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by martyn94
Wed 30 May 2018 13:10
Forum: Entertainment & Events
Topic: Jennifer Aniston plays Lesbian in First Ladies NETFLIX Film
Replies: 13
Views: 2978

Kate wrote:She’s an irritatingly gorgeous woman whoever she plays. Why can’t they have more actors who are short, plump and middle aged? (Feeling inadequate)
There are PhDs to be written (and no doubt have been) about the female actors that women find gorgeous and those that men find gorgeous. Not that I would set myself up as the ISO standard for male susceptibility.

Or if you want to cure yourself of dreams of stardom, (re)watch “Sunset Boulevardâ€￾. It would make you settle for being the “OXOâ€￾ wife. Not that you would get that gig either, any more than I would be the OXO husband. So little time, so much to do.
by martyn94
Mon 28 May 2018 21:26
Forum: Anything about Anything
Topic: clic clac uk to France
Replies: 7
Views: 1418

IKEA do a somewhat upmarket folding bed (depending which mattress you buy) called Lycksele. I built one for my sister years ago (in Australia). They are quite tidy when folded, and comfortable when exploded. And I didn’t fall through a gap in the middle, which has been my issue with conventional c...
by martyn94
Mon 28 May 2018 21:04
Forum: Hi Tech/Geek
Topic: Occasional Use Data SIM
Replies: 14
Views: 2220

Re: Occasional Use Data SIM

I visit my house in the region for around 8 weeks a year and have no fixed line phone or internet. I am on Three UK and can make use of my 4GB per month data whilst I am roaming. However if I want to tether another device to my phone for e.g. TV watching, I have to but a ‘Data Passport’ costing...
by martyn94
Mon 28 May 2018 20:52
Forum: Entertainment & Events
Topic: Jennifer Aniston plays Lesbian in First Ladies NETFLIX Film
Replies: 13
Views: 2978

Owens88 wrote:It is a bit sad that the reporting concentrates on sexuality and not the plot (if there is one ).
If she’s a lesbian President, what more do you want by way of plot? The Donald seems to do pretty well on much thinner material.
by martyn94
Sat 26 May 2018 19:28
Forum: Travel
Topic: Crit'air anti pollution sticker
Replies: 4
Views: 1172

Allan wrote:Most modern cars have the VIN displayed in the bottom corner of the windscreen.

If it is a UK car then it should be on the V5C and on the MOT certificate.

I believe that European registration documents all use the same coding structure so it will probably be on the V5C in the space marked E

As Martyn says, petrol is called essence here, Gasoil is the French word for diesel and is sometimes written as gasole.
This is a 2001 Honda, which is not entirely modern. As I recall, some French cars owners had their VIN etched onto their windscreen as a way of tracing them, like I had my registration number etched onto UK cars: they had to use the VIN because the French registration number was liable to change under the old French system. But I haven’t noticed that it’s routine.

I was pretty confident that Kate’s querist already had their VIN somewhere in their documents. But if they haven’t been able to find it, and insist on playing Chinese whispers via Kate, I wasn’t much tempted to go beyond the obvious.

Just to be fair, I suspect (belatedly) that the invisible man may have been trying to fill in the English-language version of the Crit’Air application. If it offers you “gasolineâ€￾ as a possible response to “what sort of fuel does it use?â€￾ then I guess the question makes sense. But you have to have had led a very sheltered life to be in any doubt.

One more reason to do things in French when you can: I would rather trust my French, bad as it is, than a French bureaucrat’s idea of English.
by martyn94
Thu 24 May 2018 20:06
Forum: Services & Trades
Topic: Anyone know anything about Asphalt?
Replies: 3
Views: 964

Allan wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
The last time it was done, the neighbours hailed a passing Irishman who conveniently had a load left over from a nearby job.
I’m sure you could find a “gitan sédentaireâ€￾ to help you out. Which should probably get me barred off the site for life.

