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Advertiser The


July 2011 - Issue 19



Concerts, medieval festivals and more Pages 14-15

Fight for payout continues over high voltage line Photo: Ray Clancy


Monet Maker How Englishman James Priest came to care for painter’s garden

Ne pas jeter sur la voie publique

Pages 6-7

WORK will begin in September on the new THT high voltage power line that passes through Normandy, but land owners are still at odds with grid provider Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) over compensation. Members of the agricultural union, FDSEA de la Manche, are preparing to prevent RTE engineers accessing land unless an agreement is reached for nuisance caused during upgrade work on portions of the line which already exist. An agreement covering most of the 163 km power line, which will take electricity from the new nuclear power station at Flamanville through the departments of the Manche and Calvados to Maine and Brittany, has been reached. But the agree-

„ New 163km powerline will cross the Manche and Calvados to take electricity to Brittany and Maine ment, signed in December, does not cover a portion of the line which already exists. Work needed on the existing line will be from Flamanville to Raid, a distance of about 65 kms and also on parts from Percy to the south of Avranches. In a bulletin to members, FDSEA de la Manche president Pascal Ferey said: “This union calls on all owners, businessmen and farmers to refuse access to plots of land to RTE or their representatives until RTE reopens discussions on the agreement to cover the existing line,” he said. RTE has agreed to pay compensa-

tion for disruption caused by work covering a band of 100m on either side of the THT line over three years and it has set aside a pot of 1 million, roughly 900 per hectare. It will also provide a diagnostic report on buildings, sanitary conditions and stock conditions before and after construction of the line and has stated that the line will not overhang any agricultural buildings and it will be responsible for any necessary work to move them. No one from RTE was available to speak to the Normandy Advertiser. House owners are also set to get compensation. It is the first time ever the French government has agreed to buy houses affected by a major infrastructure project. It will buy houses within the 100m zone if the owners want them to. To see the route visit

2 News

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

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Directrice de la Publication (Managing Editor): Sarah Smith Rédacteur-en-Chef (Editor-in-Chief): Sarah Smith The Advertiser is published by English Language Media Sarl 38 rue Grimaldi, 98000, Monaco Printed by Rotimpres, Impressions Rotatives, 17181 Aiguaviva (Girona), Espagne All copyright is reserved to the publisher. Reproduction in whole or part of any text without permission is prohibited. The Advertiser cannot accept responsibility for claims of advertisers or their professionalism. Mensuel Depôt légal – a parution. RCI: 10 S 05218 ISSN: 2106 - 7902

Useful Contacts EMERGENCIES Samu (medical aid): 15 Sapeurs-pompiers: 18 Police/gendarmerie: 17 Duty pharmacy: 3237

HOSPITALS Caen: 02 31 51 51 51 Cherbourg: 02 33 20 70 00 Avranches: 02 33 89 40 00 Flers: 02 33 62 62 00 Le Havre: 02 32 73 32 32 Rouen: 02 32 88 89 90

Photo: Collège Jean-Moulin

Write to: The Advertiser (Normandy), 38 rue Grimaldi, 98000, Monaco

Orne pupils win top Rubik’s title STUDENTS at a school in the Orne have won the title of French Rubik’s Cube champions, for the second year in a row. A group of 50 pupils from the collège Jean-Moulin, in Gacé, success-

fully solved 50 cubes in less than 87 seconds, beating the French group record (which they already held). The fourth French Championship, held in Paris, saw 130 collèges and lycées take part.

Unesco discusses Saint-Michel turbines World Heritage body examining report on plans for windfarms near the landmark THE IMPACT of a windfarm on MontSaint Michel’s classification as a World Heritage Site was under discussion by Unesco as The Advertiser went to press. As it meets for nine days to examine proposals for new World Heritage Sites, the World Heritage Committee will also examine monuments and landscapes it perceives are under threat. The committee will examine a report it demanded from France in February on proposed windfarms near the landmark.

In 2010 Unesco “expressed concern at the potential impact of wind turbines on the landscape setting of the property.” The committee will make its final decisions public on June 29. Alternative energy firm Epuron has been given planning permission to build three 100m-high wind turbines 15km from the mount on the Couesnon river. Unesco demanded that France submit a report on this and any other potential

windfarm plans near the landmark. In mid-June the Senate cultural committee demanded a freeze on the project and also expressed concern at current works to rearrange the causeway and carpark approach to the mont. Environmental campaigners said in February that the turbines, could see the monument lose its World Heritage Status. They added that building the turbines, which would flash at night, was akin to building a disco next door.

July 2011

News 3

Photos: Harry Atterton

The Advertiser, Normandy

Artist’s window illusions bring inspiration to struggling towns

Cafés, bakeries and newsagents in Domfront get a new lease of still life

A PROJECT to brighten up empty shops in Domfront with a ‘virtual shop window’ showing how the premises could be developped has attracted so much attention it may be rolled out across France. Artist Harry Atterton, 75, who formerly worked restoring French chateaux, launched the project in collaboration with a UK firm. The aim is to revive towns that have been battered by the financial crisis by decorating buildings, whether it is a bakery, café or tabac. Instead of seeing empty premises, shoppers might be inspired to set up their own business and help get their town back on track, said Mr Atterton. “The main purpose is to encourage people to think ‘that’s a good idea’ and either rent or buy the shop. The

Project launched to list D-Day beaches as World Heritage Landscape of Allied landings should be noted for its impact on human history, says Basse-Normandie council

“The sea and the sand evoke these memories. “With the number of nations involved in the fight against a dictatorship, it was really democracy which fought.” She said the group would continue to back the project and would be providing a consultative role as the Basse-Normandie regional council and the Caen Memorial Museum gave it PLANS to make the D-Day beaches a Unesco momentum. World Heritage site have been launched by the Basse-Normandie vice-president Alain Basse-Normandie regional council and the Tourret used the opportunity of May’s G8 sumCaen Memorial Museum. mit in Deauville to deliver a letter outlining the The council will make its case to the governproposal to the heads of state of Germany, ment in the autumn and aims to see the beachRussia, Canada, the USA and UK. es, and potentially other sites involved with the Before completing an official dossier, the landings, listed by the 70th anniversary of Dregion is still discussing whether sites beyond Day in 2014. Former minister Simone Veil, a surthe beaches should be included in the proposal. vivor of the holocaust, has already lent her English-speaking groups have given their backapproval to the project. ing to the project. The chairman of the Royal The region hopes to bring on board historians Naval Association’s France Nord branch, Mark and supporters from Canada, the United States, Whelan, said: “Each year thousands of people of United Kingdom, France and Germany. French all nationalities visit the D historian Jean-Pierre Rioux Day Beaches, surroundings and Roger Smither of the and remaining defences, Imperial War Museum in with their associated museLondon are among those ums, monuments and taking part. It’s not just about the cemeteries. They learn The idea was originally about this complex put forward by Normandie beaches, it’s the ideas of amphibious operation and Memoire, an organisation universal values: peace, its individual heroic actions, dedicated to educating peopay respects to the fallen ple about the Second World liberty, solidarity and regularly hold comWar in the region. between peoples of memorative services. Normandie Memoire “Accordingly, the site merdirector Sandy Cordone different countries its worldwide recognition as said: “It’s not just about the Sandy Cordone the location of a momenbeaches, it’s the ideas of unitous event, which played a versal values: peace, liberty, Normandie Memoire significant part in European solidarity between peoples and world history.” of different countries.

designs help to show what type of business the shop could become,” he told told The Advertiser. “It’s not just about making the shop windows look pretty.” Mr Atterton has been backed by the local merchants association, chamber of commerce and a local bank. Even though the windows were only installed a few weeks ago, they have already sparked interest from other French towns. Each window costs between 600 and 1,300 to install. “We’ve already had calls from lots of other towns,” said Mr Atterton. It is also hoped the project will help revive tourism to Domfront, which has a population of 4,000, down from the previous 4,700. “It’s a lovely, medieval town which is full of history,” said Mr Atterton.

4 News

THE WRECKAGE of a Spitfire pulled from the mud of the Orne Estuary last year, has been shipped to Australia, the home of its pilot. Flight Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith, 27, of the Royal Australian Air Force crashed into the sea after he was shot down on June 11, 1945. The aircraft was discovered in the Orne estuary and extracted in November 2010. The body of Lt Smith was buried on April 19 this year with full military honours at the Ranville War Cemetery in Calvados. His aircraft, a Supermarine Spitfire, had become the centre of a dispute between the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles (Drac) and the man behind the salvage operation Fabrice Corbin, a curator at the Mur de l’Atlantique museum in Ouistreham. The Drac is taking Mr Corbin to court for disturbing a war grave and, in mid-June, under the order of Drac and the local prefect, the wreckage was taken from the port of Caen where it had been resting and placed on a lorry, ready to be shipped to Australia. The prefecture has refused to comment on the exact destination of the aircraft remains.

Somme Bay awarded THE Baie de Somme has become the 10th ‘Grand Site de France’. The label denotes a high-standard of environmental care and land management.

The Advertiser, Normandy

By Amy McCormack RESIDENTS of a small Normandy town are divided over the future of an historic vicarage which is under threat of demolition. The people of Bacilly in the Manche department cannot understand the town council’s decision to knock down the 18th century building, which has been unoccupied since the death of the town’s vicar three years ago. Mayor Jean-Pierre Debon, said that the building will cost the town 800,000 to restore, will be difficult to sell, and that it is a road safety hazard because it reduces visibility. Of the 14 members of the town council, 13 voted in favour of knocking the building down. When the residents heard about the plans they formed the Save Bacilly Vicarage Association and launched a campaign presenting a petition with more than 400 signatures. The sous-préfet of Avranches, JeanMarc Giraud, intervened and halted the process by reversing the bylaw which had released the vicarage into the town council’s control. The mayor feels that the situation is putting pressure on the community: “There are mixed views about this in the town. There are a lot of people who are for getting this building destroyed as well as those against it. This split in the town is very unhealthy.” Campaigner Jean-Michel Théault, is adamant that the vicarage is an important and recognised part of France’s heritage and needs to be treated as such. He feels that the building could be put to better use and would like to see it renovated with the help of state subsidies and turned into housing or alternatively

July 2011

Campaigner Jean-Michel Théault hopes Bâtiments de France will support the views of residents who wish to preserve the vicarage

Photo: Ouest France/MaxPPP

Spitfire hero’s plane shipped to Australia

Historic vicarage demolition row causes ‘unhealthy’ town split sold on to a local business. The town is now awaiting a visit from an architect from Bâtiments de France, a qualified conservation specialist. This government employee will survey the site and give an opinion on the viability of the building. The findings will form the basis for a final decision. Mr Théault, who used to design buildings himself and now works as a

It’s part of our heritage, but they don’t seem to like old buildings around here Jean-Michel Théault Save Bacilly Vicarage

postman so that he can concentrate on his own renovation projects in his spare time, is optimistic about the outcome. He said: “At least 65% or 70% of Bacilly residents want to keep the building. I would like to see the council find another solution like other towns seem able to do. It’s part of our heritage but they don’t seem to like old buildings around here.”

