Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Gluestick

  1. Memories brought back, here. My late mother (for some strange reason, never fully understood, since she was very much not a Frankie Howard appreciation type personna: quite the reverse: he was "vulgar", one of her favoured words), used to visit this rather eccentric woman, Mrs Howard, who was Blanche's mother. Blanche was Howard's long suffering stooge pianist. I had to drive Mum to see Mrs Howard. Funny: I have forgotten that until now![Www] A good thing, probably.
  2. Strange that: apparently in France he is still revered? Obviously, I have a juvenile sense of humour at times. Or very deep and surealist.  
  3. Spoons? Knives? Reminds me, when I was a governor, of the strict parent who suggested at the annual school parent's meeting, that we ought to consider "capital" punishment........................................ One of the governors or Hs o D choked a bit and then said something like, "We do consider it, madam: every single day!"[6] Most of us collapsed.  
  4. Same here in the UK, of course, Will, as anyone involved in the CIS tax nightmare knows only too well. One of my clients is a contract manager and expeditor for a major UK firm. He has only praise for the Eastern European workers. However, far too many are being exploited by various dubious characters, as we all know. What beats me with the contrarian view, here, is that if the guys working in the North of England were properly advised and real building site workers with experience, why are they not working in the London Bubble area? Loads of well paid work here at present and even more coming with the Olympic Games projects in East London.  
  5. It seems as if this was the seller's wish, Hastobe. In theory you can ask for virtually any conditional clause: whether the seller will accept it is another matter. All the authorities are in accord: ask for a Clause Suspensive in the Compromis de Vente.  
  6. My pedestrian pick would probably be Bordeaux, a few years prior to the vinestock being hit by phyloxera. I would love to taste the wine before it was made from hybrid vinestock.  
  7. Fantastic story about your cousin, Russet. I have always had the greatest admiration for these sorts of achievements. Shows most of us up when we feel sorry for ourselves and start whingeing. Ah, Douglas Bader: one of my real heroes. Re-read Paul Brickhill's biography, Reach for the Sky, recently. I always wanted to meet Bader and only wish I could play his standard of golf, even without any physical handicaps. An amazing man!  
  8. Great! Some humour![kiss] Loved the comment, Saligo, I like it![:D] All this talk of sliding down poles in minskirts reminds me of Benny Hill: anyone else remember those vulgar but very funny gags? Agree, Hoddy: could have been my acquaintance, if he had not have been so lucky at the time: his mate was able to drag him out. I do still feel that the question of physical strength is valid, though.  
  9. When I was fairly deeply involved in soft services on major projects in the Middle East, the Koreans were the benchmark of cheap! (1970s). They were all government employees and lived in the 40 foot boxes (shipping containers) used to ship their equipment etc. UK and US workers demanded air-conditioned facilities etc. One good project was what we called the Leaning Tower of Doha. (Qatar) Could be seen from the arriving aircraft. Doha means Shifting Sands, and these guys built the steelwork for a tall complex without the correct raft: honestly. It sort of moved! Then they all went back to Seul to do their sums again, never to return! Happy days.[:D][:D]
  10. Firemen rescuing you from ladders? What are you on 3K? These days they either send a Fire Service Care Assistant round to complete a form as your house burns,  to "prove" how the fire service is doing under Teflon Tony, or a Traumatic Stress Counsellor, to shout up advice on how to deal with the pain! Please forgive my sick humour: I have nothing but true admiration for firefighters and believe that like so much in Britain, they are mainly unrecognised, under-paid and taken for granted. One of the ladies who used to work for me was married to a firefighter, who was retired early as he was injured in a church set alight by vandals.[:@]  He used to wax lyrical about the sex thing. His local station spent tens of thousands building female facilities, yet couldn't spend on equipment upgrades............. A young lad I knew wanted to join the service: the firefighter, when asked for his advice, asked if the would be applicant was an ethnic minority female lesbian with one leg? When told no, he said, well he stands no chance then! How low can morale sink when  you are risking your life?  
  11. Hmmm The collective experience in the Nord pas de Calais area, (which has seen a very high level of Brit buyers for holiday homes, commuting and residence),  has been that the sheer volume of work has made the supply of artisans short. And prices have apparently risen accordingly. There do seem to be two prices for both properties and building work: and a high level of both French and Brit cowboys, it seems. The first has been egged on by agents (quelle surprise!) and the second by Supply:Demand and natural greed, I suppose. One has to very careful. Even apparently reputable builders in this area seem to have driven their own prices upwards. It has taken considerable time and research and the kind input of French locals to source the good guys! Just shows, to me, how being patient has its own reward.  
