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Everything posted by KathyF

  1. Spot on, Val.! There was a fascinating article in New Scientist a few years ago, saying the same thing. Children get fewer infections at an early age, so the wrong immune cells are stimulated first, which is thought to be a contributory factor in the bronchial inflammation of asthma. Also house-dust mites, one of the major triggers for asthma, are flourishing as never before in over-heated houses full of carpets and soft-furnishings.
  2. Our fete communale on the last Sunday in July always follows the same pattern. Out of a population of about 220 (plus some holiday home owners and some guests form a neighbouring commune) around 150 sit down to a mid-day repas in the salle des fetes.  This is followed by the jeux intercommunales with the said neighbouring commune, with two teams of young (and older) farmers and others doing various funny and sometimes strenuous competitive activities, ranging from tug-of-war to a hundred-yard dash over rough ground  in overlarge sabots filled with straw. There are the usual sideshows plus bar and crepes. In the evening there is a Bal Populaire in the salle, which often doesn't get going until nearly midnight. This year the fete coincided with a massive Cyclotourisme event round southern Manche, with one of the routes coming through our commune and past the fete field on a very hot and sunny day.  Some enterprising member of the comite des fetes had the bright idea of putting out a notice saying BUVETTES (and, in much smaller writing, Crepes) and the bar did a roaring trade all afternoon. [:D] There are soirees in September and February and an arbre de Noel for the children in December, but we're not usually there for those. [:(]
  3. Saw that on the BBC website a while ago and sent it to my sister.  We both have ample derrieres and hips and it was very encouraging to know we were of a healthy build. [:D]
  4. I'm nowhere near bilingual, though my French is reasonably good, but even I find some French words creeping into my English conversation after a few months here, especially the ones with no easy English equivalent.  Rather like the elderly French woman quoted in the local paper this week as talking about le fun.  [:D]
  5. Pickles, that is immensely helpful.  Thank you so much for going to all that trouble.  [:)] Repulse, I've said the same more than once on forums and been shot down for suggesting that British residents in France are immigrants....
  6. My cousin is married to a German and they live in Germany.  They always adopted the policy of each parent speaking his/her native language to their daughter as she was learning to speak  and she has grown up totally bi-lingual.
  7. Will, I was more than a little surprised to read the following in the first of your links: You can only register a car in the country where you normally live or have permanent residence. You cannot register your car in a country where you have a secondary residence or holiday house. What are the implications there for those who bring across and leave a car at their holiday home for use during their visits or who buty a car in France for the same purpose? If the car never leaves France, surely it should be registered and insured here? I'm genuinely interested in the answer as we're considering doing one or other next year for our French house.
  8. So glad things are moving for you now, Mrs BB.  [:)] The waiting is always the worst bit in my experience and now that treatment will soon be underway, I think you'll find your stress levels reducing a bit. Do keep in touch and let us know how things are going for you.  Something I found very helpful when I had my second breast cancer diagnosis 6 years ago was the supportive kindness and excellent information available on a couple of breast cancer support forums.  Both are based in the UK but have members from around the world.  In case they might be useful the addresses are: http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/forum/   This is a large public forum run by a major breast cancer charity. http://bcpals.org.uk/forums/   A much smaller private support forum, which also offers very useful information      
  9. If I were looking to buy, the annual property taxes would be something I'd want to know from the outset, so helpful to have the info on the website or advert.
