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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 76 of

‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine

June is always a busy month...lots of local events to visit including the Fête de la Musique, Grand Prix Automobile Historique de Bressuire and the Highland Games plus of course we have the longest day and warm, summer evenings to enjoy......Bliss. I love Summer. Longer days also mean extra time to get on the bikes and train. We’ve now taken the plunge and ordered our ‘clip-in’ shoes and pedals, so next month I’ll let you know how we got on. I must admit, we’re slightly apprehensive about our first outing....can we unclip in time for a junction? eek! On the exercise front there are plenty of organised runs this time of year and I know that the Maraisthon is a popular one. Held in Coulon, on the Marais Poitevin, it offers a marathon length course, plus shorter courses too, all set amongst the beautiful waterways. See the ‘What’s On’ page to find out more about this event and many others happening this month. Also in this issue we welcome new regular contributor, Katey Green, who will be offering practical information for a life in France. Thank you Katey! Keep in touch via email and Facebook and we look forward to catching up with some of 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 On Getting Out & About Clubs & Associations Hobbies Health, Beauty & Fitness Our Furry Friends French Life Home & Garden Communications Where We Live A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres Take a Break Food & Drink Motoring Building & Renovation Business & Finance Property

This Month’s Advertisers

ABORDimmo Ace Pneus (Tyre Fitting) Affordable UK Designs (Kitchens & UPVC Double Glazing) AKE Petit Travaux (Builder) A La Bonne Vie (Restaurant & Auberge)

4 6 10 12 14 16 18 19 22 24 28 29 30 34 36 41 44

45 35 2 39 32

Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group 42 Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) 36 ARB French Property 47 Arbrecadabra Tree Surgery 20 Arbres et Abeilles (Plant Nursery) 20 Argo Carpentry 38 Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) 44 Bar de la Poste 8 Bayleaf Books (Books in English) 8 BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want 41 Bill McEvoy (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 36 Blevins Franks Financial Management 43 British Day 8 Camping Les Prairies du Lac 45 Cherry Picker Hire 37 Chris Bassett Construction 39 Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) 6 CJ Electricité 40 Clare Lane (Agent Commercial) 45 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 36 Cottage Services (Garden Maintenance) 20 Creature Comforts (Handyman and Gite Services) 36 Currencies Direct - Sue Cook 42 Darren Lawrence 38 David Watkins Chimney Sweep 36 Deb Challacombe (Online counsellor) 14 Domaine de l’enchantoir (Vineyard and wine tasting) 31 Down to Earth Pool Design 44 Ecopower Europe  44 Expat-radio 23 Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) 35 Fresco Interiors 19 Ginger’s Kitchen 32 Gîte La Gatinelle (Holiday accommodation) 45 Gites.co.uk 47 Hallmark Electricité 40 Helen Booth (deVere Group) 42 HMJ Maintenance 39 Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) 38 Irving Location - Digger Hire and Gravel deliveries 37 Jean-Luc Thierens (Excavation work) 37 Jeff’s Metalwork 39 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 35 John Snee (Groundworks, microstations)  37 Jones’S (Supplier of British Foods) 31 Jon the Carpetman 19 Keith Banks (Pool Services) 44 La Deuxième Chance (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier) 19 La Petite Noisette Bar & Restaurant 31 La Vie en Yoga 14 Leggett Immobilier 46 Le Regal’on Bar & Restaurant 31 Mark Sabestini Renovation & Construction 39 Me and Mrs Jones (Property Cleaning Services) 19 Michael Glover (Renderer, Plasterer, Tiler) 38 ML Computers 23 Motor Parts Charente 35 Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances 44 Needa Hand Services (Grass cutting etc.) 20 Pamela Irving (Massage & Reflexology) 14 Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) 44 Restaurant des Canards 32 Rob Berry Plastering Services 38 Robert Lupton Electrician 40 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) 22 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) 37 Satellite TV 23 Simon the Tiler 38 Smart Moves (Transport Services) 35 Steve Coupland (Property Services) 38 Steve Robin (Plumber) 36 Strictly Roofing 39 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 9 Terra Flore (Landscape Gardening) 20 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 35 Val Assist (Translation Services) 9 Vendée Glass Courses 13 Webservices.Dramatis 23 YesBays.info (Free ads website) 23

© 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: juin 2017 - Tirage: 5000 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848 TVA: FR 03 515 249 738

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 3

What ’s On... Throughout June, The International Clown Caravan is back in the Deux-Sèvres and Nouvelle Aquitaine. See www.festivalmondial-clown.com to see when the caravan may be near you. Until 18th June – Festival Printemps du Thouet. Activities, shows, hikes, visits, nature outings, cultural walks. Find program online at: www.tourisme-deux-sevres.com 2 – Guided tour of Jardin Des Plantes in Niort. 6.30pm-8pm 6€ entry fee. See


2 - 5 - Fêtes de Pentecôte Parthenay

4 days of music, exhibitiors, fun fair and various shows. www. comitedesfetesparthenay.com 3 – 5 June - French championship of trampoline - tumbling - acrobatic

gymnastics at Niort L’Acclameur. 3, 4 & 5 Vouvant Art Season. See article P6 3 & 4 – VÉLO R’GALADES www.vendeetourisme.com 3 circuits to choose from. 3 & 4 – Plant and Seed Exchange

at La Roseraie de Pompaire. See www. lesateliersdelanature.jimdo.com. From 10am until 7pm both days, at La Merlatiere, Pompaire. 4 – Open Garden in La Taudière See article P.20 See www.opengardens.eu for details and directions. 4 - Vide Grenier at Pause! Café L’Absie 5 - Lundi de Pentecôte 6 – The Doodahs charity walk finishes

at Pegasus Bridge. Keep track of the team via Facebook @Dumbarton Doodahs

8 - Ian’s Orange Day for Cancer Research Fundraising event held at the

home of Caroline Self. See details on P.15

10 – CONCERT at Église d’Oroux

Hosted by Les Amis d’Oroux, L’Ensemble VocalOrpheo 10 - Live music night at Restaurant des Canards, Chef Boutonne. See advert on P.32. 10 & 11 – Ouverture d’Ateliers See article P6 10 & 11 – Salon des Metiers d’Art in Ruffec 10 & 11 – Bressure Highland Games

10 & 11 - Arc en Fils exhibition in Airvault 4th exhibition of lace work and embroidery will be held at the salle de fêtes in Soulièvres (Airvault). Apart from exhibitions of needlework, you will be able to find many stalls selling all sorts of things to delight anybody who enjoys needlework in any form. Open from 10 am. 11 – Treasure Hunt in Parthenay

Organised by Vasles netball Club. Book your place before 4th June on 05 49 95 28 73/ 05 49 94 67 63 11 – Grand Brocante in Jardres (86) 11 – 10 open gardens in Le Busseau

see article P20 for details.

11 – RANDONÉe FENERY 11 – VIDE GRENIER THOUARS 11 – Vide Grenier St Maixent 14 – Free Yoga Lesson in Le Tallud – see

article P.15

14 – Discover the Dragonflies in

L’Hôpiteau. An area populated by nearly 300 ponds and lakes. Organised by www. dsne.org Meet at 2.30pm, les communaux de l’Hôpiteau, Boussais

15 - closing date for Segora International Writing Competitions 16 – Opening of Jacques Dominioni art expo (until 16 July) – see article P.6 17 – Vide Grenier Le Pin 17 & 18 – Patchwork, broderie and couture expo in Ligne (dept 16, nr

Chef Boutonne. See advert on P. 32

24 – Rando Secondigny 24 – Vouvant Fête de la Musique

A free concert featuring 4 bands (including Route Barrée and The French Connection) at Place du Bail under the Vouvant Tower, starts 7pm until late. Further details can be obtained from Cafe Cour du Miracle in Vouvant. 24 & 25 June – Grand Prix Historique de Bressuire See Details on P.7 25 – Vide Grenier Aiffres 28 – BLEVINS FRANKS SEMINAR at A La

Bonne Vie, Le Beugnon See P.43 for details

29 - Quiz Night at A La Bonne Vie, Le

Beugnon. Reservations required. advert on P.32


30 – deVERE FRANCE Financial Workshop at Bar Regal’On in Allonne


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

Mansle, Ruffec Aigre). Free entry, tombola, items to buy, tearoom with home made cakes and all donations going to the ‘Stan Millward Fund’. Come along and see some lovely work and make new friends. 18 – DINNER & QUIZ at Lion D’Or, St Hilaire de Voust. Raising funds for Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres. 3 course dinner, 20€ per person. See article P15.

18 – Rando Quiz Geay 18 – The 8th Marais Poitevin Marathon in Coulon www.maraisthon.fr 21 – First day of Summer! 21 – live music, FRENCH CONNECTION


at Le Regalon, Allonne. Ticket only. 15€ including BBQ

Sarah Berry on 05 49 70 26 21 Monday - Thursday 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm

21 – Fête de La Musique 23 - Quiz Night at Restaurant des Canards,

Email: info@ thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

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


La Coudre Etusson Genneton St Martin de Sanzay

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

OPEN 6 - 8.30pm

4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

La Vendée Chippy Weds: ‘Pub Le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Thurs: Bar ‘La Coussotte’, St-Martin-des-Fontaines Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’, Mouilleron-en-Pareds Sat: 1st of month : Bar ‘Le Marmiton’, Antigny Sat 10 June: 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 * new venue: Bar La Chaumière, 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.

1st - 10th July – Jardin De William Christie opens between 1pm7pm 4€ entry fee (see article in last month’s DSM) 2nd July – Afternoon Tea in Chef Boutonne for Cancer Support Deux-Sèvres 2nd July – CSSG summer market at St Pardoux 7th July – deVERE FRANCE Financial Workshop at Le Café in Civray 10.30am-11.30am 13th July – The Thursday Arts expos begin in La Tranche-SurMer (until 24 August) www.latranchesurmer.fr 13th July – deadline for photography drawing competitions features in May’s magazines 15th & 16th July – Festival Le Jazz bat la Campagne www.lejazzbatlacampagne.com 26th - 29th July – Parthenay Festival de bouche à oreille www. debouchaoreille.org 30th July - British Day organised by Petosse Cricket Club. See advert on P.8

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 4th June


18th June 21st June

Fête des Pères Fête de la Musique

5th June Lundi de Pentecôte 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.



1st: Chef Boutonne 5th: Limalonges 12th: Theil Rabier 14th: Aigre

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

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, June 2017 | 5

Getting Out & About 17 Et

18 Juin 2017


Salle des Fêtes 10H à 18H Entrée gratuite Tombola Salon de Thé Au profit de l’association STAN MILLWARD Apéritif offert au public samedi à 18h

dimanche à 12h Imprimé par nos soins, ne pas jeter sur la voie publique


Et ouvant’s Art Season 2017 18

Ouverture d'ateliers d'artistes weekend by Barrie Hill


he fourth edition of ’Ouverture d’ateliers d’artistes Val d’Autize/ Val d’Egray‘ is taking place over the weekend of 10th and 11th June. This is an opportunity for those of you interested in seeing where and how artists work, producing ceramics, paintings, sculptures and other works of art. Fourteen artists (including two ex-pats) living in the area between Secondigny to the east and Coulonges-sur-l’Autize to the west are opening their studios between 2pm and 7pm on both days. Each of them will also be exhibiting an example of their work from the 10th June - 14th August in the Bistro du Boeuf Couronné in Champdeniers, where the vernissage, apero concert and dinner will take place on Saturday 10th June starting at 7.30pm. Music will be provided by ‘Ambiance Jazz’, an Anglo/French group. Reservation is essential, please call 05 49 16 70 84. Leaflets can be found in local bars, shops and supermarkets and list the artists, with a map showing you where to find their studios to help plan your visits.

6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017


by Mary Arnold


e it Jean-Michel Rackleboom, and the 2017 tinkling sounds of water delicately dripping from bamboo fountains set Vente amidst his paintings, all of which will take you on a voyage through the cycles and rhythm of water; or Jacques Dominioni’s colourful swirling, writhing, powerful figures, and his very sharply defined cubist and geometric paintings; or the delicate wood sculptures of the wood turners, or the ‘arm-chair travels’ broughtSalle to des youFêtes 10H à 18H Entrée gratuite Tombola by artists who share their journeys and Salon de Thé experiences through paintings and notes de l’association STAN MILLWARD in their carnets (notebooks) Au deprofit voyages. Everyone will be able to find something Apéritif offert au public to enjoy in the exhibitions coming up in Vouvant’s 2017 Season of Art. samedi à 18h dimanche à 12h Imprimé par nos soins, ne pas jeter sur la voie publique

Come and join us for the Carnets des Voyages weekend, 3-4-5 June, three days of exhibits, seminars, two concerts and a grand picnic on Sunday evening. Open to all (reservations via email to vouvant.villagedepeintres@orange.fr). Next, it’s Jacques Dominioni, ‘A Retrospective’, 16 June – 16 July, followed by Jean-Michel Rackelboom, ‘Vouvant au rythme de l’eau’, 20 July – 15 August, both exhibitions in the Nef Theodelin. And in the Espace Lusignan, 25 – 30 July, ‘Tournage d’Art et Sculptures sur bois’, delicate wood sculptures on exhibit, and wood sculptors working on very large pieces in the courtyard. And lastly, from the 1st of July the ‘Circuit des Artistes’ will be open. Ten artists’ studios open to the public, plus fifteen additional artists showing consecutively at the Espace Lusignan.

