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Posts posted by KathyF

  1. [quote user="Bugbear"]Well,  given the choice between well-spoken and polite french children I've met here and the UK's chav-doh, doh, hoodies incapable of string a sentence together, its no contest for me. [/quote]

    Well, that's certainly put my young grandsons and their friends in their place, Bugbear![8-)]

    Again, one has to ask where the said well-spoken and polite French children and their obviously incoherent and badly behaved British counterparts actually live. I bet there are plenty of badly-spoken and behaved hoodie types in some of the tougher areas of French towns and cities and I know from experience that there are lots of polite, articulate and just plain nice youngsters in the UK.

  2. [quote user="Scooby"]  As we have said in a previous thread, there are as many positives for the UK as I have seen cited for France.  Too many people compare their life in a big city in the UK with rural life in France - they are not comparing like with like. [/quote]

    Exactly, Scooby! Just what I've written in a similar thread on another forum. France is a beautiful country and I love my time there, but I feel exactly the same about the UK.

  3. Andy wrote:  "Baz, Case in point: You are 60 in say April 2009.

    You were residient in the UK during the requisite week in September 2008.  When you reach retirement age next year you will be deemed to be eligible for the winter fuel allowance in December 2009.  (ie the Winter Fuel allowance box on your files will be ticked).  In the mean time you have left the UK.  It matters not a jot.  Your record shows you as eligible.  Yes I know the rule, or rather its execution, is daft.

    The bit you are quoting is to see if you are eligible now; the situation I have described is for someone who is not eligible (not yet retired)  but who will become eligible.

    Sorry, Andy, but this isn't correct, as I know from my sister's experience last year. Her 60th birthday was on October 13th 2007 and she was retiring on that date. However, since she wasn't yet 60 on the qualifying date in September 2007, she didn't qualify for the winter fuel payment for 2007/8 and will finally get her first payment this winter, when she is already 61. The qualifying date in any year is for that year's payment only, not for the following year. Once you've had your first payment, things change completely and you can leave the country and still get the payment in future years.

    PS Sorry - forgot to use quote function

  4. [quote user="Jotty"]Over 60you wouldn't need private Heath Insurance. You would be covered  by a E121.

    You would simply join the shameful group of sick British  immigants to France, who during their working life chose  to live in a country which charged very little in terms of tax in exchange  for a sub -standard level of Health care, but who suddenly ( surprise surprise) settle here and start demanding the same level of cover as French people who have paid for  years and years a much higher level of Social Security payments and who unlike the British continue to contribute after retirement.

    If anything can make me sick it is the ill-imformed and greedy attitude of those  who come here as simple 'health tourists' [/quote]

    Ouch!  What did I say to deserve that kind of attack? [:(] As it happens, I don't qualify for an E121 because I haven't enough NI contributions, so we would need full private insurance for the next 3 years if we were to move to France now.

    Secondly, I didn't actually say we are planning to move to France. In fact we have no such intention, as we enjoy our time in both France and the UK, but I was interested to find out whether those in receipt of a modest pension would actually be better-off in France, when health care costs are taken into account.

    Thirdly, I don't consider the UK level of health care sub-standard. I have had superb treatment both times I've been treated for cancer and have no complaints whatsoever.  If we were ever to decide to move to France full-time, it would be for the experience, not the health care!

  5. [quote user="Sunday Driver"] Ron is quite correct - given that someone in receipt of a company and/or old age pension of up to around 19,500€ will actually pay no tax in France, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind about the benefits of being tax resident here rather than in the UK.[/quote]

    How does that work out if health care costs are taken into account? Here in the UK we pay tax on our very modest pensions (early retired and my OH won't get the state pension for another 3 years).  However, as we are both over 60 and live in Wales we pay no health care charges, low NHS dental charges and optician's checkups are free. I am on regular medication for asthma and after 2 lots of breast cancer in the last 10 years, private health insurance would be prohibitive, even if I could get it. Would we really be better off overall if we moved to France?

