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Washy

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  1. I was paid in 500 euro notes for my car sold on Ebay.  I was very worried, but had struck up quite a relationship with the guy that bought the car and he arrived with his son, mum and dad and sister for a day out in the country.  I laughed about the note and the possibility of forgery and rang my friend in the local shop, we all trouped round there and she passed the notes through a sort of ultra violet scanner she had.  She said they were OK, so we all went off to the bar to celebrate the sale of the car. Now we have been trying to get rid of these notes and they have been causing security alerts everywhere.  In Brico Depot Béziers the cashier had to call for a security guard to takeit away and bring her enough change to finish our sale.................The notes are a wonderful purple colour, lovely but I have put the rest in the bank.  We still see the guy who bought our car so he would hardly have given us forged ones as he took them straight out of the bank to pay us........

  2. Mooky I do sympathise with you.  We live i the middle of nowhere which is probably good for all concerned as I suspect everyone would have been fed up with our 10 yearsof DIY noise by now.............If they are smoking that much cannabis they are probably growing it.............so look up cannabis plants on the web, make sure you know what they look like then in about July look and smell around their property. Beware.....If you have any hidden areas of your property check that too.....it is popular I have read to grow your own on someone else's land!!!  Arm yourself with some weedkiller and if you find any then sprinkle liberally with weedkiller, just make sure they are not his prize tomato plants.................and he cannot complain about somone ruining his cannabis plants can he?.....................sorry a bit of an off the wall reply but effective if you get it right!!!!!

  3. This is history repeating itself.  6 years ago another then resident of the village was taken to the gendarmerie, questioned, fingerprinted, photographed etc.  She is American and her 'crime' was to have taken her neighbour (french) up on his offer, non paid, to put a layer of her concrete on her foundations.  Exactly the same Gendarme!!!!!  Again nothing ever came of this.  I am starting to think it is something they will do periodically either to check up on foreigners in the area or to warn others off employing workers on the black, or both.

  4. I think the statement in french as quoted by Clair re fingerprints is a little  confusing.  AsI read it,  if there is a crime they can take fingerprints, but if they are only wanting to verify somone's identity for any other reason then they have to have authorisation.Is this how people understand this?  So in her case they had a 'crime', but whether breaking a window in your own property is a crime is another matter.

  5. JR they are Willing Workers On Organic Farms.

    Clair I also found this info on www.service-public.fr and can tell you they gave her no option when taking her fingerprints but then she was not accompanied by me as I would have asked, what the crime was and had they been authorised to take her fingerprints. Unfortunately I think a lot was lost in translation.  She asked for a copy and was denied this.  This also happened to me when I porte plainte against someone, I was not allowed a copy of what I had signed.  Now this matter was never referred to again and as my PP was against the then mayor I think it was just filed in the waste paper bin, and I think my friend's case is also destined for the bin and was just to frighten her, but if it is taken further we are all better informed thanks to research done and replieson this forum.  Our doctor seemed to know more than us when I rang him he said there was a crime and that was why she had been fingerprinted.  The crime was breaking a window to get into another  property (also her own), i.e; criminal damage.

    We will be prepared now whatever happens next or not............................

  6. Val, I had a definite feeling of Deja Vu when I read this.  This is exactly what is happening in our village and as I amon the newley elected conseil it has been one of our first things to tackle. Our CdF was part of the large family who had run everything in the past, the Conseil, and anything else they could make money out of legally or not. We asked the president of the CdF to attend a special meeting and to attend with all the relevant accounts and invoices.  He arrived but didnot bring anything with him, said he had paid everything cash...........I questionned the insurance cover and invoice.  Anyway, although they have family connections in the village, the president and the rest of the 'bureau' and the members live in another village and it is this village that provides the bands, the disco and the wine etc........so every chance for cooking the books.  The villagers do not want the fete to be run by them anymore and have mentioned boycotting the main event in June.  Incidentally this is the same personwho mounted the opposition to our Liste for the recent elections and was responsible for harassing me..........another long story.............So our course of action is this.......

