The Deux-Sèvres Monthly - April 2024

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• crosswords

• rEcipEs and more

LocaL EvEnts
• fishing
Charities Building & renovation CluBs & assoCiations FinanCe estate agents gardens ProPerty Care
• crosswords • rEcipEs and more
LocaL EvEnts
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i’m frEE Gr atuit issue 143
April 2024 April 2024 Just add water..! Just add water..!
mAgAzinE for thE DEux-sèvrEs AnD surrounDing ArEAs INTERNATIONAL TAX ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Wealth Management Limited (BFWML) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFWML is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, registered number C 92917. Authorised to conduct investment services under the Investment Services Act and authorised to carry out insurance intermediary activities under the Insurance Distribution Act. Where advice is provided outside of Malta via the Insurance Distribution Directive or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of Malta. BFWML also provides taxation advice; its tax advisers are fully quali ed tax specialists. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as ‘Conseil en Investissements Financiers’ and ‘Courtiers d’Assurance’ Category B (register can be consulted on Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered of ce: 1 rue Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA). Blevins Franks Trustees Limited is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority for the administration of retirement schemes. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFWML. Talk to the people who know 05 49 75 07 24 1 9 4f r Would you continue to drive your right-hand drive car in France? So why continue with your UK tax planning? Retaining the tax planning you set up in the UK can make things more challenging and costly. It can be harder to manoeuvre, with more room for error, and result in unnecessary taxation. e French tax regime works di erently from the UK’s, so you need to take a completely fresh look at your arrangements and how you hold your assets. Our advisers live in France and can guide you through local compliant tax planning opportunities, analysing how they work for your circumstances and aims and how much tax you can save. Aluminium and UPVC Bifold Doors made to “A” Grade spec in French styles. UPVC windows, Doors & Conser vatories in all colours and styles. Phone: 05 49 42 99 41 Mobile: 06 63 71 09 81 email: FREE PLAN, DESIGN AND COSTING THROUGHOUT SOUTH-WEST FRANCE - OTHER AREAS BY ARRANGEMENT Affordable UK Designs UPVC & Aluminium Double Glazing, Fitted Kitchens SIRET: 513 577 809 00017

Welcome to the April issue of the Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine!

When we wrote the introduction to last month’s magazine, we predicted that our driveway would turn into a quagmire of mud and that the magazines would be dumped half way up the driveway Our prediction turned out to be true

So this month we are pleased to report we've won the lottery and are writing to you from the pool of our villa in Acapulco, while our new team of forty staff bring you the latest issue of The Deux Sèvres Monthly We’ll see if our latest prediction comes true next month

It seems that the weather is finally improving and the first rays of sunshine are peeking through the grey clouds Suddenly everything is coming back to life and the birds are back in the garden Nature is everywhere and we can finally welcome spring

Thank you for all the lovely messages we received last month about our experiences for World Kidney Day It’s reassuring to know that you're reading the magazine and that our experiences may have encouraged or reassured someone else going through something similar

As soon as this magazine goes to print, we're going on holiday for a few days to explore our neighbouring department of Vendée We’ve been delivering more magazines there recently and are looking forward to exploring another beautiful part of France

As the country wakes up from the wet weather, we’re pleased to report that the April issue of What’s On is bigger than ever - with events in the department and beyond If you have an event planned, feel free to email it to us at info@thedeuxsevresmonthly fr and we’ll try to include it

We would like to thank our contributors again this month Without you, producing the magazine would not be possible This month's contributions are as varied and diverse as ever, with some new and interesting topics for your entertainment and interest

We look forward to seeing you again in May

Kathleen & Chris

tel: 07 86 99 16 17


© K Butler-donnelly 2024 all rights reserved Material may not be reproduced without permission. While care is taken to ensure that articles and features are accurate, we accept no liability for errors or omissions. the opinions expressed by individual authors do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the publisher While we make every effort to ensure that businesses advertising with us are reputable and appropriately registered, you should verify that any company you are dealing with is a registered trading company in France and/or elsewhere and has the correct

number and insurance Before embarking on a

journey to attend a published

event, it is highly recommended that you verify the event details with other sources. the deux-sèvres Monthly est édité par Kathleen Butler-donnelly, 27 rue de la Madoire, Bressuire 79300 tel: 07 86 99 16 17. directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: K Butler-donnelly siret: 90043034900028 Crédits photos :adobe stock, istock, Pixabay sauf mention contraire. impression: graficas Piquer sl, 29 al Mediterraneo, Pol ind san rafael, 04230, huércal de almeria, espagne issn: 2115-4848 dépôt légal: à purition

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 3 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr
15 SAMU - Emergency Medical Service 17 Police Secours - Emergency Police 112 European Emergency Calls 18 Sapeurs Pompiers - Fire Brigade 114 French Emergency number for the deaf and hard of hearing 15 Dentiste de Garde – Emergency Dentist (Sundays & Bank Holidays) Emergency numbers Numbers to phone in case of an emergency Local markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 News & Announcements . . . . . . . . . 5 What’s On . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 On this day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Too much of a good thing 10 Hip hip hooray 11 Book club 12 - 13 La vie en France 14 Avoiding llama drama 15 Life in 79 16 Histoire du 1er avril 17 Taking better photographs 18 View from the Vendée 20 Knight Rider in France 21 Olympic flame update 21 Bringing the outside in 22 Charging ahead 23 Eco tramways 24 Pole fishing - part I 26 The Loire Girl 27 This season ’ s fashions 28 Clare’s garden diar y 29 Clubs & Associations 32 Seasonal Recipes 34 Take a Break 36 Our Furr y Friends 4 2 Money Matters 4 4 Ask Amanda 45 Puzzle answers 46 Index of Advertisers 46


the filling station - poitoucharentes. Local Christians of all denominations who meet for spiritual renewal and evangelism Carolyn on 05 45 84 19 03 or www thefillingstationfrance com all saints, vendée - puy de serre. We hold two services each month (plus Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11h

www allsaintsvendee fr the English speaking church of the valley of the Loire (EscovaL) meets at the R C Church in Arçay every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11am (just off the D759, Thouars to Loudun)

Eglise vie nouvelle English service (translated into French) every week in the Salle Annexe behind Civray Mairie at 10 30am

Contact 06 25 04 36 51 www vienouvelle-civray com

the chaplaincy of christ the good shepherd, poitoucharentes Normally holds Sunday services in English Please see our website for current information:

www churchinfrance com Evangelical church (chefBoutonne) Meetings each Sunday at 3:00pm The Evangelical Church, 10 Rue de l’Huilerie, 79110 Chef-Boutonne All are welcome Parking on site Please see our website for more www mission-poitou-charentes com

Local Markets in the Deux Sèvres

Monday am Cerizay 79140 place des Halles

Tuesday a m Bressuire 79300 place Dupin

Coulonges-sur-l'Autize 79160 Centre Ville

La Creche 79260 rue du Marché

Lezay 79120 place du Marché

Niort 79000 place des Halles

Thouars 79100 place Lavault

Vasles 79340 la place du 25 Août

Wednesday a m Celles-sur-Belle79370 Centre Ville

Niort 79000 place des Halles

Parthenay 79200 rue Jean-Jaurès

Thursday a m Argenton-les-Vallées 79150 place Philippe de Commynes

La Motte St Héray 79800 place Clémenceau

Niort 79000 place des Halles

Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 Centre Ville

Friday a m Coulon 79510 place de l'Eglise

Melle 79500 place Bujault

Niort 79000 place des Halles

Nueil les Aubiers 79250 place Pierre Garnier

Thouars 79100 place Lavault

Saturday a m Airvault 79600 place Saint-Pierre Bressuire 79300 place Dupin

Cerizay 79140 place des Halles

Champdeniers 79220 Centre Ville

Chef-Boutonne 79110 Centre Ville

Cherveux 79410 Centre Ville

Coulonges-sur-l'Autize 79160 place des Halles

Lezay 79120 place du Marché

Mauleon 79700 place du château

Mauze sur le Mignon 79210 place de l'Eglise

Moncoutant 79320 Centre Ville

Niort 79000 place des Halles

Saint Maixent-l'Ecole 79400 place du Marché

Sunday a m Chatillon sur Thouet 79200 place du Parnasse

Coulon 79510 place de l'Eglise

La Creche 79260 rue du Marché

Niort 79000 place des Halles

Saint-Loup-Lamairé place du Marché

Thénezay 79390 place de L'Hôtel de Ville

Local Markets in neighbouring departments

Monday a m Doue-la-Fontaine 49700 place du Champ de Foire

Tuesday a m Civray 86400 place Leclerc

Montrueil-Bellay 49260 place du Marché

Mortagne-sur-Sèvres 85290 place Hullin

Surgéres 17700 rue Audry de Puyravault

Wednesday a m Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 place du Commerce

Lusignan 86600 place Isabelle d’Angoulême

Ruffec 16700 Centre Ville

Vihiers 49310 place Charles-de-Gaulle

Thursday a m Aulnay 17470 Centre Ville

Surgéres 17700 rue Audry de Puyravault

Friday a m Civray 86400 place Leclerc

Doue-la-Fontaine 49700 place René Nicolas

We meet on the third Sunday of each month at the church in Arçay at 11h00. The services are multidenominational and vary between Matins and Holy Communion - both usually include hymns. Afterwards there is usually a bring-and-share lunch. Arçay is situated between Loudun and Thouars just off the D759.

Contact Geoff Cornwall :

Jim Burrows : 05 49 22 41 78

Carole Taylor :

Saturday a m Cholet 49300 place du 8 Mai 1945

Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 place du Commerce

La Châtaigneraie 85120 place de la République

Pouzauges 85700 place de l’Hôtel de Ville

Ruffec 16700 Centre Ville

Surgéres 17700 rue Audry de Puyravault

Sunday a m Aulnay 17470

Centre Ville

Latillé 86190 place Robert Gerbier

Valence-en-Poitou 86700 place du Marché

4 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly


Lundi de pâques Easter Monday

Monday 1 April 2024

fête du travail Labour Day

Wednesday 1 May 2024

victoire de 1945 VE Day

Wednesday 8 May 2024

ascension Ascension Day

Thursday 9 May 2024

dimanche de pentecôte Whit Sunday

Sunday 19 May 2024

Lundi de pentecôte Whit Monday

Monday 20 May 2024

fête nationale "Bastille Day"

Sunday 14 July 2024

assomption Assumption Day

Thursday 15 August 2024

toussaint All Saints Day

Friday 1 November 2024

armistice de 1918 Armistice Day

Monday 11 November 2024

noël Christmas Day

Wednesday 25 December 2024 W

Jour de l'an New Year's Day

Wednesday 1 January 2025

pâques Easter Sunday

Sunday 20 April 2025


Regular venues at:

• Aulnay de Saintonge 17470

• Beauvais Sur Matha 17490

• St Jean D’Angély 17400

• Sauzé-Vaussais Hope 79 79190

• La Chaumière, La Chapelle 16140

• Charroux 86250

• Saintes 17100 • Savigné 86400

Remember to pick up your copy of The Deux-Sèvres Monthly!

Tel: 06 02 22 44 74

email: mrt fishandchips@gmail com

Regular venues including:

• Argentonnay 79150

• Funny Farm Cat

Rescue 79300

• Genneton 79150

• Louin 79600

• Noirlieu 79300

Remember to pick up your copy of The Deux-Sèvres Monthly!

Find us on Facebook: Oh my Lord Franck’s fish and chips or email:

SIREN : 378 069 231

The Journées Européennes des Métiers d'Art (European Arts and Crafts Days) are a showcase of creativity and craftsmanship across Europe Since its creation in 2002, this event has evolved into a celebration that spans the entire continent and highlights the mastery traditional and contemporary crafts

From 2 to 7 April 2024, a vast range of contemporary arts and crafts are on display, under the motto "Little fingers, expert hands"

You can not only observe, but immerse yourself in the world of artisans who have dedicated their lives to refining their craft Imagine entering a French atelier where the scent of oak wood, the shimmer of metal or the vibrant strokes on a canvas fill the air

Organised by the Institut National des Métiers d’Art (INMA), this event is a inspirational time for craftsmanship and promotes a climate of openness and exchange Craft businesses, educational institutions, museums and exceptional venues across France open their doors to inspire and educate

A wide range of activities are on display, including live demonstrations where artisans will unveil the magic of their craft and transform raw materials into stunning pieces Interactive events also offer the opportunity to interact with artisans and experience first-hand

the care and traditions that characterise crafts across Europe

The event also includes exhibitions, visits to training centres and special events in museums and locations throughout France Each venue offers a different perspective on craftsmanship, whether through the preservation of age-old techniques or the exploration of avant-garde art and design Spanning 24 countries, with France at the centre, the Journées des Métiers d'Art celebrates the dynamism and diversity of European craftsmanship and offers a treasure trove of discoveries for enthusiasts of all ages for more information visit

Don't let distance silence your voice!

As we have previously reported, the UK government recently changed the previous 15-year limit on overseas voting

To take part in this democratic exercise, you must have previously registered or resided in the UK The election must be held no later than 28 January 2025

To register or learn more, visit www gov uk/register-to-vote

Your vote can help shape the future of the UK, even from across the Channel!

Sunday 28th April

6am to 6pm

• In the villag e centre

• Free entr y

• Exhibition of vintag e cars

• Drinks and food available tables €2 per metr e - phone 06 08 97 08 48 to book your space

Or ganised by Les Thouet'Teurs, association of traders and artisans of Saint-Loup-Lamairé

The Deux-sèvres Monthly |  www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr Notice Board News & Announcements
S R E T : 5 3 7 6 0 6 9 7 2 0 0 0 2 5
Vide-Grenier Saint-Loup-Lamairé

pEtit Marché dE La faBrik

Every Friday, 17- 20h00


The association Les Fabrigands hosts its Petit Marché de la Fabrik every Friday

Local producers offer a variety of goods, from fresh vegetables to Creole dishes, bio-flour, and local charcuterie lesfabrigands fr

En tEMps dE siègE

Throughout April

tiffauges (85130)

Step back into 1373, amidst the Hundred Years' War, for "En Temps de Siège"

Witness mestre Jehan's siege engineering prowess, medieval artillery, combat, and jousting in this historically inspired spectacle vendee fr

painting ExhiBition - JEan-Luc


Until 12 April


Explore the beautiful landscapes of JeanLuc Masure, where every brushstroke reflects the emotion and atmosphere of his subjects Visit the bibliotheque during the library hours to enjoy the artistry of his paintings

grandE foirE dE pâquEs

1 April

air vault

The Grande Foire de Pâques is an all-day event featuring exhibitors, vendors, sports tournaments, rides, a flea market, musical entertainment, and pony rides Food and drinks available on site A flea market runs concurrently, with reservations required airvault fr

cuLtur’Jardin - fêtE dEs pLantEs

1 April


From garden essentials, artisan products, to local food items, and engaging activities like plant markets, gardening workshops, and children's entertainment Enjoy varied dining options on-site Free entry, conferences, workshops, entertainment, and parking culturjardin com

Exposition - (Bio)divErsité Mon aMour

1 - 5 April


Delve into the complexities of biodiversity through interactive games and displays at this exhibition Understand the critical impact of human activities on biodiversity erosion and its consequences bibliotheques agglo2b fr

Exposition "La Macro du Jardin

1 – 28 April


Discover the stunning macro photography of Steve Fanouillet at the Musée l'Abbaye This exhibition, "La Macro du Jardin," presents a vibrant and detailed look at the insect life in Fanouillet's garden agglo2b fr

LEs JournéEs dEs MétiErs d’art

2 – 7 April

throughout France

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of craftsmanship and artistry! The Journées Européennes des Métiers d'Art are returning with the theme "Little fingers, expert hands” journeesdesmetiersdart fr

L’atELiEr dE La LainE

3 April


Join a warm and intergenerational gathering at L’Atelier de la Laine for knitting, crocheting, and loom knitting April's focus is on creating amigurumis the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures

L'anciEnnE carrièrE dE La MarBrièrE: BiodivErsity traiL

3 April ardin

Explore the ancient marble quarry’s natural beauty and history with Loïc Nau and Stéphanie Tézière Discover its biodiversity and panoramic views, highlighting its significance since the Middle Ages

