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Posts posted by Fi

  1. Despite having the whole garden fenced, my nearly 2 year old Labrador squeezes under the gate (about a 30cm gap) whenever another dog goes by, or walkers, and ocassionally in hot pursuit of a tractor.  This has to stop!  He's either going to get himself injured, or cause an accident, or terrify someone.

    I can't block the gap under the gate because it is a sliding gate, and anything attached to the bottom wouldn't go through the roller.   He's a big strong boy so if I just put a big lump of wood or something in front of the gate he'd just push it out of the way. And anyway, we use the gate a lot and it would be a real pain in the neck to have to keep moving some vast obstacle.   I don't want to tie him up, because I really hate seeing dogs tied up, and anyway he'd probably throttle himself! 

    My feeling is that he is bored - he does get lots of walks, but I think he's lonely.  I would like to get him a companion, but not at all sure that is the answer at the moment because he'd probably lead the new dog astray. 

    Anybody have any ideas?

  2. [quote user="Pierre ZFP"]Yeah I'm going to have a cheeky weekend skiing but not your area, I'm going to the Vosges with my son.

    It's less than 3 hours away and a colleague at work is lending me his apartment!

    Marvellous, can't wait!


    Don't want to depress you but there isn't much snow at the moment - it is skiable high up, but the resorts and surrounding countryside are very green.  Whereabouts are you going?  I have guests in the gites who are managing to ski, but we lack the "ambiance hivernale".  It's very sunny and spring-like.  You'll have a nice time anyway [:)]

  3. If the child is dyslexic (or it is suspected that she is), has the school be asked about organising an appointment with the psychologue scolaire?  We went through this a year or so ago with my (then) 10 year old daughter who was having huge problems with numbers..  They were talking about her going to a college with a special needs class.  However, the PS said she didn't have dyscalculia or any other identifiable problems, but she did have a huge lack of confidence which was affecting her schoolwork.  Some sessions with a child psychologist were organised and she is now on track for her age group.  She will "redoubler" CM2 (understandable as she has had to learn a whole new language as well as her schoolwork in the last 2 years), but there is no more talk of special needs classes.

    Re the sets/streaming thing, I was merely trying to point out that having children grouped by ability is no guarantee that there will be no disruptive elements within the group, which I thought was the point of first post.....

  4. Isn't it the same in the UK?  I know there is streaming for different subjects, but for selection by ability for all subjects, surely you need a grammar school?  And I am not convinced that disruptive pupils are always the ones who find a subject difficult and cannot keep up.  I am prepared to be corrected ...

  5. I wonder if you could use the report given when the house was bought.  It was already converted so I have separate reports for the apartments.  probably not.....

    One wonders what purpose it serves ....... would the energy-rating of a holiday property really affect your decision to rent it or not?  Or is it simply more Big Bother stuff, so a few years down the line they can insist you make expensive changes to your own property?

  6. I could see the relevance of the energy rating for a long-term tenancy, but what possible value would it have for a gite rental (i.e. very short-term)?  Nothing would surprise me though!  Got to keep all those bureaucrats off the streets till their lovely fat pensions kick in!

  7. We heard this old chestnut when we moved to France, but Bloke still working in Den Haag (he weekends, but not for much longer - hurrah!).  Total nonsense!  Tax is paid in The Netherlands, Dutch tax return has to be done and tax refund comes from the Dutch, French tax return has to be done declaring income earned/tax paid in The Netherlands, plus French income, health insurance paid in The Netherland, then E106 for French cover (but I have my own CV now so not an issue as such).  Not as complicated as it sounds (honest!).

    Bloke starting new job in Luxembourg in February, so we'll have to work out how the system works all over again ..... well it keeps you on your toes .......

  8. [quote user="Claude"]I think it always useful to have people unconnected to a site to have a look. What struck me was how gloomy the place looked. Go and take some nice photos when the sun is out. And why show pictures of snowmen when you do not let in the winter? And for that matter get rid of the gallery of pictures that mean nothing to a potential guest. Do I want to look at a cooker knob?[/quote]

    We do let in the winter - we are only 10km from the slopes - Christmas/New Year and February are my other high season.  Not sure about toe cooker knob thingy - will investigate!

