ADVERTISER February 2012 - Issue 36 FREE www.dordogneadvertiser.com GRATUIT
DEPARTMENT IS ONE OF SAFEST IN FRANCE
by OLIVER ROWLAND
was not top quality and would have tended to be at the lower end of the price range, Mr Réjou said. “It was classified in the lower category in terms of its aroma, which is always the case – the bigger a truffle is, the harder it is to mature in a uniform way.” He estimated the going price was around €6-800/kg, to make the cost €736-€981. Now the truffle will go on show in Mr Dutrouilh’s shop
THE LARGEST truffle to be found in Périgord has been sold at Sarlat truffle market – weighing a bumper 1.227kg. The find – by a truffle grower who lives in the Périgueux area but wants to remain anonymous – easily beats the previous record for a Périgord truffle which was 1.170kg. Patrick Réjou, of the Périgord Federation of Truffle Growers, said the new record holder may never give up its taste secrets as a shopkeeper has It’s quite inexplicable it bought it to show off in his window, should have been so big along with other truffle products – it’s a particularly and walnuts. The record- strange phenomenon breaker, which was Patrick Réjou of the prized black Truffle Growers Federation Périgord variety (tuber melanoin the Halles in the centre of sporum) was bought in the town. He is “having a special Saturday morning market glass jar blown for it – as it is during the annual Sarlat so big – and will be preserving Truffle Festival. it in liquid to display it.” It is not known what shopMr Réjou said the size was keeper Jacques Dutrouilh, astonishing: “It’s quite inexpliknown as “Jacques le Basque” cable it should have been so paid but prices were varying big: all the more because the between €650-€900 a kilotree it came from is 25 years gram depending on quality. Unfortunately, although it was black Périgord variety it Î Turn to Page 7
Photo: Michel Pitout for Sud Ouest
1.2kg truffle sets Dordogne record
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Local restaurateur Nicolas Rousseau, who specialises in truffles, could not resist the aroma of the new record-holder
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Neglect cases spark animal cruelty debate Is the recent spate of animal welfare stories in the region’s press due to an increase in incidents, or greater action by the courts?
LUCY STUBBS reports.
ANIMAL cruelty stories have become a regular feature of the Dordogne press recently. But is cruelty on the increase, or should we be welcoming more intervention by the authorities? The reports range from the case of a dog who starved to death near Bergerac when his owner moved, leaving him behind, to the conviction of Patricia Pavan, the owner of a riding school, near Villeneuve de Lonchat, after the discovery of 28 emaciated horses, one of which had to be put down. Last month, another animal cruelty case hit the headlines, this time involving a herd of cattle suffering from malnutrition. The alarm was raised by a former employee at the farm, near Playzac, who claimed that the farm’s owner – an accountant in Paris who only visited the farm sporadically – employed someone to look after the cows during the week, leaving the animals locked in a barn at weekends. When police raided the property, they discovered that more than half of the 110 cattle
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were severely malnourished whilst one was so emaciated that a vet was called in to shoot it. According to local news reports, the farm was known locally as the “farm of shame” and the ex-employee, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that everyone in the area knew what was going on. So are incidences of animal cruelty on the increase and is it a particular problem in the Dordogne? Sheelagh Johnson, from the animal shelter Phoenix, which re-homes dogs and cats, does not think so. She said: “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I haven’t really seen any improvements, but I wouldn’t say cases are on the increase either. “I think animal cruelty in the Dordogne is linked to a rural mentality and a macho nonempathetic attitude towards animals.” As far as farm animals go, Ms Johnson says she welcomes the recent spate of court cases and interventions. “Cruelty on farms has always gone on, and I’m pleased to see the courts doing something about it,” she says. “In general, attitudes amongst the young are changing, but I think we’ll have to wait 20 years or so before we see any real improvement in the way animals in the Dordogne are treated.” CHEM (Centre d'Hébergement et de protection des Equidés Maltraités), a national horse rescue charity which was brought in to help re-home the Villeneuve de Lonchat horses last year, agrees. A spokesman for the charity said: “We don’t deal with many cases in the Dordogne. Overall, the number of cases of animal cruelty is about the same, although we think the attitudes of the courts are changing for the better – slowly. More cases do seem to be reaching the courts.” According to Jenny Lupton, a founder member of Equine Rescue France, the recent spate of horse-related neglect cases has been brought about in large part because of last year’s drought. “A lot of farmers only have half their usual amount of hay, which means they are having to buy food in. Many cannot afford it, so horses are becoming undernourished. “I think the majority of animal cruelty cases in the Dordogne come about as a result of lack of money,” says Ms Lupton. “I don’t believe most people here set out to be cruel – they simply can’t pay to look after their animals. As to whether cases are on the up, that’s not my impression, although last year’s drought has led to a small spate.” In many cases of animal neglect, it emerges that many people had known about the animal’s maltreatment but had not reported it, so
if you have concerns about animals near you, who should you report it to? Most refuges advise against confronting the owner or talking to the mayor as there have been cases of abused animals “disappearing”. Equine Rescue France is based in Sarlande and they will be able to advise and help you if you come across a horse, pony or donkey in distress. In an emergency, if you fear the animal’s life is in danger, call 06 84 06 75 16. Otherwise, you can make enquiries by email to email@example.com. It helps if you have photographs of the horses and can provide details of where they can be found. The department’s veterinary department is responsible for animal welfare. They will respond to concerns by sending a team out to look at the animals. Contact the DDCSPP (Direction départementale des services vétérinaires) on 05 53 45 56 00, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them in the Cité Administrative in Périgueux. The animal sanctuaries listed below will also be able to advise you or help you to report an animal’s mistreatment to the authorities.
ANIMAL REFUGES Remember, all are charities rely on donations to continue PHOENIX ASSOCIATION – re-homes cats, dogs, horses and donkeys. They currently have more than 20 unadopted kittens in foster homes. Many have been hand-reared from birth and the kittens have been micro-chipped, vaccinated and sterilised and are free to caring homes. To find out about these and any other pets waiting for a home, go to www.
phoenixasso.com or phone Sheelagh or Richard: 05 53 54 94 81. To adopt a horse, email Letje Visser at email@example.com or telephone on 05 53 50 53 65 SPA BERGERAC (Sauvegarde et Protection des Animaux de la Dordogne et du Sud-Ouest) animal refuge/shelter. Refuge SPA, Route de Sainte Alvère,
Bergerac. Tel: 05 53 27 03 79 for further details. SPA PÉRIGUEUX at Le Sault du Chevalier, Marsac sur l’Isle. Open for enquiries/donations: Monday to Saturday 10:30-12:00 and 14:30-18:30. Open for visits: Monday to Saturday 14:30-18:30. Further information phone: 05 53 04 16 54 or 05 53 04 16 54
Stories behind suffering OF COURSE, behind each case of animal cruelty, there is a human story. Last year, the corpses of six Saint Bernard dogs were found at a property in Saint Martin de Fressengeas. Their owner was suffering from depression following the death of her husband, and fled the property after getting behind on her rent. She claimed she had not intended the dogs to suffer and had initially returned periodically to the property to feed them. She said she thought someone would find
them and look after them. For another couple, who wish to remain anonymous, renting a smallholding near Sarlat became too much and they unwittingly found themselves guilty of cruelty. “We love animals,” the couple explained, “ but we could not cope any longer and had to return to the UK. We found a neighbour to take the dog, but no-one wanted the cats or our livestock. “One of our neighbours suggested we just shoot the lot, but we couldn’t. In the end, we just left the chicken
coop open, hoping our chickens would find their way to a nearby farm, and left the other animals – cats, sheep and goats – with as much food as we could.” The couple eventually called a sanctuary and told them where to find the animals. If you find yourself with animals you can no longer look after, contact a refuge or bring them to a rescue centre. Offering your animal free to a good home is another option, or ask your mayor or vet if they know anyone who would like your animals.
Choosing right pet for your lifestyle IF YOU’RE thinking of taking on a pet or a farm animal, there are a number of rescue centres in the Dordogne where you can find animals in all shapes and sizes. However, before doing so, refuge owners suggest you bear the following in mind: Make sure you can afford to keep the animal you’ve chosen; typically, a small dog or cat will cost about €800 per year to look after and a large dog €1,200. At the other end of the scale, horses and ponies need at least €2,000 a year. Think about the space you have; a small
Sheelagh and Richard Johnson, from Phoenix refuge, with some of their animals. Right, Mimi the mule, before and after her rescue by Equine Rescue France, and below, Floyd, who is currently at Phoenix and looking for a home
SOS Vie de Chiens Maison des Associations Place Jules Ferry, Bergerac Tel: 05 53 58 01 88 EQUINE RESCUE See the website for details: www.equinerescuefrance.org Tel: 06 84 06 75 16 between 10am-3pm Monday - Friday.
dog doesn’t need much, but big dogs do. And a horse needs about an acre of welldrained pasture land, plus a stable or shelter of some kind. Consider taking out medical insurance for your animal – it may save you a lot of money in the long run. Adopting a rescue animal makes sense both financially – most refuges ask for a nominal fee or donation – and morally, as the animals need a home. However, they do need time and patience to help them readjust and return to good health. If you have not got the time, do not take them on.
A DORDOGNE company is remaining upbeat, despite losing a government contract to produce the carte vitale – to a firm in India. The surprise decision to move the production of 300,000 cards a year to India comes as politicians call for more to be done to protect French jobs – and a drive to push Made in France products. SELP Secure, a company based in Mareuil-sur-Belle, specialises in the manufacture of items such as credit cards and identity cards, but company director JeanFrançois Vieira said the decision would not cost any jobs. He said: “The decision is regrettable but it won’t have a big impact; the production of the cards represents 2% of our business.” However, Mr Vieira
added that the carte vitale was a very basic card with “a very low level of security”. “Making the carte vitale in India is not going to cut the €20 billion of social security frauds that we deplore each year!” he added. Introduced in 1998 to provide an easy way for French residents to gain access to healthcare, the carte vitale has been through several incarnations, and the latest version contains a photo and an identification chip to avoid fraud. SELP Secure is not the first company in recent years to lose a government contract to an overseas rival. In 2009, boot factory Marbot Bata, in Neuvic-sur-L’isle, near Périgueux, lost three-quarters of its business overnight when a contract for boots for the French military was lost to a Tunisian company. The factory closed a few months later, with the loss of 79 jobs. Mr Vieira is adamant this will not happen to his company, which employs 160. “We don’t expect to lose a single employee over this,” he stressed.
Chef accused Bulot was arrested in Strasbourg, and remains on remand pending a court hearing. As yet no date has been set for the trial. Bulot was a well-known figure in Brantôme, and opened the Moulin de l’Abbaye in 1979. He ran the acclaimed restaurant with his wife Katy for 30 years, but sold it in
by LUCY STUBBS AN ACCLAIMED chef, who formerly ran a popular restaurant in Brantôme, has been remanded in custody on fraud charges. Régis Bulot, 63, was remanded in custody last November, after an investigation by prosecutors found that millions of euros had disappeared from the accounts of exclusive hotel club Relais & Chateaux, which lists more than 500 hotels and restaurants across the world. The alleged corruption took place between 1987 and 2005, when Bulot was president of the group and totals €1.6 million, which was allegedly creamed off the top of guidebook sales. At the time Bulot was also running the Moulin de l’Abbaye at Brantôme, one of the Dordogne’s most distinguished restaurants.
Photo: Georges Seguin
THE region’s food and wine will be celebrated at the Printemps de la gastronomie in Ribérac on Saturday, March 24. Organisers Jean-François Bittard and Patrick Brechand, from the association L’Art de la table en Périgord, have begun recruiting volunteers to help out and children in local schools are taking part in a poster competition based on this year’s picnic theme. The designs will be put up in the tourist office. “We’ve built on last year’s success to make a new programme this year,” says Bittard. “We’re asking people to come with their families, adults and children, and compete for the best picnic.” On the day there will be food tastings, cooking demonstrations with wellknown chefs, and culinary shows with Philippe Mesuron, a candidate on Masterchef who now runs his own restaurant near Cubjac, and Bruno Viala, author and culinary consultant. The event will finish with dinner and a show. The event is free for visitors and €40 for exhibitors. If you would like to help out or exhibit at L’Art de la table de Périgord, call M Bittard on 06 16 19 24 58.
