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etcetera I’M FREE - TAKE ME, KEEP ME!

YOUR COMPANION FOR LIFE IN THE FRENCH COMMUNITY

APRIL 2020

Keeping

Ourselves Healthy IN BODY & MIND

1 GARDENING • EXPERT ADVICE • ASTRONOMY • PUZZLES •etcetera RECIPES


hello & welcome

Contents

CONTACT US:

3

A note from the editors

4

What’s on

6

COVID-19

10

Craft

12

Language

14

Food

16

Business & assistance

20

Health

24

Garden

32

Farm life

34

Fishing

36

Wildlife

38

Animal

40

Night sky

We would like to thank our advertisers, who, despite testing and difficult times have been able to remain loyal and constant. Our contributors, who have provided us with last-minute relevant features (with a good smattering of escapism) which will help us through these times. And to Bob Webb, for his sterling work on our new website, enabling a quality online viewing experience in time for the April edition.

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Free time (bumper!)

Keep well, keep safe.

45

Home & Specialist

47

Getting connected

50

Artisans

58

Motoring & removals

61

Property

63

Opinion

64

Classified

Subscribe Annual subscription France 45€ / UK 45€ Card payment by telephone

Advertise Copy date 15th of each month (except December which is the 11th). Commercial adverts: Please see our Media Pack at www.etceteraonline.org What’s On/Listings: 12€ per 50 words for a guaranteed spot or free (space permitting) Classified listing: 6€ per 25 words plus 3€ per photo Property listing: 10€ per 50 words plus 6€ per photo

Photo credits: Bigstock, Pixabay,

A Note from the Editors

Code APE 5814Z Edition de Revues et Periodique Siret 80903463000016. La Présidente G. Feasey Registered. Le Bourg, 87360 Verneuil Moustiers. Impression: Rotimpres. Pol. Ind Casa Nova. Carrer Pla de l’Estany s/n. 17181 Aiguaviva (Girona) Espagne. etcetera est gratuit. While we always do our best to ensure the content in this magazine is given in good faith and businesses are reputable, we accept no liability for any errors or omissions and do not endorse any companies, products or services. Articles written are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of etcetera magazine.

Tel: 05 16 32 13 42 email: editors.etcetera@gmail.com website: www.etceteraonline.org 17 rue des Chaumettes 86290 St Léomer

etcetera magazine

@etceterafrance

Welcome to the April edition of etcetera magazine. We’ve worked hard to get this edition out to you, our tight monthly deadlines allowing us to create an up-to-date magazine reflecting the unprecedented situation we have all found ourselves in.

Gayle and Sam

EU

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: www.orange.com/en/home 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: simpleenergywithedf@edf.fr CPAM - 08 11 36 36 46 English Helpline 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 www.aafrance.net

Please download the pdf from this link now: www.paysruffecois.fr/sante/guide.pdf

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 www.counsellinginfrance.com SSAFA France 05 53 24 92 38 email france@ssafa.org.uk French Health Insurance. Call the special English-speaking Advice Line provided by Ameli: 0 811 36 36 46 from France (local call price from fixed-phone line). Call 0033 811 36 36 46 from foreign countries (call rates vary between operators). NHS website : www.nhs.uk/using-thenhs/healthcare-abroad www.ameli.fr No Panic France Helpline: No Panic UK helpline: 0044 1 952 590 545 11h - 23h (French time) 7/7 www.nopanic.org.uk /nopanicfrance@orange.fr 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 www.ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/ Credit Agricole English Speaking Helpline Charente (residents only) 05 45 20 49 60 Anglofile - Radio for British in Charente www.rcf.fr Tues 20h (repeated Sun 11h30). Angouleme 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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listing

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listing

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listing

All you need to know to

KEEP CALM & CARRY ON AS WE FIND OURSELVES STARING STRAIGHT INTO THE EYES OF WHAT SEEMS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF THE 21ST CENTURY, MANY OF US ARE DIGGING DEEP; DRAWN TO REFLECT ON HOW TO BEST HELP OUR FAMILY AND COMMUNITIES COME TOGETHER IN STRENGTH AND CONTINUE TO THRIVE DURING THIS PANDEMIC

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et, knowing what news is fake and what is the real deal is not easy. Stuck between a raft of information (and misinformation) via social media; the language and cultural barriers; and the fast-changing goal-posts - not to mention the unprecedented nature of this crisis it’s not surprising people are a little confused. In the hope of bringing some clarity in this time of uncertainty, I’ve collated some answers to common questions based on information issued by the French

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government to help those impacted better navigate these choppy waters. What is the French government doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in France? The initial advice, issued early in March, was to avoid all close contact such as shaking hands, and to keep a ‘social distance’ of at least one meter away from people. This was followed by curtailing large gatherings and events; school closures across the country, and shutting

bars, cinemas and restaurants; and a call to work remotely from home wherever possible. A matter of hours later all nonessential shops and places of work had to also shut their doors. President Macron announced in a televised speech on Monday 16th March 2020, a number of stricter measures. From midday Tuesday 17th March 2020, people were required to keep travel outside the home to the absolute minimum and only allowed to leave their homes for essential journeys or go to work


covid-19 (provided the rules of social distancing and hygiene can be followed). These additional restrictions were to last for a minimum of 15 days. President Macron asked that everyone remain calm but stated that we are facing a “health war” and we need to remain united and each take responsibility for our actions to limit the spread of the virus. On 24 March 2020 the government announced additional measures with stricter rules (and heavier fines); more powers to the police and to local councils (mairies). This includes closing open markets and curfews if deemed necessary. On 27 March 2020 the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the confinement is extended until 15 April 2020. Why such drastic measures? Obviously, the fewer people infected by coronavirus the better. However, the problem is more complex due to the nature of the virus COVID-19: it spreads extremely quickly and vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with certain pre-existing conditions, may need hospitalisation and specialist equipment to survive. It is therefore vital that we take all possible measures to greatly reduce the rate of contagion so that hospitals and medical staff can cope. Otherwise, medics will have to make hard decisions that may determine who lives and who dies. Winston Churchill might have said “Careless trips costs lives.” When can I leave my home and for what reasons during this confinement period? Trips outside of the home must be kept to the absolute minimum. Journeys outside the home are only permitted for ‘essential’ reasons which fall into one of the categories below. Each person must complete the official ‘attestation de déplacement dérogatoire’ form in pen, one for each trip (do not reuse or cross out), include the date and the time you leave the home, and carry it with you (along with your passport and proof of address and relevant official papers or ‘convocations’). People should travel alone or with children only, unless you have an ‘essential’ reason to travel together such as a medical consultation for a person that cannot drive. Children must be named on the form. Failure to comply, and you risk a fine of 135 € for the first offence (rising to 375 € if not paid within 45 days); 200 € for a second offence committed within 2 weeks of the first (rising to 450 €); and if you’re caught 4 times within a 30 days period a fine of 3,750 € and a 6-month prison sentence. The form can be copied in full by hand if you don’t have a printer and is available in different formats, with an English translation, from www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actudu-Ministere/Attestation-de-

deplacement-derogatoire-et-justificatifde-deplacement-professionnel 1. travel between home and place of work if you can justifiably not work from home or the work cannot be postponed (and provided you can respect social distancing) 2. trips for essential purchases (food or petrol in authorised shops listed on gouvernement.fr and to the pharmacy); or in order to carry out your work 3. travel for health appointments which cannot be dealt with remotely or postponed, and those required for patients with an ‘affection de longue durée’ (carry written proof / authorisations with you) 4. trips for essential family reasons; to help the vulnerable; or care for children 5. brief trips, under 1km from home, for individual physical activity (not group activities or group sports) and to care for pets for a max of 1 hour per day, alone or with members of your household only 6.

legal or administrative requests

7. to carry out tasks classed as ‘in the public interest’ requested by the administrative authorities How can I be sure my reason is ‘essential’? There are inevitably a few grey areas. The main questions, I suggest, are to ask oneself: is the impact potentially serious if I don’t go, and how can I respect the rules of social distancing? If in any doubt, call your local mairie for guidance (check their website for contact numbers) or message Gendarmerie Nationale online for pressing but not urgent queries www.gendarmerie.interieur.gouv.fr/Conta cts/Formulaire-de-contact if your French is a bit rusty, prepare your explanation before you leave and take written proof where possible. Can I continue with all physical activities if I keep to the rule of social distancing? Cycling, fishing, skiing, etc are regarded as non-essential and not permitted (apart from cycling to work or to shop). Only solo physical activities of short duration are allowed such as running or walking within 1 km of home. Young children on cycles or kids’ scooters are tolerated provided the adult with them is on foot. I need to get home to France; can I cross the border? The EU and Schengen borders are now closed to prevent entry into Europe. French citizens currently abroad (and those resident) need to go to their nearest embassy or consulate for instructions and advice or search www.diplomatie.gouv.fr and www.interieur.gouv.fr Can I travel to another European country to join my family? If someone needs to cross into another European country, you can only do so if

ADVICE

JENNY SMITH FRENCH WORDSMITH Jenny Smith, French Wordsmith offers comprehensive administrative, translation and support services for English-speaking people in France on just about anything you can think of – from business and building to health, residence and schooling – and if she doesn’t know the answer she will find someone who can. Contact her via mail: jenifer@wordsmithcoms.com or phone 06 79 85 58 84 / 0044 7557 402104 and read some client reviews on www.facebook.com/frenchwordsmith

you have an ‘essential’ reason (‘motif familial impérieux’). Again, carry proof of residence / home (a bill in your name) along with the travel permission form (attestation de déplacement) and check with the embassy / consulate and ferry company, etc, beforehand. If in doubt, check www.diplomatie.gouv.fr and www.interieur.gouv.fr or your prefecture’s website for guidance How do I get help if I think I have the virus? If you have "light" (non-severe) symptoms of a cough or fever call your doctor (GP) for a phone consultation. Some may be able to make a home visit as you need to remain isolated. If you have severe symptoms or serious concerns, dial 15 for emergency services, but again the advice is not to go directly to the doctor or the hospital without calling first (call emergency services on 112 from a mobile, or text to 114 if you have a speech or hearing impairment). If you have a general question related to COVID-19 call 0800 130 000, lines are open 24/7. Is the post office still operating? La Poste is operating a reduced delivery service and many physical offices are shut but have online services at www.laposte.fr Private delivery companies are still operating with longer delivery times but few deliveries to ‘point relais’ (pick up points, many of which are now closed). Amazon have reduced deliveries to what they deem to be ‘essential’ items only (eg health products and animal foods). I’m self-employed but cannot work from home (télétravail), can I still keep working? Craftsmen / trades and certain ‘services à la personne’ have the right to continue working if, by the nature of their work and the place of that work, they are able to follow the rules of hygiene and social

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- Please Note We have done everything possible to ensure this information is correct at the time of going to press. However, there are likely to be daily changes and updates due to the nature of the crisis so please do check on the French government websites for clarification prior to taking any course of action.


covid-19 distancing. Carry with you your completed “attestation de déplacement dérogatoire” and either your carte professionelle or Kbis / Insee Certificate, but no need for the justificatif de déplacement professionnel as it’s for salaried workers only. Certain services à la personne are clearly unable to follow these rules so cannot work (apart from those deemed ‘essential’ services such as carers). If in doubt, contact your Chambre de Métiers et d’Artisanat (CMA) or Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie (CCI) and unions such as CAPEB www.capeb.fr and check the list here: www.federation-autoentrepreneur.fr/actualites/restrictionsdurant-epidemie-nos-solutions There is a proviso that if work can be postponed then it should be, but I humbly suggest this is rather vague and contradictory so, once again, check updates daily. I’m self-employed, will I get any financial help from CPAM if get sick from coronavirus? Sick pay for the self-employed is normally only paid if turnover is over certain thresholds and you have paid enough social charges for long enough – with some exceptions - and only from day 8 of illness or accident (and from day 4 of a hospital stay). However, the good news is that you should now get sick pay regardless of how much you have paid in and for how long - and from day 1 - if COVID-19 is diagnosed. ME sick pay rate is from 5,46 € to 56,35 € a day. Ask your doctor for an ‘arrêt de travail pour maladie’ and post it within 48 hours to your main CPAM (e.g. Limoges or Poitiers). Some doctors can do this electronically for you. My business income has been impacted by the crisis, what help is there? The government has set up a solidarity fund to provide financial support for the self-employed and small businesses (très petites entreprises: TPE) directly impacted by the health crisis. The criteria determining eligibility was reviewed and amended on 31 March 2020 as follows. In a nutshell, those eligible fall into two categories: 1. Those who, due to the nature of the business, received administrative notice to shut between 1st & 31 March 2. Those businesses impacted by a loss of at least 50% of their turnover in March 2020 in comparison to March 2019 (or, for those created after 1 March 2019, in comparison to the average monthly turnover) The amount awarded will be tax-free and equal to the amount of turnover lost, up to a maximum of 1500 euros. Microentrepreneurs (MEs) set up after 1 Feb 2020; MEs with a full-time contract or retired; and those who have received over

