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Scooby

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Everything posted by Scooby

  1. [quote user="Cathy"]The person whose party it was is a thoughtful contributor to this Forum and there are threads on this Forum about it (I won't post the links).

    I feel dreadfully sorry for everyone involved.

    [/quote]

    Thanks Cathy - I was just about to post the same.

  2. LOL Velcorin I loved your description.  Our neighbours seem to always have snails to start (obligatory), Coquilles St Jacques / oysters, then next course varies.  Menus seem heavily orientated to fish.   We did go the typical reveillon route when we spent Christmas in France a couple of years ago but the resounding family verdict was for traditional turkey / goose on Christmas day etc next time we were there.   However, we haven't been out for Christmas since (too many January exam dates atm!)

  3. NickP I'm not 'slagging France off' just making a valid comparison.  We are not really affected by the prices because we don't live in France and we don't spend that much time there either (Although I've spent a few weeks in France over the last year, Mr Scooby and the rest of the family have only spent 10 days in France in the last 16 months).  Nevertheless we feel for those who do have to manage their budget with the current French supermarket prices etc.

  4. It seems certain people on here don't want to understand - they just want to rant.  Their perspective is fixed - fed by an ill informed (or is it sensation seeking?) media.  If someone said that all those working in the banking sector were closet members of the KKK they would whole heartedly agree...nodding sagely that they knew it all along. 

  5. He understands badly who listens badly (Welsh proverb)

    The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are eager to speak. (Francois La Rochefoucauld)

  6. [quote user="Panda"]I never found a decent beef joint at less than requiring a mortgage in 6 years.[/quote]

    Asda have 1kg beef roasting joints at £4 each at the moment.  What would a 4 euro beef offering be in France I wonder....[Www]

  7. [quote user="Judith"]

    In then end, it depends on whether you want quality or low price.  I know which I prefer.

    [/quote]

    But that was the point Judith - the meat we are buying is a lot more expensive but then it's not very good quality.  I think the fact that you have moved from London to France probably makes your comparisons much better - London is a *lot* more expensive that the provinces.  (We can still get good beer for under £2 a pint and two (decent) meals for under a tenner [:D])

  8. The piece is taken from a French property blog which is published by a UK estate agent based in Deux-Sèvres.  The blog credits the piece to uswitch.com - but the article isn't on uswitch so I'm assuming it's pretty old despite it being cited in an October 2009 blog entry.

    Edit:  I have found the original article (here) but it is slightly biased!  It is in PDF which is perhaps why my search of uswitch.com didn't find it. Of all the 17 categories, four are energy giving a greater emphasis on relative fuel cost.  Hours of sunshine are weighted equally with cost of food. Travel costs are based on commuting from Chelmsford in Essex into central London (about the most expensive comparable I can think of - and far more than most people would pay). Annual holidays aren't based on average holidays actually taken but on the statutory minimum.  Net household income is based on one person earning the average wage with their partner on 1/3 of the average wage.  The most distorting factor (for those on this forum) has to be the exchange rate used: 1.34 euros to the £1.  If you correct this for the actual average exchange rate for the year to date then the French shopping basket actually costs over £147 not the £119 cited in the article - making it much more expensive than the UK basket at £134 though I would be interested to see the prices used as even this doesn't accord with our experience.  Given the focus on London for commuting costs I would guess that London prices are also being used for the food basket.

  9. That's why I asked where NickP lived as UK prices vary considerable - North v South and London v provinces.  We live in what is probably a very reasonably priced area in the UK so we find the French prices scary by comparison.

  10. If you read my post you would see that my comments are consistent.  The Intermarche turkey was only fit to be fed to the dog whereas the Asda joint was solid best breast meat.  I can only assume your wife doesn't let you do the shopping.

    Apparently the hairdresser I went to was a good one (price wise - and came recommended by the neighbours).  The hairdresser's in Perigueux were even more expensive.  After mentioning it to one of my English friends (who lives in France) she told me she now goes back to the UK every few months to have her hair cut...she reckons that the money she saves covers the airfares!

  11. I don't know which part of the UK you are comparing France with but I'm guessing it must be Mayfair!  France is horrendously expensive compared to the UK.  For example - we bought what we thought was a turkey breast joint in Intermarche last week at 5 euros for 500g.  It transpired it was the dog ends of gristly leg meat cunningly disguised as a turkey 'joint' - think Baldrick in the trenches....  This week I just spent £4 for a 575g piece of solid turkey breast meat in Asda. 

    Then there is the hairdressers.  I went to the local (village) hairdressers for the first (and last!) time a few weeks ago.  Colour, foils trim and blow dry - 96 euros.  Same treatment at my local hairdressers in the UK - £28.  Even excluding the recent dive in exchange rates the price is double.

