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Posts posted by Fi

  1. He's lovely.  This might seem a dumb question, but why are they called labrits?  Or is there not a particular reason, it's just their name.  After all, who was Jack Russell (and no, not the cricketer!)?

    Incidentally Eco in deep disgrace - I didn't lock the larder door last night and the greedy thing scoffed a whole packet of biscuits.  He's outside considering the error of his ways (and hopefully getting rid of the evidence in the way dogs do best!).


  2. We have to raise Bryn (the springer)'s bowl because he is too arthritic to reach down to floor level.  Hadn't realised about the potential problem with Eco - will invest in one of those bowls on a stand for him too.  At least that will stop the kitten swiping the dog food if he can't reach. 

    I'm not sure how Eco was handled before we had him, but even when I put his bowl in front of him, he always waits for permission before tucking in.  Just wish my children had such good manners[:)]

    Many thanks for the advice.


  3. We finally got one.  He's a 6 month old blonde lab, who was living in an apartment and got too much (boisterous and destructive) for his owners.  He is completely nuts, chews everything he can get his paws on, and would eat constantly if we let him.  But he's lovely!  In desperate need of some training, but he is very anxious to please, and Joanna, you're right, he is definitely my dog.  He'll play with the kids, but he is always looking to me for direction.

    Here's a picture or 2.....

    [IMG]http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr340/FNSH/IMG_0376.jpg[/IMG]    [IMG]http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr340/FNSH/IMG_0356.jpg[/IMG]

  4. Hi

    How hard is it to replace the connection on the cable from the freesat box to the dish?  We have a connection just inside the house which has been temperamental recently.  Usually a gentle jiggle restores the connection, but this time, after a dog loony moment when he tangled himself up in the cable, it has stopped working completely!  Would usually ask bloke to deal with it, but he's away all week.  Surely it isn't that hard?  Have tried unscrewing the collar(s) and then putting it back together but it didn't help.  What would I need to get to renew the connection?  Would a new cable be required or just the connectors/

    Sorry about the numpty nature of this query, but I really don't have a clue!

    Many thanks


  5. I am just amazed by the amount and number of medicines you get for fairly unimportant ailments.  My daughter had bronchitis (not at all badly) and she was prescribed

    cough mixture

    nose unblocking stuff


    and a puffer (as used by asthmatics) which had a price of 68 euros on the label.  It was good for 60 doses, I think we used about 7 of them.

    It just seems a lot.  (Especially in comparison to Holland where you have to be dying to get anything out of your GP!)

    What are you mean to do with the leftovers?


  6. We have a Dutch E106, but my husband is still working there, and pays for his health insurance there.  We (me and the brats) are covered by it as his hangers-on.  However, now I am a fully-fledged, cotisation paying AE person, I have my own ss number and have applied for my own CV and so am covered by that too.

    In order to qualify under the E106 scheme, presumably you have to be paying social security/health charges somewhere???


  7. I'm on site and mega fussy about cleaning - it would be just too embarrassing to get a complaint about muck and rubble.  Did get a complaint about the general dirtiness of outside - they didn't approve of earth - a bit hard to avoid in the middle of the countryside.

    I have stayed in lots of gites and it's the small but niggling issues that stay in the mind, like a gite for 8 with only 8 each of cups/plates etc.  Or no cleaning materials (can think of better things to spend my money on, and if you want the place kept clean, you should provide the wherewithal to do it).  Or paying for bedlinen then having to make the beds myself, and said bedlinen is a shabby, non-matching jumble of the owner's cast-offs. 

    Half the fun (for me anyway) is being somewhere which isn't like my house - all part of the holiday experience (notwithstanding my comments!).


  8. In the same vein, my OH has studied and passed A1 and A2.1 at the Alliance Francaise in The Hague.  He is trying very hard to find employment in France (there are jobs in his area of expertise), but he is concerned about his French, despite our many neighbours saying he is quite good and comprehensible (and I don't think they're being kind - correcting our French is a village pastime in the nicest possible way!).  Do you think these AF qualifications would help, and would it be worth studying for a higher level to make his CV more attractive to prospective employers?  I think the DALF (?) might at too high a level.

    I am in the process of finding someone to translate his CV - which is quite technical and therefore beyond my capabilities (I don't understand some of it in English!).  Anyone know of a good, reasonably priced translation service?

    Incidentally I got as far as B2.1 before other stuff got in the way.  I did French A level a long time ago, and did a bilingual secretarial course, and studied French at university (dropped out after 2 years - I am definitely not of an academic mind-set!).  Perhaps I should look at a recognised (in France) qualification - could only help - and times are hard.... all hands on deck in this household[:)]



  9. [quote user="Maricopa"]

    [quote user="Fi"]We don't have an old UK address!  We came here from the Netherlands, but at no time do I recall giving our Dutch address to any official bodies (other than to the notaire).[/quote]

    They have probably gone to your address in the Netherlands.  Carry on and contact the HDI.


    Still don't understand how they would have got that address as we never gave it to anyone.  Not sure when the forms etc would have been issued but we had a post re-direct until the end of June.  Still, looks like another tedious session with bureaucracy - joy[:)]!


