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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Welcome! to Issue 34 of

‘The DeuxSèvres Monthly’ magazine.

Dashing through  the  snow,  in  a  one  horse  open   sleigh.....over  the  hills   we   go,  laughing   all   the   way!    ha  ha! Well,   it’s   mid   November   and   I’m   ready   for   Christmas,  albeit  a  month  too  early!     That’s  what   preparing  a  Christmas  issue  will  do  to  you... I’m  very  organised  (for   once!)  and  eagerly  await   all   the  festive  events  happening  in  the  department  this  month.    Please  take   a   look   at   both   our   “What’s   On”   section   and   our   special   Christmas   Market  list  on  page  11  to  find  out  what’s  happening  near  you. Have   an   enjoyable   time   this   festive   season,  and   take   care   on   your   journey  to  see  loved  ones. Rob   and   I   (and   all   the   cats!)   would   like   to   wish   you   a   wonderful   Christmas  and  all  the  very  best  for  a  healthy  and  happy  2014.

One final  note  -­‐  apologies,  but  the  cheeky  Elves  have  got  to  this  issue   before  us!

Joyeux Noël, Sarah.

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

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

CONTENTS

What’s On.....................................................................................4 Hobbies,  Clubs  &  Associations.....................................................6 Take  a  Break.................................................................................7 Getting  Out  &  About....................................................................8 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness............................................................16 Our  Furry  Friends.......................................................................18 The  Great  Outdoors...................................................................20 A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.................................22 French  Life,  Food  &  Drink...........................................................23 Motoring....................................................................................27 Communications........................................................................29 Building  &  Renovation...............................................................30 Business,  Finance  &  Property....................................................35

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS  

79 Renovations.....................................................................................................34 A  Cut  Above  with  Jilly  (Mobile  Hairdressing)...................................................... 17 A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)................................................................................24 All  Things  Equestrian........................................................................................... 18 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)...................................................................... 28 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  D/Glazing)......................................... 2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)................................................................................ 33 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)..................................................................... 32 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber)...............................................................................31

...continued. ARB  French  Property........................................................................................... 39 Arbrecadabra.com  (Tree  surgery)........................................................................ 21 Bar/Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau............................................................................ 25 BH  Assurances  /  Allianz....................................................................................... 35 Bill  McEvoy  (Plumber  /  Heating  Engineer).......................................................... 31 Bistrot  des  Amis................................................................................................... 8 Bois  Nature  Energie  (Firewood  &  Fencing)......................................................... 20 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)........................................................... 28 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs.......................................................................................... 23 Caniclôture  (Hidden  Fencing  for  Dogs)............................................................... 18 Carolyn’s  Cakes.................................................................................................... 23 Cheryl’s  Helping  Hand......................................................................................... 37 Chez  Tante  Mabel  (Gift  Shop)............................................................................. 9 Chris  Bassett  Construction.................................................................................. 33 Chris  Parsons  (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing)...................................................... 31 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)...................................................... 8 Cleaning  Services  by  Karen.................................................................................. 37 Clean  Sweep  Chimney  Services........................................................................... 30 Come  Dine  with  Dave  (Dining  experience)......................................................... 24 Currencies  Direct  (Money  Transfers)................................................................... 36 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon).............................................................................................. 17 DB  Electricité....................................................................................................... 34 D.W  Cooper  (Carpenter,  Roofer,  Mason)............................................................. 32 David  Cropper  (Stump  Grinding  &  Jungle  Busting)............................................ 20 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep)........................................................................ 30 DJ  Jeff  (Professional  DJ)....................................................................................... 10 D.J  Maintenance  (Handyman)............................................................................ 31 Down  to  Eart  Pool  Design  (Swimming  Pool  Design  &  Construction).................. 33 EcoPower  (Solar  Thermal  Trading  Company)...................................................... 34 Electricien  Anglais  en  France.............................................................................. 34 Emilie  Baudrez  -­‐  Easy  French  Life........................................................................ 16 Etat  d’Esprit  (Ladies  Fashion,  Jewellery  &  Gift  Shop)......................................... 10 Franglais  Deliveries............................................................................................. 28 Fresco  Interiors.................................................................................................... 8 George  Rayner  Computers.................................................................................. 30 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers)........................................ 34 Holistic  Therepay  -­‐  Soul  to  Sole........................................................................... 17 I  C  O  Electricté..................................................................................................... 34 Insink  Plumbing................................................................................................. .. 31 John  Etherington  Home  &  Garden...................................................................... 20 Julia  Hunt  -­‐  Agent  Commercial............................................................................ 38 Kelly  &  Sue’s  Pampering  Events........................................................................... 17 L’étable  Gastronomique  (Restaurant).................................................................. 23 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).................................... 32 Laura  Walker  Jewellery........................................................................................ 8 Leggett  Immobilier.............................................................................................. 38 Les  Jardins  St  Laurent  (Bistro)............................................................................. 25 Le  Petit  Cadeau  (Gift  Shop)................................................................................. 9 Mad  Hatter’s  Kitchen........................................................................................... 25 Man  For  Hire........................................................................................................ 21 MB  Plumbing  &  Building  Services....................................................................... 31 Michael  Hobson  (Painter  &  Decorator)............................................................... 32 ML  Computers..................................................................................................... 30 Motor  Parts  Charente.......................................................................................... 28 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances......................................................................... 28 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services.......................................................................... 33 Needa  Hand  Services........................................................................................... 34 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).............................................................. 16 Pause!  café.......................................................................................................... 26 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire)............................................................................. 33 Plan-­‐170  (Professional  Scale  Drawings).............................................................. 32 Polar  Express  (Frozen  Foods).............................................................................. 26 Premier  Autos  (Mechanic).................................................................................. 28 Restaurant  du  Lac................................................................................................ 24 Rob  Berry  (Plasterer)........................................................................................... 32 Robert  Walker  Plomberie.................................................................................... 31 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)............................................. 29 Satellite  TV  (Nigel  Gubb)...................................................................................... 30 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Fosse  Installations  &  Groundworks)................................... 33 SCP  Notary........................................................................................................... 39 Sentinel  Security  (Alarm  systems)....................................................................... 34 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors)................................................................................. 37 Silverwood  Books................................................................................................ 14 Simon  The  Tiler.................................................................................................... 31 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)............................................................. 36 Steve  Enderby...................................................................................................... 32 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)....................................................... 15 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre............................................................ 28 The  Market.......................................................................................................... 8 Vendée  Carriers................................................................................................... 28

© Sarah  Berry   2013.     All   rights  reserved.    Material   may   not   be   reproduced  without  permission.    While   care   is   taken  to  ensure  that  articles  and  features  are  accurate,  Sarah   Berry   accepts  no  liability   for   reader  dissatisfaction.     The   opinions  expressed   and  experiences   shared  are   given  by  individual   authors  and  do  not  necessarily  represent  the   views  or  opinions  of  the  publisher.    Please  ensure  you  verify  that  the  company  you  are  dealing  with  is  a  registered  trading  company  in  France  and/or  elsewhere. <<The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly>>  est   édité   par  Sarah   Berry,  La   Bartière,   79130,   Secondigny.   Tél:   05  49  70   26  21.    Directeur  de  la  publication  et  rédacteur  en   chef:   Sarah   Berry.   Crédits   photos:  Sarah  Berry,   Clkr  et   morgeufile.com.  Impression:  Raynaud  Imprimeurs,  zone  industrielle,  BP13,  79160,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.    Dépôt  légal:  decembre  2013  -­‐  Tirage:  4500  exemplaires.    Siret:  515  249  738  00011  ISSN:  2115-­‐4848

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

What’s On... December 2013

Plus many Christmas Markets...See information on P11

What’s Coming Up... 25th January  2014  -­‐  Burns  Night  Supper At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    See  advert  on  Px  for  info. The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2013 Wednesday  25th  December. Christmas  Day  (Noël)

Christmas Carol  services  with  the  English  speaking  Church  in   Poitou-­‐Charentes. The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,     invites   you  to   join   any  of   their   Christmas  Services  below.     All   services  are  in  English  unless  indicated  otherwise.     12th  December:  Cognac  (16)  6.30pm 16th  December:  Civray  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (86)  6.30pm 18th  December:  Parthenay  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (79)  6.30pm 18th  December:  St  Dizant  de  Gua  (17)  6.30pm 19th  December:  Courcelles  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (17)  6.30pm 22nd  December:  Jarnac  Carols,  in  French  &  English  (16)  tba 24th  December:  Alloue  Holy  Communion  and  carols  (16)  6.30pm 25th   December:   Genouillé   Holy  Communion   and   carols   (86)   10.30am • 25th  December:  Jarnac/Courcelles  Holy  Communion  and  carols   (16/17)  10.30am • • • • • • • •

For further   informacon   about   locacon   of   churches   and   about   what   else   is   happening   near   you,   please   take   a   look   at   our   website   www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com   or   contact   us     by   email:   office.goodshepherd@orange.fr.

The Filling  Station  ~  Poitou-­‐Charentes

The Filling   Station   is   a   network   of   local   Christians   of   all   denominations   who   meet   together   regularly   for   spiritual   renewal   and  evangelism  purposes.    ALL  WELCOME. Please   see   our   website   for   details   of   meetings   and   spring   programmes  www.thefillingstation.org.uk  or  locally  contact   05  49  87  18  58  or  email:michael.willis@sfr.fr

ALL SAINTS,  VENDEE - Puy  de  Serre We  hold  two  services  each  month,  on  the  2nd  and  4th  Sundays at  the  church  of  St  Marthe,  Puy  de  Serre,  at  11am.   After  each  service,  tea  and  coffee  is  served  in  the  parish  room and  everyone  is   invited  to  a  `bring  and  share`  lunch.     For  details   of  all  our  activities,  our  Services  in  the  west  of  the  Vendée, copies   of   recent   newsletters   and   more   information,   please   check  our  website:www.allsaintsvendee.fr.

Local Markets Mondays:

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

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

Photo: Lisa Roberts

30th November  &  1st  December  -­‐  Salon  de  Mariage 2   day  wedding  event  at  Abbaye  Royale,  St  Jean  d’Angely.   Including     planning  ideas,  catwalk  shows  and  Trade  stands.  Open  from  9am  to   6pm.  Entry  5€  Adults,  Children  go  free. 30th  November  &  1st  December  -­‐  Marché  de  Noël At  Salles  des  Fêtes,  Fenioux.    See  advert  on  P.9  for  details. 1st  December  -­‐  Christmas  Market At   Pause!   café,   L’Absie   from   11am   -­‐   5pm.   Lots   to   see   and   do   including  a  visit  from  Santa!    See  advert  on  P.26 1st  December  -­‐  Rendez-­‐vous  Christian  Fellowship A  warm   welcome   awaits   you   at   La  Brionnière,   near   St   Pierre   du   Chemin   on   the  1st   and  3rd  Sunday  in   the  month,  at   11.00am.  To   find   out   more   call   Chris   Taylor   on   09   60   49   78   50   or   see   www.therendezvous.fr. 2nd  December  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Limalonges See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 3rd  December  -­‐  ORFEE’s  Marché  de  Noel At  Salle  des  Spectacles,  Civray.  See  advert  on  P18. 5th  December  -­‐  Live  Music  Night At  Mad  Hatter’s  Kitchen,  Chaunay.    See  advert  on  P.25  for  details. 5th  December  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Chef  Boutonne See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 6th  December  -­‐  ‘Keynotes’  Christmas  Carols At  A  La  Bonne  Vie  Restaurant,  Le  Beugnon.    See  advert  on  P.24 7th  December  -­‐  NALA  Christmas  Fair  -­‐  “A  Touch  of  Xmas” At  Chateau  de  Puybelliard,  nr  Chantonnay.  See  advert  on  P.2 7th  December  -­‐  Fish  &  Chip  Nite At  Bar/Brasserie  Vu   du  Chateau,  Bressuire.     See  advert   on  P.25  for   details. 8th  December  -­‐  Terves  Xmas  Market For  details,  please  see  P.9 8th  December  -­‐  Melleran  Foire  de  Noel For  details,  please  see  P.9 11th  December  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Aigre See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 12th  December  -­‐  Trader’s  Afternoon At  Pause!  Café,  L’Absie,  2pm-­‐5pm.    Please  see  advert  on  P.  26  for  info. 12th  December  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Champniers See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 13th-­‐15th  December  -­‐  Le  Magie  de  Noël At  La  Mothe  St  Héray.  Free  Entry.  www.la-­‐mothe-­‐st-­‐heray.fr 19th  December  -­‐  Phoenix  Chorale  Christmas  Concert at  Charroux  church,  7.30pm 20th  December  -­‐  Cheryl’s  Christmas  Dinner  Party  Quiz At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    See  advert  on  P.23  for  details. 24th  December  -­‐  Christmas  Eve  Menu At  Les  Jardins  St.  Laurent,  Parthenay.    See  advert  on  P.25  for  menu. 31st  December  -­‐  New  Year’s  Eve  Soirée At  Restaurant  du  lac,  Secondigny.    See  advert  on  P.24  for  menu. 31st  December  -­‐  French  Connection’s    New  Year’s  Eve  Party Live  music  at  Salle  des  fetes,  Chantemerle.    Tickets  15€,  please  see   advert  on  P.2 31st  December  -­‐  New  Year’s  Eve  Party With   5   course   meal   and   live   music.     At   Café   des   Belles   Fleurs,   Feniox.    See  advert  on  P.23  for  details.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY                                                                                              

                                                                         

Marché de  Noêl

Paperback Jan Books  in  English

30th Nov:  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  79160.  4pm  -­‐  6pm   1st  Dec:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie  79240.    11am  -­‐  5pm 3rd  Dec:  Civray  Christmas  fête,  Salle  de  Fete  86400.    11am  -­‐  4pm 4th  Dec:  Café  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant  85120.  2.30pm  -­‐  4.30pm 5th  Dec:  Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire  79300.  11am  -­‐  1pm 5th  Dec:  Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud  79450.  2pm-­‐5pm 6th  Dec:  Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars  79100.  12pm  -­‐  2pm 6th  Dec:  Le  Tipsy  Bar,  Coulonges  sur  l’Autize  79100.  12pm  -­‐  2pm 7th  Dec:  Chateau  Puybelliard,  NALA  Christmas  Fair 8th  Dec:  TERVES  Christmas  Market 11th  Dec:    Les  Jardins  St  Laurent,  Parthenay  79200.  10.30am-­‐12.30pm   11th  Dec:  Le  Don  Jon  Bar,  Moncontour  86330.  4pm  -­‐  6pm   12th  Dec:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie  79240.    2pm-­‐  5pm 13th  Dec:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.  11am  -­‐  4pm 14th  Dec:  Cafe  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole  79400.  10am  -­‐  1pm

TUESDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2013 Salle des Spectacles (next door to the Mairie) CIVRAY 86400. 9.30am - 4pm Association Orfée   will   be  running   the   bar   throughout  the   day   and   we   will   be   offering   festive   mulled   wine   and   delicious   home-­‐made  mince  pies  together  with  lots  of  other   mouth-­‐watering  Christmas  yummies!! Come   along   and   meet   us,   have   a   chat,   join  in   the   festive   spirit  and  start   your  Christmas   shopping  early  at  the  indoor   and  outdoor  markets. We   look   forward   to   seeing   you   there,   please   come   and   support  us. Saving  dog’s  lives…

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

Open Fish 4 Chip Fish, Chips & mushy peas!