For more information on all the exhibits, go to www.vouvantvillagedepeintres.com

Build It and They Will Come!

by Lionel Roper

Promote your event....

Size A colour (above) 50€ ttc includes: ad design,‘What’s On’ listing + coverage on Facebook



Hear the engines roar, the smell of oil, fuel and burnt rubber....they’re under starter’s orders at this year’s Grand Prix Historique in Bressuire!


he superb flat green Bowling Green you see in the picture has been the subject of lots of hard work by Lionel Roper. Built on his own land, situated between Amailloux and St Germain du Longue Chaume, Lionel is now inviting people to come and use it!

At the moment it is used on a Wednesday evening and a Sunday afternoon (weather permitting). This can be flexible but must be by arrangement. It is a social outing, full of fun and laughter. “No experience necessary, we don’t play for the Town Hall Clock!”, says Lionel. All that’s asked is to wear flat shoes please. (No heels that can damage the green). Bowls can be provided, as can refreshments. So if you want a good laugh and chance to make new friends please come and join us. It’s free and with no age limits! Telephone Lionel on 05 49 63 93 17 or Jean/Robert on 05 49 64 02 51. Or email: lionelroper61@gmail.com / mrsboggy@gmail.com

For the weekend of 24/25th June, the town is taken over by the noisy engines of classic cars such as Aston Martin, Bugatti and the Renault 4CV. The highlight for this year’s event is to honour the Porsche club. Between 12 and 15 cars will be present, mainly the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS models... if you’re a Porsche lover, you cannot miss it!

Saturday 24th:

Drivers check-in and prepare their vehicles from 9am. From early afternoon the drivers will take to the circuit and demonstrate their vehicles, usually class by class. There will be a break from the noise for dinner, then a semi-nocturne race will take place later in the evening.

Sunday 25th:

Demonstrations last all day from 10am (with a break for lunch 12.30-2.30pm). The final parade will be at 6pm.

Bring your friends, all very welcome. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 7



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.

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

Benet 85490 Lencloître (1st Monday in month) 86140 Tuesdays......... Lezay 79120 Civray 86400 (1st Tuesday in month) Coulonges-sur-l’Autize 79160 Thouars 79100 - and - Bressuire 79300 Vasles 79340 Wednesdays.... Parthenay 79200 - and - Celles-sur-Belle 79370 Ruffec 16700 Thursdays........ Sauzé-Vaussais 79190 - and - Niort 79000 La Mothe St Héray 79800 Gençay 86160 Friday............... Thouars 79100 - and - Melle 79500 Secondigny 79130 (pm)-and-St Aubin le Cloud (pm) Saturdays........ Bressuire 79300 - and - Champdeniers 79220 Chef-Boutonne 79110 Airvault 79600 - and - Niort 79000 Saint Maixent-l’École 79400 Fontenay-le-Comte 85200 Ruffec 16700 Magné 79460 Moncoutant 79320 Sundays............ Coulon 79510 - and - Neuville-de-Poitou 86170 Thénezay 79390 Saint-Varent 79330 Saint-Loup-Lamairé 79600 8 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017


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


by Sue Burgess

A Rose by any other name


have the impression that my roses mes roses are particularly beautiful this year. I love the tight rosebuds boutons de rose. Perhaps one day I will be the proud owner of a beautiful rose garden une roseraie.

There are many different types of rose and rosebush rosier. The wild rose or dog rose is known as l’églantine, and some roses are probably not roses at all. The rose of Sharon is a hibiscus, rose bay is laurier rose and a rose tremière is a hollyhock. Climbing roses are rosiers grimpants and they fall into two categories: remontant (they climb upwards) which flower continuously from May onwards, and non remontant which just flower once a year between mid June and mid July. Les rosiers anciens are old roses which were created before the 1920s and les roses anglaises English roses are varieties which have been created in England over recent years.

Rose as a colour refers to the colour pink, but roses come in all sorts of colours. From Ronsard to Shakespeare, many poets have considered roses to be the symbol of love. If roses are the most sold cut flower in the world la fleur coupée la plus vendue au monde particularly for Saint Valentine’s day, la Saint Valentin you need to understand their codes if you want to avoid misunderstandings. Roses rouges red roses are the symbol of passionate love l’amour passionnel. The white rose la rose blanche is an expression of sincerity and purety. Yellow roses les roses jaunes symbolise friendship l’amitié but beware, in love they can mean trahaison deceit. Pink roses les roses rose are a symbol of kindness and affection.

‘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!

Standard roses les rosiers tiges create a vertical effect whereas les roses pleureurs or weeping roses have trailing branches that fall back to the ground. Les roses miniatures miniature roses are perfect for pots and tubs des pots et des jardiniers.

Whichever you choose, the hybrid tea rose l’hybride rose-thé is supposed to be the most popular rose in the world la rose la plus populaire au monde. Vocabulaire / Vocabulary: Some colloquial expressions: à l’eau de rose ........................

mushy, sentimental

un roman à l’eau de rose ..... romance novel

ça sent pas la rose ................

it’s not exactly sweet smelling

la ville rose .......................... Toulouse

un carnet rose ........................

a list of celebrities who have recently had babies

rose bonbon ........................ candy pink

un éléphant rose ....................

a pink elephant hallucination

rose des sables .................... chcocolate cornflake cakes

être frais comme une rose ....

to be as fit as a fiddle

le téléphone rose.................

il n’y a pas de rose sans épine

every rose has its thorn

voir la vie en rose ................ to see life through rose tinted glasses

sex chat line

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 9

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

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.


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. 2nd Sunday Motorcycle Club Come and join us for a bike ride, or just a cup of coffee and a chat, with bike-minded people. As the name suggests, we meet on the 2nd Sunday of every month. New members are always welcome. For more information, visit our web-site. www.2ndsundayclub.fr

Bridge Players Wanted

A small, friendly bridge group are looking for new players in the Parthenay area. We are friendly and informal and we are keen to welcome all levels of players. Contact Richard Knight via email richardknight@orange.fr or 05 49 69 18 65

Come KNIT/CROCHET with us every Friday at 3.30pm in the Café des Sports, Chef-Boutonne. Beginners to Experts - all welcome. Contact us via Facebook (Girls that do knitting and crochet) or Melanie on 06 65 17 89 16. TTL Photography Group

Local photography group on the Deux-Sèvres/Vendée border. New members always welcome, all levels of expertise and knowledge. We meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 1pm at Pause! L’Absie (79240). Feel free to pop in and join us.

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

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

10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Please visit the branch website:


Les Amis Solitaires

We are a group of people living alone in France. We meet up for coffee mornings from 11am, every 2nd & 4th Thursday at The Lemon Tree in Sauzé Vaussais. More details from Gwen on 05 17 34 10 23 or email: LASdePoitou@gmail.com

Craft Café Creatif

Do you enjoy knitting or sewing in the company of others? Join us in L’Absie for an enjoyable afternoon over a cup of tea and a piece of cake. For details contact Carole on email: carole.stocking@gmail.com Amateur woodturners/woodworkers interested in joining our association ‘Faisons des Copeaux’. Any level of ability from debutant to experienced. We meet Wednesdays & Thursdays, 2-5pm, every 2 weeks. Contact Roland 05 49 96 44 10, preferably evenings.

Chorale Mélusine, Parthenay

French 4-part choir established over 30 years (with 2 English members) always looking for “new blood”! Excellent Musical Director. Come to a rehearsal and see for yourselves. Contact Keith for more info keithandcarol@orange.fr 05 49 69 14 89


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


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

Combined Services

Support Group (CSSG)


by Terri Laverick

ello again. I’ve been sitting looking out on a rain-soaked garden wondering how to phrase this article and it occurred to me that when you read it, we shall be basking in the warmth of a lovely June day...hopefully.

The first thing you need to know is that our third Summer Market will be on Sunday 2nd July 2017. The Address is Chambord, La Bourrichere, 79130 St Pardoux (Sat nav coordinates N46 32.557 E003 06.123). Directions: From the centre of St Pardoux take the road to Azay-sur-Thouet D139, after passing the school take the next right and follow the road until you see the balloons and signs at Chambord. As usual we shall be offering tea, coffee and cakes for sale (note to self - “get baking!”) This year La Vendée Chippy will be joining us at lunchtime. There will be stalls selling all you could possibly wish for, games to keep you and the children entertained and best of all, the local Pompière have asked if they can come. Obviously we said “yes”, who can resist a fireman? If you would like to book a space to sell your services or goods, please email me at: combinedssg@gmail.com and I will get back to you quickly. The more the better as there is plenty of space. You will need to bring your own sun shade as the garden is lovely and open and we’d hate for you to get sunburnt. Our September event is in the process of being organised. It will be a Fishing Picnic. You can’t cook the fish that you catch, but we may have a prize or two for most caught or largest fish. We are hoping to have a barbeque so that you can bring your own food to cook while enjoying a friendly chat with friends and family. More details will follow at a later date. Keep the 9th September free though. If you wish to join us, or have any questions, please contact me at the above email address, we are always looking to welcome new members and/or helpers. Hope to see you all at our Summer Market.

Clubs & Associations Submission Guidelines

Wordcount: Title of entry+ 40 words (max. incl contact details). Logos can be supplied and will be added if space allows. Adverts meeting the above specifications can be added free of charge, and will be rotated on a monthly basis to allow everyone to participate. To guarantee the advert is printed each month, a small fee of 54€ per annum will be requested. How to SUBMIT your entry: 1) Complete the short form on ‘Submit Article’ page of our website (under the ‘Content’ menu) or 2) Simply email the details to us: info@ thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

“Ladies’ Day” - A Winner

© Roger Amsden 2017

by Sue Fitzgerald


ow, that was seriously good fun. TheatriVasles would like to thank everyone who came to our performances of Ladies’ Day at the start of the month. We couldn’t have asked for more, you turned up in record numbers, laughed and cried, spontaneously applauded and consumed more beverages than ever before. We at TheatriVasles salute you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts; it’s what makes it all worthwhile. Here’s just some of what you said about us: “Wow! Well done one and all. We really enjoyed the show and agreed that it was your best production to date. The story line was good and the characters very well portrayed. The backdrops were amazing.” PS “It was a pleasure for the audience to be entertained by you. It was a wonderful play, equivalent to seeing it in the west end. Well done!” JS “Would you do another performance PLEASE?” AS “We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, a totally brilliant production all round so well done to everyone, first class entertainment!” PH

© David Brennan 2017

“…sensitive and funny performances. The round of applause at the transition from Hull fish factory to York racecourse on Royal Ascot Ladies Day was well deserved - not only good artwork but design genius.” As one of the cast I would like to thank everyone who worked on this project, you all know who you are, and say that I can’t wait for the “10 Minute Play Festival” – 24th & 25th of November. If you would like to get involved please do contact us theatrivasles@ gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you.

Visit www.theatrivasles.com or find us on Facebook The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 11

Hobbies Printing and Distributing your Book

YOUR Book Reviews


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

efore you dive headlong into creating a printed book you should ask yourself why you want that print version in the first place.

