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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Welcome! to ‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine...Christmas Special 2012. I’ve thoroughly   enjoyed   putting   together   this   festive  issue,  but   of  course  it   does  mean  that   I   think   it’s   already   Christmas   and   have   to   wait   another    month  until  the  real  thing!   Not   a   bad   thing   actually   -­‐   as   we   are   not   yet   finished  with  our  barn  conversion!    We  met  our   first   deadline  and   the  wood  burner  is  fitted,  now  we  have   lots   of  painting  and  floor  tiling,  before  we  can   bring   out   our  furniture   from   storage.       Our   family  can  relax....we  will  make  it   for  Christmas   Dinner! Whether  you  are  staying  in  France   or  off  to  visit  family  in  the  UK,  Rob   and  I  would  like  to  wish  you  all  a  very  Merry  Christmas  &  a  Happy  New   Year.     à plus, Sarah. Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or Tel: 05 49 70 26 21.

Annual Subscription. If   you   would  like  to  receive  a  copy  of   ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’   magazine  by  post  each  month,  please  complete  this  form  and  send   to  La  Bartière,  79130  Secondigny.  Please  enclose  a  cheque  to  cover   postage  for  the  year. 28€  within  France,  18€  to  addresses  in  UK. (Unfortunately  the  cheaper  ‘printed  papers’  rate  cannot  be  applied   to  addresses  within  France,  only  when  sending  abroad)   Full  Name: Postal  Address: Postcode:

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

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

© Sarah  Berry  2012.    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:  decembre  2012  -­‐   Tirage:  4  500  exemplaires.    Siret:  515   249  738  00011  ISSN:  2115-­‐4848

CONTENTS

What’s On.......................................................................................................4 Hobbies,  Clubs  &  Associations.......................................................................6 Getting  Out  &  About......................................................................................7 Take  a  Festive  Break......................................................................................15 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness..............................................................................16 Our  Furry  Friends..........................................................................................18 The  Great  Outdoors......................................................................................20 French  Life,  Food  &  Drink.............................................................................22 French  Adventures.......................................................................................25 Motoring.......................................................................................................26 Communications...........................................................................................28 Building  &  Renovation..................................................................................30 Business,  Finance  &  Property.......................................................................35

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS   79  Renovations.......................................................................................... 31 A  Cut  Above  Mobile  Hairdressing  with  Jilly.............................................. 16 A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)...................................................................... 23 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)............................................................ 26 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  D/Glazing)............................... 2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)...................................................................... 31 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)............................................................ 30 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber)..................................................................... 30 An  English  Nursery  in  France  (Garden  Centre)......................................... 21 Angie  Weston  Mosaic  Courses.................................................................. 8 Antiquites  Decoration  &  Galerie  du  309................................................... 9 Architect  anglais  en  France  (Vaughan  Abbott).......................................... 33 Blevins  Franks  Financial  Management  Ltd................................................ 35 Bois  Nature  Energie  (Firewood  Supplier).................................................. 21 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)................................................. 26 Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle................................................................................. 22 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs................................................................................ 24 Caniclôture  (Hidden  fencing)..................................................................... 18 Charente  Hair  &  Bridal  (Mobile  &  Bridal  Hairdressing)............................ 16 Chris  Bassett  Construction........................................................................ 31 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)............................................ 9 Cottage  Services  (Garden  Maintenance).................................................. 21 CSB  Construction....................................................................................... 31 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon)..................................................................................... 17 Dave  Bowring  (Electrician)........................................................................ 32 D  J  Maintenance  (Handyman)................................................................... 34 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep).............................................................. 32 Delux  Canine  Hotel.................................................................................... 18 deVere  Group  (Financial  Advisors)............................................................ 37 Energie-­‐79.................................................................................................. 30 Fresco  Interiors  (Interior  Design).............................................................. 33 Garage  Planchet........................................................................................ 27 Gardening  &  Cleaning  Services  (Dean  Smalley)........................................ 36 George  Rayner  Computers........................................................................ 29 Glass  2  France  (uPVC  Windows  &  Doors)................................................. 2 Hair  by  Janet.............................................................................................. 16 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers).............................. 32 Homes  in  France  (Estate  Agent)................................................................ 39 Ian  &  Sue  Parrington  Woodburning  Stoves............................................... 8 Insink  Plumbing......................................................................................... 30 Institut  de  Beauté  Myriam........................................................................ 8 James  Harris  (Plasterer)............................................................................. 32 JMH  French  Solutions................................................................................ 9 John  Etherington  (Home  and  Garden)...................................................... 21 John  Snee  (Groundworks  &  Septic  Tanks)................................................. 34 John  Spray  Maçonnerie  (Stonemason)..................................................... 32 Julie’s  Cleaning  Services............................................................................ 36 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).......................... 9 La  Joie  de  Vivre.......................................................................................... 8 Leggett  Immobilier.................................................................................... 38 Le  Relais  Délice  (Restaurant)..................................................................... 24 Mad  Hatter’s  Kitchen  (Restaurant)........................................................... 24 Magnetic  Double  Glazing.......................................................................... 34 Maisonette  de  Michelle  (Silicone  moulds)............................................... 8 Man  &  Van................................................................................................. 27 Michael  Glover  (Plasterer,  Renderer  &  Tiler)............................................ 32 Michael  Hobson  (Painter  &  Decorator)..................................................... 33 MKR  Mobile  Beauty................................................................................... 17 ML  Computers........................................................................................... 29 MS  Electrique  (Electrician)........................................................................ 33 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances............................................................... 27 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services................................................................ 31 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).................................................... 17 Pascale  Matéo  (French  Lessons)............................................................... 12 Pause!  Cafe  l’Absie..................................................................................... 23 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire).................................................................. 34 Poitou  Property  Services........................................................................... 38 Premier  Autos  -­‐  Mike  Lane  (Mechanic)..................................................... 26 RDK  Roofing  &  Building  Services............................................................... 32 Rob  Berry  (Plasterer)................................................................................. 30 Robert  Walker  Plomberie  (Plumbing,  Heating,  Air  con)........................... 30 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)................................... 28 Sally  Cox  Stained  Glass.............................................................................. 9 Salumba  with  Sally  Lanario....................................................................... 17 Samantha  Matthews  (Nail  Technician  &  Make-­‐up  Artist)........................ 16 Satellite  TV  (Nigel  Gubb)........................................................................... 29 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Groundwork  &  Construction)................................... 33 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors)...................................................................... 36 Simon  The  Tiler.......................................................................................... 31 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)................................................... 37 Steve  Enderby............................................................................................ 33 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)............................................ 11 Taylor  Electricté......................................................................................... 33 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre................................................... 26 The  Market  (Luché-­‐sur-­‐Brioux)................................................................. 7 Thompson  Interiors  (Dry-­‐lining  and  plastering)........................................ 32 Total  Renovation  Services  (Michael  Dominey)......................................... 30 Tracey  Bowring  (Hairdressing  &  Nails)...................................................... 16 Traducteurs  Assermentés  sarl  (Sworn  Translators)................................... 11 Trisha  Mobile  Hairdresser.......................................................................... 17 Val  Assist  (Translation  Services)................................................................ 11 VMP  &  Steve  Reid  (Windows  &  Doors).................................................... 2 Page 3


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

What’s On... December 2012 1st December  -­‐  English  Speaking  Church  Christmas  Bazaar At   Salle   Polyvalente,   Savigne   (86)   10.30am-­‐3.30pm.   Including   Christmas   gifts,   toys,   jewellery,   collectibles,   cakes,   sweets,   cards,   books,   raffle,   produce   and   a   visit   from   Santa!   Please   email:   office.goodshepherd@orange.fr  for  more  details. 1st  &  2nd  December  -­‐  St  Loup  Christmas  Market Open  Saturday  at  3pm-­‐midnight,  Sunday  10am-­‐7pm. 1st  &  2nd  December  -­‐  Old  King  Cole  -­‐  The  Panto Encore   Theatre  perform  a  festive  show  at  Foyer  Rural,  Loulay.     For   more  information  please  see  www.encore-­‐theatre.org 2nd  December  -­‐  Christmas  Fair. At  Melleran,  11am  -­‐  5pm  in  aid  of  Cancer  Support  Deux-­‐Sèvres.  For   further   informahon   please   contact   Ann  Ashwell  on  05  49  27   22   83  or  email  theashwells@googlemail.com. 4th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Fayre At  La  Grande  Galerie,  Civray.    Info  at:  www.grandegaleriefrance.com. 6th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Quiz  and  Fish  &  Chips At   Bar   le  Cabane   de   Vouhé,  Vouhé.     Starts  at   7.30pm     Fish   and   Chips  available.    Please  call  05  49  64  15  31  to  book. 7th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Market At   the   Tipsy   Bar,   Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize,   3.30pm-­‐6pm.     With   a   variety   of   stalls   incl.   soaps   and   candles,  spice   giftpacks,  cards   &   crackers,  jewellery  and  more.    Mulled   wine,  crépes  &   mince  pies.     Email:  dellajamesie2@aol.com  for  info. 7th  December  -­‐  Xmas  Trivia  Quiz  &  Indian  Meal At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.  8pm.     Please  see  advert  on   P.24   for  more  information. 9th-­‐24th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Market  in  Niort 30  chalets  selling  artisant’s  made   products   and   produce.  They  are   split   between   the   newly  modernised   Place   du   Temple   near   the   Breche   square   and   the   newly   completed   square   close   to   the   covered  Market. 9th  December  -­‐  Bilingual  Concert At   the  Lutheran   Church   in  Prailles  (79370,   next  to  the  school  and   Mairie)   at   3.00pm.   Free   entrance.   Welcome   coffee   served   afterwards.  You’re   warmly   invited!    Contact:  Thomas   Constantini   06  21  33  21  78,  elpblog@yahoo.fr,  blog:  elpsfb.blogspot.org 9th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Dinner  with  Jazz At   Restaurant  des  Canards,  Chef  Boutonne.  Booking  is   advised.    Tel:   05  49  29  73  46. 12th  December  -­‐  Carols,  mince  pies  and  mulled  wine. All   welcome  at   The  Filling  Station  -­‐  Vendee  South.    6.30pm  for   7.30pm.    La  Grange,  39   rue  du   Centre,   Thouarsais  Bouildroux,   85410.    Contact  09  60  49  78  50. 14th-­‐16th  December  -­‐  Marché  de  Noël At  La  Mothe  St  Héray.    Please  see  P.7  for  more  information. 14th  December  -­‐  Music/Bistro  Night At   the   Mad  Hatter’s  Kitchen,  Caunay.     Music  by  A  Vee  and   Andy   Em.    See  page  24  for  more  details. 14th  December  -­‐  Carols  by  Candlelight At  l’eglise   Sainte-­‐Marthe,  Puy  de  Serre   at   7pm.  Followed  by  mince   pies  and  mulled  wine  in  the  Salle  Paroissale.     15th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Fayre At  The  Market,  Luché  sur  Brioux.    Stallholder  space  available. Please  see  advert  on  P.7  for  more  details. 15th  December  -­‐  2  day  Christmas  Fair. At   the   Maillezais   Abbey   2pm   -­‐   8pm   and   on   Sunday   16th   December  from   10.30am  to   7pm.  Entry  is  Free.   Enquiries  at  Tel:   0251  87  22  80.  or  www.vendee.fr 15th  December  -­‐  Xmas  Fancy  Dress  Party  &  Live  Music At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    Please  see  details  on  P.24.   15th  December  -­‐  Terves  Christmas  Market Organised  by  Association  Aidez.    Please  find  more  details  on  P.7. 16th  December  -­‐  Marché  de  Noel In  Gençay,  86160,  from  8am-­‐6pm.    Lots  to  see  and  do... 21st  December  -­‐  Live  Music  with  ‘The  French  Connection’ Celebrate   Christmas   with   the   areas   no.1   band   at   the   bar/ restaurant   ‘Au   fil   de   l'eau’,   Mervent.   Enjoy  a   great   meal   or   just   come  along  for  a  drink  and   a  dance.  Table   reservations  necessary   on  02  51  00  00  04. 31st  December  -­‐  New  Year’s  Eve  Dinner  Dance With   Live   Music   at   Café   des   Belles   Fleurs,  Fenioux.     For   more   information,  please  see  advert  on  P.24.

English speaking  2012  Christmas  Services  across  the  Poitou-­‐ Charentes: 10th  December   St  Jean  d’Angély  (17)  at  18.30       Ecumenical    celebration    ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 12th  December   Parthenay  (79)  at  19.00         Ecumenical    celebration    ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 13th  December   Cognac  (16)  at  18.00       Ecumenical    celebration    ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 16th  December   Verteuil  (16)  at  10.30       Christmas  Celebration 16th  December   Montbron(16)  at  17.30       Ecumenical  Celebrahon    ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 17th  December   Civray  (86)  at  19.00         Ecumenical    celebration      ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 18th  December     St  Dizant  (17)  at  18.30         Ecumenical    celebration      ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 23rd  December   Janac  Temple  (16)   10.30         Ecumenical  Celebration            ~  9  Lessons  &  Carols 24th  December   Alloue  (16)  at  18.00       Christmas  Eve  Holy  Communion 25th  December     Genouillé  (86)  at10.30     Christmas  Day  Holy  Communion 2012  Christmas  Services  are  supported   by  the  Anglican   Church  of   Christ   the   Good   Shepherd,   Poitou-­‐Charentes.   For   more   information  please  take  a  look   at   our   service  pages  on   http:// www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com  or  contact  Valerie  on  05  49  97  04   21   or    office.goodshepherd@orange.fr.

Monthly services  in   the   English   speaking   Anglican  Church  in  the   Vendée: Puy de Serre All   Saints,  Vendée  holds  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. Other  services  are  held  in   the  west  of  the  Vendée,  in  La  Chapelle   Achard  and  La  Chapelle  Palluau.     For  details  of  these,  please  check   the  website:    www.allsaintsvendee.fr

A VERY  WARM  WELCOME  awaits  you  at  ESCOVAL   (The  English  Speaking  Church  of  the  Valley  of  the  Loire).     Communion  Services  are  held  on  the  3rd  Sunday  of  each  month   at   La  Chapelle  de  la  Bonne  Dame  de  Ranton  at  11.30am  followed  by  a   Bring  and  Share  lunch.   Full   details   of   how   to   find   us   may   be   found   on   our   website   at:   www.escoval.org   or   please   telephone   us   at:  05   49   66   79   14.     Our  GPS  address  is  46˚59'25.30  N    0˚02'06.22  W.

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY                                                                                              

                                                                         

Open 6-8p                                    La            Vendee  Chippy m                                                          Traditional  Fish  &  Chips  in  France!

Paperback Jan Books  in  English

Wednesdays (Dec 5th and 12th only) Bar ‘Auberge le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Fridays (Dec 7th and 14th only) Bar ‘Au Bon Coin’, Thoursais Bouildroux La Vendee   Chippy   will   be  Under   New  Management   from  the   New  Year.    Venues  will  resume  as  normal  in  February  2013. For  more  info  please  email:  lavendeechippy@hotmail.fr

2nd Dec:  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  .  2  -­‐  4pm 5th  Dec:  Cafe  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant.  2.30  -­‐  4.30pm 6th  Dec:  Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud.  2  -­‐  5pm 6th  Dec:  Bar  La  Cabane  de  Vouhé,  Vouhé.     6.30  -­‐  8pm* 7th  Dec:  Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars.    12.00  -­‐  2pm 7th  Dec:  Le  Tipsy  Bar,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.     4  -­‐  6pm 8th  Dec:  Cafe  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole.  10.00am  -­‐  1pm 9th  Dec:  Pause!  Christmas  Market,  L’Absie.  2  -­‐  5pm 13th  Dec:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie.  2-­‐    5pm 14th  Dec:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay.  11am  -­‐  4pm 15th  Dec:  Christmas  Market,  Church  Hall,  Terves  .  From  11am.

