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Annual Subscription Costs: 33,60€ within France, 28,80€ UK addresses. (Unfortunately the cheaper ‘printed papers’ rate cannot be applied to addresses within France, only when sending abroad) Full Name:.................................................................................................. Postal Address:........................................................................................... ................................................................................................................... Postcode:..................................... Country:............................................. Tel:.............................................................................................................. Email:.......................................................................................................... Please make cheques payable to SARAH BERRY.

Welcome! to Issue 77 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine

So, another month gone and closer still to our forthcoming challenges! With less than two months to go until both the triathlon and the cycle tour, I’ve stepped up the training, trying to fit something into each day. It’s tough, but I’m really enjoying it. I bet you’re all waiting to hear how we got on with the cycling shoes and pedals....and did we fall off? Well, you’ll have to watch this space as work has got in the way a lot this month and although training has increased some of it has been on the indoor bike. We’ll definitely have news for you next month - I promise! So, what’s on the agenda for July? Take a look at the busy ‘What’s On’ list on page 4 and take your pick of things to do...there are many festivals this month and next. There is the Madhatter’s Wonderland music Festival, the Charroux literary festival, plus dance, jazz and children’s game festival to name a few. Also keep an eye on our Facebook page - there are extra things posted there too, and with reminders so you don’t miss out! Keep cool and don’t forget the sun cream! See you soon...

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 On4 Getting Out & About 6 Our Furry Friends 15 Clubs & Associations 16 Hobbies 18 Health, Beauty & Fitness 20 Home & Garden 22 French Life 24 Take a Break 25 Where We Live26 Communications 30 A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres 32 Food & Drink 33 Motoring 38 Building & Renovation 39 Business & Finance 44 Property 48

This Month’s Advertisers

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

49 38 2 42 37 46 40

ARB French Property 51 Arbrecadabra Tree Surgery 22 Argo Carpentry 39 Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) 48 Bar de la Poste 10 Bayleaf Books (Books in English) 10 BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want 47 Bill McEvoy (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 40 Blevins Franks Financial Management 45 British Day 8 Caht-eau (Cattery) 15 Camping Les Prairies du Lac 49 Centre Régional ‘Résistance & Liberté’ 10 Cherry Picker Hire 41 Chris Bassett Construction 43 Chris Parsons (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 40 Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) 6 CJ Electricité 39 Clare Lane (Agent Commercial) 49 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 40 Cottage Services (Garden Maintenance) 22 Creature Comforts (Handyman and Gite Services) 40 Currencies Direct - Sue Cook 46 Darren Lawrence 42 David Watkins Chimney Sweep 40 Deb Challacombe (Online counsellor) 20 Domaine de l’enchantoir (Vineyard and wine tasting) 37 Down to Earth Pool Design 48 Ecopower Europe  48 Expat-radio 31 FranceFishingGites (Gîtes and private fishing lakes) 19 Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) 38 Fresco Interiors 22 Gîte la Gatinelle 49 GoGo Bike Hire 20 Hallmark Electricité 39 Helen Booth (deVere Group) 44 HMJ Maintenance 40 Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) 42 Irving Location - Digger Hire and Gravel deliveries 41 Jean-Luc Thierens (Excavation work) 41 Jeff’s Metalwork 39 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 38 John Snee (Groundworks etc.) 41 John Spray (Stone Mason) 39 Jones’S (Supplier of British Foods) 36 Jon the Carpetman 22 Keith Banks (Pool Services) 48 La Deuxième Chance (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier) 22 La Petite Noisette Bar & Restaurant 37 La Vie en Yoga 20 Leggett Immobilier 50 Le Regal’on Bar & Restaurant 36 Le Relais du Poitou Gourmand 37 Mad Hatter’s Kitchen (Restaurant and B&B) 37 Mark Sabestini Renovation & Construction 43 Me and Mrs Jones (Property Cleaning Services) 22 Michael Glover (Renderer, Plasterer, Tiler) 42 ML Computers 31 Motor Parts Charente 38 Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances 48 Needa Hand Services (Grass cutting etc.) 22 Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology) 20 Polar Express (Frozen foods) 36 Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) 48 Restaurant des Canards 36 Rob Berry Plastering Services 39 Robert Lupton Electrician 39 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) 30 Sarah Berry Online (Website design) 31 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) 41 Satellite TV 31 SCP Louis Cagniart & Christel Roy Notaires 51 Short Cuts (Mobile dog grooming) 15 Simon the Tiler 42 Steve Coupland (Property Services) 42 Steve Robin (Plumber) 40 Strictly Roofing 43 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 11 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 38 Val Assist (Translation Services) 11 Vendée Glass Courses 19 YesBays.info (Free ads website) 31

© Sarah Berry 2017. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. While care is taken to ensure that articles and features are accurate, Sarah Berry accepts no liability for reader dissatisfaction. The opinions expressed and experiences shared are given by individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the publisher. Please ensure you verify that the company you are dealing with is a registered trading company in France and/or elsewhere. It is strongly advised to check details of published events with other sources before setting out on long journeys. <<The Deux-Sèvres Monthly>> est édité par Sarah Berry, 3 La Bartière, 79130, Secondigny. Tél: 05 49 70 26 21. Directeur de la publication et rédacteur en chef: Sarah Berry. Crédits photos: Sarah Berry, Clkr, Shutterstock et Pixabay. Impression: Graficas Piquer SL, 29 Al Mediterraneo, Pol. Ind. San Rafael, 04230, Huércal de Almeria, Espagne. Dépôt légal: juillet 2017 - Tirage: 6000 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848 TVA: FR 03 515 249 738

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 3

What’s On... 1st-10th July – Jardin De William Christie opens between 1pm-7pm 4€ entry fee (see article in May’s DSM) 2 – Afternoon Tea in Chef-Boutonne for

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

2 – CSSG summer market at St Pardoux See details in last month’s DSM 2 - open gardens. Find details on P.8 6 - charity quiz night at Bar de la Poste, L’Absie. See advert on P.10 7 – deVERE FRANCE Financial Workshop

at Le Café in Civray 10.30am -11.30am 7 - Music Bistro Night at Mad Hatter’s Kitchen, Caunay. See advert on P.37 7-11 - terre de danses FEstival The festival to get you dancing! Workshops to practice all kinds of dances, shows to discover the artists of the movement, dances and dancing! Since 2010, the festival Terre de Danses invites you to move...hip-hop, old and traditional dances, contemporary dance, tango etc... www.voix-danses.fr 7-15 - Festival au village at Briouxsur-Boutonne. You’ll find all kind of shows here...circus, theater, music, dance and street arts to name just a few. Find out more at www.festivals-deux-sevres.fr 8&9 - Garage sale at St. Hilaire de Voust. See advert on P.4 11 - live music night with mckenzie

At Restaurant des Canards, Chef Boutonne. See advert on P.36. 11 - Apero-concert with burkina azza

7pm at Domaine de Soulièvres, Airvault.

11-16 - festival des enfants du monde.

Find more details on P.9

12 - celtic music with cecile corbel

9pm at Domaine de Soulièvres, Airvault. 12-23 – FLIP (Fun games festival) www.jeux-festival.com

12-16 – Les Francofolies – La Rochelle

Song festival taking place every year, welcomes more than 122,000 spectators during the week. 5 days, 6 scenes, more than 100 concerts! www.francofolies.fr 13-16 - Le Tour 79 The local cycle tour where the best of the region race (men and ladies) around the department. You can find the routes on www.letour79.com 13 – The Thursday Arts Expos begin in La Tranche-Sur-Mer (until 24 August) www.latranchesurmer.fr. Exhibition of local and regional artists, sculptors and photographers.

13- dance show i’lle de la rÉunion

9pm at Irais.

14 - bastille day

14 - 2 concerts & fireworks 7pm at

Domaine de Soulièvres, Airvault.

15 - Apero-concert with dances

6.30pm at the market hall, Airvault. 15 - open gardens. Find details on P.8

15 & 16 – Festival Le Jazz bat la Campagne www.lejazzbatlacampagne.com 15 & 16 - fundraiser for Kitties See

details on P.8

20 July - 15 Aug - Jean-Michel Rackelboom exhibition in the Nef Theodelin,


21 - afternoon tea in aid of cancer support deux-sevres at A La Bonne Vie,

Le Beugnon. See advert on P.37 21 - mediterranean feast at Madhatter’s Kitchen, Caunay. 6 courses served by candelight. See advert on P.37 for contacts.


22 & 23 - festival de peinture de magné

Artists far and wide gather along the river and around the town for a weekend of painting. 25-30 Delicate Wood Scupture Exhibition Espace Lusignan, Vouvant 26-29 – Parthenay Festival de bouche à oreille www.debouchaoreille.org 27-29 – Fête du Cognac

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


29 – Floating market Le VanneauIrleau. Market of regional and artisanal

products on the port in boats. In a festive atmosphere, strollers and curious little ones will discover some typical paintings of the time, not so far away, where the baker, the postman and the butcher were making their rounds by boat. And at lunch time, the inhabitants of the Vanneau invite their guests to taste the delicious specialties of the Marais such as ham with mojettes or toasted eels with garlic and parsley. 29 - Disco/Karaoke Night at Le Clemenceau, Mouilleron-en-Pareds. Bar menu and cocktails available. Free entry, starts at 8pm. Call 02 51 69 75 81 for details. 30 - british day at Petosse, 11am 4pm. Music, bar, curry, Fisn n Chips & entertainment. See ad on P.8

Dates in green = Public Holidays Dates in orange = Celebration Days


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


É tusson La Coudre Genneton St Martin de Sanzay

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

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

La Vendée Chippy Weds: ‘Pub Le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Thurs: Please check website calendar for up to date venue details Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’, Mouilleron-en-Pareds Sat: 1st of month : Bar ‘Le Marmiton’, Antigny Sat 29 July: Bar ‘Le Chaps’, La Chapelle Thireuil Tel: 02 44 39 16 73 www.lavendeechippy.com OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

MR T’S FRITERIE Regular venues at:

Aulnay 17470 (from 6pm) Beauvais-sur-Matha 17490 La Chapelle 16140 St Jean d’Angély 17400 Tel: 06 02 22 44 74 www.frying4u2nite.com

OPEN 6 .30- 9pm



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

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

1st Sunday at 10.30am: Parish church at St. Leger de la Martinière, Melle. Followed by tea and coffee. • 2nd Sunday at 11am: the home of Ann White, Jassay • 4th Sunday at 11am: the Parish Church at Pompaire 79200 (rue du Baille Ayrault). Followed by tea and coffee, and a ‘bring and share’ lunch. A warm welcome awaits everyone for a time of worship and fellowship. For further information please take a look at our website www.church-in-france.com or contact us by email: office. goodshepherd@orange.fr Further information from the Chaplaincy Office 05 49 97 04 21 or from John & Barbara Matthews 05 49 75 29 71.


The Filling Station ~ Poitou-Charentes The Filling Station is a network of local Christians of all denominations who meet together regularly for spiritual renewal and evangelism purposes. ALL WELCOME. Please see our bilingual website for details of meetings and summer programmes www.thefillingstationfrance.com or contact Mike & Eva Willis on 05 17 34 11 50 or 07 82 22 31 15.

6th August - Large Medieval market in Parthenay 10th August - 70’s night with live music at Bar de la Poste, L’Absie. See advert on P.10 10th, 12th & 14th August - La Flûte Enchantée opera at Sanxay 11th 12th & 13th August - Madhatters Wonderland Festival. See P.7 for details 12 & 13th August - Festival d’Astronomie at La Chapelle aux Lys. See advert on P.7 and read more in feature story P.26 16th - 20th August - Music Festival ‘Les Murs ont des Oreilles’ 24th, 25th & 26th August - Charroux Literary Festival. Find out more on P.6 29th August - 3rd September - Festival Lumières du Baroque, Celles-sur-Belle 4th - 9th September - Our Tour de Rêves. Charity bike ride of the department of Deux-Sèvres, 400km over 6 days. Read more on P.21 until 17th September - Le Nombril du Monde, various events at Pougne Hérrison

ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre We hold two services each month (+ Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11am. After each service, tea and coffee are served in the parish room and everyone is invited to a `bring and share’ lunch. For details of all our activities, our Services in the west of the Vendée, copies of recent newsletters and more information, please check our website: www.allsaintsvendee.fr The Rendez-Vous Christian Fellowship welcome you to any of our meetings held throughout the month in the Deux-Sèvres and the Vendée. 1st and 3rd Sunday at 11am in St Hilaire de Voust, Vendée and 2nd and 4th Sunday at 11am in two locations: one near Bressuire, DeuxSèvres and the other near Bournezeau, Vendée. Meetings last about an hour and are followed by a time of fellowship & refreshments. Find out more by contacting Chris & Julie Taylor 09 60 49 78 50 or visit: www.therendezvous.fr

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2017 14th July 15th August

Fête Nationale Assomption Fête des Grand-pères

The English Speaking Church of the Valley of the Loire (ESCOVAL) Meets at the R.C. Church in Arçay every 3rd Sunday of the month at 11.00am (just off the D759, Thouars to Loudun).

1st November 11th November 25th December

Toussaint Armistice Noël

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

1st October 31st October


Dates in orange represent celebration days, not public holidays.



3rd: 6th: 10th: 12th:

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

Limalonges Chef Boutonne Theil Rabier Aigre

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

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

GET CONNECTED! FACEBOOK: thedeuxsevresmonthly TWITTER: @The DSMagazine PINTEREST: dsmmonthly YOU TUBE: The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

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

Getting Out & About

CHARROUX LITERARY FESTIVAL 2017 Other new faces to the festival include the thriller writer, Jane Lythell, newcomer Harriet Springbett and romantic fiction author, Vanessa Couchman.


he second bilingual Charroux Literary Festival takes place near Civray in the Vienne during the last week of August. Building on the success of the 2015 festival, we can expect three days of debate, discussion, workshops, author talks, great literature, biography, historical fiction, gardening, poetry and not forgetting the bookshop and salon du livre. This year’s attractions include the prolific author Barbara Erskine, who originally came to fame with her novel Lady of Hay, as well as Andrew Lownie biographer of John Buchan, the spy Guy Burgess, and his forthcoming joint biography, Lord and Lady Mountbatten. The BBC broadcaster and gardening journalist, Jackie Bennett, will talk about the gardens that Shakespeare loved as a boy; the French poet, Dieudonné Zele will join the Festival for the first time, and the Occitan Troubadour, André Tielhet, so popular in 2015, will be returning to sing his romantic poetry. Alison Morton, always popular, will be talking about her ROMA NOVA novels and taking part in an historical fiction panel alongside the authors Tracy Warr and James Vance. Shakespeare’s Gardens book cover © Andrew Lawson

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

If fiction is not for you, then don’t miss out on autobiographer Diana MorganHill talk about her life story, and travel writers Nick Inman and Brian Freeland presenting two very different takes on travelling around France. Mike Welham will lead an interactive discussion on political conspiracy theories; Gordon Simms will lead workshops on practical play writing; if you want to brush up your humor or develop your editing skills, then Chuck Grieve will be hosting two sessions to help. New this year is Shakespeare Rocks! An evening show on the Friday with medieval and contemporary words, music and dance, including the medieval specialist band, Samphire, who will play during the event. Two Food stands, The HOPE Association, Enfants de la Rue and Credit Agricole Charente -Perigord will have stands at the event, and local bars will open their doors to festival goers.

