February 2011 - Issue 14
Photo: Takehiko Tokiwa
High-speed plan for Cherbourg ferry passengers
Festival’s anniversary work is in full swing
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THE FIRST names have been confirmed in the line-up for this year’s Jazz sous les Pommiers festival in the Manche, one of the key highlights of Normandy’s musical calendar. Organisers have promised a stellar programme to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival, which takes over Coutances in May, with more than 100 concerts and street performances bringing a carnival atmosphere to the town. US double-bass legend Ron Carter (pictured above) will provide a headline performance, alongside his Golden Striker trio. Other acts announced so far include top American bluesman Eric Bibb and Dutch group the Rosenberg trio. Jazz sous les Pommiers runs from May 28 to June 4. The complete programme will be unveiled in March at www.jazzsouslespommiers.com.
HOME owners and holiday-makers in Normandy could sail from Cherbourg to the UK in just two hours, under newly announced plans for a regular, high-speed crossing to Portland, in Dorset. HighSpeedFerries, a new UK-based company, is planning to enter the competitive cross-Channel ferry market and has started the initial groundwork to launch a new passenger and car ferry link. The company says it is working with the port of Cherbourg and the Ports of Normandy Authority to agree operating arrangements and schedules, and has also spoken to Dorset County Council in the UK. Director Jonathan Packer said Portland was chosen because it would offer “the fastest crossing to France on the western Channel”. He added: “These are early days, but this could be a very exciting development. It would considerably reduce through-journey times and road distances, [especially] compared to the Dover-Calais crossing. “There’s a long way to go before we know if it will happen.” Meanwhile, Cherbourg ferry passengers will be offered more choice this month when Brittany Ferries brings back regular services to Poole, six weeks earlier than planned. The Barfleur, which was withdrawn last year after 18 years’ service, will return on February 27 for an eightmonth trial. Brittany Ferries has relaunched the route with more of a
New provider prepares rival link to Dorset, while Brittany Ferries brings back Poole service after ‘amazing’ public campaign
Brittany Ferries is bringing back the Barfleur from Cherbourg to Poole, but it could face competition from a new rival link to Portland focus on freight, to ensure it can now operate profitably. The Barfleur will run until October 3, when its performance will be reviewed. It will sail overnight from Cherbourg to Poole, with extra crossings every Friday and Saturday during the peak summer period. A faster crossing, using the Normandie Vitesse, will be available over the summer, taking two and a half hours. Brittany Ferries group commercial passenger director Mike Bevens said: “This service was withdrawn because it was consistently making a loss, but the response from the public follow-
ing the announcement has, quite frankly, been amazing. “We have been working hard to see how we could reintroduce this popular ship profitably and believe that we have found a solution by getting the passenger-freight mix right, since the new service will carry proportionately fewer passengers. “We will operate the service throughout the summer, and then review its commercial viability towards the end of September 2011. “Having listened to the concerns of the community, we now need to call on everyone’s support.”
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Useful Contacts EMERGENCIES Samu (medical aid): 15 Sapeurs-pompiers: 18 Police/gendarmerie: 17 Duty pharmacy: 3237 More contacts, page 17
HOSPITALS Caen: 02 31 51 51 51 Cherbourg: 02 33 20 70 00 Avranches: 02 33 89 40 00 Flers: 02 33 62 62 00 Le Havre: 02 32 73 32 32 Rouen: 02 32 88 89 90
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Transport is top priority for region improvements PUBLIC transport users in Normandy have been promised a raft of improvements to services, as officials in both halves of the region put travel as one of their top priorities for the new year. Haute-Normandie regional council wants to put a stop to passenger confusion by combining all the information about buses and tram services in one central place and introducing a flat-rate, single fare across the whole region. At the moment, routes are split into 15 different networks, making it difficult for people travelling across the region to work out the best way of getting from A to B. The region has committed €250,000 to develop a new service at www.atoumod.fr which will launch shortly. The aim is to get the region’s transport operators to work together and share information, with standardised timetables and tickets. A spokeswoman for the regional council said a second phase, planned for 2012, would allow passengers to plan their journeys online and get instant information about which route to take and how much the journey will cost. “We also want to include information about local taxis, car-sharing schemes and bicycle parking,” she added. Basse-Normandie regional president Laurent Beauvais has announced plans to improve the train service on the main Caen-Le Mans line. Track improvement works are to begin later this year between Alençon (Orne) and Mézidon (Calvados) and will be completed by 2013, at a total cost of €41m, which will be split between the region, the state and track operator Reseau Ferré de France. A feasibility study has been launched into plans to add more trains between Alençon and Le Mans, a popular route for commuters, when the new national rail timetable comes into force in December. Alençon station is also getting a complete facelift to make it more accessible. The works will run from 2012 to 2014. Alençon’s mayor, Joaquim Pueyo, is pushing for the line to be electrified fully.
Photo: PHOTOPQR/PARIS NORMANDIE
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The Advertiser, Normandy
Standard fares, clearer timetables and an online journey planner are proposed This would mean that TGVs could use the route in the future, as part of a bigger initiative to build better rail routes around the west of the Parisian basin, allowing rail travellers to bypass the capital. Mr Beauvais told a news conference in Caen that improving rail services was an important job for 2011 and the region was also ready to commit its share of the funding for a new TGV route from Caen to Paris, which was approved by the transport ministry late last year. “We want to modernise and improve the level of comfort and the regularity of trains,” he said. “Our financial situation is healthy and we are one of the least indebted regions in France. We are keeping aside funds to fund the high-speed line from Paris to Caen.” Other rail improvement projects in the pipeline include €13m on new trains to improve reliability on the Paris-Granville line, which is notorious for its delays. The region also wants to improve the Granville to Saint-Malo service and introduce a new flat fare of €1 per journey for students from low-income families in time for the summer break.
Other local projects for 2011 ORNE A new bypass around the north of Sées was due to be inaugurated as The Advertiser went to press. Other construction projects include the renovation of five secondary schools that are in urgent need of improvements, at a total cost of €17m. The council is also preparing to buy a new, better-equipped Mammobile, which will tour the region offering breast cancer checks. MANCHE In Cherbourg, big changes will start to be seen in the quartier des Bassins from this spring, where a major construction project is under way to build a new 20,000m2 shopping centre, including a Carrefour superstore. It is due to be completed by 2013. Plans to rebuild the hospital in Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët are awaiting health ministry approval. Coutances, meanwhile, has two big projects on the agenda: the EHPAD retirement home and a new medical centre that the local council hopes will be ready by Christmas. A decision is also
expected in the coming weeks about whether a new prison for the Manche will be built in Coutances or Saint-Lô. The biggest change to the Manche countryside this year looks set to be the construction of a controversial high-voltage power line from Flamanville. The legal battle continues. CALVADOS Caen will be a big building site this year, with a new district being built between the station and the Orne quayside, with 220 homes, offices, hotels, a multiplex cinema and shopping centre, which should be ready in 2014. The city has made housing its top priority, with plans to put 1,400 new homes on the market every year between now and 2015. To the east of the city, in the quartier de la Presqu’île, work is under way on a multimedia library (ready for 2015) and a new court building. Other projects include an extension to the Côte de Nacre shopping centre, the building of a new Ikea superstore in Fleury-sur-Orne and a widening of the Caen périphérique bypass.
Orne train to make summer comeback A COMMUNITY group in the Orne is hoping to run trains on the line from Caen to Flers for tourists this summer, more than 20 years after the regular service was axed. Rail enthusiasts have preserved the line since it closed in the mid-1980s and the SNCF has donated an old 1930s Micheline train for them to use. British rail enthusiast Peter Gray, who has owned the disused station building in Caligny for the past 10 years, is one of the local figures taking part in the initiative. The group carries out practice runs on the track once a month and plan to offer a service to the public in time for the peak season, running between Pont-Erambourg and Cérisy-BelleEtoile. There are hopes that the entire length of the line, from Caen to the Suisse Normande, can eventually be reopened.
The Advertiser, Normandy
Water warning for 50,000 homes SOME 50,000 homes in BasseNormandie have a water supply that only just falls within the maximum legal levels for nitrates. The Agence Régionale de Santé’s annual report on water quality found 10 per cent of homes had relatively high nitrate levels in the supply, close to the maximum 50mg of nitrates per litre. The report classified 98 per cent of the region’s supply as “very good” and the remaining two per cent as “good”. Check your commune’s results at www.tinyurl.com/normwater
Le Havre port hit by strike action CARGO ships bound for Le Havre were diverted to Antwerp and Rotterdam after a strike paralysed the HauteNormandie port. The CGT trade union protested against a proposed increase in dockers’ retirement age from 58 to 60.
Towns vie for top Ville Fleurie badge
Granville gains as residents quit big towns for coast and country GRANVILLE has emerged as one of the most attractive places in Normandy to move to, as new figures confirm a growing trend for residents to leave big towns and cities for a quieter life in the countryside or by the sea. The new official census figures from national statistics body Insee show the Manche seaside resort, famous for its carnival, is the only major town in Normandy to grow, up three per cent in 10 years, to a population of 13,087. Granville mayor Daniel Caruhel said: “The town has always been an attractive place to live. The quality of life here pleases people and I’m pleased there is enough happening in the town to attract new residents.” All the other big towns in the region recorded a population decline, according to the latest figures, except Ouistreham, near Caen. Basse-Normandie gained 45,000 new residents over a decade, bringing the total to 1.47 million. The increase was shared equally among the Manche and Calvados, while the Orne’s figure fell. One of the sharpest population drops was in Argentan, down 13 per cent in 10 years. Flers fell seven per cent in the same period. The winners were rural villages, including Athis-de-l’Orne and Bagnoles-de-l’Orne. The figures are based on the 2008 census, but are the most up-to-date available. France conducts an annual census, taking an eight per cent sample each time.
Granville’s carnival attracts 100,000 visitors, and the town is also attracting people to move here permanently
A town that knows how to have fun
Photo: PHOTOPQR/Paris Normandie
FIVE Basse-Normandie towns are to be assessed by a national jury to determine whether they deserve the top prize of Ville Fleurie for their attractive presentation. Honfleur, Cabourg, Saint-Fraimbault, Cherbourg and Domjean already have three stars, but have applied for a fourth. Five prettiest villages, p21
Normandy has hundreds of rural level crossings, some of which remain unprotected
Couple killed in level crossing crash THE ISSUE of safety at Normandy’s rural level crossings is back on the agenda, after an elderly couple were killed on Christmas Day when their car was struck by a high-speed train in the Eure. The two passengers died instantly in the collision at Bueil, between Evreux and Mantes-laJolie. Their car was dragged for a mile before the train could stop. None of the 570 passengers on the Paris-Caen train was injured, but the driver was treated for shock. Services on the main line from Saint Lazare to Deauville, Caen and Cherbourg were suspended for two hours.
Police have launched an investigation. The SNCF said the level crossing was not classified as dangerous. The French government is pursuing several avenues to reduce the number of accidents. Railway infrastructure group Reseau Ferré de France is installing more barriers at rural crossings instead of just lights, and is removing some altogether. Breaching a barrier or red light carries a fine of €135. In addition, the driver could have his licence suspended for up to three years or lose four points off his licence.
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GRANVILLE is making the final preparations for its famous carnival, which is back for its 137th year from March 4-8. More than 100,000 visitors are expected for the five-day street party, where five tonnes of confetti will be thrown.
A fancy-dress apéritif will open the festivities on Friday night, followed by the children’s parade on Saturday and various concerts and balls around the town. See the full programme and access details at www.carnavaldegranville.fr
4 News A BY-ELECTION will be called in Vaucelles, near Bayeux (Calvados), after the town’s mayor resigned for “professional reasons”. Laurent Colleu had been mayor for 15 years and was halfway through his third term in office. He said his day job required him to move out of the region.
Prison for failing to care for elderly A MAN in Calvados has been jailed for four years for failing to look after his 84-year-old mother. His wife was also sentenced to three years’ prison. The tribunal correctionnel in Caen heard that the couple let the elderly woman’s condition deteriorate over the three years that she lived with them. She died in an “appalling state” because the pair failed to seek medical help, the court was told.
Veg box scheme set up in Bayeux RESIDENTS in Bayeux have clubbed together to form a new branch of Amap, the scheme that allows people to buy fruit, vegetables and other fresh produce direct from farmers. Anyone living locally who is interested in joining the initiative and buying a weekly basket of food should call 02 31 51 66 37 or email email@example.com.
