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Posts posted by KathyF

  1. Maude,

    The route was announced last December, but only in terms of a km wide corridor. Since then it has been worked out in much more detail and the exact route is due to be announced this month or next.  There will then be a public enquiry.  Source for this is the official website of the project:


    As Dick says, it is causing a great deal of anxiety to a lot of people, some of whom will be badly affected.  One of the 3 possible routes would  have run through our commune and the chosen one will come right through the neighbouring commune, only a very few km down the valley from us.

  2. [quote user="chessfou"]I'm surprised at the ideas for spending winter in uk and summer in France. Wouldn't it generally make more sense to do it the other way around? Certainly we have some elderly relatives who live in the uk but winter in Spain.

    Not really, chessfou, as in winter there is little happening in rural France and it costs a lot to heat the house. [:)] Many of the older people who winter in Spain stay in hotels on special deals which costs less than it would to live at home in cold weather, and are usually on the south coast where even winter can be warm.

  3. Hi Poppy,

    How do the children get from their home to the corner by your house? Do they walk? Could it be that the husband has to take the car to get to work before the children leave for school and they don't have a second car?  Or could it be that the rise in fuel costs is making them be more careful not to make car journeys where there's an alternative? Just trying to show that there could be lots of reasons why this has only recently started to happen. If it's something that cvan't be changed, earplugs really do work.

    I realise that Ernie is right about excessive sleep being a waste of time [;-)] but the need for sleep varies very much from one person to another. I'm sometimes asleep until after well after 8 myself and other days I wake up very early and can't nod off again. My answer then is to sit up in bed with a pot of tea and a good book.  Bliss.....[:D]

  4. [quote user="Dick Smith"]We've got 2, and they are OK, though one did need some fettling.

    Snap! They were so much cheaper than a built-in and we were on a very tight budget.  Meant we could have two instead of one. [:D]

  5. [quote user="Sprogster"]

    If you can afford to maintain two homes and spend the winters in the UK and summers in France, you probably have the best of both worlds.

    I suspect there are members of this forum who ideally would like to do just this, but the only way they can maintain a house in France is by selling their UK home and moving to France permanently.[/quote]

    We managed to afford it by downsizing drastically to a small cottage in the UK and only buying a small, now 2-bedroomed house in France. The French house was very cheap, because it needed considerable (but not complete) renovation., and still is very reasonable in terms of taxes and other expenses. We do sacrifice other luxuries to be able to continue having a two-country life, but it's worth it! [:D]

  6. Llantony, like Hoddy we spend the summer in France, but the rest of the year in the UK, for very similar reasons, and really enjoy living in two countries. My instinct (and it is only that) is that you shouldn't move permanently unless you are sure you really want to do so. Emigrating with reservations doesn't sound like a good idea. If you are seriously tempted to emigrate, a trial winter is an excellent suggestion. If you are happy in France in winter, my guess is that you will be happy there all year round.
  7. When we bought our second home in 2003, it was very like yours, having been last lived in by a single old man. We paid the taxe d'habitation in 2004, until we learned that because it was completely unfurnished and being actively renovated, we could get an exemption with the help of a letter from the Maire, confirming that this was the situation.  We sent that to the Tax Office and were actually reimbursed for the tax we just paid. By the time the next tax was due the renovation was far enough advanced for us to put furniture in and so we started to pay again.

  8. [quote user="Cat"]

    Someone told me this morning that the reason we are experiencing so much rain this year is down to the fact that there are not 12 but 13 lunar cycles this year.  There were apparently 13 last year as well, and 2007 was also a very wet year.  I'm told that the extra lunar cycle only happens about 8 times each century, but each time it does then rain (lots of it) can be virtually guaranteed. 

    Is this a load of old tosh, or might there be something in it?  [/quote]

    Depends on whether you're talking about new moons or full moons, Cat.  If you follow this link:


    you can see that last year had 13 full moons, whereas this year has 13 new moons and only 12 full moons. [:D] In fact  between 2005 and 2020 we seem to get 13 new moons about every 3 years and 13 full moons slightly more often, but never in the same year. You pays your money and you takes your choice.....

  9. I think the answer to that is that the French health system is prohibitively expensive to run in its present form. There are lots of posts comparing the NHS unfavourably to the French health system, but the lavish supply of hospitals, medical staff and equipment which enables the lack of waiting lists in France also costs an unsustainable amount to finance. The French social security system is a financial black hole.
  10. As someone who has twice been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, I have to say that I would not want to have had my surgery in one country under one system and the rest of my treatment in another. I found continuity of care really important for my peace of mind.  If you have no choice but to have the rest of your treatment in France, you will need to make sure that you take your medical notes with you, so that your new medical team have all the information they need to plan your treatment, as I doubt whether they will simply accept a treatment plan decided in Britain.

  11. [quote user="Gluestick"] I'll have you know, Kathy, that Mrs Gluey's boiled gammon is renowned! [/quote]

    I'm sure it is, Gluey. [:D] But you're comparing home-made with shop-bought (which is what I thought you were referring to) and I do find that ham from the average French supermarket compares very favourably with the limp stuff so often sold as boiled ham in the UK and is (was?) definitely cheaper than comparable quality in the UK.

  12. [quote user="Gluestick"]We also take plants (naughty!) between gardens and often cooked meat: boiled ham, as it's so expensive and not as good in France.[/quote]

    It's a good thing we're all different, Gluey! [:D] One of the things we always look forward to when we go to France is our first taste of proper French jambon, in our opinion incomparably better than most of what passes for ham in Britain. And we also haven't found it particularly expensive, though that may have changed since we were there last year. Ham is one of the things we're always tempted to take back with us to Britain.