800 euros in indemnités journalières between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2020 will not be eligible. The government propose a review and possible extension for those impacted during April 2020. More information on eligibility and how to apply (with an updated flow-chart) is available on the FNAE website www.federation-autoentrepreneur.fr/actualites/aideplafonnee-1500-euros-autoentrepreneursmode-d-emploi-complet and on www.impots.gouv.fr/portail/files/media/c abcom/covid19/fonds_soutien_pas_a_pa s_tpe.pdf or go directly to www.impots.gouv.fr to apply via your online personal tax space before 30 April 2020. If you’re not eligible for this solidarity fund you can apply for an ‘Aide financière exceptionnelle’ described below or visit www.secu-independants.fr/actionsociale/demander-une-aide. An additional sum of up to 2000 euros will be available from a regional fund from 15th April for small businesses with at least 1 employee to help cover fixed charges and avoid insolvency. I’m self-employed (or a small business owner), what other help is there? Applications for financial aid can also be made via the l'Action Sanitaire et Sociale de la Sécurité sociale pour les indépendants (ASS). This ‘Demande d’intervention du fonds d’action sociale: Aide financière exceptionnelle’ is means tested and assessed on a case-by-case basis for MEs and small business owners facing hardship due to ‘exceptional’ circumstances. The aim is to protect longevity. It’s vital you submit a detailed application with clear reasoning to support your case and proof in the form of written evidence of cancellations, etc. To access the form, go to: www.secuindependants.fr/fileadmin/mediatheque/ Espace_telechargement/Formulaires/Aide _financiere_URSSAF.pdf You’ll find other sources of help on www.economie.gouv.fr/coronavirussoutien-entreprises How can I reduce my ME outgoings to tide me over? There are several things you can do. Use your professional online tax space to suspend Cotisation Foncière des Entreprises payments (CFE); and social charges via your www.autoentrepreneur.urssaf.fr account (set your next declaration to zero turnover or amend a completed declaration not yet processed to zero). Bear in mind, this is delaying the payment not cancelling but it’s hoped catch-up payments will be spread out. For additional advice contact URSSAF on 3698 or message them via your online space. How can I reduce my household outgoings until things get easier? You can cancel direct debits for local taxes (habitation and foncière) and for

prélèvements à la source (monthly income tax payments) via your online tax account at www.impots.gouv.fr or by calling 0809 401 401. You can also contact your bank to request the temporary suspension of a mortgage or loan or to arrange an agreed overdraft (découvert autorisé). Contact service providers to agree a change of payment schedule for electricity, water rates and some insurances. I would normally be able to go to work but I have to care for my children, can I get any help? If you are registered as self-employed or employed and cannot undertake your work from home due to the nature of your work, and have to stay at home to take care of your children (under 16, or under 18 in a ‘specialist’ establishment) due to the school closures, you can apply for an “une prise en charge exceptionnelle d'indemnités journalières”. This is a daily payment for up to 14 days rather like ‘sick pay’ and is currently not based on how much you have paid into the system nor for how long. It is assessed on a case-bycase basis and can be renewed. Make the self-declaration on https://declare.ameli.fr NB For travailleurs independent the FNAE advise: for your employer number, state your SIRET number again (yes, seems strange); select “je certifie que cette déclaration concerne des employés ne pouvant pas télétravailler” and select “ajouter un employé”. How can I get a repeat prescription without bothering the doctor? Until 31st May the pharmacies will dispense regular medication without the need for a new prescription. Any concerns, do call your GP for advice or ask the pharmacist. Where can I find up-to-date guidance? Check the FAQs on www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus What can I do to help? There are numerous ways we can pull together. You can sign up to help farmers with production on https://desbraspourtonassiette.wizi.farm; volunteer in your local community to deliver essential supplies; make friendly ‘check-in’ telephone calls to the vulnerable; or help care for the children (and pets) of our carers via www.jeveuxaider.com. Look out for ways to buy local produce and use local artisans and services. And if you’re concerned about child abuse do call 119 or visit www.allo119.gouv.fr and for domestic abuse call 3919 or visit https://arretonslesviolences.gouv.fr At the risk of stating the obvious: just staying at home and respecting the rules when out and about will go a long way to better protect us all.

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craft

craft

Garden Markers THESE ROCK MARKERS ARE EASY TO MAKE, LOOK BEAUTIFUL IN YOUR GARDEN AND ONLY NEED A FEW BASIC MATERIALS. GREAT ACTIVITY FOR ALL AGES

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ow many times have you planted something and then later found yourself wondering “What did I plant there?!”? These hand-painted rocks are a pretty and practical solution. For example, you can mark your perennials so you know where they will appear each year. You want to use outdoor paint so they survive the elements and it’s a good idea to seal them each year, but they do keep their colours really well. Deco Art do some really nice Patio Paints which are specifically for outdoor use, as well as a Clear Coat for the seal. You can find these at craft stores or order them online from Amazon.fr but at the moment you’re going to have to use whatever supplies you have at home already while commerce is closed.

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- Paintbrushes - Pencil or toothpick - Patio Paint clear coat or clear outdoor sealer

Instructions 1. Wash the rocks and dry them thoroughly. Make sure they dry as rocks are porous and absorb water. 2. Collect your stones keeping in mind the lettering you wish to use (eg a larger for “marjoram” and smaller for “kale”). Paint the rocks in desired colours. For the longest life of your decorated stones, it’s important to allow adequate drying time; allow at least 1 hour between coats. Some colours may need more coats than others. 4. Once your rocks are painted and dry,

use a black paint pen or Sharpie marker to do your lettering. (Make sure you allow anything written in Sharpie to dry, they are notorious for bleeding.) 5. To decorate, use the handle end of a large craft paintbrush to dot on various spots in different colours. Use a smaller paintbrush handle to add smaller spots. 6. Finally, use the tip of a pencil or a toothpick to add tiny white dots to the centre of the larger dots. Allow the rocks to dry for 2-3 hours. 7. Apply a clear coat and allow them to dry overnight.

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Materials - Smooth rocks or stones - Patio Paint or outdoor craft paint in various colours - Black paint marker or Sharpie


PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION Updated information

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s we’re sure you can imagine, things are a little bit up in the air at the moment with regards to the photography competition. Cancer Support France Haute-Vienne would still love to celebrate their 10th anniversary next year by producing another calendar for 2021, but due to the unprecedented situation we are all currently dealing with, it’s too early to know if this is still going to be possible. Only time will tell. So, as we are all confined to our homes and gardens, why not use this time to create a great catalogue of photos ready to submit? Take advantage of the situation and get outside with nature. Closing date The closing date for the competition was

initially midnight on Friday 15th May 2020. If the creation of the calendar can still go ahead this year, there will no doubt be a date change for closing entries. Again, please keep checking for updates, as soon as we know, we’ll let you know. Calendar theme for 2021 The theme for the 2021 Calendar Competition is ‘French Life’. How to enter the competition Entries must be sent in digital format only please, which is lucky, as this is all any of us can do right now! All images (you can enter up to four in total - one for each season) must be the original high resolution files, at 300 dpi, landscape - 3508 x 2480 pixels. When emailing or uploading the image, please

save the file using your full name and the season. Entrants must include their full names, address, telephone number and email address. Send entries via email to: etceteracompetition@gmail.com. Summary of points to remember ▪ Think French life ▪ The photo must be landscape orientation (not portrait). ▪ Think about the light and composition. Full details of the competition can be found in January’s edition of etcetera magazine, which you can also view online at: www.etceteraonline.org We will keep you posted with news.

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language and advice

Parlez Français French conversation, vocabulary & tradition� with Isabelle

Chez le médecin Isabelle works for CONTINENTAL HORIZONS Language Centre in L’Isle Jourdain and teaches French as a foreign language everyday in their many classrooms. Do not hesitate to contact her on 05 49 84 17 73. www.continental-horizons.com

En cette période de l’année où les virus sont actifs et où le coronavirus COVID-19 se propage dans le monde, beaucoup d’entre vous apprécieront cet article sur une consultation chez le médecin, au cas où. J’espère que vous allez rester en bonne santé, en restant chez vous. At this time of the year when viruses are active and when the coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading around the world, many of you will appreciate this article on a visit to a doctor’s, just in case.

Keep calm & stay well by staying at home!

I hope you are going to stay in good health, by staying at home.

Restez calme et restez en forme en restant à la maison !

En cette période exceptionnelle, si vous vous sentez malade, appelez au téléphone votre médecin, n’allez pas dans la salle d’attente et n’allez pas à l’hôpital ! Si vous avez de réelles difficultés à respirer, appelez le SAMU au 15 et ils viendront vous chercher pour vous emmener à l'hôpital si nécessaire.

Bon courage ! Et à bientôt ! Broaden your horizons with CONTINENTAL HORIZONS! My usual email address is currently unavailable, contact me via continentalhorizons@free.fr

Isabelle Pour rappel, les numéros d’urgences en France sont :

In this exceptional time, if you feel unwell, phone your doctor, do not go to the waiting room and do not go to the hospital. If you have real difficulties in breathing, call the SAMU (paramedics emergency ambulance) on telephone number 15 and they will come to pick you up and bring you to the hospital if necessary.

SAMU (Emergency paramedics). (Only if real emergency)

Police / Gendarmerie Numéro d’urgence pour tous les services.

Sapeurs-Pompiers (Fire brigade)

In Champagnac la Rivière (87150) Every Monday & Tuesday With Sandrine Durand 05 55 78 16 21 / 06 83 07 66 98 r.sandrine.durand@orange.fr

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

remyhickmanreed@gmail.com

Language School Secretarial and Administration Services Certified Legal Interpreting & Translating Coaching 15 Place d’Armes 86150 L’Isle Jourdain Tél. 05 49 84 17 73 Email: isabelle@continental-horizons.com www.continental-horizons.com siret 483 146 353 00014


language and advice Voici des questions et des phrases typiques qu’un médecin pourrait vous poser et dire, et ce que vous, en tant que patient, pouvez répondre et dire.

LE DOCTEUR Qu’est-ce qui vous amène ? What brings you here? Comment allez-vous ? How are you? Comment vous sentez-vous ? How do you feel? Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas ? What is wrong? Vous avez mal où ? Where is it painful? Vous avez de la fièvre ? Do you have a fever? Je vais vous examiner (ausculter). I am going to examine you. Enlevez votre haut, s’ilvous-plaît. Please remove your top. Merci d’enlever votre pull et votre chemise. Please remove your jumper and shirt. Ça fait mal quand j’appuie ? Is it painful when I touch / press here? Toussez ! Cough! Respirez fort par la bouche ! Take deep breaths through your mouth! Avez-vous mal à la gorge ? Have you got a sore throat? Avez-vous du mal à respirer ?

Have you got difficulties in breathing? Avez-vous mal au ventre ? Have you got a stomach ache? Je vais prendre votre tension. I am going to take your blood pressure. Est-ce que vous dormez bien la nuit ? Do you sleep well at night? Est-ce que vous êtes stressée ? Are you stressed? Est-ce que vous mangez bien ? Do you eat well?

Here are some typical questions and sentences a doctor could ask you and say, and what you, as a patient, can respond and say.

Si vous vous sentez toujours mal dans 5 jours, n’hésitez pas à me rappeler. If you still feel unwell in 5 days’ time, do not hesitate to call me back. Je vous en prie, je suis là pour ça. You are welcome, I am here for that. LE PATIENT – LA PATIENTE

Je ne dors pas bien. I don’t sleep well. Je fais des insomnies. I have insomnia. J’ai des vertiges. I have vertigo. J’ai la tête qui tourne. My head is spinning. J’ai un rhume. I have a cold.

J’ai mal au +

J’ai le nez qui coule. My nose is running.

J’ai mal à l’ +

J’ai le nez bouché. My nose is blocked.

J’ai mal à la +

J’éternue. I’m sneezing

J’ai mal aux +

J’ai de la fièvre. I have a fever.

Faites-vous de l’exercice régulièrement ? Do you exercise regularly?

J’ai mal à la tête. I have a headache. / My head hurts.

J’ai de la température. I have a temperature.

Ne vous en faites pas ! Do not worry !

J’ai mal à la gorge. I have a sore throat. / My throat hurts.

Vous allez aux toilettes régulièrement ? Do you go regularly to the toilet?

Je vais vous faire une ordonnance (= prescrire des médicaments) I am going to write a prescription. Je vais prescrire un médicament pour calmer la douleur. I am going to prescribe a medicine to relieve the pain. Essayer de vous reposer et de ne pas trop stresser. Try to rest and try not to stress too much.

J’ai mal au ventre. I have a stomach ache.

J’ai de l’asthme. I suffer from asthma. Je ne me sens pas bien. I don’t feel well. Je suis très fatigué(e). I am very tired. Je me sens très fatigué(e). I feel very tired.

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Je tousse. I’m coughing. J’ai une toux. I have a cough. Je vomis. I’m vomiting.

J’ai mal au dos. My back hurts.

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Je me sens faible. I feel weak.

Je n’ai pas beaucoup d’appétit en ce moment. I don't have much of an appetite right now. D’accord. Merci pour vos conseils, Docteur. OK. Thanks for your advice, Doctor.

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etcetera 13


food Hello from the accidental Chatelaine! I'm honestly not sure how I find myself here, living in the middle of France in a château. But By Belind a Princ here I am, e loving to cook at any opportunity and delighted to be able to share that love with etcetera readers

Chateau Kitchen www.chateaumareuil.com

Keeping it Simple… AS THE CORONAVIRUS FORCES PEOPLE TO SHOP LESS AND STAY AT HOME MORE, HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE YET DELICIOUS RECIPES TO MAKE WITH BASIC STORE CUPBOARD INGREDIENTS AND LEFTOVERS

Easy Houmous

with

Homemade Pitta Bread

If you have a tin of chickpeas, you can make your own houmous – this would work equally well with other tinned pulses or cooked dried ones. Houmous Ingredients (serves 6+) ‐ 1 x 400g can of chickpeas (or cannellini beans/haricot blancs) ‐ 4 tblsps tahini or peanut butter ‐ 60ml water ‐ 2 cloves of garlic, crushed ‐ Juice and rind of 1-2 lemons (to taste) or about 4 tblsps bottled lemon juice ‐ ½ tsp ground cumin/paprika (optional) ‐ Salt & pepper to season ‐ Coriander or parsley Method 1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth – for up to 5 minutes if you want a really smooth result. If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix and mash with a fork. 2. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, some chopped parsley or chilli flakes or anything you fancy. Serve with

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crudités, toast, crackers or as a sandwich filling! This is an easy recipe for pitta bread. Use your bread machine to help the dough rise easily, otherwise - cover and let it rise in a warm place. Pitta Ingredients (serves 8) ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐

250ml (9 fl oz) warm water (45 C) 375g (13 oz) plain flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons dried active baking yeast

Method 1. Place all ingredients in bread pan of your bread machine, select the Dough setting and start. When dough has risen long enough, machine will beep. 2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch the dough into a 25cm (10 in) rope. With a sharp knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 to 18cm (3 to 7 in) circle. Set aside

on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with a cloth. Let the pittas rise (about 30 mins) until slightly puffy. 3. Preheat oven to 260 C / Gas mark 10. Place 2 or 3 pittas on a wire cooling rack. Place the rack directly on oven rack. Bake them for 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from oven and immediately place the pittas in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp drying cloth until soft. 4. Once the pittas are softened, either cut in half or split top edge for half or whole pittas. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.


food

Title Cheese & Onion Tart

Rice Hot Pot

Ideal for using up cheeses and leftover cream or crème fraîche. Check your fridge for any leftover vegetables or meat.

