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


Welcome! to Issue 37 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine.

I can’t   really   believe   I’m   typing   this,  but   this   issue  celebrates  the  magazine’s  3rd  Birthday!     Printed  in   Black  and  White,  with   only  20  pages   and   1100   copies,   our   first   issue   launched   in   March   2011.  The   magazine  was  very  warmly   received   and   has   gone   from   strength   to   strength,  month  on  month.    Thank  you  to  all   who   have   contributed   and   advertised   since   our  creation...we  wouldn’t  have  anything  to  print  without  you! To   celebrate   our   milestone,   you’ll   see   some   changes   inside   this   month   with   a  fresh   look   and   a   new  monthly   feature  highlighting   various   towns   in   the   department.     It   seemed   only  right   that   we   include  our  ‘home’  as  the  first  ‘Spotlight  On...’  so  we  hope  you  enjoy   learning  a  little  about  where  we  live. Finally,  I’d  like  to   say  a  big  “Thank  You”  to  Jessica  Morris  for  her  help   with  this  issue. I  hope  you  enjoy  the  new  look  and  keep  the  contributions  coming....

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

CONTENTS

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

What’s On.......................................................................................... 4 Getting  Out  &  About......................................................................... 6 Le  Coin  Français................................................................................. 9 A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres....................................... 10 Hobbies............................................................................................ 11 Clubs  &  Associations........................................................................ 14 Take  a  Break..................................................................................... 15 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness.................................................................. 16 Our  Furry  Friends...............................................................................19 Home  &  Garden.............................................................................. 21 Spotlight  On..................................................................................... 23 French  Life....................................................................................... 28 Communications............................................................................. 30 Food  &  Drink................................................................................... 32 Motoring.......................................................................................... 35 Building  &  Renovation..................................................................... 37 Business  &  Finance.......................................................................... 41 Property........................................................................................... 45

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS  

...continued. Bistrot  des  Amis................................................................................................... 32 Blevins  Franks  Financial  Management................................................................ 43 Blue  Bicycle  B&B.................................................................................................. 26 Boutique  Aquarelle  (Wedding  Dresses  &  Formal  Wear).....................................26 Brico  Pro  (Builder’s  Merchants).......................................................................... 26 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)...........................................................36 Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle........................................................................................... 32 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs.......................................................................................... 34 Camping  Les  Prairies  du  Lac................................................................................ 29 Caniclôture  (Hidden  Fencing  for  Dogs)............................................................... 19 Cave-­‐Brasserie..................................................................................................... 26 Cheryl’s  Helping  Hand......................................................................................... 21 Chris  Parsons  (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing)...................................................... 27 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)...................................................... 6 Cleaning  Services  by  Karen.................................................................................. 22 Clean  Sweep  Chimney  Services........................................................................... 37 Concept  Construction......................................................................................... 38 Currencies  Direct  (Money  Transfers)................................................................... 42 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon).............................................................................................. 18 DB  Electricité....................................................................................................... 40 D.W  Cooper  (Carpenter,  Roofer,  Mason)............................................................. 39 David  Cropper  (Stump  Grinding  &  Jungle  Busting)............................................ 22 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep)........................................................................ 37 D.J  Maintenance  (Handyman)............................................................................ 40 Domaine  de  l’Enchantoir  (Vineyard).................................................................. 6 Double  Glazing  Installation  -­‐  Haynes  Carpentry.................................................. 37 Down  to  Earth  Pool  Design  (Swimming  Pool  Design  &  Construction)................ 45 EcoPower  (Solar  Thermal  Trading  Company)...................................................... 45 Electricien  Anglais  en  France.............................................................................. 40 Famous  Furniture  in  France.................................................................................21 France  Fishing  Gites............................................................................................ 23 Franglais  Deliveries............................................................................................. 36 GAN  Assurances.................................................................................................. 36 George  Rayner  Computers.................................................................................. 31 Gîte  Changeover,  Gardening  &  Cleaning  Services...............................................22 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers)........................................ 40 Harris  Home  and  Garden.................................................................................... 24 Holistic  Therapy  -­‐  Soul  to  Sole............................................................................ 17 I  C  O  Electricté..................................................................................................... 40 Insink  Plumbing................................................................................................. .. 37 J&M  Construction............................................................................................... 39 John  Pate  (Renovations)..................................................................................... 39 Jon  the  Carpetman.............................................................................................. 21 Julia  Hunt  -­‐  Agent  Commercial............................................................................ 46 Julie’s  Cleaning  Services.......................................................................................21 Keith  Banks  (Swimming  Pool  Maintenance)....................................................... 45 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).................................... 21 La  Toutounette  (Dog  Grooming)......................................................................... 24 Le  Pub  des  Halles................................................................................................. 32 Leggett  Immobilier.............................................................................................. 46 Le  Petit  Logis  (B&B)............................................................................................. 23 MCS  Translations................................................................................................. 7 Michael  William  Hairdressing............................................................................. 18 ML  Computers..................................................................................................... 31 Motor  Parts  Charente.......................................................................................... 36 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances......................................................................... 36 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services.......................................................................... 39 Needa  Hand  Services........................................................................................... 38 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).............................................................. 17 Pascale  Matéo  (French  Tuition)........................................................................... 8 Pascale  Terry  (French  Tuition)............................................................................. 8 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire).............................................................................40 Plan-­‐170  (Professional  Scale  Drawings).............................................................. 45 Point  P  (Builder’s  Merchants).............................................................................. 27 Polar  Express  (Frozen  Foods).............................................................................. 34 Premier  Autos  (Mechanic).................................................................................. 36 Premier  Plastering............................................................................................... 38 Restaurant  des  Canards....................................................................................... 34 Restaurant  du  Lac................................................................................................ 25 Rob  Berry  Plastering  Services.............................................................................. 38 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)............................................. 30 Sabestini  Renovation  &  Construction................................................................. 39 Salon  des  Vins  et  Terroirs.................................................................................... 48 Sandy  G  (Hairdresser)......................................................................................... 18 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Fosse  Installations  &  Groundworks)................................... 40 Sarah  Berry  Online  (Website  Design).................................................................. 31 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors).................................................................................44 Silverwood  Books................................................................................................ 11 Simon  The  Tiler.................................................................................................... 37 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)............................................................. 42 Steve  Enderby...................................................................................................... 38 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)....................................................... 8 The  Craft  Cabin  (Handmade  cards  and  card-­‐making  items)............................... 6 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre............................................................ 35 The  Market.......................................................................................................... 6 Trisha  Mobile  Hairdresser.................................................................................... 17 Val  Assist  (Translation  Services)........................................................................... 8 Venus  Rose  Yoga.................................................................................................. 16

79 Renovations.....................................................................................................39 A  Cut  Above  with  Jilly  (Mobile  Hairdressing)..................................................... 17 A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)............................................................................... 26 Abattage  Service  (Slaughter  House)................................................................... 29 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)...................................................................... 36 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  Double  Glazing).................................2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)................................................................................ 39 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)..................................................................... 38 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber).............................................................................. 37 ARB  French  Property........................................................................................... 47 Arbrecadabra.com  (Tree  surgery)........................................................................22 Au  fil  et  à  mesure  (Sewing  Alterations)............................................................... 26 Bar/Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau............................................................................ 33 BH  Assurances  /  Allianz....................................................................................... 41 Bill  McEvoy  (Plumber  /  Heating  Engineer)........................................................ 37 ©  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  et   morgeufile.com.  Impression:  Raynaud  Imprimeurs,  zone  industrielle,  BP13,  79160,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.    Dépôt  légal:  mars  2014  -­‐  Tirage:  5000  exemplaires.    Siret:  515  249  738  00011  ISSN:  2115-­‐4848

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 3


03

What’s On... March 2014

1st March  -­‐  Live  Music  Night At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    Adrian  Simmonds  plays  à  la  Carte. 3rd  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Limalonges See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 6th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Chef  Boutonne See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 10th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Rouillac See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 11th  March  -­‐  Les  Dames  de  F.E.R.  Awareness  Morning At   The  Market,  Luché   sur   Brioux.     10am-­‐12pm.     Female   business   owners  welcome.    To  book  email  micalalesdamesdefer@gmail.com. 12th  March  -­‐  “God’s  Word  &  God’s  Spirit”,  Talk  by  Rev  Nick  Crawley At   La   Grange,   39   rue   de   Centre,   Thouarsais   Bouildroux.  7.30pm   (7pm  for  refreshments).    See  P.5 12th  March-­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Aigre See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 13th  March  -­‐  Financial  Surgery  with  Amanda  Johnson At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  10  am-­‐12  noon. 13th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Champniers See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 14th  March  -­‐  Indian  Theme  Night At  A  La  Bonne  Vie,  Le  Beugnon.    See  advert  on  P.26 15th  March  -­‐  St  Patrick’s  Day  with  Live  Music At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs  Fenioux.    Please  see  advert  P.34 17th  March  -­‐  St  Patrick’s  Day  Party At  Le  Pub  des  Halles,  Saint  Hermine.    Booking  only.    See  advert  on  P.32 18th  March  -­‐  Quiz  Night At  Le  Pub  des  Halles,  Saint  Hermine.    See  advert  on  P.32 19th  March  -­‐  Book  &  Coffee  Morning in  Mauze  Thouarsais.    2  books  for  a  Euro!    See  P.6  for  details. 21st  March  -­‐  Quiz  Night At  Restaurant  des  Canards,  Chef  Boutonne.    See  advert  on  P.34 21st-­‐22nd  March  -­‐  Pantomime    at  La  Pommeraie The   Pommeraie  Players  present  “The  Hunchback  of   Notre  Dame”  at   the  Salle  des  Fêtes.    Doors  and  bar  open  7pm,  curtain  up  8pm.    Tickets   7€  from  the  Mairie  05  49  07  61  71  or  on  the  door.   22nd  March  -­‐  Belgian  Nite At  Bar  Vue  du  Chateau,  Breessuire.    See  advert  on  P.33 23rd  March  -­‐  Art  &  Craft  Sale  in  Fenioux at  the  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  to  raise  funds  for  the  CSSG.    2pm-­‐5pm. 23rd  March  -­‐  All  in  White  Seafood  Brunch At  Domaine  de  l’enchantoir  10am-­‐3pm.    See  advert  on  P.6 25th  March  -­‐  Financial  Surgery  with  Amanda  Johnson At  Pause!  Café,  L’Absie  10  am-­‐4pm. 27th  March  -­‐  Financial  Surgery  with  Amanda  Johnson At  Café  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant  11am-­‐3pm. 27th  March  -­‐  Quiz  and  Supper At  the  Mongoustan  Restaurant,  Mervent  (Vendee)   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  jackipedrick@hotmail.com  or  phone  02  51  00  50  59. 28th  March  -­‐  Financial  Surgery  with  Amanda  Johnson At  Open  Door  Library,  Civray.    10am-­‐12  noon. 28th-­‐30th  March  -­‐  Salon  des  Vins  et  Terroirs  at  Thouars at  l’Orangerie  du  Chateau,  see  P.7  for  further  info.

What’s Coming Up... 6th April  -­‐  Clesse’  Rando/VTT  (Walk/Cycle  circuits) From  Salle  omnisports  de  Clessé  -­‐  Walking  circuits  9-­‐17km,  Cycling   circuits  25-­‐55km 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  -­‐  Book  Sale  at  Linazay 21st  April  -­‐  Fête  des  plantes  at  Pamproux 6th  Cultur’Jardin  (http://www.culturjardin.com) 1st  May  -­‐  Fête  des  Plantes  at  Le  Beugnon 4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Monthly services  at  the  English  speaking  Church  in  Deux-­‐Sèvres Jassay The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ   the   Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,     has  a  Home  Group  Service  at  Jassay,  commencing  at  11.00am  on   every  2nd  Sunday  in  the  month;  it   is  held  at   the   home  of  Ann   White.     A  warm  welcome  awaits   everyone  for  a  time   of  worship   and  fellowship.   Chef-­‐Boutonne The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ   the   Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   also   holds  services  on  the  1st  Sunday  of  each  month  at  10.30am   at  The  Little   Stone  Church  in  Chef-­‐Boutonne.     After  each  service,   tea  or   coffee  is  served  and   an  opportunity  to  meet  other  people   in  the  area.   Parthenay The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ   the   Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   also  holds  services  on   the  4th   Sunday  of  each   month  at  10.30am   in  the  Presbytery  Rooms,  rue  de  la  Citadelle,  Parthenay,  opposite   St   Croix   Church.    After   each  service,  tea  or  coffee  is  served  and   everyone  is  invited  to  a  'bring  and  share'  lunch.     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

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


03                                                                                              

                                                                         

Paperback Jan Books  in  English

2nd Mar:  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  79160.    2pm  -­‐  4pm 6th  Mar:  Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud  79450.  2pm-­‐5pm   7th  Mar:  Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars  79100.  11.30am  -­‐  2pm   8th  Mar:  Café  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole  79400.    10am  -­‐  1pm 11th  Mar:  Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire  79300.  11am  -­‐  1pm 12th  Mar:    Les  Jardins  St  Laurent,  Parthenay  79200.  10.30am-­‐12.30pm 12th  Mar:  Le  Don  Jon  Bar,  Moncontour  86330.  4pm  -­‐  6pm 13th  Mar:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie  79240.    2pm-­‐  5pm 14th  Mar:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.  11am-­‐  4pm 15th  Mar:  Cafe  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant  85120.    2.30pm-­‐  4.30pm   26th  Mar:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.    1pm-­‐  5pm 27th  Mar:  Le  Relais  des  2  Moulins,  Clessé  79350.    4pm-­‐  6pm 28th  Mar:  Le  P’tit  Bar  Boucard,  Ménigoute  79340.    4pm-­‐  6pm 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   • St  Jean  d’Angély  17400 • Matha 17160 • Gourville  16170

See www.frying2nite.com  for  details  or  call  06  02  22  44  74

Reel Fish & Chips

Open 6.30

-9pm

     Wed  4th        The  Canteen,  Etusson        Fri  7th                Bar  Tabac  PMU,  Bouille-­‐Loretz        Sat  8th              Bar  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire        Wed  19th    The  Canteen,  Etusson        Thurs  20th  Bar  Tabac  PMU,  St  Martin  du  Sanzay Tel: 06 04 14 23 94 or visit: www.reelfishandchips.net

Fish 4 Chip

Open 6 - 8

pm

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                                                       + 1st March:

Open 6-8.3

Bar Le Lys @ La Chapelle aux Lys

0pm

• Wednesdays (March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th) Bar ‘Auberge le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges • Thursdays (March 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) Bar ‘La Rando’, Mervent.

     

• Fridays (February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th) Bar ‘Au Bon Coin’, Thoursais Bouildroux

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

Combined Services Support Group (CSSG) by Terri Laverick What a   fantastic   evening   we   had   on   25th   January   when   we   celebrated   the   life  of  Robert  Burns  with   a  Haggis  supper   at   the   Café  des   Belles  Fleurs.     Many  thanks   to   the  organisers,  helpers   and  to  Joy  and  her   staff  who  provided  us  with  a  super   meal  and   worked   wonders  behind  the  scenes.    A  small   play   about  a  short   period   in   Robert   Burns’   life,   followed   by   music,   singing   and   dancing  were  the  order   of   the  night.    Everyone   seemed  to  have   a   very   enjoyable   evening,   I   most   certainly   did....another   eleven   months  and  we  can  do  it  all  again! We  continue  to  organise  our  programme  of  events  for  the  rest  of   the  year  and  it’s  looking  as  busy  as   usual.    Spaces  are   booked  for   several   events  and   we   are  scouring  cookery   books   for   a   wider   range  of  cakes  for   the   tea,   coffee  and   cake  stalls.     Pauline  and   John   Tonks   are   reviewing   the   tombola   prizes   to   ensure   a  good   supply   when   needed.     They   are   also   seeking   assistance   from   members  to  help  man  the  stalls  when  required.  Forward  planning   is  to  be  the  order  of  the  day. If   you   are   interested   in   joining   us,   please   contact   us   on   cssgroup@outlook.com  and  we  will  be  pleased  to  add   you  to  our   mailing   list,   and   meet   you   at   either   one   of   our   meetings   or   organised  events.    Everyone  is  most  welcome. The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2014 Sunday  2nd  March  ............   Grandmothers’  Day  (Grands-­‐mères) Tuesday  4th  March  ............   Shrove  Tuesday  (Mardi  Gras) 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... BAL FOLK 15th March 2014, 9pm Salle Espace Gâtine, SECONDIGNY (route de Parthenay) With family show by

Les recycleurs de son Emmanuel Ferjou & Tony Bailly Bal organised by Association pour l’Amitié des cantons des Secondigny & Elavagnon (TOGO) to continue funding of various activities.

BOOK AND COFFEE MORNING 2 Books for 1 Euro! Hundreds of  books  to  choose  from... 45  RUE  DU  BOIS  BAUDRON,  79100  MAUZE  THOUARSAIS

10.00am to  12.30pm,  Wednesday  19th  March.

Our first  book  morning  of  2014  will   be  on  Wednesday  19th  March.     Bring  your   friends  and   enjoy  a  pleasant   morning   drinking  coffee,   eating  cake  and   browsing  through  the  hundreds  of  books  we  have   for   sale.    Jo  from  Phoenix  Cards  will  be  there,  as  usual,  along  with   Heather  with  her  fashion  and  gemstone  jewellery. Further   dates  for  your  diary  are  Wednesday  30th   April,  Wednesday   28th  May  and  Wednesday  25th  June. Last   year   we   collected   1300€   for   the   animal   charity   ‘The   Helianthus   Association’.     Many   thanks   to   all   those   who   supported   us   and   we   hope  to  collect  even  more  this  year. Steve  and  Theresa  Penney  Tel:  05  49  66  03  73                 Helianthuis  Association  -­‐  www.helianthus-­‐asso.org

• • • 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

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Photo: Lisa Roberts

Local Markets

Mondays:


The Salon des Vins et Terroirs

is an   extraordinary   opportunity   to   walk   through   from   one  region  to  another….... by Jessica Morris

Val de Sèvre Classic Rally The 9th   ‘Val   de   Sevre   CLASSIC’   Historic   Regularity   Rally   FFSA   will   take  place  on  17th  &  18th  May  2014   in  Niort. Departure   on   Saturday  morning  will   be  the  same  as  last  year,  from  Place   de  la  Breche  in  Niort  city  centre,  after   the   administrative   and   technical   control.   A  completely  new  route  will   head  to   the  north   of  the  department,  re-­‐grouping  at  Airvault  after   passing   Châtillon-­‐sur-­‐Thouet  and  then  down  to  St  Maixent   l’Ecole  through   the  Thouet  Valley.    After  dinner  will  be  the  night  test,  which  always   gives  a  few   surprises  in  the  rankings,  with  the  finish  at  the  AGAPE   Contemporary   restaurant,  Avenue   de   La   Rochelle,  Niort   around   11pm.