    Edit:  Have just got rid of the photobucket link - seems me and OH haven't been communicating about where to save our pics, probably my fault.  And corrected the spelling error!

    Many thanks for all the advice about revamping the website, I am trying to work on it, brats and mother permitting!

  9. [quote user="hollies"]i would be interested to know what websites you get your french clients from.we have tried many and still find we have to rely on the british guests to make the figures.

    last year we went on homelidays,clevances ects and hardly any takers.we have had some french,and Belgium and they have been fantastic,thanks for your comments.[/quote]

    Sorry for going off-topic!  Have you tried 1000gites.com - quite cheap and has produced a fair few bookings, and pour-les-vacances.com (which is not a listing a la Abritel, but simply a picture, a very brief description of the property, and contact details (inc link to website) - again cheap but effective for me. Both of these are French in French sites.   For the Dutch and dutch-speaking Belgians - had some success with gites.nl who will translate your English into Dutch if you don't have a Dutch friend handy! (Wouldn't bother with their English language gites.eu (I think it is) - very small and I think English speakers more likely to go to Abritel or GdF ....

    Hope this helps!  We have only had 2 sets of Brit guests since we started in Feb 2009, so something must be working OK....[:)]

  10. But what should I do as it is our first year here, and I have no no. fiscale to check up on?  Did everything manually (via numerous visits to tax office, because we are slightly complicated, and it was our first declaration, and we wanted to get it right).  Have not received a thing.

    Really don't want a repetition of last year when they sent the taxe d'hab, and taxe fonciere bills to our old address in Holland (which we left in Oct 2008, and informed everyone, including the local mairie of our arrival in October 2008), and we got nasty letters in January demanding full payment or else. I had to get very flirty with the local tresor public man to get it sorted out!  But still a big lump out of funds which could have been made easier if we'd received the bills in good time and done the monthly payments.

  11. 2nd season.  No big traumas, but slightly fed up with this gite malarky.  Had some really nice guests, who have fed me wine, and I've fed them wine (and veggies from the garden), but feeling deeply underwhelmed.  A few daft 1 night enquiries for Christmas/NY, but no whole weeks (fully booked last year).   

    Can't be bovvered! Will I get over it?  (I have to or Credit Agricole will have my knickers!)

    Flippin 'eck, someone give me an e-kick up the wotsit!

    Thanks  [:)]

  12. What a very good idea - why didn't I think of that.  Thank you.

    Now all I have to do is find the prescription .............I have a bad feeling I put it somewhere "safe" [:$]

  13. This does not bode well!  dog chewed my glasses, so using an old pair which are slightly the worse for wear.  Have no plans for a trip to the UK until the end of the year, and my existing prescription is more than 2 years old so I need to get a new one anyway. 

    What to do?

  14. Don't think there is any link between the amount paid and yhe behaviour of guests.  In fact I suspect if someone has paid a lot of money, they are more likely to take liberties, because 'well we've paid an arm and a leg for this, it's ours for a week/fortnight, so we can do what we like'. 

    Beware the professional couple with small children attempting the simple life and getting away from it all.  They are used to having "staff" (cleaner/nanny etc etc) to run around after them - they have no clue what a dustbin/broom or cloth is for!  Nor are they capable of dealing with their children, but get very huffy should you intervene when the little darlings are trying to insert pencils in your dog's ear ........

  15. Swissie, sounds a lot like the Vosges!  Proper seasons and weather - cold and snowy and crisp in Winter, warm and breezy in Summer.  Obviously the odd ridiculously hot (37 here on Sunday) and shivering cold (-19 last December) day, but invigorating [:)]  And you know pretty much what to expect (so unlike the UK!).

    Just wish the forecast storm last night had appeared - had to water all the tubs and window-boxes today which wasn't on the agenda!

  16. OH works full-time in Holland doing IT stuff (currently negotiating at least partial homeworking), I am femme au foyer (3 brats, youngest has special needs so always busy) who also lets out a couple of gites.  And we are permanently skint!

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