Marché gourMand - Mon dînEr fErMiEr

4 April

La Crèche

"Mon Diner Fermier," a monthly gourmet market, offers local specialties as readyto-eat dishes Organized by Chambre d’agriculture des Deux-Sèvres, it promotes local and farm products, with a different local brewery featured each month ville-lacreche fr cLassic car gathEring

4 April


Gather in Chauray for a celebration of classic vehicles Enthusiasts and the curious alike can enjoy music, refreshments, and camaraderie A perfect event for lovers of cars, motorcycles, and more ville-de-chauray fr

Lady agatha

5 April

Pouzauges (85700)

Embark on a fast-paced journey into the incredible life of Agatha Christie with "Lady Agatha" Discover the untold story of the crime queen through this whirlwind, humorous, and poetic spectacle A must-see for fans and newcomers alike echiquier-paysdepouzauges fr

soiréE MusiquEs actuELLEs

5 April


Experience a night of contemporary music as Conservatoire students perform hits like "Beat it" by Michael Jackson and "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons Free entry, starting at 20h30 at MZ le-mz org

BoursE aux vêtEMEnts

5 - 6 April


This clothes swap event allows you to refresh your wardrobe economically while contributing to local initiatives Sale sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with designated times for depositing items beforehand

fEstivaL du voyagE à véLo

5 - 7 April


Allonzavélo invites you to their 2nd bicycle travel festival, in collaboration with the local library and Le Fauteuil Rouge cinema Enjoy films, discussions with travellers, exhibitions, and a bookshop allonzavelo wixsite com/allonzavelo LE cap-vErt: Exposition dE photos

5 - 30 April


Celebrating the Olympics and welcoming the Cape Verde delegation to Parthenay, explore an exhibition on the archipelago's agriculture and gastronomy at Médiathèque Pompaire during opening hours cc-parthenay-gatine fr

sortiE naturE: découvErtE dEs oisEaux du viLLagE

6 April


Join a guided walk in the heart of the village to explore and learn about local bird species Meeting point at 10 am, Parking Place des Tulipiers ornitho79 org

 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

wEEk-End dE La BiodivErsité

6 - 7 April


Experience biodiversity like never before with eight unique events, meet naturalist associations, enjoy meals from the "food pod" truck, and take part in a tombola instagram com/weekend biodiversite spring at thE haras dE La vEndéE

6 April to 12 May

La roche-sur-Yon (85000)

Equestrian demonstrations by artists Ramon Molina, Annouck Sirvent, and Caroline Berger with the Department's cavalry Activities include dressage, vaulting, liberty, and carriage driving initiation for those aged 10 and up

fêtE dEs Jardins

7 April

angles (85750)

Don't miss the annual fête des jardins in Angles! Enjoy a day filled with gardening delights, complete with food and drinks on site

pucEs couturE & Loisirs créatifs

7 April

Granzay- Gript

Craft and creative hobbies flea market at Salle des Fêtes Pierre Moreau Explore fabrics, scrapbooking, wool, beads, and more Find all you need for creative projects in one spot Free entry facebook com/sepgranzaygript79

guidEd visit of thE MusEuM

7, 16, 20 & 23 April


Both young and old are invited to explore the museum's collections with the help of a guide A wonderful opportunity to delve into history and culture agglo2b fr/culture

découvErtE du courLis cEndré

10 April


An evening adventure to seek out the elusive Eurasian Curlew as the sun sets Learn about this species in its natural habitat Meeting point at 5 pm, Parking de l’ancienne mairie ornitho79 org

concErt MagiquE

12 April


Experience a magical evening with cellists from Conservatoire Tyndo delving into the musical alchemy of Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff Bring a self-powered nightlight for an enchanting ambiance Event starts at 19:30 Free entry, booking recommended conservatoirethouarsais opentalent fr

foirE Expo 2024 - Morocco

12 - 15 April


Explore the lively Foire Expo with a Moroccan theme Live music, dinners with accordion & cabaret, a ventriloquist comedy show, and end your weekend with a free Latin dance session on Sunday evening foire-expo-st-maixent com

EscapE gaME: thE pricE of thE ransoM

13 April

Château de Saint Mesmin

Experience an exhilarating 75-minute escape game at Château de Saint Mesmin Solve the mystery and escape the castle in this life-size Cluedo meets video game adventure Team rates start at €60 for 4 people

rEpair café and gratifEria

13 April


Take part in a community-driven event combining a gratiferia (free fair) and a repair café Donate items you no longer need, pick up objects you'll use, or learn to repair small appliances and clothing with volunteer fixers instagram com/le rouge.gorge a La rEchErchE du courLis cEndré

13 April


Join the Groupe Ornithologique des Deux Sèvres to discover and observe the Eurasian Curlew, a species now rare in the bocage landscape Suitable for both novices and seasoned birdwatchers RDV at the Eglise Sainte-Soline 09h00 ornitho79 org

MEdiEvaL chaLLEngEs

13 April - 5 May

Saint Mesmin

Travel back in time at Château de Saint Mesmin for a medieval adventure! Enjoy shooting events, puzzles, memory games, and more in a team-based challenge Ideal for families chateau-saintmesmin com


13 - 14 April


Enjoy a vibrant parade with music

Next day, explore local artisans at the Vide-Grenier Admire Cerizay's creative carnival floats by the town hall Finish at the funfair with food and drinks cerizay fr

faMiLy sundays at thE aBBEy

14 & 28 April

Nieul-sur-l'autise (85240)

A fun-filled visit to the Abbaye "À la recherche du monde de Pierre" offers an extraordinary journey blending reality and fantasy Suitable for ages 5+ vendee fr

fêtE dEs pLantEs dE L'asphodèLE

20 April

La roche sur Yon (85000)

The event at Parc du Chateau des Oudairies is Vendée's largest plant festival Explore diverse plant species, enjoy tasty food, and experience a must-visit for nature and food lovers!

portEs ouvErtEs

21 April

Fontenay le Comte

Join us at Association Galia's open day to meet our adorable cats and dogs available for adoption Enjoy drinks, food, games, a shop, and vide grenierall profits support this wonderful cause!

The Deux-sèvres Monthly |  www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr

printEMps aux Jardins

21 April


Experience "Printemps aux Jardins," organized by SH79 with the theme "Cultivons demain" at Chey's communal farm Entry is €2 and includes tombola Free parking, food available sh79 jimdofree com

visitE aniMéE dE La cLassE 1900

21 April


Travel back in time at La Tour Nivelle's 1900 classroom for a fun and nostalgic experience Explore the Ernest Pérochon museum and a teacher's lodging on a self-guided tour Admission: Adults €6 50; Children 6-18 years €4 50; Under 6s free

soiréE Manga

24 April

L absie

Join us for a Manga Evening, a delightful event for teens and adults to enjoy manga and webtoon favorites in a friendly atmosphere Organized with Moncoutantais youth leaders, starting at 18:30 for 2 hours Booking advised to secure your spot!


27 April

Celles sur Belle

Immerse yourself in the rich sounds of hunting horns and Basque songs at the historic Abbatiale de Celles sur Belle Presented by Les Echos du Val de Sèvre, this event showcases a talented ensemble of 16 horn players facebook com/echosduvaldesevre spring fêtE

27 April


Join us for the annual ARK79 Spring Fête taking place at the charity shop and lake at Sainte Soline Get ready for a day of joy with numerous stalls, delicious hot food, cakes, drinks, and the delightful En route doggy fun show! A day not to be missed! ark79 com

troc aux pLantEs

27 April

air vault

This event offers a unique chance to exchange cuttings, vegetable plants, shrubs, bulbs, or seeds, and mingle with

other gardening enthusiasts for tips and tricks A must-attend for plant lovers at the Médiathèque Airvaudais Val du Thouet

mediatheque-avt fr


27 April


The festival showcases a diverse range of artists and performers, from musicians to painters Exciting highlights include the play "le temps libéré," music by BNK Brass Band and more, a graffiti wall, photography exhibition, and a closing dance party with Michel Mercury

BaLadE ornithoLogiquE

27 April


Join the celebration of Spring and Nature at Château de la Garenne for a fascinating bird watching walk in the castle's park Build birdhouses for the local community and learn more about birds and conservation facebook com/chateau lagarenne

rEpair café and gratifEria

27 April


Take part in a community-driven event combining a gratiferia (free fair) and a repair café Donate items you no longer need, pick up objects you'll use, or learn to repair small appliances and clothing with volunteer fixers - find us next to Le Bœuf Couronné valdegray csc79 org

sports day

27 April


Join us for a day of family-friendly sports activities to celebrate the spirit of the Olympic Games! Includes races for children (7-17 years), a parent-child race (under 7s), and a petanque competition

Also, a sports discovery workshop for all ages from 2pm Petanque tournament registration opens at 11am Free entrytakes place at the Complexe Jules Ferry

fêtE du printEMps Et dE La naturE

27 - 28 April


Join us at Château de la Garenne for a weekend of exhibitors, workshops on

vegetable dyeing, distillation, photography, and wildlife discovery walks Celebrate nature's awakening and explore the heritage of this fauna and flora haven with a Plant Exchange

ca BouchonnE à chauray

28 April


Transport yourself back to the vintage holiday traffic of the 1950s All are welcome to join, vehicle or not, but dressing in period outfits is recommended Hosted by the commune, le Fanal Rouge, and the Automobile Club des Deux-Sèvres

vidE grEniEr

28 April

Montournais (85700)

A day long vide grenier organised by l'Ape Georges Brassens at Montournais in aid of the local school Free entry, tables are 3€ a metre with set up from 07h00 Food and drinks available montournais fr

vidE grEniEr

28 April


Join the fun at Saint-Loup-Lamairé's bustling Vide Grenier from dawn till dusk! For just €2/m, book your spot to sell or browse Enjoy delicious local food, refreshments in the local bar , and a vintage car exhibition saint-loup-lamaire fr

soiréE concErt

3 May

St Maurice Étusson

Join well known local performer Adrian Simmonds for an evening of rock ‘n’ roll, blues and country music at Camping la Raudiere The bar opens at 18h30 with meals available from 19h camping-raudiere com

paysagEs avEc figurEs

Until January 2025


Discover Claude Pauquet's photographic journey through the new commune of Plaine-et-Vallées, where local residents become part of the landscape in a blend of reality and fiction, inviting visitors to envision their untold stories

 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

1 April 1896 in Noirlieu Deux-Sèvres villagers see a marvel: the world s first hamster-driven engine Inventor Mr Poils Moelleux revolutionises transportation by using hamster energy in wheels Despite its small size and snack breaks this rodentpowered innovation offers a greener if slower future

2 April 742, Charlemagne is born in Northern Europe His reign as King of the Franks and later Emperor led to the Carolingian Renaissance reviving art religion, and culture through the church This laid the groundwork for the transition from the classical to the medieval era in the West

5 April 1614, Pocahontas marries John Rolfe in Jamestown, symbolizing early peace efforts between European settlers and Native Americans This event holds historical importance for cultural exchanges between the Old World and the New The 1995 Disney animation Pocahontas portrays a version of this story

6 April 1895, Oscar Wilde is arrested in London after losing a libel case to the Marquess of Queensberry for alleged homosexuality, then illegal His downfall from high society was swift despite his literary brilliance shown in works like " The Importance of Being Ernest

14 April 1434, The

of the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Nantes, France, starts with laying its foundation stone Over four centuries it evolves architecturally to become a significant landmark in Nantes

17 April 1970, Apollo 13 successfully returns to Earth after a critical space malfunction Initially meant for a moon landing, the mission encountered a crisis when an oxygen tank exploded This highlighted space exploration risks driving improvements in spacecraft safety globally

20 April 1840, Odilon Redon is born in Bordeaux He was a significant symbolist painter and printmaker, connecting Impressionist and Surrealist movements His influence on modern art extended into the 20th century

20 April 1893, Joan Miró is born in Barcelona A significant artist, he embraced influences from Dadaism and Surrealism in his studies His style represents nature through "dream pictures" and "imaginary landscapes " balancing whimsical elements and a critical view of modernity Miró s contributions span painting lithography and public sculptures

21 April 1816, Charlotte Brontë is born in Thornton England Her novels particularly Jane Eyre, broke new ground in English literature with their exploration of social criticism, challenging the moral and gender conventions of her time and inspiring future generations


24 April 1916, the Easter Rebellion ignites in Dublin, Ireland, as Irish nationalists seek independence from British rule This insurrection marked by its bold occupation of key locations in Dublin was quelled within a week but ignited a fervent nationalistic movement leading to the eventual establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922

25 April 1719, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is published in London, England This novel, often considered the first English novel tells the story of a man ' s shipwreck on a deserted island and his subsequent adventures Its themes of survival and human resilience resonated across Europe, influencing the development of the novel as a literary form

27 April 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composes La Marseillaise in Strasbourg Originally intended as a motivational anthem for the French Revolution's soldiers it quickly became a symbol of French national identity and pride which led to its adoption as the national anthem of the French Republic

26 April 1986, near Pripyat, Ukraine, the Chernobyl disaster - the worst nuclear accident in history - leads to long-term environmental health and political consequences This event prompted significant safety protocol changes and the eventual facility shutdown

28 April 1906, Pierre Boileau is born in Paris He, with Thomas Narcejac as BoileauNarcejac, profoundly influenced thriller genres Their novel "D'entre les morts" was adapted into Hitchcock's " Vertigo " while other novels influenced films including Les Diaboliques and Eyes Without a Face

30 April 1883, Édouard Manet a pivotal figure from Realism to Impressionism dies in Paris His innovative play with light shadow and modern subjects shaped 19th-century European art Notable works such as "Déjeuner sur l’ herbe" stirred controversy with their unconventional depictions

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr o n this Day... © A l a m y C a y G l a n d C C B YS A 2 0 © N A S A I D : S 7 03 5 6 1 4 C C 0 1 0 D E E D
23 1915, English poet and soldier Rupert Brooke dies on the Greek island of Skyros A voice of the lost generation of World War I, his war sonnets capture the war ' s disillusionment and tragedy that reshaped Europe construction Johann Friedrich Engel - Pocahontas Odilon Redon - Peyrelebade (1888) Apollo 13 crew arrive on prime recovery ship U S S Iwo Jima Studio at Miró Foundation museum Entrance to Chernobyl Clara Ewald - Rupert Brooke (1911) Lambert Doomer - Cathedral of Nantes (1646)
Too much of one thing is good for nothing

There has been a lot of rain this winter A lot

And yes, we all know how important the rain is – we need it, the plants need it, the animals need it

But it was a LOT

We flooded several times and had to invest in 2 pumps to get it all under control

And the whole situation left the words of a schoolfriend’s dad – Mr Nelsonringing in my ears It’s an expression he’d brought from Kingston, Jamaica, all the way to the equally desirable holiday destination of Wolverhampton, where he passed it on to me at the age of ten “Too much of one thing is good for nothing ”

As expressions go, it’s right up there –poetic, concise and very true!

And it’s an expression that has come to mind many times over the years, because it’s applicable to pretty much everything

Too much exercise can compromise your immune system

Too much tv is bad for your mental well-being

Too many self-help books becomes an addiction to the process, not the change

The list goes on!

This rule can apply to anything but ‘too much’ is not 5 coffees a day, for instance – it’s not a number someone else can give you

What I mean by that is, for many things, ‘too much’ completely depends on the individual

For example - if a best friend comes round for a cuppa every day of the week and stays for 2 hours each time, that may be a situation that, for one person, may scale the heights of ‘too much’ after a couple of weeks

For the next person, a couple of months and for someone else, that may never be ‘too much’

So, what’s my point?

Well, being aware that there is a limit to the pleasure (or the endurance) of anything is the key here – there is nearly always a point at which a neon sign flashes ‘TOO MUCH’ at you

Because of that, it can really help if you can spot this approaching on the horizon and change things before the situation becomes a problem Like an early warning system!

