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  1. Please can anyone tell me where to buy a ready-made flat-pack type of cat enclosure and/or run for outside. We have several indoor cats and need help. This summer was hard for our cats and for us. We all need fresh air and they need exercise. I am also looking for a similar thing for indoors as our 16 year old cat has become senile and though a dear little soul, is beginning to attack the 2 young cats, and as we have run out of rooms, separation would be a relief for all when they are not asleep. We are not handy so are unable to begin from scratch. We live in the Lot so have to be aware of carriage costs. Any ideas anyone?
  2. Update: My neighbour says that he slipped badly in his pool the other day on the algae that was on the bottom of the pool. He has returned the stone. We said we were sorry and left it at that. It clearly was a scam. Beware of magic stones from South Africa!!!!!!!!  
  3. I have really enjoyed the replies everybody. Some of them are clever ideas, but perhaps no-one has any idea what it is which leads me back to my first gut feeling that it is a scam. The guy with said stone has very little money and was grasping at straws, (or should that be stones), so I have no intention of talking to him about this. I am just sad to think that he has wasted his money - but the water is still clear ??!!! Thanks everybody for the replies. I give up. 
  4. My French neighbour has just installed a small swimming pool in his garden. At his insistence I went to look at it and was shown a creamy-grey round stone sitting on the floor of the pool, about 40cm across. He is adamant that it does the job of sanitising the water. No chemicals at all! He does have a small sand filter and pump but that is all. He is unable to tell me what it is made of, but it works. In this hot weather and after about three weeks of use, the pool is certainly as clear as a bell. He waved a photocopied piece of paper around but I was not able to look at it properly. A "very good friend" of his can get it for us if we want it. Cost for his size 500 Euros. A larger one about 700 Euros. Is this a new scam? I have no intention of buying one, and our pool is out of action anyway, but I am curious as it does seem to be a little far-fetched. Why have we not heard of this miracle stone before? Or the world? Am I right or just uninformed? Anyone else come across this or is it a case of beware!
  5. Chocolate

    Care of dogs

    I am sorry for this belated reply. Many many thanks Christine for the clarification. What has happened? the weather is warmer at the moment which is easier, and for the last week the little dog has been outside less. A French neighbour has agreed to approach the owner this week to offer assistance with the care so hopefully this will be a 'soft' route to improve the dog's welfare. I feel this will wind-up the owner less and achieve the hoped-for result. If necessary, however, there is your helpful, information as a support for the future should the situation shange. 
  6. I would like to run my own exercise class. As a qualified dance teacher and a qualified fitness instructor I am interested in setting up a class/classes here in France. I am retired and in receipt of 2 small pensions, am a full-time French resident now and pay most of my taxes in France. I ran sucessful classes in England until it was necessary to concentrate on full-time employment. Where can I find information on how to do this please. I want to work legally though I know many don't. Does it seem a good idea? A friend has set up a sucessful gite business this year and has found it very satisfying. Is it worth the stress to charge for the classes or would it be better to charge a) enough for an amount for me plus the cost of the room plus the required taxes or b) just to cover costs and I teach for the personal enjoyment or c) confine the 'class' to friends and do not ask for payment of any sort? In view of my pensions and the inevitable French paper-work nightmare, is it a bright idea or should I just keep myself fit? I have tried the only two classes available here in my part of the country and as an ex-professional was appalled by one and left stiff, cold and cramped by the other. What is the general opinion please and if yes, how do I go about it?    
  7. Chocolate