  10. Sara, Dinan, Dinard and Saint Malo are just round the corner in Brittany. We are inland of the Bay of Mont Saint Michel, in the lovely valley of the River Sée. Gorgeous, peaceful and deeply rural. [:D]
  11. Eight years ago we bought a second home in this beautiful corner of southern Manche and have been coming here ever since, at first just for a few weeks a year, but since I retired we're here for months at a time each summer. We are coming to the end of our fifth summer now and I can honestly say that in all that time I have not met with any rudeness or unfriendliness, either from our neighbours and other villagers or from the officials we have had to deal with. We don't do a lot of popping in on neighbours here, but we don't in the UK either, so that's alright. However, we meet and chat, or wave as we go by. We go to village events and are thanked for doing so and for helping with the clearing up afterwards. My farmer neighbour invited me round to see her new grandson and have aperos for her son's birthday. We invited her to sample an English afternoon tea and she fell in love with scones and asked for the recipe. [:D] Nothing earth-shattering, but all very pleasant and part of the warp and woof of human existence, on either side of the Channel. I wouldn't even think of claiming to be integrated - how could I be when I'm only here for a quarter of the year? But I'm happy here and think myself fortunate to be able to spend so long here every year (it would be even longer if only I could persuade my husband......) [:)]
  12. So sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Mrs BB. I've been in the same position twice, both times in the UK and can't fault my treatment there. I do find the long delay between biopsy and results surprising and unacceptable, even if it is the holiday season. In the UK I got my results within 3 days both times.  The first time was just before Christmas and the second was in August.  From my own experience I would prefer to have all my treatment in the same place, for ease of communication and continuity of care, but if the delay in starting treatment in one place would be very marked I'd go for whoever would start treatment first. Good luck wth getting your results very quickly.
  13. Hi Mr Coops, Thanks for the update and sorry Deb is feeling down. Quite understandable, given all she's been through.  When I had a hysterectomy (over 20 years ago) I remember the 'oozing' went on for weeks, not days. Having just checked, it can go on for up to 6 to 8 weeks after surgery, which may help to reassure her that healing is happening, albeit more slowly than she would wish.  Best wishes as always.
  14. And if you are selling a lower-priced property the percentage is even higher. [:(] Acquaintances are selling a small property near us and out of the 141,700 euros asking price (already reduced twice) they will get 130,000.  That's 9% for the immo.  When we bought our very cheap renovation project in 2003, we paid 10%. The local Discount Immobilier announce proudly in their adverising that they 'only' charge 3.75%!
  15. Isn't it fantastic, Norman I remember being very struck by ut the first time I saw it, many years ago now.
  16. [quote user="Quillan"] I wonder how many Brits have holiday homes in Wales and how many attempt to learn Welsh, which is by the way the first language of Wales? .[/quote] If by first you mean original, you're right, Quillan.  If by first you mean the one spoken  by most of the inhabitants, you're wrong.  Only about one in five of the population of Wales is Welsh-speaking, though the number has been going up recently. Welsh and English now have legal parity in Wales and strenuous efforts are being made to ensure that Welsh can be more easily used in all aspects of everyday life.
  17. RH, my 87 year-old mother-in-law travelled with BF on her own with her suitcase from Partsmouth to Caen this year and coped fine. Obviously at her age nice people tend to offer her a helping hand at awkward places, but she is fiercely independent and managed her case herself almost all the time. It's do-able. [:)]
  18. Yes, it is, Jon.  Mr Coeur de Lion has one a couple of posts earlier in this thread.
  19. [quote user="Val_2"]Another problem too with rising prices is for our furry friends their foods have also risen along with ours.[/quote] Large tins of Bien Vu cat food from SuperU were O.56 euros each last week.  I couldn't buy them for that in the UK.
  20. Sorry you've had problems, Sara, but no, France isn't immune from anti-social behaviour.  We have friends with a holiday home near a lake here in southern Manche and they've had several break-ins overv the past 3 years.  They told us that over 20 holiday homes and fishing cabins around the lake had been targeted this spring alone and this in deepest rural France.  There are disaffected youngsters (and older people) everywhere.
  21. Sorry about the setback, but best for them to be sure all's OK before letting her come home again. Best wishes as always.
  22. I'm getting confused here, MBK. [8-)]  You specifically asked about bank transfers at the beginning of this thread and all the replies are on this subject. I have never done a banker's draft in my life but regularly make bank transfers online (which is what is meant by internet banking)  It's totally safe for both the recipient and the one doing the transfer and the money will appear in your account almost instantly. It's also totally free if the transfer is, as you say, between two different UK banks.  Just go ahead and let the person have your 'public' bank details as explained in previous posts and you'll see how easy and safe it is.
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