Annual Subscription Costs: 34€ within France, 29€ 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 84 of
‘The Deux-Sèvres Monthly’ magazine...
As the days start to draw out, it really is starting to feel like spring is just around the corner...the plants are starting to shoot, spring bulbs are showing signs of colour and the wildlife are getting busy. Speaking of wildlife, did you know that it is World Wildlife Day on 3rd March? It is a global celebration of all wildlife in general, and this year raises awareness for all the big cats. Facing many threats, they need our help...please read more on page 7 and follow online. Not only are we coming into my favourite season of the year - but this month also celebrates our birthday! Seven years ago, I launched this publication to fill a need for ex-pats living and holidaying in the area. We are here to let you know what’s on, share advice and stories, promote trades and (hopefully) make your lives here a little easier. Feedback says we do a good job, so onwards and upwards, and here’s to another seven years! Following the wildlife and birthday theme, we have some free tickets to La Vallée des Singes to give away to seven lucky families. Turn to page 10 and answer a simple question to be in with a chance to win. Well that’s it from me, I hope you have a blooming good spring and enjoy this month’s stories and articles.
à plus, Sarah x
Tel: 05 49 70 26 21 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr
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 Health, Beauty & Fitness Clubs & Associations Hobbies Our Furry Friends A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres Home & Garden Communications Where We Live Food & Drink Take a Break Motoring Building & Renovation Business & Finance Property
4 6 11 12 14 16 17 18 22 24 31 32 33 36 41 45
This Month’s Advertisers ABORDimmo Affordable UK Designs (Kitchens & UPVC Double Glazing) AKE Petit Travaux (Builder) Amanda Johnson - The Spectrum IFA Group
45 2 38 43
Andrew Longman (Plumbing & Heating) 36 ARB French Property 47 Arbres et Abeilles Plant Nursery 19 Argo carpentry 39 Assurances Maucourt (GAN Parthenay) 35 Bar de la Poste 7 Beau Jardin (Caring for your Garden) 21 Beaux Villages Immobilier 47 BH Assurances / Allianz - Isabelle Want 42 Bill McEvoy (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 36 Blevins Franks Financial Management 44 Café des Sports L’Absie 8 Cherry Picker Hire 40 Chris Bassett Construction 38 Chris Parsons (Plumber/Heating Engineer) 36 Christies (English Book Shop & Tea Room) 6 CJ Electricité 39 Clare Lane (Agent Commercial) 45 Clean Sweep Chimney Services 39 Creature Comforts (Handyman & Gite Services) 37 Currencies Direct - Sue Cook 43 Darren Lawrence 37 David Watkins Chimney Sweep 39 Digger Hire 40 Down to Earth Pool Design 45 Ecopower Europe 36 Expat-radio 23 Franglais Deliveries (Transport & Removal Services) 35 Hallmark Electricité 39 Helen Booth (deVere Group) 41 Inter Décor (Tiles & Bathrooms) 37 Irving Location - Digger Hire and Gravel deliveries 40 Jean-Luc Thierens (Excavation work) 40 Jeff’s Metalwork 37 John Purchase - Mobile Mechanic 35 Jon the Carpetman 18 KCR Service (Alarms and Security systems) 18 Keith Banks Pool Services 45 La Bohème Mervent (Bar & Restaurant) 8 La Deuxieme Chance (Decorative paint specialists) 18 Leggett Immobilier 46 Le Regal’on Bar & Restaurant 30 Line Dancing 11 Lloyds Motoculture Services (Garden machinery) 21 LPV Technology (Computer troubleshooting) 23 Mark Sabestini Renovation & Construction 38 Mr & Mrs Jones (Property Cleaning Services) 18 Michael Glover (Plasterer tiler, renderer) 37 Michel Barateau (Cabinet Maker) 39 ML Computers 23 Motor Parts Charente 35 M. Page Landscaping (Landscape Design & Construction) 21 Mutuelles de Poitiers Assurances 35 Needa Hand Services (Grass cutting etc.) 21 New Bar in L’Absie 8 OD Rénovation (stonemasonry) 37 Pamela Irving (Holistic therapist) 11 Projet Piscine (Swimming Pool solutions) 45 Restaurant des Canards 30 Rob Berry (Plasterer) 45 Robert Lupton Electrician 39 Ross Hendry (Interface Consulting & Engineering) 22 Safe Hands 79 (Garden maintenance) 21 Salon des Vins et Terroirs 48 Salon du Vin et de la Gastronomie, Niort 29 Sarah Berry Online (Website design) 23 Sarl Down to Earth Construction (Groundworks and Micro Station Installer) 40 Satellite TV 23 Short Cuts (Mobile Dog Grooming) 16 Simon the Tiler 36 Smart Services (Home and Garden services) 19 Steve Coupland (Property Services) 36 Steve Robin (Plumbing, heating, electrics) 36 Strictly Roofing 38 Sue Burgess (French Classes & Translation) 9 The English Mechanic & Son - Tony Eyre 35 UPVC Double Glazing (Haynes Carpentry) 38 Val Assist (Translation Services) 9 Your Local Gardener 21 Zena Sabestini (Translation & French Administration Assistance) 9
© Sarah Berry 2018. 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: mars 2018 - Tirage: 5000 exemplaires. Siret: 515 249 738 00011 ISSN: 2115-4848 TVA: FR 03 515 249 738
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 3
What’s On... Until 4 March - Marais Poitevin Photography Exhibition. By Pierre Viala, photographer and explorer of ‘The
Green Venice’. 10am to 5pm at the residence l’Angélique Orpéa, 43 rue de la Burgonce. Free entry. Info: 06 18 82 71 11
2 - 31 - Exhibition Jardiner avec la nature (Gardening with nature) in Niort (Éspace Mendes). Advice and valuable
tips on how to organise soil, mulch, compost and other natural preparations. Free entry.
4 - Vide Grenier at 79230 Vouillé 4 - Film The Post (vost) at Cinema Le Commynes Argentonnay,
10 - 6 Nations live Rugby Watch on the big screen at La Bohème,
Mervent. See advert on P.8
11 - Film wonder wheel (vost) at Cinema Le Commynes
24 - New Bar/Restauarant opens in L’ABsie 16 rue de la
poste, 8pm, live music. See advert on P.8
25 – Nature Walk at Pescalis The perfect environment to
observe the water birds. 9am-12pm, bring binoculars. Meeting at the Car Park at Pescalis roundabout. www.ornitho79.org 25 – Carnival in Melle This year’s theme ‘In the air’. More info www.melle.csc79.org/En-route-pour-le-Carnaval.html
25 – Vide Grenier EnsignÉ 31 March-1 April – Gâtin X’trem obstacle course in
Parthenay. A crazy obstacle course of 12km with 40 obstacles (nets, ropes, airbags, walls). Ideal for athletes and fun for families. Saturday’s course for children aged 7-12 with the main event on Sunday. www.frappadingue.net 31 march - 1 April – Spring Faire in Thouars Exhibition, exchanges, local producers, restaurant/bar.
12 - Ian’s orange day cookery demonstration Cornish
Pasties, Victoria Sandwich and Crumpets. Room for 10, starts at 2pm. Book direct with Caroline please: email@example.com 15 - play belote at café des sports, L’absie Learn and play 3pm - 4pm, open to all levels. See advert on P.8 for details. 16-19 -Trade and Agricultural Fair in Bressuire With a theme on discovering more about Québec. Plus a fun fair. Friday 12-8pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm, Monday 10am-7pm Entry fee between 3-5€ 17 – Open Garden at rue de la Gargouille, 79600 Marnes, 10am4pm. See P.19 for more info 17 - Vide atelier (sale of tools, bricolage etc) 9am to 6pm at the Salle des fetes, Scille 17 - St Patrick’s Day celebration with live music at Restaurant des Canards, Chef Boutonne. See advert on P.30 17-18 - Motorcycle ‘boot’ sale in Niort 33rd edition: 15,000 m2 of exhibition with shows, music and other entertainment. Noron Exhibition Centre, Free admission. Info: 05 49 32 10 50 www. motoclub-pucerons.fr 20-25 - Terri’Thouars Blues Festival 22 - Blevins Franks’ Spring Seminar in Niort 10.30am start.
see advert on P.44
23-24 - La Pommeraie Players will be performing their 6th production at the Salle des Fetes La Pommeraie – more info on P.6 23-25 – Salon des vins et Terroirs, Thouars (see back page) 24-25 - salon du vin et de la gastronomie, Niort Open 10am - 7pm. Read more on page 29 24 – Open Garden at ‘Les Frenes’, 79240 Le Busseau, 10am-4pm, See P.19 for more info 24 – Chauraisian Carnival in Chauray In it’s 20th year, this year’s theme for the carnival is Sport, through the ages since ancient times (Les Olympiades). Leaving from the football stadium at 2pm.
contact ‘The DSM’ Call Sarah Berry on 05 49 70 26 21 Monday - Thursday: 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm
FIND ‘THE DSM’ AT ONE OF OUR FRIENDLY DISTRIBUTORS THIS MONTH: PAPATOM Reel Fish & Chips 2nd 7th & 21st 9th & 30th 16th 23rd
Genneton Étusson L’Absie Saint Martin de Sanzay Les-Cerqeux-Sous-Passavant
Tel: 06 04 14 23 94 www.facebook.com/reelfishandchipsfrance
4 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
REGULAR EVENTS... EVERY THURSDAY AT 7PM - Scottish Dancing. At Café des Belles Fleurs, Fenioux. 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 FRIDAY AM - Reaction Theatre’s Art Scene meet in Secondigny. Contact John for details: 05 49 63 23 50 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 EVERY OTHER THURSDAY - Franglais Group at Le Clemenceau, Mouilleron-en-Pareds, 6.30pm (8/2 and 22/2) 1ST WEDS OF MONTH - Franglais Group at Café Bonbon, La Chapelle aux Lys, 3pm 2nd Tuesday of Month - Quiz Night at Le Regal’On, Allonne, 8pm 3RD WEDS of month - Team Quiz. At Le Clemenceau Bar, Mouilleron-en-Pareds at 7.30pm, in aid of animal charities 3RD WEDS OF MONTH - Franglais Group at Pause! Café, L’Absie, 3pm Last FRIDAY of month - Books, CDs, DVDs etc. sale. Chez Sue & Stuart Marshall, 12 rue du Bourg Chasteigner, Cheffois, in aid of animal charities (2-5pm) Tel. 02 51 51 00 96
what’s COMING UP... 7th April - Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Bardes du Bocage and Friends. See more info next month 7th & 8th April - the Rotary Club of Ruffec present an exhibition of regional products and flavours. See P.7 for more info 13/14th April - Theatrivasles perform ‘Ladies Down Under’. Will follow Pearl, Jan, Shelly and Linda on a holiday they’ll never forget! 15th April - Spring Sale at the Funny Farm, St Germain de Longue Chaume. 10am- 4pm 13th May - Clear Your Clutter for Charity at La Ferriere,-sur-Parthenay, from 10am. Contact 05 49 70 62 18 for full details. 27th May - Keynotes Choir sing at inauguration in L’Absie. 1st July - Summer Market at Chateau Ardilleux 79110. Market traders and artisans, contact 05 49 07 10 82
La Vendée Chippy Weds: ‘Pub Le St Vincent’, St Vincent Sterlanges Thurs: ‘La Bohème’, 69 route du lac, Mervent Fri: Bar ‘Le Clemenceau’, Mouilleron-en-Pareds Sat, last of month : Bar ‘Le Chaps’, La Chapelle Thireuil We will no longer be at Antigny on the 1st Sat of month
Tel: 02 44 39 16 73 www.lavendeechippy.com OPEN 6 - 8.30pm
MR T’S FRITERIE Regular venues at: • • • •
Aulnay 17470 (from 6pm) Beauvais-sur-Matha 17490 La Chapelle 16140 St Jean d’Angély 17400
Tel: 06 02 22 44 74 www.frying4u2nite.com
OPEN 6 .30- 9pm
...MARCH 2018 LOCAL MARKETS
The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes, holds English speaking monthly services.
Benet 85490 - and - La Châtaigneraie 85120 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
• • •
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. firstname.lastname@example.org Further information from the Chaplaincy Office 05 49 97 04 21 or from John & Barbara Matthews 05 49 75 29 71. The Filling Station ~ Poitou-Charentes The Filling Station is a network of local Christians of all denominations who meet together regularly for spiritual renewal and evangelism purposes. ALL WELCOME. Please see our bilingual website for details of meetings and summer programmes www.thefillingstationfrance.com or contact Mike & Eva Willis on 05 17 34 11 50 or 07 82 22 31 15. ALL SAINTS, VENDÉE - Puy de Serre We hold two services each month (+ Sunday school), on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at the church of St Marthe, Puy de Serre, at 11am. After each service, tea and coffee are served in the parish room and everyone is invited to a `bring and share’ lunch. For details of all our activities, our Services in the west of the Vendée, copies of recent newsletters and more information, please check our website: www.allsaintsvendee.fr The Rendez-Vous Christian Fellowship welcomes you to any of our meetings held throughout the month in the Deux-Sèvres and the Vendée.
The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2018 4th March Grandmother’s Day (Grand-Mères) 1st April Easter Sunday (Pâques) 2nd April Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques) 1st May Labour Day (Fête du Travail) 8th May Victory in Europe Day (Fête de la Victoire) 10th May Ascension Day (Ascension) 20th May Pentecost (Pentecôte) 21st May Pentecost (Lundi de Pentecôte) 27th May Mother’s Day (Fête des Mères) 17th June Father’s Day (Fête des Pères) 21st June World Music Day (Fête de la Musique) 14th July National Day (Fête Nationale) 15th August Assumption of Mary (Assomption) 7th October Grandfather’s Day (Fête des Grands-Pères) 31st October Halloween 1st November All Saints’ Day (Toussaint) 11th November Armistice Day (Armistice) 25th December Christmas Day (Noël) (Dates in bold=Public holidays)
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.