    Care of dogs

    I wondered if Christine had found the legal answer to the problem of the little dog? By reading this part of the forum often, I can guess how busy she must be, so perhaps not as yet. Sadly I have the same problem. I have only one neighbour here on our hill; straight in front of me. He is a younger man who clearly works long and hard away from his house, but has a small poodle-type dog which is chained up outside in all weathers with absolutely no shelter at all. It has to sit on a waterpipe, huddled against the bare stone wall. It breaks my heart. He is known to be an agressive man so I am loathe to approach him. Almost certainly he would take our name through the mud via the local bar should I even try to make him think about his treatment of the poor little dog. It is small, scruffy and certainly not loved. For various reasons we know of, it is unlikely he would be persueded to give up the dog.  I had thought of donating a kennel via Papa Noel but it would almost certainly be sold and it is a long cold time to Christmas. I would rather not get too heavy by waving the law at the owner, or by taking a photo to the mairie as this is a very small community. However it is going to be necessary to be brave for the sake of this little dog if only I can find the right approach. Has anyone any ideas as to how we can improve the little dog's quality of life?
  8. That's it! Sorry, I got very busy and also I couldn't catch one; they are very quick. However my husband caught one under a glass and we were able to get a good look. Not seen them before. Good to know what they are and that they are harmless. Many thanks Sid and Clair.
  9. No, but thanks Jane and Danny. They haven't got shells and are not so slim and elegant as these.
  10. Could anyone please identify the rather large fly-like creatures which I have begun to find in the house? They are large, black and appear to be flattish in shape. Their legs stick out sideways in a pronounced fashion and they have wings. I have not seen them fly however; they hop as if on springs when I approach them. I have not seen them before this year and only come upon them as single creatures when I enter a room at night or in the morning and snap on the light. They are about 1 cm in width and about half that from floor to the tops of their backs. They are matt black with no shiny bits on them and are soundless as far as I know. Are they harmless? What are they please?
  11. Daughter suffers from the use of biological powders and as she is about to visit, I know what to wash her and the oven in !! I shall take myself, and my 'Biological clothes' off to get sorted. Thank you one and all for the very helpful info.
  12. Ooops! Cross-over posts! In that case, what do the 'sensitive souls' use please?
  13. Sorry. Just a thought. Pickles, where does it state on the boxes or bottles that it is a Biological Washing Powder or Liquid please? I feel very stupid if it has been there in front of my nose all along! Am I looking for a particular phrase or wording? Thank you for the replies.
  14. Sorry. I meant as in 'Persil Bio' etc. A powder or liquid that is generally understood to contain enzymes that 'eat' food/blood/mud etc stains on clothing and can, or might not, also contain bleach. It usually cannot be used by people with sensitive skins who must use 'non-bio' washing powder. It is actually called 'Biological Washing Powder' as I remember somewhere in its title on the box. There is also a 'Non-Biological' version on the shelves for those who are sensitive to the enzymes and will come out in a rash or eczema if their clothes are washed in the 'Biological' version. ( I had made a mental connection with the sachets of powder that we put down the loo once a week, but thought that one would cause problems to the functioning of the other. Many years ago when on holiday in a cottage in Cornwell we were instructed not to use a biological washing powder in the washing machine as it would 'upset the friendly bugs' the owners had put in the Septic Tank. ) I don't mean 'organic' or 'green' or 'ecological' though if it causes problems to the friendly bugs in the fosse septique, that is the reason, I thought, that it was not on sale here and also that I would dispose of it in a way so as not to harm natural watercourses, streams etc. I am sure I was told on arrival in France that biological washing powders were never sold here. Perhaps another myth in circulation.
  15. A quick reply please, if possible. I understand that all clothes washing powders and liquids here in France are non-biological. Does anyone know the brand name of a biological clothes washing powder or liquid that I can easily buy from, for example, a local supermarket? We have a fosse-septique and use all the correct cleaners throughout the house but this is for the oven of all things. I know of nothing better than a hot biological solution to easily clean the shelves. I always did this in England and the rest of this oven is self-cleaning. I do not intend to dispose of the biological dirty water into a water course or down a drain and I am speaking of perhaps a large bowl-ful at a time. I can easily empty the water up on the top field where we burn, when allowed, our bonfires, so no harm done. If they don't exist, then perhaps I can catch my daughter before she flies over here next week and she will be able to bring me a small box of powder. Hope 'They' don't think she is carrying an illegal substance in her hold bag!! Thank you in advance anyone.
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