Are you going to restrict print sales to online, through the one print book retailer (e.g. Amazon) and your own website? • Do you just want a few printed books for promotional purposes? • Are you going to limit yourself to a few bookshops? • Are you going for global distribution? • Have you realistically budgeted time and money costs? There are lots of options: the ‘big beasts’ of CreateSpace and Ingram Spark (Lightning Source), the venerable Lulu, (unfortunately tainted by Author Solutions scandals), publishing services companies like BookBaby, and local private printers. The smaller publishing services providers like Bookbaby and SilverWood Books offer packages that include pre-press services and author support, not just printing. Lulu offers the basic service free but encourages you to buy quite expensive pre and post-press services. Digital technology enables short runs of books at unit prices little more than for long print runs and can use the same artwork as for CreateSpace or Ingram Spark. You may get a better price, you can produce premium copies of your book, e.g. nicer interior paper or a different cover finish, and small local printers usually deliver swiftly. Make sure they are specialist book printers, rather than general printers, so that you will get professional book quality. Ask for a detailed quotation in advance, including a guaranteed delivery date. And the big beasts? These are essentially DIY print on demand (POD) services; you will need to have your cover, your interior files already formatted, and proofed, everything as it would appear in the printed book, then converted into PDF files. You can order one book or fifty, although higher quantities are discounted. CreateSpace (CS) is Amazon’s own printer; it’s free to set up and your book will always be in print on their websites. They take 40% of the sale price, leaving you 60%. The downside is that if you use their (free) ISBN you cannot use it elsewhere unless you take the expanded distribution option (not recommended), but then you will have to pay $99 for the privilege. And CS takes 60% if they sell through their expanded distribution (other online stores, libraries and bookstores). IngramSpark (IS) is the gateway for self/indie publishers to the printing and distribution giant Lightning Source used worldwide by all publishers great and small. Ideal for all other distribution outside of the Amazon universe, including to independent and traditional bookshops, and libraries. The small set-up fee is well worth it for the further reach. You provide your own ISBN (free in France from AFNIL). IS prints in many locations in the world so production is fast, unlike CS which only prints in the US. With IS you can choose whether to give 40% or 55% for distribution. My option? After my files are prepared by a professional service, I use both CS and IS; CS to be sure my print book is always available on the world’s biggest retailer, and IS for worldwide distribution and better quality print, essential for selling books at events. And I always order a proof copy to make sure all is as it should be. Happy printing! Alison has compiled the articles from this column into the 500 Word Writing Buddy, available on Amazon. Her sixth novel, RETALIO, is now out. 12 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

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

A Dog Abroad by Bruce Fogle The dog is an incidental to the book. It’s about a trip through Scandinavia and Eastern Europe by renowned vet and writer Bruce Fogle, married to actress Julia Foster, father of TV presenter Ben Fogle, as he goes in search of his Lithuanian ancestors. His grandparents were born in Lithuania, moved to Scotland, then to Canada where Bruce grew up, graduating as a vet from Ontario Veterinary College and moving to London. He made the journey in an imported Roadtrek, a compact well-fitted Canadian motorhome, in the company of Sat Nav Barry, his Aussie guide, a collection of Baedeker Guides from the 1800 and 1900s, Europe on $5a Day, Kummerly & Frey European Road Atlas and L’Europe en Automobile. And his Golden Retriever Macy. Avoiding main routes, his journey took him through rural areas of the Baltic States rarely visited by tourists, many previously under the control of Russia and Germany and struggling to enter into ‘free Europe’ and the 21st century. It’s a fascinating travelogue with good route map illustrations but poor quality photos’. by Beryl Brennan

Where There’s Smoke by Jodi Picoult “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean I don’t. I can’t explain it, I can’t understand it, and I can’t deny it.” Ever wondered if there is a way to communicate with our friends and relatives who have passed away? This short story, which can be read in one or two hours, follows Serenity Jones who has ‘the physic gift’ from early childhood. When a war widow whose husband died in Iraq comes on her TV show wanting to contact him, his message for his wife is not what she was hoping for. Accompanied by her two spirit guides, Lucinda and Desmond, Serenity was not expecting the fireworks which followed! Jodi Picoult is a great American writer of 24 bestselling novels who lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Her books are easy to read, enjoyable and thought provoking. The book hooks you in nicely… it is a great introduction to her next book Leaving Time… by Vronni Ward

Bees at the Little White House by Gloria Fisher

Experiences of a new Beekeeper... Other Essentials......


n my last article I had the hive set up in the field with very little around it. Now I have vegetables growing and discovered another pear tree, the first one is now blossoming and the 2nd was covered in brambles, so I have freed it (and been scratched to bits); on the positive side more pears, poached in red wine and served with ice cream. Mmmm!!

I worry that the bees would get in the zip on a jacket or that I might not do it up completely and the bees would find a way in, and then panic, and I would end up with a sting. Other new found friends Whilst trying to clear the last of the brambles I could hear a noise, as if something was moving in the dead leaves. I didn’t particularly want rabbits so I carried on, then with a movement of my grass rake I discovered a prickly friend. It was asleep but alive. I could still hear something moving in the rest of the  brambles, so I think I must have at least 2 hedgehogs. Great news, and a perfect excuse not to finish clearing the brambles. Hedgehogs are great for a vegetable garden, eating the slugs and not the veggies.

Next time:: The Arrivals

Take a Break - SOLUTIONS

4. Bee Protection Another essential is some sort of mesh cover for your body, face and head, as when you open the hive for inspection the bees will fly up. I have a pull-on blouson complete with hood. Looks really gorgeous! Not something for the cat walk I know, but essential.

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

Easy Crossword: Across: 1. paste 3. pupil 7. snore 8. sauna 9. channel tunnel 10. detention 13. samuel beckett 14. skint 15. gavel 16. toxic 17. solid Down: 1. poncho 2. spring equinox 4. prawn cocktail 5. lintel 11. basket 12. attend

I’m sure you already know, that when a bee does sting, it dies, as the sting is in the main body which pulls apart as the bee flies off.

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

Toughie Crossword: Across: 7. longshot 8. doom 9. alter ego 10. fate 11. hazard 14. editor 15. o’clock 17. cogent 19. idle 20. scaffold 23. anal 24. encroach 25. lot Down: 1.roll 2. ogre 3. shrewd 4. stroke 5. edifying 6. poltroon 9. ash 12. accident 13. above all 16. kismet 17. chance 18. tad 21. floe 22. luck

3. Gloves Gloves are essential! Some experienced keepers don’t bother with gloves, but I definitely will. I have heard that bees will climb up the glove and when it reaches the end it stings just so you know they are there. Again, I will let you know!

I look forward to reading the DSM every month, it’s always on hand if anyone on a Facebook group or a friend is looking for a particular tradesperson or phone number - I generally take a photo of the page or advert & forward it on so they know where I got my information from.

Well, what do you know?:

2. A Hive Tool The hive tool is important as this enables the frames inside the hive to be separated. Bees are very good at sticking the frames to the runners with propolis, a bit like super glue, so you can’t get them out for inspection. The tool has a hook on one end and a scraper on the other and is ideal as you can scrape away the ‘super glue’.

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

6) Andrew CRUICKSHANK (Harry Potter books and films) 7) TONY Jacklin (Frosties advert) 8) TOP Gear (Top Cat cartoons) 9) VIENNA (Rising Damp) 10) JESSes (Postman Pat) 11) ALEX Ferguson (Madagascar cartoon films) 12) ‘Colonel’ TOM Parker (Tom and Jerry cartoons)

1. A smoker The smoker is a sort of bellows-type thing that blows smoke and is used to smoke the bees before inspections. It calms them as they are led to believe there is a fire and are too busy gorging themselves with honey to sting. Well that’s the theory, I will let you know!!

1) DIEGO Maradona (Ice Age films) 2) SYLVESTER McCoy (Loony Tunes cartoons) 3) BENNY Goodman (Top Cat cartoons) 4) ARTHUR Askey (Kattomeat advert) 5) ORION (Men in Black 1)

There are four main things that you would need before you start:

I mentioned the felling of the trees and how much mess they make. All this waste has to be cleared and burnt by the time the bees arrive, so I am burning furiously whenever the weather permits.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 13

Health, Beauty & Fitness

Bike Maintenance


by Jacqui Brown

efore I get onto the exciting topic of how to repair a puncture, I have an announcement to make. Our charity fundraising page, where donations made are paid directly to Rêves, is up and running and you can find it here:


We would be very grateful for any donation, so thank you in advance.

Punctures - There must be thousands of bikes sitting in sheds or barns not being used because they have that most basic of mechanical failures, a puncture. Repairing a puncture is simple and, as punctures can strike at any time, it’s a necessary skill for cyclists. What do you need? - A puncture repair toolset consists of a set of plastic tyre levers, a good pump and a spare inner tube. We always carry these with us, even on a short ride. How do you do it? Remove the wheel - most bikes have quick release levers on the hubs, but you may need to open the brakes to do this (there is usually a lever or a cable that can be popped out to do this on the brake callipers themselves). Removing the rear wheel is trickier; first, shift the chain into the outer gear at the back as this makes it easier to thread back in afterwards, then pull the lower cage of the rear gears backwards against the spring and the wheel should pop out. It is a good idea to practice this at home before having to do it on a wet mountainside. Remove any remaining air from the tyre by opening the valve and then use 1 or 2 tyre levers to lever one side of the tyre off the rim. Run the lever around the rim and it should come off fairly easily. Remove the old inner tube and dispose of it sensibly or repair it. Check the tyre for any sharp objects that may be stuck in the tread. Place the new inner tube, valve first, into the rim, inside the open tyre. Put the valve through the valve hole and then put a little bit of air in the tube to help fit it into place. Feed the tyre back on to the rim. The final bit can be a bit tight, but can easily be done by hand, although do be careful not to pinch the new tube between the tyre and rim. Pump it up to the correct pressure and refit the wheel. The hub lever should be on the left hand side of the bike, opposite the gear mechanism. Don’t forget to reconnect the brakes and give the wheel a spin to check everything is where it should be. Top tip: It is good practice to line up the tyre logo with the valve. That way, once you have found the puncture in the inner tube it is easy to trace where the tyre may be punctured and then remove the offending object. Also don’t forget most tyres are directional; don’t fit them on back to front - there will be a small arrow printed on the tyre showing the rotation direction. If all of this seems a bit of a hassle then you can buy puncture resistant tyres and even puncture-proof goo, which can be filled inside the inner tube to block any punctures before they cause a problem. Don’t forget, if you are interested in joining us, you can find instructions on ‘The DSM’ website and our terms and conditions will be sent out to all those interested in taking part. www. thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr 14 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Ian’s Orange Day by Caroline Self

Do you want an alternative to Election Day?   Well, here it is! Thursday 8th June, Ian’s Orange Day for Cancer Research at my home in Les Gibaudieres 85700 Montournais at 2pm.   Last year I arranged a charity day on this date for my husband, Ian, who died on February 15th 2016 of primary liver cancer. I made scones and offered free cream teas in exchange for raffle tickets - the prizes were 10 orange buckets filled with all sorts of donated goodies.   We raised 1000€ on that day, which was absolutely brilliant.....the total raised for the year was 3000€.   This year I am basing the charity day on a garden theme.   I have planters made up to raffle and hope to have 10 wooden truggs with various items in them, and if anyone attending would like to bring plants to exchange, please do so.  I will also have some of my fun art for sale too, as I am now donating proceeds from the commissions to Cancer Research.



by June Searchfield

ancer Support Deux-Sèvres has been very quiet for the past few weeks which means we have no new clients! We must be the only association which welcomes silent phones. Although quiet, that does not mean we are not working behind the scenes. Although we have lost a couple of our volunteers, we have welcomed two new ladies, which brings our numbers back to 16. We said a fond but sad farewell to Ann Ashwell, who has been a valued member of the team and wish her well as she starts a new chapter of her life in the UK. We have been discussing the possibility of using a room instead of hosting our meetings in our own homes. After discussions with local mairies and Niort hospital we have had the kindest of offers from La Ligue Headquarters in Niort. They have said we can have their special “salle” permanently at no cost. CSDS has been working closely with La Ligue for several years and this offer cements the wonderful relationship we have with them.

I do need to know numbers for catering purposes and most importantly, if you have any garden items I can fill my truggs with, I would be very grateful.

Our aims and objectives remain the same... to help and support families touched by cancer. Translation, hospital and home visits, telephone support being just a small part of support.

I am awaiting the arrival of raffle tickets and hope to put them in the same cafes and restaurants in the area as last year, and we will all pray for the good weather to arrive again.

We have a few fundraising events being organised... Cheryl Appleton, quiz lady extraordinaire, has organised another quiz and dinner on Saturday 18th June, at 7pm at Lion D’Or, St Hilaire de Voust.. please contact Cheryl on 05 49 74 24 69 for menu choices and reservations.

If anybody would like to help out, I would be extremely grateful... For more information please contact me by email: caroline.self@sfr.fr

Afternoon Tea Party Sunday 2nd July at the Hotel des Voyageurs, Chef Boutonne from 2.30pm until 6pm. McKenzie have kindly offered to play again this year, to provide the musical ambience. Anyone who attended last year will remember how brilliant they were.

New Hatha Yoga Workshop for All in Le Tallud (French class) by the Fitness Tallud Association.

I would like to say thank you for all the kind wishes sent to me whilst in hospital. I am back, and as I say at the end of our meetings.... onwards and upwards.

