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Travelling to France


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#31 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 12:32 PM

you can't get breakdown cover for over 20 year old cars.


Since the newest CARS are 31 years old by now, so much for breakdown cover.
I don't have it anyway, neither here nor there.

Get ready for me buying some horrendous old rammel in August the subsequent breakdown meaning I have to leave it at the side of an Autoroute , walk to a farm and buy an R6 or Ami for 100francs to get home.


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The only way to live.

Although, breakdowns are usually fixable.
It must be a British thing to assume that there aren't any people capable of fixing cars in other countries.

You must encounter grenadisation proper before you abandon heap. And how often has that happened to you?
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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#32 OFFLINE   John F

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 12:43 PM

NorfolkNWeigh, on 21 Jun 2017 - 11:34 AM, said:

...which is just as well as you can't get breakdown cover for over 20 year old cars.

 

Eh? Euro breakdown is included for all my fleet with my Footman James multi-car policy...


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#33 OFFLINE   castros_bro

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 01:37 PM

Since the newest CARS are 31 years old by now, so much for breakdown cover.
I don't have it anyway, neither here nor there.


The spirit of Autoshite!

The only way to live.

Although, breakdowns are usually fixable.
It must be a British thing to assume that there aren't any people capable of fixing cars in other countries.

You must encounter grenadisation proper before you abandon heap. And how often has that happened to you?

 

 

^WHS^ (WHSmiths ?)  I just don't get this anal English obsession with prejudging situations which they have never been in.   If there are human people living in the Foreignland you are going to then why would you spend sleepless nights making up problem scenario which don't exist,  those human people there will already have the skills necessary so when you point at the engine on your BSA B40 and explain the exhaust valve has burnt out due to the ignition advance not being matched to the low octane of the local fuel by just saying " kaput" then someone is likely to hand you a cold beer (other beverages are available), a pick up will appear and 12 locals will lift your bike onto the back of it. How do I know this?  Here's some shonky 106D in Foreignland with partially assembled "Castros_Eurobreakdowninsurance in the boot"

 

 

7.jpg

 


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#34 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 01:44 PM

And Castros_Eurobreakdowninsurance is usually available for a handful of not real money in Foreignshire and likely doesn't even require a reg or permit.

At least not in the countries I usually go to.


1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#35 OFFLINE   NorfolkNWeigh

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 01:45 PM

Eh? Euro breakdown is included for all my fleet with my Footman James multi-car policy...



I should have said, breakdown insurance that I'm willing to pay out for, I'm a notorious skinflint. My traders policy only covers cars over 25 years old as 3rd party so unlikely to cover breakdowns.
My meta l father trundles back and forth to Brittany in a 60 odd year old Land Rover that he pays more for breakdown cover than the fecker cost him, I think.

#36 OFFLINE   NorfolkNWeigh

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 01:47 PM

Why did it autocorrect mental to ' meta I' ? Political correctness gone mad.

#37 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 02:04 PM

Any French village blacksmith can fix a series OLLI.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#38 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:00 PM

6029735191_9cd865e7dc_b.jpg

Citroen Mehari by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

I love our holidays in France, which usually involve plenty of driving on rural roads (and as little as possible on the autoroutes). Since 2010 it's been in whatever modern-ish family car we have, but back in the '90s it was the Acclaim and Sunny that we took.

 

4931456364_5492b762a3_b.jpg

French D-road driving by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Whatever we've taken has been a car that was in regular use beforehand at home, if possible timed so that it gets serviced a little while before we go (not the day before). After quite a few trips we have all the gear we need, I just need to remember to sort the breakdown cover before we go. With Mrs SL and the children on board I don’t think some of the creative options outlined above would be looked on very favourably…..

 

In my experience the roads are usually in great condition and much quieter than here. The towns and villages we pass through often seem to be as closed as the Irish places Junkman has been finding, which is handy when there is interesting car rubbish to stop and take photos of.