Open 6-8p m

21st Dec:  Le  P’tit  Boucard,  Menigoute.    4  -­‐  6pm 27th  Dec:  Joie  de  Vivre,  Moncoutant.  2  -­‐  5pm

Fish 4 Chip Fish, Chips & mushy peas!

Mondays: Bar Tilleuls, Champniers (near Civray) Tuesdays: Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square & can be eaten in local bar) Wednesdays: Chef Boutonne (near Chateau) Thursdays: Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square & can be eaten in local bar) Fridays: Mansle (Car park of Simply Supermarket)

*+ Quiz  &  Fish  and  Chips

For more  info  contact  Jan  on: 06  08  30  73  29  or  email:  paperbackjan@gmail.com

Tel: 06 37 53 56 20, or visit: www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com

‘The DSM’ Monthly Photograph Competition

WINNER! Congratulations to this month’s competition winner, Helen Tait-Wright, 79290

Reel Fish & Chips Traditional English style Fish & Chips

We have  no  Fish  and  Chips  venues  this  month.  Instead   we  will   be   delivering  ‘The   DSM’  to  the  following  places  for  collection  at  any   time  during  the  month. *Bar  Tabac  PMU,  Bouille-­‐Loretz     *Shopi  -­‐  Argenton  Les  Vallees.         *Bar  'au  bon  accueil',  St  Martin  de  Sanzay   *Bar  Tabac  -­‐  Genneton  

Tel: 06 04 14 23 94, or visit: www.reelfishandchips.net

This compehhon  has  now  come  to   an  end  and   we   would  like  to  say  a   huge   Thank  You   to   all   who   have   entered  over  the  last  17  months.  

Which was  your  favourite?   We  will  be  offering  a  prize  for  the  best  cover  photograph,  as   voted  by  ‘ The  DSM’  readers.

With regular venues at:

If you  would  like  to  view  all  winning  photographs  and  place  a   vote  for  your  favourite,  please  go  to  our  website:   www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr  .

(Closing date 31st December 2012).

• • • •

Mr T’s Friterie Plat à Emporter Traditionnel Britannique

Open 6.30 -8

.30

Aulnay  (Open  from  6pm)        •          Matha                                                                                 pm* Beauvoir  Sur  Niort • St  Hilaire  de  Villefranche Gourville                     • St  Jean  d’Angély Loulay

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

* Please  note  Winter  opening  hours

Tuesday 25  December........... Christmas  Day  (Noël)

Local Markets Mondays:

Tuesdays: Wednesdays: Thursdays:

For a  full  list  of  our  advertising  rates,   please  phone  for  an   advertising  pack  or  download   from  our  website.

Fridays: Saturdays:

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21

www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Sundays:

• Lencloitre (1st Monday in month) (dept.86) • Lezay • Coulonges-sur-l’Autize • Thouars • Parthenay • Sauzé Vaussais • Niort • Thouars • Melle • Chef Boutonne • Airvault • Niort • St. Maixent l’École • Fontenay le Comte • Neuville (dept.86)

Photo: Lisa Roberts

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2012 (remaining):

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Hobbies, Clubs & Associations... LA CHAPELLE  GAUDIN  CRAFT  GROUP

We are   a  small  group   of   ladies   who   are  keen  to   meet   other   like   minded  people  to  form  a  craft  circle. All  crafts  are  welcome  -­‐  needlecraft,  paper  craft  -­‐  anything  goes! If  you  are  interested,   please  contact  HELEN   AURELIUS  HADDOCK:   helen.aurelius@gmail.com  or  join  us  on  FACEBOOK (search:  LaChappelleGaudinCraftGroup)

Association Meridien Green We are  an   Anglo-­‐French   group   which  was  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  -­‐   www.meridiengreen.asso.fr  or  contact  Maureen  Dalby:   05  49  29  94  50. The  name   of   our  group   comes  from  the  fact   that  St   Coutant   is   on  the  Greenwich  Meridian!

The Filling  Station  Poitou-­‐Charentes Meetings  at   The  Little   Stone  Church,  14b  Avenue  de  d’Hôtel  de   Ville.  79110  Chef   Boutonne.  ALL  WELCOME.  Interested  to   find   out  more?  Please  view  the  website:  www.thefillingstation.org.uk     or  contact    Mike  Willis  05  49  87  89  16.  michael.willis@sfr.fr The  Filling  Station,  Vendee  South Next  meeting  12th  Dec,  6.30pm  at  La  Grange,  39  rue  du   centre,   Thouarsais   Bouildroux   85410.   Telephone   Chris   &  Julie   on   Tel:   0960  497850  and  view  website:  thefillingstation.org.uk

Beginnersʼ lessons: Rock ʻnʼ Roll: Fridays at 8pm. Cha cha cha and Waltz: Mondays at 7pm Salle Leo Lagrange in Parthenay. For details of other classes and social events contact: parthenay.rocknrolldance@gmail.com or call Chris on: 05 49 94 20 23

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.

CRAFT CAFE  CREATIF

If you enjoy sewing, knitting, crochet or any crafts, you are invited to bring along your current project to our venue in L’Absie and join a like-minded group of women, for friendship and to exchange ideas over a cup of tea. For further information contact: knight.margaret@orange.fr. Through the Lens Group Local photography group who meets on the last Monday in each month to chat about all things photography! New members welcome. For further information contact: Ian Gawn: 02 51 00 84 52 or Brian Preece: 05 49 72 09 94

Alone in  France? Les Amis Solitaires We  are  a  group  of  people  living  alone  in  France.    We  meet  up  for   coffee  mornings  from  11am. 1st  Tuesday:  The  Gallery,  Civray  (coinciding  with  market  day). Every  2nd  &  4th  Thursday,  The  Lemon  Tree,  Sauzé  Vaussais. Every  3rd  Thursday,  Sports  Bar,  Confolens.   More  details  from  Gwen  Shepherd  05  49  87  91  79 Franglais  Thouars The   Thouars   ‘Franglais’   group   meets   every   Wednesday   from   19.30h   to   21.00h,   in   the   Association’s   centre   at   7   rue   Anne   Desrays,  Thouars,  for  conversation  in  English  and  French. We   welcome   those   of   all   nationalities   who   would   like   to   participate.  Either  come  along  to  see  us  one  evening,  or  contact  us   at:  Mobile:    06  52  21  92  34  ~  Email:    jcbed@orange.fr

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

The Harmonics based  in  the   Salle   d'Annexe   behind  

the mairie   in   Civray   are   looking   for   singers.   We   meet   each   Wednesday  from  2.00pm  to  4.00pm.  No  experience   necessary  just  a   willingness   and   commitment   to   learn.   We   sing   all   sorts   of  music,   from   stage   and   screen,   gospel,   classical,   country   songs,   madrigals   and  in  several  languages,  whatever  the  music  dictates. We  are  a  small  and  friendly  group  who  would  love  to  meet  you.

Contact: Dolly  Ait  Boualou:05  45  22  89  32 email  sylvia.murray@wanadoo.fr or Margaret  Gomersall  on   05  49  48  09  02,  email:  margaretgomersall@sfr.fr

We are  a  group   of  people  living  alone  in  the  L'Absie  area  who   meet  regularly  for   coffee  and  lunches.    We  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.   There's   a   warm  welcome  if  you'd  like  to  join  us.   More  details  from  Frank  05  49  69  80  47.

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!

I speak  English  and   4  other  European  languages  (all  self  taught)   and  I  am   looking  for   somebody  to   speak  face  to   face  and   by   telephone  to  practice  my  English.    I  live  in  Chauray,  79180 Please   contact   me   by   email:  wladimir.zandt@orange.fr.  or   by   telephone:  06  47  33  74  34. International  journalist,  Consultant  for  unemployed  seniors  and  professional   speaker.

Le Tallud  Boules  en  bois   are   offering  sessions   every   Wednesday   from   16h   to   18h   from   April   through  to  September  2013  at  the  parc   de  Loisirs,   Le   Tallud.     Everyone   is   welcome   to   come   and   play   or   learn   the   game   of   boules   en   bois.   We   have   all  the  equipment,   just   turn  up   for   half  an   hour  or  more  for  a  bit  of  exercise  and  socialising.   Details  from  Rosemary  Williamson  rw.williamson@orange.fr

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Getting Out & About... What’s Your Favourite Christmas Film? My personal favourite movie for the festive season is the Polar Express, but it got me wondering what others would say.... So I asked the ladies of L.I.F.T and here are their Top 10:

1. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 2. Love Actually (2003)

3. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 4. The Polar Express (2004) 5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Christmas Market & Truffle Market in La Mothe St-Héray...

6. White Christmas (1954) 7. The Holiday 8. Elf (2003) 9. Chronicles of Narnia (2005) 10.Wizard of Oz (1939)

On Sunday   16th   December,   80   exhibitors   comprising   producers,   artisans   and   associations,   invite   you   to   discover   their   activities  in  the  streets  and  halls   of  our  small   characterful   village.     There   will   be   many   ideas  for  filling  those  christmas  stockings  !

What is  L.I.F.T? L.I.F.T   is   a   ladies   only   group   that   can   be   found   on  Facebook.  It   is  Social   Networking   at   its   best....and   let’s   face   it   in   the   quiet   areas  of  rural   France  it’s  lovely  to  have   that   connection!

The Truffle  market   starts   from   9:30am   and   gives   place   of   honour   to   this   small   "black   diamond"   with   chefs   using   the   truffle   in   recipes   both   sweet   and   savoury   in   front   of   your  eyes.     Unfamiliar   with   truffles  ?     Don't   miss  the  opportunity  to  come  and  taste.

The group  now  has  887   members,  from   all   areas   of   France.     The   ladies   in   this   area   generally  meet  up   once  a  month  for  a  lunch   and  a  natter,  and  if  you  are  new   to  the  area   it  is  the  perfect  way  to  find  new  friends  and   ask  questions  about  how  things  are  done.  

During the   day,   a   selection   of   activities   for   young   and   old   alike:   street   entertainment   christmas  stories   at   11.00am  at   the   library,   concerts  of  all  genres,  photos  with  santa,  visit  the  mill,  restaurants,  bars  and  much  more!     For  further  information:  05.49.05.06.05.  /  www.la-­‐mothe-­‐saint-­‐heray.fr

The group   is   open   to   anyone   with   a   Facebook  account.     Just   search   for:   LIFT   -­‐   Ladies   in   France   Together   and   click   to   request   to   become   a   member.   Once   accepted,   sit   back   and  read  the  many  posts   on  the  forum.    It’s  definitely  a  lively  page!

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Christmas Gift Ideas... 1. Ian  &  Sue  Parrington  Woodburning  Stoves,   79340  Vasles Jewellery,   scarves   &   cashmere   pashminas,  ornaments,   pictures,   clocks,   metal   art,   handmade   chocolates,   children’s  gifts,  mugs   &  tea  pots,  the  list   goes  on....We   are  open  10.00  –  12.30  /  14.30  –  17.30,   Tuesday  –  Saturday. 2. Institut de Beauté Myriam, 79240 L’Absie Facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, make up and body care. Open Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9am-12pm and 2pm-6pm. Saturday 9am-12pm. Appointments are also available outside of these hours by arrangement.

3. La  Joie  de  Vivre,  79320  Moncoutant If  you're  looking  for   Christmas  presents  then  come  &  visit   La   Joie   de   Vivre   in   Moncoutant   (SW   of   Bressuire,   79).   You'll  find  beautiful  gifts  at  extremely  reasonable  prices.  ~   Unique  mosaic   side/garden   tables,  bowls,  trays  &  other   stylish   pieces.   Stunning   cockerel   pottery  platters,   jugs,   mugs  &  more  all  hand  made  in  Deux   Sevres.    Also   many   other  gift   ideas  large  &  small  from   attractive  furniture  &   furnishings,  photo   frames  &  unusual   wall  art   to  adorable   cuddly  toys  looking  for  new  homes  for  Christmas!   Enjoy  a  browse   around  the  shop  &  a  drink  in  our  salon   de  thé. 4.  Angie  Weston  Mosaic  Courses. Are   looking   for   an   unusual   Christmas   gift?     Angie’s   mosaics  are   on   sale  at   many  retail   outlets  throughout   the  department   including   the  Melle   Tourist   Office,  and   La  Joie  de  Vivre  in  Moncoutant. Why   not   treat   someone   to   a   mosaic   lesson   this   Christmas   or   make   your   own   mosaic   christmas   presents   for   your   family  and   friends.   Perhaps   mosaic   a   garden  table   ready  for  spring.  Large  Projects  can  be  created  over   a  number  of   weeks  or  months  and  kept  on   site  in   the  studio  from  week   to   week  ,  smaller   projects  can  be  finished  in  a  couple  of  sessions.    Explore  your  creativity. 5.  Maisonette  de  Michelle Do  you  want  to  give  someone  a  gift  with   a  difference   this  year?  Maybe  you   know   someone  who  loves  to   be   creative.   Or   maybe  you're  the  one   with   the   creative   touch?     Then   maybe  one  of   our   silicone   moulds   are   just   what   you   are   looking   for?   Thanks   to   their   versatility,   silicone   moulds   can   be   used   to   make   a   whole  range  of  different   things.    From  cakes  to  muffins,   Chocolates,  sweets  and  unique  ice  cubes.  Soaps  and   candles,  Jewellery  or  even   casting   in  plaster   of  Paris.  ~  So   why  not  have  a   go  and  make  your   very   own   handmade  gifts  this  Christmas?

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6. Christie’s  Book  Shop  &  Tea  Room,  86160  Gençay. Christmas  at  Christie’s!  A  genuine  welcome  with  delicious   seasonal   Tea  Room  offerings   that   make  ideal   gifts:   our   well-­‐loved  Rich  &  Boozy  Christmas  Cakes,  Mince  Pies  and   Christmas  Pudding  Truffles. We’ve   beautiful,   practical   gifts   too,   all   carefully-­‐selected   and   reasonably-­‐priced:   lovely   fine   bone   china   mugs;   charming   hand-­‐painted   wine   glasses;   bejewelled   handbag   holders;   chic  tapestry  bags;  eye-­‐catching   pens   and   torches;   Christmas   Puzzles  and  lots  more!   7.   La   Deuxieme   Chance,   79240   Vernoux-­‐en-­‐Gatine.   A  range   of  items  to  delight   and   inspire   you!   Hand-­‐made   Christmas   decorations,   Christmas   Wreaths,   Annie   Sloan   books,  Paints  and  Waxes,  Workshops  Vouchers.     Market  Dates:  Nov  29th:  Open   Day  @  Les   Belles   Foyes,79240,  Vernoux   en   Gatine   ~  Dec   4th:  La   Grande   Galerie,   Civray  ~  Dec  7th:  Tipsey   bar,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐  L’Autize  ~   Dec   9th:   Pause  Café,  L’Absie    ~    Dec  15th:  Terves    ~    Dec  16th:  La  Mothe  St-­‐Héray  .   8.  Antiquites  Decoration  &  Galerie  du  309,  Niort Welcome    to  Antiquités  Décoration!  Vintage  items  make  great   gifts   because   they  are  unique!     So   if   you   are  an   antique   or   vintage   lover,   here   you   can   find   an   affordable   assortment   of   Christmas   gifts.     A   wide   variety   of   antique   furniture   and   decorative  objects  as  well  as  paintings  and  artwork. For  further  information  visit  our  website:  antiquite-­‐decoration-­‐ galerie309.com

9. www.jmhfrenchsolutions.eu Many   unique   Christmas   gifts   a v a i l a b l e   o n l i n e .   I t e m s   including   garden   pots,   wine   racks,  mirrors  and  money  boxes   to  name  a  few.

