Safety and house keeping

Rules are boring and we hate to burden people with 'what not to do' when they arrive on holiday.  So we are hoping that by placing all the information to ensure a safe, interesting and above all happy holiday here on the website all members of your group can familiarise themselves with things before they arrive.  Imparting important safety information to people (especially children) that have been travelling for hours is never easy. 

The Swimming Pool

Swimming pools provide hours of fun but can be potentially lethal.  Please would you note the following rules for the pool!

  • Children must not, under any circumstance, be allowed to use the pool unaccompanied – even if they hold every swimming badge known to man.

  • Please can everyone use the solar shower (near the pool) before swimming! Oils and creams damage the liner and filter system.

  • Small inflatables are fine (but please keep an eye on children using these) – but the use of dinghies/oars/sticks or any non-soft object is not allowed.

  • The pool is approx. 1.60m at the deep end and approx. 1.20m at the shallow end. The shallow end and steps are to the right as you go down to the pool area. Please try to avoid diving – this is when injuries happen.

  • In line with French regulations, the pool is designed to stop all access to small children, for this reason the catch for the pool gate is located on the rear of the gate. It is essential that people do not, therefore, open the gate for children without their parents.

  • The quiet enjoyment of inflatables is almost a must, however please ensure that these are not used in such a way as to spoil the otherwise peaceful enjoyment of other pool users. Inflatables can be dangerous to small children playing – please keep a constant eye on all children.

  • o glassware or sharp objects should be brought to the poolside and under no circumstances be allowed to enter the pool. Please also avoid wearing sharp jewellery in the pool, as the pool-liner can be damaged very easily.

  • Please do not attempt to use the pool once the night cover has been put in place.

  • Please do not use bathroom towels by the pool as this ruins them (please also be very careful with cosmetics/false tan etc on these room towels). Pool towels are provided separately.

  • We have largely done away with the need for parasols, replacing them with fixed shade sails. If, however, any parasols are in use, please make sure that they are folded down in an evening - we do get sudden stormy winds and parasols can do a great deal of damage if left up. If the weather looks particularly hazardous parasols are lifted from their bases and stacked under the balcony stairs. We will endeavour to do this if we see a storm brewing but can guests also please be aware of this potential hazard. Parasols blowing about are dangerous and can do very expensive damage.

  • The pool is heated from April/May to the end of September – but please bear in mind that the hotter the outside temperature, the hotter the skin the cooler the water will feel. Similarly, at the start and end of the year when the night temperature falls, the pool will never be as hot as the temperature achieved in summer.

  • Guests must not enter the room housing the pool mechanics (under the pool) or interfere with any of the equipment connected with the heating or treatment of the pool. We will set the automatic sweeper to run during the night, we will also remove this in the morning.

  • First thing in the morning we will endeavour to sweep the top of the pool. As the pool is outdoors and surrounded by woodland there will be bits and pieces that require some further scooping off during the day. A large scoop is provided for this – please take great care with this piece of equipment and be aware of the length of the handle and what you may be knocking off the wall behind you! Children must not use this scoop.

  • Stones or toys thrown in the pool can damage all the filtration system.

  

Hot Water

The hot water in the showers and sinks can get very hot indeed – please take great care to work out how to moderate the temperature before you get in the shower or put your hands under the tap – children should be supervised.

The Gardens and Woods

Unfortunately, the gardens do not look after themselves and we will need to keep looking after these during your stay.  We will try to respect your privacy but we do need to keep dead-heading and weeding and checking that sufficient water is getting to everything. 

Much of the garden is covered by an automated watering system but this (contrary to common belief) does not mean there is nothing to do – we get blockages and sometimes it is just too hot and dry for the irrigation to cope alone.  In periods of rain we may switch off the irrigation but still then need to get to water the plants that are not open to the elements.

Please feel free to wander around the garden and woods – you may find that perfect place to sit and read or to have an afternoon nap.  Please be aware that anything that looks like a wilderness; probably is – so please be careful with uneven ground, thorns and watch out for things that might bite or sting you.  Children remain the responsibility of their parents at all times.

