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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Welcome! to Issue 25 of

‘The DeuxSèvres Monthly’ magazine.

I do  hope   you  are   all   enjoying  your  year   so  far.     We’ve  just  returned  from  a  lovely  break  and  it’s   definitely   recharged   the   batteries   for   the   work   that  lies  ahead. You  may  have  seen  in  the  last  issue,  that  we  are   expanding  into  the  neighboroughing  department   of   the   Vendée.   We   shall   run   ‘The   Vendée   Monthly’  as  an  independant  magazine  with  articles  and  information   particular  to  that  area.     We  are  aiming  to  launch  this  new  magazine  in   May  2013.     More  information  will  be  printed  in  future  issues  of  this   magazine,  on  our  website  and  on  our  Facebook  page. I  hope  you  all  have  a  good  March....Spring  is  in  the  air!

à plus, Sarah.

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

CONTENTS

What’s On.....................................................................................4 Hobbies,  Clubs  &  Associations.....................................................6 Getting  Out  &  About....................................................................7 Take  a  Break...............................................................................14 A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  in  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.................................15 Health,  Beauty  &  Fitness............................................................16 Our  Furry  Friends.......................................................................17 The  Great  Outdoors...................................................................19 French  Life,  Food  &  Drink...........................................................22 French  Adventures.....................................................................25 Motoring....................................................................................26 Communications........................................................................28 Building  &  Renovation...............................................................29 Business,  Finance  &  Property.....................................................34 Annual  Subscription. If   you   would  like  to  receive  a  copy  of   ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’   magazine  by  post  each  month,  please  complete  this  form  and  send   to  La  Bartière,  79130  Secondigny.  Please  enclose  a  cheque  to  cover   postage  for  the  year. 28€  within  France,  18€  to  addresses  in  UK. (Unfortunately  the  cheaper  ‘printed  papers’  rate  cannot  be  applied   to  addresses  within  France,  only  when  sending  abroad)   Full  Name: Postal  Address: Postcode:

Country:

Tel: Email: Please make  cheques  payable  to  SARAH  BERRY.

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

112 European emergency 113 Drugs and alcohol

THIS MONTH’S  ADVERTISERS  

79Renovations..................................................................................................... 33 A La  Bonne  Vie  (Restaurant)................................................................................ 23 Abattage  Service  (Slaughter  House  -­‐  Poultry)..................................................... 22 Ace  Pneus  (Tyre  Supplier  &  Fitter)...................................................................... 27 Affordable  UK  Designs  (Kitchens  &  UPVC  D/Glazing)......................................... 2 AKE  Petits  Travaux  (Builder)................................................................................ 32 Alan  Pearce  (Plumbing  &  Heating)..................................................................... 30 Andrew  Longman  (Plumber)............................................................................... 31 An  English  Nursery  in  France  (Garden  Centre).................................................... 21 A.P.S.  Automobiles  (FORD  Garage)...................................................................... 27 ARB  French  Property............................................................................................ 37 Arbrecadabra.com  (Tree  surgery)........................................................................ 21 Art  &  Design  Courses........................................................................................... 8 Assurances  Maucourt  /  GAN............................................................................... 37 Blevins  Franks  Financial  Management  Ltd.......................................................... 34 British  Mobile  Mechanic  (John  Purchase)........................................................... 26 Brits  Bitz  (British  Foods  in  France)....................................................................... 24 Café  Cour  du  Miracle........................................................................................... 22 Café  des  Belles  Fleurs.......................................................................................... 24 Caniclôture  (Hidden  fencing)............................................................................... 17 Chris  Bassett  Construction.................................................................................. 32 Christies  (English  Book  Shop  and  Tea  Room)...................................................... 7 Cottage  Services  (Garden  Maintenance)............................................................ 21 CSB  Construction................................................................................................. 32 Currencies  Direct  (Money  Transfers)................................................................... 37 Cut  46  (Hair  Salon).............................................................................................. 16 Dave  Bowring  (Electrician).................................................................................. 31 Dave  Rosenberg  (Carpenter  &  Joiner)................................................................ 32 Deluxe  Canine  Hotel............................................................................................ 17 DJ  Jeff  (Professional  DJ)....................................................................................... 7 D  J  Maintenance  (Handyman)............................................................................ 33 Domaine  de  l’Enchantoir..................................................................................... 9 Electricien  Anglais  en  France.............................................................................. 31 Energie-­‐79........................................................................................................... 31 Equi  Libre  Immobilier.......................................................................................... 39 Fresco  Interiors  (Interior  Design)......................................................................... 30 George  Rayner  Computers.................................................................................. 29 Hallmark  Electronique  (Electricians  &  Sat.  Engineers)........................................ 31 Heather’s  Pet  Care  Services................................................................................ 17 Home  Installation  (Shaun  Grice)......................................................................... 33 Homes  In  France  (Tony  Murdoch)....................................................................... 39 Insink  Plumbing................................................................................................... 31 James  Harris  (Plasterer)....................................................................................... 33 Jilly  Rosenberg  (Mobile  Hairdresser)................................................................... 16 John  Etherington  (Home  and  Garden)................................................................ 19 John  Snee  (Groundworks  &  Septic  Tanks)........................................................... 29 John  Spray  Maçonnerie  (Stonemason)............................................................... 33 Julie’s  Cleaning  Services....................................................................................... 35 L’Étable  Gastronomique  (Restauarant)............................................................... 23 La  Deuxieme  Chance  (Annie  Sloan  chalk  paint  supplier).................................... 30 Leggett  Immobilier.............................................................................................. 38 Le  Jardin  de  Marion............................................................................................. 21 Le  Tour  de  Finance............................................................................................... 36 Les  Deux  Chênes  Cattery..................................................................................... 17 Line  Dancing  (Sue  Beale)..................................................................................... 7 Maisons  Esprit  Nature  (Log  Houses)................................................................... 19 Man  &  Van........................................................................................................... 27 Mark  Sabestini  Renovation  &  Construction........................................................ 32 MB  Plumbing  &  Building  Services....................................................................... 30 Michael  Glover  (Plasterer,  Renderer  &  Tiler)...................................................... 33 ML  Computers..................................................................................................... 29 Mutuelle  de  Poitiers  Assurances......................................................................... 27 Nathan  Foster  Building  Services.......................................................................... 32 Needa  Hand  Services........................................................................................... 33 Pamela  Irving  (Massage  &  Reflexology).............................................................. 16 Pascale  Matéo  (French  Lessons)......................................................................... 11 Pascale  Terry  French  Tuition................................................................................ 11 Philip  Irving  (Mini  Digger  hire)............................................................................. 29 Phil  Savage  (General  House  Repairs).................................................................. 30 Poitou  Property  Services..................................................................................... 35 Polar  Express  (Frozen  Foods).............................................................................. 23 Premier  Autos  (Mechanic).................................................................................. 26 R&A  Services........................................................................................................ 32 Red,  White  &  Blue  (English  Groceries)................................................................ 22 Restaurant  des  Canards....................................................................................... 24 Ross  Hendry  (Interface  Consulting  &  Engineering)............................................. 28 Satellite  TV  (Nigel  Gubb)...................................................................................... 29 sarl  Down  to  Earth  (Groundwork  &  Construction)............................................. 30 Siddalls  (Financial  Advisors)................................................................................. 35 Simon  The  Tiler.................................................................................................... 33 Spectrum  IFA  Group  (Amanda  Johnson)............................................................. 36 Steve  Enderby...................................................................................................... 30 Sue  Burgess  (French  Courses  &  Translation)....................................................... 10 Taylor  Electricté................................................................................................... 31 The  English  Mechanic  &  Son  -­‐  Tony  Eyre............................................................ 26 Total  Renovation  Services  (Michael  Dominey)................................................... 30 Tracey  Bowring  (Hairdressing  &  Nails)................................................................ 16 Val  Assist  (Translation  Services)........................................................................... 10 Steve  Reid  (Building  &  Renovation)..................................................................... 2 Vendée  Houses.................................................................................................... 11 Vendée  Pools....................................................................................................... 40 VêVo  Boutique..................................................................................................... 24

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

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

What’s On... March 2013 3rd March  -­‐  Jazz  with  Traditional  Sunday  Roast At  Camping  le  Moulin,  Chef  Boutonne.    See  advert  on  P.24  for  details. 4th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Limalonges See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 5th  March  -­‐  Seed  Swap At   Pause!   Cafe   L'Absie,   10am-­‐12pm.   Seeds,   café,   chat,   advice.     Bring   any  kind   of  seeds  to  trade  -­‐   Label   with  plant  name  plus   any   special  instructions  in  an   envelope.     Entry  charge   is   2   Euros  and   donation   of   50   cents   per   envelope.   For   how   it   works   email   wendy.whiteavis@googlemail.com 7th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Chef  Boutonne See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 12th  March  -­‐  Keeping  Safe  from  FIRE Presentation  held  at  the  Parthenay  Fire  Station,  in  English  starting   at  3pm.  For  more  information  call  Julia  Salvat  on  05  49    64  25  49. 13th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Aigre See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 13th  March  -­‐  Book  &  Coffee  Morning At  Mauze  Thouarsais,  in  aid  of  Helianthus  Association.     See  P.13  for   more  information. 14th  March  -­‐  Top  Hat  Quiz  &  Curry  at  Champniers See  www.tophatquizzes.com  for  more  information. 17th  March  -­‐  Seafood  Brunch At   Domaine   de   l’Enchantoir,   Le   Puy   Notre   Dom   at   11am  -­‐   3pm.     Please  see  advert  on  P.9  for  more  information. 20th  March  -­‐  French  Tax  Seminar Presented  by  Blevins  Franks  at  Château  de  Petit  Chêne  at  11am.    For   more  details,  please  see  advert  on  P.34 23rd  March  -­‐  Free  Financial  Seminar Including   tax   efficient   savings,  pensions,  investments,  tax   changes   etc.  at  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.    11am  -­‐  3pm. 27th  March  -­‐  PC  Course  #3 PC   course   #3   will   be   held   at   Pause!   Café,   L’Absie.   For   more   information,  or  to  book,  please  email:  rs.hendry@gmail.com. 28th  March  -­‐  Team  Quiz  in  aid  of  Nos  Amis  Les  Animaux At  le  Chaudron,  Chantemerle.    Maximum  6  people  per  team.  2,50€   per  person  entry,  starting  at  8pm.     Fish  &  Chips  available   from  the   bar  from  6pm. 29th  March  -­‐  Live  Music  with  A  Vee  &  Andy  Em At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  from  8pm.    See  advert  on  P.24  for   more  details. 30th  March  -­‐  Easter  Fayre  at  Pause!  Café,  l’Absie. 30th  &  31st  March  -­‐  Easter  Fashion  Weekend  with  VêVo At  Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux  11am  -­‐  5pm.    See  advert  P.24

What’s Coming Up...

9th April  -­‐  Le  Tour  de  Finance,  Niort. See  article  on  P.36  for  more  details. 12th  April  -­‐  Spring  Dance  in  aid  of  All  Saints  Vendée At   the   Salle  municipale,  St   Maurice  le   Girard,  starting  at  7,30pm.     Call  Jenny  on  02  51  51  23  62  for  tickets.  (10€  each).  

Easter Services  2013: 24th  March  -­‐  Palm  Sunday Jarnac  (16)     le  Rochefoucauld  (16)   Parthenay  (79)     Civray  (86)    

10.30am -­‐  Morning  Worship 10.30am  -­‐  Morning  Worship 10.30am  -­‐  Holy  Communion    6.00pm  -­‐  Evening  Prayer

31st March  -­‐  Easter  Day Villejésus  (16)    

10.30am -­‐  Holy  Communion

Monthly services  at  the  English  speaking  Church  in  Deux-­‐Sèvres Monthly  services   can   be   found   at   Jassay,   Chef   Boutonne   and   Parthenay.     For   further   informakon   about   locakon   of   churches   and   about   what   else   is   happening   near   you,   please   take   a   look   at   our   website   www.church-­‐in-­‐france.com   or   contact   us   at   office.goodshepherd@orange.fr

Monthly services  in   the   English   speaking   Anglican  Church  in  the   Vendée: Puy de Serre All   Saints,  Vendée  holds  two  services  each  month,   on   the  2nd  and   4th   Sundays  at   the  church   of   St.  Marthe,   Puy   de   Serre,  at   11am.     After   each  service,  tea  and   coffee  is  served  in  the   parish  room  and   everyone  is  invited  to  a  ‘bring  and  share’  lunch. Other  services  are  held  in   the  west  of  the  Vendée,  in  La  Chapelle   Achard  and  La  Chapelle  Palluau.     For  details  of  these,  please  check   the  website:    www.allsaintsvendee.fr A  VERY  WARM  WELCOME  awaits  you  at  ESCOVAL   (The  English  Speaking  Church  of  the  Valley  of  the  Loire).     Communion  Services  are  held  on  the  3rd  Sunday  of  each  month   at   La  Chapelle  de  la  Bonne  Dame  de  Ranton  at  11.30am  followed  by  a   Bring  and  Share  lunch.   Full   details   of   how   to   find   us   may   be   found   on   our   website   at:   www.escoval.org   or   please   telephone   us   at:  05   49   66   79   14.     Our  GPS  address  is  46˚59'25.30  N    0˚02'06.22  W.

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

Benet (dept.85) Lencloitre (1st Monday in month)(dept.86) Lezay Coulonges-sur-l’Autize Thouars Parthenay Sauzé Vaussais Niort Thouars Melle Chef Boutonne Airvault Niort Coulon St. Maixent l’École Fontenay le Comte Neuville (dept.86)

The National Holidays, Religious and Feast Days 2013

Photo: Lisa Roberts

Mondays:

Monday 1st  April.............. Wednesday  1st  May.......... Wednesday  8th  May......... Thursday  9th  May............. Sunday  19th  May.............. Monday  20th  May............. Sunday  14th  July............... Thursday  15th  August....... Friday  1st  November......... Monday  11th  November... Wednesday  25th  December.

Easter Monday  (Lundi  de  Pâques) Labour  Day (Fête  du  travail) Victory  in  Europe  Day  (Fête  de  la  Victoire) Ascension  Day (Ascension) Pentacost (Pentecôte) Pentacost (Lundi  de  Pentecôte) Nakonal  Day  (Fête  Na;onale  de  France) Assumpkon  of  Mary (Assomp;on) All  Saint’s  Day (Toussaint) Armiskce  Day  (Armistace  1918) Christmas  Day  (Noël)

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY                                                                                              

                                                                         

INCEPTIO is published! by Alison  Morton Paperback  Jan Books  in  English

1st Mar:     Bar  de  la  Paix,  Thouars.       12.00  -­‐  2pm 1st  Mar:     Le  Tipsy  Bar,  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize.    4  -­‐  6pm 6th  Mar:     Café  Cour  du  Miracle,  Vouvant.  2.30pm-­‐4.30pm 7th  Mar:     Bar  le  Palais,  St  Aubin  le  Cloud.  2  -­‐  5pm 7th  Mar:     Bar  La  Cabane  de  Vouhé,  Vouhé.  6.30  -­‐  8pm* 8th  Mar:     Jan’s  home,  La  Ferrière-­‐en-­‐Parthenay.  11am  -­‐  4pm 9th  Mar:     Cafe  Le  Chauray,  St  Maixent  l’Ecole.    10.00am  -­‐  1pm 10th  Mar:    Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux.  2  -­‐  4pm 14th  Mar:    Pause!  Cafe,  L’Absie.    2-­‐  5pm 28th  Mar:    La  Joie  de  Vivre,  Moncoutant.    2pm  -­‐  5pm 29th  Mar:    Le  P’tit  Bar  Boucard,  Ménigoute.    4pm  -­‐  6pm *+  Quiz  &  Fish  and  Chips

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

Mr T’s Friterie Plat à Emporter Traditionnel Britannique

With regular venues at:

• • • •

Open 6.30

-8.30pm

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

Reel Fish & Chips Traditional English style Fish & Chips

Weds 6th March -  The Canteen, Etusson Friday 8th March -  Bar Tabac, Bouille-Loretz Weds 20th March - The Canteen, Etusson Thurs 21st March - St Martin de Sanzay Friday 22nd March -  Bar Tabac, Genneton

18H30 - 21H00 18H30 - 21H00 18H30 - 21H00 18H30 - 21H00 18H30 - 21H00

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

Now Under  New  Management.   Venues  resuming  Wednesday  6th  March  at  St  Vincent   Sterlanges  &  Friday  8th  March  at  Thouarsais  Bouildroux. For  more  info  please  see  visit  website:  

www.lavendeechippy.com

Open 6-8p

Fish 4 Chip Fish, Chips & mushy peas!

