etcetera magazine September 2021

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C’est La Rentrée !

How to Learn French (and why you need to)

Les Associations in France Autumnal Fruit Recipes PLUS ANGLING ASTRONOMY EXPERT ADVICE And much more…


hello & welcome

Contents 3

A note from the editors


What’s on

CONTACT US: Tel: 05 17 36 15 32

email: website: 17 rue des Chaumettes 86290 St Léomer


Latest News










Business & assistance










Farm life


Free time

We hope you’ve been able to enjoy summer (yes, that was summer) and are now looking forward to planning the autumn and winter months ahead check out the article on French Associations and Isabelle’s Parlez Français if you’re looking for ideas.



Continue to keep safe, keep well.




Home & Specialist


Getting connected




Motoring & removals





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Welcome to the September edition of etcetera magazine. This month, we are celebrating the magazine’s 15th anniversary! This achievement has been possible thanks to all of our advertisers, our readers, our contributors, and every single person involved in helping us. Quite simply, we couldn’t do it without you all.

Gayle and Sam

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No need to head to your local distribu tion point, join our growing list everof subscribers and we’ll arrange for etcetera magazine to be delivered to your door every month. That’s 12 editions a year!

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Advertise Copy date 15th of each month (except December which is the 11th). 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 Photo credits: Bigstock, Pixabay, Shutterstock

A Note from the Editors

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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Advertise Your Event in What’s On Contact Sam 05 17 36 15 32 etcetera 7

associations While some forums have decided not to go ahead this year due to the ongoing pandemic, there are many who are. Please make sure this year you contact the organisers (or your local mairie or tourist office) to check the event is going on before you leave. All details below were correct at the time of print but could be subject to change at any point.

By Amanda Holmes and Gayle Feasey



majority of people in France belong to an Association (or ‘asso’ for short). 'La Vie Associative' (the association sector) is an important part of French life, offering all sorts of leisure and educational pursuits. An association is non-profitmaking and can be started with just 2 people. Each year, around la rentrée, associations congregate at their local ‘Forum des Associations’. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet so many varied associations in your area and pick one/s that are of interest to you.

as an association, the membership conditions, functions or tasks to be performed, plus how it can be modified or ended. The statuts usually create two bodies, the conseil d’administration, made up of all the people with a role in ensuring it is run properly, and le bureau, a more restricted group with named roles and set responsibilities. You will often find there is just a bureau in a small association, which will include a president, a treasurer and secretary, and sometimes with a vice position for each.

Associations cover everything from sports, community organisations, education, and cultural events, to just small groups wanting to play Scrabble or cards, or share a hobby once a week for example.

There is a useful kit called ‘gratuit pour votre association’ on the government official association website: www. You will a lot of information and there are many useful documents on the site (how to run an association etc.). It’s also worth checking helloasso which is used by over 80,000 associations. Helloasso is free to use and has a secure online payment system. This allows the association to manage for membership payments, as well as sales of goods and tickets.

Association De Fait This is the simplest kind of association in France. The group meets for an activity but there is no formal set-up. It has no legal identity and has limited powers. Association Déclarée Most associations are an association déclarée (also called an associations loi 1901, after the law that determines their rules). The type is officially declared and has a legal status. It can ask for membership payments, as well as receive grants and have its own bank account. It can also employ someone, and rent or own a building for meetings. Initial steps for starting up an association déclarée: 1. The name. You need to make sure the name is not already existing by a commercial brand or another organisation. (Visit: 2. The initial meeting: Hold an assemblée constitutive. This is when you decide the rules of your association (the statuts, see below), the address (siège social) and who will run it. 3. Statuts: Each association draws these up for itself. They usually include its aims

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Joining an association is a wonderful way for non-French speakers to practise speaking French and find new friends in a convivial atmosphere. Your hobby, sport or interest gives you a common ground to start a conversation; so many times we are scared to speak in a different language as we don't know how to begin or what to say, so over a patchwork quilt, a ceramic pot, on the football field (or rather afterwards in the bar), or helping organise a cultural event, conversations are made and enjoyed. It’s important to note that this year, with the ongoing pandemic, there may be lastminute changes or cancellations to events. Please contact your mairie or tourist office for the latest information on the forums local to you, including Pass Sanitaire requirements. So look out for your nearest Forum des Association, go along, find out more, take a deep breath, and join in.

Please also bear in mind existing health pass requirements, masks and social distancing.

Chef-Boutonne 4th September 14h30 - 18h Stade J. Courivaud info: Mairie de Chef-Boutonne 0549298004 Montmorillon 86500 5th September 10h - 18.00 Espace Gartempe 16 Boulevard du Terrier Blanc Limoges 4th & 5th September 10h - 18h Parc des exposition de Limoges. Poitiers 12th September 10h - 18h Parc de Blossac, Poitiers Châteauroux 4th & 5th September 10h - 18h. Parc des expositions de Belle-Isle. Buxerolles 5th September 10h - 18h Gymnase Colette Besson (48 avenue de la Liberté) Barbezieux St Hilaire. 11th September 13h30 - 18h30 Logis de Plaisance. Route de Montmoreau.

latest news

FIRST FEMALE UK AMBASSADOR IN FRANCE Menna Rawlings takes over from Ed Llewellyn, who has served as British Ambassador in France since November

2016. Menna Rawlings is the first ever female to be appointed the position, after a long line of 42 males.

HUNTING SEASON The hunting season begins this month in France. The dates are set by the prefecture, with strict rules in place. Anyone who has lived in France long enough will know this can make an impact on your life (especially at weekends), so please wear bright and colourful clothing when you are walking in the countryside. (Our rule of thumb is if we hear the chasse nearby, we head indoors.) You can find the dates for each department in France on the Chasseur de France website:

RESIDENCY CARD EXTENSION After 30 September, applications for applying for your carte de séjour will close. If you know anyone who is yet to apply for one, make sure they do so before this date. Apply here:


ETCETERA MAGAZINE IS 15! In case you missed the mention on page 3, we thought 15 years is too big a milestone for readers to miss, so it’s getting another shout out! Established in

September 2006, the magazine has continued to grow over the last decade and a half, all thanks to your continued support. Here’s to another 15!

Please be careful of email scams that have been doing the rounds over the summer. One is said to look as though it’s come from the gendarmerie and claims that the authorities know that the recipient has visited pornographic sites and that you will be added to the police database. Recipients are asked to follow a link - do not follow this - this allows the scammers to obtain personal information on your computer. The authorities are advising people to block the email address and report it to PHAROS, the police reporting site. Another scam which is circulating locally (Poitiers) is scammers knocking on doors claiming to work for SIMER and telling them that residents must change their bins or get fined 80€. They take 10€ as part-payment, promising to come back with the bin. Particularly deceptive as SIMER changing their bin system (Jan 22) and residents have been told to expect a call. Your mairie should inform all residents when the legitimate representatives will be in your area, and will give you their name and a photo ID.

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


Materials − 2-ply kitchen roll, cotton buds. − White glue * (non-toxic and water soluble) − Selection of seeds.

Steps 1. Choose the shape. You can make the seed paper any shape you want. We opted to make ours fit some pretty terracotta plant pots that we found at the garden centre. If you decide to make seed paper for vegetables, you might prefer to cut yours into strips ready for planting in perfect rows.

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* I use Bostik White Glue, it’s water soluble and non-toxic. It’ll hold the seeds in place until planted, but once watered it will soften and allow the seeds to germinate safely without adding any nasty chemicals to their growing environment.

moistened cotton bud to pick up the seed and place on the dot of glue. 4. Once all your seeds are in place, run a thin line of glue around the edge of your paper and press the upper layer back into place. 5. If you are gifting your seed papers, you can make a card to hold them in. Using a blank card from your craft stash or you could re-use cards that you have received.

2. Next you need to cut the kitchen roll into your chosen shape. It is easiest to cut it into the required shape before separating the sheets. Once you pull the two layers of the sheet apart, leavie one edge just attached as this makes it easier to fold back down into place neatly, sandwiching the seeds.

6. We marked out a circle slightly larger than our seed papers keeping a little of the fold of the card and added two tags before cutting out our shape. (See the picture on the bottom left.)

3. Add tiny dots of the white glue onto the inner surface of the kitchen roll shape, spaced appropriately for the seeds you are using. Then use a

7. You could add a pretty label to stick on the front of your card as well as some that can be used to label the pots that your seed papers are planted in.

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Breaking the News

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


t came as an existential smack round the chops at the end of a long afternoon slog in the garden recently. I had packed away the tools, yelled a parting expletive at the moles and flopped down in the shade. In the kitchen my wife was preparing dinner, the iPod wafting “The Seal Lullaby”, an achingly beautiful choral work by Eric Whitacre. The music seemed to swathe everything: the sweltering stillness, the birds swooping in the dense evening air, my own fatigue. The alchemy of all these things caught me unaware, unfurling one of those perfect moments of tranquillity. Slumped beneath our absurdly large banana tree, I realised I had stopped breathing. Serenity enveloped me and whispered, “Enough already.” I understood. Transcendence like this is rare so it’s wise to listen. My sensory overload was signalling a different tiredness: the continual mental recoiling from the daily news. The past 18 months – I’m sure you’ve noticed - have seen a barrage of headlines which weren’t so much to be read as fought off. Coming on top of five years of the Brexit/Trump onslaught, (Spoiler Alert: I detest both), it has been, even for a lifelong news junkie like me, exhausting. In the majestic calm of the garden, my guard was down; news fatigue hit home and tipped me into a mental pitstop. I’m

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sure I’m not alone in being pummelled senseless by the daily roster of impenetrable graphs and heart-wrenching statistics. Desperate compassion for other human beings, fused with anger at the attendant political shenanigans, leaves you wrung out like a wet towel. I know whereof I speak. I’ve often ended the day squeezed in a corner, gibbering and clutching my teddy. Only Mrs W, with an enticing round of “Follow the Côtes du Rhône” has coaxed me back.

went off in pursuit of the day’s headlines, I now run for dear life with them snapping at my heels. The news media is ubiquitous in its battle for our attention. Nuance and perspective are lost when a story billed as ‘a dramatic development’ is soon jettisoned for a different one. Nothing is a headline if everything is a headline; the modern news cycle is insatiable at one end and incontinent at the other.

