etcetera magazine November 2021

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etcetera I’M FREE - TAKE ME, KEEP ME!


Feathered Friends

NOVEMBER 2021 100s of Local Advertisers Inside

Bird Care This Winter

History The 5th of November… Correctly Remembered?




hello & welcome

Contents 3

A note from the editors


What’s on








Business & assistance






Free time

Welcome to the November edition of etcetera magazine.


Latest news







In this month’s edition we’re thinking about the birds and how we can give nature a helping hand during the winter. Don’t forget, if you do start feeding them you need to keep the supplies up! If you have to go away, slowly decrease the amounts each day as opposed to stopping suddenly. Why not enter our competition, you might end up being the proud owner of a bird feeding station! But can you spot where Cyrille is hiding?


Farm life






Home & specialist


Getting connected




Motoring & removals





Tel: 05 17 36 15 32

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Continue to keep safe, keep well.


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Useful numbers



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Photo credits: Bigstock, Pixabay, Shutterstock, Dreamstime

A Note from the Editors

Commercial adverts: Please see our Media Pack at 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 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.

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

Please download the pdf from this link now:

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

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

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Limoges Homeless Project F

or many people living on the streets, they have been forced into homelessness by a life-alterating event, or a series of events that were unexpected or unplanned for. It is all too easy for us to pass them by in the street, and think it is because of their own doing. Thankfully, there are fantastic groups of volunteers helping these people, making sure they have warm clothes and bedding. This is where we can all play a part in donating clothes or belongings. The Limoges Homeless Project is still going strong and continues to collect warm clothing and other items for the charity Les Autres, for distribution to those sleeping rough in Limoges. There is now a new lady at the helm of this great project, Louise is busy co-ordinating collections with the team of amazing volunteers.

NEEDED ITEMS They are currently looking for further donations. They kindly ask that items should be of good quality and are washed: −

Lightweight jumpers

Lightweight coats

Light blankets

Sleeping bags



Toiletries including shower gel, toothpaste, sanitary products etc

Food cans (with ring pull)

Sleeping bags and roll mats

Sturdy shoes and boots


Volunteers New volunteers are always welcome, please contact us to see if you can help in any way. Distribution dates These will be advised shortly. Please check on the Limoges Homeless Project Facebook page for updates, or contact Louise directly. Like our Facebook page: Limoges Homeless Project Contact Please contact Louise Hollebon by email or send a message through the Facebook group, Limoges Homeless Project:

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By Sar ah



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


− Hanging basket − A shallow dish that fits inside your chosen hanging basket 1-2 inches deep. We used a plant pot saucer.

Steps 1. Start by lining the hanging basket with moss. The moss gives it a natural look and help it blend into its surroundings. It’ll also provide the birds with some extra nesting. 2. Fill the body of the hanging basket with a mixture of natural materials. The material will form the solid base for the bath part of the bird bath, so try and fill it evenly and press down, so the dish sits straight. 3. We used a mixture of pine cones layered with dried stems and leaves to fill our basket. Not only are these materials readily available and free to collect, but they will also act as a fab environment for hibernating insects over the winter.

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− A selection of natural materials. We used moss, pine cones, sticks and dried leaves, see what you can find in your garden. − Two bamboo skewers to hold the dish in place 4. Sit the dish that will hold the water on top of the natural materials and use two bamboo skewers to hold it in place (see photo). The skewers will stop the dish tipping and the water spilling. 5. Once the dish is secure, trim the skewers to avoid anything injuring itself on them. 6. We weaved some pliable stems around the basket edge to give the birds something natural to land on and popped a perch across the centre of the dish for the same purpose. 7. Finally, hang the bird bath in a spot your garden birds like to visit and fill the dish with water. Within a few days, you’ll hopefully spot your birds making the most of their new hanging bird bath.


I’m free…. But I could be yours Advertise Your Business From just 35€ ttc per month − What you need to make a hanging bird bath − Hanging basket

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Winter Classics Cottage Pie with Ale Ingredients (Serves 4) 500g minced beef or soy mince (eg Sojasun Haché Végétal) 50g butter 2 medium onions, sliced 2tsp brown sugar (cassonade or vergeoise) 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 tbsp plain flour 250ml beef (or vegetable) stock

Château Mareuil

125ml dark beer (drink the rest!) 2 bay leaves Salt & pepper 1kg potatoes, peeled 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 egg, beaten Milk Method 1. Brown the beef or soy mince in a large sauté pan and remove with a slotted spoon. Melt 25g butter and brown the onion with the brown sugar, then add the garlic and stir to combine. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of

History, Beauty, Tradition…

Luxury Holidays with Private Pool Chambres d’Hôtes - Parties, Celebrations & Weddings Wine Tasting & Private Dining Belinda and Lee Prince 10 etcetera

By Beli n

da Prin ce


minutes before adding the stock, beer and bay leaves. Replace the meat or soy and season well. Bring to the boil, the simmer gently for about an hour (beef), or according to packet instructions for the soy mince. 2. Boil the potatoes in salted water, drain and mash. Mix in the mustard and beaten egg and a little milk if necessary. 3. Spoon the meat/soy into a shallow ovenproof dish and spread the mash over the top. 4. Finish in the oven at for 30 minutes.

Come and visit our medieval château


Open for private viewings Call 05 49 48 02 93 Château Mareuil, Mareuil, 86290 Brigueil-le-Chantre

Siret: 840796015 00013


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

food Louise’s Beef Bourguignon Ingredients (Serves 6) 1kg braising steak 200g smoked bacon lardons 1 onion, sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 450ml red wine 40g plain flour 3 tbsp Madeira 600ml beef stock Salt & freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp dried thyme 180g mushrooms A knob of butter 3 large carrots 12 shallots Finely chopped parsley to serve Method Preheat the oven to 140º/160ºC fan/Gas 3 1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Chop the beef into large chunks, add to the pan and brown all over, ideally in batches and transfer to a plate. 2. Add the lardons, sliced onions and garlic to the pan and fry until the bacon starts to brown.

Red Fruit Cobbler

3. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, boil the red wine until well reduced (by about 50%). 4. Sprinkle the flour over the bacon, onions and garlic, give it a stir, then add the reduced wine, Madeira and half the stock. Stir over a low heat until everything is combined and thickened, then bring to the boil.

and place in the pre-heated oven for about 2 hours. 6. Meanwhile, halve the mushrooms, peel the shallots, peel the carrots if necessary and cut into large chunks. Add a knob of butter to a large pan and lightly sauté all the vegetables for about 2 minutes. 7. Add the vegetables to the casserole and continue cooking for another 45 minutes or so, until the meat is completely tender.

5. Add the remaining stock, return the beef to the pan, add the thyme and season with salt & pepper. Bring to the boil again, then cover with a lid

8. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.



Whizz the flour, butter and 100g of the sugar until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub the fat into the flour by hand and stir in the sugar. Add the yoghurt and blend for a few seconds until combined.

Scatter pieces of the dough mix over the fruit, leaving some of it exposed. Sprinkle the cobbler with the remaining sugar and bake for 40 minutes until the fruit is tender and bubbling and the topping is pale golden.

A great standby dessert that you can make with store cupboard and freezer ingredients Ingredients (Serves 6) 650g bag frozen mixed red fruit 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped 150g caster sugar + 3 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp cornflour 250g self raising flour 100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced 175ml natural yoghurt Method Preheat the oven to 200º/180º fan 1.

Tip the red fruits and apple chunks into an ovenproof dish. 2. Toss together with 3 tbsp sugar and the cornflour. Mix well.

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Le Renard Roux

36310 Beaulieu

Lunch & Dinner - Music - Events Reservations recommended Full details on Facebook

T. 07 87 14 96 29

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Parlez Français French conversation, vocabulary & traditions

Le jargon administratif Les lettres administratives françaises peuvent être remplies de vocabulaire bien spécifique et de jargon administratif. Ce n’est pas toujours si facile que cela de bien comprendre ces lettres. Les Français adorent la phrase suivante, qui pourrait servir à qualifier le jargon administratif : « C’est compliqué ! ». Je vous donne ici quelques phrases typiques et du vocabulaire que vous pouvez rencontrer, et leur traduction en anglais. Je pense que cela vous aidera dans la vie quotidienne.

Lettre recommandée avec avis de réception (LRAR) Recorded letter with a receipt notification

It is your responsibility to… / It is up to you to …

Veuillez trouver ci-joint Please find enclosed … À qui de droit. To whom it may concern.

Vous pouvez faire cela dans votre espace personnel en ligne. You can do that in your account online.

Par la présente, je vous informe que. With this letter, I inform you that…

Nous vous répondrons incessamment sous peu. We will reply very quickly.

J’ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que … I have the pleasure of informing you that …

Il vous incombe de faire … You must… / You have to… / It is your responsibility to…

J’ai le regret de vous annoncer que … It is with regret that I inform you that …

Cela ne vous engage en rien. It does not commit you to anything.

Vous pouvez nous retrouver en tapant notre nom dans votre navigateur Internet. You can find us by searching our name online.

Veuillez nous renvoyer ce formulaire rempli sous pli affranchi. Please send us back the completed form, in a stamped envelope.

N’hésitez pas à nous contacter. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Veuillez nous envoyer une enveloppe affranchie adressée à votre nom. Please send us a stamped addressed envelope.

Nous vous prions de nous envoyer un justificatif de domicile de moins de trois mois.

Il est de votre responsabilité de faire…

é!» u q i l p m o « C’est c Broaden your horizons with CONTINENTAL HORIZONS! Bon courage !

Isabelle Broaden your horizons with CONTINENTAL HORIZONS! Mob. : 06 20 10 34 49 Email : Isabelle works for CONTINENTAL HORIZONS Language Centre in L’Isle Jourdain and teaches French as a Foreign Language every day in their many classrooms. Do not hesitate to contact her on 05 49 84 17 73.

En cas de problème, vous n’avez qu’à nous téléphoner au … In case of any problems, call us on …

Please send us proof of address (electricity bill or water bill or landline phone bill) less than 3 months old. etcetera 13

language & assistance


Vous devez faire votre déclaration de sinistre dans les 24 heures. You must make your claim (declaration of damages) within 24 hours.

Please make your cheque payable to …

by making an appointment to come into our office.

Nous règlerons ce problème à l’amiable. We’ll come to a mutual understanding.

En cas de résiliation de ce contrat, un préavis de deux mois vous est demandé. In case of cancellation of this contract, two month’s notice is required.

Le montant total de cette facture s’élève à … €. The total amount of this bill is ….€.

Je reste à votre disposition pour tout renseignement complémentaire. I remain at your disposal for any further information.