So where  did  it  start? An   eleven   year   old   fascinated   by   the   mosaics   in   Ampurias   (huge   Roman   site   in   Spain),   I   asked   my   father,   “What   would   it   be   like   if   Roman   women   were   in   charge,   instead  of  the  men?”   Maybe   it  was   the  fierce  sun  boiling  my  brain  that   day,  maybe  it  was  just  a  precocious   kid   asking   a   smartarse   question.   But  clever  man   and   senior  ‘Roman   nut’,   my  father   replied,  “What   do   you  think  it  would  be  like?”  Real   life  intervened  (school,  uni,  career,   military,  marriage,  motherhood,  business  ownership,  move  to   Deux-­‐ Sèvres),  but  the  idea  bubbled  away  in  my  mind  and  INCEPTIO  slowly   took  shape. What   is  an  “alternate   history  thriller”  Alternate   history  is   based  on   the   idea  of  “what   if”?    What   if   King  Harold  had  won   the   Battle  of   Hastings  in  1066?  Or  if  Julius  Caesar  had  taken   notice  of  the  warning   that   assassins   wanted   to   murder   him   on   the   Ides   of   March?   Sometimes  it  could   be   little  things  such  as  in  the  film  Sliding  Doors,   when   the  train   door   shuts   and  Gwyneth  Paltrow’s  character   splits   into  two;  one  rides  away  on   the  train,  the  other   is  left  standing  on   the  platform.   The   rest   of   the   story  or   history  of   a   country  from  that   point   on   develops  differently  from  the  one  we  know.  In   my  book,  Roma  Nova   battled   its   way   from   a   small   colony   in   the   late   fourth   century   somewhere  north  of  Italy  into  a  high  tech,  financial  mini-­‐state  based   on  Roman  Republican  values,  but  with  a  twist.  It’s  really  fun  working   this  out!  The  thriller  story  then  takes  place  against  this  background.   Stories   with   Romans   are   usually   about   famous   emperors,   epic   battles,  depravity,   intrigue,  wicked   empresses  and  a   lot   of   sandals,   tunics  and  swords.    But  imagine  the  Roman  theme  projected  sixteen   hundred  years  further  forward  into  the  21st  century.   So  what’s  INCEPTIO  about? New  York  –  present  day,   alternate  reality.    Karen  Brown,  angry  and   frightened  after   surviving  a  kidnap   attempt,   has   a  harsh   choice   –   being   eliminated   by   government   enforcer   Jeffery   Renschman   or   fleeing  to  the  mysterious  Roma  Nova,  her  dead   mother’s  homeland   in  Europe.  Founded  sixteen  centuries  ago  by  Roman  exiles  and  ruled   by  women,  Roma  Nova  gives   Karen  safety,  a  ready-­‐made  family  and   a  new  career.     But   a   shocking  discovery  about   her  new   lover,   the   fascinating   but   arrogant   special   forces   officer   Conrad   Tellus   who   rescued  her  in  America,  isolates  her.  

                                   La            Vendee  Chippy                                                          Traditional  Fish  &  Chips  in  France!

This month   my   alternate   history   thriller,   INCEPTIO,   is   published.   Hooray!     Three   years   of   slog   –   researching,  writing,   and   polishing   –  have  led  to  this  exciting  moment.  

m

Mondays: Bar Tilleuls, Champniers (near Civray) Tuesdays: Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square & can be eaten in local bar) Wednesdays: Chef Boutonne (near Chateau) Thursdays: Sauzé-Vaussais (Main square & can be eaten in local bar) Fridays: Mansle (Car park of Simply Supermarket) Tel: 06 37 53 56 20, or visit: www.mobilefishandchipsfrance.com

Renschman reaches   into   her   new   home   and   nearly   kills   her.   Recovering,  she   is   desperate  to  find   out   why  he  is  hunting  her   so   viciously.  Unable  to  rely  on   anybody  else,  she   undergoes  intensive   training,   develops  fighting   skills   and   becomes   an   undercover   cop.   But   crazy  with  bitterness  at   his  past  failures,  Renschman   sets  a  trap   for  her,  knowing  she  has  no  choice  but  to  spring  it...   INCEPTIO  is  available  as  both  paperback  and  ebook.    I’ll  be  touring   the   Deux-­‐Sèvres  from  the  end   of   March,  dates  and   venues   here:   http://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/book-­‐signings-­‐deux-­‐sevres Happy  reading!

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Hobbies, Clubs & Associations... Cancer Support in Deux-Sèvres Cancer support aims to improve the lives Of people affected by cancer. Don’t worry alone, pick up the phone. For Further information contact: June Searchfield: Tel: 05 49 64 59 96 or email: junesearchfield@gmail.com We are here for you and your Family

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

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

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

Le Tallud   Boules   en   bois   are   offering   sessions   every   Wednesday   from   16h   to  18h   from  April  through  to  September   2013  at   the  parc   de   Loisirs,   Le   Tallud.    Everyone  is  welcome  to   come   and   play   or   learn   the   game   of   boules   en   bois.   We  have  all  the  equipment,  just   turn   up   for   half   an   hour   or   more   for   a   bit   of   exercise   and   socialising.   Details   from   Rosemary   Williamson   rw.williamson@orange.fr

The Harmonics Singing   Group.   Based   in   the   Salle  

d'Annexe behind  the  mairie  in  Civray.  We  meet  each  Wednesday  from   2.00pm   to  4.00pm.   No   experience   necessary   just   a   willingness   and   commitment   to   learn.   We   sing   all   sorts   of   music   and   in   several   languages,  whatever   the  music  dictates.  We   are   a  small   and  friendly   group  who  would  love  to  meet  you. Contact:  Dolly  Ait  Boualou:  05  45  22  89  32  or  sylvia.murray@wanadoo.fr   or  Margaret  Gomersall  on  05  49  48  09  02  or  margaretgomersall@sfr.fr

Through the Lens Group Local photography group who meets on the last Monday in each month to chat about all things photography! New members welcome. For further information contact: Ian Gawn: 02 51 00 84 52 or Brian Preece: 05 49 72 09 94

Book Club  Thouars.    Do  you  enjoy  reading  a  cracking  good  story?   And  talking  to  others  about  it?  Do  you  live  in  north  79,  south  49   or  north  86?  Come  along  to  our  new  book  club..... Contact  Alison  Morton  at  info@bookclubthouars.fr  for  more  details.

Open Door Lending Library Over 7000 fiction and non-fiction books and DVDs Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10h00 to midday at 18 rue Pierre Pestureau, Civray (86400) Individual membership 6€, family membership 10€ www.opendoor-civray.com

Book Group....meeting 2nd Thursday of the

month from 3pm at Christies Tea Room & Bookshop, Gençay, 86160. Take a look at the Book Group page on the website: www.chezchristies.com for more information. The Filling  Station  ~  Poitou-­Charentes  and  Vendée The   Filling   Station   is   a   network   of   local   Christians   of   all   denominations   who   meet   together   regularly   for   spiritual   renewal  &  evangelism  purposes.    ALL  WELCOME. Please   see   our   website   for   details   of   spring   programmes   www.the?illingstation.org.uk  or   locally   contact   05  45   29   58  91   or  email  jackie.james46@yahoo.com.

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

Rubber Bridge:would any of you bridge players out there in the Deux-Sèvres, be interested in making up an occasional 4? Email David Rowe: djfrowe@hotmail.com or' phone 05 49 63 26 57.

Les Amis Solitaires We are  a  group  of  people   living  alone  in  France.    We  meet  up   for   coffee  mornings  from  11am. 1st  Tuesday:  The  Gallery,  Civray  (coinciding  with  market  day). Every  2nd  &  4th  Thursday,  The  Lemon  Tree,  Sauzé  Vaussais. Every  3rd  Thursday,  Le  Bistrot  Centrale  in  Ruffec.     More   details   from   Gwen   Shepherd   05   49   87   91   79   or   email   gwanshep@gmail.com A R E  Y O U A M O D E L R A I L W A Y ENTHUSIAST? If so, join a group of likeminded modellers who meet on a monthly basis to visit members' layouts and swap information. We are based on the DeuxSevres/Vendee border but also have members in the Vienne and Charente. If you are interested please contact Gerry Riley for more information on 05 49 63 34 01. Secondigny Running Club... Put the bounce back in your step. Join our friendly and supportive running group. All abilities welcome. Email Kelly for more details: kellyencezelle@hotmail.co.uk

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Getting Out & About... STEPPING ONTO THE DANCE FLOOR AGAIN

by Sue  Beale

We arrived  in  France  in  February  2004  having  moved  from  the  New  Forest  where  we   both   taught  Western   Dance  as  our   full-­‐time  profession  for  twelve  years.    In  the  early   days  we  were  unique  in  the  UK  in  that  we  both  taught   all  aspects  of   western  dance,   not  only  Line  Dancing  but  Couple  and  Partner  as  well.    Also  staging  weekend   festivals,   holding   dance  workshops  with  some  of  the  best   known   choreographers  of  the  day,   holding  weekend   Discos  and  live  band  events.     From  time  to  time   during  the  year  we   were  also  invited  to  be  guest  instructors  at  various  venues  throughout  the  country. As  time  went   on   more  and  more  classes  opened   up  and  it  became  obvious  to  us   that   the  business  would  no  longer  support  us  into  our  old  age.     So,  what   to  do  next?    Like   many  other  people  we  were  watching  ‘Place  in  the  Sun’  and  similar  programmes;  after   a  lot  of  thought  we  decided  on  France  and  both  being  aged  50  thought  “If  we’re  going   to  do  something,  we’d  best  do  it  sooner  rather  than  later”. We  found   our   house  in   May  2003   and  it   was   agreed  we   would  move   the   following   year.     Having  established   ourselves  in  the  area,  people  started  to  ask  when  we  were   going  to  start   Line  Dance  Classes.    Our  reply  was  always  “Yes,  later,  but  at  the  moment   we  have  too  much  to  do  on  the  house”.     Well,  now  that  time  has  arrived.    The  work  on   the  house  isn’t  totally  finished,  but  with   an  older  property  –  is  it  ever?       We   started   our   total   beginner’s   lessons  late   last   year   at   the   Café  des   Belles   Fleurs,   Fenioux   (79160)   on   a   Friday  evening  and  our  class  (an  equal   mix   of   men   and   women)   have   been   enjoying   the   challenge   of   trying   something   new.     As   we   are   now   upstairs  in  the  larger   room  we  are  able   to  accommodate  more  dancers.    So  if   line   dancing  appeals  to  you  and   you’d   like  to  take  on  a  new  ‘challenge’,  come   along  and   give  it   a  go.    We  are  there   every   Friday,   however,   the   bar   is   closed   on   the  1  March  and  therefore   there   is   no   class   for  one  week   only.     It’s  fun  and  keeps  the  body  and   mind   active;  there  is  no   feeling  like  dancing   to  music  –  any  dancing.     You  would  be   made  most   welcome   and  don’t  worry   if   you’ve   never   danced  a  step   in  your   life,  or  think  you  have  two  left  feet,  we   can  teach  you  (that’s  our  challenge!).    

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

Tel: 05  49  06  94  55   Email:  ian.sue79@gmail.com

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

presents ‘CALENDAR GIRLS’   by  Tim  Firth  at  Secondigny  &  La  Châtaigneraie  2013. Work   is   progressing   well   with   the   Reaction   Theatre   “Calendar   Girls”   calendar.   Over   20   of   our   lovely   lady   members   have   volunteered  to  be  in   the   calendar,  many  locations  will  be  used  and   lots   of   props.     This   is   generating   a   need   for   a   great   deal   of   organization  and   planning  which  is  being  carried  out  by  Sue   Blair,   the   photo   shoots  are   being  coordinated   by   Christine   Hester   and   our   lady  photographer,  Penny  Brewer,  is  working  her   magic   with   her  cameras.     Thanks   to   our   many   sponsors,   ALL   proceeds   from   the   sale   of   calendars   will   go   to   the   Leukemia   &   Lymphoma   Research   Foundation   in   the   UK   and  La  Fondation   de  France:  La  Recherche   contre  Leucemie  et  Lymphome  here  in  France. The   Calendar   Girls   Production   Director,  Tony   Murdoch,   tells   me   that   he   is   delighted   that   Karen   Davies   has   joined   his   team   as   Assistant  Director.    Karen  was  a  drama  teacher  in  the  UK  and  brings   a  great  deal  of  experience  to  the  team. The  Production  team  is   working   hard   on  completing  all   set   builds,   backdrops,  furniture  and   props   as  well   as   arranging  the   lighting   and   sound   effects   for   early  March   when   rehearsals  will   become   more   intense.     Members  of  The   Art   Scene  are  working  with   the   production   team   providing   expert   advice   and   design   where   needed. Tony  sends   his   thanks  to   all   these   hard  working  people,  cast   and   crew,   for  giving  their   time   so  willingly.    If  you  would  like  to  join  in   the   fun,   please   let   me   know,   we   are   always   looking   for   new   members. We  are   really   looking  forwards   to   presenting  a  great   show  to   all   you  theatre  goers.    Dates,  times  and   places  of  the  performances   are  as  follows:-­‐ • Secondigny  Le  Petit  Theatre-­‐  24th  and  25th  April  at  8pm                  26th  April  at  2.30pm • La  Chataignerie  Theatre  -­‐              1st  &  2nd  May  at  8pm Tickets  may  be  booked   via  email  on  reaction.tickets@yahoo.fr or by telephone from the end of March from Chris   Maloney   on   05.49.70.29.86   The  Keynote  Singers  –   the  group  rehearses   every  Friday  afternoon   in   Secondigny   and   seems   to   be   growing  every  week.     We   are   adding   new  songs  to  our  repertoire  ready  for  any  summer   shows   we  are  asked  to  perform.     The  Art  Scene  -­‐  In  addition   to  learning  some  of  the  basic   skills  of   pastel   painting   and  drawing,   some   of   the   members  have   turned   their  hands   to  making  sunflowers  for  the   Calendar   Girls.     In   March   we  will   be   learning  the  techniques  used   in   acrylic   painting  from   Kathy  who  is  one  of  our  members.    If  you  haven’t  yet  joined  us  and   are   interested   in   painting   of   any   kind   or   have   an   art   related   problem   or   question  you  need  answering,  please  send  it  to  me  by   email. For   any  further  information,  please   contact   John  Blair   by  email:   johnblair@btopenworld.com  

Clear Your  Clutter  For  Charity ‘A  Great  Big  Bring  &  Buy  Sale’

La Ferriére-­‐en-­‐Parthenay  12th  May  2013  

The response   to   the   ‘Clear  Your  Clutter   for   Charity’   article   has   been  very  positive,   lots  of  folk  think  it’s  a  good   idea,  and  the  fact   that   everyone,   especially   the   charities,  benefit,  is   an   interesting   concept. On  12th  May,   La  Ferriére  will   host   the  biggest  vide  grenier   of  the   area   so   there   are   hundreds   and   hundreds   of   folks   wandering   around  the  village  looking  for  a  bargain,  a  cuppa  or  a  beer.........  we   will   have  them  all,   and   along   with   the  entertainment   planned,  I   feel  sure  we  will  not  be  short  of  customers. I  will  be  opening   up   the   book  barn   and   selling   the   books   at   the   cheapest   price  EVER  there   are  still   over  3000  to   choose  from  even   after  a  mass  donation  to  the  Hope  charity. There   is   time   and   space   to   recruit   your   charity   stall   into   the   festivities  if  you   are  still  undecided   about  whether  or  not  to  take   part.  If   you   want   to  come  along  and   sell  your   own  clutter   rather   than  just  donating  your  things,  you  too  will  be  welcome. Anyone  worried  about   being  left   with  donations  not  wanted,  need   not   do   so,  all   left   overs   will   be  taken,   or   hopefully  collected,  by   Emmaus,  yet  another  charity  to  benefit  from  your  generosity. All   prospective  stall   holders,   charity  or   private,  please  contact  me   on  paperbackjan@gmail.com  or  tel  06  08  30  73  29

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Keeping Antiques Alive...

by Helen  Aurelius-­‐Haddock

When we  imagine  famous  landmarks  like  Westminster  Abbey  and   the  Houses  of  Parliament,  few  of  us  can  claim  to  have  crossed  their   thresholds  as  tourists.    Not  so  for  Mairi  Venables.    As  a  conservator   of   sculpture   and   objects   d’art,   she   has   been   fortunate   to   have   worked  there,  preserving  and  caring  for  the  nation’s  heritage.

