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Mini'mag

Autumn 2017

Le

People, places, features and... fun!

INSIDE

Your pocket guide to what’s on and where in November and December

’ ! e e b le b m u h o n ’m ‘I p a ge 4 0 >

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

www.vacanceole.com


Le

Mini'mag

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: Chris Bailey, Gregg Bennett, Malcolm Casson, Peter Cross, Ian Hackshall, Lisa Greene, Calum Harkiss, Karen Manuel, Richard Noel, Sue Riley, Daren Smith, Trystan Street, Bradley Warden. Cover photograph: www.pixabay.com Printing: Imprimerie PrintCorp - France Distribution: La Poste Copyright reg: 4rd 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

GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS LOUD AND CLEAR

Editorial

INSIDE

YOUR ‘ALMOST WINTER’ WARMER ESTATE PLANNING

FRENCH CLASSICS

Are your affairs in order? Find out here

Citroen’s Traction was years ahead of its time

P4

P36

BRING ON THE VEGGIES

GARDEN MASALA

A vegan is not just for Christmas, but...

Whip up a curry from the veg patch

P12

P38

GAS-TRONOMIC GREENS

THE BEES KNEES!

What to do with those leftover sprouts

‘Tell ‘em about the honey, Mummy’

P16

P40

PLUS Weird Christmas dinners, Laugh out Loud, Fancy That and Years Ago

DON’T MISS

Le Mini’mag Spring 2018 Reach 8,000 households with this Size advert from only 34 E + tva

Call us NOW

Bursting at the seams with local ads, info, features and fun. Pick one up in April

PLUS Le Summer Guide 2018

Plan your days out and about in the sunshine + Both issues also available online at www.leminimag.com +

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Mini’mag

3


Business, Finance & Legal

Estate planning for France Good estate planning is about achieving the peace of mind that our affairs are in order and that, as far as possible, what we want to happen in the future will happen in the way we wish.

Estate planning in France is made far more challenging by ‘forced heirship’ succession law and inheritance tax rates of up to 60%. The regime is particularly daunting for complex family situations. Arrangements set up in the UK are unlikely to be effective in France and may have unexpected consequences.

Succession law Under France’s Napoleonic code, children are protected heirs and may inherit up to 75% of your estate – spouses are not protected in the presence of children. You cannot override this by simply stating in your will whom you want your assets to go to. Since 2015, you can use the EU Certificate of Succession regulation ‘Brussels IV’ to elect for the succession law of your country of nationality to apply instead of that of your country of residence. You need to state this in your will, or French law will automatically apply. While this is a welcome development, it is all very new and untested and choosing UK law may have unexpected consequences. It is obligatory for a French notaire to handle your estate and they would have to administer it under a law they are not experienced with. The UK opted out of Brussels IV and there is uncertainty over how the rules will be interpreted. Adopting UK law could negatively affect your existing succession planning arrangements and your estate may become liable to UK inheritance tax as well as French succession tax. You need specialist, personalised advice and to consider your options carefully. There may be options available under French law that achieve your aims.

Succession tax Tax rates and allowances vary depending on who the beneficiary is and you need to plan accordingly. There is no tax between spouses/PACS (civil) partners on inheritances

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(there is on gifts). Your children each receive a tax-free allowance of €100,000 and pay tax at progressive rates of 5% to 45%. Stepchildren are treated as non-relatives; their allowance is a mere €1,594 and their tax rate 60%. If you have children from a previous relationship and leave everything to your spouse, when your children inherit from him/her on the second death they are treated as stepchildren. The difference in how much tax they pay compared to natural or adopted children is staggering. Taking a €400,000 inheritance as an example, a natural child would have a tax bill of €58,195, while a stepchild would pay €239,044. Strategic planning could help you overcome this. The tax rates for siblings, nephews, nieces etc are between 35% and 55%, with allowances of less than €16,000. Brussels IV does not allow you to choose UK inheritance tax over French succession tax. If you use UK succession law to leave assets to distant or non-relatives, they face tax of up to 60%. Estate planning is a complex area, especially when you have to consider the rules of two countries. Take professional, personalised advice to make sure the right money passes to the right hands at the right time, while still meeting your retirement objectives. The 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

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Beauty

Major tax reforms in France. How do they affect you? 2018 will see the introduction of some interesting tax cuts for investment assets and income, including assurance-vie policies. Wealth tax is being completely reformed, making France more attractive for wealthy investors.

Talk to the people who know

05 49 75 07 24

niort@blevinsfranks.com www.blevinsfranks.com

Find out how you can make the most of these tax reforms. Blevins Franks specialises in reducing tax on invested capital, pensions, wealth and inheritance.

026-es

INTERNATIONAL TAX ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS 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, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissements Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). Member of ANACOFICIF. BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA).

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Mini’mag

5


Business, Finance & Legal

House insurance in France As with most things in France, house insurance appears to be the same as in the UK, but there are subtle differences it’s best to know beforehand. Household insurance here generally includes third-party liability, building and contents insurance, all of which are usually contained in a multi-risk policy (assurance multirisques habitation).

Liabilities: The major area of difference from the UK. Building liability: Covers any damage caused by the building to a third party (anyone not a member of the household). For example, a slate falling off the roof and slicing the postman’s ear, or a fire that starts in your flat and spreads to neighbouring flats. Private liability: Thanks to Napoleon, French citizens are governed by the Code Civil where one of the many laws is article 1241: “Everyone is liable for the damage they cause, not only by an intentional act, but also by their negligent conduct or their imprudence.” Your home insurance covers you for any possible claims relating to ‘damage caused to others.’ If you accidentally knock your wine over your friend’s carpet, your friend will be paid by your home insurance under your private liability guarantee. This covers anyone living under your roof (including pets) in all circumstances except where explicitly proscribed (for example in charge of a motorised vehicle). Tenant/landlord liability: One of the few instances where house insurance is obligatory. The landlord must cover damage his buildings may do the tenant and their belongings and the tenant must cover damage they may cause to the building!

Accidental damage:

There is only one French insurance company I know of that provides accidental damage cover in France It’s the damage you cause to other people that is covered, rather than the damage you cause to yourself. If you knock over your own wine glass it is a case of ‘fromage dur’ I’m afraid. Premium: Essentially calculated based on the number of main rooms, rather than a determined market value for the house. A main room is generally larger than 4sqm and less than 40sqm, although the minimum and maximum can vary from company to company and is neither a kitchen nor a bathroom. Outbuildings must also be measured and mentioned in the policy. If you are doing renovations,notify your insurer if you add a room or knock through, or you could receive a reduced settlement for under-insuring. Chimney-sweeping: If your insurance policy specifically states that you must sweep your chimney every year, then sweep it you must. However, most policies use the Code Civil as their basis and fall back on the notion of negligence or imprudence. If you burn very dry wood two months in a year and only on the weekends then you can reasonably sweep the chimney every two years. If, on the other hand, you use leftover Christmas tree to keep the house at a steady 25°C then twice a year would not be too often! Paperwork: Surprise, surprise. In France it’s all about paperwork. If you have a claim, the independent assessor will want to see receipts, photographs, witness statements, valuations, quotes etc. In fact anything written down to prove the item existed (in the case of theft), its age and its value. We recommend that you whip round the house with your digital camera just in case you don’t have a receipt for Tante Geraldine’s commode! With thanks to Trystan Street of BML Anglo Agence agence.mounierstreet@axa.fr Tel: 02 96 87 21 21 www.angloagence.com

Agence Pontivy 75, rue Nationale 56300 PONTIVY Tél : 02 97 25 41 02 N° Orias : 10 057 975

Agence Locminé 6, place du Marché 56500 LOCMINÉ Tél : 02 97 60 08 23 N° Orias : 08 040 536

contact@clp-assurances.fr www.clp-assurances.fr

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


Beauty

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

Mini'mag


Business, Finance & Legal

When timing is everything

Hoping to buy a French property within the next year? We look at what prices are like generally and what impact any exchange rate movements could have on your purchase. As is the case in the UK, property prices in France can differ considerably according to region. Recent reports have shown a surge in property prices in Paris, for example, with increased consumer confidence in the wake of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential victory and Britons fleeing Brexit Britain being cited as the main causes of the spike. Prices are currently on track to reach their highest levels for five years, with Parisian apartments expected to keep climbing to a record average price of €8800 per square metre as demand from both foreign and domestic buyers increases. While this upturn in property values might outprice many from owning in Paris, other areas of France remain comparatively affordable – especially in Brittany, Normandy and La Mayenne – inspiring some British buyers to purchase property now before Brexit negotiations conclude in two years’ time. The price a property is being marketed at is obviously a key consideration when deciding whether or not to put in an offer, but it’s essential to consider how you’ll transfer the funds to France to finance the purchase. You also need to know what impact the exchange rate you’re able to secure could have.

Exchange rates can be extremely volatile and fluctuate by fairly significant amounts in a short space of time. The GBP/EUR exchange rate, for example, has moved a huge amount over the past 12 months, fluctuating between lows of €1.09 and highs of €1.31. The difference of 22 cents per pound is pretty significant and can add up to thousands more (or less) euros when transferring the sums involved in a typical French property purchase. For example, anyone looking to move £150,000 to France the day before the EU referendum would have achieved €196,500 to put towards their property purchase. By October 2016 that same £150,000 would have been worth just €165,000 - €31,500 less! That could be the difference between having two or three bedrooms, or else having enough funds left over to renovate your new home. But if exchange rates fluctuate so much, how can you time your currency transfer effectively and get the most for your money? One of the easiest ways to do that is to stay up to date with the latest currency news. By subscribing for regular market updates you can keep an eye on what the GBP/EUR exchange rate is doing and arrange to move your money if the rate shifts in your favour. With some international money transfer providers you can also set up a Rate Alert, where you’re informed automatically if the exchange rate hits a certain level. By having all the information you need to hand, you can feel more confident in the knowledge that you’re moving your money when the timing is right.

With thanks to Calum Harkiss Regional Co-ordinator Brittany/Normandy Currencies Direct calum.harkiss_agent@currenciesdirect.com Tel: 02 96 25 18 99. www.currenciesdirect.com/france

Agence Eaton www.french-insurance.com

00 33 (0) 2 97 40 80 20

21 Years

of quality service 1996-2017

Twitter Léna EATON@InsuranceFrench

BILINGUAL FRENCH INSURER PROPERTY, AUTO, MEDICAL, TRAVEL, LIFE, PET, BUSINESS…

NEW from BML insurance Funeral plans underwritten by Axa No medical formalities Call Wayne, Alex or Trystan now on 02 96 87 21 21 or email us at contact@angloagence.com for your personalised quote 8 Mini’mag

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Assistance

Time for change Take control of your currency transfers and move money on your terms. Whether you need to fund a property purchase or pay foreign invoices, our personal and business teams are on hand to help with every requirement Say hello to a new era of: • • •

Bank-beating exchange rates* Fast, free money transfers Expert support

Total flexibility

Get in touch and find out how we’ve been helping our customers get more for their currency transfers since 1996. +33 (0) 4 22 32 62 40 | +44 (0) 20 7847 9400

minimag@currenciesdirect.com

*For more information on our bank-beating exchange rates, please visit currenciesdirect.com

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

Mini’mag 9

FR174833EN

currenciesdirect.com/france


Assistance

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

Trevino Translations Traductions Trevino Quality Translations • French-English Feel free to contact us for a free quote for your translation, review and proofreading needs.