6-8pm

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

Mr T’s Friterie

Open 6.30

-9pm

With regular venues at:

                           F    oire         16170  (27th  month) • Aulnay    17470    (from  6pm)  •          Rouillac   • St  Hilaire  de  Villefranche  17770 • Gourville  16170                   • Matha 17160 • St  Jean  d’Angély  17400 + See  www.frying2nite.com  for  details  or  call  06  02  22  44  74

Reel Fish & Chips Traditional English style Fish & Chips Dates for December

4th 5th 6th 7th 8th

The Canteen, Etusson (+ Phoenix cards) Bar Tabac, St Martin du Sanzay Bar Tabac PMU, Bouille-Loretz Bar Vue du Chateau, Bressuire Terves Christmas Market

18H30 - 21H30 18H30 - 21H00 18H30 - 21H00 18H30 - 21H00 12H00 - 14H30

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

Combined Services Support by Terri Laverick Group (CSSG) November has   been   and   gone   and   many   of   us   are   looking   forward  to   the  Christmas  revels.     Before  that,   however,  may  we   just   take   a   few   moments   to   thank  all   those   of   you   who   have   supported   and  continue  to  support   our   efforts  to  raise   monies   for    charity. At   the  Beer  Fest  in  October  we  managed,  with   your  help,  to  raise   647€.     This  amount,  plus  monies  raised  from  other  events,  meant   that   we  were   able  to   send  a  cheque   for   900€   to   SSAFA   France,   and  there  is  still  more  to  come  from  our  “Name  the  Teddy”  at  the   AIDEZ   Christmas   Market   in   Terves   on   8th   December.     Before   leaving   this   subject   may   we   take   this   opportunity   to   say   a   heartfelt  “ Thank  You”  to  all  who  helped   us,  both  on   the  day  and   before  the  event.     A  special  thanks  to  the  entertainers  who  gave   their   services  free   on   the   day;  the   Keynotes   Choir   and   Three   +   One,  who  gave  all  of  us  a  great  deal  of  pleasure. Our  final  meeting  this   year   will  be  held,  as  usual,  at   the  Café  des   Belles  Fleurs   in   Fenioux.  Christmas   lunch   is   booked  and   we  are   looking  forward  to  planning  next  year’s  events  and  looking  back   at   what   we   have   achieved   in   our   first   full   year   of   fund   raising   events.    We  are  hoping  that  our  members  are  coming  along  with   lots  of   ideas  which  we  can   sift  through  and   add   to   our   ongoing   commitments,   i.e   Paperback   Jan's   Open   Days,   the   Christmas   Market,  and  the  Burn's  Night   Celebrations    (provisional  date  25th   January  2014).    I  shall  endeavor  to  keep  you  advised  on  all  of  our   events,  and   please   let   all  your  friends  know  what  we  are  up  to.     Also   if   you   or   your   friends   want   to   help   just   let   us   know   at   cssgroup@outlook.com. Once  again,  thank  you  for   your   help   over   the  past  year   and  we   look  forward  to  seeing  you  all   again   in   2014.     From  all  at   CSSG,   we  wish  you  all  a  Merry  Christmas  and  a   Happy  and   Prosperous   New  Year.     (Oh  yes,  we  have  been  asked  by  quite  a  few   people  if   we  can  do  a  re-­‐run  of  the  Beer   Fest  next   year.    Just   watch   this   space  for  the  answer!)

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Hobbies, Clubs & Associations... Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

Cancer Support aims to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer. ---------------------------

Don’t worry alone - Pick up the Phone Contact June Searchfield on 05 49 64 59 96 Email: junesearchfield@gmail.com

We are here to support you and your family

All Girls Together A new  group  formed  for  company,  fun  and  laughter  for  girls  18-­‐80.   Next  meetings  are  13th  and  27th  November  at  Fontenille-­‐Saint-­‐ Martin-­‐d'Entraigues,  79110,  2  -­‐  5pm. Please  ring  Vivien  for  further  information  and  directions   on  05  49  27  51  98 I   am   a   Jewish   man   with   a   non-­‐Jewish   wife   from   the   UK   looking  for  Jewish  people  of  any  nationality  living  in  the  area   of   La   Chataignerie   who   would   like   to   meet   for   tea   and   conversation.    Please  email:  suelauris@hotmail.co.uk

Rubber Bridge:would any of you bridge players out there in the Deux-Sèvres, be interested in making up an occasional 4? Email David Rowe: djfrowe@hotmail.com or' phone 05 49 63 26 57.

Association Meridien Green We are   an   Anglo-­‐French   group   which   was   founded   in   2001   for   mutual   understanding   of   each   other's   language   and   culture.   We   meet   twice   weekly   in   the   Salle   des   Associations   in   St   Coutant,   79120.     The   best   way   to   find   out   more   is   to   visit   our   website   -­‐   www.meridiengreen.asso.fr  or  contact  Maureen  Dalby:   05  49  29  94  50.  The  name   of  our  group  comes  from   the  fact  that  St   Coutant  is  on  the  Greenwich  Meridian!

Le Tallud   Boules   en   bois   are   offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   from   16h   to  18h   from  April  through  to  September     at  the  parc  de  Loisirs,  Le   Tallud.    Everyone  is  welcome  to  come   and   play   or  learn  the   game   of  boules  en  bois.  We   have   all   the   equipment,   just   turn   up   for   half   an   hour   or   more   for   a   bit   of  exercise  and  socialising.   D e t a i l s   f r o m   R o s e m a r y   W i l l i a m s o n   rw.williamson@orange.fr

Alone in  France? We  are  a  group  of  people  living  alone   in  the   L'Absie  area  who  meet   regularly  for  coffee  and  lunches.    We   meet   on  the  1st  and  3rd  Tuesdays  at  11am   for  coffee  at  the  Pause  cafe  in   L'Absie.    Our  lunches  are  at  different  venues  each  month.  There's  a   warm  welcome  if  you'd  like  to  join  us.   More  details  from  Frank  05  49  69  80  47. Open Door Lending Library Over 7000 fiction and non-fiction books and DVDs Open Friday mornings 10am to midday at 18 rue Pierre Pestureau, Civray (86400) Individual membership 6€, family membership 10€ www.opendoor-civray.com

Book Group....meeting 2nd Thursday of the

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

Craft Café  Creatif

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

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

Book Club  Thouars.    Do  you  enjoy  reading  a  cracking  good  story?   And  talking  to  others  about  it?  Do  you  live  in  north  79,  south  49   or  north  86?  Come  along  to  our  book  club..... Contact  Alison  Morton  at  info@bookclubthouars.fr  for  more  details.

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

The Harmonics Singing   Group.   Based   in   the   Salle  

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

Through the Lens Group Local photography group meets on the last Monday in each month to chat about all things photography! New members welcome. For further information contact: Ian Gawn: 02 51 00 84 52 or Brian Preece: 05 49 72 09 94

A R E Y O U A M O D E L R A I L W A Y ENTHUSIAST? If so, join a group of likeminded modellers who meet on a monthly basis to visit members' layouts and swap information. We are based on the DeuxSevres/Vendee border but also have members in the Vienne and Charente. If you are interested please contact Gerry Riley for more information on 05 49 63 34 01. Secondigny Running Club... Put the bounce back in your step. Join our friendly and supportive running group. All abilities welcome. Email Kelly for more details: kellyencezelle@hotmail.co.uk

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Festive

THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: 8.   Provide  with  (5) 9.   Weapon’s  store  (7) 10.   A  stipulated  condition  (7) 11.   Capital  of  Japan  (5) 12.   A  reply;  reaction  (8) 13.   Organs  of  sight  (4) 15.  Gift   from   one   of   the   three   Wise     Men  (4) 17.   Without  mercy  or  pity  (8) 21.   What   friends   send   each   other   at     Christmas  (5) 22.   Show  devotion  to  (7) 24  .  see  14  down  (7) 25.   Distinguish  oneself  (5)

DSM Toughie  Crossword Across: 7.   Charity   begins  to   suggest   where   to     be  at  Christmas  (2,4) 8.   Ivy   and   Holly,   for   example,     numbered   among   the   girls  on   the     songs?  (6) 10.   These   days   do   this,   or   be   in   before     ten  after  a  quiet  start  (7) 11.   Possible   seasonal   incomer   found     behind  wood  after  harvest?  (5) 12.   We  hear  of  a  glaring  error  in  festival     (sic)?  (4) 13.   One   of   a   number   in   two   wins   he     arranged  for  panto  (5) 17.   Old  fashioned  yuppie   phones  noisy     swingers  in  the  tower  (5) 18.   Saintly  symbol  found  amid     brouhaha,  lost  again!  (4) 22.   Some   palms   can   render   exact   times     of  events  (5) 23.   Thicken   mixture   in   Christmas   day     control  centre  (7) 24.   The  arrival  of  bad  ventilation  (6) 25.   Caught  out  about  real  mix-­‐up  in  fine     wine  (6)

Down: 1. Cry  (4) 2.   Paste  made  from  mashed  chick  peas  (6) 3.   Fruit  tree  (7) 4.   Christmas  songs  (6) 5.   Someone  who  works  metal  (5) 6.   Large  bird  roasted  at  Christmas  (6) 7.   A  sketchy  summary  of  the  main  points     (8) 12.   The  act  of  killing  a  king  (8) 14.   Author  of  ‘A  Christmas  Carol’  (7) 16.   The  words  to  4  down  (6) 18.   Not  appropriate  to  the  cause  (6) 19.   The  principals  of  right  and  wrong  (6) 20.   Useful  or  valuable  quality  (5) 23.   Not   full   or   rich,   very  light   coloured     (4)

Down: 1. Churchmen  keeping   their   nose   out   of     the  Christmas  dinner...?  (7) 2.   ....in  preparation  in  warmed  up,  even     hot,  stew  (3,4) 3. Friendly  Christmas  spirit  exists;   it   is  in     the  winehouse  (5) 4.   Winter  comforters  produced   for  series     of  battles  over  French  seas  (7) 5.   Working   in   public   transport   brings     seasonal  reward  (5) 6.   Special   English   article   on   US   ski     resort  (5) 9.   Like   the   myth   of   fingerprints,   or   a     unique  deposited  hexagon?  (9) 14.   Musical  group  of  four  whose   producer     is  ass  when  broken  nose!  (7) 15.   Swines’   blankets   made   by   reckless     queen  using  sulphur  (7) 16.   Hazel’s   normal   crop   is   silly   on   a   big     horse  (7) 19.   These   are   needed   for   presents;   put     aside  for  improvement  (4) 20.   New   votes  to   collect   if   we   are   to  get     some  kind  of  heating  (5) 21.   A   place   in   the   stable   found   after   a     short  delay?  (5)

With thanks  to  M.Morris

www.websudoku.com

Easy

Please see  website:  www.thevendeemonthly.fr  for  answers

Sudoku Corner...

Quiz-tastic! For this month’s printable 20 Question Quiz, please go to www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Getting Out & About... this

Christmas

We have a wonderful variety of Christmas gifts for all ages, beautifully gift wrapped while you enjoy a leisurely browse. 

A New Chapter... Having been   in   catering   for   years,   we   jumped   at   the   opportunity  to   become   the   owners  of   our   own  bistro   in   France.     The   previous  owners   had   left   the   property   in   a   state   of   disrepair!   The   kitchen   needed   a   new   floor,   wall   and   equipment;   the   bar,   restaurant   and   toilet   were   scrubbed   and   painted,   and   the   tatty   garden   furniture   previous   customers   had   to   perch   on   was   replaced   with   smart,   comfortable  seating.    After  two  months  hard  work,  we  opened  Bistro  des   Amis  on  5th  October.     As  ambitious  young  people,  we  have  a  lot  of  ideas  and  want  to  offer  our  local  community   somewhere  fresh  and  lively  to  spend  their  evenings.  All   our  food  is  home-­‐cooked  and  we   offer   an   increasing  range   of   world-­‐food   dishes,   including   Curry,   Chinese,  Mexican   and   Morrocan   food   on   Thursdays.    We  thought   we  would  see   how  our   fish   ‘n’  chips  went   down  in  the  French  community  and  ran   a  fish  ‘n’  chip  evening  one  Friday.    With  hand-­‐cut   chips,   home   made   mushy   peas   and   beautifully   light   beer   batter   melting   in   their   mouths...the  request   for  more  was  taken  seriously  and  we  now  offer  fish  ‘n’  chips  every   Friday.    However,  reservations  are  a  must  for  those  who  want  to  try  them!   Our   Halloween   party;  which   included   a  children’s   activity   afternoon   and  live  music  in   the  evening;  was  such  a  hit   with   people  in  the  area   we  are  now  arranging  many  more  events.  These  include  our  Christmas   party   on   the   21st   December.   The   day   will   comprise   of   children’s   activities  (with  Santa   of  course!)  in   the  afternoon,  an  under   17’s   disco   in   the   early   evening,   followed   by   karaoke   later.   We   are   also   open   Christmas  day  with  a  set  menu  available.   Getting  to  know   so  many  lovely  people  in  our  new  place  of  residence   and  running  this  business  is  an  absolute  joy.    We  hope  you  will  come   along  and  experience  it  with  us. ‘Bistrot   des   Amis’   can   be   found   at   6   Place   de   Plantanes,   79340   Fomperron.    Please  contact  Amy  &  Richard  on  09  73  60  44  75.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Foire de Noel Melleran (Le  Foyer) Sunday  8th  December 11am  -­‐  5pm

In aid  of   La  Ligue  Contre  le  Cancer  &  Cancer  Support  Deux-­‐Sevres Stalls   include   cards,   table   decorations,   presents,   crafts,   handmade  bags,  books  for  Children  and  jewellery. Refreshments   sold   all   day.     Tea,   coffee,   home-­‐made   cakes,   mince  pies  &  mulled  wine,  plus  a  Tombola! 2pm-­‐4pm:  Face  painting  and  activities  for  the  children 4pm:  Christmas  music  sung  by  Atelier  Chant  (Young  choir) Donations  of  cakes,  mince  pies,  savoury  pies  and  prizes  for  the   tombola  would  be  appreciated. Please  contact   Mme   Ann   Ashwell   on   tel:  05  49   27   22   83   or   email:  theashwells@gmail.com  or  Mme  Marie  Rose  Ferron  on   tel:  05  49  29  64  08  or  email:  mariejean.ferron@orange.fr Please  come  and  support  us.    Entrance  Free

Calling all Film Buffs! Films now   being   screened   in   English   (with   French   sub-­‐titles)   at   La   Fauteuil   Rouge,   the   new  multi-­‐screen  cinema  in  Bressuire  (located   at  the  Bocapole  Centre  on  Route  de  Thouars) When  searching  for  screenings,  look  for   the   symbol  VO  (version  originale).  See  their  website  for   full  programme  details.  www.lefauteuilrouge.fr

Other cinemas  in   the  area  also  offer  film  screenings  in  English   and  you  can   ask  to  have  your  name  added  to  the  mailing  lists,   being  kept  up-­‐to-­‐date  throughout  the  winter  months. To  request  information,  send  your  email  to: Parthenay  cinema:    cinema.foyer@gmail.com Melle  cinema:  lemelies.melle@wanadoo.fr La  Chataigneraie  cinema:  stella.freeman@wanadoo.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

The Christmas  Star

In Christian   tradition,   the   Star   of   Bethlehem,   also   called   the   Christmas  Star,   revealed   the  birth   of  Jesus  to  the  Biblical  Magi,   and   later   led  them  to  Bethlehem.     The  star   appears  only  in   the   nativity  story  of  the  Gospel   of  Matthew,  where  magi   "from   the   east"   are   inspired   by  the  star   to   travel   to   Jerusalem.  There  they   meet   King  Herod  of  Judea,  and  ask  where  the  king  of  the  Jews  had   been   born.   Herod,   following   a   verse   from   the   Book   of   Micah   interpreted  as   a  prophecy,  directs  them  to   Bethlehem,   a   nearby   village.    The  star  leads   them  to  Jesus'  house  in  Bethlehem,  where   they  worship  him,  and  give  him  gifts.    The  wise  men  are  then  given   divine  warning  not  to  return  to  Herod  so  they  return  to  their  "own   country"  by  a  different  route.

www.wikipeadia.org

Many Christians  see  the  star  as  a  miraculous  sign  to  mark  the  birth   of  the  Christ  (or  messiah).  Some  theologians  claimed  that  the  star   fulfilled   a   prophecy,   known   as   the   Star   Prophecy.   Astronomers   have   made   several   attempts   to   link   the   star   to   unusual   astronomical  events,  such  as  a  conjunction  of  Jupiter  and  Saturn,  a   comet  or  a  supernova. The   subject   is   a   favourite   at   planetarium   shows   during   the   Christmas  season,  although  the  Biblical  account  suggests  that   the   visit   of   the  magi   took  place  at   least   several   months  after   Jesus   was   born.     The   visit   is   traditionally   celebrated   on   Epiphany  (January  6)   in   Western  Christianity.  The   star   often   appears  in  representations  of  the   manger   scene   found   in   Luke,   although  the  star  and  the  wise   men  do  not   appear   in  Luke's   nativity  story.

