News and What’s on information for Normandy and the surrounding area
Passengers braced for ferry service cutbacks Hollande’s D-Day visit makes history
Barfleur, chartered to another ferry company. The company did not deny that in a BRITTANY Ferries is set to make worst-case scenario further routes severe cutbacks on its routes from could be taken out of service and Normandy to the UK and Ireland in prices increased. the face of the mounting eurozone The spokeswoman added: “We economic crisis. cannot rule out the withdrawal of a At the very least, the 2.6m passennumber of Channel crossings as gers using the ferry company every part of our aim of optimising the use year, of whom 85% are British, are of ferries.” Expats who use the crosslikely to find there are fewer boats Channel ferries regularly from and a trimmed-back service. Normandy, and The company also British businesses in confirmed that its the region, potentially 2,500 employees face face the prospect of new working hours, a loss of perks and, as a We cannot rule out less choice and higher fares, as do second last resort, wage cuts the withdrawal of home owners and and job losses. holidaymakers. It It is holding talks could even halt peowith port operators in a number of ple’s hopes of buying. Cherbourg and Caen Estate agent Suz-Ouistreham over the Channel crossings anne Pearce who lives summer as well as Brittany Ferries in Gathemo, Manche, with staff. spokeswoman and crosses the A spokeswoman Channel around nine said: “The company times a year, said: “I prefer to take has been facing difficulties for four Brittany Ferries from Caen as it years and needs to recover its commeans I have no tolls to pay, petitiveness to safeguard its future. “It is imperative Brittany Ferries Î Turn to page 2 adopts an economic model adapted to the current economic situation in the eurozone and the strength of the M 05198 - 31 - F: 0,95 E pound against the euro.” The winter route from Cherbourg to Poole has already been axed and one of the company’s larger boats, the
Photo: PhotoPQR/Ouest France/Stéphane Geufroi
by RAY CLANCY
Full story: Page7
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Contents News What’s On Feature Leisure Time
1-7 8-11 12-13, 24 14
Food and Pets 15 Directory 16-17 Home and Garden 18-19 Property and Finance 20-23
Useful Numbers EMERGENCY NUMBERS 18: Emergencies: Calls the fire brigade (Sapeurs Pompiers), but they deal with medical emergencies and are usually the first port of call in rural areas. 112: Emergency calls from your mobile: Be ready with your name and where you are calling from and do not hang up until told to do so. 17: Police (gendarmes) 119: Child abuse. 1616: Sea and lake rescue. 01 40 05 48 48: Anti-poison centre (Paris) 08 10 33 30 + your department number (eg 76 for Seine-Maritime): Gas & electricity emergencies UTILITIES FRANCE TELECOM Website in English: www.francetelecom.com To report a fault online: www.1013.fr (click on the UK flag). English-speaking helpline: 09 69 36 39 00 (from France); + 33 1 55 78 60 56 (outside France). ORANGE: English-speaking helpline: 09 69 36 39 00. SFR: 1023 (+ 33 6 10 00 10 23 from outside France) FREE: 1044 BOUYGUES: 1034 EDF: 24 hour breakdown line: 08 10 33 30 87; Helpline in English: 05 62 16 49 08; From outside France: + 33 5 62 16 49 08; Email: email@example.com GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS CAISSE D’ALLOCATIONS FAMILIALES - CAF: www.caf.fr; Tel: 08 10 25 14 10. L’ASSURANCE MALADIE (AMELI, formerly known as CPAM – the health service): www.ameli.fr; Tel: 36 46 (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm) English spoken. URSSAF: English-language website: www.anglais.urssaf.fr - Calvados - 22 rue d'Isigny, 14045 CAEN CEDEX 9 Tel: 08 20 39 51 40 | Manche - 50013 SAINT LO CEDEX Tel: 08 20 39 55 00 | Orne Pôle d'activités d'Ecouves, Rue François Arago, 61250 VALFRAMBERT Tel. 08 20 39 56 10 | Eure - Parc d'activité de la Forêt, Rue Henri Becquerel, BP 250 27092 EVREUX CEDEX 9 Tel: 08 20 39 52 70 | Seine-Maritime - 61 rue Pierre Renaudel, BP 2035X, 76040 ROUEN CEDEX 1 Tel: 08 20 39 57 60 PREFECTURE: Calvados - rue Daniel Huet, 14038 CAEN CEDEX 9 Tel: 02 31 30 64 00 | Manche - place de la Préfecture, CS 10419, 50009 ST LO
CEDEX Tel: 02 33 75 49 50 | Orne - 39 rue Saint Blaise, 61019 ALENCON CEDEX Tel. 02 33 80 61 61 | Eure boulevard Georges Chauvin, 27022 EVREUX CEDEX Tel: 02 32 78 27 27 | Seine-Maritime - 7 place de la Madeleine, 76000 ROUEN Tel: 02 32 76 55 00 OTHER HELP IN ENGLISH COUNSELLING IN FRANCE: for a qualified therapist near you or counselling over the telephone; www.counsellinginfrance.com SOS HELP: Similar to the Samaritans, listeners who are professionally trained; Tel: 01 46 21 46 46; www.soshelpline.org NO PANIC FRANCE: for help with anxiety disorders; Tel: 02 51 28 80 25; www.nopanic.org.uk ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: Bilingual meetings French/English: Picauville (50) At: Centre Socio-Culturel, Prieuré (opposite the church) Tel: 02 33 40 66 53, Friday at 20:00 | Alençon (61) At: 22 Rue Porchaine, Alençon Tel: 02 43 24 88 40 Monday at 20:30-22:00 CANCER SUPPORT FRANCE: for advice and someone to talk to: www.cancersupportfrance.info National Office: Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 05 45 89 30 05. SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND FAMILIES ASSOCIATION FORCES (SSAFA): In France: 05 53 01 64 54; Email: email@example.com AVF: Help with French life www.avf.asso.fr OTHER INFO YELLOW PAGES: www.pagesjaunes.fr SPEAKING CLOCK: 3699. WEATHER: 08 92 68 02 + dept. number. LAST INCOMING CALL ON YOUR PHONE: 3131, then ‘5’ if you wish to connect. BRITISH CONSULATE British Consular Services, Paris: Postal address: British Embassy, BP111-08, 75363 Paris Cedex 08. Tel : 01 44 51 31 00 Tel (after hours Emergency Service only): 01 44 51 31 00 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS THIS MONTH July 14 - Bastille Day
Normandy Clubs and Associations Alliance Anglo-Normande A helping hand to integrate through French lessons, meetings and a social calendar, with members of many nationalities. Based between Livarot and Vimoutiers. firstname.lastname@example.org www.alliance-anglo-normande.info Amicale Culturelle Européenne Offers cultural events and welcomes all nationalties www.amicale-culturelle.eu email@example.com Calvados Polo Club Polo matches and events in Lisieux area (14). Open to non-members. Mme Garmond: 02 31 31 19 85 firstname.lastname@example.org
Writers in France Relaxed, friendly creative writing group which meets on first Tuesday of every month at the Bistrot du Coin in Passais email@example.com Royal British Legion Normandy/Calvados district branch Goona Naidu: 02 31 78 36 40 Ron Matthews: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rblnormandy.wordpress.com "Ville-Beau-Son" Choir Anglo-French choir based in Villebaudon (50). Welcomes enthusiastic singers of all abilities. Meets every Wednesday at 20.30 at the Salle Culturelle. Sylvia Miles: 02 33 59 21 81or 02 33 51 13 20 email@example.com
Franco-British chamber will give business boost THE FRANCO-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry has opened a new branch in Basse-Normandie and aims to encourage more companies and smaller businesses to get involved. Based at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry offices in Caen, it will be holding regular meetings and networking events aimed at helping Britishowned businesses develop and grow. It is estimated that more than 4,000 British people are living full time in Basse-Normandie and around 250 are running their own business. Chris McManners, the regional organiser of the Franco-British Chamber in Caen, said the networking and business meetings are not just open to larger businesses, as many people might think. He wants to reach those in the tourism industry such as gite owners; tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers and builders, and the services industry.
Mr McManners said: “People that I have already contacted to find out what their needs are say that they like living here but they often face certain difficulties developing their business.” He said those Chris McManners who have run businesses in the UK find the language barrier, and tax and administration systems can be onerous when they move to France, but added: “My role is to point people in the right direction and put them in touch with those who can help.” Members of the new branch will also be able to develop and promote the business with other groups and have access to a network of expert
members across France and the UK. Mr McManners said membership would not be expensive, from €160 for small businesses to €375 for bigger ones. Most meetings will be in English and those in French will have a translator. He lists the advantages as including being part of an English-speaking business network, having access to a source of advice and support, and access to other business people of all sizes. Members will also receive a fortnightly newsletter, have an entry in the trade directory and on the website and be able to attend business networking events at other chamber branches as well as in Caen. Mr McManners also wants to conduct research to find out what businesses in the region need and have to offer. He said: “Our core members will be businesses of one to 10 people. “We want to be constantly in touch with them.”
Site helps find beaches where dogs are welcome EVERY year, thousands of dogs in France are left abandoned during the summer when their owners go on holiday – but this year an animal charity is trying to encourage people take them with them, even if it is just for a day on the beach. Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis points out that in Normandy, for example, there are 47 beaches where you can take your dog despite a widespread myth they are banned from the sand from May to the end of October. The site, 30millionsdamis.fr, lists 33 beaches in Manche, two
in Calvados and 12 in Seine-Maritime where dogs are allowed. Some allow them only on a lead, others outside the bathing zones and others only before 8.00 and after 20.00. A spokesman said it was worth checking with town halls before travelling long distances as the details could change at the last minute. He said: “If you are taking your dog to the beach keep your pet on a lead, don't let them run around or swim. Keep them in the shade, such as under a sun umbrella, and make sure they have fresh water.”
Ferry fears for second home owners Î From
page 1 spend less time on the road and use less fuel in my car.” Ms Pearce is also worried about the effect on her business: “I have already had to mention to prospective buyers that last winter’s loss of the Poole-Cherbourg route needs to be taken into account when considering where to buy. “I am concerned cutbacks could see more second home buyers look away from Normandy to locations around Calais, for example.” Some people will be put off using BF if they cut routes and increase prices, says Judy Mansfield who travels around six times a month between Calvados and the UK for her work for a currency company. “I have used every way there is to cross the Channel and I like Brittany Ferries because I can book a cabin and spend five hours working during the crossing. “If Brittany Ferries reduces crossings and puts up prices it will make me more costsensitive and perhaps look elsewhere.” Meanwhile, a new company will operate on the CalaisDover route after SeaFrance went into administration last year. Eurotunnel has bought three ships for €65m and will lease them to a new company created by ex-SeaFrance staff. The ferries will need a technical overhaul as SeaFrance did not finish maintenance work but the new service could start later this year.
Inheritance Solutions French inheritance rules may mean that your worldwide estate will not be distributed according to your wishes.
Look after those that matter. Jennie Poate, Regional Manager Tel French Head Office: 05 56 34 75 51 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.siddalls.fr French ﬁnance in plain English Siddalls France SASU, Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, 33700 Mérignac - RCS BX 498 800 465. C.I.F. No E001669 auprès de ANACOFI-CIF association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers et Courtier d’Assurances, Catégorie B - ORIAS 07 027 475. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier et L 512-6 et 512-7 du Code des Assurances.
Power line campaign mayor quits after arrest A NORMANDY mayor who is at the forefront of the campaign against the new high-voltage electric line coming closer to his village than promised has resigned. Jean Claude Bossard, mayor of Le Chefresne in the Manche, is at loggerheads with the préfecture after boycotting June’s legislative elections and being arrested for blocking lorries at the construction site for the THT pylons. His dramatic move came at the end of several weeks of tension. First he was one of several protesters arrested after he and 30 campaigners blocked the road. He was held in custody for 12 hours. Then he and his 10 municipal councillors voted unanimously in favour of boycotting the elections by refusing to supervise voting at the mairie but were compelled to do so when the préfecture of the Manche took out a legal order against them. A few days later they all voted again to resign. They are now waiting to see if their resignations are accepted. They learn their fate by the middle of this month. They also face fines of €15,000 if it is found that their attempts to boycott the elections were ruled to be disruptive. Mr Bossard said: “We will continue with our protests and our blockades. Our arrest was political and arbitrary. We will only stop when work on the line stops.” He says the authorities promised that the 163km line, which cuts through the Cotentin peninsula from EDF’s €4bn new generation reactor at Flamanville near Cherbourg, would not go within 500m of the village but it is being built just 150m away. The line is capable of carrying 400,000 volt cables which campaigners claim poses serious health risks, although studies have failed to prove this.
