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Tel: Email: Please make  cheques  payable  to  SARAH  BERRY.


Welcome! to Issue 38 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine.

It’s not  yet  official,  but   in  my  mind,  Spring  has   sprung!    These  warm,  sunny  days  that  we  have   been   experiencing   early   March   have   been   wonderful.  My  neighbours  tell   me  it’s  arrived   too  early,  but   I   hope  not.   It’s  amazing  what  a   little  sunshine  can  do  to  energise  us. Easter   will   be  with   us   shortly,   and   with   that   comes,   I’m   sure,   many   visiting   families.     Hopefully  this  warm  weather   will   continue   so   you  can  all  enjoy  an  Easter  Egg  hunt  organised  by  Nan  &  Grandad?! Our  family  moto  “a   little  of  what   you  fancy  does  you  good”  is  very   apt   this   time   of  year,  when   Easter  eggs  are   abundant!     I  also   read   recently  that  chocolate  is  good  for  a  healthy  brain,  increasing  blood   flow  and  sharpening  the  mind  and  memory.    That’s  good  enough  for   me! Enjoy  your  Easter  and  I’ll  be  back  with  you  next  month....

à plus, Sarah.

Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Emergency Numbers: 15 SAMU, Medical 17 Gendarmes, Police 18 Pompiers, Fire

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

CONTENTS

What’s On.......................................................................................... 4 Getting  Out  &  About......................................................................... 6 Le  Coin  Français.................................................................................10 A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres....................................... 11 Hobbies............................................................................................ 12 Clubs  &  Associations........................................................................ 14 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness.................................................................. 15 Our  Furry  Friends...............................................................................19 Home  &  Garden.............................................................................. 21 Spotlight  On..................................................................................... 24 Take  a  Break..................................................................................... 27 French  Life....................................................................................... 28 Communications............................................................................. 29 Food  &  Drink................................................................................... 31 Motoring.......................................................................................... 34 Building  &  Renovation..................................................................... 36 Business  &  Finance.......................................................................... 41 Property........................................................................................... 45

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS   A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)............................................................................... 31 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)...................................................................... 35 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  Double  Glazing).................................2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)................................................................................ 36 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)..................................................................... 39 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber).............................................................................. 39 An  English  Nursery  in  France............................................................................... 23 ARB  French  Property........................................................................................... 47 Arbrecadabra.com  (Tree  surgery)........................................................................23 Bar/Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau............................................................................ 32 BH  Assurances  /  Allianz....................................................................................... 41 Bill  McEvoy  (Plumber  /  Heating  Engineer)........................................................ 39 Blevins  Franks  Financial  Management................................................................ 43 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)...........................................................34 Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle........................................................................................... 33

...continued. Café  des  Belles  Fleurs.......................................................................................... 31 Camping  Les  Prairies  du  Lac................................................................................ 28 Caniclôture  (Hidden  Fencing  for  Dogs)............................................................... 19 Cheryl’s  Helping  Hand......................................................................................... 21 Chris  Parsons  (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing)...................................................... 38 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)...................................................... 6 CJ  Electricité......................................................................................................... 38 Cleaning  Services  by  Karen.................................................................................. 21 Clean  Sweep  Chimney  Services........................................................................... 40 Concept  Construction......................................................................................... 37 Currencies  Direct  (Money  Transfers)................................................................... 42 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon).............................................................................................. 17 DB  Electricité....................................................................................................... 38 D.W  Cooper  (Carpenter,  Roofer,  Mason)............................................................. 36 David  Cropper  (Stump  Grinding  &  Jungle  Busting)............................................ 23 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep)........................................................................ 40 D.J  Maintenance  (Handyman)............................................................................ 37 Domaine  de  Chantemerle  (Hotel)....................................................................... 6 Double  Glazing  Installation  -­‐  Haynes  Carpentry.................................................. 37 Down  to  Earth  Pool  Design  (Swimming  Pool  Design  &  Construction)................ 45 Duncan  White  -­‐  Agent  Commerciale.................................................................. 46 EcoPower  (Solar  Thermal  Trading  Company)...................................................... 45 Electricien  Anglais  en  France.............................................................................. 38 Emilie  Baudrez  (French  Classes  and  Translation)................................................ 8 Famous  Furniture  in  France.................................................................................21 Franglais  Deliveries............................................................................................. 35 Fresco  Interiors  (Gifts,  Chalk  Paint  &  Carpets).................................................... 21 GAN  Assurances.................................................................................................. 35 George  Rayner  Computers.................................................................................. 30 Give  the  Dog  a  Comb  (Dog  Grooming)................................................................ 19 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers)........................................ 38 Homes  in  France.................................................................................................. 47 I  C  O  Electricté..................................................................................................... 38 Insink  Plumbing................................................................................................. .. 39 J&M  Construction............................................................................................... 36 John  Pate  (Renovations)..................................................................................... 36 Jon  Crocker  Photography.................................................................................... 45 Jon  the  Carpetman.............................................................................................. 21 Julia  Hunt  -­‐  Agent  Commercial............................................................................ 46 Keith  Banks  (Swimming  Pool  Maintenance)....................................................... 45 Kelly  &  Sue’s  Pampering  Events.......................................................................... 18 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).................................... 21 Le  Pub  des  Halles................................................................................................. 33 Leggett  Immobilier.............................................................................................. 46 Le  Petit  Cadeau................................................................................................... 8 Le  Tour  de  Finance.............................................................................................. 47 Man  for  Hire........................................................................................................ 22 MCS  Translations................................................................................................. 9 Michael  William  Hairdressing............................................................................. 17 ML  Computers..................................................................................................... 30 Motor  Parts  Charente.......................................................................................... 35 MSS  Construction................................................................................................ 40 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances......................................................................... 35 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services.......................................................................... 36 Needa  Hand  Services........................................................................................... 40 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).............................................................. 17 Pascale  Matéo  (French  Tuition)........................................................................... 8 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire).............................................................................37 Plan-­‐170  (Professional  Scale  Drawings).............................................................. 45 Point  P  (Builder’s  Merchants).............................................................................. 38 Polar  Express  (Frozen  Foods).............................................................................. 31 Premier  Autos  (Mechanic).................................................................................. 35 Restaurant  des  Canards....................................................................................... 32 Rob  Berry  Plastering  Services.............................................................................. 39 Robert  Walker  Plomberie  (Plumbing  &  Heating  Engineer)................................. 39 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)............................................. 29 Sabestini  Renovation  &  Construction................................................................. 36 Samantha  Matthews  (Make  Up  Artist  &  Bridal  Expert)...................................... 18 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Fosse  Installations  &  Groundworks)................................... 37 Sarah  Berry  Online  (Websites  &  Graphic  Design)............................................... 30 Satellite  TV........................................................................................................... 30 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors).................................................................................44 Silverwood  Books................................................................................................ 12 Simon  The  Tiler.................................................................................................... 36 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)............................................................. 42 Simply  Homes  and  Gardens................................................................................ 22 Spick  and  Span  (Gîte  &  Property  Management)................................................. 22 Steve  Enderby...................................................................................................... 39 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)....................................................... 9 The  Craft  Cabin  (Handmade  cards  and  card-­‐making  items)............................... 8 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre............................................................ 35 The  Market.......................................................................................................... 6 The  Perfect  Pig  Company.................................................................................... 28 Trisha  Mobile  Hairdresser.................................................................................... 17 Val  Assist  (Translation  Services)........................................................................... 9 Vata  Beauty.......................................................................................................... 16 Venus  Rose  Yoga.................................................................................................. 15 Yoga  Vendée.................................................................................................... 16

© Sarah  Berry   2014.     All   rights  reserved.    Material   may   not   be   reproduced  without  permission.    While   care   is   taken  to  ensure  that  articles  and  features  are  accurate,  Sarah   Berry   accepts  no  liability   for   reader  dissatisfaction.     The   opinions  expressed   and  experiences   shared  are   given  by  individual   authors  and  do  not  necessarily  represent  the   views  or  opinions  of  the  publisher.    Please  ensure  you  verify  that  the  company  you  are  dealing  with  is  a  registered  trading  company  in  France  and/or  elsewhere. <<The  Deux-­‐Sèvres   Monthly>>  est   édité   par   Sarah   Berry,   La   Bartière,   79130,   Secondigny.   Tél:   05  49   70   26  21.    Directeur   de  la   publication  et   rédacteur  en  chef:   Sarah   Berry.  Crédits   photos:   Sarah   Berry,   Clkr,   Shutterstock   et  morgeufile.com.   Impression:   Raynaud  Imprimeurs,   zone   industrielle,   BP13,   79160,   Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.     Dépôt  légal:   avril   2014   -­‐   Tirage:   5000   exemplaires.    Siret:   515   249   738   00011  ISSN:   2115-­‐4848

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 3


What’s On... April 2014

2nd -­‐  6th  April  -­‐  Terri’Thouars  Blues  festival See  details  on  www.blues-­‐n-­‐co.org 3rd  April  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Chef  Boutonne See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 3rd  April  -­‐  Financial  surgery  with  Amanda  Johnson At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux,  10.00-­‐12.00. 5th  April  -­‐  Free  Concert By  Les  Chanterelles  &  La  Chorale  du  Retail  in  Coulon  Church  at  8.30pm. 6th  April  -­‐  Clessé  Rando/VTT  (Walk/Cycle  circuits) From  Salle   omnisports  de  Clessé  -­‐   Walking  circuits  9-­‐17km,  Cycling   circuits  25-­‐55km 6th  April  -­‐  Live  Jazz  &  Sunday  Roast At  Restaurant  des  Canards,  Chef  Boutonne.    See  advert  on  P.32  for  info. 7th  April  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Limalonges See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 9th  April  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Aigre See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 10th  April  -­‐  Red,  White  &  Blue  in  L’Absie At   Pause   Café,  L’Absie  2pm-­‐5pm.     Fresh  bacon,  gammon,  cheddar   cheese  plus  Easter  Eggs  and  our  fresh  stock  of  larder  essentials. 10th  April  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Champniers See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 11th  April  -­‐  Fundraising  Quiz  and  Meal. Organised  by  Parents  Association  of  Lorigné  and  Pioussay  Schools.  Salle   des   Fêtes  Pioussay.  Starts   7.30pm.   10€   p/person  includes  meal   (bar   extra).  To  reserve  ring  Sam:  06  58  04  26  73  or  Angie:  05  49  27  67  15   12th  April  -­‐  Open  Day  at  La  Deuxième  Chance Open  9am  -­‐  5.30pm  with  Paperback  Jan  from  2pm.  Please  see  advert   on  P.21  for  contacts  or  www.ladeuxiemechance.com  for  info. 12th  April  -­‐  Book  Sale  at  Linazay 12th  April  -­‐  Plantes  en  Fête,  La  Plaine  sur  Mer  (44) at  Jardin  des  Lakas  9am-­‐6pm.  Free  entry 12th  April  -­‐  Art  Gallery  Open  Day  in  Niort First  open  day  event  at  Art  de  la  Breche,  Niort  -­‐  see  info  on  P6.   14th  April  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Rouillac See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 17th  April  -­‐  Soirée  Franglais At  Bar  Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire.    See  advert  on  P.32 19th  April  -­‐  Free  concert  with  Projet  Bleu At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  from  8.30pm.  See  advert  on  P.31 19th  April  -­‐  ‘Bric,  broc  et  troc  jardin’  in  La  Roche-­‐sur-­‐Yon  (85) At  Château  des  Oudairies  (see  www.l-­‐asphodele.com  for  more  info) 21st  April  -­‐  Fête  des  plantes  at  Pamproux 6th  year   of  Fête  des  plantes,  Cultur’Jardin.    For   more  information   see  www.culturjardin.com 29th  April  -­‐  Quiz  and  Supper At  the  Mongoustan  Restaurant,  Mervent  (Vendée)   7pm  for  7.30pm   start.     Every  last  Thursday  of  the  month,  until  the  summer.     Printed   quiz  sheets,  good  company,  good  prizes  and  hot  supper.    For  details   email  jackiepedrick@hotmail.com  or  phone  02  51  00  50  59.

What’s Coming Up...

1st May  -­‐  Fête  des  Plantes  at  Le  Beugnon 4th  May  -­‐  Fundraising  ‘Ramble  &  Pizza'   By  Parents  Association   of  Lorigné  and   Pioussay  Schools  from  9am.   Followed  by  afternoon  of  games,  boules  etc.  9€  Adults   4€  Children   under  15yrs.  To  reserve  please  ring  Sam:  06  58  04  26  73 17th  &  18th  May  -­‐  Val  de  Sevre  Classic  Rally For   info,   please   visit:   www.automobile-­‐club79.com   or   email:   asac79@laposte.net  /info@automobile-­‐club79.com 11th  May  -­‐  Clear  your  Clutter  for  Charity. A  repeat  of  last  year’s  Bring  &  Buy  Sale  at  Paperback  Jan’s,  La   Ferriere-­‐en-­‐Parthenay. 14th  &  21st  May  -­‐  Val  Assist  helps  you  fill  in  your  tax  returns At  Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle,  Vouvant 15th  &  22nd  May  -­‐  Val  Assist  helps  you  fill  in  your  tax  returns At  Pause!  Café,  L’Absie 17th  May  -­‐  RBL  fundraising  Supper  Dance 4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Local Markets

Mondays:

• • • Tuesdays: • • • Wednesdays: • Thursdays: • • Fridays: • • Saturdays: • • • • • Sundays: • •

Benet 85490 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Lezay 79120 Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 Bressuire 79300 Parthenay 79200 Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 Niort 79000 Thouars 79100 Melle 79500 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 Niort 79000 Coulon 79510 Saint-Maixent-l’École 79400 Neuville-de-Poitou 86170 Coulon 79510

Photo: Lisa Roberts

04

The Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   hold  English  speaking  monthly  services. • 1st  Sunday  at  10.30am:  The  Little  Stone  Church  in   Chef-­‐Boutonne.    Followed  by  tea  &  coffee. • 2nd  Sunday  at  11.00am:  the  home  of  Ann  White,  Jassay • 4th   Sunday   at   10.30am:   the   Presbytery   Rooms,   rue   de   la   Citadelle,  Parthenay  (opposite   St   Croix   Church).   Followed   by   tea  &  coffee,  and  a  'bring  and  share'  lunch.     A   warm   welcome   awaits   everyone   for   a   time   of   worship   and   fellowship.   For  further  information  about  location  of  churches  and  what  else   is   happening   near   you,   please   take   a   look   at   our   website   www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com  or  contact  us  by  email:   office.goodshepherd@orange.fr.

The Filling  Station  ~  Poitou-­‐Charentes

The Filling   Station   is   a   network   of   local   Christians   of   all   denominations   who   meet   together   regularly   for   spiritual   renewal   and  evangelism  purposes.    ALL  WELCOME. Please  see  our   bilingual   website   for  details  of   meetings  and  spring   programmes  www.thefillingstationfrance.com  or  contact   05  49  87  89  16  or  email:  michael.willis@sfr.fr

ALL SAINTS,  VENDEE - Puy  de  Serre We  hold  two  services  each  month,  on  the  2nd  and  4th  Sundays at  the  church  of  St  Marthe,  Puy  de  Serre,  at  11am.   After  each  service,  tea  and   coffee  is  served  in  the  parish   room   and  everyone  is  invited  to  a   `bring  and  share`   lunch.  For   details   of   all   our   activities,   our   Services   in   the   west   of   the   Vendée,   copies   of   recent   newsletters   and   more   information,   please   check  our  website:  www.allsaintsvendee.fr The  Rendez-­‐Vous  Christian  Fellowship.   A   warm   welcome   awaits   you   at   our   meetings   on   the   1st   &   3rd   Sundays  of  the   month  at   11am.    La   Brionniere,   85120,  St  Pierre  du   Chemin.    Meetings  last  about  an  hour  and  are  followed  by  a  time  of   fellowship  with  refreshments.

Please contact   Chris   &   Julie   Taylor:   09   60   49   78   50  or   Des   &   Elizabeth  Vine:  05  49  74  18  27,  or  visit:  www.therendezvous.fr


04 Paperback Jan Books  in  English                          

2nd Apr:  Cafe  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant  85120.    2.30pm-­‐  4.30pm   3rd  Apr:  Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire  79300.  11am  -­‐  1pm 3rd  Apr:  Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud  79450.  2pm-­‐5pm   4th  Apr:  Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars  79100.  11.30am  -­‐  2pm   6th  Apr:  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  79160.    2pm  -­‐  4pm 9th  Apr:    Les  Jardins  St  Laurent,  Parthenay  79200.  TBA 9th  Apr:  Le  Don  Jon  Bar,  Moncontour  86330.  4pm  -­‐  6pm   10th  Apr:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie  79240.    2pm-­‐  5pm 11th  Apr:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.  11am-­‐  4pm 12th  Apr:  Café  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole  79400.    10am  -­‐  1pm 24th  Apr:  Le  Relais  des  2  Moulins,  Clessé  79350.    4pm-­‐  6pm   25th  Apr:  Le  P’tit  Bar  Boucard,  Ménigoute  79340.    4pm-­‐  6pm 26th  Apr:  Bistrot  des  Amis,  Fomperron  79340.  11am-­‐  4pm 30th  Apr:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.    1pm-­‐  5pm For  more  info  contact  Jan  on: 06  08  30  73  29  or  email:  paperbackjan@gmail.com

Mr T’s Friterie

Open 6.30-9pm

With regular venues at:

17770      H      ilaire                      d      e        V    illefranche         • Aulnay    17470    (from  6pm)    •        St   • Matha 17160 • St  Jean  d’Angély  17400 • Gourville  16170 See  www.frying2nite.com  for  details  or  call  06  02  22  44  74

Reel Fish & Chips

Open 6.30-9pm

Weds 2nd  &  23rd   The  Canteen,  Etusson Fri  4th       Bar  Tabac  PMU,  Bouille-­‐Loretz Sat  5th                 Bar  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire Fri  11th               Village  Hall,  Tancoigne  (&  Quiz) Thurs  24th     Bar  Tabac  PMU,  St  Martin  du  Sanzay Tel:  06  04  14  23  94  ~  www.reelfishandchips.net

Fish 4 Chip

Open 6 - 8pm

Mondays: Bar Tilleuls, Champniers (near Civray) Tuesdays: Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square) Wednesdays: Chef Boutonne (near Chateau) Thursdays: Sauzé-Vaussais - Evening. (Main square) Fridays: Mansle (Car park of Simply Supermarket) Tel: 06 37 53 56 20 ~ www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com

La Vendée Chippy

Open 6 -8.30pm

Wednesdays: Bar ‘Auberge le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Thursdays: Bar ‘La Rando’, Mervent. Fridays: Bar ‘Au Bon Coin’, Thoursais Bouildroux + 5th April: Bar Le Lys @ La Chapelle aux Lys

For more  info  please  visit  website:  www.lavendeechippy.com

Contact Us... ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr Website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2014 Sunday 20th  April  ..............   Easter  Sunday  (Pâques) Monday  21st  April  ............      Easter  Monday  (Lundi  de  Pâques) Thursday  1st  May  .............      Labour  Day  (Fête  du  Travail) Thursday  8th  May  .............   Victory  in  Europe  Day  (Fête  de  la  Victoire) Sunday  25th  May  ...............   Mothers’  Day  (Fête  des  Mères) Thursday  29th  May  ...........   Ascension  Day  (Ascension) Sunday  8th  June  .................   Pentacost  (Pentecôte) Monday  9th  June  ..............   Pentacost  (Lundi  de  Pentecôte) Sunday  15th  June  ...............   Fathers’  Day  (Fête  des  Pères) Saturday  21st  June  .............   World  Music  Day  (Fête  de  la  Musique) Monday  14th  July  ..............  National  Day  (Fête  Nationale) Friday  15th  August  ............   Assumption  of  Mary  (Assomption) Sunday  5th  October  ............  Grandfathers’  Day  (Fête  des  Grand-­‐pères) Saturday  1st  November  .....  All  Saint’s  Day  (Toussaint) Monday  11th  November  ...   Armistice  Day  (Armistice) Thursday  25th  December  ...  Christmas  Day  (Noêl) Dates in blue are celebration days, not public holidays

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 5


Getting Out & About...