Lack of funds threatens 2013 Armada plans ORGANISERS of one of the largest tourist events in Normandy, the Armada, have threatened to cancel because of lack of funds. Event organiser Patrick Herr has said the next Armada, due to take place in 2013, is in jeopardy because various local authorities have not met a demand for an extra one million euros of funding. Rouen town council, the Créa and the Haute-Normandie region only agreed to an extra 500,000. The event costs around 11m to organise. The Armada has been organised roughly every five years since 1989. In 2008 it became a stop off point for the Tall Ships Race and attracted around 11 million visitors over ten days.

Rapper arrested for Tricolor burqa A RAPPER from Caen has been arrested for wearing a burqa in the colours of the French Tricolor. Artist Yo du Milieu was taking part in a concert organised by a group promoting social cohesion in Caen. His tongue-in-cheek performance included dressing up as Nadine Amouk, a fictional spokesman for muslim, transexual patriots of France. He could be prosecuted under two recent laws, one banning the burqa and another banning mistreatment of the French flag. French human rights groups have criticised the arrest.

The Armada is a popular tourist event

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

News 5

Officer suspended for Obama passport photo pose

Photo: CCDT Calvados

Soaring fuel prices push French tourists back to Normandy

French tourists are choosing to head to Normandy instead of travelling further afield By Amy McCormack

over an 800km one,” she said. The region used to be a popular holiday destination for Britons but there has been a dip RISING fuel costs, economic instability and recently: “A weak pound and budget airlines flyunrest in the Middle East may be clouding the ing straight to sunny destinations mean that picture for world tourism but there has been a we’ve somewhat gone out of fashion in the UK. silver lining for Normandy businesses. “Though people still look upon Normandy Hotels and campsites in the region have with affection and tell themselves they’ll take reported a surge in bookings this year and many their children there someday, it’s not a priority.” of them say that this seems to be at least in part However, Gervais David, due to global changes. who owns Bagnoles Hôtel in “There have been a lot, lot Bagnoles de l’Orne, has noticed more people this year,” said that British tourists are back Elisabeth Taboga who owns the this year after a lull that he recently renovated Hotel de There have been a attributes to the recession. Saint-Aubin in Saint Aubin sur lot more people The only downside to what Mer, Calvados: “Europeans are has been a good season so far, staying in Europe.” this year he says, has been the fact that Head of Promotions at the all the May bank holidays have Comité Régional de Tourisme Elisabeth Taboga fallen on a Sunday and workers de Normandie, Marie Bachelin, Owner of the Hotel de have not had the usual Monday said that more than two thirds Saint-Aubin sur Mer, off. Last minute bookings sufof all tourists in Normandy are Calvados fered as a result. One Port-leFrench and the boom in Bessin business remains largely tourism is due to them. unaffected by annual trends. “This year, you notice a large The four star Chateau La influx of traffic on the roads on Chenevière's clientele is predominantly Friday nights or Sundays as Parisians travel into American, staying to visit the D-Day landing the region for the weekend. beaches and American war cemetery. Sales “And for longer stays, with people becoming director, Francoise Fauquet said: “Despite the more environmentally aware and petrol costing weak dollar, we haven't felt too much of a dip.” more, people are favouring a 300km car journey

Flag blues for five regional beaches going into the sea, so we will MANY Normandy beaches are be reminding people about flying the blue flag for environthese things,” he said. mental excellence this year, It was a good year for the despite five popular venues losregion’s ports. First time appliing their status. cants, Fécamp Port (SeineThe Pavillon Bleu, or blue flag, Maritime) and Mervilleeco label is awarded based on Franceville Watersports Centre the quality of the water, envi(Calvados) were both granted ronmental management and the flag. Merville-Franceville education and litter levels. The The Pavillon Bleu is a volunhas the additional honour of announcements in May saw 14 tary scheme – free in the being the first non man-made Normandy beaches awarded the first year but demanding French port to have been grantlabel, including Gouville sur fees to take part in following ed the quality mark. Mer (Manche) which was years. The group does not The deputy mayor of publish a list of beaches that selected for the first time. Merville-Franceville, Etretat in the Manche is one of applied but failed the tests. Véronique Mathieu, who is five Normandy beaches to have It has been running in responsible for sustainable lost the flag this year. The presiFrance for 26 years. development in the town, said dent of Etretat Tourist that they expect a rise in tourists from Information Office, André Brochec, said that the Northern Europe in the coming years as a town missed out due to just one water sample: result of their new status. that day the sea water was ranked as good rather “People from countries such as Sweden, than excellent. He said that there would be a Norway and Holland are more closely concampaign to keep the beach clean this year: cerned with the environment and the quality of “Small things can make a difference, like dogs the water that they swim in,” she said. on the beach, or people not showering before

Free What’s On Guide To find out what is happening this summer in Normandy and places to visit for all budgets, see our very own FREE Normandy What’s On Guide. Available in print or by download at

A SENIOR customs officer was suspended after US officials spotted him asking a colleague to take a snapshot of him holding Barack Obama’s passport. The Lower Normandy customs director was part of a team processing the passports of American officials who had arrived by plane in Deauville for the G8 summit. According to an officer present at the time, the director discovered that the president’s passport was among those being processed and as a joke thought he might get a photo as a memento. American security agents made a complaint which made its way to President Nicolas Sarkozy. The officer was suspended immediately, pending an inquiry. Head of Information and Communications for Customs, JeanRoald L’Hermitte, confirmed that an incident had taken place on May 26 which was deemed serious enough to suspend the officer for three weeks.

6 Interview

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

New prison for Saint-Lô

English gardener finds himself in the Monet

A NEW 366-place prison is to be be built in Saint-Lô. The building will be finished by 2017, by which time the two former Manche prisons, Cherbourg and Coutances, will be closed down. The project is part of an overhaul of the French prison system that will increase the number of places available and improve the infrastructure.

BLANCHELAND Abbey in Neufmesnil, near Coutances, has ben sold at auction for 920,000. The buyers were Jean-Luc Pipon, a businessman born in Lisieux but living in Moscow, and Thibault Le Chanoine, a lawyer from Normandy who lives in Paris. The pair plan to create a multi-media library for art and religion at the 11th-century abbey, while “respecting its origins”, Mr Pipon told Ouest-France.

Debt-ridden hospital cuts jobs FIFTEEN jobs will be cut at Flers hospital over the next two years as part of efforts to reduce costs. The hospital had 1.6 million worth of debt last year, up from 1.4 million in 2009 but significantly better than the 2,1 million it had in 2008.

Photos: Ray Clancy

Library plan for historic abbey

by RAY CLANCY WHEN he first visited Claude Monet’s famous garden at Giverny in Haute-Normandie, Englishman James Priest was not terribly impressed. In fact, by his own admission, he was disappointed. It was just three years after the renovation programme at the great painter’s garden had

started and it was not looking its best. Yet now, 30 years on, James is head gardener at the second most visited garden in the whole of France, after Versailles. Trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Mr Priest had just started his own business as a consultant when the call came from the Fondation Claude Monet. He was sum-

moned so that the Foundation could judge whether an Englishman was up to the task of nurturing the famous garden for years to come. “I knew the head gardener, we had met and he must have remembered me,” Mr Priest said modestly. He is only the second head gardener — the third if you count Monet as the first. “To take on this job, you need to be committed, you need to want to strive to make something the best it possibly can be,” he says. “The public want the wow factor and it is our job to give them that.” He laughs off the suggestion that it is a surprise to find an Englishman in charge of one of France's greatest gardening masterpieces. "I am a gardener, that it what is important," he said. Mr Priest started his new job on June 1 and it is a daunting task. Not only does it involve giving strategic direction, but he has to get to know every plant and nuance: the very essence of this wonderful garden. For the time being, that means getting his fingernails dirty. "I am out there at seven in the morning, digging and planting, getting to know the

“He was an artist creating a look, a way of representing light and colour. He destroyed paintings he didn’t like and in a way this garden is a bit like that” garden and how it works. Only when I can understand what is going on right now can I then begin to think about the overview,” he said. Born in Maghull near Liverpool, Mr Priest has lived in France for so long that he speaks English with a French accent. For 17 years he worked at Baron Elie de Rothschild’s Château Royaumont near Chantilly. It was his father, a Liverpool grocer, who first suggested that he become a gardener. “I was lethargically sending off applications to banks and financial firms for a job when I finished grammar school, when he told me that a banker’s life wasn’t suitable as I would hate working in an office,” Mr Priest recalled. “He was right, I loved being outdoors. He would be proud of me, I’m sure.” Only a few weeks into his new job, Mr Priest is already thinking about planting programmes, about where to source plants and how he might improve a garden that

is already dearly loved by the public. Visitors come from all over the world to see Monet's house, the vibrant flowers planted in the Clos Normand and the famous water lily ponds. Mr Priest believes that in order to manage the garden it is important to have an understanding of the artistic concepts of Impressionism and of Monet himself. When Monet died in 1926, the garden was abandoned. His son turfed over the flower beds and the pond silted up. It was not until the late 1970s that the garden was restored. However, when curator Gerald van der Kamp and head gardener Gilbert Vahe came to start work there were no written records and no details of the plants Monet had used. The only clues were his paintings. “The garden is about colour, about creating swathes of colour. You need to look at it with a painter’s eye,” said Mr Priest.