Outbuildings - please do not enter any of the out-building they are not safe and may contain sharp objects or harmful substances.

Insects and the like

France tends to produce more and larger versions of everything, including insects and bugs!  Please do not be alarmed by these. The easiest way of dealing with them is to just accept that the majority of them will do you no harm and it is much simpler to all live together.

There are a number of things that you can do to assist with mosquitoes – 

  • Do leave your door closed during the day and evening (this will also help to keep the room cool). Windows and some external bedroom doors can be left open if netted.

  • Never leave the door open and the light on.

  • It is a good idea to use a skin spray during the evening if you are outside.

  • If you find that you are having a problem, we have some plug in repellents, which you use with the room closed up during the early evening - these should ensure a trouble free night.

  • There are only certain times of year when the mosquitoes are about – and usually any problem can be almost eliminated by careful planning.

Bees and wasps should not cause any real problem unless sat upon!  There is little that can be done – this is rural France and they are busy doing what they do best – best thing is to relax and let them get on with it.  The only thing we would ask is that if you spot any unusual ‘nesting’ type activity - you just mention it to us – thanks! If you experience any trouble with ants – please let us know – Bob is partial to a little ‘ant-control’.

Sun

Please be aware just how strong the summer-sun is in this part of France.  Please take maximum steps to protect yourself from burning.  We have erected a number of shade sails which do offer much more protection from UV than normal parasols.  The trees and the balcony also provide useful and welcome shaded areas.

It is essential to keep bedroom doors shut and where possible the curtains drawn during the day to help keep the rooms cool for the evening.

Smoking

For the sake of other guests and our insurers we do not allow smoking in any of the property.  If you wish to smoke outside – please use an ashtray.  Smoking in the garden/wood area is forbidden – only on gravelled area and with careful use of ashtrays.  Picking up cigarette ends in between lets is classed as excessive cleaning and will, I am afraid, be charged for. 

Fire and BBQ

During any normal summer weather, it is incredibly easy to set fire to the undergrowth – please under no circumstance smoke in the woods or away from hard standing.  Similarly, no attempt should be made to light fires/BBQs -  apart from on stone/hard standing – if you are unsure about a suitable position – please ask –  don’t underestimate how quickly a spark can turn into a disaster. 

The BBQ should always be stored away under the balcony when not in use.   Please do not use the BBQ where it will stain the stone flags.  Children should not be allowed to operate the BBQ.  If you are unsure how to use it, please ask Bob.  One of the BBQs runs off gas, if you run out – let us know and we will supply another bottle.

Doctor

The telephone number for the doctors is 05 63 29 62 10.  They are located in Montaigu de Quercy.  To find him you need to go to the roundabout and turn right – you will be on a long straight road.  On the left-hand side about 700 meters along there is a medical centre.

There is also an English-speaking Doctor in Lauzerte – Dr Malotaux   05 63 94 63 30 You need to ring and make an appointment.  The surgery is up the steps just after the pizza restaurant.  At the top, bear left and approx 5 houses along you will see a stone sign on the building.

Pharmacy

Both Montiagu and Lauzerte and Montcuq have a pharmacy – not open Sundays and closed at lunchtimes.  Supermarkets do not sell any pharmaceuticals – you will need to go to the pharmacy.

Useful Numbers

Pompiers (Fire brigade) 18     (in rural areas the Pompiers are also the paramedics and will attend for medical emergencies)      

SAMU  (Paramedic)      15               ( The word 'ambulance' in France is more of a medical taxi)   

Police                             17              European Emergency Call (from a mobile) 112

In the case of an emergency whilst you are at Las Razes – do use the landline in the office (opposite our back door).  If you ring one of the three services from a landline they will automatically know where you are.

The GP’s out of hours service is 3699 – you will reach a service that will find you a doctor if this is deemed necessary.  French speaking.

Hospital

The nearest A & E is in Moissac (82200) – about 23 km from here.  As you enter the town follow the signs for Emergency Hospital. (Red Cross on the signs)

The address here is – Las Razes, 82190 Touffailles.  We are 1km from Touffailles in the direction of Montaigu de Quercy on the D41 - Road to the right on the bad bends – marked Las Razes.    

