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Everything posted by Chico

  1. You can now cancel both these services with one telephone call.   On Tuesday 2nd July 2013 I phoned the Orange/French Telecom English helpline and said we shall be selling our house in France in September and wish to cancel our fixed line and our internet services.  He asked what date I want the services to be cancelled and explained that the system has been changed so  that he can now cancel both these services.   I explained that I do not have a date for the Acte yet and he said he has made a note so that all I need to do is to ring again when I have a date and both services will be cancelled from that date and a refund will be made for the unused period.   Orange/French Telecom English helpline   From France 0969 36 39 00 at local rates From UK 0033 969 36 39 00   I only waited two minutes for my call to be answered, but as you can wait a long time, when I phoned from the UK I only paid 1p per minute by first dialling 08448 610 610 (Telediscount) and then dialling 0033 969 36 39 00 # as soon as the operator announced that calls will be charged at 1p per minute.  You don’t have to use the #, but it does speed up the connection.  There is a connection charge of 14p. Chico  Message to Orange: Welcome to the 21st century!
  2. Thank you all for your responses.  The problem has not been resolved, but I think (hope) I am getting there. I have had the chainsaw out and cleared away most of the stuff which was encroaching next door and I have arranged for a gardener to cut down the pine trees which I have to say were looming over their property. The lady next door came into my garden last week and gave me some magazine cuttings and leaflets which she seemed to think explained the position, but they all related to the the special emergency measures which have been introduced in designated "at risk" areas following the disastrous forest fires along the coast in Provence.  Rather than wind her up more than she is already I borrowed them for a few days and then returned them to her saying that they were very helpful and that a gardener is coming this week to do the heavier work for me without specifying exactly what that is. It is obvious that this is vague area where responsibilites vary in different regions and communes.  The best place to get information should be the local mairie, but even that is not certain.  A lot of myths abound, for example, my neighbour probably glanced at the papers she gave me and saw lots of stuff about brushing and chopping down trees without reading the words which said in what situations these rules apply.  Or maybe she did but thought I might not. For the moment I am sure that the work I am having done will improve the situation beyond what it has been for many years and there will be nothing overhanging their land.  The husband next door is clearly uncomfortable about the atmosphere this has caused and I am sure he will be happy with the result.  I don't want to risk a confrontation - a quiet chat over a cup of tea or glass of wine does'nt work in the Midi where they leap out of their prams as a first move in negotiation. We'll see.  If I learn anything tangible I'll keep you posted. Chico
  3. My neighbour has asked me to cut my trees which are on the border of our properties.  I want to accommodate her but before doing anything too drastic I would like to know what my responsibilities are. We have a chainlink fence between our properties which is about 1.5 metres high.  The blank north-facing wall of her single storey house is probably exactly 2 metres from this.  Shielding her house from our view are a variety of trees and shrubs along the whole 20/25 metre length of her house and about 10m wide. The best information I have found in this forum is - There should be a 1 metre space between my trees/shrubs and the boundary for me to maintain them. - Any tree or shrub with a height greater than 2m in adulthood (not the day of planting ...) should be planted at least 2m from the property line (fence).  This does'nt explain the situation after the tree has grown and spread out towards the property line. What about our lovely mature arbousier (strawberry tree) which is a good 5m high and whose trunk is barely 1m from the fence?  Would it be sufficient to cut it back so that none of the branches extend within 1m of the boundary? What about trees whose trunks are more than 2m from the boundary whose branches go up to or beyond the boundary? We have four pines whose trunks are about 1m from the fence.  They probably originally formed part of a hedge which was never tamed and are bald for the first 2 metres, so I am happy to cut these down. We have always been on good terms with this neighbour during the 11 years we have lived here.  She has lived here for more than 40 years.  Until now her husband has been happy to cut back the growth to the border line and there has never been any suggestion that  this is a problem, but he is now of an age where this is too much for him and we fully understand this.  We have recently put our house on the market and want to resolve this properly. Any views would be appreciated. Chico