NEW ART  GALLERY  OPENS  IN   OUR  CAPITAL A   love   of   the   natural   world   brings   together   a   group   of   British  artists  to   celebrate  the  opening  of   Art  de  la  Breche,  Niort,  this  April.

Susan, Nick's   wife,  says   “It's   exciting   but   unnerving   at   the   same   time   -­‐   we've   never   done   anything   like   this   but   with   Nigel   and   Brenda's   stunning   works   and   Malcolm’s   lovely   seascapes,  I  think   we  can  offer  something  for   many  people  and  with  a  wide  range  of   prices   hopefully   for   most   people’s  pockets.     There  are  prints   and   handmade  cards  so  while  some  pieces  fetch   over  the  1000€  mark,   there  is  a  wide  range  on  offer.“

Art de   la   Breche   is  owned   by  English   architect,   Nick   Adams,   and   is   the   result   of   a   long-­‐held   dream  to  run  a  gallery. “It’s   what   I  always  planned   to   do   so  I  could  explore  being  an   artist  and   work  alongside  other  artists”  says  Nick,  “We're  showing   work  by  two  established  British  artists  living  and   working   in  France   -­‐   Nigel   Vellam   and   Brenda   Turner,  and   paintings   by   York   based   artist  Malcolm  Ludvigsen,  plus  we're  also   exhibiting  my   work   and   our   sons’  photographs”.     I'm  an   architect   because   I   love  art   and   making  things  -­‐  architecture  combines  both.” Malcolm's   first  career  was  as  a  cosmologist   at  York  university  and   he's   now   a   well   known   seascape   artist   -­‐   “everyone   should   metamorphosise  at  least  once.” Nigel   and  Brenda  lived   and  worked   in  Brittany  but  now  work  in  the   Vienne,   observing  nature  and  the  daily  round  of  life  in  the  French   countryside.   Their   pieces   are   inspired   by   the   natural   world   but   have  a   very  modern  feel.    Paper  handmade  by  them  makes  each   piece   unique   and   unusual.     Brenda  also   has  a  range  of  beautiful   cards  which  can  be  sent  and  framed  as  pictures  afterwards.

 Gallery  Opening  Hours:    Thursday  and  Friday  10.00am  -­‐  12.30pm  and  2.30pm  –  6.30pm    Other  times  by  appointment  -­‐  06  78  05  48  90    The  first  open-­‐day  event  is  on  Saturday  April  12th  ,  5pm  to  8pm.    (see  flyer  on  P.26  for  details.)

The Linazay  Poitou-­‐Charentes  Royal  British  Legion   would   like   to   thank   everyone   throughout   the   whole   Region   who   contributed   to,  and   assisted   with,  fundraising  for  the  Poppy  Appeal;  the  grand   total   raised   for  2013  and  now   deposited   with   the   Head  Office  in  London  was  11,460.63€.

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


SUMMER MARKET SUNDAY 15th JUNE Organised by Aidez Association

Salles des Fêtes St Germain-de-LongueChaume (79200) Open from 11am - 5pm Good variety of 30+ stalls Money raised will benefit local French Charities. Free Entry

Fête des Plantes, Le Beugnon 79130

Following the   success   of   our   plant   fair   in   2012,   our   second  show   unfolds   in  the  heart   of   Le   Beugnon,   in   the   hills   of   the   Gatine,   where   we   find   the   origins   of   the   Sevre   Nantaise,  Thouet  and  Autize  rivers. A   team   of   villagers   have   spent   the   winter   making   scarecrows   and   bunting   to   decorate   the  village  on  the  day  -­‐  the  scarecrows  will  direct  members  of  the   public   to   various  amenities/attractions   and   also   be   a   source   of   amusement. Here   in   Le   Beugnon   our   gardeners   have   grown   and   tasted   70   varieties  of  heritage  tomatoes.    The  28  varieties  we  recommend   are  the   fruits  of  our   labours!    Try  them  for  yourselves  and  see  if   you  agree.... There   are   more   exhibitors   this   year   -­‐   about   50   professionals,   amongst   whom  are  25  specialist  nurseries,   who  will   be  happy  to   advise  and  share  their  knowledge. For   the   walkers   amongst   you   there   will   be   a   choice   of   a   walk   through   the   chestnut   woods   or   outings   in   search   of   local   wild   flowers  and  birds. A  day  for  strolling  around  and   stopping  off  for   talks  or  travel  back   in  time  to  the  potagers  of  Charlemagne  and  your   grandmother  -­‐   young   and   old   can   join   in   at   workshops   and   meet   others   passionate   about   plants   and   nature  in  general.

Salisbury Cathedral  choir   will   be  in  the  two  Charente  departments   at   the   beginning   of   April.     The   girls   and   boys   will   be   singing   together  during  part  of  the  concert…  a  rare  event  because  even  in   Salisbury   they   only   sing   together   at   Christmas   and   at   Easter.     SALISBURY  CATHEDRAL  CHOIR  with  31   boys  and  girls  and  6  male   voices.   Free  concerts,  with  a  collection  at  the  end: Saturday  APRIL  5th  at  8.30  in  Abbaye  aux  Dames,  Saintes. Monday  APRIL  7th  at  6.30  in  Notre  Dame,  Royan. Tuesday  APRIL  8th  at  8.30  in  Sts  Gervais  et  Protais,  Jonzac. Wednesday  APRIL  9th  at  8.30  in  Sacré  Coeur,  Cognac.   Paying  concerts  on: Friday  APRIL  4th  in  the  Cathedral,  Angoulême. Sunday  APRIL  6th  in  Notre  Dame  in  La  Rochelle. Please  consult  www.saintes-­‐salisbury.over-­‐blog.com   or  for  further  details  call:  05  46  74  03  21.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 7


Making Your  French   Life   Easier... I'm  Emilie,  a  young,  dynamic  woman,  entirely  self-­‐ made  after  having  worked  for  eight  years  in  a  notary   office   and   real   estate   agencies.     With   so   many   contacts   with   ex-­‐pats,   I   realized   I   could   bring   more   to   you   by   helping  with  our  lovely  (and  sometimes  hard)  French  language.   I'm  not  a  certified  teacher  but  I’m  working  on  it  (I  intend  to  pass  my   FLE-­‐French  as  Foreign  Language  in  the  coming  months)  and  I  aim  to   provide   informal   teaching   through   games,   conversation   and   a   friendly  atmosphere. Since  last   September,  I  teach  FRENCH  CONVERSATION   GROUPS  in   Saint  Maixent   l’École,  Melle,  Sauzé-­‐Vaussais   and  Villefagnan  area.     I'm  ready  to  extend  to   Civray  and  Ruffec  areas  too.     Prices  are   5€   per  person  per  hour,   and  the  groups   meet   weekly  or   every  other   week   at   someone's   home,   or   in   a   tea-­‐room   or   hired   location.     There  is  always  tea  and  coffee  available!  

What Level  Are  You?  

Beginner: You  know   only  a  few   words  in   French,   but   can't   make   sentences. Intermediate:   You   do   your   shopping   in   French,   can   have  a   small   conversation  with  your  neighbour,  but  need  more. Advanced:  You  can   speak  about   everything  with  any   French   local   but   still   want   to   improve   your   vocabulary   and   your   verbs   "conjugaison".

FRENCH IN   BUSINESS:   Develop   your   business,  get   more   French   clients.  2  day  sessions  including  tutoring  for  only  40  €/person.  Next   sessions  in  May/June.  Contact  me  for  more  details. GRAMMAR   FOR  KIDS:   For   all   children   in   college   lost   with   their   French   grammar,   one   to   one   teaching  or   within   a   group   during   Easter  holidays,  get  them  ready  for  Brevet  and  lycée! And  of  course,  I  can  help  you   with  any  translation   from  English  to   French,   or   just   for   proof-­‐reading.   I'm   also   able   to   act   as   an   interpreter  for  any  appointments   you  may  have  since  I  understand   legal  terminology. Emilie  BAUDREZ Translation-­‐  Assistance  and  proof-­‐reading French  conversation  groups  for  all  levels South  79,  south  86  and  north  16. www.facebook.com/Easyfrenchlife 06.64.62.86.53

8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


April Fish

by Sue  Burgess

Vocabulary /  Vocabulaire  :

The 1st  April  is  the  day  for  pranks,  (des  canulars),  practical  jokes  (des   farces)   and   jokes   (des   blagues).     But   where  does   the  tradition   of   sticking  a  fish  to  someone's  back  (accrocher  des  poissons  dans  le  dos   des  gens)  and  shouting  'Poisson  d'Avril'  (April  Fish)  come  from?

un canular

prank/hoax/trick

une blague

joke/trick

une farce

practical joke

As ever,  the  first  of  April  does  not  only  have  one  origin  but  several   origins.     The  first  of  April  falls  twelve  days  after  the  Spring  equinoxe   (l'équinoxe  de  printemps).     Until  Charles  IXth  decided  otherwise  in   1564  with  the  Edict  of  Roussillon,  the  New  Year   had  begun  on  the  1st   April.    To   be  more   exact,  the   new   year   had  started  around   the  1st   April   and   not   necessarily  on   the   1st.     After   the   edict,   the   royal   subjects  who  were  against   the  change  decided  they  should  give  each   other  imitation  gifts  and  play  tricks  on  each  other  on  that  date.  

une histoire  drôle

a funny  story/joke/rib  tickler

une plaisanterie

funy comment/joke

la chute

punchline

éclater de  rire

to burst  out  laughing

mdr (‘text’  speak-­‐mort  de  rire)

LOL

rigoler

to giggle

un rire  énorme

belly laugh

un rire  jaune

forced laugh

rire de

to laugh  at/mock

quelle rigolade

what a  laugh

bien se  marrer

(informal) to  have  a  good  laugh

rire au  nez  de  quelqu’un

to laugh  in  someone’s  face

What about  the  fish?  I  hear   you  say.  If  the  reason  for  the  appearance   of  the  date  of  the  1st  April  seems  to  be  quite  clear,  the  reason  why  a   fish  is  used  is  less  so.     I  have  read  that  as  fishing  was  forbidden  at   this   time   of   year   because   it   was   the   season   for   reproduction,   some   people   had   the   idea   of   playing  jokes   on   fishermen   and   throwing   herrings  in  the  rivers  and  shouting  'Poisson  d'Avril'  (April  fish). Nowadays  people   do  not  throw  herrings  in  the  water   but  children   cut  out  paper  fish  and  stick  them  on  people's  backs.    Certain  people   see  in  the  fish  a  reference  to  the  Christian   ichtus.    For   others  the  Zodiac  sign  of  Pisces  is  the  last  sign  of  winter.     During   lent   one   could   not   eat   meat,  only   fish.     The   presents  that  people  gave  each  other  in  April  were  often  gifts  of  food   and  as  meat  had  been  forbidden  during  lent   it  was  easier  to   get  hold   of  fish  at  this  time,  so  people  gave  fish.    As  the  idea  of  playing  a  prank   developed  one  of  the  most  common   jokes  was  to  give  pretend  fish   (faux  poissons).    All  these  reasons  got  more  and  more  mixed  up  with   the  practice  of  Carnaval  traditions  (see  March  issue). The   custom   of   playing   jokes   can   be   found   in   a   lot   of   countries   although  the  fish  is   not   necessarily  associated  with   the  jokes.     We   Brits   have   April   Fool's  Day,  the  Germans  have  Aprilscherz  and   the   custom  can  also   be  found  in  the  Netherlands,  Belgium,  Canada,  Italy,   in  the  USA  and  even  in  Japan. In  France  as  elsewhere,  newspapers  and  radio   stations  often   join  in   the   fun   and   publish   stories  for   April  Fool's   day.     In  2013  RTL  radio   station  affirmed  that   Roselyne  Bachelot,  the  former  Health  minister,   was   going  to   take  part   in   the  making  of  the  next   James  Bond   film.   And  also  in  2013,  the  Post  Office  said  that   it  was  launching  an  offer  to   deliver  daily  papers  in  Auvergne  using   drones.  There   were  going  to   be  about  twenty  Air  Drone  Postal  (postal  drones).

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 9


Le Coin Français Apprendre le français: plaisir ou contrainte? par Françoise Tribot

Vivre dans   un   pays   sans   en   connaître   la   langue   me   paraît   être  une  aventure  impossible…

Musée de France, Parthenay Au pied   de   la   porte   Saint-­‐Jacques   et   au   sein   de   la   Maison   des   cultures   de   Pays,   le   musée   de   Parthenay   labellisé   «Musée   de   France»  vous  accueille  pour  une  découverte  attractive  de  la  ville. Vous   découvrirez   sur   deux   niveaux   une   collection   unique   de   faïence   de   Parthenay   du   XIXe   siècle   ainsi   qu’une   présentation   variée  des  découvertes  archéologiques. De   plus,   grâce   à   une   mise   en   scène   dynamique   assistée   par   ordinateur,  les  maquettes  restituent  l’évolution  de  Parthenay,  de  la   fin  du  Moyen  Age  à  l’époque  contemporaine. Plusieurs   expositions   temporaires   vous   sont   proposées   chaque   année.  

Pour cette  année:

Jusqu’au 1er  juin:  «La  Meilleraye  destin  d’une  famille   aux  XVIIe  et   XVIIIe  siècles»  une   exposition  où  vous   pouvez  découvrir   l’histoire   d’un  des  seigneurs  de  Parthenay. A  partir  du  15  juin  jusqu’au  7  septembre:  une  exposition   sur  l’art   contemporain   nommée   «Œuvres   croisés   -­‐   l’ordre   et   le   chaos».     Elle  présentera  les   œuvres  de  deux   peintres  du   salon  d’automne,   Michèle   Taupin   et   Simon   Bohbot.   Cette   exposition   mêlera   des   créations  opposées. Puis  l’année  se   clôtura  avec  une  exposition  pour  commémorer  le   centenaire   de   la   guerre   1914   -­‐   1918.     Celle-­‐ci   s’organisera   en   collaboration  avec  des  associations  anglophones.  Cette  exposition   sera  traduite  en  anglais.

C o m m e n t s ’o r g a n i s e r   e t   s’épanouir   dans   une   ville   ou   un   village  sans  pouvoir  communiquer   avec   les  voisins,   les  commerçants   et   toutes   les  personnes  qui   vous   entourent?    C’est  bien  là  une  des   questions   qui   vous   préoccupe   lorsque  vous  résidez  en  France. Mais  voilà,  apprendre  une  langue  n’est   pas  si  simple  et   le  français   n’est   pas   une   langue   des   plus   faciles   à   apprendre!     Pourtant,   beaucoup   d’entre   vous  se  lancent   dans  l’aventure  et   à   tout   âge.     Alors,  je   vous   tire   mon   chapeau  pour   les   efforts   que   vous   faites,   pour   apprendre!     D’autant   plus   que   nous   les   Français,   ne   vous   facilitons   pas   toujours   la   tâche   en   faisant   souvent   preuve   d’un   manque  de  patience  pour  essayer  de  vous  comprendre… Je  sais  de  quoi  je  parle  :  j’anime,  en   effet,  depuis  environ  1  an,  un   cours     de   conversation  française   auprès   d’un  petit  groupe  d’Anglais   à  Luché  sur  Brioux.    Je  me  rends  bien  compte  de  la  concentration   que  cela  demande.   De  plus,   je  participe  moi  aussi,  à  des  cours  de   conversation  anglaise.    Je  me  retrouve  donc  confrontée  aux  mêmes   difficultés  et  cela  me  permet  de  mieux  comprendre  la  situation. Ces   conversations   ont   pour   but,   avant   tout   de   permettre   d’améliorer  votre  français  ou   votre  anglais,  selon  le  cas,  mais  aussi   d’échanger   des   points   de   vue   et   des   informations   sur   nos   deux   cultures. Quant   à   moi,   j’ai   beaucoup   appris   sur   la   culture   anglaise.     Cet   échange  sur   les  manières  de  vivre   de   nos  deux   pays  me   rend   de   plus  en   plus   curieuse   et   j’ai  envie  de   comprendre  davantage   mes   voisins  «  d’Outre-­‐manche  ». En   tous   cas,   c’est   toujours   avec   plaisir   que   je   participe   à   ces   moments  d’échange  avec  vous.

Retrouvez le   musée   sur   Facebook   et   sur   le   site   de   la   ville   de   Parthenay  pour  suivre  ses  actualités  et  ses  rendez-­‐vous. Horaires  d’ouverture: Du  1er  janvier  au  31  décembre   ouvert  du  mercredi  au  vendredi de  10h  à  12h  et  de  14h  à  18h ouvert  le  dimanche  de  14h30  à  18h Ouverture  le  samedi  de  juin  à  septembre  de  14h30  à  18h Fermé  le  lundi,  mardi  le  samedi  (hors  période  estivale)  et  les   jours  fériés. Fermeture  annuelle  pendant  les  vacances  scolaires  de  Noël

Musée de  Parthenay 1  rue  de  la  Vau  Saint-­‐Jacques,  79200  PARTHENAY Tél:  05  49  94  90  27

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

ARTICLES.... Nous sommes toujours à la recherche de nouveaux articles à publier pour les éditions futures.

