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  1. Jardinier

    Sunday lunch on Pont Aven

    Brilliant, Neil!!
  2. Jardinier

    French Cycling Road Sign

    No entry to red light district.
  3. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    Yes, Imprimerie, I agree and join you in wishing all Brits the best under very worrying circumstances. I understand that the Ministère de l'Intérieur has fairly recently written to all Préfectures with instructions to follow the same procedures with CdeS applications from Brits. Whether this actually happens is another matter ... We come under Tarn-et-Garonne, and have found the Préfecture in Montauban helpful but a little imprecise. We are still not sure that we have all the necessary documentation for my wife's second interview. Slightly annoying, as we live an hour away, and it's a bit of a fag if we have to go three times. Had enough of that when they "lost" my healthcare file at the Caisse Primaire. Nevertheless, the staff at all the authorities have been great, on a face-to-face basis, for the 15-16 years we have been here.
  4. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    Just back to offer an apology for the extra "e" in "negotiations" in my last post. Too late now to change it. And to add that we have just (we think - waiting for confirmation) made an appointment for 14 August for my wife's CdeS interview.
  5. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    Further to all the above, I received today a notification from the British Embassy in Paris of an update to their advice to Britons in the light of the Brexit negotiateions. You can see the advice page for yourself at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-france?utm_source=923383e6-6591-4b8d-8732-2b0bbdc2dad3&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#registration-in-france This article includes the following: " The British Embassy is in regular and close contact with the French Authorities who advise that UK nationals should apply for cartes de séjour under the current system. If you have any problems with doing so, please contact us outlining the difficulty you have encountered, when, and which préfecture (département). We may not be able to reply to all emails but will continue to raise with the French authorities and update this page with further details. The French Ministry of Interior have assured us that any UK Nationals currently living legally in France and exercising their EU rights are able to request a carte de séjour, including the right to be issued with a permanent card upon first request if eligible. " You will have until at least June 2021 to submit any necessary registration documentation. In the meantime, we would encourage eligible UK nationals to prepare your papers (bank statements, statements of household bills etc) to demonstrate your continued residency in France and to apply for a carte de séjour." I think that answers questions about whether French and UK governments recommend applying for a Carte de Séjour Permanent. I have had no reply from Kalba Meadows, but for all I know, she may have been behind the update at the Embassy, if she passed on similar queries. I am sure that she is extremely busy at the moment with all the buffoonery going on in and around Westminster. Ed, there are various categories of Carte de Séjour available, and applications for the different ones require variations of supporting evidence. If you haven't already done it, you will need to log on to your Préfecture's website and find the page where you can make an appointment. There will be some delay in getting one, especially as - as you well know, I'm sure - nothing much happens in August. We had a first appointment for my wife's application, but they required a couple of pieces of evidence we didn't have at the time, and we're looking at a second appointment asap now. But ... Would it not be better for you if you took out French nationality? (Not meaning to pry here ... Just wondering).
  6. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    Apologies for the (partial) double post. Somehow I managed to submit when I really didn't want to.😊
  7. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    OK, Ed. First of all, I apologise for the delay in replying, but we have family here on a visit for a fortnight, and now that they have gone to bed, I have the chance to reply. To other readers, I apologise for the length and detail of this post, but for a mere Cabin boy this guy asks complicated questions! However, he is quite right to do so. I'll deal with the easy point first. The French are indeed very quick to point out that no EU citizen is obliged to apply for a Carte de Séjour. And, of course, the vast majority of EU citizens have absolutely no need to apply for one, and would be wasting everyone's time if they did (in most cases). However, from 30 March next year, British subjects in an EU country may have no automatic right to be there (if "no deal" is the outcome). And whilst I doubt very much whether any action would be taken to deport them to the UK, it is very likely that a system of registration will be initiated to record their residence in that EU country, and the present automatic right to be there ceases. Indeed, a new registration system would in all probability happen even if some sort of deal is reached - just as is proposed for EU citizens resident in the UK. Both French and British governments have apparently advised that the registration would be easier and quicker if the British applicant has a Carte de Séjour Permanent, because the formalities involved are likely to be the same (proof of income, proof of residence, etc). As you suggest, nothing will change in respect of our current rights until the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020, but only IF there is a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. If the UK were to leave with no deal then our current rights would come to an end on 29 March 2019. With a "no deal" outcome, there is NO transition period. It is quite a possible outcome, too, as is becoming increasingly clear. I'm not a legal eagle, so here I quote from the website of the organisation known as RIFT (Remain In France Together): "France is the only EU27 country not to require EU citizens moving from another country to register or report their presence: in all other countries there are formalities to undergo after 3 months of residence. France has actually passed legislation requiring all resident EU citizens from elsewhere to register (see above), but has never published the arrêté which would prescribe how this would work and insert this into domestic law, therefore it's not, at present, a requirement. "Although the absence of any registration requirement means that most of us have avoided the bureaucracy involved in applying for a Carte de Séjour, there is a downside: it means that it isn't always evident (a) how long we've been legally resident and (b) whether we have been properly exercising our free movement / treaty rights and are therefore 'legally resident'. At the end of the transition period, from 1 January 2021, all British citizens living in the EU will need to justify their membership of the 'protected group' - those whose rights will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Those of us living in France who don't already hold a Carte de Séjour at that point could find ourselves at a disadvantage. "Going through the (relatively simple) procedure now of applying for a Carte de Séjour as an EU citizen will make sure that both of these things are done formally, in good time, and before it becomes necessary, so that after Brexit you can easily demonstrate that you are legally resident and hence can show that you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. "The draft Withdrawal Agreement provides in Article 17 that those already holding permanent residence cards (see below) will be able to exchange them for cards which verify our post-Brexit rights, thus avoiding potentially complicated and stressful administrative procedures." You are right, Ed in saying that there is no document from the British Embassy in Paris or UK government which says that Brits in France should apply for a CdS immediately. Since when do government departments say anything so simple?! However, on this page there is reference to a Q&A session held by the Embassy on Facebook. I quote part of it: "You have the right to a carte de séjour as a British national, but it is not obligatory at present. We are talking to the French Government about the process they will put in place, as we have in the UK. In the meantime it does make sense to get your paperwork in order to speed things up in due course." From the French government, a direct link to the Ministère de l'Intérieur does not exist as far as I know, and I confess that I accepted the word of RIFT, who stated as follows (in a third-party French translation of their article): " Après avoir rencontré des militants, les représentants du ministère de l’Intérieur français ont encouragé la diffusion du mot qui est maintenant un bon moment pour les Britanniques pour obtenir une carte de séjour." RIFT has, on the page previously cited, expressed the following: "We recommend that all British people living in France now apply for a Carte de Séjour. [RIFT's emboldenment] The same advice has been given by the French Ministry of the Interior, whose responsibility this is, and by the British Embassy." No specific source is given. To attempt to clear this up, I have contacted Kalba Meadows, a leading light in RIFT and in The Three Million, asking her for direct evidence of the assertions made by them in respect of both governments. However, I have no reason to doubt their honesty and good intent. Bear with me in the meantime, but I will do my best to clear this up!
  8. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    OK, Ed. First of all, I apologise for the delay in replying, but we have family here on a visit for a fortnight, and now that have gone to bed, I have the chance to reply. I'll deal with the easy point first. The French are indeed very quick to point out that no EU citizen is obliged to apply for a a Carte de Séjour. And, of course, the vast majority of EU citizens have absolutely no need to apply for one, and would be wasting everyone's time if they did (in most cases). However, from 29 M
  9. Jardinier

