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Annual Subscription Costs: 31,00€ within France, 20€ UK addresses. (Unfortunately the cheaper ‘printed papers’ rate cannot be applied to addresses within France, only when sending abroad) Full Name:.................................................................................................. Postal Address:........................................................................................... ................................................................................................................... Postcode:..................................... Country:............................................. Tel:.............................................................................................................. Email:.......................................................................................................... Please make cheques payable to SARAH BERRY.


Welcome! to Issue 53 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine.

Bonjour all, it’s that time again and here I am welcoming you to another issue of your favourite mag! It’s been a busy month here chez Berry with lots of work and many events visited and we look forward to more this month. So, July, and the official start to the summer holidays! That means BBQs, visitors, sunshine, swimming and exploring our beautiful area. Also for the sporting calendar it’s time for the Tour de France and the tennis grand slam, Wimbledon (amongst other things!). If cycling is your ‘thing’ but you prefer to go at a slower pace, you’ll be thrilled to read our cycling feature this month. Mick Austin covers the many routes in our region plus something a little more difficult further afield. Flip to the centre pages to find out more! I’d like to wish you all a great month and enjoy time with visiting friends and family. Looking forward to seeing some of you out and about over the coming weeks. Bye for now.

à plus, Sarah

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

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

112 European Emergency 113 Drugs and Alcohol

Contents What’s On 4 Getting Out & About 6 Hobbies 12 A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres 15 Clubs & Associations 16 Health, Beauty & Fitness 18 Our Furry Friends 20 Take a Break 22 Discover the Thouet Valley on Two Wheels23 Home & Garden 26 Communications 29 Food & Drink 31 Motoring 34 Building & Renovation 36 Business & Finance 42 Property 45

This Month’s Advertisers

79 Renovations ABORDimmo Accents (English language skills) Ace Pneus (Tyre supplier & Fitter) Affordable UK Designs (Kitchens & UPVC Double Glazing) AgriPelle (Equipment Sales, Hire and Repairs) AKE Petit Travaux (Builder) A La Bonne Vie  Allez Français Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) ARB French Property Arbrecadabra Tree Surgery Argo Carpentry Atelier JM Toledo (Rug repairs and Cleaning) Bar Brasserie Vue du Château Bar Le Clemenceau BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want

40 45 10 35 2 36 40 31 47 44 38 47 26 39 26 33 9 42

Bike Hire Direct 11 Bill McEvoy (Plumber / Heating Engineer) 38 Blevins Franks Financial Management 43 Bowen Technique with Suzanne Cole-King 18 Brico 79 37 Building & Renovation Services 40 Camping Les Prairies du Lac 45 Caniclôture Hidden Fences 20 Centre Régional Resistance & Liberté 9 Chat-eau Cattery 20 Château du Pont Jarno Pépinière 26 Chris Bassett Construction 41 Chris Parsons (Heating/Electrical/Plumbing) 38 Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) 6 CJ Electricité 41 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 38 CSB Construction 37 Currencies Direct - Sue Cook 44 Cut 46 Hair Salon 18 Darren Lawrence (Renovations etc) 37 David Cropper (Stump Grinding & Jungle Busting) 27 David Watkins Chimney Sweep 39 Deb Challacombe (Online counsellor) 18 Down to Earth Pool Design 45 Duncan White - Agent Commerciale 46 Ecopower Europe (Solar Power) 41 Emilie Baudrez (French Classes & Translation) 10 English Paints, English Prices 39 Franglais Deliveries 35 French Wine Tours 31 GAN - Assurances Maucourt 35 GoGo Bike Hire 11 Hallmark Electronique 41 Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) 37 Irving Location - Digger Hire 36 Irving Location - Septic Tank Installation & Groundworks 36 Jb Plumbing 38 Jeff’s Metalwork 39 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 35 John Snee Groundworks 36 J.P. Lainé Chimney Sweep 38 Julia Hunt - Agent Commerciale 45 Keith Banks Pool Services 45 La Deuxième Chance (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier) 27 La Germondière (Private Fishing Lakes and Holiday Gites) 14 Lamb Studio Pottery 13 La Vendée Chippy 32 Le Comptoir du Tapissier (Upholstery & Fabrics) 26 Leggett Immobilier 46 Les Ecuries du Saumort (Horse Riding) 20 Madame Mural (Children’s Wall Art) 26 Mad Hatter’s Kitchen 33 Mark Sabestini Renovation & Construction 40 Michael Glover (Plasterer, Renderer, Tiler) 37 ML Computers 30 Motor Parts Charente 35 M. Page Landscaping 27 Mr Piano Man 14 MSS Construction 40 Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances 35 Nathan Foster Building Services 40 Needa Hand Services 27 Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology) 18 Paul Woods - Agent Commerciale 46 Plan 170 (Professional Scale Drawings) 39 Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) 45 Property Care & Maintenance of Green Space 27 R & A Services (Full & Partial Renovations) 37 Restaurant des Canards 33 RH Motorsport 35 Rob Berry Plastering Services 39 Robert Lupton Electrician 41 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) 29 Saint Pardoux pension pour chats 20 Sarah Berry Online (Graphic Design & Websites) 30 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) 36 Sat-Elec 30 Satellite TV 30 Simon the Tiler 37 Steve Coupland (Property Services) 38 Steve Robin (Plumber) 38 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 10 Susan Gully Counsellor 18 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 35 The Perfect Pig Company 32 Val Assist (Translation Services) 10 Vergers de Vendée Farm Shop 32 Victoria Bassey Jewellery 19 Yoga Vendée 18

© Sarah Berry 2015. 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, 3 La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tél: 05 49 70 26 21. Directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: Sarah Berry. Crédits photos: Sarah Berry, Clkr, Shutterstock, GraphicStock et morgeufile.com. Impression: Graficas Piquer SL, 29 Al Mediterraneo, Pol. Ind. San Rafael, 04230, Huércal de Almeria, Espagne. Dépôt légal: juillet 2015 - Tirage: 5500 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 3


What’s On...

Throughout July Les Nuits Romanes - 170 events throughout the region, running through until 5th September. See www.nuitsromanes.poitoucharentes.fr for more information or follow our Facebook page for weekly listings. 2nd July - Evening Artisan’s Market at Champdeniers From 6pm-9pm. Local producers, bouncy castle, food and drinks available. 4th July – 1st Anniversary BBQ At Bar Le Clemenceau, at Mouilleron-en-Pareds, see advert on P9. 4th & 5th July - Fête du Miget at Coulon Festival celebrating ‘Miget’, a traditional drink of the region, with a boat parade, market and food. 5th July - Keynotes concert at La Caillère, 3pm 6th July – CSSG Quiz night at St Pardoux 8th-19th July - Festival Ludique International de Parthenay (FLIP) 29th edition of this free festival of more than 3000 games and toys throughout the streets and squares of Parthenay. 9th July – Music/Bistro night in Caunay With ‘Coffees and Cigarettes’ at Mad Hatters Kitchen. See P33 for more information. 9th July – Financial Surgery in Vouvant with Amanda from the Spectrum IFA Group. See P44 for more information. 11th July – Reaction Theatre Garden Party at Vernoux-en-Gâtine See P17 for more information. 11th July - Concert by ‘The Portraits’. At Bar Le Clémanceau, 26 Rue Clémenceau, 85390 Mouilleron-enPareds. See advert on P21. 14th July - Fête Nationale celebrations in Bressuire At Bar/Brasserie Vue du Château - Fireworks and music by McKenzie, BBQ (reservation only). See advert on P33. 17th July - Music/Bistro night in Caunay With ‘McKenzie’ at Mad Hatters Kitchen. See P33 for more details. 18th & 19th July - Stock Car Racing at Chiché 18th & 19th July - Painting Festival at Magné 27th edition of this artistic rendez-vous in Green Venice. See www.festivalpeinturemagne.com for more information. 19th July - CSSG Garden Fête 19th July - Summer Fayre at Mouilleron-en-Pareds At Bar Le Clemenceau, see advert on P9. 24th July - Pub Quiz At Restaurant des Canards, Chef Boutonne. See advert on P33. 25th July - Soirée Italienne in Bressuire At Bar/Brasserie Vue du Château - See advert on P33. 25th July - ‘Market on the Water’ at Le Vanneau-Irleau This annual event shows how life used to be on the waters of the Marais Poitevin and attracts more than 15,000 visitors. 26th July - RAFA BBQ at Asnières-la-Giraud See advert on P6. 26th July – The Hope Association mini book sale In St Laurent de Ceris (16). See P21 for more information. 26th July - Flower Boat Festival at Saint Maxire From 2pm. Themed boat parades, inflatable games, classic car show, food and drinks and live music. 26th July - British Day At Maillé port. See advert on P5 for further details. 26th July - Accordian Festival at Gençay (87) 31st July - Pub Quiz in Chef Boutonne at Restaurant des Canards – see advert on P33

July 2015 The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes, hold English speaking monthly services. 1st Sunday at 10.30am: At St Leger, near Melle. Followed by tea & coffee. • 2nd Sunday at 11.00am: the home of Ann White, Jassay • 4th Sunday at 10.30am: the Presbytery Rooms, rue de la Citadelle, Parthenay (opposite St Croix Church). Followed by tea & coffee, and a ‘bring and share’ lunch. A warm welcome awaits everyone for a time of worship and fellowship. For further information please take a look at our website www.church-in-france.com or contact us by email: offfice.goodshepherd@orange.fr •

The Filling Station ~ Poitou-Charentes The Filling Station is a network of local Christians of all denominations who meet together regularly for spiritual renewal and evangelism purposes. ALL WELCOME. Please see our bilingual website for details of meetings and summer programmes www.thefillingstationfrance.com or contact Mike & Eva Willis on 05 17 34 11 50 or 07 82 22 31 15 ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre We hold two services each month, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11am. After each service, tea and coffee is served in the parish room and everyone is invited to a `bring and share` lunch. For details of all our activities, our Services in the west of the Vendée, copies of recent newsletters and more information, please check our website: www.allsaintsvendee.fr The Rendez-Vous Christian Fellowship welcome you to any of our meetings held throughout the month in the Deux-Sèvres and the Vendée. 1st & 3rd Sunday at 11am in The Barn near St Germain de Princay, Vendée and 2nd & 4th Sunday at 11am in two locations: one near Bressuire, Deux-Sèvres and the other near Bournezeau, Vendée. Meetings last about an hour and are followed by a time of fellowship & refreshments. Find out more by contacting Chris & Julie Taylor 09 60 49 78 50 or Des & Elizabeth Vine 05 49 74 18 27 or visit: www.therendezvous.fr The English Speaking Church of the Valley of the Loire (ESCOVAL) Meet at La Chapelle Notre Dame at Ranton every 3rd Sunday at 11.30am. We welcome and embrace all Christians from all denominations and warmly invite you to join us. Following the service, coffee is served, and for those who wish to stay a little longer, we enjoy a light, bring and share lunch. Please see our website for details www.escoval.org

LOCAL MARKETS Mondays......... Tuesdays.........

What’s Coming Up...

5th August - Open mike night at Nieul sur l’Autize 14th-16th August - Mad Hatters Festival

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2015 Tuesday 14th July National Day (Fête Nationale) Saturday 15th August Assumption of Mary (Assomption) Sunday 4th October Grandfather’s Day (Fête des Grand-pères) Sunday 1st November All Saint’s Day (Toussaint) Wednesday 11th November Armistice Day (Armistice) Friday 25th December Christmas Day (Noël) Dates in blue are celebration days, not public holidays

4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

Wednesdays.... Thursdays........

Friday............... Saturdays........

Sundays............