En votre aimable règlement. Please pay. Nous vous remercions de libeller votre chèque à l’ordre de …

Vous pouvez vous acquitter de votre dette, soit en nous téléphonant, muni de votre carte bancaire, soit en prenant rendez-vous dans nos bureaux. You can pay your bill either by calling us with your card details or



At Dino’s in Champagnac la Rivière (87150)

with experienced French teachers


Groups - Private tutoring - E-learning


Translations & Administrative Assistance

Sandrine Durand Siret : 488 296 450 00015 05 55 78 16 21 / 06 83 07 66 98 14 etcetera

(if eligible)

Contact Alain 05 55 32 41 76 / 06 37 76 54 98 Siret: 824417364 00018

J’aimerais faire une demande d’échelonnement pour régler cette facture. I would like to request to pay this bill in instalments. J’aimerais faire une demande de délai de paiement. I would like to request to delay the payment of this bill.

language & assistance Je m’engage à régulariser ma situation dans les plus brefs délais. I commit to settle my account as soon as possible. ne …(verbe) … que only contre son plein gré against one’s own will une commande an order un devis a quote / estimate un rappel a reminder une démarche administrative an administrative process / step un expéditeur a sender un destinataire a recipient / addressee le recouvrement the collection (of debts) le service contentieux the legal department le titulaire du compte the account holder Quiconque whoever une notification a notification renseigner (verbe) to give information un renseignement an information une signification a meaning une échéance a date of payment / an expiry date un échéancier an instalment plan / a payment schedule un prélèvement automatique a direct debit

un mandat SEPA a direct debit autorisation form

une négociation a negotiation

un T.I.P. (Titre Interbancaire de Paiement) a payment slip (to sign and date, when it has your bank details on, in order to pay a bill)

un partenaire a partner

un R.I.B. (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire) a slip with your bank account details

le locataire the person hiring / the tennant

un dégât / les dégâts the damage(s) une collectivité locale a local authority l’assainissement collectif (m) the mains drainage régler une affaire (verbe) to sort out some business régler une facture (verbe) to pay a bill une résiliation (d’un contrat) a cancellation (of a contract) un bail / des baux a rental agreement/ a lease une procédure a procedure / a process un besoin a need avoir besoin de (verbe) to need un abonnement a subscription / a line rental

le propriétaire the owner / the landlord

un remboursement a reimbursement / a refund rembourser (verbe) to pay back / to reimburse / to refund une réduction a reduction une offre spéciale a special offer une indemnisation a compensation une exonération an exemption le solde the balance mettre à jour (verbe) to update un mot de passe a password un découvert an overdraft un impayé an outstanding debt

une prestation de services a service

une amende a fine / a penalty

une fourniture stationery, a supply

une créance a debt

la concurrence the competition

un créancier a debtor

un appel d’offres a bid / tender

une commission a fee

un fournisseur a supplier

les honoraires (masc, pl) fees

une règle a rule

le siège social the head office

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

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

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business FINANCE


Financial Snob or Financial Slob?


ost of us like to think that we are financial snobs, but the truth is, we are closer to financial slobs than we care to admit. It is all good and well to know what the right financial planning principles are, but it’s a very different kettle of fish actually doing something about it. Financial slob This creature is indigenous to most continents and quite common in all urban areas. The characteristics of this creature are: ▪ They procrastinate over finances ▪ They are aware of the need of planning for retirement but keep putting it off

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▪ They never manage to save because they always have unforeseen expenses ▪ Their favourite sayings are ‘as soon as I get some time’ and ‘as soon as I can afford to, I will’ ▪ They do not consider lifestyle creep as a threat to their retirement ▪ They stick their heads in the sand and hope it will go away ▪ Most have work pensions and even a private pension plan, but know it won’t be sufficient ▪ Instead of increasing their retirement contributions with every increase or bonus, they spend it on lifestyle items ▪ No life cover or have insufficient cover to protect their family when they are no longer around ▪ Don’t have savings for their children’s future education Financial snob This creature is also indigenous to most continents, but is difficult to find in urban areas, is quite fussy, and has very particular habits: ▪ They are proactive and realise the importance of proper financial planning ▪ They save money monthly, no matter how small, for a rainy day ▪ They have regular reviews with their financial planner to keep up to date with their retirement planning

▪ Their favourite sayings are ‘let’s make time now’ and ‘there is always room in the budget for retirement planning’ ▪ They watch their budgets so they can make retirement contributions ▪ Most of them have work pensions and personal pension plans ▪ They visualise their retirement and know exactly the kind they want ▪ They realise time is their biggest ally when it comes to retirement saving ▪ Lifestyle creep worries them, and they try to increase their pension plans every time they get an increase or a bonus ▪ They want to protect their family and have life cover, even if it is a small contribution. Something is better than nothing ▪ They understand how expensive education costs are and have been saving since their children’s birth to ensure that they can go to world class universities Both snobs and slobs have the same financial strains that most do e.g. rising cost of living, but snobs realise that ‘one day when I have extra money’ will never arrive. They watch their budget and make an effort to contribute towards retirement and life cover, no matter how small it is; any contributions are better than none. Please note, the above is for education purposes only and does not constitute advice. Contact your deVere adviser for a personal consultation.



t has been a stressful time for many, following on from Brexit and the pandemic. Not only do these situations have an impact on your business, but on you as a business owner. You are the essential asset in your business, and it's important to look after yourself. Being self-employed brings its reward, but it can also be challenging to make time for yourself if you skip self-care. It’s easy to use precious time caring for your business that you forget to care for yourself. Business owners are spinning many plates at one time, and prolonged periods of too much plate spinning could potentially lead to burnout.

working week. Business owners can achieve it in simple and affordable ways.

"You can't pour from an empty cup, so take care of yourself first."

Have a manageable to-do list and switch off from work. Don't let work consume your headspace all day, every day. Work will still be there tomorrow. When you have too much on, learn to say no. Consider outsourcing tasks that take up too much valuable time. Set boundaries on your work time, switch off technology.

What is self-care? It's the simple practice of taking care of yourself by doing activities that promote and strengthen your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, and it should be a priority for the self-employed in order not to venture near breaking-point. In the same way other tasks get done in your business, make time for regular self-care. Make self-care an integral part of your

It could mean a bit of time out mid-week, taking a long weekend off, making time for quality time with family and friends. Or a bit of personal pampering – massage to relieve an aching body, or that weekly yoga session. What you need will be individual to you.


MICALA WILKINS ALACIM SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING stresses of being self-employed. Your business should not exist at the expense of your health.

Make sure you get the quality sleep you need to recharge your batteries, give your mind and body that much-needed rest, and don't forget exercise. Exercise is essential too for physical health and a good sleep pattern.

It can take real, conscious, intentional effort to create a balance that contributes to your overall long term well being. Getting a balance that works for you eliminates the need to react to the daily

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

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

Advertise Your Business Contact Sam or Gayle: etcetera 17





espite the country’s high quality of public healthcare, private top-up health insurance is taken out by most expats in France. Like any other top-up, premium is simply based on age, level of cover and postal address. Yes, for some reason, it is more expensive if you live in Paris or Bordeaux compared to Angoulême! There is no health questionnaire. You get a Tiers payant card (a piece of paper in fact) that proves you are insured (there’s an example of one on the opposite page). You can check your reimbursement, send quotes and bills and reprint your card directly from your Allianz online customer account. HOSPITAL ONLY COVER What does it cover: This cover is quite good in regards to hospitals as it is 400% cover and also up to 150 euro per day for an individual room. In France, you either share the room with someone else or you can choose

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Allianz Top-Up Insurance to be on your own like a hotel room (with your own bathroom). Note that the cover does not guarantee you will be able to get the room, it simply covers the cost if you can get one. Usually, you can always get one in a private hospital (Clinique).

much everything at 100% of the CPAM set price. It is the cheapest basic cover as it does not include the 100% santé reform.

those. For instance, the GP visit is covered 70% (GP visits cost 25 euro).


What it does not cover: Well, it does not cover surcharges, medicines that are only reimbursed 15 and It also covers things 30% by CPAM and other This cover is quite good in outside the hospital regards to hospitals as it is perks such as individual such as ambulance, 400% cover and also up to room, alternative x-rays, scans and medicine, etc. Also, it blood tests. 150 euro per day for an might not be enough individual room What it does cover to reimburse fully not cover: your glasses and teeth treatment if these Well, mostly it does not cover things are complicated. It also does not include outside hospitalisation such as dentists, the new reform of 100% santé so if you opticians, glasses, GPs, consultants, want a hearing aid, glasses or crowns medicines, physios. However, do note that covered by the new reform, do not choose you are covered a certain percentage of the this cover. cost by CPAM (French health system) for

ECO COVER What does it cover: This cover is the basic cover at pretty

What does it cover: This cover is the basic cover at pretty much everything at 100% of the CPAM set price and also includes the 100% santé

business ATTESTATION DE TIERS PAYANT ALLIANZ N°AMC : 00410001 Typ Conv : voir colonnes, CSR N°d’adhé rent : 123456789012345 Dé biteur APHP :27634

Bé né ficiaires du tiers payant Nom – Pré nom Date de naissance - Rang

Pé riode de validité 01/01/2019 au 01/01/2020

Droits en ligne ouverts - IDB

Assuré social :BOQUANDIER JACQUES-RENE N°INSEE : 1630123456789 45 Code GR : 01 141 N°de contrat : 150020630

Dé penses de santé concerné es par le tiers payant PHAR* MED* TypConv SP SP SP SP SP OC OC





BOQUANDIER 02/02/1963








PEC (1)

100% (2)

PEC (3)


BOQUANDIER 02/06/1962







PEC (1)

100% (2)

PEC (3)


BOQUANDIER 02/06/1989







PEC (1)

100% (2)

PEC (3)


Important : Seules les dé penses avec la mention SP sont prises en compte par SP santé

* Règle de calcul 050 : Mt RC = %TM dans le cadre du parcours de soins (1) Voir les modalité s de dé livrance des PEC et de facturation au dos de l’attestation (2) Les professionnels de santé doivent transmettre leur facture subrogatoire directement àAllianz (3) Pec pour les partenaires Santé clair sur et pour les adhé rents TP+ sur 100/100/100 : taux AMC sur pharmacie à(65%, LPP 60%) / 30% / 15%