It took police, circus workers and drivers nearly two hours to round up the camels after they escaped
Speed humps ahead “
WITH the summer holiday months under way, drivers in Normandy are being asked to be extra vigilant for animals on the roads. Recently motorists on the A84 just south of Caen were amazed to see two camels running along the hard shoulder after they escaped from a circus in a nearby village. It took police, the circus owners and drivers two hours to move the camels to the nearest slip road and to safety. A police spokesman said: “Fortunately it was 20.00 in the evening and there was not a huge amount of traffic on the motorway.” He praised the drivers involved for stopping and remaining calm: “Everyone behaved extremely calmly and as result no one was injured and there was no damage to vehicles. We often get cows on the motorway but camels, that is a first.” But while camels and cows are not difficult to spot, hedgehogs are particularly vulnerable at this time of the year as it is the height of the breeding
We often get cows on the motorway, but camels, that’s a first Police spokesman
The A84 was reduced to walking pace as the camels ambled along season. Animal sanctuaries are appealing to drivers to slow down and try to avoid running them over as their numbers are declining in France and every year around a million are killed on the roads. At this time of the year baby hedgehogs are orphaned when their
mothers are killed on the road and they cannot survive more than 24 hours on their own. Advice to people finding a nest of hedgehogs is to keep an eye on it for 24 hours and if the mother does not return take it to an animal sanctuary. Gérard Bertran, of the Dame
Blanche rescue centre in Orbec, Calvados, said: “We see more baby hedgehogs brought in during July than any other time of the year. “They need to be fed frequently and carefully so it is not a task that everyone wants to take on.” If you do not have a sanctuary nearby then experts say that the babies need feeding every three hours if they are very young (five to 10cm) with goat milk or powdered milk suitable for kittens and puppies – never cow’s milk. If they survive, they can be weaned on to cat or dog food.
School transport changes anger parents evening, but it now says this is too expensive. In some very rural areas, parents are threatening to remove their children to private schools in the towns where they work and there is concern this could lead to schools closing if numbers dwindle. Hambye councillor Lionel Pierre told a recent public meeting in Gavray: “There are not many jobs around here so people tend to work some distance away. “My concern is that if there is not a safe and efficient route to school they will opt to move their children to a school nearer their place of work. This could be the death of a small rural community like ours.” Mr Beaufils said there had been plenty of opportunities for parents to put forward suggestions – but parents said they were only notified of the new pick-up points in May, a few weeks before the end of term. He said the safety of the children was not a concern for the council: “The position of the council is that the security of children between their home and the bus stops is the responsibility of the parents.”
Photo: Ray Clancy
PARENTS in rural Normandy have formed an action group to try to reverse plans by officials to vastly reduce the number of school bus pick-up points in September. They say it will mean young children walking along country lanes with no pavements. They are furious that Manche council is refusing requests to reinstate some stops to prevent children having to walk more than 1.5km to the centre of villages – despite promising earlier this year that no child would have to walk that far. Mayors, who are also worried about the danger to children, say they have come up against a brick wall when it comes to meeting Eric Beaufils, the head of transport for the department, and they are effectively powerless to act. The departmental council also promised at the beginning of the year that in villages where there was going to be only one central pick-up point they would set up a garderie where parents could drop off their children on the way to work and pick them up again in the
Children face long walks down narrow lanes to get their bus
Point of view: Ray Clancy
We should have been consulted on this change EVERY school day for the last five years, my three children have walked a couple of yards to our garden gate to get the school bus. From September, they face a 2km walk along a narrow country lane, with no pavements, to the centre of the village with their heavy school bags – yet the bus will still pass by our gate. In our area, all the mayors bar ours are worried about young children walking along roads that are increasingly busy, not just
with cars and vans but also tractors and farm vehicles and are campaigning against the changes. What makes it worse is that the council agreed our stop would continue but the mayor vetoed it without talking to us and she is the only one who has refused to back parents. Contrary to what transport head Eric Beaufils says, as parents we have never been contacted to ask what we want, not even by our own mayor.
Pots and pans village where locals are ‘deaf’ Photo: DR
A SURVEY is to be carried out in Normandy next year looking at the number of people who collect shellfish and what effect their actions are having on the marine environment. Residents will be asked to take part in the second national survey looking at the extent to which people pick up mussels, whelks, clams and cockles on beaches. There have been concerns expressed about the sheer numbers of people taking part in pêche à pied, especially on the coastlines of the Manche, and their impact on species that are only caught by amateurs when there are exceptionally low tides. The Agence des Aires Maritimes Protégées organised its first survey at Easter and the initial results show that 40,000 people were counted on 430 sites from the North Sea to the Atlantic. On the beach at Agon-Coutainville in the Manche, some 2,580 people were out collecting shellfish. Based on each person collecting on
Concerns over impact of shellfish collecting
Did you know?
A NORMANDY village with the strangest sounding name is Villedieu-les-Poêles (literally God’s Town of The Pots) in the Manche. Villedieu owes its name to the religious order Knights Hospitaller, that later became the Knights of Malta. Henry I, King of England and Duke of Normandy, granted Villedieu to this order in the 12th century. Low taxes and good administration attracted people to the area. Traditionally a centre of metal-work, especially the brass and copper pans and basins from which the poêles in its name derives, it was also famous for its artisanal manufacture of large church bells, which was started by immigrants from Lorraine around 1780. The people of Villedieu were strong supporters of the Revolution – a major reason being that the Revolution abolished customs duties between French regions. Before, copper pans
Agon-Coutainville: It is estimated people collect 90 tonnes of shellfish each year average 70 clams, it means that 90 tonnes of shellfish is taken from this one beach in a year. “Bad practices or too frequent fishing can degrade the environment,” said the agency’s Stéphanie Tachoires. She said 230 people took part in the count which showed the method of using volunteers works and that a further study will take part in 2013 with the aim of mobilising even more to take part and cover as much coast as possible.
...but river stocks healthy for summer Villedieu-les-Poêles: former metalwork centre in Manche exported from Villedieu to Brittany faced higher import duties than copper pans from Portugal. With all the hammering of
pans and bells throughout the town, it is no surprise its inhabitants are called Sourdins from the French sourd meaning deaf.
ANGLING clubs across Normandy are preparing for a splendid summer as figures show member numbers are up and re-stocking of lakes and rivers is going well. A lot of work has been done over the spring months and conservation work has paid off. Salmon have returned to the Divette near Cherbourg and the Lisieux fishing club
has celebrated its 100th anniversary by releasing 100kg of trout into the Touques, one of the region’s best fishing rivers. Clubs are also embracing new technology and it is now possible to buy a fishing permit online. It is part of a national plan by the Fédération Nationale de la Pêche en France to make
fishing more accessible. Philippe Chevral, of the Fédération du Calvados pour la Pêche, said that getting young people interested in angling and educating them about fish and river conservation is a major goal. Clubs are also hoping to attract more tourists. Daily permits are around €10 and weekly ones €30.
Busy time on paradise isle €30m as Normandy’s paradise island, Tatihou off the fund to aid DESCRIBED north coast of the Cotentin is expecting more visitors than usual as it marks its 20th year of being open to the public. start-ups It has not always been a paradise for visitors and from 1948 to 1984 was known for its correction centre. Parents used to tell TECHNOLOGY start-ups in Normandy could be eligible for a share of a new €30m investment fund aimed at giving a head start to innovative new French firms. The Go Capital fund is backed by the French state investment bank Caisse des Dépôts, Crédit Agricole and Caisse d’Epargne, and is open to technology firms in Normandy, Brittany or the Pays de la Loire. It is aimed at companies just started up or about to be created and needing funding for the first time – either for research or to help develop products ready for sale.
Swaps are taking over from cash A DOZEN towns and villages around Normandy are developing local exchange schemes where residents swap items or services with each other instead of paying in cash. Called SEL (Systèmes d’Echange Local), there are more than 400 of them operating in France offering services such as an hour’s ironing swapped for an English lesson. Representatives from each scheme met in Blangy-leChateau, near Lisieux, last month to share ideas. To find out more, see the website www.selidaire.org
naughty children that they would be sent to Tatihou. At low tide you can walk out to it and it became a Unesco world heritage site in 2008. It is now popular with tourists and over summer there are events such as sculpture, art, music, concerts and theatre, with an outdoor play at the Vauban tower.
Businesses lose out from Mont changes SHOP, restaurant and hotel owners want an urgent meeting with BasseNormandie president Laurent Beauvais as figures show visitor numbers to MontSaint-Michel down 10% in the weeks after the start of new shuttle buses. They claim the group running the site is not doing enough to promote the advantages of the new car-free approach to the Unesco world heritage landmark and say it is becoming a ghost town in the evening. Traders say visitors are leaving as they wrongly believe there are no buses later in the day to take them back to the new car park. Local tourist office president Alain Conan pointed to a fall in visitors of around 10% in May, compared with last year and said: “In the evening the Mont is dead. We have become an amusement park with gates at the entrance.”
In the evening the Mont is dead. We have become an amusement park Alain Conan, tourist office
Site management say it is too early to judge whether the new car-free access is a success
Photo: Ray Clancy
by RAY CLANCY
Ikea’s Caen shopping centre plan is rejected PLANS for a hypermarket and 70 shops next to the Ikea store in Caen have been rejected, following complaints the new shops would be detrimental to existing businesses in the area. The new 30,000m2 development next to the store in Fleury-sur-Orne was originally planned to be dedicated to interiors and homes – with stores offering products that would complement the furniture giant. However, revised plans that included food and clothes shops were thrown out by the
Commission Nationale d’Aménagement Commercial (CNAC), which ruled that the new centre was too close to similar shops and that the plans strayed too far from the original idea approved by councillors in 2008. A CNAC spokesman said complaints had been received from businesses in nearby Mondeville, Hérouville-SaintClair and in the centre of the city, and added that Ikea could appeal against the decision or submit new plans. Ikea said it would try to enter into constructive talks.
‘Escaped’ snake found Equally worried is Jean-Yves Vételé, who represents hotels and restaurants at la Caserne where the new buses stop. He said takings were down 30 to 60%. “With the new system there is good business at lunchtime but in the evening the area is empty and sinister.” Shop owner Géraldine Faguais-Ridel collected 3,000 signatures on a petition in her souvenir shop after cars were banned and buses introduced. She said revenue has fallen by 20 to 30%. A site spokeswoman said it was too early to judge if numbers are down.
“There was a lot of bad weather in May and when it rains visitor numbers do fall. “Other attractions such as Saint-Malo, Granville and the Papillions de Nuit rock concert also saw fewer visitors. We will be evaluating at the end of summer when we have a better idea of numbers”. But Mr Vételé does not agree: “It was not good weather, but that usually results in a 10% loss of revenue, not the drastic decline that businesses are experiencing.” The Mont spokeswoman said: “We are making efforts to tell people about the buses and have details on our website.”
A SNAKE owner has been left red-faced after a threeweek search for his escaped python in Vimoutiers, Orne, ended ... when it was found asleep behind his hi-fi. The man, who has not been named, called police after he woke up one morning to find the snake’s vivarium
empty and his 1.5m-long pet nowhere to be found. It prompted a search in the HLM François-Mitterrand housing estate by police, firemen and neighbours. Police said later: “The man was embarrassed to find the snake had not escaped from his house after all. This didn’t prevent numerous calls from people saying they had spotted it in gardens, dustbins or under furniture. “The snake didn’t present any danger to the public, it wasn’t venomous. We have searched for sheep and cows but never for a python.”
6 National News
British-style police searches proposed
Men stole €1.5m yacht 'for a jaunt' TWO young men have appeared in court after stealing a €1.5 million motor cruiser from the marina at Antibes on the Riviera and taking it for a jaunt on the Mediterranean. The two unemployed men from Douai, Nord, had been on holiday in Antibes. They had never driven a boat before and just followed instructions on a sticker on the bridge. Appearing before the court in Grasse, they said: “We just fancied a little ride.” One has been jailed for a year and the other given a six-month suspended jail sentence.
Retire at 60 - new pension rules revealed MOTHERS and older long-term jobless people will get the right to retire at 60 under new pension measures. Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine’s decree to the Conseil des Ministres will, in part, overturn one Photo: Chris3d-fotolia.com
TOURISTS are giving animals diabetes by feeding them chocolate, warns an association in the French Alps. Cecile Corellou, of Apvem, an association protecting the animals in the Hautes-Alpes, Apvem, said: “The problem is it has terrible effects. A study on another site in the southern Alps has shown they are becoming diabetic and developing eczema.” Normally marmots eat only leaves and vegetables.
A CALL by housing minister Cécile Duflot for cannabis to be put on the same legal footing as alcohol or tobacco has opened a potential split in the new government of Jean-Marc Ayrault and President François Hollande. Duflot, who is still leader of the Europe Écologie-Les Verts, said she was putting forward her party’s position five days before the first round of the parliamentary elections. Ayrault, when questioned by reporters, said the “government had said nothing”. However, during the presidential election campaign Hollande had refused to support a call by his security adviser, François Rebsamen, to ease laws on cannabis and other “soft drugs”.
Sex workers call for say in rules NEARLY 200 sex workers took to the streets in Paris recently to protest against "police repression" and plans to penalise clients. The sex-workers' union Strass told journalists they wanted “our views to be taken into account when decisions concerning us are taken.” Prostitution is legal in France but Morgane Merteuil, of Strass, said sex-workers were being repressed all the time. The prostitutes – who walked the streets from Place Pigalle to Châtele – say new laws such as the ban on vans in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and the proposal to penalise clients were pushing prostitutes towards working illegally with pimps and as part of illegal networks.
Socialists win decisive majority Photo: Fred-fotolia.com
of the most controversial reforms introduced by former president Nicolas Sarkozy. People who started work at 18 or 19 and have been paying charges for at least 41 years have the right to take their pension at the age of 60 rather than the Sarkozyimposed age of retirement at 62. There will also be help for mothers who started work early but who, while raising a family, had a broken contributions record and have not paid enough into the system. Older workers on long-term unemployment will also be given a boost, especially those who are close to retirement age.
