The Deux-Sèvres Monthly Magazine - September 2022 Issue

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FREE / GRATUIT Issue 131, September 2022 Plus gardening, take a break, recipes, bees, photography, health & fitness and much more English language magazine for the Deux-Sèvres and surrounding areas TIMEHARVESTONTHEVINEYARDVOYAGERS'VOYAGES

Affordable UK Designs UPVC & Aluminium Double Glazing, Fitted Kitchens Free plan, design and costing throughout South-West France Other areas by arrangement Phone: 05 49 42 99 41 ~ Mobile: 06 63 71 09 81 ~ Email: Siret: 513 577 809 00017 UPVC windows, Doors & Conservatories in all colours and styles Aluminium and UPVC Bifold Doors Made to “A” Grade spec in French styles

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 3 © Anthony and Lynda Wigmore 2022. 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. It is strongly advised to check details of published events with other sources before setting out on long journeys. <<The Deux-Sèvres Monthly>> est édité par Anthony and Lynda Wigmore 32 Rue Andre Gastel, 79450, Saint-Aubin-Le-Cloud Tél: 07 68 35 45 18. Directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: Anthony Wigmore EI. Crédits photos : Pixabay sauf mention contraire. Impression: Graficas Piquer SL, 29 Al Mediterraneo, Pol. Ind. San Rafael, 04230, Huércal de Almeria, Espagne. Siret: 830 076 345 00016. ISSN: 2115-4848 Welcome. Despite it being VERY hot for the last few weeks (at least), we have managed to spend some lovely time with our children who have been visiting from the UK. We've been out and about "doing stuff" - COVID closures seem almost a distant memory. Wonderful to see so many events able to bounce back after the last couple of years. Hope you have been able to enjoy the summer as much as we have. Have a lovely September. Stay safe. Tel: Email: Website: Contents Bulletin Board 4 Technology 11 Take a Break 12 Our Furry Friends 15 Food and Drink 16 A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres 20 On The Road 22 La Vie En France 25 Book Club 32 Health, Beauty and Fitness 35 À La Carte 38 Home and Garden 42 Clubs and Associations 50 Building and Renovation 52 Property 57 Business and Finance 60 Tony & Lynne This Month's Advertisers ABORDimmo 58 Adrian Butterfield (Handyman) 54 Affordable UK Designs (UPVC Double Glazing & Kitchens) 2 AKE Petits Travaux (Builder) 54 Alcoholics Anonymous 50 Alpacas & Glamping, Sanzay 5 Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group 63 Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) 55 Anthea Libby 4 ARB French Property 58 Association les Chevaliers d'Ensigné 4 Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) 62 Beaux Villages Immobilier 59 BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want 60 Blevins Franks Financial Management 61 Busy Bee (Cleaning Services) 43 Cherry Picker Hire (Tony Moat) 56 Chez Christie’s Tea Rooms 4 Chris Bassett Construction 54 Chris Parsons (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 55 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 55 CRRL (Centre Régional « Résistance & Liberté) » 5 Darren Lawrence 54 DPS Services (Gardener / Handyman) 43 Escoval (English Speaking Church) 5 Fête des Champignons de La Couarde 4 Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) 24 Glendee Property Services 53 Hallmark Electricité 52 Harrison Hair (Mobile Hairdresser) 36 H & R Building Services 53 Ian Coxen - Handyman with van 53 Irving Location - Digger Hire and Gravel deliveries 56 Jeff’s Metalwork 56 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 24 Keith Banks (Pool Services) 58 KJ Painting and decorating 55 KM Property Maintenance (Owen) 53 KM Services 79 (Cleaning & Gardening) 43 La Deuxieme Chance (Decorative paint specialists) 43 Le Café, Civray 4 Leggett Immobilier 57 Leggett Immobilier (Recruitment) 58 LPV Technology (IT services) 11 Magic Renovations (Michael Glover) 53 Mark Sabestini - Renovation and Construction 54 Maximilien Newman-Legros - Massage Therapies 36 Michael Moore (Electrician) 52 Michel Barateau (Cabinet maker) 52 ML Computers 11 Needa Hand Services (Grass cutting etc.) 53 Netball : Les Étoiles de Clessé 50 Odd Job John (John Allsopp) 43 Poitiers Biard Airport 2 RJC Pool Services 2 Rob Berry (Plasterer) 53 Robert Fletcher (RT Construction) 54 Royal British Legion (Bordeaux & South West) 50 Simon the Tiler 55 Smart Moves - Removals & Storage 24 Stephen Shaw (Painter) 55 Steve Coupland (Plumbing and renovations) 53 Steve Robin (Plumbing, heating, electrics) 55 Strictly Roofing 52 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 29 Sunny Sky Cars 24 Susan Myall (Admin Support) 29 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 24 The Fixer - Rick Denton 29 The French House Satellite TV 52 The Trading Post (International Food & Drink) 19 Tim Électricien 79 52 Val Assist (Translation Services) 29 Vienne Tree Services 43 dsm131-sep22 v27a Online

4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 B a k i n g C l a s s e s a r e b a c k ! W e d n e s d a y s i n S e p t e m b e r P i e s & P a s t i e s , B a p s & B r e a k f a s t C a k e s , d o n u t s , t e a c a k e s E v e r y t h i n g m a d e b y b a k e r K e i t h T u e s / T h u r s / F r i 9 a m 2 p m 2 4 r u e d u c o m m e r c e 8 6 4 0 0 C i v r a y w w w l e c a f e c i v r a y c o m Civray Le Café Follow us on Facebook & Insta! @LeCafeCivray SIRET 820 301 299 Bulletin Board th andRich C hristie’s GREAT GIFTS & BEAUTIFUL CARDS Summer Scarves, Jewellery, Tapestry Insulated Bottles & Bags, Mugs, Books Bamboo Socks & Cutlery, Candles … Relax on the Terrasse and e njoy H omemade Lemonade & Iced Tea DELICIOUS HOME BAKING S cones, Cupcakes, Ric h Fruit Cake, Br ownies, M uffins, Carrot Cake … Serving Warm Welcomes Since 2004! TUES FRI: 10am 12pm : 3pm 7pm / SAT : 10am 12pm : 3pm 6pm WWW CHEZCH RISTI ES F R 05 49 50 61 94 ‘ C hez Ch ristie’ s G ençay ’ GENÇ AY (86) - behi nd the Mairie S i r e t : 4 7 8 7 6 9 6 9 8 0 0 0 1 8 NE W: Arti san I ce Creams! 29 th Mushrooms Festival Sunday, Oct. 16th Maison Peleboise de La Couarde (79) Saturday, Oct. 15th Infos - 06 72 20 10 04 Free Entrance Labeling of treesremarkablein the Forest of lʹHermitain Mycological exhibition Guided CraftPerformancepickingMarket Trop trognon ce champignon, il a ouvert parapluiesonmignonʺ EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS by ANTHEA LIBBY 2nd, 3r d and 4th September T he Chur ch, Chantecor ps Open daily 10am—6pm

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 5 Écuries du Rond-pointChâteaudu19mars 1962 79100 THOUARS 05 49 66 42 99 Explore the history of the Second World War and the everyday life in occupied France. Follow the steps of those who said "no", from individual acts of civil disobedience to collective actions of Resistance, through a path based on regional history. A journey to the past to get a better understanding of our current world through this interactive and unique exhibition with original photographs, clandestine newspapers, letters and Audioguidesvideos. in English Centre Régional « Résistance & Liberté » To understand and live our freedom Activities proposed for groups (Please contact us for details) Open 2.30 to 6 pm July > October 2nd : Tuesday to Friday and Sunday Closed on public holidays From 2 € to 4 € (Cash and cheque only) Why not advertise YOUR event on our Bulletin Board info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.frpages. FOR SALE Landrover Discovery 2 154,000 miles On French plates Best ring me for more info. 06 07 97 07 16 Price 2,800 €

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2022... Sat 1 January New Year’s Day (Jour de l’an) Sun 17 April Easter Sunday (Pâques) Mon 18 April Easter Monday (Pâques) Sun 1 May Labour Day (Fête du premier mai) Sun 8 May VE 1945 (Fête du huitième mai) Thu 26 May Ascension Day (Ascension) Sun 5 June Whit Sunday (Pentecôte) Mon 6 June Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte) Thu 14 July Bastille Day (Fête nationale) Mon 15 Aug Assumption day (Assomption) Tue 1 November All Saints’ Day (Toussaint) Fri 11 November Armistice Day (Armistice) Sun 25 December Christmas Day (Noël) source CHURCH NOTICES... The Filling Station - Poitou-Charentes. Local Christians of all denominations who meet for spiritual renewal and evangelism. or Carolyn on 05 45 84 19 03. 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). ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre. We hold two services each month (+ Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St. Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11h. The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes, normally holds Sunday services in English. Please see our website for current information: Eglise Vie Nouvelle Bilingual (French / English) weekly service based in Civray See Contact 05 49 87 49 04 Christian Fellowship - Chef Boutonne Meeting each Sunday at 15h. Visit or telephone 05 49 29 81 34 LOCAL MARKETS Mondays......... Benet 85490 La Châtaigneraie (last Monday in month) 85120 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Tuesdays......... Lezay 79120 Civray 86400 Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 - and - Bressuire 79300 Vasles 79340 Wednesdays.... Parthenay 79200 - and - Celles-sur-Belle 79370 Ruffec 16700 Thursdays........ Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 - and - Niort 79000 La Mothe St Héray 79800 Gençay 86160 Fridays............... Thouars 79100 - and - Melle 79500 Secondigny 79130 (pm)-and-St Aubin le Cloud (pm) Civray 86400 (small food market) Antigny 85120 (1st and 3rd Fridays - pm) La Mothe Saint-Héray 79800 (Place Clémenceau) Melle 79500 (la Place Bujault) AIGONDIGNE 79370 (Place de la Gasse, 4pm-8/9pm) Saturdays........ Bressuire 79300 - and - Champdeniers 79220 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 - and - Niort 79000 Saint Maixent-l’École 79400 Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 Ruffec 16700 Magné 79460 and Moncoutant 79320 Sundays............ Coulon 79510 - and - Neuville-de-Poitou 86170 Thénezay 79390 Saint-Varent Saint-Loup-Lamairé79330 79600 FRYER TUCKS Fish and Chips Sadly we have had to bring the Fryer Tucks journey to an end. We would both like to thank all of you who have been customers and friends over the last 3-4 years and wish everyone the very best for the future. "So long and thanks for all the fish" Thank you Darren and Caroline TRADITIONALPORKMARKEY’S‘N’PIESBRITISHCOOKING Sat: Fontenay-le-Comte (marché), Vendée and at Saint-Jean-d’Angély (marché intérieur), Charente-Maritime Sun: Aulnay (marché), Charente-Maritime Open mornings Tel: 05 46 01 54 www.markeys-pies.com65SIRET:48492028500018 MR T’S FISH & CHIPS 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 Tel: 06 02 22 44 mrt.fishandchips@gmail.com74www.frying4u2nite.comSIRET:53760697200025 A big thank you to EVERYONE who helps get our magazine into your hands each month

September 1, 1914

September 3, 1939

The coronation of Æthelstan took place at Kingston-uponThames, perhaps due to its symbolic location on the border between Wessex and Mercia. He was crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Athelm, who probably designed or organised a new ordo (religious order of service) in which the king wore a crown for the first time instead of a helmet. Modern historians regard him as the first King of England and one of the "greatest Anglo-Saxon kings".

September 26 1687

New Zealand women first went to the polls in the national elections of November 1893.


September 15 1890

September 7, 1813

September 8 1966

New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant national voting rights to women. The Electoral bill was the outcome of years of suffragette activities across the country, with women often travelling considerable distances to hear lectures and speeches, pass resolutions, and sign petitions.

Star Trek aired in the US (although it had debuted two days earlier on Canada's CTV network). Created by Gene Roddenberry it follows the adventures of the star ship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and its crew.

Dancer Isadora Duncan is strangled in Nice, France, when the enormous silk scarf she is wearing gets tangled in the rear hubcaps of her open-top car. She was travelling as a passenger in her new convertible sports car when her scarf somehow blew into the well of the rear wheel tightening around her neck, dragging her from the car and onto the cobblestone street. She died instantly. Tragedy seemed to follow Duncan’s motoring life - in 1913, her two small children drowned when the car they were in plunged over a bridge into the Seine in Paris, and Duncan herself was seriously injured in car accidents in 1913 and 1924.

The United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from New York, supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. He stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the food as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for—and personification of—the U.S. federal government.

Martha, the Passenger Pigeon, died of old age in the Cincinnati Zoo. She was believed to be the last living individual of her species after two male companions had died in the same zoo in 1910.

September 9 1087

September 14 1927

In response to Hitler’s invasion of Poland two days earlier, Britain and France, who were both allies of the overrun nation, declare war on Germany. Within hours the British ocean liner Athenia was sunk by the German U-30 submarine that had assumed the liner was armed. 112 lives were lost.

September 19 1893

During the bombardment of the Acropolis by Venetian forces, part of the Parthenon was destroyed in a powder explosion. The Ottoman Turks fortified the Acropolis and used the Parthenon as a gunpowder magazine, despite having been forewarned of the dangers of this use by the 1656 explosion that severely damaged the Propylaea (a monumental ceremonial gateway). About three hundred people were killed in the explosion which also caused large fires that burned until the following day, consuming many homes.

September 4, 925

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 7

King William I (William the Conqueror) died early in the morning at the age of fifty-nine, having ruled England for twenty-one years and Normandy for thirty-one more. His burial in St. Stephen’s Church, which he had built at Caen, was as eventful as his life. The funeral procession was disrupted by a fire in the town, a local noble complained that he had been dispossessed of the land in which William was to be buried, and when attendants forced the body into the too small tomb it burst, spreading a disgusting odour throughout the church.

Mary Clarissa Agatha Miller, later known as Agatha Christie, is born in Torquay, England. She was the author of 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections and is best known for those revolving around fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Christie used her knowledge of poisons, gained when working in hospital dispensaries, to inform her storylines. Following her marriage to archaeologist Max Mallowan in 1930, she spent several months each year on digs in the Middle East and also used her first-hand knowledge of this profession in her fiction.

04/09 LES PUCES DES COUTURIÈRES THOUARS 79100. Sale of fabrics, buttons, laces, threads etc. 9-18h. Free.

04/09 FÊTE AU VILLAGE SAINT-GEORGES-DE-NOISNÉ 79400. Giant barbecue with entertainment for young & old, craft stalls. 12-21h. Free. 04/09 FÊTE AU VILLAGE FONTIVILLIE 79110. 8 or 12 km hike. Exhibition of old agricultural equipment. Guided tour of the lavoirs. Old-fashioned bread demonstrations. Children's games, pony ride. Food truck refreshment. Free. 04/09 SOAP BOX RACE GOURGE 79200. Catering and refreshments available. 9-17h. Free . 04/09 FÊTE AU VILLAGE VAUSSEROUX 79420. On the theme of Tour de France various exhibitions, crafts and festive meal with braised Bison. Continuous entertainment and games, buffet bar. 8-19h. Free. 04/09 FÊTE DU VILLAGE PAMPLIE 79220. Vide grenier, vintage car show, organised walk, group motorbike ride (9h departure), equestrian show, photo and crafts exhibitions, food (steak lunch) and drink. Reservations for lunch or bike ride: 05 49 25 67 45 (French) or 05 49 40 72 08 (English).

09/09 MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS COULONGESTHOUARSAIS 79330. Local producers and artisans introduce you to their food and drink. Music. Bring your cutlery, plates and glasses. From 18h. Free. 09/09 MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS CHERVEUX 79410. Local producers and artisans introduce you to their food and drink. Music. Bring your cutlery, plates and glasses. From 18h. Free. 10/09 JOUR DE FÊTE AU PONT PREUIL VAL EN VIGNES 79290. Street arts show at 18.45h. Rap concert at 21h. Refreshment bar from 17h, catering from 19h. Free. 10/09 VILLAGE ET FROMAGE EN FÊTE SAINT-LOUPLAMAIRE 79600. Animations, games, tastings, farmers' market, catering, refreshments and fireworks at 22.45h at the stadium. From 15-23h. Free.

The information here is as accurate as we can get it but PLEASE check events have not been cancelled or altered before you leave the house.

DÉPART DE LA GOLDEN GLOBE RACE LES SABLESD'OLONNE 85100. Start of the longest sailing sporting event in the world. 13.30h Everyone on the quays, along the channel, to encourage the skippers. 16h Departure.

10/09 OPERA ‘DIDO AND AENEAS’ BY PURCELL Chateau d’Oiron (Salle d’Armes), OIRON 79100. Fully staged performance with baroque orchestra. Tickets 20€ full price, 15€ students/unemployed, under 16s free. From 20h. Reservations: 07 86 88 52 57. 11/09 FOIRE AUX MELONS BECELEUF 79160. Walk, concert, games, pony rides. Bar and food. 8-16h. Free. 16/09 FÊTE DE LA BIÈRE L'ABSIE 79240. Oktoberfest with different guest bands: 20-05h. 10€. 16/09 FÊTE DE VILLE SAINTE-OUENNE 79220. From 20h take advantage of the catering and the refreshment bar, then fireworks at 22.30h. Free.

