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Everything posted by Bannon

  1. What can I say but brilliant! Well done Ame and a big thank you. What a difference, many thanks.
  2. Hope somebody can help on this. I have a Packard Bell 'EasyNote' lap top PC that has a rather dull screen - a bit like not having enough contrast? Others I have seen, both older and newer PC's, do not seem to have this problem and have crisp sharp pictures.  I've checked the video setting after comparing the settings of other PC's and all seems the same - so what if anything am I missing? Thanks guys.
  3. Just to flag this up guys. For those of you that plan to return to the UK and claim Pension Credit be prepared for a long haul. You will be told that applications take six to eight weeks - rubbish. We are well over that period and it is turning into a  communciation fiasco despite the fact that we applied long before we 'left for home'.  And as for those promised returned calls when chasing up your application..... Be warned and get your application early.
  4. Well, we finally made it back to the UK after getting an agreed sale on our house in France - but here's a thought. We'll have a tidy sum to put towards a house and we had the idea of a) looking at 'new build' houses and, given the current market, getting a deal on the asking price b) renting it whilst the sale of our house completes and c) paying say 75% of the agreed price and arrange for a deferred equity on the remainder which will be paid back when the house is eventually sold - a sort of equity release in reverse I suppose. We've sounded out a few agents and it seems that some builders are willing to discuss such an option. It would also have the added 'advantage' of a reduced capital for the Government to draw on when our kids dump us in a nursing home! Any thoughts guys? Thanks as always. 
  5. That makes three article I've read on this subject - the other two being in the Guardian and the Times - both of which say more or less the same things. Our own reason for moving back is the prospect of my pension not being worth a bean when I get it, the bank(s) being unable or unwilling or unable to let me have credit for stock purchase to run my business, and the reduced number of expats (on which my business depends) moving out to France. We have been fortunate in some ways though. Our house sold quickly, and the pound/euro parity is going to make buying a house in the UK that much cheaper... we were not so fortunate to have a house in the UK and France. It is as said on another thread going to be a wrench to leave. My wife and I like to think we've absorbed both language and lifestyle - although more the latter to be honest, and we also leave our son here who speaks the language like he was born here, runs his own business, and has a long standing French girlfriend.... so it's not all bad in that a part of us will remain here after we have gone and hey, we'll have cheap holidays!  
  6. Here we go, but you heard it here first guys! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7785410.stm
  7. Just to let everyone know that for the moment at least I've taken it upon myself to declare our little corner of France a round robin free zone. I hate the things! I'm really not interested in a whole years report on how your darlings have done at school, how sorry you are and that 'we must keep in touch more', where you are going on holdiay next year, or how promotion at work has changed your life. Neither am I interested in the colour of your new front room carpet, your new patio, or even your 'new' second car that's better than my first. So, if you are out there don't lump me in with everyone else.... but please, make an effort to even pretend to write to just me. Happy Christmas guys :-)    
  8. Lets hope that's true and that our vicar was winding us up - he did have a warped sense of humour which must have come with the job. Pleased to known then that it was my Mum's ashes we sprinkled in her favorite woodland and not someone else's.
  9. Hmm. Not sure about those ashes. I cannot believe you actually get your own ashes back - given the amount of people that get cremated each day at these places how on earth are they going to be kept separate? An old friend of mine who was (and still is) a vicar said that part of his training was to observe the cremation process and that ashes given over to relatives were a sort of 'mixture' of what was left over at the end of the day.    Bless him, he even invited me to go and see how it was all done! I declined with mumbled thanks.          
  10. We looked at what other houses were going for basically... and what was not being sold.  A friend of ours bought a house here 3 years ago and is now trying to sell it for more than he paid for it. Crazy under present circumstances supported by that fact that it has been on the market for some time with little interest. We had a figure in mind based on what we paid for the house, what we needed to buy in the UK, and some honest discussions with an agent of good reputation. Cheers guys.    
  11. Just to give some light to people thinking of selling up in France and moving back to the UK, we put our house on the market two weeks agao and have found a buyer already - albeit a French couple. So it seems that for house sales at least things are not that dire -especially if you do not pitch the price to high.  
  12. As always guys, thanks. I'm going to miss this forum!
  13. We've broken ours a couple of times and have claimed it back on our house insurance. We took the receipt to the insurance office and they gave us a cheque there and then. What nice people!
  14. I'd assume the woods belongs to somebody at least... therefore you'd be stealing? Tempting all the same. The woods near us has just loads of timber rotting away, and the thought of taking my trailer down there....
  15. We are due to move back to the UK in the new year leaving the house in the care of our son here in France. What he needs to be able to do is sign any papers on our behalf concerning various matters - especially regarding the sale of our house - which might avoid us having to return to France just to sign papers.  I am told there is document called 'a qui de droit' that can be drawn up and signed that would allow this. Nor sure either if we'd have to go to a notaire to get this done properly. Any ideas guys?  
  16. Oops yes, thanks for pointing it out gosub.... I should have made that clear - it's a bit like winter fuel payments in that you do of course have to be a UK resident. We actually plan to move back to the UK in the new year which was why I mentioned it. Not sure though if once you get it you can then move out of the UK - again, like the fuel payments.  
  17. Ah so it's not just me. I phoned through to the UK about Pension Credits and had the same experience. Made it to question three I think and was told the same thing. No explanation other that I'd failed the security check and that I'd have to submit a written application. I have a feeling that the data held on me was not up to date somewhere - even though I get mail here in France from various UK government departments. By the way if anyone is interested it seems you can get pension credit as long as you are over 60, and even if you are not in receipt of a state pension. That's what I was told anyway so my application is on it's way.  
  18. A couple of years ago I was in the west of France looking round a cemetery to the Resistance. I cannot remember where exactly but I noticed it because there was a large monument there depicting the Cross of Lorranine.  It was all rather strange (to me at least) because the graves had been laid out according to religion. Most at the front were as expected Catholic, behind them Protestant and surprising to me at the time and further to the back again, more than a few Muslim ones. All seemed to be untouched except for one on it's own at the back of the cemetery. It had the star of David on it..... and had been vandalised. 
  19. With the credit crunch taking a firm bite on us, myself and the Mrs have decided after six years to call it quits and move back to Wales as the new year opens it's doors. Being self employed work has really dried up. We've been aware of a business downturn for well over a year but being optimistic by nature had hoped it would get better. We've paid into the Frnch system of course and  for some time so we can in theory claim unemployment benefit - but the immense amount of paperwork involved added to a language barrier above and beyond our basic French has proved insurmountable. On the plus side we've had a wonderful time here and have not give up easily. Leaving is going to be a real wrench but hey, we are going back to three daughters, one grandchild.... and one more on the way! Goodbuy beautiful France, keep it warm guys, and bonne chance to you all. Bannon
  20. Bannon