  10. We don't have an old UK address!  We came here from the Netherlands, but at no time do I recall giving our Dutch address to any official bodies (other than to the immo, notaire and bank).  The only people who ever wrote to us at that address were those three.  The immo informed the Mairie of our imminent arrival, and everything else (healthcare, business registration, car stuff, phone, EDF etc etc) was dealt with once we got here, or very shortly before our arrival, using our French address only.  I will contact the Hotel des Impots though and see what is going on.  Thanks for the information.


  11. I think we may have been forgotten too.  We moved here a year ago, paid the bit of tax to the end of 2008 (via the notaire so she could reimburse the previous owners for that portion of the years' tax).  And we have received and paid for water so it is not as though we are nowhere to be found in the system.  Not received any forms or demands for payment for 2009.  Asked in the Mairie and got a shrug, and a jokey comment about being mad to volunteer to pay, but I don't want to end up with a massive bill, or being fined for late payment, ignorance being no defence etc etc.

    This is no help Davie, but I do empathise!


  12. Not exactly secret either, but Munster and Kayserberg in Alsace are good ones (much smaller than Strasbourg or Colmar, but more Christmas spirit).  Arrive around 4pm - any earlier and there isn't so much atmosphere (and half the stalls are closed for lengthy lunches!).  The kids stuff themselves with bretzli (sorry about spelling) and hot chocolate, and Mummy and Daddy enjoy hot Alsace wine - different to the red version, but good.

    In the Vosges, there is a small but nice one in Gerardmer (mainly crafts, cheese and dried meat, and of course vin chaud, crepes, etc etc), and in St Die des Vosges near the cathedral.


  13. Have just received a copy of this via email.  Given Archant publish a variety of magazines on France, and the whole French experience, why has this publication only covered the Alps?  What about the Vosges/Jura/Massif Centrale/Pyrennees?  They all have good skiing available, and to a true Francophile, might offer a different, more French experience. 

    I admit to having something of a vested interest, as I am in the Vosges and I have gites, but the whole publication, IMO, lacks imagination and flair.  I stopped my subscription to Living France some time ago because it rarely strayed away from the west and south of the country.  The north and east rarely got a look in.  Apologies in advance, but one more feature on Brits with gite complex in Charente or Dordogne would have pushed me over the edge!

    OK - rant over.  Wonder if there'll be any response from Archant?  Anyone else have any thoughts?


  14. Good to hear you still like it despite the traumas!  We find the Geromois very friendly and helpful - completely unlike some of the descriptions of "the French" that can be found in many threads here.  Maybe because immigrants are thin on the ground and therefore still have some "novelty" value?  Who knows?  I just hope it stays that way!

    You should come back some time ... I know of some lovely gites about 10km from Gerardmer.....[;-)]


  15. [quote user="valB"]Creme Proffessional sold in SuperU. Excellent and whips quickly, I use it for Sponges and Trifles.[/quote]

    I've looked for it in various Super U's - doesn't seem to exist here.  But the Leader Price one mentioned before does a grand job (and it's cheap!)


  16. Too creepy for words.  [+o(] 

    Many, many moons ago I used to work for a company which sold collectors' dolls.  People had hundreds of the things (and they're not cheap!), and bought special furniture etc etc for them.  Some of the photos I was sent by the proud "parents" beggared belief.  Still, whatever floats your boat, or chacun a son gout. 


  17. [quote user="buelligan"]I use Milton and then a hot oven (put the jars into a cold oven and bring to temperature) but then I am a belt and braces sort of a gal...[:D][/quote]

    In the end dishwasher (no detergent), milton and oven.   If anything survives that it deserves to live[:)]


  18. Given our very limited budget, we weren't going to any main dealers.  I did ring before we went and they seemed quite helpful.  However, when we got there the car places were really a step up from a scrapyard. Accident wrecks were mixed up with saleable cars and everything was squashed together so you couldn't see the cars properly, let alone drive (it would have taken ages to extricate the ones we were interested in!) .  My German is basic, and the dealers spoke minimal English which didn't help either.  As soon as they heard how little money we wanted to spend, they really weren't interested.  Like some estate agents, the cars on the website weren't available any more either.  Oh yes, and there were Dobermans roaming around - frankly it was slightly scary!

    However we have got exactly what we wanted in Holland, for 900 euros, so we are sorted.  If I was going on a car buying trip to Germany again I would make sure I had a German-speaking car expert in tow (who wasn't scared of large, scary dogs!)

    It was an education!


  19. Our Germany trip last week was a bit of a waste of time - not at all what we expected.  However, we have bought a car in the Netherlands - a Golf GL1.9 TDI Nov '94, 90K on the clock.  Bear in mind we had a very limited budget and it needs to be reliable rather than beautiful!

    OH is still working in NL (but not for much longer we hope), and we are wondering whether we should import it to France and insure it here - the Dutch dealer can sort out export plates etc etc for us, and he is going to service it and APK (dutch CT) it,  or if it would be better to leave it Dutch for now - but Dutch insurance is terribly expensive - our car insurance bill was halved when we moved from Dutch to French for the Zafira.  Are there any big issues with importing an older car (OK ancient car!).?

    Any thoughts?



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