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Everything posted by Grecian

  1. Totally baffled now, I have been trying to post an image on the forum, of my leaky boiler in another thread on the House Renovations section, but to be honest I have no idea how to do so. I have registered on a website called Dropshots.com, and have managed to upload my image onto their website, but how on earth do I now incorporate the image into my post on this site please. Any help in this matter would  be gratefully received, from this aging computer using dinosaur. [8-)]
  2. Thanks for the reply Le Plombier. When you say check the pressure gauge which one do you mean? There are two on top of the boiler, one I guess for the domestic hot water, and one for the central heating. The one I think is for domestic hot water has a range from 1-6 bar, and the central heating has a range of 1-4 bar. The domestic hot water gauge is reading about 3 bar at the moment, and the central heating one about 1 and three quarters. If indeed the pressure is too high, which one is the drain valve please, I have tried turning the one with a red cap on it, anti-clockwise, and have run off some water, but alas I still have the leak. I am afraid I am not very technical when it comes to all things mechanical, so please forgive me if my ramblings do not make sense.
  3. I have a rather clapped out boiler which now has decided to leak, well I should say leak more, as there is always a leak of about half a bucket full of water a week which comes out the overflow pipe, but now I have a more sinister leak dripping out of the big brass thing on top of the boiler, sorry to be so technical! The big brass thing is about 2 inches in diameter and about 2 and half inches high, it would appear to connect the input cold water pipe to the boiler, up until now it has never leaked. Anyone any ideas please. I had intended replacing the boiler, when I had plucked up enough courage to make contact with a French plumber, but now it would seem my hand has been forced.
  4. That's interesting moonraker, it would seem this company is a shambles, and one to be steered clear of in the future, customer service does not seem to be their strong point. So I guess if my order finally shows up, I can look forward to my bread flour and tea bags being covered in baked beans and Patak's madras curry sauce! I will give them until the middle of next week, although I have already sent my threatening e-mail, to contact Bristol Trading Standards, and then take things from there. For future reference, do you consider British Corner Shop to be reliable and actually deliver the goods ordered?
  5. Thanks for the replies. Clair please do not worry about mentioning this company, it only goes to show that it is 'buyer beware' when dealing with an Internet based company, at least you know you can trust deal old Amazon to supply the goods, if ordering through them. Regarding how we paid, it was with a Nationwide debit card I am afraid, so no comeback there, we closed our only credit card account when we left the UK, and no Roger I did not order any wine! Today I have sent a 'final warning' e-mail, I am not touching the mobile phone number, as I guess they have probably got it wrigged for something like £5 a minute or some such amount, informing them that if things are not sorted by the close of business today, then I will be contacting Bristol Trading Standards, The Police and Watchdog, so hopefully out of one these establishments I can at least stop them ripping-off anybody else in the future.    
  6. Has anybody out there recently placed an order with British Food Direct? I asked the question as we placed an order with the company over 3 weeks ago, and to date have not received our order, although the money has been debited from my wife's account. We have e-mailed the company 3 times now, and have had no replies to our e-mails. Looking at their website it says they are having trouble with their landline number, and to use either the mobile number provided or e-mail them. I have done a search on the forum, and I see other people have had trouble with this company back in January, it's a pity I did not do the search before placing our order. Can't help smelling a rat here, very convenient that their landline is not working at the moment, and with them blatantly ignoring e-mails things do not look good. So I would urge all other forum members to treat this company with extreme caution at the moment, if contemplating placing an order with them. I suppose I will have to put my 'Mr Nasty' hat on, and send off a letter threatening them with everything I can think of, probably from the police to the guillotine!
  7. Just like to say, what a brilliant system here in France, sure enough blood tests results arrived in the post this morning, fantastic.
