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About Gardian

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 16/06/47
  1. What's the betting that BF's schedules (Dec-on) will be out on Monday?
  2. Good !
  3. I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned Campanile Hotels. OK, if you turn up without having pre-booked or if you leave it until quite close to your stay, they couldn't be considered as 'budget'. However, if you sign up to their 'offer email' thingy via their website, then usually about 2 months before travel, you'll get some really interesting offers. I've often paid less than E50, but that of course is non-refundable. Its true that most of these offers will be out of high season, but not everybody is tied to that period. As for the hotels, they're just about everywhere, they all look the same, but they're comfortable and the restaurants serve perfectly acceptable meals at a very reasonable price. One great advantage is that they're usually gated, thus providing security for your vehicle and belongings. Ideal as overnight stays when you're on the move.
  4. Either BF have gone off the idea, or (much more likely) the non-availability of presumably PA due to her refit schedule. Just guessing!
  5. Eddies ......... Well of course its a concern for those of us living in the EU, but the phrase "Don't panic" comes to mind. Pensions - the very worst thing that any Govt could do is freeze increases. Not good & legally dodgy, but probably not the end of the world. Healthcare - I firmly believe that little will change for those who have been here for a while. It might for 'new' emigrants, but for established ex-pats, I really rather doubt it. What else? A firestorm of protests from those affected (2m +?) Return to the UK - the implications of selling in a falling market are obvious. You'd get your rights back in the UK, but that's not the real issue. In short, stick it out. There's still bucketloads of water to go under the bridge.
  6. Forgive me if this has been covered already, but I'm quite a fan of Coalition Government. The best & better politicians from all sides coming together ..... Not easy I'm sure, but it works ( sort of) in Germany. Imagine the best bits (and I don't just mean the giveaway stuff) brought together as a 5 year plan? As for where we are today, I'm dismayed at the awfullness (can't think of a better 'suitable' word) of the Tory campaign. They learned nothing from the EU Referendum, which was catestrophically managed. Labour did well enough, but ultimately Corbyn wasn't electable. However, by a much smaller margin than most of us thought! Next .......... ? Goodness only knows.
  7. We have had a 'wine crisis' just recently. Living right on the edge of the Cotes du Rhone (southern) area, there are few wines which are sold locally and which are rubbish. IMO, the dodgy CdR stuff gets exported to the UK and elsewhere as 'cheap & cheerful' stuff. Anyway, our local Co-op Winery closed its retail outlet a couple of weeks ago and we were faced with hell of having to go through a whole tasting regime to find what we liked! Rose wine (the stuff of the Summer season) varies enormously in colour and more importantly, taste. The worst of it can be like a cup of cold xiss. Anyway ........ after extensive and arduous testing, we've found one that will do the trick for the Summer months. Happily, the same place sells an excellent Costieres de Nimes (red), of which I had a few glasses this evening. Usually pretty reliable and this stuff fits the bill. Buy it if you see it - better than a lot of CdR & better value. On a serious note, it must be hard for UK residents trying to buy over here on a brief visit. Your taste isn't the same as the next person's & a little tasting doesn't really tell you much. What tastes good at the moment, isn't so great when you're lumbered with a couple of cases of it ! Would be interested in Fine Whine's opinion re selecting wines that he has to choose to try to appeal to the majority.
  8. Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I just don't share this view of an 'open sesame' in to the UK post-Brexit. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but as things stand now passengers are required to show their passport to the ferry or airline operator at check-in for travel to the UK. For travel by air from further-flung parts of the world, people will be denied boarding if they don't have the necessary documentation, otherwise the operator risks being required to return the passenger back whence they came at the expense of the operator. Of course, any rigorous enforcement of such a policy would make things slower at the ports (and they would have to perhaps re-think how they manage things at the Tunnel), but if the British public wants a 'secure homeland, then it has to be prepared to fund it and put up with some delays. Somebody with a legitimate passport (from anywhere) who says that they're coming to the UK for a holiday or to visit friends, would presumably be allowed entry .............. but, everything then needs to be tightened up for somebody who had other motives. By that I mean no access to healthcare nor employment without the necessary permission to be in the UK. Its not foolproof of course, but realistic. Its what happens here in France. A lot of people get paranoid about how just anybody can fetch up in the UK and benefit from the UK's generosity: the fact of the matter is that the UK hasn't had the necessary controls in place to deal with illegal immigrants and it will need to 'get real' and apply the sort of checks that I've described. BTW, I was a firm 'Remainer' (as you might expect from somebody living in France), but accept that what's done is done and IMO the UK just needs to get on with it.
