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Posts posted by Gluestick

  1. Yes, I do agree, Gay.

    One case I saw yesterday highlighted on TV, was about a son, caring for his mother. The Mum had to go into care: but she owned the house. And the local authority were insisting it was sold: leaving the son effectively homeless. No one had recompensed him for taking care of his Mum, however, for many years.

    Don't get me wrong: we would all, I'm sure, care for our elderly parents: my Mum passed away just over a year ago, and she was 96 and in her 97th year. As she became older and infirm, she needed increasing levels of family support and care. At one time, it did seem as if she would have to go into care, as the local hospital (who had not actually made any real attempt to diagnose and/or alleviate her condition!), wanted to discharge her................................................

    Sadly, she worsened and shortly after died in hospital. Mum in Law only a few years before: and a similar unpleasant story.

    I may ruffle a few feathers, here, as the matter of state subsidy is, I know, a prickly matter, however, I do believe that since local authorities were compelled to pass over care to the private sector and encouraged to close their homes, this whole matter has become a morass of inequality and "Fast Buck" opportunism, which in what is represented as a moral society is anathama to myself.

    I cannot see any social benefit from all the zillions we were told would be saved, or the greater efficiency we were promised.

    Sorry, I do feel very strongly on these issues, perhaps because I am now becoming older![:(]

    I personally believe that society owes a big duty of care to those who created the infrastructure now enjoyed by the younger. At present, it does not seem to demonstrate this: rather, politicians talk endlessly about the costs of longevity, as if it is a social disorder. And what is more, the fault of the old!


  2. Will:

    Yyes, I did state that it was UK case only. And yes, trusts are not a recognised legal entity in France, as they are in he UK and elsewhere.

    The old method used to be to have a company own the property (based in Gibralter, for example) and allow the residents to live there. If you wanted to sell, then you simply sold the company: no transfer of property, as property still owned by the original purchaser: the company: no taxes, no capital gains, nice. This effective loophole (much used for non-Spanish residents in Spain, years ago) has been blocked in various ways, now.

    Also, as I said, this is a very complex area and is case-specific. People's circumstances do vary widely.

    Whether real property can be attacked when two people live there, would depend on how the property is owned, of course. Another variable!

    If someone is terminally ill and requires care, then apparently no attack on the property can be made. Despite this, since they did not know their rights, many people have been compelled to sell their homes!

    Bottom lline: plan well ahead and take expert legal and financial advice.


  3. There is much myth and misinformation about the time which must elapse, relative to "Gifting" real property to those seen as eventual heirs and escaping the greedy grasp of local authorities.

    In fact, there is NO safe time limit: the idea of Seven years, is in fact the basis for a gift escaping the Inland Revenue net for Inheritence Tax. Local authorities can go back as many years as they like, in theory and have been pretty hardnosed in attacking assets.

    The only potentially safe way, is to create a trust, for certain clearly defined purposes, which has nothing to do with avoiding paying for care or any other benefit. Endeavouring to avoid an obligation to pay benefit is in fact very naughty, from government's perspective and is normally attacked, robustly.

    All cases tend to be marginally different: no one size fits all and very specialised professional advice is essential.

    In Scotland, of course, this does not now apply: Scottish Parliament reversed the law set by the Rapacious Upstart, AKA the Grantham Mauler (as John Wells so appositely nicknamed her.).

    UK Case, only. No knowledge about this in terms of France at all.


  4. Et moi aussi !

    Oh no! I've done it again! I agreed with Gus! I shall be giving the poor guy a complex.[:$][:$]

    Seriously, I do like France: like the French and love France. No rose coloured glasses here, I assure you.[;)]

    There are good parts and bad parts: same with everywhere, like the Parson's Egg.

    What does really confuse me, however, is the number of members who find so very much not to like.

    Surely, you did your homework before you came? Were there really so many things which you did not realise, or have circumstances changed that much since you have been there?

    France is fiscally bankrupt, sure. So is the USA, only in reality more so! So is the UK. Anyone looked at the UK National Debt figures since 1979? Despite popular myth, they have never ever increased so rapidly: in fact, in the past few years the increase is exponential!

    For me, with all its problems, France does retain a sense of nationalism and pride.


  5. [quote user="Renaud"]

    Worrying, there is someone on Living France with whom I am in agreement.


    Oh dear! [:$]

    I'd hate to think I might drive anyone to vallium, Gus.