All in all, another full literary event with something for everyone. There are early bird ticket reductions until 21st July...

For more information and to book your place, take a look at the website www.charrouxlitfest.com or at www.facebook.com/charrouxlitfest

Huw Eddy and the Carnival, Tom O’Reilly and the Swaggers play to packed out venues in the west country. Our favourite French bands Ziia and the Swingmates, Fred Batista Trio and Topsy Turvy’s will all astound you with their diversity and talent. We’ve also picked the best of local bands featuring Funky Soul Monkeys and Fake Racoons.

Mad Hatter’s Wonderland Festival are heralding 15 outstanding bands this year!

So what else happens at the festival? Well, we have a village of trade stalls offering you unique hand-made gifts, interior décor, clothes etc. and if you fancy being pampered there is an aromatherapy and massage stall.

ho would think that there would be an opportunity to see Slade perform live in a rural area of South West France?!

Children’s workshops will also be available all weekend with a huge range of activities, plus a circus show for all to see. And, for a tour around the village, there are woodland walks and bikes available to hire.


Slade still put on an amazing energetic rock show with two of the original line up, Don Powell and Dave Hill. The other members of the band have been with them for many years. They regularly tour in the UK and perform in Paris and Germany, and still pull in large crowds. Ultimate Eagles have been noted as one of the best Eagles tribute bands - they’ve recently toured in Australia and New Zealand playing to huge audiences.

Other bands such as Will and the People, Land of the Giants, Coco and the Butterfields are well know on the festival circuit in the UK, whilst Joel Sarakula and Paddy James are going to be the stars of the future!

Then of course there’s the food... choose from a large selection of tasty home made dishes available in the food hall, or call in at the BBQ for a pulled-pork roll, burger or sausage. Liquid refreshments can be taken at one of the bars, serving real ale, cool lager, cider, Pimms and more. Teas and cakes can be enjoyed on the terrace during the afternoon and for the campers we are offering egg and bacon rolls for breakfast. So, all in all, this will be a cool little country party set in lovely French countryside. Being only 10 minutes from the N10 PoitiersAngouleme route, it’s also very easy to get to.....so what are you waiting for?

Ticket information can be found on the website... don’t miss it!

www.madhatterswonderlandfestival.com Photos: Bands, © Slade and © Ultimate Eagles; Madhatters venue, © Pamela Jayne Photography

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 7



jeu de s JUILLET 2017 re lumiè



Aquarelle - Jean-Guy Dagneau - (33)




En partenariat avec

Avec le parrainage de

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

The Funny Farm Rescue Summer Sale

- we are delighted to announce that the Open Gardens day in Le Busseau last month brought 58 visitors and raised F450€irstly for French charities. It was very hot but a good day was had by all.

In Le Beugnon on 2nd July we have three gardens opening their doors. The ‘tour’ starts at 5 rue des Primevères, then there is Le Jardin Secret at 3 Le Plessis and then on to Le Logis La Bonnière. All particpating gardens will be marked out by a red balloon and arrows, and directions will be on the website. On 15th July in Marnes (north east of Deux-Sèvres), close to the border of the Vienne, there are three gardens opening... one is a beautiful water garden, owned by Ticia Goode, who is a new coordinator for our region. The gardens will be open from 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-6pm. Entry for the day to see all three properties is 5€ and all proceeds go to French charities. Refreshments will be available at two of the properties.

As usual all gardens will be shown on the website: www.opengardens.eu The Open Gardens scheme exists to raise money for French charitable causes. To gain access to the gardens you will need to buy either a day pass for 5€ or join the association for 10€ for the year. This will enable you to visit other gardens in the scheme not normally open to the public across France.

15th & 16


pm 0am - 4 .3 0 1 , y l u J

ello all, we are having another sale to raise funds for rescued kittens and cats. We have two families of H kittens with their mummies at the vets at the moment as

they are very poorly, plus four rescued girls and two little kittens living with us. We are hoping to raise funds to help with vets’ bills, neutering and vaccinations, and this time we have some exciting things going on.... a stained glass demonstration, massage, reiki, Neal’s Yard, a raffle plus the usual coffee, cake and lots of new donations that have recently arrived. Please contact me if you have anything to donate - all donations gratefully received. Email: heather.rosemary33@gmail.com or send a message via my Facebook page: Heather’s Funny Farm Rescue Thank you to everyone who has offered help and given us donations. Hope to see you all soon, Heather x

8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

12 & 13

T 9ème édition



F ES IVAL D’AS RONOMIE L’association Astrolys présente son

L’ARCHÉOASTRONOMIE La Chapelle aux Lys (85) Entrée Libre

Renseignements sur Facebook : « Association Astrolys » Communauté de Communes

Get Together Book Library by Beryl Brennan

President, Get Together

know about you but I like a book in my hand. Kindles and books on Tablets are ok but there’s nothing quite like Ithedon’t feel of paper nor a pretty bookmark denoting where I’ve

read up to. I devour books, love trying new authors and when travelling through airports and train stations, the bookshop beckons me to check out the latest releases. When relaxing I’ll happily pick up a French newspaper but out of choice I prefer to read an English book. One of the things I miss about living in the UK is the local library, which is why I took over managing the Get Together Book Library 10 years ago. We meet monthly and have over 2,000 books in circulation. Good condition English paperback donations are always very welcome - current popular authors only. Details of how to become a member and subscription fees can be found at: www.getogether-france.org Please contact me by email if you have paperbacks to donate: banddbrennan@yahoo.co.uk


Festival of the Children of the World

11th to 16th July

edition of the Festival of the Children the World will take place this year from T11thheofto30th 16th July 2017 in Saint Maixent l’École. For a week, children from Bulgaria, Botswana, Yakutia, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Palestine, Peru, Georgia and France (Basque Country) will make you travel around the globe with music and dances of the world. This festival aims to promote values ​​of respect and tolerance among people. It allows the public to open up to the “others” by way of the discovery of different cultures and the spontaneity of children. In the present context, allowing the meeting of cultures from all over the world seems decisive to build the peace of tomorrow. Throughout the week the public can enjoy afternoon shows, a musical hike, aperitif-concerts, a public dance, stories, dance courses, conferences about invited countries, a great soirée with mussels and French fries, followed by a concert with the CelKilt. It will also be an opportunity for us to celebrate 30 years of existence with a big birthday party on 12th July with the funk band Traines Savates. You can also enjoy the wooden games and the festival museum. Come and see!

Visit: www.rife.asso.fr

Have you LIKED us on Facebook?

We post regular updates, things to do and promote special offers on our page, so why not pop over and say “Hello”! www.facebook.com/thedeuxsevresmonthly The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 9



Are you a bit of a Bookworm?

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

Reviews should be 150-200 words long.

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

We all Scream for Ice cream! by Sue Burgess

La Glace (ice) is frozen water, la crème glacée (ice cream) is a dessert made from cream la crème. It is made from milk lait, sugar sucre, fruits des fruits and different flavourings arômes variés. Egg yolks des jaunes d’œufs are sometimes added. Ice cream la crème glacée is different from sorbet le sorbet (50% water eau, 50% sugar sucre) and from fruit flesh pulpe de fruits or a flavouring un arôme. Frozen sorbets les sorbets glacés were well known to the Persians les Perses who took ice from the frozen lakes and ponds in the winter and stored it in holes in the ground calles les glacières. The Greeks and the Romans had recipes with honey le miel and fruit juice les jus de fruits which they cooled down in holes full of snow. Marco Polo brought back from China a process whereby it was possible to create ice cream all year round by running a mixture of water and saltpeter salpêtre over the recipient containing the preparation. Popular tradition says that Catherine de Medicis introduced asparagus, tomatoes, macaroons and sorbet into France. By the end of the 19th century successful ice cream sellers «des marchands de glaces» were wandering through the streets of towns.

Vocabulaire / Vocabulary: glacé ..................................

icy, iced, frosted

glacer .................................

to chill

geler/congeler ....................

to freeze

une armoir à glace .............. (figurative sense) built like a tank une boule de glace............... scoop of ice cream

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

Fantastic magazine - I always look forward to the beginning of the month when the new edition is released - many thanks to the editors and contributors!

un bris de glace ................... broken glass (deterioration) windscreen cover briser la glace .....................

to break the ice (make contact)

un cornet de glace ..............

ice cream cone/cornet

un dessert glacé .................. frozen dessert un essuie-glace ...................

windscreen wiper

être de glace (figurative) ...... to have a heart of stone une glace italienne .............. soft whipped ice cream in a cone

un pic à glace ...................... ice pick une poche de glace .............

ice pack

rester de glace ....................

to remain unmoved

In France there are four types of appellation for frozen ice products. In the first category you can find ice creams, les crèmes glacées, and sorbets les sorbets; In the second are frozen biscuits les biscuits glacés, parfaits les parfaits and mousses les mousses aux fruits and les mousses aux oeufs.

un seau à glace.................... ice bucket sucre glacé .........................

glace pilée ........................... crushed ice

icing sugar

thé glacé ............................

glaçon ................................. ice cube

iced tea

une machine à glace ...........

ice maker

un vacherin glacé ................ dessert with meringue, ice cream and whipped cream

Marron glacé ......................

candied chestnut

un vendeur de glace............. ice cream seller

nougat glacé ....................... iced nougat

un glacier............................. ice cream maker and seller The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 11

Château de Dampierre-sur-Boutonne


estled in a small, quiet village on the Charente Maritime and Deux-Sèvres border is a unique example of a Renaissance château. This architectural jewel has many outstanding features to gain the attention and capture the interest of all who take the time to visit. The château has had a chequered history and survived in various forms throughout the centuries. Originally replacing a Plantagenet fortress held by the English at the top of the village dating from the year 995, it was then rebuilt in the 16th century by the de Clermont family and under the patronage of Henri II became a literary court and was visited by King François I. It was demolished during the religious wars and rebuilt, only to be ransacked during the Revolution. During WWII the château was damaged by occupying troops and latterly a century later, it survived a horrendous fire in 2002. The main building boasts a unique external Renaissance gallery, decorated with highly unusual and complex images of alchemy. These caissons have been carefully restored and depict a range of symbols showing a history of this intriguing subject. Of note too is the sympathetically restored roof space. This area was utterly destroyed by fire and is now a remarkable exhibition area. There are also three other exhibition areas. One gallery includes various historical costumes and alchemic artefacts. This is located above the reception area which sells guidebooks and a small selection of souvenirs. The second gallery is devoted to the artist Salvador Dalí who visited the château due to his interest in alchemy and equine pursuits. The third gallery is for showing contemporary artists’ work and artists are invited to put on a show on a monthly basis. 12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

by Wendy York

Outside there are both formal and wild gardens to wander at leisure. Surrounded by tributaries of the Boutonne river, the formal garden is interspersed with statues and images relating to alchemy. Named le Jardin de Diktynna after the enigmatic symbol used in Renaissance salons, it mirrors the alchemic theme with a maze. In the wild garden the theme is of Merlin the Magician. There is an incredible tribute to King Arthur, the sword in the stone and anyone can try to release Excalibur. This sanctuary, complete with dragon statue provides a natural habitat for the flora and fauna native to the area. There is also a giant chess set, picnic area and playpark with lots of space for children to run around.

Patrimony, Heritage and Nature The château is about to enter a new phase of its long life as new custodians have been found to come and breathe a new spirit of patrimony, heritage and nature into the estate. Guillaume Kientz, along with his mother Danièle Ann Grunhertz, his stepfather, Alain Pfister, two brothers Thiébault & Quentin and his sister Alix are all passionate about conserving history and tradition whilst bringing 21st century new beginnings to marry together the uniqueness and potential for the château. Each member of the family has skills that will enhance the life of this château, and they all plan to use them to preserve and diversify. I spoke with Guillaume about the family’s hopes and dreams for their new life.

Having contacted the previous owners M. & Mme. Hédelin and the Association of Friends of the Château, he proposed new blood and new ideas, essential for the continuing life of, not only the château, but also the village. In 2016 the family visited and decided it was the perfect place to start a family adventure. They are passionate about the mutual project and excited to be a part of the château’s continuing history. Also they are determined to be part of and indeed, to encourage links with the village, they feel passionately that the buildings and gardens belong to everyone and that they are jointly responsible for keeping alive such magnificent heritage sites. Guillaume, who will divide his time between Paris and Dampierre, has been le Louvre’s curator of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American painting collection since 2010. He curated the phenomenal exhibition of Velazquez in Paris in 2015, which gained him worldwide recognition. Prior to this he was in charge of heritage conservation for Les Monuments Historique in l’Auvergne. Guillaume has wasted no time in finding a benevolent friend and supporter of the château in M. Stéphane Berne OBE. M. Berne is a highly acclaimed journalist, author, radio host and television presenter. He is passionately interested in, and an expert on, French history and heritage. Guillaume is brimful of exciting plans for the chateau’s future, including promoting links with America. Through his connections in the Paris art world he has been offered a loan of a collection of Dali work from Musée Dali. To bring these major works of art to Dampierre will involve fundraising to pay for transport and insurance. Currently ideas for how this magnanimous gesture from the Paris musée can be housed in Dampierre’s château are being welcomed. Guillaume’s mother Danièle Anne and his step-father Alain are now living at the château and have plans to uphold tradition, yet

bring their own unique blend of creativity. As are the rest of the family; they are especially keen to provide a sustainable economy and environment for château life. Danièle Anne is to set up an organic textile label with a range of château bio clothes. Alain is a world-class equestrian and plans to bring his expertise to renewing the château’s long history with horses. He hopes to develop an exhibition following on from Salvador Dalí’s equine drawings. The bio theme is continued in the work of one of the siblings. Thiébaut is an engineer researching bio energy and is keen to install ecosystems at the château. His brother Quentin and sister Alix will add their own creative skills as one is in advertising and the other is in hotel management.

Back to the Future...

