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Everything posted by PaysBasque

  1. PaysBasque


    Sorry Paddy, but I think the only PRAT here is yourself. I just actually went through the replies to your ridiculous posts, and the people who put straight replies to your obvious windups were nothing but helpful and informative. And what's this tosh about the aristocracy? There is nothing as patronising as a champagne socialist.
  2. [quote]Deby, I do feel for you, I seem to remember that you posted before about the handwriting thing, and it does seem completly mad that they insist on this very flowery copperplate when they could be doi...[/quote] TU, I know your sons have had a hard time and I really feel for them. However, at the moment my kids are doing great at school, the teachers are very good, and, thankfully, they haven't shown any learning difficulties yet. Who knows, maybe when we progress to College or Lycee the whole thing will look different, but at the moment it is still us, i.e. their mum and dad, who have the biggest influence on their thinking. Tourangelle, how true about the comparisons. I used to hate it when the kids were babies and inevitably there would be a raised eyebrow when my first daughter didn't sit by the time she was 6mths old or the second didn't walk until she was 16months old. Sure, I'm proud of my child if she is one of the best in her year, but I don't start talking to the other mums about it or make comparisons to their children, and I won't let the kids do it either. It can all change very quickly, and my advice to Deby or anybody else who is worried about their children's education: Stop worrying too much, do the best you can, support them and believe in them and their ability to form their own opinions.
  3. I honestly think that you are making a bit too much out of this. Sure, your niece's reading and writing is better, but what will she learn next and when? I think that 'all in good time' would be a good saying here, as your niece might learn stuff earlier than your daughter, but that doesn't mean that she learns it any better, and it might mean that she will get bored with being at school a lot earlier. Different children have different talents and preferences. Maybe your niece is just very good at this sort of thing and if you looked around her class you would probably find that the other students don't write like her, nor do they make up stories. My eldest daughter will be 8 this year and she is currently in CE1. She also makes up jokes and little stories for herself, mainly in French. However, she can read very well in English and tends to take a book to bed with her every night, French or English, and read a bit before she goes to sleep. We have never made a big deal out of teaching her or the others to read in English, but at home we only speak English, we read books to them in English and little by little they will all pick up how to read and pronounce words. They all make mistakes in English, like this morning, when the eldest said to me: 'Papa really doesn't support that', meaning 'he doesn't like it/can't stand it', and I had to explain the difference between the French and English support to her. But that doesn't worry me as I am sure that the mistakes will get less and less, and should they decide to live in England sometime in the future those mistakes will disappear completely. The same applies to the 'thinking for themselves' in my opinion. They don't have to learn to think for themselves at school, you can teach them that. I really think that people tend to expect too much from schooling. Our children will learn an awful lot of things at school, but I don't think that you can expect schools to teach them about life and how to live it. That we will have to teach them ourselves or let them find out on their own.
  4. Is it fenced? If yes, why don't you find a friendly farmer who will use it for his sheep in exchange for either a small payment or meat or whatever?
  5. Look at this thread http://forums.livingfrance.com/shwmessage.aspx?ForumID=293&MessageID=165310 where the tax situation etc. is explained for a car bought in Germany, but applies to all cars bought outside of France which are under 6mths old and have less than 6000km on the clock.
  6. Well, my OH keeps asking me these silly questions as well, but what I find even more exasperating is when we are in a place where we have never been before and he turns to me and asks:'Where are the toilets?' HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW?????
  7. I think you need to put something like 'translation price per word' into Google and see what comes up. The prices tend to be between €0.10 and 0.16 per word, but you will have to decide for yourself how difficult this translation is (technical terms) and if you want to charge a base fee for taking the job at all, like €50 base fee plus the translation price in cents per word.
  8. PaysBasque


    I'm not an expert in biology or veterinary medicine either, and consequently I can't explain how ticks or fleas or any other parasite adapts to certain poisons, but I know that they do. I have been told by my vet, who is also a good friend, that he has seen numerous cases of flea- and tickinfested dogs in particular who were treated with Frontline over the past year. My own dog developped a huge allergy to a flea bite just recently even though he had been treated only two weeks before. I am merely passing on information that was given to me by my vet, and he's got nothing to gain from recommending another product as they cost the same. What I do know, however, is that in cases of wormers, for example, you are advised to change product every once in a while as the parasite adapts to the product and is no longer destroyed by it.