10. Sally  Cox  Stained  Glass. See  me  at  St  Loup  Christmas  Market  1st   &   2nd   December   &   Pierrefitte   Christmas   Market   on   Sunday   16th   December. New  Gift  Idea  for  Christmas! Why   not   buy   a   gift   certificate   which   the  recipient   can  spend  on   the   stained   glass  course  of  their  choice?  

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Reality Christmas by Caroline Roxburgh-Abbs

Christmas is coming, The dog is getting fat, There's frost upon the window pane, The cat upon the mat.. The fire's burning, warm and snug, The Sloe Gin's nearly there, If the cake gets more brandy, There won’t be one to share! 3 months now 'The Day' awaits... ..the children with bated breath. Days crossed off and talked about Until Mums are sick to death..!! The Halloween pumpkins had baubles on, There's snow talk every day, "Does Santa come down the chimney Mum?" "Or through the window?" they say! They've argued out the advent days, Before they've even started! And Mum says, " He wont come if you do that" "And it's not the dog that's farted!" A Christmas list - ha ha ha ha! Who needs such things these days! "Amazon has it all in a wish list!" She says with her eyebrows raised. Oh to be a joy filled child, No idea of the bills flooding in, No wonder we feel so riled! Although in mind, there's the cake...and the gin! Oh yes, I believe in Santa Claus, Father Christmas or St Nick, He has A LOT to answer for, Cursed mincepie dog sick!! So, when the stockings are "hung by the chimney with care", Please make sure the fire is cool, Else there'll be 20 red Santa Pompiers, Making you feel the fool! Alors, we've remembered the mince pie and pineau, All presents are wrapped and cards sent, The stockings are hung...at the end of their beds!!! It is now, the end of advent! Plonk, we sit down to watch a fab movie, Children's eyes animated with glee, The Polar Express thunders into the room, On our newly cracked plasma tv! Enjoy the festive season! Stay warm and laugh a lot! Merry Christmas ... and New Year too! And...try not to...lose the plot!!!

What is  the  Pays  de  Gâtine?   by Julia SALVAT

The Pays  de  Gâtine  is  the  French  equivalent   of  a  district  council.  The   office  is  situated  in  Parthenay  and  the  Gâtine  covers  100  communes.  It   stretches  from   La  Vendée  to  La  Vienne,  down   to   Mazière-­‐en-­‐Gâtine   and  as  far  north  as  Airvault.     It  is  the  largest  ‘Pays’  in  Poitou-­‐Charentes   and  has  always  had  a  reputation  for  being  dynamic. The  Pays  aim   is  to  co-­‐ordinate   people  and  projects  coming  under   its   charter   (2000).  That   means   directly   advising   and   financially   helping   communes,   communuates   des   communes,   associations   and   individuals.  To  do  this  also  involves  working  with  the  Conseil  Régional,   the  State  and  Europe.  My  colleagues  work  in  the  areas  of  housing  and   urbanism,  local  economy,  social  welfare  and  child  care,  cultural  events,   unemployment   and   agriculture.  I   fit   in   as   someone   who   helps   to   welcome  newcomers  to  the  area.   Why  was  the  job  set  up?    This  job  was  actually  created  in  2003  when   the  mayors  noticed   a  lot  of  English   speaking  newcomers  arriving  and   then  finding  it  very  difficult  to  integrate.    Mr  Favreau,  the  President  of   the  Pays  de  Gâtine,  wanted  to  ease  this  situation  for  all  concerned.   What   does  the  job  entail? On  a  part-­‐time  basis,  I  am  here  to  help  you   by  pointing  you  in  the  right  direction  so  that  you  can  get  the  answers   to  your  questions  about  your  new  life   in  France.  I  do   not   accompany   people  or  translate  and  neither  can  I  say  which  shop  or  business  to  go   to.  I  am  not  allowed  to  advertise  commercial  events  or  to   be  directly   involved  in  commercial  undertaking.     On  the  other   hand,  I  can  tell  you   where   to   go   and   who   to   speak   to   in   order   to   get   the   advice   or   information  you  need. I  work  closely  with   the  mayors  and   French   offices  such   as   the   job   centre,  tax   office,   with  French   social   assistants   and   welfare   offices,   language   centres,   the   chambers   of   Agriculture,   Commerce   and   'Metiers'  and  the  office  that  covers  services  for   the  elderly.     I  help  and   advise   the  British  associations  that   have  been  set  up  in   France  and   maintain  regular  contact  with  the  French  associations,  particularly  as   they  often  want   to  include  the  British  in  their  events.  My  colleagues   from  the  Pays  de  Gatine  offices  often  consult  me   when  dealing  with   projects  that  involve  newcomers  to  France.  I  also  have  regular  contact   with  the  British  consulate  in  Bordeaux   and  the  various  charities  that   can  help  people  when  in  difficulty.  To  help  further,  I  keep  in  touch  with   other  areas  of  France  also  affected  by   new  populations  arriving  and   we  swap  ideas  and  meet  up  occasionally. I  also   set  up  meetings  to   let  people  know  what  is  available  and  these   have   covered   subjects   such   as,   looking   for   work   locally,   the   auto-­‐ entrepreneur   scheme,  Age   Concern   and   returning  to   Great   Britain,   Inheritance  laws  and  the  difference  between  France  and  the  UK.  There   are  yearly  meetings  for  the  various  British  associations  and  the  press  is   invited  to  try  to  increase   awareness  of  what  is  available   and  to  keep   open  a  network  of  communication. To  try  and  keep  'my  finger  on  the  pulse'   I  have  a  group  of  volunteers   (the   European   Working   Group)   who   come   into   the   office   every   6   weeks,  we  chew  over  ideas  for  meetings  and  ideas  to  help  make  your   life  easier   over   here.  Last  year   saw  the  launching  of   the  “In   Case  of   Emergency”   leaflet   (‘The   DSM’   Aug.   2012  ?)  and  The  Nattering  Network  (‘The   DSM’  Oct.  2012).  However,    if  you  think   that   something   is  missing,  which  might   help   others   like   yourselves   who   have   moved  to  the   Gâtine,  or  if   you   have  an   idea  for  a   subject  for  a  meeting,  please   feel  free  to  let  me  know.   Further  information  can  be  found  on  www.gatine.org.

Julia SALVAT,  Pays  de  Gatine.    46  bld  Edgar  Quinet,   BP  505,  79208,  Parthenay. Tel:  05  49  64  25  49  ~  Email:  julia.salvat@gatine.org Page 10


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Same Difference

by Sue  Burgess

The versatile,   useful   French   word   «même»   can   be   an   indefinite   adjective,  indefinite  pronoun,   or   adverb.    The  word  is  also  used  in   some  expressions. When   used   as   an   indefinite   adjective,  the   meaning   of   the   word   «même»  differs  according  to   whether  the  word  precedes  or  follows   the  noun.     Before  a  noun,  «même»  means  "same":    «C'est  la  même   chose  !»   (It's   the   same  thing!)   «J'ai   lu  le  même   livre»   (I  read   the   same  book). After   a   noun   or   pronoun,   «même»   emphasizes   that   thing   and   means   "(one)self":  «Il   a  perdu   la  bague  même».   He   lost   the   ring   itself.    “J'aurai  dû  le  faire  moi-­‐même”  (I  should  have  done  it  myself). «Le  même»  means  "the  same"  and  may  be  singular  or  plural.  «C'est   le  même».   (It's  the   same).    As  an   adverb,  «même»  means  "even"   «Même  Jacques   est   venu.»   (Even   Jacques   came).  «Il   avait   même   acheté  un  billet.»  (He  even  went  so  far  as  to  buy  a  ticket).

Vocabulary /  Vocabulaire à  même.................................... in  position quand  même........................... even  so,  anyway tout  de  même.......................... even  so C'est  du  pareil  au  même........... (informal)   It's   always   the   same;   Six   of   one,   half   a   dozen   of   the   other. Encore  ...................................... another  one,  more La  même  chose  ........................ exactly  the  same  thing Autant  de  …..  que..................... the  same  number  of  …  as aussi  …..  que............................. as  ….  as   à  nul  autre  pareil  (literary)......

extraordinary

Rester pareil  à  soi-­‐même......... to   stay  as   you  are,  despite   trials   and  tribulations

«Pareil, pareille,  pareils,  pareilles»  -­‐  an  adjective,  meaning  equal  or   similar   when   comparing  two   people  or   two   things.   «   Je  voudrais   une  étoffe  pareille  à  celle  que  vous  m'avez  montrée   »  (I'd  like  some   material   that  is  the  same  as  the  material  you  showed  me).    «  On  n'a   rien  vu  de  pareil  ».  (We've  never  seen  anything  like  it).

à la  différence  de  ..................... in  opposition  to

« Sans  pareil  »  means  unequalled.  «  C'est  un  homme  sans  pareil  ».   «   Pareil   »   can   also   mean   of   the   same   type.   «   Comment   avoir   commis   une  pareille  faute   ?   »   (How  could  you  have   made  such   a   mistake  /  that  type  of  mistake?)  

à une  différence  près................ With  one  small  difference

Le droit  à  la  différence.............. The  right  to  be  different La  différence  d'âge.................... The  difference  in  age La  différence  d'avis................... Difference  of  opinion

« Les     pareils  »,     a  masculine  plural   noun  is   used   to  mean  people   from  the   same   country,   state   or   with   the   same   character   as   the   person  you  are  talking  about.  «  Vous   pareils  ne  comportent  pas  de   la   même  façon  que  vous  ».  (Your  peers  do  not  behave  in   the  same   way  as   you   ).  «   La  pareille   »   means  the  same  treatment   that  you   have  received   from   someone  or   that   you   have  dealt  out.  «  je  vous   rendrai  la  pareille  »  (I  'll  do  the  same  thing  to  you  ). «Différent,  différente,  différent,  différentes  »  -­‐  adjective  that  means   unlike,   different,  distinct.  It   can   also   refer   to   something  that   has   changed   or   to   something  that   is   new   or   unknown.   «Elle  est   très   différente   de   sa   soeur   »   (She   is   very   different   from   her   sister)   «  Après  20   ans  à  l'étranger,   j'ai   trouvé  le  quartier  bien  différent  ».   (After  20  years  abroad,  I  found  the  district  very  different  to  what  it   used  to  be). «   Enfin   une   émission   différente   ».   (At   last,   a   new   type   of   programme).

Letters for the Toilet

On arrival in France, Blair McKewen got a knock on the door and the 'facteur' asked "Où est votre boîte à lettres?" Blair thought that the postman was asking "Où est votre toilette" and led him down the entrance hall and through the kitchen. Maybe you have several such short funny stories of misunderstandings in French? If you send them to Peter (contact@traducteurs-assermentes.fr) and he receives enough good ones, he will print them in a new column starting in the new year. Please add your name and whether you'd like it printed or not.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Fire Safety in the Home

by John Hoyland.

My name   is   John   Hoyland   &   I   live   in   Parthenay   with   my   wife   Maureen.   My   purpose  of  writing  this  article  is  simple,  to   draw  your   attention   to,  and   perhaps   to   remind   you   of,  the  importance   of   FIRE   SAFETY. Let  me  explain.     As  a  retired  Fire  Officer   from   Hertfordshire   with   30   yrs   service   including   time   as   an   instructor,   it   was   natural   to  me  to   show  some  interest  as   to  how  the    French    Fire  services  operated.    It  started  unexpectedly,  we   bought  a  house  with  a  French   professional  fireman  living  next  door!!!     Of  course  as  you  do,  we  became  friends.     At  the  time  he  worked  in  the   Charente  department  but  after  a  couple  of  years  transferred  to  Deux-­‐ Sèvres.     At  this  time  I  was  asked  by  my  ex-­‐Fire  Brigade  if  I  could  write   an  article  for  the  UK  magazine  about  the  way  things  are  over  here.  Not   that  I  knew  anything  at  that  time!! So  off  I  went  to  what   was  now  the  NEW  fire  station  in  Parthenay  to   find  out  a  bit  more.    I  did   wonder  how  I  would  be  received,  but  fears   were  quickly  dispelled  as   I  was  offered   every  assistance   they  could   give,  even  to  service  transport  over  to  Niort  to  HQ  for  fact  finding.  End   result   of   all   of   this?   Numerous   articles   for   a   UK   magazine   &   the   Department’s  own  magazine  here  in  Deux-­‐Sèvres!  followed   by  joining   the  retired   members’  association,  which   is   both   local   &   nationally   based. Things  took  a  further   step  forward  (I  think!)  when  I  was  asked  to  join   the  ‘Equipe  de  Soutien’.     The  support    team.    They  then  put  me  in   a   Sapeurs-­‐Pompier  uniform.    I  must  be  the  oldest  recruit  they  have  had  -­‐   let  alone  the  first  Brit.     Now  for  those  of  you  who  speak  French  well,  it’s  not  too  much  of   a   problem   to   go   to   meetings  etc,   but   me,   well   at   best   I  have   a  Mr.   Bricolage  grasp  of  French  and  it  became  an  education!    But  so  many  of   the  service   personnel   went   out   of   their   way   to   put   me   at   ease   &   explain  things.    So  the  scene  was  set  for  things  to  move  on. I  was  quite  surprised  at   the  time  to  find  that  they  were  not  too  pro-­‐ active  in  publicity  aimed  towards  households  in  the  field  of  Fire  Safety   &  domestic  smoke  alarms.    So,  I  got  on  my  high  horse  and  kept  digging   and  I  eventually  found  myself  in  schools  around  Niort  giving  the  pupils   a  lesson  in  Fire  Safety  (was  it  a  case  of  put  up   or  shut  up?    I’ll  never  know!)

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

So moving  on  to  the  subject  in  hand,  I  brought   up   the   subject   of   the   English   speaking   community  and   we  agreed     that   this  magazine   would   be   a   good   start.     So   I  would   like   to   remind   you   of   the   importance   of   good   Fire   Safety,   GET   a   SMOKE   DETECTOR   &   think   DAFF!    This  stands  for  Detector  Autonome  Avertisseur  de  fumees. Here   in   France   there   are   difficulties   in   fire   emergencies   that   are   different   to  the  UK.  95%  of  operational  persons   are  volunteers,  there   are  vast   distances  to  travel  plus  the  isolation  of  some  properties  and   other  issues  which  mean  response   times   are  longer,  so  buy  yourself   some  precious  time  with  a  properly  sited  detector.   With   the  kind  support   of   the   editor   of   this  magazine  I   will   go   into   things  in  a  bit  more  detail  in  the  next  issue.    Hopefully  there   will  be   some  things  of  interest  to  you.     After  all,  it  may  be  interesting  to  know   where  some  of  your  taxes  go! Until  next  time,  my  best  wishes  to  you  all.