You can add almost any leftovers to this tasty dish. Vary the flavourings; you could make a curry version for instance and serve with your favourite chutney.

Pastry ingredients (Serves 6) 250g plain flour 125g butter, cold & cubed ½ tsp salt

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Filling ingredients 2 onions, sliced into rings 1 tbsp oil 2 eggs Approx 270–300 ml cream and/or crème fraîche/fromage blanc 250 g cheese of our choice Any leftovers you have in the fridge (broccoli, bacon, herbs…) Method 1. Put the flour, butter and salt into the bowl of the food processor, pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs – add 4 tbsps of cold water and process until it become a dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface, shape into a smooth disc of pastry, wrap and chill for about 30 mins. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/fan. 2. Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface until large enough to lie a 23 cm loose bottomed flan tin. Line the tin, pushing down well into the corners and carefully trim off any excess pastry. Bake blind for about 10-15 mins. 3. While the pastry is cooking, gently fry the onions in the oil over a medium heat for about 10 mins until golden, and then set aside to cool. Beat the eggs and cream together, then season to taste. Chop, grate or crumble the cheese and scatter into the slightly cooled pastry case, add the onions (and any extra leftovers) and pour in the egg/cream mix. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/fan and bake for 40 min A deliciously sweet until set and golden. springtime dish Delicious with salad for lunch or a light supper or cut into smaller pieces as an apero.

le rep

s LAKE SETTING

RE-OPENING RE-OPENING as soon10th as weApril can! Friday

Please visit our facebook page for up-to-date information! We look forward to seeing you all again for another fantastic season

lerepos

‐ 250g long grain or Basmati rice (or whatever you have) ‐ 1 onion, chopped ‐ 2 cloves garlic, chopped ‐ 500ml stock of your choice (ideally from a chicken carcass) ‐ Cooked chicken, ham, sliced sausages or other meaty leftovers (fried chorizo would be delicious) ‐ Leftover cooked or fresh vegetables ‐ Herbs & spices of your choice ‐ Grated cheese ‐ 1 tbsp oil, a little more if necessary Method 1. Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic gently until soft. Add the rice and mix well to coat all the grains. 2. Add meat, vegetables, herbs, spices of your choice, seasoning and stir well to mix. Add the stock, stir through once, bring to the boil, then turn down to very low. Cover with a lid and leave to cook gently for about 15-20 mins, until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve. Scatter with chopped herbs, chilli flakes, grated cheese...

M. Cochon PROUDLY PRESENTS PORK PRODUCTS FROM ITS OWN PIGS GAMMON, JOINTS & STEAKS, DRY-CURED BACK BACON, HOT WATER CRUST PORK PIES, PORK PASTIES BRITISH STYLE SAUSAGES Plain, Cumberland, Lincoln, pork & leek ! S U L The usual pork joints, Pigs in Blankets P AND MORE! FREE DELIVERY most areas in Charente, Haute-Vienne, Dordogne, Correze ~ Suppliers to a number of leading restaurants ~

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etcetera 15


business INSURANCE

SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

LINDSEY QUERIAUD OWNER: CAST T: 05 45 84 14 94 lindseyqueriaud@outlook.com

11 Good Reasons Why You Should Compete Your Tax Return in France

A

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 2019 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 your family situation is. 3. Brexit – The number of years affects the lifespan of your Carte de Séjour, the only way to prove the number of years is through the presentation of your avis d’impots. In order to apply for the renewal of Carte de Séjour, you are required to provide copies of your previous year’s avis d’impots. 4. Tax rebates - if you are taxed here you can reclaim tax paid in the UK on the period 2018/2019 and 2019/2020. 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

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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 fiscal income in 2019 of less than 44125 euros or single and 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 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. 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.

Generally compared with the amount of income tax paid in the UK, you win here. 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’impots 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’impots, 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’impots 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.

ISABELLE WANT BH ASSURANCES

French Income Tax 2020 YES! It’s that time of the year again when we start receiving the dreaded income tax form to fill in (from mid-April to midMay)! 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 has to fill in a tax form, what revenue you have to declare, how the double taxation treaty works between France and UK, plus lots of other information. Next month, when the new forms are available, I will explain how to complete them in detail. 1. Who has to fill in the tax form: Basically, everybody who is a French resident (lives in France more than 6 month 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 web site. 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 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 2019 (Jan to Dec) in April-May 2020. So, if you have officially moved to France before July


business last year (2019), then you fill in your first French tax form in April-May 2020 on which you declare your revenue of 2019. If you moved to France after July, then you were not a French resident in 2019 (in France less than 6 months) and therefore, you will have to fill in your first French tax form in April-May 2021 for your revenue of 2020. Since 1st January 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 2018. The form we fill in this year will determine if we have paid the right tax in 2019 and the new amount which will be taken monthly from 1st January 2021. If you paid too much, they will reimburse you or reduce your monthly payments, if didn’t pay enough they will increase the monthly payments till the end of the year. If you have moved to France in 2019, you will pay two years of tax: 2019 & 2020. You will pay a bill for 2019 at the end of August in one go and have another bill for 2020 which will be taken monthly from September to December (the amount of 2019 tax bill divided by 4). Then from 2021, the monthly amount (your 2019 tax divided by 12). You can fill in a form now to start paying these amounts monthly from now instead of September (form 2043) which you can download from the tax office web site. Only do it if you think you will pay tax. For your information, the tax threshold for 2018 for a couple was 28,275€. 3. What forms: 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 (see below). 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. 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 15,000€ you need to fill in this form. 3916: To declare your bank account abroad. Failure to do so could carry a fine of 1500€ per bank account not declared.

All they want is the name and address of the bank and the account number. The exchange rate for 2019 is 1.14 (that is the average of last year). Your local tax office will give you an exchange rate, but you don’t have to use it. Use it if it is lower than 1.14! 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 have to put your French tax reference on the form. Indeed, once the form is filled in, you take it to the French tax office, who stamp it and either send it to Paris, who send it to the UK or give it back to you to send yourself to HMRC (it 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 accounts (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. www.impots.gouv.fr 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 debit for your taxe d’ habitation and taxe foncière. You can also adjust your income tax monthly payment from your personal account. The monthly amount is determined by your income without the tax deduction so some of you probably should not have paid. 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 the UK or civil servant pensions. Note that from 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: The following dates are all subject to the virus confinement situation. I am scheduled to be at the CLE tax seminar on the 29th of April, please check their site www.clefrance.com for updates. Free help for filling the tax form for all my customers is scheduled be on the 6th of May all day in Ruffec (not lunch hours!) and on the 5th of May all day in Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure. Again, this is all subject to our current confinement restrictions. 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 don’t panic yet! UPDATE - we have just heard the announcement (1st April) that there will be an extension on the declaration dates due to the current pandemic. There will be a one month extension for paper versions (12th of June instead of 14th of May). Just 10 more days for online (4th of June for departments 1 to 19, 8th of June for departments 20 to 54 and 11th for departments 55 to 974).

Isabelle Want Mob•: 06 17 30 39 11 / Email•:isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr N° Orias 07021727/16005974 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

etcetera 17


business and assistance Staying Invested During Volatile Times HELEN BOOTH INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISER deVere France

G

lobal markets have been extremely volatile over the last few weeks due to the COVID-19 virus and have reacted negatively to the slowdown in global trade. Because there is a concern for the unknown, panic sent stocks markets into chaos, with massive drops followed by huge rebounds, day after day. It is very difficult to predict the markets in the short-term, but before hasty investment decisions are made, you should always look at the facts in order to analyse what is happening. Put simply; by doing so can give you an edge when it comes to seizing new opportunities as prosperity begins to return. ▪ China constitutes between 16-17% of the world’s economy. Because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, trade

18 etcetera

in China slowed down significantly. This influenced vulnerable global markets that are on the brink of a recession such as Germany, Italy and Spain along with several emerging markets.

hasty decisions. If you cash in your investments when the markets have fallen you will have realised the gain whereas if you leave them and wait for the markets to recover, then the losses will not have happened. It is always wise that you have a diversified portfolio over multiple asset classes. This would have buffered your investment against the negative impact.

▪ There have been 26 occasions since WWII where the markets have undergone a correction. This is a In times like this, normal occurrence Weathering the initial storm deVere would expect a in the history of requires a resilient portfolio rotation as investors global markets. The move to quality and personal discipline MSCI World Index companies globally since 1980 shows that produce good us that the best strategy is often just dividend returns. Currently many quality to leave your investment where it is funds and stocks are now lower in price, during periods of volatility or crisis. creating an opportunity to buy these assets at a lower premium. deVere believe that ▪ Typically, we see drops of around 13% quality funds and investments will see when this happens. good rewards, in the medium term. ▪ When a correction like this does So now may be a good time to invest as occur, it takes on average, 4 months to return to their original levels. well whilst the markets are lower, and you will get more for your money when the What is the correct course of action to take markets recover. regarding your investments? First, don’t panic. Weathering the initial storm requires a resilient portfolio and personal discipline. Always consult with your financial adviser before making any

Always seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser who lives and works in France and understands what options are available to you, in France. This article should not be construed as providing investment advice.


business and assistance Businesses Love to Be Appreciated Too!

I

think it is independent who has gone above and fair to say beyond or is generally a great business to hats off to all deal with, do let them know. The smallest small business act of appreciation will put a huge smile owners and on the face of any business owner whether independents it is customer to business or business who have taken to business. a huge risk and As a customer, when a business owner leap of faith to takes time to build a relationship with you, set up a business and goes that extra mile when things go and survive here wrong, is easily accessible by phone in France. Let’s and/or you know you will get a reply to face it it is not easy! A lot of heart and soul your email when compared to other much goes into a setting larger organisations that often up a business, lack simple customer care finding clients and skills. All of this adds up to a The smallest act of managing the many business owner treasuring appreciation will put a bureaucratic their customers. hurdles that huge smile on the face of Some things to consider… manage to manifest any business owner Small businesses just when you think and independents: you have got it sussed. ▪ are run by real people not CEOs Customers don’t get to see the heartache, ▪ have what it takes to show sincere and the pain, the planning, the issues behind authentic behaviour the scenes, the administration, the ▪ often provide employment sacrifices and to be honest, why should they? Customers have their own set of ▪ appreciate the support for keeping needs to be met. their livelihoods going Although. as a customer when you use the services of a small business owner or

▪ are often the life blood of small communities

Sandrine TUYERAS Insurance Agent

ALACIM SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

▪ know that every single customer matters By supporting hard-working small business owners/independents, you as a customer are helping keep someone's dream alive and food on the table. If you are reading this please do think about the small business and independents that you have used and let them know you appreciate them. ‐ ‐ ‐ ‐

‐ ‐

Send them a thank you card Pick up the phone and let them know Leave positive reviews on Google, Facebook or Trip Advisor If you are asked to leave a review by a business owner do try to action the request Tell your friends and family Shop with small business owners/independents whenever you can

TONY FARRELL

All Insurances N°ORIAS 14001253 Finance & Investment Email : tuyeras.bellac@allianz.fr website : www.allianz.fr/tuyeras 5 rue Lamartine 87300 BELLAC Tél. 05 55 68 11 80

MICALA WILKINS

4 Place de l’Hôtel de Ville 87140 NANTIAT 05 55 53 51 18

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: tony.farrell@spectrum-ifa.com 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 – www.orias.fr Conseiller en investissements financiers, référencé sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers

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health

BOOSTING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM To fend off viruses now and in the future IN THIS CURRENT CLIMATE, OUR HEALTH IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF EVERYONE’S MINDS, NOW MORE THAN EVER. THERE ARE NUMEROUS NUTRIENTS, VITAMINS AND MINERALS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO SUPPORT THE NORMAL FUNCTIONING OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, THEREFORE ALLOWING YOUR BODY TO BE WORKING AS WELL AS IT CAN TO FIGHT INFECTIONS.

W

hile hand washing, social distancing and self-isolation remain the only current ways we have to actively prevent catching COVID-19, you can help yourself by maintaining a healthy diet. If you are not sure wether you are nutrient deficient you can have your levels tested in a laboratory, they will look at your antioxidants, vitamin and minerals to ensure that you are functionally meeting the full range of micronutrients and all essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform at its best. With laboratory testing, they will look at the bio-individuality of your metabolic pathways and how your own unique gut microbiome works. Everyone absorbs nutrients differently and once you understand which micronutrients you are lacking, you can begin improving your health and performance. Micronutrient deficiencies affect a huge number of people globally. They regulate immunity, are needed for healthy skin and bones, blood circulation, and also to maintain brain function for a healthy nervous system. Micronutrients in essence keep us alive. The vitamins and minerals we need for optimum health are mainly made up of essential nutrients, meaning we cannot make these

in our bodies and therefore have to ingest them through our diet or a high quality supplement.

processes. A deficiency in any of these vitamins can lead to serious health issues.

