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The Herault & Aude Times Free Monthly


Issue 19 - Jan 2014


The Herault & Aude Times

Editorial “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Nelson Mandela (1918-1913)

The Limoux



longest carnival in the world


promises a new beginning. The New Year brings a freshness that offers so much when we look forward instead of back. And with a fresh start comes a revamped and new look magazine for you. More pages, more articles from top class writers and a wider coverage for advertisers and readers alike. This publication is for everyone. It is not a ‘British’ or ‘English’ magazine but an Anglophone publication available for all nationalities who want to know more about and what is happening in this wonderful place we live and work and visit. So welcome one and all to The Herault & Aude Times - ‘The HAT’. This month we look first at Cirque Nouveau.With more than 500 companies across France, in the last forty years contemporary circus or ‘nouveau cirque’ has established itself as a respected performance art. Always looking to break new boundaries, creators are coming up with ever more exciting and innovative spectacles which combine traditional circus skills with other art forms like contemporary dance, puppetry, and visual arts. La Vererrie d’Alès, a regional branch of the Pôle National du Cirque, talks to us about the emergence of the nouveau cirque in France and which companies and shows to look out for in the coming year. And towards the end of January the inhabitants of Limoux, rather than hiding away and drinking gallons of hot chocolate like many of us, are instead putting the finishing touches to their costumes ready for the longest carnival in the world. Journalist Georges Chaluleau unveils the magic of the Limoux Carnival, which will continue until the beginning of April. That’s a lot of sparkling bubbles and clinking of glasses (see Wine Times with two of the best wine writers around, Rosemary George and Laurence Turetti). If Dom Pérignan had known about the carnival, he may have thought twice about sneaking off with the recipe. I doubt they know how to have this much fun in Champagne! Also this month: Tim King journeys down the rabbit hole into bureaucratic Wonderland; whilst Gnaeus discovers the Audoises recent proclivity for starting fires! And thanks to Ruthie Segal, we meet the man responsible for translating the entire bible into Occitan, Father Jean Roquette. We welcome new columnist Richard Pullen, musician and music aficionada, who will be regularly searching out the best the region has to musically offer and making sure you know about it. And on the art pages we look at a new venue for contemporary art and visit a superb exhibition in Sète.

Most of all, thank you for reading and helping us grow! Here’s to a great 2014

The HT Online

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The Herault & Aude Times



January 2014

The Herault & AudeTimes 1 Grand Rue, St Thibery,34630 (11100) Publisher: Gatsby B Editor : Emma F Advertising Director: Tom Buchanon Advertising: Vicky M-B Art Editor: Daisy B Art:

08 My Place

Jean-Claude Mas is the head of Paul Mas wines based in the Languedoc. With a turnover of €39 million we find out about the man.


10 The First Occitan Bible

Ruthie Segal talks about the inspirational man, Father Jean Rouquette.


14 The Limoux Carnival

SUBSCRIPTIONS Online or contact us on

A taste of the 10 week long carnival in the Aude

16 Good To Be Young

ADVERTISING For display advertising, print classifieds please call 0624 80 24 32 or mail For online advertising please visit www.theheraultandaudetimes.comP YRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER

The Herault & Aude Times The Herault & Aude Times is owned and published by L’Herault Art (L.A. Publishing) (51926616300010). The publisher, authors and contributors eserve 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

Young Journalist Theo asks the questions to Notaire Francois Granier

18 Cirque Nouveau

28 Vincent Cunillère

Musée Paul Valery exhibits photographer Vincent Cunillère

36 Absurdity

Tim King takes an ironic view of regulations and rules

47 Sport

Stuart Turpie hands out his awards to the teams that excelled in 2013.

ISSN: 2261-561X

03 Editorial 06 Letters 08 My Place 09 And Another Thing 11 Restaurant Review 12 Wine Times 16 GTBY 20 Lifestyle 22 Music 23 History 24 Gnaeus 25 A French View 27 English for Expat Children 28 Art 32 Recipes 34 Business 35 Property 38 Nature 38 In the Garden 40 Win 40 Subscribe 41 E-Male 42 - 46 Classified Ads 47 Sport




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 definitiveperiod.

The Cover Story


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.

Welcome to the letters page

Do you have something to say? About the magazine? About life? Do you have a question or even a co

We start with a response to an article written by Australians.... The Recovery of Australia I too am an Australian who spent many months each year for well over a decade both working and living in the Languedoc and would hate to think that your readers would imagine that the views expressed by A & P Kennedy (“All Change Australia?” Issue 16 – October 2013) are representative of those held by Australians. In truth, the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments were a disaster for Australia, a disaster that was recognised by the people of Australia at the 2013 elections where they overwhelmingly bundled them into the waste paper basket. Economically, the Labour governments were profligate and wasteful spenders. Rudd did not steer the economy through the Global Financial Crisis - the economy got through reasonably well because it was intrinsically strong, through both a resources boom and over a decade of strong financial management by previous governments. Rudd merely threw two tranches of $10 billion at the populace in the hope that they would spend it. Being of a prudent mind, they saved most of it. Rudd launched a home insulation package managed by his government. It


cost billions, led to the death of three young men and Rudd scrapped it. Rudd launched a $40 billion school building programme to help lift the economy. Most of it did not commence until 2009 and the tail of it is still running, some six years after the GFC. When Rudd came to office in 2007, he inherited a national surplus of $10 billion. When Rudd finally left office in 2013, the national deficit was $300 billion and rising. Under Rudd, Gillard introduced new industrial relations laws that set Australia back thirty years, back to before the great industrial reforms of Hawke and Keating, also both Labour but significantly more enlightened. Under the Gillard laws, labour productivity in Australia has now fallen to its lowest point in thirty years. However, even on her own, Gillard was a disaster. The week before the 2010 elections, she stated unequivocally to the Australian people that she would not introduce a carbon tax. Within months, she had made a U-turn and introduced a tax at $23 per tonne of carbon – at a time when the European carbon price was heading sharply downhill towards its current price of $5 - $7 per tonne. The financial drag on the Australian economy for absolutely zero benefit continues.

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


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Gillard did not create the National Disability Insurance Scheme. With bipartisan support from Abbott, she created the concept and the name – Abbott will be the one who creates it. Gillard did not institute the Gonski reforms. Again, she created the concept but, apart from agreements with some of the states, she instituted nothing. Rudd and Gillard’s National Broadband Network was a $40 billion dream of Labour that was held outside the national accounts under the delusion that it would eventually be privatised. The latest review shows that the Labour scheme would cost $70 billion and would very much have to come into the national accounts because it could never be privatised, swelling the national debt even further. That the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments were a disaster was recognised by the Australian people in 2013. That Abbott, with a huge House of Representatives majority, faces problems in the Senate arises, primarily, from the fact that Senators have fixed terms. The new Senate takes over on 1 July 2014. In the meantime, Labour and the Greens in the Senate walk hand in hand and vote in lock-step to frustrate the express wishes of the Australian people. The views of A & P Kennedy do

omplaint? Send your letters to and we’ll publish a selection each month.

not reflect those of the people of Australia. They are of those living in the pink, cloud-cuckoo land of an interventionist, welfare state. My views also do not reflect those of the Australian people. They have been formed from a strong belief in self-dependence, concern for those less able, and financial prudence and governance. I would ask your readers to look further afield to discover what the views of the Australian people are. Perhaps they were expressed rather concisely at the last election. A Kennedy, Adelaide. Australia Excellent defense AK. And happy to publish. You’re not related to the original writers are you? That would be a fun family gathering next time out. And as John Oliver said; “Australia turned out to be a sensational place. Albeit, one of the most comfortably racist I’ve ever been in.” And Tony Abbott... who said.... “the suppository of all wisdom,” and urged voters to support a female Liberal candidate because she has “a bit of sex appeal”. Ah Burlosconi, your legacy is safe. Confusion Unaccustomed as I am to writing I feel compelled to remark how often the words England and English appear in your publication ‘issue 17. English is my native tongue, but I am not English, like to many other peoples who have the same native tongue, I hope this does not read like an oxymoron. For those of us who are mistakenly taken for being English, it is irritating, for we are neither arrogant nor feel superior, we are just better! Britain comprises Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Eng-


land, we share the same language, thus we are mistakenly taken to be English-English. The point being language is about all we have in common, we are in all other respects different people. Then it would be wonderful if the distinction was made clear, by using the terminology English- British, or if you like English- English, for the rest of the British is sufficient to say, Welsh, Scottish, Irish. Derek, H.

Keep it up. Hi to all at the magazine. Can I say have a great 2014. Your magazine has brought a different feel to living here with intelligence, laughter and quality. I look forward to sharing this year with you. Hilda K Re My Place December. One of my favourite pages last month was turned into a story (or fable I don’t know). I was initially disappointed but then was so moved that I decided to write to you. Thank you. Christmas is now so commercialized that it is heartwarming to see a story of goodwill to all and especially those with less. I was deeply moved by this. Jacqui H

Hollande (France) and Burlosconi (Italy). Add to this the flawed article on Islam and the green propaganda on wind farms and liberal coverage of gay weddings…….hell of a year. I’m not sure I can keep going. Comments? Oh dearie me…..Comments? I’ve got one…ha ha ha ha. Are we taking ourselves a little seriously here? Opinions are so much fun don’t you think. Oh hold on, you can have one and no one else can is that it? Now, I’m off to read the liberal press and drink a grass smoothie. Come on, give me a man hug or will that frighten you as well? CSF Dear Sir, The article on Cancer Support France was excellent. I had the fortune to find them at a time when everything was getting on top of me and my family and they were there not only for my late wife but also for me. I will never forget the help I got. God bless you for showing everyone what they do.

Still in shock Holy cow….a magazine that didn’t jump on the bandwagon with a bloody Christmas tree on the cover. I am shocked and stunned. Well done all of you and more please from Mr Beckett next year. Xavier

CSF 2 Would you consider printing this please? Thank you all for your time, kindness and patience. You are doing a magnificent job and making others lives manageable at a terrible time. I will never forget you. Witheld

And another thing and more You self opinionated s***. Your unchecked attack attempted through humour on Nick Clegg (a UK politician to those that don’t know) was a cheap shot. And this follows attacks in the magazine on Tony Abbott (Australia), Francois

Wine I have now tried many of the recommendations by Rosemary George in the Hérault Times and had a great time, well the bits I remember anyway.

And then you offer me Laurence Turetti in the Aude as well. I wanted to thank you. Apart from being permanently drunk I am happy to be led into a more refined choice of wines and through my slurring speech apparently my dinner party conversation is much improved. James Pitt Perpignon Witchcraft Wow, what an article. Tell me, is he real? And if so is he a witch or a wizard? And can I have a picture of Tom Cruise now and Scientology as I think he’s cute! He’s a Wicam Lou, and Tom Cruise is the spitting image of me! See, I’m cute!! Letter Man ( It can’ be a woman) Can I assume that the respondent of this letter is the miserable son of Beelzebub and has no joy in his heart and so writes caustic and withering responses to others outpourings? Yes! See ya!

Fou D’Anglais Clermont L’Herault

8 Ave Maréchal Foch (opp Clermont Medical Centre)

Grocery Shop Tea Room 04 30 40 29 54


My Place Jean Claude Mas is the man at the head of a €39 million turnover business based in the Languedoc, Paul Mas wines. A man who believes tradition and modern business practise can work hand in hand The HAT met him at his office. Here we ask about the man behind the brand. The full interview can be read on the website and there will be a business interview in a future issue.

The People that make up this part of the world you had to do military service. You could apply for a job as a civil servant within a consulate. But as I said, I came back here in ’96. I was still working for the negociant com-

and a unique identity. Is it true that you do things in reverse? You don’t just take the wine and say ‘we’ve got this great wine’? JC: For me, it’s important to understand what people like and then I try to understand how to make it. It doesn’t mean being literal, it means understanding the terroir. Some people like Burgundy, some like Bordeaux, they are both very different. There are markets for both of them. With your background and with your knowledge, why did you not go to Burgundy or somewhere else? JC: Because I saw my family had a good base which I could not accept to see falling down. That was one of the main reasons. Are you married? JC: Yes, and I have three daughters. The majority of your wine currently is actually exported? JC: Yes, 97%. What do you say to people who criticize your approach? JC: There are people who are calling me things, but that is not the point. If you want to talk to me, talk to me about wine. It’s a big polemic with me if you don’t like my wine, no problem. Challenge me on that, but don’t challenge me about the wine business. Your approach to business is an approach that a number of French politians argue is what this country needs. In other words you identify what needs to be done, you look at marketing, then see what you can produce and find a way to get it there. JC: Basically at university I learnt, not so much psychology but about the human system. There is one phenomenon that I learnt about group behavior. There are people who get into their own business but may be in a closed, tied up environment where they don’t see much beyond their world, ‘myopia’. The only thing I’ve done is not get into the fortress of this group mentality. I managed to stay in an orbit around it. I always talk about the book Blue Ocean Strategy [business strategy book by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne]. I’ve always been able to go into all fields. Some people call it innovation, but also it’s a philosophy in life. I hate conflict. I hate to be compared. I am

Jean-Claude Mas

Was it a given that you were going to go into the wine trade? JC: No, basically the story when you come from a family of viticulteurs is that your parents will push you to study and if you are lucky enough to be a good student then you will do something else. I came back just because of my passion. After having seen some of the world I understood that this region was totally under developed. I was lucky to have the opportunity study. Before going to Birmingham for my MBA I lived for 4 months in Costa Rica. After, I went to Miami for 2 years. When I came back to Paris I realized I was the son of a viticulteur and there was much more to be done here. So I said to myself, “Well, I’m going to learn about wine first”. I went to Bordeaux and worked for a big negociant company. After three and half years working there I came back here where I was also buying grapes for my parents. I started to look after the estate from a distance; that was in ’96. What did you do in Miami? JC: I was working for the French Trade Commission. That was the time when


pany and I started to look at what was done here, the good, the bad, in terms of wine in the property. I started to develop a visual identity, starting with the label. In January 2000 I decided to leave my job as a negociant as the company was being taken over by another big company. May be if it hadn’t have been taken over I would have stayed… So when you came back what was Paul Mas producing? JC: Paul Mas was both producing and selling grapes. All the best grapes were sold and what was left over was made into wine. I read that you want to create 10 vintages in the next 5 years? JC: This region basically needs to make changes when it comes to the philosophy of making wine. It cannot mass produce, it has to make fine wines because the soil, everything, is not conducive to a large quantity of wine. And France is a country where you can’t produce raw materials and cheap products efficiently because of manpower costs, which are very high. So the only way is to have a strategy of differentiation, a bit like in the New World. So, what I saw was being done in the New World, I applied to the Languedoc but with a different strategy,

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My Place not a challenger of what exists. I’m more an innovator. Would you talk about your involvement with wine tourism? JC: I am moving in that direction because I think we need to in order to secure the long term. Oenotourisme is not something in itself, it goes with something else. First the wine, which needs in the long term a positive environment. It’s the big word at the moment ‘oenotourisme’. Everybody who is in the wine business understands that you need wine tourism. It’s a means, not an objective; it’s a mean to

sell wine and to make a region of wine a real region of wine. Do you have any interests outside of wine? JC: I like to travel. But you know what I like? It’s people. I like to discover people. Either through travelling, through going to lovely regions - I’m a great lover of Italy, I love art. I go to Brittany in the summer to relax; I do a bit of sailing… I love sport… If the wine industry collapsed tomorrow, what would you do? JC: I think I would go towards art probably, with a less material life. A lot of the Paul Mas wine labels are my drawings. And for the future? JC: The most important part of this business is that you have to manage, you have to carefully balance. But it is the most beautiful business you can imagine doing. You have access to the best things in the world, the best restaurants, the best art, the best people. For example, one of the last people I encountered was the astronaut Patrick Baudry. He was the first guy to bring a bottle of wine into space! And we became friends, it’s incredible. And why did I meet this guy? Because I’m helping some guys with French motorbike racing, another passion of mine… so it was through this, but it all comes back down to wine!