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 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). 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
TOP HAT QUIZ & CURRY
FISH 4 CHIP & AUTHENTIC INDIAN MEALS
1st: 5th: 12th: 14th:
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)
Chef Boutonne Limalonges Theil Rabier Aigre
Tel: 05 45 71 70 91 www.tophatquizzes.com FROM 7pm
Tel: 06 37 53 56 20 www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com
OPEN 6 - 8.30pm
GET CONNECTED! FACEBOOK:
YOU TUBE: T he Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine INSTAGRAM: thedsm79
Visit each website for further information or to confirm venue and dates The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 5
Getting Out & About
DON’T MISS IT!
he English-language Library in Angers is holding another fun(d)raiser and BBBB (Big, Big Booksale and Bake sale). Twice a year the library, a recognised non-profit in France, holds a fundraiser and booksale.
The next sale will take place on Saturday March 24th, 10am-6pm. This is the ultimate win-win situation: support community services while finding great books. Books are priced at 1.50€…choose from fiction, classics and a wide selection of nonfiction amongst hundreds and hundreds of books in English… definitely worth the drive from afar! Visitors will be welcomed with a free cup of good coffee or tea. By popular demand, the library will be offering a selection of home baking for sale... goodies made by the numerous volunteers! Looking for books in English? Love libraries? Is a selection 27,000 (and growing) enough? And not only that, the library offers much more than books…how about the library’s luncheon club, walking club, Coffee House, films and pizza and board games to mention only a couple of the myriad of activities? The Englishlanguage Library in Angers is hopping with ideas and events. The library’s website is your best one-stop-chocked-full-ofinformation-go-to post: www.ellia.org.
English-Language Library in Angers 60 rue Boisnet 49100 ANGERS The library’s website is full of information, please visit: www.ellia.org.
MAKE A DAY OF IT.... Thouars to Angers: 1h 16 mins Secondigny to Angers: 1h 49 mins 6 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
The Pommeraie Players Play Again
by Dave Parker
n March 23rd and 24th at the salle des fetes at La Pommeraie, the Pommeraie Players will be staging their sixth production. Following the success of their third pantomime ‘Puss in Boots’, they will be performing their third and most ambitious revue. The acts include songs, some beautiful, some funny, some good Above: last year’s production, Puss in dance and others for Boots. Puss played by Mary Groombridge. which there are no words, © Dave Parker. and many different types of sketches, some of which include audience participation - so be warned! This year we have been extremely fortunate to have two offers of sponsorship. The first from Blevins Franks Financial Management in the form of a cheque - always handy as it boosts our charitable donations. Secondly, Chez Tante Mabel at Pers have donated all the raffle prizes for the two evenings. We would like to thank both parties for their generosity. Our good fortune continues with the addition of two new French members involved in the singing and dancing, bringing the number of French performers to four. If you would like to be on stage with us for our 2019 production, experienced or not, please contact Mary Groombridge on 05 49 29 52 28. We look forward to seeing you at the Salle des Fetes La Pommeraie on 23rd and 24th March... be prepared to laugh - and laugh - and laugh!!
Un Salon des produits du Terroir An Exhibition of Products of our Region by John Hobbs
ver the weekend of 7th and 8th April from 10am to 7pm daily, the Rotary Club of Ruffec is pleased to present an exhibition of our regional products and flavours. There will be up to 50 stands of organic producers and craftsmen exhibiting at the event, including produce such as asparagus, cheeses, meat and delicatessen, chocolate, coffee, herbal teas, spices, vegetables, honey and honey products as well as jams, vinegars and mustards, not forgetting wine, pineau and cognac…
World Wildlife Day 2018
he United Nations World Wildlife Day is the global celebration of the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants on our planet as well as an occasion to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to both wildlife and people and the plight of many threatened or endangered species. World Wildlife Day is celebrated annually on 3 March, the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. The CITES Secretariat is the facilitator designated by the UN General Assembly for the global celebration of the Day.
World Wildlife Day 2018, celebrated under the theme Big cats: predators under threat, puts the world’s big cats under
Enough to make your mouth water? So come along to enjoy the show! Snacks and Parking on-site: Salle de Louis Petit 16700, Ruffec (next to Intermarche) ENTRY: 2€
For further details please call: 06 28 32 42 20
the global spotlight for the very first time. These magnificent predators, such cheetah, jaguar, leopard, lion, puma, snow leopard and tiger, are found in many parts of the world, from Africa to Asia and the Americas. With a star-studded cast, this World Wildlife Day promises to be one of the biggest celebrations of the Day, if not the biggest. Big cats are among the most powerful creatures to grace this planet, but they are also the most fragile. They are facing many threats to their survival in the wild, be it loss of habitat and prey, poaching and smuggling, human-wildlife conflict or climate change. World Wildlife Day 2018 is an opportunity for people from every country to help raise awareness of the plight of big cats and to take personal action to help ensure the survival of the world’s big cats.
www.wildlifeday.org The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 7
8 | The Deux-SÃ¨vres Monthly, March 2018
Signs of Spring
by Sue Burgess
sually longer warmer days (les journées plus longues et plus chaudes) prompt nature to literally ‘spring’ back into life a bit later on in the year, but it’s already time to start looking out for these tell-tale signs (signes avant-coureur) that spring is on the way (le printemps arrive). Snowdrops, (perce-neige) daffodils (jonquilles) and crocuses (crocus): you know that spring has started when these are all blooming (ces plantes fleurissent) around us in parks (les jardins publics) gardens (les jardins) and woods (les bois) Celandines (des ficaires): They look a little bit like buttercups. (les boutons d’or). In February and March (en février et mars) they can be seen in woodlands (dans les bois) and hedgerows (les haies). The first bumblebees (les bourdons) appear on warm days in spring. The first queen bumblebees (la reine des abeilles) in the garden, the mining bees (les abeilles fouisseuses) emerging from their underground cells leaving neat little piles of soil (des tas de terre) around the exit holes, and then the first butterflies (les papillons) will appear feeding on the newly opened blooms (les fleurs). Ponds (les étangs/les mares) come to life with frogs (les grenouilles) mating and then laying their jelly-like frogspawn (des larves de grenouille). How many of the tadpoles (les têtards) will survive? Birds (les oiseaux) only spend a few days building nests (construire les nids), to a design that is unique to their species. Keep your eyes peeled throughout late March and April, you may be able to see evidence of this remarkable workmanship (ce travail de maître) taking place around you. You should also notice that the dawn chorus (les chants du concert de l’aurore) gradually gets louder the further into spring we go. Take a woodland walk (aller faire une promenade dans les bois) in the springtime and you might be met by the unmistakable aroma of ramsons (also known as wild garlic) (l’ail des ours) whose lush green leaves sprout in March followed by its star-like white flowers in April. Try to spot when the winter birds leave and summer visitors appear. Millions of migrant birds (les oiseaux migrateurs) leave to go back to Scandinavian or Eastern European countries, while others arrive, with chiffchaffs (des pouillots) and cuckoos (des coucous) amongst the first to appear in March and swallows (des hirondelles) and swifts (des martinets) following in April and May.
Spring break ..........................
Vacances de Pâques/printemps
Sping clean ............................
Nettoyage de printemps, grand printemps
Spring onion .......................... Oignon vert Vocabulaire / Vocabulary:
Spring roll .............................. Rouleau de printemps / des nems In spring ................................
Spring-green .......................... Vert printemps (colour)
Take a Break - SOLUTION
Spring .................................... Printanier (adjective)
Easy Crossword: Across: 1. hyper 2. equal 7. awful 8. gamma 9. miami 10. off peak 11. scattered 14. quartet 15. rinse 16. spent 17. atlas 18. egypt 19. ceded Down: 1. hawaii 2. paul mccartney 4. unappreciated 5. lumbar 6. deportation 12. purple 13. island
Spring .................................... Le printemps (noun)
CLOCKS GO FORWARD AT 2AM ON SUNDAY 25TH MARCH Toughie Crossword: Across: 1. vines 4. varnish 8. nor 9. cathartic 10. army corps 12 tis 13. emergency room 15. dig 16. burgeoned 17. embarrass 20. tri 21. sinuses 22. rioja Down: 1. vintage 2. nuremberg 3. sec 4. veterinarians 5. real style 6. int 7. hocks 11. cage birds 12. two and two 14. madeira 15. dregs 18. bin 19. sir
One of the great wildlife sights of the year is when a carpet of bluebells (des clochettes) transforms woodlands into a place of magic and wonder.
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 9
La Vallée des Singe s T I C K ET GIVEAWAY !
dir la nature nous fait gran romagne (86)
La Vallée des Singes, animal park located in
the Vienne, is now open for the 2018 season and celebrates its 20th year!
ince 1998, the park has evolved from owning 18 primate species to 34 today and after three expansions, the park has increased from 8 to 22 hectares and has recorded many successes in terms of births.
In all, there have been more than 800 births, and the first in France for woolly monkeys, Bonobos but also the first in Europe for Titis monkeys. This is also an important success for Gorillas, whose reproduction is relatively slow, since a female can only have one baby every four years. 12 Gorilla babies have been born in the park at Romagne. Some of them, having reached their sexual majority, went a long way to find a family. Notably one of the males born in Romagne is now the star in Sydney Zoo, Australia, called ‘The French lover’, others are in Germany, England and Belgium. There’s been a similar success among Bonobos - we have the only group in France and the biggest in the world, with six births since their arrival in 2011. The apes at La Vallée des Singes are ambassadors of their congeners in the wild and more than 20 years of commitment to conservation through the Conservatory for the Protection of Primates association. More than 15 projects have been supported throughout the world, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the safeguarding of Bonobo and in Peru for the Titi monkey. During the winter, the teams at La Vallée des Singes had the joy to welcome two Pygmy marmoset babies. This monkey, the smallest in the world, weighs just 125g as an adult, and the babies weigh just 15 g at birth! These two screaming babies are in excellent health and keeping the team busy. The young female Gorilla, Ivindo, born last September is doing very well and her team are seeing a good early development for her age. She moves a lot under the watchful eyes of her mother and half-brother Kouam, 18 months old.
La Vallée des Singes. Le Gureau 86700 Romagne Tel: 05 49 87 20 20 ~ Email: email@example.com
10 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
THE FESTIVITIES OF THE 20th ANNIVERSARY
To celebrate their 20th year, La Vallée des Singes are holding various events throughout the season:
Sunday, 3 June: PRIMATES RUN
A 9km sports race with obstacles, including a part in the heart of the park - for the protection of primates and their environment. Natural and ephemeral obstacles include pyramids of straw bales, cobweb, straw maze, tunnels, climbing walls, puzzles ...
From Thurs 12 JulY - Sun 15 July:
Organised for the benefit of the Conservatory for the Protection of Primates. Professional artists around the animal world gather and exhibit their unique works. On this occasion, a new exhibition hall will be inaugurated in the heart of the park.
WIN TICKETS To celebrate our 7th birthday - we’re giving away 7 pairs of tickets to visit La Vallée des Singes. All you have to do is answer this simple question:
How many gorilla babies have been born at the park? Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing Date: 31st March 2018 (midnight). Correct entries will be drawn at random and winners notified on 1st April 2018. Good Luck!
Park OPEN 18 February - 5 November. Please see ‘Infos pratiques’ on the website for opening hours.
Health, Beauty & Fitness Everyday Yoga for Everyone by Rebecca Novick
oga in the west is too often associated with lithe beautiful women with perfect figures and the flexibility of a rubber band. Or else it is associated with Indian mystics sitting in caves far removed from ordinary life. But both these images are misleading. Yoga is for everyone regardless of age, body type or level. Yes, you might well get a flatter tummy, a trimmer waist, and firmer thighs through your yoga practice, but these are incidental to the broader benefits that include not just greater strength, balance, and flexibility, but a fresh relationship with your body.
CSDS LATEST NEWS
by June Searchfield
n previous issues of ‘The DSM’, I have spoken about the Salon des Familles at St Maixent L’Ecole. Well, I’m pleased to announce that the project is now finally finished and CSDS were invited to the inauguration on 24th January.
Kati Chakrasana (waist rotating pose) is a deceptively simple asana that is great to do first thing in the morning as it releases stiffness in the shoulders and back and helps to correct poor posture. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart. Raise the arms to shoulder level and twist the torso to the right, keeping the hips facing forward. Bring the left hand to rest on the right shoulder and wrap the right hand around your back into the curve of the waist. Look over your right shoulder as far as is comfortable. Gently accentuate the twist by stretching the abdomen. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. You can do this pose any time throughout the day to relieve any build up of mental and physical tension.
Respect yourself, explore yourself. It is a project which we are pleased to have been involved in and know that the patients and their families will appreciate a space outside of the patients room to be able to relax and enjoy meals and drinks. We as a team will be holding our AGM on 1 March , anyone wishing to join us are very welcome. Please contact me for details of venue and timings etc. On the 15 and 17 March our new members will be undergoing their training, in preparation for becoming Active Listeners. As President I’m really looking forward to participating in this training with our new training team and guest trainer. Finally, an enormous thank you to everyone who contributes and supports our Association. Without your help we would find it very difficult to continue. Onwards and upwards...
Cancer Support Deux-Sevres
‘The DSM’ Office Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday 9am - 1pm & 2pm - 6pm
For details on yoga classes email: email@example.com or follow Rebecca on www.facebook.com/groups/lavieenyoga
Fitness Clubs: Line Dancing
Want some gentle exercise? Want to keep your mind active? Come along and try out our line dance classes held at Café des Belles Fleurs, Fenioux every Friday evening 6pm-7.30pm. Beginners welcome. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CALLING ALL WALKING FOOTBALL PLAYERS
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 05.46.32.18.51 or email email@example.com
CYCLISTS IN FRANCE
Facebook group ‘British Cyclists in France (BCIF)’ is an online group for British cyclists to share information, events, ask advice and post photos etc. Why not join, make contacts and arrange rides with other local cyclists? The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 11
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 David Brieger: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 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: email@example.com or Tel 05.46.95.38.39 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.jeandavidart.com or phone Jean on 06 52 93 33 60. Melleran Chanteurs – Amateur singing group meeting every Monday 6.45pm in Melleran Salle des Fetes. French & English members, singing in many languages. New voices always welcomed, particularly tenor and bass. For more information contact Maggie Geal 05 49 07 11 69
Please visit the branch website:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
FRANGLAIS GROUP MONTOURNAIS
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: email@example.com
Come and join us. Learn at your own pace within a mixed group of English and French speaking people, in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Every Thursday 8pm-9.30pm. Contact Penny 02 51 63 31 21 firstname.lastname@example.org or Ray 02 51 61 28 69.
