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Penny29

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  1. Hi, We seem to be a magnet in this area for people handing in or looking for their lost dogs - this is what we do when we are trying to find an owner: 1. Posters in all bars, bakeries and Post Offices (inside and outside). 2. We speak to the assistant in the Mairie and also put a poster up in the building & outside. 3. Posters in all local vets & speak to the receptionists in every vet's within 10 mile radius. 4. We contact the SPA and the gendarmes (faxing through a poster is especially appreciated by SPA). 5.We tell the postman (most important - the postman is your most useful resource) & ask for his help. 6. Finally, in the case of lost dogs we gather up as much help as possible and drive around calling for the dog...........especially late at night when it is quiet. 7. We post on ex-pat forums like this one- a long shot but always possible. 8. We telephone everyone in the area with an English name in the phone book (local to where dog was found only) & ask them to keep an eye out, give dog's description etc. Ditto with French friends in the vicinity. The last time we were asked to track down a missing dog he was found at the home of some summer visitors who took the dog in because they felt "sorry for him" but did not have the common-sense to tell anyone they had found a dog - I have a feeling it was the postman who helped us with that one. Good luck - keep trying, do everything you possibly can.            
  2. Ooops, Here   I am, better late than never. Excuse typing have grains of rice stuck in my "i" and "j" keys. I have pm'ed you Tiredmum, and here is the link I referred to in my pm. We could not proceed due to the 100metre rule. http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/568346/ShowPost.aspx  
  3. We spend at least £20 per month or more on books & have happily used Amazon fr & uk for years. But for the best value in secondhand books I use:  www.abebooks.co.uk  To keep delievery costs down we try to order a bunch of books from the same supplier, they simply cannot be beaten on price & also it's a great source for finding rare & out-of-print books.    
  4. Hi Jackie, I've double checked the IR website, here are the links you should read:   http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/nic/class3.htm   http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/nic/vc3-important.htm  = This last should have been updated on 30th October 2006 (but hasn't been), it is not yet law (and may never be!) and (more interestingly) contacts I still have in the department don't know anything about this (but then communications in the IR were always dire!!!)
  5. Hi Wtg, We bought a ex holiday park static caravan from Canvas Holidays several years ago - we bought it on a special offer when they were offering free delivery within France. The after sales service was splendid and they still help us out when we need to locate a part. After 12 months the water heater burst due to a severe frost (we were living in it during the winter of 2004) & they provided us with a new one completely free of charge. Yes, you do need to get prior permission from your mayor (make sure you make it clear you are siting a mobile home as opposed to a caravan). If you want any other information including the pro's and the cons plus a chance to learn from our mistakes (re. burst pipes and inept plumbers who mended siad pipes with, wait for it....................cable ties!!!!) then drop me a pm.  
  6. Hi Dick, I used to work for the Contributions Agency before they merged with the Revenue (and then Customs) so know the answer to this one. When buying back years you can purchase the last 6 years worth + anything in the currect tax year. This sounds like gobbldygook, so I'll explain by example: EXAMPLE: It is now December 2006.  Mr X will be 65 at the end of the month. According to a pension forcast Mr X needs 8 years worth of N.I. to make up his retirement pension to 100%. Mr X can buy back: (a) Say 36 contributions for period April 2006 - December 2006 (Current tax year - but there is normally no point in doing this, but they don't always tell you that!) (b) One year's worth of contributions for 12 month period from April 2005 (One year) (c) One years worth of contributions for 12 months period commencing April 2004, April 2003, April 2002, April 2001, April 2000 (5 years worth). Mr X cannot buy contributions for the period before April 2000 as they are now "time barred" (too late to buy them) so Mr X can never make up his 8 years as the most he can back-buy is 6 years. As to the price of each year - the rule when I was there was that you could only sell back past years at TODAY'S price (i.e. Cost per week of a voluntary stamp in 2006), I can only guess that they have changed the regulations on this so that you can now buy them back at the price charged then (although find it VERY unlikely that a government woold sell you something in 2006 at 2002 prices!!!).  Otherwise, the only reason I can think of for a variation in price is whether there were only 52 contribution weeks in the cheaper years and the more expensive years were those with 53 weeks.................... Anyway, basically the Contributions element of the Inland Revenue have a duty to credit an N.I. account in the most "beneficial way to the contributor"................so in your case choose the two cheapest years to buy-back. It does not make any difference whether those years are 2002 & 2005 or 2004 & 2005, the net result to your pension will be the same. Feel free to ask any other questions via the boards or PM. Ros           April 2005      
  7. Ooops sorry, wrong link - here is the right on:- http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Apprentice_3/episode_recaps/314_1.shtml  
  8. Hi Chrissie, Can't help with a video & as you probably know the final is on Beeb 2 tonight, but you can catch up with what you missed using this website which really does give a detailed description of what went on in the programmes you missed. http://apprentice.tv.yahoo.com/trump/05/show/summary/week15_1summary.html  
  9. Penny29