You’re right, though a bit pedantic, about asphalt vs tarmac - they are used pretty much as synonyms. Tarmac is arguably more accurate in one respect: it implies that it already has the filler in it, but asphalt is strictly just the gloop (the longer form for what you want is “asphalt concreteâ€￾).
by martyn94
Thu 24 May 2018 19:40
Forum: Travel
Topic: Crit'air anti pollution sticker
Replies: 4
Views: 1172

I don’t know anything about your correspondent’s V5C, but the VIN can be found on a plate stuck onto the bodywork somewhere fairly obvious under the bonnet (or “hoodâ€￾ in American). Gasoline is called “essenceâ€￾ here.

Can I say, yet again, how much I hate these queries made at one remove, through you? You will note, as always, that this hasn’t stopped me trying to be helpful
by martyn94
Thu 24 May 2018 19:24
Forum: Entertainment & Events
Topic: Jennifer Aniston plays Lesbian in First Ladies NETFLIX Film
Replies: 13
Views: 2978

Does she still have the famous hairdo?
by martyn94
Thu 24 May 2018 19:20
Forum: Services & Trades
Topic: Anyone know anything about Asphalt?
Replies: 3
Views: 964

None at all, except that I know people who have been ripped off by cowboys, and I have to suffer the useless patches done on my local roads in Normandy by my local cantonnier using cold-setting tarmac. If you really mean 400 sq m (about the size of Centre Court, including the out-of-bounds) it must ...
by martyn94
Tue 15 May 2018 20:14
Forum: Services & Trades
Topic: Diesel cars in France
Replies: 8
Views: 1992

Kit wrote:So often on this forum I find that for every easily-made comment there is a wretched pedant who seems to want to get their name in lights by correcting an assumption.

This is embarrassing, but today I am that pedant. Cows do not produce carbon dioxide, they produce another harmful greenhouse gas called methane. And most of that methane is produced as burps whilst they chew the cud, rather than as farts.

Otherwise, you are spot on with your analysis! By genuine coincidence, today I have been looking at the choice of new hybrid cars.
Just to be super-pedantic, cows do produce CO2. Just not more than usual. I have the good fortune, at my older house in Normandy, to have a herd of “la race Normandeâ€￾ either in front or behind (they are swapped over to spare the pasture). They are very pretty. The sound of them grazing, or chewing their cud, or just breathing in and out, is a lovely soundtrack to go to sleep by. And I wouldn’t swear that they don’t fart too, in a ladylike way. They certainly do other things in that line, as my roses know to their benefit.
by martyn94
Tue 15 May 2018 17:53
Forum: Services & Trades
Topic: Diesel cars in France
Replies: 8
Views: 1992

Owens88 wrote:I wonder about any real 'joined up' thinking by the powers that be.
  • CO2 pollution is massively contributed to by cows farting and ships and lorries moving stuff around the world.

    NOX emissions are most deadly in Cities

    by a date in the near future most cars will be electric or hybrids.
    etc
So the short term demonising of Diesel seems like gesture stuff to me.
The long term will be too late for me. I lived for thirty years in London SE10, and quite often in the 18e in Paris (and hope to continue doing so): both look pretty grim on the pollution maps. Most people live in cities and will increasingly do so, so protecting us from avoidably greater excess mortality and morbidity than our existing burden (from particulates as well as NOx) doesn’t seem like a gesture to me. Nor a short-term one: Mme Hidalgo doesn’t hope to ban diesels from Paris before 2024. Even if that comes off, they would go elsewhere for 15 years or more. Even if the current bullish noises come true, it will be decades before most of the stock of cars are electric or hybrid, unless govts do something much more coercive (and expensive) than currently contemplated. In the meantime, we are at more risk from choking than from drowning in rising tides.

Even so, recent policy doesn’t seem to be “demonisingâ€￾ diesels so much as correcting for past “angelisingâ€￾, sometimes done for what seemed like good reasons but always with a large dose of political calculation.

