Page 1

pa

With 4

t u O l l u P ge

1


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.

2


Welcome! to Issue 36 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine.

February...mmmm. Generally   a   bit   of   a   dull   month...but   not   with   the   magazine   here   to   cheer  you  up,  surely?! There  are   plenty  of  events  included   inside  to   get  you  out  and  about,  plus  of  course,  the  start   of   the  Winter   Olympics,  the  Rugby   6  Nations,   and   St   Valentine’s   Day;   what   more   can   you   need  for  the  shortest  month  of  the  year?! I’m  also  looking  forward   to   some  pancakes   this  February  -­‐  I   know   our  British  tradition  of  Pancake  Day  isn’t  until  March,  but  any  excuse   for   pancakes,  simply  topped   with   lemon   juice   and  sugar   to   while   away  a  cold,  grey  evening  is  good   for   me!    I’ll   enjoy  flipping  a  few,   whilst  holding  a  coin  and  praying  they  don’t   stick  to  the  ceiling  or   land  on  one  of  the  cats! Work-­‐wise   this   month   I’ll   be   working   on   a   ‘new   look’   for   future   magazine  issues  -­‐  all  to  celebrate  our   3rd  Birthday  next  month!    So,   watch  this  space! Well,   I  hope   you   keep   yourself   well   entertained   this   month   -­‐  and   don’t  forget  to  treat  your  Valentine  on  Friday  14th.     Take  care  and  see  you  all  next  month.

à plus, Sarah.

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

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

CONTENTS

What’s On.....................................................................................4 Getting  Out  &  About....................................................................6 Le  Coin  Français..........................................................................12 Hobbies,  Clubs  &  Associations...................................................13 Take  a  Break...............................................................................14 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness............................................................15 Our  Furry  Friends.......................................................................17 The  Great  Outdoors...................................................................19 Communications........................................................................21 A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.................................22 French  Life,  Food  &  Drink...........................................................23 Motoring....................................................................................26 Building  &  Renovation...............................................................28 Business,  Finance  &  Property....................................................33

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS  

79 Renovations.....................................................................................................29 A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)............................................................................... 24 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)...................................................................... 26 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  Double  Glazing).................................2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)................................................................................ 29 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)..................................................................... 31 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber).............................................................................. 32 ARB  French  Property........................................................................................... 39 Arbrecadabra.com  (Tree  surgery)........................................................................19

...continued. BH  Assurances  /  Allianz....................................................................................... 33 Bill  McEvoy  (Plumber  /  Heating  Engineer).......................................................... 32 Bistrot  des  Amis................................................................................................... 23 Blevins  Franks  Financial  Management................................................................ 35 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)...........................................................27 Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle........................................................................................... 23 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs.......................................................................................... 24 Camping  Les  Prairies  du  Lac................................................................................ 6 Caniclôture  (Hidden  Fencing  for  Dogs)............................................................... 17 Cheryl’s  Helping  Hand......................................................................................... 37 Chris  Bassett  Construction.................................................................................. 30 Chris  Parsons  (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing)...................................................... 32 Chris  the  Handyman............................................................................................ 28 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)...................................................... 6 Cleaning  Services  by  Karen.................................................................................. 37 Come  Dine  with  Dave  (Dining  experience)......................................................... 24 Currencies  Direct  (Money  Transfers)................................................................... 34 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon).............................................................................................. 16 DB  Electricité....................................................................................................... 29 D.W  Cooper  (Carpenter,  Roofer,  Mason)............................................................. 30 David  Cropper  (Stump  Grinding  &  Jungle  Busting)............................................ 19 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep)........................................................................ 32 D.J  Maintenance  (Handyman)............................................................................ 28 Double  Glazing  Installation  -­‐  Haynes  Carpentry.................................................. 31 Down  to  Earth  Pool  Design  (Swimming  Pool  Design  &  Construction)................ 30 EcoPower  (Solar  Thermal  Trading  Company)...................................................... 29 Electricien  Anglais  en  France.............................................................................. 29 Franglais  Deliveries............................................................................................. 27 GAN  Assurances.................................................................................................. 38 Gîte  Changeover,  Gardening  &  Cleaning  Services...............................................37 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers)........................................ 29 Harris  Home  and  Garden.................................................................................... 31 Heather’s  Pet  Care  Services................................................................................ 17 Holistic  Therapy  -­‐  Soul  to  Sole............................................................................ 16 Home  and  Garden  Care  -­‐  John  Etherington........................................................ 19 I  C  O  Electricté..................................................................................................... 29 Insink  Plumbing................................................................................................. .. 32 Jon  Crocker  Photography..................................................................................... 37 Jon  the  Carpetman.............................................................................................. 28 Julia  Hunt  -­‐  Agent  Commercial............................................................................ 38 Julie’s  Cleaning  Services.......................................................................................37 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).................................... 6 Le  Pub  des  Halles................................................................................................. 23 Leggett  Immobilier.............................................................................................. 38 ML  Computers..................................................................................................... 22 Motor  Parts  Charente.......................................................................................... 27 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances......................................................................... 26 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services.......................................................................... 30 Needa  Hand  Services........................................................................................... 28 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).............................................................. 16 Pascale  Matéo  (French  Tuition)........................................................................... 10 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire).............................................................................30 Plan-­‐170  (Professional  Scale  Drawings).............................................................. 28 Polar  Express  (Frozen  Foods).............................................................................. 24 Premier  Autos  (Mechanic).................................................................................. 27 Premier  Plastering............................................................................................... 31 Première  Classe  Removals  &  Deliveries.............................................................. 27 Restaurant  des  Canards....................................................................................... 25 Rob  Berry  Plastering  Services.............................................................................. 31 Robert  Walker  Plomberie.................................................................................... 32 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)............................................. 21 Sabestini  Renovation  &  Construction................................................................. 30 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Fosse  Installations  &  Groundworks)................................... 30 Sarah  Berry  Online  (Website  Design).................................................................. 22 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors).................................................................................36 Silverwood  Books................................................................................................ 10 Simon  The  Tiler.................................................................................................... 32 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)............................................................. 34 Steve  Enderby...................................................................................................... 31 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)....................................................... 11 The  Craft  Cabin  (Handmade  cards  and  card-­‐making  items)............................... 6 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre............................................................ 27 The  Market.......................................................................................................... 6 Trisha  Mobile  Hairdresser.................................................................................... 16 Val  Assist  (Translation  Services)........................................................................... 11 Vendée  Carriers................................................................................................... 27 Venus  Rose  Yoga.................................................................................................. 15

© Sarah  Berry   2014.     All   rights  reserved.    Material   may   not   be   reproduced  without  permission.    While   care   is   taken  to  ensure  that  articles  and  features  are  accurate,  Sarah   Berry   accepts  no  liability   for   reader  dissatisfaction.     The   opinions  expressed   and  experiences   shared  are   given  by  individual   authors  and  do  not  necessarily  represent  the   views  or  opinions  of  the  publisher.    Please  ensure  you  verify  that  the  company  you  are  dealing  with  is  a  registered  trading  company  in  France  and/or  elsewhere. <<The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly>>  est   édité   par  Sarah   Berry,  La   Bartière,   79130,   Secondigny.   Tél:   05  49  70   26  21.    Directeur  de  la  publication  et  rédacteur  en   chef:   Sarah   Berry.   Crédits   photos:  Sarah  Berry,   Clkr  et   morgeufile.com.  Impression:  Raynaud  Imprimeurs,  zone  industrielle,  BP13,  79160,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.    Dépôt  légal:  fevrier  2014  -­‐  Tirage:  4500  exemplaires.    Siret:  515  249  738  00011  ISSN:  2115-­‐4848

3


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

What’s On...

February 2014

Until 28th  February  -­‐  1943  Expo,  L’Année  des  Tournants At  the  Centre  Régional  ‘Résistance  &  Liberté’  in  Thouars.    For  details,   please  visit  website:  www.crrrl.fr  or  call  05  49  66  42  99. 1st  February  -­‐  Opening  of  6  Nations  Rugby Watch  it  live  at  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    See  advert  on  P.24. 1st  February  -­‐  Live  Music  Night ‘Coffees  &  Cigarettes’  play  at   Café   des  Belles   Fleurs,  Fenioux.  See   advert  on  P.24  for  details. 3rd  February-­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Limalonges See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 6th  February-­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Chef  Boutonne See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 6th  February  -­‐  Fish  &  Chip  Night From  6.30pm  at  Bar  Le  Lys,  La  Chapelle  aux  Lys,  85120.    For  further   details,  please  see  article  on  P.24. 7th  February  -­‐  Opening  Ceremony  of  Winter  Olympics  2014 BBC  television  coverage  will  start  at  3.30pm. 10th  February-­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Rouillac See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 11th  February  -­‐  Harlem  Globetrotters at  L’Acclameur,  Niort  8pm.    Tickets  29€-­‐40€.   12th  February-­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Aigre See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 12th  February  -­‐  Book  Sale All  Girls  Together  meeting  at  Fontenille-­‐saint-­‐Martin-­‐d’Entraigues. 13th  February-­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Champniers See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 14th  February  -­‐  Special  Valentine  Meal At  A  La  Bonne  Vie  restaurant,  Le  Beugnon.    Please  call  for  menu   details:  05  49  95  91  60. 14th  February  -­‐  Romantic  Rock  Night 4  course  meal   with   live  music  by  ‘A  Vee   and  Andy  Em’.  At  Café  des   Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.  See  advert  on  P.24  for  details. 15th  February  -­‐  First  Aid  Course  in  English Organised  by  the  SDIS79,  cost   45€.    Booking  required.    Please  see   details  on  P.9 22nd  February  -­‐  Musical  -­‐  Joe  Dassin  (French) Live  Musical   about   the   French   artist   with  14  artists   and   over   100   costumes.   The   troup   ‘Patrice   Pericard’   perform   at   the   Café   du   Commerce  in  Lezay  from  3pm.  www.pericard.fr. 26th  February  -­‐  Games  afternoon All  Girls  Together  meeting,  at  Fontenille-­‐saint-­‐Martin-­‐d’Entraigues. 27th  February  -­‐  Quiz  and  Supper At  the  Mongoustan  Restaurant,  Mervent  (Vendee)   7pm  for  7.30pm   start.     Every  last  Thursday  of  the  month,  until  the  summer.     Printed   quiz  sheets,  good  company,  good  prizes  and  hot  supper.    For  details   email  jackipedrick@hotmail.com  or  phone  02  51  00  50  59.

What’s Coming Up...

1st March  -­‐  Live  Music  Night At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    Adrian  Simmonds  plays  à  la  Carte. 17th  &  18th  May  -­‐  Classic  Car  Rally Organised  by  Automobile  Club  Deux-­‐Sevres,  departing  from  Niort   on  the  Saturday  17th.    Further  information  will  be  included  in  next   month’s  issue,    or  you  can  book  your  place  now  on  their  website:   www.automobile-­‐club79.com.    

Monthly services  at  the  English  speaking  Church  in  Deux-­‐ Sèvres Jassay The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,     has  a  Home  Group  Service  at  Jassay,  commencing  at  11.00am  on   every  2nd  Sunday  in   the  month,  it  is  held   at  the  home  of  Ann   White.    A  warm  welcome  awaits  everyone  for  a  time  of  worship   and  fellowship.   Chef-­‐Boutonne The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   also  holds  services  on  the  1st  Sunday  of   each  month  at  10.30am   at  The  Little  Stone  Church  in  Chef-­‐Boutonne.    After  each  service,   tea  or  coffee  is  served  and   an  opportunity  to  meet  other  people   in  the  area.   Parthenay The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   also  holds  services  on  the  4th  Sunday  of  each  month  at  10.30am   in   the   Presbytery   Rooms,   rue   de   la   Citadelle,   Parthenay,   opposite   St   Croix   Church.     After   each  service,   tea  or   coffee   is   served  and  everyone  is  invited  to  a  'bring  and  share'  lunch.     For   further   information   about   location   of   churches   and   what   else   is  happening  near   you,  please   take   a   look  at   our   website   www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com  or  contact  us  by  email:  

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. The  Rendez-­‐Vous  Christian  Fellowship.   A   warm   welcome   awaits   you   at   our   meetings   on   the   1st   &   3rd   Sundays  of  the   month  at   11am.    La   Brionniere,   85120,  St  Pierre  du   Chemin.    Meetings  last  about  an  hour  and  are  followed  by  a  time  of   fellowship  with  refreshments.

Please contact   Chris   &   Julie   Taylor:   09   60   49   78   50  or   Des   &   Elizabeth  Vine:  05  49  74  18  27,  or  visit:  www.therendezvous.fr

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’  magazine Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 ~ info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Page 4


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY                                                                                              

                                                                         

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2014

Paperback Jan Books  in  English

2nd Feb:  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  79160.    2pm  -­‐  4pm 5th  Feb:  Le  Don  Jon  Bar,  Moncontour  86330.  4pm  -­‐  6pm 6th  Feb:  Brasserie  Vue  du  Chateau,  Bressuire  79300.  11am  -­‐  1pm 6th  Feb:  Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud  79450.  2pm-­‐5pm 7th  Feb:  Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars  79100.  11.30am  -­‐  2pm   8th  Feb:  Café  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole  79400.    10am  -­‐  1pm 12th  Feb:    Les  Jardins  St  Laurent,  Parthenay  79200.  10.30am-­‐12.30pm 13th  Feb:  Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie  79240.    2pm-­‐  5pm 14th  Feb:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.    11am-­‐  4pm 26th  Feb:  Jan’s  home,  La  Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  79390.    1pm-­‐  5pm 27th  Feb:  Le  Relais  des  2  Moulins,  Clessé  79350.    4pm-­‐  6pm 28th  Feb:  Le  P’tit  Bar  Boucard,  Ménigoute  79340.    4pm-­‐  6pm For  more  info  contact  Jan  on: 06  08  30  73  29  or  email:  paperbackjan@gmail.com

Mr T’s Friterie

Open 6.30

-9pm

Friday 14th  February  .........   Valentine’s  Day  (Saint  Valentin) Sunday  2nd  March  ............   Grandmothers’  Day  (Grands-­‐mères) Tuesday  4th  March  ............   Shrove  Tuesday  (Mardi  Gras) Sunday  20th  April  ..............   Easter  Sunday  (Pâques) Monday  21st  April  ............      Easter  Monday  (Lundi  de  Pâques) Thursday  1st  May  .............      Labour  Day  (Fête  du  Travail) Thursday  8th  May  .............   Victory  in  Europe  Day  (Fête  de  la  Victoire) Sunday  25th  May  ...............   Mothers’  Day  (Fête  des  Mères) Thursday  29th  May  ...........   Ascension  Day  (Ascension) Sunday  8th  June  .................   Pentacost  (Pentecôte) Monday  9th  June  ..............   Pentacost  (Lundi  de  Pentecôte) Sunday  15th  June  ...............   Fathers’  Day  (Fête  des  Pères) Saturday  21st  June  .............   World  Music  Day  (Fête  de  la  Musique) Monday  14th  July  ..............  National  Day  (Fête  Nationale) Friday  15th  August  ............   Assumption  of  Mary  (Assomption) Sunday  5th  October  ............  Grandfathers’  Day  (Fête  des  Grand-­‐pères) Saturday  1st  November  .....  All  Saint’s  Day  (Toussaint) Monday  11th  November  ...   Armistice  Day  (Armistice) Thursday  25th  December  ...  Christmas  Day  (Noêl) Dates in blue are celebration days, not public holidays

With regular venues at:

Reel Fish & Chips Traditional English style Fish & Chips

We are taking our annual break in February, returning in March 2014. We look forward to seeing you then. Tel: 06 04 14 23 94 or visit: www.reelfishandchips.net

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

                                                       La  Vendée  Chippy                                                          Traditional  Fish  &  Chips  in  France! • Wednesdays (February 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th) Bar ‘Auberge le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges • Thursdays - Bar ‘La Rando’, Mervent.