For me, finally, it’s reached overload. So, enough already. I have turned away from I’ve been a pain in many a posterior over the perpetual bunfight, I shun the inmy news fixation, it depth analysis. I’ve goes way back. Dr deleted all the Martin Luther King ‘Breaking News’ Nothing is a headline if everything apps and consigned Jr’s murder when I is a headline; the modern news was twelve probably my teddy to our set me off. With the cycle is insatiable at one end and local déchetterie, zeal of the innocent, (he’s too wineincontinent at the other I joined the town stained to be of use library and set about to anyone). True, I the US Civil Rights still skim the movement. The chasm between ‘reading morning headlines with my first belt of about’ and ‘understanding’ yawned wide caffeine, just to make sure the sky hasn’t before me, on this and countless other fallen, but no longer do I delve into every topics. I’ve spent much of the following single story. half century trying to bridge it. I might make light of it here but there is Propelled by “I really should try to grasp such a thing as being too well informed. If this”, I always overdid things. I remember a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, too being on holiday with my brother and our much is no picnic, either. two girlfriends when President Richard The daily drumbeat of negativity will Nixon resigned in 1974. I’d been following drown out all other voices unless we the Watergate story and no way was consciously push it to the background. I’ve Nixon’s lousy timing going to cheat me out come round to the realisation that the of the blanket coverage of its final act. So really serious stuff will find me anyway, naturally, I tore off to find a newspaper there’s no necessity to seek it out. which, of course, didn’t endear me to anybody. A reminder: I was 18 and on So, one day at a time, as they say. I’m not holiday with a very attractive girl at the claiming I’m entirely free from my time. See? affliction but maybe the fever has broken. Hopefully ‘no news’ really is what they say Yet today’s 24-hour rolling news coverage has flipped the equation. Where I once it is.



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

da Prin ce

Subscribe to the Chateau Mareuil channel on YouTube

Grape Jelly Here at Château Mareuil, we are almost guaranteed a huge crop of grapes every autumn and this is a very good way of preserving them! Ingredients 1kg red grapes, preferably with seeds (stripped from the stalks) 450g jam sugar (in France you can buy a special one for jelly) 1 lemon, juiced Method 1. Tip the grapes into a large saucepan or ideally a preserving pan, set over a low heat, then cover and leave to gently cook for 5 mins until the juices start to run.

2. Take a potato masher or fork and mash up the grapes. Leave to cook for about another 10 mins, mashing every now and again until the grapes are falling apart. 3. Place a clean tea towel or kitchen cloth into a sieve set over a bowl and pour the grape mixture into this. Let the mixture drip through for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. Discard the residue. 4. Measure out the juice, (you should have about 600ml), and pour it into a large saucepan or preserving pan; add the sugar and lemon juice. Set the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil, skimming any scum off as it boils*. Let the mixture bubble until the

temperature reaches 105C on a sugar thermometer. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer (I definitely recommend getting one), put a small plate in the freezer for 5 mins, then pour a little of the juice onto the cold saucer. After 1 min, run your finger through; if the jam wrinkles slightly, it’s ready. 5. Pour the hot jam into a sterilised jar. This will keep unopened for up to 3 months or longer, maybe up to a year. * You can also get rid of scum from jams or jellies by adding small amounts of butter into the liquid once the preserve has reached setting point until it has all disappeared.

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food Spicy Apple Chutney This spicy apple chutney has a tangy, sweet flavour which is perfect with cheeses such as cheddar or blue. If you wanted to give it even more of a kick, try adding some chili flakes and/or cayenne pepper. Firm, tart apples work well as they hold their shape during the cooking process, but other varieties will work well too, all the delicious ingredients will guarantee that! Ingredients 1kg apples, cored and chopped 3 onions, chopped 100g cranberries or raisins 1 tbsp grated ginger 1 tbsp mustard seeds 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tbsp paprika 1 tsp red chilli flakes 400ml cider vinegar 500g light brown sugar 2 tsp salt

Method 1. Put all the ingredients, except for the sugar and salt in large saucepan or preserving pan and stir well. 2. Bring slowly to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the apple chunks are tender.

Chicken Salad with Grapes Walnuts and Apples The crunchy texture and delicious flavours are a winner. Ingredients 4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded 100g walnuts, toasted and chopped 2 apples, cut into small chunks ½ red onion, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 3 tbsp lemon juice 125ml crème fraîche 125ml mayonnaise 25 red grapes (seedless if possible) Method 1. Mix the shredded chicken, apple chunks, walnuts, red onion, celery, and lemon juice together in a large bowl. 2. Whisk the crème fraîche and mayonnaise together in a separate bowl; pour over the chicken mixture and stir to coat. Gently fold the grapes into the salad. 3. Add fresh herbs of your choice, tarragon would work perfectly!

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Great as a sandwich filling

3. Stir in the sugar and salt and dissolve. Boil gently, stirring from time to time, for 20-30 minutes until reduced and thickened. 4. Ladle into sterilised jars and seal. Leave at least 2 weeks before eating to allow the flavours to develop. The chutney is best eaten within 6 months.


Serving options:

450g apples

− Serve with cream, custard or crème fraîche. Or try vanilla ice cream.

60g sugar 1 tsp cinnamon

Clafoutis is a French batter cake and a well-known and loved speciality of the Limousin region. Traditionally made with black cherries but also sometimes with prunes, apples, or other fruits. Ingredients Serves 4-6

− Sprinkle of fresh blueberries and lightly dust with icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180º/160ºF degrees fan

− Eat warm or cold (if cold, try it with yoghurt for breakfast!)

Method 1. Put all the batter ingredients into a food processor and whizz on high for 1 minute . 2. Peel, chop and core the apples and mix with the sugar and cinnamon.

5 eggs 140g icing sugar 140g plain four

3. Pour the batter into a buttered dish and sprinkle with the sugared apples.

1 tbsp oil

4. Bake for approx 1 hour

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Alternatives: Gluten-free - swap to all-purpose glutenfree flour mix or almond flour. Dairy-free - swap to your favourite alternative milk and use coconut or vegetable oil Eggs - this is the part that can’t be swapped, the eggs are what gives the dish it’s sliceable custard texture.

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language & assistance

Parlez Français French conversation, vocabulary & traditions



f you are on holiday in France, it is expected that foreigners know the minimum of the language, like the greetings (Bonjour, Au revoir, Madame, Monsieur, …), the politeness words (s’ilvous-plait, merci, ...), and the words for asking for something (Je voudrais …, s’ilvous-plaît, …), and a bit more, basically, as much as you can. It is really appreciated.

success! But, essentially, relax with the idea of learning a new language. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It is important to know from the beginning that written French and spoken French are almost 2 different languages. For example, we write many letters in words that we do not sound. We make “liaisons” in words… So, it is necessary to learn both spoken and written French.

If you live in France, it is necessary to learn French in order to be able to Learning French, like any other new communicate with everyone, but also to be language, implies a lot of memorisation, able to understand the letters, bills and and often, as adults, our telephone calls you memory is not what it receive every day, used to be. However, this and, for example, to should not be an excuse call the fire brigade / Learning French is also a not to learn French, as emergency mark of respect towards the everyone can succeed. It ambulance / police / French people and France all depends on how much recovery car, to make time you spend and on an appointment at the doctor’s, to speak how much contact you to the doctors and nurses, to ask for have with the French language. I had a something you need, to speak to the vet senior student who was 84 years old and who has to look after your cat, to explain she did well. what is wrong with your car at the 1. Study French regularly, for a garage…. the list goes on! short time, not all in one sitting Moreover, and this is important to know, Do not study French all morning long! French people will be more patient and (Especially not just before your French willing / obliging if you speak some lesson!) You will exhaust yourself, and you French. Remember, learning French is will be likely to get frustrated, lose your also a mark of respect towards the French motivation and attention, and worse, you people and France. may not be able to remember much of Living in France means you are exposed to what you studied! So, you would have French outside the classes, therefore you spent hours for nothing, gaining nothing can cut down the time needed to learn it, if except frustration! you practise out there of course. My advice is to study French at least 15 Now then, you know that learning French minutes a day and every single day when when living in France is crucial. But how you are a beginner. The time will be to learn French? increased as your level in French goes up. Added to that, take time to learn French in Several methods can be used. The more a class and self-studying, and practise you “play” and practise, the better and easier it will be. Repetition is the key to every day.

Broaden your horizons with CONTINENTAL HORIZONS! Bon courage ! Keep positive! Et à bientôt !

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.