On Your Bike! Since settling  here   in  Coulonges-­‐sur-­‐l’Autize  some  three  and  a  half   years   ago,   she   has   not   let   her   gifted   hands   rest   idle   for   long.   Indeed,  apart   from  enjoying  La  Vie  En  France  as  we  all  do,  she  has   taken  up  the  challenge  of  restoring  pieces  for   local  residents  in  the   area. She  is  currently  working  on  a  Georgian  Baroque  style  mirror,  and  is   painstakingly  re-­‐gilding  it.  Not   content   with   that  challenge,  she  is   advising   people   on   the   delicate   matter   of   safe-­‐guarding   family   heirlooms   from   the   ever   invasive   damp   in   older   houses   and   the   fluctuating  humidity  and  temperatures  that  can  so  easily  warp  and   distort  furniture. Central   heating  can   feel   like   a   luxury  but   it   can  be   a   true   enemy   when   older   furniture   is   subjected  to   its   rigours   –   made  in   a  past   era,  it  was  never   designed  to  sit  in   rooms   of   such  relatively  high   temperatures. Mairi  is   keen  to  offer  her  advice  to  those  who   may  have  picked  up   a   Rubens   or   two   in   a   local   vide   grenier,   and   she   actively   encourages  people  to  call  her,  with  no  obligation,  for  advice  on  its   restoration   and  upkeep.    Family  heirlooms  will  be   safe  under   her   watchful   eye  if  you   decide  to  engage  her  talents  in   restoring  it  to   its  former  glory. She   is   developing   her   website   where   her   full   range   of   services,   including  arts  restoration  courses,  can   be  found.    However,  she  is   very   much   “open   for   business”   and   would   love   to   hear   from   anyone  who  may  have  a  piece  they  want  to  restore. Contact  Mairi  Venables:   Tel:  05  49  25  69  72  Email:  mairi.venables@orange.fr Website:  www.restauration-­‐objet-­‐art.fr

Classes at ‘Maison pour tous’, L’Absie. 7pm - 8.30pm on Thursdays & Salle de millenaire, rue saint roch, Largeasse. 7pm - 8,30pm on Wednesdays. *Lessons will recommence 7th March*

Contact Rysz for more info: 06 42 35 97 11

Let me  tell  you  ...this  incessant   rain  is  not   very  nice  for  motorbike   riding!  Of   course  there   are   other   meteorological   reasons  for   not   riding   too.   That's  why   the  2ndSundayClub.fr   do   'coffee  mornings'   instead   of   rides  roughly  between  October   and  May.    As  you  may   have   guessed  from   the  name  of  our   website,  we   meet  on  the  2nd   Sunday   of   each   month   and   natter   about   anything   over   tea   and   biccies/coffee  and  cakes  when  the  weather   is  awful  OR  ride  from   somewhere   to   somewhere   else   when   the   weather   is   more   suitable/comfortable. Based   near   Montournais   (85),   we   are   now   15-­‐20   English   and   French   riders   with   mixed   bikes/trikes   of   mostly   mature   years,   some  with   mature  bikes!    Quiet   roads  and   scenery  is  our   aim,  so   we  rarely  do  more  than  70  kph.  Comfort  and  replenishment  breaks   along  the  way  are  quite  easily  found  with  relief  and/or  enjoyment.   Our   web   site   www.2ndSundayClub.fr   will   tell   you   more  and   we   are  always   happy  to  greet  new  members.

Association Aidez (Terves) Early Summer Fair To be held on Sunday May 26th in the salle des fetes at St Germain-de-Longue-Champs.   Time to be decided but probably from 2pm to 6pm. Open for stall holders from 11am. If you are interested to have a stall contact Lin Adams on lin.adams1@gmail.com but hurry as not many places left. Stalls will also be available outside.   Donation will be made to the French Red Cross in Parthenay.   We look forward to seeing you all there.

Page 9


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

To Know or Not to Know, that is the by Sue  Burgess question ? French   has  two  verbs  which  can  be  translated   by  the  English  verb   «to   know»:   "savoir   and   connaître".  This   can  be  confusing,  but   in   fact  there  are  distinct  differences  in   meaning  and  usage  for  the  two   verbs.

Ignorer  is  a  related  verb   which  means  "not  to  know"  in  the   sense   of  "to   be   unaware   of."     Depending   on   the   context,  it  can   replace   either   ne   pas   savoir   or   ne   pas   connaître.   It   does   not   usually   translate  the  English  «to  ignore»  (to  take  no  notice  of).     «J'ignore  quand  il  viendra.»    (I  don't  know  when  he  is  coming.) «Il   ignore   Ionesco.»   (He's   not   aware   of   (doesn't   know   about)   Ionesco.)

Savoir has  three   possible  meanings:   to   know   a   fact,   to   know  by   heart,  to  know  how  to  do  something  (note  that  the  word  «how»  is   not  translated  by  a  separate  French  word  in  this  expression).   «Je  sais  que  Paris  est  la  capitale  de  la  France»  (I  know  that  Paris  is   the  capital   of  France),  «   Je   sais   mes  tables   »   (I  know   my  tables),   «  Je  sais  nager  »  (I    know  how  to  swim).

And lastly  here  are  the  answers  to  last  month's  little  quiz    :

In the  passé  composé  past  tense,  savoir    means  "to   learn"  or   "to   find  out".  «J'ai  su   qu'elle  était   malade»  (I  found  out   that  she  was   ill). Connaître     has   two   meanings:  to   know   a  person,  to   be   familiar   with   a   person   or   thing.   «Je   connais   Sally»   (I   know   Sally),   «Je   connais  Thouars»  (I  know  Thouars  (because  I  have  been  there)  ). In   the   passé  composé  past   tense,  connaître   means  "to   meet   (for   the  first   time)   /  become  acquainted   with":  «J'ai   connu  Marc  à  La   Rochelle.»    (I  met  Marc  in  La  Rochelle).

1. A  tall  man

un homme  grand

2. A  disguskng  place

un sale  endroit

3. The  lonely  man

l'homme seul

4. The  poor  (penniless)  boy

le garçon  pauvre

5. The  poor  (pikful)  boy

le pauvre  garçon

6. The  blasted  /  damned  object

le sacré  objet

7. The  sacred  object

l'objet sacré

8. The  fundamental  queskon

la queskon  première

The verb  connaître  is   always  followed   by   a  direct  object   (this  will   be   a   noun   and   cannot   be  anything   else).     «Je   connais   bien   ton   père»   (I  know   your   father   well)  whereas   savoir   is   followed   by   a   verb   in  the  infinitive  form   or   by  a  word  like   où,  que,  qui,  pourquoi   (where,  that,  who,  why):   «Je  sais  nager»   (I  know  how  to  swim),   «Je  sais  que   deux  et  deux   font  quatre»  (I  know  that  2  and  2  make  4).   Savoir  can  also  be  used  alone  «Tu  sais  qu'il  arrive  à  3  heures?  Oui,   je  sais»  (Do  you  know  he  is  coming  at  3    ?  Yes,  I  do). Choosing   the  right   verb  is  fairly  easy  most   of  the   time  but   you   do   sometimes  have  to  be  a  little  careful.  When  using  «connaître»  the   French   often   mean,   do   you   know   personally   or   have   you   experience  of.     So  if   you   say  «Je  connais  George  Clooney»     the   French  may  well  assume  that  you  know  him  personally  and  not  just   that  you  have  heard  of  him. Here  is  an   anecdote  I  have  read   somewhere   on  the  web.  A  young   American  student   was  in  Paris  and  met  a  lovely  French  woman  in   a   café.  He  started   to   speak  to  her,  but   she   didn't   speak  any  English,   and  he  was  speaking  in  French.  He  said:  "Je  viens  de  Boston.  Vous   connaissez   Boston?"  And   the  woman   answered:  "Non."  Then   he   said:  "Ce  n'est   pas  loin   de  New-­‐York,  vous  connaissez   New-­‐York?"   And   the   woman   answered:   "Non."   He   was   a   bit   surprised   but   carried   on:  "C'est  aux  Etats-­‐Unis,  vous  connaissez  les  États-­‐Unis?".   And   she  answered   "Non."   Puzzled,  he   thought   to  himself:   "Cute,   but  not   so   smart...".  Of  course,  she  understood  he  was  asking  her   whether   she  had  been  there  herself,  not  whether   she  knew  where   it  was...

End

So, here  are  some  sentences  that  should  clear  things  up: J'en  ai  entendu  parler  -­‐  I've  heard  of  it J'ai  entendu  parler  de  lui  /  d'elle  -­‐  I've  heard  about  him  /  her Est-­‐ce  que  tu  sais  qui  c'est  -­‐  Do  you  know  who  it  is? Est-­‐ce  que  vous  savez  où  c'est  -­‐  Do  you  know  where  it  is? Je  sais  qui   c'est,  mais   je  ne  le/la  connais  pas   personnellement  -­‐   I   know  who  it  is,  but  I  don't  know  him/her  personally. • Je  sais  où  c'est,  mais  je  n'y  suis  jamais  allé(e)  -­‐  I  know  where  it  is,   but  I've  never  been  there  myself. • • • • •

Page 10


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Burns Night  Supper

A supper  to  celebrate  the  life  and  works  of  Robert   Burns  was  held   on   2nd   February  2013  at   the  Café   des  Belles   Fleurs   in  Fenioux.     Will  Rowe  and  a  group   of  friends   were  the   organizing  committee   and   the  event  was  attended  by   around  fifty   people,  of  whom  all   appeared   to   have   a   wonderful   night   of   food,   drink   and   entertainment. The   evening   commenced   with   a   short   film   about   the   life   and   times  of  Robert   Burns.    This  also  showed  some  of  the  wonderful   landscapes   in   Scotland   and   interesting   views   of   Edinburgh   and   various   other   towns  and  villages.     The  film  was   followed  by  the   Piper   and   Escort   to   the   Chef   carrying   in   the   Haggis   for   the   traditional   whiskey   toast   and   address   to   the   Haggis,   which   was   given  by  Gavin  Anderson. Fair  fa'  your  honest,  sonsie  face, Great  chieftain  o'  the  pudding-­‐race! Aboon  them  a'  ye  tak  your  place, Painch,  tripe,  or  thairm: Weel  are  ye  wordy  o'a  grace As  lang's  my  arm. The  Selkirk  Grace,  given  by   Georges   Menzies,   was   followed  by   the  traditional   supper   and   then   music,   song   and   dance.   Gavin   Anderson   (accompanied   by   his   wife  Elizabeth   with   Andy,   a   string   puppet)   played   the   bagpipes,   guitar   and  whistle,  as  well   as   singing   some   well   known  Scottish  songs.   Helen   and  Geoff  also  entertained   us  with    Scottish  and  traditional   folk  songs.    The  Scottish   dancing  was  probably  the  highlight  of  the   evening,  and  to   see  so   many  people  having  so  much  fun,  getting   into   a   muddle   and  mostly  going   the   wrong   way  was   a   sight   to   behold.     It  made  the  organizing  efforts  so  worth  while  and  we  are   now   looking   forward   to   next   year’s   party.     Perhaps   we   can   organize  a  few  Scottish  dancing  lessons  beforehand  though!   A  big  thank  you  to  Ken  and  Trish  for   the  use  of   their  Café  and   the   superb  dinner  that  was  served.     We  all   had   a  great  time.     Please   make  a  note  that  we  are  hoping  to  organise  a  St  Georges  Day  event   in  April,  and  will  let  you  know  the  time  and  the  place  shortly.

Page 11


THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Fire Safety in the Home

by John Hoyland.

Your "Home  Escape  Plan" One   of   the   most   important   things   you   can  do  is  to  plan  your  escape  route.  It  is   much   easier   to   follow   a   pre-­‐prepared   plan,   like   you   would   at   work,   than   to   start   planning  one   at   4   o'clock  in   the   morning   when   the   smoke   alarm   sounds.     Also  think  about  what   to  do  if   you   can't   leave   by   this   route,   which   room  you  should  escape  from? Think  about   having  an  ‘escape  room’,  one  that  is  the  best  room  in   the  house  to  survive  in,    it  should  have:   • a  door,   • a  large  enough  window  to  climb  out  of  (and  a  firefighter  to  get  in   through),   • be  at   the   front   of   the   house   so  the  firefighters   can   see  you  as   soon  as  they  arrive,   • have  grass  or  earth  below  the  window  and  if  there  is  a  shed  or   porch  below  the  window  to  climb  down  onto,  even  better.   In  addition  to  this  advice,  consider  some  of  these  tips: • Mobile   phones:   try   to   keep   one   handy,   so   if   you   do   need   to   escape  then   you   will   have  some  means  of  communication   with   you.    Also  keep  a  good  charge  in  it.   • Try  as  part  of  your   escape  plan  to  have  a  list  of  people  you  may   wish  to  call  upon  for  help  (apart   from  the  Fire  Service  that  is).  It   may   be   a  near   neighbour,   relative  or   friend   who   can   give  you   support.  (save  their  numbers  to  your  phone!)   • Think  of  a  refuge  whilst  waiting  for   the  Fire  Service.  As  explained   previously,  it  could  be  15mins  or  more  before  they  arrive,  and  in   the   middle   of   a   storm   or   cold   winter   temperatures,   a   car   or   other  location  will  be  welcome. • Always  keep  a  good   torch  or   hand-­‐lamp  in  a  location  on  the  exit   route   or   somewhere   you   can   grab   it   on   your   way   out.   If   you   want  to  go  the  whole  distance,  think  about   a  “just  in   case  box”.   This  is  a  secure  box  where  items  such  as  those  mentioned  can  be   kept   together   with   any   important   documents   (ie,   insurance   contacts,  bank  details  &  even  emergency  cash!) So  all   of   this  adds  up  to  doing  what  any  company  has  to  do  for   its   business  &  employees.    THINK  about  the  risk  BEFORE  it  happens.   Finally  a  word  from  SDIS79:   Being  an   expat   does   not   mean   you   cannot   become   a   volunteer   pompier!   If   you   are  in   good   health,  over   18  years   of   age,  have   a   basic   command   of   French   (enough   to   get   by),  no  criminal   record   and   are  willing  to   accept   training,  then  why  not  give   it   a  go?  I’m   sure  you  will  enjoy  it! Some  areas  are  more   in   need   than   others,  but   you   can   contact   Anne  Cestor,  Volontariat   office  on  05  49  08  18  49,  or   check  the  web   site  www.SDIS79.fr  