Looking to buy a house? See page 19 for a range of properties

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

Interview 7

Opposite: James Priest by the pond at Giverny. Above: the colours of Impressionism in plants. Below: one of Monet’s iconic water lily paintings, now in the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris “To me, Impressionism is a style of painting that is actually very precise. “Monet as an artist was creating a look, a way of representing light and colour. Often he wasn’t satisfied, he destroyed paintings he didn’t like, and in a way this garden is a bit like that.” Monet’s garden is a hive of activity all year. In July, the summer bedding plants start to thrive, roses need to be dead-headed daily and plants maintained in tip- top condition. “I’m told that it is flat out until the end of September and then in October there is a bit of respite as the garden closes at the end of the month so there is less maintenance,” explained Mr Priest. “But then it gets really busy as all the summer plants come out and the ground is prepared for bulb planting.” Throughout November, December and January, thousands of bulbs are

put in place ready for the reopening of the garden in the spring. It is a mammoth task. Behind the scenes, spring bedding plants are prepared in the myriad outhouses that are never seen by the public. It is in these buildings, too, that Mr Priest has his office, where he gets down to the huge amount of administration involved in the job.Sitting at his tiny desk, Mr Priest points out that creating the look of the garden is a mixture of tasks. In the flower beds, for example, there is a combination of biannual plants, bedding plants and plants that have self-seed-

ed. Yet they blend together and that is how they have always been, creating an image part formal and part natural. You have to be passionate to take on the job of caring for this unique garden, Mr Priest says, but it is not about creating perfection. “I once turned down working on a garden for Rothschild because it was already perfect, there was nothing I

could have done,” he said. “Here at Giverny there might be parts that don’t work so well. There might be subtle changes to be made, and that’s what I need to think about.” He is considering how some older plants can be replaced with newer hybrids that flower for longer. He points to a geranium that is past its best and says he would like it to have a longer flowering period. Changes

in the garden, however, will be subtle: “Don't expect anything sensational.” When asked if he has a favourite part of the garden, he shakes his head. “That is impossible, the garden changes all the time. “What I like most is the period when the public have left for the day, the evening when it is possible to walk through the garden and quietly reflect on what is going on. To me, that is the magic of Giverny.” Reflection is what the garden is about. As Claude Monet himself put it: “It took me some time to understand my nymphéas (water lilies)... I grew them without thinking of painting them. You cannot become immersed in a landscape in a single day… And then, all of a sudden, I had the revelation of the enchantments of my pond… I took my palette. Since then, I have had almost no other model.”

8 Food

The Advertiser, Normandy

Carrefour Planet opens in Normandy

Grow your own and feel better

Photo: L Barbe - Carrefour

Photo: goodluz -

Photo: Alexander Raths -

July 2011

Photo: Evgeny Dontsov -

Local produce sold at Carrefour

Keeping your own vegetable garden is a way to eat well, keep fit and keep up your morale; although you also face bites, stings and sunburn

AFTER she was chosen as first BBC Masterchef in 1990 JOAN BUNTING was soon writing a food column and doing BBC local radio. Now the former advisory teacher has retired and is able to spend more time at her home in France but is still keen to tell Advertiser readers about good food RECENT research from America, and reported in France, suggests that older people who cultivate their potagers/vegetable gardens are likely to be more contented ... as well as eating more vegetables. More than 250 men and women aged over 50 responded to the questionnaire. Of them, the 158 who said they grew their own vegetables were asked about how long they spent in their garden and why they enjoyed doing so. In general, it seemed they ate more vegetables, but not fruit, than the nongardeners. It does not appear to matter if they were experienced gardeners or novices, or why they chose that particular hobby. Gardening is known to have general health benefits, especially for those who are not sporty, but a second study using the same sample also showed a real difference in morale among the gardeners. Most of this seems to be stating the obvious: you grow your vegetables to eat, and there cannot be many people in the developed world who do not know the “five-a-day” message. It is so much more encouraging if you can

pop out and pick at least some of the vegetables fresh, something which is relatively easy in France as there is more land available than in the UK, where allotments are sought-after. In France, gardening is not a trendy pastime, and even if you do not own enough land, it is usually possible to rent or borrow some. However, the potager is not without its own hazards and frustrations: insects biting and stinging; being nagged to apply sunscreen and wear a hat; allergies; wild boar; rodents; fierce winds and torrential rain – or drought. Our pump and well are vital for our potager as it is very expensive to use mains water. Then there are the consolations: tranquillity, neighbours stopping to chat and offer advice, bird and butterfly spotting, being able to swap produce and, for cooks, learning interesting ways of dealing with gluts to avoid waste. Such as courgettes: I have lots of courgettes. At first, I serve them simply and then stuff or make beignets with the flowers. Cut into ribbons, they make a base for summer salads. While grated with equal quantities of potato and seasoned and mixed with flour and egg, then shallow-fried, they make tasty pancakes. For a smart summer starter, try my easy and cheap soup recipe featured right.

Courgette Velouté – for 2 people

INGREDIENTS „ 1 kg courgettes „ 2 large onions, chopped „ Juice of 1 lemon „ 2 egg yolks „ Fresh herbs, such as mint,

chives and chervil „ 1 litre of stock (chicken or vegetable) „ 1 tbsp olive oil „ Salt and pepper


It is much more encouraging if you can pop out and pick at least some of the vegetables fresh

Trim courgettes and dice (no need to peel). Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and soften the onions, add courgettes and mix well. Season to taste. Pour on the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk lemon juice with the egg

yolks, then blend the soup and, with the machine still running, add egg yolk mixture. Soup will thicken. Cool, cover and chill for 24 hours. Serve in chilled bowls garnished with fresh herbs and a little crème fraîche.

CARREFOUR Planet, a supermarket dedicated to locallysourced products, has opened in Tourville-la-Rivière, SeineMaritime. The move is part of the supermarket chain’s plans to strengthen ties with local producers. In 2001, Carrefour partnered with 40 Norman producers of everything from biscuits and cider to oysters and cheese as a way of promoting local produce and giving producers a more effective outlet in which to sell their wares. The producers supply food and drink to 12 Carrefour hypermarkets in the region, and now to Carrefour Planet. “The more we globalise, the more we need to localise,” said Jacques Chevalier, the director of the Chambre d’agriculture/Chamber of Agriculture. Another Carrefour Planet is expected to open in Normandy by the end of the year, although the location is yet to be disclosed. „ AS part of a governmentbacked initiative to provide people with healthy food at affordable prices, Carrefour in Alençon, has introduced a panier des essentiels. The shelves are stocked with food providing a balanced meal for four people for a maximum price of 20. The menu changes each week, with essentials including meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. The measure was introduced by Frédéric Lefebvre, the secretary of state for trade, small and medium enterprises and food, in May. “It gives people the chance to find quality food at affordable prices,” he said at a press conference. “It’s not a ‘shelf for the poor’, it’s for everyone.”

Advertising Feature

A collection of restaurants

in Normandy

To advertise your restaurant with us call 0800 91 77 56

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

Golf 9

Swing into summer

Photo : Cary Westfall

GOLF is a great game, often rewarding, sometimes frustrating and always addictive. If playing golf has never crossed your mind before, you might be surprised at what you are missing, especially in

France. Forget about people with posh accents, loads of money and stiff upper lips - you will find golf in France is different. For a start, there is so much more space. There are more than 500 golf courses in France and new ones are being developed all the time, so you never feel that pressure to hurry, and there is no ducking golf balls “unintentionally” sent your way by an

impatient following foursome trying to get past. You will find French courses are usually immaculately kept because, by UK standards, they are so underplayed. French golf is also much more laid back, with many clubs having no particular dress code, although there may be the odd furrowed brow if you turn up in jeans and a “Less War, More Bingo” tee shirt. There is very little of the “Ties must be worn in the clubhouse” kind of rule that is so prevalent in the UK, and there is often free access to all the club’s facilities, with the bars and restaurants often open to the public. This being France, the après-golf is also well above par. British golfers arrive in their droves for the generous hospitality at the in-house restaurant and the chance to tickle their taste

Photo: Sculpies -

The Ryder Cup will be played in France for the first time in 2018 at the Golf National course in Guyancourt, Yvelines. That leaves seven years to hone your skills on France’s golf courses; MICK AUSTIN tells you how buds with the haute cuisine and locally-sourced wines. It is these delights, combined with the beautiful countryside, the culture and history of the place, that make France so popular with British golfers. The UK magazine Golf World publishes its Top 100 Golf Courses in Continental Europe every two years. Its latest listings show France with 18 courses featured, more than any other country, including Portugal and Spain who regularly battle it out to be Europe’s most popular golfing destination for the British. Les Bordes, at Saint Laurent Nouan in the Loire Valley, was voted Europe’s No.1 course. For the past 14 years Jonathan Lloyd of Normandy Golf ( has been organising golf days and holiday packages for individuals, families and corporate events.

He arranges golf days on courses as far apart as Dieppe and Rouen in Normandy and Biarritz in the south-west. “Golf in France is certainly on the up,” he says. “The courses are fantastic, the welcome is always friendly and then, of course, there’s the glorious food and wine. What more could you possibly want?” Whether you are male or female, nine or 90, there is no barrier to playing golf in France, with clubs actively encouraging all levels from beginners and children to the more experienced players. Courses are open all year round, although in the winter months they can occasionally become water-logged, and snow on some Î continued

on page 10

10 Golf

Î from

Photo: Lucien Barriere

Golf in France is not just about hitting the ball

The Advertiser, Norma

Page 9

Photos copyright © Peter Watson, Lucien Barrière

Photo : Cary Westfall

mountain courses means that golfers will have to make way to the skiers. If the invigorating fresh air and spectacular scenery is not healthy enough for you, many courses are part of magnificent venues with spas, swimming pools, tennis courts and the like. Companies and resorts are falling over themselves to offer you golf packages that include wine-tasting and gourmet dining, beauty treatments, yoga and sightseeing trips. These packages can start from as little as 150. Many golf courses are in countryside you might not otherwise be able to see, where the flora and fauna is so amazing you expect David Attenborough or Chris Packham to appear round the next corner. Playing the game can be as easy as turning up on the day and paying a green fee, although it is advisable to call ahead to book a tee time. Many clubs operate a “pay and play” policy that allows non-members to pay a green fee and play nine or 18 holes, or you may be able to play all day if you have the stamina. You can also play many courses without a handicap certificate. Green fees are usually considerably less than in the UK. They vary from club to club and region to region, but expect to pay 30-60 on average. Weekends are usually reserved for members and competitions, so stick to a weekday. There are also “golf passes” available throughout France where you can sample several courses in a region at reduced rates. For more information try or golf-in-france Joining a club can be quite straightforward. Some clubs have vacancies for new members, and joining may be as simple as paying a subscription. However, the more prestigious clubs, especially those around Paris, might have a waiting list or require new members to be

The beautiful Barrière SaintJulien Golf, also in Deauville introduced by a member. Your daily green fee will include any insurance required, but it is only when you join a club that you pay an annual subscription and you usually have to undergo a medical examination. Most clubs have shops where you can buy balls and hire clubs for as little as 15 per round. You can also hire a trolley or an electric buggy for the day, which can be a real boon on hilly courses. For the absolute beginner, it is best not to try to play a course straight away. You will slow everyone else down and get so frustrated at not being able to hit the ball more than a few feet that you will wish you had stayed in bed. Even Tiger Woods had tuition


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before he turned up on the first tee! A big mistake that many beginners make is to splash out on an expensive set of clubs to impress on the course. It might be better to speak to the resident professional at your local club for advice. Most clubs have pros (or will point you in the right direction) and he or she will suggest clubs to suit your size, strength etc. You may then pick up a set of clubs from a car boot sale for next to nothing, but they will be a waste of money if you are a slip of a girl and they were designed for a male bodybuilder. The price of a lesson varies. It can be about

20 for half an hour on your own, but it is often cheaper in a group. The professional will explain the basics of the game (in French or English at some clubs), including how to hold the club and how to “address” the ball; how you should line yourself up to make the best contact. You will learn the difference between the clubs: a driver or a “long iron” for distance and a low trajectory, or a “short iron” to get the ball higher into the air but not as far. Most courses will have a practice ground or driving range where you can buy a bucket of balls and hone your skills. It is also a handy way to loosen up before you start playing.


