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The Herault Times Issue 11 May 2013

Free Monthly

ISSN: 2261-561X


THT May 2013

Contents THT

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In Each Issue

04 Editorial 05 Letters 06 My Place 07 And Another Thing 09 Apicius Dines Out 09 You REview 10 Wine Times 11 Business / Legal 12 Garden / Nature 13 GTBY 17 Lifestyle 18 What’s On 19 Looking Back 25 E-Male 25 Subscribe 26 Recipe Times 28 DIY 28 E-Male 28-31 Classifieds 31 Sport Fun Times

Has the post arrived?

Not Yeti..

This Month - Articles 14 Languedoc in the Sky with Diamonds


The art of creating scents


06 My Place

Sylvie Guesdon


Olivier Mosset at M.R.A.C.

Work Times

The Herault Times


Spoken Like A Woman

All The Time

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The Herault Times 1 Grand Rue, St Thibery,34630 Publisher: Gatsby B Editor : Emma F Advertising Director: Tom Buchanon Art Editor: Daisy B Art: L.A.

La Fête du Muguet 01 May


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


The French version of the refrain ‘He loves me, he loves me not’ is ‘He loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all.’


f, with the long awaited appearance of the sun, you find yourself nostalgically humming ‘Seasons in the Sun’, you may be surprised to note that this 1970s worldwide hit is an adaptation of a French song Le Moribond (The Dying Man) by singersong writer Jacques Brel. The original song is peppered with sarcasm and allusions to the infidelity of Jacques Brel’s wife: Good-bye, my wife, I loved you well. This is quite startling as the Terry Jacks English version is an emotional farewell to relatives and friends: Goodbye to you, my trusted friend. The tone of Brel’s version suggest that perhaps the French are more comfortable with emotional ambiguities, and are not so caught up in the pursuit of happiness and perfection that can be a problem for others– to use a worn-out expression ‘it’s not the destination that counts but the journey’. Characters are the lifeblood of a community and we introduce you to this month’s My Place interviewee, antiquarian Sylvie Guesden or the ‘Iron Lady’ (how fitting) of the Pézenas

‘Antique Road’. Pocket-sized and warm, she opens this issue. And like a bear stretching after a long hibernation, roaring with pleasure as it turns it back on winter – an analogy that can mean only one thing – we welcome again Simon Coulshaw and his wine makers diary on the last quarter. Moving offline, Hugh McCamley considers a growing trend of substance abuse in France, with Hérault faring worse than many areas. But don’t let the unpleasant aroma of drugs and the questionable banking methods of certain politicians discussed in A View from France assault your senses, we are delighted to present as an olfactory salve, Nicholas Jennings, perfumer and owner of Sharini, a natural perfume company in St Guillaume. And it wouldn’t be May without public holidays would it? May Day on the 1st May (Fête du Travail) is a public holiday to campaign for and celebrate workers rights. It is also an occasion to present lily-of-the-valley or dog rose flowers to loved ones. And on the 8th May,

WWII Victory Day (Fête de la victoire, le jour de la libération) is the holiday which celebrates the end of World War II and the French people’s freedom, marking the anniversary of when Charles de Gaulle announced the end of World War II. Importantly, leading up to this date, schools across France teach lessons on WWII and the history of Nazi oppression to ensure that all future generations never forget we have to preserve everyone’s rights in modern society. The 1st HT art competition is open to all. Any age, any standard and so simple you’ll kick yourself if you don’t enter. And there are prizes! Finally, we would like to take a moment not to say goodbye but adieu to Robin Hicks. Onboard since the HT was but an idea, he has given nothing but 100% from its inception. It is with great personal thanks that we see Robin return to his online home ‘Hérault Whats On’, so that he can give the time that his project so richly deserves, a site that we are proud to call a partner. We all support and wish you success Robin.

ISSN: 2261-561X



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



his magazine is intended for the use of the individual(s) who picked it up. This magazine may contain information that is helpful, opinionated and can at times be unsuitable for overly sensitive Persons with no cultural credibility. If you are not sure then may we politely suggest that you pass it onto someone else as to continue reading is not recommended and may constitute an irritating social faux pas. No animals were harmed in the making of this magazine, and believe it or not one single opinion is definitive- period. 4

Letters Happy I am astounded that you are writing about French views (and that other English language papers now copy you). Are you suggesting that expatriates with English as a first language have any interest in how the French think? Their humour? Their wit and irony? I am astounded. And very proud to subscribe to your magazine. Well done and to everyone, so refreshing to have a viewpoint that isn’t narrow minded and self serving. Maurice, Agde Sad I am a little disappointed. Your article last month (My Place) was on the wonderful and gorgeous Simone Hérault. This woman is a national icon as you stated and is often on televeision and radio nationally. So when I saw her in the HT I was very happy (and impressed) but and I will repeat that, BUT such small pictures! You should be ashamed. Forget the writing and just give us pictures of the adoreable Simone. Pining, Geoff, 34000 Oh Geoff, get out of your dressing gown and put the cat down and open the front door... look, it’s a world out there.... Street names Just a quickie to congratulate your writer on the series of writings on street names in France. It is the first thing I turn to. Chris P Seriously So you look like that. (letters issue 10) Perfect hair, perfect teeth and you give catty remarks to our letters. Such a shame you are obviously gay! Hugely disappointed. Catherine, Montpellier Me? Gay? No but maybe in the next life. Oh, and say hi to your husband for me! The English pt2 That Canadian guy who wrote you. Don’t publish his c***. I

too am Canadian and I like some people, don’t like some people. Whoever writes the comments got it right, he is close to (if not) a racist. Comes in many sizes and shapes you know. Why give him a soapbox? Withheld

American lady (“color scheme is one of soft grays”)? Also, would you please translate into English “other main courses possibilities of the six on offer”? Also, in response to the delightful Bob (April letters).... The following is true Bob :“Every Canadian I’ve ever met (and I’ve met quite a few) has been humourless, prudish and an utter prig!” Now THAT’S how to generalise! Yours faithfully, Robin T. PS Congrats to Barry Beckett on his wonderful photography - let’s hope he doesn’t go the same way as his ancestor Thomas A’

Because idiots can do harm if left to their own devices. There are 100 good people for every bad or misguided one but everyone has a right to an opinion. It leads to education and discussion and hope....yours, B Obama! 75% Hollande and his policies over tax are starting to look more and more ridiculous. Comment? Didier

Or maybe you have found out the secret Robin. It’s true, I am a cross dressing Canadian with a love of food and photography. Love ‘n’ hugs from me and me and me!

Open a bank account in Switzerland then deny it! Review I have followed the lively controversy over your restaurant reviewer Apicius, and would like to add my bit. Apicius column is always the first page I turn to when a new HT issue comes out. We have tried four of the restaurants he has featured, and have fully concurred with his judgments, both positive and negative. And I certainly agree with him that a welcoming service and ambience are an important element in a diner’s experience. Looking forward to his future columns... Ann, Agde

Days like These I am intrigued to know if you or your readers have an opinion on the train station in Montpellier. A lot of time and money has been spent and I have to ask for what? It has been shown that underneath the gloss of our beautiful and young city there are a number of services either needed or creaking and I just wonder if a shiny new train station is really where the money should have been spent? Peter. Montpellier TV Hi, anybody know if I can watch Formula 1 on French tv? (terrestrial). I can’t find it anywhere. Patrice

After so much fun we have decided to open a forum for the Apicius comments. Available online now.. Just one more... Further to my letter a few weeks ago, I have now read the April edition of the HT. Apicius March and Apicius April I believe to be not one and the same. Their writing styles are different; their vocabulary different. This month’s writer was much more to the point - without any of the pomposity the March one employed.and the April one an

Hello Patrice, F1 is only available on Canal Plus I am afraid. So subscribe or watch the highlights on the BBC (Uk

The Cover Story We are proud to have the talents of Mr Barry Beckett producing the wonderful covers that you see everymonth. See more of Barry’s work now at the Miniscule Cafe in Lodève. (see what’s on). Barry Beckett 2013 All rights reserved


readers). Other options it! Equal Rights I have been surprised by the amount of anti gay graffiti that I have seen in what I would call ‘rural’ areas. I understand the cities and their hotheads and political jousting but in villages such as Aniane, Paulhan, Montagnac, Montpeyroux and Lattes to name just five I am shocked and for the first time disappointed in my adopted country. We live in a democracy and enlightened times. Don’t we? Veronique. e-mail Airport Hi, great mag and enjoy all of it.Why not at Rivesaltes airport (Perp)? As in another mag? Harry. by text this space!!! Nurse I have just come back from the UK where my 74 yr old mother was being treated by the NHS in the south of England. Good care and wonderful nursing was spoilt by a lack of co-ordination and mismanagement that allowed this elderly lady to have her hip replacement cancelled no less than 3 times. Here I will stop. My husband has recently had a hip operation here and it was efficient, smooth and trouble free. What has happened to the UK? It appears to be (and reports seem to agree) a total shambles. Withheld, Beziers Celebration You are one year old in 2 issues I believe. Are you having a party? Kry, Setè You are so observant.....what do you want? Jelly, ice cream? No we won’t..... maybe after 5 keep reading!

Sylvie Guesdon T

here are some places where one feels drawn to go back to: a café, a park, a street or occasionally a shop. The inimitable energy that belong uniquely to Sylvie Guesdon make her antique shop one

saying: le dire c’est bien mais le faire (fer) c’est mieux (‘talking is good, but action is better’). Aside from a love of Art Nouveau, she specialises in 1930s industrialized furniture - Tolix, Roneo, Straford or Valrex - her interest in iron and strong, resistant metallic objects is evident from the various cupboards, Air Force stools,

My Place

of these places - full of magic and surprises, an endless sense of novelty where once obsolete objects are transformed into functional ones, where souvenirs from childhood come back to life. Conjure an image of the fair, Sylvie’s shop resembles a time machine where memories return to fill the moment and imagination dances with new ideas of decoration, of idealized spaces, original artifacts and unseen furniture. For, not only does she regularly go out hunting in the pursuit of souvenirs, she also gives her vintage findings an actualized look, from a reanimated Art Deco lamp to a leather armchair that will suit your cat! As Maurice Levy, once president of the Public’s group, said: “All that is useful isn’t ugly.” As a child Sylvie wanted to be a black-smith. Her love for iron began as a girl when her father gave her an iron lamp he had found in a bin and which she still has to this day. However, she started her career selling exotic fruits, vegetables and spices, alongside aromatic plants at a local market on week-ends. Aged 22 she opened her first shop near Paris after befriending a Spanish antiquary who taught her how to ‘see’. Full of energy, she adopted Languedoc in1997, bringing her two daughters Prune and Cannelle with her. When she opened her shop in the town of Molière, taking over a porcelain shop previously owned by a British couple, she was one of the first to sell industrial iron furniture.“Talking is good, but ‘iron’ is better,” jokes Sylvie referring to the French

boarding school and hospital bedside tables around her, all polished by ‘Madam metallic brush’ as she is also known; objects which acquire a renewed vitality when re-housed

furniture from one end of France to the other in her van. She has a flair for the beautiful and the original. Antiques are her passion, her choices based on what she likes rather than just profit driven. There are occasions, she recalls, when she has set out looking for an ornament and come back instead with a staircase that she has had to fit into her shop, or has stumbled on a rare find, like the giant antique sledge she found in Belgium which had to be stored until the opportunity arose to transport it down south. Situated on rue Louis Montagne at the bottom of the route de Béziers or the so-called ‘rue des Antiquaires’, Sylvie’s shop is distinguishable by a stone arch and a blue wooden door upon which vintage fabrics are often hanging. Inside this welcoming Ali Baba’s cave filled with treasures… an old bath, a series of colourful Vietnamese silk lampions hanging from the wooden beam, a bronze statue flirting with a gigantic perfume flacon, a rehabilitated metallic coffee table stands next to an old phone, a venetian mirror and a beautiful stained glass French window, enameled coffee pots and glasses, pictures… there is always something new to see, some curiosity that has made its way mysteriously from the past into Sylvie’s strange and fascinating present… Iris Antiquité, 4, Avenue Louis Montagne, 34120 Pézenas 06 10 62 74 91/04 67 96 00 04 Hours: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday 4pm/19h30pm and by appointment.