  8. Wow, that was quick Clair/SD many thanks, and I must say the French system sounds pretty slick, when it comes to dealing with their test results. Benjamin, the doc did mention they were both fasting tests, but thanks for mentioning it, I guess that will mean I have to stay off the red wine until we come home. Only joking, honest, I don't start until at least 9am [blink]  
  9. Many thanks for all the witty replies. We are now the proud owners of two pots, which are primed and ready for action. The nice lady at the pharmacy advised us they are called 'flacons', so next time I need to make a donation, I will know where to aim. The only trouble is we have to be at the blood extraction office tomorrow morning at 7am [:-))], it only opens 2 mornings a week in the village, and runs from 7-8.30am. Not totally related to this thread, but rather than start another, can anybody advise about blood tests and x-rays. More precisely where do the blood test results go, are they sent to our doctor, ourselves or do we have to go back and pick them up personally? Also with x-rays, will I have to wait for them to be processed, or do I go back at a later date and pick them up?
  10. Having not posted on this thread for some time now, firstly can I wish all of you 'doing battle' with DWP all the very best of luck, and I hope in the end justice is served. As I posted some months ago my wife has been able to export her DLA, and I have been able to export my CA, as we left the UK within the 26/52 week rule, (even though it may not exist!) we obviously fitted the criteria for the benefits to be exported, as laid down at the moment by DWP. Today my wife received a letter from DWP informing her of the increase in her DLA payments which were increased last April. The enclosed letter informing her about the increase was the standard letter which would have been issued to anyone who is living in the UK. Also enclosed in the envelope was an single-sided A4 sheet entitled: 'Aditional information for people getting DLA or AA whilst living in the EEA or Switzerland'. Nothing too sinister in the information the claimant is obliged to tell DWP if circumstances change, i.e. if you start to receive a benefit from another EEA country etc. But at the end of the letter there is a four line paragraph, which I am not sure what to make of. 'You should tell us if your DLA or AA is due to end and your needs will last for a longer period. If you do not tell us before your DLA or AA ends then you may need to make a fresh claim for DLA or AA. This may mean that you are not able to get DLA or AA again.'      
  11. How can I put this politely? Both myself and my wife visited our doc this morning, and have both been sent for blood tests, when we got home we noticed on both our printouts, that the doc is calling for an urine sample test as well. In the UK you would be given a pot at the surgery to do the business in, so to speak, but what happens here in France? Do we just supply our own container, or should we maybe ask at the pharmacy for a UK sized pot, to do the deadly deed in? Feedback from anyone who has had to pee in a pot in the past greatly received!    
  12. The plot thickens, having spoken to my accountant again, she has been in contact with our local tax office, and they informed her that UK benefits do not have to be declared on our French tax return. This leaves me in a bit of a dilema, as people who have posted on here in receipt of UK benefits are obviously paying tax on them. It does seem a bit of a lottery over here when declaring in different departments, as to how they view various elelments of the return and how they are treated, even down to the individual who answers the query. So I guess this year I will go with the tax office's advice.
  13. Thanks for the reply Mr Cat, unfortunately that is what I thought. I telephoned her this afternoon and she was still adamant that IB is not declared, which to me is wrong. I assume that DLA and CA will be declared in the AS/BS boxes as well. Nothing like another panic to cope with over here in France, I guess I will have to complete another set of forms, and battle it out with the accountant over her fee, so much for taking the easy way out in completing our first tax return.  
  14. I have to admit to being a whimp now, and have employed an accountant to fill in our first year's tax return, just too many boxes to contemplate filling this year. She has returned our completed tax form to us for submission to the authorities, and has not declared IB for tax purposes on the form, as she reckons that the benefit is classed as a social benefit here in France, and not liable to income tax. I understand that there are no social charges to pay on IB if in receipt of an E121, but is it correct that there is also no income tax to pay on the benefit?      
  15. Grecian