Eurotunnel wins SeaFrance fight CHANNEL Tunnel firm EuroTunnel has been given the green light to buy three ferries from bankrupt DoverCalais ferry firm SeaFrance in a €65 million deal. SeaFrance collapsed under debts thought to be around €150m and took with it 880 jobs in France and 130 in the UK. Now Eurotunnel will lease the ferries back to a cooperative of former SeaFrance staff under a French flag and save the jobs of 560 in the Calais area. No date has yet been set for the restart of crossings.
opened fire on them with several weapons. Ms Moktari said they would be presenting proof of their claims, thought to be videos sent by Merah via his phone to his father, Mohammed Benalel Merah.
Inheritance rules change approved A NEW EU regulation enabling Britons to bypass restrictive French inheritance rules has been given the final go-ahead. The Council of the European Union has adopted, unchanged, the regulation which means expats who live permanently in France will have the right to stipulate in a French will that they want the inheritance law of their country of nationality to apply to their whole estate. This means that Britons will be able to leave all their property to anyone they like, as opposed to being obliged to leave set portions to their children. The regulation will “enter into force” later this month
but will not apply in practice until summer 2015.
Ban to be lifted on gay blood donors THE BAN on homosexual men giving blood in France is to be lifted. Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the criteria for assessing risk from infected blood did not depend on the “nature of sexual relations or sexual inclination” but on the “multiplicity of partners”. She said she would put forward proposals for the change to allow homosexuals to give blood in the coming months. Previous governments had maintained the ban on homosexual donations as the male gay community was seen as having a greater prevalence of Aids. In the UK, the ban was lifted in November 2011 in England, Scotland and Wales for homosexual and bisexual men who had not had sex with another man in the last 12 months.
PRESIDENT Hollande has been given a decisive majority in the new Assemblée Nationale after the Parti Socialiste returned 314 MPs in June’s elections - it needed just 289. However, it came at the cost of losing 2007 Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, above, and former minister and party stalwart Jack Lang - and seeing the Front National win two seats; although party leader Marine Le Pen was beaten in HéninBeaumont, Pas-de-Calais. The UMP lost more than 100 MPs and now has 215. The election gives the socialists control of parliament for the first time since the presidency of François Mitterrand in 1981 - it also has control of the Sénat and the presidency. Photo: © Freddy Smeets - Fotolia.com
Diet of chocolate ‘bad for marmots’
Minister isolated on cannabis call
Photo: Matthieu Riegler, CC-BY - wikipedia.org
BRITISH-STYLE stop-and-search procedures may be introduced to improve relations between the police and public, says Interior Minister Manuel Valls. This would, notably, include police handing out receipts with their identity numbers to anyone they stop. In Britain people stopped are also asked to give their ethnic origin so this can be noted as part of a report on the stop (Mr Valls did not say if this would be done, however France has rules against keeping files on ethnic origins, so it is less likely). The aim is to give the public more confidence in the police, and to avoid so-called délit de faciès, which refers to people being stopped and questioned – allegedly sometimes several times the same day – because of their race, colour or appearance.
Scooter killer father in murder claim THE father of scooter killer Mohammed Merah has lodged formal legal action against the police for “murdering” his son. His lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, said they were alleging “murder in aggravating circumstances”. Merah, who admitted killing three soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse and claimed connections with Al-Qaeda, was shot in March by the elite RAID squad as they tried to get into his flat to arrest him after a 32-hour siege. Police bosses said afterwards the officers were forced to kill him as he
Six wine merchants accused of fraud SIX Burgundy wine bosses have been questioned over suspicion of fraud involving the mixing and labelling of wines. Leaders of one of the main Burgundy wine merchants, Labouré-Roi, were questioned in police custody after investigators found possible evidence of banned practices – a scandal
which the Dijon public prosecutor, Eric Lallement, said “has upset the profession and changed the image of the wine”. It is alleged that in around half a million bottles, the firm mixed wines of different origins, even adding table wine to ones labelled appellation contrôlée.
It is also alleged that there was fraud over date labelling. The enquiry, by the gendarmerie and anti-fraud officers, relates to a period from 2006-2008. Bosses have admitted there may have been “errors”, but claimed there was no intention of fraud.
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by RAY CLANCY THE DECISION by newly-elected president François Hollande to visit the first village in Normandy to be liberated on D-Day came as a huge surprise to veterans who only heard about it a few hours beforehand. They were delighted to welcome the president to Ranville in Calvados where 2,564 British soldiers are buried in a small graveyard that marks one of the most momentous points in the Second World War. The troops were members of the 6th Airborne Division who gave their lives to free the village after landing by glider and parachute in the early hours of June 6, 1944. Goona Naidu, chairman of the Normandy Calvados branch of the Royal British Legion which organised the commemoration at the cemetery in Ranville, said: “It was such a lovely surprise. We were told three days before that Mr Hollande might be coming and it was only confirmed a few hours beforehand. “He stood in the rain and shook hands and spoke a few words with everyone. It was a great honour and it is the first time a French head of state has visited this part of Normandy for many decades.” Both Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy have taken part in British ceremonies in Bayeux and Mr Chirac visited British war graves in
Photo: PhotoPQR/Ouest France/Stéphane Geufroi
President’s visit was special
President Hollande was a surprise visitor at a D-Day ceremony at the British cemetery in Ranville, the first village to be liberated in 1944 the town with the Queen in 2004. But Jean-Luc Adelaide, mayor of Ranville, said it was special that the president chose a much smaller but hugely significant location. “President Vincent Auriol came to nearby Benouville in 1948 but did
not get as far as Ranville so this visit was very special for us,” he added. Alan Edwards, chairman of the Airborne Assault Normandy Trust, said it was a relatively quiet but moving occasion. “Mr Hollande took the time to
stop and speak to the veterans. He thanked them for what they had done in beginning the liberation of France all those years ago. It was a very proud moment.” He added that it was a shame that the visit was arranged at the last
Veteran returns after 68 years to receive Légion d’honneur
Row over name on D-Day monument Photo: Sharilyn Wells
AN AMERICAN veteran has come back to Normandy for the first time since he landed as part of the parachute drop on D-Day 68 years ago, to receive the French Legion of Honour. John Perozzi, 92, from New Jersey, was tempted back by local defence worker JeanMaire Lemoigne who has been campaigning for all the veterans who are still alive to be given the Légion d’honneur in recognition of their part in liberating France. Nearly 350 American veterans have been awarded the prestigious medal since 2005 when the then French president Jacques Chirac extended the honour to foreign veterans who had fought on French soil. But Mr Lemoigne said he felt time was running out for many, who were becoming old, infirm and dying: “I felt it was essential that these veterans should be honoured before it is too late.” Since 2009 when he met 15 veterans on a trip to Seattle he has been campaigning to get them recognition and has written to ambassadors, ministers and even the French president. Mr Perozzi, from the 505 Infantry Parachute Regiment (82nd Airborne), was invited to France for a ceremony at La Fière at Sainte-MèreEglise, the dropping zone where he landed 68 years ago. He was accompanied by his son, John Junior, and daughter Lynda. He said: “I feel
minute as more veterans would have travelled to Normandy if they had known that such an important visit was taking place. “We hope that he will come back to this part of Normandy in 2014 for the 70th anniversary,” he said.
A ROW has broken out over a new monument to American veterans who parachuted into Normandy on D-Day – because one of those whose name is engraved on it was not actually there. The marble monument was put up last month at La Fière, the landing zone next to Sainte-Mère-Eglise where parachutists of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division landed on June 5-6, 1944. It includes the name of Howard Manoïan but a historical association wants his name removed as he was not a parachutist but was in the US Army’s 33rd regiment and landed on Utah Beach. Francine Duchemin Noyon,
European co-ordinator of the 82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club, said: “He was never a parachutist. He was in Normandy in 1944 but he was in a chemical decontamination unit and would have landed at Utah. This is a serious distortion of history.” The monument was proposed by the Friends of American Veterans Association and approved by SainteMère-Eglise mayor Marc Lefèvre. He tried to defuse the situation, saying the memorial does not say Mr Manoïan was a parachutist, just that he served in the US Army. “The idea was for a place of remembrance, not to be too specific.”
New museum will honour civilians
US army major general Jeffrey Jacobs shakes hands with D-Day veteran John Perozzi very proud to be honoured by France. I was wary about coming back and the memories but it has been important for me.”
He also visited the American cemetery at Colleville -sur-Mer, where his comrades who died are buried, and added: “Coming
back to where I lost friends is hard but I am glad that I did. The whole experience has been humbling and everyone so welcoming.”
NORMANDY is to get its first museum dedicated to civilians who died, were wounded, lost their homes and suffered in the battles to free France during the Second World War. It will be located in Falaise where, in the middle of August 1944, towards the end of the Battle of Normandy when the Nazis were almost surrounded by the Allies, 350 people from a population of 5,000 died, most of them victims of falling bombs. Jean-Marie Gasnier, president of the Communauté de Communes du Pays de Falaise, said: “People living
around here have never forgotten the suffering and they want to keep the memory of those terrible days alive for future generations. “Everyone has a family anecdote about the bombardment and the battle for the Falaise pocket fascinates tourists and foreigners. “The museum will be a homage to the women, children and men of this area, but also to their hope, to the return of peace and to reconstruction.” It is scheduled to open in 2015 and exhibits will be planned with help from the Mémorial de Caen museum.
8 What’s On
July 2012 Photo: Cloteau
Haras du Pin
Photo: CRTE Alsace
July 27-29 – Equi Rando Since 1961 this annual event has attracted horsemen from all over Europe, who gather to trek across the region for three days. There’s only one rule – to get to the party you must have ridden at least 100km on your horse, donkey or mule over three days. You can start from wherever you want, and for some the trek lasts much longer, but this year all the Equirandins end up at the Harras du Pin, or national stud, for three days of partying and celebration with local produce on sale, street parties and regional food specialities to sample. Visit www.equirando-normandie-2012.com
July 15-20 Le Tour des Ports de la Manche, one of the biggest sailing events in France, this race sees 110 yachts leave Saint-Vaast la Hougue, arriving at Granville via the Channel Islands five days later.Visit www.tourdesports50.fr
Manche Villedieu-les-Poêles HISTORY July 1 Le Grand Sacre – In 1130, Henry 1st Beauclerc, son of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of England gave the Hospitaliers of Saint John of Jerusalem land situated in the valley of the river Sienne. This then became the first Command centre of the Order. Every four years, the town holds a religious ceremony with a delegation of the Order of the Knights of Malta which attracts people from all around the world. There are processions, lots of pomp and splendour and of course, mass. Call 02 33 61 05 69 or visit www.villedieu-grandsacre.fr
All month Christian Dior Museum – Once the home of the worldrenowned fashion designer,Villa “Les Rhumbs” will host an exhibition of gowns and accessories worn by many stars of screen and theatre, including Marlene Dietrich, Olivia de Havilland, Elizabeth Taylor, Penélope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. Dietrich was a particular fan of all things Dior and refused to act in a Hitchcock film, “Stagefright”, unless she could wear Christian Dior. Some of the Dietrich outfits featured in the museum have not been exhibited before.The exhibition also features a velvet dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1968 movie “Secret Ceremony.” Three of the gold gowns as well as a collar worn by Charlize Theron in advertisements for the wonderful Dior perfume range “ J’adore” will also be included in the exhibition. Entry is €7. www.musee-dior-granville.com
Calvados Deauville MUSIC July 26 White Nights, Les Planches, 18.00 – This year Deauville is celebrating the cinema so the theme for this evening jazz festival is Made in Cinema, featuring jazz music from the movies.There are performances by Dolly Vanden, Remi Biet and the trio Jean-Claude Laudat. Call 02 31 14 40 00 or visit www.deauville.fr
Photo: Wikicommons: Mussklprozz
Photo: © synto fotolia
Photo: Equirando 2008
What’s On 9
Trouville-sur-Mer FESTIVAL July 28-29 Mackerel Festival – Each year, during the last weekend of July, the fishing town of Trouville-sur-Mer thanks its fishermen for their abundant catches and celebrates the town’s thriving fishing industry with the Fête de la Mer et du Maquereau. Local choirs sing sea shanties and seafood stalls are set up along the harbour quay.There are mackerel tastings all day. Sunday is a little more sombre with masses across town for sailors lost at sea. During the afternoon, visitors can take fishing trips and try to catch some mackerel for themselves. Call 02 31 14 60 70 or visit www.trouvillesurmer.org
Photo: Jérôme Rommé - Fotolia.com
July 7-8 Medieval Festival – The streets of this beautiful town, home to the famous Bayeux Tapestry come alive with performances and re-enactments of days gone by.There will be demonstrations by stonemasons, blacksmiths and sculptors, and you can experience daily life medieval style in the encampments, where weapons are maintained, meals are cooked and medieval games are played.This year the theme is children and childhood. Saturday 10am to midnight, Sunday 10am to 7pm. Free. Call 02 31 92 03 30 or visit www.mairie-bayeux.fr
Pick of the rest in Normandy celebration of silent films. For the full programme and ticket details go to the website, www.jardins-argences.com ORNE, Perche area July 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 Les Musicales de Mortagne-au-Perche – Six chamber music concerts performed in the Perche. Set mostly in churches across the area, the programmes includes favourite works from Dvorak, Beethoven Bach, Liszt and Debussy. Tickets €20. Call 02 33 32 85 24 or visit www.francefestivals.com
NORMANDY July 14 Bastille Day marks the storming of the Bastille, Paris’s high-security prison, in 1789, and the beginning of the French Revolution. It is France’s most important national holiday. The whole of France celebrates with fireworks, balls and street parties in all the major towns.
