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Aly (used to be Charlotte3)

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Everything posted by Aly (used to be Charlotte3)

  1. Don't forget, to work as a plasterer you have to be qualified.........sorry! Aly
  2. Hello Tom, If the railings are outside (I'm assuming they are) use a satin finish. Indoors you could use a matt finish if you want a softer effect. Never ever use black brilliant finish......nasty and naff!  How could you even think it?[:D] Good luck, Aly
  3. Apparently, (according to my daughter)  you have to watch it with a massive hangover.......just like teletubbies, magic roundabout, and captain pugwash.   I'll always remember my late mother, a clergyman's widow, roaring with laughter at the drug crazed and smutty inuendo of the last two.....what's happened to "children's" tv? Ooh, the good old days. Aly
  4. Just had a look at your website. That is indeed a beautiful house. Aly
  5. Hello Paul 1968, Are you formally qualified as a plumber or chimney sweep? If not things could be a bit tricky. Aly
  6. Did you find what you need? I found this in in the atelier this evening:    Artilin (trade name) / Peinture anti-insectes/ ISOLCIDE+/ Peinture Glycelrophtalique mate isolante - interieur. If you haven't got sorted out, just copy all that down and confront an assistant at your brico with it!! Aly[:D]                
  7. Gine, you posted exactly what I was going to! I do think it was the soup dragon though! Aly
  8. Many years ago when I was the manager of a wallpaper shop we had an elderly lady next door who suffered terribly from arthritis. Eventually she was on two sticks and suffering terribly. She became eligible for a home help etc and the first thing her new home help did was recommend something her own father had used........half a glass of milk with a tablespoon of cod liver oil mixed into it. She was incredulous, but being desperate to regain some independance agreed to try it although she assured us it tasted revolting. Within 2 weeks she was more mobile, had less pain and within a few months was onto one stick and out and about again. I have never seen  such a change in someone. Even her attitude was better, she was so much more positive. She was convinced that the milk and coddies was responsible and swore to take it for the rest of her life. My mother used to force feed us coddies as children because it is good for the joints, but I can't imagine what it tastes like mixed with milk. However if I have the misfortune to develope arthritis I will certainly try it! Aly
  9. Nicely explained, Danny.....I knew we weren't on our own! Maybe it depends on where you live, and the attitude on the day of the person you have to deal with.Certainly, the offices dealing with our part of Mayenne have originally been most insistent, but helpful in the end. Isn't it all meant to be changing for the better soon? It would be nice not to have to fight one's corner constantly. Good luck to everyone, Aly
  10. Aha,. I know the stuff you mean....not paint at all! This stuff used to be sold on French television sales. You spray it all around the frame and the insects won't cross it. I've been looking for the same product, but haven't been able to find it in the shops. No longer have French telly, so if you find any I would be most interested in any info. It sounds just the right thing for our house (I refuse to kill any living thing so something to stop them coming in  would be just the answer). I do hope you find some, Aly
  11. Charles and Victor, My OH is a commercant  and is in his second year of trading.  He has never had to pay full cotisations. He simply writes to the organism concerned when they demand payment and outlines his incomings. Some of them exonerate him completely, others reduce the amount payable. If this was not the case he would no longer be in business. He is a micro commerce so he does his own books and tax returns without help from an accountant. What I can't understand is if he can do this why does it not seem possible for others to do the same? I'm not having a go, I genuinely don't understand why few others seem able to get the same result. I'm not suggesting either of you is doing anything remotely shady and I'm sorry if it appears that way. It does seem a convenient excuse though amongst the Brits generally. I have several friends who use accountants, and they all seem to pay the bills as they come in and then receive rebates in their third year. This would be fine if OH actually made enough profit to pay them in the first place! Interestingly, when we tell them to write and agrue their case they look at us as if we're mad and tell us that their accountant told them they had to pay. OH did try to take advantage of the scheme, but it was ridiculously difficult to comply with and very time consuming. Also you have to plan to start the business at least 6 months in advance of applying which just didn't suit his circumstances. I know of several French people who also gave up on the scheme and struck out on their own without the promised help. As I say, I'm not trying to be negative, but has no-one else succeeded in getting their cotisations reduced....surely we're not the only ones? (they are reduced, not deferred by the way) Aly[:D]
