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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Welcome! to Issue 23 of

‘The DeuxSèvres Monthly’ magazine.

Well, firstly  let  me  say  “Happy  New  Year”  to   you   all.    Let’s  hope  it  is  a  healthy  and  prosperous  one!   For  Rob  and  I  this  month,  it  will  be  a  quiet  time.   After  the  bustle  of  Christmas  AND  the   stress   of   finishing  the  barn  in  time...we  certainly  now  need   some   time   to   rest   and   enjoy  our   new   space.     January  also  is  a  time  for  us  to  think  about  what   we   would  like  to  do  and  see  in  the   coming  year,  and  to  plan  the  next   stage  of  renovations!    (Yes  I  know  -­‐  we  are  mad!)   I  hope  you  all  enjoyed  plenty  of  festive  cheer  and  have  lots  of  New  Year   resolutions  to  think  about...        Have  a  lovely  January.

à plus, Sarah.

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

Annual Subscription. If   you   would  like  to  receive  a  copy  of   ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’   magazine  by  post  each  month,  please  complete  this  form  and  send   to  La  Bartière,  79130  Secondigny.  Please  enclose  a  cheque  to  cover   postage  for  the  year. 28€  within  France,  18€  to  addresses  in  UK. (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.

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

© Sarah  Berry  2013.    All  rights  reserved. Material   may   not   be   reproduced   without   permission.    While   care   is   taken   to   ensure   that   articles  and   features   are   accurate,   Sarah   Berry   accepts  no   liability   for   reader   dissatisfaction.    The   opinions   expressed   and  experiences   shared   are   given   by   individual   authors   and   do   not   necessarily   represent   the   views   or   opinions  of  the  publisher. Please   ensure   you   verify   that   the   company  you  are   dealing   with   is  a   registered   trading  company  in  France  and/or  elsewhere. <<The   Deux-­‐Sèvres   Monthly>>   est   édité   par   Sarah   Berry,   La   Bartière,   79130,   Secondigny.  Tél:   05  49  70   26   21.     Directeur   de   la   publication   et   rédacteur   en   chef:   Sarah   Berry.   Crédits   photos:   Sarah   Berry,   Clkr   et   morgeufile.com.   Impression:   Raynaud   Imprimeurs,   zone   industrielle,   BP13,   79160,   Coulonges-­‐ sur-­‐l’Autize.    Dépôt   légal:   janvier   2013   -­‐   Tirage:   4  500   exemplaires.     Siret:   515   249  738  00011  ISSN:  2115-­‐4848

CONTENTS

What’s On.......................................................................................................4 Hobbies,  Clubs  &  Associations.......................................................................5 Getting  Out  &  About......................................................................................6 Take  a  Festive  Break......................................................................................14 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness..............................................................................15 Our  Furry  Friends..........................................................................................18 The  Great  Outdoors......................................................................................20 French  Life,  Food  &  Drink.............................................................................22 French  Adventures.......................................................................................25 Motoring.......................................................................................................26 Communications...........................................................................................28 Building  &  Renovation..................................................................................29 Business,  Finance  &  Property.......................................................................35

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS   A  La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)...................................................................... 23 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)............................................................ 26 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  D/Glazing)............................... 2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)...................................................................... 31 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)............................................................ 30 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber)..................................................................... 30 An  English  Nursery  in  France  (Garden  Centre)......................................... 21 Antiquites  Decoration  &  Galerie  du  309................................................... 6 Blevins  Franks  Financial  Management  Ltd................................................ 35 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)................................................. 26 Burg  European  Removals.......................................................................... 18 Cafe  Cour  du  Miracle................................................................................. 24 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs................................................................................ 22 Caniclôture  (Hidden  fencing)..................................................................... 18 Charente  Hair  &  Make  Up......................................................................... 16 Chris  Bassett  Construction........................................................................ 31 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)............................................ 6 Consultus  Care  &  Nursing  Ltd................................................................... 2 Cottage  Services  (Garden  Maintenance).................................................. 21 CSB  Construction....................................................................................... 32 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon)..................................................................................... 16 Dave  Bowring  (Electrician)........................................................................ 32 D  J  Maintenance  (Handyman)................................................................... 31 David  Watkins  (Chimney  Sweep).............................................................. 32 deVere  Group  (Financial  Advisors)............................................................ 36 Energie-­‐79.................................................................................................. 30 Fresco  Interiors  (Interior  Design).............................................................. 33 George  Rayner  Computers........................................................................ 34 Glass  2  France  (uPVC  Windows  &  Doors)................................................. 34 Glynn  Chubb  (Carpenter  /  Joiner)............................................................. 31 Hair  by  Janet.............................................................................................. 16 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers).............................. 32 Heather’s  Pet  Care  Services....................................................................... 18 Homes  in  France  (Estate  Agent)................................................................ 39 Insink  Plumbing......................................................................................... 30 James  Harris  (Plasterer)............................................................................. 32 John  Etherington  (Home  and  Garden)...................................................... 21 John  Snee  (Groundworks  &  Septic  Tanks)................................................. 34 John  Spray  Maçonnerie  (Stonemason)..................................................... 32 Julie’s  Cleaning  Services............................................................................ 37 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).......................... 33 La  Joie  de  Vivre.......................................................................................... 6 Leggett  Immobilier.................................................................................... 38 Le  Relais  Délice  (Restaurant)..................................................................... 24 Magnetic  Double  Glazing.......................................................................... 31 Man  &  Van................................................................................................. 27 MB  Plumbing  &  Building  Services............................................................. 31 Michael  Glover  (Plasterer,  Renderer  &  Tiler)............................................ 32 Michael  Hobson  (Painter  &  Decorator)..................................................... 33 MKR  Mobile  Beauty................................................................................... 17 ML  Computers........................................................................................... 29 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances............................................................... 27 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services................................................................ 31 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).................................................... 17 Pascale  Matéo  (French  Lessons)............................................................... 9 Pause!  Cafe  l’Absie..................................................................................... 24 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire).................................................................. 34 Poitou  Property  Services........................................................................... 38 Premier  Autos  -­‐  Mike  Lane  (Mechanic)..................................................... 26 RDK  Roofing  &  Building  Services............................................................... 32 Restaurant  des  Canards............................................................................. 22 Rob  Berry  (Plasterer)................................................................................. 39 Robert  Walker  Plomberie  (Plumbing,  Heating,  Air  con)........................... 30 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)................................... 28 Satellite  TV  (Nigel  Gubb)........................................................................... 29 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Groundwork  &  Construction)................................... 33 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors)...................................................................... 36 Simon  The  Tiler.......................................................................................... 29 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)................................................... 37 Steve  Enderby............................................................................................ 33 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)............................................ 11 Taylor  Electricté......................................................................................... 33 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre................................................... 26 Total  Renovation  Services  (Michael  Dominey)......................................... 30 Tracey  Bowring  (Hairdressing  &  Nails)...................................................... 16 Traducteurs  Assermentés  sarl  (Sworn  Translators)................................... 9 Val  Assist  (Translation  Services)................................................................ 9 VMP  &  Steve  Reid  (Windows  &  Doors).................................................... 2 Vendee  Pools............................................................................................. 40

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

What’s On... January2013 1st January  -­‐  HAPPY  NEW  YEAR! 3rd  January:  Quiz  and  Fish  &  Chips At   the  Bar   La  Cabane  de  Vouhé,  Vouhé.  Starts  at  7.30pm.     Please   call  05  49  64  15  31  to  book. 9th  January  -­‐  La  Joie  de  Vivre  sale  starts! 10th  January  -­‐  Trader’s  Day At  Pause!  Café,  L’Absie.    Please  see  advert  on  P.24  for  details. 17th  January  -­‐  NALA  Team  Quiz In  aid  of  Nos  Amis  les  Animaux  (NALA),  at  Le  Chaudron,  Chantemerle,   8pm.    Maximum  6  per   team,  entry  2,50€  per   person.    Fish   &  Chips   available  from  the  bar   from  6pm.  (Huge  thanks  to   Cheryl   Appleton   and  Isabelle  &  Benoit  for  the  quiz  and  venue). 18th  January  -­‐  Quiz  and  Curry  Night Trivia  quiz  with  Cheryl,  8pm  at  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux. 19th  January  -­‐  Live  Music  Night Geoff  &  Helen  play  live  at  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  at  8.30pm.   Please  see  their  advert  on  P.22  for  more  information. 24th  January  -­‐  Chinese  Evening At  A  La  Bonne  Vie,  Le  Beugnon.    4  course  buffet  style  meal  starting   at  7pm.    Please  find  more  details  on  P.23. 30th  January  -­‐  Elementary  PC  Course.  ‘All  About  Email’ A   PC   course   covering:   Online   webmail   or   email   client   (Where   is   Outlook  Express?),  How  to  create  Signature   blocks  and  Disclaimers,   Sending  Email  to  multiple  recipients  -­‐  Creating  Email  groups  -­‐  Privacy   -­‐  hoaxes!,  How  to   Attach  files  and   photos  etc   and   Using  folders  to   organise  your  emails.  Cost:  15€  for  two  hours  from  10am  to  12pm  at   Pause!  Café,  L’Absie.  Hurry!  Only  8  places   available.  To  book,  please   email:  rs.hendry@gmail.com. The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2013 Tuesday  1st  January.......... Monday  1st  April.............. Wednesday  1st  May.......... Wednesday  8th  May......... Thursday  9th  May............. Sunday  19th  May.............. Monday  20th  May............. Sunday  14th  July............... Thursday  15th  August....... Friday  1st  November......... Monday  11th  November... Wednesday  25th  December.                                                                                                

                                                                         

New Year’s  Day  (Jour  de  l’An) Easter  Monday  (Lundi  de  Pâques) Labour  Day (Fête  du  travail) Victory  in  Europe  Day  (Fête  de  la  Victoire) Ascension  Day (Ascension) Pentacost (Pentecôte) Pentacost (Lundi  de  Pentecôte) Naeonal  Day  (Fête  Na@onale  de  France) Assumpeon  of  Mary (Assomp@on) All  Saint’s  Day (Toussaint) Armistace  1918 Christmas  Day  (Noël)

Paperback Jan Books  in  English

2nd Jan:     Cafe  Cour  de  Miracle,  Vouvant.  2.30  -­‐  4.30pm 3rd  Jan:     Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud.  2  -­‐  5pm 3rd  Jan:     Bar  La  Cabane  de  Vouhé,  Vouhé.  6.30  -­‐  8pm* 4th  Jan:     Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars.       12.00  -­‐  2pm 4th  Jan:     Le  Tipsy  Bar,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.    4  -­‐  6pm 6th  Jan:     Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  .  2  -­‐  4pm 10th  Jan:     Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie.    2-­‐  5pm 11th  Jan:     Jan’s  home,  La  Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay.  11am  -­‐  4pm 12th  Jan:     Cafe  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole.    10.00am  -­‐  1pm 30th  Jan:     Le  P’tit  Bar  Boucard,  Ménigoute.    4pm  -­‐  6pm 31st  Jan:     La  Joie  de  Vivre,  Moncoutant.    2pm  -­‐  5pm *+  Quiz  &  Fish  and  Chips

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

English speaking  2012  Christmas  Services  across  the  Poitou-­‐ Charentes: Best   wishes   for   2013   from   all   of   us   at   the   English   speaking   Church   in   the   Poitou-­‐   Charentes!   We  hope   you   will  join   us  for   some   of   our   services   and   social   events   this   year.   We   hold   church   services  every  Sunday   across  the   four   departments  of   the  Poitou-­‐Charentes.  We  look   forward  to  welcoming  you.   For   further   informaeon   please   take   a   look   at   our   website   www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com  or  speak  to  Valerie  on  05  49  97  04  21 Jassay The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ  the  Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,     has  a  Home  Group   Service  at  Jassay    commencing  at  11.00am  on   every  2nd  Sunday  in  the  month.   It   is   held  at   the   home  of  Ann   White,  a  warm  welcome   awaits  everyone  for   a  time  of  worship   and  fellowship. St Leger The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ   the   Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   also   holds  services  on  the  1st  Sunday  of  each  month  at  10.30am   at  St   Leger  near  Melle.  After  each  service,  tea  or  coffee  is  served   and  an  opportunity  to  meet  other  people  in  the  area. Parthenay The  Chaplaincy  of  Christ   the   Good  Shepherd,  Poitou-­‐Charentes,   also  holds  services  on   the  4th   Sunday  of  each   month  at  10.30am   in  the  Presbytery  Rooms,  rue  de  la  Citadelle,  Parthenay,  opposite   St   Croix  Church.  After   each   service,  tea   or   coffee  is   served  and   everyone  is  invited  to  a  'bring  and  share'  lunch.

Monthly services  in   the   English   speaking   Anglican  Church  in  the   Vendée: Puy de Serre All   Saints,  Vendée  holds  two  services  each  month,   on   the  2nd  and   4th   Sundays  at   the  church   of   St.  Marthe,   Puy   de   Serre,  at   11am.     After   each  service,  tea  and   coffee  is  served  in  the   parish  room  and   everyone  is  invited  to  a  ‘bring  and  share’  lunch. Other  services  are  held  in   the  west  of  the  Vendée,  in  La  Chapelle   Achard  and  La  Chapelle  Palluau.     For  details  of  these,  please  check   the  website:    www.allsaintsvendee.fr

A VERY  WARM  WELCOME  awaits  you  at  ESCOVAL   (The  English  Speaking  Church  of  the  Valley  of  the  Loire).     Communion  Services  are  held  on  the  3rd  Sunday  of  each  month   at   La  Chapelle  de  la  Bonne  Dame  de  Ranton  at  11.30am  followed  by  a   Bring  and  Share  lunch.   Full   details   of   how   to   find   us   may   be   found   on   our   website   at:   www.escoval.org   or   please   telephone   us   at:  05   49   66   79   14.     Our  GPS  address  is  46˚59'25.30  N    0˚02'06.22  W.

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Hobbies, Clubs & Associations... LA CHAPELLE  GAUDIN  CRAFT  GROUP

We are   a  small  group   of   ladies   who   are  keen  to   meet   other   like   minded   people   to   form  a   craft   circle.     All   crafts   are   welcome  -­‐   needlecraft,  paper  craft  -­‐  anything  goes! If  you  are  interested,   please  contact  HELEN   AURELIUS  HADDOCK:   helen.aurelius@gmail.com  or  join  us  on  FACEBOOK

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

Book Club  Thouars.    Do  you  enjoy  reading  a  cracking  good  story?  

And talking  to  others  about  it?  Do  you  live  in  north   79,  south  49   or  north  86?    Come  along  on  Monday  21  January  at  2.30pm  to  the   Bar   de  la  Paix,  Thouars   (where  Paperback   Jan  hangs  out  on  first   Fridays)   and   find   out   about   a   new  club   for   readers   of   fiction   -­‐   current,   classic,   historical,   crime   &   thrillers,   sci-­‐fi,   romance   you   name  it!     Google  Maps     link:   http://goo.gl/maps/hOcsK.  Contact   Alison  Morton  at  info@bookclubthouars.fr  for  more  information. Open Door Lending Library Over 7000 fiction and non-fiction books and DVDs Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10h00 to midday at 18 rue Pierre Pestureau, Civray (86400) Individual membership 6€, family membership 10€ www.opendoor-civray.com

Book Group....meeting 2nd Thursday of the The Filling  Station  Poitou-­‐Charentes Meetings  at   The   Little  Stone  Church,   14b  Avenue  de  d’Hôtel   de   Ville.  79110  Chef  Boutonne.  ALL  WELCOME.  Interested  to  find  out   more?  Please  view  the   website:  www.thefillingstation.org.uk    or   contact    Mike  Willis  05  49  87  89  16.  michael.willis@sfr.fr The  Filling  Station,  Vendee  South Meetings   at  La  Grange,  39  rue  du  centre,   Thouarsais  Bouildroux   85410.  Tel  Chris  &  Julie  on  Tel:  0960  497850.

Alone in  France? We  are  a  group  of  people  living  alone   in  the   L'Absie  area  who  meet   regularly  for  coffee  and  lunches.    We   meet   on  the  1st  and  3rd  Tuesdays  at  11am   for  coffee  at  the  Pause  cafe  in   L'Absie.    Our  lunches  are  at  different  venues  each  month.  There's  a   warm  welcome  if  you'd  like  to  join  us.   More  details  from  Frank  05  49  69  80  47.

Franglais Thouars The   Thouars   ‘Franglais’   group   meets   every   Wednesday   from   19.30h   to   21.00h,   in   the   Association’s   centre   at   7   rue   Anne   Desrays,  Thouars,  for  conversation  in  English  and  French. We   welcome   those   of   all   nationalities   who   would   like   to   participate.  Either  come  along  to  see  us  one  evening,  or  contact  us   at:  Mobile:    06  52  21  92  34  ~  Email:    jcbed@orange.fr

Secondigny Running Club...