  4. My wife and I have annual cover with Norwich Union, but this is limited to 60 days per trip and they say they have no facility to increase this or even to provide single trip cover.  We are in France and we need to have work done on the roof of our house and it looks as though this will not be completed before our 60 days cover expires so we are looking to extend this by 28 days.  Does anyone know where I can get cover for this situation, ie where the period of cover does not apply to the whole of the period of a single trip? We are UK residents, both have EHIC cards and have not made any claims in the past eight years.  We are only concerned about topping up the EHIC cover, but recognise that this usually forms part of a wider package. Any advice would be appreciated as this seems to fall outside the availability of tick-box insurance. Chico
  5. Has anyone experienced poor WiFi performance from Livebox modems? I have just subscribed to Orange broadband-only service and have set up the Livebox they have provided. This works fine via the Ethernet cable, which is completely impractical to me, and I can get a wireless connection in one room where I don’t really want to use it, but not in the room where I do want to use it. Both these locations are only about twenty feet from the Livebox. If I leave my laptop switched on for some time in the second location I get the message “The capability of your network adapter does not match the requirements of this network”. I used Assistance Livebox to check out the wireless connection and I have reset the Livebox adapter via Network Connections as suggested in Windows Help. There are no electrical items in the vicinity which could affect the signal. Background. The Livebox is model 2fa. The signal strength is shown as Very Good or even Excellent. There are no electrical items in the vicinity which could affect the signal. I thought this might resolve itself after a day or two as Livebox and the laptop got to know each other, but not so. The laptop is a three year old Toshiba Equium running on Windows Vista. I have no similar problems in the UK where I have a modem supplied by PlusNet, nor any problems using WiFi signals in public areas. Possible solution. As I have rented the Livebox and can cancel this at any time (or so I was told), is there a better modem I can buy here in France, or could I bring my UK modem with me to use here? Any help would be much appreciated. Chico
  6. Many thanks P-D de R.  What you say confirms my expectation that no there are no off-the-shelf translations of even the standard contract forms.  Fortunately the FAIM "Mandate de Vente Succes" that I shall be asked to sign is fairly easy to follow in relation to the main features, it's just that it's a bit heavy going once you get to the General Conditions.  I shall do as you suggest and go through it with the agent who is a brilliant communicator. Chico
  7. I have a draft copy for a mandate to sell our house through a French estate agent.  The text is a standard FNAIM wording.  I am fairly happy that I understand this, but it would be nice to have a version in English.  I've failed to find one on the web.  Does anyone know if one exists? Chico
  8. Sorry for the confusion.  The boxes I included by using the Snipping Tool did appear in the text when I previewed it, but not on the version visible on the site.  I did edit it, but not until I saw the error an hour later.  You did well to spot the change from "se connecter" to "se deconnecter". The problem now seems to have been resolved - thanks to your help and in spite of Orange's efforts to obscure.
  9. Thanks everyone for  your responses.  I'm glad it's not just me who finds the FT/Orange website difficult. Danny, when you say "create a second email address" do you mean create a second log-on using another email address?  I tried the portail link you gave, but this just opened the basic anonymous portal without my name anywhere (whether or not I was already connected to the site). However, in poking around on this site (which seems about all you can do) I've come up with either a solution oor a new mystery.  On the portal page, if I click on the orange Identifiez Vous button and then enter my password I get the following box (with my phone number at the top) vous avez créé un compte visiteur utiliser une autre adresse utiliser un autre numéro se déconnecter messagerie    espace client    assistance If I then click on "se deconnecter" it takes me to Vous n’êtes plus reconnu. Pour accéder à vos services personnalisés, vous devrez à nouveau vous identifier.  Allez à la page d’accueil This seems to be an oblique (typical of Orange) way of telling me that I have logged off.  Certainly, I am no longer logged on. This seems to be the solution I was looking for, but how I got there I'll never know.  When you've run round the block a few times you tend to get a bit giddy.
  10. I've never found out how to log off once I am in my Espace Client.  I would expect to be able to click on Deconnection, but I've never found this.  Any ideas?