The Advertiser, Normandy
Ferry terminals face scrutiny as cycle path network takes shape CYCLISTS in Normandy are being hired to help test out a new FrancoBritish cycle network that runs along the region’s coastline, and the bicycle facilities at ferry terminals along the way. The path’s developers have approached experts at local cycling associations to check that the proposed route is suitable before its official launch. The €8.7m project, which The Advertiser unveiled last May, should be completed within three years. It aims to promote “sustainable tourism” and put Normandy on the map as a destination for cycling holidays. The path will run from Roscoff in Brittany, past Mont St Michel, around the Cotentin peninsula and through Ouistreham and Dieppe, before heading up the coast towards Belgium. Participants can cross the Channel at a number of points along the route to join a parallel cycle path in the UK, running from the New Forest to Land’s End. Researchers will visit all the ferry terminals on the route in the coming months, including Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre and Dieppe, to assess what improvements need to be made to safety, signage and services for cyclists. Passengers who take their bicycle onboard ferries to Normandy this summer will be asked to fill out a survey about their experiences. A working group has also been set up to make sure that the routes on both sides of the Channel respond to the same
Vaucelles mayor’s abrupt departure
The proposed route and ferry facilities for bicycles are to be tested out
standards, with a technical glossary drawn up in both languages explaining how to build and maintain the paths. Officials met in Pontorson (Manche) recently to discuss how the scheme would be marketed. Project co-ordinator Isabelle Parfitt said a website promoting the network to cyclists is due to go online this spring. The project is being mostly funded by Interreg, the European development body, with €427,000 coming from local and regional councils in Normandy and the tourist board. The Haute-Normandie stretch is ready, as is the route from Cherbourg to Coutances. The paths from Le Havre to Cherbourg and Coutances to Mont St Michel await completion.
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The Advertiser, Normandy
€6m revamp for D-Day museum
The Utah Beach museum will reopen in June, with more space and a hangar housing a replica B-26 bomber plane. Texas lieutenant-governor David Dewhurst is one of the backers The ambitious extension and renovation has received the support of several key donors in the US, including Republican lieutenant-governor of Texas, David Dewhurst. Mr Dewhurst made a donation after visiting Normandy in 2007 to find out more about his father, who was a highly decorated Second World War bomber pilot. He said: “At the Utah Beach
A MAJOR renovation project that will see one of Normandy’s most popular D-Day museums treble in size is on track to be completed in time for the 47th anniversary commemorations in June, the site’s director has confirmed. The Utah Beach museum in SainteMarie-du-Mont (Manche) has been closed since last October for the €6m revamp. Museum director Isabelle Attard said: “The surface area of the museum is going to treble, from 1,130m2 to 3,510m2 and we are re-doing everything inside.” The project, led by American architect Nicolas Kelemen, includes the construction of a new hangar that will house a life-size replica of a B-26 bomber, as well as a flight simulator.
It was an incredibly emotional experience to come face-to-face with details about dad’s life and his service during the war [at the museum] David Dewhurst, Texas lieutenant-governor
Region’s TV now fully digital HAUTE-Normandie will become the latest region in France to switch off its analogue television signal this month. From February 1, every home will need to be equipped with a digital box or some other form of receiving television, such as cable or satellite, to continue watching programmes. Digital set-top boxes start at €20. The switchover will happen overnight and should be completed by 7.00. During this time, you might experience some problems receiving channels, as digital transmitters have to be temporarily switched off while engineers are working on them. Once the transmitters are switched, you might have to tune your TV channels again (even, in some cases, if you already get digital) because it is possible they will have moved during the transmitter reorganisation. In some cases you might also need to readjust your rooftop aerial to point to the strongest digital transmitter in the area. The set-top decoder then needs to be rebooted to update the settings and re-scan for the channels. Basse-Normandie made the switch from analogue to digital last March, following a successful pilot in Cherbourg and Lisieux, which became the first towns in France to go digital, last January. Digital television (télévision numérique terrestre, or TNT) means more channels and improved pictures and sound, but the official switchover body, Tous au Numérique, admits that about four per cent of homes in rural Normandy stand no chance of receiving an adequate digital signal, because they are in reception black spots, called zones blanches. Affected homes will need to access
Last chance to register for inheritance help in English TIME is running out to book a place at a free English-language seminar on French inheritance planning at the Salle des Fêtes in Juvigny-sousAndaine (Orne). Living in France can have huge implications on how your estate is redistributed when you die, so inheritance planning is vital. The Advertiser has teamed up with MoneyCorp, Siddalls and BML Assurances to help organise the free seminar, which takes place on Monday, February 7 from 14.15 to 17.30. Experts will be on hand to explain the differences between French and British inheritance laws and the tax implications. The seminar will also cover ensuring your wills are up-to-date, preparing for the eventual, and how the law applies to you if you have step-children, have remarried or are in a same-sex relationship.
A major advertising campaign has informed viewers of the switchover digital television through other means, such as satellite, cable or broadband internet. A helpline in French is available, at the cost of a local call, on 09 70 818 818 or for more information, see www.tousaunumerique.fr You can also seek professional help from an engineer. The full list of approved firms in Haute-Normandie is at www.tinyurl.com/normandytv Over-70s and disabled people are entitled to a free home visit to help them set up a digital receiver or retune their television and some lowincome households and people cur-
rently exempt from paying the TV licence are entitled to financial help. Many shops will accept your old TV and recycle it on your behalf when you buy a new, digitally enabled one. Alternatively, enter your postcode at www.collectons.org to find a list of local charities that pick up unwanted household items.
More about the digital switchover
Museum, we came across my father’s name prominently displayed in one of the exhibits. “It was only there I discovered that my dad led a squadron of B-26s on DDay, attacking Nazi gun emplacements only minutes before the infantry landed on Utah Beach. “It was an incredibly emotional experience to come face-to-face with details about dad’s life and his service during the war.” The grand reopening, on June 6, will coincide with a large commemorative display in nearby Sainte-MèreEglise, with 800 American, French, British and German parachutists. To find out more about the museum project, see www.utah-beach.com or call the tourist office in Sainte-MèreEglise on 02 33 21 00 33.
Prior booking for the talk is vital Other speakers include FrancoBritish solicitor and avocat Gerard Barron and funeral consultant Fran Lewis. There will also be a collection to raise funds for the Normandy branch of Cancer Support France. Booking is essential. Call Siddalls on 05 56 34 75 51, Moneycorp on 06 19 17 34 61 or send an email to info@ normandyandbrittanylife.com www.tinyurl.com/inheritancetalk
Avranches and Bernay courts close LAWYERS in the Manche fear the south of the department will become a “judicial desert” after the central court in Avranches was closed on January 1 and merged with Coutances. The move is part of a controversial nationwide reform of the French justice system and means many people in the southern Manche will be required to travel an extra 50km to attend hearings at the tribunal de grande instance. The old court building in Avranches is being renovated and will house an employment tribunal from this autumn. A small number of other
cases will still be heard in the town, such as road offences and family court matters, but the majority of the work has been transferred. The tribunal de grande instance in Bernay (Eure) has also closed its doors. Staff at the department’s central court in Evreux say their 10 magistrates are overstretched now that they have taken on the extra work. Bernay and Avranches are among the 17 courts in France that have been axed under reforms to France’s judicial boundaries, which until now have remained largely unchanged since they were created by Napoleon I.
The Advertiser, Normandy
‘Dieppe is a wonderful The town’s Communist mayor, Sébastien Jumel,discusses the downturn, attracting new visitors and improving links with Britain with SALLY ANN VOAK, who has lived in the Dieppe countryside for the past 18 years
Sébastien Jumel says being Dieppe mayor is ‘a mad life’ but great fun
How has Dieppe suffered in the downturn? It is a difficult time. First of all, we had problems with the ferry, which nearly collapsed in 2005 and was saved by the Seine-Maritime council, of which I am vice-president.
Happily, it is now running efficiently, but we are vigilant about the quality of service. Secondly, the creation of the Eurotunnel meant that people sidestep Dieppe on their way down to Paris or other parts of France. Thirdly, the British have fewer euros to spend here. In the 1990s, the “glory years”, we did well. For instance, in 1993, there were 1.2 million people through the port. Today, we have only 250,000 passengers arriving here annually, and the sailing hours are adapted to suit freight transport, which is more lucrative. Newhaven port on the other side of the Channel is in a state – that must have an impact on Dieppe? Seine-Maritime council controls the port at Newhaven, but it is not the proprietor. We just don’t have a huge public budget to spend on it, which limits what we can do. It was left in a pitiful state by the previous owners; privatisation in England at the time was catastrophic. The money isn’t there at the
Photos: Ville de Dieppe
Photo: Sally Ann Voak
WHEN you are running a busy port and seaside town with a population of 35,000, which attracts visitors from all over France and the UK, life can be hectic. Sébastien Jumel, 39, who was elected mayor of Dieppe in 2008 with 55.47 per cent of the votes, believes that his job is “mad”, but is also a huge privilege. As someone who was born in the town – he left to study in Aix-enProvence, then returned and now lives locally with his wife and three children – he cares passionately about its future. In the current economic climate, the town faces many challenges, not least the continuing worries about the viability and efficiency of the port itself.
The Advertiser, Normandy
place and gives me the energy I need’
Historically, we owe the British a big debt for helping to make Dieppe so popular, with the introduction of sea-bathing in the 1820s, but these days I feel our ties are even stronger
exchange ideas on how we can help an ageing population.
Dieppe’s UK ferry link was rescued from near-collapse in 2005. The town welcomes 250,000 passengers a year, down from 1.2 million in 1993 moment, but I can assure you that we are working on it, and promise a better service for passengers and cars in the future. We depend on it being efficient. Without the Channel crossing, we would be isolated, so this is important. The port of Dieppe is our opening on the world. What have you organised in 2011 to attract visitors here? The port is our lifeblood and we have four festivals celebrating it: the Fête du Port de Plaisance, the Fête du Port de Commerce (Transmanche) and the two Fêtes de la Mer, in May and August. The Fête du Transmanche will feature English beer, jazz, and plenty of cultural events that link our two countries. The annual rugby tournament, Les Papys, for veteran teams takes place on the seafront in May, and there are several English clubs taking part, including Brighton. Each year, we also welcome thousands of cyclists. The famous Dieppe golf course has been completely renovated and is now larger, and our horse races at the Hippodrome are of national standard. The swimming pool and leisure centre, Les Bains, on the seafront has been upgraded, too. Last year’s impressionist painting festival was a huge success through-
out Normandy, with the exhibition at the Château de Dieppe attracting thousands of visitors, so this year we are organising another festival, this time contemporary art. The tourist office is being rebuilt and we have a new English-language booklet, A Taste of Dieppe, compiled by local unofficial English “ambassador” Peter Avis, which is packed with information. Dieppe will be the finishing line for an important yachting race, the Solitaire de Figaro, on August 24. The race calls in ports in the UK as well as France. The whole town will be en fête. So, not a bad list of attractions for the coming year. But what are you doing for the commercial enterprises in the town? Prices are so high here
now. Local shopkeepers have told me it is killing trade I am very keen that we maintain our quality shops and huge range of restaurants. People come here for the marvellous food, the fish, the wine and the elegant clothes. So, we are making shopping here an even more pleasurable experience. La Place Nationale is being resurfaced as a pedestrian-only area, to help the shops and cafes. We have our popular Saturday market, where the prices are low, and also a flower market and plenty of commercial projects for the coming year. We listen to our commerçants and, although I can’t control the euro, we are doing what we can. I anticipate a good year. Any British companies that want to start up here are very welcome to talk to me.
What about transport? Many residents, particularly the elderly who live locally, find the bus services are erratic and sometimes non-existent There has been a lot of progress with transport. We have just renewed a contract with one of the bus companies, and plan to get a network going between the 16 communes of Dieppe; we have a useful taxi-bus service as well. We are also offering a free service for everyone in the centre of town (senior citizens already travel free) and are establishing a single €1 tariff for some of the other journeys. I am very conscious of the needs of the elderly, and currently have 200 people who work for the town, helping older residents remain in their homes. I meet them regularly to
We listen to business owners, and although I can’t control the euro, we are doing what we can. I anticipate a good year. Any British companies that want to start up here are very welcome to talk to me
The Grande Rue in the centre of Dieppe: mayor Sébastien Jumel is keen to maintain the quality of shops
What do you think of your British residents and how involved are they with the running of the town? As mayor, I have a profound attachment with the British, even though my English isn’t very good. Historically, of course, we owe you a big debt for helping to make Dieppe so popular, with the introduction of sea-bathing in the 1820s, but these days I feel that our ties are even stronger. Our English residents are considered of equal importance to the French population, and there are several who are directly involved with the local municipal decisions. In the 2008 elections, about 60 British people voted: not a terrific number, but it is a start. Residents can go along to the office of the Service Democratie Locale et Citoyenneté to register their views as well. Everyone’s opinion is considered. We are to open the very first Franco-British collège (secondary school) here in 2013, where students from France and the UK will study together. The idea was put forward in 2007, in collaboration with the education authorities in East Sussex. Students will be able to come from England and from the local area, and study together. The site for the college is at Saint-Nicolas d’Aliermont, near the town. This will strengthen our ties even further. What about power – how “green” are you? We have two nuclear power stations near here, Paluel and Penly, and I firmly believe that this form of energy is the way forward. For that reason, we are working on establishing, here in Dieppe, a college for nuclear engineers. It is early days, but I think it will get going very quickly. EDF has four ongoing projects in the UK, so I am anticipating that there will be English as well as French students at the college. What is a typical day in the life of the mayor of Dieppe? It’s a mad life. I have dozens of meetings, and lots of tasks to perform with my cabinet. For a start, we have 1,000 public employees to look after and pay. However, I try to be as normal as possible: I have breakfast at home, then take my little girl, who is two, to the creche. My first appointment of the day is never before 8.00. Afterwards, I might have 15 or so meetings, but I try to keep a balance. For instance, today, I will meet magistrates this afternoon, then there are more meetings, but at 20.00, my 11-year-old daughter has a violin audition and I will be with her. There is no time for hobbies, but I do go swimming every Thursday lunchtime with my wife, who is a civil servant, and has worked for the town longer than me.