Burns Night Supper

Saturday, 25th January, 2014 @ 7pm. CSSG invite you to a Burns Night Supper at the Café des Belles Fleurs, Fenioux. Tickets only €30, available from Café des Belles Fleurs Tel: 05 49 28 12 39 email: cafedefenioux@gmail.com

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Christmas the Deux-Sèvres Tour de Markets VendéeinCycliste

by Julie Tee

As well   as  the  listed   events  in   our   “What’s  On”  section,  there  are   various  Christmas  markets  Marché  de  Noël  taking  place  this  month   across  the  department...

1st Sunday 1st December •Saint-­‐Loup-­‐sur-­‐Thouet 79600  

• • • •

Saturday 30th   November   (3pm   -­‐   midnight)   and   Sunday  1st   December  (10am  -­‐  7pm)  www.rvsaintloup.fr This  is  the   17th  year   of  this  event....  In  2012  the  market   brought   together  more  than  100  exhibitors  and  over  the  two  days,  4-­‐5000   visitors. Fenioux  79160,  Salles  des  Fêtes,  (10am  -­‐  6pm) Limalonges  79190,  Salle  des  Fêtes  “La  Cendille”,  (8am  -­‐  5pm)   Brioux-­‐sur-­‐Boutonne   79170,   Salle   du   Temps   Libre   a   Brioux,   (9am  -­‐  5pm) Saint  Hilaire  la  Pallud  79210,  Salle  des  fêtes,  (9.30am  -­‐  7pm)

7th Saturday 7th December

•Doué La  Fontaine  49700  Les  Arènes,  Rue  des  Arènes

• Chef Boutonne  79110,  Centre  Culturel

The Christmas  Market  in  this  small   market   town,  that  sits  at  the   source   of   the   Boutonne   river   in   Deux-­‐Sèvres,   is   a   tiny   but   wonderfully  festive   event.      The  square  in  the  centre  of  town   is   decked  out  in   fairy  lights,  there's  a  big  tree  in  the  middle  and   a   small  tent  for  musicians.     There  are  stalls  and   games  for  children,   and  of  course  Santa  will  be  there.

15th Sunday 15th December •La Mothe-­‐St-­‐Héray  79800,  Les  Halles  

From 9am  with   80   exhibitors,   parking  at   Place   Clemenceau   and  the  Moulin  l'Abbé.    Marché  aux  truffes  from  9.30am. • Vernoux-­‐sur-­‐Boutonne  79170,  Salle  des  Fêtes Christmas   and   Farmer’s   Market   (9am   -­‐   6pm),   Snack   bar   &   restaurant  on  site,  free  parking. • Thouars  79100  Place  St  Médard  (10am  -­‐  7pm) A  symbol   of  Christmas  and  New   Year   in   Thouars,  this  edition   of   the  Christmas  Market  promises   to  be  festive,  lively  and  magical.     Includes  a   visit   by  Santa  Claus,  live  music,  carriage  rides  and   a   children's  entertainment  area.

(2pm -­‐  8pm).  Entry  fee  3€,  free  for  under  12s A   two   day  program  including  over   70   exhibitors,   regional   and   traditional   products,   food   tastings,   free   children’s   craft   20th Friday 20th December workshops.  www.ot-­‐douelafontaine.fr/sorties/marche-­‐de-­‐noel-­‐1 •Brûlain.    (4pm  –  9pm),  Photos  with  Father  Christmas!

• Thénezay 79390

15th christmas  market,  (5pm  -­‐  midnight)

• Sauzé-­‐Vaussais 79190,  salle  Socio-­‐culturelle  (5pm  -­‐  10pm) • Saint  Marc  la  Lande  79310  La  Commanderie  (2pm  -­‐  7pm) Christmas  market  with  producers,  artisans  and  artists

8th Sunday 8th December

•Doué La  Fontaine  49700  Les  Arènes,  Rue  des  Arènes   (10am  -­‐  6pm).  Entry  fee  3€,  free  for  under  12s. A   two   day   program   including   over   70   exhibitors,   regional   and   traditional  products,  food  tastings,  free  children’s  craft  workshops. • L'Absie  79240,  Salle  des  Halles.  (10am  -­‐  6pm) • Thénezay  79390.  15th  Christmas  Market  (9am  -­‐  6pm) • Terves  79300,  Salle  des  Fêtes.  (11am  -­‐  6pm) • Périgné  79170,  Gymnase  près  du  stade  de  Périgné.  (10am  -­‐  6pm) • Saint-­‐Marc-­‐la-­‐Lande  79310  La  Commanderie  (2pm  -­‐  7pm) Christmas   market  with  producers,  artisans  and  artists.    Sunday  lunch   'pot   au   feu'   and   an   afternoon   visit   from   Santa   Claus   also   on   the   agenda!

22nd

Sunday 22nd December

Festival of  Lights  –  St  Maixent  l'Ecole The   11th  edition  of  the  festival  of  light  takes  place  throughout   the  week  leading  up   to   Christmas  with   all  the  shops   in   the   town   following   the   year’s   theme   and   various   events   happening   throughout   the   week.     Habitants   of   St   Maixent   are   invited   to   illuminate  the  town  by  placing  candles  in   their   windows  (candles   are  available  from  the  Mairie  or  at  the  Office  de  Tourisme). • Sunday  22nd  December,  (5.45pm  -­‐  10pm) Route  through  the  heart  of  the  town  with   musical  performances   from  a  mix  of  artists.     The  night  fanfare  commences  at  8.15pm  at   Place  du  Marché.

14th Saturday 14th December

•Saint-­‐Maxire 79410,  Salle  des  Fêtes.    (3pm  -­‐  midnight)

•Thouars 79100  (2  Day  Event)  Place  St  Médard  (10am  -­‐  8pm) A  symbol   of  Christmas  and  New   Year   in   Thouars,  this  edition   of   the  Christmas  Market  promises   to  be  festive,  lively  and  magical.     Visit   by  Santa  Claus,  live   music,   carriage  rides  and   a  children's   entertainment  area.

• Melle 79500

Enjoy some   relaxing  pre-­‐Christmas  shopping  and   sample   some   winter   delights  with  a  visit  to   our   Christmas   market.     Festively   decorated   stands   selling   everything   from   household   goods   to   crafts   and   Christmas   decorations.   The   smell   of   mulled   wine,   gingerbread   and   roasted   almonds   invites   you   to   stay   and   experience  the  varied  program  of  events.

All information  correct  at  time  of  going  to  print. Page 11


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

News from  the  Pays  de  Gâtine!   by Julia Salvat

PAUSE FOR PATCHWORK

by Denise Robertson

In the  90s  I  revived  my  dormant  sewing  bug  and  became  absorbed   in  patchwork,  quilting  and  textiles.      On   moving  to  France  I  missed   my   regular   meetings  with   the   Embroidery   Guild,  patchwork  and   textile   groups.   So,   spurred   on   by   my   sister,   another   keen   needlewoman,  we  decided  to  start  a  patchwork  group  over  here.     The   first   thing  on  the   agenda   was   to   find   a   suitable   venue.     By   chance  Pause!  Café  was  advertising  the  use  of  a  newly  refurbished   room.    This  gave  us  the  opportunity  to   start   our   group,  with   the   added  bonus  of  delicious  tea  and  coffee.   On  our   first   meeting  we  could  not  believe  the  response,  we  had   a   full   house!     The   group  has  an   abundance  of  mixed  abilities,  and   experience.    Expert  sewers,  proficient  quilters  and   a  very  talented   textile   artist.     We   also   had   complete   beginners  who   had   never   sewn  before  (not  that   you  would  know  that  now)  and  their  work  is   amazing.     Our   group   has   a   great   rapport,  with   an   unstoppable   drive   and   a   passion   for   their   craft.     The   enthusiasm,  knowledge   and  friendship  is  shared  by  all. As   a   group   we   wanted   to   contribute   to   the   community  so   we   decided  to  make   a  quilt   between  us  for   charity.     We  all  made  our   individual   squares   and   then   joined   them   together   to   make   a   beautiful  double  country  quilt.    The  quilt  has  been  lovingly  made   and   quilted   by  hand.     It   contains  94  different   fabrics   in   total.   A   fantastic  original  quilt  to  lavishly  adorn  any  bedroom. The   proceeds  from  our   charity  quilt   for   2013  will   go  to  Muscular   Dystrophy.    This  very  special  Charity   was  chosen  by  us   because   a   member   of   our   group   has   sadly   lost   two   precious   sons   to   this   crippling  disease.      Collectively  our   aim   is  to  raise  as  much  as  we   possibly  can  to  help  others  with  Muscular  Dystrophy.     The  quilt  raffle  will  be  drawn  at   Pause!   Café  on  17th   December.     Your   support   would   be   graciously  accepted   and   welcome.     The   winner  could  be   you!    A  fabulous  way  to  help  and  donate,  maybe   win  a  great  prize  this  Christmas! Our   thanks  go  to   the  following  venues  for   supporting  our   charity.     Tickets    may  be  purchased  at  these  venues  for  just  1€  each. • Pause  Cafe,  L’Absie • Bar  de  la  Poste,  L’Absie • La  Petite  Epiciere,  L’Absie • Deans  B&B,  L'Absie. • Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle,  Vouvant • Cafe  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux

The work  of  the  French  Social  Welfare  Offices

At a   recent   meeting  we  were   delighted   to   welcome  one  of   the   managers,   who   kindly   introduced   us   to   the   work   that   the   Antenne  Médico-­‐Sociale  de  Gâtine  (the  health  and   social  welfare   centre)  undertake.     The   AMS   in  Parthenay  has   a   number   of   smaller   offices   dotted   throughout   the   Gâtine   and   their   overall   task   is   to   help   those   people   who   have   made   an   appointment   to   sort   out   welfare   issues.       For  example  : • They   advise   people   of   their   health   and   welfare   rights   and   equally,  of  their  obligations  under  French  legislation. • They   try   to   help   people   with   the   difficulties   they   may   be   encountering   at   home,   in   work   or   with   their   children’s   schooling. • They   are  also   responsible  for   trying  to  ensure   the  safety  and   protection  of   children   and   vulnerable   adults  who   may  be  in   need  of  support. • They  work   to   prevent   social   exclusion  by  enabling   people  to   get   back   on   their   feet   and   to   begin   doing   things   for   themselves. In   short,  they  provide  direct  help  and/or  information   from  birth   up  until  old  age,  as  and  when  people  need  it. It   is   important   that   when   going   for   a   first   appointment   you   should   take   with   you,   if   possible   and   if   appropriate,   your   passport,   birth   certificate,   household   bills,   income   tax   papers,   work   contracts   and   pay   slips   as   well   as   your   social   security   number.     They  also  highlighted  the  role  of  the  mairie  who  : • would  be  informed  if  water/electricity  bills  are  unpaid • can  take  decisions  about  whether  houses  are  unfit  or  unsafe • is   responsible   for   the  citizens   in   his/her   commune   and   their   overall  protection   To  obtain  further  information  please  refer  to  the  Pays  de  Gâtine’s   website:  www.gatine.org.  Under  ‘Guide   for  Newcomers’  click  on   ‘French  Social  Assistants’  where  you   will  find  the  contact  number   and  address.    

Are you a bit of a Bookworm? If you  are  an  avid  reader  and  would  like  to   share  your  books   with  us  -­‐  we  would  love  to  publish  your  book  reviews  here.   Please  send  to  us  by  email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or  alternatively  complete  the  ‘Written  Contributions’  form  on   our  website.    www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr. Reviews  should  ideally  be  150-­‐200  words  long.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

ARTicles

by Josie Bounds

AD Reinhardt  1913-­‐1947  &   Yves  Klein  1928-­‐1962 ‘In  Buddhism  Reinhardt  found  a  replacement  for  the  Marxist  aesthetic   that   the  artists  in  the  thirties  had  failed  to  define.’    The  challenge  of   both   Zen   Buddhism  and  Marxism   lie  in   the  end  as   the  beginning,   a   favourite   model   and   method   of   Reinhardt.     ‘This   great   religion   (Buddhism)   of   not  knowingness   is   not   based   upon  our   capacity  to   understand.  It  bears  witness,  rather,  to  our   natural  gifts,  raising  us  to   the   point   at   which   we   discover   truth   in   the   guise   of   the   mutual   exclusiveness  of  being  and   knowing.     And,  by  further  audacity,  it  has   achieved  something  that,  elsewhere,  only  Marxism  has  bought  off;  it   has   reconciled   the   problem   of   metaphysics   with   the   problem   of   human  behaviour.    Buddhism  can  remain  perfectly  coherent  and,  at   the  same  time,  respond  to  appeals  from  without.  Perhaps  even,  in   a   vast  section  of  the  world,  it  has  found  the  missing  link  in  the  chain. Kandinsky,   Mondrian,   Reinhardt   and   Klein   challenged   society   and   culture,  going  beyond   the  limits   of  ordinary  experiences.  It’s  not  just   about  a  thing  of  beauty,  it’s  how  you  go  beyond  the  reality  of  nature,   your  world  as  you  know  it,  into  a  state  of  sublimity.    For  Suzuki  when   you  strike  this  point  you  have  reached  a   sartorial  state  (destination),   giving  you  a  new  viewpoint  from  which  to  look  at  the  true  essence  of   nature.  You   could   say  the   object   of   both   Buddhism   and   Marxism   consists  in   arguing   a   new  viewpoint   for   looking  at   the   essence   of   things.   Marxist   criticism   sets   man   free   from   his   chains   and   the   Buddhist  criticism  completes  that   liberation,  you  could   make   a  case   that  Marxism  and  Buddhism  are  doing  the  same  thing  but  on  different   levels. “A  new  world  calls  for  a  new  man”  was  the  statement  with  which  Yves   Klein  took  the  art  world  by  storm.  Yves  Klein  set   himself  a  missionary   task,  similar   to  that  of  Kandinsky’s  manifesto  On  The  Spiritual  in  Art   1912.  He   would   become   Yves  le  Monochrome   and   share  with   the   world   his   views  and  insights  regarding  ‘the   way’   into  infinite  space,   into  freedom. Zen   Buddhism  influenced   Klein’s  work.  He  described  it  as  “le  Vide”  or   the  Void.  He  was  trying  to  create  a  nirvana-­‐like  void   or   state,  where   the  viewers  were  encouraged  to  experience  his  or   her   own  feelings,     sensing   another   world   far   away   from   representation.   Klein’s   connection   to   Zen   Buddhism   came   through   the   discipline   of   the   Japanese  martial  art  of   judo.  Through  judo  Klein  found  for   himself   a   way  to  experience  and  express  the  relationship  between  the  realm  of   the  spirit  and  the  physical   realm  of  the  body.  ‘It  was  in  1947   that  the   “idea”,  the  conscious  vision  of  the  “monochrome”  came  to  him,  which   was  the  result  of  all  his  passionate  research  at  the  time.’ According  to  Klein  ‘judo  is  in  effect  the  discovery  by  the  human  body   of  a  spiritual  space.’  Through  the  study  of  judo  Klein  began  a  lifelong   practice  of  meditation.  Klein  also  cast   himself  as  a  poet,  ‘I  am  a  poet,   and  I  am  sure  of  this  and  yet  have  nothing  to   say.’  This  statement  by   Klein   represents   nothing;   it   not   only   represents   nothing   but   also   communicates   a   sense   of   nothing   or   the   essence   of   nothingness,   alluding  to  Zen  Buddhism. Another  source  of  inspiration:  Jacques  Bacot’s   life  of   the  Tibetan   poet   and   adept   Milarepa,   who   advocated   the   benefits   of   meditation.   Milarepa  compared  the  Buddhist   experience   of  emptiness   with   the  sky.  Klein  would  have   identified   strongly   with   this   statement,  and,   he  would  aim  to  stimulate  this  feeling  in  the   viewers  of  his  blue  monochromes.  