With such a passionate blend of a family, the unique, rare and well-preserved Château de Dampierre sur Boutonne can look forward to a new future marrying tradition with transition.

Château de Dampierre sur Boutonne 10 Place du Château 17470 Dampierre sur Boutonne Tel: 05 46 24 02 24 Visiting times and more information can be found on www.chateau-dampierre.com Photos above: The château, the grounds and new custodians, Danièle Grunhertz & Alain Pfister.© Wendy York & Isabelle Gallemard 2017 The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 13

This year Futuroscope celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Since it was founded in 1987, Futuroscope has been taking visitors on a thrill-led journey along the road of discovery, whetting their appetite for the future.


heir success is down to their immersive attractions, live shows and diverse, hands-on experiences as much as the magical architecture. Visitors also really enjoy Futuroscope for the way they are entertained and educated at the same time.

One of the main features of their attractions is that they are enjoyable and enriching. They stir inquisitive minds, create excitement and play on your senses. Over the last 30 years, Futuroscope has inspired people, touched their hearts, body and mind, and left visitors with a lasting souvenir of their visit. For its 30th birthday, Futuroscope is celebrating the bond it has created with over 50 million visitors by offering them ‘The Extraordinary Journey’, the only attraction of its kind in Europe, and with it, mankind’s greatest dream – TO FLY LIKE A BIRD. Their daring creativity and their capacity for technological innovation have enabled Futuroscope to mature since its creation in 1987 to become a major name in the French tourism industry.


Passengers on The Extraordinary Journey feel like they have become lighter than air as the incredible ride turns them into bird men with their legs dangling free. This trip to the edge of make-believe takes them whooshing by mirages in the Egyptian desert, base jumping from skyscrapers in futuristic Dubai, weaving between strange hot air balloons over Yellowstone, and headlong into a mountain storm. The Extraordinary Journey is a fantastical attraction bursting with magic that sends visitors (children over 1m5cm) hurtling on a 21st century around-the-world journey of adventure based on the exploits of Jules Verne’s famous hero Phileas Fogg!

14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Other attractions include:


“Make your life a dream and a dream a reality”. Antoine de SaintExupéry invites visitors into the world of magic with a seat in the house and a place in the spotlight, where the audience auditions as actors... Magician Bertran Lotth makes visitors appear and disappear with a wave of his magic wand in a mind-dazzling technological show where visitors, and especially children, have a role to play.


A new fairytale aquatic evening show from Cirque du Soleil. Get ready to be blown away by the big-bang razzmatazz of visual, aquatic and pyrotechnic effects. The constellation of fairytale scenes takes you into the magical story of a young, real girl who meets a virtual giant with his feet on the ground and his head in the stars (Every evening on the lake. Admission included in the price of the ticket).


A totally cool adventure! Join Scrat, Ice Age’s resident nut-crazed sabre-toothed squirrel, as he time-travels in his zaniest adventure to date. Scrat battles with a wonky time-machine that has zapped his beloved nut along with his buddies Manny, Diego and Sid. The laughs are right on time in this custom 4-D special effects extravaganza! Futuroscope is one of France’s biggest and most popular tourist attractions. It offers fantastic entertainment, learning and spectacular attractions, and you can stay in their hotel or use one of the many catering outlets. See the back page of the DSM for more information and your special reader’s discount voucher.

Our Furry Friends

LILA 2 year old Blue (Chartreux) Female


HUGO is a sweet old boy, 12 years young, who was made homeless through no fault of his own. He’s a little corker: happy go lucky, he gets on with other dogs and cats and is sociable and loving. HUGO has been neutered, micro-chipped, primary vaccinated including rabies so he has valid passport, and he has been treated for worms, fleas and ticks. A donation (minimum 60€) will be asked for to help towards his medical costs. HUGO is currently staying near Angoulême, department 16.

The Assocation Orfee Contact Caroline: 05 45 96 02 79 or by email: orfeeinenglish3@gmail.com Visit the website: www.orfeeinenglish.com

Association No. W163001178

2018 CALENDAR Association No. W163001178



Lila was abandoned at the SPA with her tiny kittens. She was taken into care but sadly her kittens did not survive the ordeal.   She’s a stunning uniform blue (like a Russian Blue) with amazing topaz-coloured eyes. Not only is she beautiful, she is very gentle and affectionate. You can do what you like with her! Plus, she’s fine with children, dogs and other cats. Lila is now chipped, vaccinated andAssociation sterilised, and ready to start No. W163001178 life anew in a loving, permanent home.   If you’d like to meet/adopt her, please contact Sheelagh on Tel: 05 53 54 94 81 (leave a message) Email: sheerik@wanadoo.fr

2018 CALENDAR www.phoenixasso.com



DEADLINE 17 th Sept

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: 17th September 2017

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 15

Clubs & Associations ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, there are now a number of English-speaking meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in the South West of France. Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership and A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Freemasonry In France There are English-speaking lodges here in France. One such lodge, based in Cognac, meets six times a year. If interested in joining, please contact me. The first ever ‘Grand Lodge’ was founded in London on 24th June 1717. To celebrate this 300th anniversary, Lodge and Temple doors are open to the public thoughout France. Please take this opportunity to visit. Contact David Brieger: david.brieger@neuf.fr

Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres

Aims to improve the lives of people affected by Cancer in the Deux-Sèvres. Contact June Searchfield on 05 49 64 59 96 or visit www.cancersupportdeuxsevres.com THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION LINAZAY, POITOU-CHARENTES BRANCH

Telephone: Angela: 05 49 87 79 09, Roger: 05 55 76 22 65 or Nancy: 02 54 24 09 74. Email: publicinfo.swfrance@aa-€pe.net or visit www.aafrance.net for details of English-speaking meetings. Acceuil des Villes Françaises A French association dedicated to welcoming newcomers, from across France & abroad, to their new environment; helping them to integrate, speak French and feel ‘at home’ through social www.avf.asso.fr events and activities. pjhenderson@orange.fr MERIDIEN GREEN ASSOCIATION We are a cross cultural association who aim for closer integration of the inhabitants of St Coutant 79120 and surrounding areas. Free weekly language classes on Monday evenings and Tuesday afternoons. For all our events visit www.meridiengreen.eu

The Phoenix Chorale An English speaking choir. We sing 3 or 4 concerts of seasonal and classical music, often including readings and poetry. Based near Charroux (86), we are always looking for new members. If interested, call 05 45 89 14 84 or 05 49 48 29 68. The Jean David Art Group meets every Tuesday, 11am - 3pm at Fenioux (79). Jean’s classes cater for all media and all levels of students beginners most welcome! For details, please visit www.jeandavidfineart.com or phone Jean on 06 52 93 33 60. Melleran Chanteurs – Amateur singing group meeting every Monday 6.45pm in Melleran Salle des Fetes. French & English members, singing in many languages. New voices always welcomed, particularly tenor and bass. For more information contact Maggie Geal 05 49 07 11 69 Get Together is an association for English speakers of all nationalities. We have social gatherings, lunch & wine club, quizzes, walks, group meetings for all manner of hobbies and much more. Contact Membership Secretary Michele Hansford for joining details. Email: michelemhansford@gmail.com Tel. 05 49 64 21 63

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.


A vibrant group based in Vasles (79340) offering quality theatre productions. New members always welcome. Contact www.theatrivasles.com, find us on Facebook or email: theatrivasles@gmail.com 16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Please visit the branch website:


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.


Meets every 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month at Coulonges-sur-l’Autize. For when, where, how and why of practical gardening contact Janette by email: fenhorizon1@gmail.com or call: 05 49 75 50 06. CLE (Charente Limousine Exchange) is a non-profit organisation for exchange of news, views and information. We work to protect member’s best interests, run social activities, events and clubs, helping members to make new ex-patriate and French friends. Barry Leech 05 49 87 19 85 contact@cle-france.com www.cle-france.com


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

Franglais Anglo-French Group Thouars - Centre Socio-Culturel

Thanks to the support of the Centre we meet every Wednesday 7.30pm-9pm, at 7 rue Anne Desrays, for conversation in English & French, for a mutual understanding of each other’s language and culture. Contact 05 49 66 35 11 or the Centre 05 49 66 76 40 email jpc.allorent@orange.fr or eugene_mc_cabe@hotmail.com RAFA provides direct, practical support, comradeship and friendship to all serving and former RAF personnel and their loved ones. Contact RAFA Sud-Ouest France email: rafasof@orange.fr or Tel Website Short URL: http://goo.gl/ut80T


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

Alone in France?

We are a group of people living alone who meet on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 11am for coffee at the Pause! café in L’Absie. Our lunches are at different venues each month, a warm welcome awaits you. More details email saninb1@gmail.com or phone





by Eric Edwards

n the summer of 1941 Andrée de Jongh, a Belgian Red Cross volunteer (pictured right), set up an escape network for captured Allied soldiers, which later became known as the Comet Line. Working with contacts in the south of France, she established links with safe houses in Brussels, then a route was found using trains through occupied and  Vichy France  to the border with Spain. The final line was 1,200 miles in total. The first escape attempt was unsuccessful and all of the escapees were captured by the Spanish, with only two out of eleven reaching England. So de Jongh decided to lead the second attempt, a group of three men, personally. In August 1941 de Jongh appeared in the British consulate in  Bilbao with a British soldier and two Belgian volunteers, having travelled by train from Paris to Bayonne and then on foot over the Pyrenees through the Basque Country. She requested British support for her escape network, which was granted by British Military Intelligence Section 9. Working with MI9 de Jongh helped 400 Allied soldiers escape from Belgium through occupied France to Spain and Gibraltar. De Jongh made more than 30 double crossings over the Pyrenees herself and escorted 118 evaders. After November 1942 the escape lines became more dangerous when the Germans occupied southern France and the whole of France came under direct Nazi rule. Many members of the Comet line were betrayed; hundreds were arrested and were executed or deported to German prisons and concentration camps. On 15 January 1943 during her 33rd journey to Spain, De Jongh was captured at Urrunge, the last stop on the escape line before the passage over the Pyrenees. She was sent first to Fresnes Prison in Paris and eventually to Ravensbrück and Mauthausen concentration camps. Even in de Jongh’s absence, the Comet Line helped about 700 Allied soldiers reach safety. Although she survived, she had become gravely ill and undernourished by the time she was released by the Allied advance in April 1945. Each year these feats of bravery, cooperation and patriotism are celebrated with organised groups of walkers re-tracing the escape routes through the Pyrenees. For the past 2 years, Alan Rowlands from Parthenay has represented the Royal British Legion in such groups, raising funds through sponsorship for the annual Poppy Appeal. This year, in September, Alan will be joining the group walking the Comet Line from St Jean de Luz, across the Pyrenees, to St Sebastian in Spain. If you would like to support Alan’s venture, sponsorship forms are available from the RBL Bookstore at Parthenay, telephone 05 49 95 54 59, and may also be downloaded from our website. All monies raised will go to the annual Poppy Appeal.

by John Blair


uly already, doesn’t time fly? I know a few weeks have gone by since our production, ‘The Shakespeare Revue’, but I need to Review the ‘Revue’.

This production took us into unchartered territory as normally we perform plays with a few actors and a single storyline. With ‘The Revue’ there were 27 separate sketches and as many as 30 people on stage at one time or another. Learning lines for a ‘normal’ play is hard enough but some of the actors were in as many as a dozen sketches, all with different characters. With very few lines in the whole production I managed to forget my very first line in the first sketch on the first night, but it did get a laugh. In fact someone asked me after the performance if my mistake was actually planned. We received many compliments from our audiences:“The best show you have ever done”, “Comedy timing was super”’, “Excellent”, etc etc. One lady said, “You were brilliant you should all be on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’”, I don’t think Simon Cowell would let us on the show for 2 hours! I haven’t enough space in this article to thank everyone who participated individually but thank you all, the production team, those ‘on stage’, ‘off stage’ and ‘front of house’ but I must pay tribute to one very special person, our director Margaret Round. Directing all those people through all those sketches, juggling the rehearsals, people couldn’t make it because of this or that reason, what a nightmare - but she did it with flying colours, well done Margaret. Our audiences at Secondigny were excellent. I was a little bit doubtful about appearing in Foussais-Payre but it proved to be a great success, the audiences were superb and some people paid us the huge complement of coming to two performances. Thank you all for your continued support, you made all the hard work all worthwhile. Now the big challenge is to Follow That! Keynotes If you read this in time, come along to the CSSG Garden Party at La Bourrichere in Saint Pardoux on Sunday the 2nd July to hear us singing some of our old and some of our new songs. The fish and chip van will be there as well, what more could you want? Keynotes will also be holding a concert in Fenioux Church on Saturday 8th July at 3pm (free entry). We will be having August off from singing so more news of our forthcoming events in September’s DSM or check out our website. www.reactiontheatre.fr The Art Scene We are holding our very first Art Exhibition in Vouvant, at the school round the back of the church, starting on the 31st July and lasting for the first week in August. If you’re quick you might get a real bargain which could be worth millions in a few years time!! Then again it might not.

In respectful memory of The Countess Andrée de Jongh: GM, LH, CG, MH: 1915-2007.

Anyway come and have a wander round and a chat and who knows you might fancy joining our art or drawing sessions. Everyone welcome.


Have a great summer and thank you all once again for your continued support. Best wishes, John

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 17

Hobbies Minding Your Language


YOUR Book Reviews

by Alison Morton

ome of us have a vague memory of sitting through English lessons learning when to use ‘which’ or ‘that’ or ‘principal’ or ‘principle’. What are ‘subject’, ‘object’ and ‘predicate’? And what does ‘parsing a sentence’ mean?

My young schooldays were ruled over by a tough dragon called Miss Robson; she was the actress Flora Robson’s cousin. She made English fun, using word games, competitions and dry jokes. But she had extremely high expectations. Consequently, we were very well taught. When it came to French and German grammar the next year, it was a doddle because we’d had such a good grounding in English. However, I’m not so proud that I don’t look up areas of doubt. Writing shouldn’t be stiff and hidebound, but to be clear and cogent it needs to follow a certain structure. Of course, style changes and language evolves. Miss Robson would probably have a fit if she read some things now, but as she settled down, she’d recognise well-composed writing, however succinct.

Help for writing today

We’re lucky in the English-speaking world to have a wealth of references; some also have online equivalents.

Complete Plain Words, HMSO (after Gowers) Penguin, 1986

Sir Ernest Gowers wrote Plain Words and The ABC of Plain Words when he was a civil servant and combined them into Complete Plain Words in 1954. Updated regularly because language changes, it remains a comprehensive guide to good English. Gowers’ reputation made him the obvious choice to revise that other classic guide to good English, Fowler’s Modern English Usage.