Finally, I’d like to point out that I am not advocating ‘All things in moderation’ –we all deserve more than moderation in our lives in a thousand different ways

But to enjoy freedom that gives maximum benefit and minimum amount of problems, it’s helpful to be aware of the ‘too much’ phenomenon

So there it is - from sun-kissed Jamaica, via God’s own Wolverhampton, all the way to the damp fields of Deux Sevre –a pearl of wisdom to help us live a life of joy, avoiding the extremes of moderation and excess

‘Too much of one thing is good for nothing’

Thank you, Mr Nelson!

25 10 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly
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Whether it's walking, dancing, running, squatting, climbing stairs, or just getting in and out of a chair or car (and yes, hula hooping!) our hips are doing the lion's share of the work So, when the hips are not functioning well, even ordinary daily activities can seem like hard work

Our hips are our shock absorbers, our stabilizers, and our body’s motor, driving mobility to the rest of the body The stability, strength and flexibility of our hips affects the function of the ankles and knees, as well as the shoulders and core muscles, and even contributes to bladder control, balance and even sexual function In yoga, the hips are also said to be a storehouse for unconscious emotions, especially for women, and working with this area can lead to deep emotional release and a sense of renewed energy

Since hip weakness, stiffness, tension and pain are issues that come up frequently among my clients, I have decided to hold a special open class dedicated to getting our hips in better shape

hip hip hooray! targeting hip health

Le tallud (79200)

10:15 to 11:45 am thursday, May 2nd 2024. cost: 15€

Whether you would simply like to learn how to prevent hip issues from developing or whether you have on-going hip problems, there will be something for you in this class Hip pain and stiffness can be exhausting and debilitating, but there are many things we CAN do to improve the situation and get relief In this 1 5 hour class, we will gently explore our individual hip issues, what might be the causes, and how to target them for improvement

You will go away with a set of 3-4 simple interventions that you can easily include into your health maintenance regimen for free and without the need for any special equipment No, we will NOT be doing hip exercises for one and a half hours! In fact, working directly on the hips is not always the answer as you will discover

We have only room for 12 participants and priority will be given to regulars Those who are interested please contact me and I will send you the program

To learn about this class as well as private classes for yoga and breath coaching please email me at: lavieenyoga@gmail com

Respect yourself, explore yourself

For information about private and group classes including breath coaching lavieenyoga@gmail com

Respect yourself, explore yourself


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Rebecca Novick

Book Club


Punctuation is important in any writing because it adds clarity, but the things we trip over most are those superscript marks I belong to the Apostrophe Protection Society (yes, there is such a thing!) which makes everything crystal clear, yet with a touch of humour

Why and when do we use them?

To show missing letters

One or more letters has been omitted from the word, or multiple words have been contracted: I can’t instead of I cannot, I don’t instead of I do not, it’s instead of it is or it has, I wasn’t instead of I was not

Some words such as plane (from aeroplane) and phone (from telephone) have now dropped the apostrophe in front signifying omission

To show possession or association

For singular nouns, the standard approach is to add an apostrophe and an ‘s’ such as the girl’s book, the farmer’s tractor or the neighbour’s fence

If there are two or more girls, farmers or neighbours, then the apostrophe comes after the 's' as here: the girls’ books, the farmers’ tractors, the neighbours’ fences If several farmers own a tractor together – they are expensive vehicles – it would be the farmers’ tractor

Watch out for plural nouns such as children and men! You add the apostrophe then the ‘s’ which gives you, for example, the children’s shoes and the men’s get-together

People’s names

These follow the same apostrophe + ‘s’ rule It becomes tricky when the actual name ends in an ‘s’ such as Dylan

Thomas or Charles Dickens Mostly, they follow the +’s’ rules, so Thomas’s and Dickens’s, but you may read the odd example where the ‘s’ is omitted Time

A month’s deadline (singular month) and three weeks’ absence (more than one week)

Brand names and apostrophes

I’m not going near Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waterstones or Harrods They have all been through the agony of rebranding and it’s their prerogative (but I do miss Waterstone’s)

Two that bedevil us…

Its and it’s. They sound the same and we don’t even think about the spelling when we’re busy chatting But despite this, they are two different expressions with different functions

It’s is a contraction of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’, and uses an apostrophe to show that contraction, e g It’s a good idea to wear a coat when it’s cold for It is a good idea to wear a coat when it is cold For the grammatically minded, ‘it’ is a subject and ‘is’ is the verb

Contrast this with The Earth spins on its axis You can see that ‘its’ is describing the axis, the Earth’s axis – the one that belongs to the Earth So again, we see the idea of possession

A quick ’n’ dirty test to see whether or not you need an apostrophe is to expand the contraction of ‘it’s’ to ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ If it doesn’t make sense, you don’t need the apostrophe I mean,

how daft would this be: The Earth spins on it is axis?

That other one – your and you’re You’re is a contraction for ‘you are’ so takes an apostrophe such as in You’re nearly twenty-two (You are nearly twenty-two )

Your – shows possession like "my" or "her" and doesn’t take an apostrophe, for example, Is this your son?

Again, if in doubt, expand the contracted form to ‘you are’ and see if it then makes sense, or not

The Big One – Apostrophes are NEVER used to show plurals

It's a simple rule – please, please do not make a plural by using an apostrophe and ‘s’!

• Orange’s for sale which of course should read Oranges for sale

• New phone’s just in! which should read New phones just in!

• Menu’s printed to order which should read Menus printed to order

• MOT’s while you wait which should read MOTs while you wait

• 100’s of bargains here! which should read 100s of bargains here!

Similarly, plurals of single uppercase letters, should be apostrophe-free In her exams she gained 3 As and 4 Bs is clear enough without any apostrophes And as for decades, an apostrophe can show an omission such as in the ‘70s (the 19 is missing), but there is no apostrophe when written in full, e g the 1970s

Of course, rare exceptions exist to some of these rules and there are some set expressions dating from the year dot that we occasionally use, but if you stick to the guidelines above, you won’t go very far wrong

12 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly
Alison Morton alison has compiled a selection of articles from this column into ‘The 500 Word Writing Buddy’, available in print and ebook on amazon and other retailers. EXSILIUM, her historical novel set in ad 395, is now out

this month’s book reviews Book Club

Damson Skies and Dragonflies

It is always exciting to find a good memoir about life in France but finding myself in the pages of Lindy ’ s Damson Skies and Dragonflies, gave me so much more than I was expecting Lindy is married to a Frenchman and together they split their time between Paris and their 300-year-old rural bolthole in the Burgundian countr yside, Les Libellules (the dragonflies) As they snatch precious time away from Paris, this book is packed full of Lindy ’ s wonderful descriptions in her vignettes of life in the countr yside She also explains better than most the cultural differences, traditions and unique French ways of doing things, and these parts often had me grinning away

The Girl from Provence

A book that starts with a scene on a bicycle, whooshing down into a Provence village, on market day, under a perfect blue sky – is a book I knew I was going to love and I wasn’t wrong Lilou Mistral is a gentle soul, more in tune with nature and the seasons than the war and Occupation of German forces in northern France

It’s 194 2 and the German’s sudden arrival in her village turned her world on its head As those around her began to disappear she pledged her allegiance to the local Resistance, and as strong as the wind that shares her name, she wasn’t afraid of the dangers she must face

There is always something to do at Les Libellules and Monsieur Viandier is usually tackling multiple jobs at a time, interrupted in the most pleasurable way by neighbours dropping by to share a coffee or aperitif proof they have been embraced by their local community For Lindy, time in the Burgundian countr yside means the natural world that surrounds them easily becomes the focus for her camera and her writing It was her descriptions of the birds wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies who visit them that were some of my favourite pages of this memoir

I often feel when reading a good novel that as the action builds towards the end I’m torn between binge-reading and wanting to slowly savour what remains of the book I don’t normally feel this same sense of loss as a memoir comes to an end, but I did with this book I knew I was going to miss my evenings spent enjoying the changes of seasons and pace of life at Les Libellules with Lindy, her husband, Pussy Willow and the others

With so many historical novels set during the Occupation period, it was refreshingly different to have one set in the south of France rather than in Paris, but that wasn’t the only feature about this book that set it apart from others I have read I am a huge fan of stories where characters from the real world appear, and snippets of their lives are woven into the stor yline Imagine my delight to encounter a legendar y French aviator/author whose path crossed with Lilou and Eliot in this book, and the important role that was given to his best-known work This gave a real magic to the stor yline, where despite the atrocities Eliot witnessed, the secrets of the stars and the night sky relit his childhood innocence and wonder The blurring of fact and fiction just added another dimension of intrigue to this book I was gripped, but it was also brutally emotional too Who can Lilou trust at a time when friends become enemies and the enemy isn’t always who they seem to be As the net closed in on the Resistance cell, the heart stopping moments came in thick and fast and kept me turning the pages late into the night, hoping against hope

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La Vie en France

April Showers

April don’t you dare! The last thing we need now are showers, drizzle or any other form of rain, hail or storms Never have I been so relieved for April to arrive, with its possibilities of warmer, dr yer days and springlike charm, than this year

The Boutonne river that has its source in Chef-Boutonne might only be a tiny stream as it winds its way through the commune but it hasn t escaped the flooding from the rain this winter has thrown at it There is a marker on the stone wall of one of the lavoirs it feeds, situated almost a metre above the channel that fills the shallow trough that was used to rinse the laundr y in the nineteenth centur y This marker shows the level the flood

water reached in 1982 and twice this year we have seen the water levels lapping at the base of the marker

Just a little further downstream in Brioux-sur-Boutonne the white tracks that cross the marshlands on the V93 cycle path have disappeared with just the top of the signpost visible above the water level This isn’t great timing as the V93 has just been rebranded Like many of the long-distance cycle routes in France, it now has a name

rather than a number - let me present the Vélidéale This 638km route from Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast to Lac Vassivière in the border of the Haute-Vienne and the Creuse, crosses from the northwest tip of the DeuxSèvres to the southeast corner, meaning almost of a third of it is in

our department It is described as a ‘cyclo-positive’ route as it joins together four regional natural parks, the Brière in the Loire Atlantic, our Marais-Poitevin, the Périgord-Limousin and the Millevaches where Lac Vassivière is situated Once the Gâtine achieves its ‘Parcs Naturels Régionaux ’ status, that will make it five We might not have any holiday plans yet this year, but following the Vélidéale looks, well ideal to me

One of the places to visit on the Vélidéale in the Deux-Sèvres is Cellessur-Belle and this year I finally managed a visit to the abbey museum Armed with an audio guide in English that begins on the terrace overlooking the topiar y gardens it was one surprise find after another as we slowly made our way through the impressive refector y downstairs and climbed the beautiful stone staircase Upstairs an array of museum exhibits and religious artifacts, housed in the monk’s cells, tell the stor y of the abbey ’ s thousand years of histor y At the back, there is a hidden courtyard with access to the cr ypt of an ancient church and a secret passage that leads to the impressive church that today dominates the village The audio guide continues in the church pointing out features I hadn t noticed on previous visits As if this wasn’t enough the entr y ticket also includes the motorcycle museum, home to forty ancient beasts and the wonderful smell of oil and machines I would recommend a full afternoon for a visit as there is so much to see

14 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly
www frenchvillagediaries com email: frenchvillagediaries@gmail com

Avoiding Llama Drama and other animal mishaps

Generally here in rural France, people have a lot more outdoor space and this can give us an amazing opportunity to have additional pets such as goats, sheep, poultry, llamas and alpacas It brings such joy to welcome pets into our lives, they are part of the family and how lucky if we can introduce less-traditional pets into our families like this And before this, it’s so important that we learn how best to care for these animals, to ensure their happiness and good health

I believe no one is knowingly irresponsible when welcoming a new animal into their lives, although however unknowingly, this does sadly happen We at La Petite Ferme d'Alpagas

Sanzay receive several calls every month for help with alpacas and llamas that the callers have bought and then have problems with either with their health or behaviour

Being an exotic animal not native to Europe, there is a lot of specialist care needed for these animals

We will never react or respond with judgement, only kindness and help and be grateful that people are reaching out for help to ensure their animal is safe and happy

When we are called for help, it’s commonly due to an animal being depressed, which then as a result displays poor behaviour that its owner can no longer tolerate Usually this is due to loneliness and/or a poor environment and diet

Like any pet you need to know how best to care for them, and whilst some responsibility is on the purchaser, I really believe the breeder/seller is very irresponsible if they’re not ensuring new homes are suitable for the animal/s both in the environment and new owners’ knowledge to care for them

Why is this the theme of this month’s article? Sadly, these calls for help are becoming more common, and last month, it was much closer to home than usual! I’m hoping the more we can share this message, the less frequent these situations may become

A close neighbour and professional farmer, was our most recent call for help They had bought a single llama that they had planned to keep on their farm with their three horses for company This is often a misconception, that if a llama or alpaca has the “company” of another animal such as sheep, goats, donkeys, etc that they can be happy However, as one of my good friends put it, “they don’t speak the same language!”

Llamas and alpacas are herd animals through and through, and need the company of other llamas and alpacas, ideally with a minimum of three to a herd This is not only for company, but for security as they continuously look out for danger and do take turns 24/7, which you can imagine would be quite exhausting if no one else is there to relieve you of your surveying duties

Our neighbour’s llama had escaped the electric fence (electric fences are not safe, suitable or effective for llamas) and was free around their few hectares, although luckily they had sufficient fencing to keep it on their land They needed help catching the llama and bringing it back to its enclosure We offered to help and when our efforts to herd the llama didn’t work, we were luckily close enough to bring in a couple of new recruits - our alpacas! By walking them past the llama, we knew it would be enough of a draw for the llama to follow his new companions, and so without force or entrapment, the llama chose to walk across the few hectares back to its stables

We’re so happy to have been able to help, and our neighbour saw first-hand how in need their new friend was of a bit of company, and how happy it made him to be with other camelids A vast and instant difference to his unsettled and scared demeanour moments before We’ve been able to put them in touch with llama breeders who they are buying more llamas from, they’re also installing suitable fencing for him and we’ve advised of the necessary nutrition too They were so happy to be able to help the newest member of their farm, and for the help to get him home safe too We were happy the plan worked, we’ve been able to help and it’s one more llama who will soon have a happy and safe home It was a great example showing how these animals’ basic needs are simple but necessary

Every pet needs to be thought of and well cared for If you ever need some help, we recommend speaking to reputable breeders, friends you may have who already keep the animals you’re wanting, and even online forums such as facebook groups, which exist for tips and help; Will is part of a group on Facebook called “raising goats” which is a great resource to help us with the best care for two dwarf goats

We’re very excited to have a new llama neighbour and it’s a good time to let you know we hold alpaca (and llama) husbandry courses here at the farm, to help prepare for your exotic pets’ arrival Wishing you and your animals the best time together and good health!