Benet 85490 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Lezay 79120 Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 - and - Bressuire 79300 Parthenay 79200 Celles-sur-Belle 79370 Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 Niort 79000 La Mothe St Héray 79800 Thouars 79100 - and - Melle 79500 Bressuire 79300 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 - and - Niort 79000 Saint Maixent-l’École 79400 Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 Coulon 79510 - and - Neuville-de-Poitou 86170


Paperback Jan Books in English

Open 6 - 8pm

Fish 4 Chip + Authentic Indian meals

Find me at these venues during July: 2nd 2pm - 4.30pm 79450 St Aubin le Cloud. Bar Palais. 3rd 11.30 - 1.30pm 79100 Thouars. Bar de la Paix. 3rd 3pm - 5pm 79160 Fenioux. Café des Belles Fleurs. 7th 1pm - 5pm 79240 L’Absie. Chez C&K, 64 rue de la République 8th 3pm - 5pm 79600 St Jouin de Marnes. Au Bec de Vin. 9th 2pm - 5pm 79240 L’Absie. Pause! café. 10th 2.30pm - 4.30pm 85120 Vouvant. Café Cour de Miracle. 11th 10am - 12.30pm 79400 St Maixent l’Ecole. Bar Le Chauray. 14th 1pm - 5pm 79240 L’Absie. Chez C&K, 64 rue de la République 15th 2.30pm - 4.30pm 85390 Mouilleron-en-Pareds. Le Clemenceau 19th 11am - 5pm 79310 St Pardoux. CSSG Garden Party 19st 11am - 5pm 85390 Mouilleron-en-Pareds. Summer Fayre 21st 1pm - 5pm 79240 L’Absie. Chez C&K, 64 rue de la République 28th 1pm - 5pm 79240 L’Absie. Chez C&K, 64 rue de la République 30th 4pm - 6pm 79350 Clessé. Le Relais des 2 moulins. 31st 11am - 1pm 79300 Bressuire. Vue du Chateau. For more info contact Cindy on: 06 08 30 73 29 or email: paperbackjan@gmail.com

Top Hat Quiz & Curry

From 7pm

Dates & Venues for July:

2nd: Chef Boutonne 6th: Limalonges 8th: Aigre 9th: Champniers (Wednesday) 15th: Theil Rabier Tel: 05 45 71 70 91 - more info at www.tophatquizzes.com

SHARE YOUR EV ENTS ! Entries into the What’s On Listing (P.4) are free ! (Businesses pay 10€) Plus free entry onto our Facebook page.... www.facebook.com/thedeuxsevresmonthly

Don’t forget to LIKE us! Send all event details on an email to: events@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Mondays: Tuesdays: Wednesdays: Thursdays: Fridays:

Bar Tilleuls, Champniers (near Civray) Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square) Chef Boutonne (near Chateau) Sauzé-Vaussais - Evening (Main square) Mansle (car park of Simply Supermarket)

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

Mr T’s Friterie

With regular venues at: • • •

Aulnay 17470 (from 6pm) • Beauvais-sur-Matha 17490 • Gourville 16170 •

Open 6.30-9pm

St Hilaire de Villefranche 17770

St Jean d’Angély 17400

+ Saintes, July 14th

See www.frying4u2nite.com for details or call 06 02 22 44 74

Reel Fish & Chips

Open 6.30-9pm

July

(See our website for venue details)

1st & 15th - Etusson 10th Coulonges Thouarsais 2nd - La Coudre 16th - St Martin de Sanzay 3rd - Bouillé-Loretz 17th - Genneton 4th - L’Absie 19th - St Pardoux (CSSG) Lunchtime Tel: 06 04 14 23 94 - www.reelfishandchips.net

Open 6-8.30pm

La Vendée Chippy Weds: Bar ‘Auberge le St Vincent’, 85110 St Vincent Sterlanges Thurs: Bar ‘La Coussotte’, 85570 St Martin des Fontaines Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’, 85390 Mouilleron-en-Pareds Sat: 1st Saturday of the month, Bar ‘Le Marmiton’, 85120 Antigny See our advert on page 32 for further info or visit our website Tel: 02 44 39 16 73 - www.lavendeechippy.com

Visit www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 5


Getting Out & About Christie’s

festival d’art contemporain l’orangerie à la-mothe-saint-héray (79)

Sud-Ouest France, Le Pérail, 17250 BEURLAY Email: rafasof@orange.fr Tel: 05 46 95 38 89 Website: http://goo.gl/ut80T

Come to

14e

GENÇAY

édition

for:

Beautiful Cards & Lovely Gifts Delicious Home-Baking: Scones, Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes Rich Fruit Cake, Brownies ... Wide Range of Teas & Coffees, Cadbury’s Hot Chocolate, Home-Made Lemonade …

invites you, your family & friends ouverture les et

20 juin 21 2 0 1 5

plus de 70 artistes spectacles vivants 10h - 19h

expo p e r m a n e n t e jusqu’au

12

  

juillet 2015

metaphorums 14h30 - 18h30

05.49.50.61.94 Siret: 47876969800018

Workshops for

Musicians

The Association ‘Ateliers Musicaux de l’Autize’ are once again running music workshops during the summer. In their 8th year, the group runs workshops which are open to amateurs and semiprofessional or professional musicians. The first, scheduled for 3rd-7th August, is a multiinstrument workshop for non-beginners, starting from the age of 12. (Although nearly full, there are still spaces for bass players, rock guitar players, pianists and a drummer). The second, 17th-21st August, is for adults only, and there will be 3 workshops going on at the same time: • Jazz vocal avancé (Patricia Ouvrard directing this intense Jazz vocal course) • Jazz Ensemble (Alain Debiossat directing this intense higher level intrumental course) • and the MAO - Musique Assistée par Ordinateur (directed by Jean-Luc Ouvrard) All of the teachers are well-known (in France and abroad) and successful musicians in their field. The workshops are mainly in French, but there are several English-speaking people on hand for further explanations. For those who are not local, or those who just want to focus on the music rather than travel, there may be the option of accommodation. Otherwise, if you fancy joining in a jam session, the group are holding a ‘bouef’ (open mike night) at the Auberge de la Cloître in Nieul sur l’Autize on 5th August, which is free and open to anyone.  They also continue to run the nightly ‘boeufs’ which are free and open to the public as well in Nieul at the workshop’s site which is au Vignaud.  The Friday evening concerts ‘de fin de stage’ are held at 8.30pm at the salle des fêtes de Nieul...  That is free and open to the publlic as well. You can be assured of lots of good music: jazz, pop, rock, funk...  and it’s a great way to meet up with other musicians.  To register, or for further information, contact Anne on 06 61 43 92 03 or annekdessens@gmail.com.

Chez Suraud, 17400 Asnières-la-Giraud Sunday 26 July 2015 at 1600 hours Apéritif

Entrée

Barbecue

Fromages

Desserts

Wines, Soft Drinks, Coffee or Tea Included

be part of something special!                   

Please reserve ______ places at the RAFA Barbecue

Surname, First Name____________________________________ Email _________________________ Tel ____________________ Guests ________________________________________________

www.chezchristies.com TEA ROOM ~ GREETINGS CARDS & GIFTS ENGLISH BOOKSHOP ~ INTERNET ACCESS

to a Barbecue Chez Ann et Allan Walters

€20 per person & children under 16 free

Books, DVDs, Free WiFi

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

RAFA Sud-Ouest France

www.nouvellesmétamorphoses.fr

TUES-SAT: 10.00-12.00 : 2.00-6.00 We look forward to welcoming you!

GENÇAY (86) - behind the Mairie

Patron: Her Majesty The Queen Registered Charity 226686 in England & Wales SCO37673 in Scotland Sous-Préfecture de Saintes Bureau des Associations Type Loi 1901 N° W322000478

Children ______________________________________________ entrée libre

contact mairie

05 49 05 01 41

I enclose a cheque payable to RAFA Sud-Ouest for €____ Please send your reservation before Saturday 11 July to:RAFA, Le Pérail, 1 Route du Pérail, 17250 BEURLAY

TheatriVasles Appoints Festival Director

by Steve Marshall

I was very pleased when the TheatriVasles Committee asked me to be the Festival Director for our 10 Minute Play Festival (France’s first ever!). I have been involved in theatre for too long to remember, mainly in and around London but also as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. I have never done this format before, so it is particularly interesting for me to be involved. Most plays are either comedies, tragedies or human stories.  That makes a 10 minute play festival an unusual theatrical event.  Rather than one particular style of production you get a tasting menu of many. It is a remarkable opportunity to enjoy the styles you know and love and to try out ones you may have thought would not appeal.  One of the real joys of live theatre is its ability to surprise and delight anew. We have a growing collection of possibles for inclusion.  These include some written especially for this event, through to award-winning submissions from as far afield as the USA and New Zealand. We want to make this a truly bilingual festival so are interested in submissions in French as well as English.  The festival is open to groups from anywhere.  We expect to have French and English groups based in France and a number from abroad. If you are a budding writer or group of performers we would love to hear from you.  The only real rule is your play must not be longer than 10 minutes.  Please email: theatrivasles@gmail.com for detailed information and an application form. In fact, you do not even need a play!  If you are a group of performers we have a list of plays we would be happy to see performed.  TheatriVasles has some highly skilled people, including ex-professionals, and we could be staging 20 plays, so the more groups we can include the better. If you have an idea you want to discuss please let us know.  We would like to include as much new work as possible. The deadline date for submissions is 31 July 2015. Or - if you’d like to get involved - as an actor, director, backstage or Front of House please get in touch.  The format means there are possibilities for almost everyone to be involved.


Charroux Literary Festival 27 28 29 August 2015

Talks, debates, workshops, book-signings, poetry, theatre skills, meet the authors Kate Mosse // Sarah Harrison Katherine Gallagher //Alison Morton Diana Morgan-Hill Barry Walsh // Jacqui Lofthouse James Vance // Gordon Simms André Teilhet // Margaret Clarke Clara Challoner– Walker Isabel Ashdown // Elizabeth Haynes www.charrouxlitfest.com facebook.com/charrouxlitfest

Do you love reading? Can’t wait to start a new book? Then the Charroux Litfest 2015 is for you! International bestselling author Kate Mosse (Labyrinth, The Taxidermist’s Daughter) is the principle speaker at the first bi-lingual literary festival in Charroux in the Vienne on

Author, Kate Moss. Photo credit: Mark Rusher

27th-29th August.

Kate will head up a glittering selection of authors including: • • • •

Sarah Harrison (The Flowers of the Field, The Wildflower Path). Londoner, Barry Walsh, will talk about his recent novel based on his childhood ‘The Pimlico Kid.’ BBC ‘Dancing on Wheels’ finalist, Diana Morgan-Hill, will talk about her new book ‘Love and Justice’ the true story of losing both her legs in a tragic accident at the age of 29. Prize winning author of ‘Flight’, Isabel Ashdown, will talk about the life journeys of her characters as well as her own journey into writing; and writing coach and author of ‘The Modigliani Girl,’ Jacqui Lofthouse, will offer a coaching session for established and aspiring writers. If you enjoy crime writing then locally based ROMA NOVA author Alison Morton, crime writer Elizabeth Haynes (Into the darkest corner) and detective novelist Christine Collette will discuss ‘The heart of a thriller.’ For poetry lovers the wonderful Katherine Gallagher, now in her 80th year, will be joining us to read from her latest collection, including poems based on Monet’s garden at Giverny; she will also host a workshop about the poet Stevie Smith. Deux-Sèvres based poets, Jocelyn and Gordon Simms, will co-host a poetry reading session as well as offer a playwriting workshop.

There will also be a festival bookshop, a unique three-day programme of theatre skills, discussions, book signings, children’s events, writers’ networks and much more. Charroux is a pretty town in the south of the Vienne near Civray, with a host of bars and restaurants, as well as pretty medieval streets and Romanesque architecture.

Above: Diana Morgan-Hill Right: Barry Walsh. Photos Charroux Litfest.

For booking and more information please go to www.facebook.com/charrouxlitfest or to book tickets www.charrouxlitfest.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 7


July and BBQ season is here, so this month’s recipes are accompaniments to those burnt sausages! Enjoy!

by Hazel Foster

s 4)

e) (Serve nder Salad (Gluten fre Quinoa Mint an d Coria 170g Quinoa olive oil 2 tablespoons extra virgin Juice from 2 limes leaves,chopped 2 tablespoons fresh mint iander leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh cor d pepper, to taste Sea salt and fresh groun atoes, quartered A handful of cherry tom onion 2 tablespoons diced red l. Add the rest tructions and leave to coo ins r pe as a ino qu the ok Co ad of time, even x well. Can be made ahe of the ingredients and mi the day before.

Sweet Chilli (Serves 4) Feta Pasta Salad with farfalle etc) 250g Pasta (penne/fusilli/ 100g Feta cheese cubed lli sauce 3-4 tablespoons sweet chi ce and mix then cool. Add sweet chilli sau Cook pasta and leave to add feta.

rves 4) Layere d Rice Salad (Se led coo d 400g rice – cooked an chickpeas, – sweetcorn, red onion, Your choice of salad layers , spinach, ed tomatoes, salad leaves chopped lettuce, chopp fresh herbs or oot, chopped peppers, chopped or sliced beetr ve in a clear bowl. This looks most impressi whatever else you think! ate layers. cre on top of each other to Just add each ingredient

Tomato, Pesto and Mozzarella Sala d (Serves 4) 4 tomatoes sliced 1 tablespoon pesto 1 mozzarella ball Fresh Basil Ground black pepper Arrange slices of tomato on a plate, dot pesto around, tear mozzarella and add , tear basil and add. Grind some fresh black pepper on top.