With more   than   a   100   wine   growers   and   50   appellations   represented,  the  salon  is  a  perfect  way  to   pay  a  glowing  tribute,  not   only  to  our  heritage  of  wine  production,  but  also   to  other  regional   French  products.     Since   its  creation  in  1947,  this   event  welcomes  you   with  a  friendly   atmosphere  and   has  been  a  great  way  for   wine  makers  and   local   food   producers  to   become  known,  by  enabling  the  public  to   meet   the  wine  growers   and  taste  their   products  during  the  three  days  of   the  exposition. For  a  nominal  entrance  fee  (3€)  you  will  receive  a  complementary   glass  of   wine   and   wine   pourer,  while   discovering   and   tasting  a   way   of  life  with  its   fine  wines  and  traditional     flavours. The  Salon  des  Vins  et  Terroirs  is  entirely  organized   by   volunteers   of  the  Thouarsais   area  and  there  is  also  a   competition   which   enables   the   producers   to   win   awards  for  their  produce. Come   and   discover   the   Salon   des   Vins   et   Terroirs   at   l’Orangerie   du   Chateau   in  Thouars  during  the  weekend   of   28th,   29th   &   30th   March.   (See   back   cover   for   more   information).    Food  will  be  available  all  day.

On Sunday  morning   the  rally  will   depart  from   Fors,  following   the   rivers  and  waterways  with  a  stop  at  the  Place  de  Brioux  to  reach   Domaine  de  la  Bône  for  the  gala  dinner  and  awards  ceremony. The   route   is   about   400km   with   16   regularity   sectors,   with   variables   averages   of   over   270km.     The   number   of   entries   is   limited   to   70   teams   for   all   vehicles   over   15   years   old   in   the   regularity   sections,   with   the   possibility   for   other   vehicles   to   register   for   a  discovery  rally,  allowing  them  to  cover   the   course   without  being  timed. Registration   is   200€,   which   includes   dinner   for   two   people   on   Saturday   evening,   and   lunch   for   two   on   Sunday.     A  license   is   mandatory   for   participation   in   both   the   regularity   and   the   discovery  rallies. Timed   tests   count   for   the   “Challenge   de   Regularite   du   comite   Poitou-­‐Charente”,  which  comprises  three  events:  The  Val  de  Sevre   Classic,  The   Charente-­‐Maritime   Classic,  and   the  Historique   Rally   de  Poitou.  Pre-­‐registration  for  this  event  is  available  now.   For  more  information  visit:  www.automobile-­‐club79.com Organiser:   Association   Sportive   Automobile   Club   des   Deux-­‐ Sèvres,  49  avenue  de  La  Rochelle,  79000  Niort.   Email:  asac79@laposte.net  or  info@automobile-­‐club79.com

Ready to Help YOU!

My name  is  Keenan  Dominey  of  MCS  Translations.     After   moving  to  France  nearly  10  years   ago  with   my  parents  and   my  sister,   I  went  straight   into  the   French   school   system.    I  have   remained  in  education  to  study  accountancy  and  law,  and  will  finish  this  year,  2014. I  am  registered  to   work  as  a  Translator  and   Interpreter.  With  my  knowledge   of  the   school   system,  accountancy  and  general  day-­‐to-­‐day  living  in  France,  it  was  an  obvious  choice  to  put   that  knowledge  to  good  use  and  help  others  who  may  struggle  with  the  language. I’m   here  to   help  English  people   in   France   with   everyday  letters,   meetings  and   especially   with  personal  Tax  forms  (that  need  to  be  completed  soon!).    Generally,  I’d  like  to  think  I  can   help  to  make  life  a  bit  easier  for  people. If  you  have  any  questions  or  need  some  help,  please  email  me  on  mcs-­‐translations@sfr.fr     or  call  06  22  16  60  38  in  the  evenings/weekends  to  discuss.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 7


Dbsnbwbm!fu!Nbsej!Hsbt

by Sue  Burgess

Mardi Gras   (Fat   Tuesday   or   Shrove   Tuesday)   was   the   last   day   Christians  could  eat  des  mets  gras  (fatty  foods)  before  spending  40   days  in  prayer  and  abstaining  from  eating  meat  and  rich,  fatty  foods   until  Easter.    This  day  announced  the  beginning  of  Carême  (Lent).     It   marks  the  end  of  la  semaine  des  sept   jours  gras  (week  of  seven  fat   days),   once   called   jours   charnels   (carnal   days).     This   period   precedes  le  mercredi  des  Cendres  (Ash  Wednesday). In  France,  mardi   gras  is  celebrated  in  a  number   of  ways;  at  home,   in   the   family,  in   the   local   neighbourhood  and,  when   the   children   are   not   on   holiday   from   school,   at   school.     People   dress   up   in   costumes  and  fancy  dress  (on  se  déguise)  for  processions  (défilés). Pancakes   (les  crêpes)   and   doughnuts  (les  beignets)  are  made  and   eaten  and,  in  many  parts  of  France,  including  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres,    you   can  also  find  lots  of   other  culinary  specialities   (les  tourtisseaux,  les   merveilles,  les  oreillettes  -­‐  pastry  specialities  made  from  batter  or   flaky  pastry). In  some   parts   of  France  Mardi   Gras  is   celebrated  in   a   big  way.    In   Dunkirk  the  carnaval  goes  on  for  three  days.    Nice  has  its  Carnaval   de  Nice,  one  of  the  largest  carnivals  in  the  world,  lasting  a  fortnight.     The  word  carnaval  comes  from  the  Latin  “carne  levare”  (to  remove   the  meat).    The  Carnival  of  Nice  can  be  traced  back  to  1294. This   year   the   Carnaval   de  Nice  lasts  from  the   14th   February  -­‐  4th   March.    The  colourful  parades  (les  défilés)  take  place  day  and  night.     On   the   Promenade   des   Anglais,   the   elegant   "flower   battles"  (batailles  des  fleurs)  are  part  of  the  carnival  and  are  not  to   be  missed.    On  floats  (les  chars)  decorated  with  the  most  stunning   floral   compositions,   extravagantly   dressed   characters   throw   out   mimosas,  gerberas,  and  lilies  into  the  public. The   Carnival   theme  for   this   year   is   gastronomy  and   the   "King   of   Gastronomy"  (le  roi  de  la  gastronomie)  will  follow  the  parades. Vocabulary  /  Vocabulaire  : le  roi

the king

la reine

the queen

une princesse

a princess

un géant  

a giant

une sorcière

a witch

une licorne

a unicorn

un char

a carnival  float

une fête  foraine

funfair

un fanfare

marching band

des clowns

clowns

des artistes  des  rues

street artists

des jongleurs

jugglers

des plumes

feathers

des déguisements

costumes

une perruque

wig

des carnavaliers

maskers, people  who  go  to  the  carnival

8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Small Colour Advert... only 34€


Le Coin Français The Language Centre @ The Market Peut-­‐être vous  avez  besoin  de   l’anglais  pour   votre   travail   ou  vous   avez   comme projet   l’intention   de   voyager   à   l’étranger.     Ou,  tout   simplement,  vous   voulez   échanger   avec   votre   voisin   anglophone   dans  sa  langue  maternelle. Maintenant   vous   pouvez   prendre   des   cours   d’anglais  à  The  Market,  15  Route de  Brioux,  Luché   sur   Brioux   79170   (entre  Chef  Boutonne  et   Brioux   sur  Boutonne). Diplômée  dans  l’enseignement  de  l’anglais  en  tant   que   langue   étrangère,   Helen   Ace   a   animé   des   cours  d’anglais   pendant  9  ans  pour  la  Chambre   de Commerce.     Aujourd’hui   elle   donne   aussi   des   cours  à  The  Market.     Des   cours de   conversation   qui   ont   commencé   l’année   dernière;  une  heure,  autour   d’un   Cream   Tea,   où   on   peut   parler   en   anglais   dans   un   environnement  détendu. Les   groupes  sont   petits  -­‐   maximum   6   personnes   pour   que   tout   le   monde puisse   parler   au   maximum. Les   cours   plus   structurés,   pour   travailler   la   grammaire  et   les  besoins individuels,  sont  en  train   d’être   réalisés.     Face-­‐à-­‐face   ou   en   groupe,   ces cours  seront  «sur  mesure».     Tous   les   deux   ou   trois   mois   on   organise   un   déjeuner   bilingue.    Un  moment  de rencontre  pour   dialoguer   avec   vos   voisins   anglophones   autour   d’un  déjeuner. On   peut   faire   des   nouvelles   amitiés   tout   en   réalisant  notre  but:  parler  en  anglais! Pour   tous   renseignements   complémentaires   contactez  Helen  Ace:     Tél  06  98  05  48  79;  email  info@15luche.com

Le 125ème anniversaire de l'inauguration de la tour Eiffel ~ le 31 mars Initialement, Gustave Eiffel (ingénieur passé maître dans l'architecture du fer) avait prévu douze mois de travaux ; en réalité, il en a fallu deux fois plus. Cela a coûté 1,5 million de francs de plus que prévu! Construite en deux ans, deux mois et cinq jours, de 1887 à 1889, par 250 ouvriers, elle est inaugurée, à l'occasion d'une fête de fin de chantier organisée par Gustave Eiffel, le 31 mars 1889 Le monument est devenu le symbole de la capitale française, et un site touristique de premier plan :Elle a accueilli son 250 millionième visiteur en 2010.

«Rôti du dimanche» une grande tradition britannique, mais c’est plus qu’un simple «Rostbif» Le “rôti  du  dimanche”  est  sans   doute  le  plat   le  plus   ordinaire   de  la  cuisine  anglaise. Il   y   a   beaucoup   de   versions   sur   les   origines   du   “rôti   du   dimanche”.   La   plus   populaire   dit  que,  pendant  la  révolution   industrielle,   les   familles   du   Yo r k s h i re   l a i s s a i e n t   u n   morceau   de   viande   dans   le   four   avant   d'aller   à  l'église  le   dimanche   matin,   c’était   alors   prêt   à  manger   au  moment  où   ils  rentraient  à  la  maison  à  l'heure  du  déjeuner. Le  “rôti  du  dimanche”  comprend  traditionnellement   des  pommes   de  terre  rôties  accompagnant   un   rôti  de   viande  (tel   qu'un   rôti   de   bœuf,  de  porc,  de  l'agneau  rôti,   ou   du  poulet  rôti)  et   des  légumes   servis  avec  une  sauce  faite  avec  le  jus  de  cuisson  de  la  viande.   Cependant,   le   choix   de   la   viande   détermine   également   quelles   sauces  peuvent  être  servies.    Traditionnellement,  celles-­‐ci  seraient   pour:   Le  Boeuf  -­‐  sauce  au  raifort  ou  à  la  moutarde  anglaise   L’Agneau  -­‐  sauce  à  la  menthe  ou  à  la  gelée  de  menthe   Le  Porc  -­‐  compote  de  pommes   Le  Poulet  ou  la  dinde  -­‐  sauce  à  la  canneberge,  gelée  de  groseille  ou   sauce  au  pain  (une  sauce  à  base  de  lait,  de  beurre,  de  crème  et  de   chapelure,  parfumée  à  l'oignon,  sel,  poivre,  clous  de  girofle  ou  noix   de  muscade  et  feuilles  de  laurier)   Le   Canard   ou   l'Oie   -­‐   sauce  fruitée  (à  l'orange   ou   à   la   cerise)  ou   sauce  au  porto  ou  au  vin   Le  Gibier  à  plumes   ou   la  viande   de   gibier  (faisan,  caille,  perdrix,   venaison,  sanglier)  -­‐  sauce  Cumberland  (faite  avec  des  groseilles  ou   des  canneberges,  du  vin  rouge  ou   du  porto,  des  agrumes,  de  jus  de   viande,  de  la  moutarde  anglais  en  poudre  et  du  poivre)

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 9


A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres... by Sue  Burgess

ENSIGNÉ

The village  of  Ensigné   is  part   of   the   Communauté  de   communes   du   Val   de   Boutonne.   The   inhabitants   are   called   les   Ensignéens   and  the  Ensignéenes.    The  popula|on  of  Ensigné  is  274.   The  commune  stretches   over   20,30km  and  is  separated  from  the   Charente-­‐Mari|me  by  the   forest  of  Aulnay.      Ensigné  is  situated   on   the   road   to   St   Jacques   de   Compostelle   (San|ago   de   Compostella)   and   used   to   be   a   powerful   site   with   its   Commanderie   de   Templiers   (Commandery   of   the   Templars).     Ensigné  was  once  the  main  town  of  the  district  (canton).

EPANNES

Epannes is   situated   south  west  of  Niort   on  the  road   to  La  Rochelle,   at   the   crossroads   of   the   old   provinces   of   Saintonge,   Aunis   and   Poitou.     It  is   a  small  rural   commune  and   its  name  refers  to  Spain,   which  leaves  us  to  suppose   that   its   foundation   could  be  linked  to   Spanish  legionaries  during  the  Roman   conquest  of   Gaul.    The  782   inhabitants  of  the  commune   are  known  as   the   Epannais  and   the   Epannaises.     The  plan   d'eau   (lake)   is  a  haven   for   fishermen   and   walkers,  and  there  is  also   a  fitness   course.    The  third  weekend   of   September  the  «Fête  du   Four  à  Pain»  revives  the  ancient  traditions   of  bread  baking  in  the  village  oven   and  there  is  a   market   of   farm   produce   around   the   church.     The   bread   oven   was   completely   renovated   in   2001.     There   is   also   a   wash-­‐house   (lavoir)   and   a   Hosanna  cross.   The  church  dates  from  the  XIVth  and  XVth  centuries.

ETUSSON

Etusson is  situated  in  the  North  of  the  Deux  Sèvres,  near  Argenton-­‐ les-­‐Vallées.     There  are   about   300  inhabitants  who   are   known   as   Etussonais  and  Etussonaises. Etusson   was   burnt   down   on   the   22nd   January  1794   during   the   Vendée   wars   by   one   of   the   «Colonnes   Inférnales»   led   by   Louis   Grignon.  The   inhabitants  were   massacred.     Frédéric  Ménard   was   Captain   of  the  Parish  of   Etusson  and  then  he  was  put  in   charge  of   the   division   of  Argenton  Chateau.    At  Ouleries  on  the  18th   March   1794,   he   pushed   back   Grignon.   In   1793   when   Henri   de   la   Rochejaquelin  rang  the  church  bells  in  search  of  conscripts,  Ménard   brought  him  200  men.     Ménard   was   awarded   the  order   of   Chevalier   of  St  Louis  in  1818  and   the   Duchess   of   Berry   decorated   him   with   the   order   of   the   Lily   ( l ' o r d r e   d u   L y s ) .     Ménard   died   in   1835   at   Etusson   and   was   buried   in   the  cemetry   there.  

A VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • Le  Puits  d'Enfer The   valley   of   Puits   d’Enfer   is   a  zone   with   a   particular   ecological   interest  as  several  rare  species  can  be  found  there.    There  is  also   a   wonderful  panoramic  view.  

The Legend  of  Puits  D'Enfer

Around the   year   1000   …..   a  hard   working   peasant   from   Exireuil   owned  some  fields  in  Nanteuil.    One  Sunday,  just  before  mass,  he   went  to  look  at   the   field  that  he  had  cut  the   day  before.  The  grass   was  very  dry.     There  would  be  a  good  profit  from   the  sales   and  his   cattle  would  be  able  to  eat  well.    But  on  the  horizon   he  could  see  a   storm  cloud.    It   was   Sunday.   The  Lord's   day.   But   was   he   going  to   lose   the   fruits   of   his   hard   work?     No,  that   didn't   bear   thinking   about.  He  rushed  back  to   his  stables  and  hitched  up   the  cattle.     At   that   period  in  history,  to  get  from  his   farm  to  his  pastures,  he  had   to  cross  the  stream  of  the  Puits  d'Enfer,  above  the  waterfall  and  the   water  was  deep.    The  journey  to   his  pastures  went  well,  the  loading   of   the  cart   too.  On  the  way  back,  the   sun  had  disappeared  before   drying  all  the  water  on  the  rocks.    One   of   the  cattle  slipped,  pulling   with   it  the  second  animal,  the  cart,  the  hay  and   the   peasant.    The   whole  lot  fell  into  the  Puits  d'Enfer  and  were  never  seen  again. EXOUDUN Exoudun   is   a   small   picturesque   village.  Its   inhabitants   are   called   Exoudunois  and  Exoudunoises.    The  municipality  covers  26  km²  and   there  were  592  residents  in  2007.   Surrounded   by  the   communes   of   Chenay,   La   Mothe-­‐Saint-­‐Héray   and   Sepvret,  Exoudun   is   located   31   km   north-­‐east  of   Niort.     The   River  Sevre   Niortaise  is  the  main   river   that   runs  through  the   town   of  Exoudun.    The  source  of  the  river  is  nearby. A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • The  protestant  temple  finished  in  1856 • The  keep • The  wash-­‐houses • The   situation   of   the   Gallic   village   on   the   heights   of   the   stony   Celtic  plateau  with  its  lovely  views  

Photo www.panorama.com

EXIREUIL

Exireuil is  a  village  in  the   region  of  the   Haut  Val  de  Sèvres  area  of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres.     Situated   near   the   commune   of   Saint   Maixent   l'Ecole,  Exireuil   is   surrounded   in   the   west   by  the  D938   linking   St   Maixent  to  Parthenay  and   in   the  east   by  the  D121  which   leads  to   the  tourist  site  of     Puits  d'Enfer  (the  Well  of  Hell).    Exireuil  stretches   over  21  square  kilometres  and  the  highest  point  of  the  commune  is   at  191m  above  sea  level.

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

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


Hobbies... More from   local   writer   Alison   Morton...     Please   see   back   issues   of   ‘The   DSM’   if   you   would  like  to  see  previous  articles.

A sense of time and place

By the   first   page   of   a   book,   if   not   the   first   paragraph,   a   reader   should   know   where   and   when  they  are.    So  how  do  writers  do  this?  

Say where  and  when  the  scene  takes  place      

It can  be  a  few  words,   or  a  couple   of  sentences,  but  should  be  precise.     “It   was   a   bright   cold   day   in   April,   and   the   clocks   were   striking   thirteen.”  (1984,  George   Orwell)    You  know   you’re  not   in  a   standard   place:   clocks  don’t   normally  strike   thirteen,   and  a   sense   of  starkness   comes   with   the   cold   day   and   the   succinct,   factual   tone   of   the   sentence.  

