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APRIL 2021

Happy Easter Opulent Eggs

A Brief History of Fabergé

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Contents 3

A note from the editors


What’s on




Latest news








Business & assistance






Farm life





It’s impossible to know what events are around the corner at the moment, with news reporting differing stories concerning lockdowns and vaccinations, we think we all just have to take each week (day?!) as it comes.


Free time

Keep safe, keep well.




Home & Specialist




Getting connected




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A Note from the Editors

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Welcome to the April edition of etcetera magazine. This month can bring us a mixture of climates - one day it can be cold, wet and windy, the next you can find a warm spot in your garden and soak up some much-needed rays of sunshine!

Gayle and Sam

Useful numbers 15 17 18

SAMU (Medical) Gendarmes (Police) Pompiers (Fire and also trained in medical emergency) 114 Text-message emergency number for deaf/hard of hearing 119 Child abuse 115 Homeless 113 Drugs and alcohol 112 European emergency not always English 1616 Emergency- Sea & Lake 3131 Last incoming call, key ‘5’ to connect Orange English speaking helpline 0033 (0)9 69 36 39 00 Website in English: Technical assistance for landlines (French): 3900 (+33 9 69 39 39 00 from abroad) SFR 1023 or 00336 1000 1023 (Not English) EDF 0810 333087 EDF breakdown 24 hours +33 (0)9 69 36 63 83 EDF Helpline in English 0033 562164908 (From UK) 05 62 16 49 32 Fax E-mail: CPAM - 09 74 75 36 46 Veolia Water Emergency No: 24h/24 et 7j/7 05 61 80 09 02 (press 1 for urgent problems or 2 for a technician) S.E.P Du Confolens (Water) 05 87 23 10 08 Emergency 24/7 Aéroport Int’l Limoges 05 55 43 30 30 SNCF (train times, buying tickets etc) 36 35 Alcoholics Anonymous For contact details of meetings in your area including those conducted in English, visit

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HOSPITALS 05 55 05 55 55 Limoges (CHU) 05 55 43 50 00 St Junien 05 55 47 20 20 Bellac 05 49 44 44 44 Poitiers 05 45 24 40 40 Angoulême 05 49 32 79 79 Niort 05 45 84 40 00 Confolens Counselling In France Counsellors, psychotherapists, NLP, CBT etc offering therapy in English to expatriates all over France on SSAFA France 05 53 24 92 38 email French Health Insurance Advice line. CPAM English speaking Advice line: 09 74 75 36 46 (from France) 0033 974 75 36 46 (from other countries). The line is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. NHS website : No Panic France Helpline: No Panic UK helpline: 0044 1 952 590 545 11h - 23h (French time) 7/7 / English-speaking Crisis Line SOS- HELP 01 46 21 46 46 3pm-11pm 7/7 British Consulate in Paris 01 44 51 31 00 British Consulate in Bordeaux 05 57 22 21 10 Credit Agricole English Speaking Helpline Charente (residents only) 05 45 20 49 60 Anglofile - Radio for British in Charente Tues 20h (repeated Sun 11h30). leme 96.8, Chalais 96.9, Confolens 95.4, Ruffec 95.4, Char. Limousine 104.1, Cognac 89.9

Print 2 copies - one for your home and one for your car - it could save a life.

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craft Sarah is the author of where she blogs about her original craft tutorials, recipes, foraging, and developing wellbeing through being By Sa rah Wh iting creative, spending time outdoors and connecting with nature


Materials -

Blown quail eggs Twigs Lichen or oak moss (dried out) Faux flower sprigs (I use a combination of natural and faux materials), in this session I used forsythia sprigs

- Wreath base (visit my website if you’ve missed how to make one in a previous article), or buy one in your local craft supply store. If you use styrofoam, I’d suggest painting it or covering it in fabric before you start to decorate it. - Glue gun and sticks

Steps 1. Start by threading the lengths of the faux forsythia sprigs into the willow ring. These stay in place without needing to be glued. 2. Now you can start sticking the natural elements onto the wreath base. I find it easiest to add one component at a time when decorating a rustic wreath, so I started with the twigs. 3. Now secure the lichen pieces.

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4. And finally, the quail eggs. Now all you have to do is choose where to hang it (or who to gift it to!). The stars of the show are the quail eggs. I used real blown eggs on my wreath (here are some easy instructions on how to blow an egg), but you could easily use a faux alternative if you wish.

Happy Crafting!


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Brian White lives in south Indre with his wife, too many moles and not enough guitars


realise it’s coming up on thirty years since I was first seduced. We never forget our first time. I’d heard one or two things about her but, looking back, I was an innocent, literally fresh off the boat. She’d been routinely described as ‘fascinating’ and, of course, ‘beautiful’, but I was ready to shrug off her advances, immune at the time to such distractions. Nevertheless, despite my determined indifference, I soon succumbed: another notch on the bedpost for La Belle France. I’d never set foot in this country before that spring of 1991. Angie and I were a new couple back then, on our first holiday together, a Eurocamp week in Normandy. Not much money between us, she paid for the trip, we used my car. Everything was memorable: thatched roofs topped with irises; the D-Day beaches; a sunny lunch in Honfleur, the Tapestry, of course. Quiet roads. Above all, it was the French people with their extraordinary (to us) old-world courtesies: Angie stopping to smell roses tumbling over a garden fence, the owner calling from the balcony urging her to take one; a café owner amiably correcting my linguistic error with a warm “well done for trying” handshake. I recall especially a late May evening in Rouen, darkness enveloping the old

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Norman Conquest square. Under a gazillion stars, the discreet floodlighting draped everything in antique gold. Restaurants were humming, waiters weaving between chattering diners, corks popping. Gypsy jazz playing from a high window somewhere. Life had been choppy so the calm now was surreal. I exhaled for the first time in four years.

Subsequent trips saw us skimming over its surface, (how we miss the hovercraft), hurtling along beneath it or invisible in the clouds overhead. From Nancy to Nantes, Caen to Carcassonne, we wandered and explored, utterly enamoured, while still prepared for disillusion. It never came.

However, revisiting places linked to At one point, a great cheer went up from treasured memories in the hope of the tables as into the square burst a long recreating what went before risks conga-line of roller-skaters. There must irreversible disappointment. The ancient have been a hundred of them, a Saturday Greeks knew this: ‘nostos’ (to return); night ritual, we were told. Around us they ‘algos’ (pain); thus, nostalgia – literally the sped, waving in pain of returning. acknowledgement of the We did indulge in laughing applause, heads one notable A great cheer went up from turning everywhere. Parents with strapped-on the tables as into the square exception to our rule, not to recreate babies, seniors and teens, burst a long conga-line of but to build anew bright colours flying. Two roller-skaters every time. For laps of the square and they several years, we were gone, snaking off returned each down a narrow side street. February on Angie’s Cheers subsided, birthday, to Honfleur, to the very spot restaurant chatting resumed, corks where we ate our first French lunch back popped again. Unreality restored. in 1991. Every time, the lady owner would I think I knew then that this was no sugargreet us with tears and open arms, amazed rush of holiday euphoria, no transient high that anyone would drive 800km from the from being ‘away from it all’. In fact, the UK in winter weather. Angie’s gift to her, a notion that one day we might come to live splendid painting of the restaurant, hangs in France was born that very first week, 24 there still, above ‘our’ table. years before we were able to do it. Many Memory is a box in the heart marked ‘The more holidays followed. With our Past’. Some items we leave in there collective children we once drove from because, denied the light, they eventually North Wales to Marseille, just for the half fade to grey. The best ones we take out to term break. For that first visit in 1991, we watch them gleam, thirty years on, like crossed the Channel by boat in around bright summer sunshine and golden four hours, grinning at each other as we berthed in the Dieppe sunshine. evenings under the stars.


VOTES FOR LIFE As most of you will already know all too well, British citizens living overseas are currently entitled to be registered to vote in UK Parliamentary elections for up to 15 years in the constituency in which they were registered before leaving the UK. After 15 years, your vote is lost. The current UK Government is committed to removing the 15-year rule. In the recent March budget, £2.5 million was committed to ending the 15-year limit, with legislation expected later in 2021.

FIRST FRENCH ISS COMMANDER Later this month, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, 43, will be the first French person (and the third European) to be the Commander for the International Space Station. Born in Rouen, Thomas Pesquet will be

launched to the ISS on the American space capsule, SpaceX Crew Dragon. Take-off is scheduled for Thursday 22 April and he is expected to be in space for 6 months. Bon voyage Thomas !

NEW GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR ANIMAL WELFARE SECONDHOME OWNERS Rules on travel between the UK and France is changing each week, so if you do have to make a trip, it’s wise to contact the embassy and double-check the latest requirements. The rules in France have recently eased, potentially allowing people to travel to their holiday homes. To enter France, you must provide a negative Covid test and a declaration that you don’t have any Covid symptoms. You must then self-isolate for 7 days. However, the UK has stricter rules, which, at the time of print, are about to be reviewed (with the potential to be made stricter). Two governments, handling and deciding two different rules on an ever-changing situation is not an easy task, so please do seek guidance and advice if you have to travel.

Exciting news for animal welfare charities, rescues centres and pet owners with limited budgets! This appears to be a new (means tested) funding project, available since 1 January 2021, offering financial support for repairing / modernizing pet shelters (including horse rescue centres) as well as for sterilisation programmes for abandoned animals and strays. Pet owners who are on a limited budget can also access financial support for veterinary costs.

Information on eligibility and how to apply via the following link (do let us know if you are successful and any issues with the application process so we can share with others) : rancerelance-lancement-desmesures-de-soutien-pourlutter-contre-labandon-desanimaux-de-compagnie Information supplied by Jenny Smith, French Wordsmith (see advert in the Language & Advice section).

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The Renaissance Egg, made in jewelled agate and presented to Maria Feodorovna in 1894. It was the last egg that Alexander III gave to his wife before his death.

Maria Feodorovna, wife of Alexander III and mother of Nicholas II, received 30 Imperial eggs in all, which the Soviet Government "repossessed". She escaped the massacre of the Russian Imperial Family in 1917, and died in exile in her native Denmark in 1928; In 2005, her remains we re-interred, according to her wish, next to those of her husband in St Petersberg. Image by Dennis Jarvis. The Cockerel Egg, presented by Nicholas II to Maria Feodorovna in 1900. The tiny cockerel on top is an automaton.

The Lilies of the Valley Egg, given to his wife Alexandra by Nicholas II in 1898. Now in the collection of Viktor Vekselberg.

"Faberge Egg" by szeke is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Easter Eggs to Die for

By Mike G eorge

Mike George is our regular contributor on wildlife and the countryside in France. He is a geologist and naturalist, living in the Jurassic area of the Charente



een in isolation, the Romanovs were an adoring family, and their mutual love and generosity is touching to behold. However, they had no idea how far their lifestyle and extravagance were out of touch with the reality of life in the rest of Russia.

ordered another egg, rather similar in concept to the previous year’s egg but this time containing a sapphire pendant.

The exchanging of extravagant presents was nothing out of the ordinary between family members, and the Easter season was especially important. Tsar Alexander III used to give his wife Maria Feodorovna jewelled Easter Eggs every year. However, the Nihilist enemies of the Imperial family got in on this idea, and in 1883 the Tsar and Tsarina received jewelled eggs containing miniature skulls with silver daggers, and the message that the Nihilists would eventually triumph.