To live the present moment, to calm the mind, to connect body and spirit. This weekly workshop starts at 1:30pm and aims to accompany you through your own path.


We aim to start with a playful approach, gradually becoming more intense, to help you become more independent. Working in a way where the feeling is more important than the final posture ... Sessions include meditation, pranayama, asanas, relaxation, philosophical approach and welfare. Everyone welcome; beginners, athletes, men and women. A free trial course will take place on Wednesday 14 June at 6.15pm at the Maison des Associations, Le Tallud. The course will start in September.

Registration and info on: www.latelieryoga.fr

Cancer Support Deux-Sevres


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

We are a netball team in Vasles (79340). We meet every Monday 6-7pm at the Salle Omnisports in Vasles for training with our qualified English coach. It’s fun and a great way to keep fit, so come along or contact: knight-kelly@sky.com

Tai Chi in Bressuire and Le Breuil Barret

Each Tuesday evening (7pm-9pm) at the Centre SocioCulturel in Bressuire. Each Friday afternoon (3pm-4.30pm) at the Salle Communale in Le Breuil Barret. Simply turn up in loose, comfortable clothing and flat soled footwear. Phone Terry on 05 49 65 60 34 or visit: www.chentaiji-fr.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 15

Our Furry Friends

USSEL This frightened little lad, only 12.5kg, found wandering, unidentified and unclaimed is no doubt a hunting reject. Initially very fearful of people USSEL has come a long way in regaining his trust in people and is a friendly, loving boy. He is good with other dogs and cats, good in the house and car, and good on the lead. Ideally USSEL would like a calm home and a secure garden in which to play. A doggy buddy would be a real bonus to help with his confidence. USSEL has been neutered, micro-chipped, primary vaccinated including rabies so he has a valid passport, and has been treated for worms, fleas and ticks. An adoption fee of 120€ will be asked for to help towards his medical costs. USSEL is currently staying near Angoulême (16).

The Assocation Orfee Contact Caroline: 05 45 96 02 79 or by email: orfeeinenglish3@gmail.com Visit the website: www.orfeeinenglish.com ECOLE DU CHAT LIBRE DE POITIERS 1 Place de Fontevrault 86000 POITIERS (answerphone) Ecoleduchat.poitiers.free.fr

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



16 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Roses are grey, violets are grey... Above: What a human can see with normal vision compaired to what your dog actually is seeing.

Besides just the cones, there are other photoreceptors known as rods. Rods can only detect black and white, but they also process movement extremely well and help to see in the dark. A dog’s photoreceptors are mostly rods. This means they can see exceptionally well in low light conditions and see different shades of grey to a higher degree than we can. They can also differentiate the tiniest movements.

by Tony Barratt Pardeloup@aol.com

What Colours can Your Dog Actually See?


umans see the world in colour because we (usually) have three types of colour receptor cells, or cones, in our retinas. These are sensitive individually to red, green, and blue light, and the different intensities and proportions of those three colours as seen by our eyes are put together by the brain to create the full-colour world as we know it. Dogs have only two types of colour receptor cones in their eyes, yellow and blue, which means that they actually do see colour, but many fewer colours than normal humans do. Instead of seeing the rainbow as violet, blue, blue-green, green, yellow, orange and red, dogs would see it as dark blue, light blue, grey, light yellow, darker yellow (sort of brown), and very dark grey. In other words, dogs see the colours of the world as basically yellow, blue and grey and the colours green, yellow and orange as yellowish. They also see violet and blue as blue and blue-green is seen as a grey. You can see what the spectrum looks like to people and dogs below.

But did you know there are things you can’t see that your dog can? Well, dogs have the tremendous ability to see ultraviolet light. Obviously, we can see a fresh puddle of pee on the floor or ground. What your dog sees is the residue left behind when pee hasn’t been fully cleaned, that’s because urine stains are also on the UV wave length. Another thing that comes into factor when talking about a dog’s vision abilities is that they can see 240 to 250 degrees around them without moving their eyes. Our field of vision is only 180 degrees. So, even if you are standing diagonally behind your dog, chances are he sees you. Even though dogs are able to see all of these different things with their eyes, vision is not their primary sense. Actually, dogs are considered near-sighted. They really don’t trust their eyes as much as we trust ours. So, the next time your dog can’t find the red ball that you just threw onto a green lawn, remember that their world, while still full of vivid blues and yellows, is probably a bit less colourful than your own. But don’t feel sorry for dogs because of this for what they lack in visual ability, they make up for with their sense of smell. Their noses have been estimated to be up to 100 million times more sensitive than ours. To your dog the phrase “follow your nose” is a way of life. Dogs are well known for their excellent sense of smell and their keen sense of hearing, but something that has nothing to do with vision or sense of smell is that our furry friends prefer to relieve themselves or do their territorial marking while facing north or south. That implies they are sensing the Earth’s magnetic field. Just in case you are wondering, your pet cat also has similar two cone receptors as the dog and therefore sees the world in much the same way. Although cats can’t see fine detail or rich colour, they have a superior ability to see in the dark because of the high number of rods in their retina that are sensitive to dim light. As a result, cats can see using roughly one-sixth of the amount of light that people need.

One amusing or odd fact is that the most popular colours for dog toys today are red or safety orange (the bright orange red on traffic cones or safety vests). However, red is difficult for dogs to see. It may appear as a very dark brownish grey or perhaps even a black. This means that a bright red dog toy that is so visible to you may often be difficult for your dog to see. It could mean that when your pet runs right past the toy that you tossed, she may not be stubborn or stupid. It may be your fault for choosing a toy with a colour that is hard to discriminate from the green grass of your lawn.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 17

French Life . KT’s PR ACTICAL INFO.. by Katey Green



ith the current rate of exchange playing havoc with the amount of revenue for your pensions, many retirees have had to tighten their belts and some are living in what could be described as poverty. France, with strong social beliefs and the motto of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”, has an allowance that may help to alleviate this discomfort provided you are willing to accept your estate may be reduced for your children or other heritors. If your children are not prepared to support you by paying a small ‘pension alimentaire’, (which is expected in France), then you may be able to claim this allowance dependent on your circumstances. ASPA (allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées) is what could be described as a ‘social aid pension’. If your annual income is less than 9,638.42 € for a single person or 14,963.65 € as a couple, then you may be eligible. Most forms of income are included as is 3% of your worldwide assets (other than your home if you live in it), with a small deduction made for professional revenue. The allowance, if awarded, provides you with the minimum monthly amounts to live on, being 803.20 € for a single retired person and 1,246.97 € for a couple where at least one partner is retired. The amount paid is the difference between your current income per month and these minimums. For example, if a couple had a revenue of 12,000 € they would receive approximately 247 € per month. You need to be 65 years of age (some exceptions apply to the disabled), held a Titre de Sejour for 10 years if not from the EU or have the status of refugee. You must have applied for any pensions you are entitled to. If only one of you is 65, then it is that partner who applies, but revenue is assessed as a couple. Applications are made according to whether you have worked in France or not. The ASPA is repayable from the estate of the person receiving it, but only on amounts over 39,000 €. In the event of a couple it is repayable on the death of the last partner. Repayments are up to a maximum per year, currently about 6,245 € for a single person and 8,177 € for a couple. A charge may be applied to the property to ensure this. This means the deceased’s estate can not be touched below 39,000 €. You must report any changes in situation in order to have the allowance revalued as necessary. Even if only required for a couple of years, this could make the difference to living in misery and stress.

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

RGE Artisan: Grant information


by S. Burgess & S. Beesley

hinking of renovation works for your home? There is probably some type of grant or financial aid available. Your RGE qualified artisan is here to help you.

Tax Credit for energy transition (CITE)

Available for owner occupiers and tenants, the tax credit for energy transition allows you to claim 30%* of equipment and/or labour costs for certain types of renovation work.* (The amount is limited to 8 000€ per person to which 400€ can be added for each dependant person in the household.) Since 1st January 2015, in order to qualify for this, you must use an RGE registered (Reconnu Garant de l’Environnement) artisan. The following expenses and materials are concerned: • Insulation of walls and roofs • Replacement windows • Domestic hot water appliances using renewable energies • High energy performing boilers (HPE) • Underfloor insulation • Shutters • Heating controls • Energy performance assessments (DPE) IN CASES WHERE IT IS NOT ASKED FOR BY LAW • electric vehicle recharging stations * * According to the 2016 Finance Law Zero Interest bank loan For owners, whether they are occupiers or whether they are renting out the property long-term (not gites or holiday rentals), the zero interest loan exists for eco-renovation up to a limit of 30 000 €. In order to benefit, from 1st September 2014, your artisan must be RGE qualified. To be eligible you can either make a «bouquet de travaux» combining at least two categories of work from the list below OR have work done to achieve a minimum global energy performance. The types of work which can qualify for this type of loan are: • roof insulation • insulation of exterior walls • replacement of doors, windows and French windows • installation or replacement of heating systems or energy performing domestic water heaters • installation of heating and hot water systems using renewable energies It may be possible to have a zero interest loan for other work (for example fosse septique). Your artisan or your bank should be able to advise. The Habiter Mieux programme This financial aid can be up to 10,000€ but it is dependant on income and conditional on the fact that the work carried out must improve the energy performance of the house by at least 25 %. Other financial help • Local grants may be available, ask at your town hall (mairie). • Certificates of Energy Saving (CEE) – these are income related. • ANAH this agency can offer financial help for people with low income • Reduction of Taxe Foncière – some communes offer a reduction in taxe foncière for a short period of up to 5 years for some of the renovation works described above and/or for rainwater harvesting. Ask at your mairie and if your commune is eligible you will fill in a declaration For further information please see www.renovation-info-service. gouv.fr Check with your artisan and the different agencies concerned that you are eligible for this type of help BEFORE WORK STARTS and be prepared for a bit of paperwork (well this IS France!). Please note: non RGE qualified artisans can DO the work but the renovations are often not eligible for financial help in this case. Information source: RGE training course 2017, run by ARFAB Paca-Corse

18 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Home & Garden

Small colour Advert from 35,17€ ttc per month

Useful French Vocabulary....In the home home.................................. our home............................ bedroom............................ kitchen................................ bathroom........................... lounge................................ painting & decorating...... to paint............................... wardobe............................. sliding door......................... heating............................... rug.......................................

la maison chez soi la chambre la cuisine la salle de bains le salon peinture et décoration peindre la garde-robe la porte coulissante le chauffage le tapis

soft furnishings................ curtains........................... blind................................ curtain pole................... wallpaper..................... office............................... desk................................. printer.............................. computer........................ computer screen........... keyboard........................ stationery........................

l’ameublement le rideaux le store la tringle à rideaux le papier le bureau le bureau l’imprimante l’ordinateur l’écran le clavier la papeterie

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 19

by Janet Greenwood

In June in Deux-Sèvres, there will be 11 gardens opening their doors to visitors under the Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts scheme. On Sunday 4 June we start in La Chapelle Thireuil with 1 pretty garden opening in the hamlet of La Taudiere 79160. Please see the website for details and directions. On Sunday 11 June we have 10 gardens opening in the village of Le Busseau. A ‘ gardeners’ tour’ has been put together which starts at Lieu Dit Les Frenes, a house on the road between Le Busseau and La Chapelle aux Lys. On arrival at Les Frenes you will be given a map showing all the interesting and diverse gardens that are opening together on that particular day. 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.