     Returning  in  March  2014.    Watch  this  space! • Fridays (February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th) Bar ‘Au Bon Coin’, Thoursais Bouildroux

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

Combined Services Support Group (CSSG) by Terri Laverick We are  now  scheduling  dates  for  later   in   the  year,  for   example,   11th  May  and  28th  September  at  Paperback  Jan's  book  sales,  La-­‐ Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay.     Here  we  usually  sell  tea,  coffee  and   cakes   -­‐  and  very  successfully!    We  also  have  a  Tombola  at  these  events   and  both  enjoy  finding  prizes  to  purchase   as  well  as   encouraging   people   to   buy   the  winning  tickets!   (donated   prizess   are   much   appreciated  too!) There  are  also  the  two  Aidez  events;  the  Summer  and  Christmas   Fairs,   ‘The   DSM’  Trade   Fair,   where,   again   we   raise   monies   by   running  a  tombola  stall.    So  far,  we  have   no  big  event   organised   for  this  year  but  are  carefully  considering  a  car/walking  Treasure   Hunt.   It   could   be   fun,   especially   with   devilish   red   herrings   included  amongst  the  clues.    I  do  love  organising  a  treasure  hunt! Watch  this  Space! Our   next   meeting  is  on   22nd   February   at   11.00am   at   Café  des   Belles   Fleurs,  Fenioux.   Usually  a   breakfast   is   served   before   the   meeting   at   10.00am.     Email:  cssgroup@outlook.com  for   details   and  to  book  a  breakfast.

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 Bressuire 79300 Parthenay 79200 Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 Niort 79000 Thouars 79100 Melle 79500 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 Niort 79000 Coulon 79510 Saint-Maixent-l’École 79400 Neuville-de-Poitou 86170 Coulon 79510

Photo: Lisa Roberts

                           F    oire                  1    6170    (27th  month) • Aulnay    17470    (from  6pm)  •          Rouillac   • St  Hilaire  de  Villefranche  17770 • Matha 17160 • St  Jean  d’Angély  17400 See  www.frying2nite.com  for  details  or  call  06  02  22  44  74

Page 5


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Getting Out & About...

Aidez Association  says  “Thank  YOU!” We  would  like  to  thank  everyone  for  their  support  with  the  three   events   we   were   involved   in   last   year.   Those   who   had   stands,   those  who  helped  and  of  course  everyone  who  attended! We  are  very  pleased  to  announce  that  the  money  we  raised,  we   have  been  able   to  give  1200€  to  the   Resto   du  Coeur.     We  have   split   this   sum   between   Parthenay   centre   and   Bressuire.   We   received   a   very   warm   welcome,   and   learnt   all   about   the   organisation,   which   was   extremely   interesting   and   gave   us   a   greater  understanding  of  the  plight  of  local  people. Linda Reffold

Thinking about placing an ad? Why not take advantage of our Special Packages for New Advertisers? Call Sarah for more details: 05 49 70 26 21

Page 6


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

ARTicles

by Josie Bounds

The Romantics:  JMW  Turner

Planning is   underway   for   our   next   production   and   we   have   formed   a   new   group   which   we   call   the   Script   Review   Group,   being  led   by   Karen   Davies.     Karen   was   a   drama   teacher   in   a   previous  life  but  for   Reaction   Theatre  her   responsibilities  are  to   lead  a   group  of   people   who  review  many  different  plays  and  to   select  a  few  which  they  feel  will   fit  the  requirements  of  you,  our   audiences.    Our  aim  is  to  plan   not  only  the  next  production  but   the   one   after   that,   always   keeping   at   least   two   productions   ahead  of  the  game. We  are  also   planning  to   hold   a  number   of  actor  workshops  in  the   coming  months,  where  people   with   little  or   no   experience  can   learn   some   of   the   skills   of   acting   in   a   non-­‐threatening   environment.     These   are   aimed   at   encouraging   actors   of   the   future.     If  you   fancy  joining  in   and   having  a  bit   of   fun   in   a  no-­‐ pressure  situation,  send  me  an  email.

The Fighting Temeraire 1839

‘The Fighting  Temeraire’   is   an   icon   of   a  classical   British  painting.   Painted  in  1839  by  Turner.     She  was  one  of  the  last   ships  to  survive   and   played   a  significant   role   in   Nelson's   victory  at   the   Battle   of   Trafalgar   in   1805,   after   which   she   was   known   as   the   Fighting   Temeraire.     The  sad  thing  about   this   painting   is  the  98-­‐gun   ship   remained  in   service  until  1838  when  she  was  decommissioned  and   Turner  captures  her   being  towed  from  Sheerness  to  Rotherhithe  to   be  broken  up. The  silvery  white  of  the  doomed   Temeraire  endows  the  ship   with   a   ghostly  majesty.   Turner's   main   concern   was  to   evoke   a   sense   of   loss,   rather   than   to   give   an   exact   recording   of   the   event.     He   instead  chose  to  depict  Temeraire,  as  she  would  have  looked  in  the   prime   of   her   service,   with  all  of  its   masts  and   rigging.     This  creates   a   dramatic   juxtaposition   between   the   warship   and   the   tiny,   black   tugboat,  which   controls   its  movements.     But  the   black   tug,   belching   flame  and  soot,  appears   Above: Detail of The Fighting Temeraire. evil,   almost   demonic.     The  choice  of  colours  contrasts  the  decline  of  Britain's  naval  power   and  days  of  sail  with  the  new  era  of  steam.

Above: The Fighting Temeraire detail of the sky

The glorious  colours  of  Turners  painting   are  carefully   contrived  to   heighten  the  emotional  impact.  The  blazing  sunset  is   symbolic  not   just  of  an  era  coming  to  its   end,  but  the   bloodshed  and  the  death   of   sacrifice.   A   sad   and   painful   painting   however,   the   glorious   colours  turns  a  funeral  procession  into  a  triumph.

We are  now   starting  rehearsing  for  some  of   our   forthcoming   events.   These   include   singing   at   the   A.G.M.   of   one   of   France’s   major   banks;  a  number  of  charity  events  and   taking   part   in   the   WW1   commemoration   programme.     Each   event   will   require   us   to   develop   a   new   programme   of   songs   which  have  some  link  to  the  organization  or  charity  at   which  we   are  singing.    Perhaps   for   the  bank   we  can  sing  ‘Money,  Money,   Money’  and   what   about   ‘Pack   Up   your   Troubles’   for   the   WW1   commemoration   events?     Can   you   come   up   with   some   good   ideas?     Song  recommendations   in  English   or   French   would   be   most  welcome.   If   you  run  a  charity  and  would  like  our  singers  to  perform  at  your   fund-­‐raiser,  then   please   get  in  touch  as  soon  as  possible  so  I  can   check  if  we  are  available.

The Art Scene

The Art  Scene  programme  for  the  first  three  months  of  2014  can   be  seen  on  our  Reaction   Theatre  website  and  includes  just  about   all  aspects  of  art   you   can  imagine,  and   perhaps  even   some  you   can’t.     Ever  heard  of  ‘Painting  distorted   reflections’   or   ‘One   Stroke   painting?’     No?   Well,   these   are   just   two   of   our   interesting   subjects   which   will   be   covered   in   the   next   few   weeks.     Perhaps   next   month   I  could  show  you   some   of   our   members’   paintings   and   encourage  you  to  have  a  go?   We  are  now  well  into  the  New  Year  and,  much  to  my  surprise,  are   still   getting   regular   requests   for   our   Alternative   Calendar   Girls   calendar.     This   is   taking   us   closer   and   closer   to   our   target   of   10,000€  for  two   charities,  the  Leukemia  and  Lymphona  Research   in   the   UK   and   the   French   cancer   organisation   Fondation   de   France.     Will  we  reach  our  target?     You  can  help,  the  calendars   are  now  at  the  bargain  price  of  5€  and  could  become  collectable   items  in  the  future! Information  on  Reaction  performances,  past  and  future,  Keynote   performances  and   The   Art   Scene  meetings  and   projects  can   be   seen  on  www.reactiontheatre.fr,  but  if  you  don’t  have  access  to   a  computer,  call  me,  John  Blair,  on  05  49  63  23  50.

Page 7


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

La Caserne Duguesclin, Niort                                                                                    by Tony Barrett   In   my   last   article   (Issue:   November   2013)   we   looked   at   the   disbandment   of   the   7th   Hussar   Regiment   in   ‘La   Place   de   la   Breche’  in  Niort  in  1815,  and  just  over  80  years  later  the  regiment   returned  to  Niort  to  garrison  the  Caserne  (barracks)  Duguesclin.   The   7th  Hussars  had  been  reformed  in  1840   and  after  campaigns   in   Algeria,   Italy   and   the   disastrous   Franco-­‐Prussian   War   they   moved  from  their  quarters  in  Tours  to  take  up  their  new  home  in   Deux  Sevres  in  1896.  

Above: View of the Caserne Duguesclin from La Place de La Breche showing the barracks dominating the heights above the town.

The cavalry  barracks,  originally  constructed  in  1734,  consisted  of   a   single   three-­‐storey   building   that   could   accommodate   720   cavalrymen   on   the   first   floor,   while   the   vaulted   ground   floor   acted  as   stable  for   their  horses.     Over   the   years  1779,  1830  and   1894  the  barracks  were  extended  and   enlarged   and   were  to   be   the  home  of  43  regiments  of  cavalry  over  a  period  of  160  years. The  barracks  were  named  after  Bertrand  Duguesclin,  the  French   military   commander   who,   in   1373,   captured   Niort   from   the   English  in   the   Hundred   Years   War.     After   defeating   the   English   army  in   one   of   the  last  bastions  held  in  the  Poitou  Charente,   at   the   Battle  of   Chizé,   just   six   days   before  he  moved   on  to   Niort   disguising  two  hundred  of  his  bravest  men  in  English  armour  and   weapons,  deceiving  the  sentries  into  letting  them  enter  the  town   by  lowering  the  drawbridge  and  capturing  it   with  a  minimum  of   fighting.   From   all   accounts   Niort   was   considered   a   good   garrison,   with   plenty  of  opportunity  for   fishing  and  hunting  for  the  officers  in   the  region  while  having  agreeable  relations  with  the  inhabitants   of  the  town.     The  area  around  the  barracks  became  known  as  the   ‘Quartier  du  7e  Hussards’.  

Above: Everyday life in the barracks, Hussars grooming their horses under the watchful eye of their officers.

In 1901   the   7th   Hussars   participated   in   the   French   Army   war   manoeuvres   that   were   held   across   Deux   Sevres   and   the   Charente-­‐Inférieure   (it   was   not   the   Charente   Maritime   until   1941).     It   was   still   envisaged   that   the   cavalry   would   act   as   reconnaissance   for   the   infantry,   and   perform   sweeping  cavalry   charges   to   win   the   decisive   battles   as   it   had   done   in   the   preceding  century.   In   1914   the  7th  Hussars  left   Niort  and   were  part  of  9th  Cavalry   Division,  1st  Brigade  of   Cuirassiers,  9th   Corps  and  headed  to  war   leaving   their   comfortable   barracks,  and   sending  them   into   the   hell   and   carnage   of   the   First   World   War.     Gone   were   the   flamboyant   uniforms   of   the  past   and   the   glory   of   the   mounted   cavalrymen.      In  1928  the  7th  Regiment  of  Hussars  was  dissolved.   Photos bottom right: A ‘Then and Now’ photo of the side gate to the barracks as they are today. Completely renovated the Caserne Duguesclin now is the home of the Council General and several other departments of the Urban Community.

Page 8


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

News from  the  Pays  de  Gâtine!   by Bradley Warden & Julia Salvat

YOUR Book Reviews... Thank  you  to  Vanda  Lawrence  for  this  month’s  book  review... ‘No Time for Goodbye’ by Linwood Barclay

“Your local  museum  –  Needs  you” It   probably  won’t  have   escaped  your  notice  that  this  year  marks   the  100th  Anniversary  of  the  outbreak  of  World  War  One. All   around   Europe,  countries  and   governments  will   be   marking   this  event  with  varying  forms  of  celebration  and  here  in  the  Pays   de  Gatine,  things  are  no  different. Parthenay  is  planning  a  series  of  events  starting  in  the  autumn  of   this  year   and,  virtually  unique  in  France,  they  are  trying  to  make   it   a   Franco-­‐Anglo   event.     The   museum   in   Parthenay   will   be   creating   an   exhibition   showing  personal   memorabilia   from   the   war  such  as   trench  art,  medals,  uniforms,  postcards,  posters  etc.   and   they   are   hoping   to   include   similar   items   relating   to   the   British  and  Commonwealth  troops.   If   you,  or   anyone  you   know,   have  any  items   that   you  would   be   happy  to  lend  to  the  museum  for  the  duration  of  the  exhibition,  or   would  like  more  information   then  please  contact  Bradley  Warden   on  05  49  15  07  24  or  by  email  bradley.warden@blevinsfranks.com.    

I had never heard of Linwood Barclay until I read 'No Time for Goodbye’, but I was hooked from the very beginning of the story. A brilliant plot - there is no way you can guess the outcome. In the 1980's Cynthia is a young teenager who had broken her weekday curfew and stayed out too late with her boyfriend.  She was fetched home by her very irritated father. When she woke up the next morning the house was empty - her mother, father and younger brother were all missing. 25 years later, Cynthia is married with a child of her own but the mystery is still unsolved, the questions are still unanswered, her family had never been seen again. I can't help it, when I am reading a very gripping story I just have to look at the last page to check that the main character is OK.  Usually I don't need to do this until towards the end of the story.  In this case my first peek at the last page was after I'd read Chapter 1 - I leave you to draw your own conclusions from that!!

Precious or   sentimental   items   will   be   displayed   behind   locked,   glass  cabinets  and  all  items  will   be   covered  by  a   signed  contract   between  the  museum  and  the  person  lending.    The  items  will  be   covered   by   insurance   whilst   in   their   custody   and   postcards,   posters,  etc.  can  be  digitised  so  they  will  not  have  to  be  left.   A   programme   of   all   the   events   taking   place   from   October   to   December  2014  will  be  available  at  the  end  of  June  and  thanks  to   the  various   English  speaking  associations   in   the   area,  there  will   be  something  for  everyone.

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’  magazine Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 ~ info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

SDIS79

Two years  ago,  Julia  Salvat   worked   with   the   SDIS  on   a  booklet  in   English  showing  what  to  do  in  an  Emergency,  and  who  to  call.

Last year,   the   SDIS   (Civil   Service   Firemen   in   Deux-­‐Sèvres)   worked   with   British  ex-­‐Fireman,   John  Hoyland,  to  talk  about  the   awareness  of   domestic  fire  and  smoke  detectors.    

Today we   are   glad   to   organise   a   special  workshop  called  PSC1.  It  is   a   first  aid  training  course,   given  in   both   English  and  French  language,   especially   for   those  living  in  Deux-­‐ Sèvres   who   are   not   fluent   in   French.   The  date   is   set   for  Saturday  15th   February,  at   the   Headquarters   of   SDIS79,  in  Chauray.  (Near  Niort).   For   information,   please   see   the   poster  on  the  back  page,  or  call   05  49  08  18  49   or  email:    a.cestor@sdis79.fr

A special  meeting  was  arranged   last   spring  by   Julia  Salvat  (Pays  de  Gâtine)  on  that  subject  for   English   people   living   around   the   Parthenay   area.    It  was  such  a  great  success  that   it  led  to   us   to   think   about   a   First   Aid   introduction   course. In  fact,  French   firemen   don't  only  deal  with  fires;  they  also  have  to   rescue   people   from   all   kind   of   situations  and   they   are  happy  to   work  alongside   someone  who   is   adept   in  First   Aid  training.    This   could  be  invaluable   to   saving  a  life  if  you   are  first   to   arrive  at   the   scene  of  an  accident.

Page 9


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.

