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Annual Subscription Costs: 33,60€ within France, 28,80€ 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.

Welcome! to Issue 71 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! I hope you enjoyed the festivities and were suitably fed, watered and treated. If you can’t treat yourself at Christmas, when can you? And so, on we go into 2017 and for us, we’ve already begun our New Year’s Resolutions. We have decided to change our lifestyle this year - it’s time to get fit! It’s been a resoultion of mine for a number of years, but this time around, fitness is already in the daily routine. Whether it’s a jog, a cycle or a swim, I aim to achieve something each day. For someone that’s done little or no exercise since leaving school, this is really huge for me! Rob already has a good level of fitness and is helping me to achieve my goals. I’ll keep you updated of our progress and good luck for your New Year’s Resolutions, whatever they may be! Enjoy this month’s issue and I hope to see you out and

about very soon. Take care.

à plus, Sarah

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

Emergency Numbers: 15 SAMU (Medical Advice) 17 Gendarmes (Police) 18 Pompiers (Fire Service)

112 European Emergency 113 Drugs and Alcohol

Contents What’s On Getting Out & About A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres Clubs & Associations Hobbies Our Furry Friends Health, Beauty & Fitness Home & Garden Motoring Food & Drink Communications Take a Break Building & Renovation Business & Finance Property

This Month’s Advertisers

ABORDimmo Ace Pneus (Tyre Fitting) Affordable UK Designs (Kitchens & UPVC Double Glazing) AKE Petit Travaux (Builder) A La Bonne Vie (Restaurant & Auberge) Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group

4 6 9 10 12 15 16 18 22 24 28 30 31 36 40

41 23 2 35 26 38

Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) 32 ARB French Property 43 Arbrecadabra Tree Surgery 20 Argo Carpentry 31 Assurances Maucourt (GAN) 40 BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want 37 Blevins Franks Financial Management 39 Carlill-Strover Building 35 Cherry Picker Hire 35 Chris Bassett Construction 35 Chris Parsons (Heating, Electrical, Plumbing) 32 Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) 6 CJ Electricité 32 Clare Lane (Agent Commercial) 41 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 34 Currencies Direct - Sue Cook 38 Darren Lawrence 31 David Cropper (Stump Grinding) 21 David Watkins Chimney Sweep 34 Deb Challacombe (Online counsellor) 16 Down to Earth Pool Design 40 Ecopower Europe  41 expat-radio 29 Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) 23 Fresco Interiors 19 Ginger’s Kitchen 27 Gites.co.uk 41 Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants 37 Hallmark Electricité 32 Helen Booth (deVere Group) 36 HMJ Maintenance 34 Impact79 23 Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) 34 Irving Location - Digger Hire 33 Irving Location - Septic Tank Installation & Groundworks 33 Jean-Luc Thierens (Excavation work) 33 Jeff’s Metalwork 31 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 23 John Snee (Groundworks) 33 Jones’s UK Delieveries Deux-Sèvres 26 Jon the Carpetman 19 La Deuxième Chance (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier) 19 La Maison des Miracles (Wellbeing centre) 17 La Petite Noisette Bar & Restaurant 27 Le Clemenceau Bar & Restaurant 6 Leggett Immobilier 42 Leggett Immobilier Recruitment Day 40 L’Emporium, L’Absie 6 Le Regal’on Bar & Restaurant 26 Lorraine Wallace (Personal Health Coaching) 16 Michael Glover (Plasterer / Renderer / Tiler) 34 ML Computers 29 Motor Parts Charente 23 Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances 40 Naked Curries 27 Needa Hand Services 20 Office Notarial de Secondigny 41 Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology) 16 Photo Creativity Film Transfers 29 Plan 170 (Professional building plans) 31 Pure Heart Yoga Retreat 16 Restaurant des Canards 27 Rob Berry Plastering Services 31 Robert Lupton Electrician 32 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) 28 Sarah Berry Online (Website Design) 29 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) 33 Short Cuts (Mobile Dog Grooming) 15 Simon the Tiler 34 Smart Moves (Transport Services) 23 Steve Coupland (Property Services) 34 Steve Robin (Plumber) 32 Strictly Roofing 35 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 8 Susan Monnereau (Translation Services) 8 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 23 This Month’s Advertisers 3 Val Assist (Translation Services) 8 Vendée Glass Courses 14

© Sarah Berry 2016. 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. It is strongly advised to check details of published events with other sources before setting out on long journeys. <<The Deux-Sèvres Monthly>> est édité par Sarah Berry, 3 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, Shutterstock et Pixabay. Impression: Graficas Piquer SL, 29 Al Mediterraneo, Pol. Ind. San Rafael, 04230, Huércal de Almeria, Espagne. Dépôt légal: janvier 2017 - Tirage: 4500 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848 TVA: FR 03 515 249 738

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 3

What’s On... NEW YEAR’S DAY (Jour de l’an)


EPIPHANY (Fête de la Galette)

6 8


Walking and cycling circuits in Saint Roman des Champs (79230). Ideal opportunity to take in plenty of fresh air after the seasonal festivities. Randonnée 10, 14 & 18km, VTT 27, 36, 47 & 54km. Meet at La Salle des ƒêtes from 8am. Adults 5€ LINDY HOP WEEKEND Houbaswing Festival in Niort. Want to dive back to the 30’s? Learn how to dance the Lindy Hop... more info on www.houbaswing.fr


13 15

Cookery demonstrations in Montournais (see article on P.7 of December’s ‘The DSM’ for info).

FOIRE AU VIN CHAUD at Augé..l.ots going on for the weekend. See advert on P.6.



Training restarts for VNC, 6pm at salle Omnisports, Vasles. See details on P.14 Dates in yellow = Public Holidays Dates in orange = Celebration Days

20 22 22


With a ‘Van Gogh’ theme, 13€ includes aperitif, wine and coffee. Reservations before 18th Jan by calling 06 23 00 72 04 or by email gingers.kitchen@orange.fr



‘You’re NOT Here To Enjoy Yourselves Quiz’. At St Gemme 7.30pm for 8pm start - places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. Email: roland.scott@wanadoo.fr for more details.




At Restaurant des Canards, Chef Boutonne at 7pm. Reserve your place on 05 49 29 73 46. (See advert on P.27)

QUIZ NIGHT At A La Bonne Vie, Le Beugnon at 7pm (See advert on P.26)




13th edition of collectors at the Espace Colonica, Coulonges-sur-l’Autize. Nearly 45 exhibitors including hidden treasures, old advertisements, old papers, postcards and many other unusual collections. 9am-6pm.

FIND ‘THE DSM’ AT ONE OF OUR FRIENDLY DISTRIBUTORS THIS MONTH: Reel Fish & Chips St Martin de Sanzay Terves Christmas Market Etusson La Chapelle Thireuil CLOSED January & February ‘17 Tel: 06 04 14 23 94 www.reelfishandchips.net

WEEKLY EVENTS... EVERY THURSDAY PM - Quizwitch Quiz At le Chaudron, 79320 Chantemerle from 8pm. 2.50€ p/p. Monies raised in aid of Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres. EVERY TUES & THURS AM - Annie Sloan Workshops. Personally trained by Annie Sloan to help you get the best from her paints and products. Please see www. ladeuxiemechance.com 3RD WEDS of month - Team Quiz At Le Clemenceau Bar 7.30pm, in aid of animal charities. Last FRIDAY of month - Books, CDs, DVDs etc. sale Chez Sue & Stuart Marshall, 12 rue du Bourg Chasteigner, Cheffois, in aid of animal charities (2-5pm) Tel. 02 51 51 00 96.

NEXT MONTH... 2nd February - Leggett Immobilier Recruitment Day At Le Restauarant du Golf Allée du Chêne Landy, Cholet. Please see advert on P.40 for details 4th February - Rainbow Association Charity Shop reopens. See P.15 7th February - Pure Fitness restarting at La Chapelle St Etienne. 7th February - Hope Association Charity Shop reopens. See advert P.15 9th February - Live broadcast of ‘Le Misanthrope’ - See P.6 14th February - St Valentine’s day 11th February - Valentine’s Meal by Ginger’s Kitchen 28th February - Last Chance to ‘Have Your Say’ ‘The DSM’ Readers’ survey finishes...see P.43

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2017

2nd February 14th February 28th February 5th March 17th March 16th April

Chandeleur (Fête des Crêpes) Valentine’s Day (Saint Valentin) Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) Grandmothers’ Day (Grands-mères) Saint Patrick’s Day Easter Sunday (Pâques)

28th May 4th June

Mothers’ Day (Fête des Mères) Pentecost (Pentecôte)

18th June 21st June

Fathers’ Day (Fête des Pères) World Music Day (Fête de la Musique)

1st October 31st October

Grandfather’s Day (Fête des Grand-pères) Halloween

17th April 1st May 8th May 25th May 5th June

14th July 15th August

1st November 11th November 25th December

2nd 4th 7th 9th

Weds: at St Vincent Sterlanges - Reopening 1st Feb Thurs: Closed until March Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’ - Reopening 3rd Feb Sat 4th Feb : Bar ‘Le Marmiton’, Antigny

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

Tel: 02 44 39 16 73 www.lavendeechippy.com OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Pentecost (Lundi de Pentecôte)

National Day (Fête Nationale) Assumption of Mary (Assomption) All Saints’ Day (Toussaint) Armistice Day (Armistice) Christmas Day (Noël)

Dates in blue represent celebration days, not public holidays.

La Vendée Chippy

CLOSED until Tues 31 Jan ‘17

Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques) Labour Day (Fête du Travail) Victory in Europe Day (Fête de la Victoire) Ascension Day (Ascension)

MR T’S FRITERIE Regular venues at:

Aulnay 17470 (from 6pm) Beauvais-sur-Matha 17490 Gourville 16170 St Jean d’Angély 17400 CLOSED until 28th Feb

Tel: 06 02 22 44 74 www.frying4u2nite.com

OPEN 6 .30- 9pm



The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes, hold English speaking monthly services.

Benet 85490 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Tuesdays......... Lezay 79120 Civray 86400 (1st Tuesday in month) Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 - and - Bressuire 79300 Vasles 79340 Wednesdays.... Parthenay 79200 - and - Celles-sur-Belle 79370 Ruffec 16700 Thursdays........ Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 - and - Niort 79000 La Mothe St Héray 79800 Gençay 86160 Friday............... Thouars 79100 - and - Melle 79500 Secondigny 79130 (late afternoon) Saturdays........ Bressuire 79300 - and - Champdeniers 79220 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 - and - Niort 79000 Saint Maixent-l’École 79400 Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 Ruffec 16700 Magné 79460 Moncoutant 79320 Sundays............ Coulon 79510 - and - Neuville-de-Poitou 86170 Thénezay 79390 Saint-Varent 79330 Saint-Loup-Lamairé 79600 Mondays.........

1st Sunday at 10.30am: Chef Boutonne. Followed by tea & coffee. • 2nd Sunday at 11am: the home of Ann White, Jassay • 4th Sunday at 11am: the Parish Church at Pompaire 79200 (rue du Baille Ayrault). Followed by tea & coffee, and a ‘bring and share’ lunch. A warm welcome awaits everyone for a time of worship and fellowship. For further information please take a look at our website www.church-in-france.com or contact us by email: office. goodshepherd@orange.fr Further information from the Chaplaincy Office 05 49 97 04 21 or from John & Barbara Matthews 05 49 75 29 71 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 bilingual website for details of meetings and summer programmes www.thefillingstationfrance.com or contact Mike & Eva Willis on 05 17 34 11 50 or 07 82 22 31 15 ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre We hold two services each month (+ Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11am. After each service, tea and coffee are 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 welcome you to any of our meetings held throughout the month in the Deux-Sèvres and the Vendée.