In 2013   ‘The   Calendar   Girls’   production   and   our   Alternative   Calendar   were  a  great  success.    Thanks   to   many   of   you   we  are   getting  closer   to  our  target   of  10,000   Euros  for  Cancer  Research   in  both  the  UK  and  France.     I  have  this  rather  special  item  for  you:-­‐ We   are   indebted   to   Bob   &   Josie   Wilkinson,   who   were   at   Reaction’s   first   and  last   nights   performances   of   ‘Calendar   Girls’.   They   went   on   a   trip   to   the   UK   and   sought   out   their   friend   ANGELA  BAKER  in  Yorkshire  to  give  her  our  signed  calendar.   Angela   was   portrayed   in   the   film   as   ‘Annie’   played   by   Julie   Walters   and   in   our   play   by   Maureen   Murdoch,   so   it   was   a   privilege   for   Maureen   (and   Tony  Murdoch,  our   director)   to   be   presented   by   Bob   &   Josie  with   the   signed   2013   Calendar   from   the   ‘Original   Girls’   and   to   hear   how   Angela   had   thoroughly   appreciated   our   gift   to   her.     After   studying   every   page   she   commented  on  its  beauty  and  quality,  and  how   it   mirrored   the   style   of   that   famous   first   Alternative   W.I.   Calendar   of   1999,   created   after   the  loss  to   Leukaemia  of  Angela’s  husband   John.     Angela’s   2013   calendar   is   to   be   their   final   calendar,   so   it   is   very   special   for   Reaccon   Theatre   to   have  been   given   this   from   one   of   the  ‘Original  Calendar   Girls’  whose   phenomenon   has   raised   several   million   pounds   on   behalf   of   Leukaemia  Research. I   love   Christmas   Carols   so   rehearsals   have   been   focused   on   them   for   the   last   month   and   now   we   are   into   the   busy   Christmas   period.    You  can  next  see  us  at: • Friday  6th  December:  Carols  at  restaurant  A  La  Bonne  Vie,   Le  Beugnon    starting  around    8pm. • Sunday  8th  December:  Carols  at   the  Terves  Christmas  Market   Singing  around  2pm.   Some  of  you  might   know  that   Santa  has   once   again  asked  me  to   stand  in   for   him   at  a  few  events,  as  he   is   so   busy.     On   the  1st   December   I  will   be   at   the  Pause!   Café   in  L’Absie,  on   the   8th   at   Terves  and  to   give   Rudolf  a  run  out,  on  the  7th   I’m  going  to  the   Chateau   de   Puybelliard,   Chantonnay.     Lots   of   money   will   be   raised  for  various  charities.

The Art Scene

Having covered   oils   and   pastels   in   November,   we   are   back  to   water  colours  this  month.     At  our  last  session  of  2013,  Friday  the   13th(!)  we  are   having  a  Christmas  Art  Quiz  and  a  few  mince  pies,   why  not  come  and  join  us? All   Members   of   Reaction   Theatre   wish   you   and   yours   a   very   Happy  Christmas  and  a  wonderful  2014. Don’t  forget  our  Alternative  Calendar  Girls  calendar   is  still  for  sale   at  the  following  four  venues  and  would  make  a   great  Christmas   present  for  everyone,  and  is  so  easy  to  pack  and  send  to  the  UK  or   wherever  your  loved  ones   may   be:  Restaurant  A  La  Bonne   Vie  at   Le   Beugnon, Café   des   Belles   Fleurs   at   Fenioux, Pause!   Cafe  at   L’Absie  and  Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle  at  Vouvant. If   you  would   like  to   join   any  or   all   of   our   groups  (promise  you   don’t  have  to  ride  a  bike  or  jump  out  of  a  plane)  then  send  me  an   email  johnblair@btopenworld.com  or  telephone  05.49.63.23.50.

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

Watching and Noting When a  writer’s  not   at  their   desk,  i.e.  living   their   normal  life,  they   spend  a  lot  of  time   looking  at  other  people  and  things.    And  jotting   down  details   in  the  writer’s  notebook  they  always   carry  with  them.     Not,  you  understand  in  a  stalker-­‐ish   way,  but  to   see  how  people  do   ordinary  things.     You’d   be  amazed   how   differently  people   unload   their  shopping  trolley  at  the  supermarket  checkout,  or  how  they  get   on  a  bus  or  act  at  a  post  office  counter.     And  as  for  the   queue   itself,   that’s  a  rich,  rich  area.   In  my  recent  book,  my  heroine  observes: Most   people  were  preoccupied  with   their   daily   lives   -­‐   children,  job,   taxes,  sex,  cat   -­‐   and  didn’t   notice   anybody  or   anything  else.    Unlike   television  cop   shows   would   have   you   believe,  trying  to   find  useful   witnesses  was  a  nightmare:  nobody   saw   anything  because  nobody   was  looking. Busy  with  our   mundane  tasks,  we  don’t   take  much  notice  of   other   people.    Think  about   when   you  go   supermarket  shopping;  you  scan   the  shelves  for   the  items  you’re  looking  for   and  can  pass  your  next   door   neighbour   or   work   colleague   without   registering   their   presence.  

of work  colleagues  shredding  another  absent  one,  a  pair  of  genteel   ladies   discussing   their   latest   purchases   at   John   Lewis,   managerial   types   talking   about   strategy   for   their   company   development   or   where  in  France  their  gîte  is. Hand  on  heart,  I  have  heard  all  those  conversations  on  the  London  to   Hastings  line.     One   was  such   a  delicious  conversation  between   two   couples  trying  to  outdo  each  other   about  the  London  shows  they’d   been  to  see  that  I  wrote  it  down  almost  verbatim.   You   must   be   unobtrusive   and   not   go   anywhere   near   invading   people’s   privacy   -­‐   that’s   obvious   -­‐   but   don’t   neglect   the   opportunities   that   are   handed   to   you   from   everyday   life   for   gathering  great  material  for  your  book. Alison  Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wriMng  and  Romans  at  hOp://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  

Happy writing!

On the   train,   once  they’ve   found   their   seat,  most   people  pull   out   their  book  or   paper  and   settle  down  to  ignore  everybody  else.    But  if   you  spot  somebody  looking,  observing,  actively  watching  the   other   passengers,  there’s  a  strong  likelihood  they’re  a  writer.    Or  possibly  a   police  officer.   Writers  need  detail;  voices,  mannerisms,  walks,  tics  and   “tells”  and   the  best  source  is  other  people.    The  obvious  things  that  separate  us   from   others   are   height,  weight,  hairstyle,  glasses,  types   of   clothes,   the  way  we  move.    But  it’s  crossing  legs  and  arms,  fidgeting,  jumping   at  a  noise,  fiddling  with  bag  contents,  popping  a  can  of  drink,  jabbing   the  keys  on  our  mobiles,  sucking  hair,  flexing  fingers  to  examine  nails,   pushing  spectacles  up   to  the  bridge  of  the  nose  that  characterise  us.   It’s  all  these  tiny  gestures  that  round  characters  out. Practise   analysing  exactly  how   features  are   put   together   in   a  face.   You  usually  only  need  one  good   glance  at  somebody.    Then  write  it   down  in  your  notebook.    It’s  surprisingly  hard  at  first.    Often  it’s  small   things  like  the  distance  between  upper   lip  and   nose,  the  angle   of   eyebrows,  height   of  forehead  as  well  as   the   basic  shapes  of  a  face  -­‐   oval,  square,  circular.     If   you   have  a   drawing  friend,   describe   the   person  you’ve  observed  to  them  and  see  how  the  picture  turns  out!     Next,   there   are   the   conversations   that   can   be   a   gift   for   writing   dialogue:  the   pretentious  loudmouth   on  the   phone,  the  quick-­‐fire   teenage  minimal  word  conversations  full  of  hidden  meaning,  a  group   Annual  Subscription  Costs:  28€  within  France,  18€  UK  addresses. (Unfortunately  the  cheaper  ‘printed  papers’  rate  cannot  be  applied   to  addresses  within  France,  only  when  sending  abroad)   Full  Name: Postal  Address: Postcode:

Country:

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

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Nativity Plays and Christmas Cribs by Sue  Burgess

The majority  of  French  families  put  out  a  crib  scene  at  Christmas  so   it  is  interesting  to  look  in  some  detail  at  the  origin  of  this  tradition. In   France,   the  first   known   crib   scene   was   created   in   Marseille  in   1775  by  someone  called  Laurent.     The  crib  scene  was   made  up  of   articulated   puppets   dressed   in   local   costumes.  To   make   it   a   bit   more  exotic,  the  creator  included    giraffes,  reindeer  and  hippos.. After   the   revolution   when  the  practice   of  setting  up  and   displaying   a  crib  was  forbidden,  the  people  of  Provence  started  to  set  up  cribs   again   from  1803   onwards.   They  invented   the   santons   (figurines)   which  are   still   used   today  to   populate   the   crib  scenes  which   are   displayed  not  only  in  churches  but  also  in  private  houses.  In  certain   communes,  in   St   Loup   Lamairé  for   example,  there  is  a  living  crib   scene   (nativity   play)   crèche   vivante   in   the   church   on   Christmas   night. The   crib   scene   from   Provence,   la   crèche   provençale   takes   its   inspiration  from  local  life.  The  figurines  are  typical  people  from  the   region  or  the   village.     This  type  of  figurine   santon  dates  from  the   18th   century.     In   Marseille   santoun   (petits   saints   in   Provençal   dialect)  have  been  added   and   these  represent   different   trades  :  le   meunier   (the   miller),   le   rémouleur   (grinder),   la   lavandière   (the   washerwoman),  etc. Santons   (In   Provençal:   santoun   or   ‘little   saint’)   are   small   (2.5– 15cm)  hand-­‐painted   terracotta   nativity  scene  figurines  which   are   produced   in   the   Provence   region.     A   maker   of   santons   is   a   santonnier,  and  the  creation  of  santons  today  is  essentially  a  family   craft,   handed   down   from   parents   to   children.     Santons   are   moulded  in  two  halves,  pressed  together  and  fused.    Hats,  baskets,   and   other   accessories   are   applied   with   an   adhesive.   When   the   figure  is  completely  dry,  it  is  given  a  gelatin  bath  in  order  to  harden   the  figure   further   and  to  provide  a  surface   for   the   application   of   pigments.   Faces   are   painted   first,   then   hair,   clothing   and   accessories.  Until   the  end   of  the  19th   century,   santons   were  air-­‐ dried  rather   than  fired  in  a   kiln.     As  a  consequence,  such   figures   were   fragile   and  easily  broken.  Modern  santons  are  generally  fired   in   a  kiln.    There  are  two   types  of:  santons   d'argile  (clay  figures),   and  doll-­‐like  santons  habillés  (clothed  figures).

reminds us  of   the   Christmas  message.    The   animated   crib   scene   was  created   over  50  years  ago  and  is  the  work  of  l'Abbé  Rochard   who  at  that  time  was  the  priest  in  Saint  Martin  de  Fouilloux. When  he  moved   to   Bressuire  he  took  his  animated   crib  with   him   and   since   2007   it   has   been   owned   and   managed   by   the   town   council  and  a  group   of  volunteers.     It  is  open  for   visits  which   lasts   about  50  minutes  and  includes  a  30  minute  sound  and  light   show.   Details  are  available  from  the  Bressuire  tourist  office. The  Crèche  vivante  (nativity  play)  is   a  public   show   where  the  crib   scene  includes  real  people.    For   the  last   thirty  years  the  little  village   of  Lamairé   near  Saint-­‐Loup  involves   all  the  locals  in  the  Christmas   Eve   service.     There  is  a   choir,  lambs,  donkeys  and   shepherds  and   each  year  a  real  baby  is  placed  in  the  crib  for  this  unique  event. Vocabulary  /  Vocabulaire  : une  crèche  .............................

crib scene/nativity

un mangeoire.........................

manger

un âne......................................

donkey

un boeuf..................................

ox

un dromadaire

dromedary

un chameau............................

camel

un ange....................................

angel

un berger...................................

shepherd

un agneau.................................

lamb

une étoile..................................

star

un roi  mage...............................

a wise  man,  magi

un santon.................................

figurine in  a  crib  scene

Amendment:  Please  note  a  small  error  in  last  month’s  vocabulary. la  bécasse  is  a  woodcock,  not  la  bécasset.

Since 1803,  santonniers  have  gathered  in  Marseille  each  December   to  display  and  sell  their  wares  at  the  Foire  des  Santonniers. In   French  houses  and  churches,  Jesus  is  generally  placed  in  the  crib   scene  at   midnight   on   the  24th  December  to  symbolise  his  birth.  He   is  surrounded  by  Mary  and  Joseph.  There  is  also  the  donkey,  ox  and   shepherds   with   their   sheep.   Since   the   creation   of   santons   the   French   crib   scene  often   also  includes   figurines   representing   local   craftsmen  and  traders. The  three  wise  men   les  rois  mages  are  usually   only   placed  in   the   crib   from  Epiphany.    Some  people  put  the  figurines  in  another  part   of  the  house  and  gradually  move  them  towards  the  crib.    The  three   wise   men   can   be   accompanied   by   horses,   elephants   or   dromadaries.     Traditionally   the   crib   scene   is   removed   on   the   2nd   February,   the   day   of   the   presentation   of   Jesus   in   the   Temple  of  Jerusalem.   La  Crèche   animée   de   Bressuire   is  a  master-­‐piece  of  naif   popular   art.   A   sound   and   light   show   shows  the   life  of  the   locals   and  

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

A Letter to Santa.... In a   recent   French   Conversation   Class   run   by   Emilie   Baudrez,   she   asked   her   English   students  to   write  a  letter  in  French  to  Père   Noël.    After   marking   the  homework  she  chose  Colin  Williams’  entry  as  her   favourite  letter  to  Santa...... Any   small   errors   are  highlighted  on  the  left-­‐ hand  side,  while  Emilie’s  corrections  are  shown  in  the  letter  on  the   right. What  would  you  say  in  a  letter  to  Père  Nöel?

ORIGINAL LETTER

Cher Père Noel, ue année Quand j’étais un petit garçon, chaq , tous les j’écrivai une lettre à vous et dire à vous cadeaux je désirai poir la Noël.

idées, bien Il était facile. J’eus beaucoup des . que mes parents ne furent pas riche

CORRECTED LETTER Cher Père Noël, Quand j’étais petit garçon, je vous écrivais une lettre pour vous dire tous les cadeaux que je désirais pour Noël.

C’était facile, j’avais beaucoup d’idées, bien que mes parents n’étaient pas riches.

vive émotion Et je le tout rappelle trés bien. La vous avez uvris quand je me reveillai et déco et laissames visiter ma chambre dans la nuit beaucoup des colis.