8 What’s On
The Advertiser, Normandy
Exhibitions February 4-28 – Photography exhibition by Bruno Delalosa in the Centre d’Animation, Bagnoles de l'Orne (61). Call 02 33 30 72 70. Until March 6 – Vincent Barré and Sylvain Dubuisson, Musée des BeauxArts, Rouen (76). Architect and designer exhibit work from their 40-year partnership for the first time. See www.rouen-musees.com
Music/dance February 4 – Pianist Mikhaïl Rudy plays Janacek, Liszt and Moussorgsky at Le Trident, Cherbourg-Octeville (50). Call 02 33 88 55 55. February 5 – Louis Chedid, singer, son of the writer Andrée Chedid, plays at La Luciole, Alençon (61). Call 02 33 32 83 33. February 5 – Les Trottoirs Mouillés
More What’s On ideas, updated daily throughout the year. Sign up for alerts at www.twitter.com/ WhatsOnNormandy perform a jazz concert in the Centre d’Animation, Bagnoles de l'Orne (61). Call 02 33 37 75 34. February 5 – Denis Colin et la Société des Arpenteurs, a jazz-fusion clarinettist plays and improvises on rock at the Quai des Arts, Argentan (61). Call 02 33 39 69 00. February 13 – Listen to Chopin's fifth recital, Majorque et George Sand, as part of series of nine recitals forming the composer’s integral work for piano, played by Laurent Lamy at the Conservatoire Camile Saint Saëns, Dieppe (76). Call 02 35 36 65 99. February 18 – Watch four ballets by three choreographers and several duos by the Ballet de Lorraine at the Théâtre du Casino Barrière, Deauville (14). Call 02 31 14 02 14. February 25 – Orchestra plays music from top films including Singing in the Rain and Star Wars in Lisieux (14), free. Call 02 31 48 31 85. 87Food/drink
February 10-13 – Farm and nature fair with a market, animals, and exhibitions to learn about ecotourism, the environment and garden layout, at the Docks Café, Le Havre (76). For more info, see http://salonvertetnature.com
February 5-6 – Salon de la Gastronomie, Parc des Expositions, Lisieux (14). Call 06 15 11 20 27. February 19 – Samedi Gourmand, crèpe-making workshop in Evreux (27), sign up on 02 32 24 04 43. February 26-28 – Salon des Vins et de la Gastronomie, major food and
February 12 – See the French adaptation of hit musical Fame at the Cadran, Evreux (27) from 20.30. Tickets €28-35 from www.lecadran.com or for further information, call 02 32 29 63 32 wine show at the Docks Café, Le Havre (76).
Out and about February 4 – Tour one of Brittany Ferries’ largest and most beautiful cruise ships, the Mont St Michel, in
Caen (14). For more information, see www.normandie-tourisme.fr February 4 – Tir Bouffon, circus show from 9.30 at Pébroc Théâtre, Théâtre de la Haute-Ville, Granville (50). Not suitable for under-12s. See www.granville-tourisme.fr
February 26-March 6 – Lisieux sur Glace. Have fun at the open-air ice rink in Lisieux, place Mitterrand. Open Monday-Saturday 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-19.00, Sundays 10.00-18.00 non-stop. An hour and a half costs €2 for under-12s, €4 otherwise. Call 02 31 48 41 50.
Weekly markets around Normandy MONDAY 14: Cabourg, Pont l’Evêque, Saint Pierre sur Dives.27: Bourg Achard, Gisors, Pont Audemer, Thiberville. 50: Bricquebec, Carentan, Gouville sur Mer, Saint James, Torigini sur Vire. 61: Briouze, Remalard, Vimoutiers. 76: Bolbec, Buchy, Cany Barville TUESDAY 14: Blonville sur Mer, Cabourg, Courseulles sur Mer, Deauville, Dives sur Mer, Thury Harcourt, Villers sur Mer. 27: Beaumont le Roger, Beuzeville, Damville, Fleury sur Andelle, Gaillon, Montreuil l’Argille. 50: Agon Coutainville, Brehal, Cherbourg Octeville, Ducey, Jullouville, Portbail, Quettehou, Sourdeval, Villedieu les Poeles. 61: L’Aigle, Alençon, Argentan, Bagnoles de l’Orne, Vitrai sous l’Aigle. 76: Duclair, Goderville, Gournay an Bray, Le Grand Quevilly, Le Havre, Rouen, Sotteville les Rouen, Le Tréport WEDNESDAY 14: Cabourg, Caen,
Herouville Saint Clair, Isigny sur Mer, Orbec, Ouistreham, Trouville sur Mer, Villers Bocage. 27: La Barre en Ouche, Bernay, Breteuil sur Iton, Evreux, Le Neubourg, Nonancourt, Routot, Vernon. 50: Granville, La Haye du Puits, La Haye Pesnel, Marigny, Pontorson, Saint Hilaire du Harcouët, Saint Pierre Eglise. 61: Bagnoles de l’Orne, Flers, Longny au Percfhe, Le Mele sur Sarthe, Tesse la Madeleine, Le Theil. 76: Bihorel, Bosc le Hard, Gonneville la Mallet, Lillebonne, Mont Saint Aignan, Saint Etienne du Rouvray, Veules les Roses, Yvetot THURSDAY 14: Cabourg, Caen, Condé sur Noireau, Douvres la Delivrande, Le Molay Littry, Mondeville, Ouistreham, Saint Aubin sur Mer. 27: Brionne, Conches en Ouche, Ezy sur Eure, Pacy sur Eure. 50: Barneville Carteret, Carolles, Cherbourg Octeville, Coutances, Saint Pair sur Mer, Sainte Mère
Eglise. 61: Alençon, La Ferté Macé, Trun. 76: Creil sur Mer, Etretat, Forges les Eaux, Le Havre, Montivilliers, Pavilly, Le Petit Quevilly, Sotteville les Rouen FRIDAY 14: Blonville sur Mer, Cabourg, Caen, Courseulles sur Mer, Deauville, Ouistreham, Villers sur Mer, Vire. 27: Beaumont le Roger, Cormeilles, Evreux, Gisors, Pont Audemer, Saint André de l’Eure. 50: Brecey, Gouville sur Mer, Jullouville, Les Pieux, Saint-Lô, Valognes. 61: Argentan, Bagnoles de l’Orne, Tesse la Madeleine, Tourouvre. 76: Auffay, Bihorel, Bonsecours, Eu, Gournay en Bray, Grand Couronne, Le Grand Quevilly, Le Havre, Rouen, Saint Valéry en Caux SATURDAY 14: Aunay sur Odon, Bayeux, Cabourg, Deauville, Falaise, Honfleur, Isigny sur Mer, Lisieux, Ouistreham, Troarn. 27: Les Andélys, Bernay, Evreux, Ivry la Bataille,
Louviers, Verneuil sur Avre, Vernon. 50: Agon Coutainville, Avranches, Barneville Carteret, Coutances, Gavray, Granville, Periers, Saint-Lô, Saint Vaast la Hougue. 61: Alençon, Bagnoles de l’Orne, Flers, Mortagne au Perche, Sees. 76: Aumale, Umale, Barentin, Bihorel, Canteleu, Doudeville, Elbeuf, Fécamp, Le Havre, Monvtille, Neufchâtel en Bray, Le Petit Quevilly, Rouen, Saint Romain de Colbosc, Sotteville les Rouen, Le Tréport, Yvetot SUNDAY 14: Cabourg, Caen, Grandcamp Maisy, Mezidon Canon, Ouistreham, Tilly sur Seulles, Trouville sur Mer. 27: Brionne, Evreux, Ezy sur Eure, La Ferrière sur Risle, Pont de l’Arche. 50: Brehal, Cherbourg Octeville. 61: Alençon, Montilly sur Noireau. 76: Blangy sur Bresle, Caudebec les Elbeud, Darnetal, Forges les Eaux, Harfleur, Luneray, Le Petit Quevilly, Rouen, Saint Valéry en Caux, Sotteville les Rouen
The Advertiser, Normandy
www.normandyadvertiser.com February 18 – Amicale Culturelle Européenne organise a visit to the Mémorial de Caen. More info at www.amicale-culturelle.eu or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Hegarty.email@example.com
What’s On 9
February 19-20 – Salon du Livre, Musée Victor Hugo, Villequier. Authors with links to Hugo welcome visitors at the fourth edition of this book fair. Free. Call 02 35 56 78 31. February 27 – Browse and buy vintage and second-hand fashion among 20 exhibitors at the Salle Condé Espace, Condé sur Vire (50). Free entry. Call 02 31 22 94 64 or see www.brocollection.fr
Family February 6 – Collectors’ toy fair in Boureguebus (14), with 30 exhibitors. Free for children under 12, €2.50 for adults. Call 02 31 50 21 90.
Cinema February 11-13 – Short film festival at Cinéma Henri Jeanson, Honfleur (14). Call 02 31 89 23 30. February 19 – L’Enfant au Violon. Animated film about a 13-year-old violin genius by Chen Kaige at the Auditorium, La Hague (50). Show starts at 20.30. Free. More info at www.lahague-tourisme.com
Event listings are free in The Advertiser Send details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 23 – Learn about the people of Mongolia with this film and at the Cinéma Normandy, Alençon (61). Call 02 33 26 36 19.
Church services Christ Church, Coutances: Every Sunday at 11.00 in the chapel of the Lycée Germain, Rue d’Ilkley. www.christchurchcoutances.com Christ Church, Vezins: Services every Sunday at 17.00 in the church. Call 02 33 58 86 76 or see www.christchurchcoutances.com Caen Anglican Chaplaincy: Chapelle de la Miséricorde, Rue Elie de Beaumont. Sundays at 17.30 www.tinyurl.com/caenchurch Rouen: Reformed Church, Place du Pasteur Martin Luther King email@example.com 02 35 71 08 66 Hautot-Saint-Sulpice: Anglican communion, 02 35 96 30 36 http://tinyurl.com/hautot
February 20-22 – Omnivore Food Festival in Deauville (14). Meet the new generation of French chefs and sample their work. See www.omnivore.fr or call 02 31 14 14 14
Condé sur Noireau: Eglise Reformée, rue Lenormand. Services every first and third Sunday of the month at 15.00. Call 02 33 66 67 02.
The day centre will provide advice and emotional support to patients
Cancer support opens up English day centre CANCER Support France (CSF) has opened a new day centre in the Manche, providing support to English-speakers affected by cancer and their families. The centre, in Buais, aims to create a warm, relaxed atmosphere for local residents. A group of volunteers will provide daily help, including emotional support, respite for carers, information booklets and internet services in English, arts and crafts, translation help, books, cards, tea and coffee. Almost 100 people, including committee members, supporters, volunteers and some of those with direct experience of the help that CSF provides, attended the inauguration, with Buais mayor Eric Courteille cutting the ribbon. He said the centre was a much-needed facility. A long-cherished project, the day centre is situated between SaintHilaire-du Harcouët and Le Teilleul on Route Nationale 176. It will initially be open on Mondays only, between 10.00 and 16.00. CSF support manager Jenny Levy
said: “Receiving a diagnosis of a lifethreatening illness such as cancer can be very distressing. We hope that we can help the person and their family to cope with the stresses of their diagnosis. Meeting other people with similar experiences can be enormously helpful.” There is a comfortable sitting room where people can meet, read English language magazines over tea or coffee and sample homemade cakes. In addition to the English books and cards on sale, there is a comprehensive range of information booklets from MacMillan Cancer Support. Two private rooms are available for confidential discussions or for complementary therapies. CSF is appealing for people to help at the centre or with transport. It is also looking for donations of cups, saucers, crockery and cutlery, board games, cards, puzzles and books. If you would like to assist in any way or make use of the centre, contact Jenny Levy on 02 33 58 92 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Language clubs throughout the Orne ORNELINK, the Franco-English networking group in the Orne, has set up a number of language clubs around the department to help English-speakers improve their French, and vice versa. Part of OrneLink’s remit is to facilitate social and linguistic exchange between members. Many expat members of the network have said they would like to improve their French, but are put off by the cost of professional lessons and the time requirements. There are also many French members who would love the opportunity to practise or improve their English.
The first language club was set up in Alençon and the first gettogether proved successful. The concept has now been extended across the department. There is a club in every main town in the Orne and the meetings are open to English and French speakers alike. The full list is available online at http://ornelink.orne.fr/ornelinklanguage-clubs To join, register on the site, log in and click the “join this club” button. You will then receive alerts whenever someone organises a meeting, or you can organise a meeting yourself, or suggest an activity or theme.