Page 12


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Walking the  Hexagon,  an  escape  around   France  on  foot  by  Terry  Cudbird,  published  by  Signal  Books. Why  did  I  retire  from  a  job  and  take  off  on   a   unique  4,000  mile  walk  around  France?    What   possessed   me   to   wear   out   my  sixty-­‐year-­‐old   hips  and  knees  when  I  could  have  sat  in  comfort   at  home? In  this  book  I  reveal  the  obsession  which  is  long   distance   walking  -­‐  the  intoxicating  freedom  to   go   where   you   want,   the   escape   from   the   complications   and   paraphernalia   of   everyday   life,  the  unpredictable  encounters.    My  itinerary   covered  the  six  sides  of  the  French  hexagon.  In   a   year’s   walking   I   passed   through   the   Pyrenees,   the   Languedoc,   Provence,   the   Alps,   the   Jura,   Alsace,   Lorraine,   Picardy,   Normandy,   Brittany  and  Aquitaine.     En  route  I  discovered  the  astonishing  variety   of  France’s  regions;  their  culture,  history,  languages,  architecture  and   food.     I  also  saw  many  different  landscapes,  from  the  majesty  of  the   Alps,  to  the  bleak  plains  of  the  North. I   relate   the   highs   and   lows   of   a   sometimes   gruelling   trek:   the   unexpected  acts  of  kindness  but  also  the  guard  dogs,  snorers  in  hikers’   refuges,  storms,  man-­‐eating  insects,  blisters,  exhausted   limbs,  lack  of   water  and  a  rucksack  which  was  always  too  heavy.     I  met  hundreds  of   French  people,  many  with  an  unusual  outlook  on  life  and  interesting   stories  to   tell;  hermits,  hippies,  pilgrims,  monks  and  farmers  to  name   but  a  few.    My  book  is  also,  in  part,  the  story  of  an  individual  coming  to   terms   with   his   parents’   old   age   and   growing   dementia.   Through   walking  I  found  not  only  a  source  of  endless  new  horizons  but  also  the   means  of  accepting  the  past  and  its  loss. I  studied  history  at  Cambridge  and  French  history  at   University  College   London  and  in  France.  I  have  enjoyed  long  distance  walking  all  my  life,   having  also  trekked  in  New   Zealand,  Tibet,  Mexico  and  the  UK.    My   web  site  www.walkingaroundfrance.com  describes  my  route   in  detail   with  map  references  for  those  who  are  interested.  

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Notes from the North As   usual,   November   is   a   very   busy  month   for   The   Royal   British   Legion.    We  have  the  culmination  of  the  annual  Poppy  Appeal,  the   ceremonies  around  Remembrance  Day  and  then  the  collecting  and   counting  of  the  monies  donated  for  the  Poppies. The  11th  November  saw  a  fairly  large   contingent  of  British  people   (including   members   of   the   RBL)   at   the   commemoration   in   Parthenay.     The   Northern   Group’s   new   Union   Standard   was   on   parade,   and   for   the   first   time   the   RBL   was   given   the   honour   of   laying  a   wreath   alongside  the  French  floral   arrangements  laid  by   representatives  of  the  town   and  department.  Will  Rowe,  Chairman   of  the  Northern  Group,  laid  the  wreath. The   monies   raised   by  the  Northern   Section   will   be  counted   with   that  collected  by  the  whole  Branch.     May  we  take  this  opportunity   to  say  a  heartfelt   THANK  YOU   to   those  who   donated  money,  and   also  to   those   of  you  who  helped  in  the  distribution  and   collection   of  the  Poppy  boxes,  your  efforts  are  truly  appreciated.  The    monies   raised   by  the  Poppy  Appeal  go  directly  to  The  Royal   British   Legion   for  the  care  and  welfare  of  Service  personnel  or   their  families,  both   past   and  present.  This  year  the  national  and  international   target  is   £42,000,000  and  your  donations  will  help  in  the  effort  to  reach  this   amount. The  22nd   November,   2012  is  the   designated  date  for   the  AGM  of   the   Linazy-­‐Poitou   Charantes   Branch.   As   this   article   has   been   written  prior  to  that  meeting  I  cannot,  therefore,  comment  on   any   changes   there   might   be   to   the   committee.     The  website  will   be   updated  to  advise  of  any  changes  made  at  this  meeting.    The  AGM   is   followed   by   the   annual   Christmas   Lunch   and   is   usually  a  very   entertaining  event,  with  the  appearance  of  Santa  Claus  (Yes,  I  know   –  we  never  grow  up!). Some   members   of   the   group   will   be   at   the   Terves   Christmas  Market  on   15th  December,  with   a  ‘Name   the  Teddy’  challenge,  and  we  look  forward  to   seeing   many  of  you  there.    Funds  raised   will  go   to  the  Poppy   Appeal. Once  again,  on  behalf  of  the  Northern   Group   of  the  Linazay-­‐Poitou   Charantes  Branch,  The  Royal  British  Legion  –  THANK  YOU. Terri  Laverick,  PRO  Northern  Section.

Terry Cudbird  on  the  Col  de  Mary  Hautes  Alpes

Adieu La Vie...

Author, Peter  Robert  Scott   has  lived  and  worked  in  France  since  1990,  following  a  twenty-­‐five  year  career  as  an   actor/writer  in  the  UK.    He  now  presents  his  latest  novel  (91,000  words)  set  in  the  Marais  Poitevin  between  the   years  1939  –  2000. Adieu  La  Vie:  In  a  quiet   village  in  western  France  a  woman   is  murdered.  She  and  her  son  have  lived  as  outcasts   since   the   Occupation,   reviled   by  fellow   villagers   -­‐   she   for   cohabiting   with   a   German   officer,  he   for   being   fathered   by  him  -­‐  and  no  one  is  surprised  when  the  son  is  convicted  of  the  murder.    Years  later,  an  unassuming   widow  tries  to  kill  an  old  man  in  a  nursing  home.  Even   at  the   dawn  of  the  new  millennium  there  are  accounts   to  be  settled. • Available  in  paperback  on  amazon.co.uk  at  £6.29.  Eligible  for  free  delivery  in  mainland  UK. • Available  in  paperback  on  amazon.fr  at  €8.12    (Livres  Anglais  et  étrangers)  Eligible  for  free  delivery  in  France.   • Available  in  Kindle  format  on  both  sites. page 13 13 Page

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY More from  Alison  Morton..     Please  see  back  issues  of  ‘The  DSM’  if   you  would  like  to  see  previous  articles.

Self Publishing the DIY way

Last month,  I  outlined  the  traditional   route   to   getting  your   book   published.    The  other  end  of  the  spectrum  is  DIY  self-­‐publishing. The  pros  of  self-­‐publishing  include:  keeping  all  the  profits  after   any   expenses  such   as  cover   design   and  editing;  control   over   when  to   publish,   cover   design,   book  design   and   layout,  pricing;   ability  to   upload   the   eBook   version   very   quickly;   and   most   importantly,   retaining  all  the  rights.     These  rights  include  different  formats  (large   print,  audio,  paperback);  media  (film,  television,  radio);  translation   versions,  etc.  and   can   become   a   substantial   part   of   an   author’s   income. The  cons?     Of  course  there  are  some;  tracking  down  a  good  editor   and   skilled   cover   designer   –   both   essential   for   a   quality   book;   learning  to  format  and  typeset;  educating  yourself  about  electronic   and  physical  book  distributors;  learning  about  ISBNs,  registrations,   Nielsen  listing;  if  you  produce  a  print  version,  getting  it   stocked  in   bookshops;  running  your   own   marketing   campaign;  dealing   with   the  prejudice  against  the  self-­‐published  book. Some  facts  about  self-­‐publishing:   • The   Taleist   survey   of   1,007   self-­‐published   authors   says   the   average  yearly  earning  in  2011  was  $10,000 • Half  of  writers  earned  less  than  $500 • Romance  writers  earned  170%  more  than  in  other  genres • The  worst  earners  were  science  fiction  and  literary • The  highest  earners  wrote  over  2,000  words  a  day • Self-­‐publishers   who   received   help   with   story   editing,   copy   editing  and  proofreading  made  13%  more  than  the  average. • Help  with  cover  design  increased  earnings  by  34%. Some  hard  questions  to  ask  yourself: • Do  you  have  a  novel  you  believe  in?   • Have   you  had  somebody  else  other  than  friends  and   family  cast   a  critical  eye  over  it? • Are   you   willing   to   invest   financial   resources   into   editing   and   cover  design? • Are  you  willing  to  invest  a  huge   amount  of   time  to  promote  on   social  and  other  media? • Are   you   prepared   to   educate   yourself   about   the  industry  and   interact  with  other  authors,  either  online  or  in  a  writers’  group? • Are   you   looking  at   self-­‐publishing  as   part   of   a  career   plan,  and   not  just  a  get-­‐rich-­‐quick  scheme  or  because  of  frustration? So   where  do   you   start?     When   you   are   sure  you   have  polished   your  book,  you  need  to  think  whether   you  want  to  publish   just  as   an  eBook  –  now  the  most  popular   way  to  publish  a  novel  –  or  as   a   printed   book,   or   both.     Next,   I   strongly   recommend   visiting   Smashwords,  the  ebook  distributor  (www.smashwords.com)  which   offers  free  guides  and   Amazon  (kdp.amazon.com)  which  gives  you   a  mountain  of  information.  Best   of  all   is  Catherine  Ryan  Howard’s   Self-­‐Printed:   The   Sane   Person's   Guide   to   Self-­‐ Publishing   (2nd   Edition)   in   paperback   and  Kindle  editions. For   a  printed  book,   one  of   the   most   popular   choices   these   days  for  any  DIY  self-­‐publisher   is   Amazon’s   CreateSpace   (www.createspace.com)   which   produces   Print   On   Demand   (POD)   books   which   means   yo u r   b o o k   i s   o n l y  

printed and   shipped   when  a   customer   orders  it.   Although   a  little   more  expensive  per  book,  you  avoid  a  garage-­‐full  of  wilting  books.   But   if   full   DIY   is   a   bit   daunting,   you   could   buy   in   specialist   publishing  services,  either  piecemeal  or  in  a  package.    But  that’s  for   next  month… Alison  Morton  writes  alternative  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   writing  and  Romans  at  http://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  and  is   a   member   of   the   Romantic   Novelists’   Association   and   the   Society  of  Authors.

YOUR Book Reviews... Thank  you  to  Chris  Thompson  for  this  review... L’Allée du Roi’ (‘The Way of the King’) by Françoise Chandernagor

Published by Julliard 1981 This is a book particularly relevant to our area of France, particularly that area of the Deux-Sèvres, north of Niort, for it tells the story of Françoise de Maintenon the secret wife of ‘The Sun King’ Louis XIV. Although a novel, this is the nearest thing that the modern reader will have to an autobiography of this long-lived and powerful lady, who had such a marked effect on French history at the end of the 17th century, drawing, as it does, on her own writings and those of her contemporaries. It takes us from her early days as a little girl growing up in the prison at Niort where her father was incarcerated, to the chateau at Mursay where she looked after her aunt’s turkeys, and to the West Indies where she spent her formative years. Then on to her days at the French court, her marriage to the invalid poet and satirist Paul Scarron, and her rise through court circles to become the governess of Louis’ children by Madame de Montespan. Finally, it tells the story of the mutual attraction between Françoise and the French King, their secret marriage, and so on until the end of his long reign. It is a particularly poignant book for those who have homes in the Deux-Sèvres, for we can still visit many of the places mentioned in the story, such as the ruined chateau at Mursay, and imagine what it was like there in those far-off days. British history in particular has not been kind to Madame de Maintenon, but this book shows the human side of this educated and powerful lady who rose from ‘goose-girl’ to be the virtual Queen of France. The book is best read in the original French, but there is an English version available entitled ‘The Way of the King’.

We would  love  to  show  more  of  YOUR  Book  Reviews.  If  you  would  like  to  share  one  with  us,   please  send  it  on  an  email  to:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr Page 14


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Take a Festive Break... DSM Easy  Crossword  ~  Christmas  themed! Across: Down: 8.   Sound  of  any  kind  (5) 1.   Winter  weather  (4) 9.   A  driver  who  obstructs  others  (7) 2.   Xmas  decoration  (6) 10.   Gift  bearing  sages  (4-­‐3) 3.   Liqueur  made  of  white  wine  and  absinthe   11.   English   dynasty   from   Henry   VII   to     (7)   Elizabeth  I  (5) 4.   In  a  punctual  manner  (6) 12.   A   person   kinned   by   blood   or   5.   Father  Christmas  (5)   marriage  (8) 6.   An  unilluminated  area  (6) 13.   Very  dainty  or  refined  (4) 7.   Give  pain  or  sorrow  to  (8) 15.  Tiny  or  scarcely  detectable  amount  (4) 12.   Rudolph  (8) 17.   Christmas  time  (4-­‐4) 14.   Regard   with   fear,   to   dread,   also   a   21.   Target  sport,  501,  double  finish!  (5)   stronghold  (7) 22.   A  disciple  (7) 16.   Festive  poultry  (6) 24.   Green  gem  (7) 18.   African  country  (6) 25.   An  additional  payment  (5) 19.   In  thought  -­‐  wholly  absorbed  (6) 20.    Written  composition  (5) 23.   The  direction  10  across  came  from  (4)

Down: Toughie Crossword  ~  Christmas  themed! 1.   He’s  on  the  pull  at  Christmas  time!  (8) 2.   Parents  go  without  a  lot,  for  those  we     should  think  of  at  this  Wme?  (6)   3. Obese  given  two  directions  to  find  the     spread.  (5) 4.   Reformed  aristocrat  in  high   definition     brings  us  the  good  news.  (6) 5.   Those   usually  doing   well  at   Christmas     starred  in  new  production.(7) 6.   Adoration  involved  when  family  meets     eastern   travellers,   going   the   wrong     way.  (6) 7.   Paper   comes   first   in  way   to   dress   for     dinner  at  this  time.  (4) 14.   Female   finding   parking   for   some     animals   and   producing   an   early     witness  to  17,23.  (8) 15.   Sad,   peel   off   to   invoke   reaction   to     receiving  gifts.  (7) 17&23.   Five   right   in   rib   reconstruction,     aiming  for  pure  beginning.  (6,5) 18.   Follows  from  what’s  seen  around  us  in     upheaval.  (6) 20.   Following  rat  pie  recipe  for  occupation     of  one  pantomime  villain.  (6) With  thanks  to  M.Morris 21.   Stable   door  holds  one   way  to   describe     the  fully  functional.  (5) 22.   Point   to   this   moment   as   cause   of     downfall.  (4)

Sudoku Corner... Easy

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Challenging

Please see  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr  for  answers

Across: 8. Add  another  phone  line  to  force   out     what   could   exceptionally   be     seasonal  weather.  (7) 9.   Follower  of  a   star  in  misalignment.     (5) 10.   His  Christmas  house  party?  (5) 11.   Kind  of  salts  needed  as  a  result  of  3?     (7) 12.   Unusual   seat   of  origin   of   three   far     from  foolish.  (4) 13.   Let’s  adore  him!   For   old-­‐fashioned     language   used   when   mixing   rum     soda?  (8) 16.   Err   badly   about   a   new   level   of     party  -­‐goer.  (8) 19.   Chap  seen  accommodating     possible  location  of  crib  scene.  (4) 22.   Evidently   15  with   presents,   judging     by  sounds  of  delight.  (7) 23.   See  17.   24.   Verbal  appeal   to  type   of  Christmas     tree  to  have  your  say?  (5) 25.   He   who   puts  up   the   tree   gives  the     direction  to  the  vicar.  (7)

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Health, Beauty & Fitness... Hair & Make up Christmas Special Samantha Matthews  and   Emma  Willett,  from  Charente  Hair   and   Make   up   are   here   to   bring   you   some   Christmas   inspiration   and   keep  you  up  to  date  with  current  trends  and  our  favorite  products.  

Samantha

“My favourite   Christmas   make   up   look  is   the  famous   black   liquid  eyeliner   and   lushious   red   lipstick.   Always   apply   foundation   over   the   lip   to   stop   the   lipstick   bleeding.  And  always  apply   small  delicate  strokes  with   your  liquid  eyeliner  making  sure  you  take  it  right  to  the   base   of   the   lashes.   This   look  is   easily   achieved   and   always  creates  the  WOW  factor.

Or for   the   more   natural   look   I   recommend   smokey   eyes   using   bronzes  and   browns  with  a  beautiful  nude  lip   gloss  to  finish.  Always   blend  darker  colours  into  the  outer   corner  of  your   eyes,     blending  is   the  key  to  this  look.” Why  not   add   some  glamour  to   your   nails   having  a  natural   French   manicure  or  an  outrageous  red  sparkling  gel? Samantha’s   recommended   Christmas   product   is   Yves   Rocher   colour  pallet  box  set   with  all  the  colours  to  take  you  from  season   to  season.

