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THE AUDE TIMES Issue 5 - November 2013

ISSN: 2268-7599

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November 2013

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06 My Place

08 Operation Peg

14 Chocolate

20 Vines, Vines

November Autumn is the second Spring when every leaf is a flower (Albert Camus, 1913-1960)


ot a welcome subject if you happen to be a bit of a bully behind the wheel (you know who you are), but the following French motoring news will nonetheless warm the hearts of many road users who are fed up with drivers who seem to have spatial awareness issues – there must be a 12 step program out there for you – and who can’t distinguish between ‘Hello, do come in’ from ‘Get out of my personal space’ (please see the conversion chart below for distance in metres)[i]. Similar to a system already in use in Switzerland, tailgating cameras which use an algorithm to compare driving speed to the distance from the car in front are being introduced on French auto routes. Maybe these tailgating cameras can be incorporated into the new, all- singing, all-seeing traffic cameras appearing on roads everywhere which already come with built-in coffee dispensers and handy disposable wipes! November… the month that Nobel prize winning author, journalist and philosopher of the ‘absurd’ Albert Camus was born (Sue Hicks takes us through his short but significant life in ‘A History through street names’, pg.19); lest we forget November 11th, we are honoured to feature extracts from Johan Keane’s personal account of ‘Operation Peg’, which records the actions of Lieutenant Paul Swank, one of the many millions who valiantly lost their lives during World War II. We bring you the art of chocolate, whilst Dominique Aclange discovers Les Jardins de Spiktri on the art pages. Business writer Michael D’Artag casts his inimitable eye at Orange, a company maligned in many Anglophone abodes and asks are they really as bad as we keep saying?

11 Animal IQ

23 Spiktri

The AT Charity The AT is proud to support Cancer Support France If you can help or donate to this important charity please do.

06 My Place 07 And Another Thing 09 Restaurant Review 10 Wine Times 13 Business / Legal 10 / 11 Garden / Nature 12 GTBY 16 /17 Lifestyle 18 What’s On 19 History 22 / 23 Art 26 / 27 Recipe Times 28-31 Classifieds 31 Sport 3

An IFA Writes

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Letters The AudeTimes 1 Grand Rue, St Thibery,34630 Publisher: Gatsby B Editor : Emma F Advertising Director: Tom Buchanon Art Editor: Daisy B Art: L.A. EDITORIAL PUBLISHER SUBSCRIPTIONS or contact us on ADVERTISING For display advertising, print classifieds please call 0644 80 24 32 or mail For online advertising please visit: PYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER

The AudeTimes The Aude Times is owned and published by L’Herault Art L.A. Publishing (51926616300010). The publisher, authors and contributors reserve their rights in regards to copyright of their work. No part of this work covered by the copyright may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the written consent of the publisher. No person, organization or party should rely or on any way act upon any part of the contents of this publication whether that information is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without first obtaining the advice of a fully qualified person. This magazine and its related website and products are sold and distributed on the terms and condition that: The publisher, contributors, editors and related parties are not responsible in any way for the actions or results taken by any person, organisation or any party on basis of reading information, stories or contributions in this publication, website or related product. The publisher, contributors and related parties are not engaged in providing legal, financial or professional advice or services. The publisher, contributors, editors and consultants disclaim any and all liability and responsibility to any person or party, be they a purchaser, reader, advertiser or consumer of this publication or not in regards to the consequences and outcomes of anything done or omitted being in reliance whether partly or solely on the contents of this publication and related website and products. The publisher, editors, contributors and related parties shall have no responsibility for any action or omission by any other contributor, consultant, editor or related party. END

Anything else? Sirs, I am rather taken aback. Since finding your magazines you have discussed homosexual weddings, alternative energy, Agde as a ‘swingers’ paradise, the alleged corruption of Carcassonne and anti Islamophobia to name but a few. I applaud you for recognising the intelligence of your readership and wish you continued success. Bravo! Jack Gibson Challenging Discrimination I agree with Mehdi Roland of the Collectif Contre L’Islamophobie (CCIF) that there is no place in society for the victimisation of Muslims, or any other minority group, and, as he rightly says, fear of terrorism must be kept in perspective: statistically you are far more likely to be murdered by your spouse than you are by a terrorist. However I would query his assertion that “draconian laws against Muslims” in Europe have led to Muslims being stigmatized “not unlike the experience of the Jewish people at the dawn of the Second World War.” At the outbreak of war virtually all synagogues in Austria had been destroyed, over a hundred Jews had been murdered in antiSemitic attacks in Poland, and in Germany thousands had already been rounded up into concentration camps. Does the present day experience of Europe’s Muslims really equate with the experience of the Jews in 1939?. According to the article, the CCIF recorded 469 Islamophobic incidents in France in 2012. Over the same period the CCIF’s Jewish counterpart, the Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive, recorded 614 anti-Semitic incidents (including four murders: the killing of a father and three children in Toulouse by Mohamed Merah). Putting these statistics too into perspective, taking into account the disparity in size between the Muslim and Jewish communities, then last year a Jew was over ten times more likely

to be victimised than a Muslim. (Incidentally SOS Homophobie reports 1,977 homophobic incidents last year so perhaps the gay community is the most victimised of all.) M. Roland also criticises French secularism. Secularism has its problems but does seem to engender a more tolerant treatment of minorities than in many non-secularist states. Consider the experience of Christians in Pakistan, where 85 were murdered outside the Anglican church in Peshwar last month, of homosexuals in Iran, where homosexual relations constitute a capital offence and many have been executed, or of Muslims in Iraq, where thousands have been murdered for belonging to the ‘wrong’ branch of Islam. It is perhaps telling that secularist France is a country where Muslims and others flee to rather than flee from. We must, of course, continue efforts to eradicate the ills of Islamaphobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism, whilst also appreciating how fortunate we are to live in such a relatively tolerant country as France.

chocolate lovers. Thank you ever so much for such a great prize!!!! Kind regards, Holly

CCIF You gave space to an organisation that is one sided in their arguments. I trust that you intend to allow voice to those of us who have issue with the Islamic takeover of the western world. By text

Additives Issue 4 Absolutely brilliant. The article on wine additions and how labels do not have to list everything that goes into the wine we drink was brilliant. I am so impressed that this blatant disregard to the consumer has been published in a magazine slap bang in the middle of the largest wine area in the world. I mean it when I say well done. Fiona Y

Hello by text and never answer your phone when called. We will willingly allow intelligent debate on any subject but, and I quote you “the Islamic takeover”? Please tell me you finished basic schooling because if that is all you have feel free to stop reading. We won! Just to let you know that my husband and I (along with our daughter) went to our free brunch at Mademoiselle Chocolat yesterday (Saturday) and had a lovely time. The food was really delicious and very much for


GTBY I really enjoyed the Good To Be Young interviw with the head of police in Béziers but was it just me or did he sound a little frightening? ‘At 14 I knew I wanted to boss”. I so hope this was lost in translation. Geraldine, Beziers GTBY 2 Does this man really earn €4500 per month and free housing? I thought all the police in Béziers were corrupt. Withheld. You see, if you stop selling drugs and join the police you could make a good living Dad. Excellent Hello, I just wanted to drop a line to say thanks for the classifieds. My husband and I have used it regularly for household jobs and for sales. More helpful than you probably realise. Freda

Aussie 1 As an Australian living in the South of France I was disgusted by your picture (issue 16) of Tony Abbott in his ‘budgie smugglers’. This was poor journalism and worse, another example of the complete and utter idiot that we have elected. I guess we only have ourselves to blame. Steve, 34.

Letters Aussie 2. I was well pleased to read Australians talking about Abbott in your last issue. We have been very lucky during the global recession and although it has changed a little we are still a lot better off than many. I do feel however that the picture and tag line on Tony Abbott was spot on. And for the Brits amongst you, wait and see, we have expenses scandals as well. Good read, Thanks. H King, ex-Sydney. Aussie 3 I was initially offended by your comments and article on Tony Abbott (last issue) but then I read the intro from Michael D’Artag. This man has no respect for any politicians at all; “Franny Hollande, Hope Obama”. The Level of cynicism is breathtaking. I for one voted for Tony Abbott and am proud to say so. Mike Wowsers, Aussies on the warpath. I love Australia, some of my relatives may have even been sent there!!! Oh no, not another dig eh? Australia is a stunning country and in economic terms stronger than many but the day an Australian can’t have an opinion is a day I don’t believe I’ll see and I for one am glad. (You’re still not very good at sport at the moment though)! Art I read your art pages with a mixture of pleasure and pain. Yes, I did say pain. It is so good to see you recognising the great talent of art that we have in Aude but why do you often criticize the work and exhibitions. Surely it is your job to support and encourage? Howard J Limoux


e are proud to have the talents of Mr Barry Beckett producing the wonderful original covers that you currently see. And online now you can purchase these beautiful images and have a piece of the Languedoc in your own home.

Howard. How are you? You look good? Lovez the outfit you’re wearing. And have you lost weight? Life must be good.... Oh do me a I really writing this again? Howard, this magazine and I supports all artists and art but the day you or I or anyone can’t have an opinion then close the door on the way out please. Why don’t you tell me constructively why you disagree or agree with what you have read? Then we can move forward and learn.

Prints and selected Limited Editions available. Barry Beckett 2013 All rights reserved

The last word on bull...... Thank you, Stephen Morris, for your excellent article on bullfighting. You omitted to mention, however, that bulls are kept in a dark crate, & without food or water for 48 hours before they enter the ring - so that they are half-crazed & blinded when they do so ! How can the torture of animals ever be considered entertaining ? I was taken to see a bullfight when young ( & left in disgust after the first kill ) & will never forget the horrible sight of the hysterical sadistic spectators - we are no more civilised today than the Romans with their ‘coliseum culture of cruelty’. It’s a sad reflection that this cruel ‘sport’ continues here in France; the local Carcassonne Tourist Office agreed with me that this practice is horrific, but tried to justify it by saying that it brings revenue ! “ The only way for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke ) Please continue your informative articles. L.indsay P ** Please keep sending your letters to



he writers and contributors are the stars of this magazine and without them I would have all of my hair and would not be drinking gin at 9am every day. Having said that, you should know more about them. All their bios can be found at Please read them, they deserve to be recognised for their fantastic contribution and for being patient and generous to me.



his magazine is intended for the use of the individual(s) who picked it up. This magazine may contain information that is helpful, opinionated and can at times be unsuitable for overly sensitive Persons with no cultural credibility. If you are not sure then may we politely suggest that you pass it onto someone else as to continue reading is not recommended and may constitute an irritating social faux pas. No animals were harmed in the making of this magazine, and believe it or not one single opinion is definitive- period. 5

The Cover Story

Inventor and Poet: Charles Cros

photographs, but took several months to submit his ideas to the Société Française de Photographie. When he finally got around to it he learnt that a rival inventor, Ducos de Hauron had also submitted his ideas. Although de Hauron had not developed his method until after Cros, he had nonetheless built an apparatus which successfully took colour shots, whereas Cros’ ideas remained theoretical. As Edison is remembered as the inventor of sound recording, so de Hauron is lauded as inventor of colour photography. Cros is still however remembered for his proposals for interplanetary communication. He passionately believed there was life on both Mars and Venus and in 1869 presented a “study on the means of communication with the planets”. He petitioned the French government to build an array of parabolic reflectors to transmit messages to the Martians and Venusians; a system that today we would call ‘run-length encoding’. Years later, Cros wove his ideas into a short story ‘Un drame interastral’ about an interplanetary communication that went wrong. Unselfconscious perhaps, but once again Cros was a pioneer in the field of science fiction. His mistress Nina de Villard introduced Cros to many of the characters that formed the bohemian circles of his age. A friend of the poet associated with the French Symbolist Movement Paul Verlaine, Cros was a member of the legendary Zutist poets’ circle, who met in the room of pianist Ernest Cabaner. There he met the singer and caricaturist André Gill, the poet and dramatic author Léon Valade and also the journalist Camille Pelletan. Cros also fell under the charms of the frail young poet Arthur Rimbaud and invited him to stay with him in rue de Tournon. But much to his chagrin, the rascal apparently thanked him by abusing his precious reviews. Cros threw him out. However, he had a horror of solitude and subsequently immersed himself in the company of other literary clubs such as the Hydropathes. He wrote in their literary review founded by Emile Goudeau: Hydropathes, let’s sing together/The noble song of liqueur.” In 1888, Charles Cros died in misery, with a liver enflamed by absinthe. He regularly drank up to 20 glasses a day, and was known as a bon vivant, partying long into the next day. Whether Cros’ work was heightened or hindered by absinthe is somewhat irrelevant, due to the many accomplishments he enjoyed in his life. His friend Alphonse Allais dedicated a moving eulogy to him in the review ‘Le Chat Noir’: “Charles Cros was someone who I immediately felt as if I’d known always, a miraculous being, gifted from all points of view, a poet strangely personal and charming, a true scholar, a baffling fantasist, as well as a steadfast and good friend. What did he lack in order to become a man who had achieved, applauded and decorated? Practically nothing, a little slavish and cowardly bourgeoisie to which his noble artistic nature refused always. He wrote superb verses from which he earned nothing, composed and performed monologues on a par with Coquelin , had brilliant scientific ideas, invented the phonograph, coloured photography and the photophone.”

