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Everything posted by NormanH

  1. If your French is good enough to enjoy this film (I am not talking about the accent, which as other people have correctly said is no barrier as it is explained for the benefit of the southerner) you might be interested by this survey of French critics' opinions: http://www.marianne2.fr/Bienvenue-chez-les-ch-tis-la-critique-sourit-mais-n-en-pense-pas-moins_a85632.html
  2. You can watch it change every 10 seconds on http://www.rte.ie/business/markets/poundexchangerates.html
  3. One question Clair. You said that you started with DD and switched to cheque. Do you think they would accept cheques from the beginning? (btw I have free dégroupé and am happy , but pay by DD)
  4. Towns are much more expensive than country places for both taxe d'habitation and taxe foncière....and yes we get all sorts of 'extras', but of course many of the services paid for are also available to people who live in the near-by villages and commute. This was one reason behind the development of 'agglomerations', or "communauté de communes"   so that the cost of things like cultural or sporting facilities doesn't fall only on town dwellers. I pay about 1000 in total in town and 300 in total in the country, but get street lighting and mains drainage in both.
  5. You are of course completely right. Good luck in the battle you will obviously win. Let's hope it doesn't become a "Pyrrhic victory" Just one question. What exactly do you suspect 'the French' of?
  6. Contact a Notaire, not a Solicitor. Explain exactly what you require. Usually this advice will be free. If your French isn't very good you will be able to find one who speaks English. Do not try to deal with this on the advice you receive from well-meaning people (including me [:)]) who post on Internet boards.
  7. Are you looking for parts from a scrapyard? If so look under casse automobile. In the yellow pages for the Hérault it is page 199 Spare parts are pièces détachées
  8. Don't put too much confidence in the Accident service though. Last year I hurt my ankle, and the Hospital missed the fact that is was fractured. I had to go to the local clinique for a second opinion to get it spotted. On the other hand there is a reasonable chance of getting some preventative tests  (for bowel or prostate cancer for example) as long as you push for them.
  9. 1)I think that some good salads are always welcome at lunchtime: a 'salad du pecheur' with a few prawns, mussels, an anchovy or two with the tomato and lettuce 2)Simple, local well-done things go well too: in the winter a good fish soup or "soupe de potiron", and chou farçi or a daube de boeuf  . A favorite of mine is poulet basquaise but that might not be right for where you are. A gigot or blanquette is a popular option too. 3)On a low price menu you can't expect expensive ingredients, but some classics which are easier come by in France than in parts of the UK can give a touch of luxury : 6 oysters for example. 4)  A non-meat option,  for each course even if it only various omelettes,  a piperade, crudités to start etc. If you are in the south a popular 'formule' might  be: a basket of fresh vegetables/hard boiled eggs/cooked potatoes  to cut at yourself with an aioli sauce for dipping Some charcuterie and gherkins A simple main course (steak frites for example) cheese or dessert ( or both with a supplement)
  10. As I said I found it mildly amusing, but nothing more. It is certainly intended to be 'feelgood' but does it so obviously and clumsily that it doesn't work for me.
  11. I find the email service good: but to answer Peter's question, I get my tax form with all my earned income already filled in, so there must be a direct link to my employer. I just have to add any other income, and anything from the UK for the global figure.
  12. You must live in a palace Raindog! I also live in the Hérault and the taxe d'habitation in town is 450 euros, and in the country place 120.
  13. This is what I did five years ago when I was that the market was becoming saturated. I had a small country place that I now let to local people long -term.  It's not the same sort of luxury market as those with swimming pools and dishwashers, but it does mean I have a guranteed income from the CAF.
  14. I don't believe that English people here really ever integrate. We become known and more or less accepted, but always as 'les Anglais'. I am pretty good in French, and I am a well-known local figure in a medium-sized town, who has worked, run cultural events, and been involved in local politics but it's rather like the West of England where I lived for 30 years: if your great-grandparents aren't in the cemetary you remain an out sider. In this part of France this is also true of people from further North, so it's not a specifically  anti-English thing, although our accents don't help. Blood relationships are very important here, so unless you marry into a French family, you will never be completely 'one of them' This doesn't mean that you can't have a decent working relationship with your  neighbours, just don't fool yourself.
  15. I completed the purchase of my first house at a time when the franc was about 7.5 to the pound, so the present rate is really reminding me of those days! I was getting 1200 euros a month for my pension a few months back; now it's only about 1000.  200 isn't a lot, but it is proportionately higher when you haven't got much slack.
  16. So they don't lower the prices to ensure the most 'bottoms on seats' possible?
  17. Isn't it the principle on which Ryanair works?
  18. [quote user="ltf"][quote user="NormanH"]Surely the answer is to reduce prices 20% to allow for the low exchange rate. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/10/currencies [/quote] Great idea Norman! For those of us whose main income is from gites and live in France, do you think that our overheads, shopping and fuel bills etc. have also gone down 20%? Do you really think that we pluck our prices out of the air when we are pricing? [:@] A bit of tweaking may be necessary, but I doubt there are many people who run gites as a business who could  maintain their level of service to customers with a 20% reduction in income. [/quote] But this is what is being asked of people on  a fixed income in sterling, such as Pensioners living in France. And surely there are very few overheads with Gites? The investment was in buying them, but the costs of staying in them is carried by the holidaymaker who has to buy their own food, pay the electricity etc. Isn't it better to accept a lower margin, but keep up the level of bookings?
  19. Surely the answer is to reduce prices 20% to allow for the low exchange rate. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/10/currencies
  20. yes there would be wouldn't there? [:)]
  21. And obviously they want to persuade you to install a wood burner, so I'm not sure that they are very impartial!
  22. wb"Those with a bit of guts might be though. Unless Gormless Gordon is trying to force UK into the euro at a cheap price. 80p to the € is my bet." Parity is my guess [6]
  23. Thanks ErnieY for that explaination. It's not very encouraging, but I'll try what you say...
  24. [quote user="cooperlola"]Whatever you do, have a proper rental agreement drawn up by a notaire - no need to use an agent as well unless you're looking for a tenant or they are servicing the house.  Most of the questions you ask are covered by standard contracts. Taxes are payable on all income - from whatever source - and - I think (somebody will confirm) that rental is classed as "unearned" and thus incurs social charges at the higher rate also. [/quote] I pay tax under the MicroBic system for rental income. I  also pay  have to pay CSG, a bill which comes separately around November
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