“And another thing..” Artist, Philosopher and grumpy old bugger..

Abse shares his thoughts and mindless wanderings

New Year Again – Abse’s predictions for 2014 These New Years just keep rolling around. And each one seems to resemble the last one. Things change, true, but they also remain the same. It only seems like a month ago when I was writing about new year’s resolutions for 2013 for this column. But in fact it was a year. Well I never, that went fast. I only made one resolution, I note: to keep writing this column and to keep drawing silly pictures of cats. And I kept them both. Do I get a prize? I made no predictions however at the beginning of 2013, but this year will be different. 2014 promises to be a very special year. You see in 2014 all sorts of stuff will happen, and you may not believe in my powers of prediction, but I am prepared to put my nonexistent reputation as a Magus and Clairvoyant on the line. Let’s start with January (I’m a traditionalist you see). In January I predict that it will be cold, and an icy wind will whistle down from the mountains to the sea. A great star will shine in the sky some days and it will be known as “the sun”. In February I predict that many French people will go on holiday either to warm places in the west, or high in the mountains, where many will tumble down in the snow, and that around the middle of the month many of you may receive a card with… I see a heart, yes a heart on it. Next, March. In March the weather will be better than February, and the days will get longer. On the first of March many people in a distant western province will wear yellow flowers on their lapels, whilst later in the month, a bit further west in a green island, many people will drink a black liquid and fall, yes FALL, to the ground. On the first of April many jokes will be made. Ha ha! And in April flowers will appear, and the weather will once again be warmer. I see an image of people eating chocolate in a strange, egg-like shape. In May a MAJOR EVENT will happen. It will involve people, and a natural phenomenon. And the sky. Maybe. Maybe something else. Or maybe not at all.

In June the days will be longer and the sun will be high in the sky. More children will start appearing on our streets, especially towards the end of the month. In July many cars will appear, many of which will have NL written on the back, and they will drive around the Languedoc aimlessly, never leaving their cars. Mysterious. Also in July, across the seas in a land known as Bra-sil many men will kick a ball around whilst hundreds of millions watch in order to win a “Cup”. Who will win this vital cup? I see a shirt… its colour is….. Blue! No Yellow! No White! Or maybe Red. Sorry, the image is fading…. August will see a boom for ice-cream salesmen and women, and many people

will be seen wearing skimpy clothes, close to the sea. I see….sand, yes sand. September – I see the days getting shorter, less people around. As if something unexplainable has made all the people go away. Many of the people will feel depressed. In October – I see leaves falling, turning brown as if some great calamity has struck. Vines will no longer be sprouting grapes, people will spend more time indoors. Throughout Europe there will be people claiming the recession is over. But no one will believe them. Bills will rise. Bankers’ pay will go up. Then in November the weather will worsen, and the days shorten more. Many men will grow moustaches and feel they are accomplishing something whilst women will be too kind to say how stupid they look. And then last, but not least, Decembereveryone will feel cold, and spend money they haven’t got on pointless gifts, thus leaving no money to heat their freezing houses… On no, my crystal ball is fading. That, I am afraid, is all. Happy New Year! 9

Publication of First Occitan Bible


By Ruth Segal

ather Jean Rouquette is Curate of the Parish of Saint-Georges-d’Orques, and is a former Professor of Scripture and Bible Studies.

Father Jean Rouquette is Curate of the Parish of Saint-Georges-d’Orques, and is a former Professor of Scripture and Bible Studies. He was born in Sète and brought up speaking Occitan and has become renowned for his writing, some 8 books both religious and academic, and poetry in the Occitan language, under his Occitan “nom de plume” Joan Larzac. He also does translations and literary critiques. In the 1970’s, Jean Rouquette founded ATOTS which offers young Occitan writers and poets the possibility of having their works published. Literature runs in the family as his brother is the famous writer and poet Yves Rouquette. 25 years ago Jean Rouquette spent 2 years as a volunteer teacher in Lebanon at the small seminary of Aghasir. He met a young lawyer Melhem Khalaf who set up an organsiation called Offre Joie, in order to give joy to children of all faiths in his war torn country. 2 years later Jean Rouquette, then based in Montpellier, set up his own offshoot association of Offre Joie, to raise money and awareness of the Lebanese projects. Although he first built up his links in Lebanon in the Christian community, this expanded to all faiths who were endeavoring to unite their country. Père Rouquette often travels to Lebanon on humanitarian missions and in July 2013, he flew there for 2 months because through Offre Joie, 50 young Lebanese were hosting, for the second year running, 50 young Iraqis from all faiths. French and Lebanese volunteers are also repairing schools and slums under the umbrella of Offre Joie. In Lebanon, Offre Joie is well known by both the public and media as a great example of communities of all faiths working together for the common good. In France, members welcomed Pope Benedict XVI with a banner inscription which proclaimed:“Christians and Muslims – no one will separate us!” Despite the current situation in the Middle East Père Rouquette offered this message of hope: “I do not lose hope that one day soon young Syrians of all faiths can partake of the Lebanese project, as the young Iraqis are currently doing, and be imbued with the Offre Joie ideals: “Violence is not strength – strength is love”. Père Rouquette travels around Hérault, offering his presence at charitable and Occitan events, with the help of a friend who acts as his driver. He also does an

enormous amount of work in his own parish of Saint-Georgesd’Orques, including organizing events. This incredible man gives all his time and effort to others, and where he found the time to embark upon, let alone finish his amazing achievement of researching and writing a translation of the Old Testament into Occitan, I do not know. The old adage of, if one wants something done, ask a busy person, is certainly true in his case. I personally will think twice in future before saying, “I’m too busy!” In 1977, a friend suggested that he translate the Bible into Occitan, as he was in a unique position to do so with his knowledge and expertise. He told me that he thought it was a good idea at the time, but didn’t take it too seriously until eventually years later he was approached by a Publisher. He had already translated some small parts of the Bible for himself and colleagues, but this serious recognition of his work motivated him, so he then allocated several hours a day for 5 years on this mammoth project. Although he consulted with many Biblical and Occitan scholars en route, the translation into Occitan from the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic is very much his own achievement. Now years of work have come to fruition at the grand age of 75, with the publication this February of the first “Old Testament Occitan Bible”. At a time when Occitan speakers are fighting to keep their ancient language and culture alive, Père Rouquette’s work is an enormous boost to their efforts. I cheekily asked him about the New Testament and he shrugged and laughed. No wonder, because if we put this into context, coincidently the first French translation of the entire Bible has this year been published by the Catholic Church, which took 70 specialists 17 years to translate. I first met Pére Rouquette in 2011 when as Secretary of the Foyer Rural of Lauroux, and a student of Occitan, I organized a Concert which took place at the Eglise Saint Pierre in Lodève on 1 July 2012. This was the ‘Song of Soloman’, with Père Rouquette’s Occitan translation being read by local Occitan speakers, original music composed for this event by Guy Cornut with musicians, a Soprano Lise Moyne singing in Occitan, and my daughter Karen Shaw, Dancer and Choreographer. Later in November, at the Cathedral Saint Fulcran, Lodève, Père Rouquette introduced his Bible to local Occitan enthusiasts. In order to give a little flavour to the proceedings, Lise sang an excerpt from the 2012 concert and Karen danced. We were then treated to an enthusiastic explanation of his translation from the man himself. He is a joyous, humble and erudite man, seemingly unaware of his considerable accomplishments. A man not only consecrated to God but also to mankind. It is my privilege to know him.

The Herault & Aude Times

Restaurant Les Deux M. Domaine Santa Estela, 34490 Thézan lès Béziers. Tel: 09 83 66 77 30 or 06 50 81 20 80

Restaurant Review Real opinions - real views

It Comes to those who wait


ave you been disappointed with the French cuisine in this area? We have. Regardless of the price we pay we sometimes feel cheated by the quality of food. When travelling to and from Béziers on the D19, we noticed this year the Restaurant Les Deux M (a strange name we thought). It is set off the road in the vineyards, on the opposite side of the road from Thézan itself. Not the best time to try a new restaurant, knowing we could not sit and drink up the sunshine al fresco. But we decided to give it a try on a sunny but very cold day. We had booked a table and were warmly welcomed by Mimi (one of the M’s). Settled in a corner on comfortable chairs, we enjoyed the sunshine invading the warm, yellow, pleasantly decorated dining room. Aperitifs ordered we looked at the menu. A little confused at first because we had missed the lunchtime menu displayed on a black board at the entrance of the restaurant…we were just too keen to get in from the cold!! The cheerful waitress described the choices available. We decided on the 18€ menu for 3 courses (2 choices for each course). Although it must be said we were also tempted by the à la carte and other menus. The chosen starters arrived. Choux du Barry, a cauliflower soup beaten with cream topped with croutons and chopped fresh herbs, delicious and new to us. The chèvre chaud was presented on a delicious mixture of finely chopped salads, fresh herbs and a sharpish dressing. Later we learned it was based on homemade vinegar. A great beginning, our appetites well whetted. Having begun on the house

red (a light blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes), the Mignon of Pork arrived having been chosen in favour of the fish dish. The wine complemented the tender and delicately flavoured pork. Three pieces of succulent pork filet on a bed of freshly cooked green cabbage and mushrooms on a delicious potato purée. Surprisingly the pork was topped by crunchy crackling. The island of food was surrounded by a fluffy, delicately flavoured mustard sauce… mmm. For dessert we chose a dish of 3 large choux pastries filled with chantilly (as well as a friendly lesson on French pronunciation). Crème Framboise was the other dessert we ordered. A thick mixture of cream and marscapone covered by a raspberry coulis and topped with fresh raspberries and a croquante biscuit …mmm. Coffee arrived with a cuiller of lemon cream. Chef, Mathieu (you have guessed it…the other M) came and told us of his experience working in Shanghai, California, and Paris. His dream was to own his own restaurant providing fresh, seasonal produce in imaginative menus; cooked in traditional ways. Clearly cooking is his passion. We wished the charming couple “bonne chance” in their new adventure and considered the feast we had had for a total of 54.50€ (2 menus at 18€; ½ carafe wine, 7€; 2 coffees, 4 and 2 aperitifs, 7.50€). If you are looking for imaginative French cuisine at affordable prices and friendly service, this could be a place for you. Text and Images: B & P Casteleyn


Wine Times L

Rosemary George Rosemary George was lured into the wine trade by a glass of the Wine Society’s champagne at a job interview and subsequently became one of the first women to become a Master of Wine, back in 1979. She has been a freelance wine writer since 1981 and is the author of eleven books. Both her first and last books were both about Chablis. Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois, published in 2007, charts the changes in the region since her first book 25 years earlier. Others include The Wines of New Zealand, two books on Tuscany, the most recent being Treading Grapes; Walking through the Vineyards of Tuscany, as well as The Wines of the South of France which covers the vineyards between from Banyuls and Bellet, from the Spanish to the Italian border, and also Corsica. She also contributes to various magazines such as Decanter, India Sommelier, and writes a blog on the Languedoc: www


Rosemary George


imoux is the most versatile of appellations, and comes in many guises, with red and white still wine, but not pink, and pink and white sparkling wine, but not red, and there is also Pays de la Haute Vallée de l’Aude, to accommodate grape varieties, such as Pinot Noir, that do not fit into the appellation. But as the festive season is now upon us, I intend to concentrate on sparkling wine. Limoux proudly claims to be the oldest sparkling wine of France, with an even longer history than champagne. The monks of the Benedictine abbey of Saint Hilaire take credit for the discovery of the vinification process. In 1388 the chronicler Froissart referred to the delectables beuveries de vin blanc. Limouxin and authorities have set the date for the discovery of sparkling wine as early as 1531, which predates Dom Pérignon in Champagne by more than a century. The discovery was probably accidental in that the monks found that their wine began to ferment again in the spring after the winter cold and they managed to contain the carbon dioxide. Blanquette de Limoux was made in this way for many centuries until the champagne method was adopted The principal grape variety of Blanquette de Limoux is Mauzac, a variety that is rarely found elsewhere. Blanquette, meaning ‘white’ in Occitan, is so-called because for the white hairs on the underside of the leaves of the vines. However, Mauzac can lack flavour, so plantings of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, and more recently Pinot Noir, have been developed in the area, and therein lies the intrinsic difference between Blanquette and the more recent appellation, Crémant de Limoux. Blanquette de Limoux must include a minimum of 70% Mauzac whereas Crémant de Limoux need only contain 10% Mauzac. Both are made by the champagne method, entailed a second fermentation to create the festive bubbles, in the bottle in which the wine is sold. Time of ageing on the lees of that second fermentation is a quality factor too. Good Crémant de Limoux has a ripe creamy quality that champagne can sometimes lack, and while Blanquette de Limoux can sometimes taste slightly rustic and less refined, it nonetheless has an authentic charm and individuality. I would happily drink good examples of either, in favour of The Herault & Aude Times

inferior and acidic champagne. And both Blanquette and Crémant de Limoux can represent startling value for money. The production of Limoux is dominated by two cooperatives, both of which produce sound wines under two brand names: Sieur d’Arques and Anne de Joyeuse. However, more interest comes from several small independent producers. One of my favourite Blanquette de Limoux comes from a Dutch – Irish couple, Jan and Caryl Panman at Château Rives Blanques. The current vintage is 2011 at 10.50€, and they also make delicious Crémant de Limoux, Blanc de Blancs, 2010 vintage at 10.95€ and a Crémant rosé, 2011 at 11.45€. The estate is down a dirt track outside the village of Sépie and it is well worth going to taste in their welcoming tasting room, with a breathtaking view of the Pyrénées, on a fine day. And they produce some stylish still wines.

J. Laurens was set up by a champenois about 30 years ago, and sold about ten years ago to the talented Jacques Calvel. He makes four different cuvées. I have particularly enjoyed two Crémants, namely the 2010 les Graimenous at 8.80€ and La Rosé No.7 at 9.80€. Bernard Delmas in the village of Antugnac is an organic wine grower and makes a range of lovely Crémant and Blanquette. Most original, and also most expensive is 2009 Cuvée Audace, at 17.50€, for which the wine was fermented in oak barrels, which adds an extra dimension of flavour and depth. I also liked his non vintage Blanquette, which was more elegant than some, at 8.10€. And other names to look out for include Jean-Louis Denois and Maison Antech.

Wine Times

Laurence Turetti

January, the most organic of months…

Laurence Turetti 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.


fter the effervescence of December when we excel at all manner of gift giving, January is a more peaceful month, a real winter break when we can make the most of tasting and discovering new vintages. The organic wine fair in Montpellier takes place at the end of the month ‘Millésime Bio’, where we will catch up with our vigneron friends. During the three days more than 800 exhibitors from around the world come to share their wines. It is a veritable marathon for the taste buds. In fact, what is organic wine? It is wine made from organically produced grapes and labeled AB. The management of the vines must be achieved without the use of any synthetic pesticides or herbicides. Fertilizers must be from a natural source. Organic winemaking limits oenological additives and sulfite levels in the wines. Some winemakers are going even further by employing biodynamic

cultivation methods. The key principles for this were defined by the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the mid 1920s. In response to the industrial agriculture which systemized the use of chemicals, winemakers explored ways to maintain a natural balance between plants, soil and environment, while taking into account the influence of celestial and terrestrial forces. Demeter and Biodyvin are the regulatory and certificatory organizations. A branch of organic production that develops ‘natural wines’, that is to say, with no additives. These wines are, by definition, more fragile and more sensitive (to temperature variations, for example) than others. It is nonetheless reassuring to know that wine responds to such criteria and that one third of French people consume organic wines regularly. This proportion is still increasing. The winegrowing areas cultivated organically represent nearly 8% of the vineyards in France. If organic criteria are very important for us, so it is essential that the wine is above all good. In the forthcoming trade show ‘Millésime Bio’, there is plenty to choose from. There are some exceptionally charming gems. First is the wine of Borie la Vitarèle, a Saint-Chinian appellation. Jean-François Izarn, who has been cultivating his 18 hectares bio-dynamically since 1998, is one of the pioneers of organic production. The vintage Les Schistes, a blend of grenache, syrah and carignan, is a superb silky wine with powerful aromas of dark fruits and the garrigue. Precise wine making methods, balanced, generous and velvety wines are the mark of this domaine. Happiness in a bottle.

wines such as this 100% mourvèdre, Las Vals, with its beautiful complex and heady aromas. The Lignère family is from several generations of doctors, who have also been winegrowers for the same amount of time; proof, if one needs it, that wine and health can go hand in hand. All of their wines are superb: the vintage Pièce de Roche comes from one of the oldest carignan plots in the whole of the Languedoc, dating from 1892. This excellent wine reflects the vast richness of a land still so unknown and bears a part of the history of viticulture in the Midi. These wines and winemakers embody true harmony: land, cultivation methods, wine making and lifestyle concur. Everything is in place. It is part of this serenity, so rare in the bustle of daily life, which they share through their knowledge and their wines. Food for the soul.