Hazel Foster ~ Homechef 79 Personal Chef for dinner parties, special occasions and catering services Tel: 05 49 63 29 98 ~ Email: homechef79@gmail.com 8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

Piri Pir i

Spice 1 teasp Rub oon Sa lt (I like ½ teasp to use B oo lack Sa ½ teasp n Cinnamon lt) p oon Ca rdamon owder ½ teasp powde oo r ½ teasp n Powdered Sugar oon Gr ound d 2 teasp ry Ging oo er 2 teasp ns Paprika oons gr o 1 teasp und Ca ye oo 2 teasp n Chilli flakes nne Pepper oons G ar (You ca n adjus lic powder; 2 te t any sp Just ad ice amo aspoon Oreg da an unts to Brush m ll the powder suit you o s to a m eat wit r tas ix h oil an jars. Ca d add r ing bowl and m te) n keep in the f ub. Sto ix. ridge u p to 2 m re rub in air ti BBQ M ght onths a 120g to rina de mato k et 2 table spoons chup dark br 2 table ow spoons Worces n sugar 1 table tershire spoon cider v sauce 1 dash inegar ho 1 clove t sauce, such as Taba ga sco ¼ teasp rlic, crushed oon mu stard p In a sm ow all the ing saucepan ove der; ¼ teaspo redient o s. Bring r medium hea n salt heat an t, stir to to a sim d allow geth m to favourit e barbe cool slightly er, then remo er all before v cued m brushin e from eats. g on yo ur


Festival Fever! Now in its 5th year the Music Festival at Mad Hatters is getting bigger and attracting people from the UK who are including the event in their holiday plans.

Continuing over 3 days there is something for all the family; free entrance during the day when there will be trade stalls, classic cars and bikes, La Payette animation and circus acts, bouncy castle, face painting, Bar, BBQ, c ream teas and of course, music! From 5.30pm it’s strictly tickets only to see the 10 amazing bands and enjoy the feasts (see poster on P7). Camping tickets available for the whole weekend or for either evening – Sunday is free. Photo: Ian Wilson

For more information please contact Mad Hatters by email: info@madhattersfrance.eu or visit their website: www.madhattersfrance.eu

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 9


Fêtes d’Eté

by Sue Burgess

Summer is here and with it, the multitude of village festivals, (fêtes de village), car boot sales (vide greniers) and so on. The Terre de Festivals (the land of festivals), in Deux-Sèvres is a series of over 30 different events (évènements or manifestations). Nuits Romanes is a multitude of evening events at Romanesque sites all over the Poitou Charentes region. There are concerts (concerts), spectacles (shows), son et lumière (sound and light shows), art des rues (street art) and feux d’artifice (fireworks). The Nuits Romanes events are free. La brocante is the business of selling used objects which are generally of little value. The name is also used to describe the shops where this sort of business is done, as well as the popular events (foires populaires) which are often organised on Sundays and bank holidays. Contrary to foires à tout or vide-greniers (car boot sales) which are made up of private individuals, brocantes are events where most of the sellers are professionals. A vide-grenier is an informal event during which private individuals sell objects that they no longer have any need for. A marché aux puces (Flea Market) is an open air market where there are no foodsuffs for sale. They are often also called Les puces. A braderie is a market selling new things, often clothes, or a special day when shops have stalls outside in the street and sell (new) things off at a special price. The word fête translates as celebration, feast or fun party. It also translates as Saint’s Day. Un festival is a festival and a festivalgoer is un festivalier. There are lots of marché (markets), marché semi-nocturne (evening markets) and marché en fête (festival markets). Remember not to confuse marché with marche which is a walk. Some villages propose randonnée gourmande (organised rambles or walks with stops for food and drink). If the children are looking for thrills then you might want to look for a fête foraine (funfair or travelling fair). There are so many things happening in the summer you are bound to find something that suits your taste (est à votre goût).

Vocabulary / Vocabulaire: un marché ............................... market un festival ................................ festival fêter ......................................... to celebrate une brocante ........................... second-hand shop / sale un vide-grenier .......................

car boot sale

une foire à tout ....................... car boot sale un bric à brac ............................ white elephant une fête de quartier ................. a street party / local party une fête de village ................... village fête une kermesse ........................... church fête / garden party une fête foraine ........................ funfair

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


English Language Skills For Your Children

Accents is a non-profit Association which was created to develop and maintain the English literacy skills of English speaking children in Poitou-Charentes. Alongside teaching English to French speakers, we offer English literacy classes and activities to English speaking children. Our classes are taught by qualified and experienced UK teachers using the latest resources and methods from the UK. We have chosen ‘Read Write Inc’ by Ruth Miskin as the backbone of our phonics strategy. Classes cater for children from 4 years to iGCSE level. We aim to ensure that our students develop their English skills to the same level as their peers in the UK, becoming literate bilinguals and giving them more opportunities and choices later in life. Accents believe it is important to help develop and maintain a child’s ability to speak, read and produce English language work to a high level. This is to ensure they could return to the UK to continue their education by choice or if family circumstances change. Accents provides: • 2 hours per week of classroom based tuition, during term time • Total of 60 hours tuition over the school year • UK qualified teachers using the latest materials • Following the UK National Curriculum • Low monthly payments • Discounts for siblings • No hidden costs, all materials provided • Extensive children’s library • Homework set each week • Dedicated classroom • Aged 4 to iGCSE in English Language Classes are held Wednesday afternoons at the Hôtel de Ville (mairie), Civray 86400. Starting from September - Kindermusik classes for babies & toddlers, both English and French. Kindermusik offers a multisensory approach to learning English through singing, dancing, playing and moving. Classes are child centred, developmentally appropriate, inclusive of parents and above all fun for the child and parents. Classes are led by a UK qualified teacher. Please contact us for any further information: 06 19 15 04 02

A class dressed as their favourite book character on World Book Day.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 11


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

Speculative fiction

Once upon a time, we knew what sciencefiction was: Dan Dare, Flash Gordon, Jules Verne, War of the Worlds, Star Trek, Isaac Asimov, Dr Who – adventures in space and time. Then it branched out to include fantasy as ‘SFF’– science fiction and fantasy. Now it comes under a broad literary genre called ‘speculative fiction’ which brings together any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements; paranormal, utopian/dystopian tales, alternate history, future history, horror, supernature, cyberpunk, magic and steampunk. The great Terry Pratchett leaps to mind, as do Margaret Attwood, JRR Tolkein, George Orwell and Robert Heinlein. And nearly all books for children contain some aspect of speculative fiction, such as talking animals, magic or monsters; two examples are the Narnia and Harry Potter series. Fiction is by definition made-up; all of it involves some degree of speculation. But in ‘speculative fiction’ the author changes what’s real or possible; the ‘laws’ of that world (explicit or implicit) are different from ours. As in other fiction genres, speculative fiction explores the human condition; it just chooses to do so in an imaginary setting. You might argue that there’s no need to ask what would happen if some people had magic powers, if there was a hidden world within our own, if we created robots and they rose up against us. However, each of these scenarios says something about our human nature, our social issues, our dependence on technology and tendency to abuse it, our competitive nature and willingness to explore every dark hole, no matter what monsters we may unearth. World building A well-built world is the mainstay of speculative fiction. If you set your story in a different country, you can visit the places the characters would live in, smell the sea, touch the plants, walk under the hot blue sky, or freeze in a biting wind. But if you invent that country, galaxy or dimension, you have to get your imagination going. Are there mountains, seas, deserts and rivers? How do people make their living? How are they educated? What kind of industry is there? Is the government representative? Are laws authoritarian or permissive? Who holds the power? Believe me, fans will expect you to know everything from costume, social philosophy and weapons to food, transport and childcare provision. (Yes, I was asked about that at the launch of my second book.) You don’t need to mention any of these as such, unless it impacts on the plot, but you need to have it all worked out in your head. Characters All the usual stuff about well-rounded, interesting, non-perfect characters applies, as does heaping trouble on them and making them grow and learn something from the story’s conflict. But in their world, the characters’ experience of living in that place, and the struggle to make sense of it, is expressed through their culture and values, so their reactions, language and attitudes may be more robust than those we expect. Sometimes this can be upsetting or even alienating to us, but true to the internal systems of your imagined world. Why not try a little speculation in your own writing?

Happy writing! Alison has compiled the articles from this column into The 500 Word Writing Buddy, available on Amazon. Her fourth novel, AURELIA, is out now 12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

MOVIES

by James Luxford

It’s summer time, and this month we have a mixture of fascinating documentaries, hilarious animation and toe tapping comedy as I give my verdict on the biggest cinema releases for July.

Amy (8th July)

Four years after the untimely death of British singer Amy Winehouse, the makers of “Senna” bring us this portrait of the artist, the person, and the pressures that drove her down a path that would ultimately cost her her life. A remarkably affectionate portrait, but also one that never shies away from the realities of the end of her life, this is a fascinating and emotional film that serves as both examination and tribute to a lost musical treasure.

Minions (8th July)

The lovable yellow sidekicks from the ‘Despicable Me’ movies get their own big screen outing, a prequel which follows their quest to find a new leader. There’s no denying that these little guys are hilarious, and while putting them front-andcentre for a whole film may be stretching their appeal, young cinemagoers will absolutely adore their shenanigans. Also top notch voice talent is on show in the form of Oscar winner Sandra Bullock as the film’s antagonist.

Spy (15th July)

Melissa McCarthy has another hit on her hands in this action-comedy, playing an unlikely secret agent who must go undercover across Europe to foil a terrorist plot and get revenge on the person who killed a former agent. Anyone who has seen a McCarthy comedy before will know exactly what to expect from this film; hijinks, slapstick and a litany of one-liners, although one surprise is a great comic turn from the normally very serious Jason Statham. When it works, it works, and although it won’t reinvent cinema, this comedy romp will bring up more than a few chuckles before the closing credits.

Pitch Perfect (22nd July) Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the rest of the Barden Bellas are back in the sequel to the much loved (and hugely successful) ‘Pitch Perfect’. This time the a capella group we all know and love takes on the world in an international tournament, hounded by issues surrounding moving on and growing up. It’s not quite as impressive as the first film, but Kendrick and Wilson steal the show as two of the funniest characters you’re likely to see this year, and there’s plenty of toe tapping moments to keep music fans happy as well. Release dates are nationwide in France.

For English language films, search showings marked ‘version originale’(VO). Bressuire Le Fauteuil Rouge: www.lefauteuilrouge.fr Parthenay Cinema: www.cinema.foyer.cc-parthenay.fr/foyer Melle cinema: www.lemelies-melle.info Niort CGR cinema: www.cgrcinemas.fr/niort/# L’échiquier at Pouzauges: www.echiquier-paysdepouzauges.fr and find others at www.allocine.fr


Ever Fancied having a Go at Pottery?

Did you do pottery at school but never continued? Do you have pottery skills but don’t have the equipment and materials? Well here is your chance to “Have a go” or have a go again. I am a fully qualified UK art/ceramics teacher teaching to ‘O’level/ CSE students back in the 1970s. However, since retirement I decided to open a studio and small gallery here in my barn in St Maurice des Noues which is near Vouvant. The studio can accommodate up to 6 students at a time. I will be offering a range of courses and I can accommodate all ages from 7 upwards, so you can bring the kids or the grandchildren during holiday periods. The gallery displays a range of my stoneware pots and ceramic pieces which are ideal for gifts or just to use or decorate your home.

The Local Art Scene As you may have read in the Reaction Theatre column we have recently enjoyed two visits from Jean David to demonstrate portraits in oils. Some of us wanted to take this a stage further so invited Jean to hold a one day life painting/drawing workshop. The class was full, and consisted of artists from various groups. Jean performed drawing and painting demonstrations, and then spread his time around giving advice on a one-to-one basis. The workshop was intense, but a lot of fun, and a great day of painting and drawing directly from the life model produced a plethora of great work. Jean will be putting on more sessions soon, and I would seriously recommend them to anyone who would like to improve their painting and drawing skills.  I will be arranging further workshops with Jean later this year on different subjects. If you would like to be informed about them, send me an email. So who is Jean David? The name sounds French but the voice sounds Australian but he lives in France. Well, following on from his success of being exhibited by the Salon d’Automne last year, Jean has come to an agreement to be represented by the  Galerie Beauté du Matin Calme in Paris.  The Director of the Gallery, M Kim, is passionate about art and promoting new talent, and also has many international connections, notably in Asia and the USA. Jean’s work will be on display, along with other Gallery artists, at the Paris showroom of the Gallerie BDMC. If you happen to be in Paris this summer go along and have a look, you’ll love his work.

Taster half days are 30€ per 3-hour session, to which you can bring a friend or relative for free. Times are by arrangement only. Adult beginners courses run for 6 weeks of half days on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The courses can be followed at your own pace, so if you were to miss a week, there is no need to worry. Intermediate/advanced courses are run on a similar timescale, i.e. for 6 weeks, half days on Mondays and Fridays or you can opt for a full day where you can practice and make the things you want without any rush. So give me a call or drop me an email to discuss the best option for you. Why not pop in for a look for yourself without obligation? We are situated at the top of the lane of La Raubretiere, St Maurice des Noues, Vendée.