MANCHE, Mont-Saint-Michel July 15 Classical Music Lux Aeterna,The Abbey, 20.30 – From Bach and Mendelssohn to Ligeti with the Accentus Choir conducted by Laurence Equilbey. Tickets 25. Call 02 33 89 80 04 or visit www.ot-montsaintmichel.com MANCHE, Granville July 5-8 Festival Sorties de Bain Street entertainment with buskers, concerts, circus parades and more. Free. Call 02 33 69 27 30 or visit www.sortiesdebain.com MANCHE, Saussey July 20, 21, 22 10th Silent Film Festival, Les jardins d'Argences – Set in beautiful gardens, language is no barrier to enjoyment of this
CALVADOS, Caen July 7-8 Peace Walks Retrace the steps of the British, Canadian and French troops from the D-Day landing beaches to the memorial in Caen, the city they liberated. There will also be an opportunity to meet war veterans.There are 15 routes available ranging from 5km to 128km, depending on your fitness level, and you can travel by bike, horse or even roller-skate! Visit www.randonnees-normandes.com Photo: Carlos_SAST
MANCHE, Mont-Saint-Michel July 1-31 Night Tours, Mont St Michel Abbey, 19.00 – A great chance to see this national monument at night, with music and light shows. Every night in July except Sundays. The last entrance is at 11pm. Adults €9, €5.50 for 18-25s. Call 02 33 89 80 00 or Visit www.mont-saintmichel.monuments-nationaux.fr
Great summer holidays for your family
SEINE-MARITIME, Rouen, July 4-5 Tour de France Watch the arrival and departure of 99th edition of this famous cycle race. Follow the cyclists along the coast and down along the river Seine to Rouen, ending Quai Jean Moulin at the foot of Boieldieu bridge. www.letour.fr
Old sailing ship festivals throughout the summer For further information, brochures and special deals, contact Manche Tourism on + 33 (0)2 33 05 98 70 or book online. Graphic design: R2pub - Photo copyrights (all rights reserved): For CDT: D. Basse - S. Fautré - Th. Houyel - X - 05/12
Night time visits of Mont Saint-Michel abbey www.normandy-peninsula-holidays.com
Looking for ideas of days out or events near you?
ZOOLOGICAL PARKS Cerza in Hermival les Vaux (near Lisieux) Discover 800 wild animals across this vast 60-hectare site comprising prairies and valleys and devoted to reproducing and breeding endangered species. A tour through the park offers visitors a close encounter with animals in the ‘Heart of Africa’ and the ‘Savage Valley’, two walking routes and over safari train excursions. Snacks, a restaurant and a picnic area are also available on site. Events and activities. A 12minute film, both amusing and educational, offers visitors an insight into protecting wild animals and respecting the environment. www.cerza.com
Jurques Zoo (20 min south-east of Caen)
* Libre Cours . Caen - Photo : Gérard LACZ / Sunset, jm.Gatey, x
In the heart of this 15ha wooded park, take off for an adventure amidst some 650 exceptional wild animal species such as the extremely rare white lion. A total change of scenery awaits you in the African, South American and Australian plains, the land of the wolves, the reptile village and the 'African mountains': a patio overlooking a 130 feet quarry where you can admire some forty different animals. In the summer season, you can even touch the snakes or watch the penguins, the wolves and the monkeys feed. Mini-farm, play areas, inflatable structures, cafeteria, boutique. Gates close 1h30 before closure of the zoo. Not to be missed: a magical world of animals by night on July 27 & 28 July (8pm-midnight)! www.zoodejurques.fr
Naturospace tropical butterfly farm in Honfleur Naturospace, offers you a fascinating journey through an Amazonian garden where tropical butterflies fly in total freedom: a hundred different species from South America, South-East Asia and Africa. Rare plant species can also be admired. Particular care is taken to preserve floral diversity and to present useful tropical plants (fruits and spices). Revel in the splendour of the multicoloured tropical birds as they fly free. Visit lasts: 1 hour. www.natur-aquarium.fr
AQUATIC CENTRES Carpiquet - www.espace-sirena.fr Condé-sur-Noireau
Kid’s stuff family fun
www.conde-sur-noireau.com Douvres-la-délivrande - www.aquanacre.fr Falaise - www.ca-formeo.fr Lisieux - www.lisieux-tourisme.com Thury Harcourt - www.aqua-sud.fr Vire - www.aquavire.fr
INDOOR THEMED PLAYGROUNDS (ideal for the under 12s) Girafou in Bénouville (between Caen and Ouistreham) - www.girafou.com Ouga Ouga in Bretteville-sur-Odon (Caen) www.ougaouga.com Royal Kids in Hérouville St Clair (between Caen and Ouistreham) - www.royalkids.fr
MAZES/LABYRINTHS The Bayeux Labyrinth www.labyrinthe-bayeux.com The Caen Labyrinth www.labyrinthedecaen.com The Pays de Honfleur Labyrinth www.labyrinthehonfleur.com
What’s on in July? 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31 Nocturnal trotting races, Cabourg
6 to 8 Beauregard Music Festival, Hérouville St Clair
7&8 Medieval Fair & Medieval Book Fair, Bayeux
7 to 14 Music & drama festival ‘Les Virevoltés’, Vire
8 to 15 Traditional Music Festival, Lisieux & the surrounding area
14 & 15 Château Ganne Medieval Fair, Suisse Normande
15 Giant Picnic, Villers-sur-Mer
17 to 1st September “Rendez-vous at the cathedral” sound and light show, Bayeux
27 & 28
FESTYLAND AMUSEMENT PARK Enjoy an exceptional day out and the guarantee of thrills, spills and laughter for all! The park retraces Normandy's history in a joyful family atmosphere. A total of thirty attractions cover four different themes). Restaurants, self-service catering and picnic spots on site. www.festyland.com
Calvados, the true spirit of Normandy
A magical world of animals by night, Jurques zoo
Throughout the month Horse racing, Deauville
Throughout the month (Thursdays & Fridays) ‘Caen Soirs d’Eté’ (street music and drama festival), Caen
What’s On 11
What’s On in the capital
July 20August 19 – Visitors to Paris this summer can combine city sightseeing with a trip to the beach with the return of Paris Plages for its 11th year.A stretch of the right bank of the Seine, from Pont Neuf to the Pont de Sully will be closed to traffic for a month and turned into an urban beach, with sunloungers, mist machines to cool off, ice-creams, restaurants, table football, children’s activity areas, taichi and a pétanque pitch. The main stretch of “beach” is narrow and can get very busy with tourists. Locals looking for a less stressful experience prefer the second Paris Plages site – the much more spacious Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement, with all the same features plus pedalos and other watersports, a
OUTDOORS July 7 – Paris’s tropical carnival is without doubt one of the city’s liveliest and most colourful outdoor events, with 4,000 dancers and musicians from France’s overseas territories joining the procession in dazzling bright costumes.The event grows in size every year and attracts tens of thousands of spectators of all nationalities.This year’s route starts and finishes at the Place de la Nation, passing by the Boulevard Voltaire, Rue du Chemin Vert and Boulevard Ménilmontant. 14.00 to 18.00. www.carnavaltropicaldeparis.fr
July 19-22 – To mark the launch of Paris Plages, culture superstore Fnac and the Mairie de Paris put on a series of more than 20 free open-air pop and rock concerts on the impressive square outside the Hôtel de Ville over a long weekend.A mixture of popular and up-and-coming French and English-language acts is expected, with full details available shortly at www.fnac.com/fnaclive
Celebrate all things Japan Exclusive July 5-8 – From manga to music and TV, this wide-ranging new exhibition celebrates Japanese popular culture in all its forms, including performances and seminars. It takes place at the Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, on the RER B towards Charles de Gaulle airport. Open daily 10.00-19.00. Tickets from €9 to €14 depending on day of visit. www.japan-expo.com
Evenings of chamber music July 19-August 15 – The beautiful orangery in the Parc de Bagatelle, part of the vast Bois de Boulogne, is the venue for a chamber music festival this summer, with concerts every Thursday at 20.30 and Sunday at 16.30. Works from Beethoven, Bach, Rossini, Mozart and Schubert are among those on the programme, and most performances are priced at €25. www.octuordefrance.com
The Boss performs at Bercy
previews at Paris film fest
Until July 10 – The Paris Film Festival is back for its 10th year, with more than 30 exclusive preview screenings, director talks and a special evening dedicated to films from Hong Kong. Most screenings are €5 (3D films are €7). A pass for the whole festival is €35.The venue is MK2 Bibliothèque cinema, M° Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (line 14/RER C). www.fnac.com/fnaclive
Riverside views as Tour de France cyclists reach capital Photo: traviscrawford/Flickr
July 4-5 – American rock superstar Bruce Springsteen plays two nights at the Palais Omnisports (M° Bercy) as part of his world tour. Tickets range from €68 to €100. Doors open 18.00, concert from 20.00.
Disco theme for fireworks
July 22 – After 20 days racing all over the country, the Tour de France cyclists reach the capital. Setting off from Rambouillet at 14.00, the first competitors are expected to enter Paris at 15.45, with a scenic ride along the right bank of the Seine opposite the Eiffel tower – where there are plenty of vantage points for spectators.They will then complete eight loops from the Louvre up the Champs-Elysées and back before reaching the Arc de Triomphe finish line for about 17.00. www.letour.fr/2012
July 14 – There are fireworks all over France today, but the display at the Eiffel Tower is one of the most spectacular. Lasting 30 minutes, this year’s theme is the 1970s-80s disco era and the first firework goes off at 23.00, but you will need to be there early for a good spot on the Champ de Mars. Earlier in the day is the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées from 10.00 – and on the evening of July 13, pompiers hold street parties outside their fire stations.
mini-golf course, cycle track, early evening concerts from metro buskers and an openair cinema festival. Central site: M° Pont-Neuf, Châtelet or Hôtel de Ville. Second site: M° Stalingrad or Jaurès. Entry to both sites is free and open from 8.00 to 0.00. www.paris.fr/parisplages
Photo: Craig O’Neal/Wikimedia
Free summer music outside Hôtel de Ville
Sun, sand and Seine
Tropical carnival hits Paris streets
12 Currency special
Make your money go further when buying a French home Buying a French property – whether a main residence or holiday home – is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, so it is important not to waste money by getting a poor deal on currency exchange. Here we look at some of your options WHETHER it is for regular mortgage payments or for a lump sum for a deposit or cash purchase, would-be homeowners often need a cost-effective way to transfer money to France. In fact, getting as much as possible for your pounds became increasingly important in recent years as the value of the pound dropped against the euro. Arranging a transfer through your own bank is the obvious option, but it is advisable not to do so without checking what it offers and whether there are cheaper alternatives. When moving money, costs fall into two main categories: charges and the exchange rate. It is crucial to examine both. Charges A variety of charges can apply, both for the sender and the recipient. Some providers levy several small ones so it may not be immediately clear how much the transfer will cost. Exchange rates This is the “hidden” charge. Some companies state they are commission-free, however an inferior exchange rate can still result in you getting fewer euros for your pound. The principal question to ask is: “How many euros will I get for my pounds, after all of the different charges?” Beyond that, practical considerations come into play, such as the speed of the service, how easy and convenient it is, whether the method is suited to regular payments or one-offs and whether any special safeguards are offered. If you are going with the basic option of using your bank – and many people do – you will need the BIC and IBAN numbers of your French account, which are printed on your relevé d’identité bancaire (RIB). Depending on the bank’s policies, you can arrange the transfer by phone, internet or in person. The bank sending the money applies their own exchange rate. They may also levy a commission fee and/or a transfer charge. Depending on where you are sending the money, there can also be up to another half a
per cent of bank receiving fees, charged by the bank receiving the money. Banks may offer an exchange rate that is considerably worse than the interbank one (the rate you see quoted in the press) which they usually set at the start of each day. They set their rate at a level to make sure if there are exchange rate fluctuations during the day these will be accommodated in the rate. Using a currency exchange company is the main alternative to a bank transfer. Advantages may include cheaper transfers, the chance to arrange your transfers over the internet and the option to set up regular payment schemes, sometimes with “locked in”, agreed exchange rates. People will generally think of using one of these firms when they want to transfer larger amounts, says Mark Bodega, a director of HiFX, one of the larger currency specialists. “Traditionally people will use a firm like ours on occasions like buying a property in France or when transferring larger sums of £5,000 or more,” he says. He adds that people use currency transfer companies for a variety of reasons, including monthly mortgage payments or ad hoc payments such as maintenance money to cover bills for a property in France. While some firms do not allow small transfers, policies vary, he adds. HiFX has an online service which allows people to transfer from £250 up to £300,000 and offers better online exchange rates for the transfer of smaller sums than are available by telephone.
