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Everything posted by Devon

  1. After losses of 70 million euros (I believe) in the 3 years before the strike and the current recession I think BF face a huge task to stay afloat (forgive the pun). As I stated in my original post, I have found the company wanting in my 3 crossings since September last year. Times are tough and pricing will be important to people as this recession goes on. I am glad to see some are still pleased with the service BF provides and have had better experiences than myself because BF will not last if they provide poor value and poor service.
  2. I have used Brittanny Ferries for the last 30 years and they have always provided good service if a little more expensive than rivals but since the strike last autumn they seem to be falling to pieces. I was left in the lurch by the strike and spent a lot of time and money travelling from Devon to the tunnel to cross. I have used their services twice since then and many of the staff on the boats seem useless and have faces like slapped bottoms. After missing an 11.30am St Malo to Plymouth crossing on Tuesday I was charged £38 to be transferred to a later Cherbourg to Poole crossing which seemed a bit much but hey ho, that's life: I guess the company needs all the money it can get. The biggest downer was how dirty parts of the boat were and how incompetent some of the staff were including a chef serving food like a frustrated child and garnishing his incompetence with a few French swear words. I have never considered using any other company before now but if Brittany Ferries doesn't get its act together I will happily take my custom to other ferry companies. I am not totally alone in my opinion judging from some comments from one or two other passengers on Tuesday's crossing. Have I just been unlucky are have others noticed a drop in standards?
  3. I haven't been before but it is a morning/afternoon out now I have finished most of my building work :) When is everyone hoping to visit the show?
  4. A beelated update to what beecame of the bees: Complete with SWMBO phone recording the bees in front of me :-) http://youtu.be/yUbE-G_utUk
  5. If you want coloured cement you need to add pigment to the mix. End of. It isn't that expensive if you shop around. Gauge the mixes so you don't end up with dark or light patches. It pays to mix a couple of small mixes in a bucket and lay them somewhere to cure  to check you are happy with the strenghth of the colour, bear in mind it will fade rapidly in the first few months.
  6. I'll try to get over sometime next spring which will probably when I get to spend time a bit of leisure in France again. I stopped at a music festival in Confolens in the summer: very good it was too :-)
  7. The main rally is 4th -7th October.   It is for M/Cs made before 1980 but it's well worth a look if you are into classic bikes and near Santander.   Link here: http://www.mcpiston.com/ingles/icolombres.htm
  8. Anyone else going over to the Classic M/C Rally?
  9.  I have posted this in the regional section and have reposted here for maximum coverage. Free to a good home [:)] Any bee keepers in Charente Maritime near Saint Savienien? My sister was at my house last week and discovered a nest between the window and shutter of a first floor window. Access to the nest is good. I am at the house from Monday 23rd July.
  10. Free to a good home [:)] Any bee keepers in Charente Maritime near Saint Savienien? My sister was at my house last week and discovered a nest between the window and shutter of a first floor window. Access to the nest is good. I am at the house from Monday 23rd July.
  11. At least you stayed upright and managed to continue your holiday. Punctures are never good on a M/C, hopefully it will be another 40 yrs before another one [:)]
  12. Shame I missed this post as I would have joined you. I have just returned from a week working on my place in France and it's only 20 min from Surgeres [:(]
  13. Love the GS, I have a R80GS Basic and R100GSPD. Check out the UK GS Forum if you haven't already. It is a mine of information and there are some really helpful (as well as some not so helpful) people on there. Enjoy Your new M/C Bugsy [:)]
  14. [quote user="Devon"] I know there have been doom mongers since its birth but it is looking like 2011 will be the real test for the euro. What are the chances of  a 2 tier euro by the end of 2011 with poorer/bankrupt countries like Ireland and Greece being expelled by the stronger countries like Germany? [/quote] Well it's been a pretty traumatic year for the euro. I think it is fair to state that the euro has crashed but it is too early to judge how serious the consequences are, as it is ongoing: the euro is in the financial equivalent of intensive care with the ECB flooding Europe's banks with money, preventing a catastrophic collapse in the financial sector and buying time for the politicians and their dream. It would be interesting to know where the ECB got its euro 500 billion from to prop up the European banks? However I do not believe the time that has been given to the politicians can be used to prevent the poorer countries exiting the euro. The people of Greece and Italy have had their democratically elected leaders removed by Germany and France and placed under surveillance. Not good. The Populations of the PIIGS countries in particular have been forced to endure the hardships of austerity and higher taxes by the very people who caused all the problems: the politicians and financial sector. Quite why the politicians think it is their job to protect the banks at the expense of the electorate they are supposed to be representing is a mystery: surely politicians should be protecting the people from the banks? The problem appears to be the euro zone needs to turn itself into the equivalent of the USA and that is politically impossible. My best guess now is a rockier ride in 2012 with the politicians continuing to hold monthly 'last chance' summits and mouth platitudes until the summer when massive riots by the disaffected populations in Greece, Spain and probably France (who have the best rioters in Europe, second only to London) will cause the break up of the present union. Hopefully, the Countries that are left in the remaining Northern Union will learn from events to evolve a smaller, fairer and democratic Europe. Anyone got a better guess?
  15. [quote user="Bugsy"]Spend a while watching this. 16 day trip to Morroco I'm probably too old now to attempt that myself [:D] but what an adventure. . [/quote] We are never too old Bugsy [:D] Ted Simon of Jupiters Travels fame did a second 'round the world' trip aged 74.   Morroco is a fantastic country for bikers. I have been lucky enough to visit there on three seperate occasions. A lot of the pistes are being made into metalled roads now which is a pity for off road bikers but not the locals. I intend to get back there sometime but will probably take my Guzzi California and stick to the main roads which still offer incredible scenary. Spring or Autumn are the best times to visit as the Summer can be unbearably hot.
