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JandM

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  1. We've been with the same insurer through the same broker for ever, but want to change after the current policy term expires because, as is so common in Britain, they're taking the pee with ever upward premiums as the reward for our loyalty. We've found a new insurer who can more than halve this year's quote.

    I know nothing about the French insurance regime except that insurers are entitled to six weeks notice, which I have just given.

    But my soon to be ex broker has written to say that two months notice is required, or I could use the 'Loi Hamon' route.

    Anyone been through this route recently who can throw some light on the situation?

    Cheers

    James
  2. While reading the political discussions on this forum I often wonder about the age, circumstances, social and economic profiles etc of the posters and, with regard to Brexit, of which way we hang, as it were.

    Without any real evidence at all, I have always assumed that we are generally retired and, while not wealthy, fit somewhere into one of the ABC1 socio-economic brackets. As to age, we're quite ancient aren't we?

    On Brexit, I'm surprised that so many posters are so very hostile to the EU. Or is it just that Brexiteers are more vocal?

    Anyone prepared to give their vital statistics?

    I'll start:

    Male and partnered

    Age 54

    Still working

    Middle class (but no money)

    Live in London and Dept 47

    Voted Remain

    General politics - Lib dem supporter

  3. Does the report give the same information in terms of percentage of the respective GDPs for the UK and for the remaining 27?

    I didn't analyse the entire document but I didn't come across it.

  4. Interesting . Something to Google. Thanks.
  5. There's no forestry section on this forum, so I'm posting this query in Gardening.

    In the woods just beyond the boundary of our land (in Lot et Garonne) a number of trees have had the lower parts of their trunks smeared with a thick black substance. It looks like tar, and definitely has a smokey smell. It actually smells more like the fake barbecue stuff that flavoured foods get cooked in.

    We think it's almost certainly something to do with the local hunt. The chasse will be slaughtering boar and deer in a few weeks, so perhaps it attracts the quarry? Anyone got any info?
  6. I'd forgotten I'd ever posted this request. Thanks for the responses, although I don't think that the subject has set the forum alight..

    In the end we've used a groomer called Club Bibi in central Agen. They were fine and, despite our rather poor French, did what we wanted them to do.

    We paid 45 euro for a wash and cut for a standard schnauzer, which compares well with what we pay in the UK. The grooming guidelines for the breed are obviously more or less international, but the coat was cut noticeably shorter in France, which I think I prefer. Good for the hot weather.
  7. I hope the Marines were understanding about your son's late arrival, HSD.

    Well, here's my London-to-Bordeaux-at-the-height-of-the-strike experience: I made it to Paris from St Pancras with no delays (my companion had bad motion sickness on Eurostar, threw up three times on the train and turned straight back home as soon as we got to Gare du Nord, but that's another story..)

    The Monparnasse-Bordeaux/Agen train was packed to the gunnels and late, but it at least it ran and I had a seat, unlike so many of the poor sods from cancelled trains who crammed themselves in. My return train, however, was cancelled, but I managed to get the next one, which itself was late, and found an unreserved seat, although I had to move twice during the journey.

    We arrived in Paris 40 minutes late and, because I was already on a later train I only had 45 minutes to make my Eurostar connection (metro journey: 35 minutes. No hope) but I went through the motions of hurrying. But on arriving at Gare du Nord 8 minutes before my train was due to leave, I found that there were scores of others arriving and Eurostar was holding the train, and waiving the requirement to check in 30 minutes in advance. Big relief and thanks to Eurostar for exercising good sense and even better customer relations. Once on the train though there was a group of moaners complaining loudly about the number of people holding up the train . I guess transport companies just can't win.
  8. Thanks All,

    Useful info.

    I've decided to set off and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong..?
  9. I'm supposed to be taking the train from London to Bordeaux this coming Monday 6th June.

    I've been trying to gauge the strength of the train strikes. It seems that Eurostar to Paris is unaffected, but the freshest news I can find on French internal rail is a Reuters report from yesterday saying that the strike is weakening. But the death of Muhummad Ali seems to have wiped everything else off the agenda today so the news has tried up.

    Anyone got any more up to date information on where the strike's going?
  10. It's a stretch putting this in the French Language box because it's about the English language, but there you are. There isn't a box for English, but it's language nonetheless.

    Can anybody explain the difference between "while" and "whilst"? I was asked by a francophone Belgian the other week, and was completely stumped for an answer, except to say that whilst is used by people who want to sound more educated than they really are, like the policeman who says: "I was proceeding in a northerly direction." A bit snobbish and probably wrong, but that's why I avoid the word.

    I wouldn't mind the use of whilst if those who use it also said wouldst and shouldst etcetera, but you don't often hear or see these words, while whilst is rife. Maybe it's to confuse foreigners?

  11. Three plants could make an 80 foot hedge, but it would have two enormous gaps in it :-)

    Good to know that deer haven't eaten your plants, Patf. There might be hope for us. They will be close to the house but as we're away for up to three months at a time, I imagine that they'll come right up anyway. We'll propagate by cutting six inch long shoots and letting them make roots in water before planting them out. I'll plant two rows, staggered at 12 inches apart, so I'm going to need about 160 plants. Come to think of it, three plants might not be enough. Still, I'll see how it goes.

  12. We're hatching a plan to replace the lavender surrounding the terrace with sedum. The lavender keeps dying on us - probably because it gets half buried under oak leaves for part of the winter. I tried improving the drainage a couple of years ago, but it didn't make any difference. Also lavender doesn't look that great outside the flowering season.

    So, time for a change. We're going to use sedum 'Autumn Joy', which I think is the most commonly grown garden variety. It grows to about 2 feet, is be about the same height as the lavender and carries on looking good after flowering, right through to late winter. Plus, it's just as drought resistant as lavender and will be far less scratchy on the hands when weeding in and around it. Plus plus, it is easy and cheap to propagate, so I reckon we'll get a 80 foot hedge out of two or three bought plants.

    But there's a but. I've just been reading that deer like sedum. There's no way we can keep deer out of our garden, so are we likely to be wasting our time, producing nothing but fodder for our cervine visitors?

    Anyone had any experience here, or thoughts?
  13. JandM

    Dog Excrement.

    [quote user="Mr Wiggy"]I did drop some into an offender's post box after I pressed it flat, setting alight to it is a bit too drastic and I think illegal as it could be classed as Arson.[/quote]

    You really did that? Didn't it escalate a relatively minor (albeit extremely annoying) problem into a major dispute? If someone put dog shit into my post box, no matter how justified they thought themselves to be, I think I'd probably notify the police.

  14. Can anyone recommend a dog groomer within an hour or so of Agen (47)? We're spending six months in France this year so we'll need to get the dog - a schnauzer - cut at least once while we're there. If it's very hot perhaps more often. There seem to be plenty of groomers around, but using one that folk on this forum know and love would be great.
  15. I've always believed that that Montreuil is the one Victor Hugo set some of Les Miserables in.
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