Emma

“Big is  back  this  festive  season,  whatever   your   length  of  hair  volume  is  essential.     For  long  hair   add  layers  to  help  create  volume  and  bounce.  If   you  have  fine  hair   or  looking  to  do  a   simple  up   do,  try  using  an   easy  back  combing  technique.   This   will   give   you   height,  body   and   the  right   texture  in  creating  your  desired  look.   In   order   to  gain   the  maximum  volume  by   blow   drying,  it   helps   to   have  a  good  brush.  The  best   brush  to  use  is  a  large,  round  with  vents   to  allow  the  air   to  flow  through.     Metal   brushes   are   best,  as  they   retain  the  heat   of  the  drier   which  helps  increase  the  volume.  Your   blow  drier   should   be   set   on  high  heat.  More  heat  will   create  more   volume.” The   colour   change   is   in   the   air   with   deep   brunette   and   auburn   colours  leading  the   way.    Whilst   a  classic   blonde   may  wish  to  add   some  subtle  low  lights  for  depth  and  dimension. Emma’s   recommended   Christmas   product   is   L’oreal’s   mousse   volume   coiffant   studio   line   indestructible,   available   at   most   supermarkets.  

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Namaste. Now that you have established a smooth comfortable level of breath with the ratio of 1;1, whatever it maybe, you could have a level of 5 in and 5 out, good just so long as you do not struggle, just easy conscious breathing. Take your awareness to the movement of the breath in the body, as you breath in you will notice an upward motion, navel to throat and as you breath out you will notice a downward movement throat to navel. Imagine a tube with water and as you breath in the tube fills and as you breath out the tube empties, just awareness of up and down. Try to do this for 5 mins each day. Next month we will add throat constriction to experience : Ujjayi Pranayama om tat sat.

Classes at ‘Maison pour tous’, L’Absie. 7pm - 8.30pm and Salle de millenaire, rue saint roch, Largeasse. 7pm - 8,30pm Contact Rysz for more info: 06 42 35 97 11

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Our Furry Friends... Give your Dog a Holiday! Leaving your   beloved  dog  in   the   care  of   someone  else   while  you   take  a  holiday,  or  go   back  to  the  UK  to  see  your  family,   can  be   a   worry.     Will   the   cage   be   big  enough?   Will   it   be   warm  enough?   What  about  proper  exercise?  Will   he   like  the  food  they  feed  him?   Will  she  be  lonely  and  miss  me  as  much  as  I  miss  her?    All  of  these   are  questions  we  dog  lovers  have  asked  ourselves. Well,  now  there   is  an  answer,  in  the  form   of  a  Dog  Hotel,  situated   in  the   Deux-­‐Sèvres,  on  the  border  of  la  Vienne.    The  owners,  Pat   and   Brian  Leeson  have   decided  to   register   their   house   as  a  Dog   Hotel   and  offer  a  deluxe  service  for  those  dog  owners  who   would   prefer   to   know   that   their   dog  is   living  in   a  warm   house;   in   the   company  of  other  dogs;  with  a  free  run  in   a  large  front   courtyard,   or   larger   rear   garden   -­‐   all   of   which   is   enclosed   and   completely   secure. The  canine  guests  at  this  registered  establishment  are  never   locked   in  cages  or   barns.    As   the  picture   in  the  ad  shows,  the  dogs  have   their  own  well  appointed  lounge.     Guests  eat  their   own  particular   favourite  food,  as  supplied  by  their  owners.  And   if   the   journey  is   too  far   for  the   owners,  there  is  a  collection  and  delivery  service  to   homes,  stations,  or  to  airports. Rates   are   reasonable.   Dogs   up   to   15   kg   are   charged   at  10   Euros  per   day,  dogs  from  16  to   25  kilos  are  12.50  Euros  per  day  and  from  26   kg  to  50  kg,    15.00  Euros  per  day. There   are  superb  walks  all   around  and  a   friendly   welcome   awaits   all   guests.   Many   references   are   available   and   visits   by   prospective   clients   are   welcomed.  Why  not  give  it  a  try? Brianleeson@hotmail.co.uk   or  patsyleeson@hotmail.com

The Buck Stops Here One advantage  of  belonging  to   a  big  association  is  that  policy  is  set   on  high,  by  people  who  don't  have  direct  contact  with  the  animals.   So  they  can  make  the  difficult  decisions  without  being  confronted   by  a  pet  or   its   owner.  Unfortunately,  we  don't   have  that  luxury.  All   our  decisions  are  made  at   the  intimate  level  of  knowing  the  animal   and/or  its  owner. One  thorny   issue  for  associations  is  what  to  do  with  cats   that  are   FIV  positive:  some  associations  have  them  put  down   as  a  matter  of   course  as  they  don't  think  that  they  can  be  adopted.     We  had  a  cat   up  for  adoption,  Harry,  who  turned   out  to  be  FIV  positive.  What  do   we  do  with  him?  Conventional  wisdom  is  that  he  is  unadoptable  so   should   be  put   down.     But   we  couldn't   do   that   to   such   a   lovely,   friendly  cat,  so  he  went  to  a  foster  home.    And  now  after  a  number   of  months  he  has  been  reserved  and  by  the  time  you  read  this,  will   be  preparing  for  Christmas  in  his  new  home. FIV   is   the   cat   equivalent   of   AIDS   in   humans.   In   general,   it   is   transmitted  by  bite  wounds  and  sexual  intercourse,  so  intact  males   who  go  outside  are   most  at   risk.    Cats  with  FIV  may  not  show   any   symptoms  and   can  live  a  normal   life  for  years.  The  only  sure  way  to   detect  FIV  is  with  a  blood  test. If   you  are   concerned   about   FIV,  then   please  discuss  it   with   your   vet. And   talking   of   adoptions,   here's   a   plug  for  a  regal  lady  called  Caprice: She's   only  a   year   old   and   adores   being  cuddled.  But   she   does  have   one   character   flaw:   she   doesn't   like   being  around   other   cats.   She   does   like   to   go   outside.   She   is   n e u t e r e d ,   m i c r o -­‐ c h i p p e d ,   vaccinated   and   very   clean.   She   has   tested   negative   for   FeIV  and   FIV.  

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

More details  can  be  found  here: www.nosamislesanimaux.com/les-­‐animaux.php Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07  70  31  54  59  ~  

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

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

APPEAL

MAYDAY MES AMIS Mayday Mes Amis has  been   formed   to  help  animals  in  need  in   l'Absie  and  the  surrounding  area.   The  1901  association  MAYDAY  MES  AMIS  was  formed  in  2011  to  bring   assistance   to   animals   in   need   in   the   l'Absie   area.   The   association   recently  held  its  first  AGM. During  it's  first   year  Mayday  Mes  Amis  has  raised  over  4000  Euros  in   donations   and   through   fund-­‐raising   events   (stall   at   the   l'Absie   Braderie,  Bernie's  quiz  at  Bar   de  la  Poste  and   coffee  evenings).  The   money   is   mainly   used   for   veterinary   fees   and   animal   food.   The   accounts  are  available  for  all  to  see  at  Bar  de  la  Poste  along  with  the   minutes  of  the  AGM. Over  the  past  12  months,  Mayday  Mes  Amis  has  found  forever  homes   for  over   15  animals  (13  directly  by  the  association  and  others  by  word   of   mouth   –   putting   people   in   touch   with   potential   adopters).   Veterinary  care  for  19  animals  has  been  paid  for.  Membership  costs  a   token   1   Euro   and   members   receive   a   monthly   newsletter   with   updates  of  fund-­‐raising  events  and  animals  in  need  of  re-­‐homing. For  more  information,  please  email  :    jill.zub@sky.com  

This 2  year   old  boy,  Georgy,  is  very   gentle  but  needs  good  fencing.  He   was   found   wandering   about   so   we  don't   know   much   else   about   him. If  you  can  offer   Georgy  a  forever   home,  please   contact   Julia  Hunt   at   juliahunt4hope@gmail.com   or  telephone  06  24  07  69  33. Please   remember   a   pet   is   for   life,  not  just  for  Christmas.  

Family with garden needed for little abandoned cat. This little   cat   is   approx.   6   months   old   and   in   great   need   of  attention   and   is  craving  love  and   cuddles.  She   does  not  appear   to  be  vaccinated   or   sterilised   and  is   currently  living   in  Vernoux-­‐ en-­‐Gatine  until  a  forever  home  can  be  found. If   you   think   you   may   be   able   to   help,   please   email   franklin3@aliceadsl.fr

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 the Equine Rescue on Tel: 05 49 48 27 91 or visit our website www.equinerescue.org

AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION PEACE – 7 Month Old Calico Girl Poor Peace  was  dumped  in  a  carrier  bag,   but   luckily   was   found   and   is   safely  in   Phoenix  foster  care.  Peace  is  a  confident   girl,   typically   inquisitive,   playful   and  mischievous,  she  gets  on  well  with   all  the  other  cats  and  likes  humans  too.   A  lovely  girl  with  very  pretty  markings. Please  contact  Lynda  Atkins,  Foster  Carer,  on: Tel:  05  53  81  30  44 Email:  lapuille@gmail.com For   other   Phoenix   animals   available   for   adoption,   please   check   out:  www.phoenixasso.com  or www.facebook.com/PhoenixAssociationFrance

Phoenix Association

Registered charity to help abused and abandoned animals in France. www.phoenixasso.com www.facebook.com/PhoenixAssociationFrance    

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 22 67 or

email: willjo@live.co.uk.

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

This animal   refuge   in   Saintes   has   more   than   200   dogs   and   100   cats   seeking   forever  homes. Refuge  SPA  de  SAINTES route  des  GAUTHIERS,  17100  SAINTES Tel:  05  46  93  47  65  ~    www.spa.de.saintes.free.fr/ Page 19


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

The Great Outdoors... from a  friend  who  was   affected  by  the  tornado  which  caused  a  lot   of  damage  in  their  village  and   took  down  several   big  pine   trees  –   we  have  put  them  in  the  goat  enclosure  -­‐  ideal  for  the  goats  to   play   on!

Life on the Farm...

As you  can  see,  we  re-­‐use,  recycle  and   waste  next  to  nothing  here   on   the   farm,  as   well   as  swapping  and   bartering  with  friends  and   other  smallholders.     In  these   tough   financial  times  why   pay  when   you  can   swap  or   exchange?     Bartering  is  a  great   way   to   use  your   surplus   produce,  spare   time  (not  that   we   have  much   of   that!)  or   expertise  in  exchange  for  other  products  or  services. by  Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

It’s December  already,  where  has  the   year  gone?    Christmas  is  just   around  the  corner  and  it’s  a  busy  time  for  us  here  on  the  farm  with   orders  to  fulfill  for  the  festive  season.     If  I  get  my  way  this  year  we   will  be  tucking  into  a  5  bird  roast  on  Christmas  day.    Jen  refused  to   let  me  do  12   birds  as  it   feeds   125  people  and  we  only   have  7   for   dinner.    I  am  thinking  turkey  stuffed  with  a  duck,  chicken,  partridge   and  quail.

So as  I  raise  a  glass  of  home  made  eau  de  vie  (swapped  for  some   eggs)   we  would  like  to  wish  all   our  readers   and  customers  a  very   Merry   Christmas  and   we’ll   see   you   again   in   the  new   year  with   news  of  our  new  arrivals.

Winter can  be  tough  for  anyone  with  animals.  It’s  either  raining  and   we  are  up  to   our   ears   in  mud  or  it’s  so  cold   that   we  are  constantly     defrosting  drinking  water  and  making  sure  all   the  animals  are   dry   and  warm  with  plenty  of  straw  for  bedding. In  readiness  for  the  arrival  of  our  new  lambs,     we    carefully  moved     Beavis  the  ram  to  the  orchard  with  a  wether  (castrated  male  sheep)   as   a   companion.   To   show   his   dislike   about   leaving   his   girls   he   promptly  head  butted  a  wooden  fence  post  until  it  snapped  in  two. By  the  time  you   read   this,   and  after   five  months   of   waiting   (the   gestation   period   for   sheep),   we   should   have   the   first   of   this   season’s  lambs.     We  decided  to  mate  two  ewes  earlier   than  the  rest   of   the  flock  as  we  wanted  to  stagger   our  availability  of  lambs  next   year.     As  we  have  to   provide  extra  food  for   the   sheep  during  the   colder   months  and   to  make  sure  we   get   big   strong  healthy  lambs,   we  have  put   in  a  nice  big  cattle  trough   (which   Eanie   likes  to  climb   in)   and   we   have   made   a  hay  rack  from  an   old   ladder   which   the   kittens  are  very  fond  of  and  can  often  be  found  snoozing  in  the  hay.   They   don’t  seem  to  be  at   all   fazed  when   the   odd   sheep   pops   its   head  in  for  a  little  snack! After   so  much  rain  the  poor  pigs  were  up  to   their  bellies  in  mud  so   we   evacuated   them   to   the   pig   pen   and   put   the   three   pigs   (NomNom,  Beetroot  and  Turnip)  in  an  undercover  temporary  pen.   As  soon  as  it’s  dried  out  they  can  be  back  digging  in  the  dirt. Peggy  our   Gloucestershire   Old  Spot   pig,  is   due   to   give  birth   later   this  month.  Pigs  are  pregnant  for  three  months,   three  weeks  and   three  days.    We  are   really    looking  forward  to   the   patter   of  tiny   trotters.   It   is   always   a   special   moment   when   another   new   life   enters  the  world. We  are  waiting  for  the  arrival  of  our  new  polytunnel  which  we’ll  be   putting  up  in  the  early  spring.    We  want  to  be  better  prepared  and   have  our  plants  ready  earlier  next  year,  so  we’ll  be  propagating  our   seeds  and  with  the  help  of  the  polytunnel   we  will  also  prolong  our   growing   season.   When   the   season’s   over   we’ll   pop   in   a   few   chickens  or  ducks  for  them  to   have  a  peck  around  and  clear  up   any   bugs  and  slugs. All   the   fodder   beet   has   been   dug   and   stored   in   clamps   for   the   winter.     We  made  our  clamps  from  old  oak  barrels  filled  with  straw   to   keep  the   frost   at   bay.     It   will   keep   our   pigs   happy  during   the   winter   months.     Also,  we  have  been   given  some   big  tree   stumps  

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

Abeilles

UP

by Tania Dominey

DAT

E

We had   our   last   harvest   of   Tournesol   (Sunflower)   honey   in   September.    Since  then  we  have  fed  the  bees  with   liquid  syrup   that   we  buy  from  our  local   bee  shop  ensuring  they  have  a  good  store  to   see  them  through  the  winter.     During   this   time   the   bee   population   has   changed.   All   the   male   bees  have   been  thrown  out  to  save  feeding  them  and  the   Queen   has   produced  bees   that   will  last  the  winter.    Usually  ‘worker’  bees   only  live  6  weeks.     Also  we   have  treated  the  hives   with   a   Varoa   treatment  which  we  have  to  do  again  in  8  weeks  time.   The  bees  will   be   given  a   Christmas  present   of  Candi  to   help  them   through  the  long  dark  nights..... We   would   like   to   thank   everyone   who   has   contacted   us   with   regards   the   bees.  We  would   especially  like  to  thank  one  of  your   readers   for   the  feedback  on   our   first   article  regarding  the  hornet   traps   which   have   been   very   successful.   (We   will   republish   this   again  in  the  spring). Background  Photo:  A  frame  full  of  lovely  Tournesol  honey.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

