Unaccustomed as I am …..

…. to making speeches, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me, through good times and bad, through thick and thin, through sunshine and rain, when the going got tough, etc. etc. for their unwavering belief, their moral support, the use of their spare rooms, the cups of Horlicks and Marmite on toast, and mostly for their monetary donations. Without all of you, I could have never have done it. (Wipes tears from cheek.)

Together we have travelled a long and arduous road in our quest for perfection and enlightenment, and I think it is true to say that I have certainly achieved it.

So thank you one and all.

Especially Keith at A Taste of Garlic.

For this elegant award.

that was the week That was the week.....   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

(Waves trophy aloft.)

(Returns to seat to tumultuous applause.)

(Discreetly removed from scene by men in white coats talking in soothing tones.)

A new word is born

And that word is:


I am not going to tell you what it means, nor where it comes from. You’ll have to Google it. 😉

It isn’t easy to create new words; generally you find that somebody else has already created them before you thought about it. So I am very jealous of wididity’s creator. 🙂

Deactivate! Deactivate! Deactivate!

Maybe you are more savvy than me. Maybe you check your Internet Service Provider mail inbox, and all the settings, regularly. In which case, read no further.

For those like me, who simply pay their ISP a monthly fee for Internet connection, and who don’t examine each bank statement forensically but just pop them in a file if the balance looks roughly correct, here is something you might like to know.

In France, the ISPs Orange, Alice, Bouygues and Free accounts include a service called Internet Plus. What this means is that if you come across a website that charges for content, such as ring tones, videos, games, and if that website bears a logo that looks like this:

and if you, one of children, anybody using your Internet connection, or the cat clicks on that button, the charges for that service will be automatically added to your ISP monthly bill, because Internet Plus is activated on your ISP account by default, and the web service will be munching away at your bank account courtesy of your ISP. There are many discussions on this on both French and English fora, where people have quite unwittingly found themselves being charged for a service they did not want or even know they had until they took a closer look at their bank statements.

In my case the service VIP Mobile has been charging to my Internet Plus account 4.99 euros per week since the beginning of August. It looks as if one of our guests may have clicked on the button without realising the implications.

This could not happen if the Internet Plus service required activating by the account holder. Instead, the onus is on the account holder to deactivate it so that no more charges can be applied. I think that is quite scandalous, but quoi faire?

In our case this has cost us 120 euros, but looking at it positively, if I hadn’t spotted it when I did, it could have cost very much more. 🙂

If you are worried about little Justin, grandpa or Tibbles signing you up for something you don’t want, then make sure to deactivate your ISP Internet Plus account. For users of Orange.fr, log in to your account, click on ‘espace client’, then click on ‘mes services’, and that will take you to a screen like this:

Make sure that Internet Plus is deactivated. And just to be sure, I’d check regularly to make certain that it does not miraculously reactivate itself when you’re not looking. 😉

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There’s a new website dedicated to one of France’s most historic and unspoilt départements, the Somme. It’s called Sommewheredifferent.com.

Coat of arms of Somme
Image via Wikipedia

The site is brand spanking (oooh!) new, and looking for visitors and comments. So if you live up that way or are planning a visit, and would like to contribute to their forums or enjoy articles of local, national and international interest, pop in, take a tour and introduce yourself.


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Nine Questions

  1. When is the gorgeous Jonathan Rhys Meyers going to start looking even remotely like Henry VIII?
  2. When will he grow a beard, his hair turn orange and his belly swell?
  3. Why has he not aged AT ALL in the 31 years since he married Katherine of Aragon?
  4. Why do all the male characters look the same?
  5. Why do all the female characters look the same?
  6. Will Katherine Howard ever stop giggling?
  7. Is there anybody else who can’t wait to see her head lopped off?
  8. Is the fourth series of The Tudors the worst yet?
  9. Is anybody else completely enthralled with it?
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