A manager at another large currency exchange firm, Moneycorp, Christina Weis, says: “Currency transfer is our core business – it’s the only thing we do, which is why we are able to offer the best rates and more specific help compared to the banks. For example, we can track the rates and complete transfers when they reach a certain level.” To make use of a British currency specialist, you need to have a UK bank account. An agreement is made – for example via the specialist’s website – for transfer of a given sum at a given rate. The client then transfers the money to the specialist, who transfers it to the client’s bank in France. They can also transfer from your UK account to other third parties with bank accounts. No additional charges There are no charges directly levied by most of the larger currency specialists as any commission charges, transfer fees or bank receiving fees involved are paid by the currency specialist. The firm is able to make money based on the fact that they receive a more favourable exchange rate in the currency markets than an individual does and they share the benefits of this with the customer. HiFX report that their exchange rates are still typically better than those offered by banks, despite the fact that banks can profit also by levying other charges on top. Mr Bodega says: “The banks’ spread on the exchange rate – ie: the difference between the price they buy foreign currency at compared to what they sell it to you at – is so wide that we can afford to offer a better exchange rate and include all the fees within that, because currency is all we do. We don’t avoid those charges – we have to pay them.” Where a fixed rate has not been agreed, currency firms calculate their exchange rates
with reference to the actual interbank rate at the time of exchange, Mr Bodega says, as opposed to the banks’ system of setting a rate at the start of each day. He says this could help them to set more favourable levels because they do not have to factor in possible fluctuations. Regular payment plans For Britons paying overseas mortgages, regular payment plans offered by currency firms allow them to fix or “lock in” an exchange rate, typically for up to 12 months. This protects you from negative exchange rate fluctuations and makes sure you never miss a payment when it is due.
Currency special 13
Connexion helpguides INFORMATION YOU CAN TRUST ON LIFE IN FRANCE
When buying a home, consider the purchase as well as ad hoc payments, such as for maintenance
We can afford to offer a better exchange rate and include all the fees withing that because currency is all we do Mark Bodega
Director at HiFX currency specialists Forward contracts This is a “buy now, pay later” agreement, allowing you to lock in a rate for a one-off payment that you plan to make in the future. Buying a house When using a currency transfer specialist to help you with buying a house, the deposit money can be sent over to whichever bank account you want, whether your own, an estate agent’s or a notaire’s. Regular mortgage payments can be arranged so they go either to your bank account or directly to the mortgage provider. Moneycorp’s Christina Weis says the option of fixing exchange rates for future transactions up to two years ahead is especially useful in the case of buying a house. “It gives risk protection, as regardless of exchange rate fluctuation, your currency will be secured. “If you don’t secure the rate, you agree on a purchase date and start signing paperwork and by the time the notaire has processed everything you need to pay the
balance. By that point, the exchange rates might have changed and you might have to pay more than you budgeted for.” A trader from another large firm, Baydonhill FX, Regis Grant, says: “Your broker can tell you how the markets operate and you can ask them to keep you informed of major market movements. That way you can make informed decisions about whether it is a good time to fix a rate.” He adds that you should never leave an important transaction to the last minute. “If the market takes a bad turn just ahead of your completion, you have no time to recoup your losses.” Picking a currency firm You should do your own research before making a decision. Among checks you will want to make on British ones are looking to see if they are FSA registered. See www.fsa.gov.uk/register/psdFirmSearchForm.do Larger providers are called an “authorised payment institution” and smaller ones are listed as a “small payment institution”. The larger ones must safeguard your money – that is, they must keep it separate from their own funds, so that if the firm went bankrupt your money would be safe. Small payment institutions may also choose to safeguard customers’ funds. Being authorised as either kind of body means the firm has agreed to abide by an EU directive on their terms of business. Individual firms may also stress other matters as proof of seriousness and security – for example, one major currency exchange firm points out that it is stock-exchange listed, which means its accounts get regular and public scrutiny.
Currency exchange helpguide – newly updated The Connexion newspaper has a helpguide to currency exchange that covers topics such as using your UK bank to make a transfer, understanding fees and rates, how to have your UK pension paid directly into your French bank account, and using a currency exchange specialist. The above article is extracted from it.
Download a copy for €5 at www.connexionfrance.com or call 0800 91 77 56 for a printed version to be sent to you
Explains how France’s healthcare system works and gives a breakdown of the reimbursement system covering doctors, dentists, opticians and mental health specialists. Explains how to register with a GP and other practical information including pregnancy, cancer screening, disabilities and pharmacies. Especially written for Britons living in France. Published July 1, 2012
Download the helpguides at
www.connexionfrance.com or call 0800 91 77 56 Education in France €5/£4.50 Moving To France €5/£4.50 The auto-entrepreneur business set-up €5/£4.50 CESU - employing people at your home €5/£4.50 How to complete French Tax Forms €9.50/£8
French inheritance law €7.50/£6.80
Local Taxes €5/£4.50
Currency exchange €5/£4.50
Wealth Tax (ISF) €7.50/£6.80
Tax rebates for environmentally-friendly products €5/£4.50 The éco-prêt loan €5/£4.50 The French Healthcare system €7.50/£6.80
Death in France €5/£4.50
Retirement Homes €5/£4.50 Role of a Notaire and their fees, produced in exclusive association with the Conseils des Notaires de France €7.50/£6.80
Buying or selling a home, produced in exclusive association with the Conseils des Notaires de France €7.50/£6.80 The Connexion can print out and post copies of the helpguides to you. The cost for this is: for a French address = €2.50/ £2.15; for an EU address = €3.50 / £2.90. This is in addition to the €5 / £4.50 (or €7.50 / £6.80 or €9.50/£8) cost of each guide. You pay this postage charge only once regardless of the number of helpguides on the same order. Payment must be by euro cheque (from a French bank) or sterling cheque (from a UK account). Cheques should be made payable to The Connexion and sent to The Connexion, 38 rue Grimaldi, Monaco 98000
14 Leisure time
What’s in a word?
1. Sweet bread often served warm for petit déjeuner (7) 4. Eccentric composer Erik _____, best known today for his Gymnopédies (5) 7. Conductor’s instrument (5) 9. Healthy toast – à votre _____ (5) 10. Salty accompaniment in Chinese cuisine (3) 11. Greek goddess of victory (4) 12. Scene of first modern Olympics in 1896 (6) 15. Book title by Sir Thomas More now used to describe a perfect but unlikely society or state (6) 16. Toddler depository (6) 19. Musketeer mate of Athos and Porthos (6) 20. Le ____, a loosely defined area of several regions including Languedoc-Roussillon (4) 21. and 14 down: Legend has it this monk discovered méthode for making sparkling wines (3,8) 23. Informal for someone over 60 (5) 24. Writer born Françoise Quoirez who achieved fame with first novel Bonjour Tristesse (5) 25. A bleue one is useful in many transactions (5) 26. Small quantity, just to give a taste (7)
1. Michelin Man introduced at the Lyon Exhibition of 1894 (8) 2. Hollow jointed stem of a tall grass such as bamboo (4) 3. Made as a substitute for something, usually inferior in quality (6) 4. Dry white wine from the upper Loire valley (8) 5. Long lock or ringlet of hair (5) 6. Deadly Sin known in Latin as invidia (4) 8. Far Eastern city bidding for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (5) 13. Ancient province where the battles of Crécy and later of the Somme took place (8) 14. See 21 across 17. Type of peach whose flesh sticks firmly to the stone (5) 18. Upper arm muscle (6) 19. For some people, this sentiment is all you need (5) 21. Descartes said: “Je pense, ____ je suis” (4) 22. Twin brother of Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright (4)
The France quiz
by Paul Masters
Photo: Mike Knell/Flickr
Photo: Patrizia Tilly - Fotolia.com
1 WHO did François Hollande appoint as the new prime minister of France? 2 WHAT feature will Eurostar be introducing to all of its trains from September? 3 MEMBERS of which age-old industry demonstrated in Paris last month to protest against “police repression" and plans to penalise their customers?
4 WHERE was the starting point for this year’s Tour de France?
applied more to the seats within the area than to the curtains themselves. Thus the modern French word for couch or sofa is canapé. But the story does not end there. At some stage, the French word canapé took on its second meaning, describing a small piece of bread or toast spread with some savoury appetizer, such as foie gras. Maybe because the two shapes resembled one another, or because the bread provided a seat for the pâté. No one is quite sure.
5 TO the nearest million, how many people in France are registered as looking for work at the Pôle Emploi (job centre) according to the latest figures? 6 FRANCE’S first match in the Euro 2012 football tournament was against which country?
Puzzles by websudoku.com
CROSSWORD ANSWERS. Across: 1 brioche; 4 Satie; 7 baton; 9 santé; 10 soy; 11 Nike; 12 Athens; 15 Utopia; 16 crèche; 19 Aramis; 20 Midi; 21 Dom; 23 Oldie; 24 Sagan; 25 carte; 26 soupçon Down: 1 Bibendum; 2 cane; 3 ersatz; 4 Sancerre; 5 tress; 6 envy; 8 Tokyo; 13 Picardie; 14 Perignon; 17 cling; 18 biceps; 19 amour; 21 donc; 22 Esau FRANCE QUIZ ANSWERS. 1. Jean-Marc Ayrault. 2. Quiet carriages. 3. Prostitutes. 4. Liège, Belgium. 5. Three million. 6. England
by John Foley
canapé IT IS the end of a sweltering hot day in midsummer and you are sitting out on a terrace or balcony when you hear the whine of a mosquito, out for its evening meal. Many an evening has been spoilt by the little pests. Even in Ancient Greece, they suffered. But, being Ancient Greeks, and very civilised, they took to the remedy of hanging curtains around the area where they were seated, as a form of protection from the flying predators. Since the Greek name for mosquito was konops, the curtained area was called a konopion. In later times the Romans took over the Greek idea, but the pronunciation altered slightly to canopeum. Over the centuries that followed, the word spread throughout the Roman Empire, but up in barbarous Britain the final syllable fell silent, and canopeum became canopy, and has, of course, remained in the language to the present day. In France, however, the concept was
Chutney is chic
Food and Pets 15
Green tomato chutney
CUT OUT & KEEP!
is cooked slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until soft. To test for readiness, draw the wooden spoon through the mixture. It should leave a clean path with no trace of unabsorbed liquid. Jars should be sterilised, either by running through the dishwasher or heated in a warm oven for 15 minutes and filled hot and to the brim. Because they contain such a significant amount of vinegar, the closures used for chutneys need to prevent evaporation and shrinkage, rather than spoilage. Lids should be tightly fitting and of course need to be resistant to vinegar, ie; avoid “bare” metal. The jars should be wiped and dried and labelled as usual, then stored for at least a month, preferably longer, in a cool, dark place. Once opened, chutney should be kept in the fridge. Here is a very easy starter recipe – anyone who grows tomatoes will always have a supply of green ones.
INGREDIENTS 1kg green tomatoes 1kg onions 1kg apples - can be wind-falls 500g raisins or sultanas often to be found in markets sold loose. 500g soft brown sugar 2 tbsp Dijon mustard Juice of 2 lemons 1.2 litres white vinegar (see above) Salt and pepper
influenced by the vinegar chosen. So, for example, if you are making a mango chutney, a white distilled vinegar (vinaigre d’alcool cristal) would be indicated so that the golden colour of the fruit is retained The same applies to the sugar; the darker the sugar, the richer the flavour and finished colour. As chutney needs to mature to develop its full flavour, it is no good tasting it when it is freshly made. You would get a very false idea. It may appear too hot or spicy, but this will mellow out during storage. When choosing a pan for chutney, avoid copper, brass, iron or chipped enamel. These impart a very unpleasant taste and give a poor colour. The fruit and vegetables should be washed, peeled, cored, stoned or seeded according to type. They are then either coarsely minced or finely chopped. The remaining ingredients, sugar, flavourings and spices are then added and the whole lot
Photo: Joan Bunting
I DO not think I am alone in noticing that what I used to consider to be a very British condiment, though of course originally imported from India, is making an appearance on French supermarket shelves and especially on upmarket menus – chutney. One of my favourite restaurants serves a variety of preserves with the cheese course including chutney, fig confit and cherry preserve. Chutneys are perhaps the easiest and most satisfying preserves of all. Even inexperienced cooks can be successful, so this is an excellent way to start. Unlike jam ingredients, fruit and vegetables used in chutney-making need not be perfect. This means that surplus or abundant ingredients can be used up economically. Here are a few tips. The type of vinegar used should always compliment the other ingredients. The final colour and flavour of the finished result will be
After winning the first BBC MasterChef in 1990, JOAN BUNTING was soon writing a food column and doing local radio for the BBC. Now she has retired and moved permanently to her home in France, but she is still keen to tell readers about good food
METHOD Chop, mince or process the fruit and vegetables. Put these into a preserving pan. Add the raisins and the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and then simmer for at least an hour, or until very thick (see above). Pot into hot sterilised jars, cover with suitable lids and store for a month before using. Note: If you wish to make a spicier chutney, add a large cube of grated fresh ginger and four to six chopped fresh or dried chillies.
