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Gardian

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About Gardian

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  • Birthday 16/06/1947

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  1. Gardian

    French road blockades

    From my observations down here, the % of cameras vandalised is probably closer to 100% ! Its quite hard to imagine how something that has been paint-sprayed, JCB’d and then set on fire, could still be functioning ! Having said that, (whether I like it or not, and I don’t) my speed behaviour has been modified to suit the new limit. Most others seem to comply as well. Whether it reduces the death toll remains to be seen.
  2. Gardian

    French road blockades

    Although what’s happening down here will be of little interest to most at this time of the year, it seems to have pretty much ‘died a death’. I had to get to Avignon TGV early-ish this morning and was concerned about possible problems. Despite setting off quite early ....... nothing ! There’s the occasional piece in the local rag about how the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ are going to organise themselves in to a national movement, etc, etc. However, the Unions will be less than enthusiastic about any such move - it would obviously dilute their influence. Millsy ....... Rightly or wrongly, I rather feel that Macron & his government decided quite early on to just allow this whole business to burn itself out (no pun intended). It pretty much has, at least down here. Macron said the other day in his address to the French nation (and here, I paraphrase) “You can’t work less and earn more, nor can you pay less tax and expect infrastructure improvements to be maintained and / or continue”. Happy to be corrected on his precise words, but the gist of it was just that.
  3. Gardian

    Brexit effect on BF

    I can’t help feeling that LHCity’s post a few days ago (which was rather ‘poo-hoohed’ at the time) was more than prophetic and clearly based on some reliable intel. He may not have got the whole story, but perhaps some of the doubters might feel it appropriate to acknowledge his post?
  4. Gardian

    Merry Christmas

    Talking of wine, if you Chris (Fine Whine) wants to know about some more than halfway decent CDR producers down here, just contact me. Several really good places at half (or less) than the silly prices that some Domaines want. But that won’t be a surprise to you. Just finished my final glass of the evening of a local wine which retails at €5.50 down here. Its as good as a Vaucluse CDR at more than 2x the price !
  5. Gardian

    Merry Christmas

    Very best wishes to all from southern France. The beauty of this Forum is that, unlike many, discussions seem to me to always be conducted in a polite and considerate manner. That’s as much to do with a firm, but light hand on the tiller from the moderation team and the commonsense of contributors. So, a smidge of mutual group congratulation wouldn’t go amiss. Perhaps an opportunity to also thank BF management and employees for their interest and continual sense of real customer service. May that be reflected in a commercially successful 2019.
  6. Gardian

    French road blockades

    Just read that in Egypt the government has banned the sale of yellow vests, in order to thwart the possibility of copycat protests. That’s the way to fix the problem !
  7. Gardian

    French road blockades

    Notwithstanding the fact that this has been ‘flagged up’ to the general public (newspaper ads, etc) for more than a year. Just in case any non - France residents don’t know what we’re talking about, income tax has traditionally been payable quite late, i.e. declaration of earnings in the Spring following the previous calendar year, assessment around August - time, tax payable by end -Oct. Accordingly, the French Exchequer didn’t see a bean from most people until as long as 22 months after if it was earned ! This has gradually been changing and rightly so, because the old process was bonkers. Along with many others, I have been paying monthly direct debits for several years, but it will become the case for everybody from 2019. For France, it will mean a one-off boost to the Exchequer - can’t begin to estimate how much, but it has to be in the €bn’s. It makes absolute sense - can’t imagine ‘Fine Whine’ being too happy about being paid for a delivery some 18 mths later ! Unless I’m very much mistaken, this isn’t a Macron initiative - its been brewing for years, but he’ll get the blame.
  8. Gardian

    French road blockades

    Neil asked above whether this was widespread throughout France. It certainly is, though the 'intensity' does I think vary from place to place. For example, our local large-ish town has a bit of activity on Saturdays (and is easily avoided), but is quiet for the rest of the week. Fuel availability is a bit patchy, but at any one time, there's fuel available at half of the local stations. Unlike Brittany from the sounds of it, which sounds grim. I really can't make up my mind as to whether the suspension of the fuel tax increase will cause all this to fizzle out. The simple fact of the matter is that fuel prices have dropped anyway by around 10c / litre (related to the 30% drop in the price of crude), but I just have a sneaking feeling that the protests will continue. Quite possibly on a very patchy basis. The emphasis of the protesters has definitely swung towards a "Lower taxes" clarion call. However in France, if your income is modest, the likelihood is that you'll be paying little or no income or local taxation anyway! Even for middle income earners, the income tax liability is likely to be less than it would be in (say) the UK. Its a bit difficult to pay less than nothing or not much! Having lived here for 14 years, there's a prevailing attitude amongst the French (not by any means amongst all, but many) that the State should always provide. Where on earth they think that the State is going to get the funding for schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects, without taxation, is beyond me.
  9. Gardian

    SAILING UPDATES: 2018 Latest News

    Ah, just seen Westy’s post re St Malo problems on the other thread.
  10. Gardian

    SAILING UPDATES: 2018 Latest News

    From the look of her track last night, they knew of likely problems at St Malo. So, you had the (unavoidably) daft situation of Normandie sailing from Pompey 3 hrs after Bretagne and overtaking her en route. Bretagne then had to hang around off Caen waiting for Normandie to clear the berth. All very inconvenient for passengers who find themselves somewhere else and nearly 2 hrs later than planned! Presumably tonight’s passengers will have to drive (or be bussed) to Caen and Bretagne will have to vacate the berth during the day? You wonder why not Cherbourg? Similar problems or just ‘no room at the inn’?
  11. Gardian

    French road blockades

    Just to reinforce Cabin-boy’s point about fuel availability, I’ve just learned that most stations around here have run dry! Again, problems down here won’t matter to most of you at this time of the year, but there’s every reason to expect problems too in Normandy, Brittany and so on.
  12. Gardian

    New Look Revealed

    All I can say is ......... Why ??? It all adds absolutely zilch.
  13. Gardian

    Brexit effect on BF

    Quite probably. The same sort of people who believed the “An extra hospital every week” nonsense, may now think that they’ll need a 3 month advance notice visa in order to gain entry to France ! I really do sometimes wonder. No ........ I wonder most of the time !
  14. Gardian

    French road blockades

    I don’t suppose that too many on here will be heading down this far (to southern France) at this time of the year. However, if by any chance you are ............ it isn’t good at the moment ! My impression is that its been worse today than over the weekend, probably because more heavy lorries have been in circulation. For us, its one of those times when you stay put and don’t even think about trying to go too far. Gendarmerie leaving them to it, as usual.
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