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Everything posted by NormanH

  1. [quote user="Cathy"][quote user="NormanH"][quote user="freddy"].[/quote] In the Hérault  [/quote] Where's Herault? [/quote] It's the Départment 34 with Montpellier as Préfecture.
  2. Do any of you 'techies' know if it possible to send a fax direct from my computer without a fax machine or fax modem? I get irritating faxes at times like 4:30 in the morning, but as I have no fax machine they arrive as if they were phone calls, and wake me up. It's always the same number, (I think some business or other ) but when I try to phone back to get them to stop sending them I just get the fax machine at the other end... I'd like to send a fax telling them to stop.
  3. La Grande Vadrouille  a sort of French 'Allo' 'Allo' or carry on...it even has Terry Thomas in it! http://www.videorigolo.com/v-d3210d27c La petite Voleuse http://pserve.club.fr/La_petite_voleuse.html  with Charlotte Gainsburgh ( the daughter of Serge and Jane Birkin)  http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=18781759&cfilm=4358.html L'Auberge Espagnole http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283900/
  4. Try the second or third verse.. Ah ! vous dirai-je, maman Ce qui cause mon tourment ? Papa veut que je raisonne Comme une grande personne Moi je dis que les bonbons Valent mieux que la raison. Quand trois poules vont au champ La première va devant La seconde suis la première La troisième vient la dernière Quand trois poules vont au champ La première va devant [Ah ! vous dirai-je, maman Ce qui cause mon tourment ? Papa veut que je retienne Les verbes, La Laurentienne Moi je dis que les bonbons Valent mieux que les leçons.] or (theoriginal) Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman, Ce qui cause mon tourment ? Depuis que j'ai vu Silvandre, Me regarder d'un air tendre ; Mon cœur dit à chaque instant : « Peut-on vivre sans amant ? » L'autre jour, dans un bosquet, De fleurs il fit un bouquet ; Il en para ma houlette Me disant : « Belle brunette, Flore est moins belle que toi ; L'amour moins tendre que moi. » Je rougis et par malheur Un soupir trahit mon cœur. Le cruel avec adresse, Profita de ma faiblesse : Hélas, Maman ! Un faux pas Me fit tomber dans ses bras. Je n'avais pour tout soutien Que ma houlette et mon chien. L'amour, voulant ma défaite, Ecarta chien et houlette ; Ah ! Qu'on goûte de douceur, Quand l'amour prend soin d'un cœur ! Did you know that Mozart wrote a set of variations on the tune?
  5. [quote user="freddy"]OOOOOH - I want one - I want one - can I ask where you are in france as I thought you couldn't do citrus unless you are right down on the coast due to frost.[/quote] In the Hérault   there is a micro-climat http://ami.roquebrun.free.fr/#lien
  6. Don't forget that these things also happen in France: http://www.midilibre.com/articles/2008/04/15/20080415-FAIT-DU-JOUR-2-Le-couple-ecroue-apres-le-deces-de-l-39-enfant-martyre.php5 and http://www.midilibre.com/articles/2008/04/11/20080411-FAIT-DU-JOUR-5-Fillettes-violees-le-beau-pere-avoue-enfin.php5
  7. If your French is good enough to enjoy this film (I am not talking about the accent, which as other people have correctly said is no barrier as it is explained for the benefit of the southerner) you might be interested by this survey of French critics' opinions: http://www.marianne2.fr/Bienvenue-chez-les-ch-tis-la-critique-sourit-mais-n-en-pense-pas-moins_a85632.html
  8. One question Clair. You said that you started with DD and switched to cheque. Do you think they would accept cheques from the beginning? (btw I have free dégroupé and am happy , but pay by DD)
  9. Towns are much more expensive than country places for both taxe d'habitation and taxe foncière....and yes we get all sorts of 'extras', but of course many of the services paid for are also available to people who live in the near-by villages and commute. This was one reason behind the development of 'agglomerations', or "communauté de communes"   so that the cost of things like cultural or sporting facilities doesn't fall only on town dwellers. I pay about 1000 in total in town and 300 in total in the country, but get street lighting and mains drainage in both.
