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About Gardian

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  • Birthday 16/06/1947

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  1. How many hours work to produce a model of that quality. I don’t know really, 20 probably and that’s almost certainly under calling it. So .......... £9 / hr for work of that quality !!! I couldn’t get somebody to sweep my drive for 2x that. Looks lovely.
  2. I’m pretty sure that this is going to be a contentious thread, but I feel pretty strongly about it, so here goes. Shortly before Christmas, my wife and I travelled on the overnight St Malo - Portsmouth crossing. We always eat in the main restaurant, but have been increasingly unhappy in recent times (we make the journey 2 - 3 times p.a.). Mrs G will almost always take the fish as a main, but it has frequently been overcooked - by that I mean cooked and left on the ‘pass’. My mains have varied in quality, but rarely memorable. On this occasion, I ordered the ‘Pulled Lamb’ dish (anything ‘pulled’ seems to be the current fad). Mrs G took the vegetarian dish, which was a pulse dish of some sort. Mine was totally average, my wife’s was really poor. Her dish had zero ‘eye appeal’ and tasted completely bland. Now, en route to Brittany, we always stop in a Campanile hotel. Yes, I know, not everybody’s idea of a perfect hotel, but they’re clean and very reasonably priced. The evening before, she had a vegetarian dish which was undoubtedly ‘out of a bag’, but which was absolutely delicious. Cost was €9.90. I rather feel that BF has lost the plot over its waiter service restaurants. We’re not looking for ‘steak / frites’ (although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that). But what about a nice Rack of Lamb with a Gratin? The research chefs seem to be trying to go too far in producing something different and ‘off the wall’. The ambiance and service in the restaurants remain excellent - the food much less so IMO. Did we complain at the time? The half- finished plates said it all and our waiter offered to get us something else - we politely declined. I read a restaurant report in a magazine while we were in the UK. One of the lines was “It’s for people who don’t mind paying for mediocrity if it comes in a nice outfit”. Sums up my view entirely.
  3. Best wishes to all from the Gard. Well, it would be the Gard if we hadn’t made the trip up to the Thames Valley via St Malo. Trip report on that to follow at some stage.
  4. There are indeed a number of service stations closed or pretty close to running dry. It is however worth saying that normally (and I stress normally - no guarantees of course) motorway service stations will continue to operate. This is for the obvious reason that you can’t have dozens of vehicles running out of fuel on the motorway network.
  5. Someone must have painted a picture of the Battle of Salamanca. That would be fitting and go down well with the crew ! 😜
  6. How’s about a lengthier report in the section above (reports)?
  7. Gardian

    ibis Plymouth

    But apart from all that Neil .......... OK-ish?
  8. Yes, resident over here for 15 years and had my 1st ‘controle’ very close to home at 10.30 in the morning (on the way to the tip). It was no problem & I’d wish that they did it more often. There are more than a few vehicules around here with the ass hanging out of them. French MOT? Bureaucracy to be avoided as far as they’re concerned.
  9. That’s incorrect as regards UK licence holders driving in France. Up until now, there was no requirement to exchange to a French licence until the UK licence became expired. Of course, all this may well change after Brexit. Furthermore, I can’t speak authoritatively as regards other countries.
  10. Yes, but why ? We were in a local restaurant recently and there was a couple (40yo-ish) who were both on their phones for most of the service. Presumably they were talking to somebody else and not each other ! Call me old fashioned, but I think that what I’ve just described is worrying / sad.
  11. That’s not playing fair though, is it? With the ground at 45 degrees behind it, the ‘JCB bucket-swipe’ from its rear would be tricky. Mark you, I’m all in favour of enforcing phone misuse etc and (I’m bound to admit) my own observation of the speed limits has been sharpened by a few fines. These were before I had to exchange my UK licence for a French one and I didn’t then incur any points. Not so now !
  12. Not around here they haven’t. Just about every former site is empty - just (literally) the scorched earth. I remain cautious however, as mobile ones can turn up at any time. Furthermore a new and improved Mk II camera is meant to be on its way - supposedly vandal-proof, but where there’s a will, the boys will find a way.
  13. Gardian

    CF vs PA

    Hmmmm. Fresh air yes. Scruffy, also yes. PA every time. Apart from the top level cabins (which are really nice) I don’t ‘get’ CF. Not for me.
  14. Auchmill ........... I understand your view, but Motorail was a product of the 70’s / 80’s, wasn’t it ? A bit like the Silver City aircraft transporting 3 or 4 cars at a time from Lydd to Beauvais in the 60’s / 70/s. I did both at the time, but they were ‘never for ever’, were they?
  15. This is all very interesting to read, but forgive me ............ is it not just ‘pie in the sky’? I say this as a former Thames Valley resident for whom access to Dover / Portsmouth etc was simply a matter of choice rather than a travel nightmare. However, surely a ‘northern’ service to somewhere in France is a complete non-runner. First, any service would have to be operated by a ‘southern’ ferry company and thus the return service would have to take place before the outbound. A bit like the existing Cork - Roscoff if you see what I mean. Thus you ‘lose’ a day or two on a 2 week holiday. Second, fares would certainly be eye-watering - they’d have to be. Those who complain (with justification) about the awfulness of long & tiring journeys to the south coast would probably vote for that rather than the inevitable high fares. Third, and the events of recent times are evidence of this, sending a ship some way ‘out of bounds’ when weather & mechanical problems can intervene, is just asking for trouble. If it was your business, you wouldn’t give the notion a moment’s thought, would you?
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