Avez-vous une expérience à partager? Quoi qu'il en soit, que ce soit long ou court, nous aimerions vous lire. Vous pouvez appeler Sarah au 05 49 70 26 21 pour proposer des idées ou les envoyer par courriel à: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr


A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres... FAYE l’ABESSE

by Sue  Burgess

Faye l’Abbesse   is   a   commune   of   1045   habitants   (January   2011   census).  The  commune  is  situated  11km  east  of  Bressuire   along   the   Bressuire   -­‐  Saint-­‐Amand-­‐Montrond  axis  which  goes  through  Airvault   and  Mirebeau.  The   ground  is  on  a  granitic  base  with  some  shistose   clay. The   commune   is   home   to   several   metallurgic   industries,   transport   companies   (tourism   and   freight).   There   are   a   lot   of   craftsmen;   painters  and  decorators,  electricians,  masons,  car   mechanics,  joiners,   as  well  as  agricultural  workers  and  landscape  gardeners. Surprisingly  for  a  small  commune  so  close  to  Bressuire  with  its  large   supermarkets,  the  local  shops  of  Faye  l'Abbesse  continue  to  prosper;   bakers,   butchers,   corner   shop,   hairdressers,   bar   and   restaurant.     There  is  an  old   peoples'   home,  a  doctor,  a  chemist,   a  post  office,   a   notaire,   a   mediatheque   and   after-­‐school   activities   for   youngsters.     There  are  also  a  lot  of  sports,  cultural  and  leisure  associations. The  future  is  secured  by  the  Nord  Deux  Sèvres  Hospital   which  will   be   built   just   3km   from   the   village   centre.     The  development   of   this   hospital   will   have   important   consequences   for   the   commune,   deviations   and   new   services,   and   especially   new   housing.   A  new   estate  of  four  houses  is  finished  and  another  with  twenty-­‐five  pieces   of  land  has  already  had  services  laid.   In   876   the   map   drawer   of   the   Abbey   of   Saint-­‐Jouin-­‐de-­‐Marnes   mentioned   Villa   Faya.   Later   we   can   find   Faye   l'Abbasse   in   1320   (Archives   of   Saint-­‐Loup)   and   Failabesse   in   1677.   The   priest   was   nominated  by  the  Abbess  of  Saint-­‐Jean-­‐de-­‐Bonneval.     The  town  and   its  outlying  buildings  belonged  to  the  Abbey  of  the  Thouars   area  for   many  years.    King  Lothaire  had  given  his  domain  of  Faye  to  the  abbey   in  973.    In  Faye  there  was  at  that  time  a  chapel   which  was  dedicated   to  St  Hilaire.   The   word   «Faye»   comes   from   «fagus»,   meaning   beech   wood.   «L'Abbesse»  was  added  later  because  the  commune  belonged  to  the   Abbess  of  Thouars. This   area   has   been   inhabited   since  prehistoric   times.  Some   stone   tools  dating   from  the   paleolithic   era   have   been   found   as   well   as   polished   stone   tools  from  the  neolithic  period.     The   dolmen  at   La   Fontenile  is  also  notable.

• The church   is   home  to  the   "marbre  de   Saint   Hilaire"   (St   Hilaire's   marble  slab)  which   according  to   the   legend   formed   the   altar   at   which  the  bishop  officiated  during   the  evangelisation  of  the  area.   Until  the  1960s  the  marble  slab  was  the  object  of  a  pilgrimage  and   touching  this  especially   during  Holy  Week,  was  supposed  to  heal   certain  illnesses. • The  war  memorial  between  the  old   peoples'  home  and  the  church   is  a  witness  to  the  huge   number  of  losses  particularly  during  the   First  World  War. • The   Dolmen   at   La   Fontenille.     Not   far   from  the   dolmen   is  the   Fadets'   Grotto   or   the   Farfadets'   Grotto.  The   Farfadets   were  the   souls  of  the  dead.  This  was  a  celtic  idea  that   there  was  a  world  of   little  people  who  represented  the  dead,  living  alongside  our  world.

FAYE SUR ARDIN Faye-­‐sur-­‐Ardin is   a   small   village   in   the   canton   of   Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐ l'Autize.    The  population   of  Faye-­‐sur-­‐Ardin   was  620  in  2009  and   the   inhabitants  of  Faye-­‐sur-­‐Ardin  are  called  «Fayais». Archaeological  digs  in  2008  showed  several  structures  which  could   be  attributed  to  the  Middle  Ages    (Xth  to  XVth  centuries)  and  ancient   roadways.  Different  tools  and  family  burial  plots  were  found.   A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE At  the  southern  end  of  the  village  is  St  Vivien's  church  dating  from   the  X111th  century.

Archaeological digs  from  1852   revealed   a  town   at   the  east   of   Faye   l'Abbesse.   This   Gallic-­‐Roman   town   was   built   on   a   plateau   which   dominates   the   Thouaret   not   far   from   the   Roman   road   Limonum   (Poitiers)   -­‐   Portus   Namnetum   (Nantes).  The  digs  revealed  a  number   of  objects  which  can  be  seen  in  the  museum  in  Niort.   The   Abbess   of   Saint-­‐Jean-­‐de-­‐Bonneval   founded   in   the   town,   at   a   place  which  was  called  «le  cloître»  (the  cloister),  a  womens'  priory.  In   133,   the   priory   belonged   to   Guillaume   Rossard,   the   prior   of   les   Aubiers,  who  gave  the  priory  to  the  Abbey  of  the  Trinity  of  Mauleon.     The  priory  had  a  large  barn  in  which,  until  the  revolution  in  1789,  all   the   tithed  wheat   owed  to  the  Abbey  of  Saint-­‐Jean-­‐de-­‐Thouars   was   stored.   A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE   • There  is  a   pleasant  walk  along   the  river   Thouaret  just  500  metres   from  the  village  centre.   • Saint   Hilaire   church   whose   bell   spire  dominates  the  village  (see   photo  top  right  of  page).    Photo  www.fayelabbesse.fr

Above: Inside St Vivien’s church. Photo: Symac, Wikimedia Commons

More A-Z of the Communes of Deux-Sèvres next month...

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 11


Hobbies... More from   local   writer   Alison   Morton...     Please   see   back   issues   of   ‘The   DSM’   if   you   would  like  to  see  previous  articles. In  the  writer’s  head What  really  goes  on  in  the  head   of  that  person   hunched   over   a   computer   grunting   and   tapping  away  at  their  latest  masterpiece?  Are   they   dreaming   up   new   plots,   imagining,   engaging  or   repelling   new  characters,   working   fiendish   traps   into   the   narrative?  Could  they  be   tasting   the   salt   air   as  they  surf   the   Californian  waves,  freezing  their  extremities  off  as  they  hack  up  the   Alps  behind  Hannibal’s   elephants  or   half-­‐dozing  as   their   water-­‐taxi   drifts   through   warm   lagoons?   Or   maybe   they’re   just   fantasising   about   chocolate  or  the  latest   car  on  Top   Gear.    Probably  some  or   none  of  this.  

So next  time  you  spot  a  writer  mumbling  to  him  or   herself,  looking   enraptured   or   depressed,   or   ticking   on   about   adverbs   or   apostrophes,  give  them  a  bit  of  slack. Happy  writing! Alison  Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wriFng  and  Romans  at  hHp://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  

In my  own  head My   first   set   of   characters   had   been   living   in   my   head   for   years   before   I   started   to   write   my   books.   Although   I   have   a   general   outline   of   each   plot,   the   detail   tends   to   evolve   as   I   go   along.   Sometimes,  the  characters  push  to  take  over   the   story,  but   I  have   a   little   talk  to  them  in   my   head,  we   agree   on   a   compromise  and   I   nudge  them  back  into  the  story. When   I   develop   them,   I   go   into   distracted   mode.   Travelling   anywhere   as  a  passenger   is   perfect   –   bags  of   hanging  around   time   when  I  can   work  out  scenes   in  my  head.    But  I  have  to  be  careful  to   keep  it   in  my  head;  a  concerned   face  came  into  view   once  in  Poitiers   airport   with   an   enquiry   about   whether   I   was   alright?   I’d   been   imagining  a  conversation,  well,  an  argument,  between  my  protagonist   and  her  partner  and  I’d  started  speaking  their  lines  out  loud…   Dealing  with  the  rest  of  the  world In  Real   Life,  writers  can  keep  up  quite  a  good  act  giving  the  impression   they  are  paying  attention.     It’s  only  when  you  find  six  trays  of   ‘special   offer’  pork  in  your  supermarket  trolley  and  no  milk  you  realise  you  lost   concentration  again  and  slipped  back  into  the  imaginary  world. Writers  become  obsessed  about  words  and   can   become  irrational   at   the   sight   (please,   not   ‘site’!)   of   the   grocer’s   apostrophe   for   plurals,  ‘less’  instead  of  ‘fewer’  and  ‘your’  instead  of  ‘you’re’.     Their   mouths   pucker   as   if   they’ve   eaten   too   many  Twiglets,   their   eyes   narrow  and  all  around  should  brace  for  a  grammar  lesson. No  pressure?   Today’s   publishing   world   provides   additional   pressure   -­‐   the   constant   need   to   be   doing;   writing,   blogging,   editing,   research,   promoting,  reviewing.    Which  of  these  takes  priority?    We  all  know   the   answer  should   be  writing,  but   if  potential  readers  don’t   know   about   the   book,  it   won’t   get   read.     Unless  the   writer   visits   other   blogs,  tweets,   posts  on   Facebook,   gives  talks   and   public   signings   nobody  will   know.  So   the   poor   writer   dithers  about   which   to  do   next   and  ends  up  totally  distracted,   hands   grasping  his  or  her   head  and   emitting  a  silent  scream. But   the   very   worst   are   the   twin   horrors   that   buzz   around   in   any   writer’s   head.     Firstly,   a   lack   of   confidence   in   their   work   “Am   I   churning  out   rubbish   or   is  there  a   p o s s i b i l i t y   t h a t   s o m e b o d y,   somewhere   will   love   my   work?”   Secondly,   guilt   about   whether   writing  is  a   proper   job   or  frittering   of  precious  time.   12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

DO YOU LOVE SINGING? LES CHANTERELLES  AND  LA  CHORALE  DU  RETAIL  Invite  you   to   a   free  concert  in  Coulon  Church,  Saturday  5th  April  at  8.30pm.   The   Coulon   women’s   choir   meets   Tuesday   evenings   for   the   pleasure   of   singing.     You   don’t   need   to   be   an   accomplished   singer   to   join   in   and   discover   a   new   gift   of   making   music,   with   the   help   of   our   talented   choirmaster.   We   all   enjoy   the   rehearsals   with   new   found   friends.   French,   Portuguese,   English   and   Australian  women  join   forces  to  sing  a   wide   range   of   pieces   -­‐   varied   international   songs   in   the   dialects  of   France,  Italian,  English  Corsican,  Bulgarian  or  Japanese. We   hope   you  will   enjoy   our   concert   and   feel   inspired  to   join   our   choir.   Contact   Marylyn   Kusmirek   on   05   49   76   75   45   or   email:   kusmirek@orange.fr


by Josie Bounds

Flying Experience... If you   are   a   'budding  Biggles'   or   always   wanted   to   be  one   of   'Those  magnificent   men   (or   women)  in   their   flying  machines',   CLE  has  a  great  opportunity  for  you.....   We   have  arranged   a  special   flying   experience   day  at   Limoges   airport   giving   members   a   total   of   two   hours   in   the   air   and   allowing  them  to  get  their  hands  on  the  controls  for  45  minutes.     The   dates  for   this   exciting  opportunity  will   be   late   April/early   May.  Two   hours  in   the   air   would   normally  cost   400€,  but   the   actual  cost   to   CLE  members  will  be  just  100€  per  person.    So  you   will  get  two  hours  flying  at  less  than  one  third  the   cost.  Barbeque  lunch  is  included. To  find  out  more  about  CLE,  see  our  entry  in  the   Clubs  &  Associations  section  on  P.14

During March   it   has   been   all   systems   go   preparing   for   the   forthcoming   production   of   ‘Entertaining   Angels’   written   by   Richard  Everett.     As  I  have  said  before,  the  play  is  both  funny  and   thought   provoking   and   the   actors   have   been   rehearsing   their   parts   with   great   enthusiasm.  But   it   takes  more  than   actors  to   make   a   great   performance.     Sue   Daniels   has   carried   out   the   wonderful   stage   and   art   design   with   her   usual   aplomb   and   members   of   The  Art   Scene  have   been   involved   in  assisting   her   with  the  artwork.    In  addition  to  this,  Robin  Plaatsman  has  lead   a   team   in   the   construction   of   the  set   which   will   include  a   small   waterfall.    So  if  you   like  to  sit  on  the  front  row,  bring  your  wellies   just  in  case  -­‐  only  joking! The   show   will   be   performed   at   Le   Petit   Theatre,  Secondigny   with  an  evening  performance  at  7.30pm  on  Friday  the  25th  April   and  at  2pm  and  7.30pm  on  Saturday  the  26th  April  2014.     Tickets  can  be  booked  via  email  on  reaction.tickets@yahoo.fr or  by  telephone,  please  ring  Maureen  Murdoch  on  05  49  77  23  54

YOUR Book Reviews... Thank   you   to   Samantha   Louise   Williams   for   this  month’s  book  review... ‘Glass Half Full, Our Australian Adventure’ by Sarah Jane Butfield

I have  just  finished  reading  this  book  and   felt  compelled   to  share  it   as   I  found  the  story  so  moving.    This   amazingly  honest  and  heart-­‐ warming  book  shares  the  challenges  and  heart-­‐rending  events  that   the  writer  and  her  family  have  faced  whilst  pursuing  their  dream  of   a  new  life  in  Australia.    Sarah  Jane’s  ability  to  turn  these  events  into   a   positive   experience   with   her   determination   and   ‘can   do’   approach  to  life  is  admirable.   The  book  is  written  in  such  a  way  that   it  made  me  feel  so  involved   and   close  to   her   situations  and   experiences,  especially  with   her   brilliant   descriptions.   I  felt   I  had   witnessed  it   with  her   first  hand   and  travelled  this  journey  with   Sarah  Jane  and   her  family.    She  has   a   very   insightful   writing   style,   which   brings   her   emotions   and   challenges  to  life.   As  challenging  life  events  look  set  to  destroy  their  chance  of  a  new   life   in   Australia   after   emigrating   from   Cornwall,  UK,  this   couple   keeps   picking   themselves   up   and   moving   forward   with   the   happiness  of  their  family  a  prime  focus.    A  must  read  for  those  who   have   ever   thought   about   seeking   a   new   life   in   Australia   or   anywhere   really,   as   it   focuses   on   many   issues   experienced   by   expats.   An   incredibly   well   written   book,   full   of   emotion,   and   very   descriptive.    I  do  look  forward  to  the  next   chapter  in  her   life,  which   I  believe  will  be  based  in  South  West  France.

The Keynotes   ensemble  performed   at   the   AGM   of   the   Credit   Mutuel   Bank   and   received   a   standing   ova†on   from   the   audience.  But  the  star  of  the  show  was  our   musical   director   Margaret   Round   who   sang  a  solo,   in   French,   having  the  audience   clapping  wildly  and  joining   in   singing   the   song.     Margaret   quite  rightly  received  the  first  standing  ova†on   of  the   evening   and  I  do  believe  one  or  two  people  wanted  her   autograph   aˆer   the   performance.   Ann   Milton   once   again   accompanied   Margaret   and   the   Keynotes   throughout   the   performance  with  her  usual  amazing  talent.    Many  people   can   play   the   piano   but   it   takes   a   special   talent   to   be   an   accompanist.   We   all   had   a   great   †me   and   mixed   with   the   audience  aˆer   the  business  side  of  the  evening   was  concluded   and  appreciated  the  delicious  refreshments.

The Art  Scene

The art  group   is  growing  almost  weekly  with  a  regular  20  people   attending  every   Friday.     The  new   programme   for   April   will   be   displayed  on   the  website  as  usual  and  will   cover  a  wide  range  of   subjects   which   I   hope   will   keep   everyone  happy. In  addition  to  the  normal  art   group  on     Friday   mornings,   we   have   been   involved  in  painting   scenery   and   had   a   little   competition   to   see   who   could   design   the   best   programme   cover.     You’ll  see  who  won  when  you   come  to   the  show. Don’t   forget,   fundraising   for   Cancer   Research   organisations   through   the  sale  of  our   Calendar   Girls   calendar   will   continue   at   the  show.    We  are  confident  that  with  your   support  we  will  reach   our  target  of  10,000€. Information  on  Reaction  performances,  past  and  future,  Keynote   performances  and   The   Art   Scene  meetings  and   projects  can   be   seen  on  www.reactiontheatre.fr,  but  if  you  don’t  have  access  to   a  computer  call  me,  John  Blair,  on  05  49  63  23  50.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 13


Clubs & Associations... GARDENING CLUB

Le Tallud Boules en bois

2nd Sunday Motorcycle Club

Les Amis Solitaires

Come and  join  us  for   a   bike   ride,  or  just  a  cup  of  coffee  and   a   chat,   with   bike-­‐minded   people.    As  the  name   suggests,   wet  meet  on  the   2nd  Sunday   of  every   month.     New  members  are  always  welcome.     For  more  information,  visit  our  web-­‐site.  www.2ndsundayclub.fr

We are   a   group  of   people  living  alone   in  France.     We   meet  up  for   coffee   mornings   from   11am,   every   2nd   &   4th   Thursday   at   The   Lemon  Tree  in  Sauzé  Vaussais.    More  details  from  Gwen  on   05  49  87  91  79  or  email  gwanshep@gmail.com

The Harmonics Singing Group

Rubber Bridge

We meet  every  third  Tuesday  of  the  month,  14.30  with  free  tea/ coffee  &  biscuits  at  Le  Bon  Vertoef,  28  Grand  Rue,  79110  TILLOU.     (nr  Chef-­‐  Boutonne).    Everyone  welcome  for  garden  talk!     For  further  information  Mike  Curtis    05  46  33  66  17  (eves)

Based in  the   Salle   d’Annexe   in   Civray.     We   meet  each   Wednesday   2pm-­‐4pm.   No   experience   necessary,   just   a   willingness   and   commitment   to   learn.     We   sing   all   sorts   of   music   in   several   languages.  Contact:  Dave  Lee:  05  49  87  53  93  /  dave.lee@cegetel.net

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

Cancer Support aims to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer in the DeuxSèvres. Contact June Searchfield on 05 49 64 59 96. Email: junesearchfield@gmail.com

Capella Group If you  enjoy  singing  and  would  be  interested  in  starting  a  close-­‐ harmony  group  near  Chef-­‐Boutonne,  please  get  in  touch!  Email  me,   Christine  for  further  information:  chezloubigne@aol.com

Hypnotherapy Slimming Group (Near Bressuire) Slimming group  including  Hypnotherapy,  Metabolic,   lymphatic  and  dietary  ideas  to  let  go  of  that  weight   once  and  for  all  !      Call  Pamela  Irving  Dip  MHCAH  on   05  49  65  55  25  or  e  mail  irving.philip@wanadoo.fr

BOOK Group...

meeting 2nd Thursday of the month from 3pm at Christies Tea Room & Bookshop, Gençay, 86160. Take a look at the Book Group page on the website: www.chezchristies.com for more information.