Sunday 5th May & 13th October in a kitchen or dining room. Now icons of a new way of life, although some emblematic pieces, such as Pauchard chairs, are becoming harder to find. Her colleagues have named her affectionately ‘Falbala’ - presumably after Plantaquatix’s daughter from Asterix - she is hard working, full of enterprise and generosity. Single handed (and an elegant 4ft 9”) she has moved her unique and heavy objects and


‘Grand Déballage’ Antique Fair 08h-18h Pézenas is well known for its antique shops. Twice a year during May and October approximately 150 merchants, antique dealers and collectors from all over France and Europe make the move to Pézenas for the ‘great unpacking’ or grand déballage, transforming the entire Béziers road into a gigantic antique fair where there is more choice than anyone could dream of!

And another thing.......says Abse Movin’, movin’, movin’, yeah


e’re moving house at the moment. From the charming medieval village of Les Matelles, just a bit north of Montpellier, to another charming French village, Bize-Minervois, just to the north of Narbonne. It’s good how there are so many charming villages in France, isn’t it? Nevertheless, moving has been described as one of the most stressful things you go through in life, alongside birth, marriage, death and supporting Cardiff City. Anyway, that isn’t what I’m writing about. I’m writing about MOVING. I should know enough about it as we have managed to do it three times since we moved to France just over 5 years ago. The first three times we used a moving company, and in many ways this made life easier (if not cheaper) – even though the buggers that moved us here from London managed to smash some plants, damage some of my artwork and nick all my tools and a crate of booze. I won’t say who they are but I will say they advertise that they are experienced in moving “Diplomats”. Well I

can tell you that I wasn’t feeling too diplomatic towards them when they’d “finished” their job. I say finished, but they haven’t actually yet delivered the boxes with the tools and the booze in. I’m not waiting in hope. So this time we are doing it ourselves, and I am driving up and down the A750 and the A75 a couple of times a week in our big red van (with horses on the side – don’t hoot if you see me, I’ll think a box has fallen out of the back) with boxes of books, furniture, clothes, paintings and all sorts of stuff that I never even knew we owned. Some of this stuff never actually makes it into the van, though, and gets diverted to the bins. One or two things (or rather twenty or thirty) are being sold on eBay and Le Bon Coin - to help pay for our move and the necessary lunches on the way back. I strangely find myself not actually minding the drive that much, because the A750 and A75 happen to be two of the more pleasant motorways in France, if not Europe. The best part of the A75 is actually further north, heading over

The Art Competition Welcome to the 1st Herault Times art competition. It’s simple.

1. Pick your age group 3. Paint / Draw / Create 4. Enter (Free) Up to 12 years Subject is: Family Prize(s) 1st Prize €40.00 of Art vouchers 2nd Prize €20 of Art vouchers Age 12 to 18 Subject is: Spring 1st Prize €75.00 of Art vouchers 2nd Prize €30 of Art vouchers 18 + Subject is: Reflections 1st Prize €100.00 of Art vouchers 2nd Prize €50 of Art vouchers Full details on Terms apply Prizes are sponsored


the Millau Bridge towards and into the Auvergne, over the mountains. I have done that journey a few times now, and the drive down that section of the A75 makes the journey by car from the UK worthwhile. Sad bugger, aren’t I? But even further south I don’t mind the A75. Not too many lorries like on the A9 (which like any sensible-minded human I hate) and not too many cars and holiday-making caravans even. So I can plug in my iPod (into my ears – nothing fancy about our old red van) and head off down the autoroute at 120kph (110 up hill, 130 down) with The Who blaring in my ears,“I don’t care about pollution, I’m an air-conditioned gypsy…. watch the po-lice and the tax man miss me!” and I can ignore the stupid drivers who get in the way, and the lousy rain swishing on my windscreen… and reality bites only when I get to the other end and put my back out unloading everything. And then I open the post and find a tax demand and a speeding ticket. Bloody Who, what do they know?

the telephone recording in which Cahuzac, in 2000, allegedly admitted to owning a Swiss bank account, but it also invokes evidence that pharmaceutical laboratories have versed large sums into this supposed account. It highlights in addition the necessity to lead further investigations in Switzerland, as well as in Singapore, the location to which the contents of the account have allegedly been transferred. Given the circumstances, the Budget Minister’s resignation was inevitable. Of course, the Minister is presumed innocent and is not under investigation. His

Jérôme Cahuzac

Faced with suspicion, a constructive resignation

The French VIEW _

Translation by Alison Reid


t took less that three hours for François Hollande to decide: in the evening of Tuesday 19th March, he accepted his Budget Minister’s resignation. During the afternoon the Public Prosecutor’s department in Paris had requested the opening of a judicial inquiry into Jérôme Cahuzac, accused of “money laundering and tax fraud,”. After two months of preliminary investigations, the justice could not be any clearer in expressing the seriousness of the accusations brought against the Minister by the website Mediapart since December 2012. Not only has the Public Prosecutor’s department largely confirmed the authenticity of

resignation cannot be interpreted as an admission of guilt. And as he has done since the beginning of the affair, Cahuzac is continuing to categorically deny the accusations made against him. “I do not own and I have never owned a foreign bank account. Not now and not in the past,” he confirmed repeatedly, even in the President of the Republic’s office. But the suspicion weighing over him has become too heavy for him to continue in his position within the government without considerably weakening it. Likewise, François Hollande had no choice other than to accept this departure. Waiting for the results of the upcoming judicial

Beyond the Hérault

Debray introducing his latest book on the TF5 literary programme ‘La Grande Librairie’ (Thursday nights, 20h40) with that ubiquitous François Busnel* who, everyday, interviews different people on France Inter radio. Born Jules Régis Debray on the 2nd September 1940, he was the son of a Parisian lawyer and an ‘ancienne résistante’ Janine Alexandre-Debré. He flew brilliantly into ENS (Ecole Normale Supérieure) in 1960, majoring in Philosophy in 1965. A militant communist student he was in the Paris Unit of the Panthéon Sorbonne. The same year he accepted the position of Professor of Philosophy at the University of Havana in Cuba and became an associate of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara in Bolivia. According to The Guardian’s Richard Gott, Che was killed in 1967 by the CIA along with Bolivian soldiers. Richard Gott saw the helicopter landing with Ché’s body and followed it with other journalists in another truck. Gott describes his body as being so emaciated and recalls how he witnessed doctors pumping preservatives into it. Régis Debray developed a guerrilla system called ‘foquisme’ in which multiple cells act separately. In 1967 he was captured in Bolivia and accused of being a “Cuban agent” by Bolivian General Barrientos. Debray was sentenced to death. However, the Bolivian government were unable to secure any substantial evidence against him and with growing international support from religious


rench philosophy teacher and scholar, journalist and writer, Débray is best known for his theorisation of mediology or the critical study of signs in society. I used to be a Time magazine addict. It was introduced to me by Dick Fowler by a South African, whilst I was jackarooing on a farm at Moree,


Australia. Terry was in charge of a stud flock of Merino sheep which he showed at Sydney every year. Outback, it was a useful way to keep in contact with the rest of the world even if it was slanted towards America. The Vietnam War was on, but I remember reading about Bolivia. It had the cheapest land in the world, cheaper even than Australia. And later, I remember reading and seeing a picture of a man called Régis Debray who was fomenting revolution in Bolivia. So the other night I was struck to hear a Régis


investigation and, eventually, the inevitable investigation of Cahuzac, would have placed him at the mercy of the ruinous developments of the affair for months. So the Head of State took the decision immediately, regardless of the cost. Because in doing so he also separates himself from a heavyweight in his government, in charge of the department that is at present the most on view, for whom the first ‘disclosure’ of the beginning of his mandate was to make the French people and all of the Ministers accept a time of severe budgetary and fiscal austerity in order to reduce the country’s debt and to contribute to its recovery. One year ago, the President of the Republic lead a campaign in favour of ‘an exemplary Republic’, ridden of the poison of the ‘affairs’ which have continually undermined the authority of both left wing and right wind public officials for years. Delaying this decision would simply have further reinforced distrust and all those who benefit from it. This is particularly relevant in the case of a Budget Minister, supposed not only to explain to the French people the benefits of taxes, severity and monetary virtue, but also to fight against fraud. Allowing the tiniest cause for doubt as to the integrity of the person exercising this role has already proved a problem for the last three months. Any later and it would Editorial du Monde have proved a disaster. and intellectual leaders such as Jean Paul Sartre and Pope Paul VI (1963-’78) he was finally liberated in 1971. He went on to meet President Allende and Pablo Neruda in Chile. From 1981 to 1985 Débray was appointed Minister of International relations by French president Mitterand. He helped Serge and Béate Klarsfeld capture Klaus Barbie – the torturer of Lyon at the time of Nazi occupation. Many Nazis escaped of course to South America, indeed the German Finance Minister of 1940 was once pointed out to me when I was visiting Santa Cruz, Bolivia! Later, Régis became a Minister without a portfolio and presented Culture at the French Pavilion in Seville, 1991. In 2012 he was appointed to the Maison de l’Histoire de France. And in January this year he published “Catacombs Modernes”, hence his appearance on TF 5 and my surprise. Clearly, a formidable man of conviction and endurance... For further reading: ‘Praised be our Lords: A political education’, an autobiography by Régis Debray (translated by John Howe, published by Verso, April 2007, ISBN 978 1 84467 140 3) *François Busnel also presents ‘Le Grand Entretien’ every Mon, Wed and Friday on France Inter at 17h05