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language & assistance Focus on all that you did achieve instead of letting frustration get to you. Relax when learning, you will enjoy it. Leave your French book, notebook and papers opened on the kitchen table and glance at them as many times as you can. 2. Find out what is your own learning style Do you need to write to remember? Do you need to listen to memorise? Do you need to read to learn things by heart? Use the method that corresponds to your own type of memory the most. Also find out if you are better at remembering in the morning or afternoon or evening. Revise your French at that moment of the day. 3. Self-studying is NOT for everybody As everybody is different when it comes to learning languages, some people may find it easier than others. I know, it is not fair! You need to self-study in order to revise, review, do your homework… and see what you have been taught in class. Self-studying on its own is not enough to learn any language, and there is also the risk of not being regular in doing it. It can demotivate, you may not know what to learn first, and you do not have the guidance from a teacher, you have no one to tell you if you are correct. Find a French person to correct your French pronunciation. You need someone to listen to you and correct your mistakes. No software or recorded lesson can do that. It needs to be a real person. Some learners need the expertise of a teacher to guide them through their studies, motivate them and find creative ways to explain the same point until it is understood. A good teacher has got a lot of patience and is inventive, adapting to your needs, capacity and style of learning. You can invest in group classes, but only small groups (6 to 8 people maximum), and / or you can invest in some private French lessons. A native French speaker / French teacher can change your accent for the rest of your French speaking life. Always check the diplomas / credentials / experience of a teacher. Is the teacher specifically trained and experienced to

teach French as a Foreign Language (FLE : Français Langue Etrangère) to adults? Ask around about the teachers in your area. Take part in conversation groups with a French teacher or French people, take part in as many activities as possible where you meet French people (clubs and associations, comité des fêtes...). 4. Do not translate all the time between French and English When you are a total beginner, some translation can occur but try to avoid it. You will quickly find out that French is different (of course!), so the order of words may be different, some ways of saying things are totally mixed up compared to the English way, most expressions are not translatable. Literal translation does not work. 5. Use images and visual situations for French words, not English

Use the technique of “mind mapping” as much as you can. 9. Listen to French (even if you don’t have a clue of what’s being said, and you’re not even paying close attention) Reading magazines and newspapers in French is important but not enough on its own. It is interesting to know that the French language uses a different frequency of sound than the English language. That is why you need to hear French as much as possible, in order to tune your ears to this new frequency. That will help you to understand and also speak better. That is why listening to the French radio / TV also helps get your ears attuned to the sound. In a class, learning French should always consist of spoken and written exercises.

Try to link the new French vocabulary to 10. Do not try to learn everything, images, situations, feelings…. Also, it is you need to prioritise proven by neuro-scientists that associating It is an important point of using a teacher two things together will help you to of French as a Foreign Language. The remember them, in the long-term teacher will guide you to memory, as we learn what is needed first create more links Some ways of saying things and later, little by little, will in the brain, so it are totally mixed up introduce you to the more makes it easier to complex points. This is valid retrieve the compared to the English for spoken and written information. way, most expressions are French and for grammar The use of not translatable and tenses. There is an flashcards, order to follow, the same drawing the word way as you learnt your own language when / situation… can really help. At the same you were a child. time as learning a new word, learn it with For example, for tenses, in conversation, its gender (masculine or feminine). For most of the time we use the “Présent de example, don’t learn “voiture”, but learn l’Indicatif”. So, focus on that tense first, “la voiture”. adding the “adjectives”, the essential 6. Learn French in sentences vocabulary, how to make questions, pronouns… and then you can move on to Learn the new vocabulary in a sentence, the past tenses like “Passé Proche” and and not always on its own. On top of that, later to “Passé Composé”. The French the sentences will be easier to reuse in due “Subjonctif” can wait! This will make an time. Learning in context will help you to immediate difference in your ability to remember the situation and words longer. converse in French. Again, making associations is proven to be efficient. I have many tips available, thanks to my 7. Learn French with examples close to your own world / life When your teacher told you to write some sentences for homework, use that opportunity to write about your life, what you did, what you will do, using the vocabulary you need.

training and my 24+ year experience in teaching French as a Foreign Language to adults, so do not hesitate to contact me to get tailor-made solutions for you to learn French more efficiently.

Your brain will remember a truth or a memory much longer than made-up facts. 8. Group related vocabulary together On the same sheet of paper, or on flashcards, write all related French vocabulary (and its gender) as you come across it. No need to put down the English translation. You will get to the info much faster if you have memorised it all together.

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business FINANCE


Does One Size Fit All? T

his might be a great selling technique if you are buying clothing or socks. You don’t have to waste time trying on anything and you can get in and out of the shops in no time at all. But does this ‘one size fits all’ approach work for your financial planning? In some cases, having part of your money invested in a generic default index tracking fund is a good starting point for savings. These funds are generally diversified, usually much cheaper in fees and have a history of decent returns. But,

20 etcetera

is it wise to have your pension invested in a default fund?

▪ Find out if your company pension allows you to choose your own funds.

Imagine if everyone was given a size 8 shoe to wear. It might be too big or too wide and fall off your foot or it might be too small, this is because it just wasn’t made to fit your foot. Just so, your finances are personal assets and each person has unique financial needs.

▪ Read up on the compilation of the funds chosen for you.

▪ 90% of employees are satisfied with their company’s default pension fund. ▪ These funds tend to be safe low risk investments – This is great if you are nearing retirement, but what if you are just newly employed out of university? Younger investors usually follow a higher risk profile. Does your pension allow for this? ▪ Most people don’t know what funds they are invested in.

▪ Are your funds actively managed and monitored? ▪ Some investors might have spare cash that could be invested into alternative funds. ▪ The younger generation of investors are also looking into ethical funds. (These are funds that don’t invest in fossil fuels or tobacco companies etc and look to sustainable industries) If you have a company pension scheme, then it is advisable to set up a meeting with the pensions administrator to discuss your pension options.

The younger generation of It is also advisable to chat investors are also looking to your deVere France into ethical funds adviser about optimising

▪ Are you single or have a family? This could also affect your risk.

your private pension plan and investments so that you are ensured of a well-diversified portfolio.

▪ Do you know if your investment is diversified? Your pension fund or investment could be invested in local funds. What happens to your fund if they under-perform?

Please note, the above is for education purposes only and does not constitute advice. You should always contact your deVere adviser for a personal consultation.* No liability can be accepted for any actions taken or refrained from being taken, as a result of reading the above.


Importance of Business Boundaries


h, it’s la rentrée - back to school for children and back to business for business owners. Time to switch off that out of office message and jump back onto the work hamster wheel.

enquiries and clients. More often than not, many of these tasks get done after our ‘day’ job extending our work day considerably. Think about the areas where you feel you need to create some structure. If you are doing your admin on a Saturday morning, factor them in for Friday morning or afternoon. If you need time to work on your business, perhaps factor in a day each month to focus instead of hurried moments here and there.

Business owners can quite often feel burn out because of a lack of boundaries. While you think it’s all under control, work overload and all that entails can lead to burnout and overwhelm. So perhaps la rentrée presents the perfect opportunity to What are your refine or even priorities other than While you think it’s all under introduce business work to bring in an control, work overload and all income? What is boundaries. Applying these will allow you to that entails can lead to burnout important to you be more empowered, outside of work life, and overwhelm to do your best work spending time with within your business your family, keeping boundaries without sacrificing those meal times uninterrupted? Are you personal priorities. honouring your hobbies and leisure time? Or something as simple as having an hour No matter how small, businesses benefit or so for TV time at the end of the day? from boundaries and will be different for all types of business, whether you work Professional relationships within your from home or work away. Many of us are business benefit from boundaries and are all things in our business from doing our dependent on what your business type is. With the technology available 24/7 it is day job to admin, marketing, dealing with



easy for a (potential) client to ping an email or message while it is fresh in their minds. What are your hours of operation? What will happen with calls/enquiries/messages outside of your work hours? How will they be communicated? Perhaps on your website, social spaces, contracts, email signature. The same applies to the scope of work. Does your agreement set out what you will do and when? How will those ‘extras’ be treated? Once you have clear boundaries, you have a framework from which to operate weekly. When your work, business related activities and client expectations are factored in, you avoid burnout creeping in, and your priorities suffer less. Of course, as with all things in business, your boundaries may need to change as your business or personal life changes, so be ready to evolve with circumstances.

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business INSURANCE


Assurance Vie




people themselves avoid paying, you should look at this properly!

irst things first… no, this is not life insurance! Assurance vie is a savings / investment account.

General information: Assurance vie savings accounts have been It’s a savings / investment account. The so successful that today there are over €1.5 money you invest is available at any time. trillion invested in assurance vie policies. You name beneficiaries when you set it up. Over 22 million You are only taxed on individuals have either interest, not capital. invested lump sums or You can set up The money left on your save regularly using regular monthly, policy is given directly to the quarterly or yearly this instrument. withdrawals from it. beneficiary(ies ) without To understand the You can invest in it in going through the notaire success of this product, one lump sum or in we need to look no regular monthly further than the tax amounts or both!). advantages that it offers. Avoiding paying tax is the number one hobby in France and Inheritance advantages: the assurance vie allows you to do it Before I talk about the wonderful tax legally! So, unless you want to generously advantages, note that the main benefit of help the French government (in paying this policy is that it overrides French back their debt) by paying tax that French inheritance law! Basically, when you open

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an assurance vie policy you name the beneficiary(ies). So when you eventually die, the money left on your policy is given directly to the beneficiary(ies ) without going through the notaire. For your money in the bank, the delay can be up to 6 months (time for the notaire to sort out the inheritance). In the assurance vie, it is 2-3 weeks after reception of the necessary paperwork (death certificate, passport). Death duties advantages: I can hear some of you saying “2015 change of law!” Well think again! The changes of August 2015 will allow you to be able to choose the inheritance law of your country of birth (instead of French) BUT the tax will always be French tax so if you decide to leave some money to your nephew instead of your rightful children, your nephew will have to pay 55% after an allowance of €8 000!

business The assurance vie allows you to leave money to anyone you want and as much as €152 500 per beneficiary! They are then taxed at 20% on what is above the €152 500 instead of the % taxed otherwise (55% for nephews, 35% for siblings).

you don’t pay tax in France, chances are you won’t pay tax on it anyway.

