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Posts posted by 5-element

  1. I don't think the Nouvel Ob has just got onto it now - those types of articles appear regularly, just like there are many TV programmes in the same vein - perhaps it's because I tend to watch these as I have always been particularly interested, but there are plenty of them, always have been. Nothing new here.  .  What the Nouvel Ob did just now is to show the precise details for several foodstuffs - salmon and cocktail sausages for instance. I really think that people are no different in France from elsewhere:  many are under no illusion about  processed and industrial foodstuff. Hence the urge to stay with "terroir" products. It is taking time, but there is more and more awareness and tendency to shop for local, seasonal, good quality products with 100% traceability.

  2. I must be the only one for whom a slow-cooker has been a terrible disappointment. So much so that after trying 3 different stews, I have now put it away in the garage and don't even know which kind it is - I'd bought it off an acquaintance at a vide-grenier, she was getting rid off a lot of kitchen equipment. It's a very basic crock one (and like Clair says, I remember the 3 different settings high-auto-low).

    I remember what I didn't like about it is that I had to have all the ingredients ready beforehand, and couldn't add this or that to change the flavour - like I do with ordinary cooking.

    The results of my slow-cooking experiments were all rather tasteless, compared to what I usually make. [:(]

    I have no idea where I went wrong, I followed instructions!

    Still, it's too late for my miserable post to put you off Sweet, so now I am awaiting with baited breath to see how you fare with your brand new Aldi slow cooker, I wish you a resounding success!

  3. "Il (elle) me fait grincer des dents" - I like that, Norman. So, "Cringe-making" would be "à faire grincer des dents".

    It could possibly be also "à donner la chair de poule", but you might say that about something that is a little scary.

    Christine, for me, "Il me débecte" rather means "Il me dégoûte" or "Il me donne envie de vomir"?

  4. http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/joggeuse-tuee-a-nimes-le-suspect-correspond-au-portrait-robot-29-01-2013-2521991.php

    A 33-year old Brit, living with his mother in Nimes (Gard), has been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of a young mother of 3, who had gone on her usual run within the residential area. She was found half-denuded, savagely cut (cutter nearby) and her head and face smashed with two nearby rocks.

  5. [quote user="NormanH"]The figures in this article aren't quite the same:


    The figures I came across were close to the one in the above article.

    In France, the average monthly pension across the board (men and women), is about 1200. In the report I saw, the average monthly pension for WOMEN was 800 euros - which means that for men, it must be around 1400 euros? Very sizeable disparity...

  6. I concur with the other French natives about "délivrée"


    . As for "la Saint Jean", "la Saint-Glinglin", etc, I think the feminine article refers to "la fête de..." which is left out as a shortcut - so instead of saying "la fête de la Saint Jean", you simply say "la Saint Jean".

  7. [quote user="BJSLIV"]It would be illegal for a company to offer a discount for ALDs, as they are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Hence the absence of probing questions. It comes under the heading of Egalite![/quote]

    Then it must be my mistake to "remember" that a discount for ALDs  had been agreed for  one or two people on this forum.  I also thought that "discrimination for pre-existing conditions" applied to private health insurance, but NOT to top-up mutuelles.

    I do know about the "hospital only" cover, and now will be able to investigate that possibility for next year - but I suspect that, like many people, fear of the unknown might still determine my final choice!

    Again, thanks all. [kiss]

  8. Plenty of food for thought, much of it sounds exactly like I suspected. Just imagine those thieves not even telling you, Benjamin, that Mrs. B did not need a mutuelle cover.

    Your own experiences are invaluable, thank you for sharing them.[kiss] Too late for this year, as we did what most people do, i.e. in fear of being without a cover, we just paid...But I swear that next year it will be different.

  9. Thank you Sue, I will have a try with the MAAF, although I have a vague recollection that we have a MAAF here which was not helpful (maybe they have franchises, like banks do, so perhaps regional variations?)

    Thank you too Norman: alas, me being French does not help: cunning insight about the way to get bargains is not in the genes, [:D] - so I am grateful for your input.

    When you say "In fact a situation is beginning to develop where people fall into the trap of having a bit too much income to be able to claim help, but not enough to be able to afford the costs of certain things." this is exactly it for us. Adding health insurance premium to our local taxes, and this amounts to just over one sixth of our income. Naturally, there are plenty of other inescapable bills beside these two items, so I am beginning to look at possible ways to cut corners. We looked (not thoroughly) into the possible "hospitalisation only" option, but the insurance agent talked my husband out of it - as she would. Maybe I should look again, harder. But you are right that it is tough if you happen to be exactly on the cut-off point between getting  free medical care, and not.