Restaurant Review

Apicius Eats at..... L’Auberge du Presbytère

L’Auberge du Presbytère Barrage des Olivettes Vailhan (closed Tues. & Wed.) Tel: 0467-247649


etting to this cozy restaurant is almost half the fun. After driving along a small departmental road (D125) expecting to see a sign announcing welcome to the back of the beyond one comes upon Vailhan and there perched in it’s own bird nest overlooking Lake Olivettes is a 17th century stone built presbytery housing the auberge. In reality, as the crow flies it’s not more than 15 minutes from Pezenas; it just seems further as if far removed from the rest of the world. And perhaps that is the way it should be because the food here is certainly heavenly. There is a terrace offering a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and inside an intimate salon of seven tables. The menu is either 29€ for 3 courses or 33€ if you also want cheese. À la carte is also available with starters at 9€, mains at 16€ and desserts at 8€. While the menu is not big the choice of 3 or 4 dishes for each course is well thought out and adequately balanced for different tastes. There is also, at the moment, a special meat menu, which includes a starter, veal or côte de boeuf of Aubrac,( about a kilo of meat), vegetables

and dessert for 45€ a person. It seemed like a carnivores delight. However, I choose for the normal menu and I was not disappointed. The amuse bouche of wild salmon in an orange vinaigrette was a sweet, sour and spicy combination to a subtle and soft flavored fish. It was a petite but exquisite beginning. The starter was also first class. Succulent scallops on a bed of red lentils with a bit of fire coming from the ginger and wasabi sauce. This was a dish of light refinement without becoming trivial. My only niggling comment was the presence of perhaps too much of the lentils. Another good opener is “Sots l’y laisse de volaille”, which I would freely translate as the hidden parts of the chicken that the silly man doesn’t eat. It was served in a Thai bouillon of leeks, lemongrass, coriander, chili and noodles and showcased an example of working locally but thinking globally to everyone’s advantage. It was tasty and pungent without becoming too excessive in its heat; an elegant offering. Next up was wild shrimp with a wonderful risotto of endives in reduced bisque. Risotto is a dish frequently served in France and all too often it’s either too wet and like mush or too dry and nothing more than a plate of rice with something in it. This risotto was just perfect in its cooking and taste and was a pleasure to devour. Also on offer was veal,

braised cabbage, and potatoes in a sauce of fois gras. This was a satisfying dish and felt like eating the ingredients found at home but raised a notch or two. For dessert I chose a panna cotta with honey, under a dense topping of pear sauce covered over with a crunchy “speculoos” crumble. It was a great rounding off of the meal with several textures and tastes, circulating, melding and ultimately delivering that sense of well being that all accomplished cooking brings forth. The wine list is small but well chosen. It’s mostly from the region with a few nods to the Côte de Rhone and Burgundy. I decided on a white from the Faugère producer Ollier Taillefer called Allergo (26€). Consisting of rousanne and rolle hand harvested grapes it went perfectly with my menu and yes, left me feeling like its name which, is after all, what its all about. As for the service, where do I begin? Mr. and Mrs. Fournier divide the tasks: he’s behind the oven and she’s out front. They are an example of a couple that from start to finish performs in concinnity. Everyone who enters is treated like a returning customer. It’s friendly, warm and relaxed and should be seen as setting the bar for every other couple working together in a restaurant. In short, miss eating out at the Auberge du Presbytère and you’ll miss eating out in one of the better restaurants in the area.


Un temps doux means mild weather. Un tissu doux is soft to the touch A person who is doux is gentle Une musique douce is soft, gentle music It’s all in the same vein. love the words “doux”, “douce” and “doucement” and they have a You can cry “doucement!” to a child who’s running to make him take variety of meanings according to context. care and slow down a bit. Vin doux is sweet wine, such as Banyuls You can cry “doucement!” to people making too much noise to get Eau douce is fresh water them to be quieter. It’s very useful! with Bobbie Trickett


The 3 minute review.

Simple Foot Massage Workshop Saturday, 27th April @ The Yoga Studio, Rue de la Tiple, Cazedarnes Run by Susannah Cartwright

Restaurant Name: Restaurant A Table Where: Pézenas (next to Komoko) Date Visited: February 2013 Your review: This fairly new french style restaurant is a gem. Wooden floors and tables give a great atmosphere even though it is a lot larger than you realise from the outside. Only open at lunchtime but I had great service and good food. (Tagliatelle with salmon). Excellent and a treasure. Price (per person) : 11 - 19€ Out of 10: Food = 9 Service = 9 Value = 9 Sent in by: Lola Send us a review by visiting

(Diploma in Reflexology and certified Thai foot massage therapist)

During this workshop you will learn some basic relaxing massage techniques for the feet. The course is open to all levels including people who have never given a massage. 9h-12h - Basic massage techniques 14h-17h - Additional techniques and a short leg massage. You can join in for both sessions or just one of your choice. 25€ per session Reserve your place. Susannah on 0652 75 24 45 / 0467 24 31 42 or email: 9


Rosemary George

Some of my favourites include :



’ve been tasting lots of St. Chinian recently and what a treat that has been, as St. Chinian immediately conjures up the sun soaked hills of the Languedoc. You can immediately sense the warmth of the Midi, which is just what is needed on a cold spring day in London. It is the perfect antidote to northern climes. And drunk sur place in the Languedoc, you immediately feel at home and that all is right with the world. It is quite a large appellation with some 3000 hectares of vines, covering twenty villages and hamlets around the small market town of St. Chinian. I love the large plane tree lined square, which shelters a weekly market on Sundays and at the end of July hosts the annual wine fair. In one corner you will find the Maison du Vin, which provides an attractive shop front to the appellation, allowing you to taste and buy. St. Chinian is a three coloured appellation, but best known for its red wine. There are also two specific crus, based on the villages of Roquebrun and Berlou, which, supposedly, produce better wines. In reality local politics may have had something to do with the recognition of those particular villages. The soil is quite diverse; to the north and west the soil is based on schist, and to the south there is clay and limestone. In theory you should be able to taste two different styles of St. Chinian, but in reality things are more blurred, partly because there is also some sandstone, and more significantly, with a diversity of grapes, there is plenty of scope for the wine growers to express their own individuality. The grape varieties are the usual five of the Languedoc, namely Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsaut, but each wine grower can create his own blend. And then there are decisions to be made about the élevage of the wine; in vat or barrel, and if barrel what size of barrel and how old a barrel. But there is no doubt that the best St. Chinian are a wonderful reminder of why we love the Languedoc.

2010 Clos Bagatelle, Donnadieu, Mathieu Marie – 7.60€ A blend of 50% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% each of Grenache and Carignan. Medium colour. Quite a firm leathery nose. Medium weight palate, with dry spice and a youthful finish. Promises well. 2011 Château la Dournie - 6.80€ A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Quite light colour. Light fruit on nose and palate. Medium weight. Lovely immediate appeal for easy drinking. 2009 Domaine la Madura, Grand Vin – 17.05€ A very precise blend of 38% Mourvèdre, 43% Syrah, 12% Carignan and 7% Grenache. The nose is quite solid and stony and on the palate you detect the oak ageing, and the fruit is dense and youthful. It is finely crafted and will age beautifully. This is serious St. Chinian 2008 Château du Prieuré des Mourgues – 6.80€ 35% Syrah with 30% Grenache and 35% Mourvèdre. Medium colour. Quite a firm peppery nose. And on the palate some rounded, ripe fruit and appealing spice. Lovely balance and a great example of St. Chinian. The Cave de Roquebrun is generally considered to be the best coop of the appellation. I particularly like their 2010 St. Chinian Roquebrun, Roches Noires – 9.20€ A blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre. Quite rounded and ripe, medium weight with spice on the palate and a touch of tannin 2008 Château Milhau Lacugue, les Curées - 17.00€ Ripe spicy fruit. Medium weight palate. Quite supple and ripe, with an elegant finish. Rosemary George / March 2013

Pet de Vache?

Fed too much maize or soya our bovine friends pass a lot of wind, in effect 5% of (greenhouse) gas emissions in France is due to flatulence in cattle. HERAULT TIMES ADVERT v2



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Business and Economy The Alarm is ringing, time to wake up.


ollande (Flanby as he is oft called. You work it out) and the French socialists have gone fiscal mad. Taxes are coming thick and fast on individuals and businesses and France’s economy is being driven to a standstill. For every joyous celebration (more teachers), there is a sly backhand (less nurses) to equal it out. Trying to open a business is even harder and those that still believe in hard work are running out of the door quicker than a cabinet minister can move his money to Switzerland. A good look at the Finance Bill shows a policy that will remove capital, the young and businesses out of France thereby lowering tax revenues, everything it is meant to prevent. *The number of French citizens applying to leave France is up by 600%. *Tax exiles (made famous by Depardieu) has increased by 500% And the main reason given? The state and the wish to not be penalized so heavily for making money in France. *** rance is a welfare country, a welfare state as they say. Its whole society is based on welfare and now it is breaking its uneasy alliance with free economy and free markets. As of 2009, beneficiaries and dependents received over €50 billion in payments and it touched over 50% of the population. 50%! But welfare is good isn’t it? Statistics in France show that the poverty rate has not decreased over the last 25 years even with the huge amounts handed out in welfare. In fact, since 1990, the Active Solidarity Income (the main payment to assist low


Michael D’Artag


income families) has increased by 600% in just over 20 years. Add to this the growth of organisations that help those facing poverty and the picture looks worse.


Restos du Coeur, an organisation supported by this magazine, was set up in the mid ‘80s to provide meals in winter to those in poverty. It has seen a jump of over 1300% since its inception. (2011, 109 million meals). Is this the sign of a working system? So what does this tell us? Dare we criticize? Positives can come from negatives. The truth can be a bitter pill but it can allow the buds of growth to take hold and the mindset to change. The welfare system in France does not work as it is but there is hope. If France can make it attractive to work instead of stay at home, can turn 2% of its state spending into the public sector, and make it clear where the assistance is to businesses and if Hollande and his government stop for a moment and look at the country instead of their legacies, then France is in my opinion well placed to move onwards and upwards. The only sticking point? Others have been saying the same thing for years.


am asked by many what the Cypriot crisis means to other EU countries and the banking sectors of those countries. Put simply, we’ll have to wait and see. What is for sure is that public confidence has been bruised and the myth that banks are the safest place for your money (although true) is now not sitting so well with the public. But it does clarify that a bank is nothing more than a depositery for lending.

Office Talk - The questions we’re asking this week. How has the euro been dragged into a crisis by an economy that represents just three percent of Europe’s GDP?

How does the EU continue at a time when euro-scepticism is generating more and more votes for political parties?

How is it that the great socialist review that will enable France to ride out this crisis involves ministers having (a minimum) of €600,000 in a bank in Switzerland?

Why are so many so quick to blame Angela Merkel for the Cyprus crisis?

How is it that a country which in 2004 (€8.954 billion) was wealthy enough to host the Olympic Games is now on the verge of bankruptcy?

Is it safe to have more than €100,000 in a bank? All these and more on the Forum 11

To Bank or not to Bank?

he Eurozone banking system has made headline news again with the crisis in Cyprus. For such a tiny island, its economic problems have created big news in the global forum. We now know that those people with less than €100,000 deposited are protected, but only thanks to the EU implicit loss limits that are in place. For those with over €100,000 deposited, there will be steep losses, which are likely to be around 60% of the deposits exceeding €100,000 (although at the time of writing this article, the exact terms of the deal are not known). In the meantime, capital restrictions are in place in Cyprus – the first time that this has existed in the Eurozone. Yet again, an unsafe banking system in the Eurozone has been exposed. Whilst it would appear that the Cyprus crisis has been contained within the island – at least at the time of writing this article – people in other Eurozone countries should be naturally concerned. We can clearly hope that the ‘Cyprus bailout plan’ does not become a blueprint for the rest of the Eurozone, but we cannot be certain. So with the doom and gloom of negative real interest rates and some banks becoming less secure, what can you do if you want to earn a real rate of return on your financial capital within a safe investment? Are insurance companies safer than banks? For answers to these questions and more, please see the full article in The Business Pages section of The Herault Times website. or use the QR code below. In these uncertain times, people can benefit from sound advice. Whether you consider yourself to be ‘risk averse’ or not, it is worth having a ‘financial health check’. Hence, if you would like to have a confidential review of your situation, without obligation, please contact me for more information either by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17 or by e-mail at

Daphne Foulkes

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

Read this article in full and previous articles online now at www.theheraulttimes/business

QR Code for Daphne’s latest article in full.