1st & 3rd Sunday at 11am in St Hilaire de Voust, Vendée and 2nd & 4th Sunday at 11am in two locations: one near Bressuire, DeuxSèvres and the other near Bournezeau, Vendée. Meetings last about an hour and are followed by a time of fellowship & refreshments. Find out more by contacting Chris & Julie Taylor 09 60 49 78 50 or visit: www.therendezvous.fr

Don’t worry - you can view them ALL online! Visit: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr and go to Distribution > Magazine Archives


Sarah Berry on 05 49 70 26 21 Monday - Thursday 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

The English Speaking Church of the Valley of the Loire (ESCOVAL) We welcome and embrace all Christians from all denominations and warmly invite you to join us in our seasonal services. Held at the R.C. Church in Arçay (just off the D759, Thouars to Loudun) 18th December 5.30pm - Carols by Candlelight A traditional service of readings and carols by candlelight. This year also including items by the ‘SINGwithSOUL’ choir (Pas-du-Jeu). 25th December 10.30am - Christmas Day Worship A short service celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Please see our website for details www.escoval.org



9th: 11th: 12th: 16th:

Mon: Bar Tilleuls, Champniers Tues: Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square) Weds: Chef Boutonne (near Chateau) Thurs: Sauzé-Vaussais - Eve (Main square) Fri: Mansle (car park of Simply Supermarket

Limalonges Aigre Chef Boutonne Theil Rabier

Tel: 05 45 71 70 91 www.tophatquizzes.com FROM 7pm

GET CONNECTED! FACEBOOK: thedeuxsevresmonthly TWITTER: @The DSMagazine

CLOSED until 27th Feb

PINTEREST: dsmmonthly

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

YOU TUBE: The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine

Tel: 06 37 53 56 20 www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com

Visit each website for further information or to confirm venue and dates The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 5

Getting Out & About

EXPERIENCE THE THEATRE AT CINÉ VENISE VERTE The new season at the cinema ‘Ciné Venise Verte’ in Saint Hilaire la Palud allows everyone to access performances by Comédie-Française for a series of three shows. In connection with Pathé Live, the cinema will show live performances of theatrical shows. The season started in October 2016 with ‘Romeo & Juliette’, and continues next month with ‘le Misanthrope’ showing on 9 February 2017 at 8.30 pm. Price of seats: Adults 15 € - children 10 € Reservations can be made at www.cine-venise-verte.fr The final performace to close this season will be ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ on 4th July 2017.

Above, Cinema ‘Ciné Venise Verte’. Photo www.cine-venise-verte.fr

Have you LIKED us on Facebook?

We post regular updates, things to do and promote special offers on our page, so why not pop over and say “Hello”! www.facebook.com/thedeuxsevresmonthly

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

BREXIT...Frequently Asked Questions To help keep you informed about the work at the British Embassy, they have asked that we pass on answers to some FAQs which might be useful. What is Article 50 and why do we need to trigger it? The rules for exiting the EU are set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This is the only lawful route for withdrawal from the EU under the Treaties. When will Article 50 be triggered? The Prime Minister has made clear the Government’s intention to trigger Article 50 no later than the end of March 2017. It is in everyone’s interest that we take time to establish a UK approach and clear objectives for negotiations. What will happen after we leave the EU? The European Communities Act will be repealed on the day we leave the EU – meaning that the authority of EU law in Britain will end. We will convert the body of existing EU law into domestic law and then Parliament will be free to amend, repeal and improve any law it chooses. What will you be doing about immigration / freedom of movement? DExEU is working closely with the Home Office and other Government departments to identify and develop options to shape

our future immigration system, including considering the best way to control the number of people coming to the UK following our exit from the EU. At every step of these negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people. I am a UK national living in the EU, what does exiting the EU mean for my rights (e.g. status, healthcare, pension)? The Prime Minister has been clear that she wants to protect the rights of UK citizens living in European member states, in the same way that we want to protect the status of EU nationals already living here. At every step of these negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the people of the United Kingdom. How will exiting the EU affect trade? Leaving the EU offers us an opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world: to negotiate our own trade agreements and to be a positive and powerful force for free trade. We recognise the need for a smooth transition which minimises disruption to our trading relationships, including with developing countries. There will be no immediate changes to our relationship with the EU. Until we have left, the UK will remain a member of the EU with all of the rights and obligations that membership entails.

If you would like to pose a question to the British Embassy in Paris, please send it in writing by email to: brexit@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr


SHARE YOUR EVENTS ! Entries into the What’s On Listing (P.4) are free! (12€ for businesses) + your event is added to our busy Facebook page.... Simply email us: events@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 7

New Year Traditions

by Sue Burgess

New Year’s Eve La veille du Nouvel An: le réveillon New Year is brought in with the Réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre (New Year’s Eve dinner) qui fait le lien entre l’ancienne et la nouvelle année. Saint Sylvestre, the last day of the year, falls on the 31st December and it is traditional to organise the wait for the New Year (l’attente de la nouvelle année). In the tradition, the more the foodstuffs (les mets) are rich and varied, the more the New Year’s Eve dinner (le réveillon) will be a sign of good things for the year to come. New Year’s Eve (le Réveillon) is generally celebrated with friends but can also be the opportunity to party (faire la fête) with people you don’t know. It is the opportunity for events which have become commonplace: hooting of car horns (concerts de klaxons), dancing in the streets (farandoles de rue), kissing under the mistletoe (embrassades sous le gui). New Year gifts Les étrennes du Nouvel An    The New Year’s meal is often the opportunity to give gifts to children. This tradition comes from Ancient Rome where coins and medals were exchanged for the changing of the year. The word étrennes comes from Latin and refers to a gift bringing good luck and happiness. Les étrennes are also the tips that are given to the dustbin men (les éboueurs) and other people at New Year. New Year Cards Les cartes de Vœux du Nouvel An The greetings card (La carte de vœux) is a must for the New Year. The appearance of greetings cards in Europe dates from the Middle Ages when Nuns gave handwritten cards or messages to their families. Mistletoe and Holly Le gui et le houx The holly and the mistletoe present at the New Year meal are a leftover from ancient traditions and beliefs. The green leaves of the plants give them magic powers. For the druids, the plants meant good luck. Vocabulary / Vocabulaire: un repas abondant

large meal

les pétards


le feu d’artifice


les cotillons

party favours/accessories

les confettis


les serpentins


les sarbacanes


les sans-gêne


chapeaux en papier

paper hats

les blagues carambar

Christmas cracker jokes

Bonne Année, bonne santé

Happy New Year, good health

la gueule de bois


un lendemain de fête/de veille

day after the night before

faire la fête

to party


to celebrate New Year’s Eve


to receive


to give a gift

8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Are you a bit of a Bookworm?

If you are an avid reader and would like to share your book reviews with us, we would love to publish them! Please send to us by email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Reviews should be 150-200 words long.

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres nIORT


iort is a commune of the centre-West of France. It is the main administrative town of Deux-Sèvres in New Aquitaine (La Nouvelle Aquitaine).

Niort is the headquarters of the greater Niort area (Communauté d’Agglomération de Niort), regrouping 149 220 inhabitants in 2010. Its urban area regroups 77 communes and 151,254 inhabitants. Niort’s economy is mainly based on the services industries (insurance, banks, assistance, consulting, computing, financial services and mail order companies). Situated on the banks of the Sèvre Niortaise river, Niort is the gateway to the Marais Poitevin, and one of the major players in the history of Poitou. Niort is today at the heart of an important road and rail network, situated near the A10 and A83 sliproads. The N11 Poitiers to La Rochelle road crosses Niort. It is 2.5 hours from Paris (via Poitiers) by TGV or 35 minutes from La Rochelle. Local regional trains serve Poitiers, Royan and La Rochelle.

by Sue Burgess

A voir / Must see • Le donjon / The Keep On the banks of the Sèvre Niortaise river stands one of the most beautiful Romanesque keeps of France. Henry II Plantagenet wanted to fortify the lands that his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, had brought in her dowry. Today the keep is a listed historic building. It was a museum and now sometimes houses exhibitions. There is an excellent view of the town and the river from the top. •

Le Pilori is a former town hall and is an example of Renaissance architecture. It was built at the place where the medieval pilory stood. Today it is an exhibition centre, having recently been a bookshop.

Notre Dame Church in flamboyant Gothic style dates from the 14th century. The conical spire is 76 metres high and is the highest spire in Deux-Sèvres.

Saint André Church. Very little remains of the original romanesque church which was enlarged during the Gothic period. The church was ruined by the protestants in 1588 and then rebuilt and enlarged in 1685.

Les halles, the market halls were built by Durand in 1869. They are built from wrought iron and steel in the Baltard style. Niort’s medieval market was the biggest in France. Today’s building has a wide central alley. There is an indoor market from Tuesday to Sunday but on Thursday and Saturday the markets extend to the outside forecourt. Caserne Du Guesclin, place Chanzy. Named after Bertrand du

The TAN, Transports de l’agglomération niortaise, manage 22 bus lines. The town of Niort is divided into 13 districts: 1. To the West: Sainte-Pezenne, Saint-Liguaire, Noron, TourChabot, Gavacherie and the old district of the river harbour and the quays along the Sèvre. 2. To the East : Souché, Champommiers, Champclairot, Goise. 3. To the North: Les Brizeaux, Cholette, Espaces Mendès-France I and II. 4. To the South: Clou-Bouchet and Saint-Florent.

The name Niort has developed from Noiordo, on a merovingian coin in 940, to Nyorto in 1204. It comes from nouiios «new» and ritu- «ford». So Niort means «New Ford» over the river Sèvre. Niort was inhabited from Neolithic times. Before the 1st century Niort was a village on a loop in the Sèvre. Archaeological digs have shown that commercial activity was important. In the Carolingian period, it seems that for reasons of safety, people moved to live on the hills of Notre-Dame and Saint-André. From these hills there was a better possibility of keeping an eye on the river and the harbour. The river was a natural way to transport goods and there was a lot of commerce. The town depended on the Count of Paris. With the dowry of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the town was first French and then English. In 1203, Eleanor accorded a charter to the town. Henry II, her husband, and then Richard the Lion Heart fortified the town with a fort and a town wall which was 2800 metres long. The only parts of the fortifications that remain today are the keep and some foundations of the walls that can be seen in the Place Saint-Jean. Bertrand du Guesclin took Niort from the English in 1372. Niort was French once again. The town became Protestant for a time but the Catholics reclaimed it in 1569 and once the protestants had been defeated at Moncontour the town was given back to the Catholics. There was trade of skin and fur from Canada where a number of Poitevins had settled. In 1807, Napoléon issued a decree changing the way the river was to flow. He wanted to confirm the river’s role as a navigable river. This decree led to the total drying out of the Marais Poitevin. Napoléon came through Niort on his way to Saint Helena and spent one of his last nights on French soil (from the 2nd to the 3rd July 1815) here at the Boule d’Or inn. The town was prosperous during Napoléon’s time because of the trade of chamois leather which was used to make the skin trousers worn by the cavalry. The chamois leather and glove industry continued into the 20th century.

Guesclin, this Vauban style three storey barracks could house 720 men. Today it is the home of the Deux-Sèvres General Council. •

Fort Foucault, situated on an island in the middle of the Sèvre Niortaise river. The crenallated tower is the remains of a 12th century fortress which used to have four towers. The Fort Foucault is the property of the town of Niort and is today an artists’ residence.

More A-Z of the Communes of Deux-Sèvres next month... The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 9

Clubs & Associations ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, there are now a number of English-speaking meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in the South West of France. Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership and A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Telephone: Angela: 05 49 87 79 09, Roger: 05 55 76 22 65 or Nancy: 02 54 24 09 74. Email: publicinfo.swfrance@aa-€pe.net or visit www.aafrance.net for details of English-speaking meetings.


