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Everything posted by Gardian

  1. We finally received our postal ballot forms in the post on Friday 28th. votes cast and mailed off immediately. I had previously congratulated the local authority on how painless and efficient the procedure for registering for a postal vote had seemed to be, but now felt moved not so much to complain as to express doubt over whether ours would make it back in time. I received a comprehensive reply which made it clear that the Government has to realise that short timescales will increasingly fail to work with the number of postal ballots increasing, particularly for overseas voters. Didn't I read somewhere that the postal vote percentage is approaching 25% ? Certainly for us the postal services are not to blame, which the media would have us all believe. From the date of nominations closing, there are 600+ different ballot packages to be printed by a limited number of printers. A nightmare for the local authority !
  2. The thing about the weather is that there’s sweet FA that you can do about it. But it isn’t great, is it? We reckon that this is the worst Spring (and for us, Spring starts on 1st March) since we arrived here 20yrs ago. Yes, it felt really quite chilly at times yesterday, but today has been better and the next week or so looks alright. I do feel for the restaurateurs and market traders just now. Our local market on Wednesday, which is really quite big, had more traders than customers. Many of them wouldn’t have taken much more than their pitch fee. That’s a reflection of the campsites - mostly quiet in terms of paying customers. Who’d want to be reliant on their income from something as ‘fragile’ as the weather?
  3. We’re back on the Electoral Roll now, but have yet to get round to registering for a postal vote. Sub-consciously, I think that I’m not giving it much urgency because I really don’t know who I’d vote for!
  4. All this business about Sunak ‘leaving early’ is a major Tory own goal. Whatever possessed one of his many advisers (let alone himself) that it was more important to return to the UK for a TV interview, rather than attend a commemorative event with the other Heads of State?
  5. It’s all a load of rowlocks, is it not ? I mean that the actual sport is great, but all this lark with ‘the flame’ is more than a bit overdone?
  6. What has always amazed me is just how many Americans were prepared to vote for this bloke. Clearly, quite a few of them still would, but to the same extent ? I’d like to think that quite a bit of his previous support will now evaporate. The problem is the absence of a Democratic candidate who is young (i.e. less than 65), with a demonstrably viable outlook on the World - if the party had that, any future election would be declared ‘no contest’ before a vote was cast. Quite frankly, my biggest concern is the lunatics over there who are calling for “Civil War”. A bit worrying.
  7. Thanks for that information Harnser. I passed it on to British friends who live locally and who have a C3 - news received with less than total enthusiasm, but with thanks !
  8. Well, yes I know that it’s a subject that we (Brits) always moan about ............ but this year is a bit different ! Down here in the south, we’re pretty much accustomed to high temperatures - it goes with the territory and you didn’t expect it before you came .........!! However, this year ! Normally by mid-May, the idea of still wanting a jumper first thing in the morning and in truth for much of the day, would be considered madness. Well I still am, as are most other folk. The restauranteurs must be suffering terribly, at least they will be if they have no indoor seating arrangements, which few have around here because they’re not needed nor wanted by the clientele. Talk about ‘feast & famine’, or perhaps the other way round. Last year, we had a total drought, with the water supply being regularly cut off (understandably by the way) in order to preserve supplies. This year, we’ve had almost incessant rain for what seems like ages. So depressing. Has it been the same where you are ?
  9. Yes, the BAFTA’’s are horrible, are they not? This time of the year is just a succession of award shows and Bank Holidays. Am I grumpy ? Me ? Not at all.
  10. Just a thought ........... everybody who has commented on here so far has been totally anti yesterday’s nonsense. Are there any dissenting, or rather, supportive views ? If there are, then do say so. Nobody is going to jump down your throat !!!
  11. Simply ghastly - preceded by the almost as absurd Dr Who. We’d kept a couple of pre-recorded items ‘in the can’ for moments such as this.
  12. OK, from the start I know that this is going to upset a number of you out there. Sorry, but this is the way I see it. First of all, the good guys. Serious ‘club’ cyclists, maybe a dozen or more of them, almost always in single file, often with a few gaps in between them for you to duck in if needs be. Then the solo biker, helmeted with hi-viz, understanding when you hold back on overtaking on a ‘blind’ bend. Now the horrors ! The holiday season is upon us, although these people can infest the roads at any time. I came round a corner the other day to be faced with three 50yo maniacs three abreast ! Drastic evasive action. Then the elderly couples on holiday - both about 70 (“we haven’t been on a bike for years, eh?”) without any casquette or hi-viz. Wobbling bikes and trajectory. I could go on, but you get my drift. The roads around here are narrow and even car vs car has to be treated with a bit of care. However, if you hit a cyclist, there’s only one person who’s going to be blamed. Right, flak will doubtless start, but just maybe some will take my point.