Fowler’s as it’s known has gone through several changes since

Henry Watson Fowler produced the Dictionary of Modern English Usage in 1926 as a  style guide  to  British English  usage, pronunciation, and writing. It became the standard for other guides to writing in English. The 1965 second edition, edited by Ernest Gowers, was reprinted in 1983 and 1987. The 1996 third edition, called The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage (revised in 2004) was mostly rewritten by Robert W. Burchfield, and the 2015 fourth-edition, re-titled  Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage, edited by Jeremy Butterfield, brought it completely up to date.

Warm thanks go to Beryl Brennan and Vronni Ward for this month’s reviews.

If you’d like to share a book review with us, please email it to: info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

The Critic by Peter May Murder – how many variations can there be? Some authors write from ‘experience’ – forensic scientist, defence lawyer, law enforcement officer. Peter May is none of those but he does live in the South of France, which begs the question ‘does he know of a case of bodies preserved in red wine?’ The Critic is a professional whose rating of a wine can make or break a vigneron. But who’s to say that what he deems a perfect wine is not a verdict the reader would agree with. When The Critic is found 12 months after he disappeared, dressed in the ceremonial robes of l’Ordre de la Dive Bouteille de Gaillac, hanging from a tree and soaked in red wine, suspicion falls on the local vignerons to whom he either gave a negative review or no review at all. Scottish forensic expert Enzo Macleod arrives on the scene and on dipping his fingers in la cuve he unearths a back-stabbing community in the local French viticulture, riddled with rivalry. It’s a book I found hard to put down. Book 2 of the Enzo Files; note to self – buy the other 3! by Beryl Brennan (Beryl runs the monthly Book Library for the Get Together Association)

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult Jodi Picoult is definitely my ‘go to’ author. So far I have not found a dud novel amongst those I have read.

The Elements of Style is an American English writing style guide. The original was composed by William Strunk Jr in 1918 comprising eight “elementary rules of usage”, ten “elementary principles of composition”, “a few matters of form”, a list of 49 “words and expressions commonly misused”, and a list of 57 “words often misspelled”. E. B. White greatly enlarged and revised the book for publication by Macmillan in 1959. That was the first edition of the so-called “Strunk & White”. The current 4th edition gives solid advice on American English and is adored by most literate Americans.

A friend of mine recommended this book after we had visited Auschwitz concentration camp. The Storyteller is a tale of forgiveness and love.

Its immediate rival is the Chicago Manual of Style published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press. Now in the 16th edition, it’s widely used in scientific and academic circles as well as in publishing, and deals with editorial practice, American English grammar and document preparation.

The story centres on a young Sage Singer who works nights at a local bakery. She suffers from very low self-esteem, lives and works like a recluse and settles for being some guy’s mistress. She befriends Josef, an old man who uses the bakery. Her grandmother is a Holocaust survivor, so she is shocked to learn that Josef, a much respected member of the community, is/was a Nazi. Find out what she does…

Rules are not so much rules as generally accepted conventions that keep your writing clear and well constructed. Using them means your message is conveyed unambiguously to the reader of your work. Happy Writng! Alison will be speaking about her books and research at the Charroux LitFest 24-26 August www.charrouxlitfest.com 18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

“Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.”

This book is not only extremely well written, but thought provoking and moving. I never considered a book that took varying perspectives of the Holocaust. It is a unique blend of historical facts and fiction. by Vronni Ward


by James Luxford

At the height of blockbuster season, we bring you a quartet of alternatives to the usual expensive noise of studio juggernauts. VICEROY’S HOUSE (5th July) Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson play the residents of the Viceroy’s House, the last British rulers of India as the country prepares for independence. Taking on maybe a little bit too much for one film, this drama explores religious segregation, as well as the daily life of a house at the centre of so much conflict. Bonneville’s Downton Abbey days serve him well in his performance as the Viceroy, heading what is an uneven but thoroughly interesting film. ROUGH NIGHT (2nd August) Scarlett Johansson leads a cast of hilarious ladies in this film that pitches itself as the female answer to The Hangover. A group of childhood friends reunite after a decade for a bachelorette party, only for a wild night to go disastrously awry. Johansson and friends push decency to the very limits, occasionally going over the line in a way that may be off-putting to some. However, it also provides an awful lot of laughs for those who like their comedy with a deliciously dark streak.

Easy Crossword: Across: 1.focus 3. appal 7. grump 8. snags 9. financial year 10. nostalgia 13. excommunicate 14. colic 15. dinky 16. dutch 17. anger Down: 1. forbid 2. campanologist 4. penny pinching 5. legman 6. caricatures 11. oxford 12. stoker

Take a Break - SOLUTIONS

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

Toughie Crossword: Across: 1. parks 4. climber 8. all is lost 9. dig 10. tamil 11. dog rose 13. hedge your bets 15. relates 16. bower 18. ets 20. landscape 21. topiary 22. leeks Down: 1. plant 2. role model 3. sisal 4. cloudy or sunny 5. integer 6. bed 7. regrets 12. open weave 13. harvest 14. estella 16. basil 17. reeds 19. sap

FILMS IN ENGLISH.....look for screenings in ‘VO’ or ‘VOST’

with its short end visible) 8) STRETCHER (a brick layed with its long side visible) 9) Arthur ENGLISH 10) BAT (a brick cut to fit a space) 11) FLEMISH 12) London WALL Connection: they are all terms to do with bricks and bricklaying...

Release dates are nationwide in France.

It really is very well done and makes a very good read. A very nice mix of content and an invaluable source of info for us re events in the area and people to contact on various issues.

Well, what do you know?: 1) ACCRINGTON (Engineering brick) Stanley 2) Poison Arrow FROG 3) Michael BOND 4) Lords and COMMONS 5) FIRE 6) MUDskippers 7) CHEDDAR (header, a brick layed

MY COUSIN RACHEL (26 July) A remake of Daphne De Maurier’s famous novel stars Sam Claflin as a young man who suspects his cousin (Rachel Weisz) of murder, only to fall for her mysterious charm. What could have been a stiff period piece comes to life thanks to Weisz, who is superb in the lead. The lack of edge means the drama drags as the story goes on, however, classy acting and beautiful production values makes this more than the average drama. A timely reminder, in a year noted for strong female lead performances, just how many talented stars just need an opportunity to shine. th

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

BABY DRIVER (19th July) British director Edgar Wright (Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) comes screeching into 2017 with an instant classic. Ansel Elgort plays ‘Baby’, the expert driver for a sinister crime lord (Kevin Spacey) who has to rely on all of his skills when his latest heist goes awry. With an all-star cast, amazing soundtrack and incredible action, this is the 70’s style car chase thriller that will make movie fans rejoice. If you are sick of superheroes and tired of robots this is the perfect choice for a more adult blockbuster.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 19

Health, Beauty & Fitness

UPDATE Ian’s Orange Day by Caroline Self

On Thursday 8th June I hosted ‘Ian’s Orange Day’ for Cancer Research, in which donated gifts were put into truggs, boxes and planters and raffled off. I offered free cream teas and the afternoon was enjoyed by about 30 people.   550€ was raised and along with the €400 previously collected, I will be able to pledge 1000€ to La Ligue Contre Cancer based in Angers at the end of July. Many thanks to all those far and wide who have supported this cause this year. All profits from my watercolour art is also going towards the charity too.

Friends helping on the big day, and one of Caroline’s watercolours © Caroline Self 2017


Facebook group ‘British Cyclists in France (BCIF)’ is an online group for British cyclists to share information, events, ask advice and post photos etc. Why not join, make contacts and arrange rides with other local cyclists?

Pure Fitness

Exercise to music classes - every Tuesday 7pm-8pm Salle des Fêtes, La Chapelle St Etienne 79240. For more info contact jane-trescothick@orange.fr

20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Tour de Rêves update...

Planning Picnic, Sponsorship and Pedals


by Jacqui Brown

h my! It’s now only two months to go until we pack our panniers, put on our matching Tour de Rêves jerseys (more about those later) and start pedalling our way around the Deux-Sèvres. As I write this, Adrian is in the Ardeche tackling a tough sportive that involves cycling over 100kms in hilly (mountainous) terrain, Rob is achieving personal bests in organised 10km running events and Sarah is fitting in running, swimming and cycling as she trains for her triathlon. I’m beginning to panic. This crazy tour of the Deux-Sèvres might have been my idea, but I soon realised I’d probably be the team’s weakest link. Now I’m sure. My only regular exercise is our village keep-fit class, a onehour session each week of stretching and muscle toning, with lots of laughter, which is good, but not good enough. In desperation I asked our 16 year old if I could join him on one of his weekend runs around the village. He just laughed and ran off.

The Tour Four last month © Ed

Brown 2017

As a team we have once again managed a planning meet up and bike ride in the calm and flat Marais-Poitevin. If only all of the Deux-Sèvres was as flat as the Marais-Poitevin. It was a public holiday and although most of the picnic tables had been laid out for French feasts that would last most of the afternoon, we found a shady spot to eat a quick lunch, ticked a few more things off the to do list and then set off on the bikes. Our 29km, with obligatory beer stop, was good fun and took us on part of the route we will follow on Day Two of the Tour. The September magazine will show our daily itineraries in detail, but our planned routes so far, for those interested in joining us can be found on our Facebook page. Looking like a team in September is something we feel is important, so finalising the design of our custom Tour de Rêves cycling jerseys was a big step forward. If you would like to see your business logo on our jerseys and be included in all our publicity, printed and online, by helping with sponsorship, then please do get in touch. Prices start from under 100€ and the sooner we can get the jerseys made, the sooner we will all be wearing them for training rides around the Deux-Sèvres. (Example jersey design shown opposite). One of the ways in which road bikes differ from the bikes most of us have in the garage is the pedals and the shoes that attach to them. Yes, you have read that correctly, our feet are clipped onto our bikes, making us one with our machines! There is a very good reason for this mad idea – power. When you place your foot on a standard pedal, you push down to power the bike. When your shoes are attached to your pedal you push down and then pull up giving you twice as much power for very little extra effort. There is however one major downside to clip pedals and that is falling off! It does take a little bit of practice to ensure you can quickly unclip (and remember to do so) when you come to a stop, as a stationary bike with no stabilising foot on the floor, topples over. Adrian and I have been clipped in for a while and our falling off bruises have healed nicely, but Sarah and Rob are just venturing into this exciting new chapter of their cycling lives. I’m sure you will join me in wishing them well and I’m looking forward to finding out how they get on. Good luck!

New shoes and pedals © Sarah Berry 2017

Don’t forget if you are interested in joining us, you can find instructions on the DSM website. Our terms and conditions will be sent out to all those interested in taking part. www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr You can also keep up to date on our planning and training via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/TourdeReves/ and donations can be made securely, direct to Association Rêves by following this link: www.alvarum.com/sarahberry

www.reves.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 21

Home & Garden

Small colour Advert from 35,17â&#x201A;Ź ttc per month

22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Love your J


by Greenfingers

uly is a time of plenty in the garden, with vegetable plants putting on lots of growth and producing crops galore, the flowers in the borders, baskets and pots are at their best too, with voluptuously heavy blooms and lots of new buds being formed. Make time to take a good look at and enjoy what your hard work has achieved, (most of us gardeners don’t do this enough!) and to take stock of what needs doing next. This wonderful spell of fine, sunny weather, entices us to spend even more time outside, fully protected from the harmful rays of the sun with hat and SPF 15 of course! The sunshine has such a feelgood factor, does us good and is free, so enjoy! We can protect ourselves quite easily but some of our plants need help with protection and extra care at this time. If you have lots of pots or hanging baskets, watering is of paramount importance. It may seem obvious, but sometimes they may need watering twice a day, especially if they are in exposed positions. Try to water around the roots where the plant needs it most and avoid getting water on the leaves as the sun can so easily scorch them. Watering early in the morning or later in the evening is best, but some watering is better than none at any time. Pelargoniums, petunias, French marigolds and most of the other bedding plants can tolerate full sun for a while but fuchsias do better if given some shade from time to time. The compost in pots and hanging baskets is spent of all nutrients after two or three weeks and so they need feeding regularly. A soluble tomato or rose feed works well and there are many liquid feeds available in the supermarkets…just dilute according to the instructions on the packaging. High nitrogen content in a plant fertiliser gives very lush foliage, high potassium gives more flowers. Deadheading is also very important. If a flower is allowed to set seed, it will ‘stop’ and no new blooms will be produced. Removing the ‘dead heads’ prevents this from happening, conserves energy for the plant and allows your floral ‘show’ to continue for longer. This also holds true for flowering plants in the borders. Spring flowering perennials and annuals have probably set seed already and the seedheads can be collected and placed on newspaper to dry thoroughly, then packed in labelled envelopes ready to sow next year. The seed heads of foxgloves, aquilegia, sweet williams and oriental poppies can be shaken over flower beds where you would like them to grow next season. All flowering plants in the borders, including dahlias, cannas and asiatic lilies need to be fed regularly if flowering is to continue. If you are growing sweet peas, keep picking them as this encourages more blooms to form.