 

4977180055_305cc602f0_b.jpg

Citroen & Peugeot line-up by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Unless it’s market day or there’s some sort of fair/sale/festival on, in which case the place will be rammed and there’s even more oddball stuff to be seen:

 

20533024226_620657a30f_c.jpg

1980-84 Datsun 280C Diesel (430) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

The autoroutes are great when they work properly, cruising at 130km/h when everyone else is doing the same and there aren’t too many HGVs certainly covers a few pages of the atlas:

 

6064955014_4c23df3ff6_b.jpg

and contrast! by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

But when it goes wrong, or there are big queues for the tolls, it’s pretty grim:

 

4929751351_d9254f3833_b.jpg

Friday 13th accident queue, France by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

We got stuck there for 3-4 hours and they were landing helicopters on the road. We were literally the very first car they stopped and Mrs SL has never forgiven me for flashing to let a truck out in front of us who was the last one to get through…..

 

I always allow plenty of time for our journeys, which I roughly plan out on Google beforehand. I use their directions thing to get a route between A and B, which I then pull into as straight a line as possible avoiding autoroutes and larger towns and cities. Rouen is somewhere I try and stay well clear of now, for example, after having several experiences of getting it wrong there.

 

Watch out for locally lower speed limits and fixed cameras at some bridges, level crossings and the like.

 

The priority at junctions is something that still gets me sometimes, in towns and villages at least. I think some have a system whereby whoever is there first has priority, so occasionally I’ve stopped as the natural right of way seems to come from another direction, and then someone frantically waves me through. Best just to go slowly enough to stop if in doubt….

 

Always slow down and take a good look when passing any rural garage, even the new car dealerships. It’s mind-boggling what they have festering away at them.

 

6065016852_9c880846c8_b.jpg

Peugeot 604 V6 SL by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

 

Have a French sentence or two in your head in case anyone does ask what you’re up to, even if it’s just politely smiling and saying you like their car.

 

This year we’ll be doing the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry on the way out (overnight crossing with a cabin booked – if it’s rough crossing we may not sleep much but at least we’ll have our own toilet to use….) and then the tunnel back.

 

6024653520_63246f3fc7_b.jpg

Boarding the Cote d'Albatre at Newhaven by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr


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#39 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:13 PM

Eh? Euro breakdown is included for all my fleet with my Footman James multi-car policy...

 

I've got the same on my bikes with Carol Nash. Quite handy when the clutch fell off my Bonnie near Dublin.



#40 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:08 PM

Junkman we know you are a legend when it comes to continental jaunts, your latest was no exception, buying a rusty 50 year old Reggie from the German version of Lincolnshire proves you are utterly hatstand in a good way

 

You should have seen the prep I did when crossing America's deserts and driving home from Beirut in a newly acquired '60 Imperial.

I mean, other people would at least have carried some water.

 

Entirely btw. this is the legendary Lebanese Imperial:

 

imp6035.jpg

 

I say allegedly, because I never had paperwork to back it up, but it was indeed the car of Lebanon's Prime Minister.

Since they were replaced frequently at the time, it served at least five of them.

 

Driving it back via Syria posed no problem back then, it was Yugoslavia that sucked.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#41 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:22 PM

Last year, we took a Rover 600 to France, a car purchased specifically for the trip as I didn't fancy attempting it in a RAV4. 

 

The air con worked for part of the trip. We saw beautiful sights.

p1010861.jpg

 

The air con packed up before we made it back to Calais, and the gearbox packed up at Cholmondeley not long after. I'm very glad it didn't fail a few weeks earlier, but then, how was I to know? You buys your shite, you takes your chance.

 

This year, we took the 2CV. I think I greased the kingpins before we went and made sure it had oil in it.


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#42 OFFLINE   chaseracer

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:13 PM

You all worry too much.

 

Dover, 14th March:

 

17309467_10154523854348261_3922804673467

 

 

Germany-Denmark ferry at Puttgarden, less than 24 hours later...

 

17311178_10154525993588261_6278169922693

 

 

Denmark-Germany ferry, Rodby, two days after that...

 

17359035_10154532486743261_3992532033052

 

2120 miles in a shade less than five days.  I checked the tyres, topped off the fluids, set the satnag, and installed FPB7.

 

;)


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#43 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:31 AM

Been thinking about this. If it was just me I wouldn't have a care. It's because I'm the one responsible for 4 others so don't want them to experience problems. I would take off tomorrow and chance the odd clunk from the drop links.
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#44 OFFLINE   stripped fred

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:33 AM

Dover, 14th March:

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/1...