As of now, 6 have disappeared, although in a couple of cases the “surprise gift” that the missing egg had contained has been identified in other collections. Ten Imperial eggs are in the Kremlin Fabergé surrounded himself with a team collection, three are in the British Royal of skilled jewellers to design and create collection, and quite a number of them the eggs. Each egg took on average a year have been collected by Victor Vekselberg, to make. As word of them spread, he a Russian oligarch who has stated it as his found himself dealing with orders from intention to other wealthy collectors preserve this such as Alexander Kelch, important a Russian goldmine manifestation of Over the period 1885 to industrialist, the Dutchess Russian art and 1916, there were 50 of Marlborough, the culture and Rothschilds and the Imperial eggs delivered to display the eggs Yusupov family. Over the the Tsar for his Easter gifts in Russia. He period 1885 to 1916, there is known to were 50 Imperial eggs have paid delivered to the Tsar for 100,000,000 dollars for a group of 9 of his Easter gifts, and 16 major eggs for the Imperial eggs originally collected by other people. the American publisher Malcolm Forbes. Tsar Alexander III continued his giftIn 2013 he opened the Fabergé Museum in giving right up to his death in 1894, when St Petersburg, to display the 9 Imperial his son, Nicholas II, renewed the order for eggs and other eggs and Fabergé items he eggs to give to his wife, Alexandra had collected. Feodorovna, and also ordered a second Although they are made with consummate egg for his mother, the dowager Empress skill, and exhibit the finest examples of the Maria, who loved her jewelled egg each jeweller’s art and craft, each egg’s intrinsic Easter. Of the 50 Imperial eggs that are value is not thought to be very great. One known to have been made, Maria received was almost melted down for its gold 30 and Alexandra 20. The only years that content until it was recognised for what it eggs were not made were 1904 and 1905, was, when its value skyrocketed! The when the Russo-Japanese War was cachet, the history, and all the other in progress. attachments mean that famous Fabergé In 1917, the Imperial Family was items sell for an unimaginable sum murdered by the insurgent Bolsheviks. whenever one comes on the market. Two eggs were in preparation. One was Although the eggs are usually described as paid for but tragically never delivered, and “jewelled”, and of course they do bear and no one was left to pay for the other. contain gemstones, the quality that strikes The House of Fabergé was nationalised by one most about the Fabergé eggs – and also the other high-quality items such as the Bolsheviks, and the Fabergé family

This left the Tsar with a problem of whom to trust. Then in 1885 his brother told him of a firm of loyal jewellers right on his doorstep who could be trusted to produce jewellery of surpassing beauty and ingenuity. In 1842, Gustav Fabergé, an ex-patriot German jeweller, had set up business in St. Petersburg. He had been joined by his son, Peter Carl Fabergé, a superb jewellery designer as well as a skilled businessman, and his reputation for making intricately and beautifully designed items was growing fast. The Tsar approached the firm and asked that Peter Carl should design for him an Easter Egg of surpassing beauty and intricacy. The result was the Hen Egg, a white enamelled egg about 2.5 inches across, which opened to reveal a gold yolk. The yolk contained a golden hen sitting on golden straw, and this in turn opened to disclose a miniature jewelled replica of the Imperial Crown and a ruby pendant. The Tsarina received the gift on 1st May 1885. The Tsarina was delighted with her egg, and the next year the Tsar appointed Peter Carl Fabergé “Goldsmith by special appointment to the Royal Crown” and

From this point on, an egg was ordered to be ready for each Easter, and Fabergé was given complete freedom to design each egg. Even the Tsar himself had no idea what the egg would look like, or even how big it would be. The only stipulation was that it must be unique, different from any other egg, and contain a surprise gift.

fled to Switzerland, where Peter Karl died in 1920. Of the Imperial eggs, most disappeared after the death of the Imperial family. However; they began to surface again when foreign funds were required, and disappeared into private collections and occasionally museums.

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Testus, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


The Bay Tree Egg was presented to Maria Feodorovna in 1911. The leaves are made of nephrite, a form of jade, and the egg contains a bird automaton.

Twelve Monograms Egg, was in fact what had formerly been called the Alexandra III Portrait Egg, presented to Maria Feodorovna by Nicholas II in 1896. Now in America.

"File:Napoleonic (Fabergé egg).jpg" by Chuck Redden from Petersburg, VA, USA is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Basket of Flowers Egg of 1901, presented by Nicholas II to his wife. This was eventually acquired by Queen Mary of England, and is in the British Royal collection.

The Catherine the Great Egg or Grisaille Egg. It was presented to Maria Feodorovna by her son in 1914.

portrait boxes given as prestigious gifts to honoured visitors – is the quality of the enamelling. Fabergé and his craftsmen perfected the fiendishly difficult technique of enamelling “in the round”, and their skill in blending coloured enamels and laying down multiple layers of enamel flawlessly, was one of the firm’s chief claims to excellence, and is one of the checks that must be made during the authentication of a Fabergé piece. Although the whereabouts of most of the eggs is well-known, the few unaccounted for do allow the imaginations of novelists and film-makers to incorporate Fabergé eggs into their

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The Napoleonic Egg, presented to Maria Feodorovna in 1912 to commemorate the centenery of the Battle of Borodino. Now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

“blockbusters”. Even James Bond got involved (Octopussy 1983). Jessica Fletcher and even the Simpsons have encountered an egg! Few of us can contemplate owning a Fabergé item, let alone an Imperial egg. The firm is still in existence (although it has changed ownership several times since it was “nationalised”) and still holds its cachet, but its most valuable products have been imitated, and great care is needed to ensure a Fabergé item is genuine. I would just settle for a chocolate egg this Easter, if I were you.

Babka is a sweet Polish yeast bread, similar to Italian panettone

Easter Traditions Belinda, the ‘Accidental Chatelaine’ loves to cook at any opportunity and is delighted to be able to share that love with you



s many of you who regularly read this column will know, I’m of Polish descent on my father’s side. In fact, having had my DNA tested, I’m only 11% English – this was a surprise to me. The remaining result is a spread across Europe East & West, including Poland and Russia, Germany, Sweden, Scotland and Ireland! Easter is a nostalgic time for me, remembering in particular my father recounting his own dear memories of childhood and early life spent in a small village in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains in what was formerly Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine. He would speak of the great feasting that took place to celebrate the most important date in the Christian Calendar, and how his dear mother, family and friends would plan and prepare some time in advance for the great Easter get together. Good Friday, of course, was a solemn day and simple food was prepared and eaten, Easter Saturday was a day of great anticipation of the feasting to come, and then Easter Sunday itself was when all the family would gather together for a splendid spread. He would talk fondly of the special cakes and pastries his mother made, in particular the Easter Babka (which means grandmother), and how he enjoyed helping her; as the second son of 4 brothers, someone had to help Mamushka!

Some of you may recollect my father’s history from a previous article. I was fortunate enough to visit my father’s home 4 years ago. My father, Jan was sadly taken prisoner by the Russian army in September 1939 along with hundreds of thousands of compatriots from that part of Poland and sent to Siberia where he spent about 2 years in a forced labour camp (Gulag). His story, and that of those Poles who survived this terrible ordeal, is a very long, complex and emotional one; journeying through the harsh Siberian landscape, then across the Caspian Sea to the former Persia, via Iraq to Palestine and Jerusalem and then on to Egypt and finally to Italy where he saw active service at the famous Battle of Monte Cassino. Jan’s incredible odyssey ended with his eventual arrival after the war in Wiltshire, England where he met my Mother; the rest is history, as they say, but Jan was never to see his Mother, Father or home again – an enduring lifelong sorrow. Back to the kitchen.... When I visited Dad’s home, I was so happy to find an elderly cousin of his still living in the house which appeared entirely unchanged from the way he had described it from childhood. There stood a small cast iron range, the only means of cooking – how his dear Mamushka cooked for her large family of boys, let alone the Easter feast with all the great cakes, I do not know.

By Beli n

da Prin ce

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Wiltshire Lardy Cake Photo on page 14 This delicious, sweet sticky treat was an absolute childhood favourite of mine, made by my maternal grandfather, a baker, in the market town of Salisbury Ingredients 500g white bread flour 14g instant dried yeast (2 x 7g sachets) 1 tsp salt 150g sugar 230ml milk 110g unsalted butter 110g lard* see note 240g mixed dried fruit such as raisins, currants and sultanas

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3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. 4. Put in a bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This can take up to two hours depending on the temperature in the room

Method 1. Put the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl and rub in 30g of the lard with your fingertips until you have fine breadcrumbs. 2. Add the milk and mix with your hand until the dough is smooth and and soft and comes away from the side of the bowl.

5. Once risen, turn out onto a floured surface and roll out a neat rectangle to a size of approx 20cm x 50cm. 6. Cut the remaining lard and the butter into thirds, use one third of each to dot little pieces all over the dough. Follow with a third of the sugar and a third of the fruit. 7. Pick up the long end of the dough furthest away from you and fold down a third, then fold the bottom end up a third (this will roughly make a square).


Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.


Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll out 1 portion to 4-5mm thick (keep remaining dough covered and chilled), then cut with a fluted 6cm round biscuit cutter and place on the trays.


Repeat with remaining dough, rerolling the trimmings to make about 40 biscuits. Chill for a further 15 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.


Sprinkle the biscuits with extra sugar. Bake for 10 minutes until firm to the touch but still pale. (Rotate the trays halfway through baking, if necessary, to ensure even cooking.) Cool on the trays for 5 mins, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. The biscuits will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

Ingredients (makes about 40) 450g plain flour 1/2tsp ground cinnamon 1/4tsp ground nutmeg 225g salted butter, at room temperature 220g caster sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra to sprinkle 2 eggs 110g currants, raisins or sultanas 1 lemon, zested Method 1.

Sift the flour and spices into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters until thick and pale, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each

10. Preheat the oven to 200ºc (fan). 11. Bake for 35 mins until golden and leave to cool a little before turning out. Note * Lard is called SAINDOUX in French. You can find it in any supermarket in France, near the prepacked pâtés or Rillettes (spreadable pâtés), or the fresh charcuterie (deli) section. NOT near the butter and margarine!

addition. Fold in the flour mixture in 2 batches, then stir in the dried fruit and lemon zest. Shape into a disc, enclose in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Easter Biscuits Simple to make, even for a child, which is probably when I started making them!

9. Grease a 23cm round cake tin with lard. Form the dough into a round shape to fit the tin. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise again for another half an hour.

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Wiltshire Lardy Cake

8. Make a quarter turn with the square and roll out again, repeating the whole process twice until you have used up the sugar, fat and fruit.


Poppy Seed Cake Makowiec This traditional aromatic Polish cake is made throughout the year but is especially popular at Easter. Ingredients (Serves 6 -8) 45ml crème fraîche or soured cream 2 packets dried yeast 400g strong white bread flour 115g icing sugar 1 lemon, zested 150g butter, melted and cooled 3 eggs, beaten For the Filling 500g poppy seeds 200g butter 200g caster sugar 115g almonds, chopped 30ml raisins, chopped 60ml honey 45ml candied citrus peel, finely chopped (if available) 1tsp vanilla extract 3 egg whites, lightly beaten 1tbsp rum or Cognac

Easter Babka

1. Firstly, make the filling. Place the poppy seeds in a fine mesh sieve and rinse in cold water, then pour over boiling water. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Cover with more boiling water and leave to soak for 3 hours. 2. Drain the seeds and grind with a pestle and mortar. 3. Melt the butter in a pan, then add the sugar, almonds, currants, honey and citrus peel. Add the vanilla essence and the poppy seeds and fry gently for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, leave to cool; then stir in the beaten egg whites and rum or Cognac. 4. To make the Makowiec dough, mix the crème fraîche or soured cream with the yeast in a bowl. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the icing sugar, lemon rind and a pinch of salt. 5. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then pour in the cooled, melted butter, beaten eggs and the yeast mixture. Mix to combine, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. 6. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm, then spread evenly with the poppy seed mixture. Roll up the

115g sultanas 1 orange, grated rind 60ml clear honey, warmed Butter to serve Method

Totally traditional at Easter time in Poland, Babka means “Grandmother” made with loving hands…

1. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast, then make a well in the centre.

Ingredients (serves 8)

2. Add the butter, milk, egg yolks, dried fruit and orange rind. Mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic.

350g plain flour 1/2tsp salt 25g caster sugar 5ml dried yeast 115g butter, softened 150ml warm milk 4 egg yolks

Makowiec dough to form a loaf shape and place on a greased baking tray or use a silicone lining. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and put in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. 7. About 10 minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5. Pierce the top of the loaf with a large sharp knife, then put in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool, then dust lightly with sifted icing sugar before slicing and serving.

4. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5. Bake for 45 -50 mins, or until firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 5. Allow the Babka to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wired rack and brush all over with the warmed honey. When cool, slice thickly and serve with butter. Alternatively, finish with a glace icing and decorate in Easter style! Main picture on page 13

3. Place the dough into a well greased 1.25kg fluted cake tin. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

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language & advice

Parlez Français

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French conversation, vocabulary & traditions with Isabelle

apprenons ensemble

Au téléphone Allô ! Répondre au téléphone en français, comprendre ce qui est dit au téléphone et comprendre le jargon typique du téléphone, ne sont pas aussi évident que cela. Aussi, quand vous téléphonez à une administration, il faut souvent faire des choix en appuyant sur des touches du téléphone et il faut aussi souvent attendre longtemps. La plupart des gens n’aiment pas parler au téléphone. Mais si vous connaissiez mieux certaines expressions et façons de dire les choses, cela sera beaucoup moins effrayant. Alors, pour vous aider, je vous donne ici des phrases typiques que vous pouvez entendre et que vous pourrez dire.

au téléphone on the phone

l’annuaire the directory

Broaden your horizons with CONTINENTAL HORIZONS!

le numéro de téléphone the phone number

marquer / composer (verb) to dial

Bon courage ! Et à bientôt !

le téléphone fixe the land line

le coup de téléphone the phone call


le téléphone portable = le mobile the mobile phone le standard the switchboard

les coordonnées (numéro de téléphone, adresse) contact details (telephone number, address)

Broaden your horizons with CONTINENTAL HORIZONS!

l’indicatif (m.) the dialing code

appeler quelqu’un (verb) to call someone

Je suis au …(+ numéro de téléphone) I am on …..(+ phone number)

téléphoner à quelqu’un (verb) to phone someone

la ligne (here) the telephone line la tonalité the dialing tone

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rappeler quelqu’un (verb) to call someone back joinder (verb) = contacter quelqu’un (verb) to reach / to contact someone

Isabelle works for CONTINENTAL HORIZONS Language Centre in L’Isle Jourdain and teaches French as a Foreign Language every day in their many classrooms. Do not hesitate to contact her on 05 49 84 17 73.

language & advice


Est-ce que je peux prendre un message ? Can I take a message?