Put the bounce back in your step. Join our friendly and supportive running group. All abilities welcome. Email Kelly for more details: kellyencezelle@hotmail.co.uk Le Tallud   Boules   en   bois   are   offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   from  16h   to  18h  from   April  through   to  September   2013  at   the  parc  de   Loisirs,  Le   Tallud.     Everyone   is  welcome   to  come   and  play   or   learn   the   game   of   boules   en   bois.   We   have   all  the   equipment,   just  turn  up  for   half  an  hour   or   more  for   a   bit  of   exercise  and  socialising.   D e t a i l s   f r o m   R o s e m a r y   W i l l i a m s o n   Beginnersʼ Dance lessons: Rock ʻnʼ Roll: Fridays at 8pm. Cha Cha Cha & Waltz: Mondays at 7pm Salle Leo Lagrange in Parthenay. For details of other classes and social events contact: parthenay.rocknrolldance@gmail.com or call Chris on: 05 49 94 20 23

month from 3pm at Christies Tea Room & Bookshop, Gençay, 86160. Take a look at the Book Group page on the website: www.chezchristies.com for more information. Through the Lens Group Local photography group who meets on the last Monday in each month to chat about all things photography! New members welcome. For further information contact: Ian Gawn: 02 51 00 84 52 or Brian Preece: 05 49 72 09 94

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

I speak  English  and   4  other  European  languages  (all  self  taught)   and  I  am   looking  for   somebody  to   speak  face  to   face  and   by   telephone  to  practice  my  English.    I  live  in  Chauray,  79180 Please   contact   me   by   email:  wladimir.zandt@orange.fr.  or   by   telephone:  06  47  33  74  34. International  journalist,  Consultant  for  unemployed  seniors  and  professional   speaker.

Les Amis Solitaires We are  a  group  of  people  living  alone  in  France.    We  meet  up  for   coffee  mornings  from  11am. 1st  Tuesday:  The  Gallery,  Civray  (coinciding  with  market  day). Every  2nd  &  4th  Thursday,  The  Lemon  Tree,  Sauzé  Vaussais. Every  3rd  Thursday,  Le  Bistrot  Centrale  in  Ruffec.     More   details   from  Gwen  Shepherd  05   49   87   91   79  or  email   gwanshep@gmail.com

The Harmonics based  in  the   Salle   d'Annexe   behind  

the mairie   in   Civray.   We   meet   each   Wednesday   from   2.00pm   to   4.00pm.   No   experience   necessary   just   a   willingness   and   commitment   to  learn.   We   sing   all   sorts   of   music,   from   stage   and   screen,   gospel,   classical,   country   songs,   madrigals   and   in   several   languages,  whatever  the  music  dictates.  We  are  a  small  and  friendly   group   who   would  love   to  meet  you.   Contact:  Dolly  Ait  Boualou:05  

45 22   89   32   /   email   sylvia.murray@wanadoo.fr or Margaret   Gomersall  on  05  49  48  09  02  /  email:  margaretgomersall@sfr.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Getting Out & About...

Colour Advert Size B only 38€ per month or from 33,33€ per month for 12 months.

Mr T’s Friterie Plat à Emporter Traditionnel Britannique

With regular venues at:

• • • •

Open 6.30 -8

.30pm

* Aulnay  (Open  from  6pm)          •        Matha                                                                                           Beauvoir  Sur  Niort • St  Hilaire  de  Villefranche Gourville                     • St  Jean  d’Angély Loulay See  www.frying2nite.com  for  details  or  call  06  02  22  44  74 *  Please  note  Winter  opening  hours

Reel Fish & Chips Traditional English style Fish & Chips

We have  no  Fish  and  Chips  venues  this  month.  Instead  we  will   be   delivering  ‘The  DSM’  to  the  following  places  for   collection  at  any   time  during  the  month. *Bar  Tabac  PMU,  Bouille-­‐Loretz     *Shopi  -­‐  Argenton  Les  Vallees.         *Bar  'au  bon  accueil',  St  Martin  de  Sanzay   *Bar  Tabac  -­‐  Genneton  

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

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

Lencloitre (1st Monday in month)(dept.86) Lezay Coulonges-sur-l’Autize Thouars Parthenay Sauzé Vaussais Niort Thouars Melle Chef Boutonne Airvault Niort St. Maixent l’École Fontenay le Comte Neuville (dept.86)

                                   La            Vendee  Chippy                                                          Traditional  Fish  &  Chips  in  France! La   Vendee   Chippy   will   be  Under   New  Management   from  the   New  Year.    Venues  will  resume  as  normal  in  February  2013. For  more  info  please  email:  lavendeechippy@hotmail.fr Photo: Lisa Roberts

Mondays:

Fish 4 Chips Fish, Chips & mushy peas! Closed Until 25th February 2013 Tel: 06 37 53 56 20, or visit: www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

by Helen Aurelius-Haddock

When I   decided   to   organise   a   charity   cabaret   evening,   I   had   forgotten  what   a  huge  amount   of  work  it  can   be.     Back  in  August  I   persuaded   my   good   friend   Nigel   Skinner   to   come   along   and   perform   at   a   charity   cabaret   in   aid   of   the   French   and   UK   Hemochromatosis  Societies. He  was  very  willing,  and  I  thought  to  myself    "Great  -­‐  job  done!". How  wrong  I  was! In  my  past  life  in  the  UK,  I  had  worked  alongside  a  team  of  willing   parents  raising  funds  for  our  daughters'  school,  and   quickly  learned   that  as  a  one-­‐man  band,  this   was   going  to  be  a  much  harder  job  to   get  organised  than  I  originally  thought. My  first  huge  blunder   was  I  had   managed  to  book  an  evening   that   coincided   with  the  Reaction  Theatre's   performance,  plus  not   one,   but  two   local   quiz  team  events!    If  that   wasn't  bad  enough,  there   were   a  myriad  of  reasons  why  most  people  I  knew  could  not  come   along.  It  started  to  look  a  bit  grim.    There  was  a  point  along  the  way   where  I  thought  I  may  have  needed   to  cancel,  but   then  my  brother   -­‐in  law  stepped  in  and  saved  the  day.    He  is   our  family  "Imagineer"   and   from  that   point,  took  the   helm  and   steered   me   in   the   right   direction. We   advertised   the   event   through   my   network  of   local   contacts,   who   in   turn   handed   out   leaflets   and   posters   in   their   respective   activity  circles   -­‐   line  dancing,  gardening  club,  book  club,  and  so  on.   It   was   a  real  revelation  to  see  how   organised  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  ex-­‐ pat  community  is!    Sarah  Berry  was  a  darling  and  put  in  a  fabulous   ad   into  The  DSM  which   we  used   as  a   template  for  the   tickets  and   posters,  which   helped   raise   awareness   in   the   area   as   well.   Our   Maire  organised  a  leaflet  drop  for  the  entire  village  too. Anyway,  back  to  my  brother  in  law......... He   is  not   a  man  to   think  on  modest   scales,  whatever   the  budget.   He  was  soon  ordering  smoke  machines,  red  carpet,  and  enough  ice   to  encase  a  mammoth.  My  worries  grew  as  I  spent  more  and   more,   praying  that  I  wasn't  going  to  make  a  loss  on  the  event. He  then  suggested   I  ask  the  "LIFT"   ladies  to   lend  us  some   of   his   more  bizarre  requests,  and  as  ever,  Zena  Sabestini  came  up   trumps,   first  with  a  pair  of   patio  gas  burners  (don't  ask!)  and  then  a  decent   sized  ice  machine.    I  began  to  think  that  we  may  just  pull  it  off. The   24th   November   came   around   soon   enough   and  a  very  small   team  of  us  gathered  at  the  Salle   de  Fetes  and  we  spent   the  entire  

day giving  it  the  "Las   Vegas"  treatment.    The  effect  was  stunning  -­‐   we  had  a  proper  stage  with   backdrop  and  lighting,  a  colour  themed   seating  area,  balloons  in   their   hundreds  and  a  bar   festooned   with   ice  buckets  crammed  with  beer,  sparkling  wine  and   the  like,  which   were   eagerly   to   be   taken   to   tables   by   our   bistro-­‐style   waiters,   headed  up  by  my  daughter  and  nephew. All   we   needed   now   were   our   audience,   and   we   were   not   to   be   disappointed.   Everyone   turned   up,  and   we   had   a   large   number  of  walk-­‐ins  too.  The  music  started,   the  bar  opened  at  it  was  game  on. Nigel   was   joined   by   local   artists,   Three   Plus  One,  and   soon  everyone  was  dancing   to   the   excellent   music   on   offer.     Our   intermission  saw  the  serving  up  of  around   150   home   made   British   style   pies,  made   by   my   Mum   and   sister,   which   were   devoured   with   enthusiasm.     There   was   also  a  raffle  of  exciting  prizes  ranging  from  a  case  of  vintage  wine  to   a  set  of  acrylic  nails.    Nigel's  sets  really  added  that    final  soupcon  of   Las  Vegas   magic  to  the  evening  and  gave  us   his  best  performance   to   date   amid   the   swirl   of   the   smoke   machine   and   the   disco-­‐ style  lights. The   evening   came   and   went   all   too  quickly  and  was  an  enormous   hit.   At   the   time   of   writing   we   have   raised   1200   euros,   but   donations  are  still  coming  in. It   would  be  impossible  to   thank  all   those  who   gave  their  time,  donations  and  money  to  make  this  first   event  such   a  success,  but  you  know  who  you  are,  and   I  am  so  very   grateful  to  you  all. If  you  would  like  to  learn  more  about  hereditary  haemochromatosis,   or   would   like   to   give   a  donation   to   this   event,  please  follow  these   links:  www.everyclick.com/vivalasvegas  ,  www.hemochromatose.fr   and  www.haemochromatosis.org.uk

Photos:Below: The salle decorated Las Vegas style. Above right: Guests enjoying the live music Above Left: Nigel getting started.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Bonne Année. C’est le Nouvel An.

Vocabulary /  Vocabulaire

by Sue  Burgess

So why  Bonne  Année  but  le  Nouvel  An?     What  is  the  difference  between  «un  an»  and  «une  année»?

«An» is   a   unit   of   time   used   with   cardinal   numbers.   «Année»   emphasises   the   duration   and   can   be   used   with   adjectives   and   ordinal  numbers.    It  is  more  descriptive. So   we   say  he   is  6  years  old   «il   a   6   ans»   but   that   his   brother   got   married   in   his   twentieth   year   «son   frère   s'est   marié   dans   sa   vingtième  année».    We   say  «chaque  année»  (every   year)  and  not   «chaque  an».    Either   of  the  two  words  can   be  used  with  prochain,   dernier,   nouveau.   With   any   other   adjective   the   only   choice   is   «année».     Similarly  we   can   use   «matin»/«matinée»,  «soir»/«soirée»,  «jour     »/«journée».     The   masculine   words   «matin»,  «soir»   and   «jour»   refer  to  the  units  of  time.  The  feminine  words  «matinée»,    «soirée»   and   «journée»  refer   to  the  whole   length   of   time  of  the  morning,   evening  or  day. «ce   soir,   je   fais...»   This   evening   I   am   ….   and   we   would   use   «Bonsoir»   as   a   greeting.     However   if   you  are  saying  goodbye  to   someone   at   the   beginning  of  the  evening  and   the   evening  is  still   young,  you   can   hope   they  will   have  a  pleasant   evening  and   wish   them  «bonne  soirée». You  would  say   «j'ai  passé  une  très  bonne  soirée»  (I've  had  a  good   evening)  and   not  «un   bon  soir»..    «matin/matinée»  work  in  more   or  less  the  same   way.     We  say  «ce  matin,  je  vais  au  marché»:   (this   morning   I  am  going   to   the  market).   «Matin»   is   an   indication   of   time.    We   say  "la  matinée  est   belle,  il   fait  chaud"  (it's  a   beautiful   morning,  it's  hot).

L'an dernier  /  l'année   Last  year  I  studied  in  Spain  (the   dernière,  j'ai  étudié  en   second  one  implies  you  stayed   Espagne.............................. all  year) Le  Nouvel  An  se  fête  dans   The  New  Year  is  celebrated  all   le  monde  entier,  et  on  se   round  the  world  and  we  say   dit  "Bonne  année  !"............ “Happy  New  Year” trois  ans,  mais  trois   Three  years  but  three  difficult   années  difficiles................. years une  année  bissextile......... a  leap  year une  soirée.......................... a  festive  evening  /  party L'année  civile..................... the  administrative  year  (Jan  –   Dec) L'année  scolaire................. the  school  year  (Sept  –  July) Une  année  compte  365   A  year  is  365  days  long jours.................................... La  fin  de  l'année................. The  end  of  the  year Souhaiter  la  bonne   To  wish  someone  Happy  New   année.................................. Year

When someone   wishes   you   a   “bonne   journée”   they  are   hoping   that  you  will  have  a  good  day,    all  day  long.     And  here's  something  else: «l'année»   goes   from  1st   January  to  31st   December.  «Un  an»   is   a   twelve   month   period   which   may   not   run   from   January   till   December.     When  you   have  been  here  a  year,  you  can  say  «je  suis   là  depuis  un  an»  even  if  you  arrived  in  May  and  it  is  now  the  end  of   April. «Jour   –   Journée»   «Le   jour»   is   the   day   on   the   calendar.     «La   journée»   is  24  hours  which   do   not   necessarily  coincide  with   the   beginning  of  the   day.  «une  journée  de  travail»  (a  day  of  work)  can   begin  at  9am  and  end  rather  late.    «Bonne  Nuit!»

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Letters for the Toilet At a classy restaurant, this request got the whole table laughing. Marcela, whose first language is Portugese, asked the waiter for some "water with gas" (água com gás). We had some very silly ideas about how we'd get some gas into that water for her! Denis was (and still is) renovating his house and he asked David (a friend) if he'd help "monter la cuisine". Dave has a back problem and said he'd help with painting or anything else, but not to "monter la cuisine" up any stairs. Even though it was more urgent to "monter la cuisine" (the plumber was due that afternoon) and although we couldn't figure out how assembling the kitchen would be any harder on his back than painting, Dave insisted and got on with some painting outside. We all had a good laugh when he came inside and realised that this time "monter la cuisine" meant assembling it, not carrying it up any stairs.

Maybe you have a short, funny story of misunderstandings in French to be printed in a future issue? If so, please send them by email to Peter: contact@traducteurs-assermentes.fr.

For a  full  list  of  our  advertising  rates,   please  phone  05  49  70  26  21    for  an   advertising  pack  or  download   from  our  website:   www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Association Aidez Supporting French Local Charities

UP

UP DAT E

We, the   committee,   would   like  to   thank  everyone  who  came  to   our  Christmas  Market  in  Terves.  It  was  a  great  success  and  we  have   raised  over  €1000  for  the  French  Red  Cross. As   usual   it   was   opened   by   our   Mayor   Monsieur   Dufes,   who   is   always  so  supportive.  The  café  did  a  roaring  trade  all  day  and  the   mulled   wine  again  sold   out  early  in  the  afternoon!!     We  had  made   double  quantities   this  year!    The  raffle  has  made  a  lot  of  money   and   also   had   many  more   prizes.   Father   Christmas   came   in   the   afternoon  and  he  had   many  little  visitors,  each  one  receiving  a  gift.   This  year  we  were  very  pleased  to  have  the  'Key  Notes'  (a  group  of   singers)  who  entertained  everyone  with  some  lovely  carols. So  all  in  all,  a  good  time  was  had  by  everyone,  and  we  have  already   received   emails   from   stall   holders   thanking   us   and   saying   how   much  they  enjoyed  the  day,  one  even  said   it  was  the  best  one  yet!!     We   look  forward   to   seeing  you   all   next   year   on   Sunday  the   8th   December  2013!

DAT

Notes from the North I wish  you  all  a  Happy  New  Year. The   results   from   the   Poppy  Collection   Boxes   from   the   Northern  Area  of  the  Linazay  Branch   of  The  Royal  British   Legion   are   now   available.     The   Poppy   Appeal   Coordinator   counted   all   the   boxes   from   the   branch,   and   the   amount  raised  in  the  North  was  €780.84.   This  amount  is  a  year  on  year   increase,  and  we  would  like  to  thank   all  the  Poppy  Collectors  for  collecting  the   donations,  and  also   all   those  of   you  who  contributed  to   this  fantastic  amount.     Every  cent   will  make  a  difference. 2012  was  a  very  good  year   for  those  of   us  who   worked  hard  and   raised  funds  for  The  Royal  British   Legion,  without  you  we  could  do   nothing,  and  your  support  has  been  impressive. Once  again,  on  behalf  of  The  Royal  British  Legion  -­‐THANK  YOU.