News from  the  Pays  de  Gâtine!  by Julia Salvat  If   you  are  looking  for  work  and  don't  know  where  to  start,  here   are  a  few  suggestions. The   Maison   d’Emploi   et   des   Entreprise   (MDEE)   is   situated   in   Parthenay  at  13  blvd  Edgar   Quinet.  It  houses  several  offices,  all  to   do   with   employment,   and   last   month   organized   the   popular   forum  for  seasonal  work.  There  are   monthly  exhibitions  set  up  in   the  hall   covering  various  aspects  of  employment   and  details   of   company  activities.   Inside  the  MDEE  you  will  find  Pôle   Emploi.     This  is  the  French  job   centre   and   looks   after   all   the   administrative   procedures   with   regard   to   unemployment,   as   well   as   the   payment   of   unemployment   benefit.    It   offers  ‘self   service’   consultations  on   job  offers,  interviews  to  help  you  find  employment  and  help  you   to   define   your   objectives   and   evaluate   your   skills.   In   addition,   there   are   various   workshops   available   and   having   your   name   down  with  Pôle  Emploi  as  actively  looking  for  a  job  allows  you  to   benefit  from  training  courses,  including  French  lessons. There's   also   La   Mission   Locale   for   16-­‐26   year   olds   which   specifically  helps   young   people  to  look  for  work  and  can  advise   on  appropriate   work/training  courses  and   help  with  writing   CVs   and  the  accompanying  letters. For   those  unsure  of   what   they  want  to  do   you   can   visit  the  CIO   (Centre   d’information   et   Orientation),   the   careers   advisory   service. AIR   is   an   association   which   can   help   you   find   jobs   such   as   cleaning,  gardening  and  driving,  or   someone  to  do   those  jobs  for   you.   Should  you   need  to  seek  legal  advice  concerning  your  contract  or   working   conditions   then   visit   the   Inspection   du   travail.     This   office   is   open   every   second   Tuesday   morning   of   the   month   (9.30am  –  12.30)  and  works  on  a  first  come  first  serve  basis.   Should  you  want  help  with  your  projects  to  set  up  or  take  over   an   existing  company  there  is  the  BGE   which   is  open  every  Thursday,   though  it  is  necessary  to  make  an  appointment.  Email:  bg79@bg-­‐ poitou-­‐charentes.com Finally,  you   can  use  the  The  Cyber  Base   which  is  manned   by   an   expert  who  can  answer  your  questions. Whatever   your   needs,   a  visit   to   the   MDEE   is  the   best   starting   point   if   you   are  looking   for   work,  feel   you   need   some   careers   advice,  are  keen  to  get  extra  training  or  want  advice  on  setting  up   an  enterprise.  Good  luck!   www.gatine.org ‘Guide  for  Newcomers’,  Employment.

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

Contact ‘The  Deux-­‐Sèvres  Monthly’ La  Bartière,  79130,  Secondigny. Telephone:  05  49  70  26  21   or  email:  info@thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr Page 12


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

Selling your book - the ebook version

If you  are  published  traditionally,  i.e.  represented  by  an  agent  and/or   with   a   publishing   contract   with   a   mainstream   house   like   Orion,   Penguin  Random  House,  Transworld,  etc.  then  marketing  and  selling   your   ebook   will   take   place   alongside   the   printed   version   as   I   described  last  month.  But  it  won’t  be  for  very  long. If  you  are  published  in  ebook  by  one  of  the  new  digital-­‐only  presses,   you  will  get  some  online  marketing  and  sales  support  –  check  this  in   the  contract.  If  you  self-­‐publish  you  are  definitely  the  one  who  does   the  work! Whatever  your  route  and  initial  support,  you  need   to   plan  your  own   PR   and   marketing   strategy;   your   ebook   will   be   up   against   the   200,000   mainstream  titles  published  in  the  UK  alone  each  year  and   nobody  knows  how  many  personally  published  ebooks.     There  is  no   magic  formula;  most  of  it  involves  hard  work  and  time,  but  here  are   a  few  basics: • An  edited,  well-­‐formatted  ebook  with  a  professional  cover  is  vital. • Upload  your   ebook  to  as  many  platforms  as  possible;  Amazon  is   the  big  beast,  but  don’t  neglect  the   others.  If   you  self-­‐publish  via   S mas hwo rd s   ( http :/ / w w w. s mas hwo rd s . co m/ab o u t/ how_to_publish_on_smashwords),   they   will   convert   and   distribute   your   book  for   you   to   a  range  of   platforms   apart  from   Amazon  Kindle. • On  Amazon,  apply  to  Author   Central  to  set  up  an  Author  Page.  It’s   really  easy  to  complete  and  enhances  your  online  profile. • Get   anybody   you   know   to   post   a   review   on   Amazon;  potential   buyers  are  more  willing  to  buy  books  other  people  like.  If  you  can   get   an   established  author  or   specialist  in   your  field  to   write   one,   that  will  give  a  tremendous  boost. • Look  online   for  book  review/book  bloggers  and  approach  them   for  a  review  or  guest  spot. Social  media If   you   are   publishing   in   the   ‘digiverse’,   you   must   make   yourself   known   there.  ‘Building   your   platform’,  i.e.  having  your  website   up   and  running  before  you  publish   your   book  will  establish  you  in   the   eyes  of  potential   readers.   Pre-­‐publication,  you  are   aiming  to   build   trust  and  interest  about  the  subject  area  of  your  book. • A   website   or   blog   (or   both)   with   background   information   and,   after   publication,  buying  links;  you   should  aim  to  contribute  new   content   at   least   weekly   on   a   blog   and   refresh   the   website   regularly. • A   Twitter   account,   but   use   it   to   socialise   and   build   up   your   personality;  only  10%  of  your  tweets  should  be  ‘buy  my  book!’.   • A  Facebook  page  which   is  an   add-­‐on  to   your   normal   Facebook   site.  Here  you  can  build  up  a  following  by  posting  content  about   your  writing,  books,  the  background  to  your  book,  etc. • Contribute   to   other   blogs:   making  comments,  offering   to   write   articles  (posts)   on   their   blog,   having  other   people  as   guests   on   yours. • Support   other  writers  and  their  activities;   you   won’t   lose  out  by   giving  and  you  will   gain  some  good  digital  friends  who  will  support   you  in  turn. • Be   authentic   –   a   phoney   can   be   spotted   very   quickly   –   but   remember  that   everything  you  put  on  social   media  is  public.    So   that  picture  of  you  falling  off  a  donkey  with  a  glass  in  your  hand  may   be  hilarious,  but  isn’t  one  that  will  enhance  your  writing  image. These  are  the  basics;  keep  looking  online  for   further  tips  and  hints  as   trends  change.    And  good  luck! Alison  Morton  writes  alternate  history  thrillers,  blogs  about   wriMng  and  Romans  at  hOp://alison-­‐morton.com/blog/  

YOUR Book Reviews... A   huge   “Thank   You”   to   Jane   Fennell   of  La   Chapelle-­‐Thireuil   for   this   month’s  book  review. ‘Trespass’ by Rose Tremain. I bought this book because it was based in France, though not the Deux-Sèvres. It involves the lives around a farm and the owners, two siblings that cannot get on. Their past holds a morbid secret which nobody knows about. It delves into their past while inter-twining with two females that live close by who are English. The story from the onset led me to jump to many conclusions – all of which were totally wrong. The most amazing and interesting part of the story is the relationship between the two friends, a brother who wants to escape to France from his hectic, once-famous past life in London, his relationship with previous friends and how he comes to be intermingled with the people of the farm that is for sale. Lots of pent up anger and resentment with some jealousy thrown in. A brilliant collection of people with very diverse lifestyles and mood swings. The end will shock as it is nothing like you would expect.

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

BOOK AND COFFEE MORNING 2 Books for 1 Euro! Hundreds of  books  to  choose  from... 45  RUE  DU  BOIS  BAUDRON,  79100  MAUZE  THOUARSAIS

10.00am to  12.30pm,  Wednesday  13th  March.

Also in  attendance  will   be   Jo  from   Phoenix  Cards  and  Heather  with   her  gemstone  and  fashion  jewellery. 2012   was   a   successful   year   for   the   Helianthus   Association   raising   16,423   euros   for   animals   in   need.     Our   book  mornings   here   in   Mauze   Thouarsais   contributed   1100   euros   to   this   sum   -­‐   a   very   successful  year  all  round.     During  the  year,  the  Association  rehomed   60  cats  and   kittens  and  9   dogs  and  125  cats   were  tested,  spayed  or   otherwise  helped. We  are  starting  our  monthly  book  mornings  again  in  March  and  look   forward  to   seeing  our  old   friends  and  hopefully  some  new  ones  as   well.    All  will  be  under  cover  so  come  and  enjoy  a  chat,  cup  of  coffee   and  browse  through  our  many  books. We   are   always   happy   to   take   donations   of   paperbacks,  so  here  is  a  chance  to  spring  clean   and   also   donate   unwanted   books   to   a   good   cause.         Steve  and  Theresa    Tel:  05  49  66  03  73                         Helianthuis  Association  -­‐  www.helianthus-­‐asso.org

Look forward to seeing you!

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Take a Break... DSM Easy  Crossword Across: Down: 8.   Garlic  mayonnaise.  (5) 1.   Speakers  raised  platform.  (4) 9.   Jealous  of  another’s  advantages.  (7) 2.   Light  brown  colour.  (6) 10.   Walks  leisurely.  (7) 3.   Type  of  science.  (7) 11.   River  mouth.  (5) 4.   British   Admiral   who   defeated   the   12.   Showing  a  cheerful  willingness.  (8)   French  fleet.  (6) 13.   Material  effigy  that  is  worshipped.  (4) 5.   Avoid.  (5) 15.  Japenese  extinct  volcano.  (4) 6.   Cooked  in  water.  (6) 17.   Commissioned  soldiers.  (8) 7.   Physically  or  mentally  attacks.  (8) 21.   Observed   with   care,   paid   close   12.   Rule  breaker,  criminal.  (8)   attention  to.  (5) 14.   First  settler  in  a  new  territory.  (7) 22.   An  organised  search  for  a  criminal.  (7) 16.   Sleep  disturbance  caused  by  travel.  (6) 24.   A  feeling  of  joy  and  pride.  (7) 18.   Severe  shortage  of  food.  6) 25.   Containing  nothing.  (5) 19.   Provides  with  materials.  (6) 20.   Own  up  to.  (5) 23.   Playthings.  (4)

Down: Toughie Crossword 1.   Follows   from   one  extremity   of  chance     throw.  (5) 2.   Rope  in  a  decorator?  (7) 3. National  symbol  encapsulated  in  a  pint     of  lager?  (4) 4.   Ride   on   the   back   of   big   cat   with     wounded  lip.  (7) 5.   Foreign  body  is  also   put  in  the  ground.     (5) 6.   Suddenly  changed  direction,  as  in   “We     grieve  ere  death”.  (6) 8.   Particular   need   for   garden   project   in     the  south.  (4) 12.   If  one   degree  over   obese,   must  get  to     a  holy  site.  (6) 13.   Cries  of  rubbish  heard  in  the  sticks!  (7) 15.   Me,   very   much   behind   time,   and   put     into  quarantine. 16.   Gratuities   returned   in   the   seaside     bar.  (4) 18.   Broken   heart   brings  you  down   to   the     ground.  (5) 20.   Stationed,  as  in  bed.  (5) 21.   More   confusion   leads   to   a   great   place     in  Wales.  (4)

Sudoku Corner... Easy

www.printfreesudokupuzzles.com

Hard

With thanks  to  M.Morris

Please see  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr  for  answers

Across: 1. Show   charting   the   best   in   fizzy     drinks?     (3,2,3,4) 7.   Take   off   one   thousand   and   one     before  the  gallery.  (7) 9.   Contract   resulting   from   urgent     appeal,    (no  pressure!).  (5) 10.   Planner’s   items   include   possible     building  plot.  (4) 11.   Greet   sir   in   order   when   he   makes     this  call.  (8) 12.   A  long   way   away   from   a   call  in  the     distance?  (3,3) 14.   Internabonal   organisabon   on     varied  diet  comes  unstuck.  (6) 17.   Waste  sites  one  is  not  happy  to  get     down  in?  (3,5) 19.   Instigate  a  thorough  inspection,  with     teeth?  (4) 22.   If   black,   carrier   could   add   to     receptive  cells.  (5) 23.   Commonly   described   as   nice     clothes,  but  badly  trashed  here.  (7) 24.   At   long   last,   the   barrel   is   empty?     (3,6,3)

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

A-Z of the Communes in the Deux-Sèvres A-Z of the Communes of the by Sue  Burgess Deux-Sèvres. LA CHAPELLE THIREUIL La  Chapelle  Thireuil  is  a  commune  of  434  inhabitants  known  as  «les   Chapellois».   There   are   26   «lieux   dits»   or   small   hamlets   on   the   commune  which   is  situated   at  between  56  and   153   metres  above   sea  level.    The  dairy  was  founded  as  a  cooperative  in  1912. The   commune  is   divided   by  two   rivers,  the   Saumort   which  flows   into  the  Autize  and  the  Broumisses,  a  tributary  of  the  river  Vendée.   Along  the  Saumort  can  be  found  several  old  water  mills  which  are  a   witness  to  the  economic  activity  (linen  and  flax)  of  by-­‐gone  days.   La  Chapelle  Thireuil  is  mentioned  in  the  documents  of  the  abbey  of     l’Absie  in   1134.  The   tower  of  St  Etienne  Church  dates  from  the  XIth   century  but  the  rest  of  the  church   dates  from   the  end  of  the  XIXth   and  XXth  century.    It  has  recently  been  restored. Saint  Macrine's  fountain  or   spring  is  situated   outside  the  church   at   the  south-­‐west   angle  of  the  façade.  Its  entrance  is  accessible  down   some   steps.  This  spring  is  certainly  the  reason  why  a   stained  glass   window   representing   Saint   Macrine   was   fitted   in   the   church   in   1870.  The  waters  of  the  spring  are  reputed  to  heal  fever.     Guichard   d’Appelvoisin,   the   powerful   lord   of   Bois   Chapeleau,   obtained  the  right  to  fortify  the  town  from  Charles  VII  in  1429.  The   fortifications   were   already   in   ruins   in   1627.  In   1879,   the   priest,   Bénoni  Drochon     described  the  ditches  of  the  fortifications  as  being   visible  all  round  the  village  from  the  chapel.   The   feudal   château   at   Bois   Chapeleau   (now   farm   buildings)   was   first  mentioned  in  1332  when  the  land  passed   from  the  lordship  of   Fontenay  to  the  Seigneury   of   Parthenay.  The  first  known   lord   was   Guillaume  d'Appelvoisin  in  1382. A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • The   church   tower   dating  from   the   XIth   century   (the   church   itself   is   much   more   recent). The   wash-­‐ house   which  gets  its  water  from   St   Macrine   Fountain.   A   wash-­‐house   existed  in  the  village  before  1824. • The  goat  at  the  dairy.