Address Book: Borie la Vitarèle, 34490 Causses-et-Veyran, tel. 04 67 89 50 43 Château la Baronne, Fontcouvete, tel. 04 68 43 90 20 Wines on line: tel. 04 68 20 12 42

From the Corbières area are the wines of Château la Baronne which we are particularly fond of. At the foot of the massifde ’Alariac, the Lignères family produces elegant and refined


The Limoux Carnival: A town in its bubble by Georges Chaluleau

The Limoux Carnival: A town in its bubble by Georges Chaluleau


ike a mirage. From the furthest end of rue Jean Jaurès, white silhouettes of the Millers dance in the fresh air of the morning. The brass section of a lively march wakens the onlookers crowding along the pavements, jostling in the reflections of a faint winter sun. It is Sunday.

Soon, in the cafés tucked in the four corners of the main square where the heart of the town beats, the carnival will enter like a current of air, a shooting star vibrating along its trajectory of star dust and brightly coloured confetti. Like a petty thief of emotions rehearsing his concealment in the backroom of a poorly lit café in order to maintain the mystery of anonymity through the costumes; and the sense of belonging for the community of the faithful. The origins of the carnival go back to before Christianity. Without doubt, the populations of this region have engaged in excesses for at least two millenniums to ward off death and keep nature at bay while waiting for the return of spring and of life. Written references on the carnival date back to the 17th century. Without doubt they attest to the popular traditions instigated by the craft and merchants guilds that have taken place since the mists of time. The Millers, declared ancestors of the Limoux Carnival, didn’t deny themselves a good time on their yearly trips to the town to sell their flour. After eating 14

and drinking to their heart’s content they would dance to the sound of a violin and tambourine under the arches of the old market place. But the slow pace of the dancers thudding heavily upon the ground became assimilated into that of a well-sated man getting up from the table and supported thus the case of the tenant wine growers and the image of grapes being crushed under foot as it was once done. The carnival start date is determined by Easter. The night of the cremation known as ‘la Blanquette’ was invariably celebrated on the Sunday before ‘Les Rameaux’. All of the remarkable spectacles, parades and events are reserved uniquely for the market place in Limoux, Place de la République. The Participants Ceremonial ritual governs the organization of the processions. Due to three carnival groups per week (two on Saturday and one on Sunday) the Limoux Carnival is said to be the longest in the world, taking place over 10 weeks, with one entire week reserved for the general parade of all the groups (there are at least 30, each group comprising a minimum of 20 people); 500-600 masked people in a town with a population of 10 000, as well as a day dedicated to carnivals of the world. There are three women’s parade groups, including the ‘Fennas’ (Occitan for ‘women’) which first appeared on the carnival scene 40 years ago. Groups may be named after a district (le Paradou, L’Aragou, le Pont Vieux), a profession (les Blanquetiers), a group of selfnamed inhabitants (les Arcadiens, les Anciens), a special human or social feature (les Jouves (the Young), les Mainatches (children)), or after a character trait (les Enifalurs (the bad asses), les Estabousits (the stupefied), les Aissables (the unbearables)).

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The Ceremony To duple or triple musical rhythms, inspired by popular songs, opera and arias, the orchestral formation made up exclusively of wind instruments, snare and kick drums, goes around the square, making its way behind the carnival groups through the passages of the old medieval arcades. The last three carnavaliers lead the music in keeping with precise gestures led by the first line of musicians, notably the kick drummer who punctuates the trance with the rhythmical banging of his drum. The first parade at 11h is themed, a pretext to satirically present a subject currently gripping the planet, such as sperm banks, the misadventures of Clinton, more recently of Strauss-Kahn, presidential elections, but also local subjects concerning political players; a fact known to everyone. It is the time reserved for bawdiness, Place de la République has already been decorated with inflated condoms. Is not the carnival a parody, an interpretation of this topsy-turvy world?

The popular parade par excellence is at 17h. Every group arrives in their specific costumes, with variations of the character Pierrot dominating the proceedings, then follows the same route dancing freely. The pleasures of the morning’s terrestrial attractions are expunged before the weightless delights that arrive with the complicity of the night and the last parade at 22h. Under the light of the ‘entorches’ some say that as the mystical shadow realm emerges the carnival goers move freely from the world of appearances to the other side. God, or something akin, approaches at that moment so that He is no longer so completely inaccessible.

locutor in order that they willingly confess. This blind rhetorical practice is known as ‘la chine’, from the verb ‘chiner’ meaning ‘to intrigue through words’. The prestigious sparkles The bubble of the Blanquette at the carnival is like a crystal ball in which the world is reflected. But you don’t have to work out the future to understand the power which unites the revelers to their favourite drink; and the faith of an entire population in the virtues of this celebratory wine, including the monk Dom Pérignon who it is said stole the recipe and ownership in the 16th century. For three months in Limoux the world fizzes between the popping of corks reverberating in the cafés that are at the heart of the party. Limoux Carnival: 26th January – Sunday 6th April Every Saturday and Sunday at 11h/16h30/22h, Mardi Gras 11h/17h/22h For a full programme of events see : All Images copyright: Didier Donnat

The intrigue behind the mask Behind the cortège is a category of people in disguise called les Goudils. They are individuals or groups dressed according to their fantasies. The role of the goudil is to pick someone out in the crowd they know and, disguising their voice from behind their mask so as not to be recognised, they have a conversation with this person of a highly intimate nature, perhaps involving their private life. The aim is to intrigue and to capture the interest of the person. Being masked is very freeing for the person leading the conversation as they clearly profit from the advantage this provides, as well as that of knowing a few things about the life of their


Name: Occupation:

François Granier Notary

Notaries are paid a fixed 0.9% of the capital they handle. In a large provincial city, that can be €250,000 a year Hours / week: About 50 hours a week 3 weeks a year Holidays: Income:

Young journalist Theo King’s column. Interviews with professionals about how they got to where they are today, the rewards and the frustrations. François Granier - Notary Born in Montpellier, 1960 Master’s in Law Diplôme supérieur de notariat Up to 18:

I didn’t have any particular ambition. My family have been notaries for 130 years. I followed the family tradition - society was less open then.

Studying: 18 to 25

After my Bacc L, I studied law at Montpellier University. My friends all told me being a notary was boring. With a master’s, they said, I should go to a business school in Paris. I was just about to enrol for one when my father suddenly suggested I visit his office. It was old, musty and dusty, like something out of Balzac. Instinctively I knew there was something to be done. Even though I didn’t know the job, I recognised this

would be my job. I worked alongside my father as a clerk for 4 years, during which time I learned a lot in the sense that I did exactly the opposite. After that I spent 2 years working as a clerk in Paris. I came back to Montpellier when I was 30 and became a partner in my father’s firm, but now as a notary! All notaries start as clerks. With a master’s in law (after 5 years at university) you can work as a junior clerk, but you also have to continue your studies at a specialised school – Le Centre de formation des notaires. After 2 years there, if you pass the very difficult exams, you get your diploma as notary. But you need about 10 years experience as a clerk before you’re ready, so usually you’ll be around 35 before you start looking to join a firm as a notary. Either you inherit a firm or you have to buy into one – in France the number of firms is controlled by the state.

Fabien Cordiez Avocat à la Cour (Qualified French Lawyer) Solicitor of England and Wales French property law, French succession and inheritance matters.

12 rue de l’Ancienne Madeleine 13100 Aix-en-Provence T. (0)486 688 968 / UK 02071 485 563 / IRL 01-431-1301 16

The job: It can’t not interest a young person as a career because there are 3 distinct aspects: The first is the technical side – you have to know the law: civil, contract, tax, urbanism. You have to know The Herault & Aude Times

how to draw up a contract, how to deal with the administration. Law is a science and you have to understand it completely. The second, fundamental part of the job is human relations. All day we listen to people telling us their story: their wedding, their divorce, their parents’ death. They want to buy a flat, start up a business or pass one on to their children. We have to listen closely: is the family they’re describing close knit? Is it imploding? I love this part of the job. You’re dealing with people, not objects. A client comes to me for advice, they expect something of me. Thirdly a notary firm is a business and it must be well organised. So the notary is also a managing director – even if the firm has only one notary there are always at least 5 or 6 clerks working with him. In this firm, there are 5 notaries but we employ around 50 people – clerks, archivists and secretaries, and we receive around 15,000 people a year. The management side becomes very time consuming. As a notary you have to juggle these 3 aspects and during your career your focus can change, that’s the joy of the job. When I was just starting, I was most interested in the human side. But then about mid career, I focused on management. I wanted to make the firm more efficient. But otherwise you can specialize (cont.)

On The Music Side: by Lilian Armand


Oceanic Memory

Bringuier (drum, keyboard, backing vocals) and Cédric Bonniol (lead guitar, backing vocals), will send you into a lost

Good To Be Young Written by young journalists

(cont.) in a specific area of law. Or step outside your own firm and get involved in the organisation of notaries at local, regional and national levels. For instance, at national level it was decided to modernize every firm with computers, creating specific software and a national network for all notaries.

Hello Guys n’ Gals ! Hope you’re doing well? This month, I have the pleasure to present you with some friends from another band, who are way different from the others I’ve introduced before. Please welcome ‘Oceanic Memory’! A Melodic, Indie Pop Rock band from Clermont L’Hérault who got together a few months ago after performing under the name “Raphael Was A Good Boy”.

paradise where you’ll recall all the good memories you’ve ever had, with their music submerging you from every side. Influenced by bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Foals or Miles Kane, their fresh EP entitled Evolisness is available on ‘bandcamp’ and will give you a little taste of what they’re made of!

How I work

A typical day starts at 8:30 a.m. and I stop at 8 p.m. 5 days a week. I spend almost 100 % of my time in the office but some of my colleagues prefer to visit clients or the properties they’re handling. We can take as much or as little holiday as we like.


My satisfaction comes from my client being satisfied. If a client is pleased that means the clerks have done a good job, since they do the background research. And since I chose and trained the clerks I am satisfied – as managing director.

What pisses me off

In France, there are too many new laws and they’re forever changing. Tax laws in particular. It’s difficult to keep track. Also you’re under a lot of pressure. Every case has to be dealt with rapidly, but without any mistakes. Sometimes it’s very stressful.

Imagine a guitar riff that soothes you every time you listen to it, add some deep melodies from the dark blue abyss, then, an amazing voice, powerfully sweet which makes you shiver down the spine; and finally, a strong drum beat. Afterwards, mix all this into one song. Dig it? These three young men, Sébastien Rouger (rythm guitar, vocals, backing vocals), Thomas

For more information see:, or follow them on twitter: ; their band camp page (

Well, I think that’s it. Hmm wait, no: GO AND LISTEN TO THIS BAND ! One Love ! 17

La Verrerie d’Alès Pôle National Cirque

Languedoc-Roussillon talks to the HAT about


Circus has existed in France for 200 years. Nouveau cirque or contemporary circus is the result of creative experiments. Its founders are the artists and troops such as Cirque Nu, Cirque Bonjour, Le Puits aux Images (that later became Cirque Baroque), Cirque Aligre, Cirque Plume, Archaos. In the late 1970′s, inspired by contemporary dance and theatre, they began experimenting with the circus…

France boasts the worlds’ most extensive network of venues, companies, places of residency, and educational institutions associated with circus. There is a thriving circus arts scene, constantly evolving and challenging bounds of all kinds. (Terry Crane, Co-Creator and Artistic director of The Acrobatic Conundrum)

‘Nouveau cirque’ or ‘contemporary circus’ is different from ‘traditional’ circus in three distinct ways: aesthetic, ethical and economic. Nouveau cirque is based on 18

a production that tells a story using humour and poetry. Its creators continually look for new ways to express the story through trepidation, laughter and wonderment; with young companies advocating humanity, simplicity, authenticity, popularity and solidarity… all aspirations at the heart of the creation. Whereas traditional circus presents a series of single acts, independent of one another, linked by clowns and musical interludes, with the whole show overseen by Monsieur Loyal, nouveau cirque’s performances are bound together in one written piece, the artists are usually present throughout and are generally more versatile in their performance abilities. The circus we know as ‘modern’ was born in England at the end of the 18th century. Its origins stem from a meeting between professors at the élite equestrian schools and the horsemen and acrobats from the traditional carnivals. In the 17th century the nobility were involved less and less in military training and the riding instructors were forced to adjust. Equitation, once a practical or military skill, gave way to a type of showmanship. Philippe Asthley, a sergeant-major, become an entrepreneur of this new mode of performance and created his academy in 1768. He al-

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lied himself with acrobats and enriched his shows with acts he drew from popular entertainments, such as clowns and animal trainers. The shows gained widespread attention and marked the development of a form of urban spectacle which was exported to the French capital and Europe. “Having seduced Louis XIV, then Louis XV and Marie-Antoinette, the Asthleys exported the model of their ‘English amphitheatre’ to the Temple at Faubourg in Paris where they opened an establishment in 1783.” The 13m diameter track, the colour red, the fanfares, the military issue uniforms of the circus men, the horses, the spectacular acrobats and burlesques all reflected Asthley’s military stamp. Some of the early aspects of the ‘modern’ circus perpetuated themselves in the ‘traditional’ circus: the round arena, the combination of acts, exploits and comic situations. The evolution of the circus continued. Its highly physical dimension and the absence of words are the two principle elements of its cultural integration and it’s diffusion across different cultures. With the industrial revolution and the growth of cities, urban based circuses prospered, whilst the invention of the circus tent and new modes of transport, especially rail and the motor car, meant reaching ever wider audiences. The reintroduction of ‘The Olympic Games’ in 1896 fuelled interest in the culture of the body and physical exploits. The circus borrowed techniques from gymnastics, notably the invention of the flying trapeze by Jules Léotard as well as their values, courage and the physical feats. At the same time, the once coveted horse was discarded for new tastes

in the exotic. In order to attract ever larger audiences and to overcome the disinterest of the aristocracy for the equestrian spectacle, the circus used what Pascal Jacob calls ‘complimentary gimmicks’. At the end of the 19th century, exotic animals, made accessible due to colonialisation, were prized by the economic market and made the fortunes of several circus families. The integration of animals and the flying trapeze now overshadowed equestrian excellence and technique and were replaced by the production of the spectacular and the dangerous. The ‘modern’ circus had become an ‘acrobatic and clownesque’ circus; it was before everything else a form of entertainment promoted by entrepreneurs who had profit as their first aim. But by the beginning of the 21st century the traditional circus was in distress. The impact of two world and, of course, the ‘triumph of the image’ with the arrival of cinema and television, all took their toll. Added to that was the sensitisation of the public to the condition of animals and the opening of parks where animals lived in semifreedom led to circus menageries being discredited. Traditional circus had nothing new to offer the public. Tastes had changed and in the eyes of the audience circus was aesthetically and morally obsolete. How-

ever, rather than improving the quality of their performances to win back public appeal, the traditional circuses simply tried to increase their revenues through the sale of products and gimmicks throughout the shows. The sclerosis of traditional circus in France has left room for the Russian circus to shine internationally and for nouveau cirque to revolutionise the French countryside. Most companies of the ‘new’ circus were born from the coming together of theatre actors, multi-talented passionate individuals or circus actors, such as the meeting between Silvia Monfort and Alexis Gruss. Silivia Montfort, who came from a theatre background and was the future co-creator of one of the first public circus schools, encouraged Alexis Gruss, inheritor of a circus dynasty, to re-launch the old style performance and give it a ‘forthright modernity” (Forette, 1998). At the same time Annie Fratellini opened the Ecole Nationale de Cirque. The opening of two schools encouraged the expression of new vocations and was the springboard for innovations in performance art; and in the years that followed the number of troops multiplied. The new nouveau cirque companies became families in ‘spirit’, they opposed traditional circus and sought to move beyond it. Archaos, Cirque Plume, Zingaro, Dromesko are just some of the representatives of this early movement. Nouveau cirque was about the creation of an original circus and a unique art form that could be performed in a wide variety of locations not dependant on a big top. Silvia Montfort is one of the pioneer actors who succeeded in securing support from the French Ministry of Culture. Help was also given for the foundation of institutions allowing for the liaison between the administration and the profession. In the ‘90s the practices of the nouveau cirque were institutionalized and professionalized in order to become a globally recognised aesthetic movement called ‘contemporary circus’. The number of companies exploded at the same time as the number of festivals. One of the major characteristics of contemporary circus is to concentrate itself on one discipline (juggling, trapeze or high wire, etc.) and to create a whole show around it, as proved by the majority of actual creations. Today, that chosen discipline is blended with theatre, dance and, more and more often, with video, fine and digital arts, cinema and puppetry. The questioning of social issues, laughter – the reintroduction