Allô ! Hello (on the phone)

Puis-je avoir votre n° de téléphone? May I have your phone number?

Ne quittez pas, s’il vous plait. Please hold the line / Hold on please.

Quel est le numéro de téléphone de…? What’s the phone number of….?

Puis-je vous aider ? May I help you? Qui est à l’appareil, s’il vous plaît ? Who’s calling please? C’est de la part de qui ? Who’s calling? Qui dois-je annoncer ? Who shall I say is calling?

Puis-je avoir vos coordonnées ? May I have your contact details? C’est occupé. The line is busy Je n’arrive pas à le joindre. I can't get hold of him.

Quand peut –il vous rappeler ? When can he call you back? Je vous passe M. ……. I'll just put you through to Mr…/ I'll just connect you to Mr… Je vous rappelle. I’ll call you back. Pouvez-vous rappeler plus tard ? Can you call back later? Peut-il vous rappeler ? Can he call you back? Faire erreur (verb) / se tromper (verb) to make a mistake Vous avez fait erreur. You made a mistake.

C’est Sophie à l’appareil. It’s Sophie speaking.

Il n’est pas disponible pour le moment. He’s not available at the moment.

Je ne vous entends pas. I can’t hear you.

Désolé, il est absent. I’m sorry, he’s out.

Je me suis trompé de numéro. I have got the wrong number

Pouvez-vous parler moins vite ? Could you speak more slowly?

Désolé, il est en réunion. I’m sorry, he is in a meeting.

On reste en contact. We keep in touch

Pouvez-vous épeler votre nom ? Could you spell your name?

Désolé, il est en ligne. I’m sorry, he is on the phone.

Merci de votre appel. Thank you for calling

APPELER UNE ADMISTRATION / CALL AN ADMINISTRATION l’opérateur (m) / l’opératrice (f) the operator une touche de téléphone a phone key

Taper dièse (#) pour accéder au service. Dial hash key (#) to access the service. Taper étoile (*) pour confirmer. Dial star (*) to confirm. Taper 1 pour… Dial 1 for…. Taper 2 pour…… Dial 2 for…..

Faire un mauvais numéro (verb) to dial a wrong number

AU RÉPONDEUR / ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE « Bonjour, vous êtes bien au 05 49 84 17 73. Nous sommes absents pour le moment, mais laissez-nous un message et vos coordonnées après le signal sonore. Nous vous rappellerons dès que possible. Merci, à bientôt. »

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language & advice

Let ’s learn together

“ Hello, you’ve reached 05 49 84 17 73. We are away at the moment, but leave us a message and your details after the beep. We’ll call you back as soon as possible. Thank you. Speak to you soon.”

« Bonjour, je voudrais laisser un message à Isabelle. Je suis David Brown. Je voudrais avoir des

informations sur les cours de français. Pouvez-vous me rappeler sur mon mobile, au 06 10 11 12 13 ? Merci. Au revoir. » "Hello, I would like to leave a message for Isabelle. I am David Brown. I would like some information on French lessons. Could you call me back on my mobile on 06 10 11 12 13? Thank you. Goodbye.”

FRENCH LESSONS FOR FREE with experienced French teachers

Contact Alain 05 55 32 14 76 / 06 37 76 54 98 Siret: 824417364 00018

To contact someone, one can also send a text message (= an SMS).


(if eligible)

Groups - Private tutoring - E-learning

Pour joindre quelqu’un, on peut aussi envoyer un texto (= un SMS).

In Champagnac la Rivière (87150) Every Monday & Tuesday With Sandrine Durand 05 55 78 16 21 / 06 83 07 66 98 Siret: 488 296 450 00015

Comprehensive administration, translation and support services for English-speaking people in France…to make life easier. Call Jenny 06 79 85 58 84 Mail: Siret 504 587 924 00011

● Assistance with all admin needs ● Professional efficient & confidential service ● Competitive rates with flexible & friendly support Remy Hickman-Reed 06 37 76 56 51

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Why Should You Complete a Tax Return in France 11 Good Reasons to Do It!


ll persons living in France must complete an income tax return. All income is to be declared even if you have paid tax on it in the UK or abroad. If you live in France for six months or more of the year or your main assets are here or you have your principal residency here, you are seen as a French tax resident. You are therefore liable to complete an annual self assessment return in France. You must declare all your income, whether earned in France or abroad or taxable in France or abroad. I encourage clients to complete a tax return even if they have been living in France for less than 6 months in 2020 for the following number of reasons: 1.

Tax in France is less – Generally compared with the amount of income tax paid in the UK, you win here. Also the French tax authorities evaluate the income for a short period as if it was a whole year, so you are in a win/win situation

2. Tax residency – it is important to define residency as rapidly as possible, so that the French tax authorities know who you are and what your family situation is. 3. Brexit – One of the ways to prove residency, income and the number of years is through the completion of your personal tax assessment and the production of the avis d’impôt sur le revenue

4. Tax rebates - if you are taxed here you can reclaim tax paid in the UK on the period 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. 5. Tax exemption - You can apply for tax exemption on income not to be taxed in the UK. This can be interesting where for example you have UK rental income, it means that the whole of your tax allowance can be moved on to this income and reduce your UK tax bill 6. Taxe d’habitation –your income and family situation are used to calculate the amount to pay in taxe d’habitation. This information is collated from the declaration de revenus form. If you are a couple and have a fiscal income in 2020 of less than 44125 euros or are single and have a fiscal income less than 27706 euros, you will not pay taxe d’habitation on your home. If you don’t complete a tax return, then they will apply the highest rate of taxe d’habitation. 7. TV licence – if you do not have a TV, you indicate this on the declaration form. If you have a low income and are over 70, you don’t pay a TV licence. If you don’t complete the declaration, the tax authorities can’t apply any exemptions. 8. Tax credits on home improvements – If you have made improvements to your home to make it more energy efficient then you can in certain cases reclaim 30% of the material cost and



labour. This is particularly relevant for those persons, who have just moved over, as this is when you are likely to do the majority of your renovations. I know that there are some Brits that have been living in France for a number of years that still resist the idea of completing a French tax return. I don’t know whether this is because they think it doesn’t really matter, but it does. 9. Evaluation of social/financial aid – school/university grants, prime d’activité, home assistance for elderly people etc.. Your rights are calculated from your fiscal income. This is collated via your avis d’impôts 10. Access to loans/credit – unlike in the UK, all access to credit is based on your fiscal income, if you don’t complete a return and have an avis d’impôts, which is the calculation of fiscal income and tax due, you can’t borrow. 11. Capital gains on your French home – if your home is here, then you should not pay capital gains on that property. The notaire will ask for a copy of your last avis d’impôts to define that the property is your home. I hope that this has made you realise the importance of your tax return. If you have questions or would like a meeting for me to help you with your tax return, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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business INSURANCE



ES! It’s that time of the year again when we start receiving the dreaded income tax form to fill in (from mid-April to mid-May)! Some of you thought that the new changes with monthly payments taken at source (prélèvement à la source) would stop that but no, you still have to fill in a form! As the forms were not available at the time of writing this article, I have decided to give you a prelude on French income tax. I will be explaining who must fill in a tax form, what revenue you have to declare, how the double taxation treaty works between France and the UK and lots of other information. Next month, when the new forms are available, I will explain how to fill them in, in detail. 1. Who has to fill in the tax form: Basically, everybody who is a French resident (lives in France more than 6 months per year) whether you are employed, self-employed or retired and even if you are obliged to pay taxes in the UK. Also, non-French residents who have rented property in France. If it is your first time, you have to go to the Trésor public office (tax office) and ask for the forms, which are available from the first week of May. Or you can download them from the tax office website. The reason we still fill in a form is because of tax advantages such as children, employing a cleaner, etc. If you have children or a spouse earning much less than you it will lower your taxable income as you are taxed as a family not an individual. Adults count as 1 point, the first 2 children as ½ point each and the

FRENCH INCOME TAX 2021 third child and so on as 1 point. You then divide the total revenue of the family by the number of points you have, to know what your taxable income is. Unmarried couples (and not PACSed) must fill in a tax form each. 2. When: You fill in a tax form one year after, meaning you declare your revenue of 2020 (Jan to Dec) in April-May 2021. So, if you have officially moved to France before July last year (2020), then you fill in your first French tax form in April-May 2021 on which you declare your revenue of 2020. If you moved to France after July, then you were not a French resident in 2020 (in France less than 6 months) and therefore, you will have to fill in your first French tax form in April-May 2022 for your revenue of 2021. Since 01/01/2019, we are now taxed at source (monthly amount taken from our current account or percentage of salary) and the amount was determined by the tax paid in 2020 for year 2019. The form we fill in this year will determine if we have paid the right tax in 2020 and the new amount which will be taken monthly from 01/01/2022. If you paid too much, they will reimburse you or reduce your monthly payments, if not enough they will increase the monthly payments till the end of the year! If you have moved to France in 2020, you will pay two years of tax: 2020 & 2021!! You will pay a bill for 2020 at the end of August in one go and have another bill for 2021 which will be taken monthly from September to December (amount of 2020 tax bill divided by 4). Then from 2022, a monthly amount (2020 tax divided by 12). You can fill in a form now to start paying those amounts monthly from now instead of September (form 2043) which you can download from the tax office website. Only do it if you think you will pay tax. For your information, the tax threshold for 2020 for a couple was 27,975 euro.

Deadline to send or deposit your paper tax form is the 13th of May 2021. The online declaration deadline is the 18th of May 2021 for Departments 1 to 19 (Charente is 16), 25th of May 2021 for departments 20 to 49 and 1st of June 2021 for departments 50 and above Deux-Sèvres is 79 and Vienne 86). 3. What forms: Hopefully if they have not changed them again this year, these are the forms you might need: 2047: This is the pink form on which you enter your revenue from abroad and you then transfer all those revenues on the blue form called 2042. 2042: The blue form that everyone has to fill in. 2042C Pro: The one to fill in if you are self-employed or if you rent a gîte or chambre d’hôte. 2042C: This is the form you need to say you have an S1 form and avoid paying social charges on interest and to enter the amount of income taxed in the UK (Civil servant pension, Government pensions, rental income from UK- Box 8TK). 2042RICI: To declare tax credit like using a cleaner or gardener or doing ecological work on your main residence. 2044: If your rental income is more than to 15 000 euros per year, that is the form to fill in. 3916: To declare your bank account abroad. Failure to do so could carry a fine of 1,500 euro per bank account not declared. All they want is the name and address of the bank and the account number. The exchange rate for 2020 is 1.13 (that is the average of last year). Your local tax office can give you an exchange rate, but you don’t have to use it. Use it if it is lower than 1.13!!

Isabelle Want 06 17 30 39 11 Email: isabelle.want

N° Orias 07021727/16005974

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22 rue Jean Jaures. 16700 Ruffec Tél:+33 (0)5 45 31 01 61

102 Avenue de la République 16260 Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure Tél:+33(0)5 45 39 51 47

10 Bd du 8 mai 1945 16110 La Rochefoucauld Tél:+33 (0)5 45 63 54 31

2 Avenue de la Gare 16270 Roumazieres-Loubert Tél:+33(0)5 45 71 17 79


If your pension has been directly transferred in euros to your French bank account, just add up all the figures. 4. What income: Pensions (even if they are taxed in the UK like army, police, civil servant), salary, interest on savings (even ISA, which are not tax free in France), rental income, dividends, bonds, etc. Basically, anything that has been earning money or making money for you. 5. Double taxation: There is a treaty between France and the UK meaning that you cannot be taxed twice. To avoid being taxed twice, you must fill in this form: United Kingdom/France Double Taxation Convention (SI 2009 Number 226), which you can download from the internet. However, you can only fill in this form once you have been taxed in France as you must put your French tax reference on the form. Indeed, once the form is filled in, you take it to the French tax office, they stamp it and either they send it to Paris, who send it to the UK or give it back to you to send yourself to HMRC (depends on the office). Then 6 months later, you get reimbursed the tax you paid in the UK since you arrived in France and stop being taxed at source in the UK.