Visit: www.opengardens.eu for more info 20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017


by Vanda Lawrence


t’s so relaxing to sit beside a pond in the sunshine, just watching the fish swimming around lazily with the occasional splash as one of them jumps up to snaffle an insect from the surface of the water. Or watching with amazement as swallows dive, at speed, to drink from the pond or catch insects flying low over the water – how is it that they don’t land up in the water themselves? Ponds are a real bonus to any garden, even a small courtyard benefits from the sound of water flowing through an ornamental garden fountain or waterfall feature. If you have a bigger garden with more room to spare then a pond is a wonderful project to help the environment too – just think of all the plants, animals and insects which would benefit. Even little hedgehogs would be able to have a drink when they come out at night. If you are planning to have a pond in your garden try to choose a sunny spot with no overhanging trees so you don’t have the problem of removing fallen leaves from the water. Dig the hole to about 2-3ft in depth, then put sand or old carpet to protect the pond liner from any sharp stones which may work to the soil surface. Then put the plastic pond liner in, making sure that at least one boundary has a sloping edge or ‘beach’ so that birds, hedgehogs and other little creatures can all drink and bathe safely, but having depth further into the pond where frogs will be able to overwinter. After filling with water comes the pleasure of choosing marginal plants, water lilies and other pond plants to bring it all to life. Bullrushes and Irises give height and protection from the wind; water lilies have beautiful flowers and large leaves, giving shelter, shade and protection from predators to those creatures living in the pond. Dragonflies breed in water and need submerged plants, such as water

lilies for their larvae. Newts also lay their eggs on pond plants. Pondskaters (Aquarius remigis) zip across the water surface while Waterboatmen (Corixidae) feed on plant debris at the bottom of the pond. If you are out of town you will probably find Kingfishers will visit and you might also get moorhens or ducks calling in too. What a pleasure and worth all the hard work, especially since children and grandchildren have the opportunity to learn so much from seeing all the wildlife and pondlife. It goes without saying though, that if you have children you need to fence off the pond area to ensure their safety. Now, on to the rest of the garden, where we are at the busy time for all the garden jobs. Sowing, planting, lifting, dividing, deadheading, weeding, hoeing ….. you name it, we are doing it, and with gusto! But it’s all well worth it when we see the lovely flowers and harvest our own vegetables. Lastly, it seems that Epsom salt or sulphate of magnesium is ‘the next best thing since sliced bread’! Apparently you will increase your tomato and pepper yield if you sprinkle this around the base of the plants every couple of weeks. Alternatively, make a foliar spray with 2 tbsp magnesium sulphate to 1 gallon water. This foliar spray will also help sweeten melons, peaches, strawberries and citrus fruits too, and if the leaves on your shrubs are turning yellow, spritz with the foliar spray to restore magnesium levels in the plants. The same mix will also deter slugs and snails. Who’d have thought it? Don’t forget that we have the longest day of the year this month – 21st June – so make the most of it and enjoy yourselves.

Communications How to stay safe when using Free or Public Wi-fi


ree or public Wi-Fi is everywhere, from MacDonald’s to Tourist Information offices; you will probably be able to find an internet connection to use, but are they safe for you to use and how should you prepare for using them?

Generally speaking, public or free Wi-Fi is safe or it would not be so ubiquitous! However, there is always a chance that some hacker may be lurking and has the tools to access your device and copy information, or drop a piece of malware on to your device that will make your PC, Tablet or Smartphone insecure. Here are some basic strategies to keep you safe: 1. Be Prepared. Prepare you device before you go out to use the free services. For example, the best way to avoid infection is to have your own software completely up to date and the same should be true of your antivirus/antimalware. 2. Connect Securely. Ensure that you know how to make the connection if you are using a ‘Public’ one. Windows lets you set each network you connect to as either a ‘Public’ or ‘Private’ network - it also asks you if you would like your computer to be discovered (found) or not by other computers. I always make unknown networks ‘Public’ and prevent my laptop from being discovered by others. 3. Use a Firewall. Make sure that your firewall is on; a firewall will not protect you from everything but will add yet another layer of protection. What is a firewall? – Firewalls sit between a network (such as the Internet) and the computer (or local network) the  firewall  is protecting. A  firewall’s  main security purpose for home users is blocking unsolicited incoming network traffic, but firewalls can do much more than that.

b. What does a firewall protect you from? - The main goal of a personal firewall is to protect your personal computer and private network from malicious mischief. Malware (malicious software), is the primary threat to your computer. Viruses are often the first type of malware that comes to mind.

4. Access Sites via HTTPS. Use a secure method of accessing the sites you visit, that have sensitive personal data (for example Facebook). You may have noticed that some sites are slightly different to others - in that a padlock appears next to the site’s address when you get your search results. You will see the padlock on an HTTPS site, which means that the data you are viewing/using is secure and encrypted and you are surfing via Secure Socket Layer (or SSL).

5. Use a VPN. Virtual Private Networks permit you to connect to the internet via a secure server operated by a VPN provider. All data used between your phone, tablet or PC is securely encrypted. If you use Public Internet connections you would 22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

by Ross Hendry

be well advised to use a VPN. They may be rented from a VPN provider, costs for this service are from around 5€ to 10€ per month. It is worth looking for deals, I have managed to get 5 VPN connections for life (100 years) for about 40€. This enables me to have one on my Phone, Laptop and Sandy’s Tablet, one on my Desktop and one spare. Besides protecting you from Hackers when using Free/Public Wi-Fi there are many other benefits. 6. Use a Popup/Ad Blocker. Many of us have visited sites that produce popups of adverts and other items making your screen look like an advertising hoarding! Not only is this very annoying but these type of sites may host and mask malware getting on to your PC. Use an Ad blocker, there are many good ones available. I use the free Adblock Pro on my PC however there are many others. These are available for Android devices as well as PCs and Macs. 7. Use a secure Web Browser. If you do have to go to a secure site that holds very sensitive information, use a secure internet browser. Many of these use their own secure servers to search and connect you to the sites you wish to visit. Others are simply web browsers that have been stripped out of every conceivable feature to maximise privacy - needless to say this could prevent you from going to many sites, but will protect you. Check out Comodo Dragon, Epic privacy browser and Tor. 8. Common Sense. Wherever possible use public Wi-Fi for those things that do not need high security; do not plan to do bank transfers, make payments or purchases unless you really have to. Use public Wi-Fi for simple web surfing for information or entertainment. If you do need to do a bank transfer or similar, try to use the bank’s own application - it will be more secure than just logging on via a webpage. 9. Tethering. This is using your mobile telephone as your access to the internet (if you have a data element in your contract), you can then access the internet on your own private secure internet connection, much safer. More on this subject next month. 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, June 2017 | 23

Where We Live...





Salers (AOC) Any cheese fan should try Salers at least once to experience the flavour of an authentic, rustic mountain cheese. Although part of the Cantal family of cheeses, it more than stands out on its own with a flavour that reflects the high mountain terroir. Also known as Fourme de Salers, it dates back 2000 years or more and today there are just a handful of fermier producers left in the mountains of the Auvergne region. It also has the distinction of being the only entirely fermier cheese of the 40-plus AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) cheeses registered in France. There are no other versions made, whether in dairies, factories or cooperatives and its red aluminium tag confirms this. AOC regulations stipulate that Salers must be made with unpasteurised milk from the chestnut-red Salers cows that graze high on the mountain pastures in summer. Cantal is made from the milk of the other seasons. It’s only from late spring that the cows and herdspeople can leave for the higher summer pastures and stone huts, or burons, serve not only as living quarters but also as dairies and ripening cellars. The cheese is pressed twice and ground between pressings, which is why it contains more than 58% dry matter. Usually, half of a cheese is composed of water and it’s rare that the percentage of dry matter should exceed 50g per 100g of cheese. The high percentage of dry matter in Salers means it’s a compact cheese with a firm inside and, as a result, it has volume, complexity and an almost unequalled quality of flavour. Salers is made into tall, large wheel shapes (up to 48cms in diameter before maturation and up to 40cms high) and can weigh anything between 35kgs and a hefty 50kgs. It is aged from three months up to 18 months and can be eaten all year round, depending on maturation. One made in May can be eaten in the autumn of the same year. The brown crust, which becomes very hard as it ages, is made by being repeatedly rubbed and left in a cool place. The crust’s thickness protects the inside, which is the colour of egg yolk and has a strong, meaty smell. The inside is firm but surprisingly soft with a moist, fatty feeling on the tongue. The flavour then opens up with a sweet, nutty aroma of summer mountain flowers as well as the tang and sourness of salt. 24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

by Mick Austin

Denise Eyre

The majority of sports are generally played by people in their 20s, 30s, or sometimes 40s. Not many are still competing at the highest level three years short of their 60th birthday. Denise Eyre is a multi World and European clay pigeon shooting champion and not only is she up there with the best shots on the planet, she’s still regularly beating women 30 years younger.


resh back at her Deux-Sèvres home after a gruelling four days competing in the European Compak Sporting championships in Poland, Denise is still proving age is no barrier if you have the talent.

“I finished 25th out of 52 ladies and considering my preparation was disrupted somewhat with a viral infection that lasted almost six weeks, I’m quite pleased with the result as I shot consistently. Hopefully I’ll now be illness-free to get ready for the World championships in the south of France in August.” Denise first started shooting in 1980, when she was 20. “My husband, Tony, was invited to try clay pigeon shooting and I asked if I could have a go as well. From that first moment, I was totally hooked. Within two years I was winning local competitions and within four years I had won my first World championship. I must have been keen on the sport because I won that first World title while on honeymoon in South Africa!” She made her English team debut the same year, became English all-round open champion and then, a year later, in 1985, she shot for Great Britain on the FITASC team in the World championships, finishing third. Titles came thick and fast over the next few years. In 1986 she won the British FITASC Grand Prix, the European FITASC title, FITASC team World championships and the English Sporting title. The following year it was the French FITASC World Cup Grand Prix, the UK title and both individual and team golds in the FITASC World championships. In 1988 there were World and European team golds, English Sporting gold and, in 1989, World and European championship titles. There was a short break from shooting in 1992 to have her first child, Victoria, but Denise returned again the following year to win a silver medal at the British FITASC GP. She then won gold in the European FITASC championships for the third time in 1994 and the World FITASC championships in Spain for the fourth time in 1995. “I then became pregnant with my second child, Chris, so I decided to retire from shooting and spend more time with my family. It would have been difficult to carry on in top-level competition with two small children.” For five years, as her children grew up, Denise worked as a child minder until Chris started school and then she worked for her brother’s security firm in Stockport on a part-time basis until she and Tony decided France was the place they wanted to be.

by Mick Austin

Giving it both barrels in two disciplines Denise shoots clays and competes in two disciplines: FITASC (Parcours de Chasse in France)) and Compak Sporting. FITASC is considered by many to be the Formula One of clay pigeon shooting and is supposed to simulate game shooting. The targets don’t really have a limit on distance, which makes it more technical, and competitors are not allowed to shoulder the gun until the target is spotted. They stand in a hoop or square of one metre and normally there’s no limit as to where they can shoot the target, unless it’s unsafe to do so. Compak Sporting is fairly similar but the targets fly at different angles and speeds and you can have a combination of any of the targets. Targets can’t be more than 40 metres away and you can shoot this discipline with the gun already at your shoulder if you wish. FITASC targets: Standard: Most commonly used. 110mm overall diameter. Midi: Same saucer shape as the standard, but with a 90mm diameter. Faster than the standard types. Mini: Sometimes likened to a flying bumblebee. 60mm diameter and 20mm height. Battue: Very thin target measuring 108–110mm diameter. It flies very fast and falls off very suddenly, simulating a duck landing. Rabbit: A thicker but standard 108–110mm diameter flat target in the shape of a wheel. Designed to run along the ground. Rocket: Similar to the rabbit but designed to fly through the air. Denise, Tony and Chris are all members of BTC de l’Aunis, in Niort, where the president, Joel Neau, and the club give them plenty of support – as do all the French shooters. All three are sponsored by Italian-made Zoli Guns and they also get help from Richard Drignon of Zoli France and Laporte and Weshoot in France. Denise also gets help from Saga cartridges. “Without all their help it would be tough, if not impossible, to compete at the highest level.”

“We had always loved France – the food, the way of life. Everything is sooo laid back. Too laid back at times! We had a caravan on a campsite in Normandy and visited during school holidays. We felt the UK was no longer a nice or safe place to raise young children so we decided on France for a better way of life.” In February 2004, the family made the big move and bought their house in Melleran, near Chef Boutonne, following a friend’s recommendation. Denise and the children moved over full-time, but Tony faced an 18-month commute as they still had their house and a garage business in the UK. “Vicky was 11 and Chris 7 when we moved to France. It was quite difficult for them with the language and we had a few tantrums. I made friends with some English people through the children’s friends, which was a help as I didn’t feel so isolated. We live in quite a remote area but our French neighbours are lovely. It was frustrating when we first moved over and I think the kids hated me for it at times, but I don’t think either of them would move back to the UK now through choice. To be honest, we’ve never looked back. We are all very happy here.” Chris, now 21, is a qualified motor mechanic and has joined his father in their business at Le Mecano Anglais, in Melleran, which opened in 2005 (www. theenglishmechanic.net). Daughter Vicki, who has just turned 25, is a qualified veterinary assistant but has been unable to find permanent employment in that line and now works at a leisure centre in Civaux. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 25

...A look at what makes France so special

Photo above: Denise at the French Compak Sporting GP in Signes in 2016 © Guy Basso, Weshoot Ltd. Right top: Denise and husband, Tony © Denise Eyre, bottom left: Denise’s son, Chris © Chris Hamilton, lookingoodimages bottom right: Denise with daughter, Vicki © Denise Eyre.

