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Everything posted by KathyF

  1. I'm with Hoddy and Norman on this. a brilliant speech and IDS deserved everything she had to say about him. The mess this government is making of basic services has to be seen to be believed.
  2. One purely practical point, given that the family would be living in a very rural department, is that broadband internet isn't cheap here and in some places the speeds are very low. Since Mr F works in IT, a good broadband service would seem to me to be essential and something to be researched before departure.
  3. Pat F wrote: Idun - we had that heatwave of 2003 in the Gers too, it never rained from mid April until early Sept. I think it affected most of southern France. Pat, the heatwave that year affected just about all of France. It was the year we signed for our cottage and when we arrived in late August, the temperature was still in the mid to upper 30s. Our new neighbours said the temperature in southern Normandy had been in the 40s that summer and of course it was the year so many elderly people died from the heat in Paris.
  4. Having just logged on for the first time today, there are four spam messages timed from 17.15 to 17.42 at the top of the list of active topics. Sorry, Hoddy. [:(]
  5. We have a second home in southern Manche and have seen prices drop very markedly in the last few years and the market is also very slow. Friends who sold a nicely renovated little house last year thought themselves lucky to get just over 50,000 euros, quite a lot less than it had cost them overall. I think it depends on how strongly you want to sell. At least you won't have any further outgoings if you accept the offer.
  6. We're on a fosse and our abonnement was 81.96 euros for years. Last year it went up to 84. Water is 1.72 per m3 and we pay 30 centimes per m3 towards pollution control.
  7. [quote user="Judith"] But I agree the broader vowel sounds do help with French and definitely with German .. mother, said in a broad Yorkshire accent is hardly distinguishable from "mutter" in German.  Just a shame we never had the French  "u" sound in English which seems to be what separates the English from the rest of the world! [/quote] That's exactly what my German teacher used to tell us. I'm from Darwen (just over the moor from Betty in Bolton [:)]) and she was a Geordie. She had fun showing us how much some words in the Geordie dialect resemble German  (particularly Low German) and said that when she went to Hamburg, where the local dialect is Low German, people could understand something of what she said when she talked Geordie. As for the French "u" sound, I found that learning German helped here too, as the German "ü" sound gave us double the practice. [:D]
  8. Gosh! If I promise you tea and cake with your capsules, would you do the same for me, Betty? [:D]  
  9. I found the need for compatibility view very annoying , since my preferred browser is Chrome and I don't like adding plug-ins unless I really must. Without compatibility view nothing works properly - formatting options, quotes, links and smilies are all unusable. This is the only forum I use which has these problems, so I really do think it is up to the IT staff to ensure their software works properly with modern browsers.
  10. Sprogster, the rainfall total quoted in your link is much the same as that recorded so far in the southern half of the UK this winter - about half a metre!
  11. How could you do this to me, Betty? There was I , implicitly trusting every word of the DM and now you tell me their reporters have wellies of clay! I shan't sleep a wink tonight.....
  12. I assume you're advocating a sand filter, Hoddy, which sounds like an excellent idea.
  13. Bother, missed it. I'll have to watch it online.
  14. Another change that may well affect people moving abroad is the reduction next year from 3 years to 18 months for the period during which your previous home can remain your principle private residence for tax purposes, so avoiding CGT on its sale. In what is still a slow market in many places, that could well hit quite a lot of people who have had to move before being able to sell.
  15. Until the market for medicines is opened up to competition, nothing will change. There's still a wide variation in pricing between some pharmacies and supermarkets in the UK, as I noticed recently when buying microporous tape, first in the local pharmacy (£1.65) and then at Tesco - 55p for the same amount of tape.
  16. No, you didn't dream it, Catalpa. It's made very clear on this page that a UK resident can't drive a foreign-registered car in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk/temporary-imports
  17. I agree. A friend here in the UK had a DVT recently and needed regular anti-coagulant injections. It was expected that he go into the surgery for the nurse there to do them, as he was quite capable of driving. It would have been a nonsense for a nurse to make a trip out to him.
  18. "That's a bit pointless! Don't most people download books nowadays?" I've never downloaded a book in my life, yet I'm an avid reader. Granted I live for most of the year in the UK and borrow almost everything I want to read from our excellent local library service, but I'm still not tempted to pay more for the hire of a downloaded copy of a new book that a real paper copy I can keep or lend or sell again if I want to. Books do furnish a room. :-) Interestingly even in fiction e-books account for only a half of sales and over all categories between a fifth and a quarter. http://www.publishingtechnology.com/2013/07/year-on-year-ebook-sales-fall-for-the-first-time-says-nielsen-research/ So no, most people still don't download nowadays.
  19. "It's just me, then. Can't stand tepid "hot" drinks." No, it's not just you, Betty. Tea needs boiling water. PS Can't use the quote facility or the smilies when in Chrome, as for some reason, they only work properly in Internet Explorer. Sigh....
  20. "and our other daughter works making her garments and also as said does art classes with children twice a week, if she didnt have that she couldnt survive long," MOAW, if your daughter relies on doing art classes to make ends meet, she won't be able to do this in France unless her French is very good. and maybe not even then, if the regulations say that she has to have a French teaching qualification. France is a minefield of bureaucracy and regulation and overseas qualifications are not automatically accepted.
  21. Nail on the head as usual, Betty. If they now means test child benefit via the tax system, I don't see the WFA as a universal benefit surviving indefinitely.
  22. This problem of email addresses and changing ISPs is why we opted to buy our own domain some years ago for a very modest annual fee. We use 1to1: http://www.1and1.co.uk/ However often we change ISP underneath, our email addresses stay the same. It makes using Orange in France in the summer and TalkTalk in the UK the rest of the year a doddle.
  23. For the record, DLA is gradually being replaced by the Personal Independence Payment, for which the eligibility criteria are very much more stringent. By 2015 all claimants will be on PIP and i don't know whether it will be exportable like DLA.
  24. In the UK we always drink full-fat milk as we find semi-skimmed so watery and tasteless and skimmed even worse. In France we drink semi-skimmed UHT as it tastes much creamier then UK semi-skimmed and the full-fat UHT is just too creamy. The fat in milk is also a good source of fat-soluble vitamins and the Vit D is easily assimilated because of the calcium in the milk.
  25. I freeze fresh (pasteurised) milk at home in the UK and it's always been fine when defrosted. Just make sure there's enough headroom in the bottle for expansion when frozen.
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