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Everything posted by Gin62

  1. It is on TF1 about 5.35pm each evening, Friday has the final scores and review of what the other competitors have said about you, and how they have qualified their scores. So far each week, one cd'h has forgotten? to clean a toilet. There have been some dodgy matresses and pillows as well. We don't mind loos in bathrooms, but detest toilets with no handbasin. But some of the couples mark quite low for a toilet in a bathroom. I once read a remark to the effect, if a client arrives and says how clean everything is, their standards are probably not the same as yours.
  2. thank you both for your nice comments Gillian and Bert
  3. I must admit to watching this on TF1, I am not sure that I like the format, mixing traditional Cd'H with the new style plastic boules and tee-pees, but it did make us look again at what we offer. We are not making any major changes to our rooms.  This week we wouldn't wish to stay with any of the hosts, the previous 2 weeks, they seemed to be more generous. But for the life of me, I cannot understand dirty toilets. But looking forward, to this afternoons programme, seeing how they resolve the conflict between the couple with the swiss shepherd  dog and the hosts who do not allow animals. I find it strange, that they prefer to leave their son at home, but the dog goes everywhere with them, but that is all part of the formula to appeal to our voyeuristic natures.
  4. In the last week, whilst chatting in the supermarkets, 2 different lots of people have commented they have met a couple in the same line as mt self. I am a fully registered Cdh with siret. The other couples these well intentioned people mentioned are unregistered and fail to comply with 1 room , 1 bathroom, one has an extensive website aimed at brits and charges per bed what we charge per room, and the other one  known to me says it is just a bit of pin money.  So whilst I am bitter and jealous especially with one the one with the web site draws in loads of people with very low expectations.  Am suppose to smile and have inner happiness, that I can sleep easily at night, knowing that my paperwork is in order or should I be making wax effigies ans sticking pins in. But for the moment  I will destress with a cup of green tea and sample the new cake recipe.
  5. Last friday evening, we had paying guests and english friends for the evening meal, we started with celeriac rapé with jambon de bayonne garnished with anchovies and Capers.( Rick Stein recipe) A little while afterwards our female friend said her tongue felt funny and her throat was closing up. She refused the offer of our doctor but asked for an antihistamine, as she sometimes has a problem with strange cats. It didn't get any worse and ice cream slipped down well. It was an interesting talking point for all of us and her nodding or shaking her head in reply. We deducted she had never had celeriac before, but had eaten all the other ingredients.  She was returning to UK the following morning and promised to seek medical help if it got any worse. We had an email on her return and she was told by her doctor that an allergy to penicillin is linked to a problem with celeriac. We only gave her the antihistamine because she is a long standing friend and she had her her husband with her, and that she had left hers at the hotel. We would never ever give anything to paying guests
  6. Thanks to Will for the original posting, my parents booked with Ld lines via Ferry Savers, just before Will's post,  it was only by chance, I visited this sub heading. Happily Ferry Savers at 19.30 last night agreed to refund my parents money and they have booked with P & O, I just find it strange, that no email alerts were sent out, especially as the majority of booking are made by internet. I just wish tickets were transferable with Euro Tunnel.
  7. We have had several similar recently and all get binned but one gave a web address and it turned out to be an agency in Holland which advertises Chambres d'Hôtes. Their marketing didn't attract us and we didn't bother looking into their rates. However we did find a site the other day which at first we thought was the internet site for gites de france except they list their prices for an advert and a lot of local CdH appeared on their google map for our department. I think it was chambre-de-hotes.fr. or org.has anyone on the this site tried them.
  8. What about a wind driven water pump, we have a french made osais pump and when there is wind we have a continous supplyof water into a small lake.if exceptional winds are forcast then the blade and rotor blade are brought together and it stops turning. it is much more friendly than electrical or petrol driven pump. to get to there web site use a french based search engine otherwise you are on the site for austrailian well pumps.
  9. Gitem all have service engineers whether or not the item was brought from there. We paid next to nothing for call out and repair. we used gitem at auxi le Chateau. The electrical shop opposite Mr bricolage probably also does repairs.
  10. butane is an inside liquid gas and propane is an outside frost/ice  free liquid gas. so it is possible to use both on your cooker  G30 refers to Butane gas, and the G31 refers to the propane, so set up your adjustments according to the bottle you wish to use first, then change over to the other for the 2nd bottle, But  I would make a decision to go with one or the other. In uk we were in a mains free gas area and  I cooked using propane gas as the regs did not allow the  gas bottles in the house. Since 1999 and french regulations we have cooked on butane, as our gas bottle was originally in a cupboard in the cooker and with our new range cooker it is now in a separate little cupboard to the side. I would advise to check all joints with soapy water for peace of mind. We lived with a small leak on the new cooker for 10 days, which I could smell and my husband couldn't, so  I left the kitchen window ajar 24/24  when the engineer came with a replacement piece for the cooker (another story) he said yes there was a slight leak where he hadn't tightned the gas tube to the cooker  properly but not to worry the window was open and we have an american kitchen. This hasn't put me off at all, quite happy with the butane, personally I find that propane cooks a little hotter and in the beginning cooking sponge cakes can be a bit hit or miss if you do not have an electronic or manual temperature gauge, or untill you get used to the oven again.    