She’s also a qualified self-employed reflexologist. Denise spends much of her non-shooting hours at home in The Craft Cabin, where she makes greetings cards, gifts and jewellery (www.thecraftcabin. webs.com). “I’d always kept in contact with some of our old shooting friends – just by Christmas cards really – and in 2008 one of them asked if we would be going to the following year’s European FITASC championships as they were being held at Orville, in France. I hadn’t looked at a shooting magazine, been to a shoot or even held my gun since I retired from competitive shooting in 1995, but we had already booked a holiday in the south of France for the same time, so it was out of the question. “But it got me thinking about shooting again, so I found a FITASC GP that was being held at La Cerisaille, south of Paris, in 2009. We decided to go and watch and it was amazing. The moment Tony and I got out of the car we bumped into lots of old friends, both English and French. It was as if we’d never been away. “On the way home, we called at a shooting range in Vouzon – where I won my last European championship title in 1994 – and asked if we could have a look round. When we saw there were guns for hire, that was it! Surprisingly enough, I found I hadn’t lost my touch and on one round I hit 22 of the 25 targets. I was most definitely hooked again, so when we got home I grabbed my gun out of the gun cabinet and tried on my shooting vest – which I could no longer fasten up! Anyway, we joined a local club, the BTC de l’Aunis in Niort, and started shooting again. “It was just local shoots at first and I was shooting really well until September 2009, when I was taken into hospital with stomach pains 26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

and internal bleeding due to a cyst on one of my ovaries. I had to have an emergency operation that put me right out of action for a while. I think it brought on the menopause because I had symptoms that affected my shooting. It’s been a long battle since then, but I guess that’s life. It just makes it hard when you’re trying to compete because you need to be fit and healthy. It’s been difficult as I’m now 57 and not as fit as I was and I’m competing against women half my age. But I’m getting there slowly.” That’s probably a bit of an understatement. Since Denise started competitive top-level shooting again she has won the 2010 Grand Prix of France Compak Sporting title at Châtelaillon Plage, in the Charente-Maritime, and the Grand Prix of Portugal Compak Sporting in 2012. During 2012 she also beat the ladies world champions in both Compak and FITASC disciplines. “They were wonderful moments, but right up there with them was getting into the French Compak team last year. That was a great honour. I’ve been in Club France since 2013 in both of the two disciplines that I shoot, but I wasn’t able to represent France until last year as I didn’t have dual French/British nationality. Club France is for the best shooters in France. You have to shoot selection shoots to qualify and once in Club France you are eligible to shoot for the French national team. You have to qualify at the beginning of each season and this year’s were in March and April. “Unfortunately, it was at the beginning of February when I was taken ill with that viral infection. That had an impact on my shooting and I didn’t make the French team. However, as I am in Club France I am a reserve for France this year and competed in the European championships in Poland last month as an individual.”

by Mick Austin

On this month June 30, 1859: Frenchman Jean-Francois Gravelet, known professionally as Emile Blondin, becomes the first man to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Wearing pink tights and a yellow tunic, Blondin crossed on a cable around two inches in diameter and 1100 feet long with just a balancing pole to stop him falling 160 feet into the rapids below. It was the first in a series of Niagara tightrope walks by Blondin, including blindfolded, in a sack, with his manager on his back, sitting down mid-way to cook an omelette and pushing a wheelbarrow across while dressed as an ape! He died in 1897.

June 3, 1937: The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Warfield Simpson in Monts, France. As King Edward VIII, he abdicated the British throne in December 1936 to marry Simpson, an American divorcee. Following the wedding, the couple lived in France and had minimal contact with the British Royal family. The Duke died in Paris on May 28, 1972, and was buried near Windsor Castle.

There are two other hotshots in family Eyre and all are members of BTC de l’Aunis. “Tony was 12th in the 1985 World championships and third in the 1990 World Cup. He still does some competition shooting but tends to be my ‘caddy’ at the big events now. He’s very supportive and gets really stressed when he watches me shoot. Chris was also involved in this year’s French team selection shoots, but was just four targets light on getting through. He’s just turned 21 and is now classed as a senior rather than a junior, but he has plenty of time on his hands.” Denise and Tony are settled in France and plan to live out the rest of their time here. Shooting is definitely something she plans to carry on with. “I guess it all depends on my health. It’s tough competing against the youngsters. When I was their age I was at the top of my game. At the moment there isn’t a veterans class for ladies. The men have vets for the over 55s and super vets for the over 65s. I don’t think it’s fair to ask us ladies to compete against 20 and 30-yearolds and I’ve discussed that with the sport’s governing body. “Time will tell if anything comes of those talks so, for the time being at least, I’ll have to keep on showing the young guns that there’s still plenty of life left in us oldies!”

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.

June 1, 1958: A French political crisis over the military and civilian revolt in Algeria leads to Charles de Gaulle being called out of a five-year retirement to lead the nation. Considered the only leader of sufficient strength and stature to deal with the situation, the former war hero was made the virtual dictator of France, with the powers to rule by decree for six months.

Charles de Gaulle in 1963

June 10, 1979: Blue-eyed Hollywood movie star Paul Newman accomplishes the greatest feat of his car racing career when he finishes second in the world famous Le Mans 24-hour race. Newman – famous for his performances in films like The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – raced a Porsche 935 twin-turbo coupe in a three-man team with Dick Barber and Rolf Stommelen. After the race, the New York Times quoted 54-year-old Newman as saying he might not race at Le Mans again: “I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for this.” In fact, Newman continued to race into his 80s and died in September 2008, aged 83.

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, June 2017 | 27

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres PAIZAY-LE-CHAPT

Paizay-le-Chapt is a small commune which is part of the Val de Boutonne area. There are 265 inhabitants. The nearest towns are Asnières-en-Poitou, Chérigné, Crézières, Aubigné, and Juillé. Niort is 35 kilometres away. Paizay-le-Chapt used to be known as Peray-le-Chapt.


Paizay-le-Tort is a small village surrounded by the communes of Lusseray, Saint-Romans-les-Melle and Saint Génard. The 489 inhabitants are known as Paizéens and Paizéennes. The commune stands at 96 metres above sea-level and the river Berlande and the Ruisseau des Coudrières stream cross the commune. The Roman road from Poitiers to Saintes crossed the commune of Paizay-le-Tort. The name Paizay is probably of Gallic-Roman origins. The lands around the area belonged to a certain Pacius. Le-Tort was probably added to distinguish Paizay-le-Tort from Paizay-le-Chapt. It seems to refer to the tortueux (tortuous or winding) access to the village. A VOIR / MUST SEE • A church was first mentioned in a charter dated 955. The small low level Romanesque church could date from the 12th century but it has often been altered, including twice in the 19th century. The church is dedicated to St Pierre.


Pamplie is part of the Val d’Egray communauté de communes. There are 270 inhabitants in the village. The neighbouring villages are Le Retail, Les Groseillers, Cours, Fenioux and Xaintray. The name of Pamplie - Pampelia – appeared in 1097 in the title deeds of the Abbey of Saint Cyprien of Poitiers.

by Sue Burgess

The cooperative dairy at Pamplie was founded in 1905 and is well known for the quality of its butter, and local farmers are responsible for this. The milk is collected within a 30 km radius of the dairy. This closeness of the farms means that the collection can be done quickly and the extreme freshness of the dairy products are thus guaranteed. A VOIR / MUST SEE • The church of Romanesque origins was greatly modified during the 15th century and then in the mid 19th and 20th centuries. The arches and the bell tower were renovated in 1950 and the 22 metre high tower was lowered to today’s height. Just walking round the church will give you a good idea of the complexity of it’s architecture.

La Croix Hosannière can be seen in the cemetery. A croix hosannière was a funeral memorial usually a cross mounted on a block and marking the position of a common grave or an ossary. This type of monument is typical in the Poitou Charentes and the Vendée area.

The Terrier Piscault . From the top of the Terrier Piscault, at a height of 180 metres above sea level, there are panoramic views of the plains of Niort and Mervent forest.

La Croix de la Huche stone cross is to be found on a hillock, 124 metres above sea level. The cross dates from the 12th century and hucher is an old French word meaning to call using your hands cupped together as a sort of loud-speaker to make the sound carry.

For those of you who like rambling and walking, try Googling ‘Pamplie, la vallée de la Miochette Rando’ and you will find a PDF document that you can download, showing you a signposted walk around the Pamplie area.

Pamplie Church. © Susan Burgess

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

28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Take a Break DSM Easy Crossword

DSM Toughie Crossword

Down: 1. A blanket-like cloak with a hole in the centre for the head (6) 2. The day after the last day of winter - 21 March (6-7) 4. Seafood starter (5-8) 5. Horizontal beam above a door or window (6) 6. Small sea vessel with a single mast (7,4) 11.  A container that is usually woven and has handles (6) 12. Be present at a meeting, function or event (6)

Across: 4. Notice the sound of a lot of water? (3) 7. Dream is briefly stolen for an outsider (4-4) 8. Dramatic mood swing responsible for final grim outcome (4) 9. In Latin, second person singular form of late goer (5,3) 10. What will happen eventually is celebrated in the village, or so they say (4) 11. Chance of finding an obstruction on the golf course (6) 14. Newspaperman found in endless motor city production (6) 15. Originally one coming last of chivalrous knights used to tell the time (1’5) 17. Convincing small businessman (6) 19. It is said leave a vehicle to retain tick over (4) 20. Put off badly by terrible scald in “dispatch centre” (8) 23. First of all, not a lot are over compulsive (4) 24. When you tread on someone’s toes each corn is painful (8) 25. Wife turned to salt, leaving out traditional starters (3)

Down: 1. Swiss for instance will do well to get on one of these (4) 2. Not a good score on theology for the Beast (4) 3. Putting a train line through an outbuilding turned out to be very clever (6) 4. Runs into pottery centre to get back in the water as a moving example (6) 5. Journalist maybe on female side in front of goal is improving (8) 6.  Bizarre tool used in porn production for cowardly performer (8) 9. Old tennis player lacking energy to secure what’s left of match (3) 12. Police and hospital departments closely following account of chance event (8) 13. A boa constricted on most of level playing fields the most important thing (5,3) 16. Ski’s metal casing yielding providential outcome (6) 17. It’s a risk for old Chinese detective to take on the church (6) 18. Caught malaria and died in the end. For what? Such a little! (3) 21. Sounds like a current of ice moving en masse (4) 22. Right to left pass in rugby scramble brings fortune in the end (4)

With thanks to M.Morris

Monthly quiz by Roland Scott...... how many can you get? 8) First broadcast in 1977 and presented by Angela Rippon until 1980, William Woolard from 1981, which BBC show became the 1) Which footballer was responsible for the infamous ‘Hand of most watched factual programme in March 2015 with an God’ incident at the 1986 World Cup? estimated 350 million viewers worldwide? 2) Which Scottish actor played the seventh Doctor Who? 9) Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss 2nd were born in which 3) Which American Big Band leader was known as ‘The King of Swing’? European city?

Well, what do you know?

4) Which English comedian and performer recorded the ‘Bee Song’? 5) Which constellation was named for a mighty hunter, the son of Euryale and Neptune? 6) Name the Scottish actor who played Doctor Cameron in T.V.s Doctor Finlay’s Casebook. 7) Which English golfer won the British Open in 1969 and the U.S. Open in 1970?

10) What is the name for the leather laces used by falconers to secure the bird to the glove or the perch? 11) Who was the manager of the Scottish National football team from 1985 to 1986? 12) Who became Elvis Presley’s manager when RCA bought his contract from Sun Records in 1955? And finally, what connects your 12 answers assuming they are all correct?

Copyright RJS 2017

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 29

Answers on P.13 and our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Across: 1. Any mixture of a soft and malleable consistency (5) 3. A young person attending school (5) 7.  Breath noisily during one’s sleep (5) 8. Finnish steam bath (5) 9. Railroad link between France and England (7-6) 10. A punishment given to 3 across (9) 13. Playwright and novelist (19061989) who was born in Ireland and lived in France (6-7) 14. Slang term for lacking funds (5) 15. Small mallet used by auctioneers (5) 16. Poisonous (5) 17. A three-dimensional shape (5)

Food & Drink



e n u J for

by Lynda Gee

une makes me think of strawberries so, two simple recipes using this delicious fruit.

Now, an unusual way to serve camembert as either a tasty starter or cheese/dessert course after the meal.

First, a French one given to me by a friend some years ago.

Strawberry Camembert For 4 - 6 servings: • 1 small whole camembert • 8 good sized strawberries Method 1. Remove the stalks from the strawberries, wash and drain. 2. Cut 4 of the strawberries into about 3 thick slices (depending on size). Keep the other 4 (largest ones) to one side for now. 3. Preheat your oven to around 170˚ C. 4. Slice the camembert in half so you arrive with two, place the strawberry slices on one half and cover with the other.