Business / Legal / News


Gill Pound

Colin Trickett

In The Garden M

arch/ April has brought us it’s usual share of changeable weather – “les giboulées de mars” - but spring is definitely here; many shrubs and perennials are starting to flower, the grass needs cutting and the weeds are growing so there is plenty to do in the garden. If you haven’t already done so winter protection should be removed from plants and think about the following tasks: • continue to tidy up foliage on perennials, and cut back perennial and sub shrubby plants to the base - they will re-grow with greater vigour and better shape Any plants which flower on the current year’s growth can be pruned. Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned after flowering. • the weeds will be growing even faster than the flowers so do keep on top of weeding and do try to remove annual weeds such as speedwell and chickweed before they have a chance to set seed. Think about mulching to suppress weed growth later in the year and to help conserve moisture. • if you have botanical (i.e. species) bulbs in the garden don’t dead head them and they should reseed, Anemone blanda and coronaria seem particularly happy to self seed around and some tulips and crocus will also. Other bulbs can be dead headed, as can pansies • planting – April and early May are excellent planting times and most nurseries will have plenty of stock available. When buying plants it is easy to fall for the “achat de coup de coeur” and buy plants which are in flower now; do try and plan for colour and interest in the garden later in the year or else the garden can be sadly lacking in colour during August!. Check also on drought tolerance and winter hardiness of plants that you are interested in buying. Try and improve the soil where you plant, many local soils are a limy clay that can be improved by the addition of some organic material and some clean

sand (sable de la riviére) and/ or gravel for better soil structure and drainage (never use builder’s sand). Plants planted this spring will need watering during the first summer while they become established, even if they are drought resistant varieties. There is also still time to transplant if necessary. • apply a balanced general purpose fertiliser to borders and beds and also to trees and shrubs • if you have a lawn then now is a good time to reseed any scruffy patches. A beautiful small tree that is in flower now is the Mediterranean native Judas tree, Cercis siliquastrum, an excellent and drought resistant plant which also has attractive seed pods later in the year which the goldfinches in our garden love. Two perennial plants which are wonderful in the spring are both from the daisy family, native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Rhodanthemum hosmariense makes a lovely mound to about 20cm high and bears a mass of white daisies, Rhodanthemum gayanum is similar but with lovely pink flowers. Both require a sunny position and well drained soil. And, looking ahead – a date for your diary – we shall be holding our annual open weekend at La Petite Pépinière over the weekend of 1st and 2nd June, if you are on my mailing list you’ll receive more details soon or if you would like to know more contact Gill@ We are still finalising the programme but it will be similar to previous years. For further information contact Gill Pound at La Petite Pépinière de Caunes, 21, Avenue de la Montagne Noire, 11160, Caunes-Minervois. Tel: 04 68 78 43 81, email 1. rhodanthemum gayanum 2. rhodanthemum hosmariense Background: Cercis


Nature Notes



he HOOPOE is one of our earliest migrational birds to arrive, normally in early March. Exotic in appearance with its black and white striped wings and tail, it is however its crest which provides the most striking impression. The triple “hoop” sound of the males gives the bird its anglicized name. The brood will be of 8 to 10 eggs, sometimes twice in a season. Diet consists of insects, spiders, crickets and cicadas, a recurring mix throughout these biographies! Quickly following the arrival of the Hoopoes come the CUCOU GEAIs or greater spotted cuckoos, announcing their presence with the loud chattering “cher-cher-cher-krikri” call. Parasitic, the female lays her eggs in the nests of Magpies or Starlings. Unlike our other Cuckoo however the young fledgling does not evict the eggs or babies of the host bird. Insects and hairy caterpillars provide the staple fare for these visitors. Our other Cuckoo, CUCOU GRIS, more familiar to us northern Europeans, is also a parasite. The female lays upwards of a dozen eggs, one per nest, in the homes of warblers and similar birds. The young Cuckoo, on hatching, promptly evicts all other tenants! The NIGHTINGALE or Rossignol delights us with its song, not just at night but throughout the day here in Languedoc. It is only the male which sings and during the night it is only unpaired males. Insects and fruit sustain these dull, brown secretive little birds. The female lays 4 to 5 eggs in a nest either on the ground or near the base of shrubs or small bushes. The GOLDEN ORIOLE or Loriot d’Europe with its stunning yellow and

black colouring ( the female is a drab green), have two very different songs. One beautiful and lilting, the other harsh and Jay-like. They tend to nest in and inhabit trees near water, feeding on insects and fruit and raising a single clutch of 3 to 6 young. BEE EATERS or Guepiers d’Europe with their beautiful green, orange and blue colouring and “prruip” calls are colony birds. Their nests are tunnels in sandy banks, usually near rivers, which are home to broods of between 4 and 10 babies. They are voracious feeders, their diet takes in bees, wasps, hornets, crickets and grasshoppers. Stings are removed by banging the prey on hard surfaces. Average intake of a bee eater is around 250 specimens per day! ROLLERS or Rolliers d’Europe are sturdier than Bee Eaters but share most of

the stunning blue and orange colouring. Their name derives from the habit in flight of performing a loop and steep dive. In addition to insects Rollers are also partial to small reptiles, rodents and frogs. Last a much more rare visitor, the LESSER KESTREL or Crecellerette. Around 250 breeding pairs make their nests in Languedoc, usually in the roofs of buildings but some times in holes in trees. There are two sites, the Crau area of the Camargue and a small Hérault village, Saint Pons de Mauchiens. The birds are smaller than the Kestrel but similar in colouring and with a similar diet of insects, cicadas, crickets, small reptiles and rodents. Each and all of these wonderful visitors are here because of habitat and food supply. Long may that remain so!

Good Be To Young

Listening to right now:

When I was your man - Bruno Mars Suit & Tie (feat. JAY Z) - Justin Timberlake J’me tire - Maître Gims Still Into You - Paramore Movie of the month Welcome to the Punch

Yes I AM up!

My blog, my thoughts....


the diary of a teenage sleepaholic... what would normally be pure and innocent flowers, so I guess you could call it honorary on my part. If you don’t know what Im talking about or the word vagina has now intrigued you, look ‘em up and cultivate yourself ! The most daunting thing about the last year of school, is being made to make plans. I see A–Z plans a bit like stepping stones: some are slippery which can cause you to fall into the water in between, but falling into the water can force you to go with da flow, in which you can either find yourself crashing down a water fall, or flowing into a little rock pool. I have a few philosophical water metaphors actually, another being that, life is a wave, and one must learn to surf, and suggest you look out for sharks and ponder upon whether or not there may be an underwater lonely hearts club for the merfolk (which poses absolutely no relation to your success or failure, tis merely a day dream)… I should be a life coach !!! It is now 00:15 giving me approximately 5 hours and 45 minutes of winks before my sodding merry-go round alarm goes off. And better yet, in a few hours I shall face the wrath of a Spanish oral presentation where I shall be tested ......What fun!

Georgia O’Keeffe

he months leading up to exams suck. Due to the stress that I have succumbed to, the late nights and the 6am mornings, has now downgraded my spelling to a level which makes people assume I’m drunk. On top of that I am frantically trying to put my art portfolio together, grabbing any throw away sketches of cats or of silly desks, chairs and cars, or a sketch of a river bank which resembles a mess of scribbles and some lead breaking shadows. I am no art student (yet…), but I have a bed side that may look like that of one. Pencil sharpenings and a copy of David Nicolls ‘The Under Study’ which allows me to procrastinate, a half empty box of water colors, scrunched-up, pathetic pieces of tissue… And finally, the icing on the cake, the shot to the shot glass, the cream to the ice, we have a charming replica, done my me, of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting which looks very much like a lime green and hot pink vagina. The original title of the painting is ‘A Grey line with black blue and yellow’ which does sort of resemble genitalia depending on how dirty your icky little mind is, but my version definitely highlights the vagina-ism of it. Georgia O’Keeffe was sort of known for subtly sneaking vaginas into

On the music side

a little bit different from what they actually play even if it’s still a pleasure for the ears! As they start playing in Montpellier, they’ll try attracting the attention of the largest number of people.

Musician / music critic Lilian Armand reviews:

Sound Circus


eavy sustained sound, heavy voices, heavy perfomances, this band, coming from Clermont L’Hérault, is setting fire to every stage they jump on. Inspired by bands such as Nirvana, Alice In Chains or The Black Keys, this grungestoner band composed of Antonin (Guitaist / Vocalist), Gautier (Bassist) and Maxime (Drummer) is going to rock your socks off!

By the way, you might check their band page on facebook as well as on myspace to listen to some of their tracks, they deserve it! If you’re interested, you can buy their E.P. (for 3 euros) by contacting them directly! Let them rock your life! See ya and have a nice day!

After almost 4 years playing together, they finally released their first E.P. entitled “Gamasutra”, a bluesy-rock E.P. which sounds 13

Languedoc in the Sky with Diamonds Substance Abuse, Confronting a climate of denial


By Hugh MacCamley

midst the increasing use and misuse of substances in France, Languedoc-Rousillon is one of the most significant regions. First, we need to know what substances we are discussing as this is complex. For example, the American National Institute on Drug Abuse cites 14 most commonly abused from alcohol and cocaine as well as prescription drugs and club drugs both of which embrace numerous other pharmaceuticals regularly misused. Club drugs include ecstasy; Rohypnol (associated with date-rape) and Ketamine which can be dangerous; even more so when mixed with other drugs and alcohol in psycho-socially destructive cocktails. Further, Languedoc-Rousillon distinguishes itself as one of the fastest growing regions for use of many substances including Methodone(a pharmaceutical substitute) and cannabis. For example, Methodone use is 5th highest in France and 20% above the national average; sales are about one-third above. The Department of Hérault is by far the worst hit in the region. Use of Subutex (a medically prescribed substitute) is 3rd highest in France while pharmacy sales of Steribox (sterile syringe materials) is 2nd highest nationally. Other substances used such as heroine and ecstasy are also above the national average. The region has experienced the highest number of prosecutions for illicit use of illegal substances of which cannabis is the highest. Who can ignore the headlines in Midi-Libre, for example, and, in recent years, the significant hauls of cannabis (plus cocaine) in the metropolitan areas such as Montpellier? Prosecutions have increased by some 55% in a ten year period and are over 20% above the national average. Significant

the country’s medical-insurance system totalling over $160billion (2002-2012) contributing to a widening deficit in the country’s social-security system and heading for $17.6 billion in 2013. Worse still, according to a Press TV report on 17 December 2012, France remained in denial about substance abuse. It suggests this has always been taboo but needs to be addressed. In the rural areas, for instance, alcoholism is on the rise environed by loss of jobs, continued depopulation and

increasing economic hardship. The department of Hérault has not been spared entirely here either. In urban France, who could continue to ignore the ever-present use of ‘soft drugs’ such as cannabis while abuse of club and prescription drugs continues to spiral upwards uncontrollably? In addition to this, visual evidence of daytime public drunkenness is ever more apparent in the cities of the region. A broader survey invokes food, diet supplements, adhesives and the exploitation

two-part live interview with Oprah Winfrey, he stated, “My ruthless desire to win at all costs served me well on the bike but the level it went to, for whatever reason, is a flaw. That desire, that attitude, that arrogance.” Indeed, such a misguided self-centrism that has driven many a sports person into neutral ethical mode in their shallow quest for ephemeral vainglory. In stark contrast, most substance users are anonymous in facing the ever-increasing challenges of contemporary life. I recall words of one who had suffered many bitter confrontations as the impressionable and vulnerable son of an abusive alcoholic father, “His drinking became the reason for everything.” We can read reports about thousands of cases across the developed world in which children suffer daily at the hands of substance abusive adults. The substance becomes the reason itself. France is no longer immune to the accusations which used to be confined to UK and USA: alcoholdriven abuse in family life; the spectacle of public drunkenness and even incipient evidence of binge-drinking. Both the USA and the UN have declared “war” on drugs. Both campaigns have been a disaster. The UN policy was written off as an abysmal failure by its own report earlier last year. In the USA, even the CIA has been implicated in managing the cocaine trade. Therefore, have they not been a catalyst for an increased upturn in drug-trafficking? Did they not learn lessons from the Prohibition era? In France, the Institut national de prévention et d’éducation pour la santé (Inpes) published a report in 2012 revealing increased use of a wide range of substances from cocaine, the hallucinogenic mushroom (amanitamascaria) and ecstasy to alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. Among other factors,

too is the fact that increasing amounts are grown locally in fields, gardens and “en placard” (indoors). Another very disturbing trend is the abuse of prescription drugs. Closer to home, this has been a distinct general problem throughout France where painkillers, antidepressants and tranquilizers have added important costs to

of various stimulants to enhance physical performance in sports. Fans of the annual Tour de France professional road cycling pageant will be all too familiar with many of the issues involved here. In this regard, American cyclist Lance Armstrong, has given us a completely different rationale. In a much followed recent

it stated professional workers from the construction, hotel and catering, communications and information, the arts and entertainment industries were involved. Consequently, the General Director of Employment, Jean-Denis Combrexelle and Inpes advocated preventative measures such as better education on-site in the work-place and local support networks.