Look for us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

trevino.translations@gmail.com 06 02 35 59 80 • Located in Dinard

I

’ve just had the toughest time of my life. First, I got angina pectoris and then arteriosclerosis. Just as I was recovering from those, I got tuberculosis, double pneumonia and phthisis. Then they gave me hypodermics. Appendicitis was followed by tonsillectomy and then I was hit with aphasia and hypertrophic cirrhosis. I completely lost my memory for a while. I know I had diabetes and acute ingestion, besides gastritis, rheumatism, lumbago and neuritis. I don’t know how I pulled through it all. It was the hardest spelling test I’ve ever had.

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

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Taupont 56 kristyne.agency56@gmail.com @kristyne.agency To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


You don’t have to be alone

Assistance

Le

Mini'mag

Your one-stop guide to what’s on and where for November & Décember November Wednesday Nov 1 Toussaint - National Holiday – All Saints Day Courses hippiques - Lisieux (14)

France is a wonderful country to live in. However, like anywhere else it can be a lonely place if you have no-one to share it with. Two years ago, John found himself in just that situation and decided to do something about it. Phoenix Singles 55 has risen... “After 17 years of marriage, I found myself alone and feeling isolated in rural France. Many people do live here on their own and some, of course, prefer it that way. But I’m not like that. Feeling lonely and isolated from the rest of the world can result in a downward spiral of depression that’s very difficult to escape from. “The catalyst came in the form of a man I met who was in a similar situation to myself. As luck would have it, he had previously worked for a dating agency in the UK, so we began making plans to start our own group for singles wishing to meet others. The group name stemmed from people rising from the ashes of a failed relationship, or loss of a loved one, and because of my age I decided to restrict it to people over 55. So Phoenix Singles 55 has risen. Catchy, eh? “I set up a group email account and contacted a lady who sends out a monthly newsletter to several hundred people in the area, asking if she would put a little bit about us in her next issue. We were pleasantly surprised by the response. From such a relatively small database we had replies from 18 ladies and three men, so it was obvious from the start that the demand was there. “A get-together was organised one Sunday lunchtime at the L’Abbaye restaurant in Mortain, in the Manche (50), which went extremely well. Three men and 12 ladies turned up, which presented a bit of a problem for the men as they were kept very busy flitting from table to table for ten minutes of speed-dating with each lady! “A month later, a second meeting was held at my home. Again everything went well, but it became clear we needed to get the word out about the group to more people so we can enlist more members – particularly men. The fact we got so many replies from such a small number of people indicated to us that there must be plenty more people out there wanting to meet other singles by way of a dating group.” If you want to find out more about Phoenix Singles 55, contact John at phoenixsingles55@gmail.com

And they’re off! Trotting horse racing from 1pm at the Hippodrome Courses hippiques - Pontchâteau (44) And they’re off! Trotting and steeplechase horse racing from 1pm at the Hippodrome Journée de l’arbre et du cidre - Saint-Cyr-La-Rosière (61) From the tree to the bottle - a fascinating day of traditional cider-making

Wednesday Nov 1 to Monday Nov 6 Festival les utopiales - Nantes (44)

Festival of science fiction books, film and collectables

Thursday Nov 2 Monthly brunch - Notre Dame du Touchet (50)

Cancer Support France has their monthly brunch. Full English breakfast available specially cooked to order from 10am to 1pm. Full English 7€, bacon sandwich 3€ incl. tea or coffee. Why not go along, meet new people and discover what Cancer Support France is all about

Thursday Nov 2 to Sunday Nov 5 Creativa - Nantes (44)

An event attracting more than 20,000 creative people. Over 170 exhibitors display crafty ideas from patchwork to origami and painting to cakes

Friday Nov 3 Fête de la châtaigne - La Prénessaye (22)

Autumn festival featuring all the tastes from this time of year – local cider, local meats, jams, pumpkins and the chestnut

Friday Nov 3 to Sunday Nov 5 Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Saint Brieuc (22)

Large expo featuring the best of France’s famous produce is on display for you to try and buy – just in time for Xmas. Payable Salon habitat, vins et gastronomie - Vitré (35) Medium expo featuring things for the home and some of the best French wines and foods for trying and buying. Payable

Saturday Nov 4 Bonfire Night - Montchauvet (14)

An almost British event with games for the kids, including conkers, plenty of BBQ food on offer and even jacket potatoes and baked beans! It’s free entry at Le Moine Joyeux Fête autour de la pomme - La Chapelle-Neuve (22) Traditional autumn festival where the apple is the star. Expect plenty of products made from it and lots of other autumn goodies >>p13

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Mini’mag 11


Food & Entertainment

Bring on the Christmas veggies

Recipes

The thought that one of your guests at your dinner or drinks party is a vegetarian – or, heaven forbid, a vegan – might be enough to fill you with fear and dread. But don’t worry, here are three recipes to save the day.

Greek vegetable bake This delicious vegan main course recipe is similar to Ratatouille and is also known as Tourlou when served with feta cheese. INGREDIENTS • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil • 1 lge aubergine, sliced thickly across • 3 lge courgettes, sliced • 1 lge red onion, thinly sliced (or a sweet white onion) • 2 garlic cloves, sliced • 1 lge red pepper, cored and cut into strips or squares • 400g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes • 4 tomatoes, thinly sliced (or a 400g tin. This helps if you have no passata) • 10 cherry tomatoes • 300g tomato passata • 2 tsp dried oregano • ½ tsp smoked paprika • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 2 tsp of dried) • 1 tsp salt/1 tsp fresh ground black pepper • Handful of black olives, de-stoned and sliced

METHOD 1: Cook the aubergine in oil for 3-5 minutes, turning the pieces to make sure they’re cooked on both sides. Set aside. 2: Fry onion and garlic to soften, add pepper and cook for 2-4 minutes and then add to aubergine. 3: Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes and passata to pan and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for a further two minutes. Add ½ litre of water if too dry. 4: Combine all ingredients and put into an oven-proof dish. 5: Cook in a pre-heated oven (200C, 400F, Gas 6) for 1hr 15mins. Be careful the top doesn’t get too dry. Stir mid-point or cover with foil for the final 30 minutes. Serves four.

Red pepper hummus

Cheesy lentil bake

A well-known dish that can be used as a dip with vegetable croutons, pitta bread or spicy potato wedges or served with salad inside pitta breads.

A versatile vegetarian recipe which can be served as a main meal, cut into smaller pieces as a buffet dish, or served as a pate on crusty bread or toast.

INGREDIENTS • 2x400g cans chickpeas (keep the liquid and a few chickpeas for decoration) TIP: • 3 tsp tahini Add ingredients to your • 1 tsp paprika taste. I added a red pepper • 2 tsp cumin and cumin to the basic • Salt and pepper to taste hummus recipe. • 3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced • 6 tbsp quality extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling) • 3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice • 1 roasted red pepper, skinned (jars of roasted peppers are available) • Coriander or parsley leaves (optional) METHOD You will need a food processor or hand-blender. Failing that, a potato masher or clean/gloved hands! 1: Rinse the chickpeas ion cold water and tip into food processor. 2: Add the tahini, garlic, salt, lemon juice, red pepper and 5-6 tbsp of the reserved cans (or water if you tipped it away!). 3: Turn on the processor and slowly pour in the oil. Optional: Add parsley and/or coriander and pulse for 30 seconds to mix. 4: Tip the mixture into a serving dish and top with a drizzle of oil, the chickpeas and a sprinkle of paprika and/or parsley/paprika. Serves 15-20 as a dip or 6-8 as a starter.

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INGREDIENTS • 225g red lentils • 450ml vegetable stock (or water with a teaspoon of Marmite) • 1 lge onion, minced or chopped small • 25g butter or sunflower oil • 100g/150g Cheddar or Comte/Tomme cheese (depends how cheesy you want it) • 1 tsp smoked paprika • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional) • 2 tsp cumin • 1 egg • 25g fresh breadcrumbs or oats • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD 1: Cook lentils in the stock until soft and all the liquid is absorbed. Leave to cool. 2: Melt butter or heat the oil in a pan and fry onions until soft. 3: Mix all ingredients and press into an oiled 9-inch tin. 4: Bake in the oven (190C, 375F, Gas 5) for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot or cold (see serving suggestions). With thanks to Karen Manuel Owner Le Jardin de Froulay 02 43 00 93 79 www.facebook.com/LeJardinDeFroulay

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<<p11 Gipsy Kings en concert - Ergué Gabéric (29)

Those gipsies will be strumming the guitars from 9pm. Payable AngloINFO Bretagne exhibition - Baud (56) You’ll be able to talk direct with English-speaking artisans, artists, businesses and associations, all of whom are here to make your life in France that little bit easier. British foodstuffs and cards available to buy, various British favourites will be on the menu and, of course we’ll be there – will you? Held in the salle polyvalente Marche nordique initiation - Bagnoles-de-L’Orne (61) If you fancy trying out Nordic walking then this is your opportunity. Pre-book your place with the Office de Tourisme. Payable

Dimanche 29 octobre 2017 • 10h-18h

Saturday Nov 4 & Sunday Nov 5

N T RÉ E

Festival des chanteurs de rue - Quintin (22) ITE

E

MAYENNE • Hall des Expositions

GR ATU

23E SALON EUROMAYENNE sur le thème d'HALLOWEEN www.euromayenne.org/salon

Studio CQEG RCS LAVAL 793 161 431 - © Freepik

PRODUITS ARTISANAUX • IDÉES CADE AUX ANIMATIONS • ATELIER MAQUILL AGE • TE A-ROOM CONCOURS DE DÉGUISEMENTS "HALLOWEEN" • CONCOURS DE LA PLUS BELLE CITROUILLE DÉCORÉE concours ouverts au public, plus d'informations sur :

Singers and actors recreate the ambience of the Belle Epoque in the beautiful half-timbered streets for the town’s Buskers Festival. Also a large market and fair with many of the locals dressing up in costumes from way back when Salon du chocolat - Coutances (50) Yep, you’ve guessed it – chocolate and more chocolate. But there are also plenty of different foods and spices for you to try and buy Salon habitat, déco, immo & jardin - L’Aigle (61) Get some ideas for decorating the house and ideas for a new garden. How about some green energy or even a brand new home – they’re all here. Payable

Sunday Nov 5 Antiquités, brocante et collections

Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (14) Antique and flea market held in the Halle. From 8am. Payable Troc et puces - Loudeac (22) Very large car boot at the Hippodrome from 8am. Payable Téléthon rando moto - Châteulin (29) Ride out on motorcycles to raise money for this year’s Téléthon Charity. Meet up at 2pm Brocante - Bellou-en-Houlme (61) Large car boot at the La Chevallerie from 7am

The 12th Annual Living, Working and Enjoying Life in Brittany Exhibition 4th November 2017 10:00 to 16:30

Salle Polyvalente du Scaouet, Baud

Sunday Nov 5 & Monday Nov 6 Salon vigne, terre & mer - Le Gueno (56)

Plenty of the best locally produced foodstuffs originating from the vine, the earth and from the sea. Payable

Monday Nov 6 Courses hippiques - Vire (14)

And they’re off - again! Horse racing from 11am at the Hippodrome. It’s free

Tuesday Nov 7 to Sunday Nov 12 Festival européen du film court - Brest (29)

Not quite Cannes, but this is a Festival of European Short Films. Grab your popcorn, watch some of the films and judge for yourself as several are in English

Thursday Nov 9 to Monday Nov 13 Salon du véhicule de loisirs - Rennes (35)

If you’re looking for a camping car or caravan or places to go with them, this is the event for you. In the parc des expositions. Payable

Friday Nov 10 & Saturday Nov 11 Festival Mots-Zik - Saint-Jacut-les-Pins (56)

Entrance is Free

Music festival featuring plenty of up and coming French bands

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>>p15

Mini’mag 13


Food & Entertainment

Yum, yum. Cancel the turkey!