    Applying for French residency

    It is, in fact, the official advice of both the UK and French governments that Brits should apply for a residency card, and it makes sense to do so as soon as possible. We don't know, as has been pointed out, what the final outcome of Brexit or the status of Brits in the EU will be, but it is expected that there will be a big rush to get a Carte de Séjour Permanent after March 2019. It makes sense to do it now and to be covered. My wife is going through the procedure right now. The claimed advantage is that once you have the Carte, it will be easier to swap it for any new permit or permanent visa that is introduced as part of the agreement. There's an interesting article here from The Connexion, an English-language newspaper aimed at foreigners (mainly Brits) in France. There are several links to other info within the article.
  10. Jardinier

    Above and beyond customer service

    No words can help very much, but, having nearly lost our daughter (single, aged 35) last October, we have perhaps some slight idea of what you're going through. We wish you strength and courage through these difficult times. There but for the grace ... etc. We also hope that, when the worst of the grief is over, you are able to enjoy your French house. It may help you find peace.
  11. Jardinier

    Replacement of Bretagne

    Not very often I disagree with you, Neil, but having sailed between Saint-Malo and Portsmouth on Pont-Aven and Bretagne a few times last winter, I'd take Bretagne any day. Pont-Aven is OK, but Bretagne just has that bit of extra class. That said, I'm quite sure that "the general travelling public" would be perfectly happy with Pont.
  12. Jardinier

    Le Boat / Canal Du Midi

    Tend to agree that pretty well everywhere en route is stunning! I've never hired a boat, but the Canal du Midi is certainly on our endless list of wannados. Think I'd start at the Etang de Thau, if that's possible. I suspect the base may be at Marseillan or Sète, but I'd definitely have a look at Mèze - our favourite resort down there. (No pretensions, unlike the Riviera). If you can be in any of these seaside resorts when they have their "joutes" (jousting on board rowing boats) it's great fun. Some amateur video here. Look out, too, for the local sport of Tambourin, played with a tambourine-like racquet and a ball sized roughly like a tennis ball. Not so keen on Béziers itself, but that flight of locks is amazing. If you go to Castelnaudary, you have to try the cassoulet dish! All sorts of useful sites to refer to, but here's one. I have a question of my own ... You need a licence to pilot boats over a certain power (6HP). Do the boats available for holidaymakers come below that limit? In 2005 Rick Stein took a péniche from Bordeaux to Sète, and there's a BBC TV series on it ("French Odyssey"), available on Amazon and no doubt elsewhere.. A résumé (with links) of the places he stopped at to eat and/or cook is on his website at https://www.rickstein.com/about/rick-stein/ricks-tv-travels/french-odyssey/. Finally, the history of the Canal du Midi and it's architect, Pierre Paul Ricquet, is pretty fascinating.
  13. Jardinier

    Fuel Crisis in France?

    The blockade of refineries was lifted on Wednesday evening: http://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/2018/06/13/20002-20180613ARTFIG00036-raffineries-les-agriculteurs-decus-pourraient-poursuivre-les-blocages.php (Le Figaro, in French).
  14. Jardinier

    BF Confirm Charter of 'E-Flexer'

    Salamanca's a lovely place, and a fitting name for the ship. For those heading that way who may not be familiar with the territory, Burgos is also an interesting town with a museum devoted to prehistoric man, cave dwellers, etc, and a very fine cathedral.
  15. Jardinier

    Fuel Crisis in France?

    I was in Moissac (Tarn-et-Garonne) yesterday and there were no queues at any filling stations. As to whether a crisis might be looming, it really depends on how long any blocades last. And on that, I have no idea. I did hear some farmers being interviewed on radio, and they sounded pretty upset - and probably with good reason. I don't have much time for the French farming community in general, but this time I think they may have a case.