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  1. A group of us (mums from school) used to meet most Friday mornings for coffee and as we were all readers we thought we would start a book club.  As it was my idea, I started to look around on the internet for sites dedicated to book clubs and whilst they were relatively helpful I found it hard to believe that a group of women together would only chat for 15 minutes about daily life and the rest of the time would be spent talking about the book - we were the other way round!! I started off by hosting at my house and choosing the book (Time Travellers Wife - my all time fave) and on the same day someone else volunteered to have it at their house and got to choose the book and it went on from there.  We bought the books individually but sometimes if you order from Amazon and check the box that says it's for a book club you get a bit of a discount. We read Catcher in the Rye, Northern Lights, Rebecca, Perfume and some other "off the shelf" books from Tesco which was a nice change.  We did try to talk about the book as much as possible and some of them got more of a reaction than others but I would say it was more of a chance to get together for coffee and biscuits than anything else - very lighthearted. There were 7/8 of us at any one time and I think that's enough unless you want to be talking into the wee small hours! Good luck!
  2. Thanks for the suggestions.  I seem to be unplugging and re-starting it several times a day.  Over the last few days it hasn't improved at all, I've done the update on the computer to see if that made any difference but there is no change. Luckily from my phonecall with them they have e-mailed me with a "how was our service" type questionnaire.  I am going to complete this and give them my very "unhappy with your service" feedback - probably won't do any good but at least it will be off my chest! Thanks again.
  3. Hi there We subscribe to Neuf and use their Neufbox 4.  All our telephone calls and internet usage go through this box.  At around 8pm every night the DSL and TEL lights go off and we have neither telephone nor internet coverage again until morning.  Has anyone else had this problem with their Neufbox? I have called them and tried to ask if there is something they can do but got a very unhelpful guy who said that I needed to call back when the box wasn't working . Later that evening I rang three times form my UK mobile telephone only to be cut off when the call centre answered because they are unable to bill the premium-rate call to a UK phone.!  I have done the usual up-dates over the internet but still no joy! I am at the point of just changing companies - sureley they can't all be as bad as Neuf.....or are they? Thanks [:)]  
  4. Well, I don't want to shay too much at thish preshent time but I really am a shecret agent, some of you may already have gueshed who I am by my Scottish accshent but I think shome of the people writing in this forum are imposhters.  Sho my advice  is take it all with a pinsh of shalt. Regards JB[:)]
  5. Hi, We have now been advised by Swift that as well as a 12 week wait there will also be a £117.70 charge for the paperwork. I have spoken to Bailey Caravans to check their procedure and they have said that a copy certificate can be sent out the same day and is free of charge. When asked if this copy certificate would be sufficient to register a caravan in France they said yes and assured me that this is a common practice for their customers. With regards to CoC's, from my experience in industry, I thought that a manufacture can supply a certificate of conformity to a batch of any number of chassis providing that they all conform to a specified standard. Therefore, Swift or Alko should be able to certify that all chassis from serial number 1 to 10,001 conform. I would suspect that Alko would give Swift a blanket certificate such as this to all chassis supplied to them, if not, Swift would have no conformity traceability for the caravans they supply. This would mean that Swift do not know whether my caravan chassis conforms until they ask Alko! I think that it is one of these "batch certificate of conformity's" that Bailey is sending to it's customers that is enabling French registration. If this is working for Bailey customers then a re-think from Swift could save them and their customers money and time. Any Bailey customers had any experience of this? Best regards, Vicki    
  6. Hi everyone We've just read a previous post about registering a UK caravan here in France.  Lots of useful information from Sunday Driver (thanks for that).  We like our caravan (2003 Swift Challenger 520), and want to go through the process, however we've just spoken to our caravan manufacturer who have advised that they will send us a form to complete and then send a request to all the manufacturers of individual parts of the caravan for their certificates of conformity.  This process we are told, will take 12 weeks!  When we asked them if they kept this information about their caravans on file, they said no, we obtain the information for each applicant and just pass it on - no copies kept.  The next time someone requests the same information they simply go through the whole process again (just think how much management training you could give to a company like this [;-)] ). The French might drag it out to three weeks but it takes British inefficiency to make it last 3 months........ Has anyone else experienced this?  And is there some way to short circuit this?  Our problem is that our UK car is going back to the UK at the end of July and we can't tow the caravan with our new French registered car, which will make it difficult to take it for those necessary inspections. Thanks, as always. Vicki  