Note that ex civil servants, police and military are taxed in the UK for their pension related to that government job! But when they fill in the French tax form, they fill in that pension revenue on a special section which gives them a tax credit equivalent to what the tax would have been on it in France. 6. Avis d’imposition: This is a very important document not to be lost! As it proves you are a French resident and it also proves your revenue. If you want to get some social help in France (CMU, CAF, RSA, etc), you must show them this document. Some ISA savings account (LEP) are only available if you can show this document to your bank as it is only available for people with low income. It is the bill of your income tax and you receive it in August. 7. This is the official website of the French tax authorities. You can download tax forms, fill in your tax form online and also set up monthly direct debits for your taxe d’habitation and taxe fonciere. You can also adjust your monthly income tax payment from your personal account. Note that the monthly amount is determined by your income without the tax deduction so some of you probably should not have paid. Note that you can go online and change it if you think you

should not be paying as much or nothing at all. This is often the case for people who have rental from UK or civil servant pensions. Note that since 2019, everybody must fill in their income tax form online. You cannot do this if it is the first time you fill in a form. 8. Help: Free help for filling the tax form for all my customers will be on the 6th of May all day in Ruffec (not lunch hours!!) and on the 4th of May all day again in Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure. Conclusion: It is an obligation! So, if you live in France, you must fill in a French tax form. Next month, when the new forms are available, I will explain how to fill them in and give you dates and places where I will be available for free help so do not panic yet! And remember to check out our website for all my previous articles (“practical information” on the English site). Finally, don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or quote on subjects such as inheritance law, funeral cover, French tax, car, house, professional, travel and top up health insurance, etc…

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business FINANCE



n these challenging times, whilst most people do not like to acknowledge their mortality, it has been a sad fact of Covid19 that we have all had to address the question of dying. According to stats, only 57% of people have life cover, and 70% of those are underinsured. This leaves their families with inadequate cover and in financial distress when they pass on. Kinds of Life Cover 1. Whole life cover This is life insurance that covers you for your whole life and will pay out a lump sum amount to your beneficiaries no matter when you die e.g. policy of £200 000 life cover will pay out when you die. 2. Term life cover This is life insurance that is chosen for

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Don’t Be an April Fool a particular term length and will pay out if you die within that period. If you don’t die during the selected term, it will not pay out to your beneficiaries and your premiums are not refundable. There are 3 kinds of Term Life cover. ▪ Level term – This cover pays out a fixed lump-sum amount if you die within this term e.g. you take out £100 000 life cover over 40 years. Whether you die in 1 year or in 39 years it will pay out £100 000 to your beneficiaries. ▪ Increasing term – This life cover increases annually throughout the term

of the policy to keep up with inflation so that your beneficiaries can make the most of the lump sum. ▪ Decreasing term – e.g. to cover a large debt like a 30-year mortgage. In year 1 debt is £300 000 and cover is £300 000. By year 25 the remaining debt is £50 000 and cover will drop to £50 000. So this year, please don’t be an April fool. Make provisions to ensure your family is financially secure if you should pass away. Seek the advice of a Financial Adviser in the country that you live, to ensure that your loved ones are protected.


Social Media Platforms S

ocial media is a part of our lives both personally and for many others, professionally as well. The use of social media intensified when the pandemic kicked in and provides numerous opportunities for business owners. So it makes sense to use platforms whose strengths can benefit your business. For example, in France, the number of internet users increased by 1.4 million to 59.47 million in 2020/2021. Social media use increased by 13% in the last year alone to 49.60 million as of January 2021, equating to 75% of the population. With YouTube being the most used social media platform, closely followed by Facebook. Instagram usage below 50% use and TikTok below 25%. Males dominating the use of LinkedIn and Twitter, and females dominating Pinterest, Insta and Snapchat. Facebook: 2 billion active monthly users and has huge reach potential, making it the world's most used platform. There have been many changes over the years, one of which is the algorithm which means Page Owners struggle to have their content seen unless you invest in Ad spend. 2021 sees a huge opportunity within Facebook Group communities, of which there are 1.8 million active group

users. Great for posting a wide variety of content and engaging with your followers. Instagram: Owned by Facebook. While a relatively young platform, it has 1 million active monthly users appealing to those under 34. Predominantly a more visual platform ideal for high-quality pics and videos and hashtag heaven. Great for engagement but not as impactful of reach as Facebook. LinkedIn: Predominantly a B2B platform, ideal for connecting and collaborating with other professionals within your industry. Another platform that has changed a lot over the years but lacks the reach that other platforms have. YouTube: 2 billion active monthly users. Music, comedy, and education videos fit nicely here. As Google owns YouTube, videos will show up in Google search. The creation of good quality videos is important and also having time! Twitter: A real-time platform allowing users to post links and images. The Demographic is 35-65 years. Ideal platform for B2B. A lot of brands use it as a customer service platform. Unhappy customers tend to flock to Twitter when other conventional methods fail. With 192



million active daily users [28% based in the US], this platform needs a lot of time and energy. Pinterest: This is a platform where images are pinned, and users pin their likes onto their own pinboards. Images can be linked back to websites. Predominantly visited by females, 34% aged 35 to 50 and 35% aged 18 to 29. Used for inspiration with weddings, food, home décor and holidays being popular categories visited. TikTok: A social media platform used for creating and sharing videos. Popular with an age range 13-24, 60% of users are female and great for hashtag challenges. Ideal opportunity for educational content. A lot of controversy around this platform. Clubhouse: This exclusive platform launched in January 2020. It is an inviteonly audio-based app and only available to iPhone users. It allows users to host and join audio-based conversations.

TONY FARRELL INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER The Spectrum IFA Group, with over 20 years’ experience advising expatriates throughout Europe on all aspects of financial planning T: 05 55 89 57 94 E: TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L. Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 Paris. R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384). Société de Courtage d’assurances. Intermédiaire en opération de Banque et Services de Paiement. Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 – Conseiller en investissements financiers, référencé sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers

Join Our Online Community Let’s talk currency


Sue Cook Regional Coordinator Centre Ouest 87600 Rochechouart +33 (0)555 036 669 +33 (0)689 992 889 E: Siret: 444 729 008 00011

Advertise Your Business Call Sam or Gayle on 05 16 32 13 42 or email: etcetera 23


Keeping yourself active and mobile is the key to a healthy body

Take Those Burnt Calories to the Bank!

Louise works with the Fit for Life Association as a Clinical Weight Loss Coach. She is also a Hypnotherapy Practitioner Specialising in Hypnotic Gastric Band Therapy By Louise Cotton




t is nice sometimes to treat yourself for a job well done. So very true when it comes to exercise and weight loss or weight management. However, should we really be attempting to ‘bank that calorie bonus’ rather than wasting it? What does ‘bank the calorie bonus’ mean? With the introduction of electronic devices, such as Fitbits, Apple or Garmin Watch (there are so many), we are encouraged to monitor everything we do. Step rate – trying to get to that mystical figure of 10,000 steps a day. How many

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times we have been up and down stairs? How much sleep? Active minutes, heart rate, calories we have burnt. They do everything other than make the tea! They become very addictive, but in truth they are not all that accurate – some are out by 20% - 30%. If you are a wearer of one of these devices you may understand where I am coming from! What do we do with all of this information? Well, if you are anything like me, when I first started to lose weight, you

use it to your advantage – or at least that was what I thought!! The starting point - on average to lose 1lb per week a person needs to eat 500 calories a day less or burn an additional 500 calories. Easy right, just cut out all the things you love to eat and there you go. We know that this cannot be sustained in the long term and we start to revert back to old habits. The weight does not come off and we get frustrated and give up. The next step is to get yourself in the exercise mode. The television programmes


If you want to lose weight, you need to keep a careful eye on what you are eating, even if you are exercising!

and fitness people say eat less and move more and you will lose weight and therefore you get a tracking device and off you go. 10,000 steps a day and 2000 calories burnt! Brilliant – job done!

walked an hour. When trying to lose weight, rewarding yourself with food is a flawed plan. Find different ways to show yourself appreciation. A facial or having your nails done, an extra day on the golf course!

Calories in, calories out should work, but this is where we start to fall into the ‘exercise and reward trap’.

We tend to overestimate the number of calories we burn during exercise and underestimate the number of calories we eat. It is just what we do. ‘Banking’ these calories, i.e. ignoring that we ever burnt them or that we don’t have them to use as part of our daily calorie count, will start to produce results. It may not show immediately on the scales, but it could be in body shape due to muscle tone.

It improves your oxygen intake which in turn helps you burn calories, whilst improving your immune system and helps you fight disease

The mindset, “I have walked 3,000 steps more than I planned, therefore I can have an extra glass of wine” or you decide to have chocolate biscuits with your afternoon cup of tea as you


Speed of Activity Calories Burned





Less than 10mph






Walking & carrying clubs


Reward for Exercise 2x chocolate digestives 1 glass of white wine (150ml) 1 glass of white wine (150ml) & small packet crisps 113 g Strawberry cheese cake

Remember to exercise, within your capabilities. It improves your oxygen intake which in turn helps you burn calories, whilst improving your immune system and helps you fight disease. It can also help to relieve stress and worry. That has to be good at the moment. Let's put this into some real figures. Take a look at the table at the bottom of this page. This is the calorie table for an 11 stone / 70kg person. Going for a walk and cutting back on our portions just a little, (I know I sound like a broken record on portion control), makes taking those 500 calories out of our daily intake easier and we can still continue to enjoy the things we love.

Calories in Your Net Calorie Loss Reward 166







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Dealing with Loss

By Sim one Perrym an


Simone Perryman moved to the Charente several years ago with her now grown up family. She is passionate about mental health and as a Person Centred Counsellor has a private practice here. Currently working online or by telephone. Facebook Simone Perryman Wellbeing Solutions Tel 0604409719 or 0545 893034



process is not linear. For many the feelings osses present themselves in so many forms and being expats, this has not of grief are like being stuck in a whirlpool made this any easier. Not being able to see of emotions and going round in feelings of family members yet, unable to see new shock, anger, despair, denial, guilt to name born grandchildren and missing out on but a few and resulting in feeling those first moments that can never be overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. All reclaimed. Not being able to see family this naturally affects our mental and members before they pass and holding physical health. their hand one more time and telling them In order for change to happen, we have to to their face that you love them. accept the reality of the loss, to work Experiencing a funeral through the lens of through (experience) the pain of grief. One someone's phone in order to feel present must adjust to the environment in which and included. And often as westerners we the deceased person is missing, whilst say things like "I'm one holding on to their of the lucky ones" or "I memories and to In order for change to know others have it emotionally ‘relocate’ worse than me". We happen, we have to accept the deceased - and think we have to appear the reality of the loss, to move through with to still count our work through (experience) your life. None of blessings or deny and the pain of grief this is simple and dismiss our own feelings that's why its and needs to make important to be others feel comfortable. gentle with ourselves and seek The Emotions professional support when you need it. It Bereavement is the death of someone or a is so important not to compare your pet. Grief is what we feel and mourning is responses to the loss to others in your life what we experience and show to others on as there is no right or wrong way to grieve. the outside. Loss does not necessarily It is a deeply individual experience and life involve a death (for example, a job, a will feel more meaningful as we regain a business, a relationship) but can be sense of control in our lives. equally experienced as grief. If you are supporting someone who is Grief Is as Individual as Our Lives grieving please consider the following: It is what you feel inside and is a unique ▪ Be careful what you say and don't be mixture of fragility and resilience. It tempted to put a positive spin on what doesn't end (because the love doesn't end) they share. Platitudes like "At least he - but it does change. You will learn to live had a long life". Although this can with it, you will heal and rebuild yourself make it more palatable for the person around the loss you have suffered. You will who is speaking, it can leave the be whole again but you will never be the person who is grieving feeling angry same as there is no stage of closure. It's and alone. You can say "I am sorry about finding new meaning to living. and how can I help you" or "I feel so When I use the term healing, it doesn't helpless but I care about you, what mean the experience, it means that it no can I do?" longer controls our lives. What we can do ▪ Don't compare it to your own is honour and give attention and love to experience, unless it really is a our own grief and grow our lives around it. There is no time line to this and the fitting comparison.

▪ Don't cross the street to avoid talking to them. it will only lead to them feeling more alienated and could appear very hurtful. ▪ Don't push your faith on them if they don't share it. ▪ Do just reach out. They need to know that someone cares despite the situation. Gently judge their reaction and remind them you care even if they say they don't want your help right now. Don't take that personally either. ▪ Find your own way to express your love and care. Make them meals, offer to help them with arrangements, take them to appointments (sometimes they just need someone to drive because its hard for them concentrate). Keep checking in on them. Also keep inviting them to occasions even when they keep saying "No thanks". Eventually they are likely to say yes but it needs to be on their terms and takes time. ▪ Sometimes, just do it! Turn up and cut their lawn or collect their medicines or pick up some shopping. They might not want to be a bother but there is so much they won't have energy for. ▪ Listen and give them space to express themselves freely. ▪ Acknowledge how bad it really is for them, as saying "it could be worse" is just going to devalue them personally and their experience, which is very insensitive. ▪ Anxiety about doing and saying the right thing is really natural but trust your instincts in wanting to support and help. Be your kindest self and either ask them directly or try to figure what they need. There is probably little to worry about if your intentions are true.