Terri Laverick

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

COMPLIMENTARY CARE (AND HOW TO ACCESS IT)

By Martin  Searchfield  (Cancer  Support  Deux  Sèvres)

One of  the  indirect  situations  that  Active  Listeners  of  Cancer  Support   Deux-­‐Sèvres  (CSDS)  encounter  when  visiting  and  listening  to  clients  is   the  question  of   what  they  have  to  do  when  they  need  social  care  or,   how   do   they  or   their   carers  acquire   equipment   that   will   aid   their   recovery   and   make   their   home   environment   a   safer   and   more   manageable  place  to  live. The   French   Health   and   social   care   system   is   no   different   to   the   National   Health  System  in  the  UK,   in   that  it  is  in  everyone’s  interest   that  a  patient’s  aftercare  is  likely  to   be  more   rapid   if  undertaken  at   home   rather   than   in   hospital.   This,   of   course,   depends   on   the   individual’s  circumstances. Every  year  the  French  health  and  social  care  departments  designate  a   week  in   which  they  highlight  these  issues  and  last  time  it  took  place   during  the  15-­‐19th  October  2012.  The  generic  name  for  this  week  is   ‘Semaine  Bleue’  (Blue  Week).    In  our   area  the  Conseil  Generale  Deux-­‐ Sèvres  (in  conjunction   with   all   relative  supporting  organisations)  put   on  events  around  the  region   highlighting  health/social  care  services   that  are  available  to  everyone  and  how  they  can  be  accessed.   To  this  end   the   Pays   de   Gâtine  (Parthenay)   organised   a   forum   for   English  speakers  to  inform  them  of  recent  changes  at  CPAM  and  what   social   care   provision   residents   who   are   over   60   years   of   age   can   receive,  free  of  charge. At  this  last  meeting,  the  first  speaker  gave  a  first-­‐hand  account  of  the   social  care  provision  she  and  her  husband  received  when  her   husband   was  due  to  leave  hospital.  This  included  help  as  nursing  care  and  help   around   the   house,   which   allowed   the   speaker   to   attend   to   her   husband’s  needs  more  directly.  This  list  was   not  exhaustive  and  was   set  up  well  in   advance  of  the  gentleman  leaving  hospital.  The  speaker   and  her  husband  have  had,  and  continue  to  have,  a  very  positive  view   of  the  care  they  have  received.  This  system  is  tried   and   tested  and   each  patient’s  needs  are   dealt   with  on   an  individual  basis  and  are  in   place  immediately  the  patient  leaves  hospital. Where   a   patient   has   not   been   hospitalised   the   first   and   most   important  point  of  reference  is  your  family  doctor,  because  without  an   ‘ordnance’  (prescription)  from  him/her  nothing  can  be  accessed. This  good  news  story  was  a  telling  opening  for  the  next  speaker  who   came   from   Les   Centres   Locaux   d’Information   et   de   Co-­‐ordination   gérontologique   (CLIC)  des  Deux-­‐Sèvres.  This  organisation  along  with   other   satellite   offices   throughout   the   region,  specifically,  Bressuire,   Thouars,  St.   Maixent   L’Ecole,  Niort  and  Melle,   deal  directly   with  the   social  needs  of  all  residents.  The  forum  was  informed  that  once  CLIC  is   informed   of  a  social  care  need,  a  meeting  is  organised  with   a  social   care  assessor  and  the  precise  needs  of  the  client  are  discussed. This  was  a  very  informative  briefing  and  allayed  a  lot  of  the  concerns   of   the  audience   as  there   were   few   questions  afterwards.   To   assist   people  there  are  relevant  website  addresses  at  the  end  of  this  article.     Please   remember   these   organisations   are   primarily   there   for   all   residents  so  when  speaking   ask  if  it   is   possible  (where  necessary)  to   speak  to  someone  in  English.  It   is   possible  they  have  staff  who  can   speak  English,  so  be  patient. All  clients/patients  needs  are  quite  specific  to  them  and  their  families   but  all  the  facilities  and  equipment  are  available  if  you  go  about  it  the   right  way.  Remember,  speak  to  your   doctor  first  (if  not   hospitalised)   and  where  possible,  pre-­‐empt  the  circumstances. Useful  website  addresses  :   www.gatine.org  and  www.clic.reseau.gatine.fr  

presents ‘CALENDAR GIRLS’   by  Tim  Firth  at  Secondigny  &  La  Châtaigneraie  2013. Reaction  Theatre  is  delighted  to  report   that,  following  the  limited   release   from   September   2012   for   Amateur   Performance   of   the   stage  production  of  ‘Calendar  Girls’,  we  will  be  performing  the  play   in   Secondigny   at   the   end   of   April   2013  and   in   La  Châtaigneraie   early  May  2013.    So  make  a  note  in  your  diaries  NOW! The  original  Producers  of  ‘Calendar   Girls’  are  aiming  to  break  into   the  GUINNESS  BOOK  OF  RECORDS  and  establish  the  record  for  the   most   productions  of   a  play  in   a  calendar   year,   at  the  same  time   raising  money  for  LEUKAEMIA  and  LYMPHOMA  research. Reaction   Theatre   will   also   be   following   the   tradition   of   creating   and   marketing   its   own   Calendar,   the   profits   from   which   will   be   donated  to  these  charities. So   the  idea   is   to   join   together   and   be   a  part   of   record   breaking   history   whilst   raising   money   for   a   great   cause.   Please   support   Reaction   Theatre   in   its   record   breaking   and   charitable   aims   by   coming   to   one   of   our   productions   and   buying   one   of   our   calendars! AUDITIONS  for   the  production  will   be   carried   out  during  January  by   our   director,  Tony  Murdoch  and  our  Producer  Vernon  Bouch.  Reaction   Theatre   members  will   be  individually  advised  of  the  date,  venue  and   time  for  the  auditions.  Anyone  interested  in  joining  Reaction  Theatre   and   taking  part   in   this   production   should   contact   the  membership   secretary,  Sue  Blair  by  email:  sue.blair@btopenworld.com The  2013  annual  membership  fee  is  12€  per  person. We   also   have   two   other   groups   available   to   members:-­‐   The   “Keynotes”  singing  group  and   “ The   Art  Scene”  our   new  art   group.     Membership   of  Reaction   Theatre  entitles  all  members  to  attend  all   three   groups  or   whichever   group  you  may  be  interested   in.    The   Keynotes  and  The  Art   Scene  meet   in  Secondigny  every  Friday  and   you  would  be  very  welcome  at  any  or  all  of  the   groups.     A  bargain   at  only  12  euros  a  year. I  will   be  providing   a   monthly  update  on   the  progress  of   all   our   groups   in   this   column   and   would   welcome  your   comments   and   suggestions  -­‐  who  knows  you  might  be  tempted  to  come  along  and   join  us,  let  me  know  if  you  are  interested. John  Blair,  email:  johnblair@btopenworld.com  

I’d like to say a big Thank You! to the ‘Through the Lens’ group for agreeing to be our front cover photographers for the coming year. I’m looking forward to seeing what images they will capture for us! This month’s photograph submitted by the group, taken by Ron Houghton, perfectly sets the scene for the cold, wintery month of January. Keep warm everyone!

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

The SOE Westland Lysander of 161 Squadron that got stuck in the mud. Perigne, Deux-Sèvres November 1943. by Tony Barrett

Following my  article  in  The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly  (November  2011)   that  looked   at  ‘Operation  Scenery’  in  1943.    This  now  remembered   at   the  Museum,  RAF  Tangmere,  West   Sussex   which  highlights  this   incident. The  forward  base   at  RAF  Tangmere  was   almost  100   miles  south  of   RAF   Tempsford   (161   Squadron’s   main   base),   which   enabled   the   Lysanders   to   fly   deeper   into   France.   The   pilots   were   billeted   at   Tangmere  Cottage,  opposite   the  main  gates   of  the  RAF  station  and   partially  hidden  by  tall  hedges.   A  painting  commissioned  by  Gavin  Hooper,  the  son   of  the  Lysander   pilot  Robin  Hooper,  and  painted   by  the  well  known   artist  and  poet   Douglas  Littlejohn  depicting  the   scene  showing  Adolphe  Fournier’s   attempt   to   free   Robin   Hooper’s   Lysander   from   the   mud   at   ‘La   Prairie’  with  his  bullocks  ‘Julot’  and  ‘Fridolin’.

Unable to   extricate   the   stricken   aircraft   the   pilot   was   forced   to   destroy  the  instruments  and   set  fire  to   the  plane  to  stop   it   falling   into  the  hands  of  the  Germans. After  the  war   Robin   Hooper,  a  career  diplomat,  was   knighted.     Sir   Robin  Hooper  KCMG,  DSO,  DFC  former  Ambassador   to  Athens  died   at  the  age  of  74. Lewis  Hodges  the  Lysander   pilot,   who  brought  Robin   Hooper   back   from  France,   was  also   knighted  and  became  an   Air  Chief  Marshal.     The  picture  only  came  to  my  attention  following  my  researches  into   all  of  the  Lysander   operations  in   the   Poitou-­‐Charentes  and  seemed   particularly  appropriate  to  follow  up  my  previous  article.    The  artist   Doug  Littlejohn  has  been   of  invaluable  assistance  in  putting  me  in   touch  with  Gavin  Hooper   and   he  has   presented  a  limited   edition   print   of   ‘Operation   Scenery’   to   Madame   Monique   Trillaud   in   memory  of   her   father   and  his  gallant  efforts  to   retrieve  the  well-­‐   and-­‐truly   stuck   Lysander   in   the   landing   zone   of   ‘La   Prairie’   just   south   of   Perigne.     A   sign   by   the   roadside   can   be   found   at   the   landing  zone   today,  a   little   the   worse   for   wear,  but   remembering   the  incident  for  future  generations. An   original   photograph,  dated   post   war,  depicts   the   two   bullocks   ‘Julot’   and   ‘Fridolin’   -­‐   the   latter   renamed   ‘Papillon’   to   avoid   complications  and  embarrassment   with  the  Germans  as  the  name   was  a  putdown  term  for   the  ‘boche’  and  in   common  use  during  the   German  occupation.

Right: The painting ‘Operation Scenery’ by Douglas Littlejohn

Above: ‘Julot’ and ‘Fridolin’

Above: Robin Hooper

Douglas Littlejohn   has  painted   a   number   of   pictures   highlighting   the  Westland  Lysander  in  missions  over  France. With  thanks  to  Douglas  Littlejohn  for  permission  to  use  his  painting   and   to   the   assistance   of   Monique   Trillaud,   Adolphe   Fourniers   daughter  of  Perigne,  and  the  RAF  Museum  at  Tangmere.  

Above: Doug Littlejohn, the Above: The sign at the landing artist & Robin Hooper’s son, zone as it can be viewed today at Perigne Gavin.

Main image below: Painting ‘Operation Battering Ram’ by Douglas Littlejohn

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Fire Safety in the Home

by John Hoyland.

Hello there,  this  is  the  second  article  from   me   and   this  time  I  would   like  to   go   into   some   of   the  safety  measures   that   either   you   have   forgotten   or   maybe   were   unaware  of! I  will  start  by  asking  you  to  think  of  Fire   Safety  in  2  parts. 1.  Risk.  Take  a  walk  around  your  property   &  look  where  possible  risks  lie.   2.  What  if.     As  you   go  around   start  thinking  “what   if   a   fire  started   here....” Electricity  and  Gas  are   the  obvious  risks.  What  I  will  say  is  don’t   take   things  for   granted   that  they  will   ALWAYS   be  safe.    Many  of  you   will   have  had  some  major   work   carried  out;  no  problem,  but   don’t   cut   corners  on  quality  (price  yes,  quality  NO).

Next, Make  an  escape  plan,  discuss  it  with  other  household  members,   and  look  for  an   ALTERNATIVE  to  the  usual  route.     If  you  have  children   in  the  house  they  may  well  have  done  a  project   at  school  so  get  them   involved.    If  you  decide  on  a  certain   window  being  a  good  alternative,   check  what’s  below  it  and  think  through  the  escape.  A  soft   landing  is   ideal   (bedding,  clothes   etc.)   and   hang   by  your   arms,  don’t   sit   and   jump! At  present  the  Fire  service  in  the  Department  cannot  make  home  visits   as  in  the  UK,  but  they  can  give  you  information  leaflets  &  brochures.    A   brochure  has  been  produced  in  English  on  how  to   call  the  emergency  services,  “In  Case  of  Emergency”   with  very  good  information.    You  can  get  it  from  the   Pays   de   Gâtine   website   (www.gatine.org),   at   Fire   Stations   and   at   the  Mairies.     Plenty  of   advice   in   English   can   also   be   downloaded   from   from   www.directgov.co.uk  website  under  FIRE. If  you  have  any  problems,  please  contact  me  via  this  magazine.        

If your  circuit  is  fairly  old  but  is  safe  then  do  NOT  overload  it!!!Kettles  &   tumble  dryers  are  greedy.    Check  &  watch   the  meter  and  if  any  fuses   are  getting  warm  switch  one  off  for  a  while. With  gas  be  careful!   Check  the  dates  of  FLEXIBLE  connection  tubes.  It   is  very  easy  to  overlook  as  years  go  by!    I  found  one  the  other  day  in  a   friend’s  house  over  3  years  out  of  date.  They  corrode  and   deteriorate   with  time.    Think  of  all  types  of  appliances  including  BBQs.

News from  the  Pays  de  Gâtine!  by Julia Salvat

If you  are  having  any  plumbing  work  done   ALWAYS  have  a  bucket  of   water  near  the  work  place  -­‐  a  quick  splash  if  the  blowtorch  goes  wrong   and  it  will  save  so  much  heartbreak.

So I  started   asking   people   for   ideas   and   one   of   them  suggested   getting   together   a  group   of   volunteers   to   act   as   a   ‘think   tank'.   Various  people  of  different  nationalities  (Norwegian,  Dutch,  French   and   British)  were  asked  if  they  would  be   interested   and   a   group   was  formed;  rather  grandly  named  The   European  Working  Group.   Today   it   is   made   up   of:   Annie   Emmett   (Oroux),   Jenny   Harfield   (Vasles),   Rebecca   Sewell   (Fenioux),   Kate   Sangster   (86),   Richard   Bowe   (Champdeniers)   and   Steve   Collins   (Clessé)   who  bring  fresh   ideas  and  respond  to  initiatives  from  the  Pays  de  Gatine.  We  meet   every   6–8   weeks   and   we   have   held   meetings   entitled   “Finding   employment”,  “French   Succession   Law  and  Tax”,  “Who  to  turn  to   when   over   60   and   where   to   get   financial   help”.   We've   also   organised   presentations   by   the   Airport   at   Poitiers   and   by   Futuroscope.  On   the  ideas  front   we've   just   started   a   “Nattering   Network”  (for  people  who  might  feel  isolated  or  lonely)  and  we've   put  together  an   “In  Case  of  Emergency”  leaflet,  which  gives  details   of  who  to  contact  and  what  to  say  in  an  emergency.    In  addition  we   have   run   ‘Franglais’   which   brings   French   and   English   people   together  to  learn  something  of  the  language   and  culture  of   each   others  country.

This list  is  not  by  any  means  exhaustive,  there  are  so   many  ways  fires   can  start.    One  final  word:  Candles!    Very  popular   these  days  -­‐   please   make  sure  that  when  you  blow  them  out  fragments  do  not  fly  off  and   have  a  clear  space  all  around  and  above. As  you  walk  around  doing  your   risk  check  think   about  what  if  a  fire   started  just   here.    What  would  I   do?  How  can   it   be   controlled?  and   more  importantly,  how  do  I/we  get  OUT? First,   buy   and   fit   a   good   smoke   alarm.   Correctly   sited   they   are   invaluable.     They  give  you  warning,  thus  time.    I  cannot   stress  enough   the   importance  of   having   one,  particularly  if  you   live   in   an   isolated   rural  property.

Back in  September  2007  Mr   Favreau,  the  President   of  the  Pays   de   Gâtine,  asked  me  to  come  up  with  some  ideas  to  broaden  the  help   that  the  district  council  was  offering  to  newcomers.

In 2013  we  are  hoping  to  hold  meetings  on  the  following  subjects,   and  further  information  will  be  sent  out  in  good  time  :    Above:  This  is  when  a  detector    would  operate  

 Above:  Fire  at  2  mins  

• A presentation  of  The  French   Fire  Brigade  and  the  new  laws  –   by  John  Hoyland. • For   Job   Seekers   –   How   to   go   about   looking   for   work   in   the   Gâtine • Child  Care  and  Schooling • The  annual  Associations  and  Press  Meeting • Blue  Week  (Oct  2013) If   you   have  further   ideas   or   would   like   to   help,  do  contact  me.     Finally,  we  would   like  to   wish   you   all   the   best  for  2013!

 Above:  Fire  at  less  than  4  mins.  No  chance    of  survival  

Julia SALVAT,  Pays  de  Gâtine.     Tel:  05  49  64  25  49  ~  Email:  julia.salvat@gatine.org Website:  www.gatine.org

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

Next month...You  have  your  book  in  your  hands  -­‐  now  what?

Self Publishing with expert help Looking at   DIY   publishing  last   month,   I   touched   on   some   of   the   tasks:   full   copy   edit   and   proofread;   professional   cover;   formatting   and   typesetting;   designing   the   interior;   ISBNs,   registrations,   Nielsen   listing;   getting   a   print   version   stocked   in   bookshops;   uploading   on   to   the   various   platforms   (Kindle,   Nook,   iBooks),   electronic  and  physical   book  distribution;  running   your  own  marketing  and  sales  campaign.  