ETHIOPIA

No holiday meal is complete here without Doro Wat, a gently stewed dish of chicken and boiled eggs. The chicken is flavoured with garlic, berbere (a chilli and spice mix) and ginger and is served with soft injera bread (a fermented sourdough flatbread).

Christmas comes but once a year and that means day after day eating variations on a traditional poultry theme. So why not try some of these weird and wonderful Yuletide NORWAY Forget rack of ribs or lamb shank, Smalahove is a roasted lamb’s concoctions instead. SOUTH AFRICA A traditional Christmas feast includes a wriggly delicacy called Mopane – fried Emperor Moth caterpillars! It’s considered an important protein source in parts of Africa and its harvest season coincides with Christmas. While most of the harvest is dried or otherwise preserved, the caterpillars are served up freshly fried for the festivities. Mopane has a mixed reputation. Some people regard it as a delicacy to be cherished, others look on it as bush meat.

head. Yep, a whole sheep’s head salted and dried, smoked, boiled or steamed as a holiday treat. The fleece and skin of the sheep are removed, but some leave the brains inside to cook before frying or eating with a spoon. It’s a dish historically eaten by the poor, but over time has become something of a delicacy sought out by tourists.

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14 Mini’mag

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Food & Entertainment <<p13 Friday Nov 10 to Sunday Nov 12 Salon des antiquités et brocante

GREENLAND Not one, but two traditional Inuit dishes rarely seen outside of the Arctic to tickle your tastebuds. First Mattak (right). Raw whale skin diced or serrated before serving with a piece of blubber inside. It’s often swallowed whole because it’s too tough to chew. Then there’s Kiviak (above). This isn’t served totally raw, but its preparation is quite unusual. First, a seal skin is hollowed out to make room for anything up to 500 auks (seabirds that look similar to a small penguin). The birds are stuffed, feathers and all, into the seal’s body, which is then sewn up and sealed with grease. After seven months of fermentation, the birds are served up straight from the seal. If those two dishes aren’t quite to your taste, other festive options include barbecued caribou or Suaasat, a traditional soup often made from seal, whale, reindeer or sea birds.

JAPAN Christmas is not a national holiday here, where less than one per cent of the population is Christian. But there is one Yuletide ritual the Japanese love – KFC! A 1974 marketing campaign by the fast food giant convinced the Japanese that Christmas and the Colonel were inextricably entwined. The slogan was ‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii’, or ‘Kentucky for Christmas.’ A set meal includes cake and champagne along with the famous fried chicken. Even thought the meal is ordered in advance, there are long queues waiting for the Colonel on Christmas Day.

SLOVAKIA There are some unusual festive favourites here, such as kapustnica (a thick sauerkraut soup) and fried carp. So central to Christmas is the carp in Eastern Europe many families buy a live one and keep it in the bath until it’s time to cook it. Slovakians also throw Loksa (bread pudding) at the ceiling to predict next year’s crop – the bigger the blob that sticks, the better the harvest.

Lisieux (14) Parc des Expos You may pick up the next star item for the Antiques Roadshow at this annual fair of antiques and secondhand goods. Payable Perros Jazz Festival - Perros-Guirec (22) Jazz festival. Although many of the concerts are payable, some are free Saveurs des terroirs - Pont L’Abbé (29) More than 6,000 visitors will descend on this venue over the three days to taste and purchase some of the best food and wine that France and the region has to offer. Payable Salon habitat déco - Nantes (44) The region’s biggest event about changing the look of your home – from painting techniques to furniture, and from alternative energy to triple-glazed windows Salon du chocolat et des gourmandises - Vannes (56) Yep, you’ve guessed it – chocolate and more chocolate. But there are also plenty of different foods and spices for you to try. Payable Musée gratuit - Alençon (61) The Musée des Beaux-arts and Musée de la Dentelle are open and are both free entry today

Friday Nov 10 to Monday Nov 13 Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Brest (29)

Large expo featuring the best of France’s famous produce is on display for you to try and buy – just in time for Xmas. Payable

Saturday Nov 11 Armistice Day

Throughout France The 99th anniversary of the end of World War One Vide-greniers - Plantel (22) Large car boot at the Salle des Genêts d’Or from 8am Abers Blues festival - Lesneven (29) Birmingham’s own Steve ‘Big Man’ Clayton will playing at the Salle Arvorik. Payable Nuit du rock - Pleurtuit (35) A night of traditional 50s and 60s rock n’ roll music from The Silver Swing. At the Espace Delta. Payable La nuit du jazz - Nantes (44) The sounds of jazz will be at this special one-off event at La Cité des Congrés. Payable Texas in concert - Nantes (44) Scottish rock band Texas with Sharleen Spiteri will be in concert at La Cité des Congrés Fête des plantes - Saint-Philbert-sur-Orne (61) Sale of plants and shrubs

Saturday Nov 11 & Sunday Nov 12 Festival de la pomme et de la fleur - Creully-sur-Mer (14) Autumn festival and exhibition of local autumn fruits and honey. It’s free

Festival le goût du large et fête de la coquille St Jacques - Port-en-Bessin-Huppain (14)

Large two-day event celebrating the sea and in particular the scallop, and attracting thousands of visitors each year to sample some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever have Basse-cour en fête - Rennes (35) Over 1,000 prized chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons and ducks are on display and for sale at this competition event. Payable >>p17

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Mini’mag 15


Food & Entertainment

Recipes

≈ Cooking with gas! ≈

Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are a Christmas dinner must-have in many households. But what do you do when the big day has been and gone (along with any windy side effects) and there’s a big bag of the stuff still to be eaten? We’ve Brusseled up a couple of recipes for you to try...

Slow-cooked sprouts with balsamic vinegar Just throw everything into a slow-cooker and off you go. It’s a Brussels breeze!

TIP:

You can make the balsamic INGREDIENTS reduction ahead of time • 120ml balsamic vinegar if you want. • 25g brown sugar • 1kg Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved • 30ml olive oil • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste • 30g unsalted butter, cut into cubes • 20g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Le Saint Patrick By the Rance

█ Do you have a recipe you’d like to share? The more unusual the better! If so, contact mick@leminimag.com

METHOD 1: Make the balsamic reduction. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a slight boil and reduce by half (around 7-8 minutes). Set aside to cool. 2: Add the sprouts to your slow cooker. Stir in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top it all with the butter. 3: Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or high heat for 1-2 hours. 4: Serve drizzled with the balsamic reduction and topped with the Parmesan cheese.

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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Crispy Parmesan sprouts Crisp, tender and so crunchy, this is a must-have side dish with almost any meal. INGREDIENTS • 120ml vegetable oil • 150g Panko breadcrumbs • 30g freshly grated Parmesan cheese • 15g Cajun seasoning • 450g Brussels sprouts, trimmed • 65g all-purpose flour • 2 large eggs, whisked METHOD 1: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. 2: In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Cajun seasoning and set aside. 3: Working in batches, dredge the sprouts in the flour, dip into the beaten eggs and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Press the coating over each sprout. 4: Add the sprouts a few at a time to the oil in the frying pan and cook until they are evenly golden and crispy (2-3 minutes). Cook the sprouts in batches and transfer to a kitchen paper-lined plate to drain any excess oil. 5: Serve immediately.

T

he first text message: Dear John. This is Alan next door. I’m sorry, but I have a confession to make. I’ve been riddled with guilt these past few months and have been trying to pluck up enough courage to tell you to your face, but I am at least now texting as I can’t live with myself a moment longer without you knowing. The truth is, I’ve been sharing your wife day and night when you’re not around. In fact, probably more than you. I haven’t been getting it at home recently but that’s no excuse, I know. The temptation was just too much. I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you’ll forgive me. I promise it won’t happen again. Please come up with a fee for free usage and I’ll pay you. The response: Feeling insulted and betrayed, John grabs his shotgun, stomps next door and shoots his neighbour dead. He returns home, pours himself a stiff drink and goes out into the garden for some air. He takes out his phone and sees he has a subsequent message from his neighbour. The second text message: Hi John, this is Alan again. Sorry about the slight typo on my last text, but I’m sure you noticed that my smartphone’s autocorrect feature changed ‘WiFi’ to ‘Wife.’ Technology, eh? Hope you saw the funny side of that.

Food & Entertainment <<p15 Fête du cidre à l’ancienne - Le Sap-André (61)

Large county fair attracting lovers of cider from as far away as the UK. Plenty of stalls selling not only cider but also local cheese, bread and even some hot apple soup Les puces sarthoises - Le Mans (72) Annual secondhand goods and flea market. Held in the Centre des Expositions. Payable

Saturday Nov 11 to Monday Nov 13 Salon habitat, vins et gastronomie - Lorient (56)

Large expo featuring things for the home and some of the best French wines and foods for trying and buying. Payable

Saturday Nov 11 to Tuesday Nov 14 Foire Saint-Martin - Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët (50)

For five days the foire takes over the streets of this town and fills them with market stalls, a funfair and an agricultural show, where farmers can buy anything from tools and tractors, to donkeys and cows!

Sunday Nov 12 Le rencard de Lisieux - Lisieux (14)

Local owners of classic and vintage cars gather on the place de la République to display their magnificent machines. Morning only and it’s free Foire aux arbres - Orbec (14) Amateur gardeners and lovers of plants are welcome at this annual event of the sale of fruit trees, shrubs, plants and seasonal flowers. From 10am-6pm and it’s free Baz’arts créatifs - Bannalec (29) There are plenty of hobby ideas at this arts and crafts exhibition and sale held in the Salle Jean Moulin Troc plantes - Sainte-Suzanne-et-Chammes (53) Annual plant exchange and sale. It’s free

Vide garage et bourse d’échange auto-moto La Ferté-Bernard (72) Exhibition and sale of classic and vintage parts for cars and motorbikes

Thursday Nov 16 It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day Cheers / Santé - Hic!

Cours de danse Keili - Pontchâteau (44)

Learn some traditional Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English country dancing steps ‘Cèilidh’ with Rachel Goodwin. Or pop down if you play a traditional instrument. From 8pm to 10pm at Coët Roz, Salle de Loisirs. First session is free Olivia Ruiz en concert - Laval (53) The chocolate girl performs for one night only. Payable

Thursday Nov 16 to Sunday Nov 26 Festival Les Boréals Various locations in Basse-Normandie This Nordic festival presents art exhibitions, dance, music, film and culture throughout the region. It aims to develop good relations between Basse-Normandie and the Baltic/ Nordic countries. This year’s guest country is Iceland

Friday Nov 17 Drew Davies en concert - Creully-sur-Seulles (14)

Live jazz music from this talented British musician and his band from 9pm. Payable Kevin Buckley in concert - Vire (14) There’s some good old traditional country music playing at >>p19 the Bowling alley from 9.30pm. It’s free

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Mini’mag 17


Food & Entertainment

JACK & CO CAFE CONCERT

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≈ Stuffed camel ≈ Fact or fiction? This recipe appeared in the Saudi Arabia section of a cookbook called International Cuisine and also in the Guinness Book of World Records as the single largest food item on any menu. INGREDIENTS • 1 whole camel, medium size (*see below) • 1 whole lamb, large • 20 whole chickens, medium • 60 eggs • 12kg rice • 2kg pine nuts • 2kg almonds • 1kg pistachio nuts • 110galls water • 5lb black pepper • Salt to taste

* There are three types of camel: The one-hump Dromedary, the two-hump Bactrian and the Camel cigarettes. Only the first two can be used in this recipe.

