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Everything posted by tegwini

  1. I'm not a gambler, but it looks even now as if ALL the teams in the semi-finals will be from the southern hemisphere...
  2. Someone asked why southern hemispere teams do better... well,  I don't know much about NZ or Oz, but I lived in SA for 24 years & taught there for more than 10 years, and the skill, training, interest & winning spirit begins at school - this doesn't just include rugby either.  SA's population that plays sport is a lot less than the UK- and generally rugby is mainly played by whites  & some mixed race peoples (Coloureds). Some Africans do play, but the Africans much prefer football.   So the population  the SA rugby selectors can select from  are much, much  smaller than the UK- possibly around 5- 10 million, by contrast England has about 50 million people.  At my school in Natal SA ALL pupils (and teachers) HAD  to take part in the extra-mural  activities after school and Saturdays.  This meant mainly sport.  My school had a first & second rugby team, and junior teams. There was competition to be in a team, colours were and are awarded for achievement in sport.  Hence, some effort was put in by most.  And, failure to attend practice or a match could lead to punishment too. It was also considered important also for academic achievement - a healthy body  etc ...   And, SA kids have to have a certain spark, it's a hard country in places, with a difficult history, no 'wimps' - or not very many,  lots of achievers.. A bit a killer instinct goes a long way, and it's in SA sportmen & women, who seem to achieve in many sports - and in other fields too.  You can ofen pick out the SA accent on TV & radio of a high-flyer from SA. Contrast this with UK schools.   I have been teaching here, in a number of schools, not in inner London, but in the rich shires of southern England for nearly a decade. Very little happens after school, few fixtures, nil on Saturdays,  no colours for sports, no pushing of kids into taking up a sport or other activity at all.    And,  in SA  I was in a state school which ran on the 'smell of an oil rag'!  we didn't even have a gym!  Contrast  the  UK, some  even have attached sports centres-   the lot!  Given the diaspora of  South Africans over the last  few decades, it's a surprise to me they can still field a winning team. I've been a bit long-winded, sorry,  but it's a bit complex,  but so clear to me.  
  3. Home made jam is much,much better than the commercial stuff, especially if you like to dig out chunks of fruit. I have always found that soft fruit needs pectin to set - I use an apple,  and testing & stirring is really important.   I have had the odd disaster, nodded off with jam cooking - seemed ok, bottled it, and it was solid in the jar - toffee not jam.  Would love to hear about how to make fig jam, used to enjoy that in S Africa, the best jam ever, especially with hunky chunks of fig.  Presently working thro' a bottle of Marula jam from SA- unusual taste, but delicious, & supposed to be good for you - who cares?  This year's jam we've nearly eaten, & gave away a few bottles  from our damson trees (the deer got the rest)-  greedy or what?   (us not the deer!) Planning some lemon curd next.  
  4. I am so confused with this tax!  I have even contacted the Mairie to ask them to send me a bill.  The posts on this thread seem to imply that over 60s on low income don't pay - or do they??   I am certainly over 60 & on a very small UK state pension. We do not as yet live in France - husband still working in the UK (he's younger than me - not yet 60), and the  French house is solely in my name. Please could someone advise ? Thanks in advance  
  5. I am looking for someone around 86210 to mow etc as needed, and is able to see me betw 4-7 Oct when I shall be in France. Many thanks   Thank you to those who contacted me-   I think we are sorted now-  a local man has agreed to look after the garden (& house), hopefully this should be OK. regards Tegwini
  6. Howzit julle!!! We're in Wiltshire/Vienne - amazing how we jaapies get around.   I am really a rooinek,  but lived there for over 24 yrs,  husband born in Southern Rhodesia/parents SAfricans living there, and his family goes back in SA to about 1685, although he tries not to be a                 'when we/hairy back'   all the time.  Do you also find France a bit similar?  We find La Vienne a bit like Natal,  not as hot, but safer.   We go to France as often as possible - next visit beg Oct., looking forward to being there full-time.  Are there many others that you have met?  We ought to arrange a braai at some point convenient for all- any interest in this  ?  Would love to hear from you all - a   pm/email (not sure what a pm is) Take care Tegwini  
  7. We have just re-done our French kitchen and a double oven was cheaper in the UK, so was an integrated dishwasher.  The double oven Neff  --and it comes with a warranty in Europe - obviously not the Comet pricey 'warranty'.   The double oven, same model,  was special order at Darty, and hundreds of euro more.    The integrated dishwasher - with no switches showing likewise.  We saved quite a lot- & no problem for the plombier either.  And the instruction book is in English, should I ever get around to reading it. We did however get the hob in France - gas/electric- much better value.  So are washing machines In fact the kitchen, in oak, came from the UK - great value, and less fussy than what we looked at in France, BUT my poor old feet have not recovered as yet from carrying 95 boxes of kitchen, appliances,  etc etc...
  8. We have a terrazzo floor in our sejour in the Vienne - I am trying to get it cleaned & buffed up, it's ok - not damaged in any way, it was put down as tiles & the grout is grubby in places, & has lost its gloss where it was walked  on- under where there were carpets it's as new.   I think it was put down as tiles about 25 years ago & I am struggling to find someone to clean/buff/seal it. I did get someone in who specialised in cleaning marble from Poitiers, he didn't know what it was & I have awaited a price from him since July - obviously doesn't want the job.   No problem in the UK, but France too far for this job! Any help really appreciated- great forum this one- one of the best I have seen. NB Terrazzo= concrete (tiles) stained & mixed with marble chips
  9. Well done AC50 & children, I have just joined this forum and have been impressed by the positive slant on France.  This thread has proved not quite so positive, and I fail to understand some of the negative comments. I am a retired teacher, and for me it is hard to say much that is positive about the UK education system, including tertiary education, but French school pupils, students and student teachers,  and I have met & taught quite a few, have all impressed me. It's lovely to hear of such success, especially after such changes in their young lives.
  10. Hello Clair I have kept geraniums over many winters here in rural Wiltshire.   I have tended to pack them in large pots/troughs in soil,  I trim them a bit first,  and they sit in the garage which is cold, but they get light & sun (somedays!).  I think the soil is useful as it keeps the roots protected from frost.  My garage is really cold, draughty metal window frames, & single wall construction.   I used to keep them in the conservatory, but they were messy & I got fed up cleaning up leaves etc.    I don't water them much, and somehow they survive-  don't forget geraniums are tough South African plants.   Not sure about the others on your post. Good luck - it's quite a saving, and they tend to flower earlier too. Pauline
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