Above are examples of the Tiers Payant card (left) and the all-important carte vitale (right) reform so covers hearing aid, crowns and glasses. What it does not cover: Well, it does not cover surcharges. Also, it might not be enough cover to reimburse fully your glasses and teeth treatment if these are complicated and above the new level of cover set by the French government via the 100% santé reform. It does include the 100% santé reform. SERENITE HOSPITAL COVER What does it cover: This cover is the best cover for hospital and also up to 125 euro per day for an individual room and 100% for the rest plus some perks. What it does not cover: Surcharges made by consultants and specialists (for consultations). Also, it might not be enough cover to reimburse fully your glasses and teeth treatment if those are complicated and above the new level of cover set by the French government via the 100% santé reform. GOLD COVER What does it cover: This cover is the best cover for hospitals and everything else. What it does not cover: Not much really!! Although you still might have to pay surcharges on tooth implants.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS When does the cover start? Straight away. Although the level of guarantee for HOSPI and SERENITE is limited the first 6 Months (200% instead of 400% for transport, medical and surgical, 80 euro instead of 125 for the individual room). What about pre-existing conditions? There is no health questionnaire, so they are covered. Can I upgrade or downgrade the level? Not the first year but any time after that, yes. Does the top-up cover me abroad? Only if CPAM does. It is a top-up not a private health insurance. How do I cancel it? On the anniversary date each year or if you leave France, we need proof of your address abroad. Or now with new law at any time once the first year has passed. If you already have a top-up but are not with us, we will organise the cancellation for you, so you have nothing to do. How does it work: When you have your carte vitale: When you visit your GP or other medical

professionals, you first give them your carte vitale and then you pay. The reimbursement is then automatically done by CPAM and Allianz is linked with CPAM by the “télétransmission” so the top-up from Allianz follows within 10 days of CPAM reimbursement. Tiers payant card That is your top-up card. This card does not show your level of cover. It simply proves that you have a top-up and gives information to the medical profession in case of a “prise en charge”- this is when the top-up pays instead of you. You can download it from your Allianz customer account. Example quote available online for readers I have created a spreadsheet which details the 5 types of cover and premium (in this example, it is for someone born in 1953, so 68 years old). This spreadsheet is available for download on etcetera’s website, please visit and select the ‘Links’ tab on the homepage (top right corner). This example includes a 10% discount as a customer (meaning this person already has another contract with us, either car or house, etc). If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me (details below), I will be very happy to help.

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Kefir Probiotic Elixir! The word Kefir comes from the Turkish word ‘Keif’. It means ‘a state of feeling good.

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here are dairy kefir, coconut kefir and water kefir, the latter is by far the most cost effective. It boasts at some counts, up to 56 strains of beneficial probiotic bacteria and you can make it for pennies (or centimes). Water kefir is a refreshing, sparkling drink that is even suitable for people with both types 1 and 2 diabetes (ensure the kefir is well fermented if you have diabetes, it should have a more vinegary taste and as with all changes to your diet, chat with y our doctor).

alcohol. Sweet to the taste but in reality, after a certain period of time, glucose levels have been tested in well fermented water kefir and they are said to be negligible. The longer you leave the ferment, the less sugar will be present and the more fizzy it will be. You will find your preferred flavour by tasting a little at regular intervals and decanting your delicious kefir at the time you love the taste best. Try making two batches so that you can leave one longer and so get used to the length of time to ferment the kefir to your own taste.

Water kefir is suitable for almost every diet and lifestyle as it includes no animal In these current times we all need to be products. The base solution is simply conscious of making sure our health is as water (I always filter the water I drink) robust as it can be and there is no better and sugar. The kind of sugar you use is up way to start developing and maintaining a to you, white or brown sugar, honey or healthy microbiome. Your body has more even maple syrup but once you start with bacteria than human cells and you literally a certain kind of sugar try to keep to that are what you eat. If you eat a healthy diet, kind so that the bacteria can get used to it. with good quality proteins, a range of It is worth asking your kefir supplier what colourful vegetables and fruits for sugar the grains are used to and weaning antioxidants, plus a good range of them slowly onto another if you don’t micronutrients then you are supplying want to use the one they are used to your body with the raw materials it needs. fermenting. You If you minimise can split the grains processed and into two jars when packaged foods In these current times we all need you have grown then you reduce to be conscious of making sure enough and try the toxic load our health is as robust as it can be each batch on too, so then and there is no better way to start different sugars to drinking kefir see what taste you with every meal developing and maintaining a prefer and what the will increase the healthy microbiome grains respond best bioavailability of to. Each batch is the nutrition in always slightly different. Buy organic your food and your body will not have to sugar to reduce pesticides. Kefir thrive in work as hard to detoxify. Bioavailability is the presence of electrolytes which are tiny the term used to describe how easily your minerals, essential for health. Electrolytes body can absorb the nutrition from the conduct electricity in the body for various food you eat. The more bioavailable your functions like muscle contractions and food is, the more nutrition from that food maintaining energy levels. Examples of your body will benefit from. Include a electrolytes are sodium, potassium, probiotic kefir drink with every meal and magnesium or calcium. If you do add a feel your energy increase and watch your little maple syrup or even coconut water to skin glow. Your immune system will grow your water kefir, you will see the grains stronger daily. grow faster as both these complements So how do you get hold of kefir grains? contain many electrolytes. They are readily available on the internet. So let’s discover lovely kefir. Water kefir Local health food stores often have kefir looks like clear jelly grains, they sit at the powder available in the fridge although bottom of your sugar water and ferment these often have limited usage and you the sugar for you. There is no need to do have to buy more after one or two anything more than make up your sugar ferments. Ideally get hold of fresh kefir solution and put in the grains. The grains grains and use those, then you can reuse will sink to the bottom where they ferment them indefinitely and keep a ready supply anaerobically. They metabolise or ‘eat’ the of this probiotic powerhouse available to sugar and transform it into goodies for you all the time. your health. As a by-product of that Research increasingly unveils the fermentation process they develop small importance of probiotics to our health. By CO2 gas bubbles around them, these including any probiotics daily, you give escape to the top and carbonate your your body a gift and it’s one good choice drink, leaving you with a light, delightful that can underpin many others, paving the and bubbly beverage. Other by-products are lactic acid and a very small amount of way to a healthier life.

By Amanda


Amanda lives near Ruffec and is in the final year of an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. She holds a BSc in Human Biology and Counselling /Psychology. Amanda is passionate about living in harmony with nature and innate wellness.

Water Kefir Equipment Sterilised glass jar - 10 cups capacity. Loose fitting lid or muslin cloth Pan to warm up the water to dissolve the sugar. Recipe Half cup Kefir grains Half cup sugar (your choice) 8 cups filtered water Add lemon/fruit/ginger as you like see online for more advanced flavourings - don’t be afraid to experiment with your secondary batch first. Instructions 1. Slowly dissolve your chosen sugar in the water. Warming it up over a hob is fine but do not allow it to boil. Leave it to cool to room temperature. 2. Put the sugar solution into a jar and add your kefir grains. Secure with a loose fitting lid or some muslin cloth with an elastic band. 3. Leave out of direct sunlight for two weeks. 4. Feel free to taste test your kefir daily to see the change in flavour. Once you are happy with the taste and fizziness, decant off the liquid and begin again. The kefir grains will multiply so you can do more batches or give grains to your friends.

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health health



f we roll back the years, before double glazing, central heating, insulation and other modern building methods, keeping warm was difficult. In today’s modern western society, many of these issues no longer arise. Houses are well built and generally well insulted. (If yours isn’t, there are companies who will get it done for you for €1!). A lot of us have central heating and/or log burners and many foods which is no longer seasonal. We associate the winter with soft quilts, comfort food and yes, for some, laziness. While there are so many things to love about the cosy, chilly weather, it can be challenging for those trying to lose weight. Therefore, I ask the question, why do we need to eat more if it is no longer associated with keeping ourselves warm?

during cold weather which helps burn more calories rather than storing them. There is a catch here and yes, you’ve got it, this is only possible if you motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning to do something, especially in the outdoors. Taking the opportunity on crisp winter days to do some gardening or take the dog for a walk. Perhaps find a few like-minded individuals and form a small informal walking club to get others involved, this way you’ll always have somebody to walk with and you’re more likely to commit (great if you don’t have a dog there to remind you it’s time for a walk!).

But let’s be honest here. In truth the opposite of the above actually happens. With the colder, shorter days we find ourselves doing less. If we do less, we certainly don’t This is only possible if you need to be motivate yourself to get out eating more!

This seasonal weight gain is not the same for everyone, but certain things tend to tip the of bed in the morning to do Perhaps the other scale in the wrong something, especially in reason for finding direction. Studies have the outdoors weight loss more suggested that the scales difficult is the should actually tip in the ‘boredom factor’. other direction as cold As we are more weather can speed up your metabolism, restricted in our outdoor activities, we which can help with weight loss. But again, turn to our kitchens for something to why? Exposure to cold air can make the occupy our time. Some of us would prefer body work harder to keep your core to cook than to do more housework or temperature up. In other words, you are ironing. There is always the excuse for able to burn more calories. Also, a kind of body fat called brown fat is activated making a pie or a crumble or some other

By Louise Cotton

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

fruit-based dessert as we have to use up all the fruit that is in the freezer as we have to make room for next year’s crop! We look to comfort foods to make us feel happy and ‘warm’ and these are not the best foods for those trying to maintain or lose weight and generally we eat more of them. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat these delicious foods, but if you want to keep your weight in check this winter, make sure that you’re eating sensibly. If you need or want to lose a few kilos, don’t live off Sticky Toffee Pudding all winter!

Other reasons for winter weight gain:

LOW WATER INTAKE Most people don't drink enough water during winter, which can lead to dehydration and increase hunger pangs. Lack of fluids in the system can lead to a decrease in the fat-burning capacity of the body. So, drink enough water to stay hydrated and speed up the weight-loss process.

VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D in the system can lead to weight gain. In winter, less exposure to sunlight can lead to a reduction in the body’s vitamin D levels. It is not the same for everyone. Taking supplements can help. You should always discuss these with your doctor especially if you are on other medication.

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Veggie/Vegan lunches & dinners ‘pop-up’ Cooking classes with Nikki Digital Photography & Knife-making workshops with Sean


SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD) I confess to thinking that this was a myth until my husband started to show symptoms of this. It is a psychological condition that's related to seasonal change. The lack of sunlight in the winter can have a significant effect on your mood and overall health. Symptoms of SAD include oversleeping, sugar cravings, weight gain, and fatigue.

onion, then pack them with lots of vegetables (fresh or frozen) and beans. Chilli can be a healthy meal if you use lean mince and add some extra vegetables, or make a vegetarian version with combinations of beans, lentils and vegetables. If you’re craving a roast, roast chicken or turkey (without the skin) is the healthiest meat choice. A jacket potato will have more fibre and less fat than roast potatoes, and make sure you fill your plate with vegetables and choose a low-salt gravy.