THE AMATEUR GARDENER

by Vanda Lawrence

Well, Christmas  is  almost  upon  us,  and  if   you  are  anything  like  me   the   garden   must   take   second   place   to   preparations   for   the   Christmas  and  New   Year   celebrations.    I  shall  only  be   be  doing  the   bare   essentials   this   month   -­‐   just   keeping   everything   tidy   and   'pottering'  when  the  weather  is  nice  enough. Indoors  you  will  have  some  nice  fragrant   corners  to  look  forward  to   if  you  managed  to  find  time  to  pot  the  Hyacinth  bulbs.    Don't  worry   if   you   didn't   get   around   to   it,   they   are   readily   available   in   the   garden  centres. Poinsettias  (Euphorbia  pulcherrima)  are  the  favourite  indoor  plants   for  this  time  of  the  year.    No   fragrance  but  wonderful   vibrant  green   and  red  foliage.    They  are  native  to  Mexico  where,  in  their  natural   habitat,  they  can  grow   up  to   16  ft.     The  plant  bears  beautiful   dark   green  leaves  and  coloured  bracts  -­‐   most  often  bright  red   but   they   can   be   orange,   pink,   cream   or   white.     These   bracts   are   often   mistaken   for  flower  petals  because   of  the  colour,  but  actually  they   are  leaves.     The   real  flowers,  or  'cyathia',  are  small,  yellow  clusters   in  the  centre  of  each  leaf  bunch   which  do  not  attract  pollinators.     The  colours  of  the  bracts  are  created  through  'photoperiodism'   ie   the  plant  needs  darkness  (12  hours  at   a  time)  in  order  to  change   colour.     They   also   need   plenty   of   daylight   during   the   day   to   maintain   a   nice   bright   colour   but   don't   like   draughts   (a  bit   like   me!!). It  is  possible  to  keep  Poinsettias  from  one  year  to  another.    The  red   bracts  should   be  pruned   and  the   plant  moved  outdoors  after   the   last   frost.     Before   the   first   autumn   frosts   you   can   bring   it   back   indoors  to   a   room   which   is   kept   dark  during  the  evenings.     The   plant   will   need   a   couple   of   months   of   uninterrupted   long,   dark   nights  for  the  coloured  bracts  to  develop.    Drain  well  after  watering   -­‐  do  not  allow  the  pot  to  sit  in  water. While  we  are   all  enjoying  ourselves  indoors  we  mustn't  forget  our   feathered   friends.     Please   remember   to   keep   the   bird   feeders   topped  up  and  in  frosty  weather  be  sure  to  defrost  the  bird  bath  so   they  can  have  a  drink.     Also  in   frosty  weather  keep  a  tennis  ball  or   something   similar   floating   in   your   fish   pond   so   that   gases   can   escape.     An  alternative  is  to  use  a  saucepan  of  hot  water  -­‐   just  rest   it  on   the  surface  of   the  pond  long  enough  to  melt   the  ice.    Lastly,   remember   to   check  for   hibernating  hedgehogs  before   you   start   a   bonfire. All   that  remains  now  is  for  me  to  say  'Happy  Christmas'  to  you   all   and   to   send   my  very  best   wishes   for  the  New  Year   2013  -­‐   let's   hope  it's  a  good  one.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

French Life, Food & Drink... Vive la Difference

by Gilly  Hunt  

It may  come  as  a  bit  of  a  surprise  to  you  (especially  those  of  you  who   have  been  reading  my  articles  over  the  last  20  months),  to  know  that   I   am   actually  returning  to  the   UK.     I  am  not   leaving  because   I  am   unhappy  or  I  do  not   like  where  I  live;  I  have  no  money  problems;  and   my  health  is  fine.     It  is  just  that   my  husband  and  I  feel  that  it  is  time   for  us  to  have  another  adventure,  and  this  time  it  will  be  in  the  UK. We  have  lived  very  happily  here  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  for   the  last  7  or   so  years.    We  have  embraced  the  slow  pace  of  life,  the  people,  the   houses,   the   culture,  the   festivals  and   well,  really  everything  I  have   ever  written  about.    I  am  leaving  with  my  head  held  high,  and  I  would   say  to  anybody  that  if  they  feel  they  would   really  like  to  be  back  in   England  then   go  for  it.    You  can   go  back  with  pride,  you  do  not  have   to  think  that  people  will   think  any  the  less  of  you,  (that  is  if  you  care   what  people  do  think!)  because   you   have   done  it.    You  came   out   here,   knowing   no-­‐one,   not   speaking   the   language   and   tried   something  new.       It   does   not   matter   how   old   or   young   you   are,   whether   it   was  for   you  or  not  –  you  gave  it  a  go,  you  will  never  say  “if   only”. I  can  guarantee  this  will  not  be  the  last  time  I  set  foot  in  the   Deux-­‐ Sèvres.    I  have  made  many  friends  both  French  and  English  and   I  am   sure  many  of  them  will  be  friends  for   life.    I  have  learnt   a  great  deal;     not   only   the   language.     I   have  learnt   that   possessions   count   for   nothing,  that  people  matter  and  that  nature  and   the  weather   does   affect   our   day-­‐to-­‐day  living   and  that   this  does   not   have   to   change   when  you  go  back  to  England. I  still  intend   to   cook  my  food   from  scratch,  grow  what  I  can,  lead   the   slow  life  –  you  will  not  find  me  in  a  supermarket  or  shopping  centre   on  a  Saturday  –  but   you   may  well   find  me  walking  along  a  coastal   path  and  stopping  at  a  small  cafe  for  some  lunch. I  would  like  to  thank  Sarah   for  giving  me  the  opportunity  to  write  for   the  magazine,  it  has   given  me  much  pleasure  and   I   have  met   some   lovely  people   through  it   and  been  on  French  TV  –  now  that   was  an   experience!

Au revoir.....more  à bientôt mes amis.

So it  is  not    

I’d like  to  say  a  huge  Thank You  to   Gilly  for  her   contributions  and   commitment  to  the  magazine  for  nearly  2  years.     Her  input  has  been   invaluable  and   the  articles,  both  funny  and   interesting  to   read.     I   hope  you  have  all  enjoyed  reading  them  as  much  as  I  have..... We   wish   Gilly   and   her   husband   all   the   very  best   for   their   next   adventure.      Bonne

chance!

French Village Diaries by Jacqueline  Brown. I   will  admit  that  autumn  and  winter   are   not   my  favourite   seasons,   but   I   had  forgoPen  just   how   beauQful  the   colours  can   be   at   this   Qme   of  year,   especially   when   we   are   lucky   enough   to   have   those   sunny,   vivid   blue   skies   days.     I   am   also   sure   there   have   been   more   dramaQc   sunrises   and   sunsets   than   normal   this   year   -­‐   or   maybe   I   have   just   been   more   observant.   However,   the  temperatures  have   taken  a  turn   for   the   worse  and   my   favourite   way   of  heaQng   the   kitchen  is  to  put   the   oven   on,   choose   a   recipe,   assemble   the   ingredients   and   get   baking.

As it   is  December,  we   have  finally  arrived   at   mince  pie  season.  I   couldn’t   be   happier   as   it   is  one  of  my  favourite  times  of   year   in   terms  of  feel-­‐good   food  and   baking.    The  mincemeat  I  made  with   the  garden  apples,  walnuts  and  a  generous  splash  of  Cognac  back   in   September   has   matured   nicely   and   I   am   now   in   full   pie   production  mode.    The   kitchen   smells   very  festive  thanks  to   the   regular  batches  of   traditional   mince  pies   that   keep  popping  out  of   the  oven.    I  also  make  a  cherry  and  mincemeat  upside  down  cake  -­‐   a  festive  twist  to  my  fat   free  sponge  cake  recipe.     Every  year   I  save   at   least   one   plate  of  mince   pies   (from  our   12   year   old   son   who   would  quite  happily   eat   them  all)  and   take  them   down  to  one  of   our  village   meetings  to  share   with  my   French  and   English   friends.     Even  if  I  do  say  so  myself,  they  always  go  down  well  and  especially   with   the   French,   who   despite   having   a   vast   array   of   delicious   patisseries,  didn't  know  the   mince  pie  until  I  introduced  them.     A   cultural  relations  moment  I  will  always  be  very  proud  of. We  mustn’t  forget   that  French   Christmas  treats  are  delicious  too,   and  as  a  chocoholic  I’m  as  partial  to   a  good  Bûche  de  Noël   as  the   next   person,  but   a   chocolate  log  isn’t   quite   a  mince   pie.     I  think   there  is  just  something  very  comforting  and   Christmassy  about  the   fruity  spicy  flavours  and  aromas  of  our  traditional  British  Christmas   treats. Last  year  there  was  a  new  lady  on  one  of  the  committees,  so  when   offered  the  plate  of  mince  pies  she  was  understandably  unsure.    I   explained  they  were   English   and  traditionally  made  at   Christmas   time.     Encouraged   by  her   fellow   countrymen   and   women   who   were   tucking  in  nicely  she  bravely  took  one.     As  I  was  handing  out   the  rest   I  overheard   another   French  friend   saying  to  her   "they're   English,  but   they're  nice".     I   laughed   and  thanked   Héléne  –  I’m   taking  that  as  a  real  compliment!

I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year, and to thank you for reading. All of   my   favourite   recipes  can   be   found   on  my  website   http:// www.frenchvillagediaries.com. You   can   contact   me   at   frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com   I   am   always   happy   to   try   to   answer  any   food   related   questions   you   may  have.

Follow Jacqui’s  blog  at  hrp://www.frenchvillagediaries.com

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

The Perils of Parker by Dr John Watson

by John  Sherwin

Holmes stood  at  the  window,  gazing  down  on  Baker   Street.   A   saxophone   wailed   eerily   through   the   smog.  Mrs  Hudson  showed  in  a  young  lady,  clearly   well-­‐to-­‐do,  dressed  in  silks,  sobbing  distractedly. “Mr   Holmes,  I  have   been   deceived.  I  cannot  now   expect   restitution,   but   I  wish   you,  sir,  to   explain   how  I  came  to  commit   such  folly  and   to   help  me   and   other   poor   souls  like  me  avoid   such   grievous   misadventure.” “I  see,   Madame,   that   you   are   a   lover   of   wine   but   with   little  real   knowledge.  You   are  too  ready  to  trust   strangers,   particularly  those   with  foreign   accents,   who  use   fanciful   words   and   ersatz   statistics.   You  are  also   left-­‐handed,  have  a  Venezuelan  housemaid,  and  spent   several  years  as  a  child  in  the  sub-­‐continent.” “My  God,  Mr  Holmes,  how  could  you  know…?” I  smiled   in  my  avuncular  way  and  assured  Madame  X   (for   that  was   her  name)  that  Holmes  had  always  been  a  lucky  guesser,  but  that   he   knew   a  thing   or   two   about   wine   and   the   dastardly  clan   of   ‘wine   critics’.  Holmes  asked   Mrs  Hudson   to   bring  in   a   bottle  of   cooking   wine   and   one  of   Latour.   Hudson   knew  what   was  afoot   and  smiled   infuriatingly. “Madame  X,”   said   Holmes,  “you   are   basing  your   wine   purchasing   decisions   on   the   opinions   of   a   stranger.   An   American   from   Baltimore.”  Holmes  paused  for   emphasis  and  X’s  shoulders  sagged.   “An  American  by  the  name  of  Parker.”  It’s  difficult  to  hiss  a  word  with   no  s’s,  but  Holmes  did  it. “Parker’s  system,  Madame  X,  is   indeed  devilish,  and  you  should  not   blame  yourself   for  falling  for  it.  First,  and  as  a  nod  towards  scientific   accuracy,  which  I  will  shortly  show  to  be  entirely  spurious,  he  makes   his  marking  system  out  of  100.  Hah!  Schoolboy  stuff,  schoolboy  fears   played  upon.” Holmes’   eyes   glared   and   as   he   struck   a   match   to   put   to   his   Meerschaum  pipe,  his  hand  shook  slightly.  He  inhaled  languidly,  but   as  he  exhaled  his  expression  changed,  almost  to  a  snarl. “Understand,  Madame,  that  this  100-­‐point   system  is  nothing  of   the   kind:  it   starts  at   50.  That  is  to   say  you   get  50  points  for  squeezing   some   grapes,  waiting   a  while,  and   putting   the   result   in   a   bottle.   Nothing  is  considered  worthy  of  note  below  80,  so,  voilà,  we   have   a   20  point  system  built  on  the  sandiest  of  ground.” Mrs  Hudson  tottered  in  with  two  unmarked  carafes  and  two  tasting   glasses.   She   poured   and   set   them   both   before   Madame   X,   who   tasted  each  carefully.  Holmes  leant  forward  with  a  piercing  glance. “Cooking   wine   or   Latour,   Madame.  What’s   your   poison?   Bear   in   mind  that  if  you  chose  the  one  you  really  like  but  it’s  been  marked   down   by  Parkerrrrr   [Holmes,  astutely,  had   realised   it   was  easier  to   roll  r’s  than  hiss  non-­‐existent  s’s]  then  you  risk  social  obloquy.” “Mr  Holmes,  please  advise  me,  give  me  a  clue.” “Dear   lady,  if  I  did  that   I  would   be  committing  the  same  sin   as  our   American  cousin.  Make  your   own  decision.  All  you  need  to  know  is  in   your  eyes  nose  and  mouth.” Then  I  woke  up… John Sherwin, French Wine Tours Email: johnsherwin@orange.fr ~ www.french-wine-tours.com

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

CHRISTMAS BOOK AND COFFEE MORNING WEDNESDAY 12  DECEMBER  2012,  10.30am  -­‐  12.30pm 45  RUE  DU  BOIS  BAUDRON,  79100  MAUZE  THOUARSAIS 2  BOOKS  FOR  1  EURO Since  our  last  update  in  The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly,  we  have  had  two   more  book  mornings  in  September  and  October.     September  was  an   unqualified  success  and  our  best  so  far  with  over  60  people  attending,   selling  over  300  books  and  raising  nearly  250  euros  for  the  Helianthus   Association.  Many  thanks   to  all  those  who  came  and  it   was  lucky    I   made  that  extra  cake! Our  October   morning  was   very  quiet,  mainly  I   think  because  it  was   either  half  term  and  people  were  visiting  the  UK  or  they  seemed  to  be   suffering  the  virus  like  colds  going  around.    However,  many  thanks  to   those  who   came.  In   the   meantime  we  have  taken   delivery  of  more   books,  many  of  which  seem  to   be   almost  new   and  at   2  books  for   1   euro,  you  can't  go  wrong!. The  December   book  morning  will  have  a  Christmas   theme   and   you   will  have  a  choice  of  cake  or  homemade  mince  pies  with  your   coffee.     As  usual,    Jo  from  Phoenix  Cards  will  be  here  along  with  Heather  and   her  gemstone  and  fashion  jewellery. We  hope  you  will  be  able  to  come  along  before  you  rush  off  to  the  UK   or  start  receiving  visitors  to  stay  for  Christmas.     If  you   do  have  friends   or  family  staying,  bring  them  along.     You  don't  need  to  buy  any  books,   just  come  for  a  coffee,  mince  pie  and  a  chat.    

RESTAURANT REVIEWS... If you have positive restaurant experiences to share, we would love to print them here. Please email to: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr for inclusion into future issues.