    It is difficult to 'sack' an Association., if not impossible.  I did a lot of research on google under Dissolution Association, and dissolution Comite de Fetes.  Associations can be disolvedif there issufficient aggravation among the members.  We ased to seethelist of members and most of them were not villagers.  He had myself and my husband and some of our other friends on this list which was news to all of us!!!  We asked the president to call an Assemblé Generale as soon as possible.  It was our intention then to canvas people in the village to turn up and vote off the Bureau and as such dissolve the CdF.  We heard nothing from the President.

    Their Siege Sociale is the mairie, so we have cancelled that.  We have told them that if they do not produce the accounts for last year we will not pay them a subvention for this year.  This week we received a letter saying that they did not want a subvention but that they 'might' still have an event in the village.  We are writing back that we do not want them to have an event in the village.  It is after all the Maire who ultimately decides if a venue should be hired out.  There is still an ongoing court case involving the CdF and some damage to property at last year's Fete.  We have a new energetic conseil now and we have already been in contact with the Club de Troisieme Age and some young people in the village who we want to co-opt onto a general Fete committee and we areplanning something for the 14 July, starting with a lunchtime meal and games for the kids, a bit like a british Fete, then a late afternoon Thé dansant for the oldies, then a later disco, band if we can still book one for the people who want to revent until hte early hours.  A mega task but it is still under discussion.

    If you want to PM me about this and I will pass on my telephone number as we mght be able to pass on more informaton to you.

  7. Absolutely agree with Terry.  There are certainly rights over agricultural land which has been 'used' for a number of years - 30 springs to mind, but do not let that put you off doing something about it a.s.a.p.  Even a verbal agreement giving them the right to use the land for a short time could be taken as a contract and held up by a court.  As Terry said send a letter, Raccomandée and Accusé de reception, I would even copy the mairie. 

    We had a problem witha neighbour who brought in an enormous debroussailleur brush cutter and cut a swathe through our wood so that his cows could cross over to another parcelle of land he used.  As this was behind our farm rather than across in front of us we let him use it fr a while, but then fences started to go up and an electric fence, to make a roadway through our land.  So we wrote to him as above and pointed out he had no right to use this land.  I copied the mairie at the time.  We removed his fences and put the fencing material back onto his land.  He still uses the cut through occasionally but the fencing has not reappeared.  I have copied this letter to him every year as we have other problems with his cows eating the grass we cut for our llamas, so it is an on going situation, but you must do the letter without further delay.

     In my case the farmer is moving his cattle to the next village and I have already spoken to the other farmer who is set to use the fields he vacates, and he is much more amenable and has offered to help us re-fence our land if we will help him make a crossing for the cows higher up the mountain on common land.  Good luck but do not let things drag on.

  8. Thanks for these commentsall of you.  Wooolybanana you are very astute...............there is more to this than meets the eye, and as I came across another person locally who contributed in the past to this site I do not want to go into details, but there is also an accrimonious divorce involved.

    The lad was interviewed by the gendarmes and told he had nothing to worry about and he has hopped over to the Canary Islands for a break and may or may not come back. They told him it was his host who was in big trouble. The doctor I rang to get help for her yesterday already knew about her I suppose from the gendarmes.  She was confused between Notaire and Avocat so we have contacted an english speaking avocat today. 

    Re black working, everyone in this very poor area is on the dole and works on the black, there is a refuge for Polish workers in a village not far away and no one seems to bother them at all, although they pop up all over the place working for various people. 

    The most unfortunate thing is that we have a very large gendarmerie in the next village as this village is the head of the canton, although very small, and they just do not have enough to do.......they also train young Gendarmes here, we call them bébé gendarmes or gendarmettes and so often they just set up road blocks just outside the gendarmerie and stop everyone. This happens  so much it is ridiculous and people have already complained about harassement.

    I have had to interpret  on various occasions for brits who have  been stopped  by the  gendarmes for  paper work errors on vehicles and  non matching patterns on sets of tyres.  Several of them visitors to our farm, and I often wondered if they had been stopped more to ask what they are doing here than anything else. Sometimes things have been resolved over the telephone, but when I have been called to the gendarmerie I have to countersign the Proces Verbal as the interpreter.