Born in Fabrezan, Aude in 1842, Charles Hortensius Émile Cros received an education under the tutelage of his father, himself from a family of professors. A precocious child, he studied Sanskrit, Hebrew, music and mathematics. His spirit was one of insatiable curiosity, swallowing book after book and retaining everything; his imagination, an overflowing fountain from which numerous inventions poured.

My Place

Parallel to his scholarly pursuits he was also a poet and writer. He frequented the Parisian bohemian literary scene and was a regular in the salon of poet/writer Nina de Villard (Mme de Villard was the long term mistress of the poet until he married Mlle Hjardemaal in 1878) and member of several avant-garde literary groups of the period. On the 30th April 1877, the Academy of Sciences registered a sealed envelope deposited on 18th October by the then 34 year old Charles Cros. The document described details of a method to record and reproduce phenomena perceived by the ear. This apparatus was called a ‘Paléophone’ by its inventor, who had worked out how to record sound on to a cylinder by tracing oscillations using a screw. He described it as follows: A lightweight index is fixed to the center of figure of a vibrating membrane, it ends with a tip [...] based on a blackened surface flame. This surface is integral with a disc driven by a double movement of rotation and linear progression. The system is reversible: when the tip makes ironing in the furrow membrane restores the original acoustic signal. The first recording made by the inventor has only recently been discovered. Listening carefully it is possible to make out: ‘Moi, ce qui m’embete, c’est que J’ai toujours un compte ouvert à l’UBS…” The Paléophone was simple and effective; however Cros could not find anyone to finance a prototype despite going from door to door to drum up support. On 10th October 1877, Abbot Lenoir reported Charles’ invention in La Semaine du Clergé, re-naming it a ‘phonograph’. One version of events is that on the other side of the Atlantic the article fell under the eyes of Thomas Edison. Fearful that Edison would steal his invention, Cros rushed to the Academy of Sciences, urging them to hurry up and open his envelope in order to officially register his precedence. The envelope was indeed opened on 8th December, but two days after the first demonstration of a human voice recording by Edison. And on 17th December, the millionaire inventor submitted a patent request for his phonograph. Cros could do nothing more. He was left speechless. Curiously, this was the second time that Cros had failed to gain recognition for a significant invention by being slow to the draw. Previously, in 1869, he had invented a way of taking colour 6

And another thing.......says Abse Remember, remember the 5th of November


r was it the 4th? Maybe the 6th? I don’t bloody know, I can’t even remember what day it is today. The older you get the more your memory plays tricks on you. It is impossible to remember how long ago things happened: some things feel like they happened only last year whilst other things feel like the dim and distant past, but none of this is reliable. It has become clear that time doesn’t move in a straight line at all and that really we all live our lives like Dr Who whizzing around through time and space - but all with such bad memories no one can tell us “spoilers”. My dad just celebrated his 90th birthday in the same Indian restaurant in South Wales with the same people (with one or two sad absences) he celebrated his 80th. Many of the people there only see each other rarely, and for me I hadn’t seen a number of them since the party 10 years ago. And yet it felt in some ways that the previous party had only taken place much more recently. In fact I heard a number of people comparing the party to “last year’s” ... The effect was enhanced by noticing the fact that in 10 years the restaurant hadn’t changed a thing - the same wallpaper, the same food, the same waiters, the same beer only the prices, it seemed, had changed. Enhancing the effect further an old friend of my dad’s reminded me of some funny thing I’d said when I was 5 years old (“it seems like only yesterday”) whilst my sister and I bickered over our own childhood memories, and naturally at a person’s 90th birthday everyone wanted to recount their version of past events. It all got very, very confusing.

The Aude

You have to wonder how Dr Who does it - as he is apparently over 900 years old, and he may have two hearts but he only has one brain. Maybe he backs it all up to a Timelord “cloud”... And then this article was going to go on to something else to do with memory, but I have completely forgotten what that was. Gah! Many years ago (10? 15? 20?) I took a training course called “Improve your memory”, but it didn’t stick - I can’t remember a damn thing I was taught. A number of years before that (8? 12? 15?) I remember sitting in a pub with my friend Mick when the subject of a particular DJ that neither of us liked came up. Despite wracking our brains all evening we couldn’t think of his name. And then at about 3am Mick phoned me to tell me the guy’s name so I could sleep the rest of the night. But can I remember the DJ’s name now? Of course not! If only life were that simple. But rest assured that after finishing writing this piece I will spend several hours trawling Internet lists of annoying British Radio 1 DJs of the 1970s. It’s very important you know. And perhaps there lies the problem- we are all bombarded with too much information all the time including tons and tons of information we neither want nor need: adverts, reality TV, pointless celebrity news stories. ‘Our brains canna take it Captain.’ We need to back up our memories to remote hard drives before they explode! And then when we need to remember something we can just phone the NSA. **


he present department is one of the original 83 departments created by the Constituent Assembly during the French Revolution on 4 March, 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc. Administrative divisions were amended by the Act of 28 Pluviôse of Year 8, which created four arrondissements (reduced to three by Premier Raymond Poincaré in 1926) and reduced the number of cantons from 45 to 31.


In memory of those who fought we offer an abridged version of Operation Peg by Jean Kohn

‘Operation Peg’ Extracts from ‘A Civilian in Uniform’ by Jean Kohn (Courtesy of


ne day in August we were told, OK, boys, here we go.” Where to? Southern France. We were put, I would say, in a secret part of the camp or another place near the airport. We were ordered not to talk to anybody anymore. We had maps, 10,000 French francs and twenty 20-Francs gold coins. In addition we were given a note signed by U.S. General Benjamin F. Caffey saying: Secret/To All Whom It May Concern, This soldier is a fully accredited representative of the Supreme Allied High Command. He has been instructed to join forces wherever possible with resistance units to wage unceasing war against the German invader for the liberation of France. We started one night in a Halifax bomber from Blida airport, west of Algiers. That night, we did not jump. We came back. Why? Because the place we were supposed to land on was under attack by the Germans. This original jump site was the Maquis of Picaussel, west of Quillan under the command of Lucien Maury. The night return to Blida was nerve racking since we were all prepared to go and jump. We landed early in the morning of August 11th 1944 at the Clat. It was still dark. We collected our gear and went on the road hoping there would not be any Germans waiting for us. We went to Salvezines from Axat, and then up the road to a house called the Ferme Nicoleau. There we were greeted by maybe 200 men, most of them young French boys who had refused to be drafted into the forced labor organization that the French Administration had worked out with the German Nazis. This organization was called STO (Service du Travail Obligatoire). The idea was that for every three workers going to Germany, one French Army prisoner would be sent back home. Very few prisoners were sent back, in fact. In addition, since the Germans considered these French youngsters as slave labor, many who went to Germany never came back as they died of malnutrition, others were shot as they revolted or reacted against bad treatment. We established our camp at the Ferme Nicoleau, near Salvezines. Right away we started to blow a few bridges. It turned out that the destruction of bridges on roads the Germans were not really using was a senseless exercise. One bridge on a secondary road was also blown very neatly one night. We forgot to put up a danger sign or some branches across the road. In the morning a French car came, the driver did not see the bridge had gone. He and his woman passenger were killed in the crash. After the August 15th successful landing in Southern France, the Carcassonne German command decided to move fast and take as much food as they could from Couiza. To protect their convoys, some well-armed soldiers were escorting the convoy. Various Maquisard groups tried to immobilize the convoys. Many poor French boys were surrounded and killed mercilessly by the German infantry. That was in the morning of August 17th. In the afternoon, the Germans took some hostages to walk in front of their trucks and started to go north toward Carcassonne. We were told they had enough food to feed “one million men for ten days.” We were supposed to stop them. I was always a volunteer for that kind of thing. Lieutenant Swank, Sergeant Galley, John Frickey, Rock Veilleux and myself started north from Quillan with explosives. Apparently we must have gone unnoticed around Couiza and Esperaza. We were to blow the road north of Alet where the Aude river flows in a narrow gorge. The large stone falling from the cliff on the road would halt the German convoy that would have to stop to move the stones. Then we would shoot at them. A so-called red Cross ambulance came by going south. The

driver saw what we were up to and he told the Germans. The enemy convoy infantry support rushed toward us faster than anticipated and caught us not totally prepared. In addition, Lt. Swank and Sergeant Galley had problems with the explosives which did not go off as intended. They did not have enough time to set up another explosion. The road was not blocked, and the large group of real tough German soldiers came rushing up the road shooting with all they had. At that very moment Lieutenant Swank got shot and killed. I do not know exactly how he was immobilized. A German officer finished him with a shot in the head. Sergeant Galley was shot badly in the hand. He managed to escape. As for myself, I was alone on the cliff overhanging the road where I had been told to be to cover the road. Two Germans came up on the cliff from behind. They wanted to shoot me. One of them said in German very clearly: “Recht fünf meters.” (on the right: five meters) That was I they were talking about. They threw a potato-type hand grenade that landed real close and when it went off, my woolen cap blew off. I was hit on my right thigh (at the time I did not realize I was slightly wounded). Then I had three choices: -I surrender - NO -I fight back - NO, they were two with a sub machine gun and I was alone. -I flee - Yes I remembered our orders: Do not fight if “they” are more numerous than you. So I fled. I did not know I was wounded, even slightly. I went up the mountain. I heard some shots during the night. I slept in the mountain. I had been scared, scared, I mean very afraid to be shot, to be taken prisoner or I don’t know what. Night had fallen. I was so tired by then that I ended up in a bush way high on that mountain side feeding on a small roll of mint Lifesavers and fell fast asleep. Early in the morning, I felt good since I was still alive. I figured the best way would be to go over the hill and see what I could do to get back to Quillan. I went up to the top of the hill and down on the other side. It was a beautiful and warm summer day. The countryside was bare of houses. Not even cultivated fields. Just some trees and bushes. I finally saw a farm or what I thought did look like a farmhouse. […] It seemed to me these farmers did not want to be involved in anything that had to do with fighting, especially with so many Germans around. But they did call for help and organized my pick up to have me return to Quillan. Somebody came with a car. I think it was Mr. Barres. They put a civilian coat on top of my uniform. This was really extremely dangerous. I was hiding under a civilian coat. Should we have been caught by the Germans we might have been shot on the spot. But no—we passed through a German held town, Couiza or Esperaza? Upon reaching Quillan, I found out that Paul Swank had died, had been killed. I was shocked. After joining my group and telling them my story we went to receive Paul Swank’s coffin on a square behind the church. I remember vividly Lt. Weeks kneeling at the open coffin holding the cold hand of Lt. Swank as a farewell gesture. We then all went to the church where a religious service was held and from there to the cemetery where he was buried in a temporary grave. The killing of my lieutenant really shocked me. It was the first death of one of us that we witnessed. You always hear about death in War, but that was “it.” We had known him for such a short while before our mission. Yet this was as if we had lost an old time friend. That evening after the burial we were silent. Our little group felt very, very sad. *