FRANGLAIS at Thouars

We are  a  French-­‐English  speaking  group  who  meet  at  Centre-­‐Socio-­‐ Culturel,  Anne  Desrays,  Thouars  on  Wednesdays  7.30pm  –  9.30pm.   We  welcome  English  speakers  who  want  to  improve  their  French.   Come  along  or  contact  jcbed@orange.fr  for  more  information.

Book Club  Thouars.     Do  you  enjoy  reading  a  cracking  story?  And  talking  to   others  about   it?    Do  you  live  in  north  79,  south  49  or  north  86?    Come  along  to   our  book  club.   Contact  Alison  Morton  at  info@bookclubthouars.fr  for  details. ALL GIRLS TOGETHER Calling  girls  18-­‐80  for  fun,  laughter  &  support.    We  meet  alternate   Wednesdays  at  Fontenille,  2-­‐5pm.  Ring  Viv  for  further   information:  05  49  27  51  98.    All  Welcome. 9/4:  Jewellery  Sale  &  23/4  Coffee,  chat  &  Restaurant  Review.

14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

are offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   (16h-­‐18h)   from   April   to   September   at   the   parc   de   loisirs,   Le   Tallud.     Everyone   welcome.   Details  from   Rosemary  Williamson   via  email:  rw.williamson@orange.fr

Any Bridge  players  interested  in  making  up  an  informal   occasional  4?    Email  David  Rowe:   djfrowe@hotmail.com  or  phone  05  49  63  26  57.

ARE YOU A MODEL RAILWAY ENTHUSIAST?

If so,  join  a  group  of  like-­‐minded  friendly  modellers  who  meet  on  a   monthly  basis  to  visit  member’s  layouts  and  swap   information.  If  you  are  interested  please  contact   Gerry  Riley  for  more  information  on  05  49  63  34  01.

We meet  twice  a  month  -­‐  one  for  workshops  and   the  other  for  informal  chats  and  a  light-­‐hearted   competition  entry.  If  you  would  like  to  join  us,   visit  our  website www.ttlphotographygroup.com

Alone in France?

We are  a  group  of  people  living  alone  in  the  l'Absie  area  who  meet  on   the   1st   and   3rd   Tuesdays   at   11am   for   coffee   at   the   Pause!   café   in   l’Absie.    Our  lunches  are  at  different  venues  each  month.      A  warm   welcome  awaits  you.    More  details  from  Frank  05  49  69  80  47.

CLE helps  you  unlock  the  secrets  to  a  happy  and  comfortable   lifestyle  in  France.  We  provide  information  and  organise   workshops,  visits  and  charity  events,  enabling  members  to   make  new  friends  in  the  ex-­‐patriot  and  French  communities. www.cle-­‐france.com.    Tel:  05  49  87  19  85

Combined Services Support Group - CSSG

Friendly group  of  ex-­‐service  personnel  who  meet  regularly  to   organise  various  fundraising  events  throughout  the  year.    All   welcome.    Contact  by  email:  cssgroup@outlook.com

Clubs & Associations Submission Guidelines Entries onto this page are free of charge for all Clubs and Associations. Please follow the guidelines below when sending your entry to us. Title of entry + 40 words (maximum - including contact details). Any logos can be supplied and will be added if space is available. Please also confirm frequency of entry: monthly, bimonthly or quarterly.


Health, Beauty & Fitness... Abbey teaching at Venus Rose Yoga Sanctuary situated at the foot of The Melusine Tour in Vouvant.

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” Yoga and  the  Art  of  Staying  Young

Kahil Gibran Yoga

'Temple Dancer  Eyes'

Natural Facelift... Face  Yoga  is  the  new  beauty  trend   of  the  moment.    Now   favoured   by  many  as  a  compliment   to   their   beauty  regime   to  tighten,   tone   and   combat   any  unwanted   signs   of   ageing.     It   is  natural   and,   of   course,  it's  free... When  a  muscle  'works',  it  becomes  firmer   and  when  a  muscle  has   something   to   'work   against',   as   in   resistance   training,   then   it   becomes  stronger. The  muscles  in  your  face  may  be  much  smaller,  even   so,  just  like  all   the  other  muscles  in  your  body,  they  need  to  be  exercised  in  order   to  remain  fit,  healthy  and  youthful. These  ancient  beauty  methods  stem  from  the  Ayurveda,  a  Sanskrit   word  meaning  'The  Wisdom  for   a  Long,  Healthy  Life'  and  they  are   as  relevant  today  as  they  were  then. Within  the  Face  Yoga  sequence  I  practise  with   my  students  at   the   Venus   Rose   Yoga   Sanctuary,   the   facial   training   and   meditative   calming  techniques  gain  quick  visible  results. Your  facial  muscles  are  trained  to  help  lift  the  skin  so  that  areas  of   the  face  that  are  starting  to  sag  are  gently  firmed.   Lines   and   wrinkles   are   softened,   foreheads   are   smoothed   and   complexions  glow.

SECRETS

This beautifully   simple   movement   exercises   the   muscles   around   the   eyes,   toning,   healing,   preventing   sagging,  drooping  and  softening  lines  and  crow's  feet... Firstly,   clap   your   hands   together   and   rub   vigorously   to   create   heat... Bring  your   hands   up   to  your   face   and  gently  warm  the   delicate   skin  around  the  eyes... Place  your  hands  in  prayer  pose  above  your  head... Without   moving  the  head  or   body  dart   your   eyes   across  to   the   left   and   hold   for   a  moment,  then  return  to  centre,  and   then  to   the  right  and  hold  for  a  moment... Repeat   three  times  at   first  and  then  gently  build   up  to  ten  times   with  practice... Close  your  eyes... Place  your  hands  in  your  lap  and  rest... Breathing  slowly  and  smoothly  in  and  out  of  your  nose... Breath  as  smooth  as  silk... And  smile  gently  like  the  Buddha... Because  the   older   we  get,  the  more  we  know,  and   the  more  we   know,  the  more  beautiful  we  become... When   you   are   ready  and   simply  in   your   own   time,   open   your   eyes... Namaste

Regular Group   and   Private   Classes   are   held   at   Venus   Rose   from  Monday  to   Saturday.    Morning  Class:  11.30am-­‐1.00pm   and  Afternoon  Class:  2.00pm-­‐3.30pm. Limited  places  available  so  please  call  and  book. For  daily  inspiration  follow  me  on  my  new  blog:  ‘Beauty  Is  The   Way’:   Forthewayisbeautiful@blogspot.fr  and   make  it   part   of   your  new  beauty  regime!    Siret  No.  798-­‐232-­‐781  00012 Call  Venus  Rose  Yoga:  06  35  15  60  60 Email:  amaradeva@thevenusyogaexperience.com Website:  www.  thevenusyogaexperience.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 15


Baking and  Faking by Claire Jones

Whilst enjoying   the   recent   sunshine,   lathering   on   Factor   50,   I   was   reminded   to   reinforce   the   benefits   of   a   good   sun   protection  factor.     Our   skin   is   susceptible   all   year   round   (yes,   even   on   those   grey,  rainy  days   of   winter)   to   damage  from   UVA  and  UVB  rays.     A  simple  way  to   remember   both   types  of  UV  is  to  think  of  B  for   ‘burning’  and  A  for   ‘ageing’,  neither   of  which  is  good  news  for  our  delicate  skin.     During  the  winter   you   should  be  reaching  for   an  SPF30  every   day   and   in   the  summer,  at   least   an  SPF50  to  help   stave  off   these  two   skin  destroyers.     It’s  an   oldie   but   a   goodie,   remember   ‘Slip,  Slap,   Slop’.      Slip  on  sunglasses,    Slap  on  a  hat,    Slop  on  sun  cream. For   fair   skin   that   burns   easily,   use   a   50+   sun   factor   for   better   protection.     However,  avoiding   the   sun  altogether   may  well   be   your   best  bet.     With  this  in  mind,  and  if   you   still  want  to  look  like   you   do  actually   live  in  sunny  South  West  France,  faking  it  is  the  way  forward.    There   are  many  self-­‐tanning  products  on  the  market.    Choose  to   apply  it   yourself  or  visit  a  salon   for  a  spray  tan.     In  my  treatment  room  the   demand  for  pre-­‐summer  spray  tans  and  lash  extensions  has  already   begun.    Faking  it  is  in! Whether   you  decide  to  fake  tan   at  home  or  in  a  salon,  remember   to   prepare  your   skin   well  beforehand   to   avoid  streaks  and  colour   clumping.   Exfoliate   really   well,   paying   particular   attention   to   notoriously  dry  areas   (knees,   elbows,  hands  and   ankles).     Ensure   that   your   skin  is  perfectly  dry,  free   from  perfume,  deodorant   and   body/face   creams   as   these   can   affect   the   finish.     A   little   bit   of   moisturiser   between  toes,  fingers   and  on   the   drier   parts   prior   to   application   will   help   alleviate   the   build-­‐up   of   product   in   these   areas,  avoiding  that  ‘Look  at  me,  I’ve  faked  it’  look!     The  more  expensive  your  tan  solution,  the  better,  as  price  generally   reflects  the  manufacturer’s   ongoing  product   development.     More   product   development   equals   a   safer,  easier   and   more   fool   proof   and  natural  looking   result.     Should  you  run  into  problems  post-­‐tan   grab  half   a  fresh   lemon  and   gently  rub  over  the  problem   area  to   loosen   the   colour.     In   addition,  remember   to   use  gloves,  if   self-­‐ applying,   to   avoid   ‘tangoed’   palms.     If   you   do   forget,   a   grainy   toothpaste  rubbed  into  palms  will  help  dislodge  some  staining.     Whichever  method  you  choose,  take  care!

16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

What YOGA Can Do For You I moved  to  a   small  picturesque  village  on  the  Vendée/Deux-­‐Sèvres   border  last  year.    I’m  a  mum  of  3  and  also  a  practising,  qualified  and   insured  yoga  teacher. I’m  not  a  body  contortionist  or  a  peace  loving  hippie  and  the  yoga  I   offer  is  practical,  realistic  and  open  to  all.   “Yoga  helps  to  build  strength,  improve  posture,  and  ease  away  the   aches  and   pains  increasing  fitness  and  a  sense  of  wellbeing.  I  know   that   people   are  feeling  the   benefit   because  they  tell  me  and   they   come  back!”

YOGA Explained

In it’s  most   simple  form  YOGA   is  the  practise  of  posture  or  asana   with  breathe.   Asanas  exercise   our   internal   bodies  and   major   organs,   and  tones   and   strengthens   our   spine  and   nervous  system.  Concentrating   on   breathe   with   asana  increases  our  lung  capacity  and  oxygen   levels.   Regular   YOGA  practise  improves  the  functioning  of  all  the  systems   of  the  body  by  encouraging  our  bodies  to  work  as  one. When  our   physical   bodies  feel   healthier,  our   minds   feel   healthier.   Our  bodies  become  stronger,  fitter  and  more  flexible  and  our  minds   are  more  focused,  balanced  and  calmer.

Is YOGA  suitable  for  me?

“my knees  hurt”,  “I’m  not  flexible”   With  so  many  asanas  there  are  always  ones  open  to  you.  YOGA  is   about   working   with   what   you   have,   and   working   around   the   obstacles.  For  many,  as  we   become  older   YOGA  is  used  as  a  tool  to   maintain  health  and  mobility. I’m   currently  working  with   people  in   their   30’s  to   their   70’s.  My  beginner   classes   are   planned   to   be  gentle,   but   challenging.   I  also   hold   Ashtanga  YOGA   classes   for  people  with  experience.

Class  Times  and  Prices:

Monday  afternoons  at  Fomperron        Tuesday,  Thursday  and  Friday  mornings  in  Marillet.   To  come  and  try  a  class  with  no  obligation  contact  Clare 02  51  69  71  46  ~  email  clare@yoga-­‐vendee.com

10€ 8€


With spring  here,  now  is  a  great   time   to   prepare   your   feet   and   show   off   your   toes   in   those   shoes   after   being   hidden   away   for  so  long. Our   feet   often  get   neglected  in   so  many  ways,  yet  they  are  such   an   important   part   of   our   body   and  support  us  every  day.    By  allowing  some  time  to  care  for  them   now   you   will   benefit   from   having  lovely,   refreshed   smooth   skin   ready   for   those   summer   months   ahead.  Be   proud   of   your   feet!     Enjoying   regular   professional   treatments   can   really   benefit   your   feet,  nails  and  skin,  keeping  them  strong,  healthy  and  looking  great. So   why   not   visit   the  salon   for   an   invigorating   luxury   pedicure  in   time   for   spring   and   summer?   Enjoy  a  wonderful   skin   exfoliation   with  a  nourishing  foot   massage   to   help   with   circulation,  with   the   added   treat   of   a   heat   therapy   to   help   banish   those  dry   cracked   heels,  all  topped   off  with  a  refreshing  or  bright  OPI  nail  colour.    Pick   your   colour   from  the   fabulous   oranges   to   the  bright   pinks  tones,   you   will   be   really  ready   to   expose   your   newly   treated   summer   ready  feet. Home   care  is   equally   important   to   maintain  your   healthy   feet   in   between   salon   visits.   After   showering   remember   when   putting   your  body  lotion   on   include  your  feet  and  especially  your  heels  too,   often  so  forgotten  and  remember  to  chat  with   your  nail  technician   about   ways  you   can  look  after  your  feet  yourself   at  home  and  what   essentials  you  need. With  my   professional   and   expert   knowledge   coupled   with   a  real   passion  for  nail   care,  and  keeping  up  to  date  with  the  latest  colours   and   trends,   I   offer   a   full   range   of   OPI   nail   services   as   well   as   retailing   a   wide   range   of   OPI   products,   which   I   can   guide   you   through  to  ensure  a  perfect   choice  for  you   to   use  yourself,  or  as   a   special  gift  for  someone.

www.corbisimages.com

So why   not   combine   your   next   hair   appointment   with   a   complimenting  manicure  and/or  pedicure?  Or  if  you  prefer,  visit  for   the   individual  service.     Taking  time  to   look  and  feel   great  is  a  real   must,  so  with  nail  and  hair   services  all  combined  in  our  professional   salon,   why   not   really   experience   the   difference   and   be   totally   pampered?

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 17


5 Steps to Free Yourself from Your Limiting Beliefs By Sue George Life and Business Coach (PgCert)

Do you  want  to  make  changes  in  your  life? Your   decision   making   can   be   effected   by   your   own   beliefs   and   values,  which  could  hold  you  back. Here  are  my  5  steps  to  free  yourself  from  your  own  limits.

1.

What are  limiting  beliefs?    We  all  have  labels  about  ourselves  that   we  believe  to  be  true  reflections  of  our   personality  or  character.     They   are  given   to   us   by  our  parents,  teachers  and   peer   groups.     They  can   serve  us  well.     Over  time  we  accept   these  labels  as  fact   and   act   out   these   behaviours   that   we   believe   define   us,   we   become  the  person  that  other  people  have  labelled.

your   own  beliefs  and   values.      Write   down  every  value   2. Identify and   belief   that   you   hold   about   yourself.  Your   list   might   be:   I'm  

creative, bossy,   a   good   listener,   shy,   kind,   confident,   useless,     scatty,  organised  etc.

3.

4.

How valid  are  these  beliefs  and  values?    Write  by  each  one  if  they   reflect  the  true  you,  positive  or  negative.  Are  they  really  who  you   are  now   or   who  you   want   to   be?     How   relevant   is   a  label   you   were   given  by  your   teacher  at  school  or  your  first   boss?  Highlight   on  your  list  each  label  that  you  feel  no  longer  serves  you.     Are   you   living  your   life   by  someone   else's   beliefs   and   values?     Are  you  really  bossy  or   shy  or  have  you  learnt  to  overcome  those   old   behaviours?     Can   you   see   the   positives   in   some   of   your   behaviour   traits?     How  you  could  use  them  to   your   advantage?     Do   you   have   a   glass   ceiling   imposed   upon   you   by   others   that   stops  you  moving  forward?

a line  in  the  sand  and  redefine  who  you  really  are.     The  only   5. Draw   person  you  have  control  over  is  yourself  so  you  can  give  yourself  

permission to   let   go  of   any  old   and  outdated  ideas,   values  and   beliefs.     Choose   from  your   list  the  values  that   define  you  at  your   very  best   and   focus  on   your   positive  attributes.    Now  work  out   what   you   want   to   achieve   from   this   more   positive   view   of   yourself   and  see  how  much  easier  the  results  will   flow  to  the  real   you.

Embrace your   true   self   and   allow   your  unique   set   of   skills   and   talents  to  shine.

Small B/W Advert... only 30€

18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

by Samantha Matthews

For me,   one   of   the   things   I   absolutely   love,   is   seeing   full,   thick,   healthy  looking  lashes. Something  I  learned  years  ago  in  my  training  was  that  vitamin   B  and   Biotin  are  fantastic   in  aiding  both  your   hair   and   eyelashes  to  grow   thicker  and  quicker.     If  you  have  a  deficiency  of   Biotin  this  can  make   your   eyelashes  fall   out.     So   make   sure   you   are   eating  things   like   salmon,  bananas,  carrots  and   cauliflower   regularly.     This   will   help   keep  your  intake  up  and  keep  those  lashes  thick. Mascara   is   one   of   the   best   products   to   thicken   and   darken   your   lashes.     This   product   has   been  around  for  so  many  years  and   the   technology  just  keeps  on  improving! If   you   have   sensitive   eyes,   select   a   hypo-­‐allergenic   mascara,   this   product  is  also  amazing  for   contact  lens  users,  and  is  really  easy  to   remove. Waterproof   mascara  is  fab   if   you   are   prone  to   smudging   or   have   watery  eyes. And   if   you   want   super-­‐thick  lashes  choose   a   volumising  mascara   and  apply  a  few  coats.    Wiggle  the  brush  at  the  base  of  the  lashes  as   that  is  where  you  want  the  most  of  the  product. Look  after  your  lashes  by  removing  your  mascara  every  night.   Also  try  to  avoid  individual  fake  lashes.     These  are  ok  from  time  to   time  but  if  not  applied  correctly  they  can  seriously  damage  the  root   of  the  lash.     Another  tip  for  super  full  lashes  is  to  apply  strip  lashes.     These  just  sit  gently  on  the  lash.      Also  the  glue  is  less  evasive. I   look   forward   to   seeing   all   those   beautiful   thick   natural   lashes   around  town!