  9. PaysBasque


    I would advise you against using Frontline as I think it has stopped working, the little blighters have adapted to this particular poison! There is a new product out which is applied in drop-on-skin form as well, called Advantix. Try that.
  10. My worst one was just after we arrived here and we needed to hire a chainsaw. I called Castorama and asked for a 'troncheuse'. You can imagine the silence on the other end of the line....
  11. In reply to Georgina and Cat46: The neighbours actually took it really well and were more worried about the inconvenience caused to us. The dog was their oldest at 15 and they had thought that she had gone somewhere to die (but not drown). So when I went there I just said 'I'm sorry to bring you some bad news, but I've found your dog in my pool and she is dead'. I am actually on very good terms with them and their dogs were very often in my garden in order to find something edible (spayed bitches do like to eat!), and I never complained about that. It was really worse for me because I hadn't realised that it had fallen in and I felt really sorry for the poor dog, but as everybody says, thank goodness it wasn't a child!
  12. You will need a Certificat de Conformité from the manufacturer of the trailer, so the best course of action will be to contact Rice and ask them if they can provide it or if they have a French subsidiary that can. If you can't get a certificat then you will have to go through the French system, called Service des Mines, in order to have it registered. This is a very lengthy affair and not guaranteed to be crowned by success, so in that case I would change my trailer to a different make, like Ifor Williams, or even better buy a Fautras in France. As for the driving licence, you will not need to change your licence, unless you get points in France. If you do change your licence they will just transfer everything that is on your English licence to the new French one. There is no problem with the towing permit if you already have it on you current licence, and even the lorry permit will be transferred if you are willing to undergo a medical. The towing capacity of cars is the same as everywhere else. I currently tow an Ifor Williams Hunter Deluxe with a Renault Espace, which is permitted for up to 2 tonnes of breaked weight. However, I am just about to go back to a 4x4 as the Renault struggles when I've got two horses on and it is costing me a fortune in tyres every year. I hope all this helps, but let me know if you need more info.
  13. Thanks very much. We have treated the pool with Chlor Choc now, as even our poolman could not tell us exactly what to do. Anyway, the whole thing has brought home to me how dangerous an unfenced pool is and we will now install a fence as soon as possible, even though we don't have to before the end of the year.
  14. Just thought I'd add my two pennies worth..... Over the last few years we have had occasion to make quite a few sterling into euro exchanges and then transfers to our French CA a/c. We have always used our clearing bank to do the transfer - First Direct. The reason why is not just because it's easier, but also because we have got the best rate from them. I used to work in the City and used to trade currencies a lot, so have a good idea about how the market works. The way to do it is to look at pages like this http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/fds/hi/business/market_data/overview/default.stm or http://www.bloomberg.co.uk/markets/currencies/fxc.html to see the "spot rate" - the actual mid-market rate the "professionals" are trading at (or to be more accurate, just around). These rates are updated live and are the real market rates. Then when you are quoted a rate you know how far away from the market rate you are being quoted - i.e. how much you are being ripped off! 1% is a lot in foreign exchange - you can usually always do better than that, especially in larger amounts. Today, we had to transfer £100k - initially First Direct quoted us 0.5% away from spot, but after I complained that that was too far away, they tightened it to 0.3% away. I then checked with Currencies Direct who wanted 1.1% away from spot. Thus, we saved 0.8% - which was quite considerable. You have less leeway to negotiate on lower amounts. But, one shouldn't write off clearing banks as providing bad rates. Even if you get charged to transfer the money (FD charge £20 whatever the amount), this is minimal compared to the amount you can lose on a bad exchange rate. The thing to do is check the rate from the spot - then you can compare like with like. It's a very competitive market and you should make them compete for your money! Dean (Christiane's husband)
  15. When I ventured out to the pool area today I thought that the cover looked a bit odd, as if we had forgotten to take a blow-up toy out before closing the pool. Well, you probably guessed, it wasn't a toy but the neighbour's dog, very dead! Anyway, the poor beast must have fallen in about 4 or 5 days ago and couldn't get out. Now my question: Do you think it will be enough to Shock-clorinate (Sp) the pool, as letting the water out is out of the question? The pool is 11x5m, saltwater. Thanks for your advice.