16/09 LES BARJOTS DUNKERS SAINT-PARDOUX-SOUTIERS 79310. The Barjots Dunkers are a professional acrobatic troop on trampolines with an acrobatic basketball show. From 19h. Free.


03/09 APÉRO CONCERT CHAMPDENIERS 79220. Craft market from 16h then concert. Restoration by reservation and refreshments on site. 16-23h. Free. 03-04/09 FOIRE À L'ANCIENNE HERMENAULT 85570. Meal and free fireworks on Saturday from 19h. Exhibitors and events of a village festival as in the old days. Musical entertainment, lively parade with street performers with fanfares, traditional garage sale, refreshment bar and catering on site. From 9h. Free.


8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 WHAT’S ON DIARY

02-04/09 LA MONTGOLFIADE DE THOUARS SAINTE-VERGE 79100. Forty hot air balloons will take off on Friday from 19h, Saturday and Sunday at 7h30 and from 19h. Many activities for children, music and fireworks, a cycling and pedestrian hike, market and exhibition of old cars. Catering on site. Free. 02-04/09 EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS CHANTECORPS 79340. Exhibition of paintings by local artist Anthea Libby. Open 10h - 18h each day. 02-04/09 FÊTE DES ROSIÈRES LA MOTHE-SAINTE-HERAY 79800. Friday 21h, parade of floats from the orangery to the town centre. 23h fireworks, refreshment bar and fast food. Saturday 21h, Bal de la Rosière with DJ at the sports complex, on-site catering with food-trucks. Sunday 15h departure of the great cavalcade. Free.

01-04/09 VILLAGE DE LA GOLDEN GLOBE RACE LES SABLES-D'OLONNE 85100. Celebrations around the skippers and their boats for the Vendee Globe. Free activities and workshops for young and old, concerts and shows. 02/09 MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS MAULEON 79700. Local producers and artisans introduce you to their food and drink. Music. Bring your cutlery, plates and glasses. From 18h. Free.

VIDE-GRENIER ET BRADERIE PARTHENAY 79200. Large street sale through central Parthenay. 8h-19h. Free. 03/09 MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS SAINT-PROUANT 85110. Local producers and artisans introduce you to their food and drink. Music. Bring your cutlery, plates and glasses. From 18h. Free. 03/09 SPECTACLE ÉQUESTRE AIRVAULT 79600. A parade through the streets of the city centre from 16.30h and a show to immerse yourself in the world of chivalry. Open to all at 18h. 03/09 MARCHÉ DE PRODUCTEURS L’ABSIE 79240. Local producers and artisans introduce you to their food and drink. Music. Bring your cutlery, plates and glasses. From 18h. Free.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 9 WHAT’S ON DIARY

17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE Many of the region's museums and historical buildings offer free visits or open days to interest visitors. Check the local tourist information centre for details of events in your area.

Let us know how many you would like and we will send them to you by post (we will need your full postal address of course). We will send you a payment request with your order. All cheques payable to “The Royal British Legion” or pay via our Just Giving norm All funds raised are credited to the Poppy Appeal for the Bordeaux Royal British Legion Account. Pat and Kay Johnson, based in The Aude.

17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE ENSIGNE 79170. The Templar castle of the Commanderie will be in celebration on September 17 and 18 with medieval troops and the troop of the XVIIIth century of Rochefort, many associations and artists, craftsmen and succulent stalls. Continuous animations, lectures by Mr Auzanneau and Mr Desbois. European Heritage Days "sustainable heritage". Something to eat outside or under cover. Non-stop from 10h to 18h.

17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE ECHIRE 79410. Life in the Middle Ages; free visits to Château du Coudray-Salbart throughout the day. 10-18h.

17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE PARTHENAY 79200. Weekend of historical re-enactment and investigation, recreation of daily life in the Middle Ages combining games and educational workshops. Free.

17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE SAINT-ANDRE-SUR-SEVRE 79380. What could be better than Lego® at the Château de Saint-Mesmin. Dioramas, Duplo® space, participatory workshop and treasure hunt, all as an enticing discovery of the “Fantastic Beasts”. 14.30h-18.30h. 4.50€, under 18 free.

Details of vide greniers on in Deux-Sèvres ... on in September or October, tell us about them and we will tell everyone else. Theinfo@thedeuxsevresmonthly.frinformationprovidedhere is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of printing. Do check though.

18/09 MUSIC BY THE CHARENTE CONDAC 16700. The integration association Le Coq et La Rose present music, a hog roast and a bar. Bring your own cutlery, plates, chairs and table. There is plenty of free parking. 12h-16h. Entry 10€ to members and 12€ for non-members, under 14's free.

25/09 ASSOCIATION GALIA PORTES OUVERTES FONTENAYLE-COMTE 85250. Association Galia open day with games, vide grenier and shop. Refreshments available. Free.

17/09 SEMI-NOCTURNE MOB SCOOTER SAINTCHRISTOPHE-SUR-ROC 79220. 13h-24h. Inflatables, bar and catering on site. 150 machines will set off for a 10 hour endurance race. Fireworks at 23.45h. Free entry.

17/09 SOIRÉE ENTRECÔTE FRITES FAYE-SUR-ARDIN 79160. On the menu: free aperitif, Bayonne-Melon ham, 250g steak and fries, cheese, dessert & coffee. Music by DJ Juju. Reservations before September 11. 22€ (11€ under 12).

16/09 FESTIVAL SOUD'ART PARTHENAY 79200. Live metal sculpture festival with around forty artists. Craftsmen and creators will be present. Four concerts planned for the weekend. 16-18/09 FESTIVAL "FOOD TRUCKS N ROLL" CHAURAY 79180. 60 food trucks. Entertainment with 12 free concerts.

Hello Everyone, We have double oven gloves for sale, incorporating poppy fabric in a hand stitched patchwork design. If you would like to buy some, which you can see are a double all-in-one mitt (hard to come by in France), then all we ask is 12 Euros (including postage which is ever ALLincreasing).proceeds go to the poppy appeal. Thanks for supporting us. You can place orders by poppybox2020@gmail.comemail:

17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE POZAUGES 85700. Medieval activities in the grounds of the Château by Compagnie Alagos: horses, donkeys, dance, fire, fights. Saturday 14h-19h, Sunday 10h-18h. 17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE ENSIGNE 79170. Medieval village. Vikings. "Have a go" workshops. Jousting. Archery. Jokes and story telling. Midday food, tavern and creperie. 10h to 18h. 17-18/09 JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE COULONGES SUR L'AUTIZE 79160. Range of FREE activities across the weekend including the tours of the Château, an exhibition of "The story of Little Red Riding Hood", the museum of Carpentry and Cooperage, Exhibition "Désordre" by Henri Aublet at the Hall'Expo, Halles de style Baltard, Saint-Etienne Church (when no religious service is being held). Heritage walk around the water (map available at the tourist office). For more details call 06 22 88 67 21.

Have you found yourself with more time to read after being confined to the house by COVID and, more recently, by the heatwave? If so, you might like to join a book club which will be running on a monthly basis from the end of September. The idea is that a book of the month is nominated and all club members read it and come to an afternoon meeting to discuss their reactions to it. A new book will then be chosen for a future month. Our September book is ‘The Tidal Zone’ by Sarah Moss. available from Amazon or from secondhand online sellers such as Wob and Momox. The September meeting will be held at 16.00 on Wednesday the 28 September at the Café des Belles Fleurs in Fenioux.

Reaction will be planning more theatre performance activity in 2023 but, during the autumn of this year, we hope to start two other 'spoken word 'activities' - Poems and pints evenings would involve people bringing and sharing their favourite poems in a convivial atmosphere, linked to a predetermined theme. If you think you would like to join us either as a poetry reader or just to listen please let John know of your interest and he will keep you informed once dates and themes are decided upon. Later in the year, we hope to be able to start a play reading group. It isn't easy to imagine how a play would work when you simply read it yourself in your armchair, but it can come to life when you gather round the table with others to read it aloud as a play for voices. More on this one in a future DSM. If you think this might be something that you would enjoy, please let John have your email and he will keep you informed of progress. And finally, our Autumn choir sessions will be restarting in September. No definite date as yet, but please check in on our website for more news –

Liam speaks fluent French and is able to conduct rehearsals in both French and English: “It’s a great way for people of either nationality to learn each other’s language, as well as make new Liamfriends.”isa professional music teacher and sound technician with many years’ teaching experience in both France and the UK.

“We’d like to grow our choir by attracting both English and French speakers in the Deux-Sèvres and Vendée areas and think that a workshop such as this might be a great way to start. We hope it gives new people a real taster of being part of a community choir.”

Liam Maguire, musical director of Reaction Theatre’s KeyNotes Choir is offering anyone of any ability the chance to become part of a ‘choir for a day’ on Saturday 24 September at La Salle L’Étape, (next to the library beside the church) in St Pardoux from 10:30am to 3:30pm.


“By the end of the day, we will aim to have anyone who takes part in the workshop singing at least one song confidently in the part appropriate for their voice,” said Liam, “be that soprano, alto, tenor or bass.”

Reaction Theatre Book Club

If you are interested and plan to attend, please contact John Round via in advance so that he knows how many to expect. If you can’t get to this meeting John will keep you informed of the book for October.

There is no charge for the first meeting but if you wish to become a regular member, Reaction’s very reasonable membership rates would apply.

“None of our choir members are professional singers – they’re all just enthusiastic amateurs who happen to be able to make a nice sound together.”

“There will be no judgment about your singing ability, no compulsion to join the choir after the workshop and no hard feelings if you find it’s not for you after all.”

“We’ll be starting on our winter concert programme in September and it would be great to have new choir members become a part of “Currentlythat." we rehearse every Thursday afternoon in Scillé, but we’re open to suggestions on different times and days, especially if people have busy working lives and can’t make weekday daytime rehearsals."

Liam explains: “Since I took over as KeyNotes musical director just over a year ago, in the middle of the COVID pandemic, we’ve done our best to keep our choir going though times have been tough. We lost a few members, mainly due to them relocating back to the UK, but we’ve gained others who have fitted in really well.”

“And don’t worry if you don’t know which part suits you best –that’s something we can discover in the workshop.”

The idea is that Liam, plus a few established choir members, will run a one-day interactive workshop for anyone who has ever thought of joining a choir but never plucked up the courage to do so. We’re charging just 10 euros per person for the day to help cover our costs.

“So please consider becoming part of our ‘choir for a day’ and joining us in St Pardoux on 24 September. We’d love to see you there.”If you’d like to join us or find out more, please email: or go to our website by Sally Cox

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

Ever thought of joining a choir but didn’t have the confidence to sign up? Didn’t think your voice might be good enough? Fearful of what others might think? Well, now’s your chance to put that right.

For those interested in 4G reception, please bear in mind that if you do not already have a signal outside your property, a booster system will not create one. These Stuart runs The French House Satellite TV

Well, it’s been a bit warm hasn’t it? I played it very sensibly and had a curry on two consecutive evenings in early August, as nothing says keep cool like a spiced-up Chicken Vindaloo. It’s amazing the places you can sweat from.

Have a great month.

However, before you attempt to do one, you need to be sure that your Sky box is receiving a signal. So, if you have another decoder available, or you can borrow one from a friend, you can check the incoming signal on that particular cable. Once you know you know you have a signal (by making sure all the channels are working on the temporary box), if all else has failed to coerce the Sky box into working, you can go for the ‘nuclear’ option and try a forced software upgrade.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 11

Technology Satellite TV and Internet

To do this, you need to unplug the unit from the mains, or simply pull the power lead out the back. Then, press and hold the ‘back up’ button on the top of the Sky box. Do not release it yet. Then, reconnect the power supply to the mains. Keep the ‘back up’ button pressed until 4 lights appear on the front of your Sky box. At this point, you can release the button. If your TV is on, you’ll also see an on-screen message confirming the operation. The software download is underway and can take up to 10 minutes. Once it’s finished, the box will go back into standby. Give it time to catch up with life and then try to switch it on and see if it Iworks.wrote

Right, if you have a Sky box and it’s not playing ball, there is the possibility that it might require a forced software upgrade. This is relatively unusual but not unheard of.

Other contact details in his advert in the Buildings & Renovations section of the magazine systems are great at bringing the outside signal to inside the house, but they only work if you have an external 4G reception already. It cannot boost what isn’t there. If you can’t receive 4G and don’t have a landline telephone, then your next port of call for an internet connection is satellite internet.

As always, please feel free to get in touch if you would like any further information or would like to discuss your requirements. Contact details can be found on the advert.

by Stuart Wallace

As I was typing away recently, trying to make the deadline for the very understanding editors of this publication, Mrs W looked across and asked what I was doing. ‘My monthly column for the DSM’ I said. ‘Hmmm’, she replied, ‘I didn’t know you could read and write, let alone use a computer’. It’s these little moments of closeness and understanding that really make it all worthwhile. We’ve been married for 25 years and I can confidently say that someone, somewhere, must have enjoyed them.

Even though it has ‘Sky’ in the name, Sky Arts is actually a free channel. It can be found at channel 147 on the Freesat platform and at frequency 12070, H, 27500 for those with a free to air receiver that haven't already found it.

last month that the latest Freesat+ box will work perfectly well from a standard twin or quad LNB. I should also have said that it’ll also work from a single cable, but you’ll lose some of the functionality.

Going back to last month’s article about Orange offering a free TNTSAT box to customers following the closure of its satellite TV service, I can confirm that this is true. My neighbour received one and all was fine. Naturally, he had to ask Orange for it, it wasn’t automatically offered, but that may have been an isolated case. Hint, it won’t be!

Anyway, I hope you’re all keeping well and have been having a good summer. So, hoping that the weather has cooled a little bit and you can read this whilst not creating your own swimming pool of bodily fluids, let’s crack on. Freesat is not the same as Freeview.

Clues ACROSS 1. A fast gait of a horse (6) 4. Muscle that flexes the forearm (6) 8. A thick spread made from mashed chickpeas (5) 9. Get over an illness (7) 10. Poised for action (5) 11. Strangle with an iron collar (7) 12. A high-ranking Shiite religious and political leader (9) 15. Not normally encountered (7) 16. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer with vegetables (5) 17. A wrapped container (7) 18. A city and resort in south-eastern Florida (5) 19. A person responsible for the written aspects of a publication (6) 20. A woman's very brief bathing suit (6) Clues DOWN 2. Pleasantly occupied (6) 3. A hamper that holds dirty clothes (7-6) 5. Dairy product drink flavoured with cacao (9-4) 6. Sufficient (6) 7. People who live underground and in caves (11) 13. Area of land surrounded by water (6) 14. Person who serves drinks behind a counter (6) Clues Across 1. Free! Free! Missing the first of February, totally confused the judge. (7) 5. Mature, but show a tear when on the border of emotion. (5) 8. Local competition to get a hat? (5) 9. Cab seen turning over and then disappearing? (7) 10. Primate around first to speak on the side of the church. (4) 11. Go too far with set of deliveries for a lark? (8) 14. Policeman first to plunge in short swim. (3) 16. Join in with middle-aged on the sea in Brittany. (5) 17. Positive response to early essay content. (3) 19. Cross one ambivalent on sex and upset one in the middle? (8) 20. Druggie rues treatment? (4) 23. Footballer Trevor perhaps dropping off last letter to get a ticket? (7) 25. Also known as Lucy, regularly messed up, sadly. (5) 26. The Spanish/ French end like a small creature? (5) 27. Scotland’s wee person is carrying one playing behind the others? (7) Clues Down 1. End of play-time for communist joker? (3, 4) 2. Works the land a long way off and shows how far to go? (5) 3. Beams after RC conversion on sand banks. (4) 4. Stretch of time for queen and last member of mafia. (3) 5. Puts aside and keeps, having taken the lid off. (8)

P62onSolutions Take a Break DSM Easy Crossword (with thanks to Rob Berry) DSM Toughie Crossword (with thanks to Mike Morris) WORD SQUARE How many words of three or more letters can you make from the letters in our square? There is one word of nine letters. We estimate about 250 words are possible. If you want to

letter. 0 - 60 Not bad 121 - 180 Very good 61 - 120 Quite good 181 + Expert H E T V A R S R E 12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022


6. Punishment coming for plenty involved with centre of call game. (7) 7. Being in want of maiden, name the dowry limits. (5)

it harder, only

12. Extract of driver getting on the side of the road. (5) 13. Leaving out nothing, young lady gets a charged atom. (8) 15. First of people to suspend workers gets a decider? (4 - 3)

18. One normally in front of the rest is not working? (7) 19. Bleat about water level? (5) 21. What’s current on street fashion? (5) 22. Except for South Africa’s very early beginnings. (4) 24. Talk is essential to meeting aspirations? (3) make allow that contain the centre