Et je me rappelle très bien de tout: la vive émotion quand je me réveillais et découvrai s que vous étiez venus dans ma chambre la nuit et aviez laissé beaucoup de paquets.

beaucoup Maintenant je suis un viellard. Il est Rien que plus difficile. Il ya rien que je voulais. du vin! j’ai besoin de. Peut être une bouteille

Maintenant je suis un vieil homme. C’est plus difficile. Il n’y a rien que je veuille, rien dont

e. Vous Merci beaucoup pour les année pass chez moi fûtes trés gentil, mais ne visitez pas Plutôt, visitez la chambre cette décembre. et creez les d’un autre petit, poivre garçon enirs qui souvenir superb, comme les souv toujours fait ma noël trés content.

j’ai besoin. Peut-être une bouteille de vin! Merci beaucoup pour ces années passé es. Vous avez été très gentil, mais ne me rend ez pas visite cette année. Allez plutôt dans la chambre d’un autre petit et pauvre garçon et créez lui des souvenirs superbes, comme ceux qui rendent encore mes Noëls si joyeux.

Health, Beauty & Fitness... New for 2014 !

Hypnotherapy for   slimming   and   self   confidence  group  starting   in   January  2014.    For  4   weeks  only.     Limited  places.     For   more  information   please   call   Pamela  Irving  on  05  49  65  55  25  or   email  irving.philip@wanadoo.fr.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

2013 Beauty Recommendations... Samantha’s Trends for this Season...

As soon  as  the  temperature  slightly  changes   so  does  your   wardrobe.     We  love   to  get   out   our   snugly   jumpers   and   warm   coats,   this   should  be  the  same  for  our  Make-­‐Up  bag.

• • • • •

•Swap your   moisturiser   for  a  slightly  richer   creme  to  help  protect  your  skin  from  the  cold  winds. Have  slightly  more  coverage  in   your   foundation  and   make  sure   your   colour   is  perfect   if   your   tan  has   started   to   fade.  There   is   nothing  worse  than  wearing  the  wrong  foundation  colour.    It   is   hard  to  blend  and  can  leave  your  skin  looking  patchy! If   you   are   wanting   to   keep   an   all-­‐over   tan   I   am   now   offering   ‘Spray  Tanning’.    This  is  great  to  keep  you  looking  glowing  and  an   even  all-­‐over  tan  takes  ten  minutes  and  last  up  to  10  days! Chuck  out   your  mascara  if  it  is  over   three   months  old  and  treat   yourself  to  a  new  one. I  always  use  a  hydrating  lipstick  or  lip  gloss  at  this  time  of   year  to   stop  my  lips  from  cracking. You   can   also   change   eye   and   lip   colours.     I   am   loving   this   season’s  trend  of  ‘Rich  Berry’. And   last   but   not   least,   keep   your   hands  in   great   condition   by   regularly  applying  hand  cream.

Emma says... With winter   coming   up,   hair   can   become   dry  and  frizzy.    My  top  tip   is  to  use  a  weekly   intense   treatment,   not   only   will   it   make   your   colour   last   longer,   it   will   moisturise   and  keep  your  hair  looking  its  healthiest.   After   shampooing   and   towel   drying   your   hair,  apply   a  small  amount   of  your  mask  (I   recommend   Label.M   Age   Defying-­‐Recovery   mask)   to   the   mid-­‐ lengths  and  ends  of  your  hair. For   the  cooler  months  we  see  a  lot  of  changes  with   the  way  clients   not  only  wear  their  hair  but  also  the  colour.     Richness  and  warmth   is  a  must  now  coming  into  the  Winter  season  and  warm  tones  that   are  heavily  influenced  by  nature  such  as   coppers,  gold’s   and  rich   chocolates,  will  be  everywhere.     Blondes  will   forever   be   popular   but  now  there  has  been  an  introduction  of  warm  sandy  gold  tones. Emma’s   Recommended  Product  is  Label.M  Age  Defying-­‐Recovery   mask. We   would   just   like   to   take   this   opportunity   to   wish   you   all   a   fabulous  Christmas  and  New  Year.

Small Colour Advert only 34€

on’s Seas ings! t Gree

Charente Hair  &  Make  Up Tel:  05  45  31  56  93  /  06  50  04  37  30   www.charentehairandbridal.com

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lph’sFriends... udoFurry ROur THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Tina Hatcher

Phoenix Association   rescue   and   re-­‐home   animals   in   need.     Please   visit   our   website:   www.phoenixasso.com   JACK   -­‐   Up   to   11   year-­‐old   Miniature   Pinscher   Cross  seeks  a  home! You  should   never   judge   a   book  by   its   cover,   so   they   say,   and   it   couldn't   be   more   true   when   it   comes   to   Jack!     If   you   like   your   dogs   small  and  sweet,   to   overlook   this   one   would   be   to   miss   out.   Jack   is   funny,   affectionate   and   healthy  and  would   make   a  loving   companion.   Jack   is   good   with   dogs,   ok  with   cats   (may  chase  them   outdoors),   chipped   (250268731006247),   vaccinated  and  neutered.  Jack's  foster  mum  is  Jackie  in   Thiviers,   Dordogne  and  you  can  contact  her   on  05  53  52  06  23  or  email:   Jackie.Axford@gmail.com Please  someone  give   this   quirky  little  fella,  who  can't   help   the   way  he  looks,  the  chance  he  deserves.

Equine Rescue France

We are always looking for new members and we are in need of donations so we may continue to help equines in France. Please support the ERF.

Please contact Equine Rescue France via their website www.equinerescuefrance.org HOOF (Horse Orientated Open Forum)

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

APPEAL Fidji -­‐  the  little  ball  of   cuteness  that   will   fit  on  your  lap!   Meet   Fidji,   he’s  about   7  years   old.     His   vaccinations   are   up   to   date,   he   is   neutered   and   tattooed   and   has   a   pet   passport  but  not  for  the  UK.    

MAYDAY MES AMIS

He prefers  to  be  an   only  dog,  loves  walks   and  playing,  is   very  cuddly  and  good  with   cats  -­‐  he  will  chase  them  but  gives  up  after  a  few  seconds.

Mayday Mes Amis has  been  formed  to  help  animals  in  need  in   l'Absie  and  the  surrounding  area.   For  more  information  please  email:  jill.zub@sky.com.

If you’re   interested   in   adopting   Fidji   or   would   like   further   information,   please   contact   us:   linda.burns4hope@gmail.com.     Fidji   is  currently  living  near   Bressuire.     For   further  information  on   other  cats  and  dogs  for  adoption  go  to  www.hopeassoc.org.

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

Helping Animals  in  Need THe  Hope   Association   would  like   to   thank  everyone  who   came   to  Clussais  La  Pommeraie  and  supported  us  again  at  our  October   Book   Sale.     Through   the   support   of   the   public   and   the   many   Hope  Volunteers  who   worked  so  hard,  we  again   have   raised   a   record   breaking  amount.     The   money   raised   will   enable   us   to   continue   helping  abandoned   and   abused   animals   in   need   and   supporting  the  many  associations  that  work  closely  with  us. Please  note   that   our  next   Book  Sale  event  will   take  place  again   at  the  Salle  Des  Fetes,  at  Clussais  la  Pommeraie  on  the  16th,  17th   &  18th  May  2014...  don't    forget  to  make  a  note  in  your  diaries.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

A Christmas  Present Christmas   will   soon   be   upon   us   and   traditional   activities   are   under   way;   the   purchasing   of   presents,   the   dusting   off   of   decorations  and  the  annual  admonition  against  acquiring  animals... We   recently  attended   a   conference   on   the  welfare   of   animals  in   Europe  and  there  were  a  couple  of  presentations  that  dealt  with  the   problems   associated   with   the   retail   trade   in   pets.   One   issue   is   impulse  buying   where  that   cuddly  “Doggy  in   the   window”   melts   someone's   heart  and  they  arrive  home  with  an  unplanned  addition   to  the  household  along  with  their  bags  of  groceries. In   Belgium  they  have  tackled   that   problem  by  banning  the  sale  of   cats  and  dogs  from  pet  shops,  garden  centres  and  the  like.    You  can   only  buy  pets   from   registered   breeders  or   animal   shelters  and   not   only  do   the  animals  have  to  be  identified  and  registered,  they  also   come  with  a  guarantee. In  Switzerland  before  you  can  buy  a  dog  you  have  to  have  four  hours   of  theory  training  and  four  hours  of  practical  training  every  time  you   acquire  one.    If  that  doesn't  make  you  think  twice,  nothing  will! A  pan-­‐European  problem  is  the  trade  in  dogs  from  puppy  mills.    It's  a   huge   business   that   can   be   very   rewarding   for   the   unscrupulous   breeder.   The   puppies   are   often   bred   in   crowded,   cramped   and   unsanitary   conditions,   then   packed   into   cages   and   transported   across  Europe.     As   they  are  generally  separated  from  their  mothers   when  barely  weaned,  their   immune  system  is  not  totally  mature   so   they   often   pick   up   diseases.   Those   that   survive   may   have   their   health  compromised  and  risk  needing  a  season  ticket  to  the  vet  for   the   rest   of   their   life.     In   addition,   they   may   have   behavioural   problems  as  they   have  not  been  properly  socialised  by  their   mum   and  siblings. If  you  are  certain  that  you  want  to  buy  a  dog,  there  are  some  simple   rules   that   reduce   the  risk  of  buying  from  a  puppy  mill.  Never  buy   one  over   the  internet  and  have  it   delivered.  It  is  essential   that   you   visit  the  premises  and  see  it  with  its  mother  to  ensure  that  it  is  being   brought   up  in  a  family  environment.    If  you  decide  to  buy,  arrange  to   pick  it  up  there  too,  so  you  can  be  sure  of   getting  the  one   that  you   have  selected.    However,  before  making  the  decision   to  buy,  check   references  and  try   to   contact  the   vet   who  deals  with  the   breeder.     And,  of   course,  you   could   always  consider   adopting   an  older   dog   from  an  animal  shelter,  then  you'll  be  able  to  find  out  more  about  its   behaviour  and  health. Christmas  would  not  be  complete  without   Scrooge  and  we've  found   one  in   the   Vendée...  A  lady  has  been  feeding  some  straycats  in  her   neighbourhood   and   wanted   to   have   them   sterilised.     So   she   contacted  the  SPA  who  told  her  to  contact  her  mayor...  who  told  her   to  contact  us,  which  she  did.     We  contacted  the  manager  of  the  SPA   and   arranged   for   her   to   receive   some   free   sterilisation   vouchers.     The  only  condition  was  that  the   mayor   had   to   write  a   declaration   that   he   agreed   with  the  SPA  having  them  sterilised   and  that   they   would  be  looked   after  by  this  lady.     So  the  lady  dutifully  contacted   the  mayor,  explained  the  situation  and  asked  for  his  cooperation.    He   refused,  so  the  lady  asked  us  to  try  to  reason  with   him.  His  position   was  that  either  she  looked  after  the  cats  at  her  own  expense  or   he   would  arrange  for  them  to   be   taken  away  at  the  council's  expense!     Sometimes  words  fail  us. To  restore  your  faith  in  the  milk  of  human  kindness,  we  would  like  to   remind   you   that   a   whole  bunch   of   Nalians   have   been   beavering   away  preparing  ‘A  Taste  of  Christmas’  for  you.    It  will  take  place   at   the   Château   de   Puybelliard,   85110   Chantonnay   on   the   7th   of   December.  For   more  details  see  the  ‘What's  on’  section   in  this   issue   or   look   at   www.nosamislesanimaux.com/un-­‐avant-­‐go%C3%BBt-­‐

These two  gingers  (a  male  and  a  female)  are  in   need  of   a  good   home.  If   you  could  rescue  one  of  these  cats,  please  contact   us   on  07  70  31  54  59  or  nala85480@hotmail.com. Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07  70  31  54  59

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

GRANT... a dog  in  a  million Grant   is   a   lovely   3   year   old   English   S e t t e r   c r o s s   w i t h   a   s u p e r b   temperament.     He   is  currently  being   looked   after   in   one   of   our   foster   families,  and   is  mixing  well   with  his   other  doggy  companions.     Grant  has   shown   that   he   can  learn  quickly  and   is   very   affectionate;   but   all   dogs   need   stability   and   a   permanent   home   and   we  hope  that   Grant   will   find  one  very  soon.   Grant   is   non-­‐dominant   and   would   suit   an   active   family   or   individual   who  love  the  great   outdoors  and  nothing   better   than   taking  their   pet  for  long  walks  or   playing  endlessly  with  another   family  dog(s).     No  cats  though.    Grant  is  good  with  children,  and   will   happily  exhaust  any  active   teenager!     This  is  a  dog  with   a   kind   and   loyal   nature   that   will   run   around   all   day   and   then   collapse  at   your   feet   and  lick  you   before   falling  asleep.     He   is   house-­‐trained   and  has  had  some  basic  training   lessons  when  he   was  younger,  but  like  most  dogs  will  benefit  from  more.   Microchipped  (250268500512833),  vaccinated  and  neutered,  his   adoption   fee   is   150€   and   he   is   being   fostered   near   Sauzé-­‐ Vaussais  79190. Grant  deserves  the   best   home  going  and   if  you  are  looking  for   a   dog  in  a  million  then  please  contact  me,  Nicolette,  or  any  of  the   Orfee  Association  volunteers  now.   English  enquiries:   Nicolette  on  05  49  27  26  20  /  Email:  orfeeinenglish@gmail.com Mary  on   05   49   50   69   41   /   Email:   orfeeinenglish2@gmail.com     French  enquiries:     Isabelle  on  09  77  48  71  43  /  Email:  asso.orfee@laposte.net www.orfeeinenglish.canalblog.com

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orth Pole N The Great Outdoors...

THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

THE AMATEUR GARDENER by Vanda Lawrence

Autumn/winter is   the   best   time   to   plant   roses,   during   their   dormant  season.     But  which  ones  to  choose?     Don't  worry,  there  is   something  for  every  garden  situation. Hybrid  Tea   Rose  -­‐   Bushy  habit  with  flowers  borne   singly  or   in   threes  at  the  tips  of  stems  and  therefore  the  favourite  choice   for  flower   displays.     Many  are  fragrant.    Suitable  for   borders  or   containers. Floribunda  -­‐   As   above  but   flowers  are  produced   in   clusters  at   the   tips   of   stems.     Each   flower   within   the   cluster   opens   at   different   times,   so   giving   a   long-­‐lasting   display   through   the   summer.    Many  are  fragrant.    Suitable  for  borders  or  containers. Shrub   Rose   -­‐   Bushy   habit.   Larger   than   Hybrid   Tea   or   Floribunda.   Single   or   double   flowers   borne   in   clusters.     Modern   varieties  are  repeat-­‐flowering  but  older   varieties  only   produce   one   heavy   flush   of   flowers   in   early   summer.     Usually   fragrant.    Suitable  for  borders  and  hedging. Climbing   Rose   -­‐   Stiff-­‐stemmed   upright   with   vigorous   habit.     Suitable  for  wall,  fence  or  pergola.     Wide  range  of  flower  type   available  and  many  are  fragrant. Rambling   Rose   -­‐   Vigorous   climber   with   lax,   flexible   shoots.     Flowers  are   single  or  double  borne  in  clusters  on   short  shoots   from  old  wood.    There  are  many  fragrant   varieties.    Flowering   normally  occurs  in  one  heavy  flush  during  summer.    In  addition  to   being  suitable  for  walls,  fences  or  pergola  they  can  also  be  grown   into  a  tree  to  brighten  a  dull  area. Miniature  Rose  -­‐   Very  compact  with  small   leaves  and   flowers,   suitable  for  containers,  window  boxes  and  border  edges.    They   produce   clusters   of   single   or   double   flowers   in   flushes   throughout  the  summer.    Unfortunately,  they  are  rarely  fragrant. Where  to  grow  them?     In   a  sunny  position,  sheltered  from   strong   winds.    Roses  don't  like  to  be  crowded   by  other   plants  so  they  are   not  really  suitable  for   a  shrubbery.     They  don't  like  wet,  soggy  soils   either,  much  preferring  a  well-­‐drained  site.    Before  planting,  dig  over   the  plot  to  at  least   18"  deep  and  improve   all  soils  with   well-­‐rotted   manure.     Mix   in   a  slow-­‐release   fertilizer   as   roses   are   very  heavy   feeders.    Do  not  mulch  your  rose  in  its  first  year. Climbing   roses   obviously  need  some   support.     This  can   be   a  rose   arch  of  course,  a  lovely  way  to  appreciate  the   beautiful  flowers  and   these  days  it  is  possible  to  have  thornless  roses,  which  is  even  better.     If  you  plan  to  grow  your  climber   up  a  wall   you  will   need  horizontal   wires  spaced  about  18"  apart  up  the  wall  and  about  3"  from  the  wall   to   allow  air   circulation.    A   wall   will   cause  the   soil  at  the  base  to   be   dry,   so  plant  your   climbing  rose  12-­‐18"  away  from  the  wall  at   a   45   degree  angle.    Otherwise  planting  is  the  same  as  for  other  roses  with   a  bud   union  at   soil  level.     Use   canes  to  guide   shoots   towards   the   supports. Prune  newly  planted  floribunda,  hybrid  tea  and  shrub  roses  directly   after   planting  to  about  4"   above  ground   level,  but   do   not   prune   rambling  or  climbing  roses  directly  after  planting.     Established   hybrid   tea  and   floribunda  roses  flower   on   new,  current  season's   wood   so   can   be   cut   back  quite   hard  each  year,  but  shrub  roses  flower  on  wood  which   is  at  least  2  years  old  so  require  little  pruning.    Just   take   out  dead,  diseased  or  damaged  stems  ...  the  three  d's. Established  climbing  roses  are  pruned  in  late  autumn  or   winter   and   rambling   roses   should   be   pruned   in   late   summer.

14 ne & bes t wishes for 20 Merry Chris tmas everyo

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY fancied a  change  from  her  smallholding  and  came  to  work  and  stay   for  a  few  days.     It’s  possible  that  we  could  be  lambing  as  early  as  the  9th  December   -­‐   153  days   from   when   Beavis   escaped,  so  we’ll  keep   you  posted   next  month.    So........  is  this  cutting  down?  

Life on the Farm...

When my  son  and  daughter-­‐in-­‐law  came  to  visit,  the  male   turkeys   were   showing   off   and   strutting   their   stuff   or   doing   the   mating   dance.  They  were   curious  to   know  why   the   male   turkeys   had   a   nose   warmer   (known   as   a  snood).   Not   knowing  the   answer   we   investigated,  and  apparently  it  helps  attract  female  turkeys. by  Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

It’s here   -­‐   winter   weather,  plummeting   temperatures   and  lots   of   wind  -­‐  outside  I  mean  -­‐  not  me! After   saying   we   were   cutting   down   last   month,   our   numbers   haven’t   gone   down   that   much.   Some   planned   and   some   unexpected   chicks   have   hatched.     We  noticed  Mini   (the  Bantam)   under   a   wheelbarrow  and  when  we  tried  to   move  her,  discovered   that  she  was  broody  and  was  sitting  on  12  eggs.    Some  of  the  eggs   seemed  big  for   her   and   we  were  a  bit   doubtful  that  they   were  all   hers.   We  moved  her  to  safety  and  marked  on  the  calendar   21  days  from   that   date   so   we   knew   when   to   expect   some   new   arrivals.  Well   surprise  surprise,   just   the  next   day   we   were  amazed   to   see   the   eggs   starting  to  hatch.    She  must  have  been  there   for  almost  three   weeks  and   as  she  was  regularly  coming  over   when   she  saw  us  for   food  and  water   we  hadn’t  noticed  anything  amiss.    A  day  earlier  we   had   hatched   a  chick  in  the  incubator  and  2  more  were  cracked  and   starting   to   hatch,   so   once   they  were   all   safely  hatched   and   the   chicks  were  dry,  we  carefully  placed  the  extra  three  under  her  and   she  was  none  the  wiser.     Mini’s  not   a   great  mum  and  struggles  to   keep   control   of   her   brood   and   as   they  are   getting   bigger   she’s     finding  it  hard  to  keep  the   babies  warm!    The  latest  update  is   that   she  continues  to   be   a   poor   mum   -­‐   it   would   be   a   case   for   social   services   if  she  was  human,  and  she  has  lost  a  few   already.     It’s  not   the  best  time  of  year  for  hatching  as  the  combination  of  the  colder   weather  and  hungry  predators  makes  survival  more  difficult. An   extra  two  pairs   of   hands   came  in  very   handy  when   we  had   a   young  couple  who  were  travelling  Europe  come  to  stay  for  a  week.   It’s   a   scheme  where  people   offer   a  set  amount  of  hours  work  in   exchange  for   their   stay  and   keep.    We  cut  down   a  tree  that   had   started   to   lean   towards   our   outbuildings,   pruned   the   garden,   cleared   the   polytunnel,   sorted   the   woodshed   and   put   up   some   new  fencing  during  their   stay.     Both  were  hard  workers  and  lovely   people  and   so  when  they   asked  to  return   for   another   week  or   so   we  were   happy  to   say  yes.     They  were  followed  by  a  friend   who  

Spare a  thought  this  Christmas  when  you  tuck  into  your  turkey.  The   average  bird  has  5000  feathers  -­‐   that  is  an  awful  lot  of  plucking  to   get  it  on  your  plate! Talking  of  turkeys,  we  have  been  planning  our  home-­‐grown  natural   and   wholesome   Christmas   dinner   for   many   months,   growing   a   huge   variety  of  vegetables.  Of   course,   sprouts   are  a  must   and   a   home-­‐grown  bird.     This  year   we  are   a  bit   spoilt  for  choice   again,   but  as  there  will  only  be  three  of  us  for  Christmas  Day  this  year,  we   have   decided   to   have   a   goose,   accompanied   by   all   the   other   Christmas  goodies.     We  have  been  curing  our  ham  and  making  our  sausages  and  bacon   in  readiness  for   the  feast.    In   the  summer  we  made  the  chutneys   for  Boxing  Day  and  grew  the  sage   and  onions  for  the  stuffing.  I  can   already  feel   an   afternoon   nap   coming  on   after   a   huge   dinner...   Christmas  traditions  are  great!  (my  apologies  to  the  Queen   if  I  miss   her  bit  on  the  telly!). The  cider  turned  out  very  dry  but   perfectly  drinkable,  not  bad   for   a   first   attempt,  but   the  beer   was  a  bit  of  a  disaster   and  was  fed  to   the  pigs.    Nom  Nom  our  oldest  pig  drunk  the  most.  It  should  add   a   bit  more  flavour  to  the  pork! During   a   dog   walk   we   ventured   into   the   woods   to   collect   the   mushrooms  and  sweet   chestnuts.    After  collecting  several  different   types   of   mushrooms   we   headed   home   to   check   what   we   had   gathered.   Some   looked   OK   but   when   one   book   said   that   a   mushroom  was  safe  to  eat   and  a  second  book  said  the  exact     same   mushroom  contained  arsenic,  we   decided   to   give   eating  them   a   miss!   Stay  warm  and  dry. We  would   like  to  wish  you   all  a   very  Merry  Christmas   and   look   forward  to  seeing  you  in  2014  for  more  Life  on  the  Farm. Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres A-Z of the Communes of the Deux-Sèvres. by Sue  Burgess COURS Cours   is   a   small   village   of   542   inhabitants.   It   is   situated   near   Champdeniers-­‐Saint-­‐Denis,   Les   Groseillers   and   Xaintray,   about   19km   from  Niort.     The  river   Autise  flows  through   the   commune.   and  the  inhabitants  are  called  Coursois  and  Coursoises.   A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • The  covered  well  in  the  garden  of  the  town  hall COUTIÈRES Coutières  is  a  commune  which  belongs  to  the  canton  of  Ménigoute   in   the   circumscription   of   Parthenay.     The   nearest   villages   are   Chantecorps,   Fomperron   and   Vautebis   and   there   were   156   inhabitants   at   the   time   of   the   2010   census.   The   commune   is   crossed   by   the   river   Vonne,   popular   with   fishermen   and   with   people   who  wish  to   wander  along  the  river   banks  and  discover  the   sentier  du  granit  (the  granite  path).    The  association  CPIE  de  Gâtine   Poitevine   (Centre   permanent   d'intiatives   pour   l'environnement)   can   be   found   in   Coutières   and   it   aims   to   educate   people   about   sustainable  development.     A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • Le   Jardin   des   Sens   (the   garden  of  the  five  senses) The   idea   for   this   garden   came  about   over   20  years   ago.   The   mayor   and   the   volunteers   from   amongst   the   local   inhabitants   took   over   an   area   of   7000m2   which  had  been  left  empty.     It   is   constantly   evolving   and   changing.  There  are   5   zones   which   correspond   to   the   five   senses   and   different   activities   are   organised   in   each   area.  The   general   theme   is   to   do   with   gardens   (landscapes,   the   insects,   animals   and   birds   that   live   in   the   garden,   edible   wild   plants,   ponds,  the  weather,  gardening). COUTURE D’ARGENSON Situated   in  the  extreme  south   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres,  on   the   border   with   Charente   and   Charente-­‐Maritime,   Couture   d'Argenson   is   a   village  of  about  430  inhabitants.  The  rural  village  is  15km  from  Chef   Boutonne  in   Deux-­‐Sèvres   and  15km  from  Villefagnan   in   Charente.   At   the   edge  of  the  village  there   is  a  small  stone   with   three  holes   which  used  to  symbolise  the  boundaries  of  the  three  départements   or  of  the  three  dioceses  (Poitiers,  Saintes  and  Angoulême). A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • On   the   village   square   is   the   church   of   St   Nicolas   with   its   hexagonal   tower.     The  church   was   built   with   the   stones   of   the   order   of   Malta.     The   church   dates   from   the   12th   century.

• Le Château  de   la   Foye,   a   home  built   in   1852   by   the  Count   of   Chabot.   (private   property   which   can   be   visited   during   the   heritage  days  in  September). • Le  Logis  du  Guidier,  a  15th  and  17th  century  home. • La  borne  des  trois  départements  ou  des   trois  évêchés  -­‐  the  stone   with  the  three  holes. LA CRÈCHE The   town  of  La  Crèche  has  been   built   on   both   sides  of   the   Sèvre   Niortaise   river.     In  the   beginning  there   were  three  villages:   Saint   Carlaix,   Breloux-­‐La   Crèche   and   Chavagné.   The   three   communes   were  united  in   the  sixties.    The  communes  have  always  been  on   a   major  axis  of  communication  -­‐   the  railway,  and  earlier   a  royal  road.   Since   the   beginning  of  the  1980s  the  A10  motorway  has   crossed   the  commune  and  more  recently  the   A83.     This  knot  of  motorways   has   meant   that   new   businesses   have   settled   here   and   the   population  has  grown. Archaeology  shows   that   man   has  been   present   in   this  area  since   Paleolithic   times.     Around   the   year   1000,   the   habitations   were   regrouped   around   Romanesque   churches   at   Saint-­‐Carlaix   and   at   Breloux.    Castles  allowed  for   the  territory  to  be  watched  over  and   protected. With  5448  inhabitants  in  2009,   the   town   has  seen   its  population   almost  double  in  size  since  1968. A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • Le  château  de  Bougouin The  main  building  is  surrounded  by  a  garden  and  by  a  moat.     A   road   separates   the   pigeon   cote   from   the   rest   of   the   chateau   gardens,  though  the  north  and  west  wings  remain.    The  chapel   and   the   keep   were   demolished   between   1780   and   1815.   Underneath  the  west  wing  of  the  chateau  is  a  huge  vaulted  cellar   part  of  which  used  to  be  used  as  a  prison.   • Aumônerie  Saint-­‐Jacques  de  la   Villedieu   du   Pont   de  Vau   (15th   century) In   1437,   Aymeri   de   Magné   gave   a   house   that   could   be   used  by  pilgrims  on  their   way   to  St  Jacques  de  Compostelle.   T h e y   c o u l d   st o p   t h e re   between   Champdeniers   and   Celles-­‐sur-­‐Belle   after   having   crossed   the   Sèvre   Niortaise   river.   The   building   now   belongs   to   an   architectural   association  but  is  open  for  visits  during  Heritage  weekend • Le  château  de  Miseré This   pretty   château   in   the   village   of   Miseré   has   today   been   turned  into  lodgings.  

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

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French Life, Food &by JDrink... acqueline  Brown. French Village Diaries

by Jacqueline Brown.

It has   become   a   tradition   in   our   village   to   organise   a   fundraising   meal   for   the   Telethon   that   takes   place   throughout   France   on   the   first   weekend   of   December.   For   many   years  I  have   joined   a  team   of   about   twenty   volunteers   producing   and   serving   a   four-­‐ course   meal   for   100+   paying   diners.    Add   in   a  great  raffle  and   we  normally  raise  a  decent  amount   to  donate  to  children  with  Muscular  Dystrophy.   Before  our  new  all   singing,  all   dancing  kitchen,  that   went   in   with   the  newly  refurbished  Salle  des   Fêtes   a  few  years   ago,  preparing   the   meal   was   a   health   and   safety   nightmare.     A   tiny   lean-­‐to   kitchen   with   a   small   domestic   oven   necessitated   the  use   of   gas   burners  sat  on   the   floor   with   huge  pots  of  soup   bubbling  away,   while   volunteer’s   bottoms   bumped   and   squeezed   their   way   around  the  kitchen.  The   atmosphere   was  always  fantastic  and  the   camaraderie  of   peeling  a  mountain   of   vegetables  surrounded  by   French  and  English  villagers  was  quite  something.    To  make  it  even   more  of  an   event,  the  volunteers  shared   a   meal   after   the  main   preparations  were  finished  the  day  before. The  menu  changes  every  year  and  one  year  Les  Anglais  suggested   a   main   course   of   meatballs,   which   seemed   to   cause   a   bit   of   confusion  as   our   French   neighbours  had  not  heard   of  what   they  

thought were  an  English  speciality  dish.  No  amount  of  explaining   that   they  were  not  English  and  that  the  Italians,  Swedish  and  the   Greeks   eat   them   too   could   persuade   them   otherwise.   After   a   discussion  they  bravely  agreed  to  give  them   a  go  although  it   was   thought   best   not   to  advertise  them  as   ‘meatballs’  but   ‘boulettes   de   viandes’  in  case  those   with   a  bad   image  of  le   cuisine  Anglais   would  be   put   off.     The  mountain  of  hand-­‐rolled  meatballs  went   down  very  well   despite  it   seeming  a  little  foolish  to  have  so  much   food   ‘touched’  by  so   many  people  in   the   middle   of   the   gastro   season,  but  thankfully  there  were  no  nasty  side  effects. We  now  have  a  retired  chef  living  in  the  village  who  has  become  a   central   figure   in   the   organisation   of   our   annual   meal.  However   despite  now  having  a  super  kitchen  and   expert  at  our  disposal  we   struck  a   bit   of   a   problem  last   year.     An   army  of   apron   wearing   females  armed  with  vegetable  peelers  was  not  something  he  was   expecting  in  his  kitchen,  in  fact  I’d  go  so  far  as  to  say  he  was  a  little   scared.  This   year   we   have   promised   the   chef   he   can   have   the   kitchen   to   himself   and   I’m  looking  forward   to   serving   the   soup,   charcuterie,   a   chicken   and  rice   dish,  cheese   and   finally   a   pastry   from  the  village  boulangerie,  as  our  little  contribution  to  Téléthon. I  would  like  to  wish  you  all  a  very  merry  Christmas  and  I  hope  that   2014   is   a   happy   and   healthy   one   for   everyone.  Thank   you   for   reading  and   getting  in  touch,  it   is  always  nice  to  hear   from  you.   Don’t  forget  all  my  favourite  recipes  are  available  on  my  website. www.frenchvillagediaries.com. For  recipes  please  email  me  at  frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com   or  visit  www.frenchvillagediaries.com  

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

Mulled wine   is   a  beverage  usually  made   with   red  

wine along  with   various  spices   and  raisins.  It   is  served   hot   or   warm  and   may  be  alcoholic   or   non-­‐alcoholic.  It   is   a  traditional   drink  during  winter,  especially  around  Christmas. Ingredients: • 2  unwaxed  oranges • 1  lemon,  peel  only • 150g  caster  sugar • 5  cloves,  plus  extra  for  garnish • 5  cardamom  pods,  bruised

THINKING ABOUT  PLACING  AN  AD? For  a  full  list  of  our  advertising  rates,  please  phone   05  49  70  26  21    or  download  our  Advertising  Pack   from  our  website:  

www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

• 1 cinnamon  stick

• A pinch  of  freshly  grated  nutmeg

• 2 bottles  of  fruity,  red  wine • 150ml  ginger  wine

Method: 1. Peel  and  juice  one  orange,  then  add  to  a  large  saucepan  with  the   lemon  peel,   sugar  and   spices.  Add  enough  wine  to   just  cover  the   sugar,   and   heat   gently   until   the   sugar   has   dissolved,   stirring   occasionally.  Bring  to  the  boil  and  cook  for  6  –  7  minutes  until  you   have  a  thick  syrup. 2.  Turn   the  heat   down,  and   pour  the   rest   of  the  wine  into  the  saucepan,  along  with   the  ginger   wine.  Gently  heat  through  and   serve  with  orange  segments  as  a  garnish.   Alternatively,  you  can   allow   the  syrup  to   cool,  and  pour   it   into   sterilised  bottles   for   use  at  a  later  date.