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
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 email@example.com or 06 85 92 58 33.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
DIRTY HANDS GARDENING CLUB
Meets every 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month at Coulonges-sur-l’Autize. For when, where, how and why of practical gardening contact Janette by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 05 49 75 50 06.
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.
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Get Together is an association for English speakers of all nationalities. We have social gatherings, lunch & wine club, quizzes, walks, group meetings for all manner of hobbies and much more. Contact Membership Secretary Michele Hansford for joining details. Email: email@example.com Tel. 05 49 64 21 63
Alone in France?
We are a group of people living alone who meet on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 11am for coffee at the Pause! café in L’Absie. Our lunches are at different venues each month, a warm welcome awaits you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 05 49 69 14 89
Combined Services Support by Terri Laverick Group (CSSG)
First of all let me say a belated Happy New Year to you all from the Committee of CSSG. We hope that you all have a happy and healthy 2018, our message is better late than never.
by John Blair
The Theatre Group
The Annual General Meeting of the Reaction Theatre group is being held at Café des Belles Fleurs in Fenioux at 7pm on 5th March. All members and their friends are welcome and there will be refreshments after the meeting. New members are welcome to attend. Malcolm Daniels is developing our next production which will be a specially tailored pantomime, oh yes he is! We weren’t sure we could get enough people to participate in such a large production but over 30 people have come forward to take part. It’s not too late so if you fancy dressing up in funny clothes, let’s have your name!
We have a number of events scheduled for 2018. More details will be in future ‘The DSM’s’ and on our website, but for now, here’s a couple of mentions: • •
ell, this is the first article I have written in 2018, it’s been an interesting start to the year, weather wise. From gales, rain and snow to spring flowers that should be still asleep. (Or should be at the time of
We are singing on the 27th May at the inauguration of a monument to resistance fighters of WW2 in L’Absie. 23rd and 24th June - Ile d’Oleron. Yes, we are going on tour! We are stretching our wings and performing in a couple of churches on the island so we are frantically rehearsing songs old and new. In addition to the Keynotes performances guess what? The Scottish Dancing Group will also be performing in the town centres at the Fete de la Musique on the Isle on the same dates. Two events for the price of ….. nothing it’s free so come along and why not stay the weekend?
We are coming up to our Annual General Meeting on 3rd March, at the Café des Belles Fleurs in Fenioux, at 11am and I thought a quick resume of last year would be in order. It was a year of conflicting results for our events, the Summer Fair was affected badly by the rain, and yet the Christmas Market at Terves was a resounding success. Other events, Race Nights and the Fishing Picnic were enjoyed immensely by those who attended and all raised money for our ex-service charities. Last year saw donations going to SSAFA France (Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association, France), RAFA (Royal Air Force Association), Resto de Coeur and the local Pompiers Fund which helps children and widows of injured firemen. None of this could have happened without the support of you, the expat community and our French friends and neighbours. While on this subject, may I, on behalf of the CSSG Committee, thank all those who helped us at our events, none of it could be done without you. We are very grateful. Once again, a reminder, the AGM is on 3rd March, 11am at the Café des Belles Fleurs, Fenioux. Anybody is welcome to join us. A British style breakfast is served at 10am and if you wish to join us for this please let me know, my email address is: terri. email@example.com or phone the café direct.
Scottish Dancing Group
As mentioned above we are also on tour in June with the Keynote Singers. So if you fancy joining us come along to the Café des Belles Fleurs at 7pm on a Thursday evening.
The Art Scene
The group meet in Secondigny on a Friday morning and we have a full programme of events for the next few months. New members are always welcome - no experience necessary. Our Friends at TheatriVasles are performing ‘Ladies Down Under’ by Amanda Whittington. This is a follow up to the very popular ‘Ladies Day’. Performances will be on 13th and 14th April. Other concerts will be held in November and December but it’s too early to think about next winter until we get this one over with!
Best wishes, John
Full details of all our groups and their activities can be seen on our website www.reactiontheatre.fr or call 05 49 63 23 50
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 13
Hobbies Plants and Weather by Alison Morton
y the first page of a book, most readers like to have an idea of where and when they are. Weather, in the form of rain, fog, burning sunshine, snow, ice, breezes or a grey, cloudy sky, instantly creates mood. Readers don’t want to know that a summer storm in the area where the story takes place is unusual as it normally gets only twenty centimetres of rainfall per annum. Warm water smashing unexpectedly into the character’s face, dribbling down her bare skin and the back of her summer dress, soaking her hair and leaving it a mass of dripping curls gives a better picture. Why is it important for her to be out in this bad weather? Is it to get help? Did she flounce out of a lovers’ quarrel? Or is she just disorganised, or preoccupied?
Seasons also resonate with readers. Spring signifies hope, new life and lengthening days and foreshadow the warmth of summer. Ploughed fields with fresh green sprouting plants, flowering bulbs in the garden, trees shedding their stark skeletons to give a light dusting of new leaves – each builds a picture. The days lengthen but the sun is still weak. This gives plenty of scope for blinding light, lack of true warmth, the odd sharp frost and stiff breezes. Be aware of sunrise and sunset times, especially in spring and autumn as they can be surprisingly early and late.
Check the appropriate wild and cultivated plants in your chosen area. The most successful plant life depends on the soil, altitude and our friend from above, rain. Olives are surprisingly tough; some vines can be grown in high altitudes with a sheltered aspect. Wind and distance from the sea also play important roles. Google Maps, satellite view, is very helpful for studying landscapes, trees, undergrowth, forests and towards towns, suburban gardens, then parks within towns and cities. Use the Royal Horticultural Society for plant information, especially flowering and fruiting times, or sometimes Wikipedia can be enough.
Sniffs and smells
Smells associated with weather can give a rounded, vivid idea of the story’s action. ‘It was Baltic rain, from the north, cold and sea-scented, tangy with salt. For an instant, he was back twenty years, in the conning tower of a U-boat, slipping out of Wilhelmshaven, lights doused, into the darkness.’ (Fatherland, Robert Harris) Aromatic herbs, rotting vegetation or the resinous smell of pine forests add as your characters make their way through the landscape of your story, especially when such smells are unexpected or out of place.
Drip, don’t dump
People don’t always appreciate or have the time today to read long descriptions, however good the writing. Weave in little reminders of the weather or plants where they impact on the story or characters but avoid heavy dollops of full description. ‘I knew I was being watched. I skirted away from a group of shrubs. Their glossy, dark green leaves and berries coated with frost shone attractively, but the dense foliage made a perfect place to hide.’ (INCEPTIO, Alison Morton) Here, you have season, weather, plants, a tense plot point, narrator’s reactions and a glimpse into her character wrapped up in a couple of sentences.
Alison has compiled a selection of articles from this column into ‘The 500 Word Writing Buddy’, available on Amazon. Her novella, CARINA is now out.
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YOUR Book Reviews
Warm thanks go to Vronni Ward and Lesley Fraser for sharing their book reviews with us. If you’d like to send us a book review, please email it to: email@example.com
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman This is a most original, charming and touching book to read. It was recommended as a 2017 bestseller on a well-known online book store and on impulse I bought it… I am so glad I did. Eleanor’s voice hooks you in and you immediately become her friend and confidant. She has had a difficult childhood and has autistic tendencies. This means that she finds social situations and work norms difficult. It is often painful but so endearing. On a surface level, it’s a very funny novel about a socially inept twenty-nine year old woman. Her attempts to become ‘normal’ and integrate into society by having manicures and waxes are sources of hilarity. Read of Eleanor’s crush on a handsome singer, her burgeoning relationship with Raymond, the IT geek at work and the kindness of strangers. I would say there is a bit of Eleanor in all of us. Her reasoning makes perfect sense, but you only know this because you’re inside her head. Once you pick this book up, it’s really hard to put down as you really want to find out what happens to her. A thoroughly satisfying read. by Vronni Ward
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Avid readers amongst you will be wondering whether I’ve had my head buried in a bucket of sand, as this book was published in 2014 and as a Pulitzer Prize winner, lots of you have probably read it. Despite that, I felt it was worth bringing it to your attention because if you have missed it, this is a recommendation for a wonderfully written and fascinating story. It is set in World War II, but the story is told from the point of view of two unique, unconventional war story characters. Marie-Laure is a little blind girl who lives in Paris with her Father who has a position at the Museum of Natural History. Werner is a German orphan boy who is destined to work in the mines, until he comes to the notice of the Hitler Youth movement when his potential to be of more use to them is identified. The atmosphere of the times and the struggles both MarieLaure and Werner have to face, both physically and morally, are beautifully and movingly described. It is one of those books that I didn’t want to finish but couldn’t wait to finish at the same time, and one I will pick up to dip into again and again. by Lesley Fraser
Bees at the Little White House by Gloria Fisher
Experiences of a new Beekeeper... Honey Harvest
ow, dear Reader, comes the best part of beekeeping...the harvest! Back in September, my bee school in Soudan showed us how to remove the frames from the hive and extract the honey.
First the hive is smoked, opened and the full frames removed. The bees are very gently brushed from the comb using a bee brush. The full frame is put into an empty Super next to the hive. This method continues until all the frames are moved over. As the bee school has many hives to attend to, they had a van standing by to take the full Supers. The bees are left only with the brood box the bottom section that you started with. In November, two strips of varroa mite medicine is pushed into the frame for 10 weeks to cut down the number of varroa mites on the bees. They look like tiny ticks which attach themselves to the bee just behind the head. When it’s time for this treatment to end, then is the time for the candy to be added.
The Deux-Sèvres Chamber Choir Seeks New Members
by Ianthe Roper
he Deux-Sèvres Chamber Choir (‘le Chœur de Chambre des Deux-Sèvres’) aims to promote high quality amateur choral singing in the Department, the Region and beyond. Under the inspiring leadership of its ‘chef de choeur’, Anne Koppe, the choir has recently showcased a programme of Yiddish songs and culture, with several highly successful concerts and a CD recording. Last year the choir went on a tour of Poland.
In the autumn the drones (boys) are encouraged out of the nest so that just the Queen and workers remain. As the honey has already been taken for us to use, beekeepers give the bees what is called ‘candy’, which is put under the roof. A hole is made through the roof lining and a corresponding hole is made in the candy so that the bees can eat this throughout the winter. To continue, the van was then driven to our teacher’s home, where he has a separate building for dealing with honey extraction. (He has a lot of hives all over Soudan, mainly in woods). We learnt to uncap the frame, which means using a special knife to remove the tops from the comb so that the honey can come out. These frames are then put into a spinner which rotates to extract the honey and the amber nectar runs out of the opening tap at the bottom. The cappings are then spun in a different machine to remove all the honey and you are left with the wax. We all were given a jar of honey to take away. So we left with a feeling of ‘I can do that, it’s straight forward.’
Top: The uncapping knife Bottom: The Spinner where the frames are placed in and honey extracted. © Gloria Fisher
At the moment the choir is working on a new repertoire of choral music from the 20th century, featuring composers such as Benjamin Britten, Thierry Machuel from France, the Basque Javier Busto, and the acclaimed Norwegian composer, Ola Gjeilo. The choir currently has vacancies for tenors and basses. If any keen choral singers are interested in joining, the choir would love to hear from you. Entry is by audition: please contact the director, Anne Koppe, on 06 79 16 54 47 or by mail: anne. firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information on the choir’s activities can be found on its website www.choeurdechambre79.fr or for more details, contact Ianthe Roper (English) on 05 49 40 72 08, email email@example.com, or Laurence Belliard (French) on 06 04 08 24 16, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo © Choeur de Chambre des Deux-Sèvres
Next time I will tell you how my harvest went...
If you would like to get in touch, please email: email@example.com
FILMS IN ENGLISH.....look for screenings in ‘VO’ or ‘VOST’ Bressuire Le Fauteuil Rouge: www.lefauteuilrouge.fr CineChef, Chef-Boutonne: email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 15
Our Furry Friends
Hope Shop 79 have MOVED! Now at 8 rue d’aunis, 79120 Saint Soline
MAGIC is a five and a half year old border cross. He is a delightful, friendly boy; gentle, affectionate and wanting to please. He is good with other dogs, cats and children. In the home he is calm, well behaved, non-barking and non-destructive - and he is also okay when left alone. He is clean in the house (he may have a ‘rug fetish’ which is being worked on!). He travels well, walks nicely on the lead, is picking up his basic commands (a very quick learner and smart with it) and is settling well in to home life. All-in-all he is a smashing easy-going dog. MAGIC has been neutered, micro-chipped, is fully vaccinated including rabies so he has valid passport, and he has been treated for worms, fleas and ticks. An adoption fee of 160€ will be asked to help towards his medical costs. If you would like to know more, please contact Caroline on 05 49 96 02 79.