t is a season of film and all are seated in the hope and thrill of entertainment. And two events are at the forefront this month:

CINEMED For filmmakers, visit the 35th year of Cinemed, The Montpellier International Festival of Mediterranean Film. Entries are being requested now in various categories for professional and amateur film makers. More information is available at The Australian Film Festival in Pézenas is now in its 3rd year and promises more each year. A selection of films are shown and the atmosphere around this event is friendly and inviting. The setting of the Illustre Theatre in Pézenas invites you to this special event which this year promises a good laugh, with comedy at the fore. For those visiting or living nearby, we highly recommend this. 10, 11, 12 May

The New High Speed Railway Line Nimes to Montpellier Christopher Elliott


riginally called the High Speed Diversion Line around Nimes and Montpellier, this new line will allow both freight and TGVs to cover the distance between the end of the existing line at Manduel north east of Nimes and St Jean de Vedas south east of Montpellier. Although called a high speed line it’s not quite that. Whereas the high speed line from Paris to the south allows train speeds of up to 330 kms per hour, this new line will be slower at 220 kms per hour, because the freight trains are limited to a maximum of 160 kph but rarely operate above 125. These freight trains and certain TGVs will be diverted from the existing line which is saturated to avoid passing through the crowed stations of Nimes and Montpellier. There will be connecting lines between this new line and the existing line allowing trains to enter the stations of Nimes and Montpellier. In addition there will be two new TGV stations, one at Manduel and the other at Montpellier Odysseum. Which trains will stop and which will not is not yet known. However well before this line is ready, the new Spanish RENFE TGVs will use the existing line, adding to its saturation. It is little more than unfinished business, as it was planned that the existing high speed line from Paris (Lille) to the south opened in 1991 which ends short of Nimes at Manduel would continue further south, but for budgetary reasons, it was never built. Perhaps more significant is the missing link, the new line from St Jean de Vedas (Montpellier) to Perpignan. Yet another government commission is to decide which of the TGV projects are to go ahead and which are to be consigned to oblivion. However if you look at a map of the European high speed line network, the line Montpellier to Perpignan is the only missing link between Brussels, Amsterdam and Seville in the south of Spain. When the Montpellier to Perpignan line does go ahead it will be the end of a

saga going back some 27 years. Two new stations will be built as part of the new Montpellier to Perpignan line, one at Béziers Est. i.e. close to the existing A9 and A75 motorway interchanges and the airport and at Montredon west of Narbonne.

SNCF’s new Duplex TGV waiting to leave for Béziers, Montpellier and Paris Gare de Lyon

Work on the Nimes to Montpellier line is progressing well with archaeological digs underway and the diversion of essential water and under ground drainage systems. Work on building the line, known as the terrassement will start this autumn with track laying early in 2015 and opening in 2017. Chris Elliott is the author of ‘The Lost Railway Lines of l’Hérault’ and joint author of ‘Night Ferry 1936 – 1980’

Substance Abuse cont....

by developing programmes sensitive to their culture. He suggested we needed to heal communities by restoring them and recreating a sense of security; reestablishing the bonds of mutual trust and using the expertise already in existence to provide a wider range of options. Personally, I must add that without a genuine effort to rebuild more solid, stable social foundations for the future together with the necessary supportive family kinship structures, any attempt to resolve the enormous problem of substance misuse will be dashed to pieces on the rocks of self-interest of politicians and financiers. Responsible is the overwhelming current oppressive climate of statism with its unreasonable and arbitrary control of modern family life through unbearable direct and indirect tax burdens; with thoughtless, insensitive housing policies and government focus on material concerns only which have gravely reduced our capacity as private citizens to restore what we have already lost.

Up to now, typical responses have been to employ capital punishment, imprisonment, fines and costly curative strategies. Do the alleged “deterrent”, “reformatory” and “curative” effects of these actually work? Evidently not, if we study substance abuse statistics and the percentages of those who relapse. On the contrary, it appears greater forces are attracting a wider market of dependants. Is it not possible, therefore, to find effective alternative strategies? Bernard Segal et al. (1999 Alaska Report) proposed countering substance abuse in the fragile indigenous communities in Alaska, with its related violence, 15

Nicholas Jennings, head perfumer and founder of Sharini Parfums Naturels, talks to the HT about the art of creating scents…

“Our language is of no use when it comes to describing the world of scent” (Patrick Süskind, Perfume)

How did you come to discover a fascination with creating perfume? I was always interested in fragrance and scent as a young boy but not perfumery. I was keen to touch and smell as a way of discovery, holding objects close to my nose opened up another world, for example, smelling old books or furniture or freshly cut grass in late spring. After studying and working in England, I traveled extensively in Asia and Africa over a 2 year period. It was during these olfactive voyages that I discovered firsthand the traditional techniques to extract essential oils and floral waters. I then had the good fortune to spend a summer on a French biodynamic farm in Provence. There, I wild-harvested high altitude lavender, thyme and rosemary, which were distilled in ancient copper stills over a fire. The oils were of excellent quality even though the techniques were unchanged for centuries. It was there that I began to go beyond the world of aromatherapy and began to compose and create using essential oils and flower tinctures. I then studied the modern techniques and technical aspects of perfumery. Modern perfumery is, however, dominated by the use of synthetic aroma chemicals and I quickly realized that I wanted to bring together my own ethical and personal interest in natural oils back to world of modern perfumery. Thus in 2005 I launched my first 100% natural and organic certified perfumes.

arc on the body; their scent is constantly evolving on the skin. Natural perfumes are intimately connected with the body and people who are close to you.” Are there any perfumes that are particularly difficult to achieve? As all the big brand perfumes are synthetic based there is a wider choice of aroma chemicals to create fantasy scents which is not p ossible with natural ingredients. Fresh, light and green natural perfumes are tricky as the deeper base notes that fix a perfume can easily dominate and overpower the lighter notes. Some, such as muguet (lily of the valley), are simply not possible to extract naturally so nature likes to hold on to her own secrets sometimes! Who are your key influences? Many, David Williams, a talented British natural perfumer, Mandy Aftel, an American natural perfumer who helped really promote natural perfumes through the Natural Perfumers Guild. Where do you get your inspiration from when you create your perfumes? Do you experiment? Inspiration can come from anywhere and may not be necessarily scent related, such as an energetic mountain walk, or a lazy summer day on a beach. Experimentation and perfume creation are however much

Would you describe the basic science of creating perfume? With a few exceptions, the actual fabrication is relatively straightforward with a 5-8 month maceration stage then twice filtered at zero degrees before bottling. The real time is in the blending and development of the final composition which is over approximately 18 months. And of course, keeping up to date with European legislation on cosmetics! Can you please tell us the difference from your point of view between a natural perfume and a synthetic? The biggest difference is that natural perfumers do not use synthetic aromatic chemicals. Natural aromatics have a life force and emit their scents in a more gentle and delicate way. Have you ever sat next to someone on a train or bus and been overpowered by their perfume? That’s the synthetic nitro-musks that are so often the basis of of modern synthetic perfumery. Natural perfumes are more intimate and don’t mask the person who wears them. Natural perfumes have an 16

LifeStyle longer processes of trial and error, peppered with moments of creative flurry and excitement. Meticulous documentation of all my experiments are logged as perfumes can become alive after many months of formulation. Woe behold the perfumer who finds an old creation that smells divine but with no ingredients listing or notes very frustrating. What are the aspects you enjoy most in your work? I love the complete cycle from harvesting to bottling but the experimental stage of creation is full of surprise and ingenuity. What is the attitude in France to your enterprise? Very positive, I participate at organic exhibitions in France and people are often surprised and intrigued by my British roots.

Do you make blends for individuals? Yes, in the workshop in St Guilhem le Désert, I regularly have clients come and create their very own personalized perfume together in front of the perfumer’s organ. It’s tremendous fun to discover the old techniques of perfumery. What’s your most popular perfume? At the moment my Amber perfume is selling very well, it’s warm and rich. As the warmer weather arrives lighter perfumes such as Lotus Paradis are more appreciated. What are your aims with Sharini? To continually use only the finest natural ingredients available that are ethically harvested and ecologically sustainable. Nicolas Jennings Parfumeur - harini Parfums Naturels 8 Rue Font du Portal 34150 St Guilhem le Désert. Tel 0467027886 Port 0619694504 17

ith W n O ’s What What’s On Where Daily Calendar on

art scene in the 1990s. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, ceramics, bronzes, drawings and more. Free entry Opening times: from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 to 6 pm Tuesday to Sunday Further information: Carré Sainte-Anne Tel: 04 67 60 82 11 **

Friday 26th and Saturday 27th April Fouzilhon Jazz Concert Jizzy, a history of Jazz in America. After the life of Jimmy Scott (with Eglantine Jouve, Rachel Ratsizafy, Serge Casero, Cédric Chauveau, Séga Seck, Christophe Boucher) Dinner available Entry: 10-16€ Reservations: 06 14 67 79 75 Théâtre de Pierres de FOUZILHON 3 rue des Remparts 34480 Fouzilhon ** Saturday 4th May Montpellier Sculpture workshop with André Naegelen, sculptor 10h-13h Price: €35 (including materials) Reservation necessary: Tel. 04 67 60 99 31 or mail Magasin Dalbe 6 Rue des Etuves Montpellier **

Untl the 5th May The Carré Sainte-Anne in Montpellier is hosting the “Signs of the Times” exhibition “Signs of the Times” is a confrontation between eight European artists who appeared on the contemporary

20h45 FREE Listen Here Information: 04 67 28 37 32 Théâtre sortieOuest Domaine de Bayssan le Haut 34500 Béziers ** Wed 15th - Mon 20th May 2013 “Sète, festival port” The Sète Nautical Society celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. A large number of nautical activities and events will take place over five days in the town centre, both on the water and on the quay. ON THE WATER - Town of Sète Schools’ Trophy - Golden Oldies Trophy, a 3-day regatta for the famous multi-hulls. - Jousting challenges - Traditional rowing competition - Sea excursions - Paddle initiation ON THE QUAY - Guided visits and photo exhibition **

Wednesday 9th to 12th May Moules-et-Baucels Festival of Hiking in the Cevennes Hidden valleys, the garrigue… 34190 Moules-et-Baucels Tel: 04 66 85 17 94 ** Friday 10th – Sunday 12th May Pézenas Australian Film Festival And this year what comedy !! For more information: 06 4930 7457 or 07 7039 23 80 Illustre théâtre Pézenas ** Saturday 12th May Bessan Foire Gastronomique A gastronomic fair along the promenade… 9h-18h 34550 BESSAN Tel: 06 89 93 74 31