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 1
For more information, visit: or email: hello@lapetitefermedalpagas com

A flying visit LIFE IN 79

Februar y isn't the best time of year to see the DeuxSèvres at its finest, but that was when my brother and father flew into town The weather was terrible, ever ything was shut but luckily we all love an excuse to drink and eat to excess and have a good laugh or 'craic' as my brother kept calling it (he has recently gained Irish citizenship)

Dad has a dicky knee and can't walk too far as well as bladder issues, so with these factors in mind an itinerar y of events had been crafted I informed him that France was the best place to be if you had to relieve yourself at the side of the road Positively encouraged, he was like an old Tom cat piddling his way around 79

The itinerar y went something like: Monday eveningbig slap-up meal on arrival, Tuesday - we head south culminating in a big slap-up meal in Niort, Wednesdayhead north culminating in a big slap-up meal in Thouars Thursday - play it by ear maybe Saumur maybe La Rochelle but a big slap-up meal Friday (departure day) – Parthenay followed by a farewell feast

Our first port of call on Tuesday was the Orangerie at La Mothe-Saint-Héray A beautiful building and parterre alluding to the grandeur of the château which was sadly demolished in 1843 The footprint of the château is now the ghostly car park encircled by trees and beautiful water ways

Post luncheon in Niort the Abbey at Celles-sur-Belles was next and after pootling round another parterre we

staggered up the hill to the church had forgotten there were several st steps leading into the body of the church so dad, like Gandalf the Gre sat in the entrance ' You shall not pass!' I'm not a huge connoisseur o churches, unlike my brother who can't get enough of them, but this something big, vaulted ceiling, pillars, with the mother of all organs stuck to the wall above the entrance like a giant limpet (Anna my wife said the church would make a nice swimming pool which I thought was an odd comment)

After driving through Saint-Maixent-l Ecole for the fourth time that day and like a bad tour guide informing the guests this was where we purchased our now deceased chickens it was home for refreshments and an evening viewing of The Magnificent Seven Most families have an aunt or uncle they only see at Christmas and sometimes Easter, we have a similar relationship with Yul Br ynner and James Coburn

Wednesday s stage of the tour de France took us north A nice lady at Château Onion (as we hilariously call it) informed us Oiron was temporarily closed and could we come back later We ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the outside of the building but knew the inside would have to wait for another day Visiting Thouars we drove down to the river and ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the escarpment of houses, churches and historic buildings clinging to the hillside What a panorama! After lunch at the Trompe Souris café (D938, right at the speed camera) it was home to watch the making of The Magnificent Seven

On Thursday storm Louis swept into town Sunbathing was cancelled as was our trip to Saumur It was blowing a hooley so we thought we d stay local In Moncontour we all wound our car windows down mar velling at the donjon then back up again as we were lashed by rain Approaching the church at Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes more synchronised window lowering took place At the sight of the 11th centur y church my brother insisted we go in

In the neighbouring village Saint- Généroux thankfully the church was locked so we pootled across the 12th centur y bridge instead it even stopped raining A perfect day was rounded off in the pizzeria in SaintLoup salade campagnarde, pizza Pescatore, hot banana with cream all washed down with two litres of red (he might have to widdle in bush from time to time but at 88 dad had't lost his appetite we shared the wine) Heaven!

The ten minutes free parking at the airport is a good way of reducing gushy farewells But it was kind of my brother to organise the trip and brave of dad to travel, when he could have stayed at home watching Flog It! A week to remember

If you would like to read more ramblings from Mr Shaw, go to www lifein79 blogspot com

1 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly
The organ at Celles-sur-Belles Abbey with a ghostly apparition in the entrance

In this article, Anne Alonso explores the history of April 1st, a day known for playful pranks and the "Poisson d'Avril" tradition Discover its 16th-century French origins, the fish's symbolic meaning, and iconic hoaxes Join Anne on a journey through time to uncover how April Fools' Day evolved from a calendar dispute to a global day of laughter and mischief

Histoire et origine du 1er avril

Un poisson d’avril c’est une plaisanterie ou une farce que l’on fait le 1er avril à ses amis, proches, famille Les médias ont aussi coutume de fair des canulars

Mais quelle est son origine ?

En France au XVIème siècle, le nouvel an se fêtait le 1er avril, au début du printemps

En 1564, Charles IX décrète l’adoption d’un nouveau calendrier : l’année en France débutera désormais le 1er janvier Certains français refusent ce changement et continuent à fêter la nouvelle année le 1er avril Ils deviennent la cible de farceurs qui se moquent d’eux en leur envoyant de faux cadeaux ou en leur jouant des tours C’est ainsi que le 1er avril serait devenu le jour des farces

Mais, d’où vient le symbole du poisson ?

Il y a plusieurs hypothèses :

• Parce que le signe zodiacal des Poissons est le dernier signe de l’hiver

• Parce que le 1er avril tombe pendant le carême, période où la viande est remplacée par le poisson

Parce que le poisson est le symbole de la chrétienté

Le 1er avril continue, aujourd’hui, à être fêté en France et dans le monde entier

Ainsi, chaque année, la télévision et la Presse diffusent de fausses informations qui sont les traditionnels canulars

Parmi les plus célèbres :

• En 1957, la BBC diffuse un reportage sur la culture de l’arbre à spaghettis

• En 1989, c’est le millionnaire Richard Branson qui fait voler, au-dessus de Londres, un ballon d’air chaud en prétendant qu’il s’agissait d’un OVNI

• En 2008, la BBC récidive : après les arbres à spaghettis, elle diffuse un reportage complet sur la découverte d’une nouvelle évolution du manchot L’oiseau de banquise serait maintenant capable de voler et des images, incroyablement réalistes, le prouvent !!!

Force est de constater que les britanniques sont forts dans le domaine des farces du 1er avril, plus que nous pauvres français qui, à part la blague du déménagement de la Tour Eiffel il y a quelques années, n’avons pas fait preuve de beaucoup d’imagination !

N’hésitez donc pas à faire une blague le 1er avril car, en ces périodes souvent difficiles, rien de tel qu’un bon fou rire et Joyeux 1er avril à vous toutes et tous!

Anne Alonso


Fêter to celebrate

Aux alentours around / round about

Le début the beginning

Décréter to decree / to order that

L’adoption the passing

Débuter to start

Désormais henceforth

Certains some

Devenir to become

La cible the target for

Des farceurs jokers

Se moquer to make fun of / to laugh at

Des faux cadeaux false gifts

Jouer des tours to play a trick on somebody

Des farces practical jokes, hoax, pranks

Plusieurs several

Tomber to fall

Le Carême Lent

La chrétienté Christendom

Diffuser to broadcast

Des fausses informations fake news

Des canulars hoax

Mémorables unforgettable

L’arbre à spaghettis the spaghetti tree

Voler to fly

Un ballon d’air chaud a hot air balloon

Ressembler to look like


Récidiver to reoffend / to do it again

Un manchot a great auk

La banquise the ice field

Incroyablement incredibly

Force est de constater we have to admit that Ils sont forts they are good at /strong

Dans le domaine in the field / sphere À part except for

Le déménagement a moving, removal

Faire preuve d’imagination to show imagination

Rien de tel que nothing like

Un fou rire to have the giggles

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taking Better Photographs...

To Crop or not to Crop

If you have read my earlier articles you will know that I am not a believer that everything must be completed and finished in the camera

Photography is at least a two part process – capturing the desired image and editing it to the best it can be One aspect of that is whether or not to crop an image

Most compact cameras have a sensor with a 4:3 ratio – which means 4 units on the long side and 3 on the short –the same as old fashioned televisions

So landscape shots are 4 across the top and 3 down the side, and portrait ones are 3 across the top and 4 down the side

DSLR and Mirrorless cameras usually have a sensor ratio of 3:2, which matches the dimensions of 35mm film And we are getting used to wider images on flatscreen televisions and cinema screens which are often 16:9

And most important of all, the subject you are shooting may not fit the standard ratios So whilst I will try to get the shot I want to fill as much of my sensor as possible I am always prepared to crop the end result

Some professional photographers recommend always shooting wider than you intend the final image

Getting a fabulous image home and discovering you have grazed the edge of a flowing wedding dress or do not have quite enough photograph above a subject’s head to create the image you saw in your mind’s eye, can be infuriating

The original of the humming-bird hawkmoth is my camera’s standard 3:2 ratio Whilst the full bloom on the right hand side adds a sense of completeness for the flower, my subject is the insect and I wanted to emphasise its remarkable hovering position and make the blooms more a part of the background field Losing a third of the photograph, mainly from the bottom gave me a ratio of 1:1 3 which for this image I much prefer

You may hear arguments against cropping because it costs you megapixels If you are displaying on a screen then the typical laptop will give you less than 3000 pixels on the long edge so unless you crop very tightly this will not register If you are printing you need to be more careful

Most DSLR cameras and lower end Mirrorless will give you a 24 megapixel sensor Top end modern cameras now offer over 100 megapixel sensors, but you need a lot of money The image of the owl illustrates this well Despite

1 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

narrowing in on the original shot there is still plenty of detail

It was impossible to get any closer to this bird without spooking it I like the single deep red eye and the enigmatic look on its face And the shot was always going to be cropped

I tried several options First was the standard portrait showing as much of the bird as possible, whilst carefully avoiding including the tether But this lost the space into which the bird was looking, and that empty or negative space felt important to the character of my subject Owls, like humans are a very visual species and spend their lives looking Excluding what it was looking at makes the viewer wonder what had caught its attention

Eventually the square format was where I settled Cropping out the bottom half of the bird helped the balance, so I ended with half the frame filled with my subject and half with the space into which it peered

Like so much in photography, whether you crop, and if you do how much you crop, is personal Photographs only

come into being when seen in two ways – the photographer who envisages an image, captures it, and hopefully edits it if only a little – and the viewer who considers whether they like it or not, whether it has an impact that reflects what the photographer intended, and if it could have been improved

Initially those two views come from the one person – the photographer – and most photographs are created because we want the reactions of others, and we would like those reactions to be favourable

If you would like to hear what other photographers think of your images and add your views on their pictures please get in touch at stevemarshall128@gmail com

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 1 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr
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Ageing gracefully

“Age is just a number” Whoever said that, has obviously never seen me trying to get going first thing in the morning! I spend a good few minutes after waking just coaxing my joints into action I felt perfectly fine when I went to bed, yet 8 hours later, my body feels as if I’d competed in a marathon the day before (I assure you, I hadn’t!) Then, once I’m finally up & moving, I head into the bathroom and stare at my reflection in the mirror – I’m sure I didn’t have quite so many wrinkles the night before

Makeup of course is a wonderful thing; I’ve recently discovered that you can actually buy ‘wrinkle filler’ and ‘lasting finish primer’ Now, having helped to renovate 2 old houses since we moved to France, I’m not unfamiliar with either filler or primer – just not for the face!

Which got me thinking As dog owners, we’ve had a selection of Labradors & Golden Retrievers over the years, and every one of them has aged gracefully No complaining first thing in the morning, no gym douce sessions to get them moving, no staring at their reflection as they walk past a mirror In fact, in many respects, you could say that they’re a fair bit wiser than we are Just think about it - if you’ve ever watched a dog (or cat for that matter) as they stand up from lying down, you’ll probably notice that even the youngsters automatically stretch their limbs Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them

We currently have a black Labrador who’s now 13 years old and spends most of her days snoozing happily in the garden

She’s blissfully unaware that she’s now more grey than black, is half deaf and struggles to see anything in the distance Yet she’s always up for a stroll twice a day, and now that we’re living near the coast, comes alive when she gets down on the beach In other words, she embraces life to the full, even though she’s rapidly approaching 90 years old in human terms I only hope that I’ll be frolicking in the waves when I’m her age!!

So, what’s the moral of this story? Well, according to our forever young canine companion, age is just a number!!

Michelle’s perfect property choices!

Michelle Barlow has worked in real estate since 2011 and is based in the North Deux-Sèvres Here, she gives us her top pick of Beaux Villages properties in the area:

€214,000 HAI

Largeasse, Deux-Sèvres REF: BVI72135

Exclusive to Beaux Villages! A wonderful 4-bed character property with gorgeous views set in a quiet hamlet in the countr y There is a covered terrace swimming pool and 2 8 hectares of land with equestrian facilities These include two good sized paddocks that lead down to the river a sand training area a large barn with stabling, tack room and storage, and another large agricultural barn for storage There is also a small cottage to renovate (subject to permissions) and another stone building that has had renovations started

Fees: 7% paid by the buyer

Net price: €200 000

Energy class: E Climate class: B


La Chapelle-Thireuil, Deux-Sèvres REF: BVI66588

This lovely property dates back to the 18th centur y and was once the old gendarmerie The property consists of a large 4-bed, 2-bath family home and has two guest houses - one with two bedrooms and one to finish renovating Situated in a peaceful location on the edge of a village and within walking distance of a bar and baker y The market towns of Coulonges-sur-l'Autize and L’Absie are close by for further amenities A unique property with income potential!

Fees: 6% paid by the buyer

Net price: €309 500

Energy class: D Climate class: D


Moncoutant, Deux-Sèvres REF: BVI71211

Situated on a no through road in a lovely countr y setting is this wonderful stone property with gorgeous views A spacious property with 2 reception rooms 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms There is also a lovely, large garden of three quarters of an acre and an above ground swimming pool too Close to amenities in the town of Moncoutant and just over an hour from the Vendee beaches and airports at Poitiers and La Rochelle A lovely property in a peaceful location!

Fees: 8% paid by the buyer

Net price: €160,000

Energy/Climate class: Vierge

20 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

Knight rider in france - we have news!

Roxy and éclair are finally off to the Championnat de France!

In July 2024, they will be competing in, not one, but two classes!

It has taken longer than expected but they have done it!

Following a very difficult 2022/2023 season, Roxy found the courage and determination required to change coach and to change yard Roxy needed a different coaching style and for someone to believe in éclair as much as she once had Since this change, I am happy to say that the pair have come along in leaps and bounds and have really benefited from the different coaching techniques, support and encouragement that her new coach provides

Within two months Roxy entered her first P élite CSO (1m jumping) class This had always been her objective with éclair and it was finally happening and it was going well Thanks to hard work and consistent performances they quickly qualified for the Championnat de France in P élite CSO (1m jumping) Roxy had finally achieved her dream! But the hard work didn’t stop there When she goes to the championnat she wants to do her best!

Her coach Edeline came up with a fantastic plan to start perfecting the couple’s technique and so Roxy and éclair started their “hunter” journey

Hunter classes incorporate precision and technical skills with show jumping, requiring the horse and rider to be as one, with the horse listening to his rider and the rider giving the correct aids The plan is that when the time comes to compete in the championnat, éclair and Roxy have what it takes to get that all important clear round and shave time off of the clock with clean and accurate short cuts

I am very proud to say that whilst embarking on this training journey they did such a good job that they also qualified for the championnat in this discipline! And hence why Roxy is now competing in two disciplines, making the very most out of what will be a once in a lifetime experience without wearing éclair out by asking too much from him (the jumps in hunter are 20cms lower)

We wish them all the luck and enjoyment in the world as after the championnat, thanks to/no thanks to her long legs, Roxy will be working more on horses than ponies But that’s another story for another day

Why not head over to “Knight Rider in France” on Facebook, your support means a lot

Thank you to the Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine for their support and thank YOU for reading

A bientôt!


You could have the chance to be part of the historic journey of the Olympic Flame through Deux-Sèvres on 2 June 2024 by volunteering for this remarkable event Enthusiasm, energy and commitment are key to making this day a success As the flame travels through towns such as Bressuire Parthenayn and Coulon before arriving in Niort for a celebration you could play an important role by welcoming guests helping with logistics and contributing to a lively atmosphere

The Deux-Sèvres department has the honour of being one of the 65 French departments that the Flame will visit in the run-up to the opening of the 2024 Games in Paris For more information on how you can get involved, visit www deux-sevres fr

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 21 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr For your insurance needs... Damien Maucourt Catherine Scown • House • Health & Life • Motor • Business • Pet & Equine • and more... 14 Place du Donjon 79200 Parthenay Tel: 05 49 94 04 88 email: N o O R I A S : 0 8 0 0 4 5 8 6 8 Agent Général English speaking ASSURANCES MAUCOURT Tel: +33 (0)5 49 25 87 06 Email: O ces at Champdeniers & St. Pardoux (79). Come and visit us! ORIAS no: 07007057 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS IN FRANCE Have you just bought a house in France? Special discount for new owners Fully comprehensive cover at competitive prices English speaking? Please ask for Corinne
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bringing the outside in...... spring weeds and garden foraging

Spring is here, many of us have been taking advantage of dry days and doing a bit of gardening, but before you clear away all those weeds and stick them on the compost heap, or pop off down the dechetterieSTOP!