If you  don’t  want  to  take   that  lot  on  board,  there   is  another   way.   The   book   marketplace   is  fiercely  competitive.     Very  few   writers,   even   established   ones,  have  all   the   talents   to   publish   their   book   without   outside   help.  The   absolute   minimum   recommended   by   successful  self-­‐publishers  is  a  professional  edit  and  a  well-­‐designed   cover.     Using  an  expert  for  these  two  will  bump  your  sales  up  a  few   notches,  but  then  there’s  all  the  other  stuff. Paying  a  publishing  consultant   or   a  reputable  publishing  services   provider  (PSP)  is  like  recruiting  an   invaluable  ally.    The  author  pays   the  PSP  to  publish   the   book  like   a  traditional  publisher   does.  But   instead  of   the   publisher   buying  all  the  rights  to  an  author’s  work   and   paying  a  7-­‐10%  royalty  on  sales,  the  author   retains   all  his  or   her  rights  and  profits. Good  PSPs  will  offer  a  range  of  packages  from  the  straightforward   or   economy  package   to   a  full   tailored   service.   Many   offer   single   services   such   as   editing   if   you   don’t   want   to   have   a   complete   package. The   author   is  shown   at   all   times   as  the  copyright   holder.   This   is   extremely  important.   If  you  are   paying  somebody  else   to   do   the   donkeywork  for  you,  on   no   account  should  you  cede  any  rights  in   any  agreement  you   sign.  The  only  thing  you  are  granting  the  PSP  is   a   non-­‐exclusive   licence   to   publish   your   book.   Anything   else   compromises  your  position. Using  a   PSP   is   not   vanity  publishing.  Vanity   publishers   will   take   anything,  however   badly  written,  as   long  as  you  are  willing  to  pay.     After   production,   print   and   submission   to   online   booksellers,   anything  more  is  an  additional   paid  add-­‐on,  even  the  production  of   the  essential   e-­‐book.     There   are  good   PSPs  and   there  are   not   so   good  PSPs.  The  professional  ones  act   like  traditional   publishers  in   that  they  won’t  accept  every  author  who  comes  to  them   waving  a   manuscript.   As   a   filter,   many   PSPs   stipulate   a   full   manuscript   assessment  before  providing  a  quotation. How to find a good company?  Ask  other  authors  and  search   reputable  forums.  Consult   The   Independent   Publishing   Magazine   (http://www.theindependentpublishingmagazine.com/)   which   scrutinises  and  scores  all  types  of   self  and  independent   publishing   support.     Research  books  published  by  these  providers:  what  is  the   quality  of   the   paper,  is  the  text  tiny   or   squashed   on   to   the  page   with  no  margins?     Does   the   cover  scream  ‘amateur’  or   is  it   well-­‐ designed?    Can   you  read  the  back  cover  blurb?    Are  the  front  cover   fonts  easy  on  the  eye  and  clear?   Signs of a good PSP: • Taking  time  to  hear  about  you,  your  work,  your  target  market • Full   range   of   professional   services   delivered   by   qualified   and   experienced  staff • Proven  track  record  of  commercially  viable  books • A  clear  quotation • Willingness  to  put  you  in  contact  with  existing  clients • A  website  that  is  book-­‐oriented,  not  services  oriented

Alison Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wriFng  and  Romans  at  hHp://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  and   is  a  member   of  the  RomanFc  Novelists’  AssociaFon   and  the   Society   of   Authors.     Her   debut   novel,   INCEPTIO,   will   be   published  in  March  2013  by  SilverWood  Books.

YOUR Book Reviews... Thank  you  to  Carolyn  Lawless  for  this  month’s  book  review... In  fact,  a  review  of  a  book  highlighted  in  last  month’s  issue. ‘Adieu La Vie’ by Peter Robert Scott It is an old adage that history is written by the victors. Personal history, especially when driven by the need for self-promotion or emotional stability, is often pushed to the back of the mind, then through retelling is subsequently edited and refined in a manner that enables its owners to survive and continue with their lives. This is especially so after times of chaos and great destruction. Set in the remote villages of Western France in the weeks running up to the new millennium, Peter Robert Scott’s engrossing novel focuses on the reluctant return of Bernard to the village he has long-forgotten. When his brother’s widow, normally so unassertive, shows signs of instability and one day tries to stab an old man in a local nursing home, Bernard returns to help care for her. He has no memory for the old days, no desire to remember them, but in the final days leading up to the millennium he is forced to recollect the defeat of 1940, his capture and imprisonment in Germany and the uncomfortable memory of Simone, the young woman he left behind. Coerced by his sister-in-law, Bernard soon finds himself caught in a confusing web of long-buried hope, love, deceit, vengeance and double-dealing. At the heart of the story lies an examination of the complexity of survival, shattered hope and the simple human need for emotional connection. Nothing is black and white: neighbours and friends become unrecognisable, the Germans can also be human and in a scramble for survival, long-held allegiances are discarded. Adieu La Vie is not only a good read, it is well-written and researched and educational too. A good book to read during the cold grey days of winter. Adieu La Vie is published in English and is available in paperback (£8.12) or in Kindle Edition (£2.68) on Amazon.fr or Amazon.co.uk.

We would  love  to  show  more  of  YOUR  Book  Reviews.  If  you  would  like  to  share  one  with  us,   please  send  it  on  an  email  to:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Page 13


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: Down: 8.   Mountainous  republic  on  the  Bay  of   1.   Wind  instrument  (4)   Bengal.  (5) 2.   Covered   passageway   between   shops   9.   A  larva  of  a  frog.  (7)   and  stalls.  (6) 10.   Skillful  at  eluding  capture.  (7) 3.   Alphabetic  letter  in  upper  case.  (7)   11.   Deep  yellow  colour  (5) 4.   A   force   that   produces   strain   on   a   12.   Deep  crevice  or  fissure.  (8)   physical  body.  (6) 13.   Reject  outright  and  bluntly.  (4) 5.   An  ultimate  standard.  (5) 15.  Unit  of  length.  (4) 6.   A  pin  used  in  lace  making.  (6) 17.   Make  effective  from  an  earlier  date.  (8) 7.   Awful.  (8) 21.   Within.  (5) 12.   Detached,  unemotional.  (8) 22.   Nupeal  ceremony.  (7) 14.   Jump  from  an  airplane.  (7) 24.   Military   structure   where   arms   are   16.   Theatre  where  films  are  shown.  (6)   stored.  (7) 18.   At  all  times.  (6) 25.   A  grass  border  along  a  road.  (5) 19.   Building  where  birds  are  kept.  (6) 20.   A   thin   mortar   used   to   fill   cracks     between  tiles.  (5) 23.   Great  merriment.  (4)

Across: 7. Wizard  raptor?  (6) 8.   Fairytale  ending  for  amphibian?  (6) 10.   The   Queen  embraced  by   stones;  an     apt  description  of  them?  (7) 11.   The   Spanish  following   modern  kind     of  post.  (5) 12.   Remove  it  from  a  positive  balance  to     get  respect  on  the  street.  (4) 13.   Fast  collection  of  vessels?  (5) 17.   The   part   of  a   weapon  that  comes     between  lock  and  barrel?  (5) 18.   I  am  missing  from  seat;  making  the     tea?  (4) 22.   Easily   losing  head  in  express  without     being  specific.  (5) 23.   Slaters  crafted  a  simple  product.  (7)   24.   Very   good   coin   in   new   style   of     moulding.  (6) 25.   Girl   includes   radical   aid   in   drug     treatment.  (6)

Down: Toughie Crossword 1.   Unusual   high   honour   given   to   nation     results  in  warm  welcome.  (7) 2.   Major’s  ideal  accompaniment  to     warm  beer,  it  is  famously  quoted.  (7) 3. Very  large  vessel  is  fit  for  the  bin?  (5) 4.   Metal   turned   up   in   remarkable   trek     turns  out  to  be  a  mere  bauble.  (7) 5.   Owl,  for  example,  found  in  woods  now     yielding  good  cover.  (5) 6.   Touchy  before  being  very  tactile.  (5) 9   &   19.   Comparatively   dark   setting   for   2     down?  (2,5,2,5) 14.   Kind   of   power   needed   for   not   going     anywhere?  (7) 15.   Redesigning   red   hats   to   make     fashionable  garb?  (7) 16   Here   is   something   that   you   might     donate.  (7) 19.   See  9  Down. 20.   Crooks  found  by   private   eye   following     direction  to  very  special  conclusion.  (5) 21.   A  number  in  the   street  could  be  put  in     a  vessel  if  an  intervention  is  needed.  (5)

Sudoku Corner... Easy

www.printfreesudokupuzzles.com

Challenging

Please see  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr  for  answers

With thanks  to  M.Morris

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Health, Beauty & Fitness... Nurses in  your  doctor's  surgery  (cabinet)

by Deborah Loughran

Some of  you   may  have   noticed   that   there   are  nurses  working  in   your  doctor's  surgery;  others  may  have  had  consultations  with  the   nurse. These   nurses   work  within   an   association   called   ASALEE,   (Action  de  Santé  à  Liberale   En  Equipe,  Liberal  Medecine  Action  as   a   Team   in   english   ).   The   nurses   are   known   as   IDSP,   loosely   translated  as  public  health  nurses. The   association   was   started   by  two   General   Practitioners,   based   near   Parthenay,   in   2005.  They   recognized   an   increasing   need   for   health   education, coupled   with   the   growing   demands   of   the   clientele  and   also   difficulty  in   recruiting  new  general   practitioners   (GPs)   to   work   in   the   country,   away   from   the   bigger   towns   and   cities. The   main   objective   is   to   improve   the   quality   of   patient   care   by   delegating  certain  tasks  usually  only  done  by  doctors,  to  specially   trained   nurses,   thus   freeing   up   the   doctor's   time   for   more   complicated  care. ASALEE  started  as  a  trial  with  three  nurses  and  has  now  expanded   to  over   35  nurses,  which   will  increase  to   about   100  by  the  end   of   2012.    These  nurses  are  based  in  surgeries  all  around  France. To   begin  with,  the  main  remit  of  the  nurses  was  health   education   and  follow  up  for  type  2  diabetics.     However,  it  has  now  expanded   to   encompass   other   chronic   diseases, (heart   disease,  pulmonary   disease  and  cognitive   function)  as  well  as  an  input  in  the  screening   service.     There  is  a  future  project  for  home  monitoring  of  'high  risk'   patients,  which   will   involve  placing  devices   in   the  home  that   will   allow  the  patients  to  monitor  their   condition.  The  readings  will  be   sent  directly  to  the  nurse  via  information  technology. The   nurses  work  within  specific  protocols,  which  are  approved  by   the   HAS,   (Haute   Autorité   de   la   Santé,   National   Authority   for   Health  in  english).    They  have  an   initial,  as  well  as  ongoing  training,   as  the  role  is  continually  expanding  and  changing.

So what  do  these  nurses  really  do?

Their main   role   is  centered  around   health   promotion  and   health   education.     Health  education  helps  people   better  understand  their   condition,  improves  their  health  and   can  reduce  health  problems  in   the   future.  The   nurses   give   advice,  help   and   follow   up   with   the   management  of  chronic  diseases,  such  as  type  2   diabetes,  but  also  

with the   prevention   of   other   illnesses,   such   as   heart   and   pulmonary  disease. The   consultations  can   last   around  45  minutes,  and   are  free.  The   frequency  of   follow  ups  are  determined   by  the   nurse   and  patient,   according   to   their   needs.   Home   visits   are   possible   for   those   patients  who  have  difficulty  in   getting  to  the  surgery.    Most  nurses   try  and  see  all  the  diabetic  patients  from  the  practice  at  least   once   a   year,   or  more   frequently.   Careful   monitoring   of   diabetes   and   other  chronic  illness  can  reduce  the  need   for  hospital  admissions,   particularly  emergency  admissions,  and   can   reduce  the  length   of   stay  in  hospital,  should  it  be  required. Lifestyle  changes   (diet   and  exercise)  is  one  of  the  biggest  factors  in   the  prevention  and  management  of  illness.  Any  guideline  published   by   health   researchers   cites   this   as   the   first   treatment  to  be  tried. Exercise   and   dietary   changes   may   reduce   the   risk   of   developing   diabetes   and   heart   disease,   may   slow   down   the   progression   of   these   illnesses   and   may   also   help   in   the   management   of   raised  blood  pressure,  raised  cholesterol   levels  and   some  cancers.     The  diagnosis  of   a  chronic  illness,   such  as  diabetes,   means  a  lot  of  information  and  education  is  necessary.  This  is  much   easier  to  assimilate  in  small  doses.     Regular  follow   up  consultations   can  help  with  motivation   as  well  as  monitoring.  Lifestyle  changes  are   not  easy  without  some  form  of  support  and  encouragement. The   nurse  can   offer  advice  on  stopping  smoking  and  can  screen  for   some  pulmonary  problems,  such  as  chronic  obstructive  pulmonary   disease  (COPD),  using  a  test  called  spirometry.    ASALEE  nurses  also   offer  cognitive  testing;  this  is   usually  described   as  'memory  tests';   The   aim  of   these   are   not   necessarily   diagnostic,  more   a   way   of   monitoring  possible  cognitive  and   memory  problems  by  doing  the   same  tests  at  regular  intervals.     In  this  way,  memory  problems  can   be   monitored   and   treated   early,   with   possible   support   put   into   place   before   any   difficulties   arise   requiring   more   urgent   interventions. In   addition,   the   nurse   also   works   with   the   patient   records,   by   ensuring   that   all   checks,   blood   tests   or   other   examinations,   are   programmed  and   'alerts'  are  posted  in   the  notes  so  the  doctor  can   ensure  his  patient  is  up  to  date  with  any  investigations  or  screening   (for  example  mammography  or  smears). Just   over   a  year   ago,   I  was  lucky  enough   to  be  given  a  job   as   an   ASALEE  nurse.  Having  worked  as  a   practice  nurse   in  the  UK,  I  was   interested  to  see  how  this  would  translate  in  France,  with  their  very   different   health  system.     It  has  required   a  certain   cultural  change   for   the   patients   as  well   as  the  GPs   as  they  are  unused  to   having   nurses   in  the  practice   and   the  patients  are  not  used  to   not   paying   for  a  consultation,  let  alone  a  consultation  with  a  nurse! I  divide  my  time  between   surgeries  at  Moncoutant  and  Bressuire.     It  is  certainly  not  practice  nursing  as  we  know  it  in  the  UK,  possibly   that  model  of  primary  care  would  not  fit   in  with  the  French  health   service,  but  it  is  a  beginning.     In  the  summer   of   2012,  the  HAS  gave   ASALEE   nurses  the  right   to   sign   prescriptions  for   blood   tests  and   investigations.     ASALEE  nurses  are  the  first  nurses  in  France  to  have   that  right  and  I  am  very  proud  to  be  a  small  part  of  it.

Page 15


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Hair and Make Up with Samantha & Emma

A New  Year  is  here  and  once  again  we  are  sure  you’ll   all   agree,  the   first   thing  we  do  is  write  an  endless  list  of  New  Year’s  resolutions.   Emma  and  Samantha  have  come  up  with  some  simple  ideas  to   kick   start  your  new  Hair  and  Beauty  regime  for  2013.  

Samantha says...

1) Go  straight  out  and  treat  yourself  to  a  new  mascara.   It   is   important   to   change   your   mascara   every   three   months   to   make   sure   you   get   the   best   out   of   your   product   and   for   hygiene   reasons.   When   applying   mascara   always   wiggle   the   brush   at   the   base  of  the   lash  to  create  more  volume. 2)   If   you   don’t   already   exfoliate   your   face   I   would   recommend   you   exfoliate   at   least   one   morning   a   week.  It   is   important  to  do   this   in   the   morning  as   that’s   when  there  are   the   most  dead  skin  cells.  This  will  give  you   a   more  radiant  and   fresh   looking   skin   and   allows   your   moisturiser   to   penetrate   deeper. 3) For  a  fresh  start  for  your   make  up  application  refresh  your  make   up  brushes  by  giving  them  a  wash  in   some   baby   shampoo.  This   will  help   rid  any  build   up   of   old   make   up   and  bacteria.   Always   leave  make  up  brushes  to  dry  flat  and  naturally. Samantha’s   recommended   product:   Yves   Roche   Ultra   Sexy  pulp   mascara.    This  is  currently  -­‐50%  off  until  31st  December  2012.

Emma says...

Emma Recommended   product:   L’Oreal   Elvive   Triple   Resist   Hair   Mask  available  at  most  supermarkets.

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Colour Advert Size A only 38€ per month or from 33,33€ per month for 12 months.

1) I would   also   suggest   clearing   out   the   old   brushes  and   starting  with   new.   Check   your   brushes  to   see  if   the  bristles  have  snapped   or   if   there   is   product   build   up.   If   there   is   then  it’s  time  to   purchase   a  new   brush.    I   recommend  a  classic   Denman’s  style  brush   which  lifts   the  hair  without  adding  kinks  or   tangling,  then   finish  off  using  a   paddle  brush  to  smooth. 2) It’s  time  to  start  your  New  Year  with  a  new  You.  Why  not  have  a   restyle   or   add   some   colour   and   start   your   New   Year   as   you   mean   to   go   on.   When   choosing   your   new   look   always   seek   honest  and   professional   advice,  so  that   you   can   maintain  your   style   yourself   and   ask   your   hairstylist   to   show   you   how   to   achieve  your  desired  look.