A vibrant group based in Vasles (79340) offering quality theatre productions. New members always welcome. Contact www.theatrivasles.com, find us on Facebook or email: theatrivasles@gmail.com

ThouarStMed’Arts - Association that aims to bring together people from the historic town of Thouars (Quartier Saint Médard) for a new development of artistic activity. Exhibitions, galleries, brocantes, creators, cultural events etc. Visit the website: thouarsaintmedarts79.asso-web.com

The Phoenix Chorale An English speaking choir. We sing 3 or 4 concerts of seasonal and classical music, often including readings and poetry. Based near Charroux (86), we are always looking for new members. If interested, call 05 45 89 14 84 or 05 49 48 29 68. THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION LINAZAY, POITOU-CHARENTES BRANCH

Please visit the branch website:


Acceuil des Villes Françaises A French association dedicated to welcoming newcomers, from across France & abroad, to their new environment; helping them to integrate, speak French and feel ‘at home’ through social www.avf.asso.fr events and activities. pjhenderson@orange.fr


Interested in playing walking football around the Dampierre sur Boutonne area? We really need more players of any level (and age) to join us for fun, competition and above all, the health benefits! Call Ted Sellwood on or email bigtsellwood@gmail.com

AL-ANON Support Group

Do you wish the Drinking Would Stop? Are you troubled by someone’s drinking? If so we can help. There is now an English-speaking Al-Anon meeting every Wednesday @ 2.30pm in the meeting room behind Civray Mairie. Just turn up or ring Angela on 05 49 87 79 09.


If you enjoy singing and would be interested in starting a close-harmony group near Chef-Boutonne, please get in touch! Email me, Christine for further information: chezloubigne@aol.com RAFA provides direct, practical support, comradeship and friendship to all serving and former RAF personnel and their loved ones. Contact RAFA Sud-Ouest France email: rafasof@orange.fr or Tel Website Short URL: http://goo.gl/ut80T

Get Together is an association for English speakers of all nationalities. We have social gatherings, lunch & wine club, quizzes, walks, group meetings for all manner of hobbies and much more. Contact Membership Secretary Michele Hansford for joining details. Email: michelemhansford@gmail.com Tel. 05 49 64 21 63

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

Aims to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer in the Deux-Sèvres. Contact June Searchfield on 05 49 64 59 96 or visit www.cancersupportdeuxsevres.com


If so, join a group of like-minded friendly modellers who meet on a monthly basis to visit member’s layouts and swap information. If you are interested please contact Gerry Riley for more information on 05 49 63 34 01.

Bridge Players Wanted

A small, friendly bridge group are looking for new players in the Parthenay area. We are friendly and informal and we are keen to welcome all levels of players. Contact Richard Knight on via email richardknight@orange.fr or 05 49 69 18 65 CLE (Charente Limousine Exchange) is a non-profit organisation for exchange of news, views and information. We work to protect member’s best interests, run social activities, events and clubs, helping members to make new expatriate and French friends. Barry Leech 05 49 87 19 85 contact@cle-france.com www.cle-france.com


with a friendly group of French and English speakers. Each Wednesday at 7.30pm at the Salle des Fêtes, Veluché 79600. Call Christian for more details: 05 49 63 04 78

I’m Francis. I am 52 years old, French and have been learning English for a few years. I live in Aiffres (nr Niort). I would like to meet with English speaking people near me, to spend a couple of hours per week to speak in French or English. We could both improve our language skills this way. Contact me on francis.gaboriau@bbox.fr or 06 85 92 58 33.


Franglais at Bressuire

Les Amis Solitaires

Why not come and practise your French with a friendly and convivial group of French and English speakers? Each Wednesday evening (8-10pm) at the Centre Socio-Culturel in Bressuire. Phone Jan for further details 05 49 65 60 34.

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Grumpy’s Celebrated ‘You’re Not Here to Have Fun Quiz Night’ is looking for new victims. For all details contact me by email: roland.scott@wanadoo.fr. Next Quiz is Sat 14th January in Ste.Gemme 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 17 34 10 23 or email: LASdePoitou@gmail.com



by Eric Edwards

he Committee and members of the Linazay PoitouCharentes Branch of the Royal British Legion would like to wish everyone a New Year of peace, happiness and health and to thank you for your support in our fundraising efforts for the Poppy Appeal throughout 2016. The final count for the entire Region is 15 049,73€. These monies were raised throughout the year by fundraising events and, of course, the annual donations to Poppy Boxes.


Within the Deux-Sevres, our smaller Parthenay Group has done particularly well raising a disproportionately high amount of over 3,600€ of the above total. This was achieved through the following events: Saint David’s Day dinner in March, the Pathenay Group meeting at Le Beugnon, a garden fete and barn dance in July, high tea and book sales in August, Guy Fawkes night in November and finally the Poppy Boxes around Parthenay in November collected just over 800€ towards the Group total.

If Shakespeare at school made you feel like a fool, then ‘The Shakespeare Revue’ is the medicine for you. So come along next May and enjoy the songs, sketches and scenes that will keep you in stitches. More about this in our March edition.

The bookstore started in 2016 has taken over 500€ to date. Our Committee representative for the Group, Alan Rowlands, would like to thank everyone in the area who supported these fundraisers and to extend an invitation to the coming events for 2017 whether a member or not; please keep an eye on our web site for future dates and events and for contacts if you may be interested in helping. All the money we raise annually under the Poppy Appeal banner is sent to the central fund in London Head Office where it is ringfenced for awards to our beneficiaries. Like all major charities, as well as the unpaid volunteers here at grass roots, in order to compete on a level playing field TRBL has to employ paid staff at higher levels but their wages are derived from investments, bequeathments and property earnings so that every penny given to the Poppy Appeal reaches those we support. Once again thank you for supporting those who have given so much for our freedom and, directly, to those who support or rely on them.

by John Blair

he theatre Play Reading Group has decided on our next play which can be seen in both Secondigny and La Châtaigneraie in the Spring. It is an enchanting collection of witty music and skits about the Bard. It was originally devised for, and first performed by, the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been a hit with audiences all over the world. It includes songs and sketches by Alan Bennett, Noel Coward, Stephen Sondheim, Fry and Laurie, Monty Python, Victoria Wood and many more.

December saw a return to our very popular Christmas Cornucopia in Secondigny where we sang Christmas songs, carols and performed a number of sketches. A great audience, our thanks to you all for your participation. We also had a really successful Carol Concert in Secondigny Sainte Eulalie Church and sang a few carols at the CSSG Christmas Fair at Terves. This year the Cornucopia and Carol Concert had an additional musical element provided by our three newest members Carol, Linda and Adrian who between them added to the evenings with their talented flute, violin and piano playing, accompanied by our very talented pianist Ann Milton. So, a really busy December! Our Musical Director, Margaret Round and our accompanist, Ann Milton must be shattered, where would we be without them? In a few days we will be back rehearsing for our forthcoming Summer events. Summer...., that sounds good doesn’t it? I love the different seasons but I think summer is most people’s favourite. In December we held a ‘Winter Scene’ painting competition which was won by Jean Evley with her lovely Robin painting. Well done Jean! My thanks go to all our members who have helped share their skills and experiences with us in 2016.

Clubs & Associations Submission Guidelines

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and wish you a very happy 2017.

Wordcount: Title of entry+ 40 words (max. including contact details). Logos can be supplied and will be added if space allows.

As with Keynotes, the Art group returns in early January so have a look at the Reaction Theatre website to see our programme of events.

Adverts meeting the above specifications can be added free of charge, and will be rotated on a monthly basis to allow everyone to participate. To guarantee the advert is printed each month, a small fee of 54€ per annum will be requested.

You would be very welcome if you would like to join any of the groups; theatre, choir or art. For more details send me an email or check out our website and just come along, the more the merrier.

How to SUBMIT your entry: 1) Complete the short form on ‘Submit Article’ page of our website (under the ‘Content’ menu) or 2) Simply email the details to us: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

If you have any further questions you can visit our website


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 11

Hobbies More from local writer Alison Morton... Please see back issues of ‘The DSM’ if you would like to see previous articles.

Should you write that book? January is a funny old month: we’ve spent all our money, we’ve put on weight and we’re suffering from lack of sunlight. On the good side we’re motivated – sometimes by guilt – and determined to achieve something. Many people think of getting down to writing that book. Everybody has a book inside them, it’s said, but should it be allowed to escape?

Depending on your topic, you may have to spend some time doing research. Most professional writers will allocate roughly three months of their writing year to this. Next, the sheer physicality of typing out 100,000 or so words of the first draft takes months, apart from thinking up the story. And the only way to do it is to do it – bottom on seat!

Some people are natural journalists or screenwriters, others are poets, some embrace non-fiction, others academic writing. Many are happy short story writers. The first thing is to establish what you are comfortable doing: short or long form, factual or purely creative.

A novel is a project and needs to be managed with word count goals, time management, budget, research trips, training/courses and resource management. And work needs to be organized: character sketches, timelines, chapter outlines, production of a synopsis, plotlines. Spreadsheets are very handy for this!

Why are you writing your story? If you think you can dash off a bestseller and let the millions roll in, I’ll disillusion you now. It has a 0.2% chance of happening. Money should not be a motivator. Are you burning to tell the story of your life? Who is it for – your children and friends? Do you want to express a conflict or dilemma of modern living you’ve been through that might resonate with others? Is it to keep the grey matter active, just for the sheer enjoyment of turning out a well-written piece you can be proud of? Or do you want to become a professional/commercial writer even if it’s only part-time?

If you are writing a local history, your life experience, a memoir, guidebook or other non-fiction book, similar self-discipline and structures apply. You may have to do extensive picture research, site visits, track down people you haven’t seen for years and interview them, write and email archives and specialists.

But… should you really write it?

So let’s get down to it. Firstly, work out what you enjoy reading. What genre attracts you? Do you want to pen a grisly crime novel, slick spy caper, adventure from history or passionate romance? This is an important decision because you are going to be with it for a considerable time. A full-length novel is generally between 80-120,000 words. Historical and some science fiction tend to the longer end of that range, romance and crime to the shorter. Novellas are around 30 – 50,000 words. The area in the middle is not something that publishers will generally touch.


And after a year’s toil your book will need to be assessed and edited for content, cohesiveness and style. Then begins the hard work of convincing other people to be interested in it. But I’m playing devil’s advocate in this article. If you’re really passionate about your story, disciplined and burning to write, then get to the keyboard!

Happy writing! Alison has compiled the articles from this column into The 500 Word Writing Buddy, available on Amazon. Her fifth novel, INSURRECTIO, is now out.

by James Luxford

Heavy drama, crude comedy and music make up our pick of the month’s cinematic offerings.

La La Land (25th January)

Why Him? (25th January)

Ever wished movies could be a little happier? Well Damien Chazelle, Oscar nominated director of ‘Whiplash’, has done something about it. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling play two LA dreamers who cross each other’s paths and find their destiny. Taking inspiration from the Hollywood musicals of the past, everything about the film is spectacular. You’ll be tapping you feet to the big musical numbers, laughing at the performances and leave the cinema with a song in your heart. Surely a shoo-in for every award at next month’s Oscars, it’s an absolute joy.

Bryan Cranston lives every parent’s nightmare in this comedy about a father who meet his daughter’s unusual new boyfriend (James Franco). In the lead up to Christmas, the new beau’s antics lead father and potential son-inlaw on a collision course. Crude and heavily reliant on slapstick, the film nevertheless manages to be charming enough to coax out a few laughs and even some empathy, then deliver a satisfactory ending. It won’t be for everyone, but fans of films such as ‘Pineapple Express’ will find something to chuckle at.

12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Faisons des Copeaux or Let’s Make Some Shavings We formed the association last February, myself and Steve: I’m an ex-Woodwork Teacher, he’s an ex-Draughtsman, both of us keen amateur woodworkers and woodturners. We thought it might be a good idea to see if anyone else in the area shared our enthusiasm. Forming the association involved registering with the appropriate French organisation, filling in forms, making phone calls, paying fees etc. which all took time. The aim of the association is to pass on our skills and interest to anyone who wants to learn, get together with like-minded people and exchange ideas. At first we were undecided whether to do general woodworking or woodturning. We found that most people wanted the ‘almost instant’ results obtainable with turning. That is to say you could finish an object in only one or two sessions; rather than weeks as with, for example, cabinet-making. One or two of our members want more general woodworking skills, so we do this as well. Most people join us having little or no idea how to use a lathe. Steve found an article in a magazine showing an old system of exercises for training woodturners which teaches the skills in stages. We both had a go and decided it would be an ideal method for our novices to learn the correct and safe use of the tools and machines.