Drip, don’t  dump

Next, weave   in  little  reminders  of   place   in  throughout   your   text,   but   avoid  heavy  dollops  of  full  description.    If  you  can  give  a  hint  of  how  it   touches  a  character,  then  so  much  the  better!   “I  found  Dania,  in  her  bar  just  off  the  Via  Nova.    I  raised  my  brows  at  its   new   look:   stylish   indigo   and   silver   decor,   with   beautiful   glass   and   ceramic  mosaics.  She  must  have  given  in  and  taken  professional  advice   this  time.”  (PERFIDITAS,   Alison  Morton).    Here,  you  have  the  Latin  road   name,  a  venue,  the   owner’s  name,   a  short  decoration  description,  the   fact  that  it’s  changed,   the   protagonist’s  reaction  to   that  change   and  a   glimpse  into  the  owner’s  character  all  in  a  couple  of  sentences.

Don’t overdo  measurements  and  facts

Readers want  atmosphere   and  mood,   not  to  know   a  journey   takes  x   hours  at   y  speed  with  an  average  of   z  mph.    Just  a   few   details  of  how   the   place   affects   the   character   and   action   can   convey   a   world   of   meaning. “Nor  did  she   want  to  see   England.   From  hearsay,   it  was   a   cold,   misty   land   filled   with   surly   peasants   and   a   dour   aristocracy   who   viewed   almost   everyone   from   Poitou   as   soft,   pampered   and   tainted   with   heresy.”   (The   Greatest   Knight,   Elizabeth  Chadwick).   Without   dates  or   lists  of  kings  and  queens,  or  measurement,  we  know   we’re  in  a  feudal   society   with  peasants,   aristocrats  and  heresy,  we   have   one   country’s   view  of  another,  complete  with  pre-­‐judgements,   and  potential  conflict,   and  know  that  we’re  in  Poitou,  an  old  name  for  the  French  region.

Write for  all  the  senses

Drawing a   picture   in   the   reader’s  head  is  important,  but   bringing   in   smells,   sounds  and   texture   which  will  give  a  rounded   and  more  vivid   idea  of  the  story’s  action.     “It  was  Baltic  rain,   from  the  north,   cold  and  sea-­‐scented,  tangy  with   salt.    For   an  instant,  he   was  back   twenty  years,  in  the  conning   tower   of  a   U-­‐boat,   slipping   out   of   Wilhelmshaven,   lights   doused,   into   the   darkness.”  (Fatherland,  Robert  Harris)  Here  the   wet  (touch),  and  salty   (smell)  rain  brings  back  the   protagonist’s  more   straightforward   time   as  a  sailor  (memory).

Make the  place  and  the  action  work  together

A character  brings  one   kind   of  mood  to  the  scene  and  what   happens   in  the   scene  will   bring  another.    Add  in  a   sense   of  place  and  time  and   the   scene   comes  to   life   in  a   natural   way.     “The   island  lay   directly   ahead,  and   as   the   boat   approached   the   great  Venetian   fortification   which   fronted   the   sea,   she   felt   both   the   pull   of   its   past   and   an   overpowering  sense  of  what  it  still  meant  in  the   present”  (The   Island,   Victoria  Hislop). Time  and  place  are  not  just  for  Dr  Who,  but  for  everybody. Happy  writing!

Alison Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wri[ng  and  Romans  at  h]p://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  

YOUR Book Reviews... Thank  you  to  ‘The  DJs  Wife  in  France’  for  this  month’s  book  review... ‘The Tragic Romance of Africa’ by Dennis Hubbard

This book  reveals  the  tender  memoirs  of   a  young   man   setting  out   from  his   daredevil   ‘Dennis   the   Menace’  upbringing  in  post  war  Sheffield  to   work   for  a  railway  company  in  the  little  mining  town  of   Broken   Hill   in   Northern   Rhodesia   in   the   early   1950s.      The  book  is  a  real  page  turner  with  laugh   out   loud   moments   as   the   story   is   beautifully   revealed.    The  descriptions  of  Africa  in  the  1950s   are  breathtaking  and  I  felt  as  though  I  was  there.   The  narrative  brings  to  life  an  amazing  country  and  the   wonder   of   seeing  wild,  wild  animals  -­‐  up  very  close!           The   tragedy  unfolds   against   the  shocking   backdrop  of   Apartheid   through   the   eyes  of  a  plucky  young  adventurer,  unbelievably  naïve   in   the   world  of  complex  adult  relationships.      The  author  develops   influential  and  powerful  allies  but   is  tragically  blind  to  an   illicit  love   tryst   involving  his  closest   friends,   until   it   is  too   late,   with   horrid   consequences.     It   was  a  privilege  to   read   this  honest  and  heartfelt   coming  of   age   account  in  contrast  to  today’s  usual  unbelievable  gory  best  sellers. If   you  have  received  a  stack  of  book  vouchers  this  Christmas  –  this   is  an  absorbing  insight  to  another  life,  another  place,  another  time.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 11


by Josie Bounds

ARTicles The Pre-­‐Raphaelite  Brotherhood   Between  painting  and  poetry Ophelia,  John  Millais,  1851-­‐2 Dante   Gabriel   Rossetti,   John   Millais   and   William   Holman   Hunt   founded   the   Pre-­‐Raphaelite   Brotherhood.   The   Pre-­‐Raphaelites   turned  away  from  the  materialism  of  industrialised  England.    They   were  a  group  of   avant-­‐garde  painters  who  were  closely  associated   with  the  art  critic  John  Ruskin.   One  of  the  most  haunting  paintings  of  the  Pre-­‐Raphaelite’s  is  John   Millais’   Ophelia,   she   is   a   character   in   Hamlet,   by   William   Shakespeare.    Her  character  is  driven  mad  when  her  lover,  Hamlet,   kills   her   father,  Polonius.    She  dies   while   still   very  young,  in  grief   and  madness.  

Third Time  Lucky   After   a  few   hic-­‐ups   I  am   pleased  to  report  that   we   have   finally   decided   that   our   next   production   will   be   “Entertaining  Angels”,   written  by  Richard  Everett.     The   play  is   both   funny  and  thought   provoking.     It  was   recently  performed  on   the  West  End   starring   Penelope  Keith.     What’s  it  about? As   a   vicar's   wife,   Grace   has   spent   a   lifetime   on   her   best   behaviour.    Now,  after  the  death  of   her   husband  Bardolph,  she   can   enjoy  the  new-­‐found  freedom  of  being   able  to  do   and  say   exactly   what   she   wants.   But   the   return   of   her   eccentric   missionary   sister,   Ruth,   together   with   some   disturbing   revelations  forces   Grace   to  confront   the  truth   of   her   marriage.   Set  in  a   lush  vicarage  garden   the  play   is  filled  with  sharp-­‐edged   comedy   and   probing   wit,   this   play   asks   whether   God   can   be   trusted   to   do   anything   right   “Or   is   the   whole   thing   a   divine   exercise  in  trial  and  error?”     The  show   will   be   performed   at   Le   Petit   Theatre,   Secondigny,   with   an   evening   performance   on   the   25th   April   and   both   a   matinee  and  an  evening  performance  on  the  26th  April  2014.    

Millais painted   Ophelia  In  two  separate  sites  between  1851-­‐2.   He   painted   the   landscape   part   of  the  painting  outside   in  Surrey  and   painted   the  figure  of  Ophelia  inside  in  his  studio.    Elizabeth  Siddal   was   the   model   and   a   favourite   of   the  Pre-­‐Raphaelites,  who   later   married  Dante  Gabriel  Rossetti. The  garland  of  violets  around  Ophelia’s   neck  refers  to  Hamlets   Act   IV,  Scene  V.      ‘I  would  give  you  some  violets,  but   they  withered  all   when   my  father   died:  they  say  he  made  a   good  end.’     For   Millais   violets   were   to   symbolise   faithfulness   and   could   also   denote   chastity  and  death  in  the  young. The   Crow   flowers  in  the  front  of   the   painting  symbolise   ingratitude   or  childishness. The  fritillary  floating  between  the  dress  and  the  water’s  edge  in  the   bottom  right  hand  corner  symbolise  Ophelia’s  sorrow. The  vivid   red   poppy  in  the  painting  with   its   black  seeds  represents  sleep  and  death. Millais   saw   the  beauty  of  nature   and  was   a   strong   advocate   of   returning   to   what   The   Pre-­‐Raphaelites   considered   to   be   the   painterly  and   spiritual   purity   of   art   prior  to   Raphael.     The  detail   in   Millais’s  Ophelia  is  as  thoroughly  observed   as   that  in   the  figure  of  Ophelia.    Millais  invites   us,  the  viewer,  to   consider   emotionally   with   Shakespeare’s   female   character   so   traditionally  emblematic  of  tragic  grief  and  loss. Find  Josie  Bounds  at  Le  Studio,  79240  Le  Busseau www.monpestcoeur.info

12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Annual General  Meeting   Our   Annual  General  Meeting  was  held   in  Secondigny  in  February;   there  was  an   excellent   turn   out   with  members   representing  all   areas  of  Reaction  Theatre  which  was  extremely  pleasing  to  note.   The  year's  activities  were  presented  in  full  by   the  Chairman,  Mr   Malcolm  Daniels,  and  the  Secretary,  Mrs  Christine  Hester,  in  their   respective  reports.  The  Treasurer,  Mr  Vernon  Bouch,  was  able  to   give  a  positive  account  of  the  financial   position  and  an  update  on   our  Calendar  Girls  appeal.

The Keynotes   have   a   busy   year  

ahead star|ng   with   a   performance   at   the   Annual   General   Mee|ng   of   the   Credit   Mutuel  Bank  at  the  Salle  Alauna  in  Secondigny  in  early  March.

The Art  Scene

During March   the  Art  Scene  will   be  looking  at   subjects   such  as   glass  painting,  landscape   painting  in   acrylics   and   continuing  oil   painting   for   beginners.     The  attendance  at   our   Friday  morning   meetings  has  risen   dramatically  since  the  beginning  of  the   year   with   a   regular   attendance   of   twenty   or   more.  Some   of   these   talents  will  be  used   in   painting  the  scenery  for   our   forthcoming   production.   As   you   are  aware,  during  2013,  Reaction   Theatre  produced   our   own   version   of   the   Calendar   Girls   calendar.   Our   target   was   to   raise   10,000€   which   will   be   shared   between   cancer   research   organisations  in   both  France  and  the  United  Kingdom.    As  we  are   well  into  2014,  sales   are  now  coming  to   an  end  and  we  have  not   quite  reached  our  target,  so  it  has  been   agreed  to  continue  just  a   little  longer   by   collecting  additional  voluntary   donations  for   the   programmes  at   our   production  of  ‘Entertaining   Angels‘  in  April.     We  are  confident  that  with  your  support  we  will  reach  our  target. 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.


Les Calendriers des Mois

by Howard  Needs

Last year  I  wrote  two  pieces   for   The  Deux-­‐Sèvres   Monthy’  magazine   concerning   the  fresques  and  church   wall   paintings  in  general,  that   can   be   found   in   the   «Églises   Romanes»   throughout   France.   I   mentioned  some  of  the  themes  that  reoccur   but  I  see  that  I  failed  to   mention  “les  calendriers   des  mois”  and  it   is  just  these  fresques  that   have  attracted  my  attention  recently. These  series  of  small   paintings  or   sculptures  depict  country  life  and   work  appropriate  to   each  of  the  twelve  months.    They  can  be  found,   very  rarely,  in  illuminated  books  of  the  XII-­‐XIV  century,  sometimes  as   sculptures   on   the  arches   of   church  doorways   and   most   frequently   inside  the  churches  as  part  of  the  fresque  instructional  decoration.     The   most   usual   position   is   on   the   inside   of   the   diaphragm   arch   separating   the   nave   and   the   choir   of   the   Romanesque   Churches;   however   they   can   be  found   on   nave   walls   as  a   band   of   separate   paintings  in  the  form  of  medallions  with  sometimes  intricate  borders   or   as   paintings   in   simple   rectangular   form   with   simple   bands   of   colour  to  delineate  them.    There  are  not  many  churches  with  even   a   relic   of   their   calendar   and   fewer   still   with   a   complete   or   nearly   complete   one.     Reading  about   a   church   with   a  full   calendar   and   finally  visiting  and  photographing  it  is  a  great  experience.     Looking  at   the  walls  and  arch  of  a  church  with   but  a  few  remnants  of  fresques   and   seeing  some   bands   of   colour   under   the   arch  and   one  or   two   barely  discernible   figures  and   being  able  to  decide  if  it   was  April  or   May  is  a  positive  contribution  to  a  day  out  searching  for  antiquities. Under   the  diaphragm  arch,  if  one  looks  to  the   North  then   January   commences   at   eye   height   and   one   follows   the   months   round   through   to   December  to  the  South.    The  arch  is  usually  40   -­‐  50cm   deep   and   the   paintings   are   square   with   a   border   and   separating   bands  of  red  and  yellow  ochre Commonly  the  work  of  the  month  is  attributed  as  follows  although   variation  is  found. January

A Janus,  three  faced  figure  is  portrayed  at  a  feast  table.

February  

A peasant  warming  and  drying  himself  before  a  flaming   fire.

March

A peasant  pruning  a  grape  vine  

April

Harvesting the   spring   flowers   or   maybe   only   appreciating  them.

May

A horse  is  usually  portrayed  with   a   hunter   or  falconer   or   just   plain   dalliance   with   a   damsel   as   at   Vieux   Pouzauges  (Vendée).

June

Peasant with  scythe  hay-­‐making.

July

Sickle used  in  grain  harvesting.

August

Wheat threshed  with  a  flail

September

Harvesting grapes   in   some   areas   and   sowing   for   the   winter  in  others.

October

Treading of  the  grape  harvest.

November

Peasant knocking  acorns  out  of  (two)  trees.

December

Slaughter and  salting  of  pigs.

The form  and  representation   of  activity  and   person  is  often   similar   and  stylized  and  suggests  a  tradition  if  not  an  iconography.

Churches that  I  have  visited  with   worthwhile  “calendriers  des  mois”   are: • Loir-­‐et-­‐Cher,  Sargé-­‐sur-­‐Braye,  Église  St  Martin • Indre,  Paulnay,  Église  St  Étienne • Indre-­‐et-­‐Loire  Lignières  de  Touraine,  Église  St  Martin • Cher,  Brinay,  Église  St  Aigan • Cher,  Allouis,  Église  St  Germain • Vendée,  Vieux  Pouzauges,  Église  Notre  Dame As  one  becomes  more  and  more  embedded  in  the  wider  community   here   in   France  there  is  an   increasing  involvement   in   the   local   and   departmental   associations  and  despite   a  retiring  nature  I  have   not   been   immune   to   this.     The   theme   of   fresques   and   photography   which  saw  last  year  exhibitions   in   Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l'Autize  and  Melle,   is  repeating  itself  this  year  with  two  associations  that   have  at  heart   the  furthering  of  the   integration  of  the  British  immigrant  population   in  the  wider  French  community. Le   Beugnon   has   a   ‘Fête   des   Plantes’   every   two   years   and   ‘les   Calendrier   des   Mois’   with   their   simple   representations  of  planting   and   harvesting   seem   to   be   a   suitable  photographic   subject   for   an   exhibition   in   the   local   church   as   a  part   of   the   fête   activities.  The   organization   and   running   of   the   Fête   is   in   combined   French   and   British  hands   and   the  first   event   two  years   ago  was,  in  my   eyes,   a   resounding  success.     The  exhibition  runs  at   the  end  of  April  and   the   Fête  des  Plantes  itself  is  being  held  on  the  first  of  May. The   commune   of   St   Clémentin   in   the   north   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres   organized   a   first   French/British   literary   festival   -­‐   LitFest   as   it   has   become  known  -­‐  two  years  ago.    There  too  I  have  become  involved  in   my  own  literary  way  and   will  show  some  of  last  year’s  photos  again   in  a   new  situation  as  a  part  of  the  general  activities.    However,  La   Chapelle  des  Rosiers,  which  is  just  one  of  a  number  of  small  religious   edifices   in   the   area,   is   only   a   short   walk   from   the   centre   of   St   Clémentin   and  houses  a  large  area  of   well  preserved  fresques.  They   are  delightful   to  see,  being  well   lit  and  not  too  high  up  on  the  wall.   They  consist  of  three   separate  campaigns  of   painting  superimposed   and  only  recently  restored.  The  restorers,  working  with  the  situation   they  encountered,  have  left  a  mixture  of  the  three  campaigns,  which   is  rather   confusing  at  first   sight  but   an  excellent  bilingual   brochure   explains  all.  There  is  a  second,  Chapelle  -­‐St  Ouan  close  to  La  Chapelle   des   Rosiers   and   a   third   some  kilometres   to   the   east   at   Sanzay  -­‐   l'Ermitage  Chapelle. The  LitFest  will  be  held  in  St  Clémentin,  the  last  weekend  of  August,   with  talks,  conferences  and  workshops  in  French  and  English.     Also   with   a   book   stall   for   books   published   by   authors   attending   or   participating. I’m   sure   further   information   concerning   these   two   events  will  appear  in  future  issues,  including  the  exact  dates. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 13


Clubs & Associations... Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

Cancer Support  aims  to  improve  the  lives  of  people  affected  by   Cancer  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres. -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ Don’t  worry  alone  -­‐  Pick  up  the  Phone Contact  June  Searchfield  on  05  49  64  59  96 Email:  junesearchfield@gmail.com If   you   have   some   time   to   spare   and   are   interested   to   help   us   as   a   volunteer,  please   contact  us  for  more  information.

Cancer Support  Vendée  Helpline: 02  51  00  58  21   or  email:  csvpresident@orange.fr.

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   cafe   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. Open Door Lending Library Over 7000 fiction and non-fiction books and DVDs Open Friday mornings 10am to midday at 18 rue Pierre Pestureau, Civray (86400) Individual membership 6€, family membership 10€

www.opendoor-civray.com

Do you  enjoy  singing?    If  so,  please  get  in  touch  as  I  would  like  to   start  an  A  Capella  group,  near  Chef-­‐Boutonne.     It  won't  even  be  necessary  to  be  able  to  read  music  -­‐  just  to  be  a   fairly  confident  singer  and  commit  to  learning  parts.   If  you  are  interested  please  email  me Christine  Gardner    -­‐  email  chezloubigne@aol.com  

We are  a  French-­‐English  speaking  group  in  Thouars  (at  the  Centre-­‐ Socio-­‐Culturel   Anne   Desrays)   with   a   meeting   each   Wednesday   nght   (7.30pm-­‐9pm).     We   need   English   speaking  members   who   want  to  improve  their  french  language. Just  come  along,  or  contact  jcbed@orange.fr  for  more  information.