• Romantic fiction   needs   to   express   internal   conflict   and   feelings   around  the  main  characters,  but  one  that  is  resolved  -­‐  the  ‘happy   ever  after’  ending.  Or  at  least  ‘happy  for  now’…

Romantic stuff

Further useful  information:    

Yes, February  is  firmly  aligned  with  the  heart’s   emotion   and   in   the   book  world,  romance  is   important.     Numerous   more   or   less   strict   definitions   abound   but   in   general   the   twin   requirements   for  romantic  fiction  are   a  focus   on  a  developing  romantic  relationship  and  an   optimistic  ending.  

• The Romantic  Novelists’  Association  www.rna-­‐uk.org   • Love   Writing:   How   to   make   money   writing   romantic   or   erotic   fiction,  by  Sue  Moorcroft  (Accent  Press) Alison  Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wriDng  and  Romans  at  hFp://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  

But the  stereotype  ‘sweet  young  thing’  waiting  to  be  rescued    (and   possibly  ravished   in   the   best   possible   taste)   doesn’t   cut   it   these   days.     Readers   of  contemporary  romance  like  a  more   independent   worldly-­‐wise   heroine   who   earns   a   living   and   takes   on   responsibilities   of   her   own.     Heroes   are   no   longer   universally   masterful   super-­‐beings   who   know   everything   and   can   do   everything  while  the  heroine  flutters  her  eyelashes. Respecting  the   genre   conventions   is   very  important,  but   writing   needs  to  be  fresh  and  original  to  succeed  in  a  competitive   writing   market.   Today,   we   see   many   sub-­‐genres:   paranormal,   historic,   fantasy,  sci-­‐fi,  mystery  and   suspense   and  many  ‘heat’  levels  from   sweet   to  erotic.     A  survey  conducted  by  the  Romance   Writers   of   America   in   2005   found   that   nearly   50%   of   readers   liked   a   side   order  of  mystery  with  their  romances.     This  can   range  from   dark   and  edgy  to  cosy  and  light-­‐hearted. A  romantic   relationship  can  develop  gradually  or   be  the   legendary   coup   de  foudre.     It  can  be   tentative  or   intense  -­‐  that’s  something   that  doesn’t  change  -­‐  but  readers  like  to  see  both  hero  and  heroine   change  and  mature  during  the  story. A   heroine   or   hero   who   realises  they  are   falling  in   love   has   two   choices:   to   accept   it   and   revel   in   it,   or   refuse   it.     This   is   the   challenge   today:   people  don’t   have  to   get   married   or   partnered.     They  may  not   only  be  torn   between  so  many  other   choices,  but   also   struggling  with   pressures   falling   on   them.     They  may  think  of  sacrificing  their   potential   emotional   satisfaction   for   their   career,  their   cause,  to  pursue   education,   new   experiences   such   as  living   overseas   or   just   for   their   own   self-­‐respect   if   they   doubt  their  love  interest  is  trustworthy. Romantic   fiction   authors   can   make   a   steady,  occasionally  spectacular,  living  as   this   genre   sells   consistently   and   well   -­‐   romantic  fiction  amounts  to  an  estimated   60%  of  all  books  bought.   Key  points:   • A  ‘romance’  focuses  on  the  couple  to  the  exclusion  of  everything   and   everybody   else.   Around   50-­‐60,000   words,  these   are   often   shorter  than  the  average  novels. • Romantic  fiction  can   encompass   other   genres  and   include   sub-­‐ plots  and  a  number  of  secondary  characters. • Well-­‐rounded   characters,   not   handsome/beautiful   cardboard   cut-­‐outs,  are  essential.     However,  the  hero  and  heroine  do  need   to  have  a  reasonable  degree  of  attractiveness… • Emotion   and   empathy   are   essential;   despite   Fifty   Shades’   success,   raunchy   sex   alone   isn’t   enough   to   sell   books   consistently.     Several   friends   reported   they   became   more   interested   in  the  characters’   story  than  the,  er,  mechanical,  side   of  the  proceedings.

Page 10


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Une année en Province A year in Provincial France

Vocabulary /  Vocabulaire  : by  Sue  Burgess

l’an 2014  ................................... The  year  2014

Nowadays, new  year  begins  on  the  first  of  January  (le  jour  de  l'An).      It   is  a  bank  holiday  (un  jour  férié) and  the  majority  of  people  don't  work.     People  wish  each  other  a  happy  new  year,  good  health  and  happiness   “Bonne  Année   et  Bonne  Santé”  and   send  their  wishes  (envoyer  les   voeux)  in  the  form  of  a  card  or  by  phone  or   email.    New  Year  greetings   can  be  sent  all  month,  but  it  is  rude  to  send  them  after  the  beginning   of  February.

une année  bi-­‐sextile  ................

a leap  year

un calendrier  ............................

a calendar

un agenda  ................................

a diary

un almanach  ............................

almanac

January 6th  is  La  Fête  des  Rois.    People  buy  a  galette  or  a  brioche  and   tirer  les  rois.  The  cake  is  divided  up  and   whoever  gets  the  fève  (little   pottery  figurine)   becomes   king  or   queen,   gets   to   wear   the   paper   crown  and  to  buy  the  next  cake.

un trimestre  .............................

a quarter/a  three  month  period

un semestre  .............................

a six  month  term

un mois  ....................................

a month

une quinzaine  ..........................

a fortnight

une semaine  ...........................

a week

The 2nd  of  February  is  la  Chandeleur.  In   the  Catholic  church  calendar   this   is  the  last  event   connected  to  Christmas.    Time  to  take  down  the   Christmas   decorations,   put   away   the   crib   (ranger   la   crêche),   and   celebrate   by   making   and   tossing   pancakes   (faire   sauter   les   crêpes).   Holding  a  coin   in   your   hand   whilst  tossing  the   pancake   will   give  you  money  all  year  round.   The  14th  February  is  La   Saint  Valentin.    Mardi  Gras  (Shrove  Tuesday)   can  fall   in  February  with  carnaval   and  people  eating  doughnuts  (les   beignets)  and  other  goodies  made  of  pâte  (batter). On  the  last  Sunday  in  March  summer  time  begins  (on  passe  à   l'heure   d'été).

un jour  ...................................... a  day journalier  .................................

daily

hebdomadaire .........................

weekly

mensuel ...................................

monthly

Easter (Pâques)  is  celebrated  with  chocolate  eggs   and  hens.     On  the   1st   April  you  will  see  chocolate  fish  in  the  shops  and  instead  of  April   Fool,  French  children  stick  a  paper   fish   on  your  back  and  say  “poisson   d'avril”. Nobody  works  on  the  1st  of  May.    It's  Labour  Day  (la  fête  du  Travail).     Sprigs  of  muguet  (lily  of  the  valley)  are  offered  for  good  luck.    The  8th   of  May  is  a  bank  holiday  for  remembering  Victory  in  Europe  and  the   liberation  of  France. In   June,   high   school   pupils   passent   le   bac   (take   the   baccalaureat   exam).    The  21st  June  is   la  Fête  de  la  Musique  and  there  are  lots  of   free  musical  events  everywhere.    It  is  also  la  saint  Jean  (St  John's  day)   and  in  some  countryside  areas  young  men   jump  over  bonfires  called   les  feux  de  la  saint  Jean. In   July  there  is  le  Tour  de   France  cycle  race.    The  14th   July  is  la  Fête   nationale,  France's  National  Holiday  with   a  military  parade  along  the   Champs  Elysées,  firework  displays  (feux   d'artifice)   and   dances   (bal   populaire)  all  over  the  country.

End

In August,  France  is  on  holiday.    The  15th  is  a  bank  holiday.     At   the   beginning  of   September  it's  back   to   school   (la   rentrée   des   classes),  the  start  of   the  grape  harvests  (les  vendanges)  and  the  start   of  the  apple  harvest  (la  récolte  des  pommes). On   the  last  Sunday  in  October  the  clocks  go  back  (C'est  le  passage   à   l'heure  d'hiver).   The  1st  of  November   is  la  Toussaint   (All   Saint's).     It's  another  bank   holiday  as  is  the  11th   November  (l'Armistice).    In  November   there  is   also  beaujolais  nouveau  (new  wine),  celebrated  on  the  third  Thursday   (le  troisième  jeudi).   In  December  depending  where  they  live,  some  children  wait  for  Saint   Nicolas  and   others  for   Santa  (le  Père  Noël).     The   French   celebrate   Christmas  and  New  Year  with  le  réveillon  de  Noël  and  le  réveillon  de   la  Saint   Sylvestre,  multi  course  meals  that  happen  on  Christmas  Eve   and  New  Year's  Eve  and  go  on  into  the  early  hours  of  the  morning.

Page 11


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Le Coin Français La Disparition du village bar rural

par Liz Plaatsman

Nous sommes   arrivés   en   France   en   1992   dans   un   accueil   chaleureux  que  nous  a  réservé  le  village  le  plus  proche,  La  Chapelle   aux  Lys. Le  bar-­‐tabac,  et   boutique,  était  dirigé  par  une  femme  vive   d'esprit   et   son  mari  qui   ont   su   instaurer  une  ambiance  amicale  au  sein   du   village.    Le  bar  était  rempli  midi   et  soir  avec   des  jeunes  jouant   au   baby-­‐foot  et  des  plus  âgés  jouant  aux  cartes. Au   cours   des  années  suivantes,  les   jeunes   se  sont   mariés   et   sont   partis,  les  plus  âgés  ont  vieilli  et  venaient  moins.     Les  propriétaires   du   bar   sont   partis   pour   une   autre   activité,   laissant   place   à   une   succession   de  propriétaires   potentiels   qui   n'ont   tout   simplement   pas  pu  trouver  le  créneau  qui  séduirait   les  habitants  pour  soutenir   et  fréquenter  le  bar. Cela  a  été  un  événement  fréquent  dans  les  villages  en  France,  tout   comme   au   Royaume-­‐Uni   avec   la   fermeture   de   nombreux   pubs,   malgré  que  les  Mairies  et   les  Départements   de  ces  villages  ruraux   aient  encouragé  la  diversification  des  activités  dans  les  bars. Un  grand  bravo  à  Françoise   qui  a   relevé  le   défi   du  Bar  le  Lys!    Avec  une  jeune  famille  à  charge,   elle  a  travaillé   dur   pour   promouvoir   un   service   dans  la  commune  de  La  Chapelle  aux  Lys. Les  organisations  locales  se  sont  réunies  dans  le   bar  et  après  consultation  des  habitants  français  et  britanniques,  il   a   été   décidé   qu'il   sera   proposé   des   pizzas   et   du   curry   indien   à   emporter. Pour  donner  aux  habitants  et  à  leurs   amis  un  avant-­‐goût  du  curry   indien,  une  soirée  curry  aura  lieu  le  31  janvier  à  19h30. La  Vendée  Chippy,  un  restaurant  à  Mervent,  a  également   réservé   une  soirée  Fish  and  Chip  le  6  février  à  partir  de  18h30.     Bar  Le  Lys  tél:  02  51  00  24  19.

Jeux olympiques d'hiver de 2014 La France   participera   aux   Jeux   olympiques  d'hiver   de  2014   à  Sotchi   en  Russie  du  7  au  23  février. Les   JO   d'hiver   incluent   biathlon,   patinage   artistique,   patinage   de   vitesse   sur   piste   courte   et   patinage  de  vitesse.  Sur   la  base  des  performances  réalisées   aux   Championnat  du  Monde  2012  et   2013,   la  France  s'est   qualifiée   avec  6  hommes  et  6  femmes  pour  les  épreuves  de  biathlon. Ce  mois-­‐ci,  les  compétitions  de  biathlon  et  de  ski  de  fond  auront   lieu  au  Complexe  «    Laura    »  près  de  Krasnaïa  Poliana  en  Russie.   Les  onze  disciplines  sont   prévues  du  8  au  22  février  2014  et  pour   la   première   fois,   une   épreuve   de   relais   mixte   sera   organisée   après  avoir  été  votée  sur  le  programme  olympique  de  2011. Jason  Lamy   Chappuis,  coureur  franco-­‐américain  en  saut  à  ski   et   ski   de   fond,   qui   représente   la   France   en   combiné   nordique   depuis   2002,  sera  le   porte-­‐drapeau  du  pays  lors  de  la  cérémonie   d'ouverture.    Souhaitons-leur bonne chance !

Qu'est-ce que le «Pancake Day»? Le «Pancake   Day»,   aussi   appelé   «Shrove   Tuesday»   (mardi   qui   tombe  41  jours  avant   Pâques)  est   Mardi  Gras.    Jadis  les  Chrétiens   faisaient,   ce   jour-­‐là,   leurs   confessions   et   se   repentaient,   les   «shrifts»  dont  le  nom  «Shrove  Tuesday»  est  issu.     Ils  profitaient  de   la   dernière   occasion   de   pouvoir   manger   toute   la   nourriture   interdite   pendant   le   Carême   («Lent»).     C'est   pourquoi   tous   les   œufs,  le  beurre  et  autre  graisse  qui  restaient  dans  la  maison  étaient   transformés  en  crêpes  («pancakes»),  d'où  le  nom. Bien  que  peu  de  personnes  respectent,  de  nos  jours,  le  Carême  en   Angleterre,  beaucoup   adorent   manger   les   traditionnelles   crêpes.   Certaines  régions  organisent  même  des  concours  de  crêpes.  Le  plus   célèbre  a  lieu  à  Olney  dans  le  Buckinghamshire. La  course  fait  415  yards  (environ   380  m)  et  elle  met  en  compétition   des  femmes  de  plus   de   16  ans  qui  portent  des   casquettes  et   des   tabliers.  Elles  doivent  lancer  leur   crêpe  au  moins  trois   fois  pendant   la   course.  La  gagnante  reçoit   un  baiser  des  mains   du   Pancake  Bell   Ringer  (qui   porter   ce  nom  car  jadis,  les  cloches  des  églises  étaient   sonnées   par   rappeler   aux   paroissiens   de   venir   se   confesser)   et   également  un  livre  de  prières  du  curé. Ingrédients:  Pâte  à  crêpe  classique • 110g  de  farine  tamisée • une  pincée  de  sel • 2  œufs • 200ml/7fl  oz  de  lait   mélangé  avec   75ml/3fl  oz  d'eau • 50g  de  beurre Ce   sont   des   crêpes   garnies   de   différentes  façons.    La  plus  appréciée   est  tout  simplement  avec  du  sucre  et   du  jus  de  citron,  tandis  que   d'autres   comprennent  : • du  chocolat  et  de  la  banane • des  fruits  frais • du  sirop  d'érable • du  lemon  curd • de  la  sauce  caramel

......Quelle est votre préférée?

ARTICLES....

Nous sommes  toujours  à  la  recherche  de  nouveaux  articles   à  publier  pour  les  éditions  futures.

Avez-­‐vous une  expérience  à  partager?     Quoi  qu'il  en  soit,  que  ce  soit  long  ou  court,  nous   aimerions  vous  lire. Vous  pouvez  appeler  Sarah  au  05  49  70  26  21   pour  proposer  des  idées  ou  les  envoyer  par   courriel  à:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Info: http://www.sochi2014.com

Page 12


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

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

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

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

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

www.opendoor-civray.com

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.

Vendee Women’s Fellowship

Meetings held the 3rd Thursday each month at Le Mangoustan in Mervent. Offering friendship and support to English speaking ladies, we share hobbies and interests and have trips out. Join us and you will be sure of a warm welcome. Contact: Carol  02 51 52 10 48 or Shirley 02 51 51 49 39 Le   Tallud   Boules   en   bois   are   offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   from   16h   to  18h   from  April  through  to  September     at  the   parc  de  Loisirs,   Le  Tallud.    Come  and  play  or   learn   the   game   of   boules   en   bois,   everyone   welcome.   Details   from   Rosemary   Williamson   rw.williamson@orange.fr Association Meridien Green We   are   an   Anglo-­‐French   group   founded   in   2001   for   mutual   understanding   of   each   other's   language   and   culture.     We   meet   twice   weekly  in  the  Salle   des  Associations  in  St  Coutant,  79120.    The   best   way   to   find   out   more   is   to   visit   our   website     or   contact   Maureen  Dalby    05  49  29  94  50  www.meridiengreen.asso.fr  .  

