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Lou's Achievements


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  1. Quillan said : with most French house insurance you get 'new for old' with something like a €100 excess. We have two washing machines and basically get a new one every 18 months fro €100. Same with the dishwashers and drying machines. This year we got a new American fridge/ freezer, only paid the €100 excess on that as well, saved me around €800. Apologies to the OP for going off-topic, but, Quillan, I'm confused - do you mean you claim on your house insurance every 18 months for a new appliance? Surely something has to be damaged/broken/flooded etc for the insurance to cover it? And don't all those claims push up your premiums?
  2. For employment, it depends, as has already been said, on his language skills, where they intend to base themselves and if he has any special skills or qualifications (IT, marketing, engineering etc). I speak and write French fluently, worked for a French company here for 7 years til "la crise" and for the last 18 months have been "trying my luck" signing on with Pole Emploi; in short it isn't easy. French employers seem to me to be very very rigid in what they are looking for - if you don't tick box A straight off then your CV's already in the bin, never mind if you would tick boxes B, C and D subsequently. The concept of "transferable skills" doesn't seem to have occurred to them (in my experience anyway) It could be an equally (or even more) miserable year looking for a job in France, with the addition of not knowing anyone, (maybe) not speaking the language and/or not understanding the system/culture. France is not likely to be the solution if what they're essentially looking to do is simply escape their lives in the UK.
  3. If I'm reading it right, the extra delay in receiving unemployment benefit is only for those who were on very high salaries and/or had large payouts on leaving their job.
  4. I'm pretty sure they have also been discussed in the Finance section of this forum, but, yes, I used them for the first time a couple of months ago, following a friend's recommendation, and was perfectly satisfied with the service and the exchange rate given (near enough interbank rate). I'm intending to use them again in the near future.
  5. I don't have any experience in renting out properties, but as someone who has rented holiday lets in the past, I think it's pretty simple.....you get what you pay for. If the rental price is lower then people will be ok with less fancy furniture etc. We've always rented small properties, not been interested in pools and expensive fittings (always more worried about breaking something then!) and ended up staying in some interesting places at great value - some more eccentric than others!. There will be some people who won't give your place a second glance, but some that will be actively searching for a smaller/cheaper property. Don't under-estimate the need for spare bedding etc and the work involved in changeovers, even in a small property. As to whether its worth your while.....some money coming in has got to be better than nothing hasn't it? Why not try advertising it and see what happens - if you get a few weeks booked than you'll have a better idea perhaps of how it might work (or not) for you. Lou EDIT you asked what essentials are required - somewhere to sleep, somewhere to sit comfortably, somewhere to eat, decent supply of hot water, option for heating if evenings are cold, enough equipment to cook and eat with (and in some places we've stayed in this has been limited to a hotplate and microwave - and we've managed though I wouldn't say this was ideal). Never been bothered with things like dishwasher or washing machine or tv, though with only two of us its not hard work perhaps these things are more important for a family.
  6. Our situation isn't exactly as you describe, but may be helpful. My husband has a work pension (not yet state pension age) which is declared in France and on this he pays social contributions. I work, I have both salaried and auto-entrepreneur income - on both of these the social contributions are taken "at source", and thus when we declare our mixed joint income for the tax return, only his pension results in a further social charges bill. So there is, it would seem, the means for distinguishing between different kinds of income on the same tax return for social contributions. I hope that makes sense (and is some help!) Lou
  7. Have a look at the Geoportail website http://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/accueil You can overlay cadastral maps with satellite images and/or road maps and the IGN maps (equivalent of Ordnance Survey). There's loads more stuff too Lou
  8. [quote user="Lehaut"]The aim of my initial question was to find out why cat owners think its OK for their pets to upset other people. There are many examples of people exhibiting this strange behaviour of "it does not bother me, therefore I don't care if it bothers you". Smoker who smoke in non smokers presence, throw their butts on the floor. Or "its only a little bit of my cats poo in your garden", its only a little scratch on your car, I have only taken a little bit of money etc My aim was to try to understand why people think like this. IMO its this malaise that creats many of the problems we have today - eg Taking my fat bonus does not cause me any problems, so why should I care! Could a cat owner explain why they should be exempt from any responsibility because their cat did it?[/quote] Well, I guess we're quits then, because I cannot understand why anyone would get so angry about cats in their garden (or indeed a scratch on their car, or a smoker smoking...) that they think it's ok to kill..... To answer YOUR questions, I DO/WOULD care if my cats upset people. Perhaps I am lucky in one sense where we live at the moment - we have an acre of our own land plus fields to three sides, and our closest neighbour on the other side is also a cat owner. If anyone in our village had come to us and complained about our cats then I would have done my utmost to stop them doing whatever it was. As said before, they are all neutered, all wear fluorescent orange collars with our phone number on them, and they even have radio-wave locator tags on them so we can keep track of where they are - and we check regularly. Eight disappeared cats and the ninth shot - and NOONE has ever complained about our cats. In my case, this isn't about cat poo or whatever, it's about a nutter shooting whatever he feels like - in my opinion THIS is the kind of attitude causing problems in the world today. Incidentally have you ever spoken to your neighbours about their cats coming into your garden? And by "spoken to" I mean in a friendly, lets-try-to-sort-this-out kind of way, not threatening to take them to a tribunal........