Our house telephone number 05 63 94 32 80.  Mobile   06 79 01 49 02       email -  chezatkinson@wanadoo.fr  (I do pick these up when I am away from home)  

 

None of the information on this website should be deemed as contractual - life happens and things are subject to change.  This information is provided to assist you in the planning of your holiday and is supplied in good-faith.

 

 

House Keeping (and so much more!)   Matters domestic are never terribly exciting. Once you have arrived at Las Razes you will see that we try our very best to present the property clean and ready for you arrival. You may also realise that it is a large place to prepare in a very short turn around from people leaving and arriving (therefore we have to be boring about arrival and departure times – sorry). Occasionally, we have people that abuse the situation and we have to take steps to protect the house, our own sanity and the following guests from any disrespectful behaviour. So here are a few pointers as well as a few bits of what we hope is useful information.  Cleaning  A selection of cleaning products can be found in the kitchen, please replace these as used. There is a mop and bucket, sweeping brush and dustpan and brush, also all in the kitchen.  You will find that there is a small supply of the following – please can you leave a similar supply for the next guests.  Bin liners  Washing up liquid  Dishwasher tablets  Rinse-aid  Dishwasher salt  Washing powder  Cleaning spray Bathroom/Kitchen and floor cleaner, wood polish  Toilet Rolls and small individual soaps in each bathroom  Tea bags and Coffee   If you’ve not opted for a final cleaning service (most people will have)   When you leave the property, it is essential that all rooms and bathrooms are left clean and ready for incoming occupants, please also remove all rubbish from the bins, and clean fridges, cookers, washing machines etc. Please use bin liners in all bins – including bathrooms.  Please strip the beds of sheets, duvet covers and the top pillow cases.  There is only just enough time for us to prepare Las Razes for the next guests each Saturday – where the property is not left clean ready for the next guests, rubbish cleared away and beds stripped we reserve the right to make an additional charge for cleaning. This includes any additional cleaning that might be required to the pool due to the use of oils and sun-creams in the water.   If you have opted for the final cleaning service   Then please simply strip all the bedding and clear all the rubbish from the property. Rubbish should be removed from the house at least every two days during your stay.   Rubbish   Rubbish can be taken to the village bins, these are located in either Touffailles next to the bakers.  We would urge you to take rubbish regularly to avoid a build-up of rubbish that might attract animal and insect life! We suggest double bagging the rubbish bags and dropping off at the bins every day or two. Please do not leave bags of rubbish outside the property as it will attract animal and insects. Always use the dustbins provided to store rubbish before you take it to the communal bins.  At the communal bins you will find yellow topped bins for recycling and green topped bins for normal waste.  There are bottle banks in Touffailles if you go past the post office and then turn right and round the back of the house with the turret Just along there on the left hand side there are additional bins and also a bottle bank.  Please make sure that all rubbish is removed when you finish your holiday.   Linen and towels   We are happy to provide you with clean bed linen for the second half of your (over 7 night) stay, We will take the used linen away for washing. Please let us know what is required as soon as possible.  At the end of your stay please strip the beds and leave the linen in the rooms.   Drinking Water   The water at Las Razes is mains water and is great to drink.   Back door to the kitchen   This door should be treated as an emergency exit only – would ask guests not to use this door except in emergencies – this leads onto a storage area and this is completely unsuitable for children. To aid ventilation the door can be left open and the mosquito/cat net door closed – this can be locked from the inside. We recommend this when cooking and on very hot days.   Washing Machine   This is generally easy to use – but if you are not sure please do not hesitate to seek help. The left hand square button is the ‘power on’ and switching this off between loads is preferable as it cancels the previous instruction. There is a rotary clothes line – if you go out of the double back doors of the salon (near to the snooker table) you will find this.   Keys   Please look take great care of the keys and remember to leave them when you leave. Security is not a major issue here and we are generally about on site – but all valuables should be locked away in your room if you leave the premises.   Water Preservation   This area of France can get very short of water – please do everything you can to conserve water – eg. switching the taps off when not in use and not leaving taps/showers running and considering carefully the number of loads of washing that are done.   