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 13 361 369482 3 1 8674 7 256 243 1879625 3619 SUDOKU P62onSolutions Word Search Generator A E R O P L A N E X W D N P R T L I V D R M O C W M A M Z V É L O M I R K P W Y P O S I C A M I O N R Y K D P O Q S V Y J T M O T O J D M Y A C M X A T A I O C M Z N S A K O P N S L O E B Z T E Z I A G D Y Y N D V R A C Z F T Q U I T T T M A M U E C A R E V O O O R J O N T R U P G T M J V W A P I O A K O U O E M E R I Z D O E E L O K O T O H Z P O T F O E N S Y N O A E Y G N E M X U R U T G T R G L I T F O B O A T R E Z M K X E T L M C J J G H O T A I R B A L L O O N V Z Z A F B O N V A B P V U V P X L K P O C G R L M L W F Q B C M J J E A F G M B I K E F M F W U L A N M O T O R B I K E W J W Q I I K N O T H H F M S U B W A Y N N J V C È V X R E E T G Z X B U K A I H L A Z U R V L R A C V O M T R P J B U K O B X Z E R B Y U O Z Q N E V O B U P Z B T O G O D G M O T O R H O M E M X V F E O CAR HOTAIRBALLOON MOTORBIKE CAMION MONTGOLFIÈRE VÉLO METROTROTTINETTEMONTGOLFIÈRECAMPINGAVIONCAMIONBATEAUMOTOVÉLOVOITURESUBWAYSCOOTERHOTMOTORAEROPLANELORRYBOATMOTORBIKEBIKECARHOMEAIRBALLOONCAR WORD SEARCH CONNECT FOUR What connects the following ... 1. a. Japan b. England c. Turkey d. Switzerland 2. a. Wrath b. Horn c. Farewell d. Finisterre 3. a. Courageous (1916) b. Glorious (1917) c. Furious (1917) d. Argus (1918) 4. a. Dec 21 b. Oct 25 c. Hex 15 d. Bin 10101

14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 pictures.twothesebetweendifferencesTENareTherethem?spotyouCan



Tel/SMS/WhatsApp79300188406492832 45 AdoptionsShopCafe Adoptions we

The Funny Farm Cat Rescue Grand79200Beaupuits Germain de Longue Chaume Association No. always have lots of visit them Wednesdays or contact for an alternative appointment, carry out an online home check and always try to match the right cat with its new owners. Shop Open every Wednesday 11am - 4pm Fish & Chips last Wednesday of every month (order direct with Fryer Tuck) Donations for the shop welcome Monday & CatWednesday10am-2pmFoodDonationswelcome all the time Tech Clinic with Ross Hendry 2nd Wednesday of every month

cats & kittens available,


Our Furry Friends Hope Confolens16 51 route de Confolens La Tulette, Ansac-sur-Vienne16500 4hope@gmail.comshopsixteen Hope Sauzé-Vaussais79 2 Route de Vauthion 79190 Sauzé-Vaussais 4hope@gmail.comshopseventynine Hope Eymoutiers87 2 rue de la Vieille Tour 87120 Eymoutiers 4hope@gmail.comshopeightyseven N RNA W792002789 generalenquiries4hope@gmail.comwww.hopeassoc.orgHopeAssociationCharityShops-HelpinganimalsinneedPlease check the website for shop opening hours as they are subject to change and/or temporary closure due to Covid-19 restrictions. ANIMALArkCHARITY ASSOCIATION Cafe,HaberdasheryBric-A-BracBooksClothesToysEnglishfoodplusmore. association n° W792005745 8 Rue d'Aunis 79120 Sainte-Soline 05 49 29 68 ARKshop79@outlook.com22ARK79AnimalCharityshop Charity Shop BOUTIQUE CARITATIVE Open every Tuesday 10am - 4pm and the last Saturday of the month 10am - 2pm



Funny Farm Cat Rescue Le Grand79200Beaupuits St Germain de Longue Chaume Association No. Tel/SMS/WhatsApp79300188406492832 45 AdoptionsShopCafe Adoptions we always have lots of cats & kittens available, visit them Wednesdays or contact us for an alternative appointment, we carry out an online home check and always try to match the right cat with its new owners. Shop Open

Izzy's a delightful 10 year young French spaniel with a zest for life that belies her years. Bouncy and energetic, she will fill your days with happy smiles, cuddles and fun. Please contact us through our email at if you're interested in learning more. Izzy The Association En Route tel: 07 69 18 56 81 or by email: Visit the website: W792005754:Association The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 15

The every Wednesday 11am - 4pm & Chips last Wednesday every (order direct with Fryer Tuck) Donations for the shop welcome Monday & CatWednesday10am-2pmFoodDonationswelcome all the time Tech Clinic with Ross Hendry 2nd Wednesday of every month

but he is also a quick learner and already walks beautifully on a lead. Figaro has such a sweet-nature and will make a wonderful companion. Please contact us if you would like to adopt this handsome boy. He is sterilised, vaccinated, id-chipped and tested negative for FIV/FeLV. Figaro Chats de Chatillon Cat Refuge & Pension Email : Website : YOHANA has just been saved from the pound with her daughter. She is 4 and a half years old, weight 29 kilos, very affectionate, good with males and a nice female. She is quite energetic and will need some education. Currently in pension in North Deux-Sèvres. She has been micro-chipped , vaccinated and neutered. Contact or call 09 77 48 71 43 Adoption fee 280 euros.YOHANATheAssocation Orfée tel: 09 77 48 71 43 or by email: SIRET : 508 517 455 000 12

Darling Figaro is approx 4 months old and one of three adorable kittens from the same family, currently in the safe hands of one of our foster families. He is very affectionate and loves to play,



16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

The Vineyard Guys

September is upon us so preparations are underway for harvest later this month. With little rain and a heatwave, the fruit is not as big as we would have liked and therefore the sugar levels will be high, unless we get a few late showers to swell the grapes and increase the juice quantity. With irrigation not permitted in France for wine producing vineyards, we remain at the mercy of Mother Nature and what she sends us. We have to remember that the differences and difficulties that each year delivers is what makes the vintage; that difference makes French wines unique and makes them stand at the top when it comes to wine quality throughout the world. Everything from planting vines, the care of them, the harvesting and, of course, the vinification is guarded and regulated to preserve this and maintain the integrity of Vintage French Wine.

We have not really seen any rain to speak of since before June and the ground around the vines, throughout the valley and gardens is scorched and dry. Despite this, the vines are still green and fresh; the vines' main root system is within the first meter of the top, but then there are the fine roots that will reach 10 meters in search of moisture, hence the rich green foliage that remains during the heatwave.

Food and Drink

We begin checking the grapes for ripeness during the first few days of September and, once the colour from the skin begins to bleed into the juice when we break open a grape, it is time to become more scientific and take a sample to our oenologist (an expert in the science of wine) for analysis.

Younger, non-fruit producing plants can struggle a little and are the only ones that can be watered.

It's TimeHarvest by Rob Brimfield and Steve McMahon

After two analyses, we are able to plan our harvest day and, with this continued hot weather, it is likely to be early this Withyear. only a few days of notice it can be a bit of a rush to set up for the actual harvest, but this is how things are on a vineyard and everyone is used to having to put everything

Harvest days are important milestones in the wine making calendar and, once the clean up of the day is complete, we all join together to celebrate with a meal and to raise a glass to the harvest. Wine-making is a way of life and the importance of these community days and traditions is what makes the hard work thought the year worthwhile. We have lost many traditions in our lives so holding on to the ones that remain is important. After harvest, the art of making wine begins. All the hard work that has led up to this time to produce quality fruit means that it needs to be treated with care and attention on a daily basis to ensure a perfect fermentation. The natural quality of the cellar has properties that work their own magic in giving our wine its own signature due to the environment in which it is produced. plump grapes

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 17 into place quickly. We have a team of willing helpers who arrive early to pick the fruit from the terraces and the machine picks the rest of the vineyard. Some vignerons prefer to hand pick completely, but this takes time and manpower. Speed is of the essence and keeping the fruit cool and moving quickly from vine to vat is aided by the speed in which the machine works. Sorting as it picks, the best fruit is selected and transferred from the field to the cellar quickly and efficiently.

Hand resultspicked "The

The process begins ..... Machine"

This is the difference that being an artisan wine maker can make: subtleties that can not be replicated in more commercial cellars. Making wine at Clos Vieux Rochers is about heart and passion for the taste of the wines that we produce. We will talk more about the fermentation process next time. Meanwhile, we have been kept busy over the past month with guests and visitors to the vineyard and gîtes who have enjoyed sweltering weather and visits to the nearby recreational lake for a swim in the cool waters, a welcome break from the heat of the day. We are very lucky that being high up we do get a pleasant breeze most of the time but some days even the breeze was hot. Now we move into September the drop in temperature is most welcome and, with the area in the throws of harvest, the activities surrounding it make a spectacle for those visiting. With fruit laden tractors trundling along the narrow roads and people milling in the vines filling their baskets overflowing with ripe bunches of grapes. You can not help but get excited when you are surrounded by this hive of activity and get swept into the romance by the lively chatter and aroma that abounds. September is a very busy time, not just for the vineyards, but with tourists visiting the area to experience the region, there is always plenty to see and do and of course lots of lovely wine to taste. There is nothing better on a September evening but to sit with a glass of wine, overlooking our valley watching the sunset at the end of the day and just listen to nature. We hope one day you will be able to visit and have the opportunity to enjoy what we are privileged to experience every day. Until next time. For more information on Rob & Steve, their wine, vineyard tours and accommodation ...

18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 The only Trading Post shop in France Open Every Saturday & Sunday and other times on request Remember our Vintage Tearoom is also open every weekend. Buy all your UK Food locally @ Château de Saugé 1 minute Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie And fo r t hat quick fix cho colate craving , w hy no t try t his quick a nd e a s y d e s se rt 24 g All Purpose Flour 18 g Brown Sugar 1/8 tsp Salt 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract 1/4 tsp Baking Powder 15 gr Melted Butter 1 Egg Yolk You can Replace with 1 tbsp of mashed banana or 1tbsp peanut butter if you prefer. 1.5 tbsp Chocolate Chips/ Chunks Combine All the Ingredients directly in a microwave safe mug or Microwaveramekin.for1 minute. Enjoy! Château de Saugé 79400 Saivres (border of Exireuil) 06 29 15 36 55 Sau gé Vi ntage Te a Ro om C hâ teau de Sa ug é 2 Sa ugé 79400 Sa ivres 06 29 15 36 55 Si r et: 8 4890418100015 Chambres d'hôtes Gites Business/Event Centre Vintage Tearoom Trading Post Shop Please like us on Social Media: ChateauDeSauge/ Ha rd t o be lie ve w e a re no w in Se p tembe r, w he re d id t his y e a r g o ? C hanne l 4 filming o f ‘C hate au DIY ’ ha s finishe d fo r t he Summer a nd t he ca me ra cre w s w o n’t be ba ck no w unt il a ro und N o v ember for filming o f t he ne xt s e ries, w it h lo ts mo re p ro jects Se rie s 3 is curre ntly be ing s ho wn o n C ha nnel 4 e v e ry w e e kday a nd w e ho pe y o u a re a ll e njo ying it O ur d a ys a re currently s pent finishing o ff o ur new Fig Tree Bus iness & Ev ents C entre, w hich is lo cated und e r o ur Te rra ced a re a a nd d ue t o o p e n O ct ober 2 02 2 s o no t a mo me nt t o s p are a s us ual ha ha W is hing y o u a ll a w o nde rful Se p tem be r Do nna x Ratatouille I ha v e just t rie d o ut t his re cipe t o us e up s o m e o f t he v e g g ies kind ly g iv e n t o m e by frie nds w ith g reen fing e rs a nd it is w o nderful Ingredients 500 g Onions (Red, White, Spring whatever you have) 600 g Peppers 1 Kg Courgette 1 Kg Aubergine 20 g Garlic cloves crushed 1200 g cans Chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp Sugar 2 tbsp Red Wine vinegar Clean all vegetables and after removing any stalks, seeds etc chop in cubes / slices and roast on a baking tray for 25 minutes. I added some olive oil with the garlic and salt & pepper. Once soft combine into a pan with the remaining ingredients and let simmer for around 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste for seasoning. This recipe provides around 10 portions which can be frozen for up to 6 months. For some serving suggestions: Greek Veg Bake Stir in herbs, sprinkle through some breadcrumbs then crumble feta over the top and add a little oregano Bake this at 180 C for 15 minutes. Veggie Chilli Jackets Bake a potato in the oven, add a few tbsp water into a pan with cumin seeds and chilli powder simmer until water disappears then add the Ratatouille until warm through, serve over the jacket potato topping with Greek yoghurt. YUM

75g light brown sugar

50ml double cream Generous pinch sea salt Method: Place the sugar, double cream and butter in a small saucepan and allow to melt over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat slightly and simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir in the sea salt and remove the caramel pan from the heat. Put the popcorn into a heat-proof bowl and pour over the caramel. Mix well to ensure that all the popcorn is coated. Place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water, break chocolate into small pieces and allow to melt stirring Drizzlecontinuously.the popcornoverchocolatethe and stir to withLinecombine.atraynonstick paper.bakingUsing a dessert spoon divide mixturetheinto 12 small balls and place onto the tray. Leave to set in the fridge for around 2 hours.

20g unsalted butter

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 19


These little morsels are hard to resist and very easy to make. Ingredients:

50g dark chocolate


25g lightly salted popcorn

KITCHEN Gluten Free Recipe

An older legend tells the story of the Rocher Saint Fort (Saint Fort's Rock), a huge rock that looks like it has been split in two. There is a cross on top of it and it serves as a calvary (a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus).

The Lord of Trayes asked him to clear a parcel of land that was full of brambles and rocks. Autumn came and the beggar took his offering from the harvest to the lord. The lord asked him if he was happy with what he had done and the beggar confessed that he didn't want to spend the cold winter alone and that he would like a cottage and a wife. This request just came at the right time for the Lord of Trayes, who had got a young woman into an embarrassing situation, and the local curate was getting fed up of seeing youngsters that had a strong resemblance to the lord of the manor popping up all over the commune. The lord of the manor granted the land to the beggar and promised him the young woman, telling him that there were enough rocks and stones on the land that he had cleared to build a cottage. The beggar, not having any idea whatsoever how to build a cottage, prayed to Saint Fort (whose tomb is in Tourtenay – see August issue of the Deux Sèvres Monthly). There was a sudden huge clap of thunder and one of the huge rocks split in two. The beggar was able to use it to make the corner of his cottage. The beggar and his wife lived happily ever after. The cross on the top of what remains of the rock reminds us of the legend of the rock of Saint Fort.

Once upon a time, there was a Lord of Trayes. He was no better, and no worse, than any of the other local lords of the manor. He had a reputation of being fond of women and it was said that he exerted certain rights over the women in the area. One day a beggar asked for help, having been sent away from his usual place of residence.


Trayes is a small commune situated between Largeasse and Neuvy Bouin. Records show that, in 1793, the name of the commune was spelled Traye and that the 's' was added from 1801. The 121 inhabitants of the commune are known as the Trayens and the Trayennes. The small church is dedicated to St Denis. The economic activity of the commune is mainly agricultural.

Le Vanneau-Irleau is a commune situated in the « marais sauvage » part of the Marais Poitevin and is known for its wood industry, specialising in the production of plywood. by Sue Burgess of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres & Le Vanneau-Irleau




In the registers of the commune of Trayes, dated 15 February 1812, a record of the death of Pierre Savin can be seen. Pierre Savin died on the 8 December 1811 aged 20 "of a high fever". This young man died in the military hospital of Hamburg (northern Germany) whilst fighting for Napoleon, 1300 km from his home. He was the son of François Savin, a servant and Perrine Chaigneau of Trayes. His inscription to the army is found in the records of the Imperial Guard and Infantry (1802 – 1815). He had joined the army in January 1811, when he had been "recruited" (conscripted) in Moncoutant. His family had been very involved in the Vendee wars but Pierre didn't have any choice in the matter of his conscription, as the process was very strictly supervised by the gendarmerie.

BurgessSuebyphotographsAll 20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

• The Village of la Sèvre and its footbridge called « A Segolène», which connects Le Vanneau-Irleau to Le Mazeau in Vendée

Situated on the canal « la Belette », the communal harbour was restored as part of the great restoration works of the Marais Poitevin. The harbour used to be for the farmers from the village and the plain, so that they could get out to their parcels of land situated in the marshes and get through to the Sèvre Niortaise river valley. The farmers were not allowed to leave their harvests on the quay for more than 24 hours so that they wouldn't get in the way of the boats and carts loaded with hay, wood or cattle. The Grand Port is lined with willow trees whose whips were once used for making baskets for catching eels. A metal footbridge built in 1900 was used to get to the family allotments called « motte ». Between rue de la Belette and the « corde » (strip of water) are old farms which had access at the back from the waterway and at the front from the road.

Other things to see :

• The Grand Port of Irleau

There is a statue of Father Montfort on the facade in memory of the missionary's visit from the Vendée. Above the door to the sacristy, there are paintings of Saint Hilaire and Montfort. There is a stained glass window that represents Saint Eutrope surrounded by Pope Clément, Saint Eustelle, Saint Germaine, Saint Catherine of Sienna and Sainte Sabine. Grand Port of le Vanneau

Irleau is a contraction of « île Reau ».

• Rue de la Belette

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022| 21

• The well of the castle of Béchillon Saint-Eutrope Church in Le Vanneau Built between 1874 and 1876 in Neo-Gothic style and dedicated to Saint Eutrope (the first bishop of Saintes martyred in the IVth century siècle), the church was consecrated in 1880. The interior was renovated in 2001 and 2002.

