Living Magazine - December 2020 / January 2021

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L i ving Roll on 2021!


dec jan 2021

inside: Residency: what you need to know delicious Gift ideas Local News & views

Le Petit Prince

An aviator’s timeless tale

~ Passionate about life in south west France ~

living editor’s letter | 3


to our December-January issue ike me, I am sure that many of you are looking forward to the New Year and to putting 2020 firmly behind us. Let us hope that the winds of change on the other side of the Atlantic and recent news of successful vaccines herald a change in fortune for us all.

We should apologise to our non-British readers in advance for the amount of Brexit news in the pages of this edition. We have reached a critical stage in the process, and British citizens over the age of 18 will need to apply for residency before 30 June 2021. It’s a time of change, which can be worrying, but we explain what you need to do and where you can find detailed information and support. We also have messages from our Ambassador in Paris, as well as our local Sénateurs, which we hope will reassure the British community here in south west France. Don’t worry, though; we have plenty of non-Brexit features, too! While Christmas festivities are necessarily thin on the ground, we still have a packed issue. Roger Moss delves into the background of one of France’s best-known authors, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, who had a fascinating and eventful life. We explain the history behind the many stone crosses around the region and, following the recent elections, Jessica Knipe gives an insight into the Sénat. We may be unable to visit all our local friends and family, but Nikki Legon has some delicious foodie gifts that you can make and leave on doorsteps, while Caro Feely suggests local wines to pair with your festive meal. Emma-Jane Lee gives us a timely language lesson and Susan Hays reminds us of the many outdoor pleasures at this time of year. We explore the long history of chestnuts in this part of France and, of course, there’s our round-up of local news, along with our regular Fowpars family instalment from cartoonist Stig. Finally, settle down to tackle our unique crossword compiled by Mike Morris, with a soundtrack of music from the world of French cinema in the background. There really is something for everyone within these covers! As well as a huge ‘thank you’ to all our wonderful contributors, along with our talented graphics team Nadia and Justin who bring it all to life, we mustn’t forget our merry band of deliverers who take our magazines out and about for us. A vous tous, un grand merci! But the biggest thank you has to go to our advertisers and subscribers who make the whole magazine possible. It’s been a tough year for all our local businesses, and we are very grateful for the support they have continued to show us as we deliver their messages to you, our readers. Please continue to support them all – and don’t forget to support us too by subscribing to Living Magazine! Keep safe and here’s to a much improved 2021!


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4 | living contents





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Our experts answer questions on legal and money matters


Practical Advice


Snippets News from around the region


Citizens’ Rights

Cross Roads Roger Moss discovers the history behind the ancient crosses found in and around many local villages and reveals a dazzling find unearthed near one


Understanding the Sénat The recent ‘Sénatoriales’ focused attention on the Sénat so we asked Jessica Knipe to explain the importance of this historic institution


Kathryn Dobson explains the latest information for British citizens here in France including how to apply for residency


Banish the New Year Blues Beach walks and visits to local sites keep the Hays family occupied long after the festivities are over


Puzzle Break Our unique crossword by Mike Morris

A Flight of Fantasy 120 years after his birth, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is best remembered as author of ‘Le Petit Prince’ but he packed far more into his short life...


Nikki Legon’s Cuisine Delicious homemade gift ideas that are perfect for friends and family

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South West Christmas Wines Our wine expert Caro Feely helps us to choose local wines to pair with your festive meals


Living Property Pages A profile of Montbron in Charente


Fruit of the Forest Winter wouldn’t be the same without chestnuts and in rural areas they have provided an essential resource over the centuries


Setting the Mood France has long been ‘big box-office’ with music often playing a starring role


Pardon! Emma-Jane Lee shows us how to play the perfect Grinch this Christmas and grumble our way into 2021!


Business Directory The best local services & suppliers

64 Places To Go around the region

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The pick of the news that will affect you wherever you live in south west France…

News round up

Avian Flu Alert

Tibo Rando walking in the Corrèze

As LIVING went to press 46 départements in France had been put on high alert for avian flu including Charente-Maritime, DeuxSèvres and Vendée, all on corridors for migratory birds. A highly pathogenic H5N8 virus was detected in the Netherlands following outbreaks in Russia and Kazakhstan so the concern now is transmission from wild birds to farm and domestic birds here in France. While not on the original list, Dordogne also introduced increased measures of protection. If you have birds, check with your local veterinary organisation for full details of the necessary precautions, which may include the installation of netting to keep wild birds away from your flock.


Normally a time for sponsored events and get togethers, this year’s Téléthon on 4-5 December is going to have a very different feel. Organisers are asking the public to increase the visibility of the campaign locally by downloading posters and putting them up as well as collecting donations from neighbours and sharing information across social media. See for socially-distanced ideas including virtual tombolas and sports, and help raise money for research into genetic diseases.

Walks with NoA Regional television channel France3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine (NoA) is packed with short programmes giving you insights into this area of France. They often have a synopsis of the programme which can be easily translated with online translation tools, in case the speech is a little fast. As well as news, they have short series such as ‘Les Régalades de Tibo Rando’ where each week a different walk is showcased – a great way to see the region, plan your future outings and improve your French all rolled into one! See:

UK travel

The combination of the pandemic and Brexit have badly impacted travel routes to and from the UK. Low cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet have cancelled the vast majority of their regional flights, leaving many local airports with no UK-bound flights until at least next spring. The ferry routes are suffering too from the lack of freight and passengers although Brittany Ferries’ new eco-friendly ship, the Galacia (below), is on course to begin a once-weekly round trip between Portsmouth and Cherbourg in December. Eurostar trains are working to a reduced schedule during the confinement.

Sapin de Noël

The traditional Christmas tree destined for the Place Pey-Berland in Bordeaux has found a new home after the recently elected environmentalist maire Pierre Hurmic announced that this year he would replace ‘the dead Christmas tree’ with live shows over the holiday period. There followed much debate, both for and against the move, on social media. The maire of Malemort in Corrèze stepped in to buy the 19m-tall tree for 6,000 euros in an act of support for the timber industry and traditions.


Calls will be answered by a local counsellor

Île de ré

la rochelle surgeres Île de oléron


chareNte-maritime (17) marennes saintes cognac royan


rouillac Jarnac


chareNte (16)

aNgouleme Barbezieux aubeterresur-dronne

News from around the region...

les charentes

Blackbird Gallery Knitted Knockers!

Founded in the States, the Knitted Knockers association now has a presence in France. Volunteers lovingly knit or crochet prostheses for women who have had a mastectomy to let them know they’re not alone. These soft, comfortable ‘knockers’ are then provided free on request - the volunteers fund the purchase of materials and postage themselves. Jayne Mannion, who lives in Chalais (16), started to knit knockers after reading an article while on holiday. She thought it was a great way to pay back all the care that was given to her mother when she went through breast cancer treatment. Jayne was the first in France to register as a knitter on the www. but now the news is spreading and there are local groups around the country. If you knit or crochet and would like to help, or would simply like to receive a ‘knocker’, get in touch via email at Find more information on FB: KnittedKnockersFrance.

Galerie du Merle is a new inviting Arts venue in Nanteuil-en-Vallée (16) run by Christie Marie which showcases the work of over 20 local artists & makers in the region. The collection includes paintings from artist Jane Courquin, ceramics by Annie Robin, textiles from La Buzatiere Art Studio and mixed media jewellery from SylvieO. The gallery also sells eco-friendly products such as soaps, candles & homewares, so is the perfect place to find a unique gift. The café serves homemade seasonal vegetarian dishes or you can pop in for a coffee - ingredients are organic where possible and ethically sourced to meet the gallery’s eco-friendly values. The venue offers weekly events with regular creative workshops, book and craft clubs and creative writing classes. It is also available to hire for meetings, afternoon teas and supper clubs. During confinement, shop online on the gallery’s website where you can also order a tasty takeaway. 35 Rue Guillaume le Noble, 16700 Nanteuil-en-Vallée or find on FB: Galerie du Merle.

Rural Banking

As elsewhere in the world, rural banks face closure when they are no longer seen as viable with reducing rural populations. In Saint-Claud (16) the Crédit Agricole bank closed several years ago but the cash distributor remained after the mairie took over the lease on the building and made the old bank into a Point Info. With the next nearest cash distributor over 8km away, its removal would be a catastrophe for the 1,080 residents, according to the maire Pascal Dubuisson and so the village is now buying the building housing the distributor to try to safeguard its future. Meanwhile in Aigre (16) three hundred locals led by their 24-year old maire Renaud Combaud turned out to protest against the closure of their branch of Caisse d’Epargne. La Poste in the village does still offer banking facilities but the next nearest bank branch is 15km away.

Charente Président

With François Bonneau’s election to the Sénat (see page 20), the Conseil Départemental has elected his successor, Jérôme Sourisseau. Considered a centrist, he is currently Président of Grand Cognac council, and maire of Bourg-Charente. His opponent received 15 votes to his 20 votes, however, it is all to play for again in March as there are only five months left on the current mandate.

News from around the region...

Normally the preserve of supermarkets, more businesses are turning to click-and-collect over the confinement periods. To help local businesses take advantage of internet sales, the team at the mairie in La Rochelle (17) have launched a website giving local shops an online presence. An interactive map shows businesses offering collection and/or deliveries. Just click on their icon to see details of what is available along with times and contact details. The site can be found at Nearby Saintes (17) have also set up an online site at and more towns are doing so across the region.

Oléron McDo

The battle between Dolus d’Oléron (17) and MacDonalds has finally fizzled out. Despite much opposition, led by then-maire Grégory Gendre, the fast food giant opened the restaurant which was given the green light by courts earlier this year. A new maire, Thibault Brechkoff, was elected by the town and announced that an agreement has since been reached with the company regarding the penalties put in place for nonissuance of a building permit. “It was high time to move on. Now I hope we’ll talk more about our beaches, our oysters,” says Brechkoff.

Comic Strip Festival

The annual Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême which normally takes place each January has been postponed until June 2021 due to COVID-19. It is hoped that some events such as the awards ceremony and the Grand Prix 2020 exhibition by Emmanuel Guibert will still be able to be held in January, respecting the restrictions in place at the time. Watch their website at for full details nearer the time.

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News from around the region...

Tourist Attractions


While the number of visitors to rural holiday destinations held up well once the first confinement was lifted, the picture for the main tourist attractions was not so rosy. Semitour, the company that manages sites such as Lascaux 4, Cloître de Cadouin and the Château de Biron Château recently announced a loss de Biron of nearly forty per cent of its turnover compared to the previous year, some 3.8 million euros. The majority of the company’s workers have been put on chômage partiel, similar to furlough, while they wait to see if events over the Christmas period can be held to bring in visitors.

Going Online

Dordogne’s Conseil Départemental has relaunched their website, making local information more accessible and adding a number of new videos promoting the area. Explore it at At the same time, Dordogne is the first département nationally to offer all administrative processes online at Sarlat mairie have stepped in to help local businesses sell online during the lockdowns with a new site where you can arrange to click and collect as well as seeing which businesses are open. Other municipalities like Brantôme, Saint-Cyprien and Nontron have information on Facebook pages, while Bergerac has an interactive map on

Fishing Destination

A huge stocking operation took place in November as part of Dordogne’s commitment to leisure fishing and tourism. In total, 12.5 tonnes of fish were released into the lakes at Rouffiac, La Jemaye, Saint-Estèphe, Gurçon and Miallet. Roach, pike, bass, perch, tench and trout were among the species added. With more than 4,000km of waterways and several lakes ranging in size from 20 to 100 hectares, the aim is to make the département a fishing destination with specialist accommodation, signposted routes and all the necessary equipment easily available. The new fly-fishing lake at Saint-Estèphe has already proved popular and it is hoped that the wide mix of fishing available across Dordogne will appeal to families and groups. As well as extending the traditional holiday periods, local accommodation can benefit from additional designations, opening up new markets and promotional budgets. Communication plans targeting the French market are already underway, so let’s hope that the English-language plans are not far behind!


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News from around the region...

The Baie de l’Aiguillon situated at the mouth of the Marais Poitevin between Vendée and Charente-Maritime, is an important feeding ground for migratory birds on their route to and from Europe. Mudflats and salt marshes cover much of the 5,000-hectare bay, the majority of which is classified as a National Nature Reserve. However, a 15km stretch of oyster beds, abandoned as production methods changed over the decades, has been colonised by Japanese oysters, threatening the ecosystem. This invasive species competes for food with mussels and local oysters raised in the area. Today, these oyster beds have reached 1.5m thick in places and the annual production of 10,000 tonnes of mussels is in decline. With the help of a grant from the EU, an experiment to clear the 400 hectares of affected mudflats is underway using a specially designed ‘forager’, a huge tractor perched

Deux-sèvres & Vendée

on a barge. Technically difficult due to the movement of the mud and strength of storms, the initial results are encouraging. Measurements will need to be taken over coming years to see if the mudflats are recolonised and if there are other impacts on the local flora and fauna to gauge the success of the programme.

Deux-Sèvres President

© Eloi Stichelbaut

British skipper Sam Davies hopes to finish on the podium

Vendée Globe

On the 8 November, 33 skippers set sail on the 9th Vendée Globe, as previewed in the last edition of LIVING. Of the 4 British skippers, three are women aiming to emulate Lady Ellen MacArthur’s success in 2000/1 when she achieved second place. Sam Davies seized 4th place in 2008/9 although an early dismasting stopped her race in 2012/13. Alongside her on the start line were Miranda Merron and Pip Hare, both in their first Vendée Globe. Alex Thompson remained one of the favourites as he set off for his fifth Globe after achieving second place last time. Follow the progress of all the contestants:

Following the election of Gilbert Favreau to the Sénat, Hervé de Talhouët-Roy was the only person to run for the vacated position leading the Conseil Départemental and was duly elected with 22 votes out of 34. A member of Les Républicains, he has been a councillor since 1992 and is maire of Pressigny near Thénezay where he lives in the family chateau.



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living promotion | 13

SSAFA TO SUPPORT UK’S MILITARY COMMUNITY FOLLOWING BRITAIN’S EXIT FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is supporting the British military community in France following Britain’s exit from the European Union. SSAFA has been awarded a grant to work alongside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to assist British veterans and their families in countries across Europe, including France, as Britain exits the European Union. The French residence application portal is now open and can be found online at: brexit/accueil/vous-etes-britannique. html. The application process is simple and flexible, and very few documents are required for those who have been

residents for more than five years. If you have been a resident for less than five years, a few more documents are required. The portal has clear instructions and there is also a useful step-by-step guide provided by the UK government at: If you are a member of the Armed Forces community and require support or guidance to complete the necessary application process to maintain your right to be a resident in France, then SSAFA France is here to assist you. To receive support or to find out more, please email uk or call freephone number on 0805 119 617.