Do you realise what you are throwing away? There is a common saying that a weed is simply a plant growing in the wrong place But before you remove it, just stop and ask what the weed is doing there

All plants need certain conditions to grow, weeds are no different Each weed is offering clues to the conditions in that part of your garden and can help you decide which of your 'chosen' plants will be likely to succeed too They can show you if your soil is acid, alkaline, clay, sandy, sunny or shady for example

Weeds with long tap roots are showing you that they need to reach down deep for nutrients (incidentally, when these weeds die naturally, they bring those deep lying nutrients to the surface and help nourish the top soil) Weeds that cover the soil surface are protecting the soil from eroding Weeds with prickles are protective, slow growing seeds growing in between thorns are less likely to be eaten by garden visitors such as deer or rabbit Weeds also provide habitats for many beautiful garden visitors Nettles are essential for the caterpillars of many butterflies, wild fennel is a food source for Swallowtail butterflies, ragwort for Cinnabar Moths Early

flowering weeds such as red deadnettle and dandelion provide early nectar sources for insects Every weeds has a vital purpose, just because we dont always appreciate that purpose, doesnt mean weeds should go 'Weeds' are also the ancestors of all our modern vegetables, so understanding which weeds our modern crops originate from, can help us decide what is more likely to grow in our gardens today modern vegetables are simply plants that have been selectively bred for thousands of years (not to be confused with genetic modification)

So it should come as no surprise that many weeds are edible, tasty, and nutritious With food prices rising and many of us trying to grow our own, learning about edible weeds is both fun and useful Obviously you want to be sure about what you are eating so start with weeds you are sure about There are many reputable online sources which offer extensive information, but if you prefer to carry a book with you for easy identification there are plenty to choose from.

If you start your foraging adventure in the garden you are in control over whether pesticides etc are likely to have been sprayed on them, or car fumes etc You will also be more familiar with your own space and will know where to find things more easily than searching through hedgerows or fields etc Easy weeds to identify include nettles both dead-nettle and stinging nettle are edible and make a good substitute for

spinach when cooked (cooking totally neutralises the sting) Cleavers (sticky willy, goosegrass) can also be steamed (relaxes the sticky hooks that make it cling to all your clothes) and used in many recipes too Its wonderful infused in water in the fridge over night and drunk the following day It has a refreshing 'cucumbery' flavour

Navel Wort grows on shady walls and is tasty as an addition to salads Chickweed, wild garlic, daisies, dandelions, honesty, hairy bittercress, bramble buds, sorrel, alexanders these and many, many more are all edible! They can be used in salads, steamed as part of spring greens, made into pesto, infused in oil, or enjoyed as tisanes, or included in many fabulous recipes (Many weeds also offer health or medicinal benefits but that would require a lot more space to cover )

So before you throw all those weeds away Learn which weed is which, and whether it is edible or not Never taste anything unless you are certain what it is!! (even a tiny bit!) Find a good recipe source (Books, Pinterest, foraging group - real or virtual) Gather sustainably, always try to leave some for the creatures that share your garden

Get stuck in! enjoy new flavours, and save some money too! Be Safe and Have Fun

For recipes and foraging ideas feel free to visit my facebook or instagram pages Cueillette et Decouverte W h e n f o r a g i n g f o r w i l d f o o d , y o u m u s t b e a b l e t o c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f y w h a t y o u a r e p i c k i n g , o t h e r w s e y o u s h o u l d n o t e a t i t N e v e r e a t a n y w i l d f o o d w i t h o u t m u t p e s o u r c e s o f p o s t v e i d e n t i fi c a t i o n –d o n o t e a t a n y w i l d p l a n t s o r m u s h r o o m s j u s t f r o m v e w i n g t h i s m a g a z n e S O M E W I L D P L A N T S A

Stuart Wallace 07 69 66 98 55 The French House Satellite TV English free-to-air / Freesat Subscription TV French TV Set up of Netflix / Prime etc. Internet via 4G & satellite Radius of 90 mins from 79240 s i r e t : 4 8 0 2 8 7 3 9 0 0 0 0 3 7 | e s t . 2 0 0 5 i n F r a n c e email: Siret: 492 436 779 00028 PC & Mac Installation, Set-up & Troubleshooting UK TV - BBC iPlayer with VPN in France Smart Home, Alexa, Google Installation New & Refurbished UK Computers Supplied Tablet & Smartphone Support Wi-Fi Installation & Troubleshooting Broadband set up (Orange, SFR, Free etc...) Software upgrades Virus & Malware Problems solved Repairs & Maintenance Data Recovery Website Design The Vendée & surrounding areas covered Personal Visits, Telephone Advice & Remote login available Tel: 02 51 28 43 98 or Mobile: 06 82 49 61 60
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Charging Ahead the realities of Electric Vehicle ownership

I think you could safely say that electric cars are a bit Marmite – love them or loathe them Environmental impact is a hot debate and won t go away but this piece is not about the political aspect but rather the practicalities of owning an Electric Vehichle (EV), from the standpoint of a user/owner and also the mother of a nationally accredited installer!

Back in 2021 I was recovering from my first knee replacement and the search began to replace our diesel BMW, in the end we chose a Kia e Niro, which is 100% electric I was tempted by a hybrid as I’d heard so much about range anxiety One plus that you get is that when the fuel blockades come in you can rest assured you won t be stuck queuing at the pumps

So what will you need to have at home ? Firstly you need to consider a charger for flexible topping up unless you have

one at or near your workplace The car comes with what s known in the trade as a granny charger which gives you 10 amps however a rapid charger is a must if you use your car daily and for any longer distances You'll need to find a registered installer, you can find one by looking the a national databases for certification by Qualifelec, AFNOR or Qualit’EnR

There is always the worr y about running out of juice and depending on the vehicle chosen, you can have various ranges The Kia we have gives us around 500km on a full batter y which is definitely within my comfort zone, the time to charge is roughly six hours

You may be eligible for a tax credit towards the cost of your charger, and this will give you around 300€ The price varies depending on factors such as the distance to your board and where you want the charger to be positioned Ours is on the side of our barn and we top up on the nightly tariff via a timer We upped our direct debit to Seolis to cover the cost and the comparison with diesel is impressive The only time we have felt slightly anxious was a trip to England in early 2022 and it seemed we had to constantly look for chargers on the motor way Sometimes they were only accessible to Tesla drivers, other times they were advertised but just not yet there! Depending on time of day, you can get there and find another user is charging whilst getting lunch and you have no option but to wait for them to

return to their vehicle Other times they are just out of order Certainly the infrastructure needs to be improved on the UK side of the Channel Over here we find there is more adequate provision on the motor way ser vice stations, by McDonalds or Aldi for example and in town centres – ChefBoutonne and Melle have them by the cinema

We found the insurance was surprisingly lower than we expected and ser vice costs are reasonable

Happy motoring with your future EV I hope this gives you a flavour of what to expect if you are considering owning and EV, but for any technical advice dont hesitate to contact Rob (my son) on 06 71 05 91 70

Happy motoring with your future EV

Windows/Mac/Linux Troubleshooting - no win, no fee Data recovery. Smartphone/tablet repairs WiFi issues. Practical help & instruction Bespoke programming LPV Technology L’Absie - Coulonges - Parthenay Contact David Thomas - Tel: 06 38 16 54 19 SIRET 822 017 984 00011 The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 23 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr
Janet Hall

An Eco-Powered Jour ney for the olympic torch?

the passage of the Olympic torch is probably one of the most iconic events in the world, attracting millions of fans and participants alike But have you ever wondered what it would be like if we could marr y old technology and our Deux-Sèvres histor y together to revolutionise that journey?

Here we bring new exciting news of a new project that's about to take the world by storm So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and become part of histor yremember if anyone asks, make sure you tell them that you read it first in the Deux-Sèvres Monthly

In a ground-breaking move that marries history with modern sustainability, the Deux-Sèvres tramway, inactive for more than a century, is set to reopen in July just in time for the Paris Olympics The twist? The tramway will be powered by an innovative hamster-wheel system Original plans for the unique power system were recently found among the archives attributed a Mr Poils Moelleux of Noirlieu, and will play a monumental role in carrying the Olympic torch for part of its journey

the Olympic spirit of endurance and speed "

Station Master Davide Delagare confirmed the news, "The Deux-Sèvres tramway, a symbol of our rich heritage, is making a comeback And it's not just any comeback We're incorporating sustainability into the mix with our unique hamster-powered technology What's more, the tramway will carry the Olympic torch, making it a part of global sporting history "

Built during the golden age of French tramways in the early 20th century, the DeuxSèvres tramway was an essential part of the region's transportation system Today, its revival is seen as a nod to the past, while its eco-powered operation showcases an innovative approach to clean energy Project Manager Billy l’Estrade shed light on this novel energy solution "Each tram is equipped with a large hamster wheel The faster our furry friends run, the faster the tram moves It's a fun, eco-friendly way to power our vintage trams Plus, it aligns perfectly with

The news has spurred excitement among locals and history enthusiasts alike The idea of riding a historic tram, now powered by hamsters, while witnessing the Olympic torch's journey is a spectacle many are eagerly anticipating However, not everyone is convinced Local animal welfare charities have already expressed concerns about the welfare of the hamsters In response, Delagare assured, "Our hamsters are well cared for They have a strict work-life balance and receive plenty of cheese as overtime pay " Delagare and l’Estrade assured that despite the unorthodox power source, all safety standards have been met "We've ensured the highest safety measures for our passengers, torchbearers, and the hamsters The Olympic torch

will safely blaze its path on our tramway," l’Estrade stated

Reflecting on the significance of this event, Delagare said, "The Deux-Sèvres tramway has always been a symbol of our local identity Now, it's set to become a part of global Olympic history And it's doing so in the most innovative way possible –powered by hamster wheels "

As the Paris Olympics approach, the world's eyes

Prototype Engine c1902
The newly discovered schematics c1896
24 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

Deux-Sèvres tramway as it embarks on its historic journey Carrying the Olympic torch, this vintage tram, powered by the energy of hamsters, is set to create an unforgettable spectacle


words, "This is more than just a tram ride It's a celebration of our past, a nod to sustainability, and an embodiment of the Olympic spirit And it's all set to unfold here in the Deux-Sèvres " For

The TraMway Of The Deux-SèvreS

The Tramway of the Deux-Sèvres, a metre gauge rail network, held a significant role in the regional transportation history, offering a unique perspective on the evolution of public transit systems during the early 20th century Here are some key details about this fascinating network:

An agreement was reached with the Compagnie Française des Voies Ferrées économiques on 4th August 1895 to construct a network comprised of three lines This network provided extensive connectivity linking several pivotal towns and cities within the Deux-Sèvres department, facilitating transportation of both passengers and freight throughout the region

In 1897, the inaugural line commenced operations between Parthenay and SaintMaixent via Ménigoute Subsequently, in 1899, Tramways des Deux-Sèvres (TdS) assumed control from the original concessionaire By 1901, additional lines were established from Parthenay to Saint-Laurs via l'Absie and from Bressuire to Montreuil-Bellay

By bridging rural and urban areas, the tramways played a vital role in the economic and social advancement of the Deux-Sèvres region, facilitating improved accessibility to markets, employment opportunities, and essential services Despite its early success, operational hurdles emerged over time, partly due to rising competition from emerging transport modes like automobiles and buses

All lines ceased operations in early 1939, leading to the dismantling of infrastructure and sale of rolling stock Only the Lezay to Melle line remained operational until 1947 Today, the footprint of the Deux-Sèvres tramway endures as a reminder of the region's transport heritage, offering valuable insights into the formative years of public transport solutions in rural France

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Demystifying the dark art of Pole fishing – Part 1

For me, pole fishing is the most easily accessible form of coarse fishing

What makes it so accessible?

All you need to enjoy a day’s fishing is a very simple list of essential equipment, tackle can be bought that is ready-to-go and you can fish with basic bait It’s affordable, quick to set up, quick to pack away and doesn’t need a trailer or a van to hold all the equipment!

But let’s take a step back - what's the difference between a Rod and a Pole? A rod requires a reel and a line, whereas a pole only needs elastic Once set up, a pole is generally easier to use, whereas a rod requires more gear and a lot of casting action that requires skill and practice, that’s what makes pole fishing so accessible

Poles vary from 6m to 16m in length

They are generally sold in 1,1m sections that slide over each other and lock into place to create the length of pole you need In addition, there are the “top kits”, these are the top two sections of the pole that you remove to play the fish can also be bought pre-elasticated for ease

The strength of the elastic will vary and depends upon the weight of the fish you plan to target Heavier fish need heavyduty elastic, the lighter the fish needs lighter elastic I would always recommend fishing with an intermediate weight elastic, such as a 7 weight, because it helps you catch a wide selection of fish It will not be too heavy for smaller fish or too light for larger fish – you just need to take your time when playing and landing your quarry!

As an example, I have over 40 top kits which I have elasticated myself, with a variety of different strengths to suit the venues which I am fishing and species I am targeting

Heavy carp = heavy elastic (16-18 weight) or light roach = light elastic (1-2 weight)

Why else is pole fishing so accessible?

Last month, I highlighted how using a pole is perfect for children, due to the relatively simple set up and ease of use, however, it also has the benefit of being accessible for all ages and physical abilities It is not an active form of fishing

with constant movement along a bank, in fact it is ideal if you fish from a chair!

Pole fishing from a chair or from a seatbox ensures you are at the right level to support the pole while you fish (the pole rests across your legs) Using a chair or a seatbox also allows you to ship the pole back at the right angle when you catch and separate the pole from the top kit to be able to play and land the fish

The benefit of a seatbox over a chair, is that it has various drawers and compartments to contain all the essentials as well as a wide range of accessories and attachments that will help you fish more effectively, or so I tell my wife She just likes the fact that the “vital” seatbox attachments provide endless present-giving opportunities for my birthday, Christmas etc

In Part II, we will explore the detail behind pole fishing rigs and float, getting the perfect set up as well as the dark art of depths!

Till next month, tight lines!


Peter Lowth is an experienced angler with over 40 years of fishing knowledge in match, predator, coarse and fly fishing Growing up near Bath, fishing local rivers and ponds, he then transitioned to competitive fly fishing and in recent years competed on the UK match fishing circuit He opened Les Forges Fishing venue, located near Pescalis, in early 2023 –www lesforgesfishing com

2 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

One tree at a time

What can I say about my first winter in a vineyard? Well firstly to state the obvious, it can hardly be called a winter The copious amounts of rain that have been highly uncommon (might be worth reading up on arc building) On top of which is it set to be one of the warmest February on record These high temperatures have caused some flowers to bloom much earlier than usual

We have observed at the Château that the vines have already started their crying process At a certain point in a vines cycle the wood that has been pruned starts to weep! Although it would be wonderful to imagine a poetic meaning behind this, this can be related to the sap of the vine resurfacing from the roots and drips from the scars caused by pruning The proper terminology for this is Acqua Vitis Sap is the lifeline of a vine and similar to blood in a human body, it carries essential nutrients either from the leaves to the body of the vine, or from the nutrients collected by the roots in the soil As the days get colder the vine goes into its dormancy phase During this period, the sap is stored safely in

the bottom part of the roots called the ‘blood vessels’ in order to dry out

In springtime when the days become warmer, the sap starts to warm up and the vines begins to wake up (typically this happens when temperatures reach 10°C on a regular basis) which stirs the vine into absorbing nutrients and water from the soil and uses the sap system to transport them through the vines anatomy This is the point where the vine starts to wake up and start the budburst

Budburst is the start of a new growing cycle for the vine and little buds start to sprout on the pruned wood reading to blossom into juicy grapes These buds tend to be fragile and why winemakers fear frosts during springtime This process starts in March in the Northern hemisphere - a month early

You may be wondering why vine sap is relevant to February being an abnormally warm month Put simply, the vine hasn’t rested itself as long as it should during the winter months and it is being pushed into starting a new cycle prematurely This unfortunately is proof of global warming and is only one of many examples we are facing

The question is - should we all panic and start stocking the cupboards of our underground bunker? No While the temperatures of our planet are inevitably increasing and mankind creates chaos on this beautiful planet we call home, I believe there is still hope

Hope comes from the small gestures good people make in everyday life and I am honored to be able to assist head winemaker Clément Curet in doing his bit for the environment

Notwithstanding his shrewd idea to bring in sheep from a local farm to remove the weeds from the vineyard he has also got the team working planting new trees surrounding the vines

Apart from the obvious reason of producing more oxygen for the environment and cleaning our air, trees have many incredible benefits Some include; providing housing for various species, cooling temperatures, protecting against floods & water pollution and also have a positive effect on our mental health! It’s the small gestures that we can all do together that make a difference, one tree at a time

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 2 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr

this season’s fashions

eeps bees knows that at opefully ‘later’ rather than almost never ‘never’!) they Honey bees are not ssive, but they are sensitive to being disturbed, and can quickly feel threatened by the presence of anything that distracts them from their work Their reaction is to defend the colony and this often includes deploying their stings It’s not true that all bees die when they sting – if they can retract the barb, the mechanism by which the venom is delivered, they’ll live, but often the barb is fatally ripped out of their bodies Being stung therefore isn’t great for the bee or the person being stung and so it makes sense to disturb them as little as possible and for us to wear adequate protective clothing when we do want to be working with our bees

Luckily there are several options when it comes to choosing an outfit, including style, colours, fit and levels of protection A full suit, like a boiler suit, with a zipped-on hood and veil, is the outfit that provides the most cover, and it can be made from a variety of materials Nowadays there is a choice between fairly thin cotton, heavier and thicker cotton, canvas, 3-ply interwoven mesh, and thick but aerated nylon outfits, all varying in price and offering different levels of protection As I am moderately sensitive to bee stings, and I spend a lot of time working at the hives, I wear the best money can buy, a thick, practically sting-proof, all-in-one suit Granted, it gets pretty warm in the height of summer, but I don’t get stung through it!