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18 Mini’mag



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Recipes

METHOD

1: Skin, trim and clean the camel, lamb and chickens and boil until tender. 2: Cook rice until fluffy. Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice. Hard-boil the eggs and peel. 3: Stuff cooked chickens with eggs and rice. Stuff cooked lamb with stuffed chickens. Add more rice. 4: Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice. Broil over charcoal pit until brown. 5: Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice. Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts. Serves friendly crowd of 80-100.

Food & Entertainment <<p17 Friday Nov 17 & Saturday Nov 18 Rallye national de Bretagne - Locunolé (29)

They’re fast, they’re noisy, they’re both classic and new, and they’re plenty of fun to watch – championship racing with rally cars through the forest. Also a gathering of Porsches and stunt motorcycle riding. Friday afternoon the cars are checked over and can be viewed up close and on Saturday the time trials start from 10am. It’s free

Friday Nov 17 to Monday Nov 20 Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Nantes (44)

Large expo featuring the best of France’s famous produce is on display for you to try and buy – just in time for Xmas. Payable

Saturday Nov 18 Dr Feelgood in concert - Brest (29)

Legendary British rockers from the 1970s Dr Feelgood perform live at Cabaret Vauban Festival de blues - Montfort-sur-Meu (35) A day of Blues music featuring Fred Cruveiller Blues Band, John Németh and Shaggy Dogs Drew Davies en concert - Durcet (61) Live jazz music from this talented British musician and his band from 9pm. Payable S’initier au plessage des haies - Saint-Cyr-La-Rosière (61) A really useful event if you have a bit of land – a day learning how to create a natural and living fence. It’s at the Écomusée, prebooking required and payable

Saturday Nov 18 & Sunday Nov 19 Foire aux arbres - Pont L’Evêque (14)

Le Comptoir Kerbian Farm We deliver!

English supermarket Come and see the difference Tel.: 02 96 24 75 26

or 02 96 24 32 00 after hours

Try our cured bacon, homemade sausages and fresh meats

2 Rue Sénéchal 22570 GOUAREC 10am to 12.30 pm 2pm to 5pm Tuesday to Friday

14 rue du Cleumeur 22160 CALLAC 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday

www.kerbianfarm.com

Looking for a fruit tree or shrub? Then this is the place to find them. Buy them straight from the growers and you can ask them questions concerning your new green friends’ care Marché de Noël - Gomené (22) The Anglo French Association JUBBIL have their Christmas market in the Salle des Fêtes so expect a few British goodies to be available Salon des créateurs - Roscoff (29) Arts and crafts expo and sale. At the Espace Mathurin Méheut and it’s free Salon de l’artisanat - Sucé-sur-Erdre (44) Arts and crafts expo and sale. It’s free Salon des arts et loisirs créatifs - Péaule (56) Arts and crafts expo and sale. It’s free Salon antiquités et artisanat - Vire (61) You’ll find antiques and arts and crafts goods at this medium sized event. Held in the Salle du Vaudeville. Payable

Sunday Nov 19 Antiquités, brocante et collections - Dives-sur-Mer (14)

Antique and fleamarket held in the Les Halles Grande brocante et vide-greniers - Lisieux (14) Huge brocante held in the centre of Lisieux with an expected 850 stalls – but you’ll have to be there early for the real bargains, as it’s from 6am to 7pm! Brocante - Yffiniac (22) Large car boot at the Hippodrome from 9am. Payable Marché de Noël - Mahalon (29) Foire à la volaille - Bécherel (35) Sale of turkeys, chickens and ducks, as well as a variety of local products made from them. Morning only Marché de Noël - Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte (50) Bourse aux plantes et vide-greniers - Gueltas (56) Sale and free exchange of plants and there’s a small car boot >>p21

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Mini’mag 19


Food & Entertainment

Choosing beef can be tough! Confused when buying beef in France? Don’t despair, the French themselves can find the process almost as daunting. Daren Smith explains what makes French and English beef different and what cuts to look out for, from sizzling steaks to succulent roasts... There’s one big difference between French and English beef. French beef can go from field to plate in less than a week, whereas in the UK a good butcher will mature his beef for at least 21 days. The majority of the beef in France is vache (a female cow that has had a calf) and can be anything up to ten years old when it is slaughtered. The younger the beef the better, but if you end up with older beef the chances are it will be very tough no matter how long you cook it for. It is possible to buy younger and better quality beef in France, however. Artisan butchers and the butchery counters in supermarkets tend to advertise both the age and the race of their beef.

20 Mini’mag

Charolais, Limousine and Blond d’Aquitaine, or similar, are the preferred choice of beef for most butchers in France. These are large cattle and they produce very lean beef, which can sometimes be a little lacking in flavour. In the UK, smaller cattle are the more popular choice. They tend to have more fat and marbling, which produces a better flavour, especially after maturing. UK cookery books obviously give you the English cuts and, while you can Google the French name, the meat has probably been butchered in a different way and there can be more names for similar cuts. French butchers tend to divide the carcass along the muscles, whereas English butchers cut across muscle groups to form a joint. With thanks to Daren Smith Owner, Elliotts Boucherie elliottsboucherie@gmail.com 02 43 30 46 89 www.elliottsboucherie.com

The most common cuts FRENCH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ENGLISH

Steaks Côte de boeuf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ribeye with bone Entrecôte. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ribeye Faux filet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sirloin Filet.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fillet Rumsteck.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rumpsteak Macreuse boule. . . . . . . . . . . . Frying steak* Onglet.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Skirt* Bavette.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Skirt* Hampe.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Skirt* Basse côte griller.. . . . . . . . . . Chuck steak* *In the UK these are also used for stewing or braising

Roasting Gite noix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silverside Tende de tranche.. . . . . . . Topside Côte de boeuf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rib of beef

Stewing/braising Basse côte. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chuck steak Pot au feu.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . For mincing Plat côte.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brisket on the bone Jarret.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shin Paleron.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blade Joue.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cheek Langue.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tongue Haché. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mince Queue.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tail

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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

CHRISTMAS FAYRE PRE ORDER NOW

Angus beef, free-range turkeys, capons & geese, rolled turkey breast joints, gammon joints, pork joints with crackling, pork pies, cocktail sausage rolls, cocktail sausages & chipolatas + a selection of English cheeses (i.e. Stilton & cheddar) and more. Check our website for a full range of products and to see if we deliver near you, or call in to see us in the shop

<<p19 Fête de la soupe - Marzan (56)

A fantastic ‘warming’ event where amateur cooks make their own special soupe du jour for you to try and judge who makes the finest broth. From 11am - bon appétit!

Sunday Nov 19 & Monday Nov 20 Foire de la Sainte-Catherine - Briouze (61)

Large agricultural fair with an auction of cattle that attracts many local farmers. Also around 50 market gardeners selling trees, shrubs and plants

Sunday Nov 19 to Sunday Nov 26 Salon des peintres et sculpteurs du Bocage - Flers (61) More than 60 local artists exhibit and sell their works. It’s at the Forum de Flers and it’s free

Monday Nov 20 London Grammar in concert - Rennes (35)

English indie pop band London Grammar all the way from sunny Nottingham play Le Liberté

Tuesday Nov 21 to Sunday Nov 26 Festival du cinéma russe - Honfleur (14)

The town hosts its annual Russian film festival Festival jazz en Ouche - L’Aigle (61) Jazz festival held in L’Aigle and neighbouring villages featuring some well-known names

Tuesday Nov 21 to Tuesday Nov 28 Festival des 3 continents - Nantes (44)

Arts film festival with films from Africa, Latin America and Asia

Thursday Nov 23 Ciné-concert Charlie Chaplin - Val-Au-Perche (61)

An unusual event where Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Kid’ silent film will be shown with a musical accompaniment from the Kosmofony 25-piece orchestra. It’s at the Cidrerie Traditionnale du Perche. Payable and pre-booking required

Friday Nov 24 Féerie de Noël - Rochefort-en-Terre (56)

Voted as France’s favourite village in 2016, Rochefort-en-Terre turns on its Christmas lights – a beautiful sight! Marché des producteurs de pays - Alençon (61) Local farmers sell their produce in the Halle au Blé from 6pm till 8pm. It’s free entry

Friday Nov 24 to Sunday Nov 26 Puces caennaises - Caen (14)

Huge 11,000 m² flea market where the people of Caen sell their unwanted goods. Plenty of bargains - you’ll just have to find them. Held in the Parc des Expositions and payable

Friday Nov 24 to Monday Nov 27 Salon saga gastronomie - Vannes (56)

Some of France’s best foodstuffs are available to try and buy during this event and plenty of cooking demonstrations throughout the day. Cape Verde is the guest country so expect plenty of food and sounds from there

Saturday Nov 25 Brocante - Deauville (14)

On the place de l’Eglise Saint-Augustin Marché de Noël - Binic (22) Foire à la patouillette - Plancoët (22) A traditional fete featuring market stalls, street entertainment, food, drink, noise and a lot of fun Talents d’Iroise - Saint-Renan (29) Local arts and crafts exhibition and sale. Payable >>p25

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Mini’mag 21


Beauty

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


Beauty

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87 72 500 €

117 875€€ 72 500

123 000€€ 96 500

143 500 € 119 925

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Mini’mag 23


Property

Let your brain take the strain

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

Buying or selling a property can be a daunting, frustrating and stressful experience – and not just in France! – so the more you can do to make the process run smoothly the better. Here are some top tips to help you on your way...

Buying Prepare your wish list. The number of bedrooms, size of garden, garage, outbuildings etc, and separate the ‘must haves’ from the ‘would likes.’ Have a clear idea of what is non-negotiable and what you are prepared to let go if your budget won’t stretch. It pays to be organised. Spreadsheets and checklists can be your friend. Understand the differences between habitable/to refresh/renovation and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Know your limitations on DIY. If an IKEA flatpack baffles you, then you probably won’t be able to renovate a whole house and you don’t want to spend every waking moment of your new life wondering when you are going to be able to truly ‘live’ in your new home. Location is key. Bear in mind that, generally, France can be much more rural than the UK. Everything is likely to be quieter by quite a notch. A small village in the UK will still often be busier than a small village in France. You don’t need to seek out a really isolated home to get a more peaceful environment. It’s easy to feel too isolated, so ensure you pitch this correctly. Your budget is one of the key elements of your search criteria and it’s important to decide how you are going to finance your purchase as early as possible. Taking out a mortgage can increase your spending power and in the current climate of low interest rates can be a great option. A mortgage can also help you secure your French home more quickly, so it’s ready and waiting when you can finally move over. If it’s a holiday home, renting it out for part of the year can help cover your mortgage. If it’s a cash purchase and you need to exchange currency, think about forward booking your rate/locking in your exchange so you know you definitely have the amount you need and what that amount will be.

Chartered Surveyors Property surveys and advisory covering northwest France www.brittanyhousesurveys.com T: +33 (0)2 97 38 50 90 E: office@brittanyhousesurveys.com

Plan your viewings carefully and allow enough time in your schedule for second visits. When you find a property you like, discuss the price and potential offers with your agent. Negotiability can vary and sometimes even the most unlikely of offers can be accepted. Top tips for selling your home >>p26

24 Mini’mag

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Property

YEARS AGO... 25 1992

February 7: The signing of the Maastricht Treaty heralds the foundation of the European Union. Many European governments regard the treaty as a compromise between those who want to move rapidly towards full union and those – especially Britain – who want a looser arrangement. February 15: US serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, pleads guilty but insane to committing the rape, murder and dismemberment of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He is sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment, with a 16th added later. He died in a prison gym in 1994 after being clubbed to death by a fellow inmate. April 12: Euro Disney Resort and its theme park, Euro Disneyland, officially opens in Marne-la-Vallée, east of Paris. A government survey indicates that half a million people in 90,000 cars might attempt to enter the complex. Come mid-day, the car park is half-full, suggesting an attendance of around 25,000. Reasons given for the low turnout include a railway strike and people heeding advice to stay away.