The Harmonics Singing   Group.   Based   in   the   Salle  

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

I am  hoping  to  find  other  like-­‐minded  people  to  join  me  in   forming  a  small  Capella  group,  near  Chef-­‐Boutonne.     It  won't  even  be  necessary  to  be  able  to  read  music  -­‐  just  to  have   enthusiasm  and  commitment  to  learning  parts;  as  well  as,   obviously  to  be  able  to  hold  a  tune!   We  could  meet  fortnightly  for  a  couple  of  hours,  starting  in   March...  If  you  are  interested  please  get  in  touch! Christine  Gardner    -­‐  email  chezloubigne@aol.com   A R E  Y O U A M O D E L R A I L W A Y ENTHUSIAST? Join a group of likeminded modellers who meet monthly to visit members' layouts and swap information. Based on the Deux-Sevres/ Vendee border but also have members in the Vienne and Charente. Please contact Gerry Riley for more information on 05 49 63 34 01.

Craft Café  Creatif

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

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

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

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

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

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

Page 13


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: 8.   Succulent  plant  (5) 9.   Small  bottle  that  contains  a  drug  (7) 10.   Boasted  (7) 11.   Mock  or  make  fun  of  playfully  (5) 12.   Exceptionally  bad  or  displeasing  (8) 13.   Snatch  (4) 15.  Bone  in  the  forearm  (4) 17.   Something   or   someone   that     provides  a  source  of  happiness  (8) 21.   Cut  off  (5) 22.   A  wicked  or  evil  person  (7) 24  .  Accounts  inspector  (7) 25.   A  crack  in  the  earth’s  crust  (5)

DSM Toughie  Crossword Across: 1.   An  arctic  deer  is  disturbed  and  then     locked  away  (12) 7.   Shock   of   child’s   horse   given     extraordinary  stare  (7) 9.   Church  teaching   about  carrier  on  the     island  (5) 10.   Carry  a  wee  drop  with  ease  at  first  (4) 11.   Her   lusts   render   her   cruel   and     unforgiving  (8) 12.   Seller   of   fruit   around   large     numbers  (6) 14.   Traces  of  fishing  vessels  heard?  (6) 17.   Find  out  about  an  article  made  of     animal  hide    (8) 19.   Plastic   laminate   covering   for     shellfish  (4) 22.   People   are   powerless  in  struggle   to     find  escape  (5) 23.   Publicity   dropped   from   compulsion     to  make  speech  (7) 24.   The   fat   trough   assembled   to   be     added  later  (12)

Quiz-tastic!

Down: 1. Someone   who   works  during  a  labour     strike  (4) 2.   Oblong  cream  pastry  (6) 3.   English   colonist   who   sailed   to     America  on  the  Mayflower  (7) 4.   Type  of  footwear  (6) 5.   Hurt  the  feelings  of  (5) 6.   A   young   foreigner   who   lives   with   a     family  in  return  for  doing  housework  (2-­‐4) 7.   Be  similar  or  bear  a  likeness  to  (8) 12.   5th  day  of  the  week  (8) 14.   An   officer   of   the   court   who   is     employed  to  execute  writs  (7) 16.   A  state  in  south  western  United  States  (6) 18.   Uniform   worn   by  some   manservants       and  chauffeurs  (6) 19.   The  7th  planet  from  the  sun  (6) 20.   A  frame  of  iron  bars  to  hold  a  fire  (5) 23.   A  brief  wri•en  word  (4) Down: 1.   A   small   illustration   of   pressure   taken     off  broken  instep  (5) 2.   Newspaperman  on  boat  skilfully  put     together  (7) 3. PR   exchange  brings   anger   from  young     assistant  (4) 4.   Abracadabra!  Ham  conjuror  reveals  an     old-­‐timer  (7) 5.   Call  up  first  lady  about  fine  (5) 6.   Drivers‘   starting   places   include   points     for  braces  (6) 8.   Headless  fish  found  in  massacre  (4) 12.   Strangely   familiar   police   lead   queen     to  reclaimed  land  in  Europe  (6) 13.   Revitalize  the  late  competitor  (7) 15.   Heather   follows   a   number   after     copper  controlling  population  (7) 16.   We  are  left  lifeless  after  bungled  raid  (4) 18.   Wearing   a   halo   often   involves   being     conceited  (5) 20.   Setting   one   trap   after   a   second,   he     made  an  impression!  (5) 21.   Reflection   of   sound   in   the   choral     section  (4)

With thanks  to  M.Morris

Monthly quiz  by  Roland  Sco[.....how  many  can  you  get?

1) What   is  the   title   of   the  1970  &  1971  TV  series,  written   by  Jack   Rosenthal  and  starring  Richard  Beckinsale  and  Paula  Wilcox? 2)  Who  narrated  the  story  on  Jeff  Wayne’s  musical  version  of  ‘War   of  the  Worlds’? 3)  Name  the  English-­‐born   actress  whose  first   film  appearance,   at   the  age  of  9,  was  in  ‘ There’s  One  Born  Every  Minute’. 4)  Which  city  is  also  known  as  the  city  of  light? 5)  Who  is  the  only  actress  to   have   played  both  Queens  Elizabeth  on   TV  and  on  film? 6)  Who  was  the  first  woman  in  space? 7)  Who   was  radio’s  ‘Man  in   Black’?     He  presented   ‘Appointment   with   Fear’   and   also   appeared   on   ‘The   Goon   Show’  and   in   some   early  ‘Dr.  Who’  episodes.

8) Who  is  the  widow  of  Sir  John  Philip  William  Dankworth? 9)  Who  played  Toby  Meres  in  Callan  and  Raffles  on  TV? 10)  Which  Italian  sports  car  manufacturer’s  badge  consists  of  a  red   cross  on   a   white  field   on   the  left,   and  a  green   serpent   on  a   light   blue  field  on  the  right? 11)   Which   French   actress   starred   opposite   Johnny   Depp   in   ‘Chocolat’?   12) Whose   first  top  10  hit   was  a  cover   of   the  Isley  Brother’s   song   ‘Shout’? Now  that  you’ve  answered  all  the  questions,  if  you  re-­‐arrange  the   first  letter  of   each  correct  answer  (assuming  all  your  answers  are   correct)  you’ll  find  a  timely  greeting.  Copyright  RJS  2014. Page 14


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Health, Beauty & Fitness... Abbey teaching yoga at her new studio in Vouvant at the foot of The Melusine Tower...

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." Kahlil Gibran Namaste!  and  welcome  to  February's  yoga  lesson...

Gateway to  Love

In the  Spirit  of  Saint  Valentine...Yoga  And  The  Art  Of  Love

Sit comfortably  with  eyes  closed.

It is  true,  I  know,  that   when   most  people   think   of   yoga,   they   picture   us   yogis   contorting   ourselves   into   strangely,   seemingly  impossible,  positions... I   am   delighted   to   inform   you   that   this   is   actually  not  the  case.  This  art  of  relaxation,   be   it   both   physical   and   mental,   does   not   have   to   be   as   complicated   as   one   might   imagine,  in   fact,  quite   the  opposite.

Yoga

SECRETS

Bring your  hands  together  at  your  heart  palms  together.     Fingers  spreading  and  fingertips  touching. Bloom   your   lotus   flower   outwards   and   keep   the   base   of   the   hands,  the  thumbs  and  the  little  fingers  touching. Stay  present   for  three   minutes,  smile  like   the  Buddha   and   feel   the  changes! Happy  Valentines...

The Art   of   Mudra   is   a  form   of   yoga  involving  only  a  few  simple   hand  movements  and  within  just   a  few  minutes  almost  anyone  can   experience  the  benefits,  regardless  of  their  physical  fitness. The   word   'Mudra'   means  'gesture'.   Each   gesture   made   with   the   hands  completes   an  energy  circuit  within  the  body  which  in  turn   sends  a  message  to  the  brain.    There  are  2500  nerve  receptors  per   square   centimetre   in   the   human   hand,   so   whichever   way   you   choose  to  approach   this  practice,  it   will   work.     After   all,  yoga  is   a   science  of  the  mind. Lotus  mudra  is  the  mudra  of  love. T h e   l o t u s   f l o w e r   i s   a   s y m b o l   o f   enlightenment.     This   flower   begins   its   life   within  the  muddy  bed  of  the  pool  and  then   makes   it's   way   up   through   murky   waters   until   finally  it  blooms  on  the  surface.    This  is   why  it  is  seen  as  a  gateway  to  a  new  world.   The  lotus  is  always   put   at  the  feet   of  the   Buddha   and  always  into  the  hands  of  the  Goddess. Lotus  mudra  opens  up  the  heart  and  is   used  to   cultivate  love  and   affection. "The  very  centre  of  your  heart  is  where  life  begins.     It  is  the  most   beautiful  place  on  earth."    Rumi

Regular Group   and   Private  Classes  are  now   being  held  at   Venus   Rose  from  Monday  to  Saturday.    Morning  Class:  11.30am-­‐1.00pm   and  Afternoon  Class:  2.00pm-­‐3.30pm. Limited  places  available  so  please  call  and  book. For   daily  inspiration   follow   me   on   my   new   blog:   ‘Beauty   Is   The   Way’:  Forthewayisbeautiful@blogspot.fr  and  make  it  part   of  your   new  beauty  regime!    Siret  No.  798-­‐232-­‐781  00012 Call  Venus  Rose  Yoga:  06  35  15  60  60 Email:  amaradeva@thevenusyogaexperience.com Website:  www.  thevenusyogaexperience.com

Page 15


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

2014 Beauty Recommendations... Samantha’s says...

Well, ladies  this   is   it,  we   are   into   2014!   I  am   sure  all   of  you  have  had  a  fantastic   New  Year   and  I  wish  you   all   lots  of  luck   for   the   coming   year.     These  next  few  months  are  a  great   time   to  get  prepared  for   the  Summer!     I  am   talking   hydrated   glowing   faces   to   super   smooth   hands   and   feet.     Just   because  we  are  still   wrapped  up  this   winter   it   does   not   mean  we   should  neglect  our  skin. One  thing  that  I  am  always  aware  of  are   my  feet.       There  is  nothing   worse  than  dry,  cracked  heels.  They  can  be  terribly  painful   and  not   look  so  cool   in   Summer  sandals.     I  think  by  being  aware  that  your   feet   are  just   as  important   as  the  rest   of  your   body,   you  are  almost   half  way  there!    It’s  very  simple  to  keep  dry  skin  at   bay  by  exfoliating   the   heels   and   balls   of   your   feet.     By   doing   this   weekly   you   are   already  creating  a  perfectly  smooth   sole  ready  for   those   Summer   sandals,  because   before  you  know   it  your   toes  will  be  out!     Also,   ladies,  always   keep  your  toe  nails  nice  and  trimmed.  Adding  a  coat   of  nail  polish  always  makes  your  feet  look  more  feminine. Also,  try  this  in  the  evening;  just  before  you  go  to  bed  apply  a  layer   of   hydrating   foot   balm   all   over   your   feet,   put   some   socks   on   overnight  and  you  will  wake  up  to  super  soft  feet. Beauty   doesn't   need   to   take   over   your   life,  but   by  taking  just   an   extra  5  minutes  to  yourself,  you  will   feel  so   much  more  confident!     Beauty  treatments  like  this   are  not  expensive  and  by  doing  them  at   home  saves  you  even  more  money. So,   this   year   take   those   extra   few   mins   to   feel   fabulous!   If   you   gorgeous   ladies   have   any  questions,  please  feel   free   to  email   me   through  my  website:   www.themakeupgirl16.com,  quoting  “DEUX-­‐ SEVRES”!

Emma says...

Are you   bored   with   the  same   old   style   and   need   a  change,  but   worried   you’ll   hate  the   result?     Here  are  a  few  things   to   think  about   before   you   make   that   final  decision... Consider   your   hair’s  natural   texture:  Fine   hair  generally  looks   thicker  when   it  is  shorter,  and  the  longer  it  gets   the  more  straggly  and  thinner   it   looks.  Whilst   people  with  thicker   hair  may  want  to  keep  some  length  to  weigh  it  down. Have  a  round  face?    Steer  clear  of  short  hair  and  fringe:  Most  of   the   time,  it’s  best  for  people  with  a  round  shaped  face  to  stay  away  from   shorter   cuts   and   fringes   as   it   can   accentuate   the   roundness.   A   slightly  longer  length  around   the  face  can  narrow  a  round  face  or   a   broad  jaw,  also  adding  rounded  layers  around  the  face   can  give   the   illusion  of  a  fuller  cheeks. Ask  yourself  how  much  time  you’re  willing  to  spend  styling  your   hair   each   morning:   I   advise   that   when   when   choosing   a   new   ‘do’,   it   comes  down  to  how   much  time  you’re  willing  to  spend   styling  it.   Most   styles  can   be   blow-­‐dried   into   the  style   if   cut   properly,  but   if   you’re  not  willing  to  put  the  work  and  time  into  it  to  get  your  desired   look  and  it’s   drastically  different  from  what  you  have  now  I  would   suggest  to  go  down  a  more  easy  to  manage  style.   For   any   further   advice   please   contact   me   via   my   website   at   www.emmalouisehairstylist.com Samantha  Matthews  Tel:  06  50  04  37  30 Emma  Louise  Hairstylist:  Tel:  05  45  31  56  93

Page 16


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Our Furry Friends... The Good,  the  Bad  and  the  Ugly The  other   day  we   received  a   recorded  delivery  letter   from  the   tax   people.  Gulp!  One  does  not  expect  such  a  letter  to  be  the  bearer  of   good   tidings.   However,   after   working   our   way   through   a   few   paragraphs   of   verbiage,   we   eventually   discovered   that   we   were   being  informed  that  we  could  now  give  tax  receipts   for  donations.   This   means   that   66%   of   the   sum   donated   gives   relief   against   income  tax  up  to  a  maximum  of   20%  of  taxable  income.     Yes!!!  We   have  to  give  our  grateful   thanks  to  Maryse  who  filled  in  the  forms   with  the  appropriate  language.    It's  not  always  an  easy  thing  to  do:   I  failed  to  get  permission  for  a  raffle  because  I  didn't  use  the  magic   phrase  “personnes  démunies”  (poor  people). It's   not   always   easy   dealing   with   the   authorities,   but   one   organisation  that  seems  very  efficient  is  the  Commission  for  Access   to  Administrative  Documents  (CADA).     One  afternoon  I  sent  them   an   email  and  I  had  a  comprehensive  reply  within  24  hours.    They're   responsible  for   the   Freedom  of  Information  Act  which  has  been  in   force  since   1978.  Unfortunately  many  civil   servants  are  not   well   informed  about  it.    It's  not  very  complicated  really:  you  can   ask  for   reports,  decisions,  minutes,  correspondence  etc.    You  don't  have  to   explain  why  you're   asking  and  what  you   want   the   information  for.     If   you  ask  the  wrong  person  they're  supposed   to  pass  your  request   on  to   the  right   person.  If   they   refuse   your   request   or   you  get  no   reply  within   one   month   then   you   have   two   months   to   ask   the   CADA  to  make  a  decision. A   while   back   we   asked   the   appropriate   department   of   the   préfecture   for   statistics   on   the   number   of   stray   animals   in   the   Vendée  and  what  happened  to  them:  returned  to  owner,  adopted   or  put   down.    They  answered  that  they  don't  have  any  statistics,  so   we   let   it  drop   for   a  while  until  we   discovered   that   every  kennel/ pound  for  strays  has  to  keep  a  register.    As  every  town   is  supposed   to  have  a  kennel/pound  we  thought  that  it  would  be  a  good  idea  to   ask  them  for  a  copy  of  the  register.     So   we   sent  all   280(ish)   town   halls  an  email   asking  for  details  of  strays.    Big  mistake!    In  hindsight,   what  we  should  have  done   was  asked  the   préfecture  for   copies  of   the   register   and   they   would   have   been   obliged   to   pass   on   the   request. Anyway,   a   handful   of   town   halls   replied   straight   away,   some   refused,   some   asked   who   we  were,  some  didn't   understand   the   request,   but   the  vast   majority  didn't   reply.     So   after   a   couple   of   weeks   we   followed   up   with   another   email   clarifying   that   we  