    Perhaps we could start a flame war to make you feel better?[6]

    Easy to do: we could pick a subject which neither of us knows anything about and thereafter argue black is blue for umpteen pages, using the AI forum model![:D][:D]

  6. I do agree with much of what you say, Renaud. However, without wishing to be contentious:[6]

    Surely, in this main sense "Internationalism" or to give it the current buzz title, "Globalisation" in a real sense equates to "Americanisation"?

    I say this, as the most pervasive attempts to forcibly change culture tends to be American?

    Most of the bigger movers and shakers in the global capital world are US corporations. Yes, Japanese Korean and now Chinese companies are making significant impact, but they do seem to take a softer route. For example going into joint venture.

    Asian companies do seem to have made significant efforts to understand the markets and the cultural differences. Which is why their products are so successful.

    I have never been comfortable with the expression "Free Market", since in reality, there aint no such animal! Most major activities are sewn up by the few: e.g. oil and gas and they tend to be very much contrived markets, operated by cosy cabals.

    The concept of Open Markets is perhaps nearer the original vision: yet there is little real reciprocity.For example, when BT was floated, Japanese investors bought large chunks of the equity: as they did again with gas. When Japan's Nippon Telegraph and telephone was floated, foreign investors were purposefuly excluded!

    Totally agree about the UK.

    The French, despite the EC and later EU, have operated a sort of hidden agenda right from the word go: post the Mastricht Treaty on Open Markets they have never actually been so. Good luck to France, is my opinion; France is for the French: and, of course, those who really wish to adopt their culture and appreciate it, as has been since the late 1800s.

    But don't go there and try and tell them how to run their affairs!

    BTW has anyone read the late Sir James Goldsmith's book, The Trap? Worth looking at, on some of these issues, despite his earlier incarnation as a globalist, extreme capitalist and billionaire.

    Interesting thoughts, though and we will all have widely disparate perspectives.

    Vive la difference! [;)]

  7. Surely, isn't part of this, at the moment about Americanisation?

    As we know, the USA is not presently flavour of the month in Europe.

    US capital markets are champing at the bit to privatise EDF-GDF etc., only, of course, due to the instant profit opportunities they can see for Investment Bankers, Lawyers, Accountants etc, in other words all the normal greedy suspects waiting in the wings for someone else's economy to ruin as they have ruined their own! Hang the consumer! Centrica, amongst others have recently demonstrated how they now hold the UK to ransom, both business and public, which, with the total absence of a sensible national energy policy, they are able to do. Once Putin finishes tightening his screws on the energy oligarchs of Boris Yeltsen's era, his pricing structure for gas could prove interesting to Europe!

    Tne USA couldn't give a fig for the people of France: or indeed, any other nation state (even their own!) when it comes to profit and exploitation, thus IMHO, France is right to resist rapid decisions on much of its future.

    OK, so I am old fuddy duddy who rather likes good English: when people talk to me about things such as 24/7, I look them in the eye and say, "What's three and three sevenths have to do with this conversation, please?" or 7/7. "Do you mean one?"

    The pervasive nature of the mass media means that the latest inane expression is over-used overnight.

    One I particularly hate is starting every sentence with "But I mean....................."

    What the hell do they mean?[*-)]

    De Gaulle was an early protector of French culture, of course, trying to ban expressions like "le Football", "le Weekend", etc: and Chirac is apparently a De Gaulle acolyte.

    Apparently, English and German have overtaken French as the most widely used second languages in Europe.[H]


  8. If anyone has a respiratory problem, then personally, I would be against any form of non-flued hydrocarbon heater.

    I suffer with mild seasonal asthma.

    The problem with all heaters burning any form of hydrocarbon fuel (e.g. Paraffin, Diesel, Burning Oil etc.), is that they create circa 1.1. litres of water for every litre of fuel burnt!

    If it isn't going up a flue, then it's going into the immediate atmosphere.

    Have PM'd you re the Wood pellet Burners.[I]


  9. We have one (Deville) in the Nord pas de Calais: apparently, they used to be quite common.

    Simple principle: the stove has a tank which you fill with red diesel. It gravity feeds, through a control valve into the burner. You light the bottom of the burner housing when it is damped with diesel and eventually, if you are lucky (more anon!) the flame goes from yellow to blue.

    Throws out huge amounts of heat, although, most goes up the chimney!

    Very expensive to run: it can easily eat 10 litres per day, of if you like, circa .54Euro at present. So it could cost you E5,40 a day.