Craft Café  Creatif

Do you   enjoy   knitting   or   sewing,   crochet   or   papercraft,   in   the   company  of  others,  over  a  cup   of  tea  and  a  piece   of  cake?     If  so,  why   not   join   us  in  L'Absie  for  an   enjoyable   afternoon  with  like-­‐minded   people.  For  further   details  contact  Margaret  on  02  51  69  50   32  or   email  knight.margaret@orange.fr  

2nd Sunday Motorcycle Club www.2ndsundayclub.fr If you would like to attend our coffee mornings please contact us via the website........New members always welcome!

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.

Hypnotherapy for  slimming  group  every  Tuesday  from  2pm-­‐5pm   near  Bressuire,  Dept  79.  Contact  Pam  Irving  (Member  of  the   Howard  College  of  Advance  Hypnotherapy)  by  email Irving.philip@wanadoo.fr  or  call  05  49  65  55  25  for  more  details.

Le Tallud   Boules   en   bois   are   offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   from   16h   to  18h   from  April  through  to  September     at  the   parc  de  Loisirs,  Le  Tallud.    Come  and  play  or   learn   the   game   of   boules   en   bois,   everyone   welcome.   Details   from   Rosemary   Williamson   rw.williamson@orange.fr Association Meridien Green We   are   an   Anglo-­‐French   group   founded   in   2001   for   mutual   understanding   of   each   other's   language   and   culture.     We   meet   twice   weekly  in  the  Salle   des  Associations  in  St  Coutant,  79120.    The   best   way   to   find   out   more   is   to   visit   our   website     or   contact   Maureen  Dalby    05  49  29  94  50  www.meridiengreen.asso.fr  .  

The Harmonics Singing   Group.   Based   in   the   Salle  

d'Annexe in   Civray.   We   meet   each   Wednesday   2.00pm   to   4.00pm.   No   experience   necessary  just  a  willingness  and  commitment  to  learn.     We   sing   all  sorts  of  music  and   in   several   languages.   We   are   a   small   and  friendly  group  who  would  love  to  meet  you. Contact:  Dolly  Ait  Boualou:  05  45  22  89  32  or  sylvia.murray@wanadoo.fr

14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Book Club  Thouars.    Do  you  enjoy  reading  a  cracking  good  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  more  details.

Les Amis Solitaires

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

All Girls Together Formed for  all  girls  18-­‐80  for  fun,  laughter  and  support.    We  meet   alternate  Wednesdays,  2-­‐5pm  at  Fontenille-­‐Saint-­‐Martin-­‐d'Entraigues,   Please  ring  Vivien  for  further  information  on  05  49  27  51  98 Secondigny Running Club... Put the bounce back in your step. Join our friendly and supportive running group. All abilities welcome. Email Kelly for more details: kellyencezelle@hotmail.co.uk

Through the Lens Group Local photography group meets on the last Tuesday in each month to chat about all things photography! New members welcome. For further information contact: Brian Preece: 05 49 72 09 94 or Penny Brewer: 05 49 09 06 78


Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: 8.   Move   forward   or   upward   in     order  to  touch  (5) 9.   Give  sanction  to  (7) 10.   Special  assignment,  task  (7) 11.   Religious  system  of  Muslims  (5) 12.   Remarks  upon  (8) 13.   2nd  letter  of  the  Greek  alphabet  (4) 15.  Offensively  curious  (4) 17.   Out  to  sea  (8) 21.   Mistake  (5) 22.   Connected  by  kinship  (7) 24  .  Mild  seasoning  (7) 25.   In  that  place  (5)

DSM Toughie  Crossword Across: 1.   After  hold-­‐up  with  bird,  Scotsman  is     in  a  state  of  suspense  (12) 7.   French   wine   taken   before   rent   is     returned  for  merchant  (7) 9.   A  long  time  since  that  there  king  had     the  first  of  something  (5) 10.   Must   have   to   manipulate,   we   are     told  (4) 11.   Taught   to   be   cool   when   mixing   in     the  garden  workshop  (8) 12.   Run  out  of  decorafon   for   wooden     overshoe  (6) 14.   Direcfons  given  to   friends  to  make     bits  of  bloomers  (6) 17.   Reps  taking  a  new  lead  eventually     fell  back  (8) 19.   Something   to   worship   in   the   druid     Olympic  Games  (4) 22.   A  large   number  missing   from  clever     little  mammal  (5) 23.   Spotted  part  of  a  vista  in  Edinburgh  (7) 24.   Breakfast   dished   up   after   time,     served  on  a  tiny  spoon  at  first  (8,4)

Quiz-tastic!

Down: 1. Prepare  hastily  for  an  exam  (4) 2.   Price  paid  to  free  a  hostage  (6) 3.   Options  (7) 4.   Device  that  attracts  metals  (6) 5.   Plant  sucking  insect  (5) 6.   Silky-­‐coated  sheepdog  (6) 7.   To  pass  through  (8) 12.   A  disrespectful  manner  (8) 14.   Place  or  set  apart  (7) 16.   A   narrow   marking   of   a   different     colour  from  the  background  (6) 18.   The   general   appearance   of   a     publication  (6) 19.   An   opening   that   permits   escape   or     release  (6) 20.   Trimming  used  to   decorate  clothes  or     curtains  (5) 23.   Regime  to  lose  weight  (4)

Down: 1. Paradise  out  east,  a  place  of  refuge  (5) 2.   Brown  man  goes  off  at  one?  (7) 3. Initially   has   one   notched   edge   to     sharpen  (4) 4.   Decisive  scoop  in  the  surgery  (7) 5.   Cancel   yearly   publication;   there’s   a     part  missing  (5) 6.   Top   teams   have   words   with   the     audience  (6) 8.   Friendly   alien   misses   out   on   fraud     framework  (4) 12.   One   involved   in   sharp   conversion   in     church  district  (6) 13.   New   pew   in   Rome   assembled   for     delegate  (7) 15.   Tally   final   part   before   article   in     supplement  (7) 16.   Canteen  in  an  untidy  state  (4) 18.   Expansive   piece   of   music  is   central  to     popular  gold  disc  (5) 20.   There   are   plenty   of   seams,   so   they     say  (5) 21.   A  long  way  east  to  get  nourishment  (4)

With thanks  to  M.Morris

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

1) Variant  CJD  or  BSE  are  better  known  as  what? 2)  Alex   the   Lion,  Marty  the  Zebra,  Gloria  the  Hippo   and   Melman   the  Giraffe  all  appear  in  which  animated  film? 3)  Which  Atlantic  island,  a  former  colony  of  Portugal,  gives  its  name   to  a  cake  and  a  wine’? 4)   Which   borough   of   East   London   borders   Havering  to   the  east,   Newham  to  the  west  and  Bexley  &  Greenwich  to  the  south? 5)  Which  actor   played  Dr   Jekyll   &  Mr   Hyde  in  the  first  talking  film   version  of  the  classic  story? 6)  What   is  the  name  of  the  small  shell-­‐shaped  cake  originally  from   Alsace/Lorraine? 7)  What  is  the  capital  of  Spain?

Copyright  RJS  2014. 8)   Born   in   Sheffield   in   1932,   this   former   journalist   was   MP   for   Birmingham   Sparkbrook   from   1964   and   deputy   leader   of   the   Labour  Party  from  1983-­‐92.    Who  is  he? 9)  Which  song  by  Noel  Coward  contains  the   couplet  “the  Japanese   don’t  care  to,  the  Chinese  wouldn’t  dare  to”? 10)   Written   by   Alan   Bennett,   filmed   in   1994   starring   Nigel   Hawthorne,  Helen  Mirren  and  Ian  Holm,  which  work  tells  the  story   of  the  Regency  Crisis  of  1788? 11)  Originating  in   Italy  in  the  1520s,  name  the  secular  vocal  music   composition   form   often   based   on   poetry   and   usually   scored   as   part-­‐song  for  2  to  8  voices?   12) What  is  the  capital  of  the  Indian  state  of  West  Bengal? Find  the  answers  on  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 15


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.” Namaste!  and  welcome  to  March's  yoga  lesson...

Sama Vritti

Kahil Gibran Yoga

SECRETS

Yoga and  The  Art  Of  Relaxation

literally meaning  ‘same  breath’

Pranayama is   the   yogic   art   of   breathing   and   this   practice   bears   many  fruits.     It   calms  and  clarifies  the  mind,  regulates  your  sleep,   reverses   the   ageing   process,   aids   weight   loss,   improves  physical   and  emotional  well  being...

Sit in  a  comfortable,  seated  position  with  your  spine  straight...

And it's  free!

Look for  a  sense  of  natural  openness  in  the  body... Close  your  eyes  and  begin  to  notice  the  natural  flow  of  your  breath... Simply  become  aware  of  each  inflow  and  each  outflow...

Every emotion  has  a  corresponding  rhythm  of  breath.  For  instance,   most  people  when  they  are  feeling  stressed,  anxious,  angry,  fearful   or   upset,  breathe   in   short,  shallow   breaths   from  high   up   in   the   chest.    When  we  feel  calm,  happy  and  relaxed   we  breathe   deeply   into  the  torso. Each   emotion   needs   a   particular   rhythm   of   breath   in   order   to   sustain   it,  therefore,   we   can   change   the   way   we   feel   simply  by   changing  the  rhythm  of  our  breath. When   we   inhale  deeply  we  release   a  neuropeptide  in   our   lungs   which  sends  a  signal   to  our  brain  to  release   natural   opiates  which   instantly  make  us  feel  better. When   following  this  exercise  it   is  important   that  there  is  no  strain   in  the  breath.     Your   breathing  should  be  smooth  and   effortless.     It   may  help  you  to   picture  your  breath  as  a  continuous  wave  flowing   evenly  in  and  out  of  your  body.

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.

Relax your  shoulders... Inhale  slowly  and  deeply  into  the  torso  to  a  count  of  four... Pause  at  the  top  of  this  inhalation  and  suspend  the  breath  here  for   a   count  of  four... Exhale  slowly  to  a  count  of  four... Pause  at   the  end  of  your   exhalation  and  suspend  the  breath  for   a   count  of  four... Continue  for  ten  minutes... Stay   seated   upright   in   stillness  for  a  few  moments   and  simply  enjoy  the  fruits   o f   y o u r   p r a n a y a m a   practice,  Sama  Vritti... Calm  and  peaceful... All  is  well... Om  Shanti... Namaste

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

16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Spa &  Beauty  Therapies

My name   is  Claire  and  I  am  a  UK  trained  Spa  and  Beauty  Therapist,   and   have  a  treatment   room   just   outside  Ruffec.    I  moved  to   the   Poitou-­‐Charente  in  2012  bringing  with   me  a  wealth  of  knowledge   and  experience.   March  is  a  time  of  renewal,  spring  is  on  our  doorstep.     With  this  in   mind   it   is   time   to   look  to   renewing   ourselves,  sloughing  off   the   winter,  embracing  the  promise  of   sunshine,  and,  stepping   out   into   the  blossoming  outdoors.     During  the  winter  months  our  skin  is  put  through   its  paces.    Central   heating,  icy  cold  wind  and  rain  all  takes  its  toll.     Now  is  the  time,  if   you’ve  not   been   keeping  on   top   of   this   already,  to   give  your  skin   some   love,  after   all,   it   is   the   biggest   organ   on   our   body   and   on   show  all  year  round,  most  especially  during  the  warmer  seasons.     I  cannot  recommend  highly  enough  the  benefits  of  exfoliation.     Dry   body  brushing  helps  to  eliminate  dead  skin  cells  and  prepare  your   body  to  absorb  moisturisers  more   effectively.    Use  your   brush  on   dry  skin  gently  brushing  in  an  upwards  motion  (towards  the  heart)   to   stimulate   blood   circulation   to   the   upper   layers   of   your   skin,   nourishing   it   from   the   inside.     It   goes  without   saying   that   along   with   cleansing,   toning   and   moisturising   daily   we   should   be   exfoliating  too.     Regular   exfoliation   keeps   your   face  glowing  and,   like   body  exfoliation,  massively  increases   the   absorption  of   facial   moisturisers.   Microdermabrasion   is   the   most   effective   method   of   facial   rejuvenation.    Microfine  crystals  are  directed  onto  the  skin  through   a   specialised  machine,  giving  a  deep  exfoliation,   boosting  product   absorption   from   around   30%  to   70%.     This   treatment   offers   the   added  bonus  of  stimulating  collagen   and  elastin  fibres,  those  pesky   things   that  lose  their   tone  as  we  age,  creating  a  slacker  look  to  our   facial   contours.   Microdermabrasion   tightens   and   smoothes,   refining  pores,  reducing  pigmentation  and  fine  lines.    It’s  a  painless   treatment  that  is  referred  to  as  the  ‘Lunchtime  Lift’.     Whatever   method   you   choose  it’s   important   to   remember   to   be   kind  to  your  skin.     For  a  manual  facial  exfoliation   opt  for   a  product   with  very  fine  grains.     Large   grains   can  tear  at  the  skin  and  actually   do   more   harm   than   good.     There  are  plenty  of   fabulous   gentle   exfoliators  on  the  market   so   take  your   time  when   choosing  your   product.     Lastly,   if   you   are   giving   yourself   a   spring  overhaul,   remember   to   include  feet  and   hands.     I  love  to   make  my  own  exfoliator  for  these   often   overlooked   friends.     Cheap   and   super   effective   is  a   paste   made  from  fine   (caster)   sugar   and   olive  oil   gently  massaged   into   hands  and  feet,  rinsed   and  followed   by  your  regular  hand  and  foot   lotion.      

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 17


Time with   your   hairstylist   is   enjoyable   and   often   filled   with   opportunities  for   you   to   talk  about   about   your   style   and  how  to   maintain  it  at  home. Exploring   what   you   actually   do   with   your   hair   yourself   can   sometimes  reveal  some  surprises. Many  people  for  whatever  reason  don’t  actually  brush  their   hair,  or   if   they   do,   do   so   with   a   brush   so   full   of   old   hair   it’s   not   worth   bothering.  Brushing  the  hair  is  really  important  to   help  maintain   a   healthy  scalp  environment  and  promote  active  hair  growth  and  it  is   essential  to  ensure  your   brush   is  suitable   for  your  hair   type  and   is   washed  and  replaced  when  it’s  too  old  for  the  job.   We   all   appreciate   that   washing   the   hair   is   essential   but   what   actually  are  you  washing  your   hair   in?    Most  people  when   asked   say   “shampoo”   but   do   you   really   know   what   is   in   that   bottle?     Probably   not,   and   although   it   is   really  tempting   to   opt   for   the   loveliest   smelling   or   the   promo   bargain   of   the  week,   think   how   much   the   media   and   advertising   influence   your   choice   and   ultimately  is  responsible  for  the  bottle  you  reach   for   when  washing   your  hair.     Every  stylist  has  an  interest  in  what  you’re  washing  your   hair   in   and   we   can   professionally   recommend   a   shampoo   that   works  for  your  hair  and  scalp,  delivering  a  salon  quality  result.   As   professional   stylists   we   see   more   than  80%   of   the  population   over-­‐condition   their  hair.     Smooth,  soft  and  silky  is  desirable   but  in   the  majority  of  cases  the  reality  is  clogged  hair,  weighed  down  and   over   loaded   with   product.  A  common  misconception   is   that   hair   needs   conditioner;   actually   hair   needs   to   be   in   condition   and   conditioner   is   not   always   the   answer.   A   professional   stylist   can  

18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

guide you  with   product  choice.     This  is  something  we  always  take   pride  in  and  you  may  be  pleasantly  surprised;  an  investment  into   a   product   that   suits   and  works   for   you   can   save  you   plenty  in   the   fullness  of  hair! If  you  take   a  peep  at  these  points  you  can   be   at   the  beginning  of   a   wonderful,  but  above  all  easy,  haircare  routine.    Your  hair  should  be   a  pleasure   and  is  definitely  not  something  to  hide  behind.     So,  next   time  you’re  in  that   chair,  chat   to   the  professional  standing  behind   you  and  take  a  good  look  at  your  hair  reality.


Our Furry Friends... People Power

by Nigel Franks, NALA

Sometimes we  get  the  impression  that  the  powers  that   be  are  far   removed   from  daily  reality  and  the  ordinary  citizen.    Last   June  we   were   involved   in   the   case   of   a   mayor   who   wanted   to   trap   someone's  cats   and  have  them  put  down,  without  any  sort  of   legal   procedure.    We  helped  with  an  alternative  solution,  and  also  asked   the  appropriate  ministry  whether  such  actions  by  the  mayor  were   legal.    I'm  sure  that  you  can   understand  that  the  ramifications   of  it   being  legal   are   disquieting.     However,  it's   been   over   six   months   now  and  we  still  haven't  had  a  simple  “yes”  or   “no”  answer.    In  fact,   the  last  reply  from  the  ministry  ended  with  a  link  to  Legifrance  with   the  implication  that  we  should  look  for  ourselves.     Not   exactly  the   sort  of  reply  that   inspires  confidence  in   politicians  and   the   public   service   but   rather   one   that   serves   to   demonstrate   their   lack   of   interest  and  contempt. However,  we  don't  allow  such  attitudes  to  discourage  us,  because   recently   we've  seen   some  examples   of   people   power.     Recently   there   was   a   video   posted   on   YouTube   of   a   man   in   Marseille   repeatedly   throwing   a   cat   against   a  wall,   breaking  its   leg.     This   created   a  furore  on  the   internet  and  it  didn't  take  long  for   him  to   be  identified.     He  was  prosecuted,  but  it   appeared  that  he  was  only   going   to   be   given   a   trivial   punishment,   although   the  penal   code   allows   a  punishment   of   up   to   two   years   in   prison   and   a  fine   of   €30,000.    A   petition   was  launched  and  within  a  day  had  received   over   200,000   signatures.     On   the   3rd   of   February   the   offender   received  a  one  year   prison  sentence.     Compare  this  to  a  case   that   didn't  receive   any  public  attention:  in  January  a  man  who  boasted   of  killing  a  number   of  cats.    On  the  4th   of  February  he  was  given  a  4   month   suspended   sentence.     As   you   can   imagine,   this   derisory   punishment   did   not   go   down   well   with   animal   lovers   and   associations   for   the  protection  of  animals.    A  petition  was  started   and  a  protest  planned  for  the  21st  of  February  asking  for   a  review   of  the  sentence.  Do   these   reflect   lynch  mob   justice  or   are   they   a   sign  of  justified  public  concern? We  were  also  directly  involved  in  a  case  of  people  power.    Two  dogs   were  being  slowly  starved  to  death  by  their  owner   in  the  middle  of   a   town:   they   were   kept   in   an   internal   courtyard   and   not   given   anything   to   eat.     Although   the   police   had   been   informed,   they   claimed  that   they  didn't   have  the   power  to  take   the   dogs   away...   hmmm  compare  that   with  the  case  of   the  mayor   above.  Enter   the   internet   warriors:  we  received   an  alert   via  Facebook  one   evening   and   the  wires  were   soon   burning.     We  agreed   with   some   other   associations  that  we  would  go  to  see  the  mayor   the  next  morning.   We  didn't  get  the  chance...  when  someone  finally  got   through  to   the   town   hall   to   make   the   appointment   they   were   told   that   there  had  already  been  so  many  calls   that  the  mayor   was  taking  action.     Solved,  or  so  we  thought.    However,  a   few   hours   later   we   received   a  call   informing   us   that   the   prosecutor   had  decided  that   the  dogs  would   be  taken   to   the  local  animal  pound...  the  very  one  suspected  of  putting   down   animals   in   an   unauthorised   manner.     As   you   can   imagine,   this   did   not   go   down   well,   so   the   mayor   was   informed  that  he  had  better  do  something  about  it.    While   this  was  going  on   we  joined   the  other   people   who  were   hanging  around   outside  the  house  where  the  dogs  were  to   ensure  that  the  dogs  didn't  get  taken  to  the  pound.  Finally,   we  received  word  that  the  mayor  had  pulled  some  strings   and   eventually   the   dogs   were   taken   away   to   a   vet   for   examination   and  treatment.    They  were  extremely   skinny  and   the   vet   thought   that   they   were   only   a   couple   of   days   away   from   starving  to  death. Since   then   they   have   been   well   looked   after,   have   put   on   some   weight  and  been  appropriately  renamed...  “Hope”  and  “Freedom”.