The French VIEW _


éb By S


Le Fo

Translation by Alison Reid

imagines that fifty or so Velib’ users are found dead next to their bicycles. One of the victims was coming of out of a café discussion group and was going to citizen’s gathering. This fatal epidemic is as spectacular as it is mysterious. The forensic scientists can find no explanation. Béchetoile, the mayor of Paris living on the banks of the Saint-Martin canal after the sale of the Town Hall to Qatar, cries of a conspiracy from the extreme right. The 2015 all-nighter looks to be a bloody affair. The processions of cyclists bearing banners saying “ride against discrimination,” change nothing. Civil war looms. Evidently, the author of this satire is not a passionate defender of the policies lead in Paris over the Transla last few years. ted by : He prefers Michel Hidalgo to Anne Hidalgo and Pierre Delanoë to Bertrand Delanoë. As for ‘NKM’ (Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet), he is wary: her name reminds him a little too much of bicycle brand, ‘MBK’. Above all, the voluntarily provocative François Marchand incites bursts of laughter from the reader. There is some truth to be found in his portrayal of the cyclists’ vitriol, convinced that they are the incarnation of ‘Good’ because they do not pollute. Today’s era, so fond of precautionary messages and warnings, might oblige the editor of this book to add a lineto its cover: “This book may cause voluntary road accidents,”…

Should cyclists be knocked down a peg or two?


ccording to some, the civil peace of France is being threatened by a new scourge. Mayors fear that exasperated






citizens will begin dispensing their own justice. The cause of this curse? Cyclists. Whether they choose a “Vélib” in Paris, a “Velo’V” in Lyon, a “Vélocéa” in Vannes, or they simply straddle an antique Dutch bicycle, these amateur peddlers are no longer the kings of the road. Literature, which has sung their praises so many times, is today assigning them the roleof the baddie. In spring, Benoît Duteurtre sparked off hostilities by collating controversial texts. “In a few years, (wrote this mischievous observer of our times) the cyclist has become the pest of the pavement. Not just because a tireless propaganda has instilled in him the idea that the town is made for bicycles and that the bicycle is the future of man, but in particular because, full of this ‘good citizen’ conviction, he no longer hesitates in showing the hideous face which is sometimes lurking behind his green smile,”. Duteurtre sees in the cyclist the incarnation of a new political correctness. ‘The herald of the Empire of Good’ is how Muray describes him. Muray has written a poem in which he rejoices in seeing “cycle riders crash to the ground and scooter riders thrown head over heels”: the cyclist inspires murderous desires in his accusers. NKM: a bit too close to bicycle brand MBK Similarly, in his new novel ‘Cycle mortel’, François Marchand

Wine Laurence Turetti

We welcome wine expert Laurence Turetti as AT wine columnist

island, is worth the effort. An interminable sloping winding path, well named ‘serpentine’ in homage to the local fauna or to the topography, will take you there. Finally one arrives, 200m above sea level, to a place in the sun. For a lazier walk but just as rich in scents, one only has to crack open (and decant a few hours before) a bottle of Centaurée (22€), 2007 vintage. The concentration, vigor and stunning aromas make this wine a fine and intense encounter. Christophe Bousquet, the vigneron, pairs the cuvée Epervier blanc (12€) with sea bass or sea bream. It is a slightly saline wine with a hint of the garrigue, and “aérian,”says M. Bousquet, the three elements essential for this biotope. His vines are organically and naturally cultivated. The white wines of the Clape go very well with fish - grilled, à la plancha, en papillotes and better yet with sauces. Geographic proximity often makes good culinary combinations. This principle is confirmed with the vintage Le Marin (6€) from the Domaine Sarrat de Goundy: a nose of almond flowers, a fresh, round palate which opens with the scent of aniseed, offering excellent value in terms of price and quality. Olivier Calix inherited, over 12 years ago, his parent’s vineyards in Armissan, at the gates of Narbonne. He vinifies, with subtlety and talent, balanced wines with tremendous charm: Combe aux Louves (19€) is a full bodied wine with aromas of wild plants. Olivier has extended his range and innovated, over the last ten years, a limited vintage: the Cuvée sans titre. In 2011, the Cuvée sans titre No.1 was a perfect marriage of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. A true delight, sadly out of stock now. The Cuvée sans titre No.2, 2012 vintage, is 100% cinsault, fresh and abounding with vivacity. Between the garrigue and the Mediterranean, La Clape remains an isle where the wines preserve a lasting impression.

Laurence Turetti is a historian who has a ph.D. from the University of Metz. Born in the Aude into a family of vignerons, she returned to her home more than ten years ago. Head of a wine boutique in the centre of Limoux, L’Atelier des Vignerons, she continues her search of discovery across Languedoc-Roussillon for the pearls of the vineyards.

A land of rocks, winds and sea spray. La Clape


ust a stone’s throw from the unattractive, overcrowded sea side resorts in summer, the Massif de la Clape is a proud, fragile and secret promontory. A balcony to the Mediterranean, the ancient tree covered isle veils its charm under a short name which resounds like a slap: Clapas, meaning ‘pile of stones’ in Occitan. From the limestone cliffs dominate pine forests and ravines through which the fragrant garrigue runs. La Clape, the epitome of Mediterranean vegetation and scenery, is a miracle. Thanks to the mobilization of the local population, it was spared from the real estate projects of the 1970s, which everywhere else have disfigured the coastline. It is an environment which allows one to better understand the notion of ‘terroir’ or local land: surrounded by pines and oaks, the vines plunge their roots deeply into a dazzling white calcareous soil, in the search for water. Pounded by the sun in summer, the area benefits from the spray from the sea winds which carry the necessary humidity and, without doubt, the salty aroma that one finds notably in the white wines such as Bourboulenc (also known as Malvoisie). At night fall or at the end of the day, a walk along a trail in the Clape is a stunning olfactory experience: juniper, cornflowers, thyme, rock-rose or myrtle blend their perfumes and permeate the surrounding vines. To reach the Chateau Pech-Redon, at the summit of the ancient

Domain addresses: Domaine J.Laurens – La Digne d’Aval – 04 68 31 54 54 Domaine du Moulin d’Alon – Magrie – 04 68 31 11 01 Maison Antech – Limoux – 04 68 31 15 88 Boutique : L’Atelier des Vignerons – 2 place de la République – Limoux – 04 68 20 12 42 (ouvert 7 jours sur 7) Boutique en ligne / Expéditions France et Europe :


you can use shredded dead leaves as a mulch. As the weather gets colder think about protecting against frost the base of tender plants and/or plants in containers. Don’t use plastic which traps humidity around the plant but winter fleece or voile d’hivernage, readily available in garden centres. As to what is of interest in the garden during November – late flowering perennials such as Gaillardias, Ajania pacifica and sages will give colour until the frosts, as will shrubs such as cassias and Solanum rantonettii. But, autumn interest in the garden comes too from shrubs which have attractive berries such as the Szechuan peppercorn bush (Zanthoxylum simulans) and myrtle (Myrtus communis) and we shouldn’t forget plants which give good autumn foliage colour before leaf fall such as the very attractive native small tree Montpellier maple (Acer monspessulanum) To celebrate this planting season and because it would be much better for young plants to spend the winter in the ground in your gardens rather than in small pots outside at the nursery - we will be offering a number of plants at sale prices at the end of November. This will start on Saturday 16th November with an autumn event at the nursery. There will be a guided tour of the garden at 11am looking at what is of interest during autumn and winter and talking about preparing for the winter and La Table d’Emilie (who provide such wonderful food at our June open weekend) will be offering refreshments and lunch. You will also be able to buy Christmas cakes & puddings and other seasonal specialities.

In The Garden with Gill Pound


ctober generally brings rain but the ground is still warm so November is the perfect time to plant most trees, shrubs and perennials. Your French neighbours will tell you that, “A la Sainte Catherine (25th November) tout bois prend racine.” Note that slightly tender plants such as bougainvillea or plumbago are best planted in the spring so that they can develop a strong root system before the winter. When planting remember to dig a square hole about twice the depth and twice the width of the pot the plant came in (or root ball if you are planting a bare root plant), mix the excavated soil with some organic material (such as compost or terreau de plantation) and some sand or gravel to improve the soil and use this mix to backfill the planting hole. First, unless the weather has been wet, fill the planting hole with water and let it drain away; meanwhile standing the plant in a bucket of water so that the root ball is moist. Then half fill the planting hole with your soil/terreau/sand mix and place the plant, fill around the sides with the soil/terreau mix and firm into place. Keep an eye on the water requirements of your newly planted items. For taller shrubs and trees you may well want to stake the plant so that it isn’t rocked by the Languedoc winds. This is a good month to prune many trees and shrubs, it is best to consult a gardening encyclopedia for the correct pruning regime for any particular plant. Time too to divide or move hardy perennials and herbaceous plants; and remember to label herbaceous plants (i.e. those which disappear completely in winter) so that you know where they are in the spring. There will be plenty of dead leaves around this month – if you have a compost heap the dead leaves can usefully be added to it, or

Nature Notes

email Website: Clockwise from Top *Myrtus communis *Zanthoxylumsimulans *Cassiafl *Solanumrantonettii

The flora and fauna of the Languedoc

ANIMAL IQ By Colin Trickett



For further information contact Gill Pound at La Petite Pépinière de Caunes (shrubs and perennials, ornamental grasses, unusual plants and plants for dry climates, garden advice and consultation) 21, Avenue de la Montagne Noire, 11160, Caunes-Minervois. Tel: 04 68 78 43 81,

t’s that time again, yes the grape harvest but also the time for ‘bang bang’! Time of course for the intellectually challenged to get out their carbines, buy their cartridges and stride fearlessly off into the undergrowth. Well, in our part of Languedoc there has been very little ‘bang bang’.

The reason, unbelievable in the eyes of the chasseurs, having shot all the adult partridges and pheasants last year, that there were, shock horror, no babies born this year! This apparent oversight by the hunters fits well with a recently published study on the IQ of both the prey and the hunters by the University of Tousbonne. In brief, the study found that whilst the IQ of the chasseur group was 70-79 ( borderline) prior to taking up the hobby and gaining a licence, after gaining their qualification, it dropped in most cases to 55-69 (mildly retarded) and in some instances to 40-54 (moderately retarded). The parallel study of their prey gave Sanglier and Rabbits a distinct advantage, partridge were on a par and only reared pheasants scored lower. The results have shocked the National Confederation to its very core and as a result they have promised severe action!: 11

- Licences will not be granted in future unless applicants can be seen to be able to hit a barn door at 5 metres - The shooting of fellow chasseurs, ramblers or passing motorists will be frowned upon - In a move towards good citizenship they must all vow to obey a minimum of 10% of the regulations. Harsh, what! All is not however lost, mes brave chasseurs, I have a solution! - Change the season to July and August - Change the prey from those ferocious furry and feathered beasts to something much more harmful and much more of a nuisance CAMPER VANS AND CARAVANS!! Bon chasse**


Good To Be Young

Introducing young journalist Theo King’s column, ‘My Way’ Interviews with professionals about how they got to where they are today, the rewards and the frustrations.