FILMS IN ENGLISH There are cinemas in our department which show films in their original language. Marked as ‘VO’ (Version Originale) or ‘VOST’ (Version Originale avec Sous-Titrage). These films can be seen at a number of locations. Use the websites opposite to check your local cinema for screenings.

by Roland Scott, President.

The association has 3 lathes, one on permanent loan and my own two brought from England. Our members range in ability from complete novices to highly skilled woodturners and we have 3 French members, one an ex cabinet maker. We meet on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings, every two weeks for practice, chat and the occasional demonstration, and now have 15 paid-up members. We would like to be able to increase our membership and have our own workshop but we don’t know who to ask for grants or other assistance to expand our association. If anyone has this information and would be willing to pass it on, it will be gratefully received. Contact Roland by email: roland.scott@wanadoo.fr

Bressuire Le Fauteuil Rouge: www.lefauteuilrouge.fr Parthenay Cinema: www.cinema.foyer.cc-parthenay.fr/foyer Melle cinema: www.lemelies-melle.info Niort CGR cinema: www.cgrcinemas.fr/niort/# Niort Moulin du Roc: www.moulinduroc.asso.fr L’échiquier at Pouzauges: www.echiquier-paysdepouzauges.fr and find others at www.allocine.fr

Birth of a Nation (1st February)

Gimme Danger (1st February)

Few films will feel more harrowing than this true story of a preacher in 1800s Virginia who inspires an uprising on a slave plantation. Incredibly well directed and with a central performance full of soul, there are echoes of Braveheart in director/ star Nate Parker’s drama. The actor is backed up by some fine performances from the likes of Gabrielle Union and the continually underrated Armie Hammer. While it lacks depth, ‘The Birth of A Nation’ makes up for its shortcomings with a great deal of passion to make a memorable experience.

The story of Iggy and The Stooges, the seminal punk band of the 70’s, is brought to the screen in super fan Jim Jarmusch’s reverent documentary. Narrated via interviews from the band themselves, we see the story of perpetual outsiders who became infamous not through publicity but through performance (shown via spectacular concert footage). The piece doesn’t quite evolve beyond simple hero worship, but Iggy Pop proves to be a fascinating subject, making it a must watch for fans.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 13

YOUR Book Reviews

Warm thanks go to Vronni Wood for this month’s review. If you’d like to share a book review with us, please email it to: info@ thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini Hosseini’s craft as a storyteller is unparalleled. If you read one book this year, make sure it’s this one. It is the follow up to the ‘Kite Runner’ (the subject of a blockbuster film) and it’s just as good, if not better! The story is endearing, heart-wrenching and frightening. His characterisation is epic and you can really empathise with the central players. Set in Afghanistan in the 1960s, it covers the Russian occupation through to the Taliban control… something, to my shame, I knew nothing about besides what I gleaned from the News. It follows the lives of two women and their marriages. It deals with shame, forced marriages, religion, and the position of women and men in such a society. Above all, it is a story that deals with the strength of love and the voices of these two women… you can’t get better than that! Readers: Please send me your thoughts on this book and we will create a Vox Pop here in a future issue! by V. Ward


Pure Fitness will be restarting on Tuesday 7th February 7pm at the Salle de Fetes in la Chapelle St Etienne. Come along and stretch, tone & move to music. Low & high impact options. Everyone welcome. You will need to wear layered, comfortable clothing, bring a mat for floorwork & some water to drink. A medical certificate will be required for insurance purposes.

Please contact me for further information. jane-trescothick@orange.fr

A new year... a new activity? Vasles Netball Club started in spring 2014 when Paula Stokes (UK netball coach) gathered a small group of ladies on the outdoor basketball court at the Mouton Village in Vasles. We had so much fun that we registered as an association and became only the 4th team to exist in France!

See Page 43

Starting back January 16th 2017, why not enjoy two free trial sessions and give it a whirl? Vasles Netball Club values the support of all it's members and you don't even have to play! Support us in anyway you can... Cheerleading?! Umpiring? Spreading the word! It all counts.

Entering our third year, Vasles Netball Club have some exciting things planned; including man (well lady!) of the match, monthly 'friendlies', some home and away matches and also some special social events and fund raisers!


Y A D N O m M p les Y 7 s R - a E 6 nV i

Open to women of all ages, nationalities and abilities (and we are a diverse lot ha ha!). Whether you are a beginner or returning after 'some years' please come along and see what it's all about. It really is great fun and a great way to keep fit! Playing every Monday at 6pm at the Salle Omnisport, Vasles with optional “aprèsNetball” drinks at the local bar.

14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

For further information please email: knight-kelly@sky.com or visit our Facebook page: VaslesNetballClub.

Our Furry Friends Rainbow Association UPDATE Helping to Raise funds for Animals in Need

The Rainbow Association wishes all our supporters a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2017. Thank you all for your kind support and generosity since the formation of Rainbow last May and we all look forward to a successful 2017 with your continued support. We are pleased to announce that in the six months between the end of May and the end of November, we donated an amazing 24 330€ to the following associations: SPA Limoges, SPA Poitiers, Chats de L’ISLE, St Bonnet de Bellac Pony Rescue (rescuing ponies from being butchered), Les Amis des Chats, Animal Rescue Lussac Les Chateaux, Heliominos Rescue, Alice Foundation and Capveto (cat trapping and sterilisation programme). Association Cats, Faune Sauvage (wildlife centre). Twilight, Acorn Association, Bellachon Chats, Equipax Association, Suzie Mitchell Dog Rescue. Please note that The Rainbow Association Shop, Route 66 Hotel, 107 Rue de la Liberation, Bussiere Poitevine, 87320, will be CLOSED until 4th February 2017.


Every day, everywhere in France, there are individuals and Associations doing heroic things to help animals. Every day they shelter, feed and care for many different kinds of animals, left at the roadside, saved from needless death, or found in a neglected or starving condition. Until a few years ago we raised funds for one association but when it changed its objectives we realised we still wanted to help “at the coalface” where animals were cared for and perhaps rehomed. With the backing of our loyal supporters we became ‘The Furry Friends Fund’ and now give each month to different deserving causes. In the last 12 months we have helped to have several animals sterilised, helped French and English people with vets bills and given to Galia, Orfée, Twilight Chiens, Phoenix, L’école du Chât Libre Caillerot and F.A.S.M (ferme des animaux sauvés de la mort) – a sum of over 2,500€. If you would like to help please come to one of our team quizzes: 1st Wednesday each month at St Vincent Sterlange 8.00 pm start, 3rd Wednesday each month at Le Clemenceau, Mouillerons-enPareds, start 7.30pm or come to our book sale the last Friday of each month 2-5 pm at 12 rue du Bourg Chasteigner, Cheffois. All books fiction, non fiction adults and children, jigsaws, CDs, DVDs only €1.00 each.

Lutin & Tinsel Hi, we are an adorable duo, brother & sister, who were born outside to a feral mum about 3-4 months ago. Luckily a very nice lady took us in to socialise but she can’t keep us!  Everything is so new but although we are still a little shy we LOVE cuddles and will purr to let you know! We enjoy exploring and are both litter trained, enjoy hide & seek and, when you find us we will do the tail and paw dance for you. Although we would love to stay together it’s more important that we find loving families. For more information you can call our foster mum Sophie, please make our Christmas by giving us the gift of a new life! Both kittens will be vaccinated and chipped on adoption. (photo left: Lutin, right: Tinsel) Sophie Nicol - Bergerac. sophie.nicol@yahoo.fr Telephone 05 53 73 91 13 or 07 78 21 13 55


Telephone 02 51 51 00 96 for further information.

We would like to thank all our supporters who have donated or turned up at events. We can make a difference but only with a lot of help and remember all proceeds will be donated to help our furry friends.

www.elephanthaven.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 15

Health, Beauty & Fitness A New Year, A New Approach!

by Lorraine Wallace


ands up, who made a New Year Resolution to lose weight and get fit? And who’s had it on their list for so many years that it’s become a written ‘piece of the furniture’?

Unfortunately, good intentions alone rarely last. By the end of week three, if you’re lucky, you’ve lost a little weight but you’re fed up, hungry and meal times are a pain. You tell yourself you’ve been good so you can indulge a little. You feel guilty, indulge more and before you know it, the diet has been ditched until summer looms! Sound familiar? Here are a few tips to help get you motivated and set you up for success so that you can begin to make healthy changes that are sustainable, healthy and enjoyable and DON’T deprive you. Accountability Ask yourself if you are motivated to undertake this on your own. I hear it all the time, “I feel like a failure”. You are not a failure, it’s not about willpower! Some people can set their own goals and stay accountable to themselves, some can’t. Some people are so busy looking after everyone else that they’d rather let themselves down than anyone else. Identify what will keep YOU on track. A friend who embarks on this with you? A financial commitment such as a gym membership, personal trainer or a coach like myself? Or maybe signing up for an event, such as a 5 km run? Schedule your health How important is your health goal on a scale of 1 to 10? If it’s nearing the top end, register that. See this goal as a necessity! Do what you’d do with any other important appointment or task… schedule it, it’s non-negotiable. Depending on your starting point, start with a commitment to do a 5 minute exercise routine per day and make a 2 minute smoothie in place of biscuits. Put it in your diary EVERY day so that it becomes a part of your routine and build on it. This was a game changer for me! Don’t do it all at once This is overwhelming and will set you up to fail. Identify two things that you’d like to change in your diet or routine and focus on only them for the first week. Add another one or two for the second week and so on. For example, swap 2 slices of toast for 1 slice with avocado or egg on it. The concept is called ‘crowding out’ - instead of depriving yourself, you gradually crowd out poorer choices by introducing healthier elements. SMALL STEPS LEAD TO BIG CHANGE Just think…2 small changes each week, over 12 weeks that’s 24 permanent changes! Now that’s pretty impressive! Note: I commonly see other factors hindering weight loss mineral or vitamin deficiencies, thyroid conditions, stress, medication… please contact me to discuss.

www.lorrainewallace.com Email: lorraine@lorrainewallace.com ~ Tel: 05 55 68 15 77 16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

la MAISON des


La petite maison du bien-être...

Deva Yoga Dance

Holistic Therapies

Fly Pilates


For more information, contact us: La Maison des Miracles 85120, Vouvant

Limited places available - Book Now to Reserve your place... Enjoy our FREE meditations offering you the protection of the heart and The 12 Steps to Mastery... And our FREE yoga class ‘The Perfect Awakening’... A gentle revival after a long sleep... Available on our Youtube channel ‘La Maison des Miracles TV’

Tel: 02 51 53 87 41 Mob: 06 35 15 60 60

Email: info@lamaisondesmiracles.com www.lamaisondesmiracles.com

We are also delighted to launch THE MIRACLE ACADEMY... Offering you the opportunity of an education adventure with a member of our wellbeing family with our in house training program...

La Maison des Miracles La Maison des Miracles TV

If you would like to train as a Reiki Practitioner please contact us for more information on our courses.

Bookings being taken now...

Beauty Treatments

Flow Yoga

Ballet Barre The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 17

Home & Garden

Lighten Up...

by Sue Newell, La Deuxième Chance


anuary is the time when tinsel, wine and chocolates give way to resolutions, diets, and good intentions!

Have you noticed that shops are stocked with stacking boxes and everything you need to start your New Year reorganisation?

This beautiful, but dark, dressing table was chosen for its elaborate carved features, but the techniques shown below can be used on even the plainest piece. I chose to paint this piece in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ as the paint is easy to apply, with little or no preparation and the texture of the paint allows the white wax to add another dimension to the surface. I hope this project will get you painting.....

So amid all the sorting, tidying and reorganising why not consider updating just one piece of furniture? I promise it will not stop at one, if like me you get hooked on the whole idea of repurposing and reusing. So this month I thought I would share a project that will turn a piece of rather dark furniture into a brightly painted masterpiece with little or no preparation.