On the last Saturday in July, there is a market which is held on the water at the Grand Port of Le Vanneau « le Marché sur l'Eau» where produce is sold from the boats. The market attracts 15,000 visitors. This festive event is one of the more unusual traditions of the Marais Poitevin.

The full collection of A to Z articles is available via our web www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.frsite

The name « Le Vanneau » comes from vana aqua, meaning « eau vaine et vague » (useless water), which meant that nothing could be grown until the canals were dug out in the XIXth century.


Competitiontiller. success in trials and on the racetrack ensured the company’s continuing success and the "Super Aero" represented the pinnacle of two-speeder development. As time progressed, so did the three wheeler, sprouting another forward gear and a reverse in 1931. Production of this car continued until 1953.

The “Nocturne” plateaus on Saturday night are always well attended, and the setting sun casts a wonderful golden light over the proceedings ... a photographer's dream. This year, the vintage motorcycles formed the biggest grid and tightly packed action as well as some great characters amongst the Anotherriders.popular plateau is the cyclecars, small lightweight cars which were produced in the early years of the 20th Century and were designed to bridge the gap between motorcycle and car. They have lightweight bodies, two seats and a chain or belt drive. These have been used for motor racing since 1913. Cars from the French marques Amilcar and Salmson are among the best known racers of their era, and are of course represented at Le Puy.

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 Tait-WrightHelenofcourtesyphotographsAll

As the event gets underway, the dust in the paddock is joined by exhaust fumes, engine noise and the smell of hot oil, and the drivers don their period clothes and protective gear to add to the ambience.

Another slice of British motoring history was represented by the Austin Seven Sports cars, championed by Brit Ian Wilson. In 1922, the Austin Seven changed the concept of motoring by providing a practical form of four-wheeled motoring at a price low enough to allow the wider public to become car owners. by Helen Tait-Wright

The event is free to watch and, after the tourist rally on the Saturday for the vintage vehicles, the local farmers close off the roads with straw bales and the circuit is prepared for the first Technicallyplateaus.theyare not racing, they are demonstrating; however some demonstrate faster than others (if you see what I mean!).

Since we first arrived in France in 2005, the Grand Prix Retro at Le Puy Notre Dame has been an integral part of the local summer entertainment.

For the last weekend of July this sleepy village with its stunning church becomes the mecca for vintage racing fans as cars and motorbikes arrive from near and far. Local gites and chambre d’hotes welcome the participants and the centre of the village becomes a paddock area with bars and food stalls to keep the pilotes and the public fed and watered.

In the Mairie garden, auto-jumble stalls appear, selling not only those elusive motor parts from bygone days, but evocative items of memorabilia from yesteryear.

From the English side of the channel, the iconic three wheeled Morgan is always a Le Puy favourite, although I think the plateau was smaller this year. This is also a cyclecar. When Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan built his first three wheeler, he went for simplicity. The car only had two forward speeds and no reverse; it didn’t even have a steering wheel, just a

On The Road

23 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

On the 27th we will leave from Poitiers to start the drive south towards Morocco and the “Rallye des Aventurieres

Please get in touch for a full list of the items required.

Le Puy was also hosting a celebrity driver this year, although I doubt many people realised.

Ian’s polished metal example is a well-known sight at vintage racing events and, after recovering from a battery issue on Saturday night, he was running well on Sunday.

For Le Puy, he was dressed in tribute to the Italian racing driver Tazio Nuvolari.

ThisSolidaires”.brand new rally is giving 100% of the profits to cancer research, with 70% going to the CHU at Poitiers and the remaining 30% going to Fondation Lalla Salma in Morocco.

Until next year!

Graeme Hardy is well known in the UK as a Stan Laurel and George Formby impersonator and is a regular sight at vintage race meetings, which now include our own little corner of France.

The sportier versions took part in trials and club racing at Brooklands, and purpose built racing cars were constructed on the Austin Seven chassis, known as “Specials”.

See you on the other side!

After a hot and dusty day's entertainment on Sunday, sadly ending with a crash for one of the Morgan’s, the crowds dispersed and the drivers made their way home, leaving Le Puy with just the memory of another fantastic event.

As our Lionesses just pulled it out of the bag, no-one should bet against the English girls!

Watch out Morocco, the British are coming! As we head into September, our departure date for the next major rally is approaching fast!

It is a regulation “road book” rally, quite different from the Gazelles. We keep connectivity throughout and follow a road book for the route, but we have to cover the stage in a precise time; being ahead or behind will be penalised.

Another iconic marque represented at Le Puy is, of course, the Bugatti and, although there was only one example this year, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cars of all time.

GAZeLLes uPDAte : sePt 2022

As well as raising money for cancer research, we will be taking donations of hygiene, medical and school supplies to a village in the Moyen Atlas, and after the rally we will once again go to my personal humanitarian cause, the Talataste school, to distribute the children’s backpacks as we did last year. My team-mate this year is a dear friend of 17 years, the lovely Marcella, making us an all British team. Marcella and I have already done crazy things together and we know each other like sisters, so being among the pioneers on this first edition of the rally is going to be a great Priscillaexperience.isin the best shape she has ever been, and we are ready for the challenge!

I’ve done this in Historic road rallys but never off road, so that will be a real challenge!

The rally covers 2022km across Morocco, from Fes to Agadir, and will take in every type of terrain imaginable. From mountains and forests to the magnificent Sahara dunes, it will end on the white Atlantic beaches.

You can follow us on our social media channels @gitigazelles and if you would like to make a donation towards the humanitarian projects, that would be very welcome.

FIND ThispricesCHEAPESTtheFUELinyourarea.governmentrunwebsite provides comparative petrol and diesel prices in all areas of France. Just simply select your department from the map, and voilà! Drive business to your door Advertise here Contact us for details info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.frYOUCOULDADVERTISEHEREEMAILUSATINFO@THEDEUXSEVRESMONTHLY.FR 24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022


4. -Faire plus ample connaissance : To get acquainted, to get to know better. -Passer à table : To sit down to eat. -Trinquer, entrechoquer les verres : To clink glasses. -“Tchin !” : “Cheers !”. -Oubliez : Forget, don’t use. -Regarder quelqu’un dans les yeux : To look somebody in the eye. -Renverser son verre : To spill one’s glass. -Lors de : During. -Faire passer le plat : To pass the dish. -“Servez-vous !” : “Help yourself !”. -Être ravi : To be delighted. -Il est de bon ton : It is good form, it is fashionable. -Éviter les sujets polémiques : To avoid contentious subjects, topics. -Même si : Even if. -Fatigué : Tired. -Serrer la main : To shake hands. -Faire la bise : To kiss someone on the cheek.

2. -Passer un coup de fil : To give somebody a ring, a buzz. -L’hôte : The host. -En aucun cas obligatoire : It is not at all compulsory. -Arriver “les mains vides” : To arrive empty-handed.

5. •

3. •

The DSM is an English language magazine but we thought it might be a nice change to have an occasional article written in French. Our lovely friend and French teacher Anne kindly agreed to lead us in this experiment. by Anne Alonso

LEXIQUE DE VOCABULAIRE : Le savoir-vivre : Manners, the rules of (social) etiquette. Les règles : The rules. -Être sur son 31 : To get dressed up to the nines.

3. Offrir une bouteille, une plante, un bouquet de fleurs ou des chocolats sera bienvenu mais en aucun cas obligatoire. Vous pouvez arriver « les mains vides » si vous êtes uniquement invité à l’apéro.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 25 La Vie En France

1. Il n’est pas obligatoire d’être sur son 31 mais un effort vestimentaire sera apprécié !

On parle beaucoup pendant les repas mais il est de bon ton d’éviter les sujets polémiques : politique ou religion par exemple et préférez parler de la famille, des enfants… sujet qu’adorent les français.


Vous pouvez finir entièrement le contenu de votre assiette, ce n’est pas impoli en France et, au contraire, l’hôtesse sera ravie de voir que vous avez apprécié sa cuisine.

Bien cordialement

5. Lors du repas, vous pouvez vous servir vous-même puis faire passer le plat à votre voisin de table si l’hôtesse vous le propose en disant : “servez-vous !”.

4. L’apéritif précède toujours le repas. Il peut être parfois assez long (plus d’une heure). Ce moment convivial permet d’échanger, de faire plus ample connaissance, avant de passer à table. N’oubliez pas de trinquer avant de commencer à boire : “santé !”, “à la vôtre !”, “tchin !” sont les expressions les plus familières, oubliez “salud !”, les français n’utilisent pas ou peu l’expression espagnole. Si vous entrechoquez votre verre avec celui d’une autre personne, vous devez la regarder dans les yeux, c’est amusant mais prenez garde à ne pas renverser votre boisson !!!

6. •

1. •

6. Même si vous êtes fatigué car on peut parfois finir le dîner vers minuit ! Ne partez pas immédiatement à la fin du repas. Prévoyez un moment (20 ou 30 minutes) avant votre départ et surtout n’oubliez pas de remercier vos hôtes : “quelle bonne soirée !”, “tout était parfait !”, “mille mercis !”, “la prochaine fois, c’est chez nous !”…. Mais, en partant, faut-il serrer la main ou faire la bise ? That is the question !!! Je serai heureuse de vous en parler dans un prochain article. À bientôt

2. Si le rendez-vous est prévu à 19.00, n’hésitez pas à arriver 10 ou 15 minutes plus tard. C’est très fréquent en France et il n’est pas conseillé d’arriver avant l’heure prévue. Mais si votre retard est trop important, passez un « coup de fil » pour en informer vos hôtes.

The UK vet didn’t agree with the new system (‘Why not apply for a ourpassport?’),notnewseeatpassport?’),FrenchtheladyUKcustomsdidn’tthepointofthesystem(‘WhyapplyforaFrenchandFrenchvetjust shrugged and said ‘Pourquoi…’ – you get the idea! So we did, for the very reasonable sum of 32€ (for life!). All our daughter has to do when she arrives in France is to send off the Changement de détenteur section of the I-CAD registration form, and to update his passport with her name & address. More importantly, as an EU registered dog, Kobe no longer needs an Animal Health Certificate to travel into France. We’ll be sad to say Au revoir to Kobe when he leaves next week, but happy in the knowledge that he’s free (literally) to return to France at any time! Vive la France!!

MontMartre Morsel Before it became a part of Paris, Montmartre was a village of little farms, vineyards and Duringwindmills.theBelle Époque, it became a haven for artists such as ToulouseLautrec and Van Gogh due to its more affordable accommodation and cheap wine (it was exempt from Paris's wine tax)!

La rentrée – if you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a dozen times this month. It’s a tradition, an institution, almost an obsession for the French population! As 1st September approaches, avoid the stationery aisles in the supermarkets like the plague - they’ll be overrun by frustrated parents clutching lists of essential fournitures scolaires for their offspring’s return to school. This system’s a mystery to me because the school where I worked in the UK (like every other school I’m sure) ordered their stationery in bulk at the end of the previous school year, packed everything into the various departmental cupboards, then calmly went off on their summer hols –simple! But it’s not just the schools that have a rentrée – all the clubs & associations that had closed shop for 2 months over the atsuddenlysummerreappeartheForumdes Associations early in September. Now that is a good idea, especially for us Brits who don’t always know what’s going on in their area. It reminds me of Careers Evening at school where you wander round the stands & each ‘stallholder’ tries to sell you their profession (except in this case, their activities!) This year however, la rentrée has a different significance in the Taylor household. After 3 months dog-sitting our daughter’s 18 month old Chocolate Lab whilst she’s been away on a training course, we’re returning young Kobe (pronounced like Toby, in case you’re wondering) to his rightful owner next week. But here’s the thing – he came over to France with us in June as a British dog & will return in September as a French citizen! How so? I hear you ask. Well, I’ll explain… Since the infamous Brexit kicked in on 1st January 2021, UK pet passports are no longer valid. Instead, dog owners need an Animal Health Certificate each time they travel to the EU. It seems a strange decision to me – we still need a passport (albeit our distinctive maroon ones are gradually being replaced by boring black ones), so why abolish pet passports? Anyway, decision made, so to bring Kobe over the Channel we needed to book a vet appointment and pay for the all-important health certificate –the princely sum of £164 for ONE journey into the EU!!

26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 Here we go again...

View from the Vendée

September 2022

One of the most visited squares in all of Paris, there is strong competition for a space on the Place du Tertre. Artists are allotted a tiny space of about one square metre, which must be shared between two artists on alternating days. The artwork allowed is limited to paintings (mostly of Parisian scenery), portraits, caricatures and silhouettes. Aspiring artists must apply through the town hall of the 18th Arrondissement, but it is believed that the waiting list is about 10 years long! Legend has it that the word bistro was invented at the square's oldest restaurant, La Mère Catherine. The story goes that Russian soldiers who were in Paris during the Russian occupation in 1814, would take an alcoholic beverage there, but often shout “bystro !” (meaning “quick” in Russian) to urge on their comrades to finish drinking in order to re-join the ranks.

by Karen Taylor

The small town of Gençay, in the southern portion of department 86, held their Fête Nationale Francaise celebrations at the Plan d’ Eau at the heart of the community which is a tranquil setting comprising a lake surrounded by parkland at the foot of an escarpment.

A Report From ... Fête Nationale Francaise, Gençay, 15th July, 2022

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 27

Keen to secure a good vantage point along the lake edge overlooking the central island, from which the fireworks display (the main attraction) was based, I arrived early and spent a pleasant time watching the wildlife. An exciting treat was a juvenile coypu who frolicked in the water along the bank side and who nibbled contentedly at the grass as visitors passed by. The evening was warm, although so close to the water’s edge a cold breeze made for a pleasant localised climate. The fireworks began on time at 23hrs and lasted approximately 15 minutes. Set in a valley bowl, the surrounding geography resulted in the amplification of the explosive sounds of the pyrotechnics which echoed loudly within the valley itself. A small number of three to four second delays between some of the firework clusters igniting led the spectators to prematurely anticipate the displays conclusion, but this did not in any way distract from a very spectacular display. At its conclusion, the majority of the onlookers made their way back up the one path to the top of the escarpment to where additional entertainment was provided which did result in some delays due to the number of the catering area, but with a designated dance area, a live eight piece band, Orchestre Plein Feu, began a free concert around 23:15hrs. Singing songs both in French and English, their reportoire included numbers from, but not restricted to, Abba, Blondie, The Weather Girls and many French groups. The male and female vocalists had good singing voices, appropriate to the songs they performed and were supported well by their musicians, which included a brass section, keyboards, drums and guitars. The dance area was of ample size for the diverse audience with ages ranging from small children to pensioners, all of whom appeared to enjoy the show which went on well beyond midnight. The site was well appointed with free entry and good parking close to the entrance. Toilet facilities were available at the adjacent municipal swimming pool and wheelchair access to the live band and catering was good. In all, the evening’s entertainment was well planned and delivered, providing a very enjoyable way of celebrating the Fête Nationale. by Adrian Blake

Why not advertise YOUR event on our Bulletin Board info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.frpages.

For the wedding, the bride wears the local headdress (la Coiffe Mothaise).

The festival takes place during the first week of September and the wedding (le mariage) lasts (se déroule) three days.

On the Friday evening (le vendredi soir) the Rosière (in this case, the bride) appears on the balcony (au balcon) of the town hall (la mairie).

On the Sunday afternoon, a carnival procession (la cavalcade) crosses the village with the newly weds (here called le couple rosier, but the general translation is les jeunes mariés).

On the Saturday afternoon, the civil and religious ceremonies (le mariage civil et religieux) are held. The procession (le défilé) leaves the Orangery for the « maison des Rosières » where the bride puts on a necklace (un collier) with the effigy of Charles-Benjamin Chameau. Then she goes to the town hall for the civil wedding service and then the wedding procession (le cortège) goes to the church for the religious ceremony. Finally the procession goes back to the Maison des Rosières to receive the marriage dowry (la dot) and to sign the register (signer le registre). The bride then appears on the balcony with the mayor and the village (and other local) officials. Finally, the groom is allowed to join his bride with their families.

Vocabulary / Vocabulaire

La mariée bride Le marié groom un bouquet a bouquet un invité a guest une proposition de mariage a marriage proposal une alliance wedding ring un anniversaire de mariage a wedding anniversary un gâteau de mariage a wedding cake une robe de mariée a wedding dress demander la main en mariage asking your hand in marriage un coup de foudre love at first sight le témoin the witness, the best man les vœux de mariage wedding vows se marier to get married

Les RosièRes De LA Mothe ste heRAy by Sue Burgess

The « fête des Rosières » was started by Charles Benjamin Chameau who bequeathed (leguer) a large part of his fortune to found (fonder) the Établissement des Rosières because he did not have any descendants.

28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 29 September2022 If you operate a business as an auto entrepreneur, there are some changes that came into effect in May 2022 of which you may need to be aware. Read the article on page 61 of our June issue and/or speak to your accountant/advisor. Advertising in The Deux-Sèvres Monthly is not as expensive as you might think. Up to 15,000 potential customers see the magazine every month. A colour advert this size for a business costs as little as 40€ per month*, less for an event on The Bulletin Board pages. Why not find out more by dropping us a line at *This price is based on a 12 issue, colour, size B advert (same size as this advert) paid annually in advance. Other options are available and a range of discounts are also available for multiple month adverts.