    I am also alarmed by the apparent fact that top up health insurance premiums rise steadily as one advances in age. I guess, one ought to be grateful for being still in the land of the living after, say, 65, but I don't believe that means we should line the pockets of insurance companies for the privilege, since we don't owe them for our longevity !

  10. That is precisely the point, WB: ALDs are covered 100% by CPAM. So, if someone has several ALDs, it is more likely that most of their medical problems will be caused by the ALD, that is very much the case for my husband: most of his medical emergencies and problems are to do with his ALDs, so that a mutuelle doesn't have to reimburse much at all to someone like that. For the mutuelle, a heavily ALD-ed patient is "tout bénéf" -  mutuelles must love their ALD clients  - some of the insurance companies recognise that fact and offer a special deal for a heavy ALD patient. Apparently.
  11. Thank you Pat, yes, I would like to know more about your company.

    The bills for us this year amount to about 150 euros pm, the most basic cover. Premiums seem to have gone up steadily, this year too. Perhaps we are a little older than you - I know that my 92 year old mother pays about 100 euros per month for her basic mutuelle cover.

    And I am hoping that one of the people who gets a discount on their mutuelle because of their ALDs will  tell their story.

  12. I seem to remember, some time ago (but a search revealed nothing) that some forum members had managed to secure a top-up health insurance which was much less than the normal full amount - because most of their potential health problems were already covered 100% via several ALDs.

    I am now attempting to find which insurance companies might provide this kind of cover - none of our local ones is offering this, and they even claim it doesn't exist "c'est pas possible!"...

    I know that all mutuelles have rocketing costs, and we are beginning to be seriously concerned about this, as it eats a rather large amount of our modest income. And I am beginning to understand how it is that so many French people now simply do not have a mutuelle cover because of being unable to meet the cost. Of course, if one is truly destitute, then you can get CMU-C - but if you are just above the line, you have to pay and lump it.


  13. It is great to hear from you Ian, and so pleased that you seem to be coping so well, considering. You are clearly someone very special (she had picked you after all, so you must be!) and this transpires from the way you are communicating here, finding the "mot juste" and being so lucid in your report.

    May the next year be much, much kinder to you - and may your solitary Christmas day be quietly and productively reflective.

  14. I am another 30% off person. Our LIDL does have one (whole poulet fermier is a good one, goes straight into the freezer!). There is also a 1-euro per kilo bin in our greengrocer. I get whole collections of red peppers, grill them, and freeze. Sometimes, especially after the festive season, there are wonderful items like passion fruits, mangoes, oyster mushrooms, etc... And then at the baker, there is "pain de la veille", but not just bread - and it's half-price!


  15. Wooly, this is also something very close to my heart, which also enrages me no end. (Mind you, I am also enraged by  the waste going on in many households).

    These supermarket policies are wrong, so wrong. It is fair to point out, though, that not ALL of them throw edible stuff away - there are some who do give food to Restos du Coeur, and who let people go through their dustbins (just as there are the supermarkets who have bleach, or dye, or whatever other substance, poured into the waste bins to make sure nobody will try and salvage anything.

    Maybe it is optimistic of me, but I get the feeling that there is a growing shift of awareness both in private households and in supermarkets etc... There are endless TV programmes on this issue, even documentaries about "freegans" http://freegan.info/ who are, arguably, carrying out the most extreme form of "living off waste" for ethical and other reasons. And it seems to me too, that it is gradually becoming more and more acceptable to scrounge around other people's waste to reclaim "stuff". Again, this is even becoming a fashionable trend in some milieux, as secondhand shops spring up and are no longer considered fleapits. There are also more numerous social networks of bartering, exchanging, freely giving, and generally encouraging gratuitous generosity.

    Overall, I really want to believe that an increased social awareness of the issues surrounding waste is inevitable, and that it is happening right now. Everywhere? Not so sure about that.[:'(]

  16. Good to see you back, Pat, and thanks to Clair too, who has saved my bacon more than once in the past!! So glad to see that Clair usually comes up trumps and I would vote her the winner in Moderator of The Year competition - or should it be "Strictly Come Moderating"?[:D]
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