Our Furry Friends... Annus Horribilis

by Nigel Franks, NALA

According to  legend,  a  Chinese  Emperor  asked  his  philosophers  for   a   concept  that   would  make  him  happy  when   he  was  sad  and  sad   when  he  was  happy.    After  much   reflection  they  replied  with   “ This   too   will   pass”.     It   seemed   rather   appropriate   when   we   visited   another   association   for   the   protection   of   animals   in   the   Vendée   called  Vivre  et  Laisser  Vivre,  in  St.  Jean  de  Monts. It  is  run  by  Gabriella  Baran  and  her  husband   Eric,  who   are  currently   looking  after  87  cats.     A  large  number  share  the   house  with   them,   whilst   the  rest  live  in  a  special  enclosed  area  attached  to  the  house.   In   January  they   had   a   chimney   fire   which   rendered   most   of   the   house   uninhabitable.     Luckily  there   were   no   injuries,   although   a   number   of   cats   suffered   from   smoke   inhalation   but   have   since   recovered. The  enclosure  for  the  cats  was  undamaged,  but  required  extending   to   accommodate  the  cats  that  used  to  live  in  the  house.    Gabriella   launched  an   appeal   for   aid  and   was   offered   at  a  very  reasonable   price   a   small   portacabin   which   was   attached   to   the   enclosure   solving  that   problem.     It   took  over   6   weeks   for   the   house  to   be   made  watertight,  so   they  had   to  create  an   ad-­‐hoc  kitchen  in   the   bathroom.  During  that   period   not   only  did   their   central   heating   give  up  the  ghost,  but   their  clothes  dryer  did  as  well.     I  can  tell  you   that  when  you  have  87  cats,  a  clothes  dryer  is  not  a  luxury. They  seemed   in   good   spirits  when   we  saw  them  and   were   joking   that   after   less  than  three  months  this  is   already  the  worst  year   of   their  lives.    Although  it  was  clear  to  us  that  they  need  some  help,  as   they   made   an   appeal   for   help   directly   after   the   fire,   they   are   reluctant   to   make  another   appeal.     So  we   would  like  to  make   an   appeal   on  their  behalf.    Like  NALA,  their  association  is  recognised  as   being  of   “general   interest”,  so   they   can   issue   the   famous   “recu   fiscal”  that  makes  donations   tax  deductible  (66%  up  to  a  maximum   of   20%   of   your   taxable   income).   If   you   would   like   to   make   a   donation   to   them,   it   is   possible   by   PayPal   on   their   website   www.vivre-­‐et-­‐laisser-­‐vivre.com   faire   un   don   or   you   can   send   a   cheque   to   them   at   Asso   Vivre   et   Laisser   Vivre,   La   Petite   Vigne,   Route  de  Beauvoir  ,  85160  St  Jean  De  Monts.

Tina Hatcher

And while  I'm  on  the  subject  of  appealing,  what  do  you  think  about   this  little  cutie  who's  up  for  adoption...  ?

Tiny Tot... A   beautiful   male   black   with   siamese   roots,   10   months  old.

Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07 70  31  54  59

Email: nala85480@hotmail.com www.nosamislesanimaux.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 19


HUGGY -­‐  Isn’t  he  handsome? HUGGY  is  certainly  a   stunning   looking   boy.   18   months   old,   with   a   lovely,   affectionate   nature,   he   is   non-­‐aggressive   and   loves   everybody   and   everything!   He   gets   on   well   with  people,  dogs  and  cats.

If you   know  of   an  animal  in  need   in  the  l'Absie  area   or   if  you   would  like  more  information   about   Mayday  Mes  Amis  please   email:  jill.zub@sky.com HOOF (Horse Orientated Open Forum)

HUGGY is   house-­‐trained,   non-­‐ barking   and   doesn't   demand   attention,  he's  happy  to  sleep   by  your  side  or   goes  to  his  bed  when   told.     He  is  obedient  and  walks  well   on  the  lead  and  to   heel.    His   general  training  is  still  ongoing  and  will  need  to  continue. Ideally   he   would   suit   a   family   or   couple   who   already   have   a   medium/large  breed  of   dog,  perhaps  who  is  slightly  older  or  with   a   calm  nature.    HUGGY's  foster  family  have  been  working  hard  with   him  on  his  separation  anxiety  and  although  it  is  improving  there  is   still  quite  a  long  way  to  go  -­‐  he  does  not  like   being  left   alone  but  if   he's  in  the  company  of  another  dog  he  settles  happily.    In  the  car  he   requires   supervision   as  he  gets  stressed  and   much  prefers  to   have   someone  in  the  back  with  him  -­‐  back-­‐seat  drivers  please  note!! Unfortunately,  although  HUGGY  is  only  18  months  old  he  has  just   been   diagnosed   with   Hip   Dysplasia   in   both   hips   and   will   need   operating  on  in  3-­‐4  years   time  as  he  is  presently  too  young.    Orfée   are  willing  to  contribute  towards  these  costs  and  it  will  be  discussed   further  upon  adoption.    The  condition  is  currently  being  managed  by   medication  and   diet   and   his  foster  family  have  excelled  themselves   at  researching  exactly  what  supplements   he  needs  and  where  they   can   be  bought.     They   have  produced   a  very   comprehensive  and   detailed   'management   package'   outlining   the   effects   of   each   supplement,   dosages   required   together   with   a   cost   comparison   analysis.    Strangely  enough  their  chart   shows  that   it   is   just   as  cost   effective  to  maintain  HUGGY  on  his   special  diet  as  it  would  be   to   feed  a  'normal'  dog!! Despite   his   condition   HUGGY   leads   a   very   normal   life.   He   has   been   microchipped,   neutered  and  his  vaccinations   are  up-­‐to-­‐date.   If   you   would   like   more   information   about   HUGGY  please  contact   Mary  on  05  49   50   69   41  or  by  email:  orfeeinenglish2@gmail.com www.orfeeinenglish2.wix.com/orfeeinenglish

URGENT APPEAL   on   behalf  of   INGO,   a   very   friendly,   English   owned   yellow   Labrador   of   9   years  old. INGO’s   English   owner   died   recently  in  tragic  circumstances   but   thank’s   to  the  intervention   of  the  SPA  Mornac,  INGO  and  7   other   dogs   were   rescued.     Today  we  are  trying  to  find  a  loving  home  for  this  very  affectionate   and   gentle   dog,   who   is   house-­‐trained,   walks   happily   without   pulling  on  the  lead  and  is  used  to  living  indoors. INGO  is  micro-­‐chipped  (250269880849431)  vaccinated  and  will   be   neutered.  Please  contact:  Patricia  of  SPA  Mornac  (English  speaking)   on  06  08  65  61  16  -­‐  email:  patricia.patricia@wanadoo.fr Siobain  on  05  49  27  26  20  -­‐  email:  siobain.duckworth@wanadoo.fr 20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

MAYDAY MES AMIS

HOOF is  open  to  anyone  with  an  equine  interest.     You  do  not  need  to  own  a  horse!    We  meet  about  once  a  month   for  talks,  visits  etc.    Interested? Contact Jo Rowe on: 05 49 64 30 59

Equine Rescue France

We are always looking for new members and we are in need of donations so we may continue to help equines in France. Please support the ERF. Please contact Equine Rescue France via their website: www.equinerescuefrance.org

Refuge SPA  de  SAINTES route  des  GAUTHIERS,   17100  SAINTES Tel:  05  46  93  47  65  ~  www.spa.de.saintes.free.fr/

L’Association Galia   is   a   recognized   public   utility   aiding   the   adoption   of   dogs   in   the   shelter   of   Fontenay   Le   Comte.     We   help   dogs   out   of   impound,  found  stray  or   abandoned  to   find   new   families. Refuge  de  l'association  Galia Chemin  des  perchées  (ancienne  déchetterie),  85200  Fontenay  Le  Comte Tel  :  02  51  52  06  19  or  06  28  18  13  72,  association.galia@orange.fr http://association-­‐galia.forumactif.com

Phoenix Association  rescue  and  re-­‐home  animals  in   need.  Please  visit  our  website:   www.phoenixasso.com  for  more  details.

It's Kitten  Time  Again! At   the   time   of   going   to   press,   Phoenix   was   bracing  itself   for   the   anticipated   calls  about   abandoned   kittens,  expected   to   be  even  more   numerous  this   year   as   the   French   cat   population   spirals   out   of   control.   If  you  would  like  to  put  your  name   on  the  list   to  adopt   a  kitten,  please   contact   Lynda  on   05   53   81   30   44.     For   more   animals  awaiting   homes,  visit  our  website  or  Facebook  page.


Home & Garden...

Famous Furniture

Call Sarah on 05 49 70 26 21

Small Colour Advert ...only 34€

Next month we

Spotlight On... MELLE Deadline: 15th  April. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 21


Are your Gutters Spick and Span?

MAN FOR HIRE

Spick and   Span   Gîte   and   Property   Management   would   like   to   introduce  to  you  our  Gutter  Cleaning  Service.    

Hello! My  name  is  Jon  and  I  have  been  living  in  the  beautiful  Deux-­‐ Sèvres  area  for   three  years.     Prior   to   moving  to   France  I  lived  in   Crete  for  four   years.     I   started   Man  for  Hire  to  supply  a  variety  of   services   at   an   affordable   price   in   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres   (Dept   79)   for   people   who   live   here   permanently  or   have   a   holiday  home   and   want  a  hand  in  maintaining  their  property  and  land.

We service   many  different   areas   throughout   Department   79   and   are  able  to  help  you  with  any  gutter  cleaning  that  you  require.     Blocked   gutters   can   cause   serious   damage  to  your   home   and  property,   but   allowing   your   guttering   system   to   work  as   designed,  leading   water   away   from   the   roof   and   walls   will   minimise   the   possibility   of   water   damage.   We   provide   a   comprehensive,   low   cost,   non-­‐intrusive   and   safe   gutter   clearance  service  to  all  of  our   clients   using   the   latest   and   most   efficient   equipment   available.     We   use   advanced   technology   combining   a   vacuum  system   and  remote  camera,   eliminating  the   need   for   ladders   or   scaffolding.   Our   professional,   reliable   service   combined   with   modern,   efficient   equipment   means   you   won’t   be   disappointed.

It has  been   a   wet   but   mild  winter   and   spring  is  upon  us  and   the   garden   is   ‘springing’   back   to   life!     I   know   many  people   find   it   a   chore  or  just  do  not  have  the  time  to  look  after  the  time  consuming   and  tiring  part  of  maintaining  their  garden.     I  can  offer   the  following   solutions  to  help  you  with  your  garden  or  property: • Garden  Maintenance Grass   cutting,   strimming,   bramble/nettle   clearing,   weeding,   pruning,   rotavating,   hedge   cutting,   woodcutting/splitting/ stacking  and  shed/fence  painting.     I  have  a   full  set  of  garden  equipment  if  required. • Key  Holding  and  Property  Maintenance I  will  check  your  house  at  agreed  intervals,   notify  you  of   any  problems  and  carry   out   any  odd  jobs  you  require  in  your  absence. • General  labouring If   you   need   a   second   pair   of   hands   to   help   with   a   project,   I   am   hardworking,   trustworthy  and  reliable. I  am  insured  and   can  provide  testimonials/references  from  current   customers  on  request.

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


THE AMATEUR GARDENER by Vanda Lawrence

Thank goodness  the  weather  seems  to  have  become  more  'normal'   and   we   don't   have   to   mention   that   'r'   word.     Now   we   can   get   outside  and  enjoy  ourselves  bringing  the  garden  back  to  scratch. In  the  flower  garden  and  shrubbery: • Cut   back   spring   flowering   shrubs   such   as   Forsythia,   after   flowering.     They   flower   on   shoots   grown   the   year   before   flowering,  so  if   you   leave   it   too  late  before  pruning   you  will  be   removing   next  year's  flowers.    After   pruning,  weed   beneath  the   plant,  give  a  good  feed  and  mulch  well  to  retain  moisture  during   the  warmer  weather. • Plant  shrubs,  perennials  and  rock  plants. • Top-­‐dress   established   rhododendrons   and   azaleas   with   peat   specifically  for  acid-­‐soil  loving  plants  and  give  a  good  feed. • Weed   the   shrubbery,   rose   beds   and   perennial   flower   beds.     Divide  perennials  if  they  are  getting  too   big   for  their   boots,  then   feed  and   mulch.     Mulching  not  only   conserves   moisture   in  the   soil  around  the  roots  but  helps  deter  weeds  growing. • Cut   back   hardy   Fucshias,   nearly  to   ground   level,  to   encourage   new,  strong  shoots  and  good  plant  shape. • Dahlias  can  be  planted  now.    Protect  new  shoots  from  late  frosts. In  the  vegetable  garden: • Sow   seeds   of   beetroot,  cucumber,  courgettes,   lettuce,   spinach,   runner  beans,  melon  etc.    If  you  only  have  a  small  veggie  plot  try   intercropping  -­‐  sow  faster-­‐growing  crops  between  those  that  take   longer  to  come  to   maturity.    For  example,  onions  and  garlic  are  in   the  soil   some  while  but   don't  have  a   lot   of   foliage  to   shade  the   soil   between   rows   -­‐   it's   possible   to   sow   carrots,   beetroot   or   lettuce,   for   example,  between   rows.     By  the   time   these   salad   crops  have  grown  and   need  more  space  and   light   the  onions   will   have  been  lifted.     It's  all   a  matter  of  planning   and  timing.    Don't   forget  that  the  soil  needs  to  be  well   fertilized   in  order  to  produce   all   these   goodies.     How   about   planting  fast-­‐growing   radish   or   spring  onions  between  summer  squash,  leeks  or  sweetcorn? • Plant   Jerusalem   Artichoke   (Topinambour).     As   well   as   being   edible  these   tubers   will   provide   a   temporary  flowering   screen,   approx  5ft  high,  which   could  be  very  useful  in  a  draughty  corner   or  to  hide  the  compost  heap. • Weed  strawberry  beds   and   the  soft   fruit  corner,  adding  fertilizer   and   mulch   to   keep   soil   moist   and   weed-­‐free.     Cover   the   soil   around  strawberries  with  straw  to  deter  slugs  and  snails. • Plant   4  or   5  melon  seeds  in   a  sheltered   corner,  water   well  then   protect  with  its  own  mini-­‐  greenhouse  ...  Cut  a  clear  plastic  bottle   in  half  widthways  then  invert  and   place  over  the  seeds  -­‐   voila!  -­‐   protected  from  the  cold  and  birds  too,  and  you  will  be  able  to   see   when  the  seedlings  are  big  enough  to  be  transplanted. Talking   of   plastic   bottles,  if   you   have   trouble   with   moles   in   your   garden  you  can  half-­‐bury  a  plastic  bottle  in  the  soil,  neck  upwards.     Remove  the  cap  so  that  any  breeze  will  flutter  across  the  bottle  top   causing  vibrations  and  humming  which  will   deter  Mr  Mole.     Moles   don't   like   garlic   either,   so   plant   garlic   in   the   flower   bed   to   stop   moles  burrowing  there. Other   garden   pests   will   start   showing   up   now   that   the   days   are   longer   and   (dare  I  say  it)  warmer.    Please   use   deterrant   sprays   at   dusk  to   avoid  harming  pollinating  insects. Happy  gardening.    See  you  next  month.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 23


Spotlight On... by Mick Austin

NIORT

Be honest.  If  you  had  the  chance  to  spend  some  time  in  a   town   full   of   insurance   salesmen   the   first   thing   you’d   say   would   probably  not  be  along  the  lines  of:  “Yes,  please!”  

But if  that   town  was  Niort  and  you  said  no  you’d  be  missing  out  on   one  of   the  gems  of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.  These   days  Niort   is   known  as   the   capital   of   French   mutual   insurance   companies,   but   its   economic   past   has   been   closely   linked   with   various   industries   including  chamois  glove-­‐making,  cars  and  wood.     Add  to   that   local   specialities  like  eels,  snails,  butter,  beans  and  angelica  and  suddenly   the   place  becomes  a   lot   more  interesting  than   a  chat  about  third-­‐ party  cover  for  a  Citroën  2CV!

The first   thing   that   strikes   you   with   Niort   is   its   imposing   12th   Century  donjon  (a  medieval  castle  keep)  that  dominates  the  town.   Built  by  Henry  II  and   his  wife  Eleanor  of  Aquitaine  and  continued  by   their   son   Richard  the   Lionheart,  it’s   one  of   the   largest   remaining   castles  of  the  period   in  France.    In  fact  there  are  two   donjons  next   to  each  other,  both  with  rounded  towers  in  each  corner,  but  one  is   a  few  metres  higher  than  the  other.    It  was  the  first  building  in  Niort   to   be   listed   as   an   historical   monument   and   the   views   from   its   terrace  are  a  highlight  of  any  visit. One  of  the  best  ways  to  explore  any  town  is  on  foot  and   Niort  is  no   exception.    Many  of   its  places  of  interest   are  fairly  close  together   and  an   excellent   way  to  see  it  all  is   with  the  tourist  board’s  Around   Niort   in   80   Minutes   guide.   They   reckon   it’s   about   2km   of   easy   walking  and  details   can  be  picked   up   from   their   website  or  at   the   tourist  office. A  good  place  to  start  would  be  at  the  tree-­‐lined   Place  de  la  Brèche,   with  its  below-­‐ground  parking  for   more  than   400  vehicles.  This  vast   square  -­‐  one  of  the  largest   in   the   west   of   France  -­‐   is   right  in   the   heart  of  the   town,  between  the  old  and   the  new  neighbourhoods,   and   has  themed  gardens,  cafés  and   play  areas  and   easy  access  to   the  river  via  a  network  of  pedestrianised  streets. From   there   your   tour   will   take   you   past   open-­‐mouthed   bronze   dragons,  narrow   streets  with  half-­‐timbered  buildings   dating  from   the  15th  and   16th   Centuries,  the   Eglise  Notre  Dame  (see  below)   the   Palais  de   Justice,  the   town   hall,  Le   Pilori   and   Les  Halles   (see   below).     Oh  yes,  and  the  supposed  former  home  of  Hercules   at   16   de  la  Rue   Cloche  Perse,  where  it   is  said   was  found  the  first  case  of   the  plague  in  1603!

History

The building  of  a  bridge  over   the  river  Sèvre  in  the  7th  Century  led   to  a  village  called  Novioritum  and  eventually  Niort.   Niort   was   once   an   important   part   of   England   after   Eleanor   of   Aquitaine  married  Henry  II  but  by  the  end  of  the   100  Years  War  in   1453  it  was  well  and  truly  back  in  French  hands.   In   1203,   it   became   one   of   France’s   first   communes,   a   little   merchant   republic   administered  by  a  mayor.    The  town   formed   a   kind  of  economic  alliance  with  Saint-­‐Jean-­‐d’Angély  and  La  Rochelle   to  export  produce  (wheat,  wine,  wool,  skins  etc.)  around  the  world.  

