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Posts posted by Fi

  1. [quote user="gosub"][quote user="Fi"][quote user="powerdesal"]

    It sound similar to our recent problems regarding incipient failure of our livebox due to (I believe) lack of synchronisation.

    Try ringing ......English tech line 0800 364775

    They were very efficient with our problem.


    Thanks for the info., I shall try them in the morning (presumably it doesn't function on a Sunday?)



    If you are in Vosges, how are you going to call the 0800 number?


    Because it's in France - dept 88[:)]

  2. I think I may have said this before but my main criteria both as a guest and owner are as clean as possible, if it's there it should work, and a reasonable level of comfort.  In other words, I try and give my guests what I like to find.  I don't mind if things have been used before, that is par for the course, but they have to glow with cleanliness!


  3. Have just had the easiest double changeover ever!  It took me 90 minutes to do both gites.  They were so immaculate (and I am Mrs Picky of Pickyland), all I had to do were the beds, replenish supplies (loo roll, cleaning materials, tea towels etc), a minor bit of rearranging of furniture/cushions and done.   Fantastic.  It's 1.30, am about to have a belated lunch in the garden, with a small glass of plonk as a treat, then I might cut the grass (don't actually need to do it yet, but I might as well while I can) and actually enjoy the day.  Hurrah!

    And I don't leave a long and complicated list of dos and don'ts - I kind of assume my guests have a couple of brain cells and can work out what is what.   And if they don't know they can always ask - I live on site.

     Am now in danger of being flamed to within an inch of my life but my experience has been that, (with the odd exception of course), in terms of leaving the gites as I would like, the French are the best, then the Germans and  Belgians in joint second, with the Brits and Dutch kind of trailing behind. 

    Going to wrap myself in a fire blanket even though it's 32 degrees in the shade[:D]


  4. [quote user="JeanS"] I too had mega problems getting connected, still waiting for my compensation.[/quote]

    Perhaps we should start a pressure group - "People who Orange/FT have messed around abominably who want what is rightfully theirs NOW"    Not that it would do much good - Orange/FT is a monolith of the worst sort - reminds me of BT 25 years ago - but it might make us feel better..... [:D]


  5. [quote user="Stefan"]Firstly please don't shoot the messenger or easyjet or any other airline for that matter....

    It's part of the (previously referred to ) UK e-borders project, and the regulations regarding airlines providing the UK Government with the Data now apply to most, if not all the airlines operating into the UK ( note - I emphasise it UK Government requirement, it's not a Spanish/ French/Ryanair/British Airways data trawling exercise).

    If it really upsets you I suggest you write to your MP or MEP, but since it's part of the Uk Government's Anti-Terrorist efforts I would we are stuck with it.......I would suggest it is also a pretty handy way of an increasingly draconian Government monitoring people's activities, but tbey wouldn't do that, would they?????

    Right, off for a lie down........[/quote]

    I have no great problem with giving the information - I have nothing to hide - but I do have a problem with the security of my information (and it is mine, not the governments or anybody else's).  We have all read the stories about disks being sent by snail mail/laptops left on the 1745 Waterloo-Hindhead/medical records fluttering around the dump.  The information is gathered via a third party (e.g. Easyjet/Ryanair) so there are several "stages" for my information to pass through before the anti-terrorist bodies do their thing with it.   I would like some assurance from the data collector that the information I willingly provide is going to be treated in a proper manner at all times; that there is some protocol in place which will ensure the security of my information and accountability at each stage of the process.  If I discover that the protocol hasn't been followed, I can complain to someone. And heads will roll.  Or am I just becoming paranoid in my dotage?


  6. Our livebox keeps disconnecting itself.  It happens about 4 or 5 times a days.  Basically there is a click from the livebox, the internet light starts flashing orange for no apparent reason - I ignore it for a while then give up and reboot the livebox.  It is truly irritating.  Our phone also works via the livebox so unless I am actually in the same room as the livebox I have no idea if the thing is connected or not.  Annoying when trying to run a business.

    For some reason only known to them, I have been unable to make outgoing calls for a couple of days (yes I have paid all the bills and no I haven't inadvertently signed up to another provider).  Orange are supposedly going to reinstate the phone early next week, but this  disconnecting thing has been going on for a while, but has been worse since they mucked up my phone line.

    Am not at my wits end just yet, but I soon could be (we went through all this disconnectio nonsense at the beginning of the year - they finally managed to resolve the problems after nearly 4 months, offered a measly 120 euros compensation - which still hasn't been paid - I have a bad sense of deja-vu.)  And being very rural, high up and towards the end of the line (goegraphically and phone-line wise) means there are very few alternatives we could sign up with.

    Any advice /hints/sympathy gratefully received.


  7. Given I have just provided sensitive information which would be more than useful to a fraudster, I would expect some reference to be made to how they (the airline/government) intend to ensure that my sensitive information doesn't fall in to the wrong hands.