What is the role of the Pôle National Cirque Languedoc-Roussillon? La Verrerie d’Alès Pôle National Cirque Languedoc-Roussillon is a production centre for nouveau cirque, with 3 associated companies and a minimum of 12 partnerships per year. We offer a dedicated creation and residency space ‘La Verrerie’ in Alès, where we also host nouveau cirque companies 340 days a year. In addition, we coordinate a regional-wide programme of performances ‘Arts de la Piste’ through the Saison Cirque of Languedoc-Roussillon, offering 270 shows in collaboration with 62 organisations in 80 towns and villages, as well as festival collaborations. La Verrerie is supported by the Minister of Culture/DRAC LR, the Conseil Régional du L-R and the Conseil Général du Gard, the town and Agglomeration d’Alès and the Conseils Generales of Aude and Lozère. How many nouveau cirque companies are there in the region? 80 And in France? Approx. 500 The great artists of today include: Mathurin Bolze, Jérome Thomas, Nikolaus, to name but a few… The leading companies: Mpta, Cie XY, Les Colporteurs, Rasposo, Baro d’evel and many others Shows not to miss in 2014: Morsure de la Cie Rasposo Cirque Misère de Julien Candy Cie La Faux Populaire Vortex et l’Après midi d’un Foehn de la Cie Non Nova Mazut de la Cie Baro d’Evel Cirk Placebo de Joe de Paul Travelling Circus de la Cie Hors Pistes For more information on the 2014 programme : of ferocious clowns and other burlesque characters and choreography are woven into the fabric of performances to become spectacles of visual poetry, the magic of form and the purity of gesture and movement. You will marvel, you will gasp, you will weep, you will laugh…. 19

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Back into Balance The Alexander Technique


f you’ve heard about the Alexander Technique, you’ve probably heard it has something to do with posture. Or that it helps people with back pain. As children, we were told to “sit up straight”. As adults, we tell children the same thing. But do we really know what good posture means? Consider a broader notion of what’s meant by the word “posture”: each of us has a particular way we hold ourselves, like a physical signature. That’s why it’s sometimes easy to recognize someone we know from a distance even when we can’t make out their facial features or other telling details.

The Alexander Technique recognizes that the habitual ways we use our bodies affect us. These habits are often the root cause of back, neck and

The good news? Habits can change. Each of us arrives at our unique signature through an accumulation of the ways we routinely use our bodies. All our daily activities, from sitting at a computer to bending over to attend to children, can take their toll—when done unconsciously. Our mental and emotional disposition also shapes us. For example, a shy person may habitually hunch their shoulders, or someone trying to project confidence may hold themselves too tensely erect.

shoulder pain, breathing and digestive problems, and a number of other conditions. The good news? Habits can change. Rather than being a therapy or treatment, the Alexander Technique is a course of practical education which is taught in a series of 1-on-1 lessons. An Alexander teacher is someone trained to recognize your unhelpful habits and then, through gentle manual guidance and verbal instructions, show you how to drop those habits and develop greater freedom and ease in all your activities. After an Alexander lesson people report feeling lighter, more alert and able to move with greater ease. More importantly, you walk away with valuable tools that benefit you long after the lesson. When you find yourself going into an unhelpful habit, you can take conscious charge of the situation and turn it into one of greater freedom, release and awareness. The implications go far beyond resolving pain. That’s why the Alexander Technique is also taught in so many acting schools, music conservatories and riding schools all over the world. Wendy McKnight is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. For more information:

Marie-Laure Deplaix Alexander technique teacher

Trained at North London Teachers Training School Member of the Association Française des Professeurs de Technique Alexander English and French Spoken

06 23 23 75 49 1 rue Duval-Jouve (quartier des Arceaux) 34000 Montpellier 20

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Bespoke massage, Mobile service Group bookings taken. Thai massages, Reflexology, Neck and face massage, Reiki, Oil massage. Susannah 0652752445 / 0467243142 Based in Ceps / Cazedarnes

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Lerab Ling Buddhist Centre Trust in Yourself Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It’s too high! COME TO THE EDGE! And they came, and he pushed…, and they flew.


Christopher Logue (1962)

ave you ever found yourself about to do something challenging, and then stepping back into your comfort zone, too fearful about what might happen if you step forward. Fear of the unknown so often stops us from trusting ourselves to do something different. Yet, as you read this short poem, does it resonate somewhere inside, do you feel the shift inside your body that releases your old beliefs and sees you allowing yourself to let go? If you can do it in your mind, why can’t you do it for real? These words deal with perhaps taking a risk but trusting in something bigger than you. How would it be if we could take that step? What if we were able to trust a little more that things will work out better than we thought? What if we weren’t frozen by fear of the unknown? This is an example of the infinite power within us that, if we are able to tap into it, can have us experience things beyond our expectations. We can enter a world full of opportunities that up until now were closed to us because fear stopped us. We tend to imagine the worse, but the worse may not be what we get. Sometimes we get miracles! There are times of course when circumstances may push us off the edge unexpectedly, without warning. It’s not until that moment that we find that we have resources we weren’t even aware of - and we overcome. Sometimes we just have to go for it and know that the universe will support us; give us the air flow under our wings to lift us. I wish you a very Happy New Year with love, a commitment to trusting yourself and joy and happiness as you soar. Maggie is a coach and hypnotherapist. If you wish to contact her personally,

Tried and Tested Top French Natural Beauty Products


aking care of oneself, at any age, is just what many Frenchwomen do. Beauty is a tradition handed down from generation to generation. The French actress Leslie Caron, still youthful at 79, says her mother’s favorite saying is: “Women’s skin is too fair to go bare.” Yves Rocher is a well-established brand in France that has recently introduced an organic range called Culture Bio, which includes serums, cleansers, treatments, creams and oils aimed at different kinds of skins (oily, dry, sensitive, combination and normal). L’Occitane Well-known throughout the world, it prides itself on growing its own ingredients. The aim of the company is to protect the natural environment of southern France through organic agriculture, and to manufacture soaps, creams and perfumes that incorporate the goodness of lavender, peony, verbena and other plants and flowers that are indigenous to the countryside. Caudalie bases its skin-care range on the beneficial antioxidants

found in a common fruit: the grape. The vine, apparently, holds strong anti-ageing chemicals, sun damage and fine lines. Nuxe’s most famous product is probably Huile Prodigieuse. Based solely on vegetable ingredients, many of which are organic, Nuxe ensures all ingredients are toxologically tested and nonGMO, and never tests on animals. Gamarde is a gentle, organic brand that incorporates spring water from Gamarde les Bains, which is naturally rich in minerals. It also uses the goodness of plant concentrates to repair and maintain even the most delicate of skins. Doux Me A completely natural cream, using rose, orange blossom, almond and neroli oils. Gentle enough for the most sensitive of skins. Kaé, formerly known as Kaeline, is an all-natural beauty brand based on the benefits of argan oil, which is the vegetable source with the highest natural concentration of vitamin E. The range includes exfoliating gels, facial and body creams and, of course, pure skin and hair oils. 21

The Calendar - In partnership with:

‘Family Trees’ The Richard Pullen MusicColumn


very fond welcome to what will soon become the Chinese year of the horse and what has already become the year of The Aude and Herault Times music column - it’s going to be eclectic but not I hope obscure and it’s going to be personal and from the jazzy end of things. The aims of this little article each month are many - to inform you of upcoming musical events, CD releases or films showing in our region that might interest the music fan, to review concerts that I’ve seen and new music that I’ve heard. There are musical connections everywhere which I hope you might be interested in and, as an intentional by-product, might lead you to find and enjoy music that you might not have otherwise found - a sort of exercise in making musical family trees For example in November we went to see the excellent ‘Mehliana’ at the cool Theâtre Cigaliére in Serignan courtesy of Theatre sortieOuest - Mehliana is a two piece group made up of Brad Mehldau on various keyboards and Mark Guiliana on percussion and effects (I’d say that they had been heavily influenced by Herbie Hancock from 1973 - listen to similar bass patterns on synthesisers, yes synthesisers, on the album Headhunters and the seminal track ‘Chameleon’). Brad was the big name and first came to my attention in 2006 when he partnered jazz guitarist Pat Metheny (young Pat has also collaborated with Joni Mitchell, on the Shadows and Light live album in 1980 and many many more. He also got Chitra and I to stand for a hour in the rain a few years ago at the Séte Jazz Festival waiting for the organisers to decide if his outdoor concert could go ahead - it didn’t!) but Mark was the dark horse who took everybody’s breath away with his drumming and effects( see or Youtube him ). This was their first gig on a 12 city European tour- you can find out more on and listen to my favourite track ’Hungry Ghost’ from their forthcoming album, due out early 2014.

Do you see what I mean - from one gig we’ve referenced six different artists and made a Mehliana family tree? A concert I am really looking forward to this month is by KellyLee Evans (see on the 18th of January (Theâtre Sortie Ouest, Bayssan) A new name to me but it appears she won second place in the Theolonius Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004 judged by Quincy Jones ( listen to the album Body Heat from 1974 and the track ‘If I Ever Lose This Heaven’ ) D.D. Bridgewater (Youtube ‘Song For My Father’ or ‘Stormy Monday’ with her daughter who lives in Paris, China Moses) and Al Jarreau (my favourite album is We Got By from 1975). Kellylee’s 2013 album I Remember When has interesting covers of ‘Use Me’ by Bill Withers and ‘Ordinary People’ by Will.I.Am. Kellylee has opened for George Benson, Tony Bennett and Diane Reeves so you can hang at

least 8 names on her family tree too ! In terms of new albums I have concentrated on a couple of artists who released stuff at the end of 2013: Firstly, Keith Jarrett. There was a lot of re-releases by Jarrett ( or a very comprehensive entry in Wikipedia); all albums are on ECM records and my favourites are The Koln Concert from 1975 and My Song from 1978 where I first heard the world’s greatest saxophone player, Jan Garbarek ( - go listen to ‘Ragas and Sagas’ with Fateh Ali Khan or ‘Madar’ with Anouar Brahem). Secondly, Al di Meola. As a child of the sixties and a Liverpool graduate I have a very soft spot for the Beatles and am never surprised when jazz guitarists continue to pay homage; Al has released just such an homage All Your Life, where my favourites are ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ (if you can find ‘Friday Night in San Francisco’ with Al , John McLaughlin and Paco Lucia from 1993 you will not be disappointed). If you like Beatles jazz guitar you should also definitely check out Come Together volumes 1& 2 from 1995 where ‘Norweigan Wood ‘ by Leni Stern stands head and shoulders above the rest . Finally, the film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ has been showing in both Béziers and Narbonne in December 2013 and continues in independent VO ( original version) theatres in the region - it ain’t quite jazz but it’s the 1960s folk scene in Greenwich Village and it’s the Cohen brothers (Fargo and No Country For Old Men) - a dark comedy with a soundtrack by T-Bone Burnett (he produced in 2007 the wonderful Raising Sand with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss).

For a Calendar of events in English visit : or scan the QR code 22

The Herault & Aude Times

What’s in a name....

Sue Hicks continues her look into history through Street names

George Brassens W

ander around a shopping centre or into a lift here in France and you’re more likely to hear a catchy song by Georges Brassens than the over-played Vivaldi Four Seasons. Georges Brassens was born in Sète in 1921 to an Italian mother and a French father. He grew up surrounded by music especially that of his mother who had a passion for traditional Italian folk songs and for the mandolin. At school, a teacher (who would later write the first biography of Brassens) stimulated what would become a lifelong love of poetry and encouraged Georges’s gift for writing. Aged 17 Georges was expelled from school when his gang were caught for stealing. Early in 1940, shortly before the invasion of France, Brassens went to Paris and lived with his maternal aunt where he learnt to play her piano. He worked at the Renault factory until it was bombed but was then unemployed, perhaps because he did not want to profit the German occupier or maybe because his indulgent aunt enabled him to spend much of his time at the local library where he studied and analysed the great poets while continuing to write himself. In March 1943 Brassens was sent as an obligatory war worker (Service Travail Obligatoire - STO) to Germany where he met Pierre Onteniente who remained a friend and confidante for life. The following year, Brassens failed to return from leave and went into hiding at the Paris home of Jeanne and Marcel Planche, friends of his aunt. He was hidden for 5 months but remained living there for the next 22 years. The house was cramped and overcrowded and was without running water, gas or electricity but when Brassens became successful he gradually

updated and finally bought the property for his friends, and the house next door for himself. Whatever the relationship between Georges and Jeanne, in the song Jeanne, he pays tribute to “la mere universelle” who welcomed whoever knocked on her door without questions. His breakthrough came in 1952 when he was introduced to Patachou who brought him on to sing at the end of one of her cabaret shows. “At the beginning, I felt as shy as a damsel. It was awful.” Watching his awkward entrances and self conscious, sweating earnestness on films of his concerts, (see Youtube) it looks as though live performances continued to be tortuous to him despite the rapturous reception he soon received. The first Georges Brassens record was released in 1952 and sell-out concert tours followed. He accompanied himself on the guitar, was often backed by his friend the bass player Pierre Nicholas and occasionally by a second guitar. Ill health brought an end to live performances but studio recordings continued and he remained an iconic figure. Brassens’s songs, in the tradition of French chanson, follow the rhythms of the language. He wrote, rewrote and copied out again his lyrics first, then with his guitar or at the piano, found that “the melody came from the words” and he chose from among the seven or eight tunes the one which “held”. Brassens and his contemporaries, such as Jacques Brel and Leo Ferre, prided themselves on the literary merit of their works and Brassens was award the Poetry Prize by the Academie Francaise in 1967. Brassens set the work of many other poets, such as Aragon, Villon, and Hugo to music and his own work is covered by artists in many countries. The quiet savagery of some of his works reflect the dark post-war days of score settling and self justification known as L’epuration (purification or purge). In La mauvaise reputation he rails against conformity and in Le Gorille he makes an

impassioned plea against the death sentence. Other songs speak of love and desire, ordinary working life and the lives of the underclass including tramps and prostitutes. Les copains d’abord is seen as a hymn to friendship by a man who said he never lost a friend except to death. In the bawdy Les trompettes de la Renommée, Brassens gives his arguments for wanting to keep his private life private and letting his guitar do the talking. Unsurprisingly, several of his more irreverent works were banned from the radio and his fans and detractors tended to divide along political lines. Today, Brassens’ poetry and songs are studied as part of the national curriculum. Georges Brassens had a long relationship with an Estonian, Joha Heiman whom he nicknamed Little Puppy but they never married or even lived together. “Joha’s not my wife, she’s my goddess”. The song La Non Demande en marriage sets out some of his views on marriage. Georges and Joha are buried beside one another in Sète. Robert Gildea considers that the success of the warm satirical songs of Georges Brassens is attributable to their authenticity together with their anarchic humour and the strong musical Midi accent. Also that much of the chanson tradition gained a mythical status in the 1960’s as a bastion of French musical culture against the incursion of American and British pop. Another academic writes “The French love him because of the image of the French he reflects back at them – free-thinking, loyal, compassionate, witty, uncompromising, modest with a nose for a hypocrite and a sublime talent.” Georges Brassens was buried in 1981, as he requested in the song Supplique pour etre enterre a la plage de Sète, at the Cimetière du Py alongside the étang. Opposite the cemetery, the Espace Georges Brassens celebrates his life and work as do numerous streets and schools throughout France.