No more ‘Made in France’ for the carte vitale
Photo: PHOTOPQR/SUD OUEST/SOUNALET Jean-Christophe
Celebration for foodies
2009 in order to concentrate on a new project – setting up a new guide, Auberges & Bistrots de France, which featured less high-end establishments in France. As well as embezzlement charges, the former chef and entrepreneur is alleged to have demanded that each of the hotels included in the guide – each legitimately pays
Because a friend is said to have done something wrong, doesn’t mean the friend has
Former prime minister Dominique de Villepin
ETA peace call may be good news POLICE forces are hoping they have seen the last of terrorists who have been traced to the Dordogne on more than one occasion in recent years. Last October, Basque separatist movement ETA said it was to stop all activity. This came just four months after an alleged ETA member, Oeir Ardanaz Aemendariz, was arrested in the Dordogne, after a car crash near Jumilhac le Grand. Aemendariz stole a car but was spotted by the car’s owners who gave chase in another car, causing a collision. Police found large stocks of ammunition and a gun. After being treated for minor injuries in
Périgueux hospital, Aemendariz was taken to Bordeaux for questioning by the anti-terrorist unit. His case will be heard in Paris this month. This is not the first time the Dordogne has unwittingly harboured ETA members. In January 2011, 250kg of ammonium nitrate, used to make explosives, was found in Montignac, along with Basque documents, and in 2008, a cache of documents and a hard drive were found in a forest near Bergerac. Documents relating to ETA have frequently been found in Dordogne forests and in 2007, four wanted terrorists – including a couple responsible for two murders – were arrested.
Seen outside the abbey at Brantôme, chef Régis Bulot is accused of embezzling funds from Relais & Châteaux when he ran the nearby Moulin de l’Abbaye
of hotel fraud extended the finger of suspicion in the direction of presidential hopeful Dominique de Villepin, who was prime minister under President Jacques Chirac. The newspaper Le Monde has claimed that it has phone transcripts suggesting that Villepin – a close friend of Bulot – tried to block the courts from investigating
Photo: Père Igor
€15,000 to be included in the R&C listings – provide 29 nights’ worth of free accommodation each year to Bulot. He, in turn, it is alleged “gave” this accommodation to friends and family. Investigators are looking into what, if anything, Bulot was allegedly offered in return for the luxury breaks. The scandal has even
Moulin de l’Abbaye sits on the banks of the Dronne
Bulot. Villepin has denied the claims. “Just because someone has a friend who is said to have done something wrong, doesn’t mean the friend has,” he told a press conference. At the unveiling of the 2012 edition of the Relais & Chateaux guide, current president Jaume Tapies – who took over from Bulot and raised the alarm in 2008 – said that he could not comment on an on-going criminal inquiry. However, he said he did not think the case, which relates to alleged misdemeanours in the past, would tarnish the current image of Relais & Chateaux. Meanwhile, in the Dordogne, friends and former colleagues of Bulot, including high-profile chef Bernard Giraudel at Le Vieux Logis in Trémolet, are keeping tightlipped on the fate of their fellow chef and have refused to comment.
Murderer appeals against life term A MAN convicted of murdering a German expatriate is to appeal against his life sentence. Yves Bureau was convicted last September of the gruesome torture and murder of popular retired teacher and walking enthusiast Edith Muhr in Verdon near Faux in 2010. During the case, which appalled many and attracted international press coverage, it was heard that Ms Muhr’s dismembered body was found in corn sacks on Bureau’s land. The former farm labourer and municipal councillor gave 27 different versions of events to police and lawyers in the run-up to his trial before finally revealing the truth.
He told a stunned courtroom that had started to dismember Muhr then decapitate her while she was still alive. He offered no explanation in court as to why he had tortured and killed her. Following his trial, Bureau told one of his lawyers that the reason he’d committed the crime was because a gypsy had threatened him with a gun. His lawyers say his appeal is not to disprove his guilt, but to establish whether he is clinically insane and should be in a high security psychiatric unit rather than prison. The appeal hearing is set to take place later this year.
Did you know?
Périgord Vert named by author Jules Verne SCIENCE fiction author Jules Verne is said to have been the first person to describe the northern Dordogne as the Périgord Vert, back in the 19th century. Verne was apparently taken with the area’s lush greenery and fertile soil. Today, the region is home to the PérigordLimousin national park and includes the pretty towns of Brantôme, known as the Venice of the Périgord, and Nontron, which is famous for its knife industry. Dordogne residents will know that the term Périgord is widely used today to describe the Dordogne and that the people describe themselves as being ‘Périgordine’ rather than ‘Dordognian’. The department is divided into four Périgord regions, each described with a colour. According to historians, Périgord Noir and Périgord Blanc were the first regions to be named, and records of their names date back to medieval times. The origin of Périgord Noir, the area around Sarlat, is believed to come from the fact that it was largely full of woodland full of dark oaks, which gave the landscape a dark look. The name has also been linked to the abundance of truffles found in the area. Meanwhile, Périgord Blanc, which includes Périgueux, is so named because of the abundance of chalk and limestone in the soil. When the fields were ploughed, the concentration of limestone underneath turned the brown soil white.
The name of Périgord Vert is attributed to science fiction writer Jules Verne Périgord Pourpre, around Bergerac, is believed to have been named shortly after Verne gave the name of Périgord Vert, and relates to the abundance of vineyards which are predominantly purple. The names are widely used locally and by the Dordogne tourist offices, who have said they believe that the use of the term Périgord helps to give tourists a sense of the history of the Dordogne as well as a sense of its regional differences.
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THE Dordogne remains one of the 10 safest departments, latest crime figures show. Although crime in general was fractionally up in 2011 compared to 2010 (0.39%), at 13,387, the department was spared a dramatic 16% increase in burglaries that was seen nationally. Although burglaries went up, it was by only 2% (1,837), as opposed to 1,799 in 2010. However, last year’s figure was 518 fewer than nine years ago. Homes in the countryside were more vulnerable than ones in towns. A “local violence” category, including such crimes as pickpocketing, robbery and thefts from vehicles, was also up 2%, as was the general category of “attacks on property”, at 2.6%. While “physical violence”, generally was down 5.5% there was an increase in domestic violence (up 7%). Announcing the figures the prefect, Jacques Billant, said it was a “pretty positive” picture overall, adding improvements were noted in the detection of crime. However rates ranged from 92% for violence against the person to only 15% for burglaries.
Truffle is record-breaker Î Turn
from Page 1
old, and had only ever produced one truffle, of 54g. “It’s a particularly strange phenomenon.” It is hard to predict what any tree will produce, he said. “It’s totally haphazard – one of nature’s mysteries.” Mr Réjou said it had been a satisfactory truffle season. “It was thought it might be poor, due to insufficient rain, but there have been respectable quantities.” Périgord truffles are among the most prized by connoisseurs, second only to the white Albi truffles from Italy, and are sought after by the department’s 1,800 truffle growers, who produce two to eight tons of truffles a year. Truffles are part of the mushroom family, and grow out of a mass of fine underground filaments – the mycelium – that grow in association with tree roots. While truffles occur naturally, most today come from plantations of trees whose roots were treated as saplings to encourage growth of the mycelium. The so-called “Perigord” truffle, is also grown in other parts of France, notably the south-east, though it is so-named because it is associated with the region’s gastronomy. Popular ways of eating them include shaved or sliced into scrambled egg or pasta, though they can also be eaten grated, raw, on toast with a little olive oil and seasoning.
Photo: Mairie de Sarlat
Department still among the safest
A LIST of the most popular names for babies in the Dordogne in 2011 has been released. Chloé tops the girls’ list, followed by Manon and Emma. The top boy’s name was Enzo, followed by Raphaël and Louis. Amongst the quirkier names were: Taueli Pilimilose, Pacifica and Bogdan.
Truffle growers offer their sought-after produce for sale at Sarlat market
Knifeman raids tabac
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€600,000 lottery win A FACTORY worker from Bergerac has scooped more than €600,000 on the lottery. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she thought her win was much smaller after a relative checked her numbers, but a closer inspection revealed she had all five numbers in the Euro Millions lotto draw, winning €604, 877.20. She plans to buy a bigger house and a new car.
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Museum to re-open
Top names for babies
THE Musée du Tabac in Bergerac is to reopen on February 19 after being shut since the start of the year. The museum, which began over 60 years ago, houses smoking-related paraphernalia and charts more than 3,000 years of tobacco history. It is believed to be the only tobacco museum in Europe. For details go to www. tinyurl.com/dordad-tabac or call 05 53 63 04 13.
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A RAIDER has robbed a tabac in Thiers, near Sarlat, after holding a knife to the throat of the owner’s wife and then punching the owner. The man walked into the shop and jumped over the counter before threatening the woman with the knife. The owner tried to intervene but was punched in the face. The thief fled with just €300.
Carer in fraud case A WOMAN carer has been given a four-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of defrauding an elderly patient. The woman started work as a carer in Saint-Astier in October 2011, and was given five cheques totalling €11,000 by the patient. She said had become friends with the elderly man, in his 80s, but the prosecution said such strong friendships did not form so quickly. She was given a four-month suspended sentence and a two year ban from care work.
Chef criticises US ban on foie gras A PERIGORDINE-born chef who now works in Chicago has spoken out over the banning of foie gras in the state of California. The traditional goose or duck liver pâté will not be allowed to be sold from July this year, with restaurants risking fines of €1,000 a day. Its politicians claim the force-feeding – gavage – required is cruel. Chef Didier Durand, originally from Sainte-Foy-des-Vignes, near Bergerac, called the ban “ridiculous” and said he would be lobbying Californian politicians to get it overturned. He said it was not the first time American politicians had tried to impose such a ban. “There was a ban in Chicago in 2006,” he said. “I was one of a number of people who spoke out and lobbied local politicians to change their minds.” The ban was lifted in June 2008, much to Durand’s delight. “The ban had made foie gras more popular,” he said. “People were curious and wanted to try it. They didn’t
A previous ban, in Chicago, made foie gras even more popular. People were curious and wanted to try it for themselves Chef Didier Durand
like being told what to think. As soon as the law was repealed, sales of foie gras in my bistro went up compared to before it was imposed.” Mr Durand, who has created a foie gras museum in a building next to his bistro, continues to cook typical Perigordine food in his restaurant, but with a US twist. “I cook a lot of foie gras dishes, many very traditional, and some with
an American feel – like a gourmet duck burger with a slice of foie gras on top.” While foie gras grows in popularity, Mr Durand’s museum has proved so popular that the Chicago council is considering re-housing it in a municipal building. “I grew up helping my mother to do the gavage on our farm,” Mr Durand said. “It isn’t cruel, but people need to be educated about it.” The ban led to concerns that the French foie gras industry, largely based in the south-west, could be harmed. However the export manager for one well-known producer, Godard, Amandine Delpech, said in fact only one large French firm, which has a Canadian subsidiary, exports to the USA due to “protectionist” rules. She added: “If they think gavage is cruel, they are misinformed and have never seen our farmers caressing the geese before the gavage, calling them by name.”