    I think many refuse to acknowledge the price differences because it might suggest that (a) France is not the nirvana they like to tell everyone it is...and (b) the UK isn't as black as they like to paint.

  12. [quote user="NickP"]Sweet 17, you wrote, " your income (such as it is) is barely sufficient to pay your way" come on if somebody can't afford to live in France then they certainly couldn't afford to live in the UK. 

    [/quote]

    We reckon the cost of living in France is at least twice that of the UK - maybe more and french health care isn't so wonderful.  I seriously injured my knee while in France 18 months ago.  The french doctor - although visiting very quickly - prescribed no treatment and diagnosed a 'strain'.  It transpired I had ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament, severely torn my medial ligament and fractured my knee cap.  I returned to the UK 48 hours after seeing the french doctor and was in a UK operating theatre within 24 hours for emergency surgery to staunch the bleeding into the knee joint.  The UK orthopeadic surgeon's comments on my french health care aren't repeatable. Granted people may have different experiences - but mine wasn't so good.

  13. Weird isn't it, in my first career I cared for cancer patients, in my second I moved to banking.  The latter job was far more demanding and much less rewarding.  I'm the same person but in the first role I was referred to as an 'angel' in the second I am tantamount to the devil in disguise.  Both roles are equally important and needed.

  14. [quote user="Gastines"]We have ventured down south on several occasions,thinking of a move but once we passed Toulouse things changed and not only the weather.[/quote]

    That was our view Gastines.  Very happy to be where we are.

  15. Thanks Stan - finally some common sense in this discussion.

  16. [quote user="DerekJ"]The real winner for me was Major Phil Packer. I know he won the Fundraiser of the year award and at SPOTY the Helen Rollason Award for

    outstanding achievement, but he was the highlight of the programme for me. I've followed his exploits for a while and his guts and strength of will is simply amazing. Pure class.

    Cross channel row.

    London Marathon

    Climbing El Capitan

    [/quote]

    I agree Derek - an amazing guy, absolutely outstanding. I also thought Eddie Izzard's achievement was fantastic.

  17. I disagree with much of the report which is written with an extremely narrow perspective.

  18. Did anyone see the recent episode of 'Homes under the Hammer' where the Welsh builder said he was sourcing his bathrooms from France - £150 for a complete suite?  He was very cagey about where exactly he was buyng them...

  19. [quote user="gardengirl "]Please don't write messages to me like that Scooby. I can only charitably assume you didn't read my post. I have known about such problems from an early age and have taught children with huge problems over many years, as I intimated in my post. I didn't go into specifics, and don't propose to do so, although I'm sure I could trump your aces if I did.[/quote]

    The reference to you, GG, at the start of the post was only because you started your post 'Scooby'.  The 'you' in my post was a general and plural 'you'. 

    It's sad that you can trump my aces.  Life can be very unfair and cruel.

  20. Ahh - back up to the wrong folder perhaps? 

    I have to say I didn't click on the link in case it took me to some reloading porno page!

  21. At a guess I would say the site has been hacked.

  22. Sorry GG but it has been my experience that many of those who have been blessed with health, support, free education cannot comprehend the difficulties faced by others who haven't had the same benefits.  Our family has fostered some children with horrendous backgrounds - and many of these children will never escape the traumas and experiences of their early childhoods.  One girl watched her father attack her mother with a hammer - her mother had 32 fractures.  She never got over the trauma and was an alcoholic by her early 20's.  Other have watched parents using and dealing heroin, or with mother's who have a succession of 'clients', 'Uncles' who aren't averse to a little bit of child abuse.  For the less extreme - those that don't start their education immediately or have an uninterrupted working career (even at 21) they are constantly swimming against the tide.  Many won't get offered an interview for even the most mundane of jobs.  I have watched CV's being ruthlessly weeded through - over a hundred applicants for a basic technician's job.  People with good degrees being put to one side for a job that would have been offered to a school leaver when I was training. Those coming out of university now will do so with an average debt on £34k - and, for most of them, with a degree that will not give them a higher earnings potential because pretty much everyone has a degree nowadays.   I work with a charity for people with a hereditary connective tissue disorder - I see them battle to try to keep employment and watch as recurring injury (fractures, dislocations etc) force them to give up on work.

    The world has become a place of the haves and have nots and sometimes it is impossible to move from one group to the other.  But if you have never seen it close up you wouldn't know that...and maybe from the picturesque scenery of France you don't much care.

  23. I'm not referring to me.  It's very easy to do well when you have good health and state support.  I left school at 16 to work in a factory - my mother made ends meet by working from home sewing trousers at 2p a pair but I was intelligent, able to do a college course in the evening (which didn't me cost anything but my time - hence government support) and had the health and energy to work may way up.   There are many that don't have the option of good health, free education and, hence, don't have these choices.

    But it is exactly the reaction I would expect to get on an ex-pat forum for the early retired and second home owners. 

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