<<p21 Fanfare de la garde républicaine

Saint-Coulomb (35) France’s top mounted cavalry regiment’s band perform at Le Phare. Payable Eglise anglicane marché de Noël - Gratot (50) The local Anglian Church has their Christmas market at the Salles des Fêtes, Le Hommëel

Saturday Nov 25 & Sunday Nov 26 Fête de la coquille St Jacques - Courseulles-sur-Mer (14)

A weekend-long celebration of the scallop and other goodies from the sea! It’s free Marché de Noël - Mandeville-en-Bessin (14) Christmas market held in the Manoir de Douville Marché de Noël - Pont L’Evêque (14) Noël des créateurs - Saint-Vougay (29) Christmas themed arts and crafts expo and sale Marché de Noël - Saint-Brévin-les-Pins (44) Marché de Noël - Agon-Coutainville (50) Foire Sainte-Catherine - Fresnay-sur-Sarthe (72) All the fun of the fair at this huge funfair

Sunday Nov 26

75

YEARS AGO... 1942

January 6: In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, President Roosevelt announces to Congress the largest armaments production in the history of the United States. He says the first year of the new production schedule would result in 45,000 aircraft, 45,000 tanks, 20,000 ant-aircraft guns and eight million tonnes of new ships. July 5: Anne Frank goes into hiding in Amsterdam during World War Two. The 13-year-old had been writing in her diary for less than a month when her family hid in a secret annexe so Anne’s sister, Margot, would not have to be deported to a ‘work camp’. During the 25 months she spent hiding, Anne chronicled both the tensions and difficulties of living in such a confined space for such a long time as well as her struggles with becoming a teenager. The family was found by the Nazis in 1944 and deported to concentration camps. Anne died in the Bergen Belsen camp, aged just 15.

100

16: General Nivelle, YEARS April Commander-in-Chief of the French on the Western Front, launches AGO... Army France’s new offensive with 1.2 million 1 9 1 7 soldiers, claiming he will break through

the German lines and so end World War One. The offensive fails and is abandoned on May 9. French casualties are 187,000, including 29,000 killed. German casualties are 163,000, including more than 15,000 killed. Nivelle is replaced as Commander-in-Chief. July 17: King George IV issues a royal proclamation that changes the name of his family’s royal house to the House of Windsor. It had previously been the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The King and his relatives in Britain relinquish their German titles and adopt British-sounding names. October 15: World War One spy Mata Hari, a Dutch exotic dancer and mistress, is executed by a French firing squad at Vincennes Barracks, just outside Paris. She had been a spy for France but was found guilty of being a double agent and also spying for the Germans.

Marché de Noël - Saint-Caradec (22)

Christmas and local arts and crafts market Marché de Noël - Clohars-Carnoët (29) Small arts and crafts Christmas market in the Salle des Fêtes from 10am Fête des lumières - Pleurtuit (35) An evening celebration of light with flaming torches, spectacle of fire, Christmas carols and hot wine, to mention just a few. From 5.30pm in the centre of town and it’s free Auto rétro - Pornic (44) Local owners of classic cars and motorcycles get together on the quai l’Herminier from 9.30am to 12.30pm. It’s free Croisières des lumières - Laval (53) The switching on of Laval’s Christmas lights Fête de la soupe - La Gacilly (56) A fantastic ‘warming’ event where amateur cooks dot themselves around this famous town and make their own special soupe du jour for you to try and judge who makes the finest broth. From 11am until 2pm. Just buy your own small bowl to join in the fun and bon appétit! Marché de Noël - La Trinité-sur-Mer (56) Brocante - Bellou-en-Houlme (61) Large car boot at the La Chevallerie from 7am Marché de Noël – L’Épinay-le-Comte (61)

Marché de Noël et artisanat d’art

Saint-Philbert-sur-Orne (61) Christmas and local arts and crafts market from 11am Marché de Noël - Montreuil-Le-Chetif (72)

Monday Nov 27 Jamiroquai in concert - Nantes (44)

British soul/funk group Jamiroquai with Jay Kay and his funky foot moves will be playing the Zénith

Monday Nov 27 to Wednesday Nov 29 Courses hippiques - Deauville-La Toquers (14)

And they’re off! Horse racing from 12.30pm at the Hippodrome

Tuesday Nov 28 Concert sandwich ce midi - Saint-Brieuc (22)

Simple idea. You buy a sandwich and eat it while watching the Tristan Le Govic Trio. It’s at La Passerelle at 12.15pm Marché de Noël - Mortain (50) >>p29

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Mini’mag 25


Property <<p24: Top tips for buying your home

Selling All the ‘House Doctor’ rules apply to selling in France as they do all over the world. Clean, fresh, neutral homes appeal. Light is vital, especially natural light from uncluttered windows. Ensure lights are switched on for viewings and add extra lamps to any gloomy spots as required. Kerb appeal is important and first impressions count. An uncluttered approach to the house, a smart front door and tubs of plants out front set a good impression and make your home look cared for Define your rooms, declutter them and ‘dress’ them appropriately. If it’s a bedroom, show it takes a bed. If it’s a dining room, make the dining table the main focus, etc. Create some great smells. Fresh baking, coffee, air-fresheners. Whatever works for you. Eliminate any unpleasant smells, from pets etc. While on the subject of pets, always make sure they are out of the way for viewings. They are a huge distraction. Choose an agent you feel you can work with effectively to sell your home and remember: You are working together. Be focused about wanting to sell and, if the time has genuinely come for you to move on, be prepared to price your house correctly to sell. Bear in mind general market conditions and what your property is actually worth today – not what you paid for it plus a chunk, or what you need for what you want to buy elsewhere. Be realistic. A property attracts the most attention when it first comes on to the market. If it is priced correctly, you are more likely to sell it quickly. Give clients space during viewings. Don’t bombard them with information. Let them take things in generally, let them absorb the feel of the property and let them have a really good look around. Any offer deserves serious consideration and you should weigh up the whole picture. It can be a long process to sell a house in France. Maybe the offer is lower than you would have liked, but what price being able to move on with your plans? 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

26 Mini’mag

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Making sure everything Making sure everything goes to plan goes for yourto property i plan for your inProperty France! Planningproperty Applications & Design For your planning needs anywhere in France

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Property An Israeli woman’s battle with a cockroach ended with her husband in hospital with burns, a broken pelvis and broken ribs. The Jerusalem Post reported that the woman, frightened by the cockroach, stepped on it, threw it into the toilet and then sprayed a whole can of insecticide on it when it refused to give up and die. Her husband came home from work, went to the toilet and lit a cigarette. When he threw the butt into the bowl, the fumes ignited “seriously burning his sensitive parts.” When the paramedics who were called to the house arrived they laughed so much they dropped the stretcher down the stairs, breaking the husband’s pelvis and ribs.

*Fancy

That! *

Dennis Newton was on trial in America for the armed robbery of a convenience store when he dispensed with the services of his lawyer. Apparently Newton was doing quite a good job of defending himself until the store manager testified that Newton was the robber. Newton jumped up, shouted that the woman was a liar and then said: “I should have blown your head off.” He then realised what he had said and added: “If I’d been the one that was there.” The jury didn’t take too long to convict him!

PROPERTY OWNERS Do you need the services of a local property Manager? Do you want to increase your income from holiday lets?

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of an English keyboard. The kiss given by the bride to the groom at the end of their wedding ceremony is said to originate from ancient times, when the couple would actually make love for the first time under the eyes of most of the village. Bet Grandma choked on her dry sherry when that happened! World War One German spy Peter Karpin was arrested by French intelligence agents in 1914 as he entered the country. The French kept his capture a secret and sent fake reports from Karpin to Germany and intercepted the agent’s wages and expense money for three years, until Karpin escaped in 1917. The French bought a car with the funds which, in 1919 in the occupied Ruhr, accidentally ran down and killed a man… who proved to be Peter Karpin!

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Having a bad day? Spare a thought for a Maryland, USA, woman dressed only in her undies (don’t ask!) who lost her balance while laying lino in her kitchen and fell right into the REGISTERED – INSURED – POLICE CHECKED glue she had spread on the floor. She became stuck to the floor but managed to free herself and call the emergency services. When the ambulance crew arrived they found her sitting on her sofa. She was now glued to the sofa. She had crossed her legs. Her legs were now glued together. Her mobile phone was also glued to her hand. The emergency crew worked for hours to get her free, using solvent-dipped gauze pads. The woman refused to be taken to hospital. She probably wanted to stick around at home! Mini’mag 27 To advertise in Le Mini'mag please call 02 99 91 59 77


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28 Mini’mag

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A

little girl is sitting with her grandfather, studying the wrinkles on his face. She rubs her fingers over his wrinkles, then touches her own face, looking more puzzled. “Grandpa, did God make you?” “He certainly did, my dear,” replies her grandpa, “but it was a long time ago.” “Well,” asks the girl, “did God make me?” “Yes, he did, and that wasn’t too long ago,” answers grandpa. “Crumbs,” says the little girl, “he’s certainly doing a better job these days, isn’t he?”

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Now is the R-ight time to insulate Nights are drawing in and cold winter days will soon be with us again, leaving that summer sunshine as a distant memory. It’s time, says Ian Hackshall, to think about updating your home insulation. If you’re thinking about topping up existing insulation, or sorting out those hard-to-get-at areas that have never been done, one way is to blow loose insulating material into those areas. These materials are available in many forms, but the two most common are chopped fibreglass (flocon de laine de verre) or chopped Rockwool (flocon de Rockwool). Many builders’ merchants will loan you the machine for free to do the work if you buy the insulation from them. Another way is to buy rolls or panels of insulation and feed them into any empty spaces, but that can be hard to do in small, non-insulated areas. Choosing the insulation best for your home can be difficult as there are now so many different types available, but checking out the performance and cost of the insulation can help you make a more informed choice. All insulation you can buy in France has an ‘R’ value (M2 k/w) which gives you the product’s thermal resistance. For example, 100mm thickness of fibreglass insulation you can find in rolls on the shelves of almost any builders’ merchants will have an R value of around 2.5 stamped on the label as R=2.5. So a roll 200mm thick would normally have a value of R=5. White polystyrene is about the same thermal value as fibreglass, at R=2.5 for 100mm of thickness, while dense polystyrene (Kingspan type), usually found in blue or yellow, is R=2.5 for 60mm thickness. Some new-build houses in France are now looking to put insulation in their roofs to an equivalent of R=8 or even more! So, having worked out what the R value is, if you find 200mm of fibreglass at €4 per square metre for R=5 and 200mm of rockwool at €6.10 for R=5, then it becomes fairly obvious that fibreglass is the better value for money. When applying your insulation in rolls or panels, you need to make sure everything is as airtight as possible, taping up any joints in the rolls or panels if you can without compressing things too much. You also need to make sure there is a vapour barrier between the room and the insulation to prevent moisture getting into the insulation and so reducing its efficiency. This vapour barrier is usually incorporated into this type of insulation in the form of brown paper. From that barrier, the insulation should be allowed to breathe towards the outside of the building without any other barrier (such as cement render or polythene) hindering the flow of moisture. This is also an important reason why we need to ventilate our homes as much as possible. That reduces the moisture in the air and so keeps the fabric of the building as dry as possible. It stands to reason that the drier the walls and insulation are, the more thermal efficient the building will be. No-one wants to spend money they don’t have to. The more insulated and airtight you can make your home in France, the more cash you’ll save trying to heat it. Simple!