Our new French neighbours have two dogs, very sweet, but they are barkers. We are not dog haters, we love dogs, we had one! But every time we take the wheelie bin out or go to the mail box they go nuts. When the couple go out, the dogs bark continuously until their return. After considering my options (throwing a poisoned pork chop over the fence, etc.), I thought I would write them a letter. This does sound spineless, but my French is poor and I wanted to make sure nothing was lost in translation so I wrote them a friendly letter informing them of the constant barking when they go out and is there anything they can do? On my return home the other day there was a man with an accordion singing French love songs sitting in their yard; I don't know if he was a dog whisperer or just a friend of theirs, but at least the dogs were quiet.

TWICE! That is 96 dongs (and we heard most of them), then at 8am they throw in an extra peal just in case you weren't aware of the time. We love the bells during the day (I don't understand why they ring twice; surely by definition time only happens once. If I was Jean De Florette toiling in the field I would be sure to count the bongs first time round), but throughout the night ... and twice! I wrote a polite letter to the maire asking if there had ever been a proposal to stop the bells ringing throughout the night. I know some communes switch them off. In his reply he said '... it is rural life. As sure as the cock crows and cows shit (his words) the bells will continue to ring'. Very progressive.

Mr Angry Idon't complain. If someone stands on my foot getting off the bus I apologise; if there's a fly in my soup I will say nothing. I am spineless. Anything to avoid confrontation. Anna, my wife, does the confrontation (she's Scottish). If the lunch we ordered hasn't appeared after 50 minutes... Anna will go and enquire. But last month the worm turned...twice!

by Stephen Shaw

The first part we managed successfully; music, dancing, drinking and a ' wee pook a chaps' as they say in Scotland. Even the staggering back was achieved, but a good night's sleep...? The little house is next to the church. We can hear the organ playing, hymns being sung, and the bells ringing throughout the day it is enchanting. Call us naive, but we didn't realise the bells rang through the night as well.

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

We have nearly finished renovating a small house in the beautiful village of Saint Loup with a view to Airbnb. The townsfolk were having a 'guinguette' (we thought this was the name of the group playing), so this was an ideal opportunity to immerse ourselves in village life by drinking far too much at the guinguette, staggering back to our abode to have a good night's sleep.

30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 Life in 79


PLAyiNG the touRists

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 31 BROWNJACQUIbyPhotos

Ithink it must be something to do with working at a tourist attraction and spending my days welcoming happy, relaxed, holiday makers, keen to explore the area with fresh eyes, that has re-ignited my passion for this area. With this in mind, we have been doing our best over summer to make time to enjoy days out, ensuring we see the area as the tourists do - that and the fact there is no possibility of us going away on a real holiday before October.

Much as I love to travel in France, discovering architecture, landscapes and food specialities that are different from here, I also love that even here, where the familiar feels like home, I still get excited when I visit somewhere new or learn something about the history or culture that I hadn’t known before. The school holidays might be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean the end of late summer adventures – where will you go this autumn?

Even closer to home, in Chef-Boutonne, their summer guided visits have enlightened me about the history of the weekly market and the halles dating from different eras, plus I’ve seen the sites of an old tannery, and the kiln built into the foundations of the house that in the late 1700’s was a faïencerie and later, the first cooperative store in the town. None of which I was aware of before.

The market town of Melle gave us a shady cycle route along the old railway line towards Celle-sur-Belle, where we detoured to find the 600-year-old chestnut tree that was voted the 2021 tree of the year in France. We also visited one of the most impressive lavoirs in the area, the temple-like Lavoir de Villiers with its oval pool, where a dragonfly welcomed me by settling briefly on my hand. Niort gave us art, history and culture, all in a Sunday afternoon. We made use of the free museum entry on the first Sunday of the month to visit the Donjon. Working at the Château de Javarzay, I’m used to whizzing up and down our spiral staircase in the stone turret, but at almost a thousand years old (twice the age of the Château), the spiral staircases were steeper, narrower and the steps more uneven. A visit here is not for the faint-hearted, but well worth it for the history and the view of Niort from the rooftop terrace. This summer, as well as the Franck Ayroles sculpture of “Les Dames de la Brèche” – the curvaceous ladies on a bench in Place de la Brèche in Niort, the Maison du Département hosted an exhibition of his artworks that are so cheery, colourful and full of life and friendship, seeing them always makes me smile.


by Jacqueline Brown

A day in Poitiers began with a lunch on an outdoor terrace, followed by a city centre bike tour, making the most of the cooler interiors of some of the many churches the town is famous for. We also enjoyed the wide boulevards, fountain and views from the Parc du Blossac.

As it’s la rentrée here in France, I thought we’d do a little post-vacances catchup. Writing anything, be it a job application, an email, a social media post or a novel, should be about conveying your message clearly and accurately. Different formats and purposes require different types of language, different levels of formality and different levels of creativity. The latter not for accounts, obviously. The best way to avoid confusion for the reader of your writing is to keep your words as succinct as possible. This doesn’t mean stifling creativity. Some of the most beautiful passages in a novel take several pages to convey the feeling, event or setting, but each word is carefully chosen, whether instinctively or as a result of hard graft. Sometimes we don’t see the bloopers in our writing, so re-reading before sending an important email and engaging an editor for a novel or short story are highly recommended. Misplaced punctuation, confusion about ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’ and apostrophes for plurals can lead to misinterpretation and disagreement. English is a weird language and changes all the time. You can pin a person’s generation, background, education and region by how they speak, but the writing should still follow some basic rules. Sentences usually have a subject, verb and complement; sometimes they have objects, direct and indirect; often they include phrases within them linked with conjunctions like ‘and’ and ‘but’, plus prepositions which add to descriptions (under the car, on the table, in the morning).

In ‘Mary buys a book and gives it as a present to Richard’, Mary is still the subject as she is driving both actions. The book is still the direct object, but we have to bring Richard in somehow! He’s the indirect object here – someone or something affected by the action of a transitive verb (typically as a recipient) but is not the primary object.

In ‘Richard pushes the buggy’, ‘Richard’ is the subject, ‘pushes’ is the verb and ‘the buggy’ is the direct object. So far, so easy…

Myself is incorrect as it’s a reflexive pronoun and only used when you do something to yourself, e.g. ‘I’ve hurt myself,’ or for emphasis, e.g. ‘He himself took a direct part.’ And please avoid the dreadful ‘Myself and my husband’! Follow the Queen’s example, ‘My husband and I’. Similarly, never ‘Us fair-skinned people burn in the sun’ but ‘We fairskinned people,’ etc.

Back to school!

by Alison Morton Alison has compiled a selection of articles from this column into ‘The 500 Word Writing Buddy’, available on Amazon. Her new Roma Nova novel, set in the 4th century, JULIA PRIMA, is now out.

32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 Book Club

The one thing to avoid is a twisted subject which is unfortunately common in media, even on the BBC! For example, a representative of J Brown supermarket (not the real name!) was explaining pricing policy: ‘Browns are trying to do everything we can to keep prices low.’ First of all, ‘are’ should be ‘is’, but the real horror is the change from third person subject, Browns, to first person (plural) ‘we’ halfway through the sentence! It would be better as ‘We at J Brown are trying to do everything we can to keep prices low.’ Or ‘J Brown is trying to do everything it can to keep prices low.’ Happy writing!

In ‘Mary buys a book’, ‘Mary’ is the subject – she’s the one putting her hand in her purse. ‘Buys’ is the action – the verb – and the ‘book’ is the direct object of her action.

Adjectives describe the subjects and objects, e.g. In ‘Mary buys an expensive book’, ‘expensive’ adds information about the book. Adverbs add to the verb and here tells us how Richard is pushing the buggy – ‘Richard pushes the buggy slowly’. Richard is probably checking his social media on his phone as he dawdles while the baby is asleep in the Pronounsbuggy.(I,you, she) can replace nouns (Mary, Richard, the man) as subjects, for example, ‘I push the buggy.’

The Water Witch by Jessica Thorne Review by Jacqui Brown

This Month’s Book Reviews The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 33

There were so many things that attracted me to this book, from the dark but colourful cover to the wild, rugged location of Brittany, and not forgetting the Celtic myths and legends the area is steeped in. This book takes you to the heart of a century’s old mystery of a lost underwater city, a water witch and the lives of a family said to be cursed. As the story unfolded, I was drawn in, as if mesmerised by a hypnotic tide, never knowing which way the current would take me. The magic and mystery of this book captivated me from the beginning. As Ari and Rafael dig deep into the past, there is passion and intense emotions, dark moments and strange goings on. The things they see often blur the line between reality and something else, an underlying magic that can’t rationally be explained. They were an unlikely match, but I warmed to both Ari, for her expertise and vulnerability, and Rafael, a handsome, successful Frenchman drawn to Ari in his desperation to survive. This book really inspired my imagination and gripped my mind – it was a difficult book for my head to put down, even when I was doing other things. The more I read, the more I wanted to discover the Breton legends for myself, and I got to the end feeling that I would love to sit down with the author and chat all things Breton, myth and legend. Her obvious love of Brittany really came through. If you are looking for a mystery with a difference this summer or enjoy a book that takes you beyond the landscapes of a location, I’m sure you will enjoy The Water Witch as much as I did.

It was the library setting that drew me to this book, but as soon as I ‘met’ Elodie, our shared love of books, libraries and the simple things in life was uncanny.

Everyone has a story to tell, but how many of us are brave enough to open up and tell it, or indeed unjudgmental enough to listen to what others have to say? Let’s face it, sometimes gossip and rumours are easier to cope with than an uncomfortable truth, especially in a small town. Elodie is on a mission to change not just the fortunes of the library, but the way the townsfolk treat each other too. Her passion and determination to succeed leapt out from the pages and the people she met at the library were real characters who made me smile, touched my heart, and felt like friends.

I absolutely did not want this book to end. I could have stayed forever within the Willow Grove library, a place that by the end of the book felt like my happy space too. If you love books and libraries and stories about people starting over, you will love Elodie’s Library of Second Chances.

Ever thought of writing an article for us? Why not? It can be 200 words or 2,000. It can be a series, a one-off, a book review or just something you do from time to time. You can send pictures with it, or not. You can use your own name, or not. Look at the variety of subjects in every issue of The DSM and imagine how YOUR article might fit in. Still not sure? Drop us a line and we'll help ... info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.frhonest.

Librarians all over the world will be nodding in agreement at this book, understanding that never-ending quest to find more members, get enough funding for more books and get people to understand that once they open the doors, a library can be so much more than a place of old books on dusty bookshelves, looked after by bespectacled librarians. Having spent a bit of time working as a librarian and trying my best to share the magic and joy to be found inside a library, I was willing her project to save the Willow Grove library to succeed from the beginning.

I defy anyone to read this book and not admonish themselves just a little about a situation where they may have judged a book by its cover – and been wrong.

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances by Rebecca Raisin Review by Jacqui Brown

What an exceptionally beautiful thing: to hold, to look at and to read! Both silently and aloud! Dr Phoebe Lambert, counsellor, adult educator, UK I shall be reading and dipping into it many times. It will be in my Yoga room for easy access. Linda Brazier, Yoga teacher, France and UK

A treasure trove of visual and verbal delights. I enjoyed immensely the visual precision of the writing and the capturing of mood, place and weather in both poems and photos. Roger Elkin, poet, editor. Lecturer

Howard, as an engineer working in TV imaging, and Jocelyn, as writer, poet, reviewer and organizer of writing groups and competitions, have benefited from these years in France in continuing their life long professional interests and activities in this rural peace.

Howard Needs and Jocelyn Simms met twenty years ago. Shared interests in watermills, the countryside and improving French communication at the Centre Socio-Culturel in Bressuire cemented the Howardfriendship.has been passionate about photography the whole of his life and has attended several courses in France to expand his knowledge and skills. These courses in the Briere and in the Vendée Marais were a motivation to photograph more nature rather than “things”. He has exhibited photos frequently in local venues, including the Château de Coulonges-sur-L’Autize and Château de Javarzay. A regular contributor to the Deux-Sevres magazine, his articles have brought diverse topics to the publication. His love of history expanded his knowledge of medieval church calendars, musical instruments and the prophetic sibyls preserved on the walls and ceilings of some of the magnificent ecclesiastical buildings he has visited in France. Another interest led him to record in images the raptors and vultures found in the Provence and Pyrenées, along with coastal seabirds.

A splendid and fitting combination. You can wonder which came first, the text selected for the photo or the other way round. In any case the text and photos belong together enhancing the beauty of both. Jan Statius Muller, sculptor and engineer, Netherlands

The book has received a warm reception from local residents, both English and French, and readers from as far away as the USA and Canada. As well as ‘making the familiar strange,’ a time-honoured intention of poetry, Grisailles takes us on a journey from the Gâtine to the Atlantic beaches. Observing and enjoying the simple gifts of nature is a nourishing experience which is both calming and inspiring.

Jocelyn’s passion is writing, fostering and supporting other writers. She and her husband, Gordon, founded the International Segora Writing Competitions which ran from 2007 – 2021. The Simms put on three bilingual literary festivals in rural France, the last one in 2016. The principal guest on that occasion was the renowned speaker, poet and Chancellor of Manchester University, Lemn Sissay. Subsequently they organized several events involving workshops, readings and book launches, attracting an audience from the UK, several departments of France as well as finding enthusiastic support locally. Jocelyn’s poetry collection Tickling the Dragon won the Poetry Book of the Year award in 2020. This collaboration between photographer Howard and poet Jocelyn first manifested itself in photos and poems exhibited in L’Art Accroch at the Commanderie of Saint-Marc La Lande and this year has resulted in Grisailles, a collection of images and text to celebrate the everyday miracles to be found in this region.

If you would like to buy a copy of this unique souvenir, it can be ordered direct from Howard Needs or Jocelyn Simms Price: 12€ including p&p And now for another challenge . . . a French version? by Jocelyn Simms and Howard Needs

Here are a few comments to give the flavour of the book.

I love the theme of the everyday miracles and the richness and variety to be found from the infinite shades of grey. It put me in mind of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘Glory be to God for dappled things.’ Dr Jackie Fellague, poet, naturalist, California

Everyday Miracles

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Emergencies. For medical emergencies, you can go to Urgences at your nearest hospital but 15 is the phone number for health emergencies. Even those who are very fluent in French can have difficulty finding their words when in a state of panic, so you can call 112 if you want to speak in English. Put these numbers into your mobile or cut out and keep the box below and keep a bullet point list of your maladies and medicines in your wallet or purse, just in case!

Health, Beauty and Fitness Sue x The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 35

First things first. You have to have health care cover in order to live in France. If you are coming with work, then it is generally your employers who help you sort it out in the run-up to your move and access is on the same basis as a French citizen. For others – retirees, those planning to be self-employed and so on - you will need to take out a private health insurance policy to cover the cost of healthcare interventions until you are in the system with a social security number and ‘attestation des droits’ ... and that can take a while. Now let’s assume that you have started the process, followed the guidance from your government, filled in the appropriate forms and sent off photocopies of all the required documents (NEVER SEND THE ORIGINALS). Next, you will either be asked for them all again because they have lost some, or you will receive a temporary social security number. You will know it is temporary because it contains lots of zeros. From the moment you get your temporary number you can receive some reimbursement for any healthcare interventions - though you will be given brown ‘feuilles de soin’ which you post off. After an unpredictable length of time, you will receive your ‘attestation des droits’ with your real social security number. You’re properly ‘in’! Woohoo!! Next, the Carte Vitale (CV). There is another form to fill to apply for a CV (and a photo to supply) which can be done by ‘paper and post’ or online at the ameli website belowit makes life easier to be on ameli, with lots of healthcare information as well as the ability to view your payments and reimbursements.

There is no reason to be stressed while waiting for your Carte Vitale to come through; it will arrive in its own time. Have realistic expectations, none of this process is quick, so do not expect to be sorted in a month … or several!

Health Matters

Getting into the French healthcare system is something that I see lots of posts about on social media but being mindful of the fact that the DSM is read by English speakers from all over the world, and not just the UK, I am going to keep this article broad enough to be of some use to most newbies, or those who are considering a life in France. I know it is sketchy but I have given you links!

Meanwhile, you are covered by your private health insurance and you are safe. Top Tips? Do your homework or get help. Before we moved, I’d have loved to have found Ameli ( and the associated English-speaking helpline (09 74 75 36 46) as well as the Facebook group Strictly Santé, which offers good guidance and a dose of moral support on all things health (though like all social media, I’d not rely on it if seeking a diagnosis - you need a doctor for that!). There are other online hits that are helpful, but make sure they have been recently updated. Your government website is a good starting place, though personally I found the UK government site monumentally unhelpful (in 2015). Failing that, connect with an experienced hand-holder – get recommendations!

by Sue Lennon

Registering with a family doctor/general practitioner in France. This sounds easy, you just pop along to your local surgery and announce that you have arrived, right? Well hopefully that will work, and you will find a doctor who is taking on new patients and maybe they will be nice and maybe they will speak some English. But maybe not. While you are waiting for your attestation des droits, you have the opportunity to seek advice. You can get a recommendation from neighbours - who do they use? Are they happy with the service? What are the pro’s and con’s? Is it a single doctor working alone? What happens when they are on holiday? Do they offer domiciliary visits if you are very sick? Do they have space for you? If so, make an appointment for an introductory once-over; if you are happy to go ahead, ask to be registered. The MT (the GP) will do what is necessary either electronically or by signing a paper form that you send off. If you later wish to change your doctor, this is entirely possible as long as you can find another practice with space and a willingness to take you.