La Chapelle Thireuil Chauray

Some parts  of  the  commune  are  of  historical  interest  :     la  Maison   Dieu,  the  Croix  Hosannière,  the  bridge  of  Sunay. The   small  town  of   Châtillon  dates   from  about   the  year   1000.  The   parish   church  of   Saint   Pierre  has  been  restored   but   still   has  some   remains  dating   from   the   times   of   Charlemagne.  At   the   northern   entrance   to   Parthenay,  the   Church   of   la   Maison   Dieu   is   the   last   remaining   vestige   of   a   romanesque   Augustine   priory.   Its   architecture  and  its  wall  paintings  date  it  to  the  XIIth  century.       The   industrial   heritage  of  the  town  is  represented   by  the  Ayrault  brick   works  and  the  remains  of   the   carding  workshops  of  the  old  Rouget   mill. Nowadays  the  valley  joins  the  church  to  the  town  hall.     The  Thouet   riverbanks  are  a  pleasant  place  to  walk.   A  VOIR  /  MUST  SEE • Sunay  Bridge • The   triomphal   cross   (La   croix   hosannière) • Maison  Dieu  church  on  the  D949

CHAURAY Situated on   the   outskirts   of  Niort   and  with  its  5265  Chauraisiens,   Chauray  is  an  important  economic  area  for  Niort.  The  big  Mendes   France  shopping  area  is  situated  on  the  commune  of  Chauray  and   the  MAAF  insurance  company  headquarters  can   also   be  found  in   Chauray. Chauray  appears   for   the   first   time   in   904   in   documents   of   the   Abbey  of  Saint  Maixent,  under  the  name   of     «Vicaria   Calriacinse»,   but  the  village  was  probably  inhabited  well  before  that  date.   In   the   mid   XIXth   century,   approximately   two-­‐thirds   of   the   population   of   Chauray   were   protestants.   In   1843,   the   Catholics   were   given  their   church   back  and   the  protestants  demanded   the   construction   of   a   temple   as   their   pastor   was   obliged   to   preach   under   a  balet   (sort  of  open  hangar)   which   meant  that  it  was  often   difficult  to  hold  services  because  of  the  weather.     In  1844   the   town   council   allocated   part   of   the   protestant   cemetery   for   the   construction   of   the   temple.   The   commune   was   poor   and   so   a   special  tax  was  levied  to  help  to  pay  for  the  building.

CHÂTILLON SUR THOUET Châtillon sur   Thouet   is   a   commune   of   the  Deux-­‐Sèvres,   situated   just   outside   Parthenay.   The   commune   is   attached   to   the   Communauté   de   Communes   de   Parthenay.   There   were   2865   inhabitants   in   2010   and   there   are   just   over   2900   today.   The   inhabitants  of  Châtillon   sur   Thouet   are  known  as  les   Chatillonnais   or  Chatillonaises.

The plans  were  drawn   up   by  a  Parisian   architect   and  the  building   work   was   done   by   Bergeron   from   la   Crèche.   The   temple   was   finished  in  October   1854.  There  was  not  much  money  left  for   the   interior  so  the   proposition  that   the  old   pulpit   from  the  temple   at   Niort  be  fitted  in  Chauray  was  accepted.   The   temple   was   restored   in   1990   and   is   now   a   concert   and   exhibition  hall.  

According to  the  latest  census,  47.8%  of  the  population   are  men   and   52.2%  are  women.  22.7%   of   the   Chatillonais   are   single   and   married  couples  represent  62.6%  of  the  population.

A VOIR  /  MUST  SEE

Situated at   an   altitude  of  156   metres,  the  commune   of   Châtillon   sur  Thouet  is  crossed  by  the  river  Thouet,  the  river  Cebron  and  the   river  Palais.     Châtillon  sur  Thouet  was   a  small  town  that  was  full  of   craftsmen.   Residential   areas   have   been   added   to   make   the   commune  what  it  is  today.

• The temple • The  church  of  Saint  Pierre  dating  from  the  12th  century

More ‘A-­‐Z  of  the  Communes  of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres.’ next  month... Page 15


THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Health, Beauty & Fitness... 2013 Spring Beauty Recommendations Samantha says...

This season   is   all   about   radiant   healthy  looking  skin.   We  are   talking  bronze,  luminous   and  fresh!   Here  are   my  three  recommendations  for  Spring  Skin  2013:

Samantha recommends   Garnier   BB   cream   available  in  most  good  supermarkets.

Emma says... Why not  Spring  into  action  this  March  and  re-­‐ invent   yourself   ready   for   the   upcoming   summer  days  and  lighter  evenings. From   autumnal  shades   of  chocolates  and  reds  why  not   add  some   lighter   blondes   and   coppers   to   brighten   up   your   look..?     This   Month  has  already  proved  to  be  the  start  of  preparations  for   the   bridal  season  with  lots   of   new   up-­‐dos,  with  loose  braids  being  in   the  top  10. These  styles  can  also  be  turned  into  an  everyday  loose,  messy  style   which  is  quick  and   easy  to   do.  One  of  my  favorites  this  year   is   a   fishtail  braid  which  looks  fabulous  and  is  simple  to  create. Charente  Hair  &  Make  Up Tel:  05  45  31  56  93  /  06  50  04  37  30 www.charentehairandbridal.com

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

1. BB   cream  -­‐   This  stands  for   blemish   balm.  A  truly   fantastic  product  -­‐  not  only  do  you   use  it  as  your  daily   moisturiser,  it   also   acts  as   a   sunblock,  primer   and  a   light   foundation.    The  BB  cream  is  available  in   many  types   including   anti-­‐aging,   anti-­‐acne,   whitening   and   pore   tightening   formulas.     Just  simply  apply  all  over  your  face  for  a  radiant  looking   skin   and   if   you  have   any  areas   of   concern,   simply  pat   concealer   over  any  flaws!  2.  Bronzer  -­‐  When  using  this  product   it  should  never  be  more  than   two   shades  deeper   than  your  natural   skin   tone.  Used  in  the  right   way  this   can   create  a  beautiful  sun  kissed  look.  Gently   dust  over   your  cheeks,  forehead  and  nose  to  give  that  radiant  holiday  glow.  3.  Blusher  -­‐  Pink  blusher  is  brilliant  to  create  that  beautiful   bright   looking   skin.   Where   you   have   applied   your   bronzer   onto   your   cheek   bones  just   sweep   a   small   amount   of   blusher   just   on   the   apples  of  your  cheeks  to  create  a  beautiful  healthy  glow.

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

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Our Furry Friends... CATLOVERS TAKE ACTION

Here's a  riddle  you  won't  have  found  in  your  Christmas  cracker: Q:  What  has  a  heart  of  gold,  86  legs  and  50  dorsal  fins? A:   Linda  Budd,   resident   of  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  -­‐  owner   of   fourteen   cats,   twelve   bantam   chickens,   fifty   fish   and   a   hamster   called   'Rhino'! Linda   aka   'Weebs'   -­‐   is   the   one-­‐woman   whirlwind   behind   a   fundraising   campaign   which   has   featured   on   the   ex-­‐pat   website   AngloInfo   and   has   probably   saved   countless   feral   cats   from   starvation. Her   story   began   after   she   visited   her   elderly   friends,  Carole   and   Stephen,  and  noticed  the  large  number  of  cats  and  kittens  that  were   around   the  property.  The  kind-­‐hearted  pensioners  had   'inherited'   a   feral  cat  and   two  kittens  when  the  neighbours  moved.  They  started   feeding  the  little  family.    However,  the  cats  bred,  and  they  were  now   struggling  to  feed  the  descendents  of  the  original  family  -­‐  numbering   22  cats  and  kittens. Carole   and   Stephen  made   sacrifices   in   order   to   feed  the   cats,  even   though   they  are  themselves   disabled,  such   as   not   putting   on   their   central   heating   in   order   to   eke   out   their   state   pensions.   But   the   prospect  of  an  ever  increasing  number  of  feline  visitors  was  despairing. Linda  was  determined  to  help  and  began  a  campaign  publicised  on    an   online   discussion   forum   asking   people   to   donate   any   surplus   cat   contraceptives,   having  got   the  idea  after   she  had  seen  a  posting  from   Jacky   Rolls   aka   'Pantoufle'   giving   away   her   medication   when   her   beloved  little  Dog  'Kia'  had  died.  Then  she  started  receiving  donations   from  cat  lovers  to  help  raise  enough  money  to  sterilise  all  the  cats. Linda  had  a  wonderful  response  from  kind   hearted   people  all   over   France,  and   enough  was  raised  to  sterilise  four  cats.    The  vet  offered   to  perform  the  operations  at  a  reduced  rate  if  the  cats  were  brought   in  in  groups.  Another  three  cats  went  in  in  December  and  at   the  time   of   writing  there   are  5   booked   in   and   a  further   five   to   go.     Linda   herself  adopted  one  (to   add  to  the  thirteen  cats   she  already  owns)   and  another  pair  have  been  re-­‐homed  after  being  hand  reared. The   fundraising   continues   and   has   been   further   boosted   with   a   donation   from   the   Hope  Association   of   150€   -­‐  but   there   are  only   sufficient  funds  left  to  treat  five  more  cats.     Unless  enough   is  raised   to  operate  on  all  the  cats  by  the  spring,  the  breeding  cycle  is  going  to   start  again  and  everybody's  efforts  will  have  been  in  vain. Carole   is   making   soft   cat   toys   to   sell   and   Linda   has   auctioned   furniture  to  add   to  the  fund  -­‐  but  more  money  is  needed.    Linda  still   needs  to  raise  400  euros  for  the  remaining  cats. If   you  are  able   to   help,   please   make  cheques   payable  to   'SCP   de   Veterinaire   du   Val   d'or'   and   send   via   Linda   Budd,   7   Rue   de   la   Garenne,  Douron,  79600  St.  Jouin  de  Marnes. It  is   amazing  to  think  that   Linda  actually  used  to  be  allergic   to  cats,   but   since   moving   to   France   eleven   years   ago   her   allergies   have   disappeared.    It  was  meant  to  be... Follow  the  story  on  Anglo  Info  under  'Left  over  cat  contraceptives..'.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

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

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

Registered charity to help abused and abandoned animals in France. www.phoenixasso.com www.facebook.com/PhoenixAssociationFrance     Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 (NALA 85480). Tel: 07  70  31  54  59  ~  

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

Equine Rescue France

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

Please contact Equine Rescue France via their website www.equinerescuefrance.org HOOF (Horse Orientated Open Forum)

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

email: willjo@live.co.uk.

Horse For Sale Beautiful riding horse and companion. In good health but for sale due to retirement. 500€

6 x Tourterelles / White Doves Free to a Good Home Can deliver 10 miles radius of La Chataigneraie or L’Absie. Tel: 05 49 63 01 18 email: parrish126@aol.com

Family with   garden   needed   for  little  abandoned  kitten...

Contact Monsieur Gerard Connoue on 06 Based, Cerizay 79140

89 21 55 50

Julie and  Jim  need  a  new  French  home.   I  have  had  to  go  back  to  England  to  work  and  I  can't  take   them  with  me.    They  are  5  years  old,  have  been  neutered,   chipped  and  had  a  rabies  jab.  Very  clean,  quiet  and   affectionate.    They  are  used  to  a  rural  location.    If  you  can   help  please  call  on  0044  1223301179  or  0044   7788678973.  Email  -­‐  jewelleryjohn_1@hotmail.com.

Now sterilised,  this  little  female   kitten   is   between   7-­‐8   months   old   and   a   bundle   of   energy.   She   has   now   learned   to   play   and   cannot   stop!   Currently   living   in   Vernoux-­‐en-­‐Gatine   until   a   forever   home   can   be   found.   If  you  can  help,  please  email:  franklin3@aliceadsl.fr

PETER is   a  kind  Labrador   /  Griffin,  male   and   5   years   old.     He   makes   a   very   nice   pet.     Refuge  SPA  de  SAINTES route  des  GAUTHIERS,   17100  SAINTES Tel:  05  46  93  47  65  ~  www.spa.de.saintes.free.fr/

We must   quickly   find   a   family   for   this   super  Dog. Our   refuge   is   open   every   day,   even   on   Sundays.  14h00  to  18h00 Tel:  05  46  93  47  65    or  06  98  38  97  98

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Animal Communicator Here to Meet You and Your Animal Friends A lot   of   us   have  a  special   bond   with   our   animal   friends   and   believe   they   understand   and   know   us,   but   wouldn’t   it  be  great  if  we  could  know   what   they   have  to   tell   us?     To   help   them   through   traumas   and   health   issues,   or   just   to   make   that   bond   deeper. Renowned   Animal   Communicator   Madeleine with her dogs. and   Author,   Madeleine   Walker,   is   coming  to  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  in  June  to   hold  a  2-­‐day  Animal  Communication  Workshop  and  will  also   be   taking  bookings  for  1-­‐2-­‐1’s  with  your  animals. The   workshop  will   help  you  learn  how  to  expand  your  intuitive   abilities,  working  with  healing  energy  that   can  be  used  to  help   the  animals  around  you. Madeleine’s  1-­‐2-­‐1  personal  readings  with  your  animals  give  you   the  opportunity  to  find  out  more  about  their  feelings  and  needs   and  can  help  greatly  with  behavioural  and  health  issues. To  read   more  about  about  Madeleine  and  her  work,  have  a  look   at  her  website  www.madeleine-­‐walker.com. For  more  information  or  to  book  a   place   on   the  workshop  or   1-­‐2-­‐1  readings,  contact  Hazel   Foster  on   05  49  80  12  47  or  email     hazefoster@hotmail.com

APPEAL Meet Eris,  an  Anglo-­‐cross.  She  is   3-­‐4   months   old,   vaccinated,   chipped   and   wormed   and   a  real   live  wire. Her   present   owner   rescued   her   and  her   sister  from  certain  death   but   can   only   cope   with   one   puppy  due  to   poor   health.   If  you   can   give   Eris   a   forever   home,   please  contact   Charlee  on  email:   mixedupmadam@sfr.fr.  

ERIS

A donation  will  be  asked  for.   Hope  Association   has  lots   of   dogs   and  cats  looking  for   adoption/ fo s t e r   h o m e s   p l e a s e   t a ke   a   l o o k   a t   o u r   w e b s i t e   www.hopeassoc.org  if  you  can  help.

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

The Great Outdoors...

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY So far  we   have   been  very  fortunate  not  to  be  affected  by  a  dreadful   disease  called   Schmallenberg.   This   produces   deformed   lambs  that   have  extra   legs  or   even   two  heads.     The  lambs  are  generally  born   dead  but   it  can   also   cause   major   problems  for   the  ewe  when  she   tries  to   deliver   a   lamb   that   is   not   the  right   shape   or   in   the   right   position.   We   know   already   the   difficulties   when   a   ewe   tries   to   deliver  a  lamb  that  is  not  presented  in  the  classic  superman  pose.  

Life on the Farm...

by Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.

February is  proving  to  be  a  busy  month  with  the  safe  arrival  of  lots  of   lovely   lambs.   Some   a   little   earlier   than   expected   but   always   a   welcome  surprise.     When  Beavis  the  ram  was  put  in  with  the  ewes   back  in  September  we  put  a  ‘raddle’  or  harness  on  him  which  has   a   crayon  on   his  chest   so  we  know  when  the   girls  have  been  marked   and   therefore   have   been   mated.     Every  15   days   we   change   the   colour  on  the  crayon   so  we  know  if  the   girls  have  been  mated  again   and  we  can  work  out  the  due  date  (or  that  is  the  plan). Jenny  had   to   return   to   the   UK   for   a   few   days   and   the   trip   was   planned  between  the  due  dates  of  the  lambs.  Thankfully  she  made  it   back  in  time  as  Twix  lambed  two  days  early. When  I  collected  Jen   from  the  airport  it  meant  leaving  the  farm  and   Wallis  (the  new  puppy)  for  a  few  hours,  which  for  Wallis  meant  a  few   hours  of  mischief!    Somehow  she  managed  to  unzip  one  of  the  bean   bags  that  the  dogs   sleep  on  and  distribute   its  contents  all   over   the   floor  of  the  utility  room  and  ate  a  few  for  good  measure!

The piglets  are  all  doing  so  well  and  already  have  new  homes  to  go   to.  In   March  ‘Nom  Nom’,  a  GOS  sow,  is  due  to  farrow  with   her  first   litter.     So,  all   being  well,  we  will  have  some  more  piglets   for  sale  in   May.

