono-VMC--125-HBH-prod5150012.html The smaller one of the two has the running costs I mentioned above. They extract to a tube through the wall or into a flexible metal tube like any other extractor fan, and like conventional VMC units, are usually wired to run continuously although you can put a switch in the circuit if you wish. You might find a better choice in store. They're not cheap, but nor are quiet extractors in the UK that are intended for continuous running; aim for 28db or less unless you need to mask "bathroom noises"! Steve
  6. Rather than conventional extractor fans consider fitting those sold as "mono VMC" units. They are low wattage, costing 6-7 euros pa for 24 hour operation, and extremely quiet. For shower/bath rooms those with an inbuilt humidistat will be most effective. In a windowless shower room, consider an air inlet as well. We have three mono VMCs that perform extremely well in toilets and shower rooms, and we have only had to replace one in more than twelve years of constant operation. My understanding is that provision of ventilation to give good air quality is obligatory, but VMC per se is not. In the kitchen I would re-site the hob if necessary to enable fitting an extractor hood. Steve
  7. [quote user="Rabbie"]UK passport photos do not need to be countersigned if it is clear that it is the same person.[/quote] New requirements for photos mean that is more likely to be the case this time - no specs for example, and the wrinkles are clearer than before! Steve
  8. [quote user="LesWeb"]We do, however, know a number of people who may be willing to sign, but are retired. Does anybody know if their signature would be acceptable? [/quote] We had a retired bobby (resident in France) sign for us the first time and a retired British teacher last time and didn't encounter problems. We also sign passport applications occasionally although we are retired (a bit incestuous really as we signed their applications....) and have never heard of a problem. IF the FCO checks anything, that may be why one sends the applicaion to the local embassy where someone can verify the existence of applicant and sponsor before forwarding it to Britain. Steve  
  9. I have just tried for an online quote for an 82 year old from our mutuelle and it responded with a message about being between 16 and 70. However this website came up with quite a few quotes www.assuralys.fr/EspaceInformations/Mutuelle-Senior.php  at various charges. Steve edit:why has my text become green??
  10. [quote user="sweet 17"] There are many companies out there that wouldn't accept my OH as he is in his eighty-second year [/quote] I was under the impression that they have to accept everyone (at the same rates?), regardess of health or age, with 6 months advance payments being demanded for over 75s with no recent history of adhesion? Steve
  11. The carte grise should also have a note of when the next CT is due. Steve
  12. [quote user="Val_2"] don't do it via your card and the printed out form to send off, not security conscious in my opinion.[/quote] I thought that too but went ahead anyway. Its the only time I've had to write my credit card details plus the security code on paper. Shortly afterwards the card company picked up a fraudulent "test" payment charged to my card, followed by a £400+ payment to Manchester Council.   My card is only used for Pay-Pal, Amazon, and to pay large bona fide busineses (M&S, Tesco...) online so the details aren't all over the place. Coincidence or what? Steve
  13. [quote user="woolybanana"]And that splendid Indian company Jaguar Range Rover is recruiting 800 staff.[/quote] Fairly sure that those new employees of that splendid Indian company Jaguar Range Rover will be pretty pleased about that. Steve
  14. Unfortunately every bright cloud these days can have a gloomy lining: "Honda is planning to cut 800 jobs at its Swindon plant, blaming weak demand across Europe." BBC today. Steve
  15. Norman wrote:"So really there is no connection to the UK Budget" Thats right there isn't. In France, austerity is being seized on as the reason for lack of growth whereas despite those draconian UK budget cuts, ordinary UK citizens are optimistic enough to go out and buy new cars. "it is more a question of Japanese management and design." Freedom from the union intransigence in the old British owned car industry, more like. Steve
  16. [quote user="NormanH"]The productivity of French workers is higher than their British counterpart, but they are still burdened by the fact of having French management and owners. [/quote] And labour laws. Lest this reflect on the average British "worker", conventional productivity per worker is not a measure of how hard someone works as it does not take into account the cost of the financial or intellectual investment to enable that productivity. In an economy or social structure that makes it difficult and expensive to lay off employees, companies will invest in machinery and work practices to achieve productivity gains. Steve
  17. [quote user="NormanH"]I can't see any link between Budget cuts and car sales. [/quote] In as much as austerity is presumed to stifle growth. Steve
  18. When the UK coalition government announced its planned budget cuts a couple of years ago it was reported on TF1 news as draconian with the comment: "imagine what would happen if the government of France tried to do that here". Now we know that most of the UK cuts have yet to bite deep, but I wonder what the average Frenchman would think about poor old Britain if he looked at the BBC news site today: Peugeot Citroen hit by 'crisis' in European car sales "Sales worldwide were down 16.5%, the French company said"; " sales fell 13% in France" On the same page were links to: "UK car sales reach four year high" and "US car sales hit five year high". Its was also reported elsewhere that Peugeot's UK sales were up 5.6% in 2012. The Guardian reported: "Sales of UK-built cars rose 11% in 2012" and last summer there was the headline "Britain now produces more cars than Germany" (in the Mail :) ) I wonder if the French media will pick up on this and how the politicos will respond if questioned. Steve
  19. I received a message purporting to come from EDF this morning saying that my last bill had not been paid with a clickable link to pay on line. Looking on the French anti scam sites I see that quite a few of these messages have been received over the past few days. I know that this one may have been mentioned before, but it does no harm to mention it again. Steve  
  20. "Operation Escargo" will affect most cities and create jams on many major routes on Thursday. Medical taxis are also involved. Steve
  21. You should be able to find a tube of  "efface rayures" in the motoring section of a supermarket. Take great care on modern finishes especially metallics as the paint coats are very thin. Steve 
  22. Do you suspect that he had a TVA liable trading business that he carried on at night and he used these receipts to reduce his liability?  He could have been filling them out in his tva registered builder pals' names to flog them to them later at half price. Thats more viable - you need the right sort of mind........Was I a C&E inspector? Steve  
  23. Hi, you know what grinds my gears? Having to scroll such a long way down the drop down "year of birth" boxes on internet forms to finally get to mine. Just sayin, Steve
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