wanted copies   of   the  registers.     Pretty  much   no   response   to   that   email.     Eventually  after   a  couple  of  months  we  sent  an   email   saying   that   because  of   time  limits   if   they  didn't   reply  with   a  satisfactory   answer   soon   we   would   have   to   contact   the   CADA.   We   also   included   a  previous   decision  from  the  CADA  which   said   that   the   registers   should  be   made  available  after  private  information  about   the  owners  of  animals  had  been  redacted.    Well,  that  really  set  the   cat   amongst   the  pigeons.     Some  were  galvanised   into   action  and   sent  the  information  straight  away,  the  majority  didn't  reply  and   a   handful  wrote  to  complain   about   our  attitude!     Even  though   they   had   ignored  our  emails  they  were  distressed  that  we  had  informed   them  of   their   legal   obligations  and   were   going   to   take   steps   to   ensure   that   they  would   comply!   We   also   had   an   amusing  reply   from  one  town  hall  who  claimed  that  the  préfecture  had  told  them   that   they   had   to   redact:   race   of   animal,   age   of   animal,   where   found,  details  of   owner   if   known   and   eventual   fate  of  the   animal   i.e.  practically  all  the  information  in  the  register! So   we  sent   off  our   complaint   to  the  CADA  and  are  awaiting  a  reply.   In   the   meantime   we   have   heard   from   a   town   hall   which   very   sensibly  contacted   the  CADA  directly  for   advice  and  were  told   that   they  had  to  provide  us  with  the  information,  which  they  did. We'll  keep   you  informed  of  developments  in  our  data  demand,  but   in  the  meantime  please  feel  free  to  make  tax  deductible  donations   and   also   to   consider   re-­‐homing   one  of  our   lovely  cats.  Please  see   the  contact  infor   below  for  general  information,  or  call:  06  52  60  08   84  for   adoptions.     Which   is   a  convenient  moment   to   remind   you   that  at   NALA  we  have  a  number   of   cats   metaphorically   waiting   for  someone  to  open  a  door  and   welcome   them   in.   If   you're   interested   please   look   at   www.nosamislesanimaux.com Here’s   one   of   them...photo   right:   Tigre,   an   adorable   little   male   of   one   and   a   half   years   old.   Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07  70  31  54  59

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

Tina Hatcher

Page 17


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Heaven or  Hell!? by Jo Rowe

HARPO -­‐  a  super  Griffon  cross Harpo   was   found   wandering   the   streets   of  Civray,  having  been  badly   m i s t r e a t e d .     T h a n k f u l l y   prompt   veterinary   treatment   stopped  any  infection  to  his  wounds   and  now  he  is  quite  a  happy  dog.

HAPPY EN

DING

Do you   remember   seeing   those   big   doleful   eyes   staring   at   you   from   the   pages  of  this  magazine?

Harpo is  neutered,  about  2  years  old,   fully  vaccinated  including  rabies  and   micro-­‐chipped   250269802177852.     He   is   house-­‐trained,   weighs   about  12  kilos  and  is  currently  staying  with  one  of  our  foster  families   who  say  he’s  growing  into  a  very  nice  young  dog.   He  is  playful  and  like  all  young  dogs  will  benefit  from  further  training,   and  a  secure  garden.     Daily  walks  and  children  to  play  with  would   suit  him  fine,  but  not  cats  please.    He  would  be  well  suited  as  an  only   dog  or  with  a  non-­‐dominant  companion. Fostered  near  Niort,  79.    There  is  an  adoption  fee  of  150€. For   more  details  please  contact  me,  Nicolette  or  any  of  the  Orfee   Association  volunteers  now  to  find  out  how  you  can  give  a  little   dog  the  life  he  deserves.     Contact  Siobain  07  80  09  33  53   email:  orfeeinenglish@gmail.com   www.orfeeinenglish2.wix.com/orfeeinenglish

Phoenix Association   rescue  and   re-­‐home  animals   in   need.  Please  visit  our  website:   www.phoenixasso.com  for  more  details.

Urgent Appeal  for  Cat  and  Kitten  Foster  Carers

Well, we   fell   for   them.     Wanting   another   dog  to  grow   up   alongside  our   ageing   two,   we   went   to   see   him.     Before  we  knew  it  we  were  on  the  way   home   with   this   enormous   lump   of   puppy! He'd   had   4   or   5   homes   in   his   life  and   wasn't  quite  a  year  old.    But   my,  he  was   large!  A  cross   labrador/newfoundland,  and  should   he  grow   into   his  paws,  we  might  be  able  to  put  a  saddle  on  him! In  his  first   couple  of  weeks  he  ran  away  twice  but  soon  came  back,   he  learned  what  an   electric  fence  was  and  now  associates  cows   with   a   shock!     He   didn't   like   water,   but   now   splashes   in   the   puddles  (he's  not  found  our   lakes  yet!).    He's  still  not   so  good  on   the  lead  and  hates  being  left,  but  he's  learning. ‘Heaven’  might   be   his   passport   name   but   after   chewing   Will's   wellies  to  pieces,  splitting  the   hosepipe   into   four  and   numerous   other  puppy-­‐like  misdemeanours,  he  is  beginning  to   suit  his  'Evan'   name.    He  has  settled   so  well,  plays  with   Ben   and   Holly  chasing   and  bringing  back  sticks,  sits  when  told   and  loves  the  cat.     He  has   certainly  found  his  'forever'  home.

MAYDAY MES AMIS The AGM  of   Mayday  Mes   Amis   was   held   on   Monday   30th   December  in  the  Bar  de  la  Poste   in  l'Absie.    Over  the  last   year   the  association  has  helped  to  rehome  a  good  number   of  cats,   kittens  and   several  dogs.  Other   cats  are   also  currently  being   fostered  whilst  awaiting  permanent  homes.

With cats   coming   into   season   as   early  as   the   end   of   January,   Phoenix   is   yet   again   bracing  itself  for   the  scores  of  calls   about   abandoned  kittens  this  year. We  have   only   three   cat   Foster   Carers   and   therefore  we  sadly  have  to   turn  away  most   of  the  SOS  calls  we  receive. Can  you  help  by  becoming  a  Phoenix  Cat  Foster  Carer? Phoenix   covers  ALL  fostering  expenses.   You   must   live  within   1.5   hours'   drive  of  Issac,  24400.    For   more  information,  contact  Lynda   on  email:  lapuille@gmail.com  or  telephone  05  53  81  30  44.

APPEAL This little  scallywag  turned  up   starving,  very   thin   and   so  friendly.     He  is  about  6  months   old,  intact  male,  very  loving,  but  he  will  need   neuturing  if  you  adopt  him. Currently  squatting  in  Terves,  79300.     If  you   can  offer  him  the  kind  of  home   he’s  looking   for   and   deserves,  please  contact   Stephanie   on  07  85  89  95  04. For   further  information  on  other  cats   and   dogs  for   adoption,   please  go  to  www.hopeassoc.org

The association   would  particularly  like  to  thank  all   those  who   have  helped  in  anyway  during  the  last   12  months  and  special   thanks  go   to  Bernie  whose  regular  quizzes  bring  in  money  to   pay  for   medical  care,  vaccinations  and   food.     The  stand  at  the   l'Absie  Braderie  is  always  very  successful  and   the  association  is   very  grateful  to  all  those  who  give  up  their  time  to  come  along   and  man  the  stand. If  you   know  of   an  animal  in  need   in  the  l'Absie  area   or   if  you   would  like  more  information   about   Mayday  Mes  Amis  please   email:  jill.zub@sky.com

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

Page 18


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

The Great Outdoors... THE AMATEUR GARDENER by Vanda Lawrence

Today our   weather   in  Dept.  79   is  misty  and  wet  but  yesterday  was   glorious,  so  it's  a  case  of  getting  the  outside  jobs  done  as  and  when   you  can  -­‐  weather  permitting.     It's  a  good  idea  to  do  general maintenance  jobs  now,  just   to   get   them   out   of   the   way   before   the   'to-­‐do'   list   becomes   unmanageable.

The garden pond  will   also   come   to   life   again   now.     Frogs   often   hibernate   in   the   mud   at   the  bottom  of  the  pond,   becoming   active  in  February/March  when  they  lay  their  frogspawn  in  shallower   parts  of  the  pond.    However,  frogs  need  to  be  on  land  to  feed  so  if   your   pond   has   steep   sides   and   a   low   water   level   you   must   make   provision   for   them   to   exit   the   pond   when   necessary.     You   could   consider   making  a  ‘ladder’  from  plastic  mesh  to  help  them.     Make   sure  the  mesh  extends  below  the  water  line  and  pin  the  top  end  into   soil  or  grass,  or  hold  in  place  with  a  heavy  slab  or  stone  ornament. I   can   hear   them   already,   croaking   to   each   other   in   the   pond   during  summer  evenings  …    Roll  on!

• Paint fences   while  shrubs  have   no   leaves  -­‐  so  much   easier;   and   while  the  paintbrush  is   out,  do  any  garden  furniture  in  need   of  a   facelift. • Clear/clean   the   garden   shed   and   check   equipment.     Does   the   lawnmower  need  a  service?    Do  the  shears  need  sharpening? • Clean   the   greenhouse   now,   before   spring   sowings.     This   will   maximise  light  levels  and  remove  overwintering  pests. • Wash   cloches   -­‐   they   are   invaluable   for   warming   the   soil   in   preparation   for   early  seed-­‐sowing.     Cloches   also   prevent   these   same  seeds  from  becoming  waterlogged  after   too  much  rain  and   protects  them  from  hungry  birds. • Clean  paths  to  remove  slippery  mud,  algae,  moss  and  fallen  leaves.     Use  salt  to  keep  them  free  of  ice  but  take  care  not  to  scatter  salt  on   nearby  flower  borders  or  lawns  where  it  could  cause  damage.   For  the  fruit &  vegetable garden  you  can: • Top-­‐prune  raspberries  by  cutting  back  thin,  lanky  stems  to  about  6"   above  the  top  support  wire. • Finish   pruning   fruit   trees   while  they   are   still   dormant,   adding  a   sprinkle   of   potash   or   sulphur   around   the   base   of   the   trunk   afterwards.     Hang  fat   balls  temporarily  in  the  trees  to  encourage   birds  to  come  and  eat   up  any  greenfly  or  wooly  aphids   that  may   have  survived  the  winter. • Cover   early-­‐fruiting   strawberries   with   cloches   to   protect   against   frost. • Buy  your  seeds  now  before  your  favourites  sell  out.    Some  of  them,   such   as   tomatoes,   aubergines   and   peppers   can   be   sown   in   a   heated  propogator  to  get  them  ready  to  plant  nice  and  early.     • Sprout  potatoes  in   a  light,  frost-­‐free  room  ready  to  plant  out   for  an   early  crop. • Sow  early  peas  and  beans  but  protect  the  area  against  birds  after   sowing  -­‐  food  supplies  are  scarce  for  birds  at  this  time  of  the  year. The  flower garden  will  be  starting  to  wake  up  now  too  -­‐ • Clear   any  remaining  dead  tops   from  perennials  and  mulch  around   emerging  plants  to  add  nutrients  to   the  soil  and  keep  in  moisture   and  warmth. • Summer   flowering  Clematis  should  be  hard-­‐pruned  to  encourage   rapid  new  growth  in  Spring. • Prune   Wisteria   side   shoots   to   about   4"   in   length   to   ensure   a   profusion  of  flowers  later  in  the  year. • Cut   Buddleia   hard   back   to   about   1   metre   off   the   ground   to   maintain  a  manageable,  compact  size. • Cut  back  all  shoots  which  have  just  flowered  on  Winter  Jasmine. • Cut   back   overgrown   hedges   now   and   plant   new   hedges   when   danger  of  frost  is  past. • Erect  supports  for   Sweet  Pea  displays  and  sow  seeds  in  flowering   positions. • Any  shrubs  which   need   moving  can  be  done  so  long  as  the  ground   is  not  frosty.

Page 19


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY for the  spring.    A  couple  of  Oxford  Sandy  and  Black  crosses  which  is  a   first  for  us,  and  some  of  our  favourite  large  black  cross  Gloucestershire   Old  Spot. The  old  hens  have  finally  gone.     We   sold  them  to  one  of  the  guys  at   the  chasse  who  wanted   to  make  coq  au  vin  so  at  least  we  didn’t   have   to  do  the  deed!    The  egg  glut  continues  and  the  Warrens  we  bought   from  the  farm  have  not  missed  a  beat.

Life on the Farm...

by Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

The first  of  this   years  lambs  have  arrived.  The  first  two  twin  girls,  one   black  faced  like   her   dad  and  the  second  white  faced   like  her   mum.   Jen’s  gone  for   chocolate  names  this  year   starting  with  A.    Aero  and   Buttons,  Texie  (the  mum  of   Cobie  the  giant   lamb   last  year)   has  had   another  girl,  3rd  lamb   to  be  born,  and  it  arrived  on  the  same  date  as   last  year....so  what  would  be  the  chances  of  that?   Dime  (4th  girl)  arrived  this  morning.      The  next  sheep  looks  ready  too.   Her   udder   is   like  a  balloon   and   so  it  appears  she  is  not   far   behind.     They  are  now  being  kept  in  overnight  as  we   don’t  want  lambs  being   born  outdoors  in  the  cold  and   the   wet.     They  would  soon  succumb,   not   only  to  the  elements,  but   I   am  sure  monsieur  Reynard  (the  fox)   would  like  a  tasty  treat  as  well.  Although  we  don’t  have  many  dates  for   lambing  we  do  know  we  will  have  finished  by  the  end  of  February.     We  don’t  often  get  a  huge  amount  of  milk  from  Polly  our  milking  goat.   Some   days   she   fills  the  jug  but   the   next   day  almost   nothing,  and   although  she  meets   our  daily  milk  needs  any  excess  has  been  frozen   just  in  case  we  need  it.    We  are  looking  to  increase  our  flock  this  year   by  buying  in  some  extra  ewes  or  lambs  as  well  as  keeping    some  of  our     females.       Whilst  you  are  out  and  about  this  month,  could  you  all  keep  a  look  out   for  my  marbles  as  I  seem  to  have  lost  them!    Despite  everything  we   said  last  year  about  not  buying  anymore  bottle  feeding  lambs  we  find   ourselves   with   four   additions  to  the   flock,   all  needing  constant   care   and  attention  -­‐  but  they  are  cute. The  cheeky  little  chicks  are  doing  very  well;  we  had  a  total  of  nineteen   but   sadly   two   didn’t   make   it   even   though   they   had   free   bed   and   breakfast   in   the   spare  room   under   a  heat   lamp   as  the  barn   in   an   insulated  box  was  too  cold  for  them.   The  pigs  have  all  gone,  first  time  in  three  and  a  half  years,  but  it  won’t   be  for   long  as  we  miss  them  already.    We  have  ordered  some  weaners  

THROUGH THE LENS GROUP by Brian  Preece The  ‘Through  The  Lens  group’  was   formed  in  2007  by  a  group   of   English-­‐speaking   enthusiastic   photographers   living   in   the   Deux-­‐ Sèvres   and   Vendée.     The   purpose   of   the   group   has   been   to   encourage  photographers  at  all  levels  to  increase  their  expertise. In  order  to  do   this,  the  group  meets  informally  on  a  monthly  basis   and   each   month   we   hold   a   competition   in   order   to   encourage   members  to   use   their   cameras.     At   the  beginning  of  the  year   the   group  agrees  upon  the  subjects  for  the  coming  year  and  sometimes   this   means   members   seeking   out   subjects   that   they   would   not   normally   photograph.     The  most   recent   subjects   were   “Wrought   Iron   Gates”  and   “Woodland   Fungi”.     The   group   has   held   several   exhibitions  of  it’s  work,  the  largest  being  at   Vouvant  in  2011  when  