This is the perfect solution if you want to leave something to unrelated beneficiaries such as friends or stepchildren, who would otherwise pay death duties at 60%.

Social charges at 17.2% (or less if you have an S1) are taken automatically each year on the interest part of the assurance vie which is invested on Fond Euro (totally secured). For the part of your investment in shares/bonds/funds, the social charges are only taken when you make a withdrawal and only on the taxable amount.

But this is also a good solution for leaving money to children as they can only receive up to €100 000 each before death duties so with the assurance vie they can receive up to €152 500 as well as the €100 000 allowance. Do bear in mind that if you are a French resident, all movable assets come under French inheritance law so your savings in the UK will be subject to French inheritance tax and law. Finally, note that it is better that all the money is put in before you are 70 years old as the tax advantage for the money invested after 70 is then €30 500 for all beneficiaries combined. Income tax advantages: Most French people use this product in order to prepare for their pension because once the policy has reached 8 years old, you can withdraw money with an annual tax free allowance of €4 600 if you are single or €9 200 if you are married. This allowance is for the interest part of the withdrawal so you can take out much more per year and that means you can have regular complementary income tax free (apart from social charges)! Example: You have opened an assurance vie with €10 000. After 8 years you have made €5 000 and you make a withdrawal of €3 000. The taxable amount would be: 3 000-(10 000x3 000/15 000) =€1 000. It is less than €4 600 therefore you have no tax to pay on this withdrawal. If the contract was less than 8 years old, you would have to declare this amount on your French tax return (filed in May the following year or choose the flat tax so tax taken directly from the assurance vie). If

Note that the interest is not taxed (income tax) as long as it stays in the policy so if you don’t make any withdrawals, you are not taxed.

banks won’t tell you that. Yes, of course with me it is very negotiable!) The entry fee with me is very low (even zero if it’s a big amount) so contact me! Please be very careful with this as some companies do not bother to tell you upfront and you will only realise once the money is invested that there was an entry fee. There is a management fee (around 0.90%) taken yearly. Finally, it is more like a long-term saving account, as a withdrawal can take up to 2 weeks, so this is not to be used as a treasury account.

How it is invested and what do you earn: You can invest in Fond Euro (totally secured) or in shares, bonds, funds. At whatever percentage you would like.

Conclusion: This is a brilliant product, but you need to look if it is made for you or not. I always like to look at people’s personal situations The Fond Euro which is all secured is (family structure, finance, projects, etc.) to earning around 0.7% after social charges check if it is suitable for them. This and management fees (it is roughly the appraisal is free so don’t hesitate to same in every company). This is because contact me for any further information on Fond Euro is mainly this subject. And government bonds note that as a which are around broker, I use zero now! different companies Most French people use this product in order to prepare for which allows us to The shares/bonds/funds depend on the market! their pension because once the choose from a wide range of different And I can’t see policy has reached 8 years old, assurance vie the future. you can withdraw money some have a stop Note that the CAC40 loss options to (French equivalent to protect from the FTSE 100) has made market crashes, some offer a guaranteed +70.17% in the last 5 years (as of income for pensions, some secure your 30/06/2021). The Euro Stoxx 50 +59.75%. gains, etc. So please contact me and I can Despite Covid, most of our shares have send you details on all the types of finished 2020 on a positive percentage assurance vie we can offer. despite the crash in March/April. And remember to check out our web site The interest on the secured part is given for all my on the 31st of December each year. previous articles (“practical information”) and register to receive our free monthly What is wrong with it: Well, nothing is newsletter. You can also follow us on perfect in life! So, you also need to know Facebook: “Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et the disadvantages of it. Romain Lesterpt” Firstly, it can cost money to set it up. And don’t hesitate to contact me for any There is an entry fee for opening this other information or quote on subjects account and every time you add money to such as funeral cover, inheritance law, it (normally 4.5% of the amount you investments, car, house, professional and invest). But this entry fee is NEGOTIABLE top up health insurance, etc… (although most insurance companies and

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health health

Stepping Up to the Challenge

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:



e decided to change tactics. He bluntly told them that they were fat and needed to stop eating so much. You would think that his business would suffer, but no, he is busier than ever with clients fighting to get an appointment!

family member has experienced a lifethreatening medical issue.

In the time that I have been helping people to lose weight I have never told anyone that they are fat. I think that this is hurtful and unnecessary, but I have to say there have been times when I would have liked to adopt the Australian’s approach.

Reflection in a mirror or a photograph 12.7% of people see themselves and do not like what they see and take the decision it is time for a change.

The word that is often used is ‘obesity’. I remember my first weigh-in and being told I was in the obese category. It was done with tact and sympathy, but when I got home, I looked it up. I read the notes I had been given and was devastated. However, it motivated me to do something about it as I hated the thought of the word obese being applied to me. Recent surveys have reported that 83% of people who want to lose weight do so because they are triggered to do so. What are the triggers? Medical 23% of people lose weight because they have either been told they need to by a doctor, or because of health issues, or a

All time high in their weight 21.3% of people have reached a weight they have never been before and make the decision to combat this.

feel threatened or even jealous. It can change the dynamics of a relationship. For example, a friend who is also overweight and takes comfort from the fact that you are ‘fat’ together loses their partner in crime and becomes either aggressive or derisive. The best approach is to discuss the decision with those who will be affected. Explaining why you have taken the decision to take the step you have.

Never underestimate the courage it Never underestimate the For me, it was a mixture takes to make the courage it takes to make the of the last of these and decision to do decision to do something some tough love from my something about about your weight husband. He came out your weight. with the wonderful Admitting that comment ‘I love you just you are as you are’ and then came overweight and need help takes great the BUT! This was in the form of ‘if you strength of character. Telling somebody could just push your stomach out a little you love that they need to lose weight can further, I can put my beer glass on it when be even tougher, but sometimes we all I am not drinking! Yes, this is absolutely need to be told the truth for our good and I true and yes, we are still married! am pleased that my husband did what he did. I am much happier and more Weight loss does not only affect the person confident now than I have ever been. who has decided to do it, but also others around them. It could be a partner or Don’t just take my word for it. Here are children and can affect relationships with some true stories from three wonderful friends. It is hoped that all would be ladies, which I hope will inspire you to take action. supportive, but some may have concerns,

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Ann’s story – I have been overweight since I was 25. One January morning in 2018 I decided enough was enough. I do believe that if you don’t have that moment of clarity, you will never succeed in losing weight. I have lost over 45kg. I am happy and very proud of myself.

Rose’s story – I found that doing the most basic things like walking the dogs, going up and down stairs, caused me back and knee problems. My health was suffering. I started in 2017 and have lost over 9 stone, going from a size 22 to a 10/12. No more aches and pains and a new wardrobe of clothes. Loving the new me.

Judi’s story – My trigger was a photo of me in a pair of white cropped trousers taken from the back. When I saw it, I thought it was gross, totally hideous. I knew it was time to take action and I’m so pleased I did. Now over 3 stone lighter I do all the things I want to do and some new things as well – I have even tried aerial yoga! There is no stopping me now.

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26 etcetera


Kiss Me, Honey Honey!

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.



hat is why this month's article brings you a really delicious and simple ferment which has a surprisingly versatile range of uses. Honey fermented garlic!

- who sell honey at local markets. Always check that it is raw - ‘cru’ - before you begin this recipe because pasteurisation kills off all the good bacteria that benefit your microbiome.

Honey and garlic are well known We need to cultivate the natural bacteria individually to support the immune in the honey to allow fermentation to take system when we are sick but did you know place and since garlic is naturally that combining them brings even more antibacterial, the benefits? Garlic is crushing also softens naturally antibacterial. An These bacteria can then the antibacterial active ingredient called contribute to your properties in garlic, allicin is created in garlic microbiome giving you a allowing the honey when you crush it and health boost bacteria to grow. These leave it to react with the bacteria can then air for 5-10 minutes. (Tip contribute to your microbiome giving you - When cooking with garlic - the simple a health boost. action of crushing the garlic and leaving it for 10 minutes before you heat it will allow The honey takes away the bite of garlic its most active ingredient (allicin) to and mellows the flavour, so no need to remain active - when heat is applied avoid kissing your loved ones after eating without lightly crushing and leaving it, it this amazing food. In turn, the garlic becomes almost entirely deactivated.) infuses the honey, creating a delicious savoury sweet flavour that is absolutely Garlic is also antibacterial and antiviral. wonderful in meat marinades, salad Great for supporting your body’s natural dressings or drizzled over herby French defences. Raw (unpasteurised) honey bread. For fighting colds and flu, take a contains wild yeasts and bacteria that are spoonful of the garlic honey as soon as you excellent for health. It also tastes feel the onset of an illness. Or to prevent wonderful. We are blessed in France to illness, simply enjoy eating a clove or have have many local beekeepers - ‘apiculteurs’

a teaspoon full of the infused honey every day in winter. Children love this recipe and it couldn’t be easier to make You will need: ▪

2 bulbs of garlic (organic preferably)

▪ 500g raw unpasteurised honey ▪ A jar with a lid Method: 1. Peel and crush each clove of garlic and leave to stand for 10 minutes. You only need to crush the garlic with a flat knife, not through a crusher… the cloves should remain mostly intact. Put the garlic cloves in a clean and dry jar. Pour over the honey and put the lid on loosely. 2. Tighten the lid and shake the jar once a day to make sure that all the cloves are covered with honey. Open the lid slightly to release the natural CO2 created in the fermentation process. Do this for one month and your fermented honey garlic will be ready. There is no need to refrigerate, the flavour will improve with age. Happy fermenting!