Chauvigny Montmorillon

Le Dorat

Charroux Civray

Bellac Nieul



vienne & News from around the region... haute-vienne





Hyperloop Update The 3km test track at Droux (87) proposed by the Canadian company Transpod which would see transport pods travelling in a vacuum at 1,000 km/h has not yet broken ground although the original building permit was approved in December 2018. Meanwhile two competitors in Toulouse and Nevada have completed short tracks of 320m and 500m. Virgin’s Nevada track has carried its first two passengers but only at a speed of 160km/h. According to Droux’s maire the project to build the 3km test track

along the path of the old railway is on plan to restart once confinements have ended and will be an important boost for local businesses and tourism.

80 or 90km/h?

Residents around Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé (86) have been told to watch out for a possible alligator after a recent sighting by fishermen in the Gartempe. While

Following the partial u-turn on the government’s reduction in speed limits on départemental roads from 90 to 80km/h earlier this year, départements are still debating whether any or all speed limits should be increased back to 90km/h. While it is clear that the reduction does save lives and benefits fuel economy, it was an unpopular measure with many motorists, especially professional drivers, due to increased journey times. While départements such as Corrèze (19) and Creuse (23) were quick to move back to the 90km/h limit where allowed, Vienne (86) recently increased the limit on only seven main axis routes, about 200km of roads. HauteVienne (87) are still debating the issue and expect to make a decision by the end of the year.

News from around the region...

Contemporary Garden Design

Foreign Visitor

Readers who watch C4’s ‘A New Life in the Sun’ may recognise Barry Watton who recently arrived in the region with his young family and has now established his garden design business. After beginning a career in law, Barry discovered a passion for gardening and studied for three years at the University of Bristol’s Botanic Gardens before qualifying in Garden Planning, Construction and Planting Design with the Royal Horticultural Society. In the UK, he worked with renowned designers, trained in dry-stone walling and completed projects including the planting of a private woodland. Now based in Voulême in south Vienne, Barry is thrilled to offer his skills: “Using carefully selected,

surprising given the normally warmer and more humid habitat of these reptiles, it is not impossible given the number of abandoned pets each year in France. It is, though, unlikely to survive long as the winter gets colder, according to experts. If you do see an alligator on your riverside walk, you are asked to call 18 and stay clear.

naturalistic plantings we create atmospheric gardens that connect with the surroundings and where people can come together and find a place of refuge and relaxation.” He offers tips and advice on his website: Email: or tel: 06 99 46 42 03.

Wildlife Care

The Centre de Soins de la Faune Sauvage Poitevine (CSFSP) has cared for over 1,500 injured animals this year of which an impressive 81% have been reintroduced into the wild. President Lydia Bourdeau and her family work around the clock to look after an increasingly wide range of animals with very different needs, many of whom require weeks of rehabilitation. The time has come to expand the centre and build specialist structures needed for the care of these animals. Find out how you can donate at



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16 | living architecture Agris (16)

Linazay (86)

Ligné (16)

With armorial crest

A former lanterne des morts

CrossRoads We celebrate some curious ancient monuments found in and around many local villages. Words & Photos: Roger Moss


peaceful stroll around a rural village cemetery can turn out to be a fascinating experience, often revealing surprising insight into local history and the lives of those who influenced it. The monuments to departed loved ones are often striking, but an altogether more mysterious feature can often be seen standing nearby, in the form of a croix hosannière. While they occasionally pop up elsewhere France, the greatest concentration of these intriguing monumental stone crosses is here in the south west, particularly in the former PoitouCharentes region. At first glance they share some similarities with lanternes des morts (to which we’ll be turning our attention

living architecture | 17

Moëze (17)

“The greatest concentration of these intriguing monumental stone crosses is here in the south west” when Halloween comes around again) but their intended purpose was very different. The name is thought to derive from l’hosanne – a sacred crown braided from slender young stems of buis (box), although they could also be sourced instead from fragon (‘Butcher’s Broom’), laurier (laurel) or olivier (the ever-present olives of Provence). The lovingly prepared crowns would then be blessed outside the church by the village priest before the assembled villagers, who then formed a procession to the specially-constructed cross. There they witnessed the crown being placed upon it as a symbolic gesture, accompanied by the words: “Hosanna au

plus haut des cieux!” (Hosanna in excelsis/ the highest). For centuries these now long-forgotten annual rituals lay at the very heart of the annual religious celebrations of le Dimanche des Rameaux. More frequently referred to in southern France as le Dimanche des Palmes, it is, of course, what we know as Palm Sunday. The crosses themselves are found in a variety of styles, and throughout the centuries many have undergone repairs which have altered their appearance slightly – in some cases to address the wanton desecration of religious monuments which occurred throughout France during the Revolution. Generally, however, the classic form consists of a monumental

Courcôme (16) stone cross up to 10 metres high and erected on a circular, stepped base although you’ll also come across much more ornate examples constructed from (or sculpted to suggest) clusters of smaller columns. The sheer scale of many of the plainer columns often creates considerable visual impact, the end result suggesting a curious 12th century vision of a rocket on a launchpad. Surmounting columns of all sizes will be the all important plain or sculpted holy cross, many of which bear a striking similarity to what we commonly refer to as a ‘Maltese Cross’. Exactly why this should be remains something of a mystery, but

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18 | living architecture

Savigné (86)

Champniers (86)

A dazzling find...

In addition to possessing a fine croix hosannière, the commume of Agris (16) also excited historians and archaeologists when an ornate ceremonial object was unearthed nearby in 1981 by a caver from the Association de Recherches Spéléologiques de La Rochefoucauld. Just days after the entrance to the Grotte des Perrats came to light (during exploration of a badger sett), the team was startled to find fragments of a helmet formed from hammered iron and clad with gilded bronze. Subsequent excavations revealed all but one cheek-guard, and the object was cleaned, reassembled and patiently restored to reveal the full beauty of its dazzling craftsmanship. Believed by experts to have been buried intentionally and to date from the 3rd-5th century, the Casque d’Agris is now widely considered to be one of the masterpieces of Celtic art. You can admire it on display in the Musée d’Angoulême.


From the roadside there are few clues as to the importance of the site, but within lies a medieval wonder: 70 or so 12th-13th century Templars’ tombs from the time of the Crusades. The symbolism of the inscriptions they bear is unmistakable (but lest there be any doubt, one of the pier capitals in the nearby church is decorated with the sculpted heads of two knights). Originally the graves were watched over by a lanterne des morts, of which only the base now remains, repurposed to support a croix hosannière. Quite why remains a mystery, but the inscription on the low, Maltese-style cross suggests that it was dedicated in 1654. Elsewhere other low, simple crosses of similar appearance were constructed to these modest dimensions during the Middle Ages (particularly in the Deux-Sèvres département). At the other end of the scale, both in dimensional and stylistic ambition, is the croix hosannière whose assertive presence dominates the churchyard of the Église Saint-Pierre de Moëze (17). Constructed in 1628-1632, and looking for all the world like a scaled-down Greek temple (complete its origins lie in the Knights of St John with colonnades and Corinthian (Knights Hospitaller), an ancient Catholic capitals), its creation was a nod to the holy order established to care for sick Cardinal de Richelieu, after his prolonged or injured penniless pilgrims making siege brought the Protestant port of La their way to and from the Holy Lands. Rochelle to heel. Slightly bizarrely, the As a visual reference it’s particularly cross itself was mounted on a pyramidal intriguing in our region, since we also column, which was hauled down during find numerous signs of the presence of the Revolution and replaced in 1825. It the Knights Templar, whose relationship was toppled again by the merciless fury with pilgrims was more concerned with of the tempête of 26/27 December 1999 protecting them from attacks by bandits and subsequently replaced (since 1886 during their perilous journeys. the structure has enjoyed Monument The two stories come together in a Historique protection). peaceful village cemetery on the outskirts Occasionally we find carved funeral of Ligné (16) between Ruffec and Aigre. motifs, coats of arms, etc., plus, of course,

20 | living Insight

The Sénat, at the Palais de Luxembourg, in Paris

rance recently voted to elect many of its Sénateurs, otherwise known as the nation’s parliamentary safeguards. These 348 men and women, local delegates representing people from every corner of the country, exist to keep the government in check, but they also stand for the rights and needs of the small towns and villages which they help run. Although the Députés of the Assemblée Nationale are voted in directly by the general public, Sénateurs are voted into their seats by the officials in power in the local area which they represent, for a period of six years. Half the Sénat ’s seats are up for election every three years, with many of our local départements participating in the recent Sénatoriales in September. “We are also known as the Chambre des Territoires,” explains Corinne Imbert, who has just been reelected as a Sénatrice for the département of Charente-Maritime (17). “The number of Sénateurs by département depends on the number of residents they represent, but all of us are here to defend our territory and

“The consequences of Brexit seem so difficult that I can’t just accept them blindly. I can’t help but feel concern for the British residents in my département, and I can only hope that the French administration will be considerate of those who have been here for so many years.” Corinne Imbert, sénatrice - Charente-Maritime (17)


Understanding F

living Insight | 21

If you are wondering about the significance of the ‘Sénatoriales’, here is a quick overview on who does what, and why the Sénat is an institution which plays an integral part in the protection of our rights WORDS: JESSICA KNIPE



“I am keenly aware of how attached British residents are to our territory. Many of them have an active role in the economic or associative life of our towns and villages. There are still many grey areas around Brexit and its consequences, but I would like to reassure the British people in the Périgord of my vigilance around this in the coming weeks.”

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Serge Mérillou, sénateur - Dordogne (24)

those who live there, even if they didn’t vote for us directly.” So, what exactly is the Sénat? Well, it’s an assembly of representatives, from every political family, who constitute the second Chambre of French Parliament. The Chambre Basse is what France calls the Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) and the Chambre Haute, or Haute Assemblée is the Sénat (Senate) – which is why the word ‘bicamérisme’ is used in French politics to describe a Parliament having two legislative bodies. “I am very attached

to bicamérisme,” says Serge Mérillou, Sénateur of the Dordogne. “Often mocked and described as ‘useless’, the Sénat has shown in recent years its huge utility as a counter-power.” Which is not to say that the Sénat is anti-power – it is simply a mechanism that allows the State to question the decisions of the government in power at any given time. “Our Republic stands on two feet,” says Corinne Imbert, “and both are important to preserve the stability of our institutions. If our Présidents chose their own government once elected,

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22 | living Insight


Who are your SÉnateurs?

Charente (16): François BONNEAU (Union Centriste), Nicole BONNEFOY (SER) Charente-Maritime (17): Daniel LAURENT and Corinne IMBERT (Les Républicains), Mickaël VALLET (Liste du parti socialiste) Dordogne (24): Serge MERILLOU (SER), Marie-Claude VARAILLAS (Communiste) Deux-Sèvres (79): Gilbert FAVREAU and Philippe MOUILLER (Les Républicains) Vendée (85): Bruno RETAILLEAU, Annick BILLON and Didier MANDELLI (Liste d’Union de la droite) Vienne (86): Bruno BELIN and Yves BOULOUX (Les Républicains) Haute-Vienne (87): Isabelle BRIQUET and Christian REDON-SARRAZY (SER) SER: Socialiste, Écologiste et Républicain

Only the Sénateurs are allowed to sit in the hémicycle of the Sénat

the constitution could be changed according to their whims. As it is, the Sénat protects the country in the case of extremist votes – the Président cannot enter the Sénat at any time, and must summon the Congrès (that is both the Sénat and the Assemblée Nationale) if he wishes to address them directly.” The Sénat will also regularly set up control groups to check that the law has been applied as promised, most recently in the Affaire Benalla, or with the ongoing inquest into the management of the COVID-19 crisis. While both the Députés of the Assemblée Nationale and the Sénateurs of the Sénat have the same mission of studying, amending and rewriting the country’s laws (as well as controlling the actions taken by the

government) the Sénat ’s role is a more territorial one, defending the interests of the régions, départements and even individual towns – what France calls collectivités territoriales. And although they operate from the hémicycle of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, Sénateurs research, defend, debate, legislate and control all of the issues which affect their territory on a daily basis. More importantly for foreign nationals who have elected to settle in France, Sénateurs can play a pivotal role in protecting the rights of those who don’t necessarily have voting power in decisions which can have a huge impact on their daily lives – something that is increasingly important as the UK breaks away from the EU.

living Insight | 23 “The Sénat deals with every aspect of the daily life of its collectivités, and that includes the problematic issues surrounding Brexit. We are keenly aware of the importance of our British residents, who often contribute a lot to our villages, and we are all vigilant to make sure that they will be able to continue to have a normal life here after Brexit. There might be some administrative hurdles, but we are fighting for as peaceful a transition as possible.” Philippe Mouiller, Sénateur Deux-Sèvres (79)

Etrangères this year, concerning the status of Brits who own a secondary home in France, but the site also pulls up a raft of other questions concerning post-Brexit rights, including a question to the Ministère de l’Intérieur from Franck Montaugé, Sénateur in the Gers (32), about the protection of British rights to vote in municipal elections. “I am keenly aware of how attached British residents are to our territory,” says Serge Mérillou. “Many of them have an active role in the economic or associative life of our towns and villages. There are still many grey areas around Brexit and its consequences, but I would like to reassure the British people in the Périgord of my vigilance around this in the coming weeks.” The Sénat is the stabiliser that protects institutions and acts as


“Sénateurs act as an echo chamber for rural France,” explains Philippe Mouiller, the newly re-elected voice of Deux-Sèvres (79). “The Sénat deals with every aspect of the daily life of its collectivités, and that includes the problematic issues surrounding Brexit. We are keenly aware of the importance of our British residents, who often contribute a lot to our villages, and we are all vigilant to make sure that they will be able to continue to have a normal life here after Brexit. There might be some administrative hurdles, but we are fighting for as peaceful a transition as possible.” A quick search on the Sénat’s website ( reveals this commitment towards British residents. Corinne Imbert wrote her own question to the Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires

the voice of local territories. It is autonomous, free and independent – a counter to the powers that be, without necessarily being against them. Find out who your local Sénateur is and you might be able to influence the laws that regulate your life in France, as well as taking an active part in understanding how your community functions.

