Really felt like I should share this little tip, chainsaw chain is pretty expensive in France but if you use eBay you can get some great deals.
I bought three 18" chainsaw chains or chaîne de tronçonneuse on eBay for the same price as you would pay for one in the local bricomarche and that was including the cost of shipping from Germany to France.
So all in all, well worth the little bit of a bidding war I had to go through a few times to get the chains.
I actually think I could have got them even cheaper but forgot that when you put the price in for Euros on eBay FR, you have to use a comma not a full stop. So when I went to outbid the other buyer my price wasn't accepted and the time ran out before I realised what the problem was. So don't make that mistake.
You can access the right pages for chaîne de tronçonneuse using this link. There are a range of sizes and if you persist, you will eventually get a great deal.
If you are a UK resident, make sure you don't miss out on the availability of either reduced cost medical treatment or very often free medical treatment, should it become necessary,when visiting another EU (European Union) country.
To qualify for the treatment you need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card and make sure you take it with you when you travel. Not all UK residents are covered in all countries, but you can find out the details and apply online here European Health Insurance Card.
It would be crazy not to take advantage of this free option and it is very easy to apply on line, although you can also apply via the Post Office or by telephoning the number on the website.
The EHIC replaces the old E111 health cover and is free of charge. It is recommended that even if you have a EHIC card that you still take out travel insurance so that you have peace of mind that you are completely covered for all eventualities. Insurance choice is a great option and will also cover pre-existing medical conditions.
You can find further travel advice information and help on the Travel Advice France page of the main website including a travel check list and lots of information for finding the best flights, airport parking, car hire and ferry crossings.
It's official, the 21st March is springtime here in France. I didn't realise until I was chatting to my neighbour the other day and he actually told me which day it was.
Everything is really starting to grow now so we spent a day in the garden to get all the plant life under some sort of control.
It's very gratifying when you finally get finished, look back at your days toils and see the difference it has made.
The raised beds have been dug over, all the grass has been cut and we made a start on weeding the flower beds. We also finally managed to get some new lavender plants in to replace the ones that have succumbed to the long hard winter. So all in all a reasonably successful day.
Not that it will last very long, based on previous experience, from now until well into June everything will continue to go bananas and grow like wildfire. Just as well I have a wife who loves to garden, gives me a bit of time spare for the computer, but I think I know who has their priorities right!!
Changing the subject slightly, it's also about this time of year that we usually see the first signs of our resident tit family starting to move into the water urn that sits above our little water lily pond, although I have to be honest I haven't actually seen them yet, so the photograph I have included is actually from last year.
I am sure they will be around somewhere though, they normally get in at least 2 broods a year and we are still mystified as to how the fledglings get out of the pot. I think we will just have to name them all Houdini. But don't worry, I'll keep you posted as to when we actually see the first signs of nesting and I'll see if I can get a photograph of the great escape.
Life has been extraordinarily busy here in the Aude. There have been many changes afoot and for once I am not talking about the weather. No this time I am referring to my alter existence as a website designer.
Living in France can require one to adopt a very modern approach to working, especially if you want to survive the economic ups and downs and financial shenanigans imposed upon us by those greater mortals that run our countries and financial systems.
God bless their cotton socks.
If you read the latest information on business models particularly when they refer to the process of innovation, you will find that the modern workforce needs to be flexible, multi-skilled, good at communicating and prepared to adapt to the needs of the market place.
Innovation by the way doesn't just mean coming up with a good idea, it actually means coming up with a good idea and taking it to commercial viability. In other words earning some money from it.
All well and good when you have a team of people working towards a common objective, but for those of you thinking of making the move to France, it more often means what you and the wife can pull out of the bag to earn a crust.
Still that is half the fun and enjoyment, and when you actually start to see a bit of progress it can be very gratifying. For me it is getting my web design business organised so that I can offer a professional service and quality solutions to those that are interested in establishing an online presence.
That is why I am very pleased to say that through Moulin Website Design I can now offer a design service that will not only provide a very nice website, but one that can also have it's domain name registered in the UK or France according to preference and be hosted through our own hosting service. A complete package that takes the stress out of organising the different aspects of the development.
More and more businesses are recognising the need for an Internet presence, and actually it is exactly at times like this, when competition is fierce and customers can be hard to find, that a new marketing approach is often required.
Our business is aimed at small businesses or sole traders like ourselves and we aim to provide an affordable solution that maintains a level of quality that should be expected from any service provider. That is because if we were looking to work with someone on a project, then that is what we would expect.
So Life in the France Lane is moving on at a pace and if you are interested in sorting out a nice website for your business, then take a look at ours and see if you think we could provide what you are looking for.
No its not a great day for rambling in the South of France, well not unless you have got some snow shoes. But there is one thing for sure, you will never be bored.
A week or so ago the trees were leaning over at about 90° due to the wind lashing the entire country; all the way from the Pyrenees to Brittany in the North. Anyone caught in that will know what I am talking about.
We actually got off quite lightly where we are, it messed up the satellite signal a bit and we had to be careful when we were taking our daily walk through the woods. There were a few trees straining at the leash for sure so a little care where you were walking was required.
A few days later we had a little excursion up to the lake at St Ferreol, a change of scenery and some new smells for the dog were the order of the day. We couldn't believe when we got there just how many of the really mature oaks had fallen foul of the storm.
A bit sad really to see them all lying down, especially as the process of sawing them up had already started and many were just torso's with their limbs removed. It is an arboretum around the lake so I guess they needed to get cleared up relatively quickly, but from a state of grandeur to a pile of logs in a couple of days. What a way to go after all those growing years!!
Anyway, with the sun coming out and a pressing need for fuel, it wasn't long before we took the opportunity to stock up the woodpile ourselves. It's hard work logging when the sun is shining, so off came the fleece and out came the chainsaw as we got stuck into a few fallen trees and some others we helped on their way so that they would be seasoned for next year, just like having our own little arboretum really especially with the accompanying pile of logs and some woodland management.
We have actually been thinking that we could start gardening duty as well pretty soon and bought some nice 12" pots ready for our tomato plants. The tomato plants we will have once we have managed to get around to sowing some tomato seeds that is.
Might have to put that off for a few more days though, because when we got up this morning,as you will have guessed from my opening statement, there was another major weather turn and we were right back in the depths of winter.
So where have those sunny days and soft sunsets disappeared to, heaven only knows. From recent events though, I am pretty sure that it won't be here for too long and we will be back to the spring like weather the last week or so has been promising.
So if you like the idea of a rambling holiday in the South of France without snow shoes, then all you need to do is wait a few days.