The Assocation Orfee Contact Caroline: 05 45 96 02 79 or by email: email@example.com Visit the website: www.orfeeinenglish.com
Spring Sale at The Funny Farm Cat Rescue Sunday 15th April 10am-4pm
Le Grand Beaupuits, 79200 St Germain de Longue Chaume (on the D19)
ECOLE DU CHAT LIBRE DE POITIERS 1 Place de Fontevrault, 86000 POITIERS 05.49.01.39.25 (answerphone) Ecoleduchat.poitiers.free.fr Facebook: ecole-du-chat-libre-de-Poitiers
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Thank you to everyone who helped & supported us last time, we are always very grateful. We have lots of new donations already and welcome any more if you are having a clear out. We have also extended our massive library, plus there will be the usual delicious homemade cakes, coffee, tea and cats to cuddle. Please contact me on heather.rosemary33@ gmail.com if you have any donations or would like more information. Heather x
A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres POugne-hérisson
by Sue Burgess
he commune was formed by the joining together of two market towns, Pougne and Hérisson. The two communes which are 3km apart, joined together in 1901. PougneHérisson is situated in the Gâtine poitevine, in an area where there is a lot of granite and large granite stones and formations. The name Hérisson probably comes from the German word Heric meaning military camp. The market town was important in the Middle Ages. A weekly market was held there during the 14th century. The town belonged to the lords of Parthenay. Pougne is connected with the Saint Pou who was able to heal nervous illnesses caused by fear. Until the Revolution, Pougne-Hérisson was often bustling with merchants and pilgrims. The chateau, the priory and the 12th century chapel with its new stained glass windows dating from 2012, are the signs of a flourishing medieval past.
The commune counts 373 inhabitants. The main economic activity is agriculture with dairy farming, breeding of Parthenaise cattle, sheep and apples. There are granite eruptions to visit and the place is full of stories and legends. The Nombril du Monde park is a tourist attraction. A voir / Must See •
Saint-Georges-de-Hérisson Church. The church, now disused, is the property of the commune. Dating from the beginning of the 13th century, it is a listed historical monument because of the choir and the nave.
The stone called ‘le Nombril’ (the bellybutton) which is situated in front of the church, is the point of departure for the legend of Pougne-Hérisson. (see below).
The old inn ‘auberge Saint-Georges’ dates from the 15th century. It is now the property of the commune and is a listed historical monument because of its original fireplace that dates from the 15th century.
The park of the Nombril du Monde. The park is open from April to October.
Le festival du Nombril (The festival of the belly button) Having proclaimed itself the belly button of the world ‘Nombril du Monde’ with the impulse of the Poitevin story teller, Yannick Jaulin, the commune of Pougne-Hérisson organises the Festival du Nombril every two years in the even numbered years. The organisers base the programme around the art of the spoken word (stories, street arts, humour, music and sculpture – in particular sculptures made from throw away objects). The atmosphere of the festival is based on benaiserie (well-being in Parlhange, the local dialect) and on conviviality. In odd numbered years, the Nombril du Monde organises a season of story telling, theatre and music. On the 6th May 2012 a local referendum was held so that the villagers could choose street names for the streets and roads in the commune. Pougne and Hérisson : a Fantastic Couple. Pougne, with its town hall and its church dedicated to Saint Pou, represents ‘man’ and the centre of decisions. Hérisson, with its medieval chateau, its Merveille (Marvel), the mine pit, its stream and damp fields, represents ‘woman’ la femme, the origin of happy events. Together these two market towns form the historical belly of the birth of the stories of the world.
Tales take on the colours, smells and clothes of faraway people and lands. Tales are roads of life which cross centuries and civilisations. Tales are reborn and recreated. In Pougne-Hérisson everything starts afresh and every tale is told anew. Pougne-Hérisson was a village bustling with life and laughter. The Benedictine monks from the priory of St. John could be seen around the village. Merchants could be heard feasting in the St. George inn. One can imagine the salt-tax collectors watching over the tollgate at the Marvel. Yet, it was not a village like the others. At the foot of the castle, Troubladours from all over Europe came to meditate at the source of tales. But a cruel destiny hit the area: the Hundred Years War with its trail of cruelty and suffering. For a century there was nothing but frenzy, sounds of battles and fury. The English laid siege to the castle of Pougne-Hérisson and destroyed several chapels. The counter-attack from the valiant marshland soldiers was terrible and it has been said that several hundred English cavalrymen were buried alive in a trench, still sitting on their horses. It was not until June 6th, 1944 that a certain John Barney Ferguson, an American from Colorado, parachuted by mistake onto PougneHérisson, fell into the abandoned mine and rediscovered it. When he fell, John Barney Ferguson twisted his ankle and remained hidden in the mine, where the villagers brought him food and drink. After the liberation this discrete gentleman learned the local dialect (patois) within a few months at the ‘Chez Françoise’ bar. There he met a man, Robert Jarry, who would later become his friend and collaborator. Robert was the village blacksmith. Together they studied the role of Pougne-Hérisson in the world of tales and stories. During the fifities John Barney Ferguson travelled far and wide observing the phenomenon in other continents. He brought back evidence and wrote his famous thesis ‘The Navel, Why? How?’ His thesis proved the domination of Pougne-Hérisson and revealed its role as the belly button of the earth. Unfortunately the work disappeared along with its author in a mysterious fire in the library of Pougne-Hérisson on July 30th 1958. From then on, Robert Jarry decided to continue the work of his companion. He had actually underestimated the energy required to start the tale reactor. He thought the machine would work all by itself but in fact it needed to be filled to the bursting point with tales and stories and sadly there were not enough tales and legends in the Gatine skies. Thomas Ferguson, John’s son, had become an astrophysicist, and he came to France to find his father. He became involved with the KGB in Moscow and undertook to build a laboratory in an old space capsule in order to study the links between the stars and the Belly button of the earth. He died from sadness when his spaceship burned. His fully restored Sputnik can now be seen in the Garden of Stories in Pougne-Hérisson. The amazing work of these three ‘Navelists’ would have been lost, had the story teller, Yannick Jaulin, not discovered it and shared it with the people of Pougne-Hérisson in 1990. Thanks to the presence of storytellers and all kinds of artists, and thanks to the festival, tales are still alive in Pougne-Hérisson. The Garden of Stories contains eccentric machines which attract new tales and stories during the season and the Festival.
More A-Z of the Communes of Deux-Sèvres next month...
The legend of the Nombril du Monde. Legend and the Bible says that in the beginning was the word. Then the word became emotion and then fire, the burning fire of the tales of the world. During the mythological Big Bang, the fire scattered to the four corners of the Earth, including to PougneHérisson, spreading the pollen of tales and myths. The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 17
Home & Garden
Small colour Advert from 35,17â‚Ź ttc per month
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whilst at the same time there is a benefit to French charities. Meanwhile, in the Deux-Sèvres the open garden season is kicking off nice and early. In March there are two gardens to visit, both having masses of spring colours to chase away the winter blues: •
17 March: 9,rue de la Gargouille, 79600 Marnes. 10am-4pm Owner: Ticia Goode 24 March: ‘Les Frenes’, 79240 Le Busseau. 10am-4pm Owner: Janet Greenwood
Spring is coming and it will soon be time for the Open Garden season again!
pen gardens/Jardins Ouverts (OG/JO) was set up in 2013 by president Mick Moat in the Creuse region of France. It is a registered, French, charitable association adhering to strict rules of operation.
The garden in Marnes is beautifully situated on the corner of two rivers with a weir. The garden lights up in spring with hundreds of yellow trumpet daffodils, pretty primulas and several hellebores. The garden in Le Busseau has many different narcissi and daffodil varieties, including many doubles and white types. There is a collection of hellebores, grown from seeds imported from a specialist grower in Tasmania.
In 2013, just four gardens opened in the Creuse area, compared to 150 gardens in 28 departments in 2017. Last year OG/JO arrived in the DeuxSèvres. Under the stewardship of coordinators Janet Greenwood and Ticia Goode, 18 gardens opened to the public. We raised over 1 000€ between us for French charities in the Deux-Sèvres alone, so Thank you Deux-Sèvrians! In October 2017 at the Fête de plantes in Chantilly, 23 500€ was donated to various children’s charities. The main recipient of the funds has been a charity called ‘A chacun son Everest’ a children’s charity set up near the Alps that supports terminally ill children. The amount given by OG/JO in 2017 represents a 50% increase in funds donated in 2016 reflecting the growth and progress made by the association. In its five years of operation, a total of 50 350€ has been donated. The great thing about Open Gardens is that it is a win, win situation for everyone. As a visitor you will be able to see beautiful gardens that are not normally open to the public. As a garden owner you will have the pleasure and enjoyment of seeing people appreciate all your hard work,
Later in the year there will be gardens opening all over the Deux-Sèvres, so please have a look at the website www. opengarden.eu which is constantly being updated. Some of these gardens are new to Open Gardens and will be opening for the first time in 2018. Also we are pleased to announce that in the neighbouring Vendée department we have our first co-ordinator and new gardens are being added regularly. Checkout www.opengardens.eu for more details and we hope to see you soon! Contacts: Janet Greenwood on 05 49 28 38 02 Ticia Goode on 05 49 66 79 14
Photos right show the sping colours of the two open gardens mentioned. © Janet Greenwood
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 19
THE AMATEUR GARDENER
ccording to Meteo France this has been the wettest winter for almost 60 years, since their rain gauges were set up in 1959. So after squelching our way through that we then had several inches of snow to contend with here in Secondigny. Thankfully, it has gone now but, my goodness, it really was so beautiful to see every cloud has a silver lining, as the saying goes. But now, hopefully, we shall have more reasonable weather and the ground will become less soggy so that we can get on with some of the outdoor jobs: Harvest the last leeks, Brussel sprouts, cabbages and purple sprouting broccoli and dig over the vegetable plot. The greenhouse should have a good clean, to make sure there are no overwintered pests or diseases. Now you can sow seeds of summer bedding favourites such as petunias, salvias and cosmos and take cuttings of fuchsias and pelargoniums to grow on in the greenhouse. Check your seed packets and sow vegetable seeds as instructions dictate, either in the potager, under a cloche or in the greenhouse.
SEEDS TO SOW IN MARCH Like to be near runner beans March-April Don’t plant next to Garlic or onion Feb-March family Don’t plant next to mint March-July
Like carrots, celery, potatoes, radish but not leeks, garlic or onion family
Aubergine Broad Beans
Like potatoes, beetroot, rosemary, sage but not strawberries, tomatoes, onions or fennel Like to be near leeks, peas, tomatoes Like to be near cucumbers but not peas or tomatoes Like to be near carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes Like to be near onions
Like carrots, peas, tomatoes, strawberries
In the vegetable garden another idea is ‘intercropping’. While one vegetable is filling out sow another crop between - the first crop is then harvested giving the second room to grow on. For example, onions and garlic do not shade the surrounding soil so a few weeks prior to lifting them you could sow seeds of carrots or beetroot between the rows. Radish, spring onions, lettuce are also suitable try them between rows of sweetcorn perhaps, before the sweetcorn have grown too tall and shade the ground too much. 20 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
by Vanda Lawrence
Tidy the strawberry bed, replacing old plants which no longer fruit well and cover with a cloche if you wish to encourage early fruiting. Plant rhubarb and raspberry canes. Plant artichokes, shallots and early potatoes. Sweet peas can be sown directly into their flowering position and, as the soil warms, dahlias can be planted. They don’t have a deep tap root system so are susceptible to wind-rock. It is therefore sensible to put stakes in-situ when you plant the tubers. Finish pruning roses and if your hydrangeas are getting too big you can reduce them by cutting back to just above a healthy pair of buds. On older plants it’s also good to cut a couple of the oldest stems to the base to encourage new, floriferous growth. Pot-grown shrubs will benefit from top-dressing with a fresh layer of compost. If any need re-potting now is the time to do it and it will give you the chance to tease out the roots which might have become pot-bound. Give them a good feed too. Start planning your window boxes and containers for the nicer weather. Once danger of frost has passed you will be able to start planting up. Garden ponds will start waking up now and the marginals will be putting on new growth. The main problem is pond algae as the sun shines and the weather warms. Stuff barley straw or clippings from lavender plants into a pair of old tights and float just below the surface of the water – this should help discourage the algae. If you have room, consider adding more floating plants to shade the water, as this will also discourage algae. These are best planted next month, but you can plan ahead. This time of the year you might well notice strange white cottonwool-like nests high up in pine trees. These are the nests of Pine Processionary Caterpillars (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) so called because of the way they travel through the woods in nose-to-tail columns. The larvae of the Pine Processionary moth live in these nests, coming out at night, nose-to-tail, to feed on pine needles. These larvae should not be handled because the hairs on their bodies cause extreme irritation to humans and animals alike. Sometime towards the end of March the caterpillars are ready to leave the nest for the last time, in their usual long line. They then dig underground and pupate, emerging as the moth at the end of summer. The larvae are eaten by Great Tits, Cuckoos and Beetles. Hoopoes will eat the pupae. Lastly, as temperatures slowly rise hedgehogs will start coming out of hibernation, so please keep your eyes open for them and be ready with some dog or cat food to fatten them up and help them along. And now, I’ll just remind you all that the clocks go forward on 25th March. Won’t it be lovely to have the evenings extended? – I know we lose an hour on the first day, but after that our body-clock will have adjusted, and just think … longer days, warmer weather, sunny days, BBQs in the garden, sunbathing (did I just say ‘sunbathing’?!) – yes, I’m up for it!
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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 21
Communications Choosing your Communications Provider in France by Ross Hendry
etting the best internet service is becoming more and more important to our daily lives, reliability, speed, stability and good speedy technical support at a competitive price should be our target.