Keeping pets comfortable in the heat
ONE of the reasons many expats cite for a new life in France is the glorious weather. But when the temperature rises there are steps all conscientious pet owners must take in order to protect their pets. While we might enjoy the long, sunny days of summer outdoors, hot weather can spell danger for our four-legged friends. Dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn are some of the severe ailments that can seriously harm – or even kill – animals. First up; never, ever leave an animal alone in a vehicle. The French authorities can and do prosecute for this. Do not forget, even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can rapidly become a furnace and overheating can kill an animal. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun moves throughout the day. When travelling with your pets, always carry a supply of fresh, cold water. Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting, diffi-
Photo: alessandrozocc - Fotolia.com
Animals do not handle the hot weather in the same way as humans. SAMANTHA BRICK explains the steps you can take to keep your pet safe and comfortable in the summer heat
Pet Care culty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness or even collapse. Always exercise your animal in the cool of the early morning or evening. Never force your animal to exercise after a meal in searing, humid weather. In extremely hot temperatures, do not keep your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to the hot asphalt and his body can heat up quickly. His paws can also burn since they are not protected by shoes. Also, avoid walking your dog in areas that you believe may have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are
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Give your dog a haircut and brush your cat’s fur more regularly to prevent problems with excessive heat sprayed. These chemicals are toxic, sometimes fatally so, for animals. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed. Vets have noticed an increase in the hot weather of pets – mostly cats – falling out of open windows or doors. Unfortunately the injuries sustained can be serious or fatal. Give your dog a lightweight summer haircut to help prevent overheating. Shave their coat down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun. Brushing cats
more regularly than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Ensure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is manufactured specifically for use on animals. Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool part of your house. Be especially sensitive to the needs of older and overweight animals in hot weather.
If you are attending any of the summer fetes which you know will have a bonfire and fireworks display afterwards, then leave your pet at home – and never use fireworks around pets. If you do attend barbecues or other summer get-togethers, remember the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Finally, always remember that pets can get dehydrated quickly, so ensure they have a constant supply of fresh, clean water when it is hot outdoors.
Tel. 06 58 01 82 76 Web. www.seulementnaturel.eu Email. email@example.com
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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 Chenil du Val Kennels Contact Angie: Tel 02 33 17 17 61
Small, friendly, professional kennel Special care/attention for your pets. Quarantine alternative Between Periers/Coutances/St Lo Siret 50993743900016
Small boarding Kennels and Cattery Individual, experienced attention for your pet
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TEL: 02 31 67 76 90 www.devilleservices.com Areas: 14 , 50 , 61 Siret: 5026366000018
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Crafts at Les Landes
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( Many can be Viewed ) Backed up by 10 year Insurance 14 years working in France
HOUSES ON INTERNET
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Nice People In Normandy Planning Applications
John Shipton - 02 14 16 14 47
www.buildersnormandy.com Tel. 02 31 09 26 54
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Chenil Les Mille Calins
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email@example.com TEL FR: +33 (0) 6 19 17 34 61 TEL UK: +44 (0) 7880 501 116 www.NormandyandBrittanyhousesforsale.com
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Supperclub in Normandy
Stoves that fire up passion and bring down bills Favourable exchange rates and crédit d'impôts makes now the pefect time to invest in a stove from Wood Stove Studio
A good looking wood stove can add more than just heat to a room
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WITH summer now in full swing, it is easy to forget about the cold winter and give little thought to household heating systems. However, there are several very good commercial reasons for maison secondaire owners and permanent residents to plan now for autumn and winter, says Nigel Campen of Wood Stove Studio. “The exchange rate from sterling to euros is the best it has been for over 18 months and crédit d'impôts on stoves meeting certain criteria can be claimed until the end of the year,” he said. “In addition, our forward purchasing has enabled us to keep stove prices at rock bottom and, when added to our
‘summer saver’ promotions on all stoves that are in stock, it makes now the best time to ensure that your stove of choice is secured and installed ready for the forthcoming season.” An open fire always creates a welcoming ambiance, but, as is well documented, most of the heat escapes up the chimney. In contrast about 80% of the heat generated by a quality wood burning stove warms the house. With over 400 stove options available, which offer a wide variety of looks, wood stoves can add a cosy feel to a room, just like a fire, and reduce outgoings. With ever increasing oil, gas and electricity prices wood offers a cost-
CHIMNEY SWEEP PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
www.le-brewery.com Tel: 02 33 37 77 26
+33 (0) 4 94 40 31 45
Stephen Ramsbottom - 0233172361
DEPTS 50 & 14
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Tel: 09 54 61 28 51 / 06 71 28 00 66 www.dr-groundworks.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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Auberge du Lac "Where friends meet"
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A large selection of European
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WOOD STOVE STUDIO Wood burning stoves and Cuisinieres from
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Saint Gervais des Sablons, with the Riva Studio 2 as the “fired up stove”. On first glance many customers feel this model is likely to be beyond their budget, however, they are often surprised at how competitively priced it is. “With its cuttingedge design and latest burn technology the Riva has become one of our bestselling ranges,” said Nigel. The success of Wood Stove Studio has been achieved by the its dedication and commitment to customer service. From advice in the showroom to the meticulous attention to detail by the on-site installation team - as many testimonials can verify - Wood Stove Studio strives to exceed its customers’ expectations. For more information the website or contact the company directly.
POWER & LIGHT SERVICES
Seans Garden Services GARAGE VERGER
Weekly services to & from France
Store Collections, General Removals, Motorcycle Recovery. France, UK, Europe.
Siret: 515 210 847 00015
Lawns – Hedges – Trees Overgrown plots cleared. Free quotes for one-off jobs.
Now is the best time to ensure that the stove of your choice is installed and ready for the winter season
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Tel: 02 33 70 88 24 Email: email@example.com Regions Covered: 50,14,61,22
Ad No. 19187
MOVING TO OR FROM FRANCE?
Exclusive Healthcare Your Helping Hand to the French Health System
effective and environmentally friendly alternative. “We have had customers who initially seem reluctant to forego their open fire thinking they would lose the visual effect of the flames,” said co-owner Julie Campen. “However, our range of contemporary stoves, in particular those with panoramic glass, ensure that no real fire effect is lost - and we are told by the converted they are burning as little as one-third of the wood compared to an open fire.” Wood Stove Studio has nearly 30 stoves on display at the showroom in
Cashin Camina Cleanburn Esse Hunter Parkray Stovax on display at our dept 61 showroom
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Tel: 02 33 64 99 31
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T: + 44 (0) 079705 30723 E: email@example.com
Ad No. 18445
REFLEX MOODYS LTD SALISBURY
Ash Grove Stoves Supplier of Hunter - Villager
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Clean Burn - Fire Visible Boiler versions available Deliveries all over France Prices on our website Lowest Prices Guaranteed Tel: 00 44 (0) 1392 861579 www.ashgrovestoves.com email@example.com
PROPERTY FOR SALE Big balconied appartment to MervilleFranceville, quiet residence near to the beach. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Price: €210000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Book your advert now for the August issue - copy deadline July 5 call freephone from France 0800 91 77 56 or 0844 256 9881 (4p/min) from the UK
2012 Helpguide to Letting out your French home to tourists INFORMATION YOU CAN TRUST ON LIFE IN FRANCE O
D I Y tips Sponsored by
How to build a brick barbecue Photo: Alexey Polikarpov - Fotolia.com
This helpguide provides you with the information you need to enter the world of short-term holiday lets. We also provide tips on marketing your home and giving it special touches which will make it more attractive to potential guests. Published February 1, 2012, to include the latest information Choose between PDF digital edition or paper copy posted to your French home
The 2012 helpguide is now on sale for €5 for a downloadable or printed version Excluding (printed version does not include p&p) P&P You can order at the helpguide section of www.connexionfrance.com or call (free from France) 0800 91 77 56 or 0844 256 9881 from UK (4p/min) to pay by credit card
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It only takes about a day to build a fixed barbecue WITH the summer months in full swing, there is nothing more convivial than inviting over family and friends for an alfresco meal and of course nothing beats a good barbecue when it comes to a summer get together. Impress your guests by cooking for them on a brick barbeque that you have made yourself. It only takes about a day to build and offers many summers of enjoyment. Materials needed are: bricks, cement, sand, spirit level, rectangular cooking tray, trowel, metal ties, length of wood, water, large paving slab. 1. Level the ground where you intend to build the barbeque. Lay out the first level of bricks in an E shape, making sure that bricks fit exactly around the shape of the cooking tray. If possible try not to cut the bricks. 2. Once the shape has been defined, mix the cement and lay the first layer of mortar directly on the ground then place the first level of bricks on top. Check that it is still level and that all corners are at right angles. 3. Use the metal ties to hold together and strengthen the inner, middle wall to the back long wall. 4. Continue to lay the next levels of bricks starting from the corners. Make sure to use the spirit level to check the structure is straight horizontally and vertically and that the bricks’ joints are staggered. 5. On the seventh level place the bricks on small outer and inner walls sideways to create a ledge on which to place the wood or charcoal tray. Build up another three layers (more if you are taller) and do the same again, this time to place the cooking grill on. 6. Build up another level but only on the side where the grill will be to act as protection. 7. Cement the large paving slab to the top of the wall on the right hand side which will act as a work surface. 8. Finish off the joints on the outside walls by taking a length of soft piping and running it along the joints. Wait for it all to completely dry and there you have it – a simple but chic barbecue. Bon appétit.
The Connexion ONE YEAR (12 EDITIONS) Our sandblasting service is fully mobile and we are happy to quote for your sandblasting work regardless of distance.
To a French address: €33 (£30 by UK cheque) To a UK or other EU address: €44 (£40) Other addresses: €70 (£64)
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Al fresco party time
Gardening Sponsored by
Black Cat Services Photo: skampixel - Fotolia.com
by SAMANTHA DAVID
GARDEN parties are a must for summer – and one way of making sure yours is remembered is to have a theme. With so many possibilities, there is bound to be an idea that suits, whether it be a carnival with games for the kids or an altogether more tranquil affair with a traditional afternoon tea party complete with homemade scones. For a sophisticated evening party, why not go for a jazz or classical music theme and ask guests to come dressed in their finest, or a Victorian theme with paperlace doilies and sophisticated flower arrangements to decorate? If you want to go all out – and think your guests are up for it – you could even ask everyone to come in fancydress. Popular costume ideas include a 50s rock ‘n’ roll party, storybook characters or Bollywood. Once you are happy with your idea, you can set about matching your invitations, music and drinks to the theme. You can either make the invitations yourself or go online to download readymade ones. Alternatively, you could ask friends to RSVP online. If there is a dress code, be sure to mention it in the invitation. When it comes to decorating, flowers are the obvious choice for an outdoor do and can be used as centrepieces on tables. The classic look for garden party table decor is a white tablecloth, and garden arches can work well as an entrance to the party. It is a good idea to start from the top when decorating your garden. Starting at the bottom might mean you have to work around other decorations and risk breaking something. Guests could either sit at tables and chairs dotted around part of the garden, or on picnic mats for a more relaxed style. However, if you would prefer a more elegant garden party, have a table for glasses and nibbles. For a sit-down meal, a seating plan could be a good idea, and you could always add handwritten place cards. If you are lucky enough to have the weather on your side, make sure to have a place where guests can get some shade – either indoors, under canopies or in a summerhouse. Once the party is under way, it could be time to hit the dance floor. If your garden has some space to dance, be sure
Finger food allows guests to wander and mingle amongst themselves
Finger food is ideal, as garden parties are a place for mingling. Light, seasonal ingredients work well – and if you grow vegetables, have a fruit tree or plant herbs, put them to good use
to have music to hand; salsa tracks or slow romantic waltzes are often popular. You could also match the music to your theme. As for what to serve your guests, finger food is ideal, as garden parties are a place for mingling. Light, seasonal ingredients work well. And if you grow vegetables, have a fruit tree or plant herbs, be sure to put them to good use. Ideas include mini bruschetta toasts with mozzarella, basil and tomato, wraps, dips, plates of cheese and crackers, salads and mini quiches for savoury, and chocolate dipped strawberries, cookies, petits fours and fruit kebabs for dessert. While beer and wine are a safe bet, you could also offer pitchers of homemade lemonade, sangria or summer punch.
Black Cat Services Expert Chimney Sweep Registered and Insured Mess-free Service Certificat de Ramonage Issued
02 33 50 84 91 email@example.com
Give some thought to the range of drinks you are offering – and arrangements for seating depending on formality
Photo: Yves Damin - Fotolia.com
Photo: Dasha Petrenko - Fotolia.com
BETWEEN watering the garden and watering the guests, July is a busy month outdoors. Organic mulching can retain moisture, but does also tend to attract slugs, so if you go down this route, consider beer traps. Hoeing will ensure water sinks into the ground, and watering late at night and/or early in the morning gives plants a chance to have a good drink before the sun hits them again. If it thunders, do not assume that you will not have to water. Check for water absorption by sticking your finger into the earth. Very often after a summer storm, only the very surface of the soil will be wet. The vegetable garden will be in full harvest mode, but do not forget to swap produce with other gardeners to avoid eating endless gluts. Ensure you get every single tiny spud out of the ground as rotten potatoes can harbour diseases which will attack next year’s planting. If you have a greenhouse, make sure it is well aired and consider putting up shade if you notice leaves getting scorched. Rolls of bamboo are useful for this. Harvesting fruit is better done before breakfast than any other time of the day, not least because it gives time for jam making or bottling. Set up an outdoor kitchen to avoid heating up the house. Once apple trees have fruited you can prune them. Keep an eye on your strawberry plants. They will be sending out long runners with baby plants on them. Just keep the first one or two plantlets and cut the rest off. You can either pot the baby plants up for over-wintering in the greenhouse or you can stake them out, leap-frogging your established plants each year so that your strawberry bed gradually walks down your vegetable garden, rejuvenating itself as it goes. This is also an ideal month to start a gardening diary of what you planted where, so that you can rotate your planting in the years to come and also so that you remember what grew well in which area of the garden. July is also a good time to do any garden carpentry like constructing trellises or mending gates. And it should be dry enough to give wooden constructions a coat of paint or wood preservative. Do not worry if your lawn dries out and goes brown. It is dormant rather than dead. It will go green again with the first autumn rain. If you have lots of time, energy and water, you can give it a daily soak and a weekly trim to keep it green all summer however. Sow Sweet William, Foxgloves, Violets and Canterbury Bells for next year and take some geranium cuttings to grow on indoors over the winter and plant out next summer.