Minerals are part of your micronutrients. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) These are divided ‘macrominerals’ such as are crucial to every process in your body, sodium, calcium, potassium and even the way you convert your magnesium which you need in larger macronutrients (protein, fats and amounts; and ‘trace minerals’ like iron, carbohydrates) into energy. Some of the zinc, copper, boron and iodine which are micronutrients involved in digestion and required in much smaller amounts. absorption of your food include Antioxidants and phytochemicals are magnesium, calcium, Vitamins A, B, C, beneficial to your immune function, and K. Some of the micronutrients energy levels and long involved in term health. Cruciferous immune function Nutrients are more vegetables, beetroot and include vitamin bioavailable when they come berries are particularly B6, vitamin C, in their natural form, making high in antioxidants, and vitamin E, help to prevent oxidative them easier to absorb and magnesium damage in your cells. digest in your body and zinc. There are some great The quality of your supplements available for macro and micronutrients is extremely when your diet doesn’t include a regular important. Wherever possible we opt for dose of antioxidants and other beneficial natural, food-based sources for our phytonutrients. Sulforaphane, Coq10, H2, supplements. Nutrients are more Vitamin C are all great antioxidants. bioavailable when they come in their Looking more closely at the way you eat natural form, making them easier to requires a more holistic approach, it may absorb and digest in your body. benefit you to write a food diary for a few Vitamin A, vitamin D, E and K are all fatweeks to really see the areas where soluble vitamins and are best consumed improvements can be made and then with a good source of healthy fats to aid writing yourself a new plan for absorption. The water-soluble vitamins implementing those improvements. I include ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), and encourage you to try and increase your the vitamin B-Complex which includes micronutrients for 2 weeks to really see thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin and the benefits and hopefully by then you will folate, all of which are needed for cell have made some great improvements to metabolism and a range of internal your health that you won’t want to give up.


health Saski owns and runs Limelight Fitness and is a personal trainer and sports massage practitioner By Saski Ford

www.limelightfitness.wordpress.com email: saskiford@yahoo.com

Vitamin and Mineral Sources Fortified milk, eggs, meat, cheese, liver, halibut fish oil, Vitamin cream, kidneys, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squash, dark A green, leafy vegetables, broccoli

Cod liver oil, herring, swordfish, egg yolks mushrooms: Vitamin raw miatake mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms, raw portobello mushrooms and raw D white mushrooms

Nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, and Vitamin vegetable oils, such as sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, sunflower seeds and E green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli

Green leafy vegetables: collards, green leaf lettuce, Vitamin kale, mustard greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels K sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage

Fresh, raw cantaloupes, citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, Vitamin papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon and cranberries, red and C green peppers, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens and other leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash and Brussels sprouts.

B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), B-5 Vitamin (pantothenic acid), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-7 (biotin), B-9 (folic acid), B-12 (cobalamin), milk, cheese, eggs, liver, B kidney, chicken and red meat, fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, shellfish, such as oysters and clams, dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, vegetables, such as beets, avocados, and potatoes, whole grains and cereals, beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas, nuts and seeds, fruits, such as citrus, banana, and watermelon, soy products, such as soy milk and tempeh, blackstrap molasses, wheat germ, yeast and nutritional yeast.


health

STAY ACTIVE DURING CONFINEMENT STAYING AT HOME FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME CAN POSE A SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE FOR REMAINING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE Sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress and challenge to our mental health. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time. WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderateintensity or 75 minutes of vigorousintensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. These recommendations can still be achieved even at home, with no special equipment and with limited space. Short bouts of physical activity add up to the weekly recommendations.

Dancing, playing with children, and performing domestic chores such as cleaning and gardening are other means to stay active at home. Follow an online exercise class. These are gaining popularity every day! If you have no experience performing these exercises, be cautious and aware of your own limitations. Lots of options on YouTube, even more now right now! Walk. Even in small spaces, walking around or walking on the spot, can help you remain active. If you have a garden, take advantage of the outside space, you’re so lucky to have it.

Stand up. Reduce your sedentary time by standing up whenever possible. Ideally, aim to interrupt sitting and reclining time every 30 minutes. Consider setting up a standing desk by using a high table or stacking a pile of books or other materials, to continue working while standing. During sedentary leisure time prioritize cognitively stimulating activities, such as reading, board games, and puzzles. Relax. Meditation and deep breaths can help you remain calm. Many people understandably feel anxious at the moment, relaxation techniques allow you the space to relax and feel calmer.

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health

MEDIA & OPTIMISM IF YOU ARE FINDING THE CONSTANT 24/7 COVERAGE OF CORONAVIRUS IS IMPACTING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, THEN YOU CAN OPT OUT

W

e are living in uncertain and difficult times. Having had a chronic illness for several years now, I have deep sympathy for those of you who are worrying about the health of yourself and loved ones. The information about coronavirus, and how to stop it, seems to be constantly changing. This leads to a great deal of uncertainty, which, let’s face it, we’ve already had plenty of over the last few years. We may be living with this ambiguity for some time. So how can we look after ourselves and each other and the effects this has on our mental well-being? Today we are exposed to constantly changing information and news on all types of media. We are bombarded with things that are frightening and can cause anxiety. Most news is bad news and doesn’t make us feel calm and optimistic, indeed it often can leave people worried and uncertain. Evolutionary psychology has shown that we are wired to notice and retain negative information as it’s a form of protecting ourselves against danger and forget the positive as this isn’t deemed as threatening. If you are finding listening to the constant news or reading depressing facts are just just too much for you, I recommend you reduce your engagement

with unhelpful media. The WHO recommends that you “Seek information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day from health professionals and the WHO website”.

Dr Cathie Woodward is trained as a coach and runs a coaching practice with clients both in the UK and France.

By Dr C athie Woodw ard

safe, stop reading or watching, and do something different. Avoid the frequently depressing thoughts and opinions on social media and the news.

Some years ago I was walking by the We are living in constantly changing Thames with a friend. I said, ‘Look at the times. The only certainty is that the world lights on the river, aren’t they beautiful’? does not stay the same. Under the present She replied, ‘Look at the rubbish’. We all difficult circumstances you notice, and filter need to protect your mindin/out different So how can we look after body from unhelpful things and I decided information. We have that, unless I was ourselves and each other already lived through years going to pick up the and the effects this has on of uncertainty and concern litter, I would look at our mental well-being? about Brexit, terrorism, and the water. If you various types of media apply this to what mania. So this is not new to you read or watch, us but it is more extreme. I suggest that you will let a lot less rubbish into your whenever you access the news or media, head and hence will be calmer and ask yourself, ‘Do I need to know this? Is more positive. this information valuable and helpful, or Concentrate on how to balance your life to am I engaging with media hysteria?’ benefit you, your family and community. Recent American research shows that We have all got used to using text to optimism supports our health. I am not communicate, what about phoning people, suggesting that positivity will make you especially those who are on their own, or consistently well, but the most recent isolated? Otherwise think about all of medical research suggests that a positive those things that you could do to keep mental attitude is one contributor to a yourself calm and occupied. There is a lot healthy immune system. So get sensibly of bad news around, so avoid what you informed and then choose optimism. Once safely can. I wish everyone well, keep you know how to keep yourself and others informed but not obsessively.

etcetera 23


garden

Dicentra spectabilis

Arbour with a pretty picket gate and fence

24 etcetera

Forsythia


garden

Gaura lindheimeri

Honeysuckle

Cottage Gardens THE SECRET TO A COTTAGE GARDEN IS TO CREATE AN INFORMAL LOOKING AND FLOWING LANDSCAPE. THIS TAKES TIME AND CAREFUL PLANNING BUT THE RESULTS WILL GIVE YOU YEARS OF ENJOYMENT

T

raditional, romantic, cottage gardens always conjour up the idea of summer and lots of colourful, fragrant flowers, arbours, arches, romantic seats built for two, birds singing, butterflies fluttering around and the sound of bees buzzing as they go about their daily tasks. Evolution of Cottage Gardens

Robinson hugely influenced the development of the archetypal cottage garden that has remained largely the same into the 21st century. Two most notable examples of cottage gardens can be seen at Sissinghurst in Kent and Hidcote Bartrim in the Cotswolds.

This vision of a cottage garden is far Maintenance removed from the first cottage gardens If you have decided that a cottage garden which were anything but pretty. In fact, in style will perfectly suit your French home, the 1300’s, the cottages were nothing please think carefully. Do you have time more than hovels without even the most and energy in abundance? Do you also basic of amenities and the gardens were have the given over mainly to organisational abilities livestock with a small Think of romance and fairy and horticultural patch for growing vegetables and herbs. tale and you will be well on knowledge to keep a garden systematically Then, early in the 18th your way to creating your flowering from spring century, the hovels were cottage garden through to autumn? A pulled down and the cottage garden is not landlords began building an easy option. It ‘model villages’ for the fashionable gentry requires both skill and enthusiasm and a to live in and with the new style of housing love of dead-heading! If you have these came a new style of garden. attributes then you should be capable of The cottage garden that we all know and creating a beautiful garden full of love today is derived from two periods in perennials and annuals. time – the subsistence (when the cottage However, for those of us with neither the garden was used to scratch a living) and time nor the energy to do credit to a the romantic (when the gentry produced “traditional” cottage garden, there is the beautiful gardens aided of course by their cheats’ version which includes using the staff). In the late 19th/early 20th centuries, Gertrude Jekyll and William typical hard landscaping aspects of cottage

Lorn Tracy &

e

Taylor-M ade Garden s

gardens (arbours, bowers, trellises etc) and planting mainly evergreen and deciduous shrubs to soften the landscape. Add in a good selection of easy to care for perennial plants and you can create a relatively low maintenance cottage garden. Cottage Garden Elements Think of romance and fairy tale and you will be well on your way to creating your cottage garden. Paths. A cottage garden should have paths and preferably of the type that will take you on a journey through the garden rather than direct from A to B. Typical materials for paving include stone paving, bricks, gravel/shingle and crazy-paving. Vertical Elements. Vertical elements add structure to all gardens. These include decorative structures such as arbours & bowers, arches, tunnels and trellises. Boundaries. The perimeter of the cottage garden needs to be defined. Choose from lots of different types of materials such as picket fencing, post and rail fencing, wattle hurdles, hedges and dry-stone walls. Decorative Elements. Amongst the many decorative elements associated with cottage gardens are beehives, dovecotes, sundials, wells (no shortage of these in France!) and pumps. If you must, you

etcetera 25


garden

Create curved pathways using natural materials

Aquilegia vulgaris could add in an old piece of agricultural equipment such as a cart or plough but be careful of adding too many otherwise it will start to look, at best, twee. Avoid painting them bright colours and try to use them sympathetically with nature.

of the old wood. Don’t cut right back to old wood.

jackmannii “Superba” for a reliable summer flower.

Forsythia – bringing a welcome burst of yellow flowers in spring. Prune after flowering and remove some of the older stems.

Honeysuckle – both deciduous and evergreen, perfumed and not-so perfumed varieties are available. Some can even be used as ground cover.

Planting – if your time is limited, steer clear of obvious time-consuming plants such as roses which need pruning in early winter and again in spring, regular dead-

Chimonanthus – Flowers on bare stems in winter and is fragrant. Prune after flowering in late winter/early spring.

Perennial Plants

If your time is limited, steer clear of obvious time-consuming plants such as roses

Sarcococca humilis – commonly known as Christmas or sweet box. Fragrant white flowers in late winter/early spring and perfect for shady corners. In late winter/early spring, trim back anything that spoils the plants symmetry.

heading during the flowering period and treating against the numerous diseases to which they are susceptible such as black spot, mildew, rust and attack from insects. Also, avoid annual flowers which, pretty though they may be, will need replacing every year. Instead try some of the following shrubs and trees which are typical cottage garden plants:Deciduous Shrubs Buddleia – grows so easily it can almost be described as a weed! Semi-evergreen in milder winters. They are available in a range of different colours and need a hard prune every spring. Caryopteris – beautiful blue flowers late summer/early autumn. Hard prune them in early spring but that’s about it for maintenance. Cytisus – otherwise known as broom is a reliable flowering cottage garden shrub. Trim back after flowering to within 5cm of

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www.arbres-et-abeilles.eu 26 etcetera

Evergreen Shrubs

Gaura lindheimeri and perennial varieties of Salvia– flower for at least 5 months of the year. The only maintenance required is to cut down each year in early spring. Aquilegia vulgaris – Requires well drained but moisture retentive soil. Variety of flower colours available. Dies back in winter after scattering its seeds far and wide. Flowers late spring to early summer.

Heathers – great for winter/spring colour in acid soils. Need to be lightly sheared after flowering.

Dicentra spectabilis – Similar soil requirements and flowering times as Aquilegia.

Euonymus japonicus and Euonymus fortunei – no flowers but variegated forms are available. Only prune is they are getting out of hand or any obvious dead or diseased branches.

Hedging plants

Aucuba japonica (spotted laurel) – ideal in shade/semi-shade. No flowers but sometimes berries and variegated forms are available. Treat as above for pruning.

Taxus Baccata – yew by any other name. Hardy and slow growing, be careful where you plant it as it is toxic if eaten by your neighbours’ sheep (and us)!

Viburnum tinus – a great shrub for a bit of much needed winter colour. Prune to tidy up or trim back after flowering.

Fagus Sylvatica – common beech is deciduous but keeps its (brown) leaves through winter.

Climbers

Cotoneaster lacteus – good as an informal evergreen hedge with small cream flowers in summer and berries in autumn.

Clematis – make sure that the roots are shaded from strong sun. Choose Clematis armandii for an evergreen climber (needs a sheltered situation) or Clematis x

TAYLOR-MADE GARDENS

These can be used to either mark the boundary of the garden or to divide the garden into separate areas.

This is a small collection of suggestions, there are so many to choose from!

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garden


garden

Jobs to Do

By Ronnie Ogier

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!

IN THE GARDEN APRIL’S HERE AND THIS I THINK IT IS THE GATEWAY TO SPRING, PERHAPS THE BUSIEST SEASON IN THE GARDEN, PREPARING FOR SUMMER. IT IS CLOSE ENOUGH TO WINTER FOR EVERY WARM SUNNY DAY IN SHORT SLEEVES TO BE A BONUS, BUT UNPREDICTABLE ENOUGH, NOT TO BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED. IT IS THE MONTH WHEN MOST HAPPENS IN THE GARDEN. SO NOW DOWN TO BUSINESS! In the flower garden

In the fruit garden

Spring is the time to attack weeds and knock them back before they take over! Dig out deep rooted perennials with a fork and a daisy grubber. Control annual weeds by regular hoeing which will kill them off. Once the borders are ‘clean’ cover the surface with mulch. This will suppress weeds, lock in moisture and give a professional finish to your borders.