The Advertiser, Normandy
Slow down and enjoy your food
Cream of pre-sprouted sunflower seeds This recipe is by Les Bituriges Vivisques member chef Laurence Dessimoulie. It can be made with any oily grain and it is recommended that organic produce be used, to avoid chemical residues. Soaking seeds for a few hours, while not long enough to sprout them, activates their enzymes, according to Ms Dessimoulie, boosting the nutritional content. “It is a recipe full of vital energy,” she said.
Photo: Claude Blacque Belair
DESPITE its reputation for gastronomy, fast food has been catching on in France as much as anywhere: it is McDonald’s biggest market outside the USA and the average lunchbreak is down to 31 minutes. Fighting the trend is the Slow Food movement, which started in Italy but now has a French headquarters in Toulouse and local groups, called conviviums, in most regions. It focuses on enjoying local seasonal produce. The organiser of the Bituriges Vivisques convivium in Bordeaux, Jean Vissaguet, said: “We are huge foodies, but there’s more to it. Our founder, Carlo Petrini, summed up the philosophy as a diet that is ‘good, clean and fair’. ‘Good’ means we claim the right to eat well, which includes educating people about taste, which we do, eg. with workshops at markets and food fairs. Ability to appreciate flavours is being lost with standardisation. Fast-food chains think you should eat the same thing in every country, in any season. We think the opposite. “Clean@ refers to protecting the environment and defending biodiversity. The movement maintains a “taste ark”: a list of important local food varieties (animals and vegetables etc) around the world, out of which those deemed at risk are designated “sentinels”. Mr Vissaguet said: “We act as intermediaries and advisers to help producers improve their methods and find their market, because they don’t benefit from the distribution networks that large food companies have.” There are around a dozen French sentinels, such as the Bigorre black pig from Gascony, the blonde lentil from Saint-Flour in Cantal or the Pardailhan black turnip from the Hérault. The “fair” aspect is about fair trade: “If we have good things in our plate and this wonderful biodiversity, it’s down to little producers who do a remarkable job and often struggle.
The Bituriges Vivisques Slow Food group from Bordeaux enjoy a tomato-tasting session We need to make sure they are paid enough to keep going.” Activities at the local groups are varied: “We visited a market gardener and picked our own vegetables, and a sheep farm where they make cheese. It’s a chance to talk to the producers and understand their difficulties, then to have feast on the produce afterwards and exchange recipes.” They also visit farmers markets and organise meals on certain Pardailhan black turnip themes, he said.
“This year we will have a session to discover old varieties of maize, that some producers, especially in the Dordogne, are going back to. Modern ones catch a lot of diseases and consume a lot of water. In September, we tasted different old-fashioned tomatoes. A member who is an academic made tasting sheets about all the quality criteria, colour and appearance etc. Each person came with a recipe: a salad, a tart… It was a way of sharing our knowledge. Last year we also worked with a mairie to put them in touch with local producers for their catering.” Find your nearest convivium at www.slowfood.fr/conviviums_slowfoodfrance
Ingredients 250ml sunflower seeds, 1 small onion, juice of a lemon, capers, shoyu or tamari sauce, parsley or chives, sunflower oil, curry powder, pepper Method (Makes one good-sized bowl) Rinse seeds, then soak overnight (or during the day if making in the evening). Once drained, keep aside the water. Put the seeds into a blender, adding chopped onion, lemon juice, capers and a little of their brine, a dash of shoyu or tamari (soya-based sauces), a little curry powder, pepper, parsley or chives, 4 tblsp sunflower oil and 2tblsp soaking water (or more or less depending on desired consistency). Blend it together and eat it spread on toast or as a dip with crudités.
A collection of restaurants
Oysters à la crème A QUARTER of all the oysters in France are grown along the Normandy coast. They are one of life’s great luxuries and an aphrodisiac. Ingredients 30 oysters 30g butter 1 shallot 6 sprigs of parsley 1tbsp flour 1 glass of dry white wine 100ml crème fraîche Method Open the oysters, remove them from their shells and blanch them in their juice for two minutes. Set some of the juice aside. Fry the shallot in the butter, sprinkle over the flour and moisten with the white wine and about half a glass of the liquid from the oysters. The sauce should cook for a long time over a very gentle heat
and thicken to a creamy consistency. Season with pepper and a little salt; add the chopped parsley and the crème fraîche. Take several big ramekins and put five oysters in each one and top them with the sauce. Place under the grill for a few seconds before serving. This is one of more than 100 traditional recipes from Anne Prével translated into English n a new book, Recipes from Normandy, published by Editions Bonneton,€10
To advertise your restaurant with us call 0800 91 77 56
The Advertiser, Normandy
Switched on in France... Digital revolution sees hundreds of new TV channels, high-speed internet access and a new way of doing the shopping world, social networks, DIY health information, cheap airfares and even online work opportunities. The internet has overturned the traditional business model and online shopping has become a massive growth industry over recent years; French residents alone did €31 billion of online trading over the past year, up 24 per cent on 2009. Buyers bought everything from Amazon bodice-rippers to Marks & Spencer knickers because it is easier for expats to buy online than to return for “vital” supplies. Planning a holiday or buying a house has become unrecognisable from pre-internet days; it is now possible to get virtual walk-rounds of the resort or property in a way that gives much more information than was previously available. Car buyers can now even “build” their own vehicle as manufacturers offer the ability to specify options without going near a showroom. Tied in with this massive increase in digital technology is the switch to Télévision Numérique Terrestre (or TNT), and the changeover from the analogue TV signal which happened last March in Basse-Normandie and is going ahead this month in HauteNormandie and next month in Dordogne. Over the next three pages, you will find out how to make the changes needed to obtain the new TV services, whether you can access the new high-speed internet and what to do to get BBC or Sky TV beamed to your home in France.
Photo: Stephen VanHorn - Fotolia.com
WHEN 6.1 tonnes of Ka-Sat satellite eases itself into geosynchronous orbit at 9° East this year, the future of high-speed internet access across Europe will take a giant step forward. The Eutelsat “bird” aims to close the broadband blackspots that have kept millions across France from enjoying the many advantages that high-speed internet gives to their fellow residents across the country. In the 42 years since the internet was first created – with the start of a US defence project known as Arpanet in 1969 – it has changed from being a few dozen web pages hosted on university computers to a multi-trillion-euro way of doing business, having spawned the likes of TV on demand, internet phones and webcams, Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and abbreviations such as ADSL, Wi-Fi and BSkyB. From people having simple fixe telephones, they have switched more and more to mobiles, from letters to texts/SMS and email, from three TV stations to hundreds, from the local library to the Wikipedia and the world wide web. Simply put, the internet is everywhere and if you are in a blackspot and haven’t got it, then you are stuck filling in income tax forms on paper, paying extra for bank statements and falling victim to a virus only if someone sneezes nearby. However, if you do have access to high-speed broadband – and Ka-Sat is intended to open that up to hundreds of thousands of new French subscribers – then you get the benefits of music, TV from round the
The Advertiser, Normandy
Photo: Pavel Losevsky - Fotolia.com
High-speed internet can be child’s
THERE aren’t enough hours in the day to make use of the offers available for the so-called triple-play TV/internet and telephone services that are widely available across most of France. Typical deals offer internet up to 100Mb, WiFi throughout the home, free landline telephone calls to 100 countries worldwide, 150 TV channels with 21 HD channels, 13,000 programmes on dideo-on-Demand, catch-up TV on many channels, 40 digital radio stations and all for €30 a month (increasing to €50 after four months). Many channels even offer programmes in the original language, and the range of options available can be baffling: whether you want HD or 3D programmes, whether you simply want
to watch programmes or “timeshift” them by recording and storing, or even stop and restart a running programme. High-definition TVs are now owned by 55 per cent of households in France and the range of programmes is growing by the month. Some channels are especially set up for HD viewing – especially nature documentaries. A random sample includes Jose Feliciano, Brian Adams, Lou Reed or Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert; sports such as tennis, the Dakar rally and downhill ski-ing; crime series such as CSI Miami, Cold Case, Life on Mars and Lie to Me’ and a range of National Geographic programmes. Orange in particular has made use of 3D
Blackspots get boost as new satellite launched THERE has been an astonishing change in France in the past 10 years, when just one third of the country could access broadband. By 2005, coverage had increased to 95 per cent and, although some areas are still stuck with dial-up, this number has today grown to more than 98 per cent of the population. Politicians from President Sarkozy down have stated that access to high-speed broadband is a right and that every effort should be made to get households connected. However, many residents are still in zones blanches, with no access to ADSL high-speed internet, or in zones grises, where they have access, but through only one internet provider, so no choice. That is tolerable if the provider is a company such as Free, which came top of the official league for internet service providers run by telecoms regulator Arcep. It is not so good if the only company you can use is ranked lower down the scale; Orange took a slating for managing to fix only 70 per cent of customers’ problems within the twoday set limit. However, the league tables do not tell the whole story: Free was rated poorest for the number of technical faults Rural communities can be the most disadvantaged by the lack of decent access to highspeed internet services and it is thought that
between one and two million people are stuck with dial-up access, which leaves them with connection speeds of just 28-35kb a second. There is a solution available through satellite internet services such as those from Vivéole, Connexion Verte, France Télécom subsidiary NordNet and SFR subsidiary SHD, which offer broadband of up to 2Mb per second at less than €35 a month. The launch of the Eutelsat Ka-Sat satellite just before the new year should help clear the zones blanches and could clear a major drawback for satellite broadband, which has a delayed response in the signal of about 600 milliseconds, plus limits on upload/download speeds, which means it cannot be used for voice-over-internet programs such as Skype. The Ka-Sat service could overcome the problems with its capacity of up to 70Gb per second and with download speeds of up to 10Mbps and upload speeds of up to 4Mbps. It still has delays, but users may be able to live with it. Ka-Sat is expected to be fully operational for residential broadband subscribers from late spring. It follows the launch of Avanti’s Hylas 1 satellite in November, which supplied broadband to 300,000 subscribers. However, Ka-Sat is much bigger and is built to be able to cope with services to two million households.
The Advertiser, Normandy
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play if you are living in right area
technology for sports that offers a eye-opening new view of what is happening on the pitch. It tested the water with free 3D images from the French Open tennis, but has so far not pushed the technology any further to customers. So far, sales of 3D TVs have been below expectations in France, where the preChristmas rush failed to materialise, but the main channels such as Orange and Canal+ are keen to tap into what is an exciting development... although many market analysts suggest that the main market for 3D will likely be the world’s porn channels. Watching what you want when you want has been one of the major changes in TV usage over recent years, and the introduction of
video-on-demand from triple-play firms follows the huge increase in people using harddrive recorders and DVD recorders to store programmes, especially films, for later viewing. Now there are full picture libraries with many of the most up-to-date movies, some out just after their release in the cinemas, available for watching or download. People are also increasingly using TVs for playing games, especially since the Nintendo Wii was launched. The arrival of Microsoft’s Kinect, with its controller-free gameplay, will see this trend only grow. In the 60 days after its launch, the Kinect sold eight million sensor units, which link with Microsoft’s X-box. There won’t be enough hours in the day.
Are you missing your favourite UK shows? NOT everyone enjoys the French fondness for long – and sometimes long-winded – TV debates and intellectual programming, and the hankering to watch some familiar UK programmes has given birth to a sizeable market in providing satellite links or other options. Many families pick up UK TV services through the likes of a Sky digibox and several companies have been set up to make the process easier, because Sky will only deliver its operating keycards to an address in the UK. This is because it doesn’t have a licence to broadcast to France and would be breaking its licence terms by supplying the goods here. Receiving the Sky signal in France is not an offence, merely a breach of the company’s terms, and users in France will not face any action to stop them enjoying their huge range of programmes. Indeed, many advertisers will welcome their eyeballs. Many channels are free, but the paid-for channels still need a subscription. Bearing in mind that the Astra 2 satellite is about the same size as a small van and that it is sitting 36,000km away in a geosynchronous orbit above the Equator, you need to make sure that your satellite dish is aimed in exactly the right direction. That is where expert installation crews make
their money; they know to avoid problems with direct line-of-sight obstacles such as chimneystacks or trees. You cannot use the mini-dish that Sky supplies in the UK, because it has too small a transmission collection area to pick up a good signal; it is more common in France for people to fit the larger 60cm Zone 2 satellite dish to avoid picture problems. One major problem of using a digibox is that only one channel at a time can be viewed; satellite dish suppliers can give more flexibility by offering a different LNB satellite arm which has multiple receivers and makes more channels available on different digiboxes. The UK’s Freesat service can also be accessed from a French-based satellite dish, though this has to be one of the larger Zone 2 dishes. Freeview, which comes through your rooftop aerial in the UK, is not available. If you don’t mind watching on your computer screen, or have the know-how to link up to the TV, there are a number of ways round the BBC’s UK-only limitation on its iPlayer service. Some use UK “proxy servers”, which relay a signal to your computer; others set up a VPN virtual private network, which is a digital “tunnel” from the UK that supplies your iPlayer programme through a separate internet link.