Phone Steve 02 51 52 66 32 or email : vendeefarmhouseandpottery@yahoo.com Visit our website for further details and photos. www.vendeefarmhouseandpottery.com

In addition to this gallery, some of Jean’s paintings will be exhibited in international art fairs. The first of these will be in Seoul, South Korea, in June 2015. Sorry it’s a bit late for you to pop and see this one. It is expected that he will have work exhibited in New York and Germany later in the year. Jean is a great artist who paints in all medium and proved to be an excellent teacher. His style is pleasing to the eye, yet he is capable of adopting different styles to suit the subject he is painting and creates the appropriate mood for the occasion. If you would like to see more of Jean David’s work, have a look at his website: www.JeanDavidFineArt.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 13


Bonne Pêche

by Simon Tee

Catch and Release, with CARE! Part III You’ve gently netted and landed your fish. It and your equipment are wet.... which brings me onto the wearing of gloves or using towels. Fish are covered in slime for good reason. It gives them an extra layer of protection over their scales (acting like a bandaid, covering wounds and scrapes) and helps to protect against parasites. Handling a fish with anything other than wet hands increases the risk of that fish becoming infected (although a wet leather glove is recommended when handling pike). Remove the hook with a firm hand, forceps (for pike or zander) or a disgorger if the fish has swallowed the bait and hook. Check how the hook has been set and try to manoeuvre it so that it comes out in exactly the same way in which it went in. If you are unsure about the best way to unhook a fish, don’t be afraid to ask an experienced angler to show or help you – that’s how I learnt. Check the fish for damage and treat it as necessary. There may be wounds where a fish has been attacked by another fish, or a Heron or Cormorant. Fish care kits are widely available, containing mouth treatment, iodine and swabs. Remove any visible parasites, which are a common natural occurrence. Tell the bailiff if you notice any injuries, ulcers or parasites – an ulcer could be caused by the fish’s immune system being compromised, particularly in over-stocked waters. Many anglers don’t feel the need to use keep-nets, for others it adds to the overall fishing experience to see the amount, weight and different species of fish caught. For a fishery, keep-nets do pose potential problems with regard to the spread of diseases between waters (net dip tanks are used on some fisheries). If you choose to use a keep-net, consider whether there are predatory fish in the same water, they could attack and damage the fish whilst in the net. Holding a large head of fish over a long period, especially in hot weather, can cause the fish to suffer added stress and lack of oxygen. Never put a carp in a keep-net as the spine on top of its dorsal fin gets caught and can be torn.

YOUR Book Reviews We love to receive your reviews....please do keep sending them to us! ‘Sled Dog Gun: Aviemore Dreaming’ by J.T Bryde I was lucky enough to be given a copy of this book (a perk of the job!) and thoroughly enjoyed the account of Jim’s racing days. The pace is fast, just like the racing dogs! and Jim’s energy is infectious.....you can’t help but turn page after page to discover what happens next. He encountered highs and lows, (you’ll need the tissues!) yet came through it all to achieive his goal – and to win at Aviemore. A good read and a real insight to a racing-dog owner’s life. I definitely recommend it.

Until next month....Bonne Pêche

Images Simon Tee, Wikimedia Scott Bauer

LAST CHANCE! to visit the LIVE opera this 2015 season..... William Tell will be shown at Cinema CGR in Niort on 5th July st 3.45pm. Special Reader’s Discount If you missed the discount voucher in last month’s issue, don’t panic! It is available to download and print from our website. www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


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

by Sue Burgess

The largest was 2m 30 long and 76cm wide; It was lined with a lead coffin which still contained the skeleton of a 30 year old man. This sarcophagus was made of marble from the Garonne area. The other which was made in granite from the Airvault area, contained the remains of a child of about 5 or 6 years old.

In the largest there was a glass vase of a milky white colour. It would appear that some jewellery was also found. The vase was sold to a Parisian in 1915 but no-one seems to know what has happened to either the vase or the jewellery since.

Some digs were authorised above the burial chamber and some remains of a temple were found. It has been established by comparing what has been found here with the hypogee of Poitiers (which can be dated with certainty because of coins that were found there), that the mausoleum of Louin is a pagan hypogee from the end of the 4th century.

The 12th century bridge that crosses the Thouaret in the centre of the village. The architecture of the bridge is typical of that of the medieval villages of the Thouars area.

La Maduère – The privately owned farm was once the home of the family of La Fontaine on his mother’s side.

Saint Martin’s Church. The church dates from the last part of the 19th century.

It replaced a Gothic building which was destroyed in 1875 during a fire in an oil making factory that was adjoining to it. This church was made of a narthex (entrance) surmounted by a bell tower, a baptistery on the right and a stairway leading to the belfry on the left. The nave must have been 7m 30 long by 11m 70 wide.

It is possible that this church was at one time a priory.

The original church which dated from 1095 depended on Airvault Abbey.

The current building is in a cross form with a nave, a transept and a choir. Part of the chevet of the original Gothic building still exists as well as the bell tower.

The Bells. The bell tower was built at the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century. There are 5 bells. The oldest Martine was installed in the 17th century and has been listed since 1912. The other 4 were baptised in 1874. Les Croix des Chemins/The crosses on the roadways. 21 crosses can be found on the commune. Many of them are at crossroads. They are a witness to how religious our ancestors were. Les Lavoirs de Louin et de Champeau/Louin and Champeau wash-houses. Four Banal village oven. At 7 place Saint Martin, the door gave access to the four banal village oven which was the oven of the priory of Louin.

The bourg of Louin is situated on the left bank of the Thouet, three kilometres South West of Airvault. To the South West, there is also the Cébron river which, along with its two tributaries the Raconnière and the Tacconière, make up the Cebron lake. Latest statistics show that there are 766 inhabitants of Louin of whom 752 are permanent residents. 14 people have holiday homes here. The origin of the name Louin was explained by the priest, father Chauvin in 1969. “The Thouet river valley has been inhabited for thousands of years. The little town of Louin has been the site of different habitations for many years since carved stones and even the remains of a dolmen can be found here.” It is quite likely that 4000 years before Christ, there were scattered tribes living around the area, wearing wolf-skins and living from hunting and fishing. The monuments that they left behind were used for worship. They also had workshops for working copper. The Celts arrived about 500 years BC, from the centre of Europe. They brought new techniques and inspired the religion of the druids. The word Louin has Celtic origins. According to Henri-Paul Eydoux it is a deformation of LUCO-dunos, which meant hill with a lot of natural light. Lougdounos was Lugdunum. Near Bresse and in the Dauphine, Lugdunum became Lyon; in Poitou it became Louin. How? In a first document dating from 1095 we can find Loung. In the 12th century Looin and Loong can be found. In 1263: Loyng. In 1300: Loing. In 1366: Louhin. The G has disappeared. The H fell out of use in the following centuries and today we are left with Louin. A VOIR / MUST SEE • The Croix Hosannière. These are funeral monuments which have been used for about a thousand years. The Croix Hosannière of Louin dates from the 12th century. There are no inscriptions. The cross in limestone has a circular base. It is registered as a historical monument.

L’Hypogee Gallo Romaine/The mausoleum. The most remarkable monument is the mausoleum. It was discovered in May 1898 probably by a labourer working on the parcel of land at the Champ des Chênes. When he dug more deeply, he discovered an entrance door which had been walled up and found himself standing at the entrance to an ancient burial chamber which contained two stone sarcophagus.

Over the door we can read “FOVR BANAL DV PE” (FOUR Banal du Prieur) and the date of 1711.

Dating back to Feudal times ‘Banalités’ were technical installations that the lord of the manor had to keep in good condition and make available for anyone living on his lands. The peasants paid a due to use them. At the time of the Revolution these installations (ovens, mills, wine presses) became the property of the commune.

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 15


Clubs & Associations ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

We are a photography club who meet twice a month at Terves. We run work shops, and also arrange photoshoots. If you want to learn more then please go to our website www.photofocus.info

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

TheatriVasles

A vibrant group based in Vasles (79340) offering quality theatre productions. Coming this autumn: France’s first International Ten-Minute Play Festival. New members always welcome. Contact www.theatrivasles.com, Facebook or Richard on 0549 634109.

TTL Photography Group

Local photography group on the Deux-Sèvres / Vendée border. New members always welcome, and at all levels of expertise and knowledge. Contact us via the website to find out about our meetings. www.ttlphotographygroup.net

Franglais at Bressuire

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

Bilingual LitFest: 24-26 June 2016, Voulmentin 79150

We would welcome volunteers to distribute publicity, act as marshals, offer technical support, transport or accommodation. To join the team and register as a friend of the festival contact Howard Needs: needsho@cc-parthenay.fr THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION LINAZAY, POITOU-CHARENTES BRANCH

Fitness Class with James

Please visit the branch website: www.rblpoitou-charentes.fr

A fun & lively Aerobic/fitness class run on a voluntary basis. Tuesday evenings 7-8pm at Salle de Fete in La Chappelle St Etienne. All ages, nationality & gender welcome. 15€ membership for the year which covers insurances & room. For further details please email James: jdharris247@gmail.com.

The Harmonics Singing Group

Based in the Salle d’Annexe in Civray. We meet each Wednesday 2pm4pm. No experience necessary, just a willingness and commitment to learn. We sing all sorts of music in several languages. Contact: Dave Lee: 05 49 87 53 93 / dave.lee@cegetel.net

RAINBOW WARRIERS for healing and fun. Native

American Indian Deerskin Drums. Host a drum circle at your home for free. I have 7 drums, I will travel an hour from Bressuire and we need a big space. 15€ per guest (max 5). Call Pam on 05 49 65 55 25 or email: irving.philip@wanadoo.fr

We are a netball team in Vasles (79340). We meet every Monday 5-6pm at the Salle Omnisports in Vasles for training with our qualified English coach. It’s fun and a great way to keep fit, so come along or contact: susan_beale@hotmail.com. The Phoenix chorale

An English speaking choir. We sing 3 or 4 concerts of seasonal and classical music, often including readings and poetry. Based near Charroux (86), we are always looking for new members. If interested, call 05 45 89 14 84 or 05 49 48 29 68.

JUST BRASS 79

A British style band, who meet each Tuesday at 8pm, at the Salle de la Cendille, Limalonges (just 1km from the N10). All levels welcome. Contact www.justbrass79.fr or Penny on 06 38 78 99 92 Cancer Support Vendée

Helping to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer in the Vendée. Helpline: 02 51 00 58 21 or email: presidentcsv@orange.fr

CAPELLA GROUP

If you enjoy singing and would be interested in starting a close-harmony group near Chef-Boutonne, please get in touch! Email me, Christine for further information: chezloubigne@aol.com GARDENING CLUB

We meet every third Tuesday of the month, 2.30pm with free tea/coffee and bscuits at Le Bon Vertoef, 28 Grand Rue, 79110 TILLOU. (Nr Chef Boutonne). Everyone welcome for garden talk! For further information contact Mike Curtis 05 46 33 66 17 (eves).

AL-ANON Support Group

Do you wish the Drinking Would Stop? Are you troubled by someone’s drinking? If so we can help. There is now an English-speaking Al-Anon meeting every Wednesday @ 2.30pm in the meeting room behind Civray Mairie. Just turn up or ring Angela on 05 49 87 79 09. I’m Francis. I am 52 years old, French and have been learning English for a few years. I live in Aiffres (nr Niort). I would like to meet with English speaking people near me, to spend a couple of hours per week to speak in French or English. We could both improve our language skills this way. Contact me on francis.gaboriau@bbox.fr or 06 85 92 58 33.

Les Amis Solitaires

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

16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


Combined Services

Support Group (CSSG)

by Pauline Tonks

On 8 June we held our 2nd quiz night which was a great success. There were 6 teams taking part with Roland Scott’s team gaining first place, congratulations to them. I must give a big thank you to Maggie and Lisa for all their help on the evening and for, what looked like, spending most of the day baking cakes, pasties and mini quiches. Also thanks to Sue and John for their help.

by Kate Jouanneau

th

Well, following the success of our previous quiz events, we are now all geared up to hold these on a regular basis. At the moment they will be held every two weeks at the Foyer Rural, St Pardoux, 79310, which is a disabled friendly venue. The quiz starts at 7pm. Entry to the quiz is 2€ per person with prizes for winners and losers. Ideally tables of 4/5 please. Tea, coffee and cakes will also be available. Should you prefer something stronger, please feel free to bring your own bottle (and glasses and corkscrew). So put these dates in your diary: 6th July, 20th July and 3rd August. Please tell your friends, as the more the merrier – so they say. To book your place at the quiz please email: cssgroup@outlook.com or just turn up. Another date for your diary is the 19th July when we will be holding our Summer Garden party. This will once again be held at Chambord, La Bourrichere, St. Pardoux 79310 from 11am to 5pm. There will be lots of stalls selling a variety of goodies including books, greeting cards and beauty products. Reel Fish and Chips will be serving from 12 noon, and during the day we will be entertained by Keynote singers and the fabulous 3 + 1. We will also have our usual Tombola, brocante and games to help the day go with a swing. The charity group Aidez will have their board game and a guess the weight of the cake competition. Hot and cold drinks, cakes and ice cream will be available. There are still a few places left if you would like a stall, whether it is to sell your own products, brocante or for charity please email johnblair@btopenworld.com for further details. If you would like to know more about CSSG, please email:

cssgroup@outlook.com

Clubs & Associations Submission Guidelines Wordcount: Title of entry+ 40 words (max. including contact details). Logos can be supplied and will be added if space allows. Adverts meeting the above specifications can be added free of charge, and will be rotated on a monthly basis to allow everyone to participate. To guarantee the advert is printed each month, a small fee of 45€ per annum will be requested.

