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Lassie

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  1. Last night I suffered a severe allergic reaction which was very frightening.  As I could hardly breathe, it was my husband who phoned SAMU and although his French isnt bad, he found it difficult to describe symptons over the phone because of his own stress at my condition. Luckily the ambulance soon arrived and I was taken to a hospital about 15 kilometres away. A good shot of adrenalin started putting things right. The 'Urgences' was calm, quiet and extremely clean with several doctors and nurses on duty.  Although it was late on a Saturday night, there were no drunks fighting the staff !  My point is to advise anyone whose French is poor to be sure to have the emergency numbers by the phone, your own phone number ( its astonishing how the brain shuts down in a panic) and your address, spelled phonetically if someone's French is poor and you live in an unpronouncable village. At night put all the house lights on to help the ambulance locate you. In the circumstances we were fortunate in having enough language skills to call for help and describe the circumstances of this, and a previous allergic reaction, so that the problem is now identified.  It could have been disastrous and I do worry about all the people on this forum coming here expecting that emergency staff will automatically speak English.  Aint so.  
  2. On another forum I have just mentioned we had sold in 4 weeks by advertising in www.pap.fr and putting a large A vendre sign outside the house with the web site address and our phone number.  When anyone phoned, I directed them to the website putting in the reference number for our property. We have sold two  properties previously on that site.  Its 75 euros for 3 weeks appearance.  In each case though we sought French buyers so you need to have a good grasp in French  of the whole negotiation and selling process. Its less awful though than paying 5% to an agent!  The popular UK property sites didnt produce anything at all as it appears the British are not buying at the moment, and those that are, want their hand held by an agent and are nervous of buying on their own directly.   Anyway good luck.  
  3. We are now selling up and going back to the UK.  When we bought in 2001, the euro was 65.5 p.  Happily for us we have contracted to buy sterling ahead at 74.9p yesterday ,so with falling house prices in England, we are timing it right for once.  Knowing what I know now about living in France, I would not buy at this time except in certain areas and with a certain type of house..  Our house sold in 4 weeks because it appeals to a French market and was done by a private sale simply by hanging an 'A Vendre' board outside. Friends in different regions have been waiting 2 years for a sale depsite the details being with several agents. All sorts of things can happen as you get older and there's no doubt that the pull of family and friends is very strong - its our only reason for going back. Might be prudent to wait a couple of years and enjoy long holidays in France in a rented place first.
  4. Its not just grooming salons in towns you need to research - there are lots of mobile grooming companies too who go round the villages.  Doesnt sound as though you could make a living - pocket money perhaps. Also fluent French would be needed.  You need to market your service and have nice doggy chats with the owners to maintain a good atmosphere.  Its a fairly intimate kind of service and the French wouldn't probably be so keen if you dont communicate well.  Anyway, good luck.
  5. Not Melun - its awful.  We only go there because of Lapeyre and Castorama.  We live near Milly la Foret in 77. Lovely 1427 market hall, chic shops as there lots of Parisien weekenders and very safe.  All pretty stone houses and close to Fontainebleau which is superbe. Only 35 mins to Paris on regional train.  Dont use RER D - too many gangs of youths with knives robbing passengers. Just read the local papers! Senlis and Chantilly to the north of Paris are also nice but you have to drive through less appealing bits to get into Paris. From here its 45 m ins on the A6 autoroute ( not in rush hour though) straight inbto underground car parks next to the best shoe shops in Paris. Parfait. 
  6. Dear Val   They key thing you mentioned was that the cat was just 5 weeks old when you had him. Thats inadequate mothering time and most kittens will be emotionally fragile as a result. 10 weeks is about right. However, the more he is cuddled and loved and allow to suckle your sleeve or tread your tummy, the happier he will be and catch up on some mothering. Ankle catching is just play but the tail waving is a sign of a screw loose as you say. I am not a cat shrink but have had the same problem. Our rescue cat ( no known history but likely to have had a bad time) was fine until she went to a cattery for 10 days. During that time she experienced loss of her known environment, loss of our company and caught fleas which irritated her ( all for 10.5 euros a day!) When she came home she started growling like a dog, yowling and chasing her tail which she had never done before.  We sorted out the fleas and she is regularly wormed too.  It took many visits to the vet ( he said stress was the cause) , a course of sedatives and months of loving before it abated.  Now it only happens very rarely and in a mild way if she is frustrated at not getting through a door for example. Of course we are nervous of trying to leave her in a cattery again as the behaviour was extremely upsetting for her and us too. There probably isnt any cure as you cant counsel cats but, like adopting a disturbed child, you do the best you can. Best only to have a kitten who has been mothered for long enough . There are some negative aspects to living in France and attitude to animals is one of them. I wont be sorry to move away from my next door neighbour's Doberman who lives outdoors all year round in a small garden and likes to bark at 4a.m. and during the day while they are both out at work. Heigh Ho.
  7. Thank you for the good advice.  I had forgotten the 24 hours bit,  so as we are only 4 hours from the ferry, I can do it the day before at my local vet. Just one more thing to fit in as we say goodbye to France!