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24 | living in profile

With fellow Aéropostale pilot Henri Guillaumet in Argentina

Flight We celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of a pioneering French aviator who became one of the world’s best-selling authors Words: Roger Moss

living in profile | 25

At work in New York


he author’s preface to Le Petit Prince is in the form of a brief dedication to a friend, and includes the observation: “Toutes les grandes personnes ont d’abord été des enfants (mais peu d’entre elles s’en souviennent).” The notion that few grown-ups remember that they were once children underpins what amounts to a thought-provoking parable to help us reconnect with the things which matter most in our lives. Published with the author’s watercolour illustrations in war-torn 1943, Le Petit Prince clearly struck a chord, having so far clocked up worldwide sales in excess of 140 million copies. Over the years the remarkable life of the man behind this and a string of other big-selling titles has continued to captivate his readers. Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger de Saint-Exupéry’s family originated in

With navigator/ flight engineer André Prévot

or near the village of Saint-Exupéryles-Roches (19), and their descendants eventually settled in Bordeaux, where success in the wine trade enabled them to purchase the Château Malescot in Margaux. When the phylloxera epidemic decimated the vineyards financial ruin forced Fernand, Comte de Saint-Exupéry to go into the insurance business in Le Mans. The eldest of his seven children was Antoine’s father Jean, who married Marie de Fonscolombe from Provence. The couple had five children by the time Jean suffered a

fatal stroke at the age of 41. Antoine’s own story begins in Lyon on 29 June 1900. Described as ‘turbulent and disorderly’, he invents family games, directs short plays and displays a natural talent for acting. ‘Tonio’ also writes verse, and shares his siblings’ love for animals, vowing never to go hunting. He also develops a fascination for machinery, particularly early ‘flying machines’. At the age of 12 he has his first flight (against strict instructions from his mother) at the aerodrome

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26 | living in profile

of Ambérieu-en-Bugey (01), where he has become a familiar figure during family holidays. The exhilarating experience, in a Berthaud-Wroblewski monoplane piloted by Gabriel Wroblewski, proves life-changing – just as well, since despite his outstanding writing abilities, his teachers consider him a poor scholar. After his baccalauréat in 1917 he fails a naval academy examination and studies architecture briefly before doing his military service in an aviation regiment in Strasbourg and Casablanca, gaining both civil and military pilot’s licences. In 1923, however, his Hanriot biplane crashes shortly after take-off at Le Bourget, and he is grounded and discharged. Undeterred, he finds employment in the workshops of the Compagnie Générale d’Entreprise Aéronautique and after passing flying and navigation examinations, begins piloting Aéropostale mail services between Toulouse, Casablanca and Dakar. By now he has completed his short story L’Aviator, and is about to take charge of a remote refuelling


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living in profile | 27

outpost in the Spanish Sahara. There he writes his full-length novel Courrier Sud (Southern Mail) which celebrates the postal pilots’ hazardous missions to compete with railway and steamship mail carriers. In October 1929 he is dispatched to manage Aeroposta Argentina in Buenos Aires and establish new long-distance routes in Patagonia. His experiences there, often flying solo at night, inspire the critically acclaimed Vol de Nuit (1931), for which he receives literary awards in France and the USA. On his return to France in 1931 he falls madly in love with Consuelo Suncin, a widow from El Salvador whose social circle includes Dali, Picasso, Oscar Wilde and Verlaine. After marrying in Nice in April 1931 they begin an unconventional relationship, Antoine becoming ever-closer to Prussian-born Hélène de Vogüé, wife of a wealthy industrialist. ‘Nelly’ uses her media and political influence to advance Antoine, provides financial support and probably

purchases for him the Caudron Simoun monoplane which he and navigator/flight engineer André Prévot enter in the Paris-Saigon air race organised by the Aéro Club de France in December 1935. With over 22,000km to cover, multiple fuelling stops and night flying will be unavoidable. Previously supremely reliable, the plane develops a fuel leak over the Mediterranean, losing them valuable time while they turn back for repairs near Martigues. Worse is to come, as low cloud forces them to fly low over Sardinia. After refuelling in Tunisia and Bengazi, they take off in total darkness, and soon encounter dense cloud. 4 hours, 15 minutes into their flight, and with no modern navigational aids, they crash into a sand dune somewhere west of the Nile Delta in Egypt. The aircraft is badly damaged but they are alive, although with few

Mission preparations, 1922

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28 | living in profile In Syria, 1935, with his Caudron C630 Simoun

provisions. They wander through the desert searching for help, returning regularly to the wreckage and suffering from dehydration until being rescued by Bedouin tribesmen four days later. After recovering Antoine becomes a reporter for Paris Soir and L’Intransigeant, covering events including the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 he receives the Legion d’Honneur for negotiating a hostage release in the Saharan desert, and the 1939 Grand Prix de l’Académie Française for Terre des Hommes, which again draws

heavily upon his eventful life. When war breaks out, he flies reconnaissance missions for the Armée de l’Air (and is awarded the Croix de Guerre), until the Nazi occupation forces him to flee to North America, where he pleads for America’s urgent commitment to the war effort (and, it is said, has an affair with aviator Charles Lindbergh’s wife). When America finally enters WWII in 1941 Saint Exupéry (by then aged 43 and well above regulation age limits) convinces the American forces to let him fly reconnaissance missions, and the following year writes Pilote de Guerre and Le Petit Prince. During 1943 he carries out numerous missions with Allied Forces. On July 17, 1944 he takes off from Corsica in his Lockheed Lightning P38 F5B to photograph military installations between Grenoble and Annecy. He will not return, his disappearance remaining unexplained until 2003 when divers recover parts of the wreckage of his aircraft near the Île de Riou, south of Marseille.

• Since it appeared in 1943 the title has sold over 140 million copies (and rising) and has been translated into over 340 languages and dialects, from Abkhazian to Zulu. • Audio adaptations include a vinyl album (1954) with Gérard Philipe as the narrator, a Grammy Award-winning version (1975) narrated by Richard Burton plus a tape cassette (1996) with Marc André Coallier as narrator. • In 1956 Raymond Burr starred in a CBS Radio Workshop adaptation and in 2000 BBC Radio 4 broadcast a dramatisation by Bonnie Greer with Robert Powell as the narrator (a BBC Radio Collection audio cassette recording was also released). • Numerous film and TV adaptations have appeared, including Mažasis Princas (Lithuania, 1966), The Little Prince musical (Paramount, 1974), The Adventures of The Little Prince (1970s/80s Japanese animation, released in Europe & North America), • Le Petit Prince (France, 2010 CGI series) along with a rather looser Hollywood 3D CGI adaptation (2015). • The tale has also inspired music, opera, theatre and more. A life celebrated on postage stamps and banknotes

Diocese in Europe French Residency Support Project Funded through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s UK National Support Fund

Free help and information for uk nationals applying for residency in france All UK Nationals who wish to secure their Withdrawal Agreement residency rights to live in France after 31 December 2020 must obtain the new Residence Permit whether or not they already hold a Carte de Séjour

Our free services provide:

• Information on eligibility requirements for residency in France • Guidance on the application process, for example,

gathering relevant documentation

• Support with completing online residence permit applications • Help in preparing for the required visit to the Préfecture • Casework to assist with more complex circumstances

relating to residence permit applications

• Signposting to wider sources of information and support

Our services can be accessed through

• Our enquiry form on: • Our telephone helpline: +33 5 32 80 00 05 Our services are available to

All UK nationals throughout France* and their direct family members who are:

• aged 18 or over • currently resident in France or expect to be living in France by the end of the transition period (31 December 2020)

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05 32 80 00 05 Monday to Friday: 09:30 - 12:00 & 13:30 - 16:00 Tuesday evening: 17:30 - 20.00 Saturday: 09:30 - 12:00 *We have a particular focus on those aged 65 and over and living in Nouvelle-Aquitaine but our website and helpline services are available to all UK Nationals seeking residency in France.

30 | practical living

law&money << OUr experts answer YOur questions...

Changing VAT rules


I sell handmade gifts, some of which are sold to UK customers. I’ve heard VAT rules are changing in the New Year; can you explain?

Entry to France for non-residents


I am a holiday home owner - how long I can stay in my second home after Brexit? If you are not resident in France then you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. While the movement rules for the Schengen zone have been in place for some time, they have not been enforced but this will change as the transition period ends. After 1 January, you will be able to stay in the Schengen zone for a maximum of 90 days in 180 days, and no visa will be necessary during this period. The 90-day period is rolling and calculated backwards from each day of your stay. It applies to your stay in the entire Schengen zone, not just to a single country. A useful tool to calculate days is available on the European Commission website at Once you’ve been absent from the Schengen zone for 90 consecutive days, the clock is reset and you start a new period. When you arrive at the border of the Schengen zone from the UK or another non-Schengen country, you will be subject to entry controls. You will need to be able to show: a valid passport which is less than 10 years old and has at least 6 months validity left; documents that prove the purpose and conditions of your stay: for example proof that you

• •

are travelling to a second home; evidence that you have ‘sufficient means of subsistence’ for the duration of your stay. If you intend to work using your holiday home as your base, even for less than 90 days, you are not covered by the visa-free rules and will need a visa from the country where you intend to work. At the border, your passport will be stamped. It will be stamped again on your exit when the time spent within the Schengen zone will be verified. If you wish to stay longer, you will need to apply for a visitor visa. There are several options so you will need to see which best meets your needs. Finally, two new systems are being introduced in 2022, the Entry Exit System (EES) and European Travel Authorisation and Information System (ETIAS). EES replaces the current stamping of passports with an electronic record. ETIAS is a mandatory pre-condition for entry to the Schengen zone for non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt. You will have to apply on the website or app before travelling and pay a fee of 7 euros.

Kalba Meadows is the co-founder of France Rights and a member of the British in Europe steering team.

£15 lower threshold at which VAT becomes payable. The changes were designed to protect UK retailers from being undercut by their EU competitors after Brexit in competitive international marketplaces such Currently both France as Amazon. But small sellers are and the UK are part of concerned that the bureaucracy the European Union needed will make it uneconomic VAT area which has clear to continue. On Twitter, Star guidelines on the application Trek veteran William Shatner and exemption of sales taxes based in the US declared that between member states. This this makes selling memorabilia to will change after the transition the UK unviable as it would cost period when the UK no longer “over £1,000 a year just to file benefits from this relationship. these forms via a service. That’s To prepare, HMRC have too much for a small store to announced that the UK absorb or we would have to raise Government is introducing a prices considerably.” “new model” for VAT collection. Businesses here in France will “This will ensure that goods be liable to collect and to pay from EU and non-EU countries VAT at 20% on their sales to are treated in the same way the UK whatever the size of and that UK businesses are not the sale. Likewise, British disadvantaged.” companies will be liable to pay At the moment, companies the French government TVA outside the EU selling goods at 20%. Large retailers such as to the UK fill out a customs Amazon have already reacted to declaration and the person this by holding separate stock buying the product in the UK in the UK and the EU to avoid has to pay any VAT due before shipping over borders. they pick it up. Under the For more information how this changes being introduced from 1 will impact your businesss, talk January 2021 all overseas sellers, to your accountant. including those from the EU, will The sale of services will also become responsible for collecting change on 1 January. The latest and paying VAT on their UK sales. notice from the European At the same time the Commission on VAT can be found at government has scrapped the


practical living | 31

Brexit & Personal Finances


My UK Financial Advisor has said that after 31 December 2020 they can only deal with me if I have a UK address. Is this correct?


I have received several questions regarding provision of financial advice after Brexit. At the time of writing this article, there is still nothing agreed regarding the passporting of financial services from the UK into France. Simply having a UK address will not provide any


I am worried about banking in the UK after Brexit. Is it possible for my UK State Pension to be paid into a French bank account?


FCA protection; it is where you are tax resident that you should ensure that

your advisor is regulated. In France that will be ANACOF-CIF and Orias.

Yes it is possible. You will need to contact the Department for Pensions either by telephone (call +44 (0) 191 218 7777) or by writing to them at the following address: The Pension Service 11 Mail Handling Site A Wolverhampton WV98 1LW Royaume Uni

Amanda Johnson works as an Independent Financial Advisor with The Spectrum IFA Group. T: 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43;; To register for their newsletter, attend a roadshow event or speak directly to Amanda, call or email her. There is no charge for their financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations. Email Amanda now to reserve your space at Le Tour de Finance webinar - see the details below. « The Spectrum IFA Group » is a registered trademark, exclusive rights to use in France granted to TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L. Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 « Société de Courtage d’assurances » R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384) Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 - « Conseiller en investissements financiers, référence sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers »

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Citizens’ rights after


Kathryn Dobson, member of British in Europe’s steering team and co-founder of France Rights, examines the latest developments for British nationals living in France In the final throes of the transition period, the impact of the latest confinement has added further challenges to those seeking residency. There has, however, been a silver lining for residents who have lived here for more than 5 years.

Residency REgistration The pandemic has had a significant impact on the progress of residency applications for British citizens. The delay in the approval of the law confirming the details, combined with the closure of the administrative services for the first confinement, delayed the launch of the online residency portal. This eventually opened mid-October while the decree itself continues to be delayed leading to the unusual situation of people being asked to apply for a status that has yet to be legally defined. At the time of printing, the decree continues to be ‘imminent’. The guidelines given for the portal

held some relief for individuals who have been resident in France for more than five years. British in Europe/ France Rights have long advocated the simplest of applications, one that mirrored the approach seen in the UK. It seemed that our pleas were falling on deaf ears with resource/income requirements being set for everyone looking to apply. However, given the number of permits to be issued and the impact of COVID-19 confinements,

INFORMATION YOU CAN TRUST The French Government site is at and the UK Government continues to update its ‘Living in’ guide ( There you will find a list of the organisations supported by Government funding to help British nationals complete their registration applications such as SSAFA and the French Residency Support Project. Do not rely on enthusiastic amateurs! Several groups on social media offer help, but check their legal expertise. Immigration law is a complex subject and advice should only be given by

lawyers who carry professional liability insurance. We recommend you only get your information from expert sources, before referring to a lawyer if you need individual advice. Getting incorrect information from a self-help group on Facebook could have long lasting implications for you and your family. For quality independent information focused on France, see France Rights, the French arm of British in Europe, at or follow the Facebook page at FranceRights where the latest news will be shared.

a more pragmatic approach has been necessary and, in line with our original requests, this requirement has been removed for everyone resident for more than 5 years. Now all that is required is proof of residency and ID, not only a much less onerous application for all, but also a huge relief for many who feared their income was below the levels being set.

TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE UK As part of its Brexit Readiness preparations, the European Commission has now published details of how UK nationals should be treated when they enter or leave the Schengen area from 1 January 2021. The full presentation can be viewed at British nationals resident in France will no longer be able to use E-gates where these exist, as EU law currently reserves their use to those who hold an EU, EEA or Swiss passport (even if travelling with an EU citizen). Like all third country nationals, you will be subject to the entry conditions of the Schengen Border code, which means that checks will be made both at entry and exit, against

living brexit | 33

A letter From the Ambassador British Ambassador to France, Ed Llewellyn I’m pleased to be joining you inside the pages of Living Magazine this month – a publication that I know so many British citizens in France appreciate. A huge thanks to Kathryn for the invitation! I want to explain the French government’s approach to the residency system for British people who have made their home in France as it might feel strange to take this step when it simply hasn’t been necessary before. I would like to reassure you that the French government are taking a generous approach to applications from our community. President Macron set out his personal commitment in a letter to the British people the day after the UK departed the EU, and I personally see it - in the policy set by the Interior Ministry, my interactions with senior officials there, and in the easy-to-use system itself. The online approach is simple, and everyone living here – regardless of whether you’ve previously held a carte de séjour or not – should apply before 30 June 2021.

national and EU databases. As a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), you won’t be asked to verify the purpose or length of your stay or to prove that you have sufficient means of subsistence, and your passport won’t be stamped - but you’ll have to produce evidence that you are indeed covered by the WA either your residence permit or confirmation that you have applied for it (the email confirmation certificate). If you have not yet applied, you will need to provide evidence that you exercised free movement rights in France before the end of the transition period. When the new Entry Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Authorisation and Information System (ETIAS) come in during 2022, as a WA beneficiary you will be exempt from these as you have an ongoing right to reside in your host country. If you don’t produce the required evidence you will not be treated as

People who have just arrived in France, or have set themselves up as self-employed on perhaps a more modest income, shouldn’t be afraid of making their application either. The important thing is to make the application when you have the right paperwork and to set out your circumstances as fully as you can for the staff processing your application. It will come as no surprise that the Charente and Dordogne regions have received the highest number of applications so far! And I wanted to let you know that additional staff will be deployed to high-volume prefectures to help. If you have applied, please don’t worry too much about the timeline – the government has assured us that you will have the card in hand by 1 October next year, with most delivered long before that. If you think you may have difficulty making your application or getting to the Préfecture, then help is available. Let the Préfecture know on your application if you have severe mobility issues, and the UK government is funding organisations across France to

“I would like to reassure you that the French government are taking a generous approach to applications from our community.” offer advice and practical support. More information about applying and the support available in your area is available at Please do take a look.

an S1 on the basis of exporting one of the above benefits you can still apply, but you must apply by 31 Dec 2020. If you apply by then an S1 form will be issued as long as you otherwise meet the criteria, and you will keep it as long as you continue to receive the benefit(s). After 31 Dec 2020, it will EXPORTABLE BENEFITS no longer be possible to make a new AND S1 FORMS application for an S1 form on the basis that you receive DLA, PIP, CA or AA. A recent review by the Department of The relevant page on the NHS website Health and Social Care into the eligibility can be found at: for S1 forms for those in receipt of exportable benefits has resulted in important changes from 1 Jan 2021. The benefits concerned are: Disability Living UK-issued EHIC CARDS Allowance (DLA), Personal Independent Under new NHSBSA guidelines, current Payment (PIP), Carers Allowance (CA) EHIC cards issued by the UK can only be and Attendance Allowance (AA). This used up until the end of December. does not affect other S1 holders. To apply for a new EHIC-E card to These benefits are currently exportable, use in 2021 is quick and easy online, which means you can continue to receive visit: them while living in France. They will Those who have an EHIC card issued continue to be exportable under the WA. by France (Carte Européenne d’Assurance However if you have not yet applied for Maladie or CEAM) are not affected.

a resident and your passport will be stamped. In theory at least this starts the 90-day Schengen clock ticking, which may cause issues further down the line. For information on travel over the border as a non-resident see page 30.

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Citizens’ rights after


APPLYING FOR YOUR RESIDENCY PERMIT A guide by For the past three years we have been explaining the detail of what will change for British nationals living in France from 1 January 2021. Finally, the residency portal has launched so, at long last, here is an overview of what you need to do to apply. Here we give some broad information on the process you need to complete for your new residence status which will be evidenced by a card which you can show when necessary. Applying for the new status and card is compulsory and must be completed before 30 June 2021. If you have a current EU Carte de Séjour, this will cease to be valid from 1 October 2021, and if you do not by then hold a new residence card issued under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), you will not have legal residence status.

Who needs to apply? 3 Every British citizen who is over 18 and living in France at the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) has to apply for their own residence permit under the WA whether or not you have an existing Carte de Séjour. 3 If you already have residence rights in France and you are absent from the country at the end of the transition period, but you remain within the ‘permitted absence’ period for your residence status, you must also apply.

3 If you have adult family members of any nationality - whose rights depend on yours, they have to apply. Children and young people under 18 don’t have to hold a residence card - a passport is enough. You can apply for a DCEM (Document de Circulation pour étranger Mineur) for them if you wish, which can be helpful for travel outside France. Young people must apply for a residence card during their 18th year (and not later than their 19th birthday). It is

recommended that anyone who will reach the age of 18 before 1 October 2021 (the date by which everyone must hold a residence card) should apply now on the online application form.

3 If you are a young adult who is still dependent on your parents, you need to apply in your own right; you need to indicate that you are a family member of a UK national and follow that route on the application form. 3 If you are a young adult who is normally resident in France but you are studying abroad, you must also apply for a residence permit indicating your family’s address (unless you have your own home in France). 3 If you are a dual national who holds both citizenship of the UK and that of a second EU country (not France), you don’t need to rely on the WA for your residence rights in France as you’ll continue to have the right to live here as an EU citizen, using your EU citizenship. However, you may still need to rely on some of the rights in the WA, for example, the recognition of your professional qualifications in the UK, social security coordination with the UK, or family reunification rights. You can choose to apply for a residence card on the online platform as evidence that you are covered by the WA, without losing your EU citizenship rights.​ 3 If you are a dual national who holds both citizenship of the UK and of France, while you don’t need to rely on the WA for your residence rights, you can benefit from its provisions if before the end of the transition period you had exercised your free movement rights to move here, and then later acquired French citizenship

(whether by declaration or decree). Because you are French, you are not able to apply for a residence permit as a UK national. We are still discussing with the Ministry of the Interior exactly how you will be able to evidence your right to be covered under the WA in future.

How do you apply? If you applied on the ‘no-deal portal’ between 9 October 2019 and 31 January 2020 you do not need to reapply unless you have changed your address to a different département - your application is already in the system and will be processed by your Préfecture. Some readers have already received their new permits. If you have changed your address you will need to reapply. If, however, you’ve recently applied for your residence card at your Préfecture and are awaiting your card, you must apply on the online application form. There are two different statuses, one for those who have been resident for less than five years (temporary) and one for those who have more than five years’ residence (permanent - sometimes called ‘ten years’ as the cards are valid for ten years). The process is straightforward for both but requires more proof for those with less than 5 years’ residence. For step-by-step guides to completing your application, visit

ONLINE PORTAL > To apply, fill in the online form on the government website at > has in-depth step-by-step guides to the different classes of applications and the information required for each.

living brexit | 35

BIE meeting then-UK Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay

Co-chair Fiona Godfrey at one of several meetings with Michel Barnier



ince the referendum British in Europe (BiE) has become the leading voice for British nationals living in the EU. Over the past four years, they have represented British citizens at countless highlevel meetings in both Brussels and London, led grassroots campaigns to drive change, and provided essential information when others, including our own Government, couldn’t. With experts in EU and UK case law, EU lobbying, grassroots campaigning, and communication, this tightknit team of only ten individuals has influenced decisions across the range of our rights. Not only have they given British Nationals in the EU a voice, their ongoing, detailed analysis of every aspect of the legislation has helped to close gaps and move key discussions forward. Hilary Benn (MP) confirmed the importance of the team’s role earlier this year: “As Chair of the Brexit Select Committee in the House of Commons, I know the excellent work that British in Europe have done in speaking up for those British people who have chosen

to live and work across the EU. They have given evidence to the Select Committee and provided briefings which have both been very useful... I look forward to British in Europe continuing to keep the Committee informed about what is happening.” This dedication has come at a cost to the team members. Unable to secure ongoing funding from the Government or EU organisations, their work has been supported by donations from individuals. Of the 100,000€ needed to fund this year’s work, 67,000€ has been raised from the 1.2 million British citizens across the EU. While there have been some savings on travel costs, the planned activities have sadly had to be reduced in line with the funds – and there is no funding for 2021.

What does this mean? Host countries, including France, are now in the implementation phase of the Withdrawal Agreement and residence permits are being applied for where necessary. At the same time, we are leaving the protection of the WA transition period during which many of our rights were maintained as if we were still EU citizens. It is a time of change which, given the complexity of removing

40 years of legislation from our lives, will lead to issues for individuals, whether through administrative misunderstandings or the complexity of unusual circumstances. BiE is the only organisation with four years’ experience and expertise in this field. Only they are ideally placed to: 1. provide independent, legally watertight information to citizens about their rights; 2. continue to liase with task forces in London and Brussels to get answers and flag issues; 3. ensure that responsive monitoring mechanisms are set up in the EU to track the implementation of the details covered by the WA; 4. monitor court cases to see where intervention would be to the benefit of UK citizens in the EU. All these activities are outside the remit of the organisations funded by the UK Government. There is no other independent organisation scrutinising the implementation of these rules here in France. BiE needs your donation to carry out these activities. Without vital financial support they cannot continue to protect your rights.

If you value your rights, support British in Europe’s fighting fund so they can continue to represent you. Donate today at: Subscribe today > see page 5 for info

36 | living family

Avec les enfants ––––––




–––––––– ––––––––––––––––

ear BLues---Banish th––e ––N––e––w––Y ––--------------




With the summer crowds gone, and the mid-winter carnival of Christmas and New Year finished, January can feel a little flat, but in Charente-Maritime we always have a few ideas to help us and our smaller household members through the darkest part of the year – all of them easy to do. Sometime in the New Year we’ll make our traditional trek to a winter beach, where the surf will be pounding in. We’ll go primed with coats, wellies and a basket of goodies in the back of the car. There’ll be a flask of soup, some baguettes, a variety of cheeses, a cut of cold meat or two and some fruit and biscuits. It’s a very unambitious affair, but it

always gives us great enjoyment to sit on a piece of driftwood, watch the dogs scurry up and down chasing windblown shadows, and to feel the power of a winter ocean as it pounds ashore, with long white drifts of foam marching across the sands to our feet, before then retreating again. I think every human has that bit of vagabond DNA within them that needs the fulfilment offered by standing in moving water, looking out to the vastness of a horizon full of future. And a dramatic wintery horizon means much more than the long thin line of summer’s blue offering. Perhaps it’s the pulse of air, pushed ashore by each wave, that reverberates in our chests and gets the blood flowing. Whatever it is, it makes children run screaming down to the water’s edge, and then sprint along the beach for hours on end, our little pack of Jack Russells chasing them like short-legged woolly greyhounds. When we turn for home our blood is generally flowing a lot faster. It’s also the time of year when châteaux and other monuments are almost devoid of visitors, and roads

between destinations are empty of traffic. It’s a perfect opportunity to visit places where we would never normally contemplate going, and because there are no queues, it’s easy to move along at the perfect pace for children and teenagers who don’t want to linger too long, but are otherwise happy to take in new places and learn some history. I also take this seasonal opportunity to learn about places that our gîte guests can visit later in the year, and while it ‘s easy to see the big opportunities, I always find that a visit to view a well-known attraction inevitably leads me to equally interesting but easily missed corners of history and culture. A typical example of this is a wonderful corner of roadside forest outside Port d’Envaux, which falls happily to hand after visiting the Château de Panloy. The cool, reflective winter months give us more time and solitude to enjoy the hand-sculpted figures and motifs than is possible in the rather busier summer season. If you’re in Charente-Maritime, there’s also one other winter treat that should be on any gourmet’s bucketlist: oysters. Try as we might, our

living family | 45

Cayenne is a long finger of land which stretches south from Marennes to the sea, bordered on the western side by le Chenal de Marennes, a five-metre wide stretch of water with moored boats and colourful cabins. Those who don’t like shellfish can happily eat something else at the water’s edge, for on a quay abutting the vastness of the Seudre estuary are a couple of lovely restaurants with the most glorious views. And afterwards, of course, a-wobble on your steed, you’ll be doubly happy with the flat ride home. 1




younger brethren are still a little wary of them, but for the adult who likes shellfish the winter months offer the very best of whatever flavour of oyster you want to eat. A January trip to Marennes and down the length of La Cayenne is a pilgrimage I can highly recommend. The summer crowds are long gone, and even if you’re not into oysters the scenery is fabulous, and most importantly, flat. So if you’ve brought bikes in the back of the car just park in town and make the round trip on a saddle to the end of the land and back along Rue des Martyrs; a decent amount of kilometres can be covered this way and any excess indulgence doesn’t feel so guilty. La


Susan, husband Roddy and their five children live close to the coast in the Charente-Maritime. She shares her experiences on her popular blog at www.OurFrench




6 7

While away a winter’s evening with our cryptic crossword compiled uniquely for LIVING readers by Mike Morris. Once you have found all the answers, the theme will reveal itself. But don’t despair, if you need a helping hand, the answers can be found on page 64.

23. Nothing arriving in Rio, 10 for example, is turned over to military group? (5) 11 25. Egg found on top of colloquial idiot? (3) 12 13 26. Being pleased to submit to reorganisation now time has passed? (7) 14 15 27. Small particle taking control of style of architecture? (5) Clues Across 28. Group of birds having a 16 1. An Asian country’s war may drink in Scotland........ ? (4) consume a great number........ ? (5) 29. ........ ? moves slowly 20 21 22 4. ........ ? or so it has been towards the Borders? (5) announced? (4) 20 7. Two Europeans agree to be in Clues Down contact with the board? (5) 1. Greek dish can be made by 26 8. Getting the blame for putting holy man, provided there is a on another coat? (7) party afterwards? (7) 10. Install some soft 24 2. Made an adjustment and was furnishings in the flat? (3) able to get it off dead-pat? (7) 11. Characteristic of the origins 3. It is often said the traffic in 25 28 of those reacting against internal London is a capital crime. (6) tensions? (5) 4. Skips over the onset of 12. Leavens a recipe for a captive epidemic raising optimism? (5) 14. Pair first of British rookies audience? (7) 5. Someone in Hanover agreeing with Biggles? (5) 14. Reflects on transport to port and wine? (5) 15. Globe’s path of travel taken with organisation having repeated love 6. Receiver starting to see the no computer training? (3) for policeman? (6) content of what is stolen? (4) 17. Turning over LP providing release 16. Escape for large number 9. Initial scraps of food left, eaten after bout of amorous advances? (7) involved in fracas? (6) every time in fast? (5) 18. Basis for legal action taken 20. Athlete also known as London 13. French island determined over surrounding Transport number one? (7) to present a garland. (3) Showland? how(7)much you



8 8

9 10


13 14 16





19 23


24 21




19. Something to read for inspiration? (6) 21. Knowing of the conflict surrounding the fences of Aintree; or the opposite in fact? (5) 22. Rescind international organisation, for example? (5) 24. Put stuff together and pull out ofLiving the game? at (4)

38 | living nikki legon’s cuisine

As we face a socially-distanced Christmas, Nikki shares recipes that make delicious presents for friends and neighbours (and the four-legged variety). You might find they are simply too tasty to give away!