Artisans <<p25

December

Friday Dec 1 Legends of rock - Rennes (35)

Three hours of the sounds of AC/DC, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses will be heard at Le Liberté from tribute bands – it’s gonna be LOUD!

Friday Dec 1 to Sunday Dec 3 Marché de Noël - Lisieux (14) Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Le Mans (72)

Large expo featuring the best of France’s famous produce is on display for you to try and buy – just in time for Xmas. Payable

Friday Dec 1 to Tuesday January 2 Les hivernales - Falaise (14)

With exhibitions, Christmas concerts, activities, street entertainment, Christmas market, horse and cart rides, pony rides for the kids, food stalls and fireworks. Falaise is enchanted throughout December and most of it is free!

Saturday Dec 2 Tribute Fest IX - Caen (14)

The sounds of AC/DC, Dire Straits, Van Halen and ZZ Top will be played by various tribute bands at the Le Cargö Marché de Noël - Pont L’Evêque (14) Marché de Noël - Merdrignac (22) Fête de la soupe - Châteaulin (29) A fantastic ‘warming’ event where amateur cooks make their own special soupe du jour for you to try and judge who makes the finest broth - bon appétit! Concert des Rabeats - Gorron (53) This excellent Beatles tribute band will be playing at the Espace Colmont. Payable

Saturday Dec 2 & Sunday Dec 3 Marché de Noël - Courseulles-sur-Mer (14) Marché de Noël - Creully-sur-Seulles (14)

Christmas market at the Prieuré Saint-Gabriel – Saturday afternoon and from 10am on Sunday La coquille Saint-Jacques en fête - Grandcamp-Maisy (14) Yes, it’s ‘coquille crazy’ time again with this annual festival celebrating the scallop fresh from the boats. Visit the stalls and taste the freshly-grilled scallops soused in a bewildering variety of spices and marinades or just on their own Noël au château - Thury-Harcourt (14) Christmas market and various events taking place at the chateau, including fireworks on Saturday night. From 12pm to 7pm Fête de la coquille Saint-Jacques - Trouville-sur-Mer (14) Another weekend long celebration of the scallop and other goodies from the sea! It’s free Téléthon rando moto - Trédarzec (22) Ride out on motorcycles to raise money for this year’s Téléthon Charity Marché de Noël - Saint-Suliac (35) Marché de Noël - Sucé-sur-Erdre (44) Marché de Noël - Blainville-sur-Mer (50) Marché de Noël - Fougerolles-du-Plessis (53) Les 24H de Ploeren - Ploeren (56) Not quite as fast as the famous Le Mans 24H motor race as this is an endurance race on foot with walks lasting 6 hours, >>p31 12 hours and a feet-blistering 24 hours!

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Mini’mag 29


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• All types of fosse / Covering Septic tanks emptied 40kms f o s iu d a • Grease traps cleaned a r loërmel around P • Fosse cleansing • Blocked drains cleared 30 Mini’mag

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Artisans

Laugh Out Loud! woman goes into a pharmacy, walks up A tomarried the counter, looks the pharmacist straight in

the eyes and says: “I would like to buy some fast-acting poison for humans.” The bewildered pharmacist asks: “Why, what for?” The woman replies: “I need to poison my husband.” The dumbfounded pharmacist screams: “Lord have mercy! It’s against the law. It’s a sin.” “Absolutely not,” replies the woman. And she reaches into her handbag and pulls out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist’s wife. The pharmacist takes one look at the picture, leans over to the woman and says: “Why didn’t you tell me you had a prescription?” n 80-year-old woman is arrested for shop-lifting. The judge asks her: “What did you steal?” She replies: “A can of peaches.” When the judge asks her why she stole them she replies that she was hungry. The judge then asks her how many peaches were in the can and she says she stole six. The judge then says: “I will give you six days in jail.” But before he can pronounce the sentence the woman’s husband asks the judge if he can say something. When asked what, the husband replies: “She also stole a can of peas.” husband and wife are arguing in bed one night. When the husband has finally had enough he goes downstairs to sleep on the settee. Next day the wife, feeling bad about what had happened, decides to buy her husband a gift. As he’s a big golf fan, she goes to his golf club pro shop, where the pro suggests one of his finest putters. “How much is it?” she asks. “£200,” says the pro. When she tells him she thinks it a little expensive, he says: “But it comes with an inscription.” “What kind of inscription?” asks the wife. “Whatever you want,” says the pro. “An old golfer’s favourite is ‘Never Up, Never In’.” “Oh no,” says the wife. “That’ll never do. That’s what started the argument in the first place!” ne-liners to share: Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving... Having one child makes you a parent, having two makes you a referee... Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right – and the other is the husband... Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired... It doesn’t matter how many times a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss...

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<<p29 Saturday Dec 2 to Saturday Jan 6 Concours des villes et villages illuminés

Bocage Ornais and South Calvados (14, 61) Now in its 21st year here you drive around a set route and see the fantastic Christmas lights lighting up both homes and local towns and villages. This is the largest circuit of this type in France, attracting over 150,000 visitors each year

Sunday Dec 3 Marché de Noël - Cambremer (14) Brocante - Honfleur (14)

Large car boot from 8am on the place Sainte-Catherine. It’s free entry Marché de Noël - Saint-Gabriel-Brécy (14) Christmas market at Le Prieuré from 10am Wes Mackey in concert - Callac (22) This fabulous and renowned 70-year-old American Blues guitarist will be playing at Le Bacardi. Payable AIKB marché de Noël - Gouarec (22) Anglo-French traditional Christmas Fayre and local arts and crafts market Marché de Noël - Cléder (29) Marché de Noël - Plonévez-Porzay (29) Marché de Noël - Plouégat-Guerrand (29)

Bourse d’échange pièces auto-moto

Saint-Hilaire-de-Chaléons (44) Sale of classic and vintage parts for cars and motorbikes Marché de Noël - Ger (50) Marché de Noël - Saint-Jean-le-Thomas (50) Puces de Noël - Pontivy (56) Huge secondhand goods, flea market and Christmas fair. Held in the Parc des Expositions from 9am and payable Les Jardins de la Mansonière - Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei (61) Take this opportunity to wander around these wonderful gardens for free – from 2-6pm Marché de Noël - Tuffé (72) Christmas market at the Abbaye de Tuffé

Monday Dec 4 to Tuesday Jan 2 Mont Saint-Michel - Mont Saint-Michel (50)

Various activities take place and plenty of special illuminations so see the magical Mont Saint-Michel lit up from 6pm every evening

Tuesday Dec 5 Sarah McCoy in concert - Alençon (61)

You’ve heard about the ‘Real McCoy’? Sarah McCoy is just that. She’s a little bit Bessie Smith, a little bit Amy Winehouse, maybe a touch of Fiona Apple, with a soupçon of Janis Joplin and a touch of Tom Waits—and some Aretha thrown in for good measure. Payable

Tuesday Dec 5 & Wednesday Dec 6 Courses hippiques - Deauville-La Toques (14)

And they’re off! Horse racing from 12.30pm at the Hippodrome

Wednesday Dec 6 to Sunday Dec 10 Festival NoBorder - Brest (29)

Music festival featuring jazz and new world music Les Rencontres Trans Musicales - Rennes (35) One of France’s oldest and most famous music festivals, the ‘Trans Musicales’ shifts away from its outdoor summer format to spread itself across every available indoor venue in the city, with up and coming bands and artists from around >>p33 the world

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Mini’mag 31


Technology

Q &A

Microsoft Windows 10

So, you’ve finally taken the plunge, said goodbye to your old, much-loved PC and splashed out on a shiny new model with all the latest bells and whistles... and Windows 10. Here we answer some common questions asked by those new to Microsoft’s latest operating system. Q: How do I create a Microsoft account? A: It’s best to have a Microsoft account to get the best out of 10. It is basically an email account you can create here: www.outlook.com Many people may already have a Microsoft account/email ending in @outlook, @hotmail, @live etc. Q: How do I add a Microsoft account to Windows 10? A: Once you have your account use the Windows logo key + i for ‘Settings.’ Click ‘Accounts’. Click ‘Sign in with Microsoft account.’ Type in your personal information and Windows will change your ‘offline’ account to a Microsoft account. Q: How do I run or check for Windows updates? A: Updates are automatic in 10. When you switch your computer on it will automatically check for updates. However, if you want to check for yourself use the Windows logo key + i for ‘Settings.’ Click ‘Update and security.’ Click ‘Check for updates.’

32 Mini’mag

Q: What is Microsoft Edge? Is it only on 10? A: Edge is the new Internet Explorer and is available on all devices using Windows 10. It got off to a shaky start but now it is becoming a good web browser. Q: What is Cortana? A: It’s Windows 10’s new assistant, named after a character from Microsoft’s game Halo. It can help with setting reminders and helping with everyday tasks like web searches, weather reports and a list of commands in Windows. If your PC has a built-in microphone and is set up correctly, you can ask Cortana a question by just saying ‘Hey Cortana.’ Cortana is available on all the latest Microsoft products running 10, such as Windows 10 phone and Xbox One. Q: How do I enable Cortana? A: To show Cortana, right-click the Taskbar, hover over Cortana and then select ‘Show Cortana icon’ from the side menu. Left-click on the ‘O’ Cortana icon. Click on the settings tab to change settings to give Cortana permission to access your data. Q: How do I set up Cortana to respond to my voice? A: Select the Cortana icon on the Taskbar, then select ‘Settings.’ Under Hey Cortana, switch the toggle to On. Q: Windows 10 has slowed down. Why? A: There are many reasons why a computer or Windows

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might slow down, from hardware like a faulty hard drive or software that might be running in the background while unused. Viruses and malware can cause slowdowns and Windows could also be doing background stuff like checking updates. Q: How can I make it faster? A: If the problem is hardware, it would need to be properly diagnosed. If you have recently installed new software, try removing that first. In some cases you might need specialised software to forcibly remove it. You could try scanning with Defender antivirus (free with Windows 10) or force Windows to do some maintenance. It can also help to leave your computer on for a while so it can do its own updates and maintenance. Q: Why has the internet gone slow? A: Assuming your internet speed was previously OK, check if it’s only one device with the problem. If it’s more than one device there could be a problem with the modem or the phone line. Try one device at a time. If it’s just the one computer it could be Windows 10 and its update. Windows 10 relies heavily on the internet and this can slow down the speed at times. Microsoft’s next big update is due soon and could take several hours to download, depending on your internet speed. With thanks to Peter Cross Owner - Orne Communications 02 33 30 83 64 www.orne-communications.fr - info@orne-communications.fr

Technology <<p31 Thursday Dec 7 Monthly brunch - Notre Dame-du-Touchet (50)

Cancer Support France has their monthly brunch. Full English breakfast available specially cooked to order from 10am to 1pm. Full English 7€, bacon sandwich 3€ including tea or coffee. Why not go along, meet new people and discover what Cancer Support France is all about. The Fleshtones in concert - Le Mans (72) American R&B / Garage Rock band celebrate their 40th anniversary rocking the L’Oasis. Payable

Thursday Dec 7 to Sunday Dec 10 Marché de Noël - Laval (53)

Friday Dec 8 Marché de Noël - Assérac (44)

Friday Dec 8 to Sunday Dec 10 Marché Noël - Orbec (14)