Winter warms up suddenly A wave of fires strikes the department




inter is a very peculiar season for Anglo Saxons of all philosophical persuasions. The spirits are released in great numbers; the saints are celebrated and pyro-technicians are hired. All over the country massive bonfires are built and fireworks lit. Effigies are sacrificed in bizarre rituals with roasting potatoes in the embers. In both town and countryside the night skies are aflame with colour as municipal solemnities contemplate tragic events which happened many years ago in Europe. The Franks, north to south, share much of this sense of gravitas but without the pyrotechnics or symbolic burnings at the stake. It all feels normal; it all feels reassuringly familiar. Interestingly, there is this idea that living in the rural areas gives people an assured sense of safety even where undesirable events are concerned. Crime is a case in point here. Predictably, the Isle-de-France produces the worst crime figures for both offenses against the person and property. Languedoc-Roussillon tends to give its expatriate inhabitants the welcome feelings of immunity too since, for example, reported crime figures last year were three times greater in urbanised Britannia than in their preferred country of domicile. However, crime statistics warn, perhaps too gently, that the region lies fifth in the table for both categories of crime from the 21 regions. Tellingly, there has been a run of fires in

The Aude of which most have the appearances of being arsonist attacks. One is reminded of the regional forest fires we had in the summer, often reported as deliberate. Also, we had burglars break into a bistrot in Cuxac d’Aude early in the morning in June, take the cash-box and set fire to the establishment before their hurried departure. Fortunately, the damage was contained by quick-acting fire-services. The Aude actually has 320 firemen and “look-outs” for forest fires alone. Being essentially rural areas above, we have to admit that we all have to be vigilant or

Perpignan and a mayoral letter-box in Saint-Paul-les-Fonts, The Gard. In less than a week, there were several important headlines about fires in The Aude. Not in chronological order, there was fire at Ventenac-Cabardès that destroyed wine storage facilities. This affected two farmers who lost their stocks of wine. It provoked public rallies of like-minded viticulturists sworn to solidarity who pledged every loyalty to their stricken colleagues. One of the victims lost his entire wine harvest uninsured but was rapidly reimbursed by kind sympathisers. A rally of 700 demonstrators soon

“look-outs” when it comes to deviant behaviour and acts of delinquency. Having emergency service numbers to hand on mobile phones is always reassuring. Towards the last part of the year, incendiary events have struck once more across a range of targets. As we will see, various communities have been affected. This, of course, is not to mention several instances of fires in nearby départments, for example, at a discotheque in Toulouse as the result One of the victims lost his entire wine of a ram-raid; harvest uninsured but was rapidly municipal workshops close to reimbursed by kind sympathisers.

put an end to what they accuse as “la loi du silence” (the law of silence [omerta]) against such criminal acts. The same week, in the Félines zone of Carcassonne an auctioneer lost his warehouse for stocking auction furniture and textiles. The entire place was gutted resembling a similar case he suffered the year before. Whatever the motives for this, the invocation of “scoumoune” (bad luck) by the owner himself of José Giovanni’s novel and film (1972) featuring Jean Paul Belmondo, Claudia Cardinale and Michel Constantin, may contain hidden clues to his annual misfortune. More pitifully, a chapel in Ozanam also had an arson attack which did (cont.)


The Herault & Aude Times

The French VIEW _ Translation by Alison Reid (cont.) some damage contained by the

Prostitution: The Swedish Example

fire services. The chapel door had been forced betraying the act of malevolence. Faithful were so incensed by the resultant vandalism that the deputy mayor of Carcassonne felt compelled to make an appearance at the scene with the vicargeneral to allay nerves and the understandable feelings of persecution. While the community of Trèbes witnessed very suspicious late-night pyromania at a hair salon which is being treated as a criminal occurrence, nothing above competes with the 18 cars and 6 container-bins set ablaze in Carcassonne in one night. Apart


from establishing a crisis-centre, 150 CRS were sent into the area affected. After all the sentiments expressed by successive governments promising to clear the streets of layabouts and thugs, here we are again. Between media and blogosphere, opportunity for all sorts of suggestions have been made about the various incidents. Lax official attitudes towards criminal behaviour; sinister forces of vendetta; petty-minded delinquency; political slants at mosques; conspiracies of silence; creeping centralist forces and bare-faced insurance fraud are all included. One thing is sure. They have not all been committed by the same person.

ontrary to the beliefs of those opposed to the law on procuring, prostitution is not a career one chooses, even if some tiny percentage of the 20,000 prostitutes working in France declare themselves to be ‘independent’. The majority of prostitutes, directed by highly organised pimping networks, come from Bulgaria, Romania, Nigeria, Cameroon and China. And as George Brassens sang “Although those bourgeoisie pigs call them girls of the night, it’s not every night they’ll be laughing,”. Nine in ten prostitutes identify poverty and the need to help their children as the factors that made them turn to prostitution. But they also mention the violence of their pimps, without whom the route in would not exist. The government’s text aims to dissuade clients by punishing them with a 1500 euro fine, doubled in the case of re-offenders. No other law has been so controversial since marriage pour tous. But this time, the divisions between abolitionists and reglementarians, liberals and interventionists, have cut through all ideological leanings and politicalgroups. Even feminist scholars are violently split on the matter. Newspapers are stacking up opinion pieces and manifestos, the most highly publicised movement being “343 salauds [343 bastards],” also nicknamed “Touche pas à ma pute [Don’t touch my whore],”, which explicitly defends “the male cause,”. Amongst these opponents of the law is a figure emblematic of feminism, Elisabeth Badinter, for whom “the

State should not legislate on the sexual activity of individuals, and say what is right or wrong,”. Certain members of the Socialist Party have echoed the fears of some prostitutes and associations: that introducing penalties for clients will force prostitutes to work illegally, thus entailing a greater risk of violence. Let’s forgo the smutty puns and the pearls of this debate in which some will end up perversely idealising the ‘oldest job in the world’, as if it were something sexy and glamorous. This debate, as is often the case in France, cannot just be ideological. The only question that counts is:‘will the planned measures enable us to limit human trafficking?’ As this system has already been introduced in Sweden, let’s see what it leads to. In Sweden, prostitution in the streets has effectively gone down by half, even if it is difficult to estimate the amount of ‘indoor’ prostitution going on. Since 1999, the number of clients has decreased and pimps tend to avoid the country. The law has rebalanced the forces in favour of prostitutes, who themselves feel better protected. This law was part of a group of laws designed to reduce violence against women. There are no signs to suggest a rise in more illegal forms of prostitution or a rise in violence, contrary to certain fears. So although originally, this law was once as controversial as the one in France, today it is accepted right left and centre. Written by Jean-Marcel Bouguereau 25

Un Certain Regard:

Continuing: A journey through French cinema 1945 to the early 50’s Screenplay by: Karl Leonie


he immediate post-War period was concerned with rationing and recovery. France continued to resemble a relatively static society and it is not until the early 1950s that the national emphasis was one of consumption with the pursuit of personal economic well-being.

While radio sales were increasing with over 7 million by 1951, TV ownership was as yet extremely rare with 3,974 sets. However, the technology was improving for broadcasting and visual entertainment of which the cinema was still the principal form in France well into the 1950s. Technicolor, 3-D and Cinemascope (1953) were introduced but such innovations did not manage to attract new audiences at that juncture. From 1947, as cinema audiences fell from 423 million to 361 million by 1953, the number of films increased inversely from 71 to 112. Box office receipts went up threefold as ticket prices rose to compensate for the reduced clientele. In spite of audience decline, the cinema remained a cultural issue of quintessential value. This is not explained by the success of French filming which was in relative decline but by the expanding number and popularity of primarily American and secondarily Italian films. Further, the so-called Blum-Byrnes agreement of 1946 meant 182 American films were screened in France in 1946, and no 26

less than 338 in the first half of 1947. Consequently, the quotas operating at the time allowed 4 weeks per quarter for French films, and 8 weeks for American films. This turn-around time being more rapid for French films encouraged French producers to increase their output as a way of attracting more film-goers. Naturally, a producer would thus look for ‘popular’ solutions to this equation. The opening week of a film became more important and with it the need to make a quick profit pushing competition to the limit with American films. Another causal factor for increasing French film production resulted from the Blum-Byrnes agreement. From 1946 to 1948 the French char-

acteristically took industrial actionwith public demonstrations against this decision exposing the economic viability of French cinematography. A law was enacted in July 1948 which was subsequently modified several times from then till 1959 giving financial help through ticket sales or ‘Fonds de soutien’ of 10.9% called TSA: Taxe supplémentaire additionnelle. It was abolished The Herault & Aude Times

in 2006 and brought under general taxes, thereafter. Based pro-rata on the box-office success of the previous film; it provided automatic aid for the film producer. One unfortunate effect of the tax was first-time film-makers could not benefit as they did not have a previous film to draw upon. Also, existing producers were constrained toward certain types of film which guaranteed box-office receipts. Therefore, experimentation was discouraged though not entirely eliminated. Genres most frequented were romances, comedies and operettas with historical reconstructions which repeated, in sort, the type permitted during the German occupation. Social consensus consolidating popular values was hardly a new trend with the cinema-going public by the 1950s. In many respects, it still holds fast in contemporary French cinema, as elsewhere. Looking at four particular genres that developed during the period under review, here are some films to watch out for and enjoy. First, the suspense thriller produced such films as Quai des Orfèvres by HenriGeorges Clouzot (1947) who also produced Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear 1953) often cited as a greater exemplar than anything Hitchcock created. It is absolutely gripping and worth watching. Un ami viendra ce soir Raymond Bernard (A Friend Will Come this Evening,1946);Identité judiciaire by

Hervé Bromberger (Paris Vice Squad,1951);La Mômevert-de-gris of Bernard Borderie(Poison Ivy,1952);Touchez pas au grisbi Jacques Becker (Hands Off The Loot,1953) and Çavabarder, John Berry (Give ‘em Hell,1954)with CIA agent Eddie Constantine. Comedies proliferated often with the assistance of the TSA. Trois marins dans un couvent, Émile Couzinet (Three sailors in a Convent, 1949) and Tire au flanc by Fernand Rivers (The Sad Sack, 1950). Third, historical and costume dramas featured, among others Les Trois mousquetaires of André Hunebelle (The Three Musketeers, 1952) and Fanfan la Tulipe, ChristianJaque (1952). Finally, other genres come from Orphée of Jean Cocteau (Orpheus, 1949) an allegorical surrealist romance drama; Le Sang des bêtes, Georges Franju (1949) a poignant documentary contrasting normal life with slaughterhouse work; Journal d’un curé de campagne by Robert Bresson (Diary of a Country Priest, 1950) a striking drama about the trials of spirituality and Jeux

English for Expat Children - An indispensable guide My Teaching an excellent way of keeping my Resolutions 2014 Enjoy minimising control Just last week I was finishing off a long term project with two great boys and the mood just wasn’t working. I had to remind myself to resist the urge to push them or tell them what to do. When they were ready, they decided between themselves and told me so. Ideal! Listen There is a great expression which I fall very short of much of the time - ‘you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak’. I should have this tattooed across my face! It is particularly important when it comes to teaching as it is all too easy to impose your own enthusiasms on students.. Rest Any job that requires you to use your energy in often intense and focused ways demands that you make time to rest. I have to remember that listening can be an opportunity for me to rest when teaching; not a chance to switch off of course, but to tune it down and take a more neutral and interested position. These quieter moments are when I become most aware of how a student is responding. Stay Interested Recharging and seeking out stimulation is an essential balance; keeping myself interested is as important as finding interesting material for students. Talking to colleagues, friends and parents. Reading books and articles. Writing these articles has been

teacher brain engaged. Don’t take it so seriously Now, I don’t mean this to sound irresponsible, but children are extremely susceptible to pressure of all kinds. Sometimes I work too hard at hiding my expectations and the pressure becomes, as if by magic, even more powerful. So, I need to remind myself that there are infinite ways to do things and there will always be other/ conflicting ways of approaching something. Keep a light heart and laugh off so-called mistakes, hopefully this will be infectious and create a really safe, explorative learning environment. Be honest and develop respectful communication Children are so much fun to work with on the basis that you can be entirely open with them and they barely bat an eyelid. If I am frustrated I can tell them why and this takes all the momentum out of it. The same applies if I miss that step and start to become angry - they are still perfectly willing to understand your reasoning and will be happy to change the atmosphere with you. When I can be clear with them I often find that they are more willing to explain themselves too.Here’s to 2014! Laura Smith has a BA Hons) in English and a background which includes nannying, arts’ groups for children, supporting early readers, teaching English as foreign language in Spanish and Italian schools and examining children for the Cambridge Examining Board.

interdits of René Clément (Forbidden Games, 1952) an anti-war statement. These are just a few of the many films to be seen. The final category of film above introduces French film aficionados to the concept of the so-called ‘cinéma de qualité’ or Quality Cinema which we will resume in next month’s issue.