  16. As for the green asparagus I have nothing to add, but when it comes to white or blue asparagus you lot are a bunch of heathens! The difference between the green and the white is that the white is picked whilst it is still completely in the ground. It is also called 'blue' because of the bluish coloured tips. The white asparagus has to be peeled, as the outer skin is very hard. Then you break off the ends, like you do with the green asparagus, but the cooking is slightly different. You heat a large pan of water to boiling point, put in one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of sugar. Then you lay in the asparagus for 15 - 20 mins, depending on the thickness of the stalks, but be careful not to let the water boil again! It is best served with either melted butter or a Hollandaise Sauce. My entire family, that includes the kids of 3, 5 and 7, is very keen on grilled sole with white asparagus and Sauce Hollandaise.
  17. Hi Andy, I don't actually know what the weather is like in the Southern Dordogne, but I was just thinking that a) you could check out surfaces at your local riding centres, and b) if you really want rubber, check out local 2nd hand tyre dealers. I find that as long as I roll my manege once a month it actually works fine with just sand, and in August, when in tends to be the hottest and driest weather, I give us a holiday and don't ride!
  18. Hi Andy, have you been through the archived threads? There have been several posts on this subject. Anyway, I had my manege done by somebody who normally does Terrassement. They dug and treated the rectangle according to my instructions and then put on the sand. I would have preferred sand and rubber, but I can't find any rubber chippings here. Most people around me, that is to say Riding centres, do a sand/fibre mixture, but that seems to become very hard and its expensive.
  19. When you say vaccination are you talking about rabies? I don't know if you have to vaccinate her against rabies if you bring her to France, but even if, I don't think that you have to wait for the test. That is only necessary for the Pet Passport and unless you plan to take her back to the UK within a year , you won't need that. If you are planning to take her back in the future you can have the Pet Passport done here. I might be wrong, but I think that you can just bring a puppy into France with the first vaccination done at 2mths, and then do the rest over here. Why don't you ask a vet here in France to be sure? Christiane
  20. Hi Alex, about the subsidy. It was actually our plumber who sorted most of it out for us. Your plumber should send a proposal off to the subsidy giver, in our case it was ADEME, and they will approve it before he goes ahead with the work. After that you have to send the original invoice off in order to receive the subsidy directly. Whether it is 20 or 30% does depend on the price of your instalation. There are different amounts for different size systems. The subsidy we got was about €1700, however, our system is big and quite expensive. It would make sense to look at different systems and calculate exactly what you need. Our boiler has a capacity of 1200l of hot water per hour on a warm summer day, which we need because of the gites. I can also tell you that on a hot summer day the water temperature can easily go up to 75C, ours has been up to 90C during the Canicule 2 years ago. Christiane
  21. Hi Alex, We installed solar heating for water two years ago and it's working really well. We've got a DeDietrich system with three panels and a 500l tank. The tank will be heated by the oil burner if there isn't enough solar power, but only for the top 30% of the water in the tank. I understand that the DeDietrich is probably one of the most expensive on the market, but it's also of the highest quality and as we do have two gites with the house we didn't want to gamble. We also got a subsidy of about 20% from ADEME. Kind regards, Christiane
  22. I would very much appreciate information on the same subject.
  23. If you buy a new car in Germany in order to bring it into France you will have to pay the VAT, and buying the car without VAT in Germany is only possible if you are a VAT registered company. The only way to avoid the VAT issue is to buy a car that is 6mths or older and has got at least 6000km on the clock. If you find a vehicle like that you will have to bring it over on customs plates and then register it within 7 or 14 days at your local Prefecture. The time is determined by the insurance cover for the customs plates. I don't know if you can arrange that cover with an insurance other than a German company, but it is worth checking in France or the UK. In Germany there are two insurance companies that will cover export plates: the ALLIANZ and the GOTHA. Once in France you will need a declaration from your local tax office that there is no VAT payable, a Certificat de Conformité and the international Fahrzeugschein (issued by the German authorities). I don't think that you can avoid any VAT by registering a new car in the UK first. Hope this helps.
  24. I'm wondering about my children in this discussion. They were born in England, hold a German passport and live in France. We did the German passport thing at the time because in Britain the children were still being put on the parent's passport and we didn't want that. Since I am a German national, even after 16 yrs not living there, it was easily done. I've always thought, however, that they would have to decide at age 18 anyway and cannot hold dual nationality. I'm somehow hoping that by then it won't be necessary anymore....
  25. Lemon trees don't like temperatures below 5C, plus that is, but I think that yours, whilst having suffered from frostbite, might well recover, especially if the stems are still healthy. I would just give them some more time and TLC and see what happens. However, make sure not to over-water or fertilize them, as that could be very counterproductive. Good luck, Christiane
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