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Posts posted by KathyF

  1. [quote user="oakbri"]


    Excuse my ignorance but you imply that illegal immigrants receive nothing, how do they survive? I can't imagine lasting more than a couple of days in the UK with no money or accommodation.

    I know the media lie, but all the people you see massing in Calias, what are they coming for if they will receive nothing? Have they been misinformed? It was probably the British press.



    Try browing the links in the BBC website on some of these topics and you'll find some real horror stories. The sweatshops of Britain (and they DO exist) are filled with illegal immigrants who can't afford to complain.  Remember the cockle-pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay?  They were illegal immigrants ruled by totally unscrupulous gang-masters. There is always work to be had, though often at derisory rates, and if you're desperate enough you will work for almost nothing....

    For women (and for increasing numbers of young men) there is of course always prostitution....[:(]

    As for accommodation, they sleep rough or on the floors of others who have managed to find accommodation, or they get accommodation of a sort along with their virtually bonded labour.

    I agree that many of them are probably misinformed, but when your own country can offer you little or no hope, people will try elsewhere.

  2. [quote user="Marton"] 

    Figures figures figures......the whole point is its money being given to those who have not contributed sufficiently (if anything) to take it out.   I came to France expecting no funding from France, indeed we had to sign a declaration stipulating that.    Would the masses have stayed if they had been asked to do the same?    I think not.


    Do you ever actually read anything with an open mind, Marton, or only through a lens tightly focussed on finding the bits which support your existing prejudices?  Figures are fine, I guess, when they support what you are saying, but obviously something to be dismissed when they show the actual situation. [:(]

    The whole point of the benefits system is that you can't get anything if you're not entitled to it. The populations covered in this report are legal migrants to the UK.  Illegal immigrants can't claim because if they tried it would be found that they have no right to be in the country and therefore no right to claim. Legal migrants have by and large the same rights as the native-born population, which, to my mind at least, is as it should be in a fair and democratic society. Most of the benefits to which you refer are only available to those who are working now or have worked in the past long enough to qualify. 

    Many parts of the British economy would be in serious trouble if it weren't for migrant workers.  When we moved to Oxfordshire 4 years ago the only NHS dental practice which was accepting new patients was entirely staffed by young, highly-skilled (and very good-looking [:D]) Greek dentists, who were working in the UK for a few years to improve their English.  When we moved back to Mid-Wales last May we found that our former NHS dental practice had gone private and again the only NHS practice accepting patients is staffed by migrant workers, this time Polish. Thank goodness for migrant workers willing to work at NHS rates instead of heading for the more lucrative pastures of private practice like our expensively-trained British-born dentists......

  3. [quote user="Marton"] 

    You mention you have none of this in Wales, yet in today's newslink I read this :  -


    We have family in mid-Wales, and they are seeking a property in France, why.....because they want to get away from the yob culture, (their words not mine).    We have a family member currently in hospital after a mugging,    Now that should'nt give you a sigh of relief, but it does.....because they could be dead now if a knife had been involved, which is commonplace.    We've had a friend play life-lotto for cancer treatment drugs, why, because thats the way it is, too little money.....its spent on other things.   As I said before priorities are lost.       Britain was Great Britain once, France has never claimed to be Great, but here we have peace in our life and are not afraid to walk the streets day or night, and their health system may be being overhauled but if the UK Government did what Sarkozy has done a long time ago the NHS would'nt be crashing either. [/quote]

    Well, I just wrote an answer to this, but lost it, so I'll try again.....

    Nowhere did I suggest, Marton, that Wales has no problems with anti-social behaviour, though I have to admit to not finding the link you post very alarming [:)]. But there are far fewer of them in rural Mid-Wales than in the bigger towns and cities. What I have said and will repeat, however, is that I simply don't recognise the places I have lived  in your one-sided and, to me, very exaggerated view of the dire state of modern Britain, and this is especially true of the beautiful and tranquil area where I now live.

    I also take issue with your statement that the NHS is "crashing".  Yes, it has its problems, as does the French health system in its own way, but it still does a great job for a lot of people. I've had cancer twice in the past 9 years and both times the treatment I received was superb. Here in Wales prescription charges have been abolished so that everyone gets their medicine without it costing them a penny at the time of need.  We also get heavily subsidised dental treatment, neither of which would be true if I lived in France. This isn't a dig at the French system, just a reminder that there's still a lot that's very good about Britain.

    To put it quite simply, I love Britain and am very happy to go on living here.  I also love France and thoroughly enjoy all the time I spend there.  For me it's a case of both/and, not either/or, and I feel richer for it.


  4. [quote user="Gluestick"]

    It is also apparent that one's perspective of current British life must be predicated by the area on lives in and/or, regularly experiences.