The winter months are a challenge when trying to lose or maintain your weight. We You can help yourself by endeavour to heat our houses to the same Apples, plums or frozen berries can be easily planning ahead with your temperature of the summer, when we stewed or baked. Serve them warm with low-fat complained it was too hot! (Well, maybe winter warmer meals plain yoghurt (or Skyr). Try warm salads using not this year.) However, the bottom line is; lentils and roasted vegetables like butternut we move less and eat more during the squash, onions and peppers, with herbs or winter and in reality, we no longer have the spices for extra flavour. They’re easy to make in excuse of eating more in an effort to ‘keep warm’. bulk, so you’ll have leftovers for another meal. You can help yourself by planning ahead with your winter warmer meals, there are plenty of warming dishes that are healthy or can Lastly, a reminder about portion control, it can make all the be adapted. Make soups with a base of tinned tomatoes and difference! Small changes over a long period of time will pay off.

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Winter Bird Care 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!



ne pleasure for me, once we get into the colder weather, is feeding our feathered friends. To maintain biodiversity in our gardens we should consider both flora and fauna, and during the year I have written about biodiversity and the role of plants and insects. Now we are getting to the time of year when nature’s larder for birds is diminishing, and it’s perhaps time for us to step in and assist. If we are to help our local birds what exactly do they need? In a way they’re the same as us – they need food, water, a place to sleep and somewhere to reproduce and rear their young. One of the things birds appreciate is nesting space, somewhere they can build a nest in the spring to bring up their young securely. But just as there are many species of birds of different shapes and sizes, so a nesting box needs to be

appropriate to the size and needs of the birds you wish to attract. For birds which use an open-fronted box, the size of the opening is much less of an issue and a ‘one size fits all’ approach can be used. Tits only require a relatively small opening, whereas sparrows need something larger, and of course, swallows and house martins make their nests from scratch in roof eaves. When to put up the nesting box The best time of year to put up a nest box is from October to February, ready for the birds to use in the spring. Any time of year is fine, but autumn or early winter is best as many species of bird will start looking for a nest site as early as January. Some species – in particular, Blue Tit and Great Tit – will spend a month or more searching for a suitable nest site before

making a decision, and that process can often start in the new year. In addition, a nest box put up ahead of the very cold weather also provides a warm shelter for roosting birds. So, even if the nest boxes you put up now aren’t adopted by breeding pairs in the months ahead (it can take more than one season before they’re first used), they will also serve as a safe and dry roosting place to get birds through the long cold nights. Try observing the nest box entrance at dusk, you might find a Blue Tit, Great Tit or even a few Wrens (who despite their strong territorial instincts often roost together) may disappear through the hole and hunker down inside for the night. Where to position the box The number one rule is never to position a nest box where it will get direct sunlight

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Pineapple Sage

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WIN! A BIRD FEEDING STATION IT’S COMPETITION TIME! TREAT YOUR FEATHERED FRIENDS TO THIS FANTASTIC BIRD FEEDING STATION The feeding station comes complete with two seed feeders, one peanut feeder, a suet block holder, water bath, fat ball hanger and a micro mesh feeder tray. Not only that but we’re also including the additional spike to go in the ground, ensuring that the station is stable and safe for the birds. All you have to do is find where Cyrille the Crested Tit is hiding! He’s somewhere in the magazine - he’s quite small, so you will need to look for him carefully! (Yes, that’s Cyrille on the right, but not the one you’re looking for!) Once you’ve found him, simply email us at: stating Cyrille’s location in the magazine ( page 27!) and you will be in with a chance of treating an array of birds to this wonderful feeding station this winter. Good luck!

all day long. A box in this position will get too hot inside and any young birds will perish. So always avoid south-facing aspects, as well as exposed west-facing aspects which are likely to get blasted by wind and rain. The ideal position is a sheltered north or north-easterly aspect. A tree, wall or even a high fence post can be used to secure the nest box, always try to keep them at least 1.5 metres from the ground. For open-fronted nest boxes, these should always be tucked away in vegetation so they’re not obvious to predatory birds such as Magpies. So a wall or fence which is covered in ivy or other vegetation is perfect. Don’t touch the nest-box from mid-March to August and in September clean out the nest-box ready for another year. It is not advisable to place a perch at the box opening as this will permit predators to rob the nest. Don’t worry if you don’t get ‘tenants’ in the first year, sometimes birds will investigate a site before choosing the one they would prefer to use. A bit like humans choosing a new home! Feeding the birds Feeding birds similarly differs according to the birds visiting – some like to feed on the ground, some high up, some need something solid, others are happy with a suspended feeder. Tits will be the most

leaves have fallen, and we are able to look regular guests and they will hang on to for signs of stress and deal with these. The anything whereas others such as robins key things to look for are: and goldfinches prefer something more stable with a perch. And there are some, Weather damage. We’ve experienced a such as blackbirds, chaffinches, and robins great number of periods of strong winds, again, who prefer to eat from the ground. and these can snap branches leaving them Most birds will eat a grain mix or with ragged breaks. If leaves are still on sunflower seeds, fat-balls, natural the tree, then the weight of snow or rain peanuts, and other nuts, all of which can can make branches fall. Damage needs to be augmented with fruit that is ‘going off’. be removed quickly and safely by pruning But only feed the birds in the late autumn the break back to the and winter trunk where a raised when other Don’t worry if you don’t get ring of bark surrounds food, such as the emerging branch. ‘tenants’ in the first year, insects and sometimes birds will investigate Tree stakes and ties. seeds, are not Supports are used to available. If you a site before choosing the one secure small trees until put food out all they would prefer to use they are established year round, they but should be removed will become as soon as possible. However, trees in dependent on you and not feed naturally. exposed areas may need to be left a bit Alongside the food always supply water for longer. Ties left on too long can severely your birds, and in the very cold weather restrict the growth of the trunk, so check ensure it’s not frozen! these annually. Undo the tie and give the As well as looking after our feathered tree a ‘wiggle’. If it feels sturdy with no friends our gardens still have a great deal sign of soil movement, the support and to offer us. There are berries, still some ties can be permanently removed. bright fruits, beautiful stems, winter Pests and diseases. Though rarely fatal, bedding plants, and bulbs to brighten up pests can contribute to a tree’s decline. the garden and give interest. But as the Look for discoloured, patchy, or scalegardening year draws to a close it’s time to covered bark. Distortion at stem tips can plan for next year. This is the time of year indicate an aphid infestation, but most to give our trees a health check when the

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garden tree insects are beneficial. More of a problem can be rabbits and deer. In this case rabbit-proof tree guards of spiral plastic protect newly planted trees; a ring of staked chicken wire can protect larger trees. Deer will require sturdy wire fences!

The top cut should be a slanting cut to carry away any excess water. Make a trench in a bare piece of ground and put the cuttings in about 15 cm apart, with two thirds of the cutting below the ground. Don’t forget to label them – a year is a long time to remember where you put a This is also a very good time for new cutting! These will grow in their propagation - plants of course! This is the trench over opportunity to make new the next plants, for free! Dividing year. Keep plants is a timeAfter a few weeks you will see the area honoured way of making new leaves appearing from the weed free new plants, particularly and water in cut surface but be patient before early-flowering ones. The dry spells; potting on – leaf formation soil is damp and still has apart from some residual warmth, so precedes root formation that they’ll portions of divided plants need no will very quickly settle. It attention. is also a good time to take hardwood Next autumn transfer them into their final cuttings, which involves taking pieces of growing position. mature stems from woody plants. These should not have any leaves on them Another option is to take root cuttings, choose straight twigs that have grown this and again this is easier than it sounds. year, cutting from the parent plant just There are two types of root cuttings – above a bud. Use this twig to make your thick, and thin. Thick cuttings are good for individual cuttings which should be plants such as acanthus and oriental approximately 20cm in length. Cut each poppies. For these, cut a few pieces of cutting from the twig just below a bud at chunky root by delving into the soil and the bottom and just above a bud at the top. cut the roots into 5 cm lengths, the end


28 etcetera

nearest the crown is the top of the cutting. The easiest way to do this is to lay them on a table as you cut them, keeping them all the same way up, then push them, crownend up, into regular compost in module trays or individual pots - this will prevent root disturbance when you need to pot them on. After a few weeks you will see new leaves appearing from the cut surface but be patient before potting on – leaf formation precedes root formation. The other type of root cutting is thin root cutting, suitable for plants such as Japanese anemones and phlox. For these cuttings take lengths of root from around the plants and cut into 10 cm pieces. Lay the root cuttings on the surface of compost in a tray and cover with grit. Once rooted, transplant carefully. After all the work you’ve done in your garden, take a bit of time to sit in front of a warm fire and look through your garden photographs to see what grew well, what you liked, and then order the seeds for next year. Congratulations on all you have achieved this year! Happy Gardening!

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Sorbus aucuparia

Liriodendron tulipifera



hether they are indigenous (native) or cultivated ornamental trees, they support hundreds of species of insects, birds and small mammals, they stabilise the soil, helping to prevent erosion, oxygenate the air, and provide microclimates for other woodland plants. Some species also provide useful products such as nuts, fruits, seeds, and berries and many are highly decorative and can add to the overall design of a planting scheme.

better value for money, establish better and more quickly than a containerised tree whose roots may have been in the pot for a long time and have started to spiral in the pot and go woody. The nursery will have undercut the roots usually every year or two. The process of undercutting severs the main tap roots and encourages the formation of a nice fibrous root system that will help the tree to access water and nutrients in the early stages of establishment. Over the first two to three Winter is a good time to plant trees. While years after planting the trees are dormant they will also send and the soil is thoroughly wet they will While the trees are dormant and out new tap roots the soil is thoroughly wet they that will stabilise the have time to establish before the dry weather will have time to establish before tree but they will need staking during of the summer months. the dry weather of the summer this period to It is important, however, months prevent ‘wind rock’ to make sure that they while they establish get deep watering until the tap roots have formed they are during any dry spells for at least the first susceptible to being blown around in year after planting. strong winds which can tear the newly During the dormant season, many tree forming roots and impede their nurseries will sell bare root trees – which establishment. have been field grown, rather than Whether you buy a bare root tree or a container grown – that they lift out of the containerised tree you will need to dig a ground to order. They need to be planted hole at least 1.5 times the width and depth quickly so that the roots do not dry out so of the rootball, making sure that you break it is important to have the ground up any compacted soil around the sides prepared and ready for planting before you buy them, but they are generally and the bottom of the hole. A square hole

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is thought to be better than a round hole to encourage the roots to spread out via the corners. If your soil is poor, you can add some well composted organic matter such as garden compost, well-rotted manure, or potting compost to the bottom of the hole. The addition of some mycorrhizal fungi will help the tree to establish and access nutrients from the soil. This is a type of beneficial fungi that can be bought in dry powder or pellet form and is important in developing a symbiotic environment in the soil that benefits many plants. If you are planting a bare root tree, occasionally they have some damage to the roots from the lifting process - you can trim off any damage with a pair of sharp loppers and trim any roots that are excessively long, leaving a nice rootball. Containerised trees may need the roots teasing out a little to encourage them to start growing out into the soil. With either type of tree it is important to plant them at the same depth as they were in the field or in the container. If it is a grafted tree, the graft should never be buried. A short upright stake is best for a bare root tree. You can position the tree in the hole, and before you backfill with soil, position the stake where it fits between the roots. Take the tree out of the way while you


Crataegus laevigata Quercus rubra

By Caroline Wright

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

Native trees: Sorbus aucuparia or S. domestica – (‘rowan’ or ‘mountain ash’) small to medium sized trees bearing white blossom in spring and red berries in autumn, both have pinnately divided foliage which turns an attractive colour in autumn. Good for wildlife. The berries are enjoyed by blackbird, mistle thrush, redstart, redwing, song thrush, fieldfare and waxwing.

