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Sue Smith

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Everything posted by Sue Smith

  1. Just about to take out a mutuelle with AVIVA. No medical needed, everything covered and it takes effect immediately, from the day of signing. Also, if you sign up before the end of May you have three months free cover. Regards, Sue.
  2. Have a look at previous posts and you'll find lots of kittens needing homes. Hope you find two beauties. Please let us know how you (and they) go on. Regards, Sue.
  3. Redstart or Black Redstart. We have loads of both. Aren't they beautiful? Regards, Sue.
  4. Thanks for all the replies everyone. AOL has just informed me that my card expires soon and that without the new details I'll lose internet connection. So, guess it's a trip to the bank next week to get it sorted out. I didn't realise that there would be any number changes involved. Regards, Sue.
  5. Our bank cards run out at the end of this month (Credit Agricole.) Are new cards sent automatically, as in UK, or do we have to visit the bank to organise renewal? Regards, Sue.
  6. Hi all, I'm just looking for a bit of reassurance here. My mum died suddenly at Christmas and so Pete and I now have Ralph, mum's black and white (four and a half years old)cat, here with us in France. I've finally plucked up courage to let him outside today. Mum lived in a first floor flat and the furthest Ralph ever went was onto the balcony. Consequently, he's not "cat wise," considers himself human and is extremely trusting and unwary. Also, he's aware that our other two cats (both almost 16) don't like him too much, although they do all tolerate one another. I was feeling so guilty about keeping him indoors when the others are out enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Anyway, I've "rescued" him umpteen times so far this afternoon, constantly trying to keep him within the confines of our large garden area. Couldn't cope any longer, so decided to be brave, come inside and leave him to it. The guilt would be enormous if he disappeared or if anything happened to him. And a neighbour has recently lost a cat, insisting that the local farmer poisons strays! So, I'm sitting here in an absolute panic. Please will someone reassure me with stories of cats finding their way home from miles away, cats always coming home to be fed, cats "knowing" their own territory etc. etc. etc. Many thanks for letting me witter on like this! Regards, Sue.
  7. Thanks to everyone for all the help, advice and encouragement received. Have now got soya based capsules from the "pharmacie" and am now waiting hopefully for positive results. Many thanks to you all. Regards (flushing madly!) Sue.
  8. Sorry about making this post. I KNOW there was a recent thread on this topic but I can't find it. Maybe the heading isn't obvious? Anyway, hsterectomy in thirties and been taking HRT ever since - oestrogen only - am now 52. Stopped the HRT (Premarin) a few weeks ago and am now going crazy with hot flushes - every half hour/24 hrs. a day. Don't want to return to HRT and would like to find the suggestions made in the earlier posting. Any help gratefully received. Regards, Sue Smith.
  9. Hi Janet, Just to say that I sympathise with your situation and to wish you well with your refresher lessons. We moved to Burgundy (from York!) a year ago. I drove in the UK but never liked motorway driving. We bought a left hand drive in France and my husband has driven us around ever since. As with you, there'd be a divorce if he "sat with me" whilst practicing driving here in Burgundy. So, a week ago, not having driven since we got here, I began refresher lessons at a local driving school. I've had two lessons so far and my (frighteningly young but extremely competent) instructor informs me that my driving is fine but that I need more experience of driving in France (priorite a droit etc. etc.)He also comments, as does my husband, that I ride the clutch!!! It's un-nerving at first but I quickly got the hang of driving on the right and touched far fewer curbs on the second lesson! Sitting on the left is taking longer to sort out - I'm still trying to change gears with the door handle! But I already feel much better. I know I'm going to be able to be independent fairly soon. No other learners in the car and, despite my appalling French, the instructor and I get along just fine. We have a system. If I feel I need to discuss something we just find somewhere to park up and battle it out between us until the problem is solved. Go for it, Janet. Let's know how you get on. And, once you're in France, as someone else said, the traffic conditions are generally so much better. Can't say I envy you your refresher lessons in York! Bon chance! Regards, Sue.
  10. Hi, We moved to France a year ago with a vague smattering of "O" Level French. As yet, we have found no English speakers here (Nievre - 58) and no classes/courses (no call for them, of course!) We did have weekly lessons with a French friend for a while but, as she has decided to "retire," we are now desperately searching for another teacher. Our vocabulary has certainly grown and our confidence to "have a go" has increased. Shopping, restaurants, official-type meetings are OK but it's conversation with neighbours etc. that is really frustrating. The neighbours are wonderful, really welcoming and delighted that we battle on with our poor attempts at French. We have asked them to correct us - and they certainly do! However, we've found that French doesn't just arrive! Maybe it's because we're in our middle fifties (Children and younger people seem to be the ones who can just "absorb" a new language.) Anyway, we love our life here and wouldn't dream of returning to the UK. So, it's now down to the hard slog of trying to drastically improve our conversational French. We want to be able to socialise with our neighbours and take FULL part in the conversation. At the moment things are rather stilted and full of desperate attempts to explain ourselves clearly - all with good humour and friendliness, but frustrating all the same. I'll feel I've "made it" when I can have a good natter with my French friends - at the moment I have to wait for the arrival of UK visitors (who, you'll find, only tend to visit in the summer months!) Anyway, I'd say that you should go ahead with your plans but work really hard at acquiring the language. Bon chance! Sue.