  11. opposite to the formula 1 there is as said Buffalo Grill, the Pataterie ( potatoes with everything), Viva Grill (meat, friday nights spit roasted sucking pigs) Le compter de malt ( replica of old style parisien bistro except for extra large tv screens and music) On same side of the road there is a very nice authentic auberge, which is extremely popular with the locals. All are within walking distance or if you want a longer stroll the is Le Bouglanier ( bread and sandwichs until about 8.30pm) Mc Donalds is opposite Hyper U that was Geant hypermarket.  By the way at Hyper U petrol ectera is the most reasonable in the district, sometimes but not often 1 centime per litre cheaper is the Carrefour Market  Petrol station lat the other end of town Gillian
  12. "if the roles were reversed......." I must be honest, we have always said no presents or if people insisted; in uk it was always a donation to Salvation Army, and in france it is Medicin sans Frontiers. The 50.00 euros suggested seems reasonable.
  13. We have in the next 3 weeks 2 Birthday Parties, The first is in a local restuarant and the other in a local village hall with outside caterers and later on in the year a golden wedding reception with outside caterers and band. When enquiring about suitable gifts, we were informed there will be a box in which to put cheques. Last  year we were invitied to another party with the same idea except we didn't know that there would a box(very nicely decorated) so had brought a present and then added a donation with the present. When  asking french friends for advice they say " just give what you want to or can afford" what is an acceptable amount? when we go out to dinner to french homes (not close friends) we normally buy flowers or cholates between 20-30 euros. This is a social minefield and we would'nt wish to insult any of the friends who are inviting us to share their celebration.  Gillian
  14. The festival is held on the beach at Berck Plage ,Pas de Calais. There are lots of hut and stands with various commerces and other departments promoting their area and local food. If the weather is sunny or dry it is a wonderful festival. There is always a strong wind at Berck so warm clothing is recommended. If you go down on to the sand to take photos be aware the sand is very fine, last summer in just a light breeze, our son got sand in his camera lens and we only have 1lens shutter that works now  There are lots of places to eat in Berck, we like the bar au 1900 in the rue carnot,  it is full of shops and about 2 roads back from the beach Berck is last big beach on the pas de calais side of the baie d'Authie.The other side is the Somme (80)  When we went there last Sunday the D940 is closed at Grofflers and the little back roads were closed off as well so if coming from south of Montreuil, stay on the old N1 and go to Berck Plage via Wailly Beaucamp.  also if you don't mind walking there is loads of parking by the sports centre. Gillian  
  15. We are in the the Pas de Calais bordering on the Somme,and opened in August last year. This year all our guests have been french. Last year 1 english couple, 1 dutch  lady and the rest were french. Lots of our enquiries come via the Mairie and their web site. We are more a short stay than longer stay chambre d'hotes,  mid-week and weekends. We have not had any bookings for easter yet, but enquiries for the week afterwards, when we have to visit England. So good luck for the future Mel Gillian and Albert
  16. We started off with holidays in Brittany and the Loire, then by chance stayed in the Pas de Calais and discovered what a wonderful part of France it was. We saw a house  for Sale on a bike ride, went into St Omer to the estate agent. They were closed it was monday and we were going home the following morning. Happily it was in their window 5 beds far too big for us. But on arrival in Uk we put our house on the Market (1998) sold it brought a smaller house in uk and brought outright an old traditional farmhouse and barn in a small village. For holidays it was superb we did sympathic renovations to let the torchy breathe and had a complete new roof. After my husband retired in 2004, we came to live in france full time and thought we loved the house, shopping had to be carefully planned or else a 10mile round trip, and our nearest neighbours were farmers, no problem just a lack of people to pass the time with, many wave from a tractor. We kept our house in uk for 2 years to be sure we adapted to french life and had no regrets. Going  through our local town one day we saw a house we had always admired up for sale and within our price range, we had already sold our uk house, So we put our french house on the market and sold it to a french couple for a maison secondaire (2008). We are now very happy in our town house, shopping When necessary on foot and loads of people to pass the time with. Renting is a good idea, and as others have said life is far to short to put things off. Have courage and go for it. But spend time looking at houses and perhaps take sensible friends with you to take off the rose tinted specs we sometimes wear when looking at a new life and also if you wish to live in the country, you need to consider what  your  views are on hunting. so good luck   Gillian and Albert
  17. thanks to Clair's really good advice, from her link. Hopefully this link will work to our windpump pictures. The half moon shape with the handle actually alters the position of tail fins and stops windmill. So here goes for the pictures. [IMG]http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz194/french_dressing/windpump280709003.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz194/french_dressing/windpump280709006.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz194/french_dressing/windpump280709007.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz194/french_dressing/windpump280709009.jpg[/IMG] Hope this isn't too many pictures Gillian
  18. our avatar now has the picture of windpump, not sure how to post a picture. this photo was takern by us on saturday 25 july 09 Gillian and Bert not a very good one though
  19. We are going over tuesday with a gallon sorry several litres of water, we can see water moving but not sure up and down in the inspection pit. we have a 18cm wide tube with a lid on it. There is also a lead from the gear box that is linked to a half circle by a lever.At the moment the lever is in the up position held by a removable screw it is possible to move the lever down slightly by one or two hole, but nothing seems to happen. The lever and half cirle are by the stand pipe above the discharge pipe. Bert and Gillian
  20. thank you, we shall investigate further.