Fixed Line Telephony The basic telephone landline will cost 17,99€ per month although many customers opt not to have this as they no longer need it as they get their telephone calls via the router (Livebox etc). The remaining prices I detail include (at the very least) landline telephone calls in France and in most cases 100 or so other countries. You only need a fixed line now if you have very slow or non-existent internet access. Internet Providers in France by Market Share as of November 2016: Name
1 Orange 2 Free 3 SFR
Formerly France Telecom (and Wanadoo) A subsidiary of Iliad (Iliad also own Alice) Acquires neuf Cegetel, Tele2 and Club Internet 4 Bouygues New to the market in 2008 and growing 5 The Others Darty Box, UK Telecom, PhoneExpat
% Market Share
40.3 23.0 22.1 10.9
Alternatives to phone delivered services: • Numericable; the new kid on the block - trying to implement a Fibre based service • WiBox/WiMax; Non phone line based services • Tooway; Satellite Internet Providers Orange is the single largest provider in France having over 40% of the market, twice as many as their nearest competitor. I suspect the reason for this is that their customer service is very good and their technical support via the English helpline is excellent. Like BT in the UK, when the telephone systems were deregulated, France Telecom (now Orange) were awarded the contract to maintain the infrastructure, namely the telephone lines and exchanges, meaning that if another ISP has a line problem they have to ask Orange to resolve the problem. This costs them and are therefore reluctant to call out Orange unless absolutely necessary, causing delays in getting the service working for their customers. Technical Support Orange have another major benefit for us Expats, the brilliant English helpline, where you may order the service you require in English, advise them of house moves and resolve any billing queries and, more importantly, the technical support is provided by English speaking, highly qualified technicians that in my experience are patient, considerate and are prepared to take responsibility to get
22 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
your problem resolved and advise you of the progress of the repair and often checking after the event that you are satisfied with the service. The English Helpline 09 69 363 900, is available Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm, not only in France but from the UK as well. (Just remember the country code +33.) Costs Researching the February 2018 prices I see that the least expensive telephone and internet package is still the one from Bouygues at 4,99€ for year 1, then 22,99€ p/month thereafter. This is for Internet and phone calls! The entry level is usually a speed of up to 20 Mbps and they are all about the same monthly price after the first year offers have ended, around 23€ to 40€. With the fast nonfibre services from 50€ per month after offers, it is possible to get speeds of over 100 Mbps if you are close enough to an exchange. Fibre Optic internet is available in more and more areas and provides the fastest of the internet services, typically speeds of 100 Mbps to 500 Mbps are achieved. Not surprisingly the prices are quite competitive for the first year as each supplier seeks to expand their fibre customers. These services start from as little as 20€ per month for the first year rising to 100€ per month depending on the speed and provider. You probably need to be in a major town to take advantage of the fibre services. Internet speeds This is probably the most contentious issue when finding an ISP. It is virtually impossible to guarantee an internet speed as there are so many things that can reduce or disrupt the speed. It is possible to get up to 20 Mbps download speed in France for a standard subscription, as I have previously advised. This is usually possible in towns and villages where there is a telephone exchange. The nearer you are to the exchange, the more likely you are to receive the maximum. Once you are over 5 or 6 kilometres from the exchange you will be lucky to get much over 1 Mbps. This is simply near the limit of the system’s ability to transmit the internet over the telephone cables. Over this and you will be refused the service by the traditional telephone type suppliers; you will have to find an alternative supplier such as a Satellite service or one of the newer technologies such as Wimax. I will cover these in another article soon. Please do review your packages every 24 months or so, as they are changing all the time and usually you will save money or get more for less! Orange: Free: SFR: Bouygues:
www.orange.fr www.free.fr www.sfr.fr www.bouyguestelecom.fr
Ross Hendry is the proprietor of Interface Consulting and Engineering, who has over 43 years experience in Communications, Computer Technology and Direct Marketing. (see advert below).
Annual Subscription Costs: 34€ within France, 29€ 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, March 2018 | 23
Where We Live...
Stewart & Elaine Cronin
He’s a golf professional who can castrate a pig. She’s a poultry health specialist who can help the human body balance, repair and reset itself. It can only be the Cronins. Brie de Meaux (AOC) Named after the town of Meaux, this cheese is produced in the region of Brie, some 50 kms east of Paris – a rich, green area with a long history of cheesemaking. One reason for its rise in importance was its close proximity to the capital, which was a great centre of consumption. The chronicles of Charlemagne suggest the emperor was tasting it back in the year 774. It’s also said Louis XVI’s last wish before his execution was for “du vin rouge et du Brie.” Brie de Meaux is an artisanal or industriel cheese and should be matured in the regions of Seine-et-Marne, Loiret, Aube, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meuse and Yonne. The geographical separation between the places of production and maturation (affinage) is a Brie tradition. It takes 25 litres of raw milk to make one cheese. During production, the curd is barely cut and must be cast manually into its mould of 36-37 cms in diameter and an average weight of 2.8 kg, with a special pelle à Brie (Brie shovel). Drainage is spontaneous and liquid evaporates from the large surface. If drainage is too quick, the cheese may split. Once the drainage is complete, the cheese is salted exclusively with dry, coarse salt. Maturation normally takes a minimum of four weeks, but the ideal ripening time for a high-quality cheese is six to eight weeks, depending on the season. This is a soft, unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese covered with a bloomy rind that looks like white velvet. As it ages, the rind develops red or brown patches. When almost half of the straw-coloured inside is ripe and soft, it’s ready to eat. It is a refined cheese with a balanced appearance and smell. The inside is compact and even-textured and has a slight scent of mould and is full of sweet as well as smoky aromas, with a rich flavour. It has a rich, buttery flavour of mushrooms and almonds. Brie de Meaux is usually eaten at the end of a meal, but it can also be enjoyed in canapés and croquettes. It is part of many regional recipes, such as galettes briardes and croque-monsieur gratiné au brie. The cheese can be paired perfectly with Champagne or any number of wines including Burgundy, Côtes du Rhone, Saint-Émilion, Pomerol or Pinot Noir d’Alsace.
© wiki commons/Thesupermat
24 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
ot the sort of introduction you might expect down your local bar, perhaps, but Stewart and Elaine Cronin have actually taken a path trodden by many an ex-pat wanting to start a new life in France. Giving up a comfortable life in the UK and landing here with just a small lorry full of belongings. Oh, and the almost obligatory cat! What they didn’t have, however, was any real idea of what they wanted to do when they got here. But the offer of a job helping on a farm owned by friends proved to be the perfect launch pad. “Life in England was just OK,” says Elaine. “We both had work, but it was a monotonous treadmill. I worked in an industry that dealt a lot with chemicals – which was really against what I believed in – and Stewart was working just about every day of the week.” Their best friends, Lucy and Sean, had moved to France in 2000 to manage a farm and after spending a few holidays with them the Cronins began to fall in love with the idea of a new lifestyle. By 2003, their friends had bought their own farm, near Bellac, in the Haute-Vienne, and needed help with everexpanding pig numbers. Stewart had first refusal on the job and so the golf pro turned pig farmer was born! “We probably wouldn’t have moved to France if I hadn’t got the job with Lucy and Sean,” says Stewart. “It was salaried and got us into the French system from day one – health cover etc. all sorted from the start.” Their new life with pigs in France couldn’t have been more different. Stewart, born and bred in Birmingham, spent 18 months training as a chef under a YTS scheme, with regular placements at The Crest Hotel in Walsall. It was his passion to become a chef, but his golf suddenly developed and that was the key to a change of career. At 15, he joined a municipal golf club and within three years was playing competitively as an amateur. In 1989, he got his first golf job as an apprentice and 18 months later moved on to Sutton Coldfield GC, where he turned professional in 1991. “After qualifying as a pro, I concentrated on my playing career and won several tournaments, ranging from county to national level. In 1997, I qualified to play a full season on the Challenge Tour (division two of European golf) playing in Europe, Africa and even in the first ever Russian Open. After one season, I had five top ten finishes and ended 49th out of 400 European golfers. I experienced a wonderful lifestyle and made some great friends, who I am still in contact with. Unfortunately, I lost my sponsors at the end of 1998 so, in 1999, I dropped down a level. It wasn’t all bad, though. Playing at that level meant I got to meet Elaine!” It was while he was playing a competition at Hawkestone Park, Shropshire, in April 1999 the couple first met. “It was at The Bear Hotel in Hodnet”, recalls Elaine. “I was working the graveyard shift – 2pm to 6pm – because I only had lectures in the mornings. After his golf, Stewart would come in and sit at the bar and talk to me. By the Wednesday of that week he’d asked me out for a meal and the rest is history!” Stewart was 28 at the time and Elaine 25. Elaine had spent her early life on farms in Shropshire and the West Midlands before going to Harper Adams Agricultural College, where she achieved an
by Mick Austin
It’s good to know you’ve got a friend
Above: Stewart and Elaine ejoying a dog walk on Châtelaillon Plage. © Elaine Cronin HND in agri-food marketing and business administration, followed by a BSc in poultry production marketing and management. Her work was to take her to the USA, Holland, Denmark and Sweden, as well as in the UK.
friends, both French and English, we were able to live in the first house we had ever owned. Stewart started playing for Bellac rugby club, where he learned most of his initial French – though some of it he couldn’t ever use in everyday life!”
“I was a rep selling product, but the poultry industry is the most heavily medicated livestock sector due to the intensive production methods. Disease outbreaks were increasing and the industry had to move on from the old boys who used to rock up to a farm saying “this is good old stuff” and relying on friendship and reputation to sell their products. I came straight from university, specifically trained and with work experience with one of the largest broiler breeder companies.
That was where the Cronins also started a family... of the canine variety. “We got our beloved collie dog, Bramble, who is now 14. She wanted company and as we showed no signs of getting her a companion she decided to take matters into her own paws and get herself pregnant with a handsome local sheepdog. She spent the night away from home, which frightened the life out of Stewart and I, but when we opened the curtains the next morning there they both were, sitting proudly next to each other like the lord and lady of the manor. We hadn’t realised Bramble was on heat and only found out puppies were on the way when I could see her milk was coming. Ten days later we had six puppies, which she insisted on having in our bedroom. We kept two – Benson and Bessie – and the others went to lovely homes.”
“I went on to farms and into companies, designing bio security plans for farms, swabbing sheds and drinker systems, advising on disinfection, vaccine application, mineral and vitamin supplementation. I put the science into selling and gave customers facts on why they needed to use products or not. I was the only female rep in the industry at the time, which initially posed some challenges, but the farmers adapted pretty quickly and I became needed rather than another annoying rep!” Towards the end of 2003, the decision had been made. Stewart had accepted the job at their friends’ farm, farewells to family and friends had been made and the Cronins pitched up in HauteVienne with all their worldly goods and Max the cat. “We spent three fabulous years farming for Lucy and Sean,” says Elaine. “During that time we bought a house in the small hamlet of Rebeyrolles with no water, no septic tank, no electricity and, more seriously, no phone. However, with the help of some wonderful
In 2006, a chance encounter led to another change of life for the couple, when Stewart met a Director of Golf who was looking for a golf professional and he was offered the job at Golf des Forges, at Les Forges, in the Deux-Sèvres. “It was a bit stressful at the time,” remembers Elaine. “Stewart’s new job was an hour and a half’s drive away and we only had the one car. We thought our house would sell quicker if it was lived in so we made the sacrifice to live apart, but thankfully it wasn’t for long. We moved into a villa on the golf course and quickly found a place to buy just 3 km down the road in a small hamlet called La Bourreliere, near Vasles. We moved in May 2007 and are still there.” The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 25
...A look at what makes France so special Just before the couple left the Haute-Vienne for the Deux-Sèvres, Elaine began working for a greetings card, stationery and gift company, creating a large contacts list that would stand her in good stead for a new challenge that came in the form of one of her biggest passions: alternative health practice. “Since I was 15 I have used homeopathy through a qualified practitioner and always sought a more natural solution to health problems before going to a doctor. I believe allopathic and alternative/holistic therapies can work so much closer together to achieve a better result for the patient, as well as alleviating pressure on the health system.” Her journey towards her new vocation began painfully, however. “I had suffered back problems for years and I would occasionally be bed-ridden for a week or so, unable to move. A friend suggested I try Bowen therapy. Developed by Tom Bowen in Australia in the 1950s, it’s a tissue therapy working on muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. The therapist sends gentle signals to the nervous system at specific locations and the body responds in its own time. Each move takes the brain two minutes to process and during that time the therapist leaves the room to allow the client to relax. There are no forced manipulations. Bowen is gentle, yet its effects can be powerful, with recovery from pain and injuries being safe and often quick. “After just one session I could feel a huge benefit. I was amazed. During the treatment I remember thinking “how on earth are all these little moves going to help my back?’’ I carried on with some regular sessions and the results were incredible. I never thought it would be possible to enjoy activities like going to the gym or playing golf again, but now I’m fitter than I have been since my early 20s and visit the gym three times a week.” Elaine became ‘a walking advert for Bowen’ telling everyone she could about it and organising Bowen days at her home so her friends could get the treatment as well. When a couple of Bowen practitioners told her she would make a good therapist, the seed was sown.
Photo bottom left: Elaine in her Bowen treatment room; above: Stewart at his new club in 2015; top middle: Junior County Coach with students ; top right: Stewart’s youngest student, David; right: the friends! All photos © Elaine Cronin.
“I opted to do my training in France, although I was petrified about having to learn everything in French. I thought a French qualification would make registering a business here that much easier. An added benefit, which I didn’t think about at the time, is that I learned all the terminology and body parts in French, which meant I had the vocabulary to confidently treat French clients straight away. I started my training in 2013 and finished in 2015, with all but one module being completed in St Gildas de Rhys, in Brittany, and the final one in Paris.” That huge contact list Elaine had made while working for the greetings card company was a great help when she needed people to donate their bodies to practice on in aid of the ‘Cronin Bowen development cause.’ “Amazingly, even after my first training, learning the basic realignment moves, people were finding relief for their conditions. Two people with knee and ankle problems got relief from the treatment and at that stage I hadn’t even learned the moves for the knee and ankle!” Meanwhile, just as Elaine was starting up her Bowen therapy business things were also changing for Stewart. In August 2015, he moved jobs to the new golf club at Bressuire as resident professional – in fact so new was the course it had not even been finished. It officially opened a year later. It was a new challenge for Stewart, to be involved with a golf club from the very beginning. Since joining the club he has also been appointed junior county coach for the Deux-Sévres and, in January, three of his pupils became county champions in their age groups. “For the golf club, the main objective is to have 300 members by the end of the year,” says Stewart, “and to help do that we will have open days over the Easter period. My main objective as county coach is to increase both the numbers and the standard of junior golfers in the department.”
