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Everything posted by Gluestick

  1. It seems from a web search, that Carol Drinkwater has passed away.
  2. I would agree, Catalpa. In our French house, my wife and I have quite a few books, now. A friend, years back, kindly sent me one of Drinkwater's books about the old dilapidated Olive Farm, she and her French spouse, Michel, purchased. Frankly, whilst I found parts of the book interesting, Drinkwater came over as a very affected person: inevitably, so typical of actors, actresses and for want of a better description "Show Business" people. The small olive farm was over run by Sangliers, who were constantly damaging the olive trees and old drystone walls: however, Drinkwater would simply not allow Chasseurs to cull them, despite Sangliers in Provence being classed as vermin and "on licence" 12 months per year. A bit of a Liberal Bleeding Heart, I felt. After an horrendous motor accident, Michel departed for Paris, to try and save his film production business. Drinkwater was then on her own and struggling to manage. Sob, Sob etc. A far better book, was The Ripening Sun; the story of an amazing lady, Patricia Atkinson, who relocated to near Bergerac, with her banker spouse to run a small vineyard. Truly inspiring lady! There was a TV series about her, too. As a writer and a cynic, I could not believe the tale and managed to contact Patricia and she assured me it was all true. https://www.decanter.com/magazine/living-the-dream-rural-france-249484/ https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Patricia+Atkinson+was+the+woman+with+it+all+and+she+gave+it+up+for+a...-a0101276615 https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/winemaker’s-life-… Of course, in the early 90s, escaping to La Belle France was all the rage; a wee bit different now, post Brexit and worse, the appalling Covid-19 Pandemic.
  3. I agree, Norman. All fora have a life cycle and it is clear that many very active members of the past have departed. I am sure important contributory factors for French-Centric fora are both Brexit and the pandemic. There was a period when Brits were very attracted to enjoying a holiday home in la belle France, driven by low relative property costs and a booming economy in the UK. A local cultural centre town in the Pay de Calais was Hesdin: the town square was jammed with UK registered cars back in circa 2000: not so the last time I was there a couple of years back. Both Brittany and Normandy were also hotspots: not now, however. And, as you say, this forum is hard to navigate: we shall see...
  4. This place is weird! Looking at General Discussion, The posts (Page 1) start at 2015 and go back to 2005: and page 240 goes back to 2002! Nothing current is in view??? Except the one thread reference "New Forum Software. Additionally, with 4,800 odd posts to my name I am now classed as a "Newbie"?? Plus all the profile data (date you joined, area in which you live) has evaporated AND also my Avatar! I note from the Admin post, they are using Windows Server 2003... This is so archaic, Microsoft Support for this product ended on July 14th 2015! If it aint broke...
  5. And yet another archaic member, visiting from Mars, or somewhere. Confused the hell out of me! Posts dating back to 2006...Are we in a time warp?
  6. Fascinating how ALBF conflates disparate issues. I wrote, earlier, if you actually read it: "........... is purely, simply and only a sign of (i) Rapidly growing social unrest: (ii) Rapidly failing public law and order; and, (iii) The weak, failed and incompetent French government as the professional political class are bereft of what they must do." Did you actually read the cogent analysis, published on a FRENCH academic "Clearing House" web-based resource for analysis, research and conclusion? I doubt it. Written by a French academic researcher and difficult nay impossible to take issue with the boy of his evidence and conclusions. Here it is once more: read it! Now of one extrapolates the conclusions as at 2004, to date, then it becomes quite obvious what were and are the growing causal drivers.
  7. [quote user="EuroTrash"]"as I strolled along to end of the Strand to my horror I saw two huge juggernauts ploughing through the crowds of Chinese, Japanese and Korean tourists in Trafalgar Square!" No, I'm sorry but that's not a subject that anyone who isn't seriously sick should even try to joke about.[/quote] Clearly, ET, you fail to grasp subtle nuances of Irony, Sardonic synthesis et al. For your elucidation: [quote] What is irony? Irony is a figure of speech in which there is a contradiction of expectation between what is said what is really meant. It is characterized by an incongruity, a contrast, between reality and appearance. There are three types of irony: verbal, dramatic and situational. Types of irony Verbal irony: It is a contrast between what is said and what is meantDramatic irony: It occurs when the audience or the reader knows more than the character about events. In other words, what the character thinks is true is incongruous with what the audience knows.Situational irony: This refers to the contrast between the actual result of a situation and what was intended or expected to happen.[/quote]A "joke"? No, not at all. A sad reflection on contemporaneous life? Indeed. Here is a useful guide to figures of speech.