Germany-Denmark ferry at Puttgarden, less than 24 hours later...

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/...


Denmark-Germany ferry, Rodby, two days after that...

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/...

2120 miles in a shade less than five days. I checked the tyres, topped off the fluids, set the satnag, and installed FPB7.

;)


Doing it right. I bet a berlingo is a good tool too. Plenty of room for spares and plenty of places who could help fix it if required although sounds like you breezed it.
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2004 VW Sharan 1.9 TDI SL - proving a very capable family wagon
1987 Toyota MR2 mk1 t-bar - currently SORN, need to use it more!

Previously...
2001 Peugeot 406 Estate GLX 2.0 Hdi - sold to a shiter
1993 Vauxhall Astra mk3 1.7D - sold to a shiter
2004 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4Jtd 20v SW - sold to a shiter
2001 Audi A4 Avant 1.9tdi - dead, engine problem

#45 OFFLINE   paulplom

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:45 AM

About 6 years ago I bought a 2006 V70 2.4d. I went on holiday to France for a week in a static caravan. I disembarked from the ferry at about 3 am and started my journey. Anyway I was on a long straight stretch of motorway and decided to see what my new steed could do. I was doing about 130 mph when the speed camera flashed me. It spoilt my holiday as I all could do was think about losing my license. I heard nothing back from them. Lucky escape for me.

 Anyway my advice to you would be just to ignore the cameras and drive as fast as you like. #you might not be so lucky. Ignore my advice.


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#46 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 05:53 AM

About 6 years ago I bought a 2006 V70 2.4d. I went on holiday to France for a week in a static caravan. I disembarked from the ferry at about 3 am and started my journey. Anyway I was on a long straight stretch of motorway and decided to see what my new steed could do. I was doing about 130 mph when the speed camera flashed me. It spoilt my holiday as I all could do was think about losing my license. I heard nothing back from them. Lucky escape for me.

 Anyway my advice to you would be just to ignore the cameras and drive as fast as you like. #you might not be so lucky. Ignore my advice.

 

I got flashed last year on a level crossing. Likewise I never heard anything, but it's not something I want to try out too often.


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And a couple of modern Toyotas


#47 OFFLINE   John F

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 08:19 AM

The French motorway police can seize your car if they catch you speeding excessively. It's not something I'd want to risk anymore.


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#48 OFFLINE   dieselnutjob

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 10:23 AM

This thread has reminded me to call ADAC.  I have previously driven cars to France and Spain that are popular in France and Spain (Passat, 806).  The 806 was always utterly reliable in the UK and always broke in Spain.

One year it needed a new alternator.  Fortunately it broke only 2 hours from our final destination.  This cost me 300 Euros fitted from a local Citroen dealer.

Another year the AC failed turning it into a six seat oven on wheels.  Fortunately I fixed it with a coathanger, some pliers and a spanner.

 

I hope that the XJ behaves itself this year as I don't suppose it will be easy to get help with it in Spain.  Fortunately it already [email protected] its A/C condenser in blightly so this is now serviced and ready to go.

 

It will get a full service including, and particularly including, a fuel filter.  I also need to check when the alternator belt was last done.  Usually before a foreign trip I fit a new one and chuck the old one in the boot as an emergency spare.



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#49 OFFLINE   richardthestag

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:03 AM

The French motorway police can seize your car if they catch you speeding excessively. It's not something I'd want to risk anymore.

 

with the limit mostly* at 130km/h I think the seize territory starts at anything in excess of 200km/h (124mp/h). monster fines (cash only) exist for anything over 150km/h

 

my cars and money are safe

 

*limit changes are notified by big fuck off signs at the road side, rain generally lowers the overall limit to 110km/h. Oh and if you see a speed trap sign there there absolutely will be a camera within a few 100metres.

 

Le Mans weekend sees Les Jean-Clauds with hairdryers not playing fair, hiding behind bridge parapets etc, if you fail to spot them at the time and are taking the piss then I understand you get a tug at the next telepeage


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#50 OFFLINE   John F

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:49 AM

Yep, gone are the days where irresponsible British travellers could take the piss on the autoroute.