Christmas market 6pm-9pm Saturday, 10am-6pm Sunday Les écuries du Pére Noël - Lamballe (22) The stables of the Haras are converted into a wonderful Christmas market and Father Christmas will be there with his little helpers. It’s free Marché de Noël - Perros-Guirec (22) Salon de la création et des métiers d’art - Nantes (44) Arts and crafts exhibition and sale held in the Cité des Congrès attracting over 5,000 visitors last year. Payable Marché de Noël - Jullouville (50)

Saturday Dec 9 Marché de Noël - Houlgate (14) Jazz au pays de Redon - Redon (35)

There’s live jazz music playing at this event Marché de Noël - Nort-sur-Erdre (44) Marché de Noël - Nozay (44) Marché de Noël - Barenton (50) Marché de Noël - Le Faouët (56) Foire aux dindes - Sées (61) Another turkey fair where you can pick up your Christmas dinner and many other seasonal delights. Morning only Marché de Noël - Bonnetable (72) Marché de Noël - Sougé-le-Ganelon (72)

Saturday Dec 9 & Sunday Dec 10 Marché de Noël - Creully-sur-Seulles (14)

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Christmas market at the Château de Creully – Saturday afternoon and from 10am on Sunday Marché de Noël - Ouistreham (14) Christmas market on place Albert Lemarignier Marché de Noël - Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (14) A beautiful covered Xmas market with over 150 stalls held under one of France’s largest medieval halls. Saturday 11am11pm, Sunday 10am-6pm. It’s free Marché de Noël - Saint-Renan (29) Marché de Noël - Saint-Suliac (35) Marché de Noël - Blain (44) Marché de Noël - Carentan-les-Marais (50) Marché de Noël - Picauville (50) Marché de Noël - Sourdeval (50) Marché de Noël - Damgan (56) Marché de Noël - Bellême (61) Exposition féline internationale - Mortagne-au-Perche (61) Cat show – no dogs allowed! >>p37

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Mini’mag 33


Finishing Touches

Getting the balance right Shabby chic style – sometimes also known as farmhouse or cottage style and similar to French country style – is a warm, friendly décor to have. Many people love it because of all its imperfections. Here Sue Riley explains how to get the look in your home. I’ve never had a problem with a shabby look! In England I bought cheap pieces of furniture, applied several coats of paint, sanded, rubbed down, waxed, et voila! However, when I moved to France I became far more aware of that delicate balance between shabby and chic. It’s not necessary to immediately attack a piece of furniture or a lovely old wall with the latest ‘in’ shade of grey. Be patient. Live with the piece for a few weeks, move it around, find out where it settles in. Become aware of how natural or artificial light casts beams of sunshine or shadows onto its surface. Also be practical. Look at the spaces between the furniture, be aware of radiators and electric points. Don’t overcrowd a room, sometimes less is more. This is the beginning of the chic.

34 Mini’mag

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Finishing Touches I’ve had some pieces of furniture moving around my house for several years before I realised they had found the right place and they never moved again. Although I had to paint some rooms when I moved in, the kitchen and bathroom walls remain in their original state and, though I feel they are truly beautiful and shabby chic, I have had friends comment that a coat of paint would be an improvement! We all have our own approach to interior design and you have to have confidence in yours. I never use strong colours, but introduce some with fresh flowers and green plants. If you’re convinced the way forward is to paint something, be sensitive. Several thin coats of nearly the same colour adds depth and age. What’s the point of making a piece look like it’s just been painted? It does take time, but the end result is well worth the effort. I also believe you can mix and match. I have some relatively new but scruffy metal chairs that look fabulous with an old oak table. However, I can’t bear seeing a lovely antique that has been attacked by a paint job. There are limits! I have several buffets (sideboards) scattered around, two of them I tolerated for several years but I’ve now painted them and they look so much better. The others I wouldn’t dream

of touching except to wax. They may not be in fashion, but they are just too beautiful to paint. I’m often up at 5.30 on a Sunday morning to visit a good vide grenier and when I get home I clean/wash/polish my latest treasures and find homes for them. Chandeliers and candelabras are my passion and fit in well with the shabby chic look. Mirrors also reflect the light and bring a new dimension to a room. I visited a lovely old chateau a few years ago which the owner had restored to an incredible level of shabby chic. I was a little worried about the piles of woodworm dust around the chairs, but a wall with around 40 mirrors hanging, all shapes and sizes, was inspired. It was a wonderful experience and I came away feeling the key to that house, with its incredible ambience, was that one doesn’t compromise. Easier said than done. So with all these considerations in mind, be brave and adventurous on one hand but thoughtful and sensitive on the other and you’ll create a beautiful home, “très shabby chic”! With thanks to

Sue Riley Owner, La Galerie Enchantée suerileybeauxarts@yahoo.com Tel: 02 33 37 20 48 www.suerileybeauxarts.com

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Mini’mag 35


Motoring

French Classics

Citröen Traction Avant (1934-1957)

A hi-tech ground-breaker This is one of the most influential cars ever built. Launched more than 80 years ago, it was packed with pioneering technology and set the template for today’s family saloons. The car’s hi-tech mechanicals – its lightweight all-steel monocoque design (no chassis), being the first frontwheel-drive production car for the masses and its independent torsion-bar suspension – were the brainchild of André Lefebvre, who went on to design Citröen’s 2CV and DS models. Yet the car nearly didn’t happen as huge development costs had plunged Citröen deep into the red before Michelin bought them out in 1935.

I’ve got one! Chris Bailey’s holiday romance began in the early 1980s, when he spotted a beautiful grey Traction on the roadside in St Tropez. But he had to wait until 1999 before he bought one, a 1955 1.9ltr black 11B Normale. ‘I paid £2000, which was a good price then. I didn’t know much about Tractions but I was willing to take a chance. Apart from corrosion on the bottom of the doors – a common fault – it was in reasonably good condition. One important thing to look out for when buying a Traction is that the body structure is in good order. It doesn’t have a chassis as such as it’s a monocoque design, so it’s imperative the floor pan seals and engine mounting points (jambonneaux) are rust-free. ‘Because there’s no transmission tunnel running through the inside, it sits lower to the ground than other cars of that time. For a car that was designed pre-Second World War, it drives 36 Mini’mag

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Motoring Early cars had a 1.3ltr four-cylinder petrol engine, which was underpowered. Stronger 1.5, 1.6 and 1.9 engines came along before, in 1947, a 2.9ltr six-cylinder motor was introduced. All engines were mated to a standard threespeed manual gearbox. There were body styles for almost every occasion. The 11B Normale and the 11BL Légère (Light) are the most common, while there’s also the Familiale (the first people carrier, which seats nine), the Commerciale (the first hatchback, with removable seats that doubles up as a carrier), the rare and sought-after Cabriolet and the even rarer Coupé. Gone are the days when you’d regularly see a Traction at the roadside with a price tag of around £500. Today you can expect to pay around £11,000 for a Normale or a Légère in good order.

<<p33 Marché de Noël - Ancinnes (72)

Christmas market at the Manoir de Couesme

Sunday Dec 10 Courses hippiques - Vire (14)

And they’re off! Horse racing from 12pm at the Hippodrome. It’s free

Rassemblement des ‘belles du port de Dahouët’ Pléneuf-val-André (22) Meeting of classic and vintage cars and motorcyles Marché de Noël - Rostrenen (22) Marché de Noël - Sainte-Suzanne-et-Chammes (53) Marché de Noël - Noyal-Muzillac (56) Foire Saint-Nicolas - Bagnoles de l’Orne (61) Autumn market and car boot in the centre of town Marché de Noël - Saint-Léonard-des-Bois (72)

Monday Dec 11 Rufus Wainwright in concert - Rennes (35)

This talented American-Canadian singer song writer will be playing at the Théâtre Nationale de Bretagne. Payable

Tuesday Dec 12 Rufus Wainwright in concert - Vannes (56)

Once again this talented American-Canadian singer song writer will be playing, but this time at the Théâtre Anne de Bretagne. Payable

Wednesday Dec 13

When the final car rolled off the production line in 1957, with almost 760,000 having been made, rivals were still trying to catch up. Many of the Traction’s innovations are now commonplace. That’s why it ranks not only as one of the finest Citröens ever built, but also one of the greatest cars of all time.

Jazz au pays de Redon - Redon (35)

Do you own a classic French car? Would you like to share your experiences, good or bad? Email mick@leminimag.com

An unmissable arts and crafts market on the place de la Mairie dedicated to what is known as the Fire Art. Some of the finest creations from over 50 potters, glass, metalworkers and mosaic artists

well and more than keeps up with today’s traffic, cruising happily around 60mph. The gearbox has synchro in second and third, but not in first. Changing gear takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it’s fun. ‘Open one of the rear-hinged front doors and the inside’s a bit spartan, but there’s plenty of room. The steering’s a little heavy but precise at low speeds and the supple suspension makes it nice and stable around corners. ‘A Traction is an affordable classic car, pretty rugged and reliable despite its delicate looks. And driving it makes you feel pretty special as well. I regularly have people wave at me. Some times they even salute! VIVE LA TRACTION.’

There’s live jazz music playing at this event

Thursday Dec 14 to Saturday Dec 16 Courses hippiques - Deauville-La Toquers (14)

And they’re off! Horse racing from 12.30pm at the Hippodrome

Thursday Dec 14 to Sunday Dec 17 Les arts du feu - Rennes (35)

Friday Dec 15 Marché de Noël - Quimperlé (29) Small Christmas market

Jazz au pays de Redon - Redon (35)

There’s live jazz music playing at this event

Friday Dec 15 to Sunday Dec 17 Marché de Noël - Pleyben (29)

Christmas market – Friday 4pm-7.30pm, then all day Saturday and Sunday Salon des vins et de la gastronomie - Cherbourg (50) Medium sized event featuring the best of France’s famous produce is on display for you to try and buy – just in time for Xmas. Payable

Saturday Dec 16 Brocante - Deauville (14)

On the place de l’Eglise Saint-Augustin Marché de Noël - Livarot (14) Marché de Noël - Corlay (22) Jazz au pays de Redon - Redon (35) There’s live jazz music playing at this event Marché de Noël suedois - Mesquer (44) A Swedish-themed Christmas market

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>>p41

Mini’mag 37


Gardening

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hile visiting a primary school, an inspector interviewing the headmistress beomes irritated by the noise the children are making in the next room. Angrily, he opens the door and grabs one of the taller girls who seems to be doing most of the talking. He drags her into the head’s office, stands her in the corner and orders her to remain absolutely silent. A couple of minutes later, a small boy pokes his head round the office door and begs: “Please Sir, may we have our teacher back?”

Curries straight from the garden Forget packets, jars and frozen takeaways, why not grow one of Britain’s most popular dishes – the good old curry – with produce from your own French garden. Malcom Casson tells you how... Brushing past the frost-tender Helychrisum Italicum (also known as the curry plant), tonight’s menu is decided as its evocative scent assails the senses. It is possible, with some planning, to go off to the garden and collect not only the basic ingredients, but also the majority of the herbs and spices, to make your curry the freshest you’ve ever had. A Thai curry comes to mind, so for a yellow curry paste the veg patch is my first destination. Chilli peppers, a Central American plant originally, come in an ever-increasing range of sizes and colours and you can choose a variety which provides a level of heat to suit you. Easily grown from seed sown in a

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little heat in spring, they will fruit outside in our climate, with perhaps a sunny windowsill to ripen later ones. A medium-heat orange Cayenne or two is popped into the basket for today. The next choice is garlic. Now is the time to consider planting cloves about 6” apart, just under the surface of the soil, so they get a bit of Home-grown Elephant garlic drying in the greenhouse growth in before the cold arrives. That cold helps bulb development. If you find the taste too strong, try the milder Elephant garlic (actually from the leek family) but it doesn’t have garlic’s storage capabilities. Shallots come next and are usually planted as sets 6-8” apart in early spring. However, why not try banana shallots, grown from seed sown in March. They grow larger than traditionally-shaped ones and are much easier to handle in the kitchen. Onions can be used but they are generally too strong for Banana shallots can be grown from seed in March today’s curry choice. However, some are picked for a bhaji side dish. Similarly, a few potatoes are added to the wheelbarrow for Bombay potatoes, while a cucumber and a few sprigs of mint could also be picked for a cooling raita. Now for the lemon grass. Frost-tender, this is a good pot choice grown from seed in the spring or from rooting fresh shop-bought shoots in water. It has the added benefit of being a mosquito repellent. The clue is in the French name: Citronnelle.