  7. Thanks very much for both of these replies, Caroline it sounds like you have had a very tough time. [:(] Steve, our daughter is 6 so she is really at the start of her education, one of the reasons we have chosen to come to France now rather than wait any more years until she will most likely find it more difficult.  It does sound like the headteacher at your school daughters school is similar to the one at ours and the advantages you have mentioned are very similar to those given to us by a friend of ours who lived in France until summer this year.  The hard work side of things might be difficult for our daughter who is away with the fairies quite a lot of the time and would rather be dancing and singing than learning her tables [:D] (although I'm a bit like that myself!).  Thanks for your support. Vicki
  8. Hi everyone We are moving to Lot et Garonne in May.  My husband took early retirement and is paid a pension each month which will be our only source of income in France.  I know there is a reciprocal thing in place with regard to tax but how does it work?  Any links or advice would be most appreciated. My understanding is that once we are registered with a Social Security number for our healthcover we are then "in the system" and they will automatically send us a tax return to complete.  I presume then once we have completed this (I say this casually but am actually  terrified [8-)] ) we pay the tax to them and that's that. Does this return also cover us for their NI equivalent so that when our E106 runs out in 2009 we will get the 70% healthcover or am I simplifying things too much? Your input, as ever, would be gratefully received. Thanks Vicki
  9. Hi guys Sorry, another question!  There is a private Catholic school in our village (we are moving to Monbahus (dept 47) in May) and I have recently had a conversation with the headteacher there who sounds absolutely lovely. My question is, what do you get extra for your money? It's not a great deal of money for a private education (compared to England that is!) and I wondered what the benefits are?  What about extra curricular stuff like sports, french lessons, activities etc - do we pay extra for those? Also, the Scholaire Assurance is 60 Euros per year which, judging by other posts, is expensive although she did mention something about sports and Catholic schools. I have an appointment to see her on 22 May and it is looking likely that we will send our daughter there but I would just like some feedback from others who may have been down this road before us. Thanks Vicki [:D]
  10. Hi there, not sure if this should be here or in health but ..... Someone has mentioned to me that our daughter may need to be vaccinated for TB before she can start school in France - is this correct?  The last vaccinations she had were her pre-school jabs when she was 4. Also, I've heard that we have to take out some kind of insurance for her whilst she's at school? Can anyone shed any light on this as the whole insurance / healthcare thing is totally confusing me!? Thanks Vicki
  11. Thanks everyone for your replies.  Yes, we are looking for a large dog, partially because we love large dogs (dh used to breed German Shepherds and we used to own and breed Dalmatians although I would say they are medium sized) and also because we do want a certain amount of security. Having said that I would not be averse to having a Great Dane because they are really lovely dogs.  A friend of mine used to have one and he was just gorgeous and so lovely with children. I'm not quite sure where to start looking for a dog when we get to France actually - I presume the local paper?  Any other suggestions?  I did rather want a puppy because we want to our daughter to think of it as a pet too so it seems sensible to start off with a puppy. Thanks again. Vicki
  12. Hi everyone Long-shot this, but we are moving to France in mid-May and would really like to get a large dog quite soon after moving in.  We were thinking Doberman, Rottweiler, Ridgeback etc etc. Wondered if anyone had or knew of any puppies coming up in the 47 or 24 region that we could consider when we got there. As we are moving to a rural area we wanted to get sorted fairly quickly. Thanks Vicki
  13. Thanks very much - we have a Sony Freeview box we bought a couple of years ago which was in our daughter's room.  Wewill probably use it to pick up the free French TV - hopefully it will help us to improve our French! Vicki
  14. Hi there I too am moving to France in the summer and my daughter is also 6 - I'm glad you put this message on here as it has reassured me too that whilst it may be difficult at first, in the long-term we are giving her a fantastic chance to integrate into another culture and learn another language, something she would never do if we stayed in England. Good Luck
  15. Hi there I know my Freeview box won't pick up English TV but will it pick up French Freeview (if there is such a thing!). Thank you Vicki
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