Crataegus laevigata – (’hawthorn’) another small to medium tree that is a great tree for wildlife, with early blossom knock the post in, otherwise you risk and autumn berries. The haws provide a damaging the tree. Then you can valuable food source for many small birds reposition the tree before backfilling the and insects, including thrushes, hawthorn hole with soil and firming it in. For shield bugs and yellowhammers. They also container grown trees provide shelter for you can position the small mammals such stake at an angle after They also provide as wood mice and are planting so that the shelter for small also used by birds as stake is not driven nesting sites. mammals such as wood through the rootball. mice and are also used Either way, the stake Carpinus betulus – should be positioned on (hornbeam) a medium by birds as nesting sites the ‘leeward’ side, i.e. to large tree that the side of the tree although deciduous where the wind direction usually comes retains some of the faded leaves over from, so that in strong winds the tree is winter which provide a habitat for wildlife. blown away from the stake, not towards it, Its flowers provide food for caterpillars which could cause damage to the young and moths. The seeds provide valuable bark. Secure with a tree tie. After planting, nutrients for finches and tits in autumn. a good layer of mulch around the base of Prunus avium – (bird cherry) the blossom the tree will help to keep the soil cool, provides an early source of nectar and suppress weeds and conserve moisture. pollen for bees; later the cherries are eaten When choosing a spot to plant them you by birds and mammals. The foliage is the need to have a vision of the future and main food plant for caterpillars of many select a variety that is suitable for the site species of moth. as well as its eventual height, spread, root Ornamental trees: zone and the shade it will cast. Native varieties will provide the best habitat to Liquidambar styraciflua - (sweet gum) support wildlife, but there are many this medium to large tree develops a decorative varieties that are also valuable. broadly conical crown, has attractive Here are just a few examples of the many palmately divided leaves, and is one of the varieties to consider: best trees for autumn colour.

Quercus rubra - (the red oak) medium to large tree, beautiful large leaves with sharply pointed lobes, another fabulous tree for autumn colour. Liriodendron tulipifera - (the tulip tree) medium to large parkland tree with unusual 4 lobed leaves and large tulip-like flowers and buttery yellow autumn leaf colour. Magnolia grandiflora – this large magnolia produces huge scented white flowers in early summer followed by unusual seed heads and the evergreen foliage gives year-round interest.

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latest news

ADDITIONAL ENERGY BILL AID France will hand out about 580 million euros to help low and middle income households cope with soaring energy bills. Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that low and middle income households (those who live on less than 2000€ per month) will receive a special of subsidy of 100€. The amount will be received directly into people’s wages in December or January for self-employed and pensioners. This aid is additional to the annual voucher of 150€ toward energy costs that low income families already receive.

Did you know you can order your Poppy Appeal poppies from Amazon or ebay and get them delivered to France? In 2020, Covid took its toll on the charity, as it was the first time in 100 years that fundraisers were unable to carry out faceto-face collections, resulting in a shortfall of £20 million. To donate online visit /get-involved/poppyappeal You can buy official poppy merchandise from ebay and Amazon by clicking the links on the British Legion website. It’s not too late to donate. 34 etcetera

You will find communes in France also gather together at the war memorials on the 11th November. Don’t be surprised if your local one starts at an odd time (for example 11.45am), this is quite normal here so your best bet is to pop into your mairie and ask them for the details. The ceremony is often followed by an informal gathering for a drink and nibbles, it’s a good opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbours if you haven’t already and your commune will appreciate your participation.

Image credit: Gendarmerie du Finistère



Police in Finistère, a small town in Brittany are investigating how a car ended up perched on the roof of a bus shelter. Residents have suggested various theories, including the settling of scores, a prank - or even an art project. The Peugeot Partner was crane-lifted by police a few hours afterwards.



picture him half in shadow hunched over a Remington typewriter, tie loosened, sleeves rolled up. A cigarette dangles from the corner of his mouth while another smoulders in a heaped ashtray next to a half empty bottle of bourbon. There’s always bourbon. The flashing red neon sign across the street pierces his broken venetian blind, throwing diagonal shadows into the airless gloom. A saxophone wafts from a window somewhere. This, after all, is downtown Los Angeles in 1935 - how else could it be?

arrange a contract.” Finally, utopia comes to Skid Row. He’s on his way. Over the following years he builds a reputation for solid work although never quite manages to scale Hollywood’s highest peaks. But he turns in decent stories, writing dialogue for B-movies as well as tweaking the scripts for a couple of big pictures. His high-water mark is contributing a line or two for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in 1939. By the mid-1940s he’s financially secure. He has a family, he’s respected.

Then the producer who unlocked all this for him, dies. Despite the unprecedented flattery of that personal visit to Skid Row all those years before, the two men had never again met. At the gathering after the funeral, the writer is approached by the very secretary who’d drawn up his contract on that exultant Monday morning. “I remember you”, she tells him. “Do you want to know what really happened?”. Checking she’s not being overheard, she continues. She tells him her boss was a serial philanderer. That night in 1935, she says, he intended to visit a young actress, also desperate for work, to ‘offer her a part’ Then one night a knock The notion of fate or - with the inevitable strings at his door. His pre-destiny has never attached. But he misread the disbelieving eyes address and knocked on the sat easily with me recognise in the peeling wrong door. “He told me he hallway, one of the was terrified of the scandal if major Hollywood producers. Our guy is he’d been recognised in that part of town”, shocked into incoherence. “I’ve been she confided, “but you saved him by speaking first. He saw his chance and said sending you scripts – “, he blurts out, “I’m it was actually you he’d come to see. Of desperate to write for your studio –” The course, he then had no choice but to offer producer too seems taken aback but says you a job. I’m sorry, my friend, but it was yes, he’s seen examples of the work and all just dumb luck.” wanted to meet its author. Inviting himself in, he walks over and skims the one in the I came across this tale, which I believe is typewriter. “I like it”, he says, “Call at my true, some years ago and wanted to share it here because it’s always intrigued me. office Monday morning. My secretary will But from this one-room flea-pit of an apartment in the area they call Skid Row, he dreams of the immortals of screenwriting. Masters like Joseph Mankiewicz, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, guys who weave spellbinding gangster movies and screwball comedies from the threads of personal experience. One day he will take his place among them. The movie business is exploding but the screenplays he’s sent to all the major studios have died without trace. But, doggedly hopeful, he types on.

Brian White lives in south Indre with his wife, too many moles and not enough guitars Firstly, it’s a great story, isn’t it? I’m a sucker for that period, those films set in 1940s LA with the story told in flashback, the hero narrating as it unfolds. It’s the world of hard-boiled Private Investigators, double-crossing clients and the glamorous ‘femme fatale’, who stands out from the crowd “like a tarantula on a wedding cake”, (one of Raymond Chandler’s peerless characterizations); the beautiful dame who deserves better than her hoodlum boyfriend. Or does she? It’s “The Maltese Falcon”, “The Big Sleep” and – of course “Double Indemnity”. But I love also how this story emphasises the role played in our own lives by ‘dumb luck’. The notion of fate or pre-destiny has never sat easily with me. I see life more as an existential pinball machine, a ceaseless chain of cause-and-effect connecting the time and place of our birth to how many accidents we have avoided because we stopped at a red light somewhere. Or how about the chap who survived the 9/11 attacks which pulverised his office because he’d called at a shop to exchange a birthday gift? He literally owes his life to his mother’s lousy taste in shirts. Serendipity, pure and simple. Although we all strive to author our own stories, it’s plain dumb luck – in all its turbulent, scary, exhilarating chaos - which decides the final edit. But, doggedly hopeful, we type on.

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umans however have fished for at least 4,000 years. But it is only in the last 600 or so that we know that they have angled; that is to say, fished for pleasure using a rod and line. Some of the earliest evidence of fishing is found in the excavations of Troglodyte cave dwellers in France and Spain including several areas along the Vezere valley in the Dordogne Perigord. Fish were caught for food by various means including being trapped in tidal enclosures, netted, speared and caught by bait on gorges set on fixed lines. It is the latter method that sets humans on their way to inventing the hook and from there we are on our way to angling. But what defines angling? Angling as defined by the Collins Dictionary is “the art or sport of catching fish with a rod and line and a baited hook or lure; such as fly-fishing”. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “the sport of trying to catch fish with a rod, line and hook”. Whilst the Oxford Learners Dictionary gives it as “the art or sport of catching fish with a fishing rod”. For the purpose of The Larceny Act of 1861, Sect. 24 as seen in the case of Barnard v. Roberts and Williams concerning the setting of night lines it is defined as taking fish other than by angling in any water situated in any land belonging to a dwelling house or in a private fishery elsewhere. Both defence and prosecution cited passages of Walton to support their cases. But, the learned Judges in making their decision to find the defendants guilty studiously avoided defining what was, and was not, angling. Angling literature is thought to begin with A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle contained in The Book of St Albans first published in 1496 that has been attributed to Dame Juliana Berners, the Prioress of an Abbey in that vicinity. The Book of St Albans was originally published in three parts; Hunting, Falconry and Heraldry. It was only in the second edition that the printer Wynke de Worde added a fourth section on angling. Scholars have noted that the addition is not in the same hand as the other three subjects and raised the question of where the Treatyse on angling originated. Some historians have concluded that the origin of the hunting part of the Treatyse is dated around 1406 to 1413 based on the references to Edward of Norwich, Second Duke of York during the time of Henry IV. Edward wrote a manuscript entitled The Master of Game

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that was mostly a translation of a French work entitled Livre de Chasse dated sometime in the 13th century. There is however a tantalising account of an old manuscript about angling that was briefly made available to a small group of historians around 1850 that had been discovered in the vaults of the Abbey of St. Bertin in St. Omer in France. The manuscript was thought to date from around 1,000AD and included 22 chapters on river species, baits and fishing seasons. Subsequent attempts to locate this mysterious document have failed. Books and works on fishing were known prior to the Book of St. Albans. In Antwerp around the end of the fifteenth century a book was published in Flemish concerning how to catch fish and birds by hand and in the previous century a poem entitled De Vetula mentions using worms and flies as bait and lures to catch fish. But the earliest record of fishing in the English language is thought to be The Colloquy of Aelfric written around 995AD by Aelfric, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the purpose of teaching pupils to speak Latin.

The Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle from the book of Saint Albans

published at an increased rate although many were little more than copies of previous authors’ works. The Book of St Albans itself did not remain immune from being copied and the Treatyse was plagiarised first by Leonard Mascall and Mascall in turn was copied by Walton, who also helped himself to content from other books including ones by John Dennys and Thomas Barker, the latter being an associate of Walton’s. In reality the only two early writers who displayed original thinking rather than simply copying others are John Dennys whose work was published posthumously and Thomas Barker who was the first to mention what we now know as the reel. Dennys’ book demonstrates that anglers of the 17th century were similarly equipped to anglers of today with rods, creels, line winders and landing nets. The Compleat Angler was first published in 1653 by Richard Marriott in London and has remained in print to this day. The book has proved to be as controversial as it was popular. Franck, a Cromwellian soldier, took particular umbrage to Royalist Walton’s plagiarism and blind reliance on the works of Gesner and Bacon regarding natural history. Walton also showed naivety in claiming that he had found swallows hibernating in hollow tree trunks. There is little doubt that what he saw were bats. Franck railed at Walton’s suggestion that pike were spawned from weed as published by Gesner, a Swiss author, and mocked Walton for having opinions without facts to support them. He claimed that if you took out what Walton had copied there would be nothing left. Thomas Barker, another Cromwellian, had a slight dig at Walton in his second edition of The Art of Angling, some of the first edition having been used almost word for word by Walton. Much later John Waller Hills in The History of Fly Fishing for Trout points out that Walton must have copied Leonard Mascall’s book as the mistakes Mascall made when copying the Treatyse can also be found in Walton’s book. In spite of this Walton remains the most famous author of all time.

Broche in old French means a skewer or a pike in both senses of a fish and the pointed weapon of the footsoldier

Whilst the root of Berner’s work on hunting can be traced to a French work, no published French books or works on angling before The Book of St Albans could be defined as the source of the angling chapter. It remains a mystery as to who wrote the Treatyse, but it almost certainly was not Dame Juliana.

Within the Treatyse however are several clues as to its origin. When describing the making of a fishing rod the words broche and laton are used. Broche in old French means a skewer or a pike in both senses of a fish and the pointed weapon of the footsoldier. The word laton is a misspelling of laiton meaning brass in French. Brass has been used in English since before the Conquest so the use of these two words suggests that the Treatyse may have been translated from French. The elephant in the room however is that nothing resembling it has been found in published French literature. French books on angling start well after Walton. The Treatyse was printed many times and so proved popular with the English readers. However, it took around 100 years for the next book on angling to appear. From then on angling books were

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Compassion in World Farming was founded 50 years ago in 1967 by a British farmer who became horrified by the development of modern, intensive factory farming. Today we campaign peacefully to end all factory farming practices. We believe that the biggest cause of cruelty on the planet deserves a focused, specialised approach – so we are relentlessly focused on ending factory farming.

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nature farm life



dult chicken body temperatures vary depending on age, sex and breed, but average approximately 40–41 °C. Your hen is a hot little body wrapped up in a highly insulating layer of down and feathers. She can puff up her feathers to trap more still air, which improves the performance of her insulation. Huddling up with flockmates further improves the effect. Having her own central heating system, all she needs from you is provision of a safe, dry, draught-free location to perch in peace.

summer and will need to spray ends of perches and cracks regularly with mite killer (un produit anti-poux).

Absolutely essential is a perch, as adult chickens feel safe and comfortable when sitting up high, holding on with their claws, nestling down over their feet and tucking their head in or under a wing. When the muscles relax, the toes automatically curl into a grasping position, and this keeps them perched as they sleep. The height of the perch above the Hens take their time ground depends on Chickens often forage to select a soft, safe nest in a the breed. If they out in the damp and are light and agile, rain: their feathers give secluded spot and preferably two or three feet them a degree of above the ground from the coop floor protection when they is ideal. All perches are well-maintained by should be the same height: otherwise hens daily preening. However, moisture is will compete to be queen of the castle! You poorly tolerated once it penetrates below should allow a perch-length which gives the preen-oil or when temperatures are each bird 40cm space around her. This is low. Below freezing, damp can cause important to avoid pecking and frostbite on wattles and combs, and the overheating due to proximity of best way to protect your birds is to provide neighbours. Removable flooring under the rainproof, windproof shelters. perches will allow you to easily remove Shop-bought chicken coops (le poulailler) droppings. Your flooring can be covered in tend to be cramped and expensive. sand, sawdust or straw, all of which make Enclosing poultry in small spaces causes cleaning easier and provide insulation. temperatures to rise to uncomfortable However, droppings contain moisture and levels. Chickens are more susceptible to must be removed daily, along with any heat than cold and will struggle in a hot, other dampness, to ensure the damp interior. Your best option is to use environment remains dry. an outhouse or part of your barn. A Allow plenty of space for air movement wooden shed is adequate, although you around the birds to prevent stuffiness, and will have problems with red-mite in the

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ensure there is ventilation above head height to allow circulation while avoiding draughts. The roof should be sloped to facilitate run-off; any cracks will need fixing before winter to prevent moisture entering the coop and causing humid conditions. As long as there is sufficient ventilation, the roof can be insulated to help prevent loss of body-heat. Ideally, the whole hen house will be raised on stilts to discourage rodents. Similarly, remove food overnight, since chickens won't eat or drink during darkness and any food left out will encourage rats. Water should not be kept inside the coop: spillage will increase humidity, and sleeping chickens have no need to drink. Dedicate a section of the housing to nest boxes and line them with straw for comfort. Again, make sure the boxes stay clean and dry. Hens often appreciate resting in a nest, even when they are not laying. Don't be surprised if your hens decide to lay elsewhere, or go through phases of all competing for the same box. This is natural behaviour. Hens take their time to select a soft, safe nest in a secluded spot and preferably above the ground. You can leave them boxes filled with straw in strategic locations at perch height. Lighting is often recommended by commercial farms, but unnecessary for home production. Laying will naturally drop off over winter; hens will sleep more and lay less. However, they need this rest and we have no need to push them to high

language & assistance

yields. Artificial lighting can be disturbing for chickens, whose visual system is much more sensitive than ours. It is important to poultry to be able to go outside foraging during daylight hours and have access to grass. To reduce the risk of predation, I recommend shutting chickens in a fox-proof coop at sunset and opening up when they are awake at daybreak. If your hens are penned, a pasture rotation system can ensure they have fresh land and grass at all times of year. A muddy pen will cause discomfort, misery and sickness. On the other hand, there is nothing like the joy of a freeranging flock enjoying natural foraging behaviour!

do. Clear them a path so they can venture out: the exercise is important, even if there is little to forage. Their main problem in ice or snow will be lack of water: make sure they have unfrozen water at all times.

Even when freeranging, chickens need a supplement of grain. Whole wheat grains scattered on clean ground or a barn floor are very appreciated, as they prefer to scratch for their food, rather than eat from a feeder. When eating whole grains, chickens need grit to help them grind the grain in their crops. French retailers use the English word for this product. It includes shell (des coquilles) which is also needed for eggshell production. Penned birds need a specially balanced Hopefully your hens are The first time your flock pellet (des granulés sensible and have already pondeuse) to see snow, they may be a gone through the moult in ensure they have all autumn. However, they tend little shocked and unsure the nutrients they to moult at different times what to do need. In freezing and some choose to do so weather, I give my during cold winter snaps. free-range flock a supplement of granulés Many people are tempted to clothe their and some whole corn kernels (du maïs hens in woolly jackets, feeling they need to entier). All these feeds can be bought at protect their naked fowl. In fact, this may your local agricultural market and your cause irritation as the quills grow through local farmer may be able to supply you and prevent your hen from using her with the grain. natural system of fluffing up her remaining down. A better solution is to During cold and wet weather, an outdoor ensure she has access to a barn or shelter shelter or barn is appreciated to protect with straw to nest into; then she can keep them from wind and rain during the day. out of the cold when she chooses to. Here you can place a dustbath of dry earth or cold ash from the woodburner. Mix in The first time your flock see snow, they some diatomaceous earth (terre diatomée) may be a little shocked and unsure what to

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

in Coop er

or louse powder (poudre anti-poux) to help protect against parasites. Dustbathing is an essential activity for chickens, as it removes stale preen oil, lice and mites. They also enjoy relaxing in this way. Another parasite that may affect them even during winter is scaly leg (la gale de pattes), which can flourish and spread on long winter nights. Use a suitable product to spray the legs of any affected bird early in winter to prevent cross-infection or rub the legs vaseline to prevent the mite from getting in up under the scales. Vaseline can also be applied to comb and wattles in freezing weather to help combat frostbite. Appropriate feed, water, shelter and environment are all a healthy flock need to keep them in form, and we homesteaders in France are in the enviable position to have the climate and facilities to provide this.

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Fireworks over the place where it all happened (although it has been almost completely re-built since 1605!)



s W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman said in one of the test-papers in ‘1066 and All That’, “Give the day and the month (but not, of course, the year) of the Gunpowder Plot.” In fact, if you ask people what they do know about it, you will probably get some disappointing answers. Few will be able to tell you the year. There may be some vague notion of what it was about (“Didn’t a bloke called Guy Fawkes try to blow up Parliament?”) but ask who was the leader of the conspiracy and you will

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probably get a blank stare or “Well, Guy Fawkes, of course!” In point of fact, the actual Gunpowder Plot took place 416 years ago, in 1605. But it was on November 5th that the plot was foiled. James 1st had been on the throne for two years. When he had been appointed King in succession to Elizabeth, the Roman Catholics in England thought that they would gain some freedom at last. They had

The main target - King James 1st of England

remained alive by keeping their heads below the parapet all through the longdrawn-out repercussions of the rise of Protestantism in England, especially Philip of Spain’s self-appointed task of restoring Catholicism to England by force, which included the Spanish Invasion plan and the Spanish Armada of 1588, which was actually quite a close-run battle. Catholics had been viewed with deep suspicion, deprived of offices and privileges, and had lived in constant fear. James 1st was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, who had been a staunch Catholic until she was executed by her cousin Elizabeth. The reason was not really to do with religion; Mary was convinced she had a claim on the English throne and Elizabeth disagreed. Things could have


