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Everything posted by Gardian

  1. I’ve obviously led a sheltered life, but what’s ‘mudlarking’?
  2. Well, I’m sorry but I can’t offer any suggestions or advice re your condition or that specific medication. However, perhaps the manufacturer of Glucerna might be able to offer some advice or help re its availability in France? The problem then is whether it is marketed under that name over here and whether you can obtain a supply from the local pharmacy quickly? The other possibility might be a ‘Diabetes Association’ here in France - they might well be able to help. To me, there are too many question marks though for the supply of a medication (or something similar) that’s clearly important or even vital for you. Taking it with you in powder form just seems the safest route .......... but, get hold of something from your doctor which confirms the nature of the powder and your need for it. Declare it ‘up front’ to the security people - better that, than having to make excuses etc.
  3. Rather than talk about the absurdity of ‘the real Ken’ or ‘the fake Ken’ (both fill me with horror), I though that it might be better to return to the original point of the thread. A very high percentage of French citizens when asked if they’re in favour of the pension reforms being forced through by Macron say ......... “No”. Not terribly surprising. If I was asked the same question and I was (for example) a 50yo, I’d say the same thing. Then ask ........ “Do you perhaps accept that the current circumstances are unaffordable on an ongoing basis?” I just think that you’d get a different answer from the majority of people ............ if they replied honestly to the question. I can only speak for what I hear and witness around here in (very) rural France. Many, if not most, feel that the State will provide from taxes gained from ‘the rich’. They don’t feel that it’s for them to contribute in any way, mostly to the point of evading taxation. Deluded, frankly. Don’t get me wrong - lived here for nearly 20 yrs and wouldn’t move back to the UK unless we absolutely had to. But the French are really quite blinkered.
  4. I’ve viewed this thread for several days and (understandably), most of it has seemed to revolve around whether GL is a good bloke or a bad bloke. The issue, which few of us can disagree with you’d think, is that uncontrolled immigration in to the UK is unsustainable. You could argue forever the reasons for people wanting to make the the UK their ‘final destination’. Soft touch? Personally, I’m inclined to think so. However ............ you’d think, wouldn’t you, that the combined strength and intelligence gathering capability of the French & UK Security Services would be able to identify and shut down the people traffickers? They have the powers to act - just let them loose. Yes, I appreciate that the ‘bad guys’ are multi-national, across several continents, but this is a nettle that has to be grasped. Take them out and you’re some way towards solving the problem.
  5. Ditto to all of the above. I exchanged pm’s with her a couple of times over the years, usually over some comment or behaviour that I’d taken exception to. Her ‘line’ was never wishy washy, but generally firm & conciliatory. A loss to the Forum, but more importantly to her family.
  6. My new passport was delivered yesterday - that’s precisely a 3 week turn round from my online application. I reckon that’s excellent. I would imagine that at other times of the year, it mightn’t be as quick as that, but they’re clearly ‘on the case’. Mrs G’s application is running about a week behind mine, seemingly because her ‘old passport’ took that much longer to get to the UK, but no problem.
  7. Mint, Menthe, SW17 .............. this is someone who has masqueraded under a number of different aliases over the years. That banana bloke is the same.
  8. I stand corrected Mint. Still, no harm in telling folk that it’s not as bad as the Press would have you believe. I rather suspect that there’s a ‘specialist unit’ at Durham for expats (that’s where you have to send your ‘old’ passport back to) and the turnaround is a lot faster than for UK-based applicants. Anyway, doesn’t matter really, as long as we get ours back in a reasonable period of time.
  9. Well, for once, a quite positive bit of news. Our passports expire in 6 months time, so the renewal process needed to be started. Our younger son who lives elsewhere in the EU was faced with the same situation and kicked off the online renewal in mid-December. It was really totally painless. We had our pics taken at a local professional photographer (for just €8 each, it just seemed better than the uncertainty of a photo booth) and she emailed them to us. The online application was really straightforward and our ‘old’ passports were mailed back to the UK today. Our son’s new passport arrived by courier this morning, so a 5 or 6 week turnround, but that includes Christmas / NY. It all seems to work pretty well ! Forgive me if none of this is ‘news’ to all of you, but I rather thought that the online application process is quite new.
  10. Just a little update. Our ‘ligne fixe’ still broken - many, many conversations with SFR to try to get a technicien to come and repair things. Loads of promises, zero delivery. Had a more promising conversation with somebody from their ‘service technique’ last week - he wanted to know my name & prenom. “Well, its on the screen in front of you, is it not?”. I give up really. Went to our Repas des Aines last Saturday. Really nice ‘do’, as always. Problem is that Mrs G & I, plus our very good British friends have all gone down since then with the dreaded Covid ! Now, none of us is seriously ill. Happily, just feeling really rotten, but will get better sooner rather than later. None of this is anybody’s fault - somebody brought the lurge with them & unknowingly passed it on to more than a few. Already hearing of others who’ve got it. The message is .......... be careful, folks.
  11. I’ve received a message relating to our (former) district nurse, which said that she was working “en binome”. Would somebody help me with what means?
  12. I’ve received a message relating to our (former) district nurse, which said that she was working “en binome”. Would somebody help me with what means?