Vincent CunillèreDuos d’Ateliers

Musée Paul Valéry/Sète Until 26 January 2014


gives it a personal signature. There are many contrasts in the works. An overexposed portrait such as Marc Champieux’s (1993-95), or a realistic one that Valentine Schlegel obtains with the adding of a little clay sculpture stuck on the photo. Daniel Dezeuze gives his photo a minimalist feel with a simple note of paint (1997); and multiple painted shells are used as decorations by Paul Amar (2008). Even 3D, why not? Sabine Réthoré creates volumetric spheres on the surface of the image (2009). Bernard Belluc, co-founder of M.I.A.M in Sète, creates very detailed collages in his own style (2008). One exception to the rule however: Jean Capdeville. This elderly painter chose to add nothing because for him the photograph was sufficient in itself (2009). He stands in front of a large white canvas lying in front of him: this is my favorite piece, the meditative look of the painter, the simplicity of the camerawork and the final decision of the artist to leave it all intact is just great. The images are all different and I can honestly say very individual. The photographer did not set rules, rather he provided extra space. There was no time limit. The artist was left entirely free to make his/her contribution. The concept of reworking a photo isn’t new if we consider that original colored photographs were painted by hand or that Gustave Le Gray was the first to overlay two photographs to create one (La vague, 1857) but it is paradoxically this ‘touch of old’ which is refreshing. The public will surely find joy in the discovery of the artist’s private space and their free occupation inside the image. The Duo d’Ateliers suits the black and white and colour duo. It also inspires creativity. This is an exhibition for everyone at the beautiful Musée Paul Valéry, Sète, where over 40 artists are pictured in their studios, called to add life and art next to their very own image.

incent Cunillère is a photographer based in Sète from Catalan origin. He was born on Christmas Day 1964. Vincent took his first photographs aged 11 while on holiday in Italy. After studying this medium he was involved in various professional activities linked to photography. In 1993 he met the painter Pierre Soulages, an event which determined his future career. Vincent worked on his project Duo d’Ateliers for over 18 years. He says, “Photography is something easy. But I am slow.” The exhibition is therefore spread over a long period of time but this does not impede its unity. Duo d’Ateliers is a dialogue between a photographer and an artist. After meeting with Soulages and becoming his appointed photographer on a regular basis, Vincent had the opportunity to delve further into the world of art and the world of those who make art. The logical continuum was indeed to create a personal work around the theme of the artist’s studio, a space entirely dedicated to creation, unique to each artist’s personality. The exhibition consists of 44 black & white photographs mounted on board and measuring between 110 x 164 cm and 160 x 220 cm. The photographer’s suggestion is the one of duality. Cunillère photographs the painter - or the sculptor- and in return the artist has the freedom to intervene in the photograph. The result is a live ‘combination of expressions’. Usually in colour the artist’s contribution is a completion or a reinterpretation of the image which takes the form of a painting, a sculpture, a collage Dominique Aclange or a montage. This adds new vision to the photo and 28

The Herault & Aude Times


Clockwise from above: * V. Cunillère Gérard Koch 2008 * Vincent Cunillère * Duo V. Cunillère Gérard Calvet 2010-13 * Duo d’Ateliers V.Cunillère Bernard Belluc 2008 (detail) * jonone * Dezeuze, Daniel * Viallat, Claude


L’Aspirateur, Narbonne. Programme 2014


hree exhibitions have been scheduled at the Art Center l’Aspirateur for 2014. A “place of exhibition and creation”, l’Aspirateur is situated in east Narbonne. It first opened its doors in May, 2013. Formerly an industrial building, it is now a place dedicated to Contemporary Art. Constructed from concrete and glass, it offers an exhibition area of approximately 800 m². The painter Erró was the first artist to be invited to the new center in May to October, 2013. L’Aspirateur will pursue the the voyage of


the Figuration narrative in 2014 with artists Bernard Rancillac (b.1931), from 15 February to 11 May, and Jacques Monory (b.1924), from 31 May to 31 August. The Figuration narrative is an art movement born in the 60’s and represented by artists who wanted to move away from Abstraction or the Nouveau Réalisme movement. It includes painters such as Valerio Adami, Gérard Fromanger or Peter Klasen. Barthelemy Toguo (b.1967), a Cameroonian painter, will be the star of the third planned exhibition of the year from 13 September to 30 November, 2014. Performance artist, sculptor, painter,

Jacques Monory - Enigme

Barthelemy Toguo - Exodus


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humorist and provocateur, Barthelemy Toguo’s work also carries a political dimension. The artist states: “The art is a form of commitment; its duty is to convey a message, a warning, especially for future generations. Our work questions and encourages this awareness.” Open Wednesday to Sunday: 11h-13h/15h-19h until 31 August (closed Monday, Tuesday and bank holidays). From 1 September to 6 October: 10h-12h and 14h-18h. L’Aspirateur, Avenue Hubert Mouly, 11000 Narbonne. Tel: 04 68 90 30 65

Visuals:©Laurie Biral-Ville de Narbonne

Lucien dans les Vignes de tarassac. Oil on canvas


Painter, Els Knockaert


inspires Els to continue creating, drawing her inspiration from vineyards and wine production as the basis of her subjects. Els regularly runs painting, drawing and portrait workshops from her studio in Olargues. Forthcoming workshop dates: Wed 8th -Thur 9th January Sat 25th January - Sund 26th January Thur 30th January - Fri 31st January The workshops are suitable for beginners and practicing artists. Price 150€, including materials and lunch. English, French, Spanish and Dutch spoken.

For more information: Telephone 04 67 97 78 63/ 06 17 45 47 05

Nina Querida - Oil on canvas

ls obtained her high school certificate at the academy in Bruges and a diploma in graphics from the St. Lucas Institute in Brussels. She worked as a freelance artist whilst travelling in the Far East. During a stay in Africa in 1994, she began to paint large frescoes. She later participated as an artistic collaborator for ‘Baobab’, organised by the NGO ‘New World’. After extensive travels, Els and her partner decided to settle in Colombia. Enchanted by the magic of the tropics, they bought a farm in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. After several years they opened the ‘Carpe Diem’ guest house. In this idyllic setting visitors were able to enjoy the full the richness of nature. Els discovered the perfect place to develop her passion for

painting through her very personal style. Her fascination for the surrounding jungle is clearly revealed in her work. On becoming a mother and with the growing tensions in the region, she began to paint the children there. Her strongly expressive works play with the light and shadow and vibrant colours of the Caribbean sun. Her canvases radiate human warmth and the spontaneous joy of children. However, due to the growth of violence in the region they had to abandon their home in May, 2002. Despite having to leave Colombia she continued painting the children that had surrounded her for many years and had exhibitions in Tunisia, Belgium, Colombia and France. Els and her family established themselves once again in a mountainous region, but this time in the south of France. The Mediterranean culture and joie de vivre


Recipe Times Winter warmers Herb and wine-based infusions are an ideal accompaniment for cooking meats. Different herbs can be used to compliment different meats, such thyme and sweet white wine for rabbit, tarragon and white wine for chicken. The below recipe is the perfect partner for lamb

Tian of lamb with honey and rosé wine Serves 4


I shoulder of lamb, boned 60ml honey (preferably miel de romarin) 60ml olive oil 240g shallots, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 450g carrots, peeled and sliced 1 stick of celery, diced 20 pearl onions, peeled 1 tsp nutmeg 1l of Rosemary infusion (see Rosemary infusion recipe) Sea salt and black pepper to taste Method 1. Cut the lamb into pieces. brush with the honey and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the lamb and cook for 8-10 mins or until browned all over.

2. Add the shallots, garlic, celery, carrots and pearl onions. Stir well, season with nutmeg and continue cooking over a low heat for 10-15 mins. 3. Gradually add the rosemary infusion and stir to keep the lamb covered while it simmers gently. Keep the heat low. Allow up to 2 hours for the lamb to cook gently in the infusion, stirring from time to time. 4. Garnish with fresh rosemary just before serving

Rosemary infusion

Makes about 1l/ cooking 1hr Ingredients 2 bunches fresh rosemary 4 bay leaves 6 juniper berries 2 inches of dried orange peel 1 bottle of rosé wine 32

Method 1. Put the rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries and orange peel in a saucepan with 1l of boiling water. Simmer over a low heat for 15 mins to infuse the flavours 2. Add the rosé wine, increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until liquid has reduced by one-third. 3. Strain the infusion into a bowl. The Herault & Aude Times

Carrots with creamed green olives Serves 6 cooking 50 mins

This dish brings out the sweetness of the carrots, complimented by the slightly bitter taste of the olives. It goes beautifully with the Tian of lamb dish. Ingredients 1kg carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick-size pieces 120ml peanut oil (or sunflower) 100g green olives 2 garlic cloves, crushed Leaves from 4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp soft, unsalted butter Sea salt and black pepper to taste 120ml light cream

Method 1. Place a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil when the pan is hot. Cook the carrots slowly, turning and stirring them frequently. Allow 35 minute for them to cook through to tender. 2. Put olives in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain. Discard the stones. Chop the olives and add the garlic and parsley leaves. 3. Drain the cooked carrots into a colander and let them sit for about 30 minutes. 4. Melt the butter in a pan, add the olive mixture and stir for 1 minute. Add the carrots and stir well for 3-4 minutes. Season and add the cream. 5. Stir in 160ml of water. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Serve hot in a shallow bowl.

Glossary: Rosemary Juniper berries Nutmeg Flat-leaf parsley Bay leaves Pearl onions

Romarin Baies de genièvre Noix de muscade Persil plat Feuilles de laurier Oignons perlÊs


Business / Money / Property / Spectrum Business Interviews, rhetoric and opinion. Michael D’Artag writes, interviews or comments on topics that impact you.

And Another Debt Crisis


e have been living through the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis and now we have the US debt crisis. It feels like déjà vu, as it was around this time last year that there was much talk about the US fiscal cliff. Just hours before the deadline of 17th October, the US Congress passed a bill to re-open the government and raise the federal debt ceiling - well at least until next year - as a new deadline of 7th February was set. The consequences of not having made this ‘temporary fix’ would have resulted in the US defaulting on its sovereign debt. Default would have been catastrophic for the US and also for the global economy. The Eurozone is showing slight signs of economic recovery, although described by ECB President Draghi as “weak, fragile and uneven”. Unemployment is still rising and the big surprise is the fall in the rate of inflation, which has dropped from 1.1% to 0.7%. The ECB’s prime objective of price stability in the Eurozone is under pressure. Questions are now being asked as to whether or not the ECB will be forced to make an interest rate cut to avoid the Eurozone falling into a ‘Japan-like’ deflationary spiral. Closer to home, the French budget – Projet de Loi de Finances 2014 – is progressing


through parliament. As expected, amendments have already been proposed and adopted by the National Assembly, including amendments to the government’s proposed reform of the capital gains tax regime relating to property. To read more on all these subjects, the full version of this article 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 email at or by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17. The above outline is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute advice or a recommendation from The Spectrum IFA Group to take any particular action on the subject of investment of financial assets. 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 00017 Numéro ’immatriculation ORIAS 10 056 800 With Care, You Prosper


Predicting the future used to be a little like playing the stock market. Good educated guesses abound but the risk was always there. But what of this coming year? * Unemployment will rise in France. Signs are moderately positive acroos the EU (Greece and Ireland excepted) but the far right and Hollande’s mismanagement and crippling work laws will move France further behind Germany. * Get ready for the taxes. Hollande has nowhere else to go. Already unpopular, he has to convince the EU he is the man for the job. * America will entertain us again and bicker like schoolchildren in the playground over who is paying for lunch. Roll on February and watch the lights go out in DC * Australia will win at cricket and prove to all they can have and spend more on great ideas and not achieve any of them. But they’ll still be better off than most of Europe. * Italy will need a bailout...oh, actually they won’t because Burlusconi will run to his media outlets (Italy as we call it) and convince more bonds to be bought and we’ll pay for them later (a little like his women). If Italy can shut down Burlusconi, Italy will bounce. * Forget Silicon Valley. France is going to boom in the tech market. If Hollande leaves them alone then tech firms could maybe give France the kickstart it needs. And this year without predictions I’m talking to Dell, EDF, Microsoft (at last), one of the biggest export companies in France and the Finance minister of France.

The Herault & Aude Times



his month sees the start of a regular column dedicated to the property market in the Aude and the Herault, intended to give the reader some current facts and figures, special focus on property types/area, and our personal comments and thoughts, based on 10 years’ experience selling property in both departments. Whether you are a buyer, a seller or someone who is just looking, we hope there will be something here to interest you each month.

Best then to begin by giving you an overview of the French property market today. The most current notaire report (October 2013, shows that whilst there has been an overall

330.000€ - Unique two storey villa in the Minervois, with 5 bedrooms, organised as two apartments, with pool, garden and views.

Rail News by Chris Elliott


lanning Blight continues along the Montpellier to Perpignan proposed high speed railway line. A good many house owners were hoping to learn when their property would finally be bought by the builders of the New High Speed line from Montpellier to Perpignan, however the summer news that the line would not now be built until at least after 2028 has left them confused. At a meeting of the TGV

price fall of about 1% nationwide, property prices in the Languedoc continue to rise, with Herault recording a 11.7% rise, the largest in the whole country! In terms of volume of sales, there has been a month on month increase in sales since March 2013, especially in the provinces. The picture for the Languedoc property market is an ever improving one. With its reasonable cost of living and laid back lifestyle, great weather, excellent transport links and improving tourism, the region is fast becoming a property hotspot. As the economies of major countries worldwide improve, the region is attracting new potential buyers from Australia, Scandinavia and the US, in addition to the traditional British clientale. On the ground, we are seeing a stabilising of prices and more importantly, offers

243,000€ - Elegant ‘Maison de Maître’ in Herault with 5/6 bedrooms, small garden and garages.

Languedoc Development Association recently in Béziers, it was confirmed that this indecision continues. It is also just possible that if the line is delayed beyond the 2028 date then it might mean a few amendments to the proposed route which would in turn mean enlarging certain sections of the band of land already suffering from planning blight. ** n amusing footnote, as the magazine ‘La Vie du Rail’ puts it - whispers from above state that the new high


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being made closer to the asking price, and sometimes for the full asking price, both of which bode well for the health of the market. The sector that is the most bouyant at the moment is properties in the 250,000€ - 350,000€ range. For this amount, you can get a 3/4 bedroom house with a garden and often a pool at the higher end. Properties of this calibre have the added advantage of being good investment properties for the holiday rental market and therefore buyers are perhaps happy to stretch themselves a little for the opportunity to gain immediate financial returns on their investment. Below is a selection of 3 properties in this range: For more information, please contact: Richard and Chitra Pullen +33 (0)6 76 64 10 10 +33 (0)6 87 72 17 32

270.000€ - New architect designed country house in the heart of the Corbiéres, with 4 bedrooms and garden with views over a pine forest! speed line under construction bypassing Nimes and Montpellier will be a mixed freight and TGV line. The only location on the line where a freight train can be garaged if in trouble or when a TGV needs to overtake a freight train is at the new Montpellier station, this special track is 650 metres long, whereas all of the existing freight trains are 750 metres long and shortly all will be extended to 850 metres. One is tempted to ask if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.


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n the 16th Brumaire in the year IX of the French Revolution (November 7th 1800 if you prefer), a decree was published prohibiting women in Paris from wearing trousers. Walk down any Paris street today and it’s obviously not still on the statute book. But when was it removed? In July last year. And then only after heavy lobbying. Between November 1800 and July 2012 it was technically illegal for women to wear trousers in Paris.  This little-known and less respected fact illustrates two fascinating facets of living in France. The French love of regulations, and their sublime disregard for them. In a recent book, Absurdité à la française, Philippe Eliakim, a French journalist and editor of the monthly magazine ‘Capital’, gives a terrifying insight into how these rules are taking us over and financially ruining thousands of those who have to comply. There are 400,000 laws and decrees currently regulating our lives -from telling us on which side of the road we must drive, to the exact width of supermarket aisles. The size of bed-sheets, the wattage of lighting in every hotel orridor, even the colour of official rubbers. Anyone setting up a business in France becomes immediately aware of the plethora of rules to which he must conform. A gravedigger, for ex-


ample, cannot dig graves don’t bother with that anymore,” he unless he has a gravedigtold me. “They know at a glance if the ger’s diploma (Decree 95fire-place conforms to the new regs. 653 of the 9th May 1995) Usually it doesn’t – so no compensaAnd none of the above are tion.” Then looking at my wood-burnedicts from Brussels. They are ing stove, installed before I bought the all home-grown. How has France house. “You wouldn’t stand a chance. become ranked 126th out of 140 Angle of the flue, what it’s made of, foradministrative complexity by the that masonry – won’t do at all. Have World Economic Forum? Eliakim reckto rip everything out. Even stoves inons it’s partly because there are too stalled recently are now outside les normes.” many high-flying advisers hanging off And that’s another of Eliakim’s points: each minister. To climb the ladder – or the laws change all the time -- as Maître even survive – they have to be seen to Granier says in another article in this isbe active. Another reason is the lingering belief that one size fits all. France How has France become ranked 126th is a huge country, out of 140 for administrative complexity its people diverse. by the World Economic Forum? To legislate that every hotel must be accessible to sue. Unless you’re on the case full time wheelchairs assumes that every hoyou can’t possibly keep up -- for don’t tel has a lobby on the ground floor. In expect anyone to warn you that the septowns the entrance is often squeezed tic tank you’ve been using for years is no between two shops, you climb stairs to longer en règle and must be dug up and reception. In the end replaced, even though it probably causes regulations make everything less pollution than your neighbour’s conform, the purpose-built flourishes. herd of cows. Charming Between 1999 old houses and 2006 4,000 simply don’t conform. family-run hoWhile the French contels closed down, tinue with their entirely many because the healthy disregard for owners were unmany regulations, bit able to pay for the by bit the inspectors for structural changes health, hunting, safety, demanded by the children, fire, flood, old ever-vigilant inpeople, natural spaces, transport, tourspectors. ism are gaining ground. We are a riskThat’s another of averse society; the principle of precauEliakim’s arguments – these statutory tion is now enshrined in the French regulations cost us all a fortune. The Constitution, pushing us towards uniforOECD calculates €80 billion a year. mity, with the tail sometimes wagging That’s at the the dog. Architects now design kitchens public level, but without opening windows. Why? Bethe cost to the cause a person in a wheelchair cannot individual can reach across the work-surface to open be crippling too. them -- and so, believe it or not, putting Last week the rain an opening window is illegal. One size moneur came to for everyone, so no opening windows sweep my chimin kitchens and one up for the lobby of neys. Afterwards extractor-fan makers. Eliakim calls it abI asked him for surd – our French the clean chimreaders doubtless have more colourful ney certificate words. for my insurance © TIM KING 2013 company. “If there’s a fire they The Herault & Aude Times