Two or three times a year The Art Scene invite a professional artist to supervise them during their different workshops. For the month of May they were lucky to have Jean David join the group at Fenioux not for one session, but for two! At the first session, which was attended by 24 of our members, Jean gave a ‘portrait in oils’ demonstration. The husband of one of our members was recruited as a model, so thanks to Brian Hollister for his patience and ability to sit still for hours. During the second session everyone had a go at painting Brian under the close guidance of Jean, with differing levels of success. You can learn more about Jean in John Blair’s ‘Local Artist’ column. As usual, if you’d like to study something in particular then let John know and he’ll be more than happy to work something into the programme. And if you fancy joining the Art Scene just send him an email: johnblair@btopenworld.com

Keynotes

After an uplifting start to the season’s concerts for the Fête de la Musique in the church at Fenioux, Keynotes have two more performances lined up for July. As I explained back in June, the first is on the 5th in the Salle Municipale, La Caillère at 3pm to help the local Jeunes Sapeurs Pompiers to buy new training equipment. Margaret has had us practising songs in both French and English as we will have a French audience. A little daunting, but an ideal opportunity for us all to brush up on our pronunciations. For further details and ticket prices please contact Margaret at keynotesdeuxsevres@gmail.com Sue and John Blair are hosting the Combined Services Support Group Garden Party again this year on the 19th July from 11am to 5pm at Chambord, La Bourrichere, 79310 Saint Pardoux. The Keynotes singers will be there for our second concert at 2:30pm. The ever popular 3+1 group will also be there to entertain us during the afternoon. There will be all sorts of stalls and games, fish & chips and coffee & cakes, so do come along and join in the fun and help support this worthy cause. Reaction Theatre will also be holding its annual garden party on 11th of July from 3pm onwards, kindly held at Ralph Bramley’s home in Vernoux-en-Gâtine. He has organised lots of fun and games throughout the day including karaoké, pétanque, mini competions, a raffle and prizes to be won... 3+1 will be putting in an appearance too so we can bop along to some favourite tunes. A complimentary aperitif will be served upon arrival but, as usual it is a BYO picnic with two BBQ areas for those more adventurous hampers. It is a good idea to come with garden chairs as well, as there is limited seating. Normally this is a members only do, but if you fancy joining us why not get a member to ‘adopt’ you for the day so you can come along and do a bit of meeting and greeting? (If you don’t know any members directly you can always contact me or Ralph and we’ll sneak you in the back door when nobody’s looking.) For further details concerning our different groups please visit our website or if you have anything you’d like to share, email me directly.

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

website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

u u

Contact Kate Jouanneau on 06 77 51 55 16 Email: kscks9@hotmail.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 17


Health, Beauty & Fitness

Annual Subscription Costs: 31,00€ within France, 20€ UK addresses. (Unfortunately the cheaper ‘printed papers’ rate cannot be applied to addresses within France, only when sending abroad) Full Name:....................................................................................... Postal Address:................................................................................ ........................................................................................................ Postcode:..............................Country:............................................. Tel:................................................................................................... Email:............................................................................................... Please make cheques payable to SARAH BERRY.

18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


Birthstone for July... Ruby

by Vicki Bassey

The earliest recording of the mining of Rubies goes back more than 2,500 years ago in Sri Lanka. Rubies first appeared in Western jewellery among the Etruscans 600-275 BC. The Ruby is mentioned in Sanskrit text, ancient Hindus called them ratnaraj meaning the king of gems. Ancient Burmese called Rubies ‘blood drops from the heart of mother earth.’ The Ruby is known as the gem of the sun. Their crimson colour associates them with passion, love and romance. Apart from their colour, Rubies are identical to Sapphires and are comprised of the mineral known as corundum. Worldwide they are amongst the most expensive gems, large Rubies being rarer than comparable Diamonds and found in fewer places than Diamonds. Red is the only colour of the Ruby and it is second in hardness only to Diamonds. The largest cuttable Ruby weighed 400 carats and it was found in Burma and divided into three parts. Today Rubies are often cut in the countries where they were found. Because the cutters usually aim for maximum weight, the proportions of the stone are not always satisfactory, so that many stones have to be recut by dealers in other countries. Rubies with a good clarity are cut in step and brilliant cut; less transparent Rubies are cut ‘en cabochon’. Only synthetic Rubies are used for watches and bearings, formerly the most important technical application for a natural stone. Major sources of Rubies can be found in Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.

u u

Vicky Bassey on 05 49 97 01 29 www.victoriabassey.com Follow Vicki on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/victoriabasseyjewellery

CONTRIBUTIONS... We are always looking for new articles for consideration in future issues. Do you have an experience to share? Are you a tradesman with a Top Tip? or perhaps an avid reader who would like to contribute a book review? Whatever it may be, either long or short, we would love to hear from you.

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 19


Our Furry Friends Our Friends the Animals

S

by Nigel Franks, NALA

unny days are here again and have already been of benefit to NALA. On the 7th of June Sue and Stuart hosted a Garden Party at their home. The weather was almost perfect with the brightly shining sun tempting a large number of people to attend, although the cooling “breeze” was a trifle too strong and laid low the marquee tent. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the day and to those who provided the delicious cakes and scones and, of course, everyone who came along. We hope that you all had a good time: it looks like it from the photos (see our website). The event raised almost 600€ - enough to subsidise, for example, the spaying of 30 cats, which given the reproductive ability of our feline friends could have an enormous effect on the number of unwanted, unexpected and abandoned kittens.

With a bit of luck, you’re reading this in time to attend another NALA event, the FREE concert by The Portraits on the 11th July at ‘Le Clemenceau’ bar/restaurant, 26 Rue Clémenceau, 85390 Mouilleron-en-Pareds, Vendée. Food and drink will be available from 6pm with the concert due to start at 8pm. This is not intended to be a fund raising event for NALA (although you are welcome to stuff our collection boxes freely!) we just wanted to do something to thank all our supporters. The Portraits, Jeremy and Lorraine, do a lot of charity work and last year released a single called ‘The Rest of Time’ to support the charity ‘Delete Blood Cancer UK’.  This year they are doing a House Concert Tour whereby they will come to private houses to play for an audience of 20 or more people to encourage more people to sign up as stem cell donors (see www.theportraitsmusic.com/ house-concerts). They don’t charge anything although they would appreciate a whip-round to cover their expenses: we’ll be doing that on the 11th. More details on our website. Another ray of sunshine has been the campaign of trap, sterilise and release that we carried out in co-operation with the mayor of Ste. Hermine.  Six cats were captured, of which 5 were pregnant. They have all been sterilised and released except for one cat, Justine, who is very sociable and is currently with a foster family waiting for someone to adopt her. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to catch one pregnant cat who we think went into hiding to give birth, so the problem has not been completely solved. The mayor also had some signs erected to remind people that abandoning pets is an offence punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a fine of 30,000€. Just imagine: if the authorities took the issue seriously and caught and fined the owners of the estimated 100,000 pets abandoned each year, that would raise a tidy sum to put back into animal protection... and perhaps stop so many mayors pleading poverty when it comes to their duty to help animals. And talking of helping animals: we had to provide emergency vet care for Bianca and she is now up for adoption. The people who rescued her told us that she was very sweet and sociable, so we were surprised when she hissed at us and tried to hide for the first couple of days that she was with us. It was probably because she wasn’t feeling well and had had a stressful time, as she is now back to her friendly self. You can find more details on our website:

www.nosamislesanimaux.com

20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


The HOPE Association Mini Book Sale

Sunday 26th July 2015 10am - 5pm Salle Polyvalente, 16450 St Laurent de Ceris 1€ books DVDs Cakes Freshly-Made Sandwiches Music from Dangerous Age Tea & Coffee Trade Stands Twilight Tombola Spicy Curries Beer Tent www.hopeassoc.org

Association ORFEE www.OrfeeInEnglish.com www.facebook.com/OrfeeInEnglish

The HOPE Charity Shop

The Hope Charity Shop is open every Wednesday and the first Saturday of every month, 10am-5pm. Hundreds of books, all priced at 1€, CDs, DVDs, pre-loved clothes, jewellery, hand-crafted greeting cards and more. If you can volunteer to help at the shop, bake cakes, donate unwanted items for us to sell to raise money for animals in need please email: linda.burns4hope@gmail.com. Join us for a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of cake and a chat. We would welcome any old blankets, towels, bedding & dog/cat food. Find us at: Bar Route 66, Ave de la Liberation, 87320 Bussiere Poitevine

For any information, please contact: Isabelle Paris by email: chatlibrecaillerot@gmail.com or visit the website: www.chatlibrecaillerot.lebonforum.com

www.hopeassoc.org

Phoenix Association rescue and rehome animals in need. Please visit our website for more details.

www.phoenixasso.com ECOLE DU CHAT LIBRE DE POITIERS 1 Place de Fontevrault 86000 POITIERS 05.49.01.39.25 (answerphone) Ecoleduchat.poitiers.free.fr

Facebook: ecole-du-chat-libre-de-Poitiers

ecoleduchatpoitiers.forumactif.org

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 21


Take a Break 8. Main trunk artery (5) 9. A degree or grade of excellence (7) 10. Deep purplish red (7) 11. Cloth used to cover the head and shoulders (5) 12. A person who abandons their duty (8) 13. A gait in which steps and hops alternate (4) 15. Drinks in small amounts (4) 17. Exercise that increases the need for oxygen (8) 21. Declare invalid (5) 22. Precisely accurate or exact (7) 24. Abandon hope; lose heart (7) 25. Get up and out of bed (5)

DSM Toughie Crossword Across: 1. Caution calls for some revision, and you must show your workings out (12) 7. Right out of treasure? Assemble in stern! (7) 9. Pearl’s mother on retreat in Upper Canterbury (5) 10. It’s debatable if nothing is to be

found in test for the road (4)

11. Be involved when learns about providing catalysts (8) 12. Dreaming about how the Reds chant together? (6) 14. Saint Bede travelled around and eventually overcame the others(6) 17. Vicar and former lover make great album together (8) 19. Badger dwelling with non-drinkers after directions given (4) 22. Lots of bodies found after riots spilled over (5) 23. Cheat who could take you for a spin on the prairie? (7) 24. See what’s out there, after being fed philately to breaking point? (4,3,5)

Down:

1. Not agitated (4) 2. A city in north-western Belgium (6) 3. Workplace where clothes are washed and ironed (7) 4. Having four equal sides and four right angles (6) 5. Not genuine or real (5) 6. Seize control of a vehicle in transit (6) 7. One-eyed giant (Greek myth- ology) (8) 12. Casts aside (8) 14. A periodical dedicated to a particular subject (7) 16. Impose a penalty on (6) 18. A person with special knowledge or skill (6) 19. A peninsula in southwestern Europe (6) 20. Malicious satisfaction (5) 23. A long and difficult trip (4)

Down: 1. Lucky personality trait can get

you what you want? (5)

drama? (4)

giving a perfect place for us” (5)

2. Wounds the French particles (7) 3. Employed in famous Edwardian

4. Dishonourable and very rough elbowing out west (7) 5. “Let’s picnic here; good cover,

6. Annoyed when drinks came out before newspaperman was finished (6) 8. Possibly explosive outcome of stake being upended (4) 12. Bonus points given after timers were misread (6) 13. Make nothing of big apple keeping one full but in a mess (7) 15. He is included when treat turns out to be a performance (7) 16. Wager about unknown quantity of talent (4) 18. To go this far will take you round the world (5) 20. Editor leaves out nothing, gets exhausted when it subseequently goes wrong (5) 21. As soon found in life in tatters

With thanks to M.Morris

in former times (4)

Well, what do you know?

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

1) Greenpeace has its headquarters in which European city? 2) In the first ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, what is the name of Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship? 3) In the USA, which state is known as the ‘Bluegrass State’?

9) In the nursery rhyme ‘Jack and Jill’, what did Jack use to mend his head? 10) What colour is the blood of Horseshoe Crabs? (award yourself a bonus point if you can say why)

4) Which colours are on the flag of Poland?

11) The fruit of the Blackthorn shrub is commonly known as what?

5) What colour is Zero on a roulette wheel?

12) On a Monopoly board, what colour is Leicester Square?