The Advertiser, Normandy
What do you need for digital switch? FRANCE – like the UK and many other countries worldwide – is phasing out its analogue TV transmissions and changing to a new digital signal. This has the dual benefit of a new, stronger signal, but also of a signal which takes up less broadcast space and leaves more room for extra services and channels. Digital TV or Télévision Numérique Terrestre (TNT) has already been introduced in Basse-Normandie, where residents have now got 19 free channels, instead of the old maximum of six, and better-quality images on their screens. Households can also now get highdefinition TV signals – nowadays more than one French household in two has an HD TV – plus electronic on-screen TV guides. Haute-Normandie will see its analogue TV signal being switched off on February 1, along with Nord Pas-de-Calais. Picardie changes on February 2, the Ile-de-France on March 2 and the Dordogne and the rest of Aquitaine, along with the Limousin, will change on March 29. Analogue TV viewers will no longer get a signal, so the changes should be made before the switchover date. Households still viewing the analogue signal will see a black band running across the screen on channels TF1, France 2 and France 3 warning that you need to make changes to your system to receive the digital signal. These warnings will increase in the run-up to the changeover date.
Just as the CD has replaced vinyl albums (and is, itself, being replaced by MP3 files), digital signals offer better reproduction than the old analogue signal and better possibilities for storage. That doesn’t mean your old TV will
follow your record player and into the skip, as all televisions sold since 1981 can show digital signals and simply need to be converted using an adaptor fitted to the Scart or Péritel socket. Even old black-and-white TVs can
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? TNT adaptor/tuner for television TNT HD adaptor for televistion
– from €80 Realigning rooftop aerial/fitting adaptor – €80-€120 Replacing rooftop aerial – €180-€220 TNTSAT or FRANSAT adaptor plus satellite dish and installation – from €280
be converted with an adaptor to display digital TV. All TVs sold since 2008 contain an integrated TNT decoder. You must make sure you can get a digital signal, and unless your rooftop aerial (antenne râteau), is very old, it can still be used to get transmissions in many areas; although it will no longer receive the terrestrial analogue signal from TF1, France 2, France 3, Canal Plus, France5/Arte and M6 once that is switched off. Some aerials may need to be modified to get the signal – or perhaps turned to a new transmitter – but any installer can do this. Financial aid is available for those having to install adaptors or who need to get work done to set up their aerials. This covers up to €25 for a TV adaptor and €120 for work by an aerial installer, but is dependent on your resources. People living in apartment blocks using a communal aerial should check with their syndic or letting agency to organise for the necessary work to be done. Once the rooftop aerial has been realigned to receive the digital transmission, your TV must also be retuned into the new channels. Each
TV and video or DVD recorder will need to be retuned. However, some parts of the country are not covered by digital transmissions and the digital changeover site at www.tousaunumerique.fr has full details – in French – of how to test if you get the digital signal. If you find your aerial can not receive digital transmissions, then you will need to make alternative arrangements, such as a satellite dish (parabole), cable TV or ADSL box. Two special non-subscription satellite services have been set up, called TNTSAT or FRANSAT, and there is government aid of up to €250 available for those in no-TNT zones. This is not dependent on your resources. Satellite dishes should be pointed at the Astra 2 or AB3 satellites. Households who are in a TNT zone but who suffer from a poor signal can also get financial aid to improve reception, but will need to get an invoice from an aerial installer. Households with access to satellite or cable TV and triple-play ADSL box offers from the likes of Orange/SFR/Bouygues/Alice/Darty etc do not need to make any changes, as they are already receiving the digital signal.
THE authoritative guide to buying a home in France Written by the Notaires de France and published by Conseils des Notaires. Available in English from The Connexion, priced €7.50 or £7
(plus postage and packaging)
See our website www.connexionfrance.com
The Advertiser, Normandy
New network means business English support group will meet regularly to share contacts and tips, inspired by Business Link in the UK A NEW group has been set up for English-speaking businesses in Normandy to share advice, make contacts and help each other. The Normandy Business Group is for anyone who already has a business or for those who may be looking to start a business in the region. The group, which launches with more than 50 members, will meet regularly to share experience, skills and contacts, organising a series of networking events, masterclasses and social evenings. It is primarily aimed at Englishspeakers, but French firms with an international outlook are also welcome to get involved. A broad range of trades and skills are represented, including estate agents, advertising sales, journalists, brewers, photographers, translators, removals firms, plasterers, satellite installers and carpenters.
Normandy business owners mingle at an earlier meet-up in Caen Group founder Judy Mansfield says: “Many of us working in Normandy can’t fail to have noticed – especially in today’s business climate – the extra effort we have to make to find clients and reliable business services or partners. “The usual word-of-mouth approach isn’t quite as effective here, and there is no real equivalent to the Business Link groups we know from the UK. “The Chambres de Commerce and
the Chambres de Métiers all provide official advice, but they fail to understand fully or appreciate adequately the Anglophone culture. “There are French networking groups, and Anglo-French groups, but sometimes the cultural differences are too great to cross.” She adds: “The group will work best with the most members possible. “Whether you are a one-man band, or a captain of industry; salaried or
self-employed; an artisan or a commerçant, everyone is welcome.” The Normandy Business Group will be run as a not-for-profit association. Joining the group is free, but a small fee will be charged for events, to help cover costs. “We will hold various events around the Normandy region as demand grows,” Ms Mansfield adds. “The aim is that no one needs to travel more than an hour to an event unless they want to. The beauty of the set-up is that any member can organise an event in their area: a quick lunchtime masterclass, or a meeting on one particular topic. “The emphasis is first and foremost about having fun while expanding your network of contacts.” The group launched with a cheese and wine social evening at the end of January, and more events are planned in the coming months. The next event will look at the importance of online social networking for promoting your business. A venue will be confirmed shortly. Then, in March, the female members of the group will be celebrating International Women's Day with a lunch. Check the website for more details as they are confirmed: www.meetup.com/ Normandy-Business-Group.
Eure CCI prepares for a new home EURE chamber of commerce is moving to a new purposebuilt home. Construction work has begun on the €6.2m complex, which will house the CCI’s 65 staff. The current premises in the city centre were built in the 1950s during the post-war reconstruction of Evreux and are no longer suitable for the group’s needs. The new building’s location was picked to be more accessible for business people travelling to Evreux from elsewhere in the department. It will be located on the appropriately named Rue de l’Industrie in the Nétreville industrial zone, which is well served by the bypass, meaning no more travelling into the city centre and trying to find a parking space. The first stone was laid by CCI president Jean-Pierre Désormeaux shortly after the Christmas break. Do you run a business in Normandy that we could feature in our It’s My Business column? Send details to normandy @connexionfrance.com
It’s my BUSINESS
‘I’ve had huge support from the local community’ What is your business and how long have you been trading? I run a small business teaching tai chi to Normandy residents and have been trading since May 2010. I taught tai chi and meditation to London businesspeople and civil servants for 14 years before moving to Saint-Symphorien-des-Monts (Manche) in June 2009. What qualifications do you need to do this kind of work? A high level of training is needed as a prerequisite, followed by instructor training. I specialise in a type of called Wu-style Tai Chi Chuan and I needed to travel to the US to train. Why did you think it would work in Normandy? I wasn’t at all sure to start with. I was invited to a meeting at the mayor’s house because he wanted to set up a social organisation for the commune. Not knowing why I was there, I volunteered (or so I thought) to do some tai chi classes. It turned out I could charge, and that people not from the commune were also welcome and the business was born. What type of business set-up are you? I am an auto-entrepreneur: as simple as possible. Is it your main income? At the moment, it is my only paid work. I currently teach three hours a week, but I am looking to grow this a lot further. Would you be brave enough to tell us your income? About €55 an evening, two
Even in the relaxed Manche countryside, Katy Hamlett has found demand for the meditative benefits of tai chi and she hopes to grow the business further this year Katy Hamlett, below, hopes to offer more private tai chi classes and possibly begin sessions in English evenings a week during term-time. Hopefully that will increase as I build a reputation. What has surprised you about starting a business here? The huge level of support from the local community. The mayor of Saint-Symphorien-des-Monts, Sébastien Leboisne, came round and helped to decide the class details, start time, price and so on. The locals support me by correcting my French and working with me to uncover the phrases we need (as well as laughing wholeheartedly at
my language blunders). How do you market yourself? By giving demonstrations or saying a few words at commune events. Our local French newspaper puts a lovely piece in every time we have a new term. I also use posters, emails, listings and the website. I am doing a demonstration and workshop at the Maison des Jeunes in SaintHilaire-du-Harcouët as part of a well-being day on February 13, starting at 10.30. There will be lots of other activities on offer too.
What was your biggest mistake looking back ... and your biggest success? Trying to teach meditation when my French was not good enough last summer. It flopped, the students only returning when the tai chi started again in September. The biggest success has been that the first course was so full I opened up a second evening. The high point, however, was in December last year, when I asked the students for their comments. I was deeply moved by their depth of comprehension and how it was affecting their lives and health. It dispelled all of my fears about tai chi being watered down through my ability (or lack of) to express myself in French.
Hall hire in the UK is a large expense. Here, we have already paid for the village hall in our taxes, so we can use them for just a nominal contribution (20 centimes per student, in my case). I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about setting up a class doing what you do best. Insurance is also cheap. Your French is guaranteed to improve dramatically as well.
What is the difference between doing your business in the France and the UK? The French are much more relaxed and out for a good evening as well as learning tai chi. I have learnt to just go with the flow when they bring friends and family who just happened to be visiting.
When are your classes? The current classes are in the salle commune in Saint-Symphorien-des Monts, near Saint-Hilaire-duHarcouët and Mortain, on Monday and Thursday evenings from 20.00. For more info, call 06 04 14 39 41, see www.peterhamlett.com/taichigb.html or email email@example.com
What are your plans? It would be lovely to get some private, one-on-one clients or even a class in English going. I would also love to teach some daytime classes, but my attempt to set one up in a neighbouring commune failed through lack of interest (although the mayor was very helpful).
The Advertiser, Normandy
CLASSIFIEDS Do you have a car or unwanted item to sell? Would you like to rent out a property - or meet new friends? Reach people local to you for FREE with The Normandy Advertiser If you have an item to sell or give away, if you are looking to buy or sell a home or a car or are offering accommodation, we can help. The Advertiser, the English-language community newspaper for Normandy, offers great visibility with our small adverts appearing in print and also online at our website www.normandyadvertiser.com All readers offering items of a value of under €250 on a non-commercial basis can place an advert of up to 150 characters COMPLETELY FREE. Personal adverts, community items, job adverts and items involving animals and pets are also FREE for 150 characters. The maximum time for free adverts to run is 3 months. Adverts can be placed online at www.dordogneadvertiser.com and should appear on the site within one working day and in the next edition of the Normandy Advertiser (the deadline is the fifth of the month for the next month’s print edition). If you are selling an item whose value is over €250 or are placing a commercial classified, you have three options for paid advertising. 1: Lineage. Up to 150 characters = €25 TTC. Up to 300 characters = €50 2: Bold lineage. Up to 150 characters in bold = €30 TTC. Up to 300 characters = €60 3: A special feature box: this is an ideal way to sell a property or a car. This comprises up to 150 (or 300) characters in a box with a colour photograph = €50TTC (or €75TTC for 300 characters).* See examples on the facing page. Rates are for one print edition and 45 days online. To place a paid-for advert of more than 150 characters please email the text to firstname.lastname@example.org and call us to make payment. *Item is not boxed but runs with a photograph on our website
CLASSIFIEDS Adverts placed here appear in print in the Normandy Advertiser and on our website www.normandyadvertiser.com Check the website daily to see what’s new Ads are FREE for any private individual wanting to sell an item under €250
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To place a classified advert go to our website www.normandyadvertiser.com or email the text to email@example.com and call us to make payment.
Make cash from your unwanted items. Classified adverts are FREE for private sales of items under €250. Place your advert via our website www.normandyadvertiser.com PROPERTY FOR SALE
SAINTE MÈRE EGLISE AREA Restored house in the country side, no neighbours. Kitchen with fireplace, lounge, bathroom, ind. WC, bedroom and large room for conversion, workshop. Land of one acre. L'Immobilier du Coin REF 90 162 626€ agency's fees inclusive tel : 02 33 45 36 73 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.immoducoin50.com
IN THE REGION OF SAINT JEAN DE DAYE, Lovely Countryside house on 750m² of a lovely garden, comprising on the ground floor : Fitted kitchen with a fireplace, lovely lounge dining area facing the garden,shower room , wc, laundry room.On the first floor 3 bedrooms. Attached garage, and wood shed at the back. Quiet area REF: 100 PRICE AGENCY FEES INCLUDED 150 000€ TEL 00.33 126.96.36.199 (morning) or 00.33.6.12.55.15.56 B'CIMMO www.b-cimmo.com
SOUTH OF ST LO, old house situated on 1/4 of an acre of land, comprising : Entrance , fitted kitchen tilled floor, lounge with wood burner apparent beams. Dining room tilled floor. On the first floor : 3 bedrooms parquet floor ( one on suite) + bathroom with bath sink and wc. Attached outbuilding with garage, workshop. Attic on the top. Lovely garden at the back REF: 188 PRICE AGENCY FEES INCLUDED 148 750€ TEL 00.33 188.8.131.52 (morning) or 00.33.6.12.55.15.56 B'CIMMO www.b-cimmo.com
LA HAYE DU PUITS AREA 2 miles from the town, 7 miles from the sea side, pretty cottage with 3 bedrooms, nice main room with opened kitchen and fireplace. Garden of 765 m². L'Immobilier du Coin REF 26 134 822€ agency's fees inclusive tel : 02 33 45 36 73 email: email@example.com www.immoducoin50.com
BETWEEN LESSAY AND PERIERS, West coast of the peninsula, property consists of kitchen, living room with fireplace, 4 bedrooms. Situated in the country. Garden of 680 m². Gas central heating. L'Immobilier du Coin REF 160 125 342€ agency's fees inclusive tel : 02 33 45 36 73 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.immoducoin50.com
EXHIBITION of Paintings and Drawings by Karen Papacek. from 20 January to 18 February. Open TuesSat. from 1 to 6 pm. L'Atelier d'Icare, 36 rue des Ponts Neufs, 72000 Le Mans, Tel 02 43 51 22 98, Email email@example.com NEW NORMANDY BUSINESS NETWORK. Free membership: business and social events with emphasis on having fun whilst building your business skills and networking contacts. Please find us on http://www.meetup.com/Normandy-BusinessGroup/about/ or do call Judy on 02 31 31 50 23 for an initial chat.