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garden Physocarpus opulifolius 'Red Baron’



either tap roots, corms, bulbs, tubers or rhizomes. Spurred into growth by rising temperatures in the spring, they produce foliage first and then are triggered into flowering usually by a combination of day length and temperature. There are some herbaceous perennials that have almost evergreen foliage and some that flower during the winter such as Hellebores for example. Ornamental grasses are also included in this group. Many are completely hardy and can be planted permanently in the Generally speaking a garden, though some Generally speaking are frost tender and herbaceous perennial is a a herbaceous need winter plant that has a life span of perennial is a plant protection in frost that has a life span three or more years prone areas such as of three or more Agapanthus, Dahlia years – most live for and Pelargonium sp. many years. They Depending on where they originate, they do not produce permanent, woody growth can also have specific requirements such (their stems remain relatively soft) and as soil type, full sun, shade etc. most have a period of dormancy when the April is a good time to plant herbaceous stems die back and the plant survives the perennials as the soil is beginning to warm winter below ground storing energy in mixed border will consist of a range of shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, bulbs etc, whereas a herbaceous border is planted up using entirely herbaceous perennials. Planned well a herbaceous border can be full of colour, texture and form from early spring until late autumn but they can be fairly high maintenance and winter interest is limited, but for ‘plantaholics’ like myself, they are a space to enjoy collecting plants and enjoy them throughout the growing season.

By Caroline Wright

Caroline has been a lecturer in horticulture for 20 years and is now running a nursery and 'garden craft' courses in the Haute-Vienne at Le jardin creatif

up - it is generally still moist, and the plants are in active growth allowing the roots to develop well before the dry season starts. If you are planting up a full herbaceous border it is a good idea to cultivate the soil deeply and add organic matter before planting. For individual planting, dig a hole slightly larger than the rootball making sure that the soil is broken up at the bottom of the hole to allow easy root growth. Plant at the same depth as the level of compost in the pot and avoid burying the ‘crown’ (the base of the growing points just above soil level) of the plant. Water in well after planting and continue to water weekly in dry weather during the first season. Apply the water to the root zone rather than sprinkling onto

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garden Clockwise (from far left): Iris borders in Claude Monet’s garden, Giverny; Chrysanthemum, Thalictrum aquilegifolium. All of these herbaceous perennials create a stunning display of colour for our gardens. Choose your colours wisely, think about which ones complement each other and how they should be positioned in your garden

the leaves. Mulching will help to keep the root zone cool and moist and the soil in good condition. We use thin layers of grass clippings on our borders because it is high in nitrogen and in plentiful supply. Choose a selection of perennials to give colour and interest throughout the seasons. You can go for a riot of different colours or stick to a limited colour pallet for a harmonious effect. Here are a few of my favourite herbaceous perennials that we have found well suited to the climate here to add seasonal colour to your garden. There are many, many more! Early flowering: Iris – Give your border a flavour of ‘Monet’s Garden’ with some Iris scattered amongst other herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. Although they are fairly short lived, they give a stunning display in spring.

different cultivars ranging from the standard red/orange, deep orange, pale coral, yellows. Many of them will flower twice or even three times in the long season here if you deadhead them regularly.

Thalictrum aquilegifolium – With pretty, divided leaves similar to an aquilegia Phlomis – Another topped off with a good choice for some frothy mass of In our garden this stunning height, with the tiered flowers from deciduous shrub with deep whorls of flowers white, pale pink loved by the bees, burgundy red leaves stands up to and purple followed by attractive followed by the summer heat better than any ‘pompom’ seed heads attractive seed other shrub we grow that last well into heads, this spring the winter. flowering hardy perennial is easy to grow, naturalises well Teucrium – We have been growing a and complements the colours of cultivar called ‘Purple Tails’ which Iris perfectly. produces spires of purple flowers over a very long season. Fairly neat and compact Alliums – These ornamental onions and partly evergreen, good towards the produce their round explosions of spring front of a border. colour in blues, purples, white and pinks and if you are lucky, they will self-seed Late season/autumn: scattering themselves through your Hardy Chrysanthemums in a range of border. There are many varieties in pinks, oranges, deep reds. Single and various sizes and can be planted as bulbs semi-double flowers add a splash of in the autumn in between your other autumnal shades through October and perennials. They look great amongst early November - they really stretch the ornamental grasses too. season out. Mid-season: Hesperantha coccinea (formally known as Kniphofia cvs.– The red hot pokers, for Schizostylis), a member of the lily family, height and drama. There are many

with deep red flowers throughout autumn and early winter. Aster; related to the chrysanthemums (both members of the daisy family) also flower as the days shorten in autumn, their colour range is more blue, purple, pink which are all complementary colours to the golden/orange tones of the Chrysanthemums. Next month we will look at a group of plants known as ‘sub shrubs’. Although they can be included in a herbaceous border I decided to dedicate a whole article to them because they are worthy of a place in any garden.

le jardin creatif… Our nursery and garden are open every Saturday 10am-4pm where you will find a range of herbaceous perennials. Our herbaceous border is stunning in April and May - come and have a wander around the garden for inspiration, we are happy to give planting advice. We have our current plant list on our website and details of forthcoming courses and events.

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Springtime In the garden

By Ronnie Ogier



t this time of year weeds sprout up, develop and spread very quickly, so don’t ignore them. Digging over the soil just brings more seedlings to the surface. A more permanent approach is to run a hoe over the surface - this will whip the weeds out without disturbing what lies underneath. Keep on hoeing your beds regularly, you’ll banish annual weeds and weaken persistent perennials. But do weeds have any real value? Yes, in the ‘right’ place they can add value, and also, we can use them to our benefit. Firstly, they provide a useful indicator about soil type as, like every plant, they prefer different soils be that acid or alkaline, polluted or fertile. And yes, weeds can be composted, provided your compost heap is hot enough. So, don’t hate them or ignore them, accept them and use them. Perhaps we should look at ‘weeds’ with new eyes and see how we can work in partnership with them to enhance our gardens. Nettles have a bad reputation among gardeners - they sting and are invasive if left unchecked, but are a magnet for beneficial wildlife. They can be made into great plant food and are a surprisingly versatile ingredient in the kitchen. The most common nettle is Urtica dioica, a perennial plant full of iron, calcium, magnesium and nitrogen, which makes it incredibly nutritious for both other plants and humans. They are also key to the survival of butterflies, as a primary food source for many caterpillars including those of the Comma, Tortoiseshell and Peacock. Without nettles caterpillars would go in search of alternative food sources – probably one of your favourite plants. Aphids suck plants’ sap, stunting growth, but they are a vital source of food for many beneficial insects and birds. But aphids also love nettles - perhaps a patch of nettles could be allowed to survive as a ‘sacrificial’ plant, saving valuable ornamentals. And it’s just possible that the aphids might stunt the nettle growth! And finally, nettles are actually quite fussy about the soil in which they will grow. They require a soil rich in phosphates and nitrogen to thrive. If you see a patch, grow plants alongside that thrive in similar conditions.

I did suggest that we could USE nettles for our benefit – and yes nettle soup, although perhaps not a taste many people fancy trying, is tasty. Chopped nettles act as a natural activator and speed up the decomposition process in compost heaps. For the best results, make sure the nettles are thoroughly mixed with lots of different materials – dry, wet, soft and woody – otherwise they become slimy. Don’t add nettle roots, unless your heap is very hot. To make nitrogen-rich nettle feed, cut or crush the nettles into small pieces and cram into a large container. Weigh the nettles down with bricks and submerge with water. Store away from the house as this fermenting process is very smelly! Leave for three or four weeks, decant the liquid into old plastic bottles and to use, dilute this concoction one part concentrate to 10 parts water. Comfrey, though not seen by all as a weed, is a fast-growing, herbaceous, perennial plant of the borage family. It has thick and tuberous roots which form an invasive root system which allows the plant to “mine” compacted soils for minerals and other nutrients which are often difficult for other plants to obtain. It is this ability to help cycle nutrients through the soil that has given comfrey its designation as a dynamic accumulator plant. But it will self-sow, and is tolerant of most soil conditions and so can proliferate, potentially becoming a nuisance. The “Bocking 14” cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) has gained popularity in recent years, as this strain of the plant is sterile, and is thus unable to spread by seed, vastly reducing the risk for this comfrey to spread out of control once planted. Comfrey is rich in potassium - a liquid fertiliser can also be made, in a similar way to using nettle leaves by “steeping” the chopped leaves in water for several weeks. A dark, thick liquid is left. Once again decant into plastic bottles and dilute 12:1 – 15:1 prior to application. ‘Comfrey soup’ is excellent to encourage plants to flower. Comfrey leaves make an excellent fertiliser and provide a nutrient boost to compost mixes. Adding comfrey leaves to a compost heap gives the compost added nitrogen,

Ronnie is a passionate gardener and now loves sharing her years of experience of success and failures in her own garden and sharing it with you. Also a keen runner, having been bitten by the ‘Couch to 5K’ bug!

resulting in increased microbial decomposition of the compost. But don’t add too much as this will result in an imbalance in the carbon: nitrogen of the compost and can actually slow the decomposition rate. Additionally, comfrey leaves can used as a green manure and mulch, being cut, then spread over planting beds and left to decompose on site, further helping to condition soils. Powdery Mildew, Blackspot and Rust can be treated with a home-made organic solution. Black spot spreads by rain or overhead watering and may cause leaf drop if untreated. To make the solution, mix two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda and a teaspoon of cooking oil in five litres of water. Decant into a sprayer and apply liberally. Reapply weekly and after any rain. This spray helps change the pH level on leaf surfaces, making it more difficult for black spot to infect plants. The sooner rose black spot treatment starts, the easier it is to gain control of it. And to round off this article the bane of my gardening life – SLUGS and SNAILS! Some folks go round their garden in the evening just after dark with a torch and pick the slugs and snails off the paths and plants. This is effective provided you deal with the culprits – make sure that if you release them somewhere else that it’s over 30 metres (100ft.) away from your garden. Snails have a homing instinct! My response to this issue is garlic wash. Spraying plants with a garlic wash is one of the most effective ways of deterring slugs and snails, they apparently don’t like the taste. It’s also a root stimulant and protects against aphids. You need to begin early in the season, April, since the wash takes 4-6 weeks to become fully effective. Crush two large garlic bulbs (not cloves), in a plastic bag to save mess, add to a litre of boiling water and boil for ten minutes. I suggest that you leave the mixture to cool outside to avoid a lingering garlic smell in your kitchen. When cool, strain into a sieve, store in a capped bottle, and add two tablespoonsful to a litre of water in a spray bottle. Spray your plants every two weeks or so on a dry evening so that the garlic solution stays on the leaves longer and can be more easily absorbed.

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farm life Jane Goodall explores a wetland with a friend by William Waterway/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Volunteers help replant a butterfly garden by Steve Hillebrand/Wikimedia Commons

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farm life



ow that our natural resources are endangered, we are starting to realise just how important they are to our survival. To encourage drastic conservationist action through food system reform, the UN Environmental Programme is promoting a new report from Chatham House, London, an independent group of researchers and policy advisors. This year, crucial decisions must be made when investing in economic recovery from the pandemic and at various international summits discussing food systems. Environmentalist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall joined UN representatives to launch the report. As she explained, ‘People must understand that we cannot disassociate ourselves from the natural world. We’re part of it and we depend on it, for clean air and water and food and clothing and everything else. So, we have to develop a new relationship with the natural world.’

devastating cost to the ecosystems that support us. As Jane Goodall commented on the loss of biodiversity, ‘It’s very clear that we’re facing an absolute crisis today. We’re reaching a point of no return if we don’t take action’. In developed countries, the demand for food has grown as it has become cheaper, leading to overconsumption and wastage. This has lead to poor nutrition and health issues, making us more vulnerable to disease. Pandemics are also more likely to develop due to wildlife being driven into smaller spaces and coming in closer contact with people. The report recommends changing what we farm to healthier produce that has a lower environmental footprint, while reducing food waste.