Page 16


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY Namaste. Now you are seated comfortably and you have a breath with an easy ratio of 1:1, you can take your awareness to the movement of breath at the nostrils. Feel t h e b r e a t h move at the nostrils, be involved. After some time move your awareness to the throat, feel the breath move in the throat; once you have mastered this you can try to contract the glottis so a gentle soft snoring sound is created. Keeping the body still and easy, the glottis gently contracted, the breath being physically moved long and deep with a ratio 1:1, you are creating the Pranayama Ujjayi. Remember not to strain but be concentrated. Count your ratio ie 5 in and 5 out, observe all other phenomena, thoughts, feelings, body sensations etc and enjoy...om tat sat.

Classes at ‘Maison pour tous’, L’Absie. 7pm - 8.30pm and Salle de millenaire, rue saint roch, Largeasse. 7pm - 8,30pm Contact Rysz for more info: 06 42 35 97 11

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres A-Z of the Communes of the by Sue  Burgess Deux-Sèvres. LA CHAPELLE-LARGEAU La  Chapelle-­‐Largeau   is  an  ancient   commune  situated   in   the  North   West   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres,  at   the   point   where   the   département   of   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres  joins  Maine-­‐et-­‐Loire  and   Vendée.    The  commune   has   been  associated  with   the  commune   of  Mauleon  since  1973.  In   2011   La  Chapelle-­‐Largeau   boasted   some   1065  inhabitants   known   as  Chapelais. The   history  of  La  Chapelle-­‐Largeau   begins  in  the   5th   century  with   the   development   of   evangelism.   In   the   West   of   France,   people   grouped   together   to   pray  in   «Chapelles».     Little   by  little,  these     “chapelles”  became  places  to  live,   «capellas»,  under  the  authority   of  larger   centres,  the  abbeys,  which   depended  on  the  lord   of   the   manor. About  400  AD,  Jean   de   Saint  Offrange  ruled  the   area.     In  1246,  the   Capella   was   under   the   authority   of   the   Abbey   of   the   Trinity   founded  by  the  lords  of  Mauleon.  In  1269,  the  Capella  was   named   Capella   Largea  in   honour  of   the  first   prior.  In   1283  the   village  was   re-­‐baptised  Capella  Largeau.  About   1300  the  name  changed  again   to  Capella  Largent  and  then  to   Notre  Dame  de  la  Chapelle  Lorgeail.   The   name   La  Chapelle-­‐Largeault   was  finally   adopted   in  1434,  the   spelling  has  changed  a  little  since  then. Geographically   speaking   the   commune   is   different   from   other   communes.  It  is  12  km  long  but  only  3  km  wide.  The  town  is  found   in   the   middle.   The   commune   is   situated   between   the   Nantes-­‐ Poitiers  route  nationale  and  the  sloping  banks  of  the  river  l'Ouin.  La   Chapelle-­‐Largeau  is  found  on  a  sloping   hillside.  Steep  sided  valleys  

La Chapelle La -

and small  hills  form  an  accidented  relief.   The   highest   point   of   the   commune   is   situated  at  180m  above  sea-­‐level  in  the   villages   of   La   Guérivière,   L'Audonnière   and  La  Roche  Galouin.  The  lowest  point   of  the  commune  is  La  Basse  Gelousière. For   a  long  time,  the  commune  was  an   important   site   for   the   extraction   of   uranium.   665   tonnes   of   the   mineral   were  mined,  not  far  from  the  town  centre,  between  1958  and  1970.   LA CHAPELLE-POUILLOUX La   Chapelle-­‐Pouilloux   is   close   to   Lorigné,   Melleran,   Mairé-­‐ Levescault   and   Clussais-­‐la-­‐Pommeraie.  There   are  202   inhabitants.   The  commune  has  a   surface  area  of  8km   square  and  is  situated   at   an  average  altitude  of  158m  above  sea-­‐level. A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE The  small  Romanesque  church  of  Saint  Junien   has  been  completely   restored.  There  are  modern  stained  glass  windows. LA CHAPELLE SAINT-ETIENNE La   Chapelle   Saint-­‐Etienne   is   a   small   village   in   the   canton   of   Moncoutant.  La  Chapelle  Saint-­‐Etienne  is  situated  at  approximately   189   metres  above   sea-­‐level.  The  inhabitants  of   La  Chapelle  Saint-­‐ Etienne   are  called   Stéphanois   and   Stéphanoises.  There   were  320   inhabitants  in  the  2009  census. The  church  of  La  Chapelle  Saint-­‐Etienne  was  rebuilt  in  1831.

More ‘A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.’ next  month... Page 17


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Our Furry Friends... Small colour advert only 34€

An Incredible Story Of Dedication To Animal Rescue by Pam Roberts, Phoenix Association Minnie is  one  very  lucky  little  kitten  and  Lynda  &  Trevor  are  two  very   dedicated  Phoenix  Foster  Carers.  When  Minnie  arrived  on  the  scene,   Lynda  and  Trevor  were  already  caring  for   23  cats  and  kittens,  2  horses   and  their  own  8  cats  and  2  dogs.     Lynda  is  also  Chair  of  the  Initiatives   Group   and,   at   the   time   of   Minnie's   arrival,  was  also   Membership   Secretary. With   all   this   Phoenix   experience,  Lynda   and   Trevor   weren't   easily   surprised  and   Lynda  was  not  phased  when  she  received   a  call  to  say   that  a  kitten   had   been   born  in  the  caller’s  garden,  the  mother  had   abandoned  her   and  she  was  still  attached  to  the  chord.  When  the  tiny   scrap   of   life  arrived,  wrapped  in  a  jumper,  she  was  not  only  attached   to  the  chord  but  also  the  placenta!     This   was  beyond  Lynda's   experience   but   she  vaguely   remembered   seeing  something  like  it  on  the  TV.    As  it  was  a  “do  or  die”  situation  she   promptly  sterilised  her   scissors,  clamped  off  the  afterbirth  and  cut  the   chord.  Minnie   was  appropriately  named  and  weighed   in   at   just   93   grammes  (less  than  2  small  chicken  eggs). Lynda   and   Trevor   then   began   the   exhausting   process   of   raising   this   amazing  little  creature.     She   had  to  be   kept   away  from   the   other   animals   so   was  installed  in  the  guest  room.  She  was   fed   by   tiny   bottle   every   3   hours,   including  through  the  night,  and   Lynda   Minnie’s first feed shared  the  guest  room  with  her  for   the   first  week.    For  the  next  4  weeks,  Lynda   and  Trevor   alternated   nights  with   Minnie   and  didn't  share   a  bed   for   the  full  5  weeks.  They  couldn't   understand  why  Lynda  could  sleep   for   the  3  hours  between  feeds,  wake  to  the  alarm  and  fed  Minnie.    Trevor,   however,  had   a  more  difficult  time  with  Minnie  awake  and   asking  for   food.     It  dawned  on  them  that  Trevor’s  snoring  was  keeping  Minnie   awake!!     As  if  all  this  wasn't  difficult   enough,  Minnie  developed  an  intolerance   to   the   powdered   milk   and,   although   she   was   feeding,   she   was   constantly  pooing  and  not   gaining  weight.     Lynda  knew  that  full   fat   goats’  milk  was  the  best  solution,  however   the  only  source  of  this  was   a  round  trip  of  50  miles.     They  then  embarked  on  this  journey  every  4   or  5  days  so  that  the  milk  could  be  given  fresh.  Minnie  started  to  gain   weight,   after   5   weeks   she   was   managing   without   feeding   from   midnight  to  7.00am  and  at  6  weeks  she  weighed  311  grammes.  

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

During this  time,  a  friend  of  Minnie's  finder  was  anxiously  waiting  to   adopt   her  but   Minnie  was  still  very  small   at  6  weeks  and  was  refusing   to   be  weaned   but   aggressively  biting   the  teat   so   that   feeding  was   becoming   difficult.  Lynda  was  concerned   that  she  wouldn't   be  big  enough   for  her   first  vaccinations  that  would  enable  her  to   be   adopted.     These   fears   have   been   unfounded   and   the   story   has   a   happy   ending.     Minnie  was  8  weeks  old  on  6th   November  and  on  12th  November  she  left   for   her   new   home   in   Brussels   with   her   new   “Mum”   Catherine.     We   wish   them   Minnie at 7 weeks both  well. Congratulations   to   Lynda   &   Trevor   Atkins   for   their   outstanding   dedication  and  for  saving  Minnie’s  life. www.phoenixasso.com  or  find  us  on  Facebook Page 18


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Phoenix Association

APPEAL

Registered charity to help abused and abandoned animals in France. www.phoenixasso.com www.facebook.com/PhoenixAssociationFrance    

AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION

LILY 1 year old Tabby Girl Sweet Lily  is  an  affectionate   little   girl,   who   was   sadly   found   abandoned.     She   loves   people   and   a  cuddle  and  really  wants  to   be   sitting   with   you   by   the   fire   this  winter! She  is  currently  in  Phoenix   foster   care,   and  now   all   she  needs   is   her  own  family  to  love  her.

Snoop Dog   is   an   attractive   male   Papillon-­‐mix  born  on  8th  April  2011. He  has  a  friendly  temperament  and   i s   l i ve l y   a n d   i nte re ste d   i n   everything.     He   is   good   on   the   lead,   enjoys  walking,  has   a  hearty   appetite  and   is   house   trained.   He   is  sociable   with   other   dogs  and   is   friendly  towards  people,  trying  very   hard   to   please.     He  is  vaccinated,  chipped   and   is  to   be  sterilised.     Hope   will   ask   for   a   donation   towards   vet’s   fees   incurred   with   Snoopy. If   you   can   give   Snoopy   a   loving,   permanent   home  please   email   Eddie   Griffee   on   griffeepeter@hotmail.com   or   look   at   our   website,  www.hopeassoc.org.

Please telephone  Sharon  05  53  60  73  11  or  email   sharonleechappell@hotmail.co.uk.

MAYDAY MES AMIS

RASTA

12 year old English Setter Rasta is   our   ‘oldie   but   goldie’   girl!   She   is   just   gorgeous   –   gentle,   affectionate,   good   with   cats,   dogs   and   children.   She’s   even   been   taken  to  a  restaurant  by  her   foster   mum,   who   says   she  settled   down  and   snored   through   lunch!   Apparently  she  knows   how  to  make  good  use   of   her  ‘sad  eyes’  for  a  treat!         If  you   are  interested   in  adopting  Rasta,  please  contact  Margaret   &   Gary  by  email:  maggieslap52@hotmail.com  or  Tel:  05  45  30  10  39. For   other   Phoenix   animals   available   for   adoption,   please   check   out:  www.phoenixasso.com  or  our  Facebook  page  at: www.facebook.com/PhoenixAssociationFrance

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

Equine Rescue France

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

Please contact the Equine Rescue on Tel: 05 49 48 27 91 or visit our website www.equinerescue.org HOOF (Horse Orientated Open Forum)

HOOF is  open  to  anyone  with  an  equine  interest.     You  do  not  need  to  own  a  horse!    We  meet  about  once  a  month   for  talks,  visits  etc.    Interested? Contact Jo Rowe on: 05 49 64 22 67 or

email: willjo@live.co.uk.

L’Association Galia  is   a   recognized   public   utility   aiding   the   adoption   of   dogs   in   the   shelter   of   Fontenay   Le   Comte.     We   help   dogs   out   of   impound,  found  stray  or   abandoned  to  find  new   families. Refuge  de  l'association  Galia Chemin   des   perchées   (ancienne   déchetterie),   85200   Fontenay   Le   Comte Tel  :  02  51  52  06  19  or  06  28  18  13  72,  association.galia@orange.fr

Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07 70  31  54  59  ~  

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

This animal   refuge   in   Saintes   has   more   than   200   dogs   and   100   cats   seeking   forever  homes. Refuge  SPA  de  SAINTES route  des  GAUTHIERS,  17100  SAINTES Tel:  05  46  93  47  65  ~    www.spa.de.saintes.free.fr/ Page 19


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

The Great Outdoors... can usually  see  the  embryo  of  the  chick  forming.    Any  eggs  that  are   blind  or  unfertilized  are  removed  from  the  incubator.    From  the   60   eggs  we   put  in,  5  eggs  we   unfertilized  and  20  hatched,  not  a  great   return  but  not  the  best  time  of  year  for  hatching.

Life on the Farm...

We are  still  awaiting  the   arrival  of  our  first   new  lambs.   We   had   a   friendly  bet  with  each  other   as  to  the  date  of  our  first   arrivals  but   those   dates   have  passed.  We   made   the   mistake  of  not   putting   a   raddle   on   the  ram  to   give   us   a  better   indication   of   the   due  date.     Knowing  our  luck,   Christmas  Day  is   probably  the  most  likely  date   along  with  Peggy  our  pregnant  sow. by  Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

Hi Folks.   It   seems   a  bit   strange  writing  this  before   the   festivities   have   begun   but   we   hope   you   all   had  a   good   Christmas  and   are   starting   2013   with   a   bang!     Lets   hope   we   all   stay   healthy   and   happy. The  middle  of   December  brought  with  it   the  same  problems  as  last   year   -­‐   too   much   rain.  Our   barn   flooded   again  -­‐   despite   the  best   efforts   of   the   pump   we   bought   after   the   last   flooding   episode   (which   by  the  way  packed   up   just   when   we   needed  it   most!  But   with   many   thanks   to   some   very  good   friends   who   came   to   the   rescue   with   extra   pumps).   Strangely   the   flooding   happened   on   exactly   the   same   day   as   last   year   -­‐   make   a   note   for   the   16th   December  2013! We  are   often  asked   if   we  kept   animals  in   the  UK  and   people  are   usually  surprised  when   we  tell  them   we  were   office  workers  but   with   a  desire  to  escape  the  rat  race.    Friends  who  knew  us  before   our   adventure   to   France  are   amazed   that  we   eat   our   own  meat.   But   when   we  explain  that   we  know   it’s  had  the   best   life   possible     and  exactly  what  has  happened  to  the  animal   from  start  to  finish,   they   do   understand   our   reasons,   although   most   admit   they   couldn’t  eat  something  they  had  raised  themselves. It  is  very  hard   work  at  times,  especially  the  winter  months,  but  we   find   it  most   rewarding  and   wouldn’t  want  to  return   to  what  most   people   refer   to   as   “a   normal   job”.     Having  said   that   a   monthly   salary  would  be  nice  so  I  could  buy  that  tractor  I’ve  been  searching   for!

On our  veggie  plot  the  ground  has  been  well  fertilized  with   manure (something   we   have   plenty   of)   and   the   ground   will   soon   be   rotovated  in  readiness  for  the  polytunnel  to  go  up    in  the  spring. As  you  know  we  regularly  swap,  barter  and  exchange  so  when  the   offer   of  a  swap  for   some   Ragondins   (coypu)   came   our   way   how   could  we  refuse?    So   what   would  we   do  with  these  giant  rat   like   animals?     “Cook  it  like  rabbit”  we  were  told.     We  haven’t  yet  been   brave  enough  to   try  it   but  when  we  get  the  urge  to  try  something   new   we’ll   be  making  a   game  pie!     Perhaps   we  will   try  it   out  on   visitors. December   has   seen   several   truffle   markets   taking   place   in   the   region  so  I  thought  I  might  tell  you  a  little  story  to  lighten   your  day.   I   had   seen   a   programme   on   TV   where   a   well   known   chef   and   smallholder   had   dug   up   something   called   a   pig   nut   -­‐   perfectly   edible  for  humans.     So  when  I  found  something  that  looked  exactly   the  same  I  thought  I  would   give  it  a  try.    I  bit  a  small  piece  off  only   to   find   my   mouth   and   tongue   had   swollen   up   to   something   resembling  a  baboons  backside.   Thankfully  no  lasting  effect  -­‐  but   perhaps  next  time  I  will  double  check  before  I  take  a  bite! Anyway,  time   to  go,  keep  warm  and  dry  and   we  will  see  you  again   next  month  with  news  on  our  new  arrivals. Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.