Just a  reminder  about  what  the  charity  is  all  about.    The  money  raised   goes  to  the  Helianthus   Association   based   in  Mayenne.    Founded   in   2008,   the   aim  of   the   association   is   to   help   stray,  abandoned   and   endangered  animals,  and   to   assist  elderly  people  on  low  income  to   care  for   their  pets.     They  are  not  an  animal  refuge  but   help  with   veterinary  costs  such  as  spaying,  worming  and   testing,  which   can  all  encourage  the  adoption  of  an   animal.     Because  of  the  ever-­‐increasing  demands   for   help,   Helianthus   extended   its   fund-­‐raising   means   by   opening   its   own   Charity   Shop   which   is   run   by   both   French   and   English   volunteers.     You  will  find  more  information  on   their  website  www.helianthus-­‐asso.org. We  look  forward  to  seeing  you  in  December. Page 24


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

French Adventures... We had   many   great   holidays   in   France   and   were   looking   for   somewhere  affordable   &  suitable.  Then,  finally  in  September   2008,   we  had  our  own  land  to  build  a  home  with  facilities  for  our  caravan  &   friends,  plus  a  B&B. Friends   Cathy   &   Clive  found  this   gem  on  a  French   Immobilier   site,   they  emailed  details  and  2  days  later  we  were  viewing.    It   was  a  quick   visit   but   it   was   perfect   &  within   our   budget,   a   rural   area  but   not   isolated  and  all  the  services  were  in  the  road.    A  barn  was  included  in   the   price   &   a   small   stone   building   with   mains   water   connected. The   land   hadn’t   been   worked   on   for   15   years,   it   was  a  potager  &  rabbits  kept   in  hutches  in  the  barn   &  the   small   stone  building  housed   a   'copper'   probably  for   hot   water   as   the   lavoir   is   adjacent.   The   previous   owner   was   a  blacksmith  (we   even  found  a  couple  of  horseshoes  &  saved  them  for  good  luck!).   Firstly   we   had   to   cut   back   the   bushes   which   stopped   the   gate   opening  &  cut  lower  branches  off  the  trees  so  that  we  could  get   the   caravan  in,  then  tackle  weeds  and  unruly  rose  bushes  and  fruit  trees   -­‐  not  to  mention  the  brambles.    A  shower  room  was  built  &  the  stone   building  converted   into  a  summer   kitchen  by  Nathan  Foster  Building   Services.     Strangely  he’d  lived  in  the  same  village  as  us  near  Stafford   (such  a  small  world).  We  have  used  Nathan  on  several  occasions  for   various  jobs. We  thought   long  and  hard  about  a  suitable  name  for  the  property,  it   was  Dave's  suggestion  to  call  it  'Le  Petit  Logis'  as  we  could  only  afford   to  build   a   small   home,  so  the  translation  works  well   and  the  ‘Grand   Logis’  is  just  around  the  corner. While  saving   to   start  the  house  build   we   submitted   a   'declaration   prealable'   to   change   the   facade   of   the   barn   to   make   it   more   attractive:  2  new  windows  &  a  door  were  added.    We  completed   the   application   ourselves   with   a   little   help   from   a   couple   of   French   friends  for   the  translation  &  were  pleased  when   it  was  passed  in   10   days.    We  are  now  getting  to  grips  with  the  French  system!!!. While  waiting  for   the  electricity  to   be   connected   we  kept   busy  by   treating  woodwork  for  termites,  painting  walls  &  trying  to  tame   the   garden.  We   were   comfortable   in   the   caravan   but   the   shower   was   useless  so   we  christened  the  newly  built  shower  by  using  a  watering   can   and   boiled   kettles   of   water   on   the  gas   stove   -­‐   now   that   was   novel! One  Thursday  in  June  2009  electricity  was  connected,  we  arrived  on   the   Saturday   and   Jan’s   parents,   Marion   &   Allan,   arrived   on   the   Monday  -­‐  their   mission  was   to  de-­‐weed.  Friends  from  Spain   called   for  a  few  days  too.  Extra  pairs  of  hands  came  in  handy,  Val  kept  us  fed   &  watered  while  David  busied  himself  with  the  chainsaw  &  seeking   out  ant’s  nests   and   burning  them  -­‐  he  is  a  bit  of  a  pyromaniac   but   that’s  another   story.     Our   neighbour   Bernard   saw   us  struggle  with   the  brambles   so   he   arranged   for   a  man   to   come   with   a   tractor   &   flailer.     We   had   3   rows   of   old   pear   trees   that   had   wires   running   through   to   train   them,   we   were   instructed   to   remove   the   wires   before  he  arrived.     He   arrived  French  style  (a  day  late)  and  soon  set   to  work,  from  start  to  finish  it    took  one  and  a  quarter  hours!   From   wilderness  to  prairie,  it  was  chopped  into  mulch.  A  great  team  effort.

Winter 2009-­‐10   was   very  cold,   -­‐11   degrees   in   some   areas.   Being   hardy  caravanners  &  having  an  opportunity  of  cheap  flights,  we  flew   out   for   a  long  weekend.  Friends   thought   we  were  crazy  -­‐   we  had   several  offers  of  accommodation  because  they  thought  we'd  be  cold.     In  a  caravan   with  the  gas  heater  on  it   gets  hot  and  with  the  radiators   in  the  new  kitchen  &  shower  room  we  were  very  cosy. Two  years   to   the  day  since  we  bought   the   land,   the  builders  of   the   house,   Mella   Construction   (Parthenay)   started   the   foundations.   Dealing  with  a  French  Company  when  we  were  living  in  the  UK   was   challenging  but  also  very  rewarding  –  the  language   was   occasionally   a  problem  where   detail  was  concerned  but   with  the   help  of  French   speaking   friends  these  hurdles  were  overcome.     We  are  extremely   happy  with   the   finished   job. Dave   painted   the   entire   interior   of  the  house  and   fitted   out   the   kitchen   and   bathrooms   which   kept   to   budget   –   it   was   always   Dave’s   dream   to   d e s i g n   a n d   b u i l d   somewhere   to   retire   to   but   the   costs  in   the  UK   made  it  unaffordable  for   us. Christmas  Eve   2011  we  moved  in,  furniture  travelled  in  a  trailer  and   our  other  belongings  in  the   car.    Christmas  morning  was  ‘different’,   we  unloaded  everything  with  the  help  of  our  friend  Roy  -­‐  once  that   was  done  we  went  to  celebrate  Christmas  with  Donna  &  Roy. Boxing  Day  we  rose  early  -­‐   now  the  kitchen  could   be   completed  -­‐   France   Telecom  had   installed   the   phone   line   so   cupboards   &   the   cooker  could  be  fitted.  For  a  change  everything  fell  into  place  nicely.   The  dining  room  furniture  blends  in  beautifully  with  the  kitchen  and   the   sofas   chairs   and   other   furniture   looked   like   it   was   made-­‐to-­‐   measure. The  27th  December   2011   was  a  sad  day,  the  'arborist'  who  should   have   pruned   the  trees   asked   to   come  immediately  about   the   old   willow   tree.   His   apprentice   spoke   English   and   said   the   tree   was   diseased  and   too  old  and  dangerous  to  leave  in  place.  It   turned  out   to  be  32  years  old.    Bernard  our  friend   was  generous  and  gifted  us  a   baby  willow  tree  -­‐    8  feet  tall  –  hopefully  in  a  few  years  we  can  sit  in   the  shade  again  and  have  a  glass  or  two! Now   the   properties   are   finished,   and   the   B&B   almost   ready   for   guests,  we   are   registered   with   the   Gatine   Tourist   Office   and   are   excited  about  opening  Easter  2013. We  love  our   little  place  in  France,  the  neighbours  &  the  Maire’s  office   in   our   small   village   couldn't   have   been   more   friendly,  helpful   or   welcoming. Jan  &  Dave  Thorpe,  Neuvy  Bouin     If   you   are  interested   in   reading  more  about   the  project,  please   visit  www.le-­‐petit-­‐logis.com

Thank you to Jan & Dave Thorpe for sharing their ‘French Adventure’ with us. If you would like to share your story, please

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Motoring... Badass Jaguar

by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

With the   latest   Bond   movie   recently   hitting   the   cinemas,   and   featuring  the  comeback  of  the  iconic  Bond  Aston  Martin  DB5,  the   most  famous   British  Secret  Agent   and   his  cars   have  been  much  in   the  news  recently. Every  Bond  movie  has  fast  cars  as  one  of   its  vital   ingredients,  along   with   the   girls,   the   baddies   and   a   vodka   Martini.   James’s   cars   normally   feature   a   range   of   high-­‐tech   gadgets   from   Q,   but   his   nemesis’  cars  aren’t   too  shoddy  either.    In   my  opinion,  the  best   Bond  villain   car   ever   was  driven  by  the  evil   Zao   in   the   2002   film   ‘Die  Another  Day’,  and  is  the  stunning  Jaguar  XKR. In   the   film  Bond  drove  an  Aston  Martin  Vanquish,  while  the  villain,   Zao,  drove   a  highly  modified  Jaguar  XKR  equipped  with  a  Gatling   gun   mounted   centrally  behind  the  seats,  missiles  firing  from   the   front  grilles,  rocket  launchers  in  the  doors  and  mortars  in  the  boot.   No   less  than  eight  XKRs  were  used  for  filming,   all   of   which  were   formerly   Jaguar  Cars  engineering  development   fleet   vehicles   that   were  converted  by  Jaguar’s  own  Special   Vehicle  Operations  (SVO)   in   conjunction   with   Pinewood   Studios’   in-­‐house   special   effects   team. I  was  lucky  enough  to  spend  a  day  in  the  company  of  one  of  those   actual   cars   used   in  the  film,   in  2003,  and   it  started  my   own   love   affair  with  the  XKR. Jaguar   launched   the  XK  range  in  1996,  as  a  successor   to   the  XJ-­‐S   and   added   the  supercharged   version,  the   XKR   in  1998.  Although   the  car   was   billed  as   an  XJ-­‐S  replacement,  Geoff  Lawson’s  styling   owes   much   to   the   legendary   E   type,   with   the   long   nose   and   elegant  lines,  and  interestingly  the  Jaguar   notation   for   the  E  Type   was   in  fact   XK-­‐E.    The  XK  recaptured  Jaguar’s   traditional   image  of   speed   with  style  –  top   end  performance   with  veneer  on  the  dash   (and  luckily  due  to   the  cash  injection  from  the  new  owners  at  the   time,  Ford,  the  veneer  stayed  on!) Although  the  XK  range  has  had  a  few  facelifts  since   its  launch  and   now  features   an  aluminium  body,   it  captures  the  essence   of   the   British   Grand   Tourer  and   remains  a  timelessly  beautiful  car.     In   a   recent  ‘ Telegraph’  survey  of  3500  classic  car  owners,  the  XK’s  are  in   the   top  10  of  cars  most   likely  to   become  future  classics,  in  all   the   model  variants,  XK8,  Convertible  and  XKR.   I  got   my  first   XK,   an  XK8,   in   2004,   and   although   she  was   totally   gorgeous,  she  didn’t   quite  match   my  driving   style  and   I   hankered   after  a  stiffer,  more  sporty  set  up.     In  2006  I  was   lucky  enough  to   get  an  XKR,  which  I   have  had  ever  since.    I  love  everything  about   the  car  (except  possibly  the  bills  for  the  fuel  and  tyres)   and  driving   it  is  an  absolute  pleasure. The  Jaguar  marque  has  much  more  prestige  in   France   than   in  the   UK,  and   are  much  sought  after.     We   have   sold  two   Jaguars  here,   achieving   much   better   prices   than   we   would   have   in   England.   However,  unless  Santa   can   find   an  Aston   Martin   V8  Vanquish  to   put   in  my  stocking  this  year  (unlikely)  the  XKR   will  be  staying  for   a   long  time  to  come!

Contact Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org. Page 26


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

ADVERTISE YOUR  VEHICLE  

FOR SALE

Cost: 15€  incl.   photograph. Simply  email   details  to  us for  entry  into   the  next  issue.

4L TROPHY –

MCS RACING

On the   14   of   February   2013,   about   1400   crews   consisting   exclusively  of  students,  will   try  to  cross  6000km  of  tests   in  Renault   4L.     We   will   leave   for   this  amazing   adventure  from  Paris  or   Saint   Jean  de  Luz  in  France  and  will  drive  through  Spain.   Our  destination:  Morocco…   The  «  4L  trophy  »   is  the  biggest   charity  sporting  event   in  the  whole   of  Europe.     The  rally  lasts  ten  days;  seven  of  these  are  spent  driving   in   the   desert   of  Morocco.    Every  team  of  two  students  makes   a   commitment   take  a  minimum  of   50kg  of   school   stationery  in   its   luggage.     On  our  arrival  at  Fes,  we  will  give  part  of  these  supplies  to   The  Moroccan   League  of   Child  welfare,  within  the  framework  of   a   partnership   between   the   4L   Trophy  and   the   UNICEF.     As  for   the   other  part;  it   will   be   distributed  in  schools   and  villages  along  the   journey.     We   desperately   need   your   help   to   finance  our  project.  Any  donation   will   help  and  sponsorship  can  be  arranged. If  you  would  like   further  information,  I   would  be  delighted  to   explain  in  more   detail.    Please  contact  me:   Keenan  Dominey, MCS  RACING,  8  rue  de  la  Violette  ,  Chaignepain,  79190  Les  Alleuds Tel  :  06.29.72.33.94  ~  05.17.23.13.43 Email:  mcs-­‐racing@sfr.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Communications... Getting the most from your PCs - Home Networking. by Ross  Hendry Hands  up   -­‐   how  many  of  you  have   more   than  one  computer?  Did   you  know  that   using  your   LiveBox   or   similar  router,  you  are  able  to   build  a  home  network? Why?  I  hear   you  ask.    It   is  simple.  You  are  able  to  share   files  and   printers  on  a   network.  This  means   that  even   if  you  do  not   have   a   wireless  printer  you  are  able  to  share  the  printer  connected  to  your   desktop   with  other  computers  on  your   network,  even  if  your  other   computer  is  a  laptop  connecting  via  WiFi. Other   benefits   are  sharing  your  files  including  Photos,  Music   and   Video   files   as   well   as   your   documents.   Your   visitors   may   be   afforded  access  to  your  printer  easily  via  this  feature  and  if  they  are   able  to   connect   to  your   internet   connection,  they  may  also   talk  to   your  printer,  smart  phone,  tablet,  games  console,  etc. Many  games  consoles  such  as  the  Xbox,  Wii   and  Nintendo  PS  will   also  network,  I  am  sure  you   will   have  seen  the  adverts  on   the  TV   for  Netflix   and  LoveFilm   that  will  enable  you  to  watch   movies   etc   via   the   internet,  so   you   more   than   likely  have   many  products  in   your  home  that  will  connect  to  each  other. For  example  :  I  have  a  Freesat  recorder  connected   to  my  television.   It  is  also  connected   via  a  cable  to  my  Livebox  and   via  this  I  am  able   to  share   pictures,  music  and  videos  to   and   from   my  computers.   It   means   that   programmes   that   I   record   on   my   Freesat   recorder   maybe  watched   in   other   rooms  in   my  house  using  my  computer   screens  and  in  the  case  of  WiFi  connected  computers  without   any   cable   connection.   Many   TV   recorders   now   have   this   facility   as   indeed  do  the  new  Smart  TVs. So  how  is  it  achieved? You  need  a  router/modem  with  WiFi  and  preferably  network  cable   sockets,  more  than   one  computer,  your   printer  (either   a  WiFi   one   or   a   simple   cable   connecting   one   -­‐   either   USB   or   Parallel   type   cable).   Your   computers   should   be   running   Windows   XP,   Vista   Windows   7   or   8.     Microsoft   Window   versions   have   all   of   the   features   needed   to   create   a   network   already   built   in.   The   computers   should  also  have  a  WiFi   feature  or   a  Network   Adapter   (as  used  to   connect   your   LiveBox  to  your  computer   by  cable  -­‐   But   not  the  USB  type).  Via  the  WiFi  feature  Smart   mobile   telephones,   iPads   and   Tablet   computers   can   also   benefit   from   your   home   network's   sharing   ability.   Most   of   these   do   not   run   Microsoft  

Windows but  are   "network"  compatible.  The   same  is  true   of   the   many  game  consoles. Creating  the  network  can   be   very  frustrating  as  older   versions   of   Windows  do   not  easily  talk  to  the  newer  ones.    Unless  you  are  very   computer   savvy,   I   would   strongly   recommend   that   you   ask   the   person/technician   who   looks   after   your   computer   to   do   this   for   you.    Simple  networks  should  not   take  more  than  a  hour   or   so  to   construct. If   you  feel  you  are  up  to  the  task,  simply  search  in  Google  for  "how   do  I  create  a  home  network?".  There  are  many  good  websites   that   will  give  you  easy  to  follow  instructions  on  what  to  do. Here  are  some  of  the  better  ones  : 1. h‰p://www.microsoŠ.com/athome/ organizahonwirelesssetup.aspx#Œid=3dsGdMP_cuT 2. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2375207,00.asp 3. h‰p://www.pcworld.com/arhcle/102461/ how_to_set_up_your_home_network.html   4. 5. 6.

and on  You  Tube  : http://www.youtube.com/watchv=LmB2slsEBTY&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o8u1gneOpM&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q5q4ItACys&feature=related

There are  many  other   websites  to  help   you,  just   remember   if  you   have  a  LiveBox,  Neufbox,  Netgear,  Linksys  or  Free.fr  Modem/router   you   have   the   most   crucial   component.  Your   network  may   be   just   for  computers  or  for  many  other  devices. Once  set   up   you   will   not  have   to   copy  a  file  to   a  disk/CD   or   USB   stick  to  print   it   or  transfer   it   to  your  laptop,  you  should  be  able  to   print   or   view  files  on  almost  any  device   you  have  on   your  network.     Your   computer   screens   will   be   able  to   show   TV  programs   either   streamed   via   the   internet   or   stored   on   your   television's   recorder   anywhere  in  or  around  your  home.   Good  luck  and  happy  networking. Ross  Hendry  is  the  proprietor  of   Interface   Consulting   and   Engineering,   who   has   over   42   y e a r s   e x p e r i e n c e   i n   Communications,   Computer   Te c h n o l o g y   a n d   D i r e c t   Marketing.   (See   advert   below   for  more  information).