Written by Under 20’s for the Under 20’s. EMILIE WOOD Born: Montpellier 1980 Diplomas: Bacc ES; Communication Studies in USA

Up to 18 “A lot of things interested me but I had no idea what I wanted to do. It’s so hard to know! I was tempted by a thousand different jobs, it was awful. To keep things general I took a Bacc ES. Then we moved to America, following my father who was in the military.” Study: 18 – 25 “In the States I became bilingual. I went to an American college and did a Communication Course – still basically undecided. Then my life changed dramatically, unexpectedly: I was about 21 and I enrolled in a photography class. That was it. Un déclic. I just adored

it. I spent my days taking pictures and my nights printing them in the darkroom. At the beginning I was afraid this passion would pass, like so many others before, but it didn’t. It took me a couple of years to develop my technique, then I took a photography course in England. I continued taking amateur pictures and earning my living at something else until I considered myself good enough to turn professional. Becoming a photographer is a long, ongoing learning process. You can’t simply learn it all in one go at school.” The job “My first big job wasn’t perhaps glamorous

Name: Emilie Wood Occupation: Photo-Journalist Income: Just enough Hours per week: As many as I can. Holidays: Depends on my work

but it was really useful – for two years I was in a team of photographers on a cruise ship taking pictures of the passengers, the places we stopped, but learning the whole time. I came back to Paris, working for agencies covering events and taking portraits. Feeling I still didn’t know enough, I took a 12-month course in photo-journalism at the Ecole des Metiers de l’Information (EMI-CFD). “Being freelance can be frustrating – you come up with a great project, you work hard on it, it’s good, but then you try to sell it – and too often it’s turned down. Or else you have a good idea but no one has the money to back you. To pay the bills most freelancers

hugely satisfying seeing the published result – when it’s well presented. “The very best? I’d spent a couple of years following a Football 5-a-side team for the visually impaired and they put on an exhibition of my pictures. The Federation Française Handisport saw it and gave me the most amazing job – covering the Paralympics in London last year. What an experience!!! Such incredible athletes!!! What other job would let me be that close to these extraordinary people? And it’s opened more opportunities in other parasports.”

need a part-time job. I’m lucky – I manage to live from photography without doing a side job: a good network is essential – and that’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes time and energy. “What kind of person? You need to be curious, creative, have new, original ideas. Having good contact with people helps, being able to communicate. Not easily discouraged. It’s also better to specialize in one area of photography.”

What pisses me off “Not being able to publish my work so others can share it. Building a project, then getting a refusal and it just sits in a drawer. It’s frustrating, but it’s also a waste.”

Rewards “My favourite moment is taking the picture, when you know it’s a good subject. It’s also 12

The future “I’m going to work for a farming newspaper in the Lozère. I just want to keep doing the work I love, coming up with ideas and creating something. There’s an exciting new project to make a documentary about wheelchair rugby. That’s what’s great about the job, always discovering new, unexpected stories and incredible people.”

Business / Money / News / Spectrum Covoiturage

An idea which is gaining ground


ovoiturage or Car Sharing is a practice which allows a number of people to share one car who are all making the same journey. As well as saving money, it’s a practice that has obvious ecological benefits and you don’t even have to own a car… Ecological Reducing the number of cars on the road equals less emissions and traffic congestion during peak times. Economical Each passenger shares the journey costs making it a less costly drive, reducing costs by 2, 3 or 4 times less each month. Convivial Journeys are more pleasant and convivial. Car sharing is good for meeting new people and encouraging

exchanges. By participating you no longer have to undertake a routine journey alone and you help others get to their destination, because car sharing does not require every passenger to own a car of their own. Practical Car sharing reduces not only the traffic in our urban centres but also parking issues. 4 people in one car means 3 less cars to park. If it’s something you’d like to be able to do but you don’t know anyone who makes the same journey as you, The Conseil Generale de l’Aude offers a free service which helps you find people who do. For more information on routes offered and requested by users visit (or go to and click on ‘covoiturage’ under ‘Services’)

Do-it-yourself Garage complicated, he can take


cross the border in Hérault is a wonderful option for those who like to do their own car repairs and with a little patience it will soon arrive in the Aude. Launched in 2011, the Do-it-Yourself Garage is the brain child of Franck Bruyère and offers clients the opportunity to repair or service their own car or motorbike with or without the help of a mechanic to lighten their bills. There are car and motorbike ramps available, a comprehensive range of necessary tools, as well as the option to purchase equipment or parts required. For the less experienced there is always a technician available to give support or, if the procedure becomes too

over. Getting one’s hands dirty can save between 30% to 70% off your bill. Said Franck, “For me, the initial investment was high, but in the long terms I believe this approach has really unbeatable advantages.”

Garage Libre: 13 rue Edouard Branly-Z.A., Pézenas Allees de Cyprès, Saint-Jean-de-Vedas Tel : 06 49 23 82 10 (website: French/English/German/Italian)

‘Proposed French Tax Changes’ The Project de Loi de Finances 2014 was published on 25th September 2013. Compared to previous budgets, this one is not too bad and certainly less austere. People with wealth do not appear to have been targeted. Noticeably, there are no proposals to change the current wealth tax regime (Impôt de Solidarite sur la Fortune). There are proposals to:  increase the income tax bands, which have been frozen for the last two years (this is good news and should benefit anyone that pays French income tax);  reform the capital gains tax regime for gains arising from certain financial assets and also from property and land sales; and  reform the PEA (Plan d’Epargne en Actions). The bill will now be debated by the National Assembly and the Senate, during the weeks ahead and so it cannot be ruled out that some changes may take place before the final text of the draft law is agreed. The final bill will then be referred to the Constitutional Council for review before entering into law. Even at that stage, the bill can still be amended if it is found that a proposed change to the law is not in conformance with the French Constitution. More detailed information on the proposals can be found at the Business Pages section of The Herault Times website. If you would like to have a confidential discussion about how the proposed French tax changes may affect you or on any other aspect of financial planning, please contact me, either by e-mail at or by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17. The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at

Daphne Foulkes SIRET 522 658 194 00017Numéro d’immatriculation ORIAS 10 056 800

900 and operators are available from 0900hrs to 1700hrs (cont) Monday to Friday. There have been rumours that the line was in jeapordy due to cost cutting but a spokesperson told us that, “Orange, with this special process, consolidates its wish to be the operator which provides a taylor service to its domestic or business clients.”

Orange (Internet, Television, Mobiles and Fixed Lines) n recognition of the growing Anglophone community in France, Orange (formerly France Telecom) initiated an English Speaking helpline. This service has been available for a number of years now and is continuing to improve and grow. A spokesperson when asked how many calls were handled replied, “The number of handled calls in a month approaches several thousands and is increasing.” Situated in Paris, there are 19 dedicated bi-lingual operators who can assist in English on new business, account enquiries, basic fault issues and complaints. The technical department now also has English speaking operators. The unique number for this service is 0969 363


Problem Solved SATELLITE T.V TNT 0609540662 – 0499416180 13

Chocolate One piece of evidence for intelligent design Eaten and written by Hugh MacCamley

For those who do not yet know, chocolate came to us through South America after 1492. The rest, as we say, is history. Also, it may not be known that chocolate grows on trees but not ready packaged. That comes at the end of a fairly complex process from the harvesting of the cocoa bean. The crucial information about chocolate is that it is good for you. There has been too much adverse publicity about it over the years. In fact, when it first arrived in Europe long after the Aztecs,Olmec and Mayans had benefitted from it, there were instructions for the medicinal use of cocoa. For example, The Badianus Codex (1552) prescribed using cacao owers to treat fatigue, while the Florentine Codex (1590) offered a prescription of cocoa beans, maize and the herb Calliandraanomala to lighten fever and shortness of breath and

Chocolate his is the time of year when an air of eager anticipation graces


the autumn atmosphere. However, this has nothing at all to do with the weather. Rather, we live in a household that is once more looking forward to the annual Salon du Chocolat in Paris. In fact, on 30 October, Pavilion 5, Viparis, Porte de Versailles, opens its doors right next to the Metro station of the same name. For true lovers of such an exceptional gift of nature, there will be more taking part and occupying even greater surface area than in previous years. The event continues for five sublime days and to make life easier it is possible to buy entry tickets online. 14

to remedy the faint of heart. Manuscripts produced in Europe and New Spain from the 16th to the 20th centuries show it has been used to treat emaciated patients; stimulate the nervous systems of apathetic, exhausted or feeble patients and to improve digestion, anaemia, poor appetite, mental fatigue, poor breast milk production, consumption/tuberculosis, fever, gout, kidney stones, reduced longevity and low virility. The litany goes on. In The Natural History of Chocolate (1719), by D. De Que´lus, the author considered that chocolate was a pleasant food, nourishing, easy to digest and essential to good health. Who could disagree with that? Unfortunately, once chocolate bars were created after 1870 by a new process combined with a variety of ingredients including sugar, milk and even synthetic flavourings health factors have been called into question. Purists have been known to call this contaminated. Nonetheless, research in recent years suggests skin quality can improve as chocolate has UV filters. Chocolate flavenoids have been used in cancer treatments and improve blood flow to the brain, enhancing its performance. Of course, chocolate bingers and chocoholics will have problems but that’s another story altogether. The best programme to follow is the “Ten Step Rule’ – never be more than ten steps away from your source of chocolate. Looking briefly at the different types of chocolate is useful as it points towards quality. This can also

have implications for health matters. White chocolate and milk chocolate are low in cocoa solids and contain emulsifiers, milk, milk solids, sugar and flavourings. It is dark chocolate which has a higher concentration of cocoa and cocoa butter. This can be sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet and unsweetened, rising commensurately in cocoa solids the less sugar it contains. Unsweetened chocolate is for baking purposes being 100% cocoa solids with half of that being cocoa butter. Therefore, it is for culinary not eating use. The real gourmet type is bittersweet from 60 to 85% cocoa solids giving it a dark, intense and to some a sensual flavour. For me personally, a proper balanced diet is a 100gm bar of Lindt “Excellence” in both hands.

In fact, the French really know how to promote this marvellous product. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs promoted the first Salon du Chocolat in 1994. Since then, it has travelled the world and latterly it has been staged in Shanghai and Beijing. Now from East to West; from North to South, chocolate has become a global treat. The Salon transcends brands and individuals although these have their role to play. There will be over 400 participants this year all catching the eye of attendees with various creative, productive and marketing techniques at their disposal. Without a doubt, fashion devotees are already awaiting impatiently to see the latest creations in chocolate. Ah! But yes! For those who have never seen the latest fashion items with frills in this textile there is definitely a massive surprise in store. The mannequin prepares with dresses imaginatively designed as the very latest bespoke and ready-to-wear for those with the professional confidence. However, it is probably wiser just to look and enthuse. Climatic conditions will not permit durable chocolate clothing in any other than the coolest places on the planet. If you go to the Salon, expect to be agreeably astonished. There will be 180 chocolate makers from in and out of Europe. In addition, the cultural Cocoa Show will take place and there will be an unprecedented opportunity for children and adults to try out their skills at a pastry workshop. Prior to the consumer show there is a Trade Show or Salon du Chocolat Professionnel from the 28-30 October. This is at the same place but in Pavilion 4. Chocolate traders, manufacturers and chocolatiers meet to talk about the substance of their livelihoods. There will be several features including the finals of the World Chocolate Masters, the leading international competition for chocolatiers and pastry chefs. They will stop at little to impress. Naturally, some people find chocolate intimidating. Weight-watchers 15

have been known to abandon all efforts at its merest mention. It does represent the zenith of Epicurean gourmet experience. For those struggling with diets though a useful tip is to eat a chocolate bar before each meal as it takes the edge off your appetite and you’ll eat less. Also, a box of chocolates can provide you with a square meal. If that is not enough to coax you into yielding then the hollow chocolate that French people eat in enormous quantities at Easter, has few calories in it. One of the most personally memorable things anyone ever said about chocolate came from the Pullitzer Prize-winning writer David McAlister Barry or Dave Barry as those closer knew him. He remarked that since the beginning, both the hand and the mouth were agreed that where chocolate was concerned, there was no need to involve your brain.

Just enjoy it.