We are  usually  very  good  at   noting  dates   when  certain  animals  go   in  with  the  respective  partner,  who  is  due  when   and   keep   an  eye   on  things   just  in   case  of  any  problems.    But  for  some  reason  we   completely   forgot   Roo,   our   buck   rabbit,   was   in   with   Dot,   our   Flemish  Giant  x  New  Zealand  White  doe.     Jenny  happened  to   walk   past   and     noticed   that   Dot   was   pulling   out   her   belly  fur.   This   is   usually  a  sign   she  is  nesting  and   getting  ready   to   have  a  litter.   Jen   quickly  removed     the  buck   from   the  hutch  and   within  10  minutes   Dot  was  a  mum  again.  Hows  that  for  timing?     Had  Jenny  delayed  it   any  longer   it’s   possible  that   the   doe   would   have   given  birth   and   dad  would  probably  have  killed  them. Talking  of  new  arrivals,  we  now   have   20  baby  chickens.     It’s  a  bit   late   in   the  year   to   be   hatching   but   we  are  keeping   them   warm   under   a  heat  lamp  24  hours  a   day.   After   about   2   weeks   in   the   incubator   I   candled   the   eggs   with   a  torch.     In   a  dark   room   if   you   shine   the   torch   on   to   the   egg   using   a   cardboard   tube   (ok   a   toilet   roll!)     to   direct   the  light   you   can   see  inside  the  egg  to  see   if  there  is  any  sign   of  life.  You   Page 20


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

THE AMATEUR GARDENER

by Vanda Lawrence

Hello and  Happy  New  Year   to  everyone.    I  can't  believe   that  all   the   excitement   of   Christmas  is  over   and   we  are   starting  another   new   year.     It's  time  to  start  thinking  about  the  garden  again  even  though   it  will  probably  be  a  bit  too  cold,  wet  or  icy  to  do  much  this  month.   During   milder   spells   you   will   be  able   to   plant   out   new   trees  and   shrubs  but  in  the  meantime  they  will  be  quite   happy  to  be  kept  in   a   frost-­‐free   shed   with   straw   under   and   around   the   roots   for   protection.   You   will   also   be   able   to   thin   out   dead   and   diseased   branches  from  established  trees  &  shrubs.     Mainly  though  in  the  cold  weather  you  might  prefer   to   put  your  feet   up  and  plan  your  vegetable  garden  for  next  season.     Did  you  realise   that  not  all  plants  are  happy  neighbours?     Here  are  some  good  and   bad  associations: Vegetable   • Cauliflower   • Cucumber   • Courgettes   • Lettuce   • Melon     • Onions     • Peas     • Potatoes   • Tomatoes  

       Bad  neighbour Fennel,  onions,  tomatoes  or    strawberries Potatoes,  radish,  tomatoes   Cucumber,  potatoes   Celery,  parsley Cucumber,  courgettes Leeks,  peas,  beans,  cauliflower Garlic,  onions,  leeks Carrots,  courgettes,  onions,  tomatoes Beetroot,  cucumber,  fennel,  cauliflower,  beans

Vegetable • Garlic     • Peas     • Pumpkins   • Sweetcorn   • Tomatoes      

           Good  neighbour Beetroot,  carrots,  lettuce,  leeks,  tomatoes,   Carrots,  celery,  cucumber,  potatoes,  radish Sweetcorn,  lettuce Cucumber,  courgettes,  leeks,  peas,  potatoes Garlic,  asparagus,  basil,  carrots,  celery,  spinach   onions,  leeks,  parsley

What soil  type  do  you  have?     Clay/heavy  soil;  Sandy  soil;  Silt  soil;  Loam;  Peat  soil;  Chalky  soil.    This   will  have  a  bearing  on  what  shrubs  and  plants  flourish  in  your  garden.    

Clay soils  are  potentially  very  fertile  as  the  clay  particles  hold  nutrients  

in the  soil.     However,  they  also  hold  a  high  proportion  of  water  which   drains  slowly.    Clay  soil  takes  longer  to  warm  up  in  Spring  than  sandy   soil.    Clay  is  easily  compacted  when  wet   and  bakes  hard  in   summer   with  noticeable  cracking  on  the  surface. Sandy   soils   on   the   other   hand   have   a   high   proportion   of   sand   particles  with  little  clay  and  therefore  is  classed  as  a  'light'  soil  -­‐  easily   drained  and   easily  cultivated.     These   soils  warm  quickly  in  Spring  but   are  low  in  nutrients  which  are  quickly  washed  out  by  rain.    Sandy  soils   also  dry  out  quickly.    They  are  often  acidic. Silty   soil   is   fertile,   light   and   moisture   retentive,   but   is   easily   compacted;     Loams  are  a  mixture  of  clay,  sand   and  silt;     Peat   soil  is   high  in  moisture  and  organic  matter  and  chalky  soils  are  very  alkaline.   To  identify  your  soil  type  take  a  handful  and  roll  it  in  your  hands:   Sandy  soil  has  a  gritty  feel  -­‐   you  can   feel  the  sand  grains  within  it  but   you  will  not  be  able  to  roll  a  sausage  shape. Clay  soil   is  sticky  when  wet  and  is  easily  rolled  into  a  'sausage'.    It   will   become  shiny  if  you  rub  with  your  finger.    A  light  clay  soil   will  not  be  as   shiny  and  will  not  make  a  sausage  shape  quite  so  well. Silt  soils  have  a  soapy,  slippery  texture  and  will  not  clump  easily. If  soil  froths  when  dropped  into  a  cup  of  vinegar  this  indicates  that  it   contains  chalk  or  limestone  and  is  lime  rich. All  soils  benefit  from  the  addition  of  organic  matter  with  the  exception   of  chalky  soil.    This  soil   is  not  suitable  for  ericaceous  plants  needing   acid  soil  conditions.    It   is  not   possible  to   make  a  chalky   soil  acidic  -­‐   much  better  to  choose  plants  that  thrive  in  alkaline  conditions. So  now  I've  given  you  something  else  to  think  about  -­‐  go  on,  put  your   feet  up  again,  you  know  you  want  to  ..... Page 21


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

French Life, Food & Drink... French Village Diaries by Jacqueline  Brown. Winter   has   arrived,   the   days   are   short,   the   trees   are   bare   and   the   temperatures  have  plummeted,  but   am   I   down?     Well   sometimes,   I   have  to  admit,  yes  I  am.    It   is  at  this   time   of   year  that   my  thoughts  turn   to   comfort   food.   Gone   are   the   vibrant   coloured   salads  of  summer   that   cheered   up   my   plates   with   home  grown  delights,  but  have  no   fear   for   we  have  arrived  at   what   I   call  ‘porridge  and  soup’  season. What   can   be   more  comforting  than   the   warm   glow  that   radiates   through  your  body  after  eating  a  bowl  of  hot,  steaming  porridge  on   a  cold  morning?    I  will  admit   to  importing  my  porridge  oats  from  the   UK,  as  I  like  to  buy  them   by  the  sack  rather   than  the  teeny  tiny  box   that  is  all  I  can  find  at  my  local  supermarket  here,  but  I  always  make   sure  I  am  stocked  up  before   winter   arrives.     Variety  is  the  spice  of   life,  as  the  saying   goes,  so   I  like   to   add   a   bit   of  something  to   my   porridge.     Last  year  I  was  lucky  enough  to  still  be  picking  raspberries   at   the  end   of   November,  they  weren’t   big  or   overly  sweet,  but   a   handful   added  to  my  morning  porridge  brought  out  the  best  in  both   ingredients.   Other   favourites   are   a   sprinkling   of   cinnamon   or   a   handful   of   dried   fruit   (I   even   managed   to   get   a   bag   of   dried   cranberries  this  winter)  added  while  cooking,  or  some  fruit  compote   spooned  over   after  cooking.  I  have  to  be  honest   and  say  I  prefer   a   fruity  porridge  to  a  salty  one,  sorry  to  any  Scottish  readers. Now  to  the  soup,  and  I  admit  I  have  a  bit   of  a  thing  about   soup!  Soup  to  me  is  a   super   food   and   not   just   because   it   gives  me  a  perfect  way  of  using  up   the   summer   glut   of   courgettes   and  keeps  me  warm  in  the  winter.   I   spend   my   summer   days   concocting   various   flavours   of   soup  that  get  stored  in  the  freezer   for   winter  lunches.  They  all  start  off   the   same   way,  a  finely  sliced   onion   sautéed   in   olive  oil   with   some  curry   spices   –   my   favourites   are   cumin,   coriander   and   turmeric.   Add   whatever   vegetables   you   have,   diced,   I   usually   use   courgettes,   squash   or   pumpkins,  and  just   cover   with  water   or   stock  (homemade  chicken   stock   would   be   my   preference)   then   cook   until   vegetables   are   tender.  I  always  blend  my  soups,  but   the   addition   of  a  tin  of  pre-­‐ cooked  lentils   or   chickpeas  after  blending  gives   it  added  body.     To   serve,  a  sprinkling  of   grated  Emmental  cheese   and  some  bread  and   you  have  my  perfect  winter  lunch. Following  the  excesses  of  Christmas  and  the  seemingly  never  ending   Galette   des   Rois,  porridge  and   soup  provide  the  perfect  New  Year   detox  for  comfort  eaters.    The  high   fibre  and  slow  release  of   energy   that  balance  your  blood  sugar  means  less  cravings  for  snacks.  I  find   porridge  and  soup  with  a  sensible  evening  meal  and  a  brisk  dog  walk   every  day  will  soon  help  me  loose  any  additional  Christmas  kilos.

All of  Jacqui’s  favourite  recipes  can  be  found  on  her  website   http://www.frenchvillagediaries.com.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Honey, why did you kick my head? A quick guide to hangover management

by John  Sherwin

I suppose  by  now  it’s  no  good  my  saying  “go   easy”.   Or   “drink   water   between   alcoholic   drinks”.   Or   “drink  a  pint   of   milk  before  you  go   to   the  party”.   Well,  you  wouldn’t   have  listened  anyway,  chump,   caught   up   in   the  ridiculous  festive   furore   as  you   were,  would  you?    Sorry  to  be  so  clanging  at  this   time   in   the   morning   with   your   head   in   such   a   state,   but   strange   as  it   might   seem,   I’m  here  to   help. I’m   not   going   to   pontificate   like   some   crazed   prohibitionist  Presbyterian.     What’s  done  is   done.     We  have   to  get   to   grips  with  restoring  you  to   the   land  of  the  living  before  those   nice  French  neighbours  come  over  and  you  start  all  over  again. First,  rehydrate.     Water,  and   as   much  as  you  can   keep   down,  will   unrasp   the   tongue   and   keep   the  brain   from   clanging   against   the   cranium  (this  is  the  hangover).    Any  port  in  a  storm,  so  from  the  tap   is  just  fine,  but  if  you  have  mineral  water   so  much  the  better  as  it   will   give   you   added   good   stuff   –   this   is   not   the   time   to   get   technical,  just  trust  me. Second,   eat.   One   of   my   favourite   morning-­‐after   quotes   (yes,   I   collect   them)   is   “Grease   is   the   only   cure   for   a   hangover”.   John   Travolta?    Olivia?    Mais  non  –  Cameron   Diaz,  and   chaps,  who  are   we   to  gainsay  Ms  Diaz?     Full   English  if   you   can,  grilled  not  fried.   Otherwise   toast,   or   anything   that   involves   potatoes,   eggs,   pancakes.    No  coffee  –  this  dehydrates  you  more.

Reader’s Restaurant Reviews Thank you  to  Ian  McKay  for  this  month’s  Restaurant  Review:   L’Ecu  de  France,  2  rue  Poitou,  79130  Secondigny. Tel:  05  49  63  29  94

L'Ecu was   doing  a   pre-­‐theatre  special  at   12   euros  per   person,  so   before  the  thrilling  production    of  ‘ The  Thirty-­‐Nine  Steps’  we  dined   there  early  at  6pm.    We  had  eaten  there  previously  before  another   great   production  from  the  Reaction  Theatre  group  and  thought  it   great  value  –  both  the  meal  and  the  play. We   were  a   party  of  seven  (would  have  been  eight  were   it   not   for   the   vagaries   of   French   motoring).     No   entrées,   four   of   us   had   entrecôte   and   the   three   others   had   confit   de   canard   as   main   course  and  various  desserts  from  a  choice  of  four  or  five. We   were   served   by   a   charming   young   waitress,   who   smiled   throughout.    With   wine  and   a  couple  of  soft  drinks  the  bill  came  to   around    96  euros,  and  that  was  after   I  had  complained  about   the   bill  as  they   had  only  charged  us  for   one  of  the  two  carafes  of  red   we  had   actually  had.    Again  it  was  very  good  value  for  money  and   particularly   worth   considering   in   conjunction   with   any   future   Reaction  Theatre  performance.

RESTAURANT REVIEWS... If you have positive restaurant experiences to share, we would love to print them here. Please email to: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr for inclusion into future issues.

The above   will   certainly  serve   you   well,   but   there   is  an   addition   which   will   guarantee  a  smile   on  your  face,  the  steadiest   of   hands   and  a  spritz  in  your  gait.    I  refer   to  Fernet  Branca.     I  first  drank  this   with   an   Indian   lawyer   in   Hong   Kong.   I   chose   it   from   the  drinks   menu   as   it   sounded   quite   light   and   jolly.   Mistake:   this,   like   my   friend,  is  a  serious  chap. Made  in   Italy  for  the  last  200  years  or  so,   Fernet   Branca  is  alcohol   based  (around  40%)   but   infused  with   more  things  than  your   brain   can   take   in   right   now,   but   including   gentian,   rhubarb,   aloe,   camomile,   rue,   angelica   and   saffron.   It’s   dark   and   oily   and   not   something  you   really  want   to   look   straight   in   the   eye.     A  cross   between   what   your  mum  spooned  down   you   after   pinching  your   nose   (it   was   considered   a   medicine   during   Prohibition   in   the   States),  crushed  plants  and  bitter  mud. On   a  dark   and  foggy   morning  on   the   Via  Veneto   your   hungover   Italian   buddy  –  all  hungovers  are   buddies  –  will   be   taking   his  FB   doshed  into  an  espresso,  otherwise  known  as  a  caffè  corretto   con   Fernet.     I   suggest  you   take  it   neat  as  an  atonement  for  the  sins  of   the  night  before.    If  you  can’t  face  that,  mix  with  Coke. Some  suggest   that   FB   is  a   lovely  aperitif.     Don’t   worry,  the  men   with   white   coats  are  on   the   way.   But   this   concoction   is  a  100%   guaranteed  cure  for  naughtiness.

John Sherwin, French Wine Tours Email: johnsherwin@orange.fr ~ www.french-wine-tours.com

Page 23


Colour Advert Size A only 38€ per month or from 33,33€ per month for 12 months.

THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

January’s Recipe - BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING Here’s a  well  known  classic  to  keep  us  warm  through  winter!

Ingredients: • 85g softened  butter. • 6  slices  of  thick  white  bread • 55g  mixed  fruit • 25g  candied  peel • 3  large  eggs • 1/2  pint  milk • 1/4  pint  double  cream • 55g  caster  sugar • Grated  Nutmeg • 1tbsp  Demerara  sugar • Cream  to  serve Method:-­‐ 1. Preheat  the  oven  to  180˚C  /  350˚F  /  Gas  Mark  4 2. Grease  a  baking  dish   (20   x  25cm   approx.)   with   some  of   the   softened   butter,  and  butter  the   slices  of   bread.     Cut   the   bread   into   quarters   and   arrange   in   the   dish,   half   overlapping. 3. Sprinkle   half  the  fruit  and  peel  over   the  bread   and  cover   with   the   remaining   cut   bread   quarters.   Adding   the   remaining  fruit  and  peel  to  the  top. 4. Whisk  the  eggs  well  and  mix  in  the  milk,  cream  and  sugar.     Pour   this   over   the   pudding   and   leave   to   stand   for   15   minutes.     Sprinkle   grated  nutmeg  over   the   top,  finishing   with  some  demerara  sugar. 5. Place   the   pudding   on   a  baking  tray  and   bake  for   30-­‐40   minutes  until  just  set  and  golden  brown. 6. Remove   from   the   oven   and   serve   warm   with   some   cream.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

French Adventures... Having been   keen   caravanners   from  way   back,  my  wife  Sue  and   I,   together  with  our  two  children   when  they  were  younger,  toured  and   holidayed in  various  parts  of  France  for  some  20+  years.    We  decided   long  ago  that  when  the  time  came  and  the  children  no  longer  needed   us   to   be   around   so   much,   we   would   like   to   retire   to   France   and   hopefully  enjoy  a  warmer  climate. Last   year   that   time   arrived   and   we   began   house-­‐hunting,  primarily   around   the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  area  because  my  brother   was   already  living   near   Secondigny. However,   the   property   that   took   our   heart   was   actually  in  Montournais  in  the  Vendee  just  15  minutes  from  the  border   with   Deux-­‐Sèvres.  It   is   a   600   year   old   farmhouse   with   a   modern   attached   Gîte,   a   nice   patch   of   ground   for   our   three   dogs,   and   a   character   swimming  pool.     We   moved  into   our   new   home  and  set   about  making  the  changes  we  wanted  and  preparing  the  Gîte  for  the   first   season‘s   holiday   makers.     We   are   now  preparing  for   our   first   winter  in  France,  and  whilst   we  are   loving  it and  keep  busy  with  jobs   around   the   house,   a   little   spark   of   something   is   missing.   Let   me   explain. I  was  a  serving  Police  officer  in  inner   city  Greater   Manchester   for  22   years,     the   last   14   of   them   as   a  dog   handler   working   a   German   Shepherd  dog  dual-­‐trained   in   general   patrol   work  and  also  in  drugs   detection.     Eventually  this  led  me  to  the  training  side  of  dogs   and  in   1992   I   attended   a   Home   Office   Intermediate   Training   Course   at   Stafford  which  on  successful   completion  qualified   me  to  train  all   but   explosive  detection  dogs.