The last gasps from French agriculture as the new CAP policy kicks in?


irst it was the chicken company Doux, followed by the slaughterer Gad, salmon producer Marine Harvest and today it’s Tilly-Sabco, another chicken exporter. These are the consequences of the changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The aforementioned companies have either gone bust spectacularly, causing massive unemployment in the first instance, not to mention the damage done to poultry rearers, etc.; or they are using the threat of a similar outcome to beat Hollande into bailing them out. Already the ‘Ecotax’, intended to reduce pollution created by truck transport, has been suspended as a sop to get the government temporarily off the hook. So what’s gone wrong? The PAC has been a costly way to reward farmers by guaranteeing certain price levels for many of their products. It has been successful in making France and the community self-sufficient in all products able to be produced here. At the same time the number of farm holdings, and consequently their employees, have diminished massively. Agriculture et Mondialisation – un atout géopolitique pour la France, recently published by Science Po Presse authors Sébastien Abis and Thierry Pouch, demonstrates a very good grasp on the history and success of CAP and calls for the extension of an important industry (neglected , because of the growing pains of wine lakes, massive costs, chemical residues, the genie of genetic modification, landscape despoliation, river pollution and a host of other ‘aunt sallies’!) They say that France should be launching into the world market with all their agricultural products: in the same way that wine has found a market throughout the world. Developing countries should be protected from Community surplus production, but, with the recent hikes in world food prices, there is a real fear of a world food market shortage. The problem of dumping is addressed by GATT and the World Trade Organisation. CAP should naturally be sensitive to this issue. Abis and Pouch are suggesting that with

climate problems those countries bordering the Mediterranean, who already buy large quantities of grain, have a market potential that could and should be developed. By encouraging healthy export trade the PAC would also be strengthening French farmers and ensuring supplies at home. The accepted theory has always been to produce your own food in order to avoid being held to ransom by other countries or the vagaries of other countries’ production. This, to be achieved at an ‘acceptable’ cost. Against encouraging exports is the very real fear that the taxpayer (who finances the CAP) is taken for a costly ride, lining the pockets of farmers, food value adding factories, and various exporting and transporting bodies. Not to mention the foreign buyers who might be getting a subsidised bargain. It is a difficult balance to achieve but if the challenge is not accepted other countries will step into the breach and home production would stagnate, losing its position in the world marketplace. There would be opportunities to share resource development, such as grain silos working to the advantage of the trading nations’ own exports, storage and product management. The deep well of knowledge and expertise of the richer community would become further involved aiding less developed countries, but for mutual financial benefit. For farmers inside the Community 1992 was the year during which intervention prices were lowered and in 2010 they were held at €101.31 for common wheat, well below the market price: zero for durum wheat. High food prices for livestock farmers are the main cause of inhibiting meat exports. Customs protection for community producers comes in the form of maintaining import prices that can never be lower than 155% of the intervention price. So farmers have a favourable market, but how much the supermarket shopper benefits is always tendentious! The CAP has been a success. Cereal production has gone from 77%

sufficient to 112%, that’s 74 million tonnes to 188 million tonnes. Wine, milk, timber and meat have had comparative success; products which the Community’s land and climate is very capable of producing. The shopper wants the cheapest food he/she can get and in the past the USA with its vast prairies supplied cheap grain and meat. Then came the likes of Argentina, Australia and now Brazil, which owns 20% of the world’s freshwater and is determined to make the most of its own natural resources. Governments have to be guarantors of continuous supplies at best prices and the CAP does that. At its inception the community, especially France, had a large rural population. In France the number of farm holdings has fallen from 1.6m to 0.5m in only the last 30 years. With this loss of farmers there is now even a fear that home production will not keep pace with the food demand. Abis and Pouch quote ‘jeunes agriculteurs’ as saying that farmland is disappearing at 26 m² per second. This is for all to see, with massive new industrial zones gobbling up good farmland as if it was infinite. Following the present financial crisis, unemployment is the government’s main concern so, in the case of agriculture and world food markets, it would seem stupid not to continue to encourage agriculture and explore new markets. In this way jobs will be more secure and food supply guaranteed. The CAP also lays great emphasis on sustainable, accountable, healthy and safe food. In other words, quality: and quality sells! By Richard Fowler 37

Nature Notes

Text: Colin Trickett


The vista of greens, yellows, golds and reds from the hilly north of our region with its chestnuts, ith the festive season virtually beech, oaks and maples, over, the season of the ‘Fall’ is right down to the coast with its myriad of hues in also virtually at an end. Here in Languedoc this season tends to the vineyards. What is happening be quite late with most of the shedding in this autumn tide and taking place in November and December why? Put very simply all and even into January when the vineyard our broad leaved species pruning gains pace. are preparing for a sleep. If one is fortunate enough to live in The trunks and branches areas with an abundance of trees, shrubs are drawing nutrients and vines, then autumn can be a spectacularly beautiful season. This year from the leaves, was no exception here in the Languedoc. essential to life throughout winter. The major nutrient is chlorophyll. It is chlorophyll which through “The singing and the dancing die away photosynthesis captures the As cooling breezes fan the pleasant air solar rays, thereby providing Inciting all to sleep, Without a care ...” the energy to produce the


In The Garden

(cont. next page)

with Gill Pound


e think of January as a quieter time of year in the garden but there are plenty of jobs that can be tackled that will give you a head start for the gardening year. • Remove piles of wet dead leaves from flower beds as the damp can encourage rot, if possible add the dead leaves to your compost heap • General weeding of flower beds • Turn some organic material (compost, rotted manure, etc) into your flower beds • Ornamental trees can be pruned for shape • Check on any plants which are staked to make sure that the stakes are firm against the winter winds • Prune ivies and ornamental climbers, start pruning roses. • Sprinkle some slow release fertiliser, preferably organic or ‘bio’ at the bases of hedges.


food sugars. It is also the chlorophyll which gives the leaves their green colour. The colour leaves turn in autumn is determined by which pigment is left dominant in the leaves, Yellow or Red.

The Herault & Aude Times

• Continue to protect tender plants against the cold. • There is still time to plant trees and shrubs, including hedging, except if the ground is frozen. • If you haven’t yet done so then it is time to winter prune wisteria, cutting back to two or three buds on this years stems. • If you have a greenhouse or conservatory you can start to take cuttings of tender plants such as geraniums that you took in for the winter. There are not many plants in flower during the winter months but the Sarcococcas are delightful evergreen shrubs which grow to about a metre high and have delicately scented flowers in the winter, at the same time as the berries from the previous year. And, if the weather is mild then we shall probably see the scented flowers of the Algerian iris (Iris unguicularis) (cont.)

Nature Notes (cont.) Most plants have both pigments present so the majority of plants end up greeny yellow. The yellow pigment, carotenoid, is present in the leaves throughout the year but during spring and summer it is masked by the high incidence of chlorophyll. The red pigment, anthocyanin is not normally present through the year and is only produced in quantity when the chlorophyll is absorbed by the plant. Climatic conditions also play a key part in determining the leaf colour. Cool nights and sunny days significantly favour the production of red pigment. Colour also of course varies by variety. Most plants and trees have only about 10% of red pigment but some, particularly in Northern America, can have up to 70%. One example here is the Kaki or Persimmon. Our vines also vary in colour by variety.

up corners by a sunny wall and the first yellow flowers of the shrubby climber Jasminum primulinum (syn mesneyi). The more attractive garden task when the weather is cold and damp is doing some reading and planning for the warmer weather! If anyone is interested I have a list of books relevant to gardening locally and would be happy to email it to you. Another particularly useful reference is the website of the Mediterranean Garden Society: (website at end). They do have an active Languedoc branch and a very useful website for the MGS in France - (see end). Although it is not focussed for gardening in the Languedoc, the website of the Royal Horticultural Society in Britain remains an invaluable source of information And if you are thinking of planning some garden visits for the spring and summer the French sites which are directories of

Text: Colin Trickett

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay tend to be unspectacularly pale yellow/ brown. Syrah crosses a spectrum from yellow through orange, Grenache greenish red and Cinsault pale red. The virtual disappearance of the old Languedoc variety, Aramon, may not have robbed us of quality wine but has certainly deprived us of possibly the most stunning autumn vineyard hue - the fabulous deep red ochre. Whatever plantar tree variety, whatever their colour, their autumn

(cont.) brightening

local gardens are very useful (see end) - and are all useful for discovering local gardens to visit. Very best wishes for 2014 from La Petite Pépinière! Left Top: Sarcococca Left Bottom: Jasminum primulinum Above: Iris unguicularis

change was summed up by the Roman poet in a sonnet: “The singing and the dancing die away As cooling breezes fan the pleasant air Inciting all to sleep, Without a care ...”

For further information and gardening queries contact Gill Pound at La Petite Pépinière de Caunes (shrubs and perennials, unusual plants and plants for dry climates), 21, Avenue de la Montagne Noire, 11160, Caunes-Minervois. T: 04 68 78 43 81, email: We do not have regular opening times during the winter but are always open by appointment; just email or phone to make an arrangement.

Mentioned websites (In English): htm Useful sites (In French) 39


What’s On :



Walking & Poetry in Pézenas & a Quiz in Montpellier

with The ‘HAT’

Courtesy of Théâtre sortieOuest

Walking Tours Discover the secret history of Languedoc: Templar, Cathar, Kabbalah; Jewish heritage; Free Masonry; the secret symbols of Pézenas Price: 12€ per person /10€ p.p. for groups of 5+ For more information telephone: 04 67 09 40 13 or 06 47 01 39 15 Association loi 1901 : Musée du Judaisme Medieval en Languedoc

THE DAZZLING DIAMOND Saturday 18th January, 21h

The voice of jazz singer Kellylee Evans, considered one of the most beautiful of her generation, received unanimous critical praise for her 2010 tribute to Nina Simone. And now she returns with her new opus, “I Remember When”, showing her vocal skills yet again. This time she chooses songs by the likes of Eminem, John Legend and Kanye West, taking them into her own world of jazz, soul and hip hop while adding a few classics (Gladys Knight) and the quirky title “And So We Dance” (aka “Alors on danse” in Stromae’s original version). Is 2014 going to be her year? Théâtre sortieOuest, Domaine départemental d’art et de culture de Bayssan Domaine de Bayssan le Haut, 34500 Béziers Tel : To Win just send us an email with your name and telephone number to:

FAMOUS LITERARY QUIZ 3rd edition of Foal’s famous literary quiz 28th February, Martin Luther King venue, 27 Bvd Louis Blanc, Montpellier 18h for drinks and nibbles, quiz starts at 18h30 La Ville de Pézenas presents : English Language poetry Friday 24th January, 18h30 Poems of: E. Dickinson, S. Beckett, S. Plath, S. Heaney Accompagnement Denyse McNamara : flutes Lecteurs de l’association « La Voix du Poème » FREE and open to everyone Théâtre de PEZENAS


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English Library Association


he new English Library Association (La Bibliothèque Anglaise de la Haute Vallée) opened its doors on Tuesday 21st August last year in Quillan, Aude. This new Library was inspired by the success of a similar library in Lodève which was established 10 years ago and the committee of the Library were extremely indebted to the members there for all their help and guidance in the new venture. There are over 2000 books and 600 DVD’s available for Association members to borrow thanks to many generous donations received and the founders have been gratified at the large measure of support amongst the many Anglophones living in the area. Events, talks and outings are organised frequently for members. The English Library Association in Quillan is a voluntary non-profit making 1901 association that has overheads and relies on donations and volunteers to man it throughout the year and help with the Library’s monthly events and contribute to the information service on the website. All books and DVDs have been generously donated by the public. There is a weekly newsletter which goes out by email to both members and subscribers to the website http:// which gives full details in English of forthcoming events in the Aude and Ariège as well as being a mine of information in relation to all types of services available in the Cathar Country and Eastern Pyrénées as well as tourist attractions and activities, plus excursions that can be undertaken. The newsletter is free and all advertisements in the library and on the website are also free. email:

The Geek we call ‘E-Male’

Facebook. What did I say to uncle Mike? Hello Facefoolers! I’d ask you how you are but I already know don’t I? Carol who dropped the turkey (great photo) and Jules who got a bit tipsy with uncle Mike on boxing day (and wrote about it). And all those gifts you posted photos of, stunning to do list for thieves everywhere. But I digress...... Can you remember what you posted 2 weeks ago? Ok, how about a week ago? No, well here’s an idea if you want to make sure you save those pictures and videos..... or if you want your data before deleting your account. Get a copy of all of it. Every status update you ever posted, all your photos, videos and you can even get all the comments (good eh uncle Mike?) From your Facebook page select the arrow in the right hand corner and select ‘Account Settings’. And lo and behold, under ‘General account Settings’ look down and you’ll see “Download a copy of your Facebook data”. All is then self-explanetary, it tells you what you’ll get and a warning

about sharing it which is quite funny considering Facebook is all about sharing everything anyway. So, are you ready? Then click on the download button and there you go. You’ll soon receive an email and you open it up on a web browser but don’t panic, it’s all on your harddrive. Good news for Carol and Jules! I would recommend that you do this when you have some time free, these files can take a long have you been on Facebook for? And a cursory warning that I am sure you have all heard of before. A fellow geek from Lyon recently lost his highly paid contract at a bank when his Facebook profile was scanned by his employees (and yes it was private). Apparently a flaming sambuca and an Austrian hotspot did not sit comfortably with the gentlemen in suits. And when was this? His 25th birthday with friends 8years ago... and he has been contracted for the last 5!