    Cost to install: needs a dedicated steel pipe chimney and if not already there, a stainless flue liner. Cost of the heater varies according to heat output, but range for circa E550 -850, I think. Plus installation, plus chimney/flue.

    It is great, as a temporary measure, to warm up the house after it's been empty. It goes into the workshop when the oil-fired central heating goes in this year! Useful for slow cooking: we have cooked many a casserole on the hot plate for a day. Prepare the casserole, chuck it all into a cast iron pot, check it here and there for liquid but basically leave it for a day.

    Downsides are these heaters require constant cleaning of the burner: which is a filthy job!

    If the burner is dirty, then it won't light. If the wind blows down the chimney, then the flue balance kicks open and a nasty burning diesel smell permeates the house! The walls surrounding the heater become dirty.

    Great during renovations and for workshops. Buy  either a modern Godin woodburner or one of the new wood pellet burners. Cheaper and cleaner: and far nicer, aesthetically, too.[;)]

  10. Double Standards?

    Now this is interesting! This morning an email arrived in my inbox from a certain forum site, which states as follows:

    Featured Advertiser From...........( A certain Site)

    - · Sky-TV.fr · - <http:.....................
    Receive English TV and Radio in your home - including all BBC and ITV Channels. Sky television without subscription installed throughout Brittany. Full after sales service. Satellite installer since 1987. Best prices

    Since we know that to receive Sky in France is an offence and since the certain site regularly deletes posts telling members how do do it, seems as if all provided that it creates advertising revenue for them, then suddenly it's quite OK!


  11. I too came here from let's just say, another french forum, after tearing my hair out at the mindless drivel and constant clique-driven personal attacks on various people. Plus of course, the misinformation all too often delivered up as fact.

    I am very encouraged to see how the mods have allowed political threads to run: and more importantly, how members here, can argue and debate with each other without resorting to flame wars and personal jeering. My only eventual conclusion on such tactics was ignorance: they actually didn't understand the debate and its constituents, or couldn't be bothered, but simply loved to see themselves in print!

    I do believe that people airing political views is important, since if you are considering living here full time (or are) it is a bit critical to try and understand the political system and the economy, in order to perhaps, make personal adjustments and plan ahead and quite often, someone elses's perspective can help us all to see something in a different light and learn, too. That is or should be, surely, the value of debate?[8-)]

    Also, here, I very much appreciate the far higher level of literacy and use of correct spelling: shows people actually bother.

    Perhaps one explanation is that other fora are territory-specific and some areas in France do seem to encourage a certain type of wannabe and escape artist: could be because they were,originally, far cheaper for property a few years ago, owing to the level of accessability and cost of travel. Don't know.

    There certainly are a preponderance of football juveniles and satellite addicts: the number of threads on "Will my UK TV work in France?" are unreal!

    Still, I like it here, it's, well sort of, adult![A]


  12. For what it's worth, Ian, I was quoted, last year € 11.450,00 - 11.750.00 for a professional install of a complete new oil fired system. heat ouput circa 37.5Kw. Much smaller place than yours, but spare capacity for later loft conversion.

    I went Ouch! Both plumbers estimated on the basis of top quality boiler, rads and etc. Also, the TVA is only 5.5% for the whole job.

    I checked the costs at Brico Depot and even with the TVA at 19.6%, the total material cost was circa € 4.7500,00. Decided to do most of the graft myself.

    The Viessman is a top quality boiler: perhaps I might be tempted to check the potential for overhaul. After all, the only bit that normally goes wrong, terminally, is the boiler heat exchange casting.

    The downside might well be the existing unit's efficiency. new boilers tend to be far more efficient, even without going to a condensing boiler. The gas valve can be changed, normally. What else is there to go wrong?

    Final point: have you checked on the Kw cost of oil against gas? I did consider gas, but the cost appeared far higher than oil, even with the increased prices.

    Hope the project goes well.[:D]

  13. Oops! Sorry, pitrob! Didn't mean to be controversial..................[8o|]

    Actually, time to confess: I'm also fairly addicted to Marmite, too. Nothing better at early AM with some of yesterday's baguette. Yummy! Always have a couple of large jars in the store cupboard. However, if we run out, then ce la vie!Still far too busy trying out all the wonderful cheeses. Perhaps I might develop an appetite for cheddar, later on. Love the French thick cut bacon though: can be a bit salty.

    saddie: marmite is THE KING of yeast based spreads!


  14. Having only just joined, I must say that this forum is really a breath of fresh air!

    Excellent assistance and technical information.