I lit  up  our  new   smoker  (a  Christmas  present  from  my  sons),  it  was   a   bit   tricky  getting  it   to   light   but   once  we   got   it   going   there   was   no   stopping  us!    Smoked   Prawns,  bacon,  pork  fillet  and  garlic  on  just  the   first  attempt. It’s   been   too   wet   to   get   the   broad   beans   in   the   garden   which   is   currently  under  water,  so  Jen  has  planted  in  pots   in  the  poly  tunnel.   Our   French   friends   did   a  lot   of   no,   no,  no   and   head-­‐shaking,   but   apparently  planting  them  early  stops  black  fly.    The  seed  potatoes  have   been  purchased  -­‐  a  sensible  amount  this  year  -­‐   and  have  been  put  in   trays  to  chitt  before  we  plant  them  in  the  poly  tunnel. Hard  as  it  is  to  say,  we  do  need  a  good  cold  snap.  It  helps  cleanse  the   soil  of  any  nasty  bugs  loitering  from  last  year   and  helps   to  break  any   worm  infestations.  It  might  also  help  clear  some  of  the  nasty  bugs  that   a  lot  of  people  seemed  to   go  down  with  over  the  Christmas  period  -­‐   me   included.    Ladies,  you  don’t   know  how   lucky  you  are  if   you   have   never  had  a  case  of  ‘Man  flu’! I  made  a  comment    a  couple  of  months  ago  that  I  found  goat’s  cheese   a  bit  bland.     Well,  I  was  taken  to   task  by  a  friend  who  makes  a  mature   goat’s  cheese  and  who  kindly  gave  me  some  to  try.    I  have  to  say  it  was   a  whole  lot  better   than  the  non-­‐matured  cheese  that   I  had  tried.    Still   not  as  good  as  cheddar,  in  my  humble   opinion,   but   a   very   tasty   cheese   nonetheless. The  picture  of  the  chicken  (right)    is  the   male   of   a   breeding   pair   of   Frizzle   bantams  bought  for  Jenny  as  a  gift  by   the  Chasse.  It   just   goes  to   show  that   even  chickens  can  have  a  bad  hair  day! So  that’s  all  for  now.  I  am  sure  we  must   get   some  cold   weather   soon,  so   stay   warm  and  dry  and  we  will  see  you  next   month  for  more  Life  on  the  Farm. Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.

there were  more   than   800   visitors.     We   intend   to   mount  another  exhibition  at  Vouvant  a  little  later  this   year. We  have   recently  introduced   a   website  where  you   can   see   a   members’   gallery  showing  some   of   our   recent  photographs.    We  are  also  holding  several  workshops  to  help   members  develop  their  expertise  and  we  organise  various  days  out. Most   importantly,  you  do  not  need  an  expensive  camera  to  join  us;   just  an  interest  in  photography.       Even   if  you  are  a  beginner  you  will   be  most  welcome.      An  interesting  photograph  depends  more  on   the  eye  of  the  photographer  than  the  equipment  used. If  you  would  like  to  find   out  more  about  the  group  please  look  at   our   website:   www.ttlphotographygroup.com   or   contact:   Penny   Brewer  on  05  49  09  06  78  or  myself  on  05  49  72  09  94.

Page 20


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Communications... Protecting Yourself - Using your PC, Laptop & Tablet by Ross  Hendry Safely I  visit  many  people  in  my  work  and  see  lots  of  different  places   that   they  use   their   computers.   Many   of   them   are   totally   unsuitable,   especially  if  you  spend  a  long  time  at  the  screen.   In   the   UK   employers  have,  for   many   years,  had   responsibility  to   provide   employees   with   safe   and   comfortable   workstations   in   order  to  prevent  Repetitive  Strain  Injury  or  RSI.   Repetitive   Strain   Injury   results   from   forceful,   awkward,   and/or   repetitive  use  of  your   limbs,  producing  damaged  muscles,  tendons,   and   nerves.     The  severity  of  RSI  cases  varies  widely.     Tendonitis  is   the  most  common  example  of  RSI,  while  Carpal  Tunnel  Syndrome  is   a   more  rare  and   serious   disorder.     RSI  occurs  frequently  among   computer   users,   musicians,   lab   workers,   and   other   people   with   occupations  requiring  repetitive  movements. In   my   experience   many   people   use   their   computers   for   long   periods  at   home  and   do   not  consider   the   damage   they  could   be   doing   by   not   sitting   correctly   at   their   PC.     Using   a   laptop   and   or   Tablet   may   be   even   more  damaging.    If  it  is   for  long  periods  of   time   (over   2  hours)  this  may   cause  discomfort.   Doctors   in  the  UK  have   been  reporting  a  rise  in   people   presenting  with   aches   and   pains   in   the   hand   with   which   they   usually   hold   their   device,   as  well   as   in   the   fingers   they  use  to   type  and   swipe   the   screen.     Other   users   report   shoulder   and  back  pain  because   they   hunch  over  to  use  the  tablet   supported  on  their  lap,  and  the  size  of   the   screen   means   that   the   user   has   to   peer   to   see   the   screen,   causing  eye   strain.    All   of  these  issues  may  be  resolved   simply  by   using  correct  posture  and  placing  the  device/s  correctly  in  relation   to  your  body. Did  you  know  that  the  desk  we  use  today  was  designed  for  working   on  Paper  not  screens,  keyboards  and  mice!    To  keep  ourselves  from   harm  we  need  to  compensate  for   this  -­‐  here  are  some  basic  tips  for   reducing  discomfort/pain  and   strain  to  the  back,  neck,  shoulders,   arms  and  wrists  and  on  the  eyes.  

The following   information   is   for   those   using   a   desktop-­‐type   PC,   where  the  screen,  keyboard  and  mouse  are  separate  items. 1. The  chair  you  use  should  permit  you  to  keep  your  back  straight,   perpendicular  to  the  floor,  your  forearms  and  thighs   should  be   parallel  to  the  floor.   2. There   should  be  no   obstructions  under   your   desk  preventing   you   from  placing   your   feet   in   their   natural   position   firmly  on   the  floor,  or  footrest  if  necessary. 3. You   should   sit   well   back  in   your   chair,   with   the   chair   close   enough   to   the  desk  so   that  your   hands  fall  naturally  on  to  the   keyboard,  with  a   little  room  for  your   wrists   to  rest   on  a  pad,  if   used,  between  you  and  the  keyboard  whilst  you  are  typing.   4. Your   forearms   should   be  at   the   same   height   or   very   slightly   higher  than  the  desk. 5. Your   screen   should   be   placed   no   more  than   an   arm’s  length   from  your  head,  ideally  between  50cm  and  75cm,  and  the  top   of   your   screen   should   be   at   eye  level.   The  screen   should   be   directly  in  front  of  you,  definitely  not  to  one  side! 6. Your   keyboard   should   be   close   enough   to   you   so   that   your   hands   fall   naturally  on   it   when   at   rest,  with   only  your   wrists   able  to  touch   the  desktop  and  the  keyboard  positioned  directly   in  front  of  you  without  making  you  stretch   to  reach  the  keys  or,   if   you   use  a  mouse   a   lot,   slightly  to   the   left   permitting  your   right  hand  to  reach   the  mouse  without  having  to  angle  it  to  the   right  too  much.   The  idea  is  to  have  your  shoulders  and  spine   vertically  in  line,  your   forearms  parallel  to  the  desk  and  falling  naturally  on  the  keyboard. Many   people   cram   everything   on   one   small   desk,   including   printers,   speakers   and   desk   lights   and   force   themselves   to   work   around  everything  -­‐    don't!   It   is  simple  and   inexpensive  to   get   your   position   correct  to  reduce   strain,  you  may  need  to  raise  your  screen  or   use  a  box   under  your   feet,  but  don't  procrastinate,  do  it  now  and  I  am  sure  you  will  feel   the  positive  effects.     For  more  detailed  information,  refer  to  these  sites  on-­‐line:   • www.openerg.com/dse/index.html • learntech.uwe.ac.uk/Default.aspx?pageid=4470   • www.talktalk.co.uk/technology/features/articles/avoid-­‐rsi-­‐and-­‐ eye-­‐strain-­‐when-­‐using-­‐a-­‐pc.html?page=1 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).

Page 21


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 ECHIRÉ Between   the   hedgerows   of   the   Gâtine   and   the   Niort   plain,   the   town  of  Echiré   has  been   sculpted   by  the  valley  and   the  18km   of   meanders   of  the   Sèvre  Niortaise  river.    Mills  and  wash-­‐houses  are   still  a  witness  to  the  commune's  rich  past. The   reputation   of   Echiré   today   comes   both   from   its   medieval   fortress,  Coudray-­‐Salbart,  and  its  co-­‐operative  dairy  with  its  Poitou-­‐ Charentes   butter.     The  AOC   labelled  butter,  with  its  nutty  flavour,   has  been  served   at  the  Elysée   since   the  time  of  René  Coty  (1956),   in   the   Principality  of   Monaco  and   at   Buckingham  Palace.   In  2003   the  dairy  won  the  London  Chamber   of  Commerce  prize  for  the  best   French  exporter. At  the  gateway  to  the  Marais  Poitevin  and  on  the  northern  side  of   the  greater  Niort  urban  area,  Echiré  has  a  rich,  natural  architecture.     The  3,265  inhabitants,  the   Échiréens  and  the  Échiréennes,  are   well   served   by  local   commerces.     There   are   small   local   shops   and   a   supermarket.   Farming  and   animal  breeding  remain   popular   in   the   area   but   the   entreprise   zone,  ZAE  le  Luc-­‐les   Carreaux,  which   stretches  between   Niort,   Echiré   and   St   Gelais,   allows   for   the   development   of   local   businesses  and  jobs. A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE There  are  three  listed  châteaux  on  the  commune: Coudray   Salbart   castle   (photo   right)  is  a  12th  and  13th  century   fortress   which   is  owned   by  the   Greater  Niort  Council.     It  is  open   for   visits   all   year   round   and   is   often   the   scene   of  festivals  and   medieval  shows. Built   on   the   banks   of   the   river   Sèvre  Niortaise,  Coudray  Salbart   is  probably  the  best  kept  example  of  a  military  fortress  in  France  or   perhaps   even   in   Europe.   It   differs   because   of   its   Plantagenet   architecture.     There  is  a  circular  walk-­‐way  inside  the  walls  which  is   unique  in  France.    The  holes  through  which  the  arrows   were  shot   are  in   the  form  of   a  cross.     The   restoration   work  which  has  been   undertaken   since   2005   has   been   accompanied   by  archaeological   digs.

Above: Chateau de la Taillée. Photo: wikipaediacommons.org

The château  de  la  Taillée  was  built  in  the  17th  century  and   is  still   owned   by   the   descendants   of   the   first   owners.   There   are   two   pigeon  lofts  which  have  been  restored.  The  château   is  available  for   seminaries,  weddings  and  other  functions. Le  château  de   Mursay  was  the   home   of   Madame   de  Maintenon,     the  morganatic  wife  of  Louis  XIV.    The  church   which  is  situated  in   the   centre   of   the   market   town   has  some   architectural   elements   dating  from  the  13th  century.   The  Mélusine  au  Bord  de  la  Sèvre  walking  circuit  passes  near  to  the   château   along   the   calm   banks   of   the   river   Sèvre   towards   the   hamlets  and   old   houses   with   impressive   pigeon   lofts.  The   12km   walk   starts   from   the   Marais   parking   area   and   is   marked   out   by   yellow  arrows.  The  brochure  and  map  are  available  from  the  Town   Hall.    

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

Page 22


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

French Life, Food & Drink... French Village Diaries

by Jacqueline Brown.

I had   high   hopes   for   a   healthy   January,   the   natural   month   to   give   the  body  a  rest  after   the  excesses  of   Christmas   and   New   Year.   I   joined   the  trend  of  abstaining  from  alcohol   for   Dry   January   and   was   very   pleased  with  my  willpower.  I’m  sure   my  internal   organs  rejoiced  in   the   lack   of   alcohol,  they   do   say   your   levels   of   liver   fat,   blood   glucose   and   cholesterol   can   all   improve   dramatically  by  abstaining  for  a  month,  even  in   a  moderate  drinker,   but  there  was  no  weight  loss  for   me  as  when  it  came  to  food  I  feel   France  let  me  down.   My  first   supermarket   shop   of  the  year   and   I   was   presented   with   reduced   price   Stollen,   the   German   Christmas   fruit   loaf   with   marzipan  filling  that  is  now  popular  in  France  too,  and  as  a  marzipan   fan   I  couldn’t   resist.     Then   there   were   the   delicious  dark  Révillon   chocolates  that   were   a   gift   from   a   neighbour   and   were   way   too   delicious   to   abstain   from,   especially   as   they   were   the   perfect   accompaniment  to  my  morning  coffee.   To  celebrate  the  feast  of  the  Epiphany  on  6th  January,  the  Galette  des   Rois  made  it’s  appearance  and  was  impossible  to  ignore,  especially   when   our   boulanger   had  hidden   the   cutest   miniature   shoe  feves   inside.     I’ve  researched  my  galettes  and  after  many  years  sampling   the  bejewelled   brioche  ones   and   the  puff   pastry   ones,  filled   with   frangipane  or  apple,  I  still  can’t  decide  which  is  my  favourite  -­‐  maybe   next   year   I   will   make   up   my   mind.     Traditionally   the   youngest   member  of  the  family  decides  who  gets  which  slice  of  cake  and   the   finder  of  the  feve  then  wears  the  golden  crown.  The  other  tradition,   celebrated  mainly  in  primary  schools,  is  where  the  finder  of  the  feve   must   provide   another   galette   for   the   following   day.   This  ensures   they  remain  on  the  supermarket  and  boulangerie  shelves  all  through   January,  more  temptation  for  the  weak  willed.   I’d  like  to  say  that  where  I  failed  with  food   in  January,  February  will   be  an  easier   month  to  be   good,  but  I  fear  not.     Before  the  shelves   had   been   cleared   of   the  Galette   des   Rois   the  supermarkets   were   thrusting   displays   of   pancake   ingredients   in   my   face   for   ‘La   Chandeleur’   on   2nd   February.     Candlemass   Day  (or   La   Chandeleur)   marks   the   halfway   point   between   the   shortest   day   and   the   spring   equinox,   as   well   as   the   Catholic   feast  of  the  purification  of  the  Virgin   Mary   40  days   after   Christmas,  and   has   it’s   own   little   tradition   here   in   France.     You   hold   a   coin   in   your   writing   hand   whilst   flipping   the   pancake  with   the  other   and   if  you   manage  to   catch   the  pancake  your   family   will   be   prosperous   for   the   rest   of   the   year   -­‐   it   can’t   do   any   harm  to  try  can  it? Don’t  forget  Shrove  Tuesday,  another  excuse  for   pancakes,  will   be  4th   March  this  year.    As  a  child  we  always  had  lemon  juice  and  sugar  on   pancakes  and  in  France  Nutella  is  the  popular  choice,  but  as  I  cannot   be  trusted  with  Nutella  we  prefer  homemade  cherry  jam. For  recipes  please  email  me  at  frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com   or  visit  www.frenchvillagediaries.com  

Page 23


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

THE DEMISE OF THE RURAL VILLAGE BARS

by Liz Plaatsman

My husband  and  I  arrived  in  France  in  1992  to  a  warm  welcome  from   our  nearest  village  La  Chapelle  aux  Lys. The   Bar/Tabac   and   Shop   was   run   by   a   vivacious   lady   and   her   husband,  who  were  the  developers  of  a  friendly  ambience  within  the   village.  The  bar  was  filled  lunchtime  and  evenings  with  young  people   playing  table  football  and  older  men  playing  cards. Over  the  following  years  the  young  people  married  and  left   the  area,   the  older  men  grew  older  and  came  in  less.    The  bar  host  and  hostess   left  for  another   career  and  there  followed  a  succession  of   potential   proprietors  who  just  could  not  find  the  niche  that  would  entice  locals   to  support  and  use  the  facilities  of  the  bar. This  has  been   a  frequent   occurrence  across  villages   in   France  and   follows  a  trend  in  the  UK  with  the  closing  of  many  pubs.    However,   the   Mairies   and   the   department   in   these   rural   villages   are   encouraging    the  bars  to  combine  different  activities. A  great   cheer  went  up  when  Francoise  took  up  the   challenge   of   Bar  le   Lys.     With   a  young  family  to   support   she  has  worked   hard  to  provide  a  service  to   the  commune  of  la  Chapelle  aux  lys. Local   organisations   are   meeting   in   the   bar   and   as   a   result   of   consulting  the  French  and   British   residents,  will   be   offering  Pizzas,   and  Take  away  Indian  curry  . To  give  the  locals  a  taste  of  Indian   Curry,  a   curry  night  will   take   place  on  Friday  31st  January  at   7.30pm.    Also  La   Vendee  Chippy   has   also   reserved   a   Fish   and   chip   night   for   the   6th   February,   starting  at  6.30pm.    Bar  Le  Lys:  02  51  00  24  19.