    I know, there's nowt so queer as folk......  [:D]

  13. [quote user="Mel"] For those of you who have made the permanent move, for those of us who have invested in property and long to make the move, and for those who just visit or dream about France, what is it we all love about the place?

    In recent times it has taken a few knocks with the property market slowing down and allegedly, ex-pats returning to the UK in their droves (I don't actually believe that).

    I will try to sleep for a few hours on Tuesday evening, before setting out at about 1.00am Wednesday to drive to Newhaven for the early ferry. But I will fail, I will be too excited... 

    What does la belle France do for you? [/quote]

    I'm looking forward very much to spending the summer at our French house (we go in a fortnight). I enjoy the space and the tranquillity in our bit of Normandy, the scenery is gentle and unspoiled, and I love the food, wine and cider.  Life is relaxed when we're there (in between finishing the last of the renovation [:)]) but that's because we're retired and don't have to try  to make a decent living in a country where this is notoriously difficult, especially for immigrants.

    Sadly, whatever you believe, Mel, the hard fact is that many who move to France can't make a go of it for one reason or another and go back to the UK, a good number within the first 2 years. You only have to look at the number of houses advertised for sale on French forums to see that though many come, many also go.  The fall in the pound will compound the difficulties for those on fixed incomes.

    So wear your rose-coloured specs, Mel, but don't let them blind you to the fact that life in France is far from perfect for many.  Just like life anywhere, really.....

  14. [quote user="Albert the InfoGipsy"]

    Well, for a forum that isn't hidden it's not easy to find! Having decided that the only way to get a proper view of all this was to look for myself I tracked down one possible and tried joining. That resulted in the following email 2 days ago. Can any of the illuminati tell me if I'm trying to join the right one? If so, is the admin on holiday or am I already banned before I even joined?[8-)]

    Votre compte est actuellement inactif; l'administrateur du forum doit tout d'abord l'activer avant que vous puissiez vous connecter avec. Vous recevrez un autre e-mail lorsque ce sera fait.

    Veuillez ne pas oublier votre mot de passe étant donné qu'il est crypté dans notre base de données et que nous ne pourrons pas le retrouver pour vous. Toutefois, si vous oubliez votre mot de passe, vous pourrez en demander un nouveau qui sera activé de la même manière que ce compte.

    Merci de vous être enregistré.

    The Forum Management  [/quote]

    I did the same yesterday, Albert and got the same reply.  I'm still waiting..... [8-|]

  15. [quote user="Cathy"] Ams - it's brightening up now.  Just like yesterday - very wet but followed by glorious sunshine.  In the UK, once it's wet, it's wet all day. [/quote]

    Is your memory of Britain starting to get a bit dim, Cathy? [:)] [;-)] Britain is the land of showers and the weather can change extraordinarily quickly and certainly has been doing recently. It's not very sunny today here in mid-Wales, but still and warm enough to be out in short sleeves. As for heating, we've had the CH on here in Mid-Wales twice in the entire month of May, each time just for a half an hour to take the chill off. Given the kind of weather reports that have been coming from France recently, I think I'm probably in the right place at the moment. [:D]  With luck the rain will have moved on and it will be nice and sunny when we get to France in 3 weeks time.....

  16. Having read the article, I have to say that I find it one-sided and badly argued, like rather a lot of Telegraph journalism. [:)] Of course there aren't as many motorways in the UK as in France or Germany or Spain.  The UK is much smaller than these other countries and there simply isn't room to keep on building new roads, not if we want to go on having any decent countryside to hand on to future generations. I live in rural Mid-Wales for most of the year, where a car is essential for everyday life.  Even so it seems to me good that we have now got to the point where we're starting to have to think before we use the car, rather than hopping in it to do errands at the drop of a hat. Oil is a finite commodity and it's about time we all started to use it with more care.

    Back in the 50s (which is where I think all Telegraph journalists live in their hearts[;-)]) my own family didn't have a car, despite living in the country. We used public transport to get into town and we children walked a mile each way to school in all weathers.  Nowadays it seems that children would apparently shrink or dissolve if they got wet and so are driven to school every day, even when they could easily and safely walk.

    Better stop there - I'm starting to sound like Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells. [:D]

  17. [quote user="Mel"] AND - for everybody who is 60 or over, the company provides special cards that gives the holder a 10% discount on everything each and every Thursday![/quote]

    I think most DIY companies in the Uk do the same, Mel.  Certainly our local Focus gives us 10% off, but only on Tuesday (local market day).

  18. [quote user="Nickel"]The people I mentioned , who are in every other way fine up-standing, law-abiding citizens tell me - "Oh, didn't know we had to ! we have never received a tax form"   which is why I was wondering what if any checks are made?[/quote]

    Well, they won't have received a tax form, because they have to ask for it the first time - something completely foreign to people used to the UK tax system.

  19. [quote user="mickleover"]

    This life is not a rehearsal
    So if they understand you
    Why worry [/quote]

    Because some people actually find satisfaction in doing things properly. French is a beautiful language and it's a shame to mangle it if this can be avoided.

    Bonne chance, squidge.

  20. [quote user="Gluestick"]

    Personally, I love the local churches ringing their bells to call the faithful to mass, morning and evening. [/quote]

    The daily bells aren't actually calling the faithful to church, Gluey, but reminding them to stop in the middle of their daily work to pray. The morning and evening bells are to mark the Angelus, when people traditionally said the Hail Mary and other prayers.

  21. [quote user="tegwini"]


    It's never too late if you really want to do something - including spelling!   [/quote]

    Couldn't agree more, Tegwini. The point I was making is that the average teenager doesn't want to do anything as boring and (to their mind) pointless as learning spellings. After all what are computer spell-checkers for, except to save the effort of learning spellings. [;-)] It's just so much easier to motivate young children to learn and such a shame when the opportunity is missed because the current educational theory downplays learning by heart.

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