Over the  last   month  she  has  also  managed   to  chew  our   computer   wire,   my  wallet   (which   as   usual   was  empty)  and   steal  a   turkey  leg   that  was  defrosting  on  the  sink.    We  love  her  to  bits  but  she  can  be  a   little  devil!

And lastly,  we  were   given   a   ginger   beer   “plant”   or   starter   culture   from   some  friends  recently  which  we  fed  each  day,  and  then   added   the   rest   of   the   ingredients   to   make   some   delicious   home   made   ginger  beer  as  directed     -­‐   the  only  problem   was  it  was  rather  fizzy   and  when  I  went  to  open  a  bottle  it  exploded  all  over  the  kitchen!  

When we   first   started  raising  our   own  food  we   didn’t   really   know   where  to  start  or  what  we  wanted.     We  knew  that  we  wanted  to  cut   our  food  bill,  know  where  our  food  came  from,  what   it  lived  on  and   that  it   had  a  good  life  and  we  certainly  knew  what  we  didn’t  want  in   our   food   -­‐   antibiotics,   added   hormones,   chemicals,   growth   promoters,   pesticides   or   meat   pumped   full   of   water.   We   have   already  experienced  increased  interest  in  the  meat  we  have  available   since   the   horse  meat   scare.     We   sell   our   meat   straight   from   the   abattoir   where   it   is   checked   and  approved   by  a  vet   to  ensure  it   is   exactly  what  it  should  be.

Perhaps we  shall  stick  with  the  Sloe  gin  -­‐  we  are  now  trying  the  batch   we  made  last  year  -­‐  very  strong  but  rather  nice   Hope  you  are  enjoying  the  drier  weather  and   perhaps  it’s  the  end  of   the  rain  and  the  start  of  spring... See  you  next  month  for  more  Life  on  the  farm. Peter  &  Jenny  Sebborn.  Breeders  of  pigs,  lambs  and  poultry.   La  Gauteliere,  79220,  Pamplie.    Tel:  05  49  28  38  57.

We looked  at  the  cost  of  quality  meat  from  the  supermarket    and  we   could  not  afford  to  buy  it  at  those  prices.    We  worked   out  that    we   could  raise  our  own  for   much  less  and  have  the  benefit  of  no  food   miles,  no  nasties  and  get   the  best  meat  for  the  best  price,  so  we  gave   it  a  go.   A  lot  of  people  are  very  apprehensive  about   taking  those  first  steps   to  living  the  good  life  and  producing  their  own  food.  We  were  exactly   the  same   but   have   no   regrets.     That   is  why   when   someone  buys   livestock  for  the  first  time,  we  guide  and  help  them  as   much  as  we   can,  every  step  of  the  way.     For   those  of  you  that  don’t  have  the  time   or  the  space  for  raising  your   own  animals,  but  would  still  like  to   be   involved  in  raising  your  own  meat  we  can  offer   to  raise  them  on  your   behalf.    Give  us  a  call  for  more  details. We  have  decided   that   Cobe  (Texies  lamb)  is  one   to   keep   for   next   years  breeding  stock.     At  5  weeks  old  she  is  already  a  whopping  20   kilos.     Her  mum  is  a  Texel  and   her  dad   is  a  Suffolk,  so  between  them   they  have  produced  an  absolutely  stunning  lamb.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

THE AMATEUR GARDENER

by Vanda Lawrence

As I  write  this  in  mid-­‐February  we   are   having   a  rare  (so   far)  sunny   day,   but   the   catkins   are   showing  in   the   hedgerows   and   we   have   snowdrops  blooming  in  the  garden.    It's  a  start! I  expect  all  you  vegetable  gardeners  will  already  have  started  digging   over   the   plot   and   maybe  covering  the  soil   with  plastic   sheeting  to   warm  it  up  a  bit  ready  for   planting  seeds   in  due  course.     Your  early   potatoes  can  be  planted  now  but  main  crop  don't  go  in  for  another   month  or  so.     Rows  should  be   2ft  apart  for   earlies  and  about  30"   apart  for  main  crop. If  you've  been  cutting  back  trees  and  shrubs   and   had  a  bonfire  it's   worth   digging   the   ash   into   the   soil   or   adding  it   to   your   compost   heap.    Ash  from  untreated  wood  has  a  slight  liming  action  on  the  soil   and  is  useful  for  vegetable  gardens  but  wood  which  has  been  treated   with  preservatives  is  to  be  avoided.    Rhododendrons  and  Azaleas  like   acid  soil  so  wood   ash  is  no  good  for   them,  nor   for   fruits  which  also   perform  best   in  an  acid  soil.     Ash  from  a  coal  fire  is  no  good  at  all  for   the  soil  but  is  excellent  when  used  as  a  slug  and  snail  barrier. On   the   other   hand,  if   you   keep  chickens  slugs   and   snails  will   not   worry  you.     Chickens  eat   many  garden  pests:  slugs,  snails,  woodlice,   leatherjackets,   caterpillars,   beetles,   ants   &   their   eggs.     If   your   chickens  don't  have   the  freedom  of  the  whole  garden  it's  still   good   to   let  them  out  to  range  freely  for  about   an  hour   before  dusk  each   day  -­‐   gives  them  the   chance  to  have  a  clear   up   of  all   these  pests.     Chicken's   droppings   make   great   fertilizer   too   -­‐   just   add   to   your   compost  heap  as  an  activator.     Anyone  planning  a  conifer  hedge  should  be  getting  down  to  it  now.     Chamaecyparis  lawsoniana  plants  are  suitable  for  a  hedge  5'-­‐6'  tall.     Space  the  conifers  2'  apart.    Keep  well  watered  for   the  first  two  years   until   the  roots  are  well   established,   then  as   the  hedge  grows   trim   twice  a  year  to  keep  tidy  and   under  control.    Don't   forget,  if  planting   on  a  shared   boundary,  to  plant  the  conifers  1  metre  in  from  your   boundary   line   to   give   you   access   to   the   back   of   the   hedge   for   trimming  and  to  avoid  encroaching  on  your  neighbour's  land. Bulbs   and   Dahlia   tubers   are   available   in   the   supermarkets   and   garden  centres  now  so  get  them  planted  on  a  nice  sunny  afternoon.     If  the  Dahlia  foliage  is  produced  before  risk  of  frost  is  over   you  can   protect  them  by  mulching  or  with  a  cloche.    Sweet  Peas  can  be  sown   directly  into  their  flowering  positions  now  ready  for  a  lovely  fragrant   display  and  cut  flowers  for  your  vase.     Cosmos  seeds  can  be  sown  in   pots  now.     Pinch  out   the  tips  after  a  month   and   then  plant   in   the   garden  at  the  end  of  April.    Stake  the  plants  as  they  grow  tall  enough   and   dead-­‐head   regularly  and   you   will   have   flowers  until   the   first   frosts.     Having  mentioned  chickens  earlier  I'll   finish  with  a  tale  to   make  you   smile  -­‐  some  friends  of  ours  have  always  kept  chickens   since   they  moved   to   France  and   each   day  used   to   give  them  the  vegetable  peelings  from   the  kitchen.     One   day   they  were   bottling   their   first   attempt   at   Strawberry  Eau   de  Vie  and  after   they  strained  the   strawberries  out   of  the  liquid   automatically  took  it   out   to   the  chickens  for  a  treat.    Later  that  day  they   went   outside   to   find   Banjo,   their   beautiful   cockrel   and  my   particular  favourite,  lying  on  his  back   with   his  legs   in   the  air!     Whatever   has   happened?     They  then   realised   that   Banjo   had   had   more   than   his  fair   share  of   the   strawberries   and   was   drunk!    They  propped  him  up  on  his  perch  in   the   chicken  run  and  by  next   morning  he   was  fine  but   they   never   gave   the  chickens  any  more  of  their   eau   de  vie  makings!!     Keep smiling ..... Above: Banjo

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French Life, Food & Drink... French Village Diaries by Jacqueline  Brown. I   am   passionate   about   food   and   since   moving   to   France   and   starting   to   grow   our   own,  I   have   become  very  concerned   with   how   the  food   we  eat   is   produced.  The   recent   horse   meat   scandal   has   highlighted   to  me   how   important   it   is   to  buy  locally  and   if  possible   from  the  producer.

I have   no   problem   with   eating   horse   meat   or   any   other   well   reared   meat   however,   if   something  has  been  so  processed  it  is  difficult  to  tell  what   animal   it  originated   from,  it  is  not   something  I   am  willing   to  serve  to  my   family.   We  are   lucky  to   live  in  a  rural   area  where  food   production   is   an   important  industry.    Many  of  us  moving  here  have  more  land  than   we  did  in  the  UK  and   our   gardens   often  come  with  fruit  trees  and   vegetable  plots  and  space  to  add  a  few  chickens  or   ducks  too.     For   me,   it  was  seeing  the  seasonal   cycles   of  the  food   growing  in  our   orchard,  the  beauty  of  the  blossoms  and  ripe  fruit  that   made  me   realise  I  needed   to   step   up   my  kitchen   skills  so  I  didn’t   waste  my   produce.    Also  it  was  seeing  the   difference  between  the  life  of  my   chickens  who  spend   their   days  in   the  orchard,  compared   to  those   in   huge   hangers   who  never   see  daylight   that   stopped   me   buying   cheap  chicken   overnight.    We  now   eat   less  meat,   but   it  is  better   quality.     Most  villages  have  farmers  and  smallholders  so  even  if  you   don’t  grow  or   raise  your  own  you  may  not  have  to  go  even  as  far   as  your  local  supermarket  to  find  someone  who  does  and  is  willing   to  sell  to  you. Buying  locally  has  many  advantages  and  not  just  knowing  what  we   are   buying   and   where   it   has   come   from.   It   also   means   less   resources   have   been   used   to   get   the  food   onto   our   plates   thus   reducing   the   carbon   footprint,   as   well   as   ensuring   live   animals   haven’t   been   transported   on   excessively  long  journeys  to   get   to   abattoirs.  The  money  we  spend   is  also  going  directly  back  into  the   local  economy.     We   have   just   gone   the   whole   hog   –   or   half   of   it   anyway   and   ordered   a  half   pig  from  a  friend.  At   the  moment   I  can   see   him   running  around  and  even  pop  over  and   scratch  his  chin  if  I  wish.  I   will  be  there  when  the  butcher  arrives  so   I  can  decide  how  thick  or   thin  I  want  my  chops  and  what  size  I  want  him  to  roll  my  joints  to!     I   will   also   mince   the   cuts   that   often   become   sausages  so   I  can   make  and  freeze  meatballs.   I  appreciate  we   are  only  a  family  of  three  and  I  don’t  have  to  fit   a   full-­‐time   job   around   looking   after   the  family,  but   I  firmly  believe   nothing  can  be   as  important   as  the  quality  of  the  food  we   eat.  In   my  opinion,  a  bit   of   time   and   money  invested  in   buying   in   bulk   and   making   batches   of   food   to   be   frozen   in   individual   portions   has   to   be   better   than  a  ready  meal. You  can  read  more  from  Jacqui  and  find  her  favourite  recipes   at  www.frenchvillagediaries.com.

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Why you should always drink on an empty stomach.

by John  Sherwin.

As Sartre  once  said  ‘hell  is  other  people’.  Other  people   don’t  understand.  They  don’t   feel  your   pain.  Empathy   for  them  is   a  withered  peninsula  sundered  by  tides  of   cynicism  from  the  continent  of  their   indifference.  You   got   out   of   bed   and   stubbed   your   toe,   cut   yourself   shaving,  discovered   no   milk  not  to   mention  no  coffee,   unfortunate   evidence   of   fosse   septique   backing   up,   your  dog  kills  neighbour’s  cat.  Hail  storm.  No-­‐one  cares. But  of  course  nothing  is  as  bad  as  it  seems.  Time  and  the  hour  have  a   habit   of   rattling   on   and   what   seemed   relentless   doom-­‐and-­‐gloom   morphs,   as  a  glorious  sunset,  into  the  cocktail  hour,   or   happy  hour,   or  aperitif.  These  are  very  different  animals.  The  cocktail  hour  in   the   late  40’s  to  late  50’s  in   the  USA  started   around   noon,  had  a  lull  mid-­‐ afternoon,  and   reconvened  around  five  or  six.  The  happy  hour  is  the   modern  version  of  this  reconvening  and  is  not  exactly  genteel.  In   the   language  of  modern  warfare,  the  idea  seems   to   be   to   make  a  pre-­‐ emptive  strike  on  the  parts  of  the  brain  which  register  taste  so  that   whatever  food  that  follows  is  not  a  sampling  of  delights  but  a  simple   gut-­‐filling,  booze-­‐sponging  exercise. So  thank  goodness  for   the  aperitif,  or,  if  you’ll   allow,  ze  apéritif.  The   word  itself  comes  from  the  Latin  aperire,  ‘to   open’,  but  is  -­‐  or  should   be  -­‐  much  more  than  an  opening  event.  First  and   foremost  it  comes   as  a  buffer  between  the  harshness  of  the  day  and  what  one  hopes  to   be  the  douceur  of  the  evening:  conviviality  with  friends  and  family.  In   this  way  it  ‘opens’  our  senses,  puts  a  benign  smile  on  our  face,  allows   a  few  moments  of  quiet  contemplation  even  as  our  dear  ones   mill   around. But  perhaps  the  most  important  function  of  the  apéritif  is  to  titillate   our   senses,  particularly  taste,  to  make   our  brain  send  happy-­‐signals   to   our   salivary  glands   and   our   stomach.  So,   an   apéritif   shouldn’t   smother   or  cloy,  it  should  challenge  in  the  way  that   the   most  well-­‐ meaning  of  dear  friends  can  have  acerbic  edges.   Smotherers  are  pastis,  whiskey,  any  strong  grain  alcohol.  Cloyers  are   port,  sweet  cocktails,  particularly  with  creamy  elements.    Any  of   the   above   will   destroy   your   tastebuds   for   what’s   to   come.   The   challengers   on   the  other  hand   ride  to  the  rescue  with   the  lance  of   bitterness.   The  quintessential   apéro  (we  are  now  on  familiar  terms)  is  the  dry   martini:  2/3   gin,  1/3  French   vermouth,  with  orange  bitters  and  an   olive.  Note   French   vermouth,  much  drier  than  Italian.     The  gin  and   bitters   give   the   edge,  the   olive   a  hint   of   salt.     Simpler  and  lighter  would  be  a  gin   and  tonic,  or  a  brut  champagne,  or   a   fino   sherry.   Campari   has   always   had   a  mixed   press,   I  think,  but   with   soda  and  a  slice  of  orange  this  is  easily   the  equal  of  the  dry  martini. Most   important,   go   short   and   bitter.   Next   month  I  promise  short  and  sweet   with  a  look  at   digestifs.

John Sherwin, French Wine Tours. Tel: 02 51 66 14 85 Email: johnsherwin@orange.fr www.french-wine-tours.com

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Short editorials  can  be  offered  to  advertisers,   free  of  charge. Please  call  Sarah  to  find  out  more. Tel:  05  49  70  26  21

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

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

French Adventures...