French Designers You Need to Know


rom the little black dress to Schiaparelli’s ‘lobster’ dress, without a doubt France and Paris have been at the vanguard of the global fashion scene since Madeleine Vionnet introduced the bias cut in the 1920s. While the Houses of Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Balmain spring to mind when you think of French

fashion, today new, accomplished designers are changing the face of French style. From less known brands and household names, to former protégés of Nicolas Ghesquière and the creator of the wedged sneaker craze, the following French fashion designers are the ones to keep an eye on…

Isabel Marant:

Isabel Marant is considered the personification of Parisian nonchalance. Known in America for her acclaimed wedged sneakers, which are practically seen everywhere today, Marant is a designer who blends eclectic bohemia and tomboy chic —a far cry from traditional French fashion. Originally founded in 1994, her label has enjoyed an explosion in popularity in the last few years, especially with the opening of a U.S. flagship boutique in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

Ophélie Klère & François Alary of Dévastée:

The emerging French label Dévastée is proof that black and white can be vibrant, especially in their Fall/Winter 2013 collection that debuted last week. The duo behind the brand, Ophélie Klère and François Alary (who are business partners and a couple in real life; she cuts and he sketches), add an energetic dimension to their black and white wares with clashing prints and fun motifs, such as cartoon-like characters and crossword designs. Their quirky creations are tipped to win international recognition

Bouchra Jarrar:

Born in Cannes to Moroccan parents, Bouchra Jarrar has made a name for herself with her chic, sleek, and mature ready-to-wear. After assisting Nicolas Ghesquière and Christian Lacroix, she set out to create practical, elegant garments for day and evening. She is among a growing contingent of female designers who consider a modern woman’s comfort despite hectic schedules. Vogue’s Sarah Mower deemed her the French version of Stella McCartney. With assiduous attention to cutting and tailoring, combined with a minimalist palette of colors her success has been growing since presenting her first collection in 2010.

Vanessa Bruno:

Vanessa Bruno’s fashion house founded in 1996 has proved that tousled French chic can be exported to the entire world. From chunky shoes and boots to boyfriend blazers and slouchy trousers she creates casual, yet sophisticated designs. Already with a brace of celebrity fans including Julie Delpy, Vanessa Paradis and Kirsten Dunst, Bruno markets her seasons by collaborating with filmmaker Stephanie di Gusto to produce short films. With a boutique in West Hollywood she is on the way to becoming the next big name for lovers of minimalist French style.

Alice Lemoine of Le Moine Tricote:

From top: Maxine Simoen Dévastée Vanessa Bruno Bag Bouchra Jarrar IsabelMarant Le Moine Tricote

At just 28 Alice Lemoine is quickly making a name for herself in the French fashion world. Her eponymous knitwear brand, Le Moine Tricote, has been praised for its highly coveted hand-made pieces that blend elegance and wearability. After studying fashion design at ESMOD (École Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode), Lemoine developed her work under Rick Owens before launching her own line. 16

Life coach Maggie Minter on the lifestyle pages

One day of teachings with


What are you telling yourself?

Sogyal Rinpoche

he subconscious mind is very astute and remembers everything we do and say. You probably can’t remember your fifth birthday party, but if you were to interrogate your subconscious mind, it would come back with every detail. However, this isn’t information that you need to keep in your awareness, so it’s filed away in the depths of your memories, unless you require to recapture it for any reason. When you first learned to drive, you had to think about every manoeuvre step by step. However, it probably wasn’t long before you were driving huge distances without even thinking about it. Our subconscious mind takes over those repetitious tasks which we do habitually like breathing, eating or crossing the road. We just do it ‘with our eyes shut.’ However, I wonder what else you are telling your subconscious mind to do ‘with your eyes shut.’ Do you ever tell it that you are ugly, useless, stupid, not good enough? You lack confidence, you can’t cook, socialise, communicate. Your subconscious mind is like a computer, it takes in data you give it and submits a result. It goes into your memory bank to look for any evidence to support your statement and usually finds plenty if you’ve been telling yourself the same thing for a long time.Then it all becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - the more evidence you find, the more you tell yourself it must be true and

A well-known Buddhist teacher and author of the famous ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’

Saturday 23 November 2013 at Lerab Ling (20 min from Lodève) Language: English/French

Fee: €45 More information and online booking: | 04 67 88 46 09 the more you manifest the same limiting beliefs.So how would it be if you were able to change the data? Begin to tell yourself that you can, instead of you can’t. Believe that you are beautiful, fit and healthy, confident, clever, good enough? What if then you came up with evidence to support this new argument? Would this have you believe in yourself more? The secret to making the change is consistency. The more you do it, the more habitual it becomes. You’re doing it anyway – so choose what you tell yourself! If you wish to contact her personally, email: Maggie at

Yoga Posture of the month Garurasana – The Eagle Pose


onsidered a warm up pose, the benefits of this posture are excellent for helping open and stretch back muscles as well as opening all the joints in the body. TIP: Constantly pull the elbows toward the floor, working the tips of the fingers below the nose. Eagle is the only posture that opens up the 14 largest joints in the skeletal system. Beyond improving flexibilities in the hips, knees, ankles and the rest, Eagle Pose also supplies fresh blood to the reproductive system and sex organs, plus the kidneys, which increases sexual vitality and helps clear up reproductive problems. The higher you can bring one leg up and over the thigh of the other leg, the tighter you will be able to cross and squeeze the legs.


Yoga avec Martyn Neal Surya Yoga Lucie Villieu Carcassonne Studio Zen Vita Pause Limoux - Club Limoux yoga www.clublimouxyoga.canalblog. com Sophie Guelin, Tel: 04 68 20 07 72


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The Calendar / Days Out in Association with:

The Calendar / Days Out Daily What’s On Calendar (in English) on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November Villardonnel FREE Fete des Chataignes, Du Vin et De L’Agneau Du Pays Cathare Animations, traditional food, wine, walking tours, fair, music, children’s activities, etc. Tuesday 5th November Narbonne Puppet Theatre : Un Beau Matin, Aladin From 19h30 Entry: 18€ Le Theatre, Scene National de Narbonne Friday 8th November Narbonne Festival Le Porte Voix 2013 Featuring: Hilight Tribe, Far Too Loud, Naaman, Kenly et Antoine, Punky Wash 20h Entry:10€ Palais des Arts, des Sports et du Travail Saturday 9th November Bages La Tempora 2013 – “Ferrat Mon Ami” An unforgettable evening of French song and music 21h30 FREE Sunday 9th November Sallèles-d’Aude Les Grands Chemins en Minervois 2013 – Parcours Arts et Patrimoine At the entrance of Sallèles d’Aude, next to Saint Marcel, you can admire a magnificent and original religious complex called ‘Le Calvaire’ consisting of a main chapel, a covered walkway and animated by the way of the Cross. Guided visit at 16h by a heritage specialist. FREE Sunday 9th November Conilhac-Corbières Jazz at Conilhac 2013: Richard Galliano Solo 20h45 Entry:25€ Friday 15th November Carcassonne Opera: Verdi’s ‘La Triviata’ 20h30 Entry: 10€-42€ Theatre Jean Alary Saturday 16th November Conilhac-Corbières Jazz at Conilhac 2013: Jacky Terrasson Trio 20h45 Entry:26€ Saturday 16th November Puivert Christmas Fair Cakes, cards, books, nearly new clothes, Christmas gifts, raffle and bottle stall All proceeds will go to the SPA and Twilight (home for elderly dogs) 10h-18h 2, place de l’Église 11230 Puivert

Saturday 16th until 30th November Plant Sale La Petite Pepiniere de Caunes, 21, av de la Montagne Noire, 11160 Caunes-Minervois

Friday 6th December Puivert Musical Evening featuring the Puivert Choir and the Old Spice Girls (not to be missed). Plus mince pies, mulled wine, raffle, bottle stall and Saturday 16th November silent auction, unique Christmas gifts… Caunes-Minervois 19h Autumn Garden Event: guided garden visit; All proceeds will go to the SPA and Twilight plant sale, garden tools and accessories, cards, (home for elderly dogs) Harry’s hank drums;refreshments and a sea2, place de l’Église 11230 Puivert sonal menu courtesy of La Table d’Emilie (15€ head; reservation necessary 0468787010) 10h-17h La Petite Pepiniere de Caunes, 21, av de la Montagne Noire, 11160 Caunes-Minervois Sunday 17th November Caunes-Minervois Marché de l’Art et de l’Artisanat 10h-18h FREE Saturday 23rd November Limoux - Foire Au Gras Tastings, Stands of traditional local products, workshops for big and small, music 08h-17h FREE Place Général Leclerc, Place de la République Tuesday 26th November Narbonne Concert : Quatuor Debussy 20h45 Entry: 22€-24€ Le Théatre -Scene Nationale de Narbonne Saturday 30th November Narbonne Concert: Chez Barbaro Jazz Quartet From 16h30 FREE Château de Montplaisir Salles des Foudres Saturday 30th November Narbonne Dance : Compagnie Julien Lestel ‘Corps et Ames’ 1 9h30 Entry:12€ Le Théatre – Scene Nationale de Narbonne Sunday 1st December Carcassonne 36th Cross International de la Cité 10h30-15h30 La Plaine Mayreveille

La Palace, Lézignan

‘Diana’ - Biographical drama directed by Olivier Hirschbiegel: Nov. 13th 21h (VF) /14th 18h15, 21h (VOST) /15th 21h (VF) ‘Prisoners’ - American thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve: Nov 16th 21h (VF)/17th 17h (VF) /19th 18h15, 21h (VOST) ‘2 Guns’ - directed by Baltasar Kormákur and starring Denzel Washington: Nov 18th 21h (VOST)/25th 21H (VOST) ‘Omar’ - Palestian drama and winner of Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, directed by Hany Abu-Assad: Nov 27th 21h (VOST)/28th 21h (VOST)/29th 21h (VOST)

L’Elysée, Limoux,

Diana: Nov 16th 21h (VF)/17th 17h (VF) /19th 18h15 (VOST), 21h (VF) Prisoners: Nov 20th 21h (VF)/21th 18h15 (VOST), 21h (VF)/22nd 21h (VF) Malavita (The Family) - English language, French action film directed by Luc Besson: Nov 27th 21h (VF)/28th 18h15 (VOST), 21h (VF)/29th 21h (VF)

Le Familia, Quillan

Diana: Nov 20th 21h (VF)/21st 18h45 (VOST), 21h (VF) /22nd 21h (VF) The Prisoners: Nov 23rd 21h (VF)/24th 17h (VF) /26th 18h15 (VOST), 21h (VF) Malavita: Nov 30th 21h (VF) /Dec 1st 17h (VF) /Dec 3rd 18h15 (VOST), 21h (VF)

Sunday 1st December Castelnaudary Foire Au Gras et Marché de Noel VOST – version originale sous-titrés /original 08h-18h version with subtitles FREE VF – Version Français Place et Cours de République/Halle aux Grains 18

What’s in a name....