Page 24


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

And if One Green Bottle Should Accidentally Fail… by John Sherwin

A cautionary   tale   of   greed,  stupidity,  vanity  and   good  ‘ole  villainy Ever   bought  a  wine  because  the  bottle  had  a  pretty   label   and  you   recognised  the   name?     Wasn’t   it   in   that   Sunday   supplement   a   couple   of   weeks   ago?     And   did  you  feel  a  bit  of  a  prat  when  you  got  it  home  and  it  was  no   good?    If  so,  you’re  well  on  the  way  to  being  a  paid-­‐up  member  of  the   fine  wine  connoisseurs’  and  investors’  club. In  the  early  2000s,  a  young  Chinese/Indonesian  by  the  name   of  Rudy   Kurniawan  began  making  a  name  for   himself  in  fine  wine  circles  in  the   USA.    He  would  buy  and  sell  wine  at  auction   to  the  tune  of  millions  of   dollars.    Name  established,  he  would  host  tastings  of  great  wines  and,   because   of   his  liking   for   and   great   collection   of   Domaine   Romanée   Conti,  one  of  the   rarest   and  most   sought   after   wines  in   the  world,   became  known  as  ‘Dr  Conti’.    In  2006  he  consigned  bottles  for  auction   at  the  New  York  firm  of  Acker,  Merrall  &  Condit  (AMC).    At  one  auction   he  made  $10.6  million,  at  the  next  $24.7  million,  breaking  all  records.     All  was  going  very  nicely  in  the  world  of  Dr  Conti. This  is  where   the   ‘one  green  bottle’  bit  comes  in.    Well,  one  case  of   green  bottles  actually,  but  I  like  my  titles  snazzy  don’t  you  know.    As  the   saying  goes,  you  could  not  make  this  up,  and  if  you  tried  you  would  be   thrown  out  of  any  editor’s  office  from  here  to  Madison  Avenue.     Even   the  sainted  Sarah  would  say  ‘Look  Sherwin  I’ve  put   up  with  your  drivel   for  long  enough.     This  takes  the  biscuit.    Push  off.’    And  that  wouldn’t   be  a  pretty  sight,  so  I  stand  confidently  on  firm  ground  and  declare  this   to  be  true. In  2008,  Rudy  again  consigned   a  number  of  bottles  to  AMC.     These   were  from  Domaine  Ponsot  in  Burgundy,  from  their  grand  cru  vineyard   called  ‘Clos  St  Denis’.    The  bottles  were  from  years  between   1945  and   1971.    These  could  well  have  been  worth  a  few  hundreds  of  thousands   of  dollars.     A  friend  of   Laurent   Ponsot,  the   owner   of  the  domaine,   mentioned  this  to  him.    Laurent  grew  thoughtful.    In   fact,  it  would  be   fair  to  say  that  Laurent  grew  very,  very  thoughtful.    Laurent  went  to  his   office  and  phoned  the  auction  house.    He  explained  that  his  family  had   only  started  making  Clos  St  Denis  in  1982.    Being  know-­‐it-­‐all  Yanks  they   didn’t  believe  him,  so  he  got   on  a  plane  and  told  them  face  to  face.    If   you   have   ever   seen   an   irate   Burgundian   winemaker   you   will   well   understand   that,   er,   this   time   they   believed   him.     The   lot   was   withdrawn  and  Rudy’s  card  was  well  and  truly  marked. When   the   Feds   raided   his   apartment   they  found  counterfeit  labels,   corks,  capsules,   bottles,   and   recipes   to   make   ‘vintage’  wine   out   of   plonk  from  Napa  Valley  and  young  Burgundy  over  the  kitchen  sink.  To   cut   a  long  story  short,  Rudy  was  found  guilty  of  mail  and  wire  fraud  on   18  December   2013.     Sentencing  will   be  in  April  this  year,  but   as  he   plead  ‘not  guilty’  and  it’s  a  federal   offence  (you  don’t   mess  with  the   Feds   as   you   know  from   the  movies)  he’s   looking   at   40  years   or   so   without  so  much  as  an  over-­‐oaked  cabernet  to  whet  his  whistle. The  good  people  at  AMC  did  not,  it  seems,  have  much  time  to  get  out   of  their  all-­‐believing  ivory  tower.  Dr  Conti?  C’mon  guys,  have  you  never   seen  a  Bond  movie?  Or  good  old  Jackie  Chan?  And  did  they  never  have   time  to  visit  the  small  zoo  in  Central  Park  and  take  a  long,  deep  sniff  by   the  rodent  house?   Don’t  feel  too  bad   if  you  got  stiffed  for   a  naff  bottle  at  Hyper  U.     Just   think  of  the  Manhattan  collectors  weeping  silently  in  their  cellars  full  of   Chateau  Rudy.    Edgar  Allan  Poe,  where  are  you  now? John Sherwin, French Wine Tours. Tel: 02 51 66 13 05 ~ Email: john@french-wine-tours.com www.french-wine-tours.com Page 25


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Motoring...

Watch out, there is a Tiger about..

by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

Most readers   will   probably   be   familiar   with   Caroll   Shelby   in   connection   with   American  sports-­‐cars  like  the   Mustang,  and   GT40,   but  there   is   another   far   more  British   and  lesser   known   car   which   Shelby  was  instrumental  in  bringing  into  the  world.   Firstly  take   the   Rootes   group   .....  if  you   are  not   familiar   with   this   name  you  might  know  some  of  the  UK  marques  that   came  out  of   it;   Talbot,   Hillman,   Humber,   Singer   and   Sunbeam,   amongst   others.     Rootes  was  the  parent  company  founded  in  1913  in  Kent,  initially  in   car   sales,  but   which   gradually  acquired   other   Marques,   and   built   each  brand  to  fit  it’s  specific  market  niche.   The  Sunbeam  Marque  continued  the  sporty  appeal   of  the   original   company,   (a  Sunbeam  was  the   first  British   car   to   win  a  Grand  Prix   race)  and  in  1953  produced   the  Sunbeam  Alpine,  a  two  seater  open   top  car.   With   the   emerging   world   markets   after   the   second   World   War,   Rootes  realised   that   the   Alpine  needed  to  have  more  power  to   be   competitive,  but  as  they  lacked  a  suitable  engine  or  the  resources  to   develop  one,  they  needed  to  look  elsewhere  for   something  suitable.     In   1962  racing  driver   and   F1   champion   Jack  Brabham  put   forward   the  idea  of  fitting  the  Alpine  with  a  Ford  V8  engine.  The  West  Coast   Sales   Manager   of   Rootes   American   Motors   Inc.,   Ian   Garrad,   lived   close  to  where  Shelby  had  his   American  operation,  which  had  done   a  similar   V8  conversion  for  the   AC  Cobra.     Shelby  agreed  to  help  in   the  hope  that  he  would  be  offered  the  contract   to  produce  the  Tiger   at   his  facility  in   America,  although   ultimately  the  car   was  built   in   England. Despite   the  challenges   that  needed  to  be  overcome  to  physically  fit   the  V8   into   the  Sunbeam’s   engine   bay,  by   the   end   of   April   1963   Shelby’s  prototype  was  ready  to  test  around  Los  Angeles.   The   report   that   arrived   back   in   England   said   “we   have   a   tremendously   exciting  sports  car,  which   handles  extremely  well  and   has   a   performance   equivalent   to   an   XX-­‐K   Jaguar   ...   it   is   quite   apparent  that  we  have  a  most   successful  experiment  that  can  now   be  developed  into  a  production  car.” It  is  reported   that  Lord  Rootes   was  ‘very  grumpy’  when  he  learned   that  this  development  work  had  taken  place  without  his  knowledge,   but  after  driving  the  car  he  authorised  it  for  production  and  ordered   a  supply  of  engines  from  Ford.     Jensen  in  West  Bromwich  were  given   the   contract   to   build   the   Tiger   and   Shelby   received   a  royalty   on   every  car  built.   The  Mk  1  Tiger  made  its  debut  in  1964  and  was  initially  only  offered   for   sale  in  the  US.    The  car  achieved  great  worldwide  acclaim;  a  1965   report   in   the   British   magazine   ‘Motor   Sport’   concluded   that   "No   combination   of   an   American   V8   and   a   British   chassis   could   be   happier",  and   Shelby  himself   is  reported  to  have   said   “Why   buy   a   Cobra,  when  you  can  afford  a  Tiger!”   Chris   used   to   be   part   owner   in   a   Tiger   and   says   it   is  one  of   his   favorite  cars  of  all  time.   The   Tigers   are   out   there,   if   you   know   where   to   look;  you  should  expect  to  pay  around  £30,000   for   a  good   example,  and  then  you   can  enjoy  one  of  the   great  underrated  sports  cars  of  the  1960s. Contact  Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org.

Image: www.classicmotorsports.net

Page 26


Small Colour advert only 34€

THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 27


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Building & Renovation... BONNE ANNIVERSAIRE... JON THE CARPET MAN IS 5 YEARS OLD! Having established  his  business  in  France  in  February   2009,  Jon   Prince,  better   known   as   Jon   ‘The  Carpet   Man’,  is  celebrating  5  successful  years  of  trading. Having   started   working   from   his   home   purely   as   a   'one   man   band',   Jon   now   has   his   wife   as   a   partner   in   the   business,   a   dedicated   van  and   driver   to   make   the  collections  of  all   flooring   and   accessories  from  the  UK,  and   2   teams  of  UK   trained   fitters,   to  ensure  that  your  goods  are  expertly  fitted. We  asked  Jon  why  he  thought   the   business   continues   to   grow;   “Firstly,   although   the   business   here   is   5   years   old,   we   have   30   years   trade   experience  in   the  UK  to  draw   on.     We  do  just   specialise  in   flooring,   particularly   carpets,   and   that   fills   a   gap   in   the   market,   especially   for   the   expat   community,   who   want   good   quality   carpets   fitted   over  underlay”. With   their   experience   Jon   &   Andrea   have   built   up   good   relationships   with   manufacturers  and   suppliers  and   are  able  to   offer   thousands   of   samples   of   the   most   up   to   date   ranges.     Wherever   you   are   in   France,   quotations   are   always   free   and   without  obligation. Andrea   looks   after   the   office   and   administration  side  of   the  company.     “We   try   to   respond   swiftly   to   all   calls  and  emails  and   keep  customers   informed   of   progress   with   their   orders,   through   to   the   satisfactory   completion.   This   obviously   is   appreciated   by   our   clients   as  we've   received  scores   of   emails  and  letters   thanking  us  for  the  finished  work”. So,   if   you   want   carpets,   give   the   birthday  boy  a  call  !!!!

Page 28


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 29


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 30


THE DEUX-SĂ&#x2C6;VRES MONTHLY

Thinking about placing an ad? Why not take advantage of our Special Packages for New Advertisers? Call Sarah for more details: 05 49 70 26 21

Page 31


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 32


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Business, Finance & Property...

UNDERSTANDING TOP UP HEALTH INSURANCE To most  of  you,  this  is  the  biggest  expense  in   terms   of   insurance   you   have,  so   why  not   make  sure   you   understand  it? HOW  TO  GET  IN  THE  FRENCH  HEALTH  SYSTEM:   First  of  all,  top  up  health  insurance  is  only  available  to  people  who   have   access   to   the   French   Health   system:   CPAM  (employees   or   pensioners),  RSI   (self-­‐employed)  or   MSA  (agricultural  jobs).     There   are   three   ways   to   access   the   French   health   system:   via   the   S1   (given  to  you  by  your   native  country),  via   working  in  France  or  by   being  unwell!     Yes,  first   surprise  to  many  of  you  but  imagine  you   are  pre-­‐retired  and  your  native  country  only  gives  you  an   S1  for  two   years.    If  after  those  two  years,  you   are  still  not  officially  retired  (65   to   67   years  old)  then  you  need   to  take  on  private  health   insurance   which  can  be  very  expensive. Note   that   there   is   a   health   questionnaire   to   get   private   health   insurance  and   if  you  had  recent  medical   conditions,  this  insurance   will  refuse  you.    In  that  case,  the  French  health  system  is  obliged  to   take  you  on.    Feel  free  to  contact  me  if  you  need  more  informations   on  this.

HOW THE  FRENCH  HEALTH  SYSTEM  WORKS:   The  French  Health  system   only  pays  an  average  of  70%  of  the   cost   of   your   medical   expenses   (e.g.   Visit   to   GP   70%,   medicine   65%,   hospital  80%).    To  see  the  complete  listing  go  to  www.ameli.fr.   If   you   are   affected   by   a   long   term   disease   (or   life   threatening   condition)  the  French   Health   System   covers  you  100%.      You  can   find  a  list  of  those  conditions   on  the   above   website.     Please   note   that  the  100%   cover  is  only  applicable   for  the  treatment  related  to   that  disease  or  condition.   Unfortunately,   the   Forfait   journalier   (bed   and   food   in   hospital),   which  is  around   18€   per   day,  is  never   paid   by  the  French  Health   system  (top  up  insurance  pays  for  it). Finally,  100%  does  not   mean  much  because  it  is  100%   of  the  price   set   by   the   French   Health   System.   Unfortunately,   consultant,   surgeon,   private   hospitals,  etc.   are   allowed   to   apply  a  surcharge   (and  most  of  them  do).      For  example:  the  French  Health  System  set   the  price  for  a  hip  replacement  as  1000€  (not  actual  figure,  just   an   example),   then   you   only   get   reimbursed   800€   (80%)   but   the   surgeon  likes  to  go  golfing  every  weekend!  (joke!)   and  1000€  is  not   enough  for  him,  so  he  can  charge   3000€.     Therefore,  you  would  be   2200€  (instead  of  just  200€)  out  of  pocket!    This  is  why  people  take   out  a  top  up  health  insurance  and  this  is  why  you  will  find  different   cover   going  from   100%  to   400%   or   even   Frais   Reel   (whatever   it   costs).    Be  aware  that  your  insurance  will  never  pay  you  more  than   what   you   actually  paid.    If   you   are   covered   400%  and   were  only   surcharged  250%,  you  will  not  get  extra  money!  (The  150%  left).     This   insurance   can   include   other   advantages   such   as   individual   room,  TV,  help  with  cleaning  or   to   look  after  your  animals  in   case  of   hospitalisation,  etc.    There   is  no   health  questionnaire  to  take  out   this   insurance   and   you   can   change   insurers   just   like   any   other   insurances   (2   months  before  the  renewal   date   or   within  20  days   from  receiving  your  renewal  notice).