    My own perspective must be based on my era of growing up in the early 50s: I find I can recapture much of this in rural France.

    In the South West and East of England it is another matter entirely: as I again experienced on returning from France after New Year on the awful M20 and then A13.  [/quote]

    But you're not comparing like with like, Gluestick. Until last May I lived in Oxfordshire, 5 miles from the M40/A34 interchange.  At peak times, and indeed quite a lot of the rest of the time, these roads were indeed extremely busy and sometimes horrendous (as can be some of the motorways in France at peak times).  But once off the major roads I could drive along quiet minor roads and country lanes, meeting very few cars, and enjoying the beauty of the countryside and the villages, just as I can in France.

    I too grew up in the late 40s/early 50s in very rural Lancashire and know what you're talking about.  But do you truly want to go back to the days of no indoor sanitation or running water (both true of the cottage I lived in until these mod cons arrives in the late 50s)? I understand that the village where we now live in rural mid-Wales didn't even get mains electricity until 1963!  I think the real rose-coloured spectacles are being worn by those who look back nostalgically to the UK of their youth and try to recapture it in rural France, conveniently forgetting the poverty and deprivation which so often accompanied the rural idyll.

  5. We don't leave heating on (we only have a wood-burner and electric heaters) or windows open, but there's a bit of ventilation with the old ones round the ill-fitting frames [:)] We also leave the door of the wood-burner slightly ajar. Touch wood, we've never had any problem with damp or condensation (this is in Lower Normandy which can be very damp [:D]) and this is our fifth winter of ownership. The whole of the ground floor has been dry-lined and I think this makes all the difference. We winterise by turning the water off at the meter, emptying all the water pipes and flushing the loos to leave the cisterns empty.
  6. [quote user="Marton"]

    there's too little respect or caring now for it to be turned around.  Its the way of thinking "me, me, me and I don't give a jacks**t for anyone but me".  There are too many people on one little island, priorities are lost.[/quote]

    Yet another wild generalisation, I'm afraid, Marton. [:(] Yes, I'm sure there are people and even sections of communities, especially in the deprived areas of our big cities, of whom this might be true, but you can't just tar a whole nation like that. I simply don't recognise what you say as truly representing any of the places I have lived in Britain and it certainly doesn't apply to Mid-Wales where I now live and the people I know here. Britain is still full of kind, helpful, neighbourly people, as well as having its share of the me-firsts. Both are part and parcel of all countries, including France......

  7. [quote user="Marton"]

    There's more changes.......


    Nothing quite beat the aroma of chocolate in York when you passed the factory, sadly gone now.


    But why do you care so much, Marton?  You've decided to leave the UK for France, so why do you feel such a need to rubbish the country you left and which presumably gave you an education, health care and employment while you were still living here?  You really don't have to justify your decision to move to France by denigrating the country many of us still live in and love. If I were living in France, I think I could find better ways to use my time than trawling the media for anti-UK stories.......  Ah well, chacun son gout  [8-)]

  8. [quote user="47AJM"] Xmas back instead of Christmas, [/quote]

    Nothing wrong with that, AJM, since the X traditionally represents the cross of Christ and is an accepted shorthand in this context. I bet the secularisers didn't know that.[:D]  As a recently retired parish priest I'm looking forward to sitting in the congregation this year for all the nativity plays, carol services etc instead of having to organise and lead them.[8-|] There are plenty of them about if you look for them....

  9. Even though we are only in France for a few months a year, we find ourselves using French words in conversation at times, especially when we're there. Things like dechetterie and mairie of course, but also referring to our depot-vente-bought furniture by their French names of armoire and buffet and using French names for particular foods. I can imagine doing much more of that if we were there full-time and speaking French all the time.
  10. Sorry, Poppy, but married women's rate contributions definitely do NOT count toward the state pension.  I paid the married women's rate and forgot to revoke the election when I was made redundant and took early retirement at the age of 52.  It automatically lapsed after 2 years, but by then I hadn't enough years left before I reached 60 to reach the minimum 10 qualifying years for the state pension. I only discovered too late that you can't pay voluntary contributions for any years during which you were covered by the married women's election, even if you weren't working and paying contributions during those years. I have 9 years. [:(]  Under the new pension system which will come into effect in 2010, any contributions at all will result in some level of pension, but I'm too old for that...
  11. Like Will and others on this page, I love both France and the UK and am very happy to spend time in each. To make this possible we've drastically down-sized here in the UK and are now lucky enough to have small homes in beautiful mid-Wales and equally beautiful southern Manche, as well as spending some weeks each year in another favourite area - the far northern coast of Scotland. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't think of coming to live full-time in France until we're of E121 age, as no-one would insure me privately with my health record, at least not at a rate we could possibly afford. [:(]

  12. [quote user="47AJM"]

