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Spring 2017


People, places, features and... fun!

INSIDE Your one-stop guide to what’s on and where in April and May

Taste the rainbow ! Available across ~ Brittany ~ Normandy ~ Pays de la Loire

Vacancez à prix malin,

en France

Résidence de l’océan La Tranche sur mer - Vendée The holiday estate “L’Ocean” situated along the Atlantic coast in the Vendée is of high standard in the colonial style. Thanks to its exceptional location in La Tranche sur Mer, you have direct access to a fine sandy beach as well as many entertaining places and activities nearby. The estate offers a private heated swimming pool and a large solarium terrace with sea views.

Résidence Les Jardins de l’Amirauté Les Sables d’Olonne - Vendée

Whether you are on a family holiday or getting together with friends, you will find everything you need for an unforgettable holiday at the Résidence Les Jardins de l’Amirauté**. We are on the wonderful Côte de Lumière, just 2 kms from the nearest beach, 300m from the marina and an ideal starting point for trips out to discover the pleasures of the Vendée Region. Our well-equipped apartments have a sun-drenched terrace or balcony, and you are welcome to relax in our outdoor heated pool.

Résidence les Terrasses de Pentrez Saint-Nic - Pentrez - Bretagne The holiday estate “Les Terrasses de Pentrez Plage” offers good standard, well equipped flats or houses to rent for 4 to 6 people. The holiday estate offers a magnificent view of the Atlantic. After a day on the beach you can relax by the covered heated swimming pool…

R e s e r v a t i o n s

04 79 75 75 20




published by: Les Editions de l’Etier

1, Les Bruyères - 56200 Saint-Martin-sur-Oust Tel: 02 99 91 59 77 Web: www.leminimag.com

Director of Publication & advertising: Christine Prédéry email: christine@leminimag.com Editor: Mick Austin email: mick@leminimag.com Production Layout: Natacha Neveu email: coccipub@gmail.com Editorial contributors: Malcolm Casson, Peter Cross, Linda Greene, Karen Manuel, Debbie Parfitt, Graham Parish, Guillaume Poissant, Bradley Warden. Cover photograph: www.shutterstock.com Copyright : FamVeld Printing: Imprimerie PrintCorp - France Distribution: La Poste Copyright reg: 2nd quarter 2017 - Les Editions de l’Etier All reproduction, in part or whole, is strictly forbidden without prior permission. While every care is taken to ensure articles and features are accurate, the publisher accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction. The opinions expressed and experiences shared are given by individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the publisher.

Where to find us

Check out your local distributors at: www.leminimag.com Le Mini’mag - the magazine in English covering NW France






Unlock the door to a comfy retirement

Spot the icon in a mountain of merde





Asian salmon, rice substitutes and... an elephant

Vegetables to bring a splash of colour





Freshen up your skin for Spring

These visitors are always welcome



PLUS Laugh out Loud, Fancy That and Years Ago

DON’T MISS Le Summer Guide

Reach 8,000 households with this Size advert from only 34 E + tva

Call us NOW

Due out in June

PLUS Le Mini’mag Autumn 2017 Packed with local ads, info, features and fun. Due out in October

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Business, Finance & Legal

What can you do with your UK pension?

With so many choices available for pensions today, establishing the best path to a comfortable retirement is not easy. A good start, however, is getting answers to some key questions...

All pension income also attracts annual social charges of 7.4%. However, this is waived if you do not have access to the French healthcare system or hold EU Form S1.

What are your options?

Expatriates may benefit from reinvesting UK pension funds into more tax-efficient arrangements for France – like an assurance vie – or transferring to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

You can take as much cash as you like from a defined contribution (money purchase) UK pension from age 55. Each time you make a withdrawal, a quarter can be taken without paying UK tax. Alternatively, you could take a regular income through drawdown or buy an income for life in the form of an annuity. If you have a defined benefit (final salary) scheme, you cannot withdraw cash but you can transfer it to a defined contribution scheme or a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). Today, with pension providers struggling to keep defined benefit schemes afloat, some members are being offered very generous sums (transfer values) to leave. However, a one-off payout may not outweigh the benefits of drawing a guaranteed pension for life, so before transferring it is crucial to fully understand the consequences.

How will you be taxed? While you can take a quarter of a defined contribution pension tax-free in the UK, for French residents the lump sum becomes liable to French taxation, even if it never leaves Britain. An exception is if the withdrawal is prompted by an ‘accident of life’, such as invalidity, unemployment or death of a spouse. It is possible to limit French tax on a UK lump sum to a fixed rate of 7.5% with an uncapped 10% allowance, but only if you meet two conditions. First, pension contributions must have been deducted from your or your employer’s taxable income. Second, you generally have to take the whole fund at once (you may be ineligible if you have already made withdrawals). If you cannot get the 7.5% rate, any lump sums will be taxed at the normal French scale rates, like other pension income. This ranges from 0% for income under €9,700 to 45% for income over €152,108, with a 10% deduction of up to €3,715 per household. 4 Mini’mag

Is transferring a good idea?

As well as tax efficiency, assurance-vie and QROPS unlock estate planning advantages. While many UK pensions are payable only to your spouse on death, other structures offer flexibility to include other heirs. They can also offer currency flexibility – by holding savings in multiple currencies, you can benefit from switching between pounds and euros when rates are favourable. However, transferring is not suitable for everyone and there are differences between providers and jurisdictions that could affect the tax benefits. It is important to take personalised, professional advice to explore your options and establish what will work for you. Use a regulated adviser to avoid pension scams and unregulated investments that risk losing your pension savings. With speculation that the UK government may make withdrawals more difficult, or start taxing pension transfers for non-residents post-Brexit, now is the time to review your options. Pensions are a highly specialist and complex area, as is French taxation, so take tailored, cross-border advice to ensure you are in the best possible position to enjoy your retirement in France. Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

With thanks to Bradley Warden Blevins Franks 05 49 75 07 24 bradley.warden@blevinsfranks.com www.blevinsfranks.com

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


“With so many options for my UK pension funds, what are the best solutions for French residents?”

Talk to the people who know.


Deciding what to do with your pensions is one of the most important financial decisions you make. It is crucial you understand how all the options affect you and the tax implications in France. With our pension, tax and investment expertise, Blevins Franks provides bespoke advice based on your situation and aims.

contact us now on

05 49 75 07 24


w w w. b l e v i n s f r a n k s . c o m

Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFFM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, register number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissement Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – RCS BX 498 800 465.


 in Le Mini'mag pleasecallMALTA 02 99 91  59 77 SPAIN Toadvertise PORTUGAL CYPRUS UNITED

Mini’mag 5 KINGDOM

Business, Finance & Legal


father and son from the backwoods are visiting a modern shopping centre and are amazed by almost everything they see, especially by two shiny, silver walls that move apart and back together again. The boy asks his dad what it is. “Son,” he replies, “I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life.” While the pair of them watch, an old lady in a wheelchair rolls up to the moving walls and presses a button. The walls open and she rolls between them into a small room. The walls close and the boy and his dad watch small, circular numbers above the walls light up. They carry on watching as the circles light up in the reverse order. The walls open up again and out steps a gorgeous young blonde woman. Father and son stare at each other in wide-eyed amazement until the dad finally says: “Son, go and fetch your mother.”

Pet insurance in France

Pet insurance is very similar to the cover you might get in the UK and veterinary bills can be covered by insurance. The cost of a policy varies depending on the type of cover you are looking for, the type of pet you have, its age and its health. As in the UK, there are also discounts available if you have more than one pet. Vet’s bills in France are around €60 for a consultation, €50€100 for laboratory analyses, €50-€200 for antibiotic treatment and €500-€1500 for an operation. The cost of tablets is not normally covered by your insurance. Comprehensive pet insurance cover will typically cover your animal in the case of accident and/or illness. Some accident policies offer up to a 100% reimbursement with a predefined maximum cover amount for hospitalisation, surgery costs, transportation in an ambulance, veterinary fees (visits, consultations, treatments), pharmacy bills, laboratory (analysis, examinations and checks), X-rays and euthanasia. In the case of an illness, a policy will generally cover you for up to around 70% of the surgery costs, laboratory (analysis, examinations/checks), X-rays and euthanasia. Exclusions may apply to select breeds and restrictions in cover may relate to certain breeds of dogs, dog husbandry, packs and dogs used for professional activities, such as security or rescue. You may not be able to take out a policy if your pet is already ill and cover cannot typically be taken for conditions considered almost inevitable for certain breeds, like hip dysplasia in Alsations. A cat or dog insurance contract normally applies to animals that are chipped or tattooed, are more than three months old and less than eight years old, and are up to date with vaccinations. A policy can cost around €20 a month and cheaper options with surgery only, for example, can cost less than €10 a month.

AXA Lanchec Poissant

Home Car Health Business Tel: 02 97 60 08 23 contact@clp-assurances.fr www.clp-assurances.fr

In all cases, if you intend to bring your pet permanently to France then a third-party liability insurance is a legal requirement. If you are the owner of a dog or a cat, his cover is generally included in your multirisque home insurance contract. If you don’t have a home insurance contract and own a dog categorised as dangerous, then you are legally required to take out a third-party liability insurance contract. Third-party liability insurance will cover you for damages caused to third parties, members of the owner’s family or those caring for the animal, and anyone who is considered third parties according to the law. This means that if your animal bites a ‘third party’, for example, or attacks a cyclist, then your insurance would come into play for any claim made against you as owner of the animal. With thanks to Guillaume Poissant CL&P assurance 02 97 60 08 23 contact@clp-assurances.fr

6 Mini’mag

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


Divorce, separation and family law advice Woolley & Co specialise in English divorce and family law for British expats.

Using the English courts to divorce is often quicker, cheaper and less complicated than the French system.

Let us take care of your divorce and separation concerns.

Call: 00 +44 1789 330310 Visit: www.family-lawfirm.co.uk Skype available

Over the last 20 years’ national law firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors has provided expert divorce advice to thousands of individuals. Recognised by Legal 500 as a Leading Family Law Firm our large team of partner level lawyers has over 340 years’ experience advising clients in the UK and overseas.

Head office: Warwick Enterprise Park, Wellesbourne, Warwick, CV35 9EF

Woolley & Co, Solicitors is a member of the Law Society and authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

Also in: Barnet • Bedford • Bicester • Birmingham • Bournemouth • Bristol • Burton upon Trent • Cardiff • Coventry • Derby • Great Yarmouth • Ludlow Mini’mag 7 To• Northampton advertise in please callColdfield 02 99 91 59 77• Truro • Wells • Wolverhampton • Market Harborough • Melbourne • StLe Neots • Stoke on Trent • Sutton • Thetford


Business, Finance & Legal

Making your business stand out from the rest! Pun (n). A play on words of the same sound but different meanings, usually humorous. Some people don’t like puns. They wish they would go away. We like them. We find them funny. Keep an eye out for businesses that really know how to advertise!


man is trying to get into a town centre pub when the bouncer stops him, saying: “Sorry, mate, you can’t get in here unless you’re wearing a tie.” The man pops back to his car but all he can find to wear is a set of jump-leads, so he ties them round his neck, goes back and asks: “How’s this?” “Well,” replies the bouncer. “Okay, I guess that’ll do. But I’m warning you now, don’t start anything.”

Call Wayne, Alex & Trystan now on 02 96 87 21 21 or email us at contact@angloagence.com for your personalised quode 8 Mini’mag

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


Your French assistant for all your difficulties You have a primary or secondary residence in France,

Kristyne is your assistant for all your steps Relationship with French institutions

Confidentiality assured.

New in 2017: tax savings for residents

Call on 06 15 44 68 98


Taupont 56 kristyne.agency56@gmail.com

les bons voisins property management in your area


no job too small, no project too large

Whether permanent resident or holiday home owner If you need occasional help why not call on us? Do you work in the garden more than enjoying it? Inside does your property need some TLC? all those odd jobs you just don’t get round to! Friendly professional help to homeowners in France Chèque Emploi accepted t: 02 96 24 74 27 e: info@LBVfrance.com www.LBVfrance.com siret: 498 041 326 00030

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77

Mini’mag 9


bouquetcleans.com Beautiful results each & every call… Relax in the knowledge that your property is being beautifully presented for your visiting customers.

We offer a first class service to you and your clients. Our business is long established, we are extremely successful at what we do and we appreciate that all must be just perfect for each and every person passing through your doors. Our aim is to provide you with an efficient, reliable service, which in return gives you happy satisfied returning customers, who will be eager to recommend business onto family and friends, and providing you with satisfied returning custom.