For those who don’t necessarily want to wear a full suit, or are not going to spend very long at the hives, a tunic is probably adequate This is a longsleeved jacket with an elasticated waist and an integral hood and veil, and when worn with long trousers offers a good level of protection Hoods and veils commonly come in two types – round and fencing (as in swordfights, not wooden barriers!) The round hats provide a good range of visibility, whereas the fencing style is more rigid and offers more reassurance that it won’t move around when you are working at the hives Whichever you choose is down to personal preference Don’t forget to protect your hands, wrists, ankles and feet, too There is a school of thought that advocates ‘barehanded beekeeping’ ie; doing away with the need to wear gloves, as without the encumbrance of thick gloves you are likely to be more dextrous and careful when handling bees and frames in a hive However, if I get stung on my hands or fingers they quickly swell up and I can’t feel anything, so I’m definitely more likely to make mistakes, hence I always wear snug-fitting gloves! Gloves are available in a variety of materials, offering different levels of protection, but most commonly they are leather or thick latex with an elasticated sleeve attachment to ensure wrists are covered I often pull on a pair of thin latex gloves over my leather gloves which I can change when I move from hive to hive to avoid spreading any

possible pathogens – this habit also keeps my leather gloves relatively clean from propolis and wax

Last but not least are your ankles Bees have an uncanny ability to seek out the smallest piece of bare flesh, so beware the idea that they’ll be flying high up in the air so it’s ok to wear sandals Even on the hottest day it’s best to wear wellies and to either tuck your trousers into them or to ensure your suit bottoms are zipped over your boots

This may sound overly-cautious but personal experience and tales from other beekeepers show that it isn’t –the fun of beekeeping can be seriously diminished if you’re stung on the ankle or feel an ominous tickle on the inside of your suit Just sayin’ !

As with most things, if you are prepared then you can get on with enjoying yourself please get in touch via our website (www 13bees co uk), email (info@13bees co uk) or telephone (05 45 71 22 90) to find out more about the beekeeping experiences we offer here at 13 Bees in Confolens

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Clare’s Garden Diary

Hello April my old friend, what took you so long?

So, a conversation with the month of April “will it be hot, cold, sunny, rain or snow today?” “Yes” replied April

Welcome back to my garden diary So what's happening this month?

Easter has arrived and I hope you have enjoyed the Spring Equinox in your garden and watched the birds and bees feed on the Spring nectar Once again we are fortunate to watch the turn of the year unfold

The soil is warming up and seeds are being planted both for the cutting garden and vegetable garden, herbs too ready for the kitchen It's all too easy to have a burst of energy and go dashing out to the garden and then get injured After a few months of lets say “light duties” and wishing the rain would cease, we have a lot to do no doubt A few gentle warm ups may be the order of the day, to avoid pulling or spraining a muscle People who don't garden will laugh, the gardeners will be nodding to themselves!

Over the last few years I made a decision to plant and garden with

pollinators in mind, really to encourage them to feed and breed in my garden Something as simple as leaving the leaves where they fall, or just moving them slightly onto borders, off the grass, allowing the leaf litter to be homes for insects over winter can really start to make a difference We really are just passing through as current custodians of our patch, and if we can leave it a more wildlife friendly spot than when we arrived; we should be pleased

Rebuilding nature, re wilding, untidy gardens, call it what you will, it can have a big impact Imagine if all of the gardens became organic, without use of any chemicals, imagine if we all made compost and added that back to the soil, imagine if we all left the dandelions alone you get the picture When I look back, only 5 or 6 years, the difference in my own garden is huge, I have watched it change in front of my eyes Filled with birds, bees, moths, butterflies and hedgehogs which simply did not find food or shelter here before

By taking pruned branches and putting them under trees and shrubs, you will encourage robins and wrens to nest locally, to name but two The trend for “dead hedges” is gathering pace, which can be as small or as large as you have space for, and will provide valuable shelter Leaving some ivy where it chooses to grow can help so many creatures, especially if it


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Clare Hill
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develops berries and flowers Bay and Box; with their flowers are often among the first feeding stations in my garden Our village of Beuxes is named for the Buxus tree, and there are several around the village One happens to be between our garden and next door We share it really, although the side in our garden was left to its own devices for years, so its bushier and the canopy is lower than next door I do feel that I am caretaking it really, for my time here, and it will hopefully outlive us all!

Some pollinator friendly plants include; borage, honeysuckle, herbs, allium family including chives and ornamental alliums, basil, salvias, scabieuse, marguerite/daisy family, single petal roses or yarrow, with their big flat landing pad Foxgloves are classic “bee bars” where they fly or climb up each level as the flowers open! Old fashioned biennial honesty, which my Granny always grew has become a favourite here Make sure you plant native plants to the country or region, for the most benefit

I'm sure your living spaces become more al fresco as we get into the Spring I usually have my garden furniture to spruce up, some teak oil onto the benches and some paint onto the wrought iron Its one of those Spring jobs I really enjoy, as I know we will be using them in the months to come

I remember my previous neighbour Cathy from our last home in England saying, “that's it no more housework will be done until October!” She is a wonderful gardener, and taught me a lot They visited us here last April, she loved to see the progress we had made here since her last visit in around 2013

so, here are some more April tasks you may want to tr y;

• Herbs can be sown now, including parsley, coriander, dill, basil, chives, fennel and camomile

• Start feeding houseplants weekly, and check them over for pests

• Turf or sow grass seed to patch or repair

• Check and clear guttering on sheds so water can flow into your water butts

• Keep feeding the birds as they will be raising their young Remember to leave hedges alone now until mid August

• Check for aphid clusters on the tips of young leaves, as they can soon munch through a lot of emerging leaves

• Hoe between seedlings, weeds grow fast at this time of year

30 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly • Fully insured and registered • Free quotes and advice • From pruning to dismantles • Overgrown hedges Call Darren Shepherd 05 49 87 29 16 / 06 73 21 00 27 S I R E T 5 1 3 2 5 3 8 2 3 0 0 0 TREE SURGEON Quali ed

• Divide clumps of hardy herbs like lemon balm and chives and re plant

• Reinvigorate mature hardy perennials like hostas, asters, day lillies by dividing and re planting

• Dead head spring bulbs so they don't waste energy on setting seeds Leave the green leaves to whither and die back

Plant second early or main crop potatoes now

• Prune hydrangeas when the risk of frost passes being careful to identify which type of hydrangea you have; pruning needs vary

• Sow hardy annuals and natural wildflowers including love in a mist

• Check regularly for slugs and snails around your seedlings

• Try growing nasturtiums or marigolds near your vegetables, to help with keeping pests away, or used as a decoy plant or sacrificial plant even Nasturtiums for instance can attract caterpillars away from your brasicas

Well, I hope your muscles survive the Spring work out in the garden, and I'll catch up with you in May

A bientôt,

About Clare

Clare along with her husband Martin and their furr y family moved to North Vienne in 2017 With a passion for plants inherited from her family Clare is currently studying Horticulture with the Royal Horticultural Society Previously working in corporate and private banking, Clare now enjoys the tranquility of her garden, where she experiments and nurtures her favorite plants, especially roses An animal lover, Clare shares her home with 4 rescue dogs and a mischievous puppy She also loves brocantes and vide greniers and is a Reiki Master Teacher and a Tai Chi/Qi Gong teacher


The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 31 Tel: +33(0)6 75 02 22 89 mail: HOME POOL SERVICES VENDÉE HOME POOL SERVICES VENDÉE Home Pool Services Vendée - Ian EDGERLEY 1, rue de la Pierre Blanche 85510 LE BOUPÈRE MORE THAN 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN ALL ASPECTS OF SWIMMING POOL AND SPA MAINTENANCE
333 804 094 Before: After: Repairs and upgrades to pools, spas and hot tubs. Solving problems with filtrations, liners, pool cleaners, heating, pipework and water quality, electrical and plumbing. We cover the Vendée and surrounding area. We are here to help you! OUR SERVICES: Clare
gardener clare

Clubs & Associations

Alcoholics Anonymous - South West France

If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, there are now a number of English-speaking meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in the South West of France

Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share experiences, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking

There are no dues or fees for AA membership and AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety

For help or information, telephone: 05 31 60 90 95 or visit: www aafrance net

Crafts, Community and friendship We run regular workshops and events as well as offer community workshop space for crafting and making Learn new skills and share your talents New members welcome

Contact us for details: or telephone 05 49 80 39 57

french Lessons for english Speakers

Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), 4 Place Leopold Bergeon, 79150 Argenton-les-Vallées

Classes: beginners or intermediate Private lessons on request


Melleran Chanteurs - Amateur singing group that meets every Monday at 6:45 pm at the Salle des Fêtes in Melleran French and English members singing in many languages New voices are always welcome, especially tenor and bass For more information, please contact Alison Hudson 05 49 29 65 31

Combined Services Support Group - CSSG is a group of mainly ex services people living in the area who meet socially whilst raising funds to support ex-service charities Former UK servicemen and women, police and firefighters are invited to email Christine Hester at christine hester10@gmail com

Airvault Conversation - Come and practice your French with a friendly group of French and English speakers Every Wednesday at 7pm at the Salle CSC 16 rue Emmanuel Bonnet, 79600 AIRVAULT

Call Christian for more information: 05 49 63 04 78

afvBC - The newly formed North Charente Maritime Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club meets the second Sunday of every month at 10:15 a.m. at the Relais d'Aulnay.

Reservations with Ann and Allan at walpcs@yahoo co uk

PLay and LearN aCOL BrIDGe

If you are interested in learning or playing acol Bridge at Pause Cafe, L’Absie, every second and fourth Friday at 2pm please contact philjan9@hotmail com

franglais anglo-french Group Thouars - Centre Socio-Culturel

We meet every Wednesday 7.30pm-9pm, at 7 rue Anne Desrays, for conversation in English & French, and to understand each other’s language and culture Contact 05 49 66 35 11 or email or eugene mc

Craft Café Creatif - We are a craft group who meet once a fortnight on a Wednesday afternoon at Pause Café, L'Absie Our members knit,crochet,sew, embroider etc We craft and socialize over a cup of tea New members welcome - contact barbarawhitehouse@yahoo co uk

CHORALE MELUSINE, PARTHENAY - French 4-part choir, established over 30 years (with 4 English members) and always looking for "new blood"! Excellent Musical Director Come to a rehearsal on Tuesday evenings and see if it's for you Contact Keith for info keithandcarol@orange fr 0671 14 16 72

vasles Netball Club - Want to keep fit, have fun & make new friends? Join us every Monday from 5.30 - 7pm & Thursday 6.30 - 8pm at the Salle Omnisports in Vasles. Open to men & women of all abilities and experience Two free taster sessions FB @VaslesNetballClub Email: vaslesnetballclub@gmail com

acceuil des villes françaises - A French association dedicated to welcoming newcomers from all over France and abroad to their new surroundings; helping them integrate, speak French, and feel 'at home' through social events

Les amis Solitaires is a group of people living alone in France. We organise social events and meet for coffee at The Lemon Tree in Sauze Vaussais, 11am every 2nd and 4th Thursday Contact Pennie on pennietelford@hotmail com

royal British Legion - Bordeaux & South west france

Do you need help or advice?

Contact us at: www facebook com/groups/306085566632991

National Helpline 0800 240 200 or email: helpline@cancersupportfrance org

You can find more details about CSF Vienne & Deux-Sèvres by visiting: vienne www facebook com/groups/1573102762990772

why NOT jOIN The raf faMILy?

RAFA Sud-Ouest France

Le Perail, 17250 BEURLAY, France

Tel: 05 46 95 38 89 email: admin@rafasudouest fr

Are you single and living in the South Vendee? Would you like to meet others for social events with the emphasis on fun and not dating? We meet in Fontenay-le-Comte on the first Wednesday morning of each month Occasional weekend lunches Find us on Facebook SOLO EN FRANCE (Sud Vendée) or contact Rosalind at soloenfrance@outlook fr for further information

Netball: Clessé allstars - The Clessé Allstars netball club meets every Monday at Salle Omnisports, Clessé 79350 from 7:00 to 8:30 p m We welcome players and supporters of all ages and abilities. Join us for a free taster session before signing up FB @clubdenetballclesse

Clubs & associations Submission: Include title and 40-word max entry (with contact details) and optional logos if space allows. free ads rotate monthly; for guaranteed monthly printing, pay a 4.50€ monthly fee (54€ annually). email submissions to:

32 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly
Nor h Charente Mar t me Armed Forces and Veterans Break ast Club

Clubs & Associations

vienne & Deux-sèvres

Februar y, for our bureau, was the month to regroup and discuss our priorities to enable the association to move for ward and be successful For those who read my articles regularly, you will know already that ever y three months we meet as members of the bureau and Active Listeners We have three purposes - to re-engage with the administration tasks support each other with specific concerns with people we help face to face or on the telephone and highlight the needs for further training

Our treasurer was able to say at the meeting that thanks to all our various fund raising efforts and your generosity our financial situation is sound Knowing this enabled me to propose that we release some funds to support the adolescent children where one parent has Stage 4 cancer Our remit, as Active Listeners is to support the adults So, we have found professional help for the adolescents that will work alongside the school and health ser vice and the association will fund a certain proportion of the cost

As an example, the gentleman who I have calling for the past two and a half years has cost nothing apart from the time I voluntarily give each week It is, therefore, good to know that for our younger clients we can make an immediate financial response to help them in their hour of need

I remember one time when I was working on the National Helpline where a caller s words made an impact on me She and her husband throughout their lives had saved money for a rainy day and that day had arrived Her husband with a ver y serious cancer was being treated in another region She was desperate to see him and yet didn't want to drive into an unfamiliar city So, she was going to take a taxi whatever the cost Making that decision enabled her to have control of the situation and make that much needed journey

One of our rainy days has arrived with financing support for our young people Thank you for your continued support and please get in touch through the helpline if you feel that you can offer time, energy and commitment to this most worthwhile cause You can contact us here:

National Helpline 0800 240 200 email: helpline@cancersupportfrance org

You can find more details about CSF Vienne and Deux-Sèvres by visiting:

vienne cancersupportfrance org/vienne-home

Dear friends and supporters,

Can you believe that we're already a quarter of the way through the year at Association Violet? We're excited to introduce you to the events we have planned over the next few months

Each event, from our lively bingo nights to the grand garden party, isn't only an opportunity to entertain, but also an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of the families we support Let's take a look at what's coming up in 2024!