There are lots of lists of vocabulary related to emergencies on the internet. I found it very reassuring to print a list to keep on a pin-board near the phone, especially when my husband was renovating the house and could be regularly found on a roof or up a tree. Try this listphrases-for-a-medical-emergency/ make your own. If you are renovating, it should definitely include ‘Mon partenaire est tombé du toit!

It has been such a pleasure to return to Rishikesh, the city in India where I did my original yoga training. I had the good fortune to bump into an old friend, Acharya Dr. Suresh Raj, naturopath and scholar of yogic studies. Over lunch we chatted about all kinds of topics from the meaning of mantra recitation to the origins of yoga. Here is an excerpt. People have many ideas about the meaning of yoga. Can you clarify: what is Yoga? Yoga is to know the unity of the outer and the inner. We tend to identify almost exclusively with the outer world. From the point of view of yoga, however, the external world is unreal. It is concocted out of our imagination. Ashtanga yoga of Patanjali is more ancient than Hatha yoga which is focused on the asanas. In Ashtanga, yoga simply means being seated in a calm and comfortable position of body and mind. You have an energy field that stretches 12 finger distance from your nose. This is why, when someone passes you on the street, you can feel that person even though you don’t touch them physically. Our belly button is the centre of the energy that goes between you as a finite point of energy and the infinite energy of the universe. Pranayam means observing the turning point of your breath which is at the point of retention, because the turning point of breath is also the turning point of energy. The meaning of pranayama is breath retention; the retention of the exhale as well as the inhale, which begins to extend as you hone your focus. Matsyendrasa Nath is the founder of Hatha Yoga. The particular pose named after him is the seated spinal twist. During Patanjali’s time (around 400 CE), people were in a purer, more advanced state of consciousness. In the yoga sutra of Samadi Pada 1.2, Patanjali says "yogas chitta vritti nirodha" (yoga is the cessation of mental activity). During that time, people understood what this meant and they could apply it also. But, over the centuries people’s mental capacities declined and they needed simpler and more practical methods.

Matsyendra Nath showed how to work with developing detachment towards our emotions such as anger, pride, greed and so on through the practice of these bodily postures. As you sit in these postures for longer and longer, gradually you become less and less attached to your body. Slowly and surely the mind calms down and you become detached from both body and mind. The same kind of process is going on in the whirling dervish dances of the Sufis. Don’t believe anything. Any belief will make you stuck somewhere. You are here to discover who you are – to find complete freedom from everything. When you stop walking around with blind eyes, and you develop awareness, you become one. You cease to exist in the duality of you and other. In the outside world one and one equals two. But when you are in awareness, one plus one equals one. This is spiritual mathematics (laughter).

Your Ground Yoga

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Matsyendra Nath started with the body. He made yoga very practical and it was he who developed the foundational postures or asanas that we know today. He started yoga from shatkarma, the cleansing of the body. First you cleanse the body, then you perform these various postures. These body postures describe different emotions.

As always, respect yourself, explore yourself. by Rebecca Novick For information on yoga and breathe better courses contact Rebecca

At La Petite Ferme d’Alpagas Sanzay, we have an ethos of “mutual benefits”, which means in everything we do and offer, we do it for the benefit of both our visitors and our animals. The rewards of this are incredible and we see daily how this creates the best interaction, bringing so much happiness to the farm.

MilletDonatien-Photographer-HargreavesSophieofcourtesyPhotograph Sophie Hargreaves

Even our hand wash station demonstrates this ethos; the first and last thing I’ll ask you to do at the farm is wash your hands. The first time benefits my animals’ health, the second time benefits yours!

Whilst I look at this from a work perspective, I also have cats and a dog who I use the same principles with to make sure I help them be as happy as possible, and get some trusted cuddle time with them too!

Let’s look at dogs for example. A dog will usually show you a sign that they’re happy by wagging their tail or show excitement by being a little bouncy and running towards you. But do you know the signals that dogs use to show stress or anxiety? These are important to look out for to have a happy animal, and also to keep them and those around them safe, preventing unwanted defensive or aggressive behaviours. Dogs can demonstrate small movements to show signs of stress such as moving their ears back, averting their gaze and turning their face away from unwanted attention, flicking their tongue or stress yawning. When you see these small but telling signs, it’s time to remove the hazard and help your dog feel safe. This is the same across all animals.

And these are the mutual benefits!

See if you can notice these in your pets and, once you do and react to these in a positive way, you will reap the rewards of bringing joy to your pets. I hope you can give this a go at home and, of course, give us a visit at the farm too if you want to see this in person or find out more.

If we ever notice that the mutual benefits stop, i.e. either visitors or alpacas show signs of stress, discomfort or dislike, we pause and take time to adapt and correct what may be the cause of the problem. We advocate open space and choice so we do not entrap or make either people or animals stay in a situation or do an activity if they don’t want to. Animal welfare is at the forefront of what we do.

From gentle interaction in the field, a walk through the village and hand feeding the alpacas, we see these mutual benefits; people are enjoying the close interaction with these amazing animals and the animals are enjoying the enriching social aspects and, of course, being fed.

When we pay attention and take positive action from animals' stress signals, we can embrace their happiness, remove any hazards or danger and reassure them they are safe and loved. They will return this, with that super interaction we adore and crave from animals that in turn greatly benefits us by releasing endorphins, de-stresses us, lowers our heart rate and generally makes us feel happier.

Finding the mutual benefits with your animals

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As much as you can train an animal, they will always have natural instincts and in a stressed situation this could mean “fight or flight”. Being a herd animal, Alpacas would be preyed upon if they lived in the wild so, if they do not enjoy a situation, they will run. This means that they will not spend time interacting with people if they do not feel happy and safe. They need to have trust in me and visitors and, as a responsible owner, I continually watch them for signs in their behaviour to keep them and visitors happy and safe.

38 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 À La Carte JPLNASAofcourtesyPhotographs

On the 20th August 1977, Voyager 2 launched and set off towards Jupiter. Less than three weeks later, Voyager 1 launched, it too heading for Jupiter where it would arrive slightly ahead of its twin. The mission was due to last just five years.

Jupiter. Less than two years after launch, the Voyagers encounter Jupiter. As they examined Jupiter, the Voyager craft would, between them, discover the first active volcanoes known to man beyond Earth (on the Jovian moon Io), lightning on Jupiter (again the first seen outside Earth), a ring system around the planet, and two previously unknown moons (Thebe and Metis). The “Great Red Spot”, that had been seen previously, was identified as a giant cyclonic storm system that at one time was 40,000 kms across (roughly three times the diameter of Earth). Ganymede was shown to have a grooved surface suggesting tectonic movement in its past. Io was also shown to have an unusual effect on the magnetic field of Jupiter which creates a “doughnut” of ions that increases Jupiter’s magnetic field.


During the late 1960s, a NASA aerospace engineer called Gary Flandro identified a very special alignment of planets that would allow an earth-launched spacecraft to use planetary gravitational effects to travel to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in a “Grand Tour”. This had never been done before and would not be possible again for another 175 years.

By 1972, a project had been formed to build two craft ready for the required 1977 launch. Originally part of the Mariner program, they were first called Mariner 11 and Mariner 12 but soon renamed as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The two craft would take different routes through the solar system. Voyager 2 would, perhaps strangely, be launched first and would visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Voyager 1 would be sent on a shorter and faster trajectory designed to enable it to visit Jupiter and Saturn and, critically, provide a flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, which was thought to be the only other body in the solar system to have clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid.

From here, Voyager 1 sets off on a path that will not encounter other planets but instead will head towards the edge of our solar system. Voyager 2, by contrast, heads for Uranus. Uranus. Early in 1986, Voyager 2 made its closest pass to Uranus, the first time this planet had been seen “close up”. Discoveries on this pass include 11 new moons, incredible photographs of new moon Miranda showing historic heating and cooling probably caused by proximity to other moons, identification of a “tilt” in Uranus’s magnetic field, temperatures as low as 59 Kelvin (minus 353 degrees Celsius).

Interstellar Space. Fast forward to 2012 and Voyager 1 becomes the first man-made object to enter interstellar space, beyond the regular influence of our sun. It is not until 2018 that Voyager 2 makes the same leap from the influence of the sun. Gold Record. Each Voyager craft carries a 30 cm gold phonograph record containing pictures and sounds from Earth (as it

Saturn. Between late 1980 and late 1981, the two craft visited Saturn. Whilst here, they found three new moons and an Earth-like nitrogen rich atmosphere on Titan, took detailed photographs of the ring system and discovered a strange hexagonal weather feature on Saturn that circulates around the north pole of the planet.

Neptune. Three years later, in 1989, Voyager 2 gets up close and personal with Neptune. Discoveries here include six new moons, the first images of Neptune’s rings, a huge storm that, unusually, rotates counter-clockwise, and close-up views of Neptune’s bitterly cold, fractured moon Triton. From here, Voyager 2 would begin its trip towards the edge of our solar system and leave the plane of the planets.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 39 was in the mid 1970s), directions in symbol form explaining how to “use” the record and data showing the location of Earth. Astronomer Carl Sagan chaired the committee that selected the content of the record. During the selection process, Sagan is rumoured to have rejected the idea of including some music by J S Bach as this would be “showing off”. Whilst widely quoted, this is considered unlikely to be true if for no other reason than the 1st track on the golden record is the First Movement of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F by … J S Bach.

Voyager has also appeared in The West Wing (it featured as a major mission milestone where Voyager crossed the Termination Shock and one of the characters announced to the press that it had “left the solar system” – when it had not).

The Numbers. There are so many incredible numbers that I could put here but here are just a few that really stand out to me.

• 14 billion. The number of miles that Voyager 1 is from the sun (as I write this). Voyager 2 is "only" 12 billion miles away.

• The60,841.speed (in kmh) at which Voyager 1 is travelling. Voyager 2 is slightly slower (but only slightly).

And Finally …

• 45 years. Originally designed for a “five year mission” (sound familiar?) both Voyagers are still going 45 years later. They have been remotely reprogrammed several times and power is now critically low … but they are STILL going. My last mobile phone packed up after two.

Neptune Voyager 1 Launches Aboard Titan III

• 1970s. The technology on-board the Voyager aircraft is what was available in about 1973. I had JUST brought my first desktop calculator (which was immediately confiscated by my maths teacher) – NASA at the same time built two spacecraft that have done so much amazing work.

There has been, over the years, much discussion (not least on that episode of The West Wing) about how, if or when the Voyagers will “leave the solar system”. The edge of our solar system, that is “the cosmographic boundary of the Solar System and the extent of the Sun's Hill sphere”, is thought to be the outer edge of the “Oort Cloud”. The Voyagers will not ENTER the Oort cloud for another 300 years and will not exit it for another 30,000 years. My bet is that they will still be working.

The Voyagers in the Movies. The Voyager craft have made several appearances in film and television. Most famously, perhaps, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture where a machine called V'Ger – which turns out to be the (fictional) Voyager 6 spacecraft, its intelligence greatly enhanced by an alien race - seeks the home of its creator, Earth, and threatens to wreak havoc on our planet in the process.

Pale Blue Dot. Sagan had requested that, just before Voyager 1’s cameras were switched off (to save power for other instruments), the camera be turned toward Earth and a final photograph taken. This image is known as the “Pale Blue Dot”. In it, Earth is more than six billion miles away and less than size of a single pixel in the picture but appears as a, not surprisingly, pale blue dot roughly halfway up the rightmost band of light.

The X Files included references to the Voyager programme in several episodes and in a 1978 episode of the American TV programme Saturday Night Live, a psychic (played by Steve Martin) claims that aliens have found the golden record and contacted him with a message. The message is “Send more Chuck Berry”.

The longer your shutter speed, the more important this becomes.

Taking Control


40 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

Taking Better Photographs ... Focus

Where to focus Most cameras and mobiles default to what is called area or matrix focus. This means they will try and focus everything from front to back – giving an average focus – which may not be what you want.

The short line represents the happy couple and the tall one the family Shallow depth of field gives a short focus range so the family are likely to be out of focus Deep depth of field focuses front to back Auto risks both front and back losing sharpness Range in Rangefocus in focus Range in focus

he best pictures have a sharp focus so the viewer can see exactly what is in the image. Sharp focus needs a steady camera, so always hold the camera with both hands. This is especially important if you are using a screen. An eyepiece helps to hold the camera against you. Lean on a post or a wall or anything else that will help you stay stationary. Use a tripod or place your camera on a surface such as a gate or table.

Aperture priority lets you control the size of the hole. If you use a small hole, for maximum depth of focus, this may create another problem. A small aperture lets in less light and that means a dark picture or a longer shutter speed – which risks camera shake. This is why wedding photographers like bright days and always have a tripod handy just in case. by Steve Marshall

Depth of field Depth of field means the amount of the image that is in focus from front to back. This is controlled by the size the of the hole that lets light into the camera – the aperture. Big aperture – a large hole – means small depth of field. Small aperture creates a deep depth of field. Large holes are represented by small numbers like f2.8 or f4 and small apertures by large numbers such as f18 and f22. The larger the number, the deeper the depth of field. In this example (below), the "happy couple" are some way in front of the family and you want to make sure everything is in sharp focus.

Photographs by Steve Marshall

I recommend setting your camera to point focus – so that point in the photograph will be in the sharpest possible focus. You may need the manual to set this - paper or electronic. You can do almost the same thing with a mobile phone. Set the camera up to take the picture and tap the point on the screen where you want the sharpest focus. A yellow square will appear at that point.

It is rare that you want the front of your photograph blurred. But you may want a distant subject to be as sharp as possible – such as mountains or a cityscape. You may not be interested in what is at the front of the image.

When to Avoid Focusing on Everything

For the swallowtail butterfly, I have used a shallow depth of field which has blurred the background so the viewer’s attention remains on the beast. The icy tree catches the light. Again a shallow depth of field prevented the foliage behind it from intruding.

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The seascape concentrates on the rocks and waves but there is still substantial depth of field so the clouds and the front waves are still just in focus. But they are only just in focus which helps draw the eye back to the rocks and the crashing waves.

There are times when you may not want all of the image in

The skyscape is focused on the treeline, which was over 100 metres away. This gives a sharp baseline to take the eye up into the clouds.

Trying it Out Set your camera to a single point of focus and on aperture priority. Put it on a tripod or somewhere steady. Point it at a range of objects at different distances so they will all be included in your pictures. A diagonal line of plants or posts would work well. Focus on the central object and set the aperture to as small a number as you can. Increase the aperture for each photograph until you reach the highest available. Download onto a computer and see the Idifferences.hopeyouenjoy the results and if you fancy meeting some fellow photographers please get in touch on

Forfocus.aportrait of a person, animal or plant you may want to blur the background to concentrate the viewer on your subject. So a shallow depth of field (a large hole and a small f number) allows you to do just that.

by Amanda Baughen

This seems particularly cruel when there is plenty of food, there just aren’t enough bees to move ‘en masse’ to reach the honey. The other thing that we check for is the level of varroa mite infestation. The varroa population will have been building up during the summer, reaching its peak just as the colony moves towards winter, so the late summer treatment is arguably the most important varroa treatment of the year. Beekeepers in the northern hemisphere have learned to live with and deal with varroa in their bee colonies, using a variety of treatments with relative success, so it’s interesting to note the recent news from Australia. Over 1,000 colonies of honey bees have been euthanised following the discovery of varroa mites in colonies north of Sydney. The Australian Department of Primary Industries has defended its actions in attempting to maintain the varroa-free status of the country, as the implications for the honey bee industry and agriculture are huge. In the shortterm, destruction of colonies may seem overly drastic, but if varroa can be kept from gaining a stronghold then vast numbers of colonies across the country may be saved.

visit our

13 Bees,, 05 45 71 22 90 *Coulsting, C., BeeCraft, August 2022 Home and Garden BaughenAmanda&KeithbyphotographsAll 42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 A new queen ready to get

A worker bee with deformed wings - could be a sign of varroa mite infestation

We check our notes to gauge the age of the queen, as a colony headed by a young queen (one hatched this year) is more likely to lay eggs later in the year, allowing more time for ‘winter’ bees to be produced. One school of thought attributes a percentage of winter colony losses to older queens, and so beekeepers are now beginning to replace queens before they go through a second winter (if the bees haven’t already superseded her). Winter bees are produced towards the end of the season and live much longer than their summer sisters, one reason for the longer lifespan being that they don’t have to work as hard as the number of foraging hours is much lower. They also have welldeveloped fat bodies – cells of fat, not chubby bees! These fat bodies are collections of cells that form thin sheets in the abdomen, and contain higher levels of vitellogenin, which serves as a nutrient storage of protein used to produce brood food and royal jelly*.

The bigger the winter colony, the more likely it is to survive until next spring. Too small a colony and the bees will struggle to stay warm, and may not be mobile enough to move to the stores which results in isolation starvation.