Different crops have varying impacts on the environment with animal products using more space and emitting more greenhouse gases than plant crops. The report recommends reducing meat and dairy products and highly-processed foods in Agriculture has been identified as the main favour of plant-based proteins. Crops like driver of biodiversity loss and a major nuts, pulses and grains for contributor to human consumption would greenhouse gases People must understand require less land than growing that precipitate cereals to feed animals in that we cannot climate change. intensive indoor systems. disassociate ourselves Intensive farming Fortunately, these proposals degrades soils and from the natural world align with advice from health ecosystems and authorities, such as removes habitats. ‘MangerBouger’, France’s Programme Climate change and continued use of the national nutrition santé. MangerBouger land lowers its productive capacity, and so recommends increasing beans, lentils, requires input of more fertiliser, pesticides, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, while energy and water. As demand grows and reducing meat, sugar, salt and processed productivity declines, more land is required foods. This doesn’t mean we can’t eat meat to the detriment of nature. A complex of and dairy, but a substantial reduction vicious circles results in increased would improve health and take the biodiversity loss and climate change, while pressure off the land. our land loses its power to feed us. Modern agricultural methods were developed after the Second World War to ensure plentiful, cheap food; that goal has been achieved. However, prosperity and bounty has come at a great price to the environment. Cambridge University economist Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta recently released his paper on the failure of economics to take into account the rapid depletion of natural resources. He urges us to find new measures to avoid catastrophic breakdown. Prosperity has come at a

The change in consumption habits would allow two positive actions to improve the environment: set aside more land for nature to develop vital ecosystems; and allow more sustainable systems, such as organic and regenerative farming, to become predominant. These changes need a huge worldwide effort of many sectors to cooperate on national and international levels, including incentivising environmentally-friendly practices, providing farmers with

Tamsin Cooper is a smallholder and writer with a keen interest in animal behaviour and welfare By Tam s

in Coop er

alternative livelihoods, lifting communities out of poverty, subsidising families on low incomes, and changing trade rules to discourage detrimental practices. Even so, we can all do our bit. Susan Gardner, Director of Ecosystems Division at UNEP, encourages us: ‘We can vote with our forks. We can be empowered to decide what kind of food system we want to support.’ Our supermarkets are starting to give us more choice of organic ‘Agriculture biologique’ products, and are launching new ‘Niveau bien-être animal’ labels to inform us on how intensively animals are kept. In addition, ‘Nutri-score’ labels help us choose the healthier foods. We can also help by encouraging nature on our land and into our gardens. Just by resisting the urge to clear natural vegetation and letting lawns grow, we allow a diversity of wild plants and animals. We can farm and garden without pollutants, keep rare breeds and a range of heirloom plants, and leave some bounty for wild animals. On our smallholding, since we let our garden and field borders grow, we have seen a wonderful proliferation of insects and birds. This has been a delight to our souls as well as a haven for nature. I offer you a last word from Jane Goodall: ‘We need everybody to take action now, everybody to help in whatever way they can to move us towards a more sustainable planet for the sake of our children and theirs, and all the animals that we should share the planet with.’

Change the kind of food we eat - Farm more sustainably - Set aside land for nature.

Reduce consumption of animal products; Increase consumption of plant-based proteins; Reduce consumption of highly-processed foods; Buy organic products; Encourage nature in the garden; Farm with old breeds and heirloom seeds; Farm and garden without pesticides/fertiliser. Sources: / webinar: ps://

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here are a few restrictions regards temporarily prohibiting angling in areas where fish spawn, but on the whole it is a free for all for coarse fishing. Over the years I have been here I realise that whilst you can fish for carp, chub and barbel in the spring and early summer, quite often they have other things on their minds and don’t want to participate in our angling pleasure. April is the last month when fishing for cyprinids can be guaranteed before the majority of them begin the reproduction cycle. Roach are an exception, being early spring spawners, but most of the rest will usually commence some time in May once the water reaches its optimum temperature. This is a good month to get out, regulations allowing, and find some bream, chub, carp or barbel before they begin the reproduction cycle. By the end of the month results will become more patchy and that is the signal to turn to predator or trout fishing until normality returns in June. Time Flies For The Toothy Creatures April 24th marks the opening of the predator season according to the Fédération Départementale de Pêche of the Charente, Vienne and Haute-Vienne Departments. However these days it isn’t quite that simple. Whilst in the Category 2 water of the Charente department pike, zander and perch come into season in most of the rivers and some lakes on the 24th April, in the lakes St. Yriex, Lavaud, Mas Chaban and Serail and in the Category 1 section of the River Issoire the close season for zander extends to the 12th June meaning that any zander caught in those waters must be returned immediately. In the Vienne and Haute-Vienne departments the opening for pike, perch and zander is the 24th April, but black bass do not come into season until 3rd July. For some reason the Charente department does not have a close season for black bass, however all the above is subject to local amendments posted on notice boards alongside the water. You can check out local regulations, fishing seasons and the authorised hours of fishing by typing “peche” followed by the departmental number into your search engine. Fishing for pike and zander using fly tackle is increasingly popular in the UK and has also gained a foothold over here. The techniques vary tremendously as many zander anglers troll deep lures from boats

on ‘put and take’ trout reservoirs whilst most fly-fishing for pike involves casting large lures from the bank or boat and luring the pike during the retrieve. Pike flies, often called budgies due to their bulk, are best cast on a rod of at least a # 8 weight reservoir rod, preferably a #10 or #11 weight salmon rod. If using heavy lures for fishing deep where many pike are to be found, it is often useful to utilise a line one or two sizes less than the optimum weight for the rod, but it is important to use a weight-forward or special pike line and a strong mono’ leader to enable the fly to turn over during the cast. My own favourite general purpose fly-line for pike fishing is a sink tip line, and for summer use a conventional floater for fishing on the surface or just under. In spring and summer pike can be found cruising the margins of lakes looking for frogs and small fish. They also swim into bays hoping to ambush prey in the dead end as they flee the pike’s presence. In rivers many pike are caught at the tail of weir pools especially in the slack water just to the side of the main current.

caught in winter. There is also a belief that carp and catfish are more active at night. Maybe this is true, but there are many of both species caught in daylight hours. Almost all of our rivers and lakes will hold silure, some to an enormous size. They are quite secretive and rarely seen spending the day time hours in the shade of trees, undercut banks or in deep water. I have been fortunate to see silure swimming from one side of a river to the other as the movement of the sun shrunk the shadows they had been sheltering under. Some of you may have experienced seeing a patch of tiny bubbles suddenly and momentarily appear in your swim. That is the sign of a catfish crushing its prey in its bony mouth causing the victim’s swim bladder to burst and release the oxygen through the catfish’s gills. Last summer whilst margin fishing for carp this happened just as my rod jumped violently from its rest. The aggressor had crashed into my line during the ambush.

Many people are put off from fishing for silure because of the large size that they Perch too can be caught on fly tackle and can run to and the tackle required to catch in this case conventional trout rods and them. In practice the average size of a lines are suitable. Perch act like black bass catfish that you would expect to catch especially towards would be 20lb – 60lb, no dusk and will hunt bigger than a specimen down shoals of small carp and if you can safely The aggressor had fish, surrounding get into the water you crashed into my line them then driving don’t need a huge net to during the ambush through the shoal land them. Simply causing it to scatter. grabbing hold of the Solitary perch, usually the larger upper jaw and hauling the fish out onto a specimens, also hunt down small fish like a tarp’ or large mat will result in no more harrier after a hare. When you see a little than a few grazes on your fingers. You can fish skipping across the surface of the wear a gardening glove to avoid any grazes. water the cause will be a perch chasing They will take most things, but fresh dead after it. Fry type lures will catch perch from fish or Frolicks dog biscuits are good baits rivers and lakes and also bloodworm or to use for the occasional silure angler. shrimp imitations cast and allowed to sink French anglers fishing the Seine in Paris very near to weeds will lure fish that are catch many large silure using half a dozen using the weed as a cover. If you see a large Frolicks fished in deep water near to or shoal of perch, the tell-tale sign are lots of under bridges. Incredibly they catch the tiny spikes protruding through the surface fish on carp poles with beefed up elastic. film - you will stand a good chance of For silure you do need a large, very sharp catching lots of them using a long shank and strong hook and a hook link suitable pheasant tail nymph, ideally with some red for the rough pads of its mouth. You can or green in the thorax. That type of fly has buy special Kevlar line to use as a hook caught me hundreds of small perch. link, but strong, hard mono’ shock leaders Silure Awakening of around 40lb – 60lb works just as well. It used to be thought that silure, or wels You don’t need to cast far. In daylight catfish, were dormant in the winter many will be right up to the bank, under months. All that changed when photos of shade. It is a good idea to have a second huge catfish caught in the ice lined River rod with a spinner that you can use to Po in Italy were published. This is create splashes as these attract the silure to reminiscent of the belief of anglers in the investigate the cause of the noise and 1970s and 80s that carp could not be hopefully come across your bait.

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free time

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free time

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A Little Nest That Nestles Where the Roses Bloom

A Cape Weaver bird lays the foundation of its complex hanging nest, woven of stout grass

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he strict definition of a nest is a place where a bird lays its eggs and raises its offspring. Thus it can cover everything from a windswept cliff-ledge where a couple of Guillemot eggs roll around, to the snuggest woven structure a Weaverbird can prepare. Of course, the nest does not have to be in a tree. The simplest nests are the open scrapes of shorebirds, where the parents rely on the camouflage of their plumage and of the eggs to make the nest unnoticeable. A cliff-edge can house a few sea-bird eggs on bare rock, a rock-cleft can serve for a Puffin’s hideaway, or a huge mass of sticks can grow over the years to form an Eagle’s eyrie. Inaccessibility is the key to safety here. How safe is a nest? Some birds rely on communal nesting for safety. Large numbers of birds nesting together can discourage or bewilder a potential predator. Thus, we have the development of rookeries, where a group of tall trees will be filled with huge untidy nests and the raucous cry of the parent Rooks; or there are the riverside cliffs perforated with the multiple burrows of Sand-martins.

tiny interwoven twigs and grass stems, soft and slightly squashy, with a lining of feathers or, in some cases, a skim of dried mud. These familiar little nests vary of course in size, and in the details of their construction, but even an expert will be hard-put to identify the nest-maker, even if the eggs are present, from seeing the nest alone. The only safe way to be certain that you have identified the user of the nest is actually to observe the parent birds using it, sitting on eggs or raising their young. And of course, this must be done with enormous care, from a distance, without in any way disturbing or frightening the adults. Once you have found the nest, there is no need to keep watching it. Enjoy the comings and goings of the adults and, later, the fledglings, from a safe distance. The intricacy of the construction is what usually impresses with these little nests. When one considers that the entire structure has been built by means of a beak, by instinct, the feat is astounding. But these are not the most intricate nests by any means.

The Long-tailed Tit, a not infrequent Mostly, though, birds choose to hide their visitor to any garden, prepares a tiny nest, nests in deep cover, and breed in a small hidden deep inside a bush or dense tree, group. The nest may be hidden in a cleft or and strongly fixed in place. It is the size of hole in a tree-trunk; it may be fixed firmly a pint-pot, woven of fine twigs, soft grass in the fork of a tree-branch; it may be in a and moss bound with spider-web silk. The cavity in a wall. It may even be in an old entrance is near the kettle or the engine top, and closes of an abandoned car, almost completely; examples of inside, the nest is Inside, the nest is lined with crossovers into the lined with between between one and two world of Mankind one and two thousand tiny feathers especially popular thousand tiny with Robins. feathers. Once the nest is nearing The choice of nestsite is often reflected in the shape of the completion, one parent enters it and eggs, though these are by no means hardwriggles around to achieve the final and-fast rules. Birds that nest in holes or roundness and smoothness. Then the eggcavities tend to produce round eggs, as laying can begin. As the family hatches there is no danger of them rolling away. and grows, the nest grows with it. It is Birds who make cup-shaped nests seem to elastic, and can swell considerably to produce lightly conical eggs, which can accommodate the growing chicks and the pack together rather more neatly. Birds parent bird (usually the female) that is that nest on open flat sites tend to have feeding and tending them. eggs that taper sharply. This has been The Swallows and House Martins have a interpreted as preventing them from very different approach to nest-building. rolling far, as they tend to roll in short These reject the usual nesting materials in curves, and allowing the eggs to be packed favour of mud! We are all familiar with the together much more tightly to enable the cup-shaped nests attached to the eaves of entire clutch to be covered simultaneously houses. Everybody calls these “Swallow’s by the parent’s body. nests” but they are not. Only the House How is a nest made? Martin builds like this, forming the nest from wet mud which it plasters in place When we think of a nest, of course, we then allows to dry before adding the next picture the soft, reassuring, cup-shaped bit. The nests tend to be communal, but nest that used to grace the Nature Table at school. About three inches across, made of not closely packed. The same House

By Mik

e Geo r ge

Mike George is our regular contributor on wildlife and the countryside in France. He is a geologist and naturalist, living in the Jurassic area of the Charente