WHAT IS  CMU  AND  ACS?:   The   Couverture   Maladie   Universel   and   Aide   Complementaire   Santé   are  a  financial   help   for   people   of   low  revenue   in   order   to   access   a   top   up   health  insurance.     A  couple   who   earns   less  than   12,899€  in   2013   is  entitled   to   CMU  and   a   couple  who   earns  less   than   17,401€  is  allowed   ACS.     CMU  means   that  you   are  covered   100%  by  the  French  Health  System  instead   of  70%  average  and   that   surgeon,  hospital,  etc.  do  not  apply  a  surcharge  to  you.     ACS  is  the   French   Health   System   paying   towards   the   top   up   insurance   you   have  chosen.  They  send  you  a  cheque  that  you  then   give  to  your   insurer   to   lower   your   premium   (the   amount   depends   on   your   earnings  and  your   age).    There  is  a  simulator   on   www.ameli.fr  to   find  out  if  you  are  entitled  CMU  or  ACS.

ALLIANZ COMPOSIO:   Most   top  up   health  insurances  offer  cover   based  on  levels  (level   1     to  6  for   example)   which  means  that   if   you   want   the  best  hospital   cover,  you  will   also  pay  for  the  best  dental  and  optical  cover.     With   Allianz,  you   can   pick  and   choose  what   you   want,  which   makes  it   cheaper!   This  is  quite  good,  especially  for   British   who   usually  go   and   buy   their   glasses   in   the   UK   as   it   is   much   cheaper   than   in   France.    So  you  can  have  the  best  cover   for  hospital   and  nothing  for   glasses.    Feel  free  to  contact  me  for  a  free  quote.

www.ameli.fr This is  the  website  of  the  French  Health   System.     It  is  in  French  and   it  is  full  of  useful  information.     • You  can  use  the   simulator  to   find  out  if  you  are  entitled  to  CMU   and  ACS.   • You  can  download  your  reimbursement   and  you  can  ask  for  your   attestation   de   droits  (proof   of   cover).     This   document   is   often   asked  by  insurers  to  give  you  access  to  top  up  health  insurance.  If   you   don’t   speak  any  French   at   all,   there   is   an   English   speaking   help   line,   (created   by   the   French   health   system)   to   answer   all   your  questions:  08  11  36  36  46. Feel  free   to   contact  me  if   you   require   information   on   any  of  the   above  (CMU,  how  to  access  the  French  health   System  or  to   get   a   free  quote  for  top  up  health  insurance).

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

Page 33


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Pound Upbeat as we Start 2014

by Sue Cook

After lagging  behind  the   Eurozone  and  USA  economically  since  the   financial   crisis,   the   UK   economy   finally   generated   some   momentum   in   the   last  two  quarters   of   2013.  Strong  growth   was   driven   by  the   return  of  the  British  consumer  to  the   UK  high  street   after  a  long  period  of  household  deleveraging.     At  least  in  the  near   term  consumers  are  once  again   spending  money  aided  in  part  by  a   very  strong  housing  market,  particularly  in  London.   The  pound  has  mirrored  the  improving  economic  picture  in  the  UK   and   is  the   best  performing  currency  across  the  major   pairs  in   the   last   six  months.     Against  the  euro,  Sterling  has  risen  4  per  cent  and   against   the   dollar   it   is   up   10   per   cent   since   July.   The   bungled   Cypriot   bail  out,  with  depositors  taking  a  haircut  on  savings  and  the   fiscal  cliff  saga  and  the  government  shut  down  in  the  US  reinforced   the  upward  trend  in  Sterling  and  investors  moved  out  of  euros  and   dollars. Across   the   Eurozone   things   continue   to   slowly   improve.   The   European   Central   Bank  (ECB)   cut  interest  rates   and  is   much  more   dovish   in   tone,   following   other   central   banks   in   announcing   forward   guidance  of  interest   rates  over  the  next  few  years.  That   is   positive  for  the  euro  in   the  longer  term,  however   it   is  the  current   relative  speeds  of  recovery  that  matter  for  currencies  and  the  UK  is   simply  growing  at  a  faster   rate  than  the  Eurozone   as  a  whole.  That   trend  is  likely  to  continue  at  least  for  the  first  quarter  of  2014. Looking  further  ahead,  both  Ireland  and   Spain  exiting  formal  bail-­‐ out  programs  is  a  very  positive  step.  Key  to   both   countries  progress   has   been   breaking   to   the   negative   feedback   loop   between   countries  overall  solvency  and  that  of  its  banking   system.  The  ECB   must  be  applauded   in  doing   this  with  its  OMT  program,  even  if  it   did   it   with   a  gun   pressed   to   its   head.  Germany   remains  the   key   country  within  the  Euro.  German   elections   passed  without   major   upheaval,   with   Angela  Merkel   remaining  in   power   so  the   ongoing   internal   adjustment   programs  across  the   single  currency  area  can   continue,  albeit  at  a  very  slow  pace.   This   year   is   set   to   be   the   year   that   the   highly   accommodative   monetary  policy  in   place   across   the   western   world   starts   to   be   wound   down.    Interest  rates  are  likely  to  rise,  only  gradually  at  first   but   expectations   of   higher   rates   tend   to   be   reflected   quickly  in   prices.    How  consumers  and  business  cope  with  higher  rates  will  be   a   major   theme  in  2014  and   will   be  a  major   driver  of   the  value  of   the  pound,  euro  and  dollar  over  the  coming  months.

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

Ask Amanda. “I am  approaching  retirement  and   have  just   received   a   letter   from   a   UK   pension   provider  offering  an  annuity.    What  are  my   options  as  an  expat  living  in  France?” An  annuity  is  an  agreement  where  you  receive   fixed  payments  for  a  lifetime  or  for  a  specified   number  of  years.     When  a  UK  resident   approaches  retirement,  they   can  use   their  pension  pot  to  buy  an  annuity.     Annuities  can   be  solely   for  the  person  assured  or  also  pay  a  reduced  amount  to  a  partner  after   the  holder  had  died  and  may  be  fixed  or  escalate  on  an  annual  basis.   After  the  holder  or  both  parties  die,  the  annuity  ceases  and  no  more   money  is  forthcoming.    Which  option  you  chose  will  affect  the  return   you  receive,  as  will  your  age,  health  and  the  provider  you  chose. Under  UK  rules  you  are  now  able  to  transfer  your  pension  to  another   jurisdiction   but   only   to   a   QROPS   (Qualifying   Recognised   Overseas   Pension  Schemes).     A  QROPS  can  offer   advantages  not  available  with   an  annuity  such  as: • QROPS  leaves   a   capital   sum  upon   death   to   dependents   of   your   choosing • QROPS  provide   you  with   increased  investment  choice  and   you  can   change   how   the   money   is   invested   should   the   markets   or   your   circumstances  change • A  QROPS  allows  you  to  change  your  income  at  regular  intervals • QROPS  can  be  in  euros,  so  that  your  pension  amount  is  not  affected   by  currency  fluctuations • A  QROPS  can  provide  a  larger  cash  lump  sum  at  the  outset  than  an   annuity QROPS   are   not   right   for   everyone   and   it   is   important   to   get   professional   advice   on   your   own   personal   circumstances   from   a   company  qualified  to  give  advice  and  regulated  in  the  Country  where   you  live. At  the  Spectrum  IFA  Group,  we  will   discuss  your  pension  situation  as   part  of  a  free  financial   review.  We  will  look  at  pensions,  investments   and   your   potential   inheritance  tax   position  and   provide  you  with   a   report  based  on  your   own   situation  with  recommendation  including   whether  a  QROPS  is  right  for  you  at  this  moment.   If  you  have  not  had  a  financial  review  for  some  time  and  are  unsure  of   your   current   financial   position,   or   maybe   your   own   circumstances   have  changed,  your  current  products  no  longer  meet  your  needs,  I  am   happy  to  visit  you  and  discuss  your  situation. Amanda  Johnson,  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group.  Tel:  05  49  98  97  46 Email:  amanda.johnson@spectrum-­‐ifa.com

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

Page 34


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

The Importance of Long-Term Relationships by Brad Warden, Partner, Blevins Franks

The Deux-Sèvres and surrounding areas are a lovely area to make a new home in, but there are some drawbacks to living in France. As a British expatriate you have to deal with unfamiliar local bureaucracy and a foreign tax system. You may have to rethink your investment strategy and consider the complex options for your UK pensions and how they work for a French resident.

Your adviser back in the UK probably will not know the best guidance for French residents, or have in-depth knowledge of French taxation and the frequent changes. You need to move to a locally based adviser, who is also highly knowledgeable on UK taxation and how it interacts with French taxation.

It can all be very confusing. You should look to develop a good, longterm relationship with a financial adviser since specialist advice can be essential. They will become familiar with your situation and understand what is important to you. They will be there to support you and your family over the years.

A professional who is part of a larger multi-disciplined firm would enable continuity and depth of service, and the ability to benefit from different areas of specialism within one firm.

There are various aspects to consider when choosing a wealth manager, but it is important to find one who is best placed to deal with all your current and future financial issues. This includes tax planning, investment advice, asset protection, pensions and estate planning. They should be able to help you in France, and if you return to the UK. They need to have a deep understanding of the financial planning needs of British expatriates in France and the local tax regime. So ideally you want a wealth manager who lives and works locally. They will be familiar with the challenges you face and have experience advising British expatriates.

Qualifications are also important in today’s complex financial world. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority now requires all advisers it regulates to have obtained the Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA).

Overall, you want to achieve the peace of mind from knowing that your financial affairs are in order, so that you can enjoy your life here in this lovely part of France. Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists.

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

Page 35


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

2014 Tax Proposals Whilst the  French  government  continues  its  efforts  in  trying  to  reduce   the  budget   deficit  we  continue  to   cover  the  main  points  of  this  year’s   budget,  which  is  currently  under  debate  in  parliament.

Assurance vie  

For investments  in  place  before  the  age  of   70,  each  beneficiary  may   receive  €152,500  free  of  tax  with  20%  taxation  on  the   next  €902,838   and   25%  thereafter.     It   is   proposed   that   the  25%   rate   will   rise   to   31.25%.   However,   to   encourage   investors   to   switch   into   the   new   products  mentioned  above,  the  existing  25%  rate  will  apply  to  the  new   contracts.

Income tax

• After two  years  of  frozen  income  tax  allowances  inflation-­‐linked  rises   have  been  reinstated. • A  reduction   is  applied  to  relatively  low  tax  bills  and   this   reduction   has   been   increased,   benefitting  those  with   tax   bills   of   less   than   €1,016  next  year.   • Conversely,  better  off  families  will  be  adversely  affected  by  a  change   to   the   “credit”   given   for   having   dependent   children.   For   2013   income,  the  maximum  reduction  will  fall  from  €2,000  per   child  to   €1,500.

Property Capital  Gains  Tax  

• Since 1  September  2013  the  sales  of  second  homes  are  now  exempt   from  capital  gains  tax  after  22  years,  rather  than  30. • A  6%  annual  reduction  is   applied  after  the  first  five  years  until   the   22nd  year  of  ownership,  with  4%  applied  for  the  final  year.   • After   applying   the   “period   of   ownership”   reduction,   any   sales   between  1  September   2013  and  31  August  2014  will   benefit  from   an  additional  25%  reduction. • After   calculating  all  reductions,  the  rate  of  tax  applicable  remains  at   19%. • “Social  taxes”,  at  a  current  rate  of  15.5%,  are  still  applicable  on  these   property  sales,  with  full  exemption  after  30  years  ownership,  not  22.     Annual  ownership  reductions  will  be  1.65%  from  year  6  to  21,  1.6%   for  the  22nd  year  and  9%  pa  for  the  remaining  years. • The  temporary  25%  additional  reduction  will  apply  to  “social  taxes”.  

Share Portfolios

• A new   “taper   relief”   scale  on  the  sale  of   shares  is  proposed   with   taxable   gains  being  progressively  reduced  with  a  set  50%   reduction   for   shares   held   between   2   to   8   years,   increasing   to   65%   for   ownership  beyond  8  years. • The   taxable   gain   will   be   added   to   other   income   and   taxed   at   marginal  income  tax  rates,  plus  the  usual  “social  taxes”.

VAT

From 1   January   2014,  the   “standard”   rate   of   VAT   (TVA)   in   France   increased  from  19.6%  to  20%  with  the  other  rates  of  7%  rising  to  10%   and  5.5%  dropping  to  5%. NB:   The   proposed   legislation   covered   above   is   currently   being   ratified  by  parliament,  so  amendments   are   still   possible  before   it   passes  into  law.

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.

David Hardy  is  Regional  Manager  of  Siddalls  France,   Independent  Financial  Adviser,  specialised  in  tax,  inheritance,   pension  and  investment  planning  for  the  British  community  in   the  Poitou-­‐Charentes  since  1996.    Tel:  05  56  34  75  51 www.siddalls.fr

You can call Sarah on 05 49 70 26 21 with any ideas, or send them on an email to: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Page 36


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 37


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Time for New Pastures? by Trevor  Leggett,  Chief  Executive As   the  saying  goes   `Now  is  the  time  for  all  good  men   ..'.     Could  it  be  time  for  your  next  property  move? Unseasonally  mild  and   sunny  weather   during  January  encouraged   thoughts  of   longer   summer  days,  relaxing  in  beautiful  countryside   and  dreams  of  pastures  new. And,  with  somewhat  more  positive  property  outlook  than  for  some   years,  now   could   be   the   perfect   time  to   buy   your   new   home  in   beautiful  Deux-­‐Sèvres.     Not   least   with  today's  realistic  sale   prices!     So  we've  selected  three  properties  to  whet  your  appetite  and  start   you  thinking. Situated  near  St   Jean  d'Angely  is   a  lovely  stone  property  steeped   in   history.   Originally   the   village   Mairie,   this   former   local   schoolmaster's  house  still  boasts   its   impressively   large   original   classroom   with   windows   on   three  sides  and   great  log  burner.     Extensively   renovated   to   high   standards   throughout,   including   a   newly   fitted   kitchen   and   surrounded   by  beautiful   gardens,   this   detached   house   has   three   large   double   bedrooms,   one   en   suite.     Recently   reduced   to   197,950€  check  it  out  on  our  website,  reference  32696CT79. Just   five   minutes   from   Sauzé-­‐ Vaussais,  is   a   charming   maison   de  maitre   with   extensive   views   o v e r   l o c a l   c o u n t r y s i d e .   Thoroughly   modernised   with   remote   controlled   entrance   gates,   new   central   heating,   drainage   and   double   glazing,   this   home  retains  many   original   features   including   its   curved   wooden   staircase,   typical   to   this   region.     Living   includes   a   well   proportioned  sitting  room  with   the   kitchen/diner   opening   out   to   the  sunroom   and  back  garden.    Upstairs  are  three  bedrooms  and   a   large   bathroom,   as   well   as   potential   to   expand   into   the   loft.     Gardens   surrounding   the   property   include   a   small   parcel   of   woodland  and  the  possibility  for  further  accommodation  or  income   stream  in   a   detached   two   storey   building.     Priced   at     219,350€,   reference  27354SBY79. And   talking   of   streams,   just   an   hour   from   Poitiers,  at   the   edge   of   the   village   Gourgé,   is   this   large   four   bedroom   house   in   a   beautiful   riverside   location,   complete   with   two   bedroom   gîte.     Set   in  2.5  acres,  this  lovely   house   features   exposed   beams   and  fireplace  in  its  lounge  and  a   well   fitted   kitchen,  as  well   as  a   summer   kitchen  in   the  back  garden  -­‐  perfect  for  whiling  away  Deux-­‐ Sèvres'   long,  hot  summer  evenings.     For   sale  at   214,000€  you  can   visit  this  house  by  following  the  links  on  our  website  and  inserting   reference  30333ZS79. 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.

Page 38


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 39


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Page 16

'The Deux-Sèvres Monthly' Magazine - February 2014  

English language magazine for the Deux-Sèvres and surrounding areas

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you