A contemporary portrait of eight of the main plotters. Robert Catesby (second from the right) was the chief conspirator; Guy Fawkes is third from the right

been claimed it would never have exploded. It was in fact perfectly viable; the powder had been supplied to the army, but gradually the saltpetre in it would absorb some moisture from its surroundings, changing the powder’s properties enough to make it too unpredictable for field use. Military gunners, then as now, needed to know However, this did not happen. James was exactly how their explosives would concerned at the European pastime of perform. The old gunpowder would have assassinating monarchs, and kept all been sold off to quarrying and mining protective pressures in place, and even concerns who strengthened some. didn’t need such Frustrated, a small number He could make and deploy exact of Catholics began to devise predictability in the accurate fuse-trains that a plot to eliminate James the explosives and put his cousin the explosive would need to they used. Elizabeth on the throne. ensure maximum effect but However, it It was probably in late 1604 allow for his escape would still have that Robert Catesby, a performed recusant Catholic (that is, reliably. Catesby one who resolutely rejected the Protestant probably knew that even if he could have service), with possibly psychopathic got hold of it, purchasing full-quality tendencies, decided on the destruction of gunpowder would have attracted King James during the course of the attention; diverting a few barrels of opening of Parliament planned for 5th condemned powder was less conspicuous. November 1605. He gathered a small However, he needed an explosives expert. group of about 12 like-minded Catholics Guy Fawkes was an Englishman who had around him. converted to Catholicism (and was To tell the story briefly, he rented a cellar therefore probably even more fanatical under the House of Lords (in those than most Catholics), and had spent 20 simpler days, there were facilities even in years fighting on the side of the Catholic the Parliament building for tradespeople Spanish against the Protestant to hire storage close to their work) and got Netherlands. He usually called himself hold of 36 barrels of condemned “Guido Fawkes” in tribute to his Spanish gunpowder which he installed there, connections. During that campaign he had hidden under a load of wood. A full barrel become fully conversant with gunpowder contained 100 lb (about 45 Kg) of and its various uses. He could make and gunpowder. If it could be detonated all at deploy the accurate fuse-trains that the once, it would be a devastating explosion. explosive would need to ensure maximum effect but allow for his escape. His task Much has been made of the fact that the gunpowder was condemned, and it has after the event would be to go back to remained at stalemate (Mary was Elizabeth’s prisoner effectively) except there was much fear that the situation could result in a Catholic rebellion, so Elizabeth reluctantly authorised the execution. However, this history convinced many Catholics that James might relax the pressure on them.

By Mik

e Geo r ge

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

Europe and use his contacts to tell everyone who mattered what had happened. The Three-score barrels mentioned in some contemporary texts would have been about 5000 lbs (2200 kg) of gunpowder, which if it all exploded simultaneously is calculated to have been capable of destroying the whole area for a radius of several hundred yards. There seem only to have been 36 barrels, roughly 3600 lbs (slightly over 1500 kg) of actual powder, which was still more than enough for the job. Contemporary accounts state that the store-room, being close to the Thames, was damp. I assume that Fawkes was concerned that some of the powder had become too damp; in which case not all the barrels would have exploded. A typical example of a barrel suitable for transporting gunpowder, and a sample of the sort of ‘corned’ gunpowder it would have held

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history courage he eventually named his co-conspirators. Most were arrested. Catesby and some of the ringleaders were involved in a firefight during which Catesby was killed. He was, however, beheaded, drawn and quartered as were the others. Only Fawkes avoided the worst of the execution; he contrived to dive off the scaffold and break his neck before the final grisly end of the matter. Would the explosion have worked? In 2005, the 400th anniversary of the plot, the BBC decided to test it. On a large safe area they built a replica of the Parliament building from the old plans, collected 36 barrels of gunpowder (they purchased them from Spain!) in the replica cellar, put a few suitably-dressed mannequins in the chamber above the cellar, lit the blue touch-paper and retired. The building pretty well ceased to exist. The head of the mannequin placed to represent King James on his throne was

Some Catholics who knew of the matter tried in vain to persuade Catesby to change his mind and abandon the plot, pointing out that the new Pope had condemned violence as a means of solving the problem, but Catesby refused

Unconfined gunpowder burns very quickly, but does not explode

This may account for the fact that there were two deliveries of gunpowder to the store. Also, the fuses were somewhat unreliable, and some barrels might not have been ignited when the rest exploded and would have been blown apart before they could explode. In either case the gunpowder from these unexploded barrels would only have added fuel to the subsequent fire. Anyhow, the plan seemed to be that he should have plenty of time to get away before the explosion. Rather use too much than too little, especially when you are a fanatic! All was in place. Some Catholics who knew of the matter tried in vain to persuade Catesby to change his mind and abandon the plot, pointing out that the new Pope had condemned violence as a means of solving the problem, but Catesby refused.

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What happened next is somewhat confused. The fact is that Lord Monteagle received a letter warning him not to attend the State Opening of Parliament. Whether this was a genuine attempt by one of the conspirators to warn a cherished friend, or whether it was a cover for information received from a double agent, has never been satisfactorily settled. In any event, Lord Monteagle showed the letter to the authorities, who immediately instituted a search of the building. They found Fawkes sitting in his cellar, but he managed to convince them he was keeping an eye on his wood, and they passed on. However, the King, when he heard of it, ordered a more thorough search, and the gunpowder was discovered. Fawkes was arrested, and under the dire methods of questioning then in use, in spite of his undoubted

found several hundred metres away. Many of the sensors deployed to measure the intensity of the blast went rapidly off-scale and ceased functioning. From the films and measurements they made the experts deduced that everyone in the building would have died instantly, anyone within 100 metres of the explosion would also have perished, and all the mediaeval glass that is now such a feature of Westminster Abbey would have been pulverised. Quite a contrast to the “minor structural damage” of which the pundits used to speak 60 years ago. What would have happened had the plot succeeded? No-one, of course, will ever know for sure, but it is likely that an extreme backlash against the Catholics would have occurred. English people hate extremism, and they do not like their Monarchy messed about with, as witness the antipathy towards the Roundhead faction after the Restoration just 55 years later. Like Catesby, Cromwell was dug up and beheaded! It would probably have set the Catholic cause back by a century. One strange thing that did happen was that King James made an Act of Parliament the very next year prescribing that the date should be commemorated. A truculent Service of Thanksgiving for the Deliverance from Treason was introduced

history Also, it was found that the rate of burn into the Protestant Prayer-book, and could be altered by changing the physical public celebrations were initiated. Usually, form of the explosive. Finely powdered an effigy of the Pope was burned. gunpowder burns fairly slowly; it is Eventually the religious fervour ran out, necessary for maximum effect to make the and the service was quietly dropped from intimate mixture of the fine components, the Prayer-book by the Anniversary Dates then dampen and compress this into a Observance Act 1859 (by that time there solid cake and re-mill it and sieve it and were four such services per year, including dry it until a fine grit or gravel results. an even more truculent Commemoration This is a seriously dangerous process, and of the Murder of Charles 1st and a is one of the reasons that gunpowder-mills Thanksgiving for the Restoration of were located far from habitation. The Charles 2nd. You will have to find a preresult, however, burns much more 1860 prayer-book if you want to enjoy effectively and was referred to as ‘corned’ them). The bonfire parties continued, but gunpowder. Finely powdered gunpowder the burning of the Pope was gradually was useful for ‘priming’, that is making a replaced by the burning of an effigy of Guy connection from outside the gun through Fawkes (except in the Sussex town of the ‘touch-hole’ to enable the main charge Lewes, which had suffered very much to be ignited by a smouldering match or, under the reign of Bloody Mary, and had later, a spark from a flint. “Look to your seen some 16 Protestant "heretics" burned Priming!” was a frequent order on the in its market-place. Feelings there ran battlefield in the days of musketry. very high, and an effigy of the Pope himself was burned - a tradition that Gunpowder is a low explosive. This means continues to the present - alongside that of it does not detonate, but deflagrates many other current-day effigies (often (burns) if ignited in the open. The burn is political) from the various Bonfire very fast, but proceeds at a subsonic rate Societies). The chant about, “Please to through the material (unlike a high remember the Fifth of November, the explosive, wherein the explosion travels at gunpowder treason and plot”, which above the speed of sound). Uncontained played down the Catholic connection, gunpowder will not explode (though it can began to be sung. Fireworks provided a produce a sudden, damaging sheet of new use for surplus gunpowder. Now the flame and a loud “whoof” – and lots Gunpowder Treason of smoke). is little more than an Gunpowder’s chief excuse for a This is a seriously dangerous purpose is to burn barbecue on a freezing November process, and is one of the reasons rapidly to produce a steadily expanding night. Since the that gunpowder-mills were pressure in order to advent of garden located far from habitation expel a missile from a cookery, barbecue gun without destroying parties are often the gun itself. Hence the combined with the name “gunpowder”. This type of burn is festivities. Up until the 1960s, however, also very suitable for propelling a rocket. the main customs were for children to parade their Guy around the streets and To force gunpowder to explode it is try to collect some money ("Penny for the necessary to contain it in a stout sealed Guy, Guv'nor?"), and to bake potatoes in container. Then the pressure will build, the hot embers of the bonfire as the party which enhances the rate of burning, until died down. What do you know about gunpowder? Gunpowder, a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur, was invented in China as a medicine (!) during the latter 800s. It was soon discovered that it had more practical uses.

the container ruptures violently, releasing the stored pressure. The barrels that were used to store gunpowder in the 16th and 17th centuries were quite stout enough for this purpose. We will never know for sure all the details of the plot and its detection. Several interesting questions remain hanging. Why did the first inspection on the day not reveal the gunpowder? Why did the King himself have to insist on a second search of the building? Who actually tipped-off Lord Monteagle? Was the plot known to the authorities all along, as has been suggested? Even in a 400-year-old plot, there is something for the conspiracy theorists to work on!

The town of Lewes in Sussex remembers the Gunpowder Treason in its own special way, with street processions, effigies and an enormous bonfire

The exact proportion of the three components is variable. Their purposes are; to burn (the charcoal), to provide oxygen to support the burning (the potassium nitrate, often referred to as saltpetre), and to lower the temperature of the burning (the sulphur). This last is important, as it allows the gunpowder to be ignited more easily and avoids excessive deterioration of the gun. Changing the proportions of the components can give the gunpowder slightly different properties for different applications. There is quite a lot of waste, and copious amounts of smoke and soot are generated.