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The Mystery at Haut-Poitou by Capt  Arthur  Hastings,  OBE

It had  been  some  time  since  I  had  last  seen  my  old   friend,  Hercule  Poirot.  As  usual,  I  had  been  away  in   South   America  losing  another   packet  on  a  sure-­‐fire   tuna   packing   scheme   in   the   headwaters   of   the   Orinoco,  so  it  was  with  some  bemusement  that  on   my   return   to   Blighty   I   read   of   Poirot’s   demise.     Crikey!    That  Christie  woman  will  stop  at  nothing  for   a  quick  buck  and  a  quiet  life.  He  had   of  course  been   enjoying   a   tranquil   retirement   amidst   the  rolling   meadows   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres.    Clearly,  it  was  time  to  catch  up. With  the  clarion  call   of  an  on-­‐time  flight  ringing  in  my  ears,  I  stood  on   the   tarmac   of   La   Rochelle-­‐Ile-­‐de-­‐Ré   airport.   Beyond   the   crowd   of   greeters,  the  familiar  bowler-­‐hatted  figure  of  my  friend  was  pacing  in   a   concerned  manner.  “Welcome  ‘Astings.  All   of  ze  upcatching  must   wait.  There  is   a   great   mystery   awaiting   us.  Something   is   amiss  in   Neuville   de   Poitou”.   I  could   feel   the  old   adrenalin   surging!     I  had   fagged   for   a   Neville   at   Eton   and   he   had   been   a  bounder   of   the   highest  order. We   sped   through   fields   of   rotting   sunflowers   and   mangy   green   vegetables.   Our   conversation   was   equally   dispiriting.  As   hard   as   I   tried,  I  couldn’t  interest   Poirot   in  my  stories  of  piranha  attacks.    His   mind   was  elsewhere,  as   perturbed   as  the  Amazon.  The   chauffeur   pulled   in   to   the   courtyard   of   ‘La   Cave   du   Haut-­‐Poitou’.   “Come   ‘Astings,  let  us  examine  ze  evidence  toot  sweet”. He  had   laid   out   a  veritable   Aladdin’s   Cave  of   goodies.  “Take  your   time,  ‘Astings.     Explore,  employ   your   little   grey   cells”.     Righto!     I   decided  to  leave  the  wines  to  last,  so   started  with  a  selection  of   oils   from   the   ‘Huilerie   de   Neuville’.     The   prettily   bottled   walnut   and   hazelnut  oils  would   be  a  smash  with  my  foodie  chums  in  Fitzrovia,  as   would   the   fruit   vinegars   flavoured   with   lemon   and   grapefruit   or   tomato  and  basil.    I  passed  quite  quickly  over  the  assorted  rillettes,   patés  and  honeys  as   my  tummy   was  still   grappling  with  my  inflight   ‘snack’. “I  think  you  might  find  these  of  interest,  sir”.       An  old  familiar  voice.  I   turned  -­‐  Good  Lord,  it   was  Chief  Inspector  Japp!    Turns  out  he  had   been  chauffeuring  for  Poirot  since  his  retirement  from  the  force.  He   gestured   towards   a   row   of   beer   bottles.   “Oo’d   ‘a’   thought   the   Frenchies  could  brew?”     The  Brasserie  de  Bellefois  can  indeed  brew.     Their  beers  are  named  after  the  dates  of  French  victories  in  the  Haut-­‐ Poitou  region  so  the  range  is  necessarily  limited.     The  ‘507’  (Clovis  at   that  famous  battle  of  Vouillé  if  you  must   know)  is  a  pleasant  blond  at   5%  while  ‘Le  Prince  Noir’  is  nicely  malty  at  6%. There  was  a  slight  tug  at  the  old  worsted,  and  a  familiar  scent  coiled   around  my  nostrils  as  if   in  a  Bisto  ad.    “A  little  wine,  Captain?”  Miss   Lemon!    “I  think  you’ll  find   the  Diane  de  Poitiers  range  to   your   taste,   not   to  mention  the  various  Vins  de  Pays  of   the  Terra  Ligeria  range”.     My  mind  was  whirling,  and  not  for  the  first  time  I  sought  explanation   from  my  old  friend. “You   ask  me  where  is  the   mystery,   ‘Astings?  Look  around  you.  The   mystery  is  that  there  are  so  few  people  here  enjoying  such  bounty.   Perhaps  they  do   not  know  of  this  place.    Write  of  it,  I  beg  of   you”.   Poirot,  Japp  and  Miss  Lemon  turned  expectant  eyes  to  your   humble   scribe.    How  could  I  refuse? Cave   du   Haut-­‐Poitou,   32   rue   Alphonse   Plault,   86170   Neuville   de   Poitou.  www.lesvinsdeneuville.fr John Sherwin, French Wine Tours. Tel: 02 51 66 13 05 ~ Email: john@french-wine-tours.com www.french-wine-tours.com

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Motoring... Nightmare before Christmas by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

Forget the  Tim   Burton   version   where  Jack  Skellington   hijacks   the   Festive   season   with   his   Halloween   trickery,   the   real   nightmare   would  be   if   the   reindeer   fell  sick  on  Christmas   Eve  and   could  not   pull  the  sleigh  ........ So,  hypothetically  and  just  for  fun,  (assuming  you  believe  in  Father   Christmas  in   the   first   place)   what   transport   would   Santa   need  to   fulfill  his  duties  for  the  world’s  children? Well,  he  has  a  lot   of  ground  to  cover  -­‐  the  whole  world  in   fact,  so   he  would   need  something  super  fast.      At  short   notice   there  is  no   time   for   the   elves   to   commission   a   jet   propelled   vehicle,   and   getting  air   traffic  control  clearance  for  a  new  flying  machine  is  way   too   difficult   so   they   must   look   to   the   automotive   industry   to   provide  the  solution! The  world’s  fastest  production  car  is  the  Bugatti  Veyron  SS.      A  quick   look  on  the  internet   by  the  intrepid  and  excited  elves  reveals  there   are  two   such  cars  currently  for  sale,  but   Santa  needs   a  stiff  drink   when  he  hears  the  cheapest  price  tag  is  still  over  2  million  Euros.   Also   the   car   is  in   the  UAE,  a  Muslim  state,   which   could   present   problems   with   the   whole   Christmas   concept,   and   on   reflection   there  isn’t  much  room  in  it  for  the  all  important  presents.   Back  to  the  drawing  board  for  the  elves  ......  after  consulting  the  list   of  the   world’s  10  fastest   cars  (www.thesupercars.org/fastest-­‐cars/ fastest-­‐cars-­‐in-­‐the-­‐world-­‐top-­‐10-­‐list)  the  problem  of  space  seems   pretty  universal,  although   they  got   a   bit   distracted   by  the   quite   frankly  gorgeous  Aston  Martin  One-­‐77  .....

So, they  have  to  change  the  search   criteria  to  look  for  a  saloon  car.   Inevitably  it  will  be   slower,  meaning  Santa  will  have  to  leave  on  his   rounds  much  earlier,  but  it  has  to  have  space  for  the  presents  ....   This  search  produces   some  interesting  candidates.  BMW’s  M5,  the   Bentley   Continental   Flying   Spur   Speed,   the   Porsche   Panamera   Turbo  S  and  Aston  Martin’s  Rapide  S.   Eagerly  the  elves  present  the  choices  to  Santa,  but  he  is  troubled.   He   has   been   thinking   about   his   journey   and   the   terrain   he   covers  ......  he  realises  he  needs  Four  Wheel  Drive. One  elf,  an  avid   watcher  of  Top  Gear,  proposes  the  Mitsubishi   Evo  X   FQ-­‐400,   but   Mother   Christmas   (being   a   closet   petrol   head)   has   read  the  reviews  and  knows  that  practical  as  it  seems,  her  husband   couldn’t  cope  with  the  hard  ride  and  the  noise  on  his  long  journey.   She   takes   matters   into   her   own   hands   and   produces   from   the   depths  of  her  apron  pocket  a  brochure  for  the  Audi  RS6  Avant. Silence  falls   as  Santa   peruses   the   details.....so   quiet   that   you   can   hear  the  world’s  children  hanging  their  stockings  .....   Permanent   4   Wheel   Drive,   adaptive   air   suspension,   8   speed   automatic   gearbox,   twin   turbo   V8   engine,   0-­‐62mph   in   3.9   sec,   189mph  with  the  Dynamic  Package,  plenty  of  space  and  good  solid   German  engineering......   Santa  smiles   slowly,  and  everyone  breathes.   The  elves  dash  off  to   find   the   nearest   place   they   can   get   one  ....  and   joy,   only  230km   away  in  Muonio  is  one  of  Audi’s  Ice  Experience  training  centers.   Christmas  will  be  saved! And  to  Santa,  I’d  just  like  to  say,  when  you’ve  finished  with   it,  please  drop  it  off  at  our  place.  I’ll  give  you  a  lift  home! Merry  Christmas  everyone,  see  you  in  the  New  Year.  

Contact Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org.

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Communications... Important Information about Microsoft Windows Operating Systems by Ross  Hendry

However, the  longest  running  and  most   popular   of  these  has  been   Windows  XP  released  in  2001.    I  am  sorry  to  say  that  with  effect  from   9th   April   2014,  Microsoft   will   no   longer   be   sending   out   those   all   important   security  updates   for   XP  Professional.   Microsoft   stopped   supporting  the  other  versions  of  XP  many  years  ago.

• Graphics card:  Microsoft   DirectX  9   graphics  device   with  WDDM   driver • OK,  so   your   PC   meets   these   criteria   and   you   want   to  upgrade.     Here's  how   to  move   to  Windows  8.1  depending  on  the  version  of   Windows  you're  currently  running: • If  you're  already  running  Windows  8,  you  can  update  to    Windows     8.1    in  the  Windows  Store  for  free.     • If  you're  running  Windows  7,  you  can  buy  &  download      Windows     8.1  using  Windows  8.1  Upgrade  Assistant.  In  Upgrade  Assistant,   you'll  have  the  option  of  installing  Windows  8.1  now,  later  or  using   media  with  an  ISO  file  or  a  USB  flash  drive.     • If   you're   running  Windows  Vista   or   Windows   XP,  you'll   need  to   perform   a   clean   installation   with   a   DVD.   Make   sure   that   you   review  system  requirements    before  buying  a  DVD.

Interestingly the   world   has   in   excess   of   1.5   billion   personal   computers   and   about   one   third,   500   million,   are   still   running   Windows  XP.     If  you  are  one  of  these  users,  what  does   it  mean  that   Microsoft  is  no  longer  supporting  XP?    After  April  2014,  you  are  going   to   be   twice   as   likely  to   get   an   infection   of   some  kind   if   you   are   running  Windows  XP.  

Microsoft have  had  to  provide  a  second   version  of   Windows  8  as   the  usability  was  appalling  on  non-­‐touch   screen   PCs,  as   ever   the   change   from  Windows  7  to  8  was  quite  a  challenge  for  most  users.     However,   Windows   8.1   is   the   future   of   the   Windows   operating   system,  so  we  are  all  going  to  need  to  learn  how  to  use  it  sooner  or   later.

Microsoft will  still   be  sending  updates  to   their   corporate  users  who   are   expected   to   pay  $200   per   year,  per   PC,  to   receive   them.  Tim   Rains,   director   of   Microsoft's   Trustworthy   Computing   group,   also   thinks  that  "After   April  next  year,  when  we   release   monthly  security   updates   for   supported   versions   of   Windows,   attackers  will   try  and   reverse  engineer  them  to  identify  any  vulnerabilities  that  also  exist  in   Windows   XP.   If   they   succeed,  attackers   will   have   the   capability  to   develop   exploit   code   to   take   advantage   of   them"   and   "We   have   already  had  a  glimpse  into  what  happens  when  a  Windows  XP-­‐based   platform  goes  out  of  support"  Rains  added.     "In  the  two  years  after   Windows   XP   Service   Pack   2   went   out   of   support,   its   malware   infection  rate  was  66%  higher  than  Windows  XP  Service  Pack  3  -­‐   the   last  supported  version  of  Windows  XP.”

Here is  a  table  showing  the  lifecycle  for  Microsoft  Operating  System   Software  :-­‐

Microsoft have   provided   the   world   with   many   versions   of   the   Windows  operating  system,    the  latest  version  being  Windows  8  and   the  newly  released  major  update  8.1.

If you  are  still  running  Windows  XP  on  your  PC  and  regularly  connect   to  the  internet,  you  are  strongly  advised  to  upgrade  to  Windows  7  or   8.1,   at  the  very  least   you  must   ensure   that  your  anti-­‐virus/malware   protection  is  up-­‐to-­‐date,  remember,  if  you  get  infected  you  could  just   as  easily  infect  others. If   you   decide  to   go   to  Windows   8.1   here  is  the  minimum   system   hardware  requirements  :-­‐ • Processor:     1  gigahertz  (GHz)  or   faster   with  support   for  PAE,  NX,   and  SSE2     • RAM:    1  gigabyte  (GB)  (32-­‐bit)  or  2  GB  (64-­‐bit) • Hard  disk  space:    16  GB  (32-­‐bit)  or  20  GB  (64-­‐bit)

Client operaJng   systems

Date of   Latest  update   general   or  service  pack availability

Windows  XP

31/12/2001

End of   End  of   mainstream   extended   support support

Service Pack  3

14/4/2009

8/4/2014

Windows  Vista 30/1/2007

Service Pack  2

10/4/2012

11/4/2017

Windows  7    

22/10/2009

Service Pack  1

13/1/2015

14/1/2020

Windows  8

26/10/2012

Windows  8.1

9/1/2018

10/1/2023

Windows  8.1

18/10/2013

None yet

TBC

TBC

Microsoft do   not   create   these   operating   systems   just   to   make   money.     They  are  necessary  because  the  available   hardware  keeps   improving,  for   example,  Windows  XP  was  only  designed   to  use   a   maximum  of  3.5GB   of  RAM.     Most  new  PCs  come  with  a  minimum   of  4GB  RAM,  this  is  considered  to   be   entry  level  and  many  PCs  will   accept  a  maximum  of   32GB  of   RAM.     It  would  be  false  economy  to   even   consider   putting  Windows  XP  on  a  new   PC.     If  you  did  you   would   probably  find   that   half   of   the   hardware   would   not   work   properly,  if  at  all,  due  to  the  software  drivers  needed. Ross   Hendry   is   the   proprietor   of  Interface   Consulting  and  Engineering,   who   has   over   42   years   experience   in   Communications,   Computer   Technology   and   Direct   Marketing.   (See   advert   below   for   more   information).

