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Nearly Retired (I am now)

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Everything posted by Nearly Retired (I am now)

  1. Only for some, I accept, but anyone with access to London and the Home Counties could think about Metro Bank. Their debit card deal is the same as the now lamented Nationwide one - no charges and you get the spot rate.
  2. It may be useful to know (or not) that rockwool has enhanced fire insulation and acoustic insulation properties over standard fibreglass.
  3. Snap ! I'm planning to partially refurbish a bathroom where there is full and easy access to the area above the ceiling so that wiring for lights and a switch can be simply installed. The only alternatives for fixing a wall or external switch are surface mounted gaine fixed to ceramic wall tiles or to chase out the stone walls, bury the cable and locally make good/re-point and re-tile. A simple pullcord switch fixed to the ceiling is the only practical solution for me and I will happily ignore French norms in this instance. I'll probably use a MK double pole switch rated at 40 amps (actualy intended for electric showers in UK) - if that's not safe enough, I don't know what is.
  4. Patf, My apologies - my bill does indeed show €1040.97 per tonne, but I missed the next line...+ TVA 19,60%. This gives a corrected price of exactly €1245.00. This is still a bit cheaper, but not hugely so.
  5. Mmmm...let me think. How about 20% of your profits for the information.
  6. The rate is shown on my bill - promise ! But, it was back in May 2011 and people are saying rates have been going up this year. As we don't use the CH we only need to put in a few hundred euros worth every 3 years or so.
  7. Maybe I live in a dodgy part of London, but frankly the actions you describe wouldn't bother me at all. In our road people often leave junk on the footpath near the gate and it's gone in hours ! As far as holes in walls go - I agree with Quillan and would add that unless there any local covenants, the owner of land is not duty bound to fence it in at all - so the odd hole wouldn't usually matter. It might be different if he had a cow or two though.
  8. If it is any help to anybody: We took over the previous owner's Totalgaz tank and contract when we bought the maison secondaire in 2004. The first and only (!) time we used the central heating for a period quickly made us realise it was an un-affordable luxury - so we only use gas for cooking and hot water. We use the log insert all the time. (By the way, we're probably a bit odd and seem to spend more time there in winter than summer - but that's another story). I'm rambling and to the point - we topped up with 300 kg in May 2011 and the rate was €1040.97 per tonne. We also pay about €100 per year for so called rent/maintenance of the tank.
  9. OK, this is a UK only deal, but at that price those who need the stuff can fill a van and still be quids (or is that euros) in. http://www.npower.com/Home/Energy-efficiency/Home-insulation/DIY-loft-insulation/index.htm?AG=002&CH=AFF&REF=AFLT1&WT.mc_id=AFFAFLT1
  10. Nubeginnings, "Well you would be wrong." Please do not misunderstand me. I am a very firm believer in rewards for those who get off their backsides, stop moaning about others being well off and just get on with it and become successful. Good on you and it's great to see a successful business set up in France. I too have earned a few bob with my efforts over the decades and will spend money on something I think worth it. The key words are "something I think worth it". A mate of mine is paying £20 per month for Weightwatchers and is delighted to spend the money as he's lost 2 stone in four months. To me that's a waste of money as I've been able to lose nearly as much, from a lower initial weight, in 6 months for free. It just took some education and huge willpower. I cannot imagine ever paying £2.5k for a week away - ever. I've had a week's full board in a top notch place in the Caribbean, airfare included, for rather less than that. So, coming back to my initial statement - I am genuinely surprised (but delighted for you) that there are many people who are content to pay that sum to stay with you especially I suspect the type that contributes to this forum. Again, congratulations and perhaps I ought to get out a bit more.
  11. "Naughty, naughty, a bit to much like blatant advertising me thinks, which is against the rules! " I really wouldn't worry about that. I could be wrong, but I strongly suspect there's not a single contributor (lardy or otherwise) to this forum who is in the market for a week's slimming holiday at two and a half grand. Some of us have houses worth less than that.
  12. "Are there other restrictions like minimum annual income, salary (what salary?) having to be paid into account etc?" I didn't ask - we just ambled in and asked to open an account. The usual request for all sorts of ID was made and after a bit of tapping on the clerk's keboard we got clearance immediately. We weren't asked for details of income etc. Having opened a nil balance current account we then went across to their change sorting machine and dumped in about £50 worth of 5p coins. The machine printed a ticket with the correct amount (Yes, we'd counted it all out before !) with no deductions and this was immediately credited to our account. Over 50s get a free safety deposit box for 12 months too, but we didn't take them up on that offer.