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July 2011

Golf 11

Golf in numbers 6th the ranking of golf among the most popular sports in France, after football, tennis, horse-rising, rugby and judo

150 the number of golf courses in France in 1980

678 the number of golf courses, public and private, there are in France today

407,000 the number of golf club members in 2010

45% increase in the number of golf membership subscriptions between 1997 and 2007

1,200 total number of firms involved in the golf industry, 605 of which are companies that operate golf courses

An intriguing sculpture set in the glorious landscape of l‘Amirauté Golf in Deauville Some clubs also have a small pitch ’n’ putt course, where you can practise the more subtle shots that will be needed the closer you get to the green. Then it is time to hit the golf course for real and this is when you find out just what everyone has been raving about. You will have good days and bad – and there may be more bad days at the start. You will stand there after having hit four balls, one after the other, and watched them all go into a lake on the edge of the green. You will spend hours hunting for balls you have hooked or sliced into undergrowth. You will be spitting sand out of your mouth after six attempts at getting your ball out of a

bunker. You will wonder why you bothered to take up the game. Then, all of a sudden, you will hit a drive down the middle of the fairway for a pitch and a putt for a birdie three. You will hit a fabulous four iron over the lake and on to the green to put the ball just six feet from the hole. You will sink the putt and imagine that was the shot that gave Europe victory over the US in the Ryder Cup, especially now the 2018 showdown will be at Le Golf National near Paris. You will take in the majestic splendour of your surroundings, thinking life just does not get much better. This is when you know there is more to golf in France than chasing little white balls round the countryside.

13,500 the number of people employed by the golf sector

GREAT GOLF COURSES IN NORMANDY NORMANDY is blessed with many beautiful courses, with some of the best being found around Deauville. For example, Golf Barrière de Deauville ( is a top-class championship course. One of the loveliest is the little-known Golf-Hotel de Saint-Saëns ( near Dieppe, or perhaps you could try the impressive Champ de Bataille ( with its ancient woodland course at Le Neubourg in Eure. It was voted the finest course in Normandy by European Golf Magazine in 2005. For a bit of history with your game of golf, then head to Omaha Beach Golf Club, near Bayeux ( There are spectacular views over the Mulberry Harbour on the World War 2 landing beach and you can almost hear the gunfire from Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, which was filmed nearby.

Photo : Cary Westfall


The Advertiser, Normandy

How you can learn to play

Photo: Mick Austin

If you are keen to find out whether golf is the game for you but are daunted by the thought of turning up unannounced at your local course, there are other options

The glory of golf: “You will take in the splendour of your surroundings, thinking life doesn’t get much better”

THE FRENCH golf federation (Féderation Française de Golf, does its bit to encourage new golfers with its Tous au Golf initiative, which runs for a week each year around Easter. More than 350 participating clubs across the country open their doors to give free instruction to people who have never played the game before. Now in its 11th year, the scheme welcomes beginners for a fun event offering an initial introduction to the sport. These events are open to everyone from the age of seven and provide an ideal opportunity for the whole family to discover the joys of golf. Lessons last for about an hour and the use of golf clubs and balls is free. If you know of a club taking part in the scheme (there are usually advertising posters throughout France in the weeks leading up to the event), then just call and book a time. Or visit and follow the links to the Tous au Golf page, where there is a list of participating clubs.

July 2011

Photo : Cary Westfall

12 Golf

Another way is by playing “swin golf ”: that is not a misprint but a fun way for family and friends to try a form of golf whose popularity is growing rapidly in France. It is played with a single threeheaded club and a ball slightly bigger and softer than the ones used in “normal” golf. It flies more slowly, thus reducing the risk of injury. The club head twists round so you can have a driver, a more angled clubface for approach shots to the green, and a putter. Swin golf is played exactly as you would expect, but the differences in the club mean more experienced golfers do not end up with too much of an advantage. The game is typically played over 18 holes, usually shorter in length than on a “normal” course. You can rent the club for around 8 and it is usually 1 for the ball, which you get to keep. Your local tourist information office will have details of any clubs in your area. Other useful websites: – to find hundreds of courses throughout France. – for course descriptions, golf pass information and package deals.

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011



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.

Sponsored by

Can UK firm pay my French charges? Photo: © gumbao -

I WORK for a UK tour operator but spend 75% of my time working in and around Normandy. My family home is in the Orne where I live with my husband and children. The company I work for, which does not have a French subsidiary, is looking into paying my French social contributions. Is this possible and, if it is, will I be significantly worse off as the contributions are much higher that National Insurance? I also understand that the French tax threshold is higher, could you help explain the best course of action? THE responsibility of where your employer pays the national insurance for your employment rests with HMRC in the UK and the French authorities, who between them will decide where you “belong” for social security purposes. There are guidance notes on the HMRC website, but this is a complex area so your HR department would be well advised to seek advice from their UK accountant in the first instance or a firm with international expertise. The requirement to set up a French bureau de représentation, which is in effect a French payroll for your employer to pay French social security on your behalf, will depend on certain points which will include: 1. Is the transfer of your role temporary? 2. Do you live in France or are you still ordinarily resident in UK? There are forms to be filled in and each case is decided on the facts, so HMRC will not give your employer specific advice without having the facts in writing. The UK and French authorities between them decide where the social charges should be paid. Yes, you are right that it could cost you more money if it is decided that your social cover should be paid for directly in France. This is because the process of you going to work overseas means that the UK employer in effect pays you gross on the UK payroll, and it then becomes your responsibility to set up the French payroll and apply for your affiliation under the French social security system. The social charges in France are higher: employee cotisations are approximately 20% and “employers charges” are 46%, but you will pay a lot less income tax because of generous personal allowances. If you are financially worse off you could negotiate with your employer for an equalisation package to ensure that you have the same net pay — presumably you will save them travel costs by being based in France, and can spend more timing working, rather than travelling to and from the UK. When you are in the French system with a French payslip you can go to Cpam and apply for your carte vitale. I assume from what you say that you are working full time, so should not have any difficulty in meeting the conditions to get French health cover. Your French social charges will also count towards a French retirement pension, but you could also choose to continue to pay additional voluntary contributions to the UK to make sure that you qualify for the full amount of UK state pension. We suggest you ask your employer to contact HMRC to start the decision process, and that you visit your local Cpam office to enquire about your social cover.

Business 13

Here in the Normandy Advertiser business section I will be looking at and commenting on interesting issues in business and on working in France. If there is anything you want me to include, let me know. I will also give useful or interesting business website links each month… let me know your favourites! JUDY

Networking, finding your niche market and business etiquette in France

There are many ways to expand your business in Normandy as long as you do not lose sight of your key market: the French. This month we look at networking and how to get a business going without infringing on your counterparts’ lunch-break. WHETHER you need someone to bounce ideas off, someone to give you a hint on how social networking “works” or just to take a break from “work, work, work” then there are plenty of opportunities, even for those based at home. Take, the Normandy Business Group for example: it is going from strength to strength and, at the time of writing, has more than 75 members. It has many events planned, from a business and bowling evening to classes on how to write a press release, how to use WordPress for your blog, the basics of social networking, the law of attraction in business and much more. Keep an eye on Normandy-Business-Group for details, or join the group for newsletter updates.

A taste of Jelly! JELLY is the name of a new form of making contacts by getting out and working alongside others in a suitable location. The first Normandy Jelly co-working event saw eight of us with our in-trays ready to work. The location was Marian Clarke’s holiday cottage near St Martin des Besaces, with free Wi-Fi and a great workspace for those who needed to plug in a laptop. At the Jelly you do your work but you can also get some of the office banter that you miss if you work at home. Over a coffee break, we shared information and news on all sorts of topics, from the proposed new property tax for second home owners and useful websites for free advertising to a quick teach-in on Twitter and some tips about accountants. More Jelly events are being organised around the region, but it really is very easy to set up your own. I’m more than happy to help you get started and benefit from monthly collaboration. I have a How to Set Up a Jelly leaflet I can send you on request, or you can find it on my website – click on Jelly at

What business for you? FIRSTLY, it needs to be something you feel passionate about. If you do not love what you do, the business is more likely to fail; and that is true whichever culture you are working in. Find something you are good at, that you enjoy and see if there is a business opportunity there. Brainstorm ideas with others: they will

often think of something that has passed you by. I have been researching what people are importing from the UK because it is cheaper than buying it in France. The outcome will form part of a study, which I’ll publish later in the year. So far, it makes interesting reading and includes items and services that are not immediately obvious: Baby clothes; shoes – especially children’s; Craft supplies; books; paint; groceries; pet food; equestrian supplies (including feed, tack, hay

Useful Websites „ Organising an event? Try this website, which will issue tickets, remind attendees, and much more: „ The Normandy Business Group uses for website space and hosting that you can personalise for social, business or hobby groups: „ In business in the Orne? Sign up to OrneLink, which provides great support to anglophones working in the region. „ nets and ponies); long-life bulbs; printing; plant and machinery; greetings cards; secondhand cars; car spares and tyres; gas barbecues and garden plants. This means opportunities for business, surely? There must be more examples around: feel free to share them.

Disappearing markets? THE saying ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is especially true if you are in business. When you set up your business and your business description, do not frame it so tightly that you cannot easily branch out and try something else. If one market dries up, have a look at how you can slant what you do to provide a different service or product. This includes, of course, knowing your client. If one client source dries up, you need to be able to adjust your business to find new people to market to. This is where we need to ensure we are geared to sell to the home market: the French.