Tina Hatcher

MAYDAY MES AMIS 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)

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

CLOCKS GO FORWARD 1 hour Sunday 30th March

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


SPYKE -­‐  a  5  year  old  labrador/boxer  cross S PY K E   i s   A s s o c i at i o n   Orfée's   blind   dog,   but   please   don't   read   'blind'   a n d   t h i n k   ' p ro b l e m ' ,   because   he   is   anything   but! SPYKE   was   a   healthy   puppy,   he   wasn't   blind   when   he   was   born.     His   owner   gave   him   away   to   some   travellers   and   we   have  no   idea  what  happened  to  him  afterwards.  Last  summer  he   was   found   abandoned,   wandering   alone   trying   to   fend   for   himself,  and  blind.     Since  then  he  has  been   fostered  by  Orfée  and   we  now  need  to  find  him  a  forever  home. SPYKE  is  an   incredible  dog  and  has  won   the  hearts  of  everyone   who  has  had   the   privilege  of   meeting  him.  He  is   loving,  playful   and  leads  a  very  normal  life,  negotiating  furniture,  steps,  getting   in   and  out   of   the  car  and   he   knows   EXACTLY  where  the   doggie   biscuits  are   kept!!  He  enjoys   going  for  walks,  both  on   and  off  his   lead,  loves  to  play  with   his  rope  in  the  garden,  is  excellent  in  the   car,   house-­‐trained,   non-­‐destructive   and   non-­‐barking.     SPYKE   loves  being  with  people  and   is  good  with  children.  He   enjoys  the   company  of  other   dogs,  particularly  females   and  non-­‐dominant   males  and  likes  to  play   and  run  with  them  although   he  is  more   comfortable  with   medium/large   dogs  as  sometimes  small  breeds   can   be  a  little  'yappy'  and  because  of  his  blindness  he  becomes   a   bit  panicky  and   stressed.    Although  SPYKE  is  a  large  powerful  boy,   he  is  one  of  the  most  gentle  dogs  I've  ever  met,  completely  non-­‐ aggressive  and  he  loves  being  cuddled!! We  are  looking  for  someone  very  special   to  adopt  SPYKE  as  he   is   a  very  special   boy.    He  does   not   need   to   be  over-­‐protected   nor  fussed  over,  but  what  he  does  need  is  someone  who  can  be   with   him  full   time   and   give  him   full-­‐on   commitment   and   love   him.     If  you  happen   to   have  a  safe,  secure  garden  that  he  could   play  in  that  would  be  a  real  bonus  and  if  there  was  a  doggy  friend   for   SPYKE   to  play  with  in   that   garden  then   life  really   would   be   perfect!!     SPYKE   has   been   microchipped   (250256850012458),   neutered   and   vaccinated   (not   rabies)   and   treated  for  worms,  fleas  and  ticks. If   you   would   like   more   information   about   SPYKE   please   contact   me,   Mary  on   05   49     50  69  41  or    orfeeinenglish2@gmail.com http://orfeeinenglish2.wix.com/orfeeinenglish

APPEAL Rhino is  a  male  Newfoundland/ Labrador   cross.     He   will   be   9   years   old   in   July  2014.     He  is   micro-­‐chipped,   vaccinated   and   castrated.   Owners   have  had   him   since  a   puppy.   He’s   very  affectionate,   has  a  very  good  temperament   and   has   always   been   good   with  their  grandchildren   and   female   dogs.  We’re  not   sure  about   male  dogs  and  he  will  chase  chickens. Please  email  steven.pamphilion@orange.fr   or   phone  05  49  07   72   78.  If  you  would  like  more  information  about  Rhino  please  go  to   the  Hope  website  www.hopeassoc.org Hope  Association  is  opening  a  charity  shop   in  Le  Dorat   on   11th   and   12th  April  2014,  10am-­‐5pm.    Bric-­‐a-­‐brac,  books,   hand-­‐made   cards  and  pre-­‐loved  clothing.    Tea,  coffee  and  cakes  at  Chez  Penny,   10   rue   Robert   Lapayriere,   87210   Le   Dorat   (next   to   the   launderette).   Any   donations   of   books   and/or   clothes   gratefully   received.    Please  contact  clothing4hope@gmail.com For   further   information   on   other   cats   and   dogs   for   adoption,   please  go  to  www.hopeassoc.org 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. “Hi,  I’m   Charlie,  and   I’m   a   young,   good-­‐looking  dude,  as  you  can  see.     Life   hasn’t   always   been   a   breeze   though.    I  was  loved  once,  but  then   abandoned   when   my   owners   moved  away. Despite  this,  I’m  really  friendly  and   affectionate.     I’m  not  even   a   year   old   yet.     I  would  just   like  to   stare   like  this   into   my  own   family's  eyes   and  be  secure  forever.    I  will  give  you  loads  of  cuddles  in  return.

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

20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

If you   think   that  I  could  come  and   live  with   you,   please  contact   Lynda  on  lapuille@gmail.com  or  telephone  05  53  81  30  44.   Thank  you.” For  more  animals  awaiting  homes,  visit  our  website  or  facebook   page.


Home & Garden...

Famous Furniture

Famous Furniture for Your Home... Famous Furniture  in  France  is   a   small   family   run   business   located   near   the   town   of   Montmorillon  (Dept   86),  with   many  years’   experience  in  the   retail   of   quality   furniture   in   the  UK. We  specialise  in  a  full  range  of   G-­‐Plan   high   back   traditional   sofas,   chairs   and   3-­‐piece   suites   and   quality   pocket   sprung   mattresses. Available   from   stock   at   up   to   50%   off   UK   retail   prices!   AND   delivered  direct  to  your  door  in  France! For  an  appointment  to  view  our  stock  please  give  us  a  call  on   05  49  83  03  71  or  06  06  85  50  07  or  visit  our   website:  www.famousfurnitureinfrance.com

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 21


THE AMATEUR GARDENER by Vanda Lawrence

Copy Deadline..

of each month

There is  light   at   the   end  of  the  tunnel   -­‐  we   have   Snowdrops  and   Primulas  in  flower  in  the   garden!    A  bit  waterlogged  maybe  but  so   lovely  to  see  some  colour   at  last.    During  all  this  wet  weather  if  you   have   managed   to  finish   the   pruning  and   cutting  back  -­‐  Bravo!    If   not,  don't  lose  heart,  just  fit  it  in   as  and  when  you  can.    I'm  sure  the   trees   and  shrubs   are  already  delaying  growth   because  conditions   are   not   ideal.     Nature   has   its   own   way   of   coping   with   things.     However,  do   take  note  of  any  waterlogged  areas  so  that  you  can  be   sure  to   add   sand/gravel   to   help   with   drainage  in   the   future,  and   remember   to   feed   waterlogged  plants  during  the   growing  season   to  encourage  new   root   growth.     If   poor   drainage   is   likely  to  be   a   persistent   problem   in   this   particular   spot   it   could   be   worth   re-­‐ thinking   your   planting   scheme   and   choosing   trees,   shrubs   and   perennials  that  thrive  in  wet  soil. For  the  vegetable  garden  it  is  time   to   think  'potatoes'.     There   are  so   many   different   varieties,   usually   broken   down   into   groups:   early,   second   early   and   maincrop.     Choose   early  croppers  if   you   only   have  a  small  veggie  plot,  then  you   can   plant   other   salads/veg   after   the   potatoes   have   been   lifted.     Second   earlies   take   about   16   weeks  to   mature   after   planting  ie   you  will  be  cropping  from  late  June   to   early   August.   Maincrop   potatoes  are  ready  about   20  weeks   after   planting  ie  July-­‐October.     They  take  up  the   most  space  in  the   garden  but   tend  to  be  the  best   varieties  to  grow  if  you  intend  to  store  them. • Start  chitting  your   seed  potatoes  about   6  weeks  before  planting.     Each   seed   potato   has   a   'blunt'   end   with   a   number   of   'eyes'.     Stand  the   tuber   blunt   end  uppermost   in  a  nice   light   position   in   trays  or   old  egg  boxes.    They  are  ready   to   be  planted   out   when   shoots  are  0.5"  -­‐  1"  long.     • Plant  when  the  soil  has  started  to  warm,  usually  mid-­‐March/early   April.     • Dig  a   trench   3-­‐5"  deep   and  add   a  sprinkling   of   fertilizer   before   planting. • Plant   earlies   12"   apart   with   16-­‐20"   between   rows   and   second   earlies  and  maincrop  potatoes  15"  apart  with  30"  between  rows.       • Plant   carefully   with   shoots   pointing   upwards   and   cover   lightly   with  soil. • As  soon  as  shoots  reappear  earth   up  each  plant  by  covering  with   a  ridge  of  soil   so  that   shoots  are  just  buried  again.     Continue   to   do  this  at  regular  intervals   until  eventually  each  plant  will   have  a   6"  mound   around   it.   Keep   well   watered  during  growing  period   otherwise  the  size  and  quality  of  your  crop  will  be  reduced. • Potatoes  will   be  ready  to  lift  from  June-­‐September,  depending  on   varieties   and  growing  conditions.  Earlies  can  be   cropped  as  soon   as   they  are  big  enough  to  eat;     the  plant  leaves  will  probably  still   be  green  and  flowers  may  only  just  have  opened.     Second  earlies  and  maincrop  can  be  left  in  the  soil  until  September,   even   though   the   foliage  is   dying  back.    A  couple  of   weeks   before   you  lift  the  crop  cut  this   growth  off  at   ground  level   -­‐  this  will  give   the  skins  of   the  potatoes  time  to  toughen  up  so   they  will   be  less   prone  to  damage  during  lifting  and  will  be  easier  to  store. By  next  month's  issue  we   shall   have  flowers  in  the  garden  to  lift   our  spirits,  but  in  the  meantime  mes  amis,  Bon Courage .....

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Spotlight On... by Mick Austin

SECONDIGNY

Slap bang   in   the   middle   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres   department   at   the   intersection   of   two   main   county  roads  -­‐  Bressuire/Niort  and  Parthenay/La   Chataigneraie  -­‐  Secondigny  has  never  claimed  to   be  one   of   the   prettiest  towns  in   France.  While   others   battle   for   that   ‘honour’   Secondigny   carries  on  doing  what   it   does  best:  providing  the   peaceful,   relaxing   way   of   life   many   ex-­‐pats   dream  of  when  they  take  the  plunge  and  move   to  La  Belle  France. Nestling  in   the  Gâtine   Vendéenne,  one   of  four   historical   areas  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres,  the   town   is   surrounded   by   rolling   meadows   and   apple   orchards   and   the   370   hectares   of   Secondigny   forest   with   its   nature   reserves   and   woodland   trails.  It   is  rich  in  springs  and  small  rivers  which   once  fuelled  many  mills  built  on  the  banks  of  the   River  Thouet.    It  is  also  close  to  the  source  of  the   river  Sèvre-­‐Nantaise.

Photos: Above, Secondigny orchards; Below, Pomm’Expo and village centre. Thanks to www.le-petit-logis.com for photos.

Nowadays, breeding  the  local  Parthenaise  cows  and   apple  production   are  the  mainstays   of  the  local   agricultural  economy  but  there  is  also   Gâtine  lamb  and  local  cheeses  on  offer. Despite  that   rural   ambience,  Secondigny  is   a  bustling,   vibrant  town   with   all   the   usual   amenities   -­‐   supermarket,   fishmonger,   butchers,   bakers,   pharmacies,   banks   etc   -­‐   but   it   is   perhaps   becoming   better   known  for   two   annual   events   that   attract   thousands   of   visitors,  the   Pomm’Expo  and  the  DSM  Trade  Fair. The   Pomm’Expo   celebrates   its   60th   year   in   October   2014  and   the   place   will   be   throbbing   with   a   week   of   entertainment   organised   around  the  theme  of  the  apple  in  all  its  forms.     Which   is  quite  apt  as   Secondigny  is   known   as   the   apple   capital   of   France,   with   its   1000   hectares  of  orchards  and   around  45,000   tons  of  fruit   harvested  every   year.   The  most  famous  variety,  and  one  that  still  has  a  special  place  in  the   hearts   of   the  Gâtinais,  is  the   Clochard,  commonly  known   as   ‘Apple   Tramp’.  Legend  has  it  that  the  picked  apples  were  dumped  on  a  bed  of   sticks  and  covered  with  straw  to  protect  them  from  the  cold  nights  and   were   compared   to   the   tramps   who   walked   the   roads   of   France   sleeping  under  the  stars. Pomm’Expo   attracts   more   than   10,000   visitors   over   the   week  and   includes  regional  products,  teaching  workshops,  painting  exhibitions,  a  

cycle race,  fair,  school  choir  concert   and  a  huge  vide  grenier/market.   This  year’s  event  is  Saturday  11th  -­‐  Sunday  19th  October  2014. Saturday,  September  20  sees  The  DSM  Trade  Fair  (Foire  Commerçiale).   It’s  not  been   going  as  long  as  Pomm’Expo  (three  years  in  fact)  but  it’s   proving  a  great  place  for   local  artisans  to  show  off   their   wares.  From   jewellery  to   estate   agency,   reflexology  to   fosse  septique   installation   and   digger   hire   to   double-­‐glazed   windows,  there   is   something   for   everyone.  Last   year   saw   72   exhibitors   and   more   than   650   people   through  the  doors. Integration  into  the  community   is  vital  for   a  successful  business  and   Secondigny  is  lucky  to  have  a  Mayor  in  Gérard  Vitré  who  is  committed   to  preserving  the  entente  cordiale.  No  wonder  people  like  living  there!

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 23


SECONDIGNY

History

In 1068   Jocelyn,   Lord   of   Parthenay,   who   had   already   created   a   defensive  line  surrounding  the  Gâtine,  decided  to  establish  a  town  at   Castum   Secondignacum,  which   already  had   a  castle  with   a   chapel   built  on  a  mound  surrounded  by  marshland.  He  asked   the  monks  of   Bourgueil  to  build  a  church  with   three  naves,   but  the  problem  was   the  church  kept   collapsing   –  probably  due   to   the   closeness  of   the   moat  protecting  the  castle  –  and  had  to  be  rebuilt  several  times  over   the  ensuing  years. In  1200,  the  Lords  of  Parthenay  –  with  cash   aid   from  the   English   –   fortified   the  town,  surrounding  it  with  a   high  wall   362  metres  long   reinforced  by  high   towers  and  two  high   gates   with  drawbridges.  No   Lord  ever   got  to  live  in  the  castle  situated  at  the  present  No27   Rue   de  la  Vendée. Following  the  100  Years  War,  France  was  relatively  peaceful  and   the   land   became   more   profitable.   In   1579   the   140   hectare   lake   stretching  from  Prévoireau  to  Chef  du  Pont  was  drained  to  recover   grassland   for  livestock.   But   during  the  18th  Century,   crippling  Royal   loads  (taxes)  sent  local  lords  into  exile,  leaving  swathes  of  land  fallow   and   the   peasants   to   suffer.  Many  small   farmers   only  survived   by   taking  on  secondary  work  in  the  forests  or  by  using  looms.

1901: Dairy  built  in  Belle  Fontaine  employing  18  men  and  producing   butter  that  tasted  of  nuts.  It  closed  in  1972. 1927:  The  cemetery  on  the   corner  of   the  road   to   Saint   Aubin   was   moved   500   metres   farther   out   of   the   town.   The   same   year   saw   electric  lighting  introduced. 1932:  Salle  des  Fêtes  built  with  a  market  place  on  the  ground  floor. 1950:  Drinking  water  supply  installed. 1952:  Traffic  lights  at  the  main  crossroads. 1960:  New  market  place  built  but  destroyed  in  2003. 1961:  The  first  apple  exhibition. 1976:  Opening  of  the  Lac  des  Effres. 1978:  Olympic  sized  swimming  pool   (70m  x   18m)  opened  at  Lac  des   Effres. 2004:  Creation  of  the  industrial  area  ‘Bellevue’ 2006:  New  salle  des  fetes  (la  Salla  Alauna)  built  at  Lac  des  Effres. 2007:  New  Library  built. 2009:  Demise  of  the  outdoor  swimming  pool  at  lac  des  Effres. 2012:  Newly  constructed  public  swimming  pool   with  flume   opened   at  the  campsite  at  Lac  des  Effres.

Big changes  came  in   1845   with   the   building   of   the   long,   straight   roads  from  Champdeniers  to  Angers  via  Bressuire  and  La  Roche  to   Parthenay  via  Secondigny.  These  roads  required  massive  amounts  of   stone  and  although  some  came  from  local  quarries  like  the  Bartière,   it  was  not  enough.     Local  fortifications  suffered  and  the  last  remains   of  the  south  tower  and   the  west  door  were  used  to  pave  new  roads   into  the  village. Secondigny   extended   outside   of   the   old   walls,   first   towards   Parthenay  and  Chef  du  Pont  and  then  towards  Bressuire,  by  creating   a   market   place,   a   town   hall   and   finally   the   first   schools.   The   Cherbonneau   school   for   girls  was   built   in   1888,   became   a  military   hospital   in   World   War   One,  then   a   primary   school   and   a  college   before  being  demolished  in  1982. Secondigny’s  population  reached  a  peak  of  2400  inhabitants  towards   the  end  of  the  19th  Century.  Latest  figures  put  it  at  under  1800. In   1900,   big   business   came   to   town.   The   TDS   line   (departmental   tramway  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres,  but   better  known  locally  as  “the  train   that  often  ran  off  the  rails”)  was  built  and  ran  until  1939. Above Église Sainte-Eulalie, left in 1899, right: 2014. Photos: www. histoire.secondigny.free.fr & Sarah Berry

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24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


SECONDIGNY LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS* LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS*LOCAL ADS* LOCAL ADS*LOCAL

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 25


SECONDIGNY

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SECONDIGNY

FACT FILE... Azay-­‐sur-­‐Thouet: 5  mins Fenery:  5  mins Le  Beugnon:  10  mins Pamplie:  10  mins Neuvy  Bouin:  10  mins Parthenay:  10  mins Vernoux-­‐en-­‐Gatîne:  10mins L’Absie:  15  mins Bressuire:  20  mins Niort:  30  mins

Photo: Plan d’eau, Lac des Effres

Leisure amenities

Sports facilities   are  excellent   and   include   a  stadium,  sports   hall,  new   outdoor   swimming   pool,   tennis,  golf,   judo,  horse  riding,  archery  and   cycling.   The   ten   hectares  of  Lake  Effres  has  various  water  sports,  fine  fishing  spots,  paddle  boats   and  plenty  of  footpaths  for   walking  and  relaxing.  There’s  also  a  bar,  restaurant,   campsite  and  picnic  and  play  areas.

