Sunday, 28 February 2010
500gm Mascarponi cheese
half a mug sugar
Melt enough butter to bind the biscuits
Spead into cake tin, (I use one with a loose bottom so I can lift the cake out of the tin.) and chill.
Put cheese into a bowl
Zest of lemons
Spread over biscuit base
Deadly Hurricane-Force Winds Lash France
1:00pm UK, Sunday February 28, 2010
Huw Borland, Sky News Online
At least 15 people have been killed after France was battered by hurricane-force winds and heavy rain in a violent storm.
Some victims were hit by falling trees and branches while others drowned.
Gusts up to 100km an hour (60mph) lashed the country's northern regions and were sweeping east towards Belgium and Luxembourg.
Winds reached about 200kph (120 mph) on the summits of the Pyrenees Mountains and about 150kph (90 mph) along the Atlantic Coast.
The storm, named Xynthia, also cut off electricity to more than one million residents.
Local authorities said three people died on Saturday and another 12 on Sunday and they warned the toll could rise.
Three victims drowned in western France's Vendee region, police and rescuers said.
An 88-year-old woman was also found drowned in her home on the isle of Oleron, in the Charentes-Maritime further south.
Authorities reported that a man was killed by a falling tree in the southwest Pyrenees region.
Forecasters said the storm appeared less fierce than those that hit France in December 1999, in which 92 people were killed.
The latest storm had earlier lashed Spain and Portugal. In Spain, authorities said two men aged 51 and 41 died when the car they were travelling in was hit by another falling tree.
An 82-year-old woman was killed when a wall collapsed in the northwest Galicia region,officials said.
And a 10-year-old boy was killed by a falling branch in the northwest of Portugal.
:: Flooding is expected across the Britain with forecasters predicting more torrential downpours and stronger winds.
The east and south of England are set to bear the brunt of the weather.
It appears the weather turned East before it reached us, Hitting Normandy and Belgium, we had a lot of rain, and winds but not anything like what we expected, here's some photographs I took at about 14:00 CET.
I was standing in the sunshine watching this approach,
Saturday, 27 February 2010
I'm tying everything down, mixed weather forecasts for tonight, some say breezy, but a lot are predicting hurricane force winds, a storm is working its way through Spain, predicted to go up through the Charente, Loire then Brittany before going across Normandy and the South of England, I will report tomorrow if we have Internet, or even a house to post from.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Clothes shop Kiabi are running a competition, its called Le Grand Casting 2010, please go to http://www.kiabi.com/casting?id=375636 and vote for my grandson Kenzo, its easy, fill in your details and click Votez, after you have done that you will be go to a different page, there is no need to do anything after that.
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Today is a chicken cull day, Paul has despatched 3 Bantams and a Bantam Coq and a large meat chicken, I leave that sort of work for him. Mike is coming over later to help catch and kill another couple of cockerels so I have made a Smoked Salmon and Chive quiche. I've never mixed Salmon and Chives before, though I don't see why they can't work.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
As a UK citizen moving to France, the French immigration regulations allow you to freely enter and leave France without restriction. Once you have lived here for three months, then provided you have sufficient income not to become a burden on the social security system and have healthcare insurance in place, you obtain temporary resident status which becomes permanent after five years. Having obtained temporary resident status, you automatically become tax resident here and you must make an annual declaration of your worldwide income. You have no choice over whether France is your main place of residence or not.
To take a brief look at the key money aspects:
The tax burden in France is fairly light (particularly if your income is derived from UK pensions) and dependent upon your personal circumstances, you may find you'll pay little or no French income tax. If you have savings, then regardless of where they are held, the interest is taxable in France and you will pay an additional 12,1% as a 'social contribution' (quasi tax). When you make your first tax declaration here, you apply to HMRC to have your UK tax code amended to zero to avoid being taxed twice. Different rules apply if you are in receipt of a UK government pension which remains taxable in the UK.
If you are coming to France to live but not work, and you qualify for a form E106 or form E121, then you will be able to obtain immediate state health insurance cover without having to pay any financial contribution. The state will cover you for around 70% of your treatment costs leaving you liable for the remaining 30%. You can cover the shortfall by purchasing a complimentary 'top-up' policy at a typical cost of 50€ per person per month. The E106 has a limited period of validity, after which your state cover will cease. The E121 is valid for life.
If you do not qualify for an E-form, then unless you obtain employment/self employment and pay compulsory social security contributions, you will have no right to state health insurance and you must purchase and maintain a private health insurance policy. Once you acquire permanent residency status after five years, this condition no longer applies and you can be re-admitted to the state system on a means tested basis, paying 8% of your taxable income over a threshold.
You will pay two annual property taxes - tax d'habitation and tax fonciere. These are based on a notional rental value of the property and are payable in the autumn of the tax year. Dependent upon your age and financial situation, you may qualify for reductions in these taxes or even exemption.
You will be required to register your vehicle in France at a typical cost of around 500-600€ dependent upon the particular model. There is no annual 'road' tax here and the controle technique (equivalent of the UK MOT test) must be carried out every two years. Maintenance costs can vary so you should shop around.
Other living costs and routine expenses such as insurance, utility bills, etc are likely to be broadly similar to the UK.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Lovely weather in South Brittany, T shirt weather, warm sunshine, clear sky's, all doors and windows open but the clear sky's mean the temperatures plummet in the evening, just lately night time temperatures have been between +4 and +5C , but this week the minuses return. Still today was the first salad of the year, Pot au feu and stews the rest of the week.
Were going to take the ponies for a walk, the grass hasn't had chance to recover yet, but we have plenty of hay, the ponies paddock has been fenced off as a very small area so we need to take them out for a bit of exercise.
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
I've been to the hospital today and have the date for my operation, more on that later. Paul had a day off work today to take me for my appointment so we did a little shopping while we were in Redon. In France there is a chain of shops called "NOZ" they are a pile it up high sell it cheap type of shop, ends of lines, products bought from businesses that are closing down, the problem with the shop is they stock a lot of rubbish, also products in damaged packages and sometimes no package, but worth a rummage none the less. Today I bought amongst other things some food items, including Nescafé at just €3 for 200 gms, bargain, Thai noodles, red curry paste and red curry kits, and some stuff called All' Arrabbiata ( the word arrabbiata means angry in general use, in cooking it usually means that the dish contains hot pepper), I will report back about that.
After shopping we went for lunch at a place although near where we live have never visited before, Help yourself from the buffet for starters, pile the plate up high, Beef 'Provençal" with chips, Creme brulee, coffee and a bottle of local cider, for two, less than €30.