Our bingo evenings have always been a hit and this year we're looking forward to three spectacular evenings in March, June and October at Le Nouveau Bar de la Poste With the incomparable Jan Thorpe calling the numbers, these evenings are full of fun, laughter and the chance to win fantastic prizes At €2 a ticket and with food available from 5 30pm, it's the perfect opportunity to spend an evening amongst friends whilst supporting a good cause Remember that places are limited, so get in touch with Julie on 06 02 36 43 28 to book your place

We always think that April is such a positive time of the year As the chill of winter subsides and the days become longer and warmer, this time of year is all about new starts, new opportunities and growth

Here at The Repair Shed HQ, in La Coudre Argentonnay we have been working hard to create the foundations and building blocks for our Association Most of the hard work for the studio, workshop and community space has been completed and we are looking forward to being able to fully open all of these spaces to our members soon We would like to thank everyone for their continued support with our aims of promoting wellbeing through creativity and for the wonderful donations we have received Our regular “have a go” craft workshops have been very well attended and we have committed to offering these throughout the rest of the year Each workshop will be a different craft or technique As our membership grows, so does the opportunities for showcasing different crafts as we invite our members to lead workshop sessions The sharing of skills with others is one of our key building blocks for this year so if you have a crafting skill that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you

Membership to the Repair Shed is just 10 euros a year and as a member you get a special reduced rate for all craft workshops You also get the benefit of being able to book sessions in the workshop or studio where you can use a variety of the tools and equipment we have on offer To find out more, please visit our website www therepairshed fr and you can now join online! We look forward to seeing you and remember that the kettle it always on for a chat and cuppa!

Our quiz night in February was a huge success, raising €214 62 thanks to the brilliant minds and generous hearts of those in attendance Congratulations to 'The Oxymorons" for winning and a hearty round of applause to "The NoHopers" – every attendee, winner or not, added to the enjoyment of the evening And thank you for Emma’s engravings for our losers’ wooden spoons, they're wonderful!

Thanks to Mike's skills as quizmaster and the generous donations of local businesses, these monthly gatherings at Le Nouveau Bar de la Poste aren't to be missed The next quiz will be on 17 April – we hope to see you there!

Mark your calendars for 8 September 2024 as we prepare for our biggest event of the year – the garden party at the stunning Chateau Cherveux! We promise it'll be bigger and better than ever before We have a range of entertainment lined up, from line dancers and musicians to jugglers and magicians, all set against the beautiful backdrop of the chateau Volunteers are the foundation of this event and we're looking for volunteers who can

spare a few hours to help with the stalls, children's activities and much more Your involvement makes all the difference

As we prepare for these events, we're also looking for a new secretary to join our team after our previous secretary left for personal reasons We sincerely thank her for her years of dedication We're also looking for donations for our raffle, bric-a-brac and sponsors for our events

And there’s still time to buy raffle tickets to win the life-size plush tiger – you can buy raffle tickets at €5 each via Facebook or email us This is a fantastic opportunity to win a unique item and support a good cause at the same time! Finally, we'd like to share another success: Lewis, one of the children we support, has taken his first unassisted steps after intensive physiotherapy in Spain It's moments like these that remind us of the impact of our efforts Team Violet

To get in contact you can email presidentav@outlook com or phone 06 04 08 88 01

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 33 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr
Philip Buckle Lisa Jones

Seasonal Recipes

Egg Masala Curry

This curry is an easy way to use up any extra eggs you may have lying around Served with some warm rice and/or fresh Indian naan or rotis, it's comfort on a plate Add a dollop of yogurt on the side to cool things down if you find the peppery sauce too fiery

All the spices in the ingredient list can be easily found in your local supermarkets


• 3 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil

• 4 medium sized onions finely sliced

• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

• 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped

• 1 tsp turmeric (curcuma) powder

• 2 tsp coriander powder

• 1 tsp garam masala

• 1 tbsp tomato paste or puree

• 2-3 cups hot water

• Salt to taste

• 6 hard boiled eggs cut in half

• Wedges of lemon to serve on the side

For the spice powder -

• 1 tbsp whole peppercorns

• 2 bay leaves

• 4 green cardamom pods

• 2 whole cloves


1 Place all the ingredients for the spice powder in a small frying pan and dry roast them on a low heat for 1-2 minutes Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes Transfer the whole spices to a coffee grinder or small blender and blend to a coarse powder Set aside

2 Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat Add

Spinach Pancakes

These pancakes make a great option for a light lunch or brunch To turn it into a more substantial meal, dress it up with some roasted cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat's cheese on top or a runny egg and some ham The options are endless!


• 200g spinach leaves (fresh or frozen, defrosted if frozen)

• 125g plain flour

• 250ml milk

• 2 eggs

• ½ tsp salt

• 25g melted butter for greasing the pan


1 Place all the ingredients except the butter in a blender and blend until smooth If you're using frozen spinach, you may still notice flecks in the batter but that's perfectly okay Pour the batter into a bowl

2 Heat a nonstick frying pan on medium heat Once hot, brush the surface with some of the melted butter Pour in a ladleful of batter Cook for a minute or so until you see the edges beginning to get firm Flip it over and cook the other side for a minute as well Keep the cooked pancake warm in an oven heated to a very low temperature

3 Repeat with the rest of the batter until it is all used up

the onions and fry them gently, stirring continuously, for a good 10-15 minutes until they've softened and are beginning to caramelize Adjust the heat as needed to avoid the onions burning or getting too dark

3 Lower the heat Add the spices as well as the spice powder along with the tomato paste or puree

4 Cook the contents of the pan for about 3-4 minutes Season with salt Then add the hot water and let it simmer for about two minutes before adding the eggs to the pan

5 Let the sauce simmer again for a few minutes, adding more hot water if it's drying out too quickly

6 Once the sauce has thickened and coated the eggs well, turn off the heat and serve hot along with the lemon wedges

Sujatha Otzen

Citrus Syrup Cake

This is a simple yet tasty syrup soaked cake that uses only one bowl to prepare the batter It makes use of the last of the citrus of the season However, lemons make a great substitute for oranges out of season A perfect treat for that afternoon cup of tea


• 130g unsalted butter at room temperature

• 110g sugar + an extra 100g for the syrup

• 2 eggs

• Zest and juice of 3-4 small clementines or mandarins or oranges

• 120g self raising flour (farine pour gâteaux)

• 30g ground almonds

• ½ tsp vanilla extract

• Pinch of salt


1 Preheat the oven to 180c Melt the butter and set aside to cool

2 Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper leaving enough overhang on both long sides to make it easier to take out the cake later on

3 Add the 110g of sugar and melted butter to a large bowl and mix well using a whisk

4 Add the eggs, half the juice and the vanilla extract and mix again

5 Tip in the flour, ground almonds and salt along with half of the zest from the oranges and fold to combine using a spatula

6 Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf tin and place in the oven Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean

7 While the cake is baking, heat the rest of the citrus juice and the 100g of sugar in a small saucepan on low heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved Set aside

8 When the cake is out of the oven and still warm, poke holes all over the surface using a skewer Pour the syrup into and over the holes Sprinkle the rest of the orange zest on top of the cake

9 Let the cake cool in its tin for about 10 minutes before taking it out and placing on a wire rack to cool completely It will keep well tightly wrapped for a few days at room temperature

All recipes and food photographs by Sujatha Otzen Born in India, Sujatha is a trained chef who runs runs Indian cookery workshops from her kitchen at Closerie Les Roches in Bouillé-Loretz (79290) For more details check out Sujatha’s advertisement on page 11

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 3
www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr


Easy Crossword (with thanks to rob Berr y)


1. A ballroom dance based on a Cuban folkdance (6)

4 To patch up or renovate; repair or restore (6)

8 A woodwind instrument (5)

9. A person who is rejected or excluded from a society (7)

10. A punctuation mark (5)

11. Liked or admired by many people (7)

12. A building designer (9)

15 The largest city in Kansas on the Arkansas river (7)

16 A lever that is operated with the foot (5)

17 National emblem of Scotland (7)

18. A heavy block of iron used by a farrier (5)

19. Painful and involuntary muscular contractions (6)

20. Confirm the truth of (6)


2 A small valley between mountains (6)

3. In an insect, the complete change of a larva into an adult (13)

5 An electrical cleaning device that uses suction (6-7)

6. A slip up; an unlucky event (6)

7 Difficult to analyse or understand (11)

13. A chess piece that can move diagonally (6)

14 A government tax on imports and exports (6)

Cr yptic Crossword

(with thanks to Mike Morris)


1. Measured out, up and down maybe, Dad turned up last month. (5)

4, 24 Down 10 across, left late, disorganized, but feeling on top of the world. (4, 4)

7, 8 10 across, fresh chickens out, hanging on the wall? (5, 7)

8 See 7

10 Top marks for a Bo Dudley film? (3)

11 Drab dead end job? (5)

12. Could be happy preparing the drinks at the finish? (7)

14, 20. 10 across, Christie’s victims for the most part, distressed till aid sent in. (6, 7)

16, 25. 10 across, involved in engaging all on hate campaign for a big head? (6, 3)

20. See 14 across.

23 Had good luck charm, but lost a thousand at the races? (5)

25 See 16 across

26 Evolving ant rose to become one of the chosen few (7)

27. One form of flyer found in university’s educational fringes. (5)

28. 10 across, radio message veiled in “UFO! Urgent!” (4)

29. “ I have the orders”, he said, 10 across in total. (5)


1 Now is the time to be here! (7)

2 Boss against cutting off internet nuisance altogether (7)

3 Binder assembled for celebrity steeplejack (6)

4. Destined to be an overweight newspaperman? (5)

5. The Spanish eyepiece not completed for the girl. (5)

6. Got older man to be excluded from governed. (4)

9 Girl included in census annual figures (5)

13 AI transfusion after everybody is unwell (3)

14 At home in unfinished, abandoned, hip quarters (6)

15. New Zealand singer revealed by kiwi U-turn. (3)

17. A pot is a form of local dialect. (1, 6)

18. Coppers included in very many pests, one of 10 across in Egypt. (7)

19 Prepared a marsh for site of Indian retreat (6)

21 Wild dog doing it all wrong (5)

22 Sacrifice place for almost everyone arriving before sailor (5)

24 See 4 across

3 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 11 12 14 14 15 16 17 18 16 19 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 20 25 21 22 26 27 23 24 28 25 29
Word scramble Unscramble these cheeses and try something new when you go shopping 37912 3 5 1 26 3 571 341 9 38 81234 8713 9 5 364 4 865 2153 5 32178 219 694852 193 419 83 9 756 7 2568 76 57 437 8 Easy Medium Very Hard You’ ll find all the answers on page 4! sudoku Learn more about the path to success and explore the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss. Benefit from our customised training programs and receive consistent support from our dedicated Head O ice teams, along with a highly motivating progressive commission structure. Contact our recruitment team for more information: +33 (0)5 53 60 82 77 · Change your outlook. Become an independent sales agent! 1 ATNALC 2 RCIONTT ED VLCNHAIGO 3 YAÇEALVN 4 EULB DUENVAREG' 5 ARBTEFUO 6 ARMRCAUODO 7 SISESOPE 8 OUARSTYSIA9 LONEHORCB 10 REOBRMI 11 NBCNAODEA 12 VOATLIR www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr









Patios and Paving

3 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly Building and Renovation Services SIRET: 51086916700013 All aspects of building work undertaken:
Roof repairs/new roofs
Floor sanding
Bathrooms & Plumbing Tel: 07 76 69 46 64 or 05 49 64 41 81 email: web: 40 years experience in construction, including 18 years in France
& Renovation H&R Building & Renovation Services
Roof repairs
Renovations and Refurbishment
Blockwork and Brickwork
and Plastering
Velux and Dormers
Kitchens (Howdens) & Bathrooms
8414 0681 200013
tel/WhatsApp: 06 29 62 81 26
The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 3 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr Based near Chef Boutonne and covering a 40km radius. mobile: +44 7725 233726 email: 10 Year Decennale nsurance Siret 882 747 348 00010 • Fosse excavations and advice for self installation. • Pool excavations and advice for self-installation • All groundworks, driveways, drainage, land clearance etc • 2.5 ton excavator hire with or without operator • 1 ton high tip dumper hire with or without operator • 3.5t tipper and driver hire • Tool and sca old hire FOSSE AND GROUNDWORKS 79 Need a new fosse, or looking to install a swimming pool? We can offer: with over 40 years experience in: DARREN L AWRENCE R ailing & Plasterboarding Renovation Work Painting, Decorating & Tiling Wood Floor ing Car pentr y Bat hrooms & Kitchens Contact Dar ren Lawrence Tel: 05 49 94 64 90 Email: lawrenceassociates79@gmail com Based near Parthenay Siret no: 802 238 964 00018 La Deuxième Chance 7 rue de la Croix Cholette 79120 Bois de Messé Opening Times Tuesday 10am - 5.30pm Weds - Fri by appointment only telephone: 05 49 27 12 62 SIRET: 752 225 953 00021
Building & Renovation 40 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly MICHAEL MOORE 24HR ELECTRICIAN TEL - 06 49 61 26 68 EMAIL - 79ELEC@GMAIL.COM FULLY QUALIFIED & INSURED 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE Domestic & commercial Deux-Sèvres & surrounding areas Available 24/7 S I R E T8 8 1 8 6 0 5 0 6 0 0 0 1 6 STEVE COUPLAND Property Services including:Plumbing Tiling Dry Walling Mobile: 07 89 30 95 86 email: Based 79130 Secondigny SIRET: 491 711 354 00036 GLENDEE Property Services SIRET 851 535 930 00016 Roof repairs Garden Maintenance Landscaping Tel: 05 49 94 63 59 Mob: 07 80 66 70 96 email: Building / Brickwork Property Maintenance Patios & Decking Repointing Membre de la Chambres de Métiers et de l’Artisanat Fully Insured jon-thecarpetman 1000’s of modern carpet samples available to choose from..... Ask for our At Home service and we’ll bring the samples to you! Covering all of Deux-Sèvres and neighbouring departments Free estimates - no obligation 35 years experience ~ Fully registered and insured Contact Jon Prince Tel: 09 63 56 23 10 Mob: 06 42 19 82 12 Email: or visit our website to find out more Find us on Facebook PRINCE S.A.R.L. siret 538 076 688
The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 41 Building & Renovation Call, Text or whatsapp Owen on 06 73 50 14 41 email: ➤ renovations ➤ Decorating ➤ house Clearance ➤ Gardening ➤ Dry walling ➤ flooring ➤ Man & van ➤ Odd jobs PROPERTY MAINTENANCE S KM SIRET 892 311 952 00014 Property Maintenance Service located in Coulonges-sur-l’Autize, covering a 50km radius Our comprehensive range of services includes:

Our Furry Friends

Ark79’s Heartfelt Thanks

if you re a regular reader of the Deux-Sèvres monthly magazine, you may remember that a few months ago we reported on the campaign to replace the roof of ark79's Bric-a-Brac barn

When we delivered magazines to arK79 recently, we had the opportunity to meet Emma and see the roof being repaired

Emma would like to say a special thank you to SarL K&D roofing for their expertise and dedication to the challenge of replacing our roof Despite the most adverse weather conditions and the unforeseen absence of chocolate hobnobs, their commitment never wavered Kevin Millward and his team have shown what it means to work with heart and mind by donating €2,000 worth of materials and their invaluable time as Emma said: “ the success of the campaign was made possible by you, our remarkable community Your donations, large and small, reflect the boundless generosity that surrounds ark79 Your support has made the dream a reality and ensured that ark79’s mission to help animals can continue unhindered ”

“Kevin Millward and SarL K&D roofing: thank you for being more than just a roofing company; thank you for being a part of our ark79 family Your professionalism, kindness and unwavering support have left an indelible mark on our hearts and our barn!”

“a thank you to my husband, Kevin Parrack- Graves, for his energetic help and newfound ability to make coffee, and to Carlie art & Design for capturing the barn in her beautiful painting this artwork, which will soon be adorned with the names of all our donors, will forever remind us of this incredible project we have embarked on together ”

“ thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the pillars of ark79 Let's continue to build a better future for the animals we support, under the protection of our new roof ”

4 2 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly
Do you know of a pet rescue charity that could use this free spot to advertise? Send us the details and we’ll try to include them next month Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly fr

insurance and asset management advice in English

Hello, my name is Isabelle Want For the past 10 years, I have been working for Allianz as an asset manager

Being married to an Englishman and having lived in the UK for 8 years gives me a better insight into what British

people are experiencing and what they need Being French and born in the Charente has enabled me to offer some answers

I am, as always, available for any free advice on the following subjects:

- INHERITANCE LAW (who inherits, death duties, solutions)

-TAXES (everybody's fear! The month of May tax forms, etc)

-INVESTMENTS (what is available, what rate, etc.)

