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SC

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Posts posted by SC

  1. I'm going to a concert at the Chateau de Chantilly in July and wondered if anyone has any experience of large events there and can offer me some advice on travel, parking, final part of the route (from Brittany) and so on.

    It's my intention to reserve a cheap hotel south of Paris and book in on the way up so that we have somewhere to kip for a few hours on the way home.

    At the last concert I went to at Magny Cours, it took 2.5 hours to get out of the car park.....

    TIA Steve
  2. Todays Lidl promos include a ladder at 50 euros. Damn and blast - it looks just like the one I bought a couple of weeks ago on a Bricomarche promo for 60 euros (normally 65). Oh, hang on, wait a minute.....the Lidl ladder is a metre shorter than the Bricomarché one.

    The three items on the Lidl promo front page today:

    4.5 kg Basmati at 1.22/ kg, normal price 1.34........Super U normal price 1kg packs cheapest 1.29, one I buy 1.36

    Pack of 30 battonnets de poisson panés 3.10 /KG, normally 3.89...... Super U normal price from 3.52kg.

    1.5L "jus d'orange" 55 cents a litre, normal price 73 cents......Super U normal price from 66 cents.

    I've never understood why people who shop at Lidl feel the need to justify so strongly why they do so. I also don't know who votes them the best supermarket chain, they must have an awful lot of invisible customers judging from our local stores. Our Super U has parking for around 600 cars (and being enlarged to keep up with demand) and Lidl has spaces for 50.

    Steve
  3. My doctor told me that she would have to have separate contracts with more than a thousand mutuals in order to go cash/card - free. I'm not sure haw many there are, it was certainly more than a thousand a few years ago.

    I guess pharmacies have some collective agreement while generalists are more independant.

    Steve
  4. Today I bought a brand new radiator for a 15 year old Fiat Punto on UK flea-bay for £27 including 2-day delivery to UK address.

    I think that lots of aftermarket car stuff is being made in India now and keen UK guys with Indian roots (judging by the seller's name) are importing the stuff.

    Probably over 100 euros in a French scrap yard....

    Steve
  5. Turns out the NS&I had written purchase numbers on the back of the cheque, for both bonds. But reference for the 1yr bond leads no-where.

    It is frustrating when you consider that Barclays could come up with the numbers on the back of the cheque in ten minutes that there's now an up to five working day wait for the NS&I to, hopefully, respond.

    Steve
  6. So, three weeks ago our three year bond turned up, I was feeling smug, everything was working for me because I'd done everything correctly and those folk having problems must be proper duffers....

    Well we waited for a further fortnight for the one year bond, but it didn't materialise. Cheque cashed on 4th March, no refunds made.

    So I rang the NS&I on 9th April and the guy said he'd look into it and I'd hear from them within a week. Nothing.

    I rang again this morning (17th), I think that I spoke to Nicola Sturgeon, still stroppy and fired up from her previous night's clash with EM. After explaining the situation and asking where our money was, she said that the problem had surely arisen because I'd paid for both bonds with one cheque. I suggested that a financial institution must keep accounts of money in vs products out and that surely there was an account with our name, the name we had spent some time and effort justifying to them, on it that held twenty thousand pounds in unallocated funds. This is where it became bizarre.

    The best way to trace the money she said, was for me to phone my bank and ask them to find the number that the NS&I had written on the back of it when they cashed it. I suppose that it was my sarcastic disbelief that a major government savings bank should need to put the onus on their customer to trace their money, that raised her Sturgeon index. It was my fault for sending one cheque for the two (accompanying) applications contrary to the instructions on their website, and despite what I felt everyone was happy with their performance.

    So I rang my bank and a kind lady in India (without a trace of Sturgeon) said, after the usual rigmarole, that she'd get the information for me in two or three minutes, but after ten minutes my phone battery surrendered and that was that. I'll try again later.....

    Steve the duffer.
  7. suein56 said:

    Our store has only just become a Mr Bricolage after being Weldom seemingly for ever, certainly since we arrived in 2005..It has been a life-saver for us - well almost - supplying vital toilet inside bits when ours died suddenly early one evening. And many other bits and pieces over the years. The staff are extremely pleasant and have been extraordinarily patient and helpful with our attempts at acquiring French DIY vocab too. Casto staff can be rather dismissive at times if you don't know exactly what you want

    Yes I agree Casto and Leroy M are bigger, better and cheaper but they are a good 30 and 40 mins away from us whereas Mr B is but 6 mins down the road which can be an important time difference in a crisis.OH and I would be gutted if it went.

    Your local ex-Weldom (Pinault franchise I think) has the same franchisee as the one in Muzillac that has also changed to Mr Bricolage. It sounds like your staff are a darned sight better though, despite Leroy Merlin being only 10 minutes from Muzillac.