This is also a good time to do some propagating…..plants for free! Bearded irises can be lifted and divided, discarding any diseased or weak looking material, and can be replanted in shallow, well drained soil/compost; the rhizomes like to be baked in the sun, so don’t bury them too deeply. Cuttings are easily taken from clematis now…run your finger along a good strong, non-flowering stem, you’ll feel a ‘bump’ or node, cut below this, follow up to the next node and cut above it and you have a cutting. You will be able to make several from one piece of stem. Place against the inside edge of a compost filled pot, water, but don’t drown it. It sometimes helps to place a plastic bag over the top. Leave on a windowsill for several weeks. Fuchsia cuttings are also very easy whilst the stems are soft and pliable…these are called soft wood cuttings. Cut a length from the top part of any stem…….about 10 cms long, remove any buds or flowers and the leaves at the bottom of the stem, and again pot up as for the clematis. The variable humidity and temperature at the moment can encourage blight on tomato plants. This appears as black/grey discoloration on the fruit and leaves. Treating the soil or compost with Bordelaise mixture can sometimes help to prevent it. This is a copper based fungicide available in the garden centres and supermarkets. If your plants become infected, destroy them by burning, don’t compost them as this helps to spread it again next year. It’s a good time to mulch cabbage, kale and the long-term ‘greens’, to lock in moisture and add nutrients, and courgettes and fruit trees/bushes need extra watering now. The warnings have already gone out in our area about water shortages so we have to anticipate hosepipe bans unfortunately….. but whatever you are doing, sit outside with a cuppa and enjoy your garden.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 23

French Life .


by Katey Green



he little green card with a chip has become infamous over the years. Many questions abound as to who can have one, how to get one and where to get one. In fact, the actual card merely facilitates the reimbursement of your health expenses. It is proof of rights to the health system that actually gains you entry. This is known as an Attestation de droits which is available from your health organisation and shows who is covered and for how long. Assuming you have just arrived in France, how you join the health system depends, for the majority of EU citizens, on whether you have a professional activity, are a student at university, retired or non-active. For salaried workers in the private sector, entry to the health system is generally via CPAM (Caisse Primaire Assurance Maladie). For self employed people it is via RSI (Régime Social des Indépendant) through the health organisations they have an agreement with. For self employed and salaried agricultural workers it is via MSA (Mutualité Sociale Agricole). For university students it is via the Student Social Security system. For retired persons, entry to the health system (until any changes due to Brexit), is via the form known as S1 (old E106) which you can apply for as soon as you reach retirement age. This is obtained from the Overseas Healthcare Department if you are from the UK. For non-active and non-retired persons, you can apply on grounds of residency. You must fulfill the conditions of residency which is to live in a stable manner and not be a burden on the State by having sufficient resources for your household. Whilst no figures seem to have been agreed, a contribution above a certain income will be required. This option for joining the health system is looked at on a case-by-case basis it seems. Whichever method is used there is much paperwork involved with proof of residency, birth certificates (often required to be translated) and copies of passports, titre de sejour (for non EU persons), S1 if relevant and proof of income for non-active nonretired persons. There may be other requirements pertaining to your individual situations, such as the inclusion of children who are under 16. If all else fails there may be another way to get cover on a yearly (renewable) basis, through AME (Aide Médicale de l’État). This however is only for people in an ‘irregular’ situation in France and under a certain income (just over 13,000€ for a couple). This is only accorded in a few situations and is NOT a right. Other family members such as children are also covered under this.

NATURE WATCH Louis, our cat, brought in this large green lizard recently (photos right). Luckily Rob was on hand to rescue it but not before she’d had chance to give him a nip! Curious as I am about these things, I asked my good friend and Herpetologist, Roger Meek, what species of lizard it was and if it was harmful to animals. Knowledgeable as ever, he replied with the following info... “It’s a female western green lizard (Lacerta bilineata) and its pregnant! Have a look at the second picture and you can just see around four bulges, which are the eggs (almost full term I would say) and hence she has at least 8 (4 each side). It’s the largest lizard in this area and some are quite fabulous emerald greens in colour! Definitely one of the world’s most beautiful lizards. There’s nothing dangerous about them. There are only two species (perhaps three or more due to re-classification) of venomous lizards and they are in the New World (USA, Mexico etc.). The final nesting site for the eggs must have the appropriate temperatures and also importantly the correct humidity. Lizards and snakes have flexible shells and the eggs absorb water during incubation and expand as a consequence. Also the shells are used as a source of calcium to supply the growing embryo skeletons and other organs (both during pregnancy and whilst incubating in the nest).” Roger has lots of useful information about lizards and snakes of the world and our region on his website: www.rogermeekherpetology.com.

TRAVAUX DE JARDINAGE It is now time to enjoy our gardens, and everything that comes with them... including the maintenance, cutting grass and hedges etc. The communes ask for you to be considerate to your neighbours at this time, and there are designated hours in the day to run noisy equipment or machinery. In our commune of Parthenay-Gâtine, these designated working hours are as follows:

Do you have a Question for Katey? Email: contact.thhs@gmail.com

If you should need assistance with this or any other type of French administration, have queries or need simple advice, contact me on: contact.thhs@gmail.com or via my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheHandHoldingService Siret n° 451 059 323 00019 R.C.S Angoulême

24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Mondays to Fridays 8am - 12pm and 2pm - 7pm Saturdays 9pm - 12pm and 3pm - 7pm Sundays and Bank Holidays: 10am - 12pm only If you are unsure, please visit your Mairie. They will be able to give you the correct times for your particular area.

Take a Break Across: 1. Direct one’s attention on something (5) 3. Strike with disgust or revulsion (5) 7. A bad-tempered person (5) 8. Unforeseen obstacles or problems (5) 9. Any accounting period of 12 months (9-4) 10. Longing for something past (9) 13. Expel a person from a church or religious community (13) 14. Acute abdominal pain (5) 15. Small and insignificant (5) 16.  The language of the Netherlands (5) 17. A strong emotion (5)

DSM Toughie Crossword

Down: 1. Ban; prohibit (6) 2. A bell ringer (13) 4. Giving or spending money with reluctance (5-8) 5. One who runs errands (6) 6. Drawings of people that are exaggerated for comic effect (11) 11. English university (6) 12. A labourer who tends fires (6)

Across: 1. An afterthought about biblical vessel found in municipal areas (5) 4. Rile BMC organisation member? (7) 8. There is no hope after dodgy oils stall workings! (3,2,4) 9. Appreciate democratic, independent government front runners (3) 10. Interpret “Follow about a thousand” in Indian langauge (5) 11. German shepherd got up to find something growing in the woods (3-4) 13. Take cover and see the dog bury something unusual? (5,4,4) 15. Four missing from family group; that tells us something! (7) 16. Those concealed in the gazebo were protecting a nest (5) 18. When leader is absent, gets to expose some aliens (3) 20. It is kind of gardener to show PE scandal in a new light (9) 21. Bush cutting pay, riot is completely out of order! (7) 22. It is reported that there is evidence of moles in some vegetables (5)

Down: 1. In exchange, a twist of hair is put in the ground (5) 2.  Comical, drole mole is an example to us all (4,5) 3. One down to make ropes in a crisis already has it covered (5) 4. Maybe there are two possible options, if it doesn’t rain? (6,2,5) 5. Number comes up when entering, sadly without a number (7) 6. Early Christian, having no energy, finds somewhere to rest (3) 7.  Drive backwards over front points of garden rake, bringing about misgivings (7) 12.  Weapon Eve used in an unconventional way to make cloth (4-5) 13. Rash vet putting together a collection of coutryside stuff (7) 14. Founded briefly with Fitzgerald girl (7) 16. Herb balances any salt in Lebanese starters (5) 17. Rushes to supply drug among communists (5) 19. Trump assuming mantle of backward, American idiot (3)

Well, what do you know? 1) Wigan Borough F.C. 1930-’31, Aldershot F.C. 1991-’92 and which other football league team (1961-’62) are the only clubs to have resigned mid-season? 2) Which land animal is considered to be the most Poisonous? 3) Who wrote “A Bear Called Paddington”, published in 1958? 4) What are the two Houses of the British Parliament called? 5) What did the Titan, Prometheus, steal from from the gods and give to mankind according to Greek mythology? 6) What is the common name of the amphibious fish of the Gobie family which uses its enlarged pectoral fins to move around on land? 7) Which British cheese had to be made within 30 miles of Wells cathedral (according to tradition)?

With thanks to M.Morris

Monthly quiz by Roland Scott...... how many can you get? 8) Which item of medical equipment is called a gurney by the Americans when fitted with wheels? 9) Which actor played Mr. Harman, the maintenance man, in T.V.’s “Are You Being Served”? 10)  Bacardi is the largest privately held, family owned spirits company in the world, what device is used as its logo? 11) In which region of Belgium does the population speak Dutch? 12) Which London monument, when completed, was 2 miles long, enclosed 330 acres was 6 to 9 feet wide and about 20 feet high? And, as usual, what connects your 12 answers assuming you’ve got them all correct? Copyright RJS 2017

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 25

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

DSM Easy Crossword

Where We Live... in their The Sauzereau family zereau observatory © Olivier Sau

Fourme d’Ambert (AOC) This is one of France’s oldest traditional blue cheeses, with a history longer than the better-known Roquefort. Legend has it that it was already being made at the time of the Druids and the Gauls. It’s a very mild cow’s milk cheese produced in the Auvergne region of southcentral France. Fourme is an old French word for cheese, as taken from the Latin name forma, and describes its cylindrical shape. That shape is quite unusual in that it is much taller than it is wide, rather like a tall baby Stilton. Like Stilton, it should be cut horizontally, so it usually appears in shops as thin rings cut from the tall fourmes. Then all you need to do is cut it into pieces as you would a Camembert. It has also been similarly much abused in the past by the practice of putting alcohol (eau-de-vie or port) into the centre of the cheese to moisten it. The fourmes were traditionally made with unpasteurised milk from the high pastures, with around 25 litres for one cheese. There are a handful of small farm producers making it that way today, but most is made in the larger modern dairies with pasteurised milk. Maturation takes at least 28 days before it can be called Fourme d’Ambert, but can take up to three months. Its centre should have an ivory colouring with well developed and regularly distributed blue veins. It should be springy to the touch and ‘have a subtle scent of woodland undergrowth.’ The cheese should ideally be stored for a few days in a cool place and in its original paper wrapping. If you have a slightly less mature cheese it can be left for a few days or even weeks in the bottom drawer of the fridge. To enjoy the full flavours, take the cheese from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for at least an hour before serving. With its delicate taste, fragrance and mild, rounded flavour, Fourme d’Ambert more than holds its own as part of a varied cheese board, often accompanied by sliced pears, and can also be used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. The cheese goes equally well with an artisanal baguette or a farmhouse loaf and perhaps a wine from the region, like a Côtes d’Auvergne, or a Sauternes. Or why not try it with dried fruits (walnuts, hazelnuts etc), fresh fruits (figs, cherries etc) or even bananas or mango chutney! Photo: Wikicommons/Havang

26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017


Olivier and Maguy Sauzereau

There are many reasons a man might propose marriage, but one of the more unusual must surely be that made by astronomer Olivier Sauzereau. He met a young woman in the French embassy in Prague who, coincidentally, also came from north-western France. When he heard that her family name was Béchetoille (literally meaning shovelling the stars) there was only one thing he could do – he had to propose. It was meant to be. It was written in the stars...

by Mick Austin The famous image of Halley’s Comet, taken in 1986 © Olivier Sauzereau

A Marriage Made in Heaven


“I bought the house and land in 2004 without really knowing anything about the area or the local people,” says Olivier. “My decision was based purely on the quality of sky observation!”

If there’s one quality you need as an astronomer, it’s patience. Olivier had made his mind up and over the next 18 months he tried to persuade Maguy that he was serious about their being together. “For the first few years we would meet up in Paris or in Germany when we could. After all his efforts trying to make me change my mind, I finally accepted his proposal in the summer of 2008 and in 2009 we married in La Chapelle-aux-Lys, in the Vendée, where Olivier had bought a rundown house a few years earlier. We carried on with our lives as before, until in 2012 I fell pregnant and stopped flying. We moved to Nantes as the house in La Chapelle-aux-Lys was still not ready to move in to.”

It took less than a day for the whole village to find out what the mayor and his wife had experienced that night. Olivier was no longer the unknown outsider!

” t came right out of the blue,” laughs Maguy. “It was in 2006. Olivier was almost 40 years old and was in the Czech Republic for an astronomy conference. I was a 29-year-old air hostess living in Germany at the time. We had friends in common but we had never met before. I was there to listen to him at the conference. He proposed literally minutes after we first met and he found out my name. What did I do? I said no, of course!”

He then began the renovation work, usually by himself but often with the help of new-found friends. As soon as he possibly could, he set up his observatory in the garden to enjoy the perfect stargazing conditions he had searched for. “One evening I invited the local mayor and his wife to come and have a look at the telescope. They said they’d pop round for 15 minutes for a quick look. They arrived at 11pm and didn’t leave until 3am the next day!”

So, after 15 years spent travelling and discovering the world, Maguy returned permanently to her native France in 2012 – “Something I thought would never happen” – to make a home with Olivier and their son Elouan, now four, and a daughter Youna, who is now one.

Since 2009, they have been welcoming small groups of people to their observatory to experience the unforgettable. This year, for the first time, Olivier and Maguy are holding star-gazing evenings every Wednesday from July 5 to August 9 inclusive with simultaneous English translations. For more details visit their website at www. Becheurs-dEtoiles.net where you’ll also find details of other events and even get the chance to stay overnight in an Inuit tent during your star-gazing adventure.

They finally managed to move full-time into their house in La Chapelle-aux-Lys in 2016 and are now working hard together to turn a shared passion and a dream into reality: Welcoming people to their home and helping them discover the wonders of our sky, the galaxy and far beyond. Together they have created an astronomy association based at their home, which they have aptly named Les Bêcheurs d’étoiles (the star shovellers).

“We will be exploring the interaction mankind has developed with the cosmos right back to ancient times,” says Olivier. “From the Saturday afternoon to the Sunday evening, visitors can follow

The couple also help organise a festival called ‘Astrolys’ which has been held in their local village for the past eight years. This year’s event is on the weekend of 12th -13th August with a theme of Astronomy and Archeology (see poster on page 7).