Until the 26th May Auguste Herbin Retrospective The Céret Museum of Modern Art presents, in association with the Matisse Museum in Cateau-Cambrésis, a grand retrospective in tribute to Auguste Herbin. Auguste Herbin (1882-1960) was one of the founders of abstract art and an uncontested master of colour. Over 250 works from European and American museums and private collections. The Céret Museum of Modern Art also holds the paintings done by Herbin during his two main stays in Céret, in 1913 and 1919. Further information : Musée d’art moderne de Céret Tel : (33) 04 68 87 27 76 ** Sunday 26th May Palavas-les-Flots Fete du Nautisme A day for you to discover different

** Wednesday 15th May Béziers Presentation concert for the album release “Entre 2 Mondes” by JOANDA 18

nautical pursuits. On the jetty rive gauche: sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking… and for land lovers, beach volley ball. Whilst rive droit: surfing, diving and rescue techniques. FREE Jetée Rive Gauche 34250 PALAVAS-LES-FLOTS Tel: 04 67 07 73 34 or **

Mon 27th May and Tue 28th May Capestang & St Chinian La Chorale International de Capestang are proud to present Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, which includes the famous chorus “O Fortuna” used in many film and theatrical productions. The evening will also include other well known pieces. 19h FREE Salle Polyvalente, Capestang (27th May) L’Abbatiale, St Chinian (28th May) For further info: ** Friday 31st May Béziers Concert: French singer-song writer Pascal Obisco. Well known for his various escapades and unconventional behavior, Pascal Obisco’s name is an anagram of Pablo Picasso. This nationally acclaimed artist released his latest double album ‘Millésimes’ this January. 20h Reservations: 04 67 36 82 82/ 04 67 76 20 20 Traverse de Colombiers-Montflourès Béziers 34500 ** Every 1st Wed & Thurs of the month Marseillan Historique’s Visitor Centre (located on the main boulevard) offers walking tours of the ancient village and the old port. Village tours are every Wednesday and port tours are the first Thursday of each month. Tours start at 10h30 sharp and are in English. Group tours are by arrangement at any time. Contact Mike or Patricia Worsam 06 86 37 86 06.

What’s in a name....

Sue Hicks continues her look into the history of Street names


treet signs marking the end of war in Europe might well have been for 7 mai 1945 when an act of unconditional German surrender was signed at Reims had not Stalin, furious that a junior Russian general signed the surrender in France, ordered General Zhukov to sign another unconditional surrender document in Berlin on the following day. So it is that 8 mai 1945 is still so widely celebrated with a férié (national holiday) in many European countries. Some of the key leaders during the 1939-1945 war, referred to by Mao Tse-tung as the European Civil War, were no longer alive to witness the surrender and collapse of the Third Reich. President Roosevelt had died of natural causes on the 12th April, the Italian Fascist leader and Axis partner Mussolini had been executed on 28th April and Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin on 30th April. At Reims, the delegates from USA, USSR, Great Britain and France met in a schoolroom which had been transformed into operational HQ for the Allied Expeditionary Force and is now preserved intact within the lycée Roosevelt. The two page document drawn up in English and German, with the English version being named as the authentic text, was signed by General Jodl for the German High Command. General Jodl expressed the hope that the victors would treat them with generosity to which there was apparently no reply. The unconditional surrender was signed at 2.41a.m on 7th May, 1945. In Berlin the following day, at a house in the suburbs, representatives of the Allied powers assembled and General Keitel signed the unconditional surrender drawn up in English, Russian and German with the English and Russian versions being named as the authentic texts. General Zhukov was present to sign for the Supreme Command of the Red Army and the unconditional surrender came into effect at 23.01h Central European time which was 1.01h on the 9th May Moscow time. In many places, the celebrations in France on 8th May were a pale shadow of the wild festivities following the Liberation in August 1944 perhaps because of a hard winter of shortages, months of prosecutions of Vichy collaborators, revenge attacks and the lowering of expectations of what peace could bring. Prisoners of war, men and women who had been forced to go to work in Germany under STO (service travail obligatoire) and deportees had not yet returned to France. “The day the war ended” in 1945 has never rivalled 11th November 1918 in public consciousness. What took place in towns and villages in France has left somewhat muted memories and records but this is not the case with Setif in the French colony of Algeria.

Thousands of Algerians, many of whose fellow countrymen were still fighting overseas for the Allies, joined the 8th May victory parade in Setif, some carrying placards denouncing both fascism and colonialism. According to an account by the British consul John Carvell, a policeman tried to seize a flag which called for the freeing of the imprisoned Algerian nationalist politician Messali Hadj and a native Algerian was shot dead. “Pandemonium ensued. Indiscriminate firing by French and natives took place: unarmed natives seizing chairs and anything on which they could lay their hands and persons were attacked regardless of race, colour or creed.” The number of deaths is still hotly disputed but in the days of repression which followed, up to six thousand people were thought to have died. Thus on the day war in Europe ended, some say the Algerian War of Independence, which is formally dated 1954-1962, began. The celebration of 8th May 1945 has had a colourful history as a political football in France. In 1945, there were two days of férié and in 1953 it was declared a férié de commemoration. Then the date was cancelled as a holiday in 1959 and moved to the nearest Sunday by de Gaulle to encourage economic reconstruction. President Giscard d’Estaing, as part of his reconciliation plan with Germany, cancelled the holiday in 1975 but it was reinstated by Francois Mitterrand in 1981. So if you faire le pont (take leave when a férié is close to a weekend to make the holiday longer) you might actually be free to celebrate all the alternative dates for the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Earl Grey The Podcast Episode 2 available now at - More controversial than Piers Morgan on gun control - More outspoken than Ken Livingstone on tax avoidance - More male than Brad Pitt talking Chanel No 5 -

Tango Hérault There are more than a dozen associations in Hérault who promote Argentian tango through regular classes, workshops and performances. If you have a secret, burning desire to put on your dancing shoes visit to find all the latest info. Look out for The 12th Montpellier TangOsud Tango Festival on the 9th-12th May. 19

A WINE MAKER’S DIARY: December, January, February

Simon Coulshaw of Domaine Des Trinités continues his informative diary


o sooner have you put the 2012 wines to bed with a sense of accomplishment and no small sense of relief, you must then turn your attentions to next year’s harvest Mother Nature doesn’t come with a pause button! Pruning in the South of France is a relatively uncomplicated business, although still very skilled and critical to the quality of fruit you yield, but only after having been tutored in the ways of northern climate viticulture do you realise how complicated it can be. The further north you go the more critical it is to maximise the amount of leaf surface area that is exposed to the sun in ratio to the quantity of fruit, boosting the effect of photosynthesis and the ultimate ripening of it. Another factor that gains importance the further north you go is ground frost, hence the need to make sure the fruit set is much higher. These factors lead to some marvelously convoluted systems with equally magical names, such as “Geneva Double Curtain”, “Scott-Henry”,” SmartDyson” (sounds like the latest in vacuum technology) to name but a few. “Canopy Management” as it is grandly referred to in the business was a major part of the syllabus at my former college as well as many others around the world in places like New Zealand and Germany. For us down here in the sunny climes of the South of France there are affectively 3 systems, “Gobelet” (aka bush vines), “Cordon Royat” and “Guyot”. The goal is always the same, to regulate the quality and quantity of fruit the vine will provide that year. Gobelet

pruned vines are the ones you see without trellising, that stand on their own and whose canes should grow upwards creating a goblet shape. This is a high quality, low yielding type of pruning usually found with Caringnan, Grenache, Cinsault and occasionally Mourvedre. Cordon Royat, usually a double cordon is the “T” shaped vines where the arms cross over at the top, but can be found with a single cordon and is grown on wires that help hold the canopy in shape and allow for mechanical harvesting if desired. Again this is a high quality, low quantity pruning method and is usually associated with Syrah, and again Grenache, Mourvedre and white varieties. These two systems are known as “spur pruning”, as you’re selecting the best looking spurs, anything from 3 to 10, that are the healthiest, growing in the right direction and equally spaced to provide the right amount of shading to minimise disease and maximise the best ripening micro-climate in the vine itself; the spurs themselves come from permanent branches on the vine. One or two buds will be left on each spur, again depending on the desired yield. The Guyot system is a “cane pruning system” where the vine is pruned to a single spur in the winter producing one strong cane that is then laid down each year on a wire to provide that year’s fruit bearing shoots. This system will usually provide a higher, less controllable yield and for that reason is banned by many AOP regulations and is therefore usually found in Vins de Pays

Rêve D’Intérieur

vineyards. These pruning systems place the emphasis on keeping the fruit close to the soil to enhance the “terroir” characteristics of the subsequent wines and actually the shading of the bunches, as a lack of ripening and ground frost are not major issues in this part of the world. Pruning, after 4 or 5 months is a pretty laborious affair, but the shaping of the vine is critical to that year’s harvest and for that reason is fulfilling as well as giving you the opportunity to meditate on the finer things in life - really quite therapeutic!


alking of the finer things in life - a note for your diaries: Super talented chef, Olivier Bontemps at his restaurant “O Bontemps” in Magalas is putting together a delicious meal of modern French cuisine to be accompanied by eight Domaine des Trinités wines for the evening of the 22nd May, 2013. The price is €80 per head (wine included). Those who know Olivier’s cooking, know we’re in for something special and those that don’t, perhaps now’s the time to try - the wines shouldn’t be too shabby either! By reservation only on: 04 67 36 20 82

Rêve D’Intérieur 8 avenue Maréchal Foch 34800 Clermont L’Hérault (next door to Fou d’Anglais) 04 67 44 67 05 Monday to Saturday 9am- 7pm (Saturdays 6pm)

“Is your terrace ready for spring?” “Like a brand new kitchen for the summer?” “Get the bathroom you want”

Visit Réve D’Intérieur 400m² of tiles, parquet, bathrooms and kitchens Professional service at affordable prices

“English spoken, Free quotes.” Ask for Cedric 20


In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness - otherwise how would you know when you’re happy? Leslie Caron (b. July, 1931).


“ ”

Actress and dancer, who appeared in 45 films between 1951 and 2003, Caron is best known for the musical films An American in Paris (1951), Lili (1953), Daddy Long Legs (1955), Gigi (1958), and for the non-musical films Fanny (1961), The L-Shaped Room (1962), and Father Goose (1964).



I like characters with problems. I like to understand them.. To play alcoholics, fetishists, strange girls, you have to dig deep within yourself. It’s ‘elsewhere’ that interests me.

Beauty is not something you can count on. Usually when people say you are beautiful, it is when there is a harmony between the inside and the outside

Marie Trintignant (1962-

Emmanuelle Béart

(b. Aug, 1963). She appeared in over 50 film and television productions. Won a César Award for Best Supporting Actress in the film ‘Manon des Sources (1986)

2003). Nominated 5 times for the César Award for her roles including Comme elle respire (1999), and Une affaire des femmes (1989). She died aged 41 from a cerebral edema after being repeatedly punched by her boyfriend Bertrand Cantat, lead singer of rock group Noir Désir.

The French actress, Audrey Tautou will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 66th Festival de Cannes from 15th and 26th May, she will welcome the President, Steven Spielberg, and his Jury onto the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière.


Success is very ephemeral. You depend entirely on the desire of others, which makes it difficult to relax.” Eva Green (b. July, 1980).