26 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
by Mick Austin
On this month March 3, 1875: Georges Bizet’s opera, Carmen, has its world premiere at the Opéra-Comique, in Paris. Today it is one of the most popular operas in the world, but Carmen faced many obstacles before it even reached the stage. With the words, or libretto, based on a story many considered too salacious for public performance, Carmen was roundly denounced as immoral by critics even before its score had been completed. Bizet didn’t live long enough to see his work gain acceptance as a masterpiece. He died of a heart attack, aged 36, just three months after the Paris premiere. March 17, 1901: Paintings by the late Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh are shown at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris. The 71 paintings, which captured their subjects in bold brushstrokes and expressive colours, caused a sensation across the art world. Eleven years earlier, van Gogh had committed suicide while living in Auvers-sur-Oise, outside Paris. He had no notion his work would achieve such acclaim as he had sold just one painting in his lifetime. His Portrait of Doctor Gachet (pictured below) sold for $82.5million in 1990.
Things are going well now for the Cronins, but they have had challenges to face in France. “When Stewart was self-employed at Les Forges the bureaucracy was off the scale,” says Elaine. “The third and fourth year cotisations were very high because they are catching up from years one and two, when they go easier on you. The financial crisis had hit then and things were tough for us. Bad professional advice from an accountant didn’t help either. I struggled for the first few years while not working and I found I lost my confidence until I got back into the workplace.” “Our French neighbours have been amazing and I’m not sure we would still be here without them,” says Stewart. “Our French has progressed greatly because of them, especially one couple called Sylvie and Christian. We’ve taken them to Ireland and the UK on holiday. They’ve always wanted to go but didn’t have the confidence because of their lack of English. Our neighbours have been the most amazing help to us, fixing cars, welding pipes, the list is endless. We can rely on all of them to help us out and we do everything we can for them as well.” Future plans might include a move to Bressuire to be closer to Stewart’s work. Elaine is always looking to increase her client base “because my clients get better, so I’m always looking to spread the Bowen word.” And, just in case you are wondering. No, Stewart does not miss the pigs!
Make Contact...Find Elaine on Facebook @Therapie Bowen/Bowen Therapy Poitou-Charentes and Stewart at the Golf du Bocage Bressuirais: www.golf-bressuire.fr Do you have an interesting story to share? We’d love to know more... please feel free to contact us with a brief outline of your French Adventure.
Portrait of Doctor Gachet painted by Vincent van Gogh, 1890
March 3, 1974: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 on a scheduled flight from Istanbul to London Heathrow with an intermediate stop at Paris Orly, crashes into the Ermenonville Forest just outside Paris. All 346 people on board are killed in what was, at the time, the worst plane crash in aviation history. The Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crash was caused when an improperly secured cargo door at the rear of the plane broke off, causing an explosive decompression which severed cables needed to control the aircraft. There was a known design fault with the cargo hatches on the DC-10 and manual procedures were relied upon to ensure they were locked correctly. The latching on Flight 981 had been performed by a baggage handler who did not speak Turkish or English – the only languages provided on a warning sign about the design flaws and the methods of compensating for them.
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, March 2018 | 27
The Frugal French Pantry T
Fantastic food on a budget...
by Amanda Wren-Grimwood
his month the focus is on chicken. Here’s four filling, frugal, family meals without reaching for ready-made sauces. Whether you are looking for something really easy or perhaps a bit special, there’s something for everyone.
Chicken & Brocolli Pasta Bake
Chicken & Chorizo One-Dish Bake
4 Ingredient Garlic Lemon Chicken
This is a really filling dish so the chicken goes a long way. I slow cook a large turkey leg.
A great family favourite and perfect for using frozen veg.
Ever popular and frugal chicken thighs feature in this lazy dinner.
Simple to do but posh enough for a frugal dinner party.
Ingredients for 6:
Ingredients for 4:
Ingredients for 4:
Ingredients for 4:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
200 g frozen spinach chopped and thawed 500 g carton of sieved tomatoes 1 onion finely chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1 yellow pepper, chopped 6 tortillas, 20 cm diameter 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp oregano Seasoning 1/2 tsp garlic powder 250 ml chicken stock or water 500 g cooked shredded chicken meat 1 tsp cumin powder 2 tsp cornflour 250 g tub ricotta cheese 1 tbsp Oil 2 tbsp chopped coriander 200 g grated cheese
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Put water, tomato, cumin, chilli, oregano, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cornflour into a pan. Heat and bring to the boil gently stirring until thickened, then season. Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onion and pepper over a low heat until softened then remove. Combine the chicken with the onion pepper mixture, spinach and ricotta cheese and season. Divide the mixture between the tortillas and roll up. Add half of the sauce to a large oven dish and lay the filled tortillas on top. Top with the remaining sauce. Add the grated cheese and cook at 180 ˚C for 20 mins. Serve with the coriander.
8 chicken thighs boned, skinned and cut into small chunks 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 8 mushrooms, sliced 200 g lardons or smoked bacon 1 tbsp oil 300g pasta shapes 1/2 head broccoli florets quartered 2 tbsp basil pesto 30 g grated parmesan 125 g mozzarella grated 1 tbsp flour 500 g chicken stock 2 tbsp creme fraiche
4. 5. 6. 7.
Dry fry the onion, lardons and mushrooms for a few minutes until soft then add the garlic for one minute. Set aside in a separate dish. Add the oil and fry the chicken for a few minutes until just cooked then add the pesto. While the chicken is cooking steam the broccoli for a couple of minutes and cook the pasta. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken mixture and cook for one minute. Gradually add the stock and bring to the boil to thicken. Return the bacon mixture to the pan and add the broccoli and cooked pasta. Serve immediately or sprinkle with the parmesan and mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes at 180 ˚C or a few minutes under the grill.
28 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
• • • • • • • • • •
8 chicken thighs 1 chorizo ring 2 onions, wedged 4 potatoes, rough chunked 2 peppers, chunked 2 lemons, wedged 2 bulbs of garlic, with tops sliced off olive oil seasoning 2 tsp dried tarragon
• • • • •
1 kg chicken thighs (8 small) 3 lemons, zested and juiced 1 quartered lemon to garnish 4 shallots, peeled and quartered 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Instructions: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Put the chicken, onions and potatoes in a large oven tin and drizzle with oil. Cook at Gas 5-6/180-200 ˚C for 30 minutes. Add peppers, chorizo, garlic and lemon. Season and sprinkle with the tarragon. Bake for another 20-30 minutes.
3. 4. 5.
Trim the chicken and place skin side down in an ovenproof dish on the hob. Over a medium heat brown the chicken with the shallots for about 5 minutes until the skin is golden. Turn the chicken over and pour over the lemon juice, zest and garlic. Bake uncovered at 180 C for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Serve garnished with the lemon wedges or add them to the pan before cooking
Amanda lives in La Chapelle St Etienne and is the writer behind the food blog chezlerevefrancais.com where she posts new recipes weekly.
12th SALON DU VIN LIONS CLUB VAL DE SEVRE
n 1973 a group of friends created: The Lions Club Val de Sevre according to the goals of the Lions Club International, with the Code: “FREEDOM AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHERS ARE THE SAFETY OF OUR NATION” and its motto “WE SERVE”.
help with whatever is needed in their local community and contribute to volunteer efforts around the world. The Val de Sevre Lions Club meets on the 3rd Friday of each month in Niort. At present there are 22 members who all have great fun organising the wine fair and other events throughout the year. Wives and partners are also involved as much as they want to be. Visit the Lions Club stand at the Salon du Vin for more information. If you are looking for community involvement, new members are very welcome.
For 43 years the successive Presidents have applied these principles for success and the honour of the club; this is how we have helped many people in need. In 2007 we created the Wine Fair and Gastronomy whose profits are distributed to a different charity each year. This show, by its reputation, has become renowned regionally because we host exhibitors from all over France. This year there will be 100 Exhibitors, wine producers, champagne producers, various food stands and chocolaterie. The salon du Vin is to be held at the Niort Parc des Expositions on the 24th and 25th March. Entry is 1€ (free entry ticket below) plus 2€ for a tasting glass (to take home as a souvenir) and which you can use for it’s true purpose whilst enjoying your visit. Taste and buy (if you wish) as many wines as you feel inclined. Come along and enjoy the ambiance and pleasure of one of the great industries of France.
by Paul Woods
The Salon du Vin is great to organise and attend and we hope to see you there enjoying great wines and produce. This year the profits will go to Handy Sport 79. Why not make a day of it and take lunch in the on-site restaurant.
Lions have a dynamic history, it was founded in 1917 in America and now has 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members worldwide. Best known for fighting blindness, the lions help numerous other charities and local causes, making them the world’s largest service club organisation. Lions members
For more information go to
www.salonvinniort.fr Or contact Paul Woods on 06 09 68 02 50
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 29
The Excess of Winter
by Jacqueline Brown
often refer to this time of year as my porridge and soup season. Breakfasts are a healthy porridge, followed by lunch of a homemade soup using homemade bone broth; these warm me, fill me up and ensure I hit spring with strong, healthy nails and hair. Add in an evening meal using as many veggies as possible from the freezer, and as there is less time spent over aperos, meaning I eat less crisps and nuts than I do in the summer, I’m normally quite pleased with my winter body, despite exercising less. This year however, I’m feeling the excess of winter. Jean-Marc and Catherine at the village bar have ensured there is something tasty to attend Chez l’Entre’potes at least once a month. A buffet filled with comfort foods that fall into the naughty but nice category, the temptation of a plate of warm crepes left on the bar when we pop in for coffee or some of his homemade paté served alongside evening drinks on a Friday. These are all temptations I am finding it hard to pass up on. I’ve also discovered something new; although pancakes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday, the French (who have already tucked into pancakes for Chandeleur) tend to prefer a deep-fried pastry for Mardi Gras. These are lighter than a doughnut (beignets), rise when fried and are called bugnes (or tortisseaux here in Deux-Sèvres). As with any French regional delicacies everyone I asked had a different opinion on what the ingredients are and how they are prepared, but in terms of cultural research I couldn’t pass an opportunity to tuck in. Village life is anything but quiet this winter, but the biggest challenge to my will power had to be the annual shared meal put on by one of our associations. The idea being every couple/family brought a plate of food to serve about four, and we all tucked in. We were about forty people in the salle des fetes and enjoyed everything from aperos with nibbles, starters, main courses, cheeses and desserts. Even just sampling a little bit of everything meant eating a lot. I think we could have fed about hundred and as the only one with a teenager present, I also got to take the majority of the leftovers home too. I’ve also been busy out and about on a few foodie missions. At Jambon de Printemps, near Ruffec, Keith runs baking classes where he patiently shares his bread and patisserie skills, then lets us spin our own pizza dough to prepare a delicious lunch. I’ve attended a couple of his mornings and I’ll be back for more. Lucy at the French Yoga Garden in Charroux offers something slightly healthier; a monthly Sunday morning yoga class, followed by brunch at her French Yoga Garden Café. Eggs, pancakes, waffles, juices, tea and coffee are the perfect way to end a yoga class, in my opinion. If you are looking to try something new this year, I can happily recommend both of these activities. www.frenchvillagediaries.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
30 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
what’s seasonal? Here’s some of the seasonal produce available during spring and summer... SPRING
Artichokes Asparagus Carrots Cherries Strawberries Spring onions Leeks Radish Rhubarb
Apricots Garlic Cucumbers Melons Nectarins Peaches Pears Plums Tomatoes
Food & Drink A,B,C,...Duh
ave you ever come across anyone who told you “I don’t like lighthaired people?” You know, in a bus queue or during a casual conversation down the laundrette. No, me neither. I suppose, given that we live on a large planet of billions of souls, it’s entirely possible that such a sentence has been uttered somewhere in, say, the Gobi desert in the last 24 hours, but you wouldn’t expect to hear it said in all seriousness down on Market Street on a daily basis. Accompanied by a wry smile or guffaw and followed by a shaggy dog tale, OK, maybe, but if delivered with a fixed, serious gaze, you’d be looking for the nearest exit and making a mental note to stock up on Grecian 2000. So why oh why do folks diss Chardonnay? You know, the Anything But Chardonnay movement. It had been such a great love affair in the late 70s/early 80s. Hard week in the office grating your nails across the glass ceiling (I’m communing with my female side here) and all to show for it is a meagre pay cheque and a Weinsteinian legacy of leers, innuendoes and ‘friendly’ pats. Cleanse yourself, sister – to the wine bar! “Chard, Pete, if you please. Same for my mates. What’s that? Small, medium or large? Are you ‘avin a larf?” And so commences a Friday evening of buttery, oaky lusciousness. How it ends is another matter, but let’s glide over that – after all, this magazine might find its way into the hands of minors. Chardonnay as universal balm. But popularity turns to over-familiarity, and we all know that that breeds contempt. Time to get back to basics. For the winemaker, Chardonnay is easy to grow. In the words of Australian wine guru Brian Croser it is ‘the most forgiving variety of all’. It is happy to be planted in cold climates, it is nonchalant if grown in hotter regions – think of it as a cheery,
by John Sherwin
sturdy farmhand with a straw in its mouth, ready to take on any job with eagerness and sanguinity. The one disadvantage is that it buds early making it prone to spring frost – one of the major causes of insomnia amongst grape growers in, for example, Chablis. Once past that period, it ripens early and so largely avoids autumn rain which can result in fungal diseases. It yields generously with high sugar content (and therefore high potential alcohol). But its greatest asset is malleability. Any winemaking technique thrown at it, it comes up with the goods: whether it’s the long, cool fermentation of Vouvray, or fermentation and maturation in barrel, or champenization, it treats any of the winemaker’s whims with aplomb. That sturdy farmhand is not going to say “you want me to do what?” he’ll say “OK, whatever you say boss”, and get on with it. So what does Chardonnay actually taste like? Therein lies the rub. It doesn’t have a varietal character like Sauvignon Blanc (sharp, tart, grassy) or Gewurztraminer (rose petal, lychee). It does not have a distinctive ‘Chardonnay’ aroma, its impact on the nose being broad and muted. No, it is first and foremost a variety of terroir – you taste the soil it was grown in, the sunlight and rain that bathed it, the choices and skill of the winemaker. The minerality of Chablis, the butteriness of Meursault, the steeliness of Montrachet, the nuttiness of Corton-Charlemagne – these are all examples of Chardonnay. So give a farmhand an even break. And if by any chance you don’t like dark-haired people, I’ll have to weigh in to the Anything But Cabernet brigade.