  12. And how about surrogate mothers? Tough job for a bloke![:D]  
  13. Wet nurses? Surely they work in hydrotherapy pools? [:D]
  14. No problems for you, then. You can discover the materials costs quite easily. Ask around locally for day costs for roofers. Simple. French roofs in fact are not so very different! Different to modern UK thin framed houses with trusses coming off a CAM system at Magnet & Sothern, perhaps, but the vast majority of lofts I've been in in france, are extremely similar to old British buildings. Simple A frames made from oak and elm. Interestingly, I have my late father-in-laws reference books (a master carpenter and builder) from the 1930s and the roof types are almost identical, particularly mansard type. Sorry. In the light of this new information, I can't see where your problems arise?[8-)]
  15. Anyway, that's brought the forum to life! I shall get back to work now![Www]  
  16. Strange you should mention our William: why he insisted on using "She" in his later books always baffled me. Probably Mrs Gates has a strong right hook! Anyway, Mr Catalpa...................[:D]  
  17. Totally agree, Gay. Just another good opportunity to waste my rates money, like the 25-40% of the gross Council Tax they are spending on pensions, since they were completely financially incompetent![:@]  
  18. Smart man, your son Pat! In fact, I am waiting now for a conference call with India, The place to watch over the next few years, as are Korea and China, of course.  
  19. I can call myself a kipper: but if I happen to be lamb chop, well surely that would promote some derision at my expense? The title "Ms" was invented by American women who were divorced, not widowed and no longer wished to return to "Miss" nor wanted to accorded the title of "Mrs". Ergo: if married women called themselves "Ms" or more correctly, allowed, themselves to be called "Ms", by the PC idiots, it is as logical as me calling myself Mrs! To me, it just shows how a trend is fast picked up by media clowns who can't write correctly: and before you know it, it's all over the place, destroying the language. Why does this matter? I receive large numbers of business letters, where the signer's sex and marital or other status is not known. So when I telephone and naturally ask for Mr X, to be told that there is no Mr X, then it is confusing: to myself and the callee. OK, so women find the assumption of many years that a signature title with no description (i.e. Mrs of Miss) must be Mister, sexist. OK, then put ALL titles at the end of business letters then. Simple really. But why call Mrs's Ms's: might as well call my cat a dog!  
  20. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but with all respect, what you are trying to do sounds very dangerous and fraught with self-made traps. As a rule of thumb, you could (and should) obtain a Brico Depot catalogue and a Leroy Merlin catalogue, too. These can provide a baseline for material cost data. Labour costs will, quite frankly, depend on where you are thinking of buying, as if the area has lost of incomers, then do tend to create a sort of seller's market and prices rise: sometimes, quite steeply, as all local builders believe that Les Anglaises are millionaires! Despite popular anecdotal lore, French builders are as hard working as any: apart from their habit of not appearing on time! Thus it is possible to use the probable workload to calculate the potential labour costs. Don't forget to add on 10% for sundries and 5% TVA (VAT) as if it is a renovation project you should still have this advantage. Most areas in France here a large number of incomers buy, tend to have a French project Manager type person: they are really mainly Building Contractors, who undertake work and then sub it out to local artisans. Try and find one of these and ask for an estimate in principle: this should provide a rogh project cost. Ideally, you should aim to base yourself locally to your desired property for two weeks, in order to see the whole process through. Not to do this is very dangerous! Personally, I would take your time on this one and if it sells, find another. To proceed in absence of all significant information and costs would be like buying a car, by telephone without driving it! Would you do this? I most certainly wouldn't. As has already been said, in the final event, the actual project cost will outstrip any estimates you have, by at least 25% - if you are lucky! As a rule of thumb, if you double the total cost of buying ( cost + Notaires fees etc), then you will be somewhere near reality: then add 25% for safety! Have you had the property surveyed? I would, from what you say. Don't forget, that you can sign a Compromis de Vente (Draft Contract) and insist that this has a Clause Suspensive ( provisional clause) which says something like subject to satisfactory survey results: you can define "Satisfactory". Sorry to sound so negative: wouldn't want you to join the legion of sad would be buyers who retire some time later with a big hole in their wallet and a bad experience.  