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garden Mexican Giant Hyssop (Agastache mexicana 'Sangria')

Making Scents

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



ne of these many adaptations is scent. Whereas scented flowers have evolved to attract pollinating insects, aromatic foliage has evolved to help plants to thrive in hot dry conditions. The essential oils produced by the plant help prevent desiccation – this adaptation is usually combined with other survival mechanisms for hot and dry conditions such as silvery foliage that reflects the heat, narrow leaves to reduce the surface area to limit transpiration (the loss of water through the tiny pores on the under surface of the leaf) and hairy leaves that trap a layer of moisture around the leaf surface.

In the garden these aromatic plants are invaluable not just for their ability to survive in poor soils and full sun, but many are perfectly hardy, also produce a good display of flowers, and the scented foliage can be used in a variety of different ways such as for tisanes, pot-pourri, natural cosmetics and for flavouring both sweet and savoury foods. One of my favourite things to do in the evening is to take a walk around the garden as the air cools after a hot sunny day and take in the aromas of the aromatic plants. On hot days the essential oils are ‘excited’ by the warmth of the sunshine and the scent is released into the evening

air. The calming effect of an evening walk with a heady mix of delicious spicy and citrus aromas is just the ticket at the end of a hard day's work. Here are a few of my favourites that are easy to grow and survive in this area: AGASTACHE This is a genus of decorative plants from the nettle family with highly aromatic foliage, sometimes known as the hummingbird mint, liquorice mint or giant hyssop. They are known for their antioxidant properties – related to the Salvias and Mints. Most species originate from North America and are completely

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Agastache Foeniculum (Liquorice Mint)

Apricot Sprite Hyssop (Agastache aurantiaca 'Apricot Sprite')

Pineapple Sage

Salvia grahamii

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Salvia lemmonii (Lemmon’s Sage)

Spanish Sage


Moroccan mint Za'atar

hardy and flower for months on end, and Salvia grahamii are well suited to the hot dry summer Grown mainly for its coral coloured conditions here, also tolerating the cold flowers, this attractive sub shrub also has winter nights of the Massif Central. They distinctly aromatic foliage and adds colour are nectar-rich and in the wild they are and scent to mixed borders or containers. pollinated by hummingbirds and Salvia lemmonii butterflies and the bees love them too. A very hardy ornamental sub shrub They are stunning plants for the cottage originating from the US and Mexico, with garden border, containers and herb a light citrus scent to the foliage and deep garden. Many of them are edible and pinky red flowers throughout summer and almost all of them can be used to make autumn, also giving a long season of refreshing tisanes. The flowers are edible interest to borders and containers. and can be used to brighten up salads as a Salvia elegans garnish or frozen in ice cubes for a floral (Pineapple sage), S. elegans var. elegans addition to summer drinks, and the (Tangerine sage) and S. elegans ‘Golden flowers, stems and leaves can be used Delight’(golden pineapple sage). This either on their own or in a blended herbal group of varieties and cultivars are grown tea or ’tisane’. In Asia the genus is used as herbaceous perennials – extensively in cutting them back to the herbal medicine The flowers are edible and base every year in spring. and can be used to can be used to brighten up With highly aromatic fruity treat nausea, lack of flavoured foliage these appetite, colds and salads as a garnish or Salvia are the easiest of all fevers, and frozen in ice cubes to grow and produce bright indigestion, and is red tubular red flowers in said to have many late summer and throughout autumn more medicinal and wellbeing properties. above the scented leaves. We have over 8 different varieties at Le Jardin Créatif, all with their own Salvia lavandulifolia unique aroma. Otherwise known as Spanish sage as this is where it originates, it has the habit and MINT overall look of the ordinary culinary sage, Well known for their culinary flavouring but with much narrower leaves and a they also make pretty garden plants. Our scent of lavender with lilac/blue flowers in favourite varieties are the ‘chocolate mint’ late spring. with a scent reminiscent of a box of After OREGANO Eights, and ‘strawberry mint’ which is less vigorous than other garden mints and has My favourite is the drought tolerant a distinct strawberry aroma to the foliage Origanum syriacum. For those that enjoy (it is great for tisanes, but I love it on middle-eastern food it is known as Za’atar. either a mixed salad or a fruit salad). This deliciously aromatic oregano is Moroccan mint is a type of spearmint that wonderful fresh or dried and enjoys the is used in North Africa for the well-loved growing conditions here in mid-France. infusion drunk at every meal and occasion. Eau de Cologne mint is highly LEMON VERBENA perfumed, also known as ‘bergamot mint’ This one is top favourite with our used for refreshing herb teas. customers for a refreshing tisane. The powerful spicy/lemony smell of the foliage SALVIA sp. is irresistible, and it is useful for making We have a collection of over 50 different homemade citronella candles to ward off varieties at Le Jardin Créatif. They are the insects on a summer evening. brilliant for their long flowering season We grow all of these varieties as well as and ability to cope with a range of soils many more aromatics in our nursery at Le and conditions, Here are my favourites for Jardin Créatif. scented foliage:

Chocolate mint

Lemon Verbana

le jardin creatif… Come along on a Saturday to see our range in the nursery and in our garden. Open every Saturday 10am-4pm until the end of October, you can find out more about our nursery and garden craft courses on our website:

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September to collect seeds from your ooking forward is something that we border plants to over-winter and plant in gardeners are good at, when, this the spring, or, if you have more than you summer, my total tomato crop succumbed need, swap with friends, or give to to blight, caused by the damp conditions. charities for sale. This is one way to get My response was “Well, there’s always some of your bedding plants very cheaply next year!”. So, as we sit back and enjoy and it is very satisfying. Just remember if the warm September sun, we can plan for you planted F1 hybrid seeds don’t waste spring next year. This is the time to order time collecting these as they will not spring bulbs for next year, so why not try regrow next year. some that you’ve never grown before – you might get a pleasant surprise. You can Take a few minutes to think about it and start planting as early as September. It’s a look at the seeds on your plants as they good idea to stagger your planting over come in all shapes and sizes - some of several weeks even up to the middle of them have got hard outer coatings, some November, so that the display of spring soft flesh that surrounds the seeds, some flowers will last have wings to carry them longer. It also away from the parent plant works to mix early and some are held in seed Just remember if you and late flowering cases which explode and planted F1 hybrid seeds bulbs, so that again scatter the seeds around the don’t waste time collecting you lengthen the parent plant. But all have time you’ll have a these as they will not one thing in common – display of seasonal they carry a new plant that regrow next year flowers. Tulips are can grow, flower, and better left until produce more seeds to keep November to start planting, and I have the generations alive. They also vary even planted tulips as late as January and considerably in shape and size and in the they have still flowered the same spring. way we collect them, but when you do get When you’re buying or ordering bulbs, to the seed itself, they all need storing in look for large calibre ones; even if you’re the same way - in a clearly labelled buying online the size of the bulb will be envelope in an airtight container, given. The larger the calibre of the bulb, somewhere cool and dark throughout the more flowers you’ll get. If you’re the winter. buying them from a garden centre, market One tip I can pass on about gathering or plant fair, make sure the bulbs are firm seeds is to ensure you label the bag as you and there’s no sign of mould. If there are collect the seeds. If you’re anything like bulbs with smaller ones attached that me by the time you’ve got them inside you means more flowers! can’t remember which is marigold or And now, to continue with the theme of which is cosmos, and, if you’re collecting a multiplication, or reproduction that I particular colour, which colour it was!! started last month - there is still time in Every time I collect seeds, I am amazed by

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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!

5th September Chez Sarrazin, 16480 Brossca A new garden for 2021 and very worth a visit - beautiful cakes!

what I’m looking at – I’m holding the ‘germ’ of a flower, which if I replant in the spring will add colour, texture, and perfume to my garden. The other thing to remember is that the whole purpose of a flower is to prolong the species. It is the colour and shape of each flower that is styled to attract insects that will pollinate and fertilise so that it can produce seeds – the next generation. It is for that reason that during the growing season you are advised to deadhead, that is take off the seeds that are forming on the plant, because once it has ‘gone to seed’ there is often no further need for the plant to continue flowering – the job of reproduction is done! But when it comes to September and you’re thinking of collecting seeds you need to resist that temptation and allow at least 50% of the seeds to mature so that you can collect them and reuse them in the future. Dry fruits are easier seeds to manage if you collect them before nature has scattered them! Lupins, sweet peas, peas and beans and other similar seeds are held in pods, and when the seeds are mature the pods will twist and burst open scattering the seeds. Poppy seeds are held in the familiar case we see on the top of the plant once the flowers have gone; once these are ripe the top lifts off the case and the seeds are dispersed. Other seeds have wings, like sycamore ‘planes’, or ‘feathers’ like dandelion ‘clocks’, and when they’re ripe they are wind-blown away from the parent, and in the case of dandelions appear all over my garden the following year! Then there are the fleshy seeds, or those held in brightly coloured attractive ‘hips’ like hawthorn and roses, or within


the fruit such as apples and pears, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and squashes. In nature birds eat the brightly coloured ‘seed packet’ and transport the seeds far and wide. Each type of seed needs to be collected in a slightly different way, as in each case it is only the hard ‘package’ that contains the next generation of plant that we need to collect and store. The only similarity is that we should wait until the seed is ‘mature’ before removing it from the parent plant. As seeds mature, they change colour quite often to dark brown or black. The easiest seeds to collect are those in pods or cases, but beware; if they are mature, they may explode and disperse even as you’re trying to collect the seed. To collect these seeds, take a separate paper bag for each type of seed you want to collect with the seed name and colour written on the outside and collect the pod and seed head, pop them in the bag and more than likely when you go back to look at what’s in the bag the seeds will already have dispersed and be loose in the bag. You can then look at your ‘treasure trove’, put the seeds into clearly labelled envelopes and store in a cool, dark, safe place until spring.

or glass plate (seeds tend to stick to anything else). Place these somewhere warm but not too dry, and out of direct sunlight. Once they’re completely dry rub them gently off the plate and store, once again, in a labelled envelope somewhere cool and dark. Plant your seeds early in the year and lo and behold it will amaze you to see new tomato plants emerge. Have confidence, it will work!