ITEMS FOR SALE
CLOSE TO TTORIGNI SUR VIRE, Lovely stone house situated on 4400 m² of land, 240m² habitable, comprising the main house with a large lounge and dining area, fitted kitchen, a back kitchen, large bathroom and 3 bedrooms parquet floor + a gite comprising : Large lounge/Kitchen, 1 bedroom and a shower room with wc with access to disable people downstairs and 2 bedrooms upstairs. Gas central heating, double glazed windows. Large outbuilding to convert.. REF: 130 PRICE 233 200€ TEL 00.33 184.108.40.206 (morning) or 00.33.6.12.55.15.56 B'CIMMO www.b-cimmo.com WOOD CHIPPER - Broyeurs For Sale. Viking GE 220 As New. 249 Euros. firstname.lastname@example.org SMEG RETRO FRIDGE, FAB 28, cream, good condition, genuine reason for sale,Dept 50,collect only,200 euros. 02.33.58.80.79.
PERSONALS UK DJ WANTED FOR WEDDING on 20 Aug 2011. Pls ring Slade O2 33 34 53 20 with experience and costs and to dicuss reqmnts.
JOBS WANTED SO LONG P Normandy will miss you, especially the pretty cows.
The Advertiser, Normandy
Transform work experience into a recognised certificate LAST month we looked at how to get UK qualifications recognised in France. If this proves too difficult, you can always try getting validation des acquis de l'expérience, (VAE) – proof of prior learning and work experience. This may in turn lead to getting a recognised professional diploma or certificate. You can get official recognition of experience from paid or unpaid work. It is available for all ages and no minimum qualifications are required. The only conditions are that you must have had at least three year’s experience full or part time, which doesn’t have to be continuous, and that it must be directly related to the professional certificate or diploma you are aiming for. If you have worked in France you must be up to date with your state contributions towards professional development contributions (Formation Professionnelle Continue) or you must be signed on as a job seeker. Previous on-the-job training is not taken into account. So if, for example, you studied three years for a teaching degree, but only worked for one year after obtaining your qualification, it is only the year actually worked that is taken into account. You would need to work another two years before being able to obtain the VAE. There are various stages to go through to obtain the VAE. Obvious ones, such as making sure you are eligible for the VAE, collecting information about your skills, knowledge and personal qualities that you have acquired throughout your experience and identifying the qualification you would like to obtain can all be done yourself. It is however advisable to visit your local Pôle Emploi who can guide you through the correct procedure and who also run VAE workshops. The final contents of what is needed in your file will be fixed by the body awarding the certificate or diploma. Evaluations are POLE-EMPLOI JOBS TOURIST RECEPTIONIST Job Offer No 640409i - Your role is to welcome customers, give them advice and sell them local food products. No previous experience required. In Calvados CDD for 6 months. Good level of English preferred. Monthly salary of approx. 1,400 Euros open to negotiation. AFTER-SALES TECHNICIAN Job Offer No 938225W - You will be responsible for the installation of equipment at clients' homes in France and abroad, primarily standard equipment ie basic installation, training and maintenance in line with after sales service. Three month training course provided. Minimum 2 years experience and technical electrical qualification in A level plus two years preferred. Place of work: Lower Normandy. CDI Outline annual salary 20 000 to 30 000 Euros plus bonus and luncheon vouchers RECEPTIONIST Job Offer No
640705i Holiday cover during February school holidays. The role includes welcoming and guiding visitors to a site and all the public areas. A good level of English is required. Ideally with a minimum of I months experience in a similar job. Place of work: CHERBOURG-OCTEVILLE. CDD 21 days. Hourly rate 9 Euros TOURIST RECEPTIONIST Job Offer No 847176i - Desk operator for embarkation for a ferry company. Bilingual French and English required and good level of Spanish would be preferable.Your will field enquiries face to face and over the phone, check vehicles for embarkation both freight and private passengers. Irregular hours and some work outside. Min I years similar experience. Place of work: CHERBOURGOCTEVILLE. CDD 6 months. Outline hourly pay 9.30 Euros plus top up insurance. EXPORT SALES Job Offer No 847311 i ** URGENT** We are looking for a French Export Product Manager to
different depending on the sector, some might require you to pass role play scenarios, some certificates require face to face interviews, others do not. Gaining a validation certificate is not automatic, you have to prove that you have worked and gained the necessary skills. If the awarding body decides that your are suitable for the full qualification, you will be given the certificate straight away. If they decide there is only enough experience for a partial validation, they will state what skills or knowledge still need to be acquired before being able to obtain the desired qualification. Some financial help is also available under certain conditions for job seekers. For further information or to locate your local Pôle Emploi office visit www.pole-emploi.fr oversee relations with clients and suppliers, tasks to include looking for new clients, negotiation, customer service, carrying out surveys. You will be fully conversant with IT and in English. Min 4 years previous experience and business degree level qualification. Place of work: ISIGNY-LEBUAT. CDI. Expérience EXIGEE DE 4 A 5 ANS. Formation Bac+3, Bac+4 ou équivalent Commerce Exigé. Annual salary 25 000 to 28 000 Euros HOLIDAY CAMP Activity Leader Job Offer No 640614 i - You will be responsible for organising activities in a seaside campsite. A dynamic self-starter will total grasp of English and with min 6 months previous experience as an activity leader. Place of work: SAINT-AUBIN-SURMER. CDD 6 months. Outline hourly pay 10 Euros SHOP ASSISTANT FOR A GROCER'S Job Offer No 640632 i - You will be responsible for stock control abd the sale of food products on a campsite. You will work according to a rota, incl
weekends and hours are from 6.30am to 8.30pm. ½ day off a week. Min. 3 months previous experience required. Good level of English. Place of work: SAINT-AUBIN-SURMER. 6 month seasonal contract. Outline hourly pay 9 uros MAÎTRE D'HÔTEL Job Offer No 640505 i For post in a brasserie. Traditional service for groups and individuals. Overseeing of waiters, chefs de rang and commis. You will work independently. 2 consecutive days off. Possibility of Accommodation. Min 1 years previous experience. Job available for this season with poss CDI as a result. Good level of English required. Place of work: Near MONT-SAINT-MICHEL. 9 month seasonal contract. Expérience EXIGEE DE 1 A 2 ANS SUR MEMES FONCTIONS. Languages : English. Salary to be negotiated according to experience. 39 hour week. Night auditor
How do I find a job near where I live in the Dordogne which needs an English-speaker?
Classifieds 17 Useful Normandy contacts To get your group listed here, email email@example.com Accueil des Villes Françaises For newly arrived residents http://tinyurl.com/avfnorm Alcoholics Anonymous www.aabassenormandie.com Bilingual meeting every Friday in Picauville (50). Alan: 02 78 08 41 23
Club Franco-Anglais de Conversation de Gacé (61) Weekly conversation exchange between local French and English Lynn and Phil Slade: 02 33 34 53 20 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alliance Anglo-Normande French and English lessons, meetings and a social calendar. Based between Livarot and Vimoutiers. email@example.com www.alliance-anglonormande.info
Elizabeth Finn Care Grants and advice for Britons and Irish in financial need. Mary Hughes: 04 68 23 43 79
Amicale Culturelle Européenne Cultural events for all nationalties www.amicale-culturelle.eu firstname.lastname@example.org
Epona Trust Charity helping sick and mistreated horses and ponies Ann: 02 33 61 88 41 www.eponatrust.org
Anglo-French Club, The Perche Ecole de Français Du Perche (61) Lessons, monthly events and walks. Maureen or Danielle: 02 33 25 25 63 www.efdperche.com
The 50 Photo Club Meets on first Thursday of the month at Laforge Pub in Le Petit-Celland Jackie: 02 33 48 89 64 email@example.com
Anglophone Association,Coutances A social and cultural association for English-speakers of any nationality. Liz Armstrong: 02 33 72 25 32 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gay Normandie www.gaynormandie.com
Association Euromayenne www.euromayenne.org French language classes in Mayenne and Gorron for all levels. Contact John Robinson on 02 43 03 36 75 or email email@example.com Association Française des Solos www.asso-des-solos.fr Caen: 06 08 37 06 11 Saint-Lô: 06.34.47.47.64 Cherbourg: 06 45 50 57 69 Dieppe: 06 61 16 68 84 Rouen: 06 60 18 54 91 Association Franco-Britannique de Buais (50) French tuition, all levels welcome Juliet Sharp: 02 33 69 36 55 firstname.lastname@example.org Association Franco-Britannique, Barneville Carteret (50) An informal group of French and British residents who meet for social events on the Cotentin peninsula Claude Bastian: 02 33 93 10 70 http://francobrit50.wordpress.com Bocage Gardeners For gardening enthusiasts, offering advice, meetings and outings. groups.yahoo.com/group/ bocagegardeners British Embassy (Paris) 01 44 51 31 00 Calvados Polo Club Polo matches and events in Lisieux area (14). Open to non-members. Mme Garmond: 02 31 31 19 85 email@example.com Cancer Support Basse Normandie Jenny Luck: 02 33 60 27 82 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cancersupportfrance.info Classic Car and Bike Club of Désertines (53) Meets last Thursday of every month at the Red Lion Pub, Désertines Alan Soutter: 02 33 69 55 62 email@example.com
Screen one 1. Go onto the Pôle Emploi website www.pole-emploi.fr 2. On the home page the screen is divided into red on the left for job seekers and green on the right for employers. 3. On the red section for job seekers click on the line Recherchez des Offres d'Emplois (Looking for Job Offers) as per the green arrow above . Screen two 5. Click on Recherche Avancée tab Screen three 6. Scroll down to the heading Formation et langues (qualifications and languages) and select anglais, to find jobs which require English then your commune or department under Lieu de travai
Call 02 33 58 86 76 christchurchcoutances.com
Christ Church Coutances Every Sunday at 11.00 in the chapel of the Lycee Germain, Rue d’Ilkley, All the services are in English and are Church of England based and all are welcome.
Groupe Ornithologique Normand Regular bird-watching outings 02 31 43 52 56 www.gonm.org Mayenne and Orne Writers Relaxed, friendly creative writing group on first Thursday of month at the bistrot in Passais-laConception. Kitty Stephens: 02 33 64 12 20 firstname.lastname@example.org Neufchâtel Twinning Association English, Spanish and French tuition for all levels. Various activities email@example.com Orne Link Anglo-French network for the Orne http://ornelink.orne.fr Scarlet or Véronique: 02 33 81 62 97 Royal British Legion Normandy/Calvados district branch http://rblnormandy.wordpress.com Goona Naidu: 02 31 78 36 40 Ron Matthews: firstname.lastname@example.org Royal Naval Association France Nord branch Open to all ex-service members and anyone with an interest in the navy Geoffrey Baldock: 02 97 51 54 77 email@example.com Société Protectrice des Animaux Cherbourg: 02 33 20 49 74 Cabourg: 02 31 28 09 71 Etalondes: 02 35 86 88 51 SOS Helpline Trained listeners provide confidential, anonymous counselling service in English to English-speakers living in France. 01 46 21 46 46 from 15.00 to 23.00 daily. www.soshelpline.org UK passport advice 0044 208 082 4729 (cost of call plus 69p/minute on your credit card) “Ville-Beau-Son” Choir Anglo-French choir in Villebaudon (50). Meets every Wednesday. Sylvia Miles: 02 33 59 21 81 firstname.lastname@example.org Get the latest news and events alerts by following us on Twitter twitter.com/NormandyNews twitter.com/WhatsOnNormandy
The deadline for adverts is the 10th of the month prior to following month’s edition
The Advertiser, Normandy
NORMANDY 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 news stories you see on these pages.) 1/3 page, maximum 500 words plus photo, €200HT 2/3 page, maximum 1,000
47mm x 75mm
(31-45 words) B&W Colour
NORMANDY KENNELS Small, caring and qualified English run kennels and cattery Contact Jon or Sue Tel 02 31 67 93 48 Near Vire Dept 14 www.normandykennels.com email@example.com Siret 48914001200019
Chenil Les Mille Calins English Run
5 Star accommodation for Dogs/Cats Comprising of underfloor heated kennels Qualified staff Top Quality food and exercise Only 45 minutes south of Caen Convenient Ferry Access SAFETY COMFORT AND CARE FOR YOUR PET, PEACE OF MIND FOR YOU
www.goldenwaypets.com Telephone 02 33 37 49 19 Emergency 02 33 38 41 32 Fax 02 33 38 44 16
call 0800 91 77 56
47mm x 50mm
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Advertise here ALL YEAR from 165HT Call free on just €1 0800 91 77 56 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Acorn Kennels & Cattery Qualified and professional care of your pet while you are away www.AcornKennelsandCattery.com Tel: 02 33 49 63 22 Siret: 479 825 168 00012
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caters solely for cats - large heated pens all with individual outside areas Tel: 02 33 49 11 57 email: email@example.com www.catswhiskerscattery.pi8.com Siret 51060809400015
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The Advertiser, Normandy
Smart internet site beats the estate agents DURING the last days of 2010, the team of Houses on Internet got together to celebrate a highly successful year of selling French property. Richard Kroon, founder and director of the company that introduced a new way of marketing houses in France said: “It really was time to unwind after working so hard throughout the year. “The goals we set for 2010 had already been achieved in September and when everything you planned turns out so well, both for our clients and for us, working hard is no burden at all; it’s a pleasure.” Houses on Internet helps pri-
vate owners of French property sell their house, without using a traditional estate agent, by using modern marketing techniques on the internet and providing all the relevant information in three languages with on average 50 photos of each property. Richard Kroon said: “When I registered my new business with the chamber of commerce in January 2009 and explained to them what I had in mind, they were very enthusiastic, but questioned if the small fee of 2.5 per cent on a sale would be enough to make a decent living. They asked if I realised I would need to sell at
Mesnil Renovation Areas 14/50/61
Full / Part Renovations, carpentry, masonry, plastering, tiling, kitchens, replacement windows and doors.
