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Pixietoadstool

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Everything posted by Pixietoadstool

  1. Ooh just saw this WB! ! Must change my settings so I see responses!

    There has certainly been a lot of sorcery and magic here and I think it probably still goes on!

    Moths have finished now thank goodness!

    PT
  2. Ooh I will have to watch that programme - thanks!

    Re: the weather - I was staying in Chamborigaud in January and February on a house hunt and it was -17 degrees C one day. Staying in Saint Jean du Gard in April and early May and it was very cold and extremely wet for most of 5 weeks!

    Our stream is beginning to dry up now so that's a bit of a worry as it irrigates our potagers and the house is spring fed - so there are plenty of meteorological worries to keep us occupied! Similar to Normandy then really - where we lived for 2 years and had the house as a holiday home for 10!

    Anyway it's as close to Paradise as you can get in our opinion

    We are already looking at draughtproofing the house!

    Thanks for the welcome everyone!

    Pix
  3. Oh I found a local blue ewe's milk cheese that sounds a bit like the toe sucking thing but gives more instant gratification. Grown at St Andre de Valborgne and sold in local markets.

    The nearest i have come to gonads so far are sweetbreads which are very nice but falsely rumoured to be testicles and in fact are other GLANDS!

    You know Woolybanana I think you need to take a trip to the Cevennes and try all the local seasonal produce or maybe better wait until the autumn where everything will have had time to ripen in the summer sun!
  4. So gamin is mixed gender product but if you want a real bit of tenderesse you have to go for the jeune fille?

    Another reason to steer away from those sausisson stalls - the flies and heat were already putting me off anyhow!

    Have you any other pointers of weird stuff to avoid / stuff for les gourmands Woolybanana?

    Pix
  5. Mmm no I haven't but i expect they'd be doing that more discretely and not advertising it as kid jerky.

    Lots of vegetarians and activists about too so I suppose it is a potential issue in the closet!
  6. We have hundreds, if not thousands of underwing moths around our house and on the terrace at the moment. We have to tiptoe around them so as not to squash them.

    Any idea what has caused this massive population? We live in the Southern Cevennes and have been told this is not a normal occurrence.

    Thanks!

    Pix
  7. Well we got here in the end! Signed for the house on Midsummer's day and have had an eventful few weeks in Paradise!

    We are in the southern Cevennes just outside L'Estrechure and we absolutely love it but have noticed there aren't many Brits about - plenty of Dutch and Belgians though!

    I got my stream(s) and wood(s) in the end so I have my very own playgrounds for the spring/summer (paddling) and autumn/winter (mushrooming) and hopefully will manage to preserve a bit of wildlife for the future generations.

    Zut alors it's hot here today though!

    Pix
  8. This is rather a good offer with BF - only works with this link - otherwise more expensive.

    http://email.brittanyferriesmailers.co.uk/LA21907B/

    We have booked to go out on the fastcat to Caen on Sunday morning and return on the 5pm out of Caen on Monday - all for £45 for the two of us plus car!!

    Will be nice to see the roses in our garden for a change - normally can't afford to pop over at this time of year!
    Pix (aka Valerie)

     

  9. Just to report back that I and a friend (you know who you are!!) enjoyed a very good meal indeed today at the Auberge.  We took the €12 special lunch menu which comprises 3 courses including a glass of wine.  There was no choice but everything was well presented, well executed and delicious.  To start with we had a large salad compose, then cod cooked with a cream of leek sauce and served with some very nice vegetables.  We shared the cheese and pudding (a delicious parfait of blackcurrants with a blackcurrant coulis). 

    The new patronne was extremely welcoming and friendly.  They have kept the waiter from the old days (I think he is called Stefan) who has matured nicely into a very charming and handsome accompaniment to the meal!  Stephanie (the waitress) has gone with the old owners to their new restaurant which is somewhere near the Loire region, we were told.

    The rest of the menu looks very interesting and it has whetted my appetite to go back again very, very soon.

    Pix in Basse Normandie [8-|]

     

  10. Hi Fil,

    I wondered if you have an update about your dodgy tenant?  I have been looking hopefully for the last week or so but no news posted.

    I really hope it is going to be resolved for you soon.

    Pix (aka Valerie)

  11. I do think that the French are xenophobic generally and some are even fascist! I was shocked when our local village shopkeeper in Basse Normandie told me that Flers isn't a nice place because it is full of blacks!  My husband now refers to her as "the old fascist" - I suppose what surprised us even more was that she didn't try to veil her comments in any way as one is coming to expect in the UK these days.  I don't suppose she would have said it to me if I were black!  Of course it probably depends a lot on whether one is in a rural environment or in a city - I should imagine the more metropolitan areas are generally less racist and tolerant (as in the UK I find) - fear is at the root of it and if you are used to meeting all types of people and races on a day to day basis you become less fearful.