Martins will return year after year to the same nest to breed. Swallows tend to nest in barns, building a cup-shaped nest of mud on a secluded beam or ledge. Swallows also will return to the same nest year after year. For both these species, it is good if you can provide an area of wet mud for them to use if the weather is dry. Swifts choose to nest in cavities in roofs or walls. They don’t use mud to line these, just an untidy scatter of twigs and dry nesting-material. Birds’ nests you can eat One bird, the Cave Swift or Swiftlet, a distant relative of the swifts that swoop over our fields in summer, lives in southeast Asia and north Australia. It builds its nest in caves, as its name suggests, fixed to the cave wall by the curious method of binding the nesting materials with its own saliva. Like most saliva, this contains a binding-protein called mucilage, which sticks together the twigs, feathers, bits of seaweed and so on that form the shelf-like nest, and also ensures it adheres firmly to the cave wall. The Swiftlet’s diet is exclusively insects, but the nest-building males gorge themselves on seaweed, which causes an overproduction of saliva for nest-building and also imparts a briny seaflavour to the ensemble, which is what aficionados of this bizarre delicacy crave. I am told that the nests must be soaked in water overnight, the bits of feather and faeces removed, then the resultant gelatinous fluid is added to a chicken broth base with onions, sake and eggwhite to produce the desired treat. As Hilaire Bellock wrote in On Food, Birds in their little nests agree With Chinamen but not with me The supreme nest-builder Probably the most accomplished – certainly the most flamboyant - nestbuilder is the Weaver Bird. These are a group of finches slightly larger than a sparrow, who live in the tropical Old World, chiefly Africa south of the Sahara and India and Burma. There are about 100 species, each with its own nest-building characteristics. However, they fall into two basic types; the communal and the social. All Weaver Birds have the instinct to build strong nests by weaving together long strips of palm-leaves or stout grass. They

etcetera 43

nature A Mute Swan builds a large but relatively unstructured nest at ground-level

A large colony of weaver-birds' nests

A Long-tailed Tit standing on its nest of vegetable material bound with spider-silk. Note the opening near the top of the nest. The bird is bringing feathers to line the nest

Nest with eggs of a Blackbird. The cup of the nest measures roughly 5 cm in diameter

are the only birds credited with an ability to tie knots! About 300 or 400 strips of leaf, often some 18 inches long, will go to make one nest, which will be broadly shaped like an inverted vase about 4 inches high with a nest-chamber and in some species an entrance-chamber as well. The entrance itself is usually at the bottom of the nest, and may in some species be extended out into an entrance tube. In the social Weavers, each nest is separate, but one tree may contain many nests, each hanging free on its thin but strong attachment from a branch. The Communal Weaver species cooperate in making a huge structure among the branches, containing several nests. This structure is often used year after year. Interestingly it is the male Weaver Bird that builds the nest. When it is half-completed, he will display and call on it until a female signals her readiness to partner him. At this point he will complete the nest. The female may make some additions and alterations, but chiefly her job is raising the chicks. The male may then make another nest and entice a second female to raise a family in it! So how can I observe a nest?

The curiously translucent nests of the Cave Swiftlet. It is these that are collected to make birds' nest soup "Edible-nest Swiftlet" by Mike Prince is licensed under CC BY 2.0

44 etcetera

The answer is, don’t! If you find a nest, back off and leave it be. Do not touch it or peer in to see the eggs or chicks. If the parents are away, they will return directly, and they may well be frightened off by your presence. Take a quick photograph if you feel you must, but it is better not to linger. From a distance, note the details of the nest (where it was, if in a tree or shrub, what that was, how high off the ground, what type of country or urban environment it was in, of what was it constructed). Wait at a safe distance to see if an adult bird visits the nest – that is the safest way to identify the owner. The important thing is to protect the nest-builders and their family. Your curiosity, laudable though that is, comes a poor second! If you want to follow the progress of a clutch of nestlings in detail, there are plenty of websites with nest-cameras, set up by trained professionals, which allow you to watch the chicks’ development. The BBC Springwatch program normally follows several. You will learn more from these than from watching a solitary nest in your own garden – and in comfort!

home & specialist

Enhancing Your Home

Sarah is a mum of four who loves giving old pieces of furniture a new lease of life from her boutique in Le Dorat.

By Sarah Taylor



o be honest, the answer probably has quickest and easiest ways you can spruce up a room. something to do with a staged design and a huge budget! However, you don’t Showcase a few pieces and keep focus necessarily need a large bank account to away from clutter. (Difficult to do when enhance the design of your home. There you’re a mum and your kids like to take are plenty of ways you can make your over your living space. But investing in a home look more few nice storage containers expensive on in this situation means you A simple, minimalist a budget. can quickly declutter design is one of the without having to remove All you really need is quickest and easiest ways their toys and must-haves.). a little creativity. you can spruce up a room For walls the general rule is Here are a few tips simple: big wall, big art; to get you started. small wall, small art. Small pieces on a big wall will make your art look lost and large DECLUTTER pieces on small walls draw a room in. When you look at photos of "designer" Large art pieces don't need to be rooms, you’ll notice they have at least one expensive. Just buying a canvas and thing in common, there’s no clutter. A creating your own original work of art using leftover paint, fabrics or other items, simple, minimalist design is one of the

Comme Ci Comme Ca

if presented well, will give the space a feel of luxury.

LIGHTING Lighting can make a space feel more glamorous. The key is to use the right type of lighting. You don’t want to flood your space with harsh lighting so try using different kinds of lighting rather than depending on the overhead light or the "big light" as my dad always called it. Lamps and decorative lighting such as candles allow you to control both the brightness and the overall mood of the room.

CURTAINS High ceilings are another characteristic in expensive-looking homes. Instead of

etcetera 45

hanging curtains in their traditional spot above the glass, try raising your curtains up. This will draw the eye upward and create the illusion that the room is taller than it actually is.

FURNITURE Your budget might not allow for new furniture, but upcycling is a great option. But needless to say, if it's not broken don't chuck it out. There are lots of ways to upcyle or repurpose. I will cover this area in more depth in my next article.

PLANTS AND FLOWERS Fresh flowers and potted plants I always feel enhance a room’s design. They add colour, fragrance and texture to a room. A few strategically placed plants, real or

fake, will always make your home look more enhanced.

furniture can also work to make your home look more expensive. Don’t be afraid to choose soft furnishings with bold colours and patterns!

If, like me, you’re not great at keeping plants alive, choose hard-to-kill succulents and cacti. A large fern will also look A few strategically placed good in the corner of plants, real or fake, will a room, but a dying always make your home plant won’t do you look more enhanced any favours! Potted plants are the more budget-friendly option, but you can also splurge occasionally on fresh-cut bouquets.

ACCESSORIES The use of throws and cushions to disguise old -- or to bring to life plain palette --

Throws and cushions are also great for when you feel like you need a change but don’t have the funds for a complete makeover. Simply swapping them for a different colour or switching cushions and throws from different rooms can give a room a whole new feel.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS Never be afraid to ask input from those who know you best. Bouncing ideas is fun and free!

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aster Sunday has moved again so we will explore a little about why Easter changes from year to year. We can also look out for a number of interesting meetings between a few planets, bright stars and the Moon throughout the month. April is the time to spot some bright fast meteors during the Lyrid shower and we have so much more news to look forward to from the surface of Mars as the lander Perseverance (hopefully) continues to explore the surface of the planet. Our constellation focus for this month will be Lyra and the bright star Vega - found in that constellation - will be our object of the month. We continue to explore some of the astronomy jargon in this article shining a light on the terms 'Constellation' and 'Asterism'. Lastly, I

48 etcetera

just wanted to mention the astronomy group I have started on Facebook. It is called 'Astronomy and Astrophotography France'. I hope to share - with any English speakers here - a little more of my love of the stunning skies here in France. I will be posting information about upcoming astronomical events, images, sketches and more so please do have a look and join us. I hope it could become a sort of online Astronomy Club for anyone with an interest in anything related to the night sky. Easter Sunday : 4th April The spring festival, now involving chocolate, rabbits, eggs and chickens is a moveable feast and has long been linked to Lunar cycles. This year Easter Sunday will be on the 4th which is one week after

the full moon in March. The reason for this is linked to the Jewish lunar calendar. The time of the 'Passover' has been noted in the Bible and also honoured by Christians since the early centuries. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus was then seen as the perfect sacrifice during 'Passover' and this time was linked to the Hebrew calendar and the Moon phases. The Spring Solstice and the following full moon tell us when 'Passover' should be honoured. Full moon was on March 28th so the Sunday following that is Easter Sunday. The Moon and Planets in April The darkest skies and therefore the best viewing times will be during the week before and the week after 'New Moon'.

astronomy Join us Facebook group - Astronomy and Astrophotography France We’re very excited to have started up this group, a place to share experiences of the night sky in France, for English-speaking residents.

By Clair Wardla e w

This is when the Moon is too close to the one another, but from our view point on Sun to be visible to us and will occur on Earth they line up to form the well-known the 12th this month. This is known as Day patterns. An asterism is a popularly 1 in the Lunar phases cycle. On the known pattern or group of stars, often mornings of the 6th and 7th a very pretty formed from stars in different crescent Moon will be visible close to the constellations. One of the easiest to spot planets Jupiter and Saturn. Look towards will be appearing in our skies as summer the south-east just before 7am. The Moon approaches,the Summer Triangle. It’s will be in the company of the bright star formed from three stars in three different Antares (the 'alpha' star of the constellations; Vega, Denab and Altair. constellation Scorpius), in the southThese three stars are found in Lyra, west on the morning of the 29th. It should Cygnus and Aquila and the triangle can be a stunning view in the twilight around help us to navigate to many other 6am. During the evenings of the 15th to astronomical objects. 17th, Mars will be seen close to a crescent Constellation of the Month : Lyra Moon in the west around 10pm. On the The bright constellation of Lyra or The night of the 17th it will be only 0.1 degrees Lyre sits close to the constellation of from the Moon. Forming a sort of triangle Hercules. Looking south it can be found around this pair you can also spot the star high in the east throughout the month. It Capella (above and to the left), the is seen just on the edge of the now Pleiades (below and right) and the star returning Bellatrix (to the left). The Milky Way. beautifully coloured stars The shape Castor and Pollux can be of the seen forming a line with It has long been in our nature to musical the Moon at midnight on find patterns and to create stories instrument the 19th, looking west. or myths to help us understand The Lyre The full moon will occur much in the world around us may be a on the morning of 27th little tricky this month. It will be to see but 100% full at 4.30am if you will be able to make out the central you are up with the lark. It is also known parallelogram of stars which seem to hang as The Pink Moon, not because it is pink from the constellation's alpha star of but because of the pink blossom of the Vega. In mythology the Lyre was phlox plant which flowers in early spring. played by the mythical musician Orpheus Shining a light on astronomical during his journey into the jargon: 'Constellation' or 'Asterism' Underworld. Lyra is ranked the 52nd Finding your way around the wonders of largest constellation. After Vega, the other our often beautifully clear skies here in notable stars of this constellation are; France can seem a little daunting at first. Sheliak -Beta Lyrae, Delta-1 Lyrae (a When I began exploring my passion of double star visible to the naked eye), astronomy six years ago the first pointers and the quadruple star Epsilon Lyrae (a I learnt were the brightest and most double double). If you can see this as a prominent constellations and asterisms. double with the naked eye it is supposedly It has long been in our nature to find proof of very good eyesight! With a patterns and to create stories or myths to telescope, it may be possible to spot the help us understand much in the world Planetary nebula of M57, otherwise around us. The night sky is thus full of known as The Ring Nebula. I hope to characters, animals, and surprising image this beautiful, apparent 'ring of objects - such as musical instruments smoke' this year as Lyra moves across the which 'map' the expanses above. southern sky. Astronomers use these labels of Object of the month: Vega constellations and asterisms to help point The star Vega shines brightly in the the way and divide up sections of the sky. constellation of Lyra. Its magnitude is We now use 88 official constellation 0.0. (the scale used to measure apparent names which are given a rank in terms of brightness). Everything is given comparative size. Each constellation a brightness value relative to Vega. As we describes a named pattern of stars or area move from Spring to Summer we can of the night sky around these stars. The watch Vega travel across the skies as part largest of the constellations is Hydra, the of a pattern known as the Summer smallest Crux. The stars in each Triangle. It is a bright, bluish star which constellation are not necessarily close to

Claire Wardlaw, originally from Edinburgh, lives in the Charente with her husband. Since their move nearly 6 years ago, Claire has become passionate about astronomy.

you can easily see with the naked eye despite the fact that it is 26 light-years away. It is really a double star and its diameter is 2.64 times that of our sun. It is the fifth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest in the northern hemisphere. Vega is only about 450 million years old, a relative youngster. Because the Earth wobbles on its axis, Vega used to be our North Star and in about 12,000 years it will be again, so look out for that.... Observations of the star from 2006 were able to reveal that it is rotating very quickly, spinning once every 12.5 hours. Meteor shower for April: The Lyrids The best night, or 'peak' for viewing Lyrid meteors will be on the 22nd - 23rd. While the Moon will be brightening again by then - only four days before it is full - you can look out for Lyrids during other nights prior to the peak when the moon will be less of an interference. These particular meteors have a fairly moderate rate (expect around 18 per hour) but they are fast and could leave persistent trains. The region of the sky where they will seem to eminate from is close to the constellation of Lyra. If you are planning an evening of meteor spotting, go out at least half an hour beforehand to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. A comfortable lounger chair positioned to give you as clear a view of a large part of the sky is ideal. Get your long-johns on and a glass of something warm and you are all set. News in Brief! On the 18th February this year N.A.S.A landed the ‘Perseverance Rover' on the surface of the planet Mars. I was glued to the live images coming from the control rooms as the seven month journey came to a tense ending. Ninety seconds after a successful landing the transit van sized scientific explorer sent back its very first images. How incredible to imagine this, the most sophisticated rover ever to be sent to the red planet. It is carrying seven instruments, two microphones and twenty three cameras. A 360 degree detailed panoramic image is being explored by the mission team. It is planned (at time of writing) that the helicopter which travelled on board the Perseverance 'Ingenuity' will make its first flight on the planet soon. More news and amazing images are expected from the rover during the coming weeks and months. Happy stargazing!