There is plenty to consider when arranging a summer garden party. REBECCA LAWN looks at everything from themes and decoration to your choice of seating, food and drink
Photo: Moreno Novello - Fotolia.com
The fruits of your labour
Home and Garden 19
Houses for sale across France Buying or selling a property? We can help. Our website www.connexionfrance.com carries details of more than 14,000 homes for sale across France. We also feature properties for sale in this dedicated section of the paper each month. To find out more about any particular property, go to www.connexionfrance.com and enter the ref: code shown under the property.
age costs just €200TTC and gives you three months online advertising as well as a print advert in three editions of The Advertiser. Our 6+6 package is best value at €330TTC and provides the same, but for six months via each channel.
New Consumption and Emission Chart - e.g. Energy rating C & F refers to C for Consumption and F for Emissions
Contact us on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More details on all these properties - and how to contact the seller directly - can be found in the property for sale section of
For sellers, the adverts are also displayed across a range of popular English- speaking websites and are seen by thousands of potential buyers EVERY day. Our 3+3 pack-
Simply enter the code under each home to find out more PROPERTIES IN NORMANDY
Sées, Orne This 1 bedroom stone house comprises living room, bathroom with jacuzzi bath, converted attic, garden, garage and barn.
Region Pont d'Ouilly, Orne Attractive Maison de Maitre 3 bedroom property includes entrance hall, fitted Kitchen, 2 reception rooms, bathroom, separate toilet, garden and outbuilding.
Percy, Manche 6 bedroom property consists of garden, small shed/stable building and an outbuilding which could be converted into a great 2-3 bedroom house if required.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Sainte-Marie- Laumont, Calvados Lovely 3 bedroom property set on over 1 and a half acres of land. Includes large barn, 2 smaller barns, pond and out of ground swimming pool.
Near Bernay, Eure Restored traditional Norman 3 bedroom farmhouse comprises terrace, garden, outbuildings.
Torigni, Manche Spacious 5 bedroom pavilion set on 300m2 of land. Comprises of dining room, entrance hall, dining room, fitted kitchen, lounge, 2 bathrooms and basement with garage for 2 cars.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Normand/Loire border, Orne Old stone house with 2 bedrooms, both en suite and over 6 acres of land includes gite with 1 bedroom, outbuilding with workshop, garage and a large store room.
Le Bec Hellouin, Eure Abbeystone (L'Abbeypierre) House is a fully restored 4 bedroom property in a popular holiday area. Set on over 4000m2 of land the property includes terrace and rear garden.
Saint-Quentin-les-Chardonnets Renovated 5 bed country house is full of character and traditional features. There is an adjoining house with plans passed for renovation, outbuildings and 15 acres of land.
ENERGY RATING = E & B
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Pont-Audemer, Eure Spacious `colombage`6/7 bedroom house comprises the bathroom, 2 toilets, 2 reception rooms, kitchen, basement and garage.
Near Gournay-en-Bray This 5 bedroom former convent is set on 2.5 acres of land. Partly renovated the property includes wine cellar, outhouse containing pigeon-loft and 6 stables.
Gathemo, Manche A rare combination of modern comfort and traditional features are offered in this beautifully renovated 3 bedroom stone Longere.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Near Pont-Audemer, Eure Spacious 4 bedroom house in very good condition set on 0.66 acres of land. Comprise garage, swimming pool and dormitory for 7 beds.
Region Domfront, Orne Peaceful location for this 3 hectare carp lake and fishing business. The 4 bedroomed house with fisherman's lodge/games room and shop look down over the lake.
Near Le Neubourg, Eure Eight bedroom Normandy house set on 3700m2 of land with garages and outbuildings. There is a possibility of dividing the property (house with 2200 m2 land).
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = F & C
Region Domfront, Orne Beautiful 6 bedroom stone house set on 1.356 hectares of land together with 70 metre long barn partially converted with new roof and a large bread oven, to restore/renovate.
Honfleur, Eure 6 bedroom Normandy manor house comprises 4 large outbuildings, 1 large hanger barn with gates for keeping animals.
Evreux, Eure This stunning, renovated 15th Century Norman manor comprises 4 (potentially 6) bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and many original, character features.
ENERGY RATING = C & E
ENERGY RATING = Not given
St Hilaire Petitville, Manche This impressive Manor house dating back to 1710 has been restored by the current owners and offers spacious accommodation with fully restored barn in the grounds.
Near Bayeux, Calvados Charming water mill (mill race flowing, working wheel) set on 5 hectares (12.3 acres) near Bayeux. Comprises 3 bedrooms, garage, outbuildings and workshop.
Near Briouze, Orne 7 bedroom house set on over 2 acres of walled gardens. Comprises 3 receptions and 7 en suite bedroom, large cellar, wine cellar and several outbuildings
ENERGY RATING = Not given
The adverts above cost from just €200
REF: DOM1374 TTC
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = D & E
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = F & F
for three months of web advertising and three months of print advertising.
Let our distribution get you a sale. Contact our sales team on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email email@example.com
Business and Legal 21
JUDY MANSFIELD has lived and worked in Calvados for nearly nine years. She is an agent commercial, and worked at an estate agency in Lisieux for several years before branching out into business development, primarily for currency specialists First Rate FX and latterly for small businesses in Normandy. Answered by
Photo: © Iurii Sokolov - Fotolia.com
Play your cards right!
Following last month’s business card basics, here are more hints and tips, including business card etiquette. Thanks to Heather Townsend for allowing me to quote from her book The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking SO NOW that you have your carefully-designed, wellthought-out business cards; what next? Do you actually use them, or do they gather dust in a drawer? There is nothing worse than meeting a potentially useful contact who asks for your card and you reply: “Sorry, I don’t have any on me”. At a business trade fair recently someone used the old chestnut: “I’m waiting for my cards from the printer” and that tells me something – that they were totally unprepared. Networking events are arranged in advance – more than enough time to get cards printed. If you cannot organise yourself to bring business cards to a networking event, what does that say about how reliable you will be as a supplier? Top Tip: Keep your cards everywhere: in your wallet, briefcase, car, coat pocket … You never know when you might need one. Don’t feel, when you go to an event, that you have to grab as many cards as you can. All that will do is give you a drawerful of business cards. If you don’t intend to follow up the contact, then the only person gaining business is the printer. When is it appropriate to offer your card? I’d suggest
not at the start of a conversation: this implies you are not interested in a business relationship, only in grabbing contact details. It is much more appropriate to ask for, or to offer, a card near the end of a discussion, and then only if you genuinely want to stay in touch with them. For example: “I’ve enjoyed meeting you, and I would like to stay in touch as I have someone who may be interested in your product/I would like to know more about your business. May I have your business card?” When you are given someone’s card, don’t just shove it in your pocket or bag. It is polite to look at it first! Sometimes, you may want to make a note about your contact; for example, you may have promised to send them a website link, or perhaps they’ve mentioned a supplier. ALWAYS ask before you write on someone’s business card in front of them. Top Tip: Use a ballpoint pen as some laminated cards will not take ink from felt-tip, fountain pen or roller balls – it simply slides off. Don’t use a chewed-up grotty pen from the bottom of your briefcase or your five-year-old daughter’s pink sparkly pen. It’s not the best impression you can make! If there are a lot of people at an event (and if your memory is anything like mine!), it can be difficult to remember details later. Jot things down that will jog your memory – details of their company, what they were wearing, etc. I always note where I met someone, and hobbies they
A hand-written will can ease succession formalities
Two ways to ease the cost of death FOR British nationals owning a property in France, it is vital that they understand how French law will apply to their French property and other assets which will be subject to French inheritance law in the event of their death or the death of their spouse or joint owner.
Don’t let cards sit around, put them to work and use them to give extra information about your contacts mention. For example, I met a supplier in Yorkshire, who told me he was learning Esperanto. A few weeks later, I sent him a link to a trade journal article about business Esperanto. In turn, he sent me details of a useful website. Another contact (now a valued client), mentioned their company was up for an export award. I made a note on the back of their business card and when they subsequently won we sent a note of congratulations. Small efforts go a long way to creating a lasting business relationship. Giving your business card is giving permission for someone to contact you. It is not permission to go on their mailing list! I get really irritated by receiving tons of irrelevant sales literature from people I have only just met. Be careful about doing that to others. Relationships MUST come before sales, especially if you are in a service industry. Top Tip: If all you do is collect business cards, then you have wasted a business opportunity. Think of each card as potential income.
Even if you cannot immediately see a business relationship, think about who they may know. Draw up a simple database and add their details. Then add notes – where you met, interests etc. Prioritise each contact. The simplest way is to add A, B or C to denote how immediately useful they may be to you. Two Top Tip Time Savers! Card Munch: This is a free smart phone app to manage your business cards. It has saved me oodles of time. Simply scan the card with your phone it stores all the details in a directory, including photo, LinkedIn address, recommendations etc. QR Codes: These twodimensional bar codes hold vast amounts of information and you can include contact details, photographs, video, and special offers. Greg Hughes (co-owner of Normandy Insite) will produce a QR code for you. I have mine on the back of my business card thanks to stickers printed at Moo.com. You can read QR codes by downloading free smartphone apps such as I-Nigma.
Recommended Reading Heather Townsend – Financial Times Guide to Business Networking – £13.99
Judy can be contacted through The Advertiser or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Suzanne Pearce: suzanneinfrance.com. Judy is on Twitter at @NormandyBizGp
MANY British buyers do not receive personalised advice when buying their French house and so do not set out specific estate planning measures to give greater security and protection to a surviving spouse in the event of a death. Regardless of whether habitually resident in France, the UK or elsewhere in the world, in the vast majority of cases, French succession law will govern what happens to your French property after your death. Specialist legal advice on your particular circumstances is invaluable. The existence of a French will cannot override the French law reserving a fixed proportion of the deceased’s French estate to his/her children (natural or adopted but not stepchildren). However, it can deal with the remaining proportion of the estate. A will can also be used to enhance (or deny) the rights of the surviving spouse, either absolutely or by the giving of a life interest. For the French notary administering the estate, the existence of a French will simplifies the succession formalities especially if the deceased was non French resident. The simplest way to make a French will is to write it, by hand, in French. Known as a Testament Olographe, to be valid it must be written, dated and signed entirely in the testator’s handwriting. No witnesses are required. Take care to ensure your French will does not revoke any existing UK (or other) will you may have written and vice versa. If you wish to leave all or part of your French property (real estate) to a UK charity be aware the charity may be taxed at 60% on the value of the asset. It may be better to leave such an asset to an international charity with a presence in France as it will receive the asset tax-free. In November 2009 the European Commission asked France to amend taxes on legacies to public-interest and non-profit bodies in the EU. As far as we are aware, however, France has not yet implemented the change requested. Adopting the French marriage regime of communauté universelle (universal community) is a useful tool and allows French property to pass entirely to the surviving spouse; postponing the interests of children until the second death. Most married couples whose children are common to the marriage and not from a previous relationship, will find this relatively straightforward to arrange. For the resulting benefit, the costs and tax involved are generally reasonable.
PROPERTIES AROUND FRANCE
Finistère, Brittany Large 4 bedroom house needing improvements comprises lounge/dining, basic kitchen, bathroom, en suite, double glazed windows and garden to the rear. Ideal for a family.
Jumilhac-le-Grand, Dordogne This charming 1 bedroom stone cottage is set on 0.35 acre of land. Comprises living room, open kitchen and shower room.
Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany Hillside cottage nestles on a wooded hillside in a very tranquil area. Consist of spacious living/dining room, separate kitchen, 2 double bedrooms and bathroom.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon Lovely stone house including light living room, equipped kitchen and 2 bedrooms, perfect for holidays.
Eymet, Aquitaine Charming 2 bedroom stone house in good condition comprises small kitchen /diner, small lounge, nice garden, well and garden shed.
Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon 2 bedroom first floor apartment (85m2) based in a small town with all amenities north of Beziers. Includes private garden with 3 garden sheds, terrace and a barbecue.
ENERGY RATING = E
ENERGY RATING = G & G
Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon 3 bedroom stone village home offering equipped kitchen, 2 washrooms, and courtyard. The property has many original features such as terra cotta floors, exposed beams and doors.
Côtes-d'Armor This beautiful renovated 4 bedroom stone house set in 1.81 acres of land has a stable for 3 horses. House includes kitchen/dining area, lounge, 2 convertible attics and bathroom.
Pouzolles, Hérault 3 bedroom charming townhouse be the local cinema. Inscludes south east facing sun terrace. There is potential for a fourth bedroom with en-suite bathroom upstairs.