Electricity Supply   In common with most rural areas of France we can and do experience power cuts – we just have to learn to live with these – they rarely last very long. It is also possible that the local supply can be easily overloaded – to assist, please could you turn out lights when leaving your room. Also, it is worth staggering the use of appliances that use lots of power – so if possible put the dishwasher and clothes washing machines on at different times and not when the ovens are in full use – simply staggering use gives the supply a much better chance of having no power failure.   Dish-washer   Please add salt and rinse-aid regularly.   Toilets   All the drains lead to a septic-tank – so please ensure that  nothing  (including sanitary towels, tampons, facial wipes, baby wipes, nappies, cotton wool and excessive toilet roll) is put down the toilet, or that bleach is allowed into the system. We have had families with babies bring the entire system to an unpleasant halt with nappies and wipes! A miss-used septic tank spoils your holiday and the people following you. We do check the tank before each arrival. Miss-use is classed as damage.   Table Tennis/Darts/Games - equipment   There are bats for the table tennis table in the cupboard/drawers near the door to the kitchen. Darts are also located in here. The dart board is behind doors next to the large table. Please do not allow children to play unsupervised – so that we do not have damage to all the woodwork!  There is also a giant Jenga set – which is ideal for outside and inside games along with a large chess-set which works very well on the back terrace (under the shade-sail).   Bikes   There are a few bikes on site for you to use. Helmets can also be found amongst the games equipment. Please report any problems with the bikes.   Cats   You will come across two cats that live amongst us.  Safie is the light-coloured cat – she may come to see if anyone ‘loves’ her. She was abandoned as a very young kitten. Tilly the tabby cat is a little older (and wiser) she is a real sweet-heart.  The cats are  not  allowed inside the property and the netted doors and window means you can ensure that they do not. The cats are in big trouble if they go in the bedrooms – so PLEASE do not encourage them in – and double check that they are not getting shut in!  We try to stop them sleeping on the cushions on the wooden chairs around the outside table. The simplest way to do this is to simply flip the cushions up when you push the chair back under the table.  Please do not feed the cats  – they have meal times and only eat from their bowls – we need to try and keep their manners in check.   Dogs   We have a small rescue dog called Mimi. We do not encourage her to visit the gite so please do not tempt her over as the people coming the week after you may not appreciate this.  Mimi was abandoned at a gypsy camp and so has had to learn quite a few new things since arriving here 4 years ago. She is  never allowed any food  other than what we put in her bowl. If you throw her ball for her once – you will have a life time commitment to doing the same.  Then just this year we have acquired the even smaller Molly. Molly is an elderly little dog that has had a hard and sad life and was rescued from out of Spain. She is nervous (but gaining confidence) and has come to Las Razes for a dignified and peaceful retirement.   Vacating Rooms   Please can you vacate by 10.00am on the day of your departure. Very occasionally we can vary this – if we can we will but if people are arriving the same day it will be almost impossible.   Phones   Mobile phones do not always work very well here but that does seem to be improving If you require our assistance with booking a table or need to borrow a land line phone – please do ask.   Wifi   Free wifi access is available in the salon/dining room. You should also pick it up under the porch and in some areas of the terrace/balcony and in some cases in the bedrooms. When your phone searches for the modem it will find one that says TP Link. The password is noted on the noticeboard in the salon.  Please do remember that we are in a fairly rural location and our broadband width is not as wide as in more urban areas – the downloading of films etc may take quite some time. Occasionally we lose service all together – just part of life in the middle of know-where.   Tourist Information   Most local places have their own Tourist Information Offices – we have also put together some leaflets and information that can be found in a file in the salon. You will also find some more information and web links on this website. Do ask us for advice.   Damage   Please report any damage or breakages to us as soon as possible – this gives us a greater chance of arranging repairs or replacements.  Please note that parents remain entirely responsible for any damage done by children. This damage is not limited by the value of the damage bond already paid. Concerns include the snooker table – this must not be used by children under 10 and  never without adult supervision.    Please do not allow children to eat sitting on the sofas or armchairs! Sadly, we must say it – please do not allow children to jump on the furniture!     If in doubt please ask us for advice or information.   None of the information on this website should be deemed as contractual - life happens and things are subject to change. This information is provided to assist you in the planning of your holiday and is supplied in good-faith.