They asked if I realised at 2.5% commission I would need to sell at least three times as many properties as an agent who charges seven to 10%. Yes I do, I said, and I will Richard Kroon Director Houses on Internet
Richard Kroon believes his site’s success stems from a focus on what buyers want least three times as many properties as an agent who charges seven to 10 per cent to have the same income. Yes I do, I said, and I will." Easier said than done though. “It became obvious I could never do it alone, so within a
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Business Cards - Leaflets - Flyers - Postcards Banners - Vehicle Graphics - Colour Labels www.AardvarkPrintandDesign.com 02 33 91 88 16 firstname.lastname@example.org
few months I had fulltime team around me with specialists like myself in the fields of marketing, modern internet techniques, text editing and photography. “In addition to that, we have about 50 freelancers throughout France who act as local
Help with the French system
HOUSES ON INTERNET
Call Hilary Reynolds 00 33 (0) 2 33 59 17 07 www.leapfrogservices.net
Do you want to sell your house quickly? Our fee is only 2.5%
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Find out how on:
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contacts for our clients.” Richard added: “The year 2009 was not the best time to start a business selling realestate with the financial crisis going on. But we managed to perform better than the market and ended the year with a modest profit. The properties
Tel: 05 55 65 12 19
SIRET No 489 459 438 00011
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English Carpenter/Joiner Michael Bambridge BSc Very experienced in renovation and carpentry including stairs and furniture Tel: 02 33 50 40 24 Email: email@example.com Siret: 48131662800017
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that were sold though during that year were mostly priced between €100,000 and €200,000. “This last year has been completely different. Not only did we sell the houses to buyers from no less than 12 different countries, proving that we are able to reach a global audience, but also in all price ranges, up to €2 million.” The secret of this successful business is not really a mystery, Richard Kroon said. “First, you need to think as a potential buyer and give them exactly what you would want if you were looking for a property to buy. Second, you need to understand that you are not the only one who is trying to sell. So you have to advertise more, supply more information, more and better photos and you need to do it immediately, not after one week, because by then you will already have lost today's buyers,” he added.
Allianz Insurance Mayenne Friendly, English speaking agent
House, Car and Health Insurance plus savings account
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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: 33 00 05 62 29 20 00 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org RCS Auch B479 400 657 - Regions: All France
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Seans Garden Services
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Francois Labadie Agence immobilière Currently looking for more houses to market on our portfolio Ali Lamerton-Hunt 06 59 18 68 57 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.maisonsnormandy.com
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The Advertiser, Normandy
Choose a wood burning stove for that extra glow A WOODBURNING stove can be the heart of your home, providing not only heat in the winter, but also that special, welcoming, cosy glow. When choosing a stove you need to give careful thought to the size and quality of the appliance to ensure that it is fit for your home and will last
for years to come. The Stove Shack is a longestablished business here in Normandy and formerly in the UK. “We have the benefit of over 25 years’ experience, and are able to offer impartial and informed advice on your choice of stove, as well as
from start of your project to finish. We are able to offer a full survey service, and once your choice is made, we can offer a full installation service of both your stove and liner,” he added. If you have no existing chimney, the company can build a ‘factory flue’ for you, subject to survey. Tax credits may well be available to you on the price of your stove, if fitted by a registered installer.
being agents for three leading UK manufacturers: Hunter, Woodwarm and Esse,” said owner John Purslow.
“We are qualified to the highest standards, possessing an NVQ in Chimney Engineering and HETAS
recognised. We are fully insured and carry out all work ourselves. Nothing is subcontracted, you deal with us
John Purslow The Stove Shack www.thestoveshack.eu firstname.lastname@example.org 02 33 17 25 21
Not sweeping your chimney could be an expensive oversight CHIMNEY sweeping is an area of home maintenance that is often neglected, but this can be a catastrophic oversight. The regulations are clear: If you use a flue then it must be swept at least annually. For a holidayhome owner this is just as important. You may only use your fire for a few weeks per year but those weeks add up and when you consider your chimney may be several hundred years old and may not have been CHARLES WILKINS (Crouttes) Garden design, construction & advice. Patios, decking, garden buildings - RHS qualified Tel: 02 33 67 24 96 Email: email@example.com Regions Covered 14, 61 Siret 50404254000022
Garden Clearance - Grass Cutting Hedge Cutting - Strimming and Weed Killing Tel: Charlie 02 33 91 78 05 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org St Sever Area Siret 49763502900018
CHIMNEY SWEEP PROPERTY MANAGEMENT DEPT 50
Stephen Ramsbottom - 0233172361 e-mail: email@example.com siret: 51114827200012
Installation & Repair of English & European TV and Broadband Internet. All work guaranteed. Tel: 02 33 91 69 29, email: firstname.lastname@example.org siret:491 624 367
swept regularly in the past. Likewise, if you have a liner installed, to prevent blockage and the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should have it regularly swept. Your chimney must also be swept before the installation of a liner. Chimney sweeping is skilled work. The inner skin of a liner can easily be damaged by incorrect equipment and brushing techniques, with expensive consequences. Soot is a carcinogen in the same category as
POWER & LIGHT SERVICES ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING SERVICES ALL WORK FULLY INSURED. Tel: 02 33 70 88 24 Email: email@example.com Regions Covered: 50,14,61,22 Siret: 515 210 847 00015
Your needs, your wishes 09 65 35 17 56 www.englishlanguagefunerals.fr
Kilrush Cars Ltd
A large selection of European
Left Hand Drive Cars
One owner - FSH - C.O.C Tel: 00 44 (0) 1252 782883
Tel: 03 22 32 59 50 Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org Siret: 502368103
Chimney Sweep Wood Stove Installation Property Management Iain Davison www.propertycarepeople.com Tel: 02 33 14 09 55 Email: email@example.com
Ground Works (mini digger) Septic Tanks, Renovation / Refurbishment, Roofing and Joinery, Kitchens / Bathrooms, Maintenance / Repairs - Total Project Management 35 years experience (NHBC UK) SIRET: 517 429 056 000 16 Fully Insured
02 35 97 00 56 06 21 09 08 23 firstname.lastname@example.org
ELECTRICIAN / PLUMBER and HEATING ENGINEER French Registered - Over 35 years experience David Christie - 02 33 51 05 91 Mobile: 06 31 97 58 15 Email: Christie.email@example.com South Manche Siret: 481 604 411 00019
Holiday Letting & Property Management
Holiday Booking Management, 7/7 Bilingual Assistance, Changeovers, Security Checks, Translations.
Mob: +33 (0)6 30 28 13 67 Tel: +33 (0)2 31 86 14 01 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.holidaydestinationnormandie.com Regions covered: 14, 50, 61 Siret: 511 964 983 000 15
Ash Grove Stoves Supplier of Hunter - Villager
• Weekly Service • Full & Part Loads • Container Storage • BAR Members • On-line Quotation • Internet Shopping Deliveries
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www.BritServ.com FR 02 99 98 31 81 UK 0208 144 3538
MOVING TO OR FROM FRANCE?
INVICTA INTERNATIONAL LIGHT HAULAGE SERVICES
Store Collections, General Removals, Motorcycle Recovery. France, UK, Europe.
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Weekly services to & from France Full or part loads, 4 wks free storage, 25 Years experience Contact: Anglo French Removals Tel: +44 (0)1233 660 963 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GENERAL BUILDING SERVICES (76)
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Company Regn No: UK 5186435 TVA / VAT No: UK 864 7217 04
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15 Years experience in roofing and zinc
Black Cat Services Expert English Sweep, Mess Free Registered, Insured. Certificate de Ramonage Issued
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00 44 1722 414350 firstname.lastname@example.org www.reflexmoodys.com
ENGLISH LANGUAGE FUNERALS
asbestos, so proper protective equipment including a specialist triple-filter vacuum cleaner must always be used to prevent harm to the person and avoid bringing dangerous particles into the home. For a professional mess-free service from a sweep who is registered, insured and able to issue a Certificat de Ramonage please call Steve Bainton-Smith at Black Cat Services on 02 33 50 84 91 or email email@example.com
SELF STORAGE FACILITY 61 SECURE SITE NEW STORAGE CONTAINERS COMPETITIVE PRICES Tel: 02 33 30 89 20 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.pjmselfstorage.com
Siret: 41153948300020 - Regions: All of France
D & K REMOVALS
Light Removals to and from France. Best prices, best service. T: + 44 (0) 079705 30723 E: email@example.com
UK - FRANCE - UK Full and part loads You pack, we move, you save! 0044 (0)1327 264627 UK Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.fishfaceremovals.com
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 email@example.com
BRITISH BEDS BY BEAUX RÊVES 2 & 4 Drawer Divans Headboards & Bedsteads Memory Foam - Pocket Sprung Vacuum Packed Mattresses Zip & Link Divans Mattresses from 99€ Beds from 99€ Opening Times - Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.30-12.00 14.00-17.00 Wed, Sat 9.30-12.00 Closed Sun, Mon 23 rue de Bretagne 53120 Gorron Tel - 02 43 11 26 77 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
LE BON CHOIX WOODBURNERS BY THE STOVE SHACK ESSE - HUNTER - WOODWARM
- Full lining and installation of all Stoves - Free Survey and Advice in Depts 14,50,61 - Stoves eligible for Credit d'impots - 20 yrs experience - HETAS and NVQ Qualified Tel 02 33 17 25 21 email@example.com www.thestoveshack.eu Siret No 510 070 535 00016
WOOD STOVE STUDIO Wood burning stoves and Cuisinieres from
Cashin Camina Cleanburn Esse Hunter Parkray Stovax on display at our dept 61 showroom
Selkirk chimney and flexible liner Full installation service www.woodstovestudio.com firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 02 33 12 57 26 Siret 498 597 632 00013
DEPOT - VENTE
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To take out a directory advert call us free on 0800 91 77 56 or email directory@ connexionfrance .com
The Advertiser, Normandy
Out and about 21
Wish you were here? The good life in Normandy’s most attractive villages Time for a change of scenery? Five rural retreats in Normandy are recognised in the national list of les plus beaux villages de France and are well worth a visit
Beuvron-en-Auge Calvados, Basse-Normandie Population: 226 Tourist office: 02 31 39 59 14 office-ttourisme-ccambremer.fr
Beuvron lies in the heart of Pays d’Auge country on the Cider Route, near Cambremer. It is just like a picture postcard with its half-timbered houses, its market and country homes scattered around the countryside.
St-Céneri-le-Gerei Orne, Basse-Normandie Population: 145 Tourist office: 02 43 33 28 04 www.saintceneri.org
Manche, Basse-Normandie Population: 642 Tourist office: 02 33 54 02 48 www.ville-b barfleur.fr
Photo: Cicero/Creative Commons
Photo: Ratachwa/Creative Commons
Photo: Padawane/Creative Commons
Barfleur was the Anglo-Norman kingdom’s leading port in the Middle Ages and is still a big yachting and fishing port today. Located near Cherbourg, its grey granite houses jut out over the Channel under the watchful eye of the Gatteville lighthouse.