Hybrids almost strike me as neither one thing nor the other: it would be easier and cheaper to buy something smaller and drive it much less. Plug-ins, maybe, if I had a 150m extension lead.
by martyn94
Wed 09 May 2018 19:57
Forum: Anything about Anything
Topic: Carte de Sejour...to apply or not ?
Replies: 8
Views: 2040

jethro wrote:I have applied for and got an Irish passport, so I presume my being British will be of little importance post-Brexit. But will my current S1 then be valid ?
God only knows. Soothing noises have been made, though a while ago now, and nothing you would want to regard as binding. Unless I’ve missed something.

I’ve long since stopped following all this from the UK end. It was comforting, very briefly, to think that people there would just see sense. But there may now be (just maybe) a sense that the various sects of Brexit headbangers will tear each other’s throats out (for a long period) and then fall back exhausted and settle for a face-saving formula. Which may be entirely wishful thinking.

Very old friends in Dordogneshire have a house about 1km away from the Rees-Mogg “family compoundâ€￾ (as they say in the US). No-one knows what it looks like, because it is surrounded by a very dense, and very tall, leylandii hedge. Which must be a metaphor for something.
by martyn94
Sun 06 May 2018 19:37
Forum: Hi Tech/Geek
Topic: Top shows and movies to watch on Netflix in May
Replies: 12
Views: 2985

The losers here include Sky and BT and their legitimate subscribers. And all the content providers who have licensed content to the broadcasters on terms which aren’t meant to include us. (Possibly because they’ve sold, or would like to sell, the French rights to Netflix France or someone). I f...
by martyn94
Sun 06 May 2018 15:44
Forum: Hi Tech/Geek
Topic: Top shows and movies to watch on Netflix in May
Replies: 12
Views: 2985

Kate wrote:We’ve had webtv4me for a fair while now. We don’t find it so expensive, less than half of what we’d pay for similar in the UK. It is what it is. If one day it disappears, something else will take its place. For now, it works really well for us.
If I started a thread (under Shopping I suppose) called “How to shoplift from Intermarché and get away with itâ€￾, it would be considered in doubtful taste. But we have the moral equivalent here and no-one turns a hair, beyond saying, in effect, “I find it easier at Carrefourâ€￾.

I suppose this seems priggish. I plead guilty.
by martyn94
Fri 04 May 2018 15:10
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Ikea Perpignan
Replies: 0
Views: 1461

Ikea Perpignan

I am afraid that I long since “drank the Kool-Aidâ€￾ when it comes to shopping at IKEA. Other people here have other views, but every few years I feel the need for replacement kitchen doors, and frying pans, and God knows what.

Which is a long way of saying that you can now (apparently) buy almost everything they do, online, from their store in Montpellier, and have it picked and packed and delivered to their new “dépôtâ€￾ in Perpignan, and collect it there. I haven’t bottomed how the charges work, but they are evidently a lot cheaper than their home delivery (€29 seems to be top whack), and an awful lot cheaper (and less wearing) than a round-trip to Montpellier.

More details eg here


https://www.ikea.com/fr/fr/store/montpellier/services

I’m only hoping that they’ll do their jars of herrings: I guess it’s too much to hope for a plateful of meat balls.
by martyn94
Thu 03 May 2018 20:38
Forum: Hi Tech/Geek
Topic: Top shows and movies to watch on Netflix in May
Replies: 12
Views: 2985

I supppose that one advantage of Netflix is that they actually own the intellectual property rights to what they are selling you. If you are inclined to be picky that way. Believe me, Kate, that you are the only person here that I would dare say that to now. Because, as you have said elsewhere, you ...
by martyn94
Thu 03 May 2018 20:19
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

The bottom end of the downpipe is called dauphin, the metal cage is quite simply a grille de protection. The really interesting question is: why on earth is it a dauphin? The eldest son of the King of France? Perhaps it is that, in very metaphorical way. It certainly looks more majestic than the re...
by martyn94
Thu 03 May 2018 18:01
Forum: Anything about Anything
Topic: The Windrush Scandal
Replies: 9
Views: 1851

Allan wrote:
Owens88 wrote:Rudd resigned because she lied/was mistaken about the targets and misled the House. The underlying scandal is that the culture had been dialled up to 'Hostile' and the civil servants stopped using their heads about their role and responded to the targets not the actual law.
Surely 'Hostile' to anything illegal is good and with a 'Hostile' environment perhaps there would be fewer attempts at illegal immigration.