Now is the time to give your fruit trees a little TLC, and they will repay you during the summer. Mulch round the base of the trees to reduce weeds and retain moisture, and give them all a feed with slow release fertiliser.

Deadhead tulips and daffodils to reduce seed production and divert all the plant energy into strengthening the bulbs for next year.

Flowers with tall stems and climbers need supports in place ready to train in early growth. Tying in shoots or propping them up later risks damaging the plant and never looks as natural.

If your plants and shrubs performed poorly last year, now is the time to give them a boost with a dose of granular feed sprinkled at the base of the plant.

In the vegetable garden It is becoming warm enough now to sow directly into the ground – the soil is damp and warming fast as the sun’s heat becomes more obvious. Many hardy vegetables such as beetroot, radish and parsnip need little extra care to produce a delicious harvest. But it is also warm and damp enough for slugs and snails to multiply, so look out for them and control! ▪

Pot on any tomatoes and cucumbers sown indoors last month into larger pots as they grow.

Cover newly planted calabrese to protect from birds and white butterflies.

Keep on top of weeds – they’re growing fast now so hoe or hand-weed weekly.

▪ Protect flowering fruit trees from frost when forecast. ▪ Loosen ties on fruit trees. In the greenhouse Now is the time to plant your warm weather vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, corn, and melons. These plants cannot withstand a frost and should remain protected until late May or early June. And be prepared - the weather can still creep up on us, so be ready to cover your plants as needed. ▪ Check your greenhouse ventilation, open it up on warm sunny days but don’t forget to close it at night. Looking after your lawn A little lawn care now can make all the difference to the summer ahead. Make sure your mower blades are sharp, and then mow on a high setting. Edge the lawn while the ground is soft. Next focus on weeding to reduce the competition for nutrients and water, and finally give it a feed to strengthen the grass Finally enjoy the results of your efforts by creating a seating area, cleaning and oiling garden chairs and washing chair cushions. As you use your compost from your productive bins move it carefully, in case frogs and hedgehogs are still hibernating.

Happy Gardening! etcetera 29


garden

Amelanchier canadensis (in flower, right)

Honey berry is a species of honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea)

Ornamental Edibles IN MY GARDEN (AND IN THE NURSERY) I LIKE TO CULTIVATE PLANTS THAT NOT ONLY TASTE GOOD BUT LOOK GOOD TOO - EITHER A STUNNING ‘FIREWORK’ DISPLAY FOR A SHORT TIME OR A LONG PERIOD OF INTEREST OVER TWO, EVEN THREE SEASONS, OR BE USEFUL OR EDIBLE AS WELL AS BEING DECORATIVE

I

try to grow heirloom and unusual varieties of fruits and vegetables as well as creating decorative planting schemes using as many plants as possible that not only contribute to year round decorative interest but yield fruits, edible foliage, culinary herbs and tisanes (more about those next month), medicinal herbs, dye plants and edible flowers. This approach is very much embraced within organic growing and permaculture. It enhances interest and engagement in the garden, helps to create a sustainable ecosystem, reducing pests and diseases that are more prevalent in the monoculture of a formal vegetable garden, and generates great foraging opportunities on your doorstep. My top favourite ‘ornamental edible’ has to be Amelanchier canadensis its common names include the June Berry, Canadian serviceberry, chuckle-berry and curranttree. This deciduous shrub or small tree starts the year with a stunning display of creamy white blossom in April, which compliments the newly opened foliage which has a bronze tinge while young. In June, as the name suggests, the black fruits ripen and are similar to blueberries in flavour and vitamin C content. In their

30 etcetera

By Caroline W right

Salsify flower (s

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

lower down the stem, these care slightly native Canada they are a vital source of vitamins in areas where many fruits will smaller but can also be eaten or left to not grow. You can use them in baking, flower. Cardoons are grown for their leaf sprinkle them on your breakfast, and even stalks, which are blanched (rather like the make an Amelanchier gin (using the same old varieties of celery) using cardboard method as sloe gin)! Later in the year wrapped around the developing stems to their autumn colour is stunning as the exclude light to make them tender) but deciduous foliage turns bright red before also give a good display of flowers. the plant goes into dormancy. They are Echinacea purpurea, a well-known well suited to the climate here, produce medicinal herb, whose roots possess antitheir fruits microbial properties prolifically and I helping to boost our believe that every immune systems and You can use them in baking, garden should fighting both viral and have one! sprinkle them on your bacterial infections. The breakfast, and even make an Glove Artichokes fresh roots are washed Amelanchier gin and Cardoons are and pounded before both dramatic making into a decoction border plants with or tincture. Normally striking silvery deeply divided leaves and grown in a herbaceous border for its large purple flowers, they contribute both interesting and decorative ‘cone flowers’ it flowers and foliage to any herbaceous associates well with grasses in a prairie border. Artichoke flower buds are type planting scheme and equally with harvested before they open. After boiling, other herbaceous perennials. the scales surrounding the flower and the Another highly decorative but edible plant base of the flower are the edible parts and is Salsify Tragopogon porrifolius , until are somewhat of a delicacy. After the main last year I had never seen the flowers but buds have been harvested you will get a second crop arising from shoots produces on researching the identity a stunning


garden

seed head, right)

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’

flower growing (self-seeded) in my front border I discovered that this plant that I normally grow alongside carrots and parsnips in the root bed is also an attractive border plant producing large deep pink flowers that open in the morning and close in the afternoon (like chicory – another dual purpose plant). Normally it doesn’t get to flower because on the vegetable bed the tasty tap root is harvested in the first year (it flowers in the second year) after flowering it produces equally stunning seed heads. Slightly more specialist foraging are the Barberries or Berberis species, this genus of shrubs contains both evergreen and deciduous species that produce masses of small, yellow bell-shaped flowers in spring followed by berries that can be harvested and dried for use in Persian and Middle Eastern dishes. Berberis thungergii

Barberries (Berberis)

Echinacea flower

atropurpurea is a particularly handsome deciduous shrub with burgundy leaves that turn bright red in autumn. The ‘honey berry’ is a species of honeysuckle Lonicera caerulea that produces pairs of berries along its arching stems that can be used as alternatives to blueberries (be sure to have the correct species though as not all honeysuckle berries are edible). Not forgetting the ornamental elder Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’ with the deep purple leaves and pink elder flowers, makes superb elderflower fritters, pink elderflower cordial and ‘champagne’, elderberry wine, and is also an excellent plant for eco-printing and natural dying. The cultivar ‘Black Lace’ is particularly decorative with deeply divided deep purple/black leaves as the name suggests and is a popular plant on the nursery. You can also eat Hosta shoots, Bamboo shoots and Daylily flower buds!

Le Jardin Créatif Due to the current situation with Covid19 and Government measures to reduce the spread we are regrettably having to suspend all courses, this will be reviewed on a weekly basis. The nursery will be closed until further notice. We will be back as soon as we can! HOWEVER we are able to offer mail order SEEDS and DELIVERY of our range of perennials and garden sundries. We have now had confirmation that the nursery can offer delivery and ‘order & collect’ services throughout the period of confinement. We can offer seeds by mail order. Please visit our website for our seed list (with descriptions) and order form. www.lejardincreatif.net

etcetera 31


farm life

32 etcetera


farm life

April Fool?

By Kare n

Luff

Karen with her husband John followed their dream and moved to Le Chataignier, a 400 year old house in the beautiful Mayenne region of France, with their five year old son. Over fourteen years later they have established a smallholding on the site.

I HOPE I’M NO FOOL. BUT AS NEW SHEEP OWNERS OUR FIRST APRIL HERE PROVED US WRONG

W

hen we first started to live here in France, I used to go back to the UK each month and work for a week to keep funds coming in, like a lot of Brits, until we settled. As I was walking into work my mobile went and my husband asked me how many lambs our black ewe had. I replied there was one and asked why he was checking. He went on to tell me that when he went up to feed them, he had found an extra very large black lamb, with no tags in its ears, but he was sure it had to be ours.

each and every day just to check they are OK. Suffice to say I did not make a sale with them. Sheep need to be cared for, the same as any animal. If you have a dog you worm it, flea it, and take it to the vet if it’s not well. Or in our case call them out to the farm when we have a problem.

This was the case with our first set of lambs. We bought two ewes in lamb the first year we were here. We had, like most, read the books etc., and thought we would be fine. John, my husband, set up a baby It turned out to be a very small ewe alarm in the shed so we could hear what dumped in the field overnight. She was a was going on in the house. He was like an Ouessant sheep known as the smallest expectant father, in and out all the time. sheep breed in the world, which originate He’d go out in his pyjamas and wellies, just from the Brittany area of to make sure they were France. (We have a lot all right. There is nothing like hands in our area, being so on experience and I am now One Sunday morning, one close to Brittany.) At best they stand at half a straight in there without the of the ewes went into metre, so you can worry of those early days labour. It went on, and on, and on. Both of us being understand why my total novices, we made the husband thought we had decision to call the vet. He told us “Go into another lamb on our hands. Whoever the ewe and get the lambs out.” dropped her off in the night realised there The saying a Cornish farmer once told me is far more to looking after sheep than just “The only thing a sheep knows how to do dumping them in a field. Which I am sorry well is die” came to mind. to say, I hear a lot. They are not grass cutters as I so often hear. Following an So with the ewe in the shed, and on her advert I had placed to selling sheep, I had side, John tried to get the lambs out. He someone call me from the UK and ask if I was totally perplexed and could not make would sell them a couple. After a short out what was going on and asked me to conversation I realised this person was have a try, both of us now desperately calling me from the UK and had no worried. I can only say that reaching inside intention of being in France with the that ewe to try and work things out with a sheep, they thought that I could just long plastic glove on was not my idea of deliver a couple of sheep in their field and fun. I could not work out head nor tail of they would be fine here in France on their the whole situation, so Philip our vet was own. (After all, you see them walking called again and he came straight out. It around all over the hill side and fields…) turned out we had one of the worse No thought that the farmer might go out situations you could think of, a lamb

coming out backwards with the second wrapped around its belly. Over an hour and a half later both lambs were born, sadly both were dead. We learnt a lot that day. Unlike some, we didn’t sell the ewe, we kept her and the following year she gave birth without problems. Fifteen years on and we don't have that sort of thing happen anymore. We have both learnt so, so much. There is nothing like hands on experience and I am now straight in there without the worry of those early days, no hesitation. At this time of year we have the lambing box at the ready, all stocked, including ear tags. And the Ouessant? We contacted the correct authorities and in the end we kept her. She's not the only animal that we have taken in. We were issued with a set of tags especially for her in dark orange, not the normal yellow. Over the years she went on to have a lamb each spring, even in old age she always had a spring in her step, jumping around all over the place. She always got the first treat if any were going. We miss her but are glad we have kept one of her offspring. Ear tags are an integral part of keeping live stock. Keeping good records helps with farm-to-table, allowing the meat to be traced back to the farm. Which, in all cases, has to be a good thing for everyone. But it’s also good to keep records of the who, what, where and whens. We can trace back to see which ewe is related to who, and when vaccines and wormers were given to which sheep, and why. So enjoy the lambs this year as we will, they are a joy to watch jumping about in the spring sunshine. I love to watch them from the kitchen window, they make my day, even if we have April showers.

etcetera 33


fishing

Reading the Water

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fishing RECENTLY, WHILST DISCUSSING ALL THINGS FISHING WITH AN ANGLER WITH OVER 60 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE, I MENTIONED THAT I WAS GOING RIVER FISHING THE FOLLOWING DAY (BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN WE COULD LEAVE THE HOUSE).

By Clive Kenyon

“H

ow do you know where the fish are in a river?” He asked. “In a lake they are captive, but in a river you never know where they are.” I had never considered that. It turned out that my friend tended to fish small lakes that were club waters so he knew where the fish were from talk on the grapevine and even if they weren’t there, he was sure that that they wouldn’t be far away. Now, if you took that logic to one of our large lacs; Mas Chaban, Pardoux or Vassivière, for example, there will be fish happily swimming around several kilometres from your swim and no amount of ground baiting will bring them into range. And, unless you have a boat, there will be areas of water that you cannot reach by casting. So, finding where the fish are in such vast lakes and in our rivers is often key to success or failure.

Wind plays its part, also sunshine. As the water is warming up after winter on still, sunny days you will probably find fish located at the northern end of the lake; starting in the north-west in a morning and following the sun towards the northeast as the sun arcs across the shy. If these banks are also shallow then the water will warm up more quickly. Warm winds will drive warmer water downwind and create a fishy hot-spot on the lee shore. Insect eating fish such as roach and rudd intercept insects that are in the process of hatching and can be found just off the downwind side of the lake in midwater or towards the surface. The ideal morning scenario would be sunny with a warming wind blowing towards a shallow north-west bank or on the north-east bank in an evening.