You will need :* * * *

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ™ 1 lt – Paris Grey Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ 100ml - Original Annie Sloan Soft Wax - Clear Annie Sloan Soft Wax – White


* * *

Large and small pure bristle paint brushes Waxing Brush Soft Cloth for buffing

STEP 3: Embellish

Before starting to paint ensure your furniture is clean and dry. Wiping away any dust or dirt with a soft cloth and warm water is generally all that is required. Dry thoroughly.

Paint the edges of drawers and the fine mouldings to highlight using a contrasting • colour (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ - Original) Paint freehand using a fine bristle brush. • lightly brush the white paint over the There is no need to remove old varnish or Then • wax. Just ensure you have a sound dry base carved areas to add definition. on which to apply your paint.

• •

STEP 2: Paint Stir the paint well, as per the instructions on the tin. If you have not used this paint before you may find it quite thick.

Photos © La Deuxième Chance 2017

Apply to your furniture in an uneven manner, applying the paint in different directions. Start at the top and work downwards covering the wood, but watching for runs on corners and edges. Try not to overpaint areas as the paint dries quickly. Ensure you get the paint into any carvings or grooves.

STEP 4: Wax

Apply a thin layer of Annie Sloan Soft White Wax. Work this into the paint and carvings using a soft Wax Brush. (A soft lint free cloth can be used, but pay attention to For drawers it is best to paint an inch of the carved areas as missing areas will give an • outer edges; the inside can be painted in a uneven appearance). contrasting colour or to match. Allow the Remove any excess wax polishing as you go. paint to dry, approximately 20 minutes. The wax will be absorbed into the paint. Once dry, apply a top coat of Clear Soft Wax. Buff well using a soft lint free cloth.

HINTS & TIPS... A 1 litre tin will cover approximately 13 m2. That’s a lot of furniture! One coat is normally all you need. (Perfect for covering painted beams) Use wax sparingly rubbing in as you go to avoid streaking. You can obtain a high gloss finish by buffing the wax the following day. For a more “distressed” finish, lightly sand the edges of your furniture using Annie’s wonderful reusable foam sanding pads. For an aged look you can apply Annie Sloan dark or black waxes. Prevent staining your paint by applying a thin coat of clear wax first. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ is not just for furniture. It is made of natural ingredients and is breathable, so perfect for using on old damp or lime plastered walls. You can use it on floors too, wooden or concrete. Annie Sloan Wall Paint™ comes in larger 2.5 lt tins and give a durable, washable surface. Ideal for kitchens and high traffic areas. WHERE TO BUY: La Deuxième Chance, 7 rue de la Croix Cholette, Le Bois de Messé, 79120 Messé. Tel 05 49 27 12 62 Or online at www.ladeuxiemechance.com/webstore

use different gs Next month...Howtototra nsform your soft furnishin paint techniques

18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Authorised Stockists of


Autentico Chalk Paints Vintage, Matt & Eggshell Available in 500mls


Christmas decorations, cards & gifts now in stock Hand-made crafts Individual furniture Stencils Two paint workshops a month

‘The DSM’ Office Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm

of the month

9 Rue du Duc d’Aquitaine, 85120 Vouvant T: 09 66 92 57 95 E: info@frescointeriors.fr W: www.frescointeriors.fr/en Open Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 6pm


Do you forget the opening hours for your local déchetterie? Visit the website www.smc79.fr for details For waste disposal outside of the Deux-Sèvres there’s an alternative website www.decheteries.fr

Take a Break - SOLUTIONS Easy Crossword: Across: 1. asset 4. attempt 8. due 9. movie goer 10. reimburse 12. pry 13. atlantic ocean 15. why 16. peer group 17. abhorrent 20. emu 21. everest 22. plate Down: 1. andorra 2. specialty 3. tom 4. advertisement 5. theme song

6. moo 7. tardy 11. bonaparte 12. phenomena 14. neptune 15. weave 18. hue 19. tip Toughie Crossword: Across: 1. dummy 4. card 7. cased 8. whereas 11. spade 12. entreat 14. sadism 16. rubber 20. declare 23. sharp 26. shuffle 27. antic 28. stye 29.

amend Down: 1. discard 2. midgets 3. yawned 4. cheat 5. reeve 6. aces 9. sitar 13. rib 14. sides 15. ill 17. upstage 18. boasted 21. court 22. alfie 24. pack Well, what do you know?: 1) Jack DEE 2) YEW 3) ELL 4) EXE

5) Sweet PEA 6) Brain and EYE 7) KEW 8) Dustin GEE 9) SEA 10) HAY on WYE 11) TEA 12) BEE GEE’s 13) Peter KAY

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 19



ell, Christmas is over, we’ve had the shortest day and now we’re into the new year 2017 so ‘Happy New Year’ everyone. Let’s hope it’s a good one but for now let’s get going with the jobs to be done in the garden this month. Being cold and wet with shorter daylight hours, garden work can be difficult this month, and little can be done except to try to minimise the effects of adverse weather and protect the more tender plants from cold winds and frost. In general, plants will survive quite well when they are completely blanketed by snow, but where they penetrate above the snow then these parts can be badly frosted. Also, heavy snow can break down branches of large shrubs and trees, so it’s wise to shake it off. Ask the children or grandchildren to help – great fun (so long as you aren’t standing underneath at the time!)

20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

by Vanda Lawrence

th will include: on m is th bs jo er Oth y for spring. ad re s se ou nh ee gr  Clean pots and pen garden tools, shar er. k ec ch d an an le  C ice the lawn mow secateurs and serv ces on stakes, ties, fleee been e ey p ar sh a p ee  K which might hav and other supportseavy rain or high winds. damaged during h st , continue to harve A en rd ga e bl ta ge ve s. leek  In the rsnips, sprouts andefers to pa e, ag bb ca r te in w ld me that he pr friend recently to in the ground until after leave his parsnips er because he feels the some frosty weath My husband says the same flavour is sweeter. uts and prefers to pick about Brussels sproe been frosted. them when they’v veggie cant areas in the ganic va er ov ng gi ig d g or  Finish and borders, addinwill also s d be er ow fl , ot pl turning the soil matter as you go;for hungry birds to feed on. expose any pests and spread straw, . ns ow cr b ar ub rh anting  Plant ould over after pl and m af le or st po m co established crowns Do the same for ants with boxes or pots to then cover the pl owth. encourage early gr

 Take hardwood cuttings fro shrubs, climbers and hedgingm deciduous small trench and line with plants; dig a then dip the planting tip inta little sand, rooting powder before planti o hormone ng in the trench.  Thin out dead and diseased trees and shrubs and apply wood from fertilizer to those grown in nitrogenous lawns and grassy areas.  Finish pruning apple and pe ar trees.  Winter-prune Wisterias by cu young shoots to within 3”/8 cmtting back of old wood.  Inspect stored fruit and veg regularly and discard any susetables pect items.  Check stored dahlia and beg make sure they are not rot onia tubers to out. If they are getting tooting or drying them in some tepid water fo dry just drop then dry off before storing r a while again.  If you have a heated gre en can sow seeds of summer flohouse you bedding plants in readiness wering for next year.

Remember to keep filling the bird feeder and replacing the fat balls for our little feathered friends. Also, make sure their water bowl is not frozen solid. Keep some salt or sand handy for any slippery spots on the garden path too.

And then, as they say on a popular dance show ….. “keeeep digging !!”


NEW Moon 1st Quarter 29th December 5th January

Full Moon

12th January

3rd Quarter

19th January

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 21


Why British Racing Green?


by Tony Barrett

ritish Racing Green is one of the most iconic colours of the automotive world. Its provenance goes back over 110 years and has decorated countless racing icons.

From the beginning of organised motor sport events, in the early 1900s, until the late 1960s, before the advent of commercial sponsorship liveries came into common use, vehicles competing in Formula One, sports car racing, touring car racing and other international auto racing competitions customarily painted their cars in standardized racing colours that indicated the nation of origin of the car or driver. The obvious colours which even casual racing fanciers know are British Racing Green for United Kingdom competitors, bleu de France for French competitors, rosso corsa (“racing red”) for Italian racers, white or silver for Germans, white with a red sun for the Japanese, and white with blue Cunningham stripes for Americans. Bleu de France was a traditional colour for the livery of the kings of France since as early as the 12th century. Emperor Mommu used a flag of a red sun in his court in 701—hence the Japanese motif. Silver accurately reflects the German national character: although they originally used all white and maintained the rights to that scheme, an engineer realized that the car would weigh less with no paint and thereafter they left the shiny aluminium metalwork unpainted, hence the name the ‘Silver Arrows’ for the Mercedes team.

© Wikimedia/Oxyman

But why British Racing Green? It turns out that British racing green—that quintessential elegant dark green which is eponymous with ‘British-ness’ came from a quirk of English law. The winner of the Gordon Bennett Cup, a prestigious early race named for a crazed industrialist, was expected to host the next year’s race. An English automobile had won the 1902 race from Paris to Innsbruck, and due to their victory, England was scheduled to host the 1903 event. However, the rule of the British land was that no automobile was allowed to exceed 12mph, and this decree from Parliament essentially made motor racing illegal on the entire island. In a mad scramble, the British organisers switched the location of the 1903 race to Ireland – a land where the local laws were “adjusted” to accommodate road racing. As a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green which thus became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted Olive green. The colour stuck, even though it darkened into a near black over the years.

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

1902 Napier

1929 Bugatti

1930 Bentley 41/2 L-Le Mans In 1929 William Grover Williams a successful English driver, entered the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix in his Bugatti 35B, which had been painted in the French national colour of blue. But Williams had the car repainted in British Racing Green to identify his nationality. Against the odds he won the race, firmly cementing the colour of British Racing Green in the history books. Bentley convened a group of wealthy British men, “united by their love of insouciance, elegant tailoring, and a need for speed,” to renew Bentley’s success. Both drivers and mechanics, these men, later nicknamed the ‘Bentley Boys’, drove Bentley automobiles to victory in several races between 1927 and 1931, including four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and forged the brand’s reputation and forever placing British Racing Green into the annals of motor racing. Throughout the years, the colour has largely adorned British cars, especially Aston Martins and Jaguars, and even the Bentley EXP Speed 8. You know.... that British Racing Green LMP-1 class car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. (photo below)

Contact Tony by email: pardeloup@aol.com


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 23

Food & Drink Take Your Partners for the Food and Wine Waltz


here was a time, and not that long ago, when the idea of food and wine matching didn’t exist. In rural parts of France (i.e. most of it before the mid 19th century) you drank whatever wine you had to hand, not only as a comforter after a hard day’s graft in the fields but as a cleaner, healthier alternative to untreated water. It was only in the 1980s that pondering the wine list with increasing stress and sweaty hands became the norm, mainly due to American influence: if you could introduce an element of sage aestheticism into the whole wining and dining experience then it didn’t seem so bad that you were drinking alcohol. The moral tentacles of Prohibitionism gripped tight and were hard to uncoil. But now that the food and wine matching genie is well and truly out of the bottle, so to speak, we are all en route for the Holy Grail of that perfect tipple to go with Aunt Mabel’s plum pudding. Or whatever. It’s tempting to dismiss the whole venture with an airy wave and say “whatever takes your fancy, whatever you like”. All very gung-ho; anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment. Makes you feel like a young Peter Fonda with the wind in your hair. But what you get is not necessarily what you expected. A bit like voting for Brexit and Trump (if only I’d had an accumulator on those two events). For example, pairing a fish dish with a tannic red will make the wine taste metallic or off, and any wine will taste horribly acid with sweet dishes unless the wine is sweeter than the food itself. What to do? I’m often asked to advise on a wine to go with a particular dish and when I propose a wine of a particular style, as opposed to a specific name, you can hear the underwhelmed disappointment resounding from here to Rotorua. But this is really the key. The aforementioned Holy Grail is balance. And as we think of weights in a balance (or scale), we should think of matching the ‘weight’ (or style) of a food with the ‘weight’ (or style) of a wine. A big busty Cabernet Sauvignon will smother a quiche while a fairy-light Muscadet will whimper before a robust stew. Another principle to apply is ‘complement or contrast’. A wine complements a dish if it’s of the same ‘weight’. An earthy, rustic dish will go well with an earthy, rustic wine – for example, a Burgundian Pinot Noir with Coq au Vin. Red wine with white meat? Shock, horror. But it works, partly because the wine and the dish grew

24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

by John Sherwin

up together in the same region, partly because the dish is made with red wine, but mostly because there is balance. On the other hand, using a wine to contrast with the dish, you are looking for a combination that brings out the best in both: opposites attract. A fish with a creamy sauce would benefit more from a crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc cutting through the unctuosity than it would from a buttery Chardonnay doubling up on the creaminess. Here’s a quick guideline on weights of wine:

Light whites: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, non-oaked Chardonnay, Muscadet. Medium to heavy whites: oaked Sauvigon Blanc, oaked Chardonnay, whites from Bordeaux (Semillon-based), whites from Burgundy (Chardonnay), whites from the Rhone (Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne).