24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Photos: Serpent Street: Marie Delage; Bords de Sevres: Alex Giraud, Wikimedia Commons.

Niort is  the  busy  county  town  built   along  the  Sèvre  Niortaise  river   midway   between  Poitiers  and   La  Rochelle  and  the  gateway  to   the   Marais  Poitevin   marshes.    Its  closeness  to  the  marshes  is  evident   when  it  comes  to  those  eels  and  snails,  but  more  on  that  later.  

Top: La Sèvre Niortaise river, Above: Overlooking Place de la Brèche

From 1608   the   Poitevins,   having   settled   in   North   America,   kept   links  with  the  land   of  their   origins  so   it   was  quite  natural  that   the   skins  that   they  collected   or   bought  from  the   Indians  came   to   the   Niort   leather   works   along  the  Sèvre   Niortaise  river.     The  leather   industry  boomed  in  the   17th   and  18th  Centuries  with  the   chamois   leather   and   glove-­‐making   industries   employing   thousands   of   people.   In   the  19th   Century  it   was  with  the  wood  industry  –   particularly   with   poplar  growing  –  that   the  area  prospered,  but   since  then  the   service  industry  has  taken  over.


Things to See

Niort is  blessed  with  several   churches,  all  well  worth  a  visit.    Eglise   Notre  Dame  and  Eglise  St  André  each  sit  on  one  of  the  small   hills  on   which  the  town  was  built.     Notre  Dame  was  built  between  1491  and   1534  in  a  flamboyant   Gothic  style  on  the   site  of  an  old   Romanesque   chapel   and   was   rebuilt   and   restored   in   the   17th,   18th   and   19th   Centuries.    It’s   a  listed  historical  monument  and  its   75-­‐metre  spire   also  makes  it  the  highest  monument  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres. Close  by   is  the  covered   market  of   Les  Halles,  a   cast-­‐iron  building  of   glass  and   steel  built   in  1869  that   hosts  markets   every  day,  with   the   biggest   on   Thursdays   and   Saturdays   when   140-­‐plus   traders   tempt   you   with   their   wares.   Don’t   miss   the  clock   tower   decorated   with   images   of   Mercury   (god   of   trade,   travel   and   thieves)   and   Ceres   (goddess   of   agriculture)   who   is   sitting   on   crops   of   fruit   and   vegetables. The  Bernard  d’Agesci  museum  (www.agglo-­‐niort.fr) is  a  three-­‐in-­‐one   museum   in   the   walls  of  an   old  19th  Century  high  school  and  has   a   collection   of  fine  arts,  a   natural  history  collection   and   an  exhibition   and   collection   on   schools   and   teaching.   It   also   houses   the   inter-­‐ regional  Centre  for  Painting  Restoration  and  Conservation   and  is  one   of  the  few  painting  restoration  workshops  in  France.  

Food and Drink

Apart from  catching  your   own   lunch   of   local  produce,   the  area  is   well   known   for   its   famous   Echiré  butter,  the   Mogette   bean   and   angelica.   The   white   Mogette   flourishes   in   the   black   marshland   earth.    Part  of  the  harvest   is  eaten  fresh  while  the  rest   is  dried  on   ‘tourettes’  or   sticks.     Angelica  is   one   of   the   world’s   best-­‐known   aromatic   plants   and  has   many   medicinal   properties.    It’s   used  in   recipes   for   Pernod,   Suze,   Chartreuse   and   Benedictine   and   also   flavours   gin   and   vodka.   Niort’s   chocolatiers   also   sell   it   in   a   crystallised  form. This   local   produce   finds   its   way   daily   onto   a   host   of   quality   restaurant   menus,   such   as   farci   maraîchin   (stuffed   leafy   vegetables),  sauce  aux  lumas  (snails)  frogs   legs  and  kid   with  spring   onions  and  angelica. Niort   also   has   its   share   of   fast   food   emporiums,  bars   serving   a   value-­‐for-­‐money  plat   du   jour,   theme  bars   serving  tapas  etc.  and   even  the  ubiquitous  Irish  pub!

Le Pilori  was  built  between  1530  and  1535  {no,  not  in   five  minutes!}   by  master  stonemason  Mathurin  Berthomé  on   the   foundations  of   a   14th   Century  building.     The  ‘fortress  of   communal   freedom”   was   Niort’s  town  hall  from  the  Middle  ages  to  the  Revolution.    It’s  called   the   pillory   as  a  reminder   that  the   mayor  used  to  have  the  right  to   judge.    So   two   iron  collars  fixed  into  its  wall   allowed  the  delinquent   to  be  pilloried  wearing   a  board  on   which   was   written   his   crime.     A   museum  of  stones  and  coins  from  1887  to  1987,  Le   Pilori  is  today  a   Visual  Arts  Space  –  an  exhibition  centre  for  contemporary  works  with   a  guest  artist  featured  each  month.   La  Malle  aux  Idées  at   39  rue  Saint   Jean  used  to  be  a  family  house  on   three   levels   right   in   the   centre   of   Niort.     Now   it’s   a   place   of   exploration  if   you  like  authentic  furniture   and  objects  with  a  history.     It’s  also  the  centre  of  the  universe  if  you  like  toys,  tea  sets,  pedal  cars,   forts,  dolls,  toy  boxes  and  houses  in  painted  wood!

Fresh produce market at les Halles de Niort

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 25

Photos: les Halles: Alex Giraud; Eglise Notre Dame: Bruno Derbord; Eglise Saint Andréé: Bruno Debord; Donjon de Niort: Chourmo all Wikimedia Commons.

Photos left to right: l’église Notre Dame, l’église Saint Andrée & Donjon de Niort


Photo: hamon jp, Wikimedia Commons

NIORT

FACT FILE... Echiré: 15  mins Parthenay:  45  mins Coulon:  25  mins La  Crèche:  15  mins Saint  Maixent  l’École:  30  mins Melle:  35  mins

Boating on the Marais Poitevin

Leisure Amenities

As you’d  expect  from  a  town  this  size,  there  are  plenty  of  activities  to  keep  you   busy.    There’s   all   the   usual   stuff  like  sailing,  kayaking,   ice-­‐skating,  swimming   and   a   hippodrome,  but   there  are  also  hundreds  of  kilometres   of  walking  and   cycling  tracks   (the  tourist  office  has   six  different  maps  available).    You  can  visit   the  Marais  Poitevin   marshes  on   foot   with   a  gentle  stroll   or  a  hike   of   several   dozen  kilometres.     Or  why  not  let  a  horse-­‐drawn  carriage,  a   donkey  or   a  pony   takes  the  strain?     Or   explore   the   marshes   on   your   own   or   with   a  guide   in   a   traditional   flat-­‐bottomed   boat.     You   can   try   traditional   fishing   techniques   specific   to   the   marsh   areas   with   a   bit   of   eel   fishing   at   nightfall   with   an   earthworm   wrapped   round   a   cotton   thread,   or   hunt   crayfish   with   a   net   in   which  you  put  your  bait.

Contacts

• Deux-­‐Sèvres tourist  info:  www.tourisme-­‐deux-­‐sevres.com • Niort   Marais  Poitevin  tourist  office,  Place  de  la  Brèche,  near  rue  de  14  Juillet.   Open  Monday-­‐Friday  10am-­‐12.30pm  and   1.30-­‐6pm.  Saturday  9.30am-­‐noon.   Tel:  05  49  24  18  79 ~ Email: info@niortmaraispoitevin.com Website:  www.niortmaraispoitevin.com • Donjon  d’Aliénor  d’Aquitaine,  Rue  Du  Guesclin.   Tel:  05  49  28  14  28.  Website:  www.agglo-­‐niort.fr • Official  website  for  town   of  Niort,  which   also  provides  lots  of  information  on   the  various  leisure  activities  available:  www.vivre-­‐a-­‐niort.com Mick   Austin   is   a   freelance   journalist   based   in   the   Pays-­‐de-­‐la-­‐Loire.   He   has   had   his   work   published   in   several   expat   magazines   and   newspapers   and   has   also   written   the   Mayenne   Tourist   Board’s   only   English-­‐language   brochure.   He   also   runs   a   gîte   business   at   www.gitefortwo.com

Niort is  the  capital  of  the  dept.  of Deux-­‐Sèvres  (79),  in  the  region  of   Poitou-­‐Charentes      Population:  57  813  in  2011 Airports:  Poitiers  (60  minutes),  La   Rochelle  ( 60   minutes),  Nantes  (110  minutes).

Nearby places  to  visit:

• Coulon, listed  as  one  of  France’s  most  beautiful  villages  (9km). • Chateau  de  Cherveux  (13km). • Forêt  de  Benon  site  of  natural  beauty  (28km). • Parthenay  medieval  town  (43km). • Neuil-­‐sur-­‐L’Autise,  Petite  Cité   de   Caractère   and  birthplace   of   Eleanor  of  Aquitaine  (20km). Aire de Camping car

Base nautique River Fishing Cycle Routes Walking Routes

Bars & Restaurants Cashpoint Fuel Stations Campsite Supermarkets

LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS* LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS* LOCAL ADS*LOCAL

LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS* LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS* LOCAL ADS*LOCAL 26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: 8.   First  leader  of  the  USSR  (5) 9.   Utter  aloud  (7) 10.   Blemished   by   injury   or   rough     wear  (7) 11.   Not  tight  (5) 12.   Remove   dangerous   or   worthless     materials  through  distillation  (4,4) 13.   Canvas  structure  (4) 15.  Percussion  instrument  (4) 17.   Giant  on  a  massive  scale  (8) 21.   Place  in  a  grave  or  tomb  (5) 22.   God  of  the  sea  (Roman     mythology)  (7) 24  .  Remote  place  used  by  criminals  (7) 25.   Adjust  again  after  an  initial  failure  (5)

DSM Toughie  Crossword Across: 8.   One   is  central   to   a   spot   on   format     for  draughts  (7) 9.   Could   be   to  follow   after   potassium     is  put  on  the  wrong  cart  (5) 10.   Large  mammal  enveloped  by  catarrh     in  one  off  epidemic  (5) 11.   Confused,  they  take  the  wrong  map     to  state  of  understanding  (7) 12.   Church   man   going   back   to   one   in     Bucks  (4) 13.   HM   exchange   takes   foundry     workers  out  of  refuges  (8) 16.   Incorrect   gen   about   excepYonal     range  of  rot  (8) 19.   In  opposition  to  a  tin  composition  (4) 22.   Wished  for   an  old   soldier   in  a   little     establishment  for  both  sexes  (7) 23.   Stand-­‐in   located   in   eastern   bloc     umbrella  organisation  (5) 24.   The  kind   of   chords   we  hear  sung  out     loud?  (5) 25.   On-­‐off   bystanders   are   commonly     said  to  be  beauties  (7)

Quiz-tastic!

Down: 1. Large   mountain   system   in   south-­‐   central  France  (4) 2.   Reveal  the  true  nature  of  (6) 3.   Convert  ordinary  language  into  code  (7) 4.   Sore  to  the  touch  (6) 5.   The  skin   that   covers  the   top   of   the     head  (5) 6.   Conditional  release  from  prison  (6) 7.   Swiss  cheese  (8) 12.   24th  hour  (8) 14.   Small  change  (7) 16.   Not  neat  (6) 18.   Decorative  (6) 19.   Racket  sport  (6) 20.   Sweeping  tool  (5) 23.   Takes  in  food  (4)

Down: 1. Get  up  to  in  spring,   giving   a   chance  to     be  fair  (8) 2.   I’m  more  comfortable  getting  into  mine  (6) 3. It’s   a   revolver   whichever   way   you     look  at  it  (5) 4.   Think   highly   of   directions   given     before  strange  encounter  (6) 5.   Unusual   step   taken   over   cut   lip   to     make  a  point  (7) 6.   Sticks  together  to   form  half  of  old  wall     construction  (6) 7.   Took   a   year   out   hiding   a   form   of     agreement  (4) 14.   Her   royal   majesty   involved   with   one     in  unexpected  kiss  provoking  a   minor     incident  (8) 15.   Shake  under  pressure  of  foolish  talk  (7) 17.   Learner  demonstrating  only  virtue?  (6) 18.   Small   knot   of   the   French   in   lone     revolution  (6) 20.   Devil   comes   before   the   queen   for     using  low  form  of  currency?  (6) 21.   AquaYc   centres   turned   over   to   find     John  B,  e.g.?  (5) 22.   Old  fashioned   sort   of  chap   seen   in   the     bay?  (4)

With thanks  to  M.Morris

Monthly quiz  by  Roland  ScoV.....how  many  can  you  get?

1) Which  British  group  had  a  no1  hit  in  June  1970  with  “In  the  Summertime”? 2)    Which   British  waterway  consists  of  the  Rochdale,  Macclesfield,   Trent  and  Mersey  and  Bridgewater  canals? 3)  Which  clarinettist  and  big  band  leader  was  known  as  “the  King  of   Swing”? 4)  Which  1960’s  British  sit-­‐com  was  written  by  Barry  Took  and  Marty   Feldman  and  starred  Alfie  Bass  and  Bill  Fraser  as  two  ex-­‐soldiers? 5)  Before  Brian  Lara  scored  400  not-­‐out  in  2004,  which  cricketer  held   the   record   highest   individual   Test   score   of   365   not-­‐out   which   he   achieved  in  1957/58  season? 6)  Which  action   film,  directed   by  Tony  Scott   in  1986,  starred  Tom   Cruise  &  Kelly  McGillis?

7) Which  U.S.  city  is   home  to  Walt   Disney   World  Resort,  Seaworld   and  Gatorland? 8)   Who   played   Doctor   Cameron   in   the   1960’s   T.V.  series   “Doctor   Finlay’s  Casebook”? 9)  How  is  New  Year’s  Eve  known  in  France? 10)  Which  Austrian  film  maker  directed  “Metropolis”? 11)  Who  was  Princess  Anne’s  first  husband?   12) Which  singer  has  had  U.K.  no.1  hits  with  “Pricetag”  and  “Domino”? Finally,  for   an   extra  point,  assuming  you   have   12  correct  answers   what  is  the  connection  between  your  answers  or  parts  thereof. Find  the  answers  on  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr  Copyright  RJS  2014. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 27


French Life... Life on the Farm...

by Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

Our first  batch  of  ducklings  have  hatched  out,   9  in  total,  which  was   very  pleasing  as  it  was   quite  early  to  start  incubating.    We  now   have   another  batch  in  the  incubator  along  with  some  goose  eggs. Sadly,  our   Toulouse   are   still   not  laying  and  it  is   looking   unlikely  that   they   will  start,  it   has  made  us  wonder   if  we  got  it  wrong   and  they  are   all  boys.    We   have  been  lucky   in  getting  some  Toulouse  eggs  from  our   friend   and  we   are   also   trying   our   Guinea   goose   eggs  as   well.   The   Guinea  goose  is  not  particularly  big  but  apparently  tastes  very  good.

The sunshine  and  warmth  outside  beckons  so  we  will  see  you  next   month   for   more   Life   on   the   farm.   Enjoy   the  sunshine   we   have   waited  long  enough  for  it!! At   last   the   weather   has   improved   and   we   have   been   able   to   get   outside   to   start   on   the   long   list   of   jobs   that   the   wet   weather   postponed.    We   have   been  busy  pulling   out  hedges  and  brambles  to   replace   them   with   willow,   lots   and   lots   of   it!     We   took   about   60   cuttings   from   a   willow   that   we   planted   when   we   first   moved   to   France,  along  with  buying  another  200  willow  slips  from  the  UK. The   plan  is  to  replace   the   privet   hedge   and   blackberry  bushes  with   something   more   usable   for   us   and   the   animals.     The   willow   we   bought  are  called  Salix  Dasyclados  which  is  one  of  the  fastest   growing   and   highest   yielding   plants   in   Europe.     Grown   in   short   rotation   coppice   they  can  produce   a   good  crop   of  logs  and  the   cuttings  are   perfect  fodder  for   goats  and  rabbits.     The   second  variety   is   a   hybrid   called   Q83.    Ideal  if  you  want  to   grow   your  own   wood  fuel  or  logs.    It   is   slow   in  the   first  year,   but  performs  well  over   a   three   to  four  year   period.    As   well   as   logs   its  also  good  for   hurdles,   fences  and  living   structures.    A  popular  biomass  variety. Jen   spent   some   time   on   a   cheese   making   day   finding   out   how   to   make   good  ol’  Cheddar,   which  has  given   me   another   job:  Jen  wants   me  to  make  her  a  cheese  press.    We  had  an  old  cheese  safe  which  we   have  refurbished  to  keep  the  cheese  nice   and  cool  and  keep  out  any   unwanted   visitors.   The   only   trouble   is   we   are   not   very   patient  and   having  to   wait   months  for  the   cheese   to  mature   flavour  will  be  tricky   for  us. We  have  also  had  a  go  at  growing  our  own  mushrooms,   it  only  takes   10   days.   10   days   have   now   passed,   and   we   are   still   buying   mushrooms   from   Super   U   with   no   sign   of   that   changing.   The   mushroom   kit   that   we   are   using   has   been   sitting   in   a   shed   for   a   couple  of  years,  so  is  probably  too  old. We’ve   also  been  busy  building  clappiers  (rabbit  hutches)  for  our   new   rabbits.    We   have   increased   our   breeding   stock.     As   well   as  Beano   (who   we   mentioned  last  month)  we   have   a  New   Zealand  doe   called   Zealy,  another  called  Lily  and  an  unrelated   male   as   well  as  a   Belgium   Blue   buck  who  is  also  yet  to   be  named.     My  idea  of   calling  him  Poirot   doesn’t   seem   to  have   stuck.   In   addition   to   the   breeding   stock   we   bought  10  fatteners,   6  white   (breed  unknown)  and   4  Flemish  Giants   cross,   one   of  which  we   may   keep  if  it  turns   out  to  be   a   girl.   I   have   however  been  banned  from  getting  anymore   rabbits  as  we   have  now   run  out  of  houses. Looks   like   Boff  the   goat   is  pregnant   after   months   of   “Is  she?   Isn’t   she?”.     Her  udder   had  appeared,   and  her  general  shape  has  changed   but  we  still  don’t  know   a   date;  not  too  long   I  hope.    This  will  be   our   first  goat  kids  born  here.     We   recently  bought  some   extra   feeders  and  drinkers  for   the   rabbits   and   chickens   which   can   be   filled   with   a   lot   more   feed   and   water.     Instead  of   filling  the   food  bowls  and  water  containers  every  day,  it  is   now   every  4  or   5  days.     The  animals  are   still  checked  at  least   twice   daily  but  the  overall  exercise  has  cut  the  time  in  half.    The  time  saved   is  especially  welcome  with  lots  of  other  things  to  do.

28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Peter &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.