etcetera 49

getting connected

not the same as Freeview? Well, in a move Freesat box is connected to the HDMI2 that has been specifically designed to annoy socket on your TV then that’s the source you


Robert Foulkes

The new 4K Freesat+ receivers (the ones that record stuff) are now available from Amazon UK. However, they won’t deliver to France. So, that’s not really that much use. Another seller is Currys/PC World, who also don’t deliver here. And, it’s still not the same as Freeview. A little late to the party, as I wasn’t notified until after last month’s article had been submitted, but at present, there are no new domestic Tooway (satellite need to watch Freesat. If your DVD player internet) activations. This is due to the is connected to HDMI3, then, well, you get fact that Beam 15, which covers our entire the idea. region of France, is at full capacity. If you Smart are great, butyou aremay onlywell as smart have aTVs Tooway system, have as the user. Please remember thatthe just noticed it running slower during lockdown andTV subsequent holidays. because your can accessschool the internet, it Business tariffs butare these doesn’t mean it’llremain get theavailable UK TV you cost more You money area advertised H.T. expecting. stilland need satellite tuner. (hors taxe) meaning that 20% TVA will Don’t forget that unless you live in dept 79 need to be added for use by private or the west of dept 86, I’ve moved too far away to be able to assist you. (Please see the advert for the areas we cover.)

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me, the two companies are merging. This Which I guess,sense, is another downside kind of makes but the previousto my features. theory still applies. Freeview is for a terrestrial aerial (bad for France) whilst Freesat is for a satellite dish (good for STUART An increasing amount of new TVs have a France). satellite tuner already built into them. WALLACE Don’t forget that though yourtoFreesat This means that even you do not need use a box should pick up any ‘behind the scenes seperate satellite receiver (Sky box, THE FRENCH HOUSE changes’, it might not. So, if reception. you suddenly Freesat box etc) for UK TV You find you’ve lostone a channel that you willthat know if it has by a) looking forhad yesterday, doing a ‘First Time DVB-S onit’s theworth specifications or, more Ha! You thought you had got rid of me Install’ This will likely, again. b) by looking toensure see if itthe hasreceiver a didn’t you? Well, no way Pedro. I’m still finds all the latest software upgrades threaded male connection point nextand to here. Sort of. How are you all doing? Well, I channel changes. the traditional push fit aerial socket. If it hope. For those of you lucky enough to has,just you’re good OK, to go overtoitgo.They again. Ifare yousometimes get a have covid jabs, a little less user friendly than something something Hellohad andyour welcome. How please are youtell allus message on your TV that says what it feels like to be free. However, whilst like a Freesat box, doing? Well, I hope. Surviving like ‘channels not you travel agent but you can create a the wait heat for andyour the continuing stored’, then you are Smart TVs are great, to become available, let me favourites list to requirement to wear masks? almost certainly on but are only as smart inform you, delight you, or make life easier. Do I’ve actually been told that the wrong source simply take five minutes of as the user not be told you have wearing a mask makes me input on your TV. At your time to tell you about the to buy a seperate more attractive. I’m not sure if this stage, after quite (this receiver box, you that'sfrankly in a '50crazy Shades ofmay Grey' ensuring that your satellite receiver is on, not be true) satellite TV.insult. don’t. scenario, or,world moreof likely, it’s an you only need to be using your TV remote Still,know I don’t care. I’ve got You how I always saythick thatskin. Freesat is control to select the correct source. If your


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Building - Renovation - Carpentry Fully qualified stone mason with 25 years’ experience

House Renovations • Barn Conversions Roofing • Masonry • General Building Competitive rates, high quality & reliable workmanship guaranteed

T. 05 17 30 18 35 / 06 33 85 65 66 Email: Siret: 478 608 105 00029

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AC Kitchens & Bathrooms

Charente / Haute-Vienne / Vienne Specialist Fitter, over 15 years’ experience PLUMBING - CUSTOM WORKTOP FITTING - CARPENTRY TILING - WOOD & LAMINATE FLOORING - DESIGN SERVICE

Free quotes

Email: 05 17 36 17 74 or 05 55 48 27 17 / Mobile: 06 40 08 08 81 Siret 834026437 00022

Siret: 49411778100018


Kitchens & Bathrooms Dry Lining - walls and ceilings Tiling - walls and floors Painting and decorating Wood and Laminate flooring Fully insured with 10 year guarantee Based in Dept 16 but will travel

Tel. 05 45 31 60 68 / 06 72 90 24 90 Email:


▪ Tube & Fitting Scaffold ▪ Free Quotations ▪ Fully Insured

Covering 79, 86, 16, 17

Siret: 80025145600011

Siret 85105133400015


Mick Van Ackeren T. 07 50 63 19 37

Full English Scaffolding Service Safe, secure, adaptable. Meets all safety regs. Covered by full public liability insurance. Delivered, erected, and dismantled Over 20 years’ experience. Free Quotes.

Depts 16, 87, part 24, 17, 79 & 86 Day: 07 85 44 26 66 / Eve: 05 45 66 49 87

All aspects of building work undertaken: 3 Renovations 3 Barn Conversions 3 Plasterboarding / Plastering 3 Brick/Blockwork/Stonework/Repointing

05 55 60 47 78 06 10 49 49 57 siret: 49895173000015

05 55 60 72 98 07 81 53 71 91 siret: 53229047500013

One Builder Tout Batiment Lathus - Le Dorat - Bellac - La Souterraine Dompierre-les-Églises - Saint-Léger-Magnazeix - Magnac-Laval

Registered in France 2001 05 55 60 86 62 / 06 71 78 94 34

With over 20 years’ experience (8 in France)

Plasterboarding; stud work; rail; skimming boards existing walls; rendering; floor screeding; tiling floors and walls T: 06 45 18 86 10 Email: Decennale insured

Siret 527 736 326 00010

French Architectural Designer

Andrew Hadfield Based 87330 References Available




Troy Davey


Siret 434972303RM87

Permis de construire Déclaration préalable

06 30 91 81 84

ARCHITECT John Hartie B.Arch. A.R.I.A.S, R.I.B.A ORDRE des ARCHITECTES no. 073326 Based in La Rochefoucauld for over 12 years 14 Rue des Bans 16110 La Rochefoucauld T: 05 45 91 73 90 / 06 81 90 18 87 Email: Eco-Buildings - New Build Renovations - Barn Conversions

Siret. 500 835 189 000 16

MV Services

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artisans Roofing / Renovations Roofing / Renovations ALL ASPECTS OF ROOFING / RENDERING & POINTING - Zinc / PVC guttering - Anti-moss - Insulation & Plaster boarding - Interior / exterior renovations For a free quotation please contact: Howard (fully bilingual, living in France since 1990, 10 yr décennale Insurance)

Tel: / Email: Depts: 87,86,16 & 23 Siret: 799 894 860 000 11

ROOFING SPECIALISTS Insurance guarantee on all work. 15 years’ experience


Based Saint-Junien. Covering Depts 87-16-24 Siret : 531 655 231 00 11

Siret 489 815 258 00012

Sun Terraces (traditional joinery),

Roofing, Carpentry, Stonework, Renovations & Restorations 30 yrs’ experience

Depts 16, 24, 87 Tel: 05 45 21 63 96 Email:

Advertise Your Business From as little as 35€ ttc

New edition - every month

Contact Sam or Gayle:

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M&M Sandblasting ~ Services ~ Superior Services - Good Workmanship - Honesty


Fully registered and insured Trading in France since 2007

05 55 63 58 85 / 06 42 23 38 57

Call Mark for a free quotation: T: 05 55 44 71 44 / M: 06 78 60 96 16 Siret no. 493 159 412 00037

Siret 82184631800011

Minidigger, Driver & Tipper Truck Free estimates Gravel driveways, rubbish/ tree stump removals, trenches etc Email Dave Good 0549 073358/ 0675 180913 Based near Couhé 86/79/16 siret 5250162590018

EXCAVATION SERVICES Siret 82184631800011

3 ton Digger Dumper/Tipper & Driver Demolition Cherry Picker Hire Hydraulic Concrete Breaking For more information and a quote

please contact Matthew or Mandie Farraway 05 55 63 58 85 / 06 42 23 38 57

South West France Fosse Trained-Approved-Recommended


Etudes * Conception * Surveys Maintenance * Service * Remedial

See all our work on

Siret 8234 2070 800013


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motors & removals


CHABANAIS WORKSHOP Free courtesy cars - Valeting - Car storage with free airport drop offs - Cambelts - Diagnostics - Welding Electrics - Tow bars - Tyre-fitting/Punctures - A/C CT Prep - Garden Tools & Chainsaws Sharpened Email Tel. 06 01 59 60 75 Siret: 815 114 7720 0016

Walton Coachworks 87600 Vayres Nick Walton

Typically 40% cheaper than French prices

Tyre fitting, inc balancing : 12€ Tracking/Alignment : 35€ Car/Van servicing : 75€ + parts E: T: 0545 306707

Full and Part Loads Relocations in France

siret 53821341400013

Depts 16, 86, 87 & 24 (Car & van servicing, Towbars & LHD lights) Any make of Car or Van Fully mobile service at your address

MECHANICAL WORK ON ALL MAKES & MODELS IRRESPECTIVE OF AGE • Welding • Servicing • Diagnosis • Stereo & CD installation • LHD lights & tow-bars fitted • Wheel alignment • Replacement tyres & balancing • Interior & exterior valeting


• Pre-Controle Technique check • Top quality tyres (within 48 hrs) • Parts available same day or in 24hrs - less common cars 3-day delivery Tel: 07 87 65 53 11 / 05 55 78 67 02

Siret 502 021 660 00019

Packing & Storage Options

Tel: 05 49 07 24 85

Franglais Deliveries siret: 48252490700011

TRANSITION REMOVALS Family run business based in France which prides itself on a personal professional service. 7 tonne truck to and from the UK and Europe, we also have a box trailer for larger loads. Our highly experienced staff provide a door to door service with packing and dry secure storage We are a professional furniture removal company NOT a man and a van. Please call Phil and Jean Evans....

Phone (+33) 05 55 34 19 46 Mobile (+33) 06 80 75 87 14 Email Visit

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motors & removals Est’d 2007

I’m free…. But I could be yours

A Family Run Storage Firm in the Heart of the Limousin

Advertise Your Business

Brexit-busting Super Low Prices! Secure, dry, insulated storage NEW! 14.5m HIGH CHERRY PICKER

From just 35€ ttc per month

Now storing cars, caravans and camping cars

Call Karen for a quote on 09

66 03 52 89







OFFICE: 0044 (0) 1522 569 099 ANDY: ANDY DY: DY Y: 0044 (0) 7876 504 547 DAVE: A AVE: 0044 (0) 7515 722 772 EMAIL: ENQUIRY@WATSONEUROPEAN.CO.UK

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PROPERTY SALES IN FRANCE Private Property Sales with Expert Advice

Sell Your Home Privately on an Established Website With Excellent International Coverage


Advertise Your Home FOR FREE

To advertise your property contact us on

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Simon Hayman

Le Beau Bois Carpentry, Rancon 87290

Tel: 06 28 93 56 28 E:

BESPOKE OAK FURNITURE - please visit my website to see the full gallery of my work

SKIRTING BOARD MADE TO ORDER PINE 7.50€ PM - OAK 17€ PM (torus shaped)

For more info visit: siret 50428351600012





Installation of an air to water heat pump * Are you eligible for the new "prime CEE coup de pouce pac" (3500€ or 5000€)? IT is now deducted straight from your quote AND combinable with the grant MaPrimeRénov*

(up to 4000€)

*please note the MaPrimeRénov grant depends

upon approval from MaPrimeRénov, not New Wave Energies


Visit our facebook page to see customer feedback and get tips on energy saving.



Return form to: New Wave Energies, 51 Rue Descartes, 87000 Limoges

FAST RESPONSE New Wave Energies • Siège social : 51, rue Descartes 87000 Limoges Tel : 0 981 324 237 • S.A.S.U. au capital de 50 000 euros • N° de Siret 800 247 274 00035 66 etcetera

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