  8. Of course you are correct, ALBF; every time I dare to travel into the local town, I struggle to avoid the piles of steaming vomit, step over the drunken bodies littering the pavement and the endless fights and disturbances. No point in venturing out for a nice day in the country any more: so many blazing cars the air is un-breathable. Even the cows wear oxygen tanks and respirators. Much worse now in England are the religious gangs; Justin “Muscles” Welby leads the Church of England National Front, not noted for their kindness! It is not well known, Muscles Welby is actually Darth Vader... The Hindu Hooligans are another pretty dire bunch: running around with machetes chopping off people’s heads. Seems even the Jesuit Brotherhood carry UZIs, RPGs, and even ground-to-ground smart missiles under their black robes. Nasty bunch. Not a good idea to venture anywhere near Golders Green, these days: the Hassidic Action Group are slaughtering hundreds every day. The worst are the Buddhist Butchers Gang: these are kept busy as contract hit men for all the other gangs. These days the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t simply try and convert you and thrust a copy of The Watchtower in your hands; oh no! If you refuse to convert then it is a 9 m.m. Glock to the temple and goodnight, Mate! Last year I wanted to visit the National Gallery and as I strolled along to end of the Strand to my horror I saw two huge juggernauts ploughing through the crowds of Chinese, Japanese and Korean tourists in Trafalgar Square! As the insane drivers carried on they screamed their war cry “A.R.S.E.-Nal!”. Later that day the Anglican National Front, a splinter group from Muscles Welby’s C of E National Front claimed responsibility. I shall never ever forget the dreadful sounds of Cameras, DigiCams, Tablets and Mobile phones being crushed and flattened by the huge tyres... And the damned PM and Home Secretary tell us it is nothing to worry about; just people having fun and playing silly pranks. The Guardian maintains it is what they term, Recreational Slaughter and nothing serious at all.
  9. Indeed, Ernie. I worry at times about the members of this forum: they are the first to flaunt their "Frenchness" and integration, yet, simultaneously take delight in excoriating those whose personal vision, perception and hopes for living in France, suffer from rose tinted lunettes! Clearly, in any society which torches cars, regularly, for a variety of reasons, perhaps, suffers serious underlying problems... From what has been said, previously, France is now a nation of insurance fraudsters, purposeful swindlers of increasingly scarce state funds and, despite its ostensible "Green" ambitions and credo, adores celebrating public holidays by poisoning the atmospheric environment with a toxic collection of pollutants, a large number of which are known and identified carcinogens. Yet I cannot even light a bonfire! Apparently, the insurance fraud percentage is no more than 20% - if that. No one, other than Ernie, dares mention the unmentionable realities: however, it is abundantly clear, a simple correlation between incidence and area is simple to adduce. Some useful data and commentary here: An excellent analysis here and by a French Frenchman no less! [Www] http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1869392,00.html https://www.understandfrance.org/French/Issues.html http://world.time.com/2013/01/03/in-france-nothing-says-happy-new-year-like-a-burning-car/ http://www.france24.com/en/20140102-france-car-burning-new-year-tradition-urban-violence-media http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/01/02/nouvel-an-comment-bruno-le-roux-a-minimise-la-forte-hausse-du-nombre-de-voitures-brulees_5056261_4355770.html
  10. [quote user="Chancer"]I can never read links to that newspaper because I use an adblocker, their instructions to disable it for that site dont work.  [/quote] Chancer: Try uBlock. I have been using this very effectively for some years now. https://www.ublock.org/ The site was the Daily Telegraph, btw.