-LIFE INSURANCE (how to protect your loved ones)

-FUNERAL COVER (preparing for the inevitable, unfortunately!)

-TOP UP HEALTH INSURANCE (why you need it and how much it is)

-INSURANCES (get a free quote to see if you could save money)

I work in the Allianz offices in Ruffec La Rochefoucauld Roumaziere

Loubert and Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure and my contact details are below

Please do not hesitate to contact me for free advice on any of the above or if you think you are paying too much on your insurances and want a free quote We have a dedicated bilingual team to deal with claims

Finally, we have an English website with all sorts of useful information and tips on all of the above subjects: www bh-assurances fr/en

Isabelle Want, BH Assurances

Conseiller Financier/ Asset Manager

Mob:+33(0)6 17 30 39 11

Email: isabelle want@bh-assurances fr N° orias : 07020908/07021727/07004255

Our Furry Friends

Shop and Café Open every Wednesday 11am - 4pm

Oh my lord Francks fish and chips second Wednesday of the month from 12h00

Wednesday 17th April from 12h00

Magasin et Café Ouvert tous les mercredis de 11h à 16h

Oh my lord Francks fish and chips le 2ème mercredi du mois à partir de 12h00

mercredi 17 avril de 12h00

Donations welcome

Monday 10am - 12pm Wednesday 11am-3pm

Les dons sont les bienvenus les lundis 10h - 12h et mercredis de 11h à 15h

No RNA: W792009674

every Tuesday 10am - 4pm

the last Saturday

the month 10am - 2pm


Open 10am to 4pm, Thursdays & 1st Sunday of the Month

2 Rte de Vauthion

79190 Sauzé Vaussais

Furniture Barn

Open 11am to 3pm, Thursdays & 1st Sunday of the Month

1 Rte de la Mare aux Loups Louba

79190 Clussais-le-Pommeraie


Facebook Groups:

Hope79 Sauze-Vaussais Furniture for Sale Hope Associaton Charity Shop 79


Dexter is a lovely boy who is affectionate and enjoys human contact He's sociable with other dogs, walks next to other dogs and seeks cuddles Good with cars and not bothered by cats Deserves a loving family

Breed: Border collie, pointer

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Date of birth: 03-04-2023

For more information, visit www association-galia fr email assogalia85@gmail com or visit facebook com/associationGaliaEN

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 43 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr

the s1 for m: healthcare and tax benefits in france money matters

The S1 form is an important document for Britons moving to France providing access to essential healthcare ser vices as well as significant tax benefits

The form is issued by the country of origin's social security system and allows individuals who have worked and paid social security contributions in one European Economic Area country to access healthcare ser vices in another EEA country


If covered by the S1 form, you will be entitled to state healthcare in France, with the same rights as French nationals

UK nationals can apply for their form through the Overseas Healthcare Ser vices section of the UK’s NHS website You then need to register with your local (CPAM) office in France to activate your S1 rights

Under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals who receive UK state pensions or have exportable benefits may be eligible to apply for the S1 form

However since the UK left the European Union the rules have changed surrounding these exportable benefits: disability living allowance; personal independence payment; carer s allowance and attendance allowance If you moved to France and applied for the S1 form before 1 January 2021, you are still entitled to the healthcare ser vices it provides whilst in receipt of one of these benefits However, if you do not yet have an S1 form, you can no longer qualify solely under the benefits listed above

France tax advantages of having an S1 form

Besides healthcare the S1 form offers additional financial benefits in France

In France, social charges (also called ‘social contributions’) are levied on most forms of income, in addition to income tax They are called social charges because the money is used to finance the French social security They do not, however, provide health benefits and should not be confused with social security contributions

If you are covered by the S1 form you –

• are exempt from paying the 9 1% social charges on your pension and pension lump sum payments

• receive a significant 9 7% reduction for social charges on investment income such as bank interest and dividends rental income and also on capital gains made on the sale of property or investments

Over the years, the S1 could save you thousands in tax Take specialist tax and wealth management advice from a locally based adviser, to receive personalised guidance based on your situation and aims Besides ensuring that you fully benefit from the S1 tax reductions they will also establish if you are missing out on any other compliant tax planning advantages the French regime offers, both for yourself during your lifetime and for your heirs in the future

Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change Individuals should seek personalised advice

Keep up to date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks news page at www blevinsfranks com

4 4 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly

Ask Amanda

i am gathering information to send to my accountant for them to complete my annual tax return here in france, and i’ve noticed that i have been asked for interest earned on my uK savings and returns on my uK investments. my accountant has said these are liable for french tax and social charges my question is, what can i do to reduce these taxes for next year?

There are a couple of things that you can do to reduce paying taxes and social charges on savings and investments if you are a tax resident in France

The first thing is to look at the livret A savings account with your bank, this is a savings account that all banks offer and ever yone is entitled to open one You can add up to €22,950 and any interest is FREE from French income tax or social charges

Livret a:

- No income tax or social charges

- Can be set up with your local bank - allows saving up to 22,950€ per person

- access to the saved money subject to each bank's terms and conditions

Livret de Développement Durable (LDD) savings account this is income tax free and social charges free The amount you can save is €12,000 Livret de Développement Durable (LDD):

- No income tax or social charges

- Can be set up with your local bank - allows saving up to 12,000€ per person - access to the saved money, subject to each bank's terms and conditions

If you are wanting tax efficiency for your investments then the Assurance vie wrapper protects investments from capital gains tax and income tax You can start an Assurance Vie with as little as £20,000 with myself You can invest in euros or pounds handy if you don’t want to transfer your money into euros This should be treated as a longterm investment, of at least five years , ideally over eight years to maximise tax efficiency

Regular income can be set up from these policies too, so ver y useful if you are using your investments to top up your income or pension income

If you are under the age of 70 when you take out a policy, you can leave €152 500 to each beneficiar y without

Expert advice

them having to pay French inheritance tax Any amount over this is taxed at 20% or 25% if over €1 053 338

Also after you have held this policy for 8 years you receive a tax allowance of €4 600 per person to use with any withdrawals you take from this investment assurance Vie:

- Protects investments from capital gains tax and income tax

- Can be started with as little as £20,000 with myself

- Can invest in euros or pounds without transferring money into euros - if under 70 when taking out a policy, you can leave €152,500 to each beneficiar y without them paying French inheritance tax

- amount over €152,500 is taxed at 20% or 25% if over €1 053 338

- after holding the policy for 8 years, you receive a tax allowance of €4,600 per person to use with any withdrawals from the investment

Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly please call or email me on the contacts below & I will be glad to help you We do not charge for reviews reports or recommendations we provide

Amanda Johnson

tel : 06 73 27 25 43

e-mail : amanda johnson@spectrum-ifa com

The Deux-sèvres Monthly | 4 www thedeuxsevresmonthly fr
Amanda Johnson works as an Independent Financial Adviser with the Spectrum IFA Group tel: 06 73 27 25 43 or email: amanda johnson@spectrum-ifa com www spectrum-ifa com/amandajohnson Whether you want to register for a newsletter, attend a roadshow or speak Amanda directly, please call or email her The Spectrum IFA Group do not charge for reviews, reports, or recommendations « The Spectrum IFA Group » is a registered trademark, exclusive rights to use in France granted to TSG Insurance Services S A R L Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 « Société de Courtage d'assurances » R C S Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384) Numéro d'immatriculation 07 025 332 - www orias fr « Conseiller en investissements financiers, référence sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l Autorité des Marchés Financiers »

This month’s advertisers

Thank you to all our advertisers - your support enables us to print and distribute the magazine every month!

4 | The Deux-sèvres Monthly Puzzle answers Adrian Butterfield 38 Affordable UK Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Alcoholics Anonymous 32 Andrew Longman 38 Association Escoval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) 21 Beaux Villages Immobilier 48 BH Assurances / Allianz 43 Blevins Franks Wealth Management Limited 2, 44 Building and Renovation Services 38 Chris Bassett Construction 38 Closerie Les Roches 11 Darren Lawrence 39 Dave Murphy - Hypnotist & Life Coach . . . . . . . . . 25 Fosse and Groundworks 79 39 Franglais Deliveries 28 Glendee Property Services 40 H & R Building Services 38 Hallmark Electricité 41 Holly Services (SAS) 31 Home Pool Services Vendée 31 Irving Location 40 Jeff’s Metalwork 41 Jon the Carpet man 40 Julian Dor-Vincent - Farrier 25 Keith Banks Pool Services 31 KM Property Maintenance 41 KM Services 79 19 La Deuxieme Chance 39 La Petite Ferme d'Alpagas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Leggett Immoblier 47 Leggett Recruitment 37 Les Thouet'teurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 LPV Technology 23 Magic Renovations 38 Maison Secondaire 19 Mark Sabestini 40 Michael Moore 40 Michel Barateau - Cabinet maker 39 ML Computers 22 Mr T's Fish & Chips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 MT Menuiserie 41 Mutuelle de Poitiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Oh my lord! Franck's fish and chips . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Rob Berry 38 RT Construction 41 Simon the Tiler 41 Smart Moves Removals 29 Spectrum IFA Group 45 Stephen Shaw EI 39 Steve Coupland 40 Strictly Roofing 39 Sunny Sky Cars 23 The Fixer Administration Services 17 The French House Satellite TV 22 Val Assist 17 Vienne Tree Services 30
Word scramble 8 2 7 4 5 1 9 3 6 9 4 6 7 8 3 5 2 1 5 3 1 9 2 6 4 8 7 1 9 4 3 7 8 2 6 5 7 8 2 6 1 5 3 9 4 6 5 3 2 9 4 1 7 8 4 7 8 5 3 2 6 1 9 3 6 9 1 4 7 8 5 2 2 1 5 8 6 9 7 4 3 6 5 3 8 4 7 9 1 2 8 9 1 6 2 3 5 4 7 4 7 2 5 9 1 6 8 3 9 1 4 2 7 6 8 3 5 2 6 8 4 3 5 1 7 9 5 3 7 1 8 9 4 2 6 3 4 5 7 6 8 2 9 1 1 2 9 3 5 4 7 6 8 7 8 6 9 1 2 3 5 4 5 4 6 1 3 7 8 9 2 9 8 7 6 2 5 3 1 4 3 2 1 9 8 4 5 7 6 7 1 5 2 9 8 6 4 3 8 6 4 7 1 3 2 5 9 2 3 9 5 4 6 1 8 7 1 7 8 3 6 9 4 2 5 6 9 2 4 5 1 7 3 8 4 5 3 8 7 2 9 6 1 Easy Medium Very Hard Cr
1 ATNALC CANTAL 2 RCIONTT ED VLCNHAIGO CROTTIN DE CHAVIGNOL 3 YAÇEALVN VALENÇAY 4 EULB DUENVAREG' BLEU D'AUVERGNE 5 ARBTEFUO BEAUFORT 6 ARMRCAUODO ROCAMADOUR 7 SISESOPE EPOISSES 8 OUARSTYSIA- OSSAU-IRATY 9 LONEHORCB REBLOCHON 10 REOBRMI MORBIER 11 NBCNAODEA ABONDANCE 12 VOATLIR LIVAROT sudoku 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 R H U M B A R E V A M P O E C A I F L U T E O U T C A S T L A M U H C O M M A P O P U L A R W O L M P A R C H I T E C T B P C L T W I C H I T A P E D A L S O T A R T H I S T L E A N V I L O I D E F S P A S M S V E R I F Y 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 11 12 14 14 15 16 17 18 16 19 17 18 20 21 22 23 24 20 25 21 22 26 27 23 24 28 25 29 1 P A C E D F E E T A R O I A 8 L G R E E N B O T T L E S E S T E N E E U D R E A R E N D I N G S N O R L A L I T T L E G A L L O N O U A P O I N D I A N S A S C O T N I L H A T U A S E N A T O R O U S E L G A A I T L F O U R M O S E S
yptic Crossword Easy Crossword


Alloinay €303,191

Ref: A20678 - 3-bedroom farmhouse with pool, outbuildings and garden.

Agency fees to be paid by the seller.

Energy class: D Climate class: D

Lorigné €333,900

Ref: A15444 - 4-bedroom farmhouse with 2-bedroom gîte, pool and garden.

6% agency fees included paid by the buyer. Energy class: D Climate class: A

Melle €239,800

Ref: A09177 - 4-bedroom property with 2-bedroom gîte and gardens.

Agency fees to be paid by the seller.

Argentonnay €268,817

home with outbuildings, pond and land.

Agency fees to be paid by the seller.

Energy class: D Climate class: C

Caunay €344,500

Ref: A10143 - Lovely property with 3 gîtes, pool, garden and wood cabin.

6% agency fees included paid by the buyer.


Energy class: D Climate class: D EXCLUSIVE

Sainte-Verge €399,999

Ref: A23553 - Splendid 5-bedroom stone property with outbuildings.

5% agency fees included paid by the buyer.

Energy class: E Climate class: E

Thouars €425,000

Ref: A22046 - Neo-gothic 5-bedroom town-house with garden and garage.

Agency fees to be paid by the seller.

Energy class: F Climate class: F

Ref: A24402 - 3-bedroom renovated property with gardens and garage.

9% agency fees included paid by the buyer. Energy class: E Climate class: B

Sauzé-Vaussais €84,700

Ref: A21750 - 3-bedroom house with workshop, terrace and land.

10% agency fees included paid by the buyer.



Beugnon-Thireuil €99,000

Ref: A24468 - Charming 2-bedroom village property with outbuilding.

10% agency fees included paid by the buyer.

Energy class: F Climate class: C

Boussais €251,450

Ref: A26974 - 3-bedroom farmhouse with gîte, outbuildings, pond and 2 acres.

7% agency fees included paid by the buyer. Energy class: E Climate class: B

Neuvy-Bouin €169,200

Ref: A19293 - Spacious 3-bedroom house with nearly 5 acres of land.

8% agency fees included paid by the buyer.

Energy class: D Climate class: C

We have helped 1000s of clients buy and sell listed on our website. If you are looking to sell, contact us for a
+33 (0)5 53 60 84 88 · ·

ROM €200,000

Ref: BVI73464 Pretty 3-bed home with landscaped garden and covered terrace

Fees: paid by the vendor Energy class: D Climate class: E

LE BEUGNON €485,000

REF: BVI73309 5-bed detached property with land and pool in a beautiful setting

Fees: paid by the vendor Energy class: C Climate class: C



Ref: BVI65762 3-bed renovated village home with landscaped gardens and pool

Fees: paid by the vendor Energy class: D Climate class: B

REF: BVI69530 Perfect holiday home! 2-bed, 1-bath habitable cottage in quiet hamlet

Fees: €6K paid by the buyer Net price: €55,000 Energy class: F Climate class: C


Ref: BVI71901 Renovated farmhouse with guest house, land and pool

Fees: 7% paid by the buyer Net price: €279,440

Energy class: D Climate class: B


Ref: BVI73691 An equestrian property to renovate close to town amenities

Fees: paid by the vendor Energy class: E Climate class: F

PERIGNE €690,000 HAI

Ref: BVI72269 5-bed former logis with indoor heated pool and tennis court

Fees: 6% paid by the buyer Net price: €650,944 Energy class: C Climate class: A


Ref: BVI73400 Habitable home with property to restore - great potential

Fees: 10% paid by the buyer Net price: €72,500 Energy class: D Climate class: E 05 56 71 36 59 Siret : 501 191 720 00199 - Sas Beaux Villages Immobilier au capital de 2 000 € - RCS 501 191 720 Bordeaux - CPI 3301 2018 000 027 010 Bordeaux
Estate Agency
Website France Join our team! We’re recruiting independent property consultants across all areas of South West France. Want to know more? Email Tina, Head of Recruitment at
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Information on the risks to which these properties are exposed is available on the Geohazards website:
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