Phone: 02 43 04 18 72 - Mobile: 07 89 43 85 73 Email: bouquetcleans@yahoo.fr Web: www.bouquetcleans.com

NATURAL, COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES by well-qualified therapist. Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Lymph Drainage, ENERGY HEALING (Reiki) Hopi Ear Candling, Indian Head Massage. I am based in Carentan and work from home but will also come to your home (travelling within reason) To book appointment;

06 52 59 71 28 / karentinker447@hotmail.com Price; 50€ per hour

Sworn Translation Court certified Translator-Interpreter (traducteur assermenté). Certified translation of all documents (birth certificate, driving licence etc.), interpreting, assistance. Tel : 02 97 22 18 85 grej3@yahoo.fr

06 42 18 83 94 sworntranslation.fr

Have you considered being a helper, or have in the past been a helper for Cancer Support France? We offer free, confidential help and support for English speaking people living in France who are touched by cancer. Become one of our trained volunteers giving pratical help to cancer patients, their carers and families.

nord@cancersupportfrance.org 10 Mini’mag


To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77

0800 240 200


British Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill was fearful of January 24 because he felt certain he was destined to die on that date. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had died on that date in 1895, aged 45. Winnie did indeed die, aged 90, on January 24, 1965 – 70 years to the day after his father’s death.

While walking along a street in Detroit, a young man called D C Gaitlan saw police officers demonstrating their squad car’s ‘felon-detecting’ equipment to some children. His interest aroused, Gaitlan walked up to the officers and asked how the system worked. The officer asked him for identification so Gaitlan give him his driving licence and it was entered into the computer. Moments later, the officer arrested Gaitlan. Information on the screen showed he was wanted for an armed robbery in St Louis two years earlier.

That! *




Your one-stop guide to what’s on and where for April & May April

Saturday April 1 Soirée Jazz - Erquy (22)

There’s an evening of live jazz including a set by Anglo French group Good Time Jazz – reservations at the Office de Tourisme Carnaval - Auray (56) It’s carnival time – plenty of fun for all ages Carnaval - L’Aigle (61) It’s carnival time once again – plenty of fun for all ages

If you’ve ever used the phrase “I’ll be there in a jiffy” then you had better be quick. A jiffy is an informal unit of time sometimes used in the computer industry. One jiffy equals 1/100th of a second, or ten milliseconds.

Saturday April 1 & Sunday April 2 Le pôle international du cheval - Deauville (14)

The world’s hottest pepper is said to be the Carolina Reaper – a cross between a Pakistani Naga and a Red Habanero. It has a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of 2.2 million SHU. A cayenne pepper has a SHU rating of 30,000-50,000 and the Scotch Bonnet and Bird’s Eye chillies a rating of 100,000-350,000. So Carolina’s grim Reaper is a bit warm, then. Time to put the toilet roll in the fridge!

Pommerit-Jaudy (22) Arts and crafts display and sale held in the Manoir du Cosquer – it’s free Fête des métiers d’Art - Villedieu-les-Poêles (50) Arts and crafts fair in the centre of town Journées mondiales des métiers d’Art - Arzon (56) Arts and crafts display and sale held in the Moulin de Pencastel – it’s free Auto moto rétro - Le Mans (72) Looking for a part for that classic car or motorbike or indeed the entire vehicle - then you may just find it here although you’ll need to search through over 200 stalls. It’s at the Centre des Expos and 2.50€ entry fee. And next door there’s a fair for collectors from coins to stamps

Writer Morgan Robertson published a novel called Futility in 1898. It was about an ocean-going liner, the biggest of its day, that was said to be unsinkable. In his book, the ship was called the Titan and it hit an iceberg and sank in mid-April. Fourteen years after Robertson’s book was published, the Titanic – the biggest liner of its day and said to be unsinkable – hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank within four hours. The date was in mid-April. The night of April 14, 1912. People have often wondered who wrote the Bible and the answer appears to be... William Shakespeare. Find that difficult to believe? The King James Version was published in 1611, when Shakespeare was 46 years old. If you look up Psalm 46 and count 46 words from the beginning you will find the word ‘shake’. Count 46 words back from the end of the psalm and you will find the word ‘spear’. Coded message or what? On September 9, 1945, a Harvard University computer malfunctioned and US Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper found what the problem was – a moth had got into one of the circuits. She removed the moth and taped it into her log book with the caption “First actual case of bug being found.” It was the first time anyone had used the word bug to describe a computer glitch. Naturally, the term debugging soon followed. The shortest war on record was fought between the all-powerful United Kingdom and... Zanzibar. It happened on August 27, back in 1896 and Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes! The Brits had three cruisers, two gunboats, 150 marines and sailors and 900 Zanzibaris in the harbour area. The defenders had several artillery pieces and some machine guns.

International level dressage for disabled riders, now in its 6th year

Journées mondiales des métiers d’Art

Saturday April 1 to Monday April 3 1000 idées pour la maison - Caen (14)

The region’s biggest event with 180 exhibitors all there to help you change the look of your home – from painting techniques to furniture, and from alternative energy to triple glazed windows. Payable Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Saint-Malo (35) Large event with over 100 stalls selling some of the finest French produce

Saturday April 1 to May 1 Le festival de la tulipe

Vendeuvre (14) Château de Vendeuvre From 2pm to 6pm every day the various gardens of this spectacular château are a mass of colour provided by 30,000 tulips, daffodils and hyacinths during this annual festival

Saturday April 1 to May 8 Festival de photo – Un voyage d’Amérique en Sibérie Vannes (56) Some of France’s best-known photographers display some of their work throughout this magnificent walled town

Sunday April 2 Fête des jonquilles - Souleuvre-en-Bocage (14)

Not tip toeing through the tulips but the daffodils instead. Organised outings either on foot, on your bike or on your horse – it all starts at the Moulin Pinel and it’s free

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


Mini’mag 11

Food & Entertainment

≈ Super salmon, Asian style ≈


Thai salmon parcel Cooking salmon in foil seals in all the flavours and the meat is juicy and tender. Cleaning up afterwards is a doddle – just bin the foil!

METHOD 1: Pre-heat oven to 190C (375F). Line a baking tray with foil. 2: In a small bowl, whisk together the chilli sauce, soy sauce, garlic, fish sauce, ginger and lime juice and set aside. 3: Place the salmon on the baking tray and fold up all four sides of the foil. Spoon the whisked mixture over the salmon. Fold the foil over the salmon, covering it completely, and then seal the parcel closed. 4: Place the tray into the oven and bake until the salmon is cooked through (around 15-20 minutes). 5: Serve garnished with the peanuts and coriander. Serves four.

INGREDIENTS • 120ml sweet chilli sauce • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 2 cloves minced garlic • 1 tbsp fish sauce • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger • juice of one lime • chopped peanuts for garnish (unsalted if possible as the fish sauce will be salty) • chopped coriander for garnish • 900g salmon fillet (or two 450g pieces)

Asian salmon kebabs A barbecue favourite that’s easy to make, packed with flavour and healthy as well. INGREDIENTS • 700g skinless salmon fillet, cut into one-inch chunks • fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks • 1 red onion cut into chunks • 1 courgette sliced into thick rounds • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves

FOR THE MARINADE • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 2 tbsp oyster sauce • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar • 1 tbsp brown sugar • 3 cloves of garlic, minced • 1 tsp sesame oil • 1 tsp hottish chilli sauce, like Thai sweet chilli or Peri Peri (optional) • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Great wines at great prices!

TAsTE bEfORE yOu buy OPEN 7 days a Week

conveniently situated close to ferry terminal www.normandie-wine.com

NORMANDIE WINE OUISTREHAM (CAEN) 12 Quai Charcot 14150 OUISTREHAM Tel. (00 33) 231 360 505


di e pu scount rcha off ses


12 Mini’mag

NORMANDIE WINE CHERBOURG 71 avenue Carnot 50100 CHERBOURG Tel. (00 33) 233 433 979

METHOD 1: In a small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. 2: Thread the salmon, pineapple, red onion and courgette onto skewers. Brush the marinade mixture over the skewers and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. 3: Get your barbecue going until it is medium-hot then add the kebabs to the grill, reserving the marinade. Cook the kebabs, turning occasionally, until the salmon is opaque throughout and the vegetables are tender (about 5-7 minutes). Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the salmon and/or the vegetables. 4: Add the reserved marinade to a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half (about 5-6 minutes). 5: Serve the kebabs immediately with the reserved marinade and garnished with the coriander. Serves four.

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77

Mini’mag 13

Food & Entertainment

≈ Tasty and healthy alternatives to rice ≈

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) Mediterranean salad Quinoa is another great substitute for rice. It’s described as a ‘super food’ and is low on the glycaemic index. It’s wheat-free and contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source INGREDIENTS • Splash of olive oil • 1 cup quinoa • 2 cups water • 1/3 cucumber, chopped into chunks • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved • ½ red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons • ½ cup chopped black or green olives • 150g crumbled feta cheese • Lettuce of choice, such as rocket

Pearl barley risotto I discovered this dish when my sister was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. We were about to go on a week’s holiday and I needed to explore new recipes to ensure she was eating appropriately. This was one of our favourites. Pearl barley is one of the lowest foods on the glycaemic index (GI), which tells us whether a food raises blood glucose levels quickly, moderately or slowly. This means it can be useful to help manage diabetes.

FOR THE DRESSING • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 clove crushed garlic • ½ tsp French mustard • ¼ cup olive oil • ¼ tsp dried oregano • Pinch of salt and pepper


You can add peppers, chicken or any other ingredients from your store cupboard or fridge.

METHOD 1: Heat the splash of oil in a saucepan, add the quinoa, coat it in the oil and cook slowly for 2-3 minutes until the quinoa starts to make popping noises. (Note: The noise is not loud!). 2: Add the water, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until all the water has disappeared. Strain into a colander and leave to cool. 3: Tip the quinoa into a large bowl. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, olives and feta cheese and stir carefully into the quinoa. 4: For the dressing, mix all ingredients together in a jar and shake. 5: Serve the quinoa mixture on a bed of lettuce and pour on the dressing. Ideal as a lunch or a side dish to a main meal. Serves four.

INGREDIENTS • Splash of sunflower oil or olive oil • 1 onion, chopped into small pieces • 1 garlic clove, crushed • ½ red pepper, chopped into small pieces • ½ orange or yellow pepper, chopped into small pieces • 1 courgette, chopped into small pieces • 10 cherry tomatoes • 400g pearl barley, rinsed • 1.4l vegetable stock • Large pinch smoked paprika • Salt and black pepper to taste

Ouvert le MIDI du Mardi au Dimanche Ouvert le SOIR Mercredi,Vendredi & Samedi

Fish & Chips

sur place & a emporter 14 Mini’mag

1, rue de la Tour 22190 PLERIN

T. 02 96 33 28 69 - M. 06 58 94 98 06 - bistrotdumarin@orange.fr

To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77

Food & Entertainment METHOD 1: In a large, deep frying pan, add the oil and cook the onion for two minutes, until soft. 2: Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. 3: Stir in all the chopped vegetables and cook for a further two minutes. 4: Add the smoked paprika and salt and black pepper. 5: Add the cherry tomatoes and coat them well with the oil. 6: Add the washed pearl barley and stir to coat with the oil. 7: Add the stock, stir, bring to the boil and simmer slowly for 3040 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and the pearl barley is tender but still has a bite. You may need to add a little extra boiling water. 8: Serve either hot or cold with a green salad as a main meal or an accompaniment. Serves four. TIP: Add or use any other vegetables you may have to hand. I tend to use whatever’s in my store cupboard or fridge, including mushrooms, spinach and peas. With thanks to Karen Manuel Owner Le Jardin de Froulay 02 43 00 93 79 www.facebook.com/LeJardinDeFroulay

ELLIOTTS BOUCHERIE Traditonal English Butchers in North Mayenne

8 place de la houssaye 53120 Gorron Tel: 02 43 30 46 89 email: elliottsboucherie@gmail.com www.elliottsboucherie.com All of our meat is locally sourced 21 day matured beef Premium quality Pork, Lamb & Poultry Plus our homemade produce including English style sausages, dry cured bacon, ham, meat pies, pasties, pork pies, sausage rolls, black pudding, faggots etc Hog Roast & BBQ available for weddings, parties & fetes etc We do monthly deliveries throughout North West France, check our website for more details

<<p11 Sunday April 2 Celtic connection - Kergrist-Moelou (22)

There will be the sounds of Ireland and a lot more playing at the Salle Lein Roch from 5pm Foire aux plantes - Roscoff (29) The Jardin Exotique holds their annual sale of plants Carnaval - Nantes (44) 350,000 spectators in the streets, dozens of floats, bands and musicians from all over Europe contribute to this daytime carnival of the Grosses Têtes Foire à tout - Hambye (50) Very large brocante and shops clearout held in and around the centre of the town Vide-greniers - Saint-Berthevin (53) Huge car boot at the centre Leclerc Les motards contre la sclérose - Vannes (56) Between 3 – 400 motorcycle riders gather to raise money for a local charity. Meet at the Carrefour car park from 10am and there’s a 85kms ride out at 2pm

Concours nationaux de tripes et d’andouilles

La Ferté-Macé (61) Fancy trying something different - the real taste of the area. Here you’ll find some of the best producers of these French delicacies so plenty to try – go on!