Prof honoured for his work in opera by OLIVER ROWLAND and LUCY STUBBS AN AMERICAN professor has been honoured for services to music and culture, for work which has largely taken place in the Dordogne. Music professor and singer William Lewis, 80, was appointed chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a Culture Ministry honour for those who have “contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural heritage”. He received a medal from the Consul Général of France, Frédéric Bontems, at a ceremony in Houston, Texas, for his work in setting up and running an operatic singing summer school. A celebration then took place near Excideuil, attended by family, friends, well-wishers and local dignitaries. Prof Lewis was honoured for his Franco-American Vocal Academy (Fava) which he started in 2006 with his wife, soprano Frédérique Added, who is originally from Preyssac d’Excideuil. Professor Lewis told the Advertiser: “The Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de La Republique Francaise is an honor which I never believed I could receive. In my career in opera or in academia, it is recognition beyond my dreams and I will cherish it forever.” Fava (www.favaopera.org) is affiliated to The University of Texas School of Music, in Houston, where Prof Lewis has taught opera in the Butler School of Music for 20 years. Its summer music schools take place in the Dordogne, and its students perform a season of free concerts in the northern Dordogne and in Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche in the
Madonna date hoax
FANS of Madonna in Dordogne have been disappointed to find she won’t be appearing in Bordeaux, contrary to a Facebook rumour. The page Pour que Madonna donne un concert à Bordeaux, says Madonna will play the Stade Chaban on June 18, but the mayor says the venue isn’t booked for that day.
AUTO-entrepreneurs beware! As of January 1, 2012, a late penalty fee of up to €45 can be imposed for late submission of declaration of earning forms. If you are having problems, call RSI or URSAFF on 05 53 45 69 00 or visit between 8.304.30 at the Cité Administrative, 50 rue Claude Bernard 24022 Périgueux.
BUS operator Péribus is considering putting armed guards on the buses to protect staff. The proposal comes after a driver was punched in the face by a teenager. Drivers temporarily stopped work to demand improved security for bus employees.
A MOTHER and her young son were attacked by dogs in La Bachellerie. They were rescued by a woman who saw the attack and drove the pair to the emergency services in Lardin where they were treated for shock. The mother later received surgery for an ankle injury.
THE gendarmerie in Périgueux has asked possible victims of frauds to get in touch. They are investigating Dordogne residents Florent Delrieu, 22 and Atif Bijja, 23 who are alleged to have taken payment for goods they never provided and to have written false cheques. If you have had a problem, contact the gendarmerie on 05 53 02 72 09.
THREE young men were convicted of theft after they were traced when DNA from one of the defendants was found at the scene. The men, one aged 20 and two aged 18, were convicted of stealing car parts from a garage in Périgueux. One of the defendants, who already had a police record, reached for a cola can, but did not buy it.
Guards on the buses
Prof Lewis receives his medal from the Consul Général Frédéric Bontems Limousin. It began with 10 students from America, and last year there were more than 50 enrolled in the school, which provides professional vocal training for young, emerging singers from around the world. Prof Lewis had a career as a tenor, singing principal roles in the world’s leading opera houses, including performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York over 35 years. His wife sang at the Paris Opera. He founded the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg – a singing programme specialising in Mozart – before creating Fava, which specialises in the French repertoire. Prof Lewis told the Daily Texan newspaper the award would inspire him to continue his work in educating students
in French opera. “It’s far too neglected. It is vital for singers because there is so much French vocal music. When you think about it, it is vast.” His university paid tribute to his appointment by lighting its tower orange, which it does to mark special achievements of staff. Its executive vice president, Steve Leslie, said the award highlighted the importance of arts education, which was sometimes underemphasised in favour of more practical fields in difficult economic times. This year’s Fava programme will be held in Périgueux, from July 5 to August 16, and will work towards eight fullystaged performances of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman and a series of recitals of great French art songs.
Police in fraud plea
Pair bitten by dogs
DNA traps thieves
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Are you interested in finding out how to make the most of your money? Do you have questions about making international payments, pensions, tax or the healthcare system? • Free entry from 9:30am–2.30pm • Free seminars • Free buffet lunch and refreshments We are pleased to announce that Le Tour de Finance is coming back to an area near you in March. It is the first forum for expats which will help you with a myriad of different financial products and services. The forum will bring together all the key players who assist British expats in France with their financials requirements. It will also be an ideal opportunity to socialise over a buffet lunch and a glass of wine and meet people in similar circumstances. We want to bring you information and meet you where you live, so you can seek particular advice on subjects like tax, wealth management, pensions, mortgages and healthcare. These are just some of the services that you can find out about at Le Tour de Finance. It is the ideal opportunity to find answers to the most pressing questions facing the British living in France.
Le Tour Circuit 2012
Dinan ı Fontevraud l’Abbaye ı Saintes
Mon 19th March
The Best Western Dinan Jerzual, 26 Quai des Talards Dinan Port, 22100 Lanvally
Tues 20th March
Abbaye de Fontevraud BP 24, 49590 Fontevraud l’Abbaye
Wed 21st March
Le Relais du bois, Saint Georges Le Piner, 132 Cours Genet, 17100 Saintes
Thur 22nd March
Château Lacan Rue Jean Macé, 19100 Brive-la-Gaillarde
How to book To book your place or for more information about the speakers and the locations, please email email@example.com or call Pippa Maile on +33 (0) 489 829 206 or mobile: +33 (0) 672 096 495
Cancer support worker is not the retiring type Teresa Rekowska talks to LUCY STUBBS about how she got involved with Cancer Support France, despite moving to the Dordogne for a quiet retirement. WHEN Teresa Rekowska moved to the Dordogne with her husband Ian in 2005, their plan was to retire and spend some time together in the sunshine. But she was not prepared to give up her work completely. She explains: “I used to be an auxiliary nurse and worked in the caring professions all my life, so when we moved, I wanted to find something to do where I could continue to help people.” Teresa started putting out feelers to see how she could help out in her community and eventually came across Cancer Support France. “At that time – 2006 – they only had two branches,” says Teresa. “When I got in touch with my nearest branch, in Benest in the northern Charente, to volunteer, they asked if I’d be interested in setting up a branch near me. I got together with some friends from my choir (Variations) and we set up CSF Ribérac, where I’m now secretary.” Teresa had a particular reason for wanting to support a cancer charity. “My son had testicular cancer when he was 21,” says Teresa. “We were living in the UK at the time and although he ultimately pulled through, we were offered very little support. When I started thinking about our position here – away from our family and friends and not speaking a great deal of French – I realised how isolating it must be for expat cancer sufferers and their families. I could see how valuable CSF could be.” But whilst the work must be rewarding, isn’t
Cancer Support worker Teresa Rekowska grabs a rare moment of relaxation with husband Ian. Since she ‘retired’ to Dordogne, her life has been taken up with her charity work and her role as secretary for a bilingual choir it rather harrowing at times? “Yes, it can be difficult,” admits Teresa. “There is a line that you have to be careful not to cross, which isn’t always easy. Last year I supported a couple for a whole year, often speaking on a daily basis. We became close and it was distressing when the husband died. It can be upsetting - but that’s life.” Of course there are upsides. “I’ve made a lot of friends through CSF,” says Teresa. “It is great when you people go into remission or are ostensibly cured. A lot of our members – all volunteers – started out as clients.” Teresa has also made French friends. “Although we cater to the English-speaking
community, we do joint fund-raising events for French cancer charities too. Last year, we raised €5,000 and split it with a breast cancer charity called Vivre Comme Avant, which helps fund reconstructive breast surgery.” When things get too much for Teresa, she can always take refuge in her bilingual choir group, Variations. However, even here, Teresa has her work cut out for her. “I’m association secretary,” she explains. “I don’t just turn up and sing, I help organise events. At the moment, I’m preparing for our annual Easter performance of Haydn’s mass in Ribérac church. We raise funds all year for professional choristers and musicians. It takes
a lot of organising, but its worth it.” Teresa admits her life is not the relaxed retirement she’d anticipated when she left the UK. “I wouldn’t have time for a job,” she says with a smile. “But I like keeping busy and I like being part of the community, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people.” For more information about CSF Ribérac, go to http://cancersupportfrance.org/affiliatedassociation/riberac-16-24 or visit them on the fourth Friday of the month in the Palais du Justice in Ribérac from 9am to noon. CSF also sells donated second-hand English language books to raise money for the charity.
When you arrive in France with your family – plus four-legged friends – you should register with a médecin traitant for your family’s healthcare, but you also need to register pets with a vétérinaire, says SAMANTHA BRICK HOW do you find a vet? Most people turn to the phone book – or more likely the internet – but if you are new to your area, you should ask around. Who are neighbours, friends and work colleagues registered with and why? Do not be afraid to ask questions about why they recommend (or don’t) their vet. Also ask whom to avoid! Remember when your pet is ill the availability, proximity and the aptitude of the vet you are registered with can make all the difference when dealing with a life-threatening situation. Indeed, many existing pet owners will travel to a nearby department for a preferred vet.
Pet Care Once you have some recommendations of vets who see the species of animals that you have, the next step is to call or stop by at their surgery – which will have a blue cross on display outside. The following are some points to think about: are the reception staff friendly,
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Ask around to find best vet for your pet
You can ask the vet for a devis for typical treatments helpful, and knowledgeable? If your ability to communicate in French is limited, do they speak English? Will their appointment hours work with your timetable and life? What is the after-hours, holiday and emergency coverage? Are the veterinary staff
(doctors, technicians, assistants) professional and knowledgeable? Do they have a good “bedside manner” when relating to you and your pet? Are they a healthy blend of old-fashioned country vet and hi-tech modern vet? If your pet has “special
needs” do they seem confident to be able to deal with on-going ailments? Don’t be afraid to ask if they have any other pets registered with the same condition. Finally, take a look at their tariffs. Prices can vary from vet to vet as there is no set scale of charges that they must adhere to; but they must display fees for consultations and the routine vaccines they normally give. These tariffs are usually on display in the reception or waiting area. You can ask for a devis for treatment or a surgical procedure and should, for example, confirm that this includes the cost of ongoing pain relief and other medication such as antibiotics. If none of the veterinary practices you have visited meet these criteria, you may want to keep looking until you can be assured your pet is receiving the best possible care.
Be honest; explain to the veterinary staff you are searching for a vet, and specifically what you are looking for. Never be afraid to ask questions. Work with your veterinarian; ask about routine care and about diseases or issues that you need to be aware of in France. Different practices specialise in different animals so, for example, if you own a dog and live in the countryside it is worth finding out who the local hunt uses when dogs are injured. Similarly, if you have cats or horses ask cat breeders or friends with horses for advice. Finally your local SPA (Société Protectrice des Animaux) can recommend a vet if you genuinely do not know whom to approach. For information in your area also try: www.veterinaire.fr and www.spa.asso.fr
Tel. 06 58 01 82 76 Web. www.seulementnaturel.eu Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
JUDY MANSFIELD has lived and worked in France for
nearly nine years. She is an agent commercial, and worked at an estate agency for several years before branching out into business development, primarily for currency specialists First Rate FX and latterly for small businesses.
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ARE YOU passionate about your business? Do you let that show? You should, because it demonstrates to present and future clients how much you care about what you do. That instills confidence in them that you will provide a great product or service as well as giving them enthusiasm to buy from you and to recommend you to others. Shyness and Laissez Faire have no place in business, nor does appearing laid-back or too ‘cool’… unless of course you are a fashion model, pop star or club DJ! Assuming you’re not, you will need to work at what you enjoy, not that which you find tedious, boring, irritating, annoying... Passion also translates into motivation. If it isn’t there, it shows. It becomes very difficult to do what you should be doing if the thrill has gone. Take a hard look at your relationship with your business. Do you sigh when you switch on the PC or when you see what you have to do that day? Do your customers irritate you just by being there? Is everything a chore? It may be you have fallen out of love – but there are several things you can do.