  11. Just to mention that following a burglary when our house in France was damaged to the tune of 3,000 euros we had nothing but friendliness and co-operation from Pacifica, the insurance company of Britline/Credit Agricole.  No quibbling.  Not only did they not make a drama out of a crisis, they showed a warmth and willingness to help which reduced the trauma of the burglary dramatically. I expected the worst when my policy came up for renewal, but the terms remained unchanged and the premium only rose marginally in line with inflation.   Chico
  12. As we are not returning to France for a week or two we are wondering what effect the events of last weekend is having on attitudes towards Brits in France.   Although we have brilliant relationships with most French neighbours you don't have to scratch too deeply to find an undercurrent of historical enmity with some of the French.  Often this comes out jokingly, but I suspect it would not take much for some of them to jump on the bandwaggon of Brit-bashing. So has anything changed or was one French MP right yesterday when he said that the average Frenchman is more concerned about Johnny Wilkinson retiring than anything David Cameron might have said or done? Personally, my response to any aggro would be “Ne demande pas pour qui sonne le glas ; c’est pour toi” Chico
  13. How to avoid being a victim yourself. I spoke to a hunter who was standing on the ege of a field holding a whacking great rifle.  I asked him why he was wearing a bright orange hat and gilet and he said it was because wild boar are colour blind but he needs to be visible to other shooters. I have always been alarmed at the way shooters here in Provence blast away instantly at anything that moves.  In the shooting season I now wear an orange baseball cap when I'm walking in or near the vines. Chico
  14. Hi, Thank you both, Will and Parsnips, for such full explanations and for taking the time to respond so quickly. Our Acte does indeed opt for french law to apply, and then for the regime of "communauté universelle" with a clause of "attribution integrale", so I now feel much relieved.  Interestingly, when we visited our notaire in 2003 to write french wills, she told us that they were unnecesary and that under the terms of our Acte our son and daughter need only visit a notaire to have the names on the "deeds" changed at a small cost. I don't think we paid any extra for the change of marriage regime - it was all dealt with in two paragraphs within the Convention clauses. The clause only relates to "biens immobilieres", in other word our house.  Do you know if this is effectively the same as "real estate" as we have french real estate excluded from our UK wills? Our expectation is that the contents of the french house and our french bank account (Britline) will thus be subject to the terms of our UK wills. Regards, Chico
  15. When we bought our house in France nine years ago our Acte de Vente included a clause to give us the benefit of this convention as we are a married couple with a simple family situation (two adult children), are both UK domiciled and have no intention of becoming French domiciled.  Our notaire called it "La clause magique".  The main benefit is to allow our French house to pass to the survivor when the first of us dies. Something happened recently which caused me to check that this was really as good as it was promised to be.  After trawling through lots of threads in the Forum I felt reassured until I came to read the full text of the Convention,  http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.text&cid=87  when the first thing I read was Article 1, which says The Convention does not apply to - (1)  maintenance obligations between spouses; (2)  succession rights of a surviving spouse; (3)  the capacity of the spouses. Am I missing something? Chico  
  16. That always happens.  While I'm laboriously typing a reply someone else has already answered!
  17. I'm always amazed at the responses received.  Today I got an almost instant offer of a copy of the programme - beat that for generosity. In fact we were able to watch the end on Catch Up (thanks, Russethouse).  I did'nt know about that, perhaps because I usually record ITV programmes and skip the adverts, and in the process miss useful bits I need to know about. Well Chrissie, here's my best shot.  There won't be any names as they just go in one ear and out the other with me. The fella what dunnit was the brother of the soldier who had come back from the war and did'nt get the job he had been promised.  He (the one what dunnit) led the group of soldiers who were sent to the house to arrest the young Ruskie gardener.  In the process the artistic fella got between the soldier and the Ruskie and got shot.  The soldier panicked and ransacked the house to make it look like an intruder (but what about all the other soldiers who were present at the shooting?). Milner had to apologise profusely to Foyle for acting like a pillock when Foyle seemed to be interfering when they were both investigating at the artist's house. Sam seems to have landed on her feet.  The fella who has inherited a hotel/guest house in Hastings, did'nt mind at all that he stopped a bullet intended for Sam and she (being out of a job now) is going to help him with the running of the guest house (lots of coy and bashfull looks passing between the two). Thanks everybody. Chico
  18. Did anybody see Foyle's War on Sunday?  We recorded it, but when we sat down to watch it we found that it had started fifteen minutes late, so we had lost the last fifteen minutes.  What happened? Who did it? Was it the son, the gardener or the returning soldier? Was there any suggestion that Sam would return to her old job as Foyle's driver? Pity BBC don't put ITV stuff on their iPlayer.  We can always dream. Chico
  19. We all know we should phone around for the best price, but we seldom do.  I have always used Charvet and when I have checked their prices they have been there or thereabouts, but in December I found them to be the dearest.  Charvet were .67, a local company Station Energie were .63 and Super U were .58.  All were for Super grade. Saving 180 euros on 2,000 litres made the effort well worth while. Chico