Monday April 3 Ballet du ROH Londres - Dinard (35)

An evening of Ballet shown on the big screen. La Belle au Bois Dormant or The Sleeping Beauty in English by Tchaikovsky will be performed at the Royal Opera House in London and shown at the Emeraude cinéma from 8.15pm but be warned it’s three hours long

Thursday April 6 Carnaval - Caen (14)

The students of Caen University hold their annual carnival – so either you’ll love it or avoid the centre of Caen like the plague as it could be a bit messy

Friday April 7

Nettoyons nos plages - Clohars-Carnoët (29)

Fancy making a few new friends by helping to clean up the winter driven flotsam and jetsam from the beach? From 1pm meet on the plage de Bellangenet – you’ll need sensible clothing, boots and gloves

Friday April 7 & Saturday April 8 Gominarama 5 - Saint-Pol-de-Léon (29)

Dust off those 50’s dancing shoes it’s a Rockabilly weekend – plenty of rock and roll music and you’ll have to dress the part

Friday April 7 to Sunday April 9 Salon des vins - Honfleur (14)

Medium sized event held in the Greniers à Sel with over 55 stalls selling some of the finest French wine to try and buy – it’s free entry

Friday April 7 to Monday April 10 Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Perros-Guirec (22) Large event with over 100 stalls selling some of the finest French produce

Saturday April 8 Motoball - Houlgate (14)

Something a little different – a game of football played on motorcycles! It’s free Opération plage propre - Saint-Cast-Le-Guildo (22) Fancy making a few new friends by helping to clean up the winter driven flotsam and jetsam from the Grande Plage? From 9am to 1pm – you’ll need sensible clothing, boots and gloves >>p17

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Mini’mag 15

Food & Entertainment


wonders INGREDIENTS: • 1 elephant (African or Asian, the bigger the better) • 10 warthogs (young ones are usually more tender) • 100 kgs tomatoes (no need to peel or de-seed them) • 1000 kgs potatoes (peeled, waxy is best) • 2 wheelbarrows of onions (peeled and heaped) • 100 kgs salt (or to taste) • 10 litres of vinegar • 20 litres of chutney (any kind is good, especially mango picked from the nearest tree) • 4 guinea fowl

Le Saint Patrick By the Rance

≈ Elephant stew ≈ An impressive dish with a taste of the wild. Perhaps for that special occasion when you invite lots of family and friends. METHOD: 1: Hunt the elephant, warthogs and guinea fowl. Hang the guinea fowl to mature (as you would a pheasant). Cut the elephant into bite-size chunks (this will take about a month). 2: Boil the warthogs with other ingredients (except the guinea fowl) until tender and juicy. 3: In a separate pan, boil the elephant chunks over a high flame until tender (this will also take around a month). 4: Add everything together and boil for another five to seven days. COOK’S TIP: The above ingredients should give you around 4500 helpings. If more people turn up, or your guests are big eaters, add the guinea fowl as well!

Restaurant Bar

English Spoken - Take Away

Fish & Chips Scampi

Open from Wednesday to Sunday - Tel: 02 96 83 21 06

Port du Lyvet-Ecluse du Chatelier - 22 690 La Vicomté sur Rance 16 Mini’mag

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Food & Entertainment Bar Restaurant Music Venue Beer Garden Vintage Tea Shop Vegan options Takeaway Special Events Private parties catered for onsite or externally. Call us for more information.

- LE JARDIN DE FROULAY 41 rue du 6 aôut 1944, Couesmes-Vaucé 53300 Tel.: 02 43 00 93 79 FB: LeJardinDeFroulay/

TRADITIONAL FISH & CHIPS IN SAINT-MALO 60metres from the beautiful plage de Rochebonne Lunchtimes from 11:30am – Evenings from 6:30pm Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays Traditional English Fish & Chips, Mushy Peas, Malt Vinegar... Eat inside or on the terrace or as a takeaway 83-85 boulevard de la Rochebonne, 35400 Saint-Malo Tel: 02 99 40 42 24 Since 1992!

le Médiéval

24 Grande Rue


Tea room Light bites served all day


<<p15 Saturday April 8 Carnaval - Nantes (44)

Just in case you missed this event last weekend it’s rerun once again but this time during the evening with 350,000 spectators in the streets. Dozens of floats, bands and musicians from all over Europe contribute to this carnival of the Grosses Têtes Plantes en fête - La Plaine-sur-Mer (44) Annual plant and shrub display and sale at the Jardin des Lakas

Saturday April 8 & Sunday April 9 Fête des jardins - Tréveneuc (22)

Festival of plants held in the gardens of the Château de Pommorio. Here you can see how the gardens are looked after and buy some of their plants and seeds Salon de l’habitat - Granville (50) Looking for something for your home? Here you’ll find everything from furniture to windows – they’re all here. It’s free entry Le tour du cochon - La Roche-Bernard (56) Annual regatta of traditional sailing boats to mark the arrival of Spring. Departing from La Roche-Bernard to Arzal and why not pop into Le Sarah B for some fish & chips! Foire exposition des Rameaux - Domfront (61) There’s is plenty for everyone at this large local businesses themed event including a car boot, fairground attractions, BBQ food, music, etc

Saturday April 8 to Monday April 17 Foire internationale de Nantes

Nantes (44) Parc Beaujoire Huge fair with 650 exhibitors. Everything you can think of will be there, including furnishings, home décor, arts and crafts, wines, gastronomy, garden furniture and much more. The theme for this year is ‘Japan’ so expect lots of sushi, kimonos and cosplay

Sunday April 9 Vide-greniers - Plaintel (22)

Huge car boot on the rue du Beau Chemin Courses hippiques - Plounévézel (29) And they’re off! Horse racing from 2pm at the hippodrome Rétro passion - Rennes (35) Parc expo Classic car and motorcycle festival with parades, auctions, market, music, food, spare parts market, etc. This is one of the newest and best events of its kind in France so if you are an enthusiast don’t miss it Braderie et brocante - Canisy (50) The town shops and locals have a huge clearout Fête du printemps - Pénestin (56) Annual Spring fair with small animals, jams and plants for sale

Sunday April 9 & Monday April 10 Carnaval - Pornic (44)

A great event for both young and old starting from rue de la Bernerie at 2.30pm on Sunday and on Monday night from 9pm from rue de Verdun

Friday April 14 Session irlandaise - Porspoder (29)

Live traditional Irish music is at the O’Porsmeur pub from 9.30pm

Friday April 14 & Saturday April 15 Bain de blues - Bain de Bretagne (35)

The Blues comes to BdeB - artists include the lovely Ina Forsman, Fred Cruvelier Blues Band, The Pathfinders, Rumble 2 Jungle, Alexis Evans, to mention just a few


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Mini’mag 17


London, a Big Ben and a little shop sooner. Fly from Quimper into London City Airport and be in central London in just 21 minutes. Choose from up to four flights a week. Book now at ba.com To Fly. To Serve.

18 Miniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mag

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Food & Entertainment

YEARS AGO... 10 2007

January 9: Apple’s Steve Jobs unveils the first ever iPhone. Functioning as a camera phone, a portable media player and internet client, it uses a multi-touch screen to provide a virtual keyboard in lieu of a physical one. Its limited functionality in the early days – including not being able to connect to the internet independently of WiFi – meant it was effectively an entire computer that happened to make phone calls. April 3: A French TGV sets the world speed record for a conventional train when it reaches 574.8kph (357.2mph) under test conditions between Paris and Strasbourg. May 16: Nicolas Sarkozy is elected President of France with a promise to usher in a new era of change. His aims include the revitalisation of the economy, reviving the work ethic, promoting new initiatives and fighting racial intolerance.


1: Euro coins and banknotes YEARS January enter circulation and become the second reserve currency and the second AGO... largest most traded currency in the world, the US dollar. It becomes the sole 2 0 0 2 after currency of 17 EU Member States, which

does not include the UK.

July 14: French President Jacques Chirac survives an assassination attempt by a man described as an emotionally disturbed neoNazi. The President was reviewing troops from an open-top jeep during a military parade in Paris to celebrate Bastille Day when the man pulled a rifle from a guitar case and fired one shot before being wrestled to the ground. No-one was injured in the incident.

<<p17 Friday April 14 & Saturday April 15 Don Jigi Fest - Vitré (35) Two day festival of Electro and dance music – ohhhh my head!!

Friday April 14 to Sunday April 16 Vinicircus - Guipel (35)

No, not a circus but a festival of wine ‘naturel’ with concerts, cooking demonstrations and plenty of try and buy

Saturday April 15 Carnaval - Dinard (35)

It’s carnival time – plenty of fun for all ages

Saturday April 15 & Sunday April 16 Garden en fleurs - Cabourg (14)

Floral sale and display held in the Jardins de l’Hôtel de Ville Fête de la coquille Saint-Jacques - Erquy (22) A huge event. Celebrate with 40,000 other people the humble scallop with sea shanties, dancing, traditional costumes and plenty of scallops to eat freshly grilled on the BBQ

Journees des plantes franco-britanniques

Crosville-sur-Douve (50) About 50 nurserymen, both French and British, display their goods in the grounds of the château. There’s even a refreshment area for a cup of tea

Saturday April 15 to Monday April 17 Exposition Playmobil - Villers-sur-Mer (14)

One for the young with huge scenes featuring plastic toys – it’s free Printemps à la ferme - Alençon (61) ‘Welcome to the farm’ is the theme of this event featuring local farmers and their produce and how they go about their daily work to produce food for your plate

Maxime Brunerie was later found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to ten years in jail. He was freed after seven years.

Saturday April 15 to Sunday April 30 Festival de Pâques - Deauville (14)

October 6: The French oil tanker Limberg is attacked by terrorists off the coast of Yemen. An ‘explosive-laden boat’ is said to have rammed the tanker, killing one crew member and sending more than 90,000 barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Aden.

Sunday April 16 Vide-greniers - Courseulles-sur-Mer (14)


3: Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub YEARS January owner who killed the alleged assassin of John F Kennedy, dies of cancer AGO... President in a Dallas hospital. The appeal court had overturned his death sentence 1 9 6 7 recently for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald

and was scheduled to grant him a new trial.

December 3: The world’s first successful human-to-human heart transplant takes place in Cape Town as South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard operates on 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky. The surgery was a success but the medications given to Washkansky to prevent his immune system from rejecting the new heart also suppressed his body’s ability to fight off other illnesses. He died of double pneumonia 18 days after the pioneering operation. December 11: The first Concorde prototype is rolled out in Toulouse to herald the beginning of commercial supersonic travel. A total of 20 Concorde aircraft would be built at Toulouse and Filton, in England. The first commercial supersonic flights would be made on January 21, 1976, by British Airways from London to Bahrain and by Air France from Paris to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Annual festival of chamber music with and without a vocal accompaniment

Huge car boot at the Parc de l’Edit Foire à tout - Pont–L’Eveque (14) Large car boot and shops clear out held in and around the centre of the town Printemps de Châteauneuf - Châteauneuf-du-Faou (29) A celebration of Breton culture with traditional music and dancing, and plenty of food and drink Vide-greniers - Livre-sur-Changeon (35) Huge car boot in the centre of town Vide-greniers - Nort-sur-Edre (44) Huge car boot on the rue des Ecoles Fête des plantes et des fleurs - Locmariaquer (56) Annual sale of plants and flowers held in this pretty village

Sunday April 16 & Monday April 17 Fête de Pâques - Saint-Pern (35)

Easter fete with plenty of events taking place throughout the days including some very strange pedal cars! It’s free

Monday April 17 Vide-greniers - Fontenay Le Marmion (14)

Huge car boot at the Salle Polyvalente Easter fayre - Gouarec (22) There will be a variety of items for sale at this AIKB event, including books, crafts and plants, plus Café and Bar serving lunchtime snacks, cakes and beverages. It’s at the >>p21 Salle de Bel Air from 11am – 5pm

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Mini’mag 19

Food & Entertainment

Aleth Vins Bières & Cie - CASH WINE & BEER Large range of Wines, Champagnes, Beers, Spirits and Local Products…

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Le Famous

Knight Pub

53250 Couptrain

Phone 02 43 32 09 81 Fb Le Famous Knight

Real Ale

Breizh-British Weekend

JOSSELIN (56) JUNE 24 th & 25 th - 2017

Breizh-British Market • Palet Breton • Darts Scottish Dancers • Classic Jaguar Cars Bagpipes • Boules Bretonnes • Breton Dancers Walking Football • Jeux en Bois • Typical Meals Blues Guitars • Celtic Harp • Artist’s Exhibition

Rock Concerts

Fun - Happiness - and Laughter are welcome !