  16. Well today's Euro summit has been a shocker.  I don't think today was about a Camaron/UK veto of Europe: it was a European veto of Camaron/UK. France and Germany simply set out conditions they knew would be unacceptable to Camaron and got shot of him/UK from the European club. Europe has had enough of Britain not wanting to be a player in the creation of a European state but trying to influence and block its formation. Also, the rest of Europe are sick of the City and the massive frauds it commits on the world. Parts of the City are indeed world class and worthwhile (insurance, money exchange etc) but a huge part of it simply uses the UK as a money laundering vehicle for its over leveraged and criminally liable ponzi schemes. Ultimately, none of this matters if the euro crashes and takes the West's corrupt, bankrupt financial system with it. What now for Britain and what now for the Euro? Interesting times.  
  17. Posted by Théière Just found THIS, may help I called into a large woodburner dealer today in North Devon and that is what they recommended and sold me a tin of. Apparantly it is what they use themselves to black SS flues.
  18. It looks like Germany and France have thrown in the towel in the effort to keep the present euro zone: from the Guardian. Reports emerging from Brussels said that Germany and France had begun preliminary talks on a break-up of the eurozone, amid fears that Italy would be too big to rescue. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/nov/09/european-debt-crisis-eurozone-breakup Our politicians are running around like headless chickens and the best they can up with outside of Germany is to print money, which Germany, quite rightly, will fight at all costs. Funny money got the West into this mess, more of it won't solve the West's main problem: we spend and live beyond our means. My best guess at the outcome of the present situation is a Northern European zone comprising Germany, France, Holland and Finland. Belgium could easily break up with one half joining Holland and the other rejoining France in all but name. I can't see how the remaining countries leaving the Euro could be joined. They need their own currencies back and to default on their debt. It's going to be an unpleasant couple of years coming up, whatever the outcome.  
  19. So the Greek people will decide if they want to stay in the euro?  The euro crises rollercoaster continues and there doesn't seem to be much keeping it on the rails: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/oct/31/greece-european-debt-deal-referendum
  20. Thank's for the replys. There are some rallies quite close to my place and I will give one or two of them a try [:)]
  21. I went to the Motopistons Rally last weekend in Santander and had a great few days. I would like to attend something similar in France next year, preferably close-ish to Charente Maritime. Can anyone recommend a good Classic bike show or rally?
  22. [quote user="Rabbie"][quote user="Devon"] What needs to happen is for bankrupt Countries to default and start again, the bankrupt banks can be allowed to fail and the less corrupt banks be nationalised. Then regulation and rules could be made to stop fraud and punish any greedy, corrupt bankers and politicians.   Interesting times [:(] [/quote]The problem is that the pain caused to ordinary people if some of the banks were allowed to fail would be greater than the pain of propping them up. There was a an interesting discussion last night  on BBC Radio 4 about the moral aspects of this. It seems that attractive as letting banks fail may be it  would be akin to cutting of one's nose to spite one's face.[/quote]   Propping up the ponzi is only less painful in the short term but the banks' corruption and greed has to be addressed at some point in the future and then the pain will be greater then it is now. Austerity, cutting back and balancing the books are the order of the day but not just in bankrupt Countries like Greece but where it is more urgently required: the bankrupt, bloated, corrupt and greedy financial system.
  23. And that's the elephant in the room: the euro is in trouble and held together with smoke and mirrors but the 'financial sector' 'markets', whatever you wish to call it, is the real problem because it has evolved into the  biggest fraud ever in the history of the world.  On the surface a country like Greece wants to borrow some money: it goes to the 'banks' and the clever bankers, metorphorically, put billions of euros into into the backs of artic lorries, drive it from the bank to Greece and unload it to the Greek government and banks with forklift trucks, then they return home and pay themselves £millions in pay and bonuses for being so clever. But the trouble is the financial sector has no money to lend at all: it just prints cyber funny money via its computer keyboards, gives the cyber funny money false credability by insuring the loan with things like the shadowy banking system and then waits for ordinary people to create real money through work and making stuff to give back to the banks. It's just a giant ponzi. The problem now is the ponzi, like all ponzis, has come to the end and no one knows what to do. Trillions of £s, $ and euros have been printed to keep the scam going but its just made the ponzi even bigger and that means the collapse will be even worse. The truth is no one is bailing out Greece etc, we are bailing out a corrupt greedy financial sector run by crooks who have the political pygmies of the West in their pockets. What needs to happen is for bankrupt Countries to default and start again, the bankrupt banks can be allowed to fail and the less corrupt banks be nationalised. Then regulation and rules could be made to stop fraud and punish any greedy, corrupt bankers and politicians.   Interesting times [:(]
  24. Now even the Pro-European media are coming to the conclusion the European dream is in tatters, from a Guardian editorial:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/18/euro-crisis-spears-nuclear   Put bluntly, the eurozone has neither the structures nor the protocol nor the will to go nuclear. That would mean a co-ordinated effort to sort out the continent's banks – closing down some and nationalising others. While this is happening, the governments of southern Europe need to write off a huge portion of their loans and get some kind of credit to reflate their stricken economies. In essence, this would be doing what Britain did in 2008-09 – but across 17 countries, some of them broke. The hurdles to such a rescue are so huge that it is hard to imagine such a plan ever being put into action. But that is what going nuclear would mean; anything short of that now will probably not stop the euro from collapsing.    
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