Some saw him as essentially a private Sue Hicks continues her look into history through Street names solitary man behind the mask of celebrity and he became in some ways isolated by his own success and “crippled by charms of lbert Camus: Journalist, novelist, playwright, essayist, theatre women he could not resist”. director, the “James Dean of philosophy”. He became increasingly Albert Camus was born in Algeria on 7 November 1913, the second estranged from the French son of a French father who died at the Battle of Marne in 1914 in the intellectual glitterati. early months of the First World War and a Spanish mother who was deaf, In the post war period, barely spoke, and illiterate. On the death of his father, his mother took Socialist and Communists the boys to live with her deeply religious mother who had “enormous who had worked together clear cold eyes and a regal posture” and her brother who could only during the war found they speak with difficulty. This was an impoverished childhood in the racially were divided on many mixed area of Belcourt where Camus developed a cosmopolitan outlook issues such as imperialism, as well as a deep hatred of intolerance. the prospect of nuclear war At school, Camus was a model student and one teacher in particuand, to use a shorthand for intense debates, “whether the end justified the lar, Louis Germain, recognised his talent and helped Camus to win a means” particularly in communist countries. The two leading intellectuscholarship to the lycée. Camus later wrote to Germain, “Without you, als of the generation, Sartre and Camus from radically different social without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that backgrounds, “competed for the same audience, chose different paths I was, without your teaching and example, none of this (success) would and became ever more suspicious of each other’s ambition” had a mashave happened.” Camus also loved football and often played in goal. At sive and irrevocable falling out in 1952 following the publication and lycée, his philosophy teacher Jean Grenier opened Camus to the world reviews of Camus’ The Rebel (1951). Simone de Beauvoir wrote, “If of ideas and he went on to study at the University of Algiers in 1933, this friendship exploded so violently, it was because for a long time not although debilitated by tuberculosis from the age of 17. much of it had remained.” Despite opposition from family and friends, Camus married Simone, a Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957 for morphine addict but the marriage quickly failed with infidelities on both “his important literary production which with clear-sighted sides. earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience”. When As a journalist in Algeria, Camus Camus died in a car accident on 4 January, 1960 at the age of 46 there wrote about the oppressed and was an unused train ticket in his coat pocket – he had accepted the lift at impoverished conditions of local the last moment. A dramatic and sudden end for the man who explored Arabs and was also involved in deeply the question of how humans make sense of a world in which the community theatre and football only certainty is that they will die. coaching. When war broke out Sartre paid tribute, “Camus could never cease to be one of the principal in 1939, he was unfit for military forces in our cultural domain, nor to represent, in his own way the service and he moved to Paris the history of France and of this century.” Throughout France, Albert Camus following year where he became is commemorated on street names, lycées and university faculties. depressed and isolated but completed The Outsider (L’Etranger) a novel in which the hero Mersault “refuses to justify himself following an act without purpose which mirrors a world without meaning”. Camus returned to Algeria within a few months and lived with his second wife Francine (with whom he later had twin children) in Oran. The following year, he went for treatment at a sanatorium near Lyon where he began work on The Plague (La Peste), an allegorical depiction of life under oppression. When Camus moved to Paris and joined the resistance, he met and forged intense relationships with many of the leading intellectuals of the day including Sartre, de Beauvoir, Koestler, and the actress Maria Casares with whom he had a stormy affair and friendship over many years. Camus became editor of the resistance paper Combat and by the end of the war he was a major figure in French intellectual circles, informing public opinion of the crucial issues of the day. The politically active anti-fascist Camus of the 1930’s was caught up in the swirl and contradictions of events in France following the end of the war. A pacifist, he had eventually supported the war against Hitler. A fierce opponent of capital punishment, he changed his opinion over Nazi collaborators. “Despite his life-long support of native Algerians, his identification with poor forgotten whites and castigation of the injustice inherent in Algeria’s political system he seemed unable to contemplate the transformation of his homeland into a country which was not French” and he refrained from comment when war broke out in 1954, possibly for fear of inflaming partisan passions. His self- imposed silence over the war in Algeria brought him much criticism. Several plays and philosophical works appeared before the publication and huge success in 1947 of The Plague making Camus an international celebrity; and he began to dress with style and was seen escorting glamorous women. He moved between Paris, Lourmarin and Algeria and travelled widely.

Albert Camus



Land use in the Languedoc.... Vines, vines everywhere!

Richard Fowler talks to Charly Fabre, Chef du service productions végétales at the Chamber of Agriculture.


ooking over the hedge is a habit that never dies. In the Languedoc the view is undisturbed by such formalities! On our arrival eight years ago the sight of unrelenting ‘patches’ of a single crop spelled only one thing: overproduction, terse competition, the tyranny of paring down production costs , the absence of any alternative crop, the whole scenario was an unremitting nightmare . Poignant to me alone, perhaps, since I drove myself into the ground trying to survive the English hop growing industry‘s own decline

There are some massive canals for bringing water from the Rhone and from the Pyrenees watershed, so where’s the problem? Almeria does it, so why not here? What are the Chamber of Agriculture’s future plans? In the Languedoc cereals and melons are the only significant other crops. Charly also mentioned apples near Lattes grown with Pink Lady as star variety. Division of land use is a staggering 84,540 hectares of vines against 37,417 of other crops, including grazing land. Phenomenal! One crop alone is like a shop selling one item. So, I asked why land isn’t put to other uses?

and forced entry into a world market. With time one realises that there are amazing people who find ways to survive. Traditionally in this area the wine quality was poor and quantity production streamed through state aided cooperatives was a formula which obviously has now come to an end. By ‘obvious’ I mean the derelict, deteriorating, bankrupt-looking edifices that often turn into heaps of ground up gravel. The survivors in the wine industry are naturally those who produce good quality and, just as important, they know how and where to sell it. Reliance on state aid is only a small cushion against the reality of the market. So, to find out whether there are any alternatives to the wondrous plant that is the vine, I scoured the internet for agricultural statistics for the region and met up with Charly Fabre, Chef du Service Productions Végétales for the Chamber of Agriculture – concerned with everything but vines! I had a few questions such as: Why don’t local producers do anything other than grow grapes? What are the gross margins for all the different crops that could be grown? What crops and diversification are possible? What are the limiting factors?

Charly put forward three clear lines of response. 1. The paysans have vine growing in their genes 2. It’s a question of real estate. 3. It’s the climate. In France industrialisation came a lot later than other European countries such as the UK and life spent on the land was not very long ago. The political will to go on pouring tax money into agricultural support has no relevance whatsoever to a Mahgrebin in an HLM towering over a French city. This nostalgia leads to land being held on to, even when there is no obvious benefit to the owner. Napoleonic laws of inheritance are not the cause of ever decreasing sized parcels. Nostalgia can also inhibit the potential for mechanisation and a rational means of developing an infrastructure – such as irrigated water. Charly’s says it’s the effect of tourism on land values that is the crucial factor in the hinterland’s development. Farmland at €10 /m² can become €80/m². Growing vines or just doing nothing passes the time until that happens! A clear enough explanation. Mountain lands present unique problems for mechanisation, but do at least enjoy good rainfall! However, the present property recession could cause landowners to look at 20

alternatives as tourism is discovering new climes in the world. According to Charly there are entrepreneurial farmers who rent land and develop interesting companies - melon growing being a real example. There is also multiplication and development of new varieties of wheat seed. Near Lattes there are progressive forms of arboriculture. Frostfree conditions encourage growers of apples, prunes, apricots and peaches. The third factor is the weather. There can be long periods with no rain here, but then suddenly too much. Or too much sun! Sorghum crops need less water and Soya beans will grow, but there are just not large enough areas available. Yields are low. On the contrary, chick peas and Lucerne for hay do well. Olive oil production hit a problem in 1945 with a parasite, much like the vines with phylloxera , but they can now be grown successfully, grafted on to special rootstocks. Not a natural for short term letting! It would seem a short step to grow olive trees like vines, using the same harvester as in the USA. “Circuit Court” or direct marketing – farmers’ markets are a means of getting product to the customer whilst avoiding the overheads of les grandes surfaces (supermarkets). Direct fruit sales to tourists are a good example. Charly and I moved the topic to other diversifications and what he calls ‘pluriactives méthodes’. He mentioned stevia, an alternative to saccharine and aspartame; grenadine as a drink for sick people; hemp for building insulation and car upholstery; and a new cereal crop called ‘Sarjho’ - a sort of soya bean; as well as the rearing of pullets. To finish, I asked him about the role of the Chamber of Agriculture. He described it as providing education on all things agricultural. It is funded by a taxe foncière on agricultural land. The Ministry of Agriculture is concerned with legislation and INRA conducts research, experimentation and demonstration. The whole is overarched by the PAC or the CAP as we know it! Charly emphasised this paysan soul that lies in every Frenchman’s heart. Agriculture / La Campagne is his Eden, it’s what is craved deep down; it’s a happy life. Every man must have his free time. Personally, I call it misplaced, out of place, nostalgic. There is a future for this land and owners are being dragged towards it with their heels stuck well in the ground. Unless alternatives are created they will be selling their Eden. There are bound to be those who will not miss this opportunity to be creative with it!

Un Certain Regard: A journey through French cinema


hile this new monthly series focuses on French cinema from 1945 onwards, here in this first part we briefly trace its progress from its early beginnings to the end of the 1930s. Even a brief introduction to the history of French cinema would be lacking unless we include a word about Les Frères Lumières. They were two brothers born in Besançon:Auguste in 1862 & Louis in 1864 the sons of Antoine Lumières, a non-conformist painter, singer and photographer. By 1894, thanks to the inspiration of their father, Auguste & Louis were working on animated images. The following year they produced the first film, La Sortie de l’Usine Lumières à Lyon. While it has been disputed, it would appear there is enough evidence to show that the history of cinematography began in this family of “light”. From camel-trains in Egypt and the launching of the Fürst Bismarck to new photographic techniques and panoramas, the Frères Lumières could be found at the origins as innovators.

This era of flickering images developed into the silent films that many of us know so well and return to every now and then as nostalgia insists. We overlook just how amazing early films appeared to their audiences who sometimes feared the very pictures before them would leave the screen and come out upon them. Two other notable film producers were Charles-Émile Jean Cocteau Reynaud (1844 –1918) a French science teacher, responsible for the first projected animated cartoon films and Georges Méliès (1861 –1938) a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique began in December 1888, projecting the first animated film Pauvre Pierrot at the Musée Grévin in Paris which pioneered film perforations. By 1910 the Cinematograph had made his theatre obsolete & he threw his work into the River Seine. He died totally poor & bereft in a hospice on the banks of the Seine where he had been cared for. Georges Méliès was among the first to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted colour in his work. A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904) are early fantasy science fiction films. Le Manoir du diable (1896) is a horror film. The First World War obviously had a severe effect on the cinema in France. Following this period, the American cinema industry was providing a difficult challenge putting out 5 films for each one the French were able to produce. Protection was sought against this but was mostly unsuccessful. Facilities were outmoded and capital for investment short. In the 1920s an “Impressionist” movement grew with Henri Diamant-Berger (1921) Les Trois Mousquetaires; La Chute de la Maison Usher by Jean Epstein (1928) a surreal horror film and L’Argent by Marcel L’Herbier (1929) an intense critique of the financial world. By the 1930s “talkies” were becoming generally available bringing with them poetic realism, documentary and political commentary in a period of mounting social crisis. Among the names and titles to follow Jean Cocteau are Jean Cocteau Le Sang d’un Poète (not spoken 1930); The Marseilles Trilogy of Marcel Pagnol (1931) and La Grande illusion of Jean Renoir (1937) one of the all-time greats. Karl Leonie


Argent - Jean Renoir

Next Issue: The 1940’s 21

Spiktri’s Garden


lorent Spiktri is a sculptor and painter who lives and works in Monséret, a village situated South-West of Narbonne. Spiktri is self-taught and began his artistic career with street art. In 2010 he conceived a holiday resort in a green area named Les Jardins de Spiktri, an open space dedicated to mural paintings and lyrical sculptures. These are often assembled from found

materials or covered with resin. Les Jardins de Spiktri is open to the public from October to April. Resembling a little park it can be visited freely. Spiktri’s desire is to share his monumental sculptures with everyone, and in order to allow this he has had to refuse selling some of them to potential buyers. With boundless energy Florent Spiktri has created some of his monumental sculptures in two days. Using recycled objects; reinforced concrete rods, bands and metal plates, wire, drift wood, broken shells, mosaic, he truly reuses what is available, both in nature and from the waste of society. The artist’s imagination goes far beyond nor mality and so does his boundless energy.


Spikbull & Spitpunk

luminous and generous space dedicated to contemporary art. It is situated in Sigean, on the edge of the countryside. Here, Atelier de Barcelone features David Franklin (drawing), Alberto Peral (sculpture, installation), German Portal (painting), Isabel Servera (colorist). The temporary exhibition can be seen on the ground floor. The permanent exhibition is set on the top floor, and showcases paintings by Ben, Piet Moget, Dado, Antonello Curcio, a sculpture by Brigitte Nahon, ceramics by Tien Wen, and more. On both levels works of art are highlighted and well spaced, giving the visitor ample opportunity to stand back and look at leisure. The first room of the exhibition is shared by Alberto Peral and German Portal. An interesting installation by Peral shows a cord suspended from the ceiling and unraveling mid-way. The three remaining parts of the cord firmly attached on the floorform a pyramid shape. This very simple installation is pleasing. In the second room, Isabel Servera has also innovated with her Cajas. Picking felted pens from their original position in the box she has coloured each compartments of two 1 metre square sheet of paper marked out in squares. Following a spiral pattern, this work took her months to complete.