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Merry Christmas to you all.

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres A-Z of the Communes of the by Sue  Burgess Deux-Sèvres. LA CHAPELLE BERTRAND About   1300,  la   Chapelle-­‐Bertrand  was  known   as  Capella   Bertrandi     but  the  village  had  become   known   as  La  Chapelle-­‐Bertrand   by   the   15th  century.  The  church  is  dedicated  to  Saint  Saturnun.  Prehistoric   man  left  traces  of  his  presence  in   the  vicinity  and  near   to   l’Orgère,   "La   Pierre   Levée"   (the   standing   stone)   indicates   the   existence   at   some  time  of  a  menhir.    As  for  the  name  «l'Orgère»,  it  makes  us  think   about  the  presence  of  old  gold  mines.

La Chapelle Be - Ga

• Château de   La   Touche-­‐Ory.     Touche-­‐Aury   (Touche-­‐Ory)   gets   its   name  from  a  place  name  with  a  pre  latin  origin  that  means  “wood   that   has   been   kept   between   clearings”   and   to   distinguish     “la   Touche”   from  other   places  with   the  same  name,  the   name  of   a   person,  generally  the  owner  of  the  land,  was  added. LA CHAPELLE GAUDIN La  Chapelle   Gaudin   is   a  commune   situated   between   Bressuire  and   Thouars.  According  to  the  most  recent  census  in  2008,  there  were  222   Chapellais  and  Chapellaises.    Legend  has  it  that  the  commune  owes  its   name  to  a  chapel  built  by  a  certain  sire  Gaudin.     From  1166  onwards,   the  existence   of   the  parish   of  Capella  Gaudin   can   be   found   in   the     documents  of  Saint-­‐Pierre  of  Thouars.

The commune  is  situated  on  the  Armorican  massif,  at  the  foot  of  the   highest  point  of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  -­‐  "Le  Terrier  du  Fouilloux",  at  272m.     La  Chapelle-­‐Bertrand,  a  rural  commune  of  418  inhabitants,  extends   over   a  surface  area  of   1905   hectares   and  is  part   of   the   canton   of   Parthenay.  La  Chapelle  Bertrand   is  situated  just  5  km  from  Parthenay   in  the  «  Gâtine  ».   The  word   «  Gatine  »   indicates  an  area  of   «terres   gâtées»    (spoilt  lands),  that  is  to  say  poor,  not  very  fertile  lands.

The archives  of  the  15th  century  château  of  Vermette  are  a  witness  to   the  close  links   between   La   Chapelle   Gaudin  and   Thouars.     Hugues   Cartier   who   built   Vermette,  was  the  personal   secretary  of  Louis   II,   Viscount  of  Trémoille.

A VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • Saint-­‐Saturnin  Church  (not  open  to  the  public) The  parish  church  was  a  priory  church  dependent   on  Parthenay  Le   Vieux.  The  church  which  was  built  near  the  château,  was  restored  in   the  19th  century. • The  private  château  which  is  classified  as  a  historical  monument  and  is   occasionally  open  to  the  public  on  special  occasions. • Château  du  bourg.    The  first  known  lord  of  La  Chapelle  Bertrand  was   the  knight   Louis  Normandin.  He   was  suceeded  by     Jehan  Bonnet,   who   was  also   lord  of  Saint-­‐Lin   and   La  Boissière-­‐en-­‐Gâtine.  A  long   alley   of   trees   leads   to   the   château.   The   current   owners   began   restoration  work  in  2002.

A VOIR  /  MUST  SEE The  ruins   of  the  château  de  Montfermier,     the  château   of  Vermette   (private  property  which  is   open   in   September   for   visits   during  «   les   Journées  du   Patrimoine   »),  the  fortified  house   of   la  Lionnière    and   Villeneuve  farm  dating  from  the  middle  ages. The  war  memorial  by  the  church  with  its  painted  statue  of  Joan  of  Arc   (it  is  very  unusual  for  Joan  of  Arc  to  top  a  war   memorial  –  usually  one   finds  a  soldier  from  the  First  World  War  or  more  rarely  a  cockerel).

The ancient   church  of  St   Pierre  and   St   Paul  was  replaced   by  a  more   modern  building,  also  dedicated  to  St  Pierre  and  St  Paul,  in  the  18th   century.    This  building  was  partly  restored  in  2010.

More ‘A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.’ next  month... Page 29


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Building & Renovation...

ARTISANS &  TRADESMEN... Do  you  have  any  top  tips  you  can  share  with  our  readers?       We  would  love  to  include  them  in  this  section!

Short editorials  can  be  offered  to  advertisers,   free  of  charge.

For more  details,  please  see  the  ‘Written  Contributions’  page   on  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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Business, Finance & Property... by Bill  Blevins,  Financial  Correspondent,  Blevins  Franks It’s Time Not Timing That Reaps Rewards “Is this a good time to invest?” is is one question we are frequently asked. e answer is “yes” more often than not. To protect the value of your savings from inflation for your financial security through retirement, it is generally better to be invested for the long-term rather than wait for a ‘right time’ to invest or trying to time the markets. Unpredictable events and investor sentiment can have a negative or positive impact on markets, often unexpectedly, and no-one can predict the future. To successfully time the markets you need to accurately identify both the best time to buy and the best time to sell, and even very experienced investors cannot get this right. Time in the markets is the wiser strategy for most investors. Market cycles have up and down days. Often a few very good days account for a large part of the total returns over a cycle. e risk of market timing is missing out on these best performing days. ere are many statistical examples to illustrate the cost of being out of the market.

Short-term declines should not detract from the long-term potential of stockmarket investing. Another chart by Blackrock traces the S&P 500 equity index from December 1985 to December 2010. Even with the 1987 stockmarket crash, Gulf wars, September 11th and the subprime crisis, an investment in the index on 31st December 1985 would have grown over 10 times in 25 years. Emotions also cause people to effectively try and time the market. Fear makes them sell in falling markets so they lock in their losses. Markets often suddenly rebound from their lows, but they miss out. Portfolio performance is more significantly determined by asset allocation and diversification than market timing. A wealth management professional like Blevins Franks would review your investments and objectives and help you develop an effective tailor-made strategy going forward.

To keep in touch with the latest developments in the offshore world, check out the latest news on our website www.blevinsfranks.com

One illustration by BlackRock shows that a hypothetical £100,000 investment in the FTSE All-Share index would have grown to £598,478 over 20 years from January 1991 to August 2011. If you missed the five best days your return would be £186,738 less. If you missed the 25 best days your investment would only have grown to £172,955.

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Siddalls French tax   and   inheritance   rules   are   very   different   to   the   UK   and   are   one   of   the   main   sources   of   worry  when   planning  your   new   life  in   France.   Income   tax   is   supplemented   by  other  taxes   which  do  not  exist  in  the  UK   and  inheritance  rules  may  well  mean   that  your  stated  wishes  will  not  be  met. As   independent   financial   advisers   to   the   British   community   in   France   for   the   last   16   years,   Siddalls   are   specialised   in   tax,   inheritance,   investment   and   pension   planning,   for   your   life   in   France,  and  are  fully  regulated  by  the  French  authorities. More   importantly,  because   our   salaried   consultants   are  bilingual   and   bicultural,  we  can   explain  French  tax  and  inheritance  rules  and   how  they  will  affect  you  in  a  language  you  will  understand.  We  can   analyse   how   the   rules   will   affect   your   worldwide   income   and   assets. Our   role   is   therefore  to   recommend   a   suitable   strategy   for   your   future  in   France,  to  ensure  that  your  wishes  are   met  and  tax   bills   are  kept  to  a  minimum.   An   initial   consultation  is  without  charge  or  obligation,  during  which   we  discuss  the  issues  and  decide  together  on  the  way  forward.

Contact David  Hardy,  Regional  Manager:  Tel:  05  56  34  71  77 Email:  bordeaux.office@siddalls.net  ~  www.siddalls.fr

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For further   information   or   should   you   have   any   other   financial   areas   you   wish   to   confidentially   review,   please   contact   David   Hardy,  Regional  Manager  at  our  head  office  in  Bordeaux.

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Ask Amanda.

Amanda Johnson,  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group.   Tel:  05  49  98  97  46 Email:  amanda.johnson@spectrum-­‐ifa.com or “Ask Amanda” at finance@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Reviewing your  financial  strategic  plan It   seems  to   be  a  general   tradition  for   people  to   review   their   lives   when  the  year  is  coming  to  an  end.    Some  review  their  work-­‐life,   others   their   habits   or   their   diets   but   few   seem   to   review   their   finances,  thus  dismissing  an  important   factor  that  will   significantly   determine  their  future  circumstances.   While   the   New   Year   brings   about   festivities   and   relaxation,   this   period  of  the  year   demands  us  to  question  whether   our   finances   are  being  strategically  used  to  create  a  financially  stable  future  for

ourselves and  deliver  the  right  approach  to  its  clients.   During  this  time,  we  must   ask  in  what   kind  of   situation  we  are  in?   Is  our   financial  plan  creating  the  results  we  are  expecting  and  have   things  changed  since  first  embarking  on  our  financial  strategy? As   an  internationally  thinking  individual,  you  may  be   investing  in   different   international   markets   and  you  may  not  be  aware   of   the   kind  of  changes  that  took  place  as  a  result  of  political   issues  or   due   to  economic  reasons.     Accordingly,  the  end  of   the  year   is  the  ideal   time  to  review  your  finances  and  delineate  whether  you  are  still  on   the  right  financial  track. Global   markets   are   diverse,   volatile   and   complex,  more   so   to   someone  who   may  not   be   familiar   with   how   this   world   operates,   hence,   it   is   best   that   when   reviewing   your   finances,  you  seek  the  advice  of  a  professional   international   financial  adviser  who  will   have  a   thorough  knowledge  of  the  global  markets  and   who  will   know  if  there  have  been  any  changes   in   regulations   that   may   have   effected   your   financial  investments.   At   deVere   Group,   the   world’s   largest   independent   financial   advisory,   our   expert   international   financial   advisers   help   clients   create   customised   strategic   plans   by   finding   for  them   the  best  saving  options,  investments   or  financial  products  with  excellent  rates  since   unlike   banks,   the   independent   status   of   deVere  gives  the  IFAs  more   freedom  for   their   clients.   While  encouraging  you  to  start  next  year  on  the   right   financial  footing,  we  at  the  deVere  Group   wish  you  all  the  best  for  the  coming  year. Page 37


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How to sell your house in a “buyers’ market” by Trevor  Leggett,  Chief  Executive We   all  know  that  times  are  tough,  both  locally   in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres   and   throughout   the   world  in   general   -­‐   it’s   a   buyers’   market   and   cash  is  king. If  you   are  currently  trying  to   sell  your   house  or  thinking  of  doing  so   in  2013  then  there  are  a  few  things  that  you  can  do  to   give  yourself   an   edge.     The  first  is   to   think  positively  –  although  sales  volumes   are  down  there  will  still  have  been  over   700,000  houses  bought   &   sold  within  France  this  year.     Here  are  a  few   ideas  to   help   you   present   your   house  in  the  best   possible  way: • The  most  important  thing  is  to  ensure  that  you  price   your  house   sensibly.     It’s   human   nature  to  think   that   your   house   is   worth   more  than   it  actually  is.    Don’t  be   offended  if  your  agents  give   you   a  lower   valuation  than   you  expect   –   price   your   house  too   high   and   it   won’t   sell.   It   must   appear   to   be   good  value  when   compared   with   similar  properties.    All  other  points  are  irrelevant   unless  your  house  is  priced  to  sell.    It  needs  to  be  competitive. • Ask  your  agent  if  they  can   create   a  “virtual   tour”   of  your  house   on   their   website.  Our   analytics   show   that   houses   with   virtual   tours   receive   far   more   “hits”   than   those   without   –   the   more   virtual  visits  you  receive   the  more  likely  it   is   that  these  will  lead   to  real  life  viewings  &  hopefully  offers. • De-­‐Clutter  and  concentrate  on  first  impressions.    Paint  your  front   gate  and  your  front   door,  plant  up  the  driveway  and  garden  path.   Remove  all   the   clutter  from  the  front  garden  and   for   goodness   sake,§  get  rid  of  any  parked  cars,  caravans  or   boats  that  obstruct   the  view  of  your  house. • Tidy  the   inside  of   the   house.  Remove   clutter   to   ensure  rooms   look   as  big  as   possible.  Make  sure  that   paintwork  is   fresh   and   put  the  lights  on  during  viewings  wherever  necessary. • Work  with  your   agent  to  ensure  the  photos  are  the  best  they  can   be.   • Make   sure  you  are   able   to  give   all  the  information   required  to   market  your   house.     Your  agent   will  be  able  to  supply  you  with   a   list  of  all  documents  required  and  help  you  through  the  complex   minefield  of  selling  your  French  property  on  today's  market. • Ask  your  agent  if  he/she   is  marketing  to  international  buyers  as   well   as  locals.   The  world  is  getting  smaller   and  French  property   marketing  should   be  more  than   sticking  a  faded   photo   in   the   shop  window  and  taking  a  small  ad  on  SeLoger!

Advertise your   Private  House  Sale From 10€ per month Please send details by email for inclusion into the next issue.

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21

www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Follow these  few  important  steps  and  although  we  can’t  guarantee   a  sale,  we  can  guarantee  you  will  be  giving  it  your  best  shot.     Allow   the  agent  to  do  their  work  and  remain  patient  –  don’t  forget   it  only   takes  one  person  to  buy  your  home.

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.

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© Rupert  Roxburgh  2012,  age  9.

More colouring  pages  can  be  downloaded  from  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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The Deux-Sevres Monthly - December 2012  

English language magazine for the Deux-Sèvres and surrounding areas of France.

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