  10. Are you looking for parts from a scrapyard? If so look under casse automobile. In the yellow pages for the Hérault it is page 199 Spare parts are pièces détachées
  11. Don't put too much confidence in the Accident service though. Last year I hurt my ankle, and the Hospital missed the fact that is was fractured. I had to go to the local clinique for a second opinion to get it spotted. On the other hand there is a reasonable chance of getting some preventative tests  (for bowel or prostate cancer for example) as long as you push for them.
  12. 1)I think that some good salads are always welcome at lunchtime: a 'salad du pecheur' with a few prawns, mussels, an anchovy or two with the tomato and lettuce 2)Simple, local well-done things go well too: in the winter a good fish soup or "soupe de potiron", and chou farçi or a daube de boeuf  . A favorite of mine is poulet basquaise but that might not be right for where you are. A gigot or blanquette is a popular option too. 3)On a low price menu you can't expect expensive ingredients, but some classics which are easier come by in France than in parts of the UK can give a touch of luxury : 6 oysters for example. 4)  A non-meat option,  for each course even if it only various omelettes,  a piperade, crudités to start etc. If you are in the south a popular 'formule' might  be: a basket of fresh vegetables/hard boiled eggs/cooked potatoes  to cut at yourself with an aioli sauce for dipping Some charcuterie and gherkins A simple main course (steak frites for example) cheese or dessert ( or both with a supplement)
  13. As I said I found it mildly amusing, but nothing more. It is certainly intended to be 'feelgood' but does it so obviously and clumsily that it doesn't work for me.
  14. You must live in a palace Raindog! I also live in the Hérault and the taxe d'habitation in town is 450 euros, and in the country place 120.
  15. This is what I did five years ago when I was that the market was becoming saturated. I had a small country place that I now let to local people long -term.  It's not the same sort of luxury market as those with swimming pools and dishwashers, but it does mean I have a guranteed income from the CAF.
  16. I don't believe that English people here really ever integrate. We become known and more or less accepted, but always as 'les Anglais'. I am pretty good in French, and I am a well-known local figure in a medium-sized town, who has worked, run cultural events, and been involved in local politics but it's rather like the West of England where I lived for 30 years: if your great-grandparents aren't in the cemetary you remain an out sider. In this part of France this is also true of people from further North, so it's not a specifically  anti-English thing, although our accents don't help. Blood relationships are very important here, so unless you marry into a French family, you will never be completely 'one of them' This doesn't mean that you can't have a decent working relationship with your  neighbours, just don't fool yourself.
  17. I completed the purchase of my first house at a time when the franc was about 7.5 to the pound, so the present rate is really reminding me of those days! I was getting 1200 euros a month for my pension a few months back; now it's only about 1000.  200 isn't a lot, but it is proportionately higher when you haven't got much slack.
  18. So they don't lower the prices to ensure the most 'bottoms on seats' possible?
  19. Isn't it the principle on which Ryanair works?
  20. [quote user="ltf"][quote user="NormanH"]Surely the answer is to reduce prices 20% to allow for the low exchange rate. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/10/currencies [/quote] Great idea Norman! For those of us whose main income is from gites and live in France, do you think that our overheads, shopping and fuel bills etc. have also gone down 20%? Do you really think that we pluck our prices out of the air when we are pricing? [:@] A bit of tweaking may be necessary, but I doubt there are many people who run gites as a business who could  maintain their level of service to customers with a 20% reduction in income. [/quote] But this is what is being asked of people on  a fixed income in sterling, such as Pensioners living in France. And surely there are very few overheads with Gites? The investment was in buying them, but the costs of staying in them is carried by the holidaymaker who has to buy their own food, pay the electricity etc. Isn't it better to accept a lower margin, but keep up the level of bookings?
  21. Surely the answer is to reduce prices 20% to allow for the low exchange rate. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/apr/10/currencies
  22. Thanks ErnieY for that explaination. It's not very encouraging, but I'll try what you say...
  23. I am getting spam emails from MY OWN address! I hope they aren't also being sent to other people as if they came from me... How do I deal with this?
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