  21. OOOps![:$][:$] Iget it now, Tres: Benedicte's post was captured before mine: I meant my agreement to Wen's comment, re racism defined, not the other way around! Sorry. Brain (what brain?) on strike at present!). What I meant, Tres, was about calling Irish jokes racist and being able to laugh at yourself! Personally, as I have said before, the whole PC thing leaves me cold. My local unitary authority (posh expression for council: makes no difference, they're still bloody useless!) has now printed all their internal contact list with every women as "Ms". I used to be involved in certain intiatives with the council and used to delight in taking the P***, by asking married women, "When did you divorce your husband then? I thought you were happy?" I read in a newspaper (well, a bundle os sheets of paper, containg endless pages of celebdom and football, really) yesterday, one story about a recent widow and they called her "Ms" URRGGHH![:@]  
  22. Says something about he core backdrop to Britain's future, then, doesn't it, Hastobe? In the age of technology, no wonder all our IT products are made abroad! Where does this leave us in the future? Worried, I would think![:-))]
  23. Dunno what happened then?[8-)] Posted the same thing twice: and then immediately afterwards, refused me permission to remove. Ah well...................[B]
  24. Easy Peasey.   Two Steps.   Step One: (The Methodoise Thatcher/Howe/Lawson).   1.         Cancel a long running system (NIC graduated Benefits). Bring in a new system: ad valorem NIC. Increase the subscriptions. Reduce the benefits:   2.         Claim to be the party of low taxation. Increase taxation across the board:   3.         Encourage people to invest: ramp-up Capital Gains Tax to 40% when they make any profit:   4.         Sell off the family silver:   5.         Steal public assets such as water and sell them off to the French:   6.         Encourage both husbands and wives to work full time: receive double income tax and NIC, but only pay out single pensions!   7.         Retire as a Baroness.   8.         Earn fortunes as an after dinner speaker, addressing idiots with more money than brains.     Step Two: (The Methodoise Blair/Brown)     1.         Learn from the predecessor:   2.         Claim to reduce taxation: Increase it by stealth taxes:   3.         Cancel useful tax concessions such as ACT on pension funds:   4.         Blame your predecessor when pension funds collapse:   5.         Talk big about “Improvements” and the multi-billions of fresh money you are injecting into health, education and policing:   6.         Invest the money elsewhere: such as spin doctors, special advisers and totally useless IT projects, Millennium Mushrooms:   7.         Keep tinkering with the budget and keep raising taxes:   8.         Let murderers out to roam the streets. Lose them so you don’t have to bang them up, again, thus saving even more money.   9.         Instead of teachers, nurses and police, bring in Hospital Care Assistants, Teachers Aids and Street Wardens, thus appearing to deliver on promises on the cheap:   10.    Screw public sector workers: claim things have never been so good!   11.    Hand over to your Chancellor, so he takes the blame:   12.    Become a Euro Commissar and earn £500,000 P.A.   13.    Learn from your predecessor and make your wife one too!   Budget balanced and in surplus: if you count like Gordon "one Eye" Brown.   I can just the see the French accepting this! Anyone for a riot?      
  25. [quote user="Tresco"] I take it you're agreeing with wen, gluey fella, rather than benedicte? I thought PC gone mad was things like not being able to call black coffee, black coffee, not about people getting seriously narked by sweeping statements about whole groups (nations or races) of people. [/quote] No, not agreeing with anyone on this thread, Tres: far too smart![:D] Despite the fact that I started it and it has gone way off track.[:P] One of the things I really love about people, is the ability to laugh at themselves. I used to travel to Southern Ireland and Dublin particularly quite a lot, in the late 70s and early 80s and one night when I was staying in an hotel in Dublin, I read a local biz mag (as you do) before sleeping. I found a wonderful Irish joke. Q.How many men does it take to fit a lightbulb in Dublin? A. two. One to hold the bulb and one to twist the man holding the bulb. Q. How many men does it take to fit a lightbulb in new York City? A. Fifty. One to fit the bulb, one to carry his toolbag: 24 to decide the best way to do the job. And 24 to decide whether the job is esential in the firstplace. Q. How many men does it take to fit a lightbulb in California? A. Fifty. One to fit the bulb; and 49 to share the experience, Baby! Says it all for me.  
  • Create New...