ENERGY RATING = C
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Quillan, Aude 6 bedroom detached house comprise 2 kitchens, shower room, toilet, sitting room, store room and garage. Close to Ski stations.
Festalemps, Ribérac This renovated 4 bedroom house with a cottage garden and an attached 80m2 barn. The house includes kitchen, dining room, sitting room, studio/study, shower room and bathroom.
St Servant, Brittany Maintained 3 bedroom country cottage comprises kitchen, lounge with fireplace, toilet, laundry room, shower room and south facing conservatory. Set on 11.418m2 of land.
ENERGY RATING = F & D
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Near Gourdon, Aquitaine This spacious 4 bedroom property comprises large open plan kitchen/living room, bathroom, shower room, cellar, veranda, double garage and outbuilding used as a workshop.
Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon 3 bedroom villa comprise a living/dining room, new fitted kitchen, bathroom, toilet, terrace, garden of 705m² and garage.
Near Domme, Aquitaine 4 bedroom stone house offers an enormous potential. Comprises lounge, kitchen, study, shower room, bathroom, 2 separate toilets, former shop, garage, workshop, garden and courtyard.
ENERGY RATING = D & E
ENERGY RATING = F & C
Gabian, Hérault Pretty 3 bedroom villa consist of living room , dining room, bathroom/shower room, separate toilet, terrace, garden and garage (utility room and 2 large store rooms).
La Coquille, Aquitaine This 2 bedroom farm house with 2 large barns set on 6 hectares of land.
Fouzilhon, Hérault 3 bedroom house with spacious living room, modern fitted kitchen, utility room, terrace, garden, garage, private parking and swimming pool.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany Set within 5 hectares this 3 bedroom manor is full of character. It has great potential with 2 outbuildings in which renovation has already been started.
Pyrénées-Orientales Old stone 4 bedroom house entirely renovated. Includes kitchen/family room, living room, 2 bathrooms, workshop, wine cellar, garden and garage.
Montpon, Aquitaine An attractive 4 bedroom house with large barn, workshop, garage, parkland garden and small woods.
REF: KPS 1072
ENERGY RATING = F
ENERGY RATING = D & A
Near Payzac, Aquitaine An idyllic setting for this 4 bedroom barn conversion with outbuilding to convert, 3 stocked fishing lakes set on 7.5 hectares of land.
Aquitaine. Dordogne New 5 bedroom house (1982) set on 4213m² of land. Includes kitchen, living/dining room, office, 2 bathrooms, 2 separate toilets and garage.
Finistère, Brittany A very impressive stone building that has been partially renovated with new roof, concrete floors and PVC double glazed windows and doors throughout. The whole plot size is 2,100m2.
ENERGY RATING = D & E
ENERGY RATING = Not given
REF: KPS 1815
Carcassonne, Aude This beautiful 3 bedroom detached villa very good condition throughout with American kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 3 toilets, garage and swimming pool.
Near Belvès, Aquitaine This beautiful 4 bedroom house comprises lounge/dining room, kitchen, bathroom, 2 toilets, cellar, garage, workshop/laundry room and garden.
Near Monpazier, Aquitaine 3 bedroom stone house build in 1970 set on 8610m2 of land. Includes living room with chimney, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, office, garage with workshop and attic.
ENERGY RATING = B & C
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Castillonnès, Aquitaine 3 bedroom Chartreuse set on 1.5 hectares of land. Includes living/diner/open kitchen, office, shower room, bathroom, 2 terraces, swimming pool, detached barn and garage.
Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon 3 bedroom house comprises kitchen / living room, 2 bathrooms, terrace, balcony, 2 garages, workshop, wooden shed and pool.
Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon The 3 bedroom modern villa includes spacious kitchen, shower room, en suite, conservatory, terrace, garage workshop and garden.
ENERGY RATING = G & G
ENERGY RATING = D & C
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = E
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = C & C
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
PROPERTIES AROUND FRANCE
Near Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales Tucked away in the centre of Perpignan this 4 bedroom with garden and garage in private mews.
Morbihan, Brittany Very light and spacious newly built 4 bedroom single storey house completed April 2007, south facing & set on 2.5 acres (11,000m2) of meadowland with beautiful views.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
€371,000 Near Beaumont-du-Périgord Stone 3 bedroom house consists of living room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, office, extra storage space, double garage, utility room, workshop, wine cellar and garden. ENERGY RATING = C & D
Céret, Pyrénées-Orientales Charming 4 bedroom village house full of character consist American kitchen, living dining room, shower room, 3 terraces, cellar, garage, garden and swimming pool.
Finistère, Brittany Renovated farmhouse with 3 recently renovated cottages, reception room and bar. The property hosts parties, weddings, business meetings, etc. The spacious cottages are rented out.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Magalas, Hérault This 3 bedroom villa comprises lounge, dining room, bathrooms, kitchen and gardens. There is a 22m2 Mezzanine which is currently used as an office.
Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon 4 bedroom Villa includes terrace, garage, double garage, cellar, reversible air conditioning, swimming pool.
ENERGY RATING = C & D
St Vincent de Cosse, Aquitaine This carefully restored 3 bedroom19th century property consists of 2000m2 of beautifully garden with several terraces and a superb small pool.
Aquitaine 4 bedroom farmhouse with open-plan kitchen/diner, living room with mezzanine with sitting, office, bathroom or shower room to each bedroom, barns and workshop.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Lunas, Aquitaine A beautiful Perigourdine property 5 bedrooms , 3 bathrooms and swimming pool.
Near Velines, Aquitaine Beautiful 18th century architect designed renovated barn with a stunning sitting room, large fully fitted Kitchen, 3 bedrooms and a separate 3 bedroom guest cottage.
Not givenENERGY RATING =
Near Cognac, Charente Established hotel business. 7 bedroom town house consists of 5 bathrooms, 2 receptions rooms, dining room, terrace, garden, garage and vaulted cellars.
Châtellerault, Vienne Entirely renovated 4 bedroom house and 4 bedroom guest cottage includes outbuilding and garden, small arboretum and 12 hectares acres of land.
ENERGY RATING = D & D
Near Montcuq, Midi-Pyrénées Renovated 5 bedroom house set on 13 hectares of land comprise 2 bathrooms, garage, terrace, garden and pool. Ideal as an equestrian property.
Annepont, Charente-Maritime This 5 bedroom Mill includes fitted kitchen, large lounge, study, living room, shower room, terrace, large cellar, cellar, summer kitchen and swimming pool.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Near Montréal, Gers Restored 5 bedroom Manor House set on 5 hectares of land with swimming pool.
Monflanquin, Lot-et-Garonne Renovated 5 bedroom farmhouse consists of conservatory, terrace, stables and paddock, outbuildings and swimming pool.
ENERGY RATING = Not given
Near Mansle, Charente This imposing 6 bedroom Manor house is set peacefully and privately in 5600m2 of park garden. Includes 2 bedroom apartment, barn and garage.
Near Cazals, Lot Exceptional modern house built in the local style with swimming pool set on 11 hectares of private ground.
ENERGY RATING = B & A
FINANCE Sponsored by ENERGY RATING = Not given
Payment plan can free up cash flow Photo: © apops - Fotolia.com
€369,000 Trèbes, Aude 4 bedroom detached single storey villa includes open kitchen onto the living room/dining room, bathroom, 2 toilets, terrace, garage and swimming pool. REF: 110153180
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = E & F
Credit card machine could make a difference
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = B & C
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = E
ENERGY RATING = Not given
ENERGY RATING = Not given
I have been working for myself in France for five years and it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage the cash flow to pay my RSI cotisations. Do you have any tips on how I can manage my cash flow better and what help I can get to delay cotisation payments? I have heard French banks don't like overdrafts but it would certainly help right now to give me some flexibility when waiting for clients to pay. T.B. MANAGING cash flow for any small business is a constant preoccupation (or should be!)… and trying to match cash flow to cope with RSI and TVA payments can be a headache. As a rule of thumb: bill your clients as early as possible (to avoid work in progress building up) and then be polite but firm when it comes to repeated late-payers. Everyone is in the same boat in the economic crisis so a bit of tolerance goes a long way but, as a fully registered commercial business, you have obligations to fulfil which your clients may not fully appreciate. Having a good spread of clients also removes the cashflow risk of sitting waiting for one big cheque, which prevents you from paying any of your own suppliers. RSI has systematically brought forward the payment dates over the last few years, so now you pay ALL of your 2012 cotisations in the year. You can get help if you are having difficulty in paying a large catch-up bill and ask for time to pay. However, be reasonable with the timesale you request (clearing a 2011 catch-up debt by November 20, 2012, for example, would normally be accepted); make the payment plan request BEFORE the due date; ask for a penalty waiver, and make sure you stick to the payment plan (otherwise the whole amount will fall due again). RSI have a new option this year to bring forward your catch-up calculation, so if you have reduced earnings this year compared to last, then you will benefit not only from an earlier refund if you have already overpaid, but also you can request that 2012 be rebased on your 2011 results. If your results are rising, better to defer the catch-up till Nov-Dec, but do build it into your cashflow as soon as your accountant tells you the expected amount. Banks will give overdrafts based on the cash flowing through a business, the general state of the account and, of course, your level of profitability. It is worth making a request to see what is possible, and also, if you take your year end accounts in (bilan), it is a good opportunity to see what other bank services could help your business. Installing a credit card machine for clients to pay by credit or debit card is not as expensive as you might think (eg €20 a month) and the percentage charges for credit card are not unattractive if you weigh that up against the 10% late payment penalty levy for RSI and TVA.
The animals always cheer me up Sonia Bariot clearly adores her job as a zoo keeper at the Champrépus zoo near Villedieu-les-Poêlles in Manche. SAMANTHA DAVID finds out about her work with the animals and how she ended up with her dream role. "I'VE WANTED to be a zoo keeper since I was five," says Sonia, 29. "My parents took me to a zoo and they were hand-rearing a baby chimpanzee and I fell in love with the whole thing. I refused to leave and from that moment on, I knew that all I wanted to do was this job." She says she never doubted her decision for a minute. She grew up and went to school in a small village near Rennes and left school with a "Bac STAV," a qualification in agriculture. With that, she went to the CFPPA (Centre de Formation Professionnelle et de Promotion Agricoles) Higher Education college in Vendôme and completed a one-year course and a three-month internship to become a "Soigneur Animalier." There are three institutes in France offering this course - the other two are in Gramat in Lot, and near Nantes. "To succeed you really have to work during the stage and I was lucky enough to get taken on by the zoo where I'd been an intern. “I stayed there a few years and then moved to another zoo to get more experience and then I came here. It was partly to be closer to home but also because I wanted to work in a smaller zoo." Sonia says she gets more contact with the management at Champrépus, and that she cares for all the animals, not just the ones in her department. "It's more like working with family, it is friendlier and I have contact with all the animals." She admits that like many people she started off being especially attracted to the large primates, but these days she says her favourites are bears, penguins and giraffes. "I'm completely in love with them," she says. "And even if I arrive at work in a bad mood they always cheer me up." She works weekends and bank holidays and is outside all year round, even in winter when it is snowing. "Even though zoos are closed in the winter, the animals still need looking after. There aren't the humans, you don't do the same events and animations but you have to juggle the temperatures in the enclosures and make sure the animals don't get cold and sick." She also enjoys running educational workshops for children, including introducing them to farm animals, environmental concerns, and teaching them how to look after an animal. She also runs sessions for adults and really enjoys it. Some people, she says, ask amusing questions and she likes answering. "Educating people about animals is also part of the job," she says. In the main the zoo visitors are well-behaved but there are always some children who throw stones at the animals and other people who chuck popcorn at the lions but, she says, the zoo does not get many people like that. The
The giraffes know Sonia and follow her around - one of them even regularly gives her a little kiss when she feeds them leaves funniest question she was ever asked was when she was walking through the zoo with an ostrich egg in a basket and someone asked if it was a giraffe egg. People are always asking how much ham the giraffes eat every day! "The other thing that often happens is people tell us that the animals are ill, but most of the time they're just sleeping. We tell people it's just a siesta, but it's amazing how some people really don't know much about animals at all.” Lots of children want to work with animals and ask her for information about being a zoo keeper. "They think a zoo keeper just plays with animals and cuddles them all day but most of the work is mucking out and cleaning, preparing bedding, washing bowls and cleaning, making food-rations. Most zoo animals
are wild and cannot be touched. Many of them are dangerous, many don't relate to humans." The giraffes, however, do know her and follow her. They come and join in immediately she starts an information session and she says one of them gives her a little kiss when she feeds them leaves. "We're trained not to love the animals, not to get too attached to them," she says. And then she laughs. "But it's impossible not to get attached and when an animal goes off somewhere else it's really hard. If an animal dies it's heartbreaking but it's part of the life of a zoo-keeper and it happens." Happily however, most animals in zoos live much longer than in the wild because there are no predators and if they get any minor injuries they are treated by a vet. The zoo does
not have a resident vet but is lucky to have a veterinary clinic just next door, and the vets there know the zoo animals well. “We also work with Florence Olivet-Courtois, one of the few travelling vets in France who specialise in large zoo animals, to check out and treat the large animals as needed,” says Sonia.
My parents took me to a zoo and they were hand-rearing a baby chimpanzee and I just fell in love with the whole thing.
Well cared for: Zoo animals usually live much longer than they would in the wild
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