  13. No surprise really. The only surprise is just how many people over here seem to completely ignore the requirements - probably because they know full well that their clapped out white van, builder’s lorry on which nothing works, or ‘sans permis’ thing, wouldn’t have a chance of getting through a CT. They’d be right, because in my experience the process is very thorough and professional. As regards motorbikes, I am at a loss to understand why anything on the public road should not be liable to a periodic safety check. From my viewpoint, the vast majority would have no compliance issues whatsoever.
  14. Well done Kyren Wilson. Deserved. Jones got too far behind in the first session and was never really in with a chance after that. The fact that he pretty much shared (or even won) the remainder of the frames is a credit to him. For us, it’s always enjoyable, even though this probably wasn’t the most exciting Final. Has anybody on here ever played much snooker? It’s a blooming hard game.
  15. For me, Stuart Bingham to win it. Very worried about the breaking strain on his trousers though.
  16. Is she French or British? Also, presumably a youngster? Our Belgian neighbours (it’s their residence secondaire, so they’re here just 3 or 4 times per annum) have had golden labs for a number of years. They had two half brothers for a number of years, but sadly ‘lost’ both of them in the last year or so. They now have a slightly bonkers youngster of about 18 mths who, like his predecessors, is never further than a few metres from his ‘master’. I’m no dog expert, but they’re a lovely breed.
  17. I’ve often said to Mrs G that I wish that there was some mechanism for us to ‘buy in’ to UK TV. As it is, we all get it for nothing and therefore nobody bothers too much about whether we (in southern or southern-ish France) get a signal or not. It’s very annoying, but you can only wait for the weather to calm down a bit. BTW, I often hear people in the UK moan about an increase in the licence fee - up to about £180 p.a. now eh? So that’s £15 / month. Said people will think nothing about paying loads more for SKY etc. Just how much TV can you watch?
  18. Well maybe, but I suspect that this is a mix of the Tax Inspectors being told to ‘ask a few questions’ and it being early on in the declaration timetable - they won’t have much time later on. It’s useful information though - if any of us is in any doubt about the numbers we’re submitting and / or whether we have the evidence to back them up, better to be prepared. I rather doubt that anybody is going to be badly beaten up over a small under-declaration, but a question asked always focuses the minds !
  19. Well yes, but they’d really do better looking very, very closely at many French citizens and their declarations. I strongly suspect that most expats are almost paranoid about making honest and accurate statements of their incomes. Add to that the annual debate about whether the exchange rate is this or that (rarely enough to make very much difference) and you conclude that there are plenty of other fish to fry out there ! We, like Norman, do at least have documentary proof to support our declarations.
  20. Now, before I describe this, I’m very well aware that I may well be starting to sound like like ALBF. However, I believe that counselling and help is readily available, so ...... What is it with the current ‘fashion’ for people wearing their specs on their forehead? When I need my glasses, I get them out of their case. It’s not just people on the TV, you see it all the time. My (our) daughter-in-law does it too, but I’ve never asked her why. Shame on me ! It’s just a fashion thing isn’t it ? Having said that, I understand that there are some who need to do it (vision loss etc), but not everybody ! I think that counselling for me may well be required, so easily contactable.
  21. If I may, I’ll return to the self service checkouts. A pain in the backside for some ? Maybe. For me? If I’ve got half a dozen or so items and want to get in & out quickly? Ideal. I’ll say no more.
  22. For me, its 120. That’s using a SKY digibox.
  23. Thanks for your thoughts about Mrs G’s MS, but she was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago and is pretty accustomed to it ! The Neurology Prof reckons that the condition (for her) is essentially benign, although there are tens of thousands of others for whom this isn’t the case with MS or other health problems. Accordingly, she feels pretty ‘lucky’. The biggest problem has been her loss of independence (driving is out of the question) and so the ability to get round a big supermarket, stopping and starting where she chooses to, rather than where I push her, will be a big deal ! Its strange how such seemingly trivial things can assume major importance ?
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