  6. [quote user="Compo"]Checked crossing costs for a car and three people for October. Dover/Calais, all companies averaged about £75 - £90 return. Dover/Boulogne similar. Newhaven/Dieppe, £145. BF, Portsmouth/Caen £245. [/quote]

    Missed this first time round as we were in France, but are you surprised, given the length of the journey from Portsmouth to Caen, compared with the much shorter crossings further east?  Think how many crossings a Dover-Calais ferry can make in a day, spreading the overheads and making each journey much cheaper. Elementary arithmetic, but no-one ever seems to work it out before indulging in the usual BF-bashing. [:(]

  7. We've just returned from France with a good supply of French bread flour (mostly for pain de campagne) All the packets have a recipe for bread machines and we are having some very nice "off-white" bread to alternate with my normal wheatmeal (half wholemeal, half white flour) recipe which I've used for yonks in my bread machine. I bought both Francine and Super U flours and both are working well with my normal dried yeast.
  8. Have just caught up with this thread on my return from France.  So very sorry to hear about Deb's accident, but delighted that she is now awake.  Very best wishes for the speediest possible recovery for Deb and take care of yourself in the meantime, Ian.
  9. [quote user="Cathy"]

    Crickey, Betty, what bad luck.  The English & Welsh system of buying and selling houses is so stressful.  Successive governments investigate this and never grasp the nettle for change.  HIPs were supposed to help but all they have done is add extra costs to the process.

    Does anyone have direct experience of the Scottish system?  What are the pitfalls that are preventing the English & Welsh accepting a similar system?[/quote]

    We have family experience of buying in Scotland under the "offers over" system, under which you don't get a response to your offer until all the offers are in. If a property is proving popular, a closing date for offers will be set, otherwise you just seem to wait until the seller thinks there aren't any more offers to come. In our experience we were told that our first offer wasn't the winner and were invited to raise it if we wanted to. According to friends in Scotland the practice of setting a fixed price for house sales is becoming more common, perhaps as a result of the falling market and scarcity of buyers. Once a properrty is under offer its details are removed from display until completion or return to the market.

  10. A word of warning about buying and then finding someone to fit.  We did just that when we found a bargain and then had difficulty getting a registered installer to come and install. Many are linked with supply companies and don't want to miss out on the commission if you buy your stove elsewhere. I would suggest getting a local installer sorted out before buying your stove.

  11. I think that may be at the heart of the problem. France forums are multiplying all the time, so the big long-established ones have more and more competition. Granted, forums come and forums go, but there is still a good number out there to take up people's time and bandwidth. In addition the falling pound and the stagnant UK housing market must almost certainly be affecting the numbers looking to buy/move to France and thence their need for information.

    And of course some people may be watching the footie or the tennis or the.....[:)]

    Just my two penn'orth

  12. [quote user="sweet 17"]

    I'm sure I read recently that the fatality rate on French roads is about double the British one although both countries have roughly the same number of drivers (have I got my facts right?)

    And as excess speed has been proved to be a killer, it's no wonder the police in France are cracking down on speeding as I do believe there is some sort of initiative to improve the appalling statistics. [/quote]

    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder whether the very high casualty rate may in part be due to the fact that so many French drive small, older cars, which don't have all the modern protective features like airbags and crumple zones. I'm definitely no expert on cars, so what do those with more technical knowledge think?

  13. In that case, Judie, there is some slippage from the timetable on the RTE website, which talked about the route being published at the end of the second trimestre. Not that I'm complaining about delays, you understand....

    Dick, the line will run across the See Valley from Saint Laurent de Cuves through Cuves, Le Mesnil-Gilbert and Le Mesnil-Adelee (just along the valley from us) and up the hill between Reffuveille and Juvigny-le-Tertre and down the other side of the ridge. We may not actually see it from our house, but it will be very visible whenever we go in any direction other than east. Given the lovely undulating countryside through which the line will run there will be a lot of hitherto unspoiled skylines affected.  [:(]

  14. To the best of my knowledge, yes, Dick.  I gather that all that remains to be done is fine-tuning, unless the public enquiry turns out to be more than a simple rubber-stamping exercise. Cynical, moi?

    On another forum I read that the April copy of the Rendezvous magazine had published a list of the affected communes, which are:

    Beslon, Boisyvon, Buais, Cametours, Carantilly, Cerisey la Salle, Chasseguey, Chevreville, Coulouvray-Boisbenatre, Cuves, Dangy, Ferrieres, Feugeres, Fontenay, Hauteville la Guichard, Heusse, Juvigny le Tertre, La Bazoge, La Chapelle Cecelin, La Haye Bellefond, Lapenty, Le Chefresne, Le Guislain, Le Lorey, La Mesnil Adelee, Le Mesnil Gilbert, Le Mesnil Rainfray, Le Mesnillard, Les Cresnays, Marchesieux, Margueray, Marigny, Maupertuis, Milly, Montabot, Montbray, Notre Dame de Cenilly, Parigny, Percy, Raids, Reffuveille, St Germaine sur Seves, St Laurent de Cuves, St Martin d'Aubigny, St Martin le Bouillant, St Maur des Bois, St Sebastien de Raids, St Symphorien des Monts, Villebaudon, Villechien.

    With the aid of that list and a local map even I can work out reasonably accurately where the dratted thing is going to run.[:(]


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