First, decide if this state of affairs is temporary. Maybe all that is needed is a bit of TLC! If you are feeling jaded, then maybe it is because you have been working too hard. Try a short holiday. Too many people work too long hours and don’t take a holiday, feeling they should be available every second of every day “just in case”. Even if you don’t actually go away, factor in some real time off. Turn off the PC! Leave an out-of-office message on your phone and email with a date when you will be back, or people will imagine you have gone for good! Use the time to switch off completely and recharge your batteries. Go for walks, catch up on films, spend time with the family, enjoy your garden. Stepping back from your relationship with your business can often help you see it more clearly. You will return with renewed vigour. But if business still isn’t giving you the same buzz, it may need a tweak – could you change direction slightly? What part of your job do you really enjoy? Can you make more of that? Don’t be swayed by what brings in the most money, because if it doesn’t ease the irritation, eventually the income will dry up too. Follow the passion not the pension! Could you collaborate with someone in a similar or complementary business to share that part of your workload which doesn’t turn you on? Perhaps it’s admin? So, pay someone else to do it. Yes there is a cost, but it can not
Photo: © Trifonov Igor - Shutterstock.com
Passion is the theme as St Valentine prepares his arrows. As Charles M. Schwab said: “The person who does not work for the love of work but only for money is not likely to make money nor to find much fun in life.”
only save you money, but help you make more money. Think about it. I travel a lot with my job, so I must check websites for transport or accommodation... it’s boring and can take the best part of a day to fix a two-day trip. While doing that, I am not spending time in my business: where I earn my money. Now I use a Virtual Assistant (VA) to do this. I tell her where and when I need to go and my budget, then voila! It is all done and sent to me – all while I have been concentrating on my main role. I get invoiced and can claim it as a business expense. I’m considering finding someone to organise my paperwork and invoicing as it is something I procrastinate on. I’d
be better paying someone as it costs me less per hour than I can earn doing my own job! If you are stuck, perhaps call in a business coach to help you clarify where you are stuck and why, and how to get your mojo back and your business moving again. I make no apologies for bringing you this extract from one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. It worked for him! “Ideally, since 80% of your life is spent working, you should start your business around something that is a passion of yours. If you’re into kite-surfing and you want to become an entrepreneur, do it with kite-surfing. “Look, if you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re just working. You’ll work harder at it, and you’ll know more about it. “But first you must go out and educate yourself on whatever it is that you’ve decided to do – know more about kite-surfing than anyone else. That’s where the work comes in. But if you’re doing things you’re passionate about, that will come naturally.” - Richard Branson Contact Judy at dordogne @connexionfrance.com
Recommended Reading My recommended reading this month is Robert Clay’s www.marketingwizdom.com Robert is one of the foremost marketing experts around, and gives very generously of his time and knowledge. You can sign up to receive his free eBook, Learn how to grow your business…in just 2 hours. I’ll be discussing Robert’s approach in next month’s column.
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Without passion your business will suffer My wife and I bought a beautiful home in the Dordogne a few years ago and have often thought about opening a B&B for the summer. What are the rules and regulations and what business model would most suit us? Are there any French bodies we could turn to for advice or possible grants? P.T.
RUNNING a B&B is a great business to make use of your home but it is important to be aware of the legal requirements, security and other issues before you get started. You will need to decide whether you intend to offer evening or other meals, as this will determine what kind of licence you need; licensing rules for B&Bs have recently been relaxed, but those concerned with the preparation of food for an evening meal have been tightened up and include a course which explains rules and requirements about kitchen hygiene etc. An “English” style breakfast, for example, includes cooking eggs, and there are very strict hygiene rules on this. A declaration at your mairie will be required, which will also register your business for the cotisation foncière des entreprises (replacement for the taxe professionnelle), get you set up for taxe de séjour if applicable for your area and also provide a classification of your B&B. This is not a bad thing, as getting to know your mairie could also provide local bookings from French clients for weddings, family gatherings and musical festivals etc. There is a significant lack of accommodation available in country locations following the demise of the many small hotels which could not upgrade to new security and property standards (“normes”) The registration process will normally be through the chambre de commerce if you plan to advertise - this is not too complicated, but you do need to factor in paying social charges on your earnings which could eat into your profit margin if you do not build these in from the start. You also need to consider whether you need to be registered for TVA – there is still a reduced rate for accommodation which could help if you have expenses to get set up – you can recover the TVA on your expenses, but will need to account for TVA due on your sales. Other tax issues that you need to consider include whether you want to be taxed on the micro regime (you get a fixed deduction of 50% from your sales income) or whether you declare on the “réel” basis (actual income less actual expenses). Your business will also be subject to "taxe foncière pour les entreprises" which is worked out on the basis of the split between business and personal use of your property. The tax office will ask you to complete forms to enable them to calculate this. Your annual income declaration will normally be made in April/May. If you have opted for the “réel” there will also be a separate business declaration to make. You also need to make sure that your insurance covers you for public use, and check with your local préfecture for pool operating rules (there are national security rules for fencing etc, but water hygiene is controlled at a local level). Information on grants can be obtained from your local mairie or tourist board office – EU funding has however largely been withdrawn in this area.
Italy is the basis for French gastronomy ANYONE living in or visiting southern France will quickly become aware of the Italian influence on the regional cuisine. The most obvious being such things as the ubiquitous pizza and pesto, that appear in Provence as the onion pissaladière and (minus pine nuts and cheese) pistou respectively. However, these are dishes which have now spread throughout the world. If you were to suggest to a French gourmet that much of what they would consider to be French haute cuisine originated in Italy, you would be considered stupid. If such people knew about history as well as food they would know that in the 16th century Catherine de' Médici arrived in France to be married to the boy who was to become Henry II. The 14year-old was accompanied on the journey from Florence by cooks, trained in the elegance of Renaissance cooking.
It was a far cry from the heavy, almost peasant, food enjoyed by the men of the French court with ladies only being invited to the royal table on special occasions. Two centuries earlier, in Avignon, there had been a lesser Italian influence when Pope Clement V took up residence. Lesser because, in fact, he and his successors for the next 67 years were French. However, many of their retinue including the cooks
Catherine de’ Médici
came from Rome and were said not to appreciate much of the local cuisine. This month's recipe for Papeton is but one example of how they adapted and refined the produce they found. The undoubted influence of Catherine's cooks may have been predated by an even earlier Italian connection. French king Charles VIII had, a century before, brought Italian gardeners to recreate in the Loire Valley the gardens he had admired in their native land. They introduced peas, cauliflowers, spinach and perhaps even artichokes. On the other hand, Catherine's cooks brought rather more sophistication in the form of things like aspics, truffles, ice cream and macaroons. In 1652, during the reign of Henry IV and his Italian wife (Marie de' Medici, Catherine's cousin), a very important cookery book appeared. Le Cuisinier François was written by La Varenne, the famous chef who had learnt his craft in Marie de’ Médici's kitchens. From this began what we now know as French gastronomy: that the ingredients be allowed to speak for themselves, and seasoning and flavouring should enhance rather than disguise the taste.
Tried and tested by us A member of the Dordogne Advertiser team tested out the recipe and reports: Be prepared for a lot of vegetable chopping – I found the easiest way was to cut the aubergines into thick slices, then cut the skin off those. You will also need a very large pan with a lid to cook all the ingredients. I blended the mixture rather than pressing it through a sieve and ended up with a slightly coarse-textured terrine a bit like a vegetarian meat loaf. From start to putting it in the oven took about 45 minutes. There is plenty of mixture so allow quite a big dish for cooking. Sitting it in water kept the terrine underneath moist while it browned on top. With sauce made by heating concassée de tomates with some seasoning and olive oil, it made a tasty meat-free option – but you need to really like aubergines!
Photo:© Joan Bunting
After winning the first BBC MasterChef in 1990 JOAN BUNTING was soon writing a food column and doing local radio for the BBC. Now the former teacher has retired and moved permanently to her home in France but she is still keen to tell readers about good food
Delicious hot or cold, the Papeton is an aubergine mousse
CUT OUT & KEEP!
INGREDIENTS 6 large aubergines – peeled and sliced 6 tbsp olive oil 3 shallots – chopped 2 cloves garlic – crushed
Sprig thyme 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp crème fraîche 3 eggs – beaten
METHOD Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat the oil in a pan and add the aubergines, shallots, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the aubergines are very soft. Push the mixture through a sieve using a wooden spoon, or for speed, though slightly less smooth, whizz in a blender or processor.
Butter a terrine or rectangular tin. Stir the eggs and cream into the mixture and pour into the terrine. Put the terrine in a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come ¼ of the way up. Bake in the pre-heated oven Serve hot or cold with a fresh tomato sauce.
Which wine should I drink with this? Caline Montfort, of Julien de Savignac wine merchants (www.julien-de-savignac.com), says: Cotes du Rhône red from the highly reputed property Chateau Mont 2010. €7.80. This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. The Mediterranean flavours of red fruits, spices and herbs will enhance the delicate flavours of the papeton and bring you a summer and southern atmosphere!
www.dordogneadvertiser.com Photo: © Alena Ozerova - Fotolia.com
Lo e and marriage in France
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12 Valentine’s Day
France has a reputation for romance, so where better to tie the knot, renew your vows or just celebrate Valentine’s Day? ELEANOR FULLALOVE looks at what is involved
ities required but a British person wishing to marry under French law must seek advice from the mairie where the marriage is to take place. Beth Stretton, a wedding planner who works in the Dordogne area, said that by law in France you have to marry in the mairie and you can then go on to have a religious blessing, often on an entirely different day. In spite of the paperwork involved, residents have every reason to say “I do” in France. Mrs Stretton believes good food and wine play a
part in the decision for many, while others cite “more chance of sun and something more relaxed and less formulaic” as having helped them decide to marry abroad. But beware. “Being married under French law is not advisable if you do not live here full
Photo: © C.J.C. - Fotolia.com
WHAT could be more romantic than getting married in a medieval hilltop village, by the Mediterranean or in an ancient château? There is no shortage of beautiful wedding venues in France and you will find bilingual wedding planners on hand to help English-speaking couples find everything they need. The legal ceremony is conducted by the mayor at the mairie closest to where either the bride or groom will reside for at least 40 consecutive days before the main event. I fell in love This should allow time for with the marriage banns to be published beautiful and put on display for 10 days. scenery and Residents will the weather need to provide proof of was likely domicile along with their birth to be good certificates and passports and Thalia Douglin various other documents, such as a Certificate of Celibacy, or Certificat de célibat, and a Certificate of Law, or Certificat de coutume. Official translations of all documents must also be certified. The British Embassy website is a good place to start for general information on the formal-
The legal marriage ceremony is carried out in the mairie
time,” says Mrs Stretton. A better idea may be to hold the legal ceremony at home and then travel to France for a religious or humanist blessing. “Options vary depending on the region,” she says. Mrs Stretton sees an increasing number of people who wish to renew their vows. These couples tend to opt for simpler ceremonies: “The older we get the more we forget about the smaller details. A focus on the key things in life is most important when planning a celebratory event.” Thalia and Jason Douglin traded Coventry for Languedoc when they married in summer 2011. “I always wanted to get married abroad,” says Mrs Douglin, who had first considered the Caribbean but thought family members would find the long journey a struggle for financial or medical reasons. “My husband has an aunt who lives in France and he used to vacation there when he was younger,” she says. “After looking into France as a destination, I fell in love with the beautiful scenery and it seemed the weather was likely to be good,” she explains. “Another big advantage was that we got four days to spend with everyone.” Mrs Douglin found her venue, the Château du Puits es Pratx in Ginestas, Languedoc, on
The Tour de Finance is coming to Brive Le Tour De Finance is the leading expat event for those wanting information on financial issues affecting those living in France and investment opportunities. THE Tour de Finance is coming to Brive on March 22. The event is totally free and includes complimentary lunch as well as a chance to chat to other expats in your area. There will be opportunities to speak to a number of specialist companies on all the issues that concern expats such as how to save money on international transfers; how tax affects your pension; investing your money; healthcare and banking. "I found the seminars really informative
without being too lengthy. Each presenter explained their services clearly and succinctly and I was then able to spend more time with those companies who had services I need over the course of the event," explained one visitors to the event in Cognac last year. Speakers include: Spectrum IFA which has a team of qualified, professional advisers who are expatriates themselves so know exactly what it is like to change lifestyle, culture and fiscal situation and will assist you with your global investments and other financial products and planning. Soficas which can help you to understand the French medical system and what health insurance will best suit your needs - and all in English. Currencies Direct, the international payments specialists in France, which will
give a presentation aimed at helping anyone looking to find out how to send money in and out of France without fees and with significant savings on rates. Other speakers include local banks and market leading experts. Another visitor from last year said: "It was really informative. We found out about a number of important French laws which impact the small business we are planning to establish. A well organised event, where you could tell you were dealing with top quality businesses " It is also an ideal opportunity to meet like-minded people in your area over lunch and refreshments. We look forward to seeing you there! To find out more contact Pippa Maile on Tel: +33 (0)4 89 82 92 06 / +33 (0)6 72 09 64 95; or email her on letourdefi email@example.com.