6) What sort of bean is used for Baked Beans? 7) What is the name of the green chemical used by plants for photosynthesis?

No connection this month...... Find the answers on our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

8) Red Rum is the only horse to have achieved which double (i.e. in the same year)? Copyright RJS 2014

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

Answers on our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

DSM Easy Crossword Across:


Discover the

Thouet Valley on two wheels

by Mick Austin

Forget for a moment the hurly-burly of the Tour de France. Sometimes the world moves just a little bit too fast. Think France and its miles of beautiful countryside just waiting to be explored – but explored at a pace where you feel you’ve got all the time in the world.

T

here’s never been a better time to enjoy the gentle landscape of the Thouet Valley than now as the Deux-Sèvres department has a route that lets you cycle from Saumur, in the Loire Valley, through the Thouet Valley and then on to La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast. You don’t have to be a Bradley Wiggins or an Alberto Contador to manage any of these stages. Look on it as a chance to get out and about, in perfect peace, to see places you might never have otherwise discovered. Along the way you can visit historic towns, picnic by winding rivers and stay in some wonderfully unique accommodation. Whether you decide to follow the route in its entirety (you can even cycle from the UK to Saumur) or simply choose to enjoy some of the well signposted local loops, it’s the perfect activity for summer days.

where you can pause for a while, enjoy the views and natural monuments and perhaps take in a picnic.

There are nine stages through the Thouet Valley and each one has clear signposting so there’s little chance of you getting lost. There are five main places to park up your car: St-Hilaire-St-Florent near Saumur, Montreuil-Bellay, Thouars, St-Loup-Lamaire at Lake Cebron and Parthenay. There are also 30 rest areas along the route

You’ll encounter two types of lanes on the route. The first are small roads and agricultural tracks where the traffic is light but the pathways are also shared by hikers and those on horseback. The others are cycle paths reserved for cyclists where you can enjoy the countryside in the safest of conditions. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 23


Stage 1: Saumur to Saint-Martin-de-Sanzay. 23.3kms. 1hr 30min. Easy going.

Plenty to see and do in Saumur, including several châteaux and churches, the national equitation centre, troglodyte houses and the Combier distillery, where Triple Sec is produced. Museums include the Musée des Blindés (one of the world’s largest tank museums) and the Toba de Saumur galleries where three-quarters of the nation’s Champignons de Paris mushrooms are grown. Visit the megalithic bridge at Artannes-sur-Thouet and the chateau at Montreuil-Bellay, dating between the 11th and 15th centuries.

Stage 2: Saint-Martin-de-Sanzay to Thouars. 21.7km. 1hr 30min. Easy.

Check out the Château du Bois de Sanzay (15th and 18th centuries). Follow the Thouet river south and don’t miss the 13th century bridge at Taizon. Enjoy cycling through the vineyards of the famous Anjou region.

Stage 3: Thouars to St Généroux. 18.5km. 1hr 15min. Intermediate.

Explore Thouars, a town known for its art and history, before embarking on this slightly more hilly stage. Stop at the bridge of Chouans to admire the château of the Dukes of Trémoille and, if you have the energy, take a detour to nearby Château d’Oiron, built in the 16th century and now a museum for contemporary art.

Stage 4: St Généroux to Airvault. 11km. 45min. Intermediate.

Having marvelled at the pre-Roman church and Roman bridge at St-Généroux, this shorter stage passes through the ‘vallées sèches’, dry valleys created in the Ice Age where Mediterranean plants are now grown.

Stage 5: Airvault to St Loup-sur-Thouet. 8.5km. 35min. Intermediate.

At Airvault, don’t miss the beautiful Romanesque abbey, St-Pierre d’Airvault, with its underground spring and the medieval town centre before setting out for St-Loup with its fantastic 17th century château and its gardens

Stage 6: St Loup-sur-Thouet to Gourgé. 8.5km. 35min. Easy.

Stop at the lake at Cébron to see the local wildlife and fauna before continuing back towards the Thouet river and into the pretty town of Gourgé with its ancient church (Eglise de Saint-Hilaire) and watermill.

Stage 7: Gourgé to Parthenay. 22.6km. 1hr 30min. Intermediate.

Admire the 11th century bridge before crossing the river and pedalling to La Peyratte, passing the nearby 17th century forge, a Romanesque church, the Place des Marronniers central square and a monument dating, like the church, from the 12th century. Then enter the historic town of Parthenay – said to have been created by the wave of the fairy Melusine’s magic wand – with its beautiful St Jacques quarter, an important stopping point on the pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Don’t miss the Saint-Jacques Bridge and fortified gate where the pilgrims would enter the town.

Stage 8: Parthenay to Secondigny. 18km. 1hr 15min. Intermediate.

Having explored Parthenay, follow the route as it winds across country to Secondigny, known as the apple capital of France with its 1000 hectares of orchards and around 45,000 tons of fruit harvested every year.

Stage 9: Secondigny to the source of the Thouet river at Le Beugnon. 11.5km. 45min. Intermediate.

In the heart of Gâtine country, you arrive at the source of the river, where it’s time to take a well-earned breather and enjoy the local scenery. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 24


More Info

www.valleeduthouet.fr/cote-velo/la-carte The full route in detail, including where to hire your bikes, rest areas and places of interest along the way.

Below: The town of Saumur. Photo: Wikimedia, Martin Falbisoner

Office de Tourisme du Saumurois, Place de la Bilange, 49400 Saumur. Tel: 02 41 40 20 60. E: infos@ot-saumur.fr www.saumur-tourisme.com Place du Concorde, 49260 Montreuil-Bellay. Tel: 02 41 52 32 39. E: tourisme@ville-montreuil-bellay.fr Office de Tourisme de Pays Thouarsais, 32 place Saint Médard, 79100 Thouars. Tel: 05 49 66 17 65. E: accueil@tourisme-pays-thouarsais.fr www.tourisme-pays-thouarsais.fr Tourisme en Gatine, 8 rue de la Vau St Jacques, 79200 Parthenay. Tel: 05 49 64 24 24. E: tourisme@gatine.org www.gatine.org

And now for something a little more difficult...

Having tried the near-150kms of the Thouet Valley cycle route you might be tempted into something a little more strenuous. If so, how about the Vélodyssée? Covering more than 1400kms from Roscoff in Brittany and down the Atlantic Coast to Biarritz and the Spanish border, this route has something for everyone. Never too far from the sea this, the longest waymarked cycle route in France, allows you to mount up and experience the outstanding natural beauty the French countryside has to offer.

Images © pi xabay.com

Split into 15 sections – each with its own downloadable route map and GPS tracklog – you can even jump aboard a ferry to England and pedal the Velodyssey Devon, or cross into Spain on the EV1 route.

uars. t-Neuf, Tho dge & Ponwww.structurae.net ri B s an u o Above: Chcques Mossot from Photo: Ja

In Poitou-Charentes the route enters the northern Charente Maritime from the Vendée through the beautiful Marais Poitevin. Rest a while in La Rochelle to visit the sights and do some shopping before heading down to Royan via the golden beaches of Châtelaillon Plage and the city of Rochefort. From there the route moves inland following old steam train tracks towards Marennes, the centre of oyster farming. Families might like a quick detour to the Zoo de La Palmyre before moving into Royan and its fabulous beaches and art deco architecture. Visit: www.velodysseycom

Mick Austin is a freelance journalist based in the Pays-de-la-Loire. He has had his work published in several expat magazines and newspapers and has also written the Mayenne Tourist Board’s only English-language brochure. He also runs a gîte business at www.gitefortwo.com. 25 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 25


Home & Garden

REFUSE COLLECTIONS...

Since 1st January 2015, the Tax for refuse collection, ‘Taxe d’enlevement des odures ménagères’ (TEOM) is now effective everywhere (previously it was only effective for a proportion of the community). This tax replaces the previous fee for refuse collection, ‘Redevance d’enlevement des odures ménagères’ (REOM). Up until the end of last year there were five types of collections and billings in Parthenay-Gâtine, making the management of refuse collection overly complex, incomprehensible to the debtors, and unfair due to inconsistent pricing across communes. Hence, the Community Council decided to introduce a single tax, the ‘TEOM’. This new tax covers the overall funding of the service and facilities, i.e. waste removal, treatment and disposal and water management equipment, but also contributes to environmental actions, such as awareness in schools and educational activities.

Calculating the TEOM

The TEOM is an annex to your ‘Tax Fonciere’ (land tax). It is established according to the net income as a basis for property tax. The rate determined by the community is applied, plus an 8% management fee. It is payable annually, and will be added to your Tax Fonciere bill - which will arrive in post-boxes in October 2015. It is payable to the Tresor Public, the same as Tax Fonciere. The TEOM can apply to buildings who do not produce any garbage, and therefore may still be relevant to owners of empty properties.

Sort More - Pay Less

Sorting your recycling is essential to avoid increases in the TEOM. Better sorting decreases the volume of garbage produced which has to be buried, which in turn allows the cost of waste management to be controlled.

Further Information

Contact Le Service déchets ménagers de la Communauté de Communes de Parthenay-Gâtine, 7 rue Béranger, 79200 PARTHENAY. Tél. : 05 49 94 90 13 Email : dechets@cc-parthenay-gatine.fr www.cc-parthenay-gatine.fr

26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


ASK about our special packages for New Advertisers! They are a great way to kick-start your marketing campaign.... Call Sarah on 05 49 70 26 21 to find out more!

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 27


THE AMATEUR GARDENER Raspberries © Wikimedia Commons/Juhanson

by Vanda Lawrence

I

t’s July again and hopefully all your hard work over the past weeks and months has paid off. The vegetable garden should be producing nicely so you are able to have lovely fresh veg at the drop of a hat and all the extras are filling the freezer _efekt mons/net om C ia ed nicely; and isn’t it nice © Wikim er ow fl e Courgett to have strawberries and raspberries on tap? Don’t forget the edible flowers for salads - there should be plenty of courgette and runner bean flowers. So now it’s a case of keeping everything tidy and under control. Sow autumn vegetables in vacant spaces left as you crop beetroot, carrots, lettuce, chard etc and keep hoeing and weeding between rows, (weeds not only look unsightly but they are taking nutrients and moisture from the soil that should be going into your veggies). Keep your eyes open for pests and diseases and deal with accordingly. This time of the year it’s as well to spray with Bordeaux Mixture to prevent blight. In the flower garden, keep weeding and dead-heading. Lupins and Delphiniums will give a second display if you cut them hard back, almost to ground level, after flowering. Bearded Irises can be divided now so that they can make new roots and flower buds for next year before the cold weather arrives. Wisterias will need pruning – cut the whippy side-shoots back to about 5 leaves from the main stem. They are also producing seed pods now, just like peas (they are actually one of the pea family). Unlike peas, however, these seeds are poisonous, so keep out of the reach of children. Talking of seeds, now is the time to think about making new plants from old – collecting seeds, taking cuttings, layering. Exciting! So when you walk around your garden have a couple of paper bags for seeds and polythene bags for cuttings in your pocket alongside secateurs and marker pen. Collect seeds on a dry, wind-free day. Choose a healthy, pest and disease-free plant with a seed pod which looks about ready to split. Cut off the seed head and invert into a paper bag. Close bag and label then leave in a dry place for the pod to finish ripening. Check regularly. The pods will open and seeds will be safely cached in the bottom of the bag. Seal the seeds in a small envelope labelled with name and date and keep in a dry place until you need them.

28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

Take stem cuttings from shrubs such as Ribes, Potentilla, Forsythia, Mallow etc. At this time of the year they are softwood cuttings, so called because they are new, non-flowering shoots. Choose shoots 2” - 4” long and make a straight cut beneath a pair of leaves. Remove the lower leaves because these will rot in the soil if left on; keep only a couple of pairs of leaves at the top. Dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder or gel. Insert several cuttings around the edge of a pot filled with a mix of compost and grit. Label and water well then keep in a propagator until rooted. If you don’t have a propogator you can make a mini-greenhouse by putting 2 or 3 lollysticks in the pot then covering with a clear plastic bag and holding this in place with an elastic band round the pot. When the plants are about 6” tall pinch out the growing tip to encourage bushy growth. Heel cuttings are similar to softwood cuttings but can be taken at any time of the year from softwood or hardwood, and are particularly suitable for Ceanothus, Lavandula and Rosemary. Just find a healthy-looking side-shoot, about 4” long, and pull it down and away from the main stem. You should finish up with a shoot with a ‘heel’ of the main stem at its base. Dip this in hormone rooting powder or gel, make a hole in the compost with a pencil and place the cutting in the soil with the ‘heel’ at the bottom. About 1” of cutting should be below soil. Firm soil around the cutting and deal with as softwood cuttings above. Hardwood cuttings are taken during the winter when the plant is dormant. ‘Layering’ is another alternative. This takes longer and is more complicated but the new plant benefits from receiving water and nutrients from the parent plant. At the end of the growing season the layered branch should have rooted and can be separated whilst the plant is dormant. Layering is suitable for shrubs with lowgrowing, pliable stems eg Rhododendron, Azalea, Magnolia and fruit bushes and climbers. Bend down a low-growing branch and peg a section firmly into the soil, or even a pot or seed-tray sunk into the ground. If necessary put a cane in place to tie the tip of the branch to, to encourage upright growth. Normally, roots will be produced from buried leaf joints within 12-18 months. You can then separate from the parent plant and leave undisturbed until the winter months when it can be transplanted.