Secondigny is  in  the  department  of  Deux-­‐Sèvres   (79),  in  the  region  of  Poitou-­‐Charentes      Population:  1715  in  2007 Airports:   Poitiers  (50   minutes),   La   Rochelle  ( 90   minutes),  Nantes  (115  minutes)

Things to see

• The Le   Bois   de  La   Mosnerie  discovery   trail   offers   walkers   peace   and   quiet   along   shaded  pathways,  while   cyclists   can   try  various  routes  around  the  area   (http://ffct.org) • The  Ronde  des  Vergers  trail  (14km  round  and  shaped  like  an  apple!)  takes  you   right  into  the  bocage  countryside,  revealing  large  apple  orchards  including  the   Verger   Conservatoire   des   Croqueurs  de  Pommes,  maintained   by  volunteers   dedicated  to  the  preservation  of  old  varieties  of  apple  trees. • There’s  also  an   11km  circuit   through   the  forest   called   La  Fôret  domaniale  de   Secondigny  at  nearby  Le  Retail.

Nearby places  to  visit: Parthenay  medieval  town  (14km) Marais-­‐Poitevin  marshes  and  Coulon  (35km) Puy  de  Fou  theme  park  (50km) Mervent  wildlife  park  (27km) Chateau  de  Cherveux  (22km)

Aire de Repos/pique-nique

Contacts

Plan d’eau Fishing Lake

Deux-­‐Sèvres tourist  info:  www.tourisme-­‐deux-­‐sevres.com Gâtine  tourist  info:  http://www.espace-­‐gatine.org Pomm’Expo:  www.pommexpo.fr DSM  Trade  Fair:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Cycle Routes Walking Routes

Bars & Restaurants Cashpoint Fuel Station Campsite Supermarket

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   gite   business   at   www.gitefortwo.com

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Zone Artisanale Bellevue 79130 SECONDIGNY

Tél : 05 49 63 51 32 Fax : 05 49 95 66 30 www.pointp.fr

Gros Œuvre   Menuiseries Bois Panneaux Couverture Isolation Carrelage Outillage Environnement Livraisons

Ouvert du Lundi au Vendredi : de 8 H à 12 H et de 13 H 45 à 17 H 30 Le samedi : de 9 H à 12 H

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 27


French Life...

potatoes are  in  and  it  is  always  a  bit  of   a   contest  to  see  who  spots   the  first  shoots.    I  normally  win  but  that  is   probably  because  I  lock   the  door  and  hide  the  key! The   wheat   we   planted   in   the   pig   pens   has   come   to   a   bit   of   a   standstill  but  it’s   looking  good,  lush   and  green.  I’m   sure  the  new   piglets  will   have   great   fun  uprooting  it   when  we   get   them  in   the   spring!  

Life on the Farm...

by Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

2014 hasn’t  been  a  healthy  one  for  us   so  far.     What  with  colds  and   a   bout  of  gastric  flu,  we   haven’t   been  on  top  form  to   be  doing   lots  of   heavy  work  here  on  the  farm.    However,  the  animals  still  need  to  be   fed  and  watered  but  at  times  it’s  been  difficult  to  drag  ourselves  out  of   bed  to  bottle  feed  the  lambs. With  such  a   mild  winter   some   of  the  plants  and  flowers  are  already   thinking   its   spring,   and   the   ducks   are   laying   earlier   than   usual.   Strangely   the  older   two   Toulouse   geese   haven’t   started   yet,  but   it   won’t  be  long  before  we  will  be  popping  some  eggs  into  the  incubator   to  hatch  some  ducklings  and  goslings.    Duck  eggs  take  a  little  longer   than  chicken  eggs  at  31  days  and  goose  eggs  take  about  35    days. The  bottle  feeders  (Haribo,  Haagen,  Hero  and  Hershey)  are  now  being   fed  at  more  sociable  hours  but  are  very,  very  noisey  when  they  hear  us   coming  with  the  grub.  The  milk  powder  they  have  been  having  is  now   being  supplemented   with   some   granules   and   hay   in   readiness   for   them  to  be  weaned.     Lambing  continues  with  the  first  8  lambs,  all  girls,  then  finally  a  brave   boy  has  put  in  an  appearance.    By  the  time  you  read  this  we  will   have   finished  lambing,  but  at  the  moment  we  still  have  3  ewes  to  give  birth,   and  then  the   difficult   choice   of  which   ones  we  keep  to   increase  our   flock.     In  addition  to   those  born   here  we  have  bought  in  some  new   stock,  some  Vendéen  and  a  couple  of  Rouge  de  L’Ouest.    I  must  admit   they  are  not  the  prettiest  of  sheep  with  their  balding  reddish  faces  and   they   do   look   a   bit   like  aliens.   The   Vendéen  breed   are  more..  well..   sheep  looking  and  do  grow  an  impressive  set  of  sideburns  -­‐  takes  me   back  to  the  seventies  (I  was  too  young  to  grow  sideburns  of  course  but   remember   them  on  other  people  -­‐   ha   ha!).    Both  traditional   French   breeds,  the  Vendéen  is  renowned   for  its  high  quality  lean   meat  and   excellent   flavour.   The  Rouge  de  L’Ouest  was   originally  a  dairy  sheep   with  its  milk  used  to  produce  Camembert  but  nowadays  the  breed  is   used  mainly  for  meat.

An adult Rouge de L’Ouest (not

one of ours).

Those not   selected   for   our   stock   will   be   heading   for   somebody ’s   freezer,   or   somewhere   else   that   may   need   a   lawn-­‐mower   or   two.     We   already   have   orders   for   our   first   lambs   and   we   anticipate   the   first   being   ready  in   May/June.     There  is   nothing   quite   like   the   first   piece   of   roast   lamb   for   the   new  season.  

The poly  tunnel  is  ready  for   some  new  planting,  both  in  the  ground   and   it   is   also  where   we   start   off  all   our   seeds   in   trays   and  pots.   Some  of  the  more   fragile  plants  such  as  the   lemon  tree  and  some   small   figs   have   also   spent   the   winter   inside.   The   first   batch   of  

28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

We had  expected  a  litter   of  baby  rabbits  but  unfortunately  the  ten   that   were   born   all   died   within  24   hours.     The   mum  abandoned   them;  they  usually  know  that   something   is  wrong.    The   difficulty   we  have  is  that   this  is  the  third  time  she  has  had   a   problem.  The   previous  two  matings  resulted  in  nothing  so   we  have  had  to  take   the   hard   decision   to   replace  her   with   a  young  female.  We  have   replaced  her   with   a  Californian   (she’s  white  with  a  grey  nose  and   ears   and   red   eyes)   named   Beano.     In   fact,   we   are   considering   getting   two   new   females   and   probably  a   young   male.     We   are   looking  at   New  Zealand   white  females  and  a  Flemish   Giant  male.     That  way  we  will  have  some  flexibility  as  to  who   we  mate  with  who   and  it  will  be  interesting  to  compare  growth  rates  and  flavour. Hopefully  the   rain   will   ease   up   and   we   can   start   to   get   a   few   outdoor  jobs   done.     See   you   next   month   for   more   Life   on   the   farm. Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.

A Piggy Fairy tale...

Once upon   a   time   there   were   two   beautiful   princesses,  Ginger  and   Poppy.  They  came  from  across  the   sea   from   England  to   live   in   a  sma ll   village   called  Cours   in  Fran with  their  handsome  Prince,  Jim.  The  King  and   Queen   want ce   ed   them  to  have   lots   of   lovely  babies   but   when   it   came  to   the   time,  the  Princesses  squabbl ed  over  the  Prince  and  there   were   no  babies.  The  King  and  Quee n  were  angry  and  blamed   Jim   so   they  banished  him  to  the  far   reaches  of  their  kingdom. After  a  little  while,  they  relente d   and  let  Prince  Jim  come  back ,   but  still   there  were  no  royal   babies   and  the  King  and   Qu een   got   really  annoyed   and   split   all   three  of  them  up.  They  ev en   sent  Prince  Jim  to  meet  other  g irls  to  make  sure  he  wasn’t  ‘the   other   way’!   Having  proved   himself   with   the   local   girls   they   brought  them  back  together   again.  But  still  Prince  Jim  coul dn’t   decide   between   the   Princes ses   -­‐  until   eventually  he   was   left   alone   with  Princess  Ginger   and   they  suddenly  found  they  d id   really  love  each   other.    Left   by  themselves,  it   all  happene d  as   the  King  and  Queen  had  hope d  for  the  past  two  years. The   Royal  babies   were  born  -­‐  a came  from  far  and   wide   to  m ll  eleven  of  them  and   people   arvel  at  the  first  Oxford  Sand y  &   Black  piglets   to   b e   b o r n   i n   France.  

The moral   of   t h e   s t o r y   i s   never  give  up!

www.theperfectpigcompan

y.com


SIX NATIONS    RUGBY  UNION     FRANCE  V  ENGLAND  31ST  JANUARY  2014 STADE  DE  FRANCE,  PARIS

by Liz Plaatsman

What a   great  idea   -­‐   a  day   in  Paris  with   the   Niort   Rugby  club,  and   seats   at  the  France   v  England  match  and  4  Brits  and  50   French  on   a   coach!! We  arrived  at  the  pick  up  point,  the  Stade  in  Niort,  to  meet  the  coach   45  minutes  early  (typical  Anglais)  and  met  up  with  a  group  of  French   men  decked  out  in  the  tricolour;  we  greeted  them  in  French  and  they   were  astonished   saying  “Vous  êtes   Anglais?”   Surprise,  surprise   the   coach  arrived   on   time  and  we   set   off   promptly,  the  organiser   was   very  generous  with  his  welcome  to  us  calling  us  “des  anglais“. The  bus   was  full  of  young  families  with  mostly  boys  who  were  very   excited,   but   soon   organised  themselves  into   a  group  to  play  cards;   we  sat  with  our  Kindles.    At  exactly  13.00  we  stopped  at   an  Aire  for   a   picnic   lunch  and  out  came  the  cool  bags,  baguettes  and  wine  bottles   for  a  45  minute  break  after  which  we  continued  the  journey. As  we   entered   the  peripherique  around   Paris  we  were  halted   by   a   demonstration   on   the   opposite   side   of   the   dual   carriageway,   thousands  of  motorbikes  demanding  that   certain  restrictions   were   lifted.    This  completely  closed  the  other   carriageway  and  eventually   caused  a  traffic  jam  on  our  side! The  young  boys   passed  through   the  coach   insisting  on  painting   the   faces   of  all  passengers  in  tricolour  and  a  great  cheer   went  up  when   “des  anglais”  were  also  persuaded  to  participate!! Our   seats  in   the   stade  were   exactly   behind   one   of   the   goal   posts   giving   wonderful   views   of   the   match.   Throughout   the   match   the   Niort  families  and  their  boys  teased  us,  clapped   us  and   cheered  for   both  teams,  and  sung  their  hearts  out  to  encourage  the  French  team   whilst  we  were  being  deafened  by  the  brass  band  5  rows  behind  us. At  the  finish  80,000  people  poured  out  of  the  Stade   in  a  controlled   and  genial  manner.    The  journey  back  in  the  coach  was  a  jubilant  one   for   the   French;   we   suffered   in   silence!     The   “older   passengers”   snored  their  way  home  whilst  the  younger  passengers   slept  without   a  sound. On  arrival   in  Niort  at   3am  the  organiser   thanked  everyone  who  had   helped   to   make   the   day   successful,   with   a   special   thanks   and   commiserations  to  their  English  friends. We   support   the   very  successful   rugby   team   in   Niort,   where   we  receive  a  very  warm  welcome   from   the   French   club   members   and   would   encourage   other   British   residents  to  experience   the  fun  and  congeniality.

Photo: Liz Plaatsman

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 29


Communications... Protecting Your PC - How Not to Install Programs you Do Not Want! by Ross  Hendry 1. Unwanted  Programs.     It  seems  that  every  provider   of  free  software  is  trying  to  get  us  to   install   programs   we  do   not   want.  For   example,  Adobe   acrobat   reader   and  flash  player   updates  will  install  "MacAfee  Security  Scan  Plus"  if  we  do  not  actively  reject  it. Many  other   programs   you   need  will   try  to   do   this,  the  only   way  to   prevent   this  is  to   clearly   read   each   screen   and   uncheck   (tick)   anything   that   is   offered   that   you   do   not   want.  I  will  use  some  screen  shots  to  illustrate  the  Adobe  program  update  that  will  install   "MacAfee   Security  Scan  Plus"  if  you   do   not   opt   out!    You   do   need  the    Adobe  "Flash   player"  and  ".pdf  reader"  so  you  need  the  updates.   (1.)   The   central   panel   is   clearly   labelled   Optional   Offer:   it   is   here   that   you   need   to   remove  the  "√"  then   agree  to  the  installation  by  clicking  "Install  now".  This  will  install  the   Adobe  Acrobat   Reader   without   the   McAfee  Security  Scan  Plus  program.     In  the   past   I   have  known  this  update  to  offer  the  Google  Toolbar  instead  of  MacAfee!  

2.

Another one  to  watch  carefully  is  the  Java  Update  (2.),  this  is  now   offering   you  the  ASK   toolbar.    The  funny  thing  is  when  you  install  it,  it  does  not  always  display,  but  sits  invisible   to  you  taking  up  resources  doing  nothing  of  any  value  for  you.    Once  again  it  is  as  simple   as   removing   a   "√"   before   giving  Java   permission   to   install/update.  Just   because   Java   recommend  the  installation  you  do  not  have  to  accept  it  -­‐  so  blank  the  box  to  the  right  of   the  "Install  the  Ask   Toolbar   and  make   Ask  my  default  search  provider"  before  pressing   Next  to  update  Java. Many  of   my  customers  inadvertently  install  the  AVG  free   trial   (3.),  rather   than   update   the  Free  basic  version  they  have  been  using.     They  also   permit  AVG  to  take  over  doing   their  searches  using  their  AVG  Nation  search  feature  (4.).  This  results  in  them  losing  their   home  page/s  settings.  You  may  prevent  this  by  carefully  reading  each  page  of  the  update   instructions,  and   by  either   removing  or   adding  ticks  -­‐  for   example   indicating   that  you   actually  require  the   "Basic  protection"    rather  than  the  "Free   Trial"  and  you   will  not  find   AVG  demanding  payment  a  month  later.

3.

To maintain   your   Free   subscription   you   must   select   "Basic   Protection"   and   NOT  "Full   Protection",  if  you  do  neither,    AVG  will   decide  to  give  you  the  Full  Protection  -­‐     free  trial   and  30  days  later,    you  will  be  asked  to  pay  for  a  subscription! Finally  do  not  permit  AVG  to  change  your  home  page/s  ,  to  do  this,  you  simply  refuse  the   safe  search   option  when   installing/upgrading  AVG,  you   may   have  to  remove  all   of   the   ticks  in  the  display  here. By  carefully   watching  each  screen  and   choosing  to   refuse  (deselect)   or   accept   options   you   will  be  in  much  better   control  of  your  system.  If  in  doubt  ask  someone  who  knows,   do  not  just  blindly  accept  software  you  do  not  need  or  want. Most   unwanted   software   will   enter   your   system  via   these  methods,   especially   if  you   have  blocked  all  other  methods,  by  keeping  your   operating  system,  applications  software   and  anti-­‐virus/spyware  software  up  to  date,  so  be  vigilant  and  refuse  the  junk!! 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).

30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

4.


Urgent Information  Windows  XP  -­‐  Ross  Hendry  of  Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering  

I would  like  to  update  the  article  written  in  November  2013  for  The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly,  December  2013  issue. On   16th   January   2014,   Microsoft   announced   that   they   would   continue   to   provide   security   updates   for   Windows   XP   professional   SP3  but  only  for  anti-­‐virus  programs  such  as  Microsoft  security  essentials,  until  July  2015.    I  do  not   think  that   this  is  sufficient  to  protect  you  from  the  increased  risk  of  infection.  This  announcement  was  just  after  the  copy  deadline  for  the  February   issue,  so  I  could  not  advise  you  any  sooner.   Microsoft  explained  its  change  of  policy  in  a  blog saying  "the  feed  of  security  information  was  the  only  support  XP   users  would  receive   after  8  April  this  year.”     "This   would  mean  that   it   continued  to   provide  signatures  for   well-­‐known   malicious  programs  that   will   help   Windows   XP   spot   when   viruses,  trojans  and  other  cyber-­‐threats   try  to  compromise  a   PC.  The   malware-­‐spotting  updates  will  be  provided  for  Microsoft's  Security   Essentials  and  for  a  wide  variety  of  corporate  tools  used  to  protect  large  numbers  of  PCs." "These  security  updates  will  be  produced  until  14  July,  2015.”   "However,  security  patches,  regular  updates  and  bug  fixes  for  XP  will  stop  as  scheduled  on  8  April  2014." You  can  learn  more  here:  http://www.microsoft.com/en-­‐gb/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/10576771/Microsoft-­‐extends-­‐security-­‐support-­‐for-­‐Windows-­‐XP.html

Useful English Language Numbers...

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres:

05 49 64 59 96

French State health insurance advice line:

08 11 36 36 46

Elizabeth Finn Care (Grants and advice if in Financial need):

04 68 23 43 79

Orange Helpline:

09 69 36 39 00

EDF International Customer Service:

05 62 16 49 08

CLEISS (Social security advice between countries):

01 45 26 33 41

Funeral Information (AFIF):

01 45 44 90 03 or www.afif.asso.fr

Passport Advice:

0044 208 082 4729

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 31


Food & Drink... French Village Diaries

by Jacqueline Brown.

