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Everything posted by Gardian

  1. Harnser ........ You asked for a definite answer to your question, but I’m afraid that neither I, nor (I suspect) anybody else will be able to provide that. I too had had two deliveries some months back which came via DHL and Fedex. With the former I refused delivery (the driver said that “All the anglais do that!”) and I received a subsequent bill for duty and a handling charge. I ignored it and heard nothing more. Fedex sent their bill asking for payment before they’d deliver - again, I ignored it. In both cases I was credited by the supplier. I now won’t order anything involving carriers like DHL - never have a problem if it comes with the regular postal service. Accordingly, I find myself thinking that it’s dodgy practice. As for getting DHL / Overland off your back, apart from retaining all the correspondence, I can’t see what else you can do. Ignore them I’d say.
  2. Isn’t the reality (and has been for years) that the UK has been viewed as a ‘soft touch’ by would-be immigrants? It’s as simple as that.
  3. I’m intrigued to know which piece you’re telling them that’s missing ? Presumably 10 up from the right, 14 in ? Or something like that. Pretty sad stuff. The recipients of your email will doubtless feel the same.
  4. I would have thought that the best place to seek advice would be the French Embassy in London. On face value, you have a totally legitimate need for a visa and they ought to be able to guide you on the documentation required for a successful application. Amongst many other things, its what they’re there for.
  5. Gardian


    Here, they involve some of the youngsters in delivering the elegies to the ‘local lost’. The only problem is that (at the age of 12 or so), they don’t ‘speak up’ very well. Everybody is struggling to hear ! Well, the weather was nice (much better than yesterday when it was hissing with rain) and due respect was paid.
  6. Gardian


    That was one of the better French bands that I’ve heard Norman.
  7. Gardian


    As every year, we attended this morning our Commune’s brief ‘remembrance gathering’ at the village memorial. I have no doubt that many of you did the same. It was a salutary reminder of what happened in 1914-1918. In this small village, which at the time numbered around 350 souls (now 600), there were 20 names read out by Mme le Maire. When you consider that of the 350 population, probably no more than 100 or so men were eligible for active service. Twenty men lost and certainly at least as many if not more badly wounded. The impact on the Commune must have been enormous and you could visit any village around here and doubtless anywhere else in France, and talk about the same statistics. Here, of the twenty, three from one family and two from another. The family names are still very much ‘here’ in the Commune though! I’ve often thought that I’d like to research the background of the young men from here who went to war, but it would involve questioning local folk and might well be badly received, particularly by a ‘foreigner’. Anyway, after the usual respectful ceremony, it was a 100m walk to the Salle des Fetes for ‘wine & nibbles’. The French always know what works!
  8. Yes it does help. Up to date experience is always worthwhile. Thanks.
  9. Yes. At the risk of stating the obvious, the places where you’ll be guaranteed serious snow every winter. No sanctions for non-compliance this winter.
  10. Yes, but only if you’re heading for somewhere like the Alps. There’s nowhere near you where they’re needed.
  11. Two windups in a week, is one (or even two) too many.
  12. I really can’t believe that you’d run much, if any, risk of being vandalised driving a French car at the moment. More to the point for me would be the wisdom of committing to travel until you know which way things are heading. It won’t take much for French fishermen to block Channel ports and Eurotunnel unless the current spat is sorted out pdq. Another Brexit success story.
  13. GG ......... Good to hear that you two are down here. Nice weather at the moment, if a little ‘parky’ early on. Happily the tourists have disappeared eh?
  14. Well, that is of course rowlocks ALBF, as I’m sure you well know. As has been said by ET & others, there are loads of really nice places in both France and the UK ...... and equally, loads of really horrible places in both countries. Same applies to any country that you’d choose to mention. Retirees to France would generally tend not to choose the really horrible places to buy a place ! That doesn’t mean that they don’t recognise that they exist. Unless you’re doing a wind-up, (and that would be ‘form’ for you), even you would accept that most buying and choosing to live over here have done a teeny bit of research before taking the plunge. Of course, you don’t always get it right, but mostly.
  15. The UK is definitely going to rack & ruin ! Our DIL has just messaged to say that the turkey that they wanted to order from M & S is ‘out of stock’. Turkey panic buying! I’ve offered to bring one from here when we come over at Christmas, but we’d probably get rumbled by the Border Police. Does a dead turkey represent a health threat? If it’s a French turkey, it probably does in the eyes of the authorities. Actually, this could be an opportunity for a ‘poulet de bresse’ - often wondered whether they’re worth the money. Mark you, this could all be academic. How long before France declares the UK as dodgy and stops travel except for ‘essential purposes’?
  16. FWIW, I think you’re both right. Yes, more testing in the UK, but also less regard for the ‘disciplines’ that we’re pretty much accustomed to here in France. At the end of the day, the infection rates in the UK are (last time I looked at the numbers) 10x those of France. We’ll be returning for Christmas / NY with family & friends, but whilst not ‘spooky’ about it, we rather feel that we face greater risks than we do over here.
  17. Well, we watched our recording of the 1st programme the other day. Not the greatest bit of viewing, but not the worst - in our opinion. We’ll record tonight’s programme and see how it turns out. Hey, there are a lot worse things on offer on any day of the week, are there not ? Anyway, we don’t have to agree about whether a TV programme is good or not, do we?
  18. I envy you WB. Before we came to France 17yrs ago, we used to grow raspberries quite successfully in the UK. IMO, generally a much nicer and tastier soft fruit than strawberries (with the exception of early season Garriguettes down here). Tried growing them down here, but it’s just too hot in the growing season and couldn’t get enough water to them. Maybe if I tried an Autumn variety, which presumably these are?
  19. None here locally so far. I’ll be certain though that fresh fish from Boulogne (and that neck of the woods) will be a lot more expensive on the market down here tomorrow. Answer ? You don’t buy it. You settle for Med farmed fish - perfectly fine.
  20. Danny ........ Quite frankly, this bloke is ‘having a laugh’ ......... potentially at your expense. The idea of charging €1920 to fix a toilet involving 20 hrs of work, beggars belief. I’m not clear what “suspended & integrated in to the wall” exactly means, but it can’t be that complicated. To give you a rough idea, we’ve just had our bathroom completely re-done. I had already bought the new toilet (which included all the fill and flushing mechanisms) costing €180. But if it had been just replacement mechanisms, the cost would have been <€50. Our artisan’s charge for fitting the whole lot was €150 and that was probably a bit OTT, because someone who knows what they’re doing, could do that in an hour or so. IMO, you should give this charlatan €50 for his trouble and tell him to p!ss off. Your problem then is finding somebody who can give you a realistic quote and a realistic timescale for doing the work. I’ve heard of some attempted ripoffs before, but this one takes the biscuit.
  21. Nothing more to add.
  22. I baled out for the first programme. Not my cup of tea. Recording the Carol Drinkwater prog. Hopefully better than the earlier one.
  23. We’ll never know for sure, of course. Cash ...... a bit doubtful, given the small Police presence. Something ‘nuclear’ .......... anything like that is moved in the dead of night. Prisoners ........ seems the most likely to me. Why 3 vans? It would make it more difficult for an ‘intervention’ for the bad guys to select the right van. But I’m clutching at straws. It’s money, nasty material, or people. What else?
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