John Sherwin, French Wine Tours 07 50 90 02 00 or www.french-wine-tours.com
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 31
Take a Break DSM Easy Crossword
Across: 1. Overexcited; keyed up (5) 3. The same in quality or ability (5) 7. Extremely bad; unpleasant; ugly (5) 8. Third letter of the Greek alphabet (5) 9. City in Florida (5) 10. Low or cheap time to travel (7) 11. Distributed loosely (9) 14. Four performers or singers who perform together (7) 15. To douse or drench in clean water as a final stage in washing (5) 16. Used up, drained of energy (5) 17. A collection of maps in book form (5) 18. North African country (5) 19. Relinquished possession or control over (5)
Down: 1. US State in the Central Pacific (6) 2. Bass guitarist in the Beatles (4-9) 4. Having value that is not acknowledged (13) 5. Area of the back between the ribs and hipbones (6) 6. The expulsion from a country of an undesirable alien (11) 12. A colour between red and blue (6) 13. A land mass that is surrounded by water (6)
With thanks to M.Morris
Across: 1. Creepers! Something very special about popular drug! (5) 4. Run in to disappear; what a good finish for a film ...... (7) 8. ...... and not seen in Casino Royale (3) 9. A chic tart turns out to be a cleaner! (9) 10. A right of mine; no energy for a body of men (4,5) 12. Poetically it is a male eater, but no man available (3) 13. The part of a hospital where mercy gene or M.O. are employed together (9,4) 15. U nderstand site of archaeological exploration? (3) 16. It was flourished when smoked around little king (9) 17. “Present Arms!” with sabre in distress (9) 20. Could be put in front if more than two are involved (3) 21. Resort to use sins for passages (7) 22. “Port?” “Yes” replies Hans, in northern Spain (5)
TIPS TO SOLVING CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS
Down: 1. Old example of one of one across carrying a label (7) 2. Merge and burn new site of rally, trials and track (9) 3. A dry moment? Time for wine! (3) 4. One across are train programmes for horse doctors (13) 5. Stare! Yell! Mixed reaction to something done with this? (4,5) 6. Brief expression of global concern (3) 7. Pawns in joint roles? (5) 11. Singers imprisoned for destroying bridges on state truncation (4-5) 12. If they make four, that ends the discussion? (3,3,3) 14. Organised French mayor including publicity for fortified wine (7) 15. Medical man, maybe, given direction for the residue of today’s theme (5) 18. Number indicating wine storage, could also board liner (3) 19. Could be an address in Ennis, Ireland (3)
For instance, in the March edition, the clue for 19 Down is;
Could be an address in Ennis, Ireland? (3) A way to address people could be ‘Sir’, which is hidden at the end of Ennis and the start of Ireland. Of course, that clue also involves the double meaning of the word ‘address’, and the placing of the comma after Ennis is another tactic that can be employed for that kind of clue. Similarly, the hidden answer could be written in reverse in the clue, and a pointer included to suggest this.
or those of you new to, or completely puzzled by cryptic crosswords, we would like to offer a few tips, perhaps one or two each month, hopefully to help! Here goes...
For example; Barrel turned upside-down in orange kayak. (3) The answer, keg meaning barrel is hidden, but in reverse order, as indicated by ‘upside-down’.
A very simple ploy, but one that can be surprisingly difficult to spot, is the hidden answer, where the solution is actually written in the clue;
The word in is a very straightforward way of indicating a hidden answer, there are countless, less obvious ways of employing this stratagem.
32 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
Answers on P.9 and our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr
DSM Toughie Crossword
Motoring Car Couture from the 1950’s
ast year I was lucky enough to visit the stunning Dior 70th Anniversary exhibition in Paris.
After years of oppression and rationing during the Second World War, Christian Dior was among the leaders of the new era of glamour and freedom, epitomised by the emerging stars of the silver screen such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Dior’s ‘New Look’ style set a new tone for the fashions of the day, and to compliment that the automobile world started producing imposing cars in bright colours, with futuristic chrome details and a glamour to match the clothes. Post war Europe saw the emergence of some of the most innovative automotive companies and engineering ideas the modern world had ever seen. Companies had learned so much about mass production during the war years and they were eager to meet the opportunities in the growing world market for sporting and luxury cars. Dior himself drove one of the most expensive and highly exclusive cars of the era from the French manufacturer, Facel Vega. Few marques are more enigmatic than Facel Vega. The company was founded by Jean Daninos in 1938 as Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loir, (FACEL) to produce machine tools for the aircraft industry. This mysterious French company expanded in the early 50s and produced bodyshells for Panhard, Simca and Ford, before its first car, the Vega (named after the star), was introduced at the 1954 Paris Auto Show and instantly won acclaim from around the world. Jean Danois believed that even in the 1950’s, France needed prestigious, exclusive, fast, comfortable, luxurious automobiles, and had approached the project with pride, craftsmanship, and excellence not only in manufacturing but in the finest design and quality for each of the limited production cars. The cars were advertised with the slogan ‘For the Few Who Own the Finest’. By the time Facel Vega introduced its first car, prestige manufacturers such as Delage and Delahaye were history, leaving Talbot Lago as the only French luxury car builder – but that too was dead by 1959.
by Helen Tait-Wright
Now in a unique position, Facel Vega did well in France, Germany, the UK and the US; confirmed fans included Pablo Picasso, the Shah of Iran and King Hassan II of Morocco, plus numerous celebrities such as Ava Gardner, Tony Curtis, Fred Astaire, Ringo Starr and Joan Collins. Race-car driver Stirling Moss would drive his HK500 model from event to event rather than fly. Facel Vega’s were considered the perfect fusion of American muscle power and French high end style. In fact, due to the fact that the cars used large Chrysler V8 engines, and the French ‘tax horsepower’ system is punitive to large capacity motors, around 77% of the cars produced were exported. Most cars were twodoor hardtops with no centre pillar, but a few convertibles were built too. Of all the V8 models offered by Facel Vega it’s the HK500 that was built in the greatest numbers; if you include its predecessor the FV series and its successor the Facel II, this line of V8 coupés accounts for about a third of the company’s total production. Jean Daninos’s obsession was very similar to that of David Brown of Aston Martin, in that Facel lost money on every car they built with the luxury car side of the company being supported entirely by the other work done by Facel Metallon. This included producing a lot of chassis, parts and pressed out body panels for many companies: Delahaye’s army jeeps; Simca, Somua’s trucks; scooters by Vespa, Piaggio and Motobécane; tractors by Massey-Ferguson and stainless-steel bumpers, hubcaps and grilles for Simca, Ford and for Renault. Facel left the car market completely in 1964, having created cars under its own name for just a decade. Despite its brief existence, almost 3000 cars were built in all, about half of which have survived. (Following Facel Vega’s demise several of M Daninos’s styling cues were “borrowed” by Mercedes-Benz.) Fantastically expensive when new, the cars are now relatively more affordable, and they are cherished for their unique character by car enthusiasts all over the world. However, many potential collectors are simply unaware of the marque’s existence, so if you have a spare 200 000€ , keep it to yourself and you could bag yourself a bargain! Contact Helen: email@example.com
by Tony Barrett
Mod Memories I
t was just a regular shopping visit to L’Eclerc at Niort when I spotted from a distance what appeared to be a Vespa, but on closer examination it proved to be retro-styled 125cc Mash 60 scooter, but it was enough the bring back memories of the 1960’s when I rode a Vespa as a young Mod in Southend-on-Sea. With electric starter as well as a kick-start and modern electrics it looked just the business and has brought back a yearning to be on two wheels again, but that possibly is just a dream. The Who film of ‘Quadrophenia’ made in 1979 was based on the Second Battle of Hastings, August Bank Holiday of 1964, but was transposed to Brighton because the movie depicts the times and troubles of that period when Mods and Rockers invaded various seaside towns: Clacton at Easter, Margate during Whitsun and Hastings for the last Bank Holiday of the year. Much contoversy surrounds the actual events which were much hyped up in the press of the time, exaggerating the violence and damage that was no more in fact than a normal Saturday night in Southend at the time. The early 1960’s found the Baby-Boomer generation with money in their pockets and a determination to be different from their parents. The Rockers, traced their roots back to the ‘ton-up boys’ who rode Britsh motorcycles and were clad from head to toe in leather, usually black. Their use of Brylcreem or the grease from their bikes earned them the nickname of ‘greasers’ and the soundtrack of their lives lived in the era of Rock & Roll. The Mods were different, tracing their style back to the ‘modernists’ and sometimes referred to as ‘stylists’. Their preferred mode of transport was the Italian Vespa or Lambretta scooter, often adorned with numerous wing mirrors, extra spotlamps and an obligatory aerial with an Esso Tiger Tail or sometimes young ladies underwear.
34 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
Mods brought black American music to the clubs, as well as Tamla Motown and Ska, and brought us groups like the Small Faces in 1965, a true Mod group. I have recently put on Amazon UK (Kindle edition) at £1.99 a short story of that time, entitled ‘August ’64, The Second Battle of Hastings’. “In 1964 gangs of Mods and Rockers fought battles on the very British beaches Winston Churchill had once sworn to defend. Clacton at Easter and Margate at Whitsun had seen the seaside towns invaded by the scooter and motorcycle youngsters. Now the August Bank Holiday was drawing near and Mods like Steve in Southend on Sea waited to find out which coastal town would be next.” The short story is based mostly on fact (from someone who was there - me!) about the weeks leading up to that weekend in August 1964 but also some added pure fiction. If you were a Mod or Rocker in around 1964 and were involved in the south coast invasions, I would love to hear from you as I am now involved in a deeper research project looking at this very subject. If you have not seen the movie ‘Quadrophenia’, it is available to buy online and has remarkably not aged as many films from the late 1970’s have, and also introduced many young actors who went on the have careers in the entertainment industry, including Sting, Leslie Ash, Phil Daniels, Toyah Wilcox and Mark Wingett. The Sixty 125cc scooter is marketed by the French manufacturer Mash and was introduced in 2016 and costs 1 990€. A restored Vespa GS 160 from 1964 would set you back between £7000 to £8000, so maybe I will just have to hang on to my memories.
Contact Tony : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Deux-SÃ¨vres Monthly, March 2018 | 35
Building & Renovation
DON’T FORGET OUR DEADLINE!
OF THE MONTH
36 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
The Deux-SÃ¨vres Monthly, March 2018 | 37
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
38 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
The Deux-SÃ¨vres Monthly, March 2018 | 39
Small B/W Advert from 34â‚Ź per month
40 | The Deux-SĂ¨vres Monthly, March 2018
Business & Finance Marketing Matters
• by Cindy Mobey
How to Market Your Business Without using Social Media
e’ve all been worried over the last few weeks about how the changes in Facebook may affect our business Facebook pages, but there are other ways to promote your business, other than social media. I’m definitely not saying give up on Facebook, but these are just a few extra ideas.
Attend a conference specific to your business and meet other like-minded people. Attend a networking event. You may find someone or a few people who you could collaborate with. For example, if you’re a hairdresser, you might want to team up with a make-up artist, so you can pull together a package for weddings or prom events. You can put a link to their website on yours and vice versa. Do you know your target market? If you do, find out where they hang out and target those areas with some striking flyers or posters. Of course, always make sure that you have permission to put up posters and leave flyers. Always have a stock of business cards with you and hand them out to everyone you speak to. I’ve met people in a supermarket queue or Dr’s waiting room that I’ve got chatting to and given them my card…there’s always an opportunity! Don’t be afraid to ask if you can give someone your card – you never know when they might need your service. Be as creative as you can with your business cards so they really stand out from others. If you don’t have a website, now is the time to think about getting one. There are several good hosting sites that are straight forward and fairly easy to use...or you can call in an expert to help you…and don’t forget to make sure it is mobile friendly!
A newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your customers and to let them know about new products, popular products and to entice them with special offers. Do your friends and family know about your business? It’s obvious, I know, but there are always the odd Aunt or cousin you haven’t seen for a while, who may need your services… or may know someone who does. What about a loyalty card? You’ve seen them in coffee shops – you buy ten coffees and then get one free. Offer your customers something special – a free gift or money-off voucher for continually coming back to you for business. Pull together a free pdf or other resource that would be of interest to other people in the same business as you that they would benefit from and share with others. This is something that can take a bit of time and effort to develop, but it can really be worth it if you get it right. Ask for recommendations from your current customers and use them in your marketing material. Ask local newspapers, magazines or publications if you can be interviewed about what you do and promote it via your website. If you’re a blogger, arrange to interview an influential person in your niche…someone who is an expert or leading authority on the kind of thing you do. You could interview them as a podcast or use it for a blog post. Either way, once published, that person will tell his/her contacts about the interview and point them to it...and you will get more traffic to your blog/website and the possibility of them using your products or services.
Finally, have a good look at your website or get a friend to have a look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Revamp, update and refresh any old information – you may even want to think about a rebrand with fresh, engaging and eye-catching business cards, flyers, posters etc. This is not only a great way to attract new customers, but also to bring back old ones. If you have ideas for other ways to promote your business, please get in touch and let me know!
Contact Cindy Mobey Tel: 05 45 31 13 86 ~ Email: email@example.com
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Simply register on our website: www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr
‘The DSM’ Feedback...
Great magazine, I can’t always find a hard copy so go online to have a browse. My business advert goes in a few times a year and has a good response. I’ve also passed trade info onto others, using the magazine.
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 41
contract. There is a limit on the length of time for the replacement and it depends if it is breakdown, theft or accident.
Pack Valeur Plus: This option means you get at least a minimum amount for your car if it is written off (3000€) or get back the purchase price of the car (if the car is less than 2 years old), then you can get the expert value +20%, 30%, etc. depending on the age of the car, etc. The condition of this option is different depending on the company you are with and the car must have less than 150 000km on the dash when you take out this option.
by Isabelle Want
et’s face it, we cannot do without it as most of us live in the countryside and buses are sparse. So make sure you understand fully how it works in France. Yes, it is different than to the UK; to start with, we drive on the correct side of the road!