Fleshy seeds need slightly more attention before they can be stored. However, a word of caution here; some plants are a little promiscuous and cross fertilise one another. In this case you can’t guarantee that the message in the seed when it grows next year will be the same as the parent plant you took the seed from! Crossfertilisation is how new plants are developed and your ‘new breed’ could be interesting so it’s always worth a go. However, quite a few modern tomato plants are self-pollinating and don’t readily cross with another tomato. That’s why I save my own tomato seeds from the tomatoes that we have enjoyed, this way I know that I’m growing tomatoes we enjoy eating. If you decide to collect tomato seeds the tomatoes need to ripen fully on the plant. Collect a few of each variety, slice them in half across the middle, and squeeze the seeds and juice into a jar. Leave this mixture of seed and pulp to ferment for a few days, stirring once a day. It will develop a coating of mould and start to smell quite unpleasant. After three days add water to the jar and stir well - the good seeds will sink to the bottom. Gently pour away the top layer of mould and any seeds that float. Put the good seeds into a sieve and wash them thoroughly under cold running water. Shake off as much water as possible and then tip the seeds onto a china

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s I write this in late July I am still waiting for the summer to start, let alone end! This year has been a disaster fishing-wise so let us hope that the next three months can rescue the situation. The Carps With No Name The British Record Fish Committee has recently rejected a claim for a 73lb 8oz carp, named ‘The Marshall’, that had been caught by 14-year-old angler from Holme Fen Fishery. The reasons given by the Committee were that in their opinion the additional weight the carp had taken on since its stocking into Holme Fen would not have been feasible in a natural environment. The implication therefore is that the fish are being artificially grown on using supplementary feed. This is not the first time that record claims from this Cambridgeshire fishery have been rejected by the BRFC. In 2016 ‘Captain Jack’, weighing in at 68lb 1oz, failed to impress the committee. The fish

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published in 1486 and mentions carp stating that they were not common in England at that time. A hundred years later Leonard Mascall, writing anonymously, cheekily tried to give himself credit for having introduced carp into England. Mascall must have been aware of the mention of carp in The Boke of St Albans because he quotes from it in his own works, but he may have had a point. The Boke of St These foreign-reared captors Albans is almost The Boke of St Albans is have created a great deal of certainly a controversy within the carp almost certainly a translation from a fishing and wider angling translation from a French manuscript community. Common carp are French manuscript and so it may be not actually indigenous to the possible that the UK or indeed France. They references to carp do not actually relate to originate from the Danube and it has been English rivers. said were imported to France and England Now carp are found worldwide having by monks. It is known however that the been introduced legally, and illegally, into Romans farmed carp long before that and many countries beyond their natural may also have introduced them. The stew range. In parts of Australia and North ponds at monasteries were used by monks America they are regarded as vermin and to rear fish that could provide meals on a threat to natural species. In parts of the Fridays when their religion forbade them Far East however they are an important to eat meat. The Boke of St Albans was had been imported in 2013 from Israel at a weight of around 41lb and the fishery had been supplementing the lake’s natural food by the introduction of 150kg of pellets per week. In 2020 ‘The Marshall’, another Israeli import, had been caught and recorded at 75lb 2oz. The captor chose not to pursue a record claim due to the negative publicity given to previous record claimants.


herded by the wind and will on many occasions be found on the lee shore. These fish are not bait savvy and so you don’t We are lucky in that the rivers and public need anything fancy to catch them. Maize lakes of our region have a good head of is one of the baits that is universally carp that, whilst not reaching record size, accepted by carp even though they may can be well in excess of forty pounds. never have seen it before. Whilst I have Many of these carp are truly wild fish caught many carp on maize baits it is not never having been named or something that will stop a browsing carp supplemented by angler’s baits and can in its tracks. For that you need something present quite a challenge, not least due to with an attractive scent or flavour. The pet their sometimes inaccessible locations. food industry has decades of experience in Wild carp have to fend for creating treats and food themselves and will roam There is a growing that stimulate animal the river or lake appetites and I can concern that the pure instinctively knowing where food can be found. The form of crucian carp is recommend Frolics dog biscuits as the ideal bait Vienne river is in many rapidly being lost for stalking wild carp. parts lined with surface to hybridisation The ring shaped biscuits weeds. One of the most will fit snugly on a latex exciting ways to fish for bait band once a small section has been these unknown and unnamed carp is to nipped out to form a letter ‘C’ shape. You look for them pushing through the can easily break the biscuits up into small marginal weeds and intercept them using pieces for loose feed too. Shrimp and krill a chunk of bread or a garden snail free flavoured baits also work well for wild lined so that the bait sits on or just under carp as do cooked prawns and luncheon the surface. Free lining a bait gives you the meat. These attractive baits will stop a best chance of not getting snagged in the browsing carp in its tracks and stimulate a weed stems as the hooked carp charges bite. Maize and hemp grains when mixed through them. Whelks from the fish with micro pellets can act to detain the counter at the supermarkets are a viable carp and keep them feeding in your swim. alternative if you don’t fancy using snails. food source and are being farmed on a massive scale.

Stalking these wild carp in lakes can be easier than in rivers as lake carp are

One of the many species of carp are crucian carp, Carassius carassius, found in

lakes, ponds and some rivers from England to Russia. There is a growing concern that the pure form of crucian carp is rapidly being lost to hybridisation with other species of small carp including gibel carp, also known as Prussian carp, Carassius bibelio, and the goldfish, Carassius auratus. The UK Environment Agency is monitoring populations of crucian carp in an attempt to assess the problem and protect the populations of pure crucians. In France the position with crucian carp is more complex. There is a French species called carassins and these seem to have been allocated the same scientific name as crucians, but are in fact a seperate species. Carassins can be found in great numbers in the canals, drains, and lakes of the Marais Poitevin region and it seems that their range is expanding. I was speaking to a French angler near to Chateauneuf-sur-Charente who was trying to scrounge baits for silure fishing. He was asking specifically for carassins. It seems that the chubby little fish are increasingly common on the middle Charente and a popular livebait for silure anglers. The other day, whilst fishing the River Vienne in department 86, I landed a carassin of around 3lb, the first that I have seen in this river. So, if you come across what looks like a specimen crucian carp, but is slightly more brown, it is probably a carassin.

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animal LIME TREE

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Les Chaillauds 16220 MONTBRON Tel: 05 45 24 01 45 email:

farm life


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




he shorter days trigger hormones that lead to ovulation approximately every 21 days over the autumn and winter months. As ewes and goat-does gestate for approximately five months, an autumn mating will result in early spring births.

are sometimes advertised on social media sites and

flames of fertility when they return in autumn.

When planning for offspring, consider the qualities needed by the flock to thrive in the local environment – not only should the sire be unrelated, but a local old breed is more adaptable to changing outdoor conditions.

September is a time to prepare prospective parents for mating and pregnancy. Ewes and does should be well-fed and in good health, but not too fat. Overweight females can have fertility problems. Underweight ones may not be able to support pregnancy without putting stress on their own health. Provide a fresh pasture in September for a nutritional boost. This summer’s meadow hay can supplement if pasture is scarce. Cereal supplements should only be necessary for those who are too thin. Cereals and “granulés” should be introduced gradually and be kept to small portions to avoid serious metabolic issues.

While commercial breeders may favour early matings to give a long growth period for a faster return, most smallholders The first oestrus, normally in September, prefer to wait until October to introduce a is often “silent”, meaning difficult for male. This allows offspring to be born in humans to observe. This especially applies March, when temperatures are improving to sheep. Goats are a lot more vocal and and natural forage is demonstrative because, in starting to grow, Goats are a lot more vocal and their natural providing rich demonstrative because, in environment, they would nutrients for lactating have to attract bucks from their natural environment, afar. Goats show that they mothers. In spring, newborns are less they would have to attract are coming into oestrus vulnerable to cold and by bleating, wagging their bucks from afar dams need less tails and showing other supplementary behavioural changes. feeding. For ruminants, fresh fodder is a Sometimes they go off feed and often they healthier food source than cereal. are more affectionate. They may fight or pester other females more often or allow Another advantage of late mating is that other females to mount them. many males will have already serviced their own flock in September. This gives smallholders a chance to borrow or hire breeding males from another holding. In this way, they can introduce a different, unrelated male every year to avoid inbreeding. Rams (béliers) and goat-bucks (boucs) offered for this service (la saillie)

in Coop er

Although ewes are more subtle in behaviour, a ram can easily find those on heat through their scent. With both species, introduction of a male should trigger the cycle within a few days. Males are often kept apart from the female flock during summer, so that they fan the

Prospective parents need checking for worms and other parasites. As routine worming is no longer recommended due to the rise in parasite resistance, it is worth taking a faecal sample to the vet for an egg count (coproscopie). This allows you to reduce treatment to the susceptible portion of the flock. Poultry may see a last chance to raise a clutch in autumn. Make sure that a broody hen’s nest will stay warm and dry if the weather changes. She will need a dry, protected area with thick bedding to rear her chicks until they are fully feathered at six weeks old.