Meet like-minded people and learn more about life in France from experts A full fact sheet inlcuding directions to the venue can be found at www.letourdefinance.com
Le Tour de Finance BRIVE Date: Thursday March 22 Time: 09:30 - 14:30 Location: Château Lacan, rue Jean Macé, 19100 Brive-la-Gaillarde GPS coordinates: 45.159555, 1.533937
Valentine’s Day 13
February 2012 Photo: © Vely - Fotolia.com
Tying the knot in the Dordogne A LOT of paperwork needs to be completed in order to marry in the Dordogne and a list of all the documents you need can be found on the British consulate website: www.ambafrance-uk.org/Civil-marriage-inFrance,12146.html. Alternatively, contact the British consulate in Bordeaux who will be able to answer your questions. Visit them between 9am and noon weekdays, except Tuesday and Thursday, at: 353 Boulevard du President Wilson, 33073 Bordeaux, phone: 05 57 22 21 10 or visit their website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/find-anembassy/europe/consulate-bordeaux < To find a wedding venue To find a venue for a wedding reception, look at www.abcsalles.com/salle-de-mariage-2_dordogne_d.html. Here you will find a list of venues in the Dordogne, mostly in chateaux and hotels. The venues provide rooms for eating, entertainment and a religious or non religious blessing. < Christian blessing If you want a Christian blessing in English, then contact the Church in Aquitaine: www.churchinaquitaine.org / or phone Reverend Dr Paul Vrolijk on: 05 53 23 40 73 < Wedding guides Two useful websites which include details of everything from venues for the reception to wedding car hire to florists and bands in the Dordogne are: www.mariages.net/mariage/dordogne and www.guide-du-mariage.com/mariage-24.html
Wedding traditions the internet. She did point out one drawback to this, however: “The flowers, decorations and food were arranged by the venue and I did not get to see them before the wedding day.” As non-residents, the couple were not able to have a legal ceremony in France but Mrs Douglin was determined to celebrate their wedding across the Channel: “We loved the idea of a French wedding so much that we went to the register office the day before we left and made it official.” If you would like to celebrate your nuptials à la française, here are some of the traditions observed across the country to give some inspiration:
The French prefer a croquembouche or pièce montée to a three-tier cake
< In France it is not only usual for the bride to be walked down the aisle by her father but the groom may also be accompanied by his mother, or the couple can make their entrance together with any children they may have. < After the ceremony is over and before the wedding reception, guests will be invited to raise a toast to the happy couple in a ritual known as the vin d’honneur, where a regional aperitif or Champagne may be served. < Cars driving to the reception venue are
decorated with ribbons and driven through the streets honking their horns. < Because of the costs involved, some guests may be asked to join the newlyweds for dessert rather than attend the full celebration. < The French prefer a croquembouche (also known as a pièce montée) instead of a threetier wedding cake. Profiteroles are piled high and held in place by spun sugar. < At the reception it is usual for games to be played. Jeu de la jarretière sees the bride’s garter auctioned off to guests who bid to help the newlyweds cover the cost of their wedding. < Once in their bedroom, husband and wife may be interrupted by friends wielding a chamber-pot filled with a suggestive “energy drink” containing chocolate, champagne and whole bananas. Known as la rôtie, it is a tradition that is being revived. < Before the happy couple set off on honeymoon, friends will decorate their car and prepare a panier des mariés — a basket of silly presents, such as a gnome for the garden, to equip them for married life.
< French wedding costume During the medieval and renaissance periods, wedding dresses were basically more elaborate versions of contemporary dresses and did not require any distinctive colouring. The bride’s best dress was transformed into a wedding dress, embellished by jewellery, embroidery, laces and small bits of finery, such as ornamental tags, bows, tassels, ribbons, beading etc. The white wedding dress as a token of the bride’s purity and innocence, is a relatively new concept. In biblical tradition, white symbolised joy, and blue represent<
ed purity. In a church filled with incense and flowers, the couple stand beneath a silk canopy. A predecessor of the veil, a square of silk fabric or carré, is held over the head of the bride and groom as the couple receive the priest’s final blessing. The carré was believed to protect the couple from descending <
malice. The same veil is used for the baptism of their child. During the Middle Ages, wedding guests would bring small cakes which would be stacked in a pile, as high as possible, in the centre of a table. If the bride and groom could kiss over them without knocking them over, it was thought to symbolise a lifetime of prosperity. The traditional French wedding celebration cake, known as croquembouche or today’s common term, la pièce montée, was invented by a French chef at the end of 17th century. The cake is made of small, creme-filled pastry puffs piled in a pyramid and covered in a caramel glaze and spun sugar.
Marquee company celebrates growing client base Despite the struggling economy, Ambiance Marquees had a very successful 2011 and is hiring out marquees and event equipment to more customers in France than ever before THIS year proved to be a good one for Ambiance Marquees. The company has seen plenty of repeat and new business, ranging from the hire of portable toilets to large-scale marquees seating over 200 people with all the accessories in tow. “It is always a great privilege to be involved in so many happy occasions and to see so many beautifully dressed marquees in so many wonderful locations,” said Charles Tapping, the owner and founder of Ambiance Marquees. “This year we have provided marquees for weddings, birthdays, garden parties, christenings, funerals and trade fairs, and covered the whole of the Aquitaine, from the Dordogne to the Gironde, as
well as Charente, Charente Maritime, and Lot-et-Garonne, with our furthest marquee being in Limousin.” For 2012 the company already has several marquees booked and is expanding its marquee footage to allow for even bigger events, although it can still cater for smaller events that seat 20 people. It is also extending the range of flooring and will now offer a wooden flooring option throughout the whole marquee. “We already offer carpet and coco matting if flooring is required and a wooden dance floor in any event,” said Charles, who says he is also acquiring more toilets for functions that are held on site without a marquee to help clients avoid
so many fosse septique problems. Linings, lighting and tables of various sizes are also available. “We continue to recognise that in the current economic climate it is more important than ever to provide a professional and reliable service at affordable rates - a recession does not mean that anyone should compromise on their special occasion,” said Charles. “As a family run business we are able to ensure that our standards are maintained while our costs are kept to a minimum.” In terms of durability, all of Ambiance’s marquees are substantial in their construction and not only conform to all the current European standards, but are also
Ambiance Marquees provides marquees and equipment for any occasion robust in adverse weather conditions and fire retardant. “They are safe wherever they are erected and whatever the weather,” said Charles, adding that the company tries to be as flexible as possible regarding delivery and removal times. “We received so many positive recommendations in 2011 from our clients that
we are looking forward to working even further afield and going from strength to strength in 2012,” he added. 06 30 94 78 28 05 57 69 63 81 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ambiancemarquees.com
14 What’s On
February 8 Julien Clerc Symphonique, Le Palio Espace Agora, 20.00 – One of France’s best-known modern day singer-songwriters, Julien Clerc, will be in concert near Périgueux this month.The concert will be composed of his most popular songs as well as new ones, all rewritten so that they can been sung accompanied by a symphony orchestra. Over the years, Clerc’s repertoire has ranged from his own compositions to classic French songs like “Comme Hier” by Brassens and “L'hymne à l'amour” by Edith Piaf. Prices range from €35 to €60. Call 05 53 02 40 80 or visit www.palio-boulazac.fr
Photo: © The Interesting Gardening club
Members of the Interesting Gardening Club enjoy a garden visit
Photo: ©PHOTOPQR/NICE MATIN/SERGE HAOUZI
who provide the all-important local knowledge gardeners need, especially for residents new to the area. The club is holding a Gardener’s question time in the Salle de Fetes in Lusignac on February 9, followed by an optional bring-and-share lunch. For further information and to join, contact the president, Jane Evans at email@example.com or membership secretary Gill Howl at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about the club at www. theinterestinggardeningclub.org.
MAD for drama AMATEUR dramatics society MADS is holding an Italian night on February 14. MADS is an English language theatre group which puts on plays in the Salle Polyvalente in Saint Colomb de Lauzun, near Eymet.
Church services THE Chaplaincy of Aquitaine is holding Ash Wednesday Holy Communion services in Limeuil at 10.30, in Bertric Burée at 11.00 and in Doudrac at 18.30 on February 22. A full list of services for the month plus further information can be found on their website at www.churchinaquitaine.org or contact the chaplain, the Reverend Dr Paul Vrolijk, on 05 53 23 40 73
Making music RIBÉRAC School of Music is looking for new members, and all ages and abilities are welcome. They meet on Thursday evenings at 20.30. For more information, call Michel Lorin on 05 53 90 87 50.
Beyonce Knowles with Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose in Dreamgirls, and right, Amanda Seyfried in Mamma Mia
CHARITIES across the Dordogne are reminding residents that they are always on the lookout for good quality second-hand clothing for the poor, especially during the winter months. The Secours Catholique, Secours Populaire Français and Croix Rouge have branches across the Dordogne. To find your nearest branch ask in your local Mairie. Croix Rouges have branches in Le Bugue, Périgueux, Bergerac and Sarlat. Alternatively visit their websites: Secours Populaire Française: www.spf24.org/fede24, Secours Catholique: http://dordogne. secours-catholique.org/
Membership is €15 per annum individually, €20 for a family. For further details on the event or on joining MADS, contact 05 53 24 56 11 or email email@example.com
Photo: © ALPHAPRESS/M
Photo: © Magnus Manske-wik
WITH spring just around the corner, why not join a gardening club to fill you with inspiration? The Interesting Gardening Club meets in and around Lusignac, and welcomes members of all ages from across the Dordogne. Past events have included a talk on soft fruits, tips on starting a garden from scratch, a plant swap and a Christmas tea party. The aim of the club, which was started in 2004, is to support and encourage British gardeners, and to promote an exchange of current and traditional gardening ideas. The club also has French members
February Mamma Mia, Dreamgirls, Cap Cinéma, Place Francheville – This month two films, both musicals, will be showing in English; Dreamgirls and Mamma Mia. Mamma Mia is probably the most well-known, and stars Meryl Streep as an ex-singer who has to announce to her soon to be married daughter (Amanda Seyfried) that any one of three men could be her father.The story unfolds on a beautiful Greek island to a background of Abba songs. Dreamgirls was released in 2006 and stars Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy and is the story of a Cadillac salesman who becomes the manager of a group of R&B singers called the Dreamettes. He starts his own record label and the story follows the trials and tribulations of trying to launch the group and what happens afterwards. On going to press dates and times had not been confirmed, although the paper was assured the two films would be showing. Contact Cap Cinéma for further information. Call 05 53 03 92 91 or visit www.capcinema.fr February 22 - Tea-time! The very active Franco-British group is getting together once again, this time for a bilingual quiz and to play Scrabble, as well as other board games. Call the group if you are interested in joining them for this and the many other events it holds; Call 05 53 80 43 69
Promote your community event, send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: © thebarrowboy-flickr.com
What’s On 15
Périgord Noir Sarlat
February 18-19 Fest’oie – Once again Sarlat will come alive with honking geese as they are let loose in the streets for the town’s annual goose festival.The traditional brass bands will be back to compete with the noise made by the animals, local producers and artisans will show off their wares. A huge 16-course feast will be laid on at midday on Sunday. Call 05 53 31 45 45 www.sarlat-tourisme.com
Périgord Vert - Fotolia.com Photo: © chanelle
Various Locations FOOD
Photo: © www.zfre nchchef.files.wordpr
February is the month of fine dining for the Périgord Vert, with a multitude of food markets to whet the appetite, alongside gastronomic evenings offered by associations and restaurants. For a night out, l’Entente Cordiale in Abjat-sur-Bandiat offers themed evenings every Friday and Saturday throughout the month including tapas, Chinese, Indian and, of course, a Valentine’s special. Call 05 53 56 81 01 www.ententecordiale.net
Every year in February the Fêtes Art du Boulou association organises a Chabrol evening. A chabrol is where you eat soup and then pour red wine into the remains of the soup and then drink the mixture directly from the bowl.The evening starts at 19.30 in the Salle des Associations at La-Gonterie-Boulouneix. Call 05 53 05 56 71 www.fetes-art.org
mann - Fotolia.com
Photo: © www.fetes-art.o rg
Photo: © Corinna Gisse
February 10 Orchestre National de Bordeaux, Centre Culturel, 21.00 – A concert directed by Alexander Lazarev, one of Russia’s foremost conductors. Price €30 Call 05 53 31 09 49 or visit www.sarlat.fr
Photo: © digital_freak-flickr.com
February 15 West Side Story concert version, Centre Culturel, 20.45 – The Percussion Claviers from Lyon have joined forces with the Soloists of Lyon to revisit this famous piece.This is an original adaptation combining a percussion quintet, singers and piano to deliver an unforgettable interpretation of this musical which is full of emotion. Prices from €34 - €39 Call 05 53 74 30 94
February 11 Le Crépuscule des Dieux, Place des Fossés, 20.00 – Live transmission from the Metropolitan opera house in New York,Wagner’s opera Twilight of the Gods, part four of The Ring of the Nibelung. Call 05 53 07 22 83
Advertise here ALL YEAR from just €165HT Call free on 0800 91 77 56 or email email@example.com
DORDOGNE DIRECTORY English-speaking firms near you For your security, we check that the French businesses in this section are officially registered with the authorities
Find registered tradespeople quickly and easily By advertising in our directory you get the chance to run advertorials (the articles you see on these pages.) 1/3 page, maximum 500 words plus photo, €200HT 2/3 page, maximum 1,000 words plus photo, €400HT We will keep you up to date with features and special events in your area of
La Creme de la Creme Small, Caring, purpose built DOG FREE cattery near Nontron.