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These towering tendrils of cosmic dust and gas sit at the heart of M16, or the Eagle Nebula. The aptly named Pillars of Creation, featured in this stunning Hubble image, are part of an active star-forming region within the nebula and hide newborn stars in their wispy columns

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he beautiful Orion and Taurus constellations, The Pleiades cluster and The Andromeda galaxy are all really well placed this month and are very easy to find. Once you have spotted these it will become easier to locate and identify a number of other objects: ▪ Gemini - The Twins, which can be found towards the east and north of Orion ▪ Eridanus - the sprawling constellation which can be seen starting at the star Rigel at the right-hand lower corner of Orion ▪ Sirius - the bright and beautiful star which can be found to the lower left of Orion as he journeys across the southern sky The Moon and Planets this month With the New Moon on the 4th, the first week of November will provide some of the best opportunities for viewing objects such as constellations or clusters. As the crescent phases of the Moon grow from the 5th onwards, binocular views will show lots of contrast and feature details on the Moon's surface. The Full Moon falls on the 19th. You may be able to spot the Planet Mercury rising close to the star Spica on the morning of the 1st, before the sun comes up. Of course, this will depend on your latitude. Another opportunity to spot this planet will be on the 3rd when it will form a pretty triangle with Spica and a thin crescent Moon. Look east southeast early before sunrise. A very nice view of a crescent Moon passing close to the Planet Venus can be seen low to the southwest on the evenings of the 7th and 8th. The Planet Uranus is 'at opposition' on the 5th (on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun). See our 'Object of the Month' section later in the article. Meteor Showers for November The Northern Taurids are peaking on the 12th of the month when the Moon is still only in its first quarter phase so it is a fairly good viewing time.... It has an hourly rate of about 5 meteors. The far more impressive shower - The Leonids - will be active from the 14th to the 21st, with the peak falling on the 17th/ 18th. Unfortunately, the almost Full Moon will make viewing conditions less favourable.

These very fast meteors, with long trails, are caused by the dust from the Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Object of the Month: Uranus The planet Uranus is one of the outermost planets from the Sun and as such the cool blue gas giant is lit by a tiny amount of sunlight compared to the Earth (around 0.25%). On the 5th of this month, Uranus will reach opposition and will be at its closest point to the Earth. This will be the best time to observe the planet - with a telescope. It will appear as a dim greenish disc, partly due to the lack of sunlight falling on it. A few facts about Uranus; ▪ It is 2,871 million km from the Sun ▪ It orbits the Sun every 84.01 Earth years ▪ It has over 27 moons ▪ It was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope (by William Herschel using a 15cm telescope in his garden) ▪ It spins on a 97-degree tilt (which makes its equator almost vertical) ▪ It is made of hydrogen, helium, ammonia and methane (hence the blue colour) ▪ Uranus is four times wider than the Earth Observing Challenge: Mercury, Mars and a Crescent Moon Before Mercury disappears into the morning sunlight later this month, on the 3rd and 10th, we have the chance to spot this planet close to a thin crescent Moon and Mars. First up, on the 3rd, at around 7.30am we can look towards the east and try to see the triangular form which will be created by the three objects; the star Spica, lower right, Mercury, lower left, and the crescent Moon above. Then on the morning of the 10th, again at around 7.30am in the east, it may be possible to spot the two Planets Mercury and Mars apparently very close together and below the star Spica. Good luck with your observing and why not try to catch these lovely views with a camera. You will just need to ensure it is on a sturdy tripod and adjust the settings to catch enough light.

By Clair Wardla e w

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

Join our Facebook group ‘Astronomy & Astrophotography France’ Shining a light on Astronomy Jargon: Nebula Nebulae - the plural of Nebula - can be beautiful objects to view in our night sky. With a telescope or even binoculars, it is possible to discover the many forms Nebulae take. These stunning features could be Emission Nebulae (often starforming areas), Dark Nebulae (cold clouds of gas and dust), Reflection (often pale blue regions which reflect light from young stars) or Planetary Nebulae (where dying stars shed material). A few of the more well-known Nebulae are 'The Orion Nebula (M42)', 'The Lagoon Nebula (M8)' and The Eagle Nebula. These Nebulae are all star-forming regions containing massive clouds of dust. There is a very famous Hubble Space Telescope image of a detail which is found deep within ' The Eagle Nebula' and has been named 'The Pillars of Creation'. These enormous regions can be many light-years across and continue to be studied by astronomers as they reveal so much about stars as they are born and die over billions of years. Constellation of the Month: Orion The constellation of Orion is returning to our night skies now and is one of the most prominent and easy-to-find features. Orion or 'The Hunter' will voyage across the southern sky from east to west throughout the month. His belt of three bright stars, an asterism sitting centrally within the constellation, is a really good pointer to begin recreating the form of the Hunter. Betelgeuse, a beautiful bright orange star, is the 'alpha' star of the constellation and can be found to the upper left marking The Hunter's left shoulder. Another lovely star that marks the right foot of the Hunter is Rigel. It is a bluish-white colour. The sword of the Hunter, hanging just below the 'Belt', is where you can see, even with the naked eye, the nebula known as M42, or The Orion Nebula. With binoculars, or even a small telescope, this is a stunning object. This month in Space History 21 years ago on November the 2nd 2000 : The first residential crew arrived onboard the International Space Station. 64 years ago on November the 3rd 1957: The Soviets launched Sputnik II carrying a now very famous dog named Laika.

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home & specialist



ood briquettes or compressed logs are made of waste wood chips created as a by-product of wood processing activities, such as timber mills or joinery workshops. The quality of the feedstock is hugely important as any contamination (either from unseasoned wood from timber mills or undesirable composites like MDF and plywood from workshops) can cause visible defects in the briquettes and can affect their performance. Any briquettes of good quality therefore employ strict quality controls to ensure only clean, dry wood is used. Before the chips can be used, they must first go through a shredding process. The feedstock is reduced in size to wood chips of 10mm or less using a slow single shaft shredder which produces amounts of dust and other particles which can then be used and refined as needs be to create the

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optimum blend ready for the forming process.

of briquettes will deliver twice the heat of good quality seasoned hardwoods which could lead to your stove over-firing.

The blend of feedstock is then fed into a Another advantage of compressed logs is piston press where the woodchip blend is the space required to store your fuel subjected to pressures typically around source. It is important that briquettes 100psi. At these pressures the lignin in the remain in airtight packaging to prevent cell walls heat and melt to form a sort of moisture from being absorbed from the natural glue which fuses the feedstock atmosphere, especially if storing outdoors. blend together. This hydraulic press takes The moisture content of just a few seconds to form a the feedstock will be no At these pressures the new compressed log. more than 14% and a lot lignin in the cell walls heat So that’s how they’re made, of the moisture in the and melt to form a sort of woodchips will be but what properties and natural glue advantages do they possess? utilised during the pressing process, Well, wood briquettes allowing the chemical bonding of the typically have a density twice as high as blend, which in turn results in a product kiln dried hardwoods. This means that with a moisture content much lower than compressed logs can deliver the same heat that of seasoned woods. output as the best quality seasoned hardwood logs whilst taking up less than half the space in your stove. Be mindful when fueling your stove; the same volume

Compressed logs come in packets of identically dense, sized, and moisture contented briquettes. This consistency in

home & specialist

UR WOOD BURNER By Kris Jenningtian s

your fuel leads to a more controllable burn replanting practices here in rural France, and ultimately, more complete not to mention the excitement of seeing combustion. This translates therefore to your wood delivery and the romanticism you getting more out of your fuel and of refuelling your wood burner with wasting less up your chimney. Less waste beautiful oak which I think most would up your chimney means less chance of agree, looks a lot better than engineered flammable deposits such as tar building compressed logs. up, less chance of Finally, let’s talk cost. these build-ups Gram for gram, the heat It is the density of the restricting the output of any wood is the wood which affects its diameter of the flue same. It is the density of and getting more life burn time and the heat the wood which affects its out of your liner. given out from a single log burn time and the heat As with most things in given out from a single life, compressed logs have their downsides log. Wood is sold in volume. You may have too. Many people find the heat from heard terms such as cord (imperial) or briquettes can be rather too intense. This stere (metric). A stere is the metric unit of can of course be mitigated by getting into volume equal to one cubic meter or 1,000 the habit of refuelling the correct amount litres. A stere of 50cm logs will set you of fuel more regularly. We are also all back around a quarter of the price of a lucky enough to benefit from an stere of briquettes. It is worth bearing in abundance of good seasoned oak at often mind however the density of briquettes very good prices, hand-in-hand with good and the fact that you will get no less than

Kristian of Jennings Chimney Sweeping specializes in Chimney problem diagnosis and is a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps

2x, with some briquettes boasting up to 4x, the heat output from the same volume. I myself use a mixture of local seasoned woods and compressed logs. Compressed logs are a great way to get your stove up to running temperature as fast as possible. This is an advantage as around 80% of what you burn in your fuel is gas. Without the heat from the appliance, the reaction between these gases and the oxygen entering through your stove’s air vents can’t take place efficiently and potential heat is lost up the chimney only to be seen again when your sweep comes to remove it in the form of soot, creosote and in some cases, tar. For those with minimal storage space, buying a few packs of compressed logs every week might be the answer. The lucky ones who have their own chopped wood from their own land probably won’t be tempted, but for those on the fence, why not pick up a pack and give them a try?

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home & specialist

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getting connected SATELLITE TV



hope I find you all well and getting set for the most wonderful time of the year. You are? I’m impressed. I didn’t expect you to know about World Television Day on the 21st November. What’s it for? Who cares? It was set up by the UN so it probably means very little - like when they strongly condemn dictators and the dictators don’t listen - but it should at least be a national holiday. I’ll get to work with my petition.


o, without further hesitation, pause, delay, retardation and time wasting (that all helps with the word count!), let's get going….

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Christmas is coming, and nothing says Christmas like shoving nana in another room to watch the Queen’s speech. Maybe it’s because she smells of sprouts? Or maybe it’s because she voted for Brexit? Please remember that if you run your TV cabling yourself, it doesn’t like tight bends Either way, having a 2nd satellite receiver fitted means she can enjoy Queen Lizzy in and kinks in it. A cable that has been peace whilst you tightly clipped through fall asleep to 90° on a skirting board A cable that has been tightly something else. or such like can see a reduction or sometimes clipped through 90° on a skirting If you have complete loss of signal board or such like can see a satellite TV already reaching the receiver. reduction or sometimes complete then a larger Of course, it isn’t loss of signal reaching the receiver output LNB may practical to gently loop need to be fitted to it everywhere but if you your dish, a cable run to where you want it, can keep the angles obtuse, you’ll benefit from better signal and have less chance of and some form of satellite box to connect to it. It’ll be completely independent of the damaging the cable. other TV(s) and nana may even thank you Having done a few Neosat installs for it. Just like you may even thank her for recently, I would say that it’s a big step the jumper. forward in satellite internet. The speeds Please feel free to get in touch if you have seem much improved on systems of the past and the WiFi coverage is excellent. A any questions, but please remember that I’ve moved to the very west of dept 79. pain to install though. Did you know, and stop me here if you’ve heard this one, that Freesat is not the same as Freeview? Remember that you need the box that ends with ‘sat’.

getting connected

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Installation of an air to water heat pump * Are you eligible for the new "prime CEE coup de pouce pac" (3500€ or 5000€)? IT can be deducted straight from your quote AND combinable with the grant MaPrimeRénov (up to 4000€) which is received afterwards under the condition of agreement from MaPrimeRénov


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