    I live in a rural community in the UK and was equally shocked to hear my postman neighbour's opinions on other races and colours - he just hasn't really met any.  On a recent trip to Egypt with him and his family he was quite open about how he thought they were all such a nice lot and that he had misjudged them (equally pretty judgemental).

    I think most people are culturist though - including me!  I would be instantly worried walking along a dark street seeing a group of hooded black boys with flash trainers (white boys too!) but if I came across a suited, booted, briefcase carrying black man on the same corner I wouldn't bat an eyelid.

    I am glad I have had the opportunity to meet a wide range of people from different races, religions and cultures in my life - it has been very interesting.  The colour is the least important thing though - what counts is the culture and how close it is to ours - cultural problems really cause the greatest problem - as one can see in the UK at the moment with the fear about muslims.

    Valerie

  12. I have also seen otters (or the same one twice - they are not usually gregarious) in the River Selune at Ducey which is in Manche next door to departement 35 (Ile et Vilaine).  They are very secretive, so you have to be very quiet to have a chance to see them.

    There are also lots of ragondins and water rats there - did you know that the water rat is the UK's most threatened mammal whereas I have seen barnloads in France!?  My other half and son swear blind they saw a beaver not far from Ducey near the Lac de Vezins - a flat tail - not like a ragondin.  It was crossing the road in front of them very early in the morning.  I have heard talk that beavers are now becoming re-established in France.

    Have fun anyone who manages to go to this!

    Valerie

  13. (Copied from an earlier posting of mine):

    I studied zoology and ecology at university and looked long and hard for a book offering me sufficient information to satisfy my needs:  I would definitely recommend the following which you can get on Amazon.fr :

    Inventaire de la faune de France: Vertébrés et principaux invertébrés

    What I like about this book is that it not only gives you a very good reference guide for birds but also for other vertebrates including mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

    Each animal has half a page dedicated to it which gives you an awful lot of information on the diet, reproduction, habit, habitat and rarity of the species.

    The absolutely wonderful thing about it, for me, is that every animal has a map of France associated with it which shows you whether it is present in your department and if so whether it is rare or common.  Other information given is "historique et perspective"which tells you whether the animal is in decline or threatened and also whether it is indigenous to France or whether it has been introduced.  I know it is quite a bit of money (about £25) but really well worth it - I refer to it on an almost daily basis when I am in France.

    Hope this helps!

    Valerie


     

  14. This project looks really exciting - I wait with baited breath for it all to start.

    I am particularly interested in the fact that the project appears to take the best from the old and new:  new technology and the internet will also play key roles.  Man's increasing need for communication has contributed heavily to pollution from motorised transport and I had always hoped that the internet would help to bring the communication/transport issue full circle.  Eventually so many more people should be able to work from home.  Shopping from the internet may reduce significantly the transport problems: one truck delivering to 100 people as opposed to 100 individual car journeys can't be a bad thing can they?  Video-conferencing technology is already well advanced and should reduce the need for travel (including international business travel) - if only people can be convinced that they don't actually need to meet someone in the same room to do business.  I think it will happen given time (video-conferencing is already gaining in popularity at some of the world's biggest companies).

    By the way, it isn't really a new forum for the environment but a large living project of 12 eco-friendly chalets built around a lake and inhabited by experts in their eco-friendly fields.  They hope to be 90% self-sufficient in food at the end of the first year and 110% efficient in energy (I presume they will be trying to sell the 10%).  Well worth a look at the site.

    What does anyone else think?

    Valerie

  15.  Powerdesal: I think you will find that anaphylactic shock is really quite rare and can also happen with wasp, bee and even ant stings: hornets should not be singled out!  Or alternatively I suppose you could try to kill all wasps, bees and ants on your property.

    What about snakes, should they be exterminated too? 

    You really need to get it in perspective, please stop the hysteria.

     

  16. I have just returned from Egypt after completing my open water diver course in the Red Sea.  One of the things which was drilled home to us in the course is that no animal will attack you if unprovoked - it takes them too much energy and investment to waste their bites or stings on something which is not food and which is not presenting a threat to them.  I believe this is true for all animals.  I saw plenty of venomous and/or dangerous animals in the Red Sea and was quite happy to watch them going about their daily life from a safe distance.  They were not interested in me.