Tip layering © Wikime

dia Commons

along the same stem. Once rooted you until you are ready to plant outside.

Tip layering and Serpentine layering are alternatives. Tip layering is good for blackberries – just the tip of a new cane is buried, roots form near the tip and the end bud grows into the new shoot. Serpentine layering is good for Wisteria, Clematis etc – make a snake of a long stem, burying and pegging sections to encourage roots to form at several points can separate and pot up

So now you have to decide what plants to propagate and where you will put them. Autumn/winter flowering bulbs will become available soon, so what do you need? Are there any perennials needed for the flower garden? I think you need to sit down in your lovely garden for an hour while you make these important decisions ... any excuse will do … enjoy! u Contact Vanda Lawrence u Email: amateurgardener@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr


Communications Windows 10 + Microsoft’s Free offer! (for those who qualify... some who may not!) by Ross Hendry

Have you got the “Get Windows 10 app” yet? ..this is what it looks like.

So, what is the “Get Windows 10 app”? The Get Windows 10 App is provided to support the free upgrade, which is offered for PCs and tablets running Windows  7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 8.1 Update. The app manages the reservation, includes information about Windows  10 and provides an Upgrade Advisor which checks to see if your device will work with Windows 10. Find it here : Microsoft have generously offered to provide their new Windows 10 operating system to all legitimate owners of Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. They are sending it with their recent Windows Updates and doing an integrity check, to check for unlicensed copies of the Windows operating system.  If you qualify you will see a Windows Logo beside the clock on the right hand end of your task bar beside the clock.  Like this : If you do not qualify you may receive a message telling you, “This copy of Windows is not genuine” or “You may be a victim of software counterfeiting”. Do not worry, if you have had changes on your PC this could well be the cause of it. In order to check your license, Microsoft verify many things including the Hard Disk, CPU, Motherboard and Manufacturer as well as update state of your Windows updates and the License Information you or the manufacturer entered when installing the operating system. If one of these has changed, replaced or has become corrupted, it can result in the “Not Genuine” message. Since the launch of Windows 7, I have had to resolve this issue for many customers that have had lightning strikes and had to replace one or more of the components of their PCs. It is easily addressed. After checking out your PC and original licence details, I can reset the Licence codes for you, and it takes 20 to 50 minutes depending on the speed of your PC. You will then be entitled to your free copy of Windows 10. The $64,000 question is “Should you take this free offer?”  Through the Windows Insider Program, some 4 million people (I am one of them) have been able to test an evaluation copy.  I have had a copy since January 2015, been testing it for 12 weeks or more and am impressed. I believe you should seriously consider taking it. I have found it to be fast, reliable and easy to navigate. Windows 7 users will know how to “Drive” it pretty much instantly, and it is not difficult to show someone how to find things that have moved.

to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and the Windows 10 Specifications page. Duration of the Offer : Yes. Windows  10 is a free upgrade for qualified Windows  7 SP1, Windows  8.1 Update and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. This free upgrade is offered for one year after Windows 10 is available. After you upgrade, Windows 10 is yours to enjoy.

HOWEVER, do not rush to take it immediately - you do not want to be a guinea pig! My advice for Windows 10, as with all new Operating Systems, is leave it for  at least  three months and see what is in the press and on the forums. During this time many bugs (program errors and omissions) will be found and resolved and if it is looking good, go for it then, if not, wait another 3 months and check again etc.,   The free offer is available for 1 year from the launch on 29th July 2015, so there is no rush. Personally I will be using it both on my desktop PC and my laptop, but only after 6 months, and only after I have checked out what professional reviewers say. The benefits of having the most recent operating system include better and more relevant security, more efficient use of your hardware resources and far better integration with the internet/cloud and of course future proofing. Here is what I know about the current versions of Windows Client Operating Systems

Latest Update or End of m/stream Service Pack support

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Windows Vista Sevice Pack 2 Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Windows 8 Windows 8.1

April 14, April 10, Jan 13, Jan 9,

2009 2012 2015 2018

End of Extended Support

April 8, April 11, Jan 14, Jan 10,

2014 2017 2020 2023

I have not found any data on the lifecycle for Windows 10 anywhere on the Web, perhaps that is to be expected as it has not been launched yet. My guess is, if it is as good as I think it is going to be, it will be supported at least until 2025. I found that Microsoft’s website answered all of my questions regarding Windows 10 (except it’s lifecycle i.e. how long is it going to be supported by Microsoft) check it out here :The main site: www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/Default.aspx Do Not Miss - The Frequently asked questions pages: www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/windows-10-faq Do Not Miss - How to upgrade: www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/windows-10-upgrade 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).

Here are the details from the Microsoft Windows 10 features website www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/features *Windows Offer Details Windows 10 is a free upgrade, for a limited time, for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices (including devices you already own). It is our intent that most of these devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. ISP fees may apply. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 29


Useful English Language Numbers... Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

05 49 64 59 96

French State health insurance advice line

08 11 36 36 46

Elizabeth Finn Care (Grants and advice if in Financial need)

04 68 23 43 79

Orange helpline

09 69 36 39 00

EDF International Customer Service

05 62 16 49 08

CLEISS (Social security advice between countries)

01 45 26 33 41

Funeral Information (AFIF)

01 45 44 90 03 or www.afif.asso.fr

Passport Advice

0044 208 082 4729

SHARE YOUR EV ENTS ! Entries into the What’s On Listing (P.4) are free!

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+ We can add your event to our Facebook page....www.facebook.com/thedeuxsevresmonthly Please email all the details to: events@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


Food & Drink A Tale of Two Pouillys

T

by John Sherwin

here’s no harm admitting, and it will certainly come as no surprise to those who know me, that I often get confused.

Nothing to do with age, t’was always so. For example, french numbers over soixante have caused me a mental stammer ever since I was a kid behind a desk trying to figure out why four-and-twenty (quatre-vingt) could possibly mean eighty. I’m not saying it went downhill from there, it just didn’t go anywhere. And don’t get me started on the 24 hour clock – or rather, just don’t make an appointment with me using it.

This confusion persists in matters where I really should know better, and still causes me to stop and think before talking about Pouilly-Fumé as opposed to Pouilly-Fuissé. I figure if it gives me pause, then it might do the same for you too. If not, you’re a better man than me Gunga Din. If so (and you don’t go by the name of Gunga Din), stick with me. Let’s start with Pouilly-Fumé {poo-yee foo-may}. Do not go looking for a place called Pouilly-Fumé on a map, for there is none. PF is made in and around the town of Pouilly-sur-Loire, across the river Loire from Sancerre. The basics: this is a white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. It is high in acidity and has a distinctive character, often referred to as ‘cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush’. Sauvignon Blanc is usually considered the ‘easiest’ grape variety to spot in a blind tasting. However, even here, with strong varietal smell and taste, terroir has its influence. The land around Pouilly-sur-Loire provides a mishmash of different soil types, but the overriding characteristic which comes through in the wine is that of minerality and a smoky, gunflint aroma – one reason why the word fumé, meaning ‘smoky’ is used. Also, when ripe, the grapes are covered with a smoky-grey bloom hence, again, fumé: welcome to the logical land of Descartes. PF is a wine to be drunk young, within a couple of years of vintage. If you find it a bit strident on its own as an aperitif (and I wouldn’t necessarily argue with you – arguments just make me confused, see above), then you really should recalibrate and consider it with grilled or roasted fish, coquilles St Jacques, white meat with a lemon sauce, or goats’ cheese when it sits down and behaves itself properly, in fact quite impeccably. One final point: a bottle proclaiming itself ‘Pouilly-sur-Loire’ is not from Sauvignon Blanc, but from Chasselas, a slightly inferior variety – price should be less, and your expectations likewise. So we turn our gaze further east to beautiful Burgundy, land of, amongst many other marvellous wines, Pouilly-Fuissé {pooyee fwee-say}. Again, a dry white wine but this time made from Chardonnay grapes. Now, whereas Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive varietal identity, Chardonnay is much more of a chameleon, that is to say it is much more terroir-driven – you taste the land much more than the grape, except when it has spent too much time in oak when you end up tasting more the craft of the cooper than the art of the wine maker. Again, you will not find ‘Pouilly-Fuissé’ on a map, but you will find ‘Fuissé’ and ‘Solutré-Pouilly’ in the Burgundy sub-region of Macon. You will also come across the names ‘Pouilly-Loché’ and ‘PouillyVinzelles’ on wine labels, both very similar to Pouilly-Fuissé, but without the magic name so perhaps a tad less expensive. The best can be rich and complex and make a delightful accompaniment to prawns, lobster, foie gras, veal, and – interestingly – sushi. Hope that’s all clear: can’t go confusing your fumé with your fuissé. In a future edition of your favourite mag, I will be explaining the difference between Juliet Binoche and brioche, where one is something you would like to wake up to smothered with butter and apricot jam, while the other [cut – Ed] u u

John Sherwin, French Wine Tours 02 51 66 13 05 or www.french-wine-tours.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 31


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32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


The Aperitif

by Jacqueline Brown

W

e have arrived at one of my favourite times of year; the days are (mostly) warm, the evenings are long and there is nothing quite like an informal aperitif soirée. With drinks, nibbles and good company, it is probably the easiest of the French cultural traditions for us immigrants to adopt. My husband and I have only recently got home from a gourmet road trip to the South of France, where we had seven days of back road driving interspersed with boulangerie stops for breakfast croissants, lunch baguettes and afternoon patisserie treats. First thing on the to do list after arriving at the hotels each evening was to find a restaurant serving a regional menu and book a table, before enjoying an aperitif together. Some nights a cold beer, sat outside watching early evening life go by really hit the spot, but some nights I was a little bit more adventurous. In Sarlat I ordered a Vin de Noix, the local walnut wine that is dark, thick, sweet and nutty, and in Rocamadour, overlooking the perched village, I ordered a Chataigne. Lighter in colour and texture than the walnut wine, this chestnut aperitif is rich and delicious. I have tried (with varying degrees of success) to make my own walnut wine over the years. Using the green walnuts, picked at the end of June, sugar, red wine and eau de vie, it is left to infuse until September. The last batch sat around for so long with so little interest my husband was less than enthusiastic when I (excitedly) suggested making an aperitif recipe where cherry leaves are infused for a month in red wine, vodka, sugar and peppercorns. At a recent committee meeting in the village a discussion began on the topic of what aperitif to serve for an upcoming event. Our village is quite adept, or so I thought, at the do’s and dont’s of the aperitif; for the pre-lunchtime drinks following the memorial services of 8th May and 11th November, Pineau des Charentes or Kir are served alongside bite-sized mouthfuls of pizza and quiche from the boulangerie. At the village meals it is generally Kir that pops up again, however it seems some members would like to shake things up a bit this year and Sangria was mentioned. For a village where change is often regarded with suspicion I was amazed by how well this new idea was received. However, I was appalled! I’m usually one to go with the flow and really don’t like to make a scene, but the event being discussed was our annual Bastille eve meal. The biggest French celebration of the year and the French are planning on toasting the event with Spanish Sangria – Sacré Bleu! I did suggest that if they wanted to go off-piste they could always serve Pimms, complete with the mint leaves, oranges, strawberries and sliced cucumber, but I got some rather strange looks at that suggestion. Maybe the perfect solution all round is to make the cherry leaf aperitif using my cherry leaves.

u u

www.frenchvillagediaries.com Email: frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 33


Motoring Long Live Motor Racing, French Style!

W

ith our annual pilgrimage to the Le Mans 24 Hours now behind us, and no French F1 Grand Prix on the calendar, you might be forgiven for thinking that the motor racing season is now finished in France, but that is not so.