Atelier de Barcelone: German Portal, David Franklin, Isabel Servera, Alberto Peral


.A.C. Sigean is currently running its last exhibition of the year before next April, showing 4 Spanish artists from the Studio of Barcelona. Opened in 1991, L.A.C has previously housed exhibitions with artists such as Carlijn Mens photographer, or young graduate students from Toulouse and Mayence Art Academies. It has also welcomed renowned artists like Erró or Claude Viallat, and modern painters or sculptors: Villon, Matisse, Hans Bellmer, to name a few. Formerly a winery, this space of 2000 square meters offers a 22 He is also the founder of an art movement called ‘Aggressive Art & Love Revolution’ which denounces a society of overconsumption by taking short cuts. At the same time, his art speaks of tenderness and the immediacy in which we live. Few artists have succeeded to convey so well the current time. Created in the spur of the moment his sculptures have an impact. It is as though the speed of production in itself becomes a tool for expression, Spiktri works as if ‘in an emergency’. The skull is a recurrent theme in his work and has inspired him in more than one way. A giant skull in his garden is a piece rare to see with a 2.5m diameter. Spiktri reckons that using recycled materials is just as effective as new ones. He regularly finds unexpected treasures in bins which he uses to realize powerful contemporary pieces. Spray paint, resin, broken glass and recycled spray bombs are his daily media. They provide unlimited creation.

The star of the garden, Diva, is a mannequin clothed in red, her head covered with a very high oval shape turban. She is watching over her visitors with a serene attitude. Love Revolution, a mirrored mosaic sits harmoniously on curved concrete. It represents Spiktri’s main theme: a man and a woman, here Mercenary sideways. La Déesse de Spiktrum (Spiktrum’s Goddess) stands still, covered with spirals as a symbol of life according to the artist,and is entirely made out of broken shells mixed with concrete. She weighs 2 tons. Spikbull and Spikpunk are both made out of recycled materials. But the masterpiece is The Angel of Society

entirely built from iron rods; it is an icon of today’s society, a perpetual loser. As well as the sculptures, there are also a series of wall paintings on display, such as Mona la Douce (Mona the Gentle). Les Jardins de Spiktri is well worth visiting, whether to wander in an interesting setting or to contemplate or question this stimulating range of innovative art works, where tension and contrast are born out of the sheer energy and invention of the artist. A jewel in the Aude. ** 1010 Route de la mer -11200 MONTSERET


The result is optically fascinating. The drawings of David Franklin are all untitled. David draws stairs and steps in ink and fine markers, adding well mastered stains of ink as a background. His technique is fine but I am not sure if the wobbly perspective is wanted or not, or why he likes stairs so much. Equally, what does German Portal want to convey through his paintings? I like his small canvas Doble (2013) an object on a green lime background, but his portraits of Darth Vader puzzle me, and so does his Mis grandes obras (My large works, 2013). Atelier de Barcelone at the Lieu d’Art Contemporain of Sigean remains a great initiative. It was a risk worth taking since art is also about being new and young. While Servera experiments with success and modesty, Peral’s conceptual work has left me partly unsatisfied. His installation is great but I couldn’t decipher his photo découpage. And did the work of Faig Ahmed inspire him for his ‘carpet sculpture’? Through this exhibition, Layla and Piet Moget of L.A.C nonetheless provide a good opportunity, as the work of these young Spanish artists will undoubtedly serve as inspiration for emerging European artists wanting to make a debut after completing their studies.

L.A.C (Lieu d’art contemporain) - Sigean 13 October-17 November 2013 Open every week-end 14h-17h


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


An example of French business at its best? Or a template on how not to do it? MD gives his opinion.....

he name that to many Anglophones is an example of the failings of French management and to others a shining example of a world. But what lies beneath?


Orange is a French multinational corporation working in the telecommunications sector. By 2007 they had 121 million customers. By 2011 they had 226 million customers. As of 2013 they had 231.5 million subscribers ( (2013-08-09).)

Depending on criteria chosen they are in the top 10 telecoms providers in the world. It provides mobile phone, landline, IP and IP television services to name but a few and carries an AA+ credit rating. In 2005, it was the first operator to offer a national broadband network for mobile phones. The birth of this huge company began in August 2000 when France Telecom purchased Orange plc for an estimated cost of nearly €40 billion from telecoms giant Vodafone. The mobile operations of Orange and France Telecom were merged creating a new group known as Orange SA. In 2006, France Telecom rebranded their internet operator Wanadoo to Orange and there followed a decisive and vigorous strategy of restructuring their business model for a more mobile centric operation. Orange was recognized this year as one of the world’s top telecoms giants and was ranked 7 in the most valuable telecoms brands with a brand value of $16,342. brandirec-

From the customer who paid for their line for 5 months whilst adamant that the phone didn’t work, only to find that Orange had not connected the property to the exchange (and sent 2 engineers to the house), to the client who had their phone cut off by Orange (actually a third party) and Orange offered compensation and then withdrew the offer to a line activation taking 37 days when the line already existed. The fact is that with an organisation as large as Orange you have to get the basics right. Get it wrong and everything frays. Due to the ownership by the government of France Telecom the management missed the options on buying competitors. When they purchased Orange they paid a ridiculously high premium which was going to lead to problems further down the line. A grave misjudgement of liabilities came out in 2002, meaning repayments of on average €8 billion euros per year were required. The shares were dumped en mass (from €219 in 2000 to €6.94 on 30 September, 2002 ). CEO Thierry Breton obtained €45 billion

from bank restructuring, the government the largest shareholder at this time and cost cutting within the organisation. In 2004, the government sold a holding which reduced its majority shareholding. Orange went private. With €15 billion to come from cost cutting in the group, radical action was required. the ‘NeXT’ scheme was implemented. As of the 1st of July, 2013 shareholders Approximately 10% of the workforce were voted to brand the company ‘Orange’. cut. Management style was said to be brutal Marketing wise the company is seen as and it is said that this led to the suicides that a success. It is established in France as the were widely reported in media across the main brand for mobile, internet and TV globe. services and recently announced full 4g 24 suicides took place by Orange access for all of Paris. Orange is a steady, if employees. One suicide note read: “I am not spectacular player, on the stock market. committing suicide because of my work at THE BAD France Telecom. That’s the only reason.” Orange (and France Telecom) have a distinct And another, who when told that to keep their issue when providing services in France... position would have to move to another town, customer service. went and stabbed themselves repeatedly in This is an Anglophone publication so I will the stomach. (Nb. Suicide rates at Orange only quote Anglophone situations for you: have been falling since.) A great headline for the press but unfair on the organisation? Modernisation Skydigi supplies digital satellite equipment to and restructuring a receive UK TV and radio across Europe. company in France is We offer every solution for your viewing needs. very difficult. Workers Free advice and testimonials offered rights, the 35 hour Call us on 0468 87 18 30 week are all bad for For more information visit our website such a major turing as well as the



psyche of the French and their traditional ‘family centred’ mentality. There is also a ‘power’ structure in some management styles that demands a ‘rule by fear’ outlook that is at best outdated and at worst just wrong. A meeting was held in Italy where one manager from Orange was unimpressed that staff said hello as management walked to a conference room. Orange were attempting to change though. Mobile demand was and is outstripping

fixed lines and modernization was inevitable. At the time the average age of the workforce was over 45 and re-training can be difficult with an older workforce. Orange used spin to hide mass redundancies and instead asked for staff to retrain and often changed their job specifications and/or their location; stressful at the best of times. Some say this was a positive step, others claim that it was in fact a way of ‘culling’ staff to allow Orange to hire outside contractors with the skill set required and to reduce costs. Management members have been prosecuted, government interference is still in the background and debt ratio still needs improvement.


I know you want the negative statements, the ‘Ugly’ of the title but I won’t do it. Orange has made mistakes. It’s management style has at best been handcuffed and at worst unacceptable. The NeXT restructure was poorly handled but in a country that in business is still trying to break out into globalisation Orange has done it. It certainly hasn’t been pretty and without government backing (still at 27%) it may have at some stage been targeted or cut and sliced into many other providers portfolios. Its debt ratio is still unhealthy and its growth is under attack in France (its most profitable area) from providers such as Free; and credit agencies may downgrade again with the continuing tax issues from the 2005 / 06 restructuring requiring billions of euros to be paid. But with the Chinese and other telecoms giants gaining a foothold in the global economy, it is Orange who keep coming forward. They bought over 93% of Egypts Mobinil mobile service company in 2012 and just recently signed agreements with Samsung for cooperative partnerships. Big business is tough. In France it is tougher. This is business, thousands of employees and families depend on this company and I see nothing that I don’t see in the US, London or Germany. Orange are not doing great but they sure as hell ain’t doing badly!!

English for Expat Children

Preparing a meal, for example, is a great way to build a child’s confidence in giving them a taste of adult living. An indispensable guide It can be a short task or made longer by planning the meal, arranging the Laura Smith has a BA (Hons) shopping, the cooking and (critically) in English and a background the cleaning up. You might not want which includes nannying, to involve them in every part of the running ‘arts’ groups for process, but you will be surprised at children, supporting early readers, teaching English how interested they stay in following as a foreign language in Spanish and Italian through the task. (You might even find schools and examining children for the their enthusiasm for the task reinvigoCambridge Examining Board. rates your own perception of it!) Depending on the scale you are prepared to oversee you could even get some of November their friends in on the act. ands on activities are a great way to get This kind of ‘real life’ playing is really children engaged, particularly with exciting for children so do think about how reading. Reading instructions can be you can present it as a challenging adventure channelled into navigating for a driving into adult life, but then you need to make sure parent, cooking, or into the construction of you sit back and let them do the organising. anything from toys to furniture (hey, It is quite likely that as soon as you give in to frustration is a good lesson!). Get inventive any temptation to ‘take over’ with planning when getting the children involved, so long you are almost guaranteed to be left doing as you have the patience to let them take on all the work! Make it all their own and let it their task and complete it at their own pace, succeed or fail on their efforts; be their casual anything is possible!


Talk Tech and IT with the Geek we call ‘E-Male’

advisor and safety monitor. Listen out to their ideas and seek out materials they can use to get them happening. Any number of household tasks could be tackled in this way by your energetic little people. Washing can be sorted, washed and hung... the possibilities are endless. New responsibilities and the resulting abilities are so good for children as they grow up into the responsible types we hope to see them become; I don’t see any reason not to start them young! In fact, there is a notion in child psychology that far from being blissfully unaware and living in a paradise of sorts, children are crushingly aware of their limitations; the tasks they can’t achieve and their gaps in understanding the world. That we can best help by gently ignoring their embarrassment, as they bluff to hide their lacks, and arm them with a steadily developing repertoire of varied skills. Whoever knew I’d be writing a homage to the ‘rota’ system..!

Are you big enough?

English Television reception getting harder.


The signal will still reach most of France but will just be weaker. Ergo a larger dish allows a better collection of the weaker signal. To have a look go to channel 105 on your Sky box, or channel 140 if you have a Sky HD box. If these are working you may be ok. Alternatively call a local satellite provider (I’m told there are 2 reliable ones in this magazine) and they’ll advise you. So you see, when it comes to watching English television in France, size does matter and geeks really are taking over the planet! In the words of a company with an article in this magazine..... The Future’s bright, the futures ALL mine!! Ciao ciao....

ou should all get out more! I know, a little cheeky coming from someone who doesn’t know when daylight begins but I have many, many emails forwarded to me about Satellite Television. Now, this is for those who wish to receive English television channels such as BBC, ITV, CH4 etc. After many delayed launches the Astra 2E has been launched to join up with its sister the Astra 2F which was launched in November, 2012. The point of this is to ‘narrow’ the signal transmitted to focus it more on the UK which could mean some of you may have to take up a hobby on those cold winter evenings. So what will happen? In short, the signal that reaches France will be weaker and therefore some of you may lose your dose of the English. Have you lost Channel 5? Channel 4Seven? (HD) Can I be saved? Yes, there is a white knight in the shape of... a bigger satellite dish.