    The franchisee used to have a Catena franchise in Rostrenen in the eighties when we had a holiday home there.

    I bought some 2.90 own brand silicon sealer there last week to use as an adhesive and it's performance was fine.

    The Weldom in Questembert, that hasn't so far changed is being considerably enlarged, the staff there are excellent.

    Darty has opened in Muzillac too, and no doubt other nationals will follow. Fortunately we live in an area that is developing well.

    Steve
  8. I get several emails each day with malicious attachments purporting to be county court judgements, refunds, bills etc., and can spot them easily. This letter, that up to a point is quite specific, would have been more likely to have caught me out, bearing in mind that I often have several outstanding responses to enquiries.

    The subject was "Enquiry from Sylvia Derek: Sept 01 to Sept 11"

    Hi again,

    My apologies for delay in reply.

    Thank you. We would like to go ahead with the booking of your property for these dates (which are flexible depending on fligts).

    I have attached in the document dates with full info of our party members so you can edit the booking contract properly.

    If the dates are booked already please let me know so we can work something out. If something else is needed please advise.

    Best regards

    Sent from my Blackberry

    There was no attachment but two hyperlinks after the text. Presumably to malicious web pages.

    Clearly targetting hotels, accommodation providers etc. Be on your guard!

    Steve

  9. I don't know why, but all of our recent tax correspondence has been in black and white, even the Tricolor, and are not obviously originals.

    I've just re-read the NS&I letter to me and the included information sheet on the EU Savings Tax Directive and neither mentions foreign words.

    I had taken the precaution of writing everything on the certified copies in French and English beforehand and also pointed out to NS&I that our tax number was the numéro fiscal on the tax letter.

    Trying to cover all the bases, like you we also made clear colour photocopies.

    Watch this space then.....

    Steve
  10. A notaire told me today that she could verify that our passport copies were genuine but not a letter from the tax office because she couldn't be sure whether the letter was itself genuine, and that the only way that it could be legally verified was by the tax office themselves who, as I pointed out, weren't on the NS&I prescribed list.

    Nevertheless she wrote something on it, and after she stamped it and signed it you couldn't read what she'd written anyway.

    Incidentally, some of the points raised here are answered on the NS&I websitre - 7-10 day turnaround time, "we will cash your cheques as soon as we receive them", "the date of your bond will be the date we receive your application".

    Steve
  11. There's usually something in the handbook about this. As Rabbie said locking the doors physically with the key rather than the remote doesn't set the alarm. Sometimes the keyhole in the door is not obvious but there usually is one for flat battery situations; on my VW it's under the door handle trim (easily removed using the key).

    I do notice other drivers staring at me when I do this and I've never seen anyone else doing it, but it's in the handbook and I know how car horns hurt a dog's ears, so I do it.

    Steve
  12. A handy way to generate and remember a reasonably secure password is to use the first letters of a relevant phrase. Thus " I Buy Books And Stuff From Amazon" - IBBASFA.

    This can be strengthened by using 2, 4, GR8 etc in place of words: "I Go To E Bay for Cheap Bargains - IG2EB4CB. Once used a few times it sticks. Well, it does for me, and no, they're not my passwords......

    Steve

  13. "If I have understood, convection, would mean that the water would rise into the radiators onto the floor above????"

    It wouldn't need to if suitable radiators were on the same level as the stove, but yes. If you imagine two vertical pipes, joined at each end and completely full of water, if you heat one of them and cool the other, a convection current will flow round the loop.

    "We lived on the first floor and the only radiator that wasn't on the first floor was one in the downstairs hall, what ever, once the electricity went off it would sound like the expansion vessel above us, was full of boiling water and so the fire had to be put out gently."

    An out of control fire producing more heat than it can handle is a scary thing.......

    Steve
  14. Idun said: "The problem for us was that when the electricity went off, which was fairly frequently we had to dampen down and put the fire out as the system started to 'boil'. I suppose if we had had domestic water, we could have just run off the water. "

    I fitted a coal fired c/h system in our home in the UK. It was normal practice with solid fuel to design the system so that one or more radiators, capable of handling the heat produced by the stove, worked by convection if the electricity failed.

    We didn't opt for logs because a local farmer who had installed a wood system found that it used so much that he continually had a trailer of logs parked outside his kitchen window.

    Steve
  15. AnOther said: "When everybody smells the same nobody smells at all"

    I think Another's nailed it. Mind you the specific effect of Izal loo paper may have masked more general body odeur....

    I believe I have seen plenty of deodorants available in France, but fewer antiperspirants.

    Steve
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