Tel: 05 53 56 05 17 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.la-creme-de-la-creme.com siret 51963554400017
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The Cats Inn Luxury Cattery - Cales near Lalinde - Very Spacious - Lots of Love and Attention Tel: Paula 05 53 24 14 42 www.thecatsinncattery.com paulaL24150@aol.com Siret No.520 980 269 00010
THE DORDOGNE CATTERY Ad No. 10862
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GOLDENWAY INTERNATIONAL PETS & LIVE ANIMALS
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PARKES et DUCELIER
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BOIS D'ARBRE CONSTRUCTION Specialists in Oak frames, Timber houses and carpentry Tel: 06 72 01 11 06 web: www.boisdarbreconstruction.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org Siret 4899 5394 30011
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HOW TO BOOK AN ADVERT Choose the size of your advert from the examples on the left. You can have a black and white advert; or you can choose a colour from the list below. Finally, you can choose to have rounded corners to the box to help make your advert stand out (See right). Then, when you have made your choice,
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• Renovation • Masonry • Plastering • Plus Hard Landscaping Tel: 05 53 29 08 86 Mob: 07 60 52 43 40 30km radius Sarlat ( 24 ) Siret : 513 209 189
Experienced couriers specialising in pet travel between France / UK / Spain or within France. Pet passport advice. Tel: 0044 (0) 1483200123 Email: email@example.com Web: www.animalcouriers.com
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New sales record for Houses on Internet in 2011 Despite the struggling economy, Houses on Internet managed to increase the number of sold properties by 25% in the past year - and the company’s turnover rose by 27% RICHARD Kroon, founder and director of Houses on Internet, an internet-marketing company that helps private owners of French properties to sell without using an agent, is obviously very pleased with this ongoing success of his company. Based in the Creuse, Limousin, Houses on Internet covers all of France with a full-time staff of four and 69 local freelancers throughout the country. They now have properties for sale in 19 of the 22 regions. The difference in sales between the regions are huge though, Richard says. In 2011 the Limousin was the best per-
forming region, followed by Normandy and then Languedoc-Roussillon. Traditional buyers of French property have always been French, British, Dutch and Belgian, but the number of nationalities is rapidly increasing. The key is how to reach those people and for Houses on Internet the answer is simple: continuous global advertising. “An excellent Google ranking is crucial and so we keep optimising our website and advertise all over the internet, literally worldwide,” said Richard. Over the past six months more than 110,000 people each month, on average, have visited the company’s website from
26 different countries. Last year over 1.2 million people visited the site. Richard added: “That is where it starts: first you advertise and then you keep advertising until traffic to the website increases. As a result sales also increase, even in a shrinking market, as most of these visitors are potential buyers of French property.” In 2011, all of this resulted in sales to people from countries like Finland, Sweden, Russia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. “This is why we have managed to keep growing,” said Richard. “The ‘traditional’ buyers are more careful now and in many cases have to sell their own house first to be able to buy another. So we have to look for ‘new’ buyers a little bit further away. That is why global
Qualified Builder 15 Years Experience
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advertising, something we did from the day we started, is crucial.”
C&C CONSTRUCTION SARL
Richard Kroon is the founder and director of Houses on Internet
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AXA INSURANCE J. LECLUZE ST HILAIRE DU HARCOUET - 50600
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To advertise here call freephone in France 0800 91 77 56 / from UK 0844 256 9881 (4p/min)
A Dordogne pioneer Pioneer comes out on top for Dordogne property sales DORDOGNE-based Pioneer France has bucked the trend by achieving high property sales centred in the Périgord Noir. Harris Raphael, Pioneer France’s managing partner said: “Our role is focused on four things only: the property itself, the price, the marketing and our client relationships.” Good properties, correctly priced By specialising in larger houses, manoirs and chateaux of the Perigord Noir and the surrounding areas, Pioneer France ensures that its properties always hold attractions for someone, though Harris stresses that sensible pricing remains critical to a successful sale. “A good property that is reasonably priced will
FRENCH INSURANCE IN ENGLISH For people who live in / own property in France Straight-forward, honest advice on the best house, car, life & health insurance policies for you Over 15 years experience in French insurance markets English, Dutch & German spoken. Philippe Schreinemachers www.insurance.fr Tel: 05 62 29 20 00 Email: email@example.com RCS Auch B479 400 657 - Regions: All France
€ U R R E N C Y
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PIONEER FRANCE Best rates from the market leader firstname.lastname@example.org www.pioneerfrance.com/currency Tel: 05 53 07 06 27
of Pioneer’s sales are currently to clients from outside of Europe.
sell, but price is a function of both the general value of the property and the state of the market, as well as client expectation.” Harris and his team are realistic with sellers when valuing properties, accepting only those that are appropriately priced. Well-targeted marketing Pioneer France is particularly known for adopting a very proactive marketing strategy, thus generating a strong enquiry flow. “We generate international exposure for our clients’ properties by placing them with high profile websites that cover Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Australasia, as well as on our own and local sites. We therefore achieve well-targeted exposure for each property,” said Harris. As a consequence, 70%
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St Pool Piscines
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The client’s perspective It is Harris and his team’s refreshing commitment to strong client relationships, however, that has helped fuel Pioneer France’s growth. Chris and Mandy Campion, the successful sellers of their €600,000 property through Pioneer France in January, said: “Harris and his team were excellent, very professional. They took time to understand the property, our needs and expectations, and kept in constant touch, introducing a good flow of prospective purchasers and then giving us feedback. Their advice, guidance and negotiating skills were critical in helping us to achieve our sale.” Another client, Indian-based buyer, Alwyn Bowden, said: “Pioneer’s knowledge of the geographic area and the state of the market, together with their foreign
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Your Helping Hand to the French Health System
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Souillac Golf & Country Club Play golf all year round in the Dordogne Valley.
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£ R A N S F E R
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TIP TOP Garden & Property Services
Garden Maintenance Hedge Trimming - Trees Cutting - Strimming General Property Maintenance Property checks/Keyholding Photo updates Contact Barry On Tel: 05 53 29 03 52 Mobile: 06 24 07 31 14 E: email@example.com Dept 24 - Radius 50 kms Sarlat Siret: 49372365400015
Challenging 18-hole course, driving range, pools, tennis, bar, restaurant, accommodation
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Golf Pass Dordogne
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pools-piscines.com Swimming pool construction and repairs siret 322 963 190 000 36
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exchange facilities and other services, meant that they could advise on, and handle, all aspects of our purchase, actually making the experience enjoyable.”
Complete package including groundwork, terracing/decking and pool security.
Natural pools - Replacement liners standard and liner 'armé' 150/100
The Pioneer France team: Olivier, Harris (seated), Tanya and Shaun
- Relaxing massage with organic oils - Wave and vibration massage techniques - Energising massage - Shiatsu Amma Assis
Café Church Bergerac An English speaking approach to contemporary Christianity Tea and Cake from 5pm
Tel: 06 79 67 38 06
February 25, March 24, April 28
One stop for all your renovation works. Specialists in kitchens and bathrooms. Free devis/quotes.
Sponsored by and held at L'Eglise Evangelique Libre de Bergerac, 5 Rue Durou
Phone: 05 53 61 77 28 / 06 85 16 35 69 e-mail: email@example.com
For more details contact Reverend Derek & Pam Cook firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Shire 05 53 22 74 08
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To advertise here call freephone in France 0800 91 77 56 / from UK 0844 256 9881 (4p/min)
Makeovers & Design English Kitchens/ Bathrooms/appliances direct from UK manufacturers Full range of French kitchens supplied Free design/planning service Installations/Makeovers/ Installations Only/Tiling Granite and Stone worksurfaces available Areas: 24 33 47 Call 05 53 58 09 32 or 06 58 92 09 97 siret: 510 011 554 00019
HEATHROW LEFT HAND DRIVE CENTRE LTD Rear Of 55 Cowley Road, Uxbridge UB8 2AE Tel: +44 (0)208 8487407 Tel: +44 (0)1895 81 23 23 Mobile: +44 (0)7811 784766
We Specialise in buying and selling Left Hand Drive quality vehicles.
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Good value glasses provided by online retailer As the cost of living continues to rise, affording basic essentials is more expensive than ever before. But when it comes to sourcing high quality, sensibly-priced eyewear, UK online company Spex4Less has glasses for all budgets
IT IS currently not unusual for the price of a pair of bog standard varifocal glasses to top the €500 mark and with the cost of living increasing daily that figure is not likely to decrease in the near future. Fortunately high quality spectacles can be purchased online, and one UK firm, Spex4Less, has developed a way of providing a quality optical service to expats in France. Slightly different to many online retailers of cheap glasses, Spex4less offers the best of both worlds, with glasses from
just £19.95 and high quality designer brands, such as Gucci, Dior and Prada. In addition to this, all of the company’s varifocal lenses are manufactured within the UK by Hoya and most of the designer frames are handmade in Italy. Spex4Less not only supplies prescription glasses worldwide, but also offers a wide range of sunglasses, prescription sunglasses, prescription sportswear and optical accessories, from prescription ski goggles down to prescription diving masks, as well as a service for utilising
old frames. All of the company’s optical staff are highly qualified and can assist you with any query, whether by telephone, email or an online chat session. It is comforting to know that the team has over one hundred years of combined optical experience in total. Managing Director John Styles has spoken about the cost of glasses abroad and feels Spex4Less can help provide a good balance of price and quality while ensuring customers still receive the very best solution for their visual needs. “We have striven to achieve a balance between the expensive high street chain prices and the bargain basement prices found all over the internet,” said John. “Our ethos is such that we treat all our customers with respect and communicate with them on a personal basis. Our experience is that customers are sick of being on an anonymous conveyor belt when buying on the internet. We stick to the old-fashioned values of great customer service and empathy with our customers’ needs. “We’re always contactable and you can speak to a familiar voice on the end of the phone. We serve thousands of British expats worldwide and many live in France where I have personally seen the exorbitant cost of eyewear throughout the country.
“ Online, UK-based Spex4Less aims to provide a high standard of customer service as well as affordable, quality eyewear
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Free advice and quotes, based in the Dordogne, covering all of France. Tel: 05 53 52 45 82 or 06 32 83 35 97
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We have striven to achieve a balance between the expensive high street chain prices and the bargain basement prices found all over the internet.