  11. [quote user="alittlebitfrench"]Errr.....this happens every year....well as long as I can remember. It is much as a French tradition as eating foie gras. If you want rid of your car, go and park it in some dodgy Strasbourg suburb like everyone else does. I once thought it was sponsored by PSA and Renault. Nice little earner for someone anyway.[/quote] You do take the biscuit for posting dumb comments! Did you actually read the article? [quote]According to the French interior ministry, the total of 945, which included cars that were either "totally destroyed" or "more lightly affected", amounted to a 17 per cent rise compared to last year. Despite this, New Year's Eve "went off without any major incident", the interior ministry insisted in a statement, adding that there were only "a few troubles with public order". In fact, police arrested 454 people over the night, 301 of whom were taken into custody.[/quote] This has only been "A French tradition" since circa 2012: and is purely, simply and only a sign of (i) Rapidly growing social unrest: (ii) Rapidly failing public law and order; and, (iii) The weak, failed and incompetent French government as the professional political class are bereft of what they must do. In reality, frightening; since there were nearly 100,000 armed police and army personnel on duty throughout France and most were concentrated in known likely trouble spots. Let us just hope Russia doesn't mount a sudden Blitzkrieg, huh? No doubt the shambles in Paris would run away again to Tours and find a muppetlike modern Maréchel Pétain to lead them into utter ignominy...
  12. 'Ere! Not wen yer come frum Essex, Mate, innit! Corrie n East Enders is wot yer watch fer yer coolter. [:P]
  13. How fortunate the OP didn't dare venture further East to London and Essex...... A nice relaxing trip along, say, the M25 and then the A 13 (London to Southend), passing through the edges of Basildon, (called locally, Alcatraz) and then the A 127. Signals? Wot are these? It is mandatory to drive around sharp corners and roundabouts gabbing or sending text messages, checking which mission-critical new information has just hit your Faeacesbook page or Twatter account, changing the CD or selection on your iPlayer to ensure the sound system (replete with hugely load thudding bass) utterly prevents the driver hearing emergency sirens and the illegal blacked out windows and screen prevents catching the intense blue flashes. Lane discipline; essential to continually swerve into and out of your lane to make sure other drivers' brakes work and they are awake. Important to drive right on the vehicle in front's rear bumper, with lights on full beam at night; if a panel van (ideally white with a ladder rack and yards of pipe on the top) then they must endeavour to stay so near they are actually in the leading vehicle's boot. The overriding and obligatory driving dictum is "Me First!" Huge SUVs and 4X4s are permitted to park in disabled bays at supermarkets, to save the -usually -  vastly obese female driver, with, of course, the usual bleached hair and roots, nose rings, lip rings and tats, hair extensions and lovely little excessively long nails with union jacks on them, having to wobble too far for their next dose of ready meals, Coke, crisps, Prosecco, etc. When parking outside the nearest off license at night, it is mandatory to (i) park on the wrong side of the road; (ii) On double Yellow lines; (iii) With the headlights on main beam to ensure oncoming drivers are completely dazzled and cannot see. When entering a sub-road or turning into another road at a junction, never ever first ensure there is room to actually go forward; simply drive as fast as possible (cutting the corner, naturally) since the Me First dictum applies; identical when pulling out to overtake a stationery bus, juggernaut etc; always assume nothing is coming and if they are, well tough; me first once again applies. Please read the first critical instruction in any SUV/4X4 handbook: "Turn off brain before starting engine and pulling away." Essential instructions for female 4X4/SUV drivers on the legendary "School Run". Always ensure your brats depart from your vehicle on the road side and open the doors as far as possible in order to create a traffic hazard! Always park as near to the school entrance as possible; zig zag lines and crossings can be totally ignored. When parking, somewhere near the kerb (somewhere is defined as making sure your vehicle appears as if it has been abandoned near the crown of the road), always ensure you create the largest possible traffic obstruction and the largest potential hazard for other brats and their parents.