Clearly the way the policy was applied was just plain daft.
In a country which purports to have the rule of law, being avowedly hostile to any broad, and unidentified, group of people seems pretty despicable to me. All you need is to have good workable laws and to apply them dispassionately. I used the NHS for sixty years and was never once asked to demonstrate my right to do so: I am a white, “well-spokenâ€￾, Brit (to all appearances), and can put on a decent show of entitlement when I want to. I gather that even I might face more vigilance now: I guess I certainly would if I were a black guy speaking patois. We have all been annoyed by having to jump through bureaucratic hoops in France (piece d’identité, proof of address, carte vitale...), but equal-opportunity bloody-mindedness has its plus points.
by martyn94
Thu 03 May 2018 17:43
Forum: Anything about Anything
Topic: The Windrush Scandal
Replies: 9
Views: 1851

Santiago wrote:The two things you are missing are the nature of the targets and the concept of immigrants being illegal.

Targets to follow up on deporting identified “illegalâ€￾ immigrants is justified, but what this government were doing was setting targets for deportations. Those deportations included anyone who could not prove legal residency or who could be persuaded to leave.

My wife has a UK permanent right to enter visa. However, in the past few years immigration officers have questioned her at the border, tried to get her to swap the visa for a temporary one or even tell her she didn’t need it anymore as she only goes to the UK for periods less than 90 days.

These are all examples of trying to meet a target by removing “low hanging fruitâ€￾.

Secondly, calling people illegal immigrants suggests they are criminals. While some are and some fit the stereotype of a swarthy young man who snuck in on a lorry, most are overstayers, those who changed job, British people’s wives and children and parents, and anyone else who can’t easily prove their right to residency.

I would have thought we, as immigrants to France with Brexit looming, would at least empathize if not totally understand the way a hostile environment towards illegal immigrants can affect legal ones too.
Agreed.

One of the few decisions I have never regretted was when I joined the Civil Service. I was asked to name Departments I particularly would or wouldn’t want to work for. I generally believe in “Never volunteer, but never refuseâ€￾, but I did downvote the MoD and the Home Office: not because I thought their work was unimportant, but because I thought I wouldn’t find it sympathetic. Subsequent experience only confirmed that.

The Home Office, in particular, are on a hiding to nothing. In between trying to implement immigration policies which are patently impossible (“down to tens of thousandsâ€￾, anyone?), trying to negotiate with the Prison Officers Association, and taking the flak for knife assaults, no wonder the iron enters their souls.

Two other abiding problems. Civil servants tend to live conventional middle-class lives, and to do things by the book, and assume that other people do so too (never a vice of mine). Senior people must have persuaded themselves that it would be straightforward enough to ask people to produce evidence about where they were and what they were doing year by year over decades: if you’ve spent all that time working in the same bureaucracy it would be easy. Second, Ministers, with very rare exceptions, never think, or want to hear about, the practicalities of what they want done. Or hear that they are not working when they don’t, until it’s in the papers.

When I did join the service, they sent me to the Inland Revenue instead: somebody’s idea of a joke, I suppose. I haven’t regretted it, but we certainly had our own occupational deformities.
by martyn94
Tue 01 May 2018 22:27
Forum: Anything about Anything
Topic: The Windrush Scandal
Replies: 9
Views: 1851

Re: The Windrush Scandal

Allan wrote:As I understand it, the 'scandal' revolves around the fact that the home office had targets for the removal of illegal immigrants and unfortunately some people who had a perfect right to be in Britain were inadvertently caught up in it.