  9. A friend of ours lost a cousin of hers in the 1981 Penlee lifeboat disaster. His surname was Madron and its interesting to see another member of the family in the picture of the 1983 rescue crew. In today's world, these people continue to demonstrate totally unselfish & courageous behaviour.
  10. Whilst the passenger, vehicle and freight figures are interesting, they barely tell half the story. By this I mean that load factors, or perhaps more crucially 'revenue yield' (vs cost = profitability) by route and by month are the important numbers. With the airlines, its presumably relatively simple. Their yield algorithms tell them what revenue they need to generate the required profit for a route and put simply, if that route doesn't have a load factor of (say) 85%, then people like Ryanair simply drop the route. For BF, I guess that its much more complicated, although I have no doubt that its analysed religiously. For instance, the 'revenue yield' for freight vs cars per linear metre must vary from high to low season. However, the latter will presumably generate more 'discretional' spend. Loads of equations which my hypothesis only scratches the surface of, but you get my drift? Re Roscoff - Cork as an example, my back of a fag packet calculation suggests that the load factors are quite high (probably as high as any route), even with the slight reduction in traffic in the last year. But of course it only operates for half the year. It would be fascinating to know, but its obviously commercially sensitive information and I'm just a saddo!
  11. Forgive me - I've read & re-read this thread, but fail to see the importance that Cherbourg ever had in (relatively) recent times. I've been prompted to dig out a couple of my old '77 timetables. With TT, the service then was only May - Sept whether out of Portsmouth or Southampton. In the former case (taking July as an example) two daily sailings, and in the latter once / day Thurs - Sun. Le Havre was just twice / week ex Pompey and 1/2 sailings / day ex Southampton. There was of course the 1/2 times daily Sealink sailings ex Weymouth to Cherbourg. The point I'm making is that there was never a wholehearted commitment to Cherbourg by TT even at that time, although I'd be happily corrected over what may have happened in subsequent years. For us, as annual French holiday-goers, we only ever used Cherbourg when we were staying on the peninsula. Even now, if you look on the Autoroutes de France website and enquire on journey times Cherbourg - Le Mans (for example) vs Caen - Le Mans, the difference is 1.5hrs. Not much I know, but the port is 'out on a limb' cross channel ferry-wise. Having said all of that, I can remember returning ex Cherbourg to Portsmouth on an early evening sailing that year and enjoying a very civilised meal in the restaurant.
  12. Apologies if this has already been covered, but this one of those daft things that came to me at midnight last night. Since BF operate to British time on their ships, when would New Year have been sounded on the Pont Aven when she was alongside at Rouen? Fireworks would have gone off there an hour earlier.
  13. Bonnes Fetes (or as they pronounce it around here "Bonn-er Fetes") to all. The Channel & Brittany Ferries are as far away as Mars for most of the folk down here. That's not to criticise them, its just the way it is - another land. First time in years to be down here at Christmas with the family together. All the local shops will be open tomorrow (25th) morning - for us, just to get bread.
  14. I really rather doubt whether much, if anything, is pre-cooked and reheated. The evidence comes in the form of some of the experiences recounted above plus the vicissitudes of long-ish crossings, with weather sometimes leading to extended time at sea. Most of us would agree that the main course can sometimes be a bit of a lottery, but in a way it's a bit like banqueting. How often have any of us had a truly memorable banqueting experience? I've had loads of truly forgettable ones. I'm quite sure that things like fish are 'batch-cooked' and if you happen to get one of the last of that batch, then it may have been sitting for half an hour under a lamp waiting to be garnished and sent out. Mrs G recently had a rissotto on the PA and there's no way that it had been cooked to order + it showed. She accepted that it wasn't the smartest choice. On the other hand, we both had lamb fillet on the Bretagne and it was as good as anything we have had with BF for years. It was always going to be a popular choice, probably a dozen or more servings from a large cut which was (effectively) cooked to order.