Lighter reds: Beaujolais (Gamay), Pinot Noir from cooler regions such as Sancerre. Medium reds: most Burgundy (Pinot Noir), Bordeaux from the right bank, ie Merlot based, Loire Cabernet Franc.

Heavier reds: Syrah from the Rhone, wines from the SW based on Malbec, wines from the even further SW (eg Madiran) based on Tannat, left bank Bordeaux. To quote Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, “wine and food pairing is like two people having a conversation – ‘one must listen while the other speaks or the result is a muddle”. That is, one component must be the slightly dominant partner. At the end of the day, if it all goes a bit pear-shaped, it’s not the end of the world, is it? As wine expert Mark Oldman reminds us, “food and wine pairing can be like sex and pizza: even when it’s bad it can still be pretty good”. Happy New Year. John Sherwin, French Wine Tours 07 50 90 02 00 or www.french-wine-tours.com

Waste not, want not...


by Lynda Gee

n January we all have some left overs (including festive spirits!) from Christmas and New Year celebrations, so this month I am offering suggestions to use some of them up. First, something to keep out the cold....

French Style Hot Wine

1 bottle of red wine 1 glass of port 4 soup spoons of brown sugar 1 cinnamon stick 2 cloves ¼ grated nutmeg zest of an orange Place all the ingredients into a saucepan. low until Bring to the boil on a high heat, then turn this down around for this like it keep and ering the liquid is gently simm 20 minutes. res. Serve very hot in glasses suited to high temperatu

Cheesy Pasta

As a caterer I often have lots of various types of cheese ends left from my cheese boards which I save (often freeze) and then use later in this simple recipe. A good handful of dried pasta shells or spirals per person A selection of cheeses, try to include a good blue for flavour 50g butter 30 - 40 cl double cream with a splash of white wine added Firstly cook and drain the pasta. Starting with a good bed of pasta, layer this with a mixture of the cheeses cut into thick slices or roughly chopped. Almost cover the layers of pasta to give a rich, ’melty’ cheesy taste and texture. Pre heat your oven to 180˚C. Pour the cream over the pasta and then dot with butter. Bake in the oven until all the cheese is thoroughly melted and the sauce bubbling. Bake for around 20 minutes, but take care not to let it dry out.

Turkey Forestiere © Rpavich

© NCinDC

Lynda is better known as ‘Ginger’s Kitchen’ and provides a full at-home catering service. You can see her advert on P.27.

Tel: 06 23 00 72 04 ~ Email: gingers.kitchen@orange.fr

(serves 4)

Around 400 - 500 g cooked turkey meat 30cl veal stock (fond de veau) 400g mixed mushrooms (button, cepes, girolles) 1 large onion 3 soup spoons finely chopped parsley 10 cl double cream (or 2 soup spoons of cornflour blended with cold water) sunflower oil freshly ground black pepper 1 spoonful of bottled green peppercorns Prepare the ‘fond de veau’ and keep to one side. Wash and slice the mushrooms. If you don’t have or like the others, button mushrooms are fine on their own. Finely chop the onion and roughly slice or chop the turkey. Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok and cook the onions until softening but not brown, add the mushrooms and cook for around 5 minutes then add the cooked turkey meat. Add the cream, peppers and parsley and cook on a medium light for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Pour over the veal stock. (Anyone wanting a dairy free version can omit the cream and replace with the cornflour at this stage to thicken the sauce.) Cover and simmer on a low light for another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with rice or gnocchis.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 25

Planning Ahead...


by Jacqueline Brown

hope you all had a lovely Christmas and ate well. 2016 was a challenging year in many ways for us with huge changes, both personal and political, that shook our foundations to the core and I was certainly glad to see it draw to a close. What it did teach me though is to live for the here and now, never to take your family and friends for granted and that you can never say too many I love you’s or give too many hugs from the heart. At the end of November we received ‘the call’ that anyone living far away from family dreads, but sadly knows to expect at some point. Adrian’s father was in hospital and the prognosis wasn’t good. Adrian did make it back to see him before he died, but the shock of losing someone very suddenly, especially someone who seemed so fit and active right to the end, made the end of the year difficult. Ours was a quiet family Christmas, as no one really felt like celebrating. The only good thing was that I didn’t overindulge in the festive period like I usually would, so I’m hopeful of keeping the layer of winter fat, which is always difficult to shift in spring, to a minimum. Thankfully my winter diet is often heavy on the healthy and hearty homemade vegetable soups, so as long as I don’t have too many tartiflettes or galette des rois I should be OK. 2016 was a good one for me in terms of cycling adventures and 2017 is already looking to be another good year for me on my bike. I’m sworn to secrecy at the moment, but being part of a team, cycling for charity and discovering parts of the Deux-Sèvres I don’t yet know, is all rather exciting. I might have plenty of months still to prepare, but it’s been the perfect excuse to motivate me into getting out to walk or cycle on sunny, dry days. Exercising in the fresh air is good for both your mind and body. The air indoors is not as fresh as our bodies need to stay healthy so the increased oxygen levels from breathing while exercising outside help us to digest our food more effectively, help us to think more clearly and strengthen our immune systems to fight off the winter bugs. Also as the amount of serotonin (the chemical that promotes a sense of happiness and well-being) in our body is affected by the amount of oxygen we inhale, getting outside, even in winter, will make us feel more positive and able to cope when things get tough. It certainly helped lift my spirits, along with a coffee served with dark chocolate; a French habit my father-in-law picked up from us and enjoyed on a daily basis. There are times in all our lives when things don’t go to plan, but I hope that 2017 will turn out to be a happy and healthy one for us all.

www.frenchvillagediaries.com Email: frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com 26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017


Need Curry? Get Naked! Naked Curries was started early last year by Sarah and Kate. They love living in France and all that it has to offer, but really missed curry and the ability to buy all the provisions necessary to create one, and so did many of their friends. So, in an effort to fill this void, they teamed up with a traditional Indian supplier out of the curry capital of the Western world, Birmingham, and are now providing authentic Indian ingredients including: curry sauces, spice mixes, whole spice packets, real basmati rice, chutneys, naan breads, pakora/bhaji mix and poppadums to the Vendée and the Deux-Sèvres areas. Sarah and Kate are mindful of the importance of pure ingredients, and are keen to be involved with healthy, wholesome and pure food items, hence the name Naked Curries. Their products are suitable for vegetarians, and naturally low in calories too and have met with rave reviews from customers. They are available for purchase from them directly and from local businesses such as Le Clémenceau Café and Hair by Jane in Mouilleronen-Pareds, Pause Café in L’Absie, and Le St. Georges in St. Juire Champgillon. They also supply a number of Gite owners with ‘curry kits’; this bag of goodies provides everything needed for an authentic Indian meal that visitors can prepare themselves! Their plan for the coming year is to expand their product line and their outlets. They are looking for distributors in your areas and in the following locations: Luçon, Chantonnay, Fontenayle-Comte, and La Châtaigneraie (but they are not restricted to these areas). If you or anyone you know would be interested in stocking and supplying Naked Curries products, you can contact them via their website, email, Facebook or by telephone.

Photo © Naked Curries 2017

Contact Naked Curries on 02 51 97 37 12 or 07 80 34 00 30



The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 27

Communications Should I Repair or Replace my PC? by Ross Hendry

Descriptionof repair or service


hen I visit customers whose PC has a problem, I am often asked whether to repair or replace it. This is obviously a question with a subjective answer, so let’s look at the relevant facts that help when considering this very valid question.


Generally speaking, personal computers are designed to last 3 to 5 years. With any PC over 5 years old you should only consider the least expensive repairs, no more than 20-25% of the replacement cost. The main reason for this is that if a component of your PC has failed and needs a repair then the chances are that other components are likely to fail too. Furthermore with speeds and capacities tending to double every two years, repairing a 5 year old PC may get it working, but it will never be as good as a current model. However, if your PC is less than 3 years old and if the repair cost is less than 50% of a replacement, it may well be cost effective to repair it, especially if it is a higher-end PC. For a PC of age 3 to 5 years old, preferably get a quote or two from your computer repairer/s and do the sums, or see the table. Over 3 years old I would probably only sanction a repair if the cost was less than 33% of a replacement one, more if it is a high spec PC. For PCs over 5 years old (unless you brought a very high end PC) it is probably not worth repairing but get a quotation or two if they are free, (maybe it is worth upgrading - more on this next month.)

So what is the cost of repairs?

Some hardware repairs may necessitate reinstalling the operating system. This means that the data on your PC will have to be backed up and this can be time consuming and therefore costly. This brings other considerations, e.g. Would you use your existing operating system or take the opportunity to upgrade to the latest operating system? For example; the PC is currently running Windows 7 or 8/8.1, and Windows 10 is the most current available. This extra cost could be worth the additional benefit, if your current hardware and software are all supported. Opposite is a précis of a ‘Which?’ report produced in 2012 with current local prices. With one exception this covers workshop work, where the customer delivers and collects the PC/laptop. Expect to pay more if you want the work done at your home/ business. Use it as a general guide to help you calculate what you may need to spend to repair your PC when considering replacement. The price will vary depending upon the age/speed of the PC. Wherever possible get a quotation from your PC repairer/technician to make these calculations as they will know your hardware and be able to quote you more accurately. You can see the original article on this link: www.local.which. co.uk/advice/cost-price-information-computer-pc-repairs 28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Laptop - replace Power socket inc hardware cost Desktop - replace power supply (500 to 600w) inc hardware cost Hard Drive Failure 500Gb - inc. - not recovery, + hardware cost Virus or malware scan and removal Replace laptop screen inc hardware cost Liquid damage to laptop inc new keyboard PC or laptop - install new operating system - time only Install new PC at customer’s home or business - time only Upgrade RAM - time only General/Annual service - slower/ older PCs may cost more Data transfer from old drive to new one/external Diagnostic on system - usually not charged if any recommended repairs are undertaken by same repairer/technician


Price Est. time taken Range (hrs) in € 60 - 100 1-2


65 - 90

0.5 -1


120 - 180


60€ 125€

50 - 100 105 - 200

1-4 1-2


45 - 105


55 - 110

1+ drying 1-3


55 - 110


45€ 45€

45 - 85 45 - 115

0.5-2 1-3


45 - 115



65 - 100


Typical Quote

Hopefully, by using the information in the table you can search for potential replacement PCs and get a price and calculate if it is worthwhile conducting a repair. Finally, if the repair cost is likely to be more than half the cost of a new replacement PC, (or 33% if 3 years +) then I would personally either buy a new PC, or maybe consider a very high spec second hand one. There are some superb used laptops and desktop PCs available, usually business machines that are really worth buying rather than buying a new entry level PC. These can often be purchased from around £150 to £250 and many will have short warranties. If you do decide to do this, do check out the person selling the used PC and make sure that they are a bona fide business, and see what other customers have experienced at their hands. Ross Hendry is the proprietor of Interface Consulting and Engineering, who has over 42 years experience in Communications, Computer Technology and Direct Marketing.


‘The DSM’ magazine Readers’ Survey is now available via our website and Facebook page.