Communications... Multi Boot PC with Microsoft Operating Systems by Ross  Hendry I  still  have  many  customers  that  are  running  Windows  XP   and   one   of   the   reasons   that   they   are   reluctant   to   give   up   this   operating   system   is   that   they   are   running   programs   that   are   no   longer   available   or  do  not  work  on  more  up-­‐to-­‐date   operating  systems,  or   worse,  the  newer  versions  do  not  do  what  they  want. A   solution   to   this   is   to   have   a   PC   with   two   or   more   Operating   Systems   on   it,  known   as   Dual   or   Multi   Boot   systems.  When   you   switch  on  your  PC  you  are  offered  a  choice  of  which  of   the  installed     operating  systems  you  would  like  to  load.   Creating  a  dual  or  multiple   boot  system  is  not  too  difficult  and  can   be  achieved  by  most  competent  users.  Probably  the  best  way  is  to   add  another  hard  disk  drive  to  your   computer   and  install  the  newer   operating  system  onto  the  new  hard  disk.   This   is   not   practical   with   most   laptops,   so   I   usually   create   an   additional  partition  on  the  existing  hard   disk  drive   and  install   the   alternative  operating  system  on  the  new  partition. The   important   thing   to   remember   is   the   alternative   operating   system  runs  totally  independently  of  the  original  operating  system,   so  it  will  need  its  own  anti-­‐virus  and  malware  protection.    Programs   installed  on  the   original  system   will   also   need  to  be  reinstalled  in   the   alternative   operating   system   if   required.   Things   like   printers   and  web  cams  will  also  need  installing  again. Before   deciding   to   create   a   dual   or   multi-­‐boot   PC,  research   the   following    items:-­‐ 1. Is  your  PC   or   Laptop   capable  of  supporting  the   new  operating   system  -­‐  is  the  processor  fast  enough?   2. Do  you  have  enough  RAM?   3. Do  you  have  enough  disk  Space?   4. Crucially  are  there  drivers  for  your   hardware?    For   if  the  new   operating  system   is  too  advanced  for  the  hardware  you  have  it   will  not  function  properly. 5. Do   you   have   programs   that   are   compatible   with   the   new   operating  system? 6. Are  your  printer  and  other   peripheral   devices  supported  by  the   new  operating  system? Assuming  the  answer  to  the  above  questions  are  favourable,  then   it   is   time   to   decide   if   you   are  adding   a   new   hard   disk  drive,  or   dividing  the  space  on  the  existing  hard  disk  drive  by  creating  a  new   partition.     Most  desktop  PCs  will   support  at  least  four  hard  drives/

CD drives,  and  most  PCs  have  one  hard   disk  and   one  CD/DVD;  so   adding  another  hard  drive  is  generally  practical. You  can  purchase  a  new  hard   disk  for   your  desktop  PC  from  as  little   as  £40/45€.     You  may  well  need   a  data  cable   to  connect  your  new   hard  disk  drive  and  these  will  cost  around  £5/6€  maximum.    Often   the  power  connection  will  already  be  available  in   your   PC,  but   do   check  before  you  buy  your  new  hard  disk  drive. If   you   have   to   partition   an   existing   hard   disk  drive   then   you   will   need   a   specialist   program.     There   are   many  of   these   available,   often  free  of  charge.  I  use   ‘EaseUS  Partition  Manager  Professiona’.   Their  consumer  version  ‘EaseUS  Partition  Master   Home  Edition’    is   free   and   relatively   simple   to   use   and   has   good   instructions   and   help. Let   us   assume   you   have   now   installed   a   new   hard   disk  drive   or   created   a   partition   on   your   existing   hard   disk  drive   for   the   new   operating   system,   and   you   are   now   ready   to   install   the   new   operating  system.     Before  you   do   please  ensure  to  back   up   all   of   your  important  data  to  an   external  disk  drive,  DVD  or  USB  stick,  just   in  case! The   new   installation   is   normally  achieved   by  re-­‐booting   your   PC   with   the  operating  system  disk   in  the  DVD  drive  and  booting  from   the  installation   DVD.     Once  this  process  is  started  it   is   crucial   for   you   to  ensure  that  you  specify  the   new  operating  system  is  loaded   on  to  the  new  hard   disk  or  in  to  the   new  partition  created   on  your   existing   hard   disk.  If   you   get   this   wrong   you   will   over-­‐write   the   existing  operating  system  and  possibly  lose  all  of  your  data. The  main  benefit  of  this  process   for   windows  XP  users  is  that  you   may  retain   the   operating   system  you  like  for   all   tasks   that  do  not   need  an  internet  connection,  because  it  is  via  the  internet  that   XP   will   be   vulnerable,   and   that   vulnerability  will   only  increase   with   time.    So  use  the  new  operating  system   to  get   your   email   and  surf   the  web,  Skype  the  family  and  friends  etc.    Then  you   can  use  XP  for   anything   that   does   not   need   an   internet   connection.  By   placing   your   data  in   a  shared  folder   it   will   be  available  to  both  operating   systems,  so  you  nearly  have  the  best  of  both  worlds. The   important   thing   is   that   you   do   not   use   XP   on   the   internet   unless   you  really  have  to  after  8th  April  2014   because  your   risk  of   infection  from  nasties  will  double  from  then  on.   Ross   Hendry   is   the   proprietor   of  Interface   Consulting  and  Engineering,   who   has   over   42   years   experience   in   Communications,   Computer   Technology  and  Direct  Marketing.  (See  advert  below).

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 29


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30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Food & Drink... French Village Diaries One of   the   things   living   in   rural   France   has   taught   me   is   an   appreciation   of   the   local   regional   gastronomic   specialities.   I   love   nothing   better   than   a   drive   across   France   noticing   how   the   crops  and   local  produce  differs  from  region   to   region   and   how   everything   from   fruits,  nuts  and  alcohol,  to  cheeses,   m e at   p ro d u c t s   a n d   a n i m a l   intestines  are  celebrated.  

by Jacqueline Brown.

This new  way  of  looking  at  things  and  appreciation  of  food  products   even  influences  my  trips  back  to  the  UK.    On  a  recent  visit  I  was  lucky   enough  to   have  a  mini-­‐break  in  Newcastle,  somewhere  I  had  never   been   before.   With   my   tourist   eyes   I   enjoyed   the   architecture,   especially  the  bridges  and  found  a  local  speciality  for  dinner  too.     A   restaurant   selling   pie,   mash,  mushy  peas  and  liquor   where  a  local   butcher  supplied  all  the  pies.    It  was  a  first  taste  of  liquor  and  mushy   peas  for  me  and  I  wasn’t  disappointed. Making  my  way  south  I  was   treated  to  afternoon  tea   at   Betty’s  in   York,  a  delicious  British  treat  with  real  scones,  jam  and  clotted  cream,   bought   for  me  by  a  reader  of  my  blog  who,  until  that  day,  I  had  never   met  in  person.    I  felt  thoroughly  spoiled.     It   seems  to  have  been  my  month  for   meeting  new  people.  Following   my  food  and  produce  words   in  these  pages  the  gardeners  from  Les   Jardiniers  du  sud-­‐ouest   à   Chives,  who  meet   in  Tillou  once  a  month,   invited   me  to   talk  at  their   AGM.     I  had  a  lovely  afternoon  and  am   now  looking  forward  to  joining  them  as  a  member.    For  a  shy  person,   I’ve  certainly  done  my  bit  of  socialising  this  month  and  I’ve  loved  it. Heading  further  south  I  spent  a  night  in  Chesterfield,  where  I  picked   up   the   picnic   ingredients   for   the   return   drive   to   France   from   a   friendly  butcher’s  shop.    Cracked  black  pepper   sausages  made  into   sandwiches   with  rolls   (or   small  bread  cakes   as   they  were   labelled)   from  the  bakery  next  door   were   delicious,  and  saved  the  stress  and   hassle  of  a  trip  to  Tesco,  never  my  favourite  UK  past  time. Now  I’m  back  in  France  and  looking  forward  to  visiting  the  new  goats   cheese  producer  in  our  village.    The  first  bees  and  butterflies  are  busy   feasting   on   the   fruit   tree   blossoms;   a   lovely   sight   despite   my   neighbour  warning  it   has  all   come  too   early.    It  is  also  great  to  feel   the  warmth   of  the   early  spring  sun  on  my  back  as  I  try  to  tackle   the   weeds,   and   it   is   doing   a   great   job   of   heating   the   soil   in   the   propagators  to   help  with   the  seed  germination.     My  preferred  seed   sowing  kit  is  a  plastic  punnet  recycled  from  supermarket  mushroom   purchases.   Pierce   drainage   holes   in   the   bottom   and   tape   a  clear   punnet  on  top  as  a   lid  and   t h e n   f i l l   w i t h   s i eve d   compost,  water   and   sit   in  a   sunny  spot  to  warm  the  soil   before   sowing   seeds.     Courgette  and  squash  seeds   should   germinate   in   less   than   a   week;   tomatoes,   aubergines,   peppers   and   chillies   will   take   a   little   longer. For  recipes  please  email  me  at  frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com   or  visit  www.frenchvillagediaries.com  

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 31


RESTAURANT REVIEW Les  Relais  d’Alsace  Taverne  Karlsbrau,  Niort

We called  in  to  this  restaurant   for   lunch  with  some  friends  on   a   Friday  in  January. The  restaurant  is  situated   in   Niort,  at   the  bottom  of  the   Avenue   de  Paris,  opposite  La  Brèche  and  is  part  of  a   chain   specialising  in   dishes  from  the  Alsace  region. It  was  busy  and  crowded  with  diners,  so  it  is  obviously  popular,  or   was  on  that   day.     The  atmosphere   was  great  and   the   staff  very   welcoming.     The  tables  are  thoughtfully  laid   out   and,  once  seated,   it  was  both   clean  and  comfortable  and   there   was  plenty  of   room   despite  the  number  of  people. There   is  a  wide  and  varied  menu  which  includes  their  specialties   majoring  in  choucroute  (sauerkraut)  and  fish  dishes.    There  are  2-­‐ course   and   3-­‐course  lunchtime   menus,   with   prices   around   12€   and   16€  respectively  without  wine  or  coffee.    There  were   also   a   good  selection  of  à  la  carte  options.    We  had   the  3-­‐course  menu   with  a   variety  of   Alsacien   and  non-­‐Alsacien   dishes   and  the  food   was  delicious  and  well   presented.    The  helpings   were  quite  large   and,   with   hindsight,   a   2-­‐course   menu   would   have   sufficed   at   lunch   time.     However,  there   is   far   less  choice  with   the   smaller   menu  as  it  is  meant  as  a  quick  lunch  alternative. In  summary,  this  is  a  very  pleasant  place  to  have   a  leisurely  lunch   with   a   wide   variety   of   well-­‐prepared   food.     It   was   not   the   cheapest  place  to   eat  but,  in  our   view,  offered  very  good  value  for   money.

Martin &  Pamela  Hole

32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

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WanhunnerandEYTEE (2)

by John Sherwin

A Second  Chance  for  Wine  Scores OK,  I  might   have   stuck  a   bit   too   much  welly  into   wine   scoring   last   month   so   I’ll   try   to   make   amends.     Kind  of.    I  will  always  repeat   what  I  said   about   the   Parker   100-­‐point   system   and   I’m   far   from  being  the  only  critic.     I  remember   a  visit  and   tasting   at   an   excellent   producer   in   Condrieu   in   the   Wagnerian   northern  end  of  the  Rhone  Valley.    The  owner  was  a  fine,  generous   and   insightful   host   as   we  tasted   and   talked   about   his   marvellous   viognier.     Then,  à   propos  of  nothing  at   all,  he  asked  me  “What  do   you  think   of   this   Parker?”  I  knew  that   Parker   had   rated   his  wines   highly  so  I  muttered  something  non-­‐committal.  “He  can  make  you   and   he   can  break  you,  you  know?”     Damned   if   he  wasn’t   a  little   teary  too,  thinking  of   wine-­‐making  buddies   who  had   not   been   so   fortunate   as   him   in   their   rating,   downgrading   their   BMWs   to   a   Peugeot  106  with  all  the  ensuing  domestic  strife. There  are   of   course   a  whole   variety  of  scoring  systems,  not   all   of   which   have   unfortunate   consequences,   but   most   of   which   come   with   the   implied   question,  forever   whining   like   tinnitus,  what’s  it   for?  Take  another   couple  of  examples.  The  University   of   California   at   Davis   devised   in   the   late   1950s   a   20-­‐point   system   of   ‘organoleptic   evaluation’  (and   if  you  feel  like  running   for   cover   at   this  point,  I’m  right  behind  you).     This  assigns  a   certain   number   of   points  to  each  of  ten  categories  to  give   an  overall   rating.     So   we   have  two   points  for   appearance,  two  for   colour   (sorry,  color),  and   so  on.  This  is  an   attempt  to   achieve  the  impossible:  to  objectivise   a   fundamentally  subjective  process.     As  just  one  criticism,  it  has  been   noted   that   to   achieve   17/20   it   is   sufficient   to   be   a   bland   wine   without  noticeable   defects.     But  then  again,  I  don’t   think  UC  Davis   ever  forced  anyone  into  bankruptcy. Then   to   the   blessèd   Jancis   Robinson   with   her   20-­‐point   system,   which   actually   starts   at   10   for   ‘undrinkable’,   and   covers   such   categories   as  ‘deadly  dull’  (14  points),  ‘superior’  (17),  ‘a  cut  above   superior’  (what  ho!  an  absolutely  topping  category  Jeeves,  at   18),   to  ‘truly  exceptional’  at   20.    But,  er,  that’s  an  11-­‐point  system,  non?   So  the  safest  conclusion   is  that  scoring  is  very  confusing  -­‐   and   one   would  be  tempted  to  think  not  worth  bothering  about. But  at   this  point  you  have  to  stand   back  and   think   that  if  there  is   any  point   at   all  in   assessing  wine  (and  surely  there   is)  then   there   must   be  a   way  that   avoids  ersatz   scientific   accuracy   on   the   one   hand  and  goofy  everymanism  on  the   other.    Why  not  get  together   with  your  wine  pals  and  come  up  with  your  own  system?    A  system,   more  importantly  a  shared   language,  that  will  not  only  give   you   a   shorthand   when   you   get   together   for   those   wine   tasting  sessions   but   will   also  let   you   communicate   views/ impressions   when   one   of   you   is   tasting   a   pinot   noir   in   Oregon  and  another  the  same  grape  in   the  Cote  d’Or.     Got   to  be  better  surely  than  ‘Jeez  that’s  repulsive’  to  ‘quite  nice’   to  ‘nice’  -­‐  there  has  to  be  more  to  life  than  that. I’ll   take   this   forward   next   †me,   but   any   ideas   are   very   welcome,  contact   info  below.     Anything  goes  as   long  as   we  don’t  cause  domes†c  strife  or  frighten  the  horses.

John Sherwin, French Wine Tours. Tel: 02 51 66 13 05 ~ E: john@french-wine-tours.com ~ www.french-wine-tours.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 33


Motoring... mighty mustang turns 50! by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright It’s  1964.   I  am  not  yet  even  a  twinkle  in  my  parent’s  eyes,  Radio  Caroline  hits   the  airwaves   for  the  first   time,  Beatle  mania  rules,  Mary  Quant  has   just   launched   the   mini   skirt   onto   the   UK   fashion   scene   and   in   France   the   “Space   Look”   is   all   the   rage   with   sequinned   trouser   suits,  goggles  and  white  boots.   Meanwhile,  over  the  pond,  it’s  April  17th   and  Ford  reveals  its  new   model,  the  Mustang,  at  the  New  York  World’s  Fair.   Today,  the  Mustang  is  a  pillar  of  American  automotive  lore,  and  the   car  that  brought  sporting  dash   and  styling,  at  a  price  almost  anyone   could  afford. To   achieve  affordability,  the   Mustang  needed  to  share  much   of   its   engineering  with  an   existing  Ford   product,  and  that   was   the  Ford   Falcon,  which  it  was  built  alongside. However,   the   proportions  of  the  Mustang  were   entirely  different.     Its   cockpit   was   pushed   further   back  on   the   chassis,  resulting  in   a   longer  bonnet  and  shorter  rear,  and  the  roof  and  bonnet   lines  were   lower.     That   sleek   shape,  detailed  with   such  iconic   touches  as  the   running  horse  in   the   grille,  the   side  scallops  along   the   flanks  and   the  tail   lights  divided  into  three  sections  made  the  Mustang  a  car   people  were  instantly  passionate  about.   Initially,   the   Mustang   was   offered   as   a   notchback   coupe   or   a   convertible,  but   by  1965  a  2+2  Fastback   joined  the  model   line-­‐up.     An  astonishing  559,451  Mustangs  were  sold  in  the  ’65  model  year.   It  became  almost  inevitable  that  the  Mustangs  would  progress  into   racing,  but  for  that  it  was  necessary  to  produce  a  two  seater.   Enter  our  old  friend  Caroll   Shelby.     Shelby  saw  the   potential  of  the   Mustang  to   slay   the   Corvettes   and   he   took   100   examples   to   his   workshops   for  transformation  in  to   the  first  performance  versions.     Shelby’s   conversions   are   today   considered   some   of   the   most   desirable  Mustangs  ever  built.

Photo: www.gisert.com

Over the  following  few  years  Ford  modified  the  Mustang  to   answer   the  growing  competition  in   their  market  sector  and   the  car  became   bigger   and   more  powerful,  but   by   1973   safety  and  emission   laws   required  a  radical  re-­‐think.   In  1974  a  lighter   and   more  nimble  car   was  launched,  and  to  cut   a   long  story  short,  Ford   continued  to   use   the   Mustang  name  on   a   succession   of  quite   ugly  cars  (in  my  opinion)   until   2005   when   the   modern  Mustang  was  launched,  with   styling   based  on  the  original   60’s  model.   So,  in  its  50th  birthday  year  what  is  the  modern  Mustang  like?   Well,  first   thing  to  make  clear   is  that   to  find  out,  you  will  need  to   import   one   from   America.   Although   it   certainly   looks   the   part,   reviews   suggest   cabin   space   is   cramped   and   the   handling   isn’t  

34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

stunning although  the  acceleration  and   speed   should  put   a  smile   on  your  face! And   of   course  being  left   hand   drive  it  would  sit  nicely  on   French   roads....   Or   maybe   you’d   prefer   to   search   out   a  desirable   early  example,   tipped  as  one  of  the  Top  10  cars  to  buy  in  2014.   (There  are  usually   Mustangs  to   be  seen  at   the   Le  Mans   Classic,   4th   -­‐   6th   July  2014,   which  this  year  is  also  celebrating  90  years  of  Le  Mans.) As  Ford’s  strap  line  for  the  new  Mustang  says  ...  “Deep  down,  you   know  you  want  to  ....  “ Contact  Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org.