Don’t stumble on French IF YOU have a website, get it translated into French – use Google Translate if you must, but as soon as you can afford it, get it done properly by a French translator (in general, always use a translator who is a native speaker of the language) for a more ‘natural’ use of the language. Get French lessons under your belt; but look for someone to give specific help with your business’ specialist vocabulary; whether mechanical engineering terms, hotel/B&B words, kennel/animal words. If you meet customers face to face (as opposed to via the internet), perhaps have key phrases/words on flyers or laminated cards that you can both use until you are more comfortable using French. Anything that makes the relationship easier between you and the client can translate into sales. Along with the language goes the often forgotten, yet much more complex, cultural differences. Ignore at your peril! Remember the social niceties: the Bonjour/au revoir Messieurs/Dames and the handshakes (leave kisses for a social occasion unless it is someone you know really well). Look people in the eye when you shake hands (that goes for when you toast someone in apéros too – apparently we expats can look shifty when we do not make eye contact as we clink glasses). Contrary to popular belief, most meetings do start on time; but they are very different. The French use meetings to develop relationships, explore possibilities, get information. British colleagues are frustrated at this ‘talking shop’ where nothing gets done, whereas the French person will see the Briton making illinformed hasty decisions. If you want information and favours from someone French, do NOT go into their premises or phone them at 11.55am and expect unbridled courtesy, or even interest in your problem or inquiry. Quite simply, the French take their lunch break from midday until 14.00. No messing about and certainly no sandwich at the desk.

Working from home MORE people are working from home and, while Normandy FBCCI figures are not yet available, the TUC in the UK says there were 3.7 million home-workers in 2010, up 227,000 since 2005. As soon as I get the local figures, I’ll let you know. Next month, hints and tips for setting up your home office: you can do a lot, even on a limited budget.

Judy can be contacted through The Advertiser or by email: She is also on Twitter at @NormandyBizGp

14 What’s On

The Advertiser, Normandy



Pays d’Auge



July 17-August 20 – Promenades Musicales du Pays d’Auge: a big open-air music festival for music-lovers of all tastes. Concert, visit and aperitif. Adults 26, 6-24 years 5, under-6 free. Call 02 31 31 06 00

notice board

July 1-August 26 – Fridays: Street art festival, 21.00, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne. Sundays: open-air music on stage with varied programme including blues, jazz, reggae and rock. Call 02 33 30 72 70

July 2-10 – Take part in a street festival.Virevoltés is a wacky annual festival that is ideal for children.The free event includes concerts, an aerial circus, street theatre, acrobatics, dance, marionette shows, juggling and more.




Jurques FAMILY Photo: © Julien Tack

Picnic is a boost for cancer charity ENJOY a picnic while raising money for charity at this year’s Cancer Support France (CSF) Basse-Normandie garden party on July 2 in Notre-Dame-du-Touchet. Entry is 10 for the picnic, which starts at 13.00. It has live music and stalls selling everything from books and homemade jams to beer and wine. There is also a prize draw. “It’s just a really lovely and relaxing few hours,” said CSF BasseNormandie president Jenny Luck. It raised 2,000 last year and fundraisers have helped the charity expand its support for the region’s cancer sufferers and their families. Its first Day Centre opened in Buais last December, and there are plans for others in Orne and Calvados. “The day centre in Buais has

July 2011

July 29, 30 and 31 – For the first time in its history, Jurques zoo will be opening late into the evening for three nights only. Nature-lovers will be able to see and hear their favourite nocturnal animals and join a big open-air dinner at dusk just metres away from giraffes. 14 adult, 8.50 children 3-11 years, under threes free. Call 02 31 77 80 58 or see


been so successful,” added Mrs Luck. “It’s a drop-in centre for information; people can access books in English while someone will be there to assist them. We also offer French lessons to those who aren’t confident about calling the doctor. It is a place where people can come and mix with others having the same experience.” Maintaining the centres requires money and the garden party helps. Mrs Luck said they are also raising funds for a hospice: “We hope to open one along the lines of existing ones in the UK. They take a substantial amount of money to run but we hope to be able to open one in Manche.” Tickets for the picnic must be bought in advance, by calling 02 33 60 27 82 or emailing



July 1-3 – Music festival at the Château De Beauregard. Concerts to include British rock group Mötorhead and pop group The Kooks. 15.00 doors open. 39; 2-day pass 65; 3-day pass 90 Call 02 31 47 96 13 July 1 – Medieval parade to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the town’s medieval festival and its history, Bayeux 10.00. Free.


July 2 – Medieval festival with street performers and musicians, book sale, medieval market, crafts demonstrations, etc. Bayeux 10.00-midnight. Free.

Bagnoles-del’Orne MUSIC

July 3 – Parade in costume with medieval musical instruments, side shows, games and combats. Retelling the Viking, Saxon and Norman heritage of the city. Bayeux 10.00-19.00. Free. Call 02 31 51 60 47

July 1- August 26 – Street art festival every Friday, 21.00. Free. Sundays: open air music on stage with varied programme including blues, jazz, reggae and rock. Call 02 33 30 72 70

sponsorship for any cancer charity or facility in the UK or France, although sponsorship is not compulsory. Any money raised on the day and from the course registrations will be split between CEM Rennes, a cancer treatment centre in Rennes, and AIDONS! Last year’s RUN4FRANCE at Château Bois Guy Lutte contre le cancer, an organisation set up last year to raise money for cancer WALKING is also an option in the research in France. 5km RUN4FRANCE, a fun run/walk There will also be a fête held on the to raise money for cancer research in day, which begins at 2pm, while the France. The event takes place at race starts at 3pm. Admission and Château Bois Guy near Parigné and parking is free. Anyone interested in 12km north of Fougères, on July 3. getting involved should send an Based on the UK’s Race for Life, email to participants can choose to raise

Photo: © OTI Bayeux

A run (or walk)for France




Bayeux & Cabourg


Every Tues,Thurs, Sat from July 10-30 – Free son et lumière (sound and light) shows are projected against the façades of historic buildings with narration of the story of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Normandy (in French). Free. Bayeux and Cabourg Bayeux:Two shows in front of the cathedral and in the courtyard of l'Hôtel du Doyen per evening – 23.00 and 23.30. Cathedral open for visits 20.30 and 22.30. Call 02 31 51 28 28

Every Friday and Saturday, July 1September 17 – Free sound and light shows retelling seven centuries of the history of the NotreDame cathedral in Sées (French and English); (Orne). 10, 10-18 years 5, under 10 free. Call 02 33 28 74 79

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

What’s On 15


Haras du Pin ANIMALS

Events at Le Haras National Du Pin July 7, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28 – Horse-driving displays in the Colbert Courtyard, 15.00, arrival advised 14.30. 5. July 1-3 – National horse trials championship July 7-10 – International show-jumping competition July 13-17 – France’s largest carriage-driving event, Concours de l’Attelage. For all events call 02 33 36 68 68 or 02 33 12 16 00

Photo: © Haras National du Pin

Photo: © Festival de Folklore 2011


Photo: © Festival de Folklore 2011


Photo: © OTDomfront

Ecouché ART


All Summer – Exhibition of paintings and sculptures, featuring the work of national and international artists, in the Atelier Balias in the Château de Sérans, near Argentan. Call 02 33 36 69 42

July 17- August 23 – Baroque and classical music festival in the Heures Musicales at Lessay Abbey, with soloists, choirs and conductors of excellent repute.This 28th festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt Call 02 33 45 50 50


Seine Maritime


Photo: © 21stCent uryG

reenstuff at wikip


Rouen MUSIC July 7 – Supertramp in concert at the Zenith. Rock concert celebrating 40 years since the group's first album in 1970. 54. Call 02 32 91 92 92

Seine-Maritime Photo: © Rock ‘n Caux

Alençon SHOWS July 8-14 – World folklore festival. Dancing, music and entertainment in a showcase of cultures from around the world. Alençon. Call 02 33 82 75 70 Call 02 33 36 69 42

July 6-end August (eve ry Wednesday) – Guided tours of the castle, dungeons and medieval town of Domfron t with its timber-framed houses, narr streets and city walls. 2.5 ow 0 adults, free for under-12s. Meet 15.00 Tourist Office. Rese rvation advised.Tour lasts 11/2-2 hours. Call 02 33 38 53 97



Photo: ©


rs3 wikipe

Dieppe WORTH VISITING July 8-10 – Festival Rock ’n’ Caux.Three days of Rock 'n' Roll in this northern music extravaganza. Tickets: 7-39 for day or weekend, with free camping. Venue is salle Corentin Ansquer at Rouxmesnil-Bouteilles, just outside Dieppe and there is a free shuttle bus from the train station until 02.00.

Orne/Calvados St Philbert sur Orne July 9 La Roche d’Oëtre – Nature trek: Learn to read a map and find your way off the beaten track in this special youth day at the highpoint of the Suisse Normande. Discover the hidden side of nature on this orientation day for 11-15 year olds. Call 02 33 81 62 85


16 Directory

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

NORMANDY DIRECTORY English-speaking firms near you For your security, we check that the French businesses in this section are officially registered with the authorities

Find registered tradespeople quickly and easily GOLDENWAY INTERNATIONAL PETS World Wide Pet Transporter / Relocator Ministry approved

Chenil Les Mille Calins English Run 5 Star accommodation for Dogs/Cats Comprising of underfloor heated kennels Qualified staff Top Quality food and exercise Only 45 minutes south of Caen Convenient Ferry Access

No. 61195004 – 61195001 Offices CDG Airport Paris Offices and Kennels Normandy Tel: 01 48 62 87 25 CDG Paris Tel: 02 33 38 41 32 Normandy Siret: 397549551

Chenil du Val Kennels Small, friendly, professional kennel Special care/attention for your pets. Quarantine alternative

Contact Angie: Tel 02 33 17 17 61 Between Periers/Coutances/St Lo

Email: Siret 50993743900016

SAFETY COMFORT AND CARE FOR YOUR PET, PEACE OF MIND FOR YOU Telephone 02 33 37 49 19 Emergency 02 33 38 41 32 Fax 02 33 38 44 16


Mesnil Renovation

Qualified bilingual teacher

Small groups, 1 to 1 online, intensive courses, translation Tél: 02 33 65 39 73 Mob: 06 15 76 37 34

Areas 14/50/61

Full / Part Renovations, carpentry, masonry, plastering, tiling, kitchens, replacement windows and doors. Tel. 02 31 09 26 54

Stuart Upton CARPENTRY & ROOFING Full 10 year Insurance Backed Guarantee Tel: 02 33 64 89 28 / 06 06 43 52 28 Email: Regions Covered 61, 14, 50

Siret 48423125300010

Siret 48036552700013

WWW.BOCAGE RENOVATIONS.COM For All Your Building & Renovations Works

English Carpenter/Joiner

Large or Small Projects ( Many can be Viewed ) Backed up by 10 year Insurance 14 years working in France

Tel: 02 31 67 62 51 Mob: 06 19 91 29 48 Email: Siret: 48877612100011

Siret 48914001200019

ANIMAL COURIERS Experienced couriers specialising in pet travel between France / UK / Spain or within France. Pet passport advice. Tel: 0044 (0) 1483200123 Email: Web:

GENERAL BUILDER Roofs, Loft conversions, Plumbing & Electrical, Groundworks. Experienced team for all renovation work. __________________________

Tel: 02 33 50 40 24 Email: Siret: 48131662800017

JS Menuiserie John Shipton - 02 33 55 15 90

Carpenter/Joiner All kinds of handmade furniture and carpentry work. From door fittings to kitchens.