    Boy George

    Having a Fag outside the court? That has to be illegal, and I'm surprised both were not arrested on the spot!
  21. My nephew here in France did some 'digging' on his house for a new (sunken) bathroom extension and found what turned out to be a mother and daughter buried under the floor, and sort of wedged under the wall - which meant it predated the house which itself was all of 500 years old. When he informed the authorities about it they were not surprised... and said cover it up again - which he did. Not sure that I'd like the idea soaking in the bath with that next to me!  
  22. Well here's a turn up and we feel a bit daft. Because we used a Carte Bleu for payment to the French News we cannot cancel.... that's what our bank tells us anyway. We were told as well that the only way to prevent money being taken from our business account is to cancel the card. Arghhh.    
  23. A close family member worked for the Brigade and went 'out on the sick' at 50 years old due to a bad shoulder since when he's been sailing a 40' boat around the med for the last ten years - so the sea air has done him a lot of good obviously. During his time most of the guys down at the station had two jobs and with many being ex plumbers, chippies, and sparks, they did pretty well. Sour grapes because he retired 15 year ahead of me? A little, but then he does not get a winter fuel allowance!  
  24. We have an advert running in this paper and they are still taking money from our business account for it. We emailed the paper for clarification but 48 hours later still no reply so someone there is not playing the game it would seem. Our only option I suppose to to get down to the bank and prevent further payments to them.
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