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Recipe Times An easy to prepare dish that suits the whole family. It also makes a great centre piece for a party when you use a whole filleted fish.

Salmon Tandoori with Coriander and Mint Dip Serves 4

Ingredients: 4 salmon fillets 1 lime sunflower oil

Chitra Pullen


hitra moved to the Languedoc in 2003, leaving behind a successful career as a solicitor in London in search of a more tranquil life in the South of France. Moving to France has given her an opportunity to indulge in her lifelong passion - cooking - and since 2011 she has been running Asian cookery courses and a catering business from her home outside Narbonne. In that short time, she has catered for numerous events including weddings, birthday parties and for the opening and closing ceremonies of the LIbertad Festival on India ,organised by the city of Narbonne, last summer. “I come from a family of accomplished cooks. Food - the cooking and eating thereof - has always been central to family life. When I moved to this part of France, Indian food was almost unheard of and certainly there were no decent Indian restaurants around. The only way we could get our fix of Indian food was for me cook it at home. What started out as a hobby to entertain friends and family has now evolved into a business.” There is so much more to Indian food than merely heat and chillies. I want to introduce people to real home cooked Indian food where an array of spices, including chillies, are used to transform even a simple ingredient like say, potatoes, into a sublime dish that stimulates the palate and satisfies the soul. “Living as we do in this region, I am also passionate about pairing Asian food with local wines. Traditionally, beer is the drink of choice with Asian food, but I find the wines of this region, especially the crisp rosés and the spicy reds, are perfect for the complexities of the Asian cuisine.”

Marinade: 1 pot yoghurt 1 teaspoon cumin powder (see notes below) 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic purée (see notes on Dhal recipe) 1 teaspoon turmeric powder ½ - 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, depending on taste Juice of 1 lemon A good pinch of salt 3 teaspoons gram flour (chickpea flour) Coriander & Mint Dip: I pot yoghurt 1small cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and diced into small pieces Generous handful of coriander leaves and mint leaves, finely chopped Squeeze of lime juice ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon sugar Salt to taste Method: 1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade to form a fairly thick paste. 2. Smear the fish thoroughly with the marinade and leave to stand in the fridge for at least 2 hours (but no more than 4). 3. Heat the grill until it is very hot, place the fish on a rack and grill for about 10 minutes. Just before you take out from under the grill, baste generously with oil and give it a couple more minutes under the grill to brown a little. 4. Squeeze some lime juice over the fish before serving. 5. Just before serving, mix together all the Dip ingredients and serve with fish. Notes: • I make my own cumin powder as and when needed as the taste and smell is entirely different from the shop bought product. To make your own, gently toast 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds in a dry cast iron pan over a low heat until it takes on some colour and start to crackle. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly, then grind in a coffee grinder or with a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. • I buy chickpea flour (farine des pois chiches) from Grand Frais in Narbonne, where I get a lot of my fresh Asian ingredients and spices. Most Arab shops sell it too. 26

To me, the ultimate comfort food! On a rainy day, or when we’ve over-indulged, or when just feeling under the weather, this is the dish we crave in my family. And it’s very healthy too, especially when served with some steamed brown rice.

tomatoes have cooked down, about 15-20 minutes. 4. Add the mix to the par-cooked lentils, stir well, and bring back to a simmer and cook until the lentils have disintegrated (but not turned into complete mush!), about 10 minutes.

Dhal (Lentil Curry) Serves 4 Ingredients: 250g red split lentils, washed and soaked in water for at least half an hour 2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole 1 green chilli, split down the middle (optional) 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 2 tablespoons sunflower oil and 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 dried chillies, left whole 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic puree 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon chilli powder 2 large tomatoes, diced Handful of fresh coriander, chopped Salt to taste 5. Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a dusting of cumin powder. Method: Par cook the lentils in large saucepan, with the garlic, turmeric, green chilli (if using) and some salt, in just enough water to cover to about 1 cm above the lentils, until they are slightly tender but not completely cooked. 2. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a lowish heat, add the cumin, dried chillies and mustard seeds and fry for a few minutes until they crackle. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown. 3. Stir in the ginger and garlic purée, and chilli and cumin powders. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook gently until the

Notes: Make garlic and ginger puree by blending equal amounts of peeled ginger and garlic in a food processor with a little water, until you have a smooth puree. It keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. If you have left over dhal, you can make a quick soup by adding some hot vegetable stock to the dhal and blitzing in a food processor.

2. Fry on a lowish heat for a few minutes until they crackle, then add the onion and fry until the onion slices are slightly tinged. 3. Add the ginger and garlic purée, then the turmeric. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until you have a rich yellow gravy. 4. Add the cabbage. Stir well until the cabbage is evenly coated with the gravy. Add a little water if too dry. 5. Cook for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is cooked through and tender. If using green chilli, add this and stir fry for a couple more minutes before removing from heat.

A versatile recipe that can be used with other vegetables, especially cauliflower and potatoes. I sometimes prepare my potatoes for a Sunday roast using this method, but leaving out the chillies.

Sautéed Cabbage with Turmeric and Mustard Seeds Serves 4

Ingredients: ½ white cabbage, finely shredded and blanched 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 5 or 6 curry leaves (or 1 bay leaf, torn up) 2 dried red chillies, left whole 1 red onion, halved and finely sliced 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic purée 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 green chilli, deseeded, halved and sliced (optional) 2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower oil Method: 1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried chillies. 27

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here possible the SPA Carcassonne prefers to place some of their rescue dogs in foster homes which enables them to assess how they react to different situations and work on their house- training and socialisation where required. This also makes the transition for dogs much less stressful when they are finally adopted and gives adopters more confidence as to the character of their new family member. We have a network of foster carers but we are always in need of more. As a fosterer you will play an extremely valuable role in reintegrating our dogs into a normal loving family environment. In our experience rescue dogs have a much smoother transition into their permanent homes if they have received care and rehabilitation from a committed foster home. We can supply fosterers with dog food, bedding, bowls collars/leads etc, and all vet treatments are covered, providing you live in Carcassonne or near enough to visit our vet. If you think you would like to help please contact Julie and we can arrange for you to meet us and some of our lovely dogs.

Can you help? Tom should not be at our refuge. He was adopted from the SPA Toulouse, and the rule is that any dog who is found returns to the refuge whence he came. However Toulouse refuse to take Tom back, as at 10 years old, they will not be able to home him. At first I was furious, as we are full, too. However

now I have met Tom, I am very glad that he is with us! He is a lovely lovely boy. He is very laid back, doesn’t pull on the lead, lies down in a shady spot when he is given the chance. He is very affectionate and approaches everyone for a cuddle. He deserves much better than the fate that would await him at Toulouse. Let’s get this gorgeous shepherd cross a home!


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AT Sport

compete. The Nord, Paris, the Loire Valley, Cote d’Azur and Lyon are much stronger and basketball ranks second only to football in much of France. Current champions of the Pro A are Paris-Levallois who caused a surprise last season edging out Nancy, Strasbourg, Villeurbanne and Cholet. Since crowds are limited to about 5000 by the size of indoor arenas, clubs with good sponsorship can do well in small towns. Some successful sides in the past have been Pau, Limoges, Antibes and Gravelines near Dunkirque. Not so long ago the Pinet women played in the National 3 and at top regional level! The best club in Languedoc is the women’s side of Lattes who were runners up last season to Bourges. Hérault has 37 clubs at all levels with Agde and Frontignan fielding men’s teams in the National 3 which is a good quality of ball. Aude has fewer clubs with Carcassonne and Narbonne being the strongest. The sport struggles to compete for media coverage with so much football and rugby on offer however. The region definitely needs another successful professional club to enhance the efforts of Lattes. Montpellier withdrew its backing for its Pro A team about ten years ago on the grounds that not enough French players were involved. Ironic if you consider the euros poured into Rugby clubs like Montpellier who regularly have 15 plus foreign players on their books. One hopes that the clear multi-ethnic appeal of basketball is not a factor. It certainly is not elsewhere in France. The European champions like the football world cup side of 1998 were a multi- ethnic outfit and a credit to France. What of the Brits in the European championships? Two wins and three defeats prevented the squad advancing and GB finished 13th of the 24. Disappointing, but with the 3 best players including superstar Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls out with injury the young side played well. Some of the team were from the under 20 side that reached this years junior final, a best ever result for GB. Let’s hope that the powers that be don’t cut the funding for basketball as is threatened, since about 150,000 young Brits play the sport. Remember, it took a few years for T.P. and his pals to make good! *

Sports by Stuart Turpie


he French winter season sports campaign has opened up with the triumph of the men’s basketball team; winners for the first time of the European championships. Despite having a group of fantastic players the men have not quite lived up to expectations until now. The women’s squad grabbed the silver medals in last year’s Olympics while the men underperformed. 14 years ago a great generation of young players won the under 20 title and went on to reach Euro and Olympic finals. At last les Bleus have done it, beating Lithuania by 16 points in the final in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 24 sides played in the finals and after 9 games France beat their great rivals Spain 75-72 after over time in the semi. There was no holding them back in the final which they dominated. 7,3 million television viewers watched the game. Hero of the moment is Tony Parker, known to everyone as T.P. He is the son of an American professional star who played in France and Belgium His mother is Dutch. In fact T.P. was born in Bruges but was brought up in France and has French nationality. Successful as a young player he went to America and the NBA where he has won titles with the San Antonio Spurs. Very proud of his roots he has played many times for France unlike other European superstars who earn their fortunes in the NBA where salaries can top 20 million dollars. What a player he is! His strengths are quickness, balance and a wonderful vision and he is one of the best playmakers to have ever graced the court. Gliding at speed into the lane he has made the “teardrop” shot his trademark, releasing the shot effortlessly from his dribble to softly arc over the desperate attempts of big forwards to block it. The French squad is coached by the rather unassuming Vincent Collet who clearly knew how to get his charges to perform in the vital games. Boris Diaw, a powerful forward and Nicolas Batum who plays as a swingman were probably the other key members of what was a solid team. Nando De Colo as scoring guard and Alexis Ajinça under the boards, were impressive. In the final the French dominated the rebounding which is essential. With 8 players with NBA experience, the French at last lived up to expectations. Chapeau! Languedoc it has to be admitted is not the strongest basketball region in France. Football and Rugby hold sway and Handball and Volleyball also



n every village and every town the Aude has a chance for you to visit and explore the magnificent produce and wares that it offers. Below is a selection for you to explore

Carcassonne - every morning (except Sunday) in Les Halles; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, Place Carnot Narbonne - every morning in Les Halles inc. Sunday; Thursday morning opposite the hospital, clothes and diverse until 16h by the canal; Saturday morning, Organic market, place Forum Lézignan-Corbières - Wednesday mornings (centre); Grand Foire every first Wednesday in the month until 16h Castelnaudary - Monday morning (Place VerdunCours de la République) Bram - Wednesday morning Espéraza - Thursday and Sunday morning Gruissan - Monday, Wed & Saturday morning Limoux - Friday morning Olonzac - Tuesday morning Port La Nouvelle - Saturday (place de l’église) and Wednesday morning Sigean - Tuesday and Friday morning Quillan - Wednesday and Saturday morning Trèbes - Sunday morning Saint Pierre la mer - Every morning 31

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3/10/13 09:29:49

The Aude Times November 2013  

The English language magazine featuring articles, opinion and commentary for the Aude in the south of France