House Keeping (and so much more!)

Matters domestic are never terribly exciting. Once you have arrived at Las Razes you will see that we try our very best to present the property clean and ready for you arrival. You may also realise that it is a large place to prepare in a very short turn around from people leaving and arriving (therefore we have to be boring about arrival and departure times – sorry). Occasionally, we have people that abuse the situation and we have to take steps to protect the house, our own sanity and the following guests from any disrespectful behaviour. So here are a few pointers as well as a few bits of what we hope is useful information.

Cleaning

A selection of cleaning products can be found in the kitchen, please replace these as used. There is a mop and bucket, sweeping brush and dustpan and brush, also all in the kitchen.

You will find that there is a small supply of the following – please can you leave a similar supply for the next guests.

Bin liners

Washing up liquid

Dishwasher tablets

Rinse-aid

Dishwasher salt

Washing powder

Cleaning spray Bathroom/Kitchen and floor cleaner, wood polish

Toilet Rolls and small individual soaps in each bathroom

Tea bags and Coffee

If you’ve not opted for a final cleaning service (most people will have)

When you leave the property, it is essential that all rooms and bathrooms are left clean and ready for incoming occupants, please also remove all rubbish from the bins, and clean fridges, cookers, washing machines etc. Please use bin liners in all bins – including bathrooms.

Please strip the beds of sheets, duvet covers and the top pillow cases.

There is only just enough time for us to prepare Las Razes for the next guests each Saturday – where the property is not left clean ready for the next guests, rubbish cleared away and beds stripped we reserve the right to make an additional charge for cleaning. This includes any additional cleaning that might be required to the pool due to the use of oils and sun-creams in the water.

If you have opted for the final cleaning service

Then please simply strip all the bedding and clear all the rubbish from the property. Rubbish should be removed from the house at least every two days during your stay.

Rubbish

Rubbish can be taken to the village bins, these are located in either Touffailles next to the bakers.

We would urge you to take rubbish regularly to avoid a build-up of rubbish that might attract animal and insect life! We suggest double bagging the rubbish bags and dropping off at the bins every day or two. Please do not leave bags of rubbish outside the property as it will attract animal and insects. Always use the dustbins provided to store rubbish before you take it to the communal bins.

At the communal bins you will find yellow topped bins for recycling and green topped bins for normal waste.

There are bottle banks in Touffailles if you go past the post office and then turn right and round the back of the house with the turret Just along there on the left hand side there are additional bins and also a bottle bank.

Please make sure that all rubbish is removed when you finish your holiday.

Linen and towels

We are happy to provide you with clean bed linen for the second half of your (over 7 night) stay, We will take the used linen away for washing. Please let us know what is required as soon as possible.

At the end of your stay please strip the beds and leave the linen in the rooms.

Drinking Water

The water at Las Razes is mains water and is great to drink.

Back door to the kitchen

This door should be treated as an emergency exit only – would ask guests not to use this door except in emergencies – this leads onto a storage area and this is completely unsuitable for children. To aid ventilation the door can be left open and the mosquito/cat net door closed – this can be locked from the inside. We recommend this when cooking and on very hot days.

Washing Machine

This is generally easy to use – but if you are not sure please do not hesitate to seek help. The left hand square button is the ‘power on’ and switching this off between loads is preferable as it cancels the previous instruction. There is a rotary clothes line – if you go out of the double back doors of the salon (near to the snooker table) you will find this.

Keys

Please look take great care of the keys and remember to leave them when you leave. Security is not a major issue here and we are generally about on site – but all valuables should be locked away in your room if you leave the premises.

Water Preservation

This area of France can get very short of water – please do everything you can to conserve water – eg. switching the taps off when not in use and not leaving taps/showers running and considering carefully the number of loads of washing that are done.