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Business, Finance & Property...

TRAVEL INSURANCE As we  are   coming  up  to   Christmas  time,  which   means   HOLIDAY,   here   is   all  you   need   to   know  about   travel   insurance. 1.  You  are  re|red  and  covered  via  the  S1

The UK  government  will  not  cover  you  outside  Europe  but  you   are   covered  inside  Europe  via  the  European   Health  Insurance  card.    It   is   a   free   card   that   gives   you   access   to   healthcare   during   a   temporary   stay   in   any   of   the   28   EU   countries   plus   Iceland,   Lichtenstein,  Norway  and   Switzerland,  under   the  same  condicons   and  at  the  same  cost  (free  in  some  countries  and  not  in  others)  as   people  insured  in  that   country.    Cards   are  issued  by  your   national   health  provider  (Newcastle  for  UK)  and  you  can  apply  for  it  online. It   is  NOT  an  alternative  to  travel  insurance  as  it  does  not  cover  costs   such  as  return  flights,  repatriation,  stolen  property  and   it  does  not   guarantee   free   service   as   each   countries’   healthcare   system   is   different.    What  is  free/covered  in  France  might  not  be  elsewhere. The  bad  news  is   you  are  NOT  covered  outside  Europe  (see  point   3   for  solution).

2. You are  working  in  France  and  covered  by  the  French  system  

Because lots   more   options   are   available   with   a   travel   insurance,   such  as  cover  for: • All  your  belongings • Your  luggage  and  their  contents  against  theft  ,  loss  or  destruction • Public  liability  for  you  and  your  family • Medical  assistance  and   repatriation   as  much   as  150,000€   (7600€   might  not  be  enough) • Cancellation • Delayed  plane  or  train   • Pays  for  a  family  member  to  stay  with  you  while  you  recover • And  lots  more  options This  is  only  a  roundup  of  what  I  think  you  must  look  out  for,  but  if   you   want   any   more   information   on   the   complicated   world   of   travel  insurance,   or  if  you   want  a  free  quote  and   a  list  of  all  the   options  available,  don't  hesitate  to  contact  me! And  we  have  a  dedicated  bilingual  person  to  deal  with  claims!

The same   will   apply  inside   Europe   but   you   have   to   ask   for   the   European   Health  Insurance  Card   to   the  French   healthcare  system   and  not  to  the  one  of  your  native  country. The  good  news  is  you   are  covered  outside   Europe  (everywhere  in   the   world)  as  long  as  it  is   emergency  treatment   and  you   will  have   to  pay  the  cost  up  front  and  then  get  reimbursed  once  you  are  back   in   France.     You   will   be   reimbursed   only  up   to   the   amount   the   French  healthcare   system  would   have   paid  if  you  were   in   France.   This  is  why  it   is   important  to  take  out  travel  insurance  if  you  travel   to   countries   where   the   health   system  is   expensive   (USA,  Japan,   etc).

3. The cover  from  your  car  insurance

This will   come   as   a   surprise   to   you  and   this   is   why  most   French   people   don’t   actually   bother   with   travel   insurance.   You   are   automatically  covered   everywhere  in   the  world   for   health   issues   and  repatriation   via  a  majority  of  French  car  insurances  as  long  as   you  are  a  French  resident.     It  should   be  written   on   your   contract   under   Garantie  Assistance.     You   don’t  need  to  be  with  your   car   so   you   can  take   the   plane  to  Turkey  and   if  you   break  your   leg  belly   dancing,  your   French  car   insurance  pays  for   your  repatriation  and   health  expenses.     Do  note  that   the  insurance  will   only  pay  up  to   a   certain   amount.    For   instance,  Allianz   pays  up   to  7600€  on  top   of   what  the  French  health  system  will  pay.    Check  your  contract  to  see   what  is  the  exact  cover  you   get.    And  remember,  if  you  are   retired   and   covered   by  the   S1,   it   will   be   7600€   in   total   as   you   will   get   nothing   from   the   UK   health   system   if   you   are   outside   Europe.     7600€   is   enough   in   countries   like   India   or   Morocco   but   it   is   nowhere   near   enough   if   you   go   to   the   States!   In   any   case   the   repatriation  is  covered. 4.  Debit/credit  card With   some   Visa   or   Mastercard   credit   cards   (especially   Visa   Premier),  you   get   free  travel   insurance   when   you   purchase   your   trip   using   this   card.   Check  with   your   bank   or   go   online   on   the   website  of  your  card  to  check. 5.  Why  take  out  travel  insurance? For   the   reasons   stated   above   and   especially   if   you   are   a   UK   pensioner  and  going  to  a  country  with  an  expensive  health  system.  

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

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iPayFX...

Control in  the  palm  of  your  hand

by Sue Cook

iPayFX, our   online   payments   platform,   gives   you   24/7   online   access  to  cross  border  transfers  so  you  can  make  payments  when   it   suits   you.   Giving   you   unlimited   access   to   international   payments,  iPayFX  puts  control  in  the  palm  of  your  hand.    You   can   check   the   rate,   select   a  beneficiary  and   make   a   payment   in   a   matter  of  seconds.    iPayFX  is  easy  to  use  and  totally  secure. The  system  is  designed  to  be  intuitive,  so  making  an  international   payment  is  as  simple  as  a  domestic  one. You   can   store   your   beneficiary   details   on   the   system,   making   regular  payments  quick  and   easy  to  complete.    You   can   add  new   beneficiaries  or  edit  existing  ones  whenever  required. iPayFX   has   live   market   rates   which   constantly   change   with   the   fluctuating  market   so   you   benefit   from   the  most  current   market   position.     Once  you   agree  the  rate,  it   is  locked   in   and  you   know   exactly  what  price  you  will  pay  for   your  currency.     With   iPayFX  you   can   review   a   statement   of   all   your   transactions   in   the   system   providing  you   with  a  record   of  all  payments  made  by  beneficiary  or   by  currency. If   your   payments   require  authorisation   by  more  than   one  person   within   the   organisation,   iPayFX   will   automatically   email   the   relevant  people  to  request  approval  of  payments.     This  means  that   your  organisation  can  implement  and  maintain  internal  security  of   payments  being  made  on  behalf  of  your  business.

Ask Amanda. Are you   thinking   about   what   to   give   your   family   and  loved  ones  for  Christmas?     How   about  financial  peace  of  mind! As   we   approach   the   season   of   goodwill,   many  of   us   think   about   how   we   can   help   our   families   more.   Whilst   you   are   out   choosing  presents  or  perhaps  arranging  to   spend  the  festive  period   with   your   nearest   and   dearest,   there   is   something   you   can   do   which  may  give  them  peace  of  mind,  well  into  the  future.  You  can   arrange  for   a  financial  review  with  me,  which   is  free  and  provides   the  following  benefits: • Peace  of  mind  for  you Your   financial  review  will  look  at  your   current   financial  situation   and  help  you  ensure  that  all  investments  are  working  for   you  in   the   most   productive   and   tax   efficient   way,   whilst   taking   into   consideration  your  own  risk  profile   • Peace  of  mind  for  your  children We   will   look   at   your   potential   inheritance   tax   obligation   and   ways  to  keep  this  to  an  absolute  minimum • Peace  of  mind  for  all  of  your  dependents There   are   many   options   available   for   your   investments  or   UK   private  pensions  that   can  provide  a  more  efficient   and  tailored   way  to  pass   money  onto   your   dependents  in   the  event  of  your   death

iPayFX is  protected   by  the  highest   level   of  security  so   you   know   your   payments   can   be   made   with   complete   confidence.   If   you   require  multiple   authorisations  on  payments,  these   protocols  can   be  established,  further  protecting  your  account. Keeping   a  track  of   the   payments  you’ve  made  by  beneficiary,  by   currency   or   by   time   period   is   easy  with   iPayFX.   Our   transaction   history  gives   you  the  clarity  you  need  to  budget   for  the  future  or   analyse  past  spending  trends. We   pride   ourselves   on   providing   a   transparent   service   so   the   reports  available  in  iPayFX  give  you  all  your  costs,  rates  and  fees   at   a  glance. If   you  need  any  further  information  about  this  or  would  like  us  to   organise  a  Tour  de  Finance  event  in  your  area,  give  me  a  ring.

Sue Cook,  Currencies  Direct Tel:  06  89  99  28  89  ~  Email:  sue.c@currenciesdirect.com

If you  want   to  know  more  about   these  areas  you  can  either  call  or   email  me  on  the  contacts  below  and  I  will  be  glad  to  help  you.  We   do   not   charge   for   reviews,   reports   or   recommendations   we   provide. Have  a   fabulous  Christmas  &  New  Year  from  all  at  The  Spectrum-­‐ IFA  Group. Amanda  Johnson,  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group.  Tel:  05  49  98  97  46 Email:  amanda.johnson@spectrum-­‐ifa.com

www.spectrum-­‐ifa.com/amanda-­‐johnson

or “Ask Amanda” at finance@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

French Resident Tax Tips With the   ever-­‐changing   worldwide   economy,   fluctuating   stock   markets   and  interest  rates,  it   is  not   easy  to  keep   track  of  what   is   happening  and  its  effect   on  your   money.     However,  there   is   one   thing  that   is  certain   –  we  all   have  to  pay  tax.     The  French  taxation   system  is  different  to  what   you  may  be  used  to  in  the  UK  and  there   are  some  important  facts  to  know  if  you  are  resident  in  France  and,   therefore,  liable  for  French  taxes. Siddalls  have  put  together  a  quick  guide  to  French  tax   to  help  you   keep  your  tax  liability  to  a  minimum. Tax  Tips  for  UK  expatriates  tax  resident  in  France 1. On  becoming  a  French  tax  resident  it  is  your  responsibility  to  make   yourself  known   to   the   tax   authorities  and   to   declare   fully  your   income,  capital   gains  and  wealth.    Once  you  have  made  your  first   tax   return   your   local   tax   office   will   automatically   send   you   a   declaration  in  future  years. 2. Take  advantage   of  French   tax  free  bank  accounts   for  immediate   access   deposit   funds.   The   main   accounts   are   the   Livret   A,   (maximum   holding   €22,950   per   person)   and   the   Livret   de   Développement  Durable,  (maximum  holding  €12,000  per  person).   3. Take   steps  to   place  long   term   investment   funds   in   tax   efficient   structures  to  keep  taxable  income  to  a  minimum.     “Unsheltered”   investment   income  is  liable   to   income  tax   and   “social   taxes”  and   may   also   be   liable   to   healthcare   contributions,   if   you   do   not   qualify  for  free  access  to  the  French  system. 4. French   inheritance   tax   may   not   be   as   bad   as   you   fear.     The   allowances  for   assets  passing  to  children   may  be   lower   than   the   UK,  but  so  are  the  rates.    There  are  ways  of  reducing,  and  possibly   removing,  any  liability  to  French  inheritance  tax   on  assets  passing   to  children. 5. "Do   as  the  French   do".     They  take  active  and   sensible   steps  to   avoid  unnecessary  taxation.    Seek  advice  from  a  qualified  financial   adviser,  fully  authorised  in  France,  who  will  have  access  to  a  range   of  solutions  and  products   tailored  to  your   specific  circumstances   and  needs. David   Hardy   is   Regional   Manager   of   Siddalls   France,   Independent   Financial  Adviser,  specialised  in  tax,  inheritance,   pension  and  investment   planning  for  the  British  community  in  Poitou-­‐Charentes  since  1996.  

Contact David  Hardy,  Regional  Manager:  Tel:  05  56  34  75  51 Email:  bordeaux.office@siddalls.net  ~  www.siddalls.fr

Small Colour advert only 34€

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

2014 ~ Will it Still be a ‘Buyer’s Market’?

by Trevor  Leggett,  Chief  Executive

Regular readers  of   ‘The   Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’   will   know  that   we   often  speak  of   this  being  a  ‘buyers  market’.     By  that  we  mean   that   ever   since   Lehman   Brothers   went   bust   in   2008   the   European   property   market   has   been   in   the   doldrums.     The   subsequent   reduction  in  buyer  numbers  meant   that  simple  supply  and  demand   led  to  price  falls  and  an  annual  drop  of  around  50%  of  international   buyers  of  French  property. However,   it  does   seem  to  be   that  confidence  is  coming  back  into   property  markets  in   the   UK   and  across  the  continent   -­‐   we’re  not   saying  that   we   are   all   out   of  the  Crise   Financière  but   we  do  feel   cautiously  optimistic  for  2014  and  beyond. This  would   be  good  news  for   many  people  across  the  region  who   would  like  to  sell   their  house   next   year.    If   you   are   one  of  these   people  then  we   are   happy  to   reiterate  three  ideas   for   selling  your   house: • Firstly,  do  make  sure  you  price  your  house  sensibly.    If  it  has  been   on  the  market  for   a  long  time   then  the   chances  are  that   you’re   asking   too   much.     Be  realistic  and  listen  to   your   agent  -­‐  here   at   Leggett’s   we   have   seen   many   sales   from   price   reductions.   By   lowering  your  price  we   automatically  re-­‐send  your  listing  to  over   a  dozen  property  portals  thus  giving  it  further  exposure. • You  should  also  ask  your  agent  if  they  can  create  a  ‘virtual   tour’   of  your   house  on  their  website.     We  have  researched  the  benefit   of   this   and   our   analytics   show   that   houses   with   virtual   tours   receive  far  more  hits  than  those  without. • Finally,   don’t   forget  that   first  impressions   count.    Tidy   the  place   up,  paint   the  gate   and   try  and   offer   a   splash   of   colour   -­‐   even   though  winter  is  nearly  here! The   first  of  these  points   is  obviously  the  most  important  -­‐  buyers   know   that   prices   have  dropped   and   will   be   looking  to   pick  up   a   bargain. Figures   from   BNP   Paribas   show   that,   on   average,   international   buyers  in  Poitou-­‐Charentes  spend  €145,000  while  those   moving  to   neighbouring  Limousin   spend   €101,000.     Do   make  sure   that  your   house  is  competitively  priced  -­‐  if  not  then  your  agent  will  have   an   impossible  job  on  their  hands,  despite  all  best  efforts. All  of  us  at  Leggett  Immobilier  would  like  to  take  this  opportunity  to   wish   readers   of   ‘The   Deux-­‐Sèvres   Monthly’   a   wonderful   festive   season  and  a  truly  happy  new  year. Leggett  Immobilier  is  one  of  the  leading  estate  agents  in  France.   You  can  access  all  their  local  property  listings  and  articles  at www.frenchestateagents.com/poitou-­‐charentes-­‐property.

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© Rupert  Roxburgh-­‐Abbs  2013,  age  10. More  colouring  pages  can  be  downloaded  from  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr 40

The Deux Sèvres Monthly December 2013  

English language magazine for the Deux-Sèvres and surrounding areas

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