All works guaranteed and carried out to French regulations standard. Tel: 02 31 67 34 40 Email: Regions Covered: 50,61,and 14 - Siret: 49427469900011

All building works undertaken. Mini digger, Full Registered, 10 year decennale insurance. Tel: 02 33 61 72 90 - Email: Area: Near St Hilaire - Siret: 499 532 059 00015

Eradication of rot and woodboring insects 20 year certificated guarantee covering all France Tel: Jim +33 (0) 679274563 Email: Siret 488081233

Specializing in Installation of Fosse Toutes Eaux - Mini Digger/Dumper Hire Email: Tel: 02 33 17 24 82 Mobile: 06 20 14 73 69 Siret: 481 189 991


Acorn Kennels & Cattery

Barn & attic conversion specialists. We undertake all aspects of renovation & improvement projects. We legally employ English speaking staff & do not sub-contract. Full 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

Qualified and professional care of your pet while you are away

TEL: 02 31 67 76 90

Tel: 02 33 49 63 22


Andrew Morgan



David Pickering Complete Building Services

Siret: 479 825 168 00012

Siret: 521701474

Very experienced in renovation and carpentry including stairs and furniture

siret 499 313 658

Small, caring and qualified English run kennels and cattery Contact Jon or Sue Tel 02 31 67 93 48 Near Vire Dept 14

Your Own Personal Language Course. Tuition with Accomodation Tel: 06 78 15 19 29

Michael Bambridge BSc

Andrew Hadfield


French Without Tears

Areas: 14 , 50 , 61 Siret: 5026366000018

SW COMPUTERS PC repairs,upgrades, with internet connections, call out or bring to us.

Tel: Mark 02 33 90 64 93 Mob: 06 72 66 61 51


Conversation and grammar Private lessons for 1, 2 or 3 Native French Teacher Tel: 02 31 32 28 83 near Livarot dept 14

Siret: 48397386300028

Penny Graphics websites from


including design, hosting and domain name

Mascha Tania

Translation-Administrative Help Lifetime experience of the French system. Privacy Guaranteed Tel: 02 31 67 60 55 / 06 79 86 22 69

HOUSES ON INTERNET Do you want to sell your house quickly? Our fee is only 2.5% Find out how on: WWW. HOUSESONINTERNET.COM

Tel: 05 55 65 12 19

Siret: 451 736 318 00010

Help with the French system • Paperwork, Phone calls • Translation, Interpreting 02 33 90 92 15

Call Hilary Reynolds 00 33 (0) 2 33 59 17 07


Crafts at Les Landes 02 33 91 88 16

Spinning and other crafts. Half, Full day tuition or residential B&B

Insurance in Lower Normandy tel: 00 33 (0)2 33 960904

Christophe Marie, Vire - Tel: 02 31 68 01 96 Email:

SIRET No 489 459 438 00011

Siret N° ORIAS 07/022 348

Business Cards - Leaflets - Flyers - Postcards Banners - Vehicle Graphics - Colour Labels

AllianZ Insurance


The Advertiser, Normandy



English registered cars House insurance - Health cover


Stephen Ramsbottom - 0233172361

1700 British clients trust us 02 96 87 21 21 Dinan, Brittany

e-mail: siret: 51114827200012


Chris Hutt

ENGLISH TV INSTALLER TV & Internet - all works guaranteed Tel: 02 33 91 69 29 Email:



Black Cat Services Expert English Sweep, Mess Free Registered, Insured. Certificate de Ramonage Issued

We insure UK registered cars ENGLISH SPOKEN (call Angeline) - 02 33 49 12 34

For people who live in / own property in France

Tel : 02 33 50 84 91 Email:

ENGLISH LANGUAGE FUNERALS Your needs, your wishes 09 65 35 17 56

Philippe Schreinemachers

RCS Auch B479 400 657 - Regions: All France

Kilrush Cars Ltd

A large selection of European

Left Hand Drive Cars

One owner - FSH - C.O.C Tel: 00 44 (0) 1252 782883

Le Chateau de Crosville sur Douve Welcomes you to our new restaurant Varied menu each week Open Thurs, Fri & Sat evenings Sunday lunchtimes Tel: 02 33 41 67 25 / 06 98 76 60 60 Photos on email:

ROOFING SPECIALIST Complete works/repairs undertaken Based in the Somme area All Northern regions Considered Contact Chris or Barbara Wood

Tel: 03 22 32 59 50 Siret: 502368103

Chimney Sweep Wood Stove Installation Property Management

Straight-forward, honest advice on the best house, car, life & health insurance policies for you Over 15 years experience in French insurance markets English, Dutch & German spoken. Tel: 33 00 05 62 29 20 00 Email:



• Weekly Service • Full & Part Loads • Container Storage • BAR Members • On-line Quotation • Internet Shopping Deliveries

Iain Davison Tel: 02 33 14 09 55 Email: Siret: 494799968

GENERAL BUILDING SERVICES (76) Ground Works (mini digger) Septic Tanks, Renovation / Refurbishment, Roofing and Joinery, Kitchens / Bathrooms, Maintenance / Repairs - Total Project Management 35 years experience (NHBC UK) SIRET: 517 429 056 000 16 Fully Insured

Email: Siret 49509842800016


Garden Clearance - Grass Cutting Hedge Cutting - Strimming and Weed Killing Tel: Charlie 02 33 91 78 05 Email: St Sever Area Siret 49763502900018

Seans Garden Services Lawns – Hedges – Trees Overgrown plots cleared. Free quotes for one-off jobs. Call Sean 02 31 09 27 00 Email: Siret: 50139841600013

Selkirk chimney and flexible liner Full installation service

00 44 1722 414350 Tel 02 33 12 57 26

Company Regn No: UK 5186435 TVA / VAT No: UK 864 7217 04

Siret 498 597 632 00013


D & K REMOVALS Light Removals to and from France. Best prices, best service. T: + 44 (0) 079705 30723 E:

INVICTA INTERNATIONAL LIGHT HAULAGE SERVICES Store Collections, General Removals, Motorcycle Recovery. France, UK, Europe.

Ash Grove Stoves Supplier of Hunter - Villager -

Clean Burn - Fire Visible Boiler versions available Deliveries all over France Prices on our website Lowest Prices Guaranteed Tel: 00 44 (0) 1392 861579

Tel: 02 33 64 99 31

Email: SIRET Number 51407345.1-0001.5

MOVING TO OR FROM FRANCE? Weekly services to & from France Full or part loads, 4 wks free storage, 25 Years experience Contact: Anglo French Removals Tel: +44 (0) 1622 690 653 Email:

BRITISH BEDS BY BEAUX RÊVES 2 & 4 Drawer Divans Headboards & Bedsteads Memory Foam - Pocket Sprung Vacuum Packed Mattresses Zip & Link Divans Mattresses from 99 Beds from 99 Opening Times - Tues, Thurs, Fri 9.30-12.00 14.00-17.00 Wed, Sat 9.30-12.00 Closed Sun, Mon 23 rue de Bretagne 53120 Gorron Tel - 02 43 11 26 77 Email -



ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING SERVICES ALL WORK FULLY INSURED. Tel: 02 33 70 88 24 Email: Regions Covered: 50,14,61,22 Siret: 515 210 847 00015




15 Years experience in roofing and zinc

VIRE - 02 31 68 95 00 CAEN - 02 31 85 27 62

With 10 years insurance - Siret: 50792761400010

New and restauration / Chimney Sweep

02 33 38 28 86

DIRECT LOISIRS N°1 in all of France for direct sale of mobile homes and chalets. Looking for a plot by the sea? DIRECT LOISIRS can offer sites to rent or buy in small residential parks. Visit our permanent display in Gavray.

ZA Route de Coutances 50450 Gavray

tel: 02 33 91 16 80

FOR SALE FOR SALE Well seasoned oak flooring 1 inch thick Tongue and Groove or plain edges. Random widths cut to order. Tel: Gilles Maurice 02 33 66 17 13

Mark Dupee Est 1994

on display at our dept 61 showroom

02 35 97 00 56 06 21 09 08 23


Tel: 02 33 90 92 28 Mobile: 06 68 74 83 41

Cashin Camina Cleanburn Esse Hunter Parkray Stovax




WOOD STOVE STUDIO Wood burning stoves and Cuisinieres from

Siret: 491 624 367



Directory 17

July 2011




ALL ASPECTS OF PERSONAL & PROPERTY SECURITY EVENT SECURITY MANAGEMENT STUD FARMS 152 Ave de Flandre 75019 Paris Tel: 09 81 72 17 02 Mobile : 06 61 32 77 91 Email :


Siret: 41153948300020 - Regions: All of France



French Registered - Over 35 years experience David Christie - 02 33 51 05 91 Mobile: 06 31 97 58 15 Email: South Manche Siret: 481 604 411 00019

UK - FRANCE - UK Full and part loads You pack, we move, you save! 0044 (0)1327 264627 UK Email:

- Full lining and installation of all Stoves - Free Survey and Advice in Depts 14,50,61 - Stoves eligible for Credit d'impots - 20 yrs experience - HETAS and NVQ Qualified Tel 02 33 17 25 21 Siret No 510 070 535 00016