  21. We are currently purchasing a piece of land that has(had) a large pond, from a spring. the water is drawn up by a windpump as seen in the USA or outback of Austrailia. Our windpump has 15 blades is turning but not drawing up water. The owners of the land are dead so no useful info can be obtained there and it is the only one in our vicinity. The make (Oasis) comes back as Austrailian. Any one out there with actual experience of maintaining such a beast. We have looked at various websites but none quite correspond with ours, and the austrailian site is an address only and a phone number to ring if I remember before going to bed. ever hopeful Gillian and Bert
  22. The two departments are next to each other in the prefecture at Arras. Perhaps rare departmental co-operation or in our region there have been health or hygiene issues. The department is very mulicultural with lots of Dutch who pass through, and who can be quite particular and not slow to report a problem.  Pierre ZFP is quite right, the paperwork is quite easy to fill in, if unsure ask the person dealing with you, we have found the majority of french functionaires more than willing to go an extra mile to answer a query providing you have arrived in good time and not 5mins before lunch or on a friday afternoon. We speak and understand french and always take all our documents and a  dictionary for any unexpected word. If we get the unexpected word 9/10 it is local patois. Gillian 
  23. I would like to thank all the contributors to this forum, for the links and advice, that has enabled me to register for autoenrepeneur status for our new chambre d'hôte. Also Jo taylors book has been invaluable. I went to our local CCI to register, the bureau was extremly friendly and everything was clearly explained in french, even though I had down-loaded the french and english version of Who can become a small entrepreneur.  As my husband already pays into the state system, Madame said it would be better for me to register alone to avoid paying double cotisations for my husband. In our region of Pas de Calais , the department of veterinary services at Arras need a signed form ( Declaration et Identification) for new establishments offering Chambre d' hôte or Table d'hôte.They said breakfast is also meal prepared in a kitchen. They are happy for the kitchen to be a normal  very clean kitchen, with fridge and freezers at the correct temperature. The one thing my functionaire insisted on is a siret or siren number or I would not be allowed to open or if I opened before they had recieved the form a large fine could ensue. The douane at Arras, also asked for, and is now awaiting our copy of registration as an autoentrepreneur,  He granted me a licence 2 for 'Les débits de boissons à consummer sur place' when I pointed out I wanted a Petite licence restaurant. He said it was a better Licence to have.  We have been in France long enough now to go with the flow of the functionaire and repeat the paperword as necessary including another copy of my birth certificate, marriage certificate and passport. So a big thank you to you all, who reply to the forum with sound advice and good links. Gillian and Bert          
  24. Each time we have had a wood burner installed,( 3)  it has been by Gitem or a Chauffagiste. All appear to be capable of knocking a hole in a wall then installing the relevant Stainless Steel tubing. Your local Chimney Sweep will also offer  the name of a reliable workman, especially if he knows he has to sweep it. If you want a chiminey built, I would recommend Jacky Forgez of Bachimont. He is meticulous, hard working and not cheap, but very good. Gillian 
  25. Thank you Cerise, Probably getting paranoid, after a 10 min grilling on the phone by Douanes, as to when I would be serving drinks and what type and would I offer a beer to a guest who has just arrived, I answered no only with the meal, he/she could have coffee, tea or jus de fruits. The point was I was only enquiring where they were siuated, and the opening hours. We have registered with the Mairie, on course with petite licence resturant and just the table d'hôtes to finish off and will only be cooking for guests if requested. Gillian
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