France has always enthusiastically embraced the motor car, and it is often forgotten that the country is synonymous with the birth of Motorsport, with the first ever motoring event being staged just outside Paris in 1887. In 1894, sixty nine cars turned up for the world’s first competitive motor race, run on open public roads between Paris and Rouen. In the end only 25 cars started, and the winner’s average speed was just 19 km/h, although he was later disqualified for having a stoker for his steam-driven car! The ‘Automobile Club de France’ was subsequently founded in 1895.  The first ‘Grand Prix’ was held at Le Mans in 1906 on a roughly triangular shaped circuit of roads approximately 65 miles long. These early races, both in France and across Europe, were driven on open roads, and it wasn’t until the turn of the century that purpose built tracks were constructed and closed circuit racing took place.  The first of the purpose built tracks was at Brooklands in Surrey. 

by Helen Tait-Wright

Just outside the Deux-Sèvres, at the end of July (25th & 26th) Le Puy Notre Dame hosts its ‘Grand Prix Retro’, again on a street circuit, with competing cars from the pre 1940s, making it a truly vintage affair (www.grandprixretro-puynotredame.com). A closed circuit of 1.5km in the heart of the village with free access to viewing points and the paddock gives spectators a very intimate experience. As well as racing all day on the Sunday, there are night time demonstrations on the Saturday night. The event features motorcycles as well as cars, and is always well attended by the UK Morgan 3 wheeler Club.  From 18th - 20th September, the ‘Circuit des Remparts’ is run at Angoulême (www.circuit-des-remparts.com). Since its creation in 1939, the only real differences along this unique 1279m long street circuit are the safety rails and metal fences which have replaced the hay bails and wooden fences.  The weekend-long event sees classic cars hurtling around the ancient, twisting roads of this pretty hill-top town, and it is one of the very few motor races to take place within the walls of a town, making it a race not to miss.  The course itself is very demanding, following the tight roads around the town ramparts and containing two right-angle bends and three hairpins.

The 1933 Monaco Grand Prix was the first time in the history of the sport that the grid was determined by timed qualifying rather than the luck of a draw.

The historic vehicles which made the event such a legend then, still race today along with more modern machines. Angoulême, with Monaco and Pau, is one of the last surviving great street tracks.

Over 100 years later, motorsport in all its various forms is one of the most watched televised sports in the world.

Race day is Sunday and best watched from one of the stands but book your ticket early as they do sell out.

But you can get up-close-and-personal with the action in many French towns during the summer as the Historic and Retro Race and Rally events get under way in the traditional way, through the streets.

Practice around the circuit begins at 8am, and after a break for lunch (obviously) the competitions start from 2pm. Each year racing includes a variety of classes and vehicles including historic F1 & GT sports cars. More than 120 teams take part in the eight different classes making for a fascinating series of races with their fair share of spills and thrills throughout! If these events are not already stapled in your diary, be sure to add them for next year! u u

Helen Tait-Wright Email: helen@stodel.org

Photo: www.historicracer.com

In the heart of our region, Bressuire will have just finished hosting its ‘Grand Prix Historique’, an event which is a hommage to the glory days of the early 50s when the biggest names of their day in motorsport raced around the town, fresh from Le Mans. The event was revived in 2004 for 1950s cars, including single seaters.

34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 35


Building & Renovation

36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 37


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We’d love to hear your

feedback...

What would you like to see in future issues? Tel: 05 49 0 26 21 Email: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr www.magazineanglais79.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 41


Business & Finance Protection Juridique / Legal Cover

W

ell, let’s face it, none of us want to have to use this insurance as that means we need to use a lawyer!

I actually have met lots of people who have this insurance and don’t have any idea what it is for. And, as it is quite cheap (around 70€ per year), they don’t bother to check whether they really need it or not.

What Is It?

It is an insurance to cover legal fees (lawyers, experts, etc) in case you need them for topics such as problems with neighbours, boundaries of property, relationships with French tax, with employers, artisans, the state, social workers, public transport, associations and so on. But also if you had your identity stolen or have issues with goods you have bought (even on the internet). Basically, everything to do with your normal life. It can cover legal fees for problems with lodgers (it is an additional option on the contract). It also offers advice on the preliminaries to trouble, e.g. You have a neighbour with a barking dog (yes, I can speak from experience here) and you phone the helpline (or with us, come and see us or phone us) and they will explain what to do and in what order. This is likely to be: talk to the neighbour, write a letter, write a registered letter, call in an expert to witness the barking dog and finally go to court. The fees of the expert and the legal fees of the court are covered by the policy (see limits below).

What Does It Not Cover?

Anything to do with work if you are self-employed. Also, you are not covered if you did anything illegal, and meant to do so (other than self-defense). So if you rob a bank or decide to harm your neighbours because of the barking dog, this contract will not cover your legal fees.

What’s The Cost?

With Allianz between 72€ and 204€ depending on what you want to cover. If you want to include legal fees for divorce, then it’s 204€. Most of the time, the basic 72€ level covers anything to do with a person’s life with no rented property.

Conclusion

Believe me when I say that I felt a great relief in knowing I had this insurance when my neighbour renovated part of her house to rent it to someone with a barking dog (yes, my examples are always true) and that the peaceful solution (asking them nicely to deal with it) did not work. I did not have to go to court in the end, but knowing I had it covered, gave me peace of mind. Who hasn’t had problems with their electricity or water company or with buying goods in the supermarket or internet and wished they could get some help finding out if they could get compensation and how? This contract can do that for you so don’t hesitate to contact me for any further information on it. And remember to check out our website: www.bh-assurances.fr for all my previous articles (“Practical Information” on the English site). We also now have a Facebook page: Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Thierry Hatesse. You can also follow us on Twitter @charenteinsure Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or quote on subject such as Funeral cover, inheritance law, car, house and top up health insurance, etc…

What Are The Limits?

Like every insurance, there are limits on how much they cover. With the Allianz contract, it is 20 000€ per claim for lawyer fees. You should have received a little booklet called ‘dispositions générales’ or ‘dispositions particulières’ and those limits are written on it. It works in France and the European Union and it does not cover claims that happened before you took out the contract.

How Does It Work?

You should not engage in anything before you speak to the insurance company, otherwise, they might not pay. So before you engage in anything, you must phone or write to the insurance company. Obviously, I mean by that, the calling of an expert or lawyer. You should always try to resolve your problems peacefully first. And only if that does not work, then call in this insurance.

N° Orias 07004255

BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures 16700 Ruffec Contact Isabelle Want: Tel: 05 45 31 01 61 Mob: 06 17 30 39 11

Email: isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr ~ Visit our website: www.bh-assurances.fr 42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


Succession Law and Estate Planning in France

by Bradley Warden, Partner, Blevins Franks

ne of the most worrying issues facing retired British expatriates in France is its succession law, which imposes strict restrictions on how French residents can divide up their estate. Children are “protected” heirs and may inherit up to 75% of your estate; spouses are not protected.

O

The Regulation is binding on all EU member states - except for the UK, Ireland and Denmark who have opted out. This may affect French nationals living in the UK, but not UK nationals in France. When it comes to UK residents with property in France, the applicable law would be that of habitual residence – the UK.

The good news is that a new EU Directive comes into force next month that will allow British expatriates the freedom to distribute their estate in accordance with the law of their nationality.

So while you will now be able to more freely leave assets to more distant relatives and also non-relatives, this comes with a much higher tax price. The tax rates and allowances vary according to who the beneficiary is. Transfers between spouses and civil partners on death are tax free; for everyone else the tax rates range from 5% up to 60% and some exemptions can be very low.

The new European Certificate of Succession regulation, commonly known as Brussels IV, will apply to the succession of persons who die on or after 17th August 2015, although certain transitional provisions are already in force.

It is very important to consider your tax position and the impact on your heirs when deciding to opt for French or UK succession law. Seek specialist advice on how to lower the tax burden for them, so that they receive most of the inheritance you have planned for them, rather than the taxman being the largest beneficiary.

It provides a general rule that the “Law applicable to the succession in its entirety, shall be the law of the State in which the deceased had his habitual residence at the time of death”. However, an individual may elect (by way of a statement in his Will) that on his death and when dealing with his estate, the laws of his country of nationality may apply instead.

Note that the Brussels IV regulations do not apply to tax. UK nationals therefore cannot opt for UK inheritance tax rates to apply instead of French succession tax.

Do not risk your financial security. Protect your wealth against threats and make sure your adviser is well qualified and regulated by a body which imposes strict code of conduct requirements.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015 | 43


Most Common Reasons for Transferring Money Abroad

Ask Amanda

I am not sure whether I need help planning my finances in France, what do you suggest?

by Sue Cook

Apart from changing relatively small amounts of currency to use when travelling overseas on holiday, the two most common reasons people give for moving their money abroad are: 1. Buying property 2. Large, one-off payments (e.g. for a car) Although the reasons for moving money are straight forward, the process itself often isn’t, especially if you use a bank! Most banks will take up to 5% of your money in transfer fees, and they usually offer a poor exchange rate. Even worse, banks can take their time getting your money from A to B. This adds needless stress, especially if you risk missing out on your dream home or the classic car you’ve wanted since before you were old enough to drive...

There Is a Better Way

Luckily, a bank isn’t your only option. A currency exchange specialist will focus on moving money from one country to another. And because they offer you a much better rate of exchange than many banks do and don’t charge transfer fees, you get to keep more of your own money. Which is only fair, isn’t it? Currency exchange specialists are also much quicker at getting your money from point A to point B, and can keep you posted as to its progress along the way. The result is a simple process with no hassle, no surprises and no stress.

If you are not sure whether you want or need a financial review at the moment, why not drop into one of my financial surgeries for a coffee and an informal chat?

Financial Surgeries, July-September 2015 What are they?

An opportunity for you to speak to me locally and informally about your personal situation. I can answer any questions that you may have about tax efficient savings and investments here in France, as well as helping you understand your pension options since the UK pension changes. We can also cover Inheritance tax planning and an update regarding the new laws taking effect in August 2015.

Where they are? •

Café du Cour, Vouvant: Wednesday 9th July 11.30am-2.30pm Wednesday 9th September 11.30am-2.30pm

Currencies Direct regularly beats the banks on foreign exchange rates and their customers often save around 4% to 5% on their transfers – and when we’re talking about the value of a property, that’s a significant sum. It means you could effectively move for free! They can also watch the markets for you so that you can transfer your money when the markets move in your favour. No wonder their customers tell them they’ll never use a bank to move money again.

Brasserie Vue du Chateau, Bressuire: Friday 24th July 11am-1pm Friday 25th September 11am-1pm

Why not give one of Currencies Direct’s friendly experts a call and find out how much you could save?

Let’s talk currency.

With Care, You Prosper. Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Lausanne, Paris, Cote d’Azur, Barcelona, Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Madrid, Mallorca, Rome. «The Spectrum IFA Group » is a registered trademark, exclusive rights to use in France granted to TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L. Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 «Société de Courtage d’assurances» R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384) Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 - www.orias.fr «Conseiller en investissements financiers, référence sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Fin

Bank-Beating Exchange Rates

u u

Sue Cook of Currencies Direct 05 55 03 66 69 or 06 89 99 28 89

44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015

Do I need to make an appointment?

There is no need to make an appointment. However, if you do let me know you are coming in, I can ensure that I am not double booked.

u u

Why not pop along for an informal chat?

Amanda Johnson of The Spectrum IFA Group 05 49 98 97 46


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County Town Living

H

by Joanna Leggett

alfway between Poitiers and La Rochelle, on the banks of the Sèvres river, lies Niort. Capital of the Deux-Sèvres, Niort still retains the feeling of a local town. Dating back to Roman times it’s kept its old town centre with Medieval and Renaissance buildings including ancient half-timbered properties. Of course, Richard the Lionheart came here! The Donjon he built sits beside the river, the major part of a medieval castle – one of the largest remaining from this period. More ‘recent’ additions to Niort include the large glassed market hall built in 1869. Considered one of the most impressive of its type, markets are held every day except Monday. While at the heart of an agricultural region, many French insurance companies are based here making it an economic hub and the country’s fourth largest financial centre! Local Leggett agent, Fabienne Barbiot-Legrand, currently has two stunning properties for sale, both with heaps of accommodation. The first (photo right), in a very attractive village just outside Niort, is a well presented villa with south west facing landscaped garden. Parisian-style, it offers five bedrooms, a generously sized kitchen with direct access into a delightful conservatory and large living room. Two bedrooms and bathroom are on the ground floor as well as the office. Upstairs are three further bedrooms, bathroom, two convertible attics (with beautiful woodwork) as well as attics giving plenty of scope for expansion. A laundry, storage and garaging for two vehicles with electric doors complete the picture. For sale at 272 900€ (Ref: 51643) there’s even room for a pool! But if your taste is for something altogether grander, then a superbly renovated 19th century manor house overlooking the river is on the market at 947 500€ (Ref: 40187, photo below). In an elevated position, near to the town centre, it remains tranquil... front steps lead into the hall towards the beautiful staircase; accommodation includes dining room, large sitting room with vast main kitchen and access to the vaulted cellar (wine storage!). Guest ensuite bedrooms each have feature fireplaces – in all there are five bedrooms with six bathrooms! The fully enclosed garden, complete with cave, spring and listed wooded park, leads down to the river. And all this close to the magical Marais Poitevin, just 10 kms by car - even closer if you take the river path!

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

com/poitou-charentes-property u Leggett Immobilier u www.frenchestateagents.com

46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2015


The Deux-Sevres Monthly, July 2015  

English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sevres and the surrounding area.

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