Tel: 02 43 03 37 72 www.lebonchoix

WOODEN DOUBLE BED with sommier a lattes, good condition.75 euros. buyer to collect. Avranches region. 02 33 58 80 79

To advertise here call freephone in France 0800 91 77 56 / from UK 0844 256 9881 (4p/min) or email directory@

18 Property

Make money from your property assets From renting out a room for the night to turning your home into a holiday let, there are many ways to make money from your property, says Angela Giuffrida

Even a sofa-bed can bring you extra income selves whom they wish to useful for home owners who accommodate. have room to spare but do not Another option is taking in want long-term tenants. a long-term tenant. This has Tenant profiles on the webthe added benefit that any sites give the landlords the rental income is free from opporunity to judge for them-

Car boot sales around in July July 2 - Beuvron-en-Auge; Boucey; Cherbourg; Déville-lèsRouen; ÉqueurdrevilleHainneville; Gragot; Honfleur; Le Neubourg; Livarot; Pontorson; Quettehou; Vasteville; Alençon; Crulai; Le Plantis July 3 - Amfreville; Auberville; Bernières-sur-Seine; Bézancourt; Blay; Bradiancourt; Bucéels; Caumont l’Evente; Dives-surMer; Déville-lès-Rouen; Fécamp; Gathemo; Grand-Camp; Honfleur; Le Mesnil Germain; La Guéroulde; La Vaupalière; La Vendelée; Lisieux; Lisores; Norolles; Proussy; Saint Contest; Pont-Audemer; Proussy; SaintDenis-le-Gast; Saint-Hilaire-leChâtel; Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives; Soligny-la-Trappe; Sommervieu; Thury Harcourt; Vaudeloges; Ver sur Mer; Versainville; Cerences; Gathemo; Juvigny Le Tertre; Le Perron; Le Petit Celland; Lessay; Montsurvent; Saint Clair sur l’Elle; Saint Denis le Gast; Saint Jean de la Riviere ; Sainte Mere Eglise; Aubry en Exmes; Bivilliers; Bouce; Bretoncelles; Ecorcei; Goulet: La Poterie au Perche; Longny au Perche; Mortagne au Perche; Ronfeugerai; Saint Evroult de Montfort; Saint Hilaire le Chatel; Sainte Scolasse sur Sarthe; Soligny la Trappe; VaunoiseTilly; Tournebu; Vains; Vascoeuil; Vimoutiers July 5 - Langrune-sur-Mer July 6 - Bourg-Achard July 7 - Rouen July 9 - Beuzeville; Bretteville sur Ay; Déville-lès-Rouen; Évreux; La Haye-du-Puits; Luneray; Saint Ellier sur Ay; Villerville July 10 - Barou en Auge; Bayeux; Bagnoles-de-l'Orne; Beuzeville; Castillon; Cormolain; Dévillelès-Rouen; Equemauville; Évreux; Formigny; Hermanville-sur-Mer; Houlgate; Langrune-sur-Mer; Le Mesnil Mauger; Le Vast; Lison; Luc sur Mer; Orbec; Ouistreham; Randonnai; Rougemontiers; Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray; SaintMichel-des-Andaines; Saint-

Pierre-Langers; Saint-Pierre-deVarengeville; Sainte-Colombe; Saint vigor le Grand; Surrain; Touques; Vaux sur Aure; Courtils; Le Vast; Lingreville; Reville; Saint Georges de Bohon; Saint James; Saint Lo; Saint Pierre Langers; Sottevast; Surtainville; Tourville sur Sienne; Trelly; Valognes; Athis de l’Orne; Le Gue de la Chaine; Remalard; Saint Michel des Andaines; Segrie Fontaine July 12 - Langrune-sur-Mer July 13 - Saint-Jean-le-Thomas July 14 - Agon-Coutainville; Banville; Beaumont-le-Roger; Bernesq; Beuvillers; Bourguebus; Boissey-le-Châtel; Breteuil-surIton; Dozulé; Fresnay-le-Long; La Bouille; Le Mêle-sur-Sarthe; Nesle-Hodeng; Rouen; SaintLaurent-en-Caux; Sainte Honorine des Pertes; Villerville; Agon Coutainville; Brehal; Le Luot; Pirou; Quettreville sur Sienne; Quineville; Saint Georges de la Riviere; Saint Pierre Eglise; Savigny; Domfront; Putanges Pont Ecrepin

July 19 - Langrune-sur-Mer July 20 - Blonville-sur-Mer July 21 - Rouen July 23 - Annoville; Bagnoles-del'Orne; Blonville-sur-Mer; Cierrey; Conteville; Déville-lèsRouen; Évreux; Beaumont Hague; Fermanville; Les Pieux; Saint Germain sur Ay July 24 - Colombiers; Culey le Patry; Deauville; Dives sur Mer; Le Torquesne; Mandeville en Bessin; Ouistreham; Pont l’Eveque; Saint Pierre Canivet; Barfleus; Granville; Perriers en Beauficel; Reville; Saint Lo d’Ourville; Saint Malo de la Lande; Saint Pair sur Mer; Aunou sur Orne; Bagnoles de l’Orne; Longny au Perche; Noce; Saint Hilaire la Gerard; Bagnoles-del'Orne; Barfleur; Genêts; Cierrey; Déville-lès-Rouen; FatouvilleGrestain; Granville; Ouistreham; Saint-Ouen-du-Tilleul; ThuryHarcourt; Villedieu-les-Poëles July 25 - Villebaudon July 26 - Langrune-sur-Mer

July 15 - Bayeux July 28 - Rouen July 16 - Beaumont en Auge; Cabourg; Ouistreham; Pont l’Eveque; Mortain; Moulins la Marche; Déville-lès-Rouen, Évreux, Le Havre July 17 - Autheuil-Authouillet; Beaumont en Auge; Colleville Montgomery; Gonneville sur Mer; Ouistreham; Pont l’Eveque; Saint Aubin sur Mer; Saint Lambert; Saint martin de Bienfaite; Sainte Honorine des Pertes; Sallenelles; Varaville; Vignats; Agon Coutainville; Avranches; Bricquebec; Boos; Carolles; Gatteville le Phare; Geffosses; Granville; Periers; Rauville la Place; Saint Clement Rancoudray; Saint Michel des Loups; Saint Samson de Bonfosse; Courgeon; La Chapelle d’Andaine; Le Renouard; Menil Hubert sur Orne; Déville-lèsRouen; Ivry-la-Bataille

July 29 - Lion-sur-Mer July 30 - Déville-lès-Rouen; Évreux; Le Molay-Littry; Lionsur-Mer; Sotteville-sous-le-Val; Sainte Marie du Mont July 31 - Arromanches les Bains; Courseulles sur Mer; Le Tronquay; Magny la Campagne; Manerbe; Merville Franceville Plage; Saint Arnoult; Sainte Foy de Montgopmery; Conteville; Déville-lès-Rouen; Le MolayLittry; Agon-Coutainville; Denneville-Plage; Gommerville; Grumesnil; Lion-sur-Mer; Manerbe; Pontaubault; SaintNicolas-des-Bois; Sotteville-sousle-Val; Agon Coutanville; Bacilly; Dangu; Denneville; Le Mesnil Rainfray; Martigny; Nicorps; Pontaubault; Rouffigny; Saint Amand; Villebaudon; Bizou.

French income tax, social charges and business rates. However, there are rules that need to be followed when renting out a spare room over the long-term. One is that the room must be furnished and be the main home of the tenant. It must also be in the main home of the landlord. The tax exemption is also subject to the rent being “reasonable”, i.e. no higher than the maximum figure set each year. For example, the maximum rent for a room outside Paris is 124 per m2, so a year’s rental income for a 30m2 room would be 3,720. Another way to make use of an empty home is to rent it out to holidaymakers. Holiday lets are referred to as location de vacances, location saisonnière (seasonal let) or a meublé de tourisme (furnished tourist let). This is separate from Gîtes and chambres d'hôtes. A small house let as a location saisonnière might fetch around 1,000 a week (depending on the location). The amount you charge depends on size, location and amenities. When setting prices, you can deal directly with guests or use an agent. Having your property classified as a meublé de tourisme (official furnished tourist let) is a convenient way to make sure you follow rules correctly as well as a cost-effective way to find guests. If you make a request for a listing to your mairie or local tourist office, they will take you through the necessary steps. Checklist Let your local mairie know you are doing a holiday let. Check with your home insurer that you are covered for other people occupying your home. Decide on your rent per day, how much advance payment you want and how much the deposit will be. Draft a contract — this could be in English if you plan to market yourself exclusively to Britons; include a description of the premises and an inventory of furniture and other equipment. Advertise for guests. Make an initial contact with the guest by phone. Exchange contracts by post or email and take an advance payment to secure the letting period. Meet the guest and hand over the key; take the remaining payment; show them over the property. You and the guest should both sign an inventory of the furnishings. After the stay, check the premises and inventory; give back the deposit if all is in order, otherwise agree a deduction for any damage. Declare the income in your next income tax return.

July 2011

D I Y tips Sponsored by

Build your own garden bench Photo:© maong -

Photo: ©

A TREND that has emerged from the financial crisis is a burgeoning rental sector, with people making money on assets that are used only part of the time. Whether you live in France permanently, have a second home, or even a spare room or sofa-bed, letting your property when it is not being used could be a potential money-spinner. A number of websites have sprung up in recent years which cater to people who are looking for a room for the night but who cannot - or do not wish to - pay hotel rates. One example is, which was set up in the UK in 2009 and now has rooms advertised in France from just 15 a night. The so-called “couch-surfing” has also become a hip way for travellers to experience the local culture without paying over the odds. has a list of 86,824 hosts in France who rent out beds for the night. Both of those options are

The Advertiser, Normandy

Save money with your own creative flair WHETHER used for a well-deserved rest while out gardening, or as a place to relax with a cup of tea and a book, garden benches are a much appreciated addition to any garden. There are many ready-made, elegant and beautiful benches in the shops but they can be pricey so why not add a personal touch to your garden and make your own unique piece? Here are our ideas. Wine barrel bench Old wine barrels are easy to get hold of and are not only good for turning into flower planters but can also make a lovely countryside bench. Cut large barrels in half or keep small ones whole, place on top of a strong plank of wood which is then screwed to the barrels. If you want a large bench, place another barrel in the middle for support. Treat the barrels and wood to prevent rot and water damage. Flower or herb bench Take two large, sturdy ceramic flowerpots that are tall enough to make bench legs; wide-lipped and glazed ones are better as plain terracotta pots crack easily. For the seat, make a wooden frame with inner slats for strength and screw to the frame slats of wood. Measure the inside diameter of the flower pots on a piece of cardboard and cut out a circle that is 4cm less in diameter than the measurement of the pot. Put the pots under the seat in the position you would like them to be, place the cardboard template over each pot on the seat and trace its outline on to the wood. Remove the seating and cut out the circles marked, then sand and treat the wood. Replace the seat over the pots, then fill pots with soil and plants, making a stunning and aromatic seating area. Another way to make this kind of bench is to buy two square wooden planters and a wide, sturdy wooden shelf: fit the shelf to the sides of the planters using wooden shelf supports and secure with screws. Stone bench If you live near a quarry and fancy having a go at some simple masonry, it is often possible to collect, for free, offcuts of stone — but check beforehand to make sure you take the stone from the right pile. Look for a couple of large pieces that can make the legs or base, as well as a flat piece big enough to lay across the top for the seat. You will need to enlist the help of friends or family to transport it, though, and make sure you get the position right before installing it as stone is difficult to shift alone once put into place. Log bench If you are lucky enough to have some woodland, or you know of somebody who does, create a rustic bench by cutting a log in half to make the legs, place on top of either an old wooden board, a flat piece of stone or anything you can recuperate that makes a strong seat. Brick bench When building a patio, raised flower or vegetable bed, why not edge them with a brick wall that is deep enough to be used as seating as well. Not only is this practical but it can add extra interest to the garden if they are made into different shapes, such as curves, circles and squares.