 

It's not only us though... I was once riding flat-out on my GSX1100SZ Katana (no idea how fast I was going, the speedo lost the plot at about 110 mph) on the motorway back to Calais when a grey-haired old chap overtook me serenely in a large French-registered Merc with "S60" on the back. I didn't know at the time that this was a 6.0 V12.

 

Pwned, lol.


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Never knowingly under-ambitious

 

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#51 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:41 PM

Aircon fail and the local rozzery going after excessive speeders.

By Jove, that Abroadshire is truly not cricket, is it?

 

While Mr Conelrad and I were happily speeding in Holland with the white R16 with a blow from the exhaust and a grass green bonnet strapped to le rack pour pommes de pin, thus not* attracting any attention whatsoever, I mentioned the rather unpleasantly high temperature inside a car with a black vinyl interior and a seized air flap.

He pointed out that it is painted white and currently has a safari roof, so it could be worse.

He added that the fact it's still propelling itself forward under its own power outweighs any inconveniences anyway.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#52 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:29 PM

If you are going by ferry from Dover the passport control is before the ferry check-in and often has long delays which can make you miss your check in time and ferry even though you arrived at the docks with 1/4 hour to spare. I always seem to be in the queue behind a coach where one passenger has forgotten their passport or something. 


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JohnF said:
"I have to say, I don't really like the styling of Citroens.

But I just love the fact that they exist."

#53 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:34 PM

Make sure you place a copy of the French highway code somewhere conspicuous in the vehicle, then when asked by les flics why you ignored what is wrote therein, tell them "because I can't read French".


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JohnF said:
"I have to say, I don't really like the styling of Citroens.

But I just love the fact that they exist."

#54 OFFLINE   dieselnutjob

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 03:40 PM

In my experience if you are late for your ferry or tunnel then they just let you on the next one anyway.  So I don't stress (or speed) anymore because of that.



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#55 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 03:54 PM

The next one?

They let us onto the next one after the next one after the next one after the one we were booked on without as much as wrinkling an arsecheek.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#56 OFFLINE   drum

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:07 PM

Or in my case, the previous one.
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#57 OFFLINE   dieselnutjob

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:43 PM

Also I usually book a ferry/tunnel about three or four hours later than the one I really want, which gives me plenty of time if things go wrong.

The only problem is that last time coming back they were so busy that they wouldn't let me on an earlier one and so we had to wait at the terminal for four hours.

SWMBO moaned a bit but I don't don't think that it's reasonable to schedule a drive from one side of a continent to the other with 20 minute precision.


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#58 ONLINE   Junkman

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:52 PM

I don't think that it's reasonable to schedule a drive from one side of a continent to the other with 20 minute precision.


I see it as a challenge, especially if the shite is well and truly half arsed.


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1967 Renault 16 TL............................................now with floor and MoT

1971 Mercedes 280SE............................................................fucked

1979 Mobylette AV89............................................................running
1997 Peugeot 405 2.0 Executive Estate.................now with aircon and brakes


#59 OFFLINE   nigel bickle

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:52 PM

I always book the very cheapest ferry, irrespective of time. You've a ticket, they don't care when.

I never add a trailer, when A framing a new toy.
They've never noticed it when I've pulled up to the booth, and can't remember by the time I'm past. Not got caught yet.

Driving in Yurop is much more civilised than the Uk, possibly Belgium excepted. Roads are better, traffic lower, people nicer - if you stay out of the cities.

But they do have rules, which need sensible lip service.
Laws have reciprocity now, so you will get a fine landing on your doorstep if spotted, cos Doovla will tell them where you live.
No points ( yet) and if you want to take the risk- they can't currently force you to pay. But that'll come.

Every time I head up the M20 reminds me why I like our Garlic munching cousins.
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#60 OFFLINE   carlo

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 06:01 PM

I would look forward to it, you and your family are sure to have a memorable trip.  France is a wonderful country to drive through and visit, and the French are lovely people.  I have never forgotten how a garage owner and his wife looked after us after we crashed our car twenty odd years ago, they were wonderful and kept in contact after we got back.  In fact I would even suggest staying over there, applying for French citizenship, and banishing from your mind all thoughts of Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Brexit and the comedy show that the United Kingdom seems to have become.  You are sure to sleep easier at night.

 

Not that I would want to come over all political of course.


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