“Spex4less helps out many of our expat customers by providing a timely, friendly and cost-effective way of buying reasonably-priced eyewear direct from the UK. In fact, it has proven so popular that word has got around and native French speakers are now buying directly from us - I think that speaks volumes.” A simple look at testimonials left on review sites and forums highlights the level of service that every customer receives - and it is something that has not gone unnoticed. A recent customer, Mr J Lakin from Minzac, France, said: “Spex4Less has provided a fantastic service. We live in France and while everyday living and understanding the French language is no problem, for expats the technical ‘stuff ’ is often beyond us - and buying glasses is no exception. Because of this it is easy to go to the opticians and spend a fortune. “Online glasses retailers are starting to appear, but to the uninitiated they can be hard work and full of potential hazards. Although they can be offset against CPAM and assurances, the amounts are small. “Our entire customer journey, from the initial phone call down to receiving six pairs of glasses that are of the highest quality, makes the service and pricing at Spex4Less impossible to beat.” It is quite clear to see that the company has all bases covered, and that the team has invested a lot of time into ensuring that international service levels are the same as are currently provided in the United Kingdom. Spex4Less has ensured that it is fully capable of translating and interpreting any foreign prescription and European postage is priced at a sensible £7.95. With the price of eyewear in France constantly rocketing, it makes perfect sense to give Spex4Less a try.
• Complete property management • Change overs • Professional laundry services • Gardening/Pool Services • Keyholding • Security checks
www.accmonline.com Tel: +33 (0)553793564
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SECURITY SYSTEMS Alarm calls up to 4 numbers if activated. NO ANNUAL CONTRACTS OR MONTHLY PAYMENTS. Wireless or wired. Cameras with 24/7 recording + Internet access. Security lighting.
Tel: 06 27 76 95 91
E: email@example.com W: www.aquitainealarmes.com Regions Covered: 24, 33, 17, 16 SIRET 50793843900019
EcoPower The World's Leading Solar Systems Tel: 05 53 62 31 35 www.ecopower.eu.com
MOVE IN EUROPE The removal company even the furniture recommends UK - Europe - Europe - UK
www.moveineurope.com firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 121 3503111 Home Tel: 05 53 93 75 52
SELF STORAGE DOVER Convenient Flexible Consolidation Point Working with the Movers Tel: +44(0) 1304 822844 email@example.com www.doverstorage.co.uk All France
REFLEX MOODYS LTD SALISBURY
REMOVALS UK - FRANCE - UK
• Weekly Service • Full & Part Loads • Container Storage • BAR Members • On-line Quotation • Internet Shopping Deliveries
00 44 1722 414350 firstname.lastname@example.org www.reflexmoodys.com Company Regn No: UK 5186435 TVA / VAT No: UK 864 7217 04
Connexion helpguides Up-to-date, impartial information on a range of topics for life in France
€5 ...and many more helpguides available To help readers make the most of life in France The Connexion has produced a series of helpguides on practical topics. The guides address questions about everyday life in France that we frequently receive at our offices. These include how to fill out a French income tax form, residential taxes, employing help at home such as a gardener and letting out your French home. The helpguides, priced €5 and €7.50, are produced independently by Connexion journalists or in partnership with Conseils des Notaires de France. Download the helpguides at www.connexionfrance.com or call FREE from France 0800 91 77 56 or for just 4p/min from the UK 0844 256 9881
REMOVALS & STORAGE Murray Harper
European transport & storage ENGLAND, FRANCE, SPAIN Scheduled collection and delivery service guaranteed Established 30 years in the industry
www.murrayharper.com Tel: (0034) 952 793 422 or (0034) 952 807 692 email@example.com
Loca Plastow DESIGNER
Special rates to S/W France 13.6m/45ft trailer - Full/Part loads Removals/materials/vehicles 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 www.georgewhiteeuropean.co.uk
Tool & Plant Hire From Diggers, Dumpers Rollers To Small DIY Projects Floor Sanders - Rotavators Scaffolding towers - Mixers Tel: 05 53 83 40 67 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org D933 Between Eymet & Miramont Siret 483 433 264
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Tel: 05 61 64 98 89 Email: email@example.com Web: simplybritish.fr REGION: Shop 09, mail order throughout France
A LA FERME English butchers and farmers in France. Beef, Lamb, Pork Pasties, steak pies, pork pies. Bacon, gammon, sausages.
MOVING TO OR FROM FRANCE? Weekly services to & from France
Full or part loads, 4 wks free storage, 30 Years experience
Bespoke insulated packaging used for delivery throughout France. Raymond&Sophie Hicks www.boucheriealaferme.com Tel: 05 55 97 95 66 Mob: 06 45 51 34 58
direct to the Dordogne curtains, fabric, soft furnishings, wallpaper made to measure delivered direct top UK brands competitive pricing friendly, expert advice
www.anglofoods.com Come and stock up on all your Christmas needs including Crackers, Chocolates and Turkeys
WOODBURNERS.FR Traditional cast iron multifuel and woodburning stoves. Option for fire back boilers on most models. Delivered to your door or installed. Also coal now available. Contact us for (solar) renewable energy air source pumps to replace your gas or oil fired systems. See our website on
www.woodburners.fr Tel/fax or Email 05 53 84 36 81 Mob 06 72 02 88 29 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Clean Burn - Fire Visible Boiler versions available Deliveries all over France Prices on our website Lowest Prices Guaranteed Tel: 00 44 (0) 1392 861579 www.ashgrovestoves.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Quality Uk Emulsion White & Magnolia 10LTS - Unbeatable Price Local Drop Off Points - Dept 24 Ring or Email for Further Details & Prices - Tel: 09 62 21 46 27/ 06 78 17 47 53 Email:email@example.com
A wide range of quality indoor furniture and sofas supplied and delivered direct to your French property saving you time and money. New showroom "Meubles New Ideas" near Brive(19) now open. For full colour brochure please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0033 (0) 6 46 49 73 45 or 0033 (0) 5 55 25 02 68 www.furnitureforfrance.co.uk
FRENCH-MODE Ltd Classic furniture made in Italy by Retigritti
- Anti-rust treated steel outdoor Tables and Chairs - Natural quarry cut marble tables with black cast iron legs, the typical French Bistro and Cafe table.
KANGAROO KARDS Leaps Ahead!
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PAINT - BRAND NAME
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Ash Grove Stoves Supplier of Hunter - Villager
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1 Rue Des Martyrs, Lalinde 24150
Tel: 05 46 48 32 44
AARROW YEOMAN STOVAX VILLAGER France Agent - P.E.P Leisure Ltd
Brian + Cheri Hewitt Lalinde Affaires
Siret no 45204687300017
Large stocks available Prime & Character grades Oiled & waxed finishes Special offers from 12 € / m²
To advertise here call freephone in France 0800 91 77 56 / from UK 0844 256 9881 (4p/min)
Siret: 509 528 014 00012
Bar & Guild Member Contact: Anglo French Removals Tel: +44 (0) 1622 690 653 Email: email@example.com
Trading Since 2005
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with professional archaeologist Steve Burman Lascaux II, Font de Gaume & more!
www.cavesandcastles.com firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 05 53 50 31 21 - 06 76 46 67 38
Book your ad now for the March issue - copy deadline February 5 - call freephone in France 0800 91 77 56 from UK 0844 256 9881 (4p/min)
Advertise your business from just €165HT
Get even more impact by adding a one off Advertorial from €250HT. This popular advertising option allows you the space to explain what your business offers using a combination of words and photos.
MAKE 2012 A SUCCESS, ADVERTISE WITH THE CONNEXION Call Clare on 0800 91 77 56 or email email@example.com
Car boot sales around the area this month February 4 - Lunas, Saint-Germain-duSalembre February 5 - Lunas, Périgueux, Verteillac February 6 - Hautefort February 12 - Bergerac, Montpon-Ménestérol,
Saint-Astier February 18 - Tremolat February 19 - Bergerac, Le Fleix, Naussannes February 26 - Monestier, Saint-Léon-sur-l'Isle, Sarlat-la-Canéda
Dordogne Clubs and Associations Alcoholics Anonymous Périgueux. Ewen: 05 53 05 76 62 firstname.lastname@example.org www.aafrancesud-ouest.com Anglican Church of Aquitaine Services: Bertric Burée, Chancelade, Limeuil Haut, Ste Nathalène and Sorges, also in 47, 33. Chaplain Revd Dr Paul Vrolijk 05 53 23 40 73 email@example.com Association Culturelle Franco-Anglaise Aquitaine From French lessons to bridge, plus monthly social get-togethers. www.acfaa.com Association Culturelle Internationale du Périgord ACIP aims to promote integration.
Lycette Schouten Hoogendyk: 05 53 29 27 96 firstname.lastname@example.org www.acip24.com Association Française des Solos Monthly meetings after divorce, bereavement or separation. Social events for members. Corinne: 05 53 22 68 52 (evenings) or Claire: 05 53 08 55 13 (evenings) email@example.com www.asso-des-solos.fr Bergerac Photo Club Meets Wed at 20.30, Maison des Associations, Place Jules Ferry, Bergerac. firstname.lastname@example.org www.photoclub-bergerac.com Bibliothèque Anglaise Meyrals
English books and DVDs. Mon 14.00 to 16.00 and Wed 10.00 to noon in 24220 Meyrals. Em Boiling: 05 53 30 30 23 email@example.com
Centre de Golf Bergeracois Philippa Thornton: 05 53 58 87 18 firstname.lastname@example.org Golf Public de Périgueux
Cancer Support France Dordogne Est/Lot Margaret York: 05 65 22 96 37 or 06 35 90 03 41 (24 hrs) email@example.com
05 53 53 02 35 firstname.lastname@example.org www.golfdeperigueux.com
Cancer Support France Ribérac (Charente South and Dordogne West) Valerie Wareham: 06 43 67 86 11 email@example.com
The Interesting Gardening Club Carol Temple: 05 53 91 34 96 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theinterestinggardeningclub.org
Chabrelle Computer Club Charlie Nott: La Roche Chabrelle 24320 St Just 05 53 90 50 39
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For a taste of France D I Y t i p s grow a herb garden Sponsored by
Photos: © Carly Hennigan – Fotolia.com
oregano – l’origan sage – la sauge rosemary – le romarin thyme – le thyme parsley – le persil mint – la menthe chives – la ciboulette bay – le laurier rosemary – le romarin basil – le basilic compost – le compost soil – la terre to prune – tailler to trim – tailler (légèrement)
A sunny spot near to a kitchen window can make an ideal spot for growing herbs, where sunlight, a supply of fresh air and good drainage will help them to thrive Herbs with a tendency to be sure to leave windows spread, such as oregano and open slightly for an hour or mint, can be grown in conso each day as the herbs will tainers and need their own need fresh air. pots. These As for where should rest in to plant them, saucers and there are many have drainage options, from M ost herbs holes. hanging bas“Humidity kets, to window don’t like to be is important, so boxes, wooden overwatered, put containers containers and on a tray with clay pots. which is shown gravel or small Most herbs by yellowing stones that is will grow well kept damp to in containers leaves, but they allow water to and indoors, don’t like being evaporate and but the size of humidify the the plant needs dried out, either plants above. to be consid“It is essential ered. “The to have free–draining potting herbs will get trimmed for medium – a good compost or use in the kitchen so pruning a mix of compost and soil.” is not really a problem.”
To keep the plants healthy, Jayne says to pick a fertiliser that has a low level of phosphorous, as you are growing herbs for their leaves, not flowers. “We use organic plant feed made from nettles or comfrey, but a liquid feed or long–lasting pellets will do. They should be fed when potted up and then every couple of months, as the compost loses its nutrients. “Most herbs don’t like to be overwatered, which is shown by yellowing leaves, but they don’t like being dried out, either “If the grower has house plants, they can generally treat herbs in much the same way. In general, annual herbs taste best before they flower.”