    It was a few a years ago, but when I was the Data Protection Officer for a direct marketing company, we had to ensure the security and safety of the information held by us on you...... unless that has all changed of course.

    and, many thanks to those who expressed sympathy in what is a sad time for me - he had been sick for some time, and was positively ancient, but it is never easy to lose someone you are close to.  I appreciate the those kind thoughts.


  8. Have just booked last minute flights from Basle/Mulhouse to Gatwick with Easyjet.  I was surprised to be asked for passport info (number, country of issue, validity, dob etc), otherwise I couldn't fly.  "One or more of your destinations requires you to supply travel document information".  I gave the information because I must fly to the UK urgently (my father has just died), but I am concerned about security/who can access this information and what they  could do with it.  The easyjet website wasn't exactly forthcoming with assurances about security.  And given the government's propensity for leaving lapdogs/disks etc on buses and trains I'm not exactly thrilled about this information flying around the ether for all and sundry to access.

    Having recently been the victims of fraud (2000 gbp) from our UK Abbey account (now sorted out but deeply worrying at the time) we are very jumpy about the whole issue of online security.

    Why this change?  On whose say-so?  Presumably "national security" is the excuse, but surely this is a case of using a cruise missile to crack a quails' egg?

    Anyone got any ideas/comments??


  9. [quote user="teapot"]I remember when I was in the middle east they hollowed out cucumbers into a sort of pipe and smoked apple tobacco through them. Never tried it myself as I don't smoke.[/quote]

    Have been presented with 6 more - will smoking cucumber make me a relaxed and laidback person?  Or shall we build a trebuchet in the meadow and take potshots at anything that moves (would probably terrify the sheep though).  I made the fatal mistake of telling my lovely neighbour they were delicious - I fear more cucumber gifts.   Or perhaps I should secrete them in the compost heap under the sheep poop?  (Along with the giant courgettes of a couple of weeks ago...)



  10. [quote user="Iceni"]

    I googled "recipe for cucumber chutney" and there seem to be plenty.

    BTW as regards Nigella I find it difficult to look beyond the obvious.



    Sexist comment alert!

    You're a Bloke....... (aren't you?  not that I have any objection etc etc etc [:D])


    PS  I know googling is always an option, but I was hoping that someone had had a similar cucumber experience and/or was an expert cucumber pickler and could advise me.  (It's too early for all this you know[:)] 

  11. I'm tempted by the crisp pickles - will just reduce the quantities somewhat.

    Have fallen out with Nigella - I'm now convinced that technically she is not a brilliant cook - her recipes read well, but don't seem to translate flavour-wise - always a little bland for my taste - I  have to add more flavourings, use proper stock, brown the meat, whisk the elements of a mousse separately (so non-Express!).  But she is very pretty (or burlesque as the OH says - sad old sack!)....

    I'm off to pickle a cucumber.....


  12. Apart from peeling, deseeding, salting, dilling and vinegaring.  (Not sure if the last two are proper verbs but you get my drift...)

    My neighbour keeps giving me cucumbers - they're about 6 inches long, 2 inches in diameter and knobbly. (Please stop giggling[:)] - if you aren't, I apologise for my immaturity...).    I'm the only person who likes cucumber in the family and I am now the proud owner of about 10 of the things.  Can't bring myself to chuck them out - could I pickle them (sliced preferably)?  I am getting bored of cucmber salad/tzatziki etc.  Can't bear cucumber soup.   Really hate cooked cucumber.  But I do love pickles.....

    Any ideas?


  13. [quote user="jon"]

    If something is wrong with your food.Tell the waiter/waitress. Chefs make mistakes.

    Sometimes "Chefs can not cook...and are not chefs." A good restaurant will take thge food away and rectify the problem.From time to time a customer is not there to be a customer...but a professional moaner.

    A good waiter will identify such a person and  remember never to take their reservation next time



    Very true - some people only seem to be happy when complaining and finding fault.    However, restaurants need customers to come back.  It is far too easy to vote with your feet and never return if you have poor food or service.  A restaurant which does its best to resolve problems in a professional and courteous manner is more likely to succeed.  We can all have off days, but if a complaint has been dealt with swiftly and courteously, we are more likely to be forgiving.

    Never forgotten the ?(apocryphal) story of Nico Ladenis chucking someone out of is restaurant for having the audacity to ask for some salt [:)]. 

  14. [quote user="P2"][quote user="Russethouse"]

    [quote user="Bugbear"]Always a difficult subject which, even if handled with the utmost courtesy, can result in unspeakeable things being done to your food in the bowels of the kitchen. .[/quote]

    My husband is always convinced they either spit on it or wipe the meat somewhere unmentionable, he will never send food back (which was why 'we had to' eat the steak in the steak knives thread [:(] )


    SWMBO at one point in her life was involved in the catering industry - her advice, never send anything back no matter how you do it.

    Apparently, chefs can be very precious.

    If there is somethin on the plate or as a side dish that she does not eat she always messes it up to stop it being re-served.