Facebook: Breizh-British Events 20 Mini’mag

E-Mail: britwejosselin@yahoo.com

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Food & Entertainment

Laugh Out Loud!

<<p19 Monday April 17 Grand déballage de printemps - Arzon (56)

Pick up a bargain here when the locals and the shops at the Port du Crouesty have their spring clear out

Wednesday April 19

L’art de la table au 18ème/19ème - Pontécoulant (14)


hree old ladies are sitting chatting in a cafe. “You know,” says one lady, “I’m getting really forgetful. This morning I was standing at the top of the stairs and I couldn’t remember whether I had just come up or was about to go down.” “You think that’s bad,” says the second lady. “The other day I was sitting on the edge of my bed and I couldn’t remember whether I was going to bed or had just woken up.” The third lady smiles smugly and says: “Well, my memory’s just as good as it’s always been, touch wood.” And she knocks on the table. Then, with a startled look on her face, she says: “Who’s there?”


man holds his wife’s hand as she lies on her death bed. “Eddy,” she whispers, “I have something to tell you before I die.” “No dear,” says Eddy, “everything is forgiven now. All is well.” “No, Eddy,“ she mumbles. “I’ve been carrying this secret for years now and I must tell you. I’ve been unfaithful to you. I slept with your best friend, Joe. Eddy, I’m so terribly sorry.” “Yes dear, I know,” says Eddy. “Why do you think I poisoned you?” go out to dinner to celebrate A couple their 50th wedding anniversary. On the way home she notices tears in his eyes and asks if he’s getting sentimental because they’re celebrating 50 wonderful years together. “No,” he replies, “I was thinking about the time before we got married when your father threatened me with a shotgun and said he’d have me thrown in jail for 50 years if I didn’t marry you. Tomorrow I would have been a free man!”


woman goes to the police to report her husband missing. The sergeant at the desk looks at the photo she hands to him, questions her and then asks if she wants to give her husband a message if they find him. “Yes,” she replies, “tell him Mother didn’t come after all.”

The local château opens its doors for the afternoon and displays many of its treasures on tables

Friday April 21 to Sunday April 23 Salon de l’immobilier - Bruz (35) parc des expos

Everything you need to know about finding your new home in France

Saturday April 22 Concert Tribann - Plouguiel (22)

An evening of Scottish, Irish and Breton music in the church – it’s free but a hat will be passed Le Metropolitan Opéra de New-York - Saint-Malo (35) An evening of Opera shown on the big screen. Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky will be performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and shown live at Le Vauban cinéma from 6.55pm but be warned it’s over three and a half hours long Troc’plantes - Saint-Cyr-La-Rosière (61) Annual sale and swapping of plants, shrubs, seeds, jams, gardening books, and the like

Saturday April 22 & Sunday April 23 Jardiplantes - Morlaix (29)

Annual sale of plants and shrubs - held in the hippodrome Salon végétal passion - Redon (35) Annual event in its 30th year attracted over 5,000 visitors last year. This exhibition and sale of plants and shrubs, as well as demonstrations of things like grafting of fruit trees, has everything for anyone who is a keen gardener Foire Saint-Marc - Mohon (56) Large agricultural fair with farm animals on display and for sale, over 150 exhibitors displaying everything from farm machinery to garden furniture, plenty of food and wine to try and buy. Why not pop down to Le Manoir Bar & Restaurant afterwards for a pint and a bite Foire de la Quasimodo - Argentan (61) Large exhibition of local businesses and products, plus a large agricultural show where you can even buy a horse Salon respire la vie - Le Mans (72) An expo on everything that is good for you – from food-stuffs to massage

Sunday April 23

Saint-George’s day lunch - Désertines (53)

Celebrate Saint-George’s day with a special lunch held at The Red Lion, followed by a display of Morris Dancing Jour en fête - Kerguelen (56) Summer must be here as this is the first day of fun on the beach. You can try your hand at sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking; and for the kids there’s bouncy castles, sand castle building and a variety of other games

Sunday April 23 to Sunday June 30 Festival les marionnet’lcs - Binic (22)

A festival for the kids of marionettes (puppets with strings)

Monday April 24

Opéra du ROH Londres - Dinard (35)

An evening of Opera shown on the big screen. Madame Butterfly by Puccini will be performed at the Royal Opera House in London and shown at the Emeraude cinéma from 8.15pm but be warned it’s over three hours long Carnaval - Flers (61) It’s carnival time – plenty of fun for all ages >>p25

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Mini’mag 21


www.properties-brittany.com bel-air-homes@orange.fr 0033 (0) 2 97 27 01 71 Mobile : 0033 (0) 6 77 35 67 34 Entreprise créée en février 2004

Low Cost Estate Agency Sales 2.5 % Commission It will always be a good idea to buy your property in Brittany with Bel Air Homes, as our sales commission is the lowest at just 2.5 % including VAT. Other agencies charge varying commission rates, typically between 5% and 10 %, with the average being around 8%. It is therefore well worth asking an agent BEFORE viewing how much commission they will be asking you to pay them, should you proceed with the purchase of the property !

Bel Air Homes - About us Bel Air Homes is a fully French registered and insured estate agency, and a member of FNAIM (Fédération Nationale de l’Immobilier), the national association of estate agents. We offer our clients a full bilingual estate agency service in English, or French. We are not property finders, or a property portal. Every property in our sales portfolio has been visited by us so that we can take a full range of photos, and gather the relevant information to enable us to prepare a description. Vendors benefit from our proactive marketing campaign, advice, and help, which is all absolutely FREE. We do not ask for exclusivity when selling a property, as we believe that exclusivity only limits the exposure of a property to potential buyers. Local and international potential buyers searching for property in Brittany cannot miss our publicity, wherever they are in the world! Buyers benefit from our low commission rate, plus our experience and knowledge of the local property market, from the moment they first contact us. We help all the way through the buying process, from the selection of suitable properties according to search criteria, to viewings, negotiations, and sales contracts. We can also help with structural surveys, mortgages, setting up bank accounts, subscribing to insurance, connecting to services, creating accounts with the utility companies, and good deals on currency exchange if required. By responding to all questions from vendors, buyers, notaires, and helping wherever necessary, we aim to make the process of buying and selling properties as trouble-free and smooth as possible for our clients.

Bel Air Homes - Join Us Become a commercial agent in real estate. Anywhere 80% commission paid. please call 02 99 91 59 77 22 Mini’mag in France. To advertise in Le Mini'mag


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Mini’mag 23


Vive la différence!

long-held dreams of a French home feature colombage buildings and gardens full of hydrangeas. Not everyone fits the stereotype, of course, and there are plenty of British property viewers who arrive with a check sheet upon which they need to tick every box before a property makes the grade. It’s the head leading the heart, or at least the two in harmony. What we have to remember is that for any overseas buyer choosing a French home, it’s not just a property. It is to be the scene of endless happy family holidays or the setting for a whole new life.

That little stretch of water separating the British from the French is a handy, tangible symbol that, metaphorically at least, the two countries are oceans apart when it comes to choosing a home. Here we look at how UK and French vendors renovate and present their properties and their different buying criteria. British clients looking for a French home are naturally looking for charm, character and the essence of what makes a property ‘French’. Creaky floorboards, old beams, paint peeling off shutters and anything original causes the heart to flutter and creates the all-important chemistry that drives the buying impulse. For many buyers, their


The affordability of space, both indoors and out, often results in buyers being able to secure much larger homes than they would otherwise have in the UK. There are dreams of planting a wood, establishing a vegetable patch and owning a lake – or a large pond at the very least – for idyllic days fishing right there on the doorstep. It’s often about what the property could be, the dreams it can fulfill and how it fits the vision. It doesn’t have to be the finished product. These are generally buyers with vision who are looking for that all-important ‘potential’. French buyers, on the other hand, tend to be very much more focused on the practicalities – how they will heat the home, how they will pay for any essential updating and what the ongoing running costs will be. >>p26

p french plans

Making sure everything goes to plan for your property in France! Planning Applications & Property Design

For your planning needs anywhere in France All your french planning & property design requirements under one roof Residential . Commercial Registered French business with qualified architectural associates Renovations & Conversions New build . Minor alterations . Extensions & Demolitions Swimming pools . Scale drawings . Interior layouts & floor plans Retail shops . Hotels . Bars . Cafés Retrospective permission

t: +33 (0)2 97 39 38 72 e: enquiries@frenchplans.com www.frenchplans.com siret: 811 241 439 00017 24 Mini’mag

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Property <<p21

Wednesday April 26 Carnaval - Lisieux (14)

• Renovations • Extensions • New build • Historic & listed buildings

Carnival time for the local children – starting at 9am Opéra du ROH Londres - Dinard (35) An afternoon of Opera shown on the big screen. Madame Butterfly by Puccini will be performed at the Royal Opera House in London and shown at the Emeraude cinéma from 2.15pm but be warned it’s over three hours long so you’ll come out just in time for apéro’s and dinner

Thursday April 27 Jazz O’Porsmeur - Porspoder (29)

Live jazz music with Hot Club Jazz Iroise from 10pm

Friday April 28 to Sunday April 30 Salon des antiquités brocante - Pont l’Evèque (14)


Smallish sale of antiques and secondhand goods Foire aux bulots - Pirou (50) Pirou-Plage A celebration for the whelk with plenty on sale, fun fair, concerts and a vide-greniers on the Sunday. And it takes place besides the sea - so take a towel!

Friday April 28 to Monday May 1 Classique au large - Saint-Malo (35) Reach 8,000 households with this Size advert from only 34 E + tva

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Festival of classical music featuring the works of the great composers

Saturday April 29 Manu Dibango en concert - Tréguier (22)

Live jazz and afrofunk by this legendary artist Troc de plantes - Le Tour du Parc (56) Sale and exchange of plants at the Salle de Kerdre from 2.30pm to 4pm

Saturday April 29 & Sunday April 30 Passionnément jardin - Honfleur (14)

Popular exhibition and sale of plants and gardening equipment held along the estuary of the River Seine in the beautiful Jardin Public 70 ans du cercle celtique - Rostrenen (22) The local traditional and award winning Breton dance group celebrate their 70th birthday with a weekend full of events. Saturday you can learn how to Breton dance followed by a grand fest-noz in the evening. On Sunday – a parade of local costumes and traditional dancing followed by a huge festival of traditional music and dancing into the night Fête du Muguet - Le Gâvre (44) There’s a fun weekend here with pedal car racing ‘Les 24 minutes Le Gâvre’, a car boot, music, dancing – plenty of fun for all the family

Salon de l’habitat et fête du jardin des plantes

Avranches (50) Everything to equip your home is here from furniture to paint from the garden plants to swimming pools

Sunday April 30 Courses hippiques - Vire (14)

And they’re off! Horse racing from 11am at the hippodrome Vue sur vert - Saint-Briac-sur-Mer (35) Over 60 exhibitors will be at this event displaying and selling plants, art & crafts, and a lot more Course de cases à savon - Sérent (56) There’s plenty of thrills and spills here - it’s soap box cart racing around a variety of courses

Fête des plantes et des savoirs

Saint-Martin-du-Vieux-Bellême (61) A full event featuring sale of plants, gardening themed brocante, market, children’s entertainment – to list just a few – and it’s free >>p27

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Mini’mag 25

Property <<p24

As a nation, they seem to have a much less cavalier attitude towards spending. Here in France, borrowing has been harder to secure for a long time – not a bad thing! They are much less likely to be able to, or wish to, resort to living on credit and will consider their possible future bills much more carefully before being willing to move forward with a purchase. They are just as likely to have a ‘coup de coeur’ (love at first sight) as a British househunter, but they are ultimately less likely to act on it without the practicalities stacking up as well. As agents showing properties to many different nationalities, we know that French clients will be immediately preoccupied with insulation, glazing and how the house is heated. If the property is not already double-glazed, getting that done will be seen as a major priority and speculation of the cost involved may be a little OTT. If you have your property for sale, it’s a great idea to get some quotes in hand for such works so that realistic costs are available to a prospective buyer.