About 15km south-west of Alençon, Saint-Céneri lies in a loop of the River Sarthe, spanned by a small stone bridge. Its old houses are clustered around the 11th-century Romanesque church that boasts outstanding frescoes. On the other side of the river, opposite a 15th-century chapel, a miracle spring is said to have the power to cure certain eye diseases.
Photo: Giogo/Creative Commons
Eure, Haute-Normandie Population: 417 Tourist office: 02 32 45 70 51 www.lebechellouin.fr
Situated between Rouen and Lisieux, in a lush green setting made up of fields criss-crossed by hedges and apple trees, Le Bec-Hellouin is a typical Normandy village, with timber-frame houses and flower-decked balconies. It gets its name from the stream that runs alongside it and from the founder of its famous abbey, which along with the Benedictine monastery, bears witness to the religious activity for which the village has been known over the years.
Photo: Franz Golhen/Creative Commons
Lyons-la-Fôret Eure, Haute-Normandie Population: 795 Tourist office: 02 32 49 31 65 www.lyons.tourisme.free.fr Located near Les Andelys, in one of Europe’s finest beech groves, the aptly named Lyons-la-Forêt stretches out its facades decked with halftimbering, colourful daub and bricks along the River Lieure. Shops ply their trade around the 18th-century covered market (pictured above), where other jewels of local architecture, such as the Vieux Logis or former bailiwick that has since become the town hall, can also be seen.
Where can I find the plan local d’urbanisme and what is it?
WHY NOT SPONSOR & ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS HERE?
PLUs mark areas for development and protection and are found at your mairie housing, plans for natural parks and other protected areas, historic town centres etc. Since the Grenelle laws, the PLU also needs to include planning methods that would help to reduce the production of CO2 in the area. Until recently, any changes to the PLU needed at least a public consultation. In February 2009. a simplified procedure to
modify the PLU was introduced for changes such as correcting errors, changes to some construction rules, decreasing construction zones by up to 20 per cent etc. These no longer need an official public consultation; however, the public should be informed that such changes are taking place. In very small communes a carte communale, a simplified version, is used.
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D I Y tips Re-pointing is easy with mortar
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THE plan local d’urbanisme (PLU) details different zones and planning regulations of communes, setting out the boundaries of farmland, natural parks and areas where development is permitted. PLUs were introduced in 2000, but following reforms in the environmental laws Grenelle 2, passed last July, many are undergoing revisions, such as integrating other local plans such as those pertaining to transport. You should be able to consult them at your local mairie. (Larger, more technically minded towns and cities may have copies online, such as Lyon’s at http://plu.grandlyon.com) All construction projects must comply with the PLU, which can even stipulate the types of materials used in some cases. Overall they delineate urban areas (zones urbaines, marked with a U), zones for development (zones à urbaniser, marked AU), agricultural land (zones agricoles, marked A) and natural and forested land (zones naturelles et forestières, marked with an N). They regulate the density of housing, the delineation of industrial and commercial areas. In various annexes, the PLU also contains medium- and long-term planning projects. These also include charts of noise levels in areas near airports, the sewage and water network. The PLU needs to be compatible with a range of other plans such as the programme local de l’habitat (PLH), which looks in more details at the state of local
The Advertiser, Normandy
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ONE quarter of people in France spend half their income on lodging. Despite most landlords and agencies placing a traditional cap of 33 per cent of earnings when considering tenants, a study by Seloger/Ifop found in practice many people were spending more. The study of 1001 people also found seven per cent were living in accommodation they considered dirty and unhygenic, or were very close to losing their accommodation owing to their inability to pay.
Property dreams don’t meet reality ONLY 58 per cent of French people own their own homes, despite 74 per cent saying they would like to. The level is one of the lowest in the EU. Leading the list is the Spanish, with 84 per cent of the population owning a home, 78 per cent in Belgium and 71 per cent in the UK. However France is still ahead of the Netherlands (54 per cent) and Germany (42 per cent), the survey by the European Savings Institute found.
Home owners are jobless for longer HOMEOWNERS take around 30 per cent longer to find a job than those who rent because they lack flexibility, according to a study by the Centre d'analyse stratégique, which compared the length of time people of similar professions and social classes spent looking for work.
Re-pointing walls is satisfying and relatively easy MANY people come to France and buy an old property in the country that usually needs some renovation. Unless you already have experience in the building trade, many of the tasks can seem quite daunting, but there is one job that, although quite laborious, can give satisfying results and is relatively easy to do: re-pointing walls. Not only does re-pointing walls immediately lift the look of a house, but a well pointed wall is also essential for good insulation. The first step is to choose the right mortar. With old stone houses, it is now advised that you should never use cement, not even a small amount. Lime mortars are the best; they might seem soft, and to the layman this could be synonymous with less strength, but lime mortar has the very important capacity of allowing the walls breath. It lets moisture in the wall come to the surface, allowing it to evaporate, while still preventing rain and water entering the house. Lime mortar also doesn’t shrink or crack, and self-heals any small cracks that might appear. It is also environmentally friendly. The usual ratio mix for mortar is 3:1 sharp sand/hydrated lime, but it is best to check with your supplier as ratios can change depending on the lime used. Also take into account the colour sand you buy, as this will change the colour of the mortar; however, there are limes that come in different colours to resolve this problem. The consistency is important as well; it should be as thick as possible, but also easy to apply into the smallest of joints. Walls should be well prepared; pre-wet the walls slightly using a fine spray, thoroughly clean the joints a large soft brush, remove any debris and dust. Once this is done, wet the walls again; all existing mortar needs to be damp as well as the stones. Apply the mortar with a trowel making sure all gaps are well filled; it’s best to be heavy-handed and apply more than needed than not enough. Don't worry about trying to get the wall to look perfect straightaway; the beauty of lime mortar is that you can remove any unwanted bits for several hours afterwards, unlike cement. To do this once it has started to harden, use a soft wire brush and gently brush over the tops of stones and in joints that might be too prominent. It can take several days for the mortar to dry completely. This technique can be used for both inside and outside the home. Indoors you might like to add a layer of lime wash, which will brighten up the house and reduce the amount of dust produced.
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The Advertiser, Normandy
Mayenne53 Plantes et Bulbes
A clump of snowdrops
Houses for sale in and around Normandy Buying or selling a property in or around Normandy? 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 Advertiser every month. Use the code under each property to find out more on the website. For sellers, the adverts are also displayed
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Divide your snowdrops SNOWDROPS are the first flowers to grow again as the winter draws to an end and dividing them helps make them look even better next year. From one year to the next, clumps widen, making splashes of white in the garden. Dividing them every three to four years helps keep them flowering well and is a chance to spread them to other areas. The end of the flowering period is the ideal time to do this. Wait until the flowers have bloomed and before the leaves turn yellow. Check if the soil is moist before removing and water it if not. Carefully dig around the clump of plants to a level below the roots with a trowel and lift it up whole, taking care not to damage the roots. Separate the bulbs, teasing them apart and washing off the soil on them with a water spray. Replant the largest ones immediately, either in a sunny or half-shaded place, and place 10 near each other in groups, about two bulbs-widths apart, which will quickly give you attractive clumps. Plant the bulbs about 8cm deep, adding a little compost in the bottom of the hole and ensuring that some green leaf is above the ground. Take off wilted flowers and water the plants thoroughly before packing down the earth. If your soil tends to retain water too much, you could improve the drainage by adding some sand to the planting hole. Put the smallest bulbs in pots full of soil mixed with sand for them to grow bigger. You can replant them the following year. Snowdrops thrive with extra humus. Once a year, think about putting down some dead leaves on top of them or some well broken down compost. Some other kinds of plant can also benefit from being divided at this time of year, such as aconites, agapanthus (lily of the Nile) and summer-flowering hardy perennials. This time of year is also a good moment to treat your lawn with iron sulfate to get rid of moss. You then need to think about putting down some lime every two or three years, because this chemical makes the soil more acidic. You can also help keep your grass healthy by spreading over it a fine layer of compost. In warmer parts of the country, it may be time to give the lawn a first cut if it has grown too much during the winter. This is also the right time for sowing a new lawn.
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Manche, Coutances A charming 37m2 1 bedroom stone house set in 132m2. There is also a cellar in the basement.
Orne, La Ferté-Macé Stone house, set in 0.3 acres needs some refurbishments. Comes with outbuildings and original exposed beams. Comprising 7 rooms, including 3 bedrooms. REF: 33607
Ceauce Three bedroom house situated in a lovely hamlet. The house is situated on a large corner plot of land and has a large garden which is 1100m2 and a garage.
Calvados, Firfol Stone/colombage and slate property(94m2), situated in a hamlet in a peaceful setting with a garden area of 1 200 sqm. Garage. Modernisation and decoration needed. REF: FIRFOL3220
Domfront Stone built 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in small country hamlet. Good condition with terrace and garden.
Domfront Renovated stone built house, outbuildings & garage in small country hamlet. Garden 2.3 hectares (5.68 acres) with lovely countryside views, outbuildings and garage. REF: DOM1192
Sourdeval Detached, attractive country house with 5 good outbuildings. House renovated to professional standard. This house is in a beautiful rural setting with views of surrouding countryside and forest. REF: IFPC20256
Domfront A rare opportunity to take over a thriving bar restaurant lock, stock and barrell with cat 4 license, full alcoholic licence and performing rights etc all in place. REF: 11048
Saint-Lô A lovely 4 bedroom house set in mature gardens in a small hamlet just 2 miles from Mortain. An enormous basement running under the entire house, gives parking for two cars. REF: 11709
Domfront A detached house with gîte that has been fully renovated in 2006 and is situated at the edge of a village.
Avranches, Cuves A huge stone former farmhouse in the longére style with a habitable three bedroom house at one end and an attached barn partly converted into three gites for rental. REF: JS078
Sourdeval The gite on this property is so good you could live in it and rent the house out! Well presented and well maintained accommodation.
Manche, Bourey Stone and slate renovated property(south facing;150m2), lies in the countryside in a peaceful setting, with a garden area of 4500m2. 2 cellars.
Orne, Sees Comprises: entrance, fitted kitchen/diner with open fireplace, salon with fireplace, bathroom, utility room, 5 beds, games room. Outside: Stone outbuilding containing bowes, tack room, barn. REF: XJK00234
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24 News SWEDISH furniture giant Ikea is recruiting hundreds of staff for its new superstore on the outskirts of Caen. The firm needs cashiers, restaurant workers, sales advisers and customer services staff for the huge store in Fleury-sur-Orne (Calvados), which is due to open on November 2. Some 190 posts have been advertised locally with the Pôle Emploi.
RN12 to become dual carriageway THE TRANSPORT ministry has given a provisional allclear for the Route Nationale 12 to be extended to a dual carriageway in both directions. MPs have been campaigning for the modernisation work on the busy Brittany-Paris road, because parts of it in that run through the Orne are too narrow. Transport secretary Thierry Mariani is due to visit Alençon in the coming weeks.
Line protesters want health study EIGHTY campaigners held a protest at the building site for a new high-voltage power line at Saint-Sébastien-de-Raids. Campaign group Stop THT is calling for a full study into the health risks of the 400,000volt line, which will carry electricity from the Flamanville nuclear plant through the Manche countryside.
The Advertiser, Normandy
Mont could be stripped of world heritage status over wind turbines 100m-high structures that flash at night would be like building a disco next to the site, campaigners argue ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners fear Mont St Michel could have its status as a Unesco world heritage site revoked if plans to build a group of wind turbines nearby continue. Alternative energy firm Epuron has planning permission to construct three turbines near Argouges (Manche), about 15km up the Couesnon river from the mount. The turbines would be 99 metres high and would produce a total capacity of 6.6 megawatts. The project is one of 11 different applications to build turbines in the area that have been lodged with local authorities near the bay of Mont St Michel recently. Three bids in the neighbouring Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, have been turned down because of their proximity to the site, but others remain under consideration. World cultural body Unesco says it is “preoccupied by the turbines’ potential impact on the landscape” and has given France until this month to submit a detailed report assessing the risks and detailing any other plans to build turbines in the area. The Fédération Environnement
Photo: Photo: Dieter Basse/Normandy CRT
Ikea recruits for new Caen store
World cultural organisation Unesco says it is ‘preoccupied by the turbines’ potential impact on the landscape’ Durable (Fed), one of the main campaign groups against the wind turbine project, said there was a real risk that Mont St Michel could be declassified if the views in the bay were blighted. Fed president Jean-Louis Butré said building the structures so close to the monument was about as appropriate as opening “a late-night discothèque” on the site. “Even though they are 15km away, you will be able to see them, especially at
night, with their flashing lights,” he said. He said the government had previously committed not to allow any turbines in the bay, but appeared to have bowed under “enormous industrial pressure”. A legal bid by local associations to cancel the building permit was turned down by a court in Caen. The campaigners also had their appeal thrown out. They had planned to take it one step further, to the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest legal
authority, but the group pulled out on advice from their lawyers. Epuron, which applied for the planning permission in 2007, insists the turbines are “small and take into account the unique location and the relative proximity to Mont St Michel”. Basse-Normandie president Laurent Beauvais says he is “annoyed” that the syndicat mixte, which runs the momument, was not consulted before the planning permission was granted.
Published on Jan 31, 2011