The highlight   of   my   month   was   an   excursion   over   the   border   into   the   Vienne   for   an   evening   listening   to   local   author   Karen   Wheeler   talking   about   ‘The   Marie-­‐Antoinette   Diet’,   where   I   discovered   we   have   a   shared   passion   for   bone   broth   stocks.    Before  moving  to   France  I   had   never   cooked  a  whole   chicken   (odd,  I  know)  but   now  I  never  buy   chicken   pieces,   always   use   every   last  bit  of  meat   and  make  a  stock  from  the  carcass.   It  is  far  more   economical,  the  gelatinous  stock  is  very  good  for  you  and  has  many   uses  in  my  kitchen,  so  it’s  a  win,  win  situation.  

I have  developed  a  bit   of  a  chicken  dinner  ritual  in  that  I  always  pick   the  carcass  clean  of  meat  the  day  of  cooking;  we  carve,  we  eat,  I  pick   and  then  put  the  bones  to  good  use  making  a  stock  with  any  leftover   cooking  juices  and   vegetable  cooking   water.    I  also  add  an  onion,  a   carrot  and  a  few   bay  leaves  and  ensure  the  bones  are  well-­‐covered   adding  water   if  necessary.  Once  the  stock  has  come  to  the  boil  I  let  it   simmer  for  at   least   45  minutes  with  a  lid  on  and  then  turn  off,  but   leave  to  cool  slowly.     Once   cool  I  strain   the  liquid  and   put  it  in   the   fridge  where  it   sets  like  jelly.  The  dog   then  benefits  from  any  skin   and  scraps  of  meat  taken   from  the  bones.  If  time  is  pressured   the   carcass   can   be  frozen   and   stock  made  at   a  later  date.  I  have  even   been  known  to  come  home  from  dinner  out  with  a  carcass  destined   for  the  bin  and  freeze  it  for  a  future  stock. The  homemade  bone  stock  has  no  hidden  salt  or  sugar,  ingredients   you  find  in  many  stock   cubes,  and  thanks  to  the  bones  is  high  in   calcium.     It  is  also  the  perfect  thickening  agent  for  soups  so  you  can   omit  or  reduce   the  potatoes   in  a  recipe  for  a  less  stodgy  soup.    We   are  not   big  potato   eaters  so  find  this   very  useful.     Once  made,   the   stock  or   soup  made  from  it   can  be   frozen.     My  favourite  uses  for   homemade  chicken  stock  are  as  the  cooking  liquid  in   risotto,  curries   and  pasta  dishes  and  for  boulanger  potatoes  or  other  gratin  dishes. As   we   are   in   the   middle   of   the   winter   cold   season,   here   is   my   Spicy   Chicken   Soup   remedy   for   colds,   perfect   for   when   you   are   poorly  as  it  is  light  on  the  stomach   and  with  the  added  garlic,  onions,   turmeric   and   chilli,   has   magical   healing  powers.   •Two  onions,  thinly  sliced •Lots  of  garlic,  thinly  sliced •Two  fresh  chillies,  I  left   the  seeds     in  but  do  whatever  you  prefer •2  teaspoons  of  Turmeric •500ml   (1   pint)   of   homemade   chicken  stock •500ml  (1  pint)  of  water •2  handfuls  of  fine  angel  hair  pasta Sauté  the  onions,  garlic,   chillies  and   turmeric  in  a  little  butter   until   the  onions  are   soft.    Add  the   liquids  and  bring  to  the  boil,  then  add   the  pasta  and  simmer  until  cooked.    Serve  with  sympathy. For  recipes  please  email  me  at  frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com   or  visit  www.frenchvillagediaries.com  

32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Local Beef Cuts

by Vanda Lawrence

After some  browsing  in  the  local  supermarkets,  you  may  have  noticed  that  the  cuts  of  meat  on   sale  are   a  little  different  to  those  we  are   used  to  in  the  UK.      Here  we  look  at  the  regular  cuts  of  Beef  here  en  france  and  the  ways  to  cook  them. Note  to  the  cooks...  Casserole,   stew,  ragout,  pot-­‐au-­‐feu,   hotpot,  carbonnade,  navarin,  tajine  are   all   different   names  for   the  same  cooking  method  ie  cooking  in   a  pot   with  liquid.    However,   there  are  slight   differences:   Stewing  is  done  on  top  of  the  stove  with  heat  directly  beneath  the  pot,  while  casseroling  is  done  inside  the   oven  with  heat  circulation  all  round  the  pot.    Both  methods  need  the  meat   to  be  cut  up  into  small  pieces   and   cooked   in   liquid  of  some  kind.     Braising  is  done  in  the  oven,  like   casseroling  but  the  meat  is  left  in   larger  pieces   and   less  liquid   is   used   so   the   meat  is  almost   steamed.     The  other   names   above  refer   to   recipe  styles  or   types  eg  hotpot   is   uncovered   towards   the  end   of   cooking   and   has   a   layer   of   crunchy   potatoes  over  the  top.    A  poêle  is  a  type  of  frying  pan.                            French  Cut     English  Cut      Ways  to  Cook 1   Basses  côtes       chuck/blade  steak     casserole/pot-­‐au-­‐feu/ragôut 2   Côtes,  entrecôtes     steak         poêle/grill/bbq 3   Faux-­‐filet       as  above       as  above 4     Filet         best  steak       fry  in  very  hot  pan 5   Rumsteck       rump  steak       poêle/grill/bbq 6   Rond  de  gîte       part  topside/part  flank   roast 7   Tende  de  tranche;  poire,  merlan  rumpsteak       fondue 8   Gîte  à  la  noix       flank         braising/  brochette 9   Araignée       spidersteak       pôele 10     Plat/rond  de  tranche,     steak         grill/poêle   mouvant       thigh         fondue,  brochette 11   Bavette  d'aloyau     skirt  steak       grill/bbq/poêle 12   Hampe         steak         poêle 13   Onglet         steak         grill/poêle/bbq 14   Aiguillette  baronne     silverside/top  rump     roast  or  braise 15   Bavette  de  flanchet     flank  steak       grill/poêle 16   Plat  de  côtes       rib  of  beef       pot-­‐au-­‐feu 17   Macreuse  à  bifteck     brisket         braising 18   Paleron       shoulder       braising 19   Jumeau  à  bifteck     shoulder       grill/poêle 20   Jumeau  à  pot-­‐au-­‐feu     shoulder                   braise/casserole/pot-­‐au-­‐feu 21   Macreuse  à  pot-­‐au-­‐feu   brisket                         braise/ragôut 22   Queue         tail                                                     soup 23   Gîte         topside                                       ragoût/pot-­‐au-­‐feu 24   Flanchet       flank                                 casserole/poêle/bourguignon 25   Tendron,  milieu  de  poitrine   brisket                           slow  cook/casserole/ragôut 26   Gros  bout  de  poitrine     brisket                             slow  cook/casserole/ragôut 27   Collier         collar/neck       ragôut/pot-­‐au-­‐feu 28   Plat  de  joue       cheek                                           braising 29   Langue         tongue                                                     casserole/pot-­‐au-­‐feu

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 33


WanhunnerandEYTEE

by John Sherwin

Wine scoring  systems  and  why  you  really  don’t   need  to  bother... If  you’re  the  kind  of  person  who  hangs  his  anorak  in   the   cellar   next   to   that   case   of   Chateau   Shouldhaveknownbetter   ’82,   or   for   that   matter   who   stores   her   double   magnum   of   Domaine   Letsbeavinyou   ’97   in   the  anorak   wardrobe,  then   I   warn   you   now:   blow  up  my  photo  above  and  pin  it  to  the  nearest  dartboard.     On  the   other  hand,  if  you’re  sick  and  tired  of  wine  ‘scores’,  feel  free  to  make   garlands  of  jasmine   and  frangipani  and  send  them   to  me  Colissimo.   Yes,  it’s  the  month  when   everyone   is  grouchy,  and  not  being  one  to   buck  a  trend,  I  had  to  find  something  vinous  to  moan  about. We  pretend   not  to,   but   we  all   like  to  do  what  we’re  told:  it  makes   us  feel  enfolded  and   safe.  From   pre-­‐history  to  pre-­‐school   we  can   see  good  reasons   why:  if  you  don’t  come   with  us  you  will  be  eaten   by  a  mastodon;  if  you  don’t  give  me  your  banana  I’ll  hit  you.    When   we  get  older  ‘doing  what  we’re  told’  becomes  ‘taking  advice’  and  it   makes   us  feel  wise  and  responsible.    And  of  course  it  is  wise  and   responsible  when  it  comes  to  such  grown-­‐up  things  as  medical  and   legal   matters.  But   if   you   start   ‘taking   advice’   from   someone   on   what  wines  you  like  and  should  be  drinking  then  you  really  need  to   sit  down   with  a  nice  glass  of  Mouton-­‐Rothschild   ’83  (nothing  else   will  do  -­‐  obey)  and  come  to  your  senses. I’m   not   one   normally   to   quote   other   people   at   length,   but   this   blogger  pretty  much  nails  it.  “’Penis  wines’  score  big  in  the  ratings,   metrics  that   go   over   well  with   people  who  don’t  know  that  much   but   want   to  seem   like  they  do.  They  buy  less   for   enjoyment   and   more  for  bragging  rights   -­‐   as  in   “Have  you  seen  my  100-­‐pointer?”   It’s  hard   to  prove  these  guys  are  overcompensating  for  anything  in   particular,  but   just  like  that  bald  guy  in  the  corvette  convertible,  it   seems  pretty  obvious.” Now,   you   either   don’t   really   know   what   I’m   talking   about,   are   punching  the  air  saying  ‘right  on!’  (bless  you)  or  are  squirming  a  bit   in  the  Habitat  swivel  chair   you  don’t  really  like  but   you  bought  on   the  advice   of   Terence   Conran  all   those   years  ago.  I  am  of  course   talking  about  the  infamous  Robert  Parker  and  his  100  point  rating   system.  It’s   100  points  because   it   sounds   scientific   and   therefore   displays   accuracy,  sensitivity   and   nuance.   It   does   nothing   of   the   kind:  it’s  the  opinion  of  one  man  who  likes  a  particular  style  of  wine   (let’s   call   them   Dolly   Partons,   big-­‐bodied   and   strong)   and   who   thinks   the   rest   of   the   world   should   share   his   view   because   he   knows  best.   The   critic   John   Dvorak   has   interpreted   this   100   point   scheme   as   follows:   “100   -­‐   No   such   thing.   Theoretically   impossible.  Used  by  Parker  to  get  attention   and  mock  the   industry  [and  you  the  consumer,  I   might   add];  85   -­‐   the   85   rating  means  you  can  probably  choke   it  down  at   a  pinch.”     So  we’re  left  with  a  14  point  system,  and  14  just  isn’t  a  sexy   number.   In   fact,   in   Chinese   numerology   the   number   14   means  ‘definitely  die’  (seriously). I  will  continue  my  rant  on  wine  scoring  next   time  -­‐   but  in   a   more   positive   vein   as  our  thoughts  will   be   turning  to   the   gambolling  lambs  of  spring  and  what  to  drink  with  them. John Sherwin, French Wine Tours. Tel: 02 51 66 13 05 ~ E: john@french-wine-tours.com ~ www.french-wine-tours.com

34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Motoring... 25 years of 5! by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

As I  write  this  article  in  mid   February,  the  motoring  press  is   full   of   this  year’s  Anniversary  story;  last   year   it  was  50   years  of  the   911,   this  year  the  Mazda  MX-­‐5  is  25  years  old. Regular   readers  may   recall   that   I  got   my  first   MX-­‐5   last   summer,   and   have  been  very   impressed  with  it.    To  date  there  have  been   three  generations   of   the   MX-­‐5,  but   a  fourth  generation   is   due  to   launch  in  2015,  to  take  the  model  into  its  next  25  years.  

Likely to   appear  at  next  year’s  Chicago  Auto  Show,  the  2015  Mazda   MX-­‐5   is   expected   to   be   lighter   than  the  outgoing  model  -­‐   a   hark   back  to  the  old  school  first-­‐generation  MX-­‐5. The  new  model  will   start  off  the  next  25  years  of   the  MX-­‐5,  but  the   passion  for  the  original  cars  still  gets  petrol  heads  like  us  up  in  the   morning......    And  that’s  what  it’s  all  about.

Tanjoubi omedetou  MX-­‐5!  

Contact Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org.

So, what  of  the  story  so  far  ...  ? Well,  first   up,  the   MX-­‐5   is  the   world’s   best  selling  2  seater   sports   car.  Fact.   Nobuhiro   Yamamoto,   the   Programme   Manager   for   the   MX-­‐5  thinks  that   the  concept   behind  the  car   explains  why.  The  car   is  inspired  by  the  Japanese  notion  of  Jinba  Ittai   -­‐  ‘horse  and  rider  as   one’.     Yamamoto  says  “Our  passion  has  always  been  to  create  cars   in   which  more  people   spend  quality   time  and  not   to  just   produce   more   products.   We   wanted   to   create  a   car   that   makes   everyone   feel  joy   and  happiness;  a  car   that   makes  driving  truly   joyful;  a   car   that  frees   peoples  minds   when   they  drive  it  and  when   they  see  it   driving;   a   car   that   animates   life   and   becomes   an   irreplaceable   partner.” The   MX5  was  simple,  ultra  lightweight,   rear  wheel   drive,  and  not   trendy  at   all.  In   most   circles,  the  lack  of   trendy  styling   would   be   considered   a   poor   choice  of   design.   However,   in  the   automotive   world,   that   is   exactly   what   a   manufacturer   dreams   of   accomplishing.  Basically,  Mazda  got   it   right   first  time   around,  and   the  public’s  ongoing  love  affair  with  the  MX-­‐5  was  born. Enthusiasts   prefer   the   lighter,   more   back-­‐to-­‐basics   Mk1,   easily   recognised  by  its  pop-­‐up  headlights  but  there’s   a  good  case   to   be   argued  for  the  second-­‐generation  car  if  you’re  using  the  MX-­‐5  on   a   regular   basis,  as  they  offer   a  more  modern  appearance  inside  and   out,   and   the   added   reassurance   of   airbags   and   ABS   on   every   model.   The   current   Mk3   variant   is   larger   and   heavier   than   the   original,  but  retains  the  spirit  of  the  first  design.  

Photo: http://www.ausmotive.com

Let’s be  clear  here,  the  Mazda  MX-­‐5  is  not  about  high  performance.   As  Jay  Leno   says  in  his   tribute  to  the  MX-­‐5  on  its  birthday,  “It’s  not   about  going  fast  -­‐  It’s  about  going  swiftly,  and  you  can  drive  this  car   very,  very  swiftly.” Another  attraction  is  a  soft-­‐top   roof  that   takes  up  no  space  in  the   boot   and   in   seconds   can   transform   your   car   from   a   stunning   roadster   to  a  sleek  and  stylish  convertible.     They’re  cheap  to  buy   and  run,  and   provide  so  much  fun  that  there  is  not  a  lot  else  that   can  match  it   for  the  money,  whether  you  are  buying  new  or   second   hand  …  and   it   is   versatile  too  .....classic   car,  track  car,  drifter,   rally   car,   circuit   racer,   endurance  racer,   tourer   or   daily  drive,  you   take   your  pick.   And  so  what  should  we  expect  in  the  future?

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 35


36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 37


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40 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


Business & Finance... ASSURANCE VIE No, this  is  NOT  a  life  insurance!!    Assurance  vie  is  a  savings  account Assurance   vie   saving   account   has   been   so   successful   that   today   there  are  over  €1.5   trillion  invested  in  Assurance  vie  policies.     Over   22   million   individuals   have   either   invested   lump   sums   or   save   regularly  using  this  instrument. To   understand   the   success   of   this   product,  we   need   to   look  no   further   than   the  tax  advantages  that   it  offers.     Avoiding  paying   tax   is  a  number  one  hobby  in  France  and  the  assurance  vie  allows  you   to   do  it   legally!!    So  unless  you   want  to  generously  help  the  French   government   by   paying   tax   that  French  people  themselves  avoid  to   pay,  you  should  look  at  this  properly.

INHERITANCE ADVANTAGES

Before I  talk   about   the   wonderful   tax   advantages,  note   that   the   main   benefit   of  this  policy  is  that   it   overrides  French   inheritance   law!    Basically,   when  you   open  an   Assurance  vie   policy   you  name   beneficiary(ies).     So,  when   you  eventually  die,  the  money  left  on   your   policy  is  given   directly  to   the  beneficiary(ies)  without   going   through   the  notaire.     For  your  money  in   the  bank,  the  delay  can  be   up  to  6   months  (time  for   the  notaire  to  sort   out   the   inheritance).     In   the   Assurance   vie,   it   is   2-­‐3   weeks   after   reception   of   the   necessary  paperwork  (death  certificate,  passport).  

DEATH DUTIES  ADVANTAGES

I can  hear   some  of  you   saying  “2015  -­‐  change  of  law!”    Well,  think   again!    As   the  changes  of   August  2015  will  allow  you  to  be  able  to   choose  the  inheritance  law  of  your  country  of   birth  BUT  the  tax  will   always  be  French  tax,  so  if  you   decide  to  leave  some  money  to  your   nephew  instead  of  your  rightful  children,  your   nephew  would  have   to  pay  55%  after  an  allowance  of  €8000.     The  assurance  vie  allows  you   to   leave  money  to  anyone  you  want   and  as  much  as  €152,500  per  beneficiary. This   is   the   perfect   solution   if   you   want   to   leave   something   to   unrelated  beneficiaries  such  as  friends  or  step   children,  who   would   otherwise  pay  tax  at  60%. But   this   is   also  a  good   solution  for  leaving  money  to   children,  as   they  can  only  receive  up  to  €100,000  each  before  death  duties,  so   with  the  Assurance  vie,  they  can  receive  up  to  €152,500  as  well  as   the    €100,000.   Do  bear  in   mind  that  if  you  are  French  resident,  all  movable  assets   come  under   French  inheritance  law,  so  your  savings  in  the  UK  will   be  subject  to  French  inheritance  tax  and  law.  

It is   less   than   €4600   therefore   you   have   no   tax   to   pay   on   this   withdrawal.    If  the  contract  was  less  than   8   years   old,   you   would   have   to   declare   this   amount   on   your   French   tax   return   (filled   in   May  the  following  year).    If  you  don’t   pay  tax   in  France,  chances  are   you  won’t  pay  tax  on  it  anyway. You  can  choose  the  other  option  which  is  being  taxed  at  source.  Tax   rate   depends  on  how  long  you   had   the  policy:  Less   than  4  years:   35%,   between   4   and   8   years:   15%   and   after   8   years   (after   the   allowance):  7.5%.   Note  that  the  interest  is  not  taxed  as  long  as  it  stays  in  the  policy.