  8. We have started the Pet Passport procedure to take our cat back to the UK. Blood test is done and verified, now just waiting for the six months to be up. Does anyone have a contact with a vet in Boulogne or Calais where the final tests can be done prior to boarding the ferry?  And is it feasible to do this in the morning and sail in the afternoon? What a palaver!  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  9. There are loads of sites for private sales.  the biggest is www.pap.com   and www.entreparticuliers.com. Look under 'chambre regionale des notaires' on their web site of your preferred area.  Their fees are lower than agents.  Then there are all the private ads on sites like www.propertyenfrance.com  and many similar property sites which have a high proportion of private (particulier) sales, as do the many French property magazines on sale in the UK. Good luck with your search.              
  10. Dear Katie Look in www.pap.com  which is  a weekly newspaper 'Particulier a Particulier' published each Thursday for sales and rentals throughout France and has a big Paris section..  Also look up www.fusac.com.  You can look it up online.  It is a fortnightly mag which has dozens of flats to rent and we have used it always to rent out our flat in Paris.  Most estate agents will have rentals so look up the bigger ones like Century 21, ORPI, It is usual to rent furnished for a 12 month period with two months rental as deposit. Unfurnished is usually for three years contract. Once you have had a look at all the ads on the websites, you will get an idea of rentals, but of course it will be much more expensive in the nice , safe arondissements ( 5th,6th,7th, 8th, 16th).  Dont commute - living in Paris is sensational. Happy hunting
  11. Exactly- my enquiry was how to get out of France.  I think I might manage to find my way back into Britain, thanks.  My concern is to tie up loose ends.  I have had the cat chipped and vaccinated but still have to wait 6 months before she could leave and will make sure I cancel all contracts such as mobile phones well in advance by recommandee.  Other concerns include getting a certificate from a French Insurance company saying I have had no accidents otherwise how do get a no claims bonus for car insurance in the UK? Ditto no claims on house insurance.  A friend told me he could not even get permission for a removal van until he had gained this final tax certificate although tthat was some years ago.  Its the potential income tax liabuility which is calculated in arrears that may be the stumbling block to remit funds from a house sale. Having just made my annual pilgrimage to the Impot, ( won a rebate this year!) I havent the energy to start asking about this today.  All my energy has been sapped by CPAM  who wanted documents after my husband turned 60 having been on my Carte. We duly sent everything and they lost the lot. Queried the delay as we were waiting for the E111 carte to go on holiday.  Sent to another office, woman there said , no must start again. Out of the blue, all original papers returned with a request for a Belgian Government E121.  Now, as they had a UK121 already registered 2 years ago, had UK birth certificate, UK passport details, old Carte Sejour showing British nationality, we wondered why they thought my husband had suddenly turned into a Belgian.  These are the sort of little problems that people coming to live in France will encounter regularly and I hope they take note and maybe consider learning French before they arrive as no-one at CPAM will bend over backwards to help an immigrant. If I can sort out the problem of having a Belgian husband suddenly I will toddle off to the Impot and ask about leaving certiuficates and spread the word.
  12. With so many people selling up and returning to the UK, will there be a new forum dedicated to helping them?  We have put our house on the market ( in a small way) and will do a major marketing in the early Spring.  Meanwhile, what preparations should we make? I keep hearing about this final tax certificate which you need to be able to move your money back to Britain. Having sold your house, the first thing you want to do is to remit funds to the UK and get some decent interest as well as being able to buy quickly if the right house comes up.  Recently sold a small property and had to show the bank the sales documents from the Notaire before they would send the money back and that was only a small amount.  To hand back Carte Vitale, advise EDF/GDF, house insurance etc isnt hard, but sorting out potential tax liabilities when everything is done in arrears may be problematic.   And before the wrath of the ex-pat community descends, let me state we love France, have loved our many years, didnt run out of money or get homesick and can speak good French.  Didnt have HP sauce and Birds Custard in our culture anyway so didnt miss them or going to a pub or English TV. We know the weather here is better, the medical services better, the climate better etc. Know that Britain is going slowly downhill .. BUT the family are there .  They are at various ends of the age scale, need a little help from us as the only surviving sensible, middle aged relatives they have and its difficult at a distance. My ancient mother has just paid £150 to a casual workman to paint her 2m by 2m kitchen ceiling! She handed over the cash for 2 hours work and half a pint of emulsion. Had we been nearby..... And it goes on, with new babies you havent yet kissed, old friends' funerals, big birthday parties you dont get invited to because you are 'abroad'. Everyone has his reasons for coming and for going back too. If others have sold up and have any helpful tips please post.Thanks
  13. Yes - it was the number lock which I must have accidentally pressed and stayed down even after the computer was turned off.  So obvious when it is pointed out.  Many, many thanks to everyone who responded.  I have learned a good lesson and hope it will help someone else in the future.Both I and the computer have now returned to sanity.
  14. Its not just in Outlook expresss but in all programmes where I am typing.  The Norton report says everything is clean. The email came from French Property News office so I guess it was OK, but when I hit reply, the funny typing started. Its a laptop and I dont know what catcussed means. What exactly should I do to run a virus check?
  15. What did I do? was replying to an email in Outlook express when the text went mad, typing a mixture of numbers and letters. Shut it all down to let it have a rest, tried again, same result. Even when going in to old documents, it will only type in a mix of letters and numbers. I know there are kindly people on this forum who patiently reply to people like me.  I am using my husband's computer to write this as you would not be able to read it otherwise.can anyone help? lassie
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