The Icing On The Cake If you  meet   Tracy  Latchford,   you  will   remember   one  thing  about   her  –  a  beaming  smile!    I  have  known  her  for  10  years  ,  and  it  is  rare   that  you  see  her  without  her  trademark  smile  on  her  face. She  moved  to  her  new  home  outside   Argenton-­‐les-­‐Vallées  and  her   family  were  the  only  British   in  the  area.     It  is  hard  to  imagine  now,   but   she   faced   the   daunting  task   of   setting   up   home,   running   a   business   plus   putting   her   son   into   school   where   no   English   was   spoken. Their   new  home,  while  not  a  restoration  project,   presented  a  few   difficulties  in  the  colder  months.  Poor   insulation,  ill-­‐fitting  doors,   a   draughty   cellar   and   a   grumpy   central   heating   boiler   found   the   Latchfords  shivering  their   way   through   the  cold   months   of   their   first  winter. Tracy  decided  that   the  only  way  to  make  a  success  of  her  new   life   was   to   put   her   best   foot   forward,   so   she   soon   set   about   the   challenge  of  integrating  into  her  new   life  in  France.    She   wrote  role   plays  when   going  out   to  speak  French  –  it   was  up  to  her   to  bridge   the   language   gap   in   any   way   she   could.   Her   first   contacts   were   through   a   small   drinks   evening   she   organised   for   her   near   neighbours  and   then,  treading  more  difficult   ground,   speaking  to   the  parents  at  the  school  gates. Despite   the   limited   French   she   spoke,  she   slowly  won   over   the   cautious  and  curious,  making  friends  wherever  she  went.    Although   she   has   adopted   a   positive   attitude,   she   admits   to   the   usual   frustrations  we  all  experience  with  French  bureaucracy.     Husband,   Steve,  set   up  as   an  artisan,  which  presented   many   obstacles,  but   chipping  away  at  the  endless  paperwork  finally  paid  off. There  were  low  times  towards  the  end  of  their  second  year  too. Returning   from   a   skiing   holiday   in   the   French   Alps,   they   found   everything  in   seasonal   “lock   down”.  The   family  found   it   hard   to   adjust  to  quiet  days,  evenings  and  weekends  at  home  –  the  meagre   offer  of   entertainment   of   the  summer  months  literally  disappeared   and  they  were  left  week  after  week  to  entertain  themselves.     They   considered   a  move   to   the   Alps   where   winter   was   as   vibrant   as   summer.   However,   this  moment   soon   passed   when   Spring   came   around  once  more. Tracy   decided   to  join   the  Association   Parents-­‐Élèves   (APE)   at   her   son’s   school   and   was   soon   pioneering  new   ideas   to   raise   funds.     The  annual   Marché  de  Printemps  had   little  or  nothing  for   children   to  enjoy,  so  she  suggested  a  “squash   and  fairy  cakes”  stand  which   was  an  instant  success,  along  with   a   treasure  hunt  game  to  amuse   the  youngsters  while  parents   browsed  the  other   stalls.    Her   coup   d’état   came  in  the  form  of  turning  the   annual  dinner-­‐dance  into   a   themed  night,  where   Country  ‘n  Western  and  80′s  Nights  saw  her   in   charge   of   decorating   the   hall   to   the   effusive   approval   of   the   French  parents.

Her role   as   mother,   home   maker   and   collaboratrice   for   Steve’s   business  lasted  for  seven  years,  at  which  time  she  started  to  trawl   around   for   a  new  challenge.     She   could   speak   French,  her   home   was   well   on   its   way   to   being   just   the   way   she   wanted   it,   the   business  was  established  and  the  boys  were  settled  in  school. So,  what  new  challenges  lay  ahead? Her   infamous  “bake-­‐offs”   making  literally  hundreds  of   fairy  cakes,   set  her  mind  into  action... Nudged  on  by  friends,  she  did   battle  for  the  second  time  with  the   local   Chambre   de   Commerce   at   Bressuire   to   register   as   an   Auto   Entrepreneur.     She   spent   a   fruitless   fourteen   months   trying   to   register  her  cupcake  and   baking  business  with   them,  all  to   no  avail.   Undeterred,   she   turned   to   the   CCI   at   Niort,   who   were   more   receptive  to  her  creative  approach. Once  again  she  triumphed  over   “the  system”  and  Tasty  Treats  was   launched  in  September  2012. She   sells   a   stunning   array   of   cupcakes,   cookies   and   larger   cakes   in   Thouars   market   on   Friday  mornings.     She   proudly   boasts  that   the  majority  of  her   clients   are   French   and   she   is   building  up  a  steady  stream  of   regular  clients. Left: A stand of ‘Tasty Treats’ at Thouars market.

She admits   that   there  is   a   long   way   yet   to   go,   and   she   is   researching   new  avenues  to  sell   her   baking   goods,   which   look   promising.     As   to   the   future   –   what   does  it   hold  for   this   new   baker  on   the  block?     “Maybe  a   Salon  de  Thé“  she  muses. Tracy   is   constantly   reviewing   Above: Tracy in her kitchen h e r   f a m i l y ’s   g o a l s   a n d   aspirations,  and   she  openly  and  actively   considers   every  option.     Her   advice   for   making   a   go   of   life   in   France?    “Learn  the  language  and  put  yourself  out  there”. It  worked  for  Tracy  and  her  family,  so  it  can  work  for  you  too! Contact  Tracy  at  www.tastytreats.fr

Tracy feels  that  the  high  point  for  the  family  came  five  years  after   moving  over   –   all  the  people   she  had   painstakingly   spoken  to   had   suddenly  become  closer,  and   now  the  family  were   being   entertained  in  the  homes  of  their  new  group  of  good  friends. Tracy  had  her   second   child  Sam  in  France  and  has  nothing  but   praise   for   the   French   health   system   –   she   noted   that   babies   were   “born   to   order   during   business   hours,   and   not   on   weekends”,  as  babies  in  France  are  routinely  induced  if  they  do  not   oblige  this  rule  which  may  not  suit  all  prospective  parents! Wri<en  by  Helen  Aurelius-­‐Haddock. h<p://haddockinthekitchen.wordpress.com

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THE DEUX-SÉVRES MONTHLY

Motoring... HAPPY CENTENARY ASTON!

by Helen  Tait-­‐Wright

Aston Martin.     The   name  is   iconic,  the  cars  renowned   worldwide,   and  2013  is  their  centenary  year. Way  back  in  1913,   when   automotive  technology   was  in   its  infancy,   Robert   Bamford  and   Lionel   Martin   founded  “Bamford   and   Martin   Ltd”  in  London.  Martin  competed  in  hillclimbs  in  modified   cars,  and   following   a  win   at   the   Aston   Hill   Climb   in   Buckinghamshire,   they   decided  to  build  their  own  vehicles  and  call   them  “Aston   Martin”  in   its  honour. The  first   car  appeared  in  March   1915,  but  WW1  prevented  further   production.   Post   war,   a   new   car   was   designed,   and   although   Bamford  left  the  company  in  1920,  his  patronage  was  taken  over  by   Count  Louis  Zborowski,  another  racing  driver.  Cars  were  produced  to   compete  in  the  French  Grand  Prix  in  1922,  and  went  on   to  set  world   speed   and   endurance   records   at   Brooklands.   Financial   problems   plagued  the  company  over   the  next  decade  with  the  business  forced   to  close   in  1925  only  to  be  rescued  by  a  group  of   investors  in  1926,   forming  'Aston  Martin  Motors  Ltd'. The  business  was  soon  on  a  sound  footing,  with  a  competitive  range   of   sports   cars   and   an   increasing   reputation   for   engineering   and   design.  This  led  to  the   first  entry  of  an   Aston  Martin  at  Le   Mans  in   1928.    They  went  on  to  win  their  class  there  in  1933,  and  the  road   car  side  of  the  business  went   from  strength  to  strength.  In  1936  they   decided   to   concentrate  on   road  car   production,  but   WW2   halted   work. In   1947  English  industrialist  David  Brown  bought   the   business  and   expanded   it.   He   acquired   the   Lagonda   marque   and   moved   the   production  to  Newport  Pagnall  in  1954.  The  end   of  the  50’s  saw  the   company   enjoying   success,   winning   the   World   Sports   car   Championship  in  1959,  and  winning  acclaim  with  the  DB4  road  car. It’s   1963.   One   of   the   most   iconic   Aston’s   ever   is   born;  the   DB5.     Shooting  to  cult   status  as  James  Bond’s  car   in  “Goldfinger”,  the  car  is   still   revered  and  instantly  recognisable   today.     The  “DB”  series  cars   continued   through  the  60’s,  but  by   1972   the   firm’s  ownership  had   changed  again  after  further   difficulties,  and  despite  modernising  the   range,  introducing  the  V8  and  relaunching  the  Lagonda  marque,  the   difficulties  continued  through  the  70’s  and  into  the  80‘s.

Photo:emwgradstudent.files.wordpress.com

Under another   new   owner,   Aston   Martin   was   granted   a   Royal   Warrant   of   Appointment   by   the   Prince   of   Wales   in   1982.   The   company   holds   the   warrant   to   this   day.     They   also   created   an   engineering   service   subsidiary   “Tickford”   to   develop   automotive   products   for   other   companies.   1987   saw   a   further   ownership   development  with  the  Ford  Motor   Company  acquiring  a  75%  stake   and   with   the   introduction   of   the   Virage   in   1988,   the   company   moved  confidently  into  the  90’s  and  returned  to  the  track.   The  DB  name  reappeared  with  the  popular  DB7,  and  by  2001,  5000   had  been  built.  The  new  Millennium  saw  the  arrival  of  the  Vanquish,   new   headquarters   in   Gaydon,   and   the   DB9,   but   in   2006   Ford   announced  their  decision  to  sell.   Luckily   for   us   all,   Pro-­‐drive   Chairman   Dave   Richards   formed   a   consortium  to   buy   the  company,  and   Aston   lives  to   fight   another   day!   With   a  strong   and   ever   growing   product   range,   a   fabulous   Super-­‐car  in  the  One-­‐77  and  the  most  beautiful  cars  in  the  world,  we   can   only  hope  that   Aston   are  now   in   good   shape   to   continue   for   another  100  years!      Bon Anniversaire! 

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

4L TROPHY –

MCS RACING

The 4L  Trophy  Desert  Adventure  started  from  Futuroscope,  Poitiers   at   12h55   on   Thursday   14th   February,   in   the   pouring   rain   after   scrutineering,  equipment   and   health   checks   had   taken   place   on   Wednesday.     We   were  given  10  kilos  of  food   for   the   French   Red   Cross   and   also   50   kilos   of   school   equipment   for   the   young   Moroccan   children.     After   a   long   1600km   drive   to   Gibraltar   we   arrived  at   20h20  on  Friday  15th   and   were   given  our   Road  Book...   we  were  the  20th  to  arrive  out  of  847  4L’s! We  only  encountered  one  mechanical  problem,  which  I  was  able  to   talk  through  with  my  Dad  at  3am  Friday  morning(!)  and  we  sorted   it   out   very  quickly.       We   met   up   with   the   other   600  competitors   who  had   left   from   St   Jean   du   Luz  the  same   day,  and   decided  to   book  into  a  hotel  for  the  night  to  have  a  good   night’s  sleep  rather   than  camping  in  a  field  with  the  others. On   Saturday   16th   at   13h30   we   had   a   briefing   about   what   lies   ahead,   then   we   were   divided   into   4   groups   ready   for   the   ferry   crossing.     Two   groups  left   Saturday  evening  and   we  left   with   the   other  groups  at  4am  Sunday  morning.    We  arrived  in  Morocco   at   8h30  and  started   the  500km  drive  to   the  next  destination,  at  which   we  arrived  at  18h  very  tired  and   hungry.    The  roads  are  wonderful   except   for   the   drivers!   We   have   another   early  start   tomorrow  -­‐   6am  to  drive  280kms  through  the  desert.... Part  2  of  this  adventure  will  be  written  for  the  next  article. Keenan  Dominey  ~  Email:  mcs-­‐racing@sfr.fr

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Communications... Protecting Your Information All about  Phishing

by Ross  Hendry

Recently some  40,000  EDF  customers  have  received  a  bogus  email,   the  email  offers  a  refund  if   the  recipient  clicks  on  a  hyperlink  in   the   email   and  completes   a   questionnaire   with  their   banking  details.     I   believe  that  this  scam  is  also  being  sent  via  text  message  and  voice   message.   The   aim   of   the   scammers   is   simply   to   learn   personal   information  that   will   permit   them   to   empty  (or   at   least   use)  your   bank  account  and  perhaps  to  create  a  new  account  and  order  goods   using  your  name  and  details. Wikipedia  describes   Phishing  as  -­‐  "Phishing    is  the  act  of  attempting   to  acquire  information   such   as   usernames,     passwords,   and  credit   card  details  (and  sometimes,  indirectly,  money)  by  masquerading  as   a   trustworthy   entity   in   an   electronic   communication.   Communications   purporting   to   be   from   popular   social   websites,   auction   sites,   online   payment   processors   or   IT   administrators   are   commonly  used  to  lure  the  unsuspecting  public.  Phishing   emails  may   contain  links  to  websites  that  are  infected  with  malware.    Phishing  is   typically   carried  out   by   email  spoofing   or   instant  messaging,   and  it   often  directs  users  to  enter  details  at  a  fake  website  whose    look  and   feel     are   almost   identical   to   the  legitimate   one.     Phishing   is   an   example  of    social  engineering    techniques  used  to  deceive  users,  and   exploits   the   poor   usability   of   current   web   security   technologies.     Attempts   to   deal   with   the   growing   number   of   reported   phishing   incidents   include     legislation,  user   training,  public   awareness,  and   technical  security  measures. A  phishing  technique  was  described  in   detail   in  1987,  and  (according   to  its  creator)  the  first  recorded  use  of  the  term  "phishing"  was  made   in   1995.   The   term   is   a   variant   of     fishing,     probably   influenced   by  phreaking,    and  alludes  to  "baits"  used  in  hopes  that  the  potential   victim  will  "bite"  by  clicking  a  malicious  link  or  opening   a   malicious   attachment,  in  which  case  their  financial  information  and  passwords   may  then  be  stolen." You  may  read  more  on  phishing  here  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phishing.   And   here   for   more   on   the   "EDF   scam"   https:// www.getsafeonline.org/news/watch-­‐out-­‐for-­‐scam-­‐edf-­‐emails/ How  to  recognise  Phishing Not  all   the  emails  in  your  inbox  are  necessarily  from  the  organisation   that  you  think  sent  them,  they  may  look  genuine  and  have  a  genuine   reply  email  address  (not  all  do,  so  this  is  the  first  place  to  look  when   you  suspect   a  scam  email)  they  may  also   have  all   of  the  Logos  you   would  expect  to  see  from  the  company  being  used.

They will  probably  have  a  message  to  motivate  you  to  click  a  link  to   "their"  version  of  the  company's  website  they  are   purporting  to  be,   and  informing  you  that  if  you  do  not  give  them  certain  information   then  your   account  will   be   closed.    If  you  do   click  the  link,  check  the   address  very  carefully,  you  will  probably  find  it  will  not   be  (in  the  case   of   EDF)   france.edf.com   or   bleuciel.edf.com   the   normal   ones   you   would   expect   to   see   but   something   else   for   example:   urbanark.com.au,  clearly  nothing  to  do  with  EDF! The  information   they  are  requesting  may  be  your   bank  details,  your   address  and/or   date  of  birth   even  your  password  for  their   site.  This   type  of  information,  if   you  give  it   to  them,  will  allow  them  to  access   your  account   at   this  company's  site,  from  this  they  may  be  able  to   look-­‐up  your  bank   details,  your  address  details   and   other  personal   information.   This   may   then   be   used   to   steal   your   ID   or   set-­‐up   accounts   with  other  companies  in  your   name  that  they  have  access   to. Examples  of  the  type  of   language  used  to   get   you  to  click  and  link   and   give  them  further  information  are  :  "You  have  won  the  lottery",   "Please  verify  your   details  here",  "your   account   will  be  closed  if  you   do  not  respond  within   48  hours",  "Update  your  account"  or  "failure   to  update   your  records  will   result   in   account   suspension.     Another   tell   tale  sign   is  that  the  email  may  well  contain   poor  grammar  and   spelling  mistakes. What   to   do   if   your  suspect   you   have   received   a   phishing   email   Generally   I   contact   the   customer   service   department   of   the   organisation  they  are  pretending  to  be.    You  may  rest  assured   that   you  will  not  be  the  only  one  to  receive  one   of  these  types  of  email   and   the  company   will   advise  you   what   (if  any)   action  to   take.  As   with  hoax   emails  I  also   search  using  Google  to  see  if  anyone  else   has   received   a  similar   email.   I   use  the  subject   line   of   the   email   I   suspect   followed   by   scam?   or   fake?   this   usually   shows   me   that   there  are   many   other   people  who  have   received   the  same   email   and  what   to  do  about  it.    Please  be  vigilant  and  use  your  common   sense;  if  in  doubt  do  not   click  any  links  and  contact  the  company   you  believe  the  scam  is  purporting  to  be  from  -­‐   BUT  not  using  the   contact   details  in   the  scam  email!   If  need  be  look  up   the  contact   details  afresh   using  Google  or  letters  you  have  in  your  files  that  you   know  to  be  genuine. Ross   Hendry   is   the   proprietor   of   I n t e r f a c e   C o n s u l t i n g   a n d   Engineering,   who   has  over   42  years   experience   in   Communications,   Computer   Technology   and   Direct   Marketing.   (See   advert   below   for   more  information).