HOW IT  IS  INVESTED  AND  WHAT  DO  YOU  EARN

This is  another   good  thing  about  it:  you  choose!  If   you  don’t  want   any  risk,  you  can  have  it   all  on  secured  earning  at  around  2.5%  after   social  charges  and  management  fees.    But  you  can  also  choose  to   have   a   %   on   shares.     With   Allianz,   we   have   a   tool   which   automatically  transfers  the  profit  from  shares  to  the   secured   part   of  your  savings  when  it  reaches  5%  earnings.     This  is   good  because   if  you  never   cash   in   the  profits,  you  could   lose  it  all   if   the   market   crashes. Note  that  the  CAC40  has  made  +18%  last  year.   The  interest  on  the  secured  part  is  given  on  the   31st   of  December   each  year.

WHAT IS  WRONG  WITH  IT?

Well, nothing  is  perfect  in  life!      Firstly  it  can  cost  money  to  set  it  up.     There  is  an  entry  fee  for   opening  this  account   and  every  time  you   add   money  to   it.     This   entry   fee   is  NEGOTIABLE  (although   most   insurance  companies  and  banks  won’t  tell  you  that).  Yes,  of  course   with  me  it  is  negotiable!!  For  instance,  above  €100,000,  we  take  0%   entry  fee.    There  is  however  a  €50  administration  fee.   Be   very  careful   with  this  as  some  companies   do   not  bother   to   tell   you   upfront   and   you   will   only  realise  once   the  money  is   invested   that  there  was  an  entry  fee.   Secondly,  the  interest   is  subject  to  social  charges  (15.5%)  and  those   are  taken  automatically  on  the  31st  of  December  each  year.  There  is   a  management  fee  (around   0.80%)  taken  at   the  same  time.    Finally,   it  is  more  like   a  long  term  saving  account,  as  a  withdrawal  can  take   up  to  2  weeks  so  this  is  not  to  be  used  as  a  treasury  account. To   conclude,  this  is  a   brilliant   product  but  you  need  to   look  if   it   is   made   for   you   or   not.   I   always   like   to   look   at   people’s   personal   situation  to  check  if  it  is  suitable  for  them.  This  appraisal  is  free  so   don’t  hesitate  to  contact  me.

Finally, note  that  it   is  better  that  all  the  money  is  put   in  before  you   are  70  years  old,  as   the  tax  advantage   for   the  money  invested  after   70  is  then  €30,500  for  all  beneficiaries  combined.  

INCOME TAX  ADVANTAGES

Most French  people  use  this  product   in   order  to  prepare  for  their   pension,  because  once  the   policy  has  reached  8  years   old,  you  can   withdraw  money  with  an   annual  tax  free  allowance  of  €4,600  if  you   are  single  (€9,200  for  couples). This  allowance  is  for  the  interest   part  of  the  withdrawal  so  you  can   take  out   much  more  per  year  and  that  means  you  can  have  regular   complementary  income  tax  free!   For   example:   You   have   opened   an   Assurance   vie   with   €10,000.   After  8  years,  you  have  made  €5,000  and   you  make  a  withdrawal  of   €3,000.    The  taxable  amount  would  be:   3000-­‐(10000x3000/15000)  =€1000.  

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


How to Save Money as an Expat in France by Sue Cook It’s easy  to   get   swept   away   by  the  sweet   smell   of   the  wine   and   cheese   or   the   charms   of   the   towns   when   you’re   hunting   for   a   property.     However,   at   some   point,   practical   considerations   will   creep   in   -­‐   like   how   you’re   going   to   transfer   your   hard-­‐earned   money  to  France  to  seal  the  deal  on  your  dream  home. The   world   of   foreign   currency   can   be   a   strange   and   confusing   place.     If   you’re   making  overseas   transfers   for   the  first   time,  it’s   easy  to  get  a  bad  deal  or  lose   a  lot   of  money  without   realising  it  -­‐   until  it’s  too  late. You  might   not  know  that,  if  you  use  your  local  or  high  street  bank,   you   could   lose   thousands   in   transfer   fees   and   unfavourable   exchange  rates.     Whether  you’re  securing  a  holiday  home,  making   an   investment,  transferring  your  pension  or   salary  you’ll  be  better   off  with   an   experienced   currency  transfer   specialists.  Companies   like   Currencies   Direct   have   been   helping   people   transfer   funds   abroad  quickly,  simply  and  cost-­‐effectively  for  more  than  18  years.   Using  a  specialist  means  getting  a  better   exchange  rate,  and  usually   a  lot   less  in   fees  and  hidden  charges.     In  fact,  you   could  save  up  to   5%  by  choosing  one  instead   of  a   high  street   bank.    Don’t   forget   that  this  applies  for  transfers  back  to  the  UK  as  well.

Savings Speak  Louder If  you  were  to  buy  a  property  in  France  for  €150,000  and  transfer   the  funds  with   your  bank,  it  would  have   cost   you   £131,960  (the   bank’s   exchange   rate   being   1.15€,   plus   the   £25   cost   of     the   transfer    fee  and  receiving  fees  of  1-­‐3%  of  the  euro  amount).   However,   the   same   transaction   with   Currencies   Direct   would   have  cost  you  £125,000  (by  eliminating  the  transfer  and  receiving   fees  from  the  picture,  and  using  a  much  friendlier  rate  of  €1.20). By   knowing   your   options   and   choosing   a   foreign   exchange   specialist   instead  of  your  bank  you   could  be   saving  £6,960.  That   might  be  enough  to  redecorate  your   new  home.    Or  maybe  get   a   new   little   left-­‐hand   drive   car.     Now,   that’s   something   worth   considering.

42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

Ask Amanda. “How flexible   is   my   Assurance   Vie,  should   my   needs   or   circumstances   change   in   the   future?” When   you   take  out  Assurance  Vie   it   is  not   only  important  that   the   money  you  put  in  is   invested  properly  for  your  requirements  and   attitude   to   risk   today,   but   that   it   can   be   managed,   reviewed   regularly   and   changed   should   your   circumstances   alter   in   the   future.    Here  are  several   questions  you  may  want   to   consider  when   you  when  choosing  or  reviewing  your  Assurance  Vie:   How  do  I  change  how  the  money  is  invested  within  my  Assurance  Vie?  

During your  annual  review  or  should  your  circumstances  change,  it   is   important   to   be   able   to   review   your   Assurance   Vie   and   understand   how   it   is   performing.   If   it   is   not   matching   your   requirements  the   mechanism  for   changing   or   swapping  how  your   money  is  invested  should  be  simple  and  not  cost  prohibitive.   How  often  can  I  change  the  contents  of  my  Assurance  Vie?   Flexibility  to   change  how  money  is  invested  within  your   Assurance   Vie,   simply   and   inexpensively   is   important.   You   cannot   predict   when   you   may   wish   to   change   how   your   money   is   invested   or   encounter   an   unexpected   need   to   withdraw   some   of   it   at   short   notice,  so   having   a   local   financial   planner   who   can   manage   this   process  simply  and  efficiently  is  a  good  idea.   How  flexible  is  an  Assurance  Vie  should  I  decide  to   leave  France   and  live  somewhere  else?   It   is   important   to   ensure  you   are   Assurance   Vie  portable   should   you  wish  to  change  your  country  of  residence. Do  I  understand  the  charges  applicable  to  my  Assurance  Vie?   Whether   you  already  have   an  Assurance   Vie  or  are  looking  to  take   one  out   it   is   important   to   understand   your   obligations   regarding   applicable  charges,  taxes  and  social  charges.  It  is  worth  noting  that   where  &  how  your  money  is  invested  can  have  an  impact  on  social   charges  you  are  liable  to  incur.   At   The   Spectrum   IFA   Group   we   firmly   believe   that   your   free   financial  health  check  is   just  the  start  of  our  ongoing  commitment   to  your  financial  well-­‐being.    If  you  want  to  understand  more  about   the   options   you   have   with   an   Assurance   Vie,   register   for   our   newsletter,  attend  one  of  our   road  shows  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.


Five Key Principles for Investing There are five key aspects you need to address to ensure you obtain the optimum investment portfolio to suit your personal situation.

(1) The right 'wrapper' A 'wrapper' can keep most of your investments in one place and reduce your tax liabilities. It is crucial to take specialist advice, to prevent investment returns being slashed by French tax.

(2) Your appetite for risk For some of our assets, exposure to market movements gives us a better chance of outperforming inflation and producing real returns over the medium to long term. The starting point has to be to obtain a clear and objective assessment of your appetite for risk, to ensure your investment portfolio is suitable for you. These days there are some very sophisticated ways of evaluating your risk appetite, involving a combination of psychometric assessments (easily carried out in a face to face meeting), and consideration of your other assets and your aims.

(3) Matching your risk profile to the optimum portfolio Every set of investments can be forecast to display a given amplitude of risk. Low amplitude, less risk but also lower likely returns. A higher amplitude of risk brings greater potential returns. The key is ensuring your portfolio matches your attitude to risk. Without a sound

by Brad Warden, Partner, Blevins Franks

assessment being matched to the optimum blend of investments, your portfolio could be too risky or too cautious for you.

(4) Diversification Your portfolio should be suitably diversified over different asset types and markets to give it the potential to produce positive returns over time, without being vulnerable to any single area or stock underperforming. This should be extended by utilising a 'multi-manager' approach, where several different fund managers are blended together to reduce reliance on single managers making the right decisions in all market conditions.

(5) Review Finally, it is important to review your portfolio occasionally to rebalance it. It can shift away from the one designed to match your risk profile and objectives, and your circumstances may have changed. Regular re-balancing helps control risk and tends to have a positive effect on performance. Five key principles which applied well can provide the peace of mind, while your investments and managers work to your requirements. Seek advice from a specialist wealth manager. All advice received from Blevins Franks is personalised and provided in writing. This article should not be construed as providing any personalised taxation or investment advice. All information is based on our understanding of legislation and taxation practice at the time of writing; this may change in the future.

SPRING SEMINARS

Are you protecting your wealth? If the fear of making the 'wrong' choices about your financial assets has left you mired in indecision, come to one of our Spring Seminars! At the seminars we will explain the recent changes and how to get the best from your current situation. Please contact us if you would like to attend (or alternatively if you would prefer to arrange a private appointment). We worry about wealth preservation, so you don't have to. Nr NIORT, Granzay-Gript Tuesday 8 April Château du Griffier Nr ANGERS, Trélazé Wednesday 9 April Hotel de Loire

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05 49 75 07 24

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Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 43


Inheritance Rule   Differences   Between  UK  and  France It   is  unquestionable   that  most  British  nationals  move  to  France  in   search   of   a   different   lifestyle.   Whether   it   is   the   health   system,   weather,  culture  or  food  (or  a  combination  of  them   all)   that   play  a   large  part   in   their   decision  making  process,   there  is  still  one  area   that   usually  does   not   change   after   the   move,  and   that   is   their   estate  planning  objectives.       These  objectives  are  normally: 1. To   exercise   control   over   the   eventual   distribution   of   assets   acquired  throughout  life. 2. To   ensure   that   these   assets   are   distributed   to   chosen   beneficiaries  as  tax-­‐efficiently  as  possible. However,  given   the   many  differences  between   the   legal   and   tax   systems   between   the   two   countries,   it   is   likely   that   a   different   financial  planning  approach  and   legal   procedures  will   be  required   to  help  achieve  these  objectives.

Wills

Unlike in  the   UK,  where  a  legally  constituted  will  is  a  key  tool   for   controlling  the  distribution  of  assets  on  death,  a  French  will  offers   limited   scope   for   the   free   disposal   of   assets   for   residents   with   children.     This   is   because   French   succession   law   gives   children   (both   natural   and   legally   adopted)   the   legal   right   to   inherit   a   certain   ‘reserved’  portion  of   a   parent’s   estate.    The   size  of  their   entitlement   will  depend   on   the   number   of  children   involved   and   will   vary  between  50%   and  75%  of  the  deceased  parent’s   estate.     By  writing  a  will  in  France,  only  the  rest  of  the  estate  can   then  be   left  to  the  survivor.   Furthermore,   it   is   the   inheritors   who   are   subject   to   French   inheritance   tax   on   their   shares  of   an   estate,  and   not   the   estate   itself  as  applies  in  the  UK.    The  tax  rates  payable  are  directly  related   to  the  relationship  of  the  heir   to  the  deceased,  in  other   words,  the   closer  the  relationship,  the  less  onerous  the  tax  burden.   A  child  (direct  descendant)  benefits  from  an  allowance  of  €100,000   from  each  parent,  with  subsequent  taxation   on  a  sliding  scale  from   5%  to  45%.  However,  for   beneficiaries  unrelated   to   the   deceased   the  0%   allowance  is   less   than  €2,000  with   all   sums  received  over   this   amount   taxed   at   a   punitive   60%!     This   has,   therefore,   significant   implications   for   couples   with   children   from   previous   marriages   as   step-­‐children   are   categorised   as   ‘unrelated’   to   a   deceased  step-­‐parent.   There  are,   fortunately,  a  range   of  estate  planning  techniques  and   forms   of   investment   which   can   be   used   to   by-­‐pass   the   French   succession  law  and  mitigate  taxation  for  the  heirs. The   key,   as   ever,   is   to   take   professional   independent   advice   to   ensure  you  are  making  the  most  of  these  opportunities.

CONTRIBUTIONS.... We are always looking for new articles for consideration in future issues.

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

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


Property... It’s Nearly  Pool  Season  Again... Pools   are   expensive   to   run   and   if   you  are  thinking  about   how   to   reduce   the   cost   and   reduce   those   electricity   bills   then  we  have  a  solution. Using   Photovoltaic   Solar   panels   to   generate  electricity   is   well  documented  but  it  has   had   some   bad   press   due   in   part  to  shoddy  workmanship,   cheap  imports  and  complicated   contracts.  

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However, turning  sunlight  into   power   and   using   PV   to   run   your  pool   pump,  pool  heating   system   or   indeed   powering   your   home   or   business   is   a  tried  and   tested   way  to   reduce  your   electrical  consumption  and  bills. Pool  pumps  draw  around  1-­‐1.5  KW  of  electricity  for  up  to  12  hours   a  day  in  the  summer  season.     An  array  of  4   solar  PV  panels  could   provide   all   the   power   required   to   run   your   pool,   effectively   offsetting  the  cost   for   the  lifetime  of   your   pool.     It  does  seem   a   shame  to  waste  all  that  free  energy. To   keep   things   simple   we   have   put   together   a   number   of   quality  PV   kits   from   1KW   to   3.5KW   outputs   using   German   made   panels,   inverters   and   fixing   systems   with   exceptional   warranty   and   output   guarantees,   along   with  a  wireless  monitoring   system  to   show   what   you   are   generating   against   what   you   are   using  (for  the  geeks  amongst  you). You  will  be  genera|ng  electricity  and   using  it  from  the  moment   we   have   connected   your   system.   It   is   approximately  30%  more   cost   effective   to  use   energy  you   have  generated   yourself,  as  you   also  save  on  the  add-­‐on  charges   that  are  applied  to  every  unit   of   electricity  ‘bought’  from  the   grid.     But   the  best  bit  is  you   do  not   even  need  to  inform  your  energy  supplier. If   you  are  interested  in  payback   we  have  estimated   that  this  can   be   anything  from  as   little   as   6  years,  but   adding   value  to   your   property   can   significantly   reduce   this   and   even   negate   it   altogether. There  is  a  growing  trend  towards  energy  self-­‐sufficiency  so  to  find   out   more   and   join   this   growing   army   take   a   look   at   our   new   website  or  contact  paul@ecopowereurope.com  

www.ecopowereurope.com

PRACTICAL RENEWABLE  ENERGY  SOLUTIONS  THAT  DON’T  COST   THE  EARTH

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly | 45


Deux-Sèvres’ Capital, Niort by our local agent Fabienne Barbiot-Legrand.

Niort ancrée  dans  l’Histoire.

Niort comes   from   the   gaulish   toponym   “novioritum”  meaning  “new  ford”.  The   city  was   first   a   gallo-­‐roman   camp   on   the   river   bank.   It   gradually  expanded   on   both   banks   to   become   today’s  dynamic  place,  a  ford  to   various  places   of  interest  in  Poitou-­‐Charentes.   Walking  around  the  city,  you  can   notice  the  many  testimonies  from   a   rich   past:   its   rare   and   famous   double   dungeon   from  the   12th   century,  the  Renaissance  Pilori  with  stunning  architectural  features,   religious  buildings  from  different  periods,  remains  of  ancient  walls,   or   more  recent   buildings  such   as  the  listed   market   hall.  You  may   even  be  able  to  hear  about  the  winged  reptile  legend…    

Niort, une  ville  qui  bouge  !

Despite its  importance,  Niort   is  a  human-­‐scale  city  appreciated  for   its  quality  of  life.    A  mild  climate,  an  important  economical  activity   around   insurance   companies,   its   hospital,   numerous   shops   and   shopping   centers,   agriculture…   But   also   a   place  with   one   of   the   lowest  unemployment   rates  in  France   and  a  particularly  varied  and   attractive  countryside  all  around.    With  easy  access  to  the  peaceful   “Green   Venice”,   the   Vendée   and   Charente   Maritime   coasts,   the   rolling   Gâtine   and   the   National   Forests   offer   a   great   range   of   outdoor  activities.   Moreover,  the   city  hosts   numerous   events   all   through   the   year,   such   as  the  art   exhibitions  at  the  Pilori,  the  Whodunnit  Festival,  the   yearly  Foire  Exposition  in  May  that  took  us  on  a  very  exotic  trip  to   Australia  and  aboriginal  traditions  last   year  and  we’re  ‘heading  off’   to  the  Mekong  Delta  in  Vietnam  this  year. The  cinemas,  the  new   concert   hall  and   the  Moulin  du  Roc  propose   many   shows,   plays   and   films,   some   of   them   in   their   original   version.   But  Niort  is   not   only  eco-­‐friendly,   it   is  also  a  sportive  city  with  the   local   football   and  rugby  teams,  with   several  yearly  events   such  as   the   “Coulée   Verte”   run   or   the   “Rallye   du   Marais”   (an   overnight   canoe  competition  along  the  canals  of  the   Marais  Poitevin   -­‐  great   fun  for  participants  and  spectators!). So   if   Niort   seems   like  the  location   for   you,  perhaps  some  of   the     properties  listed   on  our  website  may  be  of  interest....here’s  one  to   whet  your  appetite! Niort   city   centre   property   divided   into   two   light   and   airy   apartments  located  5  mins   walk   from  the  main  shopping  area.   €123,050  (FAI) Ref:  32485GCB79

Leggett Immobilier  is  one  of  the  leading  estate  agents  in  France.   You  can  access  all  their  local  property  listings  and  articles  at www.frenchestateagents.com/poitou-­‐charentes-­‐property.

46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly


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'The Deux-Sèvres Monthly' magazine, March 2014  

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

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