Obviously it is quite wrong that bona-fide immigrants should be treated in that way, but what is wrong with having a target for the removal of illegals?

Surely the objective for any country should be to remove people who have no right to be there.

The current fuss seems more about the target than the unfortunate people caught up in it.

Am I missing something?
Yes, very much so. I have a birth certificate saying that I was born in Liverpool in 1951. If I didn’t have that, I would be hard pressed to show that I was qualified for “leave to remainâ€￾ in the UK by virtue of evidence of continued residence for 40-odd years. I certainly had pay slips in 1969, but I sure as hell didn’t keep them. Even, or especially, if the Home Office had not recently thrown their own vital papers away.

You talk blithely of “illegalsâ€￾. But the whole system of entry/exit controls seems to be a total shambles. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have arrived but not left, which is not surprising. But there also
seems to be an awful lot of people who have left without ever arriving, which ought to be difficult. That’s the price that the UK pays for not being a police state: Mesdames May and Rudd seem to have wanted the SS in terms of a “hostile environmentâ€￾ for dodgy black people, but ended up with Capt Mainwaring: incompetent, but still cruel in a random way.
by martyn94
Sun 29 Apr 2018 20:23
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

I’ve already tried to give you all the advice I can usefully give about drainpipes, and you don’t seem to have given it total attention. Oh Martyn. Do you actually realise how that sounds? A little like I used to talk to inattentive kids when I was a teacher....but I would only talk to them lik...
by martyn94
Sun 29 Apr 2018 19:45
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

I’ve already tried to give you all the advice I can usefully give about drainpipes, and you don’t seem to have given it total attention. Oh Martyn. Do you actually realise how that sounds? A little like I used to talk to inattentive kids when I was a teacher....but I would only talk to them lik...
by martyn94
Sun 29 Apr 2018 17:02
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

Allan wrote:
Lanark Lass wrote:We bought replacement pvc pipe - and a replacement piece should it happen again. We had to transport it home on roof of car.

Even metal pipes around here get bashed. I've seen some houses with pipes set into the wall - but as ours is made of riverstone I'm loathe to disturb the wall.

Gus's idea sounds good - if i had an arc welder.

If having a custom made pipe protector is too expensive I'll just have to leave it to chance and use the spare if required. The last pipe lasted 12 years that I know of. Just thought if I could find an affordable guard it would be nice. The break was quite high up so it must have been caused by a van.
At the cost of a few metres of pvc pipe every 12 years or so then you probably don’t have a problem to solve. Remember that if you encase the pipe in something, then, if that gets hit you might end up replacing your expensive protector instead of your cheap pipe.

Typical UK prices seem around £80.

You can see examples of protectors here https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=downp ... 68&bih=922
All we need now is to find the French for “downpipe protectorâ€￾ and look it up on Amazon.fr. I’m normally quite good at doing this, but this one has defeated me on a very brief search. Someone will get a gold star if they find it.
by martyn94
Sat 28 Apr 2018 21:48
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

Lanark Lass wrote:It is a pvc pipe. Do you know where I could buy a ready made cage? I think having one made to order could prove expensive?
You bet it would it would be expensive, especially if you tried to get it from a “fourgeronâ€￾ rather than a “ferronierâ€￾.

I’ve already tried to give you all the advice I can usefully give about drainpipes, and you don’t seem to have given it total attention. Find an artisan who knows about drainpipes, and ask them an “openâ€￾ question (ie “I want to stop my pipe being damagedâ€￾, rather than “I want a cageâ€￾).