The DPE report (Diagnostic Performance Energetique) is a snapshot estimation of how much heating a property is likely to take and what the bills are likely to be. It also advises on how to reduce those bills. Most British buyers disregard this report because generally they don’t live on such tight budgets, either due to having more income or being more willing to spend, so future heating bills are not such a consideration. But for French buyers, however, the DPE report is very important. In fact a ‘good’ DPE report can even help them secure more attractive borrowing. They are sometimes so careful with their budgeting they even factor in if the taxe foncière is likely to be €300 at one house as opposed to €450 per year at another and that becomes a major factor. French buyers often adore the interior presentation of properties renovated by Brits so the love affair works in reverse. Instead of having to physically move countries to enjoy a UK-style interior, they can just buy a home renovated and/or decorated by a British vendor to get that quintessentially British blend of interior design.


. professional

With thanks to Lisa Greene Area Co-ordinator of Leggett Immobilier Grand Ouest lisa@leggett.fr Tel.: 02 96 42 63 46 www.frenchestateagents.com

lbvimmo . . reliable


Property to sell? Contact LBV Immo Central Office All our properties are marketed through international portals and at exhibitions we personally attend in the UK Complete hand holding experience during the process for you and your purchasers Planning help, property management – all part of the service Plus – we are always looking for enthusiastic people to join our team!

Central Office t: 02 96 29 19 23 e: info@lbvimmo.com www.LBVimmo.com siret: 790 100 796 00016 26 Mini’mag

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Buying aa property property ?? Buying Buying a over property ? l We have 15000 l We have over 15000 properties for sale on l We havefor over properties sale15000 on

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and working across the living wholeand of France fully trained agents working across the whole of France working across wholefamily of France l We are a fullthe service, run l We are a full service, family run estate agency established in 1998 l We agency are a full service, family run estate established in 1998 estate agency established in 1998 If you have a property to sell please If you have a property to sell please contact us by Email: info@leggett.fr Ifcontact you have a property to sell please us by Email: info@leggett.fr or Tel: +33 (0)5 53 60 84 88 contact us (0)5 by Email: or Tel: +33 53 60info@leggett.fr 84 88 or Tel: +33 (0)5 53 60 84 88

LEGGETT LEGGETT RECRUITMENT RECRUITMENT LEGGETT We are looking for sales agents across France

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<<p25 May OUR BEST HAND PICKED PROPERTIES OUR BEST May HAND PICKED PROPERTIES Monday 1 OUR BEST HAND PICKED PROPERTIES Foire à tout - Epaney (14) Huge brocante and locals clear out held in and around the centre of the town Puces de mer - Perros-Guirec (22) Nautical themed flea market held at the port Vide-greniers - Quevert (22) Huge car boot on the Parking Carrefour Somme €205,000 Charente €195,000 Somme Charente Vide-greniers Saint-Guinoux (35)Offers considered€195,000 Ref:52972 Thatched cottage -€205,000 close to Ref:65693 for this Ref:52972 Thatched cottage to considered for this Abbeville and only to the pretty 3 bedOffers / 3 bath stone cottage. Huge car30kms boot inclose thecoast. centreRef:65693 of town Somme €195,000 Abbeville and only 30kms to€205,000 the coast. Charente pretty 3 bed / 3 bath stone cottage. Vide-greniers - Idreto (44)Ref:65693 Offers considered for this Ref:52972 Thatched cottage close Abbeville and only the coast. pretty 3ofbed bath stone cottage. Huge car30kms boottoalong the banks the/ 3Loire Vide-greniers - Montigne-le-Brillant (53) Huge car boot in the centre of town Foire aux tripes - Longny Les Villages (61) Yep you’ve got it – with plenty to try and buy – otherwise there’s a car boot to wander around, fairground, local businesses promoting their wares and street entertainment Indre Vide-greniers -€198,720 Vendée €299,600 Montilly-sur-Noireau (61) Indre Ref:29375 Renovated 4 bed / 3the bathplaceVendée Ref:71747 Handsome 4 bed €299,600 hamlet Huge car boot on€198,720 du Champ de Foire Ref:29375 Renovated 4 bed / 3 bath Ref:71747 Handsome 4 bed hamlet stone village house with guest studio. house in a great location. Large garden. Indre €198,720 €299,600 Vide-greniers - studio. Le Mans Vendée (72) in a great location. Large stone village house with guest house garden. Ref:29375 Renovated 4 bedon / 3 the bath rue Gambetta Ref:71747 Handsome 4 bed hamlet Huge car boot stone village house with guest studio.

house in a great location. Large garden.

Thursday May 4 & Friday May 5 Tom McClung in concert - Argentan (61)

This talented jazz pianist will be tickling the ivories at Le quai des Arts

Thursday May 4 to Monday May 8 Rock’n Solex - Rennes (35)

VienneMusic festival featuring €30,000 everything Var from punk to€330,720 jazz Vienne €30,000 €330,720 Ref:43819 Cute 2 bed, villageto centre Ref:72675 Côtes d’Azur 3 bed /2 andCute from reggae rock Var Ref: 43819 2 bed, village centre Ref:72675 Côtes 3 bedterrace. /2 house - an ideal pied à terre. bath villa with poold’Azur & covered Vienne Var €330,720 house - an ideal pied à terre.€30,000 bath villa with pool & covered terrace. Ref:43819 Cute 2 bed, village centre Ref:72675 Côtes d’Azur 3 bed / 2 house -La an ideal pied de à terre. bathJarrett villa with pool & covered Leçon Jazz – Keith Lisieux (14)terrace.

Friday May 5


There’s live jazz on the piano playing at the Theatre from 8.30pm

Friday May 5 to Sunday May 7 Festival jazz o château - Tréveneuc (22)

A three day jazz festival with various events taking place. Films, exhibitions and of course plenty of live jazz in the open air in the grounds the Château Charente €276,000 of Côtes d’Armor de Pommorio €39,950

Charente €276,000 Côtes d’Armor Ref:72043 Spacious 4 bed house in a Ref:40901 Ideal 2 bed / 1 bath€39,950 holiday Ref:72043 Spacious bed house in a Ref:40901 Ideal Martin 2 bed /des 1 bath glorious location with4 mature gardens. cottage in Saint Présholiday village. Charente €276,000 €39,950 glorious location with mature gardens. Côtes cottaged’Armor in Saint Martin des Prés village. Marché printemps La Ferté-Macé (61) Ref:72043 Spaciousde 4 bed house in a Ref:40901 Ideal 2 bed / 1 bath holiday of plants andgardens. shrubs and a few classic willvillage. be gloriousSale location with mature cottage in Saint Martincars des Prés

Saturday May 6


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Saturday May 6 & Sunday May 7 Villers Games ♯3 - Villers-sur-Mer (14)

A weekend of video games for the 7s to 77s, expect games to play games for sale and a few characters from the games will be there. It’s free entry Herault €130,800 €126,000 Fête des jardins - PloëzalDordogne (22) Herault €130,800held Dordogne €126,000 Ref:69345 Elegantgarden 4 bed Minervois Ref:68898 Renovated 3gardens bedroom Annual festival in the beautiful of the Ref:69345 4 bedcourtyard. Minervois Ref:68898 3 bedroom maisonchâteau de Elegant maître de with cottage withRenovated many original features. la Roche Jagu. Here you can buy plants and seeds Herault €130,800 Dordogne €126,000 maison de maître with courtyard. cottage with many original features. direct from over 40 growers including British suppliers of Ref:69345 Elegant 4 bed Minervois Ref:68898 Renovated 3 bedroom Austin rosiers anglais. Saturday pm onlyfeatures. and from maison de05 maître with60 courtyard. cottage with many original +33David 53 84 88 on Sunday +3310am 05 53 60 84– it’s88free entry but you’ll have to pay 2€ Leggettcar are sponsors of parkLeggett are 84 sponsors +33to05 53the60 88of Festival du rhododendron - Saint-Goazec (29) Leggett are sponsors of Festival in the grounds of the Domaine de Trévarez. Here you can buy a variety of plants or discover these beautiful gardens on your own


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Mini’mag 27


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How Smart



How much do you know about history? Do you know Alexander the Great from Constantine the Great? Judaism from Stoicism? Let’s find out... Q1 Of the five stone ages of prehistory, which came first? Paleolithic, Neolithic or Mesolithic? Q2 In prehistory, which came last, Bronze Age or Iron Age? Q3 What do the Nile River Valley, the Indus River Valley, the Yellow River Valley and the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers region all have in common? People there once all spoke the same language. They are the four earliest centres of civilisation. None are near rivers. All too hot to sustain human life. Q4 Which human relative has been extinct for more than 24,000 years? Homo Habilis. Homo Sapiens. Homo Erectus. Neanderthal. Q5 What was the earliest walled city (circa 9000 BC) that, according to the Bible, Joshua and the Hebrews later conquered? Babylon. Carthage. Jericho. Troy. Q6 Which ancient Sumerian city, which flourished with literature and art, is often called the cradle of civilisation? Ur. Jerusalem. Athens. Rome. Q7 Which ancient African city was the capital of a powerful mercantile empire that was utterly destroyed by Rome in 146 BC? Alexandria. Cairo. Thebes. Carthage. Q8 Troy was an ancient city in Asia Minor. Which modern country corresponds with ancient Asia Minor? Greece. Turkey. Italy. Syria. Q9 Nebuchadnezzar II is remembered for creating what in Babylon? The Royal Palace of Babylon. He made water into wine. The Colosseum. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Q10 The first ever Olympic Games are said to have taken place in which year? 776 BC. 6 AD. 432 BC. 112 BC.

Q11 Which Roman statesman was captured by pirates,

conquered Gaul, was seduced by an Egyptian potentate, achieved ultimate power, was assassinated, and became a god? Octavius Augustus. Julius Caesar. Pontius Pilate. Mark Antony. Q12 Which Macedonian king seized control of most of the known eastern world, bringing it into the Greek speaking sphere? Pericles. Aristotle. Philip the Great. Alexander the Great. Q13 Which religion was founded in India by Prince Guatama Siddhartha in the 6th Century BC? Judaism. Islam. Stoicism. Buddhism. Q14 Who crossed the Alps in 218 BC as general of the Carthaginians? Dido, Queen of Carthage. Hannibal. Hamilcar. Marco Polo. Q15 Which Roman Emperor made the empire Christian and founded a new capital city? Constantine the Great. Augustus. Marcus Aurelius. Tiberius Caesar. Answers page 31>>

Artisans <<p27 Saturday May 6 & Sunday May 7 Foire Saint-Thomas - Lessay (50)

There is plenty here for everyone at this large agricultural fair. Sunday is the big day starting at 8am with a sale of horses and various farm animals. Over 500 exhibitors offer everything from solar power to used tractors Festival en bas de chez vous - La Gacilly (56) Starting on Saturday evening from 6pm there’ll be live music in the bars and cafés and close-up magic in some of the restaurants. Then on the Sunday from 12pm it will be an afternoon and evening of live music and street entertainments Vannes côté jardin - Vannes (56) Jardins des Ramparts Exhibition and sale of goodies for the garden, including rare vegetables, decorations and tools – held in a truly fantastic setting Les mais - Champagné (72) Annual traditional fete with music, dancing, locals in traditional costume, trips on the river and plenty of food and drink

Sunday May 7 Foire à tout - Cabourg (14)

Very large brocante and shops clear out held in the hippodrome Plage en fête - Saint-Cast-le-Guildo (22) One for the kids – an afternoon of fun on the beach with pony rides, mini-tennis, beach golf and bouncy castles! Qui lit sous ces lilas-là? - Bréal-sous-Montfort (35) Annual display of over 400 varieties of lilac held during the afternoon in the Jardins de Brocéliande Vide-greniers - Bouvron (44) Huge car boot at the parc de la Minoterie American Rhuys Tour - Arzon (56) Got an American muscle car? No Ford Escorts don’t count! There’s a morning tour along the gulf from Surzur taking place which will be ending at the port du Crouesty at 12.15pm where you can see these powerful beasts up close until 5.30pm Vente de fleurs et brocante - Longny Les Villages (61) Sale of plants, shrubs and a flea market where you can buy a few pots to put them into

Monday May 8 Marché des créateurs - Cléder (29) Arts and crafts market

Fête de Printemps - Colombiers-du-Plessis (53)

Spring fair held in the Jardins des Renaudies with local produce market, cooking displays, pony rides, and you’ll even be able to get a cuppa

Wednesday May 10 L’art de la table au 18ème/19ème - Pontécoulant (14) The local château opens its doors in the morning and afternoon and displaying many of its treasures on tables

Wednesday May 10 to Wednesday May 17 Semaine du cinéma allemand - Dinard (35) One for our German speaking readers – a festival of German films many of which in VO will be shown at the Emeraude cinéma

Thursday May 11 La 22e nuit du blues - Caen (14)

A night of blues music from 8pm at the Zénith

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Mini’mag 29



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Laugh Out Loud! owner walks into a pub to see everyone A circus crowded around a table watching a little show.