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free time

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free time

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nature Achilles, Greek hero of the Trojan War and paragon of military excellence, displays a superbly muscled physique in this statue, located in Hyde Park, London

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One Finger One Thumb, Keep Moving…

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



rue there are some crossovers. We have all seen a Venus Flytrap slam shut on a hapless fly, and some animals like sponges and corals just seem to sit still in a very plant-like way. But the Flytrap’s way of moving is very different from that of an animal. In fact, it is so different that, as far as I have been able to find out, noone has worked out how a Venus Flytrap manages to close so quickly. Moreover, it is a purely automatic response. No intention on the plant’s part is involved. The sponge and the coral – indeed all animals - can move parts of their bodies at will. The mechanisms which enable animals to move are muscles. Muscles have existed, therefore, as long as animals have. Even a jellyfish uses a muscle system to move itself through the water. There are three basic types of muscles in an animal: Smooth Muscle This is the type of muscle that is under the control of an automatic section of the brain. These muscles are involved with life processes, like breathing, digestion, and so forth. In some cases, you as the user can take temporary control of some of them (such as when the doctor asks you to “take a deep breath”) but control reverts to the central system as soon as you cease to think about operating the muscles. In other words, these are the muscles that have to function to keep your body alive, and therefore your body must have control of them without your conscious input. Cardiac Muscle This is your heart muscle and the muscles immediately associated with the heart’s function. If all is well, your heart just goes on pumping blood around your system for as long as it is needed. The amount it pumps is controlled by feed-back loops involving the other vital organs, and the rate of pumping is regulated by “pacemaker” cells within the heart itself. You never think about these muscles until something goes wrong – then suddenly they become a matter for deep concern!

Striated muscle (also called skeletal, or striped muscle) These are the rest of the bunch; the ones you use for moving, the ones that are, generally speaking, under your control. Of course, many of them are also subject to reflex action, whereby a certain stimulus causes a muscle to operate on a signal from a nerve without involving the decision-making part of the brain. These are built in to enable the muscle to take the affected part of you out of danger, for example when you touch something hot.

The harder a muscle works, or the more effort it has to exert, the larger it will be, and the stronger will be its attachment to the surface it has to move (its “insertion”). The muscles are joined to the bone (or tissue) that they move by means of sinews.

It is thus that anatomists, especially palaeontologists, can judge the size and action of muscles from studying a skeleton; they look at the size of the insertion scars on the bones and the size of the joint that they have to move. Since the shape of a vertebrate’s body is largely Striated muscles are most noticeable when determined by the causing bones to arrangement and size of move relative to its bones and of the each other, and are musculature that You never think about often attached to a operates those bones, different bone at these muscles until they can build up a either end to enable something goes wrong – fairly good idea of the this to happen, but then suddenly they become creature’s shape in life. they also enable skin

a matter for deep concern! to be moved, for Of course, when we example to change think of muscles and the expression of the skeletons our minds face. There is even immediately think of a vertebrate animal, one muscle that is only attached at one but of course, invertebrates also use end! This is able to wave about in a muscles. Insects, for example, have manner which can be quite frightening. It muscles that move their skeletons, but is your tongue, of course! their skeletons are external, so all the How do muscles work? Muscles are used to exert a force, but they can only do this in contraction. Any movement caused by the relaxation of a muscle is due to a second force acting to restore what has been moved. This may be a muscle set to oppose the motion of the muscle you have just used (for example when you wiggle a finger). In this case you are using two sets of muscles, an extensor and an adductor, working against each other. Sometimes gravity is the opposing force, for example when you raise your arms out and then let them fall back down. This is one reason that living in zero gravity is so fatiguing for astronauts. The muscles that work against gravity have less to do, but those that are normally assisted by gravity have more to do.

muscles work under cover and in some senses in reverse. Shelled animals also rely on muscles to open and close their shells. These muscles are often quite powerful, and leave insertion scars on the insides of the shells. It is all a question of balance To understand how muscles operate in your body you need to understand how levers work. Now that seems fairly simple, but if you think back to your science lessons at school you may remember that there are three types (or “orders”) of levers, depending on the relative positions in which the load, the point where the effort is applied, and the pivot (this last often referred to as the “fulcrum”) are arranged:

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First-order (or ‘class’) lever Here the load is at one end, the effort is applied at the other, and the pivot is between them. This is the classic “see-saw” arrangement, and is the way a pair of scissors works. It occurs in several places in the body. The muscle system that pulls your head up to look forward or upward works in this way. Second-order lever Here the pivot is at one end, the effort is applied at the other, and the load is in between. This is how an old-style, onehanded nut-cracker operates. The system that pulls you up onto your toes works like this. Third-order lever Here the load is at one end, the pivot is at the other, and the effort is applied between them. A pair of tweezers is the classic example of this. There are plenty of examples in the body. The system that allows you to lift anything you are holding in your hand by bending your elbow operates on this system. Also, your jaw bites in this way.

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among women usually only Vestal Virgins I am sure that, if you think about it, you will be able to assign a lever order to lots were allowed to watch the sports. of your joints. The important thing to Of course, then as now, there were always know is where the active muscle inserts on onlookers who loved the bone. And don’t to scoff. “Look at him forget; the load may be flexing his arms”, they the weight of the limb or It was considered shameful would say. “It looks as your body itself, not just for a woman to watch such though little mice something you are exhibitions as sports, which were running about carrying. under his skin!” The took place in the nude Why are they called Roman word for a muscles? mouse was mus, and its diminutive, little As we know from classical mouse, was musculus. Hence art and literature, the Greeks and the the name. Romans had as much pride in their bodies as we do today, and the art of the body Admittedly, very few of us have bodies beautiful was practiced then as now. that are worth displaying quite so Athletes and warriors took pride in decoratively, but we all, whether we are a developing their physiques and Venus or an Adonis or a couch-potato, demonstrating their prowess. The have an amazing body, with over 600 audience would have been exclusively muscles that work in perfect comale in ancient Greece. It was considered ordination, and without which we could shameful for a woman to watch such not move, or stand, or feed, or pick up a exhibitions as sports, which took place in book. As long as our muscles keep on the nude. Gymnasium in Greek meant “a working, we can keep on going, and that is place of nakedness”. Even in Rome, really something to be thankful for.

nature Highest Jumping Insect The highest recorded jump by an insect is 70 cm (28 in) by the froghopper (Philaenus spumarius). When it jumps, the insect accelerates at 4,000 m (13,000 ft) per second and overcomes a G-force of more than 414 times its own body weight. For comparison, astronauts and jet-fighter pilots experience a at most 7G. The bug's hind legs contain extremely strong muscles. Energy is built up in them by slow muscle contraction, and a locking mechanism allows the legs to be fastened in place under the body like a taut crossbow string ready to fire. When the legs are freed, the energy is released and the insect takes off in a millisecond.

Strongest Insect This is a species of Dung-Beetle, Onthophagus taurus, which can lift 1,141 times its own weight. That's equivalent to a human lifting 6 double-decker buses!

Longest Jumping Creatures Fastest flying insect

A dog flea is able to reach 200 times its own body length. It store energy in the muscles of its hind legs, which it can release instantly. However, a tiny marine creature, the copepod, about 3 mm long, can There has been some disagreement about this. Currently, a dragonflyjump has through water at an accelleration of 1000 body been clocked at 35 miles per hour,lengths per second. A copepod's leg develops 10 times more force than any animal studied to date. while a Hawk Moth is in second place

Furthest Flying Insect

The Most Powerful Punch In the World

Until recently, this was thought to be the Monarch Butterfly, which annually flies from its overwintering grounds in the Sierra Madre mountains in Central America to Canada, a distance of some 3000 miles. Its offspring would make the return journey each autumn, though how they knew the way nobody knows. Now, however, a tiny yellow Australian dragonfly, Pantala flavescens, has been found to commute across oceans and between continents, and has been deemed the champion

Mantis Shrimp. It's claws are actually club-like, and are provided with an energy-storage device that works rather like a war-bow. This is poweredup by muscle-power, and when the shrimp swings its club the energy that is stored transfers into the club; delivering a punch with about the power of a .22 bullet. It can smash the shells of its victims; it has even been known to smash the glass of the aquarium it was kept in!

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The Night Sky

Pleiades to Hyades…. Stretching almost 20 degrees from top to bottom, across the dusty constellation Taurus. It begins at the Pleiades and ends at the Hyades, two star clusters recognized since antiquity in Earth's night sky. At the top, the compact Pleiades star cluster is about 400 light-years away. The lovely grouping of young cluster stars shine through dusty clouds that scatter blue starlight. At bottom, the V-shaped Hyades cluster looks more spread out in comparison and lies much closer, 150 light-years away. The Hyades cluster stars seem anchored by bright Aldebaran, a red giant star with a yellowish appearance. But Aldebaran actually lies only 65 light-years distant and just by chance along the line of sight to the Hyades cluster. Source credit: Image credit: Amir H. Abolfath (TWAN)

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he 22nd of September is the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night will be of equal duration around the planet. Each night, after that, will become a little longer as the Earth continues on its orbit around the Sun. Some of the special events and views we can observe this month are: the return of the beautiful Hyades, Venus - our evening star - shining so brightly on the horizon, a glimpse of the planet Uranus, and of course some spectacular views of the Milky Way in our very dark skies here, particularly if you are somewhere with very little light pollution. This month we will also explore a little more 'astronomy jargon', focus on the constellation of Auriga and take a look back at astronomy and space news in our feature 'This Month in Astro History'. A few of the Constellations and Asterisms which can be observed across the skies will be:

The Summer Triangle - a bright shining asterism found high towards the south. The Great Square of Pegasus - an asterism found in the constellation of Pegasus, high in the southeast. Capricornus - a constellation low in the southern sky, where you will find the Planets Saturn and Jupiter this month. All of these constellations and others of course, can easily be found with the aid of a free online sky chart or app such as 'Stellarium'. Before observing it is best to allow your eyes around 30 minutes to become dark adjusted, then, the longer you look, the more you will see! The Moon and Planets in September The New Moon will be on the 7th this month (Day 1 in its cycle of phases) and the Full Moon will be on the 20th (Day 14 in its cycle). Depending upon your exact position the Full Moon will be rising just before 1a.m. on the 23rd. We should be able to see, on the 9th, a lovely grouping in the southwest of a thin crescent Moon, Venus and Spica. Look just after sunset. From the 16th to the 18th from around 9pm, a waxing gibbous Moon will be seen passing just below the Planets Saturn (to the right) and Jupiter (further to the left). The waning gibbous Moon will pass below the Pleiades and the star Aldebaran on the evenings of the 25th and 26th. This can be seen shortly after dark when the Moon has risen in the east. On the night of the 26th we can observe the Moon near to Aldebaran and

the beautiful open cluster of Hyades. This distinctive 'V' form is part of the constellation of Taurus. Shining a light on Astronomy Jargon : 'Open Clusters' Two 'Open Clusters' which we can find quite easily in the skies again at this time of the year are: 'The Pleiades' and 'The Hyades'. These two beautiful open clusters are fine examples of over 1000 which sit in the spiral arms of our Galaxy. Open Clusters are made up of stars which are all the same age, having been born inside a parent nebula. The open clusters will be situated within the Galaxy's disc shape where gas and cloud dust give rise to star formation. The Pleiades open cluster for example, is made up of around 500 stars, the brightest of which are visible to the naked eye. In time, the stars of an open cluster will move away from one another, and so our views will be forever changing.... Object of the month: The Milky Way Our own Galaxy, The Milky Way is one of perhaps hundreds of billions of Galaxies in the Universe. The Milky Way is made up of stars, gas and dust which are gravity bound. Between 200 and 400 billion stars form the spiral shape and part of which we can see on a dark clear night as a cloudy glowing band moving across the sky. The Galaxy measures around 100,000 light years across and 200,000 light years in depth. A light year is how far light travels in one year. Light travels at 300,000km in one second. So we are in fact, really looking back at how things looked in the past! When we look in the direction of the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius we are really observing the central area of our Galaxy which is known as 'The Bulge'. Astronomy Challenge! - Can you spot the Planet Uranus? The Planet is so far away from the Sun it reflects very little light and so is always a challenge to spot in even clear dark skies such as ours. The best time to try to spot the Planet will be after midnight and before the Moon rises. The first few nights of September will have the thinnest crescent Moon so perhaps provide the best chance to search for it. It will be just visible to the naked eye as a faint star in very good seeing conditions. With binoculars it is easy to find sitting at a '2 o'clock' position from The Pleiades cluster. Good luck and do let us know on our Facebook page if you spot it.

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

Meteor Showers in September: The Alpha Aurigids This meteor shower could be a little less spectacular in comparison with the Perseids from August - I hope you spotted some! The Alpha Aurigids will be active during the first week of September with the peak being on the 1st of the month. The Aurigids may extend into October. The maximum hourly rate of these meteors will be 7, however, with the Moon less bright during its waning crescent phase, conditions for observing should be reasonable. The meteors of the Aurigids will all seem to emanate from a similar area of the sky, moving in any direction. They can be fairly bright and so easier to spot. You may also see a number of meteors known as 'Sporadics' which are not related to this shower. Sporadic meteors can appear from any area of the sky at any time and are most frequent in the month of September. This may make up for the slight lack of activity in the Aurigids. This month in Astronomy and Space History 51 years ago: On September the 12th 1970, the Luna 16 Robotic probe was launched on a Proton K rocket by the former Soviet Union. It landed on the Moon on the 20th and performed the first automated lunar sample retrieval and returned to Earth on the 24th. 16 years ago: On September the 30th 2005, a Soyuz rocket was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan carrying a NASA astronaut, a Russian cosmonaut, and an American tourist to the International Space Station. The International Space Station continues to be a real success story of international cooperation. It was so good to hear children from our village talking so enthusiastically during our '#onthemoonagain' night about the current French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, as the Space Station made a pass overhead. We waved and they were convinced that they could see him waving back!

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home & specialist



ood-burners or in fact any fire can be tricky to get the hang of. Your fire may be lit and seem to be burning ok but there is a chance you could be getting a lot more from your wood and from your stove. First, a little about the wood you’re burning. Around 80% of the heat energy in wood are gases known as volatile hydrocarbons. For these gases to burn, they must react with the oxygen entering your stove via the air vents. If you don’t let enough air into your stove, these gases won’t be able to burn and will be wasted up your chimney. Every year when your

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chimney sweep comes to visit, it is these compounds which are removed.

burn your wood. For the waste from your wood-burner to go up the chimney, the air must be replaced into the stove via the air You may find yourself constantly having to vents to create a convection current. If the clean your stove glass of a black or brown stove is being supplied sufficient air, the film. Some of you may film will not form on the have given up and glass as any waste will be decided to live with a Some of you may have given taken up and out of the permanent smoggy up and decided to live with a chimney and so will not be screen on your woodpermanent smoggy screen on able to reside in the woodburner. The black film burner to then condense your wood-burner found on your glass is on the glass. made of the same compounds found further up your A common mistake a lot of us tend to chimney and dirty stove glass is a great make when operating our stoves is putting indicator that your stove is not being too much wood in. If your stove is over full supplied the oxygen it needs to efficiently with wood, you may find the black film

the market. A little wipe with regular glass forms even with your air vents fully open. cleaner once the black is removed will Each stove is different and it will take time leave your fire looking brand new. to know what your appliance needs. Play around with the ratio of wood to air and An even better way to know how your see what your stove responds to best. You stove is performing than watching the will get more out of your wood and flame is to get yourself a stovepipe produce less waste by burning a smaller thermometer. Stove or stovepipe amount of wood hot than a larger amount thermometers are magnetic and can be of wood and letting it slumber. Assuming attached to your stove (or stovepipe) so your stove glass is nice and clean, what you can accurately see the you are looking to see temperature you are is a nice, bright, yellow burning at. They have flame with lots of life Each stove is different and indicators to tell you both and movement. Avoid if you are burning too hot the slow, romantic it will take time to know looking red and orange what your appliance needs and risk damaging your stove (in which case you flame – If you see this, should reduce the amount open your air vent a of air entering the stove little until your flame and, in the future, should avoid adding as comes to life. much wood), and if you are not burning hot enough (in which case you should If you can’t see your flame you might need open your air vents and/or add more to give your glass a clean first. Grab a wood). I recommend everyone using a paper towel or a scrunched up newspaper wood-burning stove should make use of page, run it under the tap and dip it in the this nifty gadget – without it, it’s akin to ash (assuming your fire isn’t yet lit). Give driving a car without a speedometer. Just the glass a wipe and the black should come make sure you note which thermometer off after a little scrub. This ash trick works type you are getting. Stove and stovepipe just as well as any stove glass cleaner on

By Kris Jenningtian s

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

thermometers each have different temperatures for the indications they give. Ultimately, the best way to get the most out of your stove is to make use of the next appointment with your chimney sweep. An experienced sweep will be able to check on how your wood-burner is performing and can advise you on burning habits tailored to your stove and its installation. Remember chimney sweeps tend to be rather booked up in advance during the sweeping season, or ‘silly season’ as we call it. Given the summer we’ve all just had, it’d imagine fires may be being lit rather early on in 2021.

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getting connected So whatit’s doan weinsult. know?Still, Well,I don’t we know likely, care.that I’ve Freesat is not sameIas Freeview. Even got thick skin.the Which guess, is another though theytoare officially one company, downside mynow features. it makes no difference to us in France. Do not buy a Freeview box. The ONLY reason it might be usefulamount to have of one is ifTVs youhave wanta to An increasing new record terrestrial French TV.into For them. the satellite tuner already built This means thatreception you do not need to use aTV, purposes of the of UK satellite seperate satellite receiver (Sky box, they are no use at all. eptember already? It only seems like Freesat box etc) for UK TV reception. You have theby new, not Humax, winter has just finished. Must be what it Do willyou know if itone hasofone a) looking for Freesat recording boxes? If so, love to DVB-S on the specifications or,I’dmore was like in Game of Thrones. I wouldn’t hear your likely, b) experiences. by looking toI’ve see installed if it has aquite a know, as I stopped watching after a few few over the last 12 monthsmale and Iconnection really threaded episodes. Too much can’t decide if I love them point next to the gratuitous sex. Mrs or hate them. Half have traditional push fit aerial Hello and welcome. W told me to stop Unless the dish sticks out been very and have socket. If itbuggy has, you’re How are youand all getting ideas well past the overhang of had issues, the others have good to go.They are doing?like Well, didn’t meI hope. been fine. I’d be grateful if the roof, vital signal sometimes a little less Surviving the heat walking around in a you would be happy to user friendly than andcoat theand continuing reception can be lost fur a crown. email me with something like a Freesat requirement Anyway, how to thewear your but thoughts. box, you can create a masks? devil are I’ve youactually all? favourites list to make life easier. Do not beenatold that wearing a mask makes meto Further With bit of luck life will be getting back to this, don’t forget that if you do be told you have to buy a seperate more attractive. I’m not sure if that's in a some form of normality. You know, two have one, if you fit a wideband LNBreceiver to your box, you you can don’t. '50 Shades ofmultiple Grey' scenario, more vaccinations, antigenor, tests and a dish, record up to four channels at


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section artisans

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section artisans

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

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