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 27

...A look at what makes France so special conferences, films, workshops, a planetarium show, exhibitions and talk with experts or just like-minded people interested in discovering our skies. There will, of course, be stargazing at night and also sun observation during the daylight hours. Entry to the festival is free and people can just stroll around, enjoy the atmosphere and discover whatever comes along.” La Chapelle-aux-Lys is now part of a network throughout France aimed at watching meteorites as they fall to earth. Since last year, there have been permanent cameras set up on the roof of the town hall linked to others all over the country. The spread of those cameras, unique in the world through its density, helps catch meteorites falling to earth in real time, so helping research. The local connection doesn’t stop there, however, as the whole district has been the first in France to sign an agreement to protect the sky. In 2010, the mayors of 19 villages agreed to pay particular attention to the choice of lights to cut down on the amount of light pollution. Arrive at La Chapelle-aux-Lys and you’ll see on the road sign, under the name of the village, ‘Village étoilé’ with four stars. The highest rating is five stars and is a national qualification rating the quality of the sky above the village. Two years ago, Olivier also set up an observatory in Kenya for a safari company eager to offer more than just animal photoshoots to their clients. Small groups of people can experience a true ‘Out of Africa” experience during the day and at night Olivier guides them through the wonders of the southern hemisphere sky. “Our sky conditions are fragile,” says Olivier. “The last few decades have seen a great loss of contact between man and the sky and the cosmos. Who of us can still point out a few constellations? Since the beginning of mankind, astronomy has always been at the centre of our lives, enabling people to know the time in the year and set up calendars, among other things. But we are nearly losing that contact.” So how did two separate lives lead up to that most unexpected of marriage proposals? Olivier fell in love with astronomy when he was 12, after listening to a talk from a Canadian astrophysician at a conference in Nantes. He couldn’t get enough of the subject and joined an astronomy club, reading everything on the subject he could lay his hands on, attending conferences and spending many sleepless nights observing the stars. “My school results suffered as my passion became almost a fulltime job,” says Olivier. “In my late teens, I had the chance to spend some time at the Pic du Midi Observatory in the Pyrenees and got some real-life training working with professionals researching the far sky. I decided to leave school as I couldn’t fit into the traditional education system. I was always well behind on some subjects and far ahead in others. I started working at the Nantes planetarium as a guide and speaking at conferences.” Then, one night in 1986, while gazing at the sky above the Pic du Midi Observatory, he took a picture of the famous Halley’s Comet. Beginner’s luck, perhaps, but it was a picture that was sold worldwide (Life magazine, for instance) and catapulted him into the world of the professional star photographer. Over the years he has developed a photographic style that is less ‘classical’ and more an attempt to make someone looking at his picture feel the magic of the moment. “I want someone to look at my pictures and feel what I felt at the time. The magic you experience as an astronomer, sitting alone in the middle of the night, among beautiful scenery, often far away from human life. Watching the universe and feeling just how small we are in that world.” Maguy was born in Ancenis, between Nantes and Angers, and left France as a young adult in 1999 with a social worker diploma in her pocket and a burning desire to discover the world. She wanted to experience different cultures, challenge her values, beliefs and thoughts and discover other people’s way of living. She first arrived in Hungary in 1999 at the time of the Kosovo war and worked in a refugee camp with families and children that had, quite literally, lost everything. “A very emotional life experience,” 28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

The Milky Way, taken in Kenya © Olivier Sauzereau

she recalls. From there she spent several years in Germany working as a trainer for young people wanting to commit themselves to projects abroad. “After a few years of that I got fed up sending volunteers overseas while I was left sitting in an office,” says Maguy. “So I quit that job in 2002 and went on a two-year journey through Asia, travelling slowly overland through south-east Asia first and then on to the Indian sub-continent. I took time to discover people from other cultures and backgrounds, their aims in life, their values and interests. I worked as a volunteer in many different social and environmental projects, from a Buddhist orphanage in Thailand to an organic farm in India, through a panda research centre in China to a de-mining project in Cambodia.” She returned to Europe in 2005 and settled in Germany working as an air hostess. “It was a job I would never have thought about had I not met by chance – twice – a German air hostess in India. She put the idea into my head.” There then followed several years where she worked part-time, enjoying a free month of travel after every three months’ work. Never able to stop that burning desire to meet people and discover different cultures. That is until one day in Prague in 2006, when she met a French astronomer...

by Mick Austin

Olivier on the Faroe Islands, 2015. © Olivier Sauzereau

A Star Performer After more than 30 years as a professional astronomer Olivier, who found school such a struggle, had his work recognised in 2008 with the equivalent of a university degree – the Validation des Acquis et de l’Expérience – from Nantes University. In 2012 he also got a PhD from the same university. Most of his work nowadays is taken up with astronomy conferences, both here and around the world, and teaching at Nantes University and in various schools. He has written ten books on astronomy, for adults as well as teenagers and young children, and made three films. Surprisingly enough, Olivier even has time for a second passion: Jules Verne. Also born in Nantes, birthplace of the 19th Century French novelist, poet and playwright, Olivier has become something of a Verne specialist and has just finished a three-year project to turn every one of Verne’s 64 published books into TV documentaries. Maguy, meanwhile, is kept more than busy with her two youngsters. But she still finds the time to play a major part in everything that goes on at Les Bêcheurs d’étoiles and to teach French to English-speakers. Oh, and she also enjoys her job working as a waitress in the English-run Café Bonbon in La Chapelle-aux-Lys. They are both busy people... and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Make contact... Olivier Sauzereau: 06 78 32 77 67 / 06 44 94 26 38 Olivier’s website: www.sauzereau.net Association website: www.Becheurs-dEtoiles.net Astrolys Festival on Facebook: @Association-Astrolys

This is one of a series of articles featuring those in the region with interesting stories..... If you feel your French Adventure is worth sharing, please contact us.

On this month July 5, 1946: French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular Paris swimming pool. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modelled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed the ‘bikini’, named after the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean where there had been a US atomic test the previous week. There had been two-piece bathing suits on show in the 1930s but only a tiny piece of midriff was revealed. In 1946, the first war-free summer in years, designers came up with Micheline Bernardini modelling the fashions to match the mood of the first two-piece swimsuit. © Flickr/ people. Reard and fellow French Recuerdos de Pandora designer Jacques Heim developed competing bikini prototypes. Heim called his the ‘atom’ and advertised it as ‘the world’s smallest bathing suit’. Reard’s design, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was significantly smaller and he promoted it as ‘smaller than the world’s smallest bathing suit.’ July 12, 1998: France beat favourites Brazil 3-0 to win the football World Cup in front of 80,000 fans at the Stade de France, in Paris. It was the first World Cup France had hosted since 1938 and the first time they had won it. It was a great improvement on their 1994 performances, when they failed to even qualify for the finals. Playmaker Zinédine Zidane scored two goals before defender Marcel Desailly got a second yellow card and was sent off. Although a man down, the French side continued to The two World Cup teams attack and, in the third minute of added time, Emanuel Petit scored their third goal to make France the first host nation to win the World Cup since Argentina in 1978. July 25, 2000: An Air France Concorde crashes soon after taking off from Charles DeGaulle airport, plunging to the ground near a hotel in Gonesse. A huge fireball killed the nine crew members, 96 passengers and four people on the ground. An investigation revealed that the plane that took off just before the Concorde had dropped a piece of metal on to the runway. When the Concorde ran over it, its tyre was shredded and thrown into one of the engines and fuel tanks, causing the disabling fire.

Mick Austin is an award-winning freelance journalist based in the Paysde-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 runs a gite business at www.gitefortwo.com

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 29

Communications All About Tethering? by Ross Hendry

What is Tethering?

Tethering is the process of linking a WiFi enabled device, such as a Tablet, Ipod, Kindle or laptop to your Smartphone to use the mobile internet connection.


Select “Settings”, then “General”, then “Network”. Now select “Personal Hotspot” then choose the Wi-Fi Password option and type the password you require to give access to your personal hotspot (make it strong to prevent others from using your hotspot) and press “Done”.

How does it work?

Simply slide the Personal Hotspot switch to “ON” to use the facility. Your iphone will create a WiFI network the same name as your iPhone device name.

If you have used a popular public WiFi hotspot you may have noticed people’s telephones listed as available WiFi hotspots, this means their smart phones are acting as their portable LiveBox or router.

Windows 10 Mobile Telephones

Tethering works by connecting your mobile telephone to a mobile internet capable device, for example your laptop. This connection can be made by wire (USB cable), Bluetooth or WiFi. The most common method is to use WiFi, turning your smart mobile telephone into your own portable router, known as a Portable WiFi hotspot, or Personal Hotspot, originally known as a Modem or PAM.


There are three main advantages of Tethering using your smart mobile telephone: 1. security/privacy - by creating your own portable hotspot you can control who can use it using a secure password, preferably a WPA2 one, and you have a private password protected connection to the internet. 2. Convenience - As long as you have a strong 3G/4G signal you may use the internet anywhere. 3. Speed - 4G connections are capable of up to 300Mbps download speed and 150Mbps upload, these are theoretical maximum speeds. These will be much faster in urban conurbations than out in the country. Suffice to say that 4G is the fastest and compared to some landline speeds in rural France, it can seem quite fast. This will only improve as the technology evolves and is expanded throughout the country.


Cost was the main disadvantage. Now, due to new legislation and competitive pricing this is no longer the issue, even when roaming. You will find your mobile data allowance could well get used up much quicker that it would when just using your mobile telephone to surf the web, as you will be downloading full sized web pages not the much less data intensive mobile device versions of websites. Next comes the issue of your smartphone’s battery life. A constant Internet connection will drain the battery of both your mobile and laptop/tablet.

How to start using Tethering

Most modern smart mobile telephones are capable of Tethering - you will find the feature in settings. You must of course have a data element/allowance in your smart phone contract (even if it is pay as you go), if this is not included you will not be able to Tether. Contact your service provider if you need to add the data element to your deal.

Android Smartphones

On an android mobile telephone open the settings menu and Wireless networks and select “More” and choose “Tethering and portable hotspot” and then “Wi-Fi Hotspot”. On the first use you will need to create your hotspot, so select “create one”. Give your hotspot a recognisable name and a good, strong password (at least 10 characters including upper and lowercase letters, numbers and a special character or two, make it strong as this is your protection against others getting onto your network/internet connection!) And save it. My advice is turn your personal hotspot on and off as you need it, do not leave it on all the time as it will be a big drain on your smart phone’s battery and others will be able to see it and may try to connect to it. Keep it private.

30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

1. On “Start”, swipe over to the “All apps” list, then select  “Settings”  >  “Network & wireless” > “Mobile hotspot”. 2. For Share my cellular data connection over, choose “Wi-Fi”. 3. Select  “Edit”  > type a new network name and password > “Save”. 4. Turn on “Share my cellular data connection with other devices”. Wi-Fi can’t be used when mobile hotspot is turned on. 5. To connect on the other device, go to the Wi-Fi settings on that device, find your network name, select it, enter the password, and then connect.

There is lots of great information on the internet about your particular version of Android or Windows phone software and Tethering. If these instructions do not exactly match your devices setup and they are quite simple to follow – just do a google.co.uk search for “tethering smartphone”. Finally, just remember that you are out and about and that you should only do the minimum of secure surfing using these methods; switch off the hotspot when you have finished for your own security. 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).

Annual Subscription Costs: 33,60€ within France, 28,80€ UK addresses. (Unfortunately the cheaper ‘printed papers’ rate cannot be applied to addresses within France, only when sending abroad) Full Name:.......................................................................................... Postal Address:................................................................................... ........................................................................................................... Postcode:..................................... Country:..................................... Tel:...................................................................................................... Email:................................................................................................ Please make cheques payable to SARAH BERRY.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 31

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

by Sue Burgess

The Market Halls. The building of the market hall dates from 1700. The town plans, plans du bourg de pamprou, drawn in 1725 name them nouvelle halle (new market hall). The old market hall was still being used in 1699. A register, opened in 1700 and with an accompanying plan, teaches us about the placing of the shop keepers and stall holders who were present at the fairs and markets. The register was most probaby started when the new market hall was first used. The wooden pillars were replaced by stone pillars in 1828 and the woodwork and the roofing were restored in 1923. Nothing is known about the old market hall except that it stood where the Place de la Liberté is today. It was situated on the western side of the Notre-Dame de l’Arceau chapel. It had been built sometime before 1654 when the priory rented out a bench under the market hall to Philippe Poitevin and Jacques Migault, merchants from La Mothe-Saint-Héray. Today’s market hall is a rectangular space which is 26 metres long and 14.80 metres wide and is situated at the Southern edge of the place de la Mairie.

Pamproux is situated between Poitiers and Niort, near Saint-Maixent-l’Ecole. The origine of the name of Pamproux comes from a characteristic of the vines. The leaves of the communal vines (pampre) have a reddish colour. At one time the village was ‘Pampre Roux’ which later became ‘Pamproux’. There is still a Wine Harvest Festival Festival des Vendages every year in the autumn. In 1881 the commune was known as St Martin de Pamproux. The 1715 inhabitants of Pamproux are the Pamprousiens and the Pamprousiennes. Pamproux is situated at an altitude of 97 metres above sea level and the river Pamproux flows through the commune. In 1569, the Lord of Tavannes saved the Royal Army at Pamproux during the Wars of Religion. A voir / Must see • The church of Pamproux is dedicated to Saint Maixent. There is a romanesque bell tower and door. The nave is of gothic style and was partly renovated in the 19th century. The building has been listed as a historic monument since 1913. The rectangular bell tower is a fine example of Poitevin Romanesque architecture. The first floor houses the clock and the second floor is the bell room. There are 3 bells. The largest weighs 350 kg and dates from 1848. The second was cast in Le Mans by Bollée and sons in 1867. The smallest dates from 1873 and comes from the Chapel of Aintré (in the commune of Avon, Brittany) which has now been destroyed. The church, which was certainly built at the beginning of the 12th centur replaced a first church of which very little is known, except that it was dedicated to Saint Maixent and given to the Abbey of Saint Maixent by Guillaume Tête d’Etoupe (the Count of Poitou) in about 950. So the priory of Pamproux was built, its buildings adjoining the church. The Romanesque nave was extended in the 13th century and given a gothic style. The wood work was burned during the Wars of Religion, probably about 1568, and the Romanesque vault collapsed. At the beginning of the 18th century, tombstones from the old Huguenot cemetery were used to pave the church. The cemetery had been sold after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. About 1720 the vault was replaced but the roofing no longer had the same height or slope. Between 1874 and 1876 the roof was redesigned and restored. The interior was restored in 1959.

More A-Z of the Communes of Deux-Sèvres next month... 32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Food & Drink Stripped-Down Wine All you need to know about LOIRE

by John Sherwin


• •

ce, over The Loire river is the longest in Fran ring 750 1,000 kms. Wine making areas cove ) run sq kms (two thirds the size of BordeauxNantes the length of the central portion from in the west to Sancerre in the east.st century vines in the 1 Romans firstthplanted th on AD. From 11 to 13 centuries the regi in s wine d eme este t mos the provided England and France. r is The climatic influence of the Loire rive s ture pera tem ated elev the re vital to ensu es. necessary to ripen grap le red Best known for whites, but noticeab French nt orta imp t mos nd production. Seco gne. sparkling wine producer after Champa on, regi g gglin stra , long a and erst To und to west, concentrate on four areas: from east r; Pays Centre-Loire; Touraine; Anjou-Saumu Nantais.

And if you want to know more…

warmer vintages the proportion of sweet, botrytised, Sauternes-style wines will increase. Directly opposite Vouvray, on the west bank of the river, is the appellation of Montlouis which produces similar wines: best bet here are the sweets and sparklers.

Tales of the Riverbank

It’s a bit bonkers to try to make sense of a wine region that traverses most of France, but here goes. Below ground, the most important and consistent ingredient is limestone. This shades to harder, more granitic material towards the west. Both soils can give characterful wines, given proper conditions above ground. Cue le climat ligérien, the climate of the Loire valley, which is considered the most pleasant in northern France. The river itself is the key. It and its many tributaries provide moisture, drainage, and perhaps most importantly, temperature regulation. Let’s take a ride in a flat-bottomed boat (the Loire is not easily navigable) from east to west.


