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la-vie-en-rose

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  1. Hello and, first of all, best wishes for the next couple of months. We live in a little hamlet which is nearly encircled by delicious market towns, and we are lucky in that our GP practise is excellent, and we benefit from superb medical facilities in Toulouse (teaching hospitals with many English-speaking staff).  We have fantastic views of the Pyrenees and can get there to ski, but without the drawbacks of the mountain weather we might get if we were closer. If you Google strangers village saint araille you will get an idea of the place from the American couple who stayed for 8 months - a writer and an artist, plus their twins.  There are quite a few blog entries and some pictures too. T won't mind if you contact her to get more information on the place, and the flat is currently available, too, or we may be able to offer you our new gite accommodation in the old chapel.  Do get back to us if you like the sound of it!
  2. We think we may know, now, as we stayed up and watched countless rats rushing about - they are very smart and look as if they should wear waistcoats and grey flannel trousers - but we don't want quite so many quite so near the house, so drastic measures have to be taken. They reach sexual maturity at 3 months (only slightly less than humans, therefore!) and gestation is 24 days, I think.  That's a lot of rats even with a 50:50 ratio of males to females, in one year...I worked out that with a litter of 10 we are looking at a minimum of 500 rats starting from one pair... So now we are looking for any-one with a terrier they don't want!
  3. Thanks for all the suggestions! We have no neighbours, so that one is not too likely...but we liked the idea! as for the (Easter) rabbit, could be! We have lost many roses to deer in the past, but they eat the shoots rather than just cutting them off and leaving them on the ground, so I don't think that's too likely either. Incidentally our collie loves being outside at night, but doesn't seem to scare off the mystery guest. So, I'm still left wondering and hoping for help - could it be rats, as we have seen them fairly close?
  4. We have a small terrace right outside our door. Some time during last night something : nibbled the young shoots off some climbing roses - around 150 cms of the ground - and left the shoots on the ground untouched below the roses cut through the plastic string attaching the fat ball to the tree at about 2 metres and made off with the fat ball - it's disappeared managed to "unscrew" the saucer from another birdfeeder - the screw has disappeared! started on the clematis shoots. Any-one got any ideas what this is, and what I can do?  I don't want to put poison down but I may have to use a trap, I guess.  It must be quite small to be able to balance on those young rose shoots. Hope some-one can help.
  5. I can't find this out in any of the existing postings - apologies if I'm repeating a thread. We have a 3-phase supply, and are on the Heures creuses system. Every few days the main switch at the supply goes, at around the time that the cheap rate starts.  I imagine that this is because all the cumuli and so on switch on at that time, and the supply is over-loaded. A friend says that with a three phase supply coming in, each of the phases should take 1/3 of the total.  As a result, he says that in a supply of, for example, 12 kW, each of the 3 phases will take 4kW.  Therefore if all both the 2 cumuli and an outdoor spa come on at the same time and are on the same phase, this will overload the supply. Is he correct?   If so, how can we amend the wiring to share the load over more phases?  If he isn't correct, and we simply have too high a demand, we'll bite the bullet but I would welcome comments first - today, the main switch went with only a washing machine and one cumulus on - aaargh!
  6. I hope some-one can help with this, too. We have a tri-phase supply to the consumer unit (which is very old). Then our electrician re-wired the house (which is big). All goes well until the cheap rate time flicks on at 12.30, when the main fuse cuts out at the consumer unit rather frequently. Sometimes this happens at 13.15 hours, rather than when the cheap rate starts. It doesn't happen during the night time cheap rate. How can I find out what appliances are connected to which phase, as I would hazard a guess that an overload on one phase is tripping the system - or will it be too high a demand overall at lunch time?  How would I know which??? A colleague suggests that too many high usage appliances may be connected to one of the phases and that although our supply is 15 kws, if it's shared over 3 wires then this gives each only 5 kws which won't be enough - could he be right? I need very simple replies as you can tell I am not electrically competent! (I do understand circuit diagrams, however).
  7. This looks like it makes sense - the land in question is in the country and borders a river - I'll get onto the Safer site and see what the other classes are, too. Thanks for the information.
  8. I couldn't find anything in my site search - can some-one tell me what the definition is of "Category One" land, please?  (It pertains to agricultural land, I think.) And what are the other categories? Thanks in advance.
  9. Just to update, we left all doors and windows open and they went off of their own accord. I wouldn't dream of harming them - they are one of my favourite mammals - and we did share a bedroom and living room with them for some months when we first moved in, until they finally decided that French tv was more than a bat's life was worth - or something like that!
  10. Thanks for that. I think they are long-eared bats - we have pipistrelles and short-eared bats too. But why would they want to leave the relative snugness of our stairwell in winter?  It might be the ideal place to hibernate - so I would still like to hear suggestions for gentle removal in due course...a friend has suggested peppermint!
  11. We have had people staying who have left windows in our staircase open at night. Now we have a roost of about 20 bats in a hole in our staircase wall. I have a hunch that some are young - but can this be the case as they only arrived about 2 weeks ago? Can some-one tell me how to help them leave?  I love bats, but am worried that if we leave windows open more will arrive, and if we close them the bats will starve! I have tried to close windows when the bats are out, but they don't seem to get up until 5am...and I am worried if there are young, too. Perhaps we have to leave windows open until September - can anyone advise?
  12. We have one - BUT it's in the very first chamber of the tank!!! and I think prevents the solids from passing from there to the second chamber. Should we have another one? or is this one in the wrong place?  (It's very large and wouldn't fit in any of the other places.)
  13. Sorry - I don't know quite what you mean about a filter between the fosse and the filter...could you explain to an ignorant peasant so I can tell you!
  14. Thanks for this. It was a reputable firm I used but he was in a strop and refused to clear out the pipes - I should have insisted!  I'll make contact again. I would NEVER use a farmer or similar - I have seen them discharge the effluent into rivers. I will now try sorting the drains out following your advice - thanks again.
  15. Oh how I hoped not to be one of those people with a fosse problem. However, a couple of weeks ago dirty water appeared on the surface of the filter bed area. We had the tank emptied. No more water is appearing on the surface, but the water in the inspection chamber at the start of the filter bed remains almost at the top of the pipe. The water at the end of the bed is clear and drains away as it should, and the level in the inspection chamber at the far end of the filter bed is as it should be. We have rodded the drains running through the filter bed with our little twirly flexible cable and there appears to be no blockage - but there must be! The system is about 8 years old and has caused us no problems until this sudden failure. Has any-one any idea of what might be happening and if there is a simple and inexpensive remedy...?  I wondered if the biomat layer has broken down for some reason - but have not much of an idea if anything can be done to cure this, if that is the problem. Any helpful suggestions welcome - by the way the installer has of course disappeared - I have his assurance decennale and will use it if needed!
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