On the table is an upside-down pot and a duck tap-dancing on it. The circus owner is so impressed he immediately offers to buy the duck. After some haggling with the owner, they finally settle on £10,000 for the duck and the pot. Three days later the furious circus owner goes back into the pub. He goes up to the man he bought the duck from and says: “Your duck is a rip-off. I stuck him on the pot before a full crowd and he didn’t dance a single step.” “Well,” says the unimpressed former owner of the duck, “did you remember to light the candle under the pot?”



Friday May 12 to Sunday May 14 Plein vent - Houlgate (14)

Festival of kites held on the beach featuring some of the largest and most unique shapes of kites in France –it’s free Fête du fromage - Pont l’Evêque (14) A celebration of the town’s famous cheese, plenty of tastings and other events taking place throughout the days – and it’s free Mayfest festival country - Pontivy (56) Palais des Congrès Cowboys and cowgirls descend on Pontivy for this three-day Country and Western festival, featuring music, dancing and a lot more. Yee hah!

Saturday May 13 Le Metropolitan Opéra de New-York - Saint-Malo (35) An evening of Opera shown on the big screen. Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss will be performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and shown live at Le Vauban cinéma from 6.30pm but be warned it’s over four hours long

Saturday May 13 & Sunday May 14 Les poules d’Essai - Deauville-La Toques (14)

Fancy a flutter? Huge horse racing weekend festival from 1pm at the hippodrome

Foire des Andaines

man is sitting thinking about how good his wife has been to him and how fortunate he is to be married to her. He then asks God: “Why did you make her so kind-hearted, Lord?” God replies: “So you could love her, my son.” The man nods. “Why did you make her so good-looking, Lord?” “So you could love her, my son,” was the reply. “Why did you make her such a good cook, Lord?” “So you could love her, my son.” The man thinks about that for a few seconds and says: “I don’t want to seem ungrateful, Lord, but why did you have to make her so stupid?” God sighs and says: “So she could love you, my son!”

Bagnoles-de-l’Orne & Saint-Michel-des-Andaines (61) This is a huge brocante / vide-greniers event held in the forest between the two villages, with 2000 stalls stretching for 6kms. Definitely not to be missed, but if you’re a bargain hunter you’ll have to get up early as it starts at 4am!


Courses hippiques - Lisieux (14)

duck walks into a pub and says: “Got any bread?” And the barman says: “No.” And the duck says: “Got any bread?” And the barman says: “No.” “Got any bread?” “I said NO. N-O. NO.” “Got any bread?” “For crying out loud, I said NO and I mean NO. N-O. NO.” “Got any bread?” “Look, if you ask me one more time if I’ve got any bread I’m going to nail your ***** beak to the **** bar!” “Got any nails?” “No.” “Got any bread?” QUIZ ANSWERS FROM P29 Q1 Paleolithic. Q2 Iron Age. Q3 They are the four earliest centres of civilisation. Q4 Neanderthal. Q5 Jericho. Q6 Ur. Q7 Carthage. Q8 Turkey. Q9 The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Q10 776BC. Q11 Julius Caesar. Q12 Alexander the Great. Q13 Buddhism. Q14 Hannibal. Q15 Constantine the Great.

Portes ouvertes du centre tibétain

Aubry-Le-Panthou (61) It’s pretty rare to be able to visit Tibet and experience their people’s way of life, but you can take a peek at this particular open weekend event held in the Tibetan Centre. Guided tours of their temple and prayer rooms, you can try some typical food and even try out their meditation techniques. This will be a fascinating opportunity not to be missed

Saturday May 13 to Sunday May 21 Fête de la Bretagne (Gouel Breizh) - Throughout Brittany This festival is a celebration of all things Breton – music, dance and entertainment, with events taking place throughout the region and further

Sunday May 14 And they’re off! Trotting horse racing from 1.30pm at the hippodrome Marché de créateurs ArtiZ’Artistes - Jugon-les-Lacs (22) Local arts and crafts exhibition and sale on the place du Martray – and why not pop into Le Donatello’s for lunch Vide-greniers - Evron (53) Huge car boot at the parc des Expositions

Monday May 15 to Sunday May 21 Fête du pain - Throughout France

Although it sounds like an evening at Cynthia Payne’s it is in fact a festival celebrating bread. Look out for events taking place at your local bakers from making bread and pastries and to trying them – lots of them

Wednesday May 17 to Sunday May 21 Fête de la nature - Throughout France

Every year, this festival of Nature brings together the major private networks and national public players involved in nature conservation and education. Whether they are professional or amateur, their representatives all share their passion for nature at thousands of events throughout >>p33 the country

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Mini’mag 31


Bad backups With ever-increasing file sizes (photos, videos, music etc), backups can take up a lot of space. That makes CDs and DVDs a bad choice. Not being able to edit them means making new disks every time and disposing of the old ones properly. Backups on the same drive are not a good idea either, because if that drive was to get infected, or just fail, all data would be lost. Or if you have two drives in your PC, neither of which are removable (not to be confused with a Raid setup) and you use one of them for backups, that can be as bad as having everything on one drive. It will only work as long as your main drive is OK. It can be infected just as easily as the main drive.

Good backups

Be prepared! There are few things in life that we can say, for certain, are going to happen. Like night follows day, paying taxes, feeling hungry, needing the loo and dying. And that the hard disk in your PC is going to fail. Depend on it, it’s going to happen. One day your hard drive will fail and all the data on it will be lost. If you don’t do something about it... The internet can be a dangerous place. Nasties like viruses, emails, trojans, malware etc mean it’s imperative to keep backups of your data and to have those backups correctly set up and maintained. Backups are only as good as the way they have been implemented and there can be bad backups as well as good ones.

There are multiple ways to back up your data to keep it safe – manually, built-in or with software. Manually backing up your files can be time-consuming and needs to be done at different intervals to keep a regular backup, but at least you know it has been done. Another way is with built-in options. In Windows you have different choices depending on your version – Image Backup, Backup and Restore and File History – and each option has its advantages. Image Backup and Backup and Restore create an image of your drive for a backup and can be kept anywhere, but it is advisable to use an external USB drive that can be removed from your PC most of the time. File History continually keeps a mirrored backup of your data, constantly changing as you use your PC. It normally does this instantly, but it does require a constant connection to your PC for the backup to work and is better suited to network devices. Software-based backups can be easy to set up but are normally a single encrypted file that requires the program to restore. That

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Technology means you’ll need a constant subscription or to buy the latest version to restore your data if needed. Data can be backed up to a place of your choice, but a USB hard drive is the norm. With any of these backups, you need to remember to occasionally check that it is still working. Never assume it is. When you need it most it might be too late.

The hardware

You have the Cloud, network and local USB. Cloud backup sees your data stored on a very large, very secure data bank somewhere and this can be a good option if you have a high-speed internet connection (usually at least 5Mbps). Nearly all data banks have fail-safes in place, but take the time to research the companies and their history of looking after data. At the moment, Cloud backup will also keep your data safe from viruses and ransomeware that has the potential to make your data unreadable and even erase backups on USB devices and your main hard drive. Network backups, or NAS drives (Network Attached Storage), can be a good choice as there’s no need to keep adding and removing a drive every time you do a backup. This is handy for laptops and tablets and can give you a lot of storage space, so you can backup multiple computers to one place. But even NAS has its problems as the latest ransomware can now look through network drives that are associated to a computer for backups. USB drive backups are quick, handy, easy to use and often considered the best way to back up your files – if you do it correctly. But USB backups do have the same problem that NAS drives do in that ransomeware has for a long time been able to detect backups, images and shadow copies from USB drives. But, if you back up your data and remove the drive from your PC, the USB drive is as safe as you can get. But it’s only kept up to date as long as you back up religiously! Ransomeware can get into your PC without you realising it and it can wait until it decides when it wants to run. It can get in via an email and attachments, bad websites, freeware etc. That’s why it’s so important you keep secure with good anti-virus protection software and any updates the genuine software has to offer. Remember: All hard drives will eventually fail. It’s just a question of when and whether or not you are prepared. With thanks to Peter Cross Owner - Orne Communications 02 33 30 83 64 www.orne-communications.fr info@orne-communications.fr

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Friday May 19 Fête des voisins - Throughout the regions

This is the fete for getting to know your neighbours. Invite them around for a chat and an aperitif and hopefully they will do the same. This event is celebrated around the world in over 36 countries with more than 30 million people joining in!

Friday May 19 & Saturday May 20 Animation musicale - Carnac (56)

There’s live music at the Casino Circus and it’s free

Friday May 19 to Sunday May 21 Terralies - Saint-Brieuc (22) Parc des Expositions

Large agricultural show attracting over 20,000 visitors, with 150 exhibitors and over 500 animals on show this is a great day out for all ages

Saturday May 20 Nuit européeenne des musées - Throughout France

The ‘night of the museums’ sees all museums opening from 8pm until late so that you can discover by night and with some unusual lighting effects their various collections – and it’s all FREE! Motoball - Houlgate (14) Something a little different – a game of football played on motorcycles! It’s free from 5pm Festival fromages, vins et musique - Livré La Touche (53) Wine and cheese ‘tasting’ from 1.30pm then add to these some live music from 9pm – very civilised Festival Moul’stock - Billiers (56) The streets of this small town near the sea are filled with music – played on a variety of different and strange instruments – it’s fascinating and free

Pierres en luminières Throughout the Orne and neighbouring areas A magical evening of guided tours by candlelight (don’t sneeze!) of historical monuments and sites, also with illuminations and concerts. From 8pm to 1am

Saturday May 20 & Sunday May 21 Foire aux plantules - Caen (14)

Annual plant exhibition and sale held in the Parc Floral de la Colline aux Oiseaux. It’s free entry and open Sat 2.30 – 6pm and Sun 10.30am - 12.30pm then 2.30pm – 6pm Festival de la locomotion rétro - Lisieux (14) Classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, camping cars and parts are on display and for sale as well as various car clubs to join Week-end topiaires - Bazouges La Pérouse (35) Ever struggled with how to trim your hedge into a pleasing shape – well the experts will be displaying their artistic talents at the Château de La Ballue Fête médiévale - Guérande (44) For ten months of the year the residents of this town work to produce this annual medieval festival. Throw yourself back in time in this walled city and enjoy!

Saturday May 20 to Saturday May 27 Semaine allemande - Saint-Lunaire (35)

Another one for our German readers – the town has its German week with German food, drink, music, dancing, art and theatre all on offer – even if you don’t speak German – >>p35 just don’t mention the …!

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Mini’mag 33

Finishing Touches

Cutting-edge stuff! The word découpage comes from the French verb découper (to cut out) and, to put it simply, involves cutting out pictures, gluing them to an object and then coating everything with layers of varnish. The finished product can look so good it might seem to be professionally painted. But découpage is quite different to painting. Its history can be traced back to a variety of styles from many distant countries. As far back as the 12th Century, Chinese peasants were creating paper cutouts in vivid colours to decorate windows, lanterns, gift boxes and other objects. It can be quite therapeutic and is a great craft for all the family to get involved with. It’s easy to learn and requires no particular skills other than an eye for arrangement and even then it’s down to the individual. There are stockist where you can buy just about everything you need for your work of art, but one of the good things about découpage is that you’ll probably already have many of the materials needed in your home. Pictures can be découpaged to almost anything: Pots, plates, boxes, vases, lampshades, bowls, mirrors, plain wooden coathangers, clothes pegs, tea lights and pieces of furniture like tables and doors. Even floors! The only real limit is your imagination.

They could be items you have owned for years and you just fancy giving them a new look, perhaps personalising them in some way, or they could be items specifically bought for découpage, such as plain and simple wooden boxes and frames. You don’t even need special paper as there are so many picture sources available. Wrapping paper is a popular choice and widely used as it’s an ideal thickness and is available in a multitude of both traditional and modern designs. Leftover wallpaper is also good, as are greetings cards, magazine cuttings, postcards, old letters and newspapers, labels and printed sheets of motifs. If you’re new to the craft, it might be best to choose pictures that have a clear outline as that will make it easier for you to cut out, rather than those with blurred edges.