The same sort of logic applies to rivers. In For the first part, many lakes that have our region there are few rivers where a fish been formed by damming a river follow a could if it wanted to, swim from source to certain profile in that the end where the sea. Weirs and barrages create separate river enters the lake is often shallow and pounds that can restrict the movement of can be the narrowest part fish up and of the lake whilst the dam down river. end is generally deeper These pounds Wind plays its part, also and wider. Fish are cold are similar to sunshine. As the water is blooded and sometimes the move from one place to warming up after winter on still, topography of another to where the the dammed sunny days you will probably temperature is most lakes but also find fish located at the comfortable for them. have the northern end of the lake Surface water is more aspect of flow prone to change from the to consider. effects of wind, sun and Mostly the ambient temperature and we all know that river runs fast and shallow after a weir and warm water rises above cold water so the the depth gradually increases the further layers or stratification of the water level away from the weir that it goes. As the can mean that certain depths are most depth increases the flow slows until at the suitable to the fish’s well-being. Fish also dam or barrage the water can be almost need to feed so a perfect scenario for any stationary other than the surface layer if it fish is where the water is of the optimum spills over the top of the weir, or the temperature at a depth where they can channel where water is directed through a find food. With typically bottom feeding sluice or mill race. It is said that barbel species this could mean that in winter favour water that flows at walking pace where the warmest water temperature can over a hard sand or gravel bottom, and be found at a depth that coincides with the that also follows for dace and roach too. bed of the lake, then it is likely that fish Somewhere along the length of river will be found there. You can check the between the weir upstream and the temperature of surface water using a barrage or dam downstream there may be thermometer dangled from your rod or an a place where the flow suits those species infra-red thermometer aimed at the water and if that speed of flow is over a hard bed surface. In practice it is sometimes just a of a depth of a metre or more your luck case of walking along the bank until you may be in. Dace show on the surface taking hatching insects and if barbel are see signs of fish activity.

feeding on drifting insects or rooting around the gravel they can give their location away as light reflects off their flanks showing a brief golden flash. Roach also flash, in their case silver as they twist to pull caddis and snails from stones and weed. Down at the dam end of a stretch of river you may see carp bubbling as they sift through the layer of detritus that has been laid there by the winter floods. I also find a lot of carp on shelves between the bank and the deepest part or where there are significant changes in depth and / or where flow is restricted but close to the full flow which is called a seam. Gutter swims where food being carried down the river gets blocked by weed beds or other obstructions collects are also good bets. You read about anglers fishing the far bank and around islands for carp and I am sure that they are good locations. But, I am pretty sure that carp do not know what an island is, or whether the bank is far or near. So, I prefer wherever possible to fish the near bank where good presentation of the bait is easier to achieve. Bream can also be found in the slower stretches of river and in lakes prefer mud rather than gravel bottoms. Sometimes you will find areas of soft mud on the edge of the main current where floodwater has deposited it. They also lurk about at the tail of weirs and some of the largest bream can be found there. In lakes they show themselves by porpoising or rolling as the shoal travels along its regular route. Bream don’t get much of a mention on here but this is a good time to fish for this popular species. In the Massignac arm of Lac Mas Chaban, towards the end of and just beyond the Carpe de Nuit area is a good place to fish for them as is between the Embarcadie and dam in the main basin. I have found bream in the River Charente in the Charroux to Savigné area. April can be a funny time for coarse fishing as the perch and roach will largely have finished their spawning whilst bream, chub, carp and barbel will not be ready for another month or two. If you do come across spawning fish of any species it is advisable to leave them be and look to catch other species elsewhere.

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wildlife The famous song of the nightingale is a fast succession of high, low and rich notes that few other species can match

The blackbird, sometimes known as the Beethoven among birds

Ornithological Manoeuvres in the Dark

By Mike Geo rge

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

ONE OF THE GLORIES OF AN ENGLISH SPRING DAWN USED TO BE THE ALMOST DEAFENING CHORUS OF BIRDSONG THAT GREETED THE BURGEONING LIGHT OF DAY. SADLY, THE INTENSITY SEEMS TO HAVE FALLEN OFF WITH THE PASSING YEARS, BUT HERE IN RURAL FRANCE IT CAN STILL BE EXPERIENCED.

J

ust this February I opened my front door while it was still dark in response to an importunate cat, to be greeted by a blackbird’s full-throated assault (the blackbird seems to be the bird that starts it all off). I stood, icy but enraptured, far longer than I should (which may account for my subsequent chest infection…). So what is it all about? What possesses our song-birds to stand around in trees singing their hearts out to the semidarkness? Haven’t they got more important things to do? Well, actually, no, they haven’t. Not at that stage of the day, anyway. They are awake, it is true, but it is too dark as yet to go foraging, especially as night dangers still lurk unseen at ground-level. Insects

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have not got moving yet, so are almost impossible to find. So the food imperative is on hold. That leaves sex and territory, and that is what the dawn chorus is all about: “This is my tree.” “O.K. Come and take me on if your think you’re hard enough.” “Girls, I’m a really handsome Thrush and we could build a great nest in my tree.” It is possible that the odd spat takes place in response to some of these calls. Again, the coming of daylight imposes more important duties on the male birds. One of the things about the dawn and the dusk is that ambient sound-levels are very

much reduced. Even sounds of human origin are muted to a great extent once everyone has garaged their car. Somebody with more skill than I have has calculated that a birdsong at dawn or dusk has 40 times the carrying power of the same song during the day. Of course, there are some birds that keep going all night. The nightingale is one such, and people will go out at night specially to listen to them. However, it is only the unattached males that do the night-time singing; mated males have what their wives consider better ways to occupy their nights. The nightjar is an oddity. It functions mainly at night, but its call is weird. If you can remember the noise an old treadle-


wildlife The song thrush has a beautiful, loud song with repeating phrases

The first indication that a nightjar is near is usually the male's churring song, rising and falling with a ventriloquial quality The kookaburra gets its moniker from its manic laughter-like call. And its early dawn and dusk cackling chorus earned it the nickname “bushman’s clock.”

powered Singer sewing machine used to make, you have the call of a nightjar pretty well exactly. If you pause at night near a suitable piece of woodland, and hear that sound, you are privileged to be listening to a nightjar. Of course, by no means all birds can sing. The sparrow is noted for this inability – all it can produce is a rather strident twitter but they really can natter. A tree full of arguing sparrows can be deafening. This seems to be a day-time activity, though they always choose hours when a bit of peace would be welcome, such as drinkson-the-patio times. Birdsong seems to be a function of a “higher” brain. Comparison of the braincomplexity of songbirds shows that the more complex the song, the more “higher” area of brain exists. The system seems to be that the bird has a repertoire of “syllables” of song hard-wired into its higher brain, but it has to learn to use them. Thus a bird’s song is partly inherent, partly learned. This explains the

cases of “dialect” reported from different populations of birds, but also the fact that an experienced bird-watcher can immediately identify a whole range of birds from their song alone.

dawn chorus or cause serious sleep disturbance. There is nothing for awakening even the deepest sleeper that compares with a kookaburra. This Australian member of the kingfisher family is impossible to ignore. I used to The champion syllable user is stay with my friends the nightingale. Betty and Don Risden, Research has Comparison of the brainwho owned the Bird shown so far that it complexity of songbirds shows Garden at Rode in has 1,160 different that the more complex the song, Somerset. They had a syllables available the more “higher” area of pair of kookaburras in for use, while a a pen about 100 metres brain exists blackbird has 108. from the house, and Of course, there are once these two birds had decided that oddities of learning, like the parrot family dawn was breaking, sleep was and the mynah birds, which can learn a quite impossible. “song” which consists of other than bird noises, and starlings, who are famous for As dusk approaches, the system goes into imitating telephone bells. reverse. Settling-down involves another burst of territory-advertising. This can be The sound of the dawn chorus has been prolonged by street-lighting. Confused by known to get between light sleepers and the artificially extended illumination of a their sleep. A pair of ear-plugs or a bit of street-lamp, the birds contributing to the double-glazing would usually solve that evening chorus can keep going into the problem. Those in Britain do not really have any strident birds that dominate the small hours.

etcetera 37


wildlife/animal

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN APRIL ‐ There is still the outside possibility of frost, but generally speaking the days should be warmer, and the lengthening daylight will be triggering the spring resurgence. ‐ Butterflies have also been in evidence for a month. Again I have already seen a number of Large Tortoiseshells. The impressive Brimstone (Fr: Citron) Gonepteryx rhamni should soon make an appearance. This butterfly often overwinters as an adult, hiding in ivy clumps, and emerges to begin a new generation which will emerge in summer. There may even be an autumn brood. The male is a startling sulphur-yellow; the female is considerably paler. If you travel to the South of France you may see its cousin, the Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra, whose yellow upper forewings are suffused with orange. ‐ The Large and Small Whites, and the Green-veined White, should also be in evidence. Don’t just dismiss these as “Cabbage Whites which aren’t worth bothering about”. They go through the same stages of metamorphosis as the more spectacular butterflies and are every bit as wonderful. Admittedly the Large and Small White caterpillars do eat the odd cabbage, but the Green-veined White’s chosen food is not cabbages at all, but wild cruciferous plants. ‐ Towards the end of the month the lovely little Orange Tip (Fr: Aurore) Anthocaris cardamines will appear. Remember, only the male has the orange tips to its forewings; the female has a black tip to these wings, and can look like a Green-veined White at a casual glance. ‐Again, I repeat my warning about the Pine Processionary Moth’s caterpillars. If you see a long line of hairy caterpillars travelling nose-to-tail. LEAVE IT WELL ALONE and keep your dogs and cats away. The hairs, which the caterpillars will release if annoyed, cause terrible irritation and if ingested by an animal can be fatal. ‐ Listen out for the calls of the Hoopoe and the Cuckoo. It has long been said of the Cuckoo, “In Aprille come he will.” Sadly, his arrival is less certain these days. Happily, the “Po-po-po” of the Hoopoe is still to be heard.

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astronomy

The Night While we are keeping safe and secluded in our own homes and gardens, what better time to take a look at our beautiful skies

rg Happy Sta

azing!

The Milky Way Returns The Milky Way (or La Voie LactĂŠe for our French friends) will soon be appearing again almost parallel with the northern horizon, from around midnight onwards after mid April. Get comfy and let your eyes become adjusted to the dark and after twenty minutes or so you will begin see more and more detail in the brighter parts of our galaxy. My first experience of viewing the Milky Way here in the Charente reminded me of just how clear our skies can be. To begin with I thought that I was looking at clouds. The 40 etcetera

dense and beautiful clouds of dust and stars can easily be mistaken for the other type of clouds, which we do not want to see when we’re stargazing! It is astonishing to think that all of the stars we can see with the naked eye belong to The Milky Way... between about 200 and 400 billion. So much to look at!

Constellation of the month The constellation of Leo or The Lion is a really prominent and beautiful star pattern found in the southern April sky. It really does resemble the form of an animal so is quite easy to find. It has been recorded for thousands of years by many

civilizations. Paintings in the Lascaux Caves here in southern France for example, are thought to depict constellations such as Taurus the Bull from 16,000 years ago. Leo represents the Lion, slain by Hercules in Greek mythology. The brightest star in the constellation is Regulus, or Alpha Leonis. It forms part of the lion's front leg and sits at the bottom of a back to front question mark shape. The six stars of this curving form (or sickle) represent the head of the lion. Leo is a beautiful constellation to view with the naked eye, but if you have binoculars it is also full of deep sky objects. Two galaxies M65 and M66, for example, can be found near the lion's rear leg.


astronomy

Sky

By Clair Wardla e w

Claire Wardlaw, originally from Edinburgh, lives in the Charente with her husband. Since their move over 4 years ago, Claire has become passionate about Astronomy with the aid and guidance of Astrofarm.

Astronomers to Remember Probably one of the most famous household names in the world of astronomy was Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore. Born on 4th March 1923, he attained prominent status in the field of astronomy as a lunar artist, writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter. He was fascinated in astronomy from the age of 6. He presented the television series, The Sky at Night for many years and shared the detailed lunar map he had created from his careful observations over many months on the first episode of the programme. Another thing which he spent a long while doing,

and is something fun to try for yourself, was to sketch a particular feature of the moon at three different times in the month. Each night of sketching, the moon details will be different because the the sun will cast dramatically different shadows on the craters and mountain areas. This is because of the changing position of the moon each night. He would use pencils and inks to add details to his craters or Mares or seas to highlights these changes. His enthusiasm for

studying and sketching the moon has made it a much more popular area of astronomy over the years. Some of Patrick Moore's lunar charts and records were used by NASA during the early Apollo missions. If you would like to see a few more ideas of how to try some astro sketching do have a look at the Facebook group I started a year or so ago: 'Astronomy Sketching and Art/ Astro Dessin. etcetera 41


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getting connected

I

’d like to thank those that have openly admitted to enjoying this column. So thank you, Jill. It must have taken a lot of courage, and for that, I am truly grateful. Maybe it could start a movement? #MeToo perhaps? Though I’ve been told that might already have been taken. It’s been a long time since someone acknowledged that I could have my own thoughts. Pre-marriage probably. Still, it could be worse. I could work for Priti Patel… (UK government dig? Check).

A Freesat box is not the same as a Freeview box -Freesat good, Freeview bad!

If you see the words ‘LNB Short’ on your TV screen, then the chances are that you have an issue with one, or both ends of the cable. The LNB Short message can occur when a tiny strand of the inner metal braiding (usually silver or copper coloured) touches the copper core in the centre of the cable. This braiding should be pulled back down the cable, away from the tip, and then covered by the ‘F’ A Freesat box is not the same as connector. Or, of course, the a Freeview box - Freesat good, LNB needs replacing...

If renovating your property, Freeview bad! please give Fransat will cease consideration to broadcasting monthly installing your TV cabling at the same time as having your subscription services like beIN Sports and OCS from the 31st May. This is due to a electrics done. This way, the cables can be failure in the new satellite that was due to placed behind stud walls etc. If starting replace the old unit. From the 1st June, from scratch, first-fix is the time to get Fransat will still broadcast the traditional everything in place. Dishes can be fitted later, but if the cables are hidden inside the TV services (TF1, France 2, 3 etc) along with radio channels. house, it will look a lot neater.