  14. A little anecdote....... What caused Ron Hickman to design the workmate in the first place? He and his wife moved to a nice new house; all the doors needed a bit sawing from the bottom as the carpet wouldn't fit underneath. He tried to saw a few using two chairs as support and discovered he had sawed through part of the door. Hickman then worked as Steve stated at Lotus Cars in Cheshunt, Herts, as a draughtsman. He set to to solve the problem. What he wanted was a light work support, which folded flat in order it could be hung on the integral-garage wall, to minimise obstructing space. Hickman made a prototype and patented it; and then tried to sell a licences to Stanley Bridges, Wolf and even Black and Decker. They all rejected his idea saying "It will never catch on!". As with so many innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, Hickman struggled to finance a business and in the end, mortgaged everything he owned to the hilt and started contract manufacture. Exhibiting at a trade show in (I seem to recall) Hanover, he received firm interest from B & D Germany. Who eventually showed the product to B & D UK. Hickman enjoyed the moment when B & D UK begged him for a manufacturing license! Last I heard he was a tax exile in Jersey and collecting classic cars. I have written much analysis of the "Experts" in major corporate market analysis departments, who have come up with the infamous expression "Not for us! It will never catch on!" Trivial Pursuits: Velcro: Goretex: To name but a few.
  15. Neither prior nor post, Wooly. Suffered similar problems with our place; an area of notorious high water table. So much so that when  neighbours and now friends, built a new house opposite, the relevant department in the Prefecture refused point blank a permit for a cave. Might have been possible if he had been happy to spend a fortune created a complete tanked design. Whilst the original dwelling was circa 200 years old and constructed from Torchis, which the elderly French gent we purchased from rebuilt completely using double brique perforés terracotta. Lovely floor tiles throughout, which Mrs G and I love. No membrane though ! [:'(] No DPC either... [:(] Thus early on, my first port of call was research, research and research.
  16. Rather a complex problem, I fear. How old is your house? What is it built from? Unfortunately, traditional French houses had no DPC (Damp Proof Course) and no membrane under the plinth. That said, they enjoy a form of natural conditioning; in theory. Indeed, old Southern Farmhouses, (mas), were constructed from local stone and the mortar used was lime. Bright sparks renders the exteriors with modern cement. Big Mistake! Cement is impervious to moisture; and thus the building is unable to breathe, the lime mortar dries right out and cracks and the house tends to fall down!  Precisely the same with old Norfolk flint cottages. Identical problem with Victorian houses where the DPC was made from bits of broken slate roofing tiles. Solution? Whack in a concrete plinth, neatly extending above  the level of the DPC and then wonder way the damp becomes even worse! VMCs were actually created for modern "Sealed" houses. Part of building regulations in many jurisdictions. Why? Since twin and tripe double glazing, draft-free exterior doors and no older-style ventilation (e.g. wall vents under wooden floors sustained by small brick piers and joists) allowed the underfloor cavity to breathe and stay fresh; same with roof cavities, by using a vent tile. A super-insulated modern house neatly ignores the core reality of people living in it! Cook by gas? Fine; where does the air come from to provide oxygen for the combustion process? People living in houses make moisture: take a shower; boil a kettle; use a coffee machine; live! Result? Moisture! If you go to bed and place a sheet of polythene over your legs on the top of your duvet (Or sheets, blankets and eiderdown), well, come the morning and the dickies tweeting, your duvet will be soaking wet! A proper house ventilation system has three primary functions: first, it extracts "Stale" Air and mixes this with a small amount of fresh air: human beings tend to like respiration! second, it extracts excess moisture, to adjust the humidity level to a correct balance between too dry and too damp; third, it extracts heat which otherwise would be wasted. Extraction vents tend to be sited at floor level; incoming treated air tends to arrive at ceiling level. Why this way round? Simply because heat rises: it is a natural phenomenon called Natural Thermo-Cycle. Clearly, one doesn't really want to heat a building and then proceed to dump this - expensive - heat to atmosphere! You can prove this in a heated room by simply standing on a pair of steps, in Winter and try to breath just under the ceiling! Now, one of the