    Our circle of friends, french and english, is quite concerned about all of this as we often get together to help each other with DIY.  Never any question of money involved, i.e; when we needed to put a concrete floor in our barn which was 75 mtrs square,  we had 3 cement mixers and 12 people here, followed by a barbeque, job done and a great social event. Now, if we apply the same rules that have my friend in trouble we have all been breaking french law, as only close family members can 'work' for you and this does not extend to cousins!!!

    Time for me to do some research I think, and maybe they dropped me as an interpreter as they realized I am a Conseillere in my village????

  9. It is strange that the gendarmes did not invite me to be the interpreter????  They always have in the past, perhaps they knew I would encourage her to ask more questions..................

  10. A friend of mine has just been 'invited' to go and see the gendarmes today.  She had been offering board and lodging to a young american guy in exchange for light duties around the house she found him on a web site.  He cut wood, walked the dogs, painted a door and did some gardening.  She has now been told she has committed a crime by doing this.  According to the gendarmesonly close relatives can be deemed as helping you out, not even cousins can help with the DIY without being classed as working on the black?????  I know the French have withdrawn from the WWoofer organisation and have organised their own scheme.

    Now when she was at the gendarmerie she was fingerprinted and her photographs were taken, questioned about distinguishing marks etc.  She said she was not told she had committed a crime but 'could have', she signed a Proces Verbal.  At no time was she told she could have a lawyer and she said she did not really know what she was signing!!!!!!  She had a bit of a panic attack during the visit and was told as she left she should get a doctor's report and see a lawyer. In retrospect she isnow really worried.

    I have now been trying to find out her actual rights in this case.  Can she ask for a copy of what she signed?  Can she retract it as she did not really understandthe procedures?

  11. No my Livebox didnot come with a Dongle.  I will contact Orange if that is who we are talking about.  Seems they change their offers daily.....I have had a network set up with the computer upstairs.  My laptop is a Toshiba, and is 6 years old. It does have a card slot so I suppose I could get a card rather than an USB dongle as I do not have that many USB slots.

    Thanks all for your help. I just can't bear to be behind the times.......We still have too much renovation dust here for me to think about upgrading my laptop yet!!!!

  12. Should I get a WiFi Dongle?  I have an Orange box for ADSL and recently when visited by two teenagers they asked if they could use their laptop, and they switched a switch on the Orange box, entered a code,  and sat upstairs using their laptop at the same time I was using mine downstairs all attached with wires?????

    I have seen on www.amazon.fr a "Dongle" Wifi to stick in a USB port to make my old laptop Wifi compatible.  Is this really all I need? 

    I thought I was up to date.....but it takes a 13 year old to put me right!!!!

    From a 'Silver Surfer' in the Pyrenees...............................

  13. We drive a long way through the Corbieres 11, to go to Brico Depot, take a picnic and make it a day out. And we always go there when we take and pick up friends at Perpignan airport.......the best place around.  A bit chaotic but plenty of staff and stools and trolleys to sit on, toilets, drinks etc. 

    Re the wood.  Ask in your town hall first.  I do not know if your villge is large or small but most have a wood for the locals. Sometimes you are allowed to take wood from here but more likely is that they have a local preferred wood cutter who they will be able to put you in touch with. Keep themoneyin your village!!  Around this area there is a lot of Chene Vert which is the oak that has small dark green leaves and is evergreen.  Do not get confused by being offered bois vert which is newley cut wet wood.  Dry Chene Vert is great, but newley cut wet wood is for putting aside in a dry place for next winter now.

  14. Whenwe had our house wired to French normes we were told we had tohave the cooker wired in direct to a heavy duty 'socket' on the wall.  This looks like a nose with the wires inserted through the 'norstirl' area at the bottom, ouch!!

    Easy to buy in DIY shops, and wiring of course goes straight back to your  electric box.

  15. Don't know where you live but there is a Hygena in Narbonne 11. 

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