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About kenw

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  • Birthday 15/05/1950

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  1. Dear Admins: If OT or better moved / removed elsewhere, please do. Thanks to the "relationship realignment" [trying to avoid the B...xit word], we have discovered that Mrs W's driving licence cannot be swapped for a French one. [We've lived in France for nearly five years, and didn't see this coming, or could have dealt with it ages ago!] We only want / need occasional hire cars, for a couple of weekends away and possibly for a few days longer when moving apartments later in the year. Anyone know if / where we can hire a VSP – vehicule sans permis – one of those little cars
  2. Dear all Thanks for the many and varied responses. The guide will be focused on short break / weekends in and around Caen – with or without car – so I'm assuming that most people will want at least one way to Ouistreham. In the years before Covid one of my chums routinely did a triangle trip – out to St Malo and back from Ouistreham – he enjoys the longer overnight crossing, with time for dinner and drinks without the early wake-up next morning. And I'm interested to see that crossing appeals to quite a few folk here. Thanks again to everyone; can I at this stage pose two
  3. Dear all Can I beg some brain-picking, please. Having been sitting happily in France enjoying retirement for most of the past four years [excluding last year when I was very poorly most of the time]… I've now decided it was time to give the grey cells and airing. So I'm working on a mini-guide website to weekending / short breaking in Normandy. All contributions – ideas, suggestions, recommendations, questions or whatever – very welcome. For the benefit of newcomers, I'm doing a Getting Here page, with a rundown of the various options [am / pm / overnight and cabin / seat e
  4. French flour can be confusing, but there's no need to search for self raising flour. If you are into cake making, look for flour which is T55 or T65, plus levure chimique [aka baking powder] and bicarbonate de soude [no prizes for guessing]. Lots of online tips about how / how much to use – typically a couple of teaspoons in a cake mix. BTW if you want to make bread, you want levure boulanger [dried yeast]. For reference on flour types, here's our simple guide which we used when we first moved here. In simple terms, lower numbers are finer [although technically it's a bit more
  5. Still here! Just hoping that you can all come back soon to experience it. The only part of the hexagone [mainland France] where it never rains! If you feel wet stuff coming from the sky, it is simply the latest delivery of cow-fuel. The vital ingredient that makes the luscious grass that our cows enjoy so much as they provide the butter and cheese that we all enjoy so much!
  6. Thanks, Colin I think you're right. Have since seen a couple of other mentions, and a friend who lives round the corner says it is the "supporting wall of the exterior assembly area"[his transliteration] shown with the arrow.
  7. Dear all Four months of engineering works are starting shortly at Ouistreham. designed to "guarantee the sustainability of the embankment and thus secure the road approaches" This is reported in today's local news from Liberté. But I can't work out where the works will be? Is it the "sea wall" alongside the entrance and check-in lanes? Not sure if it's new, but thought I would onpass. https://actu.fr/normandie/ouistreham_14488/terminal-de-la-brittany-ferries-a-ouistreham-quatre-mois-de-travaux_39207185.html I'm not sure what the significance is, if any, for anyone [?] trave
  8. I've also met more than a few interesting people in both the bars and self-service restaurants on Normandie, Mont and Armorique. Including well-known musicians, a couple of helicopter pilots and a superyacht skipper with all of whom I'm still in touch two or three years later. [2020 was a no-go year for me – my own serious health issues quickly followed by the Covid confinements.] But there were several interesting and educational conversations.
  9. Apologies at continuing the digression, I thought this might be helpful to anyone who is uncertain about how anchors work. Although Tristan is a superyacht skipper, and is replying to comments on a previous post, his explanation is simple: it's the length and weight of chain that matters. HTH - and Happy New Year
  10. I suppose PleB has his own private supply of marmalade. Or does he only eat Breton confiture? Methinks we should be told… Just before I go, a heartfelt Joyeux Noël to BF crews, shoresiders and friends. And of course everyone here who supports France's premier passenger shipping line – and largest employer of local seafarers. Take care <em
  11. Just been looking at the SuperU website - this week's special offer is 20% off frozen food. So I've earmarked some calamars, some coquilles and some tartelettes. All of which can make a contribution to a Galicia buffet. And I can rustle up some mini-pizza if I put aside some of the dough I'm making this afternoon. Add a dish of olives and some crudités, with a bottle of Cava to mark the Spanish connection, and voila, the instant celebration. And if the Mac Mini's internet connection in the salon is working we will be able to watch the event on the big screen TV. Cheers Ken
  12. Sorry if I've missed something… do we know if there are any events at Cherbourg tomorrow to welcome Galicia to her new home port? Or do we have to wait until she is ticolor-ed? Could be a bit difficult for the largest employer of French seafarers to welcome a ship flying the "red duster"? I've had two builds in foreign parts; the first we flagged her in on the morning she first hit British waters (offload from a big carrier at Tilbury as it happens) and the second the night before she left Dutch waters on her inbound delivery trip. In both cases the Flag surveys were undertaken
  13. Can't help with eye drops, but my insulin has survived Eurostar from London, 3 nights Paris hotel and 2hrs Intercités using one of the mini-fridges from Amazon. And I can confirm that BF have a system in place to store meds in fridge. My friend who is more heavily insulin-dependent than I am routinely goes Portsmouth-Santander and hands over his stock when he boards, and reports that on collection it is always cold to the touch – "too cold for immediate use" he says.
  14. For anyone still planning a trip to France [returning home?] note that masks will be required on Caen's city centre streets from 1 September.
  15. Have to say in the days when I was flying around the planet, the airline I tried to avoid was Sabena and the airport was Brussels. [That was long before Eurostar gave a sensible alternative route London-Brussels. That was of course the late and much lamented Dover-Oostende ferry.
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