  12. My daughter sat her French BAC in June. Nobody at any of the schools she has attended has asked us whether we pay into the system or not. She will sit the rest of her BAC subjects this year coming and I very much doubt if we will be asked then either. There is something else you will hear about, but which does not involve non-French children. All French kids must do a day in the armed forces after their 16th birthday. My daughter's friends caused her a lot of worry because they told her that they couldn't sit their BAC unless they had completed this "national service". Being teenaged girls they caused quite a storm about this and convinced Ann that she wouldn't be able to get her qualifications without it, although she isn't French. Anyway, one phone call to our prefecture set her mind at rest and peace was restored chez nous! Just something else to watch out for!!!! Hope this helps, Aly
  13. "If you don't benefit from the above you will have to pay social charges at about 400 euros a month even if you don't earn a cent" I repeat what I posted before, this is simply no longer the case. It is also virtually impossible to get the advertised help (which incidentaly, is not just for foreigners!) and you actually end up paying the same amount in cotisations over the first three years anyway. (Government figures, not speculation) Much better to try to stand on your own two feet! Aly
  14. Is "employment" not different to being self employed? Maybe you should ask at your embassy? I would. Aly
  15. Mandycats is quite right. You could also try your assistante sociale, the Mairie can normally give you her number, and she will have a regular clinic near you. Don't forget, you are asking for the help to which you are entitled, as is everyone in the French system. Don't let anyone put you off. It's not charity, you're entitled to it, just the same as lots of French people. Good luck to you, I do hope you get the help you need. (and good luck with the new baby as well) Aly
  16. We sometimes use insect repellant paint in hospitals' operating theatres, but that's about it. It's really expensive and normally not necessary. What's it for? If you use limewash you won't be able to use another product on top if you want to change things at a later date. Aly
  17.   "The fact that the payments are compulsory and start on day one makes a big difference. A lot of potentially legally minded types have veered away from registering and are working on the black because of the fixed charges due in the first year before they've had a chance to get established." Cerainly here in Mayenne this is no longer the case, so it's no longer an acceptable excuse! Gven that Mayenne is a backward sort of place,  I would imagine it is no longer the case elsewhere. Aly
  18. I take levothyrox (thyroxine) every day, and have done for the last 15 years.  As you say, in the UK all my prescriptions were free. Unfortunately here in France I pay towards the levothyrox like all other prescribed drugs, but it's less than 2 euros per month. I don't have complimentary insurance, so that's the net amount. Hope this helps, Aly
  19. In France, once you are time served (at least 2 years apprentiship) you must work for an employer for at least 2 years before you can be self employed in that trade. Also, an employer can't pay you a "token wage", they have to pay you minimum wage because of the employment laws here. If you registered as unemployed, you could apply to firms for the oportunity to do a "stage" with them, usually for a week, and hope eventually to find a firm who would be suitably impressed with your capabilities (and also your French) to give you a job. Do be aware though, that most employees here earn little more than minimum wage, even when qualified. Sorry, Aly
  20. I take it you mean the "sous couche stuff" for plaque de platre. What you've done is use an oil based product for a sous couche, which is exactly the right thing to do. You don't need to buy a dedicated undercoat for plaster. Different case for wood, though! As for the wine, that's what happens when you "rest" you liver for a while.....mind you, makes the wine go further when you do start drinking again!! Aly
  21. Oh yes, it certainly does. Anything with lime in/on it will basically "eat" through whatever you put on top, hence the need to use an oil based product. All you can do is slap it on and hope for the best. It's always a problem here when painting over an old previously painted surface! You could always go to your local brico and be sold something like alcalai resistant primerfor an exorbitant price, but really there's no need. If there was, we would use it! The trick with this sort of problem is really to seal in all the old stuff so that it can't react with your new finish. Are you going to paint the room? It sounds as if you might be better to paper it? Anyway, you know where I am if you need me. Good luck, let us know how it goes,( at least with this c--p weather you may as well be indoors working, seeing as there's little chance of topping up your tan!) Aly  
  22. Hello Paul.   It sounds as if you have done all the right things. I'm a commercial decorator and if this happened to us we would do the following: ALWAYS use an oil based sous couche on bare plaster, any old undercoat or satin finish that you have hanging around will do, but make sure you thin it out really well (think milk!). Give everything a really generous coat, it's impossible to use too much, and try to ignore the bits coming off. When it's all dry sand off the bits that are stuck to the wall, and if you have shallow "holes" where they came off just fill in with a little enduit. When everything is sanded off again, coat the little bits without paint on them. Don't be too fussy, just slap it on.  If painting, sand down again to give a really smooth surface, or if papering just proceed as normal. I think I've covered everything.....are the bits coming off really huge? If so try using a metal brush instead of sandpaper. Any more problems just ask, Aly
  23. Thanks for the PMs guys, much appreciated. Got booked in at last, only 30kms out! Aly
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