Main Photo: Final Day at Training, England

Meantime Sue  was  kept  busy  working  at  a  job  she  thoroughly  enjoyed   in  a  local  primary  school.     Over  the  years  she   took  on   various  roles   culminating  in  her  becoming  a  Learning  Mentor  for  the  last  5  years.     I  was  retired  from  the  the   Police  service  on  health  grounds  in   1997. After  almost  12  months  recuperation  I  needed  to   work  again  and  as   my  interest   and  expertise  lay  in  working  with  dogs  I  decided  to  offer   my  services  as  a  dog  trainer.     Two  vets  I‘d  had  contact   with  during  my   Police  service   agreed  to  display  posters  offering  personal  dog  training   services   for   owners   with   problem   dogs.   Within   a   few   days   the   enquiries  started  to   come  in  and  this  led  to  14   years   of  home  visits,   classes,  shows   and  Cruft’s  displays.   I   also  worked   for   a   local   RSPCA   centre  where  a  lot  of  animals  were  being  returned  for  various  reasons.   To  try  to  improve  this  situation  each  new  owner  was  given  vouchers  to   attend   two   of   my   classes   and   the   stream   of   returns   was   almost   immediately  halted.  My  biggest  reward  came  from  seeing  an  alleged   unruly  dog   and  its  owner   leave  my  classes  as  a  completely  calm  and   obedient  unit.  I  always  felt  so   proud  to  see  the  dog  walking  nicely  and   the  owner  happy. We  have  three  dogs  of  our  own,  Albie  (aka  Bert)  a  15  year  old  lab  cross   collie  who  decided  to  leave  home  when  our   married  son‘s  new  baby   arrived.  Several    times  he  escaped,  travelled  across  town  and  arrived  at   our   door   around  2.30  am  and  barked  until   I  went  down  to  open  the   door,  when   he   would  shoot  in,  find  a  spot  he  liked   and  lie  down   to   sleep.  Eventually  we  told  them  to  fetch  his  bed  and  he  has  been  with   us  for  the  last  5/6  years. Then  we  have  Floyd  the  11  year  old  Dalmation,  who  was  a  champion   show  dog  until   something  went  terribly  wrong  one  day.     We  will  never   know  what  it  was.  He  was  re-­‐homed  after  the  disaster  at  the  show  but  

unfortunately to   the  wrong  family.     They  had  three  teenage  children   and   within   three   weeks  the  new   owner   was  contacting   Dalmation   rescue   fearing   Floyd   would   bite.   He   was   diagnosed   with   Nervous   Aggression. Thankfully   the   contact   at   Dalmation   rescue   knew   me   personally.   Within  a  couple  of  days  and  after  discussing  his  case  with  Sue  we  took   him  on  but  it  took  quite  a  bit  of  work  to  turn  him  around.  At  that  time   he  was  about  four   years  old  and  he  is  now  11  years  old.    Today  he  is  a   beautiful  and  happy,  loving  dog. Finally,  we   have   Holly,  an   English   Springer   Spaniel.    She  is  now  about   four  years   old  and  as  mad  as   a  box   of  frogs!    About   four  years  ago  I   worked  as  a  search  dog  handler  on  the  ferry  port  at  Calais  and  our  role   was   to   detect   illegal   immigrants   who  had  hidden   themselves  in  the   loaded  wagons  trying  to  cross  into  England.  Holly`s  record  was  a  find  of   15  at  one  time  in  a  loaded  potato  wagon.  However,  she  was  a  young   dog  and   injured  her  shoulder  and  was  retired  on  health   grounds.  She   needed   a  home  and  as  I  had  been  her   handler   for   most  of  my  time   there   the  decision   was  easy.  She  is  now  fully  recovered  and  doesn’t   stop  running  and  enjoys  life  to  the  full. In   2003  I  wrote  a   book  together   with  my  sister   in  law.  We  called  it   ‘Training  Your  Dog  in  a  Weekend’.  It  was  a  big  seller  both  in  the  UK  and   the  USA  and  also  sold  around  the  world. Having  spent  a  lot  of  years   working  with  problem  dogs  as  well  as  puppies  and  general  family  pets   that  needed  guidance,  it   seems  a  shame  to  let  that  stop  now   and  in   the  New  Year   I  am  aiming  to  restart  training.     Initially  this  is  primarily   for   English  speakers  -­‐  only  because  at  this  stage  my  French   vocabulary   doesn’t   stretch  too  far.    French   lessons  for  me  are  to   start  in   the  new   year! For   dog  training  classes,  I  already  have  the   promise   of  one   training   venue  near  to  St  Hilaire  de  Voust.    I  also  have  the  grounds  and  a  really   large  barn  that  lends  itself  to  indoor  training  in  inclement  weather  at   my  own  home  at  Montournais.  Also  if  numbers  are  sufficient,    possibly   a  venue  at  Secondigny  courtesy  of  mon  frere. As  I  did  in  the  UK  I  will  also  offer  home  visits  where  required. I  am  more  than  willing  to   discuss   people’s  problems   or   issues   (dog   related)  and  NO  as  I’ve  often  been  asked    -­‐  I  don’t  train  children! I  have  been  involved   in  competitions  at   the  highest   level   throughout   my   working   life,   including   the   National   Police   Dog   Championships   at   Hendon   London  where  my  dog  `Clint’  reached  10th  place  out   of  the  best   32   Police   dogs  in  the  country.     Then,   whilst   Prince   Michael   of   Kent   was   presenting  me   with   my  certificate,  he  shoved   his  nose   up   HRH`s   jacket   and  checked  out  the  crown  jewels!!!    Which   way  to  the  tower? I  no  longer   compete,  nor  train  to  that  standard,  but  what  I  like  to  see  is   a  happy,  carefree  AND  obedient  dog. Why?    Because  an  Obedient  dog   is  a  Happy  dog.    If  we  can  resume  the   ‘spark’,  I  think  our   life  here  in   France  will  be  complete. For  any  information  please  contact   Keith  Davis  on  Tel.  02  51  63  92  08   or  email    thedogman@hotmail.com.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Motoring... SMILE, it’s a 500!

by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

For January  I  decided   that   in  order   to  raise  a  smile  in  the  dark  days  of   winter,  I  would  look  at  the  history  and  modern  incarnation  of  an  iconic   little  car  with  bags  of  charm  and  character,  that  you  can’t  help  loving. Built   as   an   economy   car   and   originally   launched   in   1957,   the   “Cinquecento”  or   Fiat   500  has  become  a  legend,  and  was  extremely   popular  throughout   Europe.     It  was  a  cheap,  very  basic  and  practical   town  car,  measuring  only  3  metres  long,  and  originally  powered  by  an   appropriately   sized   479cc,   two   cylinder,   rear   mounted   air-­‐cooled   engine. Indeed  the  500  redefined   the  term  "small  car"  and  is  considered  one   of  the   first  city  cars.     The  500  was   produced  in  various  incarnations   until   1975,  and   sports   models   were   produced   by   Abarth,  a  private   Italian  racing  car  maker.   The   all   round   capabilities   of   the   diminutive   little   car   were   demonstrated  in  July  1958  when  7  examples  contested  and  won  the   first   and   only  Liège-­‐Brescia-­‐Liege   Rally   for   cars   up   to   500cc.   After   battling  through  this  almost  non-­‐stop  3300km  event,  over   testing  dirt-­‐ road  passes  in  the  Italian  Dolomites  and  Yugoslavia,  the  500’s  took  1st,   2nd,  4th,  6th,  7th,  9th  and  13th  places,  and   showed  their  exceptional   durability  as  only  13  of  the  29  starters  actually  finished  the  rally. A  Fiat  500  is  also  believed  to   be  the  smallest   car  to  complete  a  world   circumnavigation.    In  2007,  a  1969  example  was  driven  from  Australia,   taking  in  Russia  and  Europe  (to  arrive  in  Italy  in  time  for  the  car’s  50th   anniversary  celebration)  then  after   crossing  the  Atlantic  from  Belgium,   the  car   started  again   from  New  York  to   travel  all  the  way  to  Alaska   before  returning  to  Australia  -­‐  32,000  road  kilometres  in  just  99  days. For  the  50th  Anniversary,  Fiat  launched  a  new  500,  stylistically  inspired   by  the  original   but  with  modern  technology  and  considerably  heavier   and  larger,  featuring  a  front-­‐mounted  engine  and   front-­‐wheel   drive.     This   hugely   popular   “retro”   model   saw   one   of   the  biggest   launch   parties   held  for  a  car  in  the  last  10  years,  and  the   millionth  example   rolled  off  the  production  line  on  19th  November  2012.

Photo: http://nl.wikipedia.org

With many   Limited   Edition   models   and   over   500,000   different   personalized  combinations  of  the  500  that  can  be  made  by  adding  all   kinds   of  accessories,  decals,  interior   and   exterior   colours  and  trims,   the  model  seems  to  appeal  to  a  great  many  people,  and  Abarth   have   once  again  made  a  performance  version. This  new  500,  of  which  my  step-­‐daughter  Abbie  owns  an  example,  is   right  up  to  date  with   the  demands  of  a  modern   girl  about   town,  with   parking  sensors,  MP3-­‐compatible  stereo,  power-­‐assisted  steering  and   electric   mirrors,  room  for   3  friends  and  some  shopping,  respectable   fuel  consumption  and   low  running  costs.   And   of  course  it  is  a  style   statement,  and  “very  cool”,  I  am  assured!    Abbie’s  favorite  accessory  is   eyelashes   for   the   headlights,   to   give   that   already   cheeky  face   the   proper  girlie  treatment! So,  if  you   have  10,400   Euros  of  Christmas  money   burning  a  hole   in   your   pocket,   you   can   buy   into   this   craze   at   your   local   French   Fiat   dealer,  or   look   for   a  cheaper   used   example  around   the   7000  Euro   mark.    If  nothing  else,  it  will  bring  a  smile  to  your  face! Contact  Helen  at:  helen@stodel.org.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

4L TROPHY –

MCS RACING

Hi! My  name  is  Keenan  Dominey,  I  am   19  years  old  and   live  in  Les   Alleuds,  near  Melle.     I  go  to  Lycee  Emile  Roux  at   Confolens  and  am   studying   BTS   Expert   Comptablility   (Accounts).   My   co-­‐driver   is   Stephane   Millassaud,  he   is   21   years   old   and   doing   a   Faculte   de   Sciences  Economiques    at  Poitiers  University. To  be  able  to  take   part  in  this  rally,  we  have   to  be  between  18  and   28   years   old,  both   be   in   full   time   education   and   we   must   have   driving  licenses  and   passports.    There  are  1700  students  registered   to  take   part  and   we  shall   all  be  leaving   from  Futuroscope  in  Poitiers. Our   rally   number   is  2185   (which   is   on   French   television   if   you   would   like   to   follow   us!)   I   have   bought   a   1980   Renault  4L  as  shown  in  the  photograph   and   hope   to   get   enough   sponsors   to   cover   the  car  in  sticker  advertising.    If   you   would  like   to  advertise  on  my  car   please  contact  me.   The   car   is  not  currently  roadworthy  for  the  desert,  so  we   will  need   to  modify  it  before  we  go...The  addition  of  tow  hooks,  clamping  the   bonnet   down   so   that   it   does   not   blow   up   whilst   driving,   fitting   desert-­‐tyres  and   also  a  snorkel   to  stop   the  sand   getting  into   the   engine!    The   Controle  Technique  is   booked   for   January  12th,  and   with   lots   of   help   from   my  Dad,   we   hope   it   will   be   up   to   Rally   standards. In   the  next   issue,  I  hope  to  have  more  sponsors  and   that   the  car   will  be  ready  for  the  rally. Keenan  Dominey, MCS  RACING,  8  rue  de  la  Violette  ,  Chaignepain,  79190  Les  Alleuds Tel  :  06.29.72.33.94  ~  05.17.23.13.43 Email:  mcs-­‐racing@sfr.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Communications... What’s New For Your PC ? Windows 8,  First  Impressions by  Ross  Hendry In   October   2012   Microsoft   launched   its   new   operating  system  -­‐   Windows  8.     Many  people  have  asked  me  about  it  and   should  they   upgrade,  what   are  the  benefits  and  more  importantly  how  difficult   will  it  be  to  get  used  to  the  new  system? I  have  now  had  some  time   to  research   and  use  Windows  8  and  my   overall   feeling  is   that   it   is  a  big  improvement   over   Windows  7  in   terms   of   performance   and   security.   Things   run   much   faster   on   Windows   8   and   the   built-­‐in   security   features   will   offer   far   more   difficult   targets  for   Malware  to  attack  you.    Of  course,  you   will  still   need   antivirus   and  anti   spyware   protection   but   I  believe  you  will   have  a  safer  experience. This   is   especially   true   because   Windows   8   is   the   first   operating   system  to   work   actively  with   "the  Cloud",  that   is  to   say  your   files   and  data  stored   on   the  internet,  such   as  your  email,  and  any  data   you  store  in  places   like  Microsoft   SkyDrive,  Flickr  or  Google  Drive,   Picasa  etc.    That  said,  the  best  way  to  experience  the  Windows  8   Operating   system  is   undoubtedly  using   a   Touch   Screen   interface.     The   whole   design   of   the   Windows   8   interface   is   optimised   for   swiping  a   finger   across  the   screen,  or   using  a  pinching  gesture  to   reduce   and   enlarge   an   image,   etc.   This   technology   has   been   available   for  some  time  now   on   mobile  telephones  and   of  course   the   famous  Apple   iPad   and   more   recently  many  android   tablets.   Clearly  Microsoft   see  this  as  the  future  and  have  taken  a  very   big   step  towards  this  type  of  technology. So   how   does   it   run   on   a   standard   non   touch   screen   PC?     The   answer   is  quite  well.    Certainly  a   little  faster   than  in   Windows  7,   with  start-­‐up  and   shut  down   times   virtually  halved   in   both   cases.     Those   of   you   using   it   on   laptops   will   also   be   surprised   at   the   improved  battery  life  this  may  give  you. However,  the  initial  start   screens  will  seem  a  little  confusing  to  start   with.    The  old  desktop  has   changed  significantly  and  navigating  will   not   seem   as  straight   forward   unless   you  have   had   experience   of   touch   screen   style   computing   before.   Your   computer   vocabulary   will  also  expand  with  new  terms  such  as  the  "Charm  Bar",  a  crucial   tool   in   navigating   the   Windows   8   interface.     There   are   built-­‐in   tutorials   on   how  to  use  the   interface  that   primarily  consist   of  tile   link  icons   that  represent  applications  and  folders.    These  are  "live",   so  on  your  email   tile  you  may  see  new  emails   as  they  arrive,  your   weather   tile  will   constantly  update   and  links  to  active  web  pages   such   as   news   feeds   will   also   reflect   the   most   up   to   date   information.

Windows 8  also  includes  a  new  version  of  Internet  Explorer,  IE10.     A   faster   version   with   Windows   8's   new   security   features   included   making  it   safer.     There  are  also  many  new  apps   available  form  the   Microsoft  Apps  Store. For  those   of  us  who  have  not,  or  are   not  ready  to  change  to  touch   screen  hardware,  it   is   simply  a  matter   of  getting  behind  the  new   touch  screen  orientated  start  screen  with  the  tiles  to  the  good  old   desktop.  Those  of   you   who  know  Windows   7   will   find   this   totally   familiar,  and  once  you  get  to  this  level,  the  Windows  8   experience   is  not  so  daunting.     Using  the   Charm  Bar   to   help   locate   files  and   applications  can  be  achieved  quite  simply  and  most  applications  we   are  used  to  work  in  exactly  the  same  way  on  Windows  8  as  they  do   on  other  Windows  operating  systems. My  conclusion   is   that   Microsoft   have   decided   that   the   excellent   usability  afforded  by  the  touch  screen  technology  promises   to   be   the  future  of   personal  computing  and  Windows  8  seems  brilliant   at   this   with   smooth   efficient   gesture   control.     However,   they   also   realise   that   there   are   many   of   us   who   still   have   to   use   the   traditional   methods  of   controlling  our   PC  via  Keyboard  and   Mouse.   I  suspect  that  many  business  users  will  find   that  behind  the  touch   screen   tile  interface  is   an   operating   system  that   works   well   with   mouse   and  keyboard,  very  much  like   Windows  7,  and  is  therefore   practical  for  technologies  without  the  touch  screen  hardware. Personally,  I  prefer  for  others  to  jump   in  on  new  operating  systems,   and   Windows  8  is  no  exception.    Until  I  have   to  purchase  the  touch   screen  hardware  I  will  keep  with  Windows  7.     I  may  well  be  forced   to  go  to  Windows  8  if  I  purchase  a  new  Laptop  and  will  tolerate  it,  if   I   am  staying   with   the   traditional   keyboard   and   Mouse.   The   real   time   for   me   to   upgrade   to   Windows   8   will   be   when   I   finally   succumb   to   the   touch   screen   hardware,   maybe   my  next   laptop   purchase,  until  then  I  am  happy  to  stick  with  Windows  7. Ross  Hendry  is  the  proprietor  of  Interface  Consulting   and  Engineering,   who   has   over   42   years   experience   in   Communications,   Computer   Technology   and   Direct   Marketing.   (See   advert   below   for   more   information).