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English Free to Air / Freesat Satellite Broadband Installed English Subscription TV French TV DIY Kits Expert Service

tfhsatellite@gmail.com www.the-french-house.net

I’m free But I could be yours….. From 35€ ttc

@TFHSatTV French House Satellite TV

Contact Sam or Gayle 05 16 312 13 42

Based North of Dept 87 Covering 87, 16, 86, 23, 36, 79, 24

Stuart Wallace

T: 05 55 68 15 77 / 07 69 66 98 55 etcetera 47


getting connected

Jérôme BETUS · Fully qualified registered electrician (bilingual) · All work fully insured with 10-year guarantee · Domestic & commercial installation / repairs · Communications wiring & automation · Safety and conformity checks 86430 Adriers / jbelectric86@orange.fr 06 78 12 02 91 SIRET 537398125 00014

INSTALLATION, REPAIRS & SALES

Need a satellite television system installing quickly and efficiently? Having trouble setting up a new smart TV or Hifi system? Got the ability but not the time, or simply having a technophobe moment? We can help. ● Satellite system installation, UK & French ● Television and hifi installation ● Equipment sales for self installation ● Prompt professional service

SATELLITE BROADBAND INSTALLATION

www.paulwilkinselectricien.com

Fully Qualified – Fully Insured Trusted – Prompt – Professional All electrical works (Renovations, rewires, additions)

Siret: 75333878900021

T: 05 49 45 74 81 / 06 74 79 49 57

Satellite Solutions Siret: 817 844 038 00015

email: robert13560@gmail.com

Robert Foulkes

Email: paul@paulwilkinselectricien.com

Domestic, Public & Industrial Work Computer technician French Speaking Offers good free advice 87190 Magnac Laval T: 05 55 68 08 13 M: 06 25 20 99 13

david.read@wanadoo.fr Siret 490820859RM87

Clive Masters

CHARLES HODENCQ

All electrical installations inc:

Air Source Heat Pumps / Ground Source Heat Pumps / Solar Water Heating / Photovoltaic Electricity / Air-conditioning / Electrical /

n Domestic - renovation & new build n Commercial n Smart installations (thermostats, cameras etc.) n Air conditioning n Data & communications

Contact Paul Ellis: Tel: 09 62 68 09 06 Regions: Mob: 06 70 97 59 56 16, 36, 79, Email: paul.gill@wanadoo.fr 86 & 87

n Wi-Fi solutions

48 etcetera

Siret: 451 371 579 00017

Siret 452 755 390 000 13 - RM 8601

Electricité Générale

Wood Burning Stoves and much more

T:05 55 78 66 35 Depts. 16, 19, 24, 86 & 87 M: 06 17 32 02 12 E: clive@masters-electricite.com W: www.masters-electricite.com

French Electrician - fluent English Speaker Based in Bellac - covering 87 & parts of 86,16 & 23

For all your electrical needs - safety checks, re-wires, new builds, upgrades and complete renovations 05 55 68 62 26 / 06 24 27 01 86 charleselec@gmail.com Siret No: 503121279 00015


getting connected

PETER AMOR siret: 48002659000012

Repairs Heating Boiler Repairs Bathroom installments

ELECTRICIAN

35 years’ experience All work fully insured

Tel: 05 49 91 85 54 Simple jobs Complete renovations New builds Conformity checks Emergency Call outs Fully insured 10yr guarantee

I offer free &

Hedley Marsh 86150 Moussac sur Vienne Tel: 05 49 48 35 49 Mobile: 06 45 74 25 36 Email: hedleymarsh@orange.fr

siret 440 419 018 00013

VIENNE HEATING SERVICES Siret: 51190455900024

I offer free & friendly advice friendly advice so please don’t so please don’t hesitatetoto hesitate contact me. contact me

Based Dept 79 but will travel

E: pearce.lynne@orange.fr

Fully Insured French Registered Tel. 05 49 48 16 10 / 06 41 34 49 34 Email: stevepowelljones@orange.fr Siret: 82450859200014

Mark Gregory

Qualified & registered plumber Bathrooms - Kitchens - Drainage Complete Renovations - Repairs Dry lining - 40 yrs’ experience Based L’Isle Jourdain 86150

Bathrooms & En Suites / Plasterboard and Plastering / Water Mains & Drainage / Heating Installation Oil, Wood Stoves & Pellet Burners / Servicing & Repairs

Siret: 84879439200011

T: 05 45 89 38 02 E: simon.kershaw@wanadoo.fr

3 Rue des Terrasses 87310 St. Auvent

markgregory1962@hotmail.co.uk

07 66 40 57 95

Siret. 80438547400015

ANDREW LONGMAN

OIL ♦ GAS ♦ SOLID FUEL

Siret: 491827705 00022

05 45 29 68 73 / 06 30 11 86 84 email: gary.moore@orange.fr

Siret 509 768 693 00012

INSTALLATION ♦ SERVICING ♦ REPAIRS

PLUMBING REPAIRS ALTERATIONS INSTALLATIONS OVER 30 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE FULLY INSURED BASED IN DEPT 79 - WILL TRAVEL

T: 05 49 29 12 64 / M: 06 79 37 02 08 E: ak.longman@hotmail.co.uk

etcetera 49


getting connected/ artisans Kev Pope, the Computer Man Mob: 06 42 09 16 52 www.bell-computing.com pat@bell-computing.com

PC repairs, upgrades, internet, home service

T: 05 49 62 87 10 e-mail: kpcservice@wanadoo.fr 86460 Availles-Limouzine

Websites and Windows Affordable, beautiful, professional websites (designed, created and hosted) Windows and PC problems solved

Siret no: 453 868 275 00026

Siret:80020674000022

Homecall PC PC repair on house calls PC building on demand We sell hardware & peripherals ESET SECURITY BROADBAND INSTALLATION SOFTWARE RETAILER ASSISTANCE ON SITE Year round maintenance • Contracts on request

Tel: 05 55 78 24 86 Email: contact@homecallpc.com www.homecallpc.com 87150 Champagnac La Riviere

OPEN MON TO SAT 9AM / 8PM SIRET: 482 107 943 00011 - TVA INT: 0648210794300011

artisans

TRADITIONAL REPOINTING - HIGH PRESSURE REPOINTING - COLOURED SPRAY RENDERS EXTERIOR PAINTING AND FULL MOBILE SANDBLASTING SERVICE

Imajica Joinery Superior finish in wood Tiling - Plasterboarding - Flooring Door & window fitting - Kitchen fitting

05 49 87 09 63 Siret: 48115588500017

50 etcetera

Siret 489 815 258 00012

Find us on Facebook: Propoint facades Email: paulchester@club.fr T. 07 81 297 420/ 09 67 351337

Sun Terraces (traditional joinery),

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

Depts 16, 24, 87 Tel: 05 45 21 63 96 Email: wesley.halton@orange.fr www.facebook.com/wezconstructions


artisans

Steve’s property maintenance

Petits travaux du Batiment

Stuart F Park Painter Decorator

ALL TYPES OF ROOFING, RENOVATIONS, CONVERSIONS, PLASTERING, STUD WALLS, MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

Siret: 489 199 661 00013

Painting, Tiling, Wallpaper hanging all types of decorating undertaken Confolens 16 and area 25 years experience.

FULLY INSURED

T. 05 55 50 52 02 E: lowe.steven@orange.fr

Contact 05.45.85.78.30 / 06.04.49.04.10 stuart.park@hotmail.fr

Siret 84223310800013

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

E: eddltd@mail.com M: +44 77 79 04 57 18 Checkatrader E.D.D ltd

www.ackitchens.yolasite.com

Email: antschapman1971@gmail.com 05 17 36 17 74 or 05 55 48 27 17 / Mobile: 06 40 08 08 81 Siret 834026437 00022

One Builder

Siret en cours

H TAYLOR KEITARTISAN

Tout Batiment

Depts 79, 16 & 86

www.timhartley.fr

Building - Renovation - Carpentry

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

Siret 434972303RM87 tim_hartley@hotmail.com

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: ktaylor.renovations@gmail.com www.ktrenovations.com Siret: 478 608 105 00029

Siret: 828 984 815 0013

Based in 87 - will travel

Mobile: 06 49 86 09 26 E-mail: huardfontaine@yahoo.com

R & G Builders

30 years’ experience – UK & France English & French spoken Free advice and estimates / works & PL Insured

● Renovations & new builds ● Tiling ● Plant hire

/ 06 67 98 38 89

● Roof repairs & replacement ● Plastering ● Lime pointing

CABINET MAKING ~ KITCHENS Siret: 511294373 00010

Highly experienced in most aspects of building repairs & renovations Self-employed since 1989 References available

05 55 03 23 39

C&C Carpentry & Joinery

HUARD FONTAINE

Carpentry - Kitchen/Bathroom Fitting - Tiling & Plastering

Siret No 4825499610019

Javarzay 79110 Chef-Boutonne

Free estimates, friendly and reliable service Tel: 06 17 89 06 39 30 years’ exp paul_pickup@hotmail.com Fully

www.limousincarpenter.com

Qualified

Advertise Your Business For as little as 35€ ttc

www.etceteraonline.org

russellhainesbuilder@gmail.com

etcetera 51


artisans

Dominic Smith

Based in Benest (16)

Painter / Decorator

PAINTER & DECORATOR Interior and Exterior

Paperhanging and wall tiling

Siret: 807 715 529 00010

Over 35 years in the trade Covers depts 86,16,87

Painting, wallpapering, tape/jointing and tiling

Tel: 05 45 30 04 97 Email : smith.dominic@orange.fr www.facebook.com/d.smithdecoratingservices

FREE ESTIMATES

Chris Ringguth

Siret 5285994590013

Odd Job Tom

Will travel up to 1hr of Dept 86 Pool maintenance Tree Felling & Stump Grinding Grass Cutting & Odd Jobs

Les Effes, 86150 QUEAUX

Email leseffes@hotmail.co.uk T: 05 49 48 27 91 / 06 04 44 32 12

tturnbull80@yahoo.com Siret 8423761 3900015

siret no 523 998 557 00020

ADRIAN AMOS

HILL TOP TILING

SPECIALIST CARPENTER/JOINER

Interior & exterior tiling Travertine, marble, cement Ceramic, porcelain, mosaics

DOORS-SHUTTERS-STAIRS-FLOORINGKITCHENS

BESPOKE JOINERY & RENOVATIONS

FULLY EQUIPPED WORKSHOP & 40 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE LOTS OF SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR REQUIREMENTS

Paul Hill 05 45 24 01 45 hilltoptiling@hotmail.co.uk

REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

05 45 31 14 58 / 06 63 20 24 93 adrian.luke.amos@gmail.com

hilltoptiling

SIRET : 508 248 747 000 18

Phone Georgia 0611 169296

georgiaayton@hotmail.com Based Bussiere Poitevine 87320

Floor sanding Siret 528 777 519 00018

The Maintenance Man @ Chaillac

FIND US on

- Plastering By Design

Siret:530 444 496 00018

05 45 91 26 61 / 06 56 79 25 58 WE NOW CONSTRUCT

TIMBER FRAME HOUSES FROM YOUR PLANS, DESIGNS OR IDEAS. FROM SUPPLY & ERECTION TO FULL TURN KEY SERVICE

All other aspects of building, joinery, dampproofing & timber treatment still available

BUILDING / MULTI SERVICE

Digital Version of etcetera EVERY MONTH WWW.ETCETERAONLINE.ORG

52 etcetera

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

Troy Davey 05 55 60 47 78 06 10 49 49 57 troy.davey@orange.fr siret: 49895173000015

Andrew Hadfield Based 87330 References Available

05 55 60 72 98 07 81 53 71 91 dandahadfield@aol.com siret: 53229047500013


Kitchens & Bathrooms Dry Lining - walls and ceilings Tiling - walls and floors Painting and decorating Wood and Laminate flooring

Siret: 49411778100018

artisans section

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: aghearmon@gmail.com Siret 804 330 89200014

ARTISAN TILING

◈ All

aspects of tiling considered & exterior ◈ Porcelain, ceramic & natural stone ◈ 15 years’ experience ◈ Interior

Based in dept 87 Mark Perry T: 0749 162 852 Mob 07 50 89 31 79 artisantiling87@gmail.com

GLEN VINEY

Plasterer

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: anitaviney1@btinternet.com Decennale insured

Siret 527 736 326 00010

etcetera 53


artisans

LION ROUGE UPVC WINDOWS, DOORS & CONSERVATORIES SPECIALISTS All sizes, shapes & colours offered Supplied & fitted to the highest standard using premium products

10 YEAR WARRANTY on all products installed

~ COVERING SOUTH WEST FRANCE ~

www.lionrouge.eu

Tel: 05 46 70 25 87

info@lionrouge.eu

Siret 800 969 438 00020

JM Roofing

All Insurance work welcome

Carpentry ~ Roofing ■ Clay Tile Roofs ■ All Timberwork

■ Metal Sheet Hangars ■ All Zinc Work

Full 10 Year Décennal Insurance

T. 07 70 37 15 98 Email: jmtoitures@yahoo.com JMToitures

French & English Speaking

54 etcetera

Depts covered 16, 17, 24, 79, 86, 87

www.artisancentral.fr/JMToitures


artisans

AABA ROOFING FRANCE

Quality Roofing & Building for you

Assurance Décennale

Ecuras 16220

New roofs ~ Slate and tiling Fiberglass flat roofing ~ Repairs Gutters and facias upvc or zinc All leadwork ~ Timberwork References available

aabaroofingfrance@gmail.com 05 45 63 52 88 / 07 80 08 85 76

www.aabaroofingfrance.com

Siret 53210969100024

Siret: 842 248 692 00019

SARL

the roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof

Experts in working with slate, clay & zinc

Over 40 years’ experience

Malcolm’s experience has been sought after in America and Germany, where his skills have been called upon in the construction of stately and unusual homes. Experience in re-slating English Heritage buildings and churches.