Nikki Legon's

cuisine Christmas Chutney

Christmas Chutney 750g Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces 500g fresh or frozen cranberries (canneberges) - if frozen, defrost 250g finely chopped dried apricots 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped into small pieces

Brandied Cranberry Sauce

Chicken Liver Parfait

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 clementines 400g caster sugar ½ tsp ground cloves 1 tsp ground ginger 1½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp cayenne pepper 500ml white wine vinegar 2 tsp salt METHOD Place the apples, onion, cranberries, apricots, peppers and garlic into a

large saucepan. Zest the clementines over the top, then squeeze in the juice and scrape in the pulp. Add the sugar, ground cloves, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vinegar and sprinkle in the salt. Leave over a low heat and stir occasionally letting it bubble away uncovered for about 1 hour until it is thick and pulpy. Spoon into hot, sterilised jars. Seal and decorate. Once cool, keep in a dark cool place to mature for 2 weeks and keep in the fridge once opened.

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 39

Brandied Cranberry Sauce 250g cranberries 300ml water 4 tbsp light brown sugar 2 tbsp cognac 3 slices of orange peel METHOD Add all of the ingredients to a small pan and cook over a low heat, stirring, for 5 minutes until the cranberries burst. Store in a jar in the fridge.

Chicken Liver Parfait A beautiful, smooth, rich pâté 225g unsalted butter 225g chicken livers, membranes removed 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs of thyme salt and pepper 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced 1 garlic clove, finely diced 2 tbsp pineau 2 tbsp cognac 1 tbsp crème fraîche freshly grated nutmeg METHOD Melt 25g butter in a large frying

Hot Chilli Chutney 10 chopped red chillies, seeds in or out depending on your preference 2 large onions, peeled and chopped finely 300ml cider vinegar 100ml water ½ tsp garam masala 4 tbsp light brown sugar 2 cooking apples, peeled cored and chopped finely 1 courgette, chopped finely

pan over a medium heat, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken livers and all of the herbs, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry for 3 minutes, turning the livers halfway through. Add the pineau and cognac flambé and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the mix to a blender, removing bay leaf and thyme. Add the crème fraîche and purée until very smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the blender. Add the rest of the soft butter and blend again until really smooth and creamy. Add a grinding of nutmeg, adjust the seasoning and spoon into your jars. Seal with melted butter, decorate with a bay leaf and pink peppercorns and store in the fridge.

1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely 2 bay leaves 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds METHOD Add all the chopped ingredients to a large pan with the bay leaves and water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 1½ hours stirring occasionally, till soft and thick. Remove the bay leaves and spoon the mixture into clean sterilised jars.

Hot Chilli Chutney This chutney improves over time, store in a dark cool place to mature for 2 weeks before serving with cold meats and cheese, or turkey sandwiches. Once opened, it will last for 6 to 8 weeks if kept in the fridge.

Subscribe today > see page 5 for info

40 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Tasty Dog Treats

Chestnut Truffles 200ml thick cream 200g dark chocolate buttons 100g chestnut purée 25g light brown caster sugar To decorate cocoa powder crushed nuts sprinkles METHOD Place a small bowl over a pan of simmering water and add all the ingredients. Cook over a low heat until melted. Remove and stir to mix until evenly blended and place in the fridge until firmly set. Using a teaspoon, scoop out evenly sized balls and roll each one in cocoa powder, crushed nuts or sprinkles. Place each one in a decorated case or pile on a pretty dish.

Tasty Dog Treats Make sure that every member of your family has something delicious for Christmas! 150g wholemeal flour 100g porridge oats 100g smooth peanut butter (make sure it does not have xylitol in the ingredients as it is poisonous to dogs) 2 tbsp coconut oil 1 egg beaten METHOD Whizz the flour and oats in a food processor until fine. Warm the peanut butter and coconut oil in a pan with 4 tbsp of water. Pour over the dry ingredients along with the beaten egg and mix until you have a pliable dough. Heat the oven to 170°C. Roll the dough out to the thickness of a euro coin and shape your biscuits into bones or squares. Cook for 15 minutes until golden. They will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

Homemade Irish Cream 400ml Irish whiskey 400ml thick cream 400ml sweetened condensed milk 3 tbs chocolate sauce 2 tsp coffee extract 1 tsp vanilla extract

Homemade Irish Cream

METHOD Place all but the whiskey into a blender and blend on a low speed for a few seconds. Add the whiskey and blend for a few seconds more, again on a low speed as you do not want to thicken the cream. Fill glass bottles with tight fitting lids and store in the fridge up to 2 months.

Chestnut Truffles

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 41 Traditional Country Pâté

Traditional Country Pork Pâté A wonderful, chunky country pâté

2 tbsp cognac 20g pistachios or almonds, chopped

250g pork shoulder, diced 250g belly pork, diced 250g lardons 300g pig’s liver or chicken livers, cleaned and diced 1 egg 1 tsp salt grinding of black pepper 4 juniper berries crushed 2 pinches of five-spice powder ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped 50ml white wine, boiled for 30 seconds

METHOD Preheat the oven to 150°C. In the processor using the pulse button chop all the meats to a chunky mince texture. Remove and place into a large mixing bowl with the beaten egg, salt, and all of the herbs and spices. Stir it well to combine the ingredients. Take a small spoonful and microwave it to check the seasoning, taste and adjust. Place into a 23cm x 9cm x 75cm mould and press well using a large

spoon. Tap the mould a few times on the work surface to remove any air pockets. Cover loosely with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper, place into a roasting tray and add boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine. Cook in the oven for about 1 hour if you have a temperature probe it should read 65-70°C. Keep covered in the fridge for two days for the flavours to mature. It is delicious served with brandied cranberry sauce and crusty bread so keep some for yourself too!

Nikki Legon is the chef and owner of the Hotel Restaurant Karina in Les Métairies, just outside Jarnac in Charente. She and her husband Austin have transformed an old cognac distillery into a luxury 10-bedroom hotel and restaurant. For more information:

A warm welcome awaits you ……. Come and discover the Hotel Restaurant Karina, set in a haven of greenery, just 3km from Jarnac in the beautiful Charentaise countryside. Enjoy dining by the open fire in winter or on the terrace in fine weather with a choice of à la carte or fixed menus. In our bar, you will find the original copper alembic and here you can relax with an aperitif. Join us for fish and chips on Fridays - lunch or dinner. We cater for special group occasions, call for more information See our menus on our website | | 05 45 36 26 26

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Living at

42 | living wine



t Château Feely, our organic, biodynamic farm near Bergerac, which has been our home and livelihood for the last fifteen years, winter is a time of peace and contemplation. It’s a moment of calm for our vines and ourselves after the frenzy of the past season and harvest time. This year, while things are quiet on the personal visitor front, we are busier than ever with virtual wine events. People are looking for ways to bring friends, family or team members together in this strange Coronavirus world, and virtual wine-tastings offer a solution. One of the favourites is a food and wine pairing experience which includes pairing experiments, a great way to limber up for planning festive wine choices, our focus in this article. This year my suggestions are based on wines from south west France. Here our key regions are Bergerac and Duras, the Garonne area, Gascony and Bearn plus the Pays-Basque. While it seems strange, Wines of the South West do not include Bordeaux which has its own appellation group. The diverse areas cited above form a separate appellation called ‘Vins du Sud-Ouest’.

The Festive Season is a chance to celebrate appellations often overshadowed by the big names but it offers great diversity and many real ‘finds’ too as Caro Feely explains. A good sparkling wine is unmissable for the festive season. Serve it as an apéritif at midnight on the 31st December, or as a zesty ‘brut’ (dry) with oysters. You can find delicious Vin de France Méthode Traditionnelle (employing the traditional second fermentation in the bottle, as used to produce Champagne) like our justreleased Feely Brut Rosé, or a Pet Nat (natural pétillant wine) from the south west regions. However, the only official south west appellation for sparkling is Gaillac Mousseux, made by la Méthode Ancestrale (natural fermentation of sugar already present) or by la Méthode Traditionnelle (with sugar

and yeast added to generate a second fermentation in the bottle). For a zesty white wine for your seafood, try the zing and chutzpah of high-altitude Gros Manseng from the Jurançon: Clos Lapeyre Sec from JeanBernard Larrieu is a great example. For a more warming dry white to go with turkey or creamy foods, perhaps a barrel-aged white from a grape like Sémillon from the Bergerac region, like our Feely Générosité (made under Vin de France) or a blended Bergerac Sec like Domaine Ancienne Cure Cuvée Abbaye from Ondenc, Muscadelle, Chenin blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc. Sweet wines come into their own around the festive season as sweet apéritifs or with a dessert. Saussignac and Monbazillac offer fabulous dessert wines made from Botrytis Sémillon. In Monbazillac try a Château Kalian or a Château Vari for great organic sweets. Close to us, Château le Payral, makes an excellent Saussignac. One of the great luxuries of winter is sipping red wine by the fire, chatting, reading or simply gazing into the flames. For rich reds from the south west seek out Merlot

living wine | 43 Château Feely is a specialist in virtual wine events for private parties and team-building. If you are looking for a fun way to get your family, friends or your work team together visit www. for details. Also offering accommodation, wine tours and vineyard walks, the Château is an accredited Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine school. Stretch your wine world with a 3-day course on French wines (all year round) or go further with wines of the world on the WSET level 2 from 25-27 March 2021. Caro’s books make great stocking fillers: ‘Grape Expectations’, ‘Saving Our Skins’ and the latest ‘Glass Half Full’.

Cabernet blends from Bergerac, a salty Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Irouleguy, a Malbec from Cahors or a smoky FerServadou (also known as Braucol or Mansois) from Gaillac or Marcillac. Our region has a great variety of fabulous wines for all occasions and foods. The season of staying home is

a great opportunity to explore them with the help of your local caviste and winegrowers. As Coronavirus continues to change our world, I appreciate love, health and simple joys like walking in nature and hugging loved ones, more than ever. May your festive season be filled with all three. “Meilleurs Vœux pour 2021!”


Discover Our Local Wines 100% Malbec & 100% Merlot

A delightful tale filled with love and joy, Brue The Living Wheelbarrow draws you into the happy world of Brue and Gilles.


Domaine la Prenellerie

The perfect story to bring a little magic and a lot of fun to bedtime.

Signed copies in France available from Anthony Andrews at La Bouteille Ouverte (bar/bistro) Le Bourg, Bouteilles Saint Sebastien, 24320 VERTEILLAC. T: 05 53 91 51 98 E: In UK:, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and Book Depository Brue the Living Wheelbarrow is the first book by Anthony Andrews and he is already working on a sequel. Anthony is English by birth and has lived in the Dordogne department of France for twenty-two years. However, Anthony loves the Pyrenees mountains where he loves to snow ski and where the book commences. Anthony returned to his childhood in his mind (or so he thinks) to write Brue the Living Wheelbarrow and he hopes very much that the book will bring much joy to younger children.

SCEA Billonneau, 17120 Epargnes Along the coast, south of Royan Tel: 06 08 33 00 80 Visits & tastings welcome (preferably on Saturday morning or call to make a reservation)

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photos: © roger moss; bottom right © infiniment charente

L i ving



Changing Places

We get to know a Charentais market town just a few km from the Dordogne border.

After having negotiated the final winding approach from La Rochefoucauld up into the heart of the town it comes as no surprise to learn that Montbron was once a fortified settlement – a Roman oppidum, no less. When the legions returned to Rome the site became a stronghold of the Frankish kings after their seizure of the territories of Aquitaine. Most influential of the early warlords was the dynasty founded by Robert I de Montberon, from whom the present name no doubt derives, although ‘Mons Berulphi’ appears in 12th century Latin manuscripts. The fortifications, whose massive watchtowers secured no fewer than five entry gates, have long since disappeared but parts of the 11th century donjon constructed centuries later on much earlier foundations are still with us. Known as the ‘vieux château’, its 17th century interior enjoys Monument Historique protection, and the site itself is a commanding viewpoint set high above the Basse Ville on the banks of the Tardoire river. To reach it just follow the

Verte de Vacances’ label for the quality of its offer to visitors. The local economy has also undergone a transformation since global fashion house Hermès constructed a wholly new maroquinerie (bagmaking and other leather goods) production facility. With the creation of over 250 new jobs in the high-skills sector, Montbron is looking to the future with renewed confidence.

Rampe de la Barbacanne, the reinstated ancient way into the fortified town. Close to the château is the 17/19th century Chapelle Sainte-Marthe (former chapel of the Hôpital Notre-Dame de Pitié founded in the 17th century), now an atmospheric exhibition space. Another medieval survivor, the 12/17th century Chapelle du Bon Secours offered sanctuary outside the town walls to sufferers of leprosy, including travellers on the holy pilgrimage route to Saintes. Pilgrims would no doubt have visited the Eglise Saint-Maurice, a magnificent 12th century Romanesque creation, which received a makeover, including landscaped surroundings, some 700 years later. Many of today’s visitors are drawn on the first of the month to Montbron’s popular ‘foire et brocante’ events, while others support smaller Friday and Saturday morning markets in the face of fierce competition from nearby supermarkets. Summer tourism assumed a greater importance locally after the loss of paper, textile and shoemaking industries, and today the town possesses the ‘Station

Making connections Distances/drive-times by road from Montbron 16220 La Rochefoucauld: 14km/15min Angoulême: 32km/37min Périgueux: 68.5km/1hr 12min Limoges: 72km/1hr 21min Poitiers: 123km/1hr 43min Bordeaux: 155km/1hr 54min TER & TGV rail services: TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine services from Gare SNCF de La Rochefoucauld (14km) to Angoulême, Limoges, Poitiers, Royan, etc. TGV services from Angoulême to Paris, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Bayonne, etc.

L i ving

Property Sovimo immobiLier Ref. 34187

DPE: n/a

55 000 € HAI

(50 000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

Confolens (16). Town centre, 3-floor building to transform into an investment building or home. 2 rooms (ex dental office with waiting room), studio, attic, elec heating, garage below.


Ref. 34183

90 200€ HAI

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Millac (86), in a village with shops. Semidetached pretty renovated 3-bed house. Elec heating, fireplace/insert, mains drains, garage, adjoining land. All set on 951m2.

Ref. 33901


318 000€ HAI

(55 000 plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

Ref. 34182

DPE: n/a

Character Properties in France

530 000€ HAI

(500 000€ plus 6% agency fees payable buyer)

Confolens (16). Beautiful 5-bed 5-bath farm house, 2 mezzanines, fitted kitchen/living room/lounge. Electrical heating, septic tank, adjoining land set on 9 361m2 .

Ref. 34184


243 000€ HAI

(225 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Availles-Limouzine, Vienne, €120,000* Three-bedroom detached house with elevated position and views of the Vienne river, conservatory, garage, mature garden, mains drains. DPE: E

L’Isle Jourdain, Vienne, €99,500* Lovely revovated 3-bedroom/2 bathroom stone house just a few steps from the main square, quiet street, attached garden, double-glazing, mains drains. DPE: D

St Maurice des Lions (16), nr Confolens. Pretty detached 4-bed cottage. Covered terrace, oil heating, heat pump, garage, heated pool, adjoining landscaped land, set on 2618m2.