Here Comes Spring 2023!

Once the summer crop has been harvested (remembering to take only the surplus honey that has been stored in the upper box on the hive, the super), we check that there is sufficient honey stored in the brood box (around 20kg).

Forget about already having the Christmas shopping done, they are thinking about next spring and how the colony is going to build up. As beekeepers, we can help them with these preparations and autumn is an important time for assessing the health of the queen bee, the size of the colony and the amount of stores they have gathered.

If you’re

us a call. Amanda and Kevin

All of this splendid preparation work, helping our bees to help themselves, will hopefully result in colonies coming through the winter, strong and ready to start foraging as soon as the spring warmth returns. Then the season will begin all over again, and we have to be ready for swarming, as that’s what a strong colony is thinking about from November onwards! thinking about keeping bees in 2023, please website to find out more, or give Baughen, through the winter

I’m not admitting to being slow on the uptake, but most things in my life tend to be one step ahead of me these days; it must be the recent high temperatures (any excuse…). That fact is definitely true of the bees, but they are several strides in front when it comes to planning.

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Love youR GARDeN by Greenfingers 44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

I’m writing this during one of the hardest times of my gardening life here, surrounded by wilting trees and shrubs, flowers that have bloomed briefly and are gone, and arid landscapes that are dusty and furnished with dead and dying grasses. The watering restrictions in place here are monitored quite strictly with helicopters flying over us checking for any lawbreakers. So, the better part of valour is to stick to the restrictions! It’s a heart-breaking time for farmers who haven’t managed the harvest yet and for those of us that would nurture and protect our plants as a matter of everyday life. It is another salutary warning about climate change which is already upon us, and will only get worse if we don’t act in time to stop it, or at least, slow it down. It is a widely publicised subject, in the news on an almost daily basis. What can we do as individuals? We hear a lot about what industry must do from reducing carbon emissions and the use of pesticides, to only producing multiple use plastics, to finding ways of storing and cleaning and re-using water and to produce food in greener ways ... these are just a few on a seemingly endless list - and to us is mind-blowing. We can play our bit, by having more storage water facilities in the garden, using natural fertiliser like manure, trying to reduce the number of pesticides we use ... spend less on ‘ready grown’ plants (difficult for me as I adore buying) by planting seeds and taking cuttings when we can. At the same time, we don’t want the growers, producers and nurserymen to be out of their jobs. This isn’t me on a hobby-horse, but just bringing it into the conversation and thoughts as every time I pick up a gardening publication, there is another ‘headline’!

I have three récupérateurs in the garden already, but will obtain another one when they become available during the autumn; although it is another plastic ‘thing’, it is at least long lived and purposeful. I am collecting seeds as much as I can from my own plants and I’m lucky enough to receive quite a few as presents from time to time from other gardeners. The first lot of cuttings I made were ‘brutalised’ by the heat and I will start again when the thermometer records lower temperatures. The hotter weather has had some blessings though: tomatoes plants have made, and are still making, bountiful crops, and melons and cucumbers seem to be coping well. Another bonus for me particularly is that the majority of snails have put their ‘hibernation’ mucous ‘skin’ over their shell openings and they are sleeping through the heat and are so much easier to deal with ... and they are not eating my hostas!! Slugs are a bit different as they just ‘dig’ themselves into the earth around the plants in pots and beds and feed away unseen! So I now ‘slug hunt’ with a torch in the dark ... but it is one pest less for the moment!

My walking buddy and I continue on our weekly country lane ‘discoveries’ and, amazingly, the hedgerows are coping better than our gardens ... well, that’s nature for you!! Already the blackberries are forming well; true they need some rain to swell to their usual juicy sizes, but they are there. The elderberries are looking very good for anyone who likes to make jam or wine and the teasel seed heads are almost ready to make into Harvest or Christmas decorations. The ‘haws’ are forming up nicely on the Hawthorn and there will be an abundance of rose hips. We always called this time of year ‘Hips and Haws Time’ when I was at primary school. That brings back memories of being sent out as a small child with a basket, and strict instructions not to come home until it was full of blackberries!

Thetoo!arranged visit by the Friday Ladies to Maulevrier was a success and, although all three of us had been before, it was still as fresh and interesting as the first time. The overwhelming beauty of the trees, many of them acers, is stunning ... the colours, the shapes and the sizes! I’ve always loved acers, and I wasn’t disappointed. The day was very hot, but the trees provided a large amount of shade which everyone appreciated. The lake itself was almost covered in an algal bloom, probably caused by the heat, but the ducks were enjoying it! It’s a place to sit, and contemplate … to take in the peace and the natural sounds. In the autumn, the banks under the trees are covered in thousands of wild cyclamen which give a magical touch. The restaurant is at one end of the lake and better approached from the right as there is a steep slope to the entrance from the left. There is a decent menu for lunch, but snacks and drinks are available all the time. The entrance fee is 8 euros (which is not expensive) and there is ample parking space especially reserved for garden visitors. The parking is on the opposite side of the road to the garden itself, but there is a tunnel under the road to make access safe for everyone. There is a shop where Japanese themed articles are for sale and a small nursery where small plants can be purchased. There is also a Bonsai tree exhibition. If you’d like a day of contemplation, or just peace and quiet, it’s the place for you. Go and enjoy! Now is the time to :

The taste of blackberry and apple pie and blackberry jam or jelly is still with me. We see a large number of different butterfly species on our walks and I must remember to take my ‘Observer Book of Butterflies’ with me next week ... remember those? Just fitted into the pocket so neatly! We observed a couple of Nuthatches on our walk today, creeping up a nearby tree trunk. Their call was quite loud and clear, accompanied by loud ‘tapping’’ noises as they searched the bark for hidden tasty insects to eat. They descend from the trees head first!! What a bonus to have seen them!

• Clear away hanging baskets and pots that are beginning to ‘go over’ and finish flowering. Any dead plant material will make a good addition to the compost heap.

Walking more locally to us at the Plan d’Eau, it is very concerning to see two of the lagoons completely empty of water. What happens to all the wildlife that lived, fed and bred there?? All gone for now. We can only hope that they will return when the rains arrive. We stop and chat to the horses in various fields and they reward us by nodding sometimes. They look like warrior horses at the moment, wearing their protective head gear against the biting flies; you can just make out their features underneath, but protecting their eyes and faces from damage is more important than their appearance. The lake is still very popular with the fishermen ... it IS mostly men ... and we chat with them about their ‘catches’. The younger children have been at their annual summer camp near the lake too. There is a small area reserved for their use every year. They stay in pitched tents and have a fabulous time doing activities in the park area. The local café has a swimming pool attached to it, just for young children, and it is a perfect cooling off place and one where ice creams are readily available! We have our long walk and then enjoy our coffee and pain au chocolat at a picnic table, and relax and watch the wildlife … and human life from time to time

• Lift and divide large clumps of perennials that have finished flowering to double the number of plants that you have. Easier to do when the foliage is still on the stems as it helps to identify them ... nothing worse than trying to remember the name of a ‘dead’ looking plant! Replant either into pots or back into a border. Leave some perennials as they are so that winter active insects can make homes in them; Good plants for this purpose include echinacea, solidago and eryngium.

Another benefit of the heat has been to enable the cannas to bloom beautifully. The vivid colours are so sizzling and just right for the season too. The lack of water has really affected the hedychiums though; the foliage is fantastic, but no sign of flowers as yet ... but there is still time! The salvias have come into their own as they adore the heat and there are so many new colour ways to choose from. My latest favourites include a deep vivid purple and an almost tangerine orange variety.

‘Hotlips’, a well- known red and white variety, just blossoms its socks off every year and is a cheery plant to have in the border. The top terrace is looking a bit like a pépinière as I keep all my potted plants and those waiting to be planted within easy reach. I can deadhead, inspect and water much more easily. At the same time, if I can keep all these potted specimens alive and all the other plants in the garden die, I have ready made and nurtured replacements ... well, for starters anyway!

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 45 Continued overleaf .....

• Leave an area of grass uncut so that wildlife has shelter during the colder months.

• Keep snipping off dead flower heads and new flowers will appear to continue their colour late into the autumn.

Trim hornbeam or beech hedges lightly now, as new, fresh growth will be produced which will stay looking good throughout the winter months.

• Most amphibians will have completed their breeding cycles now, so ponds can be cleaned and maintained without as much impact on any wildlife that may be living in them.

• Start to feed garden birds again, particularly if you stopped feeding them during the summer months.

• Pumpkins and squashes that are still in the process of ripening should be helped not to rot by placing boards or sacking underneath the fruit.

• If, like me, you have many self-seeded foxgloves that have ‘arrived’ into some flower pots, dig them out and replant them where you really want them to flower … preferably somewhere in partial shade.

• If you grow herbs, cut some now, leaving the stems a little longer than for cooking, tie them into neat bunches and hang them up somewhere warm to dry, ready to use for cooking when they have dried thoroughly.

Examine the roses for signs of blackspot and collect up any leaves that have been affected and burn them or dispose of them … don’t put them on the compost heap as they will infect the compost with the virus.

• When all the raspberries have been harvested, cut back the old canes to ground level. New canes that have been produced should be tied into a good strong support frame.

• Clean out nesting boxes and line with new nesting materials.

Continued ..... 46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

• Onions are ready for lifting when the tips of the top foliage begin to turn yellow. Prepare them for lifting by loosening the earth around the bulb with a small hand fork and by tying up the foliage so that it dies back quickly. When the foliage is completely dead, gently remove the earth from around the bulb and pull the onion out. Store in a dry cool place to allow the outer skins to dry completely. Prepare a new bed and plant some more onion sets.

• Continue to pick perennial flowers to encourage more to bloom. Sweet peas can be picked right up until the first frosts.

• Rambling roses tend to put on lots of green growth when they have stopped flowering, so control the spread and thin out any unruly stems. Tie the remainder into a support securely.

• If your jasmine is a summer flowerer, prune it back now by cutting from beneath the fading flower stems.

• Green roofs can be prepared and planted now. This gives time for the plants to settle into growth before the autumn arrives.

• Take as many cuttings as you can from favourite perennials. Very simply, cut off a non-flowering side shoot that feels thick and firm. Trim off all the bottom leaves leaving a few leaves at the top of this shoot. Neaten the edge below a node, this is a slightly raised bump on the base of the stem, where a leaf was joined. Dip this prepared side shoot into hormone rooting powder or gel and plant around the edge of a ready compost filled flower pot. When new leaves begin to appear, you know that the cutting is successful and roots will be forming. Rose cuttings can be taken in a similar way. Cut some strong healthy stems that are about a pencil in thickness, from low down on the rose bush. Remove the leaves and dip the cut end into hormone rooting powder or gel. Make a shallow trench and place the cuttings into it and bury them in the soil. Cover the area with mulch or some plastic sheeting, making slits in it to allow the cuttings to poke through. Bury the edges of the sheeting in the soil to anchor it and forget about the cuttings for about a year. When you remember them, you will find that they have developed roots and new foliage and will be ready to plant out into pots or prepared beds.

• Make simple ‘bug hotels’ around the garden to encourage wild life of all kinds in. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated … a pile of logs, a heap of twiggy sticks, some hollow plant stems, corrugated cardboard, or just some rocks will all provide shelter and breeding spaces for a variety of wildlife.

• Sow green manure in any empty veg beds. They help to enrich any nutrients in the soil and suppress weeds.

• Help hedgehogs prepare their bodies for the winter by leaving out small dishes of meaty cat or dog food for them to eat.

• If some perennials are still flowering well, encourage them further by deadheading regularly and the displays should then last and give welcome colour into the early autumn/ winter months.

• Leave the old flower heads on mop head hydrangeas as these will protect new tender growth if we have heavy frosts in the winter/spring.

• Fill any hollow spaces in the lawn with compost and sprinkle grass seed on top to rejuvenate the area.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 47

• If you have grown some sempervivums, they will have produced some offsets which are baby plants. These can be pulled off gently and planted into the same gritty compost as the ‘parent’ plant. More plants for free!

Keep safe whilst you are gardening, always wear a hat and plenty of sun cream and drink lots of water whilst you are gardening. Don’t stay in the sun and heat for too long and if it’s extremely hot, wait for a cooler day. The garden will still be there to do and you will stay fit and well. Greenfingers

• Lavender can be cut back when flowering is finishing. Cut back just the flower stems to the level of the leaf growth and not below this. Lavender does not re-sprout well from old hard wood. The cut off flower stems can be dried and the resulting seeds can be used to make lavender bags for the wardrobe.

• Prepare some pots and beds for planting winter and spring bulbs. Lots of varieties will be available on-line and locally in our garden centres during the next couple of months. It is a short buying period, so buy as soon as they are available and plant them up straight away. There are many new bulb varieties in fantastic colours that will enrich our garden views after the winter. I prefer to, plant in ‘clumps’ and close together so that ‘more’ is really ‘more’ The effect is much better I think, so I invest in as many different colours and types as I can. Pot up some hyacinth bulbs now and they will flower in time for Christmas. If you are going to plant bulbs into a lawn or grassy area, the best thing to do is to take a handful of bulbs and throw them over your shoulder, sight unseen. Turn and see where they landed and plant them there. In this way you will get a random, more natural display of flowering bulbs and you can leave them in situ when all flowering is done at the end of spring and add to the randomness in autumn next year!

The golden rod is yellow, the corn is turning brown. The trees in apple orchards with fruit are hanging down. The gentians’ bluest fringes are curling in the sun; In dusty pods the milkweed its’ hidden silk has spun. The sedges flaunt their harvest in every meadow nook, And asters by the brookside, mean asters in the brook. From dewy lanes at morning, the grapes sweet odours rise; At noon the roads all flutter with yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens, September days are here, With Summers’ best of weather and Autumns best of cheer. But none of all this beauty, which floods the earth and air Is unto me the secret, which makes September fair.

One day of one September, I never can forget!

• Sow some hardy annual seeds so that the resulting young plants can become established before winter.

Born 15/10/1830 in Amherst,Massachusetts and died on 12/08/1885 inSan Franscisco, California.Most renowned work ‘Ramona’ waswritten in 1884.

T’is a thing which I remember, to name it thrills me yet!


• Tidy up old strawberry runners by removing any dead, dying or diseased foliage and surrounding the remaining plants with straw. It is the time to plant new strawberry plants now too.

• Make sure that tall plants are supported by stakes or poles; inserting some short canes into the earth near the base of the plant will add extra support particularly during windy weather.

• Take some time to clean and tidy up the greenhouse after ‘its’ busy season. Much easier to do it on a warm dry summer day when you can leave all the tools and paraphernalia out on the grass in the dry whilst you sweep or swab down the inside. Wear a mask when you do this so you don’t inhale any noxious dust!

All the broad beans are in the freezer ready to make falafel, which are much better than chickpea falafel so I’m going to have to grow more next year. Following on from finding the broad bean falafel recipe, I discovered that there is such a thing as a falafel press. A very simple utensil but I had to have one! How, I wondered, did I manage to cook for so long without having a falafel press?


Back to the potager, which does have areas of brambles and nettles! The triffid has identified itself! There are four rather lovely potimarrons (or potirons ... I’m still not sure which) growing surprisingly well, considering during the day the leaves are very wilted. The smaller ones on the hugul bed are coming along quite well too. Sadly, it is a battle at the moment to be able to provide enough water for everything to really thrive so I’m just keeping it ticking along until the rain comes, which is threatened, or is it promised, for next week. Due to the watering restrictions, I have quickly installed an automatic irrigation system linked to a digital timer so all the watering is done in the middle of the night, which is by far the best time at the moment and nothing is suffering too much, although my first timer has broken and is being replaced so I’ve had to double up for a while. I haven’t sown any new seeds at the moment as I just can’t give them the water I feel they need. The Brussels sprouts are very happy though and they do seem to be thriving in this new regime. I’ve been harvesting courgettes very regularly which makes me very happy as I have a great recipe for courgette kofta that I adore!

Quick, simple and identical falafel produced in a fraction of the time it took to shape them by hand. If you make falafel, buy one if you haven’t already got one!



48 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022



Just when it was all coming together in the potager, the first major canicule hit with a vengeance resulting in the inevitable water shortages and watering restrictions. Temperatures hit 46°c in my part of Normandy… and people still think climate change is a myth? When I first started coming here regularly, twenty years ago and before I moved, our friends in the bar used to joke that it was raining because I’d arrived – the rain was that regular, even in Summer. But now … we have had one rainy day in the last six weeks, the last bout of ‘bad’ weather was around 6th June and that wasn’t as wet as it used to be. Our large spring fed pond is just about dried up which will badly affect the ecosystem it houses, as well as that of the surrounding area which we have worked so hard at sustaining. We are an oasis of natural gardening surrounded by fields of monoculture, herbicide use and unnecessary cutting of valuable verges and bocage which one day are covered in butterflies and insects feeding on the nectar and the next… a bald, dusty, scrubby area devoid of any activity. Think of this if you feel the need to have a well tonsured garden. Leave an area of stinging nettles, wild flowers, ivy and brambles and help nature survive this calamitous time. Put out bowls of water for the hedgehogs and other wildlife as they will surely die without our support.