The Advertiser, Normandy

Houses for sale in and around Normandy

Gardening Facts

Sponsored by

Property 19

July 2011

Mayenne53 Plantes et Bulbes Photo: © Hervé Rouveure_Fotolia

Buying or selling a property in or around Normandy? We can help. Our website carries details of more than 14,000 homes for sale across France. We also feature properties for sale in this dedicated section of The Advertiser every month. Use the code under each property to New Consumption and Emission Chart - e.g. Energy rating C & F refers to find out more on C for Consumption and F for Emissions the website.

For sellers, the adverts are also displayed across a range of popular English-speaking websites which ensures they are seen by thousands of potential buyers EVERY day. Prices start at 119TTC for a year’s online advertising. Online advertisers can also place adverts in The Advertiser for an extra 60TTC for one month, 150TTC for three and 275TTC for six. Contact us on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email

More details on all these properties - and how to contact the seller directly - can be found in the property for sale section of Simply enter the code under each home to find out more PROPERTIES IN NORMANDY Don’t water in one go — short sessions are better

Be defensive in a drought



La Ferté-Macé The bakehouse is an 18th century detached house which has a large kitchen/dining room with an open fireplace and stairs that lead up to a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

Beaumont-le-Roger 2 bedrooms, 2 en-suite shower rooms, large open plan living space on the ground floor, lounge, dining area, fully fitted kitchen with appliances.

REF: IFPC21162


REF: IFPC20638



BECAUSE of the unusually dry spring, with some parts of France receiving less than half of the normally expected rain, gardeners need to be proactive about water conservation. France experienced the driest start to the year since 1975, so gardens are already parched. However, much can be done without resorting to the hosepipe. Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and digging in compost will make your soil more moisture-retentive. If you must water with a hose, do it in the early morning for maximum benefit. Install a trigger nozzle on your hose and water deeply every few days instead of lightly every day: this encourages the roots of plants to grow deeper and allows them to obtain more moisture from the soil. Break down the single watering into several short sessions separated by several minutes, to enable the water to permeate the soil more deeply.

Saint-Lô House of 4 main rooms with an attic that could convert. Lounge with fireplace, fitted kitchen, 2 bedrooms with access on the shower-room. Toilets, laundry and boiler room.

Foucarmont This property has been renovated to a high standard with three double bedrooms on the first floor and two rooms on the ground floor which could be used as bedrooms.

The flower garden Tulip bulbs can be lifted now, as their foliage fades. Dry them in an airy, shaded place and store for replanting in October/November. Autumn flowering crocus and cyclamen should be planted now. Dead-head annuals and border plants to encourage fresh buds. Watch out for fungal problems, particularly on roses; they can be prevented by applying a systemic fungicide, or mix your own organic substitute with one gallon of water, one tablespoon of baking soda and two and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil.

REF: IFPC19965

Vegetable/fruit garden Lift early varieties of potatoes as needed or when top growth begins to yellow. Rake out the empty potato plot and sow with a quick maturing crop such as early carrots (Nantes) or cabbage (Harbinger). Garlic and shallots can be lifted as soon as their tops turn yellow: choose a warm sunny day and dry them outside before storing in a cool shed. Plant out seedlings of sprouting broccoli, Savoy cabbages and cauliflowers for spring harvesting. Water outdoor cucumbers, marrows and courgettes copiously during dry spells. Summer pruning of apples and pears can begin towards the end of the month to admit more air and light to the ripening fruit, but remember to leave shoots of the main stem and leading branches untouched. Hedges Trim lonicera, privet hedges and cut back flowering hedges such as buddleia and ceanothus as soon as their flowers have faded. beech, box and cypress can be clipped now — after a rainy spell if possible! Lawns Check at your local mairie for water restrictions. In dry weather, cut less closely and vary the direction.

Mayenne 53 Garden Supplies

Bare-root trees available to order now! Tel 02 43 13 06 56

REF: 12551SJP


REF: IFPC20585



La Ferté-Macé Mainly restored: roof, walls, plasterwork, electricity, plumbing. To do: boiler, equipment for kitchen, bathrooms, and WC. It is a perfect house for “real stone” fans.

Eu The farmhouse has 5/6 bedrooms. The main part of the house has a large kitchen/dining area divided by a wooden wall, of which one side has the original upright beams ENERGY RATING = Not given

REF: IFPC20915



Domfront Country manor house with barn/stables set in 1 acre of land (4,047m2). Oil fired central heating. Excellent business. Five bedrooms, barn and outbuilding.

Pont-Audemer Farmhouse restored to a very high standard having 3 double and 1 single bedrooms, a dormitory for 6 single beds over a double garage/workshop and a swimming pool.

REF: DOM1272


REF: DOM1292








Pontivy, Morbihan This property would make an ideal holiday home, first home or retirement property. It is available fully furnished, ready to move in to and is not overlooked.

Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon This home has two bedrooms and a toilet both upstairs and downstairs. It is sold fully furnished and equipped including heaters, washer, fridge and freezer. It can accomodate six.

REF: IFPC18756


REF: IFPC20934



St Bon Tarentaise, Savoie Charming apartment with kitchen open to large living room with fireplace and balcony, a bathroom, an alcove with 2 bunk beds, bedroom with balcony, bathroom.

Guingamp, Côtes-d'Armor This nice house is set in 0.74 acres of superb woodland. There is a fitted kitchen, a living room, 4 bedrooms, a bathroom and toilets. Includes an electrical heating system.

REF: 4832748


REF: 36966



Bouglon, Lot-et-Garonne A lovely detached house in excellent condition offering entrance, spacious lounge, equipped kitchen, double living room with fireplace, 2 bedrooms, bathroom and toilets.

Uzès, Gard Still 3 beautiful residences for sale in a small project with 7 large, light homes. The houses are situated guaranteeing each others privacy. Each house has its own garden.

REF: JM2222


REF: IFPC15425




The adverts above cost from just 179 for a whole year of web advertising and one edition of advertising in The Advertiser. 10,000 copies of The Advertiser are distributed at key points across departments 50, 14, 61, 27 and 76 as well as on board ferries between the UK and France and at Dinard airport. Let our distribution get you a sale. Contact our sales team on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email TTC

20 Back Page

The Advertiser, Normandy

July 2011

NOT every area can lay claim to its own local inventor but the Orne has Christian Poincheval who has a licence to create... sometimes havoc and sometimes the kind of zany idea you wonder why no one ever thought of it before. AMY McCORMACK meets a genuine eccentric in the first of a series on the people who make life interesting NOTHING is set in stone; that is the thought behind everything Norman inventor Christian Poincheval does. Everything can evolve, be transformed into something else, be improved upon and, over time he has created quite a stir with his inventions. The 62-year-old, who is best known by his persona, Le Lutin Malin, or clever pixie, first came to notice when he designed toilet paper printed with the Rights of Man. It won the annual French award for inventions, the Concours Lépine. Naturally, it was followed by pocket sized toilet paper. On a similar if a little more playful note the next invention was the ‘fart pill’: a homeopathic tablet which promises to take the unpleasant element away from flatulence and replace it with the scent of roses or violets. “It absolutely works,” said Mr Poincheval, who with his big white beard and hat, is the embodiment of his pixie character. Although the

Photo: Joel Le Gall - MaxPPP

Pixie brews up a storm to help disabled

The coffee in Christian Poincheval’s latest invention tastes good ... and does good as it helps provide jobs quirkiness of his work to date has generated media interest, it is his latest venture that he holds closest to his heart. He has come up with a practical solution to the chore of making freshly-brewed coffee in the morn-

ing: sell it in a carton: “When you make coffee you have to get the filter out, put the coffee in, plug the machine in and so on. Something just clicked. I needed to make this easier.” He says the coffee tastes just like

authentic homemade Maison Richard coffee. But it is not so much the end product that Mr Poincheval is proud of as what has developed as a result of it. The cartons, which are now sold in Super, Hyper U and Leclerc super-

markets across the region, are made in a small workshop in Argentan, in the Orne, a few miles from Mr Poincheval’s present home in Gesvres. In Argentan, a team of four disabled people produce the kits using an industrial-sized cafetière, which processes 40 litres of coffee at a time and is an invention itself. They produce and package 2,000 litres of coffee a day and the proceeds have enabled Mr Poincheval to fund 14 dogs for the disabled at a cost of 13,000. “It’s about sharing, about being able to give something to people who are in need,” he said. It is hard to decide whether he is philosopher first and inventor second or the other way around: He is someone who looks to the oak trees in the forest for inspiration and reads Gandhi... but the very next moment will identify functional ways to improve upon everyday life. Details of up-coming inventions are a secret but are also a perfect example of the way his mind works. He plans two new concepts: one will be a product to help gardeners, the other is a guided tour of his local forest where visitors can discover the mythical character of Confiturius-leFou, inventor of jam. For the moment, though, Mr Poincheval just wants people to support the coffee project and raise funds for dogs for the disabled. For more information or to buy or stock the coffee, call 06 85 81 54 31.

The Normandy Advertiser -July 2011  

The Adveriser, Normandy's English-language monthly newspaper

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