Ref. 34179

DPE: n/a

49 500€ HAI

(45 000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

Nr Confolens (16). Nice landscape with river St Maurice des Lions (16) semi-detached bank, prestige stone 6-bed house. Basement, cottage to be refreshed, 2 bedrooms. Electrical oil heating, Air/water heat pump, large balcony, heating, attached barn, garage, adjoining heated pool with terrace, set on 1214m2. courtyard and land with well, set on 672m2.

3, place de la Liberté, 16500 Confolens Tel: 05 45 85 45 65

Rochechouart, Haute Vienne, €285,000* Walk into town, four-bedroom (one ensuite) plus converted attic, character renovation (new roof), covered terrace, ample parking, pool (6x12m), mains drains. DPE: D

Saint Christophe, Charente, €235,000* Edge of village 4-bedroom barn conversion, high quality, new electrics, heat-pumps, new roof, mains drains, barn, 1 acre. DPE: D Tel: 05 65 70 10 49 Email: Please contact us if you have a character property to sell, we have a devoted team located throughout the area.

*agency fees charged to the seller Agence Eleonor Estate Agency 36-38 rue du Temple, 24500 EYMET T: 05 53 27 83 45 Eymet, Villeréal, St.-Cyprien, Monpazier, Bergerac, Lalinde, and Issigeac

Ref: 9117-EY 424,000€ HAI DPE: D Beautifully renovated 4-bedroom stone house with a stunning 78m² living room and a large kitchen/ dining room. Large outbuilding that could be converted (subject to permission) to create more living space. Set on over 3 1/2 acres of land) with fruit trees. Taux d’honoraires 24,000€ (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref: 9409-EY 445,000€ HAI DPE: C Fabulous 4-bedroom stone property immaculately presented throughout with lovely views over the countryside. The ground floor benefits from underfloor heating. To the exterior there is a covered terrace heated pool set in just under an acre of garden Taux d’honoraires 25,0000€ (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref: 9002-MO 787,500€ HAI DPE: D This eight-bedroom house has been fully renovated to a high standard. The property has a large living room and dining room, a function room with a stage and bar & several outbuildings. 4 acres of garden with a 5m x 11m swimming pool. Taux d’honoraires 37,500€ (5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

L i ving

Property Patricia VANDEBROUCK 06 85 79 24 25

Ref: 18470

€199,000 FAI

Near AULNAY (17). Great potential - 5-bed traditional house with gite in popular tourist village, set on 2,600m2 of land DPE vierge

Ref: 22872

€148,000 FAI

Nr BRioUx sUR BoUtoNNe (79). tastefully restored - 5 rooms inc. 3-beds on ground floor. Attic. Courtyard. opposite, outbuildings and garden of 1,480m². DPE D

Ref: 23745

€79,800 FAI

Nr CHeF BoUtoNNe (79) - traditional 4-room farm with outbuildings and attic to convert. Good potential,all on 1,400m² of land DPE vierge

€94,500 FAI

Ref: 23928

Nr BeAUvoiR-sUR-NioRt (79) - on 6300m2 land, needs internal work but good structure. outbuildings. DPE D

€105,000 FAI

Ref: 23820

Nr CHiZe (79). 5-room restored house with attic to convert. second house to restore, outbuildings with potential, set on 2,893m2. DPE n/a

€75,000 FAI

Ref: 23900

Nr BRioUx sUR BoUtoNNe (79) Magnificent 3-bed detached house in great condition. 3 garages, jacuzzi - fenced and landscaped grounds of 1,609m². DPE B

Beaux Villages IMMOBILIER

We are pleased to announce that we are now the International Associate for Savills in south west France As ‘best in class’ for international property sales, Savills brand values of quality of service and integrity chime perfectly with our own. We are actively looking for new properties to fulfil existing demand. We have particular interest in manor houses, estates and châteaux. 0033 (0)8 05 69 23 23 Idimmo, Prestige & Châteaux 42 Rue Grosse Horloge, 17400 St Jean D’Angély. Tel: +33 (0)5 16 51 90 52

€129,600 FAI Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Idiade 6877: Lovely cottage feel to this pretty 2-bed 2-bath house. Ground floor kitchen, lounge with access to garden and walled terrace. Open 29m2 barn attached to the house. Pretty property, perfect for a lock up and leave or a full time home. DPE en cours

€230,050 FAI Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Idiade 5111: Nicely renovated 4-bed house in the heart of Aulnay offering beautiful living spaces. Large living room, spacious kitchen opening onto terrace and garden with pool. Double glazing, heating oil, mains drainage. Garage, outbuildings. Shops nearby. DPE C

€156,600 FAI Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Idiade 6907: This 4-bed cottage is a real appears small on the outside but there is plenty of space inside! Open plan kitchen/diner, lounge, bathroom and laundry/utility room on the ground floor with access to the large garage (63m2). Outbuilding beside pool. DPE D

€250,000 FAI Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Idiade 2908: Spacious home with enclosed garden, pool. Barn with large patio doors opening onto pool. Small courtyard /parking to rear. 3 beds on the ground floor, 2 on the 1st inc. main bedroom with luxurious en-suite. Room for a further bedroom. 38m2 garage. DPE D

50 | living OUTDOOrs

Sweet Chestnuts flowering in the Ardèche


Fruit of theForest Winter wouldn’t be the same

without them, and in remoter areas of France chestnuts were for centuries an essential food resource


Could there be any more uplifting sensation during the otherwise bleak midwinter than the aroma of chestnuts slowly roasting on a log fire? Probably not, so we felt that it was high time we got into the spirit of the season with a timely celebration of chestnuts in France – as you’ll see, it’s a remarkable story, starting with the trees which bear the fruit. The Sweet Chestnut is unquestionably one of the most handsome of all the trees in the forest, and once established, and given the right location, they can be surprisingly productive. The fruits, known as marrons, are borne on un châtaignier, while un marronier produces inedible ‘conkers’ – and if you think that’s confusing, see our factfile panel for

living OUTDOOrs | 51

more about the linguistic complexity surrounding our old friends, the chestnuts. France is Europe’s fourth largest producer of whole chestnuts, with almost 6,000 tonnes annually, to say nothing of what is processed into flour, biscuits, desserts, liquor, purée (crème de marrons) and other confections. Around 18% of French production originates from our own region, particularly the great forests of Limousin and Périgord. Ideally the trees prefer to grow at between 300 and 800m altitude, on a neutral or slightly acid soil but are obviously perfectly happy to develop their extensive root systems in our slightly alkaline soils. To prove the point, 18th century records tell us that chestnut forests covered around 40% of the Limousin and Dordogne landscapes,

and the chestnut remains the former’s regional emblem. Further south, le Périgord Noir has steadily increased the territory devoted to chestnut production, the new territories taking the form of more regimented orchard-style plantations which are much easier to manage. That includes the method of gathering the fruits – now larger producers can be spared the traditional back-breaking work of gathering them by hand from the forest floor. Instead they’re either collected by something resembling a mechanical road-sweeper, or fall from the trees onto long nets laid on the ground to catch the fruits, to be drawn like a conveyor-belt and dropped neatly into a trailer. They’re then transported for de-husking, cleaning, quality control (to remove any which show signs of insect attack) and packing.

HOMME VERT Garden design, hard landscape construction and planting service based in Montmoreau (16). Kew trained, RHS show garden contractor & designer, 30+ years’ experience. Full references available. Richard 07 88 29 54 37 Siret: RCS Angoulême 851 973 198 00019

To see more traditional chestnut forests at their most magnificent, however, it’s worth planning an autumnal trip further afield to southern France, where the transition from green to fiery reds and golds will take your breath away. The sheer scale of the vast, mature forests which fill the mountainous landscapes in and around the Cévennes and the Ardèche makes it hard to believe that much of what we’re seeing is in fact the result of man’s handiwork. While they were well known to travellers following the pilgrimage routes which passed through them, these remote areas weren’t viable for settlement. During the 10th century, however, the climate became less harsh, encouraging the establishment of village communities, whose food sources included fruit, vegetables,


Covering all areas

Siret: 808 903 074 00017

All aspects of tree care from planting and pruning to reductions and removals. Hedge cutting, ground clearance and maintenance. Fully insured & registered. 27 years’ experience.


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Show how much you Living at

52 | living in the garden

Perfect winter warmers

Popular Chestnut Varieties A surprising number are cultivated commercially. By the early 19th century over 40 varieties were being exploited in France. Thanks to natural hybrids which flourish in particular areas, today there are even more, each variety possessing its own distinctive qualities suited to particular culinary uses. Not surprisingly, the nuts vary greatly in size, shape and colour, with differing times of maturity. Some, like Marigoule (Marron de Migoule) are preferred for producing marrons-glacés, while others, such as Beaumelenque will be milled for flour.

Belle Epine, whose territories spread from the Dordogne to the Ardèche, Brittany, Gard and Isère, are as tasty as their name suggests when eaten fresh or canned. Also planted here in the south west is Bouche de Bétizac, a productive early variety which does particularly well on deeper soils in Charente, Corrèze, Dordogne, Gironde and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. A point to bear in mind, if you’re considering planting a tree or two of your own, is that to avoid problems you’ll need to source disease-resistant grafted stock, rather than sowing from seed.

honey and, increasingly, chestnuts. It didn’t take the communities and those who governed them long to exploit the existing trees’ bountiful productivity, and by the 16th century large areas of new forests were being planted. This natural resource would prove to be a lifesaver in 1709, when famine hit much of Lozère and the people of the Cévennes survived, thanks in no small part to the fruits of their chestnut forests. For centuries from mid-October until late-December families would come together each day to collect windfalls around them, while commercial concerns were established, employing large teams of seasonal workers to be sure that nothing would go to waste. Their efforts proved highly effective, until by the 1850s chestnut exploitation in France was peaking, with an annual production of around 500,000 tonnes, and the importance in the national diet of the once humble chestnut, had earned the tree the nickname ‘l’arbre à pain’ (bread tree). Around 1870, though, chestnut trees in many regions suddenly began dying and secreting an inky black fluid. The ‘maladie de l’encre’, was soon identified as Phytophthora, a mildew of the root system. Trees at lower altitudes were worst affected, leaving foresters with no alternative but to fell the trees and sell the timber for tannin extraction. Worse was to come, as Phylloxera, a similar ailment, began decimating vineyards throughout France, including those here in the southwest, where many growers switched to general farming and local landscapes changed forever. When viticulture was eventually re-established by grafting plants onto disease-resistant rootstock, the same technique permitted many foresters to satisfy the new demand for timber stakes with quick-growing grafted chestnut. This blow to traditional nut production

living OUTDOOrs | 53

Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) male flowers

would be compounded by a decline in the French economy, but when the threat of famine returned during WWII remote farming communities were once again nourished by the chestnut. Throughout the 1950s, though, a gradual decline in forest populations resulted in a neartotal abandonment of commercial chestnut production. Adding to the foresters’ woes, a potentially lethal parasitic fungal attack of the bark then threatened to finish the forests once and for all, until treatments like selective pruning and hybridisation succeeded in overcoming the malaise. Postwar economic prosperity prompted a steady revival of interest in the chestnut, as a new generation began to appreciate their eating qualities and culinary uses. Today the forests also play a vital role in our cultural, economic and environmental heritage. New plantations are once again


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being established, and existing forests are receiving renewed levels of care and maintenance, overseen by bodies like l’Union Interprofessionnelle Châtaigne Périgord, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées who promote a greater awareness of the social and environmental importance of the region’s chestnuts. Helping things along is the coveted AOC Label Rouge awarded in 2015 to three varieties of premium chestnuts produced in Dordogne and its neighbouring départements. When life returns to normal and you’re planning a break, keep an eye on the calendar for annual chestnut fairs and festivals (foires de la châtaigne) which celebrate everything you could imagine about chestnuts (and more) in one memorable event. You won’t have to travel too far to find one of the biggest and best-known, which takes place in Beynat (19) in Limousin.

Grind away tree & hedge stumps leaving no trace! Specialist equipment and know-how to cleanly remove stumps Fully insured and registered Call me today on

Simply nuts – or are they? Chestnuts, or at least the terminology surrounding them, seem to have been designed to confuse us. Le châtaigne is the edible fruit, not surprisingly, of le châtaignier (Sweet Chestnut tree), so clearly nothing to do with la châtaigne – the static electrical jolt you might get from a shopping trolley. Once you’ve grasped that there’s le marron to consider – as in the delectable marrons-chauds (roast chestnuts). Obviously there’s also the inedible marron d’Inde (m) (conker), which grows, of course, on le marronier d’Inde (Horse Chestnut tree). Forget for now that it’s regarded as a type of châtaigne and focus instead on the fact that sweet chestnuts can be referred to as either marrons or châtaignes, depending on how many fruit are contained in each spiny outer bogue. Each fruit has a hard shiny brown coque, beneath which is a thinner protective skin known to botanists as an episperm. Oh, and if you’re wondering, a chestnut producer is un castanéiculteur.


Garden Services

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05 17 34 14 37 / 06 02 30 66 69

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Vendée (85)

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Vienne (86)

CharenteMaritime (17)

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Turkeys Geese Chickens Ducks Buffets Bacon Christmas hampers for 4 people at 75€! Contact us at: Please order Tel: 02 54 25 34 73 / before 10 Dec 06 84 31 52 39 to avoid EARL Les Fromentaux disappointment E:



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Insurance and asset management advice in English Hello, my name is Isabelle Want. For the past 9 years, I have been working for Allianz as an asset manager. Being married to an Englishman and having lived in the UK for 8 years gives me a better insight into what British people are experiencing and what they need. Being French and born in the Charente has enabled me to offer some answers. I am, as always, available for any free advice on the following subjects: - INHERITANCE LAW - who inherits, how much are death duties, what solutions exist - TAXES - everybody’s fear! Annual tax forms in May, etc.

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Visit Alison, Stephanie & Laura at... Siret: 509 861 902 00013

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M: 07 80 44 37 00


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Find out more: Valérie PATARD 1, rue Basse 85370 Mouzeuil-Saint-Martin Tel: +33 (0)6 84 78 21 57 Email:

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Experience you need....Results you want Fluent French speaker with over 15 years professional ‘hands on’ experience assisting expats in France

Personal Taxation – Carte Vitale – Carte de Séjour Business set ups - CPAM – French Administration Tax regularisation and much much more…. Call Rick Denton now on 06 46 25 30 87 or Email:

Based in Charente and covering 86, 79, 16, 17, 24 & 33 Siren: 818 390 916

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New for autumn 2020

Charente Assistance

Admin Services We are proud to announce the recruitment of Ann Viollier, an admin genius, Ann is French but is fluent in English making her the perfect person to help with all your admin woes.