Please complete this survey before 28th February 2017 and be entered into our draw to win ‘BEST’ shopping vouchers to the value of 100€ www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr Facebook/thedeuxsevresmonthly

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 29

Take a Break Across: 1. A useful or valuable quality (5) 4. Try; make an effort (7) 8. Scheduled to arrive (3) 9. A regular visitor to the cinema (9) 10. Pay back or compensate (9) 12. Inquire in a meddlesome way (3) 13. Large body of water west of France (8,5) 15. For what reason or purpose (3) 16. Contemporaries of the same status (4,5) 17. Loathsome; offensive to the mind (9) 20. Large Australian flightless bird (3) 21. Highest mountain peak in the world (7) 22. Coat with a layer of metal (5)

Down: 1. A small republic between Spain and France (7) 2. A distinctive quality, occupation or skill (9) 3. Male cat (3) 4. A public promotion of some product or service (13) 5. A melody used to identify a performer or programme (5,4) 6. The sound made by a cow (3) 7. Slow in moving, acting or happening; late (5) 11. Former French general and emperor (9) 12. Unusual, unexplainable; remarkable people or things (9) 14. God of the sea in Roman mythology (7) 15. Sway to and fro; meander (5) 18. A degree of lightness, darkness or strength of a colour (3) 19. The extreme end of something (3)

DSM Toughie Crossword

With thanks to M.Morris

29. Morning comes before time Across: to finish revamp (5) 1. Pacifier held back from the action at Down: first? (5) 1. Throw away remark insultingly 4. Two-dimensional but amusing used on vehicle given to character? (4) daughter (7) 7. What needed to be done to the 2. Holy man disturbed after joint before the main event? (5) Scottish plague of Lilliputians 8. When in fact existed in the past (7) about this place? (7) 10. Tempting invitation actually masked 3. Showed signs of fatigue when having to go back from a trap (3) hidden way out (6) 11. We are told the cat was treated to a help 4. That man taken in by the with turning over in the garden (5) whip is a fraudster himself (5) 12. Beg for improved rate for hospital 5. Concerning the first woman department (7) to become a local magistrate 14. American uncle over, in plain a long time ago (5) clothes, suffering enjoyment (6) 16. OU exchange means former thief is now 6. Contests have no right to be presented as brilliant in the used to get rid of stuff not wanted (6) air (4) 20. Cleared off after being made to 9. Stair torn up for music show your hand (7) maker (5) 23. Knowing to be quiet when faced 13. PB upgrade changes last with air raid precautions (5) 25. A small glass holds no horror for an message to give support (3) 14. You could take these if you accustomed drinker (3) 26. Distinctive movement of Ali Rashuf find yourself swaying in one direction... (5) fleeing confinement (7) 15. ... and top up if less fine alth- 18. Bragged about having used pack (5) 27. French not taking part in crazy, the angles in court? (7) 22. 60’s anti-hero living in feudal ough you may get sick (3) foolish behaviour (5) 28. Energy installation on animal home, but 17. Take attention away from 19. A steep rise in currency (6) fiefdom ... (5) 21. These cards can give a face, 24. ... but if you know what it’s the result is not pleasant on the eye (4) rear of main action? (7) and not just a number in the all about today

Well, what do you know?

Monthly quiz by Roland Scott...... how many can you get?

1) Who presents BBC Radio 4’s “I’m Sorry I haven’t A Clue”?

8) Who was the comedy partner of Les Dennis?

2) From which wood is a traditional English Longbow made?

9) What word follows red, black, yellow, white, coral and Irish?

3) Which former textile measure was usually 45 inches in England and 37 inches in Scotland? (source-OED)

10) Which Welsh town hosts an annual literary festival?

4) Which river rises at Simonsbath in Somerset, then flows almost due South so nearly all of it is in Devon? 5) In the Popeye cartoons, which is the name of Popeye’s adopted baby son? 6) The Optic Nerve connects which two human organs?

11) After water, which is the world’s most widely drunk beverage? 12) Which singing group was formed by brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice? 13) Which comedian, born in Farnsworth, Lancashire, had a British No1 record with a version of Tony Christie’s “Is This The Way to Amarillo?” ?

7) Where are the Royal Botanical Gardens? Copyright RJS 2016 30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Answers on P.19 and our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

DSM Easy Crossword

Building & Renovation

Annual Subscription Costs: 33,60€ within France, 28,80€ 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.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 31



PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO MENTION ‘THE DSM’ when responding to an article or advert...

32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017


Loads of new clients this year, and nearly all of them down to my advert in your publication...thanks DSM!

Small B/W advert only

‘The DSM’ Advertiser Feedback...

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 33

34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

The roof, the whole roof, and nothing but the roof Malcolm has been working in the roofing industry for over 40 years. His experience has been sought after in America and Germany, where his roofing skills have been called upon in the construction of stately and unusual homes. In the UK he has re-slated many English Heritage buildings, churches and some of the UK’s finest properties. Since moving to France with his family, Malcolm has been very busy responding to anything from an emergency leak to replacing entire roofs. For a free estimation please call: 06 32 19 50 53 / 05 49 07 67 04.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 35

Business & Finance Marketing Matters by Cindy Mobey

Planning for 2017... the four Ps


ith 2016 coming to a close, those of us with small businesses are starting to turn our attention to next year, and how we can improve our services to get more customers. That’s where a good marketing plan comes in handy…and it’s surprisingly easy to pull together. A marketing plan is just another way of looking at how to promote your business, for existing customers, as well as about gaining new ones. A typical plan should include a summary of your business; name, contact details, what your business is about, your key objectives and your plan for achieving those objectives. You also need to identify your key competitors to find out what they do that is different from you…why some are more successful. This will help you to plan your goals for next year. There are loads of things that you can look at when pulling together a marketing plan, but I’m going to look at what I call the four Ps… Product – What is it about your products or services that makes your customers come to you? Do you need to change your products or services in any way to meet your customers’ needs? Can your business solve a problem for someone that you hadn’t thought of before? Pricing – how do you aim to compete with your competitors’ pricing – do you want to match their prices or undercut them….or do you want to charge slightly more for a more quality product or service? Place – where and how are you going to sell your products? Do you sell them yourself or outsource them to retail outlets? If you’re doing it yourself, do you have the right things in place, such as a website/social media? Promotion – how are you going to let your existing and potential customers know about your products/services? You need to be thinking about advertising, PR, direct mail and personal selling. When deciding on pricing and products or services, it’s important to think about who your customers are, who your competitors are and how well they are doing. Research your products/services – how well have they sold in the past, what is the most popular and what is the least popular? Then you can think of the steps you can take to improve on your offering. Once you know who you’re targeting and what products/services you will be offering, you can plan your objectives for the year. And then, you can assess your budget to find out which promotion strategies you can use to get your business out there. I hope this has helped get your creative juices flowing! Contact me if you need more help…

Next month’s article will look at the various promotion strategies and how you can build in measurement to ensure your business stays on track.

Contact Cindy Mobey Tel: 05 45 31 13 86 ~ Email: cindymobey@outlook.com

36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

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to 75 years old who have a minimum of 30 000€ to invest. No maximum.

Withdrawals. Partial and full withdrawals possible at any time. No fees for taking your money out.

How does it work. This Assurance Vie works a bit like a “stop

Adding money to it. Only on the anniversary date of the policy

loss” contract. On the anniversary date of your contract, Allianz looks at how much is on it and takes stock of the amount. If your capital has decreased by more than 10%, Allianz reimburse you up to minus 10%. E.g.: You invest 100,000€ on 01/01/2016 and on 01/01/2017 you have only 80,000€ left on it due to a market crash, then Allianz re-adjust your contract to 90,000€ (100,000€-10%). On the contrary, if the amount has increased, Allianz take stock of the amount and the 10% guaranteed is re-adjusted to this new amount. E.g.: investment of 100,000€, 115,000€ on the anniversary date, Allianz recalculate the stop loss of -10% from 115,000€. So on the next anniversary you have 100,000€, then Allianz re-adjust your contract to 103,500€ (115,000€-10%). So not only it protects you from market crashes but it secures your gains. You can choose a stop loss at -15% instead of -10%.

How the money is invested. The money is invested in one of

two funds: Allianz Strategy 50 (stop loss -10%) or Allianz Strategy 75 (stop loss -15%). Both funds have been noted 5 stars by Morningstar (Independent investment research). Strategy 75 has made +3.25% last year, 32.89% in 3 years and 89.71% in 5 years.

and a minimum of 1,500€. Or any time if you have taken out the stop loss guarantee which you can do after the first year of the contract.

Conclusion. With interest rates being at their lowest ever, it is imperative to look at alternative investments that would bring more income without risking it all. Especially, if the inflation goes above the % of interest you get. If this happens, you actually lose money without realising it! Allianz has a solvability ratio that is one of the best on the market at 174% for Allianz France and 200% for Allianz Group so don’t hesitate to contact me for any further information regarding our very large range of investments. And remember to check out our website www.bh-assurances.fr for more information.

Isabelle Want: BH Assurances, Ruffec 05 45 31 01 61 or 06 71 30 39 11 Email: isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr

Brexit: Potential Impacts and Challenges


ince the referendum vote on June 23rd 2016, a number of you have raised different questions about the impact Brexit is going to have for both businesses and individuals. In truth, even if we assume that ‘Brexit’ will eventually happen there is still considerable uncertainty until the details of any agreements are known.

To kick-off the year, let’s take a moment to look at just some of the points to be negotiated. The movement of goods to and from the EU, without the need to complete customs declarations may cease to exist. Customs controls could be re-introduced, adding further costs to businesses, with the associated need to invest time and resources in managing and completing the relevant customs formalities. Upon leaving the EU, customs duties may need to be applied on the import/export of goods to/from the remaining EU member states. Furthermore, non-tariff barriers such as technical regulations, conformity assessments, that are often more challenging than tariff barriers alone, may become difficult once the UK is outside the EU. Increased costs upon introduction to member states would have a direct impact on profit margins, or the sales price in France, leading to an immediate impact on competitiveness. VAT could also be a potential issue as an indirect tax. UK VAT legislation currently has to fall in line with the EU principal VAT directive. Changes to UK policy may lead to tax avoidance or uncompetitive double taxation. VAT compliance over the coming years may become challenging and will require appropriate steps to be taken in France. UK workers in Europe, or company directors in France, may become liable for the payment of social security contributions, both in

by Adam Nicol, Office Director Tours Office.

France and in the UK, or possibly increased levels of contributions, depending on your circumstances. Currently, social contributions should only be paid in one member state (free movement of workers) but this may be subject to change. It’s hoped that an agreement between France and the UK could be reached so that current arrangements could continue. For British expats in France, working could become more difficult if expats are required to comply with more restrictive rules when it comes to permits and setting up businesses. Whilst negotiations take place nothing will change, as the UK will remain part of the EU for this period, however legislation that favours the EU as a whole such as the rule stating that you can only be hired if no other suitable candidate has been found within the EU area could apply to individuals from the UK looking for work in France. Pensioners are the biggest group of British expats living here. The main worry for retirees will be whether their state pensions will continue to be up-rated annually. For pensioners that move outside the EU the pension is frozen. If pensions go up each year for individuals in France, it’s because the principle of the single market is applied. This point will need to form part of the negotiation process. There is undoubtedly a period of considerable uncertainty, however the full impact of Brexit may be softened by the negotiation of deals between the EU/France and the UK. We’ll be paying close attention to the negotiations so that our advice in this area reflects the very latest developments. For any advice why not get in touch? Grant Thornton - French Chartered Accountants 02 47 60 56 56 Email: adam.nicol@fr.gt.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 37

No Orias: 07004255


Ask Amanda

“I have read that there are some new changes relating to Assurance Vie’s. Is this true and if so, what are they and will they affect me?”