  11. Thought this might be useful for people about to "undergo the process." A French friend advised us not to visit the CPAM office as there would be far too much opportunity for hassle (as proved by various past postings.) She suggested that we write instead, advising us to keep our various letters short and to the point as, in her opinion, longer letters are often "lost!" We began the process about three weeks ago, it having taken almost six months to persuade the UK to forward us the correct E forms. Our "Cartes Vitales" arrived this morning. Good eh? We don't write brilliant French but have had pleasant reponses, two sets of interim papers and a request for photocopies of Passports, birth certificates and RIB. The whole process was speedy and absolutely hassle free. Maybe this might be the way to go? Good luck everyone. Regards, Sue.
  12. Hi, Would really appreciate some help/info. regarding availability of builders in the Nievre(58) within reasonable distance of Corbigny or willing to travel as far as Corbigny to work. We have one local builder (large business with a monopoly) and his work is excellent, if expensive. Trouble is, we have work to do and he's now talking about 2005!!! We accept that it is normal to wait for builders etc. in rural France but 8 months for our kitchen (still not begun!) is really getting me down. If anyone could recommend a good builder in the area I should be very grateful. Regards, Sue.
  13. I've been using the forum for well over a year now and also never receive the e-mails. So, you're not alone. Regards, Sue.
  14. What a wonderful and extremely generous offer! I'm sure you'll be inundated with requests. Your posting has made my day. Thank You, Sue.
  15. What a wonderful and extremely generous offer! I'm sure you'll be inundated with requests. Your posting has made my day. Thank You, Sue.
  16. We've also used Amazon and their prices do tend to be good. We also pick up supplies when we visit the UK. Books also tend to be at the top of present lists, along with materials for other hobbies. But the best source, as someone else has said, is the charity shop/markets etc. We buy lots ourselves and ask visitors to bring some with them. We also do swaps with the couple of English friends in our area. I'm sure you'll be OK. Regards, Sue.
  17. Hi Liz, I agree. A language section would be very useful. There must be plenty of French language experts out there. Speaking personally, there's at least one French language incompetent! Regards, Sue.
  18. Surely, French culture is everything which goes to make up the French way of life/life style/traditions etc. etc. etc? Culture isn't just books, theatre, art etc. Or at least that's what i've always thought. Regards, Sue.
  19. In Corbigny (58) we can occasionally get a "Herald Tribune." Otherwise it's local newspapers only. We've not tried ordering an English paper though. No doubt that's possible but probably very expensive. We sometimes use newspaper web sites to catch up on things we've missed. Anyway, hope you manage to sort things out. Sue.
  20. We've been living near Corbigny(58) for several months now and are really loving it. We interact with our immediate neighbours and locals in general. We also have an hour's French lesson each week with a French friend. Our French isn't too bad but we really do want to improve. Does anyone know of French classes/tuition in our area? Obviously, joining local groups would also help. There are some walking groups locally which we intend to investigate but I'd really like to find some sort of craft/needlework group as I'm very interested in embroidery, counted cross stitch in particular. Anyone able to suggest anywhere for French lessons and/or needlework/craft groups? All help/advice greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sue.
  21. When we first bought our house the spider population was enormous! We vacuumed the ceilings, beams and skirting boards every day for a week. We presume that we got the eggs as we have seen very few spiders since. Regards, Sue.
  22. Anne M - It's a lovely house in a beautiful setting. As a computer incompetent, I'm totally impressed by the web site. Brilliant! Good luck with the completion of the project. Regards, Sue Smith.
  23. Hi, all you lucky souls already out there in Burgundy. We are expecting to make our permanent move to Nievre (58) some time in April or May. At the moment we're in the middle of selling our house here, trying to organise our French electrician and builder via e-mail and letter and regularly worrying about whether or not we'll manage to survive on our early retirement pensions! (Will we?) Really, we're longing to just BE THERE! We know there aren't many Brits. in Burgundy, thus the irregular postings on this area, but please could one or two of you just post something to tell us what it's like there just now? Is it still as peaceful, quiet and beautiful as it was in November? Are the locals still as inquisitive and welcoming? Is it still as relaxing watching the world go by from the table of the local bar/cafe? At the moment we're just waiting and dreaming about being in our wonderful little house, sorting out the garden, painting the shutters, exchanging the time of day with the neighbours, popping into Corbigny for supplies, eating fantastic meals, drinking wine on the terrace and visiting the cave at Tannay. Sometimes we just can't believe that in a month or so we'll actually have done it and be there on a permanent basis. Any snippets/bits of info. to tickle our imaginations would be most welcome! Hope all is well with you all and that all projects and plans are moving along smoothly and successfully. Yours, in anticipation, Sue and Pete.
  24. I desperately need/want to improve my French conversation skills. Does anyone know of a group within reasonable travelling distance of Corbigny? I'm aware that there are groups throughout France where French and English people meet regularly and spend equal time conversing in each language. Any help, suggestions and ideas very welcome. Sue.
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