Pool Care | Gîte Services | Rental Promotion


Ask for Corinne

Anita Frayling - Le Baillat, 16220 Rouzede T: 05 45 66 14 62 E:

For all your insurance needs in France Fully comprehensive covers at competitive prices and all explained in ENGLISH. We respond quickly to enquiries and in the case of accidents or claims, we are here to help. Offices at Champdeniers and St Pardoux (79). Come and visit us.

05 45 36 19 09

Agence Michallon Tel:

Dog Guest Home

Siret: 822 175 527 0016

Special discount for new owners - 50% off the first year

For those of you that don't already know us, we are a purpose-built kennels with a large secure paddock area where dogs can run free and play while having their 2 walks per day on or off the lead. Large family kennels are available. You are welcome to call if you have any questions or would like to visit the kennels. Lime Tree Kennels 15 mins from La Rochefoucauld & 20 mins from Rochechouart

Claude’s Cat Hotel

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Your dog(s) looked after indoors at our country home with a safe enclosed garden area. Walked twice a day in our woods and surrounding fields. Must be able to socialise with other dogs. Free introductory trial: am or pm Nr. Châteauneuf-La-Foret, Linards 30 mins from Limoges airport 20€ per night/10€ per half day Please email first to Call Jane on 05 55 00 34 79 or 06 18 58 93 88 or Emily 06 71 15 15 65


Regular trips throughout Europe Services tailored to your needs DEFRA Type 2 licensed, custom built vans T: +44 (0)7855 401 102 T: +44 (0)1656 670 856

In a rural setting, Claude’s offers guests a calm, safe and caring environment. Heated accommodation with private outside space.

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Wooden shutters made, restored and spray painted, metal shutters sandblasted Exterior/Interior walls airless spray-painted Over 30 years’ experience


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Samantha Ancell is our English member of staff with over 25 years’ experience in insurance including 13 years with AVIVA France. Samantha can explain the differences between French and English insurances, she will provide translations on request, and manages all your enquiries from start to finish, including any claims. Call us now to review your insurances and hopefully save you money. AVIVA offers Motor, House and Contents, Health, Business Liability and Business Premises Insurance as well as Life Insurance and Savings products. Ask for free, no obligation quotes.

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ORIAS N° 15006012

Insurance, Help & Advice

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English Speaking

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Animal care, Painting, Transport

Insurance, Bike hire, Animal care |


Expanding in 2021

Gîte Services With the largest changeover team in the area, we will be expanding our range of services and properties during the 2021 season. Contact us now and never be let down again.

Garden Maintenance | Pool Care | Gîte Services | Home Maintenance |

C J Logistics

13.6m / 45ft trailer Full/Part loads Removals - Vehicles - Materials Owner Driver RHA member Tel: +44 (0)7768 867 360 Fax +44 (0)1773 570 090 Fr Mobile: +33 (0)6 23 03 85 59

Tel: 09 83 70 01 33 Mob: 06 61 25 41 09 E: or


Full trade references available

FRANKLINS REMOVALS Packing services Full/part loads to and from the UK Vehicles transported • Containerised storage Competitive prices • Transit /storage insurance Call Stephen or Ben Franklin on 0044 121 353 7263 or email


Weekly services to & from SW France Internal moves within France Containerised Storage Range of Packing services available Over 35 Years’ Experience

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UK Registration 543 77 60 UK

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Franglais Deliveries

Transport Services

‘Your French Connection’

Transport Services within France

Siret: 511 980 427

European Transport Special rates to SW France

Transport Services

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Full or part loads undertaken a box to a full removal Cars, Boats and caravans a speciality Full European coverage Secure storage available in France and UK UK depot available for deliveries Every item is covered by GIT and CMR insurances

A family business established in 1985 offering a quality, professional service


HOME SWEET (COLOURFUL?) HOME It would be fair to say that most of us have spent much more time this year at home than normal....and for many of us the enforced lockdown gave us the opportunity to give our homes a little TLC. We ourselves did plenty of painting & decorating, especially during the early weeks, and decided to use strong, bold colours - not our normal style but perhaps it was a reaction to the situation we were unconscious decision to lift the spirits! We are slowly seeing some more colour coming back into carpets too....not everything has to be grey or beige! Look at these 2 of our suppliers – Adam Carpets & Westex Carpets – literally hundreds of colours across their ranges, all available anywhere in France. If you want to see samples of these, or any other examples, give us a call and we’ll make a free, no obligation visit. Makes yours a HOME SWEET (COLOURFUL?) HOME this year!


E: 09 63 56 23 10 / 06 42 19 82 12


Chimney Sweep

PCs, Networks, Laptops, Tablets, Phones Windows, OSx/iOS, Linux, Android

Home Automation CCTV Systems Enterprise grade WiFi

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Metalwork, Plant hire, Planning

Nick Wright

Computer Help & Advice Problem Solving Repair & Maintenance

L’Atelier de Fer Fraser W. Eade


For all your flooring needs

Contact Nick on email: or T. 05 45 71 33 36

Contact Paul on 06 60 07 54 78 or 05 45 84 27 75

Jeff’s Metalwork

Forgeix, 87200 Saint Junien

05 55 71 41 75 Siret: 512 945 874 00018

Ornate interior / exterior designs Gates constructed / refurbished Industrial furniture General Welding ~ Over 25 year’s experience ~ Tel: 06 17 73 56 87 Mob: 07 77 83 77 10 or 0044 7917 03 02 49

Registered with the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat Siret 81968203000013

General Engineering Turning, Milling, Welding Quality & Precision Guaranteed

• Certificates issued for every sweep • Over 10 years’ experience • Covering departments 16, 17, 79 & 86

• We supply and fit a range of carpets to suit all budgets • We also fit amtico, vinyl, wood and ceramic tile • Over 25 years experience, 100% customer satisfaction • Now selling a selection of wool and mixed fibre rugs

Siret: 827 978 636 00013

IT, Carpets, Chimney Sweep


IT Service & Support

BECK CHERRY PICKER HIRE Nacelle Telescopique

17m tracked cherry picker with IPAF operator For all exterior works: roofing, painting, tree cutting etc. Hourly, daily or weekly rates Based in south 86, can transport as required Tel: 07 84 12 44 97


Ian Dickinson BSc (Hons)

ID Planning & Design Planning and designs for permis de construire and déclaration préalables for extensions, renovations, conversions and new builds. Departments: 16, 17, 24, 79, 86 & 87 Siret: 492 277 918 00024

Tel: Mob:


PRE-loved to RE-loved Robert Mann Upholstery Service Tel: 05 49 80 32 34 Email:

Upholstery of antiques, car interiors, caravan interiors, lounge suites, chairs, bedheads...

Deux-Sèvres (will travel within reason) - Siret: 820 918 316 00010

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These local businesses are waiting for your call!

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FROM £99


Furniture for France

Quality UK furniture direct to your door in France Furniture for your bedrooms, dining room and lounge From sofas to mattresses, wardrobes to dining tables, all just one phone call away Look at our website to see the latest ranges available 18 years’ experience & great customer service


Siret: 49377035800015

• Cleaning and Maintenance

For Outside Living • Terraces & Patios

Creating your Perfect Outside Space

• Summerhouses

t: +33 (0) 549 290135 t: +33 (0) 785 372144

• Roofs • Fencing • Blockwork

Based near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) Full Décennale Insurance siret: 831 373 048 00022

• Rendering Peter Latus BA(Hons)

• Outside Rooms

Here to help with your projects in 2020

FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Competitive prices, try me for a quote

Fully insured

SIRET 47994761600021 T: 06 62 92 48 17

The Roofing & Renovation Company Established in 2007, registered artisan with Décennale & Civile Responsabilité Insurance


Kitchens & Bathrooms from A-Z All leading Brands All associated minor works, modifications and repairs also undertaken e.g.. replace Kitchen worktops, taps, toilets etc. Dept. 16, 17

05 45 25 05 37

05 49 27 22 67

depts 79, 86 & 16 Siret: 499 474 302 00035

Cotswold Eco Wood-Fired HOT TUBS in France RELAX. REPLENISH. REWIND.

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

website: email: siret:50263448800014

Britain’s leading supplier

Easy to install in even the most remote locations of the quietest air bubble systems on the market Efficient wood-fired boiler - minimal electricity used for bubbles and LED lighting Robust wood and fibreglass construction means years of weather-resistant service Thoughtful design ensures they are hygienic and easy-to-clean Comfortable seating allows users to immerse their shoulders, perfect all year round Bespoke range of options and colour combinations

For more information, please contact Nicola or Tim: E: T: 07 49 19 46 84 FB: HotTubsinFrance

Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers

siret: 879 912 855

Pools, Artisans

Agent and installer for several rectangular & shaped pools including Seablue & Astral Pools


Andy Quick

CENTRE BATIMENT Swimming Pool Specialists

POOLS BY JONATHAN phone 0549840362 mobile 0622361056

• Renovation

• Pointing

05 53 52 36 05

Terracing and landscaping service also available ALL WORK GUARANTEED

RJC Pool Services

• Installation

Planning, Pools

Renovating your next property? Dreaming of a new build? Let me help you. • Dossiers prepared • Permis de construire • Déclaration préalables

F o r Po o l s

Siret: 499 474 302 00035

Architectural Drawing Service

Tel: 06 46 49 73 45 Email:


Siret 800 969 438 00020

JM Roofing

All insurance work welcome

Carpentry ~ Roofing

Clay Tile Roofs All Timberwork Metal Sheet Hangars

All Zinc Work Zinc Gutter Fascia T. 07 70 37 15 98

Full 10 Year Décennal Insurance French & English Speaking



Building services, Artisans

Depts covered 16, 17, 24, 79, 86, 87

H & R


Building & Renovation Services • Roof Repairs


• Carpentry

Plumbing Bathroom & kitchen installations Building maintenance

• Renovations & Refurbishment • Blockwork & Brickwork • Boarding & Plastering • Velux & Dormers

Fully insured with over 15 years’ experience Covering dept. 16

• Kitchen & Bathrooms • Groundwork, Patios & Paving

Siret: 830691044

Contact Kai for all jobs Mob: 06 83 17 19 77 E: FB: @Amoshandyman16

Tel: +44 742 803 0367 Email:

Metalwork, Fencing, Artisans


ReIiable, Affordable Maintenance & Renovation Service

Depts 16 & 17

16100 Chateaubernard 05 45 36 46 70 / 06 72 21 80 27

Decorating Ceramic Tiling u Dry Lining u Wooden Floors u Decking and Patios u Bathroom & Kitchens u Stone pointing u & lots more... u u

Siret: 789 563 392 00016

Painting & decorating services Tiling / Flooring Plasterboarding Suppliers of Crown Paints Providing a quality service since 2005 Kevin Smith

Siret 482 718 640 00022

Building services, Artisans

Siret: 841 406 812 00013

Contact John Pearson www.hmjmaintenanceservice. E: M: +33 (0)6 18 42 24 49 T: +33 (0)9 81 37 43 95 Work area 79/85/49, based 79380




A1SL COUVERTURE is a new French based company serving dept. 79, 86, 16, 17, 87, 85, 24 & 33 with well-established roofing experience previously based in Merseyside, UK. We pride ourselves on top quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We have built a solid reputation over 25 years in the UK and receive most of our work from customer recommendations. WE COVER ALL ASPECTS OF ROOFING WORK FROM SMALL DOMESTIC REPAIRS, ROOF CLEANING AND LARGE NEW ROOF PROJECTS UTILIZING CLAY TILES AND SLATE; SPECIALIST IN LEAD WORK. Registered with the Repertoire des Métiers, siren: 877 636 050

Mobile: + 33.(0). Email: All work is fully guaranteed and we are fully insured. Our services are available 6 days a week, no-obligation free estimate and no call-out fee up to 70km.


Enershop – renewable energy heating systems for your property Enershop have been installing renewable energy systems in France since 2008. Each system designed and installed is specifically for your needs,

whether your property is a new build, extension or a renovation, whether it is a cottage, chalet or château – the flexibility of our systems means there is a solution for all. We offer a free devis, with no obligation and no hard sell. Now is the time to consider a renewable heating system. There are reduced rates of TVA available and significant tax credits (credit d’impôts) for systems installed

Tel: 07 67 04 07 53


by Enershop as we hold the QualiSol and QualiBois accreditation. Our website www.enershop. eu has lots of information on our services which include : • Solar thermal domestic hot water • Wood gasification boilers • Central and underfloor heating • Wood / Pellet boiler stoves systems • Pellet boilers • Swimming pool / hot tub • Accumulation tanks heating • Air source heat pumps


These local businesses are waiting for your call!




UPVC windows, doors & ConserVatories sPeCialists

all sizes, shapes & colours offered supplied & fitted to the highest standard using premium products

10 year warranTy on all products installed

~ Covering south west franCe ~

Tel: 05 46 70 25 87

• renovations and refurbishments • pointing/rendering • block work

Building services

For You and Your French Home

• plastering • kitchen and bathroom installation • tiling • roof repairs • patios terraces • painting and decorating

t: +33 (0) 549 290135 t: +33 (0) 785 372144 Based near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) siret: 831 373 048 00022


Covering 1h radius around Mareuil 24340

~ Free quotes ~ Decennial insurance

07 82 19 22 37

the roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof

For a free estimate call 06 35 11 27 31 Strictly Roofing – Malcolm Cooke

Assurance Décennale

Do you need help with:

• • •

Experts at working with slate & clay Over 40 year’s experience


Adrian Butterfield


Odd jobs Tiling, Painting Plumbing Plastering, Rendering • Kitchen fitting, Carpentry • Sandblasting • General Maintenance Call Adrian on 05 49 69 00 24 or 06 41 55 85 35, or email: for a FREE estimate Over 20 year’s experience Siret: 843 784 638 00010

Quality Roofing & Building

for you

New roofs ~ Slate and tiling Fibreglass flat roofing ~ Repairs Gutters and facias UPVC or zinc All leadwork ~ Timberwork References available 05 45 63 52 88 / 07 80 08 85 76

Siret 53210969100024 Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers

Building services, Artisans

Renovations / new builds Roof repairs Velux installation Guttering Insurance claims

Do you have a DIY job that you are unable to do or don’t want to do?