Winner of the BAFTA rising star award in 2006, Eva performed in theatre before appearing in Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial film The Dreamers (2003). She later found fame after her role in Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and as Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006).


elcome to the art pages of The Herault Times. All articles are taken from the bi-lingual Visual Arts magazine L’Artiste or

the L’Hérault Art website. Please visit us at or If you have an exhibition or art event and would like to see it on these pages please drop us a line at All exhibitions are online at

“Did you say Contemporary?” ReViEw

OLIVIER MOSSET at M.R.A.C Until June 12 Dominique Aclange


ccording to some ‘specialist’ publications, a great piece of art is that which sells millions, no matter how incomprehensible. Let’s face it, contemporary art is at times an intellectual Chinese puzzle and goes far beyond anyone’s understanding. Since the meaning of contemporary is ‘belonging to the present time’, one can legitimately wonder what ‘contemporary art’ is trying to achieve and how? The Olivier Mosset exhibition on at the Musée régional d’art contemporain in Sérignan stirs these questions in me. Olivier Mosset (b.1944), who, as a matter of interest, is the first artist to whom the Museum of Sérignan has offered a solo exhibition since its opening in 2006, is presented in the museum paper guide as ‘pursuing a search on the future of painting through geometrical abstraction and monochrome’. Claiming to belong to the ‘Radical Painting’ movement, which is characterized by mostly monochrome works that focus on colour effects, shading and material properties without external motifs, painting is, according to Mosset, ‘not something to look at, but something that looks at itself’, or in the artist’s own words: la peinture se regarde elle-même. This is certainly true regards Mosset’s approach to art where the symbolism of the mirror represented by a silver-aluminum wall (inspired by Warhol’s Factory where his New-York City studio walls were covered

with aluminum foil) has the affect of reflecting an acrylic painting on canvas (Untitled (1970)) hanging opposite. Two dilemmas have then to be considered: the first, looking at the painting which looks at itself; and second, finding the mirrored image. But before anything, like playing hide and seek, it is the visitor who is invited to discover the painting behind the wall since, as Duchamp said, “It is the viewer who makes the work of art.” He perhaps should have added, “If he finds it.” Duchamp’s influence, whose own artistic approach was initiated by Jean Tinguely (1925-1991) and with whom Mosset worked as assistant in the mid-sixties, is revealed here. And while Duchamp fabricated the new ‘ready-made’ notion as being full-fledged art, thus opening the door to minimal22

ism, Mosset’s art is handmade and maximal judging by the size of some of his pieces. The ground floor offers a beautiful space with a polished concrete floor and continuous window frames all along the left wing which lets the light flood in. It was the choice of the artist to leave the white blinds open in order to accentuate the power of the light. 11 giant canvases (each measuring 3x3m) occupy this glorious space, however the shiny effect of the grey concrete floor competes in size and

colour with the monochrome paintings. My question is: what are these large canvas

surfaces supposed to convey? In different shades of green, reds or blues, with one brown and one yellow, they have been finished with what is essentially an

anti-slip protective paint. Some are scarred and nicknamed ‘fake’ or labeled ‘failure’, destined to disappear or to be conserved. All are signed by Mosset, who identified them at the time of the exhibition, ‘in pursuit of his questioning the notions of signature and authorship’. In the same space there is also a series of 5 ‘sculptures’ or 5 white, volumetric identical, white rectangles which to me could just as well be electric boxes. Is this an allusion to The 2001 Space Odyssey?! On the first floor, I discover one of Mossets signature creations, his famous painted black ring, referred to above, shown facing a

‘Boat’ . Mehdi Melhawi 2012

silver wall. This creation has been repeated over and over again since 1966 without any major changes except in the size and colour of the ring and background. Three monumental murals complete the main area: a bright yellow wall, a divided grey and white wall and an allusion to Buren’s style representing a yellow and blue Scottish flag-like painting. To complete the first floor visit, a series of eight identical, brown anti-slip ‘serve-nopurpose’ paintings face a similar size canvas as The Wedding Feast at Cana (1563) by Veronese, but this time entirely brown. Finally, the exhibition points to some geometric serigraphy, photographs and lithographs. Unfortunately however, the dim light in the graphic art room makes them hard to see, by which time I am looking forward to getting away from this seemly endless swirl of unanswered questions. Olivier Mosset was a founder member of the B.M.P.T group from1966 to 1967, so named after the initials of the 4 artists who created it (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni). When asked in 1967 why he painted a black ring in the middle of his canvas replied: “A priori, like this, for nothing”. Pierre Soulages, on the other hand, recently interviewed in the French newspaper Le Figaro (10th March, 2013) says: “The artist proposes. In all my paintings I didn’t want to transmit, I wanted to communicate.” So the question remains: if ‘the artist proposes’ as Soulages suggests, what is Mosset proposing? If the ring is ‘for nothing’, why has it continued to be recreated over the

years? Did you say contemporary? Or did you say Chinese puzzle? Help!

Musée régional d’art contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon 146 avenue de la Plage, 34410 Sérignan Open Tuesday to Friday 10 am/6 pm, week-end 1 pm/6 pm, closed Monday and bank holiday

Entre Chien & Loup

A Contemporary Art event in the heart of Loupian Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May. 10h-18h

Crédit photo : Jean Paul Planchon


ased on the theme ‘La Louve’ (She-Wolf), 22 artists, including well known contemporary, emerging and young artists, will exhibit in a range of mediums - installation, sculpture, projections, etc. The public are invited to experience the many creative interventions, visual and sound as part of a two day visual arts event in the centre of Loupian. There will also be guided visits around the art installations based on the traditional myths and stories from Loupian and tales recounted by local inhabitants. The programme also includes fun activities for children to explore and interact with 23

the artists’ work. After the vernissage on Saturday, the evening will finish on a festive note with the sounds of Mathias T and his mix DJ & VJ. (Exhibition in the chapel St Hippolyte and Espace o25rjj until 16th June) L’art contemporain chez l’habitant 25 rue Jean Jaurès 34140 LOUPIAN 06 10 02 97 23 / 04 67 51 41 01 web: mail:

English for Expat Children An indispensable guide Laura Smith


ith many years in education, both abroad and in the UK, Laura Smith has a BA (Hons) in English and a background which includes nannying, running ‘arts’ groups for children, supporting early readers, teaching English as a foreign language in Spanish and Italian schools and examining children for the Cambridge Examining Board.

Prize Column Issue 11


We have a delicious box of confectionery from Auzier Chabernac for you to win (32€)

An Indispensible Guide - Part 2


s the parent of a bi/multi-lingual child you might feel as though your particular circumstances add an extra weight to your role. You yourself may be struggling with overcoming language barriers and find yourself frustrated as to the direction to take when it comes to keeping your children’s English moving forward. Hopefully my articles can offer you some reassurance and offer some simple, intuitive guidelines to keep everyone’s confidence levels soaring.


lanning your time is fundamental in teaching. By all means veer off track, but having something to refer to when needed is reassuring. You will also want a time limit. I would recommend twenty to thirty minutes, once or twice a week as sufficient for most ages. This should not only be fairly reasonable to incorporate into your routine, but not so much that it becomes a looming obligation. When either of you start to get bored just stop, try again later or move onto the next activity. So, how might you structure twenty minutes? Depending on the age and interests of your child this is not likely to require more than three ideas at any one time. You are only likely to achieve one or two and the third is there just in case one of the others falls flat. You could start with a short and snappy game like ‘I Spy’ or ‘Hangman’ before moving onto the main event which could focus on anything at all. Having a list of short games that you can slot between other longer activities is a really good way to give your children a break. Their attention spans require most things to have a short duration, but there are some games that I’ve found to be particularly good at holding attention for longer. Scavenger hunts are fantastic group or individual activities. They can incorporate all levels and offer a fun way to motivate reading. All you need to do is write a list appropriate to your child’s vocabulary and send them off looking for the items listed (if you have very early readers you might want to add pictures to illustrate the words). Being aware of language that they use is really helpful when it comes to choosing words for them to read. Incidentally, you can also cunningly use this listing scenario to help you out: Write child-friendly shopping lists or a list of items that they need to return to their designated places. One of the best games for any age is called

‘2 truths and a lie’. Adults enjoy it, teens can get really into it and younger children generally find it funny, even if it takes them a little longer to catch on to the subtleties of the game. You need two or more players and whilst there’s no need to write anything down, it might be handy (or good writing practise). The idea is to invent a lie and then find two truths from your own life that might make your lie look more truthful. Once the three phrases are prepared you read them out and ask the others to guess at which is the lie. The aim is to trick the people you are playing with into believing your lie. So, for example: ‘I have six siblings’, ‘I’ve lived with monkeys’ and ‘I speak Italian’. They are all possible, but is one less likely than another? You may need to try a couple

q: Who sang ‘Seasons in the Sun’ Closes 28 May 2013


Win a signed copy of ‘Marseille’ by David Crackanthorpe

q: In what year did Marseille become a part of France? Closes 28 May 2013



Win 4 tickets to OLIVIER MOSSET at M.R.A.C q: Who painted ‘The Scream’? Closes 28 May 2013

Send us an email with your name and we’ll draw the winners. All entries to: of rounds to get into the swing, as sometimes players take a while to work out that you are trying to trick each other and make their lie far too clear (the colour of their eyes, their nationality..). English-focused time needn’t be a case of sitting down hunched over a grammar exercise, in fact, those are probably best avoided after a school day. You need only focus on giving your ‘students’ your undivided attention, whilst being conscious of your own aim, to generate an activity. I imagine you do that already! For more ideas, support and links please visit my web page 24

Agence Guy Estate Agency English/French owned 25 years of experience tel 0467983777 mob 0622343056 “Quality Assured”

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


ello to you all at the HT. It has been exciting times in geek central since we last opened a door and saw natural daylight and I was ready to talk to you about mobile phones, but it appears we have an important announcement in relation to telephony in the next issue so the powers that be have asked me to hold back on my “mobile” feature till next month. But that just allows us to look at a question that many of you ask frequently and that is:

Do I need Antivirus software? Why does my company not use it?

Some of the biggest companies in the world can hold their hands up next to governments and powerful organisations. And what do they have in common in this instance. They have all been attacked online or contracted a ‘virus’, the word that is so effective in striking fear into you and I and the general populace. Barclaycard, Yahoo, the Pentagon, Twitter, Facebook the list is endless and impressive. But surely they have anti-virus software you ask. For joe public there are adverts everywhere; McAfee, AVG, Norton, Kaspersky, Avast, BitDefender, Panda, shall I go on?


encryption software. If your data is held in And I am an individual so it must be better another location then if you lose your for companies surely? Well yes and no. Heads of business machine for whatever reason, you will then be able to retrieve it. security and the crazy geeks (hi all) are But most of all, just use common sense. paranoid about security. I mean paranoid with In the great big world hackers and their a capital ‘did you hear that, who goes there?’ affiliate groups will not spend months kind of mentality. But here’s the surprise, most of those people creating a virus or attack just to target YOU. don’t use antivirus software. And why? You become one part of a grander scheme and in most instances Because they believe But here’s my advice, you don’t even know you if they are going to be have been infected. attacked it will be with downgrade. So, don’t open email something that hasn’t attachments from people been seen before and you don’t know. Don’t click on links to therefore antivirus is irrelevant. There are websites or special offers unless you know regulations in some business sectors and a number of large businesses require it but most them and please don’t click on any pop-up window that states that you need to ‘click security companies don’t or wouldn’t use it. here’ as you have won a prize. So what about you, as an individual guarding documents, bank information and most imThe best security out there is free and portantly, memories, photos of holidays and available to all whatever device or system of loved ones. Do you or don’t you? you use. The name of it.........You! YES, YOU DO! Time to be blunt here folks, you need antivirus software. It is your first line of defense against.........yourself. I’m sorry but you, yes you, and me, we do stupid things like opening attachments, visiting untrustworthy websites and opening emails that come from dubious or unknown sources. But here’s my advice, downgrade. There is free antivirus software out there that gives you a line of defense. I’ll even name one. AVG free. And the money you save use for or towards backup storage (Cloud), or password


any Mexican Americans celebrate what they call Cinco De Mayo, on May 5th. It is the anniversary of the Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862. It is a national holiday in Mexico.