problems with any sort of heating and damp, is heated air absorbs much greater amounts of humidity (moisture): until it hits a much colder surface (Exterior walls, tiled floors etc) when the effective Dew Point causes condensation. Take a nice hot shower; the mirror tends to mist up and you wish you had windscreen wipers on the damned mirror! Or perhaps a heated mirror glass. Heat the bathroom and you have simply cased a larger effective heat differential. Extractor fans sited over the shower alleviate this problem; yet, of course, suck out heat, too! The fan inlet tends to be sited high up in the room; nice idea, as you can see the clouds of steam (Water vapour rising. But then, you are also sucking out heat! Which lowers the room fabrics ambient temperature and guess what? Encourages condensation... From your various descriptions, I would suggest the first thing must be to ensure you have no rising damp; no falling damp. That said, by your latest comments, reference black mould, then you have a serious damp problem, which the best VMC ever made will not cure; only alleviate. Check all gutters and ensure the damp is not caused by faulty gutters, downpipes etc. Check the roof; what can appear as minor roof leaks, cracked tile. can often flow directly into the wall fabric. had one of these in one of our properties. Hard to find. An Early Edwardian terrace with extra bits stuck on the end and one cracked tile, caused huge amounts of water to flood the wall, over time. In the end, I had to instruct my contractors to hack off all the plaster and redo. Tore what's left of my hair out trying to find this one! Check the ground level on the exterior walls. Is there, for example, a badly created terrace which is allowing excess damp to migrate into the walls?Any plumbing leaks? What type of heating are you using? By the way: windows. Leaving a large unfilled gap created what is called a Thermal Bridge. The best insulation ever is compromised by such a bridge; can be brick, cement, wood or air. Expanding foam should cure it. Additionally; the air extraction tubes are taking moisture-laden air at a relative high effective temperature into a cold unheated space and instantly, the Dew Point is breached and the moisture condenses out. Solution: either super-insulate; or better, wind heating wires around the tubes and then insulate over the top. Since the correct place for moisture extraction is inside the VMC box; not the pipes!
  17. [quote user="mint"]Sorry, Gluey, OK, all read!  I know about that link you provided; have a very wealthy American friend who has put in megabucks. [/quote] So what's the answer??                                   [8-)]
  18. One notes the sour-puss and dyspeptic frog-faced anorexic Victoria Beckham, is in line for an OBE....... "Don't publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,"
  19. Wooly: you might probably enjoy a novel by Douglas Kennedy, titled "The Big Picture", mainly set in Montana. One of his characters is a alcoholic journalist, who has a huge gripe at the way Montana is being ruined by immigrants from California. He creates a word to describe this phenomenon he abhors with a passion. Californification. A neat double entendre.
  20. [quote user="woolybanana"]Gooey, you are right that observation is a useful tool in research, but it would take a huge sample of 'watchers' to draw sound conclusions which are useful for informing policy decisions. Backed up by decent field research, it is perfectly valid.[/quote] Well, Wooly, for many professional years, one of my core tasks has been "Trend Spotting"; advising clients what product offerings are likely to work in the near and longer future. Indeed, well organised corporations have what are called APD departments; means Advanced Product Development. They observe what their competition are doing; even to the point of buying their products, anonymously, destruction and performance test them and send them to the crusher. Yes, of course, they employ Market Analysts; run consumer focus groups; polls, whatever. Now, what they do not do, is await a bunch of bloated academics to play and eventually produce a wordy report, by the kilo, informing them what they were analysing two or ten years ago. 'Cos if they did, then they would probably be skint! Governments at all levels are simply wonderful; at developing strategies and policies (They adore these expressions; more excuses to form Committees and Sub-Committees and Steering Groups et al. Beats working any day!) to "forecast" which horse will probably win last year's Derby... The report I cited would have enjoyed, I suggest, greater value if it had been prepared by a leading medical authority, as against, a bunch of Marxist nutters, whose discipline (Economics) is not even a real science! (Bearing in mind my original study was er, economics!)