  20. Does anyone know if there is a product available in France like Goddard's Dry Clean?  This used to be available in the UK and was absolutely brilliant for removing greasy spots from soft fabrics, including my suits.  You just sprayed it on the affected area and it dried leaving a white powder which you brushed off without leaving a trace. If not, any suggestions would be welcome for removing a greasy stain left on a fabric armchair seat after I spent the evening sitting on a chocolate finger!  We have not tried anything on it yet as it would be a disaster to "fix" it. Chico
  21. There is so much hype about levels of swine flu in the UK.  You would believe that the UK was a hotbed of infection and that France is miraculously unaffected.  Well, at last the WHO are pushing for some meaningful statistics which make comparison relevant.  Here are some words I have lifted from a Spanish News article published today. "According to the Ministry, last week there was a rate of 32.89 cases per 100,000 inhabitants [in Spain], which “is lower than estimates in other countries, such as Belgium (73 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), the United Kingdom (48.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) and France (37 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). The Ministry of Health in Spain, had changed the method of publishing figures on the number of individuals affected by the swine flu virus to inform merely of the amount of cases per 100,000 inhabitants, instead of the total number of cases, following recommendations of the World Health Organization." Chico
  22. No longer a happy bunny.  Ubuntu does not support dial-up and although it tells you how to overcome this in nice user-friendly language you have to jump through some very techy hoops to get there - and so far I've failed.  Maybe I'll have another try when my brain has recovered, but I do need to warn anyone who is ready to leap into this that this is not the easy answer to dial-up that I have been crowing about. At the moment I'm leaning towards AnOther's solution. Chico
  23. I was amazed at the speed of these really valuable responses - thanks a million. I was knocked back a bit to read AnOther's reassurances that there should be no problem in disabling the auto downloads for the limited time I shall be online via dial-up.  I suspected all along that that might be the case, but there is so much stuff coming at us from all directions about internet security that I was scared to take the risk.  If only I had asked the question before I could have saved hours of angst and wasted time searching for solutions.  Thanks AnOther. Having got this far I thought I should look at the suggestions on offer from you all.  The one that jumped out as I worked through them was the Ubuntu Linux download suggested by NormanH.  I did this with my broadband connection as I am in the UK at the moment and I was gobsmacked at how easily and quickly I found myself with a dual booting system that  gives me all I am looking for.  For anyone else who wants to go down this route, here is a short walk-through. Go to http://wubi-installer.org/  Sign up with a user name and password that will enable you to operate as administrator once you system is installed.  Download the Ubuntu 9.04 files and then copy these on to a blank USB stick.  Leave the USB stick plugged in and restart your computer, holding down F12 as it starts the boot up again.  On the next screen select the USB boot up option.  I then got a message to the effect that it could not find a USB device, but when I pressed ESC ( I think you can press any key) it started the whole process including creating a new partition for Ubuntu. The end result is that when I start my laptop it gives me the option of using Vista or Ubuntu.  The Vista system is exactly as it was before.   The Ubuntu system is an entirely separate operating system which looks like a far more user friendly Linux system than any of the others I have read about.  If I only use it for Firefox, which is far and away my preferred browser, I shall be delighted, but there is a lot more in there which may be useful to me. I have yet to configure my dial-up connection, but the help page for this looks clear enough. Thanks a lot folk.  I'm a very happy bunny. Chico
  24. I do not spend enough time in France to justify broadband at French prices (I use PlusNet in the UK at £9.75 a month).  In France I can get by without trawling the internet all the time, but when I do want to use it I don't want to spend hours watching paint dry. I have Vista Home and dual core AMD with McAfee security, so any connection via dial-up starts the laptop screaming for updates which never get finished.  So much for dual core. I am thinking about Linux, in particular Damn Small Linux which I can download for nothing and create a "live" CD.  This will enable me to boot up Linux from the CD without any changes to my system.  Does anybody have experience of DSL?  Could it give me what I want which is just access to the Firefox browser (which is built in to DSL).  For all other PC needs I can just boot up with Vista.  Also, what about security whilst online via Linux? Any guidance to save my sanity would be welcome. Regards, Chico (definitely non-geek)
  25. Our experience of Liste Rouge is quite different as we have never had a single unsolicited call in eight years of having it.  That is why I suspect the "phantom" calls we are getting come from random diallers.  We are only here half the year and we have had the Residence Secondaire service for the past three years, so our phone is switched off when we are not here (and we don't pay for line rental during this period).  Perhaps that keeps us off any calling lists that these organisations use. Chico
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