‘Soupe de Fraises” For 4 servings: • 500g fresh ripe strawberries • 4 soup spoons of brown sugar • 1 vanilla pod • 1 coffee spoon of dried ground ginger, and/or 1 or 2 cubes of crystallised ginger finely chopped • 4 fresh mint leaves • 40 cl of champagne Method 1. Remove the stalks and wash the strawberries, cut into small pieces. 2. Put into a saucepan with the vanilla pod split longways, the sugar and ginger and add 3 - 4 soup spoons of water. 3. Cook on a very low heat until the strawberries have become very deep red in colour, then remove from the heat and take out the vanilla pod. 4. Mix well and then leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours (or just 1 hour in the freezer). 5. Divide between 4 flutes and mix with champagne. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf and serve very cold. Lynda is better known as ‘Ginger’s Kitchen’ and provides a full at-home catering service. You can see her advert on P.32.

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

30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

5. Wrap the cheese loosely in greaseproof paper and put onto a small oven-proof dish or plate. 6. Heat in the oven for around 10 minutes or until the cheese is just starting to melt, but not run away! Also possible without the greaseproof paper under a hot grill but watch it well. 7. Portion the Camembert then slice through the other 4 strawberries. Arrange fan-like and place on the plates with a camembert portion for each person. 8. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

A Fishy Tale...

by Jacqueline Brown


think we know each other well enough by now to let you into a slightly strange habit I have picked up since becoming a cycle enthusiast in France, and it has nothing to do with wearing brightly coloured Lycra; no surprises, it’s a food habit.

Nutrition (or rather food) is always on my mind and I rarely leave home without a little something tucked safely into my handbag for ‘just in cases’ even if I’m not going far; a muesli bar to get me through an evening of taxi-ing Ed to music lessons or maybe a square of dark chocolate in case I find myself in a café with a coffee. A bike ride takes this ‘need’ to another level, especially if it’s an overnight cycling adventure. My strange habit, that will be revealed soon, has become routine since our very first cycling adventure in the summer of 2012 when we cycled from Rochefort to St-GeorgesDidonne, stayed overnight and returned via the Charente Maritime marshes. Lunch on day one was easy, a couple of ham baguettes bought before we set off and eaten, with a beer, in Brouage, but the possibility of not being able to find lunch on day two gave me a sense of panic, even before we had left home. Our luggage for one night was minimal, but along with some shelled walnuts, the ideal quick energy pick up, I packed a tin of tuna fish. On day one, I could feel the tin digging in through my backpack so before setting off on day two we bought a baguette to make up some tasty tuna sandwiches. All did not go to plan. Despite draining the tin as best I could the prospect of soggy sandwiches by lunchtime wasn’t appealing, so I had no choice but to put the open tin of fish in a bag and tuck it safely in my backpack. Not only did the tin dig in once again, I could also smell it all morning. However, sat on a viewpoint over the marshes, with nothing but storks’ nests on the horizon we were glad to have a lunch packed full of protein to keep us going. Despite the initial discomfort this is how my slightly strange habit of never heading off on a bike ride without a tin of fish came about, although I’m far more organised now; I get Adrian to carry them in his bike panniers. He doesn’t even complain anymore if he unpacks an unused tin or two at the end of a trip. So long as we can find a baguette at some point during a morning ride, I know I can prepare a tasty picnic anywhere. Mackerel, sardine or tuna, added to baguettes have kept us going for many hundreds of kilometres, from the Loire to the Pyrenees. Fuelled on fish I can go anywhere! Now my secret is out, I just hope Sarah and Rob don’t have an aversion to fish for lunch on the Tour de Rêves in September.

www.frenchvillagediaries.com Email: frenchvillagediaries@gmail.com The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 31

Goats Cheese Tartlet This started from what to do with the left over puff pastry from a Russian fish pie. Serves 2 (but easily adjustable for a group) Ingredients: (for 2 people) • 2 pieces of ready rolled puff pastry 16cm x 10cm • I x 180g roll of goats cheese (I use petit Chebra from Lidl) • I medium red onion • Milk to glaze • Sprinkle of thyme

by John Sowersby

• • •

Then with a pastry brush, brush a little milk on the outer 1cm border of the tart Place into a hot oven at 200˚ C for approximately 15-20 minutes depending on your oven! When done we serve with a rocket and tomato salad drizzled with a balsamic tomato mixed dressing. (Lidl again LEGERE PUGET ) or whatever you choose.

Method: • Put the 2 pieces of puff pastry on a lightly greased tray. • Lightly score with a knife 1cm all the way around the outer edge of each pastry, then with a fork prick the inside part with the fork tips to stop it rising • Slice the onion in two then cut into ringlets place onto the tart inside the scored line (add as much onion as you wish) • Then slice the goats cheese into circles about 0.5 cm thick and place 5 pieces on top of the onions • Sprinkle a little thyme on top of each goats cheese circle (to your taste)

We’d love to know your family’s favourite recipe.... Please email us and we’ll happily share it here.

32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017


Stripped-Down Wine All you need to know about JURA

by John Sherwin


west Sandwiched between Burgundy in the yards and Switzerland to the east, Jura’s vine hcover just 1900 ha along an 80 km nortunder south strip – less than 10% of the area production in the 19th century re the An important wine producing area befo wiped phylloxera scourge of the late 1800s ming out most of the vineyards. Now becoiers and funky and fashionable with sommel nctive restauranteurs as the wide and disti range of wine types are food-friendly h are Five grape varieties used, three of whic rarities (yellow Home to the extraordinary vin jaune wine) reminiscent of sherry it gives Also home to Comté cheese, and yes, ssic’ us the word ‘Jura

a blend of any of the five grape • varieties. Vin de Paille is a luscious, long-lived sweet white wine traditionally made from And if you want to know more… grapes dried on straw (paille = straw). Macvin is not a beverage you find at your local burger joint (though perhaps you should if only to aid forgetfulness) but The grape varieties a strong liqueur made from just-fermented grape juice and marc, In line with its neighbour Burgundy, Jura grows Chardonnay for the basic ‘brandy’ made from the slurry of skins and pips after dry whites some of which these days can equal those of the Cote wine is made. Marc du Jura is the brandy itself and is known in d’Or in quality. It also features in the sparkling wine. Again like the area as a ‘heart-warmer’, a typically Jurassian understatement. Burgundy, Pinot Noir is grown either for single varietal wines, or in a blend, or as a component of the sparklers. Things get interesting for the wine nut when we come to the other three varieties. Understanding the Classifications Jura labels can be a bit confusing. There are seven in all, three Poulsard is an ancient variety native to the region. It gives pale ‘product’ based, four geographical. The three product-based are coloured reds (sometimes sold as rosé) with a nose of small red easy enough: the AOCs Macvin du Jura, Crémant du Jura, and Marc berries. Trousseau, another indigenous variety, gives darker reds du Jura can be made throughout the region and you get what it says with peppery, spicy notes in addition to red fruits. The real quirk on the can. AOC Cotes du Jura is omnipresent and can cover all the of Jura is Savagnin Blanc (normally just Savagnin), a white grape various styles of wine from all the permitted grape varieties, but which makes two different and distinctive styles of wine – which with emphasis on whites and sparkling. The three remaining AOCs brings us neatly to… do not mention ‘Jura’ and this is where mystery and confusion can dwell. AOC Arbois is the most important of the geographic appellations and is centred on the region’s ‘wine capital’, the town Types of Wine of Arbois. Perversely for Jura as a whole, about half the production Vin Jaune is a real wine-making oddity. Made from 100% Savagnin here is red. All the other wine styles can also be made. AOC L’Etoile grapes picked late for maximum ripeness (and therefore alcoholic is a small sub-region specialising in whites including vin de paille, strength), normal fermentation is followed by putting the wine into vin jaune, and crémant. The show-stopper is AOC Chateau-Chalon old 228 litre casks – and here’s the important bit – not quite topped under which classification only vin jaune can be made (other wines up. This causes a thin film of yeast (called the voile or veil) to form can be made in the area but are classified ‘Cotes du Jura’). on the wine, similar to the veil which helps produce Fino sherry. The whole is left untouched for at least five years and can only be bottled six years and three months after harvest. The result is a heady mix of almonds, walnuts and spices. The bottle itself is rather dumpy and squat and contains 62 cl – presumably the normal 75 cl would be way too…well, normal. A real Harry Potter of a wine. Serve at just above cellar temperature with chicken in vin jaune, a classic of the area unsurprisingly, Comté cheese, or experiment with other savoury dishes. A more recent style of Savagnin is made in the usual way, ie with topping up of barrels to prevent oxidation, and displays exotic aromas similar to Gewurztraminer (a genetic relative). The Chardonnay hereabouts is floral with citrus notes. Blended with Savagnin you get an overlay of roasted hazelnuts or almonds. The reds are not what makes Jura distinctive: suffice it to say that Poulsard is light, easy drinking; Trousseau more butch and tannic; Pinot Noir, well, Pinot Noir, but often blended with the other two. Crémant de Jura is the sparkler, made from

Reliable Producers

As always, to keep confusion to a minimum, go with reputation. The following are recommended by both Jancis Robinson and the French guide Bettane & Dessauve: Domaine Berthet-Bondet (particularly for Chateau-Chalon vin jaune); Domaine Ganevat; Domaine Labet; Domaine Rijckaert; Domaine André et Mireille Tissot – Stéphane Tissot.

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


Drop Top Gorgeous


by Helen Tait-Wright

ith summer (hopefully) just around the corner, the Brits in particular begin thinking about getting their tops off!

Of course I am not talking about mass nudity, but more open top motoring. The British response to a summer heatwave is one of our cultural hallmarks. A few consecutive days of bright sunshine has us flocking to beaches, scraping rust from barbecue grills and, according to official sales figures, snapping up convertible cars. For those of us living in France, the season for these activities is longer, but the Brits, irrespective of where they live buy more convertibles than the French, Spanish and Italians, trailing only the Germans in European convertible sales. In the context of a British climate this does seem a little odd, however, according to Steve Ashdown of Convertible Car Magazine, “Convertibles are actually better suited to a milder climate rather than hot, arid conditions where you can keep much cooler and less sunburnt in an air-conditioned hardtop” The appeal of topless motoring is no enigma. Dropping the roof exposes the driver to a whole new world of sights, smells and sounds while blasting away the cobwebs, and as fabric roofs become ever more advanced, coupled with the increasing prevalence of folding hardtops and electronically-powered hoods, convertibles are also less of a compromise than ever before. Although the cabriolet roof predates the motor car itself – they were common on horse-drawn carriages long before Ford released its Model T in 1908 – only in the past two decades have they begun to offer the refinement of a fixed roof. Modern convertible roofs are watertight and offer great insulation and sound deadening for year-round driving. With the top down you have the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and life is good. Although it’s no longer the fashion to wear flying goggles and have a long scarf fluttering behind you, for ladies there is an argument for the sartorial appeal of a headscarf; an accessory which not only helps you to arrive at your destination without looking like a demented dish mop, but to appear as if you were born to drive a car like this; and of course the retro look is so in, darling!

34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Whether you’re tempted by the smells and sounds, or just want to impress the neighbours, joining in the topless fun needn’t cost the Earth. Cheap convertibles are a really cost effective way of landing a fun car to drive and they aren’t limited to a single class of car. Drop top roofs are available on sports cars, luxury saloons, supercars, and even cheaper everyday machines that under normal circumstances would be considered eminently practical. Whatever your budget is there’s bound to be a cheap convertible out there that’s right for you. My personal recommendation is the iconic Mazda MX5. However much you pay for a Mazda MX5, you’re getting one of the most fun sports cars to drive at any price. With the relatively recent launch of the all-new fourth generation model, there’s never been a better time to buy a used MX-5. A budget of around £1,500 will buy you a usable MKI, while another £500 will secure you a tidy MKII. Prices for the MKIII car are a little higher, but £4,000 should net you a cared for 2005 model. Arriving in the UK in 1990 and remaining on sale for eight years, the MkI MX-5 with its pop up headlights became a legend in its own lifetime, and is now a fantastically popular modern classic. Well, what’s not to love about a nimble rear-wheel drive two-seater roadster that combines eager performance with fun handling? While it lacks the cute charm of original, the second generation MX-5 lacks none of its predecessor’s capacity for fun. The eager engine and thrilling rear-drive handling remains unchanged, and when the roof is down and the sun is shining, few cars can generate a bigger grin on their driver’s face. However, it is also more practical, a little more refined and features a longer list of standard kit, making it a more sensible machine for daily use. The MKIII car has been around for nearly a decade now, but it’s still huge fun to drive and decent value. In folding hard top RC guise you also get the best of both worlds, with coupe-like refinement when the roof is raised and wind-in-the-hair thrills when the roof is lowered. A UK spec MX5 is easy to register in France (beware of Japanese import models, which are not) and for the money, you just can’t go wrong.  I started my MX5 journey with a MK1 and Chris and I now have a MKII each. Matching cars …..yes, that is pretty sad, but twice the fun! Whichever convertible you chose, enjoy the summer!! 