Some tools you’ll need • Scissors are a must as cutting out is, of course, a major part of découpage. Small ones are best and make sure they’re sharp so you cut clean edges. • A craft knife, again with a sharp blade, for intricate cuts. A blunt blade can mean torn paper. • Glue and varnish. There are glues specifically for découpage available from craft shops, but you can also use diluted white glue. Simply add a little water to make the glue thinner. Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue is a useful all-rounder which is commonly used and works on a variety of surfaces. Once dry it won’t melt or chip easily, but it is vulnerable to water. If you’re going to have your découpaged work near water, or in an area with a high moisture content, consider other adhesives. For larger projects, you can also use wallpaper paste. Finishing your work with a sealer/varnish is optional, but highly recommended if your project is going to see any wear and tear. If you use your own varnish, get a clear acrylic, water-based one if you can as it will dry quicker. Use as fine a brush as possible when varnishing to avoid brush marks. • A small art brush for applying glue and a cloth or soft sponge to wipe off excess glue. • Sandpaper for sanding layers of varnish. Arts and crafts stalls are popping up all over France, but you can always order your materials and tools online. Découpage kits are available from online retailers like fnac (www.fnac.com) for as little as €6 and there’s often free delivery.

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34 Mini’mag

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Finishing Touches

The basics

<<p33 Saturday May 20 to Saturday May 27

1: Once you have selected an item to decorate, make sure it’s clean and dust-free. If you want to paint it, do so at least 24 hours before you découpage it. 2: Select your pictures and cut them out, perhaps roughly with scissors at first and then more accurately with a craft knife. Any white edges that show can be coloured in with a pen or crayon that matches either the picture or the background on which it is to be used. 3: Make sure you’re happy with the position of the pictures before you pick up the glue. Tweezers are handy for placing tiny pictures. 4: Glue the pictures in place, smooth out any wrinkles and wipe away any excess glue. 5: Make sure all the glue is dry before you varnish your work and leave the varnish to dry thoroughly between each coat. This can take some time as anything from four to 14 coats may be needed! It depends on how thick your découpage paper is and just how smooth and durable a finish you want. To get a fine, lacquered finish you’ll need to sandpaper the object lightly after a few layers of varnish and wipe clear any dust. This process is repeated until you’re happy with the finish. Then you’re ready to join the ranks of other découpage practitioners such as Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour, Beau Brummel, Lord Byron and, more recently, Matisse and Picasso!

Festival jazz sous les pommiers - Coutances (50)

The biggest jazz festival in Western France. Over 100 different concerts keep the 60,000 spectators entertained. A real must for all jazz lovers Festival de jazz - Meslay-du-Maine (53) Annual jazz festival in its 20th year

Sunday May 21 Arts au jardin - Placy (14)

An arts and crafts exhibition and sale of work by local artists displayed in the Jardins à Placy – it’s free

Le Grand Pardon de la Saint-Yves Tréguier & Minihy-Tréguier (22) Hundreds of pilgrims in black-and-red ermine-trimmed robes proceed between the two towns draped with yellow and gold flags, alongside the bell-ringers who start the procession at 10am to honour Saint-Yves. This is one of Brittany’s major historic events Gouel Ar Vugale - Pont l’Abbé (29) The fête of children is a spectacular event celebrating Breton children and their heritage. Over 500 children from all over Brittany join together wearing local costumes to dance and sing to Breton songs. From 10.30am – 3pm Vide-greniers - Pleurtuit (35) Huge car boot and shop clear out in the centre of town Grand vide-greniers - Couville (50) Huge car boot on the terrain de foot from 7am Vide-greniers - Saint-Berthevin (53) Huge car boot on the place de l’Europe Marchés de l’artisant à Saint-Goustan - Auray (56) Annual arts and crafts market held at the port

Wednesday May 24 to Sunday May 28 Jumping de Cabourg - Cabourg (14) Large showing jumping event in its 87th year. Held at the hippodrome and it’s free entry

Thursday May 25 Arts au jardin - Placy (14)

An arts and crafts exhibition and sale of work by local artists displayed in the Jardins à Placy – it’s free Festi’Rando - Plounévez-Moëdec (22) Make new friends while getting some exercise in the open air at this walking through the local countryside event Concert Rhoda Scott - Moutiers-au-Perche (61) African-American jazz organist will be performing in the local church from 5.30pm

DÉPÔT-VENTE 57 rue Onffroy de La Rosière 35550 SIXT sur AFF 06 98 46 32 10

Mail: depotventesixt35@gmail.com Facebook: depot-vente sixt 35 Tuesday: 3:00pm to 7:00pm Wednesday To saTurday: 10:00am to 12:00pm 2:30pm to 7:00pm

Thursday May 25 to Saturday May 27 Puces de Deauville - Deauville (14)

Three days of flea marketing – it’s enough to make you start scratching Festival Trieux Tonic Blues - Lézardieux (22) This is one of the great music festivals in the region featuring some of the best blues bands from around the world

Thursday May 25 to Sunday May 28 Salon des antiquaires brocanteurs et collections Lisieux (14) Parc des Expos This annual event brings together both professional and amateur bargain hunters. Something here for everyone and >>p37 every age from antiques to X-men

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Mini’mag 35


Spring has sprung, get your waxing done Summer’s on the way and that can only mean one thing. It’s time to lose all those layers of clothing, get rid of all those unsightly hairs and freshen up your skin. How many of you still use shavers and depilatory (hair removal) creams? Although they can leave you hair-free for a few days, it’s not long before the dreaded strands start to re-appear. Ugh! It can be both time-consuming and frustrating. Wouldn’t you like more time to yourself and not have to think about having to shave or use those creams? Yes? Then waxing is for you and here’s why: • There’s no skin damage. Waxing is free of harsh chemicals, saving your skin from any damaging effects. That’s unlike depilatory creams and shavers, which can cause cuts, pigmentation, or even badly smelling skin. • Waxing removes the hair from the root, making it longer for the regrowth to appear. It lasts from two to eight weeks, depending on the individual’s speed of hair growth. • After repeated sessions, you’ll notice the hair growth slow down, becoming much sparser, and it may even eventually stop. Shaving, however, stimulates growth because it only removes hairs at the skin’s surface and not from the root. • Your skin becomes silky-smooth because waxing also removes a layer of dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. So you’re getting an exfoliation at the same time and that rejuvenates the skin. • Body hairs that grow back after waxing are softer and finer as waxing doesn’t cause that prickly stubble of hair re-growth that you see with shavers and depilatory creams.

How is it done? The wax at my salon is made from glyceryl rosinate and paraffinum liquidum and is often combined with other essential oils or honey for their healing properties. I like to use the traditional honey version due to its clear consistency and the honey softens and deeply moisturises the skin. The wax is gently heated and applied thinly to the skin. A cloth or paper strip is applied over the area and pressed down to stick it to the wax. The choice of cloth or paper is down to the therapist, but I prefer paper strips as they are not so flimsy and don’t fray. Then, holding the skin taut, the strip is quickly pulled against the direction of the hair growth with one swift hand movement. That removes both wax and hairs quickly and effectively. There might be a quick “Ouch!” (from you, not me!) at that point, but it only lasts an instant and you’ll soon forget it once you see the results... a smooth, silky skin that will be hair-free for weeks.

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Exfoliate, exfoliate... Daleks have yet to be seen in this part of France, but there are plenty of other ways our body can come under attack! Our skin goes through it all. Sun, rain, snow and extremes of hot and cold certainly take their toll on us. Our skin often dries out, chapping and/or peeling before we even notice, which leaves it looking dull and worn out. It accumulates dirt particles from the environment which cause blackheads, whiteheads and other skin blemishes. That’s as well as things like our sweat and the natural process of skin desquamation, which is where skin cells die off and start to shed. Exfoliation removes and eliminates dead skin and exposes the fresh-looking, healthy skin underneath. It’s suitable for both men and women, especially anyone looking for ways to keep blemishes and premature signs of ageing at bay. Not only that, exfoliation also improves blood flow on the skin. It tones the skin to give you a more vibrant, healthy and glowing appearance that is soft to the touch. But the best thing about exfoliation is it’s not restricted to any one area of the body and is included in many beauty treatments like waxing, manicures, pedicures and facials. It’s also often said to benefit and super-enhance the experience of a body massage. Exfoliation products used in these treatments are often grains of sugar or salts mixed with a blend of aromatherapy oils, enhancing your senses and transporting you to a world of relaxation. So, what are you waiting for? Feel radiant, revitalised and ready to go! With thanks to Debbie Parfitt Owner Belle-Essentielle 06 04 07 34 98 debbie@belle-essentielle.com www.belle-essentielle.com

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wo blondes are driving down the road when the driver realises the car is low on fuel, so she stops at the nearest petrol station. While she’s filling the tank she realises she has locked the keys in the car, so when she goes inside to pay she asks the manager for a coat hanger so she can try to open the door herself. She then goes outside and starts to try and get the lock open. Some ten minutes later, the station manager wonders how the blonde is getting on so he goes outside to see what’s happening. The blonde is still outside the car, waggling the coat hanger around and around inside the window. Meanwhile, the blonde inside the car is calling out to her friend: “A little more to the left. A little more to the right...”

Kirsty Dixon

Saturday May 27 Brocante by the sea - Bénerville-sur-Mer (14)

Find that treasure at this secondhand market held along the beach from 8am Fête de l’âne - Chauve (44) Fete surrounding the donkey – unfortunately there’s no rest for these beasts of burden as there will be donkey rides, carriage rides, riding competitions and music and other events taking place - from 2pm Marche internationale pour la Paix - Vindefontaine (50) Now in its 11th year this annual event features walks between some of the famous battle sites and plenty of displays of classic cars and motorcycles who also take in some of the routes

Relive the 1930 to 1950’s at this event. Everything from music, vintage cars and during the evenings it’s Blues Blue Grass and the odd bit of Rock & Roll Fête des plantes - Sées (61) Annual exhibition and plant sale held in les Jardins du Palais d’Argentré. It’s free


Piercing Semi-permanent during April make up tatoo Eyelash extensions

• Spray tans • Waxing • Hairdressing • Facials • Body care • Nails • Slimming machine lipo m6

Acrylics available too!

A celebration of the local fishermen and the salted cod. Traditional music, dancing and a food market with a picturesque backdrop of brightly painted boats Jazz à Préf’ - Préfailles (44) Live jazz music and plenty of other events taking place in the streets during this music festival Tacots expo - La Glacerie (50) Classic cars and a few wrecks needing a little more than T-Cut are on show and for sale, along with parts and a variety of other goods from yesteryear such as records and record players and radios. Held at the Cherbourg hippodrome there will be over 250 exhibitors so there will be plenty to see - payable Les 4 jours de l’Aigle - L’Aigle (61) Large agricultural fair in its 60th year attracting over 40,000 visitors each year. Over 120 exhibitors displaying everything from camping cars to farm machinery and solar power to food and wine

Saturday May 27 & Sunday May 28 Farm & village - Drouges (35)

un brin de


<<p35 Thursday May 25 to Sunday May 28 La morue en fête - Binic (22)

Institut de beauté

02 33 60 95 32

10 place Hôtel de Ville - 50370 Brecey www.unbrindebeaute-brecey.com Open Tuesday till Saturday non stop

Sunday May 28 Memorial Day - Colleville-sur-Mer (14)

Grand ceremony to honour American soldiers, airmen and sailors who were killed in action during D-Day. Held in the American Cemetery from 10.30am Eskell an Aven - Pont-Aven (29) Traditional Breton fête Fête de la fraise - Pleumeleuc (35) This strawberry festival held at l’école Saint-Melaine is a treat for all lovers of this fruit. With plenty of strawberry products on sale, and games, music and competitions as well! Vide-greniers - Saint-Ellier-du-Maine (53) Huge car boot in the centre of town Fête des rhododendrons - Cerisy-Belle-Etoile (61) A spectacular display of rhododendrons is guaranteed at this annual event held on the Mont de Cerisy. Plenty of things to see and buy All events were correct at the time of going to press. We would, however, always recommend that if you’re travelling a long distance to a particular event you check with the venue, the local Office du Tourisme or the Mairie before departure. If you have an event that would be of interest to our readers then let us know.

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Mini’mag 37


Classic or crock?

Not every car designed and built is a winner. History is littered with icons, classics and crocks. Some could best be described as ‘eccentric,’ others were straight from the ugly step. Some were victims of the times and others were, well, just best forgotten. But there’s one car here that’s ugly in the best way possible. Sometimes, just sometimes, ugly can be perfect. Can you spot it? Austin Allegro 1973-1982 So weird it could have been French! It summed up everything that was wrong with the British motor industry in the Seventies. It even had a square (quartic) steering wheel that was branded unsafe by police. It was banned from the Blackwall Tunnel as dangerous to tow, because its shell would bend and the back windscreen pop out. Quite a few owners watched their rear wheels fly off and overtake them. Once voted the world’s worst car by the Daily Mirror.

