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About rogerpatenall

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 23/07/1945
  1. Favourite French films

    When I was at University (early sixties) we had a brand new 'Theatre, Maison de la Culture' in Caen and there were frequent top concerts. But the Jacques Brel evening stands out in my memory, in spite of the wealth of singing talent in France. Very privileged to have been there. As it happened, it was just a couple of days before Johnny H and Sylvie V were appearing at the Trianon theatre (a cinema with a stage). Probably explains why I was never a great fan of those two, still being on a high from JB.
  2. Favourite French films

    Another vote from me for Les Vacences de M Hulot, but I don't disagree with any of the above (I don't know the first two in Gardian's post above - nor Betty Blue!). My wife votes for that Anglo American classic 'Chocolat', but I say it doesn't qualify in spite of its excellence and lovely French small town atmosphere.
  3. SAILING UPDATES: 2017 Latest News

    Cherbourg - Poole is now arriving 45 minutes late at 2230. A bit choppy, needless to say.
  4. Best (French) beef cut for Christmas roast?

    As a rule we do not transport food from one home to the other (apart from 'les restes/leftovers). However, raw horseradish from Waitrose is an exception.But, specialist Epiceries do tend to have it for sale in La Manche..
  5. Complaint handling _BF

    Over the last 25 years I have always found BF to be very Fair on the rare occasions that I have contacted them. Just a couple of weeks ago I emailed following a minor hiccup when their bank charged the credit card fee on my debit card. Very minor and not their fault, I guess, but I had a few moments so pointed this out. Within a couple of hours I had a comprehensive note ("aware of problems with this bank"), a refund (for all of £3!) and complimentary seats in the lounge on the Barfleur there and back. Much appreciated, not just the gesture, but that they took what was a very minor comment about one of their suppliers that seriously.
  6. Timothy

    Get thee behind me, Satan!
  7. We finally got round to giving the new lounge on Barfleur a try last night. I have to say it is a pleasant, colourful space with plenty of room for the number of seats there. I didn't count but would say that there are about 20 seats. Far superior to the offering on Normandie Express. The seats are very comfortable, there is a Nespresso coffee machine, which I find as dire as all the other coffee offerings on BF ships. A few copies of the Daily Telegraph, which maybe says something about how the French regard their British premium lounge clientele. No desks or anywhere to work so it is back to the self service for that, but the seats are fitted with USB charging points.There were also a few excellent books which may well have come from a jumble sale in the 1950's, but nevertheless some fascinating historical documents. A 'welcome' glass of Prosecco or Cremant would have been a nice touch (a la P&O and DFDS), but overall an excellent space. Will I use it again? Probably not. At £72 return for the two of us, it can be a nice touch when taking a once a year trip, but on a regular basis it is too much of an on-cost. Could the space be improved? Well. a nice waiter service Restaurant would be really welcome or has someone already thought of that? . . .
  8. MSM Tuesday 24 October

    I agree with the comments regarding bizarre traffic flow measures at Portsmouth. No where else seems to get in such a mess. Back in the 80s/90s that you refer to, Gareth, I was using Southampton mostly, and passport checks were usually done during the crossing which would solve the queue back that seems to be an ever present at Portsmouth. Around the channel ports there are probably quite a few retired professional Brits who, with training, could work a few hours for the Border Agency, carrying out checks as at Dunkerque & Calais - similar to those who wok part time for the Maritime coast guard agency around Britain.
  9. Apple card reader

    Yes. I have an Apple one that is simple to use, and does what it says on the tin. I assume that you will need to buy a 'carrier' if trying to use a small Sony card as there is just one standard size slot on mine (bought 5 years ago and rarely used these days).
  10. Boarding Times on the Bretagne

    It could work well on the Express, as well.
  11. Boarding Times on the Bretagne

    I agree with the 'we are all going to get on anyway' brigade, and you win some you lose some. I realised that all the BF talk about it being a highly planned exercise is probably wishful thinking. At Portsmouth, when it is busy, they often call on a lane, and, because it is busy, the marshals send the new arrivals onto the end of that lane as it goes down, and they sail straight on the boat. But they don't get to France any sooner, and may well be on an upper or less accessible area that is slow to disembark. Swings and roundabouts.
  12. Cap lift entrance 9C

    Last time I was on the Next I noticed some cars with 'Priority Loading' printed prominently on the windscreen hangers. I am not sure what that was about , but they were marshalled so as to be first off the upper deck. Never noticed them before.
  13. HMS Queen Elizabeth

    We were on the morning NEx out of Portsmouth on Wednesday. Even with the Express' limited visibility, excellent views of her. Super photos.
  14. Security, what is your opinion.

    Coming back through Portsmouth on Monday evening, there were, unusually, two uniformed men (Police or Border Agency?) standing outside the booths on the seaward side (not the land side where the Customs Officers wait), chatting amongst themselves and with the people in the waiting cars. All of a sudden they appeared to get a radio message and set off at top speed towards a car that had just joined the queue. Don't know what happened next as our turn came to move forward to the Border Agent - who was as courteous and efficient as always. But it suggests to me that it was an intelligence led action.
  15. Barfleur Club Lounge - Sneak Peek

    Never been in a Bangkok Brothel so thanks for the detailed description. We will save our £18 pounds - as we do on the NEx. Out of interest, is the CV discount given on seats as well as cabins?