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Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr or see our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Building & Renovation... Tiling Tips

by Simon Tee

If, like  so  many  of  us  in  France,  you  are  renovating  your   property  and   are  at  the  stage  where  you  are   thinking  of  ceramic  tiling,  bear  these   handy  pointers  in  mind. Don’t   cut  corners.     You’ve  spent  your   hard-­‐earned  money  on  a  new   bathroom  or  kitchen,  so  don’t   forget   that   the  tiling  gives  the  room   that   finishing  touch.     It   doesn’t  matter  how  much  money  you  spend   on  those  worktops  or  units,  if   your   eye  is  drawn  to  that  wonky  tile  in   the  corner  that  will  always  be  what  catches  your  eye!     What  tiles?     Large  tiles  look  stunning  in  the  brochure  –  but  they  are   fixed  to  a  completely  flat  surface.     If  you   have  uneven  walls  or  floors,   no  matter  how  professional  the  tradesperson  carrying  out  the  work,   the  tiling  will  only  look  as  good  as  the  surface  underneath,  so  good   preparation   and  tile  choice  is  the  key.     Smaller   tiles   ‘roll’  over   the   lumps  and  bumps  better,  so  are  best  for  uneven  surfaces.     Large  tiles   work   well   on  large  areas,  making  the  space   look  even   bigger,   but   don’t   stand   out   in   a  small   area.     The  same   applies   to   tiles   fixed   diagonally,  particularly  to  kitchen  walls  above  the  worktops. Tile  on  tile?     Yes  you  can  –  in  fact  it’s  one  of  the  best   surfaces  to  tile   on.    Providing  the  existing  tiled  surface  is  solid  (you  can  check  this  out   by  tapping  with  a  coin,  and  listening  for  hollow  sounds). Tile  on  wood?     Yes  you   can.     Providing  the  floor   is  over-­‐boarded,   screwed  down  every  150mm  and  a  flexible  adhesive  is  used. Layout  is  the  key.     Inexperience  may  lead  a  ‘handyman’  to  start  tiling   from  one   side,  so  that  there   is  a  cut   only  on  one  side.     A  craftsman   will  centre  the  walls  accordingly,   so  that  they   look  balanced  –  they   won’t  shy  away  from  cutting  tiles  if  they  are  skilled.

means he  won’t  cut  a  tile  in  half  to  get  around  a  pipe  unless  it  is   really  necessary. Simon   Tee   had   a   ceramic   tiling   business   in   the   South   Coast   of   England  for   27  years,  working  in  a  multitude   of  properties  providing   the   finishing  touch  to   bathrooms,  kitchens  and  conservatories,  and   also   carrying   out   large   commercial   projects   such   as   Sainsbury’s   superstores,  Health  &  Fitness  clubs  and  Golf  &  Country  clubs. Simon  Tee  is  a   true  craftsman  at   his  chosen  trade.     Since  moving  to   France  in  January  of  2012,  and  spending  the  year  to  date  getting  his   fishing  gites  and  lakes  up  and  running,  he   is   now  ready  return  to   his   craft  and  give  your  property  that  finishing  touch. To  take  advantage  of  Simon’s  expertise  or  for  further  information  –   call  him  on  05  49  63  57  44  or  send  an  email:   simon@francefishinggites.com.

Simon Tee   is   a   professional   ceramic   tiler,   having   served   an   apprenticeship  straight  from  school,  trained  by  experienced   tilers  to   cut   tiles   by   hand   (before   all   the   new   cutting   equipment   was   introduced).     This  is  important  for  those  awkward   tiles,  his  expertise   Page 29


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

ARTISANS &  TRADESMEN... Do  you  have  any  top  tips  you  can  share  with  our  readers?       We  would  love  to  include  them  in  this  section!

Short editorials  can  be  offered  to  advertisers,   free  of  charge.

For more  details,  please  see  the  ‘Written  Contributions’  page   on  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Please call  Sarah  to  find  out  more.

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GO COLOUR Small: only 34€ Page 31


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

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GO COLOUR Small: only 34€

THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

USEFUL FRENCH  VOCABULARY  -­‐  CONSTRUCTION architect  -­‐  architecte  (m) breezeblock  -­‐  parpaing  (m) building  -­‐  bâtiment  (m) building  land  -­‐  terrain  constructible  (m) building  permit  -­‐  permis  de  construire building  site  -­‐  chantier  (m) to  build  -­‐  bâtir  /  construire  (verb) cesspool  -­‐  fosse  d’aisance  (f) concrete  -­‐  béton  (m) connecting  to  the  drains  -­‐  raccordement  aux  égout  (m) damp-­‐proof  -­‐  imperméable damp-­‐proof  course  -­‐  couche  isolant  (f) damp-­‐proof  membrane  -­‐  protection  soubassement  (f) drainage  -­‐  drainage  (m) lintel  block  -­‐  bloc  linteau  (m) mortar  -­‐  mortier  (m) quick  setting  concrete  -­‐  béton  à  prise  rapide  (m) RSJ  -­‐  poutre  en  fer  (f) scaffolding  -­‐  échafaudage  (m) screed  -­‐  chape  (f) solid  concrete  block  -­‐  bloc  plein  en  béton  (m)

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Business, Finance & Property... Capital Gains Tax Increases on Property by Bill  Blevins,  Financial  Correspondent,  Blevins  Franks

The French Finance Bill for 2013 was announced in September 2012, before starting its long process through parliament. French residents have known what tax rises to expect in 2013 for a while, but the government surprised us with yet another tax rise, this time on property. On 7th December, parliament voted to add a surtax to capital gains made on the sale of property. The main home remains tax free. The surtax will be charged on a sliding scale, with the lowest rate being 2% on gains between €50,000 and €100,000, rising to 6% for gains over €250,000. It is added to the standard 19% capital gains tax. You will pay 15.5% social charges on top of this, so when you sell a property that is not your main home in France, your total tax bill on the gain will be between 34.5% and 40.5%.

A new 20% deduction on the net gain (after the deductions for the length of ownership), is being to introduced for 2013 - but only for 2013. The Finance Bill still has to be voted on by the Senate, so further changes are still possible. Various other tax increases are due to come into effect in 2013, making life more expensive tax wise. Higher earners could notice a significant increase. For advice on tax planning in France, contact an established wealth management and tax planning firm like Blevins Franks. Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should take personalised advice. To keep in touch with the latest developments in the offshore world, check out the latest news on our website www.blevinsfranks.com

This new measure will apply to sales after 1st January 2013, unless a promesse or compromis de vente was signed before 7th December 2012. The good news is that the allowances for the length of ownership (2% per year between 6th and 17th year of ownership; 4% per year up to 24th and 8% per year beyond that) continue to apply, so the longer you have owned the property, the less tax you will have to pay.

For a  full  list  of  our   advertising  rates,   please  phone  for   an  advertising  pack  or   download  from  our   website. Tel:  05  49  70  26  21

www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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Investing In  Your  Future

The turbulent   global   economy   has   caused   a   myriad  of  negative  effects  from  large  institutions,   universities,  small   businesses  and  governments.     The  smallest,  yet   the   most  important   institution   you  know  -­‐  yourself  -­‐  will  also   be  affected  by  this   volatility,   unless   it   already   has   been,   so   it   is   essential   to   safeguard   yourself   from   financial   instability   by   creating   a   strategic   plan   for   your   future. Investing  in   the  most   crucial   part   of   your   life  -­‐   your  golden  years  -­‐  is  nowadays  imperative  since   governments   and   companies   can   no   longer   afford   to   pay   for   your   pension.   Being   in   possession  of  your  own   Personal  Pension  Plan  is   the  best  plan   you  can   set  for  yourself  to   create  a   financially  stable  future  during   a  time  when  you   will   still   want   your   lifestyle  requirements   to   be   covered. There  are  several  ways  of  undertaking  a  Personal   Pension  Plan,  including  using  a  QROPS  (Qualified   Recognised   Overseas   Pension   Scheme)   that   is   recognised   by   the   HMRC   thus   meeting   the   standards  of   UK  pension.  This  means  that  if  you  have  a   UK  pension,   you  can  then   transfer   your   scheme   to   another   jurisdiction  and   rest   assured  that  your  scheme  is  under  a  safe  regulator. Studies  have   shown  how   many  people  are  not  taking  saving  seriously   and  risk  having  to  compromise  their  lifestyle  or   even  worse,  working   over   the   age   of   retirement   because   they   cannot   afford   to   stop.   Technology   has  enabled   our   world   to   take   giant   steps  in   medicine   which   will   lead   to   most   of  us  living   longer   lives,   meaning  a  longer   retirement.  Even  insurance   agencies  are  preparing  themselves  for   a   new  generation  in  their  client  list  —  the  centenarians  —  one  who  live   beyond  the  age  of  100. Pension  incomes  have  been  decreasing  for  many  years  now  and  the  hit   by  the   economic   crisis   has   led   to   the   pension   problem   to   appear  

Could you care? Each day  at  Consultus  we   hear   from  families  that  need  help   caring   for  their  loved  ones. Loved  ones  like   88  year  old  Mary  whose  husband  died   eight  years  ago   and  whose  family  are  supportive  but,  living  many  miles  away,  are  unable   to  offer  daily  help.     Mary  is  a  lady  who   likes  her   independence   and   enjoys  company  and  conversation,  but  following  a  stroke  some  years  ago   is  becoming  increasingly  frail  and  now  needs  24-­‐hour  help  with  washing,   dressing,  toileting  and  support  with  walking. With  a  Live-­‐in  Carer  from  Consultus,  Mary  has  been  able  to  stay  in  the   comfort  of  her  own  home,  remaining  independent  and  able  to  enjoy  life   in  peaceful  and  secure  surroundings.

sooner than   was  expected.  You  should   not  depend  on  the  institutions   to  provide  you  with  your   future  financial   stability,   instead,  you   must   take  care  to   create  a  strategic  plan  that  will  enable   you  to   transition   into  your  golden  years  effortlessly. At  the  deVere  Group,  our  professional  financial  advisers  are  proficient   in   the   volatile   international   markets   and   thanks   to   the   strategic   alliances  the  company  has  established  over   the  years  with  institutions   such   as   JP   Morgan,   Morgan   Stanley   and   STM   among   others,   the   former  can  give  you  the  exclusive  products  that  are  customised  to  your   specific  financial  requirements.   Nobody  wants  to  spend  his  or  her  golden  years  in  a  lesser  lifestyle  than   they  were  used   to.  Take  time  today  to   create   the  financial   peace  of   mind  for  your  future.

Working through  Consultus  you  can  expect; • £868  -­‐  £1330  per  two   week  assignment  plus  travel  costs  (when  in   the  UK) • Double  the  daily  rate  of  pay   for  all   Bank   Holidays  and  occasional   days  over  the  Christmas  and  New  Year  period • Meals  and  accommodation  whilst  on  assignment • In-­‐house  training  and  development  opportunities So  if  you  are  a  caring  and  compassionate  person  and  would  like  to   work  as  a  Live-­‐in  Carer  with  Consultus,  please  contact  us; Telephone:       Email:         Website:      

+44 1732  355231 carerapplication@consultuscare.com www.consultuscare.com

As one  of  the  UKs  leading  providers  of  live-­‐in  care,  Consultus  are  always   looking  for  people  with  the  special  qualities  needed  to  be  a  Carer. Our   Carers  typically  live  with  a  Client  for  two   weeks  at  a  time.     They  then   choose  either  to  return  home  for  a  break  or  just  long  enough   to  do  their   washing  and  attend  to  mail  before  going  on  to  help  someone  new  or  even   returning  to  help  someone  they  have  helped  before.    Some  work  only  a  few   weeks  a  year  whilst  others  might  work  6-­‐8  weeks  at  a  time  before  taking  a   break.    It  is  entirely  the  Carer’s  choice,  and  it’s  that  flexibility  that  makes  being   a  Live-­‐in  Carer  with  Consultus  an  ideal  opportunity  for  expatriates  wishing  to   earn  money  whilst  visiting  family  and  friends  in  the  UK.

Above: A   selecron   of   Consultus   Carers   and   Nurses   pictured   with   Esther   Rantzen  at  the  Company’s  recent  Long-­‐Standing  Gold  Awards  Lunch.

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Ask Amanda. Happy New Year to you all.

A question  I  am  often  asked  is:  What  is  an  Assurance  Vie? •An   Assurance  vie  (“AV”)  is  a  type  of  insurance.    However   unlike  a  life   insurance  you  may  have  experienced  in  the  UK,  these  policies   shield  any   investments  from  virtually  all  forms  of   tax  while  the  funds  remain  inside   the  AV.     (Some  funds  receive  dividend  income  that   has  had  withholding   tax  deducted).

• AV’s become  more  tax  efficient  over   time.    After  8  years  funds  can  be  withdrawn   from  the   AV  and  taxed  at   just  7.5%  on  the  gain   element   only.    Funds  can  be  accessed  at   any  time   before  that,  with   the  gain  declared  on  your  annual  tax   return.     Standard  social  tax  remains   payable  on  all  gain,  but  only  when  drawn. • After  eight  years  your  gain  is  not   only   tax  efficient,  but  it  can  be  offset   against  a  tax  free   allowance   of   (currently)  )  €4,600  per   person  (€9,200  per   couple)   per   annum.  I  would   be   happy  to  run  through  this  with  you  as  part  of  a  free  financial  health  check. • AV  policies  are  not   subject   to   succession   law.    Proceeds  from  an  AV  policy  can  be  shared   amongst   any  number   of   beneficiaries.     Although   the   succession   tax   benefit   is  reduced   when  the  subscribers  are  aged  over   70,  there  are  still  worthwhile  benefits  to  be  gained  in   this  area.     What  should  I  ask  for  in  an  Assurance  Vie? • Portability  -­‐  Can  I  take  it  with  me  if  I  move  back  to  England  or  to  another  country? • Regulation  -­‐  Is  the  company  advising  me  on  an  Assurance  Vie  regulated  in  France? •  Fees  -­‐  No  up  front  entrance  fees? •  Currency  -­‐  Can  I  invest  in  Sterling?  Euros?   If   you  would   like  me   to   review   your  financial   circumstances  to   see   if  an  Assurance  Vie  is   right  for  you  or  you  would  like  me  to  explain  your  existing  one  please  phone  me.

Amanda Johnson,  The  Spectrum  IFA  Group.   Tel:  05  49  98  97  46 Email:  amanda.johnson@spectrum-­‐ifa.com or “Ask Amanda” at finance@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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Deux-Sèvres Property Market by Trevor  Leggett,  Chief  Executive Review 2012 This  year  has  been  a  tough  one  for  both  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  and  the   national   French   property  market   with   a  falling  number  of  sales   and  lower  prices. Overall   we   expect   there   to   be   around  650,000  properties   sold  in   France  this  year.  This   is   lower   than   in   2010  &  2011  but   still   well   above  the  594,000  sold  in  2009. Both  the  FNAIM  and   the  Notaires  de  France  are  now  reporting  that   prices  across  France  will  have   fallen  between  1-­‐2%  in  2012.     Their   website  shows   that   prices  in  Deux-­‐Sèvres  have   dropped  by  2.9%.     The  key  to  2013  will  be  the  attitude  of  vendors  and  agents  towards   pricing  -­‐  if  they  are  sensible  and  understand  that  prices  have  fallen   in   line  with  overall   consumer   confidence,  then  we   see   no   reason   for  transaction  numbers  not  to  remain  similar  in   2013.    However,  if   vendors   and   agents  don't   price  sensibly  then  volumes   could   drop   again,  it's  still  a  buyers’  market  and  we  all  need  to  recognise  this. The   latest   figures   from   BNP   Paribas   showed   that   sales   to   international  buyers   had  dropped  off  slightly  but  that   these  buyers   had   bigger   budgets.   We   see   this   trend   continuing   and   have   certainly  noticed   a  change  in  our   buyer  profile  with  more  families   looking   to   move   to   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres.   Families   need   larger   properties   and  often   have  bigger   budgets  as  they  are   less  reliant   on  savings  and  the  pension  system  -­‐   the  BNP  Paribas  figures  gave   an   overall   average   purchase   price   of   €265,000   for   international   buyers  and   we  wouldn't  be  surprised  to  see   this  rise  towards  the   €280,000  mark  in   2013,  keeping  in   mind   value  for   money  is  still   uppermost  on  everyone’s  agenda. The   Government   has   promised   to   "re-­‐introduce   fairness   to   the   heart   of   the   tax   system"   and   this   does   have   implications   for   international   buyers.    There  was  a  short   lived   media  frenzy  after   the  announcement  of  plans  to  make  international  buyers  pay  social   charges  on  rental  income  and  capital  gains  but  this  doesn't   seem  to   have  affected  our   sales  this  year  -­‐  after   all,  if  French   residents  are   taxed  in  this  way  then  surely  it's  fair  for   overseas  buyers  to  pay  the   tax  as  well. We   are  once  again   tipping   french  farmland   to   do   well   next   year   which  should  be  welcome  news  for   the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.     The   average   value   of  agricultural   land  in  the  UK   is  currently  £6,073   an  acre  or   £15,182.50  per  hectare.  At   an  exchange  rate  of  1.24  euros  to   the   pound  that  equates   to  over   €18,800  per   hectare.     Compare  this  to   agricultural   land   prices   here   in   France.     SAFER  figures  show   that   untenanted   farmland   cost   an   average   (overall)   of   €5,430   per   hectare  last  year  -­‐  that's  almost  one  third  of  the  price.

Advertise your   Private  House  Sale From 10€ per month Please send details by email for inclusion into the next issue.

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21

www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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The Deux-Sevres Monthly - January 2013  

English language magazine for the department of Deux-Sevres and surrounding areas in France.

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