    Smoking

    Hi JSA, Ex professional smoker here! I sarted smoking at aged 14 and was on over 30 a day when I finally quit over 18 months ago. I was a serious smoker, I actually enjoyed smoking, it was like a hobby, plus I am a nervy, worrying angst-ridden type so fags were my solace, comfort and fallback. I am sooooooooooooo proud of quitting, it was one of the bravest things I have ever done and no-one, no-one believed that I would be capable of stopping for good. I can also 1000% recommend Allan Carr's Book, "The Easy way to Stop Smoking"...............you are allowed to smoke while you are reading the book..............then you simply stop, no patches, substitutes..........nothing. There were many times when I fancied a fag but the sheer common sense of Allan Carr's teachings made me realise how stupid that would be and how much I'd fooled myself into thinking that smoking "helped" me with nerves, concentration, stress etc etc. There are NO benefits to smoking, none whatsoever. Tips: 1. Avoid people who are not encouraging and supportive, especially other smokers who hate the thought of someone leaving their "Club". 2. Listen to your breathing - I stopped wheezing within days - it's wonderful. 3. Accept that Day 3 will be the worst - spend all day in bed if necessary just to avoid all those overwhelming cravings at certain times of the day. 4. I carried a straw (the drinking type) around with me for the first few weeks, especially when going out and socialising - I drank with the straw, fiddled with the straw, and basically became a bloody pest with the straw but it gave me something to do with my hands! (Tip - don't drink spirits with a straw - you get drop down drunk dead quickly!). JSA, if you are serious about quitting then I don't mind being your phone-support buddy and email buddy. I'll even post you my Allan Carr book - sorry to be so evangelical but quitting was the most liberating experience ever!!!! PM me if you wish. Good luck Ros
  10. All found safe and sound.   Thanks to everyone who read this message.   Ros
  11. Hi, Can anyone in this area (the North East corner of the Dordogne, nearest town = Thiviers) please look out for a lost dog. Valentine is an uncastrated, pale blonde Golden Retriever, he is a very friendly, affable young chap, around 2 years old, micro-chipped but not tattooed. He also answers to his pet name of Pam-Pam. Valentine belongs to our friends, Franck and Sandrine, who also live in the village of St Paul La Roche. He escaped from his "Nanny's" house (a farm on the outskirts of the village, where he goes for Doggy-Daycare during the week while his humans are at work) this morning at 10am. He gave Nanny (who is short sighted and a bit slow) the slip and he hasn't been seen since. We have all been out in our cars this evening for hours and hours, scouring the lanes, knocking at doors etc but to no avail, so we are all very worried. Tomorrow morning Franck will contact the SPA's, local vets etc. Please can anyone in the vicinity keep an eye out for this dog and let me know urgently if they see or hear of anything. Also, please, please can you ask any friends you have in the area to do the same? Please help us find this dog - he is very special, and Franck is breaking his heart. I won't give my telephone number out online, but my PC will be on all day and I will regularly check my LF inbox for news. Thank you all in advance. Ros
  12. Hi Nicky, I can't be of much help to you as I've forgotten most of the stuff I used to know, but I did work in the Inland Revenue and also the Contributions Agency for donkey's years before moving to France......... so, allowing for the fact that things will have changed in the last 3/4 years here is my advice:- 1. As far as I am aware there is no provision for exemption from NI due to non-residency. (The only legal exemptions I can recall were for (a) Age and (b) Low earnings from self employment). I believe this is another one of those areas where provision has been made within the tax system for non-residency but the NI legislation hasn't been passed to complement this. 2. If I am right, then you may well fall into a "black hole" as far as NI legislation is concerned and this is likely why no-one in Newcastle is being particularly helpful - they simply don't know the answer. So, my best advice to you is to phone again and get the name and address of the most senior manager in charge of the "Overseas Section", then write (snail mail - they won't enter into protracted or complicated stuff on email) & set out your questions, asking for clear and definitive answers in writing. (If they write back and state that you cannot get exemption, then (depending on how much you earn/how much NI you pay each year) you might/should possibly/theoratically re-qualify for an E106 every year! If you do get a reply can you post the results on here please!    
  13. We are situated in the North Dordogne (near Thiviers) but shortly intend to move to a property with less land hence the need for us to start looking for a nice new home for Mack and Mabel. Mack is a grey longish haired castrated male donkey, he is very lovable but also full of mischief and fun. Mabel is his best friend, she is taller than Mack with a smoother grey coat. She is the sensible (and shyer) one of the partnership.Both have been regularly wormed, receive regular visits from the farrier and the horse dentist, and are used to free access to shelter both day and night. They are both in good health. Mack is about 7 years old and Mabel a year or so older. They must be homed together and we must be sure that they will be going to a kind, caring and loving home - please PM me if you are interested.     
  14. Quillan, Regarding your threats of "Forum Closure" to any who disagree with recent policies this quotation from the Bard seems apt: "I think something is very rotten in the state of Denmark."
  15. Hi, I've been a member of this Forum since at least 2002, but haven't posted much in the last year or so because I did feel that the Forum had lost a lot of it's punch and pizzazz as a result of too many rules and regulations being bought in. To be frank, the Forum got boring. In my opinion it is going to get a lot more boring if people who enter into spirited discussions and debates risk being banned or "suspended" for failing to toe the Fluffy Party Line, and yes, I am referring to people like Miki, and to people like Teamed Up and Val and to all those who stick their heads above the parapet from time to time - people who aren't scared to voice their opinions. Please don't start banning all the interesting people!!! I DO think over-moderation of the Forum is having and will have a detrimental effect........ gawd help us, but I can see the day when all the posts will be "safe" and along the lines of: "Will my white goods work in France?"/"Do I need Top Up Insurance?"/Where can I buy Heinz Beanz?"/"Will my Sky dish work in France?".        
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