    Reasons to move here:

    ....no fear of your car being stolen, windows broken and items stolen/most immigrants here are not the freeloaders most immigrants going into the UK are, and mostly decent people who want a better quality of life/......./seasons which remember when to change......[/quote]

    Rather rose-tinted spectacles here, I think.....  I doubt there's anywhere in France which doesn't have some theft. Certainly the very quiet and rural area of Manche where we have a holiday cottage has break-ins from time to time. You only have to read the local paper to realise that. As for free-loading immigrants - human nature is much the same the world over and the immigrants coming to Britain are also "mostly decent people who want a better quality of life."  Many of our service industries couldn't manage without immigrant workers willing to do the hard, badly-paid jobs most Britons won't do. Finally, if we're talking about "seasons which remember when to change", the weather here in mid-Wales today was cool, crisp and sunny - perfect autumn weather in anyone's book - and it looks like we could be in for a proper winter too!


  13. [quote user="krusty"] 

    The heading of this announcement mentions "britanniques inactifs" are there no german , dutch or other `inactifs` ?


    Apparently, according to something quoted on the TF forum, other European govenments pay the health costs of their citizens living elsewhere in the EU.  Only Britain limits health provision to those actually living in Britain, except for the cover provided by the E forms.


  14. [quote user="trumpet"]

    Frankly AC50 I am not surprised that you get a bit of flack. I understand you are proud of your children and husband. But it does all come across as a bit of a Round Robin, circular.  [/quote]

    Why is it that we British are so averse to people referring to their children's academic success, whether in the UK or, as here. in France? If little Jim or Janet is good at sport or acting or music or almost anything else, no problem - they just become mini-celebrities and everyone applauds.  But let them do well at school/university and somehow it's showing off even to mention it. As the mother of two children (now with children of their own) whose principal ability was and is academic, I learned very early on to keep quiet about their achievements unless to very close friends. It really puzzles me..... 

    Really glad your children have done so well ac50. [:D]

  15. [quote user="wen"]

    And as for french-style white sliced bread - keep it for the ducks. Too sweet, too crummy/fragile, it falls apart when you try to butter it and leaves an awful taste in your mouth. I buy 'pain anglais' in green and white wrapping from the local Shoppi. If they run out of stock I simply go without.

    One last thing...french butter. Abysmal. [+o(]


    Aren't we all different? [;-)] Having just come back from 2 months in our cottage, I'm realising all over again how appallingly soggy and tasteless most British sliced bread is - sticks to my teeth and I have trouble swallowing it and it doesn't have any proper crust. As for butter - well it's obvious you don't live in Normandy, Wen. The local butter there is wonderful, especially the unsalted.  I've just brought back and frozen enough beurre doux to last me until our next visit. [:D] 

  16. Been there, done, that...[:)]

    As far as your first question is concerned, yes, you need to write to the Centre des Impots for your area of Manche.  There should be no problem about being given an extension to finish the work, but you will need to send the form back then. The forms are sent out automatically at a set time after the granting of the ddt or permis de contruire (2 years in the case of our permis) but they don't expect the work always to have been finished.

    I'm afraid I don't know of a translation of H1 and filled ours in too long ago to remember much about it now.. My reading and writing of French is better than my spoken French, so I managed to get through the form with the aid of a good dictionary.


  17. Sue wrote:

    "Perhaps it was not a question of no-one being bothered to reply to your query on here, rather it was that no-one had any experience of your problem so could not give you a helpful reply."

    Sue, it was a simple query about how long we might have to wait to get a phone line installed now the renovations are nearly finished. I would have expected lots of people on here to know the answer, but no-one actually replied.  On AngloInfo Normandy I had 2 helpful replies the same evening and a more detailed one 3 days later with a couple of very useful tips we wouldn't have thought of.  This isn't meant as a criticism of Living France, just a defence of another forum which I felt was being unfairly criticised.

    It seems to me that the AngloInfo forums are doing something rather different from both LF and Total France, which both have national rather than just regional coverage as on the AI forums. In a regional forum (and AI Normandy members seem to be strongly concentrated in the south and west of Lower Normandy) there is a much more local feel to the postings, hence, I suppose, the large number of postings in the Bring and Buy section. Perhaps this more neighbourly feel has something to do with the rapid responses to my very mundane query.

    Having had no personal experience of the moderation on any of the forums, I don't feel equipped to comment on that aspect of the discussion.

  18. I speak as I find and I have found Anglo-Info Normandy as useful as any of the forums. I got a sensible answer to a query I posted there recently, while no-one on here bothered to reply to the same query at all. [:(] Not experienced enough to comment on the accusation of censoring or bizarre monitoring, but I still don't think AngloInfo deserves to be quite so comprehensively rubbished.
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