*Karl Marx, author of Das Kapital, born May 5, 1818. *Napoleon died on St. Helena, May 5, 1821. *Mother’s Day became a public holiday, May 9, 1914. *Israel became an independent country, May 14, 1948. *Isadora Duncan, American dancer, born may 27, 1878. (right) *John F. Kennedy, born May 29, 1917.

Fou D’Anglais Clermont L’Herault

8 Ave Maréchal Foch (opp Clermont Medical Centre)

Grocery Shop Tea Room 04 30 40 29 54

Issue 10 correction Thanks to Robin T- Adolf H was born on the 20th April (not the 15th) - shared a birthday with his mother!


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“Seasonal and Fresh” Recipe Times

with Bassie Scott


verything suddenly seems to wake up in May after a long, cold and sometimes mizzly winter. Shops re-open their doors, cafes are buzzing with people sitting outside at last and houses, whose shutters have been tightly closed all winter, are showing signs of inhabitants as sheets and carpets are hung out to dry or air and there’s a definite feeling that summer is truly on its way. One of my favourite things to look forward to in May is the abundance of asparagus, grown locally, which appears in the markets in all different shapes, sizes and colours. These graceful spears have always been a sign of elegance and, in times past, were a delicacy only the wealthy could afford. I therefore make no apology for paying homage to this short lived vegetable with three recipes I hope you’ll find as yummy as my guinea pig husband did. Poor Hugh was fed it at least 5 times in a week as I tweaked the recipes here and there. However, one lovely comment he made was ‘I love that you write the recipes for the Herault Times’. I think enough said really!



e tend to eat a lot of fish and when scallops are on promo we just gobble them up. Served with crispy Bayonne ham this salad is a veritable feast of flavours. It can be eaten as a light supper dish ‘a deux’ or served as a starter for a dinner party (maybe 3 scallops per person for a starter to appear a generous host to your guests!)

his will easily serve 6 as a starter for a dinner party. Asparagus and smoked salmon are made for each other in my humble opinion so I set about trying to make a dish that would complement both those flavours without overpowering either of them.

Roasted Asparagus and scallops with tarragon, caper and lemon butter

Smoked salmon and asparagus with dill and lemon crème fraiche

Serves 2 Ingredients 1 bunch asparagus Salt and pepper 8 scallops 4 thin slices Bayonne ham, roughly chopped 50 gr butter Olive oil 2 tsps capers, rinsed 1 tblsp tarragon, finely chopped Zest of a lemon Juice of half a lemon Freshly ground pepper Salad leaves and rocket Parsley, chopped

Serves 4 Ingredients 250 gr smoked salmon 400 ml crème fraiche 400g fresh linguine Large handful fresh dill, chopped (reserve some leaves for decoration) Zest of 1 lemon and half of the juice 50g pine nuts, toasted in a dry frying pan Freshly ground pepper Method * Mix chopped dill, lemon zest (reserve a little for decoration) and juice into the crème fraiche. Add some freshly ground pepper. Set aside * Cut smoked salmon into strips. Chop a little of the salmon finely and reserve for decoration * Snap the asparagus (reserve stalks for soup or stock). Cut each asparagus tip in half lengthways, then cut each piece again, crossways so they are like little batons * Steam the asparagus over a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes or until just tender Switch off and keep warm over the water * Cook linguine in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and put back in warm pan. Add the crème fraiche mix and the smoked salmon and put on a low heat to warm through. Lastly add the asparagus (keep a few tips for decoration) and pine nuts (keep a few for garnish) and carefully stir them through the mix * Place pasta into warmed bowls or plates and decorate the top with the reserved chopped smoked salmon, asparagus tips, dill leaves and pine nuts * Serve immediately along with a rocket and watercress salad and some crusty bread

Method *The easiest way to find the best bit of the asparagus is by holding it in both hands and snapping it. Reserve the stalks for soup or stock. *Coat the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven at 180c deg or gas 5 for 10-12 minutes, until soft. Keep warm. *Pan fry the Bayonne ham in a little olive oil until crispy. Remove and drain on to kitchen paper, keeping the oil in the pan. *Meanwhile wash any grit from the scallops and pat dry. *Place the butter into the frying pan with the remaining oil and heat up. Add the scallops and cook for only 3 minutes each side. Quickly add the capers, tarragon, lemon zest, lemon juice and freshly ground pepper and spoon over the scallops *Place salad leaves and rocket on plates, then the asparagus. Carefully spoon the scallops and juices on top. Any remaining sauce can be dribbled over the asparagus and the salad leaves. Top with the crispy Bayonne ham and chopped parsley and serve immediately


“Seasonal and Fresh” Now for those stalks! It seems such a shame to me to just throw them away when someone has taken the time and trouble to grow such a fabulous vegetable. If I’m not ready to use them in either soup or stock straight away I just bung them in the freezer. Here’s my recipe for a soup which is a delight on the palette. If you can’t bear chilli just leave it out.

Asparagus soup with a hint of chilli and parmesan and pepper croutons

Serves 4

Ingredients Asparagus stalks from 2 bunches 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped ¾ litre chicken or vegetable stock ½ teaspoon chilli flakes or 1 small chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped Small pot crème fraiche Olive oil Fresh parsley, finely chopped Stale bread, cut into small chunks 20 gr grated parmesan Freshly ground black pepper Method * Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the stalks and chilli. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté for a further 4 minutes. * Add the chicken/vegetable stock and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the potato and asparagus is soft. * Whizz up in a blender until really smooth. Put back in saucepan and add the crème fraiche. Stir well and heat but don’t boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste * To make the parmesan croutons: Place the chunks of stale bread into a bowl and pour over some olive oil. With your hands make sure each piece of bread is covered with the oil. Then put in the parmesan and freshly ground pepper and, again, mix it with your hands * Pour into a pre-heated frying pan and fry until light brown and crispy * To serve the soup, make sure it’s lovely and hot, pour into bowls, sprinkle the croutons and some parsley over and then drizzle some olive oil on to the soup for that extra je ne sais quoi!

Cook’s tip: If you have some croutons left over they do freeze really well

Did you know?


Many German cities hold an annual Spargelfest (asparagus festival) celebrating the harvest of white asparagus. Schwetzingen claims to be the “Asparagus Capital of the World” and during its festival an Asparagus Queen is crowned. The Bavarian city of Nuremberg feasts a week long in April, with a competition to find the fastest asparagus peeler in the region. This usually involves generous amounts of the local wines and beer being consumed to aid the spectators’ appreciative support

he green crop is significant enough in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region that the city of Stockton holds a festival every year to celebrate it, as does the city of Hart, Michigan, complete with a parade and asparagus queen. The Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire is heralded as the largest producer within Northern Europe, celebrating like Stockton, with a week-long festival every year involving auctions of the best crop and locals dressing up as spears of asparagus as part of the British Asparagus Festival.


The Art of the Bricoleur

Brighter Knobs!

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Hugh Scott


hen we started our house hunt in the Hérault, our ideal would probably have been something old and full of character, and within walking distance of a village. It would also have half an acre or more of garden for the dogs (real), chickens, bees, and pigs (imagined.) I suppose that we looked at properties on and off for three or four years without finding anything that came close to matching our ideal even when we allowed fantasy to stretch our budget. Reality struck home when circumstances forced us into a decision and, of course, a compromise. The house that we settled on does have a great garden, but maybe not for chickens, bees, and pigs, and I can walk the dog (one sadly died) to the village: but, having been built in 1956, it isn’t old and we are having to adapt to its 50’s/60’s character. Lynda has been passionately researching 50’s/60’s style and spurred on by some inspired purchases at Emmaus we are gradually finding ways to give the decor

a lift. One of the 1960’s household classics was a zigzag coat rack. Two of them, on the wall behind the kitchen door in my parents’ house, held the family’s coats for as long as I can remember. Inspired by the style I brightened up two sets of Castorama coat hooks to use for towels and dressing gowns in our bathroom. Wooden balls in various sizes can be found online at The tricky bit is drilling a hole in them to fit whatever they are to adorn. Holding them in a vice flattened the balls on two sides, and mole grips left imprints in the wood. I ended up holding them in my fingers and using a pillar mounted drill. (I cannot recommend that you try this at home; can anyone suggest a less finger threatening way to do it?) After drilling the holes, the balls were lightly sanded given a sprayed coat of primer and then painted with two coats of enamel paint (also available online.) We have used larger balls as towel rail ends and curtain rail finials.

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published. Usually the organisers delay this to account for the concerns of local interests and police. Bradley Wiggins is apparently concentrating on the Giro d’Italia this season and the Sky Team will be led by Chris Froome. He recently won the Criterium International race held in Corsica and seems to be on good form. Mark Cavendish has moved on to a Belgian team which he hopes will give him more support for the sprint stages. It was hard for Sky to attack the overall classification which needs strong climbers and to provide a lead out sprint group for Mark. So far Mark has shown mixed form but the severe weather has not helped him in the Spring classics like MilanSan Remo. All the same with the brilliant British riders and the form of Irishmen Roche and Martin there is much to look forward to in this years race. Would it be too much to ask for another win? ast month we applauded the efforts of newly organised football club, E.S.Paulhan- Pézenas. The club responded even more positively and have qualified for the semi finals of both the Coupe de Languedoc and the Coupe d’Hérault . What is more the team are now top of the Division Honneur. Chapeau! Better news tambourin; the only one to do so in France. for the time being in RugbyXV as Béziers The appeal of the game is that it can be played have climbed out of the relegation zone at all year round. It can be a mixed sport and last. Agde though have slipped in Federal 1 the terrain, 80 by 20 metres, does not need a and like Pézenas in Federal 2 are liable to go great deal of maintenance. The enthusiasm of down. coaches in the villages of Hérault has given the sport a boost. Current outdoor champions Some fixtures are Cazouls d’Hérault for the men and Football Cournonsec women. 4 May Montpellier v Brest 20.00 his years Tour de France starts off in 4 May Béziers v Martigue 18.30 Corsica before arriving in our region. Rugby XV Stage 6 runs from Aix en Provence to 4 May Montpellier v Perpignan 14.00 Montpellier on July 4th and stage 7 the next 24 April Narbonne v Béziers 15.00 day is from Montpellier to Albi. At the time of Rugby League writing the exact route has not been 27 April Catalan Dragons v Huddersfield he winter indoor season for Tambourin has drawn to a close.This particularly “regional” sport played with tambourin bats or raquets is three a side indoors and five a side outdoors during the summer. With a scoring system akin to tennis it is very popular in the Hérault valley. Indoor champions were Florensac’s men and the women of Poussan. The Florensacois also triumphed in the European cup though to be fair the main challengers from Italy do prefer the outdoor version of the game and their league is professional.The college in Florensac recently announced developments in its offer of courses. Pupils can study two languages, English and Spanish while the sports section to be established will include




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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 **

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The Herault Times Issue 11 May 2013  
The Herault Times Issue 11 May 2013  

The English language magazine for the south of France