  13. I passed our local (small - just two pumps) Intermarche filling station at 16.00 today. Didn’t need fuel - filled up 4 days ago. There was a queue there of 8+ or so cars. OK, some would have been nearly empty I’ll concede, but more than a few were queueing for (maybe) half an hour in order to save 20-30 c on (let’s say) 25 - 30 litres of fuel. Beats the hell out of me.
  14. BTW, our GP (who is a bit old-fashioned, but no worse for that) reckons that it’s best to separate the Covid & Grippe vaccinations. She wasn’t suggesting that anybody was going to die as a result of having them both done at the same time ......... simply better to have a gap of a couple of weeks. Makes sense, eh?
  15. As I understand things, you’re eligible for your next ‘booster’ 6 months on from your last one. I say “As I understand things”, but I went on to the Ameli site a couple of days ago and went through the q&a thing, and it was quite clear. Makes sense. May well get a reminder to do something in the next month or so, but we’ll have booked ours by then.
  16. It all started in July. A new neighbour decided to have a 5m x 3m monocoque swimming pool delivered. Fine, but we live at the top of a 300m lane which is no more than 3-ish metres wide. No consideration by way of advance warning so that we could make alternative access arrangements - instead we were ‘blocked in’ for four hours while this thing was craned in by a lorry in reverse. It took 4 hours ........ and wiped out our ligne fixe. They said that they’d report the problem, but I had no confidence. Since early July, I’ve logged the damage on the SFR website multiple times, but no response. Tried to speak to a human being on the phone, but virtually impossible. Meanwhile, no phone and no internet (have got by with our mobile phone & Bluetooth). Then the water was cut off regularly during the height of the canicule. Nothing particularly unusual in that - many on here will have suffered that difficulty. However, our son and his Czech partner (they both live & work there) were here at that time. She said to us “I thought that I was the one who was supposed to live in a third world country”. A result this week though - SFR rang to say that they’d send a technicien in 1 - 2 days. This was after some diagnostic checks to validate that it really was a damaged line. They’ve subsequently rung again to say “Actually, 3 - 4 days”. Pretty good service - 4 months. And then the latest. The power went off at 17.00 yesterday. Cheese & pickle sarnies to eat last night. Enedis website said that we’d be back by 22.00. We weren’t and still nothing this morning. No signs of any blue vehicles! I went out to the local DIY shed to buy some battery-driven lighting and on my way saw a couple of Enedis wagons heading the other way. Sure enough, on my return the cavalry had fixed the problem (tree branches had wiped out our cable) - they told me that most of their ‘fixes’ were for that very problem. It was a 23hr outage - Mrs G not a happy bunny !
  17. Despite all of my / our deprecatory comments, you have to feel just a bit (not much though) sympathy for Truss tonight. Binned after barely 6 weeks as PM leaves your career in tatters. It goes with the territory though. Where / who now though? Johnson again? Please save us from that (remote) possibility. Therein lies the problem .......... no obvious candidate. Yes, many will say Sunak, but for me always a 1st Lieutenant, not the main man / woman. Wallace ???
  18. A little bit of that 6/1 begins to look quite attractive now! Too late though.
  19. The 1st thing that I’d want to say on this is that Liz Truss as PM seems to me to be someone who looks like, sounds like and acts like .......... someone completely out of their depth. As to whether she’ll be able to continue for long, the bookies aren’t often wrong as Lehaut pointed out. What they realise is that there isn’t an effective mechanism for removing her. Yes of course, one exists but it would take a lot of Tory MP’s to put their hand up, or most of the Cabinet resigning as happened with Johnson. They’re all in to self preservation just now and the whole lot are praying for a period of quiet and stability. Hunt has taken on the mantle of PM. Although I’d like nothing better than Conservative political annihilation (and I say that as a traditional Tory voter), the UK desperately needs that period of quiet and stability. I say this because even though we’re French residents, what has been happening in the UK murders the value of sterling from where our income derives and hurts our UK family’s cost of borrowing.
  20. Yes, thanks everybody for correcting me. However, may I return to my original question over what caused it to suddenly ‘flower’? I can’t remember exactly how long we’ve had it, but it must be about 15 years.
  21. I’m probably missing something here, but I’ve always thought that everybody’s local tax was calculated on the basis of an identical set of percentages for a given Commune, applied to the valeur locative (in UK-speak, the rateable value) of one’s property. I appreciate that there some caveats to that, where you get whole or partial exemption on the basis of age & low income, and (I believe) a surcharge if your property is a second home (that always seems rather unfair to me, but hey). Therefore, the variable is the aforementioned valeur locative. Many properties carry an artificially low vl, because the owners have ‘forgotten’ to declare a significant enhancement, typically a swimming pool. I can think of two properties within 150m of here where forgetfulness has ruled ! Hopefully the move to re-assess nationally using Google Earth will address this issue, but it’ll take years. Accordingly, I’m at a loss to understand how up to 60% of properties attract an incorrect assessment, but someone please correct me if I’m barking up the wrong tree.
  22. For the first time, this plant has produced this monster ‘growth’ with what you might loosely describe as flowers. What are the circumstances that have led to this we’re wondering? Presumably it’ll die away eventually? Any insight gratefully received.
  23. Well indeed Loiseau. I mean ........ if the notaire has said that you need ‘whatever’ from HMRC, then surely that’s where you need to go? Maybe searching on the document you quoted will get you more directly to the people there that you need, but it’s predictable that it’ll be a bit of a nightmare.
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