In June 2016, the French Authorities proposed an amendment to Sapin 2 (a finance bill designed to promote transparency in the economy), which can affect Assurance Vie products using ‘fonds en euros’ investments. This change is due to be Ratified in December 2016 (at the time of writing, ratification had not happened). Concerns on how plummeting bond yields may affect ‘fonds en euros’ have caused this change. The reducing returns on these products are still higher than many bond rates (where money is often invested), so companies have been dipping into their reserves as they fear that such a low rate would lead to a mass exodus from these policies. This has caused concerns about the financial stability of the insurance companies. The change to the law gives the ‘Financial Stability Board’ (‘HCSF’) the power to ‘suspend, delay or limit temporarily, for all or part of the portfolio, withdrawals or the option to switch funds’. This means that in the event of a financial crisis those with ‘fonds en euros’ Assurance Vie’s could find some or all of their assets frozen for “a period of 6 months, renewable”. Investments could also reduce in value to avoid an insurance company becoming insolvent. Article L.612-33 of the Monetary and Financial Code provides the means for this reduction to be imposed. It is not known how this would affect the official guarantee of 70 000€ for every assurance vie policy. Clearly, these measures are intended to prevent and reverse the effects of a severe financial crisis and protect insurers, especially if investor panic sets in and there were mass surrenders of assurance vie contracts, an event which insurers would be hard pressed to cope with. The ideal scenario now would be for investors to stay calm and avoid possible future difficulties by gradually switching out of ‘fonds en euros’ to other assets (unit linked multi-asset funds, property funds, etc). Despite this specific planned changed to ‘fonds en euros’ only, Assurance Vie remains an attractive investment, especially in view of its advantageous tax benefits. Investors therefore are advised to take advice from regulated Companies in this arena. Fortunately, there are companies who offer alternative funds to ‘fonds en euros’. There are also policies domiciled outside of France (in Dublin, for example) who should be completely immune to this French legislation. Amanda Johnson of The Spectrum IFA Group 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43 Email: amanda.johnson@spectrum-ifa.com

38 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017

Brexit Consequences

by Sue Cook

A few months after the UK decided to leave the EU, the possibility of a “hard Brexit” has been mentioned a few times. How would it affect currency markets and what should you do if you need to transfer money overseas? On the night of the UK referendum vote, once it became clear that we were heading towards a Brexit decision, all traders’ eyes focused on Sterling as a proxy for the UK’s future. As an initial reaction to the result, the pound plummeted against major currencies, and during the following weeks and months, the exchange rate fluctuated significantly, reflecting the uncertainty that accompanied this unexpected decision. A few months later, we’re still seeing up and down swings from Sterling. In October, the French President, François Hollande, in a speech stated that the UK would not be able to retain membership of the EU’s single market without having to accept the free movement of labour. This story was reported around midnight UK time, which is also the time when traders in the US have finished and traders in Asia are just starting their day, and subsequently caused what in jargon is called a flash crash. This was quite extreme and the market has since recovered, but this shows how investors see a “Hard Brexit” as having bad consequences for the UK economy and Sterling. On the other hand, last month the High Court ruled that the government needs to pass an act of parliament before triggering Article 50. This is likely to cause a delay to the eventual triggering of the clause and it also points to a potential for a “soft Brexit”. Moreover, we can’t forget economic data out of the UK which could support the pound should the macro economic environment remain stable. Uncertainty around what will happen in the markets and how Sterling will react is prominent. Whether a ‘Hard Brexit’ takes place or not, it’s essential that you keep up to date with the market news and speak to a currency specialist, to obtain expert guidance. If you are looking at transferring between France and the UK, whether to buy or sell a property, transfer a pension or send money to relatives, Sterling variations could significantly affect you. Currency specialists will offer you valuable insight through this period of high volatility and provide you with regular market news. They also give you the opportunity to set up Rate Alerts, meaning you’re informed when your desired rate has been reached and can decide whether to transfer. Whilst finding the right time to transfer is key, another major decision rests on the type of transfer to use. By speaking with currency experts and explaining your requirements, you’ll ensure that you’re advised about the services most adapted to your needs. There is a wide range of services which includes spot contracts (immediate transfer) and forward contracts (locking today’s rate for a transfer at a later date). Choosing the right option could save you a significant amount of money. It’s important that you keep in mind that whether a ‘Hard Brexit’ happens or not, markets will continue fluctuating, impacting major currencies, including of course Sterling and the euro. So, you should always ask for expert guidance when transferring to make the most of your money.

Make Sure Your Money Lasts as Long as You Do

by Bradley Warden, Blevins Franks


oday, people expect to live beyond their 70s. However, as life expectancy increases, so does the time needed to stretch your income in retirement. Can you afford the cost of living longer? Check if your resources are on track to last your lifetime by considering some key questions.

How long will your money need to last?

While a sobering and difficult question to answer, underestimate it and your money could run out early, leaving you unable to live your chosen lifestyle. No-one wants to have to reduce their quality of life, especially in later years.

How much will you need?

You may want just enough to live comfortably, extra for luxuries, or a modest income with access to ‘rainy day’ funds. Still employed? You need to consider whether your pensions or savings will sustain your lifestyle when you stop working. Do they need to, or will you cut back when you retire? Remember that inflation reduces spending power over time. Assuming 3% inflation a year, today’s €5,000 will cost €6,720 ten years from now, and €9,030 in twenty years.

How much do you want to leave behind?

If you want to leave a legacy, you need to ensure you do not spend everything in your lifetime – without compromising your quality of life. You can maximise your gift by taking steps now to reduce the inheritance tax payable by your heirs.

Making your pensions last

If you depend on your pension for your retirement income, be careful what you do now. For example, just because you are able to withdraw your pension savings as cash, it does not mean that you should. Take regulated advice on the best approach for your particular objectives and circumstances.

Making your investments last

You should ensure that your savings, investments and assets are working hard while being protected from unnecessary taxation. Are you taking advantage of tax-efficient opportunities in France or are you holding on to UK assets that may cost more in taxes? While it is tempting to choose low-risk investments in later years, you still need to keep pace with inflation – bank deposits are unlikely to do this. Your financial adviser can recommend an appropriate, diversified investment strategy tailored for you.

Limiting taxation

Rising life expectancy tends to increase tax rates as governments need more revenue to cover state pensions and healthcare services. However, opportunities are available to expatriates in France to legitimately minimise taxation and make your money go further. With personalised, professional advice, it is possible to afford the retirement lifestyle you want for as long as you need. Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should seek personalised advice.

‘‘Do I need to review my financial planning for 2017?” Talk to the people who know.


2016 was a year of change. It marked the start of the new global automatic exchange of information regime and we then had Brexit and the US elections. Investment diversification is more important than ever, and your tax and estate planning must be up-to-date to protect yourself and your heirs. Contact us to review your wealth management for 2017 and beyond.

contact us now on

05 49 75 07 24 niort@blevinsfranks.com

Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFFM 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 France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, register number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissement Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – RCS BX 498 800 465.


www.blevinsfranks.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 39



10am 12pm 2nd February 2017 Le Restaurant du Golf Allée du Chêne Landry 49300 Cholet LEGGETT IMMOBILIER

Register online - http://www.leggett-immo.com/pages/recruitment_new recruitment@leggett.fr Freephone: 00800 2534 4388 www.leggettfrance.com

Helpful Vocabulary...PROPERTY agreement to sell................ mandat de vente (m) attic...................................... grenier (m) auction................................. vente aux enchères (f) barn....................................... grange (f) basement.............................. sous-sol (m) bathroom.............................. salle de bain (f) bedroom............................... chambre (f) boundary.............................. limite du terrain (f) building land......................... terrain à bâtir (m) bungalow.............................. pavillon (m) buyer/purchaser................... acheteur / -euse cancellation of contract....... résiliation (f) capital gains tax.................... plus-value (f) cellar..................................... cave (f) deed of sale.......................... acte de vente (m) deposit.................................. acompte (m) dining room.......................... salle à manger (f) drainage................................ système d’assainissement (m) fence..................................... clôture (f) field...................................... champ (m) financing scheme................. plan de financement housing estate....................... lotissement (m) inheritance tax/gift tax......... droit de succession/donation (m) joint ownership..................... tontine (f) kitchen.................................. cuisine (f) landowner............................. propriétaire (f) land registry.......................... cadastre (m) lease to tenant..................... bail (m) listed building....................... monument historique (m) office..................................... bureau (m) penalty clause...................... clause pénale (f) planning permission............. permis de construire (m) purchase agreement............ compromis de vente (m) registration of title of o/ship. droits d’enregistrement (m) retirement home.................. maison de retraite (f) sea level................................ niveau de la mer (m) semi-detached houses.......... maisons doubles (fpl) sheep farm........................... bergerie (f) small country cottage........... fermette (f) square kilometer.................. kilomètre carré (f) sum paid to notaire.............. frais de notaire (mpl) telegraph pole...................... poteau télégraphique (m) thatched cottage.................. chaumière (f) town house.... ................. masion de ville (f) will................................................. testament (m)

40 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017 | 41

A Pilgrim’s Progress


by Joanna Leggett

n medieval times, making a pilgrimage was a really ‘good thing’ – one could expect to gain blessings, usually good health and, most importantly, forgiveness of sins! Touching the relics of Saints in places of pilgrimage was considered the ultimate - a powerful defence against misfortune. As a result, Europe was full of pilgrim sites where various anatomical bits and pieces were enshrined within elaborate gold cases. And it didn’t take long for people to realise the value of being on a route to a well-known shrine – travellers needed to be fed and watered, shod, dressed and entertained! One of the most famous was the tomb of Saint James in Compostela in Northern Spain. Known as Saint Jacques in France, his shrine became a magnet for pilgrims who would proudly clutch a scallop shell (his symbol) on their return as proof they had made it! The most popular route ran through the heart of the Deux-Sèvres. Pilgrims met at key points before travelling together along the way of Saint James guided by series of stone crosses. The ancient town of Thouars would have seen its fair share of pilgrims during the glory days before the Hundred Years War. Here, at the base of its well preserved medieval walls sits a stunning comfortable and spacious 5 bedroomed home (Leggett ref: 69372, photo left). This ancient stone property was completely restored from a ruin with approval from the Architect for Ancient Buildings. Discreetly hidden behind electric gates its beautiful landscaped grounds (complete with pool) overlook the river Thouet – it has 37 metres of river frontage and its own jetty! Flexible living offers a multitude of opportunities for its next owners - 403 113€.

Celles-sur-Belle is close to one of the main routes between Poitiers to St Jean d’Angély and here the ultimate country property awaits (Leggett ref: 69971, photo right). Built around the 18th century, this elegantly presented detached four bedroom home comes complete with guest cottage and range of outbuildings (excellently maintained) set around the large swimming pool. The gardens have a tennis court, horse shelters, stabling and large paddocks set in around nine acres. This beautiful property is within walking distance of the local boulangerie – on the market for 858 600€. Our final offering is closer to St Jean d’Angély in the small town of Aulnay - located on the Via Turonensis one of the Ways of St James. Tucked away on its outskirts a great opportunity awaits (Leggett ref: 44843, photo left) at truly great price of 107 250€. This well proportioned house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms with private gardens to the front and side. In addition there’s a partially renovated two bedroom annexe which offers potential income – or better still ... somewhere to tuck your guests!

Leggett Immobilier is one of the leading estate agents in France. You can access all our local property listings at www.frenchestateagents.com/poitou-charentes-property



Looking to buy or sell a property? Then get in touch with Leggett, the ‘Best Estate Agency in France.’

Ref: 69446 22kms from Niort is this Ref: 71059 Renovated 2 bed cottage attractive 3 bed hamlet cottage & barn. in a village 6kms from Moncoutant. Deux Sevres €256,800 Deux Sevres €46,000

Ref: 70267 Ideal smallholding - 4 bedrooms, gîte, pool and nearly 2 acres. Deux Sevres €199,800

Ref: 70941 Fabulous 4 bed / 3 bath character home with 2 barns and pool. Deux Sevres €667,800

Thinking of a new career in 2017 ? Come along to our recruitment event

Thursday 2nd February 2017 10am -12pm Le Restaurant du Golf, Allée du Chêne, Landry 49300 Cholet. For more details contact Maxine Enderby: Email: max79@leggett.fr or call 06 77 35 91 79

For general enquiries: +33 05 53 60 84 88 info@leggett.fr www.leggettfrance.com 42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, January 2017


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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine, January 2017  

English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sèvres (79) and surrounding areas.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine, January 2017  

English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sèvres (79) and surrounding areas.

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