Contact Helen: helen@stodel.org

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

I’ve found that by advertising regularly in the DSM, people tend to remember my name and what I do; far better than leaflet drops. It’s also the only form of advertising that I need to do now.

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 35

Building & Renovation

‘The DSM’ Feedback...

I believe the ads to be very reasonable and this year will advertise again...I think it’s a great mag!



The DSM takes time to check that advertisers are registered with a Siret number. However, the system doesn’t allow us to verify all activities that one is registered for under that Siret number, so please consider this when asking a tradesman to do work for you. Any registered worker should happily confirm the trade/s that they can undertake. It is also advised to check references thoroughly before going ahead with any works.

36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Small B/W Advert from 34€ per month

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 37

38 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 39

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

40 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

Business & Finance Marketing Matters

Assurance Vie Savings Accounts for Over 70s.. Let’s Talk About it! by Isabelle Want


s opening an Assurance Vie saving account viable after you reach 70 years old?

by Cindy Mobey

How Content Marketing can Benefit your Small Business

C ”

ontent marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”, states the Content Marketing Institute. The key word here is ‘valuable’; content that will speak to your customers; that they want and need, maybe information that solves a problem they have. In order to do this, you need to know what your customers/potential customers need or want. This will take some research, but if you get it right, you will have the opportunity to expand your business, build your reputation and ultimately be known as an expert in your field. Once you find you can solve a problem for your customers, write about it. When customers find out that you have solved their problem, it could lead to a sale or a request for your services… and they are likely to return to you in the future.

Enhances your Brand

It sounds a bit rude to say this, but generally people are interested in themselves, in their likes and needs. This isn’t about being selfish, it’s human nature. When someone first looks at your website or interacts with your business, they are not in the least bit interested in your brand, no matter how hard you’ve worked on it. They are more interested in what you can do for them. If you provide something that makes their life easier, less stressful, and cost-effective and generally entertain them, they will then become interested in your brand as they will see it as something they relate to. If you are consistently publishing new, unique content on your blog or website and then promoting it on social media, more people will get to see your name and start to relate to the things you write about. If they like what they see, they’re more likely to tell their friends and so your audience starts to grow and they become more aware of your brand.

Content Marketing is a Cheap Form of Marketing If you can research and write your content yourself, it is more economical. You’ll also learn so much from the research you do, that you’ll find more content as you go. When you publish your content on your blog or website, make sure that you promote it on every social media site that you have…with maybe a jig around of the title or introduction.

Finally, with content marketing, you are attracting customers to you because they’re interested in what you have to say…and ultimately they will come back again and again. Contact Cindy Mobey Tel: 05 45 31 13 86 ~ Email: cindymobey@outlook.com

YES, because the amount you invest from this age is entitled to a death duty allowance of 30 500€. This allowance is added to the one you were already entitled to before you reached 70 (152 500€ per beneficiary). E.g. You have invested 305 000€ on an Assurance Vie saving account before you were 70 years old and named two beneficiaries. This sum of money will be given to your beneficiaries named, without any death duties (152 500€ allowance per beneficiaries). When you reach 70 years old, you open a new Assurance Vie saving account with 30 500€ and name the same two beneficiaries, you can therefore pass on to them, free of any death duties, 335 500€ (305 000 + 30 500). Furthermore, the interests or gain made by this contract are not liable to death duties. E.g. You invest 30 500€ after you reach 70. Upon your death at the tender age of 85, this Assurance Vie savings account is worth 40 000€ (30 500€ of capital and 9 500€ of interest). The beneficiary you have named will get the sum of 40 000€ without any death duties. As a reminder, here are the allowances before death duties in France (outside Assurance Vie saving account): • • • • •

Children : 100 000€ Grandchildren : 1 594€ Brother or sister : 15 932€ Nephew or niece : 7 967€ Other : 1 594€

E.g. You wish to leave a lump sum of money to your grandson upon your death. You write a will in which you state that you are leaving him one of the saving accounts currently at your bank (like a Livret A or PEL) with a value of 20 000€. On your death, your grandson will have to pay death duties to the amount of 18 406€ (20 000€-1 594€). If you invest this money in an Assurance Vie saving account and name your grandson as beneficiary, he will have no death duties to pay at all. So, whether you have opened an Assurance Vie before you were 70 or not, is it worth thinking of opening a new one now? Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information. I am available at any of our three agencies or at your home. And remember to check out our website www.bh-assurances.fr/ en for all my previous articles (‘practical information’) and register to receive our monthly Newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook: ‘Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Thierry Hatesse’. No Orias: 07004255

BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures 16700 Ruffec

Contact Isabelle Want: Tel: 05 45 31 01 61 Mob: 06 17 30 39 11

Email: isabelle.want@bh-assurances.fr Visit our website: www.bh-assurances.fr The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 41

Ask Amanda Now article 50, for the United Kingdom to the leave the EU, has been triggered, is there anything I can do to minimise any potential impacts of a tough Brexit process? This is a question many expatriates are mulling over, now positioning for the upcoming negotiations has started. First and foremost, I remind my customers that the process to leave the EU is widely anticipated to take the full two years set out in article 50, so the only immediate areas people should focus on are changes in the UK and French budgets.

The process of leaving the EU is very much unchartered waters and whilst I certainly do not recommend anyone acts hastily, a review of your financial position in the next few months may avoid future headaches. 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.

As the negotiations progress however, there are steps you can take which will ensure that any effects to you are minimised: 1. Does your adviser work for a French registered company, regulated in France? Working with an adviser who operates and is regulated already under French finance laws means that any change in the UK’s ability for financial passporting will not affect you. 2. Is your Assurance Vie held in an EU country, not part of the UK? Again, any issues the UK may have to solve regarding passporting are negated by ensuring your Assurance Vie is already domiciled in another EU country. 3. Have you reviewed any UK Company pension schemes you hold, which are due to mature in the future? The recent UK Budget saw the government levy a new tax on people moving their pensions to countries outside the EU. There is no certainly that this tax will not be extended to EU countries once the UK has left the union.

A Positive Outlook

by Sue Cook I’ve just attended the French Property Exhibition at Wetherby Racecourse and was pleasantly surprised about the number of people still looking to buy a house in France, especially in the regions around the Deux-Sèvres.

Obviously people still had concerns about Brexit, mostly about their pensions and health cover and we had many discussions about what was happening to the exchange rate, but the overriding feeling was that France is a lovely place to live and people still wanted to move over and live the dream.

As you can see, over the last month the Euro has fluctuated and this gives anyone needing to transfer funds an excellent opportunity to make the most of the market fluctuations. There is no more important time than now to use the expertise of a company like Currencies Direct who can give you services such as Rate Watch and Limit Orders to maximise the potential of your trade. Even a small trade of a monthly pension can benefit from trading at the right time. I am always open to questions so feel free to contact me on the details opposite. 42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

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

I wouldn’t be Starting from Here

by Bradley Warden, Blevins Franks


here is an old joke about a tourist

who has lost his way and stops to ask a local for directions. After giving the matter long and thoughtful consideration, the local scratches his head and replies, “well, I wouldn’t be starting from here!”

I recently assisted clients to move their UK ISA portfolio into an Assurance Vie where their investment would be more tax efficient. Due to the drop in sterling, the capital gain was reduced by around 10%. In another instance, the sale of a second home in the UK resulted in a sterling gain of £12,000 but in euro terms the vendor had actually made a loss, so there was no French tax to pay at all.

I am often reminded of that joke when I am asked to help people sort out their UK investments in the most beneficial way now that they live in France. The problem is that investments that work really well in the UK – ISAs, Premium Bonds, National Savings and even pensions – may not be very tax efficient for French residents.

With the Automatic Exchange of Information rules beginning to take effect, more people are being asked questions by the French tax authorities about their UK investments. Now could be a good time to get things in order by restructuring your investments so that they are working as effectively as possible for you in France.

Moving investments into a suitable structure in France can however cause a dilemma, in that cashing them in can create a tax bill, capital gains tax for example. So whilst it is in one’s best interests to set up financial affairs for France, the procedure can initially involve a short term ‘pain’, and although this can be outweighed by a longer term gain, the process can still be off-putting for some. However, some good news is that the recent fall in sterling against the euro can be advantageous in these instances. This is because the gain calculation uses the euro value at both the date of purchase and of sale. With the exchange rate currently low, this can mean a gain that has been made in British pound terms can be minimised and sometimes even removed entirely.

semina r

I will be looking at some examples of how beneficial it can be to have French compliant investments as part of a forthcoming seminar to be held in Le Beugnon, near Secondigny. Please see our advertisement below for details of the subjects to be discussed and how to reserve a place.

Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should seek personalised advice.

Book your place now by phone, email or from our website

Brexit - Managing the uncertainty. With the start of Brexit negotiations and general elections in the UK and France, these are times of significant change. While we cannot predict the future, our seminar will discuss the key possibilities and advise on what steps you could take now to protect yourself. In particular we will look at… Pensions Healthcare Estate Planning Investments  Tax Planning 

NR SECONDIGNY (Le Beugnon) Wednesday 28 June, A La Bonne Vie Registration 10am Start 10.30am Ending 12 noon

book your seat now

05 49 75 07 24


Sem11 - fr

Ensure you are in the best position to cope with the changes, book your seminar place now. 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, June 2017 | 43


Small B/W Advert from 34€ ttc

per month

44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

210 600€ ~ Ref: 74061CLN85

104 500€ ~ Ref: 73940CLN79

CLARE LANE AgENt CommERCiAL clare.lane@leggett.fr 0033 (0)7 80 55 39 68 Siren 538 543 000


‘The DSM’ Feedback... We arrived in France in 2013 without much knowledge the area or how to go about contacting trades people, emergency services. The only French word we could speak was “Bonjour”. We were given a Copy of ‘The DSM’ and it was a god send. It made life in France easier being able to find things and get a feel for how things work. We have come a long way since arriving in this beautiful country but it all started with the help and advertisments in The DSM, we would have been lost without it!

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017 | 45

Time to Splash Out!


by Joanna Leggett

ummer’s just around the corner - we’re already enjoying great

weather in Deux-Sèvres – with many long hot days to come. Where better than spending them around a beautiful pool?

Apart from the potential for regular exercise, there’s nothing better than sitting beside one with a large hat and good book! For teenagers it’s a boon and, should you have a gîte, it’s instant attraction for holidaymakers to come and spend euros chez vous! We’ve chosen three lovely homes on the market – all with divine pools – to whet your appetite! The well-established village of Ste Radegonde is 2 kms from the historical town of Thouars. Set in a quiet location, with stunning views across the river valley, is a glorious 5 bedroom home (Leggett 74876RDL79, photo left) perfect for a large family. The sitting room has a large fireplace and double height ceiling with mezzanine – great for entertaining. With terraces on three sides and beautiful garden, the large swimming pool is fully automatic complete with electric cover (simply push a button!). At night this house truly delivers with magical outdoor lighting – 371 000€. Close to the market towns of Lezay and Sauzé-Vaussais in Caunay sits an already renovated charming character property with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths! (Ref: 66327JH79, photo top right). Generous living spaces include a breakfast room which could be an office or bedroom, upstairs the

46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, June 2017

glassed in veranda has wonderful countryside views. Set in almost 6 hectares, outside it really comes into its own with mature gardens, orchard, woodlands and a field, there’s even room for horses – the lovely swimming pool completes the picture for a great lifestyle in this comfortable welcoming home - 288 900€. In Coulon, ‘capital’ of the Marais Poitevin and one of the plus beaux villages de France, a magnificent Maison de Maître awaits its new owners (Ref: 72401JDY79, photo right). Just five minutes’ walk to the riverside village and all its restaurants, its two perfectly appointed gîtes command high rental for 6 months each year. In all there are 9 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms in this immaculately presented property – the gîtes have 2 bedrooms each. Light abounds in the main house where the main sitting room runs the full width of the house. Bedrooms are spread over upper floors and the master even boasts a dressing room. The gorgeous pool here set in lovely terraces is simply picture perfect - 848 000€! 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-Sèvres Monthly magazine, June 2017  

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

The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine, June 2017  

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

Profile for thedsm