  13. Keep your eyes open for offers for free eye tests - particularly at Tesco opticians. As UK residents we have all the benefits of NHS services, but when Tesco had their last offer I had a free eye test and got prescription reading glasses for £10. Six months later Tesco had another offer going and I got a second pair for £10. Say what you like about Tesco - but some of the things they do suit us very well.
  14. Now that Nationwide have abandoned us, we have opened an account at Metro Bank. They try to be different and we actually opened our account in a branch on a Bank Holiday and walked out with a fully functioning debit card about half an hour after we first sat down. Unfortunately the few branches are currently located within the M25 area but the bank is expanding. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cardsloans/article-2021126/Metro-Bank-credit-card-free-use-abroad.html We have used the debit card in France and I confirm it works as described on the tin.
  15. I always thought that a name tag on your post box was a deep rooted French tradition not to be messed with - a bit like two hour lunches, no idea what the penalty is for failing to comply.
  16. The post box thread has reminded me about my problems with keeping a permanent name plate. At first we tried a ball-point pen written piece of paper behind the plastic cover - it soon faded and the ink started to run. Then we tried ink-jet printing a label - but no better. By this time the plastic cover had broken, no doubt as a result of frequent removal. The next stage was a"Dymo" embossed label which lasted a little longer but that faded fairly quickly. The latest wheeze is an engraved brass look, probably plastic, self-adhesive label like: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Trophy-Plate-50MM-16MM-Free-Engraving-id-personalised-/270825118447?pt=UK_SportingGoods_Trophies_ET&hash=item3f0e6f5aef This only cost about £1.79 in UK. I thought the glue would soon expire and in the event was planning on fixing it back with a couple of small self-tapping screws. But a year or so on it's still clinging on well - I'm well chuffed. If you fancy it, buy some for neighbours for Christmas and be the most popular Rosbif in the village.
  17. We too are at the end of a lane and this happened to us a couple of years ago. It's a maison secondaire and I found it when we returned - it may have been like that for weeks. I wandered around the village but couldn't see any evidence of any other forced doors. I confess we didn't let anybody know and just bent it back. By the way "just bent it back" actually means making a small timber clamp held together with two 100mm long bolts. With a wedge or two and slowly tightening the bolts I pulled it back into shape and there is no sign of the damage. Hope this info about my method helps.
  18. I was on the point of getting a new dish with a quad LNB for our house in 17 to allow TV in several rooms. I think I'll hold off purchase of the planned zone 2 dish (which will likely still be OK) until we learn more. Grateful for the info.
  19. The Sunday Times (23.10.2011) had a test of 6 website builders for those of us with little knowledge. The list in order of value, i.e. cost v. appearance was: basekit.com @ £4.50 to £6.00 per month mrsite.com @ £15 per month moonfruit.com @ £7.20 per month 1and1.co.uk @ £9.90 per month fasthosts.co.uk @ £5.39 per month Apparently basekit gives very professional results and lets you build a 10-page site with 1GB storage. The tester says they knocked up a good home page in about 2 hours. It sounds about my level !
  20. After it's cleaned you could fix a copper strip somewhere near the top - maybe where the rain runs off the main roof (?). It seems that algae don't like the very weak copper solution caused when rainwater runs off the strip and your glass stays clear of them.
  21. It's only for €38 and amazingly it's a part refund cheque from our insurers after we complained at the cost of the premium. If you don't ask - you don't get ! We'll probably post it.
  22. I believe that a UK cheque is valid for presentation for up to 6 months, after which payment can be refused. I wonder if there is a similar limit on French cheques. I ask because we have today, in London, received a cheque from France and it may be while before we return to bank it. We could always post it I suppose.
  23. Thanks JohnM, (for the post a couple of pages back..... ....."It sounds as if you are in a weak signal area, so you need to ensure that the aerial is matched for the frequency that the TV signal is broadcast on. The aerial is tuned to the signal, a local French supplier would know what frequency you need, you need to find out...." Very much taking note of your informed advice and taking a view on the later posts about satellite TV etc. I think I'll abandon the intended purchase of an aerial in UK and bite the bullet and speak with a local French TV shop and buy what they recommend. I must be honest we usually watch UK TV on the Sky dish but do miss the odd look-in at French TV so I'll happily spend €50 or whatever on the correct aerial. We'll try first using a redundant UK Terrestrial Digital Box. Then it's a case of climbing the scaffold tower and fitting the aerial on the old mast used by the earlier tiddly one. Any idea about dealing with hornets?
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