Photo: © evangelo66 - Fotolia.com
Keep gutters clear of the leaves that cause leaks
Photo: © Valda – Fotolia.com
WHEN choosing which herbs to plant, go for the most versatile ones and those that are easiest to look after. First, check that the plants are healthy to avoid bringing unwanted pests into the house. “Most people prefer to grow culinary herbs indoors for use throughout the winter months and in general, these herbs are small and ideal for indoor containers,” says Jayne Watkins, of Penstemon and Herb nursery in Indre (www. penstemonsandherbs.com). Common indoor herbs include oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, chives, bay and rosemary. Basil is a favourite for use in cooking but is not easy to grow. “If you’ve got an established plant, then it will do OK on a windowsill, but you do need the right conditions and it might not be sunny enough in winter,” said Jayne. Light is the most important factor when it comes to growing herbs indoors. Some herbs in particular are sun–worshippers, especially thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano. “Optimum conditions needed for herbs to grow are a sunny windowsill, providing at least five hours a day of sunlight, good humidity and room temperature. The plants can be placed outside to grab a bit of sun when possible throughout the winter if the light is a problem.” If there is not enough sunlight in the final winter months, you could also use clamp–on reflector lights which have compact fluorescent bulbs. Rotating your plants every week will stop them leaning to one side, and
Fix leaky gutters to protect house Photo:© rekemp – Fotolia.com
Herbs are often used to add piquancy to French food, and growing a herb garden in your kitchen means that you can have a sprig of thyme or leaf of basil at your fingertips and bring some herbal fragrance indoors. REBECCA LAWN shows you the basics.
Herbs thrive in decent pots and kept humid – but over-watering turns leaves yellow
LEAKING gutters may seem harmless but if left they can be the cause of damp inside your house which can result in severe damage such as rot in timbers. Checking them regularly and making repairs if necessary should be an essential part of your house upkeep. Metal gutters These are difficult to take apart due to corrosion of the joint bolts, so it is best to try to seal leaks with a sealant. It is important to clean the section first by scraping it and then drying it. Next inject the sealant using an applicator gun. Leave to harden then test that it is watertight by pouring water into the gutter. If this has not worked then the section will need to be dismantled. To do this: using a hack saw, cut through the bolt so that it is flush with the bottom of the gutter. Next gently tap the joint with a hammer to separate the sections. Be careful not to damage anything. Clean the inside of the joint using a wire brush to take off rust and a flat-headed screwdriver if need be to gently chisel away any old sealant. Apply a layer of metal primer to the cleaned parts; once this is dry apply a thick layer of gutter sealant on both the joint piece and the gutter section, fit them together and bolt firmly together with a new bolt. Plastic gutters Leaks in plastic gutters are usually due to a fault with the rubber gasket that the section sits on in the union piece and then forms the seal. Either dirt has accumulated and is forcing the seal open or the gasket is worn. In many cases leaks can be fixed by simply cleaning out the guttering. If the gasket is worn then it obviously needs to be replaced. To check what the problem is squeeze the sides of the gutter section to release it from the union piece. If there is dirt simply clean it out and replace the section. If the gasket is damaged then peel it off and fit a new one. If you cannot find a new gasket to fit then another solution is to fill the space left by the old gasket with gutter or silicone sealant. To put back into place squeeze the section of guttering and gently slide back into the union piece. If sealant has been used instead of a new gasket then it is advisable to apply a layer of sealant on the outside of the guttering as well just under where the union piece and gutter section meet. Gutter maintenance You should check your guttering annually and have a good clean out of any leaves and natural debris. A good tip is to cover the opening of the down pipe before clearing anything so that nothing dislodges and gets washed down the pipe potentially causing a blockage.
Houses for sale in and around Dordogne Buying or selling a property in or around Dordogne? We can help. Our website www.connexionfrance.com carries details of more than 14,000 homes for sale across France.
We also feature properties for sale in this dedicated section of the paper each month. To find out more about any particular property, go to www.connexionfrance.com and enter the ref: code shown under the property.
Photo: © Monkey Business – Fotolia.com
For sellers, the adverts are also displayed across a range of popular Englishspeaking websites and are seen by thousands of potential buyers EVERY day. Our 3+3 package costs just
€200TTC and gives you three months online advertising as well as a print advert in three editions of The Advertiser. Our 6+6 package is best value at €330TTC and provides the same, but for six months via each channel.
New Consumption and Emission Chart - e.g. Energy rating C & F refers to C for Consumption and F for Emissions
Contact us on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More details on all these properties - and how to contact the seller directly - can be found in the property for sale section of
www.connexionfrance.com Simply enter the code under each home to find out more PROPERTIES IN DORDOGNE
Piégut-Pluviers This 2-bed house comprises a living room with large French windows, a kitchen, a large living and dining room with fireplace, a WC and a laundry room on the ground floor.
Ribérac House of 136m2 - 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, large living/dining area with built-in kitchen and large fireplace. Central heating throughout with wood boiler. Independent driveway.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = D & E
Younger gardeners can help out with winter tasks
Keep active with those winter jobs by STAFF REPORTER
Ribérac Lovely farmhouse in good order composed of three bedrooms, big kitchen facing the terrace and courtyard with chimney and Godin wood burning stove, lounge and bathroom.
Jumilhac-le-Grand Great Périgourdian barn conversion, 3 and a half acres of land and stream - all with wonderful views. Well presented 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom family home. ENERGY RATING = Not given
FEBRUARY can be the coldest of the winter months even though spring is just around the corner. How much you are able to do in the garden this month will depend on the temperature and the weather conditions. It would be better to put off sowing seeds if the ground is waterlogged, as seeds will rot rather than germinate but if the ground is not waterlogged or frozen, the soil will retain some warmth, so now is a good time to plant a new hedge, shrubs and trees. You can also replace roses as the warm soil will encourage root growth. Draw up a list of hardier species to replace those lost during the winter. At this time of year, moss will grow at a faster rate than grass. However, you can kill it with ferrous sulphate (le sulfate ferreux) which allows grass to grow in its place. If you have a snowdrop display, clear away any dead leaves, so that you can enjoy the first signs of spring. Draw up plans for your summer garden, taking into consideration your view from different angles in the house. During a season when the garden is not full of colour, you can better assess the structure of the garden. Trees with attractive bark – such as birch – draw the eye naturally all year round. On your patio, protect any less hardy shrubs and climbers with hessian or straw during cold patches and force any potted spring bulbs such as tuberous begonias, hyacinths and Achimenes planted during the autumn. Prune winter jasmine once it has finished flowering, and wisteria. In the greenhouse, sow cucumbers and tomatoes and prune climbers around your conservatory, but try to avoid overwatering in cold weather. Outside, it is time to plant trees and shrubs and lay lawns when conditions are favourable. Prepare vegetable seed beds and cut back deciduous grasses. If you have been dreaming about a pond in the garden to sit around during the summer, now would be a good time to dig it and allow it to fill with spring rain. The deepest section should be at least 60cm (2ft) deep to reduce the risk of the pond freezing entirely. Gentle gradients between the bank and pool, and shallow and deep sections will encourage wildlife and make shallow water plants look more natural. A grille over the pool is a good idea if you have young children. Judge the size of the mesh to prevent accidents, while allowing access to wildlife and do ensure that the mesh does not detract from the natural beauty of the pool.
JARDILAND ROUTE D'AGEN BERGERAC OPEN 7am-7pm 05.53.63.54.70
Villars Beautiful stone character house on 1,600 m2 of land in quiet location. 5 rooms including 3 bedrooms. Living area about 180 m2. Garage and cellar. Nearby shops. A must see.
Thiviers Beautiful 4-bed property with 7 rooms, a gatehouse with interior which needs to be renovated, 3 barns and other outbuildings. Land of approximately 12,000m2 with truffles.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Villefranche-de-Lonchat Set in a quiet protected hamlet this pretty detached stone cottage with 4 bedrooms has plenty of rustic charm. Recently renovated, with partial double glazing and central heating.
Saint-Cyprien The house has a large living room with fireplace, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 WC. Pool 8x4 m. Delightful garden of 1,500m² with mature trees.
ENERGY RATING = E
Villefranche-de-Lonchat Spacious accommodation comprising 3 bedrooms, fully fitted kitchen, dining area, salon, utility room, separate WC and family bathroom. The current living space could be increased.
St-Saud-Lacoussière This is a restored home in a lovely secluded valley with river access near to the little village of St Saud Lacoussière. It has fantastic views across the river valley and is steeped in history. ENERGY RATING = Not given
Bertric-Burée The property has been converted to a high specification while retaining its character. Each spacious bedroom has its own modern equipped bathroom and there is a mezzanine level study.
La Coquille Renovated to a very high standard with quality fixtures, views over its own 2.7 hectares of land. 4 bedrooms all with luxury ensuite shower rooms, hand made kitchen with appliances.
ENERGY RATING = D
Issigeac 4-bed property with large kitchen, 2 spacious living rooms, separate dining room, 4 ensuite bedrooms, swimming pool with terraced surround and distinctive architectural features.
Verteillac Renovated stone barn with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, situated in a garden of 1,800m2 overlooking a quiet Dordogne valley. Double glazed doors lead from every room onto terraces.
ENERGY RATING = E
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = D
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Population grows as more choose to live in Dordogne
Donkey neglect claim THE manager of a farm in Touron has been charged with mistreating animals after donkeys were found to have been neglected and underfed. The woman, who regularly hosted school trips at her teaching farm, faces a fine of up to €750.
Green police on patrol
by REBECCA LAWN THE image of a Dordogne with a dwindling population has been shattered by the latest census figures. Some 424,456 people now live in the department, after a boost in numbers of 2,515 last year. Migration was the main reason for the increase across Aquitaine, according to Insee, the national statistics office. Twice as many people moved to the area during the 2000s as in the 1990s, with many retirees settling in the region. On January 1, 2011, Aquitaine’s population was estimated at more than 3,258,000 inhabitants, making it the sixth most populated region in France. The number increased by 10% between 1999 and 2008. Some 62% of Aquitains were born in the region, whilst 1.2 million were born elsewhere. Among these, six in 10 were born in a foreign country or in the regions of Ile-de-France, Midi-Pyrénées or Poitou-Charentes. After several years of seeing its population drop, Périgueux and its suburbs grew in number last year, and Marsac saw a record increase. Sarlat, after years of decline, once again passed the 10,000 inhabitant mark. However, the population of Bergerac dropped by 100, and Creysse, which had more than 2,300 residents in 1999, has 1902 today. Bardou, near Issigeac, remains the
WATCH out for the green police in Périgueux city centre. Four officers, known as the ‘Brigade Vert’ will patrol public areas such as parks to remind people to respect the environment. Answerable to the head of the municipal police, they are targeting antisocial behaviour, littering and dog fouling.
Father on abuse charge A SARLAT man has been charged with sexually assaulting minors. The man, 53, is accused of sexually assaulting his daughter, 11, and her friend and has been placed on supervised bail until his court case in April.
Fine dining at college A SERIES of themed dinners with food prepared by aspiring chefs are planned by the Ecole Superieure Internationale. Funded by the Dordogne Chambre de Commerce, it provides hospitality and catering courses delivered partly or wholly in English. The gourmet evenings include ‘A Dinner in the Style of Jamie Oliver’ and will take place throughout 2012. Meals cost between €18 and €25. For more information e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The bustling high street in Sarlat, which is growing in population department’s smallest commune with just 41 inhabitants. This year’s census began on January 19 and will continue until February 18 or 25, depending on the commune size. About 485,000 people in Aquitaine will be asked to fill in an individual or household census. It is obligatory. Census col-
lectors will visit homes to give out questionnaires, and will carry an official pass. The census is carried out every five years in communes with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, and a partial survey is done every year in towns. For more information on the census, visit: www.le-recensement-et-moi.fr
Candidate visits region PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Dominique de Villepin visited the Dordogne last month. The controversial politician visited the market in Place Coderc in Périgueux and chatted to traders. Villepin is widely seen as an outsider in the campaign, with polls suggesting he will net less than 5% of the vote.