Who is insured? This is the main difference from the UK. In France, it is the car that is insured so everybody can drive it as long as they have a valid driving licence and have authorisation to drive it. But note that if someone else drives your car and crashes it, it is YOUR no claims discount that is affected, and on some policies, there is an additional excess on top of the one you already have if it was not a named driver that crashed the car (around 750€ on top of your normal excess). If it is a young driver (driving licence for less than 3 years) that drives your car and crashes it, the excess is much higher. You must inform the insurance company if a young driver drives it regularly. It is a legal obligation to have a motor vehicle insured even if you don’t use it. If someone steals it and kills someone with it, you are responsible, so you must insure it for at least public liability. You and your car are covered if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Insurance companies have a special money pot for that. Car insurance also automatically covers trailers up to a certain weight (750kg with Allianz). Caravans and trailers above 750kg must have their own number plates and insurances (and registration paperwork). Finally, your car insurance in France does not cover you to drive someone else’s car in the UK. Your car, however, is insured everywhere in Europe (list of countries on the back of your green paper). No Claim discount/Bonus malus: In France, you need to have 13 years without a claim to be entitled to 50% discount, which is the maximum discount. If you have 50% bonus for more than 3 years, you get to keep your maximum discount after an accident that is your fault (a little thank you for being so good for so long!). We accept no claims discount certificates from the UK, we also have protected bonus. You need to have been at 50% for 3 years and it is transferred if you change your insurance company. Excess/Franchise: Like most insurances, you can choose to have or not have an excess (affects your premium). If an accident is not your fault and the third party is identified, you have no excess to pay. If your car is stolen, you do have an excess. The excess can be different depending on the claim (always check your contract). Fully comprehensive/Third party: Fully comprehensive is the same as in the UK, you and the car are insured whether it is your fault or not. Third party means that your car is not covered for an accident (only public liability) if it is your fault and it has different levels of cover, some include glass breakage, theft and fire, some don’t. Check your contract. Glass breakage/Bris de glace: The excess is less for glass breakage and it covers windscreens, windows and headlights but does NOT include wing mirrors and backlights. Breakdown cover/Assistance 0km ou 25km: You can have breakdown cover from 0km (your front door-home start) or from 25km, meaning if you break down at only 5km from your house, it is not covered (with Allianz). For the recovery, the car is taken to the closest garage. If the repair takes less than 2 days, the insurance pay for a hotel, otherwise, the insurance pays to take you home or where you were going with your car. The insurance then pays for you to pick up your car (only one person) once it is repaired. Replacement vehicle: You can have this option added to your 42 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
Special discount for car with special features: Allianz offers 25% off for cars that have one of these features: AEB (Autonomus emergency brake system), City Park Full (autonomus parking assist) or ACC ( a car that brakes if you are too close to the vehicle in front). Claims/Sinistres: In case of an accident, make sure that you fill in an agreed statement of facts on motor vehicle accident (Constat in French). Make sure you always have one in the car and don’t sign it if you disagree with it. There is an emergency helpline (they speak English) for breakdown, accident, etc. but also make sure you have the number on you even if you are not using your car as it includes repatriation and health cover abroad. The number is written on your green paperwork proof of insurance. Compensation for death or injury is decided by the French code of law and the amount is calculated in accordance to the level of importance of injuries or grief. E.g.: the death of a father of 5 children will be better compensated than the one of a 100 years old without any family. Note that you will not get any compensation for death or injury or for the car if you took the vehicle without permission of the owner or if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the accident. And you will have to pay for the compensation and damages you have caused to others - so, don’t drink and drive! UK number plates: With Allianz, we can insure on UK plates but you have to follow the European law and change your number plate to French plate within 3 months. But we are lenient (when there is a good reason). However, note that if you go back to the UK in a car on UK plates with French insurance, you will get fined as not having insurance as our system is not recognized in the UK by the Automatic recognition plate system. Premium: It is calculated taking lots of different facts into account: Model, cost of replacement parts, horsepower, the date it was first on the road, nationwide statistic of theft, what option you chose (third party, fully comprehensive, replacement car, excess, etc.). You can reduce the premium if you do less than 9000 or 7000km per year. If, like my lovely English husband, you think French drivers are dreadful, then make sure you are properly insured and check your option on your contract. Don’t hesitate to contact me for any other subjects such as inheritance law, tax, savings, funeral cover or a quote on any insurances. And please check out our website www.bhassurances.fr/en for my previous articles on the ‘practical pages’ and to register to my Monthly Newsletter.
Facebook @Allianz Jacques Boulesteix et Romain Lesterps.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website: www.bh-assurances.fr
Contract Options... by Sue Cook
Q> “I need to make a large currency transfer
to France later this year, but I’m not sure whether to use a spot contract or forward contract. Which option would leave me better off?”
A> There are lots of reasons why people need to move money abroad, so leading currency transfer providers offer a range of services to suit varying requirements. A spot contract is a great option if you need to make an immediate currency transfer. You just need to specify how much you need to send and where you need to send it. Once you’ve agreed the exchange rate, simply send the currency provider the funds and they’ll make the transfer straight away. As long as you use a provider like Currencies Direct, your spot transfer will be conducted at bank-beating exchange rates, fee free. However, if you aren’t ready to make a transfer at the moment, but you’re concerned that the GBP/EUR exchange rate may weaken over the next few months (a possibility considering that the second phase of Brexit talks is expected to be even more arduous than the first) forward contracts are a convenient way of defending against currency volatility. With a forward contract you can pay a small deposit and fix the current exchange rate for up to a year ahead of needing to make the transfer. This means that you’ll know exactly how much your funds will be worth ahead of time (helping you budget effectively) and your transfer will also be protected if the exchange rate suddenly drops. Say you fixed the GBP/EUR exchange rate at 1,17€ last January, with plans to make a £100,000 transfer in December 2017. By the close of last year the GBP/EUR exchange rate had weakened to 1,12€, so you would have saved 5 000€ by using a forward contract. Of course, the market can move both ways, so you need to be aware that the rate could strengthen after you’ve fixed the exchange rate, potentially leaving you worse off than if you’d waited and used a spot transfer. If you want to make sure you’re making the most of your currency transfer to France, talk things through with the industry experts and stay up-to-date with the latest currency news.
by Amanda Johnson
Can you offer me any tips in choosing a financial adviser?
hen you move to France, you are moving to a country with many different laws and rules to the one you are leaving and this is unlikely to change in the future, so choosing a financial partner which is right for you is very important for your financial peace of mind. Here are several things I would suggest expatriates consider when looking for a Financial Adviser:
Is the Company regulated in France? With nothing yet becoming clear on how the UK will be trading with France after Brexit, using a company which is based and regulated in France reduces any need for a sudden change, should regulations change post Brexit. Is my adviser able to sit down with me and review my finances on regular basis? Your Financial Adviser is not just someone to see once and then forget about. As your needs and circumstances change and with different investments growing at varying rates, being able to sit down and review your situation regularly is very important. What are the costs involved for any appointments, reports or ongoing support? It is important to know what costs will be involved throughout the life of any arrangement with your Financial Adviser. How does my adviser get remunerated? A clear understanding of how your adviser gets paid and a client charter outlining how the relationship is set up helps clarity and ensures you have no surprises down the line. Can your Adviser offer any references from existing clients? Being able to speak to existing customers is a great way to measure a Financial Adviser. You can hear first hand, how the process and relationship has worked for someone in the same boat as you. Does the company own, or do its Directors/Partners have financial interests in the investments being offered, or are they truly independent? You should be comfortable that your Adviser is not promoting any “own brand products”, without making this clear to you in advance of any commitment. If the company does have its own products be sure that you can view performance, move to another product or change Adviser without additional penalties. 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.
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 43
Do you know how much your pension is really worth
ritons with ‘defined benefit’ or ‘final salary’ UK pensions could find their pension today is worth much more than they think. This is because current ‘transfer values’ – pay-outs offered for cashing in these types of pensions – are at an all-time high.
In a final salary pension, an employer commits to pay a proportion of your salary – usually increasing annually with inflation – for the duration of your retirement. Offering the security of a minimum income for the rest of your life, these pensions are considered to be so valuable that transferring out is not generally seen as sensible. However, with some transfer values increasing by hundreds of thousands of pounds, the tide may have turned. Usually, transfer values are calculated as a multiple of 20 times the annual salary due at retirement. For a final salary pension worth £15,000 a year, this represents a pay-out of £300,000. But today there have been cases of transfer values of 40 times the final salary benefits – for the same pension, that represents £600,000. Properly managed, this could provide a regular retirement income in excess of the original annual payment. Why are transfer values so high? Put simply, providers are finding it harder to afford promised pension benefits in this ultra-low interest rate environment. By offering higher-than-usual transfer values, they hope to offload future pension liabilities. The recent collapse of several high-profile pension schemes shows that
by Bradley Warden, Blevins Franks
long-term sustainability is a problem. If your scheme fails, you can receive up to £34,655 compensation a year from the government’s Pension Protection Fund at age 65. If your pension exceeds this and your scheme looks unstable, consider transferring to protect your benefits. What do you need to consider? Other than a tempting pay-out, transferring can provide estate planning advantages (including freedom to pass benefits on beyond your spouse), more options for how you draw income (including currency flexibility), and the opportunity to reinvest in more taxefficient structures for France. However, some downsides are that your money can run out and becomes exposed to investment risk – issues that are absent with a guaranteed income. Ultimately, whether you should transfer a final salary pension depends on your unique set of circumstances and goals. Remember: transferring means forfeiting the right to a lifetime income for a oneoff payment, so take extreme care to ensure you are making the right decision. Today’s generous transfer values may be short-lived, so if you do decide to act, move quickly. Make sure you take personalised, regulated advice (mandatory for benefits worth £30,000+) to fully understand the long-term implications and do what is best for you and your family. Summarised tax information is based upon our understanding of current laws and practices which may change. Individuals should seek personalised advice. Keep up-to-date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks news page at www.blevinsfranks.com
The Blevins Franks Spring Seminar Brexit, pensions, French tax reforms, the UK budget, estate planning, investing today… Our seminar covers all the financial issues facing expatriates in France today, whether you have recently arrived or have been living here a while. We will provide updates and explain how it all affects you.
Thu 22 Mar, Domaine Du Griffier, NIORT (79) Registration 10 for 10.30am start, until 12 noon book your seat now
05 49 75 07 24 email@example.com Online booking is also available from our website www.blevinsfranks.com
I N T E R N AT I O N A L TA X A DV I C E • I N V E S T M E N T S • E S TAT E PL A N N I N G • PE N S I O N S 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, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissements Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www.orias.fr). Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, CS 60073, 33701 Mérignac – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA).
44 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
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A good read, contains a good deal of useful information, and we always look forward to the next edition.
The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018 | 45
Of course... it’s all about Location! by Joanna Leggett
hen a good business opportunity comes along it can provide a wonderful lifestyle. This month we’ve chosen three different options which not only have great potential, but also owners’ homes .. so, if you’re looking for a change, to be self-employed or expand into a new direction one of these might just be your perfect solution! Sauzé Vaussais is a charming village south-east of Niort and west of the N10 and here we’ve listed an up and running busy Bar with PMU and FDJ (Leggett ref: 81499, photo left). Set in the perfect village location, there’s great potential here to expand the current healthy turnover by creating a tea-room, serving snacks or other potential to add to your income stream. With its central location, the main well appointed bar has seating for 47 with an additional 20 in an adjoining room. There’s an excellent kitchen and storage, large parking area (a real plus!) and terrace. But wait there’s more – upstairs is a three bedroom apartment! With healthy turnover and low monthly outgoings this is a great opportunity for a bargain price- 53 000€. A totally different kind of bar option is one with an actively trading petrol station in a main roadside position in Le Breuil-sous-Argenton (Leggett ref: 83407, photo top right) on the main north-south Angers/ Niort D748 axis! The pumps all conform to current standards and the licence IV bar offers great potential in this high profile location – you could create a great café, shop or art gallery (naturally there’s good
parking!) while keeping money ticking over at the pumps! There’s good owner’s accommodation on offer here too with a three bedroomed apartment – currently for sale at 152 600€.
Our final offering is a successful restaurant business just 8 kms from Secondigny (Leggett ref: 82107, photo left). Could this be the time to unleash your culinary aspirations or inner MasterChef? Once again this is a well established, already successful business, situated in a great location – the centre of a small, idyllic village! Well-known in the district, the restaurant has a loyal clientele: hardly surprising as from the moment you enter you feel its charm - from the bar with gracious salon to the beautifully appointed dining room opening out to a terrace with panoramic views over DeuxSèvres countryside. Of course there’s a professional kitchen, second kitchen, prep and storage rooms, laundry and cave. Added to this are four ensuite bed and breakfast rooms and great accommodation for the owners comprising 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, dressing room and office! All set within a large charming sunny garden, this property offers its new owners a chance to create The Good Life at A La Bonne Vie! On the market for 551 200€. 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
Ref: 84502 3 bedroom farmhouse, pool and apartment, 10kms from Bressuire. CHANTELOUP €170,000 Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: D
Ref: 83874 Hamlet longère surrounded by garden with pool and large barn. SOUVIGNE €205,200 Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: N/A
Buying or selling? Contact the ‘Best Estate Agency in France’
Ref: 84124 4 bed hamlet property with large garden, paddock, well and barns. LE BREUIL S/ARGENTON €130,800 9% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: G
Ref: 84283 Fully renovated 5 bed character property close to all amenities. PARTHENAY €214,000 7% TTC agency fees included paid by buyer DPE: N/A
Ref: 84188 Pretty character 4 bed home with pool and a hectare of land. PRAHECQ €328,600 6% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D
Ref: 84209 64kms from Poitiers is this renovated 3 bed / 2 bath family home. CLESSE €158,050 9% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A
Starting a new life in France? Want a new career? Leggett are always looking to recruit new sales agents. Call us for more info 00 800 2534 4388 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.leggettfrance.com email@example.com +33 05 53 60 84 88 46 | The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, March 2018
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