    Here in England we see hornets around the house every year and sometimes they fly inside.  I do not get hysterical about this for two reasons:  one is that I know they will not attack me and the other is that I know that EVEN IF THEY DO the sting is not likely to be very serious and can easily be sorted out with a bit of common sense and all or any of the following: painkillers, antihistamines, local anaesthetic.

    I too was dismayed by some of the posters' reactions to hornets in their midst.  I have always taught my child to be respectful of wildlife and at the same time explaining any possible dangers and how to handle them.  PLEASE, PLEASE come to your senses and put it all in perspective - hornets are not living in your garden to prey on YOU - they are just going about their daily life and if they sting you it is not likely to cause very many problems at all - not very different from a wasp sting but a bit more potent. 

    Live and let live PLEASE!

     

  17. I studied zoology and ecology at university and looked long and hard for a book offering me sufficient information to satisfy my needs:  I would definitely recommend the following which you can get on Amazon.fr :

    Inventaire de la faune de France: Vertébrés et principaux invertébrés

    What I like about this book is that it not only gives you a very good reference guide for birds but also for other vertebrates including mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

    Each animal has half a page dedicated to it which gives you an awful lot of information on the diet, reproduction, habit, habitat and rarity of the species.

    The absolutely wonderful thing about it, for me, is that every animal has a map of France associated with it which shows you whether it is present in your department and if so whether it is rare or common.  Other information given is "historique et perspective"which tells you whether the animal is in decline or threatened and also whether it is indigenous to France or whether it has been introduced.  I know it is quite a bit of money (about £25) but really well worth it - I refer to it on an almost daily basis when I am in France.

    Hope this helps!

    Valerie

  18. Yes but the Mirror Group pensioners were compensated by the Government - not what is happening today for my husband and 100,000 plus others and their families. 

     

    If you care about this, the government’s avoidance of their responsibilties and the others suffering, we'd be grateful if you would sign the SAGA petition - it only takes a couple of minutes to do.  

     

    http://www.petitiononline.com/Pensions/petition.html

     

    My husband's company went to the wall and so did his pension.  After paying in enough money into his pension which would otherwise have bought a small house over 14 years working with the same company it is now virtually worthless and this is completely due to the government changing the pension rules - we were in fact in a worse situation than when the Maxwell scandal arose and this is due mostly to Gordon Brown changing the rules on pensions in the '90s.

     

    The rules have now been amended to protect this from happening to any of you but unfortunately the Government will not make amends for those already suffering from their clear maladministraion.  In fact their own advisory bodies have judged the Government to be responsible for maladministration (the Parliamentary Ombudsman and then the Parliamentary Select Committee) but the Government refuses to agree with their findings!  What arrogance!  In fact a Government has never rejected the findings of both of these advisory bodies before without making compensation available for the injured parties - a precedent in parliament!

     

    There is a lot of spin in any interviews you may see with Government representatives on this issue who say that we will be compensated but don't believe it - we won't be!  There are literally thousands of people living without a pension at the moment and receiving nothing from the Government - they can't even lay their hands on an old NHS pension because they contracted out of the system and were assured it was safe to do so. 

     

    If you feel charitable today - please sign the petition!

     

    Thanks!

     

    Valerie

  19. Are you sure they aren't rose chafers?  We have had them and they are bronzy green colour - picture here.

    http://www.uksafari.com/jpeg2/roschaf1.jpg

    I don't know what to suggest regarding their elimination though.


    Valerie

     

  20. Is that a female green finch?

    It doesn't have a red head and it is mostly a seed feeder too. The yellow flash is certainly there though!

    Valerie

  21. Thanks Cats [:D] - a very useful site!  I have been looking for something like this.  They obviously love parsley too!

    Valerie

  22. Still no greenfly here - it's amazing!  I have noticed a prevalence of t*ts in the garden lurking in the bushes and feeding on my husband's fat balls ([6]) - could this be the reason?  We have almost 50 roses in our garden here and not a spot of greenfly anywhere.

    Maybe my old mate Geoff Hamilton (RIP) was right?

    Would appreciate reports from other counties and departements!

    Valerie

     

  23. Hi there Tresco!!  Errh ... ohhh...  you remember him - I was hoping perhaps people had forgotten that rather embarrassing time!!![:$]

    Yes he is a bright spark ... but a bit lazy like his mother!!  [blink]

    Thanks for bumping up the post - I am looking forward to getting a variety of experiences from people so that I have a bit more of an idea of how to plan for the future!

    Valerie [:)]

  24. Another thing I thought was that perhaps the fish had been bitten by a great diving beetle - some of them are truly enormous and can give a nasty bite.

    Valerie

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