  21. [quote user="Judith"] Much depends on what you did actually eat as children, and though I know my mother fed us as heathily as she could, and prided herself on giving us a good home cooked meal, meals were certainly not as healthy as now,  because we did not have the same choices of foodstuffs available.[/quote] Since I was born at the beginning of WWII, then I have experienced the step-changes, occurring. Clearly, during and indeed post War, the average British diet was pretty basic. Lack of citrus fruit, bananas, sugar, fats were obvious. I still remember the wonder of my first orange (The smell!!!) and banana. Sweets were virtually non-existent; came off ration for a very short time in the late 1940s; then back again in the shops in 1953. Thus we didn't eat any; I still rarely do. Interestingly, at the Junior School I attended for one year after my parents moved to a new area, the school dinners were very good and well balanced; proper real food. As was the food at my grammar school, which enjoyed its own large kitchen. Clearly, the enemies have been; 1.  The motor car: personal car ownership grew rapidly in the 1960s; exploded in the 1970s; and became quasi-ubiquitous in the 1990s, on: Prior to this most people cycled, walked and exercised. The School Run? Nope not when I wert nobbit but a lad. 2.  Foodstuffs: the new sliced white bread phenomenon commenced in 1961. See here: A particular cause célèbre of mine. Today, supermarkets pride themselves in selling a "Loaf" which is cheaper than the competition. It is utter junk and causes a range of diseases. Sugar: Brits are addicted to huge quantities of sugar; in soft drinks, soups, cakes, whatever. And indisputably this is a major causal factor behind the epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes. Trans-fatty acids: health time bombs. Add a range of nasty noxious chemical additives to food. Another serious causal factor which will son haunt the Western world. 3.  Laziness: far easier to buy a nice ready meal or order a take away. Increasing numbers of kids have actually never eaten at a table using correct cutlery! [quote]But the biggest difference is, I am sure, the lack of physical activity.  Even for those of us born after the war, the physical activity was less than that before the war, and it has been decreasing ever since.[/quote] Agreed: couch potatoes either watching end-to-end dumb bunny TV, DVDs or playing games. rather than actually playing real sport or even simply walking. [quote] And, I am still amazed, especially at this time of year, but nearly always, how little fresh veg the French eat ... usually a tidgy bit of lettuce or ONE veg (which is often only potato) with the  main course. [/quote] Has regularly amazed Mrs Gluey and I, Judith! As our old specialised greengrocer (he delivered; great and was a chef too) used to say, "You two are veggie freaks!" In France one tends to be served up a main course, perhaps a micro-spud and possibly a tiny strip of carrot Julien! Yet Pas de Calais is awash with farmer's fields growing, er, veggies! Still fortunately, we have our local market and a nice lady who owns a small holding and sells lovely fresh legumes of all types sorts and sizes.
  22. Wooly; Simply put, I use my eyes; and my brain, what little remains. I have watched young kids turn from healthy, active, vibrant young persons, to evermore obese blobs. As for supposed "Adults"............ As a co-opted county council secondary school governor, I fought a bitter fight over sale of a large sports ground for housing, depriving a school of nearly 900 pupils of the opportunity for decent exercise and character building. I lost. Additionally, I have observed, the preponderance of crap junk passing along the supermarket conveyor belts when I have had the misfortune to visit local supermarkets.  (i)Plus, in 14 years, In France, I have also cottoned on to the increase of ready meals and pre-processed crap, an increasing number of younger shoppers are buying: (France; the eponymous home of haute cuisine!): (ii) The accelerating market penetration of take-away fast-food providers is yet another causal factor: (iii) Since I am at root a scientist, I have been aware and concerned about the massive increase in chemical additives in all components of the food chain; from farmers to processors and the deleterious impact of this reality on human (and animal) physiology. Please consider: State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - 2012 Published by the WHO. What more research ought I to have completed? [8-)]
  23. It seems as usual, it takes a battery of "Expert" academics, to reach a conclusion, which anyone possessed of much of a brain has known for many years. See here: That said, it seems they missed an even more obvious causal factor, which is crucial to the core analysis and end result: namely, the utter processed and chemically infused muck which far too many people consume, today and have done for many a year. By the way; did anyone else here actually eat from what looks rather the same as a tacky aircraft dinner? Clearly, even then, Mrs Gluey and I must have been really posh: we had a dinner service and etc!
  24. I fear Minty has gone deaf, lately, Jonz! [:)]
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