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

THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

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

Building & Renovation...

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

GO COLOUR Small: only 34€ Page 30


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

THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

ARTISANS &  TRADESMEN... Do  you  have  any  top  tips  you  can  share  with  our  readers?       We  would  love  to  include  them  in  this  section! For  more  details,  please  see  the  ‘Written  Contributions’  page   on  our  website:  www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr Page 31


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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Business, Finance & Property... French Tax in 2013

by Bill  Blevins,  Financial  Correspondent,  Blevins  Franks

e big change this year is in how your investment income is taxed. We are used to paying fixed rates of tax, or having the option of fixed rates, on our bank interest, dividends and share gains, but this has all changed. From January 2013 onwards, all the above income is taxed at the scale rates of income tax. So instead of paying 24% on bank interest, 21% on dividends and 19% on capital gains, your investment income and gains are now taxed at up to 45%. Higher earners will pay more tax this year on your investment income unless you have effective tax planning arrangements in place. French institutions will deduct a 24% and 21% withholding tax from bank interest and dividends respectively, but if your tax bill comes to more than this you will pay the difference with your 2013 tax return. The fixed rate for capital gains tax on share gains in 2012 (tax payable this year) has increased from 19% to 24%. In 2013, share gains will be taxed at the income tax scale rates, with certain exemptions for company owners provided certain conditions are met.

Tax on capital gains made on property sales has also increased for anyone who makes a gain of more than €50,000. The main home remains exempt from tax. From 2013, a surtax is added to the 19% fixed rate. It starts at 2% for gains over €50,000, and rises progressively to 6% for gains over €250,000. When you include social charges, the top rate on property gains is now 40.5%. There are reliefs available for length of ownership for both property and share gains. Blevins Franks local Partner, Brad Warden, is holding seminars to explain the various tax reforms and how they affect you. He will also discuss the extent and limits of your tax liabilities in France. Please see our advert for further details. To reserve your place call Brad on 05 49 75 07 24 or email bradley.warden@blevinsfranks.com.

Take expert advice from a wealth management firm like Blevins Franks on suitable strategies for your specific, personal, circumstances, time horizon and objectives.

In all cases, do not forget you need to pay 15.5% social charges on top of the income tax.

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Inheritance Rules  For  French  Residents One  of   the   most   frequently  asked  questions,  about  which   we  are   able   to   offer   advice,  is   how   the   French   inheritance   rules   affect   British  residents  in  France.   Once  you  become  a  permanent  resident  of  France,  you  are  subject   to   the   French   laws   of   succession   (“Code   Civil”)   for   inheritance   purposes.  This  basically   means  that  your  worldwide  estate  will   be   subject  to  French  inheritance  rules  and  taxes  with  the  exception  of   real  estate  property  situated  outside  of  France.   All  residents  with  children  (including  those  legally  adopted)  cannot,   however,  freely  dispose   of  all  their  assets   by  way  of   a  French  Will.   This  is  because  the  children  have  an  automatic  legal  entitlement  to   inherit   a   share  of  their   parents’  separate  estates.     The  size  of  their     entitlement   will  depend   on   the   number   of  children   involved   and   will  vary  between  50%  and  75%  of  the  deceased  parent’s  estate.   By  writing  a  will  in   France,  the  rest  of  the  estate  can   then  be  left  to   the  survivor.     However,  there   has  been   press   coverage  recently  of  the  new   EU   Succession  Regulation  which  will   come   into   force   in   August  2015.   The  regulation  states  that  an  EU  national  living  in  another   member   state   will   be   able  to   choose   between   the   law   of  the   country   of   nationality  or   residency  that  will  determine  the  distribution  of  their   estate.  This  will  then  have  to  be  stated  in  a  Will.   For   example,   British   nationals   resident   in   France   will   be  able  to   stipulate  that   they  wish  to  use  English  or   Scottish  Law,  rather  than   French  Law,  thereby  bypassing  France’s  strict  succession  rules.   Without   an  appropriate  Will,  however,  the  French  inheritance  rules   will   be   adhered   to. However,   the   UK   opted   out   of   this   EU   regulation   and   some   anomalies   still   exist   with   regard   to   British   nationals  resident   in  France.    In  particular,  the  British  Government     has  indicated  that  under   the  new  EU   regulation,  property  in  France   will   remain   subject   to   French   succession   law,   thereby,   defeating   one  of  the  major  benefits  of  the  legislation  for  British  nationals!  So   we  await  clarification  on  this  point.

End

Whilst this  new  regulation   will  make   it   possible  to   choose  UK  law   for   the   distribution   of   your   estate,   it   will   not   apply   to   French   inheritance   taxes. For   example,  whilst   it   will   be   possible,  in   the   future,  to  leave  all  of  your   assets  to  your  spouse/partner   in  the  first   instance,  assets  left  on  second  death  to  children  and   step-­‐children   could   result  in  higher   taxation  with   step-­‐children  facing  a  punitive   60%  French  inheritance  tax  on  anything  over   a  minimal  allowance   of  €1,594! Inheritance   issues   are  naturally  a   major   concern   for   most   British   residents  in  France.  However,  there  are  techniques  available  under   French  law  to  ensure  that  your  wishes  are   met  and   taxation  is  kept   to   a   minimum,   so   sound   professional   advice   should   always   be   taken  first.

David Hardy  is  Regional  Manager  of  Siddalls  France,   Independent  Financial  Adviser,  specialised  in  tax,  inheritance,   pension  and  investment  planning  for  the  British  community  in   the  Poitou-­‐Charentes  since  1996.    Tel:  05  56  34  71  77 Email:  bordeaux.office@siddalls.net  ~  www.siddalls.fr

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Ask Amanda.

Is there   anywhere   that   I   can   find   more   information   on   what   aspects   of   Financial   Services   I   should   be   concentrating   on   as   an   expatriate  living  in   France,  without  incurring   a   consultation  or  report/recommendations  fee? There  are  several  options  open  to  you:

1. ‘Le  Tour  de  Finance’  this  year  will  be  visiting   Niort.  The  event  is  on   Tuesday  9th   April  from   9.30   till   14.30  and   is   free.  This  year’s   specialist  guest  speakers  will   cover  topics  such  as: • • • • •

Choosing good,  regulated  Independent  Financial  Advice  in  France,   Assurance  Vie  in  English QROPS  –  Pension  Transfers  out  of  UK Taxation Better  value  currency  transfers    

(See the  advert  opposite  or  email  me  for  registration).    There  will   be   a  chance  to  chat   to   the  experts  whilst  enjoying  a  free  light  lunch.  Or   visit  www.letourdefinance.com 2.  The  second  option  is  an  informal  mini   seminar  at  Café  des  Belles   Fleurs  in  Fenioux  with  myself,  Sue   Cook  from  Currencies  Direct  and   Tony  Mason  from  Soficas  (Health  cover  in  France).     This  is  a  Pre  ‘Le   Tour   de  Finance’  taster.     Saturday  23rd   March   11.00  till  15.00  and   Trish  and  Ken  will  be  offering  a  lunch  for  8.50  Euros. Pre-­‐booking   is   required   for   both   seminars   (Please   email   me   to   secure  your  place).   3.  Thirdly,   you   can   arrange   to   see   me   for   a  free  review   of   your   finances   by   either   contacting   me   ‘Ask   Amanda’   on   the   numbers   below,  or   come   and  see   me  at   Open   Door   in   Civray  last   Tuesday   morning  in  the  Month   or   Café  de  belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux   Thursday   mornings.  

What is Le Tour de Finance ?

Are you   interested   in   finding  out   how  to   make  the   most   of   your   money   in   France?   Do   you   have   pressing   queskons   about   making   internakonal   payments,   pensions,   tax,   wealth   or   the   healthcare   system?   Why   not   take   the   kme   and  come  to  a  local  event,  bring  some   friends  and  make  it  a  great  day  out? Le   Tour   de   Finance   is     the     financial   forum  for  Briksh  expats   which   will  help   you   with   a   range   of   different   financial   products   and   services.  Just   as  Le   Tour   de   France   takes   a   route   throughout   the  regions   of   France,  so  too   does  Le   Tour   de   Finance.  We  want  to   reach  expats   where   you   live   so   that   you   can   seek   advice   parkcular   to   your   local   area.   Tax   advice,   pensions,   mortgages,   healthcare,  schools,  business  advice  and   making  the  most  of   your   assets   are   just   some   of   the   subjects   that   expats   need   to   know   more  about.  Le  Tour  de  Finance  is  the  ideal   opportunity  to  find   answers   to   the   most   pressing   queskons   facing   Briksh   people   living  in  France. The   forum   will   bring   together   key   players   who   assist   Briksh   expats  se‰ling  or   already   living  in  France.  It  will   also   be  an  ideal   opportunity   to   socialise   by   enjoying   a   free   Buffet   lunch   and   meekng  people  in  similar  circumstances  in  your  neighbourhood. If  you  have  any  quesMons  in  the  meanMme  you  can  contact  Sue   Cook   on   05   55   03   66   69   or   06   89   99   28   89   or   by   email:   sue.c@currenciesdirect.com.

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

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

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

Tel: 05  49  70  26  21

www.thedeuxsevresmonthly.fr

Worried about Your Insurance?

Are you   a   native   English   speaker   having  difficulties   understanding   how  you   are  insured  or   what  you  need  to  be  insured  for?     This  is   where  GAN  Assurances  can  help  you. Understanding  insurance  problems   is   a  hard  enough   process  as  it  is,   but  throw  a  language  barrier  into  the  mix  and  the  process  becomes  a   lot  more  challenging.  Whether  you  have  business  interests  in  France,   or  are  considering  moving  overseas,  or   perhaps  you  already  have   a   property  in  the  cultural  capital  of  the  world,  knowing  what  insurance   is  right   for   you   is  made  substantially  easier  through  the  multi-­‐lingual   GAN  Assurances.

insurance concern.     “My   role   is   to   accompany   and   advise   my   compatriots   who   represent   a   large   proportion   of   the   community   here  and   around  France,  to   the  right   cover  for  them,  whether  it’s  for   buildings   and   contents,   health,   car,   family   protection   or   business   insurance”. GAN  Assurances  are  offering  a  20€  discount  for  new  clients  on  each   new   contract  when   presenting  this  article,  contact   them  today!  For   more  information  call  05  49  94  04  88  and  ask  for  Imogen.

Covering a   wide   range   of   insurances,   the   team   consists   of   three   expert   advisors,  as   well   as   Insurance   agent   Damien  Maucourt   and   Cheshire-­‐born   Imogen   Gill.   Having   relocated   to   France   in   2005,   Imogen  joined  the  growing  team  at  GAN  Assurances  just  over  a  year   ago.    “I’m  very  happy  in   my  position  here  at  GAN  where  I’m  able  to   use   my   two   languages   to   help   breakdown   the   communication   barrier,   providing   clarity   for   non-­‐French   speaking   clients   who   encounter   problems   when   dealing   with   technical   matters.”   says   Imogen. Imogen  breaks  down  any  problems,  putting  clients’  minds  at  ease  by   providing   as   much   useful   information   as   possible   –   whatever   the  

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THE DEUX-SÈVRES MONTHLY

Hi Tec reaches the Deux-Sèvres

by Trevor  Leggett,  Chief  Executive

One of   the   (very   few)   silver   linings   to   be   gleaned   from   the   interminable  rainfall  that  has  beset  the  Deux-­‐Sèvres  recently  is  that   we  have  had  time  to  stay  indoors  and  do  a  bit  of  market  research.   Here   at   Leggett   Immobilier   we   have   access   to   vast   amounts   of   information.    How  many  people  are  looking  at  our  website  (around   1.2m   last   year),   where   they   come   from   (198   different   countries   around  the  world),  which  areas  they  find  most  attractive  and  where   they  eventually  view  and  buy. However,  we  don’t  just  rely  on  our   own  figures  and  we  like  to  keep   abreast   of  the  research  issued  by  three  other   parties.    Firstly  we  look   at   what   the   French  property  portal  ‘Se   Loger’  has  to  say,  we   also   keep   an   eye   on   the   FNAIM   (the   National   Federation   of   Estate   Agents)   as   they   too   have   a   national   overview   and   a   respected   research  team. The   analysis   we   use   the   most   though   is   that   provided   by   the   Notaires  de  France.     You  can  visit   their  website  at  www.notaires.fr   and  for  a  long  time  they  have  issued  a  price  indices  which   you  can   find   at   www.immoprix.com.   The   price   indices   is   excellent   for   comparing   different   areas.     As   an  example  they  give  the  following   average  prices  for  our  region  &  department  as: Poitou-­‐Charentes  :  €145,000  &  Deux-­‐Sèvres  :  €120,000 However,   they   break  it   down   further   within   our   department   and   give  us: • Parthenay  &  surroundings  :  €89,000 • Bressuire  &  surroundings  :  €100,000 • Niort  &  surroundings  :  €130,500

End

You can  see  from  these  that  you   pay  a  premium  price  for  property   around   Niort   which   is   perhaps   understandable   given   the   employment   opportunities.    It  also  highlights  some  of  the  value  to   be  had   elsewhere  within  the  department  –  take  a  look  at  some  of   the  rural  towns  further  north  around  Parthenay  &  Bressuire  and   the   prices  come   right  down.    Just  take  a  look  at  some  of  our   listings  on   www.frenchestateagents.com   and   you   will   see   that   these  figures   translate  into  some  real  bargains  and  excellent  value  for  money. We  would  suggest  that   you  take  these  statistics  with  a  slight  pinch  of   salt  as   sometimes  low   transaction   numbers   can   lead   to  anomalies   but  they  are  certainly  helpful  in  giving  a  rough  guide  and  identifying   trends. We   also   really  like  the  new  “app”  that   the  Notaires  have   designed   for   ipads,  iphones  and  android  devices.    You  can  download  it  directly   from   Itunes   or   Google  Play  and   they  have  a  link  on   their  website.     The  app  has  a  neat   ‘heat   map’  of   France  showing  the  prime  areas   and   allows  you   to  access  departmental   figures.    It   also   has  a   geo-­‐ localisation   ability  so   that  it  can   identify  where  you  are  from  your   GPS  position. If  you  are  thinking  of  buying  or  selling  in  the   Deux-­‐Sèvres  this  year   then  it  would  definitely  be  worthwhile  taking  a  look  at  the  Notaires   website  as   well   as  keeping  a  close  eye  on   our  property  listings.    In   this  way  you  should  be  able  to  get  a  decent  feel  for  prices  and  value. Of   course   you  should  also   get   in   touch   with   your   local   Leggett   agent   who   will   be   more   than   happy  to   share   their   knowledge   and  experience  too. Leggett  Immobilier  is  one  of  the  leading  estate  agents  in  France.   You  can  access  all  their  local  property  listings  and  articles  at www.frenchestateagents.com/poitou-­‐charentes-­‐property.

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The Deux-Sèvres Monthly - March 2013  

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

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