Building services, Artisans

R J Coulson

• complete range of building services




Installation, servicing, repairs - oil, gas, solar, solid fuel Fully qualified, fully registered, 10 year décennale insurance Currently offering FREE supply & installation of bulk propane gas tanks 30% crédit d’impôt

Tel: 05 45 29 68 73 | Mobile: 06 30 11 86 84 | Email:

Building services, Artisans


Imajica Joinery ESTABLISHED COMPANY, CONSCIENTIOUS & RELIABLE SERVICE For a superior finish in wood, tile, plasterboard and general restoration Specialising in kitchen fitting & creative challenges

05 49 87 09 63 Siret: 48115588500017

Graham Medhurst Renovations Established reputable builder in Charente From basic changes to complete renovations, bathrooms, kitchens, floor and wall tiling, dry-lining & more Guaranteed customer satisfaction Contact me for a free no-obligation quotation Based near La Rochefoucauld, covering areas 16, 86 & 79 T: 05 45 95 44 34 or 06 98 29 76 45 E:


SEAN THEOBALD Carpenter All elements of 1st and 2nd fix carpentry undertaken

All aspects of property and garden including renovations, maintenance and repair 25 years’ experience Quality work at realistic prices Based near Civray (86) Email: Tel: 05 49 97 58 17 or 07 22 70 76 93 Sirets Alan: 789 292 232 00012 Russ: 889 622 213 00011

Over 35 years experience specialising in, but not limited to High-End Residential and Heritage Projects T: 07 80 53 54 11 E: Based in 17240

Siret: 848 507 042 00010

South West France Fosse We are the only dedicated installer Trained-Approved-Recommended by SPANC Can you trust your installation to anyone else? With over 30 years’ experience Accredited installers for the leading makes of compact filters and microstations Biorock - Ecoflo - Phytoplus - Elloywater - Hydroclear

Tel: 06 04 14 84 86 See all our work on


Email: These local businesses are waiting for your call!

Affordable UK Designs

Fitted Kitchens, Upvc & Aluminium Double Glazing


Free plAn, Design & costing throUghoUt soUth West FrAnce - other AreAs by ArrAngement Upvc Windows, Doors & conservatories in all colours. Aluminium and Upvc Bifold doors Made to UK Spec in French styles! Made in the UK Fitted in France

phone: 05 49 42 99 41 Mobile: 06 63 71 09 81 E:

Specialist Carpenter/Joiner Bespoke Joinery & Renovations Doors - Shutters - Stairs Flooring - Kitchens

Cabinet Maker & Joiner Furniture Restoration Manufacture of staircases, doors & cupboards

✓ Fully equipped workshop ✓ 40 years’ experience ✓ Lots of solutions for your requirements ✓ References available

16240 La Fôret de Tesse T: 05 45 30 39 85 Covering depts 16, 79 & 86

05 45 31 14 58 / 06 63 20 24 93

Multi Services

Plumbing Electricity Plasterboarding Tiling Satellite dishes and Systems for the reception of UK and French TV Dept. 16,17 No Job too Small

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

website: email: siret:50263448800014

ADAM BLACKABY Artisan Peintre T: 05 45 98 07 25 M: 06 23 18 30 95

Areas 16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 86 Siret: 804476 034 00017

Ambroise PRÉE

Plumbing - Heating Chimney sweeping


Full service with certificate (boiler, fuel, wood, gaz) Installation of Wood Burners Registerer RGE QUALIBOIS Fully insured with over 15 years’ experience Tel: 06 58 86 55 91

30km around 86400 (Saint Macoux)

English spoken

Siret: 831 980 487 00019

Experienced, French Registered Electrician

Siret: 441 490 992 00027

Jb Plumbing Kitchen & Bathroom installation Tiling Plumbing Repairs Tel: 06 29 90 24 89 E: Based in dept 79 near Sauzé-Vaussais Fully insured Siret: 804 390 862 000 14

Tel 05 17 30 18 35 Mobile 06 33 85 65 66

Available for all types of electrical work renovations, small works, gate automations etc. Insured and guaranteed Areas 16, 17, 24

05 46 86 07 61

Javarzay, 79110 Chef-Boutonne

Siren: 478 608 185 00011

Siret 49376573200015

Peter Amor Electrician

Large or small projects, from new builds, total rewires (including 3 phase) to Having additional sockets/lights installed to

Emptying of grease traps, fosse septiques, filtre compacts & micro stations. Cleaning & maintenance of all types of sewage treatment plants.

Conformity Inspections

Tel: 05 49 91 85 54 All departments covered SIret: 480 026 560 00012

David GABARD T: 06 71 83 16 69 / 05 49 87 27 29 E: 2 Verrières, 86400 CHAMPNIERS Covering south 86 & 79, north 16

Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers

Building services, Artisans


Interior and exterior painting Paper hanging, tiling, flooring & dry lining

Siret: 508 248 747 000 18



Building services, Artisans

Adrian Amos Barry Baldwin

SIRET: 513 577 809 00017


Places to go

Restaurants & bar s, Events, Associations and C lubs.

Cafe Cour du Miracle

PLEASE CHECK OUR FB PAGE & WEBSITE FOR THE LATEST INFO DURING CONFINEMENT our 10€ TAKEAWAY menu is available Monday - Saturday, lunch & dinner. See our FB & website.

December & January EVENTS QUIZ NIGHTS & MUSIC NIGHTS will be back as soon as they are permitted See our Facebook page and website for information once confinement is lifted - we hope to be open for Xmas & New Year!

Vouvant Come along for a beer, a glass of wine, a cup of English tea and a slice of homemade cake, or a delicious home-cooked lunch. Vegetarian options available. Open 11.00am to 6.00pm - until 10pm Friday evening

La Brousse, 16700 Londigny tel; 05 45 29 05 07 FB: @aubergedunoyer

Tel: 02 51 00 54 93

Roast every Sunday: 12-3 (when permitted) | Chambre d’hôtes

Manot Ceramic

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Mad Hatter’s Kitchen Serving freshly made good food just for you!

Cafe We are closed for winter until the end of January Happy Christmas to all my customers, I lookforward to seeing you in 2021! Tel: 05 45 30 69 56 E:

Bar open from 6 on Thursdays and Fridays serving a selection of bar meals, Saturdays open for evening meals by reservation, Traditional Sunday lunches. Regular music events FULLY LICENSED BAR | HOMEMADE TAKEAWAYS

NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS FOR Christmas Day New Year’s Eve buffet party New Year’s Day Champagne buffet Please ring or e mail for more info 0549 27 67 29 / Le Logis, Le Breuillac, 79190 Caunay

Café des Belles Fleurs

Open Mon - Sat for meals Open Sunday on reservation Meal formula starts at 7.80€ Large choice of spirits & wines See website and FB for Events Place d’Eglise, 79160 Fenioux Tel: 05 49 28 12 39


Did you know? There are Englishspeaking lodges in France. Our lodge in Cognac (16) meets 6 times a year. If you would like to find out more, email: Freemasonry in France

Alcoholics Anonymous If you, or someone you know, has a drinking problem, join one of the English-speaking AA meetings across the south west of France. Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety. Tel: Angela on 05 49 87 79 09 or Roger on 05 55 76 22 65

ACROSS: 1. Swarm 4. Herd 7. Ouija 8. Reproof 10. Pad 11. Trait 12. Enslave 14. Broods 16. Flight 20. Akabusi 23. Troop 25. Nit 26. Elapsed 27. Ionic 28. Bevy 29. Edges Down: 1. Stifado 2. Adapted 3. Murder 4. Hopes 5. Rioja 6. Host 9. Fleet 13. Lei 14. Brace 15. Orb 17. Letting 18. Grounds 19. Kindle 21. Aware 22. Unsay 24. Pack Theme: Collective names

living music | 65



for more cartoons by stig see

ver the years French music and French settings have made a sizeable contribution to the world of cinema, starting on its home territory with Le Million (1931). Director René Clair’s second sound motion picture married music and song to a quick-fire comedy plot line, and won him international acclaim. On the other hand, Max Orphüls’ 1950 musical La Ronde was deemed ‘immoral’ by New York film censors when it was released, but US audiences loved the slightly risqué portrayal of a circle of amorous encounters, and the film went on to win two Academy Award nominations and a BAFTA. By then, of course, US filmmakers already knew that you don’t have to be French to fall in love with her, and achieved international success with An American in Paris (1951) starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Director Vincente Minelli and Caron would return to the Parisian theme for Gigi (1958), this time also starring Louis Jourdain and Maurice Chevalier. Music by George & Ira Gershwin and Lerner & Loewe respectively, ensured that both productions retained a Hollywoodtinged view of France, although things were about to change. With the rise of la Nouvelle Vague French cinema found a whole new audience. Music was an important element, giving us such cult classic moments as Jeanne Moreau chirping Le Tourbillon in François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim (1962), the edgy urban orchestration of JeanPierre Melville’s Le Doulos (1962) and the poignant, string-laden Thème de Camille

Setting the Mood

France has long been ‘big box-office’ with music often playing a starring role

of Jean-Luc Goddard’s Le Mépris (1963). An intriguing footnote to all this is that in 1958 Louis Malle released both Les Amants, underpinned by an intense stringsextet score, and Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud, with a now celebrated soundtrack by Miles Davis, who improvised the whole thing in the studio with four other players – three of them French – while watching footage of the film. More instantly recognisable is the theme to Un Homme et Une Femme (1966), which has since been covered by numerous artists. The rise in popularity of cinema musicals obviously elevated music to even greater prominence in releases like French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1954), Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964) and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967). Later the genre would become more creative. Alain Resnais’ On Connaît la Chanson (1997), for example, featured actors miming to an eclectic collection of songs spanning widely different eras,

before Christophe Honoré’s Les Chansons d’Amour (2007) stepped back to revisit the ménage-à-trois theme of Jules et Jim and won Alex Beaupain a Best Film Music César at the Festival de Cannes. Among the most enduring and fruitful relationship between film and music has been that of director Luc Besson and composer Eric Serra, which produced a string of box-office successes including Subway (1985), Le Grand Bleu (1988), Nikita (1990), Atlantis (1991), Léon (1994), Le Cinquième Elément (1997) and Jeanne d’Arc. Sometimes, though, it’s the long game which produces the real surprises. Charles Trenet’s La Mer, recorded in 1946, has since featured in such diverse film soundtracks as The Dreamers (1971), LA Story (1991), Finding Nemo (2003) and Mr Bean’s Holiday (2007), and has been performed by others in many others. Within Trenet’s lifetime over 4,000 cover versions had been released, with worldwide sales exceeding 70 million.


Sell all types of pianos Traditional & modern uprights BABY GRANDS All professionally restored & guaranteed With a lifetime experience in the piano trade, ex-BBC Piano Tuner We are Specialists in piano restorations on all types of pianos Also Tuning and small repairs

16, 17, 79 and west Vienne

Tel: 05 45 21 16 13 E: SIRET: 51031234100017

66 | living Language

Pardon? I

don’t know about you, but I’ve been suffering from a touch of the Meldrews recently - the Victor Meldrews. The archetypal grumpy old malcontent, well known for his pessimistic outlook on life, seems all too familiar these days. Luckily, I find myself at home in France, where le râleur and la râleuse are also familiar figures too. If you’re shaving the bowl, if you’re farting lead, if you’re passing the soap right now, then you’re in good company. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most entertaining French terms for losing your temper, for having a whinge, for grousing and grumbling. Râler, or moaning, complaining or whingeing for those of you who haven’t come across this term, is a familiar word in French. Just like the English ‘moan’ or ‘groan’, it’s a word that finds its origins in the sounds we might make if we’re suffering from physical injury or finding it hard to breathe. Of course, both words also indicate mental anguish too: an expression of agonies both physical and psychological. If you’ve ever seen your French friends post nothing but a rhôôôô (add extra ôs if you’re particularly annoyed) on social media, this is one French way to express their discontent. A little like we might do with Pffffft or *sigh*. Not something we’d say aloud, but a good way of expressing our miseries when writing. Other words for a grump or a grumbler would include ronchon or grincheux. Of course, if you’re a fan of The Grinch, Dr Seuss’s book and the Jim Carrey film, then you’ll already understand grincheux. In fact, the green grumbler who stole Christmas is called Le Grincheux in French. Funnily, Grumpy, he of Seven Dwarves fame, is also Grincheux in

French. Unlike the famous American Grinch, who only seems particularly grumpy at Christmas, grincheux is a phrase you can use all year round if you like. Ronchon is another word that also describes the grumpy malcontent. If you’re permanently in a bad mood or you’re always grumpy, then ronchon or ronchonne is a good way to describe yourself. Of course, you may stick to daily low level grumbling or occasionally blow your top. If you’ve really had enough of la pagaille (mayhem) then you can always say you’ve had enough, j’en ai ras le bol. Since ras comes from raser or ‘to shave’, this always makes me think of shaving the bowl. Being fed up to the back teeth is probably the closest expression we might have in English, that you’ve really hit your limit. It isn’t a particularly polite term, but then nothing about losing your temper is generally polite is it? I always wonder if I’m going to stick to vous if I’m really angry at someone. Never has the choice of tu or vous been so controversial as when you’re really angry. You might also find yourself a little inflated in these times. Gonfler usually means to inflate or to puff up but if you say someone puffs you up, il me

Need to share your feelings? Our language expert Emma-Jane Lee shows how… gonfle it can mean that someone is irritating you. On a scale of irritation, you might well then péter les plombs or ‘blow the lead’. Since péter also means to fart, this expression always makes me think of someone farting lead. Since old-fashioned fuses were made of lead, this expression goes back to the idea of blowing a fuse or blowing a gasket. You can also ‘fart a cable’ or péter un câble if you’re truly angry and you’ve lost your temper. Again, none of these terms are particularly polite but if you’ve flipped your lid, then you probably don’t care very much about manners. And if you’re in the habit of taking collateral damage when you blow a fuse or a gasket, taking out your anger on the nearest target, you might well ‘pass the soap to someone’. Passer un savon means that you really tore a strip off someone or that you hauled them over the coals, giving them an ear bashing. You might think it’s strange to use such laundry-based expressions, as if referring to old laundry women giving the sheets a real good scrubbing, until you remember that we also have the expression ‘to put someone through the wringer’ in English which means a similar sort of thing. So if you’ve spent a lot of time carping on recently, maybe it’s time to chill out a little and remember that it seems both sides of the Channel are prone to getting a little wound up from time to time. Let’s hope that 2021 brings us a little calm, at least. Emma is a jack-of-all-language-trades, writing English textbooks, translating, marking exam scripts and teaching languages. She lives near La Rochefoucauld with her growing menagerie. See

L i ving

Editor: Kathryn Dobson FEATURES EDITOR: Roger Moss Advertising: Jon Dobson Art editor: Nadia Van den Rym Production manager: Justin Silvester Regular contributors: Caro Feely, Susan Hays, Jessica Knipe, magazine Emma-Jane Lee, Nikki Legon, Mike Morris, and Stig Tomas. WITH THANKS TO: John and Gill Bowler, Julia Moss. Photography: Shutterstock or Roger Moss unless indicated. Cover image: Kingfisher © Erni / Shutterstock Published by: SARL AMM, 2 Rue Buffefeu, 86400

Linazay FRANCE. Poitiers: 533 624 128 Printed by: Rotimpres S.A. Dépôt légal: A parution Issue: 75 ISSN: 2270-2709. Living is available by subscription. Living est disponible par abonnement. All material may not be reproduced without the written permission of SARL AMM. Toute reproduction même partielle du contenu est interdit sans l’accord écrit du magazine. Please ensure you verify that any company you are dealing with is registered in France and/or elsewhere around the world. Articles in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

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