The pretty hilltop village of Sancerre, on the left bank of the Loire, is surrounded by vineyards of mostly sauvignon blanc with some pinot noir. The whites are bone dry with flavours of peach and gooseberry. There is no classification system, but look out for wines from the villages of Bué, Chavignol, and Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre which consistently produce the best quality. Sancerre provides reds and rosés from pinot noir: agreeable enough but not the area’s strong point. Pouilly-Fumé, another sauvignon blanc, is made around the nearby village of Pouilly-sur-Loire. (Confusingly, Pouilly-sur-Loire wines are made from chasselas grapes and are generally inferior to Pouilly-Fumé.) Menetou-Salon and Quincy are neighbouring communes and produce whites which compare favourably with Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé value-for-money-wise.


If you twisted my arm and asked me which of our four areas was archetypical Loire, I guess it would have to be the Touraine, the area surrounding Tours. Not only is it geographically roughly in the middle of the river’s flow, but it is home to two of the Loire’s most famous wine regions: Vouvray and Chinon, spiritual homes respectively of chenin blanc and cabernet franc. The chenin blanc – based wines of Vouvray display great variation from dry through to sweet, and sparkling. The grape variety is characterised by its high level of acidity (also a factor in ageing potential). In cooler years, the dry and sparkling wines will be more to the fore, while in

If you want to know what cabernet franc really should taste like, go to Chinon. This red is a great food wine (and as such is popular with many a Parisian eatery). It is generally light to mediumbodied with notes of blackcurrant, though in good years wines can be mineral and gamey with enough tannin to give them mediumterm ageing possibilities.


This is the area between Angers and Saumur and produces all wine varieties from dry to sweet to sparkling (Saumur has historically – since the 19th century - been a centre for bubbles). It also uses all the grape varieties allowed in the Loire and is therefore sometimes referred to as the ‘microcosm’ of the region as a whole. Particularly notable dry whites are made from chenin blanc in Savennières – very complex and sophisticated, while the same grape produces voluptuous sweet wines in Coteaux du Layon (look for Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume). Rosés are big here. Cabernet d’Anjou, either from cabernet franc or cabernet sauvignon, is a little on the sweet side and is just made for sipping by the pool. When it’s BBQ time, change to Rosé de Loire, more acidic grolleau and therefore good with your grillades. Ah, life in rosé-tinted spectacles. The reds, in my experience, can be hit or miss – and it’s usually a miss with too much green tannin and cabbage aromas.

Pays Nantais

Home to the sometimes unfairly underrated Muscadet. Not to be confused with the musky muscat, this is made from melon de bourgogone, a grape which gives acidic, neutrally flavoured wine. The key to making the wine more interesting is the technique of leaving it sur lie, that is resting in contact with the lees, the sediment of dead yeast cells. This gives a yeasty roundness, often with a spritz of residual carbon dioxide. There is such a thing as basic Muscadet, but this is not worth the effort of reaching for your wallet: always go sur lie. One of the best tipples with oysters or, why not, as a simple apero.

John Sherwin, French Wine Tours 06 52 30 93 10 or www.french-wine-tours.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 33

The Frugal French Pantry W

Fantastic food on a budget...

by Amanda Wren-Grimwood

ith summer around the corner and barbecue season in full swing I thought I would share some of my favourite salad recipes with you. If you have a glut of tomatoes or some walnuts hanging around from last year, these ideas will please a crowd without breaking the bank.

Garlic and Tarragon Potato Salad

Rocket and Walnut Pesto Pasta

Make this dish even better value by using boiled potatoes, any onion, plain yoghurt and 1tsp dried tarragon.

Posh enough for entertaining and perfect if you have foraged for walnuts. Rocket and basil is so easy to grow in pots too.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

Pesto ingredients for 4 servings:

• • •

• • • • •

750g new potatoes 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 shallots or 1/2 red onion, finely chopped 1 tsp sea salt 1 tsp ground black pepper 2 tbsp chopped Instructions: fresh tarragon 1. Cut the potatoes into about 1cm 3 tbsp mayonnaise slices and boil for about 15 min3 tbsp creme fraiche utes until tender. 2. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan with the garlic. 3. In a large bowl combine the potatoes with the remaining ingredients. 4. Serve the potato salad warm.

• • •

20g basil leaves 150 ml olive oil 1 clove of garlic, minced • 80g walnuts • 70g Parmesan, grated Instructions: • salt 1. Put the oil, garlic, basil and walnuts into a food processor and additional ingredients: blitz until blended before adding • 70g chopped the grated Parmesan and pulse walnuts until combined. • 300g dried pasta 2. Cook the pasta and drain, • 70g rocket reserving a little of the • Extra shaved cooking liquid. Parmesan 3. Add 1/2 of the pesto to the pan (keep the rest) stir in the pasta. Add some liquid if needed. Stir in the rocket and walnuts and place on a serving platter with a few shavings of Parmesan.

Proper Coleslaw

Tomato, Feta and Oregano Salad

Great for feeding a crowd and the cabbage goes a long way!

This is really simple and you can use any tomatoes that you have.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1/4 or 300g shredded white cabbage • 1 large or 200g grated carrots • 2 large spring onions, chopped/ shredded • 2 red apples, grated in 2 tbsp lemon juice • 100g walnuts, rough Instructions: chopped 1. Prepare all of the vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl as For the dressing: you go. • 4 tbsp mayonnaise 2. Combine all of the dressing ingre• 4 tbsp creme fraiche dients together and mix with the • 2 tbsp lemon juice vegetables. • seasoning 3. Refrigerate until needed but best • 1 tbsp maple syrup served at room temperature. 4. Garnish with fresh coriander, parsley or chives. 34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

• •

400g small tomatoes 1/2 red onion, finely chopped • 2 tsp salt • 1 tsp black pepper • 4 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 tsp dried) • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar Instructions: • 100g feta cheese 1. Halve the tomatoes lengthways and place in a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients aside from the feta. Amanda lives in La 2. Stir gently and leave at room Chapelle St Etienne and is temperature for 20 minutes. the writer behind the food 3. Tip onto a serving platter and blog chezlerevefrancais.com crumble the feta over to serve. where she posts new recipes weekly.


Pork Chops With Tomato Sauce Ingredients for 4 using approx. ½ a litre of sauce :

seasonal by Lynda Gee


• 4 lean pork chops. • 800g of ripe tomatoes • 1 medium/large onion • 100g of tomato purée • 1 rounded teaspoon of sugar • 10cl olive oil

couple of simple recipes this month using seasonal fresh produce... I hope you enjoy them.

• mixed dried herbs (herbes de Provence) • salt and pepper

Method 1. Place the tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minute, then peel and cut into thick slices. 2. Place these into a deep frying pan, with half of the olive oil and cook on a moderate heat for around 15 minutes, adding the herbs, salt and pepper to taste after about 10 minutes. 3. Drain off a little of the juice and keep this to one side. 4. Peel and finely chop the onion and cook in the pan with rest of the olive oil until soft and clear or lightly golden. 5. Add the tomatoes and the purée with the sugar, a little more salt and pepper and mix well. 6. Continue to cook on a low heat for a minimum of 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the juice back in and, if the sauce sticks to the pan at any time, add a little water. 7. Serve over the pork chops, preferably grilled, and with pasta or potatoes. 8. It is always possible to double the ingredients to make a litre of sauce for those who prefer to serve with pasta and plenty of sauce, and add a sprinkling of parmesan!

Melon, Green Apple and Parma Ham salad Ingredients for 4 people : • 2 Granny Smith apples • teaspoon lemon juice • 2 small/medium Charentaise melons • a little finely chopped fresh parsley or mint • 1 soup spoon of 'runny' honey • 4 fine slices of parma ham.

Method 1. Wash the apples and cut into small cubes, (without peeling them), place into a salad bowl and spoon over the lemon juice. 2. Cut the melons in half, remove the pips and then use a melon baller or small coffee spoon to take out all the fruit. Mix this with the apples. 3. Sprinkle over the finely chopped parsley or mint then pour over the honey and mix well. 4. Put the fruit into the fridge for about an hour. 5. Cut the parma ham into small ribbons or pieces then mix this into the chilled salad just before serving.

Lynda is better known as ‘Ginger’s Kitchen’ and provides a full at-home catering service.

Tel: 06 23 00 72 04 ~ Email: gingers.kitchen@orange.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 35

Raw Garlic...


by Jacqueline Brown

’m in a happy, contented and cherryfilled place right now. My fingers may be juice-stained and my kitchen a bit sticky round the edges, but a harvest as plentiful as this year’s has been, can only make me smile. As well as baking at least one virtually fat-free cherry cake each week, with freshly picked and stoned cherries, I’ve been busy drying them to add to winter breakfasts and there has still been plenty to give away to friends. I love that food and sharing food is something that is taken very seriously in France and the success of our little village market is proof of that. Our pop-up café, where 1€ buys you a coffee and a piece of homemade cake, has become a real social event and alongside the two regular market stalls is proving very popular. To thank us for our participation in the market, the two stallholders the meat and charcuterie man and the fruit, vegetable and cheese man (who also sells wine) - set up a little casse-croûte for everyone to share. From their stalls they produced rillettes, paté, Camembert, red and rosé wine, and raw young garlic that the men munched away happily on, with no concern for the bad breath that must have plagued them and those around them all day. I declined the garlic, but apparently alongside paté it is a real delicacy. It brought back vivid memories of a holiday in Brittany many years ago where we met Jean, omnipresent village handyman who was constantly fiddling with the cloves of garlic in his blue overall pockets before popping them in his mouth and chewing on them like gum. We didn’t plant any onions or garlic in our potager last winter, but despite feeling like I’m missing out, it has proved to be an advantage. I spend most of the winter with a condition I call leek-envy. Every potager in the village seems to sprout rows and rows of prize leeks, but I never have the space at the right time to successfully grow my own. It is such a disappointment as there are so many tasty leek recipes for comforting winter meals. This year, having planted out our usual 57 assorted squash and courgette seedlings, 47 tomato plants and a few peppers and aubergines, for a bit of variety, we had two empty rows. I’ve never made the journey to the garden centre so quickly, or been so happy to buy a bunch of muddy baby leeks, and before Adrian could suggest a coffee break we were trimming them and popping them in the ground. I just need to nurture them well and keeping on top of the weeds (something I struggle with every year) is going to be key. The hoe has become my new best friend in the potager and ten minutes every couple of days, a job best done on a hot and dry morning to ensure they don’t re-root, has so far kept the rows tidy and weed-free. You can find my virtually fat-free cherry cake recipe, which also works well with other fruits, on my blog www. frenchvillagediaries. com

www.frenchvillagediaries.com Email: frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com

36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

APERO TIME! Here’s a super-quick idea for an apero... You’ll need: • 1 or 2 slices of ham • and some garlic/herb cheese Simply spread the cheese onto the slice of ham, then roll it up so the cheese is on the inside. Then cut into bite-size pieces... ...et voila!

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 37


Rally of 100 Populaires Contre Le Cancer


by Beryly Brennan

n Saturday 3rd June the centre of Lezay resounded to the roar of over 100 cars collecting behind the Indoor Market Hall in Lezay to take part in the 5th Rallly of 100 Populaires Contre le Cancer. It’s organised by C.A.V.A.D.S, Club Des Amateurs Voitures Anciennes des DeuxSèvres in conjunction with the Sport et Collection 500 Ferrar Contre le Cancer held annually at the Val de Vienne racingi circuit at Isle de Jourdain in Vienne, the Ferraris raising over 4 million euros in the past 22 years. It’s open to all vehicles over 30 years or more and on show were marques ranging from MG to Triumph to Minis to Porsche and Simca, Opel and Lancia – Photo: David Brennan you name it, they were represented, including a few stunning Excalibur Replica Cars. Never heard of them? Google it, you’ll be astounded at the prices! After a filling petit dejeuner of coffee and sandwiches, the parade headed off in the direction of Rom. MOTVSS motor cycle club providing the efficient escorts, holding up traffic side roads and roundabouts, guaranteed to produce a few at very angry local drivers! The route took us through Vaux, Couhe, Romagne, Sommieresdu-Clain with its stunning Chateau de Vareilles, Chatea Garnier, St Martin l’Ars – along the route locals turned out u wave and cheer us on. Finally we arrived at L’Isle Jourda to where we were all directed to gather ready for 3 laps of in, the circuit on parade. I sat with my eyes shut, too many drivers putting their foot down with no idea of the rules of racing ! A superb lunch followed at Restaurant le Ferme for those who chose not to bring their own picnic. Sadly the sunshine did not bless us – rain and more rain. hardy few in cabriolets (convertibles) braved the weather A with the hood down! Roll on next year and let’s hope the sun shines, both for Populaires and the Ferraris, all raising funds for a worthw us hile cause.

38 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Building & Renovation

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 39



40 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Small B/W Advert from 34€ per month

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 41

42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

The roof, the whole roof, and nothing but the roof Malcolm has been working in the roofing industry for over 40 years. His experience has been sought after in America and Germany, where his roofing skills have been called upon in the construction of stately and unusual homes. In the UK he has re-slated many English Heritage buildings, churches and some of the UK’s finest properties. Since moving to France with his family, Malcolm has been very busy responding to anything from an emergency leak to replacing entire roofs. For a free estimation please call: 06 35 11 27 31 or send an email

Magazines printed 11 months of the year, February to December.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 43

Business & Finance Marketing Matters

by Cindy Mobey

Supercharge your Customer Touch Points

This sounds like just another one of those buzz word things – so what am I talking about? Every business wants their customers to be happy with the service and experience they receive. But, unless you have your customers in mind at every single touch point, you could be missing out on some great opportunities to delight them and keep them coming back for more. What is a touchpoint? According to SurveyMonkey, the definition of a touchpoint is “...any time a customer or potential customer comes into contact with your brand…before, during or after they purchase something from you”. You may have great products, delivered on time and with a smile, but if your advertising isn’t on target, or they receive billing mistakes, or have to deal with a clumsy and clunky website, you can scare your customers away. Luckily, these touchpoints are easily fixed and within our control. Let’s take a look at the general touchpoints a customer will come across…these are just some examples: • Before a sale - Social Media sites, Website, Customer reviews, Advertising/Marketing • During a sale - Shop or office, Catalogue, Phone • After a sale – Billing, Emails, Newsletter Make a list of the touchpoints your customers have with you, then look at them in turn, e.g. your website…is it easy to navigate? Do the tabs point to the right things? Do the links work? Are you easy to contact? Do they get a quick reply if they do contact you? Supercharge your touchpoints Now it’s time to supercharge your touchpoints for a better customer experience. •

Personal touch – Try and speak to a customer wherever you can as most people like to be treated as individuals. I prefer to speak to a real person, not an automated service as I can ask questions and, if there is something I don’t understand, I can simply ask. • Consistent Service levels – Be consistent across all your dealings with customers, not just on the phone. Ensure they get the same service by email etc. • Know your customers – Know what your customers want and who they are. If you can solve a problem for a customer, do it…they will always remember that you went that extra mile… and will recommend you to family and friends. • Resolve any mistakes - If you make a mistake, own up to it and put it right quickly. Don’t blame anyone else, just resolve it and offer some kind of compensation, such as 10% off their next order. • Appreciate your customers – Let your customers know they are valued, e.g. send regular customers a ‘thank you’ card, or give them a money off voucher for being loyal, or ask if they’d like their purchases gift-wrapped. Things like this are what makes good customer service, excellent. Contact Cindy Mobey Tel: 05 45 31 13 86 ~ Email: cindymobey@outlook.com

44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

USEFUL FRENCH VOCABULARY... FINANCE ancien solde (f) - previous balance bancaire - banking carte bancaire (f) - bank card chèque de banque (m) - banker’s draft chèque sans provision (m) - bounced cheque chèquier (m) - cheque book code confidentiel (m) - PIN number code guichet (m) - branch code compte (m) - account compte à terme (m) - deposit account compte bancaire (m) bank account compte courant (m) - current account compte d’épargne (m) - savings account crédit hypothécaire (m) - mortgage découvert (m) - overdraft dépôt (m) - deposit faire faillite - verb - to go bankrupt frais bancaires (mpl) - bank charges impôt (m) - tax livre sterling (f) - pound sterling monnaie (f) - coins/change/currency prélèvement (m) - direct debit prêt personnel (m) - personal loan reçu (m) - receipt rejeter un chèque - verb - to bounce a cheque relevé de compte (m) - bank statement responsable de mon compte (m) - person in charge of my account retrait d’argent (m) - withdrawal of money virement (m) - bank transfer Phrase of the month....il est temps de joindre le geste à la parole - put your money where your mouth is.