Grow lemon grass from seed in spring or try rooting shop-bought shoots in water

Gardening Ginger can be propagated from a plump ‘hand’ from your shopping, splitting it so each piece has a nascent shoot in a pot as frost-tender. Turmeric can be grown in a similar way, but finding a rhizome in France is challenging. However, the annuals coriander and cumin can both be raised from seed. If you prefer the coriander leaf rather than the seed, keep it in a shadier spot.

Helychrisum Italicum. Or perhaps better known as the curry plant

Add some pepper and cinnamon from your store cupboard – they are too tropical to grow in our climate – and perhaps a few anchovies or Thai Fish Sauce as a replacement (half a teaspoon per anchovy) and you have your curry paste ingredients complete. Back into the garden for some courgettes/marrows or squash to use as the main ingredient – or perhaps some eggs or that annoying cockerel! – and the meal is complete bar the cooking. If you want a more ‘English’ taste, tomatoes can be added to the dish, but then they could also form the basis of tomorrow’s Central/South American-inspired salsa. Add garlic, coriander and some hotter serrano or habanero chillis (or perhaps not!) to the tomatoes or, for a more authentic twist, replace the tomatoes with their tarter cousins, tomatillos. They are easily grown from seed sown with a little heat in spring and don’t have blight issues. You could also throw in a handful of Mexican cucamelons, grape-sized cucumber-flavoured fruits (from annuals here from a spring sowing). Then all that’s left is to sit and enjoy a healthy, warming meal while planning next year’s garden and, of course, all those curries.

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Mini’mag 39


Nature, Animals & Pet care

Apiculture: It’s

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It takes 12 worker bees their entire lives to make just one teaspoon of honey. That fact alone may help you decide if you want to join the evergrowing band of beekeepers in France. As Gregg Bennett points out, being an apiculteur is much more than just collecting honey in a silly white suit. It’s quite easy to get started here in France and anyone can do it, male or female, from nine to 90. It’s a rewarding and relaxing pastime and you don’t need a lot of land. You can put bees almost anywhere: On top of your garage, in a distant field, or at the bottom of your garden. It’s better to fence them away from animals just in case your horse decides it has found a wonderful wooden scratching post or your dog cocks his leg in the wrong place. Try to always think of honey bees not as thousands of individuals but as a collective working towards the same goal. Each colony/swarm/hive is an individual that is thriving or failing as a whole. Also remember that there are many ways to keep bees and two beekeepers that agree are about as rare as hens teeth. Your first step should be to find someone to mentor you, be it a local apiculteur group, a nearby beekeeper or, in my case, people online to help with advice. Having someone

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The queen is often marked by the beekeeper to help distinguish it from the rest of the colony

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the bees knees! local means they can pop round and give you on-the-spot advice. Don’t forget to bribe them with a bottle of wine! An important question to ask yourself is, do you want a managed approach to keeping bees or a more natural one? Managed means treating your bees much like you would a sheep or a cow. They are there to make you honey and you manage them in the best way possible to that end. The natural approach is to leave them mostly alone and take just the smallest amount of honey, if at all. This is massively over-simplifying things, but it essentially means by how much do you want to interfere in the life of your bees. I have hives that adhere to both approaches, because that’s how I like it. If you’ve had a chance to take a course or see in a friend’s hive, then the next step is to remortgage your house! Beekeeping tends not to be cheap, but it can be relatively painless if you’re Dadant nucs lined up on parade careful. For the natural approach you could build a Warré topbar hive, meaning the wax is not on frames but just a bar that they build their own wax down from. It’s simple, can be built for as little as 30 euros, is good for the bees but allows less interaction. For the managed approach, Dadants are the main hive used in France. There are many different types used in the UK, but here it is a lot easier if you need a spare frame of eggs and brood or want to buy a nuc (a small nucleus colony) if you can just transfer the same size frame. Dadants cost around 100 euros and for that you get a brood box (where the queen lays her eggs), a super (where the bees store extra honey), a floor, roof and frames. This kind of hive is big and heavy, so it’s best sited somewhere with easy access for some kind of trolley to help move things about. A full super of honey can weigh around 40lbs when full, so if you’ve got a bad back >>p42

Nature, Animals & Pet care <<p37 Marché de Noël - Vigneux-de-Bretagne (44) Marché de Noël - Sarzeau (56) Marché de Noël - Bagnoles-de-l’Orne (61)

Saturday Dec 16 & Sunday Dec 17 Marché de Noël - Villers-sur-Mer (14) Sugoi - Rennes (35)

The festival of Japanese comic books with manga, cosplay, video games, pop and the feel and buzz of the streets of Akihabara. Held at the Parc Expo and payable Marché de Noël - Grandchamps-des-Fontaines (44) Marché Noël - Villedieu-les-Poêles (50) Marché de Noël - Bellême (61)

Sunday Dec 17 Marché de Noël - Beuvron-en-Auge (14) Marché de Noël - Dives-sur-Mer (14) Marché de Noël - Maël-Carhaix (22) Marché de Noël - Quévert (22) Marché de Noël - Cléden-Cap-Sizun (29) Marché de Noël - Gavray (50) Marché de Noël - Sainte-Mère-Église (50) Marché de Noël - Gourin (56) Marché de Noël - La Gacilly (56) Chants de Noël - Kergrist (56)

Traditional Christmas carols will be performed in French and English in the chapelle Saint-Mérec Marché de Noël - Muzillac (56) Baignade des otaries - Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys (56) Now in its 22nd year, this event attracts over 2,000 spectators and features a bracing dip in the sea by 500 locals, many of whom are in fancy dress – so expect plenty of laughs. It takes place at 3pm on the plage du Goh Velin. It’s free! Brocante - Bellou-en-Houlme (61) Large car boot at the La Chevallerie from 7am

Monday Dec 18 Marché de Noël - Le Faouët (56)

Tuesday Dec 19 Marché de Noël - Ernée (53)

Wednesday Dec 20 Marché de Noël - La Ferté-Macé (61) Christmas market from 2pm to 8pm

Thursday Dec 21 Cours de danse Keili - Pontchâteau (44)

Learn some traditional Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English country dancing steps ‘Cèilidh’ with Rachel Goodwin. Or pop down if you play a traditional instrument. From 8pm to 10pm at Coët Roz, Salle de Loisirs. First session is free

Friday Dec 22 Visite nocturne et fêtes de fin d’année - Honfleur (14)

The Office de Tourisme will be having a seasonal evening guided walk around the town at 6pm – in French and pre-booking required. Payable Courses hippiques - Pontchâteau (44) And they’re off! Trotting and steeplechase horse racing from 12pm at the Hippodrome

Friday Dec 22 & Saturday Dec 23 Marché de Noël - Siouville-Hague (50)

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>>p42

Mini’mag 41


Nature, Animals & Pet care <<p41 Sunday Dec 24 Bain de fin d’année - Agon-Coutainville (50)

Chill out on Xmas eve with a swim in the sea with the locals. It takes place at 12pm

Monday Dec 25 It’s Christmas!

Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas

Tuesday Dec 26 & Wednesday Dec 27 Courses hippiques - Deauville-La Toquers (14)

And they’re off! Boxing day horse racing from 12.30pm at the Hippodrome

Thursday Dec 28 to Saturday Dec 30 Salon antiquités-brocante - Pont L’Evêque (14) Antique and secondhand goods fair. Payable You can catch a swarm fairly easily to increase your colony

<<p41 it might be worth getting a smaller hive. It might be harder to get one in France, but at least you won’t hurt yourself. Just to confuse matters, you could have a Dadant with top bars and a Warré with frames. Some people hollow out old logs and let the bees live as naturally as possible. So long as they’re dry and have roughly as much room as a football, they will find a way to make it work for them. Next you’ll need a bee suit and gloves, smoker and hive tool (imagine a flattened, small crowbar, which is what it’s used for). You can get a basic starter kit with all that for 60-100 euros. Now you just need your bees. These can cost from 90-150 euros for one colony (normally bought as frames with bees clinging to them, with eggs and larvae and a queen which you transfer into your own hive). You can catch a swarm for free fairly easily and once you have one or two colonies it’s likely they will swarm on their own or with your help. So future free swarms are a good way to increase your numbers as you slowly feed your new bee addiction. The amount of time spent beekeeping is up to you. From October to March you do almost nothing. The rest of the year, if managed, you check them weekly. You could not inspect them at all (the natural approach), but it’s better to do it at least once a month if only to make sure they have honey stores. You may lose swarms that way, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re more worried about not being able to go on holiday. So what is so special about beekeeping? I am fascinated by how much there is to learn and harnessing such an amazing insect. For others it can let them see how wondrous bees are just by watching and not interfering in their lives. Either way, you’ll gain an insight into one of nature’s most fascinating creatures. Not to mention all that delicious honey! Gregg Bennett is administrator of the Beekeeping in France Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BeeksinFrance/ Email: gregglhbennett@gmail.com Pictures courtesy of Richard Noel www.beesinbrittany.blogspot.fr/ █

42 Mini’mag

Friday Dec 29 Visite nocturne fêtes de fin d’année - Honfleur (14)

The Office de Tourisme will be having a seasonal evening guided walk around the town at 6pm – in French and pre-booking required. Payable

Saturday Dec 30 Bain de fin d’année - Damgan (56)

‘Chill out’ with a swim in the sea with the locals. It takes place at 2pm on the plage devant le poste

Sunday Dec 31 La grande parade - Deauville (14)

The end of the year celebrations don’t get much bigger than this as the streets of Deauville will come alive with a Grand Illuminated Street Parade departing from place Yves Saint-Laurent Bain de la Saint-Sylvestre - Plérin (22) Over 200 crazy swimmers, many in fancy dress, are all keen to take their last dip/bathe in the sea for the year. It takes place at 11am on the Tournemine plage and you’re free to join in! Bain de la Saint-Sylvestre - Saint-Cast-le-Guido (22) Another load of crazy swimmers keen to take their last dip/ bathe in the sea for the year at the Grande Plage Saint-Briac classic - Saint-Briac-sur-Mer (35) Local classic motor vehicle enthusiasts get together with their cars, motorcycles, vans and trucks on the Boulevard de la Houle from 10am-2pm. It’s free Feu d’artifice - Domfront (61) Start off your New Year celebrations with a bang – there’s fireworks at the chateau from 7pm

Monday January 1 Happy New Year!

January 2018

Bain du 1er janvier - Deauville (14)

Clear that fuzzy head from your New Year celebrations by taking a dip in the sea with hundreds of new friends. At 12pm on the plage

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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Beauty

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Miniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mag 30


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Le mini'mag october 2017  

The magazine in English for North West France

Le mini'mag october 2017  

The magazine in English for North West France

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