    Now I have discovered this thread I'm at home!

    I was beginning to wonder if it was me: brits relocating and the first thing seems to be how to fiddle a moody Sky card and satellite: next is the strange compunction to watch moronic (sorry) TV soaps; then insist on buying a UK newspaper every day. Then as has already been mentioned, the "Where can I buy; English sausages; marmite; bacon; cheddar cheese; English beer; the list seems endless................. can't quite understand this one, with all the fantastic food france has to offer.

    Personally, I tend to avoid many of the local Brits in our bit of France, part from the nice ones. Luckily, we are far enough away from the local brit concentrated areas, although have to venture into the nearest large town here and there.

    I hope Admin don't kill me, but as an ex-member of another sort of forum, which seems infested with the brit prototype, well no names no pack drill, but I was beginning to wonder whether it was me?

    And as for some of the "Information", it was hilarious. Dozens (it looks) of guys selling up, relocating, doing the renovation and thereafter whinging about not being able to get a job. Didn't they actually work all this out before they left Blighty? Strange.


  15. [8-)] Dave:

    Is it because they have always done it like that? I gather that in certain cases, any bursts subsequent to installing the heating etc. might not be covered by insurance?

    I understand from Opal Fruit's very informative post, that early French plumbing, particularly central heating, used what I would call gas barrel, so I guess that brazing is the ideal way to join this. Welding can have pinholes: solder is not really effective.

    Of course, joining copper tube with Cupro-Phosophorus (which is apparently what they use) isn't as strong as Silicon-Bronze (which is the "normal" type of filler rod used for mild steel, sheet fabrication etc.). But it's far stronger than even mechanical solder.

    But then I am still trying to find a definitive answer to another old question: must your chimney be swept once a year by a registered sweep? Some say that if not, any subsequent fire would be excluded by insurers. However, my french handyman (who kindly swept my chimney last year as a favour: has all the proper kit) said that this is nonsense. Not because he wanted the work, he charged me peanuts.

    Ah me, well I'll keep on looking and hopefully, learning!

    Again, Steve, I don't know is the answer to that one! Perhaps some other forum member can throw some more light on this?? Using Speedfit or pushfit would indeed save a lot of agro: and time; and cash.




  16. My French isn't too bad: but not too good either!

    I believe (dangerous!) that hard solder is what we would call "Silver Solder": French solder seems to vary considerably and it is hard to decide which type to use! Hence my original question.

    Looking at Opel Fruit's head thread, it is extremely informative and has a wealth of information.

    Years ago, I would use Oxy-Acetylene for brazing and silver soldering, using Borax as the flux for silver soldering: mainly Tungsten Carbide tools tips for the machine shop. I gather that most French plumbers still use Oxy-Acetylene or Oxy-Propane/Mixed Gas and braze pipeworks.

    I have carried out much pipework and plumbing in the UK using copper tubing: even very high pressure (up to 400 psi) uses, such as compressor hydraulic testing, using very fine capillary (i.e. 'fridge) tubing and simple soft solder (Mechanical Grade), with no bursts and no leaks. However, I do accept that the hydraulic effect of fluids in pipes can strain joints, particularly with "Water Hammer".

    Oxy-Accetylene is a very expensive commodity in France: small cylinders will run out rapidly, too! Hence my question concerning MAPP.

    With some early copper pipe leaks, well massive bursts, really, in the greniere, (French plumber and shower and hot water feed into kitchen: merci bien, Franck!), I did buy a simple small blowlamp,  soft lead-free solder and decapitant from Mr Bricolage and that did the trick. Wifey  able to wash up, both able to shower and wash and no immitation Niagara flooding down through the ceiling! Not fun after being up at 3.00AM for an earlier shuttle, though.

    However, for the heating, I do need this to be very secure and burst-free!

    I am still looking for a small propane tank, with the standard Butane/propane screw fitting, as I have a spare Sievert plumber's blowlamp: the gas bottle I bought, firstly, once I took the plastic seal cap off, was a sort of bayonet push fit jobbie. No use for the adjustable industrial gas regulator I had already modified back in Blighty, with a standard French male propane/butane coupling. Don't fit!

    The guy in the fuel station at our local Champion was very helpful and kindly gave me a new regulator for the bayonet bottle: but it's not adjustable: and I do like to turn the wick up and down, according to the job in hand.

    Ah well, Easter I shall be back over in la Belle France and see how we go from here.


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