Electricity Supply

In common with most rural areas of France we can and do experience power cuts – we just have to learn to live with these – they rarely last very long. It is also possible that the local supply can be easily overloaded – to assist, please could you turn out lights when leaving your room. Also, it is worth staggering the use of appliances that use lots of power – so if possible put the dishwasher and clothes washing machines on at different times and not when the ovens are in full use – simply staggering use gives the supply a much better chance of having no power failure.

Dish-washer

Please add salt and rinse-aid regularly.

Toilets

All the drains lead to a septic-tank – so please ensure that nothing (including sanitary towels, tampons, facial wipes, baby wipes, nappies, cotton wool and excessive toilet roll) is put down the toilet, or that bleach is allowed into the system. We have had families with babies bring the entire system to an unpleasant halt with nappies and wipes! A miss-used septic tank spoils your holiday and the people following you. We do check the tank before each arrival. Miss-use is classed as damage.

Table Tennis/Darts/Games - equipment

There are bats for the table tennis table in the cupboard/drawers near the door to the kitchen. Darts are also located in here. The dart board is behind doors next to the large table. Please do not allow children to play unsupervised – so that we do not have damage to all the woodwork!

There is also a giant Jenga set – which is ideal for outside and inside games along with a large chess-set which works very well on the back terrace (under the shade-sail).

Bikes

There are a few bikes on site for you to use. Helmets can also be found amongst the games equipment. Please report any problems with the bikes.

Cats

You will come across two cats that live amongst us.

Safie is the light-coloured cat – she may come to see if anyone ‘loves’ her. She was abandoned as a very young kitten. Tilly the tabby cat is a little older (and wiser) she is a real sweet-heart.

The cats are not allowed inside the property and the netted doors and window means you can ensure that they do not. The cats are in big trouble if they go in the bedrooms – so PLEASE do not encourage them in – and double check that they are not getting shut in!

We try to stop them sleeping on the cushions on the wooden chairs around the outside table. The simplest way to do this is to simply flip the cushions up when you push the chair back under the table. Please do not feed the cats – they have meal times and only eat from their bowls – we need to try and keep their manners in check.

Dogs

We have a small rescue dog called Mimi. We do not encourage her to visit the gite so please do not tempt her over as the people coming the week after you may not appreciate this.

Mimi was abandoned at a gypsy camp and so has had to learn quite a few new things since arriving here 4 years ago. She is never allowed any food other than what we put in her bowl. If you throw her ball for her once – you will have a life time commitment to doing the same.

Then just this year we have acquired the even smaller Molly. Molly is an elderly little dog that has had a hard and sad life and was rescued from out of Spain. She is nervous (but gaining confidence) and has come to Las Razes for a dignified and peaceful retirement.

Vacating Rooms

Please can you vacate by 10.00am on the day of your departure. Very occasionally we can vary this – if we can we will but if people are arriving the same day it will be almost impossible.

Phones

Mobile phones do not always work very well here but that does seem to be improving If you require our assistance with booking a table or need to borrow a land line phone – please do ask.

Wifi

Free wifi access is available in the salon/dining room. You should also pick it up under the porch and in some areas of the terrace/balcony and in some cases in the bedrooms. When your phone searches for the modem it will find one that says TP Link. The password is noted on the noticeboard in the salon.

Please do remember that we are in a fairly rural location and our broadband width is not as wide as in more urban areas – the downloading of films etc may take quite some time. Occasionally we lose service all together – just part of life in the middle of know-where.

Tourist Information

Most local places have their own Tourist Information Offices – we have also put together some leaflets and information that can be found in a file in the salon. You will also find some more information and web links on this website. Do ask us for advice.

Damage

Please report any damage or breakages to us as soon as possible – this gives us a greater chance of arranging repairs or replacements.

Please note that parents remain entirely responsible for any damage done by children. This damage is not limited by the value of the damage bond already paid. Concerns include the snooker table – this must not be used by children under 10 and never without adult supervision.

Please do not allow children to eat sitting on the sofas or armchairs! Sadly, we must say it – please do not allow children to jump on the furniture!

If in doubt please ask us for advice or information.

None of the information on this website should be deemed as contractual - life happens and things are subject to change. This information is provided to assist you in the planning of your holiday and is supplied in good-faith.