    Thank you for your replies, a lot clearer now as to how the form should be filled in. I guess once it has been handed into the hotel of taxes, I will then have to 'do battle' with the UK tax authorities in attempting to reclaim our overpaid tax.        
  16. Grecian


    I am up-to-neck in various pieces of paper trying to complete our first tax return, and apologise if this question has been asked before. Having printed off the FD5 form, can somebody please advise if this form is for just one tax year at a time. i.e. April 2008 to April 2009. If this is the case then presumably as we took up French residency 17th September 2008, on the FD5 form we our completing I should be claiming any UK tax paid from the 17th September 2008 to 5th April 2009. Any feedback gratefully received.  
  17. Oh dear, more problems on the way I think. Can I assume that if you are not in possession of a numero fiscale, due to not yet having submitted a tax return, or have not received a d'habitation/fonciere bill, if I were to try and open an assurance vie, with another bank other than my own, I will not be able to, due to the fact I am not yet in possession of a numero fiscale? I have an active account with CA, which I had no problems in opening after flashing around an official document from the notaire, on the completion of our house purchase.  
  18. Grecian

    Sky card

    Life really sucks sometimes doesn't it Pads, you just get your Westcountry TV set up, only to find the local news has now been amalgamated with Bristol.[blink]
  19. Grecian