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25 years of experience tel 0467 98 37 77 mob 0622 34 30 56 “Quality Assured”

Siret No: 478 335 870 00026


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The Tuesday Club A lively group of English speaking people from all nationalities meet to hear talks, exchange ideas and socialise. **

WIC, Women’s International Club is an international group of ladies, for all nationalities, who meet to share experiences, knowledge and to have some fun. Meetings are conducted in both French and English and commence at 14.30 on the first Thursday of each month at Salle de l’Abbatiale, Saint Chinian For further information please contact


Anglophone Group Languedoc Roussillon (AGLR) Adults & childrens’ activities including bridge, golf, French conversation, cooking, excursions in convivial atmosphere **

A small, English-language lending library in Montpellier, excellent selection of recent literature. We also organise cultural events, talks, book quiz, book club, book sale and more. For more information: friendsoftheanglophonelibrary. com or e-mail


Commercial Cleaning Machine for hire.Cleans soft furnishings, rugs, mattresses, sunbed cushions, car interiors, etc. Contact Trudi: 0499570589 ** Door Restore Is your Front Door showing its age, Try Door Restore specialists in the restoration and repair Of all wooden exterior and interior doors and shutters. Quick on site repairs or workshop restoration Call or email for a site visit and free quotation Door restore 0671526193 ** Enhanced Business English Training - Realise Your Potential RYP Training Consultants prepare you for any aspect of anglophone business from CVs and job interviews to presentations and meetings. ** Babysitting. 19 year old Female available for babysitting, dog sitting, house sitting at weekends. References available Tel: 0644 80 24 32 Narbonne **

Midi decor

Importers of British Quality Paint UK Prices - Free Delivery in Aude & Hérault on orders over €500. Contact Robert 0684 19 05 40 **

Electrician We meet at Maison pour Tous, Florensac, second Thursday of each month, at 1430h (except July & Aug).Info: 0467 77 19 06 **


(N.I.C.E.I.C. Registered in UK 1986-2008) Rewires or extra lights/sockets. Siret registered Tel: Terry Smith 0467 95 82 05 Email: **

Satellite Television - TNT

Satellites installed - Advice Given. References Available Call Ashley 0609 54 06 62 or 0499 41 61 80 ** Perfect Property Management Professional, reliable company for all of your property needs. Changeovers, pool maintenance and repairs, project management. Siret registered. Contact Trudi: 0499570589 **

Gray Solutions Bilingual building and renovation project management, with excellent tried and tested teams covering all trades. Bernie Gray 06 49 21 55 71 ** Roofing and Building Services Roofs replaced or repaired: Leaks, Insulation, Velux, Guttering, New beams, Structural, Terraces. Building maintenance and repairs. References. Professional – Reliable Karl : 06 04 45 63 57 Paul : 06 34 95 19 71 www.roofingbuildingservices. com ** Man Around the House Property Maintenance Company based in Pezenas we can cater for all your renovations or repairs with over 25 years experience you can trust your problems to us. PH.0467767527 or /0785080703. Email. ** PLUMBER -French Plumbing - Heating- Gas t: 0467 00 11 19 p:0689 02 31 62 Denis Huyart 34630 **

READER RECOMMENDED* Dyson Property Renovations English Qualified Builder Kitchens, Bathrooms, Decorating and Renovations Professional and reliable Free Estimates – References No Job Too Small Tel: 0647 09 38 65 m: www.dysonpropertyrenovations. com ** Roquebrun Property Management Personalised services for holiday homes and seasonal rentals. Full or ‘pay as you go’ service. Homes available to rent for 1- 15 people. Call Sue on 0652752445. **

For All Your Property Care Needs Complete pool care inc. winter shutdown, gardening inc strimming, changeovers, general painting interior and exterior, varnishing, oiling shutters etc. Siret registered est 10 years Tel: 04 67 24 83 72. M: 06 87 64 97 29 ** LANGUEDOC PROPERTY SERVICE.COM Help in Hérault with property repairs & garden maintenance, pools, decoration, keyholding & changeovers.Established. Bilingual. Reliable. 06 31 74 45 88 ** GRACE NICOLS HOMES: Is a local specialist for holiday rentals of luxury homes with service ‘a la carte’ in Montpellier and its region. We offer full marketing and management service for your home, whether a second home or your main house while you are travelling. Avoid the hassle involved in short letting, we will handle it for you: Secure keyholding service, changeovers, house cleaning, pool and garden maintenance, and more services on request. Tel: 0607801094 43


HANDYMAN/ SKILLED CARPENTER WITH VAN All types of repairs. Tiling, plumbing, electrics, painting. Furniture/ stor-age solutions built. Flatpack assembly. Removals. Rubbish/Garden clearance/maintenance. No job too small. Col O’Neill at 06 48 86 98 66. Photos ** RT MULTISERVICES No job too small - property maintenance, keyhoding, painting & decorating, land clearance & gardening, vehicle registration & French administration. Reliable, local, bi-lingual depts. 11 & 34. Chris 06 84 29 34 34 **

Dick Fowler Construction Liner Pools, Solid Pools All house renovation and construction work Email; fowlerbatiment@gmail. com Port: 0670 91 12 17 Check out and then call me!

Plasterer, Painter Decorator Honest and reliable 20 years experience as ‘Homemaker’ in the UK. - References Available Tiling and General Building undertaken too. Free quote and advice. Gary Jackson 0044 793 40 68 833 **

Autumnal Nurture for your Garden. Now is the time to think about garden improvement. Pruning, Planting, Earthmoving and Contruction.Mathieu Goudou Le Jardinier Tel 0623 463542 Creation and Maintenance. Prompt, reliable, English Spoken


Garden maintenance available all year round - grass cutting on regular basis, - hedge trimming - weeding - planting Maria: (06) 95859499



STILL SEARCHING FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE ? Let ‘Connecting People’ search for you (France/UK). Professional/focused matching process. No initial fees - only payable on mutually agreed Introductions. No loss/only gain. Call Sylvia + 33 (0) 622769530 (Fr) or + 44 (0) 7501911409 (UK) or email :



Bespoke massage, Mobile service Group bookings taken. Thai massages, Reflexology, Neck and face massage, Reiki, Oil massage. Susannah 0652752445 / 0467243142 Based in Ceps / Cazedarnes ** Alexander Technique Learn to free yourself from habits of posture and movement that are at the root of pain. Wendy McKnight (STATcertified) For an appointment in Lodeve: 06 38 88 27 79 www. ** Fabulous, affordable, beauty treatments - Nathalie Esthetic 4, Place du Marché St Thibéry Tue-Sat, Mon & evenings by appt. Tel : Nathalie on 06 47 40 10 45 ** Centre d’Ostéopathie et d’Intégration Structurelle (®Rolfing) Recently opened in Lodève Annette Beckett qualified osteopath since 1992 cranial osteopathy for adults, children, babies Barry P. Beckett Certified Rolfer, Rolf Institute 1993 Structural Integration, Postural Improvement, Osteopathics. 06 30 64 88 40 **


I play guitar and sing Americana, Lo-Fi, etc. (not pro) Looking for musicians for jamming, writing and maybe performing. Any level welcome. Gary 06 23 33 30 22 **

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Nizas Langues French language lessons & Translation Service. (near Pézenas 34320) Qualified teacher & native speaker with over 25 yrs. experience of teaching French in the UK – GCSE & AS/A Level. Hours to suit you 8.00 am – 8.00 pm. Price from 15€/hr 0ne to One. Tailor made programmes – 10 lessons 100€. Small groups on request. 04 34 53 18 36

** TRANSLATION SERVICES READERS RECOMMEND Independent Anglophone translator. All texts considered. Working languages: French, Spanish, English Contact Alison: **

INTERNET / WEB internet development

php, mysql, javascript, html, css, xml My English is jolly good’mon Français c’est vraiment bon mein Deutsch ist ganz gut **

Classified Adverts PERSONALS

STILL SEARCHING FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE ? Let ‘Connecting People’ search for you (France/UK). Professional/focused matching process. No initial fees - only payable on mutually agreed Introductions. No loss/only gain. Call Sylvia + 33 (0) 622769530 (Fr) or + 44 (0) 7501911409 (UK) or email :

** Website, Facebook and You




How do you make a website work for you? Can Facebook improve your business? Small and Personal seminar coming to Narbonne in January Register your interest by contacting Harry at


Castelnau-de-Guers ville

Characterful village House with kitchen/dining-room, bedroom, sitting-room, bathroom and WC 58.000 € Contact: marie desvignes Telephone: 0614399881 ** PROPERTY WANTED


Canine Behaviourist and Dog Trainer Crate a harmonious relationship with your dog. Many references from satisfied customers Call Richard : or see


PEZENAS - Centre Historique​Charming Appartment for sale in the centre of Pézenas (Historical area). appartementavendre T: 06 88 88 77 19 ** MOBILE HOMES FOR SALE. Prices starting from 1500€ up to 6000€. Wide range in stock. Transport and installation available on request. Telephone: 0609540662.



Want horses in your life but don’t know where to start? Local, expert advice on all aspects of horseriding & keeping horses in the region for novices or experienced. Kitty 06 61 51 54 59 **


Distributor wanted for The HAT in the Aude from February 2014. Ideal for a person with a van. Fixed drops - renumeration. Interested? Contact us on 0644 80 24 32 or email gatsby@

Marseillan Ville (Hérault) Four bedroom three story vigneron Marseillan Ville Two large bedrooms ensuite, master bedroom with balcony, garage to fit four cars, large kitchen / dining and living area on the top floor, large terrace. OFCH and Air Con throughout. Contact 0035 38 72 41 4002 **

Looking for house/bungalow in the countryside, to rent from 1st April 2014 for 3 yrs, with large enclosed garden, without neighbours too near, even though our dogs are well behaved. 3 double bedrooms for 3 adults, must have a bath + garage or storage space. Contact: 04 99 91 43 70 or 06 13 50 64 47


Close to Pézenas 2 Bedroom House to Rent. Garage, Terrace, 2 s/c studio flats attached. Seperate entrance. 10 minutes by car from Pézenas. All amenitied v close. Enq: 0644 80 24 32 **


Maison De L’Orb, Béziers Beautiful five bedroom bed and breakfast overlooking Pont Vieux and river. Private garden, bathing pool, fantastic breakfast. Book:

The Church of England at St. Pargoire, Holy Communion 2nd Sunday each month at 1030 am. Everyone welcome. Details ** International Chapel of Montpellier Worship Services in English Children’s Bible Class provided Services held every Sunday at 11:00am Website: **


Any Distance Up to 8 Passengers E-mail Reservations welcome Estimates Given. All enquiries welcome Tel: 0033 (0) 467 21 72 38 e-mail:



Hire a 2cv Convertable for the day or longer. A wonderful slice of French Culture. More info at:



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2000 Toyota Celica 1.8VVT-i 6,500 Euros, Right hand drive, Imported to France 2007. 130,000 miles, One owner, Alzonne, Peter Hindley, Tel: 04 68 76 95 30 **

FOR SALE Velux Window GGL3000 with flashing M08 78 x140 EDW M08 €75.00 to clear. t: 0681 02 65 07 Hérault ** BOOKS

English Bookshop - Pézenas Please call in for a chat plus your favourite English foods. Delightful & unusual gifts for family, friends and you! A wide selection of English books. Rue St Jean ** English Books and Cards available at The English Bookstall: These markets; Monday - Bedarieux, Tuesday - Marseillan Ville, Wednesday Clermont l’Hérault, Saturday - Lodève. Kerith 0467 96 68 87 ** Le Bookshop - Librairie Anglophone / café 8 rue du Bras de Fer - Montpellier Tel. /Fax : 04 67 66 22 90 ** English Books at the Bourse, Pézenas. First Sunday of every month from 10 to 12. The Café de la Bourse is next to the Hotel Moliere in Pézenas. All books are 1 Euro or less. Excellent coffee and company. Want to book a table? Call Carole on 0467905910 **

Shenanigan’s Irish owned and run, family pub and restaurant. Come and join us for the best prices in the Languedoc. All rugby, Gaelic and Hurling shown live. Guinness & Bulmers Home cooked food, prepared daily.Plate of the day 10e with a glass of wine. Taxi available. Open all year. Vias centre – 0430 17 83 87.


Markets I

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


Carcassonne every morning (except Sunday) in Les Halles; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, Place Carnot Narbonne every morning in Les Halles Restaurant L’Amindine inc. Sunday; Thursday morning 3 Place du 14 juillet, 34450, Vias opposite the hospital, clothes In the historic centre of Vias and diverse until 16h by the village, traditional, family canal; Saturday morning, restaurant, serving fresh local Organic market, place Forum produce & quality wines Lézignan-Corbières Open daily for lunch & dinner English Spoken Wednesday mornings Tel: (centre); Grand Foire every ** first Wednesday in the month until 16h Castelnaudary Monday morning (Place La Charnière Bar Restaurant Verdun-Cours de la RépubA newly opened bar / Restaurant in Beziers Aiming to combine the lique) Bram serving of top class food with a Wednesday morning special rugby ambiance. Espéraza Place Jean Jaurés, Beziers t: 0467 36 83 10 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 CAN YOU HELP? SPA CARCASSONNE morning Trèbes Tayson was born in June, 2008. He is a magnificent creature Sunday morning who deserves better than to spend the rest of his life at the Saint Pierre la mer SPA. He has recently been castrated (by the SPA). Every morning


The Herault & Aude Times


AGDE – Thursday morning. Covered market every morning, except Monday BEZIERS Friday morning: Flower market in the Allèes Paul Riquet Saturday morning: vegetables in the Allèes Paul Riquet; organic produce by Les Halles/ Sunday morning:large general market CESSENON-SUR-ORB Tuesday morning Produce / Saturday morning: various LODEVE – Saturday morning MEZE – Thursday and Sunday morning MONS-LA-TRIVALLE Thursday morning MONTPELLIER – Historic centre, Monday to Thursday 7h to 13h30, Friday and Saturday from 7h to 1800h (full list of Montpellier markets on HT PEZENAS Saturday morning SAINT-CHINIAN – Thursday and Sunday SETE – Monday morning: regional produce/Wednesday morning: various/Thursday morning: organic and regional produce/Friday morning: regional produce.

HT Sport In Partnership with

Comité Sport Tambourin Hérault Sports by Stuart Turpie

It is that time of the year for the prestigious annual “Times awards” for the Aude and Hérault sports team of the year 2013. It has been tempting to include the Sky Cycling team in the list for this award after their domination of the Tour de France for the last two years but the fact that the team only spent 2 days in Aude and Hérault last year reluctantly counts against them. There are 8 nominations for the much sought after award with 3 from Aude and 5 from Hérault which to be fair reflects the difference in populations. The nominations are:

season in the DH Languedoc league only missing out on promotion by a point to Alès. Though the pace has slowed slightly this term they could easily go up. Fabrègues are the rivals.

The Herault & Aude Times is proud to be partnered with:


The team had a most impressive year. Second only to Bourges in the championship de France , losing 1-2 in the play off, the team are gaining experience in Europe and intend to try to be champions this season.

Midi Cricket Club


After being a federal club for many years the club broke into the PRO B league with a bang and only just missed out on a play off place for promotion. Plenty of interest and publicity, funding from the regional council and ground development at the Stade Domec has helped. However, financial mismanagement and near official relegation has followed. The club are struggling at the end of the year.


The Grizzlies lost a heart breaking Coupe Lord Derby final last season, 37-38 to Avignon, but this year stand top of the Elite League. Toulouse Olympique seem to be the main rivals in the 13 a side code.


Comité Sport Tambourin Hérault

The Angels have continued their steady progess. Last season they were number 2 in France and are matching themselves against top European oppostion this term.The highest achievBefore we announce the winner we must ers in the city. mention the wooden spoonists of the year. The mighty Montpellier Handball NARBONNE RUGBY CLUB The team have shown themselves club though still a strong side ,drawing to be the most consistent regional good crowds in big games at the Arena team in the 15 a side Pro B game. You near the airport, have just about survived MONTPELLIER WOMENS FOOTBALL would generally tip them to have the the betting scandal of last year. A clear edge over Beziers ,their traditional rivals out of players has left a nasty taste in the CLUB mouth still. There will be a lasting memoCurrently third placed in the French First The club seem poised to make the step ry of the scandal. division the club play their home matches forward and compete for a Top 14 place. at Sussargues and have really put the wo- Can they do it? The winners jointly of our mens game on the map. With mens footannual award are: FC SETE ball being so dependent on finance the The Sétois have finally shaken off the team should end up with a higher league placing than the men. They could press hangover of enforced relegation 3 years Lattes Basketball Club & ago and are currently top of the CFA2 for a Euro League spot in 2014. group. 5 cup wins have given the vert et Béziers Volleyball Club. PAULHAN/PEZENAS FOOTBALL CLUB blancs a 14 and 1 record so far. This new entente side had a tremendous Remarkably Christophe Rouve in his early Well done to both clubs! forties is still leading out the eleven.

The Herault & Aude Times Thank you for reading



Artist and Gallery Specialist Printers GiclĂŠe Printing, Limited Edition Prints Archival Papers - Polymer based Pigment Inks Contact Us for a quote t: 0644 80 24 32 48

The Herault & Aude Times

The Herault & Aude Times  

The English language magazine for the Hérault and Aude in the south of France. Articles, features, art and more. 48 pages.

The Herault & Aude Times  

The English language magazine for the Hérault and Aude in the south of France. Articles, features, art and more. 48 pages.