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Posts posted by KathyF

  1. Our renovation has at last progressed to the point where we're planning to get the phone installed. We filled in the FT subscription application by email this week and are asking for an ADSL line from the start, as we're within the required 5km from the exchange and the dslvalley website says it's disponible here. There hasn't been a phone line before to this house, though our two immediate neighbours both have phones. Can anyone suggest how long we're likely to have to wait for the line to be installed? We'll be over for the summer from July 4th and have asked for it as soon as possible after that date.
  2. We still find BF Property Owners club worth belonging to, even for only a couple of trips a year. We've just booked for a long visit (early July to early September) travelling from Portsmouth to Caen at a cost of £231 (including a taller vehicle supplement for our small camper van) with a free daytime cabin both ways. Coming from Mid-Wales to southern Manche, the Portsmouth-Caen route suits us very well and means the minimum driving possible.  Horses for courses, I suppose...
  3. [quote user="moya"]

    Now I am not defending smoking because I have never smoked myself yet if someone wants to poison themself with the filthy things then thats their own doing, but the Nanny State is ramming this type of old codswallop through, like hectoring us about salt, or Ask Frank and a plethora of other stuff too numerous to mention.   You are more at risk of getting MRSA sitting in the hospital waiting room than you are of dying from a salt overdose and what is actually being done about getting rid of that, apart from employing a few more Chiefs and getting rid of the Indians?


    As a chronic asthmatic I for one am absolutely delighted about the smoking ban in enclosed public places, both here in Wales and in France. If people want to smoke themselves to death, that's their privilege (though for their sakes I'd rather they didn't) but I'm very glad they're no longer allowed to damage my weak lungs while they're at it.

    As for dietary advice such as lowering salt intake, it seems to me to be pure common sense to give people the information they need to make good choices about their health and lifestyle.  No one is making you personally eat less salt, moya, but if more people avoid high blood pressure and possible strokes by eating less salt, the NHS will have more money to spend on other things. (Incidentally the incidence of MSRA is falling, so something IS being done.)

    Sorry - totally off the original topic, but so are moya's "knock-the-UK" diatribes...

  4. Is it an urban/rural divide then, Judith?  I see you live in WI and I'm in Mid-Wales.  From my perspective the original diatribe bears no relation to reality at all, but it's possible that in London things look different. Mind you, from my perspective, life in our big cities seems far more foreign than life in the French countryside.
  5. Yes, saw them in our local Super-U last time we were over. What I can't understand is why holday-makers would want to buy them at all. If you come over on the normal 2-week holiday, surely one of the big things you want to do is sample the local food - otherwise you might as well go to Bridlington or Bournemouth.  As for us, with our holiday cottage for longer visits (as from next week when I retire [:D]) we find ourselves taking French food home with us at the end of our stay, rather than bringing lots of stores with us from Britain - give me tinned cassoulet over Heinz baked beans any day.

    However I can sympathise with nostalgia among permanent residents for some of the things that are typically British and which just don't have an equivalent here.  I'm sure I would miss certain items if I was here all the time, which I can happily live without for weeks or even months on holiday - Cheddar cheese springs to mind here....

  6. The only thing that springs to my mind is what planet was the writer on when he wrote it? [:)] Still, if everyone who thinks like this disappears to foreign parts (the further the better) the Britain I know and love will be an even better place to live.
  7. This has been a fascinating thread and has explained a lot to me. Our cottage in Normandy was bought in my name, which of course we both thought would mean in my married name which I have used for the past 39 years. We were very surprised to find that the house deeds are in my maiden name, even though all correspondance with the notaire was in my married name and our bank account is also in that name.

    I've finally managed to get the tax office to use my married name, but it has taken years to do so! The utilities are also in my name and there has been no problem there, but neither of us knew that property transactions by a woman are in her maiden name. A mystery solved....[:)]

  8. I've only once lived in a brand-new house (for less than a year) and hated it. It was a dormer bungalow on an estate in Britain and was like living in a featureless box. My preference is for old, but with modern comforts.  Granted - renovation never seems to end, but all houses need maintenance and many houses built in the past 30-40 years aren't particularly well-built and will become more and more expensive to maintain over the years.

    Our cottage in Normandy was damaged during the war and partly rebuilt, and we've had to do some fairly thorough renovation since we bought it 4 years ago.  But it has beams and character and space, without being too big and we love it! [:D]


  9. Well I don't shop on Sundays on principle, so Sunday closing in France isn't a problem for me, though it is obviously inconvenient for some. In fact I like it, as I miss the one different (and quieter) day a week we used to have here in Britain until relatively recently. However the supermarket in our nearest little market town, where we usually shop when staying at our maison secondaire, is open on Mondays as usual, so no problem stocking up on 6 days a week. Nowadays it's even open at lunchtime on Friday (market day) and Saturday. What more could one ask? [:)]


  10. Good luck with the search.  We have a holiday cottage (renovation nearly complete) in southern Manche and love it there.  We've been there every summer since we bought in 2003 and it's always been hot enough for us.  We're about halfway between Brecey and Manche - lovely unspoiled countryside and off the beaten tourist track, so no crowds. We're not planning to let, however, so you may want to be closer to major tourist attractions to attract tenants.

    We were there for a short visit last week and had a surprise visit from the estate agent who sold us the house 4 years ago.  He happened to be passing, saw me in the garden and called in. He's now working for an agency in Villedieu and said that the market is quieter than it was when we bought, with fewer British buying and more Parisiens after holiday homes. So hopefully you'll find plenty on offer and agents and vendors willing to swing into action.

    Incidentally, we saw our cottage one day and signed the compromis de vente the next.  It had just come on the market, was within our price bracket (i.e. cheap) and we could see that it was basically sound, so we put in an offer the next morning and the paperwork was able to be dealt with the same day, because we didn't need a mortgage. We haven't regretted it for a moment!


  11. Clair,

    Thank you so much for the link. [:)] When we moved to our present address 3 years ago, we had a hard time trying to get all the utilities etc. to take note of our new address and it took a number of letters and emails to get them all sorted.  We're moving again in May because I'm retiring and I wasn't looking forward to tackling the problem again so soon, but hopefully this will make it much easier.


  12. Not a gite owner, but at present renovating a holiday cottage in Normandy. We've now fitted the kitchen and the next item to go in is a dishwasher! We have one at home and wouldn't be without it. It does a whole day's dishes using the equivalent of one sinkful of water and the dishes are far cleaner.

    If I were renting a gite I would want a dishwasher, even just for the two of us. After all, when I'm on holiday I don't want to do any more housework than absolutely necessary. We used to have a holiday cottage next to our home in Wales and put a dishwasher in it from the beginning (about 15 years ago now).  Believe me, the guests appreciated it and said so!

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