06 35 11 27 31

For a free estimation please call or email:

Strictly Roofing Malcolm Cooke

admin@strictlyroofing.fr

www.strictlyroofing.fr

After · New Build Specialists

· Barn Conversions

· Groundworks

· Roofing

· Planning & Design

· Fosses Séptiques

· 10 yr Décennale

· Public Liability Insurance

Guarantee

Before

After

Siret: 505 246 777 00039

Before

Before After

For more information, a free quotation, or to discuss your requirements

Visit: www.slm-construction.fr Email: slmconstruction.mcdonald@gmail.com

or speak to Stuart on

06 38 68 60 14 etcetera 55


artisans M C SCAFFOLDING Siret: 80025145600011

Full English Scaffolding Service

SCAFFOLD TOWER HIRE BY Orchard Services

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

For internal & external use ~ Platforms up to 6m in height

Depts 16, 87, part 24, 17, 79 & 86 Day: 07 85 44 26 66 / Eve: 05 45 66 49 87 martin.clare6@gmail.com

amanda.hallbrook@sky.com

Siret 83166665600010

Strong aluminium scaffold tel 05 55 05 01 99 BECK CHERRY PICKER HIRE

Tim Shepherd

17m tracked cherry picker for hire with working IPAF qualified operator All exterior works undertaken Hourly or Daily rates Will travel to all of etcetera’s distribution areas

garden care P painting P fencing cleaning P caretaking P maintenance key-holding P admin help P changeovers

www.beckcherrypickerhire.com beckcherrypickerhire@gmail.com

Tel : 05.49.87.02.96 shepherd.timothy@orange.fr

T: 07 84 12 44 97

Siret 752 049 932 00011

Siret 82797863600013

Glyn Chubb

ARCHITECT

Roofing, plasterboarding, tiling Restoration and general building 25 years experience

Small jobs no problem!

Plasterboarding / Rendering Renovations

email: glynn.chubb79@orange.fr Tel: 05 49 27 67 29 Siret No. 494 068 315 00014

Advertise Your Business

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: john.hartie@orange.fr Eco-Buildings - New Build Renovations - Barn Conversions

Siret. 500 835 189 000 16

Staircases, windows, Doors, Gates, Barn Doors, Kitchens

Siret: 502 353 675 00015

Carpenter/Joiner

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

For as little as 35€ ttc per month

RUST REMOVAL - OAK BEAM BLASTING BRICK CLEANING - METAL - CONCRETE & STONE - TIMBER - CHIMNEY RESTORATION 3500 PSI HIGH PRESSURE CLEANER

Contact Sam or Gayle to discuss your advertising needs 05 16 32 13 42 / editors.etcetera@gmail.com

05 55 63 58 85 / 06 42 23 38 57 mandmblastinglimousin@gmail.com www.mandmblasting.com Siret 82184631800011

Roofing / Renovatio Roofing / Renovations

ROOFING SPECIALISTS Fully registered and insured Trading in France since 2007

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

56 etcetera

Insurance guarantee on all work. 15 years’ experience

ALL ASPECTS OF ROOFING / RENDERING & POINTING - Zinc / PVC guttering - Anti-moss - Insulation & Plaster boarding - Interior / exterior renovations For a free quotation please contact: Howard

CONTACT: PAUL CHARLESWORTH T: 06 28 28 04 63 E: pmcbatiment@yahoo.fr

(fully bilingual, living in France since 1990, 10 yr décennale Insurance)

Based Saint-Junien. Covering Depts 87-16-24

Tel: 05.55.60.23.70 / 06.85.43.13.58 Email: rcc87@live.fr

Siret : 531 655 231 00 11

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


artisans

Siret 82184631800011

Digger/dumper/tipper and driver Cherry Picker Hire Stump Grinding Hydraulic Concrete Breaking Swimming Pools Fosse Septiques Demolition Services For more information and a quote

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

Minidigger, Driver & Tipper Truck Free estimates

SARL

TER MAC et COUV

Toutes eaux, Micro stations, Compact systems, Special flood zone

Gravel driveways, rubbish/ tree stump removals, trenches etc www.davesdiggers.com Email davesdiggers@aol.com Dave Good 0549 073358/ 0675 180913 Based near CouhĂŠ 86/79/16 siret 5250162590018

Machines & driver 0.75 tons to 13 tons French spoken, 10+ years working in depts. 16, 86, 87

Siret : 484 738 166 00012

EXCAVATION SERVICES

Email: bentham.nigel@gmail.com Tel: 06 48 17 20 94

South West France Fosse We are the only dedicated installer Trained-Approved-Recommended by SPANC

Can you trust your installation to anyone else! With over 30 years’ experience

See all our work on

Siret 8234 2070 800013

southwestfrancefosse

Join Our Online Community #StayHome

Digital version online every month www.etceteraonline.org etcetera 57


motors & removals Lower Emissions

Free Diagnostic

More Power

Smoother Drive

CARS MOTORCYCLES LIGHT TRUCKS

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 rmbservicesfrance@gmail.com Tel. 06 01 59 60 75 Siret: 815 114 7720 0016

MOTOR PARTS

Driving Experience

Petrol

Diesel

Hybrid

Engine Safe

Siret 85357860700014

CHABANAIS WORKSHOP

Mobile Service available

www.EngineCarbonCleaners.com

Over 38 years’ experience on all makes of vehicle

CHARENTE Suppliers of Car & Van Spares & LHD headlights anywhere in France Direct to France at big savings! also Mower Batteries and drive belts!

Delivery via UPS to your door in France JOHN SOWERSBY 0044 (0)7830 170761 motorptscharente@aol.com

Based near Chef-Boutonne (79) GPS coordinates: N 46°07'18" W0 °01'03"

Fully equipped workshop with state of the art diagnostic equipment

Service & repair of cars & light commercials including preparation for Contrôle Technique

• We also supply & fit left-hand drive headlights • Free car loan available

Walton Coachworks 87600 Vayres Nick Walton 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 walton-coachworks@hotmail.com Tel: 07 87 65 53 11 / 05 55 78 67 02

Cornwall based business for collection & transportation, for cars, vans & vehicles

www.eurocovery.co.uk Mob (0044) (0) 7971 864 023 (0044) (0) 1726 337612 eurocoveryinternational@gmail.com

Typically 40% cheaper than French prices

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

58 etcetera

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

Siret 8120 15386 00012

NEW


motors & removals

ROCKET VAN

PATRICK NICHOLLS

Charente based

Siret en cours

Dedicated loads France - UK - France. Deliveries & Collections ~ 14m3 capacity / 4.2 m length Email: pat.nicholls@hotmail.com UK mob 0044 (0)7711 235 668 FR mob 0033 (0)617 038 858

Est. since 2004

Siret: 48122412900033

Man and Van Services

Deliveries and Collections FRANCE-UK-EUROPE (Inc. the islands) Transport & Small Removals Throughout Europe Full and Part Loads. Friendly Personal Service For Quote/Devis: Tel: 0033(0) 549971556 Mob: 0033(0)685805057 / UK Mob: 0044(0)7754732640 Email: heretothere86@gmail.com

F RENCH V AN M AN

Scott Marshall www.frenchvanman.eu

09 82 12 69 73 / 06 06 40 81 07

Siret: 53021364400012

UK & OVERSEAS REMOVALS & STORAGE WEEKLY SERVICES UK - FRANCE - UK

Genuine/Reliable/Honest Local • Europe • UK - Full or part loads House/Barn clearances / Antiques Finding & Sales 15m3 capacity | 4m load length English & French spoken 87150 Oradour-sur-Vayres Est’d 2007

A Family Run Storage Firm in the Heart of the Limousin

Support Local Business Book in advance, while we

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

Now storing cars, caravans and camping cars Call Karen for a quote on 09

66 03 52 89

#StayHome

www.etceteraonline.org etcetera 59


motors / property

GARAGE COLE & FILS OUR GARAGE IS DEEMED AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE, SO IT’S BUSINESS AS USUAL! AS ALWAYS, WE WELCOME YOUR CUSTOM.

CALL OR EMAIL US TODAY TO ARRANGE A BOOKING

REMAPPING AND CHIP TUNING PROFESSIONALS Authorised Installation Centre for the UK’s largest engine remapping company, Quantum Tuning Remapping Benefits: •

Up to 35% EXTRA power

Up to 35% EXTRA torque

Better Fuel Consumption

Reduced CO2 emissions

Improved driveability

Great for towing

Est. Since 2003

www.garagecole.com

Land Rover and 4x4 specialists Full main dealer diagnostics and programming Servicing and repair of all makes (including cars under dealership warranty) EGR and DPF removal Car re-registration (English to French) Transport Service Courtesy Cars Air conditioning - Exhausts Tyres supply & fitting Parts supplied Scrap cars bought

Monthly promotions throughout the year

1 Rue Saint Antoine, 86250 Charroux T: 05 49 87 72 40 Email: contact@coleetfils.com


property Étude de Me Christian COURIVAUD Notaire de Saint Junien

A French property network

T: 05 55 02 10 10 E: evnego@orange.fr

NEED EFFECTIVE AND SERIOUS SUPPORT TO BUY OR SELL YOUR PROPERTY?

Please contact us if you are looking for a property to buy or you have a property to sell in the west Haute-Vienne, or nearby.

Ask for SEXTANT PROPERTIES Active in L'Isle-Jourdain (86) and South Vienne Free information and advice:

www.bellefranceimmobilier.com

Thomas.courouble@sextantfrance.fr

Françoise 0683297593 / Rebekah 0616834510

06 07 89 13 94

Between St. Junien & Limoges (87). 125m2, 4-bed farmhouse set on land of 1.2ha and bordered with a river. Includes attached barn of 70m2 200,000€

French Legal and Property Services

W IN A NI W NG AR SE D RV IC E

Freephone from France: 08 05 69 23 23 Selling your French home? WE OFFER:

● ● ● ●

Siret 812 798 668 00024

www.beauxvillages.com

Our local team would be delighted to meet you as soon as possible

Valuations based on current, local market conditions A dedicated contact to guide you through the whole process Award-winning worldwide marketing through our own website and market leading portals Access to thousands of buyers already registered with us

enquiries@beauxvillages.com or drop in at 19 avenue de la République, 86500 Montmorillon

▪ ▪

- Samantha van Dalen Tel. UK: (0044) (0) 7910 199 072 Tel. France: (0033) (0) 645 3004 66 www.frenchlegalandpropertyservices.com

property maintenance

Safe Hands

PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

FIXED PRICE MAINTENANCE

From

50€ pw *

No surprise ‘end of season’ bills

Have you or your guests arrived at your house to find… ▪ An overflowing post box ▪ Weed infested drive and path

We offer fixed price maintenance packages from 50€* per week * Terms and conditions apply

Put Your in Safe 62 etcetera

House

Hands

▪ The grass hasn’t been cut ▪ Your swimming pool is green

PACKAGE INCLUDES

Weekly Well-being Check Cut the grass & hedges Clean and treat your swimming pool

Call Lisa

06 33 14 81 08


opinion BRIAN WHITE

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

was. Or a long-ago salad on a restaurant terrace at twilight. Across the river, the evening lights were coming on in Rocamadour and we could hear a wedding in full swing. I couldn’t tell you what was in the salad. Here in France, where food is interwoven with life, remembered restaurants and cafés often act as the trigger for shared recollections.

Feeding Frenzy IT WAS A SUMPTUOUS, SPICED MEAT AND POTATO PIE, A LONGTREASURED FAMILY RECIPE…

I

ts creator stood by, nervously awaiting the verdict of the ‘celebrity’ restauranteur. “It’s really delicious”, he whispered, “superb ingredients, perfectly cooked and well presented.” Then, with a disappointed grimace, he added, “But is it fine dining?” This, of course, is code for, “Could we get away with charging forty quid for it?” The answer being self-evident, the lady was shown the door. Shortly afterwards they flew the remaining contestants to Barcelona to witness the astonishing things a multi-starred chef could do with a beetroot. Yes, MasterChef is back (yet again) on UK TV with its hackneyed camera shots of the contestants walking in, six abreast in slow motion, (they’ve come to sauté potatoes, they’re not The Wild Bunch). Its mythologizing of chefs - and even food critics, for goodness’ sake - leaves its contestants so intimidated they can barely speak, while co-host Gregg Wallace helps to settle everyone’s nerves by bellowing, “BUT HAS SHE GIVEN HERSELF TOO MUCH TO DO, JOHN?” every couple of minutes. Michelin-style chefs inhabit a bizarre, rarefied world where meals are served on comically giant plates, even though the

whole thing would fit in a tablespoon, and the bill reads like the defence budget. It’s cooking as showbiz, the fetishizing of food. I watch few cooking shows, possibly because I came of age in the era of Fanny Cradock, a scary, pantomime dame character, and Philip Harben, who, rather wonderfully, in the pre-television days, presented a cookery show on radio.

I do enjoy Rick Stein, though. When he quotes from Byron or Joni Mitchell while The programme’s mania pan-frying a sea bass, he’s setting food in its Michelin-style chefs inhabit a for absurdly rare ingredients and hyperproper context: the bizarre, rarefied world stressful deadlines history, art and culture where meals are served on removes it from of the country which comically giant plates everyday experience. produced it. Nigella Lawson exemplifies the Why show people same approach, eating together as social simply doing what they’re good at, (“Great adhesive rather than competitive sport. British Bake Off” anyone?), when you can There is no doubt that our most instead have them hurtling around in a memorable meals comprise so much more field, catering for the 2nd Battalion of the than what was on the plate. It may be Parachute Regiment. counterintuitive, but unforgettable No, you can keep your quenelles, dinners often include food that was, in your swirls, dots and artichoke itself, quite ordinary. cooked seven ways. “BUT WILL HE I cherish the memory of a lacklustre and FINISH ASSEMBLING THE DISH IN ridiculously over-priced meatloaf, the key TIME, GREGG?” ingredient being not the seasoning but the Who cares? Bring back the lady with the location - B.B. King’s Blues club in meat pie. Memphis. Man, what a great dinner that

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Those of us on this side of the world’s savage inequalities are able to recall with misty eyes these dreamlike moments and even attempt to recreate them, the food part, at least. I’ve stolen, sorry, been influenced by several of Belinda Prince’s excellent recipes in these pages. I’m no slouch in the kitchen and have been poleaxing friends for years with my “Tagliatelle Surprise”. But as an enthusiastic and deluded amateur, I view MasterChef and its ilk the way the driver of a family saloon watches Formula 1 racing: it’s vaguely similar and undoubtedly takes skill, but it’s just so boring.

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