I asked you whether the bottom bit was cast iron because I thought that was the first remedy you might think to apply if the whole pipe was fragile. I had thought that I made that obvious, but evidently I didn’t.
by martyn94
Sat 28 Apr 2018 18:16
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

Or I guess a good builder could. If someone just replaced your old down pipe like-for-like without addressing the risk of the same damage again, you might look for someone new.
by martyn94
Sat 28 Apr 2018 17:56
Forum: Shopping
Topic: Downpipe protector
Replies: 22
Views: 5062

Was it cast iron? It’s normal to do the bottom length of a down-pipe in cast iron (rather than galvanized sheet steel or plastic) exactly to protect them from damage. If it was cast iron, then evidently you need something more serious. I’m sure the “cagesâ€￾ exist ready-made. Either way, a good plumber can help you.
by martyn94
Fri 27 Apr 2018 13:09
Forum: Restaurant reviews and food matters
Topic: A rant about restaurant web sites
Replies: 4
Views: 1350

I’m anything but a fussy eater, so it has never much troubled me. I particularly dislike hot cooked tongue, but I’ve eaten it when that was what there was left at 1330. Similarly with “pieds-et-paquetsâ€￾. Even if you don’t much like it, you can usually tell why other people might do, and it broadens your horizons. The sort of restaurant I normally eat at doesn’t generally have a website (or so I imagine: I wouldn’t generally think to look) and the prix fixe menu (or one of them, in fancier places) is usually a no-brainer.

I knows a Jamaican woman, now an old friend, who couldn’t get her head around the idea of prix fixe when she first came here twenty-odd years ago. She thought that the limited choice was an imposition, almost like slave food. So she paid 50% more for something out of the freezer, while the rest of us had something fresh and possibly seasonal. She’s come round since.

I blench at the thought of organising a “group mealâ€￾ in the UK now. It was a nightmare even when I last did it for work colleagues, almost 15 years ago. Anything more than 3 good friends and you were pretty much doomed to pizza, and nowadays they’d have to do gluten free. Vegetarians and vegans were no problem: there are excellent cuisines which can please them and me. But they were always scuppered by the “I don’t like...â€￾ or “I can’t eat...â€￾ people. At best, if you could bully them into going to a Chinese, say, they’d insist on having their very own dish of sweet-and-sour pork, when the table was groaning with edible stuff.

“The Frenchâ€￾ vary like anyone, but they tend to be quite conservative, but within the confines of that, not very picky. You only have to look at the special reveillon menus, say, to see what the francais moyen sensuel regards as a special meal. That suits me too.
by martyn94
Tue 24 Apr 2018 17:57
Forum: Welcome to the P-O. Life Forum
Topic: Bonjour! Advice on car registration please!
Replies: 11
Views: 2382

Allan wrote:I agree with Martyn, the cost of Telepeage is trivial compared to the advantages. It always amazes me that so many people are prepared to queue up and faff around with coins or credit cards just to save a very small sum.

It is just a pity that there are so few car parks that accept them for payment, I believe there is only one in Perpignan.

As well as autoroutes, car parks are the other big nuisance with right hand drive cars.
I rather enjoy it when a Porsche Cayenne (or something equally ugly) which has stormed past me an hour before the péage storms past again an hour after the péage because they stopped to pay and I didn’t. Though it’s wonderfully annoying when the queues for the pay booths get so long that you just can’t reach the “Tâ€￾ lanes on the LHS, which are just sitting there, twiddling their thumbs.
by martyn94
Tue 24 Apr 2018 15:08
Forum: Welcome to the P-O. Life Forum
Topic: Bonjour! Advice on car registration please!
Replies: 11
Views: 2382

[quote="Gusâ€￾] At a price.

Gus[/quote]

But quite a moderate one. There is usually one or other of the autoroute concessionaires which is giving the gizmos away, and they generally have a tariff which charges €1.50 a month or so (on top of the tolls), but only in the months you use it. In a truly competitive market, they would be paying you.
by martyn94
Mon 23 Apr 2018 23:27
Forum: Welcome to the P-O. Life Forum
Topic: Bonjour! Advice on car registration please!
Replies: 11
Views: 2382

Just to be contrary, it might be worth thinking about selling your RHD Irish car in Ireland, and buying a roughly equivalent LHD French-registered car here. Subject to anyone else’s experience, you will not find it easy to shift an RHD French-registered car either here or in Ireland when you event...