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 35


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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 37


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Building & Renovation...

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40 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Business & Finance... PROFESSIONAL INSURANCES As more  and  more  of  you   are  coming  to  France  to  work  (instead  of   just  enjoying  the  good  life),  I  thought  it  would  be  of   interest  to  you   hard   working  people  to   know  what  type  of  professional   insurance   you  need. But  this  article  could  also  be  of  interest   to  anybody  using  builders  in   France,  as  some  of  those  insurances  are  a  legal  obligation  for   them.     You  need   to   check  that  they  are   properly  insured  before  they  do   any  work  on  your  property.

Public Liabilities  -­‐  Responsabilité  Civile Professionnelle  et  RC  Exploitation These  2  insurances  usually  come  together,  but  there  is  a  difference   between  the  two.     The   RC  Professionnelle  insures  you   for   claims  made  against   your   work,  and   the   RC   Exploitation  insures   you   in   case   of   accident   in   your  work  environment. For  example:   • You   are   a   physiotherapist,   someone   comes   in   your   treatment   room  and  as  you  are  massaging  him,  you  cause  severe  damage  to   his  neck;  it’s  the  RC   professionnelle   which   would   cover   you   for   that.   If   that  same  person   breaks  his   neck  on  a  wet  floor  walking   into  your  treatment  room,  it  would  be  the  RC   Exploitation  which   would  cover  you. • You   are   an   estate   agent,  you   have   sold   a   house   but   the   new   owner   sues  you  for  not  disclosing  a  fault   on   the  property.     It’s  the   RC   Professionnelle   which   would   cover   you.     If   you   break   a   window  when  visiting  the  house,  it’s  the  RC  Exploitation. This  insurance  is  not  an  obligation  but  I  strongly  advise  you  take  it   on,  as  not  having  it  could   be  costly.  (Especially  if   you  are  accident   prone!)    As   an  example  for  a  gardener,   it   is  usually  less  than  200€   per  year.    But  bear  in  mind  that  the  cost  depends  on  what  work  you   do  and  the   risk  involved,  so  a  gardener   who  cuts  trees  would   pay   more  than   one  who  does  not.     This  is  why  it  is  very  important   that   you  give  full  details  of  the  activity  you   do,  so  you  are  covered   for   the  right  thing.

Garantie Decennale This   insurance   is   an   OBLIGATION  for   all   artisans   who   work   on   properties   (loi   Spineta  of  the  04/01/1978).     This   is   an   insurance   guaranteeing  their   work  for   10  years.     This  is  not   a  guarantee   for   esthetic  or   better   quality  of  the  work   but   more  for   major   default   that   would   affect   the   structure  or   nature  of  the  building.     It   is   a   felony  not   to   have   this   insurance   if   you   are   an   artisan   (builder/ plumber/electrician/carpenter   etc.)  and  the  penalty  for   not   having   it  can  reach  75  000€  fine  and  6  month  imprisonment. Do  ask  for  an  attestation  of  this  insurance  from  your  artisan  before   they  do   any  work  on  your   property  as   not   having  it   could   be   an   explanation  as  to  why  one  quote  could  be  cheaper  than  another. This  insurance  usually  includes  the  Public  Liability  insurance.

Contrat Professionnel:  Professional  Contract This   is   for   people   who   have   a   building   for   their   work   (i.e.   restaurant,  shop,  factory  etc.).     This   insurance   is  more   like  a  house   insurance  but   for   business,  so  the  content  is  insured  but  also   the   pertes  d’exploitation  (loss  of  business). For   example:   Your   restaurant   burns   down,   the   insurance   would   rebuild  it   as  it   was,  pay  for   the  content  (food,  tables,  cookers,  etc)  

and pay  an  amount  of  money  for  the  loss  of  business  resulting  from   the  time   it  took  for  it  to  be  rebuilt.    This  contract  can  also   include   Public  liability.

Building Insurance Buildings   used  for   work   have  to   be   insured   separately  from  your   normal  house  insurance. For  example: • You  live  above  your   shop,  so  you  need  2  different  contracts,  one   private  for  your  flat  and  one  professional  for  the  shop. • You   work   from   home   and   you   receive   customers   inside   your   house  (one  room  used  to  do  beauty  treatment  for  instance)  then   you  need  a  separate  contract  for  that  room.

Vehicle Used  for  Work Basically,  check  with  your   insurer   as  it   depends   on   the   insurance   company  and   what  option   they  have  on  their   contracts.     I  know   that  in   the  UK,  a  vehicle  must  be  insured   for  professional  use  even   if  it   is  just   used  for  visiting   customers  (e.g.   mobile  hairdresser)  but   in   France  it   depends   on   the  contract   you   have  and   the   company   your  are  with,  so  check  with  your  insurer.

How to  Change  Insurance With   private   insurance,   you   can   cancel   (by   registered   mail)   2   months  before   the  renewal   date  or   within   20  days  from  receiving   your   renewal   letter   (called   loi   Chatel).   With   businesses,   the   loi   Chatel  is   NOT  applicable  so  you   must   cancel   2  months  in  advance   of  the  renewal  date  of  the  contract. Note   that,   at   the   beginning   of   February,   the   French   parliament   voted   a   new   law   (loi   Hamon)   which,  if   accepted   by  the   senate,     would  allow  people  to  cancel   their  insurance  whenever   they  want   (after  one   full   year).     This   new  law   will   only   be  applicable   for   car   and   house  insurances,  so   won’t  be  good  for   businesses  or   top   up   health  insurance. Business  insurances  are  actually   some  of  the  most  complicated  to   understand,  so  it  is  important   to  explain   in  detail  what  activity  you   do,  what  risk  and  what  turnover  you  have  so  you   don’t  get   over  or   under   insured.   As   usual,   feel   free  to   contact   me   for   any   further   information  on  that   subject   or   any  other   insurances  or   for  a  free   quote. Do  check  our  new  website  with  lots  of  information   on  insurances   and  other  matters,    www.bh-­‐assurances.fr

BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures, 16700 Ruffec Contact Isabelle Want: Tel: 05 45 31 01 61 Mob: 06 17 30 39 11 Email: isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 41


Let’s Talk About the Value of Your Property by Sue Cook One concern  I  have  come  across  a  number  of  times  in  the  last  few   months   whilst   talking  to   clients   is   the  impression   that   they  have   lost  a  lot  of  value  in  their  home  since  the  boom  of  2006. Many   people   have   decided   to   reduce   the   asking   price   of   their   houses  to  enable  them  to  sell  and  this  obviously  causes  concern. However,  if  your  house  is  for   sale  and  you  are  moving  back  to  the   UK,   you  may  be   surprised   to  realise  that   even   though  properties   have  reduced  in  price  in  the  French  market  since  2006,  the  Sterling   value  has  in  fact  increased.   Year

Value €

Rate

Value £

2006

€200,000

1.4648

£136,537

         *    2014

€170,000

1.1999

£141,678

As you  can   see  from  the  example  above,  although  the  Euro  value  of   property  may   have   decreased   by  30,000€   the   Sterling  value   has   actually  increased  by  £5,141. Keeping   an   eye   on   exchange   rate   fluctuations   could   make   a   difference  of  thousands  of  pounds  when  transferring  your  money.   Rate   Watch  is   a  free  service  available   from  Currencies  Direct.    Your   personal   dealer   will   contact  you  at   your   desired   rate  and  you  can   book  this  for  up   to  12  months,   which   can   help   you   budget   and   make   the   most   of   your   hard  earned  cash.

*Rates as of 18th March 2014

“How can   I   find   out   more   about   the   financial   services  that  are  available  to   me   in  France?” For   the   past   few   years   in   addition   to   running   financial   surgeries,  where   people   can   pop  in  and   ask  me  questions  they  may   have,   The   Spectrum   IFA   Group   have   also   held   tremendously   successful  “ Tour   de  Finance”  roadshows  in  the  area,  in  conjunction   with  Currencies  Direct. This  year  we  will  be  at  the  beautiful   Chateau   de   Saint   Loup,   in   Saint   Loup   sur   Thouet   on   Tuesday  17th   June.     Our   aim  is   to   provide   you   with   the   opportunity   to   listen   to   various   market   leaders   and   complimentary   service   providers   you  may  not  have  access  to  directly   and   over   a   buffet   lunch   after,   informally  ask   any  questions  you   may  have  regarding  your   personal   situation.   In  addition  to  Currencies  Direct  and  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group,  we  will   be  joined  by  a  number  of  financial   institutions   including  Prudential   International,   SEB   &   Standard   Bank,   as   well   as   Chartered   Accountants  &  international  tax  experts,  PetersonSimms  and  experts   in  the  French  health  system,  Exclusive.   Starting  with  registration   over   coffee  at   9.30am  followed  by  a  series   of   brief  presentations  and  then  a   buffet  lunch,  we  plan  to  finish   at   around  2.30pm.    Once   the  event   is  over  you  will   be  able  to   enjoy   walking  in  the  grounds  of  this  lovely  chateau. Whether   you   want   to   register   for   our   Tour   de  Finance   road  show,   receive  our  regular  newsletter  or  speak  to  me  directly,  please  call  or   email  me  on  the  contacts  below  and  I  will  be  glad  to  help  you.  We  do   not  charge  for  reviews,  reports  or  recommendations  we  provide. (Please  see  the  ‘What’s  On’  listing  for  my  next  Financial  Surgery.)

Thinking about placing an ad? Why not take advantage of our Special Packages for New Advertisers? Call Sarah for more details: 05 49 70 26 21

42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Photo:Chateau St Loup, Christophe Vigneron, Wikimedia Commons

If you   have   any   questions   or   need   a   quote   please   contact   me  I  will  be  happy  to  help:

Ask Amanda.


Tax Considerations for 2014 Are you up-to-date on all the various tax reforms in France over recent years? There have been so many it is hard to keep up, and French taxpayers now suffer a particularly high tax burden. Nonetheless, with specialist advice it is still possible to take advantage of tax compliant opportunities to protect assets from tax.

2014 Finance Bill The scale rates of income tax have been re-indexed to inflation, but the “exceptional contribution” tax of 3% and 4% for income over 250,000€ and 500,000€ remains in place. The new 75% rate applies to remunerations over 1m€ for 2013 and 2014, and is payable by the employer. Capital gains realised on the sale of shares are now taxed at the income tax rates. A taper relief of 50% and 65% applies to shares held for longer than two and eight years.

Capital Gains Tax on French and UK Property When buying or selling property, you should carefully consider all the financial and tax implications. French residents pay tax at between 19% and 25%, plus 15.5% social charges, on gains made on the disposal of property. There is a taper relief system and the main home is exempt.

by Brad Warden, Partner, Blevins Franks

From April 2015, non-UK residents will also start to be taxed in the UK on gains made when selling UK property (whether or not you return to UK). The Private Residence Relief grace period on selling the main home is reduced from 36 to 18 months this April.

Assurance Vie The beneficial tax treatment of withdrawals was untouched and Assurance Vie continues to provide significant tax advantages. There is a revision to the succession tax treatment of policies on death. In 2013, the first 152,500€ per beneficiary was exempt from tax, with a rate of 20% applying on amounts up to 902,838€ and 25% above that limit. The limit for the higher rate has reduced to 700,000€ and the tax rate applied after this increased to 31.25%.

Tax on Bank Interest and Dividends As imposed last year, dividends and bank interest are taxed at the scale rates of income tax, so higher earners pay more tax. You need to pay 21% and 24% tax respectively on account if your income falls above a threshold. This does not apply to income rolled up within an Assurance Vie. It is more important than ever to take professional advice on your tax planning and to avoid paying more tax than necessary. Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should seek personalised advice.

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 43


Are French   Residents   Subject   to   Inheritance  Law? Question “Dear  Sirs, It   is  my   understanding   that   all   French   residents   are  subject   to   the   Napoleonic   inheritance   laws   in   France.   However,   according  to  my  Notaire,  a  new   law   will   allow   any   foreigner   living   in   France   to   write   a   Will   according   to   the   law   of   their   nationality,   which   I   have   now   done.   Furthermore,  whilst  I  understand   that   the   law   change   does   not   come   into   force   until   August   2015,  I  have  been  informed  that   should   your  spouse/partner  die   before  the  new  law   comes  into   force  the  Will   becomes  active  at  that  time.  Your  clarification  on  this   matter  would  be  appreciated.       Sincerely,  Mr  and  Mrs  XXX”.     Siddalls’  Answer We  are  aware  of   the  new  European  rules  from  2015,  but  were  not   aware   that   they   could   already   be   applied,   despite   the   law   not   being  in  force,  so   please  thank  your   Notaire  for   that  information.   We   are   also   not   yet  entirely  clear   about  how  the  fact   that  the  UK   has   opted   out   of   the   new   rules   will   affect   their   application   in   practice,  particularly  in  respect  of  French  property  (real  estate). There  is  no   question,  however,  that  the   new  rules  should   provide   extra  flexibility,   but   our   first   analysis   is   that   they  will   not   be   of   benefit   to   many  of   our   clients,   due   to   the  fact   that   they  do  not   affect   the  issue  of  inheritance  tax.     For  simple  family  situations,  the   new   rules   provide   an  easy  way  to  circumvent   French   inheritance   rules,  although  solutions  already  exist  under  French  law.     However,   for   second   marriages,   unless   it   is   certain   that   the   survivor   will   return  to  the  UK,  it   is  unlikely  that   the  new   rules   will   be  suitable,   since  they  could  leave  one  family  with  a  potential   60%  inheritance   tax  bill! For  unmarried,  or  un-­‐“pacsed”  couples,  the  new  rules  will  offer  no   protection  from  the  60%  tax   due  by  the  survivor   on  anything  left  to   each  other. Finally,  for   an  estate  of  any  size,  using  UK  law  is  likely  to  increase   the   eventual   inheritance   tax   bill   for   the   next   generation,  since  it   would,  in  theory,  annul   the  effects  of  any  inheritance  tax  planning   done  under  French  law. Therefore,  whilst   we   agree  that  the  new   European  rules  will  offer   greater   flexibility,  which  is  very  welcome,  it  will  remain   vital   to  plan   each   individual   case,   to   ensure   that   UK   law  does   not   cause   any   additional   problems   and   that   there   is   not   a   more   appropriate   solution  under  French  law. David  Hardy  is  Regional  Manager  of  Siddalls  France,   Independent  Financial  Adviser,  specialised  in  tax,  inheritance,   pension  and  investment  planning  for  the  British  community  in   the  Poitou-­‐Charentes  since  1996.    Tel:  05  56  34  75  51 www.siddalls.fr

44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

CONTRIBUTIONS.... We are always looking for new articles for consideration in future issues. Do you have an experience to share? Are you a tradesman with a Top Tip? or perhaps an avid reader who would like to contribute a book review? Whatever it may be, either long or short, we would love to hear from you. You can call Sarah on 05 49 70 26 21 with any ideas, or send them on an email to: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr


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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 45


Wanting to Spread Your Wings? by Joanna Leggett

Some house   buyers   can   spend   a   lifetime   searching   for   their   dream   home.     Everyone   wants   a   south   facing   garden,   the   perfect  kitchen  and  the  most  comfortable  lounge. But   perhaps   most   precious   of   all   commodities   is   space   -­‐   with   enough  bedrooms  for  all   your   family  and  perhaps,  also  inevitably,   living  here  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres,  room  for  the  odd  visitor  or  two! So,   in  this  edition   we're  looking  at  three   country  homes   we  have   currently  for  sale  at  Leggetts;  all  with  lots  of  bedrooms  and  room  to   'breathe'. Just   ten   minutes   drive  from  Chef   Boutonne   or   Sauzė-­‐Vaussais,   is   this   large   19th   century   detached   five   bedroom,   two   bathroom,   stone   property   (Ref:   39175SH79).   Dating   from   1865,   retaining   many  original   features  and   with   a  welcoming  feel,  this  beautifully   presented   property   with   large  mature  gardens   is   tucked   away   at   the  end  of  a  hamlet.     Overlooking  the  garden   to  the   left  of  its  front  door  is  an  attractive   covered   eating   area   shading   the  summer   sun.     Inside   is  a   large   living   and   dining   hall,   with   beautifully   finished   wooden   floors,   revealed   stone   walls   and  a  large  wood   burning  stove  with  double   aspect  windows.     The  large  kitchen  also  has  a  lovely  fireplace  with   woodburner   insert   providing   heating   for   two   of   the   bedrooms.     Upstairs  are  five  spacious  bedrooms,  one  ensuite.     Benefiting  from   the  installation  of  a  new  drainage  system   and  recently  retiled   roof,   it   also   has   broadband   internet,   double   glazing   and   wood   fired   heating.    For  sale  at  323,300€. St   Coutant   is  a  small   hamlet   situated  in  the  triangle  made   by  the   towns  Melle,    Sauzė-­‐Vaussais  and  Lezay.     In  a   tranquil   location,  set   back  from  the  street,  we   have  a  large  stone   property  for   sale   at   224,700€  (Ref:   39463SBA79)   which   is   a   great   family-­‐sized   home.     Renovated  throughout,  downstairs  there  are  a  large   living  kitchen,   sitting   room   with   plenty   of   natural   light,   summer   kitchen   and   shower  room.    Two  staircases,  both  accessed  from  the  kitchen,  lead   firstly  to  the  cellar  under   the  house  and  the  second  upstairs  where   there   are   three   double   bedrooms   off   the   landing   and   a   second   bathroom.    Up  a  step   is  a  recently  opened  up  area  and  further  two   bedrooms  with  revealed   stone  walls  and  wooden  beams.     There's   also  a  garage,  gardens  with  parking,  vegetable  garden  and  orchard! Our   final   choice,   in   Vasles   b es i d e   Vaus s e roux ,   i s   another   spacious   detached   f a r m h o u s e   ( R e f :   39098DW79).     Its   beautiful   g r o u n d s   a n d   l a w n e d   gardens   are   planted   with   trees   and   offer   great   views   across   the   countryside.   The   house   itself   has  four   generously-­‐sized   bedrooms,  the  two  on   the   first   floor  both  boasting   ensuite  bathrooms!    A  generous   entrance   hall   leads   to  a  large  lounge  with  woodburner  and  French  windows   opening  on  to  the  patio  and  garden,  a  large  kitchen  with  a  separate   utility/kitchen,   and   two   bedrooms   as   well   as   a   shower   room.     Outside   there   is   a   double   garage   leading   to   a   workshop   with   further  storage  areas.     This  property  is  currently  on  the  market   for   189,000€. Joanna  Leggett  is  Marketing  Director  at  Leggett  Immobilier. You  can  view  their  full  portfolio  of  properties  for  sale  in  France  at   www.leggettfrance.com

46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


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'The Deux-Sevres Monthly' April 2014  

English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sèvres (79) and surrounding areas.