Moving to the no dig bed has made me organise compost making as I’m going to need a lot of compost and being vegetarian, I produce a lot of peelings, trimmings etc anyway. All our Gîtes have lidded buckets for their vegetable matter too, so we should get a lot of green waste!

I’ve moved the chillies out of the polytunnel as they don’t really need the protection; the ones that needed potting on have been and they are all growing and are happy. I did buy some more seeds for next year – jalapeño, Espelette, Tabasco and a few other more unusual varieties so I’ll start those off in January. The tomatoes are, touch wood, doing well too and starting to ripen so I’m looking forward to the tomato glut happening very soon! I have had to prune them quite brutally as they became overwhelming but they didn’t seem to mind. As the San Marzanos ripen, I will just wipe them and put them straight in the freezer. They freeze so well and you can just take out what you need. As I use tomatoes in so many different types of recipe, I’ve found this works better for me than bulk cooking tomato sauce, try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

After umming and ahing about building compost bins and the best way to do it, Mr found a bank of four compost bins on that famous selling site and we decided that was the way forward. We spent an hour or two clearing the allotted area of a small forest of little cherry trees kindly planted by the birds and mowed the area of grass and nettles (which have finished flowering!), put the bins together and started using them by moving some of the compost pile into the first one. The bottom of the pile is good and composted and some has been used to mulch a few of the plants I’ve been worrying about to give them extra protection from the heat and lack of water. We are also going to make a tumbling composter from an old horse feed heater thing that someone found on Leboncoin. At the moment, it has a load of electrical gubbins for heating, which will be removed, and then he will modify it to allow good air entry etc. It will rotate and is actually quite a splendid thing, if you like that sort of thing! It should cut down composting time quite dramatically and be a good workout for me turning it every couple of days!

Now, if you would all do the rain dance please…

As well as the potager, Donna operates Gîtes St Vigor & St Martin in Basse CompostMade

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 49

Chillies in Pots Cherry Tree Forest Ready for the new bins

Cherry Tree Forest Home

Clubs and Associations Please ensure that you check with any club or association you are planning to visit BEFORE setting off. 50 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

Chateau d’Oiron: Performance 10th September at 8pm in the Salle d’Armes. For reservations telephone 07 86 88 52 57 Cérizay: Performance 1st October at 8.30pm at La Griotte (reservation details will be published in the DSM October diary).

Chen style Taiji is based on the philosophy of the natural exchange of yin & yang … the complimentary opposites which continuously transform into each other in a harmonious manner.

Dido revived: The final chapter by Ianthe

Tai Chi – myths & truths!

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 51

Last autumn saw two performances of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ in Niort and Parthenay. This was the culmination of two years’ work by the Deux Sèvres Chamber Choir, in partnership with the Festin d’Alexandre baroque orchestra, professional soloists, and dancers, to put on a fully staged, costumed production of this most English of operas. At that time COVID rules were changing daily, or even hourly, so we didn’t know until the very last minute whether the performances could go ahead or not and, if so, whether we would have to sing in masks. In the event, we were able to sing unmasked to sell-out audiences in both venues. Buoyed by this success, three more performances are planned for this year. The first, on September 10th, is in the Salles d’Armes at the Chateau d’Oiron. Anyone who has visited the chateau will know what an extraordinary setting this is: very little extra stage décor will be needed. Further performances are scheduled for 1st October at Cérizay, and 2nd October at Celles sur Belle. These performances will be the last for this production. It has been an incredible experience, of which the choir and our many collaborators can be proud. But co-ordinating a cast of nearly 50 singers, musicians and dancers, both amateur and professional, is a mammoth task that has only been achieved thanks to hours of voluntary effort – and perhaps a few sleepless nights! So don’t miss the opportunity to see the show. It has something for everyone: contemporary references and humorous touches (watch out for the cuddly toy), and French traditional music and dance that blend seamlessly with Purcell’s wonderful music. Our aim is to make ‘Dido and Aeneas’ as accessible as possible to audiences who are not necessarily opera-goers.

Taiji is too difficult to do. Taiji practice is suitable for all from age 8 to 80 plus! By simply modifying the depth of the postures and the degree of vigour in the movements, it is suitable for most people. Taiji can relieve stress and promote good health and aid relaxation Happily, this isn't a myth !

Many people are often intrigued when they see people performing the (mostly) slow, gentle exercises known as Tai Chi …aka Taiji. Unfortunately, there exist some myths which deserve to be unveiled !

Taiji is thousands of years old. Although based on Chinese martial arts founded in antiquity, historical research places the birth of Taiji firmly in the 1600's. In fact it was created in Chen village, in Northern China by a Ming dynasty General : Chen Wang Ting.


Taiji is always practised very slowly and very softly. However, there always exists the possibility for some faster and more vigorous movements.

Terry with his long term teacher, the famous Grand Master Wang Haijun. Why not try some Taiji ? Just 'drop-in' to a class… it is relaxing, low impact and, other than comfortable clothing, needs no special equipment.

Celles sur Belle: Performance 2nd October at 5pm in the Salle des Fêtes. For reservations telephone 05 49 32 92 28 Roper

Weekly classes will restart in September : Mon evening in Bressuire 19th Sep at 7:30 pm Wed afternoon at Le Breuil Barret 21st Sep at 3 pm Terry Ryan 3rd

52 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 Building and Renovation Siret 879 119 030 00010Free quotes with home visit Based in Search(Deux-Sèvres)ExoudunonFacebook or call 07 87 26 32 54 All Domestic repairs and installations

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54 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

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56 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

Meanwhile, in St Maixent’s town’s heart, this large stone house (A12742) offers tremendous opportunities for its next owner to

St Maixent provides a great centre for the area with its commerce and TGV train links to Bordeaux, Paris, Angoulême and La Rochelle.

refurbish and expand. Set within mature gardens behind the large stone gate posts, the sitting, dining rooms and a small kitchen are on the ground floor – an opportunity to enlarge the kitchen into an attached outbuilding would provide a large light-filled room facing the garden. Upstairs to three bedrooms, with three more rooms on the second floor within which you could massively extend accommodation. Walk to the Saturday market, TGV and shops – this would make the most fabulous large family home for the cost of 130,800€! A fantastic opportunity!

Our last offering this month is 15 kms away in Fomperron (A12728) and also three storeyed, another large house with pretty pink render! It is also on the market for 130,800€. This house has a light spacious feeling, the lounge has high ceilings and original wooden floors with a woodburner. Kitchen/dining is a sunny room perfect for entertaining, then climb gently curving wooden stairs to the two large ensuite bedrooms as well as a smaller single. More stairs lead to large attics which offer even more opportunity and space. There’s a two-storey detached stone garage, covered woodstore and neat garden set to the side – all set in a super little village!

The other mainstay of local economy is the military school; in fact, St Maixent is known throughout France as the training school for all the Army’s NCO’s – its barracks are extensive and some parts even date back to Revolutionary times.

And then there’s the abundance of pretty villages and surrounding lush countryside – an irresistibleOnecombination.suchvillage is La Mothe Saint-Héray, where this absolutely charming pink rendered stone farmhouse (A12137) has simply masses of space as well as a beautiful sheltered pool – a must for the long hot summers of Deux Sèvres! Renovated beautifully, the character filled main house has six bedrooms and many traditional features. The top floor is arranged as a small apartment with two bedrooms, there’s also a separate gîte and large barn set in landscaped gardens – 299,600€.

Joanna Leggett is marketing director at Leggett Immobilier –you can view their full portfolio of properties for sale in France at Leggett


Nestled in a lush rural landscape with its own warm microclimate, St Maixent l'École is at the heart of Deux Sèvres where farming has been the way of life for generations. As a result, there’s a thriving Farmers' Market here each Saturday where you can indulge your quest for the best produce including local goat's cheese, reputedly the tastiest in France!

Property LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST +33 (0)5 53 60 84 88 - - SARL Leggett Immobilier, 42 rue de Ribérac, 24340 La Rochebeaucourt et Argentine - SIRET : 521 133 835 Fenioux €60,000 HAI Ref. 104816 - 2 Bedroom cottage with garden and outbuildings in peaceful DPE:hamlet.No data Agency fees included : 11% TTC to be paid by the buyer Beugnon-Thireuil €325,000 HAI Ref. A13879 - Two detached houses; a main residence, and gîte with potential for a Energysecond.class:D Climate class: D Agency fees included : 5% TTC to be paid by the buyer Loubillé €172,800 HAI Ref. A14384 - Lovely 3 bedroom stone house in good condition with enclosed Energygarden.class: D Climate class: B Agency fees included : 8% TTC to be paid by the buyer Lezay €174,900 HAI Ref. A11071 - Distinctive 3 - 4 bedroom house with terrace, pleasant garden and Energygarage.class: D Climate class: B Agency fees included : 6% TTC to be paid by the buyer Niort €265,000 HAI Ref. A12154 - Rare! 2800m² plot of land with permission to build, in a quiet and beautiful environment! DPE: Not required Agency fees included : 6% TTC to be paid by the buyer Coutières €56,600 HAI Ref. A06299 - Charming 1 bedroom cottage with large garden and outbuildings, in a hamlet. Energy class: E Climate class: B Agency fees included : 13% TTC to be paid by the buyer Buying or Selling a Property? CONTACT US TODAY EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE We are urgently looking for properties! We have clients ready to buy! EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 57

With its ancient abbey dominating the town, many of St Maixent’s handsome stone buildings date from the 15th century – although there’s even a virtually intact ancient lacemaker’s home from even earlier built when Poitou lace was famed throughout Europe!

Due to exceptional sales period we urgently seek properties of all types and price ranges. Excellent prices are being achieved. Now is the time to sell Call today for a FREE valuation NOW IN OUR 12th YEAR Working for Leggett enables us to live how we want, where we want. Robert Nowak LEGGETT AGENT If you would like the freedom to grow a successful business supported by an award winning team, please contact our recruitment department: +33 (0)5 53 60 82 77 Start a new career as a property sales agent WE ARE RECRUITING! WATCH ROBERT’S STORY Advertising discounts for 3/6/12 month packages YOU INFO@THEDEUXSEVRESMONTHLY.FRADVERTISECOULDHEREEMAILUSAT 58 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 59 08 05 69 23 23 Siret : 501 191 720 00025 APE 6831Z B eaux VillagesIMMOBILIER Buy or sell your French property with us WINNER OF BEST ESTATE AGENCY & WEBSITE FRANCE 2021 - 2022 LORIGNE €225,000 Pretty 4 bed / 3 bath cottage offering flexibility, income potential, large living spaces and a pool. Ref: BVI65016 CHEF-BOUTONNE €850,000 Edge of village château currently run as a luxury chambres d’hôtes with sep arate gîte and pool. Ref: BVI58016 LA CHAPELLE-POUILLOUX €499,500 12 bed / 6 bath property offering a fantastic lifestyle and business opportunity in 2 Ha. A must-see! Ref: BVI64693 EXCLUSIVEEXCLUSIVE LORIGNE €299,000 Lovely former presbytery with maison d’amis, pool, views, some woodland, fruit trees and a garage. Ref: BVI65080 ASSAIS-LES-JUMEAUX €521,500 1870s château - 8 bedrooms, rural views, numerous outbuildings and offering huge potential. Ref: BVI63876 BRESSUIRE €384,800 Spacious 3 bed /1 bath country home with exposed beams and features and a large barn and garage. Ref: VAA630 EXCLUSIVE LES FORGES €120,000 Lock-up-and-leave, 2 bed duplex apartment in an historic château. Pool, 8 Ha and tennis court. Ref: BVI58524 SAUZE-VAUSSAIS €851,100 Magnificent estate offering a main house, guest cottages and large pool set in 4 hectares. Ref: BVI63176 COURLAY €133,525 Edge of village, 3 bed ‘Pavillon’ house built in the 1980’s. Garden, garage and raised terrace. Ref: BVI65842 EXCLUSIVE We are recruiting Independent Property Consultants across South-West France to join our winning team. Want to know more? Email: Tina Anderson, Head of Recruitment Love property and people, and want to be your own boss? ofAssociateInternationalSavills

There are 3 ages: - Baby: 0 to 3 years old - Junior: 3 years old to end of school - Etudiant: Further education

Yes, it’s September and that only means one thing: Back to school!! And you must wonder why the school asks you for a certificate of assurances for your child so let me explain what it is, what it is for and how much it costs!

3. How much does it cost: Not much actually! Depending on the age of your child, cover can cost between 23 and 50 euro per year. And if you have more than child, there is usually a discount. So there it is, school insurance is a must especially for just 3 to 4 euro per month so it’s not worth depriving your child of a fantastic school trip to a goat cheese factory!

Last, but not least, is what we call “école continue” so that if your child is injured and can’t go to school, the insurance pays for 6 hours per week of private tuition in your house. Child must be absent from school for medical reason for more than 15 days.

BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures 16700 Ruffec Isabelle Want Tel : 05 45 31 01 61 Mob : 06 17 30 39 11 Email : Visit our web Orias: 07004255 SCHOOL INSURANCE

2. What does it cover:

It is an insurance for kids and students. The assurance scolaire is not an obligation but most schools won’t accept your child unless they have one. In any case, your child won’t be able to go along the school trips if they do not have this insurance so it is better if the child has one.

Another cover is the cost for search and rescue of the child following an accident or any other events endangering the child’s life.

1. What is it:

It does not cover loss or breakage so if your child loses or breaks his mobile phone, tough luck!

And remember to check out our web site for all my previous articles (“practical information”) and register to receive our monthly Newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook: “Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Romain Lesterpt” And don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or quotes on subjects such as Funeral cover, inheritance law, investments, car, house, professional and top up health insurance, etc…

The insurance can also cover robbery up to a certain amount (only clothes, sport equipment and school bags) but you will need to have kept the original invoice! Needless to say we have never had a claim for that! As nobody keeps the invoices forever.

Business and Finance 60 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022

It is a personal injury insurance for your child so if your child has an accident at school, or anywhere else for that matter, the insurance company pays a lump sum of 3 800 euro for death or between 100 000 and 200 000 euro for invalidity (amount depends of % of Itincapacity).canalsocover

But note that if your child breaks a window, this is covered by the public liability insurance which is inside your house insurance contract. So things not covered by the school insurance can be covered by another of your insurances.

damages to teeth (305 euro per teeth), hearing aid (770 euro), glasses and contact lenses (153 euro) as long as there is a medical certificate proving the child was injured. So if the child broke his glasses playing football and he is not injured, the insurance won’t pay. It can also pay for a bed so one of the parents can stay in the hospital room with the injured child.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, September 2022 | 61

EU succession law ‘Brussels IV’

It is possible to use the EU succession regulation “Brussels IV” to opt for the succession law of your country of nationality to apply on your death, instead of that of your country of residence. You need to make this election in your will, otherwise French law automatically applies. But first understand the pros and cons.

Succession issues in France – how is your familyaffected?

France’s complex succession law and tax regimes create various complications for UK nationals setting up life there. Once you understand how these might affect your family, you can tailor your estate planning to ensure your estate will pass according to your wishes and with as little tax as possible. Succession law and forced heirship

• There is no tax on inheritances between spouses and PACS partners, but lifetime gifts are taxable at 5%-45% with a €80,724 allowance.

Succession tax

Children (natural and adopted) each benefit from a €100,000 allowance and pay tax at progressive rates from 5% to 45%.

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

Estate planning is a complex area, especially when you have to consider the rules of two countries and how they interact. Every family is different, so your approach should be tailored to meet your personal objectives and unique situation.


Protect your heirs.

• The allowance for nephews and nieces is €7,967 with a 55% tax rate.

It may be possible to overcome or mitigate the potentially punitive taxes and the restrictions of succession law through strategic advance planning, so take time to explore your options.

There is more to cross-border estate planning than many people realise. You need to plan for many different elements, including the complex and potentially high French succession tax, UK inheritance tax if you have assets there, and France’s restrictive forced heirship regime. Also consider how your pension can be passed to your family and the tax implications.

Blevins Franks has 45 years of experience helping thousands of UK nationals in France achieve their wishes for their heirs. Every family is unique, so our estate planning recommendations are personalised for your specific situation and wishes.

If French assets pass according to the provisions of a country which does not impose forced heirship rules (eg. England and Wales), the protected heirs can make a claim for the share they would be entitled to under the French rules. This effectively override Brussels IV, but you can still use it to freely distribute assets outside France.

• Grandchildren pay tax at the same rates, but only receive the standard €1,594 allowance for inheritances. You can, however, give them lifetime and cash gifts up to €31,865 tax free.

The Napoleonic code in France was designed to keep property within the ‘bloodline’. Children are protected heirs and must inherit between 50% and 75% of your estate. You can only leave the ‘freely disposable’ part to your spouse or PACS (civil) partner.

Keep up to date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks news page at by Catrina Ogilvie, Blevins Franks

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 qualified 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 office: 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 07 24

• Brothers and sisters generally receive a €15,932 allowance and pay tax at 35% or 45%.

In any case, there may be other, more suitable ways to achieve your estate planning wishes.

Succession tax is charged on each beneficiary, with the rates and allowances varying considerably depending on their relationship to you:


Inheritance planning in France.

• Anyone else pays tax at 60%, and their allowance is just €1,594. This includes stepchildren and unmarried/non PACS partners.


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