    Sky card

    Hello Pads, certainly not an expert on this matter, but we moved from Yorkshire to France last September, so obviously Yorkshire was our last postcode. When we set up our box in France, initially we were still receiving Yorkshire TV, after about 2 weeks our signal automatically changed to Westcountry. I can only assume the fact that we now have our Sky card registered at a Devon address, the signal you receive must be linked to your postcode. The only way in which I know to receive Westcountry TV is by adding Westcountry TV to your extra channels. To do this, is as follows:  With your digibox turned on, press the Services button on your remote, (it is near the top). Select number 4 (System set-up), and then 4 again (Add channels). You will then need to add info in the appropriate fields for Westcountry: Frequency: 10.832 Polarisation: H Symbol Rate: 22.0 FEC: 5/6 Then select Find Channels, the channels should appear after a few seconds. Use the yellow button on your remote to place a tick against the channels you want to store. When finished selecting the channels you want, press Select. The channels are then stored. You can view the channels stored by pressing the Services button, then 6 (Other Channels), use the arrow key to move to the channel required, and press Select. Hope the above is of some use, and will work if you try it. It worked for me when we moved from Devon to Yorkshire, and I was able to watch the highlights of Exeter City FC getting beating every week on Westcountry TV!      
  20. Thanks once again for all your replies. parsnips, you have explained everything very clearly indeed, many thanks, I now feel I have enough knowledge to understand, and open an Assurance Vie. I guess it's like most things really once you know what you are doing, then it becomes easy. I see on  the Fortuneo site it is now showing the performance figure achieved for 2008, on the Le fonds en euros à capital garanti, which came in at 4.5%, a pretty good return I would say, considering the chaos on the world markets last year.  
  21. Thanks parsnips, you have explained everything brilliantly there in your response. It makes sense that the dividends are reinvested to avoid the tax issue, and any money I may choose to put into an AV will be for the longterm, i.e. no problem with the 8 years. I have found the 'fonds en euros à capital garanti' fund on the website now, again many thanks. I see they are not showing the performance figure for 2008, is there anything sinister in that, or will it show up in due course? Sorry to keep asking all these questions, but do you know how the gain is generated in the fond en euros à capital garanti? I would think for 2008, trying to generate a positive reture in any fund would have been almost impossible. I will be keeping away from SICAVs gratuits funds, as it makes to sense to put any money available into the tax free option first.  
  22. First of all parsnips/giantpanda, thank you very much for your replies. On a general note, I now understand you are not able to transfer in existing holdings, without first selling, and maybe generating a capital gain...if only, and then reinvesting the monies into the AV. giantpanda, thanks for the suggestion of opening an AV as soon as possible, with a nominal amount to start off the 8-year period, very sensible suggestion. With the current economic climate a small amount initially just to get it up-and-running makes total sense. More specifically, parsnips I have been onto the Fortuneo site and have tried to translate my options the best that I can. Under the Assurance Vie box I clicked on, it brought up 117 funds to choose from, can I assume from this list that the Yucatan 3 is the capital guaranteed option, or are they tucked away somewhere else? Also I have found some bond funds listed in the list, but cannot find on the information supplied that these funds pay a dividend, do French bond or equity income funds in France pay a dividend? To cloud the waters even more, I have found a box with the heading SICAV, which supposedly has 700 fonds 100% gratuit, what is a SICAV please? Sorry if the above still seem a bit garbled, the French isn't up-to-speed yet, but I am working on it daily.    
  23. I know this topic has been ‘done to death’, and apologise for bringing it up again, I have searched all the archived threads, but there are still some elements of the products I can’t get my head around. Any help would be most appreciated.   Livret A, pretty clear on this one I think, limited to 15,300 euros per person, interest rate to be 2.5% from the 1st February, and is both free of income tax and social charges, and can be operated as an instant access account. Hope I have got that right.   Assurance Vie and PEA’s, I can get my head round the tax and social charge structuring, i.e. you will pay income tax and social charges on any withdrawals in the first 8 years, no problem. Now the waters start to muddy a bit, I have read that there are different types of these products available: share based, unit trusts and a cash safe product. Also self-select options or products provided by the bank the products are taken out through. Here come the questions.   How does the cash safe product work? I have found some of these on the Internet offering 5% guaranteed for the whole of 2009, are they totally safe?   Self-select option, can shares, oiecs and unit trusts from the UK be placed within the Assurance Vie, i.e. say a fund from Invesco for instance, or are you restricted to only buying French funds?   I have also read somewhere that existing UK based funds can be transferred into either Assurance Vie or PEA’s, is this correct please?            
  24. Thanks to everybody for the fantastic responses. Just to bring the situation up-to-date, we visited our local CPAM office again this afternoon, it was the same grumpy bloke behind the desk who was there when we last visited, but he must have had an extra glass of red wine with his lunch, as today he was very cheerful. We explained the attestation had the wrong address number on it, so he just photocopied our original, and wrote the correct address number on the copy, and informed us a new attestation will be issued. He explained that the CV's would be sent out later, and showed us how to fill out our medecin traitant forms, all in all a good afternoon's work. Just to try and shed some light on the 100% issue, my wife's E121 is IB based, and on the attestation it definitely states she is covered 100% for sauf médicaments and 35% for vignettes bleues, myself who is 'piggy-backing' is just the usual 70%. Hope this info will help you Tony. BAF, regarding my response to your reply, I thought your response came over rather rude and patronizing, implying I should be up to speed with all things French after only 4 months of residency. I will apologise regarding my weird reference in my response, as I think this probably also came over as rude, and as I don't regard myself as a rude person I fully retract that remark. Now for the tax form... [:-))]
  25. Well, I will ignore the response from Boiling a frog, as obviously he/she is either very rude, or just a bit weird, and needs to get out more. At this point I would like to thank anybody who took the trouble to answer my query with constructive responses. If I am permitted to ask some more 'thick' questions, then I would like to continue with this thread. This morning we received our attestion, although it was delivered to next door, as CPAM put the wrong number in the address. We went along to our local CPAM office, but there were about 20 people waiting, so we will try again tomorrow. What happens now regarding obtaining our CV's? When we first went to our local CPAM office we offered our passport photos, but he said later. At this stage nobody has any photographs of us, to put on our CV's. Can we expect to receive another form to fill in for our CV's, and then enclose the photos with that form. Or has something gone badly wrong? Also, could somebody shed some light on how we fill out our medecin traitant form please, we have had it filled out and stamped by our doc (on the same day as we discussed my wife's ALD incidentally), it is just the bit we have to fill in I am not too sure about. We have only received one attestion with both our names on it, so on the medecin traitant form where it reads: L'assuré(e) do we enter my wife's name, and then where it says: Le bénéficiaire do I enter my name? Or do we both have to fill out a medecin traitant form, if that is the case then I am totally confused who's name goes where.
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