What Tax Reforms can we Expect Under President Macron?

by Bradley Warden, Blevins Franks


Taxes on Investments

ive years ago, when François Hollande was elected President, we knew tax rises were imminent. This time around we are hoping for tax cuts. During his electoral campaign, Emmanuel Macron promised significant tax reductions for both individuals and businesses.

Investment income – dividends, interest, capital gains on the sale of securities – are currently taxed at the progressive rates of income tax (another Hollande reform). Rates can be as high as 45%, plus another 4% for income over €500,000, plus social charges of 15.5%.

Wealth Tax only on Property

Taxe d’habitation

Impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF) is an unpopular tax in France, causing many higher net worth individuals to leave the country. M. Macron is keen to stop taxing forms of wealth that contribute to the French economy, and has proposed a drastic reform of wealth tax. He wants to turn it into a tax on high value property, so that other assets, in particular savings and investments, are exempt. Currently, you are liable to wealth tax if you are resident in France on 1st January and your household taxable wealth amounts to over €1,300,000. It is based on worldwide assets, from property and investments to jewellery and cars. The first €800,000 is exempt from this tax, with rates then rising from 0.5% to 1.5%. Nonresidents are liable on assets they own in France. The tax raises around €5 billion a year for government coffers. If the reform goes ahead, it will probably start from 2018, so wealth tax will be due for 2017 as usual.

Macron has suggested he wants to reduce taxation on investment income, to bring it closer to the European average. M. Macron has promised to raise the income thresholds for taxe d’habitation, similar to council tax, so that 80% of the population will be exempt. Currently 30% of households are exempt, for example because they receive little income or they are over 60 and their income is below a certain level. M. Macron is expected to raise the income thresholds over the three years from 2018 to 2020, so that then only 20% of households will be subject to the tax. It will cost the government around €10 billion a year. It is important to keep up to date on tax reforms in France, and review your tax planning to see if you need to make changes or if there any new opportunities you can take advantage of. Take specialist, personalised advice. Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

‘‘With all the uncertainty at the moment, what facts can I rely on to protect my wealth?” Talk to the people who know.


With Brexit, the UK elections and a new government in France, these are times of significant change. There are still two years before Brexit though, so it may be advisable to act now, under known rules, rather than wait and see what happens. For peace of mind contact Blevins Franks to review your wealth management. We look at your tax and estate planning, pensions and investment strategies to ensure you are in the best position going forward.

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05 49 75 07 24

Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFFM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided overseas, via the Insurance Mediation Directive from Malta, the regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, register number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissement Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – RCS BX 498 800 465.


w w w. b l e v i n s f r a n k s . c o m

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 45

What does the election of Emmanuel Macron as the new French President mean for the currency markets and the Brexit negotiations? by Sue Cook Euro strengthens as Macron triumphs After the shocking political twists of 2016 (namely Brexit and Trump) there was a great deal of uncertainty swirling around in the build up to the French Presidential election. Fears that Marine Le Pen (the far-right, anti-EU leader of the National Front) could triumph against the odds initially kept the euro under pressure. Le Pen’s campaign focused on the emotive issues of immigration and national security, her desire to hold a referendum on French membership of the EU and plans to remove France from the Eurozone. However, while Le Pen made it through to the second round, polls showing that centrist Emmanuel Macron would ultimately win by a significant margin meant that EUR exchange rates jumped as the results of the first round were announced on 23rd April. As the outcome of the final round of the French election was expected ahead of time, the currency market’s reaction to Macron’s victory on May 7th was pretty muted. However, since then the euro has been steadily edging higher, and EUR/USD jumped to its best levels since Donald Trump was voted President of the US in 2016. But what will happen to the currency market with Macron at the head of the Eurozone’s second largest economy?

Macron’s take on Brexit could weigh on GBP Emmanuel Macron was sworn in as the President of France on 14th May – officially making him the nation’s youngest leader since Napoleon. In his first few days in office Macron gave the euro another boost by appointing Conservative Edouard Philippe Prime Minister and selecting a diverse cabinet based on European unity and gender parity. It also incorporates a mixture of left and right wingers. However, while hopes for stability and strength in France under Macron are lending the euro support, concerns about the new President’s views on Brexit could spell trouble for the pound. During his presidential campaign, Macron famously described Brexit as a ‘crime’. After meeting UK Prime Minister Theresa May earlier in the year he also told reporters in Downing Street; “Brexit cannot lead to a kind of optimisation of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe. I am very determined that there will be no undue advantages.” If Macron takes a hard-line stance during the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the EU and attempts to prevent Britain securing a lucrative trade deal, fears for Britain’s long-term economic outlook could send Sterling spiralling lower.

Ask Amanda One question I often get asked about is residency. This recent article by my colleague, Derek Winsland, covers the topic very well: Requests regarding residency generally come from people who are looking to move permanently to France, or those who have lived in France for some time, either on a part-time basis (before returning to the UK or elsewhere for the remainder of the year), or on a full-time basis, living ‘under the radar’, so to speak. In French tax law, the definition of domicile fiscal can fall under personal, professional and economic conditions. To be considered resident in France for tax purposes, any ONE of the following conditions must be met: 1. Your main home is in France 2. 3.

You work in France, either on an employed or self-employed basis Your centre of economic interest is in France. This can include your investments, or business interests are here

In addition, there is the commonly known means-test of 183 days in the year, which many people use as the chief determinant; like most things in France it’s not as simple as that. If you spend less than 6 months in France, but spend even less time in another country, then you can still be considered resident in France. Take the retired couple who spend their time between UK, France and Spain. If they lived in UK for 4 months, Spain 3 months and France for 5 months, they will be deemed to be resident in France because it is France where they have spent the most time during the year. There are, of course, many different scenarios that determine residency, for instance the couple whose business is centred exclusively in UK, but live in rented property in France. All activity is in UK, yet because the couple switch on the home computer to check the company bank balance, this is construed as operating a business in France, thus definition 3 applies. There are always grey areas, where tax residency can be in more than one country; in these cases, one hopes that a Double Taxation Treaty is in existence that would apply to ensure the person isn’t taxed twice. What does concern me, though, are those people who have lived in France for many years, but not declared themselves resident. Common Reporting Standards were introduced in January 2016, whereby tax authorities from over 100 countries now share financial data between the host country and the country where the individual lives. If the individual declared him or herself nonUK resident on the grounds of moving to live in France, then any financial information (bank accounts, investments etc) will now be shared with the French tax authorities. Depending on that individual’s circumstances, they may suddenly appear on the fisc’s radar, who might just start to take an interest in them. Nondisclosure of financial information is becoming a big deal, so it is more important than ever that residency is determined and if that is in France, affairs are put in order to address any tax implications for savings and investments. Whether you want to register for our newsletter, attend one of our road shows or speak to me directly, please call or email me on the contacts below and I will be glad to help you. We do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide. The Spectrum IFA Group is fully regulated to offer financial advice in France and we do not charge for reviews, reports or recommendations we provide.

Amanda Johnson of The Spectrum IFA Group 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43 Email: amanda.johnson@spectrum-ifa.com 46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

Sick Pay Self-Employed Insurance

by Isabelle Want


his article is mainly directed at Artisans, Commerçants and profession liberal people who moan all the time about having to pay their cotisations to RSI! Well, I can’t please everyone all the time! I found out the other week that some people didn’t know that they are entitled to some benefits from RSI if they are self-employed and off sick! Yes, it may come as a surprise to you but your cotisations are not for the French government but to pay for illness, accident, pension, unemployment, invalidity and even death! So, let’s have a look at how much you are entitled to and why you might also need an extra insurance to complement it.

1) What you are entitled to: a) Death: OK, I start with the worst one. When you die, RSI will pay a lump sum to your spouse, your children or your rightful heir. The capital paid is 7 845€ if you were still working or 3 138 € if you were retired. b) Invalidity: If you are an invalid and cannot work anymore, the RSI gives you 50% of your average yearly revenue (declared to RSI). This will be given to you until you retire. c) Partial Invalidity: If you have a partial invalidity (invalidity superior to 66%) that stops you from working, you get 30% of your average revenue. d) Incapacity and sickness: In France, it is called Indemnités Journalières and it means that RSI gives you a revenue equal to 1/730 of your average yearly revenue of the last 3 years if you are off work due to health problems. Minimum 5,21€ per day and maximum 53,74 € per day. This is given to you from the 8th day of being sick or injured or from the 4th day if you are hospitalised. This is during a maximum period of 3 years in case of long sickness or 360 days stretched over a period of 3 years for any other cases. E.g. You have earned an average of 8 000€ in the last 3 years, you get 8 000 x 1/730= 10,96€ per day

To give you an idea, a basic cover for death for 50 000€ can be as little as 6,56€ per month, if you had a sickness cover of 25€ per day and an invalidity cover for a benefit pension of 10 000€ per year, the total is 36,02€ per month (prices based on an Artisan aged around 35 years old). So, for less than 37€ per month, you can get peace of mind! Come on, what are you waiting for! If you are not an auto-entrepreneur (SARL, societe individuelle, SA, EURL, etc), the cost of this insurance can be added to your charges (under law Madelin) so reduces your income tax! Conclusion: OK, I know, some of you will say “yet another insurance!” but some insurances are more important than others! And this one to my mind is vital if you have a family that depends on you financially or if you have just started working (not fully yet for 3 years - see section 1-d). So don’t put it off and get a quote! It’s free! Don’t hesitate to contact me for any other information or any quote on subjects such as: inheritance law, investments, car, house, professional and top-up health insurance etc.

You can only be entitled to the above compensation if you have been working fully for the last 3 years and earning at least 3 806€ per year. So, if you have just started your business or earning less than 3 806€ per year, you get nothing!

No Orias: 07004255

2) Self-employed compensation insurance: If you are self-employed, and more importantly, if your family is entirely relying on your revenues, it is advisable to look at an insurance to top-up those benefits. This is especially so if you are just starting out as the benefits from the RSI are low or even non-existent! With Allianz, we offer an insurance where you decide the amount you want to be insured for, in case of death, invalidity and sickness (or just one of those guaranties, or just two or all three).

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

Facebook included... All adverts are now shared on our busy FB page at no extra cost - it’s all part of The DSM service. www.facebook.com/thedeuxsevresmonthly The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 47


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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017 | 49

Border Hopping...


by Joanna Leggett

eux-Sèvres is, of course, one of the most perfect regions in France with its beautiful countryside, ideal location and great climate.

However, we’re also surrounded by some other lovely areas so, this month, we’re taking the opportunity to ‘cross the border’ to sample what the property market has to offer in three surrounding departements.

Just to the north west of DeuxSèvres is the departement of Maine et Loire and the village of St Paul du Bois. Renowned locally for its theatre, there’s also a lake with a safe swimming area and the amenities required for daily life. Approached by a gated long drive within its large landscaped garden a great modern style property (ref: 67691, photo above) is currently on the market for 278 200€. Generous living spaces abound here – and it’s wheelchair friendly into the bargain. Stairs from the sitting room lead to three bedrooms upstairs but perhaps it’s the enormous indoor heated swimming pool which is its most exciting feature. And there’s more .. the large garden is ideal for entertaining, well maintained and even features a small lake. A more traditional offering can be found in St Hilaire des Loges in the Vendée where a pretty stone house could make the most wonderful family or holiday home (ref: 76027, photo top right). Fully renovated, you feel welcomed as soon as you enter. Downstairs is a large kitchen diner and lounge with lovely fireplace, two of five bedrooms are also on this level. With double glazing and oil fired central heating, the house

50 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, July 2017

also has feature woodburners in the kitchen and lounge. There’s a lovely swimming pool outside with terrace, the perfect spot for entertaining or just sit and watch activities – the pretty garden also has a vegetable plot! This property offers great rental potential as St Hilaire itself is charming, it’s 8 kms from Fontenay le Comte with motorway connections and an hour from La Rochelle with Blue Flag beaches and airport! For sale at 214 000€. Juillé in the Charente, south west of Deux-Sèvres, is a small village not far from Ruffec – north of Angoulême. An historic property (ref: 75760, photo right) here is for sale for 162 000€. The character arched front door leads into a tiled hallway opening to the fabulous lounge with garden views and large woodburner. The kitchen is bright and spacious and all is impeccably decorated, the three bedrooms are large and airy with feature beams. Outside there are stoned walled areas making the most beautiful setting for outside dining in spacious gardens. With the attached barn on both levels, it would be easy to either expand the current generous living space or create a separate rentable annexe. There are even a couple of donkeys living across the road to keep you company! The perfect family or holiday home. 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

Profile for The Deux-Sèvres Monthly

The Deux-Sevres Monthly, July 2017  

English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sèvres (79) and surrounding areas of Vienne, Vendée, Charente and Charente Marit...

The Deux-Sevres Monthly, July 2017  

English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sèvres (79) and surrounding areas of Vienne, Vendée, Charente and Charente Marit...

Profile for thedsm