  9. I think the relevance to the original question/topic is that anywhere where there are people with guns, there are bound to be incidents and accidents. And you only have to look at the stats and newspaper stories for humans injured or killed by hunters (using their guns as individuals or within a group) to see that there are many every season.
  10. Frankly, Lehaut, if you feel the need to resort to killing cats with poison or a gun because of a bit of poo in your garden - you've got big problems. God help any of your neighbours who REALLY get on your nerves. Neutered cats don't spray/smell - all my cats have been neutered and don't spray. No, I can't guarantee that they don't poo in other people's gardens...... the hedgehogs poo on my gravel path and I've even found rabbit droppings in my veg patch - but I'm well-balanced enough not to feel the urge to kill them for it.
  11. In our 8 years of living here we've lost 8 cats - completely disappeared without a trace...cat number 9 went missing, and turned up a few weeks later with lead shot in his head, he lost an eye but survived. The vet told us that due to the pattern of shot, he must've been shot at close range. I reported it to the gendarmes (its illegal to shoot cats unless there is an official cull of strays), who tried their very best to put me off and did nothing whatsoever about it (not that I expected any different). A letter (complete with images of the cat and his x-ray) sent to all the houses in our village had more effect - we have been told that words have been had in certain places and that it won't happen again. Now of course we strongly suspect that this is what happened to the other 8 cats. Strangely enough I'm not against the hunt per se, I do believe that we have an individual who hates cats rather than an "organised" hunt of them, but the fact is that people in our village know who did this and, until we really kicked up a stink, weren't bothered enough to do anything about it. We keep a very close eye now on our current cats and I try not to wonder too much which of our neighbours might been the guilty one :-(
  12. Heard and saw the first cranes this morning - always for me the first signal that winter is coming (even though we still have temps of 25 degrees during the day at the moment!) I just love the sound and sight of them. We're lucky enough to live close to the lake at Puydarrieux (Hautes-Pyrénées) where more and more of the cranes (as well as other birds) are choosing to over-winter rather than continuing on further south. The cranes become a twice-daily sight from now til March as they go back and forth to the lake and feeding in the nearby fields. Lou
  13. They are foul things.... My marker was that my old cat, who would eat most things (including half-rotten mice etc), would sniff the bit of andouillette given to him by my husband (who loves them) and look up at him in horror with an expression that said "no, those are the bits you DON'T eat..." and refused point blank to even try a lick.
  14. Crucial info to find out  - are they taking you on with a contract, CDD or CDI (temporary or permanent); is it salaried or just commission. More often than not an "agent commercial" is expected to be independent - eg autoentrepreneur - and thus you will be paying your own cotisations. Beware that if commission only you can end up paying out a surprisingly large amount in petrol etc to visit properties - and don't get a penny unless/until you sell something. Be aware also that you won't get your commission until the "acte authentique" point of the sale i.e. right at the end which is usually 3 months or even longer since the day you showed the property and got the offer. Bear in mind also that the property market is not exactly booming at the moment - depending on where you're based of course. (apologies if you are already aware of any/all of this) Some good info on the Pole Emploi site http://www.pole-emploi.fr/actualites/[email protected]/suarticle.jspz?id=78205 Good luck
  15. I've just caught up with last Sunday's episode and am more confused than ever! SPOILER...if you haven't yet watched it Is Pierre really part of the gang who appear to have killed Victor and his family????? Lena's injury is getting rather gruesome....is it Camille sucking the life from her, vampire-style? I'm hoping that the knife-wielding returned brother (can't remember his name) is going to help her rather than add to her heap of problems by knifing her! I'm really hoping that the series has a "good" ending - by that I don't mean "happy ever after" but a well-written one to match the series (so far). Lou
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