Renault Dauphine 1956-1968 From a time just after Word War Two, when the world was hungry for cars and the quality bar was set rather low. Thirty-plus seconds to get from 0-60mph, rust-prone and dangerous, it still sold more than two million worldwide and had some success in rally competitions. One unlucky owner complained: “A side impact by a bicycle totalled my Dauphine after only one year.” Nuff said!

Yugo GV 1978-2008 Imported from Sovietcontrolled Yugoslavia as a car for the cost-conscious, it was so cheap and shabbily put together that ‘carpet’ was listed in the marketing brochure as a standard feature. A joke was that the Yugo was so prone to breaking down there was a defroster on the back window so people could keep their hands warm as they pushed it! Engines were know to explode, the electrics routinely short-circuited and various parts would just fall off for no apparent reason. Then Yugo nowhere!

Zundapp Janus 1940-1959 Built in Nuremberg, Germany, this strange looking midget of a car was powered by a 250cc 14bhp engine similar to those found in small motorcycles and had a top speed of 50mph. Its unique selling feature – and the one most heavily marketed by the manufacturer – was the rear-facing bench seat. That meant passengers could watch the drivers in cars behind them screaming in frustration at how slow the Janus was moving!

38 Mini’mag

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Trabant 1957-1990 The car that gave communism a bad name. Known across Eastern Europe as a ‘peoples’ car’ the Trabant was supposed to be an alternative to the VW Beetle. Styled so that no two body panels ever aligned with each other, its shoddy construction (entirely from recycled materials) meant it would fall apart at high speed. Fortunately, that was unlikely as the wheezing 18hp two-stroke engine meant you could measure its 0-60 speed with a calendar. Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants across the border when the Berlin Wall fell and most were quickly abandoned once in West Germany. Perhaps the owners went VW shopping?

Morris Marina 1971-1980 Despite the fact it sold rather well, the Marina was one of the worst built cars to dis-grace British roads. In an effort to cut costs, British Leyland cut several features from the car, including quality, testing, engineering and forethought. Hats off to the three wise men at Top Gear for dropping pianos on them.

Lada Riva 1966-20?? A cheap and lacklustre remix of a 1970s Fiat 124 (already itself a terrible car), the Riva was, even by Russian car standards, ungainly and awkward. But, thanks to low prices and a useful amount of space in the estate, there were plenty of them about. Style-less, heavy to drive and the butt of many a joke. “The best thing about it is its security. Nobody will nick it. The Lada gave me the perfect excuse for being late for anything and everything - everyone expected it to break down on the way.” If you want a new one, it’s still being built in Egypt.

Ian Torode

Car servicing Car parts supplier Mower servicing Mower parts supplier Used car sales Saint-Laurent 56480 Silfiac Phone number 0297 386 282 ian.torode@orange.fr 9am to 5pm

FSO Polonez 1978-2002 Considered by many to be one of the most undependable, unstylish cars ever made. Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson described it thus: “Built by communists out of steel so thin you could use it as a net curtain, it is as reliable and long-lasting as a pensioner’s erection.”

Citröen 2CV 1948-1990 Yep, it’s the deux chevaux. A ramshackle assembly of corrugated tin when launched in 1948, this is the cheapest James Bond classic and also the quirkiest. Over the years, its combination of minimalist charm and French chic ended up winning it a worldwide army of fans. As one classic car magazine said: “If you’re on a budget and need to carry some eggs across a ploughed field, there’s only one car you should be looking at: the Citröen 2CV!” More than five million produced worldwide, it’s an iconic car and a symbol of joy.

Servicing - Clutches & DMF - Timing Kits Electrical - Wiring - Diagnostics Brakes - Exhausts - Suspension Pre CT Checks - Registration Services

** Citroen, Peugeot & Renault ** ** Dealer Level Diagnostics ** Bookings by appointment

Tel: 02 33 30 83 64 - 06 70 40 02 47

Les Landes - 61350 - Mantilly info@garagedeslandes.fr www.garagedeslandes.fr FULLY TRAINED & INSURED ENGINEER Siret N°. 792 693 160 00014

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Mini’mag 39


Taste the rainbow! Flowers aren’t the only plants that can bring a splash of colour to your garden. Traditional vegetable plots have been hidden away from view due to their functional nature and the fact that their foliage is typically varying shades of green. But, as Malcolm Casson points out, things don’t always have to be that way... That ‘green tapestry’ can easily be enhanced with a careful selection of perhaps lesser-known varieties of common vegetables. Those heritage or heirloom types which lost popularity with commercial growers for a variety of reasons, but which in the home plot can provide both a visual and an edible feast. Summer’s on the way, but there’s still plenty of time to get sowing a range of vegetables to brighten up your salads, repeating a little every fortnight to ensure a succession of fresh produce. Lettuce, the mainstay, can in itself provide an appealing sight, with red, purple and freckled varieties adding to the green ones and all in a variety of leaf shapes.

langtons@wanadoo.fr www.normandygarden services.fr 2 La Troche - 50510 Hudimesnil

02 33 59 36 39 06 95 30 29 43 Siret 491 231 502 00011

BOOTH & CO Garden Services

Garden & Landscaping Services

Colourful chillies To those leaves you could add purple orache, purple and freckled mustards, purple and reddish chicories and purple amaranth (picked at the small leaf stage), along with red-stemmed/red-veined spinach. Radishes always provide red dots of colour to your plot and plate, but they are also available in yellow and pink, as well as black and white for winter salads. Two other vegetables which you can now grow in an almost rainbow variety of colours are beetroots and carrots. The orange of the carrot was a choice of colour preference of our ancestors over the purple, rose, yellow and cream varieties. To add height and even more colour to your plot, the bean in all its various forms is an obvious choice. Most of the colour is, of course, added at the fruiting stage with pods in yellow, purple (Cosse Violette being a flavoursome French heirloom) and the Borlotti’s speckled red. Peas, likewise, have purple and yellow podded varieties available. With both peas and beans, there is also the added Borlotti beans

TREE SURGEON Contact Gary Bruce on 0684155840 or email: treesbygb@aol.com 40 Mini’mag

Insured, experienced and certified arborist, for all tree work.

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Animals & Pet Care gift of beautiful flowers. In fact, in Tudor times the then recently-introduced runner beans were grown as ornamentals for their flowers (edible as well) and not for the beans. White and bi-coloured red Purple Orache and white flowers are easily obtainable. Why not add a few sweet peas to your climbers for colour and scent, but remember, they are toxic. Edible ‘flowering plants’ like nasturtiums, calendulas (sorry, not French Marigolds, but they are useful for attracting insect predators) and some larger amaranth species would add to the colour palette of your plot. You can also opt for the coloured versions of some staple vegetables, along with their green counterparts, to provide year-long visual appeal. Red cabbage is always popular at Christmas, red onions are a common sight, rhubarb has varieties which display their red ‘stems’ from spring to autumn, chard comes in ruby and a rainbow mix, while sweetcorn has red, black and multi-coloured versions as well as the usual yellow. But if you do grow sweetcorn, be prepared to be mocked by your French neighbours for growing cattle fodder! Then there are those vegetables that add even more colour to your already-vibrant vegetable garden when they come into fruit. Pumpkins and squashes are available in a bewildering range of colours, shapes and sizes, ranging from the courgette (yellow ones are much easier to spot than green), butternuts (traditional French ones like Galeuse d’Eysines and Musquee de Provence) through to the Halloween orange pumpkins. You might also want to try red aubergines, purple tomatillos, the orange-skinned cucumber or the pale green, ribbed cucumber, although the seeds for these can be difficult to source. Don’t forget: Tomatoes come in more than just red and yellow, sweet peppers in more than just red or green Then there are the chillies, which are so fantastically diverse in colour, shape, size and heat. None of them are any harder to grow than the green varieties.



Telephone: 02 43 04 74 61 Website: http://ukhorsefeed-france.com Email: Clarkjulie800@aol.com Facebook: White Horses Equestrian Products

Shop Opening Hours: TUESDAY-SATURDAY 10am - 4.30pm

At White Horses Equestrian Products we stock UK Horse Feed, Supplements & Bedding along with all the supplies you could need to care for your equine. We are also suppliers of UK Pig, Sheep, Goat and Dog Food. Our suppliers include Allen & Page, Baileys, Dodson & Horrell, Gold Label, Carr, Day & Martin, Marksway Mollichaff, Saracens, Shires, Simple System, Spillers, Titmuss, Tubtrugs to name but a few. Deliveries are available subject to terms and conditions.

Please visit our website for further details. Sweet peas mingling with runner beans

Siret Number: 803 053 784 00010

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Mini’mag 41

Nature Watch Another familiar sight is the arrival of house martins (hirondelle de fenêtre) to nest under the eaves of buildings and the amazing swifts (martinets) that spend their lives on the wing, sleeping while flying. You can see and hear them as they perform their dazzling air displays as they catch their insect food. Swallows (hirondelle rustique) also turn up to settle into their nesting sites, which are mostly in farm buildings. Remarkably, the very same farm buildings they left last year! A special bird to lookout for is the hobby (faucon hobereau), a specialist predator that follows the martin/ swallow migration so it has fast food available en-route. The hobby Black redstart is a small, fast falcon that in flight looks like a large swift. It also likes munching on dragonflies and the sight of a hobby twisting and turning as it hunts is a incredible feat of One of the joys of living in this part of France is to be aerial acrobatics.

Birds and booze. The perfect combination

able to pursue two of your favourite hobbies at the same time. What better way to pass an hour than sitting in your garden watching the birdlife, while also sipping a cheeky little French wine. Graham Parish believes the trick is to look higher than your garden or bird feeder. Now is an ideal time for a bit of ‘twitching’ as the bird population is on the move. There’s the spring migration, when birds that over-winter here – like fieldfares (grive litorne), redwings (grive mauvis) and lapwings (vanneau huppé) – move from their winter feeding areas further north to their breeding grounds. At the same time, summer visitors start to arrive. Birds fly up from as far away as Africa to breed in this part France as there are good nesting opportunities and lots of food. Many of them are insect eaters like blackcaps (fauvette à tête noire), spotted flycatchers (gobemouche gris), wheatears (traquet motteux), whinchats (tarier des prés), redstarts (rougequeue à front blanc), nightingales (rossignol philomèle) and yellow wagtails (bergeronnette printaniere). They start to arrive in March or April and you can hear them singing as they set up their territory and look for a mate. The aptly-named chiffchaff (pouillot véloce) is usually the first to arrive and its distinctive call is a loud, repeated ‘chiffchaff’.

Listen out also for the unique oop, oop, oop sound of the hoopoe (huppe fasciée) and you may get a view of a beautiful bird that is now nesting more and more in our area. You can’t miss its call and distinctive crested plumage.

Hoopoe Even many garden birds are on the move in spring, so that blackbird Shelduck you’ve been watching eating winter berries may well move off and another one turn up. There are also some sea birds that make it inland, mostly gulls of varying kinds and common terns (sterne pierregarin), while cormorants (grand cormoran) are everywhere. If you live near a large expanse of water like a lake, you might also see the occasional sea duck, like a shelduck (tadorne de belon) or a garganey (sarcelle d’été). Lift your head from that glass of wine for a moment and you may be lucky enough to spot migrating birds that are simply en-route elsewhere. From my garden in the north of Mayenne, I’ve seen a flight of about a dozen cranes (grue cendrée) fly over in formation. I’ve also been lucky enough to see a montagu’s harrier (busard cendré), a rare bird of prey that nests in the New Forest in England but flies across our air space. Montagu’s harrier


These are birds of the countryside, but even if you live in a town centre there are plenty to look and listen out for. In virtually every town in this area you can hear a call like a short warble with a metallic jangle at the end. Look up and you’ll see a small bird with black plumage and a red tail flitting about on the rooftops. That’s a black redstart (rougequeue noir).

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You may see huge flocks of birds that migrate in numbers for safety – like swallows – and you may even see a hobby tracking them. But even if you don’t spot many birds during an hour’s garden relaxation, you’ll still have the pleasure of that glass of wine!

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To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77

Miniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mag 30

Visit the CAIRNS DE GAVRINIS and PETIT MONT and uncover the mysteries of Humanity’s first architects in stone

To book your visit:

Gavrinis (Larmor Baden): 02 97 57 19 38 Petit Mont (Arzon): 02 97 53 74 03

More info on:

Création Département du Morbihan. Photo: Eric Frotier de Bagneux - 2017

This is not a stone


Le mini'mag 04 2017  

The Magazine in English for North West France

Le mini'mag 04 2017  

The Magazine in English for North West France