    So to avoid hurting the fragile feelings of the precious chef , we shouldn't complain if the food is sub-standard/not as described on the menu/not as ordered (e.g. well-done rather than blue)?   And then pay up meekly?   

    Please tell me you're joking......


  15. [quote user="Frenchie"]

    I'm like Cathy, I ADORE le bon coin.

    Found my dream house on there !


    I love it too, and for things it is great, but it didn't work for me when I advertised the gite.  Other people have had success.  Didn't help of course that LBC rejected my ad the first time on the grounds it contravened the law for selling animals  - [8-)] 

  16. OH has just gone through all this - not a nightmare but slightly infuriating.  Had the medical, daft doctor didn't specify the right categories (not that we could read his writing). Got another letter from the prefecture asking for another medical or to declare we didn't  want all those E categories anyway - OH in Holland during the week, his UK licence about to expire, got bored of this, wrote the letter declining those categories, new license arrived this morning.  But we still have his bike license (which is much more important apparently, even though the bike went 5 years ago...dream on Boy! )


  17. I'm not that dense (less than mahogany, more than balsa[:)]) - it's just I want the wood I burn to chuck out enough heat to keep us warm, not coke up the chimney, and not cost a bras et une jambe.  The cheapish wood I get fulfills all the criteria so I can ignore the wood question and concentrate on something more important to me, e.g. the best price for a good slurpable Burgundy ......

    Can't understand why your original post was fried - someone being a little over-zealous perhaps? 


  18. Reminds of the so-called "day-off" when I was chalet hosting.  Had to tell guests that they weren't insured to use the kitchen (a big fib) otherwise they would nick all the food out of the fridge destined for the next day (plus our secret stash of cheddar and Branston), and look surprised when they had to play frisbee catch with flung porridge and eggs from p****d off chalet staff the next morning.....  Used to get my own back with the massed bands of the Pipes and Drums for 4am wake-up call on changeover day (hope none of you stayed in my chalet btw!)


  19. Rien de tout!  I advertised a couple of heavily discounted weeks in early July - not even an enquiry.  I prefer pour-les-vacances.com  Any last minute special offers/cheap weeks etc, just mail the lovely Patrice with the details and he adds them to your listing, and he puts your listing in the last minute category (or wherever) at no extra charge - and he seems to be a nice chap. And all for around 60 euros a year - bargain!  And I have had quite a few bookings via this site.


  20. So what wood should I be using?  I just get the local blerk to deliver 4 stere of firewood - usually a mixture of birch and other hardish wood (no pine obviously) chopped into 50ish cm chunks..... Burnt a treat last winter, and still have some left.

    Should I be doing shedloads of research and getting in a tizz.  Is this too easy [:D]   Aaaaarghhhh!


  21. [quote user="Rose"]

    [quote user="Fi"]  My criteria are clean, reasonably comfortable, and fit for purpose (i.e if it's there, it should work properly). 


    Fi... I couldn't agree more... I know it's going to be horses for courses and different folks look for different things but I'm with you... I'm sure you'll do very well [:D]


    Thank you very much [:D]

  22. [quote user="Dianes"]I don't understand the acceptance that you should expect to have an initial sense of disappointment when arriving at your gite. I would be very disappointed to think our guests felt like that, and on the whole I feel that most feel the opposite. We are not a high priced property but it is a house (rather than purpose built gite) with a huge garden with a 'wow' view, and it is well equipped with generally good quality furniture and equipment. Actually the photos don't really do it justice, and that is why I feel guests are pleasantly surprised on arrival.

    We do know how you may feel though, as numerous times in the past (mostly in the UK, but a couple of times in France) we have felt like that on arrival, and I lost count of the times my husband said, "Well, it's only a base". But that was years ago, and I feel that on the whole rental properties are much better than they used to be. (We went to one in Porthleven in the 80's where the damp was running off the walls, and the whole place was like a squat - but I do have fond memories - my son was conceived there!![/quote]

    Absolutely!  I don't believe that many holidaymakers arrive at a gite and expect an exact reproduction of their home "comforts".  Surely the point of renting a holiday home, rather than staying in an identikit chain hotel, is to experience something different?  My criteria are clean, reasonably comfortable, and fit for purpose (i.e if it's there, it should work properly).  I'm not that interested in hifi equipment/plasma tv's etc - that is not what we go away for.  If a property's USP is a fantastic view, it should be visible, if it is child-friendliness (outside toys/fences etc) it should be there, otherwise the owner is deceiving their guests.  The kitchens in my gites have those brown flowery tiles - finances won't stretch to redoing the kitchens just yet, but I did plan to paint them until a friend told me it was very French and what she would like experience in France is Frenchness.  I have not had a single complaint - everything glows with cleanliness which in